Mar 292017
 

For the record, I am a long term opponent of the filibuster that requires 60 votes for cloture and as long term proponent of the Nuclear Option.  I even coined the term, "Nuke the Filibastards" years ago.  Those views have not changed, and early in the Obama administration, I predicted that the party that changed it would have a huge advantage.   If the Nevada Leg Hound, Harry Reid, did not consign the 60 vote requirement for cloture to the trashcan of history, Republicans would do so if they ever got the chance, as it appears they are about to do.  If Reid and the Democrats had done so then, we would have gotten the Public Option, Glass Steagall, and a robust stimulus.  Republicans could not have sabotaged the nation.  Trump would not be.  Now, a traitor that may not even survive politically until the midterms will get to pack SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) with Whoresuch, a fascist so extreme that he makes Scalia look liberal, to oppose our Constitution for life.

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Sens. Roger E. Wicker (R-Miss.) and Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.) are not usually partisan firebrands, particularly on presidential appointments.

Back in 2013, Wicker helped temporarily defuse a showdown over Republican filibusters of President Barack Obama’s nominees to the judiciary and agencies. More than a decade ago, Carper voted to confirm President George W. Bush’s first Supreme Court nominee and opposed Democratic efforts to filibuster the other.

Now, with about 10 days left in the showdown over President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, both Wicker and Carper have turned dour in their outlook for what the battle means for the Senate — and the country.

Wicker is all but certain that Democrats have enough votes to block Gorsuch’s confirmation next week with a filibuster — by demanding a procedural step that takes 60 votes to clear. That, in turn, probably would prompt the Republicans to change the rules unilaterally to allow Gorsuch’s confirmation, and all other Supreme Court picks thereafter, by a simple majority.

“I think it’s a done deal,” Wicker said Tuesday. “That’s the way it’s headed.”

Carper agreed, explaining that he would rather see Republicans eliminate supermajority thresholds for Supreme Court nominees, further poisoning the already toxic atmosphere in Washington, than do anything to support Gorsuch.

From <Washington Post>

Graphic Credit: Left over Rights

It does not often happen that I agree with Carper, but I do now.  I still fully believe in elimination the filibuster an d refuse to be a hypocrite pretending that I don’t.  I just wish we had a way to delay that change.

RESIST!!

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Jan 102017
 

It warmed up to 40° yesterday, but Portland is under another Winter Weather Advisory with more snow expected this evening.  I think I have my meds transition squared away.  In case you forgot, Obama’s farewell address is tonight at 6 PM PST (9 PM EST)(2 AM GMT).  The White House has a live stream.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:56 (average 6:52).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In an emergency meeting at Trump Tower on Monday morning, President-elect Donald J. Trump urged the heads of the nation’s intelligence agencies to “stop picking on Russia” and instead focus on “the very real threat” posed by Hollywood actresses.

Calling the recent allegations against Russia a “witch hunt,” Trump told the intelligence chiefs that their investigations of Russian President Vladimir Putin were distracting them from “America’s real enemy, actresses.”

Growing increasingly irate, he laid out a series of proposals for dealing with what he called a “scourge,” including mandatory registration of actresses and a temporary ban on actresses entering the country.

Andy, this time, I believe you!  RESIST!!

From YouTube (GQ Channel): This Russian Obsession Shows How Trump Will Be Undone | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

 

Keith made it crystal clear. Russian Spies fed Assange. Assange fed Trump. But let’s not forget that one other politician joined in on the collusion between Putin, Assange and Trump. That was Jill Stein.  RESIST!!

From Washington Post: Senate Democrats are not going to be able to block Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions bid to become attorney general. And they can’t do much to stop Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo from assuming the helm of the CIA.

And they have only themselves to thank for it.

That’s because exactly three years ago, the Democratic Senate majority — led by Harry Reid (Nev.) — rammed through controversial rules fundamentally changing the way the Senate does business. They unleashed in November 2013 what’s called the “nuclear option” allowing senators to approve by a simple majority all presidential appointments to the executive branch and the judiciary, with a big exception for Supreme Court justices.

It is a sad irony that so many Senate Democrats will be accused of being spineless, because of the one thing they did in the last eight years that was not spineless.  I was for invoking the nuclear option, and I was right.  The problem is that Republicans should have never been allowed to ride Trump’s and Putin’s coattails to an undeserved Senate majority.  RESIST!!

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Thank God for Filibastards!

 Posted by at 10:10 am  Politics
Nov 192016
 

Normally, I’m a pretty straight shooter.  As much as I hate to admit it, what I have to say here is hypocritical, because I’m a long term opponent of the filibuster, and a long term proponent of the nuclear option.  That said, thank God for the filibastards.

1119NuclearOptionGleeful Republicans see nothing standing in their way to giving tax cuts to the rich, starving the olds and poors, and a Supreme Court that will put women back in the kitchen, pregnant and barefoot now that they have Donald Trump going to the White House and a lock on Congress. Nothing that is, but Senate Democrats and the filibuster. The way around that is of course the way Democrats did it when Republicans were refusing to allow President Obama’s appointments to get to the floor—modifying the Senate rules with 51 votes to end the filibuster on them. So McConnell just has to do that with the 52 votes he now has (or likely will following the Louisiana run-off), right? Or not.

On Wednesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) may have put a dagger in the scheme.

Asked by The Huffington Post about ending the filibuster, he was blunt.

“Are you kidding?” he said with some vehemence. “I’m one of the biggest advocates for the filibuster. It’s the only way to protect the minority, and we’ve been in the minority a lot more than we’ve been in the majority. It’s just a great, great protection for the minority.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the most vehement of the Never Trumpers, agrees, telling reporters on Tuesday that it’s "a horrible, terrible idea," and he would oppose it on the floor "in a heartbeat." Where Graham goes, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is pretty likely to follow, so there’s a definite two and probably three votes to derail any visions McConnell has of neutering the Democrats.

That’s not to say that McCain, a few "moderates" like Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Graham, and an appeasement Democrat or two—the best bets are Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Angus King (I-ME)—won’t become a "gang" to try to let some of Trump’s appointments or legislative proposals get through. The likeliest place we’d see this is in a Supreme Court nomination. There are probably enough endangered red state Democrats looking at their 2018 campaigns to pad those numbers so there will be a Trump Supreme Court… [emphasis added]

From <Daily Kos>

Yes I’m a hypocrite today, but at least I’m not going to act like a Republican and claim that I’ve always favored the filibuster.  What can I say?  Desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures.  I don’t think that Democrats will obstruct for its own sake the way Republicans have for the last eight years.  I don’t believe Democrats will use the filibuster, unless they can make their case to the American people that the action serves America’s needs.  I’m going to put my activism against the filibuster on hold as long as my activism against the kind of measures Democrats will filibuster is far more important for America than opposing the filibuster, but I won’t pretend that it isn’t an anachyronism, like the electoral college.

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Oct 252016
 

I must say that I enjoyed meditation yesterday evening.  Today I made my grocery order.  My guys at OSP have a new staff advisor, and in spite of sending three emails, starting three weeks ago, I stall have not received confirmation that they are expecting me at the prison on Thursday, so I need to chase her down today (accomplished).  Tomorrow I have grocery delivery and Wendy, so my week is getting very busy very fast.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 5:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

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Fantasy Football Update:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

7Scores

I’m still trapped inside a stinky blob of Sasquatch toe jam!

Standings:

7Standings

Congrats to Vivian and Rob for leading the league.

Short Takes:

From CBS: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has never had much to say about Donald Trump. But lately, he has fallen completely silent.

On the few occasions when the Republican leader has appeared publicly in his home state of Kentucky this month, he’s either avoided answering reporters’ questions, or explicitly refused to address the topic he acknowledged was on everyone’s mind: His party’s presidential nominee.

At a local Chamber of Commerce event in Danville, McConnell twice instructed the crowd not to ask him about the presidential race “even though that’s what I know you all wanted me to talk about.”

At an earlier event in Pikeville, McConnell refused to answer a reporter’s question about Trump not paying any taxes.

If he had the slightest bit of integrity, he would disavow Trump and withdraw his endorsement, but he has none. That identifies him as a Republican and proves that he is still Bought Bitch Mitch.

From TPM: Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he is confident that he has laid the groundwork for Democrats to nuke the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees if they win back the Senate in November.

Envisioning Hillary Clinton in the White House and Democrats controlling the Senate, Reid warned that if a Senate Republican minority block her Supreme Court nominee, he is confident the party won’t hesitate to change the filibuster rules again.

How long have I been pleading for Democrats to do this?

From NY Times: Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered a blistering rebuke of Donald J. Trump on Monday, warning him that “nasty women vote” and imploring a crowd to cast ballots for Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t know about you,” Mrs. Clinton said as she flashed a thankful smile and seized the microphone from Ms. Warren at a rally in Manchester, N.H. “But I could listen to Elizabeth Warren go on all day.”

She might have to.

With polls and early voting data signaling that Mrs. Clinton is likely to prevail against Mr. Trump in two weeks, liberal Democrats are already looking past Election Day — and relying on Ms. Warren to become the thorn in chief in Mrs. Clinton’s side, scrutinizing her appointments and agenda.

Please click through for much more. In my unmitigated support of Hillary Clinton over Rump Dump Trump, I have not become naive. Managing her will be far more difficult than electing her, and I expect Elisabeth Warren to be key in that capacity.

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Jun 172016
 

It’s almost time for me to leave for my blood test.  There probably won’t be time to post this before I return this afternoon.

I’m back.  I’m done.  I’m so tired I hear Lona calling from my pillow,.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:02 (average 5:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: Fox’s Geraldo Rivera Shames Orlando Victims For Not Fighting Back

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Isn’t it just like the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, to blame the victims?

From Daily Kos: Though the outcomes of the legislative votes are far from sure, the filibuster begun by Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy has succeeded in bringing Republicans to the table for a pair of votes.

Senate Democrats ended a nearly 15-hour filibuster early Thursday after Republican Party leaders reportedly agreed to allow votes on two proposed gun control measures.

The votes will supposedly include a proposal to provide universal background checks, and another to prevent those on the no-fly list from obtaining weapons. The second bill apparently addresses the no-fly list, not the much larger terrorist watch list. These are both positions that have wide, bipartisan support in the public, but which Republicans have either blocked from a vote or voted down in the past.

As wonderful as this sounds, Senate Republicans caved in, while secure in the knowledge that House Republicans will never allow either bill to come to the floor.

From NY Times: A member of Parliament was gunned down outside a library in northern England as she was wrapping up a meeting with constituents on Thursday afternoon, a rare act of gun violence in a nation that strictly regulates firearms.

The lawmaker, Jo Cox, 41, who was considered a rising star in the opposition Labour Party and a passionate advocate for victims of the civil war in Syria, was shot in Birstall, a town about six miles southwest of the city of Leeds. A 77-year-old man was slightly injured in the attack.

A 52-year-old man was arrested in Ms. Cox’s killing, and the police said they were not looking for any other suspects. No motive has been established, officials said.

The suspect was identified in the British news media as Thomas Mair.

On Thursday night, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported on its website that Mr. Mair was a “dedicated supporter” of the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi organization in the United States. The center, which tracks hate groups, said Mr. Mair bought a manual from the alliance in 1999 that included instructions on how to build a pistol. It based its reporting on invoices it said it had obtained, copies of which were published on its website…

Please offer Prayers and condolences to the family and loved ones of Jo Cox, who may well be the first UK victim of terrorism by a Republican-supporting fascist.

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Nuke the Filibastards!!

 Posted by at 9:10 am  Politics
Feb 162016
 

Back when Democrats held control of the Senate, I favored doing away with the filibuster altogether.  Senate Democrats fell slightly short of a complete nuclear option.  I was not a hypocrite when Republicans gained the Senate majority, and have continued to say that filibusters that automatically require a supermajority of 60 votes are a bad idea.  I have no objection to old style filibusters that last only as long as a single senator can speak without a break.  Since Democrats will probably keep the White House and take the Senate in November, we can be sure that Republicans will filibuster all Supreme Court Nominees for years.  Nuke the Filibastards!!

nuclear_blastIn the wake of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, Republicans abandoned any pretense at decorum and immediately began issuing pronouncements as to how and when Scalia’s seat should be filled—namely, not by Barack Obama. If that’s the way they want to play it, then fine: Here’s how Democrats should respond.

There’s no law or Senate rule that can compel Mitch McConnell, the GOP majority leader, to allow a vote to proceed on anyone Obama might nominate. McConnell could choose to wait as long as he likes—indeed, he can wait until Republicans control both the White House and the Senate at the same time. And if that situation doesn’t obtain in 2017, he could delay confirmation hearings until 2021, or 2025—whenever the red stars finally align.

Could “political pressure” move McConnell any more quickly? Unlikely. Republicans don’t care what the traditional media says about them—hell, they love to claim the press is their enemy—so even if a thousand newspaper editorial boards exhorted McConnell to move forward on a nomination, he’d just shrug his shoulders. And it’s even less likely that any Republican senator would find him or herself threatened for re-election because of GOP recalcitrance. Process stories rarely move voters.

But there is one force in this universe McConnell does have to respect, and that’s the nuclear option. In 2013, when Senate Democrats eliminated the use of filibusters for most presidential appointments, they still kept them in place for Supreme Court nominations. Therefore, even if Republicans lose both the Senate and the White House this November, they could still filibuster any Supreme Court pick that Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders might put forward in 2017.

And that’s why Chuck Schumer, who will replace Harry Reid as leader of the Senate Democrats next year, has to be willing to go full thermonuclear and end the filibuster once and for all if Democrats retake the chamber. In that scenario, a Democratic president could nominate whomever he or she likes, and the Democratic-controlled Senate could confirm that person, with as few as 50 votes since the vice president would break ties.

Schumer needs to issue this threat now, while it can still credibly be made…

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

I fully agree, except for one thing.  I object to choosing Schumer to succeed Leg Hound Harry.  We need a progressive who is not in Butcher Bibi’s pocket.

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