Originally published 03/07/2013
WASHINGTON — The filibuster — used this week by Republican Sen. Rand Paul to oppose John Brennan’s nomination as CIA director — is a parliamentary tactic used to block or delay legislative action.Using a filibuster, a senator can essentially hold the floor to prevent a bill from coming to a vote.Filibusters — from the Dutch word for “pirate” — were popularized in the 1850s and continue today in the Senate on the thinking that any senator should be able to speak as long as necessary on an issue, according to Senate historians. Paul’s filibuster lasted nearly 13 hours, ending early Thursday....
Originally published 02/05/2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Essie Mae Washington-Williams, the mixed-race daughter of onetime segregationist senator Strom Thurmond who kept her parentage secret for more than 70 years, has died. She was 87.Vann Dozier of Leevy’s Funeral Home in Columbia said Washington-Williams died Sunday. A cause of death was not given.Washington-Williams was the daughter of Thurmond and his family’s black maid. The identity of her famous father was rumored for decades in political circles and the black community. She later said she kept his secret because, “He trusted me, and I respected him.”...