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View Diary: The real agenda: Let the devil take the hindmost (210 comments)

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  •  Thanks...I just added it to my diary! (8+ / 0-)

    "Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." -Helen Keller

    by ridemybike on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 07:59:55 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  FORCE THEM TO FILLIBUSTER. (12+ / 0-)

      At the very least make them stand up and read Dickens into the Senate record while the media explains why they are fillibustering.

      "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" Coach John Wooden RIP

      by 4CasandChlo on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:10:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nahhhh.... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaleA, 3goldens, shaharazade, divineorder
        Make them read their precious Bible. It may be the first time any of them read it all...

        "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

        by QuestionAuthority on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 08:15:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Reform the Fkng Fillibuster! Read DW above, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State

        and here

        Call your Senators today! Tell them to Reform it now so we can get some progressive legislation passed!

        by divineorder on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 11:38:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the time to make THOSE calls will be (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          just before the winter holiday recess - because when they come back in January, it'll be as a newly constituted Congress, and that is when the motion to change the Rules of the Senate can and will be taken up.

          As you know (or being a kossack, I assume you know), the US Constitution makes absolutely no rules about the manner in which the Houses of the Legislative Branch of the Federal Government goes about their business, other than to say:

          US Constitution, Article I, Section Five

          Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House may provide.

          Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.

          Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

          Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
          [emphasis added]

          So, the Senate makes up whatever Rules it deems necessary, and then has to abide by them.

          On voting, bringing bills up for a vote on the Floor and on debate itself, there have been a number of changes since the Founding:

          Using the filibuster to delay or block legislative action has a long history. The term filibuster -- from a Dutch word meaning "pirate" -- became popular in the 1850s, when it was applied to efforts to hold the Senate floor in order to prevent a vote on a bill.

          In the early years of Congress, representatives as well as senators could filibuster. As the House of Representatives grew in numbers, however, revisions to the House rules limited debate. In the smaller Senate, unlimited debate continued on the grounds that any senator should have the right to speak as long as necessary on any issue.

          In 1841, when the Democratic minority hoped to block a bank bill promoted by Kentucky Senator Henry Clay, he threatened to change Senate rules to allow the majority to close debate. Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton rebuked Clay for trying to stifle the Senate's right to unlimited debate.

          Three quarters of a century later, in 1917, senators adopted a rule (Rule 22), at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson, that allowed the Senate to end a debate with a two-thirds majority vote, a device known as "cloture." The new Senate rule was first put to the test in 1919, when the Senate invoked cloture to end a filibuster against the Treaty of Versailles. Even with the new cloture rule, filibusters remained an effective means to block legislation, since a two-thirds vote is difficult to obtain. Over the next five decades, the Senate occasionally tried to invoke cloture, but usually failed to gain the necessary two-thirds vote. Filibusters were particularly useful to Southern senators who sought to block civil rights legislation, including anti-lynching legislation, until cloture was invoked after a 57 day filibuster against the Civil Right Act of 1964. In 1975, the Senate reduced the number of votes required for cloture from two-thirds to three-fifths, or 60 of the current one hundred senators.

          Many Americans are familiar with the filibuster conducted by Jimmy Stewart, playing Senator Jefferson Smith in Frank Capra's film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but there have been some famous filibusters in the real-life Senate as well. During the 1930s, Senator Huey P. Long effectively used the filibuster against bills that he thought favored the rich over the poor. The Louisiana senator frustrated his colleagues while entertaining spectators with his recitations of Shakespeare and his reading of recipes for "pot-likkers." Long once held the Senate floor for 15 hours. The record for the longest individual speech goes to South Carolina's J. Strom Thurmond who filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
          [emphasis added]

          The other interesting thing about cloture - originally, it required a 2/3 vote of the Senators present, but when they lowered it to 3/5 they changed the basis to Senators duly chosen and sworn. So they went from a percentage of those present, to a percentage of the sitting Senators (present or absent).

          Personally, I wish they would go back to unlimited debate on the Senate floor, as a means to reach the concensus that it was time to have a vote.

          Make these lackwits stand up in front of the cameras for days at a time and see how the general public reacts to the spectacle of Senators bloviating endlessly while the nation falls apart. Even die-hard conservative Republicans might see the reality of just whom it is they have been voting for all these years.

          The relentless use of cloture as a way of avoiding their duty to vote on the Legislation before them, by the US Senate, for about 100 years now, has become a major reason why our US Senate is the place good legislation goes to die.

          •  No need to wait. Waldman says call needed (0+ / 0-)

            Yes, Mr. President, David Waldman says: Filibuster Reform Now

            by divineorder on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 02:59:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •   Why wait on the calls? We need to make (0+ / 0-)

              this a priorty early. What new disaster might overshadow if we wait like you said.


              so I'd argue that if you think there's an imminent danger of losing the majority in the Senate, it's quite likely that you have just two choices as regards filibuster reform:

                1. take some advantage of filibuster reform and pass some decent legislation while you still can, or;
                2. sit back and wait to become the victim of filibuster reform instead.

              In the coming days and weeks, we'll discuss more about the mechanics, politics and procedure of filibuster reform, and why you need to be thinking about it even if you're not quite ready for it.

              For now, suffice to say that if your concern is that filibuster reform will come back to bite us in the ass, I would say that you're 100% right to be concerned and that you will one day be bitten, whether you act or not. The question is, what will you try to accomplish between now and then?

              Yes, Mr. President, David Waldman says: Filibuster Reform Now

              by divineorder on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 03:04:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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