The "Nuclear Option": it's near.....

Thomas Veil

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I received the following e-mail yesterday from John Kerry:


Within a matter of days, the Senate could face a truly momentous decision - one with consequences that will reverberate across America for decades to come.

Senator Frist, the Republican Majority Leader, has a plan to make President Bush's judicial nominations immune to a Senate filibuster. If he can convince enough Republican Senators to go along, the nomination and confirmation of judges will become a tightly controlled, one-party affair.

We're working hard to make sure the Senate doesn't cross this dangerous line. Here's how you can help.

Please Call Your Republican Senators Now!

...In polite and respectful language, make it clear that as one of their constituents you are counting on them to oppose Senator Frist's dangerous plan to deny millions of Americans any meaningful voice in decisions vital to America's future...

To help us track the number of calls our campaign is generating and know where we need to place our efforts, please let us know you've made the calls.

http://www.johnkerry.com/callreport

There is so much on the line in this debate. And, I am convinced that if we mobilize as quickly and effectively as possible, we can prevent the Senate from taking the dangerous course that Republican leaders have called for. Remember, we're fighting for the strength and vibrancy of democracy itself.

Sincerely,

John Kerry

P.S. If you need extra incentive for making those calls:

  • Imagine a world in which every appointment to the federal judiciary is a tightly-controlled, one-party exercise.
  • Imagine the kinds of judges that will sit on the federal bench - even on the Supreme Court -- if George W. Bush never needs a single Democratic vote.
  • Imagine the kinds of decisions those judges will make that will directly affect your life and your constitutional rights.
Imagine, indeed.

This is getting frightening. They could ram this through the way they rammed ANWR and the bankruptcy bill...but we need to do whatever we can to stop them. I've already contacted my senators. How about you?
 

iGary

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May 26, 2004
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FUD

I'm not happy with the ANWR decision, fine.

The bankruptcy bill makes it more difficult for people to just absolve themselves of the money they knowingly spent that they didn't have. I'm all about personal responsibility, and this act was a GOOD thing. I have a couple of co-workers that play the 5-year rolling bankruptcy game, which is really sick to watch. Buy a bunch of toys, then say i can't pay for them. For shame.

Imagine the kinds of judges that will sit on the federal Imagine a bench - even on the Supreme Court -- if George W. Bush never needs a single Democratic vote.
Democrats have been screaming about the impending doom and gloom W would bring to the judiciary. It hasn't happened yet. If this makes it through I'll burn every one of my computers.
 

hob

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iGary said:
Democrats have been screaming about the impending doom and gloom W would bring to the judiciary. It hasn't happened yet. If this makes it through I'll burn every one of my computers.
I'm not a bush supported by any means but thought i'd mention that some people I know are always going on about how Tony Blair is trying to change the british constitution (we have one too apparently) so that he is in effect in total control...! Dangerous times ahead, or just spin?
 

pseudobrit

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iGary said:
FUD

I'm not happy with the ANWR decision, fine.

The bankruptcy bill makes it more difficult for people to just absolve themselves of the money they knowingly spent that they didn't have. I'm all about personal responsibility, and this act was a GOOD thing. I have a couple of co-workers that play the 5-year rolling bankruptcy game, which is really sick to watch. Buy a bunch of toys, then say i can't pay for them. For shame.
You do know that half of all personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills, no? And that 75% of those people had insurance when they got sick?

With this new bill, we're all one heart attack or fight with cancer away from not only bankruptcy, but indentured servitude.
 

IJ Reilly

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I'd be easy to allow this thread to drift (iGary, you are just wrong about the bankruptcy bill -- the courts have always had the ability to make those who are able to repay, pay), but it is vitally important that the Republicans not be allowed to pull this stunt. In fact I think the only consideration holding them back at the moment is the knowledge that if the Senate rules are changed that some day they are likely to find themselves on the short end of the stick.

The Republican leadership in Congress are genuinely destructive people. They don't care about democracy, they don't care about truth. All they care about is power. They have to be stopped.
 

pseudobrit

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IJ Reilly said:
I'd be easy to allow this thread to drift (iGary, you are just wrong about the bankruptcy bill -- the courts have always had the ability to make those who are able to repay, pay), but it is vitally important that the Republicans not be allowed to pull this stunt. In fact I think the only consideration holding them back at the moment is the knowledge that if the Senate rules are changed that some day they are likely to find themselves on the short end of the stick.

The Republican leadership in Congress are genuinely destructive people. They don't care about democracy, they don't care about truth. All they care about is power. They have to be stopped.
I called and left a message with half my Republican Senate Representation (Rick Santorum) but Specter's mailbox was full, so I'll have to call him again on Monday.
 

iGary

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pseudobrit said:
You do know that half of all personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills, no? And that 75% of those people had insurance when they got sick?

With this new bill, we're all one heart attack or fight with cancer away from not only bankruptcy, but indentured servitude.
A study of 1,931 consumer Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases from 84 federal judicial districts in 2000 found that medical debt per debtor was relatively small at $2,582, or about 5.6 percent of the general unsecured debt. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Medicaid picks up the tab if you can't pay your medical bills in most cases.

My partner works in the sub-prime lending market. He says 70-80 per cent of his refinances are due to credit card debt (and no, not for medical reasons). Fifteen to 20 percent, he figures, are medical trouble. Mind you, he funds 11-15 million dollars a month in loans, so he sees thirty to fourty cases each month. Maybe it's different where you are.
 

Sun Baked

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At this point, rounding up all the lawyers and politicians seems like a good idea so we can drop them like bombs onto the credit card companies.
 

iGary

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IJ Reilly said:
The Republican leadership in Congress are genuinely destructive people. They don't care about democracy, they don't care about truth. All they care about is power. They have to be stopped.
That's an awful broad stroke of the pen, there. I'm no fan of the Republican party lately, but if you think the Democrats are about freedom, you must not pay any taxes.
 

IJ Reilly

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iGary said:
That's an awful broad stroke of the pen, there. I'm no fan of the Republican party lately, but if you think the Democrats are about freedom, you must not pay any taxes.
Did I say anything about the Democrats? We've effectively got one party rule in this country, and that one party is going berserk with power. They're seriously considering changing rules that have protected debate in the Senate for 200 years. And why? Because they don't get their way 100% of time. So no, I don't think my brush was too broad at all; in fact, I reserve my biggest brush for situations like this.
 

Thomas Veil

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I wish I could say that I thought this was just a scare tactic, but not after what I've seen over the last three months. Aside from the ANWR and bankruptcy issues, they've been beating the drums heavily -- especially the past few weeks -- over what they call "activist" judges. Hell, they talked about it a lot during the Schiavo case, and DeLay just made a threat of retribution the other day. As IJ says, they want party-line judges who will rule their way as much of the time as possible, Constitution be damned.

I mentioned the bankruptcy and ANWR bills not just because they're examples of corporate power over government, but because of how they were pushed through in such a "stealth" fashion. It's a nifty Bush/Rove trick: "Hey, look over here! We're screwing with Social Security!" And while everybody (particularly the media) is concentrating on that, these other unpopular measures are passed.

We can't afford to let that happen with the Nuclear Option. The possibility that we might have not just conservative judges, but neo-con judges in positions of power for the next thirty years is too frightening to take lightly.
 

mischief

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Thomas Veil said:
...because of how they were pushed through in such a "stealth" fashion. It's a nifty Bush/Rove trick: "Hey, look over here! We're screwing with Social Security!" And while everybody (particularly the media) is concentrating on that, these other unpopular measures are passed.
.
Put the queen in check to expose the knight. :D

Why people can't accept that the Fed is just chess is beyond me.

It's equally beyond me that the party that sells itself as intellectual can't compete effectively in tournament level play. :rolleyes:
 

Desertrat

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With the exception of Reagan's first term, the Democrats pretty much ran Congress until 1994. There was not any great amount of obstructive efforts on judgeships from the Republicans during those decades.

Since 2001, the Democrats in Congress have been quite obstructive about judgeships, continually threatening cloture. The result is a bunch of POed Republicans, who have for a year or so been considering changing the rules.

"NeoCon" judges? No; just not particularly "liberal" or "living Constitution" orientation. In today's world of politics and the spin about views and positions, a relatively moderate view is dramatized as "right wing" or "NeoCon", even though the recipient of the label comes nowhere near fitting it.

It's the usual power struggle, and the Democrats in Congress still resent having to learn how to be the minority party...It's fun to watch, though, after their years of arrogant assumption of righteousness.

:), 'Rat
 

Sayhey

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Desertrat said:
With the exception of Reagan's first term, the Democrats pretty much ran Congress until 1994. There was not any great amount of obstructive efforts on judgeships from the Republicans during those decades.

Since 2001, the Democrats in Congress have been quite obstructive about judgeships, continually threatening cloture. The result is a bunch of POed Republicans, who have for a year or so been considering changing the rules.

"NeoCon" judges? No; just not particularly "liberal" or "living Constitution" orientation. In today's world of politics and the spin about views and positions, a relatively moderate view is dramatized as "right wing" or "NeoCon", even though the recipient of the label comes nowhere near fitting it.

It's the usual power struggle, and the Democrats in Congress still resent having to learn how to be the minority party...It's fun to watch, though, after their years of arrogant assumption of righteousness.

:), 'Rat
'Rat, you skipped over the entire Clinton administration and the history of Republican obstruction of Democratic appointees. It made the relatively mild number of objections from Democrats to Bush's far right nominees seem like a genteel tea party discussion.

What I don't get is how any Republican with a conscience can go for this blatant power grab that thumbs its nose at 200+ years of Senate history. Rule changes are supposed to be done by a two-thirds majority, not the use of the paragon of false virtue, Dick Cheney to twist the rules into something that is unrecognizable to anyone with a passing knowledge of the Senate. Don't they think this will come back to haunt them? Perhaps the DeLay/Santorum wing of the Party thinks they can just start impeaching judges they don't agree with and restructure the entire judiciary to suit their narrow partisan aims.

Anyone know how the two Maine Senators and Chafee are voting on this "nuclear" option?
 

mactastic

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Ahem...

Democrats did not invent obstruction of judicial nominations. Today's battles follow at least two decades of conflict fueled by the growing polarization of the core constituencies of the two parties and by the rising importance of the federal courts. Republicans were equally adept at blocking Clinton's nominees, using their control of the Senate Judiciary panel to block over 60 percent of his appellate bench choices in his last two years. Senators of both parties have used anonymous holds and other means to prevent nominees from going forward. And in 1968 Republicans blocked a vote on the nomination of Abe Fortas for chief justice of the Supreme Court.
You left this part out of your history lesson 'Rat. ;)

You're right though about it being enjoyable to watch the excesses of power of those who believe it's theirs by right.
 

Dont Hurt Me

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Both partys suck, and both are doing the special interests work and not the work of the American people. Things work better when we have split power is my observation. Then these children(partys) are forced to work together.
 

zimv20

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Desertrat said:
Since 2001, the Democrats in Congress have been quite obstructive about judgeships, continually threatening cloture.t
okay, rat, i'm calling you out on this one :)

i want numbers. during bush's terms, how many judges were approved, versus how many blocked. i bet you less than 5% were blocked.
 

Taft

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Desertrat said:
"NeoCon" judges? No; just not particularly "liberal" or "living Constitution" orientation. In today's world of politics and the spin about views and positions, a relatively moderate view is dramatized as "right wing" or "NeoCon", even though the recipient of the label comes nowhere near fitting it.
Generally don't disagree with you too much, 'rat, but this is a bunch of crap. I feel the same way about the liberal label, if you want to know the truth. Unfair labels, or just viewed from a different perspective?

And doesn't it depend on the the context as well? Judged against global political views, the US is rather conservative. Heck, liberals in Britain probably think the libs in the US are selling them out!

Taft
 

pseudobrit

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Desertrat said:
Since 2001, the Democrats in Congress have been quite obstructive about judgeships, continually threatening cloture. The result is a bunch of POed Republicans, who have for a year or so been considering changing the rules.

"NeoCon" judges? No; just not particularly "liberal" or "living Constitution" orientation. In today's world of politics and the spin about views and positions, a relatively moderate view is dramatized as "right wing" or "NeoCon", even though the recipient of the label comes nowhere near fitting it.
I see the spin machines are having effect.
 

zimv20

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okay rat, i did it for you. the following is from a december 2004 wash post article.

During Bush's first term, Democrats would did not allow a vote on 10 of the 52 appointments he made to fill vacancies on federal appeals courts. The overwhelming majority of Bush's 229 judicial nominees, however, were confirmed by the Senate.
81% of federal appeals appointments went through.

i wish they'd given some overall numbers, instead of the inexact "overwhelming majority." i still bet it's less than 5%.
 

Pittsax

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pseudobrit said:
I called and left a message with half my Republican Senate Representation (Rick Santorum) but Specter's mailbox was full, so I'll have to call him again on Monday.
Sorry to say, but Santorum is probably to the right of Frist. If any of the senators are the first to jump on board with this, it's going to be Santorum. I hope that he gets his ass voted out in two years (and I only wish I were still in PA to help).
 

pseudobrit

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Pittsax said:
Sorry to say, but Santorum is probably to the right of Frist. If any of the senators are the first to jump on board with this, it's going to be Santorum. I hope that he gets his ass voted out in two years (and I only wish I were still in PA to help).
I'll be working for Casey this year.
 

Thomas Veil

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Pittsax said:
Sorry to say, but Santorum is probably to the right of Frist. If any of the senators are the first to jump on board with this, it's going to be Santorum. I hope that he gets his ass voted out in two years (and I only wish I were still in PA to help).
I hate to say it, but even if that happens, I'm sure the GOP views Santorum as presidential timber.... :rolleyes:
 

zimv20

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zimv20 said:
okay, rat, i'm calling you out on this one :)

i want numbers. during bush's terms, how many judges were approved, versus how many blocked. i bet you less than 5% were blocked.
on NPR this afternoon (All Things Considered, probably), they provided the numbers. Dems have blocked 10 of bush's judicial nominations and passed 204.

less than 5% were blocked. this is in response to your statement:
Desertrat said:
Since 2001, the Democrats in Congress have been quite obstructive about judgeships