Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, says president-elect Obama's Senate seat will stay vacant until Democrat Governor Blagojevich is removed and a new appointment can be certified:
"At this point we've clearly reached an impasse," Durbin told reporters at his Chicago office.
That's Democrat speak for the courts don't see things our way.
Durbin also said the "Senate cannot waive a 125-year-old rule requiring the signatures of
both the governor and the secretary of state on any election or
Unbelievably, Durbin, made his comments after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled against the Senate Democrats. In its decision, the court found that Senate Rule II, the rule that Reid and Durbin cited as justification for the Democrat's refusal to seat Senator Burris, is merely a recommendation, not a requirement the "Senate cannot waive":
As their name indicates, these forms are merely recommended. State officials are not required to adopt them, but “they may use [them] if they see fit.” Standing Rule II, United States Senate, Committee on Rule & Administration.
In any event, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White signed a separate statement on Friday certifying that Burris' appointment letter was legally filed with the state. The Illinois Supreme Court decision and Secretary of State certification aren't good enough for Reid and company:
But aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it was not clear
if White's statement would meet the Senate's 125-year-old certification
That's Democrat speak for we don't see things the court's way.
The bottom line here is that the Democrats were afraid to call a special election and let the voters decide who should replace Obama because a Republican might have won the seat. Now, the Democrats are afraid to accept Senator Burris because a Republican might be able to beat Burris in 2010.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin drew a big crowd as she campaigned to reelect incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss in his runoff with Democrat Jim Martin:
Several thousand supporters waited in the cold to file into the James Brown Arena in Augusta. Vendors sold bright pink "Palin 2012" T-shirts and "Palin for President: You Go Girl" buttons. She was greeted like a rock star with chants of "Sa-rah!"
"Georgia, the eyes of America are upon you," the former vice presidential candidate said. "We all have Georgia on our minds."
[. . .]
Palin cast the Georgia runoff as the first step in rehabilitating the
Republican Party, wounded by losses in November including the defeat of
the McCain-Palin ticket.
"It takes rebuilding and I say let that begin here in Georgia tomorrow," Palin said.
She highlighted Chambliss' support for gun rights as well his opposition to abortion and tax hikes.
In Savannah, Governor Palin spoke for about 12 minutes and spent about 30 minutes
shaking hands and giving autographs:
People of all ages were pushing Saxby Chambliss signs, books and
notebooks at this year’s GOP vice presidential nominee to get her
signature on anything they had. The crowd kept pushing people through
so they could get closer to snap photos and video of her.
Last month in the general election, Chambliss fell just short of the 50 percent threshold needed to win in a three-way race against Democrat Jim Martin and a Libertarian candidate, Allen Buckley.
Tomorrow's runoff between Chambliss and Martin will help determine whether Democrats get a 60 seat super majority that could stop filibusters.
Georgia is one of two undecided Senate contests. A recount is still under way in Minnesota in the tight race between incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken.
McClatchy reports the battle "for Georgia is being waged on two levels: A fierce grassroots struggle to get supporters to the polls, and a national contest featuring political celebrities and big money."
The Los Angeles Times reports Obama volunteers "have flocked to Georgia, and holdovers from his campaign here, who engineered a surprisingly high election-day turnout, remain at work." Even with the high stakes, presumptive President-elect Obama has not activated his "supercharged fundraising apparatus and e-mail network" for Martin.
On Tuesday, Alaska election officials said Begich had a larger lead than the number of votes still left to be counted:
Begich leads Stevens by more than 3,700 votes, according to the Alaska
secretary of state. Gail Fenumiai, the head of the state's election division,
said about 2,500 absentee votes from overseas and Alaska's most remote regions
remain to be counted.
Begich's win gives Democrats control of 56 seats in the Senate. Even with the two
independents who caucus with them, the Democrats remain two shy of the 60 seats needed to end filibusters.
There are still two senate races that remain undecided.
In Georgia, Republican Senator Saxby
Chambliss faces former state representative Democrat Jim
Martin in a runoff on December 2. In Minnesota,
the recount began yesterday in the race between Republican Senator Norm
Coleman and Democrat Al Franken.
Watch the following video report from MSNBC's David Shuster and Lawrence O'Donnell:
MSNBC reports that the budget deficit has jumped from $162 billion last year to $455 billion in the fiscal year that ended in September.
When the Democrats regained control of Congress and made Nancy Pelosi the first female speaker of the House of Representatives on January 4, 2007, the national debt was $8,670,596,242,973.04 -- that's $8.67 trillion.
In the less than two years Pelosi and the Democrats have been in charge the national debt has grown to $10,331,139,000,845.92 -- $10.33 trillion.
Since Pelosi and the Democrats have regained control of Congress $1,660,542,757,872.88 or $1.66 trillion has been added to the national debt. That is a 19% increase in under two years.
Just imagine what will happen to the national debt if Obama, the most liberal member of the Senate, is elected president and the Congress is still controlled by the Democrats. The Wall Street Journal warns that if that happens "Liberals would dominate the entire government in a way they haven't since 1965, or 1933," the Liberal/Progressive Democrats words, would restore the activist government that fell out of public favor in the 1970s.
As the above numbers indicate, this is such a huge swing in the so-called generic ballot that we must consider this poll to be an outlier until there are additional poll results to support these findings.
More perspective on the improving situation for Republicans is available at RealClear Politics. Three recent polls show improving poll numbers for Republican Congressional hopefuls.
I credit the Republicans' relentless push for more domestic energy production and the Democrats' efforts to block off-shore drilling for the movement in the polls.