Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Tom Udall Becomes New Mexico's 17th Senator (With Photo)
Today, Tom Udall, New Mexico’s former Attorney General and U.S. Representative, was sworn in as the state’s 17th United States Senator. Udall’s predecessor, Senator Pete Domenici, and senior NM Senator Jeff Bingaman escorted Udall through the Senate Chamber to be sworn in.
“I am honored and elated to officially be serving the entire state of New Mexico in the United States Senate,” said new Senator Tom Udall. “I felt a great sense of bipartisanship within the Senate Chamber today, and now it’s time we get to work to make our economy work for all Americans again.”
I got to watch some of today's CSPAN coverage of the convening of the 111th Congress and the House and Senate swearing-in ceremonies. My timing was right to see SENATOR Tom Udall, accompanied by now retired Senator Pete Domenici and New Mexico's now Senior Senator Jeff Bingaman, officially sign and recite the oath of office. It was a dramatic and historic scene to say the least.
Later came the photo-op "ceremonial" swearing-in, with Sen. Udall being photographed with his wife Jill Cooper Udall, daughter Amanda Cooper, her husband Jim Noel, Senator Tom's dad, Stewart Udall, and OUTGOING Vice President Dick Cheney. Colorado's new Junior Senator Mark Udall -- Tom's cousin -- also had some shots taken with Stewart. The Udall clan looked proud indeed.
I admit I definitely found myself getting caught up in the moment, imagining what it must feel like to finally be taking the oath after all the long campaigning and everything that goes along with that. I couldn't help but think it must be more than a little daunting, no matter who you are, taking on such responsibilities during a time of incredibly serious national and global challenges. And very, very exciting to boot.
Our thoughts and hopes and good luck wishes go with you and yours, Senator Udall. Fasten your seatbelts -- by all accounts it's gonna be a bumpy ride ....
Bingaman finally gets to be senior senator, NM has true blue Senate representation, and what a _____ eating grin on Cheney's face. I love it.
Posted by: Ellen Wedum | Jan 6, 2009 9:56:03 PM
Senator Udall has a NICE ring to it, congrats, having to be that close to el diabo en persona must have also been memorable.
Posted by: VP | Jan 7, 2009 7:42:20 AM
Congratulations Senator Udall!!!!
Posted by: mary ellen | Jan 7, 2009 11:09:12 AM
Is this True?
$34,000: the amount of federal taxes that Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner (D) failed to pay during his employment at the International Monetary Fund despite receiving extra compensation and explanatory brochures that described his tax liabilities.
$75,000: the amount of money that the head of the powerful tax-writing committee, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), was forced to report on his taxes after the discovery that he had not reported income from a Costa Rican rental property. His excuses for the failure started with blaming his wife, then his accountant and finally the fact that he didn't speak Spanish.
$93,000: the amount of petty cash each Congressional representative voted to give themselves in January 2009 during the height of an economic meltdown.
$133,900: the amount Fannie Mae "invested" in Chris Dodd (D-CT), head of the powerful Senate Banking Committee, presumably to repel oversight of the GSE prior to its meltdown. Said meltdown helped touch off the current economic crisis. In only a few years time, Fannie also "invested" over $105,000 in then-Senator Barack Obama.
$140,000: the amount of back taxes and interest that Cabinet nominee Tom Daschle (D) was forced to cough up after the vetting process revealed significant, unexplained tax liabilities.
$356,000: the approximate amount of income and deductions that Daschle (D) was forced to report on his amended 2005 and 2007 tax returns after being caught cheating on his taxes. This includes $255,256 for the use of a car service, $83,333 in unreported income, and $14,963 in charitable contributions.
$800,000: the amount of "sweetheart" mortgages Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) received from Countrywide Financial, the details for which he has refused to release details despite months of promises to do so. Countrywide was once the nation's largest mortgage lender and linked to Government-Sponsored Entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Their meltdown precipitated the current financial crisis. Just days ago in Pennsylvania, Countrywide was forced to pay $150,000,000 in mortgage assistance following "a state investigation that concluded that Countrywide relaxed its underwriting standards to sell risky loans to consumers who did not understand them and could not afford them."
$1,000,000: the estimated amount of donations by Denise Rich, wife of fugitive Marc Rich, to Democrat interests and the William J. Clinton Foundationin an apparent quid pro quo deal that resulted in a pardon for Mr. Rich. The pardon was reviewed and blessed by Obama Attorney General and then Deputy AG Eric Holder, despite numerous requests by government officials to turn it down.
$12,000,000: the amount of TARP money provided to community bank OneUnited despite the fact that it did not qualify for funds, and was "under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses." It turns out that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), a key contributor to the Fannie Mae meltdown, just happens to be married to one of the bank's ex-directors.
$23,500,000: The upper range of net worth Rep. Allan Mollohan (D-WV) accumulated in four years time according to The Washington Post through earmarks of "tens of millions of dollars to groups associated with his own business partners."
$2,000,000,000: ($2 billion) the approximate amount of money that House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) is earmarking related to his son's lobbying efforts. Craig Obey is "a top lobbyist for the nonprofit group" that would receive a roughly $2 billion component of the "Stimulus" package.
$3,700,000,000: ($3.7 billion) not to be outdone, this is the estimated value of various defense contracts awarded to a company controlled by the husband of Rep. Diane Feinstein (D-CA). Despite an obvious conflict-of-interest as "a member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, Sen. Feinstein voted for appropriations worth billions to her husband's firms ."
$4,190,000,000: ($4.19 billion) the amount of money in the so-called "Stimulus" package devoted to fraudulent voter registration ACORN group under the auspices of "Community Stabilization Activities". ACORN is currently the subject of a RICO suit in Ohio.
$1,646,000,000,000 ($1.646 trillion): the approximate amount of annual United States exports endangered by the "Stimulus" package, which provides a "Buy American" stricture. According to international trade experts, a "US-EU trade war looms", which could result in a worldwide economic depression reminiscent of that touched off by the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Act.
It's not just a culture of corruption. It's a culture of corruption and stupidity. And, unlike Republicans, Democrats appear to be above the law. All of the aforementioned clowns are still in office, ruling like the royalty they've become.
Update: Neptunus Lex has details on serial tax cheats mistake-makers Geithner and Daschle.
Posted by: Frank Woelke | Feb 8, 2009 11:03:59 AM
Your characterization of ACORN is absurd. Why don't you include any info on Republican shenanigans? I agree there is much corruption everywhere, mostly thanks to Republicans joining with a handful of Democrats to make sure transparency and oversight were killed for 8+ years. What you site are spits in the bucket compared to Republican thievery.
Posted by: Jack | Feb 8, 2009 12:08:15 PM
Could you please send me Senator Udall and Senator Bingaman's E-mail addresses. I am on the committee for change for America and I live in Silver City. Do need these addresses for questions for them.
Thank you very much
Posted by: Carol Osborn | Feb 10, 2009 5:26:16 PM
I emailed the contact info to you.
Posted by: barb | Feb 10, 2009 6:18:23 PM