As the start of the 113th Congress barrels toward us, Democrats are considering some modest changes to Senate rules, which as Dennis explained, would require filibustering Senators to actually hold the floor and talk, depriving Americans of their last reliable source of classical music — the C-SPAN nothing-is-happening soundtrack.
Like most of his GOP colleagues, the 2012 version of outgoing Senator Jon Kyl has been critical of these proposed changes…
"To suggest a nuclear option by which a mere majority of the body can amend the rules, is itself a violation of the rules," Kyl said. "It's an assertion of power, but as the old saying goes, might does not make right."
If only there was another Senator who could make the opposite argument in the strongest possible terms…
Tags: Filibuster, Jon Kyl, Senate
Jon Kyl made a really good point on the Senate floor the other day. I know what you're saying to yourself: What else is new? The man is a national treasure (#NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement)! But this was a particularly good point.
Just what is it with the President's bizarre infatuation with those people who drive their own cars and dress themselves in the morning without the aid of a valet? Not the ones who beg for drug money on the street, but the ones who are a little bit less gross than that. What are they called again?
"Most prominently, we have a president who talks incessantly about class, particularly the middle class. Maybe you’ve noticed that."
You know what? I have noticed that, as a matter of fact. He's always talking about the middle class. Talking to the middle class. Shaking hands with the middle class. It's unsavory, if you ask me. Certainly beneath the station of the presidency.
"He defines class strictly by your income. In the president’s narrative, someone who makes $199,000 a year is a member of one class and someone who makes $200,000 belongs to another class. Does that make sense?"
No! It most certainly does not! It's so much more complicated than that. First of all, it's closer to $1,000,000 vs. $999,999 a year, but let's not even get into that. You also have to factor in investments, offshore bank accounts and tax havens, family wealth, property for God's sake! But it's not all dollars and cents. It's nothing so crude as that. There's skin color to consider, as well as religion and social lineage. For example, I've known some dukes without a cent their names, but you'd hardly call them middle class, would you? And how would you categorize a bishop who can scarcely afford a summer villa?
Anyway, I digress. My greater point is, Barack Obama is clearly engaging in cultural warfare. And it's disgusting.
Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Jon Kyl, Senate
They sat around in a semi-circle, ignoring calls to get themselves real jobs, and made loud noises while offering few concrete legislative proposals. They couldn't even agree on the specific purpose of their organization, and while many Americans supported their group's agenda in the abstract, the participants ultimately did nothing but tarnish their institution's brand and undermine confidence in the possibility of lasting political change.
I speak, of course, of the 12 dirty hippies occupying…the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction…
Rather than making a final effort at compromise, members of the special deficit-reduction committee spent their final hours casting blame and pointing fingers, bracing for the reaction from financial markets that are already jittery over the European debt crisis. Half of the 12 lawmakers turned to the Sunday political news shows as their outlet, speaking of their effort in the past tense and accusing the other side of intransigence that they blamed for the failure to clinch a deal. There were no last-minute negotiations, no behind-closed-doors huddles, just a near-empty Capitol in which senior aides could not agree on how to formally shutter the panel by Monday night…
Barring a last-second breakthrough, the law calls for a punitive set of $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts to kick in at the start of 2013, with half coming from national security budgets. [Senator Jon] Kyl and other lawmakers have embraced reconfiguring the automatic cuts to save the Pentagon from such steep cuts, but any movement that decreases the overall savings runs the risk of causing financial ratings agencies to downgrade the U.S. Treasury’s debt.
The $1.2 trillion in automatic sequestration was designed to force members of the supercommittee to create a more nuanced plan for deficit reduction, but given the difficulty of compromise, some lawmakers would rather just defuse the "trigger." Which would seem to be a case of noncompliance with the Budget Control Act of 2011, the debt ceiling deal that created the panel. And we all know the appropriate response to "noncompliance," right?
But even if members of the supercommittee aren't pepper-sprayed, there's a bright side to the panel's dismal performance. Failure to reach a deal preserves the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, which would create more deficit reduction than any deal likely to be concocted by the supercommittee. So perhaps we still have some time before financial markets and the international community forces us to give up on the democracy thing and bow down before our technocratic overlords.
Photo by Brendan Hoffman /Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Debt, Deficit, House of Representatives, Jon Kyl, Money
Earlier today, top Senate and House Republicans sent an heartfelt earnest plea to Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke to please please please consider doing absolutely nothing to boost the U.S. economy or make any attempt to do anything that might accidentally foster job growth…
Even though the financial markets have been counting on the Federal Reserve to take action, Republican Congressional leadership sent a letter to the Federal Reserve chairman on Tuesday evening urging it not to engage in further stimulus…
"We have serious concerns that further intervention by the Federal Reserve could exacerbate current problems or further harm the U.S. economy," said the letter, signed by four of the top Republicans in Congress: Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Republican leader; Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Senate Republican whip; House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.
It's a really inspiring letter. I strongly recommend reading the whole thing. I'm pretty sure that school children will be memorizing it instead of the Gettysburg Address in future generations.
But, you know, that Bernanke guy's a well known treasonist, and you just can't argue with those people. So, he went ahead and announced that the Fed would be buying $400 billion in bonds and selling as much in debt. Which, I'm assuming means something to somebody because stuff happened…
The dollar rebounded against the euro and other major currencies Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced new plans to help boost the American economy.
The central bank said it will buy long-term Treasurys and sell short-term securities to help spur growth. The plan could lower rates for mortgages as well as those for consumer and business loans. The plan was expected by investors.
Well, that sounds good so far, but it's still waaaaay to early to tell. Hopefully — and I know we're all really pulling for this — there won't be any significant long term economic or employment benefits to Bernanke's plan.
Nothing aggravates an already dismal national mood more so than having to wake up early on a Monday morning and go to work. Ugh!
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Ben Bernanke, Eric Cantor, Federal Reserve, House of Representatives, John Boehner, Jon Kyl, Mitch McConnell, Republicans, Senate, Stimulus, Unemployment
Our nation is very rapidly approaching its August 2nd deadline for raising the debt ceiling. We are just a mere two weeks out from that terrifying calendar day. To put this into perspective, if this whole thing were a disaster film, we'd already be at the part where Harvey Fierstein gets killed…
Coverage continues after the jump.
Tags: Barack Obama, Debt, Economy, Fox, House of Representatives, Jason Jones, Jon Kyl, Jon Stewart, Racism, Republicans, Senate, Texas, The Daily Show, Video