The Senate Filibuster

Obama explains it all for you on p. 244 of A Promised Land (Amazing: 44 explains the filibuster on p. 244 — Quelle synchronicité!). Those of you about to expire from boredom because self quotes 44 every day, know that she has barreled through 1/3 of the book in 8 days. She usually picks up her reading pace towards the end, so give her another week or so. All right?

  • This piece of legislative foolishness “isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. Instead, it came into being by happenstance.”

It’s all the fault of Vice-President Aaron Burr, who wasn’t very smart.

Self doesn’t have time to explain what Burr did in 1805, but here’s the money paragraph:

  • It didn’t take long for Senators to figure out that without a formal way to end debate, any of them could bring Senate business to a halt — and thereby extract all sorts of concessions from frustrated colleagues — simply by talking endlessly and refusing to surrender the floor. In 1917, the Senate curbed the practice by adopting “cloture,” allowing a vote of two-thirds of senators present to end a filibuster. For the next fifty years the filibuster was used only sparingly — most notably by Southern Democrats attempting to block anti-lynching and fair-employment bills or other legislation that threatened to shake up Jim Crow. Gradually, though, the filibuster became more routinized and easier to maintain, making it a more potent weapon, a means for the minority party to get its way. The mere threat of a filibuster was often enough to derail a piece of legislation. By the 1990s, as battle lines between Republicans and Democrats hardened, whichever party was in the minority could — and would — block any bill not to their liking, so long as they remained unified and had at least the 41 votes needed to keep a filibuster from being overriden.

The filibuster is the reason why we have legislators like Hawley, Cruz, Nunes and so forth performing shenanigans all over the place and getting away with it. Nevertheless, self is pretty hopeful after listening to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer telling the ladies of The View this morning that, every Monday night, he meets with Democratic party leadership (He mentioned Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Manchin and a few others) and they discuss what needs to be done to get a piece of legislation passed; it’s a cordial group and he has no doubt they will be able to stay united because they are all intelligent and principled people who have the best interests of the country at heart!

In other news:

TODAY WAS MERRICK GARLAND’s FIRST DAY OF WORK AS US ATTORNEY GENERAL.

Woo Hoo! Confetti! Streamers! Mad Clapping!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

California: The Light

California light is harsh. There are no subtleties between light and dark.

You’re young and then you’re suddenly old. It just happens.

We’re at the very middle of summer. After tomorrow, the days will get shorter. Self is sorry that she didn’t enjoy the summer as much as she should have. The weather every day was so unsettling: some days cool, like early spring. And then, the very next day, intensely hot.

She loves watching CNN: that succession of animatronic talking heads. The best moments of the Democratic Campaign so far have been: 1) Pete Buttigieg being confronted by a crowd of angry black citizens of South Bend, asking him if he believed in Black Lives Matter (“Are you asking me if black lives matter?” Buttigieg asked. “Of course they do.” A woman yelled: SAY IT. WE WANT TO HEAR YOU SAY IT. High drama, self loved it. Buttigieg did not back down. 2) Michael Bennett’s speech highlights, shown this morning before he came on The View. Until this morning, she barely registered a thought about him. WOW, that speech they aired this morning was a scorcher.

Both Buttigieg and Bennet are long shots, but they each represent a uniquely American energy. Which is COMPLETELY LACKING in the GOP.

She watched both Democratic debates. She was not enthused by Kamala’s unleashing on Biden. Self means, someone had to go after Biden, and no one was doing it, good for Kamala for having the keenest ambition of all the candidates. But really, it felt almost too easy. She won’t find it that easy to go after POTUS the same way.

Self tries to imagine a presidential debate between Trump and Kamala. She doesn’t think he’ll go for creepily stalking her across the stage, as he did with Hillary (Or maybe he will. Who knows? He’s clearly used that tactic before. On someone. Alas, Hillary was completely unprepared for the grotesque gesture)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Summer Thoughts: Café Irreal, Today’s “The View”, Mysterious Insomnia

Amazing: self has discovered that she can actually operate as a credible semblance of a human being, even with no sleep. At all. For that reason alone, today should be a very very very good day. (Just imagine, however, how much better and how much more productive self could be if she’d had at least four hours — !!! Gnashing of teeth)

Self has some very good news to share with dear blog readers: A short piece, “Appetites,” has just been accepted for Café Irreal’s Issue # 31 (Yaaay !!!) The site’s editors are currently visiting Prague, home of the greatest short story writer in the world, Franz Kafka.

And today, in contrast to yesterday, when the backyard was filled with men climbing our trees and conducting noisy conversations, self has the garden all to herself again: it is quiet, Read the rest of this entry »

Self, Running Errands, Misses “The View” Smackdown

Oh, no! Self has missed the boat again, dear blog readers!

That is, every day since the end of spring quarter at xxxx community college, self has been plopping down on living room couch to watch “The View,” and she forces herself to watch until the screeching becomes unbearable. Naturally, she has to listen to Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Who is — wait, who is Elisabeth Hasselbeck? Aside from looking truly fetching in print mini-dresses, that is?

OK, what happened here? Self has to review how she came to decide to leave the house at the exact same moment that “The View” was coming on. Oh yes, she had to go to B & N. And the library (to borrow Chang-rae Lee’s Aloft and T. C. Boyle’s The Inner Circle — thereby breaking her promise to read only non-fiction this summer). And the post office, to mail out a story. And Costco, to pick up a humongous bottle of Tylenol PM (perfect for insomniacs!). And McWhorter’s (to pick up two Pilot Precise V-5 Rolling Ball pens)

And when self got back, and got on the web, she found her usual gossip sites (self sooo addicted to those) all agog over Hasselbeck supposedly having broken down in tears during this morning’s show.

Aaaaargh!!!! The moment to end all moments! And self has missed it!

So here’s the version from Hollywoodlife.net

The yakking yentas were discussing Jesse Jackson’s use of the “N” word and things got heated.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck dominated the discussion and even Barbara Walters looked like she wanted to strangle her.

At one point, Babs even told Hasselcrack, “You’re not listening, you’re just talking.”

Moderator Whoopi Goldberg was trying to explain her take on the situation and took issue when Elisabeth said they both live in “the same world.”

Whoopi then replied, “We do live in different worlds. You don’t understand.”

At this point Elisabeth asked, “How are we supposed to move forward if we keep using words that bring back that pain?”

And then she broke down in tears.

And that is just so ha ha ha ha ha funny, self is practically rolling on the floor.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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