It’s starting to filibuster

[Update: 4:45 PM MST]

“The Senate spending a sleepless night is no great sacrifice, soldiers and their families who pray for them spend many sleepless nights,” said Dick Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate. “

I listened to Kay Bailey Hutchison for a minute . . . . . still on the ‘cut & run’ thing.

I guess Ms ‘Impeachment is off the table’ Pelosi is planning some charade of marching over to the Senate from the House side to demonstrate support.

Still can tune in to C-SPAN for the show……


The art of filibustering – Part I

Ya know, I’m a talker. I can talk about anything just about because – well, I know a lot. So I think I could do well if called to serve my country as a filibusterer. What would the job description look like though?

Wanted: A sweet-tongued bullshitter.

No, wait! Aren’t those lobbyists?! /snort/

As I don’t always know everything (keep in mind, please – ‘a lot’ is different from ‘everything’) and thus I set out on a perquisition of the Internets. First up: Jimmy Stewart! (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington). It always transfixes.

We start at the beginning: The dictionary 2 [2filibuster] a : the use of extreme dilatory tactics in an attempt to delay or prevent action especially in a legislative assembly b : an instance of this practice

On to the encyclopedia: In legislative practice, the parliamentary tactic used in the United States Senate by a minority of the senators—sometimes even a single senator—to delay or prevent parliamentary action by talking so long that the majority either grants concessions or withdraws the bill.

Unlike the House of Representatives, in which rules limit speaking time, the Senate allows virtually unlimited debate before a vote “so a minority of senators can usually postpone a vote as long they have the stamina to speak from the Senate floor.”

The use of the filibuster in the Senate has been somewhat restricted by the adoption of regulations relating to cloture. A cloture rule, adopted by the Senate in 1917, was amended in 1949, 1959, and 1975. The latest ruling requires the vote of three-fifths of the full Senate membership to end debate. Despite these rules, filibusters have occurred on numerous occasions. The longest uninterrupted filibustering speech ever recorded in the Senate was made by Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina in August 1957, when he spoke for 24 hours and 18 minutes in opposition to a civil rights measure. The longest filibuster since the first cloture rule was adopted by the Senate took place in 1964, when a group of southern senators led by Russell Long of Louisiana managed to extend the debate on the Civil Rights Act for 74 hours.

Yeah . . . . . the South rises again, eh, Mr. McConnell?

(Cloture, by the way, is:   “A method of closing a debate and causing an immediate vote to be taken on the question.”  In this case in the Senate by forcing a 3/5 vote to end the debate.)