Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's official. Hoekstra is nuts.

Trying very, very hard to tack the Senate version of the FISA legislation to anything that is humanly possible, Hoekstra and his gopper pals tried for HR 1424: Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007. Here's what Crazy Pete had to say:
This bill is intended to ensure the mental health of Americans; yet, no American’s health can be fully secured if they are under attack by a terrorist or facing the potential threat of terrorist attack.

Keith Olbermann had this to say on Countdown tonight in his "Bushed!" segment:
Congressman Hoekstra, I'll actually have to defer to you on this one. You do seem to be the expert on American's whose mental health is not fully secure."

It's getting damn near cartoonish the things Crazy Pete will say. Egads.

Meanwhile HR 1424 passed the House: 268-148, and as you guessed it Hoekstra voted no.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hoekstra Votes No on Affordable College Costs(Again!)

Last Wednesday, the House passed The College Opportunity and Affordability Act by a huge bipartisan measure of 354-58. Once again, as he did in September of 2007 Hoekstra voted against making college affordable and accessible. The highlights of this bill include:
Encourage colleges to rein in price increases and provide consumers with helpful information

* Ensures states maintain higher education funding and provides incentives, such as additional need-based aid, to encourage colleges to hold down price increases.
* Creates a user-friendly website to provide students and families with helpful information about college pricing when making important education decisions.
* Holds colleges and universities accountable for their tuition hikes.

Restore integrity and accountability to the student loan programs

* Requires institutions and lenders to adopt strict codes of conduct.
* Provides students with fair and full information about their borrowing options when taking out and repaying student loans, including the terms and conditions of both federal and private student loans; and promotes financial literacy and education for students and parents.
* Protects students from aggressive marketing practices by lenders.

Simplify the federal student aid application process

* Streamlines the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process, and creates an easy-to-navigate two-page FAFSA-EZ form for low-income families.
* Provides families with extra time to plan for their college expenses.
* Encourages the Department of Education to coordinate with the Internal Revenue Service to use information that the government already has.

Make textbook costs more manageable

* Provides students with advance information on textbook pricing to help them plan for expenses before each semester.
* Ensures that colleges and faculty have full textbook pricing information when making purchasing decisions.

Expand college access and support for low-income and minority students

* Makes college more affordable for low-income and non-traditional students by allowing students to receive Pell Grant scholarship aid year round.
* Expands funding for graduate student programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and other minority serving schools.
* Strengthens the TRIO and GEAR UP college readiness and support programs for low-income and first-generation students.

Increase college aid and support for veterans and military families

* Creates a new scholarship program for active duty military personnel and family members, including children and spouses of active duty military service members or veterans.
* Establishes support centers to help veterans succeed in college and graduate.
* Ensures fairness in student aid and housing aid for veterans to make it easier for them to go to college while also fulfilling their military service duties.

Ensure equal college opportunities for students with disabilities

* Establishes a national center to provide support services and best practices for colleges, students with disabilities, and their families.
* Helps colleges recruit, retain, and graduate students with disabilities and improves education materials and facilities.
* Expands eligibility for Pell Grant scholarships and other need-based aid for students with intellectual disabilities.

Boost campus safety and disaster readiness plans

* Helps all colleges develop and implement state-of-the-art emergency systems and campus safety plans, and requires the Department of Education to develop and maintain a disaster plan in preparation for emergencies.
* Creates a National Center for Campus Safety at the Department of Justice to work in collaboration with the COPS Program.
* Establishes a disaster relief loan program to help schools recover and rebuild in the event of a disaster.

Encourage colleges to adopt sustainable and energy-efficient practices

* Creates a grant program to help colleges and universities design and implement sustainable practices.
* Convenes the first-ever higher education summit on sustainability to examine how to implement energy efficient and sustainable practices at institutions of higher education.

Strengthen our workforce and our competitiveness

* Creates programs to bolster students’ interest in science, technology and critical foreign languages through collaborations with businesses and other stakeholders.
* Improves teacher training and development programs and focuses on recruiting teachers into high demand science and technology fields.
* Encourages students to enter vital public service jobs by authorizing up to $10,000 in loan forgiveness for public defenders, prosecutors, firefighters, military service members, first responders, law enforcement officers, educators, nurses, and others serving the public interest.

Of course, as was the case 6 months ago, Hoekstra is mum on the subject. I am at a loss for the reasoning behind these votes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pete Hoekstra: Prognosticator of Prognosticators!

The day before the *coughfarce* primary Pete said this about Magic Underpants Man's chances in his district
"We are here," he said, pointing to his thumb, representing the Detroit area, including suburban Southfield. "And I represent this part"—he pointed to the left side of his palm—"which is God's country." Things looked "pretty good" there for Romney, he said.

Hmmmm well it didn't quite work out that way Pete

ALLEGAN: McCain- 1821, Romney- 2090
BENZIE: McCain- 764, Romney-678
KENT: McCain- 1048, Romney- 1092
LAKE: McCain- 365, Romney- 288
MANISTEE: McCain- 870, Romney- 777
MASON: McCain- 1161, Romney- 929
MUSKEGON: McCain- 4369, Romney- 3877
NEWAYGO: McCain- 1824, Romney- 1582
OTTAWA:McCain- 11067, Romney- 13127
WEXFORD: McCain- 1227, Romney- 1031

Yeah...nice job Pete. Nice to see you're not working any harder for him than you are the people in your district.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hoekstra Calls For Bi-Partisanship

I find it amusing that one of the staunchest right wing neocon hacks called for political unity today while speaking to the Holland Area Chamber of Commerce.
"When members of the parties try to work together, you get hammered by the extremes in both parties for working together,"

"With a radical middle, we can focus on getting things done

Perhaps we should look at the facts:

* Hoekstra voted with President Bush 87% of the time.
* Hoekstra voted the GOP party line 94% of the time.

These 2 statistics were calculated in 2005. Since then, Hoekstra's votes have been strongly GOP, thus you can infer that the percentage is much higher now. Perhaps Hoekstra understands that the GOP ship is sinking like the Titanic and his only hope is to call for "unity" in order to keep his job. Perhaps he had an epiphany and decided his voting and legislation really is driving the people of his district and this Nation further and further down.
He also tosses in this gem of a quote about illegal immigrants:
"Right now, Federal Express tracks millions of packages moving around the country every day. I can't believe the federal government can't track aliens working here the same way...The technology exists. We just need to go out and do it."

Ah yes, comparing human beings to packages being shipped (of course by a non-union company) to and fro across this great country of ours. Can you feel the humanity?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hoekstra votes for torture

Yesterday the House approved legislation (HR 2082: Intelligence Authorization Act) banning the use of waterboarding by CIA agents during interrogation. The bill requires that all agents follow the Army Field Manual's interrogation "standard", which does not include torture. Pete Hoekstra voted no. His no vote equals his support of torture methods to be used by Americans, human rights violations and all. Hoekstra has towed this line all along. In 2005, in closed door meetings with Bush Sled Dog Dems Senator Joe Lieberman(then a Dem), Congresswoman Jane Harman, and fellow neo-con Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) Pete helped delete a measure to restrict extreme interrogation methods.

Pete says terrorism suspects:
"are not normal enemy combatants," adding: "They don't wear a uniform. We shouldn't be applying military rules to the intelligence community."

If Pete had his way we wouldn't apply any rules.

In a previous post on The Audacity I quoted Hoekstra. For posterity I will again. (full transcript HERE)
HUME: I want to draw you out on something that has become an issue
in the campaign. It came up particularly in the debate that Fox News
did in questions to Senator McCain and others.

And that is this question of what the administration, CIA and people
who are involved in it called enhanced interrogation techniques.
Senator McCain says -- he is in a position, presumably, to know what
they are. He believes they're torture. You're familiar by virtue of your
--I'm not going to ask you to describe any classified information, but
you know what the methods are. Do you believe they're torture?

HOEKSTRA: I don't believe they're torture, no.

Monday, December 3, 2007

NIE reports Iran halted nuclear weapons program in 2003

The National Intelligence Estimate reports today that Iran halted it's nuclear weapons program over 4 years ago, that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, that Iran has not restarted it's nuclear weapons program, and that Iran is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than had been assumed since 2005.

Pete Hoekstra would like you to believe they are the next great threat. Just like in Iraq in 2006 when Hoekstra and ousted Senator Rick Santorum claimed they found proof of WMDs in Iraq. In September 2006 UN's IAEA inspectors investigating Iran's nuclear capability called Hoekstra's report on Iran "outrageous and dishonest" and said that the report contained "erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated statements."

Bush said today "that while the latest intelligence report is "positive news," they won't abandon their strategy of applying "intensified international pressure" on Iran."

From a Faux News interview March 2007
WALLACE: Congressman Hoekstra, just briefly, because we have to move on to other subjects, your feelings about Iran and how much you really know about what's going on there.

HOEKSTRA: Well, we don't know a lot about some of the specifics, but I think if you take a look at the bigger picture, their activities with the nuclear weapons program, their relationships with Hamas, Hezbollah, their activities in Iraq, Iran is clearly somebody that we need to be very, very concerned about.

The fear mongering continues....

Thursday, November 29, 2007

FISA funtime hour with Joe Klein and Pete Hoekstra

Joe Klein's error riddled FISA piece in TIME magazine had many in the blogosphere in an uproar. But who fed him the information that he didn't bother to check? Why it's (drumroll please....wait for it, you'll be shocked I'm sure.....) The Lying Dutchman Pete Hoekstra!

Pete "outed" himself as Klein's source (shocked aren't you!) in an oped in the National Review . He backs his good buddy Joe Klein and continues to woo us with gems like these:
"The issue is not nor has it ever been about surveillance of Americans, as some Democrats have irresponsibly suggested."

The straw-man complaint of the Left, however, is that Americans who talk to targeted foreigners in foreign countries might incidentally have their conversations intercepted.

Oh it just goes on and on and on.

More on the Klein deal at Firedoglake The Next Hurrah and DKos