Saturday, November 19, 2005

Short Takes

- A few further words on last night's House stupidity. Kudos to John Murtha for an absolutely spot-on speech about the reasons he said what he did and his desire for a real debate over the course of the war in Iraq. Credit also to Senator John Warner of Virginia, who said "Today's debate in the House of Representatives shows the need for bipartisanship on the war in Iraq, instead of more political posturing." Of course the resolution failed; only three representatives voted for it. What a waste of an entire legislative day. The House leadership ought to be absolutely ashamed of itself for this waste of the people's time. Joe Gandelman at TMV has a great roundup post on this, don't miss it.

- Senator Arlen Specter, proving himself once again the kind of reasonable leader we need more of in Washington, refused to shove through a reauthorization of the Patriot Act yesterday, declaring that more time is needed to revise and study the provisions demanded by the House side. "My view is that the Patriot Act needs further analysis and some revision from what is in the proposed conference report at the present time," Specter opined. He said a particular sticking point was the sunset clauses on a couple sections of the law: the Senate wanted four years, the House wanted ten, so the conference committee settled on seven. Specter said "there ought to be a four-year sunset so we can review it again in a reasonably timely fashion." Specter is correct, and the issue is deserving of additional debate.

- If you are not yet addicted to PandaCam (aka 'Stick Pic), the National Zoo's webcam of the new baby panda bear, I highly recommend it. Usually he's sleeping, but when he moves, it's hysterical to watch. And much better for the blood pressure than C-SPAN.


At 10:08 AM, Blogger Paul Wartenberg said...

What I want to know is about that fiasco of a congressional vote on troop withdrawal, who were the three idiots who didn't get the memo?

Can't you feel it in the air, with the hostility in politics becoming much more blatant, more vicious, more direct? Does anyone else get that dreadful feeling that we're getting close to a Sumner/Brooks moment when all civility will get beaten out the door? I'm actually terrified that our political system has gotten so divided that only the demagogues are in charge and they're five minutes away from physical blows...

Oh, and about the 'Stick. Please don't laugh at the 'Stick when he moves. Like all toddlers, his steps are wobbly but brave. We were all young ourselves, once...

At 9:00 PM, Blogger Phil S said...

Late posting, but, anyway. Don't give spector too much credit-a Feingold-led bipartison filibuster threat pushed it to the edge; and Spector saw the light!!


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