July 10, 2007

Dancing In The Dark

Democrats promised to reform the appropriations process in the midterm elections, claiming — correctly — that Republicans had abused the earmarking process in order to curry favor with lobbyists, who then assisted in their re-election efforts. Harry Reid celebrated the fact that Democrats had stripped all the earmarks from the one spending bill left to them by the 109th Congress, shortly after taking control in January. However, it turns out that Reid kept the stripped earmarks alive in a sneaky bit of political arm-twisting that didn’t get made public.

At Heading Right, I note that the pork-barrel process has indeed changed in this Congress -- it's gotten more secretive. Reid has removed the small portion of sunlight that Porkbusters helped force on Congress in the last session and made it even more difficult to smoke out undue influence and corruption.


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Comments (23)

Posted by Monkei | July 10, 2007 8:21 AM

yep, as we sit here and debate dems vs repugs, liberals vs conservatives and fight amongst ourselves, the politicians win, they love this 50/50 split crap, they can blame the other party each and every time, not do anything, and pass legislation between them that helps their states and districts out and keeps them all in power.

we are the real losers and continue to be because we fall right into their hands playing this game of who did what and who is worst than the other one at it.

Posted by syn | July 10, 2007 8:23 AM

Predictablity crossdotcure, Continuum and GOP08_DOA are nowhere to be seen.

Posted by syn | July 10, 2007 8:27 AM

Correction that's predictably.

Posted by syn | July 10, 2007 8:34 AM

From what I have seen over the last six years Republicans has done a pretty good job of taking out and or voting out their own corrupt politicians, sorry I can't say the same for Democrats who seem to circle the wagon when one of their own corrupt polticians stash cash in freezers or give secret military contracts to a certain CA Senator's husband's company or secret land deals out in Nevada.

At some point Democrats must realize that their practice of 'circling the corruption wagon' is bad for all America.

Posted by Monkei | July 10, 2007 8:43 AM

syn, you fit the mold of blame the other side entirely while claiming your side is actually doing something about it ... no, both sides are corrupt and are mirror images of themselves.

wake up ...

Posted by syn | July 10, 2007 11:08 AM


Who won the 2006 election for the Democrat Party because of Republican corruption?

Answer: Republicans who in order to punish corrupt Republican politicians either didn't bother to show up to vote or voted for the Democrat candidate.

And which party in 2006 campaigned on an "anti-corruption' platform, won the election yet has not done a single thing to uphold their campaign promise?

Answer: The Demcrat Party.

That said, name the members of the Democrat Congress over the last six years who committed a corrupt act that has either left office or was voted out of office by their party voters?

I agree with you both sides are corrupt, however the difference between you and I is that I do not see any indication that either the Democrat leadership or the Democrat voters have dealt with their corrupt members. From what I have seen over the last six years is that Democrat voters continue electing corrupt Democrat polticians while Republican voters have voted out corrupt Republican politicians.

Posted by Monkei | July 10, 2007 11:43 AM

syn ... what you spell "corruption" I spell Iraq. Iraq is what caused the elections to turn out the way they did. i am not aware of any corruption going on in VIrginia, Missouri, or Ohio that caused the incumbent Senators to get beaten. As a matter of fact maybe you can list me the number of GOP Senators who were defeated because of corruption? I would list some Dems but all the incumbants won re-election.

you want to cite GOP corruption as to why the GOP lost the house, senate, and anything else of national standing, then be my guest. Hold on to that silly pipe dream and keep smoking whatever you have loaded up in it.

The GOP lost because of Iraq and Bush, not because of some stupid corruption issue that you are touting. Afterall, like I said, it's not my congressman in my district who is the corrupt one ... it's yours, and his, and everyone elses.

BTW, i was not aware of the GOP voters putting Duke Cunningham out of office or Folley, or Ney, for that matter. but dream on, both parties are the same, both parties are corrupt because the system is corrupt and taken over by lobbyists and SIGs.

Good smoking to you sir.

Posted by Lew | July 10, 2007 11:44 AM

I'm ashamed to say it but Monkei is more right than wrong about Democrats and Republicans when it comes to the little money-laundering scheme they've got going in D.C. these days. There are differences that we can all cling to in defending our side if we feel the need, but the essentials are painfully similar in general. And its not going to advance the cause of any serious solution to get all defensive about it.

The essence of the problem is that the Federal Government has free access to a veritable river of cash, and a never-ending parade of pleading supplicants begging for benefits in return for their votes and their loyalty. And unless we all personally decide that we are no longer going to be one of the pleading supplicants, and stop rewarding our own CongressCritter for dispensing the graft to us and our friends, this problem will never go away or significantly change. Our "representatives" will always find a way to get where they need to go, like water will always find its way down hill. After all, they're lawyers y'know!

Posted by Gary Gross | July 10, 2007 11:49 AM

Follow this link to read what else Harry Reid's been doing lately.

Posted by Monkei | July 10, 2007 11:59 AM

Lew, it's nice to agree with you once in awhile, and I don't have to qualify it by saying that it shames me so.

Posted by Lew | July 10, 2007 12:56 PM

Monkei, The fact shames me, not the agreement.

I'm a Republican and a very very active one and I'm working my tail off trying everything I can to make this a party to be proud of. I have no illusions about the differences between a political party and a movement and a church, and I fully understand the compromises required to hold both of the two "big tent" parties together so we can actually accomplish something.

But it bothers me very very much when Republicans promise to be different so they can get endorsed and elected, and then turn out to be just a slightly different version of the same old same old. For my money, that was what Tom Delay represented for our party. He was very good at doing exactly what we screamed at Democrats for doing. He went to Washington and just picked up the same old daggers and stabbed the other guys with them, and thought he was doing just a fine job. And damnit, it doesn't have to be that way!!

Ok, deep breaths! Back away from the edge now! I'll be fine! I'm Ok!

As you can tell Monkei, this is one of my biggest issues when I talk to Congressmen and Senators about politics. If we're going to present ourselves as a viable alternative, then damnit we'd better be different! Some of them get it, but a lot of them just smile at me like they've just been cornered by the village idiot and hope that if they listen politely enough, I won't get violent and they can move on without bodily injury.

Posted by Carol Herman | July 10, 2007 4:43 PM

There's a business model out there, that if you LIE to your customers; they won't buy your product A SECOND TIME. And, your lemon could be called an EDSEL. Or any other fruitcake idea that had its problems in the market place.

Is pelosi aware, now, that she's got problems? Yup. Including a few loose Blue Dogs chasing her tail.

To those who need a translator, what I just said is that just because there's an act playing in front of the stage, it doesn't mean that backstage; "Katie Couric isn't hitting one of her writers."

And, in further Talmudic translation; this further indicates that there's an awareness of slipped ratings. Causing a less than friendly atmosphere to exist backstage. Where it rarely exists, anyway.

Oh, how do I know pelosi and harry reid have hit turbulance? Because there's a poll out there showing the congress critters have LESS THAN HALF the low poll rating attributed to Dubya.

By sinking to 14%, (and polls are done among "friendlies," not here). Or what is now "overlook" country. BY THE NUMBERS, pelosi is aware that while stealing taxpayer money continues; her magic rag had no affect on in.

As to the old media; they seem lost. Since their over-inflated balloons go high enough to be seen, before being popped.

Bush might be confused about giving speeches.

He might even be somewhat confused that the guy he was "halping" to get to the 2008 nomination, isn't in a very good position; as he's scraping the bottom of the barrel with Ron Paul. So, you tell me? When you're in wholesale; how good is it to own nearly zero percent of a market that takes ya; ta win; needed a majority?

It's possible pelosi peed on her own one-percent? But we need to be closer to reality (February 2008), to be able to tell.

As to McCain, IF Rudy Guiliani makes sounds that this idiot would be in his cabinet? I think you'd see Guiliani's lead evaporating in a hurry.

Other than that? When I try to answer questions about what's up ahead, since I'm not a kid, anymore, and I can't ask "are we there, yet?" I do know how to flip a coin. And, then? Only once? Not trustworthy for a result. A poor way to pick a fork in the road, if you asked me.

Posted by Warren Bonesteel | July 10, 2007 6:24 PM

corrupt Dems:

Who they're associated with:

Another list of Democrat corruption


contact Congress and Senate:
Email their staff:

(some emails are outdated)


Fax and phone numbers, addys, email addys and other contact info located here:




You can also contact Senators' D.C. offices by calling the toll-free switchboard at 1-866-340-9281


Republican National Committee
310 First Street, SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
p: 202.863.8500
f: 202.863.8820
e: info@gop.com
Mel Martinez, Chairman


Contact state and county Republican leadership through this link:

The same for the DNC here:

Once you get to the state party websites, they'll often have links to still more party organizations to contact.


Contact Newspapers:

Newspapers/Radio/TV stations:


Posted by Scrapiron | July 11, 2007 12:21 AM

"made it even more difficult to smoke out undue influence and corruption. " Who wrote this comical statement? It's now easy to pick out the crime and corruption in congress. Everything they have done or will do with the democrats will be criminal and/or corrupt. 200 days with nothing but crime, corruption and hate says it all. On top of that hey have sentenced hundreds of American troops to death in Iraq through their support of the terrorists and now they are passing the death sentence on hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of Americans in the United States. Will the lefties still love the traitors when their entire family is slaughtered in the next terrorist attack. Won't be long and we'll see. Jerkoff don't have a gut feeling. For once he's actually watching and listening to what is going on in congress and it's not pretty. The congress has issued an open invitation to the terrorist to attack and attack they will.

Posted by syn | July 11, 2007 5:43 AM


I guess the fact that Tom Delay resigned holds no meaning for you any more than the fact that so far one of the indictments against him has been dropped.

Considering that fact that William Jefferson is still in Congress I'd say that Republicans are different.

Posted by syn | July 11, 2007 6:34 AM


It's madam to you.

If Iraq is the big election 'killer' why then is Rudy Guiliani so far the top choice for President as indicated in most all of those famous 'polls' Democrats like to trot out whenever they say Americans do not support the war? Guiliani is ahead of Democrat frontrunner Clinton and it's not because of his abortion, immigration or climate change stance.

Americans may not like how the war has gone in Iraq but they do not want cut and run.

And Ney, Cunnigham and Foley resigned, perhaps you and Lew can come up with the number of corrupt Democrat polticians have resigned; I still see Harry Reid standing at the podium despite the land deals, Chuck Schumer still there despite having stolen Steeles personal information to illegally run a credit report on Steele, Diane Feinstein was giving military contracts to her husband, Pelosi visited Syria, William Jefferson has yet to resign even though he's under indictment for shady cash hidden in his freezer.

Like I said, both parties have corrupt politicians yet only one party seems to be facing the music.

Posted by Monkei | July 11, 2007 7:40 AM

Madam, sorry.

I only pointed out that Ney, Cunningham and Foley resigned, contrary to your belief that the good voters in the GOP threw them out ... of course 2 of them were re-elected by the good voters and 1 resigned ... so you see your argument is "nadda"

Your other point about "what about the dems and who they threw out" would seem to be "worthless" seeing how the GOP never threw anyone out either.

You are missing the entire point ... madam ... and that is BOTH parties are the same, they are mirror images of each other, and both have a death grip on power in this country and use each other to maintain such, they BOTH love this 50/50 split.

Jefferson will be thrown out and will go to prison just like Cunningham and Ney. But it will be because of the legal system, not because the voters threw him or them out. Same story, same result ... hence, the argument. Just because we are in a current trend of seeing more GOP congressman being thrown out is meaningless when you had a string of Democratic congressman thrown out 10-15 years ago.

Yeah, Jefferson is still in Congress, but so was Ney and Cunningham. Give me a break, trying to show the difference between the GOP and Dems simply because of Jefferson ... it only reinforces my opinion that both parties are the same, not different.

Syn, you need to wake up, and quickly. It is precisely this false sense that your party is working to correct issues, and those on the left who feel the same about their party, and its causing us to keep this corrupt political system in power. As long as voters are around like you and others who can't see this for what it is, we will continue down this road.

As much as I dislike Ralph Nadar, he at least is totally right on this issue.

Posted by Lew | July 11, 2007 7:44 AM


The fact that Tom Delay got railroaded by a witch-hunting prosecutor doesn't make him a blameless paragon of virtue, does it? I happen to think that Tom Delay was guilty of nothing either illegal or even unethical. My problem with Tom is that he was one of the most visible practitioners of the kind of "politics as usual" that Republicans promised to change when we ran for office.

As far as your assertion about the way Democrats treat their outlaws, I can't imagine anyone with any powers of observation seriously denying that Republicans treat their miscreants differently than Democrats, but that fact doesn't absolve us from holding ourselves and our representatives to the rest of the standards we profess. Its all very good that we hold our people to a higher set standards, but that's NOT ENOUGH!

And the single most decisive standard we have is that we are different, that we offer a real alternative. We believe in a different kind of government run differently, and every time we fail that standard we undermine our very reason for being. I can't imagine how I could say it any more emphatically. I can scream it in your face and I can blare it in caps and I can put it in italics, but if we loose credibility on this point, we lose everything.

Posted by syn | July 11, 2007 7:53 AM

Yeah Lew Democrats have an Ethics clause just like the Republicans.

I'll say it for a third time, both parties have corrupt politicans but only one party seems to be facing the music.


For as long as I have been reading this blog you have commented over and again how evil/corrupt are Republicans when they were the majority but now that Democrats are in majority you now say how evil both parties are...you really don't have much to stand on.

Posted by Monkei | July 11, 2007 9:58 AM

For as long as I have been reading this blog you have commented over and again how evil/corrupt are Republicans when they were the majority but now that Democrats are in majority you now say how evil both parties are...you really don't have much to stand on

You must have a tuff time reading my posts or just ignored them. My posts have been directed at mostly only 1 GOP, which is the President. I am a voter who votes across the spectrum. voted for Reagan twice, voted GOP for Senate the last two times here in Tennessee. I voted for Clinton, yes, and I voted for Kerry because of the terrible job GWB has done and the setback he has caused the conservative movement (i.e. see the last elections). Once again, since you have a tuff time understanding the middle of the issue here, I am just that, a registered independent who has no problem seeing the issue as it stradles both sides of the fence.

Not much to stand on? Hardly. I have never ever carped that the Dems were not evil, being in power hardly changes anything, doesn't matter what color a duck is, a duck is a duck is a duck.

Let's say for one instance that your post is corrrect, that i have changed my tune since the Dems took power. If that is true what possible difference does that make that I would now find both parties being corrupt, vile, and the mirror image of both?

Since you can't see the difference, or most likely don't want to see the difference, we should move on. Again, it is voters like you who defend one side to the bitter end and rail against the other side that enables these corrupt politicians. In the words of your probably beloved President, you are "embolding" these politicians.

Posted by Lew | July 11, 2007 10:16 AM


"....both parties have corrupt politicians but only one party seems to be facing the music."

I agree, and I'm proud of it. So what!

If that's the only difference between the two parties, then why not just be slightly different wings of one party or the other (Republicrats???).

We have a much broader agenda than that, and its that broader part that justifies our very existence. Tom Delay's aggressive exercise of the same old "politics as usual" eventually created a threat to the credibility of that broader and far more important part of our agenda. THAT's my problem with him and anyone else who can't see their way past the the same old same old. And that includes Trent Lott and Ted Stevens and the rest of the old time porksters on our side of the aisle.

Posted by jr565 | July 11, 2007 10:29 AM

monkei wrote:
we are the real losers and continue to be because we fall right into their hands playing this game of who did what and who is worst than the other one at it.
And then in the next story Monkei is on board saing the repubs are evil, and hyping the Al Qaeda threat and dumb asses and any other number of partisan smears.

Don't come off as innocent and even handed monkei. All you bring to the table is lefty snark. You come to a conservative site deliberately to confront and smear conservatives. And its as partisan as it gets. Now you're going to say how everyone is guilty of playing the game of gotcha. It would be a little less disingenous if you didn't bring such relish to your snark.

You're certainly gulity of playing the game of gotcha. Can you play any other games? In the history of your posts at this site have you made 20 posts that weren't snarky gotcha posts?

Posted by Monkei | July 11, 2007 11:32 AM

Thanks jr, but I did nothing of the sort ... just because we get a sniff of an Al Queda threat because someone has a gut feeling has nothing to do with party affiliation, I don't care if it is the US RIght to Preserve the Polar Bear Party ... a statement to "scare" the public based on solid, intelligent, "gut" feeling, is basically a dumb statement, no matter which party or person says it. Especially from one who is supposed to be at the "heart" of our "homeland security".

But then again, I guess you don't have a problem with it ... because a (R) said it? It's a dumb statement no matter who says it, R or D in my book.

But getting back to the original thread ... if being partisan comes in the fashion of total loss of respect for the man in the presidency, I am guilty as charged. But please, take this time to continue to support the man, his policies, and his administration, he has earned your support evidently. Maybe you will soon get your autographed picture of the president and the obligatory "Your Doing a Heck of a Job jr565!"

I come to this board because to my knowledge it is the only one that has an ongoing give and take forum where you can posts comments that don't appear on a popup window with 5,000 comments and besides I find the Captain sometimes actually calls a duck a duck no matter what party they are in which is refreshing, you should try it (i.e. Gonzales and the Libby pardon). Gee jr, wouldn't it be a little boring for you if all you had to read on this blog was other jr's slobering all over themselves in continuous praise for this president?

BTW ... Gotcha! And hey, see if you can run down to Home Depot and buy a sense of humor.