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Of Filibusters, the Nuclear Option, and other Hot Air

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Harry Reid has warned Senate Republicans that he might consider resorting to the “nuclear option” if Republicans don’t stop filibustering Obama’s executive appointees (many of which have already been deemed unconstitutional).
The “nuclear option” refers to the presiding officer over the Senate (typically the Vice President) disregarding a rule or precedent. All it takes for the presiding officer’s overruling to become a new precedent is a simple majority vote.
Ending a filibuster according to regular Senate rules requires 60 or 67 votes out of 100 (depending on whether you are talking about legislation or a rules change, respectively). But a filibuster could be ended with a simple majority if the nuclear option is invoked. It would work out like this:

  1. The presiding officer would ask whether the filibuster is legal.
  2. The Senate parliamentarian would reply that it is.
  3. The presiding officer would over-rule the finding that the filibuster is legal.
  4. A simple majority would uphold the presiding officer’s decision, making it a new precedent.

So, in a few steps, a simple majority can end a filibuster. Which totally defeats the purpose of a filibuster, by the way. I find it humorous that this option is sometimes referred to as “the constitutional option,” since it clearly militates against the obvious intent of the Constitution. A filibuster makes it so a minority in the Senate can slow the progress of the majority. It is not first and foremost to defeat legislation, as it is to gum up the works. The Constitutional framers did not want to make it too easy for majorities to get their way. A slow government is not necessarily a broken government.
You might be curious why the nuclear option has not been in constant use. I know I was. Republicans and Democrats would like you to think that the main reason is the same reason the other nuclear option has not been resorted to since 1945: mutually assured destruction. Democrats know that if they unholster the nuclear option on Republican filibusters, then Republicans might do the same when they have a majority. Or perhaps Republicans will find some other way to retaliate, even while they are in the minority. One way or the other, the assumption is that the balance of power will keep flip-flopping, so everyone needs to play by the rules. That’s certainly one way of looking at it—as if Republicans and Democrats are locked in some kind of intense Cold War type showdown involving fundamental political differences. But I prefer to think it is more of an “I scratch your back, then you scratch mine” kind of situation.
In a breath-taking display of oratorial tautology, Harry Reid talked about this mutual agreement Republicans and Democrats have to play nice, go along, and get along:

A deal is a deal, a contract is a contract, an arrangement is an arrangement, a bargain is a bargain, as long as each party to such an agreement holds up his end of the bargain. ((Washington Times, “Harry Reid prepares Senate to go ‘nuclear,’ end nomination filibusters,” July 11, 2013.))

Republicans enjoyed the same advantage in 2005 that the Democrats enjoy now. And they threatened the nuclear option then. Democrats cried foul then. Republicans cry foul now. It was actually a Republican (good old Tricky Dick himself) who came up with the nuclear option in 1957. Each party has its few years at the top of the two-party see-saw, all thanks to the extraordinarily short attention span and short historical memory of the average American voter.
I think it should be patently obvious that the entire political system in the United States has become a sham. There aren’t really two parties. There are barely two political flavors. There are two groups of stage actors whose actual opposition is about as authentic as the in-ring drama between Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes.

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Van Jones Praises Trump, ‘Doesn’t Get Enough Credit’ For ‘Good Stuff He Has Done For Black Community’

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Van Jones Praises Trump, ‘Doesn’t Get Enough Credit’ For ‘Good Stuff He Has Done For Black Community’

Furious liberals demand that CNN fire Van Jones for saying Trump ‘doesn’t get credit’ for the ‘good things’ he has done for the black community.

“I think it’s really unfortunate because Donald Trump, and I get beat up by liberals every time I say it but I keep saying it, he has done good stuff for the Black community,” Jones said. “Opportunity Zone stuff, Black college stuff, I worked with him on criminal stuff, I saw Donald Trump have African American people, formally incarcerated, in the White House, embraced them, treated them well. There is a side to Donald Trump that I think he does not get enough credit for.”

Daily Mail:

Van Jones, the former Obama administration official and current CNN commentator, said on Friday that President Trump ‘doesn’t get credit’ for the ‘good things’ he has done for African Americans, prompting Twitter users to call for his firing.

Jones made the comment while providing on-air analysis during Jake Tapper’s daily CNN broadcast on Friday.

Tapper began the segment by panning Trump’s comment during Thursday’s debate in which the president said he had done more for black Americans than any of his predecessors aside from Abraham Lincoln.

The CNN host, who mentioned Lyndon Johnson’s signing into law of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as an example of a president who did more for African Americans than Trump, then played a clip from the debate. More

Van Jones is absolutely correct. I’m no a fan of  him, but regardless we could use more of this from both sides. Nothing wrong with acknowledging good work. The true measure of a person’s belief on an issue is in their actions and not what they say. President Trump has done most of what he said he would even under the most extreme of opposition.

 

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Politics

Letter Threatens To Burn Homes Of New Hampshire Trump Supporters

“Your address has been added to our database as a target when we attack should Trump not concede the election.”

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President Trump supporters in two small New England cities have gotten menacing letters threatening to burn down their homes.

“Dear neighbor. You have been identified by our group as being a Trump supporter. Your address has been added to our database as a target when we attack should Trump not concede the election. We recommend that you check your home insurance policy and make sure that it is current and that it has adequate coverage for fire damage. You have been given “Fair Warning.” Always remember, it was “you” that started this Civil War. Be prepared to face the severe consequences of your pre-emptive actions against democracy.”

TDW:

Someone is sending letters to Trump supporters in New Hampshire, threatening to burn down their homes if President Trump loses the presidential election but will not concede defeat.

As WMUR reported, the letter, which Milford police stated has been sent to various homes in the town displaying support for the president.

[…]

Brookline police Chief Bill Quigley confirmed two Trump supporters in his town also received the letter. “I was kind of quite shocked that anyone would send a letter out with that type of threat,” he admitted.

Quigley said he alerted the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, adding that the perpetrator could be charged with a serious crime. He explained, “Not only with us, with criminal threatening. It’s on a felony level, because of the threat of burning homes down and causing injury, but it could also be with the postal inspectors, something on the federal level.” More

So instead of trying to talk to people to earn their vote they would rather threaten and scare people.  These people who did this have no idea who they are screwing with. Live Free or Die and if pressured, we are ready to defend ourselves and our homes.

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Naked Moonbat Celebrities Try To Get Americans To Vote-By-Mail

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Naked Moonbat Celebrities Try To Get Americans To Vote

In a video posted on Twitter yesterday, a number of famous Hollywood figures are encouraging Americans to vote and they’re doing it naked. The video features naked Sarah Silverman, Mark Ruffalo, Tiffany Haddish, Chris Rock, Naomi Campbell, among others.

They are stripping down to bring attention to naked ballots and encourage voters to follow vote-by-mail instructions.

The video was created by Represent Us, which is organizing the masses to get out the vote effort before the November presidential election.

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Independent Pollster Frank Luntz: Voters Turned Off By ‘Condescending’ Harris, Pence ‘Was The Winner’

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Independent Pollster Frank Luntz: Voters Turned Off By ‘Condescending’ Harris, Pence ‘Was The Winner’

Pollster Frank Luntz told Fox News after the vice presidential debate last night that Vice President Mike Pence was the winner of the debate, saying that voters were turned off by Kamala Harris’ “condescending” and “abrasive” attitude toward Mike Pence.

“The complaint about Kamala Harris was that she was abrasive and condescending,” said Frank Luntz, who analyzed reactions from voters in various swing states. “The complaint about Mike Pence was that he was too tired, but [he was] vice presidential, or presidential. If this is a battle over style and substance — which is often the case with undecided voters because they simply do not choose on policy, they also choose on persona — this was Mike Pence’s night.”

Frank Luntz said that voters disliked the candidates dodging questions but overall they were much happier with the way the debate went vs. the way the first debate went.

Frank Luntz said that while voters were frustrated with the vice president for repeatedly running over his allotted time, “Harris’ reactions to Pence — the smiling, the smirking, the scowling’ left them far ‘angrier’ with her performance,” Fox News reported.

Luntz said that voters were “more agitated with Kamala’s presentation than they were with Mike Pence.”

Twitter has a few thoughts:

 

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Trump Vows Immediate $1,200 Check To Americans If Pelosi Moves Bill

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Trump Vows Immediate $1,200 Check To Americans If Pelosi Moves Bill

Democrats and Republicans have been quarreling for months over another stimulus bill to help millions of Americans struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic. But the president has a plan to cut through all their red tape.

“If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?” Donald Trump wrote on Twitter this morning.

Trump had another message for Pelosi: “Move Fast, I Am Waiting To Sign!”

As the leader of the Democrats in the House, Nancy Pelosi could recommend that her caucus to support such a bill, which likely would move quickly through the Republican-controlled Senate and make it to Trump’s desk in the Oval Office for his signature.

On The View today, Nancy Pelosi said: “It’s hard to see any clear sane path on what he’s doing but the fact is, he saw the political downside of his statement of walking away from the negotiations …he’s rebounding from a terrible mistake he made yesterday and the Republicans in Congress are going down the drain with him on that.”

“But I will say this, it is really important for us to come to this agreement. When the president just popped off and made that announcement without even informing us that that was the case, he insulted the Constitution of the United States.”

Nancy is the most powerful woman in the world? Keep on dreaming Joy Behar! How fitting… The biggest hypocrite in the country on the most hypocritical show on TV.

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Steve Cortes Hammers Chris Wallace: “He had to debate not just Joe Biden, but you as well”

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Steve Cortes Hammers Chris Wallace: "He had to debate not just Joe Biden, but you as well"

Fox News Channel host and registered Democrat Chris Wallace aggressively lectured at length Trump campaign advisor Steve Cortes during a messy appearance on Fox News today.

Chris Wallace yelled at Steve Cortes and continuously interrupted him while he tried to answer the unhinged questions from Wallace.

“The way you are starting to harangue me now reminds me of what you did to the president during that debate on Tuesday night,” he said. “He had to debate not just Joe Biden, but you as well.”

Wallace rejected that accusation and said it was a Trump campaign talking point. “You were not a neutral moderator,” Cortes said. “What I don’t think is okay for you to become the effective opposition to the president.”

Chris Wallace continues his nasty attacks even now that President Donald Trump is at Walter Reed. He’s blaming the president for contracting the China virus. He’s a partisan hack and Fox News approves of this. There’s no reason for a conservative to appear on Fox News Channel any longer because they’re not going to get a fair shake.

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Scalise: Pelosi Turned Down Offer To Implement Coronavirus Testing On Capitol Hill

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reportedly refused to implement Coronavirus testing for lawmakers in the nation’s capital, according to a top lawmaker.

“Congressman Davis is exactly correct,” Scalise said. “I mean these protocols have been out there and the testing capabilities have been out there for a long time. They were offered to the speaker and she turned it down.”

“I think it’s something that should have been in Congress for a few weeks now,” Scalise continued. “But ultimately that’s what the speaker decided to do.”

Scalise’s remarks come after Davis sent the following letter to Pelosi on Friday:

I am writing again today to reiterate my concern that we do not have a comprehensive health monitoring system and testing program for our Capitol Hill campus in order to help us do our part to stop the spread of coronavirus. I have stood ready to engage with your office and my counterpart on the Committee on House Administration for months, but my requests have gone unanswered. While I appreciate that the attending physician has been able to conduct COVID-19 testing for members who have symptoms or have been exposed, provide very limited staff testing, and advise offices on contact tracing, our ability to monitor the health and safety of the House is severely lacking because you have failed to implement a plan.

Universities, public institutions, private businesses, and communities across the country have embraced technologies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Yet, the House has failed to adopt similar tools that are now being used nationwide. As testing has advanced and become more readily available, the House’s posture on testing has not evolved from where we were months ago. Reports of changes to test offerings by the attending physician announced today are misleading as the criteria for receiving a test from the Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) remains largely unchanged. I’m concerned this has created confusion and misled everyone who works on Capitol Hill to believe testing options have been expanded.

The attending physician gives recommendations to our community, but the policies on how we govern the House are set by you and a widespread testing program has not been adopted because you have opposed it. This institution, similar to the White House, must continue to function to serve the American people during this pandemic. As a result, thousands of people who support this institution, report on this institution, and protect this institution, must continue to come to work and have not had the luxury of staying in their homes and working by proxy or remotely like some of your caucus members.

Our testing criteria should not reflect the news of the day or be to politically shield your office when difficult news breaks. This is not an acceptable way to communicate and continues to show your partisanship on this issue. Additionally, today provided a stark reminder that you and other members of Congress were able to receive a COVID-19 test, while in other instances essential workers of the House have been denied the same test because your office has failed to implement what you have called for nationwide. This is a “do as I say, not as I do” approach to governing that has been politicized when policies are inconsistently communicated and enforced and falls short of what our constituents deserve.

I reiterate my desire to work with you and stand willing to work with your team to develop and execute a plan that provides comprehensive and continuous health monitoring and testing capabilities for our transient congressional population and all who support the first branch of government.

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