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!

[Read more...]

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...]

Senate thwarts both left & right to fund government

The Senate passed the $1.1 trillion spending bill, ensuring that the government will not shut down.  Both tea party conservatives AND populist liberals led by Elizabeth Warren opposed the measure.  So did every potential presidential candidate in the Senate of both parties .

(Question:  The Republicans have the tea party, who attack the GOP establishment for its lack of orthodoxy and ties to crony capitalism, to the point of being willing to shut down the government.  What do we call the equivalent on the left, who attack the Democratic establishment and are willing to shut down the government?  The chai party?  Propose something, and maybe it will catch on. [Read more...]

Republicans gain another senator

Incumbent Senate Democrat Mary Landrieu lost her run-off election in Louisiana to Republican Bill Cassidy.  Part of the reason is that she was abandoned by  fellow Democrats, who are now doing to their party what the tea party has done to Republicans, refusing to support the ideologically impure.  Now Republicans will have a majority of 4. [Read more...]

Fixing the Senate

In a column on Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, who–IF he gets re-elected to the Senate and IF Republicans win a majority on that body–could be the next Senate Majority Leader, George Will offers an explanation of why the Senate is paralyzed and how a Republican victory could fix things. [Read more...]

Senate fails to nullify Hobby Lobby ruling

As we blogged about, Democrats in the Senate, which they control, fast-tracked a bill that would nullify the Supreme Court’s ruling that Hobby Lobby and other privately-held companies could opt out of the Obamacare contraception mandate by citing their religious objections to abortifacients.  The bill would prevent the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from applying in such cases.  And since Republicans would probably oppose it, the bill would advance the Democrats’ narrative that Republicans are engaged in a “war against women.”  Well, the bill was defeated in the Senate, though House leadership says it may come up again. [Read more...]