The first piece of news is that the Supreme Court has set April 28th as the day that it will start hearing arguments dealing with the release of the 130,000 petition signatures that got Referendum 71 on the Washington state ballot, which was the failed effort to overturn the states expanded "every thing but marriage" domestic partnership laws. Depending on how the court rules this could have a large impact on open government laws not just in WA but threw out the country, as the goal of the anti gay rights group who has brought this case to the supreme court is to withhold the signature under the pretense that they are protected free speech. If ruled so it would me that in future initiatives you would not be able to see who signed and supported getting it put on the ballot and it opens up the slippery slop, that since the supreme court has found that campaign contributions are a form of free political speech (ala corporations are people and thus have a right to unlimited campaign contributions as part of their "free speech rights") it opens the door the the argument that disclosure laws them selves are a violation of political free speech. Such a threat could fundamentally undue our government as there would no longer be a way to hold any politician accountable for where and from whom they got their money and with out that knowledge there is no system of checks and balances, when it comes to the public and their elected official.
OK now on to the some of that political constipation that is plaguing the capital, PS its one of my pitches the The Rachel Maddow Show's Filibuster Challenge , as a new name for the filibuster.(I know dorky but that's me) So as I was saying most strikingly in the senate with the party of No putting the kibosh on getting anything done whether it be providing a nominee to passing a bill, government has effectively ground to a halt, as nothing can get past the senate. Yet the Democratic Senate majority leader all but refuses is to even acknowledge that there is a way to alleviate the Republican induced constipation and get things moving once again with a simple majority vote in the senate, which currently has a back log of at least 200 bills that the house has passed that, have not even made it to the floor of the senate do to the dead lock that is currently enveloping it. Then there is also the not so new Republican tactic of opposing their own policies the moment the democrats and particularly the president puts support behind them in order to try to build some bipartisanship.
At this point the Democrats have to take a lesson from the Republicans from when they where in power and grow a spine and just start ramming legislation threw, as the Republicans have shown that they have no interest what so ever in stepping up to the table in a productive way. One glaring example being HEALTH REFORM which in its current compromise state, includes all of the main points that the Republicans loudly proclaim they want to see in a comprehensive health reform bill, as a matter of fact the bill looks almost identical to what their own parties political strategies say an ideal compromise bill would look like, yet they refuse to vote for it, simple because they are not in power when it was created. They have spent months demanding an televised open health care summit with the president, now that they have one they can't claim that it is a trap fast and loud enough. Yet the democrats continue to insist on bringing the republicans to the negotiating table, it is futile you can not negotiate with people who willfully do not care about policy, who only care about holing the polar opposite position as you, even if that mean abandon their very own policies because you adopt them your self to try to gain their support.
It is also time for congress to take some serious action to get health care reform passed, whether that means that the the house of representatives takes up the senate bill as a it was passed and the house democrats hold their nose at the parts they don't like and ram it threw to the President's desk for him to sign, or the Senate which is sooner then latter going to have to deal with its constipation issue any way goes nuclear on it, and then passes the compromise bill for the President to sign something has to get done. Not to mention something that will have some immediate affects as the public as been waiting quite a long time for this to happen and they we are starting to get quite feed up with it. I