The Nuclear Option Catch-22 for Republicans

By: Friday November 21, 2014 10:14 am

Some Senate Republicans are entertaining the idea of bring back the filibuster for executive nominees, according to the Huffington Post. The problem is there is no way for Republicans to undo the Democrats’ rule change without validating what Democrats did. I strongly suspect Senate Republicans won’t be able to find enough votes from Senate Democrats [...]

Lamar Alexander Seems Really Bothered by the Idea of Democracy

By: Monday November 25, 2013 7:42 am

It seems Republican Senator Lamar Alexander is upset that policy decisions will ultimately be made by voters. In the Washington Post he attacks the elimination of the the filibuster and concludes by saying: Thursday’s stunning rules change by Senate Democrats can best be described as Obamacare II: another exercise of partisan political power to permit [...]

Corker Actually Calls Bullshit on McConnell Over Nuclear Option Deal

By: Thursday July 18, 2013 7:33 am

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) literally called bullshit on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). From Roll Call: A meeting of Senate Republicans on Wednesday grew tense as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told his members he could have gotten a better deal on nominations than the one negotiated by rank-and-file Republicans. McConnell’s tone, according [...]

Why It Just Got Harder for the Government to Find Good People

By: Wednesday July 17, 2013 10:33 am

Yesterday’s Senate deal to avoid the nuclear option was a short term win for President Obama. After a long delay he will finally get seven people he wanted confirmed to seven executive branch position, which should make it easier to govern. Long term though it is another loss for effective and non-corrupt government. Part of [...]

One Phrase Washington Reporters Need to Start Using

By: Monday March 25, 2013 10:02 am

I would like to make a simple suggestion to vastly improve the quality of reporting in Washington. Whenever a reporter writes “Republicans filibuster” they should instead replace it with the far more accurate phrase, “Senate Democrats allow Republicans to filibuster.” Simply reporting that Senate Republicans “blocked” a bill or a Presidential nominee implies that the [...]

Levin on Filibuster: Cynical Deception or an Idiot?

By: Friday January 25, 2013 6:49 am

One of the most painful things about following Congress is that it is often hard to tell if a member is being an idiot or engaged in a cynical attempt to hide their true position. You can try to educate the uninformed but you can only hope to relentlessly expose the lies. The latest game [...]

The 60 Vote Myth that Will Not Die

By: Monday September 10, 2012 8:52 am

One of the most annoying things about covering Congress is how completely almost everyone in the media has bought into the myth that it takes 60 votes to do anything in the Senate. Even people who should know better, like Paul Krugman, still spread this myth as if it was fact. From Krugman: What about [...]

GOP has nothing to Fear from Abusing the Filibuster

By: Thursday December 8, 2011 12:02 pm

Senate Democrats apparently are trying to scare Republicans into not filibustering every single thing, by threatening to filibuster everything the GOP tries to do if the GOP regains power. From Politico: The White House and Senate Democrats are issuing a blunt warning to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans: You live by the filibuster, [...]

Yep, Change the Senate Rules Really Is that Easy

By: Friday October 7, 2011 8:08 am

The biggest Congressional news story yesterday was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoking the rarely used procedure of appealing the ruling of the chair to the full Senate. When this is done, a simple majority of the Senate decides how the Senate rules should be interpreted. A majority of current senators are the people in [...]

White House Negotiations Fail to Disarm GOP or Free Hostage Dems

By: Monday December 6, 2010 5:59 pm

The United States government has a general policy against paying ransom for a hostage. This is not because paying ransoms is an ineffective policy. Most hostage takers would be happy to return the hostage for money, so as a short-term solution, it does work. The problem is, long term, paying ransom just encourages many more [...]