The BS on Reconciliation

 Congress, Constitution, Featured, Politics  Comments Off on The BS on Reconciliation
Mar 082010

Below is a youtube of a segment from Meet The Press this past Sunday in which E. J. Dionne calls out Sen. Orrin Hatch for the Republican’s continuing bullshit about the use of reconciliation to pass things based on a simple majority vote in the Senate. We need to be discussing policy and health insurance reform (or elimination), but instead, all the Republicans can come up with to try to “win” is to run around like Chicken Little complaining that the sky will fall if some Senate procedure is “out-procedured.”

[callout title=Misdirection on the Polls.]At one point during the interview Hatch claims the polls show that 58% of Americans don’t like the reform bill, “and only a few like it.” Well, sounds me to as if 42% must like it…that’s not just “a few.” In addition, while there is one poll with that result, others show a majority favoring reform, and when the provisions of the Bill are explained to people, they actually like the provisions in the bill. Funny how that works.[/callout]The host puts up portions of a Hatch statement in which he says things like:

  • “would be unprecedented in scope,” – BS meter high-turns out the Republicans used reconciliation to pass the Bush the tax cuts which added $1.7 trillion to our federal deficit. I realize in Congress they don’t have much of a concept of money, but $1.7 trillion to me is pretty unprecedented in scope.
  • “the havoc wrought would threaten our system of checks and balances” – BS meter through the roof-the system of checks and balances is based on three equal branches of government, each have a check on the other two. What procedures Congress decides to use in how it how it acts on legislation has nothing to do with “checks and balances.”
  • “corrode the legislative system” – BS meter headed to low earth orbit-lest we all forget (which the Republicans are counting on) there is NOTHING, nada, zilch, zero, in the Constitution about the Senate requiring a sixty vote majority to pass normal legislation. The Constitution does require certain super-majorities in very special situations, but not for passing every-day legislation. This magical sixty vote thing is purely a creation of the Senate, and for those who argue about majority rule, this “super-majority” requirement would seem to fly in the face of that.
  • “degrade our system of government” –BS meter now on an inter-planetary trajectory-A sitting member of the most corrupt Senate (and government in general) has the temerity to talk about “degrading our system of government?” This is the system has not created a system of state sponsored torture, taken us into a war of aggression against a country that had done nothing to us, has shredded the Constitution with the so called PATRIOT Act. Senator, “have you no shame?”

I just can’t fathom how these people can sit there and lie with a totally straight face. I am convinced they could not and would not tell the truth if that actually favored them.

Kite Runner, The

 Culture, Movies, Politics, Society  Comments Off on Kite Runner, The
Apr 132008

The Kite RunnerIn a divided country on the verge of war, two childhood friends, Amir and Hassan, are about to be torn apart forever. It’s a glorious afternoon in Kabul and the skies are bursting with the exhilarating joy of a kite-fighting tournament. But in the aftermath of the day’s victory, one boy’s fearful act of betrayal will mark their lives forever and set in motion an epic quest for redemption. Now, after 20 years of living in America, Amir returns to a perilous Afghanistan under the Taliban’s iron-fisted rule to face the secrets that still haunt him and take one last daring chance to set things right.

Directed by: Marc Forster 
Genres: Drama and Adaptation
Starring: Shaun Toub, Khalid Abdalla, Nasser Memarzia, Said Taghmaoui, Atossa Leoni
Running Time: 2 hrs. 2 min.
Release Date: December 14th, 2007 (limited)

Lay and I started to watch this Friday night, but were both too tired, especially it is extensively subtitled. We came back to it last night, and I’m glad we did. Lay, who hates subtitled movies even got into this story.

This was an excellent movie, and now I want to read the book. The special effects and cinematography was great, and the music provided a perfect accompaniment to an excellent story well told. There where many parts where I wanted further elaboration, but I recognize that as part of the limitations of the medium…hence my desire to read the book.

The characters all played their parts very well, and while it was a very sad story, I very much enjoyed being drawn in. This one definitely goes to the top of the list for me.

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