Video: Sanders breaks Senate rule by ending reading of his giant amendment

posted at 7:15 pm on December 16, 2009 by Allahpundit

Philip Klein is all over it. Plain and simple: Once a senator asks for a bill to be read, the reading goes on until he asks that it stop or, by unanimous consent, the bill is withdrawn. The whole point of Coburn’s delaying tactic was to buy an extra day so that opposition to the bill could further harden. Instead, as you’ll see below, Sanders somehow got away with interrupting his tantrum to unilaterally withdraw his amendment after just three hours of reading. Turns out there’s precedent for that — but the precedent was itself a mistake. That’s the point of the second clip, with Mitch McConnell in the role of prosecutor.

Karl e-mailed me earlier speculating that one of the reasons Coburn, DeMint, et al. have suddenly shifted to out-and-out obstruction is because they’re worried that Reid may force a cloture vote imminently. Makes sense in the abstract, but … where’s the bill? Does a bill even exist right now? I thought we were waiting for a CBO score on the now-dead Medicare buy-in. Assuming that’s been canceled due to Lieberman, does that mean we’re back to voting on the original Baucus bill? And I thought Pelosi already told Politico that she wants a conference with the Senate and thus there won’t be a vote on the final bill this year, in which case why is Reid still rushing?

Maybe we’ve actually reached the point where not only aren’t they reading the bill before voting on it, they’re not even writing it before voting on it.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

To: Congress
From: The “Peoples”
Subj: Law-abidance

Sirs and Madams,
If you can’t follow your own rules…why should we?

Horatius on December 16, 2009 at 8:06 PM

Allah,

Being aware of what got swamprat banned I must admit it raised my eyebrow as well. Yes I can see that it could be perceived as a threat of violence, but.

At some point as we are watching our hard fought for republic being destroyed at a perciptice rate, one does begin to wonder where we are e4xpected to draw the line. Using swamprat as a base line, one could easily envision getting banned merely quoting the words of our founding fathers, quite easily actually.

The irony of such an occurence happening on HA cannot escape your notice. Surely quoting the likes of Jefferson, Adams, or countless others should not result in a banning on a site such as HA, should it?

Being one who is fond of quoting those great men, can you please lay out with some clarity where the line is this regard?

Archimedes on December 16, 2009 at 8:07 PM

Monthly cycle. :(

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 8:05 PM

The krill aren’t plentiful…

MeatHeadinCA on December 16, 2009 at 8:08 PM

Congress to America: Screw you!

It should go like this. God, to you, to government. Now it’s government, to you. The citizens of America need to hit the reset button.

Mojave Mark on December 16, 2009 at 8:08 PM

JimDeMint If Reid won’t slow down this debate, we will do it for him. about 7 hours ago from web

http://twitter.com/JimDeMint

Shut it down Senator. Shut it all down. Kill this bill. We stand with you.

elduende on December 16, 2009 at 8:10 PM

So what is the process to demand the rules be followed? If the rules mean nothing, and can be ignored for convenience or plot, what good are they? Certainly there must be a way to hold someone accountable for making the call to break the rules.
Come on Repubs! Stand the F up! Do you think that the slimy dems would let you get away with it on an important conservative bill that would change the political playing field?? GD it!! just when you start to feel they get it….they don’t get it.
DEMAND.THE.RULES.BE.FOLLOWED!

Itchee Dryback on December 16, 2009 at 8:11 PM

We ARE the United States~we will make it that long, we will persevere and on a cold day in November, we will dance in the streets, claiming victory~we will claim our country back!
AND WE WILL NEVER FALL ASLEEP AGAIN!
We will make sure that our representatives REPRESENT US!

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 7:59 PM

I stand with you. Shoulder to shoulder.

USA. USA. USA!!!

TN Mom on December 16, 2009 at 8:12 PM

I wish someone would just ban doofpundit.Seriously, go down to an alley and get a wino to take his place.

TTheoLogan on December 16, 2009 at 8:12 PM

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 7:59 PM
I stand with you. Shoulder to shoulder.

USA. USA. USA!!!

TN Mom on December 16, 2009 at 8:12 PM

There are more of US than there are of THEM, TN!
USA! USA!

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 8:13 PM

Reid will be forced to produce an actual tangible piece of legislation that can be read aloud, since Coburn and DeMint are evidently not going along with unanimous consent to waive reading of the bill.

So when can we expect Harry to actually put something on paper? And what happened to their promise to have ALL bills posted online and accessible to the public 72 FREAKIN’ HOURS PRIOR TO ANY VOTE?

I am guessing he’s still frantically negotiating with SEIU so they won’t bolt, as has been rumored to be doing. With “Yaaaargh!” Dean’s exhortation to scrap the thing and start from scratch, ol’ Dingy Harry is probably eating Rolaids like candy. With a Stoli chaser.

Intrepid on December 16, 2009 at 8:13 PM

A refresher:

We reserve the right to delete your comments or revoke your registration for any reason. Rarely, if ever, will we do so simply because we disagree with you. We will, however, usually do so if you post something that is, in our good-faith opinion, (a) off-topic; (b) libelous, defamatory, abusive, harassing, threatening, profane, pornographic, offensive, false, misleading, or which otherwise violates or encourages others to violate these terms of use or any law, including intellectual property laws; or (c) “spam,” i.e., an attempt to advertise, solicit, or otherwise promote goods and services.

As I read it, no explanation is required.

BobMbx on December 16, 2009 at 8:14 PM

As I read it, no explanation is required.

BobMbx on December 16, 2009 at 8:14 PM

We’ll remind you when you step over the line.

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 8:16 PM

I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING~I just made the mistake of asking a question.
I know the rules~I love posting here and I don’t want to be banned. I will sheath the stinger.

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 7:57 PM

I know you didn’t, but feared escalation as I’ve encountered the “business end” of that stinger before in an amicable squabble afore.

There are a few, we merry few…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAvmLDkAgAM

… amongst us that are too precious to lose.

Cheers!

Archimedes on December 16, 2009 at 8:16 PM

Easy way to fix this “precedent” problem. GOP senators just show up with canes next time and remind the majority about the “precedent” set by beating people up with canes in the Senate.

Lehosh on December 16, 2009 at 8:17 PM

We ARE the United States~we will make it that long, we will persevere and on a cold day in November, we will dance in the streets, claiming victory~we will claim our country back!
AND WE WILL NEVER FALL ASLEEP AGAIN!
We will make sure that our representatives REPRESENT US!

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 7:59 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VR1bOha40U&feature=related

lovingmyUSA on December 16, 2009 at 8:18 PM

Cheers!

Archimedes on December 16, 2009 at 8:16 PM

Are you saying I’m mean, Archimedes? I’m a lovable little ball of fun….
Cheers!

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 8:20 PM

We’ll remind you when you step over the line.

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 8:16 PM

I find this flavor of snark inappropriate for this site… Please refer to the Anncrr6 rules of HA engagement.

MeatHeadinCA on December 16, 2009 at 8:20 PM

I am pretty old. I can say, with no chance of being wrong, that in my life time there has not been a democrat politician who was not immoral. Furthermore, the majority are evil. All leaders of the current majority fall onto the latter category. This applies to the executive branch as well as the legislative.

proconstitution on December 16, 2009 at 8:21 PM

We’ll remind you when you step over the line.

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 8:16 PM

No need; I got religion after referring to the vivacious, light of the universe Mrs. Obama in less-than-flattering terms.

BobMbx on December 16, 2009 at 8:21 PM

proconstitution on December 16, 2009 at 8:21 PM

No truer words were ever written!

BetseyRoss on December 16, 2009 at 8:22 PM

I wish someone would just ban doofpundit.Seriously, go down to an alley and get a wino to take his place.

TTheoLogan on December 16, 2009 at 8:12 PM

Pot meet kettle.

Knucklehead on December 16, 2009 at 8:22 PM

Oh, and I’ve said this before, and the idea needs works, but basically a third body is needed for the legislature, with membership from the states (i.e., appointed by the states or in some ways accountable to them), and one of its jobs will be not to make laws, but to see that Congress follows it own rules, as well as to investigate Congressional ethics, as well as to decide–like a grand jury does for court cases–that Congress even can consider a particular issue–that it has Constitutional authority. I call it the Tribunate, and I’ve some other functions for it as well.

It’s a better answer than the alternative. Which I’m okay with too, but I’d rather have TNT as the place for drama than the national capital…But hey, what do I know? I’m not a sophisticated politico, now am I?

And as far as this:

(c) “spam,” i.e., an attempt to advertise, solicit, or otherwise promote goods and services.

I presume promoting the “common” good is still kosher? :)

Horatius on December 16, 2009 at 8:23 PM

Wow, he not only banned swamprat, but offered to ban HornetSting as well, Hmmm does this smell like a Charles Johnson move???

I got banned from lgf for saying “ooh hatemail” (or something similar I forget the exact words). Threatening Senators with bodily harm is a little more than that.

WitchDoctor on December 16, 2009 at 8:23 PM

The caning of Senators are in order.

Dollayo on December 16, 2009 at 8:23 PM

There are all sorts of cuddly little creatures out there, that I would not necessarily wish to tangle with thts all.

I saw your “cycle” comment and inadverdantly sprayed my screen with my IPA. LOL!

Archimedes on December 16, 2009 at 8:24 PM

We’ll remind you when you step over the line.

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 8:16 PM
No need; I got religion after referring to the vivacious, light of the universe Mrs. Obama in less-than-flattering terms.

BobMbx on December 16, 2009 at 8:21 PM

LOL.

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 8:25 PM

No need; I got religion after referring to the vivacious, light of the universe Mrs. Obama in less-than-flattering terms.

BobMbx on December 16, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Don’t tempt Bishop…

:O)

Seven Percent Solution on December 16, 2009 at 8:27 PM

An avowed socialist is going to care about breaking a Senate rule? Get real. And his only slightly pinker buddies are going to call him on it and do something about it? Not in this decade.

JDPerren on December 16, 2009 at 8:28 PM

Bernie is quite the cry baby! Ha ha ha ha ha! Love it!

MCGIRV on December 16, 2009 at 8:28 PM

It’s all interesting for about 2000+ reasons. What I recall from the first 1700+ page bill was that the bottom 1/4 or so was a jobs bill, jobs that SEIU represents and recruits. And a fair chunk of the chump change was to be used for grants, scholarships, and loans to students to be trained to get the jobs for SEIU to recruit.

All this besides what volnation alludes to. So, in a crap-basket, the permanent power grab is what’s on the line as much as anything. BarryO and the donks owe big time. And seem determined to have us pay their tab.

Robert17 on December 16, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Leave it to a socialist from Vermont to think the federal government can adequately provide healthcare to the entire country.

Wacked. in. the. head.

WisCon on December 16, 2009 at 8:30 PM

While I’m at it, the Tribunate would be the appropriate place for complaints about hard ball tactics like threatening to close Offutt. No sanctions, perhaps, but merely a “sense of the Tribunate”, which would have some impact, I would think.

That’s right–I view it as the umpires/referees of government in a way the judiciary isn’t and shouldn’t be. Still trying to tease out a way to make it both politically accountable to the people but relatively free of the Montague/Capulet factionalism we have got going right now. Haven’t quite figured out a way that relies on men’s self-interest yet–other than link it to the state governments, as there should always be tension between the national and state establishments. Other than that, like I said, work in progress.

Horatius on December 16, 2009 at 8:33 PM

“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” James Madison

seemed appropriate.

“When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

I see very little fear of the people in congress. an education is in order. 2010 is coming, but not quickly enough I’m afraid.

warhorse_03826 on December 16, 2009 at 8:33 PM

basically a third body is needed for the legislature, with membership from the states (i.e., appointed by the states or in some ways accountable to them),

Horatius, that’s what went so terribly wrong with the 17th amendment to the Constitution. Before that, Senators were chosen by the legislature of their states.

Mary in LA on December 16, 2009 at 8:39 PM

“When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

I see very little fear of the people in congress. an education is in order. 2010 is coming, but not quickly enough I’m afraid.

warhorse_03826 on December 16, 2009 at 8:33 PM

The “Fear” Thomas Jefferson spoke of was not the fear of loosing an election…

doriangrey on December 16, 2009 at 8:39 PM

So if the Dems can do this with this amendment, what will stop them from doing it with the Manager’s amendment?

I know they won’t withdraw it, but since this so-called “precedent” has been set, they can just BS and say “No” to the reading of the M. amendment.

RarestRX on December 16, 2009 at 8:40 PM

The “Fear” Thomas Jefferson spoke of was not the fear of loosing an election…

doriangrey on December 16, 2009 at 8:39 PM

Careful, Allah is on a tear.

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 8:44 PM

I know they won’t withdraw it, but since this so-called “precedent” has been set, they can just BS and say “No” to the reading of the M. amendment.

RarestRX on December 16, 2009 at 8:40 PM

Not the same thing. Sanders withdrew his amendment, meaning there is no Sanders amendment. If Coburn or DeMint object to a unanimous consent to dispense with reading Reids as-yet released bill, it will have to be read. If Reid withdraws it, there is no bill.

BobMbx on December 16, 2009 at 8:44 PM

and these are the people A majority of americans last nov thought should control our lives? these are the smartest people in the room? these are the people that tell us we can not buy a lightbulb? they think we need them to tell us what to eat, what to think, what to breath, how to work, how to raise our children, how to teach our children, what to teach our children? these 535 people are better than me and the rest of the 300million Americans? I don’t think so.

Individual freedom sounds better and better everyday I listen to these idiots. the founding fathers were correct.

Those that give up their freedom (to these idiots) for security (from these idiots) deserve neither.

unseen on December 16, 2009 at 8:49 PM

A 2nd amendment related ban hammer. I would love to know what that was all about.

Bishop on December 16, 2009 at 7:44 PM

I think AP thought it was a ‘threat’ against the congress~

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Is it not a federal offense to threaten a member of congress? Isn’t the 2nd amendment about the right to keep and bear arms (RKBA)? I arrived late to this thread but it isn’t likely that Allahpundit would ban anyone for simply discussing the 2nd Amendment.

Allahpundit is one of the moderators of HA. Why would you want to have some liberal-socialist site linking to swamprats comment saying “see what lengths those people on the right will go to?” I’ll accept Allahpundit’s judgement for swamprat because I know he is many things to many of us here at HA but, one of them isn’t for being “unfair.” BTW, didn’t HA get some bad press a little while ago because O’Reily didn’t know the difference between a blog post & a blog comment on this site. Lesson learned & perhaps O’Reily was wrong about it but it sure must have been an unnecessary headache for Ed, Allahpundit and MM.

Don’t commit a federal offense and you should be fine.

Careful, Allah is on a tear.

HornetSting on December 16, 2009 at 8:44 PM

I love you Sting.

Americannodash on December 16, 2009 at 8:54 PM

McConnell mentioned that the caning of a Senator happened once, so there is precedent for that too, just as the error with the reading of an amendment in 1992.

The Senate is supposed to be about compromise. I say Bernie can pull his bill out without it being read and that Senators should be caned. There everybody’s happy.

LevStrauss on December 16, 2009 at 8:54 PM

I get the feeling many in Washington think this bill will pass by Christmas Eve. I am curious about one thing though, what if the bill isn’t finished and the republicans want it read before voting on it. Is there a way the dems can say no to that and just vote on something that’s not there? Do they have to produce a bill and then vote on it? Cause if they vote on a bill not yet written what’s to say that Reid doesn’t add all this crap in.

I heard Morris on OReily saying that Pelosi is going to pass the bill out of the Senate and not let it go into reconciliation. I figured she would do that. Do you think the house would come back early from Christmas vacation and vote on it.?

Brat4life on December 16, 2009 at 8:55 PM

Why doesn’t a Republican offer Sanders’ Amendment, have it read, and NOT withdraw it?

casel21 on December 16, 2009 at 8:58 PM

No rules anymore.
They do whatever they want.
Government by Whim.

Haiku Guy on December 16, 2009 at 8:58 PM

This source who is familiar with the situation on the Hill tells The Brody File that an agreement on the abortion language could be struck by Thursday and if so it is “most likely” that this abortion language would be included in a final “Manager’s Amendment”. For those of you who are unaware of what this amendment does it basically includes a host of compromise policy additions worked out with Senators that never received a stand alone vote on the Senate floor. Another source on the Hill says there’s a good chance that the Manager’s Amendment would be introduced Thursday which would leave about 72 hours before a vote on it as early as this Sunday night.

From the thread on the possible compromise being worked out on abortion language. It looks as if Harry might still try to get this through before Christmas.

Unless he sticks with the original bill, which was a merger of the HHS bill and Baucus’ Finance Committee bill, he has to include his new version of the bill in the manager’s amendment. Thus the amendment itself could be 2000+ pages.

If the GOP require the reading of the amendment. And then the reading of the full bill that is actually on the floor, it could get interesting, considering what else has to be passed before they adjourn.

Wethal on December 16, 2009 at 9:00 PM

Why doesn’t a Republican offer Sanders’ Amendment, have it read, and NOT withdraw it?

casel21 on December 16, 2009 at 8:58 PM

Because the Dems decide which amendments come up for consideration.

Wethal on December 16, 2009 at 9:01 PM

How about wealthy Doctors etc. build hospitals for Americans in Mexico….

Have to be resident of USA and pay cash……..

Doesn’t Tom Delay have any advice on how to defeat this thing…..or some other cagey old repub…..

nondhimmie on December 16, 2009 at 9:02 PM

The “Fear” Thomas Jefferson spoke of was not the fear of loosing an election…

doriangrey on December 16, 2009 at 8:39 PM

no it certainly wasn’t. I didn’t specifically refer to what education they would be getting either.

warhorse_03826 on December 16, 2009 at 9:10 PM

for the record…I’m planing on having a full read of the constitution, over loudspeakers, in front of each of their houses.

so there.

:P

warhorse_03826 on December 16, 2009 at 9:13 PM

Dear Senatorial Sirs and Madams; get hosed.

Mason on December 16, 2009 at 9:16 PM

Mary in LA on December 16, 2009 at 8:39 PM

Yes. Now, it’s not that I disagree with popular election of the Senate. It’s that I think we see that the true genius of the Senate was not in having the members serve for six years so they could be “the saucer cooling the coffee” and all that…it was that it was the way the states checked the Federal Government, and that is what we have got to get back. Or else Allah will eventually just have to ban us all…because I think the current media-politico class centered in Washington has proven it cannot govern itself, for whatever reason.

Horatius on December 16, 2009 at 9:17 PM

Ahhh… caning of Senators!

Yes, time to dredge up the old rules… fisticuffs, brawls and duels behind the Capitol Building, with neighbors complaining about the noise and sending the police in to break things up.

More of the old rules, please!

It would make great reality TV on C-SPAN, and free too!

ajacksonian on December 16, 2009 at 9:19 PM

At some point as we are watching our hard fought for republic being destroyed at a perciptice rate, one does begin to wonder where we are e4xpected to draw the line. Using swamprat as a base line, one could easily envision getting banned merely quoting the words of our founding fathers, quite easily actually.

The irony of such an occurence happening on HA cannot escape your notice. Surely quoting the likes of Jefferson, Adams, or countless others should not result in a banning on a site such as HA, should it?

Archimedes on December 16, 2009 at 8:07 PM

This reminds me of something I had thought of before. We fought a revolutionary war to be free from a king, but given the distance and technology of the day how onerous could his rule have been? The taxes were high, but that much higher than they are today? My point is if the people alive in 1776 were alive today would they already be at war with the federal government? I’m risking a ban hammer, but I’m just curious how we stack up with them? Would they view us as a bunch of sheep who should have taken action long ago, or would they agree with AP and punish anyone who mentioned violence?

DFCtomm on December 16, 2009 at 9:23 PM

In the middle of his unhinged rant, Bernie says, “We have the global warming.” Akin to the fortune cookie rule, I’ve decided to add the word “hoax” to the end of the phrase “global warming” — as in “We have the global warming hoax.”

And, yes, Bernie, I hope that someone brings this phony “health care crisis” not merely to halt, but rather to a grinding halt.

Blackacre on December 16, 2009 at 9:25 PM

ajacksonian on December 16, 2009 at 9:19 PM

Bring back the spittoons and they could shoot for distance while some poor clerk reads a 767 page amendment.

Wethal on December 16, 2009 at 9:28 PM

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
— Thomas Jefferson

“…when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government…” — Declaration of Independence

Mary in LA on December 16, 2009 at 9:34 PM

Why do I get a “tingle up my leg” when unanimous consent is not given.

tjexcite on December 16, 2009 at 9:35 PM

McConnell mentioned that the caning of a Senator happened once, so there is precedent for that too, just as the error with the reading of an amendment in 1992.

The Senate is supposed to be about compromise. I say Bernie can pull his bill out without it being read and that Senators should be caned. There everybody’s happy.

LevStrauss on December 16, 2009 at 8:54 PM

I can list several Senators that need a good caning. There are some members of the house that might need to become familiar with ye’ol cat of nine tails too (I just don’t think she would be able to feel it with all the Botox)

cobrakai99 on December 16, 2009 at 9:36 PM

And while digging for quotes, I found this one:

“I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and the ruin of our children. I give you this warning, that you may prepare your mind for your fate.”
– John Adams, to Abigail Adams, 1770

[He meant the Massachusetts House of Representatives, there being no United States government at the time, but it fits just as well nowadays.]

Mary in LA on December 16, 2009 at 9:36 PM

If just reading the bill is an obstruction and outrage, then what in God’s name do we call it once voted into law? What dare we call it then? If reading it is such a horror, how then can the American people possibly live it?
It’s the unspeakable bill! So horrible are the very sounds of the words that if spoken on the Senate floor, Senators may fall to the floor, erupting into fits of rage! Their hair turning white and eyes popping out red with anger!
Run congressman! Hide if you can! Cover your ears lest you hear words from the Unspeakable Bill!

JellyToast on December 16, 2009 at 9:38 PM

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
— Thomas Jefferson

“…when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government…” — Declaration of Independence

Mary in LA on December 16, 2009 at 9:34 PM

Hear, f’in hear!!

tickleddragon on December 16, 2009 at 9:40 PM

“…There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable; and let it come! I repeat, Sir, let it come!”
– Patrick Henry

Mary in LA on December 16, 2009 at 9:40 PM

Congressional rules, the Constitution. Simple decency. The will of the people. And on and on.

All simply ignored. I’m telling you, this is way beyond out of control.

God I hate this helpless feeling!

JusDreamin on December 16, 2009 at 9:41 PM

“If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.” – Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

Mary in LA on December 16, 2009 at 9:43 PM

Going home to my supper now. If I were ever banned from here, I would be very sad. I love you guys — you keep me sane!

Mary in LA on December 16, 2009 at 9:46 PM

Vermont! That says it all right there, what a decrepid bunch that represents that state.

royzer on December 16, 2009 at 9:48 PM

Here is some interesting reading about events that led up to the Revolutionary War. I’m still looking for a rough idea of what level of personal taxes the colonists were paying.

1732
* George Washington is born in Virginia
* Benjamin Franklin publishes Poor Richard’s Almanac, containing weather predictions, humor, proverbs and epigrams, selling nearly 10,000 copies per year.

1739

* England declares war on Spain. As a result, in America, hostilities break out between Florida Spaniards and Georgia and South Carolina colonists.

1750

* The Iron Act is passed by the English Parliament, limiting the growth of the iron industry in the American colonies to protect the English Iron industry.

1751

* The Currency Act is passed by the English Parliament, banning the issuing of paper money by the New England colonies.

1754

* The French and Indian War erupts as a result of disputes over land in the Ohio River Valley. In May, George Washington leads a small group of American colonists to victory over the French, then builds Fort Necessity in the Ohio territory. In July, after being attacked by numerically superior French forces, Washington surrenders the fort and retreats.

1755

* In February, English General Edward Braddock arrives in Virginia with two regiments of English troops. Gen. Braddock assumes the post of commander in chief of all English forces in America. In April, Gen. Braddock and Lt. Col. George Washington set out with nearly 2000 men to battle the French in the Ohio territory. In July, a force of about 900 French and Indians defeat those English forces. Braddock is mortally wounded. Massachusetts Governor William Shirley then becomes the new commander in chief.

1756

* England declares war on France, as the French and Indian War in the colonies now spreads to Europe.

1760

* George III becomes the new English King.

1763

* The French and Indian War, known in Europe as the Seven Year’s War, ends with the Treaty of Paris. Under the treaty, France gives England all French territory east of the Mississippi River, except New Orleans. The Spanish give up east and west Florida to the English in return for Cuba.
* The Proclamation of 1763, signed by King George III of England, prohibits any English settlement west of the Appalachian mountains and requires those already settled in those regions to return east in an attempt to ease tensions with Native Americans.

1764

* The Sugar Act is passed by the English Parliament to offset the war debt brought on by the French and Indian War and to help pay for the expenses of running the colonies and newly acquired territories. This act increases the duties on imported sugar and other items such as textiles, coffee, wines and indigo (dye). It doubles the duties on foreign goods reshipped from England to the colonies and also forbids the import of foreign rum and French wines.
* The Currency Act prohibits the colonists from issuing any legal tender paper money. This act threatens to destabilize the entire colonial economy of both the industrial North and agricultural South, thus uniting the colonists against it.
* In May, at a town meeting in Boston, James Otis raises the issue of taxation without representation and urges a united response to the recent acts imposed by England. In July, Otis publishes “The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved.” In August, Boston merchants begin a boycott of British luxury goods.

1765

* In March, the Stamp Act is passed by the English Parliament imposing the first direct tax on the American colonies, to offset the high costs of the British military organization in America. Thus for the first time in the 150 year old history of the British colonies in America, the Americans will pay tax not to their own local legislatures in America, but directly to England.
* Also in March, the Quartering Act requires colonists to house British troops and supply them with food.
* In July, the Sons of Liberty, an underground organization opposed to the Stamp Act, is formed in a number of colonial towns. Its members use violence and intimidation to eventually force all of the British stamp agents to resign and also stop many American merchants from ordering British trade goods.
* On November 1, most daily business and legal transactions in the colonies cease as the Stamp Act goes into effect with nearly all of the colonists refusing to use the stamps. In New York City, violence breaks out as a mob burns the royal governor in effigy, harasses British troops, then loots houses.

1766

* In March, King George III signs a bill repealing the Stamp Act after much debate in the English Parliament, which included an appearance by Ben Franklin arguing for repeal and warning of a possible revolution in the American colonies if the Stamp Act was enforced by the British military.
* On the same day it repealed the Stamp Act, the English Parliament passes the Declaratory Act stating that the British government has total power to legislate any laws governing the American colonies in all cases whatsoever.
* In August, violence breaks out in New York between British soldiers and armed colonists, including Sons of Liberty members. The violence erupts as a result of the continuing refusal of New York colonists to comply with the Quartering Act. In December, the New York legislature is suspended by the English Crown after once again voting to refuse to comply with the Act.

1767

* In June, The English Parliament passes the Townsend Revenue Acts, imposing a new series of taxes on the colonists to offset the costs of administering and protecting the American colonies. Items taxed include imports such as paper, tea, glass, lead and paints. The Act also establishes a colonial board of customs commissioners in Boston. In October, Bostonians decide to reinstate a boycott of English luxury items.

1768

* In May, a British warship armed with 50 cannons sails into Boston harbor after a call for help from custom commissioners who are constantly being harassed by Boston agitators. In June, a customs official is locked up in the cabin of the Liberty, a sloop owned by John Hancock. Imported wine is then unloaded illegally into Boston without payment of duties. Following this incident, customs officials seize Hancock’s sloop. After threats of violence from Bostonians, the customs officials escape to an island off Boston, then request the intervention of British troops.
* In July, the governor of Massachusetts dissolves the general court after the legislature defies his order to revoke Adams’ circular letter. In August, in Boston and New York, merchants agree to boycott most British goods until the Townsend Acts are repealed. In September, at a town meeting in Boston, residents are urged to arm themselves. Later in September, English warships sail into Boston Harbor, then two regiments of English infantry land in Boston and set up permanent residence to keep order.

1769

* In March, merchants in Philadelphia join the boycott of British trade goods. In May, a set of resolutions written by George Mason is presented by George Washington to the Virginia House of Burgesses. The Virginia Resolves oppose taxation without representation, the British opposition to the circular letters, and British plans to possibly send American agitators to England for trial. Ten days later, the Royal governor of Virginia dissolves the House of Burgesses. However, its members meet the next day in a Williamsburg tavern and agree to a boycott of British trade goods, luxury items and slaves.

1770

* The Boston Massacre occurs as a mob harasses British soldiers who then fire their muskets pointblank into the crowd, killing three instantly, mortally wounding two others and injuring six. After the incident, the new Royal Governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Hutchinson, at the insistence of Sam Adams, withdraws British troops out of Boston to nearby harbor islands. The captain of the British soldiers, Thomas Preston, is then arrested along with eight of his men and charged with murder.
* In April, the Townshend Acts are repealed by the British. All duties on imports into the colonies are eliminated except for tea. Also, the Quartering Act is not renewed.
* In October, trial begins for the British soldiers arrested after the Boston Massacre. Colonial lawyers John Adams and Josiah Quincy successfully defend Captain Preston and six of his men, who are acquitted. Two other soldiers are found guilty of manslaughter, branded, then released.

1773

* May 10, the Tea Act takes effect. It maintains a threepenny per pound import tax on tea arriving in the colonies, which had already been in effect for six years. It also gives the near bankrupt British East India Company a virtual tea monopoly by allowing it to sell directly to colonial agents, bypassing any middlemen, thus underselling American merchants. The East India Company had successfully lobbied Parliament for such a measure. In September, Parliament authorizes the company to ship half a million pounds of tea to a group of chosen tea agents.
* About 8000 Bostonians gather to hear Sam Adams tell them Royal Governor Hutchinson has repeated his command not to allow the ships out of the harbor until the tea taxes are paid. That night, the Boston Tea Party occurs as colonial activists disguise themselves as Mohawk Indians then board the ships and dump all 342 containers of tea into the harbor.

DFCtomm on December 16, 2009 at 9:52 PM

No need; I got religion after referring to the vivacious, light of the universe Mrs. Obama in less-than-flattering terms.

BobMbx on December 16, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Heh, I know what you mean.

Yes. Michelle. Obama. is feminine. and beautiful. with toned arms. and a paragon. of beauty. much more. attractive than. Carla. Bruni.

(delivered with several pauses in a monotone like William Shatner with bongos, flutes and drums.)

chunderroad on December 16, 2009 at 9:56 PM

kill this bill

unseen on December 16, 2009 at 9:58 PM

I just want it to be known that am wholly in favor of allowing the caning of Senators. Just wanted to throw that out there.

KSgop on December 16, 2009 at 9:59 PM

My point is if the people alive in 1776 were alive today would they already be at war with the federal government? I’m risking a ban hammer, but I’m just curious how we stack up with them? Would they view us as a bunch of sheep who should have taken action long ago, or would they agree with AP and punish anyone who mentioned violence?

DFCtomm on December 16, 2009 at 9:23 PM

The Democratic enablers working in public education have taken care of people alive these days.

chunderroad on December 16, 2009 at 10:00 PM

DFCtomm on December 16, 2009 at 9:23 PM

You bring up a good point about the question of whether or not the taxation level was truly onerous–and it probably wasn’t, per se (with the caveat that a 5% tax in 1763 is far far far more significant than a 25% tax rate in 2009–because a.) there was a lot less cash money floating around, and b.) people in general lived a lot closer to the edge, in general. Go take a look at a plantation house like Stratford–it really isn’t that big compared to a McMansion today–and that was only what the most wealthy lived in.

I did a paper on this once, and I think the real cause of the discontent was not the “taxation” part, but the “no reprensentation” portion. Basically, the Founding Generation had the number of the ruling class in England, and what they feared was that if they lost the ability to influence their own destinies via colonial legislatures, then eventually they would end up like Ireland, victims of a corrupt political class ruling from afar who set up cronies to benefit from the largesse of government appointments.

So, in other words, pretty much exactly like today. Except now we can change the government peacefully, which is what is going to happen now. But only because we are willing to stand firm. In 1774, they did not have that option, and fearful of what the future may have brought, they acted. In essence, the colonists knew they had a good thing going–that they had the ability to be far more prosperous than if they had been in England at an equivalent station, and they intended to keep it.

Horatius on December 16, 2009 at 10:05 PM

Would this dumb f#cker get elected in other state besides possibly California? I think not. He can go to hell.

NathanG on December 16, 2009 at 10:15 PM

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
— Thomas Jefferson

Mary in LA on December 16, 2009 at 9:34 PM

The full quote is even sweeter:

(Speaking of Shay’s Rebellion, which was, of course, a tax revolt):

“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. . . . What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. . . . What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

– Letter from T. Jefferson to Col. William S. Smith, Paris, November 13, 1787

Let them take arms.” Now THAT was some statesmanship! :)

voxpopuli on December 16, 2009 at 10:22 PM

Would they view us as a bunch of sheep who should have taken action long ago, or would they agree with AP and punish anyone who mentioned violence?

DFCtomm on December 16, 2009 at 9:23 PM

no one has prodded us with a bayonet yet. at least, not on a broad scale.

start sending people to jail over not having health insurance and you may see an awakening, the same way we had on concord green. but who knows. too many people are bored or turned off by politics that a critical mass may not happen.

warhorse_03826 on December 16, 2009 at 10:24 PM

Hey, Allah has put up with a lot of crap that would draw an immediate ban hammer from other sites. We don’t know the details. He and the banned person could have had this discussion before.

Irrespective of that, around here, Allah is a God. Albeit a beta-male God. Replete with cats. But a God just the same.

:-)

csdeven on December 16, 2009 at 10:43 PM

What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

– Letter from T. Jefferson to Col. William S. Smith, Paris, November 13, 1787

“Let them take arms.” Now THAT was some statesmanship! :)

voxpopuli on December 16, 2009 at 10:22 PM

You’ll never hear that anywhere in public today.

DFCtomm on December 16, 2009 at 10:47 PM

Hey Sen. Harry (D-Moon), show us the CarFax.

Left Coast Right Mind on December 16, 2009 at 10:50 PM

You bring up a good point about the question of whether or not the taxation level was truly onerous–and it probably wasn’t, per se (with the caveat that a 5% tax in 1763 is far far far more significant than a 25% tax rate in 2009–because a.) there was a lot less cash money floating around, and b.) people in general lived a lot closer to the edge, in general. Go take a look at a plantation house like Stratford–it really isn’t that big compared to a McMansion today–and that was only what the most wealthy lived in.

I did a paper on this once, and I think the real cause of the discontent was not the “taxation” part, but the “no reprensentation” portion. Basically, the Founding Generation had the number of the ruling class in England, and what they feared was that if they lost the ability to influence their own destinies via colonial legislatures, then eventually they would end up like Ireland, victims of a corrupt political class ruling from afar who set up cronies to benefit from the largesse of government appointments.

I would say that taxes had a great deal to do with it. They didn’t have the safety nets or government backed(don’t laugh) retirement we have today. I think every penny would have been precious to a smart person.

So, in other words, pretty much exactly like today. Except now we can change the government peacefully, which is what is going to happen now. But only because we are willing to stand firm. In 1774, they did not have that option, and fearful of what the future may have brought, they acted. In essence, the colonists knew they had a good thing going–that they had the ability to be far more prosperous than if they had been in England at an equivalent station, and they intended to keep it.

Horatius on December 16, 2009 at 10:05 PM

Do you think we may be facing a new kind of tyranny? A tyranny of the poor, and I forget who said that, as we reach %50 of the population that doesn’t contribute? Won’t that lock taxpayers into a taxation without representation scenario?

DFCtomm on December 16, 2009 at 10:54 PM

No need; I got religion after referring to the vivacious, light of the universe Mrs. Obama in less-than-flattering terms.

BobMbx on December 16, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Heh, I know what you mean.

Yes. Michelle. Obama. is feminine. and beautiful. with toned arms. and a paragon. of beauty. much more. attractive than. Carla. Bruni.

(delivered with several pauses in a monotone like William Shatner with bongos, flutes and drums.)

chunderroad on December 16, 2009 at 9:56 PM

Personally, I liked Queen Michelle much more when she still played center for the New York Knicks!

rhbandsp on December 16, 2009 at 11:01 PM

Hey, Allah has put up with a lot of crap that would draw an immediate ban hammer from other sites. We don’t know the details. He and the banned person could have had this discussion before.

Irrespective of that, around here, Allah is a God. Albeit a beta-male God. Replete with cats. But a God just the same.

:-)

csdeven on December 16, 2009 at 10:43 PM

Err..csdeven, you too may be on shaky ground…I can’t imagine an avowed atheist being too happy being called “a god”!

rhbandsp on December 16, 2009 at 11:05 PM

If they can withdraw an amendment while it’s being read, they can withdraw the final bill while it’s being read, too.

Emperor Norton on December 16, 2009 at 7:34 PM

OH. MY. GOD.

THIS WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!!

Dominion on December 16, 2009 at 11:18 PM

If you can’t follow your own rules…why should we?

Horatius on December 16, 2009 at 8:06 PM

Mostly because they have an army to jam it down our throats if we won’t.

Voyager on December 16, 2009 at 11:18 PM

Never let a Crisis go unused…
The GOP should start proposing amendments (written in clear English, not legaleze since they’ll never get adopted). After the English reading, another GOP senator should ask the amendment be read in Spanish so the Spanish speaking folks understand the amendment, then Swahili, etc, etc.

So long as the liberal packed courts have declared there’s no English is the official langauge, seems everyone deserves the debate and amendments be offered in everyone’s language…

If the Dem’s want to stop it, simple, propose an English Offical Language amendment to health reform… Squeeze the Dems for all they are worth…

Then run on these sorts of national issues (simple health reform and English as Offical Language) in 2010.

drfredc on December 16, 2009 at 11:20 PM

Mostly because they have an army to jam it down our throats if we won’t.

Voyager on December 16, 2009 at 11:18 PM

Bring it.

Harpazo on December 16, 2009 at 11:54 PM

Maybe we’ve actually reached the point where not only aren’t they reading the bill before voting on it, they’re not even writing it before voting on it.

That’s what they did in the house version.

Vashta.Nerada on December 16, 2009 at 11:57 PM

…fortunately for us in the Senate, caning is not in order due to precedent.

Bad example. We could use some caning in the Senate these days.

Vashta.Nerada on December 17, 2009 at 12:06 AM

A 700 page amendment on top of a 2,000 page bill. What the f*k is the matter with these people. No wonder less than a third of the adults in this country want to see this steaming pile of s*t bill flushed.

Mallard T. Drake on December 17, 2009 at 12:08 AM

Do you think we may be facing a new kind of tyranny? A tyranny of the poor, and I forget who said that, as we reach %50 of the population that doesn’t contribute? Won’t that lock taxpayers into a taxation without representation scenario?

DFCtomm on December 16, 2009 at 10:54 PM

Shades of the Athenian demos, and yes, it’s a threat, but one that I think there is still time to combat. It’s important, of course, because it’s a poor man’s version of communism (pun intended), and will lead to the same stagnation–if you are lucky. In Athens, it eventually led to oligarchy (at least once, I’m hazy on what happened post 390ish B.C.)

I think the argument is there to be had that there is nothing inherently virtuous or noble in voting yourself what is of others, and that it is enervating to one’s own sense of pride and self-worth, as well as a whole lot of other hooey that I haven’t quite got right yet. I know where I want to go with the argument, but I have to pull a lot of strands from a lot of different traditions together to make the case for what should be, as well as fight off the attacks that will be made, and there are a few other things that I’se got to do in the meantime, so it may be a while.

But never let it be forgot that John Adams was right–there has got to be virtue amongst the people for a self-governing republic to have a chance, and the American Constitution was made for the American people and will work for none other.

Those two conditions being the case, then, the obligation of each generation is to then realize what it takes for a Republic to work, and to make sure that as they adapt to a modern era that they do not stray too far from that sort of people. We have in some respects, but not to far that we can’t get it back.

Horatius on December 17, 2009 at 12:36 AM

Bernie:

Get bent. DIAF. Get your hands off my life.

spmat on December 17, 2009 at 3:32 AM

We are being represented by people who are criminally insane and completely incompetent. I wonder if it is an accurate representation. They keep getting in…. so….

Boxy_Brown on December 17, 2009 at 3:46 AM

Looks to me like the reading idea might messed up a different opportunity.

IF they had voted FOR this ammendment and it had passed, then Reid and company would NOT have been able to remove it or pass the final bill. Sending them back to square 1. Total parlimentary disaster! heh heh

Freddy on December 17, 2009 at 4:32 AM

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