“Senate Democrats stop filibusters on nominations” Reuters

"The Democratic-led Senate, in a historic rule change, stripped Republicans on Thursday of their ability to block President Barack Obama's judicial and executive branch nominees. On a nearly party-line vote of 52-48, Democrats abruptly changed the Senate's balance of power by reducing from 60 to 51 the number of votes needed to end procedural roadblocks known as filibusters against all presidential nominees, except those for the U.S. Supreme Court."  Reuters


After listening to Obama speak of this, I expect that he and Reid will attempt to move on to complete destruction of the 60 vote cloture rule.

They will rue the day.  pl 


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92 Responses to “Senate Democrats stop filibusters on nominations” Reuters

  1. Dr. K says:

    How so?

  2. turcopolier says:

    Dr. K
    IMO he will seek to apple this kind of rule change to the movement of his favored legislation. pl

  3. turcopolier says:

    Dr. K
    Ah, I see. You ask how they will rue the day. There will be a time when a Republican president and a Republican Congress will do whatever they want without regard for the rights of the minority. pl

  4. Fred says:

    Yes indeed. Yet another example of short term thinking.

  5. Will Reks says:

    Democrats have decided that if the Republicans are not willing to pass any legislation then at the very least they will not nullify the President’s prerogative as to judicial and executive nominations for the next three years.
    Most likely they will not rue anything as we already know what the Republicans plan to do once in power. One only needs to look at the Ryan budget and the nature of today’s Republicans so there is no reason to keep playing by their rules. This group would not tolerate such obstruction from Democrats.
    Changing the balance on the DC Court will have huge significance and will make the Republicans very uncomfortable. They should have let Obama have at least one new appointee to that court. Oh well.

  6. turcopolier says:

    will reks
    “playing by their rules” Their rules or the senate’s rules? pl

  7. Medicine Man says:

    I understand why the Dems did what they did. I’m not sure if there is any precedent for blocking all of the sitting president’s court nominations and at any rate the Republicans didn’t even bother to offer any reasons as to why the candidates put forward were unacceptable.
    Regardless, a precedent has now been set. Even should the current congress leave the filibuster intact for supreme court nominations and legislation there is now plenty of cover to revise the rules under a Republican administration with only 50 votes + the vice president.

  8. Will Reks says:

    Both. Minority rule and the Senate rules which they were taking full advantage of until now.
    I don’t see anything in Article One about rules on filibustering of judicial nominees. The trick for Republicans was to obstruct as much as possible within limits.

  9. Matthew says:

    “They will rue the day. pl”
    I doubt it. The Congressional Republican position is to filibuster just about everything. Extreme obstruction requires extreme measures.

  10. turcopolier says:

    If the Republicans regain control of the government, they will screw the Democrats to the wall. pl

  11. Richard says:

    Perhaps the democrats are afraid of the results of Obamacare and the next election. They are moving to get something done while they have the opportunity?

  12. Stephanie says:

    The Republicans are already screwing the Dems to the wall insofar as they can, exploiting and abusing the filibuster power to a degree where even this set of less-than-fiery Democrats couldn’t take it any more.
    It is indeed likely that the next time they’re in the driver’s seat they’ll say “The Democrats did it first,” and abuse their majority rights in ways we’ve not yet seen. Harry Reid knows this as well as anyone. But the provocation was simply too great. An analogy might be to the wife who makes a husband’s life hell and then when he can’t take it any more says accusingly “YOU left ME.” (This works with the sexes reversed as well.)

  13. turcopolier says:

    You have no idea how much more “screwed” you can be. pl

  14. The Twisted Genius says:

    PL said, “If the Republicans regain control of the government, they will screw the Democrats to the wall.”
    I believe that is true no matter what the Democrats do or don’t do. The idea of a loyal opposition is fading away quickly and I have no idea what catastrophe has to befall us before that idea comes back into fashion. Lenin’s idea of the vanguard party seems to be goal of both parties.

  15. turcopolier says:

    The republic for which we fought is dying. pl

  16. jonst says:

    ok, I’m for it. Now lets begin the negotiations to put the procedures back to where they were most of the pre-and post- WWII period. Give that option to the Republicans…back to the old rules, or live with this, come what may. And I do have some concerns about it. But not to the level where we have to endure this paralysis for ever.
    And we can start with jettisoning the use of the word Democrat to describe the Democratic Party. I sure the GOP has their own beefs….but start by calling a national Party by it correct name. And I don’t like Obama….I did not vote for him the second term. I don’t like liberals…modern day liberals that is. But what the GOP has been doing in the Senate has to be stopped.

  17. Tony says:

    “The republic for which we fought is dying”. How can it be saved??

  18. Will Reks says:

    You’re right. It’s probably important to note that this was likely the inevitable outcome of the increasingly toxic polarization that grips our politics. I’m biased as to who bears the majority of the blame but not so blind as to see that this is a threat to our governing stability.

  19. Pat, I must demure from the commentary that sees this as a woeful breech of Senate custom. The woeful breech of Senate custom and I would argue what is constitutional is the notion that a minority can hold up a Presidential nomination. The Constitution requires only a super majority in the case of conviction by impeachment, proposing an amendment to the Constitution, and to override a veto. While jealous of the power of the people and their representatives, I believe that the minority has no right to hold up a nomination because of politics. In my estimation there must be good cause for such a move that a President’s nomination should be approved. While I found his judicial philosophy horrid, I saw no good reason for Judge Bork not to have confirmed. The case of Senator Tower is interesting. While clearly qualified to fill the position, there were sufficient democrats and republicans who knew of his drinking and womanizing who believed he should not be Secretary of Defense. We have turned the whole process into a zoo. Democrats are equally to blame as Republicans, neither party is pure, however while it eventually bite the Democrats in their fourth point of contact as a whole this was the right move.

  20. turcopolier says:

    will reks.
    An honest statement. pl

  21. crf says:

    But another way of looking at this is that if major changes are easy to enact, with just a majority in the Senate, then it will actually promote moderation and bipartisanship.
    Otherwise, if you try to enact controversial legislation, then next time your party is out of power, it will get undone.
    Right now, with the Senate functioning as it is (supermajority required always), there is neither a method nor incentive for the parties to cooperate on anything. And if a party does get to the magic sixty, there is every incentive to ram as much partisan legislation through as possible, knowing that, no matter how hostile to it the other party may be, they are unlikely ever to undo it.

  22. turcopolier says:

    Perhaps not. IMO we are in the equivalent of the 1850s. pl

  23. Matthew says:

    Col: No, loneliness is being a Texas Democrat!

  24. GulfCoastPirate says:

    It’s going to be a long, long time before the Republicans control the executive branch again. There simply aren’t enough old, angry white guys who want to return to the 1850’s in enough places to get the required electoral votes. Plus, in 2016 there are going to be a lot of Senate Republicans up for reelection who were elected in 2010 which was not a presidential year. There isn’t going to be much ‘screwing’ going on.
    This is all much ado about nothing. The president has a right to fill out the executive branch and the judiciary by virtue of winning the election. If the Republicans want to try to nullify the results of the election through use of the filibuster then there is a far greater probability that Democrats will control all three branches before the Republicans and that kind of ‘screwing’ can work the other way.
    Kudos to Reid for finally doing something about the obstructionism.

  25. Petrous says:

    One can not but agree . Obstructionism begets what we are witnessing. If the other party is actively obstructing all things Obama regardless of their value and/or origin (i.e. healthcare is Heritage Foundation child, yet treated as an unwanted orphan by GOP) then as you suggest there is no need to bend over backwards in the senate to accommodate them. As for when the tables turn, well that will be another day and the tables, as we all know are like merry go rounds ….. what goes around comes around , and more than once.

  26. turcopolier says:

    petrous et al
    if you wish to have a federal constitutional republic, Ihen you must accept the desire of opponents to oppose you. pl.

  27. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Hey – I’m a Texas Democrat and I don’t feel lonely. I feel significantly more advanced than most in my state. They’ll catch up with me eventually. 🙂

  28. GulfCoastPirate says:

    ‘lefty’ – is that supposed to be an insult? If so then I am not insulted. Remember, our founding fathers were ‘lefties’ to the British monarchy. As was Jesus to the Roman and Jewish authorities of his time. I’m not sure I’m worthy of that compliment.
    It’s not what I hope for. It is a fact. I know you don’t particularly care for those of us who deal in mathematics and science but the numbers are not on your side. Please tell me exactly where the Republicans/Tea Partiers can pick up the necessary electoral votes.
    In any event how could we be any more screwed than the country has already been by the likes of Thomas, Alito, Scalia and Roberts? These are the clowns who think corporations are people. If the Republicans get another chance what will they give us – a nominee that thinks buildings are people and every building has a right to vote?
    It’s going to be the Republicans who rue the day this happened because of their obvious obstructionism and attempts at nullification of the last election. It’s far more likely the Democrats control all three branches again before there is any chance of the Republicans doing so.

  29. Lamoe2012 says:

    This is so short sighted I’m amazed. If you look at the growing train wreck O Care is becoming, and god knows what else if looming on the horizon. If the Dems are not careful the GOP will be able to run Lassie and beat whoever the Dems put up in 2016 including Hill. They could louse the House and the Senate for years. This was not smart.

  30. Fred says:

    Don’t forget the American Legislative Exchange Council. (ALEC). They and their backers are a source of a great deal of legislation in multiple states.

  31. jerseycityjoan says:

    All I know is that things didn’t used to run the way they have been.
    I would like the number of votes required to be the number of votes required in the Constitution.
    That is not what we have had.
    I admit there were times I was glad for stall, obstruction and the defeat of bills I didn’t like. I don’t think that way anymore, though. I’d rather have a government that worked all the time.
    I will accept any and all defeats to get back to a functioning government.
    The idea that we will soon get a second round of torture by revisiting the same exact issues that closed down the government is depressing and dismaying beyond words to me.

  32. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    The GOP overplayed their hand, IMVHO. They didn’t have to compromise as long as they could filibuster, so they didn’t compromise. What a mess.
    In addition, the demographics of the US now mean that the greatly disparate populations among the states only exacerbates the problem of a tyrannical minority. (Tyrannical in the sense of refusing to compromise, and of insisting on their goals at the expense of anyone else’s.)
    For instance: Wyoming has 1/5th of 1% of the US population. It has one US House seat, and a population around 580,000.
    In contrast, California has over 38,000,000, and 53 US House seats. It is close to 12% of the US total population.
    Yet each state has 2 US Senators, each of whom can filibuster.
    IMVHO, the GOP-Dem conflict is a superficial part of the story.
    The problem is not simply partisan rancor and ‘payback’, it’s the fact that less than 1% of the population is calling the shots far too often.
    Back in the colonial era, the state populations were roughly equal — if one senator had filibustered at that time, it would have been 1 against the other 12.
    We now have a situation in which one senator from a state like Wyoming can have a multiplier effect – it is no longer a ratio of 1:12; instead, if we simply take the ratio of US House seats, we have a ratio (or ‘payoff’) of 1:435. That’s a big payoff for obstructing.
    Perhaps this rule change to the filibuster will now give more incentive for some of these senators to relearn the arts of compromised.

  33. turcopolier says:

    Please give some indication in your comments of what the reference might be. pl

  34. Peter C says:

    Hank, if memory serves me correctly, not confirming Bork was a payback for Watergate/Nixon involvement.

  35. turcopolier says:

    Thanks for the opinion on land use. In re the senatorial power of the small population states, what sort of constitutional changes would you favor? pl

  36. turcopolier says:

    “I admit there were times I was glad for stall, obstruction and the defeat of bills I didn’t like. I don’t think that way anymore,” This sounds like you were a member of congress. pl

  37. turcopolier says:

    I regret calling you a “lefty” even though you glory in the term Nevertheless, this violated my own rule of civility. I find it difficult to deal with you. You are apparently incapable of treating your opponents respectfully. This reminds me of a neighbor who is a fervently Republican lobbyist and a former national Republican committeeman. He consistently describes Democrats in the vilest way possible. I rebuked him for this once and asked why it was necessary to call people names. He was stunned. It did not change his behavior. You consistently adopt a sneering, supercilious and belittling tone in your comments. I will not have such things said here. The next time I ban you the banning will be permanent. In your enthusiasm you have made a few substantive errors. Jesus was not killed by the Romans for being a lefty. He was killed as a supposedly seditious nationalist. To speak of our revolutionary war in terms of left and right is meaningless. The Whig gentlemen who revolted against the British were reflections of long standing divisions in British society. These divisions had nothing to do with later political tendencies Lastly, I know quite a lot of science and mathematics, so I am in the dark as to your reason for saying that I am averse to science and mathematics. pl

  38. The beaver says:

    It is surprising that ALEC is not in the news very often. Wonder why?
    They are pretty active with the politicians in some western provinces of Canada and the PC party.
    In the UK, their clone Atlantic Bridge was forced to close shop last yr.

  39. Bill H says:

    Again with the claim that the founding fathers were stupid and screwed up by creating checks and balances when writing the constitution.
    The “peoples’ house,” House of Representatives, provides representation prorated by population, while the Senate provides representation by region. One balances the other, assuring that “people power” in one house is balanced by “regional interest” in the other house. The system is perfectly workable, and has worked for a couple of centures.
    You do not solve a partisan problem by trashing the system that rabid partisanship has corrupted.

  40. Matthew says:

    GCP: I’m a Texas Democrat too but I do feel lonely!

  41. Matthew says:

    Col: I wonder if Edmund Burke had to pay a price for supporting the Colonists over the Crown?
    BTW, IMHO, the American Revolution was probably inevitable. Britain’s benign neglect from 1690 to 1763 allowed fully mature and sophisticated Assemblies to thrive here. And, to paraphrase Tom Paine, an island should not rule a continent.

  42. Pat Lang,
    I agree that the Democrats will rue the day or, at any rate, be sorely peeved at being unable to stop appointments at will when they are, inevitably, in the minority. It doesn’t follow that this rule change is a bad thing. Majority rule, except in those cases specified in the constitution, is an indispensable part of the philosophy and spirit the republic. The senate, by its own makeup, serves as a brake on the enthusiasms of the day.

  43. Edward Amame says:

    Sorry but no way, Col Lang. Reid barely got enough votes to end the filibustering of Obama’s judicial and exec branch nominees. Reid couldn’t get 25 votes to end filibusters of legislation even if he wanted to.
    Plenty of older Dem Senators didn’t want this, but the GOP forced their hands. They backed Reid into a corner when they announced the blanket filibuster of *all* judicial nominees to the DC Court of Appeals. At that point even Leahy signed on, it was just too in-your-face to ignore. I’d bet GOP Senate leaders are (a) betting on winning the Senate next year and wanted the Dems to do the precedent-setting dirty work on the filibuster. If the GOP does take the Senate, I would bet the ranch they’ll take procedural changes to places the Dems *never* would and Pat Leahy and all those cautious Dem Senators who swallowed hard and went with this know it. And (b) GOPers were desperate for the DC Court to block parts of Dodd-Frank, environmental regs, ACA, etc. That will not happen now.
    Payback will be a bitch but the Dems just could not take that crap lying down.

  44. A couple of points.
    There is no filibuster procedure in the House of Representatives.
    In the colonial era, there was no senate, hence no senators.
    During the colonial era there were no states, the future states were colonies and independent of each other. The populations of the colonies varied greatly, which was the reason for the Virginia compromise.

  45. turcopolier says:

    I did not say they would succeed. pl

  46. Edward Amame says:

    You had me until the part about both sides being equally to blame. Yes, both sides hands are dirty, but if you look at this chart showing the history of Senate filibuster usage, you’ll see that both sides are *not* equally to blame.

  47. turcopolier says:

    The issue of blame is irrelevant. What matters is the effect this will have in the future. pl

  48. Tyler says:

    At this point, I don’t think it can.

  49. Tyler says:

    A hyperactive minority consisting of the Northeast, a few select urban cores, and part of the western coast is now even more free to disregard the “rubes in flyover country”.
    Onwards to Hell, then. What will tomorrow bring?

  50. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Historically (until mid-to-late 19th century), filibusters existed in the House. Then, in late 19th century, they changed the rules and, kazaam, they were no longer allowed.
    The Constitution permits each chamber of Congress to set rules as they see fit, without specifying the procedures required, for most matters. There was nothing really sacrosanct about the filibuster in the Senate. If they can change the rules under the Senate procedures, they can–and they did. The real reason that filibuster stayed around as long as it did was that, even while they disagreed, Republicans and Democrats (at least enough of them) were willing to play reasonably productively with each other, without resorting to irresponsible oppositionalism. There just wasn’t enough for everyone involved in putting up with the filibuster any more…

  51. Tyler says:

    86% of Obama’s nominees were confirmed. This was hardly a case of Reid, who whinged about this back when the shoe was on the other foot, needing to ‘do something’.
    The Senate is to be a check on the President, not a rubber stamp. This is another move from an imperial president, and yet again we get to see more of the technocratic, controlling impulses of the ‘tolerant’ progressives in this country.

  52. Edward Amame says:

    It is not irrelevant.
    As I said, both sides have dirtied their hands with this, but when one side takes it to such an extreme that a legitimately elected leader is unable to perform his constitutional duty, that side needs to be called on it, in the press and on the blogs, or the behavior continues.

  53. Edward Amame says:

    Oh baloney. Democrats mounted filibusters at a rate of about 5/year of Geo W Bush judicial and exec-branch nominees. The GOP has filibustered an average of 16 judicial and exec-branch nominees/year. Sen. Lindsey Graham wouldn’t let the nomination of a new Federal Reserve Chair come to a vote until he decided that Benghazi had been discussed enough.
    The Senate is no longer a place where legislation and nominees are “checked,” it’s where they’re killed.

  54. turcopolier says:

    “Advise and consent” does not imply any obligation to consent. pl

  55. turcopolier says:

    I guess that is true if you believe that the president is an elected king. pl

  56. Tyler says:

    You’re mad but that dosent change the facts regarding the Senate’s role or the percentages involved.
    You want a king. Well at least one who has a D after his name.

  57. pk says:

    The Democrats will only rue the day if the Republicans stop making themselves unelectable outside of very conservative congressional districts because of their immoderate policies and tone. And if the Republicans do moderate their policies and tone the Democrats still win. I don’t see the problem here.

  58. Mark Logan says:

    Harry Reid won me on this issue. It was his saying he’s happy to see the Republicans get judicial nominees get votes when they are the majority. So be it. I think we shall see pretty soon if he’s being honest. Saw him say it on CSPAN, along with his explanation for doing this. Our press is so fixated on politics one has to go there to learn about government anymore.
    Right now I believe he is correct in saying the filibuster was being abused on judicial nominations. I think they set the trap by nominating someone who Chuck Grassley could find no objection to, and when he blocked her with no reason given, “just because we feel like it”, he made Dingy Harry’s day.
    Strikes me as a rule designed for scholars and gentlemen, and we have been sending far too many 7th graders in there of late. They will certainly rue it one day, but they would have rued, and it may be we all would have rued, allowing this to go on unabated. The only way the Dems could have countered it would have been to abuse it themselves. Chuck promised he will extend it to legislation and the supreme court. He lost me.

  59. turcopolier says:

    I enjoy the way a lot of you think that history is on your side, and that the “armies” of the left only march forward. pl

  60. different clue says:

    If Ocare hurts as many people as the analysts at the econoblog called Naked Capitalism say it will, the Republicans will end up sweeping both Houses and the White House by 2016. Of course if that happens, the people predicting the subsequent repeal of Ocare will be disappointed. The Republicans will not repeal it. They will modify it. They will keep the Forced Mandate. They may try to repeal the Medicare Expansion to take it away from those states which wanted it. They may try privatising Medicare and collapsing it into the Ocare exchanges. They may even try to privatise the VA (and sell all the hospitals to investors) and collapse that into the Ocare exchanges as well. One hopes all active servicemember and veterans groups organize ahead to kill that idea if the Republicans advance it.
    Anyway, when the Republicans have widened the Forced Mandate net as far as they can possibly widen it, they will change its name to “RepubliCare” and say ” there! you see? We repealed Obamacare just as we promised.”

  61. turcopolier says:

    “They may even try to privatise the VA (and sell all the hospitals to investors) and collapse that into the Ocare exchanges as well.” Veterans are a major constituency for the GOP. I doubt that they would be so foolish as to do that. BTW, the VA is primarily for people who served a few years but did not stay in the military long enough to retire with continuing membership in the military. pl

  62. Edward Amame says:

    No I don’t and I don’t know why you would assume that.
    The GOP House Majority alone can stop Obama legislatively but that is not enough for the GOP. They have decided to try to bring federal governance to a halt by using super majority rule in the Senate to hold up executive branch appointments in order to block implementation of laws passed that they don’t happen to like. In addition, the GOP decided to block any and all Obama nominations to fill the three empty seats on the second most powerful court in the US, the court that oversees national security cases and challenges to national regulations, in order to preserve that court’s current GOP-friendly bent.
    What Reid did may have been a power-grab, but as Ezra Klein says, “The only thing worse than a Senate where the majority has the power to govern is one where it doesn’t.”

  63. Edward Amame says:

    Where was the “Advise and consent” part in the announcement that *any and all* Obama nominees to fill the three empty seats on the DC DC circuit court that oversees national security cases and challenges to national regulations would be blocked?

  64. turcopolier says:

    As I said the senate is not under any obligation to consent to anything. pl

  65. Edward Amame says:

    Which king are you referring to?
    The GOP controlled House has the power to stop Obama legislatively dead in his tracks. And the Senate filibuster rule change does not apply to legislation, so you’ve got a belt and suspenders in that dept.
    This is only about the GOP effort to block implementation of laws passed they don’t like and block all Obama nominations to fill the three empty seats on the DC Court that oversees national security cases and challenges to national regulations so as to preserve that court’s current GOP leanings.

  66. Perhaps I should note that IMO a revolt is developing in the Federal judiciary on National Security Legal issues at lower levels and that level is largely Republican appointees. This gut feeling of mine is not based on any scientific or statistical info.
    The real bottom line on the GWOT [a term banned by Obama] is the Federal judiciary has not yet been heard from in any coherent manner!

  67. Edward Amame says:

    And Harry Reid is under no obligation to put up with that BS.

  68. turcopolier says:

    Ok, but I hope you remember your own words when next you are in the minority. pl

  69. different clue says:

    I also hope they try no such thing. By the way, I know so little that I did not realize there was a difference between VA for those who served a few years and other coverage systems for those who serve an entire working career and then retire. I will have to ask my younger brother about that.

  70. Richard Armstrong says:

    You know, one does a little research they’ll find that a number of our founding fathers were vehemently opposed to the very idea of any mechanism resembling a filibuster. They foresaw it being abused by an obstructionis minority just as the Republicans have done. In the past several years they have filibustered more than the sum of the filibusters of all the preceding years,
    As for the Republicans making the Democrats rue the day remember that they can re/change the rule before they become the minority again. And let’s be realistic, there won’t be a Republican Party in 10 years.

  71. turcopolier says:

    Richard Armstrong
    “let’s be realistic, there won’t be a Republican Party in 10 years.” If not there will be another political force that you do not like. The problem with you left democrats is that you think you are the destiny of mankind. pl

  72. turcopolier says:

    Ah, I and TTG and others here are retired but still members of the armed forces. We can use VA facilities, armed forces facilities or a DoD insurance program called Tricare. In the case of those solely eligible for VA, they have to prove that their disabilities are service connected. That does not apply to retirees. pl

  73. Edward Amame says:

    Trust me, I’m under no illusions and am not particularly happy, but Reid had no choice. The GOP leadership was probably more than willing to give up the three DC Circuit seats to the Dems in exchange for what they see down the road. They may be publicly caterwauling but it’s a good bet they’re gloating in private.

  74. Tyler says:

    Again, the Senate has the duty to advise and consent, not be a rubber stamp.
    The House is, regardless of how upset you are, a branch of the government.
    Obama is not a King, as much as you wish otherwise. If you want to cry crocodile tears about parliamentary procedure, let us remember how Obamacare couldn’t make it through the Senate and then had to be passed as a budget item (a tax) and then the Roberts Court magically ruled it was not a tax.

  75. Tyler says:

    To the Left procedure and decorum is always “bs” as we march towards some new utopia that never seems to come.

  76. Tyler says:

    Yeah there might actually be two parties in DC instead of one. Goodness knows what might happen then.

  77. Tyler says:

    Yes because Harry Reid did not do the same thing in Bush the Younger’s term.
    This “they’re both bad but the other side is WOOOOORST” is nothing more than sophistry.

  78. Fred says:

    The American media is bought and paid for. Even the liberal democrats in my area only mention ALEC in an election year. The half-dozen state representatives I know have done essentially nothing to curtail even the most egregious legislative ideas put forth by ALEC. Apparently they’ve forgotten that their elected position requires work, not just work to get re-elected.

  79. jerseycityjoan says:

    Ha-Ha! That’s a good joke.
    In a thousand and one ways it’s is clear that I am just a person out here who has nothing in common with Congress: no money, no hidden agendas and no ambition blinding me.
    It is my luck — or my curse — to remember some great things about this country that have changed for the worse or disappeared. I will always long for the good things that been lost and I will always want to get them back.
    God help the young people whose only memories are of an America of great income inequality run by an remote and resentful elite who feel no love for their fellow Americans.

  80. Edward Amame says:

    How upset I am? Cry crocodile tears?
    Your pompous commentary is as worthless as your obvious attempt to goad me.
    As for your “let us remember” nonsense, the Senate voted 60–39 to end debate on the ACA bill and a cloture vote to end the filibuster passed by a vote of 60–39.
    I have one for you that’s actually accurate. “Let us remember” the Bush Tax Cuts, passed via reconciliation process. A process, BTW, that existed solely to decrease the deficit. It could not be used to increase the deficit outside the 10 year budget window. So in order to get around that minor detail (sarcasm face here), they would expire the cuts (another sarcasm face here) after 10 years so the cuts wouldn’t increase the deficit outside the budget window. They’d also look less deficit-exploding in CBO estimates, since the CBO would then have to score them as expiring after 10 years which, on paper anyway, kept the long-range budget figures from blowing up.
    I’m sure you’ll respond with half-truths puffed up with disparaging remarks about the Left, the northeast, etc, with your usual dose dose of condescension thrown in. Whatever. In your mind you may be an independent-thinking take-no-prisoners true rugged western icon, but you just sound like any other right wing nativist. From Scottsdale, AZ or wherever. Although almost everybody I know in Scottsdale moved there from the Midwest, except one guy who hailed from NJ. At the hotel in Sedona we stayed in awhile back, all the help were from NY. That must just make you nuts.

  81. Tyler says:

    That’s a lot of words to try and distract from my original two points.
    Yes the Bush Tax Cuts were passed in the same way but regardless of how shitty they were they were actually taxes and dealt with the budget and originated in the House and not subject to the quaint lycanthropy Obamacare seems subject to (in which its a tax, a ‘penalty’ or whatever apparently due to moon phases).
    Scottsdale? Sedona? I’m flattered you think I can afford acreage out there as opposed to the top of a major smuggling route where the police are a 20 minute phone call away. Shucks.

  82. Tyler says:

    Also meant to add that you want to give your king, the one responsible for sky executions and unlimited spying, even MORE power.
    Yes, very ‘progressive’ of you.

  83. Richard Armstrong says:

    COL Lang, et. al.,
    I really have to stop writing my comments on my iPhone. I notice the tiny interface leads to comments that are too brief and often incomplete.
    Of course there will be another party formed after this Republican party finishes painting itself into a corner from which it cannot escape. Perhaps it will be the New Whig party. Perhaps it will be another short lived populist party that will appeal to those in the Tea Party that ride their Hoverounds to events and cry for the Government to keep it’s hands off their Medicare. Hopefully it will be a party lead by reasoned persons of a conservative nature.
    I’m more concerned that as happening in so many European countries that Sinclair Lewis will be right when he said that, “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
    And yes, I will not like those parties, and no I do not think we are the destiny of mankind. I just think my party is destined to become the majority party for a number of years and that hopefully it will do some things positive.
    (NOTE – This is sarcastic humor) And be careful what you say about the left. Don’t forget all those FEMA camps are still out there waiting to be used for the purpose of re-educating folks who are wrong headed!

  84. turcopolier says:

    Richard Srmstrong
    “I just think my party is destined to become the majority party for a number of years.” Your party is not a majority now. you have merely won a few elections. Take it easy on the ageist insults. pl

  85. different clue says:

    My memory may be wrong, but wasn’t it the pro-ACA
    Reps and Sens and the Obama Administration which tried to pretend that the “penalty” for not having insurance was “not” a tax? And wasn’t it the Roberts Court which ruled that it was-so a tax, and could therefor be allowed to stand . . along with the Forced Mandate?

  86. Tyler says:

    No you’re right, and that’s what I was trying to say. I guess it didn’t come across that way and/or got mangled with Ed’s non sequitour about the Bush Tax Cuts.
    The Roberts Court also has a mangled interpretation of what a “tax” is, since the ACA didn’t originate in the House. Really the whole thing is a mess from end to end.

  87. Richard Armstrong says:

    Advice noted and will be followed. Cheap shots are beneath the comity of this board.

  88. Tyler says:

    Yes, its all those evil theocratic nationalists in the EU who are throwing people in prison and taking away their kids for thought crimes!!!
    The eternal status of a leftist is fear of a perpetual boogeyman, no matter what the facts are.

  89. different clue says:

    Memory is a strange thing. At least my memory is.
    I just very recently read in another blog’s comment that the Obama Administration officials were indeed arguing before the Roberts Court that the penalty was a tax. They were afraid the Roberts Court would call it a “penalty” not a “tax” and therefor rule against it. Somehow I didn’t remember that at all.
    I do remember (correctly, I hope) predicting that the Roberts Court would find some way to uphold Obamacare and especially the Forced Mandate.
    I ran across a blogpost which offered a theory similar to mine about why the Roberts Court upheld the Mandate. Here is the link.
    If this law is as destructive as expected, the Democrats will suffer a major loss of office seekers over it.

  90. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Apologies for such a tardy response.
    Until you posed the question ‘what sort of constitutional changes would you favor?’, I had not pondered it.
    If we consider the 435 House members as ‘total US population’, then a filibuster represents a ratio of 1:435. That ratio is so disparate that it smacks of oligarchy. Or tyranny.
    The obstruction that a filibuster represents sets up some kind of Doom Loop: the more it is used, the more it reinforces incivility, negativity, and diminishes compromise.
    I have never seen anyone correlate the increasing numbers of filibusters with increases in campaign donations and the cost of campaigns; however, I suspect the correlation is pretty strong.
    I would argue that – ideally – constitutional changes would need to begin by improving the chances for civility and compromise.
    As a first step – to improve civility, but also to restore legitimacy – mandate publicly financed elections. That would shift the focus of electeds to governance, rather than having them spend so much time and energy on raising campaign donations.
    After that… I’ll have to ponder….
    (Everyone should be represented – whether from a coast state or a flyover state.)
    – – – – – –
    Also, as Wm Fitz above points out, in the colonial era, there were no states. I ought to have been more clear in my comment.

  91. Tyler says:

    Apparently the youth subsidies are already on the chopping block. The “tax/not a tax” thing has always been an odd duck. I think Justice Scalia’s vitriol was well warranted at the Frankenstein opinion that was put out.
    Thank you for the link – very succinct. Somewhat cloak and dagger, but I read that Justice Roberts’ adoption of his Irish children might not have been on the up and up, and ‘someone’ got to him through them.

  92. different clue says:

    If the youth subsidies are on the block, and if
    Senator Cruz can get his “no Federal Replacement Subsidies for InsuraCos if they fail to capture their planned-for Ocare profits” can get passed and signed; then Ocare might self-destruct fast enough to force a search for something else to fill the vacuum.
    My thinking about why Roberts would uphold Ocare was crudely Marxical. I knew Roberts was offended by Obama’s insults to the Court and its honor. I figured he would rather not vote to uphold it himself. He was hoping 5 other justices would vote for it so he wouldn’t have to.
    But since only 4 other justices were going to vote for it, I figured he would mangle whatever logic he had to in order to vote for it himself.
    He would put serving the super-rich overclass ahead of upholding the Supreme Court’s honor. And he did.
    I hadn’t heard of problems with his adoption of Irish children. If he was blackmailable over that, well . . . so is the law decided sometimes.
    I still like my theory, though.

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