us senate

US Senate: Which way are you leaning?

We ran this poll last week for 48 hours. A total of 122 people voted, mostly for Cunningham.

I don't think these kinds of polls mean much, except possibly showing which candidate can stir up an online flurry on relatively short notice. This sort of tactical effort could represent a broader campaign capability ... or maybe not. It is what it is.

My apologies to candidates not listed. I was working from top-of-mind and I should have included three others.

Before the cock crows: Senate holds DeVos vote at 6:30 a.m.

Pre-coffee decisions are not wise:

The Senate voted early Friday to advance President Donald Trump's education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos to a final confirmation vote, which is expected Monday. The vote was 52 to 48 along party lines.

Senators convened at the unusual, early hour -- 6:30 a.m. ET -- because of Democratic stalling tactics that reflect their unhappiness with Trump's cabinet picks and the overall confirmation process.

Of course Burr and Tillis voted for her, and they will do so again on Monday. And although two other Republican Senators have promised to oppose her, Pence will merely slide in and cast the tie-breaking vote. Classic bait-and-switch, and you have to wonder if this is merely a distraction. A distraction that could be concealing the preparations for war:

Alexander Hamilton's Gun Nut Amendment

Increasingly in today’s America, facts are being replaced by self-interpretation. Facts certainly continue to have their place as long as they are “our” facts versus “the” facts. In regard to right wing politics, guns and the 2nd Amendment, facts are code for “our beliefs.” Years ago and in the course of a conversation, an acquaintance spoke about her husband. “He knows what he knows and that’s all he wants to know”, she said. In a previous post some time ago, this simpleton quote my have been used in regard to another issue. Today, it bears repeating.

Let's give Richard Burr the respect he deserves

When Richard Burr takes over as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee next year, a quintessential oxymoron will step into the spotlight, showcasing North Carolina once again as a state filled with idiots and assholes. Mr. Burr, who famously created his own run on banks at the height of the financial crisis, continues to embarrass us all with every utterance he makes. His comments yesterday about torture and the war crimes of George W. Bush leave no doubt about his loyalties.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said the report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on the CIA’s use of torture released Tuesday “only endangers our officers and allies in a blatant attempt to smear the Bush administration.” The Republican U.S. senator from Winston-Salem will become chairman of the Intelligence Committee in January. He said on Tuesday that he would not hold hearings on the report.

“I just don’t know what you would accomplish with hearings,” he said in an interview. Asked if he saw any kind of follow-up, Burr said, “No. Put this report down as a footnote in history.”

As a veteran and former special operations officer in the US Navy, I find Mr. Burr's cavalier observations about CIA torture practices mind-boggling. This is not about smearing anybody, this is about integrity, which is definitely not Mr. Burr's strong suit. If we can't count on the United States Senate to exercise is authority to hold the executive branch accountable for proven war crimes, we are well and truly screwed.

So yeah, let's show Mr. Burr the respect he deserves. Exactly none.

PS Rob Schofield has a slightly more gentle take on Burr's outrageous statements.

Richard Burr prefers KGB-style intel operations

But don't expect the "defenders of liberty" to speak out against him:

Republicans take over the Senate in just a few legislative days. And when they do, they will probably snuff out the last possibility of releasing a huge report on the use of torture by the Central Intelligence Agency during the Bush-Cheney Administration.

Mr. Burr has said the report is full of unspecified inaccuracies. He not only opposes its release, but also all public hearings of the Intelligence Committee. He believes that “enhanced interrogation” (also known as torture) helped lead to the death of Osama Bin Laden, and is O.K. with widespread domestic spying by the National Security Agency. So don’t expect the slightest bit of openness or progress after he takes over.

Be careful what you say on your cell phones, comrades. I have a feeling becoming an "enemy of the state" is going to get a hell of a lot easier in the near future...

The Senate Debate: and they are off!

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos puts the first question to Hagan and regarding foreign policy and use of force.
followup question from moderator -- is there anything Obama has not done he should do?

Hagan starts out firm with good answer.

Liddy Dole pens op-ed in favor of women's history museum

Reinforcing the stopped-clock theory:

The achievements and contributions of women, as individuals and collectively, are woefully missing from much of U.S. history. Is it any wonder that women throughout the nation have struggled to “lean in”? If the critical and indispensable contributions that women have made to our nation were woven into mainstream U.S. history, they would already be in.

To date, we have seen countless Democrats and Republicans come together to support the advancement of this important project. And yet opposition remains among a few members in the Senate.

Of course, being the loyal-to-the-last-breath GOP hack that she is, Dole doesn't supply readers the information they actually need, the names and/or political parties of those "few members" of the Senate. Who are (big surprise) right-wing extremist Republicans:

Thom Tillis timeline of attacks on real North Carolinians

Earlier this week I took a jab at Thom Tillis on Father's Day in honor of all the dads in North Carolina who are struggling under failed Republican policies pushed through the NCGA by Tillis and the Republican leadership. While it was a fun post to write, it really didn't shine a bright enough light on the problems dads (and moms) face in North Carolina. Allow me to close out Thom Tillis Day by correcting that.

The following are just a few of the many ways that Thom Tillis has shown a lack of respect for the citizens of this state and the ways that he has hurt North Carolina citizens and families by attacking them where and when they are most vulnerable.

Follow below the fold for the evidence...

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