Wharton School of Business Prof Arrested For Videotaped Sex With Children | Main | Grassley's 2002 Bid To Eliminate Secret Holds
August 29, 2006

Secret Hold Senator: Byrd?

Just speculation from Immodest Proposals, but Byrd is the most likely offender.

Actually, he names both Byrd and Stevens, but I'll ignore the Stevens thing. Not because it couldn't be Stevens, but because Byrd demolishes Stevens in every relevant criterion.

They both fit the profile, prolific abusers of pork, self righteous, been in the Senate longer than I've been alive, have been silent or hostile to the whole porkbusters movement, Sen. Byrd is an avid student of parliamentary procedure, both are Senators for as long as they choose to run without any real fear of ever losing an election, even if they are discovered as the 'secret hold' offender, and neither have been added to the TPM Muckracker's list of Senatorial denial you linked previously.

The case against Byrd is pretty strong. And Immodest Proposal is right-- he has little chance of being voted out of office.

He's also got something else on Stevens-- he's incredibly arrogant and a big believer in exploiting the idiotic procedural powers of single senators. He's a preening jackass who thinks himself a genius for being the "pre-eminent scholar of Senate rules."

As someone else (forget who) remarked-- given that the guy has been in the Senate since nineteen-noughty-two, is it really that remarkable he's figured out the procedural equivalent of the best bathrooms in the office? Is knowing where the boss keeps his secret stash of Post-Its after working in a joint for six hundred years really such an accomplishment?

And that, of course, is his claim to fame. (That, and being a Kleagle in the KKK.) After four thousand years in the Senate, the guy knows the rules. This is bullet point number one on his resume.

Stephanie, I think, also suggested that the retiring Senators be looked at closely. Even if one wasn't strongly against the Coburn-Obama Act, it's possible one did a favor for a senatorial friend who didn't himself want to be the one placing the secret hold.

Then again, I don't think the Secret Hold Senator realized this was going to be a national issue.

What Is A Secret Hold? Some don't know the background. A secret hold is a one-man veto, basically, by which a single senator informs the Senate leader of his desire to place a hold on any voting on a bill. The identity of the senator requesting the hold is supposed to remain a secret.

The Coburn-Obama bill, by the way, would create a searchable database of who, exactly, is getting money from the US government. It is therefore an anti-pork initiative, as much pork spending will look shameful and borderline corrupt if only people were able to, as Deep Throat advised, "follow the money."

The Secret Hold Senator has blocked any voting on the bill which will certainly pass when (if?) it comes up for a vote.

More... At Porkbusters.

Up To 74? According to TPM.

I'm not sure I'm buying this. A lot of these denials come from spokeswomen. That gives someone plausible deniability-- the spokeswoman can always claim she only meant "not to my knowlege" or that there was a misunderstanding in the question.

I really think the denials have to come from the Senator himself/herself to carry any kind of weight.

I'm thinking at some point someone's going to be on the "cleared" list who actually is the culprit.

And I think TPM is well-intentioned, but the blog is in far too much of a hurry to narrow the field without getting genuine denials from the actual parties we're concerned with.

I'm going to review TPM's list and create my own list of real denials.*

BobK already caught TPM "clearing" Chris Dodd, whose spokeswoman offered the weakest of "not to my knowlege" denials.


* No I'm not. It sounds like too much work. Besides, it's not clear from TPM which denials are coming from Senators and which are coming from spokeswomen. (And I say "spokeswomen" because most are female, so it seems correct to assume the female gender here.)

NOT Lott? Although I was just arguing with Paul from TPM Muckraker about how strong these spokeswoman-offered denials really are (apparently we agree to disagree), he notes that Lott's spokeswoman has issued a strong denial:

Update: Susan Irby, Sen. Lott's spokeswoman says, "Senator Lott DOES NOT have a hold on this bill."

Again, I don't know how much stock to put in that. A denial through a spokeswoman provides insulation and plausible deniability.


digg this
posted by Ace at 10:38 AM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
grammie winger - stunned by Christmas: "What do YOU call them? Or is there a well-known te ..."

RedMindBlueState[/i][/b][/s][/u]: "Haha, my husband does that kind of thing, too. Or, ..."

grammie winger - stunned by Christmas: "Hello AltonJackson!  Do you prefer smooth or ..."

Slapweasel, (Cold1), ([b]T[/b]) [/i] [/b] [/u] [/s]: "I don't care if I've won or not. My mild retardat ..."

zombie: "OK, here's a food-ish question for y'all: What ..."

April: "Posted by: cfo mom at December 17, 2017 05:26 PM ( ..."

Moron Robbie - Han didn't shoot first. ONLY Han shot [/i] [/b]: "I should probably say that I have the 6 quart mode ..."

Half Senile Soothsayer -- Fake Commenter: " What contest? ..."

Colin: "I have never bought white popcorn, I guess I shoul ..."

bluebell ~ now we're cookin'!: "I dont know where the donuts are. No, you ask her! ..."

AltonJackson: "g'early evenin', 'rons ..."

Northernlurker : "No! Contest over! Stop posting!! Posted by: Wease ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64