How Nice of Democrats to Kill Two Birds with one Stone for Trump

As of this writing the first real threat to the winning streak of Donald Trump has come up, namely the stalling of the house Obamacare repeal/replace bill.

As I’ve not read the bill I’ll leave it to others at my site to debate its merits but the actual problem is spitting the difference between what can be done with reconciliation (51 votes needed in the senate) and full repeal (60 votes needed in the senate).

As long as that problem is highlighted the press and the left is in a good position because unlike the Russia/wiretapping and other faux outrage/headlines of the left this is not only an actual newsworthy story but it’s an issue that voters, including those who elected Trump care about.

The media should love this because not only do they get to attack Trump and republicans but they are able to do so without making up #fakenews,  It’s a real story, so good reporting on this subject can help counter the loss of reputation that the media has done so much to earn over the decades.  It’s the type of situation where Democrats and their MSM allies are sitting pretty.

At least as long as they don’t do anything to change the situation, say something like this:

“My vote will be no and I urge my colleagues to do the same,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said in a floor speech today. And with that, Democrats have officially decided to give their base the fight it wants, a filibuster of Judge Gorsuch.

“Judge Gorsuch was unable to convince me that he’d be an independent check on a president who has shown almost no restraint from executive overreach,” Schumer said. He added that Gorsuch appeared to have a “deep-seated conservative ideology.”

This action by the left has the potential to generate the nuclear option that would end the filibuster meaning the President Trump’s supreme court justices will all pass with 51 votes, but the end of the filibuster could mean more than that, consider:

What if Mitch McConnell decides to not just go nuclear, getting rid of the filibuster for judicial nominees  for go thermonuclear and end it for everything?

Suddenly the 51 vote barrier to full repeal of Obamacare would be gone, the knot would be cut and the dilemma solved, Two Trump priorities with one stone.

Perhaps democrats haven’t thought of this, perhaps they have and decided fear of being primaries overrides that fear, or maybe they’ve even figured that some in the GOP really doesn’t want to repeal Obamacare and are daring them to do so.

But whatever their thoughts they have produced the formula that Trump can use to win this fight, and don’t think for one moment he won’t recognize it and act accordingly.

Thanks Democrats nice of you to prove that the GOP isn’t the only stupid party.

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Restoring the Filibuster or No?

Marshall Isaac: America’s the land of second chances

Doctor Who:  A town called Mercy 2012

There are solid logical arguments for not changing back the Filibuster and some have been made this week at HotAir:

As Ed Whelan notes, in the course of U.S. history, presidential nominees have typically enjoyed confirmation by simple majority. Only in the last ten years has filibustering nominees become normalized. McCain’s hypocrisy point is fair enough, but so what? Hypocrisy is par for the course with the filibuster; liberals who spent six years screeching about obstructionism from the “party of no” in the Senate will rediscover the filibuster as a wise, tempering procedural move if Republicans control the government in 2017. McCain has an … interesting set of values if he’s prepared to tolerate a “different rules for the two parties” approach in perpetuity simply to avoid being called a hypocrite.

I disagree, I think that the old filibuster rule protected the rights of the minority and such rights are still important and I believe it to be true.  I thought it was harmful for the country when the rule was changed and I still think it is.

I propose giving the Democrats this chance, if at least a dozen Democrats in the senate will give their word publicly that they will if they regain control of the chamber oppose any attempt to return the nuclear option,

If they are wiling to make that commitment then I’d return the rule moreover I’d be nice and friendly about it and make a bid deal in the press about how important they believe Minority rights are, but keep your ears and eyes open.

Be Michael not Sonny.

Be Michael not Sonny

Brigadier:: Did you believe them?
4th Doctor:  No, of course not, and they know I didn’t. And I know that they know that I didn’t, and they know that I know that…

Doctor Who  Robot 1974

Worf:  We will wait until he feels the grasp of his enemies around his throat

Star Trek TNG  Redemption 1991

Mrs. Lovet:   Don’t you know, silly man
Half the fun is to plan the plan
All good things come to those who can

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 2007


Last week I suggested to the GOP that we should answer the Nuclear option with the Sicilian option.  I think it’s necessary to be more specific.

There are several Italian stereotypes out there, but for Sicilians the stereotype that is most pronounced is that of the Gangster and nothing has crystallized that image in the minds of people like the first two Godfather Movies, the greatest Movie-Sequel pair ever made.

Even within the stereotype you have two variations that are represented by Sonny Corleone and his brother Michael.

Sonny Corleone is a fighter and a man of strong passions.  He wears his opinions on his sleeve. When his father is hit, he comes back strong.  When Tom Hagen advices him what it is costing the family financially he doesn’t care, and when Carlo either yells at his sister or hits her he springs to action.

Everyone body knows he is coming, there is no subtilty to him and that becomes his undoing as he is ambushed and slaughtered in a trap baited by his passions.

But the single most telling moment for Sonny isn’t the beating, shooting or even the war, the telling moment comes when Sollozzo makes his pitch to the Corleone family.

When Don Vito turns him down Sollozzo offers to guarantee his investment and when he does Sonny jumps in to question this until the Don raises a hand and turns to look at his now humbled son. The shot shifts to Clemenza, then to Tom Hagen then to Sollozzo who immediately notes Sonny’s interest in contrast to his father, who is forced to stress that his “No” is final and scolds him:

What’s the matter with you. I think your brain is going soft from all that comma you’re playing with that young girl. Never tell anybody outside the family what you’re thinking again.

It’s is Sollozzo’s perception that “Sonny was hot for my idea” that leads to the war, the shooting of the Don, the corruption of Michael and his own murder.

Why,  because everyone sees him coming and knows how to counter him.

Contrast that with his father and his brother Michael. Every single time he or his father acts they acts at a moment when nobody sees him coming. The Sollozzo & McCulskey do not see him coming any more than the five families, Tessio or Hyman Roth do. This mirrors his father who is able to kill not only kill Don Fanucci and Don Ciccio but to do so on their own ground.

They are able to do this because rather than rush for revenge as both Paulo (Vito’s brother) and Sonny does they slowly sits back and waits not striking until his targets are relaxed and the moment presents itself.

The best illustration of this method ironically comes not in any of the murder scenes but in the Scene with Senator Geary in Nevada at the start of Godfather 2

Note the response by Michael when Senator Geary tries to “squeeze” him and insults his family for good measure. He doesn’t get angry, he doesn’t threaten him he makes his “offer” and ignores Geary’s bemused reaction and waits…

…until Senator Geary finds himself betrayed by his own appetites (with some help from Corleone Lt Al Neri) put him in a compromising position where Tom Hagen “friendship” is the only hope to extract himself from a danger to life and career.

In each case Michael waits, lets his foes relax until every piece is on the board where he wants it, and then he strikes.

Bottom line Michael & Vito got the results they desired, Sonny did not.

There is a lesson here, for all those angry about the new Filibuster rules in the Senate and a lot of other things.



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GOP already fundraising off the Ted Cruz Filibuster

Ted Cruz is on the Senate floor in a filibuster on Obamacare. The GOP may not be behind him during their meetings but as this e-mail I received at 4:05 PM EST shows  when it comes to the chance to fundraising or adding to the mailing list, it’s with him all he way:


In a fight between Harry Reid and Ted Cruz, I will stand with Ted Cruz any day.

Today, Senator Cruz has taken the fight to defund ObamaCare to the Senate floor. I hope you will join me in standing with him in solidarity.

As Republicans, we must remain true to our principles and fight to protect the American people from this reckless law.

55% of Americans disapprove of the manner in which ObamaCare is being implemented, yet Harry Reid and Senate Democrats continue to defend it, even at the expense of keeping the government running.

Harry Reid may think ObamaCare “has been wonderful for America.” But the facts are on our side – ObamaCare is costing Americans higher taxes, fewer jobs, and less access to care.

Join me and stand with Ted today. Sign our pledge and tell Harry Reid to defund ObamaCare immediately!

Reince Priebus


Remember this is all about Ted Cruz adding to his e-mail list and fundraising, Joe Scarborough & MSNBC said so.

Update: Note the actual Cruz/Lee Petition is not the one liked above, it’s here

Update 2:
I’ve been hard on Joe Scarborough for his strong on his opposition to Cruz in general and these tactics in particular, but I’ll say this for him. He’s done it openly and without ambiguity as opposed to “High Level” GOP people who send opposition research to Wallace while the party fundraisers off of Cruz.

Update 3: Erick Erickson notes some sudden changes in the Roster of speakers in the Cruz/Lee

Within hours of Liz Cheney, now a candidate for the Senate in Wyoming, announcing her support of Ted Cruz’s filibuster, Senator Mike Enzi, who Cheney is primarying, took to the floor of the United States Senate and declared he stood with Ted Cruz.

Pat Roberts, the elderly Senator from Kansas who may soon be getting a stiff primary challenge, stiffly stood on the floor of the United States Senate to show he too stood with Ted Cruz.

Rand Paul, after NBC News reported he may disagree with Cruz’s filibuster threat, went to the floor of the Senate and stood with Ted Cruz.

Meanwhile, John Cornyn and Mitch McConnell and Lamar Alexander and other Republican Senators are leaking attacks against Cruz on background. They complained to reporters about Cruz suggesting they were cowards. They did so off the record and in the shadows.

I guess when you are trending on twitter people pay attention.

Voice of CPAC Stand with Rand Shirts & Rand Paul’s Speech

At CPAC there were people giving out Stand With Rand T-Shirts. I talked to them

Here is the speech itself in two parts (the 2nd is really short)

My memory card was about to run out of space so I used my emergency backup camera (yes I carry one now)

Update: Resized bad video

The Significance of Rand Paul’s Filibuster in one Video

If you are getting this many people watching and reacting to a fellow just talking on the US Senate floor for 8 hours, that means something.

This could actually be a turning point for this country.

A leader leads, agree with him or no, Rand Paul has just become a leader and God bless the Senators like Ted Cruz & Marco Rubio and others who have helped.

Update: The Anchoress emails most people don’t know about it, Rachel Maddow is hitting Paul but Glenn Reynolds has the line of the night:

The best part was when Rand Paul sought unanimous consent for a sense of the Senate resolution that the President shouldn’t kill American citizens in America — and Democrats, led by Dick Durbin, objected.

Update 2: based on this page the Anchoress was right.

If it’s not reported as far as people are concerned it didn’t happen.

…and will repent at leisure

I remember back a few years ago when the Democrats were blocking federal judges (remember Miguel Estrada who might have been the first Hispanic Supreme court member) and the idea of the Nuclear option came up. Rush pushed it on his show and stressed that the democrats in a reverse position would not hesitate.

I disagreed, I think the preservation of the filibuster was vital to protect the rights of the minority party and when the decision was made to forgo said option I thought and still think it was the right move.

So apparently did Joe Biden who said:

Well it looks like Joe Biden fears came to roost yesterday as Harry Reid decided to ignore the VP advice and do “go nuclear”.

In a shocking development Thursday evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) triggered a rarely used procedural option informally called the “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules.

Reid and 50 members of his caucus voted to change Senate rules unilaterally to prevent Republicans from forcing votes on uncomfortable amendments after the chamber has voted to move to final passage of a bill.

Did he do it because he wanted to get a supreme court judge appointed? Did he do it to get the president’s job bill to the floor? Nope he did it because he knows his majority teeters on an edge and he didn’t want to risk an embarrassing vote 13 months before election day.

Well I still think this was a bad idea, and I don’t believe it, but then again I also don’t believe in unilateral disarmament. As one aide said:

“Just wait until they get into the minority!” one GOP staffer growled.

Congratulations Harry Reid, 13 months before an election that is likely to cement GOP control of both houses under a GOP president you have decided to make the argument moot. The next GOP president will be sending a long list of conservative judicial appointments that you and the left will not like, and my friends on the right, we are going to push them through under the same rules you have now made.

And as Jerry Shenk points out, it won’t just be judges:

The odds of GOP takeover of the Senate in 2012 are getting progressively stronger. The Reid move establishes a dangerous precedent for the minority party. Angry Senate Republicans won’t soon forget it. The repeal of Obamacare in January, 2013, may have just shifted from “possibility” to “likelihood,” thanks to a senior Senator who changed the rules simply to avoid embarrassment. Harry’s problems may be just beginning.

stupid, Stupid STUPID!

Penny wise Pound Foolish

A lot of people on the left are upset that the filibuster rules in the senate:

They could have recently used the “Constitutional Option” at the start of this new Congress to rewrite the Senate rules to either eliminate the filibuster outright or at least make staging a filibuster more difficult. Yet, due to a combination of a greedy refusal to give up any individual power, and a pitiful cowardice about a potential future in which the voters reject them, Senate Democrats collectively chose to throw away this opportunity. By doing nothing, they effectively voted to give Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell total veto power over everything.

Byron York explains that’s its just not future minorities that are the issue

Why did Democrats give in? Two reasons. One, they know they might soon need the filibuster themselves — not in a few years, but in a few months. Republicans now have 47 votes in the Senate. If they can peel away four Democrats on any given piece of legislation — say, the repeal of a portion of Obamacare — they could be stopped only by a Democratic filibuster. The Democrats who are now denouncing the filibuster when it’s used by Republicans might soon be employing it themselves to fend off GOP challenges to Obamacare and other Obama initiatives.

I’ve already pointed out that Harry Reid needs to give democrats the ability to vote against Obamacare, is there is no filibuster then he can only give that ability to three of them. (With Biden breaking a tie)

If the Filibuster exists then he can give this to as many as 12. But lets not also forget that the Senate was designed to slow things down as this story states:

“Why,” said Washington, “did you just now pour that coffee into your saucer before drinking it?”

“To cool it,” said Jefferson; “my throat is not made of brass.”

“Even so,” said Washington, “we pour our legislation into the Senatorial saucer to cool it.”

I think the filibuster is a good thing, I think it should stay right where it is no matter who is in charge of the senate.

Worry not Smitty

As soon as the historically deficient Ezra Klein is confronted with a republican controlled Senate he will modify his position.

Ezra might I suggest Master of the Senate by Robert Caro (my Amazon review here) if you want to learn about what the senate can and can’t do.

Memeorandum thread here. Take a look at the links at the thread, each of these liberal sites seem to forget that these rules would apply if the Republicans control the senate, but worry not, that’s when they will also change their minds.