Richard M. Mathews: With the death of the public option in the Senate version of the health care reform bill, more attention is being paid to the budget reconciliation process. The House-Senate conference could bring back the public option, but a filibuster could still kill it. The reconciliation process would allow the bill to pass with a simple majority of 51 votes rather than the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster.
Something, anything, has to be done at some point to show that the Obama Administration is not just the latest group of good people with good ideas that are absorbed into a system that makes Hamid Karzai look like a clean government activist. The corporate money so clogs the arteries of our body political the whole damn thing is sclerotic, choked off from the life-giving oxygen of democracy.
We get to vote, again, on May 19. This time we have a bunch of ballot initiatives that the Republican Party demanded as a condition of reaching a budget “compromise” last winter. The commercial media tell us that most of these measures are failing in polling, but still have a chance at passage. Still have [...]
Arlen Specter’s stunning announcement that he is changing parties to become a Democrat is merely the latest example of the how the Republic Party is losing its grip on America. “Since my election in 1980 as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right,” Specter tells reporters, not [...]
When a side that “plays to win” is in the political minority, they assert whatever power they can get. This is the position Republicans, after two elections of solid blue victories, are stuck in at the federal and state level. Shut out of the presidency and the U.S. House of Representatives, the G.O.P. clings to [...]
From the pains Democrats take to out-argue and/or to compromise with the fringe minority party called the Republicans you’d think no other course of action was available, specifically you’d have to assume that the filibuster — the power of senators representing 11% of us to block all work by the House and Senate — is [...]
Dear Senator Reid, or more precisely, Dear Senate Majority Leader Reid, Since this is an open letter I will, by necessity, include several definitions and explanations of Senate rules. There are many arcane procedures used by the Senate that complicates our understanding of how things get done or more importantly how things don’t get done [...]
by David Swanson – Trying to squeeze any sort of peace on earth out of our government in Washington has been a steep uphill climb for years. For the most part we no longer have representatives in Congress, because of the corruption of money, the weakness of the media, and the strength of parties. There [...]
While the Presidential contest gets the most press, the race for control of both houses of the US Congress and state governorships is equally critical to whoever becomes the new President. Sixty in the Senate is such an important number because that is the number of votes required to halt/prevent crippling fillibusters which allow a [...]