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Old 10-07-2011, 05:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Reid Changes Senate Rules to Promote Better Partisanship

It just got easier for one political party to dominate the federal government and trample the other political parties (okay, other political party singular, there are really only two).

Reid uses the

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To avoid a vote on President Obama's jobs bill Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoked a procedural motion that could change the way the Senate operates for years to come. It may not sound sexy, but the gist of last night's high-parliamentary drama was this: The majority party in the Senate now may have a new power to cut off motions to suspend the rules.

For several days, Senate Republican leaders have pushed for a vote on the American Jobs Act. ... But Reid, who plans to put a version of the jobs bill to a vote in the coming weeks, blocked the Republican effort by resorting to what has long-been called the "nuclear option": He got a procedural ruling from the parliamentarian that changes the minority's ability to introduce amendments when a filibuster is defeated. Reid called for a motion to simply overrule the parliamentarian's call permitting the McConnell amendment to go forward and he succeeded. Under the Reid rule change, a simple majority of 51 votes can effectively block the amended version of the AJA bill that McConnell was trying to marshal through the chamber.

That's a big, and potentially game-changing, shift in Senate procedure. Normally, the Senate can agree to waive the rules with a two-thirds vote once the majority overcomes a filibuster and members have 30 hours to introduce and debate the amendments. This is part of what sets the Senate apart from the House as the federal government's most deliberative body.

In one move, Reid abandoned years of precedent in the Senate and essentially cut off one of the minority party's most powerful weapons. It's a high-risk tactic, though, since Reid may have set the chamber on a course that could undermine his own party if Republicans one day become the majority in the Senate. A future Republican majority leader could easily point to Reid's gambit and deny Democrats the same ability to introduce their own amendments.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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yea. saw it yesterday. Reid is going to regret it when the republicans take over and make being a democrat illegal.

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Old 10-07-2011, 05:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Nah, the surprising thing is that:

A: Harry Reid grew a pair of balls (or borrowed Pelosi's), and

B: He went and actually did something to stop the Senate from being constantly gridlocked because one parties reflexively fillibusters every single fucking bill and thus requires a supermajority 2/3 vote for all but the most basic legislation.
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Way to go Harry, you just fell for Mitch's trap. You just made it possible for the Republicans to lose the Presidential election and still get everything your party has worked for overturned if they (the Republicans) can just get a simple majority elected into the Senate and House.
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Way to go Harry, you just fell for Mitch's trap. You just made it possible for the Republicans to lose the Presidential election and still get everything your party has worked for overturned if they (the Republicans) can just get a simple majority elected into the Senate and House.

Errrrm, you realize that the Democrats had a majority in both houses in the first half of Obama's term and were severely limited in what they could do, despite having that majority.

Healthcare reform almost didn't pass because when Kennedy died and was replaced by a Republican, the Democratic majority in the Senate was no longer the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster. The result was that the House, where the Democrats also had a majority, was forced to pass the version that had already been passed by the Senate and deal with the issues in the reconciliation committee, because the Republican minority in the Senate would have been able to tank the bill if they had to put it up for another vote (because of a Republican Senator from a state that already had a health insurance mandate, of all the fucking irony).

So you see, if Reid doesn't do this, it doesn't matter whether the Democrats have a majority in the Senate at all. The Republicans don't need a majority in the Senate to tank any bill they want. Now, it would be a problem if Obama loses in 2012, and the Republicans control the House, Senate, and Presidency, but frankly we're screwed if that happens anyways, filibuster or no.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Giving the minority party some procedural power is at least a mechanism to try to force some negotiation between the parties. Our current group of federal representatives are too inept to agree on the color of green grass, but changing the rules to make partisanship easier is a step toward ensuring that our temporary problem of partisan bickering becomes a permanent problem.
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Amity Slade View Post
It just got easier for one political party to dominate the federal government and trample the other political parties (okay, other political party singular, there are really only two).

Reid uses the
Your quote did not include this critical part.
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To do this, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) moved to add two Republican amendments to a bipartisan bill intended to punish China for undervaluing its currency. One amendment was a version of the president's jobs plan. And in order to push the amendment through, McConnell intended to file a motion to suspend the rules, which would require 67 votes and surely fail, giving Republicans the ability to say that Obama's jobs bill had failed. The Senate parliamentarian ruled that McConnell's motion was in order, and that the body could proceed with a vote on the amendments.
Ok let me get this straight, McConnell was trying to amend a bill about China with Obama's jobs bill. Is this really as rediculous as it sounds? I have to think that this is obviously more about political gamesmanship than it is about serving us with responsible government. I have to admit that I do not know enough about the Senate to know how to judge Reid's move. But it feels like the federal government is under attack in a more severe manner than at any other time in my memory. And it is hard to get a handle on the truth as the people purporting to represent the party seem to be speaking all manner of gobbledegook in the form of variable facts. I think the people with the real answers are the ones doing the funding of these conservative politicians.

In my eyes McConnell lost all credibility when he declared that the GOP's primary responsibility was to make sure that Obama would be a one term president. The problem with unlimited campaign funding is that the politicians never stop running for office. Now the primary priority is the acquisition of power through the acquisition of money brought to us by Citizens United. Which decided that corporations were people and that money is speech despite the fact that all four of these concepts already have their own distinct names and definitions.
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok let me get this straight, McConnell was trying to amend a bill about China with Obama's jobs bill. Is this really as rediculous as it sounds? I have to think that this is obviously more about political gamesmanship than it is about serving us with responsible government. I have to admit that I do not know enough about the Senate to know how to judge Reid's move. But it feels like the federal government is under attack in a more severe manner than at any other time in my memory. And it is hard to get a handle on the truth as the people purporting to represent the party seem to be speaking all manner of gobbledegook in the form of variable facts. I think the people with the real answers are the ones doing the funding of these conservative politicians.
Yes, I did leave that part out for brevity. The reason Reid pushed for a rule change to ensure that majority party could more easily bully the minority party in the Senate for decades to come is to stop McConnell from pulling a stupid political stunt to give him and a few of his friends some talking cheap talking points on Fox News for a few days. Those are indeed the stakes over for which Reid felt the need to take extreme, permanent action.
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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"Dangerous precedent" ?!

Folks are damned fools if they think the republicans wouldn't exercise this option in a heartbeat if the Democrats were threatening to be even half the obstructionists the GOP have proven to be. (assuming their positions were reversed)

If anything the GOP would have gotten around to using it sooner than the Dems did.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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"Dangerous precedent" ?!

Folks are damned fools if they think the republicans wouldn't exercise this option in a heartbeat if the Democrats were threatening to be even half the obstructionists the GOP have proven to be. (assuming their positions were reversed)

If anything the GOP would have gotten around to using it sooner than the Dems did.
The Republicans had a nice long span from 1995 to 2007 to pull this stunt, but didn't. But sure, if Reid doesn't do it now, then it's waiting around for Republicans to do the next time they get the Senate. i don't think that makes Reid noble because he got to fuck the government in this particular way before the Republicans got to do it.
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The Republicans had a nice long span from 1995 to 2007 to pull this stunt, but didn't.
Irrelevant. During that time the Dems were still interested in trying to have a functional government despite not being in the majority.

Unlike the GOP, which lately seems only interested in abolishing all federal power so private banks/corporations can run wild.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Irrelevant. During that time the Dems were still interested in trying to have a functional government despite not being in the majority.

Unlike the GOP, which lately seems only interested in abolishing all federal power so private banks/corporations can run wild.
Not irrelevant at all.

The fact remains there have been many times the Rs have contemplated enacting the nuclear option. The Ds screeched and whined how despicable that would be and how that would destroy the Senate, etc.

Although I may understand your "feelings" your gross mischaracterization regarding the GOP's interests is silly even for this place.

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Old 10-09-2011, 11:28 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Not irrelevant at all.

The fact remains there have been many times the Rs have contemplated enacting the nuclear option. The Ds screeched and whined how despicable that would be and how that would destroy the Senate, etc.

Although I may understand your "feelings" your gross mischaracterization regarding the GOP's interests is silly even for this place.

Yes because not wanting the other guy to go nuclear on the government is 'screeching' and 'whining'.

There is no big enough for this.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Yes because not wanting the other guy to go nuclear on the government is 'screeching' and 'whining'.

There is no big enough for this.

Indeed - and that is the point isn't it?

When the Rs contemplated it - the Ds condemned it as a terrible thing for our form of government.

When it is the Ds who actually do it, it is for the good of the country.

I add a to your
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Although I may understand your "feelings" your gross mischaracterization regarding the GOP's interests is silly even for this place.

I guess I was just 'feeling' that the GOP was steamrolling towards privatizing social security/medicare in the months leading up to our private sector's financial collapse. And some of them are still furiously banging away on that deregulation/tax-breaks/privatization drum.

The GOP has a better and more unified 'message machine' and is outstanding at keeping all party members in lock step with it. Threatening to run more conservative candidate against incumbents if they vote their conscience instead. Limbaugh, Murdock and Boehner have pockets deep ... but not enough to command that level of conformity.

Too many democrats seem to be taking marching orders from the same deep pockets. Obama included.

For decades we've been sliding back into an oligarchy. The money behind wall street wants only enough government to defend themselves from us. And it's pretty clear they're getting what they want.
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:50 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I guess I was just 'feeling' that the GOP was steamrolling towards privatizing social security/medicare in the months leading up to our private sector's financial collapse. And some of them are still furiously banging away on that deregulation/tax-breaks/privatization drum.

The GOP has a better and more unified 'message machine' and is outstanding at keeping all party members in lock step with it. Threatening to run more conservative candidate against incumbents if they vote their conscience instead. Limbaugh, Murdock and Boehner have pockets deep ... but not enough to command that level of conformity.

Too many democrats seem to be taking marching orders from the same deep pockets. Obama included.

For decades we've been sliding back into an oligarchy. The money behind wall street wants only enough government to defend themselves from us. And it's pretty clear they're getting what they want.

I agree - in part.

I think those who may be more conservative than some incumbent Republicans are also voting their conscience. Nothing wrong with people wanting elected officials who meet their own ideals (or perhaps comes closer than the 'opposition' candidate might).

I am not sure the Republican 'message machine' is better than the Democrats. I believe the majority of the "major media" leans left and there is a significant imbalance in what "message" goes out to the public at large.

Regarding regulations, social security, etc.: I don’t think conservatives want NO regulations – but reasonable ones. Social Security is in deep shit and has been for a while – it is unsustainable as it is and needs to be “fixed”.

Unfortunately a workable middle ground seems difficult for both sides, and in some cases a “middle ground” would not help but only allow some of the present problems to continue.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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It's easier to buy off 51 senators than 67 senators.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:36 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I am not sure the Republican 'message machine' is better than the Democrats. I believe the majority of the "major media" leans left and there is a significant imbalance in what "message" goes out to the public at large.

Regarding regulations, social security, etc.: I don’t think conservatives want NO regulations – but reasonable ones. Social Security is in deep shit and has been for a while – it is unsustainable as it is and needs to be “fixed”.

Unfortunately a workable middle ground seems difficult for both sides, and in some cases a “middle ground” would not help but only allow some of the present problems to continue.
Paragraph by paragraph:

1) How many progressive/liberal politicians do you know that are EMPLOYED by 'left leaning major media' news agencies as regular commentators? Do you know any that are financially compensated on a regular basis to go on air and echo the station's favorite soundbites like the cast of many that apppears on FOX?

2) The trouble with social security is vastly over-exaggerated by anti-entitlement lunks who want to privatize it. They're being lobbied by private interests that lie awake at night dreaming of what they'll do when their hands on that fat nest egg. So yeah, of course it's in trouble... Republicans are being backed for office with clear marching orders which result in them performing subtle sabotage and willful neglect on a large and complex system that, if left to rot as is will only on stay track till 2036 (or 2024, depending on who you listen to).

3) There is no 'middle ground'. Conservatives have thrown a wrench into government and ground it to a halt. They refuse to negotiate, they reject plans they themselves proposed once the opposition gets on board... it's a farce.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:18 AM   #20 (permalink)
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3) There is no 'middle ground'. Conservatives have thrown a wrench into government and ground it to a halt. They refuse to negotiate, they reject plans they themselves proposed once the opposition gets on board... it's a farce.
To emphasize this:



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Old 10-10-2011, 02:19 PM   #21 (permalink)
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And the 'tax breaks will pay for themselves' myth was debunked by Greenspan himself.

So FOX/the GOP abandoned that mantra, and adopted "You can't raise taxes on the 'job creators' in a recession or they won't create jobs."

Raising taxes on profits INCREASES the likelihood that corporations will re-invest their profits in expansion/labor/growth rather than putting it straight into the pockets of their share holders.

It would be more honest of them to say "Please don't raise taxes on our job EXPORTERS, cause their using their insane profits and low taxes to get us re-elected!"

Seen recently: "FOX - rich people hiring rich people to tell middle class people to blame poor people."
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:39 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Bullshit doesn't look and prettier or smell any sweeter when it's shoveled by a Democrat instead a Republican. Bullshit is bullshit.

Part of what enables the gridlock and bickering is that representatives' own constituents are not holding the representatives for whom they vote to the same high standards they demand of those for whom they didn't vote.

It is not the job of our Democrats in Congress to beat down the Republicans in Congress. Is is the job of our Democrats in Congress to do the business of the country. Just like it's not the job of the Republicans in Congress to beat down the Democrats, it is their job too to do the business of the country.

Excusing Democrats' bad behavior on the basis of "the Republicans do it to" or "the Republicans did it first" or "the Republicans would have done it" doesn't just lower the standards expected of them, it really just eliminates the standards.

The Republican Party in the U.S. Congress is obstructionist and destructive, but I would hope and expect the Democrats there to conduct themselves to a higher standard. But they won't if the people who vote them there don't hold them to a higher standard.

I refuse to vote for a Democrat just because that candidate opposes Republicans, or because that Democrat is not quite as bad as the Republican candidate. If neither the Democrat nor the Republican is prepared to do the job to a high standard, I have no problem voting for third party candidates even knowing they have no chance to win. Voting for the Democrat or Republican just encourages them to keep doing what they are doing.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:16 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Is is the job of our Democrats in Congress to do the business of the country. Just like it's not the job of the Republicans in Congress to beat down the Democrats, it is their job too to do the business of the country.

Excusing Democrats' bad behavior on the basis of "the Republicans do it to" or "the Republicans did it first" or "the Republicans would have done it" doesn't just lower the standards expected of them, it really just eliminates the standards.
Well, the other option is that the majority could concede defeat in the face of the minority's effective gridlock and they could just shut down government until the next scheduled elections.

It's not like there's any important crisises going on that government needs to be involved in or anything. Right?
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:09 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Paragraph by paragraph:

1) How many progressive/liberal politicians do you know that are EMPLOYED by 'left leaning major media' news agencies as regular commentators? Do you know any that are financially compensated on a regular basis to go on air and echo the station's favorite soundbites like the cast of many that apppears on FOX?

2) The trouble with social security is vastly over-exaggerated by anti-entitlement lunks who want to privatize it. They're being lobbied by private interests that lie awake at night dreaming of what they'll do when their hands on that fat nest egg. So yeah, of course it's in trouble... Republicans are being backed for office with clear marching orders which result in them performing subtle sabotage and willful neglect on a large and complex system that, if left to rot as is will only on stay track till 2036 (or 2024, depending on who you listen to).

3) There is no 'middle ground'. Conservatives have thrown a wrench into government and ground it to a halt. They refuse to negotiate, they reject plans they themselves proposed once the opposition gets on board... it's a farce.
1) I have no idea, but then I don’t know how many politicians are employed by any “media outlet”.

2) So then the reports that Social Security is in the red and will get deeper in the red are exaggerated? I guess you lost me there. By “staying on track” do you mean being in the red as it apparently is even today? Do I understand you to say that Social Security isn’t in deep shit, but perhaps only ankle deep shit (so there is nothing to be concerned about)?

3) I was speaking of regulations and suggest that a middle ground that does no more harm than good is best. You seem to dispute that?

On spending which I “think” is (at least primarily) what you are referring to in your item 3;

Indeed there comes a time when the gravy train has no more gravy to run on. The taxpayers are out of gravy. The US Government does not have an income problem they have a spending problem – when times are good, they take more and spend more – enacting bureaucracies that are self-perpetuating with built in spending increases. When times are bad, they do the same and happily ‘negotiate’ on how to serve their own interest groups and donors. There simply comes a time one must say “stop” and realize negotiating on how much more money you don’t have you are going to spend is foolhardy.

And, yes it is pretty much a farse.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:12 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Well, the other option is that the majority could concede defeat in the face of the minority's effective gridlock and they could just shut down government until the next scheduled elections.

It's not like there's any important crisises going on that government needs to be involved in or anything. Right?
Or - "they" could just do as someone suggested and not bother with the next election cycle.

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