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Okay, so no one read the Slaughter/Pelosi report "Broken Promises: The Death of Deliberative Democracy. I read it. I don't blame you.

But don't sweat it. I'll fill you in on the juicy details that this paper does a lousy job of illuminating.

I've had a civil back-and-forth with jesselee of the DCCC about the 147-page document (of which only 46 pages are actual report, the rest are appendices), where I argue that this potentially explosive report was a media relations failure.

In short, the thing was a Lakoff nightmare.

Among other failings, the "meat" of the story was buried, the writers managed to frame themselves as whiny democrats, and the media was given an "out" if they didn't want to cover the story, which most didn't. (The notable exception being this WaPo story that actually came out prior to the release of the report.)

On the flip, I'll provide some of the cool stuff that you DIDN'T read, complete with the requisite F-bombs here and there.

To quickly recap, "Broken Promises: The Death of Deliberative Democracy" charges that the House Republican Leadership of the 108th Congress has become
"the most arrogant, unethical and corrupt majority in modern Congressional history."

But just what exactly does that mean? What does it entail?

Well, for starters, it means House Republican leadership has managed:

to systemically abused the House "rules" for parlimentrary procedures and, along with other even more blatant and underhanded tactics,  managed to virtually shut out Democrats (and moderate Republicans, I might add) from debate;

to severely limit the ability to amend bills;

to force members to read bills in what amounts to, in some cases, 40 seconds per page prior to a vote;

to abuse the "emergency procedure" designation for hundreds of bills, solely for the purpose of stunting debate.

Furthermore, the House Republican leadership convened the 108th Congress for the LEAST amount of working days (243) then at any time since becoming the majority in 1995 (a full EIGHT weeks less than the 104th Congress), while at the same time, INCREASING the number of days used to consider so-called "suspension day" bills, which are nothing more than glorified ribbon cuttings:

(p.29) Typical suspension day items are measures naming federal buildings, resolutions congratulating individuals or groups, or bills authorizing small pilot programs or land sales that enjoy near-unanimous support in their originating
In other words, Republicans rewrote the rules in a way that allowed them to transform Wednesday from a day when the House debates and amends major legislation into a day when it names post offices and congratulates sports champions and foreign governments.

In short, the Republicans have not only shortened the working session by nearly 8 weeks since they took over leadership, but they've dedicated a MAJOR portion of that time to debating bills that there is ALREADY A CONSENUS on!

Let's put it another way: This tactic is nothing short of a systematic shutting off of debate by "debating" non-controversial bills. Republican leadership made time for nearly a thousand non-controverisal bills, but the House was given only 4 HOURs to debate the Medicare prescription drug bill, which involves literally hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars!

Some other lowlights from the Republican leadership during the 108th Congress:

1) In a blatant gambit to avoid giving committee members the required 48-hour notice prior to a meeting (under Rule 2), the leadership has willfully exploited a provision that allows a Chair to call an emergency meeting "at any time on any measure or matter which the Chair determines to be of an emergency nature."

(p. 35) Of the 191 total rules the Committee reported for the 108th Congress, 116 were done as emergency measures. In other words, Rules Committee Republicans considered 60% of the committee's business in the 108th Congress an emergency.

Let me get this straight. Sixty percent of Committee business is "emergency in nature?" Wow. A lot of hair on fire, up there on the hill, me thinks. Well, I did some checking. Here's a quick sampling of some of these "emergency" bills, as listed in the report's appendix:

H.Res. 168 H.R. 743 - Social Security Protection
H.Res. 239 H.R. 1904 - Healthy Forests Restoration Act
H.Res. 449 Providing for a suspension day on November 20, 2003 - with consultation with
Minority Leader

Not sure what constitutes an "emergency" up there on the hill, but "providing for a suspension day" seems to me to fall somewhere OUTSIDE that category. WTF?

2) Here's another beauty: If only getting 24 hours notice is not enough to keep members from participating in committee, how about a little late-night love. Yes, you're a committee member interested in debating "H.Res. 383 Conference Report on S. 3 - Partial Birth Abortion Ban." You wanna play? Okay. Tell `em what they won Don Bardo!:

(p. 36) If short notice is not enough to discourage a Member from submitting amendments and testifying before the Rules Committee, then holding hearings at 11 at night or 7 in the morning will surely convince Members not to bother. In the 108th Congress, 76 of the 191 Rules (nearly 40% of all rules) were reported after 8:00 PM and 21 of those were done at 7:00 AM on the next calendar day, but under the legislative fiction that it was still the previous day.

So are you with me so far? To recap: The session is shorter by 8 weeks, debate on ribbon cuttings is extended, the vast majority of rules are "emergencies," which means that virtually no notice is given, and some 40 percent of all rules were reported after 8 p.m. Shit, all that's missing is a blindfold, some salt, a shot of tequila and a secret handshake and we can close these fuckers off completely.

You think that's it? Oh contraire, Lisa Simpson. A bill doesn't become a law quite that smoothly.

3) House Leadership makes a mockery of the House/Senate conference process by providing "blanket waivers" to all House rules regarding bills coming out of conference.

The final details of a bill are hammered out in a joint conference between the House and the Senate, after which time an up or down vote is taken by the full body on the revised bill. It is at this point that conference conferees have the opportunity to "amend" the bill, essentially behind closed doors.

House rules exist to protect against abuses in conference. For example, changes should not fall outside the scope of the house-approved version, there's to be at least one public meeting on the changes, and the conferees must "attach a joint explanatory statement to the report that is `sufficiently detailed and explicit to inform the House of the effects of the report on the matters committed to conference.' "

But most importantly, a three-day layover is required for such conference bills in order to ensure House members can read the changes prior to an up or down vote. Now, under special circumstances, sometimes these rules are waived. No one, including Democrats, has a problem with the occiaisonal exception.

Now, can you guess where this is going? You guessed it. The Republican leadership of the 108th Congress granted "BLANKET WAIVERS" to every single one of the 28 rules, effectively eliminating "points of order" on all considered bills coming out of conference.

Which, of course, means members did NOT get the three days to review the bill. And guess what? All of our previous rat fuckings still apply: 24 of the 28 rules were drafted as "emergency" measures; 12 of the 28 were reported after 8 p.m., and 6 of those 12 were brought after 6:30 a.m. the following day and brought to the full House for an up or down vote, just hours later!

This, folks, is how we nearly got saddled with  the infamous "Istook Amendment," which would have given Congressional staffers access to the confidential tax returns of U.S. citizens.

Guess what else all these rule waivers mean? They mean that House members NOT part of the conference get virtually no time to review the final draft a bill prior to an up or down vote.

For example, members were granted exactly 40 seconds per page to review the 288-page dividend tax bill. Members had 20 hours to review the 852-page final draft of the Prescription Drugs/Medicare prior to voting. Hey, I'm all for pimping Evelyn Wood, but this is ridiculous.

And we wonder why we're being rat fucked?

The Prescription Drugs/Medicare bill deserves it's own wing in the "usurping the democratic process hall of shame." The report details this abomination in nice detail:

A similar rushed process occurred for the conference report on the Medicare Prescription Drug bill (H.R. 1), one of the most important pieces of legislation the House considered in the 108th Congress. The 850-page conference report for H.R. 1 was filed in the House at 1:17 A.M. on November 21, 2003 and had passed the House by 6 A.M. on the morning of November 22, 2003.

It is not surprising the Republican leadership jammed this conference report through the House over the objections of Democrats. More surprisingly, they rushed it through despite the protests of a significant part of the Republican Conference. On October 29, 2003, 41 Members of the Republican Study Committee wrote a letter to Speaker Hastert, Majority Leader DeLay, and Majority Whip Blunt requesting that the Medicare conference report lay over for three days, in accordance with Rule XXII. These Members made their request for the following reason:

"The general public will evaluate not only what Congress does regarding Medicare
and prescription drugs, but the way in which it does it. A bill proposing such
substantive changes to the Medicare system and costing an estimated $400 billion
over the next decade deserves the careful and thoughtful consideration of all Members.
Allowing Members adequate time to properly evaluate the Conference Report will
avoid a needless and difficult internal fight on the Rule, and allow Leadership to
concentrate its efforts on final passage of the Conference Report. It will also lead to more public confidence in the legislative process and greater acceptance of that
process' final product."

The House leadership apparently decided it would be too risky to let House Members (including their own Republican Members) have three days to consider the bill as regular order would require.

Instead, they opted to jam the legislation through the House as quickly as possible, relying on their arm-twisting abilities rather than the merits of the bill. The infamous 3-hour vote on this conference report, plus the accusations that the Republican leadership offered bribes and threatened Members for their votes, could not have improved the "public confidence in the legislative process," as the Republican Study Group had hoped.

Other blows to the public's confidence in the process that produced the new Medicare law came from revelations that the Administration withheld from Congress an analysis showing the cost of the bill to be more than $500 billion; that Energy and Commerce Chairman Billy Tauzin was negotiating for a $2 million-a-year job with the drug industry during the conference negotiations; and that the new law gave a $139 billion windfall for the pharmaceutical industry.

Shameless cocksuckers.

For a nifty little synopis of how little Tom Delay thinks of democrats, take a look at this cute
from the back cover of Lou Dubose's book on Delay, The Hammer.

4) Finally, let us not lose sight of the utter hypocrisy of these Republicans;
Here's our dear friend Joe Scarborough, writing recently in the Wall Street Journal:

"Ten years ago, Republican congressional candidates like me were running as
Washington outsiders promising to balance the budget and pay off the federal debt.
We campaigned against the Imperial Congress and promised Americans that if we
got elected, we would be different. We lied."

Rules Chairman David Dreier made several statements when the Republicans were in the minority, essentially condemning Democrats for using tactics, which by today's standards, would have looked like a veritable model for "deliberative democracy.' Dreier sings a different tune now:

(p. 7-8) "We have had to do some of the things we criticized once...But now that I'm in the majority, I have this responsibility to govern. It's something I didn't completely understand when I was in the minority."

Well isn't that special.

A large, important portion of this report details the nature of Open and Closed and Restrictive rules and how the current Leadership is using the "closed" rules for the vast majority of bills. You can read it if you're so inclined, but I think you get the gist:

As far as Democrats and moderate Republicans are concerned, the United States House of Representatives is CLOSED for business.

Originally posted to bigskiphazzy on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 02:26 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  i undoubtedly (3.98)
    ...screwed up some of the "parlimentary rule" shit. I apologize in advance. I tell ya, it's hard work. Haaaaard work, reading that report.

    If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention.

    by bigskiphazzy on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 02:20:41 PM PST

    •  Great Job! (none)
      Thanks for the short version.  The chances that I would find the time and energy to read it myself were slim at best.  I avoid hard work!
    •  Mostly right. (4.00)
      You got almost all the procedure right. Minus this part:

      Now, can you guess where this is going? You guessed it. The Republican leadership of the 108th Congress granted "BLANKET WAIVERS" to every single one of the 28 rules, effectively granting the "points of order" on all considered bills coming out of conference.

      The waivers don't grant points of order, they waive them. Ordinarily, a bill that doesn't lay over three days is subject to a point of order on the floor -- where Members may object to the bill's consideration because its consideration violates the three-day rule. Waiving that point of order in the rule for the bill means... you're not allowed to object that the rule is being broken.

      Well, you can object -- or more accurately, express your objection. But you can't make a point of order and get the chair to rule on it.

      •  thanks for the clarification (none)
        Maybe I'll go back in. so, in essence, it's even WORSE than I surmised, right? By getting a "blanket waiver" there's not even the procedural bullshit on the floor where they attempt to waive it through. Is this correct?

        If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention.

        by bigskiphazzy on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:12:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  edited per comment (none)
        now it reads:
        ...effectively eliminating the "points of order" ...

        If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention.

        by bigskiphazzy on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:16:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK (4.00)
          Well, that's got it right. I don't know that it's any worse than you imagined, though. I think you were on target with how bad it was the first time.

          Although I guess you could argue that it is a little bit worse, in that it shields the Republicans from the public embarrassment (if anyone ever watched C-SPAN) of having to have the points of order heard, ruled on, and voted on.

          The effect of waiving these points of order is most likely only this: the time it takes to "consider" and pass these bills is shortened.

          By how much?

          By the amount of time it would take for a Democrat to raise a point of order, the amount of time for which other Democrats seek recognition to be heard on the point of order, the amount of time for which Republicans seek recognition to argue against it, the time it takes the Republican in the chair to rule against the point of order (in direct violation of the Rules of the House and its precedents), the amoung of time it would take a Democrat to call for an appeal of the ruling of the Chair, the amount of time it would take for a Republican to rise in response and move to table the appeal, and the 15 minutes it would take for the Republican majority to approve the motion to table.

          I think.

          In other words, waiving points of order against the bill saves whoever's in the chair from the embarrassment (if any) of having to openly flout House rules to shut Democrats up when they try to enforce them as written.

    •  I read it (4.00)
      I recommended the Diary that brought it to us.  What is this continual complaining about "no body read it?"  And thank you for your condensed presentation here, by the way.

      But you know how spoiled we are here at dkos, we want the condensed version, and the authors "speculation" about what it all means.  There are so many important topics that come and go here in a day most of us hardly have time to do more than a brief comment and a recommend and move on to the next thing in order to keep up with what is going on.  Also this was unfortunately posted during an all out call to action on the bankruptcy crap bill. . .sometimes timing is everything.

      Thanks for your hard work on this.

      If not now. . .When?

      by shirlstars on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:26:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You ploughed through it... (4.00)
      so I wouldn't have to.

      And for that, I am incredibly grateful. Not only did I not have to sift through the dross to get to the outrage, I didn't even have to read your diary. (I DID, I just didn't HAVE to.)

      If I may offer my take?

      All the excellent rebukes and compilations of Republican abuses, malfeasance and arrogant, petty bullshit in the WORLD will mean diddly fucking squat if we don't FRAME and fucking PUBLICISE the SHIT out of this.

      now, I don't know what it would take in a reasonable world, but these are not reasonable times in which we live.

      My idea, which no Senator or Representative will undertake on this goddamned plane of existence, is this:

          Every single Democrat together on the steps of the Capitol for a weekly press conference. They can take turns leading -- but every Democrat in Congress must be present, a single voice.

            (and any Democrat who refuses to participate is summarily dismissed -- unofficially, of course -- from the Democratic family in the House and the Senate. Frozen out. They can go suck Republican dick without cover of the title "Democrat," since everyone will see them breaking from the DEMOCRATS. Fuck them. Fuck each and every Vichy fucking one of them.)

           Every. motherfucking. week. A press conference. Detailing THAT WEEK'S abuses by the Republicans. SIMPLIFIED explanations of the business that week and what went down.

      Bankruptcy Bill would have been a GREAT place to start.

      Lots of nominations coming up. RE-nominations. SCORES of crappy fucking laws and bills and resolutions, MASSIVE wastes of time disguised as legislative work (example: "We, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House, vote unanimously to acknowledge that Nice People ROCK and Mean People SUCK." -- THAT kind of fucking waste of time).

      Enough of this nonsense! It is time to CHANGE THE WAY CONGRESS DOES BUSINESS, god-fucking-damnit.

      I feel another diary in me, but it will have to wait till Monday. I am bad on weekends, too much enforced family time, too much crap to do.

      I miss the time when weekends were a fucking RESPITE in my life.

      Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

      by Maryscott OConnor on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 02:13:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A pattern of lameness (none)
        After several horrid bills sailed through, I called my rep to ask why he voted for them. Answer? The problems outlined here with the offering "He wasn't given time to read them."  My reply was, THEN WHY THE FUCK DID HE VOTE FOR IT?  Patriot Act anyone?

        Try that with a any other legal contract and see how far you'll get.  "Yes, I know I agreed to take out a 2nd mortgage on my house, but I wasn't given time to read the contract." Yeah baby, that'll hold up well in bankruptcy court.

        Our reps are making law here, not love.  If they aren't up for the quickie, they should just say no.

      •  my buddy (none)
        in 'Bama was screaming this exact sentiment in my ear across three time zones thanks to the miracle of wireless technology yesterday. ... That 75-25 vote was D fucking pressing. For the life of me, I couldn't explain it away with some "strategic" defense. Man, we gotta hold our own feet to the fire and then hold the GOP feet to the fire as a COLLECTIVE force! Shit, Media grandstanding is about the only motherfucking tool left in our arsenal. I may change my tag line to:

        We ... Don't ... Govern. Get it?

        If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention.

        by bigskiphazzy on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 08:13:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for summarizing ... (none)
      I also read through this report. And, to be honest, with some anguish.

      Pain over more documentation of the damage being done to the Congress, an institution where I had my first employment and still love ...

      Pain over the utter ineptness of those drafting the report & then exploiting it.  Badly drafted ... confusing ... not a good summary ... many missed targets ...

      With just a little effort, this could have been a centerpiece about the corrupt, hypocritical, and venal nature of the Republican leadership in their pursuit of the Contract on America.  Instead, as you note, it is seems whiny without getting the media coverage that might have helped Americans realize that they need to do something about this at the voting booth.

      Related to this, it seems that the Democrats should respond to the calls by Bush / et all for bipartisanship on Social Security by -- in part -- demands that Bush show seriousness about a commitment to something of a two-way street on bipartisanship and commitment to democratic values in the American system.  How about placing a recommendation that Bush veto all legislation that is passed through undemocratic processes -- such as with conference committees without robust (at least 30%) minority representation in both House & Senate conference participants?

  •  thanks... (4.00)
    ...imagine how HAPPY I was when I learned that the actual report was "only" 46 pages!

    If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention.

    by bigskiphazzy on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 02:48:45 PM PST

  •  Chart of time before vote (4.00)
    Available here:

    Here are some out-takes:
    Prescription Drugs - $500billion+, 852 pages, 20 hours
    Omnibus Appropriation - 1507 pages, 12 hours
    Dept of Defense Authorization - 938 pages, 25.5 hours

    Here's a group lobbying for legislation that would require representatives to read legislation and have a minimum of 7 days before voting.

    Here's a phrase to add to your vocabulary, "Brown-Shirt Republicans"

    by Mosquito Pilot on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 02:48:54 PM PST

    •  very cool... (4.00)
      Since I can't upload graphics, I appreciate any and all efforts to do so. Bottom line: NO System that allows an 852-page piece of multi-billion dollar legislation come to an up or down vote with just 20 hours for final review is WORKING. Where the fuck are we, afganistan?

      If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention.

      by bigskiphazzy on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 02:52:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Did the Press Read It? (none)
    I haven't heard one word on any news show about the report.  Has anyone heard a mention?
    •  well... (none)
      the WaPo article I ref'ed did. Supposedly the wires picked it up, but I haven't seen much. Again, I think there was a "structural" problem with the report. If you read my back and forth with jesse at DCCC, I basically think that by leading the report with the GOP "hypocrisy" angle, they gave the media an "out."
      Here's my take, anyway:

      If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention.

      by bigskiphazzy on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:06:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •! (4.00)
      Baby, you have to SPOONFEED the press. Give them some juicy tidbits they can run with. Do what the diarist here did and drill it down to 1 page.

      But don't expect them to sit down with 40, 50 or 100 pages and cover it any time soon...

      "It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by grannyhelen on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:22:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, that depends don't it? (none)
        I mean, look how long the Starr report on Clinton/Lewinsky was...


        "...almost 2,000 years after Jesus routed those scoundrels, the money changers have not merely reentered the temple - they are the temple." Robert Scheer

        by Prog Grrl 68 on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 09:59:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Byrd's Rise of Fascism Speech (none)
    Time to follow up on Byrd's Speech to the Senate with Part II in the House.
    •  My thoughts exactly (none)
      Byrd was talking about tactics, cloaking everything with a veneer of legality, and in effect, ultimately making the illegal legal.

      There is nothing really illegal about what is being done, but the ethics are beyond questionable.

      Additionally, what they are doing is against all the principles of a republican form of cemocracy.

      2000-2008 may well be remembered as the time when democracy died in the US, unless something happens next year.

      And unfortunately, many Democrats have been, wittingly or unwittingly, accomplices in the killing.

      Bush, so incompetent, he can't even do the wrong things right.

      by JAPA21 on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 09:11:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  much to my surprise (none)
    kudos to Joe Scarborough
    •  Joe is that most rare of beasts (none)
      a Principled Conservative.  There was once a time we could work with these people.  Unfortunately, the Rethuglicans have run them out and they don't belong in our we only get the scumwad shitstain Corporate Shill / Psuedo-Religious Nutjobs now.

      Those willing to sacrifice their etenal freedom for temporary freedom are worthy of neither freedom nor security.

      by TheGryphon on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 05:39:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  House Democrats need to go on strike! (4.00)
    Seriously.  They should absolutely refuse to vote on bills that they haven't been given a chance to read.  Maybe they should go so far as to picket in front of the capitol.  Nice big signs and everything.  

    What would that change?  Nothing.  But it would get people's attention. Most of our citizenry has no idea that their government has been hijacked like this.  I'd be willing to bet that most of our citizenrey would not approve.

    The legislative process is, in fact, closed to the Democratic party.  Time to think in terms of theater.

    "...your grasp has exceded your reach/ And you put all your faith in a figure of speech..." -- Warren Zevon

    by Roddy McCorley on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:08:53 PM PST

    •  I have some ideas on theater. (none)
      Of course, they were a bit more relevant before the GOP, red-faced, repealed its infamous DeLay Rule, but I wouldn't want to be in the position of having to defend against these maneuvers with nothing in my toolkit except the excuse that "we took that one back."
      •  Your "maneuvers" link is a dead end. (none)
        Hell, I was looking forward to reading it.
        •  Well, duh! (none)
          That's awfully stupid looking.

          Try this one:

          •  thanks. (none)
            You are too damned civilized - that's fairly mild [though effective] action.  I'd be more inclined toward radical action, like coordinate a walkout and publicize it in advance; bury them in procedure [as you suggest] from now 'til June if necessary.

            I don't think dems understand that virtually everything they submit of any substance will get buried.  If that happens, what's the point of being there?

            •  I was going for something familiar to them. (none)
              I thought if I demonstrated that it was procedurally doable, it would count for something with them. If they ever saw it, that is.

              The downside of a walkout is that the Republicans don't need us to show up to have a quorum.

              Of course, we're losing everything anyway, so there's not that much at stake. Except justification for your salary, that is.

              •  You're not gonna believe this (none)
                trying to take a shortcut to Next Hurrah, yep, links broken.  Heading over there the regular way.
                •  Wow. (none)
                  You know what? That's incredible. I actually tested it earlier today, and when I roll over it and look at the URL that pops up, it's exactly the same wrong URL that was the dead end attached to the first link I provided above that was supposed to go to my old diary.

                  At first I just thought I hadn't properly cleared my cache (or whatever you'd call it) when I created the link to the diary. But I successfully tested the sig line link HOURS before I posted the link above.

                  Damned strange.

    •  They tried that here in Texas (none)
      Didn't work so well.  

      When it comes to protests, the media cover the spectacle of it, but not the substance.  So all the public would see is that the whiny Democrats are picking up the ball and going home when they lose, without understanding the grievance behind it.

      But in fairness, I don't have a better idea as to how to explain to the press that these seemingly arcane structural changes to the House have ruined Democracy.

  •  So is there a way (4.00)
    for the dKos news team to repackage this report in a condensed, readable form and redistribute it to the media?
  •  You went to all that trouble (3.00)
    Then you just had to slip in, "Shameless c#########s." Slick. Or is my use of that word going to invite a little more gratuitous gay-bashing. (And no, I don't think you were talking about a female fellating a male.)

    I didn't rate you a troll, because the majority of the content was worthwhile - until you threw the verbal turd into the punch-bowl. I suppose some people will tell me to sit quietly in the back of the bus and rate accordingly. I don't give too much of a flying filagree if they do. But just in case why don't you folks who think I'm being too 'sensitive' reply with your race, national origin, and religion. Maybe we could come up with a few insults that might make you pissed off. Or are your feelings all that count.

    •  fair play to you (none)
      ...sorry if I offended you. Duly noted.
      Was going to write:


      Made an editorial decision. I'll live with it.

      If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention.

      by bigskiphazzy on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:31:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  on behalf of (none)
        cocksuckers everywhere, especially those in congress, the choice of vernacular was apt.

        Avoiding Theocracy at Home and Neo Cons Abroad

        by UniC on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:41:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  WTF does that mean? (none)
          You're speaking "on behalf" of gay people, in particular gay members of Congress?

          You're not speaking on this cocksucker's behalf!

          •  Read it in context matt (none)
            bigskiphazzy chose to use cocksuckers instead of fuckers.
            It makes no difference what the epithet means to you, jabney or me. There was no derision towards cocksuckers of either gender or orientation. In context there wasn't any connection to non procreative oral genital stimulation.
            Personally I couldn't give a toss (no complaints from mutual masturbators) about someone's sexuality whether there are gay members of Congress or not it's irrelevant. bigskiphazzy could have just as easily been referring to them as fellating corporate cock.
            If the diarist had chosen to refer to Congresscritters as acting like Republicunts and someone made an unfounded statement of offense at the use of the C word, under bigskiphazzy's ironic response I would have replied on behalf of cunts everywhere that the vernacular was apt.

            Avoiding Theocracy at Home and Neo Cons Abroad

            by UniC on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 08:49:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Here's your 4 (none)
        You deserve it. It really was an excellent and much needed diary. I'd even recommend it if it weren't for your ill-advised "editorial decision."
    •  Recently educated (none)
      I rarely if ever use the term to which you object, and it was only via a Maryscott diary earlier this week that I learned that it was a slur against Gays. It just never occurred to me.  You can be sure that I won't use it in the future.

      In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

      by Paul in Berkeley on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:57:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  wow - (none)
      talk about getting your retaliation in first!

      Caucasian,British,Lapsed Church of England since you ask.

      Incidentally I think your point was a fair one  if not a little heavy handed, after all one person's pissed turd is another persons c***s

    •  Please tell me you're kidding (none)
      Cocksucker is a generic insult, like shithead,  fuckwad and a host of others. Taking such words literally is like looking for sexual preferences in cartoon characers - You end up reading way too much into something that's not really there.
      Please tell me you're kidding.

      For the most part, I'm Irish Catholic. You'd think a Catholic University would have more sense than to name their sports teams Fighting Irish. Maybe this should insult me, but why let it?

      •  Generic? (none)
        No I'm not kidding. I suppose a protestant named Michael employed by a fishery and given a job de-boning ocean fish could be called a "M*ck m*cker*l sn*pp*r." Would you defend that as a generic insult?

        "Shithead" has never been applied to any one particular group. "Fuckwad," likewise. But that is not the case for "c*cks*ck*r."

        Does not using a particular word diminish the language. Probably. Just as not being able to hear John Lennon's "Woman is the N-word of the World" on the radio anymore could be said to diminish the listening experience. It's just that it's not OK for a white person to say the 'N' word anymore. Do you believe that John Lennon, if he were alive and writing today, would pen those words? Whatever the validity of the argument of the song.

        In the case of the original post, which it appears nobody else has objected to, the use of that particular 'C' word does not serve the argument in any way, shape or form. If you can convince me it does, I'll be happy to relent.

        Diaries can be edited, it appears, but obviously nobody gives a damn. It irritates me. But in my opinion, the word's unquestioned acceptance degrades dailykos. And that's a shame. Especially when it's part of an otherwise useful posting.

        •  The C word (none)
           Or at least one of them. In all of my 54 years whenever I've used the word, or heard it used, it was always as a generic "bad word".
           The only thing I really have to say about it is what I tell my hubby, "Don't use it and expect any from me!"
          •  What's the Old Mom's Saying (none)
            It's fun until somebody loses an eye. That's the problem with insult speech. If you are not threatened by a term, why should you notice? Would you, as a woman, have noticed if he had used the other 'C' word? Would you have cared?

            Which 'C' word do you think was one of the last that Matthew Shepherd heard as he was beaten and strung-up on a fence to die?

            Is it possible for words to influence people? Do you think everyone in Germany started out using the German equivalent of, "K*k*" in 1933 or did that take a while?

            Would Kristallnacht have been delayed had there been an internet or, would it have been advanced? I used to think, delayed or prevented. After tonight, I'm not so sure.

            You may not feel threatened yet, some people do.

            •  Aah, a lot of our most respectable women (4.00)
              suck a little cock now and then. So do some of our most respectable men. Bug fucking deal.

              As it so turns out, being called "fucking" isn't all that bad either; fucking, or more like it making love, is about the most sacred thing this atheist is aware of; and I couldn't give a damn how some prim little shits freak out when it is used in a derogatory fashion.

              Grow to post-insultable status.

              Yesterday we stood at the abyss; today we are taking a step forward.

              by peeder on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 11:55:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  John Lennon (4.00)
          Do you believe that John Lennon, if he were alive and writing today, would pen those words? Whatever the validity of the argument of the song.

          I certainly hope he would.

          Mm. I'm going to use a word I normally don't use here, just to make a point.

          By insisting that people fastidiously avoid use of words like "cocksucker" or "nigger", no matter what the context, you're mistaking the symbol for the substance. It's analogous to right-wingers demanding that we pass amendments banning burning the flag. Banning the destruction of symbols of the US doesn't do a damned thing to actually protect the US, just like banning the use of certain language does precisely fuck-all to end discrimination.

          Nobody lends money to a man with a sense of humor -- Peter Tork, "Head"

          by Field Marshall Stack on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 06:35:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No... (none)
            I am not demanding that anyone do anything, but understand the inherent 'insult' within this apparently 'generic' insult. It is at its root, whether intended or not, a reinforcement of patriarchal gender bias, and inherently misogynist when used as a pejorative, against women, or against non-heterosexual males, which is the underlying context of using it as a pejorative by 'feminizing' the male target of the pejorative.

            As with everything, context is everything.

            Think twice about using it as pejorative. There are plenty of other slang pejorative that can be employed to mean the same thing as the intended 'generic' insult intended by using cocksucker, which does not unintentionally reenforce the homophobic and/or misogynistic underlying structure to this when used as a pejorative.

            Don't get me wrong... I have no truck with cocksucking, regardless of gender and even 'reclaiming' the word when used in a non-pejorative context.

            Food for thought.


            Mitch Gore

            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

            by Lestatdelc on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 08:55:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Jesus motherfucking Christ (4.00)
      Look, dude, I am with you in the spirit of being aware of the true derivation of the pejorative nature of "cocksucker."

      As mentioned above, I mentioned it in my diary, Profanity, Propriety, Censorship & Semantics.

      But you have just derailed this VALUABLE DIARY with your semantic pissy fit. I refer to Maryscott's Law®:

      Maryscott's Law ®:

      Entering a discussion on a blog or message board and taking offense at wording used in the title, the body of the diary -- or in any comment thereto -- and proceeding to hijack the fucking discussion with an...

      • enraged/saddened/worried/indignant comment,
      • employing a pleading/complaining/accusing tone,
      • decrying/condemning/mourning the use of the offending word or phrase as
      • racist/disrespectful/inaccurate/misogynistic/homophobic/ageist/profane and therefore unacceptable to the commenter

      ...resulting in a lengthy detour from the original motherfucking point of the diary and forcing reasonable people to choose between ignoring the offroad debate, or wading into the fray and thus contributing to the fucking derailment in the process.

      Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

      by Maryscott OConnor on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 02:25:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  Of course... (4.00)
          my wording is all wrong. And I feel guilty even posting the damned notice of law breakage, since it DOES< in fact, contribute to further derailment.

          But since I'm here, the appropriate wording of Maryscott's Law®:

           Maryscott's Law ®:

           It is Very Motherfucking Uncool to enter a discussion on a blog or message board and, taking offense at wording used in the title, the body of the diary (or in any comment thereto), to proceed to hijack the fucking discussion with a...

          • saddened/enraged/worried/indignant comment,
          • employing a pleading/complaining/accusing tone,
          • decrying/condemning/mourning the use of the offending word or phrase as
          • racist/disrespectful/inaccurate/misogynistic/homophobic/ageist/profane and therefore unacceptable to the commenter

           ...resulting in a lengthy detour from the original motherfucking point of the diary and forcing reasonable people to choose between ignoring the offroad debate, or wading into the fray and thus contributing to the fucking derailment in the process.

          Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

          by Maryscott OConnor on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 03:01:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Only one warning (4.00)
      Jab, you've derailed the thread with your pissy hissy fit over the use of the word cocksucker.

      That's grounds for troll-rating.

      Suck it up and stick with the meat of the matter.

      Confused? Try this diary.

      "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Dr. Robert Hare

      by RubDMC on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 06:53:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My F-bomb diary on this... (4.00)
    ...which I am posting here:

    4/5ths of Oregon and Oregonians are told that (i.e. FU) what we think about the issues that impact our lives and our world.

    But it isn't just 4/5ths of Oregon either. If you live in the Los Angeles metro area, they don't give a shit what you think aout anything.

    Seattle metro area?

    Seattle who?

    You are being told (but you are not listneing either) that your views on anythign don't amount to crap.

    San Franciso?

    You must be joking.

    Same for you Chicago, New York, and basically most every major metropolitan area in the country, your voice, your views, what you think or feel, or what happens to you means less than shit.


    That is what the GOP is basically saying in they way they run Congress now.

    That is the upshot of what the House Rules abuses by the GOP controlled House that are reported on in Rep. Louise M. Slaughter of New York's report on the GOP abuse of power and subverting of the Constitution amounts to in practical terms.

    This is one of the minor problems with the report... it makes vast assumptions that people know how exactly the rules committee does, how it crucially impacts our ability to be represented in Congress and such, and it assumes we understand how it is "suppose" to work in respects to how legislation moves through committee, to the floor, etc.

    Even just filling in all the missing background info and context that is needed to make it even intelligible to anyone who doesn't make a hobby (or a vocation) of watching how the House (and Congress as a whole) functions internally... it needs to be spelled out in plain direct, this is how X happens, and WHY... and move it to why it matters how Congress functions (or doesn't) to the issues that impact people's lives.

    Otherwise is it all mind-numbing inside baseball flame warrioring.

    I live in a fairly blue state, and my rep is blue in a heavily blue district. You want to make it relevant? Then you need to explain in point blank language, that on the issues of cutting Medicare, social security, etc. Portland Oregon is being categorically shut out of the process of debating these things because the GOP are shutting out the Democrats.

    In simpler words, the GOP controlled house is intentionally ignoring the entirety of Portland Oregon, Gresham Oregon, etc. and the most populous metro area in the state and in fact on the west coast between Seattle and San Francisco (BTW, fuck you too Seattle and San Francisco, they don't give a fuck about you either, not you Los Angles or almost every other metropolitan area in the country).

    The GOP is willfully telling Oregon's most populous area that they give less than a fuck to anything that happens to them, and we are denied our democratic representation because our elected representative is blocked from equitable participation in OUR own fucking Government because of rank partisan bullshit.

    Make the "rules" in Congress RELEVANT.

    Don't assume people see the connection. Beat people over the head with it. Make it so any mouth-breather with barely a passing interest in even knowing we have  a Congress understands that their voice is getting shut down because of GOP partisan screwing of the rules.

    Our interstate bridges and roads falling apart?

    Too fucking bad, the GOP doesn't want to hear from you.

    The Social Security you have been paying into is about to be stolen blind by the GOP...?

    The GOP gives less than a fuck what you have to say about it, because they are sticking their fingers in there ears and screaming "la la la I can't hear you" when it comes to having our CONSTITUTIONALLY ELECTED representative shut out of the process.

    Your Medicare cut?

    Too fucking bad, GOP doesn't even want to hear from you Oregon or care what you have to say or think about the matter.

    Your schools being shut down because of budgetary shortfalls exacerbated by underfunded mandates like NCLB?

    Fuck you Oregon, the GOP doesn't give a fuck if you fall into the fucking Pacific. They only want to talk about Oregon when they want to make it so the can cut down our trees, or scare people into supporting a bullshit welfare check to missile defense contractors by scaring you into thinking that North Korea is going to lob a nuke missile at us.

    And if you have anything to say about it.. to fucking bad.. the GOP doesn't even want to hear from you.

    The report needs to be made RELEVANT in plain language.


    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:32:40 PM PST

    •  BTW... (4.00)
      while I agree with you break-down... it still doesn't connect what the abuses are to the public at large and why it should matter to them...

      this is why I am trying to show that it is relevant to them, because whole States, most major urban areas are simply being shut out of representation in Government in the House because of the rules abuse by the GOP.

      It isn't a matter of "whiny Dems" but that the people the Dems represent (a major chunk of the nation) simple are shut out of having a voice in the Gov. because the GOP are abusing their power.

      It isn't about the House members, or house procedure. It is about US and our representatives being shut out of the process, hence we are being shut out of the deliberative process.

      Make it RELEVANT to the public.

      Otherwise its inside baseball.


      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:37:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. Ass/u/me (none)
        Started to read and edit, and gave up - needs a cogent three-page abstract, in plain english.  I think they blew a good opportunity.

        Reflects badly on their performance, what there is of it.  Ya know, if I walked onto a jobsite, and the boss gave half the crew time off with pay, and told the rest of us to keep working, he'd be shut down in a heartbeat.  We'd just walk.

        •  In one sentence... (none)
          The Republicans are playing Calvinball with the Congress.

          Or something like that.

          The important thing is to get the soundbite down in the under 10-15 word range.  And repeat it over and over.  IMHO.

          potentially interesting music by gee dub bee

          by geedubbee on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 11:04:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  narrative: tell a story (none)
      Some reporter needs to find an egregious example, and tell in sequential order, "who did what, and with what, to whom."  Posted after 8 pm, entered at 7 am, rules waived.  Make a shocking, sensational case.  

      Americans still believe in fairness, when it applies to them (not to brown people.)

      BTW:  Dreier is my Congressman.  And the term c*cks*ck*r is apt in his case-- highly secretive closeted gay.  His long term companion is the highest paid chief of staff in DC, other than  Cheney's.

      "With Liberty and Justice for All"

      by ohshenandoah on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 09:35:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  See now Mitch (none)
      If the congressmen who released this report had made a sexy one-pager for the press with this Constitution/Post-It-Note image at the top, etc etc...the press might have bit!

      That's a potent lede: is congress ignoring the needs ideas and wishes of all of America's largest cities?

      "...almost 2,000 years after Jesus routed those scoundrels, the money changers have not merely reentered the temple - they are the temple." Robert Scheer

      by Prog Grrl 68 on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 10:03:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  FYI.. I am still in the proccess of reading it (none)
    So the "nobody read it" is a little over the top.

    Reading it still.. and processing it (and educating myself on the process being described and understanding it in order to see what the relevance is)


    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:41:41 PM PST

    •  I'm with ya. (none)
      dude, I concur with everything you're saying here. The MORE we get out on this, the better. MY effort was an attempt to "recast" the friggin' emphasis of the report.

      Truth be told, I disagree with your assessment that there are only "minor" issues with the report. If you read the entire introduction, you'll see that the writers Framed the whold goddman thing wrong. After beginning with a strong thesis, they basically go straight into the "hypocrisy" angle (i.e. they SAID they'd be better, but they're worse.) I mean, that's fucking WEAK. Here's MY analysis from an earlier diary of the report, which sorta prompted my diary:

      I read the report ... all 46 pages of it. Please don't take this wrong, well you're going to so I'll accept that, but the fact is, the problem with this report is that it's written like shit.
      I'm not sure I've ever read a report "framed" as poorly as this one.

      And I went and read Matt Yglesias's blog, and Kevin Drum's blog, and your blog, and the press release you linked to, and MyDD's bit, and the KOS diary by Paradox and the WaPo article, and all the rest. And there was a common thread among them: No one seemed to have read the damn thing.

      And you know why? Because it was written poorly. And it draws attention to the WRONG thesis right out of the chute.

      The damn thing reads like a Master's thesis by a 22-year-old poly sci student at Georgetown entitled ""The Decline of the Legislative Process in the U.S. House of Representatives Under Republican Leadership." (And if you wrote it, I apologize, but it does.)

      You're NOT going to get any traction in the blogosphere, let alone the mainstream media (other than the chit someone called in at WaPo), when the second sentence of your executive summary basically INDICTS both parties. To wit:

      When they took control of the House after the 1994 elections, Republicans vowed they would be different than previous Congresses.

      Which implies that those in the majority in "previous congresses" (Read: DEMOCRACTS) deserved to be called on the carpet.

      They promised they would manage the House in a way that fostered what they called "deliberative democracy," which they defined as "the full and free airing of conflicting opinions through hearings, debates, and amendments for the purpose of developing and improving legislation deserving of the respect and support of the people."

      Which, again, implies that the folks in charge PRIOR to the republican takeover, did NOT foster "deliverative democracy." (Now this may or may not be true -- probably is -- but it sure as shit ain't NO way to sell your outrage.)

      This report documents how, ten years after their "revolution," House Republicans
      have completely abandoned this standard of deliberative democracy they set for themselves.

      Okay, so what? We're back to square one? Politicians are all self-serving greedy fucks who will sell out any principle -- and say anything -- in order to gain power? Not exactly a selling point to the American people when you lump your own party into that category. If anything, it lends credence to the old cliche that has turned so many voters off: "They're all the same. They're all greedy fuckers." (By arguing that democrats are LESS greedy, doesn't exactly make a point anyone cares to hear. I'm sorry.)

      Bottom line: This report was a Lakoff nightmare, which is too bad. There was some good shit in it -- buried way deep in the text -- somewhere just before the 100 pages of appendix material (about all the "closed" and "restrictive" rules), and just after the "executive summary" and Congressional history lesson. But no one's gunna know it because, for some godawful editorial reason, Slaughter and Pelosi and their Georgetown intern decided it was more important to catch David Dreier in a bunch of "oops" moments than it was to spell out what a rat bastard Tom Delay is and WHY he's such a danger to democracy in a way that would RESONATE with citizens and journalists.

      Never fear, I'll diary on this tommorrow and, hopefully, point out what people should be focusing on, like the fact that Delay allowed over 1,000 bills to come to the floor for debate relating to the renaming of Post Offices and the like, and yet limited debate on the Medicare Prescription Drug bill to FOUR FUCKING HOURS!

      That's your news, jesselee. Sorry it took to page 40 to find it.

      I know this was harsh, but goddamnit, I read the whole fucking thing. I think I'm entitled. Keep fighting though, just mix in an editor.

      Bottom line: We're on the same page on this. Nice work on your own, BTW.

      If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention.

      by bigskiphazzy on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:48:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (none)
        Still trying to get through it all and digest.

        They need to be arguing WHY the rules abuse is bad for PEOPLE and Democracy... then use the hypocrisy for when the other side says it is just whiny Democrats. The structuring is 180 backwards form what I can tell.

        I think it has some merit as a white paper, but it needs to drive the point home on WHY this is a bad thing, and how it is harmful to the public and democracy. As it is it is all about complaining about how business is being conducted without making it front and center why that has to matter to the public.

        That is where it needs to be re-crafted and lead with.

        I am obviously far more engaged than the average schmo politically, and I am having to find out and educate myself and am being surprised and how the attachment of rules radical affects how ever piece of legislation moves through the House. I assumed that the rules committee set up uniform standing rules.. and the machine just cranks bills through by those pre-set rules. Not that each piece of legislation has a separate rules attached to it, etc.

        Nobody is going to dig into it and grok that or even care about it.

        Inside baseball is what it will come across to 99% of the people.

        Make it relevant that they are being screwed because they have zero voice on the House because the GOP are abusing the rules process. Make it relevant to how they have no voice in the issues that people are concerned about, because of rank partisan majority abuse of the rules system in the House.


        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 05:31:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not too late (none)
          See now, are we all SURE that it's too late to make this a press lede story?  If a blogswarm starts to pick this apart and pull out the tasty bits, isn't there still plenty of time to get it out?

          Also, since most of the report is detailing what the American Taliban-led congress is currently getting away with - then every time they do it, the blogswarm can point it out again.

          Maryscott's idea of the weekly "see what these f***ers did this week?" press conference led by the entire Dem congress is a nice idea.  A pipe dream, I suppose - but that's not to say that several Dems (rather than ALL) could hold it.  Or else another respected Dem group - maybe Mr. Dean could lead it?  He attracts a lot of press...

          "...almost 2,000 years after Jesus routed those scoundrels, the money changers have not merely reentered the temple - they are the temple." Robert Scheer

          by Prog Grrl 68 on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 10:07:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  link to is broken? (none)
    I think you're missing a trailing 'whack' from your URL - you have "" (which redirects me to "" - an expired domain...) but "" gets me to jesselee's realm.

    A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila. - Mitch Ratcliffe

    by wickerman26 on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:42:54 PM PST

  •  GOP Response (none)
    I've seen some coverage of this report and the underlying issues on TV, and so far the GOP response has uniformly been "well, you Democrats did it to us when you controlled Congress!"

    Jeez, I'd call them infantile assholes but I don't want to insult either infants or sphincters.

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:59:04 PM PST

    •  And that is EXACTLY the problem with the report (4.00)
      As bigskiphazzy correctly points out. It all is frmaed in "you guys are worse than we were".

      WTF kind of framing is that?

      The David Dreier in a bunch of "oops" moments should be the appendices to be able as one round of ammo in the belt to fire back at the GOP when they trotted this out. Not, as it currently is, pretty much the entirety of the Exec. Summary.


      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 05:40:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Does anyone know if it was common practice (none)
      for Democratic Reps to allow lobbyists to actually draft legislation while cutting GOP Reps out of the drafting process entirely when Dems controlled?  
  •  I am appalled (none)
    Interestingly, Blair over here faces similar criticisms of his arrogant treatment of the House of Parliament.

    For some reason, our processes here are able to confront him and stop the worst abuses. It has something to do with there being an independent speaker - selected from the MPs but with centuries of tradition to maintain in the role -and that extraordinarily effective anachronism, the House of Lords.

    I would change one statement in your diary. You write "For a nifty little synopis of how little Tom Delay thinks of democrats, ". I would substitute either "the Constitution " or "democracy" or "the American people".

    No strike that.Simply add all three to your own sentence.

  •  My response to the GOP (none)

    I am too mad to add much more.

  •  You know - I do not see the problem (none)

    And we wonder why we're being rat fucked?

    It isn't that difficult - all the ms have to do is vote "NO".
    That is all I ask of them.
    (And if its a big deal filibuster).

    They don't even have to read the damn bills - just vote NO.

    Please pass this message on to Ms Pelosi.

  •  Another point which needs to be (4.00)
    screamed from the mountaintops: the fact that some legislation is now being drafted by special interest lobbyists rather than elected representatives:

    From the Executive Summary section of the report (p.2, final paragraph):

    House Republicans took unprecedented steps in the
    108th Congress to make the House floor a "democracy-free zone."
    The end result of this policy was that special interests, not U.S.
    Representatives, wrote the major bills in the 108th Congress.

    This is an practice which can be easily framed and understood as repugnant to the spirit of the legislative process.  "Would you want Kenneth Lay's lobbyists to draft corporate pension legislation rather than the Representatives you elected?" (hyperbolic, I know) would resonate and would be representative of the gross abuses of process the GOP has engaged in.

    •  Agreed (none)
      That should be the front and center not buiried on page 2 as a short blurb.


      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 05:45:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The only reason I can imagine (none)
        that the Dems wouldn't spotlight this issue is if this sort of abuse was commonplace when Dems controlled the House.  Not that that should stop present Dems from highlighting this issue.  Any screams of "hypocrite" can be answered simply: is the GOP interested in legislating for the good of the country, or is the GOP merely seeking to foolishly engage in the admitted mistakes as Dems made decades ago?  
        •  Yep... (none)
          ...and the rise in and level of the abuse is no contest. But your response is the correct one to lead with.. if they keep hammering it.. you keep letting them dig themselves deeper as hypocrites.


          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 07:36:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Hyperbolic? (none)
      Not really - they did write the energy policy, after all - just as the credit card companies wrote the bankruptcy bill.

      Now all we have to do is get people to realize it.

      As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

      by sidnora on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 07:29:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is absolutely right (none)
      I'm glad that you added this info. to the thread. I totally agree with the sentiment, but I'm not sure they supported this assertion well enough in the report. Other than the Medicaid bill, they should have build a damning case against special interest. It was mostly an aside, unfortunately.

      If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention.

      by bigskiphazzy on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 12:54:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not impressed (none)
    Reduced to 245 days? That's about how many days I work.

    To be effective, this case needs to be re-framed as the emasculation of Democracy.

  •  This should be bigger (4.00)
    This is really extremely important stuff.  It is, in its essence, bigger than Gannon, bigger than the bankruptcy bill, bigger than lots of things we get riled up about day to day.  Its as big as the Social Security issue and deserves, no, demands a full, lengthy, sustained raucus public airing.  It has the potential to be the foundation of a major Democratic push to "Take Back the Congress for America."

    We need to not let up.  No day should go by without mention of it, no law considered without bringing this up as to how it will be considered. We can, and must, make it a rallying cry like the infamous Contract with America.

    What is needed is to reduce all this to simple, clear declarative propositions.  I'm thinking something on the order of our Declaration of Independence.  "We, the People, etc"  and list , as is done in the Declation, the reasons for our outrage.  Read the Declaration and you will see its clarity and the public relations brilliance of it. Make it a cornerstone of our new revolution.  Bring Democracy back to America.  If correctly done, it will resonate.  The theme is that our very Congress has been hijacked by underhanded undemocratic forces bent on destroying the very process of our republic.  And its true.

    The whole thing needs to be one or two pages long.  Let the supporting documentation be somnewhere else.  Kossaks, let's get on it!  I personally will donate a great bottle of wine to the one who does the best job.  

    •  That's such a great idea (none)
      Why don't we start right now on this thread:

      When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for a People to enforce the principles of the political system which serves as the defense to tyranny, chaos and injustice, the People may reassert the spirit of the Constitutional principles which ensure just representation and legislative responsiveness to the needs of the People.

      •  Continued Declaration (none)
        Note: Much of this text is modeled directly from the Declaration of Independence, the Pelosi/Slaughter report, and this diary's summary of the report

        The recent history of the present House of Representatives of the 108th Congress is a history of the abandonment of the standard of deliberative democracy which Republican members promised the People would be enforced with their ascension to majority party status. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world:

        • [House Representatives have] called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with [their] measures. (copied verbatim from the 1776 Declaration of Independence)

        • Lobbyists for special interests, like credit card companies, and not duly elected U.S. Representatives, authored major bills in the 108th Congress as a result of House Representatives' abuse of congressional procedure;

        • House Representatives have limited the ability to amend bills;

        • House Representatives have forced members to read bills in what amounts to, in some cases, 40 seconds per page prior to a vote;

        • House Representatives have abused the "emergency procedure" designation for hundreds of bills, solely for the purpose of stunting debate;

        In every stage of these Oppressions Citizens of the United States have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. (another verbatim quote from the Declaration of Independence);

        We therefore, the People of the United States of America, appealing to the Constitution of the United States, solemnly publish and declare, that the House of Representatives of the 108th Congress reform its legislative procedures to conform with the spirit of the law of the land and resume legislating for the general welfare of the People.

      •  New diary entry (none)
        for a working rough draft of the "Declaration of Independence from GOP Legislative Shenanigans" here.
    •  here's an idea (none)
      I'll buy YOU a great bottle of wine, and you do the work!

      If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention.

      by bigskiphazzy on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 12:55:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This should be bigger, and that it wasn't (4.00)
    was due to two factors.

    1. Clinton surgery knocked a number of stories off the front page this past week (both Dubya's major terrorism speech on Tuesday and this, I assume).
    2. A lack of quick properly framed talking points accompanying the report. (and if there were talking points, everyone didn't get the word out)

    The House Dems should send out strongly-worded press releases every week (with a particular focus on wire services) highlighting a different part of the report (in other words, a different example of GOP underhandedness).

    The House Dems should do a very quick write-up of the report (include link to the PDF report) and pass them out at the SS townhall meetings that they're all doing.

    The House Dems should work with state parties in distributing talking points and the DNC should do a quick write up on it and send an email out to all supporters.  Same with John Kerry and his email list. Democrats need to do a better job of getting the word out through EVERY available avenue. EVERYTHING (every issue, report, etc.) needs to be summed up in one page or less.  Everything should be strongly worded in plain speech and in an easy to read format.

    "Minimize our defensive posture, maximize our offensive posture."--Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL)

    by Newsie8200 on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 06:45:55 PM PST

    •  Key Word (none)
        Talking Points

      A couple of quick talking get the media's attention.

       (Kind of like getting a dairy title at dKos to be catchy and get readers attention....)

      People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

      by missliberties on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 07:27:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A highlight of one of the most important (none)
    issues we've faced as a country.

    One thing I keep going back to in my mind is the fact that supposedly moderate Republicans are enabling all this to happen.

    Hell, you don't even have to be moderate to see that this is wrong. Why aren't some of these Republicans lining up behind Democrats and fighting this assault? It wouldn't take many to fight this coupe but where are they in this most dangerous time. This time ranks right up there with the early days of the Republic when the founding fathers were trying to figure out what kind of government we should have.

    I'm not even sure that the Civil War was a more dangerous time for us.

    I guess this helps us understand how Hitler took over Germany. Good people did nothing.

  •  Thanks for your work (none)
    in wading through and summarizing this document.  The situation is about as bad as I thought it was, but it's good to get the specifics.

    Any feedback from Slaughter/Pelosi on a rewrite/executive-summary of the doc?

    "Those who betray the trust...are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors." - George HW Bush

    by DavidW in SF on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 08:30:52 PM PST

    •  Naw (none)
      ...Come on, from the playas? ... Actually, I may try to engage the blogger over at the DCCC. It may be worth staying after them because I think they're open to new ideas. We just got to get kos and the DCCC back on speaking terms.

      If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention.

      by bigskiphazzy on Sat Mar 12, 2005 at 12:59:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Come early 2007 (none)
    Rethuglicans are going to learn that payback is such a bitch.

    News is what powerful people don't want you to hear. Everything else is publicity.-Bill Moyers

    by jazzmaniac on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 08:32:58 PM PST

  •  Great work digesting and giving the highlights (4.00)
    of this report.

    What, if anything, can come of this? And what, if anything, can we do to help?

  •  This is one line in your diary that sums it up. (4.00)
    "Shameless cocksuckers."
  •  Ok (none)
    I have nothing I can really say.

    I'm done with them.

  •  ok folks (none)
    I LOVE YOUR DEBATE ON MANY ISSUES AT HAND IN THIS DIARY; HOWEVER, if we can not carry out the real issue at had

    you remind me of my x husband when he was trying to argue with me.  he would always stay off into another subject that took u s to a totally different avenue of argument.

    good stratigy if you ask me to never solve an arugement!!!!!!! right???

    now lets back to the issue at hand, can we?  I am on old sailor. I have heard about allthere is to hear on the topics of foul and discreminating language for a lifetime.  i suggest we need to just get the issue at hand on the board and get the discussion on it right now!!!!  asap!!!!  this is why we loose all the time.....we stray away from the issue at hand...

    now, i love you all, and i wish to say i hold everyones thoughts ono topic a,b c, or what ever it is we are discussing, but you must remember to not stray from the topic at hand, please...

    otherwise, you loose this old lady to other things to discover.  do you not want me to know what you think???? then lets keep me at this roundtable so I can learn!!!!! please!

    you see, babes in wonderland, i am a nurse and i work almost 24/7 and my time is very valuable, than to be wasted on what one thinks on what language one uses to be debating on, in or around.


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