I’ll be in my basement room, with a needle and a spoon

It’s nice to see the Senate has its priorities in order (via Atrios):

Word is that the Democrats might make the Republicans actually filibuster FinReg tonight. That is to say, stand on the floor and talk and talk and talk. And if the Democrats are serious about forcing the Republicans to really filibuster the bill, this is the right week for it: The Kentucky Derby starts Friday, and Kentucky’s senior senator, Mitch McConnell, would surely prefer to attend. Given that his members are already talking about breaking ranks, McConnell may find himself eager to get this kabuki dance over with a little bit early.

56 replies
  1. 1
    Redshirt says:

    Riiight! I doubt it.

    Even though Obama has had many successes, I’ve become throughly cynical about the Senate – to the point of conspiracy. When 59 votes are continually held hostage, there’s something fishy going on.

    So let’s see the F-Buster! Doubt it though.

  2. 2
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    That’s awesome. Isn’t Jim Bunning from Kentucky?

  3. 3
    Martin says:

    Yeah, gotta give the Dems some credit for finding a pair. They’re putting the screws to the GOP as much as they have in the last 2 decades and coming out looking good doing it.

    If they can do this for the next 6 months, they might do alright.

  4. 4
    some other guy says:

    Call me cynical, but as with most of these “OMG the Dems are totally gonna lay the smackdown on the GOP– for reals this time, guys!” stories, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  5. 5
    JGabriel says:

    “I’ll be in my basement room, with a needle and a spoon”

    It’s my wife, and it’s my life.


  6. 6
    The Dangerman says:

    Mitch McConnell doesn’t have to be there to Filibuster if he’d rather Fillybuster.

  7. 7
    gbear says:

    …and I won’t forget to put roses on the GOP’s grave.

  8. 8
    Midnight Marauder says:


    It’s my wife, and it’s my life.

    Kentucky Derby, be the death of me.

  9. 9

    I hope the Dems have learned the lesson of the healthcare debate debacle–hit early, hit hard, and hit often.

  10. 10
    CK Dexter Haven says:

    But but….there is bipartisan opposition to the bill.

    BTW, has any of the regular MSM suspects started to utter the above nonsense?

  11. 11
    DougJ says:


    The correct answer is “and another girl to take my pains away”.

  12. 12
    Tazistan Jen says:

    WTF? We’ve been solemnly assured for months – by TPM among others – that the Senate can’t make people do the old fashioned filibuster. That they would have to change the rules, which would require 67 votes.

    I say again: WTF?

  13. 13
    gbear says:

    I’m really hoping that McConnell (or any republican) says that having to stay all night a shitty deal.

  14. 14

    After watching Mitch “the bitch” lie beyond any pail of human decency this morning about Finreg on the Senate floor, his nose has grown so long, he could prolly hook a rope and pulley onto it and glide all the way back to Kentucky.

  15. 15
    Joseph Nobles says:

    OT: The No-Longer-Virgin Ben has penned a must-be-read-to-be-believed open letter to American Jews.

    Choice highlights:

    Your backing of a man who has spent his life surrounding himself with the worst anti-Semites America has to offer — Jeremiah Wright, Rashid Khalidi (former Palestinian terrorist spokesman), Louis Farrakhan (“I don’t like the way [Jews] leech on us”), Samantha Power, Robert Malley, to name a few — is nothing short of reprehensible. Rahm Emanuel’s presence in the Obama cabinet doesn’t ameliorate Obama’s anti-Semitism — it just provides it convenient cover. Al Sharpton wrongly called Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell “house negroes”; Emanuel is a kapo.

    “But they want to convert us!” many American Jews shout. Not all Christians do. But for the rest — so what? Would you sacrifice the support of millions of good-hearted Christians because they want to discuss Jesus with you? If your own belief system is so fragile, the weakness is yours, not theirs. While you expend energy whining about Jehovah’s Witnesses who show up at your door with a Bible, Obama supports radical Muslims who would show up at your door with a gun — or, as in the case of Daniel Pearl, a butcher’s knife.

    Incredible stuff.

  16. 16
    Martin says:

    @some other guy: They’re already stepping up their game. Forcing the GOP to vote every day is new territory, and they seem to be doing nothing to seek a compromise. They’re just hitting the GOP over and over until they yield.

    And Reid is about 2 steps shy of calling the GOP economic terrorists, which is new territory for him as well.

    If I wasn’t also cynical, I’d suggest the Dems were rope-a-doping the GOP this whole cycle. We’ll see how the end game plays.

  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    I always thought it was somewhat ironic that the original meaning of the word ‘filibuster’ had to do with private citizens trying to foment revolution in some other country. How long until some right-wing blog with a passing knowledge of history refers to Senator McConnell as a “grey-eyed man of destiny”?


  18. 18
    Tom says:

    @gbear: Countdown to “staying all night is unconstitutional” talking point.

  19. 19
    JGabriel says:

    @DougJ: No, that’s the Jagger answer; I like the Reed answer better.


  20. 20

    @Joseph Nobles: I hate you for this. Really. Too much excerpting of the not-so-virginal Ben! Brain bleach, I needz it.

  21. 21
    frankdawg says:

    Look, if you are going to post crap like VB would you at least have the decency to post a warning a couple of entries ahead? Now you have gone and made me throw up all over a brand new pair of shoes for no good reason.

  22. 22
    Joseph Nobles says:

    I’m sorry. I repent.

  23. 23
    JGabriel says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Samantha Power is a anti-semite? Does Cass Sunstein know?


  24. 24
    Keith G says:

    Not going to get my hopes up about tonight, but who knows. Maybe Harry has been taking some lessons from Nancy, Smash!

    None-the-less, after a rather boring end of March and early April, things are getting quite exciting. In this time of increased tempo, there certainly seems to be openings for Democrats to get things done. Oh please!

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Rashid Khalidi (former Palestinian terrorist spokesman)

    I didn’t realize that this stupid urban legend was still around. Somehow I’m not surprised that someone as stupid as Ben would decide to unearth this zombie lie from its grave.

  27. 27
    JGabriel says:

    @DougJ: Also, replying to a song quote with another quote from the same song just reeks of epistemic closure.


  28. 28

    The Kentucky Derby is decadent and depraved.

  29. 29
    Tom says:

    Has everyone heard that new old Stones song off Exile? Freaking awesome.

  30. 30
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @gbear: Countdown to “staying all night is unconstitutional” talking point.

    Government by any party not the Republican party is unconstitutional. Democrats can’t have, don’t have, the Mandate of Heaven. Their mere being in power is an affront to the laws of the Universe and its Governor.

    A royalist party in a parliament has no real interest in increasing its share of votes in that body, never mind cooperating with the small-r republican parties in governing. Their purpose for being is to shut it down, or at least neuter it, to hasten the return of the ancien régime.

    The Congressional GOP’s present position is that of the Orleanists and Bonapartists in the French assemblies of the 19th century. They had no interest in the smooth functioning — any functioning — of a body whose legitimacy they fundamentally did not accept. They only wanted a rapid transition back to a monarchy, or the Empire.

    The weirdest transformation of political terminology hasn’t been what happened to the word ‘liberal’ since John Stuart Mill — it’s what happened to the word ‘republican’.

    The GOP? They’re monarchists.

  31. 31

    @Joseph Nobles: Now it’s on the front page. Sigh.

    @Keith G: Nancy SMASH! I think maybe she lent her gavel to Harry Reid (or shoved it up his back to stiffen his spine0.

  32. 32
    DougJ says:


    Not released yet, right? Where’d do you get them?

  33. 33
    Tom says:


    You can buy one of them off iTunes now… Plundered My Soul.

  34. 34
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Also incredible: That pop-up over there advertising “The Malkin Issue” of Clownhall.

  35. 35
    some other guy says:


    Yeah, I do definitely give Reid lots of kudos for making the Republicans vote against financial reform every day, resulting in three straight days of “Republicans block financial reform” headlines. Well played.

  36. 36
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    First they came for the mint juleps, and I said nothing because I prefer tequila…

  37. 37
    Warren Terra says:

    DougJ, you need to brush up on the (awful) rules that govern filibusters. Nothing is stopping Mitch from going to the Kentucky Derby while the filibuster carries on.

    The rules, from an old Obsidian Wings piece by Hilzoy, are these:
    1) The filibustering party must have at least one person on the floor so they can ask for a cloture vote; otherwise the majority can end debate uncontested.
    2) 60% of the Senate – not of the Senators present, or of the Senators voting, but 60% of the whole Senate – must vote for cloture to end the filibuster.
    3) At any time, any Senator can demand a quorum call. If the party being filibustered can’t establish quorum (50 senators willing to come to the chamber IIRC, including the one who made the quorum call, meaning 49 Senators are needed), the session is over.

    Thus, the filibustering party has to have one person in the chamber at all times that the Senate is in session, ready to call for a cloture vote. Practically speaking, what with sleep and calls of nature, the filibustering party might want to keep a small handful of Senators in DC to keep the filibuster going. The party being filibustered has to have 49 Senators ready to be marched in to the chamber at any moment, just to defeat quorum calls and keep the session going – and they’ll need 60 Senators (or the complete absence of even one filibustering Senator) to end the filibuster.

    See why Mitch can go to the Derby with the knowledge that he won’t be letting his Wall Street paymasters down by doing do?

    Actually, the interesting thing in all this is that the Republicans (and Ben Nelson) have been bothering to vote against cloture, have been putting their names on record as opposing the consideration of FinReg. The 56-42 vote yesterday that didn’t achieve cloture also wouldn’t have achieved cloture if the vote tally had been 56-0.

  38. 38
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Warren Terra:

    See why Mitch can go to the Derby with the knowledge that he won’t be letting his Wall Street paymasters down by doing do?

    I may be wrong (it’s been known to happen) but I don’t think that would improve the optics of the situation for Mitch’s side, regardless of the merits in terms of parliamentary procedure. The headlines that the Dems are in DC staying up all night trying to get a Wall St. reform bill passed while the GOP leadership skips town for a horse race would merely reinforce that the GOP doesn’t give a fig about solving problems. Think Truman and the special session of Congress he called into session in 1948. They didn’t get anything passed, but it changed the optics of the 1948 race.

  39. 39
    SomeoneWhoOncePostedUnderaDifferentName says:

    This cannot be right because I remember several of the blowhard commentators on this site said it was impossible to have an actual filibuster for procedural reasons when the Senate had to revisit the healthcare bill. I believe someone called me an idiot for suggesting it.

  40. 40
    Bnut says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    But where else do you get week-long coverage of B list celebrities drinking and wearing funny clothes???? Oh right, E channel and MTV.

  41. 41
    Warren Terra says:

    You may be completely right about the optics. Maybe McConnell will have to stay in town to avoid looking bad. But he certainly won’t have to stay in town to keep the filibuster going.

  42. 42
    Paul in KY says:

    I’ll be at the Derby. If I am fortunate enough to spy either of my pathetic senators, you can be assurred I will let them know what POSes they are. Hopefully, I’ll be about +6 if I spot one, cause I’ll really let it rip.

    I’m in the Infield, so it would have to be on a trip to the paddock or the area surrounding it that I might spot one (although I doubt it, as they are both cowards).

  43. 43
    Dee Loralei says:

    And this isn’t really a stay all night read from the phone book Mr Smith kinda fillibuster, those aren’t real. The Sgt at Arms has been informed by the Dems that they will be making quorum calls every once in awhile. SO the Dems need to have 49 Senators in the wings, plus the quorum caller present to make the quorum. The Reps only need a few there to stop the Dems from getting to 60 to end the fillibuster.

    At least that’s my understanding of it. But damn the political theatre and optics of it, sure will make the Dems look better and tough. And if McConnell dares go to the Derby whilst this is going on, he’d look sorely out of touch.

    I just hope the dems have their talking points ready for every time they come off a quorum call to hammer home the obstructionist kabuki the Reps are doing.

  44. 44
    dmsilev says:

    TPM and various other sources are reporting that the GOP has blinked, or that Senator McConnell couldn’t bear the thought of missing out on those mint juleps, or whatever. Quoth McConnell:

    “Now that those bipartisan negotiations have ended, it is my hope that the majority’s avowed interest in improving this legislation on the Senate floor is genuine and the partisan gamesmanship is over.”

    Translation: “Uncle!”


  45. 45
    WereBear says:

    @dmsilev: Oh, now that is sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

  46. 46
    Nicole says:

    I know the prospect of missing the Derby would make me crumple like a wet Kleenex.

    Seriously. I would.

  47. 47
    slippy says:

    God, I’ve lived in KY for 16 years and I have yet to see the Derby. I view it as an enormous inconvenience and traffic hazard to be avoided if at all possible.

  48. 48
    JGabriel says:

    @Nicole: Do wet Kleenexes(tm) crumble?

    I thought they just sort of mushed up into papier mache dingleberries and disintegrated.


  49. 49
    matoko_chan says:

    New vastly entertaining AllahP pretzel shape.

    Via Breitbart, a bold new work from the craftsman who brought you “evil-mongers” and who once compared opposition to ObamaCare with opposition to abolitionism. His own spokesman says he “probably” should have chosen different words, but after the ObamaCare debacle, you can understand Reid’s confusion. In an age when Congress is willing to use reconciliation to squeeze through a bill opposed by most of the public, halting the pace of the Democratic agenda even temporarily seems beyond the pale. And this is temporary, by the way, or rather was: Just as I’m writing this, news is breaking that the GOP is ready to let the bill come to the floor.

    buk buk buk buk!
    lets see……the republicans just caved because they didnt want to be on tv 24/7 reminding people of the 57 day filibuster of civil rights right in the middle of Arizonagate(republicans alienating brown people) and Puertoricogate(republicans alienating brown people) and…..AllahP says Reid was wrong to draw that parallel?
    /points and laffs

  50. 50
    Will says:

    And just like that, the fuckers cave:


    Republicans Relent, Will Let Debate Begin

    Senate Republicans announced this afternoon that they will allow financial reform legislation onto the chamber floor for a debate after bipartisan talks hit an impasse.

  51. 51
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:


    Magical Kentucky Unity Ponies FTW!

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    Now we just have to wait for the firebaggers to come by and say that if Obama/the Senate/Nancy Pelosi had just done this same thing last summer, we’d all have magical talking ponies and ice cream for breakfast every day by now. In other words, this is pure Obama FAIL because it didn’t happen earlier on a different bill.

  53. 53
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:


    Well you have to admit that if the centerpiece of the early push for HCR last April had been a Senate hearing where the execs of the insurance industry were raked over the coals (perhaps with several dozen corpses of their victims stacked like cord-wood over in the corner as a graphic aid) for their transgressions, supplemented by damaging emails, then the course of the subsequent debate over HCR might have gone a bit differently.

    Clearly our Dems have learned a thing or two since then about how to push an issue. And the banksters are less popular than Pancho Villa on an Arizona golf course right now, so that helps too. But probably the biggest factor is that the Dems snuck banking reform thru the relevant committees while nobody was paying much attention, in the middle of all the sturm-und-drang over health care. Sen. Lincoln had a chance to play at being Max Baucus with finreg but surprised a lot of folks by sending a stronger bill out of the Ag committee, probably on account of the way she is being primaried by Halter in the wake of her performance during the HCR debates. So some of what we are getting now is payoff for that earlier fight.

  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:


    Well you have to admit that if the centerpiece of the early push for HCR last April had been a Senate hearing where the execs of the insurance industry were raked over the coals (perhaps with several dozen corpses of their victims stacked like cord-wood over in the corner as a graphic aid) for their transgressions, supplemented by damaging emails, then the course of the subsequent debate over HCR might have gone a bit differently.

    Short of the actual corpses piled up, that’s pretty much what it was: ordinary citizens testifying about how the health insurance companies ruined their lives and/or killed their relatives. And that was even before they brought the executives in and had them publicly refuse to stop rescissions. Didn’t do a damn bit of good because the media preferred to focus on the concerns of old people wearing teabags on their heads and demanding that the government stay out of Medicare.

    I’m not saying that no strategic mistakes were made, but the testimony given wasn’t one of them. Frankly, the financial testimony given in the past couple of weeks has jack shit to do with what happened today. Posturing is overrated as a tactic.

  55. 55
    kay says:


    You know I agree with you on most of that, but there is a kernel of truth in the idea that Obama was a little cold on health care. I never thought it grabbed him. He can be quite passionate, and he was, on the nuclear weapons treaty, for example, or (weirdly) derivatives. I think he slogged through on health care, and I admire the hell out of that kind of tenacity, I think sheer doggedness is wildly under-rated, as a good attribute, but it was a chore. I think people picked up on something that is true: it’s not his issue. It’s funny, because the real single-issue health care advocates here all backed Clinton, and she is genuinely passionate on health care. I think they felt that.

  56. 56
    LanceThruster says:

    It drives me bonkers (short drive) when I hear news reports of a Republican “filibuster” when nothing of the sort has taken place, only the implied threat of actually carrying one out.

    Make them waltz onto the floor in their adult diapers and read from whatever text they wish.

    A robber with a gun-shaped finger in his or her hoodie has more credibility.

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