We warned readers this morning to brace themselves for another whole big exhausting thing with the Bundy family ranchers, thinking that a call from environmental groups for the government to relocate their cattle might prompt another standoff. That might still be the case, but the newest thing we have to contend with turns out to be this completely bonkers lawsuit the Bundy patriarch is filing in federal court.
After three decades in Congress, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced today he won't be seeking re-election next year. Reid told the New York Times that he's been contemplating retiring "for months," and that his decision was not motivated by injuries sustained in a bizarre exercise accident earlier this year.
At a meeting of the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid thought he'd try out a couple of jokes. About Asians. "I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are," he said at the end of his speech. The audience laughed politely.
[Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. made the universal symbol for "I will cut you" today in reference to Rep. Darrell Issa, who launched a Congressional catfight last week when he cut the off the microphone of a congressman who accused him of being on an IRS witch hunt. Image by J. Scott Applewhite via AP.]
Harry Reid took some time today to introduce newly minted Senator Cory Booker: "What a remarkable young man [...] Cory Booker—everyone will meet him here—they'll find that he's a very big man, physically."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are reportedly in the final stages of working out a deal to reopen the government and avoid a national default. Great news. Now the question is if said deal will be able to get through the goddamn mess that is the House of Representatives.
Today, almost four months to the day after a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Senate started voting on a series of amendments to President Obama's gun bill, and the body immediately voted down a bipartisan plan to extended background checks on gun sales. At 54 to 46, most of the Senators approved of the plan, which would have required checks for guns sold online or at gun shows. But that wasn't enough, because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took a deal requiring every amendment get 60 votes to pass. Why did he do that? The Washington Post explains:
Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are still at war over the oncoming "fiscal cliff" — a term used to describe the combination of tax increases and spending cuts set to go into effect on Jan. 1 — because they are children. Neither side wants to see the American economy fly off the so-called "cliff," and something is going to be done about it before the end of the year so that we don't get kicked into another recession (which is exactly the situation that played itself out with the debt ceiling). Of course, the Senate can't work on a gravely crucial agreement without self-important grandstanding and petty political posturing. Which brings us to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, the esteemed elderly turtle from Kentucky.