Showing posts from December, 2013

Killing the Filibuster and Letting the Majority Rule in the Senate

  One of the many reasons for the logjam in Congress in the past years has been that while a simple majority is all that is necessary to pass a bill in the House of Representatives, in the Senate it takes 60 votes to do so.   Why?   Because the Senate allows for a parliamentary procedure called a “filibuster” in which the Senators who oppose a bill may keep debating it, and debating it, and debating it, unless cut off by a “cloture” vote, which takes the support of 60 senators.   Thus, even though the Democrats have a majority of 53 senators (plus two independents who usually vote with them), they cannot pass a bill without the support of some of the 45 Republican senators supporting a cloture vote. Aaron Burr Under Robert’s Rules of Order (used by most deliberative bodies) debate is closed by the passage of a “Motion To Call the Question,” which is not debatable (see RRO section 37).   In the U.S. House of Representatives such a motion passes on a mere majority vote.   Th

Duck Dynasty & Gays: Freedom of Speech Isn’t What It’s Quacked Up To Be

Phil Robertson The patriarch of the duck whistle family in “Duck Dynasty” (one of the most watched shows on television), Phil Robertson, granted a interview recently with GQ Magazine and made some remarks about blacks: I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. ...They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word! . . .   Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues. and gay men: It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there!   She’s got more to offer.   I mean, come on, dudes!   You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s no

Douglas and David Get Married

Continuing the story of the romance that has been explored before in this blog below (see Related Posts below), this update gives a pr è cis of the actual marriage and the celebration thereof that occurred to Douglas John Whaley and David Allen Vargo, who met on Saturday, January 12 th of this year at 11 p.m. in Wilton Manors, Florida, and married in New York City on Saturday, November 9 th at 5:30 p.m. Since the States of Ohio and Florida both prohibit gays from obtaining a marriage license, we flew to New York on Thursday, November 7 th , and checked into the Hilton on Times Square.   I mentioned to the nice woman at the reservations desk that we were in the city for the weekend in   order to be married, she congratulated us, and then promptly put us in a deluxe suite with a terrific view of downtown.   David hadn’t seen either “The Phantom of the Opera” or “The Lion King” (though decades before I’d watched the original casts perform both), so we saw them in that order on T