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The San Jose Mercury News has a message for home state senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, two Democrats who are undecided about whether to vote for real, effective filibuster reform: just do it.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are not yet committed to supporting any specific plan. By the time the Senate reconvenes this month, both should be backing sensible rules that foster rather than block debate on matters of importance to Americans. [...]

Feinstein's only commitment on filibuster reform so far is to ban filibusters to prevent a bill or a judicial nominee from even coming to the floor for debate.

That's important, but without making filibusters more burdensome to carry out, it won't change anything. They can still stop a vote on each nominee.

Reid seems intent on accomplishing real reform. California's Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer should have his back.

Editorials like that have been running around the nation in other papers, including in Montana, urging Sen. Max Baucus to join colleague Jon Tester in supporting real reform. Other papers from New Jersey to Florida to New York and Ohio. That's a clue to balky Democratic senators: The nation outside of the Beltway has watched the devolution of the senate at the hands of Mitch McConnell's wrecking crew, and doesn't accept it as business as usual but as a serious problem for the nation.

If that's not convincing enough for these overly cautious Democrats, perhaps advice from some of their former colleagues will do the trick. Former Sens. John C. Danforth (R-MO) and David L. Boren (D-OK):

It’s plain that the present state of affairs is untenable to the American people, and confounding to many of us who served in the chamber for so many years. Let us turn away from the brinkmanship of abused legislative procedures and return with vigor to spirited debates over policy and substance. Let the Senate be the Senate again.
They argue strongly for the talking filibuster, saying "elections are premised on accountability, and citizens deserve to know which senator is holding up the process and why that senator is doing so, even if it is within a senator’s right under the rules to speak at length about any particular piece of legislation." If it's good enough for this bipartisan pair of former senators, it should be good enough for Democratic senators in this Congress, particularly those who've had to try to work through this obstruction over the past four years.

Please tell your Democratic senator to support the Merkley/Udall/Harkin proposal, and vote to make the filibuster a real, talking filibuster.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:01 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "Let the Senate be the Senate again"... (30+ / 0-)

    Is a pretty good mantra to sell real reforms.

    President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:10:31 AM PST

    •  The secret holds in committees (27+ / 0-)

      and the threat of fillibuster by 1 lousy guy equating to a full fillibuster has got to go.  These stinkers passed barely over 100 bills in the last 2 years - about 25% of what Harry Trumans infamous Do Nothing Congress actually did.

      The biggest problem with these schmucks is that they STILL aren'tlistening to what people want and demand.  We want and demand a functioning government that isn't tied up in knots by 1 or 2 jerks demanding cloture votes on anything and everything.  That's not even a pretend democracy - it's tyranny of the minority and has to end.

      The people spoke with a loud voice during the last election, but it seems that as soon as the election is over our politicos are back to only listening to the Beltway Boys and their rotten ideas and concerns.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:35:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They DID and ARE listening … (8+ / 0-)

        to THE people (aka "Corporations", Peterson, Koch, Walton, Austrian economists).

        The serfs have (once again) been muted.

        ambiguity is okay ... if you know what I mean

        by dorkenergy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:43:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sadly, you got that right (0+ / 0-)

          They listen to Da MAN.

          There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

          by Puddytat on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:58:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's NOT "Real Reform!" (0+ / 0-)

            Unless they just flat eliminate the filibuster altogether -- which they are not even considering!

            The "talking filibuster" is worthless. How can anybody think that Republicans can be "embarrassed" into stopping their obstruction of some bill or nominee by making them stand up (in shifts so they won't get too tired BTW), and pontificate for days on end? They'd love it and Fox News would put up the best clips of blather on national TV to scenes of terrific applause from wing-nuttia.

            Has anybody NOT been paying attention the last 4 years? They're not embarrassed to vote for the Ryan budget! And then campaign against Democrats for "cutting medicare!"

            They have ZERO shame and cannot be "shamed" into "doing the right thing" by days of speeches in the Senate. They will get up and blatantly lie for days on end and the news media will say "both sides are to blame for the partisan gridlock" and on we go.

            NOTHING WILL CHANGE under this nothing "reform" except the same old gridlock under new rules.

            Unless they get RID of the idiotic and undemocratic rules by which the minority can block legislation we can expect the exact same scenes to play out -- only with MORE speeches on the floor of the senate! Wonderful.

            Quite frankly Feinstein's idea of prohibiting the filibustering of judicial nominees would be at least a useful starting point. This "talking filibuster reform" will be ONE HUGE WASTE OF TIME!

            Within 6 months everybody on these boards will recognize this "reform" for the complete failure that it is.

      •  It doesn't seems to make any more (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat, qofdisks

        difference to what extent "outside" pressure is building on the senate for filibuster reform than than it does that voters want filibuster reform.  Once elected, senators seem impervious to any pressure from anyone not a member of the current senate membership.

        "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 Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:29:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great news -- stop McConnell in his tracks! (18+ / 0-)

    Call and email all wavering Dems.  
    THIS will make the biggest impact to get our progressive agenda passed.
    Stop despicable McConnell in his tracks!

  •  Pressure (12+ / 0-)

    For more pressure from outside the beltway, if there isn't any significant reform this year, how about some resolutions in state legislatures over the next two years calling for a constitutional convention to propose an amendment to forbid abusive filibuster rules in Congress?

    There must be at least one progressive legislator in most state houses that could introduce a resolution like that.

    This would be one of the purest anti-Congress issues around. "The people spank Congress for misbehavior." What was Congress' most recent approval rating? Under 10%, wasn't it?

    If there isn't significant reform this year, I'd like to see several of these passed by state houses by January 3, 2015, to add some additional pressure.

    The filibuster is a crime against democracy.

    by schuylkill on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:18:49 AM PST

    •  interesting idea, perhaps states with referenda... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Puddytat, elwior, shaharazade, schuylkill

      ....and active citizens could get some ballot measures up with similar intents?'s on the table, under the watermelon she demurred. Thanks, I was planning on shaving anyway he replied.

      by pdx kirk on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:21:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting idea! (4+ / 0-)

      Also, primary challengers. There are too many "Democratic" senators who feel way too safe in ignoring the desires of voters. Unlike Republicans, Democrats almost always come home, no matter how bad the betrayal. That has to change.

      We're not teabaggers. I don't think most of us want a revolution within the party. Just act like Democrats, damnit, and stop letting Republican obstructionism dictate our national agenda!

      •  The next two weeks (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SixSixSix, qofdisks, Cugel

        We'll see what happens in the next two weeks, but I'm not optimistic about the Senate making significant filibuster reforms. I hope they prove me wrong.

        Since the Constitution gives each house the power to make its own rules, a constitutional amendment to limit that power is the only thing that could force the Senate to change.

        Seeing the country move in that direction, with states calling for a convention for that purpose, could give Senate reformers significant help and might persuade resisters that the country really wants the Senate to function and get the nation's work done.

        The filibuster is a crime against democracy.

        by schuylkill on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:05:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've been on the phone to both Boxer (16+ / 0-)

    and Feinstein about this (recordings). Boxer is usually counted as a progressive Democratic "good-guy," that's why Carly Fiorina challenged her. I hope Boxer comes through in this case. Feinstein is a bit soft in the head. She needs to retire. We can't know how she'll come down.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:21:34 AM PST

  •  Simple--a fully intransigent bunch of rethugs (7+ / 0-)

    should NOT have the power to stop anything anytime they want without AT LEAST having to work for it.

    Thanks for the encouraging news.   I've been calling, signing and emailing trying to do my meager bit.

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:24:32 AM PST

    •  What Difference Does It Make (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maybeeso in michigan

      If they have to "work for it?" How will that help anything?

      That's the part that makes no sense. How will anything change if Republicans get up and give boring speeches full of lies and talking points for days or weeks on end?

      That's ALL this "reform" will accomplish! Republicans can STILL block anything and everything the majority wants to do -- so long as they are willing to stand up and lie for a few weeks until the rest of the Senate gets tired of listening to the same crap over and over?

      In what universe is this a useful "reform?"

      •  The simple fact that they have to stand there on (0+ / 0-)

        camera and support their filibuster.    I have a feeling some of them would love every minute.  Maybe even get adoring feedback from home, but, I think more just might get the opposite.

        It is too darn easy to decide to say you're going to filibuster and then go have drinks with friends, take a nap or maybe just do some of the work you should be doing.   No muss no fuss, and certainly no effort.

        So they stand and lie---maybe some of their constituents who have never heard them speak might just get turned off.

        Every tiny bit would help...

        Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by maybeeso in michigan on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:45:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  CA Senators should see from our state legislature (11+ / 0-)

    ...pre-2013 how badly the results were when the minority determined years of bad outcomes for the state until a few weeks ago. They have less excuse for not supporting filibuster reform than most other Democratic Senators. I'm particularly amazed that Barbra Boxer would drag her feet on this.

    •  Boxer will get on board, though we really do need (6+ / 0-)

      to keep up the pressure on her and on our other Senator Dianne Feinstein.
         And you make an excellent point Noodles. Here in California we've seen the terrible results of when the minority policy goes from "loyal opposition" to obstructionism when an unreasonable supermajority is needed to accomplish anything.

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:02:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, shaharazade

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:50:27 AM PST

  •  My own pressure, such as it is, has been to tell (6+ / 0-)

    the DSCC no more contributions from me until reform. We should all boycott the Senate fund-raising apparatus until they do.

    •  Did that already in this election (0+ / 0-)

      and any time I have contacted the Democratic leadership in both the house or senate or even the WH to pressure them for decent representation and to fight for us, they send me a plea for more money to help them fight the Republicans. Seems to me to be a extortion scam wherein they get our money via taxes and contributions but no matter how much we pony up it can't compete with the by-partisan owners of the place. The powerful interests who also fleece us from both ends as all public monies end up in their ATM our government. To top it off we get gouged for the rising price of living and sacrificing for their obscene profits and gambling/war debts and they don't even pay enough to cover any of this.    

  •  I wrote to Chuck Schumer (11+ / 0-)

    and made 4 points about what needed to be in any decent reform bill:
    1) talking filibuster mandate;
    2) making motions to consider and other housekeeping motions non-debateable;
    3) Ending the practice of holds, both on legislation and nominations;
    4) eliminating wait time following cloture on nominations.

    What I got back was this canned garbage:

    Thank you for contacting me to express your support for the reform of filibuster rules in the Senate.  I share your concern regarding the abuse of the filibuster to derail legislative progress.
         The use of the filibuster has increased to unprecedented levels over the past several decades.  In the first half of the 20th century filibusters were overridden on average ten times per decade. This number almost tripled during the civil rights era of the 1960’s with 28 overrides, and it increased dramatically in the last two decades — 358 filibusters were overridden in the 1990’s and 435 between 2001 and 2009.  The filibuster has clearly gone from being the exception to the norm used to stifle progress and derail the business of the Senate.
         In 2010, as Chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, I held a series of six hearings with 23 expert witnesses to examine the history and use and abuse of the filibuster.  As I explained during the first hearing, the filibuster has been used responsibly by both parties while in the minority. However, I often see the filibuster being used merely to delay or obstruct Senate action. Some delays are not even intended to block the underlying bill, but to delay consideration of other legislation. This overuse of the filibuster is simply not healthy for the Senate as an institution and the country as a whole.
         As part of my efforts to avoid unnecessary delay, I sponsored S. 679, the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011 which passed the Senate in June. The bill would eliminate the need for the Senate to vote on roughly 170 executive nominations and 3,000 noncontroversial Officer Corps positions. This reform will help to break the gridlock that has dominated the Senate, allowing both parties to focus on driving an agenda designed to create jobs and reduce the deficit. This bipartisan act recognizes that debate often gets bogged down with unnecessary bickering and impedes the efficient operation of government.
         Thank you for contacting me about this important issue.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can ever be of assistance to you on this, or any other matter.
    As you can see, they really addressed each and every one of my points.  I am calling the office today and complainng that their "answer" a) did not reply to my message; and b) is just the sort of mush that will do the Senate no good in the coming two years.
    •  Good for you, calling them back. (5+ / 0-)

       As far as Senators go, snail mail is a lot better than e-mail.
         Don't ask me why, but they just somehow look at mail via the USPS as "real" correspondences from the People.

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:17:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And Schumer really is a key guy in this because (4+ / 0-)

      of his leadership role.
         New Yorkers ought to put all kinds of pressure on him. And because he's in leadership, he's fair game for the rest of us too.

         Which reminds me how important it is to keep calling and writing Harry Reid, who as Majority Leader is the key Semator on the issue. Not only do the the votes need to be there, but Harry needs to sign off on this being a majority vote.
         Just to give some historical context, Robert Byrd did this on numerous occasions as majority leader in the late '70's and in the late '80's.  

      Byrd was a legendary parliamentarian, and he used a majority vote to change Senate rules five times in his total six-year tenure as Majority Leader!

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:29:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The filibuster, (9+ / 0-)

    in its current state, is the most undemocratic element of our government.  As such, it should be difficult to invoke and difficult to maintain.  If there is a serious objection to a bill then the opposition should be willing to stand, for all to see, and defend their reasons for their objection.

    "If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them. Isaac Asimov (8.25 / -5.64}

    by carver on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:00:04 AM PST

  •  When can we expect a Senate vote on this? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I understand any reforms have to be voted on first, as soon as the Senate is back in session, right?

    When can we expect a vote?

    Please proceed, governor

    by Senor Unoball on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:17:36 AM PST

    •  Harry Reid (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Senor Unoball

      gave them some of his hell and postponed the filibuster with some procedural trick. Don't worry he will find a way to compromise with Leven and McCain because the senate can be fixed with a handshake and an agreement not to abuse the filibuster. It's a gentleman's club and gentlemen never re-nigh on their honorable pledges.        

  •  I want them to just get rid of the filibuster but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't want a talking one.  It will just give them a televised stage to lie on and they will abuse it.

     Look at the influence of talk radio....if we do a talking filibuster, they can then add "Hate CSPAN" to their list of shock airwaves.  It will become a nightmare.  

    •  Finally, somebody here gets it! (0+ / 0-)

      Nobody has yet said what conceivable use the "talking filibuster" is! So what if they have to talk for weeks on end?

      They can "recognize" each other in shifts without yielding the floor for a vote -- so they can keep up the filibuster INDEFINITELY on any bill they feel strongly about!

      And that's anything Democrats want to do!


  •  E-Mails Sent! Feinstein, Democrats must act! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    librarisingnsf, Mr Robert

    If the democrats fail to take this opportunity to change the rules and require "real" filibusters, then responsibility for future obstruction will be as much the fault of Democrats as Republicans.

    We all know the Republicans' game at this point. If the rules aren't changed, it will be another reminder that many of our most powerful representatives are uninterested in passing progressive legislation that would help the working-class, middle-class and working-poor. Make no mistake, part of the reluctance from some Democrats is that the Republican abuse of the filibuster under current rules provides political cover for failing to legislation popular with voters, but not so popular with corporate donors. As a party, we need to start forcing our reps to choose sides and make sure there are consequences for not doing the people's business.

    Particularly, if Dianne Feinstein does not get on board for rules reform, it will be the straw that breaks the camel's back for this California Democrat. It's time for a strong primary challenger who better respects the needs and desires of California voters.

    •  I cast a protest vote against (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Dianne Feinstein in both the Primary and General elections because she's clearly on the dark side on so many issues that are important to me. Unfortunately, it looks like there is no way that California voters will boot her out of office.

      The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

      by Mr Robert on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:45:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just make them talk. Put your mouth where your (0+ / 0-)

    money is, essentially.

    If they want to filibuster something, let them get out the phone book and go to town.

    Filibuster's, as I was taught in school, are political theatre meant to force everyone watching politics to resolve their issues or STFU.

    Personally, I think it's a wonderful political tool.

    This Breast Pocket Filibuster threat thing we've had in recent memory is bullshit. Make them Talk! Force us to pay attention and listen.


    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:46:31 AM PST

    •  Except they won't be reading the phone (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      will be a lie filled BS session made ready and scripted for the tv cameras.

      •  A week or two's worth of talking makes the phone (0+ / 0-)

        book a welcome respite... it would happen faster with terrible policy.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:10:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I mean, could you imagine them going on and on (0+ / 0-)

        about tax breaks for 3rd homes and stuff?

        Extolling the virtues of Fracking, for instance, or on cutting medicare...

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:12:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ok but you don't understand....they can talk about (0+ / 0-)

          anything.  They don't have to stick to the bill at hand or even the topic.....they can speak about whatever they want.  

          And they will.  

          •  Imagine giving Ted Cruz the new bagger favorite (0+ / 0-)

            from Texas, "Open Mic Night" on the Senate floor and in front of 24/7 CSPAN cameras to talk about whatever his Bagger mind can dream up!

            Yeah, that would be fun.

          •  Let them talk. They're friggin' bonkers! (0+ / 0-)

            Just call them Saboteurs over and over and give them the podium.

            I can't imagine a better tactic to expose them as nutters.

            And of course, a Democratic filibuster could be awesome political theater as well. Get the Progressive caucus together and let them educate the public and push that overton window back to the left a bit.

            The key to the filibuster is that it is, at heart, political theatre, and it should be played as such.

            You would think that there would be PR firms all over this. It's a great money maker.

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:32:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yep (0+ / 0-)
              The key to the filibuster is that it is, at heart, political theatre, and it should be played as such.
              And this is exactly what would happen....except it would be their side using it as they will be the ones who are filibustering.

                Rush and Hannity fill up 8 hours a day of drivel and likely have scripts to hand out to anyone who needs to use them.  It would be free media for the taking.  They can lie, talk about whatever they want and no one can shut them up.

            •  Yep (0+ / 0-)
              The key to the filibuster is that it is, at heart, political theatre, and it should be played as such.
              This is exactly what would happen....except it will be their side doing it as they are the ones filibustering.  

              Rush and Hannity fill up 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with complete drivel and likely have scripts to hand out to anyone who needs to use them.  It would be another source of free media.....and no one can shut them up.

  •  Are You Listening, Democrats? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    "The nation outside of the Beltway has watched the devolution of the senate at the hands of Mitch McConnell's wrecking crew, and doesn't accept it as business as usual but as a serious problem for the nation."

    EXACTLY!!  And I have no idea of what it is going to take for stupid hard-headed Democrats to get that message.

    I will say that to some Americans -- and I am one of them! -- that this lack of action -- or unwillingness to act -- in terms of filibuster reform comes across to us as Democratic weakness or Democratic fear of the Republicans.  They come across to us as being afraid of any supposed repercussions that the Republicans may -- or may not -- carry out against them.  Do they REALLY want us Americans to see them as being that way?

    One thing is for sure:  If JFK were still alive and working on his best known book, he certainly would not find any profiles in courage among the current crop of Democrats in Washington D. C.

    •  The GOP will certainly abolish the filibuster (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cugel, betelgeux

      instantly and unconditionally when and if they ever take control of the Senate again.

      •  Exactly Right! (0+ / 0-)

        This is in fact the ONLY way we'll ever be free of the filibuster! Republicans get rid of it.

        Worst day in Senate history was when stupid Democrats joined the "Gang of 14 IDIOTS" to block the "Nuclear Option" back in 2005 when Republicans outraged that Democrats might block a vote on Alito and Roberts threatened to end the filibuster.

        It would have cost NOTHING to let them do it, (Democrats had to agree NOT to block Alito & Roberts) and we'd be rid of it forever!

    •  Perhaps the Democrats in congress (0+ / 0-)

      think they might just get their asses handed to them in 2014 and are working to maintain the status quo for that reason.

      The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

      by Mr Robert on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:37:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Get rid of the filibuster COMPLETELY. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bailey2001, Mr Robert

    The GOP will certainly do it the instant they ever take over the Senate again, so the Dems are fools if they do not beat them to it.

  •  Unrealistic as it may be, I wrote my Republican... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, betelgeux

    ... Senator as well. To wit:

    Dear Senator Kirk,

    First - and most important - my wife and I have followed your recovery as best we could from published reports. We were delighted to see you back on the Senate floor. Congratulations and continued best wishes.

    Second - and almost as important - please give close consideration to proposals to revise the filibuster rules this session. You are not an obstructionist at heart. You know that is not why you were elected to represent us in the Senate.

    Please break with the lockstep leverage your Minority Leader has marshaled and vote for reasonable, vital procedural reform. I'm thinking particularly of the talking filibuster and the floor actions to which filibusters can apply.

    Having to appear in public and maintain positions in reasoned discourse is a long-standing facet of the US Senate. The exception is the filibuster, unlike every other important deliberative body I know of in the world! To exercise a privilege that significant with just a wink and a nod off camera and to be able to do so on virtually any kind of procedural motion brings a halt to the kind of deliberation we are entitled to. It imposes a travesty on democracy.

    I would have no problem whatsoever applying the same reformed rules to Democrats as to Republicans.

    Please separate yourself from those who would use the Senate's procedural rules to prevent so much as a serious discussion and debate on matters of substance.

    It may not be persuasive, but at least my Junior Senator cannot say he has not heard the other side from his constituents.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:21:03 PM PST

  •  I've sent strongly worded messages (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to both Feinstein and Boxer. And, I'm still waiting for a reply at this point. I know they must be busy meeting with the big donors and probably just can't find time to get back to me. First things first you know. Being a Senator is such hard work.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:29:01 PM PST

    •  CA Senators (0+ / 0-)

      I got a luke warm response from Feinstein many months ago on this subject. She touted the filibuster as having save ANWR from oil drilling. That's all. Yet she still appeared to support it. Boxer hasn't figured out the serious sounding form letter. Her response was approximately: "Thanks for your letter about the thing. If we ever discuss the thing, I will consider your thing opinion."
      My daughter got word-for-word the Schumer response duplicated on this page.
      I wish I knew if anything from an unknown source would influence them. I am assuming "yes," otherwise I have wasted a whole lot of time in the past several months on this subject.
      I'm playing the gun control card now. Do you know we haven't had a full time head of ATF since a nomination was made in 2010 and still not acted upon by the Senate?  

  •  They will cave (0+ / 0-)

    They always do.

  •  yea but is there money in it somewhere? (0+ / 0-)

    wanna pass filibuster reform or pretty much anything.
    sorta gotta grease the wheels somewhere along the line.

    People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. -George Carlin

    by downtownLALife on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:47:12 PM PST

  •  Unfortunately, I don't have a Dem Sen (0+ / 0-)

    I can't imagine any pressure arising in Arizona that would induce either McCain or Flake to support filibuster reform.  It really sucks having NO representation in the Senate.

    See the children of the earth who wake to find the table bare, See the gentry in the country riding out to take the air. ~~Gordon Lightfoot, "Don Quixote"

    by Panama Pete on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:28:02 PM PST

  •  filibuster and gun violence (0+ / 0-)

    Here is another reason for real filibuster reform:
    On Nov. 17, 2010, President Obama nominated Andrew Traver to the newly created position of Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. There has been no action on his confirmation due, I assume, to a filibuster threat. In the meantime Byron Todd Jones is the acting director, while he also serves as the United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota. Does this bother you? Should Mr. Traver get and up-or-down vote? Does the lack of full-time leadership of this very important agency have any effect on the level of gun violence in our country? Does it seem that serious reform of the filibuster along the lines that Senators Harken, Merkley, and Tom Udall advocate would contribute to progress on decreasing the carnage of gun violence in our country? Call and email your Senator:

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