Thursday, January 01, 2009

Friday clips

All Was Quiet On New Year's Day

The new session of Congress starts Monday with somewhere between 98 and 100 Senators:

  • Nate Silver on the likely court fight over Sen.-Designate Roland Burris: "Ultimately winning this court case doesn't necessarily do a whole lot of good for Reid. All that would mean is that the Democrats would be short a senator until Illinois either held a special election or impeached Blagojevich, neither of which appear likely to happen especially quickly. Rather, the goal is to find some pretense by which the Democrats can keep Blagojevich at arm's-length."

    Potential for even more of a scene: multiple sources note that sitting governors have Senate floor privileges... so Blagojevich could personally escort Burris into the chamber.

  • If I were a betting man I say Burris gets seated, but the Senate has a Plan B:
    “A motion to refer credentials to the committee has the effect of delaying seating,” a Senate Democratic aide said. “The motion is debatable and amendable.”

    Another official explained: “That buys us 90 days.”

    That should be enough so the senators won’t have to act to prevent Burris from joining the chamber. Blagojevich’s defiance inflamed Illinois legislators, speeding up the impeachment process.

    The question then: If new Gov. Quinn makes a new appointment, and Burris argues his appointment is legit, what happens?

  • For the proto-fascist among us, the Sheriff Joe reality show.

  • Green Party activist John Walsh says the `08 election marks the end of the Greens. Full of minor party minor arcana, but the thesis is that attitudes toward Nader, and identity politics, wrecked the nascent organization.
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