Go read something

I have nothing interesting to say, so I’m going to link you to interesting things others are saying:

Glenn Greenwald describes Your Harry Reid-led Senate in action:

Harry Reid — who has (a) done more than any other individual to ensure that Bush’s demands for telecom immunity and warrantless eavesdropping powers will be met in full and (b) allowed the Republicans all year to block virtually every bill without having to bother to actually filibuster — went to the Senate floor yesterday and, with the scripted assistance of Mitch McConnell and Pat Leahy, warned Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold and others that they would be selfishly wreaking havoc on the schedules of their fellow Senators (making them work over the weekend, ruining their planned “retreat,” and even preventing them from going to Davos!) if they bothered everyone with their annoying, pointless little filibuster.

To do so, Reid announced that, unlike for the multiple filibusters from Republican colleagues, he would actually force Dodd and company to engage in a real filibuster. This is what Reid said:

[I]f people think they are going to talk this to death, we are going to be in here all night. This is not something we are going to have a silent filibuster on. If someone wants to filibuster this bill, they are going to do it in the openness of the Senate.

That is what Democrats have been urging Reid to do to the filibustering Republicans all year — in order to dramatize their obstructionism — but he has refused to make them actually filibuster anything, generously agreeing instead that every bill requires 60 votes. Instead, he reserves such punishment only for the members of his own caucus trying to take a stand for the rule of law and the Constitution, those who are trying finally to bring some accountability to this administration.

Digby comments on Glenn’s article, and has a chart.

Scott Lemieux posts on another insipid article about abortion from William Saletan: How About Everyone Agree With Me Instead?

Anil Dash on Google, and what does it mean to be evil, anyway?: Google and Theory of Mind (And he named Ill Doctrine one of his blogs of the year – we here at this blog will already be familiar with Jay Smooth’s fine work.)

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3 thoughts on “Go read something

  1. Ananth

    I am sure Glenn was all for forcing actual fillibuster when the democrats were in the minority right? But still, I think it’s insane that the threat of a fillibuster pretty much acts like a fillibuster. (bothered me with dems in minority, bothers me now).

    Also your link to Scott Lemieux post lost me when he compared abortions to appendectomies.

  2. Steve

    Abortion is a surgical procedure, and should be treated as one, was part of the point he was making there. Which is to say: sure, we want fewer abortions, just as anyone would want there to be fewer outpatient surgeries in general, if we’re making policy in that direction.

    I am sure Glenn was all for forcing actual fillibuster when the democrats were in the minority right?

    Sure, why not? It makes for good political theater. Not that it came to that very often, since they could pretty much never rustle up enough votes to avoid cloture, which made filibusters pointless.

    Speaking of politics, that’s another part of Greenwald’s point. The Republicans made a huge stink about Democratic obstructionism on the few occasions that the Democrats got it up to filibuster something particularly egregious. Now the Republicans are filibustering two or three times as often as those “obstructionist” Democrats did, and it’s just insane not to hang that around their necks. Especially when their filibuster would be unpopular, make them get up on the floor of the Senate and actually go through with it in front of the country, don’t just cave in and hand it to them every time.

    And so it’s especially infuriating that Reid, after giving the Republicans anything they want whenever they ask, is now doing everything he can to stop a Democrat from taking the popular stand of trying to stop telecom immunity. This is exactly the sort of thing that made Steve Gilliard call people like Reid “Vichy Democrats.”

  3. Ananth

    There’s the problem. While it may be a ‘surgical procedure’ it is not just a surgical procedure to be lumped in with appendectomies for numerous reasons, removing life of the mother abortions from the discussion the chief of which is that appendectomies are not elective and are life saving.

    What is perhaps is a more appropriate analogy would be something like gastric bypass surgery which is elective but has benefit to the person having the surgery, and it’s fair to say we should strive for a society that has 0 gastric bypasses. This is also ignoring the fact that at some point the fetus crosses over the line of being a part of the mother to being something that is capable of living in the world on it’s own, (and that line gets further and further along with 66% of premature births at 24 weeks surviving). To simply be dismissive of this fact is frankly scary. I am not saying life begins at conception, but at some point it does become a life and that needs to be recognized in the debate particularly when it comes to 2nd and third trimester abortions

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