Harry Reid is probably pretty happy today. 52 Democrats in the Senate just voted to change the chamber's rules so that they only need a simple majority, rather than a 60-vote threshold, to confirm certain presidential nominees and do other minor senator-type business.

Reid and Republican Senate leaders had been in talks on how to get three of the president's nominees confirmed to the Federal Court of Appeals for DC, which has broad powers to review federal legislation and practices. But conservatives hadn't hinted that they would offer much, and despite Democrats' long-time hesitance to junk the 60-vote rule (after all, they might soon be the minority party in the Senate again), Majority Leader Harry Reid said goodbye to all that and scheduled a rules vote today.

The so-called "nuclear option," otherwise known as participatory democracy, makes filibusters a thing of the past, and of Capitol Hill benders where Rand Paul and Ted Cruz drink alone, musing about the salad days of obstructionism.

[Image credit: AP]