Good Riddance, Filibuster … I’ll Miss You

Politicians volunteering to shut up? This can’t last.

Senate GOP leaders go “nuclear” to blow up that revered institution, the filibuster. A filibuster means if your political party doesn’t have the votes to get your way because the voters didn’t elect enough of you to justify it, you can just bypass majority rule and endlessly whine, bitch and moan until the majority party gives in like wimpy parents whose kids figure out that “no” actually means “OK, but don’t tell your father.”

I will miss Ted Cruz saying “green, eggs and ham” one million times to ban health care for the bottom 99 percent. Who can forget Strom Thurmond back in the 60’s reading phone books backwards to deport Rosa Parks.

This week Democrats just wanted to run their mouths without bathroom breaks for a losing cause, opposing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Democrats must get their loser fix regularly or the nation might just misplace them for good.

The filibuster might not be in the Constitution — don’t forget George Washington didn’t talk much, just raised an eyebrow now and then to signal his slaves to change shifts — but the talkathon’s venerable roots do go back to the Roman Senate. It was a last resort by the top 1% hoping to thwart Julius Caesars’s plans to spread wealth through land reforms.

Love it or hate it, depending on whether your party is in power, the filibuster seems about as healthy as tulips in Alaska (until the ice melts). It’s grip is eroding across the spectrum, not just for court nominations.

Just think Democrats, it’ll be a pisser for now, but get yourself some of those American voters the experts talk about and, armed with old-fashioned majority rule, you could one day make Republicans feel the fallout of this nuclear option.

[Cross-post via The Huffington Post, 4/5/2017]


Author: craigcrawford

Trail Mix Host

41 thoughts on “Good Riddance, Filibuster … I’ll Miss You”

  1. boss, what rules giveth rules can take away.  if closing in on 2018 election the gopers see nasty writing on the wall, isn’t it possible at the last minute they may restore the filibuster for their future safety net of “no” under a new dem run senate?

  2. from pbs newshour last night:

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you see coming out of the Senate?

    MARK SHIELDS: John McCain is fond of quoting Chairman Mao. And David brings that to mind, which is, it’s always darkest just before everything goes black.


    MARK SHIELDS: And that is what strikes me.

    I join him, I join David in commending Susan Collins of Maine, the Republican, and Chris Coons of Delaware, the Democrat, for trying to keep alive a sense of comity and — I-T-Y — and rapprochement and bipartisanship.

    They’re sponsoring a resolution that 61, or at least a letter that 61 senators have signed that they will not have the nuclear option on just legislative — domestic legislation, and that that would keep at least some hope alive that there would be a chance of moving across the aisle, working across the aisle.

    I think one of the saddest moments for me of the year 2016, Judy, was when John McCain, who had been the apostle of bipartisanship, announced before the election that he wouldn’t vote for any Supreme Court nominee whom Hillary Clinton — President Hillary Clinton nominated. And that’s contagious.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Slings and arrows coming from both sides.

  3. usatoday:

    A day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked the “nuclear option” to end a Democratic filibuster and confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, he sought Friday to reassure both Democrats and Republicans that he opposes any effort to strip the minority party of its power to block legislation from being approved.

    There is a big difference between eliminating the filibuster for judicial nominations and doing away with it for legislation, the Kentucky Republican said.

    “The core of the Senate is the legislative filibuster,” McConnell said. “This notion that this (changing the filibuster rule to confirm Gorsuch) somehow bleeds over into the legislative filibuster is untrue. I’m opposed to it … I think that’s what fundamentally changes the Senate.”


    “As I’ve said repeatedly: Let us go no further down this road,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Friday in a speech on the Senate floor just before the vote on Gorsuch. “I hope the Republican leader and I can, in the coming months, find a way to build a firewall around the legislative filibuster, which is the most important distinction between the Senate and the House.

    “Without the 60-vote threshold for legislation, the Senate becomes a majoritarian institution like the House, much more subject to the winds of short-term electoral change,” Schumer continued. “No senator would like to see that happen, so let’s find a way to further protect the 60-vote rule for legislation.”

    Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., agreed.

    “I heard my friend, Mr. Schumer, talk about the importance of us recommitting ourselves to the protections for the minority in passing legislation,” Blunt said Friday. “I think we can do that and, frankly, I think this exercise of refreshing our minds on how legislation has always been handled in that way … has probably created a greater commitment to that.”

    Moderate Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Chris Coons, D-Del., announced Friday that they sent a letter to McConnell and Schumer signed by 61 senators urging the leaders to preserve the legislative filibuster.

    “This letter demonstrates that a majority of the Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, can come together to protect an important tradition of the Senate that recognizes the rights of the minority and makes bipartisan legislation more likely,” Collins said. “After the contentious and polarized debate of the past few weeks, I am hopeful that this letter indicates a new determination by a bipartisan group of more than 60 Senators to move forward to solve the pressing problems facing our nation.”

  4. a voice of reason

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Friday encouraged her successor to remember the American people are the Department of Justice’s clients, not the president or Congress.

    “I would urge people who are taking over the department now to remember this is the Department of Justice for everyone,” she said, without mentioning Attorney General Jeff Sessions by name. “As you look at the rule of law, it’s not just words on the page. It’s the impact on people’s lives.”


    Lynch acknowledged the U.S. has always been divided, but said she believes people have never felt so free to be “so uncivil about it.”

    “So we descend into vitriol and we descend into sort of political name-calling and I think people on both sides of an issue write the other opinion off as something that’s ill-informed and uneducated,” she said. She urged students to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and ask, “What are people so afraid of?”

  5. I don’t have a major problem with the loss of the filibuster.  I do have a major problem with the racist turtleface who dishonors even the meaning of Senator in the theft of the seat from Merrick Garland and the threat that a seat would remain open for 8 years if necessary if Hillary had been elected.  If it wouldn’t get me in trouble with the men in black, I would recommend a Mikado style cure for his existence as being a gift to the world at large.

    To sit in solemn silence in a dull dark dock

    In a pestilential prison with a life long lock

    Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock

    From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block


  6. wwdd replaces wwjd

    Published on Apr 7, 2017

    In his editorial New Rule, Bill Maher tells Republicans that they have to learn the difference between being a conservative and just being a dick

    craig, you’ll like rep. lieu comments re war authority starting at 2:28

    Published on Apr 7, 2017

    Bill and his guests – Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), Ana Navarro, and Evan McMullin – discuss the U.S. bombing of Syria and President Trump’s past

  7. Alexandra petri:  The Last Filibuster
    Once upon a time in a place called the Senate there was a thing called the Filibuster.

    The Senate was once known as the world’s greatest deliberative body, probably because people had not seen any other deliberative bodies to compare it to. There, the Filibuster dwelled in relative peace and security. At first, it appeared only occasionally to trouble the Senators by interrupting their business and devouring hours of their time with long speeches. The Senators learned that this rogue beast could only be placated by bipartisan cooperation and sixty votes for “cloture” (not closure; you can never have closure.) This was because the Filibuster came from a bygone era when bipartisan compromise was readily available and flowed freely in smoke-filled rooms, before the members of the opposition party were replaced by hideous beasts with tentacles with whom it was impossible to find any common ground (the exact date of this transformation varies depending on your source and may be as early as 2013 or as late as JUST NOW)…….

    [read on at peril of spilling coffee all over the keyboard]

  8. A beautiful morning glory to you and Patsi Bale Cox is here with us as this is Garth Brooks weekend!

    What would Patsi ‘say?’ often crosses my mind?   I think she would say we are all still being played by russia.  I see conspiracy crosses other mixers minds as it does mine with this pretend and unauthorized POTUS.  You can take trump out-of-the tower, but you cannot remove the tower trash from his being.  The generals are in charge and you can bet most repugs are happy about that.  trump acts like Captain Phil Queeg.  The oval office is a man cave.  The WH a repug dinner club while MAL (Mar-a-lago) is trump’s safety zone.  Where he can enjoy his food and drink with heads of state as he does know how to entertain the Asians.   He is in the hospitality business, first and foremost, Period.

    Obama had his military actions, too.  The pirate takeout was spectacular enough to have a movie made about it. But, Yemghazi, which was the first trump military attack, was pretty messy.  ivanka saved the day, however, with her mourning outfit (available online) and accompanying her daddy in a procession march to view our fallen soldier.  Too bad about the innocent children killed in the attack.   Now the retaliation attack on syria.  And the attack on Sweden?  trump fancies himself as Carnac when predicting world events.   Hah!  He is moving about the Risk board game when he promised to take care of the Homeland, FIRST.    I expect this military stuff to boast his ratings which used to be called polling numbers.

  9. One more comment about MAL and the crappy sound system.  When trump announced his tomahawk missile attack, the audio was so poor.  Leader of the free world wants us to pay for a new sound system at MAL, I say let china pay for it.

  10. as for the tomahawks and the filibuster?  To me, the senate went to hell the day they silenced Warren.  The repugs still make that ‘tomahawk air chopping hand gesture’ behind her back.  Women are getting squeezed-out of the political world…shamed and no more corrupt than their male counterparts.   It is happening globally and the nationalists want to keep the women at home and pure.  Globalists want women to have access to education, birth control and jobs.

  11. Doesn’t look like Trump’s $100 million message deterred Assad so much:

    (CNN) New airstrikes have targeted a town in northwest Syria that was hit by a deadly chemical attack earlier this week

  12. Pussy Grabber is like having a hormonal teenager with his finger on the button

  13. Poobah, looks like we (you) were right about missles not being media of communication. I guess drumpf is grabbing himself.

    Of course no one is really talking about the Russia connection or his bullshit surveillance lies , so I guess it was a tremendous success.

  14. On a lighter note, I just tried a Samuel Adams Ella Blanc IPL, which is just excellent. A perfect match for the White turkey chili I just made. And it’s sunny. The floater aside, life could be worse.

  15. Jamie, Mama Dove still on the job, noticed she was fidgeting with the eggs this morning, they must be about ready to hatch.

  16. Thanks, Ms Dallas ! I meant to mention this gasoline price rise yesterday, following the $1/bbl jump in the price of oil on Thurs eve/Fri morning. The stock of troubled Cobalt Energy rose 31% yesterday. I presume that things will have settled back quite a bit by Monday morning.

  17. I suppose we’re also in the midst of the seasonal changeover of formulation. I’m not alarmed considering our energy self-sufficiency.

  18. Pogo, glad to hear your world is great again. Now, come over help me cut the grass, edge everything and, before all that, pull weeds. I don’t use herbicides. I doubt that we will have time to wash Rosie.

  19. solar, a little ditty to go along with that whiskey

    Songwriter: TEX RITTER
    Jack o’ Diamonds, Jack o’ Diamonds and I know you of old
    You’ve robbed my poor pockets of silver and gold
    It’s a whiskey, you villain, you’ve been my downfall
    You’ve kicked me, you’ve cuffed me, but I love you for all
    It’s a whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
    If I don’t get rye whiskey, well, I think I will die
    I’ll eat when I’m hungry, I’ll drink when I’m dry
    If the hard times don’t kill me, I’ll lay down and die
    I’ll tune up my fiddle and I ‘ll rosin my bow
    I’ll make myself welcome, wherever I go
    Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
    If a tree don’t fall on me, I’ll live till I die
    Beefsteak when I’m hungry red liquor when I’m dry
    Greenbacks when I’m hard up and religion when I die
    They say I drink whiskey, my money’s my own
    All them that don’t like me, can leave me alone
    Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
    If a tree don’t fall on me, I’ll live till I die
    Sometimes I drink whiskey, sometimes I drink rum
    Sometimes I drink brandy, at other times none
    But if I get boozey, my whiskey’s my own
    And them that don’t like me, can leave me alone
    Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
    If a tree don’t fall on me, I’ll live till I die
    If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck
    I’d dive to the bottom and never come up
    But the ocean ain’t whiskey and I ain’t a duck
    So we’ll round up the cattle and then we’ll get drunk
    Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
    If the whiskey don’t kill me, I’ll live till I die
    My foot’s in my stirrup, my bridle’s in my hand
    I’m leaving sweet Lillie, the fairest in the land
    Her parents don’t like me, they say I’m too poor
    They say I’m unworthy to enter her door
    It’s a whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
    If I don’t get rye whiskey, well, I think I will die
    Sweet milk when I’m hungry, rye whiskey when I’m dry
    If a tree don’t fall on me, I’ll live till I die
    I’ll buy my own whiskey, I’ll make my own stew
    If I get drunk, madam, it’s nothing to you
    Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
    If a tree don’t fall on me, I’ll live till I die
    I’ll drink my own whiskey, I’ll drink my own wine
    Some ten thousand bottles I’ve killed in my time
    ‘ve no wife to quarrel, no babies to bawl
    The best way of living is no wife at all
    Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
    If a tree don’t fall on me, I’ll live till I die
    Way up on Clinch Mountain I wander alone
    I’m as drunk as the devil, oh, let me alone
    You may boast of your knowledge an’ brag of your sense
    ‘Twill all be forgotten a hundred years hence
    Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, you’re no friend to me
    You killed my poor daddy, God damn you, try me

  20. sorry about the length (I left out some of the parts already reported) but with distraction of messages being sent and bombs going off it’s important not to lose sight of over-looked story in ny times the same day as the tail wagged the dog:

    C.I.A. Had Evidence of Russian Effort to Help Trump Earlier Than Believed

    The C.I.A. told senior lawmakers in classified briefings last summer that it had information indicating that Russia was working to help elect Donald J. Trump president, a finding that did not emerge publicly until after Mr. Trump’s victory months later, former government officials say.
    The briefings indicate that intelligence officials had evidence of Russia’s intentions to help Mr. Trump much earlier in the presidential campaign than previously thought. The briefings also reveal a critical split last summer between the C.I.A. and counterparts at the F.B.I., where a number of senior officials continued to believe through last fall that Russia’s cyberattacks were aimed primarily at disrupting America’s political system, and not at getting Mr. Trump elected, according to interviews.
    The former officials said that in late August — 10 weeks before the election — John O. Brennan, then the C.I.A. director, was so concerned about increasing evidence of Russia’s election meddling that he began a series of urgent, individual briefings for eight top members of Congress, some of them on secure phone lines while they were on their summer break.
    It is unclear what new intelligence might have prompted the classified briefings. But with concerns growing both internally and publicly at the time about a significant Russian breach of the Democratic National Committee, the C.I.A. began seeing signs of possible connections to the Trump campaign, the officials said. By the campaign’s final weeks, Congress and the intelligence agencies were racing to understand the scope of the Russia threat.
    In an Aug. 25 briefing for Harry Reid, then the top Democrat in the Senate, Mr. Brennan indicated that Russia’s hackings appeared aimed at helping Mr. Trump win the November election, according to two former officials with knowledge of the briefing.
    The officials said Mr. Brennan also indicated that unnamed advisers to Mr. Trump might be working with the Russians to interfere in the election. The F.B.I. and two congressional committees are now investigating that claim, focusing on possible communications and financial dealings between Russian affiliates and a handful of former advisers to Mr. Trump. So far, no proof of collusion has emerged publicly.
    Mr. Trump has rejected any suggestion of a Russian connection as “ridiculous” and “fake news.” The White House has also sought to redirect the focus from the investigation and toward what Mr. Trump has said, with no evidence, was President Barack Obama’s wiretapping of phones in Trump Tower during the presidential campaign.
    The C.I.A. and the F.B.I. declined to comment for this article, as did Mr. Brennan and senior lawmakers who were part of the summer briefings.

    In the August briefing for Mr. Reid, the two former officials said, Mr. Brennan indicated that the C.I.A., focused on foreign intelligence, was limited in its legal ability to investigate possible connections to Mr. Trump. The officials said Mr. Brennan told Mr. Reid that the F.B.I., in charge of domestic intelligence, would have to lead the way.

    Days later, Mr. Reid wrote to James B. Comey, director of the F.B.I. Without mentioning the C.I.A. briefing, Mr. Reid told Mr. Comey that he had “recently become concerned” that Russia’s interference was “more extensive than widely known.”
    In his letter, the senator cited what he called mounting evidence “of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign” and said it was crucial for the F.B.I. to “use every resource available” to investigate.
    Unknown to Mr. Reid, the F.B.I. had already opened a counterintelligence inquiry a month before, in late July, to examine possible links between Russia and people tied to the Trump campaign. But its existence was kept secret even from members of Congress.

    Well into the fall, law enforcement officials said that the F.B.I. — including the bureau’s intelligence analysts — had not found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government, as The New York Times reported on Oct. 31.

    But as the election approached and new batches of hacked Democratic emails poured out, some F.B.I. officials began to change their view about Russia’s intentions and eventually came to believe, as the C.I.A. had months earlier, that Moscow was trying to help get Mr. Trump elected, officials said.

    The classified briefings that the C.I.A. held in August and September for the so-called Gang of Eight — the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and the Senate and of the intelligence committees in each chamber — show deep concerns about the impact of the election meddling.

    In the briefings, the C.I.A. said there was intelligence indicating not only that the Russians were trying to get Mr. Trump elected but that they had gained computer access to multiple state and local election boards in the United States since 2014, officials said.

    The F.B.I., the N.S.A. and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence also held a classified briefing on Sept. 6 for congressional staff members about the wave of Russian hacks and “the current and ongoing threat facing U.S. political organizations during this national political season,” according to a government official.

    These new details show Congress and the intelligence agencies racing in the campaign’s final weeks to understand the scope of the Russian threat. But Democrats and Republicans who were privy to the classified briefings often saw the intelligence through a political prism, sparring over whether it could be construed as showing that the Russians were helping Mr. Trump.

    The briefings left Mr. Reid frustrated with the F.B.I.’s handling of Russia’s election intrusion, especially after the agency said in late October — 11 days before the election — that it was re-examining Mrs. Clinton’s emails.
    Mr. Reid fired off another letter on Oct. 30, accusing Mr. Comey of a “double standard” in reviving the Clinton investigation while sitting on “explosive information” about possible ties between Russia and Mr. Trump.
    “The public,” Mr. Reid wrote, “has a right to know this information.”

  21. My day has been one sans news of the outside world until now.  A trip down to my sailboat to discuss slip fees and to make sure she was still afloat.  Slip fees are for next week.  She was so pretty sitting there waiting for me to come aboard.  First to board was Gale.  Less elegant than Ricky Nelson boarding the USS Echo in the Wackiest Ship in the Army she was.  I had to pull the boat to the dock, pick up Gale, and in spite of her best efforts to stay on the dock, toss her on board and down into the cockpit.  I know this will improve as she gets some practice at boarding snappily.  It felt good to be on board again.  It probably was a little too soon after the surgery, but I needed her (Sisu).  Getting Gale off Sisu was even more inelegant.  Including getting one of her rear feet stuck in a cleat.  Time will help that too, although Boo hates leaving the boat too and has been known to hide to prevent capture and being stuffed in my jacket to prevent escape until the hatches are locked down.


  22. the guardian:

    Who’s who in Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago situation room?

    Image of the president and his staff receiving a briefing about the progress of strikes on Syria paints a thousand words

    A photograph tweeted out by White House press secretary Sean Spicer has given the world a look inside Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago “situation room”.

    The president was at his Florida resort for talks with the Chinese president Xi Jinping when he gave approval for the launch of Tomahawk missiles aimed at one of Bashar al-Assad’s airbases in Syria.

    After dinner on Thursday night, he crammed around a small table in the resort’s reportedly “freshly constructed” secure room for a briefing on the progress of the strike.

    The image, released by Spicer on Friday, shows Trump sitting at a table with secretary of state Rex Tillerson, commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, national security adviser HR McMaster, chief of staff Reince Priebus, special adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and others. Sitting on the sidelines is adviser Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and the sole woman in the group, deputy national security advisor Dina Powell. Spicer is also in shot, sitting alone in the corner, near the door.

    The group was reportedly looking at a secure video feed of defence secretary Jim Mattis, vice president Mike Pence and others telling Trump that 58 of the 59 rockets launched had hit their targets.

    The image of Trump and his team was instantly likened to the photograph of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and others watching the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

    The photo was also pored over for clues as to who is in – and out – of the president’s favour.

    Most noteworthy was the position of Kushner at Trump’s table and Bannon on the periphery. There were also questions over why so many economy-related aides were present including Ross, treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council. But that could probably be explained by the other business at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s meeting with Xi, where trade was high on the agenda.

  23. After a little reading I am even more sick to my stomach about the crazy old guy in the WH.  We now have the senile old man there who realized he was given a shiny new train set, something he was never had as a toddler, he only had the hotels on Broadway.   Well, there was a big yellow sticky with an arrow pointing to a button – PUSH was all the writing.  With the important Chinese leader from China sitting next to him he said “Watch this, I am myself important”.  He pushed the button and peed his diaper.

  24. Flatus, re: gas prices, the formulation changeover was in my mind as well. It hit us week before last.

    Poobah, you were right. Meaningless “communication “. People prolly don’t care if Assad kills them with gas or bullets. When  Assad stops killing Syrians I’ll praise drumpf for his actions. Until then…no fucking way.

  25. Gas prices went up a couple of weeks ago here, too, but another 10 cent jump from Friday to Saturday.  Syria?

  26. “In a research note out Friday, Croft wrote, “If these strikes are not followed up by a serious effort to oust the Syrian leader [Bashar Assad], none of these scenarios may materialize and the oil implications will remain negligible. However, given that President Trump had previously signaled deep disdain for humanitarian interventions and Middle Eastern military engagements, we are now in uncharted waters….”

    “Summer driving season will also give prices a “boost,” and demand won’t fall anytime soon, according to Croft.”


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