In rare event, Elizabeth Warren ordered to stop speaking on Senate floor for “imputing unworthy conduct” to another Senator (Jeff Sessions)

Last night, on the floor of the Senate, Elizabeth Warren was reading a letter from Coretta Scott King that, she said, was relevant to the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General.  King’s letter, detailing Jeff Session’s actions against black voters when he was the U.S. Attorney for Alabama, was written to Strom Thurmond and the Judiciary Committee in 1986, when Sessions was nominated for a federal district court judgeship. This was part of Warren’s objection to Jeff Sessions’ nomination to be a federal court justice, and the letter was admitted to the record in 1986. And indeed, the Republican-controlled Senate refused to confirm Sessions then; I suspect the letter from King played a role in that. Now, however, simply reading the letter was considered as Warren herself impugning another Senator. (See the letter below.) That was interpreted by Mitch McConnell as violating Senate rules.

She was ordered to sit down, something that almost never happens in the Senate. As CNN reported in an email:

In an extremely rare rebuke, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was instructed to take her seat after clashing with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation debate on Tuesday night.

McConnell determined the Massachusetts Democrat had violated a Senate rule against impugning another senator. The ruling means Warren will be barred from speaking on the floor until Sessions’ debate ends, McConnell’s office confirmed.

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

The emotional exchange occurred during debate on the nomination of Sessions to be attorney general. Warren was reading from a 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King, the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, which was critical of Sessions, then a nominee to be a federal judge.

I don’t think Warren was out of line. Yes, Sessions is another Senator, but Warren is speaking of his record, not simply denigrating him as one Senator to another. And if the letter was admitted in 1986, why not now?

Here’s the exchange: Ignore the Trumpite who introduces the video, and start watching at 0:36.

CNN further reports:

You stated that a sitting senator is a disgrace to the Department of Justice,” said Daines, explaining what Warren had done to violate the rule.

About 20 minutes later, with Warren continuing to speak out critically of Sessions,

McConnell went to the floor and told Warren she was in violation of the rule. At that point, Warren asked for a roll call vote on her appeal of the decision but it was defeated.

Warren is now barred from speaking on the floor for the remainder of the debate on Session’s nomination, McConnell’s office said. The debate is expected to wrap up about 7 p.m. ET Wednesday when a final confirmation vote is planned.

She later read King’s letter outside the Senate floor on Facebook.

Here’s the letter:

scott-king-1986-letter-and-testimony-signed-p1-normal

83 Comments

  1. ariel
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    What did sessions do to “intimidate elderly black voters”?

  2. phoffman56
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    So apparently the USian political system is such that, if a president tries to appoint a sitting Senator to his Cabinet, about half the time it can be made impossible for Senators to actually criticize the nominee in so-called hearings!

  3. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Sessions is being discussed not as a senator, but as a nominee for a major appointment. If Mitch McConnell thinks it is inappropriate to question the conduct of a nominee for attorney general, then he is doing a great disservice to the country.

    • somer
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Right. I don’t see why this point isn’t obvious. To assess a person’s fitness for office, as the Senate is constitutionally required to do, there must be freedom to discuss BOTH SIDES, including evidence the the man has exhibited racist behavior submitted by respectable people–i.e., Coretta Scott King. What McConnell does not have the right to do is to stand up and call him racist when speaking of him AS a senator. Duh!

      • Posted February 8, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        What McConnell does not have the right to do is to stand up and call him racist when speaking of him AS a senator.

        And if a senator is, actually, a racist?

        For example, there really is a Nazi party in the United States. If one of their members ran a successful campaign for the Senate, would Rule XIX prohibit other senators from noting that member’s party affiliation?

        If there is any place in our government where all speech must be unreservedly protected, it is the halls of Congress. And that extends to insults, vulgarities, even mendacious lies and calumnies. Even against other members of the chamber.

        Prudence, of course, suggests that such behavior is rarely likely to result in constructive outcomes for those engaging in them.

        But take, again, my example of the Nazi senator. If others can’t speak offensive truths to the Nazi senator, how are they to craft legislation that protects Enlightenment values against Nazi ones?

        For that matter, how is the Nazi himself supposed to pursue his own agenda? He’s to want to craft legislation that will put the “impure” members of our society in what he sees as their proper places — and there’re plenty examples of “undesirables” in Congress already. How is he to propose legislation requiring an racial test for voting rights without providing insults to other members…

        …insults that are no different from Senator Warren correctly characterizing Sessions as a racist?

        And if you would insist that even Senators in the Senate do not have freedom of speech…then who does, and what alternative means do you support for airing and redress of grievances?

        Cheers,

        b&

  4. BobTerrace
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Republicans continue to shed any decency, ethics or morals. They are against the interests of the American people. On issue after issue, they ignore the desires and wishes of the majority of Americans. Unfortunately, they lie constantly to fool people to vote for them. This is causing a doubt that our democratic republic is working as a government.

    • Kevin
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      They ignore decency and rational thought.

      • jeffery
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        One thing you’ve got to give the Teapublicans, though- they’re really, REALLY good at what they do! If only the Democrats could adopt some of their seemingly limitless bag of tricks.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Just a few days ago I saw a Fox commentator going on about how Pence destroyed Kaine in the election debate. What happened is Pence lied over and over and over and over again while Kaine got increasingly frustrated that Pence was getting away with it.

      Basically, Pence used the Trump tactic of lying so much and so often it overwhelmed his opponent. And Pence, because he did it calmly and with a straight face, came out the winner.

      I’ve got a recent cartoon of the GOP elephant stomping all over a moral compass. I can’t do it at the moment, but I’ll post a link to it later today.

      • darrelle
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        This is a classic example of exactly the way in which the media has failed in its duty for decades. Instead of pointing out that Pence lied and showing evidence to demonstrate that they say he won the debate. As if that’s what people need to know.

        Even the more neutral mainstream press, like CNN, hell even PBS, do the same thing these days though admittedly not as blatant as Fox. That very thing was pissing me off throughout the Presidential debates between Trump and Hillary. Most of the talking heads sounded more like sports announcers than journalists.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Here it is: https://twitter.com/HeatherHastie/status/829455848095174656

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Rachel Maddow interviews Elizabeth Warren: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etVN6Bvglvk

        Bernie Sanders comments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i65OODlW30

  5. Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Later, when Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) rose to speak, he read portions of King’s letter into the record from the Senate floor.

    Merkley spoke without any interruption by McConnell, who evidently found it easier to suppress a woman’s voice than a man’s.

    http://www.wweek.com/news/2017/02/07/jeff-merkley-defies-senate-republican-leader-by-reading-coretta-scott-kings-words-on-the-floor-of-congress/

    • eric
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Perhaps this is not about her gender so much as her political effectiveness. Could be McConnell doesn’t care what Dems say about Sessions, so long as it’s not said by someone with the respect and popularity needed to get GOP Senators to reconsider their votes.

      • Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Yes, although Merkley may himself have an influential role to play on the national stage–and Warren’s characteristic ferocity and abrasiveness have cost her some respect at the center.

      • johnw
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        McConnell is not a fool and will take any opportunity to use his position to show up Liz Warren, because he knows that 3 years from now if she decide to run that she will be a strong presidential candidate.

        • jeremy pereira
          Posted February 8, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          I would suggest that, in that case, he made a big mistake. This whole thing isn’t all over the news and the Internet because Warren read the letter but because McConnell stopped her from reading the letter.

          He should read the Wikipedia entry on the Streisand effect.

      • Posted February 8, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        I don’t know how Senator Merkley is viewed by others in the Senate or by anyone not from the state of Oregon. I am from the state of Oregon and I am very proud of Senator Merkley. Thanks to him for standing up for Senator Warren and getting the job done a reading into the record of King’s letter to Thurmond about Sessions. Sessions deserves not to be approved. However, chances are that if the voting goes as it did for DeVos, Pence will make the deciding vote on Sessions also.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Win for Merkley? Actually, double win for Merkley.

    • Historian
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Jeff Merkley is quickly becoming my hero, not just for what he did here, but also for his continuous and vocal opposition to Trump.

      McConnell’s action was a rare strategic error on his part. Elizabeth Warren is a leader of the Democratic base and the action taken against her will only further energize it. The incident is emblematic of how broken is the U.S. Senate, as is the government as a whole. It also reflects how divided the country is. Up until the presidency of Bill Clinton, Democrats and Republicans managed to be civil with each other. Occasionally they cooperated in the Congress to pass legislation. With the takeover of the Republican Party by the radical right (led by Newt Gingrich and right-wing talk radio), all that has changed. Mutual hatred and contempt is now the rule with little prospect of it changing. Democratic societies cannot endure when the competing factions refuse to compromise, which is the position of the Republican Party. The Republican rule or ruin philosophy will almost certainly bring ruin to the nation, as is already playing out with Trump.

      • Linda Calhoun
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Please don’t forget my own Senator, Tom Udall.

        I just wrote him a thank-you note. L

  6. Politics Unraveled
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Disgraceful.

    • Merilee
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Disgraceful +1
      On a lighter note, the Trumpite’s facial hair looks like Jeebus.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        It’s probably my own prejudice speaking, but I thought he looked like a white supremacist.

        • Merilee
          Posted February 8, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          Not mutually exclusive

  7. Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Who is the Wormtongue that whispers to the President as he chides the Senator? Who does she work for? What is her name?

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Steve Bannon is Wormtongue. Unfortunately though, I don’t think removing him would turn Trump into a good and noble king – you have to be that way in the first place to go back to it.

      • Posted February 8, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        I’m actually referring to the woman whispering to the President of the Senate during the video.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted February 8, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          Sorry. I assume she’s the equivalent of our clerk who tells him which rules to quote?

          • Posted February 8, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

            Of course she is. But who directs her? These are rhetorical questions meant vent the vile taste at the back of my throat. Others have written that there is a slow moving coup under way, while I’m not convinced of such spectacular coordination, I can’t help but feel empty, like that moment before you jump from the high dive platform.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted February 8, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

              In our system, the equivalent of the president of the senate is expected to know the rules but s/he doesn’t have to know the rule numbers. However, the correct rule numbers have to be quoted to make stuff official. So they ask the clerk to find such and such a rule for them.

              So here, he’d be speaking in his own ear. The clerk is just doing her job to assist with details like a law clerk.

              • Posted February 8, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

                So, you believe that this was an unplanned, off-the-cuff rebuke of Warren? I’m fairly positive that this was planned, targeted, and coached.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted February 8, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

                No, not at all! I’m just saying it’s not the clerk’s fault. She’s just doing her job.

              • Posted February 8, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

                That’s what I’m saying, and if interviewed, she’ll spill the beans. 😀

  8. rwilsker
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    If a senator’s positions and actions cannot be fully examined and critiqued during a confirmation hearing the same way they would were he not a senator, then he should be barred from being nominated for a position that requires confirmation by the Senate.

    On Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 9:46 AM, Why Evolution Is True wrote:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “Last night, on the floor of the Senate, > Elizabeth Warren was reading a letter from Coretta Scott King that, she > said, was relevant to the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be Attorney > General. King’s letter, detailing Jeff Session’s actions against black vo” >

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    My understanding is that, in 1986, the chairman of the senate judiciary committee, the execrable racist (and erstwhile “Dixiecrat”) Strom Thurmond, refused to make Coretta King’s letter part of the public record of Sessions’s district court confirmation hearings.

    Now, by prohibiting Sen. Warren from reading it on the senate floor, Mitch McConnell is following in Strom Thurmond’s ignominious footsteps. As Marx said, the second time around is farce.

    • Aelfric
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Let us not forget that Senator Thurmond was a racist dixiecrat with a secret child by a woman of color.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        If we were to sit hear listing the myriad sins of Strom Thurmond, we would be here forever … or at least it would seem like forever. 🙂

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted February 8, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

          “here”

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        Only one? That would seem … unlikely. Unless, of course, Thrombosis (for I can’t be bothered to look up his name to check my spelling checker) had persuaded the others to have abortions.
        Let me guess – no prompting from the drained-swamp side of the Pond – Sen.Thrombosis is a vigorous pro-lifer?
        Go on, astonish me!

  10. Mike
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    What an odious gobshite Mitch McConnell is.

    • Nell Whiteside
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      That’s delicious – ‘odious gobshite’ – must remember it.

      • Ann German
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        also a bullfart

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Finest Glaswegian.
        The Weegies may not have many (undisputed) claims to fame, but they do have some world-class sewers of invective.

  11. Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Do the Republicans still not know about the Streisand Effect? (Let’s not tell them.)

  12. Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    The necessity of the consent of the governed is never more immediately apparent than when it comes to law enforcement. How many dark-skinned Americans will consent to a Sessions-led Justice Department crusade to strip them of their voting rights?

    For good or ill, I expect a sizable portion of the population will not grant their consent to this or many of the other legal demands being made by the current ruling establishment.

    Permitting Senator Warren to express herself would have gone a good way to convince Session’s opponents to grant grudging consent to his legitimate claim on authority.

    But by choosing to silence not only Senator Warren, but the widow of our greatest hero from the Civil Rights movement…

    …in so doing, the ruling party has stated, in no uncertain terms, that they demand dutiful, or at least silent, compliance; and that they care not for consent.

    From an historical perspective, there is little reason to think that their demands will be satisfied.

    The T-Party and their Republican toadies seem to be desperately eager to re-fight the wars of the past, and to take the side that got overwhelmingly trounced. What makes them think they’re in a stronger position today I’ve no clue.

    But they really, truly, do think that America was “great” when white Christian men reigned supreme, and the way to restore our “greatness” is for white Christian men to rise back to their rightful place in the divine order.

    Had they stayed awake in school, they would have had a chance to learn from their history classes that no good can come out of the path they’re quickstepping down. For themselves, especially, but for all the rest of us as well.

    Then again, they’re proud of their efforts to tear down the education system, too — so is it any surprise that their minds are as stunted as Drumpf’s…hands?

    Cheers,

    b&

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      The Muslim ban is making its way through the courts.

      I’m waiting to see what happens after it goes to the Supreme Court, their decision splits 4-4, the lower court stay therefore stands, and Trump then orders the CBP to ignore it. L

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      For “quickstepping” read “goose-stepping”.

      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 4:24 am | Permalink

        Damn – beat me to it! 😀

  13. jwthomas
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted” has gone viral
    on Twitter as feminists, their supporters and just plain women have mocked the phrase again and again in their own, sometimes angry tweets. See #LetLizSpeak McConnell has become the poster boy for clueless, sexist males.

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      The same behavior was acceptable when Udall and Markley did it. L

  14. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I’ve never cared much for Mitch McConnell, but I’ve now come to loathe him.

    He reminds me of, when I was a college boy back in Ohio, taking your girlfriend home to spend your first weekend with her parents. Mitch McConnell is the guy you didn’t want to turn out to be her dad. One look at him, you knew you were in for a miserable weekend. Not only would you have to bunk with her brother and do without nookie; you’d have to feign the fitful male-bonding routine, while listening to the old man’s right-wing bloviation.

    Now McConnell is doing to the American public what you snuck out of the brother’s room to do to his daughter (and not in the same nice way).

  15. darrelle
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Farcical. Kudos to Warren. A gang of criminals has taken two out of three branches of our government. We are in deep shit.

    Though it is somewhat heartening to see so many displays of opposition to the Trump administration, I doubt that we will be saved any time soon by a popular groundswell of disapproval for Trump and or the Republican party. Poll results released this morning by Consult/Politico show Trump has a 47% approval rating and 46% disapproval rating, even after the noxious cluster*&%$ he has presided over to date. Shit, 55% of voters either approve or strongly approve of Trump’s travel ban.

    What it looks like to me is that even after the highly visible, ludicrous, over the top caricature of bumbling thuggishness that has been the Trump administration to date, and the Republican party reaching ever new heights of scumbaggery, about 1/2 of voters still side with the Republican party. It’s beginning to make me think that about half of my fellow countrypeople are stupid, noxious assholes.

    • Charles McCullough
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      When they take over the Supreme Court, the “heights of scumbaggery” will soar exponentially. You are too kind in your characterization of tRump supporters in your last sentence. The Religious Right, phony militias, white supremacists, anti-intellectuals, etc. are emboldened hourly by the tRump gang. I hope they are not successful in “rigging” mid-term elections, since the ballot box is the only hope for restoration of rationality.

      • Jeremy Tarone
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Not just the Supreme Court. There are slightly over 100 federal justice vacancies out of slightly under 900 positions.

        McConnell said Republicans are going to move swiftly to fill them. In his usual hypocrisy he blamed Obama for the vacancies, after leading the charge to block many of Obama’s appointments.

        Republicans are working towards capturing the third branch of government.

    • phoffman56
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      If it’s 180 million registered voters who couldn’t be bothered (or worse) to keep Drumpf away from the nuclear button (as explained previously), and if presumably you refer to adults, maybe it’s much more than your 50%.

  16. Mobius
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    And if the letter was admitted in 1986, why not now?

    Essentially, by reading the letter Warren was quoting the Congressional record. Apparently that isn’t allowed now.

    Occasionally I hear something good about McConnell, but not often. And this isn’t one of those times.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      The only good thing I could imagine hearing about Mitch McConnell is that he’s left the building.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Quoting the so-called “record” is a task for MiniTruth.
      I dunno. Getting some people to RTFM is like herding cats using a guide-mouse.

  17. Blue
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    A former boss of mine sent me this — to follow — very early this morning. Along with his (electronic – rendition of) head – shaking consternation:

    “A page, Blue, taken from the (apparently) rarely – read Senate Majority Rules’ Manual:

    As Majority Leader, It Is Not Advisable To:

    i) Shut down recorded opposition debate.
    ii) Shut down recorded opposition debate of a Senator who is a female one.
    iii) Shut down recorded opposition debate of a Senator who is a female one reading a letter from a black who is a female one.
    iv) Shut down recorded opposition debate of a Senator who is a female one reading a letter from a black who is a female one married to MLK.”

    Blue

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Ah, Blue, you’re being Rethian today. I am both ientertained (your “don’t do that” rules) and informed (from the 1986 date, I’d guessed that Coretta was a daughter (“-a” ending) not a wife.

  18. mfdempsey1946
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Every day new outrages make it clearer that the federal government and huge chunks of American population have surrendered to mass ignorance, hysteria, and demagoguery.

    Therefore, nothing good (except for the 1%)and much evil is all that we can expect from this miserable excuse for a government.

    Whatever good can be maintained and whatever genuine progress of any kind can be achieved in the foreseeable future must come from the efforts of private individuals and sympathetic organizations.

    No matter how small and ineffectual these efforts and achievements may seem compared to the tidal wave of trash that is already engulfing our society and will continue to do so for untold years and ever decades to come.

  19. Walt Jones
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I hope the Dems remember this in 2018. In 2014, they seemed to had forgotten the government shutdown, and that was only a year earlier.

  20. Claudia Baker
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    A man tells Warren to shut up and sit down. What’s next for Elizabeth? Must she now go home and be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen?

    Simply disgusting.

    • Posted February 8, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      My thought exactly. They act as though: Sit down and shut up, Elizabeth. Let us far right Repuglican males get on with OUR business. To have this retrograde, regressive behavior occur in the U.S. when we supposedly provided a positive model for girls in other countries who wanted an education, to read, to learn, to live full lives. Gives me heart palpitations!

  21. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Mitch McConnell to Elizabeth Warren:

  22. Posted February 8, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Ugh, to say the least.

    This is why some activists I’ve spoken to over the years are skeptical of “norms of civility” – they too can be used as clubs.

    (Not that I think that’s exactly what is going on here, but it is easy to see it morphing in that direction.)

    • Ann German
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Well, I say think G*d for the ignoramus McConnell (bullfart) . . . he just stoked up a whole lot more resistance . . . can’t wait for the next installment. (Kellyanne denying that there is a Senate at all)

  23. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 8, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Who needs a reminder that just a year or two ago Ted Cruz stood on the Senate floor and called McConnel a liar. What rule was he braking and got nothing for it??

    And really, if anyone should know what a liar is, these guys both qualify.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      In the bad old days, that would have been resolved according to the code duello — or at least by an old-fashion walking-cane attack. 🙂

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        I was going to mention that attack but figured it was prior to this rule 19 or whatever it is.

      • Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        I read somewhere that’s why the rule exists – to prevent fights.

    • Filippo
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      I trust that some intrepid journalist will ask that honorable, humane sage Theodore Cruz how his situation differs from that of Elizabeth Warren.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        I think we already know the difference…republican, while Warren is far from it.

        • Filippo
          Posted February 8, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          And also ask Cruz and McConnell to favor us with their pearls of wisdom regarding the burblings of the Honorable Representative Joe “You Lie!” Wilson during Obama’s State of the Union address.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        Ball count.
        Warren has a pair more than Cruz, and matters. Cruz is Cruz.

  24. Posted February 8, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    🐜

  25. Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are unique in Congress these days and are an example of what Congress was meant to be; The voice of ALL of the people.

  26. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    What most surprises me about this is that the “chair person” of the debating chamber (probably an essential position in a meeting with several hundred contributors) is allowed to retain his political partisanship.
    I don’t claim that Westminster is infallible in this, but the violations of the power of the Speaker are generally far less partisan (if no less political). Witness the kerfuffle over the Speaker saying in officio that a Trump State Visit might be a bad idea. Very political, but hardly partisan (if anything, it goes against his nominal party’s line).
    Choosing a chairman (Speaker) isn’t easy. You have to find someone who all parties can respect, otherwise chaos (or worse, handcuffed formalism) ensues.
    I remember one particularly “interesting” Union meeting when the chairperson needed to punch down a person for being a “Screaming Weegie”(footnote), and 10 seconds later tell the leader of the other faction to “wipe that smirk off your face”. Nobody fucked with Tam. But 5ft-some ting Tam took out 6ft-plus SW with the power of the office, not the punch. (Vale Tam. Fa’s like ye? Damn few, an’ they’re a’ deid!)
    I wonder how the “Speaker/Chair” of the Senate is elected. I assume that it’s a “to retirement’ post, regardless of the electoral cycle.

    (Footnote The Screaming Weegie in question was well known for having won a battle with the bottle, but having replaced the booze with a love for political screaming and shouting What they call a “dry drunk”. It was an open question (when he wasnt there) if this was an overall improvement.)

  27. Catherine
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh how I miss Jon Stewart!

  28. Posted February 10, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    The Senate owes Sen. Warren an apology, big time! Their tactic was underhanded and amounted to a disgraceful form of intimidation without just cause and taking away her voice, an alternative form of GEBTP (grab ’em by the pussy).


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