Does it seem as if every time the Senate is poised to consider an important measure, Republicans launch a filibuster? That the party that whined incessantly about Democratic “obstructionism” for the last several years is blocking everything that moves, hypocrisy be damned?
I knew it was bad; I didn’t know it was this bad.
* Senate Republicans have obstructed almost every bill in the Senate — even ones with wide bipartisan support.
* So far, in the first half of the first session of the 110th Congress, there have been THIRTEEN cloture votes on motions to proceed — each one wasting days of Senate time. (110th Congress, Roll Call Votes #44, 51, 53, 74, 129, 132, 133, 162, 173, 207, 208, 227, and 228)
* In comparison, in the first sessions of the 108th and 109th Congresses combined, there were a total of FOUR cloture votes on motions to proceed.
For literally years, Republicans, with a 55-seat majority, cried like young children if Dems even considered a procedural hurdle. They said voters would punish obstructionists. They said it was borderline unconstitutional. They said to stand in the way of majority rule was to undermine a basic principle of our democratic system.
And wouldn’t you know it; the shameless hypocrites didn’t mean a word of it.
Why hasn’t the Democratic Congress had greater success passing legislation in its first six months? Because 239 separate pieces of legislation have passed the House, only to find Senate Republicans “objecting to just about every major piece of legislation” that Harry Reid has tried to bring to the floor.
It’s not only shameless, it’s cynical. Republicans expect to get away with this nonsense because they assume most Americans don’t even know what a filibuster is. They figure, the more they obstruct, the worse Congress looks — and with a Democratic majority, that means the GOP will blame Dems for the Republicans’ delay tactics.
Indeed, it’s quite a vicious cycle. Dems bring up a bill … Republicans block the bill … Dems tell voters to be patient … Republicans blame Dems for failing to deliver on their policy agenda. And if Americans aren’t paying attention, they fall for the con.
It’s quite a record the Senate minority has assembled.
Every 9.62 days, there is an equivalent amount of casualties in Iraq & Afghanistan as September 11th.
There are 9.65 Virginia Tech shootings in Iraq & Afghanistan everyday.
There are 1.61 Madrid bombings in Iraq & Afghanistan everyday.
Sony Ericsson’s long-suffering smartphone users are spitting mad at a decision by the company not to issue any more firmware updates to their phones. The policy was confirmed on Tuesday, and affects owners of the P990i smartphone, M600i communicator and W950 music phone.
When the P990i first reached market, it was in a barely usable state – but many loyal buyers were confident that successive firmware upgrades would remove serious problems, as they had with earlier models. However, to this day the phone exhibits serious shortcomings, particularly with memory leaks.
As I said before, simply don’t buy any Sony product.
Oh, and wasn’t there a competing smart-phone product about to be released? I’m sure I heard a thing or two about it…
The US Senate has issued subpoenas demanding the White House hand over documents relating to its policy of snooping on US citizens without getting warrants or other legal clearance.
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy yesterday issued subpoenas to the Department of Justice, the Office of the White House, the Office of the Vice-President and the National Security Council asking for documents relating to the committee’s inquiry into warrantless wiretapping and how such wiretaps were authorised.
Leahy’s letter said: “Over the past 18 months, this committee has made no fewer than nine formal requests to the Department of Justice and to the White House, seeking information and documents about the authorization of and legal justification for this program. All requests have been rebuffed. Our attempts to obtain information through testimony of administration witnesses have been met with a consistent pattern of evasion and misdirection.”
I wonder why Leahy thinks a subpoena will get substantially different response.
update Wait, that was faster than I expected:
President Bush, moving toward a constitutional showdown with Congress, asserted executive privilege Thursday and rejected lawmakers’ demands for documents that could shed light on the firings of federal prosecutors.
Bush’s attorney told Congress the White House would not turn over subpoenaed documents for former presidential counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor. Congressional panels want the documents for their investigations of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ stewardship of the Justice Department.
So what’s next?
Every now and then you come across a link that defies description. Here, go look for yourself
A female undergrad walks up to the desk for help.
“Hi, I’m looking for anal tourism research.” She says.
I could not have heard her correctly.
“Um, what?” I reply.
“I’m looking for anal tourism research.”
Like Thailand and Vegas? “I think there is a typo.” I counter.
“No, my professor was very specific about anal.”
I don’t ask if there was an oral exam. “We can take a look, but I don’t think that’s right.”
“Please? Anal research is important, I need it bad.”
I start searching in the catalogue, typing in ‘annal’ to end this.
“It’s anal, A-N-A-L. Anal was at the top of the list of the things he wanted.”
I bet it was. “We don’t have it under that listing.”
“Well, how can I get Anal Tourism Research?”
Some Barry White, some K-Y, some minor discomfort.
“How about we try some variant spellings?”
“But I want anal.”
“Please trust me on this.” I don’t want my boss to walk over while she shouts “I want anal!” again.
“Here we go, Annals of Tourism Research.”
“Is something very different.”
I could see the dawning in her eyes as she made the connection.
“I, anal, oh my god.”
“Is there anything else I can help you with?”
Even when coeds are begging for me to give them anal, I’m still a professional.
For pub-goers who enjoy a cigarette with their drink, next week’s ban will make England a very different place.
So one landlord has claims to have found a loophole to fight the new law – by declaring his pub to be part of a different country.
The Wellington Arms in Southampton is set to transform itself from a public house into the official embassy for a tiny Caribbean island.
If it is successful, the pub would be classified as “foreign soil”, allowing smokers a haven from the smoking laws covering the rest of the UK.
In theory it would then also be allowed to serve cheaper drinks because the pub would be exempt from VAT.
Earlier this month, the pub was named as the official consulate in Britain for the island of Redonda, which lies 35 miles south west of Antigua in the Caribbean.
The title of “King of Redonda” is hotly disputed, with at least nine known claimants, but the current ruler is King Robert the Bald, who was crowned in 1998 and lives on Antigua.
The 60-year-old Canadian, whose real name is Bob Williamson, writes novels at his Antigua home from where he sails his 72ft yacht St Peter.
On May 31, 1998 Mr Williamson sailed to Redonda with Mr Elder and 60 others and was formally declared to be King Robert the Bald.
Redonda is a one mile square remnant of the cone of an extinct volcano rising almost 970ft from sea level and was discovered in 1493 by Christopher Columbus.