July 12, 2013 |
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the esteemed (well, OK, by some) Democrat from Nevada, wants his GOP counterparts to play ball. But Republicans, led by Kentucky's esteemed (well, OK, by some others) Mitch McConnell, mostly want to take their ball and go home. The result, perhaps, is that next week, the age-old Senate tradition of the filibuster will be radically reshaped. As in, you won't be able use it anymore to hold up votes on presidential nominees. And you know what? Probably most Americans don't care.
March 29, 2013 |
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will not be facing a challenge from actress Ashley Judd when he runs for reelection next year. Though he may be happy to have avoided the physical comparison -- she, after all, played Marilyn Monroe in a movie, while he looks like an ancient sea turtle dressed in a $1,000 suit -- the Kentucky Republican may miss having such an attractive target for his attack machine. McConnell is not all that popular back home. Democrats, of course, can't stand him and tea party Republicans may like him even less.
January 6, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- If the battle lines of the next budget fight between the White House and Congress were not already clear, Mitch McConnell underscored them in emphatic terms Sunday. With three looming fiscal deadlines in the coming months, the Republican Senate minority leader made clear in a round of interviews on the Sunday morning talk shows that the GOP will not consider further tax increases to help pay down the nation's debt. “The tax issue is finished, over, completed,” McConnell said on ABC's “This Week.” “That's behind us. Now the question is, what are we going to do about the biggest problem confronting our country and our future?
December 26, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - This time of year, Republican leader Mitch McConnell's office suite, steps away from the Senate floor, often crackles with a fire in the hearth. On Wednesday, it sat shuttered and almost empty. The cold stillness captured the state of affairs as senators and President Obama prepared to return to work Thursday facing an imminent deadline to avoid across-the-board tax increases and large spending cuts scheduled to take effect Tuesday. McConnell would play the key role in any effort to avoid that so-called fiscal cliff.
July 12, 2012
The late Strom Thurmond is best known for his 48 years in the U.S. Senate representing South Carolina, his segregationist candidacy for the presidency in 1948 and the fact that even though he was a longtime opponent of racial equality, he fathered a child with a black teenage housekeeper. But Thurmond also lent his name to the so-called Thurmond Rule, according to which Senate action on judicial confirmations is supposed to stop several months before a presidential election. The rule - actually a custom that sometimes has been honored in the breach - goes back to 1968, when Thurmond and other Republicans held up action on President Johnson's nomination of Abe Fortas to be chief justice of the United States.
June 20, 2012
In its reckless Citizens United decision in 2010, the Supreme Court divided 5 to 4 in holding that corporations could spend unlimited funds to influence elections. But in the same case, eight justices agreed that it was constitutional for Congress to require disclosure of the identities of those who paid for political advertising. In a part of his opinion joined by every member of the court except Clarence Thomas, JusticeAnthony M. Kennedy wrote: "The 1st Amendment protects political speech; and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.