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Filibuster battle as seen on NBC

On Thursday evening, I found encouraging news on the filibuster battle at Yahoo News. A private Republican poll, leaked to the Associated Press, had found -- among Republican voters! -- only 37 percent support for the GOP plan to deny Democrats the ability to filibuster judicial nominees, while 51 percent were opposed.

"Additionally, the survey indicated only about 20 percent of Americans believe the Republican statement that Bush is the first president in history whose court appointees have been subjected to a filibuster."

I thought to myself, the filibuster battle is over. It's nothing, I thought, but what "the Dude" in an article posted this evening calls the "SillyBuster" -- and the "nuclear option" threat is hollow and about to implode. What I did not count on was the perseverance of evil in the U.S.A. The Republicans do not ever see a negative poll as an indication that it's time to turn around -- it's just a challenge, requiring pouring some more money into the pot and stirring.

On Friday evening, I became aware of the Republican initiative to, once again, win over the "hearts and minds" of the American people. I had to stop by a laundromat where the teevee was booming with NBC news. As I walked in the door, a commercial by the Family Research Council blasted at my ears. (That's the government religious group, "FRC", whose slogan is "to reaffirm and promote the traditional family unit and the Judeo-Christian value system upon which it is built".)

After the paid commercial, NBC obliged the big $$$ FRC with a free extra -- an interview by NBC of a Republican advocate for eliminating the filibuster. Following that was a longer news "analysis" piece, with a couple of talking heads, that made three main points --

1) The whole thing, at least in part, is an attack by the Democrats on religious values.

2) The Democrats are proposing to do something that has NEVER been done -- filibuster court nominations -- while the Republicans have never done any such thing. (Never mind that is exactly what the Republicans did when Lyndon Johnson attempted to promote Abe Fortas to Chief Justice -- a fact that was never mentioned by the NBC reporter.)

3) The Republicans are trying to get neutral non-activist ("strict constructionist") judges that will only enforce what the law really is, instead of making up something like Democrat-appointed judges do. (Never mind that the 5-4 Republican-appointed majority in December, 2000, reversed ALL precedent since the U.S.A. has been in existence in order to place their fellow Republican, George W. Bush, in the White House!)

As for the leaked Republican poll, that news has been changed to say that 80% of those polled thought that every judicial nominee is entitled to a up-or-down vote.

One good point was made in the NBC coverage, however, and that is that what this is really leading up to is the expected resignation (or death) of Chief Justice Rehnquist this summer. (Rehnquist, who is in his 80's, has inoperable thyroid cancer.) Bush wants to feel free to appoint a real rightwing asshole to that job, without having to sweat any objections from the Democratic minority in the Senate.

So it looks, once again, like the Republicans maybe can get away with their plan to pack the courts so that we will have to live with the Republican nightmare no matter who we put into Congress and the White House in 2006 and 2008.

The Republican unholy corporate/hypochristian machine continues to project absolute confidence. As far toward worried as they get is this news report --

"Vice President Dick Cheney warned Democrats Friday that he will cast the tie-breaking vote to ban filibusters of President Bush's judicial nominees if the Senate deadlocks on the question."

 link to news.yahoo.com


Currently the Dems have their own 44 votes plus one Independent (Jeffords, Vermont) and hopefully the votes of Republicans McCain, Chafee, Snowe and Collins, which gets the opposition to 49 votes, therefore two more are necessary -- since a 50-50 tie will be broken by Cheney (who, as Vice President, gets to vote in such tie votes).

Everyone who has any connection with Arizona, Rhode Island or Maine (both Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are Rebublicans representing Maine) should try to find a way to contact McCain, Chafee, Snowe and Collins to ask them to vote no on ending the filibuster.

Republican senators who are reported to be on the fence are Dewine (Ohio), Specter (Pennsylvania), Warner (Virginia), Sununu (New Hampshire), Hagel (Nebraska), and Smith (Oregon).



Gordon Smith - (202)224-3753

Ask your Senators to maintain the checks and balances in the Senate and protect the American people by protecting the filibuster.

If you are in the state of a waivering Senator call his/her office and really push the issue. If you are not in the same state call and let them know of any affiliation that you may have with the state.

I wish I could tell you that this thing is over -- but it ain't over til it's over! If we are lucky, it won't be over before the end of the year. And then, depending on many variables, it maybe won't be over until the election.

IF enough Democrats (or independents or Greens?) win in November, there will still be attempts by a lame-suck and corrupt Republican congress to do whatever evil they can before the new congress convenes in January, 2007.

Some links 23.Apr.2005 00:19

Progressive Democrat

Recent (April) PIMC articles about this assault on what is left of a reasonable Federal judiciary in this country --

ABOUT the Republican/corporate/hypochristian "Justice Sunday"


"Republicans open attack on filibuster over judges" --

About Senator Robert Byrd (West Virginia)

"Bush's sworn adversary in the Senate"


"Senate battle begins over anti-environmental judges"


"EarthJustice ALERT - stop appointment of anti-environment judges!"


"Bush opens with the sissy card"

"The best laid plans of mice and men . . ."

"Keeping an eye on the Senate"

"A Stalin-like theocracy? They want to impeach a Reagan Appointee!"

"Promised peace -- we get war"


More links 23.Apr.2005 00:25

Progressive Democrat

Make no mistake about it: extreme corporatist anti-environment judges WILL BE APPOINTED if the Republicans can do away with the Senate rule that allows such appointments to be blocked by filibusters of senators with grounds to oppose the appointments. If the filibuster rule is eliminated, it will mean further enhancement of the powers of the presidency, propelling us ever deeper into corporatism/fascism.

Send messages to BOTH of your senators, whether Democrat or Republican -- it's VERY important for at least a few Republican senators to break with the White House on this issue, because the Republicans have 55 of the 100 Senate seats.


. . . from making your views known to the U.S. Senate about anti-environment judges ! ! !

To tell your senators to oppose William Myers's lifetime nomination go to the EarthJusice link -

From the EarthJustice ACTION ALERT --

Oppose Judicial Nominee Myers and the Nuclear Option

The Senate will soon vote on the re-nomination of former Interior Solicitor William Myers to a lifetime seat on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which decides the fate of environmental safeguards for nine western states. The Senate's Republican leadership is so determined to become a rubber stamp for the White House, they are planning to violate long-standing Senate rules to push through previously blocked, extreme anti-environmental nominees like Myers. This tactic has been dubbed the "nuclear option" by its proponents because it would effectively shut down the Senate.


AND don't forget to sign the on-line petition of the League of Conservation Voters --


IT'S NOW OR NEVER -- the vote on Myers hasn't been scheduled yet, but it could be as early as next Tuesday!
ALSO check out "Please call your senators to save the courts" --

You can also write your own letter, using information gathered by Friends of the Earth to assist you in that --


According to Friends of the Earth:

On Tuesday, the Senate will vote on the nomination of William Myers to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a critically important federal court that oversees nearly 500 million acres of western public lands. Myers is a career anti-environmental advocate: he recently served as the top lawyer at the Interior Department, aggressively weakening the same environmental laws that he formerly fought as a lobbyist for the grazing and mining industries. Rather than serving as an impartial judge, Myers will continue acting as a one-sided advocate for special interests if he receives a lifetime judicial appointment.

NOTE: The Republicans have put the Myers case on a back burner -- to able to lead with two women nominees -- see "Bush opens with the sissy card" --

Maybe better yet -- download an excellent pdf pamphlet made available by the NAACP. (Myers isn't just anti-environment, he's anti-human.) Check out the NAACP's pdf pamphlet on how to oppose the packing of the courts --


(If you don't have a pdf reader such as Adobe, you can check out the pamphlet as HTML by googling on it -- GOOGLE makes HTML versions available on-line for many pdf files.)

NAACP details many actions in addition to on-line, such as phoning to your senator's office.
It wouldn't hurt to let Democrats in the Senate hear about your opposition to the packing of the courts AND ESPECIALLY YOUR OPPOSITION TO MYERS --

The current Bush nominees are not only pro-corporatist and anti-environmental -- they are generally not even well-qualified on any standards!

Check it out --  http://www.democrats.org/scotus/bushrecord.html
If you want more information about how the system works in the Senate with judicial nominees and filibusters --

Also, check out --
"The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party" (a public information project from TheocracyWatch.org)


Republicrats? 23.Apr.2005 02:38


Democrats, Republicans, Motions, Legislation, Fillibusters, Government, Government, Government... Bullshit!

Dog smells his stinky butt 23.Apr.2005 10:38

TV casualty

NBC wastes your consumption time. Go consume a materialist movie instead, Mr Winston Smith

Who is Winston Smith? 23.Apr.2005 12:59

Progressive Democrat

"TV casualty" refers to Winston Smith: "Go consume a materialist movie instead, Mr Winston Smith."

Winston Smith is the protagonist in Orwell's book "1984".

"The narrator of the book is 'Third Person Limited'. The protagonist is Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party, working in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, rewriting and altering records, such as newspaper-articles, of the past."


I guess that "TV casualty" is suggesting that if Winston Smith had been a good citizen and gone to a materialist movie, as the government wanted him to do, he would not have been singled out for torture and brain washing.

I suppose that there is the risk of that. But I don't give a shit. I don't want to live anymore in the world of 1984. Watching another materialist movie is torture to me -- and since I have not yet been incarcerated in this 1984 world, I don't have to submit myself to torture. The NBC news was background in a laundromat, not something I was watching at home (I don't subscribe to cable!) -- just like Winston Smith was exposed to all the time. I do have a small teevee, but I am still able to control it. Otherwise, the teevee becomes the eye of Big Brother that was in Winston Smith's apartment.

SuperAmerikkka has found something even more insidious than the watching eye of Big Brother -- if the people can be trained to WATCH what the powers-that-be want them to watch, then there's no need to watch the people to control their behavior, because their thinking is controlled and that controls their behavior.

Who is "Who?" ? ? 23.Apr.2005 13:03

Progressive Democrat

Where does "Who?" stand in all of this? Or does "Who?" stand for anything but a question mark?

When former Secretary of the Interior Udall was asked what was the worst thing about the public -- ignorance or apathy? Udall replied, "I don't know and I don't care."

So who is Who? A non-voter? Or independent? Or anarchist? Or nihilist? Green? Socialist? Republican troll? Brilliant political analyst? Someone with such a sick ego that an article posted on PIMC is taken as a threat to a sense of superiority over the masses? Or is "Who?" just more plain old bullshit?

I don't know and I don't care.

Credit due to PIMC editors 23.Apr.2005 20:14

Progressive Democrat

I don't know any of the PIMC editors. But I do know that people who write don't often acknowledge how important good editing is.

So, I am expressing my appreciation for the way the editors have taken my contribution and put a graphic and some html (which I don't have a clue how to do) with it and made it look good.

Thankyou for that. And for Portland IndyMedia.

you're welcome, Progressive Democrat 24.Apr.2005 01:16

pdx indymedia workerbee #6082

glad you liked the graphic and HTML. the graphic was a real pleasure to make. any excuse to proclaim "fuck the corporate media" is great; the message can't be hammered enough.

re. "editing" -- as you probably already know, but just to remind other readers/contributors, the words you write will NOT not be edited or changed or "corrected". your voice is your voice and it's nobody else's business to change it.

and thanks for the great post, Progressive Democrat!

revolution ? 24.Apr.2005 08:56

karl roenfanz ( rosey ) k_rosey48@hotmail.com

the present form of corporate government is the reason more people are talking of following our forefathers example!

Puzzle Revealed: You, the dog, and Winston 25.Apr.2005 20:22

troll in reverse

sorry to burst your bubble prog dem, but you are winston smith. you have discovered how they fool us and by the end of the novel you will submit to your hand holding master: the state. If you're just catching on to media bias (branch hacking) you've got a ways to go till they convince you to succomb and call hell home. Till then ask yourself why corps like NBC have never had to answer such reproaches as your own.

Thank you Progressive Dem! 26.Apr.2005 10:06

more love

Hey, thanks for all your work Progressive Dem!!

Why are folks so ready to attack someone from our side. We need to come together more now than ever, rather than nit pick a fellow progressive! As someone who has not wathced TV for 2 years, just can't stand it, I can still appreciate someone who is watching the propagana for us and letting us know what crap they are dishing up now. He never said he belived it-why are you attacking the messeger?

Divided we fail!

Love 27.Apr.2005 19:13


I don't like haters either. So pardon my fire when I point out that progressives cannot confront the spectacles they recuperate. The progress these "democrats" seek is a better big brother. One that will necessarily oblige their limited imaginations for what the future will hold for all humanity. It is the system that is corrupt. This fillibuster has distracted the minds of indymedia readers from the critque they will inevitably face: suicide(and abetting world destruction) or total contestation of the totality of the capitalist economy, and the culture it creates and is created by. Love is in the present moment, forever created by passing lives whose history is without memory, hope, or poetry. Who are your great grandparents, or their parents? Were their lives not testaments to a massive slavery to arbitrary power? They appear to you like ghosts without tongues. Their souls are unsung to us because they were unable to create the lives that nature had created in them. Where true love exists, there no illusion can tread. And liberty won't be found in the halls of power.