Thursday, May 19

Allow myself to introduce... myself.

As Doug mentioned yesterday, I'll be filling in for him while he's away at fat camp finishing up detox hiding from the feds touring Italy. Those of you who don't know me - where the hell have you been? Feel free to check out my stuff over at Practically Harmless. Or don't. Why waste your time?

Anyway, juggling two blogs, a full-time job and a social life is bound to put quite the strain on my burgeoning coke habit, so for today, I'll let y'all take over. No reason not to use Doug's more plentiful traffic to answer a fairly basic question that's been bugging me about the filibuster issue.

Okay, so the Senate is really built to uphold the rights of the minority; that's why California gets two senators, and so do Rhode Island and Montana. The filibuster is another tool to protect the minority, in that a tyrranical majority can sit around crocheting potholders and writing Star Trek fanfiction for days while the minority party debates an issue into oblivion. It's one of the few options available to make sure that legislation or nomination gets through on merit rather than popularity. Obviously. And people recognize that; recent polling shows that two-thirds of Americans oppose "changing Senate rules to make it easier for the Republicans to confirm Bush's judicial nominees."

So here's the question, and it's a very basic one that's been asked by lots and lots and lots of people and still not answered to my satisfaction: what's up, Republicans? I realize that Bush and his supporters really, really, really want to get his entire slate of nominees through. His entire slate, instead of just the 95 percent who have already been approved. Are the remaining seven judges really worth throwing out 200 years of Senate precedent and rolling over on the will of the people? Are Senate Republicans really so short-sighted that they can't imagine a future where they'd be in the minority and need the filibuster option to block legislation that they object to? And does the average, popcorn-eating, American Idol-watching, football-loving conservative really support Frist's decision to go nuclear?


-Baby Sis


Anonymous said...

I say nuke 'em over advise and consent over judicial nominees only.

J_da_F said...

In order: No, Yes, and No.

I always remembered the line from government class: Majority rules with minority rights. Right now, I can't imagine a time when they will be the minority. All data from my personal experience, but I seem to be meeting a higher number of conservative Republican Christians (and at younger ages) than I ever did before (may be an affect of my red-state residence), making me very worry about the possibility of a change in party. I just hope if it comes to a vote, enough old-school Republicans will vote against the party lines.

Michael said...

an exerpt from my own commie blog on the subject:

The Senate looks more and more like a sandbox on the playground every day. WAH!!! They are gonna use the filibuster. MOM, make them stop!!! WAH!!! If they take away the fillibuster, we won't talk to them anymore.

dubs the uniter doesn't just divide the people, he divides the senate too, and turns everyone into a bunch of whiney 3 year olds.

Anonymous said...

Anoymous, do you really think they would stop at judicial nominees? This is a party that two posts ago had followers admiting that the party lies and they depend on the democrats to not ever let it pass. Do you really think the drunk with power repubs would stop there?

And when the Dems control Congress again, do you think a filibuster would stop gun control or anything they wanted to shove down your throat?

Is the republican party become that short sighted?

Anonymous said...

The most famous example of filibustering that I can recall (from history classes anyway) is Strom Thurmond blocking civil rights legislation in the 50's. Now that is a stong example of an honorable tradition to defend. The biggest problem with the Senate has always been that it is full of President wanna-bes. They have always been a pack of blowhards, overfull with their own importance, and still are. I can name 5 or 6 sitting senators who have run for president. Bottom line is the the dems screwed the reps when they ran the place and will again when they have the chance. Both parties gerrymander house districts when they are in control of state legislatures when in control (Tom Delay didn't invent that tactic). Minority party rights have always only been an issue with the minority party. Tip O'Neill screwed the repulicans in congress for a decade or more, but it's good to b

Anonymous said... be the king.

Can someone tell me why Judge Owen isn't qualified to serve on the federal appeals bench? And don't say "she is out of the mainstream". Give a real world example.

And Bill, I was the one who said the Republicans lie. I also said that the Democrats lie. My point was that the Democrats are just plain stupid liers versus the Rebublicans who are better at it.

Anonymous said...

and ACG, I forgot my manners. Thank you for providing fodder, for those of us with nothing better to do, to blather over.

Love it that you quote polls showing that two thirds of Americans oppose changing the rules. If we assume 48 percent are Democrats (based upon last election) that leaves you with 18 percent of people, that are generally characterized by the Left as being too stupid to wipe their asses from front to back versus the opposite, as your moral allies.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember characterizing the moderate middle as being stupid Steve, that must be some republican contempt for the common man thing you picked up.

And that you are an admitted party of liars does not impute your lack of character and morality upon everyone else. The Bible speaks of one that it king of liars,, is that who you want on your side?

Repent Steve. Before it is too late.

Anonymous said...

They have all lied, they just lie more often now, they all gerrymander when in power, they all whine, they all take handouts, they are all alike now. Not a statesman in the bunch. We've PC'ed and partisaned ourselves into this mess by bowing to the fringe who tilt the elections one way or another.
Bill, will they stop at judicial nominees? Well, will gay marriage rights stop there or is bigamist rights next? Who knows but we still have the vote to keep them in check. Use it wisely. What we need are better choices than W and Kerry. Please don't suggest that Hillary is a better choice. She is very divisive.
Damsn, what was the original question?

Anonymous said...

Steve, read this , if nothing else, for some concrete examples of cases she has gone outside of established law in her rulings. From another website : "As explained by the Texas Supreme Court majority, a number of the dissents she has written or joined would have effectively rewritten or disregarded the law, usually to the detriment of ordinary citizens. In fact, even current White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales [and now Mr Attorney General of the US] criticized a dissent joined by Owen in one case as "an unconscionable act of judicial activism."

Anonymous said...

thx hmmmm for some substance. The first link is really just propoganda, but the second does cite specific examples (with obligatory propoganda) that allow some independent review. I'll do that.

Anonymous said...

hmmm, thanks for the citations. I looked at both and, as Steve has noted, the first one is propaganda. The second one was more substantive. Here's what I took away from it:
In all cases Owen was joined by other justices in her dissent - in some cases the votes were 5-4 and 5-3. I believe in only one case it was 5-2. So, are we to believe that according to the dems test that the other justices that joined her in dissenting are not eligible to serve in the federal judiciary? Also, how many cases has she ruled on in her career as a justice? I can't imagine that this handful of cases are statistically significant. For this reason, I believe she is more than the sum of these cases nor do they make her an "activist" judge. If you want to see what an "activist" judge looks and acts like, take a look at Stephen Reinhardt. Here's Reinhardt from a speech at an ACS seminar:

"Probably the most polemical speech of the weekend gathering came from appeals court judge Stephen Reinhardt. The words ?liberal judge? are not ?dirty words,? Reinhardt declared. ?They?re not to me and they shouldn?t be to anybody in this room.?

?Let?s be clear about another thing: ?moderate? and ?liberal? are not the same. ... We ought to restore a liberal, progressive philosophy this nation needs and our Constitution demands.? Reinhardt said judges should return to the liberal philosophy of former Chief Justice Earl Warren and Justices William Brennan, Thurgood Marshall and William O. Douglas."
Thank Jimmuh Cahtuh for this boob.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the typos above. The blog converted the " mark to a ? mark when pasted.

Anonymous said...

Owen is the exact sort of judicial activist that the righ wing nut jobs complain about, it happens that she favors their draconian oppess the rights of the common man views, so in thier usual hypocritical style they overlook her legeslation from the bench. That is why she is wrong.

So now you guys say everyone lies? How ironic that a few posts ago you were only talking about the republicans lying to thier base. Interesting how you change positions (flip/flop???) when your original is pointed out to indefensible.....

Anonymous said...

Saw Howard Dean on Meet the Press on Sunday. The dems are gonna have serious problems in 2006 with this guy at the helm. He disproves the notion that the dems want to move to the center and improve their chances in the red states. He spent all of his time bashing the repubs (said DeLay is going to jail) and voiced no new ideas. What an angry guy.
I suggest you stop worrying about the repubs and start worrying about your selves.
As an independent, I will cast my votes for those who reduce government, reform the income tax, and distance themselves from the fringe political elements. A fiscal conservative with a strong national defense policy would be ideal.

Anonymous said...

Saw Bill Frist on every channel in the world over the weekend. The repubs are gonna have serious problems in 2006 with this guy at the helm. He disproves the notion that the repubs want to move to the center and improve thier chances in the blue states. He spent a good deal of time trying to prop up the notion that he could diagnose 15 years of illness with 5 minutes of video tape, and that he could overcome 200 years of democracy with 1 vote of arrogence. What an arrogant moron.
I suggest you stop worrying about the dems and start worrying about yourselves.
As an independent, I will cast my votes for those who don't lie about everything their platform says, balance the budget, and distance themselves from the morons on the far right that are too strung out on oxy to know the truth. Another Bill Clinton would be ideal.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I could go for a Bill Clinton that could keep his Johnson in his or his wife's pants (I believe she has her own), one that wouldn't treat terrorism as a law enforcement problem, one that wouldn't deal with oppressive dictators by buying them off only to have them extort us later, one that wouldn't raise taxes, one that wouldn't drive his staff to suicide and one that wouldn't govern by polls.
But, once again, you give us a losing choice. Juxtaposing Frist to Dean, you lose, again. And, Hillary's feigning to the middle ain't gonna get it either. Where's your Powell, McCain?

Anonymous said...

Bill, personally, I am an independent. I think both parties are laden with buffoons. Being a hardened capitalist, I just have a hard time time with socialists that think big government and taxes are the answer to all our ills. Howard Dean is one of the biggest buffoons I've ever heard. He throws absurdities around with impunity. Hell, he wanted to give Osama Bin Laden the "benefit of the doubt." Didn't he say that Bush planned 9/11? Give us back Lieberman. Now there's a good guy. And, I hope the repubs can give us someone of substance and intellect next time. Of course, after all the mudslinging the last time around, who in their right mind would run for public office?

Anonymous said...

Morty, you are about as independant as KKKarl Rove. Dean said none of those things and you know it. This is more of the mudslinging you so protest.

As a real independant, I say give us leaders that inspire greatness, not fear. We need a president and congress that don't just wrap themselves in the flag and tell bald faced lies. Didn't Bush blame 9/11 on Saddam? Didn't Bush say they knew exactly where the WMD's were? Didn't Bush say we would leave Afganistan when asked?

Anonymous said...

ANy fiscal conservative who even thinks about voting for a Repuke is out of his mind. This is the party of credit card lunacy, spending beyond what the worst marxist could come up with.

They are spending our nation into a pit.

It's par for the course, repubs depend on government handouts for everything they've ever earned. Look at Cheney, never produced a product or service, always, ALWAYS sucking cash from us taxpayers. He's never made a dime from anyone but US! Worst freaking welfare whore on the planet!

The perfect republican, leeching tax dollars day in day out, running up credit cards like theres no tommorrow. These guys live in a fantasy world.

Their idea of economics is to print more money and keep spending on the special interests that they whore for.

REpukes hate america and I can't for the life of me figure out why. But we sure as hell have to stop them from destroying our country.


Anonymous said...

Just for the record, I voted for Clinton over Dole only to be disappointed by the scoundrel. As far as fiscal policy goes, you have to look to congress first because they control the purse strings (they added $2 billion in highway spending to Bush's most recent budget) and, second, at the president for not using the veto to overcome their drunken sailor spending. As far as this congress goes, they've all proven to be equivalent pigs at the trough and Bush has been spineless by not curbing their appetite. So their "whoring" as you put it so well is shared equally by both parties. The people trying to destroy our country are the radical islamists that want us all dead. This country is strong enough to survive yet another round of congressional binge spending. What we should ALL fear is the next terrorist action on our soil.

Anonymous said...

Bill, speaking of spending, the king of pork barrel spending is none other than Robert Byrd, who, by the way, WAS a member of the KKK.

Anonymous said...

Bill, Dean quotes:

"I've resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found. I still have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials."


"there is a report which the president is suppressing evidence for, which is a thorough investigation of 9/11."

Dean is a buffoon.

Anonymous said...

Actually both parties are not equally guilty Mortimer. In 1993 congress passed the first balanced budget in generations.


Anonymous said...

Yes, both are guilty. I believe that is what I said...multiple times.

Anonymous said...

As anon notes, the republicans did not vote for the balanced budget, ergo, both parties are not equally irresponsible, only the republicans are, Deal with it Morty, republicans just aren't good with money.

Anonymous said...

BTW Morty, by your out of context quotes above should we take it to beleive that you do not beleive in the jury system as ordained by the constitution? Once you get rid of the jury trial shall we expect you to come after our gun rights as denoted by the second ammendment?

And I suppose you beleive the "president" is some how above the law and should be able to suppress evidence. Is that really what you are saying Morty? Because you know, no one is above the law here. Not even your beloved George.

Anonymous said...

OK, Bill, I give up. You are right. Howard Dean will lead the dems to new heights. He is the right man at the right time for the job. He will galvanize the country and independents like me will flock to support the dems platform. I'll give up my optimism and support for America and join the Deaniacs and you to dwell on conspiracy theories, how everything sucks and those who don't agree with us are morons. Sounds like fun. I've always wanted to meet Michael Moore and Ted Kennedy. I can't wait. OK, Bill, I'm on board. What/who are we gonna bitch about next? How about Barbara Bush. She's such a tight ass. Don't ya think? While we're at it let's kick the Salvation Army. Radical christians one and all. Damn bells drive me crazy, anyway. I'm gonna like this. It's like shooting fish in a barrell. I never knew that being a disgruntled liberal was so much fun. The neat thing about this is that we get to criticize the original thinkers and we don't have to have any of our own ideas. Plus, there are enough of us that we can feel good about it!
Wait! Here's a good idea: we should get the ACLU to outlaw football players from pointing to heaven when they score a touchdown in a government school stadium or one subsidized with taxpayer dollars. It's a clear violation of the separation of church and state! Wadda ya think of that idea Billy? I'm gonna like being a lib, it's so easy. You don't have to think for yourself and it's easier than I thought being miserable when you have so many fellow miserable libs cheering you on. I think American Idol is rigged. You?

Anonymous said...

That's interesting Mortimer, I don't know any liberals that believe any of the things you said. Are you sure you aren't projecting your feelings towards everyone else?

What do you have against God and the Salvation Army? Do you hate them because they help the poor?

Anonymous said...

You're right, too! I am a closet liberal. Always have been. Don't Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell help the poor?
And what's with this FDA ban on anonymous sperm donations from sexually active gay men? That's discriminatory.

Anonymous said...

"That's interesting Mortimer, I don't know any liberals that believe any of the things you said."

Anon, what things I said that liberals don't agree with? That Barbara is a tight ass? What? I'm new at this, so I want to get it right.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy watching as neoconmen like Mortimer show their asses. It brings joy to my heart, and votes to the Democrats. When they ape the liberal position with statements that no reasonable person would beleive it only shows what simple minded fools the repubs are, and strengthens our position.

Keep up the great work Morty!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Bill, anything for the cause.
Neoconmen? What does that mean? I love the liberal vernacular. It's so cute.
Now what are we pissed off about today? Gas prices? Daylight savings time? Let's kick Frist around some more? The rich? Wolfowitz? Stolen elections? Swift boat vets? Neoconmen? So much to complain about, so little time.
Go ahead, Bill, I'll let you pick this time.

Anonymous said...

Well I would love to hear about Bill "the only senator trained to perform abortions" Frist... what say you Morty?

Anonymous said...

Bill, remember we're for abortions. Frist is our kind of guy. We especially like late term abortions. You know. The procedure where where they pull a viable fetus out of the womb and suck their brains out.

Speaking of abortions, what do you think of our beloved Hillary's chances in '08? She's building up quite a head of steam. Hell, next to Bush, she's looking pretty presidential.