Lieberman: Denied By Stuart Smalley

Does it seem strange that this Health Care monstrosity is being pushed to some artificial deadline (Christmas) for no good reason?  I’m not one for doing things because “that’s the way it has always been done,” but it does seem curious that Al Franken denied an extra minute of time to former Democrat (and current Independent) Joe Lieberman on the floor of the Senate. 

I really don’t care about the procedural crap that goes on in Congress and every other political body in the United States.  I think we are way too formal with our government and need to speak in common language that more than just the lawyers in DC can understand.  So…the question is…why is the procedure being changed in this instance if it has not been that way, in recent history?  Why the rush? 

Earlier in the week, while debating defense spending, Senator Tom Coburn demanded a reading of a spending resolution from Senator Bernie Sanders.  My illustrious Senator, Dick Durbin, stated “How in the world can we in good conscience do this at this time of year?”  How can we in good conscience not bring relevent issues to the floor?  If these yahoos read the bills, amendments and resolutions aloud in the chamber for all to hear, they might make better decisions rather than rush to judgement and vote for items they have not properly read and vetted.  Why is this so hard to fathom?

Senator Menendez added:

“It’s become very clear to me, as it should be clear to just about everyone, that everything they’re doing has nothing to do, nothing to do, with helping Americans get affordable healthcare or get jobs, but everything to do, everything to do, with winning the next election,” Menendez said. “The Republicans have decided their road to electoral victory in 2010 and to poise themselves 2012 is for this president and this Congress to fail.”

Health Care?  I thought they were voting on defense spending?  Just trying to get things straight.  As far as having Congress fail, I for one am of the opinion that the less that Congress does, the better.  The only seem to screw up things that are put into their hands.

Maybe the rub is just with Republican and Independent politicians.  Maybe Al Franken is so inexperienced that he needs a lesson on procedure.  Maybe the party in power wants to stifle debate on this vastly important issue (Health Care).  Who really knows.  It is interesting, though. 

Back to the Health Care monstrosity, I hope the bill is read aloud for all to hear like was threatened before Thanksgiving.  We’ll see if they (Congress) have the chutzpah to actually do that.  I won’t hold my breath.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

Rob’s Rant

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10 Responses

  1. Your post is incorrect with respect to history (a quick search on the internet would have uncovered the references) and it is also full of irony.

    First the irony. McCain is correct in that discourse may be frayed and tarnished. He is appalled by it. Your post adds a new low by calling Sen Franken Stuart Smalley. How ironic that you would use the tactics that diminish discourse while posting McCain expounding on diminished discourse!

    How ironic!

    I measure a person by how well they can discuss a topic based on fact and reason, and by how easily they are irritated. I view your calling Sen Franken by a name in his comedy routine with deep disdain.

    And you are perpetuating a McCain lie, whether it was intentional or not on his part. A lot of people are calling it “forgetfulness” on the Senator’s part. If true, he should consider resigning. If not true, then he is dishonest.

    Either way, a short search on the web would have provided you with the actual facts. See http://thinkprogress.org/2009/12/18/mccain-hypocrisy-franken/

    McCain committed the same act twice in 2002. From Think Progress:

    “Unfortunately, McCain’s memory is suffering. In fact, McCain has engaged in the very same behavior that he was criticizing Franken for yesterday.

    “On October 10, 2002 — just ahead of the looming mid-term elections — the Senate rushed a debate on a war authorization giving President Bush the power to use force against Iraq. The resolution ultimately passed the Senate after midnight on an early Friday morning by a vote of 77-23.

    “During the course of the frenzied floor debate, then-Sen. Mark Dayton (D-MN) spoke in favor of an amendment offered by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) that would have restricted Bush’s constitutional powers to wage war against Iraq. After a minute and a half, Dayton ran out of time, prompting this exchange:

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator’s time has expired.

    Mr. DAYTON. I ask for unanimous consent that I have 30 seconds more to finish my remarks.

    Mr. McCAIN. I object.

    Byrd stepped in to grant Dayton time to finish his remarks. But just moments later, Byrd asked for more time to speak for himself. Again, McCain objected, prompting Byrd to chide him for doing so. “This shows the patience of a Senator,” Byrd said. “This clearly demonstrates that the train is coming down on us like a Mack truck, and we are not even going to consider a few extra minutes for this Senator.”

    What say you now?

    The entire 2009 year has been high on emotion and low on intelligent discourse. I refer to pro

  2. First the irony. McCain is correct in that discourse may be frayed and tarnished. He is appalled by it. Your post adds a new low by calling Sen Franken Stuart Smalley. How ironic that you would use the tactics that diminish discourse while posting McCain expounding on diminished discourse!

    Lighten up Mike. It’s a headline. Besides, this is how we actually know who Senator Franken is, correct? He did very little to distinguish himself on SNL, or anyplace else, other than that character. Sorry, I forgot his wildly popular radio show on Air America….

    I measure a person by how well they can discuss a topic based on fact and reason, and by how easily they are irritated. I view your calling Sen Franken by a name in his comedy routine with deep disdain.

    Again, lighten up Mike. You read so much into this blog and I’m surprised you can function on a daily basis. No deep disdain here. He won the election, albeit with shady circumstances, but he won none-the-less. Norm Coleman never took his seriously – a major flaw on his part. A head line is meant to attract interest and provoke discussion. Looks like it worked on both ends.

    And you are perpetuating a McCain lie, whether it was intentional or not on his part. A lot of people are calling it “forgetfulness” on the Senator’s part. If true, he should consider resigning. If not true, then he is dishonest.

    OK, I’ll cave on that point – consider it an early Christmas or Chanukah present. It doesn’t change that fact that all of their procedure is extremely ridiculous. I think it is tacky and political for either side to engage in this behavior. That is more of the point I was making anyway.

    As far as resigning, if that were the test for a politician, whether true or not, we would have no one up there on the hill. On second thought, that might be a good idea! I’m happy when those in DC do nothing.

  3. Who is “their” procedure? Dems, Republicans, Senate? The senate sets time limits on speaking. There are only two choices when your time runs out: shut up, or ask for an extension. I am not sure, but I am curious to find out what part of those choices do you find ridiculous?

    You can refer to Al Fraken as Sen Al Franken, D-MN, just as you would refer to John McCain as Sen John McCain, R-AZ. You don’t have to like them to be respectful.

    Sen Franken has distinguished himself in the Senate quite well. He has also accomplished quite a bit with his books. Before you believe everything you hear in conservative radio, you might want to read them. You don’t have to agree with them, but they might open up your eyes.

    This video shows Sen Franken responding to a Republican Senator. The republican senator was either lying or hadn’t read the bill. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n2P0QsTe8c&feature=popt00us11

    I am in no way blaming you personally for the tactics of the right, but is that how the right plays it: name calling democrat senators, distorting actual facts, addressing fear instead of substance?

    Is that the kind of team you want to play for, distortions and lies?

    • I think the way that business is conducted in the Senate is ridiculous. In my opinion, we don’t need to make this stuff so complicated.

      You can refer to Al Fraken as Sen Al Franken, D-MN, just as you would refer to John McCain as Sen John McCain, R-AZ. You don’t have to like them to be respectful.

      I refer to Senators how I see it. You refer to them how you see it. These are people, same as you and I, they just have been elected to a position. If McCain had played some SNL character or something similar, I’ll guarantee I would use that term at some point. If you feel like you want more decorum, get your own blog. So, when are you going to do that? I don’t expect an answer as I don’t ever get one.

      Sen Franken has distinguished himself in the Senate quite well. He has also accomplished quite a bit with his books. Before you believe everything you hear in conservative radio, you might want to read them. You don’t have to agree with them, but they might open up your eyes.

      Senator Franken has not been in the Senate long enough to distinguish himself anymore that the President. Let’s see what happens in the next couple of years and see how well the distinguish themselves. I might be surprised on both accounts. As far as his books, when did I mention anything about his books? I have no idea how many books he has sold but I’ll guess it’s not millions. His major accomplishment to the masses, even in Minnesota, is his character on SNL. That’s not really debatable.

      Is that the kind of team you want to play for, distortions and lies?

      Are you really serious on that one? There are enough lies and distortions on both sides to fill the Capitol Building a million times over. I don’t play for any team. I’m all for cleaning house and starting over.

  4. I have given you an answer before about my own blog. I could if I wanted to. I prefer asking questions that might bring a lot of light into a subject.

    re Sen Franken, it is pretty transparent in a non-positive way that you are just being derisive. Not good form. It is your blog and you can come across any way you want. My feedback to you is that derisiveness isn’t the way to play the game of politics. Facts and reason are.

    You never mentioned a thing about Sen Franken’s books. I did. You may learn something about the right. For example, a lot of what they say doesn’t stand up to facts. If accuracy and truth matter to you, his books are a start.

    Sen Franken has distinguished himself in the way you would want any senator to distinguish themselves. He calls bullcrap when he sees it. He’ll be doing it 4 years from now as much as he has done it in the last 6 months.

    As for clearing house, both parties have serious abuses. Just electing new inexperienced players is not going to fix the system, nor will term limits. Real reform might be to disallow lobbyists. Then we’d just have only very rich people in the Senate and House.

    The other reform might be public financing of elections. Then you’d have to get elected by the strength of your ideas.

    You may disagree. We can debate it.

    • I have given you an answer before about my own blog. I could if I wanted to. I prefer asking questions that might bring a lot of light into a subject.

      No, you haven’t, but I appreciate the answer, finally.

      re Sen Franken, it is pretty transparent in a non-positive way that you are just being derisive. Not good form. It is your blog and you can come across any way you want. My feedback to you is that derisiveness isn’t the way to play the game of politics. Facts and reason are.

      This is the way I play the game. I think you are used to this by now. If you didn’t like it you would have left long ago.

      You never mentioned a thing about Sen Franken’s books. I did. You may learn something about the right. For example, a lot of what they say doesn’t stand up to facts. If accuracy and truth matter to you, his books are a start.

      I doubt it, but I’ll tell you what, I’ll order a couple of his books from my library. You on the other hand should go out and read Glenn Beck’s new book – Arguing with Idiots. I haven’t read it yet, but will down the road when I get through the other 10 books I am reading. Sounds like an even swap to me.

      Sen Franken has distinguished himself in the way you would want any senator to distinguish themselves. He calls bullcrap when he sees it. He’ll be doing it 4 years from now as much as he has done it in the last 6 months.

      Right. What has he done to distinguish himself in the last 6 months? Like I said, we’ll see in 6 years and those crazy people in MN can make their decision.

      As for clearing house, both parties have serious abuses. Just electing new inexperienced players is not going to fix the system, nor will term limits. Real reform might be to disallow lobbyists. Then we’d just have only very rich people in the Senate and House.

      Good, something we agree with. The system is set up so average citizens (you and I) have no way of running for high office without great influence and money. The latter is the most important.

      The other reform might be public financing of elections. Then you’d have to get elected by the strength of your ideas.

      Right. The finance reform of elections is a disaster (McCain-Feingold). Seems funny that McCain was hurt in 2008 by his own rules. That my friend is ironic. I say open the doors and let anyone donate anything to candidates – no limits. We already have this backdoor crap with regards to the PAC’s, 501C4’s and other organizations that operate on the fringes “not endorsed by an candidate.”

      You may disagree. We can debate it.

      Isn’t that what we are doing here?

  5. I read Arguing with Idiots. I consume a book a week. It was pretty lame and full of errors. Your blog is more accurate than Glenn’s Book. (btw, I doubt seriously you will ever read Franken’s books).

    Glenn’s book is an example of the radicalization that is undergoing in the conservative movement. Just because he calls his book arguing with idiots does not make it a pillar of common sense.

    Anyone donate anything sounds lofty nut puts America not on the path to greatness but on the path to the corporate buying of congress. We have that with 501’s to, in my opinion, disastrous results.

    When congress or the supreme court debate “anyone donate anything” they are debating whether their decisions go against the intent of the Founding Fathers. The FF envisioned a nation where local people would vote for a local representative to go to Washington and have their voices heard.

    They did not by and large envision a nation where almost a billion was spent to elect one or two senators to shift the balance of power conservative or progressive.

    These issue go far deeper than what is on the surface. They go to being fair and balancing the Republic. America will only be great when common people are empowered, not when corporations and special interest rule. I believe that is what the FF intended all along.

    btw, when I say Sen Franken has distinguished himself, I mean he has distinguished himself remarkably in the Senate in the last 6 mos by any objective criteria you want.

    • Glad to hear it. I can’t wait to read the book. I’m sure I won’t have the same outlook, but we’ll see. Evidently I don’t have the spare time you have to “consume” books. If he’s a radical, I guess I’m in that camp, and gladly.

      The 501’s are an outgrowth of the “finance reform.” I would agree on your comments about the intent of sending local representatives to DC to be heard, but that is not and will not happen in today’s climate.

      Show me where Senator Franken has distinguished himself. Maybe I’ve missed something.

  6. Pick an objective standard. Until we agree on the standard we cannot measure whether he has distinguished himself. How about having read the health care bill, how about having done a great deal of research, how about respecting and engaging the opposition?

    A standard by which you would respect someone.

  7. For example, this issue stymied Republicans for the last 8 years. Al Franken fixed it for you.
    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/144740/al_franken%27s_anti-rape_amendment_passes,_infuriating_several_%28male%29_republicans/

    Never mind you belong to a hate group if you don’t support health care, you must really not care to have voted against this issue. Still think Republicans are great?

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