- After yet another year in the Senate of systemic delay and filibuster, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid triggered the so-called "nuclear option," reforming filibuster rules to require simple majority thresholds for judicial and other presidential nominations. The final straw was Republican efforts to block any and all nominees of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals under claims that filling those vacancies would be "court packing". Republican outrage over the rules change was predictable, and impressively colorful.
- Sen. Rand Paul was caught plagiarizing parts of his speeches, editorial columns and even books from other writers. His response to this was primarily to not understand what plagiarism was, followed by an extended complaint as to why we can't all just get over it. He also declared he wanted to challenge his detractors to a duel.
- House Speaker John Boehner gave up the ghost on the year's last remaining Republican effort to be considered decent human beings, announcing the effective end of plans for comprehensive immigration reform. The net result of the year of Republican hand-wringing and promises on the subject would in the end be the vitriolic re-demonizaton of immigrants by Steve King and other hard-right Republicans, but very little else.
- In Colorado, five hard-right counties voted in November to secede from the state. The move was entirely symbolic, as nobody seriously expects Colorado to do that thing, but was in large part response to Colorado enacting any gun reforms whatsoever in the wake of all those people getting shot. So far none of the residents who voted to secede have been sent to FEMA-run camps, so our freedoms appear to still be intact.
- New Texas efforts to restrict voting via an onerous "voter ID" law proved to have the intended effect of stripping voting rights for no apparent reason. Among those denied the necessary Voter ID card: 90-year old former Speaker of the House Jim Wright. It was his own fault, however, as Texas would have allowed him to vote without questions had he only been able to show a decent Texas-allowed identification like a handgun license.
- Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen did it again.
- The newest efforts by the Koch brothers to defeat Obamacare were unveiled, in this case an attempt to discourage college-aged Americans from obtaining insurance via a campaign of Hummers and beer pong. And you thought they weren't hep cats.
attribution: Center for Digital Discourse and Culture
And it was the worst thing that ever happened, the end.
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