Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is supposedly thinking about changing Senate rules this congress so that legislators seeking to enact a filibuster would no longer just have to say, "Hey, I filibust this, yo!" or whatever traditional talk they use. Instead they'd have to stand up in from of the Senate and talk for a really, really long time, Jimmy Stewart style. Which is why I thought people got into politics to begin with.
Anyway, Republican senators are apparently concerned that this would get in the way of their plan to be as obstructionist as possible at all times. And they're threatening that, if Reid has his way, they will be as obstructionist as possible at all times…
Republicans are threatening even greater retaliation if Reid uses a move rarely used by Senate majorities: changing the chamber’s precedent by 51 votes, rather than the usual 67 votes it takes to overhaul the rules.
"I think the backlash will be severe," Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), the conservative firebrand, said sternly. "If you take away minority rights, which is what you’re doing because you’re an ineffective leader, you'll destroy the place. And if you destroy the place, we'll do what we have to do to fight back."
Taking away minority rights?! Oh, man! That could really hamper Republicans' ability to take away minority rights!
Not to mention their ongoing plan to destroy the place.
Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Filibuster, Harry Reid, Senate, Tom Coburn
"I would like to say tonight, to the Republican primary voters: Don't do this." — Jon Stewart, and most other rational people
Coverage continues after the jump.
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Tags: Glenn Beck, Jon Stewart, Lindsey Graham, Newt Gingrich, Primaries, Republicans, The Daily Show, Tom Coburn, Video
Wait, what's this shit? A National Women's History Museum? That's ridiculous. Why should that special interest group get to have their own museum? They only account for, like, 29 out of 57 people. That's only slight more than half. I call bullshit on this. We'd better get our boys in the Senate to do something about this…
Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Jim DeMint, R-S.C., have placed a "hold" on a bill that would sell land near the Smithsonian Institution for the National Women's History Museum. A "hold" is a Senate practice that prevents bills from passing with unanimous consent — and implicitly threatening a filibuster.
The senators say their concerns are financial: Though the museum would pay fair market value for the land, the group has raised little money. And they said the new institution would duplicate more than 100 similar museums — some of which already get taxpayer subsidies.
Exactly! It's totally financial. Totally, totally financial. That's the only, only, only reason.
But, also, you just know that "National Women's History Museum" is secret code for "Pro-Abortion House of Horrors," am I right?
The senators' action came two days after the Concerned Women for America, a conservative group, wrote DeMint asking for a hold. The group's CEO, Penny Nance, wrote in July that the museum would "focus on abortion rights without featuring any of the many contributions of the pro-life movement in America."
See? Even the Concerned Women for America are behind this, so there's no reason that any of you should be concerned, because they already are. It's right there in their name. And who can we trust to conserve women's rights more than conserve-ative women? I mean, this is really a no-brainer. Very, very no-brainy.
Tags: Jim DeMint, Men and Women, Senate, Tom Coburn, Washington DC
Just another usual day on the U.S. Senate floor…
The feud between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) flared up again Wednesday over Coburn’s objection to a bill protecting sharks.
"Honey, how was work today?"
"Same old, same old. Ya know, continued engaging my political nemesis in protracted trench warfare over a non-controversial bill to protect fish with big teeth. The regular."
"Would you like peas as a side dish with dinner tonight?"
"No! I object to the consumption of peas alongside my roast beef tonight. On this matter, I will not budge!"
Tags: Animals, Harry Reid, Nevada, Oklahoma, Senate, Tom Coburn
So, the Senate should be voting on whether or not (or almost certainly yes) Elena Kagan will be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. So far, we know that Sen. Orrin Hatch is definitely not on Team Kagan. And we know that Sen. Arlen Specter is a chicken apparently. And we can make a lot of pretty good guesses about a lot of the other votes.
But, you may wonder why a senator will be motivating the inevitable — if ineffectual — votes against Kagan. This might shed a tiny bit of light…
Over and over, Ms. Kagan reminded the senators questioning her of their own duty to pass cogent, sensible — and constitutional — laws. The Supreme Court, she said, was not created to strike down foolish measures…
On Tuesday, for instance, Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, asked what should happen if Congress enacted a law requiring Americans “to eat three vegetables and three fruits every day.”
"It sounds like a dumb law," Ms. Kagan said. But she would not commit to striking it down. "I think that courts would be wrong to strike down laws that they think are senseless, just because they’re senseless," she said.
Okay, but what if it was, like, really senseless? What if we enacted a law requiring Americans to place the toilet paper roll into the dispenser so that the paper falls over the roll instead of hanging behind it? Well, what if we enacted a law making it illegal to acknowledge that there is a biologically taxonomic difference between alligators and crocodiles? How about a law requiring Americans wear spaghetti with clam sauce on their heads between the hours of 4 and 7 pm on alternating Thursdays? Because — mark my words! — we will do that!
Ms. Kagan repeatedly said she would show "great deference to Congress." Perhaps surprisingly, that was not what many senators seemed to want to hear. They appeared to want the Supreme Court to save them from themselves.
Please! You don't understand what we're capable of! As a body, we are effectively a seven-ton, mentally-handicapped sociopathic 9-year-old with intermittent rage disorder! We will kill us all!!!!
Tags: Arlen Specter, Elena Kagan, Orrin Hatch, Senate, Supreme Court, Tom Coburn