The Filibuster and the Environment

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Dan Farber: In the short run, limiting the filibuster will strengthen the hands of environmental regulators. What about the long run effects?

Harry Reid Goes Nuclear for Justice in America

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Brent Budowsky: Reid did everything humanly possible to avoid changing the Senate rules, but the obstruction and arrogance of Senate Republicans in recent days was several bridges too far. It was time to act, and Reid, to his great credit, acted.

Green Eggs and Scam

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Tom Degan: The funniest thing about Ted Cruz’s nearly day-long tirade was the fact that when his time was up, he proceeded to vote for funding the very thing he had been wailing against all through the day and all through the night.

Missing: Republican Senators Who Care about Democracy

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Robert Reich: Harry Reid may now be able to summon 51 votes to abolish the filibuster, at least for cabinet officials and other high-level policy makers. But that shouldn’t be considered a victory. It’s a sad commentary on where we’ve come to.

Remembering Bob Edgar

Bob Edgar

Peter Laarman: Bob Edgar had to contend with timidity among the good and the great especially during his years with the NCC, where denominational bigwigs (Bob’s bosses on the governing body) were privately horrified that their point person should actually seek to change oppressive systems rather than simply make mewling noises about them.

After Folding on Caitlin Halligan, Obama Needs to Act on Court Appointments

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Brent Budowsky: Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have given a pass to some of those who misused justice during the Bush years. The president should now move forcefully and promptly to fill judicial vacancies and pardon any who were unfairly treated.

Disarm the Filibuster

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Joyce Appleby: Resistance to changing the pernicious rule that is stifling the will of the majority rests on a historical myth and both parties’ fear of being curtailed when they are in a minority.

Cliff Notes

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John Peeler: Speaker Boehner’s debacle in failing to get his own caucus to support his “Plan B” is not only his failure, it shows the complete disarray of the congressional Republican Party.

Time to Bench Mitch McConnell and His Cronies?

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Joseph Palermo: Ending the filibuster is within the realm of possibility if only the Democrats had the guts to do it.

Billionaire Dispatches: A Good Time To Be A Billionaire

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Clifford “Felonius Ax” Tasner: President Romney will usher in an America where only our tiny minority gets to thrive while the rest of you succumb to debt peonage. And being Billionaires will feel extra special once again!

Winning the Dream

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Paulina Gonazlez: In addition to needing to win political support for their demand, the Dream Movement identified the White House’s legal argument as the first and most important hurdle they needed to overcome,

Dems’ War FOR Women

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Brent Budowsky: Word on the street is Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Democrats will launch a major battle supporting pay equity for the women of America that could be a defining moment in the 2012 campaign.

Empty the Tea Pot

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Charles Hayes: The progressive political agenda for 2012 has never been clearer: Empty the Tea Pot. Remove the Tea Party ideologues from office and those who cater to their whims.

Filibuster Reform Dies a Quiet Death

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Paul Hogarth: By a slim vote of 46-49 on Thursday, the U.S. Senate defeated a proposal by Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to actually require filibusters (as opposed to mere filibuster threats) before a 60-vote threshold is needed to end debate.

The Founders Cared about the Majority Principle

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Joyce Appleby: Senators are pondering partial reform of the filibuster, which is now routinely used to block Senate action. Historian Joyce Appleby suggests that if they want to bring the Senate in line with the founders’ original intent they might follow the lead of the Tea Party and go back to the beginning. In its early decades the U.S. Senate operated on the simple majority principle: no supermajorities, no filibusters.

The Urgency of a Senate Rule Change

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Joyce Appleby: More than 300 historians, political scientists, and law profs from colleges and universities throughout the country have signed a petition calling upon their Senators “to restore majority rule to the United States Senate by revising the rules that now require the concurrence of 60 members before legislation can be brought to the floor.”

How’s Europe Doing?

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Steven Hill: When puzzled Europeans ask me to explain the American voter, the best metaphor I can give for understanding the American electorate right now is that of a coyote with its leg caught in a trap, suffering in pain, so now it is chewing off its own leg to get out of the trap.

Party Like It’s 1994

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The vast majority of Americans never supported a “privatize-and-pillage” attack on Social Security. Yet many of the Republican candidates in 2010 are on record supporting all manner of schemes to dismember Social Security.

Repubs Winning, Dems Whining

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Michael Sigman: The Right’s genius for manipulating people’s sense of grievance — combined with liberals’ weak brew of tepid policy proposals and corporate coziness — leads ordinary voters to cast their ballots against their own economic interests time and time again.

Republican Economics as Social Darwinism

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Robert Reich: John Boehner, the Republican House leader who will become Speaker if Democrats lose control of the House in the upcoming midterms, recently offered his solution to the current economic crisis: “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmer, liquidate real estate. It will purge the rottenness out of the system. People will work harder, lead a more moral life.”

The President’s Backyard Discussion of the Economy (as It Could Be)

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Robert Reich: As Obama continued his economic tour with backyard discussions on the challenges currently facing the middle class, according to the White House. Here’s an imagined version of that discussion

An Executive Order Would Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Irene Monroe: The volleying back and forth on DADT can come to an end simply by Obama using his presidential pen and single-handedly signing an executive order. That is, of course, if he really wants to.

Reid Announces He Will Include DREAM Act in Defense Authorization Bill

A study released by the Migration Policy Institute this summer estimated that out of the 2.1 million potential beneficiaries of DREAM Act legislation, 38 percent (825,000 people) would actually obtain permanent legal status due to the bill’s strict requirements.

Progressives Face Uphill Climb Designed to Make Them Fail

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Paul Hogarth: In Washington, the filibuster rules in the U.S. Senate have stalled our federal agenda. In Sacramento, the two-thirds vote requirement has given us a blue state with an Alabama budget.

Harry Reid’s Senate: Where Progressive Legislation Goes to Die

Paul Hogarth: For years, House Democrats have joked that House Republicans are the “opposition” but the Senate is the “enemy” – and it’s easy to understand why.

It’s Time To Enact Health Care With 51 Senate Votes

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Robert Reich: My free advice to the President: If you want to get healthcare enacted you must use reconciliation and quickly. Host your bipartisan gab fest at the White House on Thursday. Then tell the House and Senate to get to work on putting their bills together (or tell the House Dems to enact the Senate bill and then save their disagreements for reconciliation), and tell Harry Reid you want the Senate bill on a fast track of reconciliation.

What’s a Real Democratic Majority?

Congress Paralyzed

Paul Hogarth: The filibuster means that progressive legislation requires 72 Senate Democrats – but you only need 54 Republicans to ram through the most awful right-wing agenda. Why? Because “Democrats vote with Republicans significantly more often than Republicans vote with Democrats, making it much easier for Republicans to pass the kind of legislation they want.

End the Filibuster and Pass a Lot of Stuff

Joseph Palermo: The Democrats must pass a lot of legislation before the midterms or they’re going to be very sorry. Soon enough, given the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, we’re going to see campaigns where our choice for U.S. Senator will be between the “Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips” candidate and the “Pepsi/Pizza Hut/KFC/Frito Lay/Taco Bell” candidate. Former President George W. Bush is raking in the bucks speaking at the National Grocers’ Association. First he defiled the presidency by getting John Yoo to turn the Justice Department into a law factory for monarchical presidential powers, now he shares the stage as an inspirational speaker with Terry Bradshaw. Our elections are about to become a satirical skit that Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report did a long time ago.

How About House Democrats Next?

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Paul Hogarth: In the past year, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats have made major strides passing progressive legislation – only to see it die or lull in the Senate, with the President barely lifting a finger. Voters are getting restless, Obama’s approval ratings are down and Democrats are in trouble because they haven’t gotten much done. Now with the Senate acting like a House of Lords, it’s time for House Democrats to get a little respect – and give Obama a piece of their mind.

2010 Resolutions

In our LA Progressive survey that ran from 30 December 2009 to 2 January 2010, we asked our readers to name a political leader they admire and write a 2010 resolution for that person. Here are the results from that survey. Below is the full list of responses:

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