Filibuster reform

English: John McCain official photo portrait.

English: John McCain official photo portrait. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, John McCain and Harry Reid reached a compromise on filibuster reform that avoided the nuclear option. We can chalk up a win for John McCain over the Wacko-birds of the GOP in the Senate. The score now reads:
John McCain   1
Wacko-birds   0

I look forward with anticipation to the next episode in this continuing saga, perhaps to be entitled “The Wacko-birds Strike Back.”

Reform the US Senate

United States Senate Seal

United States Senate Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The US Senate requires reform; it does not represent the people of the US. I would prefer to reform the Senate by increasing the number of Senators so that half of them represent their states’ populations, but that would require a Constitutional amendment. We may be required to use the nuclear option, which is the elimination of the filibuster. However, there is another method of reform which retains the filibuster and does not require a Constitutional amendment, changing state boundaries.

The western interior of the US is overrepresented in the Senate, at least in the number of Senators representing very small populations. If we merged five pairs of two small states into one larger state, that would reduce the number of Senators from 100 to 90 and reduce votes needed for cloture from 60 to 54. Merging 10 states into 5 would have a small effect on the House of Representatives, but a much greater impact on the Senate. The same effect approximately could be achieved by splitting California into 5 or more states. Either option or a combination of both is possible under the Constitution as written, no amendment required.

This is my list of states to be merged with a possible name for the combined state:

Arizona and New Mexico into Alto Mexico or Upper Mexico
Nevada and Utah into Utada or Greater Deseret
Idaho and Montana into Idana or Blue Skies
Wyoming and Colorado into Coloradoming or Mountain
North Dakota and South Dakota into Dakota

Aaron Burr said

President of the Senate Aaron Burr

President of the Senate Aaron Burr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Empire, A Novel by Gore Vidal, Aaron Burr is quoted as saying this in farewell to the Senate:

“If the Constitution is to perish, its dying agonies will be seen on this floor.”

And Burr said that BEFORE the invention of the filibuster.

Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd "All That is Bitter and Sweet...

Ashley Judd “All That is Bitter and Sweet” 2011 (Photo credit: dcnerd)

All That Is Bitter & Sweet, A Memoir by Ashley Judd with Maryanne Vollers. Ashley Judd describes herself as “a Sicilian-hillbilly rabble-rousing actor-activist.” Ashley was an abused and neglected child while her mother, Naomi Judd, and half-sister, Wynonna Judd, spent their time rehearsing to become stars of country music. Ashley entered treatment in a clinic in Buffalo Gap, Texas, and since that time has divided her time between the movies and travelling the third world as an AIDS activist and spokesperson against the sex trade in poor women and children.

In May, 2010, Ashley graduated from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University. Her course of study was in the Women and Public Policy Program in which she achieved almost straight A grades. She is expected to declare her candidacy for Mitch McConnell‘s Senate seat in May, 2013. McConnell is an experienced politician and a wily campaigner. It will be a tough fight, but I believe that Ashley Judd can and will be the winner in November, 2014. McConnell is already running scared with TV ads against Judd although she has not yet entered the race. The US Senate will be a better place with Ashley Judd as a member. Good luck, Ashley.

Appalled

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY).

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am appalled (ap-paul-ed) that the US Congress contains both Senator Rand Paul and Representative Paul Ryan.  Two Pauls don’t make a right, but they do make an extreme Right.