Yellow Dog Blog's Senate Weasel Meter: October Update
But, with the vote to confirm John Roberts Jr. as Supreme Court Chief Justice and other important appropriations votes, September and early October provided ample opportunity for Democratic senators to step up to the plate -- or not.
First, as we always do, let's go to dictionary.com for our definition of terms:
intr.v. wea·seled, also wea·selled wea·sel·ing, wea·sel·ling wea·sels, wea·sels
To be evasive; equivocate.
Phrasal Verb: weasel out (Informal). To back out of a situation or commitment in a sneaky or cowardly manner.
We've updated the Weasel Meter to show the top five Democratic senators who have been pissing us off in 2005. Click here to see, based on our own liberal criteria, what this year's significant, bellwether votes have been.
The big vote since the Senate's summer recess ended was, of course, the vote to confirm John Roberts to the Supreme Court. Other important votes were taken on a successful Republican attempt to further water down the Clean Air Act, bills to provide better communications equipment to emergency first responders and a measure to give more aid for Hurricane Katrina victims – including relief from the bankruptcy "reform" bill, which will become effective this month.
Other important issues that went to a vote were a measure to provide full funding to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and a bill that would have allowed some veterans health benefits to be adjusted for inflation and population growth. Both were defeated by Republicans.
Based on a surge in weaselly voting in September, North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad has knocked Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas out of the top five and placed himself at number four on the Board of Shame.
Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, for whom the "D" next to his name appears to be just a bad joke, is well on his way to winning the Yellow Dog Blog's Democratic Weasel of the Year award.
Here's the updated list of our top Senatorial weasels, so far, in 2005, with the volume of weasels representing the number of bad votes:
Ben Nelson (Dino-NE)
Mark Pryor (Dino-AR)
Mary Landrieu (Dino-LA)
Kent Conrad (Dino-AR)
Ken Salazar (Dino-CO)
As always, you can get a synopsis of each of the weasel-worthy votes shown above here.
While we may need their sheer numbers to win back the Senate in 2006, it's sure getting old watching these five work against us on our side of the aisle.