October 31, 2005

Don't piss of the Queen

You don't want to make her mad; you wouldn't like her when she's mad. Excerpt:


A weak President Bush would never have nominated Alito. Never. As I said earlier, it doesn't matter if YOU think he is weak, it's what Bush thinks about Bush that matters.

He doesn't think he's weak. He doesn't think he needs to work with the Dems. They fucked him when they suggested Miers and then didn't fight for her. Bush won't be listening to Harry Reid's bullshit advice anymore.

Okay, she isn't really angry in this post, but you get the idea.

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Uh oh

Someone's been leaking Senator Feinstein's private notes to Jeff Goldstein. Mheh.

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October 28, 2005

My real, absolute, final words on Miers

I'll admit that I was glad to see Miers withdraw her name. However, I think that the reaction of some is over the top. Jonathan Hawkins, one the of the bloggers I've read the longest, put a dancing Snoopy image at the top a post and, essentially, posted a "Yippee! She's gone! Good riddance!" type blog entry. I disagree with the tone. While I don't believe that Miers was a good choice for SCOTUS, I do however believe that she's a fine attorney, a decent person and a good friend of the president, the last item being obvious by her willingness to pull her name from the hat and limit the damage being done to Bush. Gloating over her withdrawal is petty and serves no purpose. Yes, conservatives should be glad that we're likely to get a strict constitutionalist with a paper trail and stronger credentials nominated and confirmed now, but I don't like it that some on the right are gleeful and giddy at what is likely a disappointment to Harriet Miers. She deserves better.

Update: Dale Franks takes Hugh Hewitt to task for his uncharacteristically whiny response to Miers' withdrawal. Excerpt:


Was it unfair to point out her dearth of experience, or lack of writing on Constitutional issues? Was it unfair to point out that a stellar host of law professors, judges, and long-time public officials with impeccable credentials were passed over in order to nominate her? Was it unfair to wonder, since no evidence of a fixed judicial philosophy could be found, if she was another Souter or Lewis Powell in the making?

Apparently Mr. Hewitt's position is that, since the president spoke, mutatis mutandis ex cathedra, in declaring her to be the candidate of choice, our responsibility was to remain silent little serfs, and if milord assures is that she is the person for the job, our proper role is to ignore any doubts about her qualifications and lack of clear judicial philosophy, and doff our caps and tug our forelocks.

Well, here's a little whack with the clue-bat: I have a perfect right to express my opinion on the president's nominees. I can call for the nominee's withdrawal. I can call on senators to vote the nomination down. Fortunately, I still live in a free country where can express my opinions, and if Mr. Hewitt doesn't like it, tough.
...
Well, anyway, at least that's over. I'm sure Mr. Hewitt will stop sulking over Ms. Miers the second the president announces a replacement nomination, just as I'm sure Mr. Hewitt will provide the president's nominee with unqualified support. No matter who it is.

Update: John Cole weighs in:


There was not going to be a defeat on the Senate floor. She was not going to get out of committee, and she was going to humiliate everyone in the process. And that is what Senators were relaying to the White House all week.

As to Hugh’s suggestion that this was somehow an ‘unconstitutional’ result, I would suggest Hugh doesn’t know what is in the Constitution if he thinks anything unconstitutional happened. The President nominated Miers. It became clear that she was unqualified and would not pass a vote. She withdrew her name from consideration. I will leave it to Hugh to demonstrate how this is a violation of either principle, precedence, Senate Rules, or the Constitution. Good luck with that, Hugh.

In short, Hewitt is simply lashing out at people who chose not to ‘trust’ the President to the degree that Hugh did. His charges have no merit, and his animosity is carelessly targeted. If he wants to be mad at anyone, it shouldn’t be the people who pointed out the flaws in this candidate. Perhaps after he cools down, Hugh will stop tilting at windmills and recognize that the person he should be mad at is Bush, who made this flawed nomination in the first place, putting his allies and poor Harriet Miers in an unfortunate position.

What he said.

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Quote of the day

And it's from Bill Quick: The Bush Administration: Cutting its throat to spite its base.

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October 24, 2005

Forget the presidency

While I was on vacation, a junior Senator named Tom Coburn had the audacity to force his colleagues to vote "Yes" publicly for their pork barrel projects, instead of earmarking those particular funds for hurricane relief. Not surprisingly-that is, if you're not an imbecile- most Senators votes against the Coburn Amendment, including the majority of Republicans. Not coincidentally, those Republicans kissed any presidential aspirations goodbye. Here is the roll call for the vote on the Coburn Amendment, courtesy of Mark Tapscott :


FOR THE RECORD: The Yeas and Nays on the Coburn amendment

YEAs ---15
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Bayh (D-IN)
Burr (R-NC)
Coburn (R-OK)
Conrad (D-ND)
DeMint (R-SC)
DeWine (R-OH)
Feingold (D-WI)
Graham (R-SC)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Sununu (R-NH)
Vitter (R-LA)

NAYs ---82Akaka (D-HI)
Alexander (R-TN)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bennett (R-UT)
Biden (D-DE)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Bond (R-MO)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Chafee (R-RI)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
Dayton (D-MN)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Frist (R-TN)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Inouye (D-HI)
Isakson (R-GA)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kohl (D-WI)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McConnell (R-KY)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Stevens (R-AK)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thune (R-SD)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)
Wyden (D-OR)

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October 23, 2005

My actual last words on Harriet Miers

I've gone through my issues at length before, so I see no point in expounding on them further. However, in deference to the TTLB's effort, I submit the following: I oppose the Miers nomination.

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Quote of the day

And it comes from George Will:


As for Republicans, any who vote for Miers will thereafter be ineligible to argue that it is important to elect Republicans because they are conscientious conservers of the judicial branch's invaluable dignity. Finally, any Republican senator who supinely acquiesces in President Bush's reckless abuse of presidential discretion -- or who does not recognize the Miers nomination as such -- can never be considered presidential material.

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October 13, 2005

My last word on Miers

Actually, the words belong to John Cole. Excerpt:


The blame for this nomination, quite simply, starts and stops with the White House. It is not, as Jeff points out, because conservatives are ‘sexist’ or ‘elitist,’ charges that infuriate me to no end. It is not because a bunch of weak-kneed moderates would vote down a conservative judge. It is not because the vetting process showed that there were skeletons in the closet of great minds like Luttig, McConnell, etc. It is not because, pace Dobson/Rove, conservative legal scholars everywhere were cowed into submission and terrified of a vicious confirmation process.

It is because this White House dropped the ball, and continues to offend and bungle at every opportunity. It is because, rather than fulfill their promise and appoint a qualified conservative with impeccable credentials and a solid judicial philosophy, they reached yet again into the inner circle to find someone Bush felt ‘confortable’ with and someone they thought would be confirmed without incident.

In short, it was an act of monumental cowardice, and the finger-pointing and smears, rather than help the cause of Harriet Miers and the White House, serve as a giant blinking neon sign pointing to the incompetence of the current White House and their reliance on short-term political calculations rather than exhibiting a quality most conservatives admire.

Principle.

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Fish this plane

Remember the airplane that pork-barrel politics paid $500k to paint a fish on the side of? The Farkers have made their own contribution to this discussion. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Fark1

Fark2

Fark3

Good stuff. Check out the rest here.

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October 11, 2005

More Miers

Captain Ed types a thoughtful piece for the Washington Post, wherein he enumerates the 3 groups that the GOP has split into: The Loyalist Army, the Rebel Alliance and the Trench-Dwelling Dogfaces. Actually, I think Mark Tapscott has the fourth group identified pretty well: Long-time Loyal GOPer Looking for a New Party.

Is the GOP eating its own? Maybe. But I'm tired of the party that I voted for governing like the minority party that they were for 40 years. Then again, maybe they liked it so much, the party is doing its damndest to relive the past. Trust me when I tell you that they're on the right path.

I wonder how many people are more likely to believe my "trust me" statement in the previous paragraph than the implicit one given by the President by nominating Miers?

Update: Jonah weighs in:


Fed by what are to me very cheap arguments by RNC spokesmen and independent stalwarts of the administration -- chiefly, it seems, Hugh Hewitt -- there is now this permanently established belief in some quarters that people around here and elsewhere oppose Miers based purely on bad motives -- elitism, cowardice, sexism etc. I find this horribly disappointing and the sort of thing I normally expect from leftwingers.
...
Regardless, whoever started the name-calling, all of it is beneath a movement and a philosophy which is supposed to pride itself on dealing with uncomfortable facts. I don't mind arguments within the conservative camp. I relish them, as should be obvious. They are a sign of intellectual health and integrity. "Unity above all" may at times be a political imperative but it is a philosophical cancer. Those of you who argue Miers' rightwing opponents are hurting the cause have a fair political point to make, even if it shows evidence of a misunderstanding of conservative journalism's role generally and National Review's in particular (See for example, Ramesh's "The Case Against Silence"). But they too are hurting the cause when they impugn the motives of those they will undoubtedly wish to fight alongside in some future battle.

Update: Ouch!

Update: It appears that the White House has enlisted the First Lady to continue the tactic of smearing its own base. Nice.

Hey, GOP! Start packing. You're likely moving to the minority party in 2006. Dickheads.

Final update: Richard Brookheiser weighs in:


Conservative defenders of the Miers pick attribute such violent and visceral reactions to snobbery: Our wise President is being second-guessed by a bunch of Beltway elitists and Ivy Leaguers who disdain the horny-handed daughter of toil nurtured at Southern Methodist University. But this charge is boob bait. Many leaders come from nowhere before rising to the top. Ronald Reagan went to Eureka College; Richard Nixon went to Whittier College; Abraham Lincoln went to no college. Ms. Miers had as many advantages as these men, or more. She only has fewer achievements.
...
The real reason her nomination sticks in the craw is the brass-and-leather whiff of the Praetorian Guard house. The ancient Praetorian Guard was an elite military unit that guarded Rome’s emperors and sometimes murdered them. The modern Praetorian Guard is the penumbra of family and cronies that, under the American imperial Presidency, is accorded unseemly attention and respect. Some Presidents look to it for actual officeholders. Bill Clinton put his wife in charge of health-care policy. John Kennedy put his brother in charge of the Justice Department. Mr. Bush seems to find the Praetorian Guard especially seductive. There were the Texas League Texans he sent to FEMA—Joe Allbaugh, Michael Brown. There was the way his running mate emerged from a search committee headed by—Dick Cheney. Look no further! Harriet Miers emerged in the same way, helping to vet judicial nominees. At least she tapped John Roberts before herself; gentlemen first. This is an elitism far more restrictive than anything Ms. Miers’ critics are charged with. Beltway/Ivy League elitism embraces anyone who works in the federal government, or who graduated from one of seven old colleges. The President’s elitism embraces anyone who works down the hall. He looked out over what Tom Wolfe calls “this wild bizarre unpredictable hog-stomping Baroque country of ours” and whom did he see? The woman sitting next to him.


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October 10, 2005

For what it's worth

I just received a comment to a post of mine by a lefty bemoaning how un-funny conservatives are, and wondering why the only comedians are on the left. Okay, I'll wait while you catch your breath; my sides still hurt from laughing.

I'll grant you that - in print- I'm not a laugh riot, but claiming that conservatives aren't funny, while simultaneously stating that the left is the sole repository of humor, defies belief. I give you the following:

On the right
---------------
Protein Wisdom
Ace
IMAO
Harvey
Hog On Ice

On the left
-------------
Daily Kos
Shakespeare's sister
Atrios
Oliver Willis
(Sorry, no links to the dipshit gallery)

If this were baseball, they'd have implemented the slaugher rule before it began. Some of my leftist friends are funny, funny guys, but by and large, the vast majority of lefties are humorless, ill-mannered twits, whose only source of amusement seems to be saying "Chimpy BusHitler...BWAHAHA!" as if it's best joke ever, and who believe, lack of evidence notwithstanding, that Al Franken is actually amusing. He once was, of course, but now he's just boring.

It's a bummer that I can't classify my commenter as a troll, because it was a fairly polite, if off the reservation insane. I look forward to more moonbattery in the future; I need the occassional laugh.

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Elitist my ass

The recent spate of "you're sexist and elitist if you oppose Harriet Miers' nomination" have been sprouting up everywhere, even in places where people should know better. I was crafting a reasoned response to this crapola when I stumbled on this editorial by John Fund, who is far more eloquent than I. Excerpt:


Conservatives shouldn't care about her personal views on issues if they can convince themselves that she agrees with Chief Justice John Roberts's view of a judge's role: that cases should be decided the way an umpire calls balls and strikes, without rooting for either team. But the evidence of Ms. Miers's views on jurisprudence resemble a beach on which someone has walked without leaving any footprints: no court opinions, no law review articles, and no internal memos that President Bush is going to share with the Senate.

It is traditional for nominees to remain silent until their confirmation hearings. But previous nominees, while unable to speak for themselves, have been able to deploy an array of people to speak persuasively on their behalf. In this case, the White House spin team has been pathetic, dismissing much of the criticism of Ms. Miers as "elitism" or even echoing Democratic senators who view it as "sexist." But it was Richard Land , president of the Southern Baptist Convention, who went so far as to paint Ms. Miers as virtually a tool of the man who has been her client for the past decade. "In Texas, we have two important values, courage and loyalty," he told a conference call of conservative leaders last Thursday. "If Harriet Miers didn't rule the way George W. Bush thought she would, he would see that as an act of betrayal and so would she." That is an argument in her favor. It sounds more like a blood oath than a dignified nomination process aimed at finding the most qualified individual possible .
...
But that ignores the fact that every Republican president over the past half century has stumbled when it comes to naming nominees to the high court. Consider the record:

After leaving office, Dwight Eisenhower was asked by a reporter if he had made any mistakes as president. "Two," Ike replied. "They are both on the Supreme Court." He referred to Earl Warren and William Brennan, both of whom became liberal icons.

Richard Nixon personally assured conservatives that Harry Blackmun would vote the same way as his childhood friend, Warren Burger. Within four years, Justice Blackmun had spun Roe v. Wade out of whole constitutional cloth. Chief Justice Burger concurred in Roe, and made clear he didn't even understand what the court was deciding: "Plainly," he wrote, "the Court today rejects any claim that the Constitution requires abortions on demand."

Gerald Ford personally told members of his staff that John Paul Stevens was "a good Republican, and would vote like one." Justice Stevens has since become the leader of the court's liberal wing.

An upcoming biography of Sandra Day O'Connor by Supreme Court reporter Joan Biskupic includes correspondence from Ronald Reagan to conservative senators concerned about her scant paper trail. The message was, in effect: Trust me. She's a traditional conservative. From Roe v. Wade to racial preferences, she has proved not to be. Similarly, Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation recalls the hard sell the Reagan White House made on behalf of Anthony Kennedy in 1987, after the Senate rejected Robert Bork. "They even put his priest on the phone with us to assure us he was solid on everything," Mr. Weyrich recalls. From term limits to abortion to the juvenile death penalty to the overturning of a state referendum on gay rights, Justice Kennedy has often disappointed conservatives.

Most famously, White House chief of staff John Sununu told Pat McGuigan, an aide to Mr. Weyrich, that the appointment of David Souter in 1990 would please conservatives. "This is a home run, and the ball is still ascending. In fact, it's just about to leave earth orbit," he told Mr. McGuigan. At the press conference announcing the appointment, the elder President Bush asserted five times that Justice Souter was "committed to interpreting, not making the law." The rest is history.

Harriet Miers is unquestionably a fine lawyer and a woman of great character. But her record on constitutional issues is nil, and it is therefore understandable that conservatives, having been burned at least seven times in the past 50 years, would be hesitant about supporting her nomination.

So go ahead, stick your fingers in your ears while shouting "LALALALA!" This president has asked me to "trust him". Well, in this instance, I don't. Color me a skeptic, but I don't wish to spend the next 20 years discussing the Miers' Mistake.

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Waiting for Columbus

With Columbus Day upon us, I thought that it would be a good idea to link to a story that encapsulates much of today's consensus about said day. Excerpt:


"Well, Billy, an unfortunate part of human history involves countries invading their neighbors to take control. This has happened in many parts of the world, including Europe, which has a long history of war. But remember that Indigenous Peoples were also prone to war and fighting to expand their control well before Europeans arrived."

"Well, Columbus is also responsible for many germs and diseases that Europeans brought to America, causing untold suffering and death among the people who were here before us."

"Have you been drinking too much caffeine lately, Billy?"

"America's history of environmental destruction can also be laid at Columbus' feet, dad. As soon as the Europeans colonized America's pristine lands, they cut down the trees and plowed up the fields. Can you say soil erosion, dad?"

"Son, did I ever tell you that you take after your mother's side?"

"And what about slavery? It was the Europeans who created a flourishing slave trade in America. They did it to develop the land cheaply, so they could make giant profits. Columbus even made slaves out of some of the Indigenous Peoples who attacked him and his men."

"Son, do you remember where your mother hid the bourbon?"

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October 07, 2005

When they pry my blog from my cold, dead hands

So the UN's attempt to gain control of the Internet is about to become a fait accompli. Why? Because they want it? Or because they hate the US? Excerpt:


A number of countries represented in Geneva, including Brazil, China, Cuba, Iran and several African states, insisted the US give up control, but it refused. The meeting "was going nowhere", Hendon says, and so the EU took a bold step and proposed two stark changes: a new forum that would decide public policy, and a "cooperation model" comprising governments that would be in overall charge.

Much to the distress of the US, the idea proved popular. Its representative hit back, stating that it "can't in any way allow any changes" that went against the "historic role" of the US in controlling the top level of the internet.

But the refusal to budge only strengthened opposition, and now the world's governments are expected to agree a deal to award themselves ultimate control. It will be officially raised at a UN summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the US government can do but acquiesce.

I call bullshit. Who, exactly, is going to force the US to acquiesce to this power grab? France? Cuba? Iran? Sure. Let me know when Joan of Arc rises from the dead to lead their armies to victory. However, the issue is even more troubling than it appears on the surface. Neal Boortz weighs in:


Where can this go? Let's consider for just a moment that document that Bill Clinton called the greatest document ever written by man in support of human rights and freedom. That would the the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document is supposed to be the great international blueprint for human rights around the world. The document says that it represents "a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations." Does the UN Declaration of Human Rights protect free speech? Freedom of the press? Well ... in a word, yes it does. Article 19 says that everyone has a right to freedom of opinion and expression. So far so good. The declaration also says that everyone has a right to rest and leisure and a right to a standard of living. Interesting. It also says that all mothers and children are entitled to "special care and assistance."

Problematic, to say the least. But, let's cut to the chase. Let's go to Article 29 Paragraph 3. "These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations."

Do you need to read that again? Please do. It's critical. This one clause negates every single right recognized in this so-called "Universal Declaration of Human Rights." You have no freedom of speech. You have no freedom of expression. You have no right to own property. You have no right to your precious standard of living ... you have nothing ... not one thing if your exercise of those rights interfere with the goals of the United Nations.

Now ... back to the Internet. When the United Nations gains control just how far will it go? Will it start censoring the Internet to make sure that nobody posts any information or opinions that might interfere with the "purposes and principles of the United Nations?There is talk, for instance, of a world-wide income tax on the wealthy to fund UN operations. Would anyone be allowed to post an opinion in opposition to this scheme?

Update: The Emperor weighs in, as only he can. Mheh.

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October 06, 2005

And idea whose time has come

I second the nomination. Smart, funny and a looker to boot.

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October 04, 2005

My response

So Miers is the choice, eh? Glad to hear it; now I don't have to worry about voting for a Republican in the 2006 elections. Not that I'll end up voting for a Democrat. Even here in the Old Dominion, a reasonable Democrat is pretty rare. A write-in vote for Mickey Mouse is always an option, though.

Many people, myself included, choked on the ridiculous spending during the 2005 campaign, but supported Bush for one of two reasons, maybe both:

1) the War on Terror
2) putting another conservative on the SCOTUS bench

Bush's selection of Miers is probably going to send the Republicans back into minority status. If the combination of a Republican President and Senate aren't sufficient to put a strict constructionist on the bench, many conservatives and libertarians are going to watch reruns of Cop Rock on election day.

By the way, would someone please tell Hugh Hewitt to stop acting like a know-it-all grandfather, lecturing to woefully ignorant children? I like Hugh. He's a smart guy, and a tremendous asset to the Republican party. But his 3 monkey Republicanism has worn pretty thin. Sometimes, it's required to See and Say evil about your party.

Update: BWAHAHA!

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Only in California

At least for now, anyway. This national craze of "everything I want is a fundamental right" is going to ruin this country. It's funny, though. I don't remember free wifi access being mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. I must have the racist, Pale Penis version. Excerpt:


Last week, San Francisco closed a 45-day request for information period in which companies could offer their ideas about blanketing the city with wireless Internet service, known as Wi-Fi. Newsom believes that such connections will add to San Francisco's technology credentials and help propel residents -- especially poor ones -- into the digital age.

"This is inevitable," Newsom said. "This is long overdue. This is a fundamental right."

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