Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 7, 2009


NY Times - Under intense analysis of his every move and utterance, Mr. Specter canceled a scheduled appearance on Wednesday night on "Larry King Live" on CNN.

Behind the scenes, he was scrambling to find money to save the jobs of several aides after losing the payroll authority that came with his position as senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee and various subcommittees.

Mr. Specter also issued a statement on Wednesday insisting that he would ultimately regain his seniority on Senate committees, which Democrats for now have stripped away. But there are no guarantees.

So it goes for Mr. Specter, a political chameleon who started out as a Democrat, spent 43 years as a Republican and abruptly switched parties last week in a naked bid to save his political career. . .

But he is having trouble fitting in. He voted against the Democrats in his first two big votes since the switch, opposing the Democratic budget and helping defeat a measure to allow bankruptcy judges to modify mortgages for troubled homeowners.

And on Tuesday night, he retracted a statement, made in an interview, in which he said the Minnesota courts should rule in favor of the Republican, Norm Coleman, in the state's disputed Senate race. . .

The comment about Minnesota, where Democrats need Al Franken to become their crucial 60th vote in the Senate, prompted the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, to confront Mr. Specter on the Senate floor.

"Arlen," Mr. Reid said in his trademark low-volume growl, "What's going on here?"

Mr. Specter replied that he had forgotten "what team" he was on. Later, he told a reporter: "I conclusively misspoke.". . .

Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said . . . "We are working with Senator Specter and his staff so that he understands the universe that he is in."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This just in from The Galactic Council:

10,000 Martians just died laughing at the suggestion that the dimocritts have any more understanding of the universe they are in than the rethuglicans do, and the number of Martians dying of laughter when they look down at what the humans are doing on Earth has become a crisis of huge proportion. The Council's galactic representatives are now debating which black hole to escort the remains of earth to, when the violence born of the earthlings' extreme economic inequality fianlly sets off the global bombs.

We now return you to today's Arlen Specter and Manny Ramirez distractions.

May 8, 2009 1:00 PM  

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