ChrisWeigant.com

How We Got To Dropping Filibuster Nukes

[ Posted Monday, April 3rd, 2017 – 17:12 UTC ]

This could be a historic week for the Senate, as it now seems likely that the Republicans will change the chamber's rules to remove the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. This is known, in Washingtonese, as "going nuclear" or "dropping the nuke." That's a pretty powerful metaphor, which was intended to show the far-reaching consequences of making such a move. But as we begin this epic debate, it would behoove everyone inside the Beltway (especially those working in the media) to review a quick rundown of how, exactly, we got to this point. Because this won't be the first Senate filibuster nuke, and it may not be the last one -- at this point, who knows if the legislative filibuster will survive for much longer?

The first nuclear option happened four years ago. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dropped the nuke on filibustering all executive branch appointments and all judicial appointments up to (but not including) the Supreme Court. This week's nuke will be the removal of the last remaining executive branch appointee filibuster, on the confirmation of Supreme Court justices.

None of this happened in a vacuum, of course. Neil Gorsuch would likely have been confirmed rather easily if these were normal times, absent the history of how Merrick Garland was treated. But that history exists, of course, which is why over 40 Democrats are going to do everything possible to stop Gorsuch's confirmation.

Four years ago, Harry Reid got pushed to the brink by an unprecedented amount of Republican obstructionism. When Reid proposed his nuclear rule change, it was early in President Obama's second term (November of 2013). There was a mounting level of general GOP obstructionism to Obama nominees at the time, as well as one very specific case of obstructionism which drove Reid to this point. In the speech he gave on the Senate floor to introduce the change, Reid outlined the general case in great detail:

  • The need for change is obvious. In the history of the Republic, there have been 168 filibusters of executive and judicial nominations. Half of them have occurred during the Obama Administration -- during the last four and a half years.
  • Further, only 23 district court nominees have been filibustered in the entire history of this country. Twenty of them were nominated by President Obama. With one out of every 10 federal judgeships vacant, millions of Americans who rely on courts that are overworked and understaffed are being denied the justice they rightly deserve. More than half the nation's population lives in a part of the country that's been declared a "judicial emergency."
  • There are currently 75 executive branch nominees ready to be confirmed by the Senate that have been waiting an average of 140 days for confirmation. One executive nominee to the agency that safeguards the water our children and grandchildren drink and the air they breathe has waited more than 800 days for confirmation. Senate Republicans filibustered a nominee for Secretary of Defense for the first time in history -- even though he was a former Republican Senator and a decorated war hero, nominated in a time of war.
  • It is a troubling trend that Republicans are willing to block executive branch nominees even when they have no objection to the qualifications of the nominee. Instead, they block qualified executive branch nominees to circumvent the legislative process. They block qualified executive branch nominees to force wholesale changes to laws. They block qualified executive branch nominees to restructure entire executive branch departments. And they block qualified judicial nominees because they don't want President Obama to appoint any judges to certain courts.

So, to recap: 82 out of 168 total filibusters of executive nominees happened in the first five years of Obama's term. Of the 23 district court filibusters in all of American history, 20 of them happened in the first five years of Obama's term. We also saw the first-ever filibuster of a Defense Secretary nominee, who was a former GOP senator and war hero. That nicely sums up the nuclear level of obstructionism that Republicans had escalated things to in the Senate.

Before we get to the specific case (what Reid referred to in that last sentence of his), there is one other bit of history worth mentioning. While some Democrats had been urging Reid to drop the nuke for a long time (Jeff Merkley started back in 2007, before he even became a senator), Reid had long resisted such a drastic move. His preference was to either cut a deal with Republicans or force them into a deal. There were various bipartisan "gangs" (of whatever number) who cut such deals during this period. This would open a short window of time to get people confirmed, but Republicans repeatedly then immediately broke the deal and went back to obstructing everyone. Reid had personally been burnt by such deals -- to the point of resembling Charlie Brown lying flat on his back after Lucy tricked him once again with the football. Reid fought back by scheduling tons of votes right before holiday recesses. By refusing to adjourn, the Democrats made things very personal for Republicans: continue to obstruct, and you will not get a vacation away from D.C. This sounds silly, but it was remarkably effective, on numerous occasions.

This all sets the stage for the specific case which forced Reid to drop the nuke. Not only were the Republicans united in absolute obstructionism, they were laughably accusing Obama of precisely what they were attempting -- a radical change instituted on the judicial branch for sheer partisan purposes.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt was stymied by a Supreme Court which was declaring much of his New Deal unconstitutional, he came up with a plan (which was ultimately unsuccessful) to change the high court. He'd expand the Supreme Court by six additional justices, all of whom he'd nominate. This would have shifted the balance of power on the court dramatically, but Congress didn't let him get away with it. The move was called "court-packing."

In 2013, Republicans tried to "unpack" a court. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is the second-most important court in the land, since so many cases go through it which end up at the Supreme Court. This appeals court was supposed to have 11 members. Obama was supposed to fill four vacancies. After much obstructionism, one of them was confirmed. This left the court in a 4-4 partisan split. So Republicans announced they weren't going to consider anyone for the remaining three slots, no matter what their qualifications were. They were going to just change the court from 11 members to eight, period. And then they had the temerity to accuse Obama of trying to "pack" the court.

That was the spark that set off the nuke. Just as Democrats are now doing, Republicans essentially said that no nominees would even be considered, period. That's what Harry was referring to when he said of Senate Republicans, "they don't want President Obama to appoint any judges to certain courts."

The treatment of Merrick Garland was not without precedent, in other words. When half of all executive appointee filibusters of all American history happen within five years and when 20 of 23 district court nominee filibusters happen during the same period, there was very good reason to change the rules of the game. I personally urged Harry Reid to do so months before he took action. The fallout from Harry's nuke was good for Democrats while they were in power, and has likewise been good for Donald Trump since he took office (Democrats were unable to filibuster any of Trump's cabinet choices because of Harry's nuke).

The fallout from Mitch McConnell dropping the second nuke will likely chart a similar course. It'll be good for the "in" party and bad for the "out" party -- right up until when they switch places once again. As the political pendulum swings, it may even out in the end. But we certainly didn't get to this point (as some in the media seem to believe, when Republicans attempt to make this case) because Democrats suddenly woke up one morning and decided to change history by fighting Republican nominations tooth and nail. There's a long history behind the first use of the nuclear option, and there's the history of Merrick Garland's nomination behind where we stand now, on the brink of the second nuclear option. So, please, let's remember this important historical context when discussing what is happening in the Senate this week.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

118 Comments on “How We Got To Dropping Filibuster Nukes”

  1. [1] 
    neilm wrote:

    One your best. Thanks CW!

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Given how the Republicans treated Obama's judicial nominees in the lead up to Reid resorting to the nuclear option and given how they treated the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, this is an excellent example of how differently the two parties behave and govern.

    And, whenever Mitch McConnell or anyone else mentions the so-called "Biden rule" in defense of their indefensible actions, it's just another example of Republicans demonstrating just how obtuse they can (choose to) be.

  3. [3] 
    michale wrote:

    And, whenever Mitch McConnell or anyone else mentions the so-called "Biden rule" in defense of their indefensible actions, it's just another example of Republicans demonstrating just how obtuse they can (choose to) be.

    OR...

    By failing to acknowledge the Democrats part, it's an example of being obtuse as well..

    As CW points out above, things like this don't happen in a vacuum..

    Democrats threatened to do EXACTLY what the Republicans actually did..

    This is fact...

  4. [4] 
    michale wrote:

    So Republicans announced they weren't going to consider anyone for the remaining three slots, no matter what their qualifications were.

    How is that any different than what the Democrats are doing to Gorsuch?

    He is imminently qualified as everyone has conceded.. Every Weigantian who chimed in stated that Democrats should confirm Gorsuch and save the filibuster for when it will do the most good..

    NOW that Democrats have decided to be stoopid, ALL the Weigantians who chimed in are NOW on board with that..

    "We're at war with East Asia. We have always been at war with East Asia"

    That was the spark that set off the nuke. Just as Democrats are now doing, Republicans essentially said that no nominees would even be considered, period. That's what Harry was referring to when he said of Senate Republicans, "they don't want President Obama to appoint any judges to certain courts."

    And Democrats don't want President Trump to appoint any judges...

    Again, the exact same actions for the exact same reasons..

    And yet, it's perfectly acceptable for Democrats to act that way, but it's heinously terrible for Republicans to act that way..

    Textbook hypocrisy...

    So, please, let's remember this important historical context when discussing what is happening in the Senate this week.

    Yes, let's...

    "Your good and your evil use the same methods to achieve the same goals"
    -Yarnek/General George Washington, STAR TREK

  5. [5] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [4]

    He is imminently qualified as everyone has conceded.. Every Weigantian who chimed in stated that Democrats should confirm Gorsuch and save the filibuster for when it will do the most good..

    NOW that Democrats have decided to be stoopid, ALL the Weigantians who chimed in are NOW on board with that..

    INCORRECT.

    I stated my opinion and never changed it. :)

  6. [6] 
    michale wrote:

    Victoria,

    I stated my opinion and never changed it. :)

    Cite???

  7. [7] 
    neilm wrote:

    45 is fiddling while Rome is burning: It takes work and focus to keep an economy on track, and the clown show as none:

    Chris Williamson (Markit Chief Business Economist) commented: “The US economy shifted down a gear in March. A slowing in the pace of growth signaled by the PMI surveys for a second straight month suggests that the economy is struggling to sustain momentum.

    I always stick to my investing plan, but a lot of my friends are starting to time the market and are taking their profits from stocks and investing in bonds at the moment. The one thing I expected 45 to do was goose manufacturing - I mean he talked about it all the time and kept telling us he was a great jobs creator. Now the Manufacturing PMI is dropping.

    What a clown.

    https://mishtalk.com/2017/04/03/markit-pmi-vs-ism-fantasyland-gdp-projection/

  8. [8] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [6]

    Cite???

    Do you know how old your BS gets? You're the one with memory issues and an inability to retain information, yet you're also the one always asking for cites when someone points out your INCORRECT BS.

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2017/03/24/ftp429/#comment-97296

    Neil agrees with me too there. It goes on for a few comments after that where you try to make me agree with you, and I still don't agree with you.

    Since you have memory issues and are constantly getting shit wrong, why don't you start taking notes and making lists instead of expecting the rest of us to spoon feed you links like a toddler? :p

  9. [9] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm [7]

    I always stick to my investing plan, but a lot of my friends are starting to time the market and are taking their profits from stocks and investing in bonds at the moment. The one thing I expected 45 to do was goose manufacturing - I mean he talked about it all the time and kept telling us he was a great jobs creator. Now the Manufacturing PMI is dropping.

    I'm getting close to taking profits because there have been only three other times in U.S. history in which P/E remained above 27 consistently:
    1. The 2007 global financial crisis
    2. The 1929 start of the Great Depression and stock market crash
    3. The late 1990s lead-up to the tech bubble.

    So here we are sitting on number 4... not a matter of "if" but "when."

    What a clown.

    Now, Neil... is that really fair to clowns? :)

  10. [10] 
    michale wrote:

    Do you know how old your BS gets? You're the one with memory issues and an inability to retain information, yet you're also the one always asking for cites when someone points out your INCORRECT BS.

    Ya'all are funny.. You expect me to remember EVERY WORD I have ever said in the 10+ years I have been here in Weigantia..

    AND ya'all expect me to remember EVERY WORD that everyone else said in that 10+ years..

    Like I said. Yer funny.. :D

    Since you have memory issues and are constantly getting shit wrong, why don't you start taking notes and making lists instead of expecting the rest of us to spoon feed you links like a toddler? :p

    I'll remind you of that the next time one of ya'all asks me to cite my claims.. :D

    Having said that.. Yes. You and Neil DID render support for Democrats boneheaded filibuster play and yes, ya'all have not changed yer minds..

    It's not surprising, considering how consumed ya two are with political bigotry and PTDS.. I should have taken that into account but I gave ya'all the benefit of the doubt..

    Silly me.. :D

  11. [11] 
    michale wrote:

    and are constantly getting shit wrong,

    Well, except for the hundreds and hundreds of times I have been right about President Trump over the last year.. :D

    Looks like you got yer shit wrong when you said I was constantly getting shit wrong. :D

    Heh

  12. [12] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [10]

    Ya'all are funny.. You expect me to remember EVERY WORD I have ever said in the 10+ years I have been here in Weigantia..

    AND ya'all expect me to remember EVERY WORD that everyone else said in that 10+ years..

    Another load of shit from you... big surprise! No one expects you to remember every word for 10 years, but you can't remember shit for 10 days so you make up shit and then whine like a toddler when someone calls you on your utter nonsensical made up bullshit... all while insisting how important FACTS are to you.

    I'll remind you of that the next time one of ya'all asks me to cite my claims.. :D

    You'll remind ME when anyone else asks you for a cite? I don't need cites from the utter nonsensical likes of Fox, Breitbart, and/or Alex Jones... seriously. There's no need to remind ME if someone else asks you for a cite of the latest bullshit from the bubble. :)

    Having said that.. Yes. You and Neil DID render support for Democrats boneheaded filibuster play and yes, ya'all have not changed yer minds..

    So try getting your FACTS straight before spewing out your FALSE drivel.

    It's not surprising, considering how consumed ya two are with political bigotry and PTDS.. I should have taken that into account but I gave ya'all the benefit of the doubt..

    No, you didn't give us the benefit of the doubt; you did what you do often and lumped everyone here in the same category because you have no recall. No one expects you to have 10-year recall, but 10-day recall should not be too much of an ask... particularly since you so frequently claim to value FACTS over TRUTH and lecture on it incessantly. Either practice what you preach or stop preaching that which you can't live up to yourself.

    Silly me.. :D

    If you think ignorance is silly, then you're all set. :)

  13. [13] 
    michale wrote:

    but you can't remember shit for 10 days so you make up shit and then whine like

    Ok, Victora, OK..

    What did I say exactly 10 days ago today..

    Do you remember??

    Of course you don't..

    Quit acting like an ass...

    No, you didn't give us the benefit of the doubt; you did what you do often and lumped everyone here in the same category because you have no recall.

    So, you can tell me what I said exactly 10 days ago without referring back??

    Of course you can't..

    Like I said. Quit acting like an ass..

    particularly since you so frequently claim to value FACTS over TRUTH and lecture on it incessantly. Either practice what you preach or stop preaching that which you can't live up to yourself.

    I'll continue just as I have.. :D

    I ain't perfect and I am not right all the time..

    Unlike ya'all, I can admit it when I am wrong.. :D

    This is how it is.. Deal with it. :D

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As CW points out above, things like this don't happen in a vacuum..

    That's right, Michale.

    And, you cannot omit the ever important context from this, either ... just to reiterate. :)

  15. [15] 
    michale wrote:

    If you think ignorance is silly, then you're all set. :)

    Ya'all's ignorance of the 2016 Presidential Election was VERY silly..

    Ya'all didn't admit it though... :D

  16. [16] 
    michale wrote:

    And, you cannot omit the ever important context from this, either ... just to reiterate. :)

    Omit?? I am COUNTING on it!!! :D

    STOP it? I'm COUNTING on it.
    -Captain James T Kirk, STAR TREK, A Taste Of Armageddon

    :D

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    How is that any different than what the Democrats are doing to Gorsuch?

    There are many differences that play into the context of what has happened and what is happening and that differentiate the behavior of Republicans from Democrats on this issue.

    Judge Gorsuch is apparently not the mainstream judge that many wish to make him out to be, just based on who advised the president on his nomination and on the very interesting line of questioning at the hearing by Senator Whitehorse with respect to the large amount of dark money behind his nomination.

    But, my main point here is to say that Republicans have behaved very badly on this issue over the last year or so and that behavior cannot be falsely equated with that of the Democrats nor can it be falsely justified (in the case of Merrick Garland) on the basis of what Senator Biden was recommending years ago and would recommend the same today, if the same context pertained. Which did not, in the case of Merrick Garland.

  18. [18] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [11]

    Well, except for the hundreds and hundreds of times I have been right about President Trump over the last year.. :D

    You're delusional. If you're referring to the election, that's one thing, not "hundreds," and you really need to get over the election. Move on with your life; it was a 50/50 proposition. Your peevish need to keep rehashing it over and over... getting a 50/50 call correctly... screams of neediness and insecurity. I believe you're the only one here still hung up on the election; the adults have moved on while the toddler is still showing everyone how he can go potty all by himself. :) *LOL*

    Looks like you got yer shit wrong when you said I was constantly getting shit wrong. :D

    Sorry, little man. Maybe if your brain wasn't wiped clean every day and you had any kind of recall whatsoever, you'd have the ability to stop being so frequently incorrect. No, I call it like I see it. You're constantly getting shit wrong, and it usually happens when you lump everyone here in one category. It's what you do... constantly. :)

  19. [19] 
    michale wrote:

    Victoria,

    but you can't remember shit for 10 days so you make up shit and then whine like

    I know this will likely be VERY disappointing to you. I don't hang on your every word and memorize it or take notes on your "pearls of wisdom", etc etc..

    I am just not that into you..

    Plus the fact that EVERYTHING you say is borne of Party slavery and ideological hysteria..

    So, it's just not that important to me to remember what you say...

    Does that mean I'll get it wrong now and again?

    Yea, probably...

    But it also means that yer just not that important to me..

    Sorry if that makes you feel bad.. :D Not my intent..

  20. [20] 
    michale wrote:

    You're delusional. If you're referring to the election, that's one thing, not "hundreds,"

    No, it was over 500 TRUMP IS TOAST claims that ya'all stated daily.. It was over 500 times that I told ya'all how full of shit ya'all were..

    It was over 500 times that ya'all were wrong and I was right...

    These are the facts.. Deal with it..

    No, I call it like I see it

    EXACTLY.. You call it like *YOU* see it.. But, since you have conceded that you are ideologically bigoted/biased, how YOU see it is not how it really is..

    You spout your TRUTH and ignore the facts...

  21. [21] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    The most important and distressing line in the article is:
    "...right up until they switch places again."
    You are right that this did not happen in a vacuum.
    As Harry Reid said in 2013 (clip on Washington Journal this morning) nobody's hands are clean on this. So both "sides" got us to this point.
    And you are wrong that this did not happen in a vacuum.
    There is a vacuum of alternatives to switching back and forth between the two halves of our one party system.
    "Let's remember this important historical context" when discussing not only what is happening in the Senate this week, but what citizens are going to do about it in 2018.
    If you keep voting for one of the Corporate Party's artificial divisions then you will keep getting the same bullshit.
    Citizens deserve a share of the blame for being suckered by both "sides" and their media puppets that report on the show as if it is something that is real.
    "Let's not forget this important historical context" when discussing how we got here.
    It is time for citizens to exercise the nuclear option on both halves of the one Corporate Party by refusing to vote for the corporate sponsored candidates and committing to only vote for small contribution candidates.
    This will either enable citizens to gain control of one or both halves of the Corporate Party or create viable alternatives.

  22. [22] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [13]

    Ok, Victora, OK..

    What did I say exactly 10 days ago today..

    Do you remember??

    EXACTLY 10 days ago... blah, blah, blah. We've already been through this exercise above. You already asked me for a cite; I already gave it to you because I remembered our conversation from around 10 days ago. Did you forget this from 10 minutes ago? You're making yourself look really "silly" again.

    Of course you don't..

    See above conversation from around 10 days ago that I remembered and YOU forgot.

    So, you can tell me what I said exactly 10 days ago without referring back??

    Hey, remember that INCORRECT statement you made above? I remembered our conversation and what we talked about and was therefore able to instantly realize you were wrong. You asked me for a cite, and I had no problem giving it to you. Now you seem to have completely forgotten that I've already proven that I can remember something that you've completely forgotten. :)

    Of course you can't..

    I already did.

    Like I said. Quit acting like an ass..

    Oh, now there's a good start; you remembered something you said from 10 seconds ago. Keep working on that and go for 10 minutes, 10 hours... work your way up until you can stop posting incorrect bullshit because of your inability to recall recent conversations.

    Besides, little man; your bullshit is kind of repetitive and monotonous. Anyone who has read a few days of it knows your entire routine. Oh, sure, the subject may change, but the monotonous drivel you're incessantly spewing changes very little at all. SSDD :)

  23. [23] 
    michale wrote:

    EXACTLY 10 days ago... blah, blah, blah. We've already been through this exercise above. You already asked me for a cite; I already gave it to you because I remembered our conversation from around 10 days ago. Did you forget this from 10 minutes ago? You're making yourself look really "silly" again.

    So, in other words, No.. You DON'T remember exactly what I said 10 days ago..

    Yet, you expect me to..

    Hypocrisy much??? :D Much too much.. :D

    You asked me for a cite, and I had no problem giving it to you.

    And, if that was all you did, there wouldn't be a problem..

    But then you went on a personal attack bender, calling me names because I don't remember EVERYTHING you have said for the last year or so..

    Besides, little man; your bullshit is kind of repetitive and monotonous.

    Yea, you keep saying that.. Yet you are still riveted by it and read and remember every word.. :D

    So, I guess you ARE that into me.. :D

    Sorry, Victoria.. As flattered as I am, I have been ecstatically married to a beautiful woman fort 35+ years..

    But, I AM flattered by your attentions.. :D

  24. [24] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [19]

    I know this will likely be VERY disappointing to you. I don't hang on your every word and memorize it or take notes on your "pearls of wisdom", etc etc..

    I am just not that into you..

    You don't hang on anyone's word; you're just not into meaningful conversation. Lumping people into categories and repeating the same monotonous bullshit about party bigotry like it's a new "pearl of wisdom" every day means never having to actually have political debate with anyone. Intellectual laziness and willful ignorance while pounding everyone into the same "pure and simple" boxes means never having to debate at all. :)

    Plus the fact that EVERYTHING you say is borne of Party slavery and ideological hysteria..

    I rest my case.

    So, it's just not that important to me to remember what you say...

    We know. It's just not that important to you to remember what anybody says. It's so much easier to lump everyone into the same box and pretend it's political debate. See above.

    Does that mean I'll get it wrong now and again?

    No, it means you constantly get it wrong. You have very few arguments, and you think they qualify as actual political debate. Oh, sure, the subject can change, but your arguments really never do. They don't have to when you lump an entire group into a box and pretend like they all agree on nearly every subject and pretend like they'd agree with your and Breitbart's and Alex Jones's conspiracy drivel too if only they weren't all a bunch of party bigots... even though you insist Benedict Donald has no party. :)

    But it also means that yer just not that important to me..

    I'll remind you of that next time you hijack my post to someone else for the 1000th time in order to call me a party bigot for the 1000th time.

    Sorry if that makes you feel bad.. :D Not my intent..

    OMG! *LOL* Are you really this obtuse? And you really don't see it?

    You really are! :)

  25. [25] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "How is that any different than what the Democrats are doing to Gorsuch?"

    You can't be the FIRST one to poison the well (REPUBLICANS) and then get to FEIGN surprise when the other side (DEMOCRATS) actually start nursing a grudge! I mean, what other reaction were you REALLY expecting??? Or are you either actually that NAIVE or have that much CONTEMPT for your opponent???

  26. [26] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i wrote my senators awhile back asking for a filibuster on gorsuch. my reason is that it's completely out of order to vote on a new nominee when the last nominee hasn't even had hearings yet.

    as CW points out, this tactic of denying a vote to democratic nominees and then fast-tracking republican ones has been going on for a long time. i would even say he doesn't go far enough back for the context. this goes all the way back to bill clinton's administration.

    clinton had over a hundred federal judicial nominations stalled until the end of his term, many of them appellate positions, most of which were later filled by bush nominees. this has been a concerted effort of republicans to game the federal courts by using every procedural trick available to deny democratic nominees for the last twenty-five years. nothing democrats have done even comes close.

    JL

  27. [27] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [23]

    And, if that was all you did, there wouldn't be a problem..

    But then you went on a personal attack bender, calling me names because I don't remember EVERYTHING you have said for the last year or so..

    More bullshit from you; no one said anything about remembering EVERYTHING from the "last year or so." You see, this is the problem. You make shit up about people... just incessantly make shit up and lump everyone here into the same category.

    Yea, you keep saying that.. Yet you are still riveted by it and read and remember every word.. :D

    More made up bullshit from you... surprise! You really think anyone here is "riveted" by the same monotonous bullshit over and over? Your shit is not special... hell, it's not even political debate. :)

    So, I guess you ARE that into me.. :D

    Sorry, Victoria.. As flattered as I am, I have been ecstatically married to a beautiful woman fort 35+ years..

    But, I AM flattered by your attentions.. :D

    More bullshit from you... big surprise. So basically all you have is made up bullshit... followed by more made up bullshit... followed by additional made up bullshit.

    Thanks for proving how much FACTS matter to you. You can always be counted on to cut yourself off at your own knees. Why don't you do yourself and everyone else a favor and pop that bubble you're living in and try living in reality? It would serve you well to clue in to the FACT that FACTS don't seem to matter to you at all. :)

  28. [28] 
    michale wrote:

    You can't be the FIRST one to poison the well (REPUBLICANS) and then get to FEIGN surprise when the other side (DEMOCRATS) actually start nursing a grudge! I mean, what other reaction were you REALLY expecting???

    Democrats threatened to poison the well first..

    Having said that, I completely agree with you that the GOP feigning surprise is total bullshit..

    Or are you either actually that NAIVE or have that much CONTEMPT for your opponent???

    I do have contempt for BOTH the GOP and the Democrat Party...

    Just more for the Dims.. :D

    As JL once said..

    Michale hates Republicans but he really REALLY hates Democrats..

    That sums it up perfectly.. :D

  29. [29] 
    michale wrote:

    More bullshit from you... big surprise.

    Prove it... Prove it that I am not flattered by your attentions. :D

    Prove it that I am not happily.. ECSTATICALLY married to a beautiful woman for the last 35+ years..

    You say it's bullsit??

    PROVE it..

    You can't... It's that simple.. :D

    So, WHO spews the bullshit?? Looks like it's you, Vicky :D

  30. [30] 
    michale wrote:

    i wrote my senators awhile back asking for a filibuster on gorsuch. my reason is that it's completely out of order to vote on a new nominee when the last nominee hasn't even had hearings yet.

    I understand your reasoning, I really do..

    The GOP were big fat meenies and you want to stick it back to em... I understand that..

    But you must concede that the opposition to Gorsuch will be useless in the short term as far as getting Gorsuch confirmed and it will be worse than useless in the long term, as it will prevent a possible successful filibuster in the future with a nominee that the Dems really REALLY hate...

    Don't take my word for it...

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2017/03/31/ftp430/#comment-97721

    Listen to John M....

  31. [31] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    As JL once said..
    Michale hates Republicans but he really REALLY hates Democrats..

    um, that wasn't me.

    JL

  32. [32] 
    michale wrote:

    As JL once said..
    Michale hates Republicans but he really REALLY hates Democrats..

    um, that wasn't me.

    Oh, come on!!! Jeesus H Christ!!!

  33. [33] 
    michale wrote:

    Fine, you didn't say it..

    Jeesus h christ on a crutch!!

  34. [34] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    don't worry michale, i'm sure someone said it.

  35. [35] 
    michale wrote:

    Unfortunately, GOOGLE doesn't catalog and search very well comments at chrisweigant.com

    So, I can't prove you said it..

    If it offends you to have me say you said it, I retract the claim.

  36. [36] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    it doesn't offend me at all, it's just someone else's words.

  37. [37] 
    michale wrote:
  38. [38] 
    michale wrote:

    it doesn't offend me at all, it's just someone else's words.

    Since I can't prove it, I'll let it go...

    Probably :D

  39. [39] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    and based on the cite you've clearly made the same misattribution before.

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Since I can't prove it, I'll let it go...

    now that's not like you at all ;)

    JL

  41. [41] 
    michale wrote:

    and based on the cite you've clearly made the same misattribution before.

    But you didn't object then.. :D

    now that's not like you at all ;)

    Since I can't get a reliable search from GOOGLE for cw.com....

    Maybe when CW finishes the site update, it will have better search capabilities...

    We can revisit the issue then...

  42. [42] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [29]

    Prove it... Prove it that I am not flattered by your attentions. :D

    Prove it that I am not happily.. ECSTATICALLY married to a beautiful woman for the last 35+ years..

    You say it's bullsit??

    Yes, it's bullshit and it's intellectual laziness and willful ignorance to infer the load of shit you just laid. Would you accuse altohone or GT or LWYH of being interested in you and resort to the utter bullshit you just typed there about one of them "being into you" and the "I'm married" utter load of bullshit you just actually typed there?

    I'd be interested to see you try that utter nonsensical drivel with Neil. Come on. You haven't made a fool enough of yourself for one day; try that utter load of bullshit with Neil or Listen. :)

    You can't... It's that simple.. :D

    The only thing "simple" is your bullshit. How pathetic and small... very much like Donald Trump. Try that "I'm married" bullshit with A01 or JL and see how far you get with that intellectual lazy drivel. *LOL* :)

  43. [43] 
    michale wrote:

    Yes, it's bullshit and it's intellectual laziness and willful ignorance to infer the load of shit you just laid. Would you accuse altohone or GT or LWYH of being interested in you and resort to the utter bullshit you just typed there about one of them "being into you" and the "I'm married" utter load of bullshit you just actually typed there?

    Why yes... Yes I would.. :D

    I'd be interested to see you try that utter nonsensical drivel with Neil. Come on. You haven't made a fool enough of yourself for one day; try that utter load of bullshit with Neil or Listen. :)

    If Neil had posted that he reads "every word" and he was on me as much as you are??

    Yea, I probably would inquire about his interest.. :D

    The only thing "simple" is your bullshit. How pathetic and small... very much like Donald Trump. Try that "I'm married" bullshit with A01 or JL and see how far you get with that intellectual lazy drivel. *LOL* :)

    In other words, you CAN'T prove it... :D

    That's all you had to say, Vickie :D

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Time to take this conversation out of the gutter, people ...

  45. [45] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [43]

    If Neil had posted that he reads "every word" and he was on me as much as you are??

    Oh, I see your problem. I said I read "every word" in one of my posts, and you actually took that to mean "your every word." You thought that was about you [sung to the tune of "You're So Vain"]. Sorry to disappoint you, but you're not CW so I wasn't referring to you.

    I read the board for months and didn't say a peep to anyone. Did you factor that in? Did you forget that? I also said that I could block you any time with Charlie Brown's most excellent Tamper Monkey device. Why didn't you factor that in?

    You seem to have a selective case of what you remember and what you forget. *LOL* :)

    In other words, you CAN'T prove it... :D

    In other words, I don't have to prove it since you're doing it for me. :)

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'd rather watch CNN all day long than to spend any time reading through the kind of non-serious dribble that has begun to characterize comments on this blog.

  47. [47] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    i'm with you 100%

    JL

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I know you are, Joshua ... one big reason why I'm still here!

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, while we are both here, do you think anything will change with respect to US policy in Syria in the wake of the horrific gas attacks by the Assad regime?

    What good is the international community and its various bodies if nothing can be done to remove Assad from power, if not from the earth, itself?

  50. [50] 
    michale wrote:

    Oh, I see your problem. I said I read "every word" in one of my posts, and you actually took that to mean "your every word."

    You said "every word".. Which means MY "every word"...

    I read the board for months and didn't say a peep to anyone. Did you factor that in? Did you forget that? I also said that I could block you any time with Charlie Brown's most excellent Tamper Monkey device.?

    Yes, that's my point.. If all my posts are such "BULLSHIT", then why don't you block me?

    You don't because you hang on my "every word"... Your words, not mine..

    In other words, I don't have to prove it since you're doing it for me. :)

    You accused me of lying about how I am flattered and how I am happily married..

    I asked you to PROVE that I am lying.

    You can't..

    Ergo, it's you who spews bullshit.. :D

  51. [51] 
    michale wrote:

    I'd rather watch CNN all day long than to spend any time reading through the kind of non-serious dribble that has begun to characterize comments on this blog.

    We go with the blog we have rather than the blog we wish we had. :D

    If people want to be serious, then we could be serious..

    If people want to just be assholes, well...

    "We can be faithful to that as well"
    -President Jack Ryan

    :D

    And, while we are both here, do you think anything will change with respect to US policy in Syria in the wake of the horrific gas attacks by the Assad regime?

    Yes, I think THIS time, since we don't have Red-Line Obama as our POTUS, I think things will be quite different..

    President Trump has already expanded the number of operators in TOP considerably.. He has also taken the very good step of keeping the details of the expansion covert...

    What good is the international community and its various bodies if nothing can be done to remove Assad from power, if not from the earth, itself?

    Politics.. It will be the death of humanity....

  52. [52] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    thanks for your vote of confidence, i feel the same. assad has been doing horrible things for a long time, even before syria descended into full-scale chaos. one reason the assad regime has been able to continue getting away with it is russian support. considering the trump white house's stance on russia, my guess is that assad will consolidate power and the chaotic bloodbath will become a much more organized and systematic bloodbath.

    JL

  53. [53] 
    Paula wrote:

    Chris: good column!

    Context is everything and is so often missing.

  54. [54] 
    Paula wrote:

    Shared this in my Facebook groups because it provides context so well!

  55. [55] 
    altohone wrote:

    delayed response to comment 168 FTP

    Yup.
    I'm basing my argument on facts from the video of a cop beating a man who got on his knees in surrender.

    You're basing your argument on NOTHING.
    You didn't present one single fact about the beating incident that supports your argument.
    And yet you think an argument based on faith beats an argument based on evidence?
    I'm sure that makes sense in your head.

    But hey.
    You keep whining about police procedure.
    Go ahead and cite the relevant procedure from the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.
    Or are we supposed to go on faith again?
    You keep claiming that I am ignorant, but you haven't demonstrated any knowledge on the subject.
    This should be easy for even a washed up former LEO.
    Why are we only getting empty assertion?

    You keep quoting my comments about what GT said, when they prove my point, not yours.
    Don't you think it's strange that you're the only one who thinks my words mean something different?
    And why do you keep ignoring the relevance of the comment by GT that I was referencing?

    A

  56. [56] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @paula,

    the context also goes back much further than just obama. as i wrote earlier, this happened to bill clinton too. over a hundred clinton judicial nominees never got a confirmation vote, and most of their seats were filled by bush nominees.

    JL

  57. [57] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @alto,

    any comments on the current column, on judicial nominees?

    JL

  58. [58] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    49

    Even the biased French are saying that Assad will be guilty of war crimes IF it is proven his regime is responsible.

    Yet you are stating Assad is responsible as if it is a proven fact.
    May I inquire what your source is?

    A

  59. [59] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [50]

    You said "every word".. Which means MY "every word"...

    It meant CW's. I don't read your every word.

    Yes, that's my point.. If all my posts are such "BULLSHIT", then why don't you block me?

    I don't need mechanical means to skip a post.

    You don't because you hang on my "every word"... Your words, not mine..

    You're doing that thing where you take words out of context and conflate it into utter bullshit. I never said I hang on your every word, although I have said many times to please stop projecting your fantasy onto my reality. ¯\_(?)_/¯

    You accused me of lying about how I am flattered and how I am happily married..

    I asked you to PROVE that I am lying.

    You can't..

    No. That's not what I said; that's how you interpreted what I said because it fit your purposes better than reading and understanding what I said. As I've stated before with perfect clarity when you made the same type comments; I'm not interested in your shack. It's not complicated... if only you had just let that permeate your selective memory the first time. :)

    Now you may continue to prattle on and on with your utter nonsense, but JL and Elizabeth are correct. I'm not doing this.

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    My own good judgement and sense, Al.

  61. [61] 
    michale wrote:

    I'm basing my argument on facts from the video of a cop beating a man who got on his knees in surrender.

    Which, as has been proven, is nothing but a snapshot of the entire incident. As such, it's worthless

    You're basing your argument on NOTHING.

    No..

    MY argument, Russ's argument and GT's argument is that the video by itself is not conclusive. It doesn't allow for any conclusion, save that of a hysterical anti-cop bigot..

    Now, if you had an eyewitness who could come in here and tell us what happened BEFORE the video..

    THEN you would have facts to come to a rational conclusion..

    But you don't HAVE an eyewitness to come in here..

    Right??

    :D

    And yet you think an argument based on faith beats an argument based on evidence?

    No.. My argument is based on practical experience, training and expertise..

    It's the same argument that Russ made, based on his experience, training and expertise..

    It's the same argument that GT made, based on his personal knowledge of the area and the police involved..

    YOU are the only one who is making a hysterical argument based on NOTHING but a snapshot and hysterical anti-cop bigotry..

    You keep quoting my comments about what GT said, when they prove my point, not yours.

    No.. GT's comments support my argument. They don't "prove" your point in any way, shape or form..

    And why do you keep ignoring the relevance of the comment by GT that I was referencing?

    Which comment was that?? You have referenced so many in this discussion, you will have to be more specific..

    The long and short of it is this..

    Anyone who says that they can definitively conclude that an incident is or is not justified based on a 30-second blurb of an incident that was way way longer is whacked in the head..

    PERIOD..

  62. [62] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @alto [58]

    the new yorker ran a fairly extensive article on the matter last year.

    "The commission’s work recently culminated in a four-hundred-page legal brief that links the systematic torture and murder of tens of thousands of Syrians to a written policy approved by President Bashar al-Assad, coördinated among his security-intelligence agencies, and implemented by regime operatives, who reported the successes of their campaign to their superiors in Damascus."

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/18/bashar-al-assads-war-crimes-exposed

  63. [63] 
    michale wrote:

    It meant CW's. I don't read your every word.

    Ahh.. So when you said you read "every word" you were lying..

    You DON'T read "every word".. You just read every CW's word..

    OK.. Glad you cleared that up.. Thank you...

    I don't need mechanical means to skip a post.

    And yet, you don't.. :D

    You read my posts, even though you claim they are ALL "bullshit"... :D

    No. That's not what I said;

    It's exactly what you said.

    I said:
    So, I guess you ARE that into me.. :D

    Sorry, Victoria.. As flattered as I am, I have been ecstatically married to a beautiful woman fort 35+ years..

    But, I AM flattered by your attentions.. :D

    Then YOU said:
    More bullshit from you... big surprise. So basically all you have is made up bullshit... followed by more made up bullshit... followed by additional made up bullshit.

    So, you DID say that I was lying. That what I said was "bullshit"..

    Then I ask you to PROVE that I am lying and then you claim "No. That's not what I said;

    But NOW you claim you didn't say that what I said was bullshit, even though I am quoting your VERBATIM....

    So, in other words, NOW it is YOU who is spewing bullshit.. :D

    Now you may continue to prattle on and on with your utter nonsense, but JL and Elizabeth are correct. I'm not doing this.

    Brave Sir Robin ran away
    (No!)
    Bravely ran away away
    (I didn't!)
    When danger reared its ugly head
    He bravely turned his tail and fled
    (No!)
    Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
    (I didn't!)
    And gallantly he chickened out

    PWNED

    heh :D

  64. [64] 
    michale wrote:

    My own good judgement and sense, Al.

    AND intelligence estimates from a half dozen countries...

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al, here is another one of my assertions based solely on my own good sense and judgement:

    Until Assad realizes that staying in power isn't doing him, his regime, or his country any good and he decides to give up power, until then ... nothing will improve in Syria.

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, Michale, my own good sense and judgement is always itself based on something, you know. :)

  67. [67] 
    Paula wrote:

    [56] nypoet22: Good point!

  68. [68] 
    michale wrote:

    Well, Michale, my own good sense and judgement is always itself based on something, you know. :)

    I DO know.. :D

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The Republicans are obsessed with stacking the Supreme Court and have been for as long as I can remember.

  70. [70] 
    altohone wrote:

    nypoet
    57

    Sure.
    The Dems tolerating the Repubs blocking Obama's constitutional right to fill the vacancy and 3 Dem senators supporting Trump's nominee shows how truly pathetic Dems are on principle, in messaging, and in party unity.

    But it does boil down to what Don said.
    Six one, half dozen the other.
    Right wing corporatists who only vary on social issues is all we've been getting for over 3 decades.

    That said, giving Repubs what they want now to preserve a power (the judicial filibuster) that can be taken away whenever Dems actually try to use it is about as pointless as it can get.

    If Dems weren't collaborators in maintaining the corrupt status quo, they would have gone nuclear when they had the majority and filled the hundreds (thousands?) of judicial vacancies with progressive liberals.

    The "Dems are more civilized" defense is simply denialism about the use of power. For some reason, Dems are always unwilling to use their power to advance the interests of the people they claim to serve while insisting they will next time.

    If the Repubs go nuclear, and Dems miraculously win back control of the Senate in the midterms, I half expect them to reinstitute the filibuster as their first order of business... giving Repubs back their power to block them.

    A

  71. [71] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    60

    Wow.

    Not even Cheney used that approach to sell the lies about Iraq.

    65

    And your alternative is... who exactly?

    A

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You don't think there is anyone who would be better than Assad, Al?

  73. [73] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And your alternative is... who exactly?

    there's the crux of the matter, isn't it. all the worst actors in the middle east, as bad as they are, may still be better than the next most likely alternative.

    JL

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Wow. Not even Cheney used that approach to sell the lies about Iraq.

    Now, you see, Al, you just went ahead and explained very succinctly why it is that good conversations cannot be had around here.

    No one can voice an opinion without someone else requiring iron clad proof instead of furthering the discussion to see where it goes.

    You know, we're all fairly well read around here. Some of us you might even call expert in their own field. Some of us don't really have a field but feel quite invested in some issues anyway.

    None of us have all the answers but, that shouldn't stop us from thinking out loud and bringing our ideas to this blog.

    We are all adult enough to know when to fold and call it a night, or early morning, as the case may be without turning everything into a cat scratching fest.

    So, in future, tell me what you think about my ideas or assertions or magical thinking and I'll take if from there and we might even engage in a serious conversation about a serious subject, every now and again.

    Stranger things have already happened! :)

  75. [75] 
    altohone wrote:

    nypoet
    62

    I asked about proof regarding the latest incident.

    For future reference though, neoliberal propaganda to help sell regime change efforts without regard to the consequences that are massively detrimental to US interests, and that violate our laws and values are unconvincing.

    When US war crimes are ignored, the hypocrisy prevents a principled stance on the actions of others too.

    Those who are selectively principled are not actually principled.

    A

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Can you guess where I missed putting in a comma in [74]?

    Damn! Ahem ... cough ... Edit function ... cough...cough ...

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Someone once said that there are no Nelson Mandelas in the Middle East and that is very unfortunate for everyone.

  78. [78] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Now you may continue to prattle on and on with your utter nonsense, but JL and Elizabeth are correct. I'm not doing this.

    thanks!

    Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
    (I didn't!)
    And gallantly he chickened out
    PWNED

    *sigh*

    JL

  79. [79] 
    Kick wrote:

    A01 [70]

    The Dems tolerating the Repubs blocking Obama's constitutional right to fill the vacancy and 3 Dem senators supporting Trump's nominee shows how truly pathetic Dems are on principle, in messaging, and in party unity.

    I agree they're infuriating at times, but what do you think they could have done about the Repubs blocking Garland? I'm asking here, not judging. Also, considering their infuriating past, I was pleasantly surprised that only 3 of them supported Gorsuch. :)

    That said, giving Repubs what they want now to preserve a power (the judicial filibuster) that can be taken away whenever Dems actually try to use it is about as pointless as it can get.

    Right. The makeup of the SC essentially remains intact and as per usual. No one knows what the future holds, and why would the Repubs NOT pull the exact same number when they truly had the power to change the makeup of the Court?

    I want to see these Dems get pissed and get busy beating these Repubs at their own BS... It gets old watching them be "more civilized." Fight fire with fire. Full steam ahead.

    If the Repubs go nuclear, and Dems miraculously win back control of the Senate in the midterms, I half expect them to reinstitute the filibuster as their first order of business... giving Repubs back their power to block them.

    There's a lopsided number of seats in 2018... so not likely to happen... but possible. :)

  80. [80] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    Not even Cheney used that approach to sell the lies about Iraq.

    Seriously, that's because Cheney didn't have good sense nor good judgement, silly.

  81. [81] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Is it worth changing the Senate rules regarding what voting standard is required for a Supreme Court nomination over the nomination of Judge Gorsuch?

    I think not.

  82. [82] 
    michale wrote:

    *sigh*

    JL

    Hay, it's 20 against 1... I take it where I can get it.. :D

  83. [83] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    neoliberal propaganda to help sell regime change efforts without regard to the consequences that are massively detrimental to US interests, and that violate our laws and values are unconvincing.

    does that mean you didn't read the article, or didn't believe it? the information and its sources seemed quite credible to me.

    When US war crimes are ignored, the hypocrisy prevents a principled stance on the actions of others too.

    meaning we aren't allowed to be against torture because some of our own did in it in the past? you're not making any sense here.

    JL

  84. [84] 
    michale wrote:

    The prevailing attitude around here and amongst the Left Wing is that the GOP was mean, so the Dems have to be mean right back...

    Ignoring for the moment how childish and immature that is, does ANYONE give thought to the future??

    To the time when President Trump will nominate #2??

    What the Dems do now will determine whether or not President Trump can put a Merrick Garland on the SCOTUS or a Kid Rock..

    "Choose wisely."
    -Knight Of The Round Table, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE

  85. [85] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Is it worth changing the Senate rules regarding what voting standard is required for a Supreme Court nomination over the nomination of Judge Gorsuch?
    I think not.

    @liz,

    that falls into the trap of thinking that it's dems who will be changing the rules. it is the choice of republicans to change the rules or not, and if they do so then they must think that it is worth it.

    JL

  86. [86] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    What the Dems do now will determine whether or not President Trump can put a Merrick Garland on the SCOTUS or a Kid Rock..

    i don't think anyone believes that what dems do now will have any impact whatsoever on the next nominee. as CW said, if they don't change the rules now, they'll change the rules then. might as well stick to principle and let the chips fall where they may.

    JL

  87. [87] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ,I>that falls into the trap of thinking that it's dems who will be changing the rules. it is the choice of republicans to change the rules or not, and if they do so then they must think that it is worth it.

    Don't you just hate it when your comments fall into a trap? :)

    Seriously, it was more of a rhetorical question about changing the senate rules. But, the Dems can prevent a rule change by prudently deciding to allow the nomination of Judge Gorsuch to go forward.

    They can explain the method to their madness and I think that explanation could carry a lot of weight in 2018, if handled astutely.

  88. [88] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,

    that falls into the trap of thinking that it's dems who will be changing the rules. it is the choice of republicans to change the rules or not, and if they do so then they must think that it is worth it.

    Don't you just hate it when your comments fall into a trap? :)

    Seriously, it was more of a rhetorical question about changing the senate rules. But, the Dems can prevent a rule change by prudently deciding to allow the nomination of Judge Gorsuch to go forward.

    They can explain the method to their madness and I think that explanation could carry a lot of weight in 2018, if handled astutely.

  89. [89] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    if they don't change the rules now, they'll change the rules then. might as well stick to principle and let the chips fall where they may.

    That assumes that the Dems won't be able to stop a clearly unqualified nominee to the SCOTUS and that they won't be able to take their case to the people and win their argument. Oh, wait ... good assumption. :)

  90. [90] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's a crazy busy day today ... later ...

  91. [91] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    yikes, donald's approval is below 40% now.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html

    maybe if his numbers go down enough he'll tack left and start being the pragmatist we were hoping for. if so, perhaps the next scotus nominee will be a real moderate or even a bit left of center, and mcconnell may wish he hadn't nuked the filibuster so soon.

    JL

  92. [92] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    maybe if his numbers go down enough he'll tack left and start being the pragmatist we were hoping for. if so, perhaps the next scotus nominee will be a real moderate or even a bit left of center, and mcconnell may wish he hadn't nuked the filibuster so soon.

    Now, THERE'S some mighty magical thinking! Would that it were even remotely true ...

  93. [93] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Now, THERE'S some mighty magical thinking! Would that it were even remotely true ...

    donald has proven time and again that he doesn't really care about policy issues, he just wants to be popular.

    JL

  94. [94] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    74

    I'm sorry I asked you for a source that supports the claim you made which no media outlets I am aware of are reporting has been verified, and that I found your response insufficient and extreme.

    Given the track record of al Qaida "rebels" in Syria attempting to falsely blame Assad for chemical attacks which they themselves were responsible for (according to UN investigators) and that Western powers attempted to use the false claims as justification for their proxy regime change war, and the fact that the "rebels" releasing a chemical agent in the territory they control at the same time that a government bombing raid is occurring would not be logistically difficult, I believe the "adult" position to take is skepticism, not acceptance and dissemination of unverified assertions as if they are fact... even if you later call them opinion.

    A

  95. [95] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    72

    I asked you first.

    A

  96. [96] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    donald has proven time and again that he doesn't really care about policy issues, he just wants to be popular.

    Isn't that a hoot and a half!?

  97. [97] 
    altohone wrote:

    Kick
    79

    For starters, Obama could have made a recess appointment, followed up by Dems hammering on it in the 2016 campaigns.

    "It gets old watching them be "more civilized.""

    Particularly when the net effect, intended or accidental, amounts to collaboration against their own voters.

    "There's a lopsided number of seats in 2018... so not likely to happen... but possible. :)"

    Hence the qualifier "miraculously".

    A

  98. [98] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    80

    I truly worry about another war based on lies.

    Sorry for the comparison.

    A

  99. [99] 
    michale wrote:

    i don't think anyone believes that what dems do now will have any impact whatsoever on the next nominee. as CW said, if they don't change the rules now, they'll change the rules then. might as well stick to principle and let the chips fall where they may.

    And, as I said (and even JM agreed with) if Trump's numbers begin to fall, a filibuster of his 2nd nominee MAY be successful..

    It's the difference between a 100% successful nuke now or a 40% chance of a nuke in the future..

    Seems to me that the Left would rather have their pound of flesh now rather than a possibility of reaping the reward of stopping Trump in the future..

    Which, if that's the choice, I understand.

    But let's not kid ourselves as to how BAD it could be for the Dems if they burn the filibuster now..

    +

  100. [100] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    nypoet22- [31]

    Probably me. Though I quoted Matt Stone of South Park to describe Michale: "I hate conservatives, but I really fucking hate liberals."

  101. [101] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    another mystery solved.

  102. [102] 
    michale wrote:

    I think I would have remembered if it was Bashi of all people.. :D

    I just can't see him saying ANYTHING that could even REMOTELY be construed as in defense of me :D

  103. [103] 
    michale wrote:

    Something unprecedented could happen this week when the Senate votes on Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court — but it won’t be Republicans triggering the so-called nuclear option to confirm him a by simple-majority vote.

    No, what would be historically unprecedented would be for Democrats to filibuster Gorsuch.

    There has never been a successful filibuster of a nominee for associate justice in the history of the republic — and the idea that Gorsuch should be the first is patently absurd. By any reasonable standard, President Trump nominated a jurist of impeccable temperament, character and intellect who has won plaudits from across the political spectrum. Liberal Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe has declared that “Gorsuch is a brilliant, terrific guy who would do the Court’s work with distinction.” Former Obama acting solicitor general Neal Katyal, who introduced Gorsuch at his confirmation hearings as a “wonderfully humane and decent person,” penned a New York Times op-ed in which he suggested that “liberals should back Neil Gorsuch” because he would “stand up for the rule of law and say no to a president or Congress that strays beyond the Constitution and laws.”

    This is the guy Democrats want to target for a precedent-breaking filibuster?

    The fact is, if Gorsuch cannot get 60 votes, no one nominated by a Republican president can. Filibustering Gorsuch is not only transparently partisan but also strategically stupid. There is heartburn among some GOP senators over “going nuclear,” and if Trump had nominated a more controversial nominee, Republicans might not have the votes to change the Senate rules. But by threatening to filibuster someone as obviously qualified as Gorsuch for the Scalia seat, Democrats have united the GOP behind going nuclear.

    Moreover, Democrats have no one to blame but themselves for the bind they are in. At every step along the way, they are the ones who broke long-standing precedent on judicial nominations. During the George W. Bush administration, they used the filibuster to block the nomination of Miguel Estrada — a supremely qualified nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit who had the support of a clear majority in the Senate. Estrada was the first appeals court nominee ever to have been successfully filibustered. And he was not alone. Democrats blocked 10 Bush judicial nominees in 2003 and 2004 in this way.

    So when President Barack Obama was elected and Democrats had control of the Senate, Republicans used the precedent Democrats had set. Democrats responded by breaking precedent yet again — this time changing the Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster for all nominees except for the Supreme Court, including lifetime appointments to the federal circuit courts. They did this so that Obama could pack the courts with liberal judges that could not meet the 60-vote “standard.” And pack the courts he did. Obama appointed more than a third of all federal judges and flipped most of the circuit courts of appeal from conservative to liberal majorities.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/do-democrats-really-want-to-provoke-an-unprecedented-showdown-over-gorsuch/2017/04/03/04361ebc-1876-11e7-855e-4824bbb5d748_story.html?utm_term=.9368373f2fa0

    If context is what ya'all are looking for..

    There it is....

    Not even Justice Clarence Thomas was filibustered...

    Dems are losing it...

  104. [104] 
    michale wrote:

    Well, ya'all can celebrate now..

    President Trump's approval rating is below 40% according to the ONLY poll that has even an iota of relevance... :D

    Have a happy.... :D

    Of course, those are the same polls that said NOT-45 had an 80% chance of winning the Presidency so... :D

    But bask in your glory..

    It'll make the indictments of Obama officials all the more sweet.. :D

  105. [105] 
    altohone wrote:

    nypoet
    83

    "does that mean you didn't read the article, or didn't believe it? the information and its sources seemed quite credible to me."

    I read the piece when it came out.
    I called it propaganda due to the omission of context and facts in order to favor a morally unacceptable US policy that is against our interests.

    "meaning we aren't allowed to be against torture because some of our own did in it in the past? you're not making any sense here."

    A principled stand requires prosecuting torturers and those who order it, those who launch wars of aggression based on lies, the targeting of civilians and journalists, etc. in order to be credible and honorable when we are condemning others for their war crimes.

    Specifically, the failure to prosecute the Bushies for torture means "we" aren't actually against torture.

    A

  106. [106] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I actually blame Newt Gingrich for all of this.

    Gingrich and his proto-tea partiers came into office in 1994 in one of those cyclical years of Republican backlash and took the old tradition of Congressional Amity, bound it like Bettie Page and shot it in the head. It's been downhill ever since, slowed only by GOP majorities in the early Bush years. Trump is himself the inevitable outcome of the path established by Gingrich, who probably would have been picked for VP if he hadn't had the personal baggage of a traveling carnival.

    Gingrich established back then what has come to be common GOP tactics - insincerity in negotiations, moving the goalposts, dissemblance, and brinksmanship. It was he who established the now-common practice of blaming the Democrats for 'pushing' the GOP to make ever more radical tactical decisions, even as Democrats have bent over backwards to keep government functioning despite the GOP's mendacious intransigence.

    Even Gingrich's bloated ego and personal hypocrisy was, in retrospect, a precursor to Trump's.

    "Let me say on the record: Any ad which quotes what I said … is a falsehood." - Newt Gingrich

    So when McConnell inevitably blows up the last remnant of Congressional civility, we should all remember that Gingrich is off somewhere lifting a glass to the culmination of his vision of American politics: lying, vicious partisans with knives in their teeth and mayhem on their minds.

  107. [107] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The Trump administration has just blamed the Obama administration for the horrific tragedy that occurred in Syria today, a country where tragedy has become synonymous with daily life and death.

    The United States government cannot be trusted. Period.

    Time to tune it all out, once and for all.

    Maybe there is a good blog at the BBC. I'll let y'all know if I find one. But, I have to take a break from all of this for a while first.

    Good luck and good health, everyone! I'll be back when I can.

  108. [108] 
    Paula wrote:

    [106} Balthasar:

    So when McConnell inevitably blows up the last remnant of Congressional civility, we should all remember that Gingrich is off somewhere lifting a glass to the culmination of his vision of American politics: lying, vicious partisans with knives in their teeth and mayhem on their minds.

    Yep, yep, yep.

  109. [109] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The Trump administration has just blamed the Obama administration for the horrific tragedy that occurred in Syria today.

    Of course they did. While they're at it, they'll probably blame Clinton and Carter for Middle Eastern unrest, and FDR and Wilson for the whole 'Geneva Convention' thing.

  110. [110] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    wilson? really? donald can't even remember what happened a minute ago, much less a century.

  111. [111] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    He'd think I'm referring to the soccer ball that Tom Hanks fell in love with in Castaway. Or Flip.

  112. [112] 
    michale wrote:

    Liz,

    The Trump administration has just blamed the Obama administration for the horrific tragedy that occurred in Syria today, a country where tragedy has become synonymous with daily life and death.

    That is factually accurate..

    If Obama had enforced his red line as he had promised Syria wouldn't be in the mess it's in today..

    This is fact..

  113. [113] 
    michale wrote:

    that falls into the trap of thinking that it's dems who will be changing the rules. it is the choice of republicans to change the rules or not, and if they do so then they must think that it is worth it.

    And yet, the Dims blamed the GOP when Reid changed the rules..

    You see my point??

    *EVERYTHING* is always the fault of the Republicans

    The Democrats are as pure as the driven snow...

  114. [114] 
    michale wrote:

    He'd think I'm referring to the soccer ball that Tom Hanks fell in love with in Castaway. Or Flip.

    Ahhhhhh Flip Wilson!! My gods, what a funny guy!!! :D

    THE FLIP WILSON SHOW

    Hilarious :D

  115. [115] 
    michale wrote:

    *EVERYTHING* is always the fault of the Republicans

    The Democrats are as pure as the driven snow...

    Hyperbolic-ly speaking.. :D

  116. [116] 
    dsws wrote:

    [21] Don Harris wrote:

    There is a vacuum of alternatives to switching back and forth between the two halves of our one party system.

    Yes.

    If you keep voting for one of the Corporate Party's artificial divisions then you will keep getting the same bullshit.

    No.

    The division into two parties is not artificial. It is the natural result of a system of direct single-seat plurality elections.

    Not every issue is subject to political contention at any particular time. But the differences are real, and any issue could be taken up if enough people wanted it to be. We just don't have an alternative to the corporate status quo, that makes sense to enough people.

    It would be better to have part of the political system that could consider issues in a multi-polar way. It wouldn't require throwing out the current politicians en masse (which would obviously be opposed by said politicians). Rather, it would require re-organizing them into a larger number of groups -- which would happen as the natural result of any of various possible electoral systems.

  117. [117] 
    dsws wrote:

    Oops. I agreed with a larger chunk of the quote than I meant to.

    There is a vacuum of alternatives, both at the level of parties and (where there's bipartisan agreement) at the level of issues.

    But it's not a one-party system.

  118. [118] 
    michale wrote:

    But it's not a one-party system.

    It's a one-coin system with each Party simply being a different side of the same coin..

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