A major purge of veteran lawmakers is likely at Britain's next national election due to mounting public anger over the expenses scandal, opposition leader David Cameron said Sunday as a new study estimated that over 300 lawmakers could be forced out.
Since the old lot clearly weren't doing the job they were hired for...
Cameron, who has ordered some of his Conservative Party lawmakers to quit over their excessive claims, said fresh faces are necessary to help rebuild confidence in Britain's political system.
The Conservatives are far ahead of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour Party in opinion polls and widely expected to win power at the next election, which Brown must call by June 2010.
Another country swings to the right!
Cameron said he will reopen lists of candidates that his party has drawn up ahead of the next election, to allow people who have not previously been involved in politics to put themselves forward. "They may not have had anything to do with the party before. But I'm saying, if you believe in public service, if you share our values, if you want to help us clean up politics, come and be a Conservative candidate," Cameron told the British Broadcasting Corp.
Colin Rallings, director of the University of Plymouth's elections data center, told The Sunday Times newspaper that a new analysis suggested as many as 325 of Britain's 646 House of Commons lawmakers could quit or be ousted by voters as a direct result of the scandal.
Several public figures, including well-known British television presenter Esther Rantzen, already have suggested they will try to run in the next election as independent candidates to protest the scandal.
The country's involuntary investment in politician's roof repairs and drainage ditches may turn out to have been well worth while.
I wish a similar housecleaning of both parties would happen here.
I suspect you don't really want a similar housecleaning to occur here. Britain's is happening at the point where the MPs don't matter anyway since they are now totally subjugated to the EU. If we had a similar housecleaning, it would be a superficial change that was impotent to undo, say, the appointment of a SCOTUS justice who tilts the court to subjugate the Constitution to "international law".
They need to do more than reform by introducing newly minted parliamentarians. They need to reduce the total number to something more realistic. They have 646 members of parliament for 60 million people. We have 435 for 300 million people. Think of all the money they would save just doing that.
Posted by: Jack is Back! ||
05/25/2009 8:04 Comments ||
We've already seen mob action there in which y00ts of Asian persuasion chased the police and taunted them for being cowards. The implosion of the West is accelerating.
But this is more sophisticated than Asian y00ts throwing bottles-n-rox.
Somebody else is stirring the pot here, but I agree they may find themselves surprised to find themselves *not* holding the reins when the smoke clears.
Does the mess that befell the prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens create such a cloud over the long-running Alaska corruption investigation that it's all but over?
That's a question heard with some frequency since April, when the Stevens case was thrown out and the FBI agents and Justice Department prosecutors who were part of the broader Alaska corruption inquiry were themselves put under investigation.
The Justice Department continues to say the investigation is moving forward, though as recently as last week a spokeswoman would provide no details. Aside from assigning new prosecutors to its only Alaska case awaiting trial, the department has not demonstrated much activity in public. Before the Stevens case was dismissed, its record in the corruption prosecutions was a perfect 11-for-11.
Most legal experts who discussed the situation said that the team involved in the Alaska cases since the investigation became public in 2006 has been so tainted that they will be unable to play a significant role in any other case arising from the investigation.
But neither that restriction, nor the embarrassment and demoralization from such a public failure, is reason to stop now, said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center in Washington, D.C., a conservative-leaning watchdog group.
"I can see they're a little singed around the edges, but at the same time, they all take the oath to pursue the evidence of crime wherever it leads, and they do have a duty to the public to the degree that there's people out there that are selling their office in one way or another -- they owe it to the public to follow up," Boehm said.
I'd expect it to go 'slowly' when the judge from the original case has requested a special prosecutor to look into misconduct by the Stevens prosecutor. It's playing hot potato with a live grenade. Given the proclivity of our judicial system to toss any tainted evidence, such an investigation is going to have to start at square one and look for a different line of approach to get anything to stick in court and on appeal.
With just over two weeks to go until Virginia's June 9 Democratic primary for governor, a new issue has emerged to crowd out all the others: Terry McAuliffe himself.
After a largely genteel campaign, McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman, has suddenly become the axis around which the race turns as state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds and former Del. Brian Moran zero in on everything ranging from McAuliffe's stewardship of the national party to his business dealings to his penchant for hyperbole.
With little to distinguish between the candidates on the issues, the attacks have taken an unusually personal angle. Moran's website features "The Pinocchio Report", which fact-checks McAuliffe's campaign trail claims and generally concludes they are, at best, disingenuous. "Running for Governor is serious and it requires serious leaders, not people who make it up as they go," the blog writes.
Moran's first television ad Tuesday was a hard-hitting spot that questioned McAuliffe's "insider deals." A radio ad refers to McAuliffe's involvement in the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and challenges his loyalty to President Barack Obama. "The truth is, Terry McAuliffe led the campaign that ran the '3 a.m.' attack ad against Barack Obama," an announcer says. "McAuliffe worked to put up the ads that questioned Obama's ability to be president. The fact is, if Terry McAuliffe had his way, Barack Obama wouldn't be our president today."
The Deeds campaign launched its own radio spot last week drilling McAuliffe over his claims that the state legislature was not doing enough to crack down on payday lenders. In a debate held Tuesday, both Deeds and Moran attacked McAuliffe over what they said were "duplicitous" positions and outlandish job creation promises.
"This primary is about who has the best chance to beat [expected Republican nominee] Bob McDonnell and who is best prepared to stand up for working families," said Deeds in his closing statement. "I'm not convinced that hard-working Virginians want a nominee who made millions on a high-interest credit-card deal and stands with Donald Trump and Wall Street executives and gets over 80 percent of his campaign contributions from out of state."
I can't decide who to vote for in the primary (Virginia has open primaries).
No way in hell will I vote for McAsshole; Moron's not looking good either. Deeds might actually make a decent Governor should he win, unless he's a tax and spend Dem like so many of the rest of them (don't know enough about him to be sure; I'm sure about McAsshole & Moron). I could just skip it. Decisions, decisions....
AG Bob McDonald, who seems to be a good guy, pretty much has the Republican nomination sewn up, so no decision needed there.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut ||
05/25/2009 11:46 Comments ||
OS - I'll be happy with an R governor who's not a loon, but the legislature is more important for redistricting here. Right now (Republican-majority) House Appropriations is holding the line on more taxes, though the Dems are whining mightily about it. Redistricting should be interesting - no doubt the Dems will want even more gerrymandered districts than we already have.
Lucklily, we have a part-time legislature, so they can't do but so much damage....
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut ||
05/25/2009 11:50 Comments ||
Barbara, I think the question is: which candidate could McDonald beat? Vote for him.
I'm glad you told me that VA has open primaries. I am registered as an independent, so I thought I couldn't vote in primaries.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia ||
05/25/2009 12:05 Comments ||
We've had them for a long time, Rambler. Nothing's changed since last year (when I voted in the Dem presidential primary) as far as I know.
I think McDonald can beat them all if he'll be not nice in response to their lying nastygrams via a complicit press and lie-through-their-teeth TV commercials (which have already started).
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut ||
05/25/2009 12:32 Comments ||
Word out of Washington is that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the political wise-guys from the Obama administration plan on "visiting with" Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Joe Sestak. Their objective? A clear message: Get off of the stage and out of a possible primary race against "incumbent" Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter.
"I have received a call from DSCC chair Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey," admitted Sestak in an interview. "But we keep missing each other."
Probably a good thing for both men at this moment: Sestak has no inclination to be pushed out of a race and Menendez's marching orders from the White House are to not only push but shove.
Under the guise of due process concerns, congressional Democrats have opened the way for organizations with criminal histories to gain greater access to taxpayer funds. Exhibit A here is the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN), now under investigation in at least 14 states for voter registration fraud.
Earlier this month, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA, sponsored an amendment to the $140 million Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act. The Frank measure allowed organizations being investigated by state or federal authorities on corruption charges to receive federal funds as long as they avoid conviction. Frank argued that his amendment, which was approved by the House, protected the presumption of innocence in federal spending.
But federal ethics rules have long stipulated that either an actual or apparent conflict of interest can put a government employee at risk of prosecution for ethics violations. So, if the Frank amendment becomes law, the federal government will have a double standard, ignoring the presumption of innocence for its employees with apparent conflicts of interest, but extending the presumption to its funding recipients.
ACORN claims to be non-partisan, but it and its many affiliates have ardently supported Democratic incumbents and candidates at all levels of government. For example, the Obama campaign in 2008 paid more than $880,000 to Citizen Services Incorporated, an ACORN affiliate that helps organize get-out-the-vote efforts that always seem to focus on heavily Democratic precincts. Seen in this light, the Frank amendment has the look of a pay-back from grateful Democrats, especially since, as The Examiner has previously reported, ACORN is eligible for billions of dollars under the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has crafted legislation to block ACORN from receiving such funding, but Frank and his Democratic colleagues are determined to block her effort. Only four Democrats voted against Frank's amendment, which overturned an earlier amendment from Bachmann that would have precluded ACORN from receiving funds. This means 245 House members are on record supporting -- or are unconcerned -- about federal funding going to groups suspected of criminal behavior. "It is not only legitimate for Congress to decide the threshold for accessing taxpayer funds; it is incumbent upon us to do so," Bachmann said. "And, for far too long, Congress has cavalierly distributed taxpayer money." This is a shameful abdication of our fiduciary duties." We couldn't agree more.
Well, now we for sure know why Nevada Sen. Harry "I Did Too Smile Once Back in High School" Reid is calling in the Big Guy for a grandiose fundraiser on Tuesday.
A new statewide poll of 625 Nevadans confirms previous research that the four-term Democrat is not well-liked. In fact, he's downright disliked.
Fully half the respondents think of him unfavorably. Only 38% think of him positively; 11% didn't care, according to the survey by Mason-Dixon for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
About 45% said they'd vote to oust the 69-year-old Senate majority leader, 17% said they'd consider somebody else, and about a third would vote for him. Going into such elections, incumbents prefer 2-to-1 favorable-to-unfavorable ratios.
Reid already has about $3.3 million in the bank to avoid being "Daschle-d": in which a Democratic majority leader is unseated by Republicans as Tom Daschle was five years ago. Of course, Daschle went on to become a millionaire advisor to a rich guy, while not paying a lot of taxes and not becoming secretary of Health and Human Services -- so losing isn't necessarily all bad.
President Obama this week will fly out to Las Vegas on Air Force One for a celebrity-studded funder with Bette Midler and Sheryl Crow, despite his criticism last winter of bankers who go to Las Vegas for taxpayer-funded parties. And then the president will hop over to Los Angeles the next day.
All that Nevada Republicans need to beat Reid is a viable Senate candidate, but there is none yet. U.S. Rep. Dean Heller is a possibility, though he's not widely known.
Republican John Ensign is well known statewide and enjoys a 53% favorable rating. Trouble is, he's already the state's other senator.
Harry can also rely upon all those Californistas who've learned nothing and who've moved into the state inflating property prices, over the brink and into collapse, to mindlessly continue their lemming behavior of pulling the switch for him come election day. The only question is whether they can economically hold out till the election to help. Look for 'extended' unemployment benefits soon from the Donk Congress near you.
Posted by: Jack is Back! ||
05/25/2009 8:09 Comments ||
Let's see: Republicans need a "viable Senate candidate."
"Viable" means "able," "not-disliked," and "well known enough."
How does the average citizen learn who is who? And who is the 900 pound gorilla shaping who is liked and who is not liked?
No fair trying to play "Name That Party"; this is Detroit and Republicans don't exist in Detroit ...
Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson paid only $68 in property taxes this year because city records say her well-kept, brick Tudor-style home doesn't exist. Although the home has occupied its west-side plot since 1926, city records have classified the parcel as an empty lot for the past decade.
Watson said she was unaware of the discrepancy until the Free Press contacted her. She said the change came before she was elected to City Council -- and without her involvement.
Watson's neighbors in comparable homes pay $2,000 to $6,500 in taxes. "My house has always been there," she said.
Watson's failure to realize she was paying significantly less than she should is noteworthy because she occasionally admonishes city officials for not being more diligent in collecting outstanding property taxes. She says the city needs that money to reduce its deficit, which recent estimates put at close to $300 million.
Watson, who is paid $81,000 a year and gets a city-owned Ford Crown Victoria, said her taxes are paid in full. She said it never occurred to her that her tax bill was a fraction of what it should have been.
Currently, assessors calculate the property's value at $1,658 because they consider it a vacant lot.
Now that it's been pointed out, is she going to make good on the discrepancy or will she weasel out? Sure wish the Free Press would ask her that one.
I'm sure it's an easy mistake to make. Most property owners wouldn't even notice a bill from the city for $68 - probably mistake it for a trash collection bill or something and pay it without thinking. Let's all leave her alone, because following this story would be racist.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.