How to pass immigration reform

English: President Barack Obama speaks to a jo...

English: President Barack Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If Barack Obama were to come out as opposed to the gang of eight proposal passed by the US Senate, the GOP in the House of Representatives would pass the bill in a flash. Then Barack could have a change of heart and sign the law or the Congress could pass the bill over his veto.

The gang of 3

Cover of "Three Amigos!"

Cover of Three Amigos!

In the US Senate, the gang of three is composed of Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. They sometimes are referred to as the Three Amigos. In the film by the same name, Ted Cruz is played by Chevy Chase and in real life by Donald Trump. In the film, Mike Lee is played by Martin Short and in real life by a younger Orrin Hatch. Rand Paul is played by Steve Martin and in real life by his father, Ron Paul.

Me, my, mine

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

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

Have you ever noticed how limited the empathy of some people is? Rob Portman, US Senator from Ohio, was opposed to gay marriage until his son came out of the closet. Now that Portman has reversed his position on gay marriage, he claims that he cannot also support increased gun safety. I suppose one change of heart is his limit, today, this month, this Senate term, or this lifetime. Michael Milliken, the junk bond king, was fined heavily for his activities, but still retained millions of dollars. When he successfully fought off prostate cancer, he established a foundation to look for prostate cancer cures. That action was admirable, but what about other diseases that deserve funding?

My point is that many of us only care about conditions that affect us or our close family members. Case in point is the Senate action to solve the sequester cut effects on air traffic, while at the same time ignoring the sequester effects on the poor and the military. Selective empathy is the bane of our society.

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

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.