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Durbin Asks Kos Kids For Help Setting Senate Agenda

I probably shouldn't have been, but I was a bit surprised to see this at Kos:

Happy New Year! This is my first blog post on DailyKos, and I'm really looking forward to interacting more with this tremendous community in the coming weeks and months.
...

Tell me what priorities you want the Senate to focus on.
...

Here are those first 10 bills:

S.1 -- Ethics & lobbying reform
S.2 -- Increasing the minimum wage
S.3 -- Lowering prescription drug prices for seniors
S.4 -- Fully implementing all 9/11 Commission recommendations
S.5 -- Expanding stem cell research
S.6 -- Developing new technology to promote energy independence
S.7 -- Making college more affordable
S.8 -- Rebuilding America's military
S.9 -- Immigration reform
S.10 -- Reinstating "Pay As You Go" rules for the federal budget

In addition, Senate Democrats will provide aggressive oversight of the Bush Administration's war in Iraq -- keeping our troops safe, stopping war profiteering, and bringing the war to an end as soon as possible.

Help me set the Senate's agenda -- prioritize these important issues now!

As Assistant Majority Leader, part of my responsibility is to work with Majority Leader Harry Reid to manage the flow of legislation on the Senate floor. In these first few weeks of the 110th Congress, we want to make sure we're focusing on the issues that matter most to all Americans.

Ultimately, we hope to pass all of this legislation, but, here in the more deliberative body of the Senate, it will take time. So, I want to make sure your priorities are our priorities.

Rank the issues that you want the Senate to focus on first!
...
It's a new year, a new Congress, and a new opportunity for Democrats to lead. Last year's campaign is over -- now it's time to govern.

Thanks for being a part of the effort to provide a new direction for America! I look forward to visiting DailyKos often in these exciting coming weeks to discuss the many pressing issues facing America.

-- Dick Durbin

...

UPDATE #2 (3:45pm ET): One last thought. You've all raised some very important issues. Some have wondered why certain issues weren't included in the poll we're taking at www.dickdurbin.com. Just so you know, we started off with S.1 through S.10, as well as Iraq oversight -- but we recognize there is much more work to do. This may be where we're starting in the Senate -- but we're not going to stop after these first 10 bills.

No, they will definitely not be stopping after those first ten bills, so they will need lots more help from their friends at Kos. (Hat tip to Ms. Underestimated via Larwyn.)

Update: Occassionally someone at dKos makes a little bit of sense.


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Comments (25)

So, these are all great thi... (Below threshold)
John:

So, these are all great things to accomplish.

What's the argument about any of them?

Great!, now Kos kiddies are... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Great!, now Kos kiddies are gonna help decide how to run the country down the shitter. *sigh*

We need a natural disaster to distract these libtards.

From 'Contract with America... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

From 'Contract with America' to

'Candy for America'

Unfortunately it will take about 2 years (just past the Presidential Election) for the tummy aches and cavities to set in.

Let's see...1. About... (Below threshold)
Weegie:

Let's see...
1. About time, but not enough. Hold them to the same Straight Arrow requirements the military are held to - not even a freaking cup of coffee.
2. No Constitutional authority to impose themselves into a private employment contract between a private employer and employee.
3. No constitutional authority
4. Why waste time actually determining if the recommendations are useful, eh?
5. Which clause of the Constitution is this in?
6. Constitutional authority?
7. Constitutional authority?
8. Good
9. I doubt anybody is going to like their 'reform'.
10. Since when has the budget been 'pay as you go'? Deficit spending is sometimes needed, especially since well over 1/2 the budget contains unconstitutional outlays.

It's the details that count... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

It's the details that count such as with Immigration reform. That could mean anything from building impenetrable barriers at the borders and offering bounties on illegals to giving everyone who can get here immediate citizenship if they want it. The same is true for many items on the list.

However, it's telling that national healthcare, gun control, repeal of tax cuts, and repeal of the Patriot act are not on the list. I'm sure that's why Durbin posted a list and only asked the DailyKos crowd to set the order.

What an incompetent Dick... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

What an incompetent Dickhead. He should relieved of duty.

"we want to make sure we're focusing on the issues that matter most to all Americans."

Huh? what? By asking the help of the most foul mouthed , brain damaged Un-American miscreants? Democrats are cowards and just looking for someone to blame for their criminal behavior. They did it for the Children. No morals , no guts and no shame.

weegie, Your obse... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

weegie,

Your observations/comments on Durbin's proposed legislation couldn't pass muster in a Kindergarten Constitutional class.

Without going into each & every one of your silly observations, suffice it to say that most of the points fall under the regulation of Interstate Commerce clause.

Your reading level comprehension is so abyssmal that I doubt you comprehended anything much beyond, "We the people..." whoever the hell they were.

One thing for sure; they weren't people like you because, no doubt, your ilk would have been decrying the demise of a duly seated Divine Right Monarch.

BTW Weegiewhere in... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

BTW Weegie

where in the Constitution do you find authorization for "signing statements" or a required tw-thirds legislative vote to pass tax legislation, apart from cuts?

Hey Puke: How'd you rank th... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Hey Puke: How'd you rank the lil' Dick's items at dKos? You must be a regular there.

Weegie,Did you sle... (Below threshold)
John:

Weegie,

Did you sleep through Civics?

Are you one of those retards that denies that the federal government can collect income tax too?

So, I'll ask it again, sinc... (Below threshold)
John:

So, I'll ask it again, since no one has addressed the question...

10 things listed here. What's the argument against them? Just to take the first one, why would ethics reform not be a good thing to do?

Aren't all of these things good for the American people as a whole? If so, why not?

JohnThe answer fro... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

John

The answer from Weegie, no doubt a member of the Constitutional Committee on the board of the Daughters of the American Revolution, is that they are unconstitutional, unless, of course, they appear as Bush duly-signed Signing Statements attached to duly passed legislation from the Congress, from His authority as Unitary Power in the Constitution.

You otter know better than to ask your question; the Decider gets to do all of those things from His authority to tap-your-phone and read-your- mail clause of the US Constitution.

Ah, you say, but you don't see any such enumerated powers in the Constitution, and I reply,"You will when Scalia, Uncle Thomas, Roberts and Alito get through with it."

A fellow Illinois resident ... (Below threshold)
Langtry:

A fellow Illinois resident and poster at "LGF" once said "It takes a a real Lefty (Obama) to make Durbin look like a Centrist." I think he might well take that back now.

Sadly, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote the other day about how the Republican Party has given up on winning back Durbin's seat, and that he is essentially unbeatable because "he hasn't made any mistakes". What's this silliness at Kos? Illinois is so screwed.

John,10 t... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

John,

10 things listed here. What's the argument against them? Just to take the first one, why would ethics reform not be a good thing to do?

As I stated above, it's the details that make the difference. Item 1 in the list is "Ethics & lobbying reform", which sounds great, but if the Democrats slant it in their favor, then I'm against that particular implementation. The two major parties raise campaign money from somewhat different sources, with the Republicans getting larger donations but from fewer contributors. If the Democrats reduce the maximum allowed donation than that hurts Republicans more than Democrats. That's just an example and maybe not a good one, but it's demonstrates that what makes a piece of legislation good or bad are the details.

You will when Scalia, Un... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

You will when Scalia, Uncle Thomas, Roberts and Alito get through with it."

While you're vomiting up hatred for the other major party of the American political system, Repukelican, why don't you count how many members of the USSC there are, and how many it takes to make a majority.

As for Durbin's proposals:
S.1 -- Ethics & lobbying reform

Not a bad idea, if as Mac Lorry said they can do it in a party-neutral way. I'm not that confident in either political party.

S.2 -- Increasing the minimum wage

Meh. Sure they can, but what good will it do? There's an article on Yahoo news about how the propsoed increase still won't help families. How about not having a family until you're making more than the minimum wage? It's feel good, economically ignorant bread and circuses, but we've weathered worse blows to the economy.

S.3 -- Lowering prescription drug prices for seniors

Depends on how they plan to do it.

S.4 -- Fully implementing all 9/11 Commission recommendations

Meh. Feel-good legislation again, not necessarily harmful, but some recommendations are better than others.

S.5 -- Expanding stem cell research

It needs expanding, too many people advocating a narrow focus on fetal stem cells, when others are showing much more promise and attracting much more independent funding.

S.6 -- Developing new technology to promote energy independence

Good plan.
S.7 -- Making college more affordable

A much better idea than increasing the minimum wage. . increase opportunities.

S.8 -- Rebuilding America's military

Welcome to the Republican party, Dems. Again, depends on what they mean, but the force reduction of the 90'2, in hindsight, was not as good idea as it seemed at the time. At the same time, we need to adapt our military to be flexible in the kinds of battles they will fight, everything from the high-tech, air and ground superiority combined arms approach we have mastered, to the urban, building to building fighting that thus far as been the province of special forces and Iraqi veterans.
S.9 -- Immigration reform

Could mean anything, but damn we need to do something. Either seal the borders better, or help clean up Mexico, or something.

S.10 -- Reinstating "Pay As You Go" rules for the federal budget

Good for just about anything except fighting a war. If they don't try to hamstring executive power with this (forlorn hope, I know) it makes a lot of sense.

Overall, some of it is good, a lot is blah, nothing seems outrageous. With two items directly relating to national security, if they show a previously-lacking seriousness on the topic, they might convince me. Two years, Dems. Make it good.

John IrvingIn rega... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

John Irving

In regard to an increase in the minimum wage you said,

"It's feel good, economically ignorant bread and circuses, but we've weathered worse blows to the economy."

One can check the results of individual states that have already raised the minimum wage recently and in years past and trhey generally show a state's economy and employment gaining as well as a lifting of all wages.

Your callous disregard for those earning a sub-standard, non-living wage is typical of Bush's "haves and have mores."

FDR's first implementation of a minimum wage played a significant role in the emergence of the 1940's and '50's middle class in America.

Repuke, you've made a claim... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Repuke, you've made a claim, back it up with primary sources, and show a causation as well as a correlation. As for the rest of your statement, I'll just consider that you speak from complete ignorance (about me, at least) and let it go.

John IrvingApart f... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

John Irving

Apart from the fact that you have nothing but opinions in your post w/ no citations, I'll provide this on. and another w/ internal links as well.

Illinois is so screwed.<... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Illinois is so screwed.

We're actually doing quite well, thank you very much.

Puke, you definitely earn y... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Puke, you definitely earn your name. I'll look at your links after work, but I doubt they are what you claim to be. You're just not credible, you use a nasty nickname to start with, and have nothing but vitriol.

John IrvingYou're ... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

John Irving

You're obviously prepared in advance to dismiss anything that doesn't fit your mal-formed view. I was inclined to ignore your challenge because most of the Wizchoir are past-masters at rejecting any information that doesn't square with their pre-conceived opinions or alleged alleged facts.

As far as the user name goes, when the Republicans and their minions like you cease using the incorrect name of the Democratic party as a means of hurling an epithet, I'll change my user & ID the changeover.

As of now, the use of Democrat Party or Democrat Senator etc. simply reflects a herd of poorly educated people, who in spite of their predilection for English Only or English as First Languagereally have no capacity for proper grammatical usage.

Actually, Puke, I figured I... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Actually, Puke, I figured I'd give your links a chance. One states flat out that there is no proof that a minimum wage hike improved anything, it shows correlation, not causation. The other shows more specifically five states, out of 29 states that have increased minimum wages beyond the Federal level, with improved conditions. So we are at a standstill on the subject, as any analysis of the minimum wage situation nationwide is going to come down to initial bias.

On the subject of your nic and your behavior, you are either a thirteen year old or have the equivalent emotional maturity. Quite simply, you are everything you accuse others of being, a mindless minion devoted solely to blind shrieking partisanship. You do a disservice to Democrats by claiming to be representative of them. If I were truely a devoted follower of the Republican Party, something not even remotely true, I'd strongly encourage you to be even more vocal with your behavior. As it is, I wish you'd shut up, give your mommy back her computer, and let the adults talk.

The weakness in the <a href... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The weakness in the Fiscal Policy Institute link from aRepukelican's post is that it compares only non-farm wages, and thus, doesn't recognize that many states' economies are driven by agriculture, which within the time period of the report, has lagged relative to retail business in states with large non-farm sectors. In fact, looking at the list of states you'll notice that the states with minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage are west or east cost states (see * on Table 3). Figures 1 and 2 can be dismissed because the average difference between the two groups is about half a percent and given a total sample size of 51 (states plus DC) that amount of difference is not significant. That is, it could easily occur randomly. Even if one accepts the difference between the two groups it's just as likely to be the result of different business sector mixes. For example, the coastal states are heavy into banking, high tech, defense, legal, and manufacturing. All business that pay high wages, and these high wage earners create a lot more demand for the products and services offered by small retail business. Compare that to states where agriculture makes up a large part of the economy. Overall, the Fiscal Policy Institute paper doesn't show a statistically significant difference between the two groups and certainly doesn't demonstrate a causative link.

The link to the AFL-CIO blog can hardly be considered a nonpartisan source given that many union contracts tie union wages to some multiple of the minimum wage. Giving higher wages to the lowest paid workers is commendable, but not if it automatically increases the wages of some of the highest paid workers. Any legislation raising the minimum wage should make such linkage illegal and unenforceable. Then we'll see how much the AFL-CIO really supports increasing the minimum wage. The Democrats like to talk about tax cuts for the rich, but what about pay hikes for the overpaid?

Now if we really want to increase the pay for American works in the lowest paid jobs, then we need immigration reform that takes illegal workers out of those jobs and keeps them out. There are some cases in agriculture were illegal workers benefit the U.S. economy, and so we should make some special provisions for those cases. However, many illegal workers are employed by or contracted by well healed business that could easily afford to pay higher wages, but don't have to because of the surplus labor at the needed skill level. It's not that Americans wont clean toilets for a living, it's that they wont do that for $5.15 an hour. Without illegal workers, such business would have to pay a market wage. Even if that's $12.50 an hour, what are these businesses going to do, not clean the toilets? Illegal immigration hurts the lowest paid Americans the worst. Democrats are reported to care about such people, but do they care enough to do something about it?

Actually, no, those really ... (Below threshold)
Weegie:

Actually, no, those really do NOT fall under the commerce clause. That clause has been tragically misused in order to let government escape its constitutional limits, you ignorant fuck Repuke.

Why don't you go back and read the 10th amendment, and see if your pea-brain can fathom that.

You don't know fuck about the constitution and what principles it was founded upon, you liberal braindead shithead.

The Gilead Access Program i... (Below threshold)
Leo:

The Gilead Access Program is designed to expand and sustain access to once-daily anti-HIV medications like Truvada by the poorest countries. WBR LeoP




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