This morning in the 11 o'clock eastern segment of the United States Senate debate on health care reform, the Republicans went wild. More appropriately, John McCain went wild. In arguing the merits of the Lincoln amendment, an amendment limiting the tax benefits of insurance industry executives, John McCain took to the floor and asked that the amendment be modified to include the executives of AARP and Walmart. No, I'm not making this up. I can only imagine the chaos that then ensued in Senator Blanche Lincoln's office. McCain continued to rail against every organization that has endorsed the health care reform legislation, stating emphatically that they'd been "bought" by Majority Leader Reid's office. A semi-unlikely choice to counter the Republicans during their time-controlled allotment was Max Baucus of Montana. Baucus stood his ground, but the Republicans, under the rules, had control of the floor and finally shut out his questions. McCain, in a rare occasion of attacking a senator personally, said for the record that he'd thought Baucus had learned the rules by now. McCain is trying to modify an amendment submitted by a colleague, which isn't doable under the rules, but he has no problem attacking another senator who he feels doesn't understand the body's rules? Of all the things to be attacking Baucus on these days... What happened to the John McCain of several years ago? More than just Sarah Palin, apparently.
In a more productive Senate speech, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania told a story of twin girls with leukemia that I found particularly moving. Perhaps I'll write something up about that later in the weekend. Later in the weekend when I plan to write about several topics...
I've mentioned before that I don't watch many shows regularly anymore, due in part to my decreasing attention span, the baseball season gets serious just as the tv season starts up, and the fact that I like to catch Countdown and the Rachel Maddow Show in the evenings. I have been catching The Amazing Race since the baseball season ended (the damn brothers are responsible for my guys, the Harlem Globetrotters, being eliminated), I try to remember to catch Fringe, but end up catching it on Hulu (where I also catch the Wanda Sykes Show) more often than not, and then there's the Friday night USA lineup. That is the USA lineup until yesterday. The fall finale of the new series White Collar was a shocker and sadly, we said goodbye to the neurotic Tony Shalhoub character Monk. Monk has been a mainstay around here and I was very impressed with the finale. Series finales are hit or miss, like 'em or hate 'em, and this one definitely was a hit. The last few moments were a look back on the series, back in the days when Sharona was Monk's Natalie and the final few moments showed Randy settling in as a New Jersey police captain (god, help New Jersey).
Beginning today is the Aid for Friends encampment at Pocatello's Caldwell Park. For those of you outside of Pocatello, Aid for Friends is the local homeless shelter. The encampment is sponsored by Aid For Friends, Modern Woodsmen of America, ISU College Democrats and the ISU Student Senate. From the press release:
"The event is a fundraiser where volunteers obtain pledges to spend the night at Caldwell Park in make-shift cardboard boxes. The event also includes a canned food and clothing drive. The annual encampment is intended to simulate homeless conditions and educate the community about the plight of our area homeless. Donations and pledges are accepted. Monies raised from this event will go toward the continued operation of the Aid For Friends homeless shelter."The encampment begins today, December 5th, and goes through tomorrow. Caldwell Park can be located here via Google Maps.
I got an email this week from the chairperson of the Twin Falls County Democrats that said Gary Eller's "In the Middle" blog will not be returning to the Twin Fall Times-News blog lineup. Both "Conservative Corner" and "Progressive Voice" have returned with a few other blogs including "Capitol Confidential." Gary was a reasonable, moderate voice and continues to be someone I respect greatly. I hope the Times-News can find a reasonable conservative voice to add to the mix, a nice counter to the fairly liberal views of one blog and the completely outrageous, fringe views of Tom Young.
Whenever I tire of watching the debate on C-SPAN, I'm sure there will be music in my future. I actually made it through the entire week without once signing into Pandora, opening Windows Media Player on my work computer, or buying or listening to anything on iTunes. Didn't think that was possible? Neither did I! Anyway, go check out the band Tinted Windows (yes, the front man is Taylor Hanson of Hanson fame) with "Kind of a Girl" on youTube or you can download the single via iTunes. The video has a retro feel to it and I absolutely love the song!