Fili-busted!

Fili-busted!

On Thursday, Senate leaders, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, came to a deal on a very modest, watered-down filibuster reform package – which virtually guarantees that all legislation in the Senate, will again have to meet the 60-vote threshold over the next two years. The filibuster reform does little to put more pressure on the minority party that is filibustering – and only works to speed up the process in the Senate, and cut down on redundant filibusters.

Senator Jeff Merkley, who was leading the charge for strong filibuster reform, including forcing filibustering Senators to actually talk on the floor the entire time they wish to block a bill, expressed “disappointment” that the Senate did not, “take a bolder step to fix” the filibuster. But he did vow, “If the modest steps taken today do not end the paralysis the Senate currently suffers, many Senators are determined to revisit this debate, and explore stronger remedies.”

Unfortunately, they won’t have the opportunity to revisit this issue for another two years – when the new Senate session begins. And that’s only IF Democrats keep the majority. Yesterday, Democrats had a golden opportunity to change the rules of the Senate, and pass legislation on behalf of working people – and also put pressure on House Republicans to moderate their agenda. But, ultimately, they dropped the ball.

Democratic Senator, Tom Harkin, said it best yesterday after the failure to enact real meaningful reform. He said, with Republicans free to continue to obstruct at will, then President Obama, “might as well take a four-year vacation.”

Comments

tim-mccoy's picture
tim-mccoy 1 year 46 weeks ago
#1

What does it matter.......... whether or not the senate can pass legislation if the house is constipated with democracy-hating banana-republicans?

Dan Gonsalves's picture
Dan Gonsalves 1 year 46 weeks ago
#2

Two hundred and twenty-two years ago, our Founding Fathers adopted the 2nd Amendment of our constitution. (The right to bear arms)

Today, our Founding Fathers in their wildest imaginations, could not conceive the technology we have at our disposal, including, assault weapons and the size of their magazines. The description (assault) and the word magazine pertaining weapons and ammunition, were not part of the English language yet.

What would the 2nd Amendment state if our Founding Fathers had the knowledge of assault weapons, the size of their magazine, and the horror they causes?

Our Founding Fathers wrote this amendment, (The right to bear arms) not for personal protection… but the right to aid our government in an approved Militia, for keeping the security of a free state.

With the use computer technology, along with satellites, and GPS that is assisting our military, there really is no need for a Militia. Militias today are connected to homegrown terrorism, which is pro-white, and supported by anti-government organizations.

It is about time that this country’s torchbearers of freedom, (our politicians) take it upon themselves, “With the support from public opinion,” to speak for our Founding Fathers; and attach a stipulation to our 2nd Amendment, requiring a strict control over who has the authority to possess these weapons that are designed to kill man. Or just rewrite the 2nd Amendment.

For Your Time, I Thank You,

D.A. Gonsalves

Gonsalves1964@gmail.com

tim-mccoy's picture
tim-mccoy 1 year 46 weeks ago
#3

From TPM

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is taking credit for defeating filibuster reform.

The Kentucky Republican’s 2014 re-election campaign fired off a fundraising email to supporters after the finalization of the bipartisan rules change agreement, which passed Thursday night. The rules change by McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) leaves the 60-vote threshold in tact but speeds up the legislating process.

The email, subject line “We Beat the Liberals,” bragged that President Obama was “furious” after liberal senators and left-wing groups failed to pass their “dangerous scheme” to break down the checks and balances in the Senate.

“You see, they had been pushing a plan to end the filibuster, allowing Harry Reid and the Obama Democrats to pass their agenda with a simple majority,” wrote Jesse Benton, McConnell’s campaign manager. “Well, Mitch McConnell stood strong and stopped that scheme dead in its tracks.”

tim-mccoy's picture
tim-mccoy 1 year 46 weeks ago
#4

Dan - Great post...my copy of "Slave Patrols" arrived in the mail today.

OrgDevGuy's picture
OrgDevGuy 1 year 46 weeks ago
#5

Harry Reid couldn't lead his way out of his own living room if his house was on fire.

dianhow's picture
dianhow 1 year 46 weeks ago
#6

Reid CAVED to McConnell Dems won the election.. or did we ? Why is Mcconnell still calling the shots ? Politics sucks but its only game in town SO we must ALL push them to do whats right Speak out now and often www.congress.org                 www.whitehouse.gov Give em Hell

dianhow's picture
dianhow 1 year 46 weeks ago
#7

Well said Thanks

tribalscribal's picture
tribalscribal 1 year 46 weeks ago
#8

When do we march on Congress?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 46 weeks ago
#9

We need to toss all these losers and start over from scratch!

Intermittent Instigator's picture
Intermittent In... 1 year 46 weeks ago
#10

Why the f*** aren't guys (and gals) like Jeff Merkley, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren... the ones in leadership positions. I'm done with giving Harry Reid pass after pass on being ineffectual... (he's a great guy, ask anybdy). No wonder Bernie Sanders doesn't identify himself as a Democrat. Ugh.

Old Blue 1 year 46 weeks ago
#11

D.A.Gonsalves: You said "It is about time that this country’s torchbearers of freedom, (our politicians) take it upon themselves, “With the support from public opinion,” to speak for our Founding Fathers....". Say what??? "torchbearers of freedom"? Our politicians? What in the hell are you smoking? On the subject of the Second Amendment, I want you to consider the weapons technology of the day when that amendment was written. "Arms" meant muskets. Period. Muzzle loaders represented a huge advance over longbows, or whatever the infantry of the time had been using previously. So in relative terms, the right to bear arms meant the right to bear the best weapons technology available to government troops. Perhaps a canon with grapeshot was the equivalent of a stealth bomber, but I don't even know if that grim weapon was used prior to the Civil War. I don't think there's any ambiguity in the 2nd, either in the literal wording, the context or the intent if you read the background running up to its inclusion in the Constitution. The fears the founders had regarding the abuse of power have never been more justified than they are today.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 1 year 46 weeks ago
#12

I don't think that it is a coincidence that the date for filibuster reform was pushed back until after the inaguration. I think that the Obama administration was not really interested in filibuster reform; that it was all lip service.

This is the same kind of spinelessness that the Obama administration showed after his first inaguration and ultimately cost us the 2010 Congressional elections.

I think we are being played as saps with a "Bad Cop, Good Cop" two party system. I keep hearing about Obama playing chess while they are playing checkers. Yeah! But they are winning at checkers while we are losing at chess.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 46 weeks ago
#13

I was under the impression that Harry Reid had been inspired by the Lincoln movie. Which version did he see? Not the one I viewed anyway! Arm twisting on only four chicken sht Democrats Harry!

Populous legislation passed in the Senate could have lead to widespread exposure of Teapublican obstuctionism in the House, which in turn could of had major implications in 2014...could have!

ronsonntag's picture
ronsonntag 1 year 46 weeks ago
#14

What a complete coward! Harry Reid is in corporate pockets as much as any other GOP I can name. I wish everyone would stop futzing about, looking for reasons, asking why, why, why?

There is only ONE reason for this mess in Congress - it is called GREED. And it is FED by MONEY. And, it is NEVER SATIATED. Get that through all of your heads and you will get down to first causes in seconds.

The ONLY way to fix congress is: 1) Constitutional ammendment to reverse Citizens United, and 2) Strict and ENFORCED campaign finance reform.

That's it. PERIOD. Spending time on anything else is a waste of time.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 46 weeks ago
#15

Turtleman really put the wood to Harry, but Harry isn't the one who has to pay....We the People do!

stopgap's picture
stopgap 1 year 46 weeks ago
#16

Do you really believe that Harry Reid did not run this filibuster agreement with Mitch McConnell by the White House for their approval? Have you heard any comments trashing Reid from the White House for caving on filibuster reform? Why do you think that the Obama administration appointed big conservative corporate lawyers Lanny Breuer and Eric Holder to (not) prosecute Wall Street crimes and conservative economists Geitner and Sumners to fix our economy?

Something really, really, really is wrong here. I have been a big defender of this President and willing to look the other way and accept the excuses for anti-progressive, liberal policies because of the obstruction of the Republicans. But, I've reached my limit.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 46 weeks ago
#17

ronsonntag~I concur!

nr16020's picture
nr16020 1 year 46 weeks ago
#18

They are not all losers. Senator Bernie Sanders is not. Also, one of the few great ones, Congressman Dennis Kucinich WAS "tossed out" and he (and we) DEFINITELY doesn't deserve that.

SHRED's picture
SHRED 1 year 46 weeks ago
#19

41 votes control the Senate. This is not Democracy!

Old Blue 1 year 46 weeks ago
#20

So, ronsonntag, how do you propose fixing this mess? Given your grave indictment of two of the three branches of government, it seems to me we're up the creek already. Any ideas on how to talk congress into passing a constitutional amendment reversing Citizens United when most of them are on the same payroll as John Roberts?

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 1 year 46 weeks ago
#21

A four year vacation for Obama? Why, then he would have racked up almost as much vacation time as Bush did.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 1 year 46 weeks ago
#22

You should show a little more respect for Harry Reed. I mean, he's got no spine, no balls, no guts, and no hutzpah, and yet there he is, day after day, somehow working his tail off while accomplishing virtually nothing. Not many people could do that.

douglas m 1 year 46 weeks ago
#23

Congress proves once again how useless they are at real reform.

Obviously they are not going to back themselves into a corner unless the general public gets loud enough.

I dont see people in the U.S. taking time to protest outside buildings or slowing tracking(like the U.K. protest and gets reform!) anytime soon.

Reform will not happen until people get mad enough to protest in large numbers,sorry.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 1 year 46 weeks ago
#24

The most popular Conservative word is :NO!".

Jussmartenuf's picture
Jussmartenuf 1 year 46 weeks ago
#25

Harry Reid can be such a milquetoast of a disappointment. It is little wonder he could barely get past the flat earther Sharon Angle in the last election.

Come on Harry, you were supposed to stop the minority rule of the senate. You should give up your position to someone with the proper character to do it, someone like Bernie Sanders.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 46 weeks ago
#26

The most popular Conservative word is :NO!".

You are absolutely right BobCox! It's their basic philosophy of life that they learned from Nancy, "Just say NO!"

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 46 weeks ago
#27

OLD BLUE WROTE: "Any ideas on how to talk congress into passing a constitutional amendment reversing Citizens United when most of them are on the same payroll as John Roberts?"

Yes Old Blue I do have an idea. We The People have to join together and exercise our power to amend the constitution our self. First we have to find a legal way to make that happen. Participating in the "Move To Amend" group that Thom also endorses is a great start.

Here is the link to their site: https://movetoamend.org/

I see no other way. However, I firmly believe that it can and will be done!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 46 weeks ago
#28

nr16020 WROTE: "They are not all losers. Senator Bernie Sanders is not. Also, one of the few great ones, Congressman Dennis Kucinich WAS "tossed out" and he (and we) DEFINITELY doesn't deserve that."

You are right! I stand corrected. Pardon my rage and blind emotional output. Thanks for the flash of reason!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 46 weeks ago
#29

Jussmartenuf ~ I love that post, It cracked me up. Short, to the point, well said and absolutely true. Best of all I learned a new word -- Harry "Milquetoast" Reid. Kinda catchy don't you think? I could fill in that blank myself with a plethora of other words, but that one fits him perfectly. What a disappointment?!? If I had received Harry Reid as a Christmas present I would demand the receipt from whoever gave him to me so I could take him back and get a refund. That one trick Pony caves in faster than a stick of butter in a microwave.

With all due respect, Harry "Milquetoast" Reid should surrender his seat to Bernie Sanders. The sooner the better! In addition, he should resign from the Senate and seek work that better suits his character--something like a substitute teacher for special ed students!

Unless he grows a spine quickly, he's ensured that history will remember him as the most ineffective wuss that ever walked the halls of Congress!

biggdirt's picture
biggdirt 1 year 46 weeks ago
#30

Most people know right from wrong, but what do you do when laws are passed makng right wrong and wrong right?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 46 weeks ago
#31

DAVID ABBOT WROTE: "You should show a little more respect for Harry Reed. I mean, he's got no spine, no balls, no guts, and no hutzpah, and yet there he is, day after day, somehow working his tail off while accomplishing virtually nothing. Not many people could do that. "

Dave, you left out no vision, no passion, no conviction, no charisma, no pursuation, no determination, and no self respect. Aside from that we all must give him credit for dressing himself in the morning and shaving himself without cutting his own throat. (Unless, that's the next mistake that's on his agenda. I wouldn't be surprised.) After all, he so very consistent at screwing up everything he attempts.

His unique ability to eat without a "gut" and walk upright without a "spine" also amazes me. Thanks for pointing that out. I guess he's not the complete loser I thought he was after all.

You are so right about his ability to accomplish "virtually nothing" on a daily basis. In that respect perhaps we should bestow upon him the title of "The Most Least Accomplished Senate Majority Leader of ALL TIME!!" We the People should have a Certificate of Accomplishment drawn up to that affect, have it framed, and sent to his office. I'm sure he would treasure it and display it proudly. He also has no shame!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 46 weeks ago
#32

DIANHOW WROTE: "Reid CAVED to McConnell Dems won the election.. or did we ? Why is Mcconnell still calling the shots ? Politics sucks but its only game in town SO we must ALL push them to do whats right Speak out now and often www.congress.org www.whitehouse.gov Give em Hell "

Simply excellent advice! THANK YOU DIANHOW! I just thought it deserved repeating!

There! I just sent off a letter to the President and all my representatives. Your turn~Tag! Your It!

leila's picture
leila 1 year 46 weeks ago
#33

I believe the deal to not really change the filibuster rules was made when Vice President Biden and Senator McConnell were making the Fiscal Cliff Deal. Filibuster reform was one of the concessions the Obama administration will not talk about just like the tax breaks for NASCAR and other corporations. Senator Reid is being forced to take the blame.

Mike-C's picture
Mike-C 1 year 46 weeks ago
#34

I don't think most people see the "big picture" of the USA form of democracy. While it looks good on paper, i.e., the Constitution, amendments, etc., are flawed by an inherent defect in that the government is still run by an affluent group of people who must not only protect their assets, but also the assets of those who sponsor them. If you can stand back, unemotionally, and view the process of our lawmaking and see the frivolous games that are played, such as filibustering, gerrymandering and the other ploys used to thwart the democratic process, you will then see that the American citizenry is duped into believing that they living in a true democracy.

The factors that keep this pseudo-democracy alive are that the vast majority still enjoy the basic needs of life. We eat well, have comfortable shelters and adequate clothing along with the luxury items of the day that include radio, TV, cell phones and all the other conveniences that keep us pacified. So while we gripe and complain when many of us see and criticize the built-in system flaws, the rulers will continue to chuckle at our meager protests while dining on caviar, expensive wines and foods while on vacation somewhere in the Med on their million dollar yachts. The same thing kings, queens, princes, shahs and so forth have done for generations.

What to do my proleteriat associates? Enjoy what we have. Laugh back at them and their attempts at the frivolous deceptions. Treat each other as the brothers and sisters that we are. Brothers and sisters, bound by the bond of our middle and lower class endeavors to build and enjoy the modern amenities that we have all worked so hard to build for ourselves and for those that come here after us, in the same way that our forefathers did for us.

Maybe one day, all of us, rich, middle class and less fortunate alike, will contrive a true democracy that is built strong enough to survive the faults of the weak, selfish few who will try to posion it.

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 1 year 46 weeks ago
#35

It seems that getting rid of idiots in politics is like trying to scratch off that little mark on your word processor only to find out you need to delete the page and start a new one. Please share my mild amusement, but beware. Leadership in America is in a power dive. Exactly for the reasons described by Mike-C, though my views about the success of the middle class don’t agree with his proletariat approach.

Harry Reid is peculiar. Yes, let’s say in a background sense, us low level electorates that are supposed the have such enormous power. Swinging the hammer of Thor, We the People, that forty seven percent of untapped energy, that half of America that are in poverty, fighting for food stamps, those that are under employed, or those lucky to be employed, and don’t forget the needy, those physic deranged scampering for a survival surrounded by libertarians.

My view is to smile in the face of change, for the Jingle originator Bobby Jindal says the GOP did say stupid stuff. Stupid hell, the GOP breached the Constitutional values of a steady state government. Ladies and Gentlemen of America if there is anything of value left in America, please tell me there are people who will not boost to shut down the American government.

That is basic treason. We have surpassed a dysfunction according to our fore founders. The underwater culture, wading in a sea of political defecation, exampled by daily mainstream media pipelines, people losing jobs, homes, and now the frequency of death in mass suicides is on the increase, of course why is this, claim the media what we all think, the sewer and waste in political rhetoric, America the media brought us to where we are. It is the Corporate Congress, corporate senate, the sold out Supreme Court, and the corporate media. We the people are all that’s left. Hang on the ride is going to be a rough one.

In 2014 all American cars will have a black box to monitor drivers, and you think gun control will be a debate. Huh!

A friend of mine in a discussion of black boxes in our transportation system of the railroads makes the claim that the black box system in that transportation technology is used against the workers.

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 1 year 46 weeks ago
#36

It seems that getting rid of idiots in politics is like trying to scratch off that little mark on your word processor only to find out you need to delete the page and start a new one. Please share my mild amusement, but beware. Leadership in America is in a power dive. Exactly for the reasons described by Mike-C, though my views about the success of the middle class don’t agree with his proletariat approach.

Harry Reid is peculiar. Yes, let’s say in a background sense, us low level electorates that are supposed the have such enormous power. Swinging the hammer of Thor, We the People, that forty seven percent of untapped energy, that half of America that are in poverty, fighting for food stamps, those that are under employed, or those lucky to be employed, and don’t forget the needy, those physic deranged scampering for a survival surrounded by libertarians.

My view is to smile in the face of change, for the Jingle originator Bobby Jindal says the GOP did say stupid stuff. Stupid hell, the GOP breached the Constitutional values of a steady state government. Ladies and Gentlemen of America if there is anything of value left in America, please tell me there are people who will not boost to shut down the American government.

That is basic treason. We have surpassed a dysfunction according to our fore founders. The underwater culture, wading in a sea of political defecation, exampled by daily mainstream media pipelines, people losing jobs, homes, and now the frequency of death in mass suicides is on the increase, of course why is this, claim the media what we all think, the sewer and waste in political rhetoric, America the media brought us to where we are. It is the Corporate Congress, corporate senate, the sold out Supreme Court, and the corporate media. We the people are all that’s left. Hang on the ride is going to be a rough one.

In 2014 all American cars will have a black box to monitor drivers, and you think gun control will be a debate. Huh!

A friend of mine in a discussion of black boxes in our transportation system of the railroads makes the claim that the black box system in that transportation technology is used against the workers.

RaleighMom's picture
RaleighMom 1 year 46 weeks ago
#37

History will judge Harry Reid as the weakest, least capable Senate Majority Leader of all time. If he accomplished even ONE thing -- filling every empty federal court appointment -- he would have transformed America. This is exactly the kind of thing that drains every registered Democrat of their last ounce of enthusiasm. Because Mr. Reid wants to protect corrupt Democrats who stand in front of TV cameras claiming to support legislation while secretly filibustering it, he destroys his own Party. Mr. Reid's spinelessness will result in the complete destruction of the Democratic Party. Mr. McConnell is already celebrating.

I need to add one more thing: With this action, Harry Reid has totally forfeited his ability to blame the Republicans for ANYTHING. If he complains, even once, about "Republican Obstructionism" he will be laughed out of the room in humiliation. His supporters, if he has any left, will view anything less than total success on his part as COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY HIS OWN FAULT!!!! Moreover, the people who collect voter registrations and pound the pavement will view the failure of every Democratic Senator AS THEIR OWN FAULT FOR VOTING FOR HARRY REID AS MAJORITY LEADER!!!! For the past four years, the paralysis of the Senate could not be pinned on the Democrats or Republicans because nobody knew who was filibustering which bill. All that has changed now. Every single filibuster is now Harry Reid's fault. Every single filbuster is the Democrat's fault, because they had the power to end this game and they chose NOT TO. The paralysis of the Senate, and the corruption of our political process, now lays directly in the lap of Harry Reid. He had the power to change things, and he did not. Goodbye Democratic Party. I've worked my butt off for you for the last time.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 46 weeks ago
#38

By the way Thom, I think I just figured out what is wrong with this blogs numbering system. It appears that anytime someone edits their post the post gets kicked to the bottom of the blog--that means to the end of the list. That has the effect of moving back one number all the posts placed ahead of that number because now that space is vacant.

The reference number referred to on the "reply to # xxx on the heading of each post remains unchanged. As a result, the references point to incorrect posts. After several edits the entire blog reference system is useless.

To remedy this situation I would recommend that blog posts be permanently assigned a number regardless of whether or not they are ever edited or deleted. That way the references will not get confused or the sequence mixed up. I've also seen posted answers appearing before the posted questions they addressed, as well as posted replys occuring before the post they are replying to. Very confusing.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 46 weeks ago
#39

OK Enough Harry Reid jokes and insults. It was fun! Yes! Lots of fun! I for one feel much better after lobbing wise crack after wise crack at that poor little old man. I'm now starting to feel bad. It's like shooting a fish in a barrel. He's had enough. Besides the best, most accurate post in this blog is the very second one. Let me spare your mouse wheel and reprint it here:

tim-mccoy wrote: "What does it matter.......... whether or not the senate can pass legislation if the house is constipated with democracy-hating banana-republicans?"

You can thank tim-mccoy for that little gem of wisdom. In defense of Harry Reid, if tim-mccoy is aware of that little reality, maybe Harry Reid is as well.

Not to let Harry completely off the hook--when you pop out at bat your still supposed to run as fast as you can to first base. He deserves everything he's getting and more. He let the team down!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 46 weeks ago
#40

BTW Not to change the subject. But has anyone noticed that we just had a march on Washington today in favor of gun control. That's right! Not to protect our civil rights, overturn "Citizens United", repeal the "Patriot Act", end any of our ridiculous foreign military conflicts, re institute publicly funded mental institutions, or preserve social programs; but rather, TO BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS.

I couldn't help but take a good long look at the crowd. Several seemed to be carrying high quality, professionally printed signs. Also, the news agency reports a turnout of "thousands" yet I saw no long range or aerial photographs to support that notion. In fact the "crowd" looked somewhat widely spaced, comprised of no more than a few hundred at most.

http://news.yahoo.com/thousands-march-gun-control-washington-164306917.html

I don't know about you guys, but when I was a kid watching real protests on TV people used to have to make their own signs. When a multitude gathers in a small space they are also usually shoulder to shoulder.The tyrannical government met the demonstrators on the street with riot gear, billy clubs, and tear gas. Without any of that spectacle I can only conclude that this "tyrannical government" fully endorses what the protesters want. If anything, I submit that this "protest" is nothing more than a public commercial for government policy. If you ask me this whole story smells like Corporate sponsored propaganda. Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

Don't get me wrong, by and large I agree with these people's arguments. I don't really care for guns myself. I have always believed they cause more problems than they solve. But why do people insist that this course of action will resolve the problem? Only by reinstating publicly funded mental institution will the root cause of this problem be addressed. Also, why march for this issue? No, I don't think the recent shooting sprees constitutes a National Crisis as much as the other issues I've mentioned. Important, yes! Crisis, no!

If this issue can cause a demonstration in the Capital where were these people when our bill of rights went through the shredder, our Democracy was attacked by the Supreme Court, and our social services starved to death? It doesn't make any sense to me at all. Are we a Nation devoid of Critical Thinking altogether? Is the only way to stir up people to demonstrate in the Capital through Corporate sponsored puppetry? Is there no one amongst us who can suggest to the Government that we demand that they immediately reinstate publicly funded Mental Institutions? I guess I just don't get people sometimes! If an insane person whats to kill innocent people, and they're not locked up safe somewhere but are running around loose, there will always be someway for them to succeed.

Probably the best, fastest way they could succeed without assault weapons is with a car. Anywhere there is a crowd a car is a perfect weapon of mass destruction; and, doesn't even need to be reloaded. Are we going to ban cars next so crazy people can still be free to find other ways? What about knives, screw drivers, crow bars, hammers, and matches? A small group of crazy Arabs recently knocked-off 3,000 innocent people with box cutters. Come on people--use your heads for crying out loud! Are we going to pursue a path where we will eventually have to cripple our society so that Mentally Ill people can run free? Is that what you're suggesting? Don't forget they can kill you with rocks too. Are we going to ban rocks?

You might laugh! Rocks! Really? Ha! Ha! But if you were so insane to really want to kill a lot of people, and you couldn't get a gun or a car, you could just as easily fill a couple of sacks with rocks and go up to the roof of any very tall building in town and lob them off. When they reach the street they will be traveling at the velocity of a missile. They will go right through the roof of any car like an armor piecing bullet; as well as right through your skull and embed themselves in your stomach. If they missed you they would hit the street and explode like a hand grenade sending shrapnel everywhere. Even if you had a gun, you wouldn't be safe. They would be far out of the range of any gun. Your only hope would be to get out of the street. So as you can see, banning guns does little if anything to solve the real problem. Unless the government is behind these shootings and they won't stop staging them till we let them take our guns away. If you believe far out conspiracy theories. Like the NRA says, there's far too many illegal guns available anyway. The solution therefore is to ban the Lunatic.

That's what it sounds like to me. When is this insanity going to stop! This country does indeed suffer from a Mental Health Crisis. Clearly it affects us all. That is what we need to address as a Nation!

Please pardon my off topic rant! I'm sick of Harry Reid already!

-Richard's picture
-Richard 1 year 46 weeks ago
#41

Loser Democrats were afraid to give up the right to filibuster a future Republican majority.

Two problems with this:

1) By letting the Republicans filibuster any progressive legislation, they wind up with a losing record. That's what contributed to the Republican takeover of the House in 2010. Without the Senate filibuster, we would have had a larger, more effective stimulus, a health care plan with a public option, and possibly some action on climate change. Harry Reid cost Nancy Pelosi her speakership. With continued Republican filibusters, the Senate will be powerless to put pressure on the Tea Party House.

2) The Democrats lack the spine to actually use the filibuster, as proven during the Bush era, that got us Roberts and Alito.

When will filibuster reform happen. If there is a Republican majority in the Senate and the Democrats start to use the filibuster, the Republicans will have no hesitation in using the "nuclear option." In fact, they stopped Democratic filibusters by threatening to do just that during the Bush era, and getting an agreement with Democrats hat the filibuster would only be used in extraordinary cases. The Democrats complied, and the Republicans ignored that agreement.

The Harkin proposal for reform was even better than the Merkley one - as it eventual got to a majority vote of 51, after allowing plenty of time for the Senate's tradition of debate. No wonder Tom Harkin is leaving. He's not just getting old. The do-nothing Senate is getting old.

TerryO 1 year 46 weeks ago
#42

Is it possible that there is some way to do a better job of publicizing how many times the republicants use the filibuster to drag down democracy?

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 1 year 46 weeks ago
#43

Actually, the Black Panthers armed themselves, citing their second amendment rights, for the more classic NRA reason for allowing free gun ownership - to be able to resist tyranny of government. They bore arms to defend themselves against the police. .

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 1 year 46 weeks ago
#44

Actually, publicly financed campaigns, like in Maine and Arizona which were struck down by Citizens United, would be better. The current system is one of legalized bribery and corruption - legal only because the corrupt politicians make the laws.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 1 year 46 weeks ago
#45

It seems that interpreting the constitution is about as ambiguous as interpreting the bible. Everybody has their own interpretations and uses them to support their own beliefs.

Quote Don Gonsalves: ...(The right to bear arms) not for personal protection… but the right to aid our government in an approved Militia, for keeping the security of a free state.

How do you get that the "right to bear arms" was NOT for personal protection? How do you get that it was specifically to "aid our government"? And just what is "a free state"? Do we have one now? Did we have a freer one before 9/11? I believe we did! But it is becoming much more un-free. We don't have a real democracy...not with a two party system that both parties are owned and paid for by the rich.

Quote Don Gonsalves:... With the use computer technology, along with satellites, and GPS that is assisting our military, there really is no need for a Militia. Militias today are connected to homegrown terrorism, which is pro-white, and supported by anti-government organizations.

Maybe we have an even greater need for many more militias to keep our spying and controlling government and military in check. Some militias may be connected to "homegrown terrorism" but they can't be any bigger than the terrorist that is our Pentagon. The Pentagon has killed millions of civilians over the years..mostly unarmed civilians...children...women....that is real terror!

Quote Don Gonsalves: requiring a strict control over who has the authority to possess these weapons that are designed to kill man. Or just rewrite the 2nd Amendment.

And while we're at it, why don't we just rewrite the bible to reflect the real God...the God of money, enslavement, torture, murder. We can write the parable of the F.I.R.E. economy and casino capitalism and how they've been so good to all of us little people. Thank you Jesus for bowing down before the money changers and blessing them all! Worship the MIC and the CIA and NSA, the omniscient, the omnipotant, and the omnipresent. The seeing eye knows all, sees all, and conquers all. Blessed are the drones, for if you disbelieve, you will surely disintegrate where you stand. Yes, believe in your government...even the right-wing controlling chicken hawks who send your children off to war to die bravely in the service of the lords of money, power, and oil.

Yes, let's rewrite the 2nd Amendment and while we're at it let's do a little book burning too. Censor everything..especially all those filthy pictures on the internet...develope instead, fetishes for government officials..."Oh, Obama, Obama..tell us again how much you love us!" or "Oh, Hillary, Hillary..you, cat lady, you just turn me on!"...or "Oh, Harry Reid...uh..nevermind!" Just keep believing that our government will always be out to protect us...just like they have protected us against tainted food products, medicines, banksters, health insurance companies, and mortgage fraudsters. And one day, when they set up those gas chambers and decide to do a little house cleaning, just keep thinking positive thoughts...it'll all be over before you can take your next breath.

karlmarx1947's picture
karlmarx1947 1 year 46 weeks ago
#46

I have often thought that Republic's elective Democracies are in a lot of ways overrated or at least in part. From my childhood, it has been apparent that the country would have run better if Public Opinion was directly reflected in the laws of the land. The economic elites at least in the U.S. have learned to manipulate the process so that to a large extent their wishes, not the wishes of the masses of the population are followed. So what is the point of having a Democratic Election if the democratically elected representives vote is signed sealed and delivered elsewhere. In China, while the country is run by the Chinese Communist Party, you can say much as you want as long as you do not engage in mass protests that might change things. Progressives in the U.S. like Fred Hampton of the Black Panthers were killed in Gangster Like Assassinations and moderates like MLK are assasinated and the true perperators are allowed to go free. How different is this from say Tiannamen in China?

However, the U.S. has some huge advantages some widely shared some not which nobody venerates or mostly pays attention to. I do not mean our bloated military either. First the U.S. is for all its bigotry is the most accepting of foreigners and outsiders of any country in the world as far as I can tell. In France moslem women are not even allowed to wear burkas or do stupid and callous but harmless things like deny the holocaust. I would not want to see the French System even though relatives were probably killed in the haulocast. Secondly, like many dictatorships like China or Democracies like the U.S. or Canada you can say and write what you want as long as you do not organize or engage in mass protest. This level of civil liberties I would regard as necessary for calling a country civilized Thirdly, the U.S. has the largest technical and nontechnical higher education system in the world. It is also overall by far the best. Educated foreigners flock to the U.S. Universities for an education because ours is simply the best. This continues and I hope and pray that we remain more first world than third which we seem to be evolving towards.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 46 weeks ago
#47

Biblical rewriting! Interesting concept Palindromedary. I think you've touched on an interesting idea. However, what would be far more interesting is why hasn't anyone rewritten the Bible already. I submit to you the fact that the teaching of Jesus, where he blessed the meek, condemned the chief priest in Synagogues, warned the rich about worshiping money, tossed out the money changers and told people not to pray in public but in the privacy of their own closet--is in and of itself empirical evidence of the existence of God.

It would be a difficult task to pull off today, but in the past when only the Church controlled the content of the Gospels and most of the masses were illiterate and unable to obtain copies of the Bible, that task would have been quite simple. What prevented it from happening? The gospels do not support the power of the Church, they don't today and they never did. What compelled the Church to maintain the integrity of scripture which directly flew in the face of its best interest? I submit to you that whether it was direct control of a Supernatural entity, or devout fear in a Supernatural entity, the ultimate result supports the notion of that entity's existence.

Food for thought! Take you time it's hard to swallow! Bon Apetite!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 1 year 46 weeks ago
#48

DAnneMarc: The bible must have originally been written by Satan...and all those different translations and errors by scribes and corrupt theologians and church fathers. How else can one explain all of the violence in the name of God occurred over the past 2000 years...and even earlier. And even today, the Catholic Church is working on how to include the Dead Sea Scrolls into the modern bible. There are over 50 different versions of the Bible in English alone.

http://www.apbrown2.net/web/TranslationComparisonChart.htm

The first handwritten English language Bible manuscripts were written in the 1380's by John Wycliffe who was in opposition to the Catholic Church's teachings. The Catholic Church wanted to keep everything in Latin, which wasn't understood by most, which gave them wide latitude in controlling the people the way they wanted, obfuscating it in a language that no one would be able to challenge. All these Catholic Church teachings stemmed from the manipulation of all of the stories thrown together at the Council of Nicea, in 325 AD, when 318 Bishops representing the hodgepodge of beliefs, including Constantine's pagan beliefs, were hashed out and molded into one religion.

So, from about 325 AD to 1380 AD the church manipulated and controlled the beliefs using Latin that only the Church had the authority to translate to the masses. And anyone who challenged the authority of the church was often burned to the stake...like John Hus, who was a follower of Wycliffe, and they fueled the fire with a pile of Wycliffe's Bibles. The Catholic Church even burned children to the stake for reciting the Lord's Prayer in English instead of Latin.

Then Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1450's.

In the 1490's Thomas Linacre translated the Bible from the original Greek and, comparing his translation to the Latin Vulgate, said "Either this Greek version is not the Gospel or we are not Christians". "The Latin version had become so corrupt that it no longer preserved the message of the Gospel."

Then in 1496 John Colet started reading the Greek version to audiences and in 1516 Erasmus published a Greek-Latin Parallel New Testament.

1513-1531-Pope Leo X declared "How well we know what a profitable superstition this fable of Christ has been for us"

In 1517, Martin Luther translated the Bible into German.

William Tyndate translated and printed the Bible in English in 1525-1526. Many copies were confiscated and burned but one ended up with King Henry VIII and other copies by this time was flooding into England. King Henry VIII used this version of the bible to split from the Catholic church who wouldn't let him get a divorce from one of his wives to marry another.

Tyndale was finally betrayed by an Englishman and strangled and burned to the stake.

Then, Myles Coverdale and John Rogers finished translating the old testament and printed the first complete Bible in English in 1535.

Then in 1538 Rogers (under the name Thomas Matthew) came out with his translation (which was condemned by the English authorities).

Then in 1539, King Henry VIII hired Myles Coverdale to publish "The Great Bible"...the first English bible authorized for public use.

Then there was the very popular Geneva Bible in 1560...in 1568, then the Bishop's Bible. Then, the Catholic Church gave in and joined the crowd and produced the Official Catholic Church English translation. So, using the corrupt and inaccurate Latin Vulgate as the only source they went on to publish an English version with all of the original inaccuracies and distortions of the Latin one.

And so we finally come to the King James version in 1611...the one that most Christian churches believe is the inerrant word of God.

And ever since then there were many other versions over the years.

This website has a lot of this data and continues on to the present day...along with a timeline at the end.

http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/

So, the bible has been rewritten many times...and each time there are variations to the meanings. Yes, the general themes persist but the meanings change. If the bible was really the inerrant word of God then why do so many of them have so many errors? No wonder there are so many different religions...and they each believe that they are the only ones who believe the truth.

And many of the main ideas, like "born of a virgin", "walking on water", "turning water into wine", "having 12 apostles", "dying on a cross and arising 3 days later", and many more were all plagiarized from more ancient religions in Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia, Persia, and India. Many are of astrological origin.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 1 year 46 weeks ago
#49

DAnneMarc: Do you even know the meaning or definition of empirical evidence? Those things you mentioned are not empirical evidence. Sorry! And none of what you said is proof of a supernatural entity. Food for thought? Certainly not my cup of tea! Superstitious people can conjure up whatever ridiculous notions they want to believe in but it is nothing more than their own internal struggle with reality.

Sinister66's picture
Sinister66 1 year 46 weeks ago
#50

The Bill of rights doesnt state what the people can do but what the government cannot. The government cannot infringe on our right to keep and bear arms.

"The whole of the Bill (of Rights) is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals.... It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of." (Albert Gallatin of the New York Historical Society, October 7, 1789)

They also didnt see the advent of the internet, Television, and radio allowing a few to preach their dangerious propaganda to the masses.

The Death of the Middle Class was by Design...

Even in the face of the so-called Recovery, poverty and inequality are getting worse in our country, and more wealth and power is flowing straight to the top. According to Paul Buchheit over at Alternet, this is the end result of winner-take-all capitalism, and this destruction of the working class has all been by design.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann channels the best of the American Founders with voice and pen. His deep attachment to a democratic civil society is just the medicine America needs."
Tom Hayden, author of The Long Sixties and director, Peace and Justice Resource Center.
From Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall