Ultimately, you have to stand for something

Democrats hope for traction against Republicans

Democrats hope the scandal creates enough public outrage to draw a sizeable number of voters to their side when legislation elections are held next year, but Hess was doubtful.

“It’s pretty hard to win elections just on the basis of an assortment of ethical charges. You can make something of the corruption, but you have to have something to wrap around it.

“Ultimately,” Hess said, “you have to stand for something”.

That’s the chief problem of the Democrats, obviously and really has been for decades. They have stood for pandering to whomever it takes to get elected and gather power. Unfortunately, if Tom DeLay’s troubles have any lesson for Republicans, it’s that the Republican Party has headed the same direction.

Sure, Republicans still have the advantage of being able to pay lip service to an agenda, but it’s largely just that so far as the Congressional leadership is concerned. Occasional opportunities have presented themselves for a Republican Congress to pass things that appeal to some Republican voters, but it’s been largely in areas that increase federal government power and spending. But, when it comes to those parts of the Republican agenda that decrease federal power or just government spending, it is just lip service to conservatism from a group of folks that look progressively closer to Jim Wright and Lyndon Johnson than Newt Gingrich and Ronald Reagan.

I'll eat your hat

Sheets is running for a record ninth term in the Senate. If he’s reelected, I hope they go back to the old style filibusters. I’d love to see him ramble on about whatever came to mind and say things like “I’ll eat your hat.” Congress hasn’t been that entertaining since they threw out James Traficant. Beam me up!

Sen. Byrd to Run for Record Ninth Term

Byrd told the AP he was ready for another campaign.

“Show me another 87-year-old man who’s got the energy that I’ve got, and I’ll eat your hat,” he said.

Tancredo: Sell federal land to pay for rebuilding

Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo has introduced legislation requiring the federal government to sell a substantial portion of the 650 million acres it owns to pay for Hurricane Katrina rebuilding. This would exclude National Parks, wilderness land and land held in trust for Indian tribes.

DenverPost.com – SPECIAL REPORTS

The Republican from Littleton introduced legislation requiring the Interior Department, which includes the Bureau of Land Management, to sell 15 percent of the federal land it controls, as well as the Agriculture Department, which oversees the national forest system, to sell some of its holdings.

Rita won't mean foreclosure either

Freddie Mac, the government sponsored enterprise which accounts for about 1/3 of the prime secondary mortgage market and is chartered for promotion of affordable housing, announced that borrowers affected by Hurricane Rita may defer October and November payments. The same relief policies applied to victims of Hurricane Katrina including case-by-case deferrals of up to 18 months will also be available. For borrowers who already made their October payment, loan servicers can refund the payment.

Investors are still protected as these measures don’t affect the Freddie Mac guarantee on Mortgage Participation certificates. CEO Richard Syron said that Freddie Mac is committed to protecting investors while helping borrowers through unexpected shocks as “part of Freddie Mac’s mission to keep America’s housing finance system affordable, stable and liquid.”

Freddie Mac Suspends Mortgage Payments for Borrowers Affected by Hurricane Rita

Single family mortgage borrowers whose lives were disrupted by Hurricane Rita may defer their October and November payments if their mortgages are owned by Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE), the company announced today. In addition to suspending the next two months of mortgage payments, Freddie Mac said it was extending to victims of Hurricane Rita all of the special mortgage servicing relief policies it announced to ease the financial pressures on borrowers with Freddie Mac-owned mortgages after Hurricane Katrina.