MORNING BUZZ: On the Rocks, Going Nuclear and JFK

Morning Buzz Blog

Good Morning
On the Rocks
Your Thursday night and your Friday morning looked pretty messy. Sally and I were out last night and she said, “I’m finding myself surprised to see snow on the ground…but then you think about it and it’s late November!”
Not the end of the world but certainly worth paying a lot of attention when you get ice, then snow. Be safe out there this weekend if you have travel plans, and remember to keep that emergency kit in your car. Think about a place you can put a small bag that would be within arms reach. If you get into an accident and can’t make it to the trunk, that emergency kit isn’t going to be worth a lot.

Nuclear Option
The Senate voted Thursday morning to change the rules that would confirm presidential nominees including lower court Judicial Nominees (not the Supreme Court). It will now take 50, not 60 votes.
None of this would be needed if, for the last two decades, Senators on both sides had not used the Filibuster to simply hold the nominees of the other Party’s President. The thinking is, if you can just delay the appointment and wait out the President, you get your guy elected and fill the court with Judges that suit your particular political leanings. The Democrats ar in the Majority, and made this decision. They were the ones who called it crazy back in the first term of the Bush administration when the threat of more conservative judges loomed with White House appointments.
The job of the Senate is to advise and consent. Is the Nominee qualified? Not “does the nominee believe the exact political philosophy I do”. I would feel better about the use of the filibuster if the Senators actually used it the right way. get up and make an argument. the spirit of the rule is to allow the Minority to draw attention to laws, appointments, actions that they believe are wrong.
Instead modern Senators use what we’ll call a Chicken Filibuster… they hide behind the procedure or the threat to Filibuster and don’t actually come to the floor of the Senate to voice an argument. Why? Because a Senator starting a floor speech with, “I rise to defend the position of the people who donate gobs of money to me and essentially pay me off, despite the fact that this nominee is eminently qualified for the job” wouldn’t probably sound that principled.
Both parties made this bed…now they have to sleep in it.

Not so Expert Opinion
We got a News Release yesterday…one of hundreds we get every day. It was from “The American College of Pediatricians”. The release cited new research that said making condoms available to teens was detrimental to their health. Sounds official right? Sounds like a bunch of doctors who make decisions based on science and health right? Wrong. The “College” is a great example a group with a name that sounds like it’s expert when it’s really a cover for political groups.
The ACP was described by one reporter as: “political organization peddling homophobic junk-science.”
My point here is, whether it’s this group or another…do your homework. Even Government backed organizations…research the issue, read all you can, recognize that everyone has their own perspective on issues and then decide for yourself.

Gun Debate
I saw this posted on Twitter and just thought some of you might like to listen. very credible voices on both sides of the argument here.

Bullying follow-up
I wanted to follow-up on some of the debate over bullying here in Iowa. I was thinking about it because of the situation we’ve reported on in Melcher Dallas Schools but Thursday, I was reminded of another part of this debate on the Today Show.
A 13 year-old girl who was accused of criminal stalking that led to the suicide of a classmate was interviewed. Prosecutors dropped charges against her. They couldn’t prove stalking under the statue. It’s pretty clear this girl bullied the girl who killed herself. She told the victim to “Go drink bleach and die”. But the girl, (while sitting next to her parents) went on Today, and said “I don’t think I did anything wrong.”
I’d like to think if it were my kid, I would have had a conversation with her before hand. Regardless of the outcome, I think I might have tried to impress on her that saying something like that is harmful. It is not the way people should be talking to each other. I’d like to think I would have expected my kid to express some remorse. Something like, “I’ve learned here that my words have an effect on other people and that I might think about what I say before it comes out of my mouth.” I hope I would have said, when asked, how disappointed I was at my kid’s behavior. I hope I would have said that it was also a failure on my part as a parent, and on her part of live up to the values we teach in our house.
But in these cases, and others we see parents saying…it’s not my kid’s fault…or there were other circumstances, or the other kid started it. All of that may be pieces of context to better tell the whole story. NONE of it excuses “drink bleach and die” or saying a kid with a disability, “brought it on himself”.

JFK
I remember my parents, particularly my Mom talking about the day JFK was shot. I imagine it was clear to anyone growing up with parents of that generation(as it was to me)…the Kennedy assassination had a profound effect on them.
People debate the merits of JFK’s Presidency, his flaws as a man, and we’ve even tried to opine what his life would have been like (and how the country would have been different) had he lived.
In my mind this is a pretty simple question. JFK was the leader who literally took up the torch for his generation and said it was time for them to lead. Remember he was someone shaped by a difficult war experience (see PT-109), He laid out the vision and the ambition that led to the Apollo missions to the Moon, and he created a culture of service in the Peace Corps. His list of flaws is long, but no longer than Jefferson or FDR or any other President. I think you can say JFK’s Presidency was one that shifted the course of the nation in many ways…and for that it’s worth reflecting on, studying and learning from.

I hope you have a great day!
PWD



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