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In a strategic move that would make Josh Lyman proud, Senate Democrats are working every third day this week in order to prevent President Bush from making controversial recess appointments. According to congressional and Constitutional rules, the Senate needs to meet on the day following three consecutive days off to remain "in session". And by keeping the Senate in session (and out of recess), Senate Dems can keep Bush from making any recess appointments.

If anyone is worried about this strategy keeping Democratic Senators away from home on this holiday weekend, you should be reassured by what these pro forma sessions actually entail. In each case, a Senator (Jim Webb D-VA, Byron Dorgan D-ND, and Jack Reed D-RI have volunteered to participate) opens a session and then closes it again. In all, the process takes less than half a minute.

And with that little effort, the Senate has been able to prevent a series of controversial under-the-radar appointments. The leadership was most concerned about Bush's nominee for Surgeon General, James Holsinger Jr., who has a record of being prejudiced towards the LGBT community. What does Bush think qualifies Holsinger to be America's doctor? Well, I'm not sure, but it might have something to do with Hope Springs Community Church. Holsinger was an original founder of the Church that "ministers to people who no longer wish to be gay or lesbian." Holsinger believes that homosexuality is "an issue not of orientation but of lifestyle." I'm happy that the man who might be our next Surgeon General has such a firm grasp on these issues...

So in light of the nightmare situation that has been avoided, on this Thanksgiving I'm giving thanks for the quick-thinking Senate Dems leadership...