Day: February 23, 2010

The Senate Broken By The Filibuster: 290 Bills Passed House, Pending In Senate!

The US Senate is a very prestigious body, which has done great things and had great members in its 221 year history.

But now the Senate is an impediment like no other time in US History! While the filibuster tactic has been used in the past, it is totally out of control now, and has paralyzed the Senate!

The astounding fact is that the House of Representatives has passed 290 bills that are stuck in the Senate logjam! Of course, not all bills which pass the House are meant to be passed in the Senate. The Senate acts appropriately as the brakes on actions of the House.

But this is not just the application of “brakes”, but rather the total inability of the Senate to do anything of significance, due to opposition stubbornness and partisanship!

Since “reconciliation”–establishing a bare majority of 51 votes to get things done–has been utilized by President Bush to get his tax cuts through, and for President Clinton to use it for welfare reform legislation in the mid 1990s, there is absolutely no reason why it cannot be utilized now to get climate change, health care, bank regulation, and other essential legislation through the Senate!

Let the Senate majority do its will, and then, it is up to the people if they do not like what is done, to go ahead and take it out on the Democrats and put the GOP in power. But America should be governed by the rule of the majority, not the minority!

So reconciliation is what must be done, whether the Republican party likes it or not! It is time for action on those 290 bills pending!

Best Argument For Health Care: Dick Cheney And Bob Dole!

Two of the leading Republican party figures of the past thirty years are now in the hospital recovering from crisis health conditions, and they are receiving the best possible health care, and that is a good thing!

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, 69, suffered his fifth heart attack since the age of 37. Former Senator Bob Dole, 86, who ran for President in 1996 and Vice President in 1976, and served as Senate Majority Leader in the past, had knee surgery and is recovering from Pneumonia.

Hopefully, both men will have a speedy recovery, and despite those who would have disagreements with both of them, and particularly Cheney, any decent person would wish them well.

But the point is, why should not all of the American people be entitled to good health care, when we are paying for their health care? This is a question of fairness and equity!

Military People Against Cheney And McCain, And Lieberman Against McCain

This past weekend, we saw some interesting commentary by General David Petraeus and former General Colin Powell.

Both made it clear that they did not believe that utilizing torture, such as water boarding, and the abuse at Abu Graib prison in Iraq, had been productive and wise. Both also believe that abandonment of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is very likely in the future, and neither expressed opposition to this changed attitude toward gays in the military.

In so stating their thoughts, both of these prestigious generals contradicted the statements of two leading Republicans, former Vice President Dick Cheney and 2008 Republican Presidential nominee and Senator John McCain of Arizona.

Cheney continues to uphold the use of torture as a viable method, and McCain continues to uphold continuing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the armed forces.

Interesting point, though, is that McCain’s opposition to open gays in the military is opposed by one of his closest friends in the Senate, Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who was on McCain’s short list for Vice President.

Lieberman, who already has angered Democrats for his opposition to health care reform, seemingly is trying to repair his ties to the party ahead of his election campaign for his seat in 2012. But also, one must remember that in many ways, Joe Lieberman IS a true Independent, as his voting record is indeed difficult to label!