Count me among the people pleasantly surprised by Georgia. It really is something worth celebrating, all credit to everyone who worked hard to make it happen.
I’ve got two observations/questions. First, I would love a realistic assessment of what can be done in a 50/50 + KH Senate. Do any of you know of anyone writing anywhere who really knows the Senate rules? I’ll take for granted that Republicans will filibuster everything, but my dim understanding of the baroque rules of the worst remnant of slavery-driven compromise is that the filibuster has been tamed a bit. And, I’m seeing conflicting stories on whether 50+KH can adopt rules that eliminate or tame the filibuster.
My second observation is that Manchin probably won’t be as much of an obstacle as people think because there’s a lot of bread-and-butter, common-sense COVID-related legislation that in any reasonable legislative body would pass 90-10. A range of senators from Bernie to Manchin want that passed. If it is possible to get it voted on within the rules, you’ll have 50 + Kamala on board.
Edited to add: I’m reacting in part to this Kevin Drum post where he argues that current Senate rules preclude doing anything legislatively except a single vote on a bill via reconciliation.
Edit #2: OK, I guess if I read one of the papers I subscribe to, I’d know something:
With 51 votes, Democrats could confirm Biden’s nominees for Cabinet positions, for federal judgeships, and — if one came open — for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.
They could also use the legislative mechanism known as “reconciliation” to pass some legislation, if it is related to budgets or spending. That mechanism — which Democrats used to pass health-care reform in 2009 and Republicans tried to use to repeal it in 2017 — allows the Senate to pass legislation with just 51 votes.
But it is limited and could not be used to pass legislation unrelated to the budget. That sort of legislation is still subject to the filibuster rules, which require 60 votes for passage.
The Senate could, theoretically, change the rule setting that 60-vote threshold. But that sort of change seems unlikely: It would require support from every Democrat, and at least one — Joe Manchin III (W.Va.) — has said he won’t support it.
50+ can nuke Mitch’s tax scam bill, raise taxes on the rich, and massively expand the budget for social services.
Almost all appointments will go through, including judges.
Manchin will be mostly fine, but it’s not going to be progressive nirvana. Punch anyone setting unrealistic expectations.
I think voting rights reform gets passed.
I’m wondering who decides when the two new senators are sworn in. Until they are, we don’t have a majority. Can McConnell refuse to seat them until all litigation is settled (the twelfth of never)? Who is actually in charge after Biden and Harris are sworn in, and how will that be solved? Might Schumer be forced to make some kind of deal with McConnell to get them seated?
Manchin will be fine. Sanders is going to be the problem.
Although frankly, any Dem that wants to be a pain is going to do so. Cat herding just got a lot more difficult on the (D) side.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Besides Manchin, and Angus King, and Kirsten Synema, and John Hickenlooper, and Mark Kelly (who’s running again in 2022, I believe?), those “bread and butter issues” will be a lot more useful to prospective Senate candidates in FL, WI and PA than the wish list, the “policy demands!”, of the left-twitter echo chamber.
and one place I think idealism and pragmatism can be brought together: Make Ron Johnson, Marco Rubio and anybody who thinks they’re gonna be the GOP nominee in ’24 vote on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
I like Kevin. I read Kevin. He is such a Karen on so many issues though.
@Josie: There won’t be a deal. The timing will depend on Georgia state officials certifying the election.
Porter said they will be able to get the bills to the floor. She said Mitch blocked everything. She seemed to think that bills will get passed
The filibuster is not a law, but a Senate rule. It can be changed, as all Senate rules can, it says so in the Constitution. Will all of the Democrats be on board? That’s the big question.
The immediate big deal is that Biden gets a fully staffed Cabinet.
I am not so good at this politics stuff, but my prediction is that now that the balance of power has shifted, we will see movement within the Republican caucus. Murkowski, Romney, and possibly others can be picked off for particular bills.
So much moaning about Joe Manchin, but he understands power too and will be less of an obstruction than he’s been.
The filibuster is gone for appointments, including judges, so that’s a big big deal. Biden will be able to staff his Cabinet plus all of the lower-level appointed positions that a Republican Senate could block without the media caring much.
In terms of legislation, just controlling the floor calendar matters a lot. Another COVID relief bill, much needed? Maybe you can’t get it by a Republican filibuster, but you sure as hell can put them on the record voting against it.
Committee chairs. Who do you want chairing the budget committee, Lindsey Graham or Bernie Sanders? A big thank-you to Senator Graham for pointing out that choice…
IIRC, in 2001 the Senate was split 50/50 for six months. First, Gore was Senate Pres. for tie votes until Bush II’s inauguration. Then Cheney was. Then, sometime in the summer? Jim Jeffords switched from Rep. to Ind. and caucused with the Dems putting them in charge 51-49.
Again, from memory, they created rules which gave each party more representation on committees than normally happens.
Statehood for DC and PR ?
There is a political scientist named Molly Reynolds who’s a Congressional scholar and has written about what’s possible in a 50-50 Senate. You can follow her on Twitter and no doubt she’ll link to her pieces on it. Sorry, forget her handle, you’ll have to google it.
Let them fight.
Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix
Hopefully biden uses this to help us on Main Street but I feel he’ll do what obomber did when he had both houses. The bailing out of wall street, drone deaths, and not much of anything for us on Main Street.
@Patricia Kayden: “Root for injuries”
The Moar You Know
@Josie: yes, and he will. See the Franken/Coleman race for some history on that. Took nine months to seat Franken, and then we fell for a bullshit Republican rumor and turfed him out. Yes, I’m still outraged about that. Will be for the rest of my life.
Under current rules, a bare Dem majority will have to deal with Republicans filibustering everything except for judicial nominees, which are a straight-majority vote not subject to filibuster. That’s not going to be terribly helpful at this point; Trump/McConnell have packed the judiciary but good. Still, Breyer is probably going to retire or die soon, so having the ability to replace him will be good.
I would, were it up to me, not get rid of the filibuster in any way even though it’s going to be used to beat the shit out of us. A tied Senate with a bunch of really old folks in it and COVID running riot is a recipe for a very quick flip back to GOP control if someone dies and they’re from a state either run by Republicans (like Georgia, for example) or from a state that requires a special election to fill the seat and not just an immediate appointment. If we had a 54+ vote majority I’d feel a lot different about that. But we don’t.
We had a 50/50 Senate for a while during the first (I think) GWB administration. A look back at how we worked that out might be helpful.
Mike in NC
Over the past several years I’ve lost contact with virtually every Republican I ever knew socially. They insisted that Sarah Palin was a pure Heartland goddess and not a know-nothing nitwit from Alaska. Melania Trump wasn’t a Slovenian whore; she was a genius who was fluent in 14 languages. Fat Bastard wasn’t an illiterate bigoted shithead from Queens; he was a Sun King directly descended from Saint Ronald Reagan. Where do they find the Kool-Aid?
@WeimarGerman: No. Requires a Constitutional amendment(?) for DC and, last they were asked PR didn’t want it.
Note: getting tested for Covid-19 isn’t pleasant but it’s nowhere near as bad as I’ve heard.
@Belafon: Almost certainly not. You’re asking a bunch of senators from lightly populated states to cede a significant piece of leverage possessed by those states. That goes for Ds and Rs.
@Josie: I put this question out there yesterday and the consensus seemed to be that if the state certifies their senator, McConnell has to seat them. But he’s been such a norm-busting asshole these past several years that I wouldn’t put it past him to pull some kind of horseshit shenanigans to at least delay the process, just to fuck with Biden.
The Moar You Know
@WeimarGerman: DC would take it. PR may not; they’ve refused it every time it’s come to a vote. Also, be careful what you wish for; they’re very GOP friendly.
Also, yeah, what Spanky said; DC would require a constitutional amendment, which is just flat-out not going to happen.
@waratah: Who is Porter? Surely not Katie Porter, but that’s the Porter that comes to mind.
@jo6pac: Do you (or whomever coded you up) get paid for this and how much? I’d really like to understand the employment landscape of the 21st century and how lucrative influencing people online actually is.
Bloomberg tv mentioned that reconciliation bills will be important with a mostly 50/50 senate.
“Instead of needing 60 votes, a reconciliation bill only needs a simple majority in the Senate.
Reconciliation starts with the congressional budget resolution. The budget cannot be stalled in the Senate by filibuster, and it does not need the President’s signature.
If the budget calls for reconciliation, it tells certain committees to change spending, revenues, or deficits by specific amounts. Each committee writes a bill to achieve its target, and if more than one committee is told to act, the Budget Committee puts the bills together into one big bill.
That bill has special status in the Senate. Like the budget, it cannot be filibustered, and only needs a simple majority to pass.”
But I expect everything will change with the movements of a butterfly’s wings somewhere.
One thing I think will happen is Kamela will have to attend the Senate instead of acting as Joe’s right hand for awhile at least. I had the impression Joe was planning to keep her very in the loop because of his age and pandemic, sending her to do all kinds of things. Now she has to stay in Washington. Oh well.
I wish we could bring back earmarks. We need to make cooperation more rewarding to the citizens back home. Everybody thinks their needs are vital and everybody else’s are waste and fraud. I supported getting rid of them but I haven’t liked the reality. I am pretty sure that is why the extremists took over. It gave McConnel a lot more power.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Angus King is not a Democrat, does not support filibuster elimination, and I suspect a good many Democrats are happy to let him be the only fingerprints on this
I’ve always thought so, but a lot of people argue it can be done by Congress
@gvg: I’m pretty sure they want to bring back earmarks?
@The Moar You Know: No longer true: there was a straight-up “statehood, yes or no” referendum in 2020 and yes won. I don’t think there was a significant boycott movement.
Also, while the Republicans might well be competitive there, there have been polls indicating that they’d have overwhelmingly rejected Trump. I think it would be a mistake for Democrats to take the state of Puerto Rico for granted, but it’s a mistake to take anybody for granted. It would not be a solid red state.
“OH, WHAT A FEELING, WHEN WE’RE BLASTING THROUGH THE CEILING”
“SHOW ME ON THE DOLL WHERE 2021 TOUCHED YOU”
Over on Earth-10011 some undigested scraps of critical thought have been heard to whisper that, while the choice of the British Establishment and its various administrative sub-castes to summon the eldritch abominations known as the Many Angled Ones from whichever hellscape dimension birthed them and seat their Cyclopean Primordalities as humanity’s eternal masters atop thrones carved from frozen screams and severed lifespans was, in retrospect, almost certainly an overreaction to the perceived threat of a centre-left Government raising tax-rates slightly for the incredibly rich and partially nationalising the worst rent-seeking private monopolies, they can at least take some small microleak of comfort in the knowledge that when Baoht Z’uqqa-Mogg, The Bringer of Pestilence arches His scorpion tail across the blighted heavens the resulting plague will strike down multitudes swiftly, efficiently, and with an absolute minimum of bureaucratic fuss.
Here on this less ambitious Earth the British Establishment went for the much cheaper option of simply reinstalling the unflushed toilet known as the Conservative and Unionist Party as the party of Government with a much-increased Parliamentary majority and far fewer ambulatory vertebrates to stand in the way of history. As a result of their penny pinching and refusal to sacrifice (20,000 unbaptised newborns and all the left-handed women on the Isle of Man, as I recall) we might have avoided the horrific prospect of substantial investment in health and education, to say nothing of revamped national infrastructure, increases in wages and a stop to the relentless privitisation of vital public services, but it hasn’t all been a bed of roses. No, sir, it has not. Our plague distribution system has shown itself to be far from fit for purpose, despite the very best efforts of Government Ministers to leave numerous easily predicted failure points uncorrected and their speedy infliction of an endemic crony-culture on the mechanisms for pandemic response that has successfully leeched hundreds of billions of pounds into the accounts of Tory Party donors while starving front-line services of funds.
Incompetence. That’s the issue. Without the cosmic awareness and brain-melting coercive aptitude that the Great Old Ones use to mould their reality, our Conservatives have had to rely on the organisational skills and strategic nous available to the quality of slimy dullard Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson could trust to neither outshine nor outplot him, which hasn’t left a lot of ability to work with. Despite having every single advantage available to a British political party, like an endlessly credulous and mostly partisan Press working hard to shield their actions from Public outrage and an Opposition Party run by people seemingly happy to saw their own arms and legs off and roll about wearing their flayed skins as mankinis in the vain hope that Rupert Murdoch might, one day, grace them with a favourable headline, they’ve still managed to cock up so exhaustively that people might (just might) be waking up to the possibility that that funny fat bloke off the telly who they voted for because he reminded them of a posh Benny Hill could, in fact, be responsible for the deaths of 100,000 people and the absolute devastation of the British economy in only just over a year.
Whocuddaknown? (raises hand)
Back in March people accepted the Lockdown and overwhelmingly complied with its strict limits on normal life because they were very scared and many naively assumed that the Government was following scientific guidance and had a plan. That all went up in greasy smoke back in Summer when Flobalob’s Russian-appointed ‘top’ and far-Right adjacent Infowar guru Dominic Cummings first shat all over the Lockdown restrictions by driving up north for a couple of family birthday parties, then rubbed the entire country’s noses in the cold, crusted dog-turd of his contempt by hosting a press event in the Downing Street garden where he denied doing anything wrong and dared anyone to take a swing at him. Johnson’s subservient defence of his handler’s entitled arrogance broke the public’s trust in the “We’re All In It Together” mantra and made it very plain that the ruling elites had nothing but contempt for anyone who believed it. Combined with Johnson’s early end to the Spring Lockdown and the subsequent promotion of an ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ campaign to transfer many, many more billions into the pockets of junk-food franchises, the fiction was out there for those who wanted it that the pandemic was more or less over and everything could go back to normal. From late Summer scientists were screaming into the void that another Lockdown was vital to prevent a truly massive surge in infections over the winter months, but other than a short (and as far as I could see barely observed) semi-Lockdown in November the message from the Government was the same. Look after yourselves, prioritise the parts of the economy that donate money to us, don’t blame us when it all goes wrong. Oh, and let’s get Brexit done.
And that’s how we got here. A national Lockdown rushed into place with very little in the way of planning, a National Health Service so underfunded and hollowed out by out-sourcing that the only thing keeping it from collapsing right this second is the selfless dedication of its exhausted staff, and a Public rapidly losing faith in any hope that this half-arsed response to unpunished failure will achieve much of anything without a complete reboot of the Government’s pandemic response that’s simply not going to happen. Oh, and the rumbling avalanche of Brexit Sovereignty just about to start dumping the full weight of its flag-flossed glory onto what’s left of our society.
We’re doomed. No Georgia on our minds here in the Lands Under the Shadow. All we’ve got to look forward to is…. uhhhhh….. let me get back to you on that.
‘Staged’ with David Tennant and Michael Sheen is quite good fun, but that’s it.
Filibuster isn’t going anywhere. But Democrats need to figure out how to jam important common-sense stuff that people broadly support but the GOP would ordinarily filibuster (voting rights reform being at the top of the list) into a reconciliation bill in 2021.
Biden and team also need to prepare to make McConnell and Co. look like they have been dragging their feet when it comes to judicial nominations as well. Not a single empty seat left unfilled before the 2022 midterms. I also sincerely hope Breyer retires after this term, as soon as Schumer has the keys.
Just Some Fuckhead
I think we need to lower expectations to the bare minimum. Even so, every failure to overcome Republican obstruction will be proof Democrats are worse than Republicans to the Gin & Tacos of the world.
If I were Biden, I would tell reluctant Democrats that the reason to get rid of the filibuster is that otherwise I would have to rule by executive order, and that needs to end.
@The Moar You Know:
What’s the reasoning for that? I know there is a federal city in the Constitution, but if it required a constitutional amendment to change the size of that city, Arlington, VA would still be part of DC. Just redefine the Federal City to be the Capitol grounds and the mall and the rest can be a state.
Just being able to bring bills to the floor will force the waffling Republicans to shit or get off the pot. They’ve been hiding behind Mitch to never have to stick their necks out for far too long
Edited to make this comment 100% grain free
They are back.
To start reconciliation can repeal Trump’s tax bill and spend the 2 trillion dollars saved.
This is what I fear, especially after what happened in Pennsylvania this week. It was almost as though that was a practice run for what could happen in the U. S. Senate.
And the only reason McConnell hasn’t end the filibuster is that he doesn’t care about governing. Senate Majority Leader McCarthy would have had no problem ending it.
Gosh I miss John Lewis today, but know today, he’d be so proud to know that GA is sending a Jewish person and a black person to Congress.
The image of his dancing to Happy, overshadows the orange man dancing to YMCA. RIP Representative Lewis.
@The Moar You Know:
The last time PR voted, they approved statehood.
@PAM Dirac: There’s still a weird by-product to deal with–constitutionally, the largely uninhabited federal city would still get three electoral votes in presidential elections, separate from the rest of DC’s three.
@Belafon: McCarthy is House not Senate.
@Belafon: If I’m Jon Tester or Angus King, I understand the argument as completely as I am unswayed by it.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Benw: I don’t really think “make ’em take a hard vote” works any more. The sides are too polarized. There just isn’t any significant middle left to float either way and reward or punish.
@jo6pac: I say this with all kindness: Go fuck yourself. Obama prevented the economic collapse of this country and set it on a rising course until Trump derailed it with his COVID failure. I and millions of Americans would not have healthcare except for Obamacare. If you maintain this is “nothing for Main Street”, you are either so insulated that these things mean nothing to you or you are acting in bad faith.
Don’t forget the Congressional Review Act (I may be misremembering the name), whereby Congress can nuh-uh basically anything Trump does/has done in his last 60 days and was used gluttonously at the beginning of Tubby’s* reign.
*(Roy Edroso’s nickname for President Shithead)
Yesterday someone said something to the effect: let’s enjoy the moment and not obsess over ’22’s Senate map. Agreed. Well it’s a new day! 22 favors Dems, so assuming Rethug obstruction every way possible, as soon as possible bring to the floor everything you can to get the 22s on record. Also too, the few non-koolaid drunk R’s can sense the wind shift and you might be able to peel off a few votes here-and-there to actually achieve something by more than 51-50. Optimism does not come naturally to me, but after last night… ?.
But don’t get me started on Presidential Parties’ House midterm results!
@jo6pac: Who is obomber? You sound like an idiot.
@Tony Jay: Do you think Margaret Thatcher, toasting away in wherever she is, will notice?
My condolences on The Left’s crushing defeat last night.
@jo6pac: Is this a parody account?
If they aren’t going to eliminate the filibuster, then they need to put a lot of “good” bills out there and actually enforce a real filibuster. Make it painful. One of the biggest mistakes made was allowing of the painless silent filibuster. Put a face to the person keeping you from receiving better healthcare, a larger stimulus, etc.
Rewrite the filibuster rules to put the burden fully on the group filibustering. So they have to hang out in chambers the entire time. And have it setup so Dem senators can rotate out of chambers as needed.
if anyone talks about bringing back blue slips or tried to bring it back, they need to be taken out back and shot.
Was reconciliation used to pass health care? I seem to recall that a public option needed to be dropped to get Leiberman’s 60th vote.
Wow. Is this what I think it is? A live feed from the center ring in D.C?
From the anti-maskers to these nutjobs, America can be pretty weird sometimes.
Just a fun fact re: Ossoff’s historic moment —
It was 105 years ago that Leo Frank was lynched in Marietta, GA.
Your idea of “fun” facts is a little bit demented.
I can see where that could lead to some interesting shenanigans, which might lessen enthusiasm for the legislative route to DC statehood, but still doesn’t mean DC statehood is constitutionally prohibited.
@WaterGirl: yes, I caught her on MSNBC this morning
The main bill was passed with 60 Dem votes in the Senate. Then after Scott Walker took office, the Dems used reconciliation to amend the main bill.
@PsiFighter37: Yep. Judicial nominations need to be prioritized. Let’s be as (or more) aggressive about filling judicial vacancies as McConnell has been.
I don’t see why there needs to be any waiting once the results are recognized by Georgia. In the end, the lawsuits are all going to die once the orange mongrel is out of power. After Jan 20th, the man is going to disappear.
@Baud: I shouldn’t laugh but wow. That’s an odd fun fact indeed.
Couldn’t Congress pass a law allocating those 3 electors to the winner of the popular vote?
The sheer volume of uric acid in the soil above her silver-sealed casket blocks most ethereal emanations, but I like to think the evil old lich is spinning around like a stripper’s tassel at the thought of a humanoid mouldspore like Johnson slobbing all over her former sinecure.
One thing the Dems can do in the Senate with 51 votes is use the Congressional Review Act to get rid of Trump-enacted regulations. That alone would be a big improvement.
@Baud: Ahhh… but Scott Brown instead of Scott Walker.
@Baud: Sure, or pass a law saying no electors will be chosen, but any law can be overturned by another law and I think there would be a lot of temptation to sneak devious ways to claim those 3 votes into other legislation.
They’re playing Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting. I don’t think Sir Elton or Mr Taupin will be pleased.
ETA: None of the audience appears to be masked.
@The Moar You Know:
The Puerto Rican Vote in Central Florida almost carried Biden over the winning, and I remind you as with every Latino constituency, you’ll find from right-wing conservatives to bonafide socialist. We are a diverse bunch. As to your statehood assertion, that is incorrect given the results of the most recent plebiscite.
Helping WV I think with an agenda that helps them through Joe will strengthen Joe’s position there and hopefully open the door for a more progressive agenda as well.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Old School: it seems like a hundred years ago, but my recollection is there was a lot of opposition to the PO in the Senate, and probably more than were willing to speak up. I forget now if it was Mary Landrieu or Blanche Lincoln who gave a speech so critical of the bill people thought she was going to vote against it, then she voted for it.
I forget at which point someone hit on the idea of putting in a Medicare buy-in, Anthony Weiner started shouting about it, and because he hated Weiner even more than he hated most other Democrats, Lieberman took great pleasure in telling every camera he could find he wouldn’t vote for it, but even the O’Bros concede that even beyond Lieberman, it was never going to get 60 votes. Then Scott Brown happened.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Baud: Scott Brown.
@Baud: @Patricia Kayden:
It’s true my sense of fun has transmogrified this past year.
But for me it’s “fun” in the sense that it is not only some of the pollution of racism that is being washed away in Georgia with Warnock’s win, but some of the poison of anti-semitism as well.
Jews (and Blacks) will replace them?
Get COVID under control with an effective vaccination program, lockdowns, and a massive stimulus to get people and businesses through the lockdowns. Shift to an equally massive infrastructure program with plenty of pork to get both sides on board. Include a clean energy/climate change component in that. Pass voting rights/safeguards to counteract, as much as possible, the expected suppression from R held states. With luck this can be done without ending the filibuster (too many Ds wouldn’t vote for that), and would put the country in a much better place going into 2022.
The judiciary ratio (other than the SC) hasn’t really changed all that much under Trump – a lot of the appointments have been replacing one conservative with another. What damage that has been done can be countered during the next four years.
We finally have a path. Not an easy one, but certainly better than what we had yesterday…if Ossoff holds.
BS bro of Balloon Juice remains true to form.
The moaning and bitching has already started. Can’t we celebrate a win even for a day?
@Just Some Fuckhead: Thank you. I got my soulless white guys confused.
“…could not be used to pass legislation unrelated to the budget…”
Is there anything that doesn’t involve spending money? (Besides, which budget is that? There hasn’t been an actual Federal budget for decades.)
Just Some Fuckhead
@Baud: You meet one Scott, you’ve met ’em all.
I know. It is pretty sweet.
You’ve clearly spent a bit of time thinking about this.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Max Baucus, who initially was for a public option, nixed it before it got out of committee, I think (could be wrong on the details). Lieberman was also opposed, as you note. Those blue dogs are all gone now, thankfully.
@Patricia Kayden: You love to see it. The first thing they should do is bring up the $2,000 covid relief checks plus state and local aid and watch them twist in the wind.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: The ACA did get 60 votes. It passed 60-39. After Scott Brown was elected, the best option available was for the House to pass the Senate bill as nothing else was going to get through. In 2010, a reconciliation act was used to adjust subsidies and taxes related to it.
(I’ve consulted Wikipedia to fill in some details.)
It’s a very good morning. Congratulations to everyone who made it possible.
I agree with many of the comments above. My $0.02.
@JWR: Well no trump yet. I watched for a few minutes (no sound on) supplying my own dialogue and thought bubbles to the assembled masses yearning to be warm in the 40 degree weather.
I may check back in later.
@tomtofa: On federal judges. I don’t have the exact number right now, but quite a few federal judges who were eligible over the last two years did NOT take senior status. Senior status for an Article 3 judge is when they reach 65 and their time in service added equals at least 80.
Once a Judge takes senior status, their position is available for appointment to be filled. The insider info is that a bunch of these judges — both those appointed by Republicans and Democrats — were waiting to give (Biden or whoever) a chance to replace them rather than Trump.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
@The Moar You Know: Didn’t they just vote in November for statehood? It was a non-binding resolution, but it passed.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@PJ: Yeah, Baucus doesn’t get enough attention for how he fucked up the whole process, in no small part because Chuck Grassley was his friend. I listened to Obama’s book, and as I recall while he goes pretty easy on Baucus, you can feel his frustration after all this time. He also doesn’t care if Olympia Snowe sends him a Christmas card. Portrays her as a dithering fraud (in very Obama terms, of course).
Sanders will be Sanders.
Question for Maine people – how solid is King?
Note that it’s an option, but it gets the process rolling there.
The sweet release of death? Which, you might note, the inhabitants of Earth-10011 don’t have — their bodies may be destroyed, but their souls will writhe forever in the twisted mind-palaces of the Elder Gods…
@Immanentize: I found this just on federal courts of appeal!
That is a significant number.
Changing the written rule on cloture requires a super-majority. Creating exceptions to it — precedents — can be done by simple majority. There are literally thousands of precedents in the Senate. No one but the Parliamentarian knows what the the actual rules that apply to a particular situation are. The exceptions can be narrow, eg, on judicial nominations excluding the Supreme Court. Manchin and the rest may not support removing the filibuster completely, but may agree to support narrow exceptions.
Oh, goodness no! But the video’s no longer streaming live stuff, just some overgrown teenager named Erik whining about the size, (or lack thereof), of Joe Biden’s rallies. And you’re right, it’s a largely unmasked gathering of groupies.
” Let’s be as (or more) aggressive about filling judicial vacancies as McConnell has been. ”
Does that mean we can fill them with crazy, unqualified 19-year-old left-wingers? I am in.
Great comment, Scott. I will be happy today for all the good things we can do more easily now.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Just occurred to me: Susan Collins sold her soul to trump in part because she was in line to be Appropriations chair. I’m not sure how the new Senate will shake out, but I’m pretty sure she won’t be.
@Immanentize: The federal courts are also over-burdened and could use expansion. Whether this needs 60 votes or not, I don’t know, but you can expect Republicans to do what they can to block expansion because it would mean more Democratic judges.
Not to mention the time saved from little to zero stonewalling.
Josh Marshall considered this question over at TPM and concludes that even a bare majority is a big fucking deal. An excerpt:
Jim, Foolish Literalist
If only there were some way to explain that to twitter loud mouths….
@Edmund Dantes: This x1000. I hate that the way the filibuster works right now is completely contrary to the meaning of the verb itself. Make ’em talk publicly, and at least pretend to articulate a justification for why 40 Senators, usually representing about a third of the nation’s population, should be able to stop whatever meaningful piece of legislation is at hand.
@jo6pac: Is jo6pac some kind of cypher for Doomposting Buzzkill?
They need to give whoever run Biden’s social media accounts a huge raise. Champ tweeted that he and Major resolved to “accidently” dig up the Rose Garden so it can be restored to its old beauty. Just imagining Twitler’s tantrum if he sees that gives me a happy.
A Black man and a Jewish man walk into the Senate …
It’s no joke that they give me such hope for the country’s being able to edge toward normality.
@frosty: Old troll. The Dems’ success is bringing them back.
@Mary G: Hahaha. That’s great.
Another advantage is that Judge Breyer can retire from the Supreme Court now without being replaced by a lunatic, crook, or both.
@Pragmatic Idealist: The Moscow Mitch tax bill is a problem, but $2T (over 10 years) is a drop in the bucket for what the country needs to spend on the Trump Plague and all the rest.
Currently, according to FRED, the US GDP level is $21.1T. Very roughly, average US GDP over the next 10 years is projected to be around $26T a year, or around $260T total. 2/260 < 1%.
The Moscow Mitch tax bill is a problem because it shifts yet more money to the rich (who aren't spending it) while the bottom 50% are still struggling to stay above water (and have been for 40 years or more). It needs to go. But we need to be spending much, much more to fix the problems in this country.
@Spanky: It has long been my opinion that, with regard to Puerto Rico, since statehood has been offered and refused by them on numerous occasions, and I am probably going get roasted here, it is time to let Puerto Rico be it’s own country.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Do not trust a hope, in that regard.
@gvg: I agree that the end of earmarks has been one of the less-often remarked on reasons that all this went to shit. Unfortunately, I’m not sure re-establishing that tool does much now. Might be worth a try, or it might just facilitate more GOP graft and corruption.
They can take a number and join Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, Eric Burdon, and the estates of Leonard Cohen and Tom Petty on line.
@Doc Sardonic: you do know all Puerto Rican citizens are US citizens, right? And that you cannot just “uncitizen” a US citizen, right?
I’m not “roasting” you for your idea as an idea, I’m just pointing out it is not informed. It is as reasonable as “Trump won.”
@Just Some Fuckhead: HEY!!11ONE.
@schrodingers_cat: Agreed 100%. That was my take as soon as I saw the post title. FFS, let’s take a deep sigh of relief today and not start pissing and moaning about what might happen next.
@jo6pac: nice try!
Don’t sell yourself short, that’s more like $20.00 than $0.02.
Do… do they know about Elton John?
Question: are these the same liberals who screamed at everyone to shut up about RBG dying in office instead of retiring in 2016, and that we didn’t have any right to tell anyone else when they should or shouldn’t retire?
Yep. Today is a day to celebrate. We have one definite and one apparent Democratic Senator-Elect from Georgia. Today the Electoral College will meet to confirm Biden’s win.
GA election official Gabriel Sterling said at a press conference that Ossoff is very likely to win. By more than 0.5%. Womp womp.
Just Some Fuckhead
@david: Nothing like a recent object lesson to bring home the point. Progress is larger than one person.
@david: Don’t know don’t care. No one has any control over Breyer.
Brookings from December 2018:
tl;dr – Donnie and Moscow Mitch got a lot of scary headlines, but didn’t really change the federal courts that much (except for SCOTUS – Grrr…).
Confidently awaiting the NYT editorial article by Joe Lieberman advising Dems on exactly what, how and why they should compromise on everything Biden ran on.
Because bipartisanship and reasons.
Can you really force a vote when the filibuster still exists? It seems the last time Mitch was the minority leader something over 400 bills were “filibustered”, and never actually brought to the floor. Do I misunderstand that?
@JWR: Well, he was scheduled to speak an hour ago but is just starting now. That’s a really cool clear bulletproof (?) wall they have built for him. I don’t listen to his voice so my work here is done.
@Elizabelle: All the data journalists have called it for Ossoff. It is only a matter of time before it is official. This calls for a celebration not an nth version of how have the Ds failed you today post.
@Mary G: Yea! Great news!
@david: With men like Breyer, suggestions are made regarding his retirement but clearly people understand it is up to HIM. Contrary RBG, people (some of whom are my friends) were telling RBG she must retire and indicated the decision should not be up to HER.
CAN YOU IDENTIFY THE DIFFERENCE?
@Wyatt Salamanca: “They got Al Capone for tax evasion, but they got Donald Trump for copyright infringement. And tax evasion.”
@Baud: Con man all the way!! /s
@schrodingers_cat: And all the — ha ha ha ha — here’s how people are going to treat the Democratic fail monkeys.
The usual suspects haven’t even said or done it yet, but here is all the shit coming Dems’ way.
And from jackals here. I do not think much of this “humor.”
Fuckers stealing what little joy we are allowed.
Helps me sleep when the laudanum dreams get too same-same.
@Mary G: 2021 is starting off on the right foot!!
Best use of ALL CAPS that I have seen in a very long time.
@Baud: Thanks for posting that. Go Hillary!
Why yes, yes I can.
Don Jr. and Rudy are both losing it bigly. It’s high time that Giuliani be fitted for a straitjacket.
@Immanentize: Yes, I am quite aware of that, but it is and always has been a sore spot with me that they get all the benefits of being a state and when offered statehood the answer has always been, up until the last vote, NO.
This also means no more bullshit committee hearings in the Senate about Hunter Biden’s laptop or Benghazi or whatever.
@Another Scott: Thanks — that was good. Trump did do some serious damage on the DC Circuit too, but most of that can be rebalanced in four years.
An interesting fact that may be memory more than complete data, but Reagan appointed judges went back to lucrative practice faster than other President’s appointees. Judging is actually hard work and is well, but not super-, compensated.
I am hoping for a similar effect from this group of Trump Judges.
Seems like I read a fairly recent interview with Breyer in which he didn’t seem in a big hurry to retire, but that was before it looked like the Dems would take control of the Senate. If he retires, Thomas drops dead and Kavanaugh is incapacitated by a tragic keg-stand incident, we’ll be back in business!
@Immanentize: Yes. I can.
Breyer is looking at a Democratic president who would replace him.
RBG was gambling on a Democratic administration following Obama’s, but it did not.
I know it’s not a popular idea here, but the fabulous RBG gambled and lost. We did not “fail her.” We voted by millions for a Democratic president to succeed Obama. We won the vote by millions, but the victory was stolen by the Electoral College.
RBG had more control over her own actions than those of millions upon millions of American citizens.
It’s not just “misogyny.” Please.
PS: for those who will whine “But Mitch McConnell” — we’re entering alternative history territory here, aren’t we?
I hope karma hits McConnell hard, and a few times, over that stolen USSC seat.
True, but on their cursed globe – no Coldplay.
This may not be the best place to share your schemes, Betty.
Trump is spreading the usual lies and bullshit to his rally audience — claiming he won, etc. etc.
@WaterGirl: I’m really not an all-caps guy. But sometimes….
PS. I try to leave the all-caps to another church lady who brings the art to the form.
My thoughts: Take a day and celebrate!
I would rather have the issues with a 50-50 Senate, than a Mitch Senate.
Enjoying today and a good sleep later.
@Betty Cracker: It could happen!
I don’t usually disagree with you, but we absolutely failed her and ourselves in 2016.
I’m not even close to being sick of all the winning
Don Jr. is the clearest example of a rich brat who has never suffered any hard consequences for anything except the pain caused by his father’s cold heart.
Anybody know whether these are binding, or if Biden has the ability to nullify them?
“Senate Minority Leader McConnell” does have a nice ring to it.
@Doc Sardonic: You might ask yourself who was behind/funded previous anti-statehood campaigns.
Hurricanes have an enlightening effect.
smedley the uncertain
@hitless: Roubles or yuan?
@Immanentize: Excellent news.
@Baud: But that was a possible outcome, Baud.
Which is my point.
I know that too many did not vote in 2016 (and fuck them!), but the Electoral College elevated an illegitimate president. Trump was sure not shrieking about fraud in the swing states then. I think it may have happened. Certainly, there was more voter suppression than in 2020.
This was a known possible outcome.
And with that, I will drop it. Today is a day to celebrate our Georgia results and all the hard work, and every single day is a day to smile on thinking about the valiant RBG.
Gonna be smiling every single day about the valiant Stacey Abrams, too. She is my new secular saint.
@Amir Khalid: I’m taking a schadenfreude day and switching between MSNBC and CNN. Neither are carrying Trump’s remarks. Amy K is ripping Cruz and Hawley brand new a-holes on CNN.
“MERRICK GARLAND is Biden’s Attorney General nominee” per Politico
I know Amy has her issues, but I’ve kind of developed a soft spot for her.
@Woodrow/asim: Wow. Suck on that, Mitch.
Whoa. Elections have consequences.
well fuck, looks like I got to change my password.
@Doc Sardonic: PS. Puerto Rico certainly does not get all the benefits of Statehood. They have been run by as vicious a governing board of Republican idealogues as Iraq was after the Gulf War. They privatized everything not nailed down and decimated PR infrastructure. Which is one reason Maria was so devastating to the island.
An underestimated result.
@Baud: OMG! That alone is victory enough for me.
So Biden wanted Garland but wanted to make sure he could replace his seat. Smart guy.
“ I’ll take for granted that Republicans will filibuster everything, but my dim understanding of the baroque rules of the worst remnant of slavery-driven compromise is that the filibuster has been tamed a bit.”
Well, I think the response to the above is, “yes and no.”
Yes, in that the # of votes required to stop a filibuster was reduced a while back from 67 (2/3) to 60 (3/5); that makes it somewhat easier to stop a filibuster.
No, in that what a “filibuster” is has changed for the worse. In the (bad old?) days, to “filibuster” meant “after getting the floor, talk nonstop for hours on end, because if you gave up the floor, the filibuster was effectively over.” In other words, although it was a clear abuse of a senator’s right to keep the floor as long as he (male pronoun used intentionally, because in that era, pretty much everyone other that Margaret Chase Smith of Maine was a “he”) wished, it was PITA to actually mount a filibuster, as you couldn’t even take a quick bathroom break while you gummed up the procedural works.
Today, you don’t even have to talk for a minute to conduct your “filibuster”; all you have to do, essentially, is to say “I’m going to filibuster,” and then it takes 60 votes to move the bill along (OK, that’s a bit of a simplification, but it’s close to right).
IMHO, the main problem with the filibuster today is that it is way to easy. Back in the day, because of the challenges to mounting and carry out a filibuster, filibusters only occurred when an issue was of such great importance to a senator (or group thereof) that they were willing to put themselves to great personal inconvenience.
@Another Scott: I’ll see you $0.02 and raise you a nickel. Nice list. Fingers crossed
OMG just saw the Merrick Garland note and laughed very out loud. Sweet.
@Baud: I love Amy K.
From the Politico story:
This is a developing story.
I am sure Sally Yates will get something brilliant, too. We need to go after corruption so hard, and it will take more than one superb AG.
@Baud: Jeez. It’s almost like … Biden thinks ahead. Or something.
And we’ve still got Doug Jones and Sally Yates and all the wonderful professionals who can fill important slots; do important work.
Shithead just told the crowd he was going to march to the Capitol with them!
@Woodrow/asim: That is not a good choice, IMO.
@Betty Cracker: I’ll tune in to MSNBC too, then.
lovelysoothing chamber music at the moment, but that will be around other days with less history happening.
PS: still laughing over the kegstand accident quip.
@Baud: Hmmm, I think they could!
To say “Fuck You” to mush mouth McConnell.
If Mitch an alter the deal, so can Joe.
Rather see Doug Jones as AG, but Garland is better than fine.
Corporate donor money is their life blood. This can’t be good, if true.
So does RIP McConnell.
I had to go to bed and count not deal with the early closeness of results. Great news so far this morning.
Great practical questions. I will be going back over this thread soon. It should be easier for Democrats to craft legislation.
@Danielx: “Disgraced former Senate Leader Mitch McConnell” sounds even better.
@Baud: It is cute, not a great idea. Garland will be fine — he is smart and knowledgeable and respected by many. But he is 68 and will be opposed throughout his tenure just because it looks like a cute thing to do rather than a serious thing.
ETA:. All that said, I hope he decides to argue some cases before the Court! That would be must-listen radio.
You both seem pleased with this choice. What does Garland bring that the other top candidates don’t?
edit: I now see that Imm does not seem pleased.
I don’t know enough about Garland. Is he a Look Forward Not Back guy, or a We Need To Investigate What They Were Up To guy?
@Wyatt Salamanca: Amy K on CNN says it’s because Garland is respected on both sides of the aisle and will bring credibility back to the DOJ. Important, obviously. But man, we need someone with the fire in the belly to fight corruption and reform the justice system. I hope Garland is up to those tasks too. I really don’t know anything about it him except he seems to have a lot of integrity and is considered a “moderate.”
@germy: Or it might end up very good for us! Perspective!
I guess that sucks for those private interests – I don’t think they got any money back right from the U.S. govt? They must be crying in their cups.
They’ll likely be eager to sell it all back to the govt (at a loss, fuckers!)
I don’t think it’s cute. I don’t know why Biden chose him over the others, but he’s well respected as a judge.
I heard Hitler speeches that had less screaming.
@Woodrow/asim: Garland is a good person. We can appoint a younger judge. I’m of the opinion Doug Jones, prosecutor of the KKK Birmingham church bombers would be effective AG and powerful symbolic choice. Hope there’s room for Doug Jones somewhere else in the administration.
@WaterGirl: I’m not that pleased. What makes you say that? It’s not a terrible choice, but there were better IMO. But I’m not President. Thank Dog!
Gonna have to find some good recipes for political fiber.
Republicans who didn’t jump on the Trump Train have to explain themselves to their base:
He’s trying to reason with the tiger whose tail he grabbed.
This is the big win – we are going to get the kind of cabinet people Biden wants with no compromises.
The GOP is going to reap the whirlwind. Let them cry because they are going to cry. I’m looking forward for the next two years after this shit show.
@germy: He is a “Don’t be hasty, Barooom” kinda fellow. It will frankly depend entirely on the Assistants who get appointed. Doug Jones could head up Civil Rights Division. That would be some sweet shit!
ETA Except for his age, he really would have been an excellent SCOTUS Justice. Smart, hard working, careful…. But the AG also has to be seriously politically adept. I’ve just never seen that side of Judge Garland, maybe it’s there….
@Betty Cracker: The Attorney General will have a team.
And perhaps some special prosecutors are in order.
Legal and investigative and legislative work to go around for lots of legal and professional talent.
@Immanentize: Check out my edit. I saw that you weren’t pleased after I posted my comment.
Joe didn’t call me for my opinion on this one!
Three years too late, sparky. These people….
@germy: I’m tempted to retweet Lindsey Graham’s if we nominate Trump it will destroy us at him every five seconds or so.
Maybe he can start bragging “This is yuuuge! This has never happened before!”
Yes, we can start to ignore him.
@Immanentize: Yes. Thinking Doug Jones for Civil Rights.
The Voting Rights Act.
Will Nancy Pelosi bring up her first bill from previous Congress, which former leader McConnell blocked? So much work to do.
@Patricia Kayden: Daniel Dale should put up animal videos.
@Betty Cracker: Why Garland? He has a very good reputation for probity. He is non-ideological. In many ways, he is the opposite of Bill Barr. Biden could have chosen his own Bill Barr, but clearly he wants to rebuild trust in the Justice Department instead. Garland was a federal prosecutor before he was a judge and will have the respect of career members of the department. Individual persecutorial decisions should be made below the AG level, and having Garland as AG will help counter arguments that pursuit of criminal charges against Trump or his cronies is political. I have been touting Hillary Clinton for AG, but Biden has clearly decided to go in the opposite direction. And he gets an important judgeship out of it. (I knew Garland when I was a student and have a bias in his favor.)
I love it!
@Betty Cracker: Who did you want instead?
He’s gonna get primaried.
Hillary just did it.
@Mary G: there should be an app for that!
Mistermix. New thread just up.
Moving from Obstruction to Constipation to James Comey.
Hard pass. Let’s please fucking be happy today. Please, please, please.
@Elizabelle: ? He may do so after spending four plus years of his life covering Trump’s million big and little lies.
citizen dave (aka mad citizen)
@germy: Hey that’s my senator. Who when contacted by our media his office said he would be making a statement after the event. I am PISSED that he couldn’t say anything beforehand. I’m really happy today and not trying to gloom it, but as I listen to the crazy guy talk, have to wonder how this would go if Mitch and the whole party decided to go with the coup idea. We want lots of Town Halls in the future. Senator Young will be running in two years. I want the press to ask the sane republicans whether trump and the crazy element is making them think about leaving the republican party.
ETA: I watched the video with Senator Young–wow, I’ve never seen him act like a human being before. (Narrator: He is usually a robotic man.)
@Elizabelle: The John Lewis VRA has already been reintroduced in the House, even before the GA runoffs (or more accurately at the same time). Nancy is not messing about.
The MAGA are desperate. Their four year schadenfreude binge is about to come to a slamming stop, and all of their This One Weird Tricks have failed to change things. Even for the most insane, denial is losing its grip and anger is setting in. They have two options they’ve convinced themselves must be real left. One is today, the other is a military coup. I get the impression most of them know the coup won’t happen, so they are really, really losing their shit over today.
@Immanentize: I think Breyer should retire too…BUT one of the differences is she had serious cancer twice. That makes a big difference in my opinion.
Another difference is we already lost the majority in the court because of her.
I am still annoyed at her. The current court is a threat to my health and peoples lives and she knew the importance.
Also remember: someone here (Adam?) was mentioning that a lot of Biden appointees will serve 2 years and then out. Maybe from exhaustion.
We are going to be surprised at the amount of damage in the agencies.
Let me check with noted Constitutional scholars Brian Remy, Lin Wood, and Donald Trump Jr.
@Elizabelle: It’s time to tell Chrome to increase the font size, I guess. My eyes are growing dim with age.
@Elizabelle: Daniel Dale has the sweetest little fluffy pup that he tweets pics (and viddys) of all the time named — Breezy.
Here’s one to make us all happy:
Just Some Fuckhead
@Patricia Kayden: I wanted Hillary Clinton wearing a hockey mask and carrying a chainsaw.
I’m far from sure, but I think John Roberts is looking to retire. I suspect he does not want to preside over 5 other batshit conservatives, and would rather go out looking dignified than be replaced by a conservative of any stripe.
@Raven: He’s not going to march anywhere. Maybe ride there on a golf cart, though.
We have seen the press coverage of that before: “Democratic Senate fails to pass stimulus bill” when the vote was 55-45 in favor with all Democrats voting in favor. Rather than: “GOP filibuster blocks Senate bill.” or even Better: “GOP minority filibuster blocks stimulus bill.”
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Already have some college friends posting stuff from Peter Daou about “If Democrats don’t radically transform the country, we know they don’t give a damn about the working class”.
When I pointed out this is literally impossible (high veto point system, bare majority with a coalition of senators, etc.) and all they were doing was setting up the Democrats for failure, they accused me of not wanting to hold government accountable and then said Biden and Harris were neoliberals.
Sigh. I see we’ve still got our share of idiots.
“March” meaning climbing aboard Golf Cart One?
“So sorry. No mask, no entry.”
@Frankensteinbeck: I would be amazed.
You’re right. He’ll be challenged by someone who’ll call him a backstabber or something.
No chance Roberts gives a Dem a chance to name his replacement.
@PST: That makes sense — thanks!
@Patricia Kayden: I was hoping for someone with civil rights and/or anti-corruption bona fides, but as long as the DOJ starts addressing our massive white collar crime/political corruption problem and takes policing reform seriously, I’m okay with whomever. Just asking the question.
@Baud: Ah ha ha HA HA
I’m still so traumatized by what 2016 revealed to me about this country…but things like this are making me laugh and laugh and laugh.
@Baud: Just along the BJ pedantry aisle: aren’t these nominations, or actually intended nominations, at this point, rather than appointments. Presidents nominate,
presidents-elect name candidates.
@PST: that’s very helpful, thanks.
@Baud: I love this. Payback to the turtle’s tweet wishing her a happy birthday.
Proud Boys are being kettled and maced by police. They’re so mad about this they’re stomping on the “thin blue line” flags they brought.
I’m so relieved. As everyone has mentioned Biden can staff his administration. We can appoint judges. We can bring our bills to a vote. There is so much small ball that will help so many people. Tidy up Obamacare. Stimulus. Actually enforce regulations. I don’t think we can hurt Republicans by bring up our bills they vote down or filibuster. I think we can inspire voters to support us when they see what we stand for. To me Georgia shows there are many people we can bring in of the sidelines. Here’s hoping Georgia and Arizona join Virginia as blueish states. I didn’t believe Virginia would swing the way it has. I love these surprises.
@jo6pac: how about take your obomer and shove it up your stupid, stupid ass and then fuck the fuck off.
This is a very good day. Let’s enjoy it.
Breezy! Breezy pup is what we need in our lives.
That’s an interesting comment about John Roberts. To see.
Yes. He’s not appointed until confirmed.
Mike in NC
Lindsey Graham predicted Trump would destroy the GOP. Seems like maybe he knew what he was talking about back in the day.
@Frankensteinbeck: unless Robert’s epilepsy or health is worse, I do not think he will be retiring for a Long time
Thomas is not in great health, neither is Sotomayor. Alito is just one insult away from a heart attack/stroke combo.
The court will be different in four years. Just different how, who knows?
@catclub: and @Baud:
This is not one I’m sure of. Just a suspicion.
Those future republicans are not people we can waste time worrying about.
@Betty Cracker: Knows the federal courts, knows the Justice Dept., widely respected and known for integrity. He’s there to do exactly what Biden said he would do, rebuild the JD as an apolitical agency that enforces the law. There certainly others that would be good AGs, but can’t quarrel with the choice. I’m not a big fan of using Justice to go after Trump and his accomplices, leave that to independent state prosecutors and political actors like Congress through investigatory hearings on issues like strengthening laws against money laundering, putting teeth in things like the Hatch Act and the Emoluments Clause.
me too. But the Al Franken model says we don’t have a 50-50 senate before March.
@Kelly: Maybe North Carolina, too.
This year’s election results were depressing (as were 2016’s), but it’s got a lot to give it Purple or Blue State escape velocity.
So proud of Georgia and Arizona. Take your bows.
@Betty Cracker: Ohh, I love your optimism, and I love how you think.
@Frankensteinbeck: Like the good book says: We live in hope.
What’s not to enjoy about National Shortbread Day?
Sumthin’ else goin’ on?
Conservative support for the police was never anything more than seeing police as their proxy in brutalizing blacks. The instant they see police as an obstruction to white supremacy, that support vanishes.
@Kelly: Yes to RELIEF!!!
I agree. Taking Mr. Grim Reaper away from center stage so that actual governing work can get done is big imo.
One of the things I will never get to find out is how big of a boost the Virginia shift got from Cheetolini turning on the intelligence agencies.
Would it shock you all to learn that the Lefty Twitter Douchebags who ignored Georgia the last several weeks to start internecine fights with AOC over goofy procedural stunts are already saying Dems are already doomed to failure because they aren’t using their clear electoral mandate to instantly ram socialism down our throats
Awkward for the white supremacists on the force.
Man, can this day get any better?
Just a few more minutes and some Republican clown antics until Biden wins again!
@Elizabelle: I understand your views. I just think that’s imputing a level of prescience to RBG that’s not reasonable. The last point at which she could have retired under a Dem president and Senate was the summer of 2014. Realistically, the last point at which she could have done so without it becoming a campaign issue was 2013. IRRC, she had expressed concerns about Obama replacing her with someone to her right at the expense of judicial policies shes supported. Her health was better back then. But above all, I think she genuinely believed that Justices should time their retirements as a way of picking their own replacements (as the execrable Kennedy did). And in principle, I feel the same, although so long as the GOP is fascist garbage, I don’t consider it a principle worth sacrificing the nation to.
And at the end of the day, she made it to within four months of Biden’s inauguration, which was the difference between Justice Serena Joy and whichever young black woman Biden will choose to replace Breyer (who I think probably will retire this year). It’s not like she could have predicted the perfect storm that prevented Hillary from being the one to replace her or that the GOP would be so feckless that it would reverse itself completely on whether a president should be able to replace a Justice in his last year in office.
tl;dr As I would not want to be judged harshly for failing to predict my own life span seven years into the future, so I would not judge RBG.
March of the world’s tallest two-year-olds.
@gvg: You know that about RBG, because she was open about her health issues. You don’t know similar things about other justices because they are not transparent about their health. It’s a fools game to be mad at RBG for her death when Hillary did win. And what about Rhenquist’s health secrecy which brought us Roberts after his health death in office. That was a very consequential secret.
As Justice Marshall famously said, “I am appointed for life and I intend to fulfill that appointment.”
@Betty Cracker: I think being a ‘moderate’ might be beneficial in this case. We’ll see, but I suspect he’s going to crack down on DOJ abuses and will want to go after wrongdoing in the whitehouse that was ignored for years.
He may also have a bone to pick with McConnell, which would be fun. I doubt it, but maybe.
@Immanentize: We will just have to agree to disagree on this point. It is a useless drain of energy that I don’t have to argue the fine points and nuances.
@Betty Cracker: Aside from the “Fuck You!” factor, this removes a moderate to liberal judge who was getting older from the Federal Circuit COA and opens his seat up for someone younger who could also serve as a potential SCOTUS nominee in a few years.
@Another Scott: Dems need to let it be known that Republican tax giveaways to billionaires will not only be voted down, but the money clawed back, at the next available opportunity. Note: not individually clawed back, but the tax code rewritten so that there is a surcharge on income/capital gains taxes until the amount lost in the previous tax cuts has been recouped.
I’m also not understanding why, if people are so upset about stimulus checks going to rich people, why not write something into the 2021 tax laws saying if you earned over $X thousands, how much stimulus money did you get, add that amount to your tax bill. Send it out fast, then claw it back. I’m sure this would cost more that it gets back, but figuring out the amounts should probably be done.
@Citizen Alan: You make some excellent points; thank you.
@catclub: It looks like Ossoff is going to be above the margin for recount, let alone how close the Franken vote was.
I don’t see how they can delay this at all.
@natem: This does not surprise me at all, since I’m already seeing the “Dems are corporate slaves and exactly the same as Republicans because they won’t pass Bernie’s M4A”.
I need an eye-rolling emoji.
I not sure whether it will be any different in the current climate, but if McConnell thought that getting votes on the record to kill a lot of the House bills was good for the rethugs, he would have done it, so I suspect that at least some R Senators would feel some pressure if they had to go on the record. Also, instead of a narcissist clown screaming for all the attention on him, we will have a president that will reinforce and support the congressional Ds. We will see.
Whelp, Pence showed up
this photo from today’s show:
Fresh thread for the Joint Congressional Session and political news of the day??
Assuming enough of his caucus want him in that role.
Or say Trump adds McConnell to his (twelve days of Festivus and counting) list of traitors and backstabbers. As a member of the Republican caucus, do you support McConnell?
Powerless to change result, Pence braces for Trump’s fury
Pence’s mask has holes in it from the flag pin he’s attached to it.
NPR: Biden credits Stacey Abrams and Keisha Lance Bottoms for the victory in Georgia.
Celebrating these wonderful women and organizers!
I would literally faint if that happened. I was resigned to SCOTUS being referred to as “the Roberts Court” for the rest of my life.
TaMara’s put up a fresh thread. Merrick Garland and open thread.
It’s DougJ just having a little fun with us.
“Senator, we are all concerned about the ‘RINO Carver’ who has so brutally murdered six of your colleagues in the last month, leaving insane screeds about their lack of support for Trump. I assure you that the Justice Department is devoting exactly as much effort to this case as I, personally, could wish. In the mean time I suggest you avoid dark alleys.”
@germy: What I think too.
J R in WV
An interesting comment, which makes me have feelings too. I feel a comprehensive need to put this troll into the pie filter, and never read a hostile and condescending comment like this racist and misleading piece of tripe!!
As if Obama did nothing with his presidency!
“Obomber” indeed!!! What about Obummer, another racist nickname for the best president in many decades, is that another favorite of yours??
What about President Obama, did he pass the Affordable Care Act or what? Do you even remember that? Probably not…
@MisterForkbeard: Yeah, I got an “If the Dems don’t pass Medicare For All as the first priority they are garbage and dead to me” in my feed this morning.
The Medicare for All shit just really burns me. Medicare is not that great, is insanely complicated, requires supplemental insurance, can be the equivalent of a part time job to keep track of, and still has fairly high out of pocket costs. Plus, people hate the idea once you explain it to them. I have gotten screechers to admit Medicare isn’t that great and would be a bad solution to America’s healthcare problems. But then they argue that it’s the message that’s important, so they must keep fighting bareknuckle against anyone who has the slightest hesitancy about embracing it. Bozos.
I think the new slogan is Improved Medicare For All.
@Feathers: Yep. Look, Medicare/medicaid is a really positive thing. We should absolutely let people get into it.
But it’s still a pain, and the Bernie M4A law was frankly ridiculous in its scope – completely unattainable even if we’d swept all the Senate seats in November, let alone now.
It’s the worst kind of bad faith expectations – set a completely impossible goal, then act all self-righteous when that goal fails.
@Just Some Fuckhead: I used to read Gin and Tacos years ago and quite liked it. Then one day I noticed it had taken an ineffable turn, and I kept going back periodically but it had just changed in a way I found unpleasant but I couldn’t put my finger on. I now have completely forgotten about it and haven’t gone back in years.
I think Biden made the correct choice by going with Garland over Doug Jones and Sally Yates and I’m confident he’ll do fine in this position.
My greatest concern is that Trump and his disgusting children will never be held accountable for their crimes. The only suitable ending of the Trumpenstein nightmare is for Trump to die in a prison cell and hopefully some of his kids will serve prison time as well. At the very least, Giuliani and every lawyer on Trump’s legal team should be disbarred.
Has it always been bad, or is this just because of what Republicans have done to it over the past 50+ years?
Against my better judgement I watched the last few minutes of that grievance fest. Most fraudulent election ever held, I was informed. And then YMCA being queued up with the accompanying trumpdance for the closing music. Just fucking surreal.
He ended by urging the magats to march down Pennsylvania Avenue and Mike Pence not to certify. I’m tempted to quote Adam here regarding maps and such.
Good Lord above, I beseech you to end this cupidity/stupidity ?
“pleasantly surprised” ?? Count me as ecstatic!
In 2013, she was 81 years old and had already gone through two rounds of cancer. Like all other justices, she gets to exit on her own terms, but she made a calculated risk and it blew up in our faces. “She couldn’t have known” doesn’t wash.
Your proposal is acceptable.
@germy: It’s always had problems.
It’s insurance. Insurance is still a giant mess of a system. And Republicans ‘fixed’ problems with it badly (Part D, for example) but it’s been an unalloyed good for 50 years that’s still a pain in the ass to use.
Jonathan Chait has thoughts on what Biden can do: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/01/what-can-joe-biden-pass-democratic-senate-georgia-runoffs-warnock-ossoff.html
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Hear, hear. I’m more than happy to give him a chance, but as with the Austin nomination, he’ll have a lot to prove.
I also suspect with both nominations, as with others of Biden’s, that these are clean up jobs, and I wonder how many back channel agreement there are that both will serve as long as they need to, but the work needs to start now, and they have to be aggressive, even ruthless.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Benw: No, this is going to be a gruelingly long process. Four or more states will be getting the same shitshow as Arizona.
@germy: My sense is that medical care has become a great deal more complicated since the 1960s. The solution seems to have been forcing the paperwork and frustration onto patients, rather than deciding on what the patient experience should be and requiring the medical establishment to meet those needs.
I always liked the John Kerry era solution, which was basically a Medicare/Medicaid mashup with a $50,000 to $100,000 deductible. The federal insurance would automatically kick in if you were diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, or similar level diseases. Your employer or self-purchased would basically cover the deductible, AKA healthy person care. If you couldn’t afford insurance, there was a government program to pick up the deductible.
@Baud: I agree, but I would never put tater tots in a casserole.
@MisterForkbeard: Yeah, but simply keeping all those kludges for another 50 years for the sake of having a simple solution is garbage. I probably won’t be around, but we could come up with an excellent David Anderson approved genius solution and there will still be assholes moping that we only have this shit system that covers everyone at an affordable cost because nobody would listen to Bernie.
I’m very curious about Bernie Sanders as head of the budget committee. He has gotten precisely jack shit done in the 20 years he’s been on Capitol Hill. What will happen now that he has a powerful position simply by outlasting his peers? Note: grew up in DC area, family still there, everyone who has/had to interact with Sanders or his office loathes/ed the man.
@Baud: What is this “we” stuff.
Dead thread, but Sarah Binder and Molly E. Reynolds are the two scholars who really know this stuff. Both are on twitter. Both have books on the Senate (which I have not read, alas). Full disclosure: Molly was in grad school with me. I once sold her two secondhand bookcases when I moved.
It also lets Biden appoint a YOUNG progressive to replace Garland on the second most important court in the land.
@catclub: Lots of people keep bringing up Franken/Coleman in 2008, but this is nothing like that, IMHO.
The Franken race was incredibly close – he ultimately won by 225 votes. Of course, the GOP was going to fight and fight and fight since they initially thought they won.
The Georgia races will (apparently) both be outside the 0.5% margin necessitating an automatic recount. It’s not close.
They may try to fight a while, but it won’t take months like in 2009.
Manchin needs to receive post cards, phone calls email railing at him about overthrowing the fillibuster, until he feels like he is being boiled in oil. It’s time to make the water so hot under him, he thinks he’s on fire. This cannot be allowed to stand.
@Michael Cain: Changing the Senate rules takes 51 votes.