Democrats will filibuster Gorsuch

412px-Senator_Chuck_Schumer_(cropped)Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says that Democrats will filibuster the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Republicans have said that if this happens, they will launch “the nuclear option” of changing the rules to eliminate the filibuster option for presidential appointments.

Schumer says that some Republicans will want to keep the traditional Senate perogative of unlimited debate (unless there is a 60 vote cloture), so he doesn’t think the Republicans can get the votes necessary to change the rule.

 

Photo of Chuck Schumer by y United States Senate – https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdmc/27720474940/in/album-72157667655342524/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56927097

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Shutting down the government over the Wall & Planned Parenthood

Chuck_Schumer_January_2016Senate Democrats say they will shut down the government by filibustering any spending bills that include building a wall along the Mexican border or that defund Planned Parenthood.

The government runs out of money on April 28 unless more funding is approved.

President Trump plans to release his proposed budget this week.

If the government gets shut down, the Democrats are convinced that Republicans will get blamed.

 

Photo of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer by Senate Democrats https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdmc/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdmc/24305804949) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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The anti-Trump “resistance”

Members_of_the_Maquis_in_La_Tresorerie

French Resistance fighters, 1944

Democrats have gone into full resistance mode, with Democratic Senators boycotting confirmation hearings to prevent a vote on President Trump’s candidates.  (Republicans suspended the rules and approved Treasury Secretary candidate Steven Mnuchin and HHS Secretary candidate Tom Price anyway.  See this.)

Meanwhile, a self-described “alternative left” has emerged that is pressuring Democratic elected officials not to co-operate with the Republicans.  Notice how the use of the term “the resistance” is taken from what the underground movements that opposed Hitler was called.  See a manifesto after the jump. [Read more…]

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

Neil_Gorsuch_10th_CircuitPresident Donald Trump has nominated Colorado appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Antonin Scalia.  Reportedly, Judge Gorsuch is from that same mold:  eloquent, learned, articulate, and an “originalist” when it comes to interpreting the Constitution.

He is the author of a book against euthanasia and supported Hobby Lobby in its suit against the Obamacare birth control mandate.  An Anglican, he would be the only Protestant on the bench, joining the 5 Catholics and 3 Jews currently serving.  He is only 49, which means he would be on the court for a good long time.

Democrats began planning their opposition tactics before they even knew who was the nominee.  Some are urging that that Senate Democrats filibuster the nomination.  Republicans are saying that if that happens, they would take the “nuclear option” of voting to change the rules to limit filibusters, changing the Senate’s time-honored tradition of unlimited debate. [Read more…]

Obama wins with Iran deal

Senate Democrats rallied behind President Obama’s plan to lift sanctions on Iran in return for its promises to slow down its nuclear program.  Enough senators supported the agreement to sustain a presidential veto against Congressional attempts to stop it.

UPDATE:  You have got to read Charles Krauthammer’s account of what just happened.  President Obama packaged the deal so that it isn’t considered a treaty (even though it is one), which would require a two-thirds vote of the Senate.  “To get around the Constitution, Obama negotiated a swindle that requires him to garner a mere one-third of one house of Congress.” And, as if that wasn’t enough, he got the deal approved by the UN, making it international law, even before Congress approved it!

Now Iran will immediately get $100 billion from their blocked accounts and full access to the oil market and foreign investment.  Since their nuclear program is legally branded as “peaceful,” the West, according to the terms of the agreement, must give Iran aid in developing it and must defend it against cyberattacks from Israel, which the leadership of Iran is bragging won’t be around in 25 years!

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Rand Paul’s filibuster

Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul has been staging an old-fashioned filibuster, staging a marathon speech and holding the Senate floor in opposition to the renewal of the Patriot Act, which authorizes certain government surveillance of citizens.

The Senate has pretty much replaced the old “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” actual  filibuster with the mere threat of a filibuster, so that bills typically require a 60 vote super-majority that would be enough to shut off debate should a filibuster actually occur.  Sen. Paul, though, has too few allies on this subject, so he is going the “Mr. Smith” route.  He has only a few allies helping him hold the floor, and there is enough support for the Patriot Act to shut off debate, which will probably happen at 1:00 p.m. today.

So do you “stand with Rand”? [Read more…]