Lawmaker News

Congress in the Dumps

There is no other way to spin it. The Democratic-led Congress has lost the confidence of the American people. Their 18 percent approval rating is the lowest in history. In the same poll, President Bush’s approval ratings beat the Democrats by two touchdowns. And by no means is this president popular. 
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When the Best Leave Congress

The poet William Butler Yeats wrote in his epic poem The Second Coming:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

Kind of like what is happening in Congress today. 
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No Jamming!

By the end of this week two more former members of the House GOP leadership are set to announce they are leaving the U.S. Congress after many, many years of service at the highest levels of influence. Republican Reps. Dennis Hastert of Illinois and Deborah Pryce of Ohio are reportedly retiring from their House seats — and after serving as Speaker and GOP conference chairwoman (respectively) before the 2006 midterms relegated them to disheartened members of the minority, how could this come as a surprise?
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Armstrong in Alaska

We’re in Alaska for the next two weeks broadcasting live radio and taping for television. Many of Alaska’s highly touted past and present elected officials are under a storm cloud of corruption and it remains to be seen where this will end. GOP Sens. Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski recently supported the sweeping ethics and accountability bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate. This is particularly sensitive to these lawmakers given that they have their own challenges with FBI and ethic probes in the state. In his continued defiance of President Bush, Congressman Don Young (R) voted against giving this administration expanded authority to eavesdrop on foreign terrorists without court warrants. 
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Mr. Gonzales, Please Resign

In this video, Armstrong Williams says Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should spare himself the humiliation and resign from his position, in light of recent shakeups at the Department of Justice.
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Look at Lieberman's Entire Record

This post first appeared in The Hartford (Conn.) Courant.

I disagree with Joe Lieberman’s position on the Iraq war. I had serious doubts about the October 2002 war resolution. I think the U.S. needs to begin an immediate phased and responsible redeployment of most troops.

But I must admit I had some doubts about my opposition when the statue of that genocidal thug Saddam Hussein was pulled down to the cheers of Iraqis young and old. My heart sang as I watched on television.

I remember even stronger self-doubts when I saw the long lines of courageous Iraqis waiting under the hot sun enduring the danger of bombs and bullets to vote in their first free elections. The memory of those old Iraqi ladies proudly holding purple fingers in the air to show they had voted moves me to this day.
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Ask A.B.

In the newest segment for the pundits blog, A.B. Stoddard answers questions this week on pardoning Scooter Libby and Jeb Bush running for president.

Submit your questions (along with first name, last name and state of residence) to askab@thehill.com.



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Republican Family Values

Talk about hypocrisy. Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, one of the leading “family values” Republicans, is caught keeping company with prostitutes — and fellow Republicans rush to his defense.

Vitter’s the first politician to appear in the not-so-little black book of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “D.C. Madam.” But this wasn’t his first whorehouse walk. Jeanette Maier, known as New Orleans’s “Canal Street Madam,” revealed that Vitter had been one of her regular customers, too.

Vitter admits having committed “a very serious sin,” but insists that’s the end of the story. “Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there — with God and them.”

Wait a minute. That’s not what Vitter said about Bill Clinton.
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Limping into the Break

As Congress limps into the July 4th break with its lowest approval ratings in history, a broken appropriations process bedeviled by allegations of corruption, an energy bill that Mike Burgess rightfully called a "lethargy bill," a failed attempt to reform our immigration laws and a lack of progress on ethics reform, most Americans have to wonder why they gave the reins to the Democrats.

The new Democratic majority has proven itself adept at breaking promises, entangling itself in knots and angering not only Republican partisans, but its own base.

What does it have to show for its efforts? A minimum wage increase that was stuck onto a war spending bill. Incredibly, it was the Democratic leaders who stuck that provision into the bill, causing their own top presidential candidates to vote against it. So, on their top accomplishment, their standard-bearers voted no. 
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