What Did Our Speaker Thing Get?
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2023-01-09 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 1042 references Ignore this thread
What Did Our Speaker Thing Get?
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Don't kid yourselves folks, there were substantive changes that came out of the US House speaker "fight."

This came across my feed before the final votes, so I can't vouch for it.  But enough of it was leaked that I suspect its real, and any attempt to not follow through by McCarthy is likely to lead to an endless set of motions to vacate the chair, which is a privileged motion and stops all other activity in the chamber until disposed of.

McCarthy really didn't want that threshold to be one Representative, but absent agreement he was not going to be Speaker and it was quite-clear as the days wore on that those who were opposed were not going to bend no matter how much he yelled or threatened them.  He had no choice but to consent.

That request is not radical; it in fact is how The House has run for most of the last hundred years.

It exists for the specific purpose of putting a stop to the Speaker abusing his or her position in that if you run crap like refusing to allow floor amendments the Representative(s) that you anger can tie the chamber up in knots until you cut it out.

The Speaker, in short, is not King yet that is exactly how it has been treated since the 2016 elections.  Pelosi turned that into an art form; exactly zero non pre-screened amendments were allowed to be offered on the floor during her tenure.  She's not alone; Ryan did the same sort of thing and the reason the "one vote motion" rule was killed when Pelosi got the gavel was that members of the House repeatedly attempted to eject him from the chair for doing it.

Restoring that capacity is absolutely a good thing.  The House is a body of 435 members and in order to represent the people members must be able to proffer both legislation and amendments.  If you cannot do so without the prior approval of one person then there is no representation of the people at all; we have what amounts to a monarchy in the US House.  Legislation can be forced onto the floor for vote out of committee by a discharge petition but if you can't offer amendments then half the process is absolutely held hostage to the whim of one individual.  This should have never been allowed in the first place and it was the big sticking point with McCarthy.

He didn't give this up willingly so we shall see whether he actually conceded to the point of view or whether he "conceded" only until he could find a weapon with which to politically kill his opponents.

The other changes are just as real but secondary.  I find nothing objectionable in any of them but as I noted I would have insisted on more: Legislation barring Executive-declared emergencies of any sort beyond 72 hours past when the House and Senate can convene (whether they actually do) and a bar via rules change on remote appearance and proxies; if you're a member you must be there to either vote or count in a quorum.

The former requires legislation as the House cannot issue an "operating rule" against anything beyond its own chamber.  However, the former is once again nothing special and in fact how The House has conducted business since the first days of our Republic.  It is notably missing unless I've overlooked it buried in there somewhere via an obscure mechanism (e.g. a reference I didn't run down correctly.)

I'll add two more to the list I've mentioned before, both of which can be done by House Rule and the "72 hour rule" goes a tiny step toward one: One business day must pass after a bill comes to the floor before you can vote for each one hundred pages of legislation, consecutive with all others docketed at the time of introduction (to prevent gaming that by introducing 10 4,000 page bills at once) and Omnibus bills are absolutely banned; the budget must go through regular order in each and every case.

The former's purpose is obvious (no more "vote first, see what's in it later" games) and the second puts a hard stop on The House diddling around and forces them to actually do their work on the budget and pass the bills required by September 30th of each year or the government is called to full stop, including all mandatory spending.  Yes, that includes Social Security, Medicare and the light bill for the Capitol building and White House.  Failure to act as required would lead to the risk of an immediate revolt by the people and that means they'll do their job rather than screw around.  The House has one job above all others and that is to pass the budget because per the Constitution they have the sole power of the purse in that all spending must originate in the House which means all tax and spending authority rests there -- and only there.  We've allowed this absolute Constitutional requirement to be gamed for far too long and we must put it back.

Nonetheless -- this is in fact progress.

Now let's see how much of it is real.

One of the problems is that functionally none of it, at present, is real.  Literally zero.  This is the same issue that arose with Obamacare; the GOP voted up repeal time after time, knowing that The Senate would not concur and if it somehow did the President (who's name it bore) would obviously veto.  As soon as that was no longer true, in 2017, the votes instantly stopped.  This is absolute proof that exactly zero of the persons in that chamber prior to 2020 ever intended to repeal Obamacare; they lied from the first day about their intentions.

May I remind you that McCarthy was first elected to Congress in 2006 and held a leadership position in the Republican Party caucus since 2009 -- that is, for the entire period of Obama's Presidency forward.

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Cmoledor 1k posts, incept 2021-04-13
2023-01-09 08:19:11

Fuck all of those assholes on the hill. I dont believe for one second that his concessions wont be gamed. Theyve only done it for how many years now? Am I to believe it will change? No sir. Call me jaded. Cheers.

The whole world is one big fucking scam
Why are you giving a vulgarity warning here? Our genial host is an advocate of both skullfucking and sodomy via rusty chainsaw. Credit to Rollformer
Tsdj86 52 posts, incept 2022-12-06
2023-01-09 08:19:11

McCarthy or any other name matters not, they're all just planted hacks. The legislative chambers of this nation and its interchangeable actors have been a reprehensible disgrace for decades.

If anyone with two brain cells to rub together is expecting any changes that will actually benefit the nation to be brought forward is still riding in the never ending clown car.

Indefensible DC has proven time and time again that they are the equivalent of Thelma and Louise with the peddle to the metal. There are no ethical, moral or respectable political statesmen any longer, just thieving grifters looking to get paid until the US Treasury money train stops.

Thelazer 1k posts, incept 2009-05-11
2023-01-09 08:19:11

Forgive my lack of enthusiasm.
I'm still expecting to get bent over and f'd by my representatives again.
Traelin0 538 posts, incept 2021-01-28
2023-01-09 08:19:11

Methinks the biggest problem with respect to the House was when it was capped at 435 members. It became a game of shuffling deck chairs around without increasing the number of deck chairs when the number of passengers increased.

PL 71-13


Why did they do it? Because Washington most likely didn't want to increase the size of the Hill. Too much money and too much "inefficiency" that could be better spent buying their favors.

It's impossible for one Congressman to represent hundreds of thousands of constituents with any reasonable efficacy. And they don't care.
Traelin0 538 posts, incept 2021-01-28
2023-01-09 08:32:09

Tickerguy wrote..
I'll add two more to the list I've mentioned before, both of which can be done by House Rule and the "72 hour rule" goes a tiny step toward one: One business day must pass after a bill comes to the floor before you can vote for each one hundred pages of legislation, consecutive with all others docketed at the time of introduction (to prevent gaming that by introducing 10 4,000 page bills at once) and Omnibus bills are absolutely banned; the budget must go through regular order in each and every case.

We need something to slow down the bill-into-law process even more than that. Not sure what, exactly, that looks like, but we need to build in much more inefficiency into the halls of government. Armstrong has suggested a private body that determines potential Constitutionality prior to the bill even becoming a bill. I don't see how that would work because any body assembled by humans will become corrupted.

Maybe the answer is to attach punitive consequences to anything deleterious that Congress does. And it can't just be civil. Maybe something equivalent to a Roman tribune (which became the modern day Inspector General) but with FAR more power.

At some point there must be enough power vested in one individual to effect the necessary change, IMHO.
Tickerguy 192k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-01-09 08:33:00

@Traelin0 -
At some point there must be enough power vested in one individual to effect the necessary change, IMHO.

.... and then Stalin magically appeared....

The difference between "kill" and "murder" is that murder, as a subset of kill, is undeserved by the deceased.
Traelin0 538 posts, incept 2021-01-28
2023-01-09 08:40:15

Tickerguy wrote..
.... and then Stalin magically appeared....

For sure. Historically the probability of a Caesar or Cincinnatus is much less than a Stalin.

But do you really have faith in the American people to maintain a republic? I sure don't.
Bluto 2k posts, incept 2021-07-10
2023-01-09 09:25:11

Point of order: I thought a discharge petition requires a simple majority and not a super-majority to bring it to the floor? Of course, it is not very useful since saying "Representative Bluto refused to sign the discharge petition for X" isn't nearly as effective during an election as saying "Representative Bluto voted against X"

The nice thing about an open amendment process is that you CAN get an up or down on-the-record vote, where with a discharge petition, reps can avoid a tough vote simply by refusing to sign the petition.

"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end -- which you can never afford to lose -- with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever
Bluto 2k posts, incept 2021-07-10
2023-01-09 09:25:33

I agree these are positive changes. They are also voting on a lot of stuff like not funding the 87,000 IRS agents. That doesn't mean much now, except getting folks on record for the 2024 elections, but the margin of that vote will determine how hard they push once they DO have some power at the end of the year when the current funding runs out.

Breaking up the appropriations bills into different ones is also a good thing. It means they can refuse to fund certain departments without shutting the entire government down. The latter has resulted in a big "L" for Republicans every time they have done it in the past. Maybe this time they will have more success.

So what will they do until they have some leverage in the fall? Lots of hearings. I think it is 50/50 they go for impeachment of Brandon based on his failure to secure the border. They won't do it unless they have the votes to kick it over to the Senate for a trial. And a lot of it will be based on Brandon's political strength. If gas prices continue to fall, if the economy avoids a recession, and there are no major international foul-ups like Afghanistan, he won't get impeached by the House. I think that is unlikely, which means it is more likely he gets impeached.

Also, they may impeach Garland also, especially if he doesn't issue arrest warrants for people avoiding House subpoenas. Garland set precedence with this last year, and I don't think the Republicans are dumb enough to not take advantage of it.

"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end -- which you can never afford to lose -- with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever
Proverbs16.33 247 posts, incept 2021-10-22
2023-01-09 09:28:35

As with the Obamacare votes, this all seems like theater to me. I admit to holding a tiny bit of hope that things might change a bit, but am not really holding my breath waiting for that either.
Apathetic 44 posts, incept 2011-08-16
2023-01-09 09:28:40

We should find out today if the rules package is approved. There are already Repubs indicating they will not vote for it.
Tickerguy 192k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-01-09 09:29:28

Yep @Apathetic -- we shall see whether the so-called "deal" is worth anything at all.

The difference between "kill" and "murder" is that murder, as a subset of kill, is undeserved by the deceased.
Purplefang 712 posts, incept 2010-03-28
2023-01-09 10:50:14

In my world McCarthy would have been tossed into a wood chipper after the first vote. I don't understand why McCarthy had any support at all. However, I'll take any minor win. It does illustrate what a fraud "the squad" was who essentially got nothing.
Optimus2861 81 posts, incept 2009-12-16
2023-01-09 10:50:19

Re: Obamacare repeal. I believe you pointed out repeatedly during the 2011-2017 years, that the Republicans held the ultimate power in the House in that they could always say, "We may not be able to repeal this abomination of a law, but we absolutely CAN grind the entire government to a halt by not allocating one dime in tax money. Let's dance." NOT ONCE did the Republicans use that power. They couldn't even be bothered to return to the regular budgeting process (remember that Ryan promised that? He'd just as soon you didn't, of course).

I think that's when I began to figure out that 90%-95% of federal Republicans are not only useless, they're utterly complicit in the ongoing destruction of the Republic. This batch will prove no different in the long run, I'm sure.
Wayiwalk 623 posts, incept 2016-11-09
2023-01-09 10:50:32

I suggest we slow down the process by inscribing the bills onto stone tablets.

Then, should Congress get out of hand, wait - correction, WHEN Congress gets out of hand, the people will have ready implements to strike good sense into them smiley

The Lockdowns Will Continue Until the Morale Improves!

I keep thinking, "it can't get any worse" and then it does!
Traelin0 538 posts, incept 2021-01-28
2023-01-09 10:50:42

Again and this is just my opinion, but again it all comes down to faith. Not faith in Washington or the Hill, either. Faith in the American people. Faith that they again put God before Materialism. Faith that they are willing to risk something - anything - on a personal level. To put others before self.

I think most Americans are quite content living as serfs because they could previously work hard and keep most of what they had, and nothing was expected of them except to vote and go to the USPS at Selective Service time. That's it.

What does history teach us is the outcome of the above? It's happened continuously in our short geological lifespan as Homo sapiens sapiens. Be honest. What does history teach us? Does it tell us that, collectively, Americans (or Assyrians, Babylonians, Russians, Teutons, French, etc.) will do the right thing and "save the day"?

Will a legislative body of grifters suddenly have that Come to Jeebus moment, reform, and relinquish some material amount of power?

This isn't meant to be cynical, negative, or pessimistic. But it IS being realistic if history is truly a catalog of solutions.
Bzelbob 421 posts, incept 2021-09-12
2023-01-09 10:50:51

I was simply happy that for a few days, a group of congress critters found their collective balls and said "NO."

If you think about it, much great progress comes from "NO."

A refusal to accept things as they are.

Coupled with a drive to move forward.

Crawling inch by bloody inch.

Towards Freedom.


"Threats are illogical. And payment is usually expensive." - Sarek of Vulcan
Disgusted 508 posts, incept 2021-07-20
2023-01-09 10:51:01

About the only good I see to come out of this bullshit is that with a slim Republitard majority, there probably won't be any major gun control garbage passed; especially a so called "assault weapons ban". That shit looks to be dead for at least 2 years. Prices on ammo and components should come down a little and there should be less frenzy out there. Good time to stock up and such.

As far as the rest of it, I also don't have any faith that anything significant will get done. It's just more slow grind to the final collapse. I will watch for Shitler to stroke out and any other cocksuckers to die so I can have a party and drink to their deaths. Still waiting for that kunt Hitlery to take the eternal dirt nap. That wonderful day can't come soon enough.
Chemman 333 posts, incept 2021-05-03
2023-01-09 10:51:08


I'd suggest that regarding the budget that no other legislation can be passed until all the individual budgets have been passed.
Indianarube 1k posts, incept 2020-03-22
2023-01-09 10:51:13

Occasionally Congress makes a mistake in favor of the common man. Perhaps once or twice a decade. They are usually repealed very quickly.
Tickerguy 192k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-01-09 10:52:41

@Chemman the House can force ANY legislation it believes is important enough to put a marker on the table for.

It's simple: Pass (or repeal) this or we refuse to pass a bill that spends one nickel until you do.

They have always had that power -- they refuse to use it. Therefore nothing is important enough to compel it.

That was easy.

The difference between "kill" and "murder" is that murder, as a subset of kill, is undeserved by the deceased.
Scottj175 634 posts, incept 2010-09-06
2023-01-09 11:25:45

@Disgusted don't get your hopes up on the guns & ammo stuff. I believe base inflation is going to keep all that stuff jacked up.

Never thought I'd look back on primers at $35/k as the good ol' days.
Traelin0 538 posts, incept 2021-01-28
2023-01-09 11:25:52

@Bzelbob unfortunately the time for inch by bloody inch is far past due. There are two reasons I read this site and mostly lurk.

1) I agree with Karl about 98% of the time, but every time I read his article, I gain another thimbleful of wisdom. It sharpens my mind.

2) I gain a lot of insight into the human condition by reading (and mostly remaining silent) on user commentary.

I bet most people didn't even know that an Act of Congress is what placed a ceiling on the House. The Founders screwed that one up bigtime by placing a floor but no ceiling. One for every 30k is good and all. One for every 500k? Not so much.

The above is a very simple example of what I mean when I say that I have no faith in Americans to do what is morally just anymore. They have been deliberately mal-educated, both sides of the aisle. You can't criticize the Founders' flaws in the company of conservatives. And you can't criticize the inability of liberals to sum up 2 + 2.

Almost everyone is looking to outsource their personal civic duties to a legislative body of grifters. They aren't even willing to cut up the credit cards or stop doing business with AMZN. Too much work.

Back to lurking.
Tsdj86 52 posts, incept 2022-12-06
2023-01-09 11:26:19


I couldn't have said it better myself. I agree on all points!
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