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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Editorial sampler: Strom Thurmond rules ...

Above: You sent us Congress. Good God, sir, was that fair? [From '1776']

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- Senate on strike: Republicans fail in their duty - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Try this at work: Don’t do a very important part of your job for several months. When your boss finally catches on, say you are refusing to perform that task as a way of protesting the fact that some guy in another department is doing his job in a way you don’t like.

Then write and tell us where your next job is.

This is exactly what the United States Senate has been doing in regard to its constitutional duty to confirm judges appointed by the president. This childish stunt has left the federal bench seriously undermanned for months, a situation that will not be rectified for several more months, at least. [Read the rest ...]

- A poor excuse to block judges - New York Times Editorial

... Republicans are citing a self-serving tradition in the Senate not to act on any nominations in the final six months of a president’s term. This practice is known informally as the "Strom Thurmond rule" for the South Carolina obstructionist who started it in 1968. The party trying to win back the White House pretends a president is only elected for three and a half years, hoping to get its own nominees after the election. (Democrats have done it too.) ...

- Too much piddling by Senate's players - Lousiville Courier-Journal Editorial

In the wonderful Broadway musical "1776," John Adams expresses in song his vexation with the Continental Congress and its failure to act on a Declaration of Independence:

"You see we piddle, twiddle and resolve,

Not one damn thing do we solve . . ."

Maybe the current Congress should invite him back for a reprise. After all, members already have staged a quite a show of piddling, twiddling and resolving to act on the approaching tax and debt crisis without actually doing anything. ...

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