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Day at the Circus

June 30, 2009

So I was going to write about the big Energy Bill that passed the US House last week, but apparently it doesn’t actually exist. I’m pretty sure that’s against the rules of the house, but it’s nice to know that New York isn’t alone in it’s dysfunction.

Back to New York…

Today marked the 7th extraordinary session that was called, and I expected a gavel-in-gavel-out, as has been the norm, but actually I was in for quite the treat.

So at 10 am, the governor had scheduled an extraordinary session. The Democrats started out normally, but then they decided to do a quorum call. Quorum in the 62 member Senate is 32. Now they’ve ignored this for the past week, as they’ve only had 31 members, and have never wanted to draw attention to the fact that without a quorum, they can’t actually do anything, including call the session. But both of the 31 member conferences have each independently done their own session.

But the Democrats made a quorum call, and the Republicans rushed in as they were calling out the absenses. They then got in an argument. No one had any idea what was going on.  You can see it all here.

It was a joke. They have no idea how to run a meeting. And Skelos didn’t recognize Madame President- I mean Senator Stewart-Cousins, as the president. They eventually adjourned sine die (More on that later).

Malcom Smith did state that the Democrats would be calling regular session at noon.

So at this point, I begin to wander the halls of the capitol. I see the usual, Pedro Espada stamping his feet and repeating “I am the President!”, Schneidermann being all lawyery and insisting Pedro Espada definately is not president, and generally nothing of actual note.

So twelve o’clock rolls around and apparently there’s a public leaders meeting. Except, there wasn’t. The Dems gavel in around 12:30 for a 12 o’clock session, which is pretty standard in the world of the New York State legislature. What was Senator Marty Connor, the affable Republican senator from New York City, doing?

Surely, he was with Republicans planning their next move in this political chess match. Nope, he was on Twitter of course!

Surely, he was venting about the Democrats antics to his constituents right? Nope.

At around noon he posted this:

“Come join me and see the first concert of the season, “Head over Heels; The Southern Comfort Band” – 7PM on 79th St.; Shore Road.”

Sweet! That band’s my favorite! Now lets watch their mean rendition of Whipping Post.

That was awesome. Okay, maybe that was totally more important than anything else that was going on, sorry Senator.

Back in the much less exciting chamber though, the Democrats call session and start passing bills. Except, given the 31-31 split, and the fact no one could see any Republicans, there was a lot of confusion. I know I was cursing. They end up passing all the bills they had put out earlier in the day, went to a rules committee to bring more bills to the floor, then passed more bills. All without a single Republican in the chamber, or so it appeared. And here is where the day gets f**ked.

So apparently Senator Padavan, a Republican from Long Island, walked through the chamber to get some coffee because the damn media was blocking him. Wait no he was getting a coke. Except he ended up with a damn V8.

But the democrats ended up counting him as present, which according to the Democrats take on Senate Rules, once he’s counted as present by the clerk, he can be counted towards quorum. There was great debate regarding whether or not he was there, and as indicated in the above links, there were even affidavits signed.

I know what I saw.

The illusive Senator Padavan, in his natural environment.

The illusive Senator Padavan, in his natural environment.

But, poor Senator Padavan. The guy’s like 80 years old. He has no idea whats going on, for god sake’s he’s been in the Senate since 1973. You get confused. And thirsty. The only one that is more like your grandfather is this guy. If they picked on him I think I’d cry a little.

But that’s the way it goes, the Democrats who claim to protect the rights of the elderly are using this poor old man’s need for 2 servings of vegetables to pass their bills.

They even started celebrating it. “Thank Frank.”

Not that it matters, because Patterson isn’t signing the bills. And he’s got back up too, from the View’s own Star Jones. I know I wouldn’t mess with her.

There was however, an extraordinary session scheduled for 7 pm, because of a court order which was issued that compelled all senators to come to the chamber together and denied a stay from the Republicans. Its alot of legal crap. It was a crazy cherry, on top of the bat-sh*t f***ing insane Sundae that was June 30th in Albany. Just watch the mess.

Senator Skelos is still confused as to what to call Madame President-er Senator Stewart-Cousins, and this day surely leaves them miles from an agreement.

But I know one thing, and this is my final point.

NONE OF THEM HAVE ANY CLUE HOW TO PRONOUNCE SINE DIE.

I have heard it pronounced at least a dozen different ways in the past week, from Senator Malcolm Smith dramatically calling it “sign or die”, to the butchering both he and Senator Skelos gave it in that last post.

Honestly, you’re supposed to be educated leaders of the people. It’s Latin, learn how to pronounce it correctly. It is NOT THAT HARD. If the “leaders” of the Senate can’t take the time to learn how to pronounce a Latin word, how can any of them be trusted to run the “upper” chamber of the third largest state in the union?

The short answer: They can’t.

But they can make great analogies.

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