Monday, January 30, 2006


Blogger is bogging down under all the edits and traffic the last post is getting, so I need to start a new one as we reach the endgame.

Current status: The Republicans are down to 54 Party votes, with John Ensign in a car accident (not seriously injured, thankfully, but unable to attend). Independent Jim Jeffords supports the filibuster, as does Mark Dayton, and Tom Harkin will abstain.

Joe Lieberman has been jerking us around: for the filibuster, against the filibuster, not sure about the filibuster, what's a filibuster again?

On the downside, Kent Conrad is solidly against it. And we've definitely lost Ben Nelson; it's not worth calling him anymore, but we'll replace him with a real patriot during his next primary!

The Gang of 14 is meeting or has met, and likely is investigating whether they can reach a deal before the vote in less than 40 minutes. They don't understand that we WANT the nuclear showdown, and I fear a compromise that undermines everything we've done. So the message for the next half hour needs to be directed at the swing votes on the Gang of 14 and a handful of others, and it needs to say: WE'RE NOT AFRAID OF A NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN. SHOW SOME GUTS FOR A CHANGE. EITHER SUPPORT THE FILIBUSTER, OR ABSTAIN.

On that theme, here's who I'd like to target our efforts at now, in the final push:

Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut: UPDATE: HE WILL VOTE FOR CLOTURE. I told his staff that I will send a check for $100 to Ned Lamont, his challenger in the primary. Fuck his black Vichy heart.

Mary Landrieu, Louisiana: might be weakening in her oppo to filibuster; push abstention HARD.
Main Senate switchboard no.: 888-355-3588
DC office direct line: 202-224-5824
New Orleans office phone: 504-589-2427
Baton Rouge office phone: 225-389-0395
Lake Charles office phone: 337-436-6650
Shreveport office phone: 318-676-3085

Daniel Inouye, Hawaii
Main Senate switchboard no.: 888-355-3588
DC office direct line: 202-224-3934

Mark Pryor, Arkansas: probably a lost cause but ask him to abstain.
Main Senate switchboard no.: 888-355-3588
DC office direct line: 202-224-2353
Little Rock office phone: 501-324-6336

Ken Salazar, Colorado. UPDATE: Lost cause; will not support the filibuster.

Tim Johnson, SD
Main Senate switchboard no.: 888-355-3588
DC office direct line: 202-224-5842
Aberdeen office phone: 605-226-3440
Rapid City office phone: 605-341-3990
Sioux Falls office phone: 605-332-8896

Bill Nelson, Florida
Main Senate switchboard no.: 888-355-3588
DC office direct line: 202-224-5274
Miami office phone: 305-536-5999
Orlando office phone: 407-872-7161
Tampa office phone: 813-225-7040
Tallahassee office phone: 850-942-8415

Olympia Snowe, Maine (Republican)
Main Senate switchboard no.: 888-355-3588
DC office direct line: 202-224-5344
Auburn office phone: 207-786-2451
Bangor office phone: 207-945-0432
Portland office phone: 207-874-0883
Presque Isle office phone: 207-764-5124

That's it. Please continue to report here if their staffs commit one way or the other.

And then I'm buying you all Virtual pitchers of beer while we watch the count on C-Span. Remember, this isn't just about Alito; it's about sending a warning shot across the bows of both the Republicans and the Democratic leadership in case Bush gets to appoint another Justice, and about identifying who the Vichys are, and most of all about waking up our party's leaders to the reality that they'd DAMN WELL BETTER PAY ATTENTION TO US. In all those ways, we've already won. But let's keep working to win the filibuster, too!

Thanks, and keep plugging away down the home stretch!!


eRobin said...

I can't watch. I'll wait to read the results here.

Anonymous said...

You can watch cspan over the internet -


Anonymous said...

Can't watch for lack of cable, or can't bear to watch? :-)

I thought Kennedy might cry during his last speech.

Sunshine Jim said...

(fill this space with profanity)

good bloggie bud, thanks for the work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Sunshine Jim. Appreciate it.

GoMommyGo said...

Lieberman can go to Zell!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Sunshine. I'm not optimistic about winning this battle given Lieberman's defection and a couple of others, but I'm positive about winning the war that seems to have finally gotten under way over this issue!!

Anonymous said...

Lieberman can go to Zell!

Hey, I LIKE that!

Trittydi said...

Thanks for all your hard work - love you for it - have been working since 8am central time on this this morning. This is a trial vote coming up right? Final vote tomorrow morning?

Cross your fingers everyone . . . .

eRobin said...

Can't bear to watch.

Anonymous said...

No...this is a vote on cloture->"ending debate". If it passes the vote will be tomorrow. If it doesn't the Conservatives will break the filibuster (continuing debate) with the so-called nuclear option...which will fundamentally alter the way Congress has run since the 1890's.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this
I was calling up and down the list
from Moscow Russia - the offices were certainly shocked a little to get my calls
Phone bill will bite - but it was worth it to do what little I could
The Party should have started this a month ago...
Mark Sleboda
-Chairman US Democrats Abroad Russia

Sunshine Jim said...

By the way....

" How many senators does is take to launch a filibuster? If you said 41, you'd be wrong. It takes only one."

Mr. Smith Comes to Washington
By Paul Savoy

Common Dreams

Saturday 28 January 2006
Dad always used to say the only causes worth fighting for were the lost causes.

- Jimmy Stewart as Senator Jefferson Smith in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

How many senators does is take to launch a filibuster? If you said 41, you'd be wrong. It takes only one.

The term, filibuster, from a Dutch word meaning "pirate," describes a hallowed tradition of unlimited debate in the Senate based on the principle that any senator has the right to talk his head off for as long as he wants on any issue. That is, until at least 60 senators vote to shut him up.

In the classic Frank Capra film, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," Jimmy Stewart, playing freshman Senator Jefferson Smith, carries on a one-man filibuster for more than 23 hours until he passes out from exhaustion. Smith, an idealistic senator from an unnamed state, reads from the Declaration of Independence, and summons his colleagues to get up there with that Lady of Liberty on top of the Capitol Dome and take a stand against "compromise with human liberties."

Senator John Kerry, in announcing that he and Senator Edward Kennedy would participate in a filibuster against the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito, said, "It's not 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.' . . . It takes more than two or three people to filibuster successfully."

At least five other Democrats have announced their support for the filibuster: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Assistant Minority Leader Dick Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. But, in trying to block the confirmation, each of these senators may have to be a "Senator Smith" to succeed in demonstrating the danger a Justice Alito would pose to civil rights and civil liberties."

(Much more, worth reading)

Anonymous said...

Nelson's office just said he is voting against the filibuster...

Anonymous said...

Hi, gang. It looks like we're not going to win this round: there are too many defections on our side. I'm following on C-Span and will put up the totals, and the breakdown, as soon as they're available.

I can't pretend I'm not disappointed (I already have a martini firmly in hand.) But I always wanted the filibuster, even when it looked like a completely unthinkable task, to separate the sheep from the goats in the Democratic Party. At that, we're succeeding admirably. There clearly are Senators who responded to us, and should be rewarded. And there clearly are Senators who told us to go to hell, and they will pay. We, the People run this country, and we stage a revolution every second November. I couldn't think of a better test to decide where to focus our resources.

So: I'll keep you informed as info comes in. And I truly, truly hope you'll keep coming back here to help develop a strategy for winning back our party from the Vichys without giving up the simultaneous goal of winning back a majority in Congress.

Stay tuned. I ain't even close to done yet.

Anonymous said...

workday over yet?

Cyndi_in_VT said...

It was a good shot across the bow. Now to keep things rolling, plan better next time, and remember how much progress was made in a short time. How much more can we accomplish next time?!

Please, don't forget to thank those who did the right thing. They need to know that we will remember them after the vote is over (same with those others....).


Sunshine Jim said...

the human spirit

remains unbroken and so

they still have failed

Anonymous said...

I just cleaned out half a dozen ill-mannered gloats. One nice thing about this site:

It's open to all sorts of discussion about how to reclaim the Democratic Party from Vichys and closet neocons and power-seeking triangulators.

But it's a troll-free zone, and unlike some folks who feel the need to allow unfettered free speech, I just zap the mofos without hesitation unless they have something constructive to contribute to the ultimate goal of reclaiming a Progressive America.

If they don't like that, they can go hang out over at Drudge, or at Pajama Media. (Wait... that failed, didn't it, even with huge Republican funding?)

For Progressives, this will be a challenging but pleasant place to be. For trolls, it just won't be a place at all. Or at least, not for more than a few minutes, till I get around to the "trash" button!

Anonymous said...

The simple truth is that there is no concrete reason to oppose Judge Alito. You can make guesses about what you think he'll do. Have fun. The gripes against him are largely trumped up. None of his opinions has been regarded as very controversial until now (see his previous Senate confirmation). He is more than qualified, highly regarded by fair people on the left and right and he will be a Justice on the Supreme Court.

If your goal is to whittle away at a once strong political party by tearing down anyone who disagrees with your every extreme opinion, I offer you warmest congratulations.