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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Which One's The Saucer?

I have always loved the US Senate. I like the chamber because it's just neat with its arcane rules, generally decent debates, and is, as Washington put it, the saucer that cools legislation. The Senate is way more stately than the House. In fact I like the Senate so much, I actually watch it on C-SPAN2. Yup, I'm that boring.

Alas, I've been disappointed with the Senate of late. Really it goes back to when only 23 Senators, including the faithful steward and historian Robert Byrd, voted against enabling Bush's war and abdicating Congressional responsibility. But more recently I was disgusted that the Majority would try to push a vote on a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage rather than dealing with legislation funding homeland security or other important measures. Today is another day of disappointment.

But first some good news from the House today:

House leaders called Monday for Congress to affirm that presidential elections, to be held this year on Nov. 2, will never be postponed because of a terrorist attack.
A congressional resolution by Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Administration Committee, says "the actions of terrorists will never cause the date of any presidential election to be postponed" and "no single individual or agency should be given the authority to postpone the date of a presidential election."

The resolution is supported by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and more than 60 other lawmakers. Ney said he would introduce it on Tuesday.

House Republicans, of all people, are doing the right thing when it comes to safeguarding our electoral process. And what is the Senate debating?

A Senate panel approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday that would ban the burning of the American flag, but opponents of the measure say there's not enough support in the full, GOP-controlled Senate to push through a change to the Constitution.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a one-line change to the Constitution — "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States" — on an 11-7 vote, which pushes the issue to the full Senate.

"The flag deserves constitutional protection, and legal scholars agree that this amendment is the only way to restore the law as it existed for most of our nation's history," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

I'm so glad to see Senate Republicans haven't taken their eyes off the ball.


[Update: made a couple minor edits.]

July 20, 2004 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink


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Explain something if you are able, NTodd. You said your mother was in Girl Scouts? Mine was too, as well as my dad teaching Boy Scouts for as many years. They taught about the history and the reason for flags.
My father is a veteran, has great respect for the flag, and thus, out of respect, would burn old flags so they wouldn't go to the trash or the rag bin. So why are people so obsessive over burning or 'desecrating' the flag? Have they really thought it out? This has got to be the most moronic of gestures.
In my opinion, making the flag an holy icon would be horrific and cause all sorts of problems. This is just catering to the religious wingnuts who are still shaking over the hippie era.
So we make the flag a religious icon, other countries will take greater pleasure in burning it. People here will get arrested for having the stupid plastic flags on their cars falling off and being desecrated by others driving over it. People will have to bury their Old Navy shirts with taps playing.
Can people be this dumb?

Posted by: ellroon | Jul 20, 2004 4:13:52 PM

"Can people be this dumb?"

You have to ask?

So go ahead and burn your old flag - while it is still a way to honor a retired flag, rather than a unconstitional act.

After burning becomes unconstitutional, you can turn your flag into a bikini or thong. (http://www.bikini-beach.com/jelly45.htm)


Posted by: Marcus | Jul 20, 2004 4:43:22 PM

Of course we should throw all flag desecraters in prison for say 15...no, 20 years or so. That'll teach 'em what it means to live in a free country.

Unless it's Kid Rock wearing the flag like a poncho at the Super Bowl. Better the kids should see that than Janet Jackson's breast. Breast exposers should all be thrown in prison for, say 15...

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement | Jul 20, 2004 5:23:59 PM

There's a local furniture merchant in Houston ("Mattress Mac") who regularly wears shirts with an image of a large portion of an American flag on them when he appears in commercials for his store. He has done this for well over a decade, and I've often wondered what he does with the worn-out shirts.

Some years ago, on my way to perform a concert, I found a small American flag on the ground near an oil patch near Albany, TX (waaaay north of Houston, about 800 miles). It was apparently a fugitive from a roughneck's truck. The poor flag was soaked in oil... a harbinger of things to come, perhaps. I took the flag home, washed it carefully and displayed it among other flags I've collected from unusual places. That was so successful that I may proceed to the traditional Republican practice, exemplified by Tom DeLay and performed on the true symbol of America... namely, laundering money.

Posted by: Steve Bates | Jul 20, 2004 8:05:06 PM

The flag issue is far deeper than that son, but considerably above the abyss that is your inability to understand. Nuance, my boy, nuance. The new liberal free ticket. Ambassador Wilson is fairly adroit in the nuance game. He's your answer.

Posted by: blogbudsman | Jul 20, 2004 8:48:17 PM

(1) Listen to blogbudsman, he sounds wise.

(2) Steve B.: If you don't harken to Mattress Mac's exhortation to save you money, the terrorists have won.

(3) Can I burn a copy of the Constitution if this idiotic garbage passes? And an 8 x 10 glossy of John Cornyn?

Posted by: norbizness | Jul 20, 2004 10:46:54 PM

Bob Ney is the guy who put "Freedom Fries" on the menu at the House cafeteria. This ... is a start.

Posted by: Thlayli | Jul 20, 2004 11:53:01 PM

Was there ever a law against burning flags that needs to be restored? You know, we may need an amendment to restore freedom of speech and expression before all is said and done, because little by little, their revoking it.

Posted by: MercuryX23 | Jul 21, 2004 2:26:01 PM

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