Tag Archives: Nancy Pelosi

Another Voice From The Right Worries Over GOP Future

Another high level political analyst, normally favorable to the Republican side, seems to be agreeing with David Frum that 3/21 will be remembered as a Republican Waterloo moment. … This is a strange sentiment coming from a strange place since the MarketWatch is owned by the same folks that own Fox News.

David Frum has left the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) since publishing his article on 3/21. Was his brazen assessment the cause? The exact nature of his leaving is not clear but it appears that he was fired — see FrumForum.com for more info.

Now, political columnist Darrell Delamaide (Washington Times, Newsdesk Media) has come out with his view that the Republican Party lined up on the wrong side of history on health-care reform and will pay the price in midterm elections. (1)

Delamaide says that Democrats will lose seats – the president’s party usually does in midterms – but not nearly as many as they would have without the passage of healthcare reform.

B4DC sez: As a Republican-friendly guy myself (Bill4DogCatcher.com), my money is on the Republicans coming to within inches of taking the House and then failing to win it in November 2010. The problem for Republicans is that their only plan seems to be pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey —- throw names (Socialist, Obamacommunist, etc.)  and harrass the Democrats with everything imaginable —- but not actually present any comprehensive ideas of their own.

Comprehensive means you do the math and then make a case that 51% or more of Americans believe works in their favor.

If Republicans and allies get ugly this summer then it is all over. Americans may not like or appreciate the cost of some of the Democratic programs but they are tiring of bad manners.

Oops! Don’t go there — Republicans like to point out how low congressional popularity is. What they fail to point is that the public’s approval rating of congressional Republicans is even lower (6% very positive, 25% somewhat positive) than that of the Democrats (9% very positive, 28% somewhat positive), AND even lower than the approval rating of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (27%). (2, 3)

However, Republicans have another worry other than the Democrats: the TEA Party.

A number of polls have suggested since December 2009 that the TEA Party is more popular among conservatives and the rightwing than even Republicans themselves. Much more.

This is worrisome, or should be worrisome, for Republicans because the TEA party constituency and that of the Republicans is largely the same. 81% of TEA party members identify themselves are favorable to Republicans in a Quinnipiac poll released March 24th (4).

Rasmussen polling shows that the TEA Party brand has taken a major hit in popularity recently, but TEA Partyers were outpolling Republicans until early February. In the figures below you will see that Republicans and TEA Partyers are sharing market share – about 41-42%. One cannot win without the other losing.

  • TEA 23%, Reps 18%  — 2009.12.07 popularity (5)
  • TEA 17%, Reps 25% — 2010.02.09 popularity (6)

B4DC sez: A problem with above numbers is that at no point do the Republicans and the TEA party ever get near to attracting 50% of the voting-eligible public. If I were Republican I would be worried. A TEA Party that does not act as a branch of the Republican Party is disastrous for positive results in November 2010.


1 – MarketWatch, ‘Party of No’ strategy backfires Democrats’ midterm chances get a boost from health-care reform:  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/party-of-no-strategy-backfires-2010-03-24

2 – NBC/Wall Street Journal Survey 13-14 March, 2010:  http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/wsjnbcpoll03162010.pdf

3 – Congressional Favorability Ratings:  http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/congressional_favorability_ratings

4 – Quinnipiac University: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1295.xml?ReleaseID=1436

5 – Rasmussen: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/december_2009/tea_party_tops_gop_on_three_way_generic_ballot

6 – Rasmussen: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/february_2010/tea_party_candidate_now_comes_in_last_on_three_way_generic_ballot

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Schoolhouse Rock- How a Bill Becomes a Law

Back in the day (1970s) when we were trying to reestablish faith and trust in how the U.S. government ran and worked, a series of public service commercials would run during Saturday morning cartoons. It could never happen now because whoever did it would be accused of political indoctrination. Conversations are so hard to come by these days.

Other topics were covered, too. Things like grammar. Ok, so that last sentence would not parse correctly – apologies to my 8th grade English teacher who made us diagram every sentence. (Hell on earth, but thanks Mr. Moss, Southside Junior High, JAX Florida for trying).

Anyway, I strongly recommend this Schoolhouse Rock lesson on how a bill constitutionally becomes a law. Enough of taking shortcuts — both parties seem focused on sliding into homeplate rather than just hitting the ball out of the park. So I recommend this to all.

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Politico.com — Pelosi & Dems leading lambs to Slaughter.

It is very rare that the various analysts on Politico.com seem to speak with one voice.

As for leading lambs to Slaughter, that’s Politico’s view — but one widely shared with political analysts of all stripes that find it hard to believe that the House leadership would contemplate using what they are now calling the ‘Slaughter rule’ — use of the ‘self-executing rule’ for reconciliation and “deemed” passage of the health care bill.

Here is a sampling of the thoughts of various political analysts over at Politico.com in the Arena section at http://www.politico.com/arena/

Out of fairness so that no one can claim that I am picking and choosing quotes, I have included remarks from ALL of Politico’s senior analysts.

Rick Beyer
Documentary filmmaker, author, history guy

“Prediction: House Democrats will drop the Slaughter plan like a hot potato in the next 24 hours. And rightly so. Whether constitutional or not, I deem it a stupid idea.”

James P. Pinkerton Fellow
New America Foundation

“… concerns are now piling up about the constitutionality of the Slaughter Solution, giving yet more hope to opponents, and giving unwilling proponents yet another reason to stall a politically lethal “yes” vote. Unfortunately for House Democrats, their leadership has deemed it necessary for them to vote on a gimmick that sounds as bad as, or worse than, the ‘Cornhusker Kickback’.”

Mary Frances Berry
Professor of American Social Thought and History, U. Penn.

“The health reform bill will be subject to court challenge in any case. Lawsuits are already in the offing in opposition to the individual mandate requirement. The key to the worry over a challenge to “deem and pass” is that there’s no open and shut case to be made on constitutionality.”

Alvin S. Felzenberg
Author, “The Leaders We Deserved”

“the Obama Administration and the Democratic congressional leadership, may be steering the ship right into a buzz-saw of judicial review, propitiating a constitutional crisis to boot. What will be next, a Rooseveltian-styled attempt to “pack” the Supreme Court? (A new fight over judicial nominations may well be looming in any event.) “Slaughter” is the perfect name for this Pelosi-inspired rule. It may leave no one standing in its wake.”

Kenneth E. Scott
Parsons Prof. of Law emeritus, Stanford Law School

“”Passing” a bill without having to vote on it violates the most fundamental premise of representative government, and is contrary to the express provisions of Article 1 of the Constitution. It’s also a sign of how desperate Pelosi has become–anything goes, … It’s profoundly contemptible.”

David Boaz
Executive VP, Cato Institute

“… Article I, Section 7, of the Constitution requires that a bill must pass both houses of Congress to become a law. Duh. And for those who have trouble with that concept, he goes on: “As the Supreme Court wrote in Clinton v. City of New York (1998), a bill containing the ‘exact text’ must be approved by one house; the other house must approve ‘precisely the same text.'”

Mickey Edwards
Princeton lecturer and former Republican congressman

“If President Obama were to sign into law a bill “passed” without a vote, without transparency, without accountability, he will never again be able to utter words like “openness” and “transparency” without incurring laughter.”

Bernard I. Finel
Senior Fellow, American Security Project

“The Roberts Court has shown itself to be perfectly willing to discard precedent in order to legislate a conservative agenda from the bench. In the face of demonstrated judicial activism by this court, it would indeed behoove to the Democrats to ensure that they have all their ducks in a row.”

Victor Kamber
Vice-President American Income Life Insurance

“Democrats should be concerned. With this Supreme Court in place it really doesn’t matter what the law is, the politics of the court would decide and I’m afraid it would decide against the Democrats. Don’t do it.”


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Major Golden Rule Violation: Speaker Pelosi Sets Up Health Care Bill For Constitutional Challenge

Yes, the Republicans are being a bit hypocritical in their anger over Speaker Pelosi’s use of the “self-executing rule” to “deem” the health care bill passed in the House of Representatives.

Republicans have generously used this legal loophole provision since 1980 to reconcile amendments to various acts. By some accounts Republicans have used this loophole on amendment reconciliation almost twice as much as Democrats.

Golden Rule: You know the rule. While often hypocritical in their use of parliamentary procedures, Republicans have never passed a bill into law without seeking a majority vote on the bill itself. If the Republicans retake Congress in 2010 or 2012 does anyone mind that they make use of the “self-executing rule” to pass laws? I would. You should too regardless of which party is in power.

Constitutional Challenge: In 2005, Speaker Pelosi joined in a constitutional challenge to the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. Speaker Pelosi and allies argued that Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution requires the verbage of both the House and the Senate bills to be exactly the same and that the Constitution requires “… in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively.”

Speaker Pelosi outlined the very simple basis for a constitutional challenge in 2005 to use of the “self-executing rule”. The court ruled against the challenge as the content was the same but with a few minor wordsmith differences.

The challenge before us is that what is happening now is not a matter of minor wordsmithing. There are many more than just a few content issues between the Senate and the House bills.

Bottomline: If I were a Democrat I would push through the health care bill using reconciliation and 216 votes. As most of you know I do not support passage of either the Senate or the House version of the current bill. But I believe that Democrats are within their rights to use a reconciliation vote of 216 to do this. That is how the world works sometimes. But I very much oppose reconciliation using the “self-executing rule” and failure to actually vote on the bill itself.

A constitutional challenge will be swift and will invalidate the bill’s passage if the “self-executing rule” is used. The Constitution is crystal clear on what it takes to pass a bill for presentation to the president for signature. If  the “self-executing rule” is used and a constitutional challenge is successful — and it would be with the current court — then it will be a generation or more before we revisit health care reform.

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Louise Slaughter (D-NY), House Rules Committee chair makes history. Partisan warfare will rise to new levels. Rep Slaughter loses no matter what she decides.

The national health care debate is complicated, contentious and already has folks across a wide spectrum of beliefs up in arms, whether they support it or oppose it.

Congressional bill “reconciliation” to get national health care passed through Congress was painful enough a procedural maneuver already for some. Now comes a maneuver never before used for an entitlements bill:  the “self-executing rule”.

Pain may be an understatement. Both Democrats and Republicans will hold one specific individual responsible for whether the “self-executing rule” can be used: Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY), who chairs the House Rules Committee, has been asked by Speaker Pelosi to rule whether the “self-executing rule” can be used to pass the health care reform bill in the House without actually anyone voting on it.

Listen to any news outlet today and you will hear how Speaker Pelosi wants to use this procedure to “deem” the health care bill passed — no vote required.

It all hangs on a decision by Representative Slaughter. If she says ‘no’ then unionists have said that they will come after her in the 2010 elections. If she says ‘yes’ then there is no doubt that her life will be total misery as both the Republicans and a wide variety of others come after her in the 2010 elections. She loses either way.

Definition of “Self-Executing Rule” (2006)

It is a “two-for-one” procedure. This means that when the House adopts a rule it also simultaneously agrees to dispose of a separate matter, which is specified in the rule itself. For instance, self-executing rules may stipulate that a discrete policy proposal is deemed to have passed the House and been incorporated in the bill to be taken up. The effect: neither in the House nor in the Committee of the Whole will lawmakers have an opportunity to amend or to vote separately on the “self-executed” provision. It was automatically agreed to when the House passed the rule. Rules of this sort contain customary, or “boilerplate,” language, such as: “The amendment printed in [section 2 of this resolution or in part 1 of the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution] shall be considered as adopted in the House and in the Committee of the Whole.”

Traditional Use: Originally, this type of rule was used to expedite House action in disposing of Senate amendments to House-passed bills.

Use of this rule will have the practical effect of turning Congress from being a battleground to almost civil war in working together.

Learn more about the history and interpretations of usage behind the “Self-Executing Rule”: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=congressional+self-executing+rule

This post by Bill Golden, aka Bill4DogCatcher.com, an independent observer of American political life, economics, and workforce issues.

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Newt Gingrich Predicts Rightwing & Ultra-Conservatives Will Torpedo GOP – 2010 & 2012 Elections

In a recent POLITICO interview, Newt Gingrich’s outlook was “If we get into a cycle where there are tea parties and there are conservative third-party candidates, we will make Pelosi speaker for life”.

A quote sure to make Newt himself a target of the rightwing: “… it’s equally clear that you can’t be a rightwing party and govern the country.”

So far the evidence behind Gingrich’s comments:

  • Connecticut: Former Representative Rob Simmons is aiming for the senate. Expect a third party conservative candidate.
  • Florida: Charlie Crist would probably cruise to a comfortable win in his bid for the senate against any Democract. Within the party he is being challenged by Marco Rubio, conservative and well to the right of Crist; and Rubio would make a good choice for mainstream conservatives which predominate Florida’s Republican voters. The TEA Party is now an officially recognized party in Florida. Both the TEA Party and the Club for Growth are expected to support Rubio whether he is Republican or goes independent.The Florida TEA Party (http://www.floridateaparty.us) is staking out both a very libertarian and states rights approach to its political agenda. Expect it to be popular in northern Florida and among the Cuban-American population.
  • Illinois: Mark Kirk is aiming for the senate. Expect a third party conservative candidate, or for him to be the target of the rightwing.
  • Minnesota: No political party has a firm foothold here. The Minnesota Independence Party is considered a “major” party with the chance to win state offices. When Tim Pawlenty steps down to run for president, look for the following independents to step on the state: David Olson, Peter Bell and Jack Uldrich. Independents are set to possibly take the governorship as well as a number of other offices.
  • Ohio: Steve Stivers narrowly lost to a Democrat (2100 +/- votes) in 2008’s election. Stivers has announced that we will run again in 2010; unfortunately he is considered RINO and it is expected that social conservative Don Elijah Eckhart and Libertarian Mark M. Noble will also run; each ran in 2008 and pulled 9% of the vote. A bare knuckles anti-RINO campaign could pull in even more votes in 2010. Stivers has not endeared himself to the rightwing with quotes like: “We’ve got to start some checks and balances against the extremes in government. There are extremes on both sides.”
  • Virginia: Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello expects a tough relection fight but the probable Republican candidate must compete with a conservative third party candidate focused more on defeating RINOs than Democrats.

Look for independent candidate challenges in California, Kentucky and New Hampshire … and even more the closer we get to 2010.


This blog by Bill Golden, Bill4DogCatcher.com, an independent fed up with party politics but friendly to the concept of smaller government, maximum personal freedoms, Main Street over Wall Street, fiscal responsibility and community first.


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Republican Gains & The Pelosi Barometer … If 2010 Were Today

A recent Gallup Poll shows that Republicans made some significant gains in brand identity over the summer (1). Republican-friendly voters have risen 3%.

Per Gallup, 42% of Americans now identify themselves, or lean, towards being Republican. Republicans started 2009 off with just 39%.

Republicans last held a 42% identity ranking in late 2006 — so while the most recent 2009 numbers are an improvement, this is also the same level of public support as during the disastrous 2006 elections.

History: Based upon the 2000 and 2004 elections, Republicans must run at least toe-to-toe with the Democrats in voter party self-identification popularity to have a chance at winning. With voters almost evenly splitting their loyalties in 2000 and 2004, only Florida’s questionable votes pushed Republicans over the top in 2000, and Ohio slid in at the last minute in 2004 to give Bush a win over Kerry. In each election Republicans were virtually tied with voters equally identifying with each political party (2 point difference in 2000, 0 point difference in 2004). (1, 2)

Curent Poll Interpretation: After a brutal summer of debate in which Republicans and friends were constantly on attack against the Democrats, the Democrat’s current lead of 6% essentially means: Republicans would soundly lose if an election were held today.

Other polling puts the current situation into more specific perspective. If the 2009/2010 elections were held today (3):

  • Senate: Republicans would lose 2 seats (Kentucky and Ohio) and gain 1 seat (Colorado).
  • House: Republicans would gain 2 seats; winning in Idaho, Maryland and New Hampshire but losing Alabama.
  • Governors: Republicans drop one governorship: winning in Michigan and Virginia, but losing in Hawaii, Rhode Island and Nevada.

The challenge for Republicans is to attract more independents, just as it is for the Democrats to do so. Neither political party can win without the independent vote.

Many Republicans are counting upon 2010 to upset the Democratic control of Congress. History suggests that it should.

About Republican chances in 2010, David Moore of Pollster.com (aggregator and analysis of various polls) has a different interpretation: “It would be a political miracle if the Democrats did not lose seats in the 2010 Congressional elections, yet the polls so far suggest that scenario is doubtful at best.” If Moore is right then Republicans must reach out to even more independents, and Democrats too, if it hopes to keep in 2010 what congressional seats it already has.

The Pelosi Barometer: Perhaps one of the most interesting barometers that I pay attention to is the popularity of Nancy Pelosi. More than any other Democrat, ultra-conservative Republicans and their allies love to attack and to mock Nancy Pelosi. Bad news for ultra-conservatives: her popularity is rising, and rising faster than that of Republicans. So while the Republicans have moved forward by 3% with the general public since January 2009, Nancy Pelosi’s popularity has risen 7% just since August 2009 (4). With numbers like that, Republicans should have a lot to think about.


1 – Washington Post, Morning Fix: Republicans’ Independent Gains?, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/morning-fix/morning-fix-republicans-indepe.html

2 – Pew Research, Fewer Voters Identify as Republicans, http://pewresearch.org/pubs/773/fewer-voters-identify-as-republicans

3 – Pollster.com, Likely Voters and Mid-Term Elections, Part I, http://www.pollster.com/blogs/likely_voters/

4 – Rasmussen, 57% View Pelosi Unfavorably, But That’s An Improvement, http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/congressional_favorability_ratings

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