The United States Senate just went all radical and decided to experiment with majority rule, toying with the concept of democracy for a change. Awesome.
Mind you, the filibuster reform only pertains to Obama's judicial (non-Supreme) and executive appointments. Super-majorities will still be required for such goodies as extending unemployment insurance, background checks for gun purchases, restoring food stamp cuts and other stuff benefiting ordinary people. Don't get me wrong -- the federal judiciary was getting top heavy with ultra-right wingers willing to yank the last rotting incisor out of the toothless Dodd-Frank act, so it is of utmost importance for some pro-business centrists to get their chance as well.
Today's action will also, for example, allow the nomination of Mel Watt to head Fannie and Freddie to go forward. Watt represents Charlotte, NC, home of Wall Street of the South. Bank of America, foreclosure fraudster extraordinaire, was one of Watt's top campaign contributors in 2012. When Obama nominated Watt to be housing watchdog this year, the contributions suddenly dried up. Optics, you think? Watt's former chief of staff now lobbies for Goldman Sachs. And when disgraced JC Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon showed up to defend himself on the Whale Fail scandal before his financial services committee, Watts conveniently found something better to do that day, and never asked Dimon a single question.
When the magical pixie dust settles after Harry Reid's ballyhooed nuclear explosion, I have a feeling that the Senate landscape will have survived relatively unscathed.
Update: The dust is settling as the giddiness subsides. See this. Gridlock in the financial interests of the plutocracy shall continue unabated.
And as if to make that point, the president made a statement in the aftermath of the vote, making it plain that the filibuster reform would be narrowly limited to his Constitutionally-mandated appointments, and not be used to pass things people actually want -- like single payer health care.
He has yet to find a cure for his chronic obfuscation. There was this piece of nonsense:
Now, I want to be clear the Senate has actually done some good bipartisan work this year. Bipartisan majorities have passed common- sense legislation to fix our broken immigration system and upgrade our courts -- our ports. It's passed a farm bill that helps rural communities and vulnerable Americans. It passed legislation that would protect Americans from being fired based on their sexual orientation.The Democrat-led Senate actually passed a farm bill that cut an unconscionable $4 billion from the food stamp program over the next decade, on top of the expiration of $5 billion in stimulus funds allocated to the program in the wake of the financial collapse. So for Obama to glibly fib that vulnerable Americans are being helped by losing an average of a week's worth of meals is a testament both to his own sociopathy and to the complicity of the corporate-owned mass media.
The only story they and the "progressive" veal pen are spinning is that Give Em Hell Harry Reid finally grew a pair, and so now the Republicans are out in force with their castration gear.