Thursday, August 27, 2009
(updated for the term limits vote on 2/5/12) Prior to being a US Senator, Barbara Levy Boxer, was in the US House of Representatives from 1982 to 1992, and on the Marin County, CA Board of Supervisors from 1976 to 1982. In 1972, her husband had planned to run for the Marin County Board of Supervisors, but decided it would interfere with his law practice in Oakland. So Barbara ran instead. She was supported in that election by Marin Alternative, a broad-based, liberal political organization which she had helped found a few years before. Prior to that she had stints as a journalist, an aide to Congressman John Burton and a stockbroker for three years. As our other Poster Children, she had no real accomplishments of any consequence on her resume yet is now in position to make decisions affecting virtually every aspect of life in the USA.
Update: On 2/2/2012 on the vote to limit the terms of congress it is telling that the senators who voted against term limits have been in the Senate for an average of 13.6 years compared to just 6.4 years for those who support them. The longer people are in Congress, the more power they get, and the more they lose touch with the voters who elected them.
See how your Senator voted: http://senateconservatives.com/site/votes/112/2/11?c=5R4F2B4F9B3A137 hint: All Democrats but Joe Manchin of WV voted AGAINST the reform even though they know full well that a super-majority of their constituents are in favor of term limits.
As a member of the House Armed Service Committee she took credit for exposing, with the help of the Project on Military Procurement, the '$7,600 coffee pot and successfully passed more than a dozen procurement reforms while all the time in her entire career in Congress amassing a voting record of profligate spending, including for the $787 billion Porkulus Bill. The non-partisan National Taxpayers Union www.ntu.org never scored her spending record above “F,” their lowest rating. Her concept of money is hazy as her wild check writing spree during the House Banking Scandal illustrates. She wrote 143 overdraft checks over a period of three years. When caught, she issued a statement saying, "In painful retrospect, I clearly should have paid more attention to my account…" and wrote a $15 check to the Deficit Reduction Fund for the overdrafts.
As a Senator she found time to write a couple of novels. A Time to Run published in 2005 was about a battle for a Supreme Court nominee. When Anita Hill accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, Boxer led a group of women House members to the Senate Judiciary Committee demanding that the all-white, all-male Senators take Hill's charges seriously. Her second novel, Blind Trust, released in June 2009, was about how self-interested right-wing politicians used the fight against terrorism to create problems. Both books were written with Mary-Rose Hayes who has written many novels.
Decidedly anti-military as exemplified by her grandstanding and lecturing of General Petraeus at one Senate hearing when she called him a liar. And her rude treatment of General Michael J. Walsh when he called her “Ma’am” during testimony before Boxer's Senate Committee on Environment. Boxer interrupted him and demanded he call her “Senator.” "It's just a thing, I worked so hard to get that title,…” she said.
A Captain for Alaska Airlines had this for her ‘You were so right on when you scolded the general for using the term, "Ma'am," instead of "Senator". After all, in the military, "Ma'am" is a term of respect when addressing a female of superior rank or position. The general was totally wrong. You are not a person of superior rank or position. You are a member of one of the world's most corrupt organizations, the U.S. Senate, equaled only by the U.S. House of Representatives.” I admit I had to include that here because in doing the research for these long-time members of Congress I have to agree with this guy and with Mark Twain, “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress.”
In another recent insulting situation Boxer was hearing testimony from Harry Alford, CEO of the Black Chamber of Commerce on the topic of green jobs. Ms. Boxer thought she could corner him by citing studies compiled by "black organizations." If she thought that pandering to Mr. Alford on race would cower him she misjudged her subject. She quoted the NAACP's study on Global Warming. Here’s a so-called civil rights organization weighing in on global warming as if weather has become racist against black people. Bill O'Reilly interviewed Alford and asked if he didn’t think Boxer actually cared about Black people. Alford answered, "Yes, she and her colleagues love Black people-- when they're in their place'!" He then recounted the disgusting treatment doled out by her and other "Liberals" to Clarence Thomas, Ken Blackwell, Condi Rice, et al. She once even criticized Condi Rice for not having children.
She’s been there so long that she doesn’t feel like she has to keep to facts in a debate. It is the hubris and arrogance that comes with time in office.
At another hearing she ridiculed Dr. Roy Spencer, the leading climatologist at NASA when he testified that the science of “global warming” and the IPCC and climate models are totally flawed. At the end of his testimony:
SPENCER: In conclusion, I am predicting today that the theory that mankind is mostly responsible for global warming will slowly fade away in the coming years, as will the warming itself, and I trust you would agree, Madam Chair, that such a result deserves to be greeted with relief. That concludes my testimony, and I’d be willing to answer any questions.
BOXER: Okay…. I guess is a certain congratulations, Rush Limbaugh referred to you as the official climatologist of the Rush Limbaugh Excellence in Broadcasting Network.
SPENCER: Yeah, that’s tongue-in-cheek reference.
BOXER: Right. But I just want to point that out for people to understand. I just want to make sure everybody knows what’s really happening.
So, for her, what is REALLY happening has nothing to do with the science. Her vendetta with Rush discounts the learned scientist’s testimony. That is the kind in-depth thinking that runs our Senate Environmental Committee.
Barbara Boxer considers Occupy Wall Street, Code Pink and MoveOn.org protestors to be ‘her base,’ so it’s understandable that she would ridicule the TEA Party demonstrators. Boxer says she can tell that they’re fakes, because “they’re too well dressed.” How does she know? Because well-dressed people told her to get the hell out of Florida in the Bush-Gore recount, too. That is how she thinks after 27 years in Congress.
Here’s a quote from her on why we should not drill our own oil in our own country: "Now we face the ultimate special interest issue: Drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. For six months of oil, not to be realized for ten years, my colleagues seem bent on handing over this most pristine land to the big oil companies. Never mind that we can save the equivalent of an infinite number of ANWR fields by simply raising fuel economy a modest amount -- that doesn't matter. The Republicans don't care about the native peoples whose lives will be ruined; they don't care that President Eisenhower set this land aside; they don't care about the more than one hundred species of wildlife that depend on this refuge." She had no clue about the huge volume of oil reserves there, how long it takes to get it flowing and the fact that the native people there are in favor of drilling and that the drilling would have no affect on the wildlife refuge. The area to be drilled is but a pin prick on the map of ANWR. I doubt that she knows the meaning of “infinite,” either.
Reasonable term limits would at least give US a chance to raise the competence level of our representatives.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
John Conyers (D-MI) is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and you can be sure that it is not his intellect or his accomplishments on behalf of the nation that he has achieved such a powerful position. It is because he has been in Congress since January 4, 1965! Don’t take my word for it, listen to him: “What good is reading the bill if it's a thousand pages and you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?" He’s referring to the 1300+ page bill that details the government takeover of the healthcare industry in the US. [This is funny: One pundit has proposed, The Help John Conyers Read The Damn Bill Act of 2009. See it at webcommentary.com –you’ll enjoy it as I did.] Too much for him to read or understand without lawyers --he has a law degree –but that was long ago. Of course, it wouldn’t give him a reason to not vote for the Bill. In his 44 years in congress he has signed just about every costly bill laid in front of him by his leadership. His National Taxpayers Union rating “F” is the lowest possible grade going way back.
None of our Poster Children have done anything before politics that might give them some insight or expertise in the market segments that they are regulating, or lately, taking over. Conyers is no exception. Before his election in 1965, he was an assistant to Congressman John Dingell who is still in Congress –another Poster Boy candidate. He is married to Monica Conyers, former President Pro-Tempore of the Detroit City Council and the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation into political corruption in the city. She has pled guilty to conspiring to commit bribery. Conyers himself ran for mayor of Detroit a couple of times while on our payroll in Congress. Reading about and seeing videos of Monica’s antics on the Detroit council are alternately pathetic and very funny. No wonder Detroit is in the dumpster. BTW, she was born a couple of months before John was elected to Congress.
Conyers has had his ethics problems over the years, too. He violated House rules by using his congressional staff to work on campaigns and forced them to baby-sit and chauffeur his children. The Ethics Committee let it pass as they usually do for their colleagues. I guess they figure, “I may be next.” This is a body not renowned for their high ethical standards –currently there are 17 ongoing ethics investigations n Congress, 4 Repubs and 13 Dems.
One of the most liberal members of Congress, Conyers was one of the founding members of the hard left Black Caucus. He was also one of the original sponsors in 2003 of The United States National Health Care Act, a single-payer plan like the one that is being debated in Congress at this time. When Obama was considering naming Dr. Sanjay Gupta to the post of Surgeon General, Conyers went ballistic. It seems that Gupta once got into an argument with Michael Moore, a friend of Conyers, over Moore’s movie “Sicko” which advocated socialized medicine. Conyers was afraid that Gupta would not be a backer of the one-payer system. Conyers’ signature issue is the one-payer socialized medicine plan for the masses. But, notably, the Bills proposed specifically exempt members of Congress. THAT is the arrogance of self-service as opposed to the ideal of public service.
A consummate Bush-basher, he offered a Report, The Constitution in Crisis, which purported that President Bush violated the Constitution in prosecuting the Iraq war. It called for censure of both the president and vice president. Before that he issued another Report, What Went Wrong in Ohio, to try to have the votes for President Bush not counted because of some of the discrepancies between exit polls and actual vote tallies. He even filed a lawsuit, Honorable John Conyers, Jr., et al. v. George W. Bush, et al, seeking a restraining order to prevent the execution of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. He wanted it declared unconstitutional. The case was dismissed for his lack of standing. Don’t forget Conyers has a law degree –he knew he didn’t have standing but went out of his way to harass the president. He also introduced a bill to set up a "truth commission" panel to investigate alleged policy abuses of the Bush administration.
Conyers has proposed a Resolution to condemn religious intolerance for Islam which he said needed special protection from acts of violence and intolerance. It states that “it should never be official policy of the United States Government to disparage the Quran, Islam, or any religion in any way, shape, or form,” and “calls upon local, State, and Federal authorities to work to prevent bias-motivated crimes and acts against all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith.” A strictly political act as there are now a lot of Muslims in his district. We already have freedom of religion in the US.
We can’t cover much of a 44 year career but we try to illustrate that 6 or 8 years would be plenty for any representative to get something done and then go home to live under the laws and pay the taxes he imposed on the country. And that is the way it would work IF the representative was there for “public service.” Career pols do not give a thought to their oaths of office.