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« "Now if you'll excuse me, I'm dead." | Main | Happiness is appointing an extremist to the Supreme Court without having to worry about a filibuster »


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"Call and write your Senators and tell them what you want them to do."

Here are the addresses.

And if you say, "My Senators are Republicans." I say, call 'em and tell 'em you don't like Alito, and why do they? He's on record as not thinking much of Congressional power (Google "Alito and Rybar"); is that what you want?


Thanks for the link, Link. I called the both Schumer's and Clinton's local offices. They were swamped. The aide at Schumer's office said that all their calls were anti-Alito.


It's impossible to get through by phone to the California senators today. So even though it's not all that effective, I did send emails to their offices, even to the pure odiousness that is Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Jeff Medcalf

Two comments, one on the historical note and one on the current political note.

Washington's biggest impact, the thing he did that none of his generals except perhaps Lafayette could have done, was keeping the army in the field. Washington did this while continually fighting with Congress to get sufficient funding to pay and equip his troops. As long as we maintained an army in the field — even if it won no battles — European countries could plausibly trade with the colonies and enter into alliances with them without directly sparking a war with England. This is what prompted France (already at war with England) to support our cause, without which the English would not have been beaten (the French troops and even more their fleet raised the costs to the British to an unsustainable level).

The Democrats are all about fighting right now. But fighting pointlessly, expending their strength in losing battles without using those defeats to make gains elsewhere. If the Democrats want to win the House, Senate or Presidency (and they need to win at least one of them in the next four years if we don't want the Republicans to start acting like the Democrats under Johnson, as if the country was their private property), they need to focus on picking issues that resonate with voters. That in turn means getting serious about immigration and national security (both issues where Republicans are vulnerable to a principled, patriotic attack), and finding a way to make liberal social issues appealing. (Hint: universal gay marriage and unrestricted abortion rights may be popular with the activists, and bring in the cash, but they don't win elections.)

Frankly, I see the Democrats being soundly trounced this year, because there's nothing important in their positions. Democrats say Republicans are corrupt, and it's true, but voters still remember the Democrats' final years in power, and don't see much difference. Democrats say Republicans are ruining the economy, but you look around and see the economy booming along and that message isn't going to sell any more than last time around, when the case for that was much better. Worse yet, hounding deficits doesn't cut it either, because nobody cares (even though they should) and those that care don't see the Democrats as being any better.


"Economy booming along?"

From WAPO:

The 1.1 percent growth rate in the fourth quarter marked a considerable loss of momentum from the third quarter's brisk 4.1 percent pace. The fourth-quarter's figure - lower than the 2.8 percent pace economists were forecasting - was the weakest performance since the final quarter of 2002, when the economy expanded at just a 0.2 percent rate.

Whose personal economy is booming? Mine ain't.



Here is what you wrote, among other things:
"The Democrats are all about fighting right now".

Really, enough said. And you got worse, in my opinion, from there. Rarely have a seen so many incorrect statements in so short a space.


I was with you through all of this piece -- which I think is great -- except for this part: "President Hillary"

I don't think it's going to happen -- and if it did, the kind of Democrat she represents is not the kind that stands and fights like we want them to.

(A President Boxer, now, or a President Conyers, or even a President Gore...)


I guess my email to Senator Feinstein's office worked. She's changed her mind and is going with the filibuster.


Atta boy, Mike! Now if only you could work your magic on the other wobbly-kneed Democrats.


Let's not count chickens too soon. Some of the Democrats may agree to vote "no" on cloture on Monday, but not agree to filibuster. Two different things, as I understand it.


Voting 'no' on cloture is not the same as a filibuster, Linkmeister? Explain the difference.

The Heretik

The British army never lost the war. The British traitors back in England lost the war for them. Or something.


Redbeard, as I understand it, it takes 60 votes to agree to cloture. If the majority can't reach 60, debate/filibuster can continue. So you could vote no on cloture without participating in the filibuster, which sounds like (and probably is) a good way to cover your backside if you think your constituents won't get it.

From a Findlaw article:

The filibuster is a U. S. Senate practice whereby a single Senator, or his minority party, can block full Senate consideration of a bill or nomination by extending debate on the proposal indefinitely. The resulting "filibuster" can ordinarily be stopped only by a "cloture" vote, which requires 60 of the 100 Senators (a supermajority) to vote to end debate, and bring the bill or nomination to a final vote.

The filibuster, obviously, plays a crucial role whenever only 50 to 59 Senators support a given bill or nomination. It can ensure that the proposal is not approved, despite the fact that a majority of the Senate (or half the Senate, plus the Vice President, who breaks ties) would approve the measure if a vote were taken.


Alternatively, you could just abstain on the cloture vote, which would mean the majority still couldn't reach 60 if enough Senators did it. Probably an even better way to CYA.


Probably the single most important decision that Washington made was to "innoculate" his army against smallpox which basically consisted of giving his soldiers smallpox but in a controlled situation; not in the field. George Washington actually accused the British of Biowarfare. Up to that point, Smallpox was responsible for a 40% casualty rate in the revolutionary army. By the way, the most successful technique for mobilizing soldiers was to promise tennant farmers that they could become "freeholders".

Regarding Mr. Alito, this is part of a process that began a long time ago when George Washington, the richest man in America, helped create the United States. The historian Charles Beard wrote "Inasmuch as the primary object of a government, beyond the mere repression of physical violence, is the making of the rules which determine the property relations of members of society, the dominant classes whose rights are thus to be determined must perforce obtain from the government such rules as are consonant with the larger interests necessary to the continuance of their economic processes, or they must themselves control the organs of government."

Alito will be doing his job by making sure that the rich control government which now days means that corporations will control government. BTW the New York times denounced Mr. Beard's writing; I rest my case.

Adorable Girlfriend

I would pay good money to see Frist's head explode from no more than three rows back. GOOD MONEY!

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