Mike McIntyre Retires
A nine time congressman is calling it quits. In a statement released this afternoon, Mike McIntyre is going to retire at the end of his current term.
A nine time congressman is calling it quits. In a statement released this afternoon, Mike McIntyre is going to retire at the end of his current term.
Harry Reid ended the filibuster today. I know that he only changed rules that impact nominees other than Supreme Court Justices, but this is Washington – no good deed goes unpunished. Even if the rules are changed back the last day of the session before republicans take the chamber, you can bet that this won’t be forgotten – the republicans will be highly motivated to not only respond in kind but conduct an escalation – in time, there will be no filibuster.
Okay, I guess. There may be worse things.
I happen to believe in the idea that presidential nominees should be afforded the opportunity of a vote. He did, after all, win. Further, Ii think that votes should be brought before the chambers to be voted on. Needing 60 to agree to vote on something that needs 51 is silly.
However, I also believe that the leaders of each chamber should be more willing to allow votes on issues that they don’t necessarily agree. For example, the recent non-discrimination act for gay employees will never see a vote in the house. I don’t like that. And, similarly, Reid doesn’t bring up for votes issues that he personally disagrees with. In fact, one of the reasons the filibuster has been used so often in recent years is that Harry fills the amendment tree preventing the republicans from amending bills.
So, what do people have to say about the nuclear option?
Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Democrats are fixing to “blow up 200 years of Senate history” just because they’re not getting their way on a handful of “radical” judicial nominees. On Capitol Hill, the threat of the “nuclear option” has created a sort of political ground zero, and activists on both sides believe that the way this thing plays out will control the shape of the federal judiciary — and with it, the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution — for decades to come.
Call it a primer on the judicial confirmation process. Call it what you get when you spend way too much time reading Riddick’s Senate Procedure. Just don’t call it the “nuclear option” — at least not when Harry Reid is around to correct you. The Senate majority leader doesn’t want his plan to sound so explosive, but be forewarned: Unless somebody blinks first, we’re in for a mind-warping set of unprecedented Senate maneuvers that could put Joe Biden in charge of deeming the filibuster “unconstitutional” — without a word from those folks in black robes across the street — and grease the way for each and every left-wing extremist Barrack Obama ever cares to put on a district court, an appellate court or the U.S. Supreme Court.
And here’s The Hill:
“To change the rules in the Senate can’t be done by a simple majority. It can only be done if there is extended debate by 67 votes,” McConnell said.
“They are talking about doing something illegal. They are talking about breaking the rules to change the rules, and that is not appropriate. That is not fair, and it is not right,” he said.
And what did The Democrat have to say?
A filibuster allows any Senator to prevent a full vote by extending debate on an issue or a presidential appointee indefinitely and requires a supermajority of 60 votes to “break” the filibuster and force a vote. The ability of three-fifths of the Senators to end such debate — two-thirds, in the case of a motion to change Senate rules — is codified in the Standing Rules of the Senate, Rule 22, also known as “Precedence of Motions.”
… the Democrat majority, in an effort to push through Barack Obama’s far left-wing judicial nominees, sought to get rid of the filibuster via the “nuclear option,” which would have solidified absolute, one-party rule and allowed all of Bush’s nominees to go through with essentially only Republican approval — thus removing any reason for the minority party to even show up in the Senate chamber.
But unlike an ideologically-driven hack like Reid, Mitch McConnell is a Senate purist who believes in the way the Senate has always run and the wisdom of its traditions, even if some of those will benefit the Democrat minority over the next few years.
Okay okay, those sources are accurately linked but changed the names and parties to represent the opposite of reality.
These guys are all a bunch of pukes – both sides. All of ’em. They have all blocked nominations and they have all complained of the minority party having too much power. But now Reid has done it, he’s broken the rule. And the rule will be broken again – and the next time it will be pay back.
For the first time in 150 years, North Carolina has a republican controlled government. It should surprise no one that republican favored agendas are being passed into law.
[ It should also serve as a stark lesson to all liberals who rejoiced in massive democratic majorities following the election of Obama that such majorities are not always good ]
One of the priorities of the republican legislature is to pass a voucher bill:
The House budget set aside $10 million for vouchers this year for families meeting income requirements, and $40 million next year. Parents would receive $4,200 per child to help cover private school tuition. Vouchers are in play in the negotiations between House and Senate budget writers.
Such “hatred of poor kids” is, of course, the subject of Moral Monday marches in Raleigh. For as long as I can remember, the concept of vouchers in specific and private schools in general have been a special hatred of the left.
And I can’t understand why.
I get that the state has a vested interest in the education of its children. And in so far as the state is interested in said education, I would suppose that how that education was delivered would largely be inconsequential. What MIGHT be of importance is who is best able to deliver education that results in the highest levels of quality. That is, if the state can do it better than the private school, then I get the argument that the state should provide education.
However, our public schools are horrible, yes? And if private schools are able to deliver at least equal levels of education at prices that are dramatically cheaper, ought we not go where it makes sense? And there is little evidence to suggest that public schools are superior to private ones.
So why the outrage over private school vouchers?
Is it because the left feels that parents of the most at risk students don’t care enough even to apply for and receive such vouchers? Or is it because the democrat machine is dominated by the most powerful lobbying force in the country – the Teacher’s Union?
Republicans in North Carolina are advancing a bill that would require drug tests for welfare recipients:
Raleigh, N.C. — Applicants the welfare program known as WorkFirst would need to pass a drug test before enrolling in the program under a bill that passed the state Senate Monday night.
The measure, which passed 35-15, now goes to the House.
There are currently 21,124 people in North Carolina enrolled in WorkFirst, a program that provides cash payments to people looking for jobs. It is targeted to the parents of young children.
“Every kid in North Carolina deserves to live in a drug-free home,” said Sen. Jim Davis, R-Macon, the bill’s sponsor.
Sen. Angela Bryant, D-Nash, said the bill violates the U.S. Constitution because it calls for a blanket search of people who haven’t otherwise raised suspicion.
The measure requires those seeking benefits to pay for the drug tests. If the tests are negative, applicants would be reimbursed for the tests. If they test positive, they would be ineligible for benefits. At an average of $100 per person for testing, the state could be liable for reimbursements of more than $2.1 million.
“The impact of this bill, if not the intent, is to hurt the most vulnerable,” Bryant said.
I think that Angela Bryant is wrong. It doesn’t violate the US Constitution. New York is allowed to search the homes of gun owners, NC can require tests for people who wanna take state aid. And she’s wrong regarding intent. No one wants to hurt anyone.
The intent of the bill is to prevent state money, tax payer money, from going towards the purchase of drugs. Plain and simple.
With ALL of that being said, the bill is wrong minded. The reason, a large reason, that people are in need of help to begin with is the fact that they are hooked on drugs. These folks need help, addiction help, not a push away from that help. Wanna test for drugs? Sure, but then offer rehabilitation services to get these folks off of those drugs. Otherwise…well, otherwise they go underground, keep using, keep hurting their kids and never getting help.
Republicans are wrong here. But, BUT, democrats need to admit that society is willing to help someone out, to get back on their feet. We are not door mats just waiting to give our money to folks that will just flush it down the toilet.
I know why the democrats haven’t submitted a budget in 4 years:
Its Democratic counterpart, from Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.), raises nearly $1 trillion in new taxes, adds new stimulus spending and does not project any date at which balance will be reached.
Murray, who released details but not a full document, also axed nine years of the sequester, meaning her budget would actually not cut spending compared to the Congressional Budget Office baseline.
North Carolina has gone decidedly red in recent years. After voting for Obama in 2008 along with a democrat for governor and senator we have gone red; very red. In 2010, however, that all changed. Republicans won majorities in both the house and the senate. In fact, it was the first time that had been the case since the Civil War ended.
In 2012 the trend continued. North Carolina was the only battle ground state to switch and go for Romney. The governor’s race was, in essence, a rematch between the candidate from the 2008 election. Except the sitting governor chose not to run and instead we saw her Lt. Governor get trampled. In the state house? The republicans not only held serve but they extended their majority. To the point that they hold a veto proof majority. In fact, they are so in the majority that the republicans are able to submit constitutional amendments to popular vote without even one democrat agreeing.
I think this level of dominance is dangerous. Dangerous in the same way that I thought the democrats held control of the federal powers in 2008.
So far, the majority has taken to a little political payback. The democrats, predictably, have squealed, but to be very fair, the fact that they are not getting their way after more than 100 years of uninterrupted control is a bit of righteous karma.
As I feared the republicans are using their muscle in a way and manner that would be checked with a more balanced government:
Resurrecting last session’s bruising battle over the death penalty in North Carolina, a Republican state senator on Wednesday filed a bill to wipe all traces of the Racial Justice Act off the books.
The 2009 law allowed statistics compiled statewide to be used to prove racial bias in the prosecution, jury selection or sentencing in capital cases.
Now, in full disclosure, if I could have the “Eye of God” and be certain that the guilt or innocence of an individual could be ascertained with certainty, I have no problem with the death penalty for certain crimes. However, we do not possess this “Eye of God” certainty and, in fact, I have no more faith in the government “getting it right” when determining said innocence or guilt, or the sentence associated with that verdict, than I do with that government managing health care, or nutritional needs, or education.
In short, I don’t trust government all that much at all.
So when people tell me that the poor and minorities are subject to sentences of the death penalty in meaningful volumes, I advocate creating a law that has the ability to not change the verdict, but change the sentence from death to life in prison.
And the republicans are changing that.
And it’s wrong.
The headlines this week are going to focus on “compromise”. What each party thinks that means, for themselves and for the other guys, is going to be interesting. And will be at the heart of the conflict.
In the over-arching context, compromise refers to the effort to reduce the deficit so that we can begin to work on reducing the debt. And the whole concept of compromise is the smaller individual effort to accomplish this goal by either increasing revenue or reducing spending. Or, a third method, which is that the whole framing of the “problem” isn’t correct. That is, while we do have a debt and a deficit, any conversation should be couched in our ability to carry, or repay, each. However, I would suggest that such a take on the subject is awfully “inside baseball” and is even further removed from common understanding than such basic concepts as debt, deficit, baseline budgeting and “cuts”.
With the failure of Washington to stop the Sequestration, the conversation switches to:
And right now, the conflict between the democrats and the republicans is the whole idea of compromise. One one side you will hear that any spending decrease will have to be matched by a conversation that discusses an increase of revenues through the tax code. And on the other? You’re gonna hear that revenues have already been addressed during the legislation that handled the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts.
So, if I was the President of the United States or, if I was just a manager tasked with handling this budgetary effort, how would I guide the parties forward?
First, I would establish that for this effort, I was the President of the United States, not the President of the Democrat Party. In other words, Obama has got to stop the party politics and blaming of the republicans.
I acknowledge that this is near impossible and why I would suck at politics. Obama was elected because he is a democrat and he continues to receive the support he has because he’s expected to be a democrat president helping those same democrats take the House in 2014. Which, by the way, puts him in a position that is firmly in his wheelhouse: Campaigning.
I would approach the republicans and work on an idea that took two forms:
After speaking with the republicans I would approach the democrats and work on that same idea giving them:
In order to accomplish this plan, the main components of my plan would include:
Items 1-4 above should be straight forward and relatively easy; the 5th is a tougher sell. The republicans are against any revenue increase and the democrats can’t let go of the class warfare and are intransigent on the issue of tax rates; specifically on the wealthy.
So, I’m just reading around when I came across a Gallup poll on creationism, evolution and who believes in what. I grew up Christian, went to church almost every Sunday for 18 years, Sunday School ’till I graduated high school, sang in the choir and take my kids to church today – though not every Sunday.
I don’t think I can remember ever thinking, when I was old enough to begin to think independently, that God created humans in human form. I certainly NEVER believed that science was wrong. I’ve always accepted that rocks were very old, that people once couldn’t read, write and do the things we can today.
In short, I’ve always felt that evolution was very clearly how we got to where we are today.
So, I’m stunned, freakin’ STUNNED, to learn that a plurality, 46% of American’s, believe that God created humans in current form just 10,000 years ago.
The first thing that came to my mind was that it was that group of people that the Left loves to hate; the Tea Party:
Certainly republicans are leading the charge, but not by the margins I would have thought. I mean, 41% of democrats think that God created, what I have to believe, is Adam and Eve in literal form.
Only slightly less surprising is the numbers that support my view that God guided evolution to get us where we are today [I’m not sure that we’re the finished form, by the way. Which may explain my “meh” attitude on supposed crisis like overpopulation and global warming]. I would have thought that as education increased, the view that God guided evolution would decrease:
Nope. In each case, high school, college and then postgraduate, the rate increased supporting God involved evolution.
I can’t explain it.
Anyway, no commentary, just cool.
So I was researching some stuff for my post on the USS Minnesota when I came across this trivia:
Minnesota has the longest streak of voting for Democratic presidential candidates than any other state in the nation.
And this is during a discussion of who Romney should choose for a running mate.
Minnesota giveth and Minnesota taketh away!