In November, the Democratic Party’s goal was a so-called filibuster-proof majority of 60 Senators. Of course, that number included Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders who caucuses with the Democrats and Connecticut Republican Independent Joe Lieberman who caucuses with the Democrats on certain issues and times of the month and with the Republicans the rest of the time.
Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s replacement hasn’t been selected yet nor has Biden officially resigned. We’re eager to find out if Caroline Kennedy will be Hillary Clinton’s replacement after she vacates her seat for the Secretary of State post. And in Colorado, Ken Salazar’s replacement has been selected. Michael Bennet has been chosen to replace Salazar who will depart the Senate for the Secretary of Interior post under President-elect Barack Obama.
Two other Senate seats are still up in the air.
In Minnesota, Comedian Al Franken has been certified as the winner by the Minnesota State Canvassing Board though Norm Coleman refuses to accept the decision. In fact, Coleman, who has lost numerous court rulings now is looking at moving this case to the Federal courts. In the meantime, Senate Republicans will make sure that Minnesota is only represented by 1 Senator.
The decision on this race could take months.
Meanwhile, corrupt Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (I can now spell and pronounce his name without hesitation) defiantly selected Roland Burris as Obama’s replacement. Though on the surface, his record appears clean enough (there are some questions but I suspect every politician has questions about their record) the fact that Burris was chosen by Blago against everyone’s wishes puts the Senate Democrats ill at ease.
Harry Reid will not seat Burris and according to reports he had been turned away at the door.
If everyone were to be seated, Democrats (with Lieberman and Sanders) would control 59 Senate seats. Remove Burris / Obama, Biden, Clinton and Franken, that brings the number to 55.
No offense guys, but we have soldiers in harms way in Afghanistan and Iraq. There are problems mounting in Pakistan, Russia / Georgia and Israel. Not to mention problems in Africa and other areas in the world. We have a global financial meltdown occurring with a recession teetering dangerously close to depression here at home. Companies are filing bankruptcy at an alarming rate with many others laying off employees at a record clip. Let’s not forget the banking bailout, the Big 3 auto companies, newspapers and so many other industries.
Job loss will result in more foreclosures and more homeless. Then we can count on more depression, drug and alcohol use and crime. Healthcare costs are out of this world and the job loss will increase those without insurance. Watch our health insurance companies as job loss and business closings reduce their membership count – thus they’ll need to reduce staff in order to stay afloat.
Of course, if the health insurance carriers were to go under, the federal government would be forced to implement universal healthcare.
And as foreclosures rise, taxes received by towns, cities, counties and states will reduce. Let’s see how many declare bankruptcy.
But let’s worry about Burris and the perception that there are questionable ties to Blago and the corruption of Chicago politics.
And let the courts drag out the Franken – Coleman election for months on end.
We have much work to do and the problems that exist within our country and the world far exceed these petty problems of Burris and Coleman.