Day of Teeth Gnashing, Garment Rending Ends in Compromise
Despite our fervent hopes, a day of Senate showdowns ended last night without any casualties being reported. While bereft of the trappings of parliamentary authority, the Senate Democrats successfully deployed one of their rhyming couplets to earn barely-bipartisan support for a filibuster, later reaching a compromise with Majority Leader Bill Frist by agreeing to "extend it, not end it" for six months rather than three. Proving once again, no one can kick the cans of national importance down the road quite like your elected officials.
Both sides, naturally, claimed victory. And why shouldn't they? After all, the six month extension all but guarantees that the Patriot Act can be used for its primary purpose as an election year attack-ad bludgeon.
The Patriot Act originally passed the Senate on a 99-1 vote at a moment in American History where politicians were jockeying for an opportunity to sodomize the Statue of Liberty to better prove their undying patriotism.
In other news, a conclusion was also reached on the Defense Appropriations Bill -- certified free of any and all discussion pertaining to cockfighting! -- as, after much wrangling and complaint from Senator Ted Stevens, who spent yesterday in full pout mode, the Senate voted 93-0 to approve the bill absent the ANWR drilling authority for which Stevens has an implacable hard-on. Rumors that Stevens was seen hitchhiking home along a lonely country road backed by the closing-credits theme from The Incredible Hulk were unconfirmed at press time.— DCEIVER
Senate Approves Cuts, but Not Drilling [Washington Post]