Well, I spoke of a catch-22 between the US Senate and the State of Illinois over the appointment to the Senate of Roland Burris by soon-to-be-impeached IL Gov. Blagojevich a coupld of days ago. Seems the Senate decided to get out of it by deciding to just skip on their own Rule II.
U.S. Senate officials on Monday certified Roland Burris to fill the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama and Senate Democratic leaders said they expect to seat the next Illinois senator on Thursday.
“The secretary of the Senate has determined that the new credentials presented today on behalf of Mr. Burris now satisfy Senate Rules and validate his appointment to the vacant Illinois Senate seat,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement with his No. 2, Illinois senior Sen. Dick Durbin.
In other words, they just decided that whatever they already had was good enough and, despite not adhering to the letter of the Rule, they dubbed him “certified.” Which, of course, the Senate is fully capable of doing. They get to set their own rules for their own operations. I’d be really curious to know if they’d have been so quick to wave off the Rule II requirements had that been a Republican governor appointing someone and his state’s Secretary of State refusing to sign off on it. I don’t mind them changing their rules but they need to be consistent.
The National Safety Council, a private organization based in Itasca, IL, has released a demand that government make illegal the act of talking on a cell phone while driving. Anywhere, anytime, and with any technology – handsfree or not.
A national safety group is advocating a total ban on cell phone use while driving, saying the practice is clearly dangerous and leads to fatalities.
States should ban drivers from using hand-held and hands-free cell phones, and businesses should prohibit employees from using cell phones while driving on the job, the congressionally chartered National Safety Council says, taking those positions for the first time.
The group’s president and chief executive, Janet Froetscher, likened talking on cell phones to drunken driving, saying cell phone use increases the risk of a crash fourfold.
I don’t deny that people using cell phones are, often, the nutballs that are causing traffic headaches all over. I’m also convinced that driving (or texting, for God’s sake) using a handheld device while driving should absolutely be banned. But banning someone talking on a headset?
Here’s the thing that I don’t buy. I don’t agree that there’s a significant difference between talking with someone on a headset and talking with someone seated in the back seat of the car. Talk is talk, so if it’s sufficiently distracting to talk with someone on a headset that the behavior should be banned, why is it permissible to allow talking with someone in the back seat? I don’t think there’s a case that it’s that significantly different and no one’s suggesting building soundproof booths around the drivers’ seats. (Not yet, anyway.)
Thoughts, folks? Ban it, don’t ban it, handsfree only…? What?