Frustrated by constant republican opposition to pass Obama candidate nominations, Harry Reid may finally invoke the "nuclear option" and end the GOP's ability to filibuster nominees. Politico reports that this may take place as soon as today. Politico reports: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may move toward a historic change in the Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster on most nominations as soon as Thursday, according to senior Democratic aides. Reid is strongly considering calling up one in a group of blocked nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for another round of votes, furious that Republicans have thwarted the nominations of Robert Wilkins, Nina Pillard and Patricia Millette. If a second go-round fails on that judicial pick, Reid would likely unilaterally move to change the rules of the Senate by a majority vote — the “nuclear option,” Senate sources said." This is not the first time Reid has threatened to go nuclear: "Privately, Senate Democratic leaders insist they prefer confirmation of Obama’s nominees rather than a rules change. And lawmakers have been at this point before." However, it appears that this time he means business.
Of course, equity markets can only hear one thing (for fear of the consideration of Plan B) but as The Washington Post notes, the Senate Republicans can't agree on how their meeting with Obama went.
- Good - Sen. Bon Corker: "I was pleasantly surprised, I think there's a gelling that's beginning to take place."
- Bad - Sen. Susan Collins: "I don't want to give the impress that he endorsed it, but he indicated there were 'elements' with which he agreed."
- Ugly - Sen John Cornyn: "...what could have been a productive conversation was instead another predictable lecture from the President that did not lay out a new path forward."
Summing it all up (and mixing metaphors) - it's a Goldilocks meeting for stocks.
We’d like to say that the following is unbelievable, but it’s not. Unfortunately, it is all too believable.
What's Happening with the web Censorship Bills?
Rand Paul Threatens To Filibuster Debt Ceiling Talks Until Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment PassesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/05/2011 11:43 -0500
When it was reported last week that Eric Cantor, who had just walked out of Biden's debt ceiling talks leaving Democrats to talk amongst themselves, was pushing for a "balance budget" amendment to the constitution, many took it as merely more posturing in the relentless debt ceiling drama that is rapidly approaching its inevitable conclusion (under one month left until August 3). It now appears that this may have been more than a bluff, at least to members of the Tea Party. According to the Huffington Post, "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is planning a Senate filibuster next week in an attempt to force debt ceiling negotiations into the open." More: '"We've had not one minute of debate about the debt ceiling in any committee," he said in an interview with C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" that aired on Sunday. "We haven't had a budget in two years. We haven't had an appropriations bill in two years. So I'm part of the freshmen group in the Senate that's saying, 'no more.'" Paul's plan: "Next week, we will filibuster until we talk about the debt ceiling, until we talk about proposals."" He added that a group of senators in the "conservative wing" of the Republican Party will also be presenting a proposal to tie raising the debt limit to passage of a balanced budget amendment." So, just more posturing, which may now be indicative of the first splinters within the republican party, especially after John Cornyn said the GOP may accept a "mini deal" on raising the debt ceiling, or actual concerns about the debt hike that have to be appreciated? For now, at least judging by the market, the debt ceiling rise is a foregone deal.
Blowing smoke. Again.
What can we say: it would be flagrantly criminal if the most incompetent and corrupt organization in the world was allowed to be unaccountable to anyone, least of all the US citizen. Our respect to Senators Leahy, Cornyn and Kaufman and Grassley for doing what is so obviously right, we are stunned only four senators ended up sponsoring legislation proposed by the Senate Judiciary Committee to strike the FOIA exemption for the SEC. Full press release below.
Vote On Cornyn Amendment For Blocking US Bailouts Of Overindebted Foreign Countries Currently On C-SPANSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/17/2010 17:13 -0500
Update: vote passes 94-0. O. If Italy, UK, or Japan (or, soon, the US), with their 100%+ debt/GDP need an IMF loan, they may well be out of luck. It will be viciously ironic if the US is prohibited from obtaining an IMF loan to save itself.
Currently on C-Span is the vote on the Cornyn amendment which requires the Obama Administration to evaluate any proposed
bailout of a foreign nation where that nation’s public debt exceeds its annual
Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and then to certify to Congress whether the
bailout loan will be repaid. If the Administration cannot certify that the
bailout loan will be repaid, it will be required to oppose the bailout and vote
against it at the IMF. That this is in effect a new Monroe Doctrine, as the entire world now has more debt than GDP, is not mentioned. The vote can be seen here.
The one main benefit to the financial reform effort so far is that it helps further do away with the false paradigms of "left" or "right" and "Democrat" or "Republican" - fewer and fewer people are falling for those lies anymore. Try to get an ideological conservative to explain why Republicans love spending and so eagerly give welfare to banks. Try to get your local liberal to explain why it was a good idea to make backroom deals with abhorrent corporations and drill, baby, drill. Heck, even try to get a Tea Partier to explain choosing bailout-lover Sarah Palin to keynote their convention, especially when that movement once had at least some pre-astroturf roots in protesting government giveaways. - Dylan Ratigan
With HR 1207 passage now guaranteed in the House, it is time to focus attention on the Senate. As of last count, there were 25 co-sponsors for Sen. Bernie Sanders' S 604 Bill: The Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009.
While Congress is still in recess, it is relevant to remember that one of the most critical pieces of legislation, Ron Paul's HR 1207 Bill is still waiting in the corridors, compliments of several individuals who for some reason or another are trying to do all they can to prevent a bill which has a guaranteed passage, with 282 co-sponsors, the second it goes to a vote. And yet the heat is already rising in the Senate, with Bernie Sanders' S. 604 Bill aka the "Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009" already receiving increasing endorsement, with 23 co-sponsors at last check. We suggest readers contact their Senators and voice their endorsement of this critical measure which many are trying to drown out in a whole lot of noise.