Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rand Paul Said

Letters to the Editor

This letter is associated with the following article:
Monday, May 23, 2011 -- 08:28 PM ET
The Patriot Act and bipartisanship
Senate Democrats use classic Bush/Cheney fear-mongering to demand quick passage of the Patriot Act
by Glenn Greenwald

Read the article here: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/05/23/bipartisanship/index.html

Resistance is NOT (yet) futile, thanks to Rand Paul

Let me see if I can coherently explain - even for Senate-myth-saturated audiences (which are remarkably, if unconsciously, resistant to criticism of "bipartisan" Party dogma) - how and why Rand Paul came to singlehandedly hold the power, if he so chooses, to delay S. 1038 into the weekend, without "filibustering," ahead of the Senate's planned week-long Memorial Day recess next week. [I've linked to a lengthier general explanation.]

Before I do that, though, read what Rand Paul himself said on CNN Friday night (May 20th), for a rare insider's view of what the Senate is today, courtesy of both Parties:

    Senator Rand Paul: "We go week after week in the Senate and do nothing. I feel like sometimes I should return my check because I go up, they do no votes and no debate. Look at this horrendous debt crisis - we don't debate that either.

    Anderson Cooper: "Really, you feel like that? You feel like you're not doing anything there?"

    Paul: "Yes. I feel... Absolutely. We go up week to week and there's no debate in Congress. No debate in the Senate. We sit idly by. Some weeks we vote on two-three non-controversial judges and we go back home. It, really..."

    Cooper: "Why is that?"

    Paul: "I'm trying to get a vote on Libya. They say they don't have time. I was told, when I wanted to bring up my resolution on Libya - which I did force them to, but I had to kinda capture the floor..."

    Cooper: "It got tabled like 90-10..."

    Paul: "Yeah, and they weren't too happy with me because I used some parliamentary procedures to gain access to the floor, and they came running down to the floor. They were apoplectic that I had taken over the floor, and the thing is is that we should be having these debates on the floor - they don't want to have any debate. I'm asking right now to vote on Libya - I have a resolution saying we're in violation of the War Powers Act. It's hard for me to get the floor unless I somehow sneak on the floor when no one's looking to try to get a vote. Why would we not want to debate great Constitutional questions? When I ran for office, that's what I thought - there will be great and momentous debates on the floor. We don't have any because they prevent the debates from ever even beginning."

    Cooper: "Senator Rand Paul, appreciate your coming on. Thank you."

    Paul: "Thank you."


"They" in this case being the Party (= fundraising) organizations and their leadership, which operate almost entirely off the public record and out of public view. Their objective at all times: avoid unpredictable democratic floor action, and the accountability of public debate.

To meet that objective the Parties basically gave the Senate the 'boiling frog' treatment. Slowly, over years - imperceptibly enough to have escaped journalistic notice of a sudden, shocking dismantling of the Senate - a fake quorum call (which doesn't call the quorum, but does suspend all floor business until lifted by unanimous consent, or by the Majority Leader) that was once a rare interruption to floor proceedings instead itself became the essence of Senate floor proceedings.

In other words, what was once informally used as a procedural pause on occasion, when floor debate needed to be suspended so Senators could briefly confer with each other off the record, now instead predominates in the Senate, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, with only an occasional speech or business action interrupting the non-quorum-call "quorum call's" idling away of Senate time. [See Paul's description above.]

Note, first, that this pernicious Fake Quorum Call (FQCall) is controlled by the Majority Leader (he can lift it at any time), and its existence is not formalized under any Senate rule.

Note, next, that in the absence of the FQCall, the Presiding Officer of the Senate is obligated under Senate rules to put the pending question to a simple-majority vote of the Senate, unless someone seeks the floor to debate (or requests an actual quorum call, to verify that there is a Constitutional quorum of Senators present).

By putting those facts together, I hope it's clear that, absent the FQCall, under default Senate rules and procedure, if no business or debate (or a real, live quorum call) is ongoing, nothing can stop a simple-majority vote on the pending business from being put to the Senate by the Presiding Officer while the Senate's in session.

And, thus, if the Senate this week was operating under default order and procedure, Rand Paul would have had to conduct an actual, extended-debate filibuster to singlehandedly "temporarily block" action on S. 1038.

So what's happened to change the situation, from that ordinary, default Senate order, to something else?

In addition to the usual (unchallenged) abuse of the FQCall, 18 Democratic Senators, including Harry Reid, voluntarily filed a cloture motion last Thursday to try (as is their wont) to impose a different, supermajority set of (Rule 22) procedures on the Senate - to replace the default, simple-majority public debating rules (held in abeyance by the FQCall) despite no unanimous consent agreement to do so.

Thus, Rule 22 cloture rules replaced default Senate rules when Thursday's cloture motion passed Monday, and they empower Senators to simply "object" to further action until Rule 22 says the Senate may proceed.

Significantly, Rule 22 mandates 30 hours of debate on the pending question after passage of a cloture motion. Unanimous consent is required to waive those 30 hours of debate, and we know that someone - presumably Rand Paul, but possibly someone else (we don't know because the FQCall creates a Senate that operates in backroom secrecy) - already "objected" Monday to waiving the 30 post-cloture hours of debate on the motion to proceed to S. 1038. Because the motion to proceed itself has not yet received a vote, and S. 1038 is thus not yet officially before the Senate.

— pow wow

No comments:

Post a link to this blog on your Twitter
page by clicking on the logo above.

Our doggy, Kai, was in the hospital for 5 days,
the Veterinarian bill is over $4000.
We need Help!
If you can, Please donate,
we'll appreciate it very much:

Thank You.

Click on the map to see how much Anderson
is admired all over the world.

You are visitor #

Since October 19, 2008

New Orleans'
Humane Society's
They helped find and care
for pets lost after Hurricane Katrina.
Now they need your help.
Anderson would love you
even more!

Television Blog Directory

My Zimbio

[Valid Atom 1.0]

AC's Book

A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival," a "New York Times" best seller, is his account of the people he's met, the things he's seen and the lessons he's learned in the midst of devastation.

Dispatches from the Edge
Woven into the narrative is Anderson's struggle to understand his own family's personal tragedies. The paperback version came out May 8, 2007.

Excerpt: Dispatches from the Edge
Review: Anderson cooper's journey
'360' Blog: Anderson on the new book

Peter's Books

(3 short stories and 1 short play.)

The first installment of "The Gay Ghost Trilogy" is the story of Charles Lanier, a young gay guy who rents an apartment on Lake Shore Drive on the near north side of Chicago, and the unexpected adventures he encounters from the day he moves in. And that's only the beginning; follow up with "The Next Gay Ghost" and "The Two Gay Ghosts." Each story can be read independently from the other two installments. Or get all three books in one with "The Gay Ghost Trilogy."

"The Gay Ghost"

Paperback: $9.97 + shipping

"The Next Gay Ghost"

Paperback: $9.97 + shipping

"The Two Gay Ghosts"

Paperback: $9.97 + shipping

"The Gay Ghost Trilogy"

Paperback: $22.91 + shipping

And a One Act Play about a gay Garamatean and a gay Earthling:


Paperback: $10.70 + shipping

Fast, easy and free submission
to many of the main Search Engines.

Visit my web sites dedicated to these handsome and talented TV guys.

Anderson Cooper

Click on Anderson's face
to visit my "Shameless
Anderson Cooper
Worship" Web Page

Thomas Roberts

Click on Thomas' hunky face
to visit this
Handsome and Talented

A.J. Hammer

Click on A. J.'s cute face to
visit this other
Handsome and Talented
New Yorker

Rob Marciano

Click on Rob Marciano's
handsome face to visit
this Sexy and Talented


Anderson CNN

  • Anderson Cooper Program Index
  • Anderson Cooper 360° Blog
  • Anderson Cooper 360 Transcripts

  • Anderson Fan Sites

  • Shameless Anderson Cooper Worship 1
  • Shameless Anderson Cooper Worship 2
  • CNN-Fan Page Anderson Cooper
  • Addicted to Anderson Cooper
  • All Things Anderson
  • AnderNation: Anderson Images
  • AHC - Wikipedia
  • AC360 - Wikipedia

  • Present for Anderson on his 40th birthday.

    Star name: Anderson Cooper
    Star number: 111604
    Star magnitud: 8.20
    Star color: white (brilliant)
    Constellation: Gemini
    Coordinates: RA: 4H 6m 13.01s
    Declination: 8° 30m 10.22s