July 14, 2013
Re "Senate Democrats threaten filibuster change," July 12 So, the GOP is threatening to "shut down" the Senate if the filibuster rule is tweaked to allow a simple majority to approve executive branch nominations. Through their historic abuse of the filibuster, Republicans have already shut down the Senate. As for their threat to use the rule change against a future Democratic minority: With the Republican Party in a demographic death spiral, when will they ever have a Senate majority again?
July 14, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - With a possible showdown over the filibuster looming this week, the Senate's top Democrat said his move to limit Republicans' ability to block presidential nominations would amount to only a "minimal" change to Senate rules, while his GOP counterpart called for Democrats to "pull back from the brink. " In back-to-back appearances Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also defended the way their current positions contradict statements each made a decade ago, when the then-Republican majority considered a similar change in Senate rules.
July 14, 2013
Re "How NIMBYs hurt California," Opinion, July 12 Economist Christopher Thornberg evidently wants us to believe that market economics do not apply to individual real estate developers. Referring to a proposed retail-residential development in West L.A., he states, "Of the residences, more than 10% will have an 'affordable' status, meaning other units will be priced commensurately higher to subsidize them. " Does Thornberg believe that a developer can pass on each dollar of additional cost to the consumer?
July 12, 2013 |
Capping weeks of divisive protests and political drama, the Texas Senate approved one of the nation's strictest abortion bills in a 19-11 vote, following earlier approval by the state House. The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Rick Perry, who has pledged to sign it. Passage came during a session that stretched to midnight in the state Capitol in Austin. Before the vote, watched by activists from both sides, lawmakers offered emotional remarks inflected in many cases with religious references.
July 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, claiming Republicans have engaged in unprecedented obstruction of presidential nominations, signaled Thursday that he would proceed with long-threatened changes to Senate rules to limit use of the filibuster. In remarks on the Senate floor, the Nevada Democrat called it a “disturbing trend” that Republicans have blocked or delayed some of President Obama's appointees even when their qualifications are not in doubt, bogging them down “with unreasonable demands.” He cited an earlier filibuster of Chuck Hagel to be Defense secretary and continued delays in the confirmation of Obama's picks to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Labor Department and Environmental Protection Agency, as well as appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.
July 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Fed up with Republican efforts to block confirmation of President Obama's appointees, Democrats threatened Thursday to limit use of the filibuster, a drastic maneuver that would end an age-old Senate tradition and could inflame tensions between the two parties. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid set the stage for a showdown next week, scheduling votes on seven stalled nominations that require 60 votes to advance under a filibuster. If those votes fail, Reid vowed that Democrats would alter Senate rules on executive branch nominations to allow them to pass on majority votes.
July 8, 2013 |
Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday he would not seek reelection in 2014, a move that will end his reign as the longest-serving chief executive in state history and one of the most powerful. He did not rule out another run for president. Speaking to a hand-picked audience of supporters in San Antonio and quoting from the book of Ecclesiastes, Perry said there was a time for everything and, for him, "The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership. " In a voice that sometimes quavered with emotion as he recounted his decade-plus in office, Perry said he would "work and pray" to determine his path forward.
July 2, 2013 |
What would Tami Taylor do? It's a question plenty of us - or at least those of us who'd like to emulate the perfectly coiffed character played by Connie Britton for five seasons on “Friday Night Lights” - ask ourselves on a regular basis. Now, following Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis' historic 13-hour filibuster , it's become a rallying cry for abortion rights advocates. On Monday, Britton announced a collaboration with Planned Parenthood on limited edition T-shirts designed to show opposition to Senate Bill 5 , the proposed legislation that would dramatically restrict access to abortion in the state.
June 30, 2013 |
HOUSTON - With sweeping abortion legislation poised to come before Texas lawmakers again this week, activists on both sides mobilized to bring protesters to the Capitol in Austin. Last week's confrontation in the state Senate led to a filibuster and a late-night vote that riveted the nation. Republicans initially said the measure had passed, but the Senate's presiding officer, Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, later conceded that the vote had occurred after the Legislature's special session expired at midnight.
June 29, 2013
Re "Texas abortion fight galvanizes activists," June 27 Although I support women's reproductive rights, I do not think that Democratic lawmaker Wendy Davis' filibuster of a bill that would shut down almost all abortion clinics in Texas, or the disruption caused by observers in the gallery, leaves a lot to be proud of. Any filibuster is anti-democratic. Yet both sides seem to judge its value based on the end results. Just as a 40% minority should not be able to rule the Senate, one person should not be able to hold an entire assembly hostage.