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More like the movies

By Owen Paine on Friday December 24, 2010 02:33 AM

Here's a filibuster rule change update.

My brother, Royal Paine, is on one of those Democratic Party email lists. The traffic he's seeing suggests that there's no end in sight. The Donks are braying to beat the band (echoed by Alternet and Kos) about a change in the rules to... to... "make 'em talk". Here's the text:


Are you as angry about the broken Senate as we are? In the movies, in order to filibuster, Senators have to stand in the Senate and make their case to the American people. But in the modern Senate, a filibuster takes no such act of principle or courage. Senators can filibuster simply by placing a phone call to a clerk and heading off to dinner!

This January 5th, we have a chance to change the rules of the Senate, and make Senators engage in an all night talk-a-thon in order to block legislation or nominations. We can make the filibuster a real filibuster....

' To get across the finish line, we need members of the Daily Kos community to show their support. You can do so by signing the petition Daily Kos has created in support of making the filibuster real.

Oh yeah, oh yeah, that's what we want. A "real" filibuster. Like in the movies.

As we've noted here before, endlessly, the filibuster constitutes one of the most staggeringly obvious, slap-in-the-face insults to the principle of majority rule in the whole comical US system of government. And that's saying a lot, considering the presence of elements like the Supreme Court, and the Electoral College, and and and... the Senate itself.

I hardly need more than the persistence of this one "procedural element" to convince myself the Orthrian hypothesis is valid. After all, if the Donk rump majority in the Senate can change the rules, on this first-day meeting, to "make 'em talk", they could equally easily do away with the filibuster altogether. But they don't want to do that, and they won't.

Comments (10)


If the Senate really wants to do it like they do it in the movies, they would hire cocaine addicts who are thirty-three thousand times more attractive than themselves to filibuster for them. Or require that filibusters can only be performed by giant invisible rabbits. Or as part of a computer-generated space opera. Oh, wait.

Hey, why not make 'em talk? Make 'em stand up and read the Constitution and the Bible and the Sunday Funnies into the record and do all that other nutty shit I've always read about them doing to keep a filibuster rolling, back in the day.

Shit, man, I wish they'd start dueling again, as long as we're on the subject. Hell, in the Ukraine and Taiwan and Argentina, they're having fistfights in their national legislatures, f'crissake -- lucky bastards. If we can't have dueling, why can't we at least have some good old brawling on the Floor when we tune in CSPAN?

Oh, yeah... and there should be more heckling, too. It made me sick to hear all those pussy-assed Liberals and Pwogs complaining about Joe Wilson backsassing Obama; my first thought on hearing that news was why the fuck isn't our side heckling this bunch of cheap-assed hacks as well?


"our side heckling this bunch of cheap-assed hacks as well"

Does your side have representation in Congress? Names, please!

No Comment:

Latest from Hedges:

A quote: "The state, crippled by massive deficits, endless war and corporate malfeasance, is sliding toward bankruptcy. "

Just to see if I am getting your drift, OP, if Hedges had put "crippled" and "bankruptcy" in scare quotes, would this statement pass your BS filter?

Al Schumann:

Hedges gets off to a terrible start.

The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.”

No! Wrong! Those are the two most likely to be assigned in school. Their greatness is a mass market, mind share phenomenon—an irony, because their salient characteristic is elision of capitalism. The plots were facile; Huxley's, soft core porn wish fulfillment; Orwell's, payback to the left for being enamored of Stalin. The characters were poorly developed, to the point of being adolescent caricature. Their hectoring, sanctimonious, puerile misanthropy is insufferable. Neither can compare to Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano. That dystopia does not elide capitalism and the characters, even the wretches, were sketched with a sympathetic eye.

I'm afraid that fundamental error makes the Hedges piece unreadable. I give him an F. He can make up for it with a 500 word—no more!—book review of Player Piano. It will do him good, yes. Vonnegut liked people.

No Comment:

Never read either of them, but even so I could follow Hedges' argument, because they are so well known. That is the point for the way they are used in the piece. Never read Player Piano either, but without a review of it i would not know (do not know) how it is relevant to Hedges' piece.

Hope you had a happy effing holiday, Mr. Schumann...

Al Schumann:

I can't see how the books being well known does anything helpful. All it does is assure a Received Wisdom of Crowds. Case in point is the deficit panic and bankruptcy alarmism in that pull quote. The state isn't crippled by deficits and there's no prospect of bankruptcy. The shrieking heads keep hammering away on the Big Doom, but that doesn't make it true.

No Comment:

"but that doesn't make it true"

Perhaps not true, but I suspect it will be effective in policy formation in the immediate future, which is a kind of truth.


kos call update:

"Last week, Daily Kos asked you to join with Senators Jeff Merkley and Tom Udall to help reform Senate rules regarding the filibuster. "

"Since then, all 53 Democratic Senators who will be returning to the Senate next year have signed a letter saying Senate rules regarding the filibuster should be reformed"

Al Schumann:

A letter! A letter of intent to really, seriously make an effort to consider the possibility of taking the steps that are tantamount to embarking on the discussions needed for setting the ground rules governing the effort to uh.... Anyway, a letter! And they signed it! Your efforts are working. Please donate now so we can keep up the impact.

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