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View Full Version : Shelby is a tool, and McConnel carries his water



Buzz
02-05-2010, 02:01 PM
I guess they are shutting down the Senate over a simple disagreement.


In a little over 30 seconds on the Senate floor yesterday, Republican leader Mitch McConnell demonstrated everything that's broken in the United States Senate.

A little after noon eastern time, McConnell rose to object to Majority Leader Harry Reid's motion to confirm several Obama Administration officials, including appointees with jurisdiction over issues of national security.

By objecting to Reid's motion, McConnell effectively subjected the nominees to a filibuster, raising the threshold for confirmation to 60 votes (the only way to override his objection on the Senate floor is to invoke cloture on Reid's motion). With the swearing-in of Scott Brown, Republicans now have 41 votes, so as long as they hold together, McConnell's objection cannot be overridden on the Senate floor.

As if that isn't broken enough, McConnell also admitted that he didn't know why he was objecting to Reid's motion other than he was doing it on behalf of Richard Shelby, the Republican Senator from Alabama, who was in some sort of dispute with the Obama administration.


McCONNELL: Madam President, reserving the right to object, and I’m going to do that, I just wanted to indicate that Senator Shelby has been in discussions with the administration over an issue with which I’m not terribly familiar and I believe that that is the genesis of his objection. He is not able to be here at the moment to state his position. Maybe we can, in discussions with him, make some progress on these, sooner rather than later, but for the moment I’m constrained to object on his behalf.

Of course, we now know what Shelby wants. Later in the day, his office released a statement indicating that the primary motivation for Shelby's hostage taking was his desire to see the Pentagon's aerial refueling tanker contract go to the European aerospace giant EADS instead of the American firm Boeing. Shelby wants EADS to get the contract because some of manufacturing work would be done in his home state of Alabama.

It's stunning that a senator would be willing to shut down the process of confirming administration appointees simply to help a foreign firm win a military contract. But it's also amazing that Mitch McConnell, the GOP's leader in the Senate, carried Shelby's water without understanding what Shelby was up to or trying to accomplish.

huntinman
02-05-2010, 02:08 PM
I guess they are shutting down the Senate over a simple disagreement.

What's even more amazing is the R's had the balls to use a tactic perfected by the D's over the course of many years. Still learning when it comes to playing hardball. Funny how you guys don't mind when the dems are doin the obstructing...but now it so terrible...

Buzz
02-05-2010, 02:14 PM
What's even more amazing is the R's had the balls to use a tactic perfected by the D's over the course of many years. Still learning when it comes to playing hardball. Funny how you guys don't mind when the dems are doin the obstructing...but now it so terrible...

Very useful comment about the substance of the story.:rolleyes:

huntinman
02-05-2010, 02:18 PM
Very useful comment about the substance of the story.:rolleyes:

If we limit comments to the substance of the story(ies)...most of the comments on the thread, including many of yours, would have to be deleted. You made a comment about the story, I made one about the tactics used. it may not be useful to you, but it kept me entertained for about 30 seconds...

YardleyLabs
02-05-2010, 02:31 PM
If we limit comments to the substance of the story(ies)...most of the comments on the thread, including many of yours, would have to be deleted. You made a comment about the story, I made one about the tactics used. it may not be useful to you, but it kept me entertained for about 30 seconds...
However, Democrats did that to about 10 judicial appointments after approving hundreds and were attacked with full broadsides. I believe it is now up to the Democrats to force full filibusters on these nominations . Let Republicans read their diaries on CSPAN for the next few weeks. In the meantime, delay any and all Federal fund payments to the State of Alabama. All this so Shelby can get a contract awarded to France's Airbus and Northrup Grumman. Talk about big time stacking the deck for lobbyists.

Eric Johnson
02-05-2010, 04:03 PM
And the tactics Boeing used that got jail time for the President of the company and have largely delayed this project for 10 years...?

Boeing sought and gained access to Northrup's complete bid and pricing last year as a part of their protest. However, Northrup was denied access to the same information from Boeing since Northrup ey weren't the one protesting. Now Boeing has stated plans to bid a lower cost (and less capable) airframe. Northrup says they simply won't bid on the project. So, Sen Murray and Boeing and their Chinese built airframe (the Chinese build the wings....about 50% of the airframe) components win.

Eric

Sundown49 aka Otey B
02-05-2010, 04:07 PM
May have to give old Mitch a call. The nominees probably owe enough BACK TAXES to offset some of the Dem spending..........:):)

YardleyLabs
02-05-2010, 04:31 PM
And the tactics Boeing used that got jail time for the President of the company and have largely delayed this project for 10 years...?

Boeing sought and gained access to Northrup's complete bid and pricing last year as a part of their protest. However, Northrup was denied access to the same information from Boeing since Northrup ey weren't the one protesting. Now Boeing has stated plans to bid a lower cost (and less capable) airframe. Northrup says they simply won't bid on the project. So, Sen Murray and Boeing and their Chinese built airframe (the Chinese build the wings....about 50% of the airframe) components win.

Eric
Are you seriously saying that you think that it's OK to block all appointments to try to force a contract award to a specific company? Talk about big time graft. As I said, force a real filibuster. Make Shelby keep talking if he wants to hold up the nominations. Let him defend his actions publicly and shut him down using every power held by the President. The idea that a single Senator can freeze the government is outrageous and should carry a distinct price. For the record, I couldn't care less who gets the contract. But Shelby's approach is definitely the icing on top of his well earned reputation as a king of earmarks.

Eric Johnson
02-05-2010, 05:33 PM
Of course not. However, I took from your message that all this was in the cause of a straight up procurement and that's just not true.

For that matter, what about your comment to freeze any payments to Alabama given the special treatment under consideration to Nebraska and Louisiana? We block payments when the Senator is an R and increase payments when they're a D?

I'm merely saying that this is politics as usual on both sides of the aisle. It'll all play out without our help or interference.

Eric

YardleyLabs
02-05-2010, 06:19 PM
Of course not. However, I took from your message that all this was in the cause of a straight up procurement and that's just not true.

For that matter, what about your comment to freeze any payments to Alabama given the special treatment under consideration to Nebraska and Louisiana? We block payments when the Senator is an R and increase payments when they're a D?

I'm merely saying that this is politics as usual on both sides of the aisle. It'll all play out without our help or interference.

Eric
Bi-partisanship takes both sides to work. If a minority elects to use the filibuster as its response to every action with which it disagrees then it becomes necessary to wield the full force of the majority to redefine the limits of obstruction. The Republicans did that effectively in the last administration to prevent a "minority" of 50 Senators from obstructing the President's agenda. If Democrats fail to make use of their majority of 59 to pass their agenda, they have only themselves to blame. One part of that strategy is to use budget reconciliation as it has been used in the past to force votes on critical items and to wield as a threat to prevent excessive filibusters. A second part is to reject the notion of a painless filibuster. If you want to filibuster, keep talking until you drop and one side or both sides elect to soften their positions to mitigate the impact of the stalemate. That effectively makes it impossible for the minority to exercise filibusters on every issue, including ones that they have previously supported, with impunity.

limiman12
02-06-2010, 03:12 AM
Again, I feel that our democracy is SERIOUSLY in trouble

not our economy or our cuntry OUR DEMOCRACY

Hew
02-06-2010, 04:37 AM
I guess they are shutting down the Senate over a simple disagreement.
Why, Buzz...I'm surprised you didn't attribute or link that article. It's OK. You're among friends. It ain't like anyone's gonna be shocked that you get your news from the Daily Kos. ;-)

To save you the inevitable typing of..."oh yeah, when you can't refute the facts you attack the messenger"....

The article is juvenile. Either the author has never heard of Senatorial "holds" before, or if he has heard of them, he's being completely disingenuous by not mentioning them in his article. Senatorial holds have been used in the Senate since the 1950s (begun by Lyndon Johnson). Usually they're done anonymously. All a senator (from either the majority or minority) has to do is approach either the Senate Majority Leader or the Senate Minority Leader and tell them they want to put a hold on the bill and the Minority/Majority leader is compelled to do so...without explanation or justification. But I suppose it's just so much easier for a Kossack "journalist" to presume that Shelby's hold is some newfangled partisan twist from the "party of No" and that McConnell is "just carrying water" instead of following 50 years of Senate rules and traditions. And of course, any good Kos reader, their brains already brimming with a hundred other DNC-inspired talking points about the "party of NO," will lap it up like a purring kitten.

That said, while Shelby's machinations suck, hate the game (the US Senate); not the playa (Shelby).

Hew
02-06-2010, 04:51 AM
However, Democrats did that to about 10 judicial appointments after approving hundreds and were attacked with full broadsides. Senatorial holds have been going on for decades and have been used by senators of both parties. Of course I'm sure you can justify every Democrat senate hold (like you did above) while impugning every Repbulican senate hold (like you did below). I believe it is now up to the Democrats to force full filibusters on these nominations . Let Republicans read their diaries on CSPAN for the next few weeks. In the meantime, delay any and all Federal fund payments to the State of Alabama. All this so Shelby can get a contract awarded to France's Airbus and Northrup Grumman. Talk about big time stacking the deck for lobbyists. Shelby's hold isn't a partisan issue. It's about bringing home jobs to Alabama. The reason Shelby's foot stamping will sadly probably work is because most of the rest of the Senate is more about preserving their own individual powers than necessarily doing what's best for the country. One day they may be the ones putting the hold on something so they don't want diminish the power/impact of the hold. Nearly every senator is a self-important, get-along/go-along type and as a group often seem to be more beholden to their supposedly august senate rules than the country.


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Hew
02-06-2010, 04:53 AM
And the tactics Boeing used that got jail time for the President of the company and have largely delayed this project for 10 years...?

Boeing sought and gained access to Northrup's complete bid and pricing last year as a part of their protest. However, Northrup was denied access to the same information from Boeing since Northrup ey weren't the one protesting. Now Boeing has stated plans to bid a lower cost (and less capable) airframe. Northrup says they simply won't bid on the project. So, Sen Murray and Boeing and their Chinese built airframe (the Chinese build the wings....about 50% of the airframe) components win.

Eric
Yep. Northrup got hosed.