February 24th, 2015

Obama vetoes Keystone

Of course he does.

And he will have no hesitation to veto everything else the Republicans pass that doesn’t have the votes to override. And since the Democrats tend to hang tough, that will be just about everything the Republicans plan to do.

You can rail all you want against the Republicans, but at this point it is clear that minus a president who cares about what the people want, if a president is willing to defy both houses of Congress and can get away with it, the only way to pass legislation these days with an opposition party president is to control more than 2/3 of both houses. But that’s a rare situation; it is not usually the case, historically speaking, that when a president is of a different party than Congress, the other party can muster that strong a majority.

It’s quite an impasses. The only way out I can see is for the Republicans to exercise the nuclear option on legislation in general. That would be quite a move, setting a dangerous precedent for the future when they are not in power. However, at this point it is clear that if they don’t do it the left is determined to make sure the right has no future (amnesty is one tool for that). There is no doubt in my mind that if the situation were reversed, the Deomcrats would jettison the filibuster in a heartbeat. They are playing for keeps.

[ADDENDUM: I realize that eliminating the filibuster would not help override a veto. Unfortunately. But it would enable the Republicans in the majority in this Congress to pass a lot more legislation and force the veto over and over and over, which I think would at least make it crystal clear what’s going on with this president. There is at least a small chance that this would increase the pressure on Democrats, especially moderate ones, to vote to pass certain measures that Obama opposes but which are popular with Americans (such as Keystone), and perhaps to join in an override of a veto. Obama doesn’t care about being re-elected, but maybe the Democrats in Congress do.

Unfortunately, though, without a 2/3 majority, and with Obama in the White House, the Republicans are limited in their possible approaches. Obama is willing to defy both Congress AND the American people, and the Democratic Party is willing to go along.

I don’t think America has ever faced anything like this before, certainly not on this scale.

The 2014 election was incredibly important (as the 2012 one had been before it). It was nearly impossible for the GOP to achieve a 2/3 majority in 2014, even though the GOP did really, really well. But without 2/3, even “really really well” matters little.]

45 Responses to “Obama vetoes Keystone”

  1. rafinlay Says:

    Eliminating the filibuster won’t help override a veto. It might more frequently expose the President (‘s party) as intransigent.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    rafinlay:

    Eliminating the filibuster would not help override a veto, it’s true. But it would unable them to pass a lot more legislation and force the veto over and over and over, which I think would at least make it crystal clear what’s going on. There is a small chance this would increase the pressure on Democrats, especially moderate ones, to vote to pass certain measures that Obama opposes but which are popular with Americans (such as Keystone). Obama doesn’t care about being re-elected, but maybe Democrats in Congress do.

    Unfortunately, though, without a 2/3 majority, and with Obama in the White House, the Republicans are limited. Obama is willing to defy both Congress AND the American people, and the Democratic Party is willing to go along.

    I don’t think America has ever faced anything like this before.

    The 2014 was incredibly important (as the 2012 one had been before it). It was nearly impossible to get to 2/3 in 2014, even though the GOP did really, really well. Without 2/3, even “really really well” matters little.

  3. wade in Says:

    Andrew Jackson comes to mind.

    I don’t think this is that original. Just original in our lifetime.

    The thing we are not looking at, which thing is the basis of our government (by the people and for the people), is the lasting damage Obama is doing to the progressive brand.

  4. M J R Says:

    Mommy, why aren’t the Democrats now routinely called “The Party of NO”?

    Mommy?

  5. dbp Says:

    I count this a progress: The Senate used to protect the president against having to veto bills that most Americans want passed. Now Obama has to show his true colors. His already low approval ratings will steadily drop. He will be faced with a Hobson’s choice: Allow laws that are popular (but that he doesn’t like) to pass, or become the most hated man in the country.

  6. Ann Says:

    What low approval ratings? A Gallup poll in January showed him reaching 50% approval, and a February 12-15 CNN poll found that his “approval rating overall stands at 47%, with 51% disapproving. …That’s significantly better than George W. Bush’s approval ratings at this stage of his presidency. In January 2007, just 34% approved of the job Bush was doing.”

    Sounds like he’s holding up pretty well to me. We are doomed.

  7. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The GOP’s goal should not be to pass legislation but to put it before Obama for his veto. Yes, eliminate the filibuster. That would indeed enable the Republicans to pass a lot more popular legislation and force the veto over and over and over. Then and this is critical… each time bring an override vote to the floor, so that Congressional democrats are on record, making it crystal clear that their vote for the legislation was insincere.

    Obama has had his elections. Legislatively, the focus from this point forward, should be upon Congressional democrat’s failure to vote for overriding Obama’s veto. That would make their true position undeniable.

    Painting the democrats as the party of obstruction is the way to reach the LIVs and win in 2016. Let their votes expose their willingness to place ideology above what the majority have decided is best for the country. The result will be that Obama’s vetoes, supported by democrats, in 2016 will drag down the democrats just as Bush’s WOT (unjustly demonized) brought down the Republicans in 2008.

  8. Ike Says:

    Why would President Obama care about approval ratings? We don’t live in a parliamentary system wherein the (head of government) prime minister’s party can face a no-confidence motion in one house or another and be forced to call immediate elections if they lose. He is not going to be up for re-election in 2016. He obviously doesn’t care how his actions will affect the Democrat Party in those elections. He is able to do what probably every politician secretly wants to be able to do, which is to do whatever he or she damn well pleases without any chance of any genuine consequences to him- or herself. Paradise for politicians. So …. the bad publicity would help the GOP if they’re clever and consistent enough to use it. Apart from that? I don’t see any downside for the President.

  9. parker Says:

    I have been saying since the gop assumed control of the senate to ignite the so called nuclear option. Send the boychild bill after bill to veto. Do it on a weekly basis. Push back and make bho & the dems the ones who say no.

  10. Mr. Frank Says:

    The objective should be to force Democrats to vote and go on record as supporting Obama. They would be setting up their opponents in the next election.

  11. Cornhead Says:

    Here in Nebraska, the local opposition to KXL is small but determined. They put their lawyer up for Senate and he was completely crushed.

    The untold or not well known story is that TransCanada has sought eminent domain to acquire easements and some of the landowners have objected.Cases are pending and I guarantee they will win.

    Why? The NE Supreme Court decision.

    Standing problem is now solved but the law TransCanada relies on still relies bypasses the NE PSC. Why? Former Govenor Dave Heinman didn’t want the PSC’s decision to be reviewed by the judiciary. Stupid decision. Now it will get reviewed twice. He gambled that bypassing the PSC would work and NE Supremes said no.

    Thanks to Governor Dave, KXL will be tied up in NE courts for 5 years. Easy. Idiot.

  12. MarkJ Says:

    “Sounds like he’s holding up pretty well to me. We are doomed.”

    Umm, not necessarily. LBJ was probably the most popular politician in the country in early 1965. By March ’68, he was damaged goods. Nixon was at his apogee in early ’73. By August ’74, he was gone.

    As the (apocryphal) story goes, when British PM Harold MacMillan was asked what was most likely to blow governments off course, he replied, “Events, my dear boy, events.”

    And this is the real enemy Obama is facing and to whom he will ultimately lose: events.

  13. Wry Mouth Says:

    I hope we see a lot more bills hitting his desk and being vetoed. Lots and lots and lots. It will be funnier then to listen to Mr. Obama talk about being reasonable and willing to work with the opposition and come to fair compromises.

    I’ll bring the popcorn!

  14. M J R Says:

    MarkJ, 7:18 pm — “Umm, not necessarily. LBJ was probably the most popular politician in the country in early 1965. By March ’68, he was damaged goods. Nixon was at his apogee in early ’73. By August ’74, he was gone.”

    The difference today, in contrast with half a century ago, is that today, the sides are much more polarized and unforgiving (never mind for now the reasons for the polarization, and never mind that polarization can be a good thing if one side is irredeemably malevolent). My example will be about Richard Nixon, 1974:

    It got to where Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker, House Minority Leader Hugh Scott [correct me, historians], and the Grand Old Standard Bearer of the G.O.P. Barry Goldwater walked over together from Capitol Hill (figuratively walked, I suppose) and told Nixon, together, that his time was up, that he *had* to resign.

    My point: as quite a few here have pointed out (and I have totally agreed), there is no conceivable circumstance under which the 2015 Democrat leadership might find it in themselves to nudge out President Hopenchange. Given the things President Hopenchange has already done — swap five vicious terrorists for a lone oddball deserter to name one, and then etc. to the hundredth power — it lays bare the utter contempt that that entire party has for our country. Were there an impeachment vote, would there be a single Democrat vote in the Senate for conviction — regardless of anything-and-I-mean-*anything* President Hopenchange might do?

    Anyway, I’m getting farther and farther off course here. These are reasons why 2015 ain’t 1968 or 1974. We are toast. (I’ll have mine with a little butter, if you please.)

    —— —— —— —— ——

    By the way, MarkJ, I’m a “Mark J” as well — that’s what the “M J” in “M J R” represent. Pleased to be making your acquaintance!

  15. NeoConScum Says:

    I like & respect Mitch McConnell most of the time. That said, I totally agree with Dr. Krauthammer and Neo that ousting the filibuster just as Feckless Harry Reid did is Past Due from the Republicans. F-the F-ing Dems, Mitch. Time for HARDBALL with the punks.

  16. DNW Says:

    It depends on what one means by “doomed.”

    If you mean the squalid perpetuation for some uncertain period the currently degenerating situation, with the ever more weighty monkey of Democrat social policy sewn to your back, then “No” I guess we are not doomed. Or at least those who who get their checks picked up won’t think so.

    But constitutional government as we have known it through most of our history certainly is already dead or on life support; and probably most Democrats, and certainly most progressives wish to bury it completely and replace it with a no-limits Zombie document that does whatever they say it must.

    One of the most remarkable indicators that the country has been well on it’s way to legal hell for some time was Nancy Pelosi’s bald faced and brazen assertion that “we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it away from the fog of controversy”. A remark she apparently stands by; but which breaks one of the most fundamental rules of law making.

    Rather than quote Fuller’s famous book, I’ll quote a website on it …

    “According to Fuller (cf. The Morality of Law (1964)) a legal system has the following eight desiderata:

    (1) There must be laws

    (i.e. someone or some body handing out rulings is not enough; there must be a law in existence)

    (2) These laws must be publicized

    (i.e. laws cannot be kept secret, or be unknown)

    (3) These laws must prospective, not retroactive

    (i.e. laws should not to extend to cases before the existence of the law)

    (4) These laws must be understandable

    (i.e. not to be (a) unintelligible, or even (b) extremely difficult to understand)

    (5) These laws must not contradict each other

    (i.e. if there were laws e.g. requiring one to vote and prohibiting one to vote, then it would be impossible not to break the law — there would be a “legal dilemma”; the law could not guide action)

    (6) These laws must not require the impossible

    (e.g. by impossible here is meant physically or psychologically impossible, e.g. no law forbidding sneezing in public; “ought implies can”)

    (7) These laws must not change too rapidly

    (i.e. for example there should not be, in the same day, a new law, then the scrapping of that law and another new law, and then the scrapping of that law and another new law)

    (8) These laws must be the laws that are enforced

    (i.e. the actual administration of the law must be consistent with the laws themselves; it must not be the case that these laws are not enforced and that no laws, or other laws, are enforced)”

    “A total failure in any one of these eight directions does not simply result in a bad system of law; it results in something that is not properly called a legal system at all” (p. 21) “

    http://home.wlu.edu/~mahonj/

    These things have happened to some degree before. We had a civil war basically precipitated by demonstrably unbalanced ideologues lusting for a dramatic psychic finale to the neurotic path of their lives. We had several presidents who were not what they seemed and a press that covered for them.

    But I don’t think outside of a time of war – or perhaps the Great Depression – we have ever had the fundamental principles of our government so altered in a fascist social solidarity state direction – one intended to break down once and for all any lingering doubts that in the United States the citizen has become a subject.

    We are now subject to “shared responsibility” penalties. Not shared responsibility for defending the border against a Canadian invasion, or some contagion or plague: but shared in the sense of becoming liable for some goddamned son of a bitch’s diabetes, or genetic defects or alcoholism or 82 IQ, or lassitude, lethargy, and slovenliness.

    For the first time in history we have an open ended demand placed on us by the state that does not end. Ever.

    After all, you are not entitled to yourself, the current “wisdom” of the human termite philosophers goes. (John Rawls, the Parecon boys … take your pick) You have not “earned” what you are by virtue of your inheritance, genetic or otherwise, and therefore in their world, have no title to it.

    Do you think anything will stop people with that mentality other than hammering them to the ground either literally or figuratively? Is it any wonder that their first resort is always to the state and its coercive apparatus, and all their life energies are constantly directed at achieving control over it?

    But that is just fine with a very large number of the disordered and resentful people we style as “fellow Americans” and who have no, and have never had any, use for that constitutional system of “negative liberty” which allowed their lucky neighbors to escape sharing the burden of being them.

    Now the only way to get a eff-up legally off your back; is for him to die. Literally.

    Hell of a thing to think that my life would materially improve, and my freedom be greater, if large numbers of middle aged drug addicts and alcoholics suddenly dropped dead.

    Yeah, I know too scary and rude to say.

    I’ve often said, as have others here, that conservatives – in general – have an amazing blind spot. They can neither see, nor understand the information that progressives are constantly throwing right in their faces. If they paid any attention to what progressives are actually saying as opposed to hearing it through a conservative worldview filter, then, conservatives would finally grasp just how morally alien and how different the aims, philosophies, emotional structures, life satisfactions, and the philosophical anthropologies of progressives in fact are.

    Instead they keep pounding the Bible as if it will convince progressives that evolution is untrue. Which aint gonna happen because evolution is not only a theory of organic change for progressives, but a universal metaphysical principle and magic key which unlocks all doors, solves all mysteries, and makes straight the crooked path of man.

    Yet, when the beings that would take away all that conservatives have for the sake of Moloch and the transhumanist reconfiguration of mankind, the run of the mill conservative gets all panicky and starts flapping his hands and repeating like the Cowardly Lion … “Remember, remember, remember, we are all one human family and God’s Children.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epRku_qbkXM

    And the appetite things just grin, and bear down …

    You know, we have a movie floating around in which a masochist is sexually tormented by a sadist, and it is apparently one of the most popular moves around – resonating as it does with some very significant portion of the American public. Furthermore, we have a movement on in this country to institutionalize a parody of marriage between a bugger and a bugger-ee, and pretend to dignify both demented depositor and submissive receptacle with the title of spouse.

    Now, if that doesn’t tell you that these people are figuratively speaking, from some other solar system, or more literally, some other moral realm entirely, then you are incapable of learning or understanding anything; and probably deserve to be a slave. Certainly the progressives, think so.

  17. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “constitutional government as we have known it through most of our history certainly is already dead or on life support; and probably most Democrats, and certainly most progressives wish to bury it completely and replace it with a no-limits Zombie document that does whatever they say it must.” DNW

    Perhaps, arguably, constitutional government is on life support but most definitely not dead. In specific circumstances and cases constitutional government is meaningless but overall? Not a chance.

    Obama cannot issue an executive order that he is disbanding Congress. He cannot unilaterally abrogate free speech nor round up and imprison all who oppose him. He can “push the envelope” but the envelope remains.

    And that is why to complete and make permanent the “fundamental transformation” of America, the Constitution must be fundamentally and formally/legally transformed. Otherwise it is at most, a transitory victory for the left.

    We all know that the LIVs are ignorant and duped but the other side to that ‘coin’ is that people whose beliefs are premised on having been lied to and made fools of will be permanently outraged when they discover the truth of those lies.

    And they will be confronted with those lies because the Left is congenitally incapable of refraining from pushing for fascist control of America, they cannot refrain because their ‘philosophy’ rests upon the presumption that mankind is perfectible. But in order to perfect mankind, they must be controlled in every way.

    They are in fundamental opposition to individual liberties. They are the collective, they are quite literally, the ‘borg’ in disguise. Only the current politically correct thought, speech and behavior is acceptable. Obama is limited in the permanent changes he can make and what is not permanent is not truly change at all.

    The Left’s need for control most definitely includes control of the liberals that give them their political leverage. But as the noose tightens, it begins to chaff and already we see some liberals like Alan Dershowitz and liberal law professor Jonathan Turley chaffing at the Left’s lawlessness.

    MarkJ has the right of it; events will prove to be the Left’s undoing because their entire rationale and agenda are in fundamental opposition with reality. And eventually, reality prevails. The question is not whether the left will lose, the question is how much more damage and harm will they create before they lose.

    The answer to that question is directly related to how deeply the sheep sleep.

    “Events, my dear boy, events.”

  18. James Says:

    Sorry if someone said this already…..

    What the Republicans should do is keep the fillibuster in place, but force the fillibuster to be active. That is, when they want to fillibuster, they must talk the entire time. They can’t just invoke a fillibuster and continue on like nothing is happening.

    Then, when the Democrats are ready to stop something, they must show their opposition by, for example, talking continuously on the senate floor 10 hours per day, and stop all other business.

  19. Matt_SE Says:

    It doesn’t help that McConnell is folding like a cheap suit. But then, that’s what we expected from him.
    I’ll tell you, it stings more to be stabbed in the back than in the front, and I’ll never again vote for weaklings over traitors.
    At least with traitors, you know who to blame.
    This is going to be a very long two years.

  20. Matt_SE Says:

    To clarify a bit:
    Whenever commenters here say “Republicans should do X, Y or Z,” what they’re really saying is that “Mitch McConnell should do X, Y or Z.”
    Good luck with that.

  21. A_Nonny_Mouse Says:

    Ref “NeoConScum” at February 24th, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    As far as I can tell, Mitch McConnell is first in line to roll-over-and-play-dead for the Democrats — most of the time.

    That is, except for the times John Boehner beats him to it.

    Why don’t we just start calling the GOP the “Play-Dead” Party? Or the “This Ain’t the Hill to Die On, That One Ain’t It Either” party. Or the “Oops, Can’t Risk Bad Press” party. Or the “Go Along to Get Along” party? Or the “Let’s Not Rock The Boat” party? Or the “Let’s Compromise by Giving The Opposition 110% of What They Want” party?

    … Guess I’m a little upset that the “Loyal Opposition” seems so Loyal (to the Dem/ Progs) yet so Opposed (to their conservative base).

    {They can all go Die In A Fire, just any time …}

  22. kcom Says:

    Mommy, why aren’t the Democrats now routinely called “The Party of NO”?

    Mommy?

    M J R hits it on the head. The problem for the Republicans (as always) is that 2 > 1. And with the press, the Republicans are outnumbered two to one. The R’s have the Congress but the D’s have the presidency and the press. If the press will never put the heat to Obama then the benefits of holding the Congress is limited. Lots of Americans will figure out who the obstructionists are, but the rest will need to be spoon fed and the press has hidden all the silverware. How can effective pressure be brought if the press is derelict? Of course, if you reverse the situation and have a Democratic Congress and a Republican president, the Republicans will still be outnumbered two to one and they will become (miraculously) the Party of No again. Funny how that works.

  23. Richard Says:

    Repubs cave again. What did you expect?
    “We don’t need a third party, we need a second one”.

  24. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Neo wrote “I don’t think America has ever faced anything like this before, certainly not on this scale.”
    I agree that no such brazen attack on the constitution has occurred in our lifetime. A few Democrats are apparently recognizing the threat, but so far almost no one has come and said Obama and friends are genuine threats to Democracy. Guiliani is being ridiculed for saying a fraction of what 48% of the country sees.

    There is some good news, the Dems depend on LIVs and they only vote in a frenzy. Without an Obama they’ll stay home and watch TV. The media will motivate the Yuppie’s and professional sin eaters (a medieval profession which is the equivalent of guilt ridden liberal) but they may not be enough. Bad news: my money is now on the likelihood we are living in a one party state in which the state and party will evolve into one. In a generation or less we can expect to be a dictatorship, with a President chosen within a smoke filled room of left wing fascists. Really good news: I predicted a Soviet takeover of Mexico by 2000 so my predictions stink.

    Note: I saw Gov. Jindal on TV saying some wise and thoughtful things about Iran and other subjects. Pity people like that can’t be elected President. Come to think, with one exception all of the Republican potential candidates are better than Hillary.

  25. blert Says:

    With both houses under one party… the stage is set for joint committee actions… which need to step up their game.

    Joint committees are actually rarely in the spot light: as joint committees are routinely confined to ‘resolution’ of (slightly) conflicting bills that have passed each house.

    After this step, the ‘resolved’ (uniform) bill is re-introduced to both houses and prefunctorially passed — thence on to the White House.

    &&&&&

    HOWEVER, when Congress wants to put on a big show, it convenes a spectacular joint committee.

    This scheme is not restricted by size — up or down.

    It’s traditionally been a sure fire media magnet.

    &&&&&

    The IRS is wholly investigation worthy — having been totally politicized — there are no Republicans left in its top ranks — or any others — near as I can tell.

    1) Epic deceits upon Congress

    2) 0-care fiascoes

    3) Data breaches

    (Anthem leads the way into the hyper-web of the IRS)

    4) Chronic political waivers of IRS rules and Federal statutes de facto remove the rule of law

    Homeland Security

    1) Capricious seizures of small business cash — largely based upon the ‘gut feelings’ of the staffers. As if politics could possibly NOT be involved.

    This scheme is also in violation of the 6th Amendment: the Feds are prosecuting ones assets as if they didn’t belong to the defendant. (!) De facto, the defendant is unable to present his case at trial. A public defender is denied all ‘assets’ ‘being accused.’ (Heh)

    2) Oblique but un-subtle attacks on the 2nd Amendment.

    3) Epic (digital & telephonic) intrusions — General Warrant style — WITHOUT ANY due process.

    Said reviewing FISA ‘courts’ are NOT courts in any way. The term is total double-speak.

    The idea that the NSA/ Feds are solely intercepting alien transmissions to extra-territorial lands is a hoax upon the nation.

    4) In further violation of the 6th Amendment, defendants are denied the true basis of the evidence used against them – the Feds lie about even the source of the evidence.

    The proper resolution to the risks imposed by global jihad is expulsion of Muslim aliens.

    This is the first war in which the Oval Office is inviting unlawful enemy combatants INTO our land. Strangely, this has been the policy going back to President Carter. Very insane.

  26. rickl Says:

    Another thing that’s going on is the FCC’s impending takeover of the internet. I’m kind of surprised that few people in the blogosphere have been talking about it. Richard Fernandez wrote about it at Belmont Club, and Mark Levin read some excerpts on the radio tonight: Losing the Internet

    I’m beginning to understand how the European Jews in the 1930s and 40s meekly boarded the boxcars without a struggle. We’re doing it too. We’re so accustomed to being “law-abiding” that we continue to obey “laws” that are completely unconstitutional. Today, there is no need for a Reichstag Fire and an Enabling Act, because Congress has voluntarily ceded its power to the Executive branch and the administrative agencies, who promulgate regulations with the force of law.

    There’s an old saying: “Our forefathers would be shooting by now”. That’s right. They took up arms and started killing tyrants for far less cause than we have today. Their level of taxation was much lower than ours, and the British government was far less intrusive and all-encompassing than ours is. Right now, it looks like we’re just going to surrender to totalitarianism without firing a shot. After all, resistance to tyranny would involve breaking laws, and we can’t have that. Because we’re law-abiding citizens.

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    rickl:

    I understand your point about the internet, but I feel the need to object to your phrase about how the “European Jews in the 1930s and 40s meekly boarded the boxcars without a struggle.” I think this is a simplification and a misconception.

    I’ve written before about the situation facing the Jews of Europe, and how many of them escaped while others tried vainly to escape the growing net around them. In addition, the way the Germans worked was to isolate the Jews from those around them (sometimes in ghettos), harass them, and then perform the ruse of “relocating” them. (By the way, the boxcars and extermination camps for mass killings or Jews did not begin until the 40s, preceded by mass shootings in various Slavic countries the Nazis had taken over).

    A great many (although certainly not all) of the Jews who remained in Europe by that time were old or infirm or women and children (read the link I provided) and unable to fight, and all the Jews at that point knew that even if they fought and somehow had the unusual good fortune of succeeding and getting away, no country on earth would accept them and they would just be returned. But most importantly of all, the Germans took great pains to disguise what they were doing as just a transfer to another place. The deception was mammoth, including the infamous “showers” that were actually gas chambers and very realistically done as deceptive showers. By the time most people realized what was what, they had been hemmed into an enclosed space (the walkway to the “showers” was blocked off from egress in the death camp Treblinka, for example) from which there was no escaping. There were attack dogs ready to tear people apart as well as armed guards. I am fairly sure I have read that sometimes people didn’t go so “meekly” and they were killed. Plus, people were usually killed on arrival, after a several-day journey in locked boxcars in which many had already died, and the dead left packed in with the living, who were often without food or water or the opportunity to relieve themselves. When they had entered the boxcars they thought they were going to work camps, and they were often leaving conditions that were already so bad that a work camp might have seemed better in their imagination. But by the time they got to the death camp, many in the boxcars had died and others were at least half-dead, and were weakened and demoralized (traumatized) by having already gone through a searing and absolutely horrific experience in locked boxcars. Also, a great many of those in those lines to be killed were the elderly, and mothers with children (even in death camps, the able-bodied were often singled out for very difficult work details instead).

    I think expressions such as “meekly boarded the boxcars without a struggle” simplify a situation in which it was exceedingly difficult to have put up a struggle.

  28. backofanenvelope Says:

    Well, I’m only an Englishman, but I thought that Congress controlled the purse strings. Surely that is the easiest way to control Obama, cancel his credit card.

  29. Harold Says:

    Not only should Republicans break the filibuster, they should break, bend, ignore every rule and tradition in the Senate. Republicans don’t seem to get that they are in an Alinsky jam here. The Democrats are making them live up to their fine old rules while the Democrats live by power and power alone.

    Getting lots of vetoes out of Dear Leader may help with public perception of Democrats as we head into another presidential election. It will certainly help with the Republican base.

    Republicans should do more of what Rudy just did. Openly attack Dear Leader. Nothing nice and by the rules. The public will understand and accept. The only cries will come from the Bolshevik media. And who cares about them?

  30. Artfldgr Says:

    this means the billionaires who own berkshire hathaway will make out like bandits from the BNSF rail cars..

    helping billionaires is a lot smarter than it is to help a poor welfare mom… her? you harm and hurt to make her squeel louder to get power… billionaires you help so that you have a nice life once out of office..

    Surprise: Poorest Obamacare Enrollees Face $530 IRS Tax Bill
    http://www.atr.org/surprise-poorest-obamacare-enrollees-face-530-irs-tax-bill

  31. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    Neo: off-topic, but well worth a look, I think:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-limits-of-wishful-thinking/2015/02/22/0bbcf162-b845-11e4-aa05-1ce812b3fdd2_story.html

    This includes a list of President Obama’s foreign-policy reassurances — that Iraq would be “stable, secure and self-reliant,” that the US would aid Libya, that we would prevent mass slaughter in Syria, that Assad was “on the way out”, that Obama’s Ukraine policy is a triumph of American strength and diplomacy, and so forth.

    It’s really quite devastating to see it all in one place.

  32. DNW Says:

    James Says:
    February 24th, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Sorry if someone said this already…..

    What the Republicans should do is keep the fillibuster in place, but force the fillibuster to be active. That is, when they want to fillibuster, they must talk the entire time. They can’t just invoke a fillibuster and continue on like nothing is happening.

    Then, when the Democrats are ready to stop something, they must show their opposition by, for example, talking continuously on the senate floor 10 hours per day, and stop all other business.”

    That is a good idea. I have suggested it myself in other places. The filibuster is after all nothing more than a courtesy of the Senate institutionalized as tradition.

    You would think that on issues of national, even existential importance, guys whose job is deliberation and consultation could summon enough energy to allow the body to stay technically in session as some fellow winds himself up for a few hours. Let him talk all night. So what?

    Naw, but that would be too much like work… even for the presiding officer, and someone else might have to be there to keep watch too — yawn — how fatiguing these long periods without recess or adjournment.

    Better to let someone give notice that, if they actually had energy and determination enough to speak for some hours, they would. That will be enough to shut us down so we can take a nice nap.

    And then we can also pretend they actually would follow through, and pretend too that nothing would ever get done ever and ever again; or that something even more important, like some backroom deal, would get held up.

    And so, what’s a few individual liberties lost, or a few tens of millions of cultural aliens added to our welfare roles, anyway?

  33. DNW Says:

    backofanenvelope Says:
    February 25th, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Well, I’m only an Englishman, but I thought that Congress controlled the purse strings. Surely that is the easiest way to control Obama, cancel his credit card.”

    Yes, more narrowly, the House. “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in The House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills”

    When however the House passes legislation, and the cowards of the Senate refuse to vote on it because “filibuster”, then no bill is moved up to the Executive, for signature or veto, and then, “Government Shutdown!!!” Pain! Wails of needs unmet. Cruel and unfeeling Republicans! So much need so many at risk … how dare you even suggest peddling more slowly!

    And the cowards of the Republican party cave as the Demos wave the bloody shirt of a child who died of hemorrhages because Republicans were indifferent to FEELINGS.

    Which they are obviously not, since theirs are hurt so easily.

  34. Clarityseeker Says:

    “And he will have no hesitation to veto everything else the Republicans pass that doesn’t have the votes to override. And since the Democrats tend to hang tough, that will be just about everything the Republicans plan to do.”
    _______________________________________

    Everything going as planned. Well, it would be great to see more bills placed on the man-child’s desk.
    This was all discussed after the mid-term elections.
    This was projected.
    It was not only foreseen, it was advocated by myriad conservatives.
    Let’s see more bills.
    Once again, who is the, “party of no?”

  35. DNW Says:

    “Plus, people were usually killed on arrival, after a several-day journey in locked boxcars in which many had already died, and the dead left packed in with the living, who were often without food or water or the opportunity to relieve themselves.”

    Yeah you’re not dealing with Coulon de Villiers. as your captor.

    That type of thing – other than the problem of finding a safe haven and sticking out like a sore thumb if seen – is probably why so few US captives escape from East Asian prison camps.

    Apart from the question of where you would flee to, the soldiers and airmen – the airmen anyway – seem to have gone immediately through a phase of beatings and starvation immediately upon capture. Starve him, break his arm and ankle … where is he going to run to?

  36. Clarityseeker Says:

    It’s all about loyalty to the president, NOT what the American people want.
    _______________________________________

    Which is exactly why polarization has become increasingly greater throughout this ideologues’ administration.
    He’s not a bridge builder.
    He’s not a dealmaker.
    He’s not a negotiator.

    And hanging in the balance, IRAN gets closer and closer to weaponizing a nuclear warhead while the administration claims that it is working in the best interests of America.

  37. DNW Says:

    I think expressions such as “meekly boarded the boxcars without a struggle” simplify a situation in which it was exceedingly difficult to have put up a struggle.”

    The stage was set, politically and socially, and morally and psychologically for the meekness earlier.

    How many normally law abiding Americans would nowadays demand a warrant before allowing someone supposedly in authority into their house to look around? Oddly criminals exposed to law enforcement on a regular basis would know their actual legal rights better, but not probably assume that these rights were rooted in some grounding beneath the legalese and practice.

    I suppose you could nowadays drive onto an American street in the darkness at 3 AM with big vans or buses and flashing lights, and by sending uniformed men with official looking credentials door to door, tell folks that that a Presidential decree requires they climb in in their night clothes; and more than half would do it without further explanation.

    People don’t “feel” they have real rights anymore. They are “de-moralized” in the narrow sense. And it is little wonder, given how their parents act, and what they have been taught in school.

    Rights shmights …

    Your own unfavorite uncle for example, if he was a real Marxist, would have believed that “rights” as classical liberals or “natural lawyers” conceived of them, were pure nonsense and required no respect or acknowledgement.

  38. Artfldgr Says:

    on another note, the guiliani thing went the way i said it was going to go…

    Today’s parrot media seems to be falling into the Willie Horton trap again. Last week when Rudy Giuliani challenged Barack Obama’s patriotism (the same thing Obama has said about George Bush junior) they jumped to defend the indefensible once again. They are doing a great job of raising questions about Obama’s loyalty to America and like their forefathers, they are too stupid to stop bringing the issue up and thus continuing to dig Obama’s political grave.
    The Washington Free Beacon is reporting that in just the first two days after Giuliani’s charge was made, the media mentioned it at least 2935 times, eclipsing anything else they could have chosen to cover. With friends like this Obama doesn’t need enemies. These fools now keep demanding that Giuliani “clarify” his statement and Rudy has taken the opportunity to point out that Obama is tainted by past affiliations with Communists

    it did not go the way others said…
    the more they try to get clarification (apology, back stepping, etc)… the more its a willy horton kind of thing (as Coach Collins points out.

    its what made it such a beautiful remark..
    all over the place, you have left complaining, and saying prove, and the others now have a forum to spout the points as to the issue, and the left is reading it when before it was blah blah blah…

    if you dont study tactics and strategy, understanding what will happen will usually be wrong, as using yourself as a measure of what otehrs who are not like you will do, is wrong… you must understand the opposition, and think like them, once you do, then you would realize that this would be something they could not leave alone and let die. and as such, would end up fomenting a resurgance of facts that they cant counter, and were better off left dead…

    whee… too funny to watch if you watch their stuff..

    without guliani, how could you resurect the ghosts?
    the closet skeletons are walking around now…

  39. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    Artfldgr: indeed. Republicans owe Mr. Giuliani for this — he said what needed to be said, as someone not running for office, and took the hits, but got the topic (and the responses) out there.

    Perhaps he’ll get a nice cushy side job in 2017 from President Walker.

  40. Lizzy Says:

    I think we all could have done without the charade of the past 4 or 5 years of stalling to ascertain environmental impacts, etc. But Obama needed to maintain this charade in order to get re-elected and protect Democrats through two mid-term elections.

    Just like Obama’s lies on same-sex marriage.
    How many more lies will an Obama unbound reveal? God help us get through the next two years….

  41. Steve Says:

    The GOP establishment is showing itself ready to surrender on this issue, immigration and maybe takeover the internet. What good are they? Don’t tell me there is nothing they can do. If they had the gumption, they could turn the screws. They are for big government. They do not align with the base. Time for a third party.

  42. g6loq Says:

    Lucky shiite that Obama:

    It’s better to be lucky than good. President Obama, who arrived promising to heal the planet and halt the rising seas, instead presided over a fossil-fuel renaissance in America. If you were unemployed and found a decent job in Obama’s economy, there’s a good chance it was a fracking job. If things are finally looking up for the middle class, cheap gas is a major contributor.

    He was lucky again on July 6, 2013. Thanks to various competing news stories (a plane crash in San Francisco, the Trayvon Martin shooting trial), Americans did not dwell on a fiery oil-train accident in Canada that killed 47. For if there’s one boom Mr. Obama can claim authorship of, it’s the oil-by-rail boom.

    Found here

  43. g6loq Says:

    DNW Says:
    February 25th, 2015 at 12:18 pm
    “Oddly criminals exposed to law enforcement on a regular basis would know their actual legal rights better, but not probably assume that these rights were rooted in some grounding beneath the legalese and practice.”
    Here
    Remember You’ve come a long way baby?

  44. g6loq Says:

    ADL Rushes to Defend Campus Anti-Semites

  45. g6loq Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    February 25th, 2015 at 12:39 am
    rickl:

    I understand your point about the internet, but I feel the need to object to your phrase about how the “European Jews in the 1930s and 40s meekly boarded the boxcars without a struggle.” I think this is a simplification and a misconception.
    That was then …
    Now:
    ADL Rushes to Defend Campus Anti-Semites
    Nothing learned everything forgotten …
    I blame the voters ….

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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