Tag Archives: Senate
Filibuster reform and the zombie apocalypse
Once I was a believer in the time-honored Senate filibuster tradition, although by “believer” I don’t necessarily mean that I loved it or revered it, exactly. I was more like a guy worried about a zombie apocalypse stocking up on 12-gauge shells. In case things go to hell, at least the good guys have the filibuster to slow the lumbering herd of dead meat down a little, right? So, I believed in the filibuster the way a B-grade horror flick protagonist might believe in ammunition.
The main difference between the Senate and a zombie apocalypse, of course, is that zombies aren’t real but the Senate is very much upon us. Also, in neither case does it look like we have enough ammo.
The last few years have changed the equation significantly. Read more
When Jesus Attacks! Why don’t we care that the Catholic Church is officially whipping Congress?
Part 2 of 2. (Read part 1…)
It’s Time to Separate Church and State, Once and for All
If you recall, anti-Catholic prejudice was once a problem for Catholic politicians in the US. John F. Kennedy went so far as to address the issue head-on in his 1960 campaign – probably because he didn’t feel he had much choice. Here’s what he told the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on September 12 of that year:
I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for President who also happens to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my Church on public matters — and the Church does not speak for me.
He went on to assert his respect for the separation of church and state and vowed that Catholic officials would not dictate policy to him. As noted in part 1, the times, they have a-changed. Read more
Jesus Gone Wild! It’s time to separate church and state, once and for all
Part 1 of 2.
I tripped across a provocative headline in the Wall Street Journal the other day: “They Need to be Liberated from Their God.” Turns out the story was about Mosab Hassan Yousef and his spying on Hamas. Which was a little disappointing. There’s no doubt that Palestinian Muslims need to be liberated from their god, but given the recent explosion in documented attacks by US Christians on their fellow Americans (as well as on reason and basic common sense), I thought perhaps the WSJ was going to be the first mainstream “news” outlet to do a story on Jesus Gone Wild!
I keep a running tab of stories that strike my interest. Read more
“You’re screwed”: GOP plan for America right on schedule
In Mike’s most recent Nota Bene, he points us to a disturbing, if not altogether surprising little vignette from Capitol Hill.
When House Democrats gathered on Friday for their end-of-the week caucus meeting in the basement of the Capitol, caucus chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) told the group he wanted them to hear first from Rep. Michael Capuano, who’d just returned from a primary campaign for the Senate seat in Massachusetts vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy.
Larson asked Capuano, who finished in second place, to share the wisdom he learned on the campaign trail. Read more
Worst Week: Gonna be a big one for John McCain
This could be a Very Bad Week for Sen. John McCain.
Last week, McCain attempted a stunt for the ages, announcing that he was “suspending his campaign” so that he could rush back to Washington, where he was apparently desperately needed in order to pull together an economic bailout package. He called on Sen. Barack Obama to stop stomping the shizzle out of him on the campaign trail join him in pursuing a non-partisan solution that would ease the suffering of his cronies on Wall Street the American people.
Needless to say, the plan fizzled, and for a variety of reasons.
- For starters, McCain has been absent from Washington for so much of this year (and most recent years, for that matter) that when he showed up, most people didn’t know who he was. Read more
Mark Udall helps hold the Constitution down while Bush and his corporate buddies drive the bus over it
Yesterday we here in Colorado learned a little more about our Democratic candidate for Senate, Congressman Mark Udall. And what we learned wasn’t pretty. Udall, along with 104 other collaborationist Dems, voted in favor of Bush’s latest Constitution-gutting initiative, a FISA “compromise” that makes all our talk about freedom in the US ring even hollower than it did already.
Russ Feingold’s take on the sell-out is spot-on:
â€œThe proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation. Read more
Is America ready for McChange?
It was one of this election season’s most surreal moments. Right about the time the other night that Barack Obama was clinching the Democratic nomination, a reanimated corpse Sen. John McCain took the podium in Kenner, Louisiana to regale an audience of literally several on the virtues of … change?
GOP Senate candidate not entirely sure what state he lives in
As the Colorado Senate campaign starts to hot up, GOP hopeful Bobblehead Shaffer has launched a new TV ad telling us how he’s the change Colorado needs. It’s a pretty spot, which features this scenic shot of Mt. McKinley towering majestically over … ummm, hold the phone… Read more
The Reyes Doctrine: speak loudly and cower like a whipped cur
On February 14 Silvestre Reyes, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, crawled up in Dubya’s grille and dropped some righteous nard-stomping pro-democracy rhetoric on his punk ass. We were as happy as we were stunned to see a Democratic leader swinging an actual set of cojones in the face of Mr. President’s fragrantly anti-liberty pro-corporate full-monty assault on our freedoms.
“We will not fear George W. Bush”
President Bush yesterday took as harsh a one-two beatdown as he has endured in the entire seven cynical, corrupt years of his doomed presidency.
First Silvestre Reyes, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, sent him a damning letter on his stubborn and hypocritical position on FISA. The letter not only outlines the facts of the law and the circumstances surrounding it for those who might only be familiar with the overt lie that Bush has been pandering to the American public, it concludes with a statement of intent that every single Member of Congress would do well to adopt: Read more
Telecom immunity: how stupid do you think we are?
It’s FISA Day in your Senate – amazing how this was scheduled for Potomac Primary Day, huh? – and Matt Browner Hamlin has the agenda up at Holdfast.
My big issue is item #4: retroactive immunity for telecoms. Verizon and AT&T have done all they can to pretend that they had no idea that their participation in warrantless wiretapping might be, you know, a full-monty assault on the Constitution itself. I mean, shucks, they wuz just doing what the president wanted them to, and if you can’t trust the White House who can you trust?
Here’s what Sen. Russ Feingold had to say on the matter: Read more
2007 in Review, pt. 5: Politicians, whores and the media who love them…
Welcome to the fifth and final installment of the Scholars & Rogues year-end wrap-up. Today we tackle the dirty, but oddly riveting world of politics. We’ll take a couple shots at the even dirtier world of media that makes it all possible. Let’s start at the top, shall we?
George Walker Bush: I’ve been telling my Republican friends for five years now that Dubya was going to do more damage to their party than an army of Hillarys could dream of doing. And 2007 was the year where I think the truth of this proposition finally started becoming evident. Scandals at the Justice Department and World Bank did him no favors, nor did the conviction of Scooter Libby (which necessitated the most politically debilitating pardon/commutation sequence since Ford saved Nixon). Iraq got worse by the day and we’re not seeing a lot of GOP presidential hopefuls looking to surf that Bush legacy. Read more
There is no opposition party in Washington
In describing the Democratic response to Bush’s sabre-rattling toward Iran, Power of Narrative’s Arthur Silber summed things up neatly:
They don’t object because — they don’t object.
The only thing wrong with Silber’s assessment is that it was limited to Iran. In truth, you could just as easily use those seven succinct words to characterize the Democratic Party in general. Time and time again, on critical issue after critical issue, the Democrats fall in line with their Republican leaders and do what they’re asked. They do the will of the GOP instead of the will of the people. They act in the interests of the nation’s narrow power elite instead of in the public interest. They follow instead of leading. And they do so because – they don’t object.
Some examples illustrate the point.
- Despite winning a majority in both houses of Congress largely on America’s unhappiness with our open-ended occupation of Iraq, and despite controlling the pocketbook needed to extend that involvement further, the blank-check Dems bankrolled over and agreed to continue funding Bush’s Folly. Read more