December 13, 2006

Pray for Johnson

**UPDATE**

Johnson has undergone surgery for bleeding in the brain. However it wasn't a classic stroke, but rather due to a congenital defect which causes abnormal growth of a of blood vessels. The surgery was said to be successful, in large part because he got prompt diagnosis and attention, and he is expected to make a full recovery. From MSNBC:
Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson was in critical condition recovering from emergency brain surgery Thursday, creating political drama over whether his illness could cost Democrats newly won control of the Senate.

The South Dakota senator, 59, suffered from bleeding in the brain caused by a congenital malformation, the U.S. Capitol physician said. He described the surgery as successful.

The condition, usually present at birth, causes tangled blood vessels that can burst.
.....

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he had visited Johnson in the hospital Thursday morning and that he was confident of a full recovery.

Asked about whether Democratic control of the Senate might be jeopardized, Reid said, "There isn't a thing that's changed."

Reid refused to comment on Johnson's medical condition, declining to even answer a question on whether the senator was conscious. "To me he looked very good," Reid said.
.....

"The senator is recovering without complication," said Adm. John Eisold, the Capitol physician. "It is premature to determine whether further surgery will be required or to assess any long-term prognosis."

Eisold said doctors drained the blood that had accumulated in Johnson's brain and stopped continued bleeding.
News is still sketchy and unclear as to what Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson suffered from earlier today, but to say a lot rides on his condition would be an understatement.
Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota was hospitalized Wednesday, weeks before his party was to take control of the Senate by a one-vote margin. But by evening, his condition was unclear, with conflicting reports over whether he had suffered a stroke.

The one thing that appeared to be true was that Johnson had some undiagnosed illness that has left him with difficulty speaking and moving. The Washington Post reported that Johnson was undergoing surgery.

Johnson, who turns 60 on Dec. 28, was admitted to George Washington University Hospital, said Julianne Fisher, Johnson's communications director. The illness was initially thought to be a stroke.

Johnson became disoriented during a conference call with reporters at midday Wednesday, stuttering in response to a question. He appeared to recover, asking if there were any additional questions before ending the call.

Fisher said he walked back to his Capitol office after the call with reporters but appeared to not be feeling well. The Capitol physician was called, and Johnson was taken by ambulance to George Washington University Hospital for evaluation.

A statement released by Johnson's office then said, in part, "At this stage, he is undergoing a comprehensive evaluation by the stroke team. Further details will be forthcoming when more is known."

Filling a vacated Senate seat
Democrats won a 51-49 majority in the November election. South Dakota’s Republican governor, Mike Rounds, would appoint a replacement to serve until the 2008 election should Johnson die or resign.

The appointment would last until the next general election — in this case, 2008. Johnson's term expires that year.

The 17th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says state legislatures can give their governors the power to appoint someone else to take over, but only in the case of "vacancies."

What's a vacancy? Clearly death or resignation, but history suggests not much else. Serious illness doesn't count.

Under the rules of the Senate, tie votes are settled by the vote of the vice president — currently Republican Dick Cheney — effectively giving control of the Senate to the Republicans.

22 Comments:

At 12/14/2006 12:50 AM, Anonymous JollyRoger said...

I suspect we'll soon enough see this situation again-only this time it'll be Arlen Specter and the Governor and Legislature will be dem.

 
At 12/14/2006 1:16 AM, Blogger Craig said...

I wish only the best for the senator.

I find it sick that people are thinking about politics at a time like this. I can see people like Trent Lott and Sam Brownbeck just hoping for the chance to have a Republican appoint a Republican.

If something does happen to Senator Johnson, it would be disgusting for Governor Rounds tries to play politics with this issue.

However, I can see the party of Rove, Coulter, Delay, and Cheney showing just how heartless they are.

 
At 12/14/2006 7:54 AM, Anonymous RI Republican said...

The post is unclear...do you propose that we pray for him to be ok, or to hold his seat?

If I am at a school, or a municipal building, is it ok to pray (I know that you livberals care a lot about the 'seperation of church and state').

 
At 12/14/2006 11:55 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

RI... again, you're utterly confused, or more likely doing the usual, mistating the facts to try to make a point.
NO ONE denies anyone's right to pray anywhere they want. It just can't be expected or forced on anyone.

If you want to pray, which I'm sure you don't in this instance, go on ahead wherever you're at.

 
At 12/14/2006 12:11 PM, Anonymous RI Republican said...

Are the 10-Commandments 'expecting' or 'forcing' if they are posted on a municipal building?

I am just trying to see what your definition is...

 
At 12/14/2006 12:24 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

It's definitely imposing one set of religious beliefs over another in a government establishment where that is clearly improper.

Justice is supposed to be blind and neutral, not governed by one particular set of religious beliefs.

If you had to appear before a judge with some sort of Islamic religious text on the wall over his head, something tells me you'd be a little nervous and feel it shouldn't be there.

 
At 12/14/2006 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So...should we tear down the Washington Monument, the Supreme Court building - and the hundreds of other national buildings that have Christian symbols engraved in their stone facing?

Isn't the crux of the argument that of the 'establishment' of religion (as in the case of the 'Church of England') and that these symbols do not 'establish' a religion, just point to a (the) FAITH of our country?

just wondering...

 
At 12/14/2006 2:08 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

the "FAITH" of our country is faith in the constitution which guarantees the right to believe as you wish.

This country does not, and has never had, an official "faith" or religion, and to try to suggest so goes counter to the constitution itself.

 
At 12/14/2006 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So as to the Monuments that were built over the last 200+ years in this country that (consistently) have religious symbols - how do they fit into this issue?

 
At 12/14/2006 2:27 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

They fit in just fine. If I'm not mistaken, there are also images of Muhammed and other "lawgivers" throughout history. It's not simply a european christian only situation.

Leave the classic sculptures alone, they're not in anyone's face and don't serve as any indication of a particular prejudice when it comes to issues of religion.

Same way with "In God We Trust" on money. It's there, it's been there for a long, long time, and it's not worth bothering with. At least a dollar bill isn't sitting in judgement over someone's fate as is the case in a courtroom.

 
At 12/14/2006 2:59 PM, Blogger Benton Harbor said...

But Dope... as you say with "In God We Trust" on money, the 10 Commandments are there, in many cases they've been there for a long time, and I've never heard of a court making its rulings based on the 10 Commandments.

Perhaps I've never really thought about it as such, but I don't see it as a long-ago attempt at creating a "national faith," but rather, an effort to show another form of proper action by the people who put our country together.

But back to the original thought of your blog entry, I agree with Craig that it's rather sick to think of politics until the real condition of Senator Johnson is determined. And it may even be a moot point... I know several people who have had this condition, been operated on, and have continued on with their lives as normal.

However, Craig, sighting Lott and Brownbeck as salivating over the situation is a little harsh in light of Harry Reid's three visits to the hospital today (according to NPR). He's probably worried just as much as the salivators are about the new Senate makeup.

 
At 12/14/2006 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dope, Muhammed is on a building in the United States (other than on a mosque). Jeez, I think that I have to call BS!

Is this anything that you feel as though you can back up?

 
At 12/14/2006 4:16 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I knew that it had figures reprenting "lawgivers" from different cultures. I thought I recalled it appearing somehere and thought it was the Surpreme Court but I guess I was mistaken about Mohammed.

A page on the sculptures in the pediments of the Surpreme Court building says:

The East Pediment of the Surpreme Court building features Mose, Confucius, and Solon (whoever that was) as representitives of three great civilizations.

I thought I recalled a figure of Muhammed appearing in the Surpeme Court or elsewhere, though I must be wrong.

 
At 12/14/2006 4:52 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

OOOOOPS~~

It turns out I was right after all.

Though I WAS wrong in thinking I was mistaken.

The South Courtroom Frieze

The Courtroom friezes were designed by sculptor Adolph Weinman. These friezes are located well above the courtroom bench, on all four walls. The South and North wall friezes form a group that depicts a procession of 18 important lawgivers: Menes, Hammurabi, Moses, Solomon, Lycurgus, Solon, Draco, Confucius, Augustus, Justinian, Mohammed, Charlemagne, King John, St. Louis, Hugo Grotius, William Blackstone, John Marshall, and Napoleon. Moses is holding blank tablets.

The Moses figure is no larger or more important than any other lawgiver. Again, there is nothing here to suggest and special connection between the 10 Commandments and American law."
Source: http://candst.tripod.com/tnppage/arg8a.htm

A picture of the frieze is at http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/capital.asp as is discussion of the myths regarding the ten commandments in government buildings.

 
At 12/14/2006 4:53 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I knew that it had figures reprenting "lawgivers" from different cultures. I thought I recalled it appearing somehere and thought it was the Surpreme Court but I guess I was mistaken about Mohammed.

A page on the sculptures in the pediments of the Surpreme Court building says:

The East Pediment of the Surpreme Court building features Mose, Confucius, and Solon (whoever that was) as representitives of three great civilizations.

I thought I recalled a figure of Muhammed appearing in the Surpeme Court or elsewhere, but maybe I'm wrong.

 
At 12/14/2006 4:55 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

OOOOOPS~~

It turns out I was right after all.
Though I WAS wrong in thinking I was mistaken.

Another minute of looking produced:

The South Courtroom Frieze

The Courtroom friezes were designed by sculptor Adolph Weinman. These friezes are located well above the courtroom bench, on all four walls. The South and North wall friezes form a group that depicts a procession of 18 important lawgivers: Menes, Hammurabi, Moses, Solomon, Lycurgus, Solon, Draco, Confucius, Augustus, Justinian, Mohammed, Charlemagne, King John, St. Louis, Hugo Grotius, William Blackstone, John Marshall, and Napoleon. Moses is holding blank tablets.

The Moses figure is no larger or more important than any other lawgiver. Again, there is nothing here to suggest and special connection between the 10 Commandments and American law."
Source: http://candst.tripod.com/tnppage/arg8a.htm

A picture of the frieze is at http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/capital.asp as is discussion of the myths regarding the ten commandments in government buildings.

 
At 12/14/2006 7:44 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

By the way, since you, like most Americans, appear to konw very little about Islam, I can assure you that you won't find statues of Muhammed in any mosque either.

Likenesses of Muhammed are strictly forbiden in Islam, which is why there were severe riots and even deaths worldwide when his likeness appeared in a Danish cartoon. (remember?)

It's Christianity that is really big on graven images, portraits, paintings, windows, statuettes for your dashboard, necklaces, plates, glassware and every other conceivable reproduction and commercialization of their lord and various saints.

Not Islam.

And in the U.S., curiously, Jesus is nearly always a white guy. Weird, huh?

Especially since historical evidence points to the fact that he would have more likely resembled Osama bin Laden than the bearded white guy seen in most portraits.

 
At 12/18/2006 6:53 AM, Anonymous RI Republican said...

Harry Reid was on ABC Sunday telling the world how great Johnson is doing, what a wonderful family Johnson has, and carrying on being very positive and upbeat.

Asked by George S. if Johnson was awake and alert, Reid stated that "I am not a doctor and cannot comment" -

WOW!!! This statement is more telling than any report about Johnson's condition. Reid, by his earlier comments and then this one, showed what really is going on - and HIS willingness to play politics with Johnson's health.

 
At 12/18/2006 8:20 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

So, RI, just what do you think IS going on?

All I've heard is that he's doing well, considering, that the surgery went well and so is the recovery, they don't foresee any additional surgery, he's responding to his wife, which is very encouraging, and that he'll have to undergo a lot of therapy to be able to use his left side.

Are you still rubbing your thighs that he may be totally incapacitated and unable to serve?

The facts as I have heard them repeatedly is that a senator has to be UNABLE to serve, as in dead or a vegetable, before a governor has the right to appoint a successor.

There's been many instances of senators being out of commission for 6 months (Biden) to several years in other cases. They even carried one senator in from a hospital on a stretcher to cast a crucial vote.

It's also being reported that the Republicans, realizing that the reign of terror is over, have said that even if Johnson can't serve, they would recommend appointing a Dem as they wouldn't want to gain the majority in this way. (though I find evidence of that sort of thoughfulness and magnanimity from Republicans hard to swallow and would only believe it when I saw it.)

In other words, I wouldn't be rubbing your thighs in hopes that Johnson will be incapable of holding office and party line votes will once again be controlled by Dick "Dick" Cheney again.

 
At 12/18/2006 1:05 PM, Anonymous RI Republican said...

Oh, I have no idea what is going on. Frankly, I don't care. I hope that Johnson recovers fully and leads a great life.

As far as the balance of the Senate - who cares? The Republicans have done nothing with it, so it (likely, hopefully) can't get any worse.

However, why is Reid on a national show talking as though he is 'spending a lot of time with Johnson' (as though they are talking, playing checkers, whatever), when the man is not even conscious!

Sounds like Reid is playing a game...that is all I am saying.

 
At 12/18/2006 2:35 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

RI,
I see. It was a bit weird that Reid seemed to be "hovering" over Johnson's bed to the extent he did. Unless they happened to be personally tight, it was a bit much.

 
At 12/19/2006 7:21 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Just give the guy the rest of his term already.

If Strom Thurmond was allowed to serve for years in a state of "half life" pumped full of drugs nightly at Walter Reed, and breaking every single "fit to serve" rule in the Senate than I say let this younger man have his due.

The Republicans are so sad - they will do any dirty thing to scratch their way out of the huge hole they dug themselves into Nov 6....

Let this man heal with his family by is side, and give it a rest already!

 

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