Yesterday, Harry Reid detonated the nuclear option in the Senate by arbitrarily changing the Senate rules concerning federal appointments, including the Judiciary. Before Reid’s act, appointments required a 60 vote super-majority. Reid changed that to a simple majority.
Immediately after the vote, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) called for more reforms—eliminating the filibuster for legislation. Harkin’s call for eliminating the filibuster was retaliation against Senator Ted Cruz’s and Rand Paul’s filibusters this year.
Reid’s act and Harkin’s call to eliminate all filibusters is a blatant power grab effectively making the Senate a democrat rubber stamp. The days of polite discussion, of gentlemanly discord are gone. The democrats have known this for decades. The ‘Pubs, hopefully, have finally realized the same. Politics has turned bloody. When will the ‘Pubs realize you don’t show up unarmed to a gun-fight?
I’ve said before, our current history appears to be a repeat of those days before the start of the Civil War in 1860. The issue then was not solely about slavery, although that was a very significant issue. A major issue at that time was the loss of political power by the Southern States to the more populous and economically powerful North. Tariffs and trade issues were passed that favored the North to the detriment of the South, issues that reduced the South’s trade with Europe. The result, when the South saw no other recourse, was Secession.
Reid’s act yesterday followed immediately by Harkin’s call to eliminate all filibusters is another step that mirrors the conditions immediately before December, 1860. South Carolina seceded on December 20, 1860. Is it coincidence that Reid’s elimination of 225 of Senate tradition, of a history of a balance of power, happened in November? Are we approaching a day like that of 153 years ago?
Positive Discrimination. What is that? It’s better known by its other name, Affirmative Action. Erick Erickson was invited to a debate on the issue at Oxford in the UK. The debate subject was “that positive discrimination is a necessary evil.”
Oxford Union Results: Winner
By: Erick Erickson (Diary) | November 21st, 2013 at 08:03 PM
It is after midnight here in Oxford, UK as I write this.
Tonight, I debated in the Oxford Union — a society that has gathered each Thursday night for a black tie debate since 1823.
The proposition debated tonight was “that positive discrimination is a necessary evil.”
The side favorable to the proposition went first and vice versa to the end with me as the final speaker of the night. Each side had four participants — one student and three guests. The proponents included both Martin Castro and Ada Meloy, along with Carla Buzasi and Oxford student Toby Fuller. My side included Richard Kahlenberg, Heather McGregor, and Oxford student Martine Wauben.
I must thank Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity for encouraging me toward talk radio. I spoke for 8 minutes unaided by notes, which would have been impossible, but for two years of doing a talk radio show consisting of just me talking with no script. If you’ve ever seen the British House of Commons, you know how it went. We all stood beside dispatch boxes given by Winston Churchill. We all were interrupted by points of information by opponents.
Everyone told me I should expect to lose. Just last week the Oxford Union voted against patriotism. I simply made the point that positive discrimination, or affirmative action, is still discrimination and evil is still evil. Likewise, I pointed out that the United States is 150 years removed from the Gettysburg Address, we have our first black President, and we still have people clamoring for positive discrimination. We cannot trust that those who benefit from it will ever say we need no longer have it.
Likewise, I pointed out that we have had and will always have racism. A government that claims we are equal under the law, but still sees racism is not a government we can expect to write a law to dramatically get rid of racism.
But we do know that those negatively affected by positive discrimination will be bitter and those who benefit from it will always be under a lingering doubt that they were chosen as tokens, not on merit.
I had a wonderful time, topped off by a pint of Guinness with my wife and friends. Thanks for the prayers along the way. A guy who sounds like me somehow convinced a group of Brits that affirmative action is wrong.
My side won by 9 votes.
I agree with Erick Erickson. Discrimination, positive and negative, is evil and must be abolished. I prefer a meritocracy, myself.
mer·i·toc·ra·cy (mr-tkr-s)n.pl.mer·i·toc·ra·cies1. A system in which advancement is based on individual ability or achievement.
An act of tyranny. The FEC by a 3-2 vote, refused to grant an exemption to the Tea Party Leadership Fund allowing them to keep their donar list private. The FEC has granted exemptions to the NAACP and the Socialists Worker’s Party but not the Tea Party.
Divided FEC rejects tea party group’s bid to conceal donors
Groups said disclosure opened door to harassment
By Kellan Howell – The Washington Times, Thursday, November 21, 2013
A sharply divided Federal Election Commission on Thursday denied a request from a leading tea party group for an exemption from disclosing its financial backers to protect them from harassment.
The FEC board voted 3-2 against a motion to exempt the Tea Party Leadership Fund. The fund will have to continue to disclose donors who contribute more than $200, despite its contention that its donors should be given an exemption given to special persecuted groups such as the Socialist Workers Party and the NAACP during the civil rights era.
FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub, quoting Supreme CourtJustice Antonin Scalia, said “requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed.”
Commissioner Steven Walther, who also voted against the fund’s motion, said the group was “not a minor organization” requiring special protection from the normal rules of disclosure.
The TPLF “has a lot more muscle and a lot more money,” Mr. Walther said. “I don’t think the donors are really worried about threats to themselves and safety issues that plagued the Socialist Workers Party.”
But Commissioner Matthew Petersen, one of the two Republican members of the panel who supported the exemption request, said the TPLF’s petition documenting past harassment justified the group’s request. The fund submitted more than 1,400 pages containing examples of harassment, ridicule and threats against tea party members from the media and the general public. The submission also noted the still-simmering scandal over whether the Internal Revenue Service deliberately targeted some conservative groups applying for federal tax-exempt status for special scrutiny and regulatory delays.
The case of the TPLF, Mr. Petersen said “is just as strong as, if not stronger than that of the Socialist Workers Party. I think [TPLF] is entitled to exemption.”
The FEC will grant exemptions to leftist, socialist organizations but not to conservative ones. This is what we get when Obama and the dems have unlimited power to appoint heads of federal agencies.