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You Oughta Know - Supreme Vacancy

Yesterday was a rough day; my computer decided to bite the dust completely out of the blue. I suppose I needed a reason to go iPad only. But let's face it, many days of late have been rough for a variety of reasons. Today, let's take back control.

Supreme Vacancy

The Supreme Court has a vacancy. I learned a couple days ago that nothing in the constitution states the number of necessary Supreme Court justices; that number is set by congress and has stood at nine for quite some time. Last year, when Justice Scalia died, Merrick Garland was nominated by President Obama. At the time, Republicans stonewalled the nomination, but they are now asking Democrats to be reasonable. Neil Gorsuch is the president's pick and by the sound of it that nomination is surprisingly normal.

What's in a quorum?

There is no doubt that the Republicans want to move some of these processes along, but playing by their own rules shouldn't be allowed. Yesterday, some Democrats decided to boycott the cabinet nomination procedures due to the misrepresentations made in the testimonies of the nominees. Committee rules state that at least one person from each party is to be present at time of vote. The chair of the committee moved forward with the Democrats, citing "extraordinary circumstances" and suspending the rules of the committee. The outcome is that Steve Mnuchin (Treasury) and Tom Price (Health and Human Services) have been passed into the full senate for deliberation without a full understanding of the following concerns, raised by Democrats:

"Today, for the first time in history, the Senate Finance Committee broke the rules to push through on a partisan basis two nominees," [Senator Ron Wyden] said. "Congressman Tom Price, whose stock trades call into question whether he will work in the public interest or his own, and the other, Steven Mnuchin, who appears to have misled the committee on his company's foreclosure practices after the Great Recession."

Those "bad" people

The travel ban has been at the top of a lot of people's minds of late for good reason: good people are being kept out of the country for no good reason. This has caused confusion at airports, deportations, and protests, but more importantly, it has kept people from entering the country that are coming in for medical care and to escape terrorism in their home lands. Meanwhile, the president focuses on the media's use of the word "ban" and begs to differ on the idea that it is affecting good people. Below are just a few of the stories coming out of this situation:

Honorable Mention

RogueNASA, the twitter account that exists to share out information in the event the standard NASA account is legally silenced, shared one of the best tweet/response pairs in recent memory.