Archive for February 5th, 2010

Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

This week’s quote is from the original version of The In-Laws:

A man calling himself D. Tracy will come to your home wearing galoshes. Give him the thing, okay?

And, of course, there’ll be other people’s beer cats…

Feisty!

February 5th, 2010 at 06:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

Leadershippiness!

Obama Fail:

Sen. Al Franken ripped into White House senior adviser David Axelrod this week during a tense, closed-door session with Senate Democrats.

Five sources who were in the room tell POLITICO that Franken criticized Axelrod for the administration’s failure to provide clarity or direction on health care and the other big bills it wants Congress to enact.

(…)

“There was a lot of frustration in there,” said a Democratic senator who declined to be identified.

“People were hot,” another Democratic senator said.

Democratic senators are frustrated that the White House hasn’t done more to win over the public on health care reform and other aspects of its ambitious agenda — and angry that, in the wake of Scott Brown’s win in the Massachusetts Senate race, the White House hasn’t done more to chart a course for getting a health care bill to the president’s desk.

In his public session with the senators Wednesday, Obama urged them to “finish the job” on health care but did not lay out a path for doing so. That uncertainty appeared to trigger Franken’s anger, and the sources in the room said he laid out his concerns much more directly than any senator did in the earlier public session.

Maybe I’m just picky and demanding, but Obama’s “leadership” style sounds an awful lot like “make a vague hand gesture and then wander off.”

This doesn’t exactly put my mind at ease either.

6 comments February 5th, 2010 at 11:28am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Wankers

Dick Shelby’s Dick Move

This seems… excessive:

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has put an extraordinary “blanket hold” on at least 70 nominations President Obama has sent to the Senate, according to multiple reports this evening. The hold means no nominations can move forward unless Senate Democrats can secure a 60-member cloture vote to break it, or until Shelby lifts the hold.

“While holds are frequent,” CongressDaily‘s Dan Friedman and Megan Scully report (sub. req.), “Senate aides said a blanket hold represents a far more aggressive use of the power than is normal.”

(…)

According to the report, Shelby is holding Obama’s nominees hostage until a pair of lucrative programs that would send billions in taxpayer dollars to his home state get back on track….

(…)

A San Diego State University professor and Congressional expert told the Mobile paper “he knew of no previous use of a blanket hold” in recent history.

This is really just another example of Republicans shamelessly abusing the rules of the Senate to block everything, just like their transformation of the filibuster from an extraordinary measure to a routine procedure.  In the past a sense of courtesy, decorum, and mutual respect prevented Senators of either party from turning the legislative process into a mockery, but those are traits the Republican caucus is completely devoid of now.

Which is what makes Orrin Hatch’s threat that they would get nasty if the Democrats used reconciliation to fix the healthcare reform bill so ridiculous – they’re already in full-blown, do-anything, legislative Lord Of The Flies mode, and that’s why the Democrats are talking about reconciliation.

I don’t see any easy way to fix this, unfortunately.  The Democrats no longer have 60 votes to short-circuit Republican shenanigans, and they didn’t show much appetite for (or ability to) use them when they did.  A procedural overhaul would be massive and would probably have unforeseen consequences (eliminating the filibuster would probably fix a lot of it, though).  And there’s certainly less than zero chance that the Republicans will ever stop being obstructionist assholes.

February 5th, 2010 at 07:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Politics,Republicans,Wankers


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