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Senate Republicans vs. Obamacare|Gitmo Goes to Illinois

Written by Richard Falknor

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RedState's Erick Erickson this noon in his "Fight" post spells out ways willing Senate Republicans can slow the Obamacare Express so that it comes to a presumably fatal halt.

"The most powerful words in the Senate are ‘I object.' Senate Republicans should have been shouting those two words on the Senate floor early and often from the moment this bill was considered, instead of the complete silence we have heard - other than to constantly agree to conduct business through unanimous consent. Here are just a few ways those words can (and should) be used in a very effective way:

The rules of the Senate require that a quorum be present to transact business. A quorum is 51 Senators. In most instances, outside of roll call votes, there are no more than 4 Senators on the Senate floor. If a Republican Senator suggested the absence of a quorum, Democrats could not transact business on the bill. It is a common courtesy to allow the quorum call to be dispensed with, without requiring 51 members to show up on the Senate floor (to get 51 Senators to appear without a roll call vote is very time consuming). When the Democrats ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with, the Republican should immediately shout ‘I object.'

In 1988, when the Democrats were attempting to pass campaign finance reform, and Republicans refused to help them make a quorum, it took 53 hours for the quorum call to be dispensed with. If at any moment at least 50 Democrats are not on the floor, a Republican Senator could again suggest the absence of a quorum and start the process over again, causing huge delays in the legislative process being able to move forward.

 

Keep reading editor Erickson's entire post here to see his complete menu of possible ways that Republicans can obstruct Obamacare in the U. S. Senate.

On the latest version of Obamacare, National Review on Line's (NRO) editors noted yesterday about Senate Majority Leader Reid's latest deal - -

"When the tentative deal was announced by Senator Reid on Tuesday evening, many single-payer advocates expressed delight despite the apparent defeat of their yearlong quest to start a new government-run insurance program. They understand that a Medicare ‘buy in' would put the country on an even faster track to a full government takeover. As Rep. Anthony Weiner put it, the ‘buy in' idea is ‘the mother of all public options.' He's right. Which is why any senator who was wary of the ‘public option' should be dead set against putting the country on the slippery slope that the ‘buy in' represents."

 

Meanwhile Andy McCarthy here showcases Andrew Breitbart's Big Government beat yesterday "Leaked Justice Department Memo: Terrorists to be Moved to Camp Gitmo Illinois."

Declares former Federal prosecutor McCarthy in his NRO post - -

"It's an outrage. It will inevitably result in trained terrorists being released in the United States - bank on it. More to come on this."

Here is the text of the memorandum Big Government revealed:

"Thursday, December 10, 2009

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

SUBJECT: Directing Certain Actions with Respect to Acquisition and Use of Thomson Correctional Center

By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including by article II, section 2, clause 1 of the Constitution, which designates the President as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and by the Authorization for Use of Military Force, Public Law 107-40, 115 Stat. 224, I hereby direct that the following actions be taken with respect to the facility known as the Thomson Correctional Center (TCC) in Thomson, Illinois:

1. The Secretary of Defense shall relocate detainees currently held at the Guantanamo Detention Facility to the TCC as expeditiously as possible, to the extent permitted by laws related to Guantanamo detainees, and consistent with the findings in, and interagency Review established by, Executive Order 13492 of January 22, 2009.

2. The Attorney General shall as expeditiously as possible acquire and activate the TCC as a United States Penitentiary, which the Attorney General has determined would alleviate the Bureau of Prisons' shortage of maximum security cell space and could be used for other appropriate purposes. The Attorney General shall also provide to the Department of Defense a sufficient portion of the TCC to serve as a detention facility to be operated by the Department of Defense, to accommodate the relocation of detainees by the Secretary of Defense in accordance with paragraph 1 of this memorandum.

This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

The Secretary of Defense is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register."

 

Readers will be interested to learn that Erickson and Andrew Breitbart were both named "New Media Person of the Year" at the December 3 Paul Weyrich Awards Dinner.

Notably,  the Weyrich Dinner also named National Legislator of the Year: Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.)

Readers (with a strong stomach) who wish to keep up on the bubble - in which too many members of the GOP Beltway live - can follow "National Journal's Congressional and Political Insiders reveal which pols they really appreciate - or don't" here thanks to Norman Leahy of Tertium Quids who properly comments - -

"But these same insiders really dislike independent voices:

What annoys the nation's political elite?

To put it bluntly, politicians who go rogue. Sarah Palin and Joe Lieberman have admirers, but plenty of Insiders dislike how they wield their independence as a club and undermine their parties' messages. Insiders generally don't like politicians with hard ideological edges. They prefer people who can stick to their principles without coming off as wing nuts.

Which is fine as far as it goes...and considering the Republican insiders still think Karl Rove is a genius, I'm not sure they go very far at all."

Apparently some on our side of the Congressional aisle still want the Tea Party movement and the conservative base in general to stay in their place:  approved cheer-leading is fine, but no pushy policy recommendations, thank you.  It would be illuminating to hear an "insider" explain on the record and in some detail the precise meaning of "stick[ing] to their principles without coming off as wing nuts."

If there is skepticism about the direction of some Senate Republicans, to understand it one only has to look at last week's vote here "[r]elative to limitation on amount of attorneys contingency fees." This legislative attempt to reform medical malpractice liability actions received only 32 votes, of which only 27 were Republican. There are forty nominal Republicans in the U. S. Senate.

 

 

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