Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Senate's Back At Work


Another GOP filibuster defeated-- Christopher Hill

Starting at 5:30 yesterday evening the Senate started voting on more of President Obama's nominations. First up was Tony West to be an Assistant Attorney General (civil division). He was confirmed 82-4, only 4 die-hard obstructionist loons voting no, Jim Bunning (R-KY), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Richard Shelby (R-AL).

Five minutes later they were voting on another Assistant Attorney General nomination (criminal division), Lanny Breuer's and even the 4 loons voted yes. It passed with 88 votes. The third Assistant Attorney General (anti-trust division) nomination, for Christine Varney passed 87-1 Jim Bunning (R-KY) casting the sole no vote. Nothing personal there; it's just that Bunning thinks the little women belong in the kitchen, not in offices. And besides-- in Bunning's little world, there's no reason to even have an anti-trust division.

And then came the big one. The obstructionist fanatics decided to do a de facto filibuster of Chris Hill's nomination as Ambassador to Iraq. Most Republicans put the country's security interests first and their party's obstructionist strategy off to the side. 10 Republicans voted with all the Democrats and cloture passed 73-17. That leaves us with a very clear list of the Republicans who are the most die-hard obstructionists who would rather see America damaged than allow Obama to govern. The minority or the minority, a list of crazy extremists (senators up for re-election next year are bolded):

Kit Bond (R-MO)- retiring
Sam Brownback (R-KS)- running for governor
Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Richard Burr (R-NC)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)- rumored to be retiring
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Jim DeMint (R-SC)
John Ensign (R-NV)
Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
Miss McConnell (R-KY)
Jim Risch (R-ID)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
David Diapers Vitter (R-LA)
Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Today the Senate will take up the Kathleen Sebelius nomination as secretary of Health and Human Services, another one Republicans will be filibustering. Sebelius will be the last member of Obama's cabinet to be confirmed. [UPDATE: Sebelius Wings Finance Committee Nomination Vote

Kathleen Sebelius won the committee's approval handily, 15-8. The only Republicans on the committee to support her were Kansas Republican Pat Roberts and moderate Olympia Snowe. This is a signal that the obstructionists will try to filibuster the nomination on the floor. The no votes were rightists Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Ensign (R-NV), Mike Enzi (R-WY) and John Cornyn (R-TX).]

UPDATE: Oklahoma Bigot Jim Inhofe On The Warpath (Again)

Obviously, if the Senate is back in session, you've got your nuts and loons crawling out from under the woodwork to spread their hate and poison. First up to bat was one of Oklahoma's two bizarre sociopaths, Jim Inhofe. Apparently Inhofe thinks President Obama's first judicial nominee, David Hamilton, is a secret Muslim. Inhofe, who has demanded that the U.S. base it's foreign policy strictly on the Book of Genesis may well be clinically insane. True, he didn't demand that we base it on Mother Goose but with someone like Inhofe you never know what to expect. He dragged his carcass onto the Senate floor to announce he'd be filibustering Judge Hamilton, who has widespread bipartisan support. The only quasi-rational objections any other Republicans have put forward in opposing Hamilton is that, unlike every single Bush nominee (no exceptions), he doesn't believe corporations are immune from laws. The final vote will most likely be very similar to the GOP vote against Chris Hill-- the dozen and a half most extreme obstructionists (your DeMints and Burrs and Bunnings and Coburns, who are determined to see an America that dared to elect Barack Obama fail)-- against the rest of the Senate.

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At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Tulsa when then Mayor Jim Inhofe threatened an ACORN employee who had the nerve to knock on his door that he'd get his shotgun if they didn't leave immediately. He was nuts long before he weaseled (and used his family/friends' connections) to get elected Senator. As a former Tulsan, I was terribly, sadly disappointed when Inhofe kept his seat in the 2008 elections. Too many conservative, blind evangelicals in Oklahoma kept him in the Senate.


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