This is why we needed filibuster reform!

40 Republican Senators made history yesterday, and refused to allow Chuck Hagel's confirmation to come to a vote. Only four Republicans, Sens. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mike Johanns (R-NE), voted to break the filibuster, and the final vote was 58 to 40. Republicans held up the nomination saying they want more information about the attack in Benghazi – an event that Chuck Hagel had nothing to do with. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “Make no mistake: Republicans are trying to defeat Senator Hagel's nomination by filibustering, while submitting extraneous requests that will never be satisfied.”

This is exactly why many democrats were angry over Reid's weak agreement on filibuster reform – instead of pursuing a rule change to stop the GOP's obstruction. Blocking a vote on a cabinet member is unheard of, and it's appalling that Republicans would play games with our Secretary of Defense, considering we have thousands of service men and women fighting in Afghanistan.

Supposedly, the Senate will take an up-or-down vote on Hagel's confirmation in 10 days, after returning from a President's Day recess. Yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham said he expects the vote to move forward then, “unless there's some bombshell that he likes blood sucking vampires.” Other Republicans also said they expect the confirmation to move forward at that time, which makes their filibuster of Chuck Hagel seem even more absurd.

After days like yesterday, it's not hard to see why Congress has it's lowest approval rating in history.


Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

Blood sucking vampires? Lindsey Graham should know a thing or two about them!

And Reid's milquetoast performance a few weeks ago, when he had a chance to ram filibuster reform through, has come back to bite him. What a lousy excuse for a "majority leader". Harry Reid is by far the biggest example of why there should be term limits in congress!

js121's picture
js121 10 years 5 weeks ago

They are Obstructionists and after 4 yrs, we are very tired of it. They serve 2 masters, of which, we are not one anymore. If anyone knows why Obama cannot call an "emergency" and take over control and shut down the House/Senate, please advise. People tell me he can't; but, I don't see why not. They already call him a dictator - so, what's to lose? I'd rather see something get done then let our Democracy be over-ridden by Theocratic/Oligarchists!

historywriter's picture
historywriter 10 years 5 weeks ago

The most effective term limits are to vote these miscreants out of office. Should have done so last election.

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 10 years 5 weeks ago

This Filibuster of a Presidential Cabinet Post is unpresidented and using the Filibuster in the most obstructionist fashion shows the extreme measures that the Republicans will go. How low will they go?

This Republican Party using Filibuster to obstruct any legislation to move our country forward and trying to cut our way to prosperity with the Austerity program is absurd. The Republicans have to be smart enought to know that there has never been a country that "cut their way to prosperity"; consequently, the Republican Party has to be cruel in their motives. The Republican Party is playing on the voting public who are low information voters to apeal to their ingnorance to muster support for their agenda of making this Administration a failure.

To be a Republican today, one must be Rich, Cruel, or Polictically Ignorant, and they are not mutually exclusive!

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 10 years 5 weeks ago

Am I alone in thinking that americans are just plain "barking mad"?

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

DLLH@MAC.COM - No, I don't think American voters are "mad".... Lazy, stupid, uninformed and misinformed, complacent, intellectually slothful, bigoted .... well, you can make a case for that.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

Hey, what's up Thom? I just desperately tried to call you on the number on the screen (202) 904-2134 and got a, "This number is temporarily out of service," message.

I wanted to tell you that I thought the Government might be tragically circumnavigating mental health care because powerful constituents afoot are blocking such legislation because it will probably lead to Single Payer health care. The Health Insurance industry may be responsible for blocking the necessary legislation for preventing these mass homicides. If this is the case they are largely, indirectly responsible for these crimes and unnecessary deaths--as well as the others we already know about. What do you think?

Please address this question.

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 10 years 5 weeks ago

The filibuster rule should be abandoned as bad government. The United States Senate has lost much of its importance in government with the abuse of the filibuster rule. Republicans are merely using it as a tool to stop anything the President wants. They do not care that the American public voted him a second term because we want him to lead us. The Republicans are merely dragging their feet for no good reason, only for petty arguments.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

PhilipHenderson ~ I can't agree more! The filibuster is obstruction by the minority of the business of the majority. Please just an up and down vote on any proposition please! The President and We the People will have plenty of opportunity to veto the result.

Marsh In Florida's picture
Marsh In Florida 10 years 5 weeks ago

I'm having trouble calling also. I've tried on my house phone and my cell phone. The phone rings once and then returns to a dial tone. So I'm never able to call in with a comment.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago


Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

With due respect, DAnneMarc, the solution is actually the Four of Spades!


And beyond that, I think we should stop screwing around with gun control legislation and ban COMETS and Astroids !!!

Marsh In Florida's picture
Marsh In Florida 10 years 5 weeks ago

David Horsey wrote in the L.A. Times on January 25th, the following reasoning behind Reid's incomprehensible and stupid reason for not going all out on the filibuster issue:

"Liberals are furious. They feel Reid has betrayed them and the president by throwing away an opportunity to end Republican obstructionism. Hopping mad as they are now, though, a day may come when they'll give thanks that he made a deal with the GOP devil.

"In the 2014 congressional elections, Republicans will be defending 13 Senate seats. Only one is in a state that is not solidly in the Republican column, Susan Collins’ seat in Maine. Democrats will be trying to hang on to 20 seats. Several of those are in swing states and, because Democrats have yet to figure out how to drag their voters to the polls in non-presidential election years, they could easily see their 53-seat majority slip away.

"Democrats may be frustrated for the next two years, but, in the two years that follow, when Republicans could easily be in charge of both the House and the Senate, the Ds may find the filibuster is a very useful weapon. Maybe Harry Reid was just planning ahead."

As I indicated, it's not really a good excuse, but it is what it is. I thought that Reid did leave an opening to revisit the issue if the republicans once again abused the fillibuster. Well, what constitutes "abused?"

Well, maybe, just maybe, you can't drag your voters out to the polls because they figure "why bother." I'll vote for this guy, but will he do what I want, probably not, just like whimpy Harry. You'll notice that a good many of the teapartiers in the last election in 2012 were voted out of office for campaigning on a pack of lies. There will be more to follow in 2014, and Harry Reid may be one of them for whimping out on one of the most important issues this party has had to deal with, and for the dumbest of reasons.

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 10 years 5 weeks ago

An interesting definition of the Filibuster is posted by the web site called “” a link for interesting reasoning for the use of this debating tool.

Another is a list of fourteen reasons why congress failed through the Filibuster.

To be honest, my view of the filibuster is limited. But, this seems to be a political tool originally designed to enhance the capability for better discussion with better reasoning in legislation. So instead of forming something for the people it turns out it is deliberately used to turn against the people. The paradox of space and time is used in a brilliant way to circumvent in deceptive planning implementing an obstructive hebetic rhetorical scorched earth. The signals are flashing all over in America’s justice departments failed way to carry out indictments with convictions.

Filibuster has turned into a politically revealing wrench that can be twisted against democracy. Here the Alarm should go off for all Americans that what is in legislation these past decades could very well be reasoning that is deliberately antithetical to We The People in not just the core of the Democratic process in government but to the daily culture of just living as an American. Added to that, I think America is getting what Al Gore wrote about in his book an Assault on Reasoning. Along with Gerald Posner’s Secrets of the Kingdom is telling politely about the influence of foreign money that mints a congressional millionaire a minute. Congress with complicity in corruption in a continuum that is deliberate to destroy America.

Ladies and Gentlemen of America it is not only important to connect the dots but even more important about whom is responsible and where those dots are placed on the chart to draw “The Big Picture” Thom is one of the best to help us understand this.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 5 weeks ago

Outback says "Harry Reid is by far the biggest example of why there should be term limits in congress!"

I really appreciate where you are coming from and share your frustration. But term limits are not the solution, my friend. I don't want people like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley or Alan Grayson forced out of office by arbitrary term limits. These are true warriors who are in the trenches, slugging it out for us. And trust me, we'd be a lot worse off without them. There's a reason why Bernie Sanders has served as Vermont's senator literally for decades, voted back term after term despite Big Money's efforts to defeat him.

I agree, Harry Reid is a wet noodle and unworthy of his post. - Aliceinwonderland

BlackKnight's picture
BlackKnight 10 years 5 weeks ago

I wonder if those Republican Senators are pissed off at Chuch Hagel because he had the audacity to take his oath of office as a US Senator to the Constitution rather than the Republican party?

Senator Bernie Sanders made the most sense about the filibuster. People should be able to talk as long as they want - but then it needs to come to a vote and the majority - that means 51 votes - should rule.

Enough of this rule by the moneyed minority. This is a democratic republic. All of the citizens need to act like it.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

AliceInWonderland ~ Agreed! Term limits is a Bogus reform. What we need is sweeping campaign finance reform. Starting with public only finance. Send these "Citizen United" Bribers to Sing Sing!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

BTW ~ A recent response to a faith attack by Palindromedary. Is it past his bed time? Here's my response in full:

Thank you Palindromedary for the serious and earnest attempts to undermine my faith in God. Good luck! You obviously have no idea what you are up against. I know that I have at least once--maybe twice--in this blog alone mentioned that I value the story and not the character. I believe I at least mentioned once that I believe over emphasis on the character is counter productive. Perhaps I erred. Perhaps you erred.

Regardless, you obviously have no idea what I base my faith upon. Please allow me to enlighten you. My faith is based on Universal Truth and The Word Of God! Historical, or Mythological Characters play little or no role in my faith! I don't care if the Beatitudes were written by Christ, an Apostle, an innocent bystander, Roman Officials, Pharisees, Rabies, or the night Manager of Taco Bell in Seattle, Washington. Universal TRUTH is universal TRUTH!

Please allow me to demonstrate. Universal Truth belongs to us all. Please allow me to postulate my own Universal Truth. Call it the Gospel according to DAnneMarc if you will. If you want, you may call it the Gospel according to Palindromedary. I don't care! These are not my words, but the words of he who sent me. Spread them as you will and I will be happy. I have no intention of "making money" on this. This is a service to God.

(I might also add, "PLEASE KIDS, DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!")


(According to DAnneMarc. M.G.C.A.)

God is love! God's greatest desire for us is the Meaning Of Life. The Meaning Of Life is Happiness! To obtain Happiness we need security, prosperity, and peace. In order to fulfill the wishes of God we must adhere to the four basic tenants of God. Namely:

#1 THE DIVINE TENANT. We must love the Lord our God with our whole heart, soul, and mind. We must respect and be kind to God. To respect God we must speak to It only in private. Public worship or relation to God is an insult to God. Communion with God can only be realized in private.

#2 THE PERSONAL TENANT. We must love ourselves. God exists in each and every one of us. Therefore we must love, respect, and be kind to ourselves the same ways we must love, respect, and be kind to God. Only though loving ourselves can we truly love God.

#3 THE PUBLIC TENANT. In the same way we love God we must love everyone around us. As God exists in ourselves, It also exists in everyone around us. In order to love the Lord our God with our whole heart, soul and mind; we must love everyone around us with our whole heart, soul and mind; in the same way we love ourselves or God. Everyone must be treated with Kindness. For God exists in everyone around us as It does in ourselves. So to love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind is to love everyone around us.

#4 THE ADVERSARY TENANT. We must love our Enemy's. In the same way we love God we must also love our Enemy's. There are three facts that support this contention:

* Our Enemy's are our Best Friends. It is our Enemy's that bring out the best in us all. They motivate and cultivate our strengths and talents. Without the influence of our Enemy's we would be nothing. God has generously provided us with Enemy's. We must accept his gift as sacred.

* God is a part of our Enemy's. In the same way we must love God with our whole heart, soul and mind, we must love our Enemy's. For God exists in our Enemy's. Therefore we must treat our Enemy's with kindness and respect, the same way we do God.

* We need the cooperation of our Enemy's in order to realize the Meaning of Life. Only by loving our Enemy's can we realize security, trust, good business, and prosperity. The Meaning of Life, or Happiness, can only be experienced in an environment of security, prosperity and peace. Therefore, it is essential that we love our Enemy's in order to achieve the wish of God--The Meaning Of Life. We must achieve The Meaning Of Life to respect and honor God; who, we love with our whole heart, soul and mind.


So you see Palindromedary, Universal Truth can come out of the most unlikely source. If I were you I would let a sleeping dog sleep.

However, if you are so inclined, please be my guest and plagiarize my declaration of the WORD OF GOD that you may fancy for personal reasons. You see, these ARE the Words of God and not mine. As such spreading them around is my goal and not profit. You are even welcome to call this, "The Gospel According to Palindromedary" if you wish. I won't mind.

Of course if you wish to pursue proving that I personally don't exist in order to disprove the "Word Of God," please be my Guest!

By the way, If you succeed at proving that I don't exist I would so appreciate it if you could please do me a favor... Photocopy the evidence that I don't exist and please send it to the IRS before April 15th. Thank You so very much!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 5 weeks ago

Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail--Matt Taibbi

How HSBC hooked up with drug traffickers and terrorists. And got away with it.

"Also known as the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC has always been associated with drugs. Founded in 1865, HSBC became the major commercial bank in colonial China after the conclusion of the Second Opium War."

They have been laundering $billions in drug money from some of the worst drug cartels from Mexico. And they have been laundering $billions from terrorist organizations in the Middle East. They have been violating sanctions of countries like N. Korea, Iran, and other entities considered terrorist organizations. They have been part of the recent Libor scandal as has been many other banks.

"In one four-year period between 2006 and 2009, an astonishing $200 trillion in wire transfers (including from high-risk countries like Mexico) went through without any monitoring at all."

Our regulators have merely slapped their wrists with small fines. But, so far, none of these people have been sent to prison.

"This is the government admitting to being afraid to prosecute the very powerful – something it never did even in the heydays of Al Capone or Pablo Escobar, something it didn't do even with Richard Nixon. And when you admit that some people are too important to prosecute, it's just a few short steps to the obvious corollary – that everybody else is unimportant enough to jail."
But, it looks like Elizabeth Warren isn't afraid to confront banksters:

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) meeting with bank regulators Thursday left bankers reeling, after the politician questioned why regulators had not prosecuted a bank since the financial crisis."

bobcox's picture
bobcox 10 years 5 weeks ago

Typical actions by knee-jerk Republicans.

With regard to raising the Minimum Wage. Larry Summers, Harvard Univ., co-authored an article confirming that Henry Ford's increasing the workers wages to $5 per day and reducing the hours per day to 8 was an efficient management decision. It increased profits to the Ford Company. It also accelerated the rise of the American Middle class. When workers get a raise, they spend it, increasing the GDP. When workers are forced to take a cut in wages, Austerity, the workers begin to save and reduce expenditures. Good Jobs at Good wages increase tax receipts and, during the Clinton Administration, led to the start of the reduction in the National debt.

Thr pdf to Larry Summers article is titlked "Did Henry Ford Produce Efficient Wages?".

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 10 years 5 weeks ago

As our democracy continues to burn to the ground, filibuster reform was a good way to fight the fire. Reid's decision to do nothing but stand there and toast marshmallows with Turtleman is inexcusable. It just reinforces how many of our servants live in their own selfish and smug worlds of I've got mine, so to hell with the those I'm being paid to represent. Thanks Harry!

It reminds me of Eric Holder being paid not to do his job. Being intimidated and scared to death of the banksters, he refuses to prosecute the self-puffed criminals in Goldman Sachs for mortgage fraud. Now the banking crime syndicate not only believes they're too big to fail, they also know they're too big to prosecute. Thanks Eric!

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

A.I.W. - Touche. I appreciate your point. However, most of us progressives can count on one hand the number of long serving, excellent senators and representatives that seem to care about "the people". Contrast that with the huge number of deadbeats, special interest cronies, and downright evil characters like Mitch McConnell who seem to lurk in the halls of congress for decades. Eventually they float to the top, where they can do real damage, by "virtue" of seniority. Failing any real reforms to current congressional practices, limiting terms would be one way to break this cycle. Sometimes it's necessary to throw the baby out with the bath water.

RaleighMom's picture
RaleighMom 10 years 5 weeks ago

Back in the days of pirates, every member of the crew knew the importance of reputation. Most of them were far more tame than you would guess. But they made sure that frightening stories were told in every port so that anyone on the sea would leave them alone or think twice before they engaged. The Republicans are proud of their ability to frighten President Obama and Harry Reid. They have made them look bad, time after time. Each time President Obama and Senator Reid have been left looking very weak and impotent. Senator Reid had a chance to change all of that, and he let FEAR control him. Ask our soldiers in Afghanistan what happens if a commander, in the heat of battle, falls apart in fear and gives away all the tactical advantages. Why in the world do President Obama and Harry Reid think that anyone respects them for being "nice"??? Giving away filibuster reform did not protect democrats from what will happen if the next election doesn't go their way. It only made it much more likely.

Had real filibuster reform been enacted, every day would put the Republicans on the defensive. Harry Reid would hold all the cards, and every member of the Senate would act that way. Holding all the power wouldn't mean he would use it, necessarily. But knowing that he could would have completely changed the behavior of every Senator -- and probably members of Congress as well. Instead of two years of constant humiliation (which is apparently what we're in for), Senator Reid and the Democrats in the Senate would experience two years of universal power and respect. They would go from success to sucess. By the mid-terms, they would be viewed as the Winners and the Republicans would be viewed as the Losers. But Harry Reid threw that away.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

Sorry Outback, I'm with AIW on this one. The Great Saint Thomas Aquinas described 3 basic forms of Government--rule by one, by many, or by everyone. Of each of the basic forms 2 potential versions were possible--one of good and one of evil. This made a total of 6 possible potential forms of Government. (I'm sorry, I'm too tired to look for the exact quotes and references at this time; but, just trust me.)

In essence, the form of Government was irrelevant as to whether or not it was good or evil. What was important was the "Character" of the Leaders. If you have a good King, you have a good Government; and, if you have a bad King, you have a Tyranny. So, as you can see, extending or limiting the term limits for civil servants is not going to effect the "Character" of Government. Your 'good' Representatives will never be there long enough; whereas, your 'bad' Representatives will always be there too long!

That brings me to Campaign Finance Reform! I might suggest, as many have before me, that by enacting legislation that strictly enforces only publicly funded political campaigns; and, makes a felony out of campaign "contributions" of any kind, for any contributors as well as any Politicians who receive them, would be a far more effective solution and tool for weeding out corruption from our system. By simply reducing the 'greed' motive from the political spectrum we will drastically increase the quality of "Character" in our Government Representatives. Then we can all just let our votes determine who stays in Office; and, for how long. To suggest we throw out "The Baby" with the bath water is not a rational thought!

By the way Alice, you didn't mention Dennis Kucinich. He is sorely missed as well as my personal number one choice for President in the last two Presidential elections. I can't help but think that with Dennis Kucinich as President of the United States that the whole world would be a better place. It's a shame that particular "Baby" got tossed out.

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

DAnneMarc - I don't know that I follow your logic. You've said: "In essence, the form of Government was irrelevant as to whether or not it was good or evil. What was important was the "Character" of the Leaders. If you have a good King, you have a good King; and, if you have a bad King, you have a Tyrant. So, as you can see, extending or limiting the term limits for civil servants is not going to effect the "Character" of Government. Your 'good' representatives will never be there long enough; whereas, your 'bad' representatives will always be there too long!"

First off, "good" and "bad" are subjective terms, meaningful only within the criteria within which those governing are judged. Second. we're not talking about a "king" here (although our chief executive for some good reason is limited to two terms in office). What we're talking about is a body of elected individuals that, in the aggregate, either do or do not represent the will of the electorate. And recent history is rife with examples of congress's acting in ways that contradict the public will.

So for me, it follows that "if the bums aren't doing the bidding of those that installed them, then throw the bums out". Now, if there are a number of "bums" that continue to hoodwink their constituents, through hook, crook, or the downright stupidity of the constituents that keep them in place, then their damage should be controlled through some mechanism, if only by way of term limits. Mitch McConnell is the quintessential example of such a "bad apple". True, he has a few parochial followers that elect him at every opportunity. I say "screw them"! They have no right to keep such a reprobate in an inordinately powerful position, where his actions adversely affect the best interests of the electorate at large. And in this case I cite his pronouncement (to paraphrase) that his primary objective was to make Obama a "one term president", and the gridlock that ensued for the following four years. One asshole like McConnell can undo all the good achieved by "saints" like Bernie Sanders by many times over, with all due respect to St. Thomas Aquinas.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

I'm quite sorry Outback! I was exhausted the other night and really over simplified St. Aquinas' work and theories. However, you did an excellent job of filling the gaps. Regardless of whether we are talking about a King, Aristocracy, Oligarchy, Plutocracy, Corporatocracy, Republic, or Democracy the same definition according to good and evil apply. A "good" Government seeks peace, prosperity and prioritizes the needs of the subjects. Its army is composed of loyal volunteers who love their leaders and would happily die for them. An "evil" Government seeks out the personal fortunes of the rulers and holds the subjects in contempt. It hords it's own wealth and robs it's subjects dry. It's army is full of Mercenaries who's loyalty is as big as their pay check. The solders have no love of their leaders and are not willing to die for them.

Vigorous Campaign Finance Reform is the first and most important action we must take to help remedy this situation. It does the most to eliminate the "greed" motive behind so many of our current representatives. The "greed" motive is also the main driving factor in any "evil" Government.

This is the problem with Term Limits. Genuinely "good" Government representatives who want to work hard to serve the people are rare in nature. Shills who only what to line their pockets at the expense of others are plentiful in nature. Any constituency eager to elect and reelect a shill to represent them will simply cast their votes for the next shill to come along. No skin off the back of the shills owners. Shills are a dime a dozen.

Corporations, and Aristocratic Plutocrats on the other hand would love your idea of Term Limits. That would do for them what they can't do themselves--eliminate annoying honest politicians that they can't buy; and, make room for ones they can buy. If you really want to see the system get much worst fast, insist on Term Limits instead of Campaign Finance Reform.

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

DAnneMarc - I understand what you're saying about term limits getting rid of the good eggs. I guess I'm just not convinced that, given the trends of the past 30 years (and especially the past several years), that other reforms have a chance of being implemented. After all, gerrymandering is alive and well, Citizens United has brought so much money into the campaign finance process that I'm doubting any real reform there is possible, and it's a rare politician indeed that places the good of the nation above his/her own pork barrel priorities. For that matter, I don't know how term limits could possibly be put in place as those affected would be the very ones that would have to initiate the legislation. (Have you begun to suspect that I'm not particularly optimistic about the corner we've allowed ourselves to be put in? ;-) No, my friend, I think things will have to get substantially worse here before any real change is realized. That, or some unifying, impending natural disaster that the public can't ignore, as they ignore climate change. Maybe a huge astroid impact. Do you suppose that Siberian meteorite was a "shot across the bow"?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

Outback ~ From Term Limits and Campaign Finance Reform to Asteroid Impact! LOL I love the logic of pessimists! My father was a devout pessimist; which, I suppose, forced me to become a devout optimist just to defend myself.

Seriously though, pessimism aside, if you, like I, am a student of The Bible you may have 'hit' a very sound subject. (Pardon my pun.) According to The Book of Revelations we are somewhat due for several catastrophic meteor collisions that will affect the entire planet. There are also several references in the Gospels that Jesus said he would not return till the "stars fall from the sky." Do I suppose that Siberian meteorite was a "shot across the bow"? To answer your question, yes I do. In fact, I'm afraid, I think it was foreshadowing of things to come. So is that huge comet that's supposed to appear next fall that will be as bright as the moon and visible in daylight. What's the name, oh yeah, "ISON." A cryptic name if I ever heard one. I also think that the other asteroid that almost hit us the same day that was the size of a football field and the Pope's resignation were also ominous signs.

My advice my friend is if you want to believe in Biblical prophecy believe as well that God loves you and everything he allows to happen is for our benefit. Sure it doesn't look that way now, but 200-300 years down the road we might look back at history and realize that all these trials and tribulations made a very progressive and prosperous future possible. We live at a very exciting time in history. This is no time to bury ones head in the sand or loose ones composure. This is a time to savor and contribute our best. The future will be fine and take care of itself as long as we fulfill our roles in the present.

I agree with you that insisting on Campaign Finance Reform or Term Limits is like asking for the moon. Then so be it. Let us ask for the moon. It never hurts to ask. Demand if you will that our Government enact policy that is benevolent and rejects that which is malevolent. At least then, if Jesus returns, he won't find us sitting on our ass and twiddling our thumbs.

As far as filibusters are concerned, lets face it, filibusters are ways to block progress by making a representative look like he's busy doing something when he's preventing work from being done. If you or I tried to filibuster our boss at work today, we'd be looking for another job tomorrow.

There are many 'little' changes we can work towards to reform our government. Patients is the greatest virtue. Conviction and determination are also essential. Avoid quick solutions to complex problems. One of the biggest reforms I've worked for is the Legalization of Hemp. I believe in my heart that Hemp is The Tree of Life mentioned in the Book of Genesis and The Book of Revelations.

Genesis 1 29 ¶And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31 ¶And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Revelation 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

I wrote this over 25 years ago during the first Iraq war. Patient persistence and faith has paid off; and, continues to pay off. My greatest wish is that this goal is realized in my life time. I hope to live a long life so I don't mind the wait. LOL

Of all the unlikely reforms, Hemp reform is the greatest. It would single handedly resolve the vast majority of mankind's problems; and, if you believe the religious references above, fulfill the will of God as well. By the way, if you believe Revelations is Prophecy, then you know that my wishes will come true as surly as the sun will rise tomorrow.

Don't give up hope, Outback! The "Powers that Be" have an unlimited amount of money to spend just to convince you that your situation is hopeless. They want you to be discouraged and give up. Don't fall for it. Even as we speak they are loosing. Their propaganda is nothing more than an illusion. Tomorrow will be a beautiful day. Believe that!

Happy President's Day!!

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

DAnneMarc - I can't possibly respond fully to all that, other than to say that you and I are not so far apart in our views. You are obviously a devout Christian, which I respect. I'm not Christian, nor do I subscribe any other "conventional religion", though I do believe in a supreme being. I guess that puts us on the same "celestial page". Your God is personal (and likely humanoid). Mine is diffuse, vast, and the furtherest thing from posessing human motives. You believe in an afterlife in heaven, while I believe in reincarnation and the eventual evolution of our spiritual essence until we reach a pure spiritual and non carnal state. So you see, I'm not an inveterate pessimist (just so you won't worry about me ;-)

Regarding hemp, my views are neutral on that. Having grown up in the 60's I certainly experimented; I even "inhaled" ;-D But the stuff made me paranoid and I soon gave it up. Now, my "drug of choice" is good, old fashioned booze. I enjoy a glass of wine with a meal and a little scotch on ice and a good book is my idea of a fine Sunday afternoon. But, as we were fond of saying back then, "everybody to his own kick, man" :-)

As for meteorites, astroids, comets (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, etc.) in the grand scheme of things I view humanity as just several billion microbes clinging to a particular rock. Everything is just a numbers game; sooner or later we'll get smacked (again) and disappear like the dinosaurs, though due to our spiritual nature, we will survive in the ultimate sense. As Wayne Dyer says "we are not physical beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a physical experience".

In the meantime, I thoroughly enjoy my role as a curmudgeon, nearing 70 years of age. Railing at the idiots in Washington is very cathartic, though I realize it makes very little difference. So please, DAnneMarc, never take my remarks personally or too seriously, for that matter, and just "humor me".


Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 5 weeks ago

Outback says "...limiting terms would be one way to break this cycle. Sometimes it's necessary to throw the baby out with the bath water." Again, Outback, I disagree only on this point. The good senators are rare indeed, which is why we need to keep them and NOT throw them out with the bath water. And if more people paid attention to who the good ones are and who the bums are and bothered to get off their butts and vote those bums out of office (like the last midterm election when all those Democrats stayed home... AHEM!), perhaps we wouldn't be in this predicament today. - Alice I.W.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 5 weeks ago

DAnneMarc says "By the way Alice, you didn't mention Dennis Kucinich." And I need to clarify that Mr. K is another one of my favorites. The few I listed were just some examples; I never intended that to be a complete list because a complete list didn't seem necessary for illustrating my point. Dennis ROCKS. - Alice I.W.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

Outback wrote: "I can't possibly respond fully to all that, other than to say that you and I are not so far apart in our views." Actually we are closer than you think. Perhaps even kindred spirits. I too believe in Reincarnation. I believe there is scientific evidence that backs up that theory. I also don't care to much for smoking pot. Haven't touched it in years. My concern is to legalize the plant for industrial uses only. I too prefer wine or Tequila in the evening. Sometimes just tea.

I also believe in a totally non humanoid God. I believe I met him once before being born. The memory is of a huge ball of cosmic energy with a conscience. It had complete reign over all time and space and if I remember correctly a wonderful sense of humor. The only way I could describe the feeling of being in its presence was complete natural euphoria. There is also a memory of knowing everything there is to know and complete understanding. This God can assume human form; but, it is not bound by the human experience. In fact, it can assume any form it wants. In it's presence you are not bound by the human experience either.

Also I don't believe in a "afterlife" in heaven as much as what you stated about the evolution of our spiritual essence into a non-carnal state. I could't have said it better myself. In "Heaven" you are only spirit; and, as such have no carnal motives at all. You also have no secrets because communication is telepathic and you know everything. The biggest issue in Heaven is boredom. Boredom is the price you pay for perfect euphoria. Nice trade!

I just turned 50; but, just like you love to vent my lifetime of frustrations for cathartic reasons. Don't worry, I won't be too judgmental and I'd be happy to "humor" you, Buddy. Hope you do the same. That's what we're here for. Enjoy the Holiday!


MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 10 years 5 weeks ago


It baffles me DanneMarc, and pissess me off, those who admit to having smoked marijuana in the past- like yourself - but are against legalization, be it for medical and/or recreational use, than turn around and admit they enjoy alcohol; a drug that is far far more addictive and offers a much greater aray of adverse health affects.

Now I do agree that "hemp" should be being used for all it has to offer. It is the most well rounded resources that we have been gifted. Yet the Feds - greesed by Dupont and others - wont release their strangle hold...You can't get high from hemp...You'd have to smoke a mountain of it and by that point you will have passed out with a raging headache.

But back to the legalization of scheduled one controlled substances; namely good ol marijuaña. Now I will state right here that I am BIG fan of the stuff...been so for 20 years after trying it - my first time - in cookies when I was 22. Yes you read that right I was a late bloomer compaired to the rest of my peers who were all token their brains out at age 15/16. Back then I was a jock and didn't have any interest in puffing the magic dragon, but nor did I have anything against those that did. Most of my friends back then did endulge in the joys of Mary Jane. But I did drink alcohol, and in mass quantaties...blackout drunk. It makes me quiver thinking about it...I'm surprised I survived...Should have died many times before I was 21; in fact 3 of my friends died from alcohol related accedents. Can't say the same for marijuana. I'd rather my son smoke a spliff than get stoned on whiskey. Don't get me wrong I am not against drinking...I even support lowering the legal age back to 18. my reason...At 18 you are considered a legal adult (period).

Bottom line we have wasted so much money and time demonizing marijuana to the point that it carries a much harsher punishment than rape or murder. We have made it so taboo that it is still more popular a drug amongst teens and adults. And we are so caught up in this Anti Drug/Zero Tollerance policy that we wont even allow it to be legalized for valid medical reasons.
I much rather recreationally smoke a joint any night of the week than go out drinking on a friday night. When I smoke I don't get stupid, I don't put myself or others in danger, I remember the night, and I am not a wastoid the next day.
In fact for me I enjoy the stran I have found; it is very smooth has a taste of wild berries and just eases my anxiety. No it doesn't resolve my day to day challenges, nor does it make the world a better place; but it does help me to focus, think, relax, and not fly outta control with rage and anxiety.

On the political/legal front; For more than 3 decades the U.S. government has wasted billions of dollars on the War on Drugs, sentenced hundreds of thousands to unnecessary prison sentences, created a bigger underground, and kept a black market alive and thriving.
In reality it's the mirror of Prohibition during the '20s. Crime rate went up, prisons became over crowded with noncriminals, and the black market thrived. Then the government got smart and abolished prohibition and legalized and regulated alcohol.

Hmmm? So what "is" our government up to!?!? Today their are more and more people, (tax paying voters) who are tired of the bullshit rehtoric that has looooong proven itself to be more "the problem" than what it was originally against. The War on Drugs is a complete failure in that it destroys more lives and does greater damage to our communities than good.
Yet there are still too many old and crusty career politicians that continue to support the federal drug statutes and the schedule one status of marijuana.

Time to clean house...Just Say Yes!

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