Friday, April 29, 2005

I guess they're not totally out of food...[Zimbabwe]

Zimbabwe turns to wildlife as food source


President Robert Mugabe's regime has directed national parks officials to kill animals in state-owned conservation areas to feed hungry rural peasants - a move that could wipe out what remains of Zimbabwe's impalas, kudus, giraffes, elephants and other species. The directive is a major blow to efforts by conservationists to try to rehabilitate the wildlife sector which was devastated after Mugabe ordered his supporters to invade and confiscate white-owned farms in 2000. The chaotic farm invasions saw party militants storming into conservation areas - both private and state-owned - to slaughter animals.

Unscrupulous South African hunters also joined in the looting, paying hefty kickbacks to politicians to go into conservation areas and shoot lions, leopards and cheetahs for trophies. But because of the general abundance of certain species of wildlife in southern Zimbabwe and the establishment of the transfrontier park, which allows animals from Mozambique and South Africa's world-famous Kruger National Park to move freely into and out of Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou (home of the elephants) National Park, there have been high hopes among conservationists that Zimbabwe's wildlife sector could be restored to its former glory.

This now appears highly unlikely as Zimbabwe's department of national parks and wildlife management, the custodian of this embattled country's wild animals, has been given the green light to work with rural district councils to kill animals to feed more than four-million hungry rural Zimbabweans. National Parks officials said the recent shootings of 10 elephants for barbecue meat at festivities to mark Zimbabwe's 25 years of independence around the country had been carried out in the broad context of the directive to kill animals to feed the hungry, particularly those living within the vicinity of national parks. The 10 elephants were killed by National Park rangers. Four of the giant animals were reportedly shot in full view of tourists near Zimbabwe's Lake Kariba, a major haven for wildlife. Zimbabwean conservationists have been particularly scathing about the killings of the elephants for independence celebrations. Rural peasants in Zimbabwe have sold or fed on their own livestock in the past three years of unprecedented hunger, induced by Mugabe's chaotic land seizures.

National Parks officials say many of the peasants living in areas bordering National Parks have already been venturing into these parks to hunt and kill animals using snares. But they said the impact of snare hunting by the villagers was limited compared to what would happen if armed National Parks rangers were allowed to enter conservation areas to kill for meat to feed millions of hungry peasants. "Killing of animals for any reasons other than conservation can be very disastrous," said one National Parks official. "The politicians think we have enough animals to feed people without wiping out different species. We as professionals don't think so. We are talking to them (the politicians) and we hope we will reach consensus on protecting our wildlife heritage." Other government officials said Mugabe was so happy about his rural constituency which ensured him a majority of seats in last month's parliamentary elections that he wanted to do everything to please the peasants.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Quoting Harkin.

AMENDING PARAGRAPH 2 OF RULE XXV (Senate - January 04, 1995)

Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, for the benefit of the Senators who are here and watching on the monitors, we now have before us an amendment by myself, Senator Lieberman, Senator Pell, and Senator Robb that would amend rule XXII, the so-called filibuster rule of the U.S. Senate. This is an amendment that was agreed upon--at least the procedure was agreed upon for this amendment--between Senator Dole and myself earlier today under a unanimous consent agreement.

This amendment would change the way this Senate operates more fundamentally than anything that has been proposed thus far this year. It would fundamentally change the way we do business by changing the filibuster rule as it currently stands.

Mr. President, the last Congress showed us the destructive impact filibusters can have on the legislative process, provoking gridlock after gridlock, frustration, anger, and despondency among the American people, wondering whether we can get anything done at all here in Washington. The pattern of filibusters and delays that we saw in the last Congress is part of the rising tide of filibusters that have overwhelmed our legislative process.

While some may gloat and glory in the frustration and anger that the American people felt toward our institution which resulted in the tidal wave of dissatisfaction that struck the majority in Congress, I believe in the long run that it will harm the Senate and our Nation for this pattern to continue. As this chart shows, Mr. President, there has indeed been a rising tide in the use of the filibuster. In the last two Congresses, in 1987 to 1990, and 1991 to 1994, there have been twice as many filibusters per year as there were the last time the Republicans controlled the Senate, from 1981 to 1986, and 10 times as many as occurred between 1917 and 1960. Between 1917 and 1960, there were an average of 1.3 per session. However, in the last Congress, there were 10 times that many. This is not healthy for our legislative process and it is not healthy for our country.

The second chart I have here compares filibusters in the entire 19th century and in the last Congress. We had twice as many filibusters in the 103d Congress as we had in the entire 100 years of the 19th century.

Clearly, this is a process that is out of control. We need to change the rules. We need to change the rules, however, without harming the longstanding Senate tradition of extended debate and deliberation, and slowing things down.

[snip]

It is used, Mr. President, as blackmail for one Senator to get his or her way on something that they could not rightfully win through the normal processes. I am not accusing any one party of this. It happens on both sides of the aisle.

Mr. President, I believe each Senator needs to give up a little of our pride, a little of our prerogatives, and a little of our power for the good of this Senate and for the good of this country. Let me repeat that: Each Senator, I believe, has to give up a little of our pride, a little of our prerogatives, and a little of our power for the better functioning of this body and for the good of our country.

I think the voters of this country were turned off by the constant bickering, the arguing back and forth that goes on in this Senate Chamber, the gridlock that ensued here, and the pointing of fingers of blame.

Sometimes, in the fog of debate, like the fog of war, it is hard to determine who is responsible for slowing something down. It is like the shifting sand. People hide behind the filibuster. I think it is time to let the voters know that we heard their message in the last election. They did not send us here to bicker and to argue, to point fingers. They want us to get things done to address the concerns facing this country. They want us to reform this place. They want this place to operate a little better, a little more openly, and a little more decisively.

[snip]

---------------

Update....Hummmmmmmmmmm......Isn't this what the Repubs. are thinking about doing?

---------------


Harkin: We drew upon Senator Dole's proposal in developing our own proposal. Our proposal would reduce the number of votes needed to invoke cloture gradually, allowing time for debate, allowing us to slow things down, but ultimately allowing the Senate to get to the merits of a vote.

Under our proposal, the amendment now before the Senate, Senators still have to get 16 signatures to offer a cloture motion. The motion would still have to lay over 2 days. The first vote to invoke cloture would require 60 votes. If that vote did not succeed, they could file another cloture motion needing 16 signatures. They would have to wait at least 2 further days. On the next vote, they would need 57 votes to invoke cloture. If you did not get that, well, you would have to get 16 signatures, file another cloture motion, wait another couple days, and then you would have to have 54 votes. Finally, the same procedure could be repeated, and move to a cloture vote of 51. Finally, a simple majority vote could close debate, to get to the merits of the issue.

By allowing this slow ratchet down, the minority would have the opportunity to debate, focus public attention on a bill, and communicate their case to the public. In the end, though, the majority could bring the measure to a final vote, as it generally should in a democracy.

Thank you POWERLINE.

That was then, this is now (2)


In opposing the filibuster in 1993 and 1994, the Minneapolis Star Tribune apparently led the way for its betters among the mainstream media. Free Republic has posted the text of the still-timely January 1, 1995 New York Times editorial: "Time to retire the filibuster."


This can't be good......[Zimbabwe]

Zimbabwe has 'run out of food'

ZIMBABWE'S main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party said the country had run out of food, including the national staple maize, and demanded an apology from President Robert Mugabe's government for lying about abundant harvests.

"The country has now stocked out. This country has run out of maize, this a fact ... the country has no food," Renson Gasela, MDC's shadow minister of agriculture told a news conference.

"No country with a functional government, with no national catastrophe or disaster should ever stock out," he said.

--------------------

Sure looks like it was just a great idea to take all the farms away from the white farmers and give the land back to the people.


Well well...........look what the NYT wrote back in 95 about the filibuster.

I was doing some research after hearing a comment Senator Santourm made on the floor about the Dems wanting to get rid of the filibuster.

Well on Jan 4 1995 Sen. Harkin put forth a Senate Resolution that would, to quote Harkin;

"This amendment would change the way this Senate operates more fundamentally than anything that has been proposed thus far this year. It would fundamentally change the way we do business by changing the filibuster rule as it currently stands.

Mr. President, the last Congress showed us the destructive impact filibusters can have on the legislative process, provoking gridlock after gridlock, frustration, anger, and despondency among the American people, wondering whether we can get anything done at all here in Washington. The pattern of filibusters and delays that we saw in the last Congress is part of the rising tide of filibusters that have overwhelmed our legislative process."

Now keep in mind this is a DEMOCRAT talking back in '95.

Anyway he submitted a NYT Editorial that, when you read it now juxtaposed to what the dems arguments about the filibuster are now, is just hilarious!

I'll post more of Harkin and Lieberman later.

Here's the NYT editorial.

-----------------

[FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES, JAN. 1, 1995]

Time to Retire the Filibuster

The U.S. Senate likes to call itself the world's greatest deliberative body. The greatest obstructive body is more like it. In the last season of Congress, the Republican minority invoked an endless string of filibusters to frustrate the will of the majority. This relentless abuse of a time-honored Senate tradition so disgusted Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa, that he is now willing to forgo easy retribution and drastically limit the filibuster. Hooray for him.

For years Senate filibusters--when they weren't conjuring up romantic images of Jimmy Stewart as Mr. Smith, passing out from exhaustion on the Senate floor--consisted mainly of negative feats of endurance. Senator Sam Ervin once spoke for 22 hours straight. Outrage over these tactics and their ability to bring Senate business to a halt led to the current so-called two-track system, whereby a senator can hold up one piece of legislation while other business goes on as usual.

The two-track system has been nearly as obstructive as the old rules. Under those rules, if the Senate could not muster the 60 votes necessary to end debate and bring a bill to a vote, someone had to be willing to continue the debate, in person, on the floor. That is no longer required. Even if the 60 votes are not achieved, debate stops and the Senate proceeds with other business. The measure is simply put on hold until the next cloture vote. In this way a bill can be stymied at any number of points along its legislative journey.

One unpleasant and unforeseen consequence has been to make the filibuster easy to invoke and painless to pursue. Once a rarely used tactic reserved for issues on which senators held passionate convictions, the filibuster has become the tool of the sore loser, dooming any measure that cannot command the 60 required votes.

Mr. Harkin, along with Senator Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat, now proposes to make such obstruction harder. Mr. Harkin says reasonably that there must come a point in the process where the majority rules. This may not sit well with some of his Democratic colleagues. They are now perfectly positioned to exact revenge by frustrating the Republican agenda as efficiently as Republicans frustrated Democrats in 1994.

Admirably, Mr. Harkin says he does not want to do that. He proposes to change the rules so that if a vote for cloture fails to attract the necessary 60 votes, the number of votes needed to close off debate would be reduced by three in each subsequent vote. By the time the measure came to a fourth vote--with votes occurring no more frequently than every second day--cloture could be invoked with only a simple majority. Under the Harkin plan, minority members who feel passionately about a given measure could still hold it up, but not indefinitely.

Another set of reforms, more incremental but also useful, is proposed by George Mitchell, who is retiring as the Democratic majority leader. He wants to eat away at some of the more annoying kinds of brakes that can be applied to a measure along its legislative journey.

One example is the procedure for sending a measure to a conference committee with the House. Under current rules, unless the Senate consents unanimously to send a measure to conference, three separate motions can be required to move it along. This gives one senator the power to hold up a measure almost indefinitely. Mr. Mitchell would like to reduce the number of motions to one.

He would also like to limit the debate on a motion to two hours and count the time consumed by quorum calls against the debate time of a senator, thus encouraging senators to save their time for debating the substance of a measure rather than in obstruction. All of his suggestions seem reasonable, but his reforms would leave the filibuster essentially intact.

The Harkin plan, along with some of Mr. Mitchell's proposals, would go a long way toward making the Senate a more productive place to conduct the nation's business. Republicans surely dread the kind of obstructionism they themselves practiced during the last Congress. Now is the perfect moment for them to unite with like-minded Democrats to get rid of an archaic rule that frustrates democracy and serves no useful purpose.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

We missed Zarqawi, but got his laptop.....

Official: Zarqawi Eludes Capture; Computer Discovered

April 25, 2005 — Jordanian rebel Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — Iraq's most wanted fugitive — recently eluded capture by American troops, but left behind a treasure trove of information, a senior military official told ABC News.



Apparently this is one of this first things they found on it...........

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

"Thick as a Brick" Boxer.

47 . FILIBUSTER -- (Senate - April 25, 2005)

BOXER:

By the way, when I was in the Palestinian territories--this is another interesting part of my trip--the first thing the Palestinians said they want to do is make sure their people get a monthly social security benefit that is guaranteed. I truly wanted to ask the Minister there--I think he was the Minister of the Interior--to please contact President Bush and tell him that a guaranteed social security benefit was their first priority, as the President tries to undo the guaranteed benefit for Social Security. That trip I went on was fascinating in so many different ways. But mostly, what I realized was, we need to be the model of freedom and democracy. If we start taking away minority rights, if we start saying we cannot stand to hear each other--by the way, I understand it. I know it is painful to hear me speak for some of my colleagues who do not agree with me. They say: Oh, I can't listen to one more word. And I feel the same way when they start talking about things with which I fundamentally disagree.

-------------------------

And since the Pali economy is just BOOMING right now, where does Babs think this guaranteed money would come from?


I'll give you three guesses, and the first two don't count.

Clinton Vs. Kerry '08 ~ The fight has begun!

Planning Ahead

The '08 Iowa Caucuses are almost three years away. But that hasn't stopped at least one informal endorsement and one ticked-off potential candidate.

Several weeks ago, Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton introduced Senator Hillary Clinton at a luncheon, calling her the next great president of the United States. A couple of days later, according to Dayton's staff, Senator John Kerry approached Dayton on the Senate floor and angrily asked him why he had endorsed his '08 presidential opponent.

Kerry's staff tried to knock down the incident, but Dayton's people say it happened.

---------------------------------------

I can't wait for the primary debates!

BTW When Dayotn introduced Hillary at that luncheon he called her "Hillary RODMAN Clinton", THREE TIMES!

The Democratic Party theme song.

"Whatever it is, I'm against it"

(Hat tip tp Bill Bennett's radio show.)

Monday, April 25, 2005

Should the Republicans have filibustered Clinton's nominees?

Tom writes this.....

So.. you're a Democrat and you know you're in that position that a floor vote will pass, and in order to block a nomination your only tool is the "within the rules" filibuster, what do you do? Do you do something meaningful and effectively block the nomination, or do you just let it go through with a weak "we tried"?

OK Tom, What if I was to tell you that the Repubs were in that situation and they DIDN'T use the filibuster.

Looking back do you think they should have block Clinton's nominees?

--------------------
JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS -- (Senate - April 22, 2005)

Mr. BENNETT.

[snip]

Instead, let us abide by the tradition that says every nominee is entitled to an up-or-down vote. That way, when we get the Presidency, our President will have the same courtesy we are now extending to their President.

I remember very clearly when President Clinton sent some nominees to this body which members of my conference decided were left-wing whackos, if I might use that phrase. They, fortunately, did not use that phrase in public as it is being used now. And I do not think they should. But they felt these nominees were too extreme to be on the bench.

When it was clear we did not have the votes to prevent them from going on the bench, there were those in the conference who said: We have to filibuster. Let's use the filibuster to prevent them. We can muster 41 votes.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, my colleague from Utah, ORRIN HATCH, and the then-majority leader, the Senator from Mississippi, TRENT LOTT, both pled with us: Don't do it. Don't start down that road. We have never done it before. And we shouldn't do it now.

And why not? Because, they said: After 2000, we are going to have the Presidency, and we want our President to have the same courtesy we are begging with you to extend to President Clinton. They carried the day. There was no Republican filibuster on the floor of any circuit court judge.

Now we find ourselves in a situation where the tradition has been changed, and the question is, will we now change the rule to reestablish the tradition? It is a legitimate debate. I have respect for those who hold positions on both sides.

I do make this comment. If the rule change does not go through, and the rule that now holds that says judicial nominees are fair game, I guarantee the next time the Democratic Party has a President who sends up a nominee that 41 Senators on the Republican side decide they do not like, the Republicans will abide by the rule that has changed the tradition, and they will filibuster the nominee.

Now, I have many of my colleagues who say: No, no, we would never do that. We honor the tradition, and we would go back to that tradition.

I do not believe them. I do not say they are lying to us. I think they believe what they are saying now. But I believe, in the heat of the battle that would come with a Republican minority in the Senate and a Democratic President, the Republicans, in the present atmosphere, would say: Let's use the filibuster. Let's give them a taste of their own medicine. The level of political dialogue would continue to go down. The level of personal destruction would continue to go up.

The other question I raise for speculation: Suppose nothing happens in this Congress, Democrats win the Presidency in 2008, the Republicans do use the filibuster to stop judges a Democratic President sends forward, but the Democrats are in control of the Senate. Will those who are standing here saying this is a disaster for the Senate give a pledge that they will not, when they are in the majority, suggest using 51 votes to get rid of the filibuster on judicial nominees?

I suggest they would be tempted to do the same thing the Republicans are trying to do now in order to take care of their Democratic President. Indeed, the record shows they have done that.

These quotations have already been given on the floor, but I want to repeat them in this context.

Senator Byrd, in 1979, said:

Now we are at the beginning of Congress. This Congress is not obliged to be bound by the dead hand of the past ..... [I]t is my belief--which has been supported by rulings of Vice Presidents of both parties and by votes of the Senate--in essence upholding the power and right of a majority of the Senate to change the rules of the Senate at the beginning of a new Congress.

Senator Byrd now disavows that position. And I respect that. Each one of us is entitled to change our mind. I have changed my mind. He is entitled to change his. Will he make a pledge he will not change it back when the Democrats are in the majority and say: ``We want to prevent filibusters of our President's judicial nominees''?

Senator Kennedy said in 1975:

By what logic can the Senate of 1917 or 1949 or 1959 bind the Senate of 1975? As Senator Walsh of Montana said during the Senate debate in 1917 on the enactment of the original rule XXII: ``A majority may adopt the rules in the first place. It is preposterous to assert that they may deny future majorities the right to change them.''

Senator Kennedy has obviously changed his mind. And I respect the Senator's right to change his mind. But I ask again, What assurance do we have he will not change his mind back if the Democrats get the majority and are seeking to protect a President of their own?

In 1995, there were nine Senators who voted in favor of eliminating all filibusters, not just judicial filibusters, all filibusters--nine Senators still serving, Senator Bingaman, Senator Boxer, Senator Feingold, Senator Harkin, Senator Kennedy, Senator Kerry, Senator Lautenberg, Senator Lieberman, and Senator Sarbanes. They voted in favor of eliminating all filibusters. They have now changed their minds. They have the right to change their minds. And I respect that. What indication do we have they will not change their minds back if we do not get this thing settled in this Congress?


[snip]

Biden lies and a cartoon..............

I heard a clip from ABC's This Week this morning on the drive in where Sen. Kyl quoted Biden from back in 1997 where Biden said Judges should have a "vote on the floor".

What was Biden's come back you ask?? As I've pointed out before with Schumer, Biden's response was the same.................."I never said that."

Oh really?

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS (Senate - March 19, 1997) [Page: S2540]

SEN. BIDEN: "But I also respectfully suggest that everyone who is nominated is entitled to have a shot , to have a hearing and to have a shot to be heard on the floor and have a vote on the floor."

----------------------------------

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sen. Tim Johnson ~ Does he think we're that ignorant?

Oh, you silly silly democrats......

I was watching Senator Tim Johnson from South Dakota the other day and thought I'd pass along what he said......with my remarks added.

You can read the full text of his remarks here. Just hit (Senate)4-21 #13.




------------------

...............This notion that somehow in the midst of Congress rules that have been in place for generations should be eliminated and the bipartisan mandate they allow for should be eliminated is a step in the wrong direction. [And the blocking of Judges? Where is that in the rules?]

One of the consequences of the 60-vote rule is it takes both parties by the scruff of the neck, brings them together and says: You will have to reach across the aisle and cooperate, coordinate with your colleagues from the other political party, whether or not you like it. That has been a very valuable asset to the Senate and, again, one of the things that distinguishes the debate and deliberation and progress of legislation in the Senate from what transpires with our colleagues in the other body. [Yes, but if you don't have an argument against the judges and just want to hold them up for clearly political reasons there is no good reason you should be able to block them from getting an up or down vote.]



There is too much division in America today. There is too much partisanship. The rhetoric has grown far too bitter. It has grown far too extreme. [Like calling Pres. Bush's judicial appointment NEANDERTHALS?] What America wants, and what I believe my constituents want, is more governing from the center. [Did he miss the red/blue county by county map from last election?] Most South Dakotans and most Americans recognize neither party has all the answers, neither party has all the good or bad ideas, and we are governing best when we come together in the political center. That will leave the far left and the far right unhappy. They are unhappy most of the time, anyway. But I do think governing from the center, which the 60-vote rule requires, is one of the great strengths of the Senate.



It would be a horrible mistake for this body to discard that bipartisan mandate that rule imposes on this body. A loss of bipartisanship would not only affect the consideration of judges, but the precedent would certainly be in place to affect consideration of all other legislation as well. [This is an OUTRIGHT BALD FACED LIE! The rule change would ONLY affect judges.]



Keeping in mind that this body, even with that rule in place, has approved some 205 Federal judges nominated by President Bush, has rejected roughly 10, [No, they haven't. The Senate has been blocked, by the dems, from being able to vote on the judges. They haven't been rejected, they've been blocked.] and that we have one of the lowest judicial vacancy rates in American history right now--in fact, about 60 percent of all Federal appellate judges are appointees of Republican administrations over the last number of years [No shit Sherlock. Could that be because three of the last four Presidents have been Republican?] --to suggest somehow there is a crisis with judges is a fabrication, frankly. It is simply untrue.



Judges are being considered, voted on, approved at a record rate. In fact, all of these judges have had up-or-down votes as opposed [Again this is another outright LIE. They didn't have up or down votes, the only thing that has been voted on is Cloture, and the dems are blocking that.] , sadly, to the experience during the Clinton administration where some 60 of his nominees never received a hearing or a vote. [Because the Repubs. had control of the Judiciary committee.] In this case every nominee has received a vote in committee and on the floor [NO, they haven't] , albeit that vote on the floor is consistent with the 60-vote parliamentary rule of the Senate which does require both sides to come together in the center.



[Now this next paragraph is really why I posted this.]


Clearly, President Bush can have the approval of 100 percent of his judges. All he has to do is to nominate conservative Republican judges who are part of the conservative mainstream of America, a very broad range of discretion that he has. Those judges will be confirmed, as have the 200 plus who have routinely been confirmed by this body.



[First off Pres. Bush has never said he want 100% of his Judges approved, I'm sure he'd like that but all he wants is for them to have an up or down vote in the Senate. If the dems don't like the judges they can vote nay, but since they know they don't have the votes to stop them from being approved they playing this filibuster game.


The next part....."nominate conservative Republican judges who are part of the conservative mainstream of America" is exactly what Pres. Bush has done, the problem is "conservative Republican judges" are pro-life and the dems hate that. That really get to the crux of the matter, the dems are so beholden to the abortion lobby it scares them to think Roe Vs. Wade might be heard in front of the Supreme Court with pro-life judges sitting on the bench. Which is why these particular judges are being blocked, they might be place on the SCOTUS once the present justices start to retire. If the dems wanted to be honest [lol] they'd come out and say that all of this was just a prelude to the coming fight when Renquist steps down, that is the fit is really going to hit the shan!


Another way I read into what he says is it's like he's saying "President Bush can have any judge he wants, as long as those judges have the full approval of the minority." Is he sick in the head? That's not how things work, there is the MAJORITY (the winning party) and the MINORITY (the losing party). Does anyone think that if the tables were turned the dems would allow the repubs to block their nominees? I think not!


And why the hell are some repubs worried about what's going to happen once the dems get in the majority again [shudder]? Haven't the dems been saying for the last 2 years that the "rights of the minority" need to be protected?


If the rule is changed and the dems get back in power I'm sure they'll just change the rule back, right? (yes, that is dripping with sarcasm.)]


The Senate does have a constitutional obligation of advice and consent on these lifetime appointments. That is one of the reasons why this issue is so profoundly important, because this is not simply a legislative matter that will come and go and be reconsidered at another time. We are considering the appointments of people to high office for a lifetime. It is imperative the Senate insist that each of these individuals, men and women, be part of the political and judicial mainstream of America [Says who?] , albeit we have a Republican President, and certainly he will nominate conservative Republican judges, as well he ought, and they will be approved in a routine manner as over 200 have already.


But there is an importance that the nominees do fall within the political mainstream, and the one test to see to it that is the case is the 60-vote margin rule where no judge, regardless of what their political background or judicial background might be, can be approved unless, in fact, there is some modest bipartisan support, not an overwhelming consensus.


Nobody is suggesting a 90-percent rule or 75-percent rule or even the 66-percent rule which used to be the case for filibusters some years ago but that there be a 60-vote margin. I don't think that is asking too much in the name of bipartisanship, in the name of requiring both parties to come together, and in the name of diminishing the level of partisan hardball that characterizes the other body and to some degree has infected the debate and the rhetoric even here in the Senate.


[And exactly where is that in the Constitution? I'll tell ya right now it's not...


Article II Sec. II says......


[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.


Nowhere does the Constitution say anything about a supermajority being required to pass judges. So who's changing the rules? Looks to me like it's the dems that are.]


Friday, April 22, 2005

I hope this implicates her Highness [Hillary]

A Kennedy Relative Acted as Informant in Democrat Circles



BY JOSH GERSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
April 22, 2005

A New Orleans political consultant who is Senator Kennedy's brother-in-law, Raymond Reggie, has been operating in Democratic circles for the last three years as an undercover informant for the FBI, sources close to the matter said yesterday.

At a federal court hearing yesterday morning, Reggie, 43, who organized fund-raisers for President and Mrs. Clinton, pleaded guilty to two felony charges, bank fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors described check-kiting and loan fraud schemes he operated involving three Louisiana banks, but they did not publicly detail his cooperation with the government.

The New York Sun reported yesterday that an unnamed witness with ties to a prominent political figure has been involved in recent federal investigations of campaign fund-raising violations, including a probe into alleged financial misreporting in Mrs. Clinton's bid for the Senate in 2000. The informant, described in court papers only as a "confidential witness," was part of an FBI plan to secretly audiotape conversations with political operatives, including a well-known person who prosecutors said was seeking to funnel donations from foreigners to federal campaigns.

Several people with knowledge of the case identified Reggie as the informant described in the Sun article.


Please please please let us hear the tapes!

And this guy better hope he doesn't come down with a case of Arkincide!

Democrats, this is the HEAD of your party????

If you're not aware yet Howard Dean, head of the DNC, mocked Rush Limabugh by pretending to snort Cocaine.

You Democrats must be soooooooo proud.

Of course if this had been Ken Mehlman, head of the RNC, I'm sure CNN, the NYT, and the Boston Globe would be calling for his head on a platter.

Now I don't think Dean should step down over this. That would only hurt the Republicans. But I would advise a straight jacket and maybe one of those Hannibal Lecter face masks.

Jackson's Junction has the audio.

F#&%NG COWARDS!!

These are the people that are fighting for Iraq?!?!? [update Note: The more I think about it I doubt these were Iraqis but rather terrorists from other countries.]

WHAT BRAVE MEN!! THE TYPE THAT MURDER A INJURED MAN AFTER THEY SHOOT DOWN THE HELICOPTER HE WAS IN.

I'M SURPRISED THAT DIDN'T SHOOT HIM IN THE BACK!

F#&%NG COWARDS!!


***WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT***

Video here

***WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT***

Thursday, April 21, 2005

More on ........ BOLTON

Rich Lowry ~~ NRO


THE BOLTON “SCANDAL”

“I NEVER HEARD ANY OF THAT BEFORE”

“IT MAKES NO SENSE”

“IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE”

THE CORROBORATOR

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Something you should know about Bolton's "accuser".

New Bolton Accuser Is a Liberal From 'Mothers Opposing Bush'

WASHINGTON - The latest accusations of abuse aimed at the president's nominee to be America's ambassador to the United Nations come from a self-described "liberal Democrat" who in 2004 helped organize the Dallas chapter of "Mothers Opposing Bush."

The woman, Melody Townsel, alleged that John Bolton chased her through the halls of a Moscow hotel throwing objects and screaming threats at her in August 1994, according to a letter circulated Saturday by the spokesman for the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Biden of Delaware.

[snip]

In an interview yesterday, Ms. Townsel said she sent a letter on April 8 to all 18 members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee through the panel's Web site, detailing an incident more than 10 years earlier when she was working as a subcontractor for USAID through a contract in Kyrgyzstan. At the time, Mr. Bolton was a lawyer representing Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, the firm that hired Ms. Townsel's company to publicize privatization projects in the Central Asian country. Ms. Townsel complained about Black, Manafort to USAID, and Mr. Bolton was hired to represent them.

[She also made it onto AIR AMERICA........you can hear her claim here . ~ OX]

According to Ms. Townsel, Mr. Bolton went to great lengths to harass her. "For nearly two weeks, while I awaited fresh direction from my company and from USAID, John Bolton hounded me in such an appalling way that I eventually retreated to my hotel room and stayed there. Mr. Bolton, of course, then routinely visited me there to pound on the door and shout threats," the letter said.

[snip]


She also said there were no other eyewitnesses to what in the letter she said was a pattern of abusive behavior, [How convenient......~OX] but that others working on the project were familiar with her account.

"There were people aware of the harassment, but they are not willing to come forward because they have existing business with the government," she said.

Ms. Townsel's allegations appeared over the weekend in the Los Angeles Times, the Houston Chronicle, and numerous Democratic-leaning Web sites, such as Daily Kos and The American Prospect's web log, Tapped.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What a bunch of CRY BABIES!!!!!

Right now the Dems are obstructing the Senate's work ONCE AGAIN.

They don't want a vote to be held on Bolton. So what are they doing? Well, earlier today they objected to a unanimous consent request for the Foreign Relation Committee to meet today.

So since that happen Sen. Frist has to recess the Senate in order for the FRC to meet, and now the dems are objecting to the recess!!!



What a bunch of CRY BABIES!!!!


UPDATE: The SFRC is now meeting and the dems are acting like rabid dogs..............

UPDATE II: Well, the vote on Bolton is delayed another 2 weeks, the dems want to smear him a bit more.

Terrorists are among us and are just waiting to strike.

Jihad comes to Small Town, USA By: Laura Mansfield

It happened again this week. I came out of the office to find a flyer under my windshield wipers inviting me to a special informational presentation on God and family values, and how to bring them back to the forefront in America.

[snip]

I checked the mosque schedule on the Web, and discovered there was going to be an Arabic language session an hour before. So I showed up an hour early. The imam met me at the door, and told me that the presentation didn't start for an hour, and suggested I come back in an hour. Fortunately, I had anticipated this. I explained that since I had quite a bit of reading to do for a class I was taking. "Can I just sit here and read?"

[snip]

.......his classmate from Jordan was able to walk through security, along with his American girlfriend, without any problems whatsoever.

One of the men said, in Arabic: "Blonde Americans are good for something!" Another man advised him to be cautious, since there was an American woman in the room. The imam spoke up and told everyone I didn't speak Arabic.

[snip]

One of the other men, Ahmed from Kuwait, gave a brief account of his friend Eyad, who had finally gone to Iraq. Ahmed was in e-mail contact with Eyad, and hoped by the following week to be able to bring them more information about the state of the "mujahideen" in Iraq.

As the meeting drew to a close, the imam gave a brief speech calling for the protection of Allah on the mujahideen fighting for Islam throughout the world, and reminded everyone that it was their duty as Muslims to continue in the path of jihad, whether it was simple efforts like those of Khaled and his friends, or the actual physical fighting of men like Eyad.

[snip]

Where the previous session had definite anti-American tones, this session was all American and Apple Pie. The earlier session had been in Arabic – this one was in English.

[snip]

While in the previous section, the men had quoted over and over again sura from the Quran calling for violent jihad, the women's session focused on the "gentler" side of Islam.

The same imam who demanded that the men continue in the path of jihad did a complete 180-degree turn in this session, stressing instead the suras that promoted the "brotherhood" between Muslims, Christians and Jews. "After all, we worship the same God, [ABSOLUTE LIE!! The God of Christians & Jews is NOT the same as the one muslims believe in. ~~ OX] and follow the teachings in the books he gave each of us. We are all the same, we are all People of the Book," he stressed

The differences between the sessions were striking. Clearly the second session was a recruiting session.

It shows clearly that as much as we'd like to pretend it hasn't, jihad has reached Small-Town, USA. This mosque isn't in Washington, D.C., or New York City. This is a small mosque in a small town in the deep South.

And if it's in this tiny little quiet southern town, it's probably in your hometown, too.

---------------------------------------


If these are the things Imams are going to "teach" in a somewhat open venue I can only imagine what they're concocting in back rooms!

Just remember this next time you hear the ACLU bitch about the US Gov't wanting to send in undercover agents into mosques.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Now this, this is funny!!

WHY TOM DELAY MUST GO RIGHT NOW -- No. 3

Be sure to read # 1 & 2 too....

The 100,000 dead Iraqis DEBUNKED.

Tom, You were saying something about 100,000 Iraqis dead. Well here's how they came up with that number and how utterly FALSE that number is.

Don't take this to think I want Iraqis dead, well not good guys, they can draw and quarter the terrorists for all I care.

I just get sick of you libs tossing that 100K number around and not knowing how that number came to be and thinking that it's from an actual body count.

Here's a great article on how the "survey" that came up w/ the 100K number was done. Yes that's right they took a survey of 7,868 people and used and equation to come up with the 100K number. The number is not based on an actual body count.





New survey puts number of Iraqi deaths from war at 100,000



The scientists who wrote the report concede that the data they based their projections on were of "limited precision,"



To conduct the survey, investigators visited 33 neighborhoods spread evenly across the country in September, randomly selecting clusters of 30 households to sample. Of the 988 households visited, 808, consisting of 7,868 people, agreed to participate. Each group At each one they asked how many people lived in the home and how many births and deaths there had been since January 2002.

The scientists then compared death rates in the 15 months before the invasion with those that occurred during the 18 months after the attack and adjusted those numbers to account for the different time periods.





The researchers estimated the nationwide death toll due to the conflict by subtracting the preinvasion death rate from the post-invasion death rate and multiplying that number by the estimated population of Iraq -- 24.4 million at the start of the war. Then that number was converted to a total number of deaths by dividing by 1,000 and adjusting for the 18 months since the invasion.

"We estimate that there were 98,000 extra deaths during the postwar period in the 97 percent of Iraq represented by all the clusters except Fallujah," the researchers said in the journal.






Here's Fred Kaplan's take on it. He does a much better job of explaining it.



How many Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war?


Filibuster myth-busters

I can't wait till this comes up in the Senate!!


The Dems, and McPainintheass, are wrong here.

Filibuster myth-busters [By Wendy E. Long]

And why isn't Reid being investigated????

Oh, That's right he's a DEM!

Limbaugh: Harry Reid Family Cashing In

VDH rocking again!

Our Not-So-Wise Experts
A litany of past failure.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bolton

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Leave it JOHN KERRY to disclose the name of an undercover agent!!

If anyone was watching the John Bolton hearing today you'd know that they refered to a "Mr. Smith" quite a few times. Well, Kerry F'd up and read his real name!

KERRY: "30sec. Mr. Chairman. This is reading from Mr. Flightses(sp) interview where he says did Otto Reich(sp) share his belief that F***** A******** should be removed from this position, the answer is yes. Did John Bolton share that view? Mr. Flights said "Yes"

When Bolton comes back he says Mr. SMITH right away.




Update: Well I'll be dipped looks like this story made it into the print world. The AP picked it up.


Now it looks like Luger mentioned his name too but it wasn't as obvious as when Kerry did it.

Senators May Have Named CIA Operative


Friday, April 08, 2005

Using children to slam Pres. Bush, what a novel idea Senator Nelson!!!

This all has to do w/ a EPA program, that was signed into law by Pres.Clinton, and will test THE EXPOSURE of pesticides on children from newborn to 1yr. of age. The study will NOT be, as being reported by Senator Nelson, "exposing them to pesticides"

If you take two minutes to go check the EPA's site you'd find that:

" Participants are not required to use pesticides or to change any of their regular household routines or how they normally use bug sprays (pesticides)

[The EPA] will not ask any parent to apply pesticides in their home to be a part of this study.

You are not required to change any of your regular household routines.



But hey, let's not let FACTS get in the way of scaring the voters in FL into thinking that the Gov't is going to spray your house down with pesticides and then measure the effect!

I'm sure Boxer is just exercising her lungs on this because she sees it's an opportunity to hold up yet another one of Pres. Bush's nominees.

Zimbabwe's poll numbers don't add up.

Well they add up, it's just over 100%.

I wonder how the farming is going over there?


Zimbabwe's opposition claims to have found proof of "massive electoral fraud" carried out by the regime of President Robert Mugabe.

The Movement for Democratic Change said on Wednesday that tens of thousands of votes appear to have been conjured from nowhere to guarantee victory for candidates from the ruling ZANU-PF party in last week's parliamentary election.

Seven hours after voting ended last Thursday, Lovemore Sekeramayi, an official from the election commission, began reading out the total number of votes cast in each constituency to journalists. He did so for 72 seats, before stopping abruptly without any explanation.

Later, George Chiweshe, the High Court judge who chairs the election commission, announced the totals won by each candidate on state television. But in 45 of the 120 seats there were discrepancies between his figures and the turnout broadcast earlier.

In Goromonzi constituency, Mr Sekeramayi announced a turnout of 15,611. Mr Justice Chiweshe then declared the ZANU-PF candidate had won 16,782 votes. The victorious MP was Herbert Murerwa, the acting Finance Minister, who, if the turnout figure was correct, swept up 108 per cent of the total vote.

Sydney Sekeramayi, the Defence Minister, won 19,912 votes in Marondera East against 10,066 for Iain Kay, a former commercial farmer standing for the MDC. But the turnout in this seat was announced as being only 25,193. Thus 4742 votes seem to have appeared from nowhere.

Patrick Zhuwawo, Mr Mugabe's nephew, won 104 per cent of the vote in Manyame.

In 11 seats, the discrepancies were larger than the majorities of the winning candidates from ZANU-PF. Had the MDC won those 11 constituencies, it would have held enough seats in parliament to prevent Mr Mugabe winning the two-thirds majority that lets him amend the constitution.

"This indicates massive electoral fraud by the ruling party," an MDC spokesman, Paul Themba Nyathi, said.

Although election observers from South Africa and the Southern African Development Community have said the vote reflected Zimbabweans' will, human-rights groups and many Western governments have called it seriously flawed.


Link

So why have the dems changed? [Judges]

I thought it would be good to go back and see what some leaders in the democratic party have said in the past about the voting up or down on Judges.

Note all but one of these quotes, the one from the current Minority leader, is from before Pres. Bush was elected.

Now I'm sure there will be some that say these are taken out of context but it's really hard to most of these statements out of context and I can only see one meaning in them. That is that prior to Pres. Bush getting elected the Dems. believed all Judges that got to the floor deserved an up or down vote.


------------------------------


Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Delaware) March 19, 1997: “But I also respectfully suggest that everyone who is nominated is entitled to have a shot, to have a hearing and to have a shot to be heard on the floor and have a vote on the floor.”

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Illinois)September 28, 1998: “We should meet our responsibility. I think that responsibility requires us to act in a timely fashion on nominees sent before us. ... Vote the person up or down.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) September 11, 1997: “Let’s bring their nominations up, debate them if necessary, and vote them up or down.”

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts)February 3, 1998: “We owe it to Americans across the country to give these nominees a vote. If our Republican colleagues don’t like them, vote against them. But give them a vote.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) May 10, 2000: “The Founding Fathers certainly intended that the Senate advise as to judicial nominations, i.e., consider, debate, and vote up or down. They surely did not intend that the Senate, for partisan or factional reasons, would remain silent and simply refuse to give any advice or consider and vote at all.”

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) 5/14/97 : “It is not the role of the Senate to obstruct the process and prevent numbers of highly qualified nominees from even being given the opportunity for a vote on the Senate floor.”

Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD): “I find it simply baffling that a Senator would vote against even voting on a judicial nomination.” (Congressional Record, 10/5/99)

Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD): “Hispanic or non-Hispanic, African American or non-African American, woman or man, it is wrong not to have a vote on the Senate floor.” (Congressional Record, 10/28/99)

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND): “My expectation is that we’re not going to hold up judicial nominations. …You will not see us do what was done to us in recent years in the Senate with judicial nominations.” (Fox News’ “Special Report With Brit Hume,” 6/4/01)

Richard Durbin (D-IL) "If, after 150 days languishing on the Executive Calendar that name has not been called for a vote, it should be. Vote the person up or down." (Cong. Rec., 9/28/98, S11021)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): “Let’s bring their nominations up, debate them if necessary, and vote them up or down.” (Congressional Record, 9/11/97)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): “It is our job to confirm these judges. If we don’t like them, we can vote against them.” (Congressional Record, 9/16/99)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): “Our institutional integrity requires an up-or-down vote.” (Congressional Record, 10/4/99)

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA): “[The filibuster process] is used … as blackmail for one Senator to get his or her way on something that they could not rightfully win through the normal processes.” (Congressional Record, 1/4/95)

Tom Harkin (D-IA) "Have the guts to come out and vote up or down….And once and for all, put behind us this filibuster procedure on nominations." (Cong. Rec., 6/22/95, S8861)

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA): “I urge the Republican leadership to take the steps necessary to allow the full Senate to vote up or down on these important nominations.” (Congressional Record, 9/11/00)

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA): “We owe it to Americans across the country to give these nominees a vote. If our Republican colleagues don’t like them, vote against them. But give them a vote.” (Congressional Record, 2/3/98)

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA): “It is true that some Senators have voiced concerns about these nominations. But that should not prevent a roll call vote which gives every Senator the opportunity to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ ... Parties with cases, waiting to be heard by the federal courts deserve a decision by the Senate.” (Congressional Record, 9/21/99)

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI): “These nominees, who have to put their lives on hold waiting for us to act, deserve an ‘up or down’ vote.” (Congressional Record, 9/21/99)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): “I hope we … will accept our responsibility and vote people up or vote them down. … If we want to vote against them, vote against them.” (Congressional Record, 10/22/97)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): “Now, every Senator can vote against any nominee. … But it is the responsibility of the U.S. Senate to at least bring them to a vote.” (Congressional Record, 10/22/97)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): “ "I have stated over and over again … that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported …” (Congressional Record, 6/18/98)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): “[E]arlier this year … I noted how improper it would be to filibuster a judicial nomination.” (Congressional Record, 10/14/98)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): “[I]f the person is otherwise qualified, he or she gets the vote. … Vote them up, vote them down.” (Congressional Record, 9/21/99)

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): “[W]e should have up-or-down votes in the committee and on the floor.” (CNN’s “Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields,” 6/9/01)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): “[W]e are charged with voting on the nominees. The Constitution does not say if the Congress is controlled by a different party than the President there shall be no judges chosen.” (Congressional Record, 3/7/00)

Carl Levin (D-MI) "If a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate is prepared to vote to confirm the President's appointment, that vote should occur." (Cong. Rec., 6/21/95, S8806)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Want some PORK? How about $27.3 billion worth?

I haven't had a chance to pick out the really really important projects yet.....

Ya know like $268,000 for livestock waste research or $300,000 for Bucknell University in Lewisburg for the Lewisburg Downtown Theater rehabilitation, things like that.....

2005 Congressional Pig Book Summary

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Mr. Smith was about Judges?

Now this is just ludicrous. Using "Mr. Smith goes to Washington" to try and scare people into siding with the dems concerning the filibustering of Pres. Bush's Judicial nominations.

First off, it's a FICTIONAL movie that, if I recall correctly, dealt with an appropriation bill and had nothing to do with Judges.

Secondly that type of "filibuster" doesn't happen anymore. There are no dems holding the floor talking for hours on end. And even when the Senate held a 39 hr debate on Judges the dems talked about anything but Judges. Harry Reid talked for hours about the eating habits of the local Searchlight Nevada rabbits. And they are some finicky cactus eaters, let me tell ya.

What's happening is the dems are basically changing the constitution to make Judges need a super-majority in order to get confirmed. In the Senate in order to stop debate and bring a vote the Senators must invoke cloture, that takes 60 votes. The dems are blocking cloture thus blocking a vote from coming up in which the Judges would be voted on and most likely confirmed.

There are SIX specific places in the US Constitution, not including amendments and seven if you include States ratifying an amendment, where a super-majority is called for, the voting of Judges is NOT one of those six.

And has Robert Byrd forgotten what he's said in the past?

“The Constitution in article I, section 5, says that each House shall determine the rules of its proceedings. Now we are at the beginning of Congress. This Congress is not obliged to be bound by the dead hand of the past

. . . The first Senate, which met in 1789, approved 19 rules by a majority vote. Those rules have been changed from time to time . . . So the Members of the Senate who met in 1789 and approved that first body of rules did not for one moment think, or believe, or pretend, that all succeeding Senates would be bound by that Senate . . . It would be just as reasonable to say that one Congress can pass a law providing that all future laws have to be passed by two-thirds vote. Any Member of this body knows that the next Congress would not heed that law and would proceed to change it and would vote repeal of it by majority vote." source1 source2


Anyway..........Here's People For the American Way's add using "Mr. Smith" and FactCheck's take on it.

And if you'd like to read Byrd's use of "Mr. Smith" go here and click # 19 . UNLIMITED DEBATE IN THE SENATE. Be sure to read Senator Hatch's rebuttal too.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Felos Takes Schiavo Money, Opens Florida Health Clinic

Sandy "docs in his socks" Berger gets slapped w/ a misdemeanor.




What a joke. This guy steals TOP SECRET DOCUMENTS from the National Archives and gets a slap on the wrist?!?!


Ex-Clinton Aide (Sandy Berger) to Admit Taking Classified Papers

Ahhh yes the "tolerant" left attacks Pat Buchanan, with salad dressing.

Hummmmmmmmm I think a bit of profiling would have been worthy here. I'm not saying all people with red mohawks are bad but ones that are carrying a pint of ranch dressing should alert one that something bad is about to happen......

Video of the attack here

It may take a minute to load.