So Broken

In case you somehow managed to forget for two seconds that the US government is profoundly broken and utterly dysfunctional, Republicans have reignited the nomination wars:
Just minutes after the swearing-in of New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker, the Senate dove headfirst back into a standoff over executive and judicial branch nominations.

...Republicans blocked President Barack Obama's pick of Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., to become the top housing finance regulator, and Patricia Ann Millett's nomination to fill one of three vacant seats on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. Watt was blocked on a 56-42 vote for cloture, while Millett failed on a 55-38 vote. Sixty votes are needed to avoid a filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid voted "no" to preserve his right to reconsider the vote.

...The votes drew a quick rebuke from the White House and revived talk of using the "nuclear option" to get around filibusters.

"We really hope there's an opportunity for these nominees to move forward," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, calling both nominees highly qualified and dismissing the opposition as "politics."

...As a sitting member of the House, the filibuster of Watt is extremely rare.
How rare? Nancy Zirkin, Executive Vice President of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, says: "The Senate has not filibustered a sitting member of Congress since before the Civil War."

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