Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I wuz robbed ...

Well, not really. On Sunday morning I walked the Great Race 5K course, which is kind of pathetic considering I used to run these kinds of things. But that is the shape I'm in right now and what I am capable of. I did the same thing last year, walking it in a little over an hour. This time I thought I was maybe under an hour (which at least would show improvement). But when I arrived at the finish line this year the clock wasn't running, so I couldn't get my time that way. Then, when I looked on the Great Race website, I still couldn't get my time, they seem not to have recorded me. Not that it matters in any real sense, but it is a little annoying.

Gail Collins, along with Glenn Greenwald, is now one of my new favorite columnists. She had an entertaining and educational essay on Saturday. She writes about the personal hold a couple of Senators have placed on a piece of legislation. Along with the filibuster, the personal hold is fast becoming one of the more abused tools available to Senators. Truly I do not know how it works, whether there is a time limit or limit on number.

Collins does not say that she thinks the hold should be abolished or anything like that, just that the couple of Senators should release their hold on a small, non-partisan bill to allow private funders to buy a piece of government property in DC, on which they wish to build a National Women's Museum. But looking at the general issue, I don't think that either filibusters or holds should be abolished, since one day the Democrats will eventually be in the minority (maybe next year) in the Senate. Still, I think that making Senators read their holds and the reasons they have used them aloud to the chamber would be a good thing, as would having a Senator actually (once again) stand and talk for as long as he/she can during a filibuster. I don't care if Democrats would be embarrassed doing these things (as I suspect Republican partisans might not care if their Senators were similarly embarrassed). But independent voters might pay attention, which might help a Senator decide whether to actually pursue a hold or filibuster.

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