Tuesday, January 28, 2014




Bipartisan As Always

The mainstream media has failed, thankfully.   Keen on convincing Americans that lack of bipartisanship in Washington can be attributed to both major political parties equally, the public has instead seen through the maze of confusion sewn by the Fourth Estate.   In a poll taken by the Pew Research Center in which 21 percent of respondents identified themselves as Republicans, 31 percent as Democrats, and 41 percent as independents

Asked to chose which party was more extreme in its positions, 54 percent of Americans picked the GOP, while 35 percent selected the Democrats. On the question of who was more willing to work with the other party, 52 percent pegged the Democrats, and 27 percent deemed Republicans more bipartisan.

Gee, why would that be? In only the latest answer to an easy question, Talking Points Memo reports

On Tuesday, the Obama administration confirmed it was pulling back a judicial nominee in Florida after it became apparent that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would not allow a vote, even though the nominee was originally his own recommendation. But Rubio isn't the only Republican senator holding up a judicial nominee he previously supported.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is also refusing to advance Jennifer May-Parker, a nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, though Burr previously put May-Parker forward for the post.

In a July 2009 letter to the White House, a copy of which was obtained by The Huffington Post, Burr recommended May-Parker for the slot and described her as having "the requisite qualifications to serve with distinction."

Obama formally submitted her nomination to the Senate in June 2013. But May-Parker hasn’t moved since because Burr is withholding his "blue slip" to the Senate Judiciary Committee -- a de-facto rule in the committee that allows a senator to advance or block a nominee for his or her home state. Fellow North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D) has submitted her blue slip.

Burr hasn't said why he's holding up May-Parker, and there is urgency to the delay: The North Carolina judicial seat, empty since 2005, is the longest-standing district court vacancy in the country. May-Parker would also make history, if confirmed, as the first African-American district judge in the 44-county Eastern District.

A request for comment from Burr’s office was not returned.

Rubio had also been using his blue slip privilege to block the nomination of William Thomas. The irony was that Rubio had recommended Thomas to President Barack Obama in late 2012, for the long-vacant slot on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Rubio's office insisted the senator's change of heart on Thomas was based on questions about his "judicial temperament and his willingness to impose appropriate criminal sentences." If he had been confirmed, Thomas would have made history as the first openly gay black man to serve as a federal judge.

These efforts are not as widespread as GOP efforts to avoid providing American citizens health insurance, but they are emblematic of the obstructionism the Democratic Party, and especially its centrist President, has faced for almost exactly five years. In what was first revealed by Carl Cannon and Tom Bevan in November 2011, the following year The Huffington Post explained 

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

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

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

For several hours in the Caucus Room (a high-end D.C. establishment), the book says they plotted out ways to not just win back political power, but to also put the brakes on Obama's legislative platform.

"If you act like you're the minority, you're going to stay in the minority," Draper quotes McCarthy as saying. "We've gotta challenge them on every single bill and challenge them on every single campaign."

The conversation got only more specific from there, Draper reports.

As was true roughly 2400 years ago, so it is now (cartoon, undated, from Steve Sack of Star Tribune of Minneapolis) that "What has been will be again,what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."







and Pete Seeger (5/13/19-1/27/14):



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