Ambrose Bierce update for the new millenium:
advice and consent, n.p. from the U.S. Constitution, stipulating Senate confirmation of Presidential Cabinet appointments. The "advice" refers to blustery harangues given by minority party Senators for the benefit of C-SPAN and the Congressional Record (but not actually for the President). Unlike the normal use of the word "advice", this form of "advice" is given after the fact of the appointment rather than before, and is not expected to be heeded. The "consent" is customary, and is often given whether or not the Senator actually consents. Hence, a common preamble to the "advice" goes something like "I'm going to vote for you, but let me spend a few minutes going on record as to why I'm not happy about it."