Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Senate Returns-- Takes One Vote And Repairs To The Bars For Bourbons And Fundraisers


These three-martini lunch girls envision themselves 
running the country... THIS country

The last vote the Senate took before their long, long summer vacances was to confirm Elena Kagen 63-37. Five mainstream Republicans-- Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham, Richard Lugar and Judd Gregg-- voted with the Democrats; Ben Nelson, as usual, crossed the aisle in the other direction. 

Yesterday was the Senate's first day back, and the first vote Majority Leader Harry Reid called was to confirm Jane Stranch of Tennessee to the Sixth Circuit Court. Only 21 hardcore obstructionist radicals opposed the nomination, which was backed by both Republican senators from Tennessee, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, with even a handful of the worst of the far right anti-government fanatics like Sessions, McCain and Cochran voting with the Democrats. Sticking with the crackpot line Jim DeMint (SC) insists on were several Republicans up for reelection, Richard Burr (NC), Chuck Grassley (IA), David Vitter (LA) and John Thune (SD), all oblivious to the fact that most Americans would like more cooperation out of the Senate instead of knee-jerk irrational obstruction.

As it is, Stranch, a Nashville-based attorney, had to wait longer than any other Obama judicial nominee, over a year, before confirmation. The Senate Judiciary Committee had voted 15-4 in favor of confirmation, only Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL), both of whom found her well qualified, bothering to show up to question her.

Meanwhile, People for the American Way pointed out that Senate Republicans are still blocking scores of nominees-- actually over 100-- from even coming up for a vote.
“The confirmation of Jane Stranch is exhibit A for the unprecedented obstruction faced by President Obama’s nominees,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President at People For the American Way.  “Jane Stranch is obviously qualified and well within the judicial mainstream.  Bipartisan support from the President and her home state senators means that her confirmation should have been a foregone conclusion.  But with the relentless obstruction and dangerous politicking of the Senate GOP, it took well over a year for her to be confirmed.”

Also today, President Obama resubmitted five nominees whose names GOP Senators refused to allow even to remain on the Senate’s executive calendar. Also waiting for votes are sixteen other nominees, 14 of whom were approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee without any opposition.

“The GOP is doing everything it can to earn its reputation as the party of ‘no,’” said Baker.  “I’m glad the President and Senator Leahy are committed to fighting for the highly qualified nominees the Republicans have obstructed.  It’s too bad that the minority party has so little interest in participating in the business of governing.  It’s clear that they’re far more interested in tripping up the President than in making sure that our judicial system-- and our government-- work for the American people.”

Voting in November for radical right anti-government Republicans like Sharron Angle (NV), Rand Paul (KY), Ron Johnson (WI), Mike Lee (UT), Ken Buck (CO), Joe Miller (AK) and Pat Toomey (PA) will primarily serve to gridlock government and keep it from doing anything to help ease the burden on average working families-- which is exactly what the financiers behind the Republican Party and the Tea Party "Movement" have in mind.

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