Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Senate Republicans: “Please Hold Until 2012”

Also known as “one man, no vote” as this article puts it.

The Senate has had this sleazy process for a long time, where one senator can place an indefinite hold on a bill or a nominee. They can even do it anonymously. But this tactic is now completely out of control.

As of today, Obama has ninety-one nominees who are still pending. Almost all of them are “pending” because they’ve been put on a hold by a cowardly Republican hiding under a rock.

Any conservatives reading this are thinking at this moment: “Democrats did it too!”

And this is where Reality comes barging in. At this same point in George W. Bush’s presidency, Democrats had placed a hold on 8 — eight! — of Bush’s nominees. Ninety-one to eight.

91 to 8. Sounds like the most lopsided basketball score ever.

And some of the “reasons” behind these holds are more funny than anything else. Jim Bunning is already famous for a previous hold, where he basically told unemployed workers to fuck off and die. In another hold, Bunning tied up the nomination of a U.S. Trade representative. Bunning was sulking because the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative didn’t go after Canada for banning flavored cigarettes.

As contemptible as Bunning is, at least he has the stones to do these holds out in the open — unlike some of his more slippery cowardly colleagues, who do their holds from underneath a rock and don’t even have the balls to slither out and show the public who they are.

The Senate has no specific rules regarding holds. Charles Grassley (R—Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D—Oregon) are trying to eliminate the anonymous “under a rock” syndrome. Grassley said: “If any of my colleagues have holds on either side of the aisle, they ought to have the guts to go public.”

Wyden said: “If you can't make a good public case for why you are doing something, you shouldn't be doing it.”


Did you know Republicans are now in favor of consumer protection? For themselves, anyway. “Let the buyer beware!” only applies when someone else is the buyer.

Twenty Republican donors are demanding that Charlie Crist give back the money they donated to him. Crist pulled a fast one on them when he switched from Republican to Independent, and now “weee waaant our money baaack!”

And speaking of Republican flipflops — well, actually this last item isn’t a flipflop. It, it’s more of a, uh, a mass hallucination suffered by 300 million Americans. Including You, the reader. Come on, you remember, don’t you? For almost two years, Republican politicians and demagogues have been endlessly relentlessly shouting “Drill Baby Drill.”

Haven’t they???

Nope. Sorry — It’s all in your head.

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Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

The Rushpubliscums aren't able to wipe their ass with printed instructions on the toilet paper, so screaming "NO!" is pretty much all they have.

I think about all the babies I've known, and "NO!" and "MINE!" were two words a lot of them learned quickly. Fortunately, all but those who grow up and become Rushpubliscums eventually acquire enough knowledge to get beyond those two words.

May 6, 2010 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

"NO!" and "Mine!" seems more apt as a DNC bumper sticker to me.

You listen to all of the greedy Democrats wanting more of OTHER peoples' tax dollars for their public entitlement programs and they sound like the damned seagulls from "Finding Nemo"... Mine! Mine! Mine!

That being said, I do not like the "hold process" either, and I agree that the anonymous hold needs to be eliminated.

Mr. H, you did, however, mischaracterize Senator Bunning on his "hold" during debate on the extension of unemployment benefits.

He was absolutely NOT against extending benefits as the state-run media reported, but rather was wanting to find a way to fund them via a cut in spending elsewhere as per the law that even the Democrats supported passage thereof.

Evidently, Democrats had no intention of abiding with the pay-as-you-go law though. I don't know why this suprises me, considering they don't pay attention to the supreme law of the land via the Constitution either.

May 6, 2010 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger jadedj said...

Is there no time limit on these holds? WTF kind of legislative procedure is that? Sorry, didn't read the article...in a hurry.

May 6, 2010 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

JR: "aren't able to wipe their ass with printed instructions on the toilet paper" -- LOL. I used to have this grumpy old supervisor a long time ago, who complained about people who couldn't pour piss out of a boot with the directions written on the heel. They're both fitting descriptions the teabagger brigade.

TP: I agree that Bunning had a valid point with that hold on unemployment extensions. But he sure picked an easy hostage for making his point. Tens of thousands of unemployed people -- whoa! There's a terrifying group with a lot of clout and a long reach. He wouldn't have dared to put a hold on money earmarked for Iraqmire or the War on Drugs.

jadedj: Right now there's a 6-day time limit; after that the person making the hold has to either release it or identify himself. So they get around it by -- after 5 days they pass the hold to a colleague, who then has 6 days; and then he passes it on to another colleague after 5 days...

Bunch of standup guys, huh.

May 6, 2010 at 5:56 PM  
Blogger Beekeepers Apprentice said...

The Rushpubliscums aren't able to wipe their ass with printed instructions on the toilet paper, so screaming "NO!" is pretty much all they have.

Oh, Jolly, had to wipe my eyes after LOL'ing at that one :)

Who wants to put money on T. Paine being old enough to be on Medicare? I've got a buck burning a hole in my purse :)

May 6, 2010 at 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

T Paine.

"Pay as you go" wasn't that the law the Republicans failed to renew in 2000 so they could spend their asses off for the next 8 years?


May 7, 2010 at 12:03 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Senate rules need a makeover. Some questionable ones survived two centuries of restrained use by responsible adults. Today's Republican senile delinquents have spoiled a system that depends on honorable, judicious behavior -- something they're not capable of.

In this, as in all things, Republicans will say and do anything to win. Who or what they ruin along the way doesn't matter to them at all.

May 7, 2010 at 1:12 AM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

BK: You lose your dollar. I am 44 :)

Erik, you are correct,sir. Hence one of the many reasons for the disenchantment with Republicans for many of us Conservatives and the rise of the Tea Parties accordingly.

Anderson, I agree with your assessment in the need to revamp senate rules. I must also admit that I found your term "senile delinquents" to be most humorous! :)

May 7, 2010 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

I wish Bunning would put a hold on his senility.

May 7, 2010 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

The hold used to be a claim of intent to filibuster. It's a holdover (no pun intended) from the days that gathering the Senate to vote could take days. It has become a point of personal privilege, but it has no basis in Constitution, law or Senate rules.

May 7, 2010 at 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

T Paine,

You sound older (and I consider that a compliment).

Now you say “Hence one of the many reasons for the disenchantment with Republicans for many of us Conservatives and the rise of the Tea Parties accordingly.”

But that is what many of us have been posting about over these years, why we have such problems with the Republicans, they are NOT owning up to their mistakes and prefer to blame every problem they have (including the volcano in Iceland) to Obama. In fact the only reason why they DIDN’T spend like crazy during Bush Sr. and Clinton was “Pay as you go” otherwise they did it during Reagan and GW Bush.

That History goes way further back then just the last eight years.

Which brings to our problems with the TeaParty: IF their truly real focus was on the fiscal health of this Country, not only would they come up with some definite platforms for the same but they would also call to task the present Republicans for their blunders as well, Instead we see national GOP leaders show up at the rallies, denounce Obama and get cheered. I’d have more respect for them if one of them stood up and asked “Well you were part of this too, how do we know you won’t do it again if we vote for you?” But according to what we are seeing and hearing combined with the New York Times survey of their membership, their motivation is a lot deeper then just putting this country back of a fiscal balance, they are afraid of Obama and blacks taking over among other things.

The Tea Party is not the first movement; I remember after Reagan, some Moderates like Nancy Kasslebaum and Howard Baker et. al., tried to lead a movement to try to bring the party back to its original roots of fiscal responsibility and small government. The Far right shouted them down, blamed Bush Sr. for losing the “Reagan vision” then sharpened their claws to go after Clinton.

Did you ever ask yourself, how would have the Bush Sr. and Clinton years would’ve gone, if there wasn’t “Pay as you go”? Why did it take a law to curb Republican spending? (I’m not including Democrats because according to you, we’re just undisciplined tax and spenders anyway so count them as N/A).

My prediction is, the Republicans are going to fund then use the Tea Party as a front, a mask for change, get everybody to believe it’s “new and approved” and if they get back in power, go back to their same spending habits as before.

Wanna take me up on that one?


May 7, 2010 at 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Wait, if these nominees are being held up can they not go by way of executive sessions since it IS the executive that needs the nominee in place? Something tells me then they only need 51 votes to get that person through as it is kind of non negotiable. At least that is how I remember it from a class I took a while back on civics and the Senate.
I know, I am such a geek it isn't even funny. I'll head over to one of the sites that draws these things out more and see if anyone has come up with something to back me up.

May 7, 2010 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

Face it, the GOPea brains are still smarting because they lost the last two elections, and now are behaving like the spoilt children they became when they had control of Congress.

May 7, 2010 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Erik, I cannot disagree with anything you said in principle, sir.

I have long grown frustrated with the Republicans and was not particularly fond of Bush Sr. either. Junior, other than most of his foreign policy agenda, was horrible in my opinion.

Clinton did sign welfare reform (on the third time it was brought to him) and overall did some pragmatic things domestically.

President Obama seems to be getting a free pass though. He criticized Bush for the reckless spending, the war in Iraq, Gitmo, the Patriot Act, etc. and then either did not eliminate the things he railed against or actually exacerbated these things.

I think you misjudge the Tea Party's purpose too, Erik. And I KNOW the NY Times doesn't get it.
I read that rag enough to know that they are truly a provincial progressive paper that is hemoraging readers because of this.

The Tea Party is comprised not just of disaffected Republicans, but it claims a not-insignifcant amount of conservative Democrats and Independents as well.

They have supported primary candidates of various parties to challenge incumbents that are not being fiscally responsible and Constitutionally sound in their voting.

Do I want to take up your dare? No I am not that confident yet, but I am hopeful that the Tea Party will not be co-opted by the GOP,and rather will make the GOP and ALL members of congress listen to We The People. Whether this proves to be the sustained case, well only time will tell, sir.

May 7, 2010 at 11:52 PM  

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