May 19, 2005

Shuttle Diplomacy in the Senate

Could... not... resist... [emphasis mine.]

JOHNS: Well, yes, it seems pretty clear that if six Democrats and six Republicans sign on, each agreeing not to take that extra step, it means that you can't go forward with an attempt to change the rules on the Senate floor. It would also presumably change the circumstances under which Democrats would try to block a nomination on the floor.

So that's what they're talking about. It's essentially a truce that they're trying to work out using those six Democrats and six Republicans -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Shuttle diplomacy. Maybe they should bring back Henry Kissinger and see if he can come up with some sort of agreement between these warring factions on the Hill. ...

Wolf Blitzer on CNN -- May 19, 2005

Karl Rove thinks about it for a few days ...

May 25, 2005 - John Kerry and John McCain are asked to help restore collegiality in the Senate and set a good example for the public by leading their fellow senators in self-defense classes. The classes are set to be followed by an international policy discussion moderated by Henry Kissinger while the participants relax after their workout. Kissinger's contract for holding these team-building discussions is kept secret for national security reasons.

June 2, 2005 - The media is buzzing with the physical fitness craze sweeping the upper chamber of the Congress.

June 17, 2005 - Really getting into the spirit of the thing, the Republican caucus calls in military tactics consultants from CIA to liven up their training.

July 25, 2005 - Chief Justice Rehnquist announces his retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court for health reasons.

July 29, 2005 - President Bush announces the nomination of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to fill the vacancy.

August 3, 2005 - The Senate Judiciary Committee begins three days of acrimonious hearings over the Gonzales nomination.

August 8, 2005 - Nasty wrangling over the weekend talk shows and throughout the Monday session leads to several Democrats placing holds on Gonzales. They can no longer filibuster, but the caucus begins withholding consent on even the most mundane matters of Senate business.

August 10, 2005 - Mysterious bomb threats are called in to nine grade schools in Wisconsin and Illinois. Coincidentally, relatives of three Democratic members of the Judiciary committee are among the affected students. Only one bomb is found, a S.W.A.T. team is easily able to defuse it in time. Senator Frist blames a media climate that's overly favorable to anarchists like the Earth Liberation Front.

August 11, 2005 - Senator Frist introduces a bill that would expand the ability of the law enforcement to monitor the activities of U.S. citizens and political groups. It's called the School Security and Protection Act, and it's stalled along with all other Senate business.

August 12, 2005 - Senator Russell Feingold is discovered in a Capitol washroom stall badly beaten and hogtied with his own necktie. One of his fingernails has been torn out. A 'wet floor' sign keeps him from being discovered until the janitorial staff make their evening rounds. No witnesses are found to corroborate Feingold's claim that five men in ski masks jumped him on the way to an appointment with Orrin Hatch. The Senate is suspended for a week while the incident is investigated.

August 22, 2005 - The Senate reconvenes with new security procedures in place, though no evidence has been found to link the Feingold attack to any suspects. Several Republican senators suggest to the press before the day's session starts that Feingold staged the whole thing to gain sympathy for his party's obstructionism. Feingold himself shows up, bandages and all, to force the first vote of the day on whether or not the session will officially begin.

August 23, 2005 - When Senator Kennedy doesn't show up to the Judiciary Committee meeting to vote on whether to send Gonzales' nomination to the floor, his colleagues grow concerned. Kennedy's aides have all called in sick for the day from a variety of causes, and he's discovered unconscious in his office from a blow to the back of the head, soaked in whiskey and surrounded by the shards of a broken liquor bottle. FOX News takes a full day to correct their initial report that the Senator was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning, an allegation that runs on the front page of the next day's Washington Times. Senate business is suspended for another week during the investigation, no prints are discovered on the fragments of the bottle.

August 25, 2005 - Senator Schumer's son-in-law doesn't come home from work. Senator Specter suggests on a cable news interview that he isn't actually all that pleased with Gonzales' record as a nominee.

August 26, 2005 - Senator Schumer's son-in-law is officially declared missing.

August 27, 2005 - Senator Biden's son is suspended from active duty when a routine traffic stop turns up a gram of cocaine in a friend's car he's riding in while he's on leave. FOX News runs a one hour special about the out of control crime rates in New York.

August 28, 2005 - A series of mysterious bomb threats suspends services at five Vermont churches, including the one usually attended by Senator Leahy. A small stockpile of high-grade C4 is found in the basement of one of the churches, but it isn't connected to a timer.

August 29, 2005 - A sniper firing from a rooftop, whom police are subsequently unable to locate, kills a D.C. resident. The woman is in her 50s, has short dark hair, and lives within a block of Senator Feinstein's D.C. residence. The shooting happens half an hour before she usually leaves to get to the Hill, and by the time she makes it to the office, it's the top TV news story of the day.

August 30, 2005 - A shaken looking Arlen Specter presides over the first meeting of the 109th Congress' Judiciary Committee to take under 20 minutes and end with a unanimous vote to confirm the nominee in question.

August 31, 2005 - Gonzales is approved in the Senate by a 95-0 vote, 5 abstentions. The School Security and Protection Act passes the same day by identical margins. Historians record this as the beginning of Bush's 100% success rate in getting his nominees confirmed by the Senate, all of whom are subsequently approved within three days of their initial hearing.

September 1, 2005 - Senator Schumer's son-in-law is discovered in a motel in Virginia, incoherent, groggy and unable to remember any of the events of the past week.

September 2, 2005 - In a press conference held to honor Gonzales, Bush stops to thank Henry Kissinger for bringing a new atmosphere of bipartisan cooperation to a formerly hostile Senate.

Posted by natasha at May 19, 2005 04:38 PM | | Technorati links |


I'm not so sure.

Posted by: David Aquarius at May 20, 2005 10:36 AM