In the coming weeks, as the U.S. Senate reconvenes, it will be short two members, even though those members will be ready and willing to serve. As you've probably heard, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has appointed Roland Burris to fill out the rest of President Obama's term. The Democrats in the Senate are determined to not let anyone appointed by the tainted governor to enter the chamber, and are willing to bar him from the Senate floor by force. Then the Republicans are saying that they will not allow Al Franken (who seems like he will win the Minnesotta recount, but not before the Senate term begins) to begin serving until he is fully certified the winner, which could be weeks. It seems that neither of these claims will actually hold up to legal scrutiny (see this Supreme Court case), but by the time it would take for either of these presumptive senators to move a lawsuit through the courts, the situations should resolve themselves. But nice to know that intra-party and partisan bickering is going to keep us from having a full complement of senators as we try to fix the economic crisis.