Priorities, People

The NRA has succeeded in killing the nomination of a highly-qualified doctor, Vivek Murthy, to be surgeon general because he stated the obvious — gun violence is a public health issue.  And today is Saturday.  Obama can’t even get him through the Senate with a simple majority because so many Dems are scared of the gun nuts.  I guess when Harry Reid changed the filibuster rules on nominations, he forgot to check that the members of his caucus had balls.

Instead of focusing their outrage at a fine nominee being trashed and scuttled just because the NRA wants to raise money and demonstrate their disproportionate power, what has America up in arms, as it were, today?  That Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are on the cover of Vogue.

Conservatives Caught With Their Pants Down (Or On Fire)

Leukemia patient Julie Boonstra starred in a Koch Brothers-sponsored ad saying that her new Obamacare plan was unaffordable.  She also appeared on Fox News generating sympathy for her and outrage for Obamacare.

When Harry Reid said Boonstra’s claim was untrue, she demanded an apology, even though the media had made clear that, worst case, her new plan would be a wash and cost the same as before.

Now the Detroit News has established definitely that she will save at least $1200 a year under Obamacare.

I hope Harry Reid isn’t holding his breath waiting for an apology.  And I’m not holding mine waiting for a correction from Fox News.

The Emerging Deal

So it looks as if the latest  in the Reid-McConnell negotiations is to re-open the government until January 15 and raise the debt ceiling until February 7.  The deal would require income verification for those getting Obamacare subsidies, which was already in the law (as it should be!), until Obama waived it.  All this is taking place in the Senate (with Boehner being kept in the loop), so it’s not sure what would happen in the House.

Can Anyone Explain This?

Rand Paul is fighting in the Senate to give full constitutional rights to fertilized eggs.  Yet at the same time, he’s going to filibuster any gun legislation Harry Reid brings to the Senate floor, legislation that might save the lives of, you know, actual already-born children like those killed in Newtown.

Marco Rubio, fearing that he might be out-maneuvered for 2016, just jumped on the filibuster bandwagon with Paul, along with Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.

GOP Delays Hagel Vote Till After Recess

On a 58-40 vote, the GOP prevented an up or down vote on Chuck Hagel’s nomination today.  The nomination will be taken up again when the Senate returns from recess in ten days.  The GOP will use the extra time to try to dig up disqualifying dirt on their former colleague.

Having said he would hold the vote tomorrow morning, Majority Leader Harry Reid changed his mind, and shortly after 3 P. M. this afternoon said that the vote would be at 4:15 today.


No Holds on Hagel

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says that he won’t allow a hold on Chuck Hagel’s nomination.  It just takes a single senator to do a hold.  He intends to have the full Senate vote by the end of the week.  The Senate Armed Services Committee is voting later today.

But the GOP may still filibuster Hagel.

Filibuster Fix Fizzles

The teeny tiny filibuster “reform” announced today really doesn’t change how the Senate functions and doesn’t bring us closer to majority rule.  The GOP minority can and will still obstruct legislation the majority supports.

A very disappointing outcome, especially considering the extraordinary number of filibusters the GOP has used since President Obama has been in office.


Prez to Speak Soon

The President has been meeting with Harry Reid about a scaled-down approach to the fiscal cliff, and is expected to speak at 5 EST.

They are discussing a Senate bill that would extend tax cuts for families under $250,000, delay the sequester (yes, kick that rusty can even further down the road), and extend unemployment benefits.

If this passed the Senate, and every Dem in the House voted for it, they would need 26 GOP votes.

More Mormon Infighting

Now billionaire Jon Huntsman, Sr. (whose son’s presidential campaign flamed out pretty spectacularly) is calling on fellow Mormon Mitt to release more tax returns.  Mitt and Huntsman, Jr. were rivals to head the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

We’ve already seen the fighting between Mitt and Mormon Harry Reid.  In fact, some are guessing that the source who told Reid that Mitt didn’t pay taxes for ten years is none other than Jon Huntsman, Sr.

The Desperate Politicians of Mormonistan.  A reality show, perhaps, after Mitt loses?