A monthly reality-check on the issues Americans care about most. Host Warren Olney draws on his decades of experience to explore the people and issues shaping – and disrupting - our world. How did everything change so fast? Where are we headed? The conversations are informal, edgy and always informative. If Warren's asking, you want to know the answer.
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This week, the Senate Republicans filibustered the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and stopped it from being voted into law in the Senate, even though there was a majority of 51 votes. A filibuster is just, literally, talking a bill to death so that the Senate cannot get on with its work. To close off that trick, to stop a filibuster, you need 60 votes, and only one Republican, Lisa Murkowski, crossed the line to vote for the bill. Now, understand, the filibuster was specifically created by Southern Democrats after the Civil War for one single purpose: to prevent voting rights legislation and the protection of black people. In fact, one of the only times it was ever used was in 1922 to block the passage of a national law against lynching. So, until very recently, it’s been used almost exclusively for one purpose, that is to block rights of black people to vote. Now, it's been used lately by Republicans for all kinds of things, but basically it's a Jim Crow tactic.