Archive for payback

Told ya so! Ailes, Fox "have a lot more to fear from" fired Brian Lewis than Lewis does "from Ailes & his toadies."

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clusterfox

ClusterFox indeed.

I so called this one. In my post of a few days ago, "Fox News [sic] boots Executive VP, top strategist, Roger Ailes BFF Brian Lewis," I wrote:

Do we smell a future tell-all book deal?

No, no please... hold your applause. Well, if you insist.

As you may recall, Lewis was the communications chief and a top strategist for Fox who was kicked to the curb after an internal investigation. Apparently, his “conduct” was in question. That conduct related "to financial irregularities, as well as for multiple, material and significant breaches of his employment contract” per the Los Angeles Times.

He was also Roger Ailes’ trusted BFF for decades.

And now he's threatening to leak some gory details about his now-former BFF and, of course, Fox.

There may not be a book in the works-- yet -- but the fun is about to begin. Buckle up!

Politico:

In a new statement, Lewis's lawyer says that Ailes and Fox News should be fearful of what secrets Lewis may reveal now that he is no longer bound by a confidentiality agreement.

"First, Brian Lewis no longer has any confidentiality obligation to Newscorp or Roger Ailes because of the false and malicious statements made by Fox to date," Judd Burstein writes in a statement provided to Gawker, a website that has long been a thorn in Ailes's side. "Second, Roger Ailes and Newscorp have a lot more to fear from Brian Lewis telling the truth about them than Brian Lewis has to fear from Roger Ailes and his toadies telling lies about Brian Lewis."

This is going to be sooo good. Get out the popcorn. My treat!

get out the popcorn

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VIDEO: McCain: "I don’t understand" why GOP would filibuster gun legislation. Should've stopped after the word "filibuster."

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filibuster cartoon reid

What a surprise! John McCain on a Sunday talk show! But I digress.

Think Progress has a post up titled, McCain: ‘I Don’t Understand’ Why GOP Would Filibuster Gun Legislation.

That should have read, "McCain: 'I don't understand why the GOP would filibuster.'" Most of us sure don't understand why the GOP would filibuster 99% of what they freaking filibuster.

Well, actually we do. Their raison d'être is obstruction, their goal (other than acquiring more money and power, that is) is to tarnish President Obama and his legacy, and their appallingly gleeful reliance on perpetual blocking comes from the successes they've had.

Did I mention that Harry Reid (and many Democrats) is aiding and abetting them? I did? Good.

Here is the entire Face the Nation interview. Relevant segment starts at about 9:45:

McCain:

I don’t understand it. The purpose of the United States Senate is to debate and to vote and to let the people know where we stand.

Schieffer:

So you’d encourage Republicans not to filibuster?

McCain:

I would not only encourage it, I don’t understand it. What are we afraid of? ... Why would we not want...  Why not take it up and amend it and debate? The American people would profit from it. I do not understand why United States senators want to block debate when the leader has said we can have amendments.

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Report: Sen. Harry Reid "not inclined to use" tools he has to overcome filibuster of background check bill

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new rules 2

It was only yesterday that I posted, "Harry Reid hints at filibuster 'nuclear option'… again. Try using it this time, Harry." I peppered that post with comparisons of Reid to an ineffectual parent plus comments like:

-- But Harry shook hands instead, although he has threatened to revisit filibuster reform from time to time, getting Democratic hopes up, like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown. We’ll believe it when we see it.

-- Of course you will, dear.

-- I will NOT get my hopes up, I will NOT get my hopes up…

-- That would be novel. Just do it already.

From the tweets and comments I received, we all had the same reaction. And for good reason.

Roll Call:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has the tools he needs to overcome any initial filibuster of a firearms background check bill, but he may not be inclined to use them.

Indeed, the Nevada Democrat is biding his time, even as President Barack Obama embarks on an aggressive new push for votes on a variety of gun-related measures, including background checks and a new prohibition on assault weapons.

The trouble for Reid is the new process — established in January through modest filibuster rules changes — may have a fatal flaw in practice when the Nevada Democrat actually wants the bill involved to become law.

And what might that fatal flaw be? Reid's New Rules do not prevent senators from blocking a bill from passing once it’s up for debate.

Did I mention that he still needs at least 60 votes? That he still needs a super majority? That real filibuster reform is still just a twinkle in sane and reasonable Democrats' eyes? And that Republicans despise compromise so much that they won't even use the word?

Here's what "compromise" means to the GOP:

Here's what Harry Reid means to those of us who are fed up:

peanuts lucy charlie brown football 2Here's what many of you may be doing after reading this post:

banghead

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Harry Reid hints at filibuster "nuclear option"... again. Try using it this time, Harry.

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peanuts lucy charlie brown football

Harry Reid reminds me of those ineffectual, weary parents who you see in a public place repeatedly scolding his annoyingly obstinate, uncontrollable toddler, saying things like, "If you keep that up, you'll get punished." Then, "Just keep pushing, young man, and there will be no McFlurry dessert for you." Followed by, "I'm warning you."

And then does nothing.

And the kid keeps misbehaving.

In that scenario, Daddy Dearest was about as effective as Gene Wilder intended (not) to be as Willy Wonka:

Which brings us to the unprecedented use of the filibuster by the GOP, their favorite weapon, the one they've used to obstruct just about every proposal by President Obama and the Democrats... including judicial nominations.

Over the years, we've witnessed the Reagan/Bush conservative judicial trajectory and subsequent decline (see: Scalia, Antonin et al) of our judiciary, and as a result, our democracy, civil rights, and legal system. And since Obama took office, his judicial nominations have been moving at a glacial pace.

He did manage to nominate the first openly gay black man to sit on a federal district court, the first Asian American lesbian, and the first South Asian. But at least 35 nominees are waiting for the Senate to vote, and there are still 50 more vacancies. That's called GOP "payback."

So Dick Durbin said, “We need to revisit” the filibuster rules and Senate Dems thought Harry Reid should revisit filibuster reform.

All that because Harry Reid insisted on that "gentleman’s agreement" with Mitch McConnell, the ridiculous handshake deal he made, saying he was "satisfied" with the Republicans just "agreeing" to be more reasonable.  Remember that?

As you may recall, Jeff Merkley’s plan for reform would not have ended the filibuster, and the Dems would still be able to use the option to filibuster when they are the minority party. It would have taken more effort and transparency to voice opposition, but the filibuster would have remained intact.

But Harry shook hands instead, although he has threatened to revisit filibuster reform from time to time, getting Democratic hopes up, like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown. We'll believe it when we see it.

Roll Call:

The Nevada Democrat said that while he was “happy” with the modest rules changes adopted in January on a bipartisan basis, the number of pending judicial nominations led him to warn his colleagues of the potential for the chamber’s rules to be modified at any point in the year, not just at the opening of a new Congress.

“All within the sound of my voice, including my Democratic senators and the Republican senators who I serve with, should understand that we as a body have the power on any given day to change the rules with a simple majority, and I will do that if necessary,” Reid said on Nevada Public Radio.

Of course you will, dear.

peanuts lucy charlie brown football 2

Harry:

"We made changes, but the time will tell whether they’re big enough. I’m going to wait and build a case. If the Republicans in the Senate don’t start approving some judges and don’t start helping get some of these nominations done, then we’re going to have to take more action.”

"Just keep pushing, young man, and there will be no McFlurry dessert for you."

But it does get more promising (I will NOT get my hopes up, I will NOT get my hopes up...). Reid said it's not only about judges, but also the nomination of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

"Now, we have the Republican-dominated D.C. Court of Appeals who have said, look, the president can’t even do recess appointments now,” Reid said. “So, we’re left with few alternatives, and we’re going to have to move forward and do something to change that.

Yes, we're going to have to do something. We've had to do something for years now.

"If you keep that up, you'll get punished."

That would be novel. Just do it already.

mitch mcconnell filibuster cartoon get rid of Obama

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Sen. Dick Durbin: "We need to revisit" the filibuster rules

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filibuster reform

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill), don't tease us, please don't tease us... unless you mean it. After my previous post, many of us got a Chris Matthews thrill up our collective leg: Senate Dems think Harry Reid should revisit filibuster reform if GOP continues to block Chuck Hagel.

Of course, Harry Reid never really wanted to change the filibuster. Dick Durbin said that he was uncertain whether the filibuster deal that Reid made with McConnell would make it easier to pass bills, saying, “It requires good will [and] good faith.” Well, at least he has a sense of humor.

But we've had enough. As Rachel Maddow put it, “How’s that ‘gentleman’s agreement’ going now that we’ve just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?”  And it appears that Durbin is asking himself and Harry Reid the same question.

Durbin, via Roll Call:

“We have tried at the beginning of this Senate session to avoid this kind of filibuster confrontation. The last several years we have had over 400 filibusters — a record number of filibusters in the Senate... I hate to suggest this, but if this is an indication of where we’re headed, we need to revisit the rules again... We need to go back to it again. I’m sorry to say it because I was hopeful that a bipartisan approach to dealing with these issues would work.”  [...]

“We had the first filibuster in history of a secretary of Defense nominee, the first... And now we follow with this filibuster of this D.C. Circuit nominee. I don’t think we’ve achieved much in our rules reform. I don’t think our spirit of bipartisanship has shown much in terms of results.”

Bingo. He's referring to the fact that Senate Republicans just filibustered the nomination of Caitlin J. Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She got 51 votes.

And GOP Sen. Rand Paul did actually take the floor to “actively filibuster” the nomination of John O. Brennan to be the next CIA director. He talked his fool head off. For hours.

Ironically, that's exactly the kind of filibuster that has been proposed. Under Jeff Merkley’s plan for reform, the filibuster wouldn’t have ended and the Dems would still be able to use the option to filibuster when they are the minority party. It would have taken more effort and transparency to voice opposition, but the filibuster would have remained intact.

Senators Durbin and Reid? Your move.

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Senate Dems think Harry Reid should revisit filibuster reform if GOP continues to block Chuck Hagel

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filibuster reform

“How’s that ‘gentleman’s agreement’ going now that we’ve just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?”

Rachel Maddow: “Harry Reid decided he would… make a handshake deal with the Republican’s top senator, Mitch McConnell. He said he was ‘satisfied’ with the Republicans just ‘agreeing’ to be more reasonable… Remember? …  They would just agree as ‘gentlemen’ that the Republicans would ‘curtail the excesses’ of filibustering everything, and effectively ruling from the minority. … They said, you know, at a minimum this will at least improve the confirmation process for the administration’s nominees. How’s that working out now?How’s that ‘gentleman’s agreement’ going now that we’ve just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?

Apparently, some Senate Democrats are asking themselves and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the same question.

Again, under Merkley's plan for reform, the filibuster wouldn’t have ended and the Dems would still be able to use the option to filibuster when they are the minority party. It would have taken more effort and transparency to voice opposition, but the filibuster would have remained intact.

The Hill:

Some Senate Democrats think Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) should revisit filibuster reform if Republicans continue to block Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s pick for secretary of Defense. [...]

[S]ome Democrats say Reid still has the option of changing the rules for the 113th Congress and should consider doing so if Republicans continue to hold up what in past years would have been considered routine business.

The Senate has never used a filibuster to reject a cabinet nominee-- and the GOP also threatened to filibuster Richard Cordray, the president's pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau-- so why shouldn't the "nuclear option" be considered? One "first" to counter another, tit for tat. As for Reid breaking his word to Mitch McConnell, it's pretty obvious that McConnell has already abused their handshake agreement.

George Kohl, senior director at Communications Workers of America, said Reid "reserved the right to reconsider the rules if they continue to obstruct. If they continue to go down that path I think he’ll have to reconsider options he would like not to exercise."

I'm not holding my breath.

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VIDEO: "How's that 'gentleman's agreement' going now that we've just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?"

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filibuster hagel

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Rachel Maddow:

"This has never happened before. To anyone. Ever."

"Chuck Hagel does have majority support in the Senate... A minority of that body, the Republicans decided they were going to block him anyway. They filibustered a cabinet nomination."

"This is a fresh hell in American politics."

"They 'might vote no'... but they wouldn't block a vote!... They wouldn't filibuster! ...Well today... only Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski... kept their word. All the others said they would not filibuster, that that would be wrong. And then they did it anyway."

"Sen. Graham... says he does not want his filibuster today to be thought of as a filibuster, even though that's what it is. ...He wants to use it as leverage to get more information out of the administration on the president's birth certificate. I'm sorry I mean Fast and Furious. I'm sorry I mean aliens in Area 51. I'm sorry I mean his theories about what happened in Benghazi. What does nominee Chuck Hagel know about Benghazi? Precisely nothing. He has nothing to do with hit, he HAD nothing to do with it."

"Why block his nomination?... Dunno. Why not? Wrecking stuff is fun maybe?"

"Harry Reid decided he would... make a handshake deal with the Republican's top senator, Mitch McConnell. He said he was 'satisfied' with the Republicans just 'agreeing' to be more reasonable... Remember? ...  They would just agree as 'gentlemen' that the Republicans would 'curtail the excesses' of filibustering everything, and effectively ruling from the minority. ... They said, you know, at a minimum this will at least improve the confirmation process for the administration's nominees. How's that working out now?... How's that 'gentleman's agreement' going now that we've just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?"

Via Christine Pelosi, daughter of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, a response to Nicole Sandler's tweet that the "filibuster rule can be changed any time":

tweet filibuster reform now sfpelosi

Now is good for me too, Christine (and nobody is saying get rid of the filibuster, as you may recall):

Remember, the filibuster wouldn’t have ended, and the Dems would still be able to use the option to filibuster when they are the minority party. The only difference is that it would have taken more effort and transparency to voice opposition. But because Democrats (and of course, Republicans) voted against the Merkley plan, the silent filibuster is still in place.

Christine Pelosi is an author, Campaign Boot Camp 2.0; Chair, #CADEMWOMEN; #SFGiants fan & volunteer; Yogamom

San Francisco · http://www.PelosiBootCamp.com

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