​How Can Anything Get Passed in the Senate Nowadays?

When you have Ezra Klein at Vox claiming you should run for re-election and that it was wrong for you to drop out, maybe it is time to retire. But surely Senator Flake will not go gently into that good (or not so) political night. We now have the prospect of at least three GOP senators berating the president as a threat to America’s democracy and doing it from the Senate floor for at least another year. Or more accurately, doing it even more ferociously than before. That would be up to and including next year’s mid-terms. In case you’re counting.

But interestingly enough, rather than Flake's and Corker's (and of course McCain's) legislative home, it's the lower chamber that is now causing concern for the GOP majority. House GOP retirements may suddenly make the math a little trickier come next year.

Which is interesting but right now those 3 angry votes in the Senate matter much more as the GOP tries to get it done on some sort of tax reform bill that the president can sign. Flake, Corker and McCain can sabotage anything in the Senate and do it for personal reasons, as much as they dress it up in sometimes soaring, and often self-righteous rhetoric.

Flake is a free-trade and open borders Republican, but it's far more dramatic to say democracy is degraded in America rather than say you disagree on policy. Corker is an establishment GOP type who has a history with Trump and apparently was turned down for VP and for Secretary of State. And McCain is a neocon and fiscal moderate which means he's against both Tea Party policies that call for limited government, and populist policies that want a pullback from America's multiple low-level wars that it is engaged in around the globe. And he too has a history with Trump.

So yes, while over the slightly longer term, this is the wailing and gnashing of teeth and throwing of tantrums that are understandably associated with a seismic shift in a major political party's structure, its base, and ultimately its policies, it's also a short-term tactical mess for the GOP's legislative agenda. Could it have been any other way? In other words, is a change in the and of the GOP establishment structure only possible in an insult-laden, divided Congress? And that's just one side of the aisle we're talking about.

It's hard to say if we'll ever find out. The president's willingness to escalate at the drop of a hat and to do it on Twitter seems to be as strong as ever. The use of anything as a symbolic weapon in the culture wars is increasingly common fare. Which means everything is a scandal, and since everything is politics in today's progressive worldview, then politics is scandal. Not policy, not values. Because the divide on values is deepened to the point of seemingly irreconcilable entrenched opposites hurling insults at each other.

Like the president and Senator Corker.

Can anything get passed in this type of environment? Or is that besides the point?

Posted by Keeley at October 25, 2017 4:03 PM
Comment #421021

The POS needs to golf more, preferably all day long every day. This morning, he watched Morning Joe and then started twitting about it. Flake and McCain represent AZ, not AL. Alexander and Corker represent TN, not somewhere else. Bannon, and the Mercers who fund him, want the same type of politician everywhere, basically people who are BSCrazy, like the governor of Maine. ME is represented by Collins and King, who are not crazy enough for Rebekah Mercer. Then you have the WH staff, many of whom are Jeff Sessions’ people, like that creepy Stephen Miller. Miller probably spends more time with the POS than his wife does. This is an intramural fight between people who know how our government works, and people who don’t. Neither side is any better than the other, they all want lower taxes for their donors, referred to above as “reform”. Most of them read a book in school, and were so impressed by the russian-american author, that they consider her works as the revealed truth. We are all objectified by the objectivists. One reform I would like is to count the votes of the senators from states that have the new jim crow laws, as three fifths of a vote, which is more than any of those states deserve.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 25, 2017 4:36 PM
Comment #421022

They say one thing and vote another.

For example, yesterday the Senate voted to stop letting citizens file class action suits against big banks.


The only Republicans to vote against it were Graham and Kennedy. Trump will sign it. That is about as ugly a piece of legislation as any of us will ever see, and yet, the GOP approved.

Tax reform is complicated, especially when ‘reform’ means some Republican Senators will have to act against the interests of almost all of their state’s voters. Of course, the GOP is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the richest of the rich and corporations, so the GOP will find some way to do it, probably by forgetting reform and just doing tax cuts for their owners.

Even that will be complicated, because they will need to pay for it by gutting Medicare and Medicaid. They will literally take money away from the poor who are sick, in order to give it to the richest of the rich and corporations. Even THAT will not be enough, so they will just jack up the deficits and debt. A few deficit hawks might object, but it never stopped the borrow and spend GOP in the past.

What Senators like Flake, McCain, Corker, Collins, and Murkowski, and former President Bush object to is not the policies. They object to the racism, bigotry, xenophobia, homophobia, fear of Islam, and misogyny. They object to the way conspiracy theories have taken the GOP into crazy territory. They object to the prospect of corrupt religious crazies like Judge Moore, and merely corrupt candidates like Grimm, and cooks like Ward winning seats in the party.

But these people enabled the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity and worse. Now the inmates are running the asylum and the country is being debased before our eyes.

And a traitor is in the White House cultivating a cult of personality. Nothing, literally nothing, is too awful for his supporters to overlook.

Posted by: phx8 at October 25, 2017 5:08 PM
Comment #421023

It is always enjoyable to read comments by phx8. Sometimes he actually writes a comment based upon his own thinking rather than just regurgitating the Liberal “Line” of the day.

For example, phx8 writes; “What Senators like Flake, McCain, Corker, Collins, and Murkowski, and former President Bush object to is not the policies.”

Now phx8 could not possibly know this, so he put on his tiny thinking cap and conjured up a belief all on his own.

President Trump’s policies are directly opposite those of the RHINO’s mentioned by phx8.

Keep amusing us phx8…we enjoy it.

Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Comey, and others will soon be sitting in a very, very hot seat.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 25, 2017 5:30 PM
Comment #421024

“President Trump’s policies are directly opposite those of the RHINO’s mentioned by phx8.”

What policies? Flake, for example, voted with Trump over 90% of the time. It would be challenging to name any Trump policies because Trump does not care about policies and knows so little. His agenda seems to revolve around undoing anything with Obama’s name on it, which is consistent with his history of promoting that awful racist conspiracy, Birtherism. Trump offers a fundamentally destructive agenda, with no focus on achievements.

He rejected TPP. The alternative? Nothing.

He wanted a wall. Mexico was going to pay for it. But it turns out Americans are supposedly going to pay tens of billions of dollars for it. That would involve the exercise of eminent domain on a level we have not seen in our lifetimes- you know- where the federal government confiscates the private property of citizens at a supposedly fair price, whether or not they want it. Not to mention the difficulty of building a wall on the Rio Grande without ceding the river to Mexico. Not one single congressman with a district bordering Mexico wants the wall. Not one.

His travel bans have been rejected by courts again and again.

The attempt to deflect and distract by going after the previous administration and the previous campaign opponent is something new, and fundamentally Un-American. It is being done without the introduction of any new, significant information.

Meanwhile, it turns out billionaire Mercer’s firm that was used by the Trump Campaign, Cambridge Analytica, approached Wikileaks for dirt on Hillary Clinton. Assange says he did not give them anything.

(Mercer is the billionaire who owns Bannon).

Posted by: phx8 at October 25, 2017 6:48 PM
Comment #421027

Jesus let me get this straight, Ezra Klein Flake Corker and McCain are why the repubs can’t get a bill bringing troops home from “America’s multiple low-level wars that it is engaged in around the globe”? Who believes this nonsense?

Exactly how many bills have been put on the presidents desk that would accomplish this? How many have not made it that far?

Posted by: j2t2 at October 25, 2017 11:12 PM
Comment #421028

So reading the news I see these morons we have elected, with the help of the WH, can get bills passed. Today they repealed a rule that allowed consumers to be in class action lawsuits against banks and financials institutions. The WH (which means Trump the populist) tells us “Congress is standing up for everyday consumers and community banks and credit unions, instead of the trial lawyers, who would have benefited the most from the CFPB’s uninformed and ineffective policy,”


So now we get to go to arbitration with Equifax all 200 million or so of us individually. Trump is the establishment, make no mistake foolish conservatives who think different.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 25, 2017 11:47 PM
Comment #421029

No doubt Wells Fargo is doing a happy dance over this legislation. Just a few months ago they settled for $142 million in a class action suit over mortgage fraud.

It boggles the mind that anyone would believe for one second that this legislation helped anyone but the big banks and credit card corporations.

“Congress is standing up for everyday consumers and community banks and credit unions, instead of the trial lawyers, who would have benefited the most from the CFPB’s uninformed and ineffective policy.”

That is an incredible press release from the White House. It is a bald faced lie. The bill faced overwhelming opposition from consumer groups and… well, just about everyone except the big banks and credit card companies. It is a slap in the face of almost every American outside Wells Fargo, Equifax, and that ilk, vomited up on America’s family room carpet by those grotesquely corrupt Republicans in Congress & the White House.

Posted by: phx8 at October 26, 2017 12:19 AM
Comment #421035

At this point, I think this administration actually wants to be remembered as the most corrupt in history. They’ve long passed Nixon, easily passed Harding, and are looking to create some kind of financial disaster that they will blame on greedy low income people, like they did when the real estate bubble burst, or John Stumpf attempted to do with Wells Fargo. The banking system was totally corrupt already, due to lack of regulation. They all claim higher asset valuation when they are trying to expand, but claim the same assets are liabilities when it’s time to pay taxes. The banking system has to change, but can’t when it’s run by a bunch of crooks. This administration is very sympathetic towards high income crooks, even foreign ones. Any “reform” needs to start at the top. Federal agencies need to coordinate with each other to prevent banks who have inflated valuations from buying and looting banks that have more legitimate assets. One good “reform” might be to completely segregate Texas and Oklahoma banks from the rest of the system.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 26, 2017 10:08 AM
Comment #421037

Phx8, So this quote is from the anti-establishment president’s WH or is this an old quote from years gone by? I mean how much more establishment can you get than building a wall around the banks and financial institutions as they rip the American public off time after time? Certainly Trump wouldn’t do this. Can you believe the alternative facts they spew in their attempt to justify the payoff they received from these TBTF banksters.

I have to wonder about our conservative “anti-establishment” friends here on WB. Roy, Weary and the gang must be gagging on their meds reading this. I can wait to hear how these guys defend the lack of corporate responsibility shown by the people they put in office. This rule change alone kinda puts a new light on Keeley’s defense of the do nothing good repubs. I mean these things get passed because Pence steps up.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 26, 2017 11:03 AM
Comment #421039

Something is going on.

The Trump administration has put several stories out there intended to distract attention-but from what? The announcement about the painkiller epidemic could have been made anytime, but they chose to announce it now. They will not even declare it a national emergency, which requires money; instead, it will just be declared a public emergency, which does not. So why now? The administration is also pushing a story about Hillary Clinton funding GPS Fusion, but everyone knew that from the very beginning. It looks like a lame attempt to deflect attention from yet another nail in Trump’s Russian coffin. Cambridge Analytica- billionaire Mercer’s firm which was used by Kushner- approached Wikileaks asking for dirt on HRC. The Trump Campaign paid Cambridge Analytica $5.9 million in the month of November 2016 alone. Is this the story they want buried?

The scandal over a two-man outfit from Whitefish, Montana being given a $300 million contract to rebuild the PR electrical grid reeks to high heaven, but really, that is just normal GOP corruption, this time tied to the SoI Zinke. Passing that bill to prevent class action lawsuits against big banks and credit card companies was really bad, but most people don’t understand what just happened. A budget was passed by the House, but no one knows what is in it.

I think it is either the Cambridge Analytica story or something that is about to be announced that is leading the Trump people to flood the airwaves with distractions.

Posted by: phx8 at October 26, 2017 2:22 PM
Comment #421041

Watch if Phx8, if you’re not careful you are going to start blaming Niger on a video or some travel ban.

Posted by: kctim at October 26, 2017 4:35 PM
Comment #421042

Will anyone please step up and tell us if they have ever been in a “class action suit”; and if so, how much did they receive when the case was settled in their favor.

I have been involved in three and my part of the multi-million dollar settlements was never more than a few dollars or an extension of my subscription in a service I had cancelled.

Who benefits from class action suits?

Please…anyone…anyone, can you tell us.

The Democrat Party is in shambles and I expect any day the media will abandon the Clintons and throw them overboard with the rest of the garbage in the party hierarchy.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 26, 2017 6:16 PM
Comment #421043

As a result of a class action lawsuit I received a settlement on term life insurance- an extension of 10% of the face value coverage an additional year. Fair enough.

Personally I do not really see any scandal with Niger other than the soldiers were woefully unprepared for an ambush. They were in a remote area with inadequate intelligence and inadequate air/drone coverage. A dozen of them went out relatively lightly armed in an area the Nigerian troops did not venture with less than 50 at a time.

The situation shares some similarities with Benghazi. In both cases Americans went into remote, dangerous places with inadequate security and back-up. Sometimes smart people take chances and make mistakes. Unfortunately, in both Benghazi and Niger, it cost some their lives.

The “scandal’ surrounding Niger was Trump’s initial failure to say anything to the families for 12 days until asked by a journalist, followed by an attempt to say Obama and other presidents failed the same way (they did not), and then dragging his CoS and his son killed in combat into the whole ugly mess, followed by the CoS smearing a Congresswoman which a video proved were out-and-out lies, and Trump engaging in the usual classless name calling.

Trump is unfit for office.

Posted by: phx8 at October 26, 2017 10:10 PM
Comment #421044

Royal, the media has already started to turn on the Clintons. The outrage from our friends on the left, is the result of the House of Clinton/Obama cards collapsing. What else can they do? For all the talk and wasted words about the Trump/Russian collusion, it turns out everything was fake and paid for by the DNC and Clinton. Trump has played them…again. 🤣

Posted by: Blaine at October 26, 2017 10:21 PM
Comment #421059

Phx8, there is no ‘scandal’ with what happened in Niger. But your post was grasping at straws in hopes of finding a scandal, so I thought I should warn you to be careful.

BTW: You forgot to add Trump releasing the Kennedy assassination information as part of his secret plan of distraction. We all know dang well that it’s really the RUSSIANS behind it all.

Posted by: kctim at October 27, 2017 9:28 AM
Comment #421060

“For all the talk and wasted words about the Trump/Russian collusion, it turns out everything was fake and paid for by the DNC and Clinton.”

So, the DNC and Clinton paid for and used Russian propaganda in order to attack Trump for using Russian propaganda to win the election?

Posted by: kctim at October 27, 2017 9:38 AM
Comment #421063

The Steele Dossier was originally funded by Jeb Bush. When he lost the primary, it was continued by Marc Elias after he was approached by Fusion GPS, which is run by former WSJ reporters. They were looking into business connections, and found some other things. Steele had previously worked with the FBI when they were investigating FIFA.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 27, 2017 12:03 PM
Comment #421064

So this Steele guy was working for Fusion before the Republican primary was settled?

Not sure how it really matters though. Haven’t we been told non-stop for the past year that Russian propaganda altered our election process and results?

Posted by: kctim at October 27, 2017 12:26 PM
Comment #421065

Hmmm, apparently ‘everybody’ did NOT know about the DNC and Clinton funding Fusion GPS, “from the very beginning.”

And, apparently, ‘the Steele Dossier’ was never funded by Jeb Bush or anybody else from the right. Somebody hired Fusion for ‘opposition research’ into Trump, but gave up on it. Then in April of 2016, Clinton and the DNC took it over. Steele was hired that summer.

Posted by: kctim at October 27, 2017 3:02 PM
Comment #421066

“So, the DNC and Clinton paid for and used Russian propaganda in order to attack Trump for using Russian propaganda to win the election?”

The standard policy of the left is to accused the opposition of the very thing they are doing. In the case of the Russian collusion, it was Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Initiative that was colluding with the Russians. The left never imagined that she would lose the election. If Hillary had won, there would never have been any investigation into the Clinton/Russian deals to enrich themselves. But, the Dossier was never about real Russian propaganda; it was about fake Russian propaganda involving Trump. It was all meant to smear Trump; and after he won the election, the left continued to push the collusion theory in order to change the results of a duly elected president. Now that the truth is coming out and the Clintons and the DNC are being tied to the dossier, the left will be willing to throw old Hillary under the bus.

The Steele dossier was never part of the “Jeb Bush” (or any other republican conspiracy). Whoever the republican was, they were involved with Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Trump during the primary. That is what Fusion GPS does…they dig up dirt on people. It was the Clinton campaign and the DNC who hired Fusion to use the Steele dossier to attack Trump. My understanding is that the dossier was already put together and the FBI/NSA has presented it to Trump as a reason he should meet wth them face to face on a regular basis.

Posted by: Blaine at October 27, 2017 3:53 PM
Comment #421067

Besides phx8 and j2t2; is there anyone else who still believes that President Trump colluded with the Russians?

The Supreme Court ruled, 8 to 1 yesterday to lift restrictions on President Trump’s travel ban until further notice, allowing the administration to continue barring most refugees under the ban.

The U.S. economy, bolstered by business investment, grew at a solid annual rate of 3 percent in the third quarter. It marks the first time in three years that growth has hit at least 3 percent for two consecutive quarters.

And the good news just keeps getting better.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 27, 2017 4:06 PM
Comment #421070

In the mean time, Perez, head of the DNC, said that Trump did not win the election in November because electoral votes are not in the Constitution. How is this clown the head of the DNC? Is everyone on the left brain dead? I guess the lefts leadership just makes stuff up and says it, and the mind dead robots just believe it.

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Comment #421504

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