Not the Usual Politician: One of the Reasons I Love Russ Feingold
Democrats are renewing their vow to impede the annual congressional pay raise until the minimum wage is increased, but their options for a successful block during the lame-duck session likely depend on the outcome of the Nov. 7 midterm election.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), who only agrees to accept pay raises after he is newly reelected, is proceeding with his plans to force a vote on the issue. “As I have done in the past, I will look for every opportunity to make senators vote on raising their own pay, and I will support any other efforts that will accomplish the same thing,” Feingold said through a spokesman.
Feingold’s bid to hold down member salaries saw surprising success last year, when senators agreed to forfeit their raises as a symbolic gesture after Hurricane Katrina, but the pay-raise block was stripped during conference talks.
All I've got to say is:
Read the entire article at The Hill
Feingold: I'm not a pacifist on Iraq war
Some recent statements from Sen. Feingold in regard to using military force:
"I've never been anywhere near one-dimensional on these issues," Feingold said in an interview. "I think that I've become — I hope — a credible spokesman for a muscular view of anti-terrorist activity by the Democrats as well as the country. The fact is, I've never been just an anti-war guy."
"I believe in the right of self-defense" — including the invasion of
Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. "I believe what we did in Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with self-defense."
The Most Outrageous Scandal? Bush's Iraq Policy
By Russ Feingold/The Huffington Post
With so much attention focused on the Foley scandal, there's another story that hasn't received enough notice: escalating violence in Iraq has resulted in the reported deaths of 24 U.S. soldiers since Saturday, and the Pentagon just reported that IED attacks in Iraq are at an all-time high.
Serious questions have been raised about Congressman Foley's outrageous conduct, and the actions of senior congressional leaders.
Those questions need answers, but we also need to be focused on the tragic situation in Iraq, and what a mess this Administration has gotten us into. This rise in casualties is a tragedy for the families of these brave soldiers, and it's a reminder of the terrible price this country is paying because of the Administration's failed Iraq policy.
Read the rest at The Huffington Post
Rally in Johnstown, PA to Support Rep. Jack Murtha
Speaking of Democrats with a Spine . . .
The turnout was impressive last Saturday despite the intermittant rain as Veterans, Democrats and many outraged Americans of all stripes, including top military brass, came from all over the country to Western Pennsylvania to stand up to yet another Swiftboating of a war hero
for his Iraq truthtelling.
Many of the same men who smeared John Kerry in 2003 had, in effect, a hate-rally planned for the following day to try to hurt his chances for reelection. Fortunately the chances of that are slim.
Max Cleland, organizer of the rally, was joined by Vietnam veteran and former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey, former NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark, and flying in from Harrisburg, Gov. Ed Rendell. Gov. Rendell managed to squeeze the appearance into his own busy campaign schedule to pump up the crowd. He declared, "How dare these outsiders come here to Pennsylvania and impugn the patriotism of one of the greatest sons in this commonwealth's history."
My husband and I felt driving the five hours to attend the Murtha rally was not only the least we could do, but an honor and a duty to stand with him and show we 'got his back'.
For more info to support John Murtha visit Veterans for Murtha
We Got Your Back Jack!
We met Joe, a four campaign WWII vet from Johnstown, standing in the rain to support Jack Murtha.
He and my husband had a nice chat. Two handsome guys.
FEINGOLD, KERRY INTRODUCE RESOLUTION URGING BACKUP PLANS FOR VOTING MACHINESDifficulties with Recent Primary Elections Highlight Need for Back-Up Systems Like Paper Ballots
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and John Kerry (D-MA) have introduced a resolution calling on state and local governments to have back-up systems in place on election day to ensure that every eligible voter who wants to vote is able to. The Senators’ Sense of the Senate resolution notes the difficulties that voters in many states have experienced with new voting technology and urges states to do whatever is necessary to ensure that voters are actually able to cast a vote on November 7, 2006, including providing emergency paper ballots in the event of a voting machine failure.
“We cannot allow the American people to lose faith in the most fundamental aspect of our democratic system – the right to vote,” Feingold said. “Some of the problems we saw this year, like voters in Maryland being told to come back later because the machines weren’t working, are simply unacceptable. A back-up plan as simple as having emergency paper ballots on hand is essential to preventing election day disasters.”
Kerry said, “It’s a disgrace that a Congress and an Administration which talks about exporting democracy around the world ignores the challenges of our own democracy right here at home. We have seen American citizens disenfranchised in our elections for the simple reason that no effective back up system was in place. That’s a national scandal. But here we are, 42 days away from another election, and Congress has again dragged its feet even after we mobilized 35,000 citizens to demand a hearing for our Count Every Vote Act, even after what we saw just this month in Montgomery County. We need emergency action now. That is why I am co-sponsoring the Dodd-Boxer legislation to provide emergency paper ballots and that is why Russ Feingold and I are introducing our resolution today demanding election day back-up plans. We have a duty to ensure that no citizen will be denied the right to vote in 2006.”
Feingold and Kerry are also co-sponsoring legislation with Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT) to help states make paper ballots available in case of election day problems with electronic voting machines. Feingold and Kerry introduced the resolution ahead of Congress’ adjournment for the 2006 elections. With the problems some voters have already experienced during primary elections this year, the senators believe the Senate should be on record supporting state efforts to be prepared in the event of problems on Election Day. Earlier this month, problems with new voting technology were reported in a number of primaries around the country.
Feingold to Propose Housing-Assistance Bill for Katrina Survivors
by Bob Geiger
A lot of somber things will be said by politicians today as we observe the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's horrible strike on Louisiana and Mississippi -- heck, George W. Bush will even be in New Orleans to feign concern -- but I'm hoping that residents of the devastated area and all Americans are watching closely to see who's actually doing something beyond today to help Katrina's victims.
While Bush will be back in New Orleans to try to wash away his administration's pathetic and incompetent response to the hurricane itself and the 365 days of inaction that have followed, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) is going to mark the return of the Senate (from August recess) next week, by proposing legislation to address some of the real housing issues still faced by survivors of Hurricane Katrina
Feingold will introduce the Gulf Coast Housing Accessibility Act, which will attempt to bring immediate and long-term assistance to those who lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina.
Read the rest of the article at : http://bobgeiger.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html
Russ Takes On Fox News!
Here's a link to the highly touted Fox News Sunday interview from a few weeks ago - Russ does very well to explain his positions in spite of some "tough questions" from Fox News Chris Wallace, persistently trying to get him to respond to RW talking points. This is a must see
, especially for people new to Russ. It's masterful handling of conservative slanted questioning. More and more mainsteam media outlets are inching to the right and I think Russ's ability to stay composed and on point is a pretty darn good asset for a Presidential run.
Sen. Russ Feingold Comes Out For Gay Marriage...
Associated Press | Posted April 5, 2006 11:22 AM
Sen. Russ Feingold, a potential presidential candidate, said Tuesday he supports giving gays and lesbians the right to marry, again positioning himself to the left of possible 2008 rivals.
"Gay and lesbian people in our country are fighting a mean-spirited movement to harm them and to discriminate against them," Feingold, D-Wis., said in a telephone interview. "I stand with them against that movement, and I'm proud to stand with them."
You can't just create whatever laws you want. We have to go through the system of government we've always had. You know, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution were not repealed on 9/11, and we all are unified in fighting the terrorists. But we're not going to give the terrorists the victory of destroying our own system of government in order to satisfy a White House that has very grandiose views of the extent of their powers.
~ Senator Russ Feingold
Censure & Accountability: Time Will Do The Talking
and America won't wait on politics and indecision
Needless to say I, and so many American's around the country were very disappointed in the Democrats lack of courage and deaf ear to so many in this country who were hoping they would at least try
to hold Bush accountable for this latest (known) power grab.
They left Russ and Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont to fend for themselves. (Senator Kohl, also of Wisconsin, was there so briefly I don't remember seeing him). Though the Republican's had them outnumbered, their arguements for Bush's wiretapping without oversight being legal were lame. They were basically saying 'how can you not trust the president? Of course he would conduct himself honorably'. Pfffffftttttt.
Come on. You know you had the same reaction.
The other arguement? You can't do this to a president in wartime. All I have to say is Clinton and Bosnia.
Sometimes a few less people in a room improves the acoustics. And Senator Feingold's voice rang clear as a bell in a belfry. Both Senators did a fine job laying out what is, as it turns out, very simple case to make.
Here are some great links of Russ making that case. For anyone curious what Russ is all about, these are must see:
"This Week" with George Stephanopolous (1/2 way down the page)http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/03/12.html#a7493
Real Time with Bill Maher:http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/02/18.html
The Daily Show with John Stewart:http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/03/22.htmlDemocrats on the Judiciary Committee that stood up for accountablility:
Russell Feingold (D-WI)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Democrats who didn't seem to find the hearing important enough to show up:
Joe Biden (D-DE)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
Charles Schumer (D-NY)
One of the witnesses present at the hearing was John Dean. Yes, THAT John Dean, former Nixon legal counsel and Watergate witness. Interestingly, Dean has written a book about Bush's misdeads titled, "Worse Than Watergate" and has been writing columns for a legal blog called FindLaw. His current article, which is about the call for censure and whether Bush's arguements for warrantless wiretapping carry any water can be found here:http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20060324.html
and a nice concise biography about Dean here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dean