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Sunday, March 10, 2013 ISSUE #750
 

 Filibuster returns to the Senate
#750, March 10, 2013

     President Obama’s luck on the sequester keeps getting worse. Just when he was ready to agree with the Republicans that it won’t hurt much, he cut us all an hour. We’re all sleepy headed and a bit dazed, hoping he will give it back next fall. But don’t count on it. He may hold that hour as ransom till we agree to give up some beloved tax deductions.
    I read where 5000 illegal immigrant criminals were turned loose. President Obama said we can’t afford to feed ‘em. So he let ‘em out with the understanding that when the sequester ends, they agree to return to prison.
    The President has started talking to Republicans instead of throwing (verbal) stones at them. He invited a dozen or so to dinner at an expensive restaurant to discuss how to save money. Well, right there’s an idea. Next time make it a potluck picnic on the White House lawn. Mrs. Obama can provide the fresh vegetables from her garden and every Senator can bring a meat dish from his home state. Make homemade ice cream for dessert with everyone taking a turn at the crank. That’ll do more for reaching an agreement than haggling over who pays the tab for an overpriced dinner ever could.
    New York Mayor Bloomberg has spent all his energy lately banning salt, fat, and big drinks with sugar. Fortunately for New Yorkers, alcohol is still available, in any size. 
Meanwhile 80 percent of the students graduating from their high schools cannot read and write well enough to enter college. Shucks, 30 percent can’t read the name of the high school on the diploma when it’s handed to ‘em. That’s why the graffiti is indecipherable. Even the ones that write it can’t read it.
     Over in Rome, a bunch of men are meeting to select a Pope. That’s the same way we used select a President, or at least the nominees. The individual parties would meet and argue and horse trade until everybody had dropped out except one. Those were the famous “smoke-filled rooms” you’ve heard about. But the only smoke you’ll see from the Cardinals is after they’ve voted. They burn the ballots in an old wood stove, and if they have not reached a decision, they throw an old tire in with ‘em so it puts off black smoke. This can go on for days until two-thirds finally agree on one man. Then they want white smoke so they burn the paper ballots without having to round up another old tire. The Catholics learned this smoke signal system from the Indians.  I’m guessing the whole world will learn of the decision within a second or two of the first sight of the smoke, showing you that old traditions can survive along side new technology.
    Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky took the Senate floor for an old fashioned filibuster. He wanted the President to guarantee that no American, even a terrorist, would be killed by a drone on American soil. Sounds reasonable, but he had to stand there and talk for 13 hours without a break of any kind (yes, not even for that). Finally, Obama took pity on the poor soul and sent the Attorney General over to agree with him.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:
    “I suggested a plan one time to shorten Senate debate. Every time a Senator tells all he knows, make him sit down.  That will shorten it. Some of them won’t be able to answer roll call.”
Radio, April 27, 1930


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