The fallout of today’s nuclear option vote will be much worse than the harm done today.

It is frustrating being a Democrat with a Democrat controlled Senate and a Democrat President and not being able to have our President have his nominations confirmed. The Republicans have filibustered nominees more during the Obama presidency than any other presidency. They have shown a level of disdain for this President and a near obsessive need to defeat every single thing he wants to do, even if that means we are short on judges.

What makes it even more frustrating is that the Republicans are the ones in 2005 who demanded that judicial nominees should get an up or down vote. Remember Mitch? Of course you do not. Because back then you wanted an up or down vote only because the President was YOUR GUY. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, you couldn’t care less about “up or down” votes.

Of course there is no requirement in the Constitution that the “advise and consent” be given via a simple majority (or up or down vote). The Constitution grants the Senate the power to make its own rules. The Senate rules includes rule 22. That rule allows for filibusters. Filibusters on legislation require a 60% vote to reach cloture. Filibusters on rule changes require a 2/3 vote to reach cloture.

So did Harry Reid get a 2/3 vote to reach cloture for the rule change to limit filibusters on non supreme court judicial nominees? Of course not. If he did I wouldn’t be complaining as much. What he did was invoke the “nuclear option”. How does that work? Well, basically someone tries to reach cloture and it fails. So someone asks for a ruling by the chair on if it should take more than a simple majority to confirm a judicial nomination. The presiding officer will say no, that the filibustering of a judicial nominee is valid. That person then challenges the ruling of the chair. That vote is immediate. That vote is not debatable. That vote only requires a simple majority.

Of course, that vote is also based on a lie. It requires the people voting against the chair to state that the chair is wrong when the chair is actually right. I opposed this proposed tactic when the GOP threatened to use it in 2005 I remember arguing with conservatives over and over about the myriad of falsehoods that the Sean Hannitys, Rush Limbaughs, and other conservative pundits were trying to share about the law. At the end of each discussion I would say that the nuclear option was wrong and that it didn’t matter who was using it. I never thought that I would have to be critical of the Democrats 8 years later. Unfortunately, that is where we sit today.

The Democrats actually pulled the trigger and used this tactic. They have opened Pandora’s Box. Senator Reid claims that his use of the nuclear option would be limited to a distinct and discrete set of circumstances. But much like an actual nuclear explosion, the fallout from today’s wrong action will be much worse and more long lasting than the explosion itself. Now that the Democrats have used this tactic what happens if they lose control of the Senate? Do we believe that the GOP will not seek to further restrict the ability of the minority party to filibuster? If you think they will not, you are a fool. This is the same party that supports passing laws under the guise of “election integrity” to suppress votes.

Finally, this situation will give the pundits (especially ones like the Daily Show) a lot of material for weeks to come. The hypocrisy on both sides on this issue is amazing. People who demanded an up or down vote previously and threatened use of the nuclear option who are now crying about someone else using the option are obviously hypocrites. I am sure that as the days, weeks,  and months go by we will be shown many examples of conservative leaning politicians and pundits who previously supported the threat of the nuclear option who are now crying over it (and rightly so).

However, people who criticized the use of the nuclear option in 2005 who now voted for it are also blatantly hypocrites as well. Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu is one of those Democratic Senators. Here is her letter explaining her position on the nuclear option from 2005. I am sure that as the days, weeks and months pass by we will find many other examples of left leaning politicians and pundits condemning the GOP for the mere threat of the nuclear option who now applaud its use (and rightly so).

In short, the Democrats are wrong for using the nuclear option, the GOP is hypocritical for crying about it, and this is a sad day for the Senate. The message the Democrats just sent is that if you don’t like the rules you can cheat to get around the rules. That is a horrible message. The Democrats would have been much better served if they would use this GOP obstruction during the off year elections. Now they have no such opportunity. If they try it will sound like the abusive husband who beat his wife and then said “look at what you made me do”.

Liberal Dan Radio 10/30/2013: It’s the context, stupid!

On the October 30th episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

The Baracknaphobes and the Obamascared are still going at it. In their deperate and pathetic attempts to stop the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

In this episdoe I will go into some of the recent lies, including the claims that are being made out of context about his words.

Hmmm, where did we see that before?

Those topics, words of redneck wisdom, tweet of the week, headlines and more tonight on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

The GOP responsibility on the debt ceiling, in a nutshell.

Imagine you have a credit card. On that credit card you schedule several auto-payments that will charge the credit card for goods or services over the course of the year. That card has a limit.

Now, you know that if you do nothing but pay the minimum payments on the credit card that eventually your auto payments are going to cause you to exceed your credit card limit. If you do nothing and allow this to happen, you will have increased fees, the amount you pay for that debt may go up to a penalty rate, and when the card rejects further payments to those other companies you will either lose those services you enjoy or the items that you purchased. If this happens to you, you would likely be called irresponsible and rightly so.

The GOP is in this same boat. They agreed to a certain amount of spending over the course of the year. They knew that at some point during the year that the debt ceiling would be reached if they didn’t do anything. Now, unlike you in the credit card example, government has more options. They can cut spending (i.e. the spending they already agreed to), they can increase revenue, and they can increase the amount of debt available to them. See, unlike you, they have a Constitution that states the debt of the United States may not be questioned.

But the GOP refuses increased revenue. During the Republican primary debates, when asked if they would accept a deal that reduced $10 in spending for every $1 in revenue gained via taxes, not one person would agree to this.

And the GOP refuses to commit to increasing the debt ceiling. In doing so they push us closer and closer to the edge. They are playing a very dangerous game of chicken that could be avoided IF they would just agree to allow the spending to take place that they agreed to in the first place.

And that is the problem in a nutshell. The GOP agreed to put the country on auto payments to the point that we would reach the debt ceiling. SO the GOP must now do the responsible thing and increase the debt ceiling so the problems do not turn into a crisis. Anything else and they can NEVER claim to be the party of “fiscal responsibility” again.

Liberal Dan Radio October 2nd, 2013: How to deal with the Obamascared

On the October 2nd episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

This eposide will be devoted to the Affordable Care Act, i.e. Obamacare.

What does it mean for you? What are the benefits? Are there any drawbacks? Is the law perfect? What would I change about the law?

But this just scratches the surface of what we can talk about when it comes to Obamacare. There is also the vast criticisms from the right wing about how bad it is. If the law was that bad, why wouldn’t the Republicans allow it to fall flat on its face?

And what are the lies out there? Conservatives are spreading all sorts of lies about the law and they need to be debunked. Is Congress and the Presdient really “exempted” from the law? Is that even possible? If not, where does that idea come from?

What about the idea that Obama lied about losing your coverage? What did he say? If someone loses coverage between the passage of the law and now, does that mean that Obama lied?

And that just scratches the surface. All of those topics plus headlines, the tweet of the week, words of redneck wisdom and more Wednesday on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Liberal Dan Radio August 15th, 2013: Income inequality, the maximum wage, and Rodeo Clowns

On the August 15th 2013 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

It was bound to happen since I do not always agree with my fellow liberals. On this show I am going to touch on several subjects where I will be critical of some liberals.

The MSNBC show All In With Chris they are requesting stories about income inequality and are labelling the campaign “#maximumwage“. It sounds like they are trying to solve the problems of the income inequality that happen in our country with setting a limit on how much someone can earn. I will go over some examples of what maximum wage supporters propose and why they absolutely will not work to solve income inequality.

On last week’s show I really was unable to get into education as much as I should have. So I will be going over some of the problems that Orleans Parish is having with delivering services to children with developmental disabilities.

Finally, everyone is talking about the Obama clown. I will explain from the liberal point of view why everyone is completely overreacting about this.

Those topics, Words of Redneck Wisdom, Tweet of the Week, Headlines and more, tonight on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

And remember, please help the show expand and contribute to the Kickstarter.

Live Blogging the State of the Union

Tonight I will be live blogging my responses to the state of the union and the responses by the GOP and tea party.

There are already excerpts being given out on what President Obama is going to say. It seems a major theme is going to be developing the middle class. The proposals he will be giving tonight are supposed to be budget neutral. Regardless of if true or not, I am sure the GOP will deny it.

On national defense, President Obama is expected to discuss reducing nuclear weapons and bringing troops home from Afghanistan. I am sure the tea party response, if not the main GOP response, will be critical of the reduction of nuclear weapons (even though we have more than enough to take out everyone else on Earth).

There is also a suggestion that President Obama will announce a free trade agreement with Europe. I am ok with “free trade” as long as it is “fair trade”. The American worker cannot compete with workers in other countries where labor laws are not equivalent.

Of course, excerpts of the official GOP response is also available. (What an amazing time we live in where we can debate excerpts from two speeches before they even happen.) Rubio looks like he will rest his middle class argument on having a “free economy”. This usually means an economy with less governmental regulation. Of course, it is competition and not a free economy that is good for consumers. The “free economy” supported by Rubio and the GOP (as well as the tea party) allows for large corporations to consolidate power and provide barriers to entry, including economies of scale, that prevent upward mobility for individuals and make it harder for competition to do its job in keeping prices down.

Rubio blames President Obama and government for businesses not giving raises and reducing benefits. It is amazing how Conservatives think. It is not the greed of the business owners that are to blame for this in their eyes. Forget the fact that Wall Street is doing amazingly well. Forget the fact that the disparity between the wealthy and the poor is the highest it has ever been in years. No, to the GOP the reason that these business owners are not sharing in their personal successes is because of taxes and required benefits. I guarantee you that many of these businesses, if they didn’t have their higher tax rates and if they didn’t have to cover health insurance, that the additional revenue gained would not be going into the pockets of the employees. That money would just go into the pockets of the employers.

If the GOP gets its way, no additional employees will be hired, no additional wages would be paid, and no additional benefits will be earned. Most employers are not altruistic. Most employers will not just give away their profits. Unless labor can force them to pay more money, the employers will keep as much as possible. But it has been the main goal of the GOP recently to take power away from labor. And that is why the GOP plans are bad for the economy because they are bad for the worker. They take power away from employees and give it to the employer. And when the employer has that upper hand, the employee gets stuck having to take whatever he/she can get.

Rubio wants growth in the economy. But growth wont happen until we stop making it profitable for US jobs to be shipped overseas. Growth wont happen if we sign free trade agreements with other countries that lack the employee protections that we currently have.

The Tea Party response from Rand Paul is also available online. Unfortunately it is full of straw man arguments and is really not worthy of comment at this time. I will wait until the full speech is given to see if he gets into details or if he is just full of hot air.

Listen to Liberal Dan Radio’s election recap

Election Recap

How does a local Louisiana election prove the importance of single votes?

Did Bush’s Brain have an aneurysm?

Who are the big winners of this election?

Why did the GOP lose and why can’t they take personal responsibility for it?

Why are some Conservatives saying that they will move to Belize?

And where do we go now as a country?

These questions and more will be answered on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk from the left, that’s right.

It is now time to come together.

This has been a very hard fought election. A lot of harsh words have been said on both sides of the aisle. The temptation of many people to gloat and brag may be very strong. But that doesn’t get us anywhere.

Barack Obama is our President. He will be our President for the next four years. We will have a GOP House of Representatives and a Democratic Senate. The time for bickering is over. The time for creating a climate where jobs will be created needs to start. This requires people of all political persuasions to drop their differences and to focus on those things that we as Americans need to have done.

People are not always going to get exactly what they want in such an atmosphere. When people work together and don’t get everything they wanted but meet a common goal that benefits most of us, that is called compromise. It is what our nation was built on. It is how our government is supposed to work.

So let’s get to work.