Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Trying to Play Catch Up

That’s what I’ve been doing for the last week at work. Now that the Olympics are finished I can try and do that at home as well. Cleaning up the house. I have to move things back into the room off my bedroom.

I took most out because the windows were leaking water. I tried several times to move the chair out as well. It would not fit out the door. I then remember that I’d put together the chair in that room. I’d realized at the time that once put together it would not fit through the door. I just wished I remembered that after the first time I tried to get it through the door instead of the third time.

I’m also trying to play catch up with the blog and figure out what’s going on in the world. It seems we might be close to getting health care. That is if Obama and the Democrats can get the reconciliation bill through the Senate.

The Republicans are of course up in arms over this. Orrin Hatch had a piece in the Post the other day decrying this

He said in part:

the Senate is designed for deliberation. That is why Senate rules and procedures give a minority of senators the power to slow or even stop legislation. Both parties do it when in the minority, and both find it frustrating when they are in the majority. But such checks are central to the nature of the institution and to the Senate’s place in our constitutional system. These rules temper majority power and generate strong incentives to develop mainstream legislation that commands broad, bipartisan support.

To impose the will of some Democrats and to circumvent bipartisan opposition, President Obama seems to be encouraging Congress to use the “reconciliation” process, an arcane budget procedure, to ram through the Senate a multitrillion-dollar health-care bill that raises taxes, increases costs and cuts Medicare to fund a new entitlement we can’t afford. This is attractive to proponents because it sharply limits debate and amendments to a mere 20 hours and would allow passage with only 51 votes (as opposed to the 60 needed to overcome a procedural hurdle). But the Constitution intends the opposite process, especially for a bill that would affect one-sixth of the American economy.

The problem I see with this is there is no interest on the part of the Republicans for any sort of bipartisan moves on health care. Their answer scrap the whole bill. They say the American people don’t want it. Except most polls show that they do want reform to health care. The Republicans also don’t have a leg to stand on because they’ve used the threat of a filibuster or the threat of cloture over and over again. The number of times this has happened is off the charts compared to past years. And it is on just about ever issue imaginable.

I’m not sure the filibuster should be done away with. There are many important reason to get rid of it. Like say preventing the work of Congress from coming to a grinding halt. But sometime the majority should be stopped to listen to the minority view. But if you’re going to keep the filibuster then go back to the old rules where people had to be on the floor of the Senate talking to continually. Along with that maybe put some sort of time limit on how long Senators can hold forth. Currently the filibuster is being abused and that needs to stop.

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