In my previous post, I talked about how Republicans broke an “unwritten rule” when it came to the filibuster. While I’m not alone in saying “It’s about time!” I’m also aware of the various reasons behind the Senate’s unwillingness to change the filibuster rules. This is not, by any means, a “new discussion,” in that filibuster reform has been talked about for quite some time, with serious pushes being made by Senator Merkley over the past two sessions. So why do it now?
Tag Archives: rules
The news sites and the political blogs are all running with the surprise that Senator Reid called a vote and got the “Nuclear option” passed for Senate conformation votes on judicial (except Supreme Court) and executive department appointees. What is the “nuclear option?” It’s simply a rules change, which turns the need for a 60 vote majority to break a filibuster into a simple majority vote.
The vote overturned an existing rule that required a 60-vote majority for the approval of presidential nominees. Now, just a simple majority will be required for executive branch and judicial nominees except for Supreme Court picks.
It’s not like this is a big surprise, Senator Reid said he would do it if Republicans failed to legislate in good faith in the Senate.
Bob Cesca has a take down of Glenn Greenwald’s weekend appearance on ABC, where he tried (once again) to shill the story of an “out of control” National Security Agency.
Okay. So we’re supposed to be shocked by the idea that a spy agency employs analysts who can search and read signal intelligence (SIGINT) that was previously gathered? Crazy, I know. It stands to reason that if NSA gathers data, NSA analysts might actually look at that data. This is sort of like urgently revealing that FBI agents listen! to mobsters via wiretaps and wired informants.
Matt Osborne has more to offer on the subject, from his time as a military signals analyst.
Many years ago, I was required to have a security clearance. As it later turned out, a much higher one than I actually needed, but at the time, the “guidelines” said that if I had a certain rank and was assigned to a certain post, I had to have it. So I sat down, and filled out a lot of paperwork. A complete life history, detailing where I’d lived during my life up to that point, what schools I’d attended, and a lot of other questions. I sent off transcript requests to my colleges, to have them send in transcripts to the agency in charge of the clearance. Then there were credit checks, criminal record checks, and the interviews which were … intensive. After that, came the reports from my family as various people called them to ask if I was “in trouble,” because they’d just been questioned about me by the FBI or by military investigators.
Early in the week I posted about my own skepticism of Glenn Greenwald’s “explosive” revelations regarding NSA monitoring of American citizens. I wasn’t the only one who was casting a skeptical eye at them. In particular, Bob Cesca and Charles Johnson have been on top of them since the beginning. The problem I had was that what was claimed was just not likely from a technical standpoint, let alone Greenwald’s rather … sketchy …. past behavior when it comes to “reporting.” Since then, it’s turning out that the “explosive” revelations are really a wet firecracker, and the only casualties are Snowden and Greenwald.