"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

filibuster reform

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats plan to force a vote this week to fill a vacancy on the court widely considered the country’s second highest, threatening to reopen the bitter fight over limiting the filibuster if Republicans follow through on their pledge to block the nomination.

Unless one party backs down, the battle could escalate into a reprise of the partisan strife that paralyzed the Senate for several weeks over the summer. But this time the long-term implications could be far greater, both for the Senate as an institution and for the ability of any president to shape the ideological bent of the federal bench.

At the heart of the dispute are lifetime appointments to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which often renders judgments on whether a president’s policies are constitutional. The future of the Supreme Court is also a factor: Judges who sit on the circuit court have been elevated to the Supreme Court four times in the past 30 years.

(There were two bright spots for Democrats on Tuesday. First, Mr. Obama’s nominee for general counsel to the National Labor Relations Board narrowly cleared a filibuster vote, 62 to 37, and was confirmed. Later, the Senate voted unanimously to confirm the president’s two nominations to the Federal Communications Commission.)

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