B12 Solipsism

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Archive for the ‘Republicans’ tag

Mark Kirk Is a Serial Liar

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Wonder if the Illinois Republican party wishes they could run the primary again? Nearly every thing Mark Kirk claims turns out to be a lie, which means more media scrutiny, and seemingly never ending embarrassments. Maybe Jack Ryan could take a few days off of his busy sex club schedule, and join in the race?

V O T E

CHICAGO — A leader of the church in upstate New York where Representative Mark S. Kirk of Illinois claimed he worked as a nursery school teacher said on Friday that he had overstated his role there.

The leader, Sally Grubb, a member of the administrative council at Forest Home Chapel, said Mr. Kirk, a Republican candidate for the United States Senate, had a limited role as a student while working part-time in a work-study program at Cornell University.

“He was never, ever considered a teacher,” Ms. Grubb said in a phone interview after spending two days researching the history of Mr. Kirk’s association with the nursery school. “He was just an additional pair of hands to help a primary teaching person.”

The Methodist church in Ithaca, N.Y., has been trying to determine whether Mr. Kirk worked there after The New York Times reported on Thursday about the brevity of Mr. Kirk’s teaching experience. Eight longtime members of the church, including two former pastors, said in interviews this week that they did not recall having a male nursery school teacher in 1981, when Mr. Kirk said he had worked there.

“I don’t remember any men who worked there,” said Thomas V. Wolfe, a former pastor at the church, who is now the dean of student affairs at Syracuse University. “It was a team of women. I used to go over every morning and have coffee with them. I don’t remember him.”

(click to continue reading School Says Representative Kirk Never Taught There – NYTimes.com.)

Why would Mark Kirk lie about something so minor like whether he taught in a nursery school or not? There is something very wrong with his brain, which means he’ll probably become fast friends with Joe Barton and his ilk.

Written by Seth Anderson

June 18th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Sharron Angle will be fun to ridicule

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Amanda Morcotte has a little warranted fun with the Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada, a Tea Party reactionary by the name of Sharron Angle.

[Sharron] Angle is an even bigger win for fans of the Wingnut Olympics. There’s a plethora of goofball stances Angle’s taken for the opposition to choose from.

At first, Angle appeared to be a conservative beamed to us straight from 1932. She’s come out against the repeal of Prohibition (which she later retracted). She’s against Social Security and Medicare. If you pressed her, you’d probably get her to grouse that things have gone downhill since the 19th Amendment, or that movies lost their spark once they introduced sound.

But sadly, my theory that Angle simply came to us after accidentally stepping in to a time machine in 1932 has been disproved. It turns out that Angle also staunchly opposed fluoridation, because she’s at least strongly influenced by the Bircher conspiracy theory about how fluoridation is a communist experiment in mind control. This conspiracy theory dates back to the ’50s and ’60s, when the government mandated fluoridation. It appears that Angle is less a time traveler and more a grab-bag of a century’s worth of right-wing conspiracy theories and screwy ideas.

(click to continue reading The new Senate candidate has some hoary old ideas..)

fluids.jpg

Written by Seth Anderson

June 9th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Posted in politics

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Failure of the Lone Republican theory

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My cynical view is that this is an intentional strategy by the Republicans. Sort of a variation on the agent provocateur theory – have an inside operative who pretends to be interested in solutions, but who really just wants to discredit the organization, or in these cases, derail reform.

Did I Tell You?

It’s further evidence that the “lone Republican” strategy doesn’t work. Time and again, Democrats have ended up in a room with a single Republican who seemed willing to cut a deal. It was Olympia Snowe on health care, Bob Corker on financial regulation and Lindsey Graham on climate change. In every case, the final bill looked a lot like what that Republican helped negotiate. And in every single case, the Republican realized that he or she couldn’t get more support from their party and so they eventually bolted the effort.

If you think this has all been a cynical strategy, it’s been brilliantly successful. On the one hand, Republicans have had a major role in shaping these bills. On the other hand, they haven’t had to vote for these bills, and so they could cleanly campaign against legislation that a member of their party helped write. And as an added bonus, Democrats are stuck trying to defend a bill that their base doesn’t like very much and that’s thick with compromises that annoy political elites.

(click to continue reading Ezra Klein – Lindsey Graham and the failure of the ‘lone Republican’ theory.)

The sad part is that the Obama team and the Democrats keep falling for the same trick, hoping for bipartisanship, that elusive buzz-word. The flaw is that the 2008 election wasn’t about bipartisanship, it was about electing people who would change the direction of the country. We didn’t elect Republicans, we (mostly) elected Democrats, but now the Democrats are bending over backward trying to get Republicans to join in on the Bill of the Day1.

Footnotes:
  1. whatever it is []

Written by Seth Anderson

June 9th, 2010 at 11:33 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

Randslide and Its Discontents

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Frank Rich discusses Rand Paul, and Paul’s hard-core Libertarianism:

Everybody's Gonna Be Happy

Paul is articulate and hard-line. When he says he is antigovernment, he means it. Unlike McConnell, he wants to end all earmarks, including agricultural subsidies for a state that thrives on them. (He does vow to preserve Medicare payments, however; they contribute to his income as an ophthalmologist.) He wants to shut down the Department of Education and the Federal Reserve. Though a social conservative who would outlaw all abortions, he believes the federal government should leave drug enforcement to the states.

It’s also in keeping with this ideology that Paul wants the federal government to stop shoveling taxpayers’ money into wars. He was against the war in Iraq and finds the justification for our commitment in Afghanistan “murky.” He believes that America’s national security is “not threatened by Iran having one nuclear weapon.”

No wonder he didn’t get Cheney’s endorsement; Paul also opposes the enhanced government surveillance mandated by the Patriot Act. The Tea Party is a rolling rebuke to the neocons’ quarter-century dominance of the G.O.P. Only three months ago, Ron Paul, who shares his son’s un-Cheney national security views, won the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, ending Mitt Romney’s three-year winning streak.

With Rand Paul, we also get further evidence of race’s role in a movement whose growth precisely parallels the ascent of America’s first African-American president. The usual Tea Party apologists are saying that it was merely a gaffe — and a liberal media trap — when Paul on Wednesday refused to tell Rachel Maddow of MSNBC that he could fully support the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But Paul has expressed similar sentiments repeatedly, at least as far back as 2002.

His legal argument that the federal government cannot force private businesses to desegregate is the same used by Barry Goldwater, a frequently cited hero of Paul’s, when the conservative standard-bearer voted against the Civil Rights Act at its inception. It’s all about the Constitution, not race, you see. Under fire, Paul ultimately retreated from this stand — much as the new Republican governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, finally withdrew his April proclamation saluting Confederate History Month. But not before both men’s messages reached their intended demographic.

(click to continue reading Frank Rich- The ‘Randslide’ and Its Discontents – NYTimes.com.)

I have a slight amount of sympathy for a couple of Libertarian ideas: the government shouldn’t be involved in “moral” issues (drugs, sex, religion), but beyond that, I laugh at their precepts. Businesses benefit from having electricity, water, roads, and customers who are alive still because of government involvement in pollution regulation and the like; claiming as the Libertarians seem to often do that we should return to the Robber Baron era of the 1870s is ludicrous. If the Libertarians want to live in a country like that, perhaps they should move to Somalia, or even Afghanistan.

Written by Seth Anderson

May 23rd, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

Rand Paul is a racist

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Ezra Klein is too eager to accept Rand Paul on his word that the Senatorial candidate is not racist:

Why I'm Glad We Moved Away from East Texas

It’s safe to say Rand Paul’s first few days as the Republican nominee for the open Senate seat in Kentucky are not going well. When you can’t answer the question “Should [the] Woolworth lunch counter have been allowed to stay segregated? Sir, just yes or no,” it’s fair to say you’re off-message.

Over at Right Now, Dave Weigel offers up the generous and, I think, correct interpretation of Paul’s opposition to the parts of the Civil Rights Act that desegregated private businesses. “Paul believes, as many conservatives believe, that the government should ban bias in all of its institutions but cannot intervene in the policies of private businesses.” And Weigel is right that this is not an unknown belief among conservatives: I’ve had this argument with some of my libertarian friends, and libertarians occasionally have this argument among one another.

So I take Paul at his word that he’s not a racist. What he is, however, is an ideological extremist. He is so categorically opposed to public regulation of private enterprise that he cannot even bring himself to say that the Woolworth lunch counter should’ve been desegregated. Instead, he falls back on the remedies of the market: “I wouldn’t attend, wouldn’t support, wouldn’t go to,” a private institution that discriminates, he told Rachel Maddow. But he would let them discriminate. And in the segregated South, that would’ve been a perfectly viable business model for many, many very important institutions.

(click to continue reading Ezra Klein – Rand Paul may not be a racist, but he is an extremist.)

but I am of the mind that if something walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and defends the rights of ducks to discriminate against non-ducks, than they are a duck. In other words, Rand Paul would be happy if American apartheid returned, and slaves became 3/5 of a person again. Despicable.

Written by Seth Anderson

May 20th, 2010 at 9:47 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

Radical Republicans Not New

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Regular readers of this blog, and similar, better blogs, already realized that froth-mouthed Republicans have been around for a while now, and the only thing that has changed is that the corporate media has started to notice, slightly, that moderate Republicans are no longer welcome in the GOP.

Rino Bar

Paul Krugman has more:

But I’d like to offer two alternative hypotheses: First, Republican extremism was there all along — what’s changed is the willingness of the news media to acknowledge it. Second, to the extent that the power of the party’s extremists really is on the rise, it’s the economy, stupid.

On the first point: when I read reports by journalists who are shocked, shocked at the craziness of Maine’s Republicans, I wonder where they’ve been these past eight or so electoral cycles. For the truth is that the hard right has dominated the G.O.P. for many years. Indeed, the new Maine platform is if anything a bit milder than the Texas Republican platform of 2000, which called not just for eliminating the Federal Reserve but also for returning to the gold standard, for killing not just the Department of Education but also the Environmental Protection Agency, and more.

Somehow, though, the radicalism of Texas Republicans wasn’t a story in 2000, an election year in which George W. Bush of Texas, soon to become president, was widely portrayed as a moderate.

Or consider those talk-show hosts. Rush Limbaugh hasn’t changed: his recent suggestion that environmentalist terrorists might have caused the ecological disaster in the gulf is no worse than his repeated insinuations that Hillary Clinton might have been a party to murder. What’s changed is his respectability: news organizations are no longer as eager to downplay Mr. Limbaugh’s extremism as they were in 2002, when The Washington Post’s media critic insisted that the radio host’s critics were the ones who had “lost a couple of screws,” that he was a sensible “mainstream conservative” who talks “mainly about policy.”

So why has the reporting shifted? Maybe it was just deference to power: as long as America was widely perceived as being on the way to a permanent Republican majority, few were willing to call right-wing extremism by its proper name.

(click to continue reading Paul Krugman- The G.O.P. – Going to Extreme – NYTimes.com.)

Anyone who paid attention to George Bush in 1999 and 2000 realized that Compassionate Conservative was just a phrase, a meaningless, focus group tested phrase, but if a historically minded reader goes back and reads Newsweek, and Time, and the newspapers that existed then, or transcripts from CNN, etc., you’d be hard pressed to find much discussion of how conservative Bush was. Of course, the Tea Baggers have disavowed Bush now, and moved even more to the right. Scary.

Written by Seth Anderson

May 17th, 2010 at 8:45 am

Posted in politics

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Republicans and Earmarks

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Republican hypocrisy, part the 689,979,879,829th. If you were keeping track…

Boarding Stable

So, you might recall that in March, amid much fanfare, Congressional Republicans declared a one-year moratorium on all earmarks emanating from the GOP.

So, one can understand why House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) is a tad perplexed by what he is seeing as he ramps up towards creating a new Water Resources Development Act (emphasis mine):

Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar sent letters to 116 Republicans on Thursday asking whether they intend to be bound by the House GOP moratorium on earmarks and want him to disregard their requests for projects in the Water Resources Development Act.

In preparation for a new WRDA bill, 354 House Members — including 120 Republicans — submitted project requests to the committee last summer. The WRDA bill includes projects such as dam and levee replacements, beach replenishment, drainage upgrades and water treatment facilities.

(click to continue reading Daily Kos: State of the Nation.)

Shiny Happy porklegs

So, big press conference denouncing earmarks is one thing, but actually avoiding earmarks is a suckers game, apparently. Only 4 Republicans withdrew their requests, the other 116 figure pork, in their districts, makes for happy voters.

Written by Seth Anderson

May 14th, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Posted in politics

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Caterpillar Lying about Health Care

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Caterpillar, that bastion of Republican largesse1, lying about health care? How could that be? Did John Boehner write the letter? or his staff?

Winch

Caterpillar Inc. of Peoria has jumped to the forefront of manufacturing companies complaining about the cost of the federal health care overhaul. On March 18 the company sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative John A. Boehner, the Republican leader, saying mandated changes would cost it “$100 million in the first year alone.”

According to a regulatory filing by the company last week, the $100 million figure is Caterpillar’s estimated total cost for as long as the newly enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act remains in effect. And the $100 million charge is an accounting change, a noncash cost that has no affect on the company’s operations.

In addition, the $100 million figure does not arise from changes to decades-long practices at Caterpillar. Rather, it comes about because the new law removes a tax break codified in 2003.

No company sneezes at the elimination of a $100 million tax break. But in 2008, Caterpillar had $51 billion in sales, and profits topped $3.5 billion for the third straight year. The projected profits for 2010 are a relatively weak $1.56 billion, and the $100 million tax charge would mean an additional 6 percent reduction.

[Click to continue reading Chicago News Cooperative – The Pulse – Scrutinizing the Numbers in Caterpillar’s Complaint – NYTimes.com]

Remove

So really Caterpillar’s complaint boils down to whining about a removal of a tax break enacted when Republicans controlled the Congress and the White House. Cry me a river…

Footnotes:
  1. 2010 contributions- 24% to Democrats, 76% to Republicans, 2004 contributions -11% to Democrats, 89% to Republicans []

Written by Seth Anderson

March 28th, 2010 at 9:47 am

Posted in Business

Tagged with , , ,

Health Care will Save Republicans Too

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Michael Moore writes:

Eat me

To My Fellow Citizens, the Republicans:
Thanks to last night’s vote, that child of yours who has had asthma since birth will now be covered after suffering for her first nine years as an American child with a pre-existing condition.

Thanks to last night’s vote, that 23-year-old of yours who will be hit one day by a drunk driver and spend six months recovering in the hospital will now not go bankrupt because you will be able to keep him on your insurance policy.

Thanks to last night’s vote, after your cancer returns for the third time — racking up another $200,000 in costs to keep you alive — your insurance company will have to commit a criminal act if they even think of dropping you from their rolls.

Yes, my Republican friends, even though you have opposed this health care bill, we’ve made sure it is going to cover you, too, in your time of need. I know you’re upset right now. I know you probably think that if you did get wiped out by an illness, or thrown out of your home because of a medical bankruptcy, that you would somehow pull yourself up by your bootstraps and survive. I know that’s a comforting story to tell yourself, and if John Wayne were still alive I’m sure he could make that into a movie for you.

But the reality is that these health insurance companies have only one mission: To take as much money from you as they can — and then work like demons to deny you whatever coverage and help they can should you get sick.
So, when you find yourself suddenly broadsided by a life-threatening illness someday, perhaps you’ll thank those pinko-socialist, Canadian-loving Democrats and independents for what they did Sunday evening.

[Click to continue reading The Great Thing About the Health Care Law That Has Passed? It Will Save Republican Lives, Too (An Open Letter to Republicans from Michael Moore) | MichaelMoore.com]

Can’t we opt the Republicans out instead? or opt out those districts that voted against the bill?

Written by Seth Anderson

March 22nd, 2010 at 9:18 am

Hypocrisy: A Parliamentary Procedure Oft Used

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When even Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute is calling out Republican bs for the hypocrisy it is…

Our Lady of the Green

Any veteran observer of Congress is used to the rampant hypocrisy over the use of parliamentary procedures that shifts totally from one side to the other as a majority moves to minority status, and vice versa. But I can’t recall a level of feigned indignation nearly as great as what we are seeing now from congressional Republicans and their acolytes at the Wall Street Journal, and on blogs, talk radio, and cable news. It reached a ridiculous level of misinformation and disinformation over the use of reconciliation, and now threatens to top that level over the projected use of a self-executing rule by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In the last Congress that Republicans controlled, from 2005 to 2006, Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier used the self-executing rule more than 35 times, and was no stranger to the concept of “deem and pass.” That strategy, then decried by the House Democrats who are now using it, and now being called unconstitutional by WSJ editorialists, was defended by House Republicans in court (and upheld). Dreier used it for a $40 billion deficit reduction package so that his fellow GOPers could avoid an embarrassing vote on immigration. I don’t like self-executing rules by either party—I prefer the “regular order”—so I am not going to say this is a great idea by the Democrats. But even so—is there no shame anymore?

[Click to continue reading Hypocrisy: A Parliamentary Procedure « The Enterprise Blog]

Amazing really, and if you have the stomach, see how often the Republican talking point is repeated in the next few weeks. I’d wager it will be repeated numerous times, even by the so-called “straight” media organizations1.

Footnotes:
  1. not Fox News, in other words []

Written by Seth Anderson

March 16th, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Saving Ryan Privatization

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Paul Krugman laughs at Rep. Paul Ryan’s Social Security Privatization shenanigans:

Forget-me-not Social Security

So, for a few weeks Rep. Paul Ryan was the toast of the punditocracy; his Roadmap was hailed as the serious Republican response to America’s fiscal problems. But it turns out, predictably, to have been a Potemkin plan: it wouldn’t balance the budget, even after two generations. What it would do is massively redistribute income upward, raising taxes and slashing benefits for most Americans, while providing huge tax breaks for the top 0.1 percent of the population.

Naturally, Ryan’s response to these revelations has been a hissy fit. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities — which has always, in my experience, been impeccably honest and careful in its work — does the point by point rebuttal.

But I’d like to follow up on small but revealing point: Ryan’s claim that diverting a substantial share of payroll taxes receipts into individual accounts does not constitute partial privatization of Social Security

[Click to continue reading Saving Ryan’s Privatization – Paul Krugman Blog – NYTimes.com]

But it does mean privatizing Social Security, just that particular phrase does not poll well, so the Republicans are careful not to use the phrase, and complain vigorously whenever the truth is pointed out.

Written by Seth Anderson

March 15th, 2010 at 10:41 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,

Process Matters Little to Voters

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As Ezra Klein points out, the sausage making of legislation is not that interesting nor memorable to most of the country. Results are much more important than process.

Valleys outside of Neptune

Here are some things that happened on the night the GOP pushed the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit through the House of Representatives:

A 15-minute vote was scheduled, and at the end of 15 minutes, the Democrats had won. The Republican leadership froze the clock for three hours while they desperately whipped defectors. This had never been done before. The closest was a 15-minute extension in 1987 that then-congressman Dick Cheney called “the most arrogant, heavy-handed abuse of power I’ve ever seen in the 10 years that I’ve been here.”

Tom DeLay bribed Rep. Nick Smith to vote for the legislation, using the political future of Smith’s son for leverage. DeLay was later reprimanded by the House Ethics Committee.

The leadership told Rep. Jim DeMint that they would cut off funding for his Senate race in South Carolina if he didn’t vote for the bill.

The chief actuary of Medicare, Rick Foster, had scored the legislation as costing more than $500 billion. The Bush administration suppressed his report, in a move the Government Accounting Office later judged “illegal.”

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, a “no” vote, spent the night “hiding on the Democratic side of the floor, crouching down to avoid eye contact with the Republican search team.”

Rep. Butch Otter, who provided one of the final votes after hours of arm-twisting from the Republican leadership, said, “I thought there was a chance I would get sick on the floor.”

Remember all this? Probably not. There wasn’t much reporting on it at the time. It wasn’t a major controversy, despite resulting in multiple official investigations.

[Click to continue reading Ezra Klein – Lessons from the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit vote ]

Bottom line, Democrats currently have a majority in both House and Senate, so they should use this majority to pass health care reform. By 2012, hardly anyone will care how the bill got passed, just that it became law1.

Footnotes:
  1. or it didn’t. The Democratic leadership has shown, time and time again, they lack the ruthlessness of the Republican leaders []

Written by Seth Anderson

March 10th, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Reading Around on March 2nd through March 6th

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A few interesting links collected March 2nd through March 6th:

Written by swanksalot

March 6th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Bunning is an Ass

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You already knew that Jim Bunning (R-loser) is an ass, but it’s been confirmed, by no less a personage than Ted Williams:.


“Ball Four” (Jim Bouton)

Aside from being a politician of eccentric views, and not highly popular among Republicans, Bunning is best known as a skilled major league baseball pitcher of the 1950s and 1960s. He may not have been one of the great pitchers – measured by the standards of Warren Spahn or Bob Gibson, say – but he has the distinction of being one of the few players to ever pitch a perfect game in the majors. (A perfect game being one where no opposing batter reaches first base.)

[quote]

There are more details of Bunning’s baseball career here – including Bunning’s appearance in the best book about baseball ever written, Ball Four, by Jim Bouton:

Ted Williams, when he was still playing, would psyche himself up for a game during batting practice, usually early practice before the fans or reporters got there.

He’d go into the cage, wave his bat at the pitcher and start screaming at the top of his voice, “My name is Ted fucking Williams and I’m the greatest hitter in baseball.”

He’d swing and hit a line drive.

“Jesus H Christ Himself couldn’t get me out.”

And he’d hit another.

Then he’d say, “Here comes Jim Bunning. Jim fucking Bunning and that little shit slider of his.”

Wham!

“He doesn’t really think he’s gonna get me out with that shit.”

Blam!

[Click to continue reading Ted Williams on Jim Bunning | Richard Adams | guardian.co.uk]

Mark di Suvero - the Calling

Seems like the Democrats are calling Bunning’s bluff, and forcing him to really filibuster, or shut up.

Although no final decisions have been made, Democrats confirmed it is increasingly likely that Democrats will force Bunning into an actual filibuster of unemployment insurance extension Tuesday night by repeatedly offering up unanimous consent agreements to bring the bill to a vote.

Although Members often threaten actual filibusters, they rarely materialize. Instead, lawmakers tend to rely on “Cadillac filibusters,” essentially stalling procedures that can be used to block legislation without having to actually stay put on the Senate floor.

Democrats on Tuesday signaled they have the resolve to remain in session throughout the night to force Bunning to abandon his cause. The American people “want an end to these games. And I hope that today we’ll see the end. If we don’t, we’re going to have to have a long, long night ahead of us to make the point that it’s wrong for one Senator to stop our people, our American people, from getting the help they deserve,” Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Tuesday.

[Click to continue reading Democrats May Force All-Night Session – Roll Call]

Jim Bunning has theoretically caved

Under increasing pressure from Democrats and members of his own party, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) Tuesday night abandoned his one-man filibuster of a one-month extension to unemployment benefits and other programs.

In the end Bunning agreed to a deal allowing him one vote on an amendment to pay for the bill’s $10 billion cost. That proposal was offered by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last Thursday at the start of his filibuster, but Bunning rejected it because he feared his amendment would not pass.

[Click to continue reading Bunning Accepts Deal Allowing Benefits Bill to Advance – Roll Call]

Sable And Fisheads

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Democrats in the Senate learned from this? And forced all the obstructionist Republicans who are threatening to filibuster to actually filibuster?

Written by Seth Anderson

March 2nd, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with , , ,

Dick Shelby is a National Laughing Stock

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I sincerely hope the professional gabbers seize on Senator Dick Shelby’s unrequited, forbidden love for Northrop Grumman and mercilessly ridicule him. How is holding up the working of the Senate to demand more political pork for Alabama going to be justified to his Teabagger masters? Even more importantly, wouldn’t be nice if this was the final straw that broke the back of the filibuster?

Twists and Turns

Gail Collins writes:

Normally, a senator who’s feeling testy will just put a hold on one presidential nomination, the way Jim Bunning of Kentucky did last year when he stopped action on the confirmation of a deputy U.S. trade representative because he was upset that the Canadian Parliament was considering a bill to ban the sale of cigarettes with candy flavorings.

I am not making that up.

Senator Christopher Bond of Missouri had a hold on the nomination of Martha Johnson to be the leader of the General Services Administration since last summer because he was ticked off with the G.S.A. over construction of a new federal building in Kansas City.

The agency kept saying it had responded to Bond’s questions, although perhaps the staff was slow in getting back to him since there was nobody in charge. But Bond held firm until the Democrats forced a vote this week. That naturally involved a great many delays, postponements, overrides and a passionate if incomprehensible speech by Bond, the highlight of which was: “Please bear with me. I know this is confusing.”

Then after many, many months of waiting and several days of total gridlock, Johnson was approved, 96 to 0.

That was a normal Senate procedure. Now Shelby has upped the ante with a blanket hold on everybody. His incredibly grave reasons were the desire to see that a defense contract for a new tanker is awarded to a bidder who will do the assembly work in Alabama. Also, he feels that a new F.B.I. facility for testing explosive devices should be conveniently located in Huntsville.

“If this administration were as worried about hunting down terrorists as it is about the confirmation of low-level political nominations, America would be a safer place,” said a spokesman for the senator.

[Click to continue reading Gail Collins – No Holds Barred – NYTimes.com]

Zanzibar

Obstructionist, Party of No, these epithets are too mild for the Republicans in the Senate; Mouth-Breathing Idiots might be accurate, but doesn’t quite have the necessary zing. Got to think of a better phrase for these idiots – what say you?

Written by Seth Anderson

February 5th, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with , , ,