Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Heavenly Day-- Waxman Defeats Dingell: Blue Dogs Go Down To Disastrous Defeat


Yes we can! Waxman vanquishes the filthy Blue Dogs!

I hope this isn't too inside baseball for everybody. If it is, just skip down to the nice song at the bottom. It's been somewhat drowned out by the intensity of the faux battle over Joe Lieberman's Homeland Security Committee chair, but there has been another battle in Congress pitting a progressive against a... non-progressive. John Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress, has been the auto industry's #1 shill in the House. The $897,915 he's taken from the industry in legalized bribes is more than any other member of Congress besides McCain and when you only count the auto manufacturers, Dingell's $625,725 in contributions is more than the #2 and #3 recipients combined. They like him; he does whatever they want-- and when they take the heads of the Big 3 out behind the barn, they should drag Dingell out back with them.

Yeah, yeah... that'll never happen... but... this morning the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee gave Dingell a stinging rebuke by voting 25-22 to recommend making Henry Waxman chairman of the powerful Energy & Commerce Committee, which Dingell has used to work with the Bush Regime and the car manufacturers in preventing reasonable increases in CAFE standards for automobiles. Progressives generally lined up behind Waxman and Dingell was championed by the Blue Dogs, New Dems and generally reactionary members from the Republican Wing of the Democratic Party (and members from his home state, Michigan). Most of the more corrupt members of the Congressional Black Caucus are also supporting Dingell. Tomorrow the full House will elect the chairmen of that committee (plus Appropriations, Financial Services, and Ways & Means.

Waxman, D-Calif., has long clashed with Dingell by pushing for stronger environmental laws and is expected to draw support from fellow liberals. Waxman, who is currently chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is aligned with Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.

Pelosi has remained publicly neutral in the race for the Energy and Commerce panel chairmanship, but many Democrats doubt Waxman would have attempted the challenge without her tacit support.

Some Democrats have expressed concern that ousting Dingell would upset the seniority system and divide the caucus at a moment when the party has won the White House and cemented its hold on Congress.

Votes in the Steering Committee are conducted by secret ballot.

Democrats said the last time the Steering Committee declined to nominate the top Democrat on a committee to remain in that position was in 1996, when Henry B. Gonzalez of Texas was rejected as ranking member of the Banking panel.

The full caucus overturned that decision.

Although there are 4 members not currently on the Steering Committee (the 4 chairs mentioned above who need to be elected), these are the members:

Speaker, Steering & Policy Chair Nancy Pelosi
Steering Co-Chair Rosa DeLauro
Policy Co-Chair George Miller
Vice Chair Marion Berry
Vice Chair Hilda Solis
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
Majority Whip James Clyburn
Democratic Caucus Chair John Larson
Democratic Caucus Vice-Chair Xavier Becerra
DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen
Organization, Study and Review Chair Michael Capuano
Senior Chief Deputy Whip John Lewis
Chief Deputy Whip G.K. Butterfield
Chief Deputy Whip Joseph Crowley
Chief Deputy Whip Diana DeGette
Chief Deputy Whip Ed Pastor
Chief Deputy Whip Jan Schakowsky
Chief Deputy Whip John Tanner
Chief Deputy Whip Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Chief Deputy Whip Maxine Waters
Budget Chair John Spratt
Rules Chair Louise Slaughter
Dennis Cardoza
Kathy Castor
Jerry Costello
Artur Davis
Lloyd Doggett
Rush Holt
Marcy Kaptur
Zoe Lofgren
Doris Matsui
Kendrick Meek
Collin Peterson
Tim Ryan
Nydia Velazquez
Add to that two freshmen, Debbie Halvorson and Jared Polis, and the 12 regional whips:
Linda Sanchez
Jerry McNerney
Tammy Baldwin
Jan Schakowsky (she only has one vote, even though she's on the list twice)
Rick Larsen
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Bob Etheridge
Ron Klein
James Moran
Robert Brady
Jerrold Nadler
John Tierney

OK, so what happens tomorrow. Pelosi had control over the Steering Committee (barely) but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the full caucus swings with the Blue Dogs and sticks with Dingell. Something to look forward to tomorrow... more with trepidation than with optimism. [Not such a Heavenly Day for the filthy reactionary Blue Dogs-- Waxman won the chairmanship away from Dingell as the myth of Blue Dog power crumbled.]

Because I used to work at a record company I still get tons of demos from aspiring artists. It makes no sense because "used to" means "now I'm a blogger and I don't do music biz anymore." Most of the demos aren't very good and I rarely stick them up at DWT or pass them along to the Late Night Music Club. Yesterday, however, a guy in Montana, Patrick Dwyer, sent me this simple performance YouTube he made of himself singing a Patty Griffin classic, "Heavenly Day." What do you think? Should I send this fella to meet some A&R guys?

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At 12:01 AM, Blogger James said...


At 12:34 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

abso-forking-lutely howie

At 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice voice.

And it would be more than just nice if Waxman were to win today.

At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES! Sign him now!! :)

At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad it had to go as far as the bankruptcy of GM, Ford, and Chrysler to reduce Dingleberry's power.

But whatever. I'll take it. Get him and all the rest of those damned DINOs the fuck out of Congress.

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And isn't Dingleberry about 100 years old now?

I know that Waxman is no spring chicken, but he is compared to Dingleberry. Anyway, he's a damned good Congressman.

But seriously... In general, people's mental abilities deteriorate with age along with the physical ones. Any congresscritter over 70 ought to seriously consider retirement. And for those over 75 or at most 80, it ought to be mandatory.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger OhioTex said...

I really like his voice. Go for it!

At 10:22 AM, Blogger OhioTex said...

Me said: "Any congresscritter over 70 ought to seriously consider retirement. And for those over 75 or at most 80, it ought to be mandatory."

Would you have Ted Kennedy retire? I think retirement decisions are best left to the voters.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Rena said...

Love his voice. He does a great job with that song.

At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dwyer has the voice and the timing down. If he can write, or put his own style on the works of others, he could go far. (I suspect you already know this, though, so thanks for introducing him to us).

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Would you have Ted Kennedy retire?"

Yes. He's been good. Not great, but good. But the time has come.

"I think retirement decisions are best left to the voters."

Yeah, whatever. Sorry to have to say this, but frankly I don't have much respect for the intelligence of the average sheep, I mean voter.

It's not that I think there should be a ruling class - I don't. But I do think that voters ought to have at least half a clue before they vote, and it's clear that AT LEAST 40% of them do not.

There was a method in Reagan's madness in cutting education spending, and you are seeing the result: A population that cannot think beyond a sound bite.


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