Elliot: Starry-eyed in the Kyper Belt


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Last week, our government proved that it is far stranger than fiction — or even real life, which, for those of you who still believe in it, is mighty strange, given Twitter, Facebook, and Sally Mason, a social media all to herself. It takes a Ph.D. to accomplish that, so don’t try it at home using vinegar, cucumbers, and some twine.

Especially the twine.

Meanwhile, back at the stranger-than-fiction ranch (take a right at the WYZ Hey-Dude Resort, left at the ethanol plant, and stop before the Astrology Farm — there are some signs there), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., last week ended up filibustering his own bill to prevent it from being voted on.

Yes — you heard that right. McConnell filibustered his own proposed bill, because he was afraid Democrats would pass his own proposed bill.

Is this a great country or what?

(The McConnell bill was about the debt ceiling. Haven’t we been here before? Yeah, I know — yawn.)

Such action would never happen in Kyrgyzstan or Kazakhstan, stalwart allies that they are, which are still what we euphemistically call “developing democracies” — meaning they have not yet developed the concept of filibuster, which would make them completely mature democracies.

Apparently, the filibuster concept that Kyrgystan and Kazakhstan employ — the AK-47 filibuster —  is not considered “mature,” at least in the democracy sense.

A “mature” democracy allows one person to thwart the wishes of the majority by filibustering, which used to mean going yakkety-yakkety-yak on the Senate floor for next to forever or until the climate warms up but now means filing some papers. Sorry, Jimmy Stewart.

McConnell’s action probably qualifies as the strangest filibuster ever in this country’s long history of the quite odd notion we fondly know as filibusters. Some of us, no doubt, know it less fondly than others.

(Of course, somebody — maybe Borges — would point out that fiction and real life are the same thing. Well, Borges might point that out if he were still around — and I would argue that with all his books, Borges is still quite round, if not quite around.)

In any case, I suspect that somewhere, maybe near the Kuiper Belt, the atoms that once made up Borges are arguing the real-life/fiction question with atoms that once composed comets. Or will compose comets. The Kyper Belt is quite nice this time of year, and we should all go there for spring break, I get it on good authority — but then, I hear via email from those same good-authority-people that I can make Warren-Buffett-like money if only I will give them my bank-account number.

(Chad, I believe those email people come from. “A gaggle of Chads,” a friend once observed as we sat in a local restaurant and watched a crowd of 15 or 17 fraternity guys fist-bumping their way down the sidewalk. “Tough on your knuckles to walk on your hands that way,” I said.

(“By the way, I’m going to steal that line sometime,” I said. Rollicking somewhere near the KiuIper Belt, the atoms of Borges smile. Though it might be an isotopal effect. Isotopal, you-sotopal, he-sotopals, though perhaps not quite so often as his live-in girlfriend might prefer.)

Meanwhile, back at the narrative (there was a narrative? — that’s so 20th century), have you ever noticed that “filibuster” sounds a whole lot like “full of bluster”?

Me, neither.

Back in real life (remember that?), some of you will graduate this month, so congratulations.

Just don’t let your career filibuster you.

I mean, look what happened to Mitch McConnell.

Meanwhile, Geico informs me that money clips don’t have hands. Wow. Thanks, Geico. I didn’t know money clips didn’t have hands; that’s why I never bought one.

Is John Boenher really Bobby Valentine in drag?

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