Mitch McConnell doesn't keep "gentleman's agreements."

Republicans may finally push Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to fix the filibuster. After last month's so-called gentleman's agreement between Senator Reid and Mitch McConnell, a few of President Obama's nominees finally cleared the Senate. But, Republicans couldn't keep themselves from going right back to their old tricks. Republican lawmakers are already threatening to block each and every one of the President's nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Right-wing lawmakers appear united behind Senator Chuck Grassley, who has proposed legislation to eliminate several seats on the important court. Republicans say that the D.C. Circuit is overstaffed, but Democrats contend that Senator Grassley's effort is just a ploy to hold on to that court's conservative majority. According to Republican lawmakers, the D.C. Circuit handles less cases than many other circuit courts around our nation, and thus does not need as many justices. However, the D.C. Circuit is responsible for deciding the constitutionality of many important executive decisions and appointments.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy said, “The D.C. Circuit decides some of the most important cases in our nation, with significant impact on the lives of all Americans. This court must be allowed to operate at full strength.” Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly approved Patricia Millett in a party line vote. Every single Republican on the committee voted against her. It's quite possible that Republicans will stage a filibuster to prevent her from being confirmed by the entire Senate.

That would bring us back full circle to Senator Harry Reid's promise to change the Senate rules on confirmation votes. It's anyone's guess as to whether Senator Reid will live up to his threat and reform the filibuster this time, or if Republicans will be allowed to continue blocking presidential appointments that have been held up for years.


Carson L's picture
Carson L 9 years 26 weeks ago

There are no reasons to hate, only excuses. Besides, everyone knows that a 'gentleman's agreement' with a republican requires monetary exchange. I'm still just trying not to hate myself for bothering with any attempt to comprehend Washington these days, sheesh, I thought simplicity was the tried and true method yet what do we have here? Flavored Water? OH BOY! Oxymoron Time! YES! Soft Rock, Soft Porn, private contributions towards public office, personal politics, practical idealism, Citizens United, organized reli- oops, my good. Got carried away. But wouldn't I still be nearby if you had to carry me?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 26 weeks ago

I thought a "gentlemen's agreement" had to involve at least two gentlemen. Who now is really surprised that any agreement between these two posers isn't honored. "A man without his word is a cockroach!" (Tony Montana, "Scarface") This was an agreement between two professional cockroaches.

Quote Thom Hartmann:It's anyone's guess as to whether Senator Reid will live up to his threat and reform the filibuster this time, or if Republicans will be allowed to continue blocking Presidential appointments that have been held up for years.

Really?!? Let me guess! I say Senator Reid will not live up to his threat and reform the filibuster again, and Republicans will continue business as usual. What did I win?

Flopot's picture
Flopot 9 years 26 weeks ago

There is zero difference between these two parties - Thom Hartmann is wasting his time focusing on such trivia.

bajabob's picture
bajabob 9 years 26 weeks ago

until Democrats grow a pair and get rid of the filibuster they have seen the last dime out of me and I will no longer waste my time on phone banks and door-to-door canvasing for them. As often as they tell me I am wasting my vote supporting Green Party candidates they have yet to convince me I am NOT wasting my vote supporting Democrats who submit to Republican blackmail and extortion. I still make lots of phone calls, write letters and emails and send faxes but I am fast approaching the point where I will abandon my country and move South again. I lived happily in Latin America for 12 years and returned only to dedicate myself to electing Obama in '08. Venezuela and Bolivia are looking better and better every day-my VA disability goes a lot further down there anyway and I feel like my efforts to make a better world would be more fruitfully invested there.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 26 weeks ago
Quote Flopot:There is zero difference between these two parties - Thom Hartmann is wasting his time focusing on such trivia.

Nonsense! There is plenty of differences! Here let me list them:

1. One groups name starts with a "D," the other with a "R".

2. One groups color is blue, the other is red.

3. One groups mascot is a "donkey", the other is an "elephant."

Oh, wait a minute, did I already mention the "D" and the "R"? I did, didn't I? Ok! That's the list! I hope it wasn't too long but that's everything I can think of. Can anyone else add to the list?

(By the way, Flopot, I love your Avatar. Distinguished and yet kinky)

boxspringm's picture
boxspringm 9 years 26 weeks ago

If Harry Ried doesnt change the fiilibuster rule and revert to the nuclear option to staff this court he should be replaced with someone who will. This congress.. both house and senate are ineffective. They shouldnt be paid for their lack of work on our behalf. The republicans have surpressed every and all ideas Obama has presented even those they have enthusiastically supported in the past. They should all be brought up on treason charges .. we the suckers that have elected them have lost homes , jobs, businesses, wealth, personal liberties. etc etc.while these idiots argue over women's issues. Fiddling while Rome burns comes to mind.. so so frustrating. Where are the JOBS John Boehner??? Harry grow a pair!! get it done .. help us change Washington! The clock is ticking... it makes all of us who worked for Obama to be relected angry for the time and effort and money spent only to be dashed by an ineffective Senate majority leader who believed the lying turtle Mc Connel.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 26 weeks ago

bajabob ~ Thank you so much for your political activism in the past. You are a true patriot. I salute you! However, in the future please stop! Put your Democratic campaign literature down on the table. Put down your clipboard, pen, and telephone. Step back away from the Democratic headquarters. Throw down you Democratic Party Membership card. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. In the future elections the only parties you will consider are the Independent, Green, Libertarian, and any other party that catches your fancy other than Democrat or Republican. Feel free to volunteer for the party of your choice other then the latter two. Most of all, God bless you! We need more thinking patriots like you!!

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 9 years 26 weeks ago

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should be reminded of President George W. Bush with his “Fool Me Once” bumble…

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 9 years 26 weeks ago

The Twain Report
All The News That Mark Twain Says He Would Report If He Was Alive Today

Watching the 6 o'clock news tonight, the Twain Report was surprised to learn that cities all over America are hiring new workers, which fact was touted as proof that America's supposed financial downturn is over, and we are again in a "land of plenty" economy.

In related news, pigs were observed flying over all of the cities that have hired new workers. And as night fell over those cities, citizens flocked outside to see that the moon is, indeed, made of green cheese. Oh, and also, the check's in the mail, I'll be right back, and there's two others but I don't remember them.

Note to the NSA, CIA, FBI, Obama Administration, and all of the other agencies and corporations that spy on all Americans: This email is highly- even, like, totally- patriotic. Also, The Twain Report just wants to go on record as reminding each of you people who are spying on Americans, that the guy in the next cubicle has been spying on you, your wife, and your children, recording all of your entire extended family's phone conversations, text messages, and emails, and making detailed notes as to where your children go, who they talk to, and what they say. But I'm sure that no one in your family has anything to hide, so that couldn't possibly be a problem for you, could it? And anyway, you are just as patriotic as the guy in the next cubicle, aren't you? And besides, haven't you been spying on his family? Because if you haven't, you better start, because if at some point in time he decides to get some brownie points by turning in your family for what they're doing (I think you know what I'm talking about...), you are going to have to be able to blackmail him, aren't you? Protect yourself from him, he can't be trusted. Seriously.

netactivist99 9 years 26 weeks ago

Cookies and Reagan on Fox?

Tom should check this out for gluten-free, non-GMO cookies:

This site was recommended by Bill O'Reilly, who's on a gluten-free diet. (I watch O'Reilly and Hannity to know what the right-wing is thinking)

And Tom would be interested in knowing that Sean Hannity on his TV show Thursday played parts of Reagan's medicare speech, but didn't say Reagan was speaking about Medicare, and instead used it as a generic way to attack Obamacare! I wish his guest had known to tell Sean, hey, that was Reagan predicting Soviet-style tyranny from Medicare.

So there you have it, cookies and Reagan on Fox.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 9 years 26 weeks ago

This morning I went on CSPAN2. They had a
session of the National Governor’s Association
meeting of yesterday, Aug. 2, 2013, presented.

The first featured speaker is a doctor, previously
primary care doctor in Camden, New Jersey. I
suggest you listen to his speech then schedule
him for a discussion on your program. In the
questions after the talk the governor of Arizona
sked the typical question that assumes some of
the GOP political talking point myths, namely
that the high costs of medical care in the U.S.
is due to the high medical insurance costs and
that doctors are forced to do extra procedures
to prevent costly lawsuits. His answer was that
it is the Justice System and Lawyers, not the
medical system that is broken.

Further he poointed out that the prices for the
somethink like 1500 listed procedures in the
medical lexicon are set by a committee of the
AMA meeding in Chicago. This price listing is
copyrighted and expensive to obtain. The
committee is composed primarily of specialists
and not primary care doctors so the prices are
set very high and the primary care practitioners
are out-voted by the specialissts. Interesting
monopolistic practice!

akunard's picture
akunard 9 years 26 weeks ago

Nancy held up every Bush nom. for his last 2 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 26 weeks ago

akunard ~ Excellent point! Holding up nominees is the job of every opposing party in the political game, isn't it? Especially if your intent is to only allow like minded bribe taking shills to get the high seats.

The way I see it, the real problem is going to be the timing of filibuster reform. Harry Reid is a bought and paid for shill of the Republican Party. He's doing everything he can to hand the Republicans The White House in 2016. I think he will push for filibuster reform and get it; but, not till just before the end of President Obama's term in office. If I read Reid right (I've been dying to say that) the plan is for him to disarm the Republican's main weapon of obstruction just in time to prevent the Democrats from using it against the Republicans. That way, politics in this little country of ours in the next 7 to 11 years will go from very very sad to extremely horribly bad following the 2016 election. President Obama will be an impotent leader till the end and then the Republicans will sweep in and have their way with the American People without any opposition. Not unlike the script Reagan and Bush played on Jimmy Carter in 1980. History repeats itself. That is why the timing in filibuster reform is more important than the reform itself.

I can't even begin to imagine the abuses of power that these Neo-Cons are capable of. Unfortunately, I won't need my imagination.

Of course, IN THE END, this is all merely smoke and mirrors to keep us distracted while multinational Corporations rape us. Enjoy the Blue vs Red puppet show!

Flopot's picture
Flopot 9 years 26 weeks ago


Haha! You got me. I thought a flame war was ensuing. Phew.

Glad you like my avatar!

PS I still think it is all Kabuki theatre.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 26 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: Careful, you might scare people into voting for the Democrats again in 2016! ;-o

Yes, it would just be too horrible if a Republican got back in...but I think that we would just be fooling ourselves (yet again) that a Democrat would be any better.

What has the ruling elite been able to get away with since the Democrats "came to power" that they may not have been able to get without massive rioting in the streets had the Republicans won in 2008 and 2012? People were really ticked off at the dunce of a President that preceded Obama and the corrupt banking institutions were on the verge of being bailed out by the taxpayers. Could they have pulled that off with a McCain/Palin in office? They needed a radical illusion of change which is what Obama provided.

The Democrat Party is just another way that the ruling elite have of screwing us all. It's not really about whether a Republican or a Democrat is in office...they are both two sides of a single coin...Heads they win or tails we lose!

Yes, I know I am just preaching to the choir....but not everyone in the choir is singing the same tune....there are a few infiltrators (emphasis on "trators" (traitors).

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 26 weeks ago

I agree with everything except soft porn. Watch Cinemax and remain soft.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 26 weeks ago

akunard -- What are you talking about? Nancy who? Nancy Pelosi is a member of the house. The house has no power to hold up appointments.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 26 weeks ago

Palin -- I am certainly not a member your choir. I gave you a long list of all the wonderful things the dems did during the 11 week period they had power. This was even with blue dogs that weakened their efforts.

Our nation has an historical example of a third party vs. overloading with democrats. The Roosevelts both lived during dire economic times. Teddy tried to create a third party and failed. Franklin overloaded with democrats which led to the strongest economy our nation has ever had. FDR also did dumb things like try to balance the budget but with a congress overloaded with democrats he could reverse that approach.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 26 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ You don't have to worry about me voting Democratic, or Republican in 2016. What we have to worry about is everyone else. Too many Democrats are--and have been--so screwed by the current Administration that I can't see them voting Democratic in the next election. Some will vote third party and some Republican. A vast majority will probably just stay home because they're too exhausted from working three jobs. That means a Republican victory--possibly a landslide.

I'm not trying to convince anyone to do anything. People have to decide on their own. The plain fact of the matter is most people don't have the cognitive ability to make decisions without peer support; and, will do what they conceive the rest of their peers are doing, rather than what is right and good for them. In short, most people don't like to think for themselves. They want someone else to do that for them.

By next year, major phases of Obamacare are going to kick in. Some people will benefit; but, the vast majority are going to feel like they are being screwed big time. They will hate Obamacare, the insurance industry, the medical industry, and most of all the Democratic Party. By 2016, the Republicans are going to rally most of the country around the single cause of abolishing Obamacare. They may even throw people the bone of demanding single-payer. It doesn't really matter, by then Obamacare will be biting people in the a$$ so hard they will swallow the platform hook line and sinker.

The only thing that can stop that freight train from chugging into the White House would be a super charismatic and gifted orator like JFK with the backing of huge financial capital. How an independent party could put something like that together in three short years I don't know. I doubt the Democrats could either. If someone like Chris Christie decided to jump ship and run as an independent an upset might happen. However, with the current candidates I doubt it. Besides, if the Democrats found someone like that, they would lose anyway. Obama, Reid, and Pelosi have driven in all the nails in that coffin lid. Dracula himself wouldn't be able to open it.

The good news I might foresee is an independent winning an election after the fiasco that will probably ensue with the next Republican election. Like it was said earlier, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice... I do believe that if the next Republican Administration is as wicked as the last two Administrations that will be enough for the general masses to get fed up. Sometime then is a good time for a third party to make a serious move. To ensure success I would recommend that all current popular third parties consider joining together. They will need their combined resources to make that bid work.

You and I are both right my friend! Unfortunately, we are both a little ahead of our time. If you're like me, you probably find that patients is something that is a constant effort and always in need of improvement. Certainly, it is with me. Nevertheless, we must continue the effort to rally as many as we can to the voice of reason and ignore any discouragement. Please don't let me discourage you. Also, please, don't hold your breath.

growin's picture
growin 9 years 26 weeks ago

Thom - off topic. I am reading about Greek internment camps, "Operation Zeus". It sounds like they are rounding up more and more groups of people. Can you address this?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 26 weeks ago

growin ~ Operation Zeus, huh! Quite a grim foreshadowing of things to come. Thanks for the heads up growin!

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 26 weeks ago

Education spending increased


Laws against hate crimes strengthened

CHIPS expanded (Childrens Health Insurance Program)Forced through Child Labor Laws

consumer protestion agency formed

Education spending increased Laws against hate crimes strengthened CHIPS expanded (Childrens Health Insurance Program)

Forced through Child Labor Laws

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 26 weeks ago

chuckle8 ~ With all due respect I do not understand anything you are talking about. Please slow down and explain yourself.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 26 weeks ago

DAnneMarc -- My message #23 was not supposed to say anything. I was just testing how carriage returns in Excel translate in this blog.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 26 weeks ago

chuckle8 ~ Thanks for clarifying that buddy! I almost thought I was having an out of body experience for a moment. OTFLMAO

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 25 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: Right on! I hear ya!

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy
From Screwed:
"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the ‘cons’ have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne magazine
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places