Scandal-Plagued Harry Reid is Retiring!

Many of us have been waiting a long time for this to happen… Today it was announced that Senator Harry Reid will not seek reelection!

Senator Harry Reid, the tough tactician who has led Senate Democrats since 2005, will not seek re-election next year, bringing an end to a three-decade congressional career that culminated with his push of President Obama’s ambitious agenda against fierce Republican resistance.

Mr. Reid, 75, who suffered serious eye and facial injuries in a Jan. 1 exercise accident at his Las Vegas home, said he had been contemplating retiring from the Senate for months. He said his decision was not attributable either to the accident or to his demotion to minority leader after Democrats lost the majority in November’s midterm elections.

What the New York Times article fails to mention is that Harry Reid has been implicated in a number of scandals recently, including a bribery scandal out of Utah, a “green energy” subsidy scandal, and the EB-5 Visa scandal. Of course, Harry Reid has a long history of corruption, which you can read about in our short ebook, The Audacity of Harry Reid.

Reid’s departure from the Senate also makes his seat a potential Republican pickup.

If We Win the Senate

Then things will change – and change quite a lot. From the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. Senate failed to advance another piece of popular bipartisan legislation late Monday, and the reason tells the real story of Washington gridlock in the current Congress. To wit, Harry Reid has essentially shut down the Senate as a place to debate and vote on policy.

The Majority Leader’s strategy was once again on display as the Senate failed to get the 60 votes to move a popular energy efficiency bill co-sponsored by New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Ohio Republican Rob Portman. Mr. Reid blamed the defeat on Republican partisanship. But the impasse really came down to Mr. Reid’s blockade against amendments that might prove politically difficult for Democrats.

The Nevadan used parliamentary tricks to block energy-related amendments to an energy bill. This blockade is now standard procedure as he’s refused to allow a vote on all but nine GOP amendments since last July. Mr. Reid is worried that some of these amendments might pass with support from Democrats, thus embarrassing a White House that opposes them.

In the case of Portman-Shaheen, Republicans had prepared amendments to speed up exports of liquefied natural gas; to object to a new national carbon tax; to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency’s war on coal plants; and to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline. A majority of the public supports these positions and many Democrats from right-leaning or energy-producing states claim to do the same. The bill against the EPA’s coal-plant rules is co-sponsored by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin.

Yet the White House and Mr. Reid’s dominant liberal wing won’t take the chance that a bipartisan coalition might pass these amendments, most of which the House has passed or soon would. President Obama would thus face a veto decision that would expose internal Democratic divisions. So Mr. Reid shut down the amendment process. Republicans then responded by refusing to provide the 60 votes necessary to clear a filibuster and vote on the underlying bill…

You understand that?  As was true back when Clinton was President, the GOP has a lot of very popular proposals which would be very difficult for the President to just outright veto.  But unlike back then, we only control half of Congress – and to ensure that the President is not confronted with either vetoing popular legislation or enraging his cronies or far-left supporters, Reid has essentially crippled the Senate’s ability to move legislation.  We don’t really have partisan gridlock – we have Reid-lock.  Senate Majority Leader Reid, desperate to protect Obama, has made the legislature unworkable, thus sparing Obama difficult decisions and allowing Obama to use his pen and phone to advance policies which would be deadly politically if voted on in the Senate.

If we win this November, however, things will change – a GOP-led Senate will be able to advance legislation to the White House, which would either force Obama to sign popular bills opposed by cronies/liberals, or veto them and face the wrath of the electorate (in this case, in the form of weakening Democrat prospects for 2016 with the risk that a GOP President in combination with a GOP Congress would undo Obama’s legacy). It would be quite a pickle for Obama to be in – he’d have to either surrender, or suffer crushing defeat of his ideology in 2016.

This is why it is so crucial for us to win in 2014. The debate will change – it won’t be “partisan, Teabagger Republicans” causing the problem as legislation dealing with all our pressing issues (with input from Democrats – meaning we won’t be able to just get all we want) regularly arrives at Obama’s desk.  Then the ball is in his court and he’ll have to do what he hates most: make hard and fast decisions that he is clearly accountable for.

It’ll be endless fun.

Filibuster Follies

As for the filibuster, itself, I am just not that concerned.  After all, the real mutilation of the Senate came when we started to elect Senators by poplar vote instead of through the State legislators. The Senate is supposed to be the representative of the States, as sovereign institutions – by making the election of Senators direct, we simply turned the Senate in to a smaller, more exclusive House of Representatives.  If anyone wants to restore the Senate to its ancient glory, I’m all with you and let’s set about repealing the 17th Amendment.  But, still, this is a change – and a permanent one.  While the filibuster still technically exists in certain cases, it is in fact a dead letter…any time a Senate minority attempts to use it, the Senate majority will just do away with it, as Harry Reid’s majority just did.

The only thing I can find as a reason for this end of the filibuster is a desire on the part of Democrats to pack the courts with as little fuss as possible – especially the DC Court as it is in charge of dealing with regulatory matters.  Democrats want smooth sailing for whatever Obama and minions say in regulating our lives in to the ground, and this is their way to get it.  Seems a bit short-sighted, though – not a very good reason for giving up the filibuster, especially as Democrats are in grave danger of losing their majority in the 2014 mid-terms (I figure its 50/50 the GOP will win the necessary 6 seats…but even if we don’t in 2014, we will eventually have a Senate majority again, and Democrats will be rather backs against the wall).

And when we have a full Congressional majority and control of the White House, then the Democrats will feel the full force of their mistake.  No longer will the basic premises of Big Government reign supreme because it takes 60 votes to close off debate.  No longer will one or two RINOs be able to ensure that the legislative desires of the GOP are blocked.  All it will take, with a GOP President, is a mere 50 GOP Senators to agree, and our will is law…end of the Department of Education; end of the Department of Energy; and so on.  218 House members, 50 Senators, one President with a Vice President to break the tie in the Senate.  That is not a very high bar.  100 years of Progressive politics can now be undone in a few months.  To be sure, a returned Democrat majority can attempt to re-cobble it all together again…but after four or five years without it, it might not be politically possible to do.  And the certainty is that whatever is done can be easily undone.  And if Progressive politics are in bad odor then a non-Progressive campaign reminding the people that a victory for the left means mere re-imposition of the things we just got rid of, then the non-Progressive side will win.

It could be that when the history of our times are written, it will be revealed that Obama and Reid did away with the filibuster simply because they were frustrated they couldn’t immediately get 100% of their way…that they gutted their own protection because they simply didn’t want to get 90% of their desires.  If so, then it will be just another bit of proof that whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

Insanity, Thy Name is Harry Reid

The stupid – it just hurts!

U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, left, wants to end the practice of giving illegal immigrants tax credits for kids, but U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., won’t let the House-approved measure H.R. 556 through the Senate.

The System is Working Fine” says Senator Harry Reid, even though the Joint Committee on Taxation calculates that enactment of H.R. 556 would save taxpayers $24.4 billion over the next decade.

Here’s the real kicker – illegal aliens can claim the $1,000.00 tax credit even if their kids aren’t in the United States.  I mean, come on!  Any illegal who doesn’t claim at least one kid back in the home country is now a certifiable idiot!  How in heck would we possibly be able to check on something like that?  But to Harry Reid, its just working fine…which, I guess, is true from Harry’s perspective…it provides yet more taxpayer money for the undocumented Democrats.
As you all know, I’ve been in favor of amnesty since 2007 – but I’ve now decided to put on hold my support for the idea until such time as Harry Reid and Barack Obama have no further say in American law.  They are just too stupid to be trusted on such an important issue…and by being so stupid, they risk us never being able to get to rational immigration reform.

Government Shut Down We’re All Gonna DIE!!!1!!Eleventy!!1! Open Thread

As Matt noted on Facebook, the two worst people in America are Harry Reid and Barack Obama…bringing on crisis after crisis because, quite simply, they can’t have regular order in Congress as that would result in the whole Obama-Reid project going down in flames…remember, even Democrats don’t want this nonsense (or, at least, enough of them who are under threat in 2014 don’t want this).

But as we’re all going to die due to lack of government as of October 1st, let us just relax and enjoy our last few moments…and discuss whatever comes to mind.

UPDATE:  Have you ever been to the WWII Memorial in DC?  I have.  So has Matt.  Its a beautiful, moving monument to the men and women who sacrificed so much to win the Second World War.  Its an open park.  There is no “gate”; no entrance, as it were.  It is just there and you are free to wander through it as you will.  But for some reason the Park Service put up barricades to prevent entry this morning.  Why?  I can only surmise to make us all feel bad – in other words, on orders from on high, they decided to be rat bastards and prevent people from visiting the memorial in order to punish us and so get us to blame the bad, old Republicans for Obama and Reid shutting down the government.  Well, the veterans of WWII are equal to any task – and so they just broke down the barricades and went on in, anyway.

UPDATE II: From what I’ve read, what I thought would be a day or two shutdown until the House GOP caved looks like it might go on for a couple weeks.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s still an urge to surrender in the GOP House…but also a dawning realization that surrender won’t help the country or the party.  True, there is a risk of a national backlash against us – but I believe such a risk is small.  Most of the people who are going to really hate us over this already hate us – but, meanwhile, as long as we fight those who love us, will love us even more.  Eventually there will be a resolution of some sort – but I’m willing to go for weeks on this and see what we can get.  I bet if we hold firm we do get at least a year’s delay on the individual mandate and some other reforms.  And a year’s delay on that sets up a situation where we might even get another year’s delay…and so on.  Stand firm, GOP.

UPDATE III:  Ed Morrisey over at Hot Air notes a new CBS poll taken after the shutdown started – it is rather unsurprising.  Overwhelming majority disapproves of the shutdown and more people blame the GOP than blame Obama…but the kicker on that is that during the 1995 shutdown the blame GOP/blame President breakdown was 2 to 1 in favor of the President…now its 44% blaming GOP, 35% blaming Obama, and the poll was taken before the debacle of the WWII memorial and Reid’s comments about kids with cancer made the news in a big way.   Compromise is demanded by overwhelming majorities, and so the Obama/Reid plan to automatically reject everything unless they get 100% of what they want will probably work over time to increasing disadvantage to the President and his Democrats – they are going to have to give ground (so will the GOP, but as we’re already willing to do that, its less of a sacrifice for us).

Remember, this is not 1995 – the MSM does not control things as well as they used to. The New Media is out there.  The longer this goes on, the worse this gets for Democrats.  And, of course, the Democrats know that – which is why we’re getting so much advice that its in our interest to end this as swiftly as possible by a complete surrender.  Democrats wanted the shut down because they figured it worked best for them, and so we got it – Democrats now want this ended quickly with our surrender, because they figure that works best for them.  Don’t fall for the lies.  Stand firm!

UPDATE IV:  Mark Steyn hits a point no one has yet made:

…In fact, government by “continuing resolution” is a sleazy racket: The legislative branch is supposed to legislate. Instead, they’re presented with a yea-or-nay vote on a single all-or-nothing multi-trillion-dollar band-aid stitched together behind closed doors to hold the federal leviathan together while it belches its way through to the next budget cycle. As Professor Angelo Codevilla of Boston University put it, “This turns democracy into a choice between tyranny and anarchy.” It’s certainly a perversion of responsible government: Congress has less say over specific federal expenditures than the citizens of my New Hampshire backwater do at Town Meeting over the budget for a new fence at the town dump. Pace Senator Reid, Republican proposals to allocate spending through targeted, mere multi-billion-dollar appropriations are not only not “irresponsible” but, in fact, a vast improvement over the “continuing resolution”: To modify Lord Acton, power corrupts, but continuing power corrupts continually…

A continuing resolution is essentially a blank check to the Executive to just keep doing whatever it wishes – each department is supposed to have its own appropriation so that Congress can review what the money is going to be spent on, and make changes as appears necessary.  Just continuing things is an abdication of Congressional authority – and a nullification of the Constitution in a lot of ways.  The plain fact of the matter is that the government should be shut down right now – and should stay shut down until the House and Senate agree on a series of funding bills to send to the President…and this will take negotiations between the House and Senate, and therein lies the real reason Reid and Obama don’t want it:  such negotiations would force cuts in various Democrat proposals which are unpopular with the public, but popular with the cronies of the Democrats.

UPDATE V:  Obama kicks out a 77 and 80 year old couple who have owned their house on Lake Mead for decades.  Because it sits on federal land, Obama says “get out”, and, of course, we’re all supposed to blame the Republicans because of this.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Lake Mead but its mostly just empty land with a big lake in the middle of it.  It has a gate, of course, and they charge you $10 a car load (which means during this splendid fall weather the government is denying itself a large amount of money in entrance fees) to get in…people do live in private homes in various parts of the Lake Mead area, and there is no risk at all in them being in their homes.  But Obama and Reid just want to be creeps, and so this happens.

Reid Named in Fraud Case

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Embattled St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson says new Utah Attorney General John Swallow helped broker a deal in 2010 in which Johnson believed he was to pay Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid $600,000 to make a federal investigation into Johnson’s company go away…

A Reid spokeswoman had no comment.  There is, at this point, no indication that any of the alleged bribe money actually made its way to Reid.  We’ll have to see how this comes out.  But, if you want to get some background on Reid – and the curious questions surrounding just how he got so rich – then I suggest The Audacity of Harry Reid.  Harry Reid is not just a hack politician.  Harry Reid is not just someone who is handing the legislative power over to President Obama.  Harry Reid is much more than all that – and all of it bad.

Reid: I’ll Force a Vote on the Jobs Bill…Eventually

From the Las Vegas Sun:

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Republicans won’t support President Barack Obama’s jobs plan, but he still wants them to vote on the sweeping $450 billion economic recovery effort.

“We are going to have the Republicans belly up to the bar to turn down this plan,” Reid said during a virtual town hall meeting with supporters Wednesday.

Reid said he won’t immediately take up Obama’s plan because the Senate must tackle other issues first. He didn’t specify which bills would receive priority over Obama’s economic solution…

Anyone have an idea of what other, crisis issue we have before us which pre-empts jobs?

What is really happening here is not a Reid worry that the GOP will uniformly vote it down, but that half a dozen vulnerable, 2012 Democrats will vote against it, as well.  The last thing Obama, Reid and the Democrats need is for the Obama jobs bill to die in the Democrat Senate.  So, Reid’s “I’ll force them to vote” is just bluster…he won’t move until the House does.