Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Things that kind of blew my mind today

Anybody been following the situation with the New York State Assembly? Basically, a little while back two Democrats facing corruption charges announced they were switching to Republicans which would then switch the Assembly to their control. The Democrats said "nuh uh" and locked the door to the chamber claiming that it wasn't legal if they didn't have the votes to do this. They eventually convinced one of these losers to switch back leaving everything deadlocked and both sides claiming that they are the presiding body and one of the rogue Democrats was now the Senate president. The Democrats haven't been into the chamber for 2 weeks until today. This is all really confusing stuff and I don't really follow most of it myself.

Today they took things to another level and acted like a bunch of children. A special session to try to help resolve all this and pass certain critical tax bills was scheduled for this afternoon and the Republicans were planning to enter the chamber an hour before this session so they could be in charge. However, while the Republicans were having a pizza party to plan this master stroke several Democrats snuck into the chamber through a back hallway and started their own session in the dark to avoid arousing suspicion.

So, at 2 P.M. the Repubs come in with their own presiding officer, Espada, and their own gavel and are sneaking reporters into the balcony to cover the whole thing. Of course things devolve into lots of shouting and banging of gavels and parliamentary maneuvers and rushing in and out of the chamber to alternately get on one side or the other of the quorum threshold.
Both sides gaveled out -- using their own gavels and own presiding officers -- as they waited for Paterson to send the bills. A Republican senator, though, said the "extraordinary session" has concluded and it will take another formal request of the governor to bring the Senate back to order. Both sides, however, talked of returning to the chamber later this evening. How, or if, what has become a constitutional crisis for the Senate, can be resolved is as uncertain as the June 8 GOP-led coup that created today's confrontation.

"You're out of order. Don't you call me out of order," Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a Democrat, snapped at Sen. George Winner, who the Republicans tapped to lead the floor fight as presiding officer. He did so from below the chamber's podium, which the Democrats had seized earlier in the afternoon. "I don't understand what their point was other than trying to establish that they were in charge," Winner, still clutching his small gavel, said as he worked his way down a packed hallway after the session.
Unbelievable. Pretty soon it will be like those clips they show on those shocking video programs where the Asian legislators are beating each other with shoes. What a mess.

This news is a little old but there's a really bizarre story about two Japanese men who were detained in Italy for attempting to carry $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds into Switzerland. No one knows what the hell these guys were doing with that much money. According to this they could have bought out the economies of Slovakia, Croatia, and Cambodia. Or just paid for three Beijing Olympics. The men were released and the US Treasury is already saying they think the bonds are fake. The conspiracy theorists out there wonder if Japan was trying to secretly dump the boatloads of US currency they own, possibly from "secret" debt issued by someone in the government. Hey, that would kind of suck.

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