Open Thread

Battles is now out! Get your copy, today!

I’ve got the first draft of the second series already done. Two books: Shadow Army and Kings and Queen. Same characters, set six years after Battles. Probably get them released mid-year.

Just noticed that a quorum for the Senate to do business is 51. Kamala doesn’t count towards it. The GOP, if really pressed on things like abolishing the filibuster and packing the court, can halt all proceedings simply by not being there. It won’t be something which can be done all the time, but on the crucial things which would emasculate even the GOPe’s ability to get things done, Mitch might pull this out of his pocket.

I’ve been watching the erecting of barricades and barbed wire along with the absurd deployment of 26,000 Guardsmen to DC and I’ve taking two things away from it:

  1. I’m rather disgusted to be an American at the moment. This is simply shameful.
  2. The government is scared out of its wits.

They know full well that the number who would actually do something for them is tiny. Congress’ approval is at 15%. Joe Biden, even if we want to call him the legit winner (he ain’t) only barely scraped by in the Electoral College by 46,000 votes. The Democrats have bare power to govern, no mandate, and they are held in contempt by half the population.

The China Flu Op is complete and now the Blue State governors and mayors are starting to re-open their States. I thought it would be sooner, but I guess with all the disputes, they waited until after Joe was certified by the Electoral College.

Donald Trump got 75 million votes, 12 million more than in 2016, after a four year campaign of relentless slander with the final year being hit by the ‘Rona and impeachment. Had Trump been treated merely fair by the Ruling Class, he would have got 90 million votes, in my view. I know people who were moving towards Trump but ended up going Joe in the end simply because they felt that doing so would end the insanity (spoiler: it didn’t).

Morocco is awarding Trump their highest award for helping bring about peace in the Middle East. As we all know, the Trump years were most important because they clarified everything. We now know who America’s real allies in the world are.

Biden wants to make the national minimum wage $15. This will be vigorously opposed by the GOP. And I know that 99% of my fellow GOPers are opposed. I am opposed, too. But this is only because Biden is doing it. If we were doing it, I’d be ok with it. The thing about the minimum wage is that it is economic insanity but it is popular. People love it. Whenever it comes up for a vote, the people back it by huge majorities. As Lincoln once said, a commonly held opinion, whether well- or ill-founded cannot lightly be set aside. As we are going to get the higher minimum wage, we should have led the charge on it and used it to get other things we wanted. We have to start thinking like this: we need more votes. Lots more. And this means we need to convince people that if we’re in power, we’ll give them what they want.

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.

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.