Excessive blocking by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)

Maybe it’s time to revisit the Senate’s arcane rules, which allow any individual senator to block any presidential appointee on a whim. With dozens of government posts still unfilled, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is reportedly throwing a historically unprecedented temper tantrum by placing a hold on at least 70 presidentially nominated jobs. Shelby’s office will not talk to reporters about the reported move, which can be undertaken anonymously, but according to Congress Daily the lawmaker has clashed with the White House over a $40 billion military contract whose recipient is threatening to scrap a planned factory in Mobile, Alabama. Holds force the Senate to break a filibuster, which requires 60 votes and can slow Congressional business to a crawl even if the vote succeeds.

Read it here.


Filed under Republicans, Wingnuts!

44 responses to “Excessive blocking by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)

  1. fnord

    The comments to the story linked in the header are interesting. One commenter suggested a public health care plan be attached to the bill Shelby wants passed for his state and send it to the Senate for a vote.

  2. lillacluvr

    It’s another case of the Republicans mantra that they can do whatever they want because they can.

    These people don’t care about the entire country – they only care about their little state where if they don’t come home with their fat pork projectts, then it is their head.

    But that does not mean they cannot get up, rant and rave about Obama’s excessive spending.

    It’s only when that spending hits close to their own particular state is when they sit up and take notice and squeal like the pigs they really are.

  3. fnord

    I read an article recently (can’t find it right now) that was about Scott Brown’s win and it was titled something like — Brown wins Mass, giving the Senate Republicans a 41 – 59 majority. Seems so, doesn’t it? Of course, they did fine opposing and blocking with a 40 – 60 majority too.

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      The problem with overturning a block lies more with other Senators wishing to retain the right to exercise the privilege in the future, resulting in the continuation of a block even though there are enough votes (theoretically) to bring cloture and the nomination to a vote.

  4. tosmarttobegop

    I have found it a paradox for some time, the urgency of the need to defend against the threat of terrorism.
    Yet only when it is something that one person or the other wants to happen or not to happen?

    Shelby if confronted in public of putting his Politics above the safety and security of the United States would be offended and insulted. Yet that is exactly and plainly what he is doing.

    It is something that is amazing and at times has seemed pointless.
    There is no attempt to hide these actions and daily there are those who point to the obvious wrongs.
    But by and large most people are not noting it or that it makes any different to them.

  5. fnord

    So it’s OK, in fact better than OK, for the Republicans to just oppose and block? This is what their constituents think is governing? I know, only when it could mean defeating President Obama. That is the goal, and if America fails with him then they’ll just have more to gloat about, more to fool themselves with.

    Their memories may be short, but much of America remembers why we’re where we are, and who put us here.

    • lillacluvr

      I think short memories of why we are in the current mess will largely be a factor in 2012 depending on who the Republicans run as their candidate.

      If it’s Palin, then expect nothing more from the campaign than how ‘hot’ she is.

  6. lillacluvr

    The Republicans think they have a winning strategy to make Obama look weak on terror.

    The Christmas Day bomber is reportedly talking about his training in Yemen and providing much valuable information. And the Obama Administration has used the tactic of bringing this guy’s family over here to talk with him and that is how they are getting all this information.

    Imagine that – not one waterboarding session??

    I’m hopeful that all this will eventually lead to some successes in getting Obama some recognition to actually fighting and winning the war on terror rather than just some old white Republican males extolling the virtues of using torture to keep the country safe.

    What is it about old white Christian males that they seem to absolutely love torture and war?

    • itolduso

      They love the stench of young, nonwhite, nonChristian females rotting in the sun after being filled full of lead.

      either that, or those of political status who makes such claims have no clue about what old, white, Christian males really think about war

      • lillacluvr

        I don’t know, it seems that all white Christian Republican males that I’ve heard all advocate for killing or torturing everyone. What else am I to think?

      • fnord

        Lilac, of course it’s correct to refer to this as ‘strong on national defense.’ And, war hawks would probably be too strong a description, but closer to the truth!

  7. Reading the link, one issue involves the new tanker contract. This raises the hypothetical of similar action being taken by Kansas senators if the USAF caves to Shelby, doesn’t it? Then, would Kansans (not those posting here, of course) approve? Assuming, of course, they actually know about it.

    • lillacluvr

      I guess that remains to be seen, doesn’t it?

      If Brownback and Roberts really care about Kansas and the tanker deal, then they should be prepared to bully Shelby out of the pork just as Shelby is bulllying everyone else at the moment.

      But if Brownback and Roberts don’t do anything about this, then perhaps that information should be spread throughout the land of Kansas that Brownback and Roberts are NOT fighting for the people of Kansas.

      Rather,they caved into a Senator from Alabama and going to a competitor – no less.

  8. itolduso

    President Obama on Wednesday blasted Senate Republicans for using “holds,” a tactic that delays considering nominees — even though as a senator he used the technique to block several of President George W. Bush’s appointments.


    Seems, despite all hubbubb, it really is just business as usual. Too bad. I think it is a crock.

    • fnord

      I agree it is business as usual and it is a crock. This time that business as usual has been taken to such an extreme and is so excessive maybe someone will actually take note. In fact, just yesterday following his swearing in, Scott Brown said he will represent the people who are tired of just such silliness! Let’s see what he’s made of.

      And where are the tea baggers on this?

    • Yes, it so seems. This will continue unless and until the Senate revises its rules, which can be done only by the Senate (and the House of Representatives as to its rules). See second paragraph, Article I, §5, Constitution of the United States.

    • fnord

      To be fair to Scott Brown, here is what he actually said, and please note he didn’t really say he intended to change anything, just acknowledged a problem.

      “People are fed up,” he said. “They are tired of the backroom deals. They are tired of the bickering.”

      • lillacluvr

        Brown was also voted in by the independents who are tired of the partisan bickering.

        So, let’s see what Brown actually does now that he is in the Senate. If he buckles under to the Party of No and join in their tantrum-throwing kidfest – then will those same independents that love him now, continue to love him at re-election time?

        The proof is yet to be seen.

  9. fnord

    Tea baggers are not Independents!

    This is an interesting description of the tea baggers:

    “Independents are the largest and fastest-growing voter segment—a new CNN poll puts independents at 42 percent of the American electorate. Given the Tea Partiers’ anger at overspending under Bush as well as Obama, it’s been tempting to equate them with independent voters—but there are fundamental differences. Polls of independents’ policy positions consistently place them in between Republicans and Democrats—closer to the GOP on economic issues and closer to the Democrats on social issues. But the Tea Partiers tend to be to the right of the Republican Party on both fiscal and social issues. Their opposition to the Obama administration is overheated and absolute. Independents are angry at the polarization of the two parties; Tea Partiers want more polarization between the two parties. Independents tend to be centrists; Tea Partiers attack centrist Republicans as Republicans in Name Only, or RINOs. Tea Partiers are conservative populists.”


    • fnord

      Here’s the bio for Avlon who wrote this ‘interesting’ tea bagger description. You should consider his bio when you decide how much faith to put in his writings.

      “John Phillips Avlon is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics. He was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun and worked as chief speechwriter for former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani. He was Director of Speechwriting and Deputy Policy Director for Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign. He is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

      The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (renamed in 1981 from the International Center for Economic Policy Studies) is a conservative, market-oriented think tank established in New York City in 1978 by Antony Fisher and William J. Casey.”

  10. lillacluvr

    The question was asked where the tea baggers on this?

    Well, for this weekend they are in Nashville TN paying a for-profit company for that highly desired position of being against all that corruption in Washington.

    And it takes a for-profit company to do this?

    The Tea Baggers have been taken over by the likes of Dick Armey and then we wonder why there is now a for-profit group involved?

    I would happily join a Tea Party movement that has nothing to do with either party – but I don’t see that anywhere.

    I hear alot of claims this is a grassroots movement – but I don’t see any evidence of the same.

    • lillacluvr

      That grassroots is really just a Fox News-induced scheme of bait and switch.

      They bring you in on the premise of being against both parties and then once you’re in, the switch happens to be all their keynote speakers are guess what – Republicans!!!!

    • fnord

      I’ve read everything I find, and paid close attention. What I see are people who complain now that a Democratic president has been elected about the same things they didn’t complain about when a Republican president was in office.

      My conclusion is that they are sore losers.

    • I’m of the thought that the Tea Baggers movement may have been ‘grass roots’ in its beginning, but was quickly co-opted and, at least on the national level, has no claim to being a ‘grass roots’ movement. I still believe there may be some small groups under the label which are still ‘grass roots’, but they are becoming or will soon become irrelevant in the final analysis.

      • lillacluvr

        Maybe you’re right – in the beginning it was a true grassroots movement.

        But then those town hall rude protesters was when Fox News and people like Dick Armey swooped in to corrupt everything they touch.

        BTW – I wonder if any teabagger has done research on Dick Armey? He was one of those evil politicians for a long time, wasn’t he?

  11. fnord

    Here’s an article (one of many) about the speaker who kicked off their convention last night with these words:

    “The convention started off with fireworks Thursday night as former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado used his kickoff speech to slam President Obama.

    “People who could not even spell the word ‘vote,’ or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House. His name is Barack Hussein Obama,” Tancredo said to cheers Thursday night.”


    • lillacluvr

      And the red meat was thrown to the lions.

    • fnord

      That same article linked above says:

      “I will not benefit financially from speaking at this event,” Palin said in a statement this week. “Any compensation for my appearance will go right back to the cause.”

      Is her current cause to pay her taxes? Could it still be to buy more of her books? Hard to keep up with her ’cause.’

      • lillacluvr

        I read an article yesterday about some cabins built on some land that Todd Palin and his buddy owns up in Alaska.

        Now, these cabins are not exactly cabins as in Abraham Lincoln’s days. It sounds like these two cabins are quite nice and two-story structures.

        Problem is, there is no mention of these two cabins on their property records and the property tax paid was less than $200. These two cabins were spotted from an aerial search being done.

        I believe this was reported on the Mudflats website .

    • lillacluvr

      I just noticed something – the ‘former’ US Rep Tancredo?

      Let’s see – Dick Armey was a ‘former’ politician.

      And then Sarah Palin is a ‘former’ governor.

      Maybe the Tea Party should rename themselves the Sour Grapes Party?

  12. fnord

    Maybe this is Palin’s current ’cause.’

    Palin sister-in-law makes plea deal in burglary

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s sister-in-law has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in a burglary case.

    Diana Palin, the 35-year-old half sister of the governor’s husband, Todd, was sentenced last week to 15 months in prison. She already has served five months and will complete the sentence at a drug rehab center.

    Prosecutors say she burglarized the same Wasilla house three times to steal money for a drug habit. She was arrested April 2 after the owner of the home confronted her.


    • lillacluvr

      What? I thought only Levi’s mother was the evil one that had a problem with drugs?

    • fnord

      I think Palin ‘pals around’ with all the ‘right’ people!

      • lillacluvr

        As a side note – call me crazy but don’t you think burglarizing the same house 3 times is a bit excessive?

        I realize Alaska towns are not that big – but come on folks, it is not like everyone is not going to know it was you. Especially when you’re a member of the same family as their illustrous governor!

      • fnord

        But, but, but…

        Lilac, this is the person Republicans say is “just like them!”

  13. fnord

    Or this:

    Palin e-mails reveal a powerful ‘first dude’
    In Sarah Palin administration, her spouse was active in state business


  14. lillacluvr

    I just watched Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC talk about the just released emails that show Todd Palin was very much involved in his wife’s governing of Alaska. Apparently Todd was consulted about alot of things – who was being named to what jobs, judges being appointed, etc.

    When Andrea asked the Republican stategist on the panel about this, he said it was no different than Jenny Sanford helping her husband being governor and no different than Hillary Clinton helping Bill Clinton during his presidency.


    I remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth about Hillary making that comment during Bill’s election campaign about ‘getting two for the price of one’. Remember all that yelling and screaming that it was not her place to be telling her husband what to do in his job?

    But I liked what David Bonior (former Rep or Senator? from Michigan) said next. The thing that popped out to him in those emails and is begging to be looked at is when Todd’s employer would benefit from any of Todd’s helpfulness to his wife’s governing of Alaska.

    And, in that respect – I would think any self-respecting tea bagger would want any person’s actions to be investigated if, indeed, there is questionable motives.

    But, hey, maybe I’m wrong.

    Maybe it really is just – ‘Republicans can do it and Democrats cannot.’

    When people claim to be so morally superior and try to make the world black and white – then these matters of gray that pop up – like Todd’s true level of helping his wife govern Alaska – are seen as hypocrisy.

    • fnord

      Palin is one of them, the person they identify with — so anything about her that requires any explanation will be rationalized and excused — nothing here, move along, ya know.

  15. fnord

    “Sen. Richard Shelby’s threat to block all of Obama’s nominees is unprecedented obstructionism. Benjamin Sarlin on the new poster child of the dysfunctional Congress.”

  16. criscocorner

    Does Shelby Has Some Type of Resentment Againist Obama?

    • fnord

      It’s his method of protesting a lack of funding for his state’s earmarks — one of which is a $40 billion military contract.

    • fnord

      Hi criscocorner. Welcome to PPPs.

    • lillacluvr

      To answer that, one would have to ask Shelby or perhaps go back and review his remarks about Obama and his Administration. Fortunately, all would be on videotape and can be recalled at any given moment.

      I still have to wonder if these Republicans still don’t know that fact yet?

      It seems like with each ‘gotcha’ moment they try to pin on Obama, someone comes up with a videotape of that very same Republicans spewing a totally different viewpoint.

      That’s called hypocrisy and people don’t like it.

      • lillacluvr

        Well, most people don’t like it but there are those certain die-hard loyalists that continue to try to spin a turnip into a beautiful rose.