Skip to main content

Not surprisingly, a lot of post-election punditry over the last couple of weeks has been focused on the fetishization of bipartisanship process on Capitol Hill. The beltway has often urged Republicans and Democrats to worship at the watered-down alter of compromise and consensus (nevermind that both compromise and consensus in D.C. almost always involve Democrats shifting rightward towards the immovable object that is Republican obstructionism).

Yet, as today's roundup highlights, Washington gridlock stems from how Congress operates, from rampant filibuster abuse to blind love of ineffective supercommittees. The solution to breaking Washington's gridlock isn't to smear more (rightward) bipartisanship over the shards of a broken system. Rather, the system itself must be reformed to promote nonpartisan solutions to our nation's most pressing problems --- even if those nonpartisan and effective solutions are part of a partisan process.

First up, Peter Diamond at The New York Times takes on supercommittees, which have proven themselves to be nothing more than petri dishes for Capitol Hill egos and ineffective "solutions":

Instead of wide-ranging, politically motivated panels, we need narrowly targeted commissions, without sitting members of Congress, modeled on the successful Base Closure and Realignment Commissions of recent decades. [...]

[E]ven if a deal comes together, grand bargains reached by sitting members of Congress are likely to be revised and further watered down just as the sequester will not happen as it was legislated last August. Members of Congress are concerned with the good of the country, as they see it, and the election and re-election of themselves and members of their parties. The presence of both concerns complicates deal making and may prevent it completely.

What we need, instead, is a set of narrowly targeted commissions, each with a clearly articulated task and the ability to require a no-amendments, up-or-down vote — and all without sitting members of Congress. Like the base-closure commissions, the panels could include former members of Congress, tax and budget experts, and representatives from the business and public-interest community.

Harvey Rosenfeld at The Huffington Post writes that being an advocate for filibuster reform should be one of Senator Elizabeth Warren's top priorities:
The filibuster used to be a powerful tool for a minority of members of the Senate to take on the majority: Senators could block a vote on a bill by speaking on the floor of the Senate until they dropped... or 60 senators voted to shut down the filibuster. Unfortunately, this extraordinary measure, once rarely invoked, has devolved. Under the current practice, a Senator need only threaten a filibuster to block a vote. It's been used hundreds of times since 2006 by Senate Republicans to derail action on important bills and judicial appointments. Warren has already pledged to revise the filibuster rule when the Senate convenes in January. As she points out, preventing abuse of the filibuster is necessary if the Senate is going to move forward to address the nation's most pressing problems.
More on filibuster reform from David Kolb at The Muskegon Chronicle:
As it’s now construed, the [filibuster] rule allows a mere 41 senators out of the 100 in the chamber to completely bring the business of the nation to a halt.

Worse, these senators don’t have to do anything except watch the train derail before it arrives at the station. All it takes is their unwillingness to vote for cloture -- essentially shutting off the promise of endless debate -- which is enough to deny the legislative efforts of the other 59 senators.

This is a point gravely misunderstood by citizens who criticize the so-called “gridlock” in Washington, assigning the blame to both major parties when in fact it’s only one major party -- the Republicans -- who are doing all the damage.

Julian Zelizer at CNN:
As the nation continues to be obsessed with a sex scandal involving top military officials and as the lame-duck Congress figures out what to do about the fiscal cliff, Washington would do well to think seriously about how government reform might improve the basic machinery of the federal government so that elected officials are better able to handle the big issues of the day such as unemployment, immigration, climate change and more.

Reform must start with reining in the power of money and organized interest groups. Campaign finance reform, once a promise of President Barack Obama in 2008, has taken a back seat even though the president made some progress on reforming lobbying early in his term. [...] When Congress reconvenes in early 2013, it will have one shot to change the rules so that the threshold for passing a filibuster is lowered. In January 2009, lawmakers let the opportunity slip away. The chronic use of the filibuster threat has been one of the central culprits behind dysfunction as the congressional minority has immense power to block progress.

Over at Bloomberg, Cass Sustein argues that the U.S. Senate confirmation process needs immediate reform:
The U.S. Senate confirmation process is badly broken. In fact it is a disgrace. It needs to be fixed. There is no time like the present. [...] An unfortunate consequence of Senate obstructionism is that important offices can remain unfilled for long periods. An entire presidential term is just four years, and many high-level appointees end up serving for less than that. If the Senate delays confirmation for six months or more, a significant chunk of an appointee’s total time in office is lost. [...]

[T]he Senate should amend its rules to forbid a single senator, or a small group, from placing a hold on a nominee to an executive branch position...the Senate should ensure that every executive branch nominee is given a prompt up-or-down vote, probably within two months of the nomination date (with an exception for extraordinary cases involving genuinely serious issues that require longer periods).

Meanwhile, at Politico, former governor Jennifer Granholm looks at the GOP's credibility gap:
The Republican Party is looking for a new identity. And they’re looking, literally, everywhere.

At the Republican Governors Association in Las Vegas, former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour was the most … shall we say … direct, proclaiming, “We’ve got to give our political organizational activity a very serious proctology exam. We need to look everywhere.”

Lovely. [...]

I’m loath to give the Republicans advice, but I’d humbly suggest that rather than giving their organization an uncomfortable exam just to change their tone, technology and turnout, they consider changing their ideas.

And I’d suggest they start by looking at their position on freedom.

The Republican Party has a major credibility gap on that issue. Why? The Republicans are for free enterprise, but not free people. And that is their fundamental problem.

And finally, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers at Bloomberg take a parting look at the validation of data-based political analysis over vapid punditry and add an another dynamic -- crowd prediction:
The quants bring data, computers and formal models. The pundits -- though they do use data -- rely more on gut feelings, industry experience and personal contacts.

In the latest skirmish, the quants won. They predicted the election outcome far more accurately than the pundits did. [...] The 2012 election had a clear winner: Analytics beat intuition. This is threatening both to the likes of Carville and Rove and to their intuition-driven counterparts in the corporate world. But the quants also have to respect the crowd. The success of prediction markets and expectations polls tells us something truly humbling -- that knowledge doesn’t just reside in the executive suite or in a quantitative model. For executives nimble and humble enough to accept this, it presents a great opportunity.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  If they change it, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Georgia Logothetis

    what happens when it gets used against us - say next election or the one after?  

    Of course, it is highly unlikely that Dems would obstruct to obstruct in the first place.   They certainly didn't do it with Bush or the Iraq war; and if not then, when.

    If money is speech, then speech must be money.

    by dkmich on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 04:35:21 AM PST

    •  Elections have consequences. (11+ / 0-)

      Making it easier for qualified nominees to be confirmed doesn't  mean we should fear that Republicans will have an easier go at it if they take back the Senate or if a Republican president takes office. It should make us work twice as hard to keep control of both branches.

      That said, most discussions on filibuster reform acknowledge the difference between filibuster reform for nominees vs. filibuster reform for legislation, with an eye towards making the former more expansive than the latter.

    •  The Senate functioned for many, many years (5+ / 0-)

      without the easy-peasy filibuster of today.  It used to be much harder to filibuster -- and it took real commitment to do so.  Wasn't impossible, but it was a challenge.

      We can survive as long as we don't swing the pendulum so far that filibuster becomes impossible.  Just harder.

      "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

      by Rikon Snow on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 04:57:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Handwringing about how it might be used in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      denig, snazzzybird

      the distant future is no reason to consider keeping it.  Democrats are not willing to use the filibuster to wreck the country the way the GOP is.  Look at the incredible abuse that has taken place with regard to the filibuster during the past 4 years.  And Republicans are promising to continue -- just look at the posturing over Ambassador Rice.  Get fucking rid of the filibuster once and for all.

      •  The 1st thing Repubs would do is change it (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snazzzybird, dkmich, Miggles, Mistral Wind

        It's ridiculous to think that they wouldn't change the Filibuster rules, the minute they were in power.  

        I voted for the human beings.

        by denig on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 06:28:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Miggles, denig

          The next time they are in power, they will change it in whatever direction suits them.   Not a doubt about it.

          If money is speech, then speech must be money.

          by dkmich on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 08:09:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly. So there is no reason to preserve it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dkmich

            as it stands. They will make sure that the Dems can't use it

            I'm not sure why anyone thinks it would be there for us, if they gained power. Have we not learned yet?

            I voted for the human beings.

            by denig on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:08:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  sounds logical to me (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              denig

              It is a rationale for doing it.

              If money is speech, then speech must be money.

              by dkmich on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:19:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes! That's it! Graciousness in Victory is a sign (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dkmich

                of weakness to the Teapublicans. If we do not bring the hammer down hard and fast, they will double their efforts to obstruct. The only thing they respond to is "Authority".   No quarter, no mercy and no goddamn filibuster!

                Fuck them! Fuck them! Fuck them! And the backward ass crap they rode in on!

                I voted for the human beings.

                by denig on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:36:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  This. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miggles, denig
        Democrats are not willing to use the filibuster to wreck the country the way the GOP is.
        And looking specifically at appointments, Democrats are not willing to use the filibuster to block a Republican president's appointments simply because the appointees are Republicans.  

        When the bu$hco mal-administration was in power, I heard some rethug senator bray, "The President deserves his nominee".  I'm not going so far as to agree with that, but I do definitely say that the President deserves an up-or-down vote on his nominee, in a timely fashion.

        Fox News is to the truth as a flaming bag of dog shit is to a packed lunch. --MinistryOfTruth

        by snazzzybird on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 07:21:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dumb pundits, smart GOP? re Rice (10+ / 0-)

    The entire drama about Susan Rice is about Kerry; the GOP wants another senate seat, because they know it's SCOTUS, SCOTUS, SCOTUS.

    But in the interim, they put themselves in the position of blocking a relatively young black woman? Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  •  Julian Zelizer should weigh his words carefully (11+ / 0-)
    As the nation continues to be obsessed with a sex scandal involving top military officials
    I'm not obsessed with the sex scandal--the trad. med. is obsessed with it.  I have stopped watching the news altogether, I'm so sick of sex, sleaze, and celebrity worship.  Now I watch only local traffic and weather reports.

    What passes for news in this country is a travesty.  When I want to know something about "breaking" news, I come to this site first.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 04:49:59 AM PST

    •  The emperor has no clothes. (4+ / 0-)

      Of course the trad med is obsessed with a sex scandal - sex sells, and they're in the business of selling air time.

      Too bad they weren't obsessed with the failures of Patraeus when he was being lauded as a "brilliant general."  Juan Cole's blog, Informed Comment features a guest author, Lt. Col. John L. Cook, Ret., whose book Afghanistan:  The Perfect Failure takes on the various Patraeus failures on the battlefields both in Iraq and Afghanistan, and wonders how the general ever came to be assumed a military mastermind.

      There is no higher honor or greater responsibility than leading young Americans in combat.  Not everyone can do it and even fewer can do it well.  We were all taught this as young, green Second Lieutenants.  We were also taught that we must do everything in our power to keep casualties to a minimum because combat itself is dangerous enough and the men entrusted to our care have complete trust in us to do this and not violate this most sacred of all trusts.
      David Petraeus violated this most sacred trust in Afghanistan, by putting a political project of “counterinsurgency” — i.e. winning hearts and minds throughout the country — ahead of defeating the enemy. In pursuit of a local popularity unlikely to be achieved, he imposed unrealistic Rules of Engagement on our forces. The last thing a good combat commander wants his soldiers to do is hesitate in the fog of war.  Yet this is what Petraeus’ strategy required.  

      This is Petraeus’s legacy and is the real reason why he should have resigned.  After all, he wasn’t hired to be a saint – all great military leaders had flaws and we can forgive them because they’re human.  However, they didn’t violate the most sacred trust. Petraeus did.

      This article was posted early yesterday, so you will need to scroll down a bit past several entries on the Israeli/Gaza conflict to get to it.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:33:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If CNN couldn't talk about the sex scandal (0+ / 0-)

      constantly, they would probably have to resort to airing 23 hours of Lock Up each day.

      •  CNN? Don't you mean MSMBC? (0+ / 0-)

        "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

        by gritsngumbo on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 07:30:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Non-partisan solutions? (5+ / 0-)

    What Diamond is proposing is just the Villager's wet dream of having policy left to the "very serious people" without all the messiness of having to deal with, you know, the People.  Technocratic solutions are fine for problems of science and technology; the real gridlock on matters of social policy doesn't get fixed by becoming non-partisan, but by electing more of our partisans than theirs.

    •  And I might add, (5+ / 0-)
      electing more of our partisans than theirs
      requires our base showing up in the mid term elections  to elect people to Congress that will hold the ground won in presidential years. It requires turning out in state races. Not showing up in elections that determine the composition of state houses redrawing the Congressional District maps for the next decade is a sure way to face rearguard, dug in resistance in the House for the next decade.

      Yes, yes, I know. There is a traditional fall off in mid terms. Unfortunately it seems our side falls off while the true believers of their side turn out. That needs fixing. Democrats and like minded organizations must determine that the GOTV ground game will engage now for 2014. It is time now for them and us to begin making sure what one observer noted as "the African American and youth voters tend not to show" in mid terms turns around.

      Otherwise this crap of rump TP/GOP blocking everything they possibly can in legislative manipulation will continue to block necessary change.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:31:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is extremely important. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes, tb mare, pelagicray

        It is up to us to keep the pressure on Democratic voters to cast ballots in the 2014 mid-term elections or have their vote for the president this time diluted by the "true believers" in the GOP.

        Yes, I know it's insane that election seasons now stretch from one election to the next with no breathing room in between.  But as long as a minority party can - and is willing to - thwart the will of the majority party, we have no choice but to work just as hard to turn out our voters for the midterms as we do for presidential elections.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 06:04:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is a matter of education of a sort to impress (0+ / 0-)

          voters that a vote for change in a presidential year has to be held at least over the next mid term or else reactionary forces are very likely to win and put a stop to progress they voted for two years earlier.

          In sports terms, that many can relate to the presidential is only the first half. A great first half with the core team sitting out the second can lose the game. Unless those AA, young and other supporters can turn out for the second half this step forward, half or more back cycle will continue. It is up to each of us to make that point among our families and friends and push the party to do even more. I know local Democratic Committees do try, it is very important in the states, but often get a shrug.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 04:42:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  GOP can't stand reality (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    We had an election, and elections have consequences. This is something conservatives in the GOP have yet to grasp since the President won a second term. Republicans remain quagmired in the status quo of the Tea Party and kitchen-sink campaigning. They aren't interested in cooperating. Mitch McConnell's new goal is to prevent a Democratic victory in 2016, now that his other first priority of destroying Obama failed so miserably. Conservatives are still operating in a land of unskewed polls and Dick Morris pep talks about a Romney landslide. The rest of the country is rapidly leaving these intractable partisans behind.    -  progressive

    •  There's an answer for that, and we just saw it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, glitterscale

      Have you not noticed all the Republicans bad-mouthing -- ummm --- Republicans?

      The GOP just blew a near-historic opportunity:

      1.  A President who hadn't earned re-election, and
      2.  Two Democratic Senate seats up for grabs for every Republican seat.

      The net result for the GOP was every bit as bad as 2010 was for Democrats, even if the numbers didn't seem that way on the surface.  That kind of opportunity doesn't come along every day.

      Winning 2016 requires starting now, and it requires doing something different from the disastrous course of the last two years.

      I expect Republicans to revisit immigration reform and suddenly discover that we weren't treating illegal immigration as a crime when we looked the other way as people came to the US and took jobs.

      I don't know if they'll figure out how bad and ruinous health care is in this country and start proposing useful ideas to fix up the horrible mess that ACA is preparing to impose on us, but I'll bet they won't be talking simple repeal any more.

      And -- I wonder if they'll notice that millions of people actually care about being able to live on the planet and actually care about whether their children and grandchildren will be able to live on the planet?

      Too much to ask, I suppose.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:18:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Republican politicians recognize the Democrats won (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare

      the election.  They just refuse to accept it.  The remain determined to implement GOP policies even if doing so undermines the expressed will of the majority of voters to follow Democratic policies.

      It pains me to hear from the teevee talking heads that "John Boehner is softening his opposition" after the election.  He is doing no such thing - at least not yet - and if reporters listened carefully to the words he uses in public statements, they wouldn't be so quick to give him credit for becoming reasonable.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 06:13:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Golly....Maybe Mann and Ornstein were on to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare

    something after all.

  •  Supermajorities on the rise in state legislatures (6+ / 0-)

    We just got rid of our supermajority in AZ, because an independent  committee did the redistricting.  Republican majorities made us the laughing stock of the nation on several occasions. They sold our state house, cut education, created SB1070, and added lots of abortion restrictions, including one that a doctor doesn't have to tell you if you have a deformed fetus, so you won't abort.

    States houses need to be our next battleground.

    Remember, you can't have crazy without az.

    by Desert Rose on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 04:54:53 AM PST

    •  I would like to nominate Kansas (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snazzzybird, Stude Dude, Desert Rose

      as the next red state to hold up to ridicule- though we've always had a huge majority of Republicans in our state House, now the moderates have been replaced by the real crazies, so be prepared.
      Now our "moderates" have already passed bills banning Sharia law, restricting access to abortion, giving businesses huge tax breaks and reducing the income tax, so I'm not sure how the crazies will stand out, but I'm not looking forward to our next legislative session!

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 06:23:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Allen West finally concedes to Patrick Murphy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, ratcityreprobate, skohayes
  •  People aren't people, too, my friend... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, glitterscale

    Pardon our dust. Sig line under renovation.

    by Crashing Vor on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:02:08 AM PST

  •  Filibuster is a problem only if you don't care (0+ / 0-)

    about the electorate.

    FDR had the right answer to filibusters:

    introduce laws that people wanted and dare the other side to block it.

    He did, they did, and they were voted out in the 1934 mid-terms.

    Decrying the filibuster, while not irrational, tends to be code for a party that wants to pull the wool over somebody's eyes.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:05:20 AM PST

    •  Very different kind of filibuster in FDR's day. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles, tb mare, snazzzybird

      A filibuster of that day took some doing beyond just one person giving notification they would not concur. Back then it took a strong bladder and lungs for a single person to actually hold the floor. It took that and organization for a group to do so. Today's filibuster is fits perfectly with a "virtual world" in comparison, just a simple notification that there will be no unanimous consent because I won't concur.

      The rule change being discussed now is to take us back to those days as far as I can see and is a badly needed change.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:39:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's true, but the effect was the same and (0+ / 0-)

        Republicans tried to filibuster FDR into the ground.

        They were rewarded in 1934 by being voted into the shitpile.

        The best way to beat filibusters is for the electorate to want what you're selling.  If the other side is stupid, you'll have to wait until the next election, but then you'll have a legislative sledge hammer.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:43:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In the meantime (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tb mare, snazzzybird, askew, pelagicray

          two more years of misery for the people of the country.

          And in the case of nominations, crippling the president's foreign policy representation (refusing to confirm his choice for SoS) or crippling the president's efforts to fill court vacancies.

          More proof that the Republicans don't give a damn about the country - only exercising power.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 06:21:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe, maybe not. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SueDe

            Democrats paid their price for not giving a damn about the country in 2010.
            Republicans in 2012.

            If Bob Woodward is to be believed, Boehner was ready to deal on the budget, but had problems with his tea party rookies.  That should be a much smaller problem now.

            Listening to the noise from assorted Republican office-holders, more than a few sound like they'd like to hold onto their seats.

            So -- if Democrats give a damn about the country now, there should be some dealing to be done.

            I'd bet they do and there will be.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 06:29:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Civil rights was filibustered. The effect was not (0+ / 0-)

          the same though. Filibuster was a big deal, reserved for things strongly opposed because it did take an effort. Just look at the charts of number of the things by year. What is different is that today the faux filibuster takes no effort beyond "No, I won't support unanimous consent" in a memo or just by statement. No fuss, no mess, no standing there talking for hours.

          Not as much effort as a fart and a whole legislative program or nominee is farted away. That needs to stop.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 04:48:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Bi-partisanship outside of Washington (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, denig, Stude Dude

    Republicans get to keep calling us names and we get to keep voting them out of office.

    Also too, the proposed filibuster reform is a terrific idea. It will require the minority party to get some skin in the game in order to block any legislation. No more blocking cloture and then off to the links. Since Republican legislators are notoriously lazy, it should end the gridlock.

  •  More "extraordinary" reform (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird, One Opinion

    "the Senate should ensure that every executive branch nominee is given a prompt up-or-down vote, probably within two months of the nomination date (with an exception for extraordinary cases involving genuinely serious issues that require longer periods)."

    The use of the word "extraordinary" jumped out at me, because, remember, back when the Rs controlled the Senate and they got the Ds to back down from holds and filibusters on Dubya's judicial nominees by threatening the "nuclear option"?  The Rs gracously agreed to not end the filibuster if we agreed not to use it.

    Well, the terms of the Gang of 14 agreed to weren't actually that the filibuster could not be used.  No, what 7 D and 7 R Senators agreed was that the filibuster was only to be used in "extraordinary circumstances", and if Senators did that, limited use to extraordinary circumstances, then the R majority would graciously forebear nuking the filibuster into oblivion.

    This was a great idea in theory.  There actually would be some utility to the filibuster and the hold if the minority would only use them in extraordinary circumstances, the rare majority law or nominee that their side found truly intolerable.  Hey, blocking such violates the principle of majority rule, but if we're talking about truly extraordinary circumstances and truly intolerable legislative acts, in other words, if the majority could only gets its way at the price of civil war, well, maybe that check on majority rule is a good idea.  Turning the Senate into a metaphorical battleground is so much nicer than having to settle our public policy differences on literal battlefields.

    But this is your modern R party we're dealing with.  The prospect of Susan Rice, about as colorless and non-threatening a nominee as you could find (well, except that she is a woman of color, and therefore ipso facto threatening to some)  as Secy of State means that the end of the republic is in sight.  And the ACA, the R-approved and R-originated, thought up by the Heritage Foundation and passed by Romney in MA, well that ACA is out-and-out Communism, and letting it take effect dooms us to Stalinist oppression.  

    Today's Rs have yet to meet the law or nominee proposed by Ds that wasn't "extraordinary" in the threat it poses to our very lives and liberties.  No serious reform of the Senate's rules can leave them the out of using the obstruction we're reforming only in "extraordinary cases".  Our Rs live in a midnight in which all cows are black.

    We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

    by gtomkins on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:20:56 AM PST

  •  The Media Speaks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    Julian Zelizer at CNN says:

    As the nation continues to be obsessed with a sex scandal involving top military officials
    Excuse me, when was I made an editor at CNN putting words in the mouth of mindless news readers?!  Talk about the pot calling the kettle...

    Maybe if we didn't have a sex/ratings obsessed media setting the agenda we could solve our problems.  

    BTW have you noticed the 2016 election is under way.  Marco... Polo................

  •  Jennifer Granholm says lovely (0+ / 0-)

    to

    Haley Barbour .... the most … shall we say … direct, proclaiming, “We’ve got to give our political organizational activity a very serious proctology exam. We need to look everywhere.”

    Lovely. [...]

    graphic image undoubtably but dead on the money... a test for old assholes that most of them resist until the ailment kills them.

    Everybody's going serfing, serfing USA

    by Cen Den on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:26:37 AM PST

  •  needs a graph showcasing the rise of the filibuste (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    or some such image.

  •  Can of worms. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Opinion

    This headline today is going to open a big can of worms:  

    Britain has formally recognized the newly formed Syrian opposition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
    The Washington Post reports The British Foreign Secretary William Hague made the announcement Tuesday.

    France was the first Western government to formally recognize the Syrian opposition last week, but France is not the closest ally of the U.S.

    Last week, France became the first Western nation to officially recognize the Syrian National Coalition, which formed earlier this month in Qatar in opposition to President Bashar Assad.

    The U.S. has also recognized the leadership body as a legitimate representative, but stopped short of describing it as a sole representative, saying the group must first demonstrate its ability to represent Syrians inside the country.

    The London Telegraph also has the story here.
    With 100 people still dying every day, Mr Hague said the Government would not exclude the possibility of providing military support for the rebels at a later date. "We will not rule out any option in accordance with international law that might save innocent lives," Mr Hague said.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:54:36 AM PST

  •  Rush was brilliant yesterday! (0+ / 0-)


    I listened to Rush yesterday. I listen to him when his party takes a big hit and two weeks ago they took a big hit they didn't see coming. If the election were a football game the Democrats would have been fined for roughing the passer and grabbing the face masks of the other ten players. Anyhow going into a break Rush promised that when he came back he would explain why some Republicans were objecting to the "Santa Claus" explanation that he and Mitt were using for the election outcome. This is the idea that the Federal Government is Santa Claus to minorities and women and all those other loafers who don't work and drive BMW's while tossing lobster shells out the window. When he came back he took a very long time to essentially say that the reason the party he so heavily influences (who can forget Dick Cheney appearing on his show in the days of Rove's thousand year right wing rule?) is pushing away from the Santa metaphor is because they want to win elections. I applaud his brilliant analysis.

  •  Politico permits criticism of the GOP? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alrdouglas

    When did this start?

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 06:53:58 AM PST

  •  Analytics beat intuition? It wasn't intuition. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Opinion

    re:Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers at Bloomberg

    Therein lies a lesson for executives and policy makers alike: Wisdom and intuition may actually be hurting your firm or organization.
    I can't believe they said such a stupid thing. It wasn't "intuition" or wisdom the pundits were were using.  It was just made up bullshit used to obscure the truth and fudge the facts.
    Reason is sight. Instinct is touch. Intuition is smell ~Mason Cooley (b. 1927
    Whether you agree with that assessment or not, it is undeniable the "unskewed" punditry did not pass the smell test.
    "The workings of intuition transcend those of the intellect, and as is well known, innovation is often a triumph of intuition over logic." Albert Einstien: Historical and Cultural Perspectives, Dover Publications, July 1997, p. 97
    Intuition is not even slightly related to ignoring all the relevant facts in order to create a fantasy world of lies and bullshit, you can sell to people.  That's not intuition. It's just lies and bullshit.
    “Intuition (is) perception via the unconscious” Carl Gustav Jung, psychiatrist
    “Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.” Jonas Salk, medical researcher, virologist
    "The intuition, by which discoveries are made, is a direct communion, without possible intermediaries, with the spirit and the truth." -- A comment from Henri Poincare's nephew about his uncle's beliefs.
    in·tu·i·tion noun
    1.direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension.

    2.a fact, truth, etc., perceived in this way.

    3.a keen and quick insight.

    4.the quality or ability of having such direct perception or quick insight.

    I voted for the human beings.

    by denig on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 07:26:47 AM PST

  •  no more panels... (0+ / 0-)
    What we need, instead, is a set of narrowly targeted commissions, each with a clearly articulated task and the ability to require a no-amendments, up-or-down vote — and all without sitting members of Congress. Like the base-closure commissions, the panels could include former members of Congress, tax and budget experts, and representatives from the business and public-interest community.
    Haven't we more difficulties than necessary, already, because we allowed special interest groups to write legistlation?  When lobbyists draft the laws, they exacerbate and do not eliminate problems.  These unelected individuals do not intend to serve the people, they mean to give themselves more advantages.  

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site