A new day for America

Today, the new Congress will be sworn in - and the Democrats will take the reins of leadership.

Questions: What does this mean to you? What are your hopes and dreams for this new Democratic majority? What worries you? How should the Democrats in Congress interact with the Republican Administration?

Consider this an open thread on the Democratic takeover in Congress.


  • Mike (unverified)

    Nice dig at useless Gordon Smith (R-Doormat).

    Everytime I called his office up, I asked them how the whole long-term debt reduction-thing was going and it was very successful at shutting them up.

    Smith has disappeared again after his spasm of honesty a couple of weeks ago. Bush probably called him up and laid down the law and Smith meekly shut his piehole.

    We must get rid of Smith on '08. He's an embarrassment.

  • TomCat (unverified)

    My personal priority is universal health care. Beyond that it's Iraq, and holding the Bush regime accountable for their multiple crimes against America and humanity.

  • Styve (unverified)

    I believe that the most important thing the 110th Congress should do immediately is to revoke Bush's War Powers/Authorization. Please circulate this article by Rob Kall, on OpEdNews, entitled "Dem Congress Must Revoke Bush's War Powers ASAP", and use the link at the end to send your position to representatives and news media.


    [Editor's note: Please don't copy and paste entire articles in comments. Provide a link and, if you like, an excerpt. #1. It's a copyright violation. #2. You're overwhelming the comment thread. Tell us what matters, and point interested readers there.]

  • Anonymous (unverified)

    I agree with Pelosi's First 100 hours plan. Although, it is not as liberal or wide-ranging as many of us would desire, she and the new leaders in Congress are trying to steer a middle ground on what they can win and fulfill their promises.

    I do agree that in these first 100 hours, Democrats should not allow Republicans any say in what is passed whatsoever. We have suffered fro 12 years, they can suffer for 100 hours. After this, I hope that the Democrats will open up the process to the minority which is expected.

    Many independants and moderates are putting a lot of pressure on Democratic leaders to stop the war in Iraq. Obviously, these people have never read the Constitution. The President is the "commander and chief", right? I do hope that Democrats do all in their power to prevent an escalation of this war, while keep those in theater funded to protect themselves. In the meantime, about all that can be done is to investigate and undercover the truth of the War in Iraq.

    I believe that this war will be going strong through '08, McCain will lose if he runs because he is strongly for a surge. An anti-war Democrat will be elected our next president and will have to pick up the mess that the Republicans have made of this country.

    I hope that the future president does not pardon Bush or any of this cronies. I want each of them tried in the Haag.

  • Styve (unverified)

    Your arrogance is obviously without foundation!!

    your statements... "Obviously, these people have never read the Constitution. The President is the "commander and chief", right?"

    The term is Commander in Chief, and the Constitution does not give the President the right to declare war...that is reserved for Congress. The Commander in Chief's role is limited, as Glenn Greenwald explains...

    "...it is nothing short of creepy how lowly politicians like Frist always refer to the President, who is our public servant, as our "Commander in Chief." The President is not the Commander in Chief of Americans; he is only the Commander in Chief of the armed forces (Art. II, Sec. 2: "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States"). Constantly referring to him as the Commander in Chief is to imply that we have the obligation to treat him the way that soldiers are required to treat their military commanders -- i.e., with unquestioning obedience. That is appropriate for a military dictatorship, but not for a constitutional republic."

  • Styve (unverified)

    Didn't mean to disparage the rest of your comment with the arrogance remark...sorry! Good points, otherwise...

  • Robin Ozretich (unverified)

    As a constituent of Peter DeFazio's (and a big fan), I'm happy to see him chair a subcommittee. I hope his vision for the future of highways in our country includes an attempt to reduce our reliance on the car-and-highway system, one of the largest sources of the greenhouse gasses that so threaten our future.

    How will Rep. DeFazio use his chairmanship to transform our transportation system in a way that reduces carbon emissions? I guess I should ask him myself. Maybe I should write him an email right now.

  • BOHICA (unverified)

    Nancy Pelosi will become the most powerful woman in American history

    Maybe the most powerful elected women. I'd go for Eleanor Roosevelt as one of the most powerful in history.

  • (Show?)

    I hope the Dems go for low-hanging fruit and put the GOP's feet to the fire. There are a great number of issues that large majorities in America are behind but which the GOP has actively thwarted. Minimum wage is a good example, as is health care reform. If the Dems spend a lot of time seeking revenge, they'll find their meager mandate spent, with nothing to show for it--particularly given the narrow majority they command in the Senate.

  • (Show?)

    Oh, one other thing. I'd draft a serious piece of anti-terror legislation that is not a sop to the military contractors that fund GOP elections and the districts of GOP Congressmen where attacks are no risk. We could simultaneously make the country a lot safer (ports, anyone?), deflate the GOP terror-industrial complex, and return foreign policy credibility to the Democratic Party where it belongs.

  • (Show?)

    Pass Ron Wyden's proposal to tax capital gains and dividends at the same rate as ordinary income, and pass the Employee Free Choice Act, establishing a meaningful right to organize in unions!

  • Buckman Res (unverified)

    Border security/immigration control should have been the top priority of the Bush administration after 911. Instead, they did woefully little. Let’s hope the Dems will remedy that failure by passing legislation to do the following:

    a. Crack down on employers who hire illegals b. Beef up border security with more agents and electronic security surveillance 3. Deport anyone found to be illegally in the country.

    If Dems want to prove they are serious about securing the country these would be fast, easy steps to take in the first 100 hours. Rep. Silvestre Reyes now heads the House intelligence committee and, as a former border patrol agent, should have a great deal of clout in this area.

  • (Show?)

    Bad idea to deport anyone found illegally in the country. We're talking about millions of people between visas, working and paying taxes. And what about their families? Bad, bad idea.

    Ironically, Bush's amnesty plan is very nearly the only sensible thing he's ever proposed (although he fucks it up with the guest worker idea).

  • Anonymous (unverified)

    Styve... take your arrogance and shove it up your ass.

    Otherwise, I like the rest of your comments. Take another anti-anxieity pill, settle down and get a life.

    I really despise people like you that have NO tact whatsoever. Get an education.

    Otherwise, I liked what you had to say.

  • (Show?)

    I'm with Buckman Res on the idea of enforcing against employers, but it's a head scratcher that when the Bushies did do a raid, they went after the illegals (many of whom are still in an undisclosed location as far as their children are concerned) and basically apologized to the meat packing industry for the inconvenience.

    I'm also totally with Torrid Joe on the impracticality of "rounding up" 12 or 13 million people.


    What I'd like to see from the Dems is for someone to get out the Bill of Rights and get started on:

    Restoration of Habeas Corpus

    Abolition of the idea of Free Speech Zones (because the entire nation is a damned Free Speech Zone)

    Restoration of Probable Cause for all searches, electronic or physical (with requisite warrants)

    Contraction of the expansively interpreted "imminent domain" laws

    And so on........

    cualking the windowpanes, and painting the dormers isn't much use when the termites have eaten the foundation.....

  • Anonymous (unverified)

    I will not be posting to this thread anymore. Liberals such as Styve have proven that they can be as trollish as the Conservatives that they claim to be oppossed.

    We claim to be better, and yet.... we can be just as inhuman as anyone else... which is why I don't post on here often anymore or use my name.

    Frankly, people that attack fellow liberals really deserve not much. There is a lack of constructive criticism. One attack is returned by another, and another, and another. In the end.... WE lose.

    Wondeful way to open up the first day of the 110th Congress on Blue Oregon! One filled with hatred. Sure seems like a big tent to me.

    Good luck in your "war".

  • (Show?)

    Pelosi has just been elected!

  • (Show?)

    Get serious about energy independence, help New Orleans and Gulf Coast get back on their feet (including stronger, better levees), strengthen worker protections and union rights.

  • (Show?)

    Ditto Novick on the Employee Free Choice Act.

    Union-busting has become an industry unto iself, with high-priced consultants roving from one company to the next to disrupt what should be free elections. Their tactics have corrupted the union election process to the point where workers now need protections like those in the EFCA.

    The point of joining a union is to collectively bargain for fair pay, benefits and rights at work. The fact that workers are increasingly blocked from collective bargaining (through union-busting, anti-worker decisions at the National Labor Relations Board, etc.) is reflected in other problems we now need to solve -- our high rate of uninsured, stagnating wages, safety lapses, etc. And these problems bite us all in the butt, whether we are personally members of a union or not.

  • (Show?)

    I'd go for Eleanor Roosevelt as one of the most powerful in history.

    Yeah, and you could make an argument for Sandra Day O'Connor. But at least in a formal sense, Nancy Pelosi is the closest a woman has ever come to being president. There's not even ever been a female chief of staff!

  • Garrett (unverified)

    Dear Anonymous-

    Are you going to quit being a coward and put your name up before you go calling people out?

    I agree with your points here but come on...at least stand up and be recognized...

  • (Show?)

    You could make a pretty good case for Condi Rice in EITHER of her jobs, despite the fact that she's a mediocre Secy of State and a powerfully horrible NSA czar. In terms of the power to direct both domestic and foreign policy as implemented by the executive, those positions may well trump the Speaker's.

  • Styve (unverified)

    Hey Anon...

    I simply pointed out that your comment about others not having read the Constitution, followed by your "commander and chief" usage seemed inappropriately arrogant. I then countered your kowtowing to the commander and chief with an explanation of the limits that the Constitution sets with regard to powers of the President.

    I don't think my response showed any anxiety, whereas your two posts show some real disturbance. The second post seems like a rant, calling me trollish, just as inhuman as anyone else, someone who attacks fellow liberals, lacking (capacity for providing) constructive criticism...WTF?!

    Glad to hear you are going to take a break...

  • Simon's Friend (unverified)

    The possibilities are endless because the need is endless (due to the unbelievable undemocratic unconstitutional mess we've been through since 1994)

  • Zak J. (unverified)

    People! The most powerful woman in American history is Oprah Winfrey. I mean, who are we kidding here?

    Regarding Congress, so many of America's and the world's problems originate in our dependence on oil, the best thing to be done is a massive plan, like JFK's moon shot, to get us entirely free of petroleum fuel within a decade.

  • djk (unverified)

    If Democrats can produce a balanced budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year, they'll stand to permanently claim what used to be a Republican issue. It's both smart politics and the right thing to do -- and it's really not all that difficult.

    So the Democrats should offer a middle class tax cut combined with a repeal of the Bush tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts are costing this country about $300 billion a year (give or take), and are set to expire in a few more years. Since they're "temporary" tax cuts, sunset them this year, instead of a few years from now.

    In the same bill, hand working class and middle class taxpayers about $100 billion in permanent tax cuts. (Cut from the bottom with higher deductions and exemptions, and an expanded bottom bracket, instead of cutting from the top with reduced top-bracket tax rates.) The treasury comes out $200 billion ahead, and we're about half-way to balancing the budget in 2008.

    <h2>Sure, Bush might try to veto it. He's a lame duck anyway. But why not put the Republicans on record as opposing a balanced budget and a middle class tax cut?</h2>
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