I think protecting the Senate filibuster rules is a sign of weakness. It's refusing to allow the legislative positions of each party rise and fall on their merits. Instead, we have elaborately staged charades where the opposition parties pretend
I think protecting the Senate filibuster rules is a sign of weakness. It's refusing to allow the legislative positions of each party rise and fall on their merits. Instead, we have elaborately staged charades where the opposition parties pretend to vote for or against legislation, mostly out of concern for their own reelections.
Yes, I understand that the filibuster has been a useful tool to block egregious legislation. But as it presently exists, it's also badly abused. It's disappointing that the Senate leadership lacks the political courage to fix this:
Before the week is done, one of the longest single "days" in the history of the Senate is expected to finally come to an end.
Amid a long-running dispute over decades-old filibuster rules, Senate leaders have used a parliamentary trick to leave the chamber in a state of suspended animation - in reality adjourned since Jan. 5 but officially considered in a long recess that's part of the same individual legislative day.
This nearly three-week break has taken place in large part so leadership could hold private negotiations to consider how to deal with a group of Democrats agitating to shake up the foundation of the world's most deliberative body, right down to challenging the filibuster.
To the dismay of a younger crop of Democrats and some outside liberal activists, there is no chance that rules surrounding the filibuster will be challenged, senior aides on both sides of the aisle say, because party leaders want to protect the right of the Senate's minority party to sometimes force a supermajority of 60 votes to approve legislation.
Instead, rank-and-file lawmakers will receive pitches from Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who have been negotiating more limited changes, such as with "secret holds" that allow an anonymous senator to slow legislation. In addition, some modifications could be made to the way confirmations are handled for agency nominees who do not have direct roles in policymaking.
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Sunday that he was "delighted" that fellow candidate Herman Cain was surging in the polls but hoped his popularity would be short lived.
"Herman Cain is a terrific person," Gingrich told CNN's Read more...
Greek voters gave the edge to the conservative and pro-austerity New Democracy party in yesterday's elections, presumably to preserve their membership in the very flawed European Union:
ATHENS — Greek voters on Sunday gave a narrow victory Read more...
Rachel Maddow talked to Rep. Anthony Weiner about his outburst on the floor of the House back in July when Republicans were doing their best to use procedural moves to prevent the 9-11 first responder's bill from making it through the House. Congressman Weiner expressed his concerns that this might be the last chance to get the bill passed because he doesn't have much hope of the House bringing this back up for a vote once the Republicans take control in January. Read more...