Last night, the Senate confirmed six U.S. Attorneys, five of whom were the preference of Republicans. Traditionally, nominations for U.S.Attorneys are presented to the President by the senators of the district. If the district’s senators are not in the President’s party, representatives from the House who are in the same party are consulted.
I seem to have lost the knack of turning my brain off to sleep. In the past three days, I’ve gotten maybe 10 hours sleep, total. (One night, I didn’t sleep at all.) I’ve tried getting to bed earlier, warm milk, hot showers, no TV, etc. Oh, and meditation. I’ve tried listening to music to help me fall asleep, something that used to work like a charm: nada. It’s making me a little crazy, like a rat where somebody’s moved all the walls in the maze.
I did fall asleep long enough last night to have some weird dream about visiting a former friend’s Victorian house, which was filled with antiques and pets. I took a bath in an old-fashioned tub, fell asleep and woke up to running water overflowing all over the floor. I cleaned up the water and went next door to an outdoor party, where someone parked their car so it was sticking out on the street. A passing car hit it and knocked it into my car (my old Tercel, not the one I have now), which then slammed into several others. I was upset because everyone somehow thought it was my fault. Oh well!
Looks like unions have found the silver lining in the Citizens United ruling – namely, Super PACs and the ability to go after non-union voters:
But the ruling also changed the rules for unions, effectively ending a prohibition on outreach to nonunion households. Now, unions can use their formidable numbers to reach out to sympathetic nonunion voters by knocking on doors, calling them at home and trying to get them to polling places. They can also create their own Super PACs to underwrite bigger voter identification and get-out-the-vote operations than ever before.
As part of this overhaul, Richard L. Trumka, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., has said organized labor will be more independent of the Democratic Party, sitting out races where unions are disappointed with the Democratic candidate’s positions on issues important to them and occasionally financing primary challengers to Democratic incumbents.
The unions said they even intended to back a few Republicans they judge to have been generally supportive of their agenda, like Representative Steven C. LaTourette of Ohio.
Mr. Trumka said unions were tired of Democratic politicians taking them for granted after labor shoveled millions of dollars into Democratic campaigns. In distancing themselves, at least a bit, from the Democrats, unions are becoming part of a trend in which newly empowered outside groups build what are essentially party structures of their own — in this case, to somewhat offset the money flowing into conservative groups that are doing the same thing.
What do you think? Good idea or not?
This happened a few blocks down from my street. That would wake me up, I can tell you that!
Will Bunch and I talked about music and revolution. Tune in! We had a lot of technical trouble getting some of the music, and so the sound is frequently cheesy (since I was basically playing YouTubes in the background), but I think you’ll like it anyway.
Please, Gov. Christie, run for president! I so want to talk about how, as you put it, you never even set foot in the Trenton state house until you were elected — even though you were the lobbyist for the Securities Industry Association, the Wall Street trade association, under Bernie Madoff.
Let’s talk about what you achieved, since one of your primary lobbying projects on behalf of Wall Street was to win an exemption for securities fraud from New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act. Straight shooter! Woo hoo!
Easy enough for just about anyone to remember: Lobbyist Chris Christie worked to remove securities fraud from a consumer fraud act on behalf of an organization run by Bernie Madoff.
Bring it on, I say:
The Republican Party’s long search for a standard-bearer is placing extraordinary pressure on the tough-talking governor of New Jersey to suddenly leap into a presidential race that he has long denied interest in entering.
As the clamor reached a heightened pitch, Gov. Chris Christie arrived Tuesday night at the symbolic heart of political conservatism, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, to deliver a speech on American exceptionalism that some Republicans had hoped would be the opening stroke of a presidential campaign.
Christie gave an impassioned call for strong leadership, accusing Washington of drifting from crisis to crisis without resolution and President Obama of being a “bystander in the Oval Office.” In his nearly 30-minute speech, Christie offered no indication he might offer himself as that strong leader, but didn’t close the door, either.
During an audience question-and-answer session, a woman stood up and pleaded. “I really implore you — I really do. This isn’t funny. I mean this with all my heart,” she said. “Please, sir, reconsider. Go home and really think about it. Please. Do it for my daughter, do it for our grandchildren, do it for our sons. Please, sir, your country needs you to run for president.”
The audience rose to applause and Christie, in an emotional moment, responded: “I feel the passion with which you say it, and it touches me.”
The governor said he was listening to those urging him to run, adding that he was taking it in and “feeling it too.” But he continued, “by the same token, that heartfelt message you gave me is also not a reason for me to do it. That reason has to reside inside me. That’s what I’ve said all along. I know without ever having met President Reagan that he must’ve felt deeply in his heart that he was called to that moment to lead our country. And so my answer to you is just this, I thank you for what you’re saying.”
In case you were wondering, protesters are repeating everything he says because they’ve been told they’re not permitted to use microphones or megaphones: