That there is partisanship surprises no one. That the partisanship erodes the separation of powers and the checks and balances mandated by the Constitution, however, takes us a down a foggy road that the Founders would likely find distressing because it appears to be a consolidation of power that subverts a constitutional process.
UPDATE: The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives' changes to sections of the PATRIOT Act, Tuesday evening, known as the USA FREEDOM Act, after GOP Senate leaders failed to get any of the changes they wanted to the House bill. The final vote was 67-32. It now heads to President Obama's desk for… Continue reading The surveillance state is on hiatus, sort of, except not really
"I love the Senate, but right now the Senate is broken and needs to be fixed. It’s time for course correction." - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), speaking at the Center for American Progress, Monday morning Something that could shake the bustling tunnels beneath the U.S. Capitol is about to be released by Sen.… Continue reading Filibuster change: the countdown to ‘Humpty Dumpty’ rules?
That could really be the mantra of the transition from Obama's very public, bully pulpit tactic of campaign style events, highlighting the issues he wants the American people to help him see through, to his new, private "charm offensive," a series of dinner and lunch meetings with Republican Senators and Representatives aimed at getting past… Continue reading To be in the conversation, be part of the conversation
If there was ever a question about which commitment President Barack Obama has made in his life that will live beyond his presidency, it is his stubborn belief that a united America, without the distraction of division, can and will accomplish great things. Regardless of whether he is able to reach effective but difficult compromises… Continue reading For Obama, it’s really always been about unity
"I think disgust is still a valid emotion, and that's kind of the way I'm viewing this." - James Amos, CEO, Tasti D-Lite, discussing Congress' dysfunction, highlighted by the "self-inflicted" debt crisis, on MSNBC's Jansing & Co, Friday, July 29, 2011 The time for staying above the fray with logic has passed. The simmering, schmaltz-laden… Continue reading Debt rhetoric scary and entertaining at the same time
"There is no aphrodisiac like madness, but it wears off quickly." -Kevin Baker, from his novel, Dreamland (HarperCollins, 1999) In the din of madness, the seething intensity of rancorous anger, the light of American glory dims yellow like a string of bare bulbs outside a red, white and blue striped circus tent. The barker calls… Continue reading America’s mad circus
The new Republican party is an albatross of ideological intransigence. It is an anchor that lists the ship of governance as far to the right as it can, until it starts to take on water. The threat not to raise the debt limit, that enables the federal government to pay our debts, has pulled the… Continue reading The modern Republican – an American problem
"The legislation the President has asked for cannot pass the House. I’m happy to discuss these issues at the White House, but such discussions will be fruitless until the President recognizes economic and legislative reality." - Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH), in a July 5, 2011, statement Both Boehner and Senate Minority Leader,… Continue reading Audacity and the ‘legislative reality’ fallacy