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Tech Savvy VP Biden? Maybe not.

Obama might have won last year’s election through his manipulation of the internet, but we now know that VP Joe Biden certainly wasn’t a part of the team that crafted the President’s web strategy. It’s doubtful that Biden has ever even connected to the internet based on his comments on CBS’ Early Show the other day when he told Maggie Rodriguez he “forgot a website number.”

Check out the video of the VP demonstrating just how “out of touch” he is with the tech-based world.

May 1, 2009 Posted by | Democrats | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sen. Cornyn: On 100th Day Of ‘Change’

Press Release from Sen. Cornyn–4/29/09

Sen. Cornyn: On 100th Day Of ‘Change,’ Democrats Pass Budget Resolution Saddling Nation With Unprecedented Spending, Taxes & Debt

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Finance and Budget Committees, issued the following statement regarding his opposition to final passage of the FY10 Budget Resolution, which passed the Senate this evening.

“It’s fitting that, on President Obama’s 100th day in office, Democrats would pass his $3.6 trillion budget that taxes, spends and borrows too much. Since his inauguration, Democrats have spent more than $12 billion a day. Their budget will only make the situation worse because it fails to help middle-class families and small businesses – the backbone of our economy. Democratic leaders rejected many bipartisan, common-sense efforts that would have kept taxes low, reduced wasteful spending and protected small businesses. Despite being approved by an overwhelmingly bipartisan group of 82 Senators, an amendment that I offered to protect small businesses from income tax increases was stripped out by Democrats in conference.

“Saddling our nation with more debt and setting unprecedented levels of government spending is not the best way forward for our economy. I could not support a budget that puts us on such a destructive path. Forcing a flawed budget through Congress with no Republican support is a far cry from the bipartisanship President Obama promised the American people.”

Background on Sen. Cornyn’s amendment

Point of Order against Tax Increases On Small Businesses.

• Sen. Cornyn’s amendment was accepted into the Senate version by a bipartisan vote of 82-16 but was stripped out by Democrat leaders in conference.

• The measure would make it more difficult for Congress to impose new and higher taxes on the American people, especially small businesses and middle-class families, by creating a point of order that would require 60 votes in the Senate to pass legislation that increases income taxes.

• The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has also voiced its support for Sen. Cornyn’s amendment, citing the need to keep individual tax rates low in order for small businesses to succeed.

May 1, 2009 Posted by | Conservatism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sen. Demint (R-SC) Seeks Transparency in Senate Votes

Press Release from Sen. Demint–5/1/09

DeMint Leads Bipartisan Effort to Make Senate Votes More Transparent

Democrats and Republicans urge modernizing Senate website with easily searchable XML vote database

May 1, 2009 – WASHINGTON, D.C – Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, sent a bipartisan letter to the Senate Rules Committee asking it to modernize the way it publishes Senate roll call votes on the internet. Specifically, the letter requests that the Secretary of the Senate make votes available to the public using the XML format, which would allow citizens, government watchdog groups, and the press to immediately access and analyze Senate roll call votes. Senator DeMint was joined in signing the letter by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Ensign (R-Nevada), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), and David Vitter (R-Louisiana).

“As Americans increasingly turn to the internet for information, it’s important that the United States Senate continue to modernize the way it provides the public with information,” said Senator DeMint. “Voting is the most basic and the most important Senate action, yet we’re making it unnecessarily difficult for the public to access this information. What we’re asking for here is a simple change that will have a profound impact on the Senate’s transparency and accountability.”

On Monday, POLITICO reported on how the Senate has fallen behind the House of Representatives in terms of vote transparency:

When it comes to roll call votes, transparency advocates of the technological bent say the House is worlds better than the Senate because the House clerk provides the XML files behind the votes — language that looks like a database to a computer and allows developers to easily reuse the data on their own websites.

The Senate clerk’s office has resisted providing that information, despite being pressed by open government advocates, said Wonderlich.

The reason they’ve been given: “The secretary of the Senate has cited a general standing policy … that they’re not supposed to present votes in a comparative format, that senators have the right to present their votes however they want to,” Wonderlich said. “It’s pretty bad.”

When POLITICO sought to confirm this reasoning, the secretary’s office directed inquiries to the Senate Rules Committee. A spokeswoman at the Rules Committee said she was unable to find someone who could answer the question.

J.H. Snider, president of, a think tank dedicated to using information technology to further democracy, said there’s a qualitative difference between making information public and making it “meaningfully” public — that is, in the easiest, most logical and most timely way.

The full text of the letter is below:

April 30, 2009

Senator Charles Schumer, Chairman Senator Bob Bennett, Ranking Member
Committee on Rules and Administration Committee on Rules and Administration
305 Russell Senate Office Building 305 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators Schumer and Bennett:

We are writing today to ask you to change the Senate’s policy on the publishing of roll call votes so they are made available to the public in an XML format, in addition to what is provided on the Senate website today.

As Americans increasingly turn to the Internet to stay informed, the Senate as a body has a duty to promote timely and accurate reporting of our actions through the most current and effective technologies. Voting is the most basic Senate action and is of crucial importance to the public. Yet the Secretary of the Senate is constrained by an antiquated policy on how roll call votes can be published on the Senate website.

The Secretary of the Senate and the Sergeant at Arms have made strides in the development of the Senate website and the lobbying disclosure database. However, it is our understanding that the Secretary feels constrained not to use “XML” for online voting records.

It is crucial that the Senate add XML. XML is more than merely a data format; it promotes the ability of citizens, watchdog groups, and the press to access and analyze Senate roll call votes. The addition of XML will allow the public to use computers to search, sort, and visualize voting records in new ways. While the costs associated with this transition would be negligible, the impact on transparency and accountability would be profound.

It is troubling that the current policy makes it more difficult for the public to access and disseminate information about Senate roll call votes. This policy has created a situation where outside groups are forced to create databases that are more likely to contain errors and omissions. The public should not have to resort to subscription-based or mistake-ridden databases to easily obtain this information.

It has been suggested that the policy may have been implemented originally because “Senators want to provide their voting records to their constituents themselves.” The suggestion that the Senate would intentionally hamstring the distribution of roll call votes so Senators could put a better spin on them is concerning. The public is capable of interpreting our votes on its own.

The House of Representatives has been using XML for approximately five years with no adverse effects. It is time for the Senate to change its policy on sharing XML data and make roll call vote information easily available to the public. Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to working with you improve the Senate’s legislative transparency in this way.


U.S. Senator Jim DeMint
U.S. Senator David Vitter
U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman
U.S. Senator James Risch
U.S. Senator Richard Durbin
U.S. Senator John Cornyn
U.S. Senator John Ensign

May 1, 2009 Posted by | Senate | , , , , | 2 Comments

Sen. Coburn (R-OK) Votes Against Budget Resolution

Press Release from Senator Coburn–4/29/09

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today after voting against the conference report for the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Resolution.

“This budget will make our economy worse by spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need. In these tough economic times, national leaders should be leading by example, which means making tough choices and eliminating programs that don’t work. President Obama continues to call for a line-by-line review of the federal budget, yet Congress continues to ignore its duty to make tough choices about spending. In fact, Congress had the audacity to gut from this conference report a simple amendment the Senate previously accepted that would have expressed Congress’ full support for the President’s effort to go through the budget line-by-line in order to eliminate wasteful spending,” Dr. Coburn said.

“This Congress continues to be in denial about our unsustainable fiscal course. Total spending under this budget is $3.9 trillion in 2009, or 28 percent of our GDP – the highest level since World War II. This budget will also increase the national debt to $17 trillion in five years, up from our current debt of $11.1 trillion. Our nation simply cannot continue on this course without suffering severe, and perhaps irreversible, consequences. Sadly, this budget shows that politicians are more committed to the politics of instant gratification, and their own re-election campaigns, than the serious challenge of preserving economic freedom and opportunity for future generations,” Dr. Coburn said.

May 1, 2009 Posted by | Conservatism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joe says don’t go…

VP Joe Biden told NBC’s Today Show he would advise people not to get on airplanes or subways, to avoid confined spaces for fear of contracting the dreaded swine flu. In fact, he’s given this advice to his own family.

So while the official line of the US government is that we should avoid non-essential travel to Mexico, the VP’s advice for his own family goes far beyond. Now, I’m not about to start wearing a mask and locking myself in a self-imposed quarantine, and I’m not advising anyone else to do so. But apparently the VP is…or was.

That’s because after he made the remarks, the White House apparently reigned him in yet again. Soon after the show, his office released a “clarification” of his remarks–basically changing them to tow the administration line.

So which is it? Is this disease as dangerous as the VP indicates to his family, or is it as innocuous as the administration wants us to believe? Apparently, this administration wants ordinary citizens to take fewer precautions than it wants its own family members to take. Might it be that the Obamessiah and his loose-lipped VP are willing to risk the lives of ordinary Americans to avoid further damage to the economy.

That’s my take on the VP’s remarks.

I wonder if the Obamessiah’s wishing he’d chosen someone who isn’t so quick to shoot off his mouth for VP?

May 1, 2009 Posted by | Obama | , , | Leave a comment