Same song, second verse. On May 27 of last year I wrote about Sonia Sotomayor and named her as a Supreme Court justice well before the vote took place. Since that proved to be a no-brainer decision, thought I would just repeat the process in what is proving to be an annual event for the President, the nomination of a new member of the Supreme Court.
Today was the first day of the hearings, the most pro forma day I guess. What have we learned? Can’t use the experience line that was used last year so the refreshing change is the phrase de jour. Senator Feinstein calls her brilliant and the President calls the arguments against her “thin gruel ,” whatever that is.
The President also rejected the contention that he was remaking the court to suit himself, citing two interesting names who support Ms Kagan’s nomination. This is almost funny. One is Ted Olson, who one thinks would know better. The other is Kenneth Starr, yep that Kenneth Starr. Bet Bill Clinton freaked when he heard that name from his past.
So, we can could call it a dog and pony show except I like dogs too much. Or we could use Rush’s label. It will be the ” don’t ask, don’t tell” hearings. Better yet, call off the hearings, have the vote and get it over with. Might save some money that way. Still, it would be great if someone like Ann Coulter or even George Will were providing questions. Nice try Sen Sessions.
The comment made by the august majority leader of the U S Senate, Harry Reid, Democrat, Nevada concerning the candidate Obama is much in the news. Although the comment would have to be considered racially insensitive or worse, the President has in effect told Reid, no big deal, everything’s cool; let’s move forward.
And, so say many prominent dems; Feinstein and Sharpton among them. The media is generally on board also with only those noxious Republicans refusing to play nice an d get on the real business of running the country. He has apologized they say, to the president and any number of other black leaders.
I am much more interested in reaction/non-reaction, than in what Reid actually said. The first thing that gets my attention is that the comment was made in 2008. No apology has been forthcoming until the book recounting it came out. Politically expedient apology- yep. CBS had the authors on “60 Minutes,” the home planet of hard-hitting no holds barred questioning. Somehow they forgot to ask a question about Reid’s comment.
There are other things about which I wonder. Why so quick to brush it aside when questions about Limbaugh/McNabb still resurface from time to time? And, what the controversy that actually sunk Senator George Allen’s re-election campaign and made Jim Webb a star? And, of course we have the Trent Lott situation, an event that multiple democrats( Landrieu, Gore, among others)used quite well to force Lott from guess what, Senate Majority Leader? Great verbal battle yesterday on this issue with Ann Coulter winning a TKO over Al Sharpton.
Reckon Reid will have to step down? Nah. But maybe November, 2010 could bring about a change, hmmm?
We evilllllllllll Republicans are at it again. According to 1st term Florida congressman, Alan Grayson (landslide Alan 52-48% winner), Republicans want people to die. That is the Republican health care plan, he says. Either don’t get sick or get sick and die quickly. He quotes from a study that says some 40-45 thousand people die annually from lack of good health care. How in the world does someone verify such a number? Don’t know that you can but if the numbers suite your purposes you use them as Rep Elijah Cummings did today in an interview on MSNBC.
And just wait, there is much, much more. Many people are familiar with Garrison Keilor of Prairie Home Companion. He has been in declining health in recent years due to a stroke but has apparently not mellowed in his old age which isn’t all that old, just 67. Shucks,almost 40% of the Senate is at least that age or older. Keep that figure in mind.
Mr Keilor is rather crotchety about the state of political doings, specifically health care but encompassing other issues such as abortion, euthanasia, the Supreme Court.etc. Another expert preparing to sound forth, so here it comes.
He heard Minnesota Governor tim Pawlenty critiquing the education speech and apparently lost it. Keillor says in regard to republicans, “One starts to wonder if the country wouldn’t be better off without them and if Republicans should be cut out of the health-care system entirely and simply provide with aspirin and hand sanitizer.Thirty two percent of the population identifies with the Republicans , and if we cut off health-care to them, we could probably pay off the deficit in short order.”
Thanks to the Chicago Tribune for publishing that uplifting article. Kinda makes yo wonder how many people agree with him and just haven’t said it aloud. You know of course, what a one party political system looks like. I think you could look at several examples; Russia, China, etc.
For the icing on te cake he went on to say these words. “Old men shouldn’t be allowed to doze off at the switch and muck up the works for the young who will have try to repair the damage. Get over yourselves. Your replacements have arrived,and you should tink about them now and then. Enough with the shrieking. Pass health-care reform.”
Wonder who is dozing at the switch? Is it Byrd, Spector, Lautenberg, Feinstein? All are in the old category to which he refers.
Just hope that no one with real power believes like he does. At my age, I need a bi tmore than aspirin and hand sanitizer, don’t you?
Periodically, there comes a call for some limitation on the length of time that a Senator or Congressman or Congresswoman can serve. After all, there is a limit for the President. To date, these efforts have born no fruit. I am wondering if perhaps this issue is being approached from the wrong angle. What if there were an age limit rather than a term limit? The Constitution already specifies a minimum age of 30 for a Senator and 25 for a Representative. For some inexplicable reason, there is no maximum age. That has given us Republican Strom Thurmond who served to age 100 and Robert Byrd who is still serving at age 92. On the House side, Ralph Hall of Texas is still present at age 86 and 76 of his colleagues are over age 65.
Now, I realize that any attempt at setting an age limit would be met with significant resistance, especially from those whom it would affect. After all, there is the power, the prestige, the$(nah, couldn’t be that, could it?), the opportunity to serve the greater good and of course, the franking privilege.
I don’t have any magic figure in mind, but just for discussion sake, why not 65 or until the end of one’s current term. A number of jobs would open up, new ideas and faces wuld have an opportunity to serve and the excessive power of incumbency would be somewhat cut down to size. Of course, we would lose Kennedy, Byrd, Hall, McCain, Feinstein, Hatch, Specter, Reid, Leahy, Boxer, et.al. Now before one goes overboard, remember how McCain’s age and health was used against him in the campaign for President, both in subtle and not so subtle ways. I confess it would be a potential problem unleashing all those members of Congress on the public at once. Might have to be phased in a bit gradually.
Now, let me hasten to add that I am definitely not age biased since I qualify for AARP already and aspire to hang around for a few more years. Taking the Senate first, we learn that the average age is 62 and the House at around 56. So younger could be better, you never know until you try.
Anyone know how old Speaker Pelosi might be?
President Obama definitely has Gitmo on his mind. He seems to be pressing forward with his efforts to close the facility. This despite a 90-6 defeat in the senate on money needed to fund the closing. And, despite fierce opposition in Congress, he announced that some terror suspects would be sent from Gitmo to prisons in the United States.
He called the Guantanamo experiment misguided, a mess etc and that he is going to fix what the Bush administration messed up. He further decried the ” fear-mongering” that is hindering his efforts. Pretty savvy, huh? Whatever problem exists, it’s Bush’s fault and he inherited it. A slight aside; a major campaign promise was to close Gitmo in one year. We have 8 months to go. Back to our regularly scheduled post.
A defiant Obama, one article put it, is still determined to get his way on Gitmo.Press Secretary Gibbs said today that the deadline still holds and there are many different options for handling the detainees. Wonder how many will go to Yemen, who really doesn’t care to restrict their activities. Or, as Jon Stewart put it in February, maybe even dancing squads.
One final comment, Senator Joe Lieberman, Democratic-republican Party says you cant just release them anywhere. This is in contrast to Senator Dianne Feinstein, D(CA). She says send a bunch to Colorado. Colorado’s response, a deafening silence to this point. So, we have he says, he said, she says, etc.
It is proving to be quite an interesting thing to observe.
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