Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Ethics-challenged Waters still popular on home turf

Congressional ethics charges have tarnished Maxine Waters’ reputation in Washington. But in the struggling, mostly Hispanic and black neighborhoods she represents, residents still hold the 10-term Democratic congresswoman in high esteem. “If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t even be in school,” Carol Jones, 51, said after finishing classes for the day at the Maxine Waters Education & Career Center, one of the institutions the congresswoman has supported during her decades in state and federal government. “Whenever somebody is doing something good for the community, they’ll find something to make them look bad,” said Jones, who is enrolled in high-school
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Charlie Rangel: ‘Hell no, I won’t go’

Democratic Representative Charles Rangel said on Tuesday he was not resigning in the face of ethics charges and asked for an expedited resolution of his case before he has to face voters in November elections. “I am not going away. I am here,” Rangel said to some applause during a lengthy, rambling speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. Rangel, formerly one of the House’s most powerful members as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, apologized for any embarrassment he had caused lawmakers. The House Ethics Committee charged Rangel with 13 violations last month, including omitting
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Gates proposes major defense cuts that will cost jobs

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday that tough economic times require that he shutter a major command that employs some 5,000 people around Norfolk, Va., and begin to eliminate other jobs throughout the military. The announcement was the first major step by Gates to find $100 billion in savings in the next five years. Gates says that money is needed elsewhere within the Defense Department to repair a force ravaged by years of war and to prepare troops for the next fight. Gates and other Pentagon officials would not put a dollar figure on cuts outlined Monday, but the savings
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The case against Maxine Waters

The House ethics committee on Monday announced three counts of alleged ethics violations against California Democrat Maxine Waters, including a charge that she requested federal help for a bank where her husband owned stock and had served on its board. Waters, a 10-term representative from Los Angeles, has denied any wrongdoing and had urged the committee to come forth with details of the charges so that she can defend herself in a trial expected to take place this fall. That trial would be the second handled by the ethics committee this fall. Another senior Democrat, former Ways and Means Committee
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Kagan sworn in as newest Supreme Court justice

Elena Kagan was sworn in Saturday as the 112th justice and fourth woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath to Kagan in a brief private ceremony at the court. Kagan, joined by family and friends, pledged to faithfully and impartially uphold the law. Afterward, she smiled broadly as a crowd of onlookers stood and applauded. “We look forward to serving with you,” Roberts said. Kagan, a former Harvard Law School dean who most recently was solicitor general, was President Barack Obama‘s choice to succeed retired Justice John Paul Stevens. Republicans criticized her
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Kagan sails through confirmation

It’s all over but the celebrating and oath-taking for soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. Kagan is joining President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday for a ceremony to mark her confirmation as the nation’s 112th justice. On Saturday, she’s to be sworn in at the Supreme Court as the successor to retired Justice John Paul Stevens. The 50-year-old U.S. solicitor general, who won confirmation Thursday over Republican opposition, will be sworn in twice by Chief Justice John Roberts. She will recite one oath as prescribed by the Constitution in a private ceremony in the high court’s Justices’
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Waters: ‘Let’s go public’

The second Democrat in the House of Representatives to face an ethics trial in the fall wants the charges against her made public and her trial to begin before the November 2 congressional elections, an aggressive defense that may lead to intra-party squabbling. “I am confident that once the subcommittee report is released and I am able to present my case, my constituents and all Americans will understand that I have not violated any House rules,” U.S. congresswoman Maxine Waters wrote in a Wednesday letter to the House ethics panel. The panel on Monday said it had found evidence of
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Repubicans go after birthright citizenship

Leading Republicans are joining a push to reconsider the constitutional amendment that grants automatic citizenship to people born in the United States. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Tuesday he supports holding hearings on the 14th Amendment right, although he emphasized that Washington’s immigration focus should remain on border security. His comments came as other Republicans in recent days have questioned or challenged birthright citizenship, embracing a cause that had largely been confined to the far right. The senators include Arizona’s John McCain, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee; Arizona’s Jon Kyl, the Republicans’ second-ranking senator; Alabama’s Jeff Sessions,
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Another incumbent goes down

Incumbents beware. Another lawmaker just bit the dust. Michigan Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick lost her bid for an eighth term on Tuesday, her son’s legal woes dragging her down in a year when fickle voters seem eager to fire longtime lawmakers. She’s the sixth — and the fourth in the House — to lose so far this year. And the frustrated electorate could deal others the same fate in primaries over the next two months, not to mention the general election in November, when nothing less than the balance of power in Washington will be at stake. In another nod
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Reid leading Angle in latest Nevada poll

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, one of America’s most powerful politicians, holds a narrow edge among likely voters in his re-election bid in recession-lashed Nevada, a Reuters-Ipsos poll said on Tuesday. The struggling U.S. economy is paramount in voters’ minds as they look ahead to the November 2 election in Nevada, with 74 percent citing the economy as their top concern, the poll of 600 Nevada voters done July 30-August 1 found. And Nevada’s high jobless rate of 14.2 percent and rising home foreclosures and bankruptcies appear to be taking their toll on Reid in his attempt for a fifth
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