Changes to the Senate rules are rare, typically minor, and usually require 67 votes be implemented. But Democrats can avail themselves of a complicated, arcane procedure in January and amend the rules as they choose with an easier 50-plus-one majority.Huffington Post:
The changes Democrats are considering wouldn’t eliminate the filibuster, and would thus preserve the Senate minority’s enormous power over legislative affairs. But the new rules, if adopted, would make it harder — possibly significantly harder — for the minority to successfully block legislation than it currently is.
So it’s no surprise that GOP leaders are characterizing the plan as a fatal assault on the Senate minority’s rights.
A Fox News interview ended rather abruptly on Monday after a guest took not one but two jabs at the network hosting him (see update below).Atlantic Wire:
Co-anchor Jon Scott interviewed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Thomas Ricks, who has covered the military for decades, about his new book "The Generals." Scott asked Ricks weigh in on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and Sen. John McCain's criticisms of Amb. Susan Rice.
McCain Wants to Leave Abortion Alone; Republicans Move Away from GroverNY Times:
President Obama’s re-election and Democratic gains in Congress were supposed to make it easier for the party to strike a deal with Republicans to resolve the year-end fiscal crisis by providing new leverage. But they could also make it harder as empowered Democrats, including some elected on liberal platforms, resist significant changes in entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.Frank Bruni:
Someday someone will write a dark history — a farce, really — of how [Grover Norquist] managed to bring nearly all of the Republican Party to heel, compelling legislator upon legislator to lash themselves to his no-new-taxes pledge. Until then we’ll have to content ourselves with his misfortune over the last few days. No sooner had a nation digested its turkey than his goose began to be cooked. The spreading rebellion in the Republican ranks was manifest on the post-Thanksgiving Sunday talk shows.David Corn:
At President Barack Obama's first press conference after winning reelection, CNN's Jessica Yellin posed a saucy question: "Mr. President, on the fiscal cliff, two years ago, sir, you said that you wouldn't extend the Bush-era tax cuts, but at the end of the day, you did. So, respectfully, sir, why should the American people and the Republicans believe that you won't cave again this time?"...TPM:
But that narrative was wrong when it emerged—and it is not the key to predicting what Obama will do in the present predicament. Obama didn't wave the white flag in 2010. He turned a face-off over the Bush tax cuts into an opportunity to enact a second stimulus that he otherwise could not get past Senate Republicans. His failure at that time was not that he mustered insufficient mettle; he failed to convey to the world that he had jujitsued the GOPers.
Intrade, a website dedicated to online trades and bets, announced on Monday that it would no longer allow U.S. customers to participate in its exchange. The announcement comes following a lawsuit filed earlier today by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates the trading of futures contracts. The agency took issue with the fact that Intrade offered trading to U.S. customers on the future prices of commodities such as gold and crude oil, despite a previous agreement not to do so.Jamelle Bouie:
How Not to Appeal to Asian AmericansTPM:
Next time, a little less racism
After two disappointing election cycles, Republican leaders demanded that conservative groups end their war on electable primary candidates or risk handing the Senate to the Democrats in 2014. This week, the groups delivered their reply: “Nuts!”
Activists on the right launched a volley of criticism at the 2014’s first major Senate hopeful on Monday, Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV). Capito is considered a strong contender for the seat held by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), especially if he decides to retire, but her conservative detractors are demanding a purer candidate.