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The Unbeatable Banzuke: Senate

By Jesse Taylor
Saturday, June 28, 2008 14:22 EDT

I’ve been doing this long enough to remember back when filibustering was a tactic designed to obstruct the proper business of the Senate, a controversial Democratic practice that raised serious constitutional questions.

Luckily, we’ve evolved to the point where it’s everyone’s fault.

The Senate went home yesterday for the Fourth of July holiday to face voters, having failed repeatedly to address critical economic issues from skyrocketing gas prices to climate change to the nation’s housing crisis.

Leaders in both parties have vowed to tackle those problems. Yet the Senate has been unable to move forward even when there is broad agreement about what to do.


With each side using the Senate’s byzantine rules to gain advantage, work in the upper chamber, always balky, has ground to a halt.

What sort of maneuvers have each side used?

  • Republican senators have filibustered to keep a Medicare bill from going forward.
  • Harry Reid has prohibited 13 Republican amendments*…while Republican Senator John Ensign has thrown an amendment on the housing bill that’s crippled the bill’s passage.
  • The Republican minority leader has forced a 452-page bill to be read aloud, delaying a vote on the bill for days, even weeks.

As you can see, this is a heavily bipartisan problem that’s everyone’s fault. No sense assigning blame to any one side over the other here.

*UPDATE: Reid’s blocking amendments like Ensign’s that are designed to purposefully stop legislation in its tracks. In other words, he’s not holding up legislation, he’s trying to push it through.

Ann Richards: He-Man Woman Hater

By Jesse Taylor

“Feminists” are up in arms about Obama’s latest assault on women, an insult so grave that I wonder if he hasn’t permanently ruined all chance at winning the general: This is from the transcript of the appearance: “[B]ecause of the campaign that Hillary Clinton waged, my daughters and all of your daughters will forever know that there is no barrier to who they are and what they can be in the United States of America.…


Arizona Senate passes measure to put marriage amendment on ballot – again

By pams

(UPDATE: I have added a ton of information on the vote over at my pad.) This shows you the consistency and tireless bigotry of the far right — they simply will not stop trying to prevent LGBTs from obtaining full civil equality. They scraped up enough bigots to do the…


Reaganing The Fuck Out Of This Shit

By Jesse Taylor
Friday, June 27, 2008 23:30 EDT

Kevin Drum wonders where McCain’s annoying habit of using “my friends” like a teenager uses the work “like” comes from. He initially picked it up during the primary when he was doing the whole “I’m Reagan 2.0″ thing: One of Reagan’s verbal flourishes was to interject the phrase “my friends”…


This violent phallus in your hands will not destroy the patriarchy

By Amanda Marcotte

Let me preface this by saying that on the issue of gun control, I’m often and unusually agnostic. I think pro-gun control people make a lot of intellectually dishonest arguments, such as when they deny that an armed citizenry would be a good thing to have against a tyrannical government,…


The Real Question Here

By Jesse Taylor

Sure, Avril Lavigne may be about to take over the most watched YouTube video spot of all time, but the real question is how this became number one. It’s like the video that your sheltered cousins watch to prove they actually do watch shit on the internet. Consider this your…



By Jesse Taylor

No More Mister Nice Blog points out that the new generation of fiercely independent rebel conservatives are actually just like the last few generations of fiercely independent rebel conservatives. The funny part about the conservative movement is that it constantly requires a reinvigoration of their central myths – and the…


Vitter and Craig co-sponsor Federal Marriage Amendment

By pams

The “I’m not sh*tting you” news of the day. Here are two guys who should have hung their hypocritical heads in shame after embarrassing their party, but they just can’t help themselves – they hate TEH GAYZ that much. (PageOneQ): Two United States Senators implicated in extramarital sexual activity have…


Bobby ‘Exorcist’ Jindal ready to sign off on stealth creationism bill

By pams

McCain’s VP short-lister continues the march to turn back the hands of time –and enhance his fundnut cred — by supporting a Louisiana bill that will advance intelligent design. (Talk2Action): The stealth-creationist SB 733, the “Louisiana Science Education Act,” which in its pre-amended version as SB 561 was entitled the…


A bit of common sense

By Amanda Marcotte

Good news, if you can call anything “good” after all this girl has been through: An 11-year-old Romanian girl who was previously denied an abortion after her uncle raped her will now be allowed to abort, at 21 weeks. (Would have been earlier if the authorities hadn’t dithered out of…