Two Symbolic Votes.
Yesterday both houses of Congress held votes on symbolic legislation--non-binding referendums that are more political statement than lawmaking. In the first vote, which passed 63-34, the Senate "Cheneyed" immigrants:
After an emotional debate fraught with symbolism, the Senate yesterday voted to make English the "national language" of the United States, declaring that no one has a right to federal communications or services in a language other than English except for those already guaranteed by law.In the second vote, Washington Democrat Norm Dicks attached a resolution to an interior appropriations bill that said merely "global warming is an actual environmental problem." (I should note parenthetically that there's not a soul left in the country who doesn't believe this. Last week in Portland the temperature spiked to 92 degrees, shattering the old record of 86. Stories like this are legion.) Of course, it didn't pass. (Sorry, no link.)
As with so many things in Congress, the vote wasn't without its deeply surreal moment. At one point Alaska Congressman Don Young argued against global warming:
"Yes, the earth is warming--in some areas. I just read a report in the fact that Greenland is cooling."So there you have it. Our Congress is scared of Latinos and ignorant of global warming. Makes you damn proud to be an American, doesn't it?