I've been taking too much time off recently

I need to get back to blogging again.

But for some reason, I just can’t get worked up enough to put out a good rant. Even as I type this (and this is about the thirtieth time I’ve started a post like this), my mind is saying, “Ah, why bother telling them about this?”

But hurting pretty bad over the last few weeks, topped off with a bit o’ depression (although I contend I have a good reason to be depressed), makes it kinda tough to sustain a “mad” long enough to type it out.

Lotsa things worth mentioning in the world, but other than the not infrequent abduction, rape and death of little girls in Florida (wtf is UP with you guys? Compact thy feces, ere Dubya gets forced to overstep his Constitutional authority - again - and start passing Federal Laws to fix things), most of it has been either good or neutral.

Except for school bus drivers. Those guys are idiots.

As if you couldn’t tell…

I appreciate John and Kevin and Helo for picking up the slack while I have been struck with Blogger’s Block, plus getting over some health issues (and I have an interesting theory about why Fibromyalgia causes random, undifferentiated pain).

I’ve been posting occasionally over at Lee’s, but not here. Sorry about that, but everyone has things they have to deal with from time to time. The last few days were my turn in the barrel, but hopefully we can stick the Dems back in there.

Lots of things going on in the world, from the Vietnam Vet getting even for all of his brothers (lots of Dems bitching about that who thought it was funny to assault conservative speakers with pies laced with God-knows-what) to an election of a new Pope to discussion of the so-called “nuclear option”.

Speaking of that, why is it that Dems always tag things they don’t like with war-like nicknames? For example, back during the 80’s, Reagan was talking about a means of trying to protect our nation against ICBM attack. It was called the Strategic Defense Initiative - a purely defensive system. Dems didn’t like the idea that we might actually pull it off, so they started calling it “Star Wars”, after a fanciful sci-fi movie. The Mainstream media pounced on it, and now if you were to say “SDI” to someone, they will look at you blankly. But say “Star Wars”, and they will usually sneer dismissively and say, “Oh yeah, that Reagan thing.”

Now it seems as though they don’t like the idea that their position as a minority party is being reduced to that of a minority party, and so they are doing everything they can to disrupt procedures that have been in place for more than two centuries.

What happens if the Dems lose a few more seats? If the Republicans suddenly have the 60 votes necessary to shut down a filibuster at any given moment. Will the Dems suddenly start crying that judges and Ambassadors need a 2/3 supermajority? Will they start missing sessions, hoping to prevent a quorum, like the Dems in the Texas State Legislature did a while back?

This does not eliminate the filibuster (which is a Senate rule, subject to change, rather than a Constitutional power), it just takes it away as a parliamentary tool for blockages of a simple majority - “Advice and Consent” means 51, not 60 or 67. And when just a handful of Senators (literally less than five of them) can stall the voting on judicial nominees (especially for those who have already been confirmed by the Senate at least once already), issuing blocks until their particular pork barrel gets overfilled or because they don’t like a particular stance on issues.

Look, it’s simple. Unless the Constitution requires a higher number, all it takes is 51 ‘yes’ votes. If a Senator doesn’t like a nominee, the rules state that the Senator gets his/her say, describing in great detail why. If enough Senators are convinced to agree, then they should hold a vote, up or down, and see if the White House can get the 51 votes necessary. If not, then at least they will have done their Constitutional duty.

But to pull parliamentary tricks in an attempt to run out the clock (hoping for a different party in the White House) is not what ‘Advice and Consent’ means.

Yes, the Republicans will be the minority party again. That means that they will be facing the same situation that the Dems are facing now (making it utterly fair), and I feel that when the Dems are the majority party again, they will not hesitate to shut down opposition from the Republicans in any way they can, and not just limiting the filibuster on judicial nominees.

After all, the filibuster is not in the Constitution.