If I’m going to delurk for lousy politics, I should also do it for amazing news that reminds me that there is still wonder in the world: Voyager has reached the edge of the solar system.
Eight-point-seven billion miles. Wow. Oh man. This is the feeling that got me into science in the first place.
(Image swiped from Voyager’s home page, hat tip: GitM.)
Here’s something that jolted me out of my hiatus: that maggot with legs, Catkiller Frist, has pulled the nuclear trigger in the Senate. MoveOn PAC has a petition you can sign, and I’m just going to crib this brief introduction directly from them:
Starting Monday, the petition will be delivered straight to Congress every three hours until the final vote, and many of our comments will be read aloud on the Senate floor.
Please sign right now at:
Why is this an emergency?
This Tuesday, the Senate will vote on Republican Leader Bill Frist’s “nuclear option” to break the rules of the Senate and give the Republican Party absolute control over appointing federal judges.
For 200 years the minority’s right to filibuster has kept our courts fair, by making sure that federal judges needed to get at least some support from both sides of the aisle before they were given life time appointments.
If Frist eliminates the filibuster, his next step would be to force far right partisan judges onto the powerful U.S. Courts of Appeals. The real targets, however, are the four seats on the Supreme Court likely to become vacant in the next four years.
With that much power on the Supreme Court, the far right could strike down decades of progress on labor rights, environmental protections, reproductive rights, and privacy.
The “nuclear option” will live or die by a final vote, probably on Tuesday, and the vote is still way too close to call. There are at least 6 moderate Republicans still on the fence and only 3 more votes needed to win. If we can get enough of our voices into congress and into the streets in the next 72 hours, we can still save our courts.
More background can be had by reading Barbara Boxer’s floor speech, in which she points out that the nutbags behind this naked grab for power are trying to effect profound change in the way this country is governed because they are not satisfied with a 95% success rate. The democrats have managed to stop 10 of 218 Bush judicial nominees, and that’s not good enough for the radical right. They want ALL the power, now and forever.
The spousal unit points out that “forever” is exactly right. If you expected ever to be out of power again, would you try to eliminate one of the most powerful tools the opposition has? These bastards do not expect ever to lose another election.
Please do what you can to stop ‘em, or I promise you we will all be sorry. Sign the petition and call your Senators.
Finally, some news worth a break in my hiatus. Live long and prosper, Fiona Haughey. Congratulations and best wishes to Kay and Matt.