Senate Votes to Limit Filibuster of Nominees

No more filibustering of presidential appointees. The Senate voted today to end it. Via the New York Times:

The Senate voted on Thursday to eliminate the use of the filibuster against most presidential nominees, a move that will break the Republican blockade of President Obama’s picks to cabinet posts and the federal judiciary. The change is the most fundamental shift in the way the Senate functions in more than a generation.

This is a big deal for the judiciary. Republican efforts to thwart Obama's picks will be diminished, particularly on the influential DC Circuit Court of Appeals which has three vacancies.

Overall, there are 18 vacancies on federal appeals court and 75 on federal district courts.

< DEA and IRS Raid Multiple Denver Marijuana Businesses | MA Lab Chemist Sentenced to Prison >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Holy, Moly! (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MKS on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 06:55:44 PM EST
    They actually did it.

    This will change the Senate forever.  The filibuster on other issues will soon follow suit.

    Katy bar the gate, if the Republicans ever gain control of the White House and Congress.

    There's 3 more years of Obama. (none / 0) (#3)
    by magster on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:10:30 PM EST
    His impact on the judicial branch can be monumental. Why else did the Republicans fight every nomination so hard?

    Okay, the Repubs come in (none / 0) (#65)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 09:53:19 PM EST
    and get an Amendment passed that removes life time appointments....

    Be careful what you ask for.


    So that (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 07:08:19 PM EST
    means that all the conservatives on the Supreme Court that were put there by Republicans going all the way back to Reagan can be gotten rid of? No more Anton Scalia pretty soon if the amendment passes? Hmm, maybe the GOP should be careful about what they do with that lifetime appointment thingy. Lots and lots of lower courts with those Reagan Bush appointees still. So the GOP wants to get rid of those too? Either the GOP has not thought that through (they usually don't) or once again they hate Obama so much they are going to shoot themselves in the foot (yet again!).

    Mushroom Cloud (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:33:39 PM EST

    The cartoon is funny!

    It's a damn shame the Republicans brought us (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 10:16:37 AM EST
    To this, but the blocking of filling the vacancies could no longer be ignore.  Bring back the talking filibuster!

    I have heard enough of Ted Cruz & Rand Paul (none / 0) (#46)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 10:25:37 AM EST
    No talking filibuster at this time... Fill up the vacancies, get rid of the crazies in the Senate, and only after that we can talk about bringing back the talking filibuster.....

    I'm not afraid of the crazies talking (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 01:07:55 PM EST
    The problem with them is it is hard to nail them down on exactly what they are for when confronting any existing problem.  Let them talk.  Let cameras become completely focused on them and hard questions be asked.  I watched a house Republican blow it utterly yesterday talking about what they could possibly replace Obamacare with.  He wholesale blew it.

    Strom Thurmond (none / 0) (#48)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 11:23:47 AM EST
    reading the Betty Crocker cookbook is what comes to my mind with the talking filibuster. But yeah, I can see hours of comedic relief coming from the likes of Ted Cruz talking for hours on end.

    Unfortunately when Cruz did it (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 01:01:18 PM EST
    It wasn't an actual filibuster.  When I was a kid talking filibuster was a big deal, lots of press coverage, the prevailing issue and points of debate and overall public opinion was quick to surface too.  Now the Senate gets shut down on an issue and the voters aren't even aware.

    Rand Paul did it too (none / 0) (#51)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 01:04:25 PM EST
    Ted Cruz already did that (none / 0) (#49)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 12:01:18 PM EST
    He read Dr. Seuss.

    Well, (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by sj on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 01:26:54 AM EST
    Dr Seuss is better than what usually comes out of his mouth.

    site violator (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by fishcamp on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 07:16:46 AM EST
    tattoo scam...

    But in 2005 (1.00 / 1) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 06:47:39 PM EST
    the Demos, including Obama, Biden and Harry that this is a terrible thing.

    Hypocrites all.

    And you Republicans ... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Yman on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:55:54 PM EST
    ... loved it.

    Go figure.


    Just for you, Jim (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Yman on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 08:15:56 PM EST
    Yeah, ok. (none / 0) (#6)
    by magster on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:18:06 PM EST
    Harry Reid used to (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by MKS on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:21:38 PM EST
    be on the Nevada gaming commission and faced down death threats against him and his family.....He is one stubborn SOB.

    Reid has taken a lot of grief for not having .... (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by magster on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:29:01 PM EST
    done this sooner, but he never had the votes. Only this week after he slow dripped the filibusters of 3 DC Circuit nominees over a week did Boxer, Feinstein, McCaskill and Leahy flip their positions. As soon as he got the votes, he changed the rules.

    I am fascinated by what triggered this (none / 0) (#20)
    by Towanda on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 08:18:52 PM EST
    shift among those who switched on this; discussion on CNN at one point also focused on the four above, and the D.C. reporters also are trying to ferret out whether there was some action or threat of action by Repubs that finally turned these four.

    The link to the cartoon .... (none / 0) (#21)
    by magster on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 08:20:44 PM EST
    in this thread went to a Politico article that said Obama leaned on these 4 last night.

    Missed that; thanks -- but (none / 0) (#22)
    by Towanda on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 08:24:39 PM EST
    I don't know that that would be enough; pressure by Obama to do so after some back-room idiocy from Repubs, though, could convince the holdouts that there really is no hope for reason to prevail.

    I think the blatantly broken promises.... (none / 0) (#23)
    by magster on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 08:28:06 PM EST
    from the nuclear option threat agreement in July really left a bad taste in the mouths of many senators.

    Sen. Carl Levin (none / 0) (#24)
    by christinep on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 08:44:09 PM EST
    Admittedly, I was not aware of several individual positions ... such as Levin's.  Any backstory as to why he voted with Sens. Manchin, Pryor and the Repubs on this one?  Was it the "Be careful of giving them a favorable rule for when the majority inevitably changes" or was it really something more?

    Don't know if it's the complete truth, (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by NYShooter on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 09:45:59 PM EST
    but, this is what he said:

    "Sen. Carl Levin, who also voted with Republicans against the change, said that "when the precedent is set that a majority can change the rules at will on judges, that precedent will be used to change the rules on consideration of legislation, and down the road, the hard-won protections and benefits for our people's health and welfare will be less secure."

    My feeling...."we'll worry about that if/when the time comes."

    Yes, it's a risk. But, to continue letting the Republicans hold such an important Presidential function hostage is,IMO, a greater risk.

    When the Democrats allowed (didn't filibuster) a truly horrid justice like, GWB's nominee, Janice Rogers Brown, because of protocol & tradition only to be reciprocated with Republican filibusters of every Obama nominee, what choice is left? The Republicans have made their position clear, crystal clear, "Obama is an illegitimate President, therefore any candidate he proposes is also illegitimate, and must be rejected.

    Make no mistake about it, this is war. And, war, by its very nature carries risk. So be it.

    I say, "It's about time, Democrats!"


    Yeah, that's a weird one. (none / 0) (#25)
    by magster on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 09:21:00 PM EST
    He's been solid enough in career that, since his vote didn't matter, I'll give him a pass on this one. He's retiring too. He can just go to the Ol' Senator's Home and reprise his "in my day, the filibuster was respected...."

    yeah dude (none / 0) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 09:49:45 PM EST
    It is called telling the truth and noting that Reid, Obama, etc are 110% hypocrites.

    By "etc.", ... (none / 0) (#69)
    by Yman on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 06:54:38 AM EST
    ... you mean Republicans who loved the nuclear option just a few years ago?

    And how many times did they (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 10:13:23 AM EST
    Block Bush appointments?

    So in other words... (none / 0) (#5)
    by unitron on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:14:59 PM EST
    ...what you're saying is you want your comment deleted and your account here erased, right?

    I'd rather read spam than some other commenters... (none / 0) (#7)
    by magster on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:18:59 PM EST

    Should I... (none / 0) (#35)
    by unitron on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:12:19 AM EST
    ...take that personally?

    No. Not you. (none / 0) (#40)
    by magster on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 08:40:09 AM EST
    Let's see if I understand this (none / 0) (#9)
    by ragebot on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:23:29 PM EST
    Obama nominates and the Senate confirms jurists for all the vacancies.  In 2016 there is a Republican majority in the Senate and a Republican prez and a bill is passed increasing the number of judges on the bench and the prez nominates and the Senate confirms them.  Then in 2020 a Democratic prez and Senate majority increase seats on the bench and again pack the court to their liking.

    After say fifty years of this the unemployment problem is solved because everyone is employed by the federal bench.

    You haven't been reading about the .... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by magster on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:25:45 PM EST
    imminent demographic catastrophe for the GOP. The chances of the GOP controlling BOTH the Senate and the Presidency is very unlikely for the foreseeable future.

    As Yogi said (none / 0) (#14)
    by ragebot on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:52:34 PM EST
    'It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.'

    But my point was that this could jump up and bit Reid in the buttissmo.  Not only could the number of jurists on the bench be increased but the term life time appointment could be redefined.  And all by a simple majority instead of a super majority.

    One of the biggest reasons for a super majority was to force bipartisanship.  It also slowed things down.  

    There are also downsides to requiring a super majority.  Lets not forget Reid was against it before he was for it.  Must have been some reason for that.


    "must have been some reason...." (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by magster on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 08:03:35 PM EST

    This level of minority party obstruction has never happened before. If the Republicans weren't so entirely insane, the filibuster would have remained in place. The Republicans dared Reid to do this, and he did.


    Yogi and Carmen Berra are friends of mine. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by fishcamp on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 09:26:58 PM EST
    I met them through Cindy Rizzuto whom I dated for 30+ years.  They are wonderful and funny people as were Phil and Cora Rizzuto.  Phil and Yogi together just yucking it up was always a slice of baseball history.  OK I'm climbing off my high horse and rappelling down from my ivory tower...just kidding.

    There's tyranny of the minority, just for starters. For decades, California had an absolutely appalling constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds affirmative vote in both chambers of the state legislature just to pass a state budget and all fiscal bills.

    Thus, for the better part of the previous decade, a mere 14 recalcitrant GOP state senators in the 40-member State Senate were able to hold the entire State of California hostage for months on end each biennium, because they held a virtual veto on anything the majority wanted to fund. Several times, there were virtual shutdowns of government functions, and by the time Jerry Brown returned to the governor's office in January 2011, he presided over a state government facing a $26 billion budget shortfall.

    It would be one thing were we dealing with a rational Republican Party, but we're not. It's worth considering that throughout the entire lifetime of these United States, the filibuster has been invoked 36 times in the U.S. Senate to block the appointments of executive branch nominees at the cabinet and subcabinet-level. Of those 36 filibusters over 200-plus years, 16 of them (44%) occurred in the last five years during the present administration.

    That's why you don't trust such extraordinary legislative powers to such irresponsible ideologues.



    So in Calif (none / 0) (#30)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 02:31:08 AM EST
    if the Democrats had only been able to fund more spending there would be less debt?

    The Washington Post agrees with you (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 08:26:45 AM EST

    The impact of changing the rules in this way may be even more far-reaching. The Democratic action sets a precedent that a future Republican majority will use to change procedures when it gets into a political jam, rather than negotiate with Democrats. The logical outcome is a Senate operating more like the House, with no rights for the minority, no reason for debate and no incentive to cooperate. For those who view that as an improvement, we offer today's House as a counterargument.

    Democrats understood all this very well when they were in the minority. "You may own the field right now," then-Delaware Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D) said in 2005, when Republicans threatened to invoke the nuclear option. "But you won't own it forever. And I pray to God when the Democrats take back control we don't make the kind of naked power grab you are doing." Republicans resisted pushing the nuclear button then; both parties should have stepped back and hammered out a bipartisan compromise reform now.

    This time Republicans proved incapable of exercising their minority rights in a responsible way. Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) proved not enough of a leader to resist the "naked power grab." American democracy is that much poorer as a result.

    If you believe in the (none / 0) (#38)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 08:36:36 AM EST
    core principle of democracy--majority rule, then getting rid of the filibuster is a good idea in the long run.

    If your core principle is establishing that government is inherently incompetent, then you will work to disable the government.  Hence, the Republicans love gridlock and anything that prevents the government from acting.

    If Democrats believe in an effective government, then the filibuster has to go.  True, they will have to win elections.  If they can't, then under democratic principles they do not deserve to govern.  


    Except (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 09:13:48 AM EST
    We don't live in a pure democracy.  We live in a democratic-republic.  A place where the rights of the minority are protected and not completely run by strict majority rule.

    And while I think this will be good in the short term - to fill vacancies that have LONG sat empty, due to a combination of things - no or slow nominations by Obama, and a Republican party that has completely gone off the deep end -I do worry, though what the consequences will be when they take over the Senate and WH. And despite some who think otherwise, yes it WILL happen again. Most definitely within all of our lifetimes.  

    Ruth Marcus makes a good case in differentiating between filibusters on executive branch appointments, where there should be a much greater deference to the executive's choices for people who will be in positions for a set period of time, versus judicial appointments, where there should be a bit more scrutiny, as they are appointed for life.


    Except that we all understood that (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 09:36:07 AM EST
    including Democratic Senators. This is the reason Harry Reid waited so long despite pressure from the left.

    There is no reason to get cold feet now. Fill up the position that need to be filled with good people. And then fight like crazy to never cede control of the Presidency and Senate and to win back the House.

    2016 will be a difficult year for Republican Senators. It is a Presidential election year, so more people come out to vote. That helps the Democratic Party. A lot of Republican Senators will also be up for election in 2016.

    At this time it will be very important to keep the focus on 2014. And fight like crazy!  


    Not a pure democracy, (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by dk on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 01:08:44 PM EST
    but a constitutional democracy.  Minority rights are protected by the constitution.  The executive and legislative branches function as a product of majority rule (checked structurally by the courts' interpretation of the constitution and practiclly through the political process).

    Tom Harkin gave a great speech on the senate floor just after the vote yesterday.  He pointed out he's been championing this change for over 20 years (which is helpful to keep in mind as many are caught up in the current political spin on both sides), and expressed hope that the new 51 vote rule would be expanded to include legislation as well.  He noted that allowing for scrutiny was fine.  He endorsed an idea apparently offered up by Bob Dole decades ago that any legistlaion in the senate would need to meet a 60 vote threshold on the first attempt for cloture, and if not achieved then supporters would need to wait a few days and then only 57 votes would be required, and so on until after a few weeks only 51 votes would be needed.  That would allow time for scrutiny, and for the minority to offer up relvant amendments, but would not allow a permanent veto by the minority.  Sounds good to me.


    Disappointed in the Marcus assessment (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 04:30:18 PM EST
    ...as well as Fred Hiatt's "throwing up the hands" editorial.  

    In many respects, the step that the Democrats took had to be taken.  Clearly, Reid et al tried to avoid it these past few years; but, the type of upping-the-ante practiced by McConnell left little practical option but take the risk.  (To have done otherwise would have led to the inevitable Reid-is-weak stories ... which, in DC, can be more threatening in terms of obstruction as the perception of powerlessness is never far from tipping to the reality.)

    I'm more in line with the NYTimes editorial on this one.  Reason: The obstruction of the DC Circuit nominations as well as the constant threats/realities of Executive appointments as a McConnell bluff or provocation had to be called in order to retain any credibility in future set-tos ... while the turnabout threat someday is real, today's reality has a pressing imperative in the context of executive authority during the next three years.  The DC Circuit's importance with regard to regulatory review cannot be understated ... putting the two together could only lead to using the stick rather than the carrot.

    There have been suggestions of late that McConnell needed to show an increasing conservatism for his upcoming Ky primary; and, that the threat from the right in his state has led to such recent displays of intransigence.  The latest, of course, is the Conservative Fund <cannot recall the full name> which has been supporting challenger Bevin and, which group McConnell today called "profoundly stupid."  I guess that Bevin is also attacking McConnell now for displaying weakness by losing in his battle to keep the filibuster.  


    On the Senate going "nucular" (none / 0) (#57)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 05:09:33 PM EST
    From the New Yorker link

    Absent Senate filibusters, the anti-lynching bills of 1922, 1935, and 1938 would have become law, bringing federal force to bear against racist violence and possibly allowing the civil-rights movement to achieve its victories decades earlier; direct election of the President would have replaced the electoral college in time for the 1972 election; and nearly all Americans would now be covered by a program of national health insurance.


    Thanks, We All Thank You... (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 10:45:46 AM EST
    ...for that episode of faux concern, but do you think anyone really thinks you care about harry Reid.

    The 60 wasn't to force bipartisanship, it was to ensure that majority could be occassionally kept in check by the minority.  The key word being occasionally.

    Currently the republican party has abused and overused that function, the D's pretty much let Bush appoint whomever he wanted.  I can't imagine this hurting the D's in any conceivable since they never used it.  It's basically a rule that one party used and abused routinely while the other rarely used it.

    It could come back, but unless you clowns elect someone like Cruz, and manage to get the Senate, their won't be much of an issue.  It's possible, just not probable.  And the allowing the President to fill empty seats, finally, is well worth the risk.

    And can we stop with what Reid said years ago, for every comment he made, McConnell made the exact opposite claims, back then and now.  It's a wash.  And the situation is not the same, little did he know that republicans would adopt the filibuster as their go to move for everything Obama.

    But I do like the optimism of the republican party.  With white folks soon to be the minority, the GOP still believes they can win elections while simultaneously beating down minorities.

    I wish the GOP would just go away, they are a dated party whose only contribution to the country has been wars and hatred, with a side mean a$$ jesus.  Then I would like to see the Dbag party follow suit, they are fractionally better, but still beholden to corporate interests.  We need a party.parties that represent and respect us citizens and the Constitution, not a bunch of grandstanding blowhards who beholden to special interest who view us citizens as liabilities who are not to be trusted or respected.


    It does free up (none / 0) (#55)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 02:26:51 PM EST
    Obama should he choose to hire or fire someone:

    One important effect of Thursday's change in the Senate rules: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius can now be fired.

    So can Marilyn Tavenner, director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Or Attorney General Eric Holder. Or Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Or Secretary of State John Kerry. Or really any political appointee.

    That's not to say any of them will be fired. But the constant use of the filibuster against political appointments made it extraordinarily difficult for the White House to fire anyone because they didn't know whether they'd be able to appoint a replacement -- or, if they could appoint a replacement, who Republicans would actually accept. And the more political controversy there was around an issue the more dangerous a personnel change became.

    This became a standard excuse for why no one is losing their job over the HealthCare.gov debacle: Firing any of the appointees in charge would just trigger a disastrous confirmation process that would lead the agency rudderless and chaotic for months -- and possibly for the rest of Obama's term.

    Simultaneously, the rules change makes it far easier to hire new people. The confirmation process had become so difficult -- and, because of that, the vetting process so intense -- that top prospects routinely turn down presidential entreaties.

    more.... (none / 0) (#19)
    by magster on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 08:18:24 PM EST
    from a former GOP staffer calling filibuster practice of the GOP a "willful perversion" of Senate rules.

    Obama was filling vacancies (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by MKS on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:42:52 PM EST
    on the D.C. Circuit.   Under Bush II there were 11 Judges.  Obama was just trying to have the same number with his nominees.

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#16)
    by Peter G on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:58:43 PM EST

    It lowers the bar on fair play (none / 0) (#29)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 02:29:20 AM EST
    I expect the level of DC hardball to escalate, and the 2014 election cycle to set new levels of dirty tricks and negativity.

    So who are the judges Obama can now force through the senate on a party line vote?

    Probably not nearly as ideologically (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 05:24:34 AM EST
    radical as the ones the GOP would be offering up if the situation was reversed - not that the situation would be reversed, given that of the 168 nominations and appointments that have been filibustered in American history, 82 of those nominations have been filibustered in the Obama administration alone.


    I'd say that 5 years has been long enough for the Dems to give the GOP the chance to acknowledge - as they always want Dems to do - that elections have consequences, and that presidents have the right to see those they nominate be approved.  If I have any beef with Harry Reid, it's that he didn't know what the rest of us did - that the GOP was never going to get to that point.  So, let's not be too quick to whine about what's fair.  Or pretend that the GOP has ever played fair or failed to use whatever parliamentary rules and procedures it could to get its way.

    But if you really want to know who these judges and other nominees are, get comfortable, because you're going to have a lot of reading to do.

    Besides, we know Obama isn't going to pack the courts with uber-liberals, because he's not an uber-liberal.

    [The good news is that your reflexes are in good working order]


    The number means squat (2.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:33:28 PM EST
    8, 82, or 182, who has been blocked without grounds and I really really really doubt its all of them.

    Obama may not be uber liberal, but his is 100% Chicago style patronage politics and uses appointments to pay political debts. Party line approval just gave him a much bigger checkbook.

    Proof will be in the appointments he pushes through.


    Karlan and Koh (none / 0) (#39)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 08:39:46 AM EST
    for the Supreme Court.  

    Nope (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 10:21:38 AM EST
    This does not apply to Supreme Court nominations.

    I wonder why (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 01:39:39 PM EST
    the Democratic senators exempted Supreme Court nominations.   If they think that Republicans will reciprocate should they become a majority, they are delusional.   Republicans will just cite the general precedent on judicial nominations and up it.  

    Not yet (none / 0) (#59)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 05:46:05 PM EST
    This (none / 0) (#31)
    by lentinel on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 04:12:07 AM EST
    is the first time I can remember when the majority acted as a majority.

    It could all backfire the next time the freaks inherit the earth, but for now it is kind of enjoyable.

    I have never been (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 05:41:24 AM EST
    A big fan of Harry Reid - I have always thought he was a weak and ineffective Majority Leader.  I think this move has great potential to backfire, but for now, I'm very happy that Reid FINALLY found his cojones on something.

    Fill up those vacancies!


    Reid (2.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:35:05 PM EST
    just did what he was told, he is Obama's puppet.

    How in the world can you say (none / 0) (#34)
    by labrat on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 06:32:18 AM EST
    that about Harry? Have you already forgotten how PPACA was passed?

    After a year (3.50 / 2) (#36)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:15:36 AM EST
    If he was really tough - there wouldn't have been the yearlong dithering.

    I wish they'd get rid of filibusters (none / 0) (#58)
    by shoephone on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 05:29:08 PM EST
    altogether. They're not in the constitution, and their use has evolved as a way to throw a tantrum for the media. Republicans have taken the tactic to a new low, gumming up the works whenever they don't get their way. The filibuster is both petty and bullying at the same time, and shows senators to be much less than statesman-like. The current crop is comprised of religious extremists, obnoxious loudmouths, and corporate shills.

    I can see the point of filibusters at the state level, where legislatures are often in session for only three or four months of the year, and sometimes things really do need to be slowed down for extra debate--especially in states where one party rule is the norm.

    My first thought (none / 0) (#62)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:43:22 PM EST
    Lots of luck next time the debt ceiling comes around. Time for the house to play hardball to match the senate.

    Makes me think of the first really negative advertising I saw, and this will be the same, just the first round of things getting much nastier and more partisan.

    Do some of you even realize how much this WEAKENS the Democrat you may have elected? Nominations are now going to be party line votes, dissent will be punished.

    New breed of Democrats (none / 0) (#63)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 09:20:31 PM EST
    driving Senate rule changes link

    "Next on their agenda is extending the filibuster rule change from presidential appointments to legislation, which would enable the Senate to move on issues including gun control and climate change".

    Sweet music to the ear!

    It won't be as easy as you think (none / 0) (#68)
    by jbindc on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 05:50:06 AM EST