I keep wondering when Cons will cross a bridge too far even for the uber-timid Senate Dems. Maybe, at last, this is it. Even the meekest animal will bite if poked and prodded beyond toleration.Just when it seemed Republican obstructionism couldn't be any more offensive, at least one far-right senator finds a way to kick things up a notch.Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has put an extraordinary "blanket hold" on at least 70 nominations President Obama has sent to the Senate, according to multiple reports this evening. The hold means no nominations can move forward unless Senate Democrats can secure a 60-member cloture vote to break it, or until Shelby lifts the hold.[snip]Reid aides told CongressDaily the hold extends to "all executive nominations on the Senate calendar."And why, pray tell, has Shelby decided to hold several dozen administration nominees hostage? It's not about qualifications, ideology, or party -- it's about pork. The conservative Alabama senator wants some defense earmarks for his state, and until he's satisfied, Shelby apparently won't allow the Senate to vote on just about anyone, including nominees ready to fill positions related to national security.
The abuse, the arrogance, the corruption ... it's just breathtaking. Shelby is proving himself to be little more than a petty, greedy thug, undermining our system of government until he's been paid off to his satisfaction.
Josh Marshall added, "This is more like just a stick up. Gimme my money and I'll give you your Senate back! Worse than a squeegee man and not much better than a bank robber, Shelby is shutting down the president's ability to appoint anyone to anything until he gets his way."
One of Ezra Klein's readers got hold of Sen. Shelby's letter. It must be seen to be believed.
What I'm seeing right now is a group of assclowns drunk on their own power. You heard they're soliciting Wall Street for cash, right? Now holding up the entire federal government demanding pork. I'm sure both messages will go over very well with the Teabaggers, who claim, in part, to be pissed over insane government spending. This should get interesting.
Speaking of Teabaggers... Miranda Hale does a bang-up job spanking them here and here. And the points she makes are very valid indeed. I'm just not sure how we're going to go about scrubbing some of the stupid off of our public discourse. I don't think even industrial-strength oven cleaner can penetrate that disgusting baked-on crust.
At least we've got ammunition. Next time this "you didn't God-bother enough or say the Pledge of Allegiance right!" crap starts up, ask them why there was neither prayer nor pledge to open their great big confab. That should be fun.
And that's all the political stupidity I can take just now. I'm off to do something more productive, like watch Judge Judy, where at least the stupidity gets shouted at.