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Friday, October 21, 2016

WASHINGTON — Some elections are contests between voters who are happy and voters who are not. This fall’s elections are of a different sort: Since almost all the voters are unhappy with politics, the battle will be over which party gets the blame for dysfunction, inaction and disillusionment.

No one understands this better than Harry Reid. The Senate majority leader gets plenty frustrated when people claim that both parties are equally responsible for the mess in Congress. The evidence, he insists, is that the Republicans are gumming things up for their own political purposes.

“It irritates me so much when people say, ‘Why don’t they just work together?'” Reid says. What this overlooks, he argues, is that “the Republicans made a decision … to oppose everything Obama wants.” It’s in the GOP’s interest to keep things from happening because it plays into a simple narrative that Reid described this way: “Democrats control the Senate. We have a Democrat in the White House. Why can’t you get things done?”

The result: “They won’t let us vote on things that the vast majority of the American people want a vote on.”

“It’s so bad around here,” Reid adds, “that they filibuster their own bills.”

A politician who is not given to seeking either attention or praise from the media, the Nevada Democrat invited a group of mostly liberal commentators to his Capitol office Wednesday to challenge what he sees as nostalgic reminiscences about the Senate of old that ignore how much making the filibuster routine has made normal governing impossible. “Things are not the way they used to be around here,” he says, “and I’ve been here for 32 years.”

There are numbers to back up Reid’s complaint. The use of the filibuster has soared over less than a decade. The number of cloture votes per Congress (an imperfect but illuminating measure of filibuster abuse) jumped into the triple or high double digits since the Democrats took over the Senate in 2007, compared with the high teens or low 20s in the early 1980s, and the single digits before 1970.

But there is also the political factor: Democrats, including Reid, are under no illusions about how the public feels about Washington. What the Democrats may have going for them relative to the Republicans, said a senior Democratic Senate aide, is that voters “hate them more than they hate us.”

This, the polls suggest, is true. A Quinnipiac poll released earlier this month found that American voters disapprove of the job Republicans in Congress are doing by a 73 percent to 18 percent margin. They disapprove of the job Democrats are doing by 63 percent to 29 percent. Among independents, 74 percent disapprove of the Republicans in Congress, while 69 percent disapprove of the Democrats.

When it comes to opinion of the Republican Party overall, 52 percent of all voters have a negative view, 36 percent a positive view. For Democrats, it’s 49 percent negative, 41 percent positive.

Reid wants to reinforce these numbers (and maybe help bump the Democratic numbers up a bit) by making the battle over Senate dysfunction something other than an insider’s debate. The insider argument starts with the Democrats contending, as Reid did, that Republicans won’t ever work with them. The Republicans immediately counter that Reid has made it difficult or impossible for the GOP to amend Democratic bills.

Reid scoffed at the Republican claim that he is “dictating what’s going on in the Senate” and asserts that the real problem is that Republicans “can’t agree among themselves on a list of amendments.” The Republicans answer by saying, in effect: So what? If they can’t get the amendments they want, they will keep insisting that they have no reason to cooperate with Democrats.

The Democratic imperative is to break out of this dreary back-and-forth over process and focus on the substance of the bills being blocked. “We need to make the case that Congress would be helping the middle class if it weren’t for Republican obstruction,” the Senate Democratic aide said. Reid ticked off an agenda that includes a minimum wage increase, background checks for gun buyers, equal pay for women, and campaign finance reform. He also stressed that Congress should be passing a broad transportation bill rather than just another short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund.

Exposing the other side’s sabotage is not the most inspiring thing to do, but Reid figures that fighting back is better than giving in. At the least, the voters may hate you a little less.

E.J. Dionne’s email address is [email protected]. Twitter: @EJDionne.

AFP Photo/Alex Wong

  • kenyattagward

    Jacqueline implied I’m taken by surprise that a mom can earn $8130 in 1 month
    on the computer . see post C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • Dominick Vila

    The buck invariably stops at the desk occupied by the man at the top, regardless of which party is in control. However, if the topic is who is to blame for the slow economic recovery, all we have to do is remember who rejected investment in infrastructure, who rejected the Veterans Jobs Act, who rejected raising the minimum wage, who criticized the $714B in MEDICARE savings without impacting services, who rejected raising the tax rate of those earning over $250K a year by 3% to reduce the deficit, who fought raising the national debt, for the first time in U.S. history and precipitating the first – unconstitutional – debt default since we became a nation.
    The problem for the GOP is not that they don’t have ideas, the problem is that their ideas are designed to destroy our economy, prevent job growth, reduce inequality, and achieve the prosperity we and opportunities we deserve. Their goals are not accidental. Their was no ambiguity when they said that the reason for their dependence on NO was to ensure President Obama was a one-term President.
    Have President Obama and Democrats in Congress made mistakes? Absolutely, but I much rather have a party that makes mistakes while trying to improve our standard of living and strengthen our national security, than a party that deliberately tries to scuttle our future to score political points.

    • Joyce

      I love you, Dom

    • Independent1

      Great post! And just to reinforce your concluding comments, here is virtually an entire article from Grate Wire that discusses a meeting held between around 15 Republicans the night Obama was inaugurated, a meeting designed to figure out how the GOP could go about destroying Obama’s presidency. It’s obvious from this article that the destruction they’ve caused to his presidency and the country over the past 6 years was not by accident or lack of planning:

      WASHINGTON — As President Barack Obama was celebrating his inauguration at various balls, top Republican lawmakers and strategists were conjuring up ways to submarine his presidency at a private dinner in Washington.

      The event — which provides a telling revelation for how quickly the post-election climate soured — serves as the prologue of Robert Draper’s much-discussed and heavily-reported new book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives.”

      According to Draper, the guest list that night (which was just over 15 people in total) included Republican Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Paul Ryan (Wis.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) and Dan Lungren (Calif.), along with Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.). The non-lawmakers present included Newt Gingrich, several years removed from his presidential campaign, and Frank Luntz, the long-time Republican wordsmith. Notably absent were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) — who, Draper writes, had an acrimonious relationship with Luntz.

      …. The article goes on to talk about the various plots discussed that night… but here are the results of the next coming weeks.

      The dinner lasted nearly four hours. They parted company almost giddily. The Republicans had agreed on a way forward:

      Go after Geithner. (And indeed Kyl did, the next day: ‘Would you answer my question rather than dancing around it—please?’)

      Show united and unyielding opposition to the president’s economic policies. (Eight days later, Minority Whip Cantor would hold the House Republicans to a unanimous No against Obama’s economic stimulus plan.)

      Begin attacking vulnerable Democrats on the airwaves. (The first National Republican Congressional Committee attack ads would run in less than two months.)

      Win the spear point of the House in 2010. Jab Obama relentlessly in 2011. Win the White House and the Senate in 2012.

      So, while the country is in free fall from the economic disaster created by Bush. The Republicans are more worried about ousting the new President than helping their country.

      I think we all knew this was going on. But, it is interesting to see the dirty work going on behind the scenes.

      • Dominick Vila

        I can’t say that I am surprised. In fact, what would have surprised me would have been an article that reported the opposite. The GOP leadership, and the rank and file, made it perfectly clear that their primary objective was to make President Obama a one-term president. The fact that millions of Americans suffered as a result of their obstructionism and intolerance was of little concern to them. Partly because they know how to manipulate their flock, divert attention from reality, and take advantage of people who are either too naive or so full of hate that they can’t think rationally.
        Considering how well organized and determined the opposition to Obama’s policies have been since the day of his first inauguration, what he has accomplished is nothing short of remarkable.

        • Independent1

          I couldn’t agree more with your last sentence. I’m starting to realize that Barack Obama works harder at doing what he can on his own to move America forward than any other president I’ve lived under, and I can remember my parents listening to FDR’s fireside chats. I’d be hard pressed to say that even FDR worked harder than Obama (remember FDR was in office more than twice as long as Obama has been).

          I don’t think any of us has appreciated fully just how dedicated and hard working Barack Obama has been since being elected. I think the GOP may realize that which is maybe why they are hellbent on slowing him down; because if they had provided the least bit of support, Barack would have implemented changes in America that were good for the people that would have blown the GOP totally out of the water.

          Even Newt Gingrich realized this; Newt said the following in an interview with Al Sharpton after the meeting held inauguration night discussed in my previous comment:

          Newt responding to Sharpton’s question:
          The first is, it was an important meeting and I was glad and honored to be part of it … I said to Callista when we left the hall — because we were at the Capitol for the inaugural. As we left, I said, you know, if he sticks to the kind of moderation and bipartisanship he`s been describing, he will split the Republican Party. He`ll govern like Eisenhower and he`ll get reelected. Now this is — this is the inaugural day.

          Not only has he taken BY FAR least amount of time off of any president in my memory (barely over 100 days vacation in almost 6 years while Reagan, and the 2 Bushs took almost that much time their 1st year.) But he also never stops looking for input from the American people as to what it is he needs to do to help them live better lives.

          I’m not sure if you’ve ever signed up on to be updated on activities at the White House, but here’s an email I just got today on input that Obama was looking for:


          Two weeks ago, President Obama asked you to write and tell him how you’re doing. And I can tell you, as one of the people who helps sort through the mail here at the White House, that a lot of you answered.

          You told us how you’re feeling about your family, your community, and our country. You shared stories about what’s been going well, and what you wish was better.

          So if you were wondering if those letters actually get read, the answer is yes.

          And this was followed by samples of the thousands of emails that had been sent into the White House responding to Obama’s request for input.

          • angelsinca

            The ultimately clueless right-wing wackos who post on the NM constantly complain…

            I have no reason to doubt your honesty. But, if you actually received this quote in an email from, it is no wonder the country is as divided as it is. The spark of malcontent that identifies conservatives as the enemy by its figurehead indeed continues to burn from the top and its propagandists. So sad, so enlightening. Thanks for that.

          • Independent1

            Sorry, since when has the White House published anything about the National Memo?? You’re obviously doing what today’s Conservatives do best, when you can’t rebutt the truth, try to foist the blame back on who’s telling you the truth. If the truth fits – wear it!! And it clearly fits!!!

            What in tarnation to do you call 24/7 bleating by faux News, Rush Limpbag, Glenn Beak, Hannity, Palin, and countless GOP legislators if it’s not constant complaining????????

          • angelsinca

            My mistake. Your missing punctuation was misleading. I mistook your rant toward conservatives on the NM as part of the reply from Please feel free to continue your constant complaining of all things GOP.

          • Independent1

            You can bet your boots that I’m going to keep complaining about the GOP as long as it keeps acting like nothing more than the American Mafia.

            Give me one example of anything the GOP has done in t he past 2 plus decades that doesn’t emulate the Italian Mafia. Passing legislation at every opportunity that funds money into the pocket of those who already have more than they need via unwarranted tax cuts and subsidies to corporations who are already making billions in profits.

            Starting unwarranted wars just so they can give no bid contracts to their cronies in defense related industries to give them license to rip off tax payers for trillions of dollars via all forms of fraud like not starting or completing projects they were given millions of dollars to complete, or like Haliburton that was caught charging $100/gal to fill up jeeps in Iraq.

            Or spending like drunken sailors, running up debts on a credit card (the country’s deficits) by keeping billions upon billions of dollars outside the presidents budgets so they can’t be tracked.

            And on and on and on and on.. Come on!! List me just a couple things that the American Mafia has done which didn’t end up intending to funnel monies into the pockets of GOP donors. Go ahead!! Let’s hear it!!!!

          • 1standlastword

            Hey independent, Angel is bringing the same BS with me down below here but I’m not going to loose too much time with this…just so you know

        • Independent1

          Sorry if I’ve been a bit long winded Dominick, but I got to the end of the letters and thought you might appreciate the closing paragraphs from Fiona:

          Your letters mean so much to everyone here, President Obama included. That’s one reason why he’s spending time with people like Rebekah, a letter writer he met in Minneapolis in June, and why, this week, he’s spending time with folks
          like you who’ve written him in Denver and Austin.

          As the President has said, even though employment is the lowest it’s been since 2008 and the economy is adding jobs at a rate we haven’t seen since the 90s, we still have a lot more work to do — too many are still struggling to get ahead.

          Every letter we get — every story — matters. And that’s why, all this summer, the President will be talking about ways this administration is working
          to make a difference in peoples’ lives.

          Thank you,


          Fiona Reeves
          Director, Office of Presidential Correspondence
          The White House

    • Mark

      The other problem Dominick, as you’ve said before, is that too many Republican voters are people voting against their own best interests. Thanks to gerrymandered districts, the only people who can vote the R’s out of office are the people who won’t do this unless they’re frightened into it. Can this ever be changed?

  • charleo1

    While I can sympathize with Reid a little, I must use all of my bleeding heart Liberalism, giving every benefit of the doubt I can possibly muster, to do so. When this Country had chosen what we thought was a new Progressive President. More Progressive than Hillary. Had given what we thought was the more Progressive Party huge majorities in Congress, there were reasons for that. Reasons that at the time, seemed lost on Majority Leader Reid. When Democrats, and Progressives in huge numbers, seen it was imperative to get Wall Street under control, and then rebalance an economy, so structurally haywire, even in good times only the top, 1% profited. When we knew the wages of the working poor were a the causation of much of the gov. debt. and chronic unemployment. And realized supporting the shrinking the wages of the Middle Class, and restructuring the lopsided tax system, was vital to putting the Country back on the path to real economic security for everyone,
    we put the Democrats in charge. And, when we heard there were 50 million
    people that had no healthcare, because their employers no longer carried it.
    And they couldn’t afford the premiums, or had a condition where the companies wouldn’t write insurance on them, we knew the Republicans would never adequately address such a problem, so we put a lot of Democrats in Congress, and one in the White House, and said we’re the only
    rich Country where this is happening, so let’s fix it! We also knew putting together a National single payer health program, similar to every other industrialized Country, would be vital to competing in the new global economy. Scientists warned us that we must reduce the tons of carbon being released in the air. Common sense told us it would be huge fight with the oil cos. That Global Warming is the environmental challenge of our time, and
    having Republicans in charge would mean nothing would be done. So, we
    elected Democrats. What we got for all our electing Democrats, was the filibuster. What the filibuster became was the excuse that sicken the base of Progressives, who stayed home after listening to it for two years, from Reid, and others. And what that got the Country, was the T-Party. Is it any wonder
    people are ticked off at Congress? Now a minority of extremists are in effect
    running the Country by obstruction like a prison camp. Who’s happy? Well,
    the oil cos., are. And the health insurance cos. are very pleased with all the new business. Wall Street is back in the collateralized debt business, complete with trillions in credit default swaps, so they’re very happy. Although they’d never admit it. And Harry is still crying about the 60 vote filibuster. Well, keep in now Harry. We’re going to need it.

    • browninghipower

      Well said!

  • ps0rjl

    Alright Harry. The first thing you need to do is go back to original filibuster. No more just voting to take one and it is done. This will eliminate the fact that all bills need a super majority to pass and a small group can just vote to filibuster without actually doing it. From now on if a senator wants to filibuster a bill he will just have to stand there and talk. As for amendments, they have been tacked onto bills since there has been a senate. That is what compromise and committees are for, to hammer out the actual bill. .

  • bobnstuff

    What Harry needs to do is put up every lame bill the house sends him for a up or down vote. Let the country see just how much the republicans have sold out. The stack of bills that the republicans keep talking about if 15 bills is a stack are all for their corporative overlords.

  • dana becker

    A political party that thinks it is more important to put their party over the well being of the people and the country first should never hold a position of power ever again.

  • Rosemary Richards

    we wouldn’t have defaulted on our loans by not raising the debt ceiling , To default on our loans we would have to not pay the interest. I have a NOVEL IDEA why doesn’t Congress pass the balanced budget amendment , This would require them to live within their means.I have to. How about this Quit giving out Income tax refunds to people that don’t even have a job!! If you are SO INTO paying down the debt why don’t you spend YOUR OWN MONEY!! You are under the Illusion that Congress has a revenue problem. They don’t, they have a spending problem!!

    • Allan Richardson

      The reason it is a revenue problem rather than a spending problem is that spending for some things is MANDATORY to people with a common sense idea of what our country needs to stay safe (and I do NOT mean ONLY from military threats) and prosper. If you know you have a very important expense coming up, such as a life saving operation for a family member, or treating your house for termites, and you have a boss who is willing to give you a raise, WHY would you ask your boss for a REDUCTION in salary, while splurging your savings on a vacation, THEN refuse even to try to get a loan for the urgent, important expense?

      I wonder if the House members who oppose safety regulations will realize that, without such regulations, THEY would be breathing asbestos while conducting business TODAY?

    • awakenaustin

      The idea of a balanced budget amendment isn’t novel, but it is silly.
      A balanced budget amendment involves pretending that national emergencies, wars, and economic recessions don’t occur.
      It is no more a practical solution to ineffective and inefficient government than “abstinence only sex education” is to preventing teen sex and pregnancy.
      You cannot get a income tax refund if you have no job (or self-employment) without committing fraud. (I think the local 7-11 should stop giving money to people who rob it. Silly statement isn’t it.) It is remarkable the nonsense people will believe when it fits their particular biases.

      • angelsinca

        Avoiding a balanced budget only shows the government’s inability, or unwillingness, to reduce its obesity. Feeding it with debt only makes it fatter. Disaster preparedness is achieved with responsible reserves and prudent practices (like not living on a crumbling hillside while building a larger house on the cliff).

        • awakenaustin

          Wow, clearly you haven’t much familiarity with those things called “natural” disasters.
          Prudent planning? Next time to prudently plan not to have everything they own distroyed

    • charleo1

      Let me ask you a simple question, Rosemary. What would your credit card company think of you, if you call them up, and said I’m only paying the interest on my balance this next year? They’d probably think Rosemary is in some kind of real financial trouble, and exercise that little clause, that let’s them cancel your account, and call for immediate payment of all outstanding debt. What makes those who are so sure, all we really have to do is pay the interest for awhile, our creditors aren’t going to assume we’re in so much political gridlock, we may just start welching on all of our debt, and start turning in all their securities for payment at once? Or, did the T-Party assume the borrower may change the terms of the loan at will? The problem about messing with repayment of any debt is, it undermines the confidence of the investor. For example, Spain is paying around 10% for the money they are borrowing to keep their Country out of default. We on the other hand are paying less than 1% for the money, the World is practically begging us to hold for them. Do you really want to mess with that kind of reputation? I think the T-Party here, is either completely ignorant, or are intentionally trying to cause questions about the full faith, and credit of the U.S. Personally, I don’t listen to pig farmers, and other down homey types. Who’s only experience with credit, has been their account at the local feed store. When it comes to international finance, stemming generational recessions, decreasing our own public debt, or keeping the Euro zone Countries, our major trading partners afloat. I prefer to listen to the general consensus of economists, and other so trained, and informed individuals. All of which, by the way, said the U.S. pulling such a stunt would most assuredly put the international markets into panic mode, and shrink our own economy by three, and maybe four percentage points right away. Costing perhaps as many as 15/20 million jobs in the first six months And increasing the cost of our own borrowing by an additional 2/5% minimum, to stop the ensuing run on the U.S. bond market. Or, we could let the bottom fall out of our economy. And then elect more T-Party know nothings. Then while we’re in the crapper, reach up, and pull the handle. Debt problem solved alright?

      • angelsinca

        I agree with you, but she didn’t suggest we default on the nat’l debt. The blank check mentality is not embraced by all economists. The government cannot avoid austerity by continuing to grow an unsustainable debt. The US doesn’t have an EU to fall back on to prevent its insolvency. It does have a rapid approach toward a worthless Dollar if it continues what its doing. The Fed was supposed to end the QE when the UE rate dropped to 6.5. It is now at 6.1 (reportedly) and the half a trillion monthly QE is going to continue through October, until just before the elections. Much to fear.

        • charleo1

          All such talk is nonsense, and evidently scares some people, as is it’s intent. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not pure baloney. Relying on the fact, those who are being made fearful are so because they have no idea if the dollar’s collapse is imminent or not. Or what the Fed is doing, or why. Or as you demonstrate, have no idea what QE is, or the amount of monies involved. They are only told it is very bad, and being done on Obama’s orders. Or the Fed Chair is helping Obama, or some plot, somewhere. Or other dark scary things that go bump in the night.

    • Independent1

      You sound like the typical nonsensical tea party person. Balanced budgets may work well with home budgets and maybe even companies, but balanced budget amendments are THE LAST THING that a government needs. The LAST THING a government needs is for those running it to be the ones to determine which Peter will be robbed to pay which Paul. As awakenaustin pointed out, governments have to deal with many unknowns that rarely impact a family or company; and if a company or family has to cut back on spending to cover an unexpected expense, it’s only the company or family who end up suffering, not millions of citizens or entities that had no responsibility for whatever the emergency was that had to be addressed – as for example, the damage done to the northeast by hurricane Sandy.

      With a balanced budget amendment, you can be sure that the Republicans would have required someone to be shortchanged in order to pay for the costs of repairing the Sandy damage. Who would it be? Would our defense budget have been cut back? And if so why? Our defense people were not responsible for Sandy’s damage. Would monies going to Medicaid have been cut back? And if so why? Those needing Medicaid assistance weren’t responsible for the Sandy damage. NO!! Every American citizen needed to share in repairing the damage to Sandy, because next week or next month or next year, a hurricane, or tornado or a drought or too much rain, could put any and all Americans at risk to the same kind of damage that Sandy caused.

      Balanced budget amendments are for families and maybe for companies and maybe for children who are to naive to accept responsibility, BUT THEY ARE NOT FOR GOVERNMENTS!!!!!!

      • angelsinca

        Balanced budgets ARE for governments. They naturally limit the size of government, commensurate with its role in our lives. Spending limits lessen how much of your earnings it needs to sustain itself. Government is a service provider, not a guarantor that everything will always be alright. It’s not your mother, not your insurance agent, not your pastor.

        • Independent1

          Total NONSENSE!! Sensible spending in the 1st place is what good governing demands.

          Sensible spending means you don’t give handouts to companies like Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Agribusiness just so you can assure their continued political support.

          Sensible spending means you don’t start wars you can’t afford and try to run after you’ve just passed two unwarranted tax cuts.

          Sensible spending means you don’t give tax cuts unless you’ve figured out a sensible way to pay for them.

          Sensible spending means you set tax rates based on the revenues that are needed to provide the government services that the people in your country need, not on what will give the rich more money to play their rich boy games.

          All things that what you call “conservatives” don’t appear to have the common sense to do. These were the things virtually all the GOP presidents and legislators since Eisenhower seem to have totally forgotten when they’ve enacted unwarranted tax cuts, unwarranted wars and constantly provided billions upon billions of dollars in subsidies every year to businesses that were making billions in profits without them.

          Everyone since Nixon’s 2nd term spending like drunken sailors, spending more money each that all the presidents before them combined – Bush Jr spent more money in 8 years than every president in office before him had spent – and HE is a conservative??

          And not only that but while spending like drunken sailors, Reagan and the 2 Bushes increased the size of the federal government by over 280,000 workers, while Carter, Clinton and Obama reduced the size government by over 330,000, such that our government today is smaller than when Reagan left office in 1989.

          And on top of that, during Bush Jrs terme, the size of all governments combined increased by over 980,000 while under Obama they’ve decreased by over 750,000.

          All that clear evidence that Conservatives know absolutely nothing about running a government!!!

          • angelsinca

            You can tell usually how well a government is running by how content its people are. When the major parties are odds with each, and the 3 branches are grappling with each other, and the ciitzens are protesting each other, and the debt continues to rise, it is dishonest to say that the government is running well. But, please do keep showing us how not to do it.

  • Gary Graves

    The only change Republicans want is to be in charge of government again. This will never happen, The hole they are digging can’t be repaired or filled up.

    • Midway54

      I am not so sanguine as to feel that the Republican servants of the plutocracy will not become the majority party in Congress and successfully install another rightwing stooge in the White House. This because we are in the increasingly strong vise of a Gilded Age II Plutocracy complete with robber barons, spreading hundreds of millions of dollars to see that large sectors of the electorate are barred from voting and also to inundate the media with pure, shameless bilge designed to send out whom they clearly see with justification (so does Fox “News) as the huge community of politically ignorant and mentally vulnerable voters across the Country to cheer and vote for the allegedly patriotic, “real American” candidates bought and paid for by the plutocrats. In a word, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

  • fm3359

    Reid is an Obama lapdog, Part of the anti-Christian left that hates all things American. He wraps himself in the flag all the while lying and spitting upon it.

    • browninghipower

      I had planned on a reasoned and fact-based response to the gentleman above. But on second thought…this moron only deserves this…Blow it out your ass, you idiot. I am proudly anti-Right Wing Christian and only regret there are too few lions these days. I don’t hate America…I despise you and your traitorous ugly ilk. Now I expect you’ll go running to someone who gives a shit about your delusions of persecution and sob, but I don’t care. You should be persecuted for trying to fuck with the rest of us real Americans.

      • fm3359

        Thank you, You proved my point that leftists are small minded people that resort to insults when they have no facts. By the way, Jesus suggested Charity and compassion for the poor. When a person GIVES it is charity, When a leftist takes it from someone else to give away that is THEFT!

        • George

          A rich man cannot go to heaven. Its in there.

          • fm3359

            So where does that put Kennady, Clinton, Obama. Not one of them is poor. Where are they headed???

          • Sand_Cat

            Hopefully a better place than you.

    • Allan Richardson

      The richest and most powerful religious establishment in America claims to be PERSECUTED because they are no longer as completely IN CONTROL as they used to be. If that’s persecution, then plenty of religious minorities all over the world would LOVE to be “persecuted” that way.

    • Independent1

      What you’re to idiot to realize is that the term Conservative Christian (translate that to right-wing fake Christian) is an oxymoron. The nature of a Conservative is the anti-thesis to God himself. Jesus said time and time again: think of others more highly than you do of yourself. No right-wing wacko can ever do that!! Because just the nature of a conservative is THINK OF ME FIRST!!! Evangelicals that are worshiping the GOP and consider themselves a Christian are living a LIE!!!

      • angelsinca

        You don’t know the nature of, much less understand the differences between, Christianity, Evangelism or Conservatism. When you attempt to quote Jesus to support your hate toward them, you reveal your ignorance, big time. You are much better at kicking the GOP than trampling religious freedoms.

        • Independent1

          Really! Well why don’t you try explaining what nature of a conservative conforms even remotely to the clearly liberal ideas that Jesus taught.

          Give me one example of a true conservative who would ever say ” Sell all that you have, give to the poor and come follow me.” Make yourself penniless and come follow me.

          The young ruler that he said that to was a “conservative” someone who had built up great wealth and because HE WAS A CONSERVATIVE, was BY NATURE unable to not think of himself 1st and went sadly away because he could not do what Jesus asked.

          It was right after that incident where Jesus said that it would be harder for the rich to get into Heaven than for a camel to jump through the eye of a needle.

          • angelsinca

            You completely miss the point if you maneuver through the Bible for the sole purpose of attacking your opponents, especially with partial misquotes. The teachings are intended to better yourself and your community, not to destruct others. God doesn’t need any help with condemnation.

    • Independent1

      Maybe you can explain to me how right-wing conservatives who support the GOP can believe that they are true Christians.

      Do you ever read the bible? If so, do you compare what it says to what is going on in the world? If you read the bible, have you ever read the verse that says “You cannot serve(love) God and Mammon”? (And you do understand that Mammon is money or material/worldy things.)

      If you’ve read that verse, and understand it, how in the world could you, or any other pretend Evangelical, ever support the GOP?? When if the GOP is about anything, it’s about MONEY and supporting people who are cramming material things into their lives!!!

      How can you think this way???

    • Ann Deez

      The Reids strike me as miserable people. In general.

  • 1standlastword

    Our underlying problem is the nature of American politics and the kind and quality of politicians in office at all levels of government. The problem has metastasized most profoundly in the Bush II administration.

    The lust to remain the biggest player on the global market stage has morphed American politics into an institutional BIG BUSINESS and the business model is wreaking havoc on our environment and turned us all into consumer ants and worker bees.

    What we need is a bi-partisan uprising in the middle of the two majors to correct our course. (Side bar: Bernie Sanders might upset the status quo)

    As for now, Americans are at the mercy of too many bad actors.
    Some still say ‘well that is what the T-Party wants to do’ and I say to them look at who the T-Party is….

    Let’s take the sub prime crisis as one example: How did that happen???? Wasn’t it perverse quid-pro-quo relationship government had and with a collection of corruptible industries? Who paid the price for that relationship? And the wars we have…aren’t they just based on a model of disaster capitalism? Who pays the price for that? And so on and on….

    The problem is Industry has too much influence in politics and politicians have too much interest in industry and the politicians are happy that WAY!!! Why? Because they–and only they, win job security.

    Today the definition of “public servant” is really “self servant”. One case in many points: Ray Nagin (ten years in the cooler) and he is the latest Democrat poster boy for shame on you.

    It’s bigger than one party…I think. One could even say it’s bigger than America when you see how we get pulled in and stretched out by failed foreign governments (e.g. the boarder problem belongs to El Salvador, Guatemalan and Honduran failed government and our morally corrupt self servants use that problem like a cudgel to bash the opposing party’s brains)

    This government will have to be reformed from the inside by moral people or the people on the outside will have to abolish IT!

    • Sand_Cat

      Well said.
      I boil down a great deal of what you said into two questions:
      What idiots decided corporations are “persons,” and why should that not be reversed?
      What idiots decided money and speech are the same things, and why should we tolerate that?
      The right answer to these questions would end most of the problems we currently experience.

      • 1standlastword

        The 5 majority SCOTUS is one vital integral piece of the enemy within.

        • Sand_Cat

          On target.

        • angelsinca

          As you define conservatives as ‘the enemy’, so you continue to divide the nation.

          • 1standlastword

            I don’t divide anybody! Modern republicans with their dedication to “corporate persons” ARE the enemy of worker’s rights, women’s rights, gay rights, the poor the elderly and minorities, the ecology, and foreign countries populated chiefly with dark skinned people. And if you feel demoralized and pessimistic like almost everybody in this country they are your enemy as well Angel

          • angelsinca

            The pessimism and demoralization you share wasn’t nearly as bad six years ago. That was before Christians and conservatives were declared the enemy. Yeah, we are tired of the abuse. And, yeah that abuse isn’t coming from the right.

          • 1standlastword

            You say “And, …that abuse isn’t coming from the right.”

            You really mean to imply that Obama is infringing women’ rights, gay rights, worker’s rights, the poor and minority rights, and foreign governments by carrying out diplomacy through violence?

            If you just want to oppose me in an irrational way then forget it!

            But if you have something of substance that CLEARLY illustrates that the abuse isn’t coming from the right then STATE how you see the abuse isn’t coming from the right.

            Pay attention to my question so as to understand what I’m asking of you

            Here it is: Tell me how the abuse isn’t coming from the right to the groups I’ve mentioned.

            If you distort this discussion consider NOW that you’ve heard the LAST WORD from 1standlastword…

            Let’s go!

      • charleo1

        Exactly, Sand Cat. Money is free speech, when money is itself free. And corporations are people, when one gets sent to jail, or is shipped back from Afghanistan in a body bag.

        • Sand_Cat

          I like the bumper sticker:
          “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one.”

  • herchato

    Follow the money to find out where congress goes from here. Governing of business for business by business.

  • charles king

    I have been around since 1930 and I have always believed n Democracy. I believe in Democracy more so Now that I have been apart of a Black American be re-elected to the Black House(smile). I know that Social Security works, Obamacare works, Public Education works, Critical Thinking works, all the things For, By, and Of the People works so Who? are the people that disprute these working parts of our Democractic government, if you know Who? they are then V O T E their sorry A**** O U T O U T O U T. This is America and that means all for one and one for all. The vote is still Supreme so like I said ” VOTE their sorry A**** O U T! Keep and eye and ears open for News about (Greedy Capitalstic Pigs(Corporations) Plutocracts(Commissioners) MONIES bought Do-Nothingers Republicans and Democracts, Etcs. Everything is going to be alright. Than You are the magic words in my book. I Love Ya All. Mr. C. E. KING

  • Ann Deez

    Harry Reid might be senile. Seriously.

  • rustacus21

    The buck literally stops w/Reid in another way altogether, when he refused to employ the Senate rule that would give them a simple majority to pass legislation. By bending & cow-towing to Republican pressure only makes him the the Democratic caucus & their Independent allies, look weak & intimidated. There’s no excuse NOT to exercise their majority today & worry about a conservative majority when/IF that time ever comes – b/c it’s in the Democrats hands, to win this upcoming election. The money doesn’t matter, as Liberal/Progressives & independents have been the only parties on the side of the people being brutalized by legislation in which the filibuster was & continues being used toward the detriment of tens of millions of Americans… Americans we can only hope, bring this wisdom shown here, to the polls this November…

  • exdemo55

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – An emotionally charged Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday highlighted the escalating controversy between social conservatives and Democrats who are trying to establish a constitutional right to government-funded birth control and unrestricted access to abortion.

    At issue was the Democrats’ Women’s Health Protection Act, S.1696, a bill that would eliminate nearly all state limitations on abortion and bar states from adopting new ones.

    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the bill “would make abortion common, without limit and paid for by the American taxpayer.”

    “That is a radical view held by a tiny minority of the American public but championed by activists in the Democratic Party,” he said.

    Cruz said the majority of Texans do not want to see late-term abortions made a legally acceptable procedure.

    “The norm across the world is to prohibit late-term abortion, but yet this law, in demanding no restrictions on abortions even in late-term cases, would put us in company with countries like China, North Korea and Vietnam, countries not known for their support of human rights,” Cruz said.

    Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, countered the Democratic Party assertion that Republicans are waging a “war on women.”

    “To millions of American women, such demagoguery is profoundly offensive, and I count myself among them,” she said.

    Tobias explained her belief that abortion is not simply another “medical procedure,” such that “the removal of an unborn child is equivalent to removal of a malignant tumor.”

    Calling it the “anti-Hobby Lobby bill,” the American Family Association says the proposed legislation shows a disturbing fixation on forcing Americans to violate their beliefs and pay for abortions. The landmark Supreme Court ruling June 30 found Hobby Lobby, as a “closely held” company, can’t be forced to pay for abortion-inducing methods of birth control in violation of the religious beliefs of its owners.

    “This is a demented and hate-filled attack on Hobby Lobby and people of faith everywhere,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “The Democratic leadership in the Senate is firmly resolute in promoting its agenda on two fronts, first through the killing of unborn children, and second, by forcing people of faith to pay for it.”

    ‘Forced to go to Mexico’

    The Democrats, meanwhile, insist opponents of taxpayer-funded birth control and abortion services want to take America back to the days of back-alley abortions.

    Women are forced to cross the border to Mexico to get abortions or to “self-abort” because of state legal restrictions promoted by pro-life activists, testified Nancy Northrup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York.

    Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., declared “every woman should have access to reproductive services regardless of ability to pay.”

    Chu said a “woman’s right to reproductive services depends on her address,” arguing that half of all women live in states where laws restrict abortion services.

    Proponents of limitations on abortion, however, argue the laws establish legitimate controls to prevent medical quacks from running sub-standard operations that pose a danger to women.

    Tobias argued the Democrats’ bill would censor information and imagery that might cause a women considering abortion to change her mind.

    She called S.1696 the “abortion without limits act.”

    “In reality, the central purpose of this bill is precisely to invalidate many state laws, and a significant number of federal laws, that have been upheld by the federal courts, or that are likely to survive federal judicial scrutiny if they are challenged,” Tobias said.

    ‘He has my eyes’

    In his opening statement, ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asserted the 50 states have a constitutional right to pass laws limiting taxpayer-funded reproductive services. He cited a First Amendment right of citizens to not pay for birth-control and abortion services that violate their religious beliefs.

    Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., urged Congress to pass a “pain-capable infant protection” law that would further restrict abortions after a fetus has developed sufficiently to be able to experience pain.

    Blackburn displayed a three-dimensional ultrasound of her unborn grandson, contending passage of S.1696 would remove existing protection and safety measures for women undergoing abortions.

    “How exciting it was for me to see this ultrasound,” she said. “I could tell three months before he was born that he had my eyes. What a wonder this was for a grandmother to see. I could see him peacefully resting in his mother’s womb.

    “Our Constitution does not put a qualifier on the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, even in a mother’s womb,” Blackburn said.

    In contrast, abortion advocate Northrup testified lawmakers are depriving women of “essential” services.

    She said more than 200 state laws were passed from 2011 to 2013 to make it harder or impossible for women to access abortion services in their communities.

    “These restrictions take many forms. Some blatantly defy the U.S. Constitution and decades of settled law,” Northrup said.

    “Today, women’s access to abortion services is being blocked through an avalanche of pretextual laws designed to accomplish by the pen what could not be accomplished through brute force – the closure of facilities providing essential reproductive health care to the women of this country.”

    Dr. Monique Chireau, assistant professor in the Division of Clinical and Epidemiological Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Duke Medical Center, disagreed, citing scientific research regarding the physical dangers and psychological risks abortions can cause women.

    “I believe the lack of oversight, reporting, data collection and monitoring of the abortion industry in the United States has caused the true extent of harm to women caused by this procedure to be understated,” Chirequ testified.

    She said no other “commonly performed procedure, which is potentially associated with injury or death to a patient, receive so little scrutiny.”

    “This lack of accountability in abortion service provision has contributed to other social ills such as enabling the cover-up of the sexual abuse of minors, human trafficking, rape and the exploitation of women,” Chirequ said.

    Tobias cited Dr. Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia as “only the most notorious recent example of a certain type of abortion provider who flourishes under the aura of political immunity generated by pro-abortion advocacy groups in some jurisdictions.”

    Regulating the states

    Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, argued S.1696 would allow Congress to strike down a broad class of laws simply because the law attempts to regulate abortion.

    “This law S1696 would not regulate abortion, it would regulate the states, telling them what laws they may and may not pass,” Hatch asserted.

    “This bill would allow politicians to make final decisions over medical services regarding abortion. Even in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court distinguished abortion from other medical services, because abortion is a unique procedure that terminates human life. This bill applies to all state and federal laws regarding abortion in the past, the present, and the future.”

    Chireau agreed with Hatch, testifying that S.1696 would “negate all states rights over abortion” by creating a special legally protected class for abortion medical practitioners.

    Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said the unborn child is a human life that deserves the full protection of rights defined under the Constitution.

    “The challenge of life is why we are here, to use our strength in defense of the week,” Lee said in his opening statement. “We can choose life, and when this debate one day finally ends, I think we will choose life.”

    Dr. Willie Parker, a physician in Birmingham, Alabama, explained in response to a question posed by Lee that an abortion is a unique medical procedure that aims to terminate a human life.

    Parker said he’s concerned because the Democrats’ bill would strike down any federal or state law that would allow a medical practitioner to refuse to participate in an abortion procedure based upon a moral objection.

    “A lot of people go into obstetrics and gynecology because they want to take care of women and babies,” Parker said. “If they are told they have no choice under law but to perform an abortion, they will either commit a medical practice abhorrent to them or they would leave the field.”