Musings on the daily events in politics and sports as well as some local bar stops along the way in LA.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Nuclear option? and what the Lakers have in common with Peg Bundy

So the new 'hot topic' of the day in Washington is about the Republicans and what is being referred to as the "nuclear option." It basically gets rid of the filibuster for judicial nominees. A quick history lesson: The Senate has a constitutional duty to advise and consent Presidential appointments and Treaties. That means that those appointments have to be voted on and approved by a majority of the Senate. The one other unique function of the Senate is the filibuster, where a Senator can talk as long as he wants. What ends up happening is a Senator talking for hours at a time and grinding the Senate down to a halt. The most famous example of this is when Senator Strom Thurmond filibustered the Civil Rights Legislation in the '60s. He spoke for over 24 hours straight while reading through the phone book. These days the mere threat of a filibuster causes the leadership to move on and not bring the issue up on the floor of the Senate. So you dont even get to hear them read out of the phone book. The nuclear option would be a ruling on the chair which would then require a simple majority vote and it would get rid of filibusters for judicial nominees.
The Republicans are extremely mad for some reason even though were talking about a total of 10 judges that are being filibustered. During the Clinton administration its not like the Republicans were scheduling votes left and right for his nominees, but once again the Republicans think that theyre going to be in power forever so they might as well strip the minority of its most powerful tool. My idea:
The Republicans should let the Democrats carry out an old school Strom Thurmond style filibuster. Just think of 45 Senators talking for days if not weeks by doing things such as reading out of a phone book and talking nonsense. The Democrats already have an image problem that they dont stand for anything and theyre just obstructionists. Imagine the PR disaster for them when they stop the business of the Senate and instead of trying to figure out how to lower gas prices or prescription drug costs, theyre busy talking themselves to death over a few Federal District Court judges. We're not even talking about Supreme Court judges, that is where the American people might be more tolerant of a filibuster, but stopping the business of the entire Senate just for a few district and appellate court judges would look ridiculous. The lower courts are the places for diverse interpretations of the law and when the Democrats regain the White House (or at least the Senate) they can put their activists up there, but right now they dont have either so it would seem ridiculous for them to block lower court judges while simultaneously stopping the Senate dead in its tracks.
But instead of listening to me the Republicans would rather permanently damage the most respected governmental institution (the Senate) and take away minority party rights forever. Once again its just an abuse of power where the party that has been in power for a while forgets what its like to be in the minority and has no problem running over the minority with not just a win but a show of force that they can do whatever they want.

In an episode of Married With Children Al has a garage sale to sell all the junk that Peg has bought over the years. When the kids ask why is nobody buying this stuff, Al explains to them the 'head idiot' theory. This is the theory where it takes an idiot to buy this crap, but eventually you get to the head idiot who keeps buying everyones crap and theres no idiot to buy it from them. Nobody was buying the crap from Al's garage sale because Peggy was the head idiot who bought everyone elses crap. What does this have to do with the Lakers you ask?
Two words for you: Brian Grant
Brian Grant is currently the starting center for the miserable Lakers who has 2 years left on his contract at roughly 15 million per year. He is easily the most overpaid player in the NBA. He doesnt score, rebound or play defense and the few points and rebounds he does get are usually easy layups or those rebounds when everyone thought the shot was going in so they all ran back for defense and the ball ends up in Grant's hands. The Lakers are now handcuffed by the sallary cap and cant improve the team until his contract expires. Can the Lakers trade Grant? No, because they are the head idiots! They actually traded to get him in all of his $30 million glory. Not only did they trade for him but they traded Shaq the Most Dominant Ever to get him, thus the head idiots of the NBA.

I know both of the above topics arent new but I just started this blog so I need to catch up to get to current events.

As for the drinks portion of this endeavor, I'm currently studying for finals so my drinking days are quite limited in the near future. But hopefully that means when they come back with a vengeance with Summer trips to SF Vegas NY DC and Montreal as well as happy hours gallore. We'll see.



Blogger Tsogh said...

Kris, I love you and I too like you would rather comment about your blog than start my day at work. Well, my anoushig Kristapor, I just thought I should offer a counter opinion to your call to Republicans to let the Democrats shoot themselves in the foot by filibustering 10 insignificant lower court judges. The reason why the democrats don't want judges like these ten is because they will spew their racist, conservative, sexist agendas until they're old and grey. The impact that the Bush Administration is having on this country is not going to end in three years, in some cases it's never going to all those families who lost loved ones in the war. The Bush Administration has had a lifetime impact on their lives. So these judges are going to legilsate from the Bench, they're going to put the ten comandments all over the court houses, intimidating all those who aren't Christians. They are going to help enacted/enforce (whatever function they play) laws that are slowly gaining favor throughout the country like banning the rights of gays to have civil unions or allowing pharmacists on their own will to deny women birthcontrol pills if they feel it goes against they're religious beliefs. The democrats might not know how to convey their thoughts in an articulate manner, but they're the only ones keeping this country from regressing back to the 1940's when Blacks couldn't eat at the same restaurants as whites, and women were considered chattel. Where did all the republicans who fought for less government and lower taxes go? These republicans in power aren't the republicans of the past.

7:39 AM


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