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GRAY MATTERS

SaulFriedman75x75 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Saul Friedman (bio) writes the weekly Gray Matters column which appears here each Saturday. Links to past Gray Matters columns can be found here. Saul's Reflections column, in which he comments on news, politics and social issues from his perspective as one of the younger members of the greatest generation, also appears at Time Goes By twice each month.


[NOTE FROM RONNI] Saul is under the weather – hence, no Gray Matters column today. He is taking some time to recuperate and refresh, and will return to these pages as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, you can read his always excellent and thoughtful past Gray Matters columns here or his other Time Goes By column, Reflections. Also, you may want to know that Saul celebrated his birthday on Thursday 4 March. We wish him a speedy recovery and many more birthdays. We need his important voice.

Comments

Did you mean March rather than May?

Of course, you right, Bert. It's fixed now.

Please get well, Saul. I do hope you are feeling better today.

We will miss your excellent column, but your health is the most important thing. Rest and recuperate.

Happy belated birthday.

Get well, Saul!!!!!!

A belated Happy Birthday and a Get Well Soon. I'll take this opportunity to also say how much I enjoy your column. There are a few folks, like you & Ronni, who consistently enlighten me about things I care about & express views & feelings that I don't have the ability to express. Your columns mean a lot to me.

Happy Birthday, Saul. Thank you for all you share and get well soon!

Happy Birthday Saul -- we do miss your thoughts indeed!

Happy belated Birthday Saul, and an even more happy recovery.

Saul, Another belated Happy Birthday and hope you are back in top form in no time.
A Saturday without your column is like a lost day......
Anita Borow

Happy Birthday, oh great sage. One of your recent columns and a post by Ronni got me lathered up, and what follows is a post I'm going to use to try to excite others. Hope it makes you feel better:

A recent filibuster by Sen. Jim Bunning that blocked for a time an extension of unemployment benefits, medical payments to doctors, and work on major highway projects was a disgusting example of the nonsense going on in Washington, DC.

Just about everybody I know, liberal and conservative alike, is tired of government by power play and parliamentary trickery. Our constitution provides ample checks and balances to protect our legitimate interests. We don’t need a Senate procedure that in effect gives each individual member a veto. The constitution gives that power to the President, and if presidential vetoes are ill-used a process is available to overturn them.

Bunning is a Republican, so of course some Democrats skewered him for his action. Some Republicans countered that he was merely standing up for a principle. The truth is that every single Senator--Republican, Democrat, and Independent--should man- or woman-up, take responsibility, and prevent any more of this outrageous disregard for the public trust they were elected to uphold. The Senate rules are what allow filibusters. Who can change the Senate rules? Duh.

Following is an e-mail recently dispatched to both of my Senators. It may not be the greatest message on the subject ever composed, but feel free to copy and use all or parts of it if you choose.
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Dear Sen. Stabenow:

I am outraged by Sen. Bunning’s recent filibuster. It is ridiculous that a single person can wield this sort of power in a democratic republic.

America needs a change in Senate rules to forbid filibusters. If we cannot accept majority decisions from a body of 100 men and women selected by voters in their states there is no rational reason to continue with representative government.

Will you take leadership action in pushing for a rules change to ban filibusters?

I hope the staffer who handles these messages will let you know that at least one constituent is serious about this situation and intends to try to convince others to protest. The answer to my question, which also was sent to Sen. Levin, will be a decider for me on whether I support or actively oppose you in future elections.

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We celebrate your birthday, Saul, and we wish you wellness and well-being!

Happy Birthday Saul. Be well & get back here to your "station" very soon. Dee

Happy belated birthday, Saul!

Your posts are brilliant. I look forward to reading every one of them. Hope you feel better soon and continue to share your wisdom with us!

Feel Better!

Happpy Birthday and get better soon.

Belated happy birthday wishes! Do hope you'll be feeling better soon. Your thoughts are valued and appreciated.

Refuah Shlaymah - Complete Recovery, Saul...your articles are so brilliant.

Sad to hear that you're under the weather and hope you will be well soon.

Newsday continues to suck.

Get well and come back even more brilliant and ever appreciated.

Pauline Nager
gpnager@aol.com

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