A certain hacker group that’s been making headlines lately hacked the Senate’s website. However, they stole nothing of value — they only obtained information about to go on the site itself. The firewall protecting the Senate’s important documents kept them away from the data that could have been potentially harmful if released. Investigators traced the weakness in the system back to one senator’s office, but the senator hasn’t been named. In a press release about the incident, the hackers made it sound like this wouldn’t be the last time they targeted a government site, either. One thing is for sure — the White House should really look into cyber security if some amateur hackers are breaking into government websites this regularly. source
John Ensign fouls up his legal situation: A report by Reuters today suggests that a decision by John Ensign himself may have paved the way for the charges he could be facing. Throughout the probe, investigators had wanted to get a look at a trove of Ensign’s e-mails, which he and his team claimed were protected by attorney-client confidentiality. The probe could very well have gone nowhere without them. That is, until Ensign himself handed them over as he was preparing to leave the Senate, after having refused for 18 months. Why on earth he did this is unknown, but it seems he may have scored an “own goal” here. source
Senate Democrats are in a historically difficult spot. House Republicans have the energy. President Obama has the spotlight. And thus they have become the third wheel of democracy — with a lesser role in Washington’s broader debates, and without the votes to overcome Republican filibusters in their own chamber. In response, Senate Democrats have adopted a minimalist agenda.With narrow majority, Senate Democrats adopt minimalist agenda - The Washington Post (via firthofforth)
» And 42 votes is, obviously, not enough. The Senate GOP brought this vote to the floor, and as it lost comfortably by eight votes, they probably considered it doomed to fail from the get-go. As such, this looks like a show vote, less designed to impact policy (though I’m sure the GOP wouldn’t have minded getting it through) than to court political favor. As increased offshore oil drilling would have minor if any effect on the domestic gas prices (global market and all that), this bill serves two goals: make people think Democrats are keeping gas prices high, and remind big oil that despite recent talk of stripping industry subsidies, the Republican Party still has their back.
Businesses should make a profit — that’s what drives the economy — but do these very profitable companies actually need taxpayer subsidies? Energy incentives should help us build the energy future we want to see — not pad oil company profits.Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus • Speaking during a Congressional hearing about big oil profits and tax breaks. The oil industry’s answers during the hearing were predictable. Here’s Chevron’s CEO, John Watson: “Tax increases on the oil and gas industry — which will result if you change long-standing provisions in the U.S. tax code — will hinder development of energy supplies needed to moderate rising energy prices.” So, who’s right, Max or the oil industry? We’re guessing Max is. source (via • follow)
Obviously, I voted to repeal the bill and you pretty much know where I am on replacement because I put out a bill last year on that. Is the repeal dead? I don’t think the Senate is going to do it, so I guess, yes.Republican Rep. Dave Camp • Saying out loud what astute political observers have been able to say for some time, that any attempt by Republicans to fully repeal health care reform isn’t going to happen. This is not to say the GOP is willing to give up the fight on health care, because as Camp noted, they may try to specifically target the individual mandate for repeal. Why Camp believes this could work when he knows Democratic majorities in the Senate (and a Democrat in the White House) have made full repeal a moot point is beyond us, but whether it’s political posturing or not, this won’t be the last you hear of this issue. source (via • follow)