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U.S. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) listens during remarks about leadership elections on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 16, 2010.   REUTERS/Jim Young
Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell didn't appear together on "Meet the Press," making the confrontation far less fun to watch than it might have been, but they both made a great case for Reid going nuclear Tuesday morning, when votes will occur on seven executive nominations.

Reid laid out the case he's been making for weeks: The level of obstruction by Republicans is absolutely unprecedented, that Republicans are blocking nominees not because of problems with the nominees, but because they don't like the agencies they would lead and that the popularly elected president deserves the basic courtesy of being able to assemble his team.

Mitch McConnell made his case, saying "We have an opportunity to pull back from the brink in this joint meeting that we're going to have of all senators in the old Senate chamber Monday night. I hope we'll come to our senses and not change the core of the Senate." And then he followed up this "let's all be reasonable" routine by telling David Gregory he's not going to rule out blocking whoever President Obama ends up nominating to replace Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security.

We'll have to take a look at whoever the new secretary of homeland security is. I can't guarantee you there won't be a spirited debate. Look, we've got over 300 million people in this country. We don't all agree on everything, and they elect all of us to come to Washington, and we have some big disagreements and big debates. But sooner or later, when it comes to nominations, as I've indicated, the president hasn't lost anybody. He hasn't lost anybody.

Are they saying they don't want us to even debate these nominations?

When McConnell says "debate" he means filibuster. He means delay. He means forcing the nominee to spend months answering 1,100 questions. McConnell has no interest in preserving the Senate. McConnell wants to continue to use procedure to keep government from functioning. And he admitted that on national TV on Sunday.

If there are still any wobbly Democrats who are thinking they might not vote with Reid Tuesday morning, that should be enough to convince them.

Send an email to Harry Reid and your Democratic senators telling them to hang tough and to vote for real filibuster reform.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:10 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (24+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:10:45 AM PDT

  •  and, yes the president has lost people (8+ / 0-)

    Warren, Rice and anyone else that he couldn't nominate or who had to withdraw their nomination because of potential gop obstuction.

    as well, of couse, as all the judicial appointments on hold, withdrawn or never submitted

    •  Reid's plan doesn't include judicial nominations. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RUKind, Aspe4

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:26:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know - another big fail (7+ / 0-)

        what is that man thinking?

        and why isn't Obama pushing him harder?

        •  Obama doesn't want to be "too partisan" (6+ / 0-)

          He's the weakest president we've had in the last 20 years in terms of just being willing to tell the opposition to "screw yourselves."

          He has no political courage at all. He's been willing to let the GOP run all over him while he seeks that impossible "bi-partisan" solution with people who HATE and LOATHE him and long for his destruction.

          Basically, he's about given up on getting any legislation through Congress, and it's entirely his own fault.

          He came into office and it was IMMEDIATELY apparent that the right was fulling intending to filibuster and block his every initiative right from the beginning. Anybody with their eyes open could tell just from listening to Rush Limbaugh's rants that there was going to be NO period of compromise -- they thought and STILL think he is "illegitimate." So they can block everything he tries to do .

          Just complete contempt for democracy.

          So, why didn't he understand this and come out fighting from day 1? The same steps he's taken since the last election to organize his base as a lobbying group could have been taken in 2009. But, NO. . . .

          NO bully pulpit, NO attempt to rally the nation in terms of his health care initiative. No movement on immigration or global warming for his entire first term.

          We needed a second New Deal and got"Middle-Man"*

          * and featuring his side-kick "staunch ally- the unwavering apologist".

          •  Amen. I'd add .. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            NO taking a real stand, NO leadership, NO follow through. NO guts and NO glory.  He'll go down as the first African American President and not much else.  He really cannot rightly claim credit for the ACA, which some see as his signature accomplishment, since he showed virtually no leadership on that.

            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

            by accumbens on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:30:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  He probably didn't come out fighting (0+ / 0-)

            Because he didn't want to end up like Mohamed Morsi, another president who seems to have been facing an opposition whose goal was to sabotage everything in an attempt to build up popular support against him.

      •  or legislation... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aspe4, Bob Friend, accumbens, Dave925

        i don't know why there is a link at the bottom of this diary asking us to sign a petition calling for real filibuster reform...

        real filibuster reform isn't even under consideration.

        Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

        by No Exit on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:41:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Either go all the way or not at all! (10+ / 0-)

        Reid's going to screw this up.  As has always been the case, there's no such thing as a limited nuclear war.  If Reid does this for a few regulatory nominees, when the Repugs get control of the Senate, they'll use it as an excuse to go all out.  Good-bye labor laws, abortion, oil regulations, wilderness, national parks, Social Security...

        The filibuster is a dead rule walking.  Either it happens now and we get some real political benefit, or it's gone when the Tea bagger Repugs take control.

        •  Yes, and once he shoots his wad of whatever (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          political capital he and the Dems have on an extremely limited filibuster reform regardless of outcome, that will be that until the Repubs take control and ram it down their throats.  A pathetic lot the Dems are.

          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

          by accumbens on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:32:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Who's I could rec this comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dave925, pollwatcher

          1000 times!  This is exactly right.  Harry seems to think he's got a chance of preserving some sort of Senate collegiality by slow walking  this reform.  But the minute the Republicans get their hands on the Senate they will drop every objection they ever made to filibuster reform and do what ever they want.  We've got ample evidence in the republican controlled states that the entire party has decided that their job is not to govern, but to RULE.  They will make no compromise, nor allow dissent.
          If Harry loses this battle, he will have lost the entire war.  And clearly Harry is not willing to commit to spending the resources necessary to win the war.  Harry is going down in the history books for losing the war that Newt Gingrich started.

      •  52-48 (5+ / 0-)

        Lifetime appointment confirmation for Clarence Thomas. Call Harry Reid's office and jog his memory.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

        by anastasia p on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:57:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  When McConnell talks about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "changing the core of the Senate," is he talking about the Senate that confirmed the unqualified Clarence Thomas for a lifetime appointment to the country's highest court by a vote of 52-48?

      How des he justify that?

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:57:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Allow 5 a Year Max. (5+ / 0-)

    Or pick a number, anything in the ballpark of historic norms.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:18:52 AM PDT

    •  I think 90 days should be plenty. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Happy Days

      If the Senate can't figure out if it likes the nominee enough within 90 days, they will never figure it out.  Plus, that's a long time given how short the President's term is - that's one twelfth of the term.  A few of these nominees have been waiting more than a year, while their agencies lack a full-time head.

      What McConnell is doing is forcing these nominees to go through a full election on their own - and he's using his ability to postpone and deny them their election.  He's also all about fighting agencies and doing what he can to deny and obstruct their operation.  For all these reasons, Reid should end or severely constrain all filibusters.  

      I thought I could accept them in extreme situations, but everything except bathroom breaks requires breaking a filibuster.  That's just not responsible governance.  It also seems like virtually every talking head doesn't mention all these 60 vote thresholds as being something new.  There weren't these obstructions for Bush during the years the Dems held the Senate.  They only seem to focus when there's an actual filibuster, but requiring everything to have 60 votes for cloture, for votes, for nominees, for laws, for budgets and every other piece of business has never been done - it's never even been contemplated, until the Black Man was elected President.  Yes, I'm saying they're bigots.  We don't know that they wouldn't be this obstructive had Hillary been elected - maybe so, but there has never been this concerted an effort under any white male President.  If they don't want to be called racist bigots, let them say just why they are now blocking everything from moving forward.

      •  They'll give you 18 bullshit answers for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Why they won't let anything go through.  Harry should break this filibuster extravaganza in full view of the public.  No more damn gangs, no more back room deals.  We citizens need to SEE exactly which Senators are standing in the way of Democracy.

  •  And Reid has whittled filibuster reform down to (7+ / 0-)

    only regulatory nominees.  It's something, but certainly no big fucking deal.  And chances are he'll even cave on that.  I hope I'm wrong, but wait for it.  

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:25:21 AM PDT

    •  I have doubts anything will change (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      accumbens, Aspe4, ColoTim, Dave925

      Reid better watch out! Mitch might get mad.

      I do hope I'm wrong. I had the idea the other day that Senators are using filibuster 'debate' to shake down K-Streen for campaign contributions.

      "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

      by Crider on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:35:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  and anyone who doesn't think... (7+ / 0-)

    ...the first order of business for a majority leader mcturtle will be eliminating the filibuster is delusional

    United we bargain. Divided we beg.

    by mellowjohn on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:27:15 AM PDT

  •  Ugh - that picture again! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4, Dave925

    Do we really need to see every pore in McConnell's face? HAVE MERCY!! Think of the children!!

  •  Reform needs to include judicial appointments (7+ / 0-)

    That's how electoral change gets institutionalized.

    "Let there be song to fill the air." R. Hunter

    by RUKind on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:30:52 AM PDT

  •  McTurtle is sweating bullets....he went a bridge (0+ / 0-)

    too far.

  •  If there is to be filibuster at all (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anastasia p, ColoTim, Bob Friend, Dave925

    it should be a talking filibuster.
    That would solve the problem, pronto, Tonto.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:33:57 AM PDT

  •  What is Harry thinking? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4, merrywidow, ColoTim

    Does anyone have a clue as to what Harry Reid is thinking.  He seems to me to be a middle of the road to slightly left Democrat, but but absolutely refuses to even consider changing the Senate rules.  No reasonable person thinks the Fox party wouldn't eliminate all votes for the opposition if they had control, but Reid as majority leader, won't change the rules, not now - not ever.

    I do not understand his position or the motives behind it.  Does anyone have any ideas?

  •  C'mon Reid - pull the pin and toss the grenade. (10+ / 0-)

    The GOP speaks one language and one language only: war.

    Negotiating just gives them additional time to figure out more ways to fuck the country.

    "We don't analyze the behavioural traits of people who carry weapons. We're looking for terrorists," -- TSA spokesman.

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:34:39 AM PDT

  •  Setting aside large issues and weight matters (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, merrywidow, ColoTim, Dancing Frog

    I would appeal to Democratic Senators with a simple idea: justice. Mitch McConnell must pay for what he's done, and ending the pretense of comity is an essential first step. McConnell has knowingly and with malice harmed the nation just to do it. This isn't politics, this is a poorly raised child breaking other children's toys so they can't have them.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:37:19 AM PDT

    •  Mitch is a piece of work....nobody likes that guy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark
      •  Except the voters in his state. Oh I know his (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark

        popularity isn't great but I don't know if Allison Lundergan Grimes (very musical name - wonder where I got that idea?) will be able to evict him from office.  I hope so.

      •  McConnell in 2005 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dancing Frog
        "Think that a Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will hesitate for 1 sec. to change Senate Rules?"
        Nuclear Flashback

        Mitch McConnell Then

        “The majority in the Senate is prepared to restore the Senate’s traditions and precedence to ensure that regardless of party, any president’s judicial nominees, after full and fair debate, receive a simple up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. It’s time to move away from … advise and obstruct and get back to advise and consent.” – Mitch McConnell on Senate floor, May 19, 2005

        “This is not the first time a minority of senators has upset a Senate tradition or practice, and the current Senate majority intends to do what the majority in the Senate has often done–use its constitutional authority under article I, section 5, to reform Senate procedure by a simple majority vote. Despite the incredulous protestations of our Democratic colleagues, the Senate has repeatedly adjusted its rules as circumstances dictate.” – Mitch McConnell on Senate floor, May 23, 2005

        “The time has come to change the rules. I want to change them in an orderly fashion. I want a time agreement. But, barring that, if I have to be forced into a corner to try for majority vote I will do it because I am going to do my duty as I see my duty, whether I win or lose…. If we can only change an abominable rule by majority vote, that is in the interests of the Senate and in the interests of the nation that the majority must work its will. And it will work its will.” – Mitch McConnell on Senate floor, May 23, 2005

        "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

        by Lefty Coaster on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:52:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Democrats should" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orlbucfan, blue aardvark

      simple formula for stand up comedy.

  •  Harry Reid and "hang tough" in the same sentence. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


  •  McConnell: like someone abusing the fire alarm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dancing Frog

    Do we need to remove the fire alarm from a school where people abuse it?

    Absolutely NOT!

    Do we need to REGULATE it and MONITOR it so it is used properly and reasonably?

    YOU BET!!


    The Democrats missed a great opportunity several years ago to stop Republican abuse of the filibuster. They are just as unlikely to succeed this time.
    The Republican Party is bent on self-destruction. In the House they refuse to even attend  conference committee meetings.
    In the Senate they filibuster everything.
    I blogged about it on Saturday.

  •  " wobbly Democrats who are thinking they might not (0+ / 0-)

    vote with Reid Tuesday morning, that should be enough to convince them."

    Kheh kheh kheh! Her Myejyestyeh is plizzed to jeeeeest!

  •  From Nate: Senate looking like a toss-up in 2014. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Better very very very very very very very very (0+ / 0-)

    very very late than never, I suppose.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:36:14 AM PDT

  •  Do we really need... (0+ / 0-)

    close up pictures of one of the ugliest men in the senate? I just ate lunch and almost threw up when I saw that pic. We all know what he looks like - can't you just put a picture of the capitol building there instead?

    Hillary Clinton 2016

    by artr2 on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:48:23 AM PDT

  •  We are going to be SO F*** SORRY (0+ / 0-)

    I loathe Mitch McConnell and all that he stands for. That's why I am against changing the rules. Because when it's our turn in the minority, you'll have given McConnell even more power--and he will use it, and expand it, and laugh about it.

  •  I sure home we can beat him in 2014 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ditch Mitch KY

    And send him packing back to the Galapagos Islands.

  •  It sounds like there are a few wavering Dems (0+ / 0-)

    Who Harry Reid can't get to support going fully nuclear, so the compromise is to do a partial version as a test case.

  •  Come on, Reid (0+ / 0-)

    Change the rules and shut these idiots up!  We need to get something done in this country and as long as the pubs think they have a say, nothing will ever get done!  Put the damn boxing gloves back on and knock that turtle-faced asshole out!!!!

  •  "Nuclear" Reid (0+ / 0-)

    [Re Reid, I spotted this "nuclear" web bit he won't like!]

      Harry Reid's DIRTY Little Secret

                       by Aaronita Smith

          Sen. Harry Reid knows that his fellow Mormon leaders are aware of a hard-core pornographic drawing in the "Book of Abraham" which is Mormon-approved scripture.
         This Book is part of the "Pearl of Great Price" which, along with the "Book of Mormon" and the "Doctrine and Covenants," make up the LDS church's "triple combination" in one volume.
         The porn is found in Fig. 7 of Facsimile 2 in the "Book of Abraham" which shows two beings facing each other, which were described by Joseph Smith as representing the "Holy Ghost" and "God sitting upon his throne," the latter clearly showing an aroused male sex organ.
         After Smith published this sketch in his newspaper in 1842, which offended Mormon sensibilities, the phallic portion was whited out for more than a century until the "restored" LDS church decided in 1981 to restore what had long been censored!
         Equally shocking was the discovery that the "Book of Abraham" has nothing to do with Abraham or his God but was actually based on ancient Egyptian funeral documents depicting occultic obscene practices - and the original sketches showed an erotic phallus on both beings including the one Smith blasphemously claimed was the Holy Ghost!
         For further information see "Book of Abraham" (Wikipedia). Also see Jerald and Sandra Tanner's "Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?" which on 76 pages reproduces the original Egyptian X-rated drawings and shows how Smith altered them and created one of his many frauds. Highlights in the classic Tanner work can be seen by typing "Facts From Mormons (By a Utah Resident)" and "What LDS Leaders Say" on Yahoo.

    (Mormon senators Reid and Hatch did NOT approve of this message!)

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