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Thanks for your comments on my post earlier in the week. Many of you asked to contextualize what $1.6 billion dollars means and further how much $1.6 billion compares to the profits oil companies are making and what we're spending in Iraq. There are many answers to these questions and many ways to answer, however they're all answered by this: that's the cost of the Republican culture of corruption. From the waste, fraud and abuse in contracts both in Iraq and in our Gulf Coast to the Medicare prescription drug bill, Republicans are stuffing the pockets of the special interests at the expense of our present and our future.

The Leader's "30 Something" working group does a fabulous job at exposing the cost of corruption and I encourage you to look at their posters. It is clear Republicans, from Congress to the White House, have no shame when it comes to racking up our debt and deceiving the public. In case it's not clear, Republicans control Congress and they have, without hesitation, abused the rules governing the House of Representatives to suppress our democratic process. Rep. Slaughter has blogged here many times on this. As long as Republicans control Congress, Democrats will be talking about the cost of corruption in very clear terms. This brings me to why I'm here today.

I'm here to answer another question many of you asked: How are Democrats fighting? Kos posted yesterday on the budget bill debacle, but let me summarize: the Republican Leadership and the President don't seem to care if the House actually passes a bill for it to become law. On February 1, 2006, the House of Representatives passed the Budget Reconciliation Spending Cuts Conference Report by a two-vote margin, with every Democrat voting in opposition. Yet, when the President signed the bill into law, he signed a different version of the bill than the one passed by the House. This bill has been voted on five times, passing by very narrow margins each time with the Republican leadership twisting arms to ensure passage. Rep. Rangel summarized Democratic outrage to this complete disregard for our constitution in a letter to Speaker Hastert last week:

This situation might be understandable, though still deeply troubling, if there had been no knowledge of the problem until after it occurred. But the Republican leadership in both the House and Senate were aware of this problem prior to the final House vote on February 1, and did nothing to prevent it from occurring or to correct it afterward. Instead, a decision was made to change the law en route to the President.

This morning, I introduced a Privileged Resolution demanding an immediate Ethics investigation into the abuse of power surrounding the inaccuracies in the process and enrollment of the Budget Reconciliation legislation:

Whereas the Republican Leadership has engaged in a continuing pattern of withholding accurate information vital for Members of the House of Representatives to have before voting on legislation, and has inserted numerous controversial provisions into completed conference reports in the dead of night without notifying Democratic Members of the House, the press, or the public;

Whereas on February 1, 2006 the Republican Leadership permitted a vote on House Resolution 653 to concur in a Senate amendment to the conference agreement on Budget Reconciliation, despite the inclusion of inaccurate numbers in provisions that cost the Medicare program an additional $2 billion dollars;

Whereas although the Senate Enrolling Clerk had mistakenly changed critical numbers which had a major financial significance for Medicare, and had notified the House of those errors two weeks prior to the vote on February 1, the Republican Leadership deliberately chose to ignore that notification and instead allowed the House to vote on an incorrect version of this legislation;

Whereas the conference agreement on Budget Reconciliation passed the House by the narrowest of margins, 216-214, with every Democrat voting in opposition, and knowledge of this mistake may have influenced the outcome of this vote, which is why the Republican Leadership chose not to pursue the proper course in correcting this legislation;

Whereas as a result of the concealment of these errors in the enrollment of the bill, the law signed by the President of the United States on February 8, 2006 is not the same as the text cleared by the House on February 1, 2006;

Whereas the effect of these actions raises serious constitutional questions and jeopardizes the legal status of this legislation and The Washington Post has reported: "Now there are questions about the legality of signing a bill the House technically did not pass" (The Washington Post, February 9, 2006);


Whereas Republican incompetence led to numerous errors in this legislation, and two additional errors in the Senate amendment that was agreed to by House Resolution 653 were found by the Congressional Budget Office in a report dated January 27, 2006, five days BEFORE the House voted on the final conference report: "The (conference report on Budget Reconciliation) contains two apparent errors in legislative language: one in section 8006 regarding direct loans to parents of postsecondary students, and one in section 10002 regarding bankruptcy fees." (CBO Report on S. 1932, January 27, 2006)

Whereas in this ongoing pattern of abuse of power, the Republican Leadership on December 17, 2005 deliberately misled Members of the House by inserting into a completed conference report without debate or notification a provision granting liability protection for drug companies from cases involving consumers injured by avian flu vaccine; (HR 2863, the Defense Appropriations Conference Report)

Whereas the Republican Leadership inserted this liability vaccine provision at midnight, AFTER conferees signed what they understood to be the final document seven hours earlier, thereby breaking their word and assurances that "Avian Flu shall be funded at the House level, and will not include either indemnity or compensation provisions." (House Appropriations Committee Summary, December 17, 2005, 4:40 PM)

Whereas during passage of the Prescription Drug bill in 2003, the Republican Leadership and the committees of jurisdiction ignored the warnings from knowledgeable experts that the true cost of the legislation was potentially hundreds of billions of dollars higher than the official estimate, and intentionally misled Members of the House by withholding information for the sole purpose of winning passage of this extremely controversial bill by a single vote in the middle of the night;

Whereas the Republican Leadership’s culture of corruption and its repeated efforts to thwart the normal legislative process by cutting corners, inserting hand-written provisions into completed conference reports in the dead of night, and rushing through legislation with major errors, forces Members to vote on controversial legislation without thorough time for review and must be denounced;

Therefore, be it resolved that:

The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct shall begin an immediate investigation into the abuse of power surrounding the inaccuracies in the process and enrollment of the Budget Reconciliation legislation cleared for the President on February 1, 2006.

Until we have a Democratic majority in Congress we can not ensure that the Constitution will be upheld or that the voices of the American people will be heard over the special interest megaphones. But at each and every abuse of power, I will be fighting against the Republican culture of corruption.

Originally posted to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 08:56 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for fighting... (4.00)
    ...on a personal note, I'd just like to register my disgust that as $1.6 billion is spent for public relations, the IRS has decided to audit my retired 84 year old grandmother.  Should she pay for Maggie Gallagher's punditry?

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 08:58:57 AM PST

    •  Thank you so much, Leader Pelosi ... (none)
      ... for posting.  It's always a treat to read your posts.  I stand by what I wrote yesterday.

      On a random topic, three weeks ago, I outlined a possible Democratic version of the Contract with America (see second blockquote).  Please feel free to read and comment on it or to have your staff do so if you wish.

      Today, the Court purports to be the dispassionate oracle of the law. - Justice Blackmun

      by jim bow on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 11:57:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  THIS IS F'IN BULLCHIT (none)
      and I am sick and tired of it

      while nancy pelosi is askling us to join the democratic fight against corruption the goddamn senate intelligence committee is deciding whether or not to accpet a DAMN DEAL with the white house that will shut down every investigation into the NSA DOMESTIC SPY PROGRAM

      I am sick and tired of being told by democrats to join their fight ONLY to find out they are kniofing us in the back while gladhanding us on webblogs

      i will repeat this...at this very mom ent Sen Roberts is offering the senate intelligence committee A DEAL on the NSA spy program thaty will not only take team bush OFF the damn hook for illegally spying on Americans BUT it will allow team bush to keep right on doing this with a sham version of oversight by roberts committee.

      IF A DEAL is brokered on the NSA spy program I am through with the Democrats for good...and if you love our country and your security and privacy then you will be through with them too because we are being BULLCHITTED by both sides of the political aisle in our country now

      "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

      by KnotIookin on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 01:16:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  WTF? (none)
        Are you just going to go from thread to thread and bitch at me about this?  I'm not the Democratic establishment.  I'm not a front-pager.  Stop yelling at me.

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 01:44:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you Ms. Pelosi for posting (2.66)
    and keep fighting for what is right!

    A foolish consistency (staying the course in Iraq) is the hobgoblin of George W. Bush.

    by wildcat6 on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 08:59:35 AM PST

  •  Thank You (none)
    Thanks for keeping us in the loop and let us know whatever we ground troops can do to help.

    Don't mourn: organize.

    by Malacandra on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:01:58 AM PST

  •  Leader Pelosi (4.00)
    You wrote:

    Until we have a Democratic majority in Congress we can not ensure that the Constitution will be upheld

    I agree. But what concerns me is that even if we have a Democractic majority, we may not be sure that the Constitution will be upheld.

    That is why I asked Congresswoman Harman the question I did. And I make the same commentto you:

    [T]he Bush Administration is asserting an Article II power that makes its actions on these questions beyond Congressional and judicial control.

    The diagnosis Representative, is that the President is determined to violate the Constitutional design of checks and balances, ignore the Congress' Article I power and the Judiciary's Article III power.

    [Leader Pelosi], you have a Constitutional crisis on your hands already.

    It is clear that Republicans are prepared to accept this outrageous assertion of unfettered Presidential power.

    I hope that Democrats are not.

    The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

    by Armando on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:02:47 AM PST

    •  SCOTUS (4.00)
      The SCOTUS seems extraordinately BAD to me...
    •  Constitutional crisis is an understatement... (4.00)
      I also ask Leader Pelosi to respond to this:

      When will the Democratic leadership demand Constitutional protections?  

      Why isn't the Patriot Act being carefully reviewed by Constitutional scholars before enactment?  

      What's the f'ing hurry if it can just be extended again while nonpartisan scholars review its constitutionality?

      The last thing I want to do is provide fodder for the criminal Republicans but it's obvious that political calculation is involved with how Democratic politicians are responding to the illegal NSA spying and how they are responding to the abuses inherent to the Patriot Act and how they are responding to Constitutional assaults in general.

      I could be appeased if Democrats spoke relentlessly, everytime possible, about the Constitutional assaults.  Nothing else matters if unconstitutional tyranny is allowed to continue; a police state is around the corner and it will be too late to speak up then...

      Our founding fathers have your back:

      Patrick Henry,  a REAL American patriot said "give me liberty or give me death."

      Benjamin Franklin, a REAL American patriot said "The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either."

      Thomas Jefferson, a REAL American patriot, said "Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."

    •  Leader Pelosi, what is your position on HR 635? (4.00)
      Congressman Conyers and 24 co-sponsors seek to establish a Watergate style committee.  What is your position on HR 635?
  •  Great (4.00)
    Most of what you posted is stuff that we all know already. What we don't know is what you personally and are doing to help retake the house, and overall what the Democratic strategy is for retaking the house and senate.

    Judging by the way the democratic leadership dealt with Hackett, I'm not getting my hopes up.

    I think it's time to bring this government to a standstill and stop playing their game.

    When the Republicans want to hold hearings without swearing people in, walk out.

    When the President gives a state of the union address and tells his first lie, walk out.

    Start fighting like your life depends on it, because all our lives depend on it. Anything less than a knockdown take-no-prisoners fight is simply not worth it.

    •  Who's Hackett? (4.00)

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:05:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  a (4.00)
        a potential leader with a spine, that's why most democrats have a hard time recognizing him.
        •  No (4.00)
          It's because he disappeared from the scene VOLUNTARILY.

          Hard to deal with that fact I know, but don't come into Nancy Pelosi's diary to revive that debate.

          It is NOT all about Hackett and his cult.

          The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

          by Armando on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:36:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Who said it was about Hackett? (none)
            It's about bad strategy and Hackett is just one example. Why can't I bring it up when it just happened a few days ago?
            •  The Hackett actor in 2006 (none)
              The Hackett factor will come into play in this election cycle. The Dems strong-armed tactics (Armando's "volunatarily" is Bush-speak of Roveian quality) have turned off many of us, and I will vote against DiFi even if I have to write in "Kos". The Dems are blundering in their usual fashion, and the author is correct to offer up this example of why the Dems are on a path to failure in 2006.

              Many of us share the view that the Dems are clueless when it comes to getting elected, and will shoot themselves in the foot (no Cheney jokes please) many times over the next few months.

              Rep. Pelosi has the task of reforming the clueless politics of the Democratic Party, and we are right in monitoring her progress. I wish her well, but it is a big mountain to climb, and the Hackett blunder was a setback, for sure. It is therefore relevant to this discussion.

              I'm a linguist, licensed to use words any way I want to!

              by MakeChessNotWar on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 12:13:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  If Culture of Corruption is the best slogan we (4.00)
      have for them then we're not doing that well on the communication front.  It almost seems to put a better face on an actual methodology that is inherently rotten to the core; causing death and destruction and ruining our civil rights.

      "Face it, we're as dead as corduroy" - Cat

      by TalkieToaster on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:24:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that slogan isnt working (4.00)
        and neither is 'we can do better'

        and long winded speech's full oif technical jargon and legalese and especially 5 syllable words isnt working well for us either

        I listen to the democrats talk and I say yup, they are smart and well informed BUT they dont know how to distill their thoughts into easily repeated soundbytes....ones that will catch on with average americans...kind of like a 30 sec commercial

        republicans can do that....we dont seen to be able to.....

        so can you guys come up with something more catchy then 'the culture of corruption" and especially "we can do better"

        they are weak bytes and they arent catching on with average Americans.

        "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

        by KnotIookin on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:46:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yah (none)
          That's right up there with "vote for me becuase I'm more electable" and "a stronger America".

          If America is already strong and we just want to make it slightly stronger, then why do we need a new leader mister Kerry?

        •  slogan morphing (none)
          unnamed democrat: we can do better

          replace with ...

          unnamed democrat: you deserve better

          BushIsWeak.com ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

          by wystler on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:26:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sounds weak (none)
            The use of the word "Better" makes me think that the government is doing something right. When something is a complete failure, you don't say you can do better. You say you can do the exact opposite!

            Like John Kerry's sloganeering about a stronger America. A stronger America means that America is already strong and he can make it slightly better, when infact nothing could be further from the truth.

            When the country is headed for complete collapse and disaster, you don't say you can do better, you say OH SHIT WE NEED TO STOP THIS RIGHT NOW, OH MY GOD BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!

            •  bullshit (none)
              what do you try to communicate to a battered spouse when (s)he needs to back away from the relationship that's harmed?

              you deserve better ...

              that's right. it's a question of realization. it's the issue of breaking through denial.

              weak? balderdash!

              BushIsWeak.com ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

              by wystler on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:53:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ok (none)
                "Your abusive husband is pretty good, but you could do even better."

                "Your abusive husband is a disaster and you need someone completely different"

                Which do you like?

                •  obviously ... (none)
                  You haven't been close to an abusive relationship, have you? If you had, you'd understand that your second alternative will place the battered person in a defensive posture, in part, as a way to defend his/her own poor judgment.

                  Your first statement is crap. "You deserve better" offers no suggestion, one way or the other, about the quality of status quo, leaving the abused to deal with that unspoken.

                  Don't go volunteering at a shelter any time soon, at least until you develop a better understanding of communicating with a person who's been abused.

                  BushIsWeak.com ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

                  by wystler on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 12:29:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  um (none)
                    We're not talking about abused wives, we're talking about a very dumb American electorate
                    •  you keep calling them dumb ... (none)
                      ... and they'll continue to defend the position they've taken.

                      Dammit, man! This is about breaking up a toxic relationship between the Bush/neocon cabal, and the voters who really, really believe that:

                      • he loves them; and
                      • their love for him is strong.

                      The metaphor is darned near perfect. You want to win their respect, don't be calling them fools. (this, despite what we both may really believe)

                      BushIsWeak.com ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

                      by wystler on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:06:50 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  i like that change... (none)
            I also like to hear a list of the top ten greatest attacks on our democracy by the gop after which the words "this isnt the America we grew up in" is uttered

            "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

            by KnotIookin on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:36:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  BushIsWeak.com is registered (none)
            as of Feb. 11, 2006.

            Now if they just use it!

        •  Damn Straight (none)
          "We can do better" implies that the current regime cares about upholding their Constitutional and fiduciary responsibilities, but just hasn't managed to effectively accomplish that. The fact is, to the contrary, the current neoCon regime is accomplishing their agenda with surprising effectiveness. No one can "do" THAT better than they.

          Dems need to impress upon voters not that Dems can "do" better, but that they ARE better. Ethically motivated, morally straight, and utterly devoted to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States.

      •  Everyone repeat, (4.00)
        Culture of Corruption

        Culture of Corruption

        Culture of Corruption

        and like magic, the voters will elect Democrats!

        That's quite an impressive strategy for victory.

        What matters most is what lasts longest.

        by Sargon on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:54:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Stupid slogans (none)
        "Culture of corruption" is part of the strategy of politely losing.

        It's the "um sir could you please um stop calling me bad names and stuff" way that Democrats deal with Republicans.

        Whoever came up with that softball slogan and decided it should be repeated everytime a Democrat talks ought to be fired. Crap like this is why we CONTINUE to lose elections.

        Americans do not respond to lameass slogans.

        •  they respond to slogans (none)
          Americans hear slogans. They do resonate with the voters.

          But it takes more than a single meme to change the tide. It takes coordinated effort, with multiple simple messages that work in concert. "Culture of Corruption" ain't a bad start, but the strategic and tactical work had better not settle for that one phrase.

          BushIsWeak.com ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

          by wystler on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:29:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Try these on for size (4.00)
            Culture of Treason
            Culture of Death
            Culture of Fascism
            Culture of Greed
            Culture of Tyranny

            All of these sound better than "culture of corruption"

            •  Vote for Culture of Tyranny (none)
              The "give me liberty or give me death" and "he who trades freedom for security, gets neither and deserves neither" are excellent.

              16 thousand dead and wounded, to replace Saddam with an Iran-friendly regime.

              You know it's bad when Democrats are calling for reduced spending.  

              Bush spent 1.6 billion on propoganda.  Who are they fooling?

              Republicans for a secretive government.  Who are they hiding from?  Isn't it our goverment?

              Propoganda, Secret Prisons, Bribery and Corruption, Too Many Secrets; The Weapons of the Bush Administration.

              "By the people, of the people, for the people"  Why so many secrets?

              just a few thoughts..

      •  AWESOME (none)
        The Republican party: "inherently rotten to the core.....causing death and destruction and ruining our civil rights"
        Hehe//.....thats a lot more pithy than " the culture of corruption"
        I like it....The Republican Party: "Inherently rotten to the core; causing death and destruction wherever they go"
        .......coming soon to a neighborhood near you!
      •  I dunno, (4.00)
        a straight-down-the-ticket Republican friend of mine recently confided that he's voting all Democrat next time.  And he actually used the phrase "culture of corruption" when he told me.  I know he's not the only one who feels this way.

        I'd say it's worming its way in.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 11:33:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, Ms. Pelosi (4.00)
    I've a question that should be answerable by any. Though it may seem wonkish, I'd like to know ...

    On February 1, 2006, the House of Representatives passed the Budget Reconciliation Spending Cuts Conference Report by a two-vote margin, with every Democrat voting in opposition. Yet, when the President signed the bill into law, he signed a different version of the bill than the one passed by the House.

    Conference committees have, imo, made a mockery of the constitutional requirements involved in legislation. In this particular case, what was the difference (exact language would be nice) between the bill passed by the House GOP, and the final version signed by GWB? Any reference links would be appreciated.

    BushIsWeak.com ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

    by wystler on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:06:25 AM PST

  •  Continue the fight. (4.00)
    Continue it on all fronts.  Fight about this.  Fight about the incompetence and lack of oversight that leads to billions lost in Iraq & due to the failures of FEMA.

    But continue to fight about the domestic spying as well.  Don't cave in to pressure from people who argue that opposition to the NSA program makes Democrats look weak on national security.  What makes Democrats look weak is continually capitulaing to Republican strong-arm tactics.  When Democrats fight for themselves, then people realize that Democrats will fight for them also.

    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

    by GTPinNJ on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:07:26 AM PST

    •  I Would Like To Hear (none)
      over and over and over again, from every dem, that WE ARE NOT SAFER because of George Bush.  If he cared about national security, our borders would be closed, our ports would be guarded, the horror of Katrina would not have happened, the police departments would be fully equipped with equipment and people needed, their radios would all work together...and there's so much more.  Let 'em have it with - uh- both barrels!
      •  asdf (none)
        ... our borders would be closed ...

        huh? you really think the Dems should call for a closing of international borders? please expound ...

        BushIsWeak.com ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

        by wystler on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:32:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Mexican Border (none)
          is what I was talking about mainly.  There's no fence, no nothing, to stop a terrarist from walking right on in.
          •  no thanks (none)
            fences and walls and what next?  fuck that noise.  freedom has inherent risks - embrace the lot or stay the fuck home.

            I AM NOT AFRAID OF TERRORISTS.

            say it with me.

            weather forecast

            The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

            by Cedwyn on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 01:00:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  What is it with (none)
            this fortress mentality ?
             Any 'terrarist' can jump off a boat and SWIM ashore....shall we put up barbed wire rolls at low tide along every foot of shoreline ? Where does this end ? The last thing in this world we need to spend money on (though I'm sure Halliburton would be glad to have the contract) are walls across our borders...what about Canada ? Or do you think terrorists don't do cold climates ?

             The protection we need most is from the gang that have our government in it's death grip.

            I try to take one day at a time but sometimes several days attack me all at once ~ Steven Wright

            by Dvalkure on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:43:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Nice Start, DON'T Stop! (none)
    Ms. Pelosi,

    Thank you for taking the initiative to try and have some accountability here.  They are ALL a "special" kind of audacious, the way they run us over like bulls in a china shop.

    Anyway, I agree with the others here that it's time to start fighting TOUGH.  Think of yourself as a "parent" with an "unruly child".  Tough Love is what is needed now.

    Don't let them continue running roughshod!  Don't let them make any more cuts in spending either, these decisions are killing real Americans out here!  These republicans are bestowing a great deal of hardships to us, and we cannot sustain much more without some relief here!

    Once upon a time, Harry Reid did a magnificent thing and forced a closed-door session over the Phase II investigation.  It was really cool to see that....and then it just stopped.

    Why aren't you ALL doing this ever day?  Why aren't you FORCING them to play fairly with you?  Why are you STILL ALLOWING them to move on?  You have to stop.  You have to make this neoKKKon Death Maching come to a screaching halt and you must do this NOW!

    Maybe, if the Dems start creating their own "Braveheart" moments, they too will learn that the Repubs are nothing more than schoolyard bullies.  Once challenged, they'll buckle.  The Dems just have to overcome their fear....

  •  Corruption seems to be a weak word in a way (none)
    When people think of governments that are corrupt they don't necessarily think that it sets them apart from any other gov't that does corruption that never seems to be felt directly.

    For instance the public has heard so much about Halliburton that it no longer registers.  Even though it can be demonstrated to be a serious and lethal ethical problem.  Just mentioning to people increases the numbness factor.  I don't know what to do but its more serious than corruption.

    Maybe change it to Culture of Amoralism or Theft or Republican Crimewave.

    Believe me, its not a hyperbole.

    "Face it, we're as dead as corduroy" - Cat

    by TalkieToaster on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:18:04 AM PST

    •  liars, thieves, and jesus exploiters? (none)
      the republicans should adopt a slogan of "no ethics?  no problem!"

      and the dems should start calling themselves the real party of family values.

      these people have no shame and should not be accorded civility.

      just my opinion.

  •  my problem (4.00)
    my problem is the Democrats seemingly lack of passion. I am sorry but what the republicans are doing is basically rewriting the system, they are stealing from the poor and opening the coffers to the rich. They continue illegal wars, they continue to destroy our goodwill around the world (I am ashamed to travel overseas as you are now seen as american scum)
     The republicans are shipping the good jobs overseas, they are destroying the middle class. They create phoney indexes that throw out bullshit numbers that say everything is fine, when we, the people out here in the real world know we are on a sinking Titanic.
     Toss on top of this mess that the administration does whatever it pleases, burns the bill of rights, gives itself unchecked powers and during all of this, ALL of this, the Dems just go about business as usual.

    Sure most Dems say the right things but thats not enough. Monotone speeches on c-span is not gonna get it done. Personally I don't know how you stand it. The corruption is beyond belief but yet only a few Dems even have the courage to raise the voice in anger in speeches, or look up from the poorly written prepared statements.

     My God, The countries being stolen and no one has the passion to start yelling, I mean really yelling. Toss some papers, toss a fucking chair, tell some one to go "Cheney" themselves.

    Some may say" but this will disrespect the institution of the Congressional halls," I SAY to not do these things disrespects the Congress, disrespects our founding fathers, disrespect this country as it is precisely now that these hall needs to be protected" Protocol and niceities be damned, the foundation of this branch, the core ideals ofthe congress is being shattered, we don't have time to worry about appearing rude.

    If I bump into a burgular in my house, I don't worry about saying "excuse me" I punch the bastard in the nose.

    My feeling is our country is being attacked from within, If a representative doesn't think the Constitution is worth FIGHTING for then I am not sure they should be representatives. We ask our sons and daughters to sacrifice their LIVES for these liberties, the least I can expect from my representatives is to sacrifice their comfy same ol same ol routines at this time.

    Make some noise representative, make a seen. When more people watch american idol then the state of the union, it takes some real passion to draw attention to what is happening in washington.

     Until I see real passion, I fear our country may be lost.

    •  Amen! (none)
      I tried to say the same thing (below), but you said it better!

      "Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!" -- Sir Thomas More, in A Man For All Seasons, by Robert Bolt

      by Shiborg on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:01:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely (4.00)
      I distinctly remember the rethugs making idiots out of themselves, foaming at the mouth, stomping their feet and hollering about the very important matter of Clinton's private affair and that he lied about it.  If they can manage that much disgust about something so trivial...#1, why aren't they doing the same thing now that it really matters, and #2, why aren't the dems?
  •  Thanks (none)
    keep up the fight. This is serious business.

    An election does not make a democracy.

    by seesdifferent on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:23:59 AM PST

  •  Nancy: (4.00)
    If you could see what Washington looks like from out here, you would be more than just concerned, you'd be horrified.

    There has never been so many lies, so much corruption, and so little concern for the American people.

    You Democrats have got to put your shoulders together and stop these crooks. Look, the 9/11 excuse is wearing pretty thin. It's time to call their bluff.

    Check the polls again, start a fire. We're here and we will back you up.

  •  Tell it like it is, Congressman (none)

    Thanks for the update.

    I don't think much of the the GOP "back benchers," but -- I'll swear -- I respect them more than their elected leadership does.

  •  gonna make corruption your centerpiece? (4.00)
    Sounds good.  But maybe you should be fighting the Constitutional Crisis at your feet before making plans for re-election.  

    Do you want a message that will win you elections?  How about a party that stands and FIGHTS for the basic principles of our Republic.  If you want to keep hearing about a lack of message, keep playing to the center.  The middle is about compromise not conviction and one-sided compromise is just capitulation.

    •  "basic principles of our Republic" (none)
      Some might cross the aisle to join that fight! Honest. Did you read George Will today?

      Besides, terrorism is not the only new danger of this era. Another is the administration's argument that because the president is commander in chief, he is the "sole organ for the nation in foreign affairs." That non sequitur is refuted by the Constitution's plain language, which empowers Congress to ratify treaties, declare war, fund and regulate military forces, and make laws "necessary and proper" for the execution of all presidential powers. [Italics in original.]

      John Murtha speaks for me

      by cotterperson on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 01:01:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the best government money can buy... (none)
    On a positive note I LOVED THE live web conference a few Saturdays ago. By the way I would not have known about it except someone  here at Kos posted a diary....You should do more  streaming like that???

    I watched the Congressional hearing yesterday with Google, Yahoo, and Cisco.Will  the same thing happen  here in the US????

    Who is protecting We the People????

  •  Thank You for Your Service....But (4.00)
    what's up with the DCCC and Democratic Faces on tee vee?  Looks to me as if "progressive" and "grassroots" are nice in fund raising and phone bank times, not so much when your Committee and the DLC decide who to embrace and who to run-off. No more $ for national organizations from here.

    Bush Republicans: Co-Conspirators in an On-Going Criminal Enterprise

    by vetfordean on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:27:42 AM PST

  •  "Culture of Corruption" Won't Work. (none)
    It's too general, and snags Democrats too. Sure, the Abramoff scandal is a Republican scandal, and will likely be widely shown as just that. But too many federal Democrats are accepting too many donations from too many big corporations. Even though there's no per se quid-pro-quo for most of it, most voters know that corporations are taking over our country. And many voters think (whether correctly or not) Democrats are equally as culpable for that as are Republicans.

    We need the House back this fall! Our Constitutional heritage demands it. Even if Bush/Cheney are not convicted in the Senate and removed, they must be impeached in the House. Future generations, not to mention our own, require that this MUST happen--for the historical record, if for nothing else.

    "Culture of Corruption" will not get us there. In every other walk of American life, liars, cheats, and criminals are called out for what they are, prosecuted, and punished. Why should federal politicians be any different?

    •  agree, we must impeach (none)
      if we do not impeach both Bush and Cheney, it says basically that we no longer have the same form of government we had before. I wrote Sen. Leahy, and he wrote back! I think he is trying to fight but needs more troops if you know what I mean.
      •  Sen. Leahy is Great . . . (none)
        and I've been a fan of his for years. But the House is where this battle must originate. The House Judiciary Committee should have launched an investigation of warrantless, domestic surveillance immediately upon the NYT breaking the story in December. Neither Sen. Leahy, nor any other Sen., has any Constitutional authority or responsibility for impeachments.

        My point was more that Democratic candidates for House seats should campaing this fall NOT on a theme of "Republican Culture of Corruption," but on themes incorporating words like "unconstitutional," "illegal," "deceptive,"  "criminality," etc.

        Sen. Leahy has his act together better than most of the other 534 members, and I know he's troubled by recent events. That was evident during the Roberts and Alito hearings. I'm glad he responded to your letter. But it's really VERY important that we get the House back. Again, "culture of corruption" won't cut it.

  •  Dear Congresswoman: (4.00)
    I am a constituent of yours.

    I have often wondered, given the proven and obvious corruption of the Bush administration, why our Democratic congress members do not stage a strike and walkout to protest this corruption?

    After all, we have an administration that is clearly violating our Constitution, and our laws; an administration that has lied to this nation time and again, causing an illegal war with tens of thousands of deaths, who failed miserably during Katrina, and who have been running death and torture camps. When is enough, enough already?

    Aren't our Democratic congress members, by allowing this government to function and continue, actually being somewhat complicit in its operation? Why can't our Democratic members in the House and Senate stage a massive walkout, going to the Capitol steps to announce that they will no longer take part in this sham of a government? Could there be a better more dramatic way to make the point to the American people that we've had enough, and that we need their support to stop further abominations and atrocities of this administration?

    Please tell me why this hasn't been done already, and why it could not be done now? We must stop these people before they do any more harm to our nation, and it's going to take bold action. If we cannot depend on the opposition party to take this type of action, then what hope is there for our democracy? Going along to get along is killing our nation, and putting it grave danger.

    Your thoughts please.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Hornito on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:36:40 AM PST

    •  Here Here! (4.00)
      I agree whole-heartedly.

      To go along to play along is the same as ENABLING.  It really has GOT to stop!

      I wish they would just sit down and make a massive list of every time these republiKKKons steamrolled over the Dems...like Sensenbrenner violated procedure when calling the article 11 hearing to a close; and each individual time they held a vote open and why; and each individual time they compromised hearings (by, say, not swearing in the witness); and each individual time any (ANY!) of them have been caught in a LIE....

      I would bet my right arm that the list would be HUGE!  And it would be an AWESOME talking point for explaining why the Dems have FINALLY said ENOUGH!

      Oh, how I wish they would do this.....!

  •  No one will take you seriously (4.00)
    until you clean your own damned house.

    The culture of corruption is very serious, because it is undermining the faith that we have in our ability to address serious problems confronting us.  Hopefully we'll get some numbers of the cost of corruption shortly.  


    I bring this up because of a story in the Washington Post about Democrat William Jefferson getting stung over corruption.  Jefferson going down has been obvious for awhile, unfortunately, the strategists surrounding House leadership haven't figured out that ethics is actually our issue.


    Remember the 'CLEAN HOUSE' committee headed by Abramoff-tainted James Clyburn?  That was the Democratic House-side response to the corruption scandal in Congress.  The Republican way of doing business is corruption, but that is not the way our party works.  We can do better, and we should.


    Now, Nancy Pelosi is making some noises on ethics, calling for the ethics committee to function.  I pointed out ten days ago that Jefferson was going to go down, and that filing a complaint against corrupt members of Congress is really the only way to make it known that we are willing to actually use the ethics machinery of the House.  Now, it's an open secret that there has been an ethics truce in the House between Republicans and Democrats for years.  Yet I have received adament denials from Pelosi's staff that she is asking members not to file.  She personally believes that leadership shouldn't file against members of the other party, so I guess that excuses her.  What about the other 200+ members who won't file one?


    I'm a little confused by all of this.  Who's really serious about reform?  

    .
    •  Absolutely... (4.00)
      I could not agree more with your comment.

      Further, it remains a mystery why Ms. Pelosi and her fellow "Democratic" legislators have not seen their way to Fight Back! in an effective way. This blather about "ethics" coming after years of the secret agreement with ReThug criminals not to raise the issue seems....well, Weak.

      Ms. Pelosi is also still voting, as far as I can tell, for funding the out of control, immoral and illegal assault on Iraq. Still voting for more outrageous weapons systems in a defense budget that exceeds the REST OF THE WORLD'S EXPENDITURES ON WEAPONS COMBINED.

      If Ms. Pelosi expects the netroots support I think she needs to get real about progressive actions. If she needs a list of things to do in this regard she should talk to Governor Dean.

      Not post suck-up diaries to dKos.

      "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

      by Nestor Makhnow on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:35:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (none)
      we need to lead by example.

      I read the article in the Washington Post this morning. Democrats in the Congress can contrast their commitment to ethical government to the Republicans by handling this issue in a quickly and decisively.

      The Republicans have a fundamental problem with telling the truth - Howard Dean.

      by NYC Sophia on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 01:10:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for posting (4.00)
    I do have a couple of questions - there is a bill authored by Congressman Holt on voting.  It has all the essentials, I feel, for voting to count:
    1. paper ballots
    2. random checks to see if the vote count is accurate.

    Do you support this bill?  

    On the hearings about NOLA and FEMA, why did you not want the dems to be in those hearings?  It was one of the few times that there would be witnesses to question.  Yes, I know you were afraid of a white wash, but still.

    I really have enjoyed the black caucus.  I get a sense that they are lively, that they refuse to quit and they manage to stage a few good peaks into the iron curtain of the repub control.  I know they can get away with it, to a certain extent, because people expect it of them.  I would like to see the dems shrug off the smears and slurs of the repubs and go swinging at those windmills anyway.  There is no media, there are no checks and balances, there is only the integrity of the democrats and independents that can make a difference at this time.

    •  likely constitutional question (none)
      Given that authority to conduct elections is vested in the States, with the only strong federal concern being equal protection, will Rep. Holt's bill pass constitutional muster?

      BushIsWeak.com ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

      by wystler on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:37:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How about "crooks and liars?" (none)
    or "fools and knaves?"

    or "thieves and criminals?"

    etc., etc., etc., the beat goes on!

  •  Hammering the Culture Of Corruption will help (none)
    But, that is a negative thing, and will only work somewhat.

    It does nothing to show the people of our country that we have a positive plan for restoring the United States to the leader of the free world that we strive to be.

    Please work with your fellow Democrats (In AND out of office) to create and PUBLICIZE TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, our plan to improve our nation.

    We are counting on you to not just attack negatively, but to LEAD us to a more positive future.

    Rick
    -7.75 -6.05
    Fox News - We Distort, You Deride

    by rick on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:41:07 AM PST

  •  Keep pushing these issues, (none)
    and make the press cover them as much as possible {a bit hard to do when the Vice-President is on the loose, I know, but keep pushing!}  

    "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty, soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

    by shpilk on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:41:08 AM PST

  •  Nancy, How Can We Help? (4.00)
    The polls indicate that nearly 2 out of every 3 Americans is fed up with the direction the country is going. . .I am FRUSTRATED to no end that with 2/3 of the nation thinking we are headed in the wrong direction, 57% wanting Democrats to lead Congress and a President who has one of the lowest approval ratings in history, that we can't get more done!

    Yesterday, I posted a diary entitled, "Being Democrat: The Threat Of Becoming Irrelevant" in which I detailed how failing to act on principle when the law and principle dictate it only serves to put us in a very dangerous position, one we can ill afford to be in. I know you're busy, but if you've got time, please read it. . .I think I echo the sentiments of a lot of frustrated Americans right now who have long ago moved past the "us vs. them" mentality and have moved on to a "them vs. the Constitution and our freedom".

    Please. . .offer us counsel as to what kind of pressure we as citizens can exert in order to get our voices heard. I believe you to be a Congresswoman who is TRULY interested in what her constituents are thinking and feeling. . .for that I am grateful. Unfortunately, I live in Roy Blunt's district and am saddened at the difference between you and him.

    Don't give up, Ms. Pelosi. . .we are ALL counting on SOMEONE to continue cherishing the Constitution and what it means to our past, present and future.

    Visit PoliticalTruthWatch.Com!

    by politicaltruthwatch on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:47:17 AM PST

    •  Another concerned citizen (4.00)
      Rep. Pelosi

      As a citizen and voter I appreciate your efforts and want to do my part to change the current abuse of power and wholesale corruption.

      What I am most concerned about is that the Republican Bush Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress are destroying our Constitutional rights and the opposition party, the Democratic party is not standing up with courage, conviction and principle to oppose in unmistakable terms this abuse of power.

      We know that this Administration has lied repeatedly from WMD to Katrina. We know that this Administration has leaked classified information for political purposes to deceive the country into a war. We know that this Administration has illegally spied on Americans. We know that this Administration believes they are above the law and Constitutional checks and balances do not apply to them. We know that this Administration outed a covert CIA officer working to prevent a nuclear Iran for partisan reasons. We know that this Administration and Republican-controlled Congress are looting the taxpayer to benefit their cronies and line their pockets. It is clear as day that the Republican Congress and the Bush Administration put party and power before country and Constitution.

      What really irks us concerned citizens is that the opposition Democratic party's leaders are afraid. How can you expect to win Congress when the electorate sees your fear? If the Democratic party's leaders are afraid to stand up to the Republican's how can they be trusted to fight terrorists?

      All the polls show that we have a deeply divided electorate. There is no "center". These same polls show that the majority of the country feel the country is on the wrong track. There is no way that Democrats can win over Republicans. As the polls show the Republican base will support their party under any circumstance. So, it makes no sense why the Democratic leadership cannot take a principled stand and be united with a common message and demonstrate that you can take the fight to the Republicans. The majority of American voters will embrace the Democratic party if courage and principled conviction can be shown. You don't need these DC consultants who have lost election after election to tell you what needs to be done. By standing up for principle and taking the fight to the Republicans the Democratic party's base will be energized like never before and will be excited to come out in mass and vote for change. You will win majority control of Congress and we will be proud to have Speaker Pelosi.

      To my politically naive mind, it seems that all the Democratic party leadership needs to do is to make a decision that we will oppose the Republican  Bush administration and the Republican Congress with no compromise. We will use every public forum to communicate a simple message that the Republicans are corrupt, incompetent and abusive of the Constitution and that the Democrats offer a return to our Constitutional principles and competence in governance. That the Democratic party leaders and elected officials will uniformly oppose all Republican abuse of power and support whistleblowers who unmask the corruption and abuse of power of this Administration. That if given control of Congress will investigate all the corruption and abuse of power and hold people accountable.

      Please help us understand why it is difficult for the Democratic party leadership to stand up with courage and conviction and fight the Republicans head on. Please let us know how we can help to carry this message to broad electorate and how we can mobilize support for the Democratic party to win control of Congress this mid-term election.

  •  Budget Bill (4.00)
    Representative, (and others here), I have not posted very often, but have read somewhere that this budget bill contains plans to change Social Security and set up private investment accounts in spite of the lack of success selling this change to the public.  First, is this true, and second, if so, why aren't we hearing any screaming about it?  

    Carolyn

  •  Well, Nancy... (none)
    Maybe if you would stop stabbing your own best fighters in the back (Paul Hackett)  you might win more fights.

    Not one dime until you grow a spine.

    "Out here in the middle, where the center's on the right, and the ghost of William Jennings Bryan preaches every night..."

    by Nineteen Kilo on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:54:09 AM PST

    •  What did she do? (none)
      What did she do to Paul Hackett?  I understand your furor over Hackett not getting the support you thought he should but I don't see the relevance here.

      We just saw diaries about the Domestic Spying scandal posted by other memebers of Congress.  Are we to jump on each and everyone over Paul Hackett?

      imho,
      mrick

      •  Hackett is just an example. (3.50)
        Ms. Pelosi is part of the Democratic leadership.  She shares responsibility for every cave-in, roll-over, and betrayal that has been perpertrated by the DNC.

        They stabbed Hackett in the back.
        They regularly stab Dean in the back.
        They caved on Scalito.
        The betrayed their own on Roberts.
        They let Lieberman call himself a Democrat while he fellates Bush.
        They kissed Bush's ass at the SOTU lie fest.
        They let Abu-Gonzales lie without taking an oath.
        They let Ney and Blackwell steal Ohio without so much as a peep.
        The hits just keep on coming.

        And then they have the gall to ask me to support their self-destructive cowardice?

        "Out here in the middle, where the center's on the right, and the ghost of William Jennings Bryan preaches every night..."

        by Nineteen Kilo on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:15:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Further (none)
          When they stabbed Hackett in the back, THEY STABBED US ALL in the back. Hackett was backed by the netroots, we are what helped him to become a strong candidate. We fought for him, we supported him financially, we went to bat for him over and over.

          When the democratic leadership turned on him, they TURNED ON US.

          That's why I will not drop the issue or let this go away, as Armando insists I do. What happened to Hackett makes me not want to be a Democrat any longer, it brings me that much closer to giving up.

          Don't you guys get it yet?

        •  all righty (none)
          Of which of your enumerated complaints has Ms. Pelosi been guilty?

          Hackett's undoing appeared to be orchestrated among the SENATE campaign committee leadership. I don't recall Ms. Pelosi claiming that she disagrees with a public Dean statement. House members did not review the Alito appointment, as it's the Senate's job. Ditto Roberts. Lieberman's in the Senate.

          SOTU? WTF are UTA?

          Gonzo's testimony was before the SENATE. Ohio is a state outside California, and is not the federal government.

          You have problems with the Democratic Party? Fine. Either get involved, or sit on your hands. You have a problem with Ms. Pelosi? What ...?

          BushIsWeak.com ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

          by wystler on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:44:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your compartmentalization... (none)
            ...of DNC disasters is part of the problem.  Until you hold the entire leadership responsible for the entire package of screw-ups, they will continue to act against each other's interests.

            "Out here in the middle, where the center's on the right, and the ghost of William Jennings Bryan preaches every night..."

            by Nineteen Kilo on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:58:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Enough (none)
          What's lost in the endless Hackett recriminations is that the remaining candidate, Rep. Sherrod Brown, is actually an amazingly progressive candidate.    You know--the type of Democrat Kossacks dream about having the opportunity to vote for.

          No, the Hackett thing wasn't handled in the best way, but the fight to take back the Democratic Party and the nation isn't a short-term battle.  Please, please, don't anyone give up.  I'm as frustrated as the next guy, but abandoning the Democrats, as lame as they frequently are, is unilateral disarmament.  We may be building a new dike, but they've got their hands in the one that's crumbling faster than anyone thought it would.  (Heckuva job, Bushie!)

          Besides, nobody thought this would be easy, did they?

          First they laugh at you.
          Then they ignore you.
          Then they fight you.
          Then you win.

          I'd say we're halfway there--somewhere between "ignore" and "fight."

  •  Take it to court (none)
    Why can we not take this to court.  I don't understand how the bill can be given effect of law if it isn't approved by the House - as written.

    Is there no regress to the courts?

    mrick

  •  Thank you for writing, Ms. Pelosi. (4.00)
    A question if I may:

    Many of us have the sense that what is going on -- in Congress, the White House, and the country at large -- goes beyond policy disputes and beyond politics. We are in dangerous territory, with an unaccountable & unchecked executive and a majority that will do anything to get its way in Congress. Our treasury is being looted, our foreign policy is in shambles, and our social safety net no longer protects us. Corruption is rampant, but it only begins to cover the full extent of the political evils now afflicting us.

    In short, we feel a sense of crisis, that our country, our democracy, and the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights are threatened. We are frightened.

    My question: Do the Democrats in Congress have the same sense of urgency and the belief that politics-as-usual will not be enough? Do you have a sense that strong action is required, both now and after you reclaim Congress, to repair the damage that has already been done?

    "Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!" -- Sir Thomas More, in A Man For All Seasons, by Robert Bolt

    by Shiborg on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:54:35 AM PST

  •  Corruption and INCOMPETENCE (none)
    Thanks for the post.

    I fear the vast majority have become accepting - or at least not terribly surprised by corruption in politics.  Competence however is still sought after.  

    Thanks for providing some.

  •  To leader Pelosi / staffer (4.00)
    We think it's really really cool that Leaer Pelosi posts at Daily Kos and takes part in netroots.

    However, to fully take advantage of this medium, one should actually comment once in a while or answer questions about one's diary. The beauty of this medium is its interactivity. No, we don't need scoops, or "secret" information. You don't have to make policy decisions right here. But we do have legitimate questions that should be answered, just like when you talk to any live audience.

    The ranking system makes it easy to figure out which ones are most important. Please... don't treat this as a one-way message amplification machine.

    (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

    by Florida Democrat on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:03:29 AM PST

  •  Oh No! Not an ethics complaint! </snark> (4.00)
    I am sure that the administration will be intimidated into abandoning their lawlessness by that.

    Stop bringing (butter) knives to this gunfight.

    Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.--Philip K. Dick

    by Randomizer on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:05:05 AM PST

  •  Non-Partisan Dilemna (none)
    I appreciate your faith in Democratic values.  These values can only prevent a Constitutional crisis, however, if they are upheld by good Democrats.

    I appreciate your faith in the idea that a Democratic majority will solve the major problems facing us today within our government.

    I don't believe, however, that corruption and incompetence are partisan problems.  I don't believe ,if the only strategy the Democrats can formulate is another Anybody But Republicans for the coming elections, that Democrats will prevail.

    Even if ABR is what you believe, then you are not even adhering to THAT strategy, given actions being taken now within the party against good and moderate Democratic candidates like Christine Cegelis and Paul Hackett while other morally questionable Democrats are forwarded within the party or protected as incumbents - people unfaithful to party principles and fellow politicians like Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller.

    If the Democratic Party wants people like me (29 years a Democrat, now unaffiliated because of the Iraq Resolution, the Patriot Act, and the dunning of Howard Dean by fellow Democrats) then you folks have got to GET REAL, GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER and PLAY IT STRAIGHT.

    We are sick of the lies and the insider infighting at the American people's defense.

  •  Just from a fundamental standpoint (none)
    How can government agencies expect to operate within a budget if they don't know which one is correct?  There is a reason why it must be reconciled in both houses before being signed into law.

    The fact that the Republican leadership wants to just push it off to the side is disturbing...

    Being called vindictive and partisan by Tom DeLay is like being called ugly by a frog. -- Ronnie Earle

    by John H on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:07:36 AM PST

  •  Dear Nancy Pelosi (none)
     I apologise. I gave you a hard time on $1.6 Billion being only a drop in the bucket and I shouldn't have. Of course you are up on the facts about the literally Trillions diverted under the Bush government. Sometimes it is just so frustrating, the level of treason and all of the other crimes that have been done under GWB and gang.
         Keep up the good fight. We all need you soooo much.
    •  drop in the bucket (none)
      I was about to make a similar comment.

      Yes, the $1.6B for PR/cronyism is another good example of the culture of corruption.  So I can see how it fits into the story.

      But the real budget problems are the Bush 2001/2003 tax cuts, the billions in unneeded weapons systems, and the massive disaster of the medicare drug benefit.

      The smaller items, though corrupt, don't even compare to the larger budget issues and yet they're rarely talked about except in the economics blogs.

      I'd love to see a followup to the CAP proposal for reforming the military (see http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/...), in a way that makes Democrats on the side of a strong defense, but not rubber-stamping the current wasteful and corrupt defense appropriations.  

      I realize that's a long-term project, but that even a better reason to start now.

  •  it's worse than incompetence (none)
    when greed and corruption lead directly to people getting killed. When you knowingly and willfully break the law. And claiming executive power, when he is actually the employee of us, the people! He should be fired.
  •  nice try (4.00)
    corruption and government are synonomous terms. culture of curruption is weak, and typical middle of the road jargon of a party that has rolled over and played dead for 5 years now. pelosi shouldn't use this forum, as she doesn't respond to comments, unlike conyers... there is nothing new here that the kossacks don't already know, and your simply wasting our time and getting free publicity... there is nothing in the constitution that says it is a two party system. a new wing of dems must strike out on their own and dissown the failed leadership now in place... it will be impossible to get dems on the same page while you have liebermans, kerrys, clintons and pelosis justifying this illegal war. all they do is critisize the way it has been handled, not the war itself... hundreds of billions of dollars gone in a black hole and all nancy can come up with is whining about 1,5 Billion wasted on propaganda... we know that...the dems have abandoned their base, trying ever harder to target milk toast repubs who will not vote for them anyway. the dems are dead to me. stop wasting our time and get to work, nancy...
  •  I have a question (4.00)
    regarding the obvious lack of respect for the law displayed by this administration.

    If John Q. Citizen violates the law, either the letter or the spirit, John can be prosectuted.

    We have a laundry list of crimes committed by this administration...should there be an eventual democratic majority in the house or senate (or perhaps both), will these past crimes be prosecuted or would this constitute a clean slate and a fresh start?

    At the end of the day, the rule of law is about justicce and universal enforcement of the law, if our own legislators refuse to prosecute criminals, the rule of law is meaningless.

    Parties divide, movements unite.

    by Gegner on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:16:33 AM PST

  •  Oh yeah, and... (3.33)
    They're about to hang Feingold out to dry on the P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act.

    "Out here in the middle, where the center's on the right, and the ghost of William Jennings Bryan preaches every night..."

    by Nineteen Kilo on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:22:47 AM PST

  •  Ms. Pelosi - 'culture of corruption' (4.00)
    It's now an empty phrase! Stop intoning it endlessly - it has no punch, and no useful application. Vapid sloganeering will get us NOWHERE.

    When will we see some FIRE in Congressional bellies? What more kindling do you need? The House, the Senate, our Consitution, the media are all circling the drain, and all we hear is monotonous empty chanting, "my esteemed colleague", and bland protestation, while the COUNTRY is gasping for air.

    The frustration is beyond endurance.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:29:19 AM PST

    •  Party of Corruption (none)
      Let's call the GOP what it is, the Party of Corruption. Calling it "culture" makes it sound refined, when it is a raw money/power grab.

      Republicans are....
      The Party of Treason.
      The Party of the Rich.
      The Party of Corruption.
      The Party of Waste.
      The Party of War.
      The Party of Sleaze.

      Take your pick.

      A President in his own league. The Bush League!

      by Tuba Les on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 11:18:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Time To Change The Game (4.00)
    Leader Pelosi,

    I appreciate your willingness to post here. This is a community that cares deeply about our Constitution and our country -- and we seem to be losing both day by day.

    With all due respect, I read your post and I feel like Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day". We have seen this cycle a thousand times. . .

    1. The Republicans do something dishonest/amoral/illegal/corrupt.
    2. The blogosphere screams about it.
    3. A handful of Democratic House or Senate members post here and send out letters and create petitions -- letting us know that they share our outrage.
    4. The media picks up one of these stories for a day or two.
    5. We demand investigations. The Republicans refuse.
    6. The story fades, and everyone -- including the media -- moves on.
    7. The cycle repeats.

    Leader Pelosi, pardon my profanity, but it's time to change the fucking game. Using a poker analogy, it's time to do more than call -- it's time to raise.

    When do I get to see the entire Democratic House and Senate caucus standing as one on the Capitol steps speaking with one voice and declaring that the President of the United States is an incompetent liar who needs to go? When do you all decide to call Dick Cheney exactly what he is -- a lying coward who committed treason against the United States of America? When do we demand that Alberto Gonzalez be charged with perjury? When do we demand that Karl Rove be thrown out of the White House today?

    We're in an illegal war with no end in sight. Our surplus is gone. Our Constitution is slipping away. The media has been corrupted. The voting process has been corrupted. The Republican majority in the House and Senate are essentially operating on the principle of legalized bribery. We sanction torture now. We wiretap Americans without a court order. We have a record fiscal deficit. We have a record trade deficit. We have six years in a row of increasing poverty. We have male prostitutes running around the White House as conservative reporters. We have residents of the Gulf Coast sleeping in their cars because their FEMA trailers are stuck in Arkansas. . .

    I don't need any more petitions. What I need is for you and your Democratic colleagues to put your careers on the line and step up to the plate in the name of stopping this Republican crime family and saving the United States of America.

    That's what I need.

    We have thousands of young Americans risking their lives for a lie in Iraq. Can't our Democratic Representatives and Senators at least risk their careers to save our country?

    Will anyone be our hero? Will anyone stand up to Karl Rove? Will anyone stand up to the right-wing smear machine? Will anyone do what's necessary to save this country?

    You can start today. Walk into the briefing room and call the President of the United States of America a liar.

     

    I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn -- Ron Burgundy

    by IndyScott on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:31:25 AM PST

    •  And One More Thing. . . (4.00)
      If you're unwilling to stand up to a lying, doughy troll like Karl Rove, what reason do you give anyone to believe you'll stand up to Al Qaeda?

      For roughly half of this country, the debate is truly that simple. In a post-9/11 world, people respect strength and conviction -- and Democrats aren't showing much of either.

      Are we going to be halfway through President George Allen's second term in 2014 with a 60-40 GOP Senate and a 100-seat deficit in the House before we're able to conclude that the "run as Republican-lite" strategy of Bob Shrum, Donna Brazile and Mary Beth Cahill maybe isn't the way to go?

      The country will be destroyed, but at least the three of them will have jobs.

      Would you please stop listening to the "consultants" who have absolutely, positively no idea how to win a national election?

      I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn -- Ron Burgundy

      by IndyScott on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 12:14:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. David Mamet framed the poker analogy (none)
      perfectly in a recent Huffington Post and LA Times piece.  It's short and a must read for us and Nancy P.

      The bumper sticker reading "in Texas some village is short of an idiot" is an absolute announcement of surrender. The "idiot" and his administration have taken the keys to the kingdom, by exploiting, tactically and strategically, Democratic weakness, passivity.

      Sadly, the LA Times link is gone, but here's a blog with extensive quotes.
      POKER PARTY
      In politics as in poker, the only way to win is to seize the initiative. The Democrats need to make bold wagers or risk being rolled over again.

      ONE NEEDS TO know but three words to play poker: call, raise or fold. Fold means keep the money, I'm out of the hand; call means to match your opponents' bet. That leaves raise, which is the only way to win at poker. The raiser puts his opponent on the defensive, seizing the initiative. Initiative is only important if one wants to win.

      [...]

      If you are branded as passive, the table will roll right over you -- your opponents will steal antes without fear. Why? Because the addicted caller has never exhibited what, in the wider world, is known as courage. In poker, one must have courage: the courage to bet, to back one's convictions, one's intuitions, one's understanding. There can be no victory without courage. The successful player must be willing to wager on likelihoods. Should he wait for absolutely risk-free certainty, he will win nothing, regardless of the cards he is dealt.

      For example, take a player who has never acted with initiative -- he has never raised, merely called. Now, at the end of the evening, he is dealt a royal flush. The hand, per se, is unbeatable, but the passive player has never acted aggressively; his current bet (on the sure thing) will signal to the other players that his hand is unbeatable, and they will fold. His patient, passive quest for certainty has won nothing.

      The Democrats, similarly, in their quest for a strategy that would alienate no voters, have given away the store, and they have given away the country.

      Committed Democrats ... watched, passively, while the Bush administration concocted a phony war; they, in the main, voted for the war knowing it was purposeless, out of fear of being thought weak. They then ran a candidate who refused to stand up to accusations of lack of patriotism.

      The Republicans, like the perpetual raiser at the poker table, became increasingly bold as the Democrats signaled their absolute reluctance to seize the initiative.

      [...]

      One may sit at the poker table all night and never bet and still go home broke, having anted away one's stake. The Democrats are anteing away their time at the table. They may be bold and risk defeat, or be passive and ensure it.

      For instance, you could point out that the White House is run by liars who obviously break the law, who run gulags like Guantanamo that the world - friends and enemies - know must be shut down, and who should be replaced long before 2008 to protect our national security.  Ms. Pelosi, if you're too timid for the job, that's the party's crisis.  You're holding the winning cards but you're still not playing.

      As of November 2006, the party's Congressional Leader has to be brave enough to take a clear stand on whether Bush/Cheney should stay in office - that's what 85% of Democrats want.  

      Congresswoman Pelosi, are you that person?

  •  You're fighting? (4.00)
    Is that what you call it, Representative Pelosi?  Fighting?  Funny, for the most part over the past 5 years, you Congressional Democrats have basically drawn a dotted line across your own throats with a tag that read, "Republicans - cut here."  

    I think it is galling for you to speak of your efforts as "fighting."  While I do appreciate your perspective from on top, I cannot thank you for your rather weak approach to this fight.

    What happened to speaking truth to power?  Coming on Daily Kos and telling us all how you are "fighting" is not really the forum you should choose, if you are truly fighting, is it?  Isn't it kind of like Dick Cheney choosing Fox News for going public about the shooting?

    How about this: How about actually fighting with some substance.  How about taking real, meaningful action, instead of coming to liberal sites to talk about action.

    Show me something first.  THEN tell me all about it...otherwise it becomes increasingly clear that Democrats are acting from the perspective of political self-preservation, and not from any true sense of duty to the American people.

  •  Thank you for co-sponsoring (none)
    Rep. Murtha's resolution to support our troops by getting them out of Iraq. I hope others will join the 97 co-sponsors.

    John Murtha speaks for me

    by cotterperson on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:34:19 AM PST

  •  Just what is a .. (none)
    Privileged Resolution ? Does it have any teeth, or can it just be backburnered like every other resolution or request we Dems put forward ? Anyone know ?
  •  Talk Simple!! (none)
    Dem concerns about the Constitution are coming across as technicalities.

    In a war environment you really need to use tighter, crisper, more emotional language. The issue needs to be phrased with terms like threat, bungle on the downside and portray accountability as power and strength.

    "Culture of corrpution" falls far short of the real threat of the unitary President. We need to connect better on this.

    There's nothing wrong with simplicity and emotion when it supports the truth.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:37:59 AM PST

  •  why (none)
    Ms. Pelosi, why did refuse to give senority back to McKinney?
  •  Democratic Leaders (4.00)
    Our REAL democratic leaders are Murtha and Feingold I am not sure what leadership is shown by pointing out that we are getting ripped off by the administration for 1.6 Billion.  Guess what most of us already knew that, you Ms, Pelosi, like the republicans must think we are stupid.  What are you doing to lead?  I have asked this question of you and your followers for months and have heard nothing of substance.  Give Murtha the job, him not delivering the rebuttal to the SOTU was a total lack of judgement also.
  •  The Democrats in Congress are fighting? (4.00)
    You could have fooled me!

    "By Grabthar's Hammer...what a savings." - Dr. Lazarus

    by Ari Mistral on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:54:12 AM PST

  •  Friends Please Stop Complaining... (4.00)
    And start suggesting things TO DO.  If we want to develop strategies for talking and advertising our ideas to the public, we have to speak in POSITIVES.  I frankly am sick and tired of people complaining, even though I agree with the complaints.  I would like people to suggest a POSITIVE alternative whenever they make a complaint.

    For example, instead of saying Bush lied about the reasons for going to war... try saying that WE told the truth about the reasons for going to war.

    I beleive that speaking in positives requires the individual to think more deeply about what they believe, and thus leads to greater self awareness and an ability to express yourself more truthfully.  It is basic human nature to respond to honesty with honesty - and the MAJORITY of people respect honesty.

    The Democratic party is the party of real compassion, real honesty, real cooperation.  Let's start talking about building the "Stewardship Society"... built on "Community Investment", "Accountable Government", "Neighborhood Values", "Shared Responsibility", and a "Strategic Military", and most importantly that Democrats build safe and strong communities to empower families.... that's the crux of Neighborhood Values.

    Or, of course, waste your time complaining about the GOP and keep giving them free advertising.... ever heard that even negative advertising is good?

    Democrats win when there is a dialogue based on Cooperation.  Republicans win when there is a dialogue based on Division.  Just look at the Southern Strategy.

    I think these are good places to start:
    www.cnvc.org
    http://www.progressiveidentity.blogspot.com

    •  To follow up... (none)
      I think "Culture of Corruption" is a good start, it's easy, it's repeatable, it says a lot without saying a lot (know what I mean?).  But now that many voters are convinced that the GOP is corrupt, we have to convince them that the Democrats are a positive alternative.

      Why not use this forum to come up with ideas?  Any ideas for a phrase to use along with the Culture of Corruption?  A million heads should be able to come up with something good.  Blogs should be a resource for brainstorming, and our leaders should be listening for good ideas.  Kos should have someone working to distill the ideas into new diaries, etc., and sending the ideas on to thinktanks and our leaders, etc.

      Being constructive is the same as ORGANIZING... and remember what Wellstone taught us, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE.

      Enough said.

      •  Culture (4.00)
        Culture of Corruption is a terrible slogan TERRIBLE.

        You want my advise. Democrats need to storm out of congress, have a huge press conference on the steps and declare they are shutting down congress for the forseeable future because of Republican misuse of power and corruption.
         This will bring HUGE national attention.
        The natural first question will be "WHY?, why are the Democrats doing this?" the average person will logically ask- BOOM we have now framed the entire debate.

        The entire debate is now about Republican scandal and corruption.

         The republicans would scream political stunt which the reply is, " 1)if it were why would we be doing it in feb. so far removed from the elections, and 2) we simply couldn't stand be and let our citizens freedoms and liberties be trampled any longer"

         Boom framing still on target= Republican corruption.  

        In several months time , the huge majority wil remember 2 things
         1) the dems are fighting for liberty
         2) Republicans are so corrupt congress was actually shutdown.

        Honestly however I am not holdingmy breath, this party is so inept and 21st maneuvering they actually let a drunk draft dodging boy cheerleader look tougher than a real war hero.

    •  make suggestions???? (4.00)
      I do that almost every damn day.....

      i write BOTH my senators and make many suggestions...comments and even a few complaints BUT I always receive the exact same answer from BOTH of my Senators...a damn form letter telling me that are thrilled to hear from me but have absolutely no time to ever really bother to respond OR address my 'suggestions' but they do thank me for taking the time to contact them and THEN I always get a follow up funding pitch.

      and then I watch these two senators completely ignore every suggestion, comment and complaint I have made and do exactly what they want to anyway.

      btw BOTH my senators are democrats.

      "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

      by KnotIookin on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 12:44:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is anyone watching C-Span now? (none)
    Cynthia McKinney just finished excoriating the Republicans, calling out Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for their racketeering and war profiteering, and quoting Smedley Butler. She was admonished for making personal attacks, and saying the Vice President's name. (!)

    Now we're listening to Jean Schmidt, wearing epaulets, and droning on about 9/11. She was introduced by Rep. Price from Georgia, who is standing next to huge sign that reads, I kid you not, The House Republicans Official Truth Squad.

    Not the real truth, the official truth.

    Well, the sky's still blue, as far as I know.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 11:06:13 AM PST

    •  Family Friendly Taxes (none)
      LOL! Whoever can tune-in right now should. Lots of Kool-aid being dispensed. Yummmmm!
      I love the Ireland example Rep. Price used. Of course Ireland isn't spending billions on "spreadin' freedoom" but that's not the truth they want to highlight, right?
      And now Rep. Foxx is blah-blah-blah'ing about who knows what. Get a clue. YAWN
    •  CCCP "Official Truth" Squad (none)
      I'm watching this right now, how the Culture of Corporate Corruption Party (CCCP) has their "official" truth. I didn't know that the economy is growing at a "fantastic 3.9%". Or that unemployment is "down to 4.7%" and wages are "growing by 7.9%". As a degreed electrical engineer I have not seen a 7% raise in over ten years! What planet is Rep. Price (CCCP-GA) living on?

      We better get a debunk squad on these CCCP cretins, and fast.

  •  With all due respect Rep. Pelosi (none)
    These forms letters about "until the dems take over in 06'" dont mean anything. I'm not quite sure whats being done by our party to "fight against the Republican culture of corruption" but whatever it is, it isnt working. The truth is people on a regular level have no respect for the Dems, and feel they really arent much better an alternative to the COns. How is that possible?? After everything we have been through with is horrendous administration...after literally being handed examples again and again of criminal negligence and incompetence, and no one on our side of the aisle in Washington can sink there teeth in enough to have it resonate past a certain point??? Are there any real  strategies in place?? Is there anything to be inspired about? Believe me, I have all the drive I need to help get us back into power. Everyone around me will tell you that, but you need to create the template for me to work within.      
  •  Definition of Insanity (4.00)
    What has been pursued and applied is not working. I agree with the poster above who states that until we see a UNIFIED, UNVARNISHED Message on the Steps of the hallowed halls of power, ALL Dems and, lord knows, maybe a Repub or two, calling the President and the Vice-President (and Condi, Gonzales, Delay et. al.) LIARS ...over and over...the Dems will continue to be ineffective.

    The time to step up and save our constitution and our country is NOW.

  •  To follow up... (none)
    I think "Culture of Corruption" is a good start, it's easy, it's repeatable, it says a lot without saying a lot (know what I mean?).  But now that many voters are convinced that the GOP is corrupt, we have to convince them that the Democrats are a positive alternative.

    Why not use this forum to come up with ideas?  Any ideas for a phrase to use along with the Culture of Corruption?  A million heads should be able to come up with something good.  Blogs should be a resource for brainstorming, and our leaders should be listening for good ideas.  Kos should have someone working to distill the ideas into new diaries, etc., and sending the ideas on to thinktanks and our leaders, etc.

    Being constructive is the same as ORGANIZING... and remember what Wellstone taught us, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE.

    Enough said.

  •  Can't you file ethics charges against House Leader (none)
    This is illegal if the leaders are allowing this aren't they breaking the law?
  •  C of C: don't go there... (none)
    Don't make "culture of corruption" the defining issue in the upcoming election.  The American people do not believe that the Democratic party is any better in regards to ethics than the GOP.  

    To win:

    Demand REAL homeland security (port, border, airlines, chem plants, etc.)

    Offer a healthcare plan that has wide-range appeal (not "universal healthcare" which a lot of people thinks means sub-average care for all)

    Emphasize science and technology: stem cell research and energy independence to name but a few.

    The outsourcing of American jobs and immigration are issues that the public cares about, as well; if played right, they can take the party far.

  •  Go get em!!!!! (none)
  •  Too bad Senate Dems OK'd corrupt Patriot Act (4.00)
    Hon. Minority Leader Pelosi -

    Genuine thanks for posting here and for your participation in this forum.

    I'm at a loss to understand how the Dems hope to be perceived as the party fighting corruption when the Dems keep running from fights.

    Today the cowardly Senate Dems - with the sole exception of Senator Byrd - ran away from Russ Feingold's principled attempt defend the Constitution agaist the Patriot Act.  Only independent Sen. Jeffers joined Byrd and Feingold.    All the other Senators ran away from the fight.

    The Senate Dems who voted to sustain the cloture motion provide the latest example that the Dems will run away from their sworn oath to protect and uphold the Constitution anytime they may face heat for it. Even when the majority of the public opposes the Patriot Act's powers.

    Earlier this year the Senate Dems mustered sufficient votes to torpedo the Alito nomination in a filibuster, but chose not to deploy the votes until after they had lost the cloture vote.

    When I was growing up in Los Angeles County, just a few miles from JPL and other important military targets, we all huddled under desks once a month 'cause our Constitution and way of life were so important we'd blow up the world rather than surrender to the people with the secret courts and prison camps.

    Now we're the folks with the secret courts and the prison camps.

    Now I'm told the people who still have the tools to turn us to lumps of glass in the next quarter-hour are really nothing to worry about.  

    Glad to hear it....but not glad to be told our Constitution and civil society are of such little worth that we will toss them aside because of bigots in distant caves.

    And I am filled with sorrow for the loss of freedom - and filled with contempt for the cowardly Senators on both sides of the Senate aisle who voted "thumbs down" on the Constitution today.

    My greatest contempt and revulsion is for the Senators who know the Act is illegal, but fear losing votes if seen as "soft on terror" more than they fear losing the Constitution they swore to uphold.

    If the US Congress will throw away our freedoms for Bin Laden after he murdered 3,000 people, I shudder to think what they would give up to the liquor, pesticide, and chemical and companies: with their annual death toll in the low millions, they could get anything they demanded.

    Oh yeah - silly me.  They already have.  It's called regulatory reform, obligingly delivered by   whomever the lobbyists purchase for a given vote.  

    So Rep. Pelosi, I respect your sincerity in seeking to call attention to the criminally corrupt behavior of the Republican party involving procurement and federal spending and a host of other crimes.

    But when I look at the utterly supine behavior of your colleagues in the other chamber, I wonder how anyone could be expected to expect a fight.  The Senate Dems stand up about as well as those old inflatable Bozo dolls with the round bottoms.  With the exception of Feingold and Byrd, they're starting to look like my old Bozo doll: frayed, hollow, and full of wind.

    Good luck in your fight.  Hope the Senate Dems notice it before the new national Federal Police Force* - the ones directly authorized in the new Patriot Act - notice them.  Never want to look disloyal if it's bad for polling - or our new watchers.  

    On second thought, the Senate Dems are experts at self-protection above all else. I'm sure the Senate Dems will be safe from our new Stazi - for a while.

    Once again, good luck - but I fear you shall need far more than luck in order to preserve the Constitution over the months between now and November.

    * http://talkleft.com/...

  •  With all due respect Ms. Pelosi.... (none)
    You can take your party and shove it. I've had enough of you and your lesser evil of a party.

    All you people do is run around and ask us to stay active, to donate, to speak out. Well I do, and I have for years. And I'm sick of trying to make up for the successes we don't have because your party members are too afraid to openly speak the truth because you'll upset some voters, lose access to the media, or more likely, bring a light on your own dark past of bowing to corporate powers and other special interest groups.

    Iraq and Afghanistan are illegal wars, torture is illegal and a disgrace, the patriot act, renditions, wiretapping, downing street memo, secret energy meetings, the well documented Enron ties...  the list goes on forever. I've kept waiting for the next big thing that you people say is going to wake up the American people.

    And I keep fighting, while YOU all stop and move on to something else time and time again. Sorry hon, the media situation aint gonna change anytime soon. The only hope you have is to overcome all your obstacles with the truth. Until you do that, you can count me and millions of others out of your half assed attemtps to appear to be the truthful party of the people. If you feel like running around yelling at others for their culture of corruption, you better earn that right first!

  •  More fun with numbers (none)
    United States Revenues (2005 estimate, CIA factbook):
    $2,119,000,000,000.00
    United States Expenditures (2005 estimate, CIA factbook):
    $2,466,000,000,000,00
    "Off budget" expenditures for war in Iraq (2007, Army Times):
    $112,000,000,000.00

    Amount spent in Iraq, so far (from costofwar.com, changes by the second):
    $241,398,551,873.69

    Bush net worth (estimate, Center for Public Integrity):
    $9,000,000.00
    Cheney net worth (2001 estimate):
    $38,000,000.00

    A "six-figure income":
    $200,000.00

    Number people in United States (CIA factbook):
    295,734,134

    Cost to each American, regardless of age, of Iraq war (so far, not counting interest or the "cost" to families of the dead):
    $816.00

    Cost of Iraq war to each American (not counting interest or the "cost" to families of the dead) by year's end:
    $1195.00

    Percentage of "average American's" (with a 6-figure) income going to Iraq by year's end:
    0.6%

    Percentage of "average American's" (with a $50,000.00/yr) income going to Iraq by year's end:
    2.39%

    Percentage of Bush's net worth going to Iraq by year's end:
    0
    OK, that's probably true, but here's the calculated number:
    0.01327%

    Percentage of Cheney's net worth going to Iraq by year's end:
    0
    OK, if it wasn't funny the first time it's probably not funny the second time, so here's the calculated number:
    0.003145%

    Number of members of Bush/Cheney families lost in war in Iraq/Afghanistan:
    0

    Total casualties in Iraq (US only, 2/16/06):
    2274

    Percentage of total casualties suffered by Bush/Cheney families:
    0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000%

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 02:46:13 PM PST

  •  Ms. Pelosi...... (none)
    Excuse me!

    Joe Biden

    Dick Schumer

    Diane Feinstein

    Harry Reid!

    And all the rest of the Dickhead Dems....these lousy pukes make me more ashamed to be an American the the GotDamn ReThugs.

    ReThugs are evil....we know that.

    What are the Democrats?

    Fearful....

    Ignorant....

    Lazy....

    Sittin' pretty with their great healthcare, their staffs of eager beaver useful idiots,  their fat pensions, their body guards, their air-conditioned offices, armored limousines...

    Yeah...sittin' pretty

    While the ignorant, incompetent, drunk fucks Bush and Cheney use the United States Constitution to wipe their asses the DickHead Dems do what their OVERPAID, INEPT CONSULTANTS TELL THEM TO DO!

    And what pray tell is that?

    Nothing.

    Nothing...while Bush breaks the law.

    Nothing ....while Rove commits treason.

    Nothing....while thousands of refugees from Katrina are made homeless.

    Nothing....while Bush/Cheney/Dumbsfeld destroy our military. Are you going to wait until the Iranians cross the border into Iraq and destroy our army before you wake the fuck up?

    Nothing...while Bush plans to sell off millions of dollars worth of Federal Land to his buddies for pennies on the dollar to raise more money to:

    LOSE THE WAR IN IRAQ.

    MAKE THE TAX CUTS PERMANENT

    TURN AMERICA INTO A POLICE STATE

    Fuck the DickHead Dems. We gotta get rid of them AND the ReThugs.

    Send 'em all home.

    That includes you Ms. Pelosi as I believe your voting for every Iraq funding resolution show you are PART OF THE PROBLEM...not the solution in any shape or form.

    Oh...yeah, I am a constituent.
    .

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

    by Nestor Makhnow on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 08:39:22 PM PST

  •  ehh... (none)
    Sorry, but I currently dont trust our party to fight anything, let alone a culture of corruption.
    You guys killed someone who spoke who he wants: Hackett. And then the Democratic Party comes on here asking for support every day--- but we are fed up... I want actions, not empty words.
  •  Another press release cloaked in technincal gloss (none)
    Umm...Ms. Pelosi? I'm glad you (or someone on your staff) took time out from your busy schedule to post this nice little piece of feel good PR.

    But why, oh why, in a forum that asks for interaction, we have not heard you respond to people's comments, (good, bad and in the middle)?

    Or is this another way entrenched politicos cloak typical PR rhetoric in the gloss of websites, blogging and other technical doodads, while avoiding any substantial give and take.

    I'm not expecting you to reply to every crank on the dailykos site but it sure would be interesting to see you respond to some of these yourself, and not via an underpaid capitol hill staffer.

    Ah well. Keep "fighting" (if fighting means lots of liberal talk while we all suck up to the corporate PACs and kick out folks we don't like because they don't hire our cronies...)

  •  No offense, Mrs. Pelosi, but: (none)
    When I post a diary, I read the comments and REPLY to them, thus creating a FORUM.

    I don't see any replies from you here, Mrs. Pelosi. Further, I agree with this thread:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Frankly, writing a diary and not responding to the comments seems narcissistic to me, and seems to further my perception of the growing gap between elected politicians and the people who they supposedly serve.

    As I wrote in my unsubscription message to Ted Kennedy's Emails "You're preaching to the choir."

    ~ Howzabout enlightening some of the conservative constituents who are also victims of this perversion of their party.

    Just my 3 1/2 cents anyway.

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