Dick Durbin opens this morning's Judiciary Committee hearing by saying he's moving forward with an appeals court nominee from Tennessee without a blue slip from his state's two GOP senators.

"Republicans chose to abandon this senatorial courtesy."
After some back and forth with Dem and GOP senators, Durbin says the next few years will be Dems "trying to balance the books" with blue slip rules, but perhaps they can agree to a standard for after 2024 that everyone is happy with.
Marsha Blackburn says one of her concerns with this TN appeals court nominee, Andre Mathis, is his "rap sheet" including 3 speeding tickets 10+ years ago.

One was for 5mph over the speed limit.

Durbin: "If speeding tickets are a rap sheet, I've got one too."
Mathis chokes up saying he regrets getting 3 speeding tickets 10+ years ago and not paying them, saying, "I feel like I've embarrassed my family."

He says he simply forgot to pay them and didn't realize they were overdue, which led to his drivers license being suspended.
This focus on Mathis' unpaid speeding tickets from 10+ years ago seems unnecessarily humiliating.
Also remember that time last year Marsha Blackburn flashed her congressional pin after being pulled over? cnn.com/2021/03/26/pol…

(h/t @AndrewFmOregon)
GOP Sen. John Kennedy is up and references Denzel Washington, "who is one of the five coolest people on the planet."
Here's the full story on what went down here: huffpost.com/entry/marsha-b…
Oh my god Durbin ended the hearing by saying this to Mathis:

"The Bar Association may have found you unanimously well qualified, this chair of this committee finds your children unanimously well behaved. Please introduce them." 🌽

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More from @jbendery

13 Jan
It didn't get much attention yesterday, but Senate Democrats -- for the first time -- made a decision to move forward with one of Biden's U.S. appeals court nominees over the objections of that nominee's home-state GOP senators.

Payback time. huffpost.com/entry/dick-dur…
It was a longstanding tradition in the Senate Judiciary Committee: If a judicial nominee's home-state senators didn't turn in "blue slips" signaling they were ready to proceed, that nominee didn't move.

It was a bipartisan courtesy.
But Republicans ignored that committee tradition for appeals court nominees when Trump was president and when the GOP controlled the Senate.

18 times, to be exact.
Read 10 tweets
12 Jan
GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn goes after one of Biden's Black judicial nominees for having "a rap sheet" of citations, which was actually just three speeding tickets from 10+ years ago.

One was for going 5 miles over the speed limit. huffpost.com/entry/marsha-b…
A rap sheet = a criminal record.

Andre Mathis, Biden's nominee to a lifetime seat on a U.S. appeals court, does not have a criminal record.

He once got a ticket for going 5 miles over the speed limit, though. Why, I wonder?
Blackburn: "If Mr. Mathis thought he was above the law before, imagine how he’ll conduct himself if he’s confirmed as a federal judge.”

Also remember that time Blackburn got outta the car and flashed her congressional pin to a cop after being pulled over? huffpost.com/entry/marsha-b…
Read 8 tweets
10 Jan
Local Alaska interviewer: We're doing ranked choice voting now. It's very different. People might get confused by the ballot. What's your campaign strategy gonna be?

Lisa Murkowski, who won Senate reelection in 2010 via a fuckin write-in campaign: Hold my beer.
"This is going to look a little bit different," Murkowski says of ranked choice voting ballots. "Just looking different shouldn't intimidate anybody."

"Our effort needs to be to make it more familiar to people, to be there to answer the questions they have."
Murkowski talks a bit about her 2010 write-in campaign, which remains one of the most incredible political comebacks I've ever seen.

The two-step strategy was to get people to 1) spell her name right and 2) fill in the oval.

"Our campaign motto was 'fill it in, write it in.'"
Read 6 tweets
5 Jan
RICHMOND, VA - Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin today announced he has chosen Andrew Wheeler as the next Secretary of Natural Resources.

As in, this Andrew Wheeler: huffpost.com/entry/epa-andr…
As in, the same Andrew Wheeler who is a former coal lobbyist who downplayed the threat of climate change during his Senate confirmation hearing when Trump tapped him to lead the EPA. huffpost.com/entry/epa-andr…
As in, the same Andrew Wheeler who dismissed climate change as something "50 to 75 years out" huffpost.com/entry/andrew-w…
Read 4 tweets
5 Jan
It's been a year since 147 Republicans voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election after fueling a lie about widespread voter fraud.

I asked all of them if they think Biden fairly won and if they regret their vote.

Nearly all declined to answer. huffpost.com/entry/january-…
Some reactions from Republican senators when I asked if they believe -- more than a year later -- that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Ted Cruz: "Call our press office."

This was not awkward.
Read 19 tweets
4 Jan
Why does Daniel Tiger wear a sweater and sneakers but no pants?
All of Daniel's friends and members of his community wear pants or dresses.

He just walks around with no pants on.
Daniel's dad also walks around wearing a sweater and shoes but no pants.

Everyone else is fully clothed.

Is this not concerning to friends in Daniel Tiger's neighborhood?
Read 5 tweets

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