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DougMacG
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« Reply #150 on: August 26, 2013, 03:03:51 PM »

Speaking of incumbents reelected that don't serve their constituencies well, look at South Carolina Republicans scramble to replace (RINO?) Lindsey Graham.

"Too much DC in SC" says Carolina Conservative Union Chairman, Bruce Carroll:
http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/lindsey-graham-too-much-dc-for-sc-says-ccu-chairman-bruce-carroll-10505/
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bigdog
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« Reply #151 on: September 13, 2013, 11:31:45 AM »

http://atr.rollcall.com/top-8-most-fascinating-recruits-so-far/?pos=epol

Some background on some congressional hopefuls.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #152 on: September 22, 2013, 12:37:27 PM »

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/09/on-the-booker-beat.php

http://nypost.com/2013/09/21/a-big-act-newark-mayors-urban-tall-tales/

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/358788/empty-promise-eliana-johnson
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DougMacG
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« Reply #153 on: October 15, 2013, 10:42:51 AM »

Bigdog from 'Politics' today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Jd-iaYLO1A&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D0Jd-iaYLO1A&app=desktop

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/328413-dems-decry-midnight-rule-change
----------------------

One thing missing in the story is when did the Dems last use that same House rule they now decry?  Never?  They just state that it was a "long standing" rule. I thought it was well-known fact that under either party the majority controls what goes to the floor for a vote in the House.

"arguing it shows GOP leaders closed agencies intentionally"...

Does it argue that?  One doesn't have to look deep to know that, other than the controversial healthcare program, the House already voted to fund the agencies that the story implies were "intentionally" closed.  Unfortunately that is another fact not mentioned in the story.  As the title said, it was a story about Dems Decrying, not about journalists digging.

"Oh mercy, it just gets deeper and deeper".  - Yes it does.
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bigdog
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« Reply #154 on: October 15, 2013, 02:00:15 PM »

"I thought it was well-known fact that under either party the majority controls what goes to the floor for a vote in the House."

I look forward to the Democrat takeover in the House, so you can say this again. Literally, of course, you are right about the rulemaking in the House, but when the House majority takes this step, you wonder why the GOP is "losing" the shutdown. Moves like this might explain it.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #155 on: October 15, 2013, 04:34:48 PM »

I look forward to the Democrat takeover in the House, so you can say this again. [The majority controls what goes to a vote in the House.]

You don't strike me as someone who would prefer total Dem Politburo rule to divided government.  (Is this just to see me squirm?) Obviously I don't like Dem control of the House but I do know who controls the House when Dems win it.  This President, this Senate and this media think their own wins in these other venues mean they also control the House.  But that is only true when Republicans hand the keys to them.

I missed where in the rules it says all agencies must be funded in one bill, much less where it says one congress is bound by law or conscience to fully fund the programs of the previous.

Republicans don't need untimely or unsightly rule changes to lose PR battles.  They have been losing these since at least the JFK election.  Last time Republicans lost a shutdown battle it led to a balanced budget.  Not all bad.



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bigdog
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« Reply #156 on: October 16, 2013, 01:31:01 AM »

We (me, Doug, Crafty) had an exchange about Senate rules changes in July of this year, on this thread. Doug, I fully admit to misremembering your position. With apologies.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #157 on: October 16, 2013, 09:44:54 AM »

Thank you Bigdog.

I think this is the July post he references:
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1273.msg73875#msg73875
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #158 on: October 16, 2013, 11:55:45 AM »

Nice teamwork.  BTW I pat myself on the back for my decision to organize threads by subject matter  cheesy
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bigdog
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« Reply #159 on: October 16, 2013, 04:48:54 PM »

You are quite welcome, Doug.

There was actually a series of five or so posts on the topic, but yes, the link is to one of them.

Thank you Bigdog.

I think this is the July post he references:
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1273.msg73875#msg73875
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DougMacG
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« Reply #160 on: October 17, 2013, 11:47:30 AM »

I did wrote to my Republican congressman this morning with points I have tried to make here on the forum.

A short time ago I wrote to urge you to stand strong.

From your press release:  "...hoped for a better outcome, including the repeal of the medical device tax"

You don't get a better outcome when your opponents know that, in the end, over a third of Republicans will side with them. 

I agree with your opposition to the Medical Device Tax, but that is one small example of why Obamacare is a historic disaster for the country.  Opposing that tax but voting to fund Obamacare makes no meaningful distinction between your position and many (Minnesota) Democrats such as Al Franken.

Refusal to increase a borrower's credit limit is not default. See Rep Schweikert's comments, "none of you were math majors were you?"  http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/10/15/house_republicans_want_to_make_it_harder_for_treasury_to_avoid_a_debt_crisis.html  Accepting the opponents' framing of the arguments was a part of the loss we just witnessed.

What requires government funding to be all in one bill?  Why do we accept the premise that 113th Congress must fund all the programs passed by the 111th Congress? Does liberal control of the Presidency, Senate and media give them control of the House. Article 1 says no.  The only leverage they have is Republicans voting with Democrats.  (Everyone on our side should write to one.)

If you who oppose big government, but in the end side with them, and you know a better time, place or strategy to dismantle Obamcare before it becomes permanently entrenched, I look forward to seeing that happen.   I don't look forward to convening an angry caucus in (our town) this February and explaining why we support candidates that go to Washington and end up siding with our opponents and funding their programs.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #161 on: October 20, 2013, 04:03:40 PM »

BD:

Coming back to what you posted a few days ago about the House changing the rules with the effect of the Dems bringing something up for a vote.  Not to argue, but out of respect for your opinion and the knowledge upon which it is based-- How is this any different from Sen. Reid blocking things from coming up for a vote in the Senate?

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bigdog
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« Reply #162 on: October 20, 2013, 04:13:07 PM »

If I understand your question, there isn't any... which is what led to my apology to Doug of a day or two ago. I think that both parties (D in the Senate with guns; R in the HoR with budget) made a mistake by altering the rules for short-term gain, but it was their mistake to make.
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bigdog
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« Reply #163 on: November 14, 2013, 05:47:04 PM »

http://news.yahoo.com/the-splitting-of-the-senate--now-in-convenient-gif-form-213908185.html
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bigdog
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« Reply #164 on: November 21, 2013, 01:12:36 PM »

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/harry-reid-nuclear-option-100199.html

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304607104579211881413579404

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/11/21/9-reasons-the-filibuster-change-is-a-huge-deal/?tid=sm_fb
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ccp
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« Reply #165 on: November 21, 2013, 06:14:45 PM »

CNN today had there guests on.  Tobin and the WH correspondent.  The latter, I cannot think of his name was claiming Reid did this because too many Obama judicial nominees were being blocked and of course they proceed to show charts that it is far more than in previous Presidents.

It seems more than coincidence that Reid does this NOW just as the Dems political fortunes have dropped since the Obamacare debacle.

Got to ram through as many liberals into the Fed Court system as possible in case they lose.  It always seems like the Dems are the ones to elevate the dirty nature of the fighting.

How many filibusters have there been all together not just judicial nominees?
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ccp
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« Reply #166 on: November 21, 2013, 07:49:35 PM »

Just as I figured.  The charts on CNN are part of the Democratic propaganda machine trying to convince that the Republicans are unprecedented in their obstructionism.
I was looking for a Conservative take and this so far fits the bill.  MSM cannot be trusted.  Reid's move is all about the Dems prospects for '14 having gone down in the last few weeks:

*****Are Republicans really blocking Obama’s judicial nominees at ‘unprecedented’ levels?

By Eric Pfeiffer 1 hour ago
    
President Obama addresses the nuclear option during a news conference on Thursday (AP)

When  President Obama gave his blessing to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to invoke the so-called “nuclear option,”  he said the effort by Republicans to block his nominees was “unprecedented.”

"Today's pattern of obstruction, it just isn't normal," Obama said. "I support the step a majority of senators today took to change the way that Washington is doing business."

However, that’s only partially true.

Looking at all of Obama’s nominees across his administration, he has suffered unprecedented levels of obstruction, according to the Wall Street Journal. But when it comes to judicial nominees – the process that sparked Senate Democrats to approve the nuclear option on Thursday – he’s really just suffering from a historically negative trend going back more than two decades.

According to congressional data, former President George W. Bush actually had a lower percentage of circuit court nominees approved during his time in office than Obama.

And when it comes to the amount of time it takes for circuit court nominees to get approved, Bush and Obama are actually in surprisingly close company, with Bush fairing slightly worse. (See chart)

Obstruction of judicial nominees first became a regular practice during President Clinton’s time in office, and the amount of time it takes for a nominee to be approved skyrocketed during George W. Bush’s presidency.

According to a May report from the Congressional Research Service, President Obama had 71.4% of his circuit court nominees approved during his first term, which is slightly better than George W. Bush’s 67.3% level of success during his first term.

President Obama also didn't fare the worst when it comes to district court nominees. During his first term, 82.7% of Obama’s district court nominees were approved, George H.W. Bush had 76.9% of his nominees approved.

Interestingly, H.W. Bush is the only president during this period who had fewer court vacancies at the end of his first term than he did at the beginning. However, Obama is the only president who suffered an increased vacancy during his first term without more court positions being created.

But in recent years, it’s the amount of time it takes to get a nominee approved where the most radical change has taken place.

For example, during Reagan’s first term, it only took 45.5 days for one of his nominees to get approved. That number escalated only marginally over the next 20 years. But by the time George W. Bush was in office, the number skyrocketed to 277 days. Obama has fared slightly better than Bush, with his nominees taking 225.5 days to get approved. But historically speaking, it’s still a severe departure from most presidencies.

Obama’s district court nominees have also suffered from extended confirmation delays. Again, Reagan’s nominees breezed through, with just a 28-day waiting period during his first term, compared with 215 days for Obama.

So, at the end of the day, Obama’s experience may not be quite as unique as he wants the public to believe. But if the nuclear option does reverse the historical trend of obstruction, it’s a move that future presidents, both Republican and Democrat, will likely be thankful for.*****
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #167 on: November 21, 2013, 08:04:26 PM »

Good discussion of this today on the Bret Baier Special Report:

All agreed that both sides have displayed extreme situational ethics e.g. Obama and Biden in 2005-2006 and now.

Krauthammer not too bothered, thinks Dems will regret it after the next elections.

George Will argues that the Founders intended for intensity of feeling to matter, not just numbers of votes. When the rule of law is that the rules change as majorities change, there is not law except that of the mob.  This makes sense to me.
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bigdog
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« Reply #168 on: November 23, 2013, 02:22:40 AM »

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/fixgov/posts/2013/11/21-filibuster-reform-obamacare-sebelius-hudak

From the article:

Problems exist in HHS. No one denies it. However, for many appointees in the Department, the Senate rules served as a life preserver in a torrent of poor implementation, managerial failures, and bad PR. So long as the president faced the prospect of long-term vacancies among appointees overseeing ACA, the HHS leadership would be spared.

Today, that all changed. Moving forward, President Obama needs the support of only 51 Senate Democrats to replace top-level political appointees throughout the executive branch. This offers the president substantial breathing room. Nominees no longer need the support of every Democrat and a scarcely identifiable five Republicans. Instead, nominees can draw the ire of as many as four Democrats and still be confirmed
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G M
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« Reply #169 on: November 23, 2013, 06:31:31 AM »

Now Obama can p ut more hardcore Marxists and dem political hacks into key positions! Bill Ayers finally gets to run the Dept. of Education.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #170 on: November 23, 2013, 11:39:30 AM »

Another strand here is that the DC circuit court overseas most regulatory matters.  Currently it is 4-4 with three vacant seats.  With Baraq getting to appoint 3 judges that becomes a 7-4 virtual sure thing for expansion of bureaucratic liberal fascism.

Of course I get that we should not play situational ethics, I but note the situational ethics of the Dems in this play.

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bigdog
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« Reply #171 on: November 23, 2013, 12:18:14 PM »

Another strand here is that the DC circuit court overseas most regulatory matters.  Currently it is 4-4 with three vacant seats.  With Baraq getting to appoint 3 judges that becomes a 7-4 virtual sure thing for expansion of bureaucratic liberal fascism.

Of course I get that we should not play situational ethics, I but note the situational ethics of the Dems in this play.



On your first point: http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/191251-filibuster-change-clears-path-for-obama-climate-regulations

On your second, let's recall that the GOP wanted the rules change in '05. Both parties are guilty of "situational ethics."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #172 on: November 23, 2013, 02:43:03 PM »

a) Thank you.

b) Duh, of course, but I note that the Reps did compromise i.e. no nuclear option, yes?


===================================

Morris makes the case against:

Obama And Reid Stage De Facto Coup D'État
By DICK MORRIS
Published on DickMorris.com on November 21, 2013

Printer-Friendly Version
Over the past several years, conservatives have complained that President Obama was usurping power disregarding Congress and the Constitution and governing by decree.

But on Thursday, there was a virtual coup d'état on the floor of the U.S. Senate when the Democrats -- in a party-line vote -- stripped the Republicans of any role in judicial confirmations.  Added to an earlier measure that eliminated their role in confirmations of appointments to executive branch agencies, Reid and Obama have turned the confirmation process -- an essential element in the checks and balances enumerated in the Constitution -- into a meaningless ritual.

Until Thursday, confirmations to judicial positions required the assent of 60 Senators to bring them to the floor for a vote.  With the Democrats holding 55 seats -- five short of a "super-majority", this check and balance stopped the appointment of ultra-radical judges and inhibited Obama's efforts to stack the courts with like-minded judges, just as it had stopped Bush and every president before him.

But by a simple majority vote, Reid has changed the rules so that a simple majority is enough to confirm any judge other than a Supreme Court nominee.  (One suspects that the minute a vacancy on the high court occurs, the 60 vote requirement will be stripped from the rules governing the replacement's confirmation as well).
 
This horrific violation of the principles of our Constitution is specifically targeted at stopping efforts by litigants to stop other violations of the same document.  With Obama imposing environmental, immigration, labor, health care, and other rules without so much as asking Congress, those who are concerned about the concentration of executive power could look to the court system for redress.  Specifically, they focused on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the second highest court in the land.

It is before the DC Circuit that all appeals from Obama's administrative decisions come for review.  Currently the court is balanced with four Democratic and four Republican judges.  As such, we could all breathe easily knowing that a fair review of his usurpations was in the offing.

But the Court has 11 judges.  Three are vacant.  Obama has sought to fill thee three slots with fellow travelers who can be counted on to toe his line.  Republicans have blocked the confirmation of these three judges.  It is to jam them through that Reid has changed the rules.  So not only has he silenced dissent in the Senate, he has made sure there is none on the Circuit Court as well.

Republicans have pointed out that the caseload of the DC Circuit has dropped and have urged that the three vacant judgeships be eliminated, preserving the partisan balance.  But Obama doesn't want balance.  He wants absolute power. 

Now the only thing standing between him and his goal are five aging members of the US Supreme Court.

The practical implication of this coup is that we now are moving more and more toward a parliamentary system in the U.S. rather than one based on checks and balances as our forefathers set up.  We are nearing an elected dictatorship where the president can do what he wants with a compliant Senate willing to confirm judges who grant him the power to do so, Constitution or not.

It is this development, more than any specific act of the president's that has to alarm true democrats (with a small "d").  It sure alarms me.

« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 03:36:27 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
bigdog
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« Reply #173 on: November 23, 2013, 04:04:34 PM »

A) You are quite welcome. You made a good point, and I saw an article that supported it.

B) Yep. 2 things: 1, I've been arguing for a while here and elsewhere that if/when the Dems used the Nuke option they would eventually rue the day. I still feel this way. We'll see in a year or so if the GOP reverts to the old filibuster rule. It will be their option, I think... and I doubt they do.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 04:41:35 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #174 on: November 25, 2013, 12:28:51 AM »

This view agrees with BD that Democrats will 'rue the day'...

"For conservatives upset about the filibuster changes, consider this: since the nationwide direct election of Senators started in 1913, the Republican Party has never held sixty seats in the Senate following an election. The filibuster, when used as a partisan weapon, forces a national grand coalition government that sanctifies minor changes to status quo. Its demise means it’s now possible for conservatives to pass their agenda."  - Henry Olsen, AEI
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G M
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« Reply #175 on: November 25, 2013, 12:39:07 AM »

Agreed.
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bigdog
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« Reply #176 on: November 25, 2013, 05:12:58 AM »

Agreed.

I think I just saw flying pigs!  cheesy
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 07:52:05 AM by bigdog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #177 on: November 25, 2013, 05:23:26 AM »

With the new rules, it's very possible to run on the promise to repeal obamacare. Should be very promising the next few elections.
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bigdog
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« Reply #178 on: November 25, 2013, 07:53:03 AM »

I understood where you are coming from. I am surprised sometimes when we agree on an issue or point.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #179 on: November 25, 2013, 08:54:20 AM »

"With the new rules, it's very possible to run on the promise to repeal Obamacare"

A very interesting point , , , if we beat Hillary
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G M
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« Reply #180 on: November 25, 2013, 09:14:52 AM »

"With the new rules, it's very possible to run on the promise to repeal Obamacare"

A very interesting point , , , if we beat Hillary

Will Hill run on repealing Obamacare?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #181 on: November 25, 2013, 09:54:07 AM »

"With the new rules, it's very possible to run on the promise to repeal Obamacare"

A very interesting point , , , if we beat Hillary

Yes.  the keyword is possible.  Also possible is that Republicans will blow the third straight chance to re-take the Senate, the second straight chance to take back the Presidency, and live under a growing, cancerous statism forever.
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G M
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« Reply #182 on: November 25, 2013, 09:56:19 AM »

No one can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like the 'pubs.
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bigdog
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« Reply #183 on: December 06, 2013, 11:37:48 AM »

http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/is-this-36-year-old-veteran-the-future-of-the-gop-20131206

From the article:


Deuschle never found anything to justify her suspicion, but she did touch on what's thrilled Republicans and captivated Washingtonians since Cotton arrived just 11 months ago as the newest representative of Arkansas's 4th District: He seems too good to be true. With his sterling résumé—he has undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard and served in both of America's post-9/11 wars—Cotton seems like a throwback to another era, when military service and an Ivy League pedigree were common plot points on the road to elected office
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 11:51:33 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #184 on: December 07, 2013, 07:58:48 AM »

http://app.nytimes.com/?hp=&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131207#2013/12/07/us/challenged-by-tea-party-veteran-mississippi-senator-decides-to-run-again
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DougMacG
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« Reply #185 on: December 12, 2013, 11:06:32 AM »

The good news, if this is a real sweep year, R's could pick up 9 or 10 seats.  The bad news, in order to hold onto the Senate in 2016, R's will HAVE to pick up 9 or 10 seats this year.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/12/12/senate_seats_that_could_flip_parties_in_2014.html
Read it all, if interested.  I'll post one chart.  R's have some shot at winning up to about  'D+2' and maybe Michigan, D+4.


---------------

Robert Gibbs (former Obama spokesman) said "if these numbers hold up, it's going to be very, very tough to get around that and see somehow that Democrats retain the Senate or have a reasonable chance of winning the House"
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/12/12/gibbs_if_numbers_hold_up_its_tough_to_see_how_dems_keep_senate.html
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 11:19:02 AM by DougMacG » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #186 on: December 12, 2013, 12:08:17 PM »

The Republicans are on target to win by default.  Not win with an agenda as far as I can see.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #187 on: December 12, 2013, 12:16:23 PM »

The same was said here by some of us with regard to the 2012 presidential election.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #188 on: December 12, 2013, 12:57:55 PM »

"The Republicans are on target to win by default.  Not win with an agenda as far as I can see."

"The same was said here by some of us with regard to the 2012 presidential election."
---------------

That's right.  Thomas Sowell made a point that I took a rare disagreement with, that politics is zero-sum.  When R's screw up, Dems gain. That makes sense.  But when Dems screw up, it only opens an opportunity, and is not an automatic vote for Republicans nor does their failure alone create any new conservatives, libertarians or Republicans.  On this, Crafty has been right on the money in asking, what is our answer, what is our message, what is our policy that would replace theirs and why, how do we explain this better.  Here on the forum, we are constantly agonizing over how to do that.  In Washington it seems they are not.

In 2012, Romney spent the final stretch on defense, I'm not as bad of a guy as you think I am and that they told you that I am, he told us.  Meanwhile, unspoken and un-promoted was the fact that his economic plan would have led us out of this economic misery and that his Supreme Court appointments might have at least attempted to uphold the constitution.

In elections, you need personalities and sound bites, but during these periods in between elections it seems to me that we can take on the longer arguments as to why these philosophies and policies of theirs are misguided - and what kinds of policies will work. 

So far we are divided, confused and playing defense.


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bigdog
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« Reply #189 on: December 12, 2013, 01:12:19 PM »

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/192955-boehner-lashes-at-conservative-groups-theyve-lost-all-credibility

From the article:

The Speaker didn’t cite any organizations by name, but he was clearly referring to a collection of Tea Party and conservative groups that have opposed nearly every significant piece of fiscal legislation he has presented to his members. They include Heritage Action, the political arm of the influential think tank, as well as the Tea Party-aligned FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #190 on: December 16, 2013, 07:06:59 AM »

A flawed piece in the part that discusses the Reps; it ignores the political consequences of the shutdown, but the larger point about the Founding Fathers design being foiled by loyalty to progressivism above loyalty to Congress seems relevant to me:

======================



http://nationalreview.com/article/365742/impeachment-lessons-andrew-c-mccarthy

Well whaddya know: The topic of impeachment reared its head at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday.

Jonathan Strong’s report here at NRO noted the wincing consternation of GOP-leadership aides at utterances of the “i-word” during the testimony of prominent legal experts. For the Republican establishment, it seems, history begins and ends in the 1990s: No matter how times have perilously changed, any talk of shutdowns or impeachment is bad, bad, bad. Yes, the Obama “uber-presidency,” as left-of-center law professor Jonathan Turley called it, has enveloped the nation in what he conceded is “the most serious constitutional crisis . . . of my lifetime,” but GOP strategists would just as soon have us chattering about immigration “reform” and bravely balancing the federal budget by, oh, around 2040.

But as we discussed in this August column — back when the first anniversary of the Benghazi massacre loomed, back when many Americans still believed that if they liked their health-insurance plans, they could keep their health-insurance plans — it is not crazy to talk about impeaching President Obama. And if you’re going to have a congressional hearing about systematic presidential lawlessness, it is only natural that the word “impeachment” gets bandied about. Not only is impeachment the intended constitutional remedy for systematic presidential lawlessness; it is, practically speaking, the only remedy.

It is beyond cavil that the president is willfully undermining the constitutional system that he swore to preserve, protect, and defend. He presumes to rewrite, and dramatically alter, the laws he vowed to execute faithfully — not once in a blue moon but as a deliberate scheme of governance.

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Before he took office, Obama boldly promised supporters that he would “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” That is just what he is doing. There is fraud in the uber-presidency, but no mystery: Most of Obama’s unconstitutional usurpations are happening in broad daylight. He brags that his “waivers” — i.e., his unilateral amending, repealing, or non-enforcement — of statutory provisions show him to be far-seeing and pragmatic, not lawless. That, of course, is the standard dictatorial self-image. Obama is the answer to Tom Friedman’s China-envying prayers.

Just as there is no mystery in Obama’s disregard for the Constitution, there is no secret about the Constitution’s answer to executive imperialism. The Framers recognized that presidential abuse of power carried the greatest potential to wreck the republic. Adamant that the presidency they were creating must not become a monarchy, they carried on debates over the Constitution that were consumed with precluding this very real possibility. In the end, the Framers armed Congress with two responsive weapons: the power of the purse and the power of impeachment.

As we have seen through the years, the power of the purse is not a practical check on Obama. In the main, this is because the Framers, notwithstanding their prescient alarm over the problem of factions, did not anticipate the modern Left.

The Constitution assumes that the different branches of government will protect their institutional turf. That is, the Framers calculated that, faced with a Democratic president who usurps legislative prerogatives, a Democratic congressman would see himself, first and foremost, as a congressman. Valuing the duties of his office over party loyalty, he would join with other legislators to rein in executive excess.

Today’s Democrats, however, are less members of a party than of the movement Left. Their objective, like Obama’s, is fundamental transformation of a society rooted in individual liberty and private property to one modeled on top-down, redistributionist statism. Since statism advances by concentrating governmental power, Democrats — regardless of what governmental branch they happen to inhabit — rally to whatever branch holds the greatest transformative potential. Right now, that is the presidency. Thus, congressional Democrats do not insist that the president must comply with congressional statutes. Laws, after all, must be consistent with the Constitution to be valid, and are thus apt to reflect the very constitutional values the Left is trying to supplant. Democrats want the president to use the enormous raw power vested in his office by Article II to achieve statist transformation. If he does so, they will support him. They’ll get back to obsessing over the “rule of law” if, by some misfortune, the Republicans someday win another presidential election.

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While Democrats quite intentionally defy the Framers’ design, Republicans frustrate it by aggressive passivity. The Constitution divides power by subject matter, not percentage of governmental control. The party that controls the House has full primacy over taxing and spending, every bit as much as the party that controls the executive branch has plenary control over prosecution decisions. Constitutional authorities are not contingent on how much, if any, control the party in question has over the rest of government. In theory, then, nothing in government can happen unless the House, with ultimate power over the purse, agrees to fund it. If a corrupt administration uses the IRS as a partisan weapon to audit and harass its detractors, the House can refuse to fund the IRS — or other parts of the executive branch — to quell executive overreach.
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Nevertheless, Republicans incessantly tell supporters that, since they control only the House (just “one-half of one-third of the government,” as the tired refrain goes), they are impotent to rein in Obama’s excesses. And when conservatives in the House or Senate urge that Republicans use their command over the purse to stop Obama’s excesses — just as congressional Democrats have historically used the power of the purse to stop Republican presidents from prosecuting the Vietnam War and aiding the Nicaraguan Contras — Republican leadership turns on those conservatives with a ferocity rarely evident in their dealings with the president.

With Democrats energized by Obama’s lawbreaking, and Republicans paralyzed by the prospect of government shutdowns, there is no realistic prospect that Congress will starve Obama of funding. That leaves impeachment as the sole remaining constitutional safeguard against executive imperialism.

There is nothing else.

Tuesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing was enlightening. To the extent that members needed educating on impeachment standards, the experts affirmed the principles we outlined in August. “High crimes and misdemeanors,” the Constitution’s standard for impeachment, are the misdeeds of high officials — what Hamilton referred to as abuses of the “public trust,” violations of a “political” nature in the sense that “they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

Hamilton’s emphasis on “political” is salient. It is the point that Republican leaders, still licking their wounds 13 years after Bill Clinton left the Oval Office, must grasp if they are ever to take the right lesson from the Nineties.

Impeachment is a political remedy, not a legal one. Thus the quasi-legal component — proving high crimes and misdemeanors — is the easy part. As a practical matter, fundamental transformation cannot occur without high crimes and misdemeanors being committed against the constitutional order that is being transformed. That’s the whole point.

So, as one would expect, President Obama is intentionally and sweepingly violating his oath of office. He is not faithfully executing federal law — he picks, chooses, “waives,” and generally makes up law as he goes along. He has willfully and materially misled the American people — his Obamacare and Benghazi lies being only the most notorious examples. He has been woefully derelict in his duty to protect and defend Americans overseas. His administration trumped up a shameful prosecution (under the guise of a “supervised release violation”) against a filmmaker in order to bolster the “Benghazi massacre was caused by an anti-Muslim video” charade. His administration has used the federal bureaucracy to usurp Congress’s legislative powers and to punish political enemies. Obama has presumed to make recess appointments when Congress was not in recess. His administration intentionally allowed firearms to be transferred to Mexican drug cartels, predictably resulting in numerous violent crimes, including the murder of a Border Patrol agent. His administration — and, in particular, the Justice Department — has routinely stonewalled lawmakers and frustrated their capacity to perform agency oversight, to the point that the attorney general has been held in contempt of Congress. The Obama Justice Department, moreover, has filed vexatious lawsuits against sovereign states over their attempts to vindicate their constitutional authorities (and, indeed, to enforce federal immigration laws), while the Justice Department itself adheres to racially discriminatory enforcement policies in violation of the Constitution and federal civil-rights laws.

This is not an exhaustive list of Obama abuses, but you get the idea. If the only issue were commission of high crimes and misdemeanors, the Constitution requires only one for impeachment — not the Obama pace, which is more like one per week.

But here is the important thing: High crimes and misdemeanors are a subordinate consideration. In an impeachment case, they are necessary but they are not close to being sufficient. Because impeachment is a political remedy, its most essential component is the popular political will to remove a president from power.

The charges against Bill Clinton plainly satisfied the “high crimes and misdemeanors” threshold, and he was clearly guilty of them. But the American people obviously did not want Clinton removed over them. That is the lesson of the Clinton impeachment. It doesn’t matter what can be proved. You can have a hundred articles of impeachment; what counts is what Americans think of their president. The question is not whether the president has done wrong — that will rarely be in dispute. The question is how convinced the public is that a president’s continued hold on power profoundly threatens their safety, prosperity, and sense of what kind of country we should be.

As things now stand, the public is not convinced. There is no political will to remove the president.

Could things change? Of course they could. Richard Nixon won a landslide reelection in 1972 — prevailing by 503 electoral votes and 18 million popular votes — and resigned to avoid certain impeachment and removal less than two years later. Obama, by contrast, won a fairly close reelection (in which his popular-vote tally dropped by about 4 million from his initial election), and his approval ratings are now tanking. Yet, he remains defiant about his agenda — desperately pivoting this week from the Obamacare debacle to that old class-warfare favorite, U.S. “income inequality.” He has signaled every intention to plow ahead for the next three years with unpopular edicts. As he does so, the hard truths about his legacy health-care “reform” will be visited on tens of millions of Americans. Concurrently, his stewardship is making the world an increasingly unstable place. Obama is causing pain, and pain can change people’s minds.

Two things, however, are certain. Absent the political will to remove the president, he will remain president no matter how many high crimes and misdemeanors he stacks up. And absent the removal of the president, the United States will be fundamentally transformed.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #191 on: December 17, 2013, 08:55:51 PM »

Scott Brown reportedly has a buyer for his house in Mass.  He already owns one in NH.  Brown will likely continue to work in Boston (unless running for Senate becomes a full time job).  He does not have a license to practice law in NH.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-16/brown-s-move-to-new-hampshire-fuels-talk-of-senate-race.html
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DougMacG
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« Reply #192 on: December 23, 2013, 12:08:50 PM »

If you would like to hear a conservative Senator speak out on what has happened in the Senate, please listen to this interview.  Go to about 28:50 for the introduction and interview conducted by John Hinderacker of Powerline Blog.  They cover the Murray-Ryan budget, amendments blocking, supporting illegal aliens over veterans and the rule changes.  Go to 44:50 for the part on Senate rules.

http://media.ricochet.com/hinderaker-ward-experience-episode-61.mp3  (Commercial-free radio program)

It takes a 3/5ths majority to cut off debate.  Rule 22.  It takes 2/3rds majority to change the rules of the Senate.  The Senate changed the rules with a simple majority.  The Parliamentarian ruled against them and then by simple majority they reversed the ruling of the parliamentarian.

Sen. Carl Levin D-Mich:If the rules can be changed by simple majority, there are no rules - simply majority rule.  Cloture and filibuster used to slow down that process and give some power to the minority.

What will R's do if they take back the majority?  I would hope they reverse some policy damage before restoring traditional rules.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #193 on: January 13, 2014, 11:31:14 AM »

Good, long article on one of the US Senate seats that Dems will most certainly lose this year. 

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/368081/obamacares-cornhusker-nemesis-john-j-miller

41-year-old Benjamin Eric Sasse is a fifth-generation Nebraskan
high-school valedictorian
Harvard, “Not because of superior academics, but because of inferior athletics,”
Master’s degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md
Ph.D. in history from Yale,  (For the record, I selectively admire good academic credentials!)
Spent his summers “walking beans and detasseling corn” (weeding soybean fields and controlling corn pollination)
Chief of staff at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy
Assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services
During the final two years of the Bush administration, Sasse dealt with health policy every day
Held debates with former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean
President of Midland University, in his home town of Fremont, one of the fastest-growing colleges in the Midwest
String of high-profile endorsements: Senate Conservatives Fund, Club for Growth in November, and congressman Paul Ryan

"One of the reasons we wound up with Obamacare is because conservatives didn’t communicate an alternative.”
Sasse recommends a three-point approach: End the tax bias that has turned health insurance into a perk of employment, allow consumers to buy policies across state lines, and give states more responsibility for their social safety nets. “Democrats may be the party of bad ideas, but Republicans too often are the party of no ideas — and bad ideas will beat no ideas every time,”
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DougMacG
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« Reply #194 on: January 14, 2014, 09:11:19 AM »

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/195248-hagan-wont-join-obama-in-nc
Hagan won't join Obama in North Carolina

President Obama won't be joined by Sen. Kay Hagan aboard Air Force One when he travels to Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday for a speech on the economy.

A spokeswoman for the North Carolina Democrat, who faces a tough reelection battle this fall, told The Associated Press the senator will remain in Washington to attend to Senate business.

Last week, Obama said he would join with companies and colleges at the speech to promote high-tech manufacturing programs. The address will be held on the campus of North Carolina State University.

Recent polls in the state suggest Hagan's reelection chances are a tossup, with the lawmaker garnering 43 percent approval and 49 percent disapproval in a Public Policy Polling survey released last month.

Hagan held a 2-point lead over state House Speaker Thom Tillis and was tied with the Rev. Mark Harris and nurse Heather Grant in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups addressed by PPP, a Democratic-leaning firm.

Obama didn't fare much better in the survey, with 44 percent of North Carolina residents saying they approve of his job performance. Half of the state's residents say they disapprove of ObamaCare, and 65 percent say the implementation has been unsuccessful.
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bigdog
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« Reply #195 on: January 14, 2014, 11:34:35 AM »

He looks interesting, but he is running as a Washington outsider. Is this true, given these:

Chief of staff at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy
Assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services
During the final two years of the Bush administration, Sasse dealt with health policy every day

Good, long article on one of the US Senate seats that Dems will most certainly lose this year. 

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/368081/obamacares-cornhusker-nemesis-john-j-miller

41-year-old Benjamin Eric Sasse is a fifth-generation Nebraskan
high-school valedictorian
Harvard, “Not because of superior academics, but because of inferior athletics,”
Master’s degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md
Ph.D. in history from Yale,  (For the record, I selectively admire good academic credentials!)
Spent his summers “walking beans and detasseling corn” (weeding soybean fields and controlling corn pollination)
Chief of staff at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy
Assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services
During the final two years of the Bush administration, Sasse dealt with health policy every day
Held debates with former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean
President of Midland University, in his home town of Fremont, one of the fastest-growing colleges in the Midwest
String of high-profile endorsements: Senate Conservatives Fund, Club for Growth in November, and congressman Paul Ryan

"One of the reasons we wound up with Obamacare is because conservatives didn’t communicate an alternative.”
Sasse recommends a three-point approach: End the tax bias that has turned health insurance into a perk of employment, allow consumers to buy policies across state lines, and give states more responsibility for their social safety nets. “Democrats may be the party of bad ideas, but Republicans too often are the party of no ideas — and bad ideas will beat no ideas every time,”
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DougMacG
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Posts: 5944


« Reply #196 on: January 14, 2014, 12:05:42 PM »

He looks interesting, but he is running as a Washington outsider. Is this true, given these:
Chief of staff at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy
Assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services
During the final two years of the Bush administration, Sasse dealt with health policy every day

Close enough to see and know the mess.  Not close enough to have caused it.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #197 on: January 16, 2014, 12:26:18 PM »

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/heatherginsberg/2014/01/15/democratic-think-tank-study-finds-harry-reid-and-senate-dems-are-responsible-for-gridlock-n1779419
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #198 on: January 30, 2014, 10:38:51 AM »

Morning Jolt
. . . with Jim Geraghty
January 30, 2014
I Wonder if Scott Brown's Truck Has New Hampshire Plates Yet
Intriguing poll numbers . . .
Scott Brown is tied in a race he hasn't entered yet.
Brown, the former senator from Massachusetts who is considering a run for a US Senate seat in New Hampshire, is neck and neck in a new poll with Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen.
Though Brown has yet to clarify his intentions, he and Shaheen are knotted at 44 percent apiece in a poll conducted by Purple Strategies, a bipartisan public affairs firm.
The poll, which carries an error margin of 3 percent for the whole sample, was conducted Jan. 21 through Jan. 23 among 1,052 likely New Hampshire voters.
Enjoying a 9 percent lead among independents, Brown trails Shaheen, 38 percent to 46 percent, among women and leads, 51 percent to 40 percent, among men.
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bigdog
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« Reply #199 on: February 13, 2014, 09:37:15 AM »

http://blogs.rollcall.com/wgdb/gop-split-laid-bare-on-debt-limit-vote/

From the article:

The split between establishment Republicans and their tea party brethren over debt limit strategy boiled over on the Senate floor Wednesday, when GOP leaders scrambled to put down a filibuster threat by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The behind-the-scenes battle over the party’s debt limit strategy between Cruz and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky ended with McConnell and Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas walking to the well of the Senate to vote to end Cruz’s filibuster attempt — a vote no Republican was eager to cast.
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