Two Questions From a Reader

"Can you help? 1) What the h*ll is reconciliation and why does it work for health care but not anything else obama wants to pass?

"2) And can Percy Harvin lead the vikings to a superbowl championship, as some fans here would like to believe?"

Mom:

Reconciliation was intended to be a procedure used to pass special budgetary measures with a simple majority. It can't be filibustered. Theoretically it was only for "deficit reduction" (i.e. anything attached to the budget had to be cost-neutral or pay for itself) but that rule was lifted in the 90s. Clinton used it to pass his first budget and Bush used it to pass his (decidedly not deficit-reducing) tax cuts.

So senators like Robert Byrd get pissed when you try to use reconciliation for anything other than budget stuff, because that is what it was "meant" for, but there is another type of senator who hates reconciliation for a very different reason. That would be a senator like Ben Nelson, who hates it because they are going to use it to take away money from his precious, precious student loan sharks. That type of senator is way more common.

Frankly the senate is so broken that any rule that allows a straight up-and-down simple majority vote is a good thing, because this idea that you can only pass anything through the senate with 60 votes is not what the Founders actually had in mind, right?

So until they finally ban the filibuster, reconciliation is a legit way to try to pass a bill. Senate Democrats might be too pussy/powerless/infiltrated by quislings to actually get health care through like that, though Obama has set a deadline for health care reform that, if not met, will lead to the big reconciliation showdown. So that's cool.

For more on reconciliation and the best correction of the year, read this.

Percy Harvin will be hated by everyone in Minnesota because he is black and he smoked the demon weed. They'll ride him out of town in 3 years and then he will win a Super Bowl with the Redskins or something. Sage Rosenfels will throw him lots and lots of exciting screen passes in the meantime though.

Related: "Love, Mom" is available now.