Saturday, January 26, 2013


All this rainy, cool weather has served to load my sinuses and my lungs, so I should probably taken the last 24 hours off and slept.  Unfortunately, this whole filibuster deal still has me so deeply annoyed that I wasn't going to get any real rest anyway.  David Horsey didn't help matters.  His cartoon nailed the issue, but as far as I'm concerned, he missed the whole point of this latest Democratic wimp-out.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shocked and infuriated many of his fellow Democrats on Thursday when he backed away from his pledge to put an end to the curse of the filibuster.

Minority Republicans have been flagrantly using the old filibuster ploy to block even the most mundane bills unless they can win votes from at least 60 of 100 senators. This has effectively stunted the Democrats’ 53-seat majority and stifled initiatives from the Obama White House.

In times past, the filibuster was a rarely invoked parliamentary rule that allowed a single senator to halt legislative business if he was willing to stay on the Senate floor and talk for hour after hour, risking a raw throat, sleep deprivation and a distended bladder. Now, though, it has morphed into a convenient emergency brake that can be pulled remotely by any senator without having to leave the comfort of his or her office. Critics say abuse of the filibuster rule is a major source of the gridlock in Washington that everyone complains about because it unfairly gives the minority a veto over anything the majority wants to do.

Last year, Reid thought he had a deal with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to limit use of filibusters. When he got burned on the deal, Reid apologized to freshman senators in his caucus who had been urging him to rewrite Senate rules and pare back the filibuster to its original form. He said at the time, and again after the election, that he was going to force a change at the start of the new Congress.

Well, that moment came and Reid opted for a deal with McConnell that tweaked filibuster guidelines but left the rules largely unchanged. It will be slightly easier for the president’s nominees for judgeships and positions in his administration to get approved and it will speed up a few procedural steps, but the necessity of having a supermajority to get a bill passed remains. ...
...Hopping mad as they are now, though, a day may come when they'll give thanks that he made a deal with the GOP devil. ...

Democrats may be frustrated for the next two years, but, in the two years that follow, when Republicans could easily be in charge of both the House and the Senate, the Ds may find the filibuster is a very useful weapon. Maybe Harry Reid was just planning ahead.

 Oh, please!

They don't call the U.S. Senate the most powerful country club in the world for nothing.  Sadly, our founders intended that.  Our congress was set up like the 18th Century British Parliament, in which the House of Lords served as a check on the House of Commons.  The English system has evolved from that point.  Our system has not.  And that's just for openers.

More importantly, why on earth would Harry Reid or any Democratic senator trust Mitch McConnell to keep his word on any deal made with him?  He certainly hasn't in the past, and if the GOP gets control of both houses he sure as hell isn't going to in the future.

No, this was a sell-out.  Pure and simple.

And we're the commodity that got sold.

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