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Archive of Articles in the "Congress" Category

Senate Parliamentarian Rejects Immigration Reform In Reconciliation Bill

[ Posted Monday, September 20th, 2021 – 16:17 UTC ]

Last night the Senate parliamentarian released the first in a series of opinions about the Democratic efforts to draft an enormous budget reconciliation bill. She said that, in her opinion, legalizing millions of undocumented immigrants should be seen as a policy proposal, not a budget proposal. If Democrats follow her advice, they'll have to remove the path to citizenship from the reconciliation bill. This would be a major blow to immigration reform, although not entirely unexpected.

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From The Archives -- Royal Pain

[ Posted Friday, September 17th, 2021 – 16:15 UTC ]

[The Scene: A warm Philadelphia evening, 226 years ago. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention -- after a long and miserably-hot day of respectful debate (and quite a lot of just plain bickering) over the text of Article I, Section 10 of the proposed draft of the new United States Constitution -- take up the final item on the agenda. We join the Founding Fathers as they (somewhat-wearily) begin discussion of the final subject of the day. Since the debate was conducted behind closed doors, this re-creation uses no names for the participants, to protect their anonymity.]

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Policing Saturday's Pro-Insurrectionist Rally

[ Posted Thursday, September 16th, 2021 – 15:45 UTC ]

This Saturday, America will get to see whether the police responsible for the security of the United States Capitol have learned their lesson or not. After their abject failure to prepare adequately for the insurrectionist mob which took over the Capitol on January 6th (in an attempt to forcibly halt the final step in a presidential election), the police are going to face a crowd of sympathizers of the insurrectionist riot's participants. In other words, the insurrectionists' fellow travellers. One would like to assume that the police presence will be a lot bigger and a lot more proactive on Saturday than they were eight months ago.

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Some Recall Reflections

[ Posted Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 – 17:17 UTC ]

California Governor Gavin Newsom emerged victorious from his recall election last night, chalking up a rather stunning margin: with 71 percent of the vote counted, "No" on the recall was beating "Yes" by a whopping 28 points (64 percent to 36 percent). Not quite 2-to-1, but close. Since it was a special recall election held at an odd time, it garnered more than the normal amount of media and political interest nationwide -- especially after a poll a few months ago seemed to suggest that the race was somehow neck-and-neck. Obviously, it wasn't. Newsom may in fact beat the margin of victory he managed in his last election. Whatever the final numbers turn out to be, though, it's hard not to use the word "landslide" to describe the outcome.

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Friday Talking Points -- Democrats Should Lean In To Biden's New Pandemic Mandates

[ Posted Friday, September 10th, 2021 – 17:04 UTC ]

This week, President Joe Biden picked a political fight. Or, more accurately, he got up off the sidelines and engaged in a political fight that had already begun, by strongly opposing Republican politicians fighting against basic public health safety measures under the fake guise of "freedom." Biden stood squarely for science and safety, while Republicans are left to fight for recklessness and death. That is precisely how the matter should be framed politically, and so far it looks like Biden is doing a fairly good job of presenting this dichotomy to the public. He's even taking the fight directly to all the GOP governors who are sounding increasingly unhinged about the basic concepts of public health and safety.

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Reconciliation Endgame About To Begin

[ Posted Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 – 15:43 UTC ]

The next month in Congress might be the most momentous period for the institution in a very long time. We are almost down to the wire on President Joe Biden's entire economic agenda. Success seems elusive, but at the same time still achievable. If everything falls perfectly into place, Congress could pass legislation that children will learn about in history class right along with L.B.J.'s Great Society and F.D.R.'s New Deal. That's how momentous the next few weeks might be.

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Friday Talking Points -- Supreme Court Shows Its True Colors

[ Posted Friday, September 3rd, 2021 – 16:47 UTC ]

This week began with conservatives and liberals upset because the women of Afghanistan will now lose their freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. It ended with liberals upset that the women of Texas have now lost freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. Conservatives were notably silent, which is understandable since they were the ones instituting this unconstitutional denial of rights from the women of the Lone Star State.

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Roe On Life Support

[ Posted Thursday, September 2nd, 2021 – 15:50 UTC ]

The anti-abortion movement finally got what it wanted all along: a pliant Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade. It took them a long time and a lot of effort to accomplish this -- this movement truly started in the Reagan years with the self-titled "Moral Majority," after all -- but they've finally reached the end of the road. Maybe this will finally get Democrats to pay a little more attention to the importance of Supreme Court picks when voting in presidential races, because the rightwingers have known this for decades now. And it has finally paid off for them.

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Nice Telecom You Got Here -- Be A Shame If Anything Happened To It

[ Posted Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 – 15:23 UTC ]

The lead Republican in the House of Representatives just channelled his inner mob thug. Publicly. This is what the party has sunk to, folks. Overt threats of retaliation, should Republicans take back control of the chamber.

Kevin McCarthy recently responded in an awfully threatening manner to the news that the House January 6th Select Committee has asked dozens of telecommunications companies to preserve some specific records which might pertain to the insurrection and riot at the U.S. Capitol. There is nothing unusual in such a request -- again, all the companies are being asked to do at this point is to make sure any pertinent data does not get erased. That's it. Entirely legal, and perhaps a precursor to the committee issuing subpoenas for any or all of these records. Which would also be perfectly legal, under federal law. In fact, the subpoenas would be an exercise of federal law.

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Busy September Ahead For Congress

[ Posted Monday, August 30th, 2021 – 16:27 UTC ]

Next month could wind up being a very productive one for Congress, although since we are talking about Congress we have to include the standard disclaimer: "but of course there is no guarantee." But the fact that there are several deadlines looming may actually prod them into action. The big question is whether they can manage to walk and chew gum at the same time, since there is so much on their "to do" list and so little time to accomplish it all.

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