Bits and Pieces

Jig Saw PuzzleFrom the Sinecure Foundation for the Advancement of Easy Jobs:  “The Republican leader (John Boehner) said during a speech at the Ripon Society Tuesday that after listening to the president’s inaugural address, there was no doubt in his mind that in order to get his full agenda accomplished before he leaves office, Obama will be trying to “annihilate the Republican Party.” [Media-ite]   This from the party of Self-Deportation, Gerrymandered Congressional Districts, Electoral College Manipulation, Carry Your Rapist’s Child to Term, Cut Medicare, Privatize Social Security, Start a Lovely War with Iran, Only Sluts Take Contraceptives, Hillary Clinton Cries on Cue, Guns Have More Rights Than People, Corporations Are People My Friend, Only Black People Are On Welfare, and We Have To Cut Social Security Benefits to Protect The Income of Uber Wealthy Americans…. to which one might say, “Please Proceed.”

From The Myopic Vision Division of the Stunt and Special Effects Department:  Nevada Senator Dean Heller evidently can’t discern the difference between an unconstitutional publicity stunt and the stuff of which budget and policy are made.  See more at Nevada Progressive.

From the Real World With Numbers In It:  The U.S. Department of Labor reports that unemployment insurance initial claims are the lowest they’ve been for the last five years.   The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports: “An offender was armed with a gun, knife, or other object used as a weapon in an estimated 22% of all incidents of violent crime.” And, “Firearms (28%) were the most common weapons used in robberies.” Contrary to the amount of press and media coverage given, violent crime doesn’t lead the statistics.  The most common crime in the U.S. is good old fashioned theft.  Of the 20,057,180 crimes reported in the country as of 2009 — 11,709,830 were thefts, (pdf) which dropped by 6% from the previous reporting period in 2008.  Violent crimes were down 11.2%, assaults were down by 10.8%.  So, if crime rates are trending down, and only 22% of crimes involved an offender armed with “something,” then explain to me why my House Must Be A Fortress?

From the Department of the Do-Able: “The deal will address the filibuster on the motion to proceed by changing the amount of debate time that would follow a cloture vote from 30 hours to four, speeding up Senate business and allowing more legislation to reach the floor. But the deal still requires Democrats to muscle 60 votes to invoke cloture on that motion, despite Reid’s earlier suggestion that he would bar a filibuster on that motion entirely. [full story Huffington Post]  OK, I’m not thrilled with this, but it’s do-able, and cutting the time from 30 hours to 4 hours after a motion to proceed, does make it possible for things to….proceed.  And there is this:

“First, senators who wish to object or threaten a filibuster must actually come to the floor to do so. And second, the two leaders will make sure that debate time post-cloture is actually used in debate. If senators seeking to slow down business simply put in quorum calls to delay action, the Senate will go live, force votes to produce a quorum, and otherwise work to make sure senators actually show up and debate.”  (emphasis added)

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