Archive for July, 2007

Know Your US Senators, part 4 of 10: Crapo through Feingold

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Mike Crapo
Junior Senator from Idaho
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1999
Age: 56
Pros: Reelected in 2004 with a ridiculous 99% of the vote; has had a long and, to date, successful battle with prostate cancer.
Cons: Surname accurately describes his Senate voting record.

Jim DeMint
Junior Senator from South Carolina
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2005
Age: 55
Pros: Voted to eliminate Federal income tax and replace with a 23% national sales tax (note: only a pro if you’re really fucking rich).
Cons: Stated during Senate campaign that gay people and unwed mothers shouldn’t be allowed to teach in public schools; he then won the South Carolina vote by 9+ percentage points. Remind me again why we wouldn’t let them secede?

Chris Dodd
Senior Senator from Connecticut
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1981
Age: 63
Pros: Dated Bianca Jagger and Carrie Fisher; engaged in “donut fight” with Harold Ford, Sr. at a Dunkin’ Donuts in 1978; owner of The Dodd Pod.
Cons: Current presidential polls give him “no measurable support” in Iowa; quickly overtaking Dennis Kucinich as this year’s “punchline candidate.”

Elizabeth Dole
Senior Senator from North Carolina
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2003
Age: 70
Pros: First female Secretary of Transportation; worked with MADD to get strict anti-drunk driving legislation passed.
Cons: The victim of Bob Dole’s Viagra spokesmanship.

Pete Domenici
Senior Senator from New Mexico
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1973
Age: 75
Pros: Full name is Pietro Vichi Domenici. Go on, say it out loud.
Cons: Apparently the #1 least environment-friendly Senator, which, looking at some of these other Republicans, is quite an accomplishment.

Byron Dorgan
Junior Senator from North Dakota
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1992
Age: 65
Pros: I can’t find anything interesting about Byron Dorgan except for this picture of him with a cowboy wearing an “Encore” shirt.
Cons: And here’s a badly Photoshopped picture of Dorgan as a ballerina. Thanks, Google Image Search!

Dick Durbin
Senior Senator from Illinois
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1997
Age: 62
Pros: He’s been a pretty effective Majority Whip; also ranks as the most liberal Senator, according to the National Journal.
Cons: Did a “reverse Mitt Romney” on abortion, once supporting a Constitutional amendment that would have nullified Roe v. Wade; now votes pro-choice, and attributes this switch to “personal reflection.” Uh-huh.

John Ensign
Junior Senator from Nevada
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2001
Age: 49
Pros: Lead sponsor of the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, also called the “Why Michael Vick is Royally Fucked” Law.
Cons: Big Iraq war supprter; he’s that “Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy are emboldening the enemy” douchebag.

Mike Enzi
Senior Senator from Wyoming
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1997
Age: 63
Pros: Voted against the Iraq Funding bill in May, if for the wrong reasons.
Cons: Pushed bill in 2006 to eliminate state-mandated health care benefit protection minimums, basically attempting to let health insurance companies not cover whatever they don’t feel like covering. Because clearly, our nation’s health care problems are due to the states actually forcing insurers to pay for things.

Russ Feingold
Junior Senator from Wisconsin
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1993
Age: 54
Pros: Only Senator to vote against Patriot Act in 2001; voted against authorizing the Iraq War in 2002; called for withdrawal in 2005, before any other Senator; introduced legislation to censure Bush over illegal wiretapping; Russ Feingold is the man.
Cons: Only Democrat to vote against Clinton impeachment dismissal; voted to confirm Attorney General Ashcroft; nobody’s perfect.

Next time: Know Your US Senators, part 5: Feinstein through Inouye

Know Your US Senators, part 3 of 10: Chambliss through Craig

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Saxby Chambliss
Senior Senator from Georgia
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2003
Age: 63
Pros: Not many, but his name is fun to say.
Cons: Defeated Vietnam vet and triple amputee Senator Max Cleland with the aid of campaign ads comparing Cleland to Osama bin Laden; got deferment during Vietnam for “bad knee”; loathsome, hypocritical, pompous, corrupt twat; vote for Dale, Georgia!

Hillary Clinton
Junior Senator from New York
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 2001
Age: 59
Pros: It looks like she can probably beat any of the top tier Republican presidential candidates in 2008.
Cons: That would make her president in 2009.

Tom Coburn
Junior Senator from Oklahoma
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2005
Age: 59
Pros: Great at crossword puzzles.
Cons: The craziest douchebag in the Senate, now that Santorum is gone; can’t possibly go point by point through every instance of crazy douchebaggery to date, but read this and this and you’ll maybe get the idea (yes, when I think of Schindler’s List the thing that really stands out to me is all the irresponsible sexual activity).

Thad Cochran
Senior Senator from Mississippi
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1978
Age: 69
Pros: Generally considered a moderate, under-the-radar type Senator who doesn’t attract a lot of press but gets things done and represents his state well, unlike another Mississippi Senator whose name I won’t mention but it rhymes with Schment Blott.
Cons: What the fuck is with these Senators who go by their odd middle names? Thad? Lamar? Saxby???

Norm Coleman
Senior Senator from Minnesota
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2003
Age: 57
Pros: Managed to beat a dead guy (the much-missed Paul Wellstone) to win his Senate seat, which at least puts him a step ahead of John Ashcroft (actually, Coleman technically defeated Walter Mondale — but then, who hasn’t).
Cons: Ended up taking the seat from temporary, Jesse Ventura-appointed Senator Dean Barkley, who is to date the only federal politician to serve while representing the Independence Party of Minnesota — vote MNIP! No, don’t really.

Susan Collins
Junior Senator from Maine
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1997
Age: 54
Pros: Proof that what they call “Republicans” up in Maine are generally referred to in other parts of the country as “Democrats.”
Cons: Won’t you or Olympia Snowe just switch fucking parties already so we can safely give Lieberman the boot?

Kent Conrad
Senior Senator from North Dakota
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1992
Age: 59
Pros: Highest home state approval rating of any sitting Senator; name kind of sounds like a 1950s pulp mag detective (which may contribute to said approval rating).
Cons: I don’t trust those beady eyes.

Bob Corker
Junior Senator from Tennessee
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2007
Age: 54
Pros: The only thing even close to a success story for Republicans in the 2006 midterms was Corker defeating DLC hack Harold Ford, Jr. by a hair, keeping retiring Majority Leader Bill Frist’s seat in the red zone.
Cons: Lives in a mansion built by Coca Cola heirs; might, just might, be 100% owned by big business.

John Cornyn
Junior Senator from Texas
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2002
Age: 55
Pros: Not on the Supreme Court, where he could be doing much more damage to the country (but don’t worry, there’s still time).
Cons: “It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right [...] Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife.”

Larry Craig
Senior Senator from Idaho
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1991
Age: 61
Pros: Well on his way to becoming Idaho’s longest serving US Congressman, at which point he will finally oust that bastard William Edgar Borah!
Cons: Judging by his Senate home page, Craig appears to be some sort of evil mountain king.

Next time: Know Your US Senators, part 4: Crapo (heh) through Feingold

Know Your US Senators, part 2 of 10: Boxer through Casey

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Barbara Boxer
Junior Senator from California
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1993
Age: 66
Pros: Strong, liberal female voice in the Senate; Chief Deputy Whip for Democratic majority.
Cons: Is only 4’11″; has to constantly evade Ted Kennedy’s attempts to catch and eat her.

Sherrod Brown
Junior Senator from Ohio
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 2007
Age: 54
Pros: Defeated a two-term Republican incumbent in 2006 to help secure the Senate’s new Democratic majority; once defeated evil Keebler elf Dennis Kucinich in a Congressional primary.
Cons: Whitest man alive named Sherrod (see also: Lamar Alexander).

Sam Brownback
Senior Senator from Kansas
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1996
Age: 50
Pros: Actually thinks he can win the Republican presidential nomination, which is kind of cute.
Cons: Supports teaching intelligent design; opposes same-sex marriage; wants a flat tax; is batshit insane.

Jim Bunning
Junior Senator from Kentucky
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1999
Age: 75
Pros: Pitched a perfect game for the Phillies in 1964; is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Cons: Behaved bizarrely during his 2004 reelection campaign, describing his opponent Daniel Mongiardo as resembling “one of Saddam Hussein’s sons,” claiming his wife was physically assulted by Mongiardo, and relying entirely on a teleprompter during a debate; therefore, he seems to represent Kentucky pretty accurately.

Richard Burr
Junior Senator from North Carolina
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2005
Age: 51
Pros: Distant cousin of Aaron Burr, you know, from that Got Milk ad.
Cons: Defeated Erskine Boyce Bowles in 2004, and I’d much rather be writing about a guy named Erskine Boyce Bowles.

Robert Byrd
Senior Senator from West Virginia
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1959
Age: 89
Pros: Longest serving Senator in American history — 1959, for fuck’s sake!
Cons: Well there is that whole “was the leader of his local Klan chapter in 1942″ thing.

Maria Cantwell
Junior Senator from Washington
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 2001
Age: 48
Pros: Top environmental champion of the Senate; second-least ugly sitting Senator.
Cons: Voted for CAFTA and Patriot Act, against Kerry-Feingold amendment for Iraq withdrawal; honestly though, still one of the better Senators we’ve got.

Ben Cardin
Junior Senator from Maryland
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 2007
Age: 63
Pros: Perhaps the least-heralded part of the Democratic takeover in 2006, Cardin fought off a tough challenge by Michael Steele to fill the seat vacated by Dem Paul Sarbanes.
Cons: Opposes my personal pet issue, net neutrality; this makes him a corporate stooge.

Tom Carper
Junior Senator from Delaware
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 2001
Age: 60
Pros: Not Joe Biden.
Cons: Still from Delaware.

Bob Casey, Jr.
Junior Senator from Pennsylvania
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 2007
Age: 47
Pros: Defeated loony Rick Santorum, the Senate’s creepiest and worst member.
Cons: Strongly anti-abortion; not adequately confronting his unibrow problem.

Next time: Know Your US Senators, part 3: Chambliss through Craig

Know Your US Senators, part 1 of 10: Akaka through Bond

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Daniel Akaka
Junior Senator from Hawaii
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1990
Age: 82
Pros: Currently the only Chinese-American senator; second most scatological surname in the Senate.
Cons: He’s 82 years old and still his state’s junior senator, because Daniel Inouye has been serving since the Newlands Resolution of 1898.

Lamar Alexander
Senior Senator from Tennessee
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2003
Age: 67
Pros: Accomplished pianist; won governorship of Tennessee in 1978 with the help of a sporty plaid shirt.
Cons: Whitest man alive named Lamar.

Wayne Allard
Senior Senator from Colorado
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1997
Age: 63
Pros: Veterinarian by trade, allowing him to honestly claim to be a vet during election years.
Cons: You’ve never heard of him; I’m writing this and I’ve still never heard of him; named one of “America’s 5 Worst Senators” by Time.

John Barrasso
Junior Senator from Wyoming
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2007
Age: 54
Pros: Recently appointed by Wyoming’s Democratic governor to replace the late Republican Senator Craig Thomas.
Cons: Presumably this means the Governor thought Barrasso was the most potentially beatable appointment candidate for the 2008 election, so this guy might only be in the Senate for a year; watch for sex/drugs/furry rumors as people start trying to figure out “what’s unelectable about John Barrasso?”

Max Baucus
Senior Senator from Montana
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1978
Age: 65
Pros: Top Senate Democrat on issues of finance and moneyish things that I don’t understand.
Cons: Won 2002 election with the aid of an advertisement implying his Republican opponent was gay. Ah, Montana.

Evan Bayh
Junior Senator from Indiana
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1999
Age: 51
Pros: Popular Dem in a largely red part of the country; appeals to voters who may normally vote Republican but who might be Bayh-curious (sorry); cherubic.
Cons: Destined to be dull and ineffective second half of Clinton ’08 presidential ticket.

Bob Bennett
Junior Senator from Utah
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1993
Age: 73
Pros: Once thought to be Deep Throat due to his company’s association with Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt.
Cons: Wasn’t Deep Throat; is creepy old Utah Mormon.

Joe Biden
Senior Senator from Delaware
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1973
Age: 64
Pros: Most powerful man from Delaware.
Cons: Most powerful man from Delaware; opened 2008 presidential campaign by noting Barack Obama was both African-American and “clean”; noted asshole.

Jeff Bingaman
Junior Senator from New Mexico
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1983
Age: 63
Pros: First won Senate seat by beating incumbent Republican astronaut, and beating an astronaut always makes you cool; so popular in his home swing state that he was reelected in 2006 by a 41 point margin.
Cons: Actual name is Jesse, for which “Jeff” is not even close to being an acceptable nickname.

Kit Bond
Senior Senator from Missouri
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1987
Age: 68
Pros: Can’t see out of one eye, which might explain his horrible voting record on pretty much everything.
Cons: While governor, rescinded the 1838 state Extermination Order against Mormons, thereby putting Mormon season on indefinite hiatus and allowing Mormons to overpopulate.

Next time: Know Your US Senators, part 2: Boxer through Casey