14 Senators Agree To End Filibuster-a-thon

Last night 14 Senators came to an agreement to end the filibuster of President Bush's judicial nominees. The agreement says that the 14 Senators will vote for cloture on 3 nominees, Judge Owen, Judge Prior and Judge Rogers-Brown. Two other nominees, Henry Saad and William Myers, will continue to face filibuster, though neither may have majority support in an up or down vote.

The NY Times has the text of the agreement.

I don't like the agreement because it still allows for Senators to filibuster judicial nominees for "extraordinary circumstances". It doesn't define those circumstances. What if those Senators retire? What if they are not re-elected? Needless to say, this agreement is very temporary for it doesn't really address the issue of using the filibuster in order to defeat a nomination to the court.

The historical citation of the use of the filibuster against Justice Abe Fortas in his nomination to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court isn't applicable to the current debate. Fortas had majority support for the nomination. He was filibustered by Republican Senators that wanted to extend the debate on his nomination. The extension of debate was then use to highlight the contentious aspects to Mr. Fortas' record as a Justice. Information was heard regarding his personal consultation to President Johnson on the Vietnam War. Once this information was presented the filibuster was meaningless because Fortas lost majority support.

Today's use of the filibuster is to extend debate so as not to introduce information to change votes, but to simply delay the vote forever. No knew information has been presented since the use of the filibuster against President Bush's nominees. Democrats tried to induce nominees to abandon standard legal practice through the usurption of attorney-client privelage, but the nominees staved off the effort.

I think the Senate rules should be changed to end the use of the filibuster against judicial nominees. But I think this rule change is only because of a breakdown in politics. We have relied on the courts to settle our most contentious political issues through the cosmic interpretation of the Constitution. As long as we continue to permit judges to snake their way through the Constitution to create rights that previously never existed then we open up the flood gates for all tactics in the judicial nomination process.

We have to debate these issues in the legilsative chambers, not the judicial chambers. 9 unelected officials cannot decide the fate of the country for they continue to see words that are not there and fail to see the words that are there.


I'm Immoral

Steve Soto, another one of those holier than thou progresslaves, says I am immoral. I'm not simply a theocrat. In fact, I'm an autocrat. But philosophically, I am immoral.

"In Morals We Trust"
We know that what the Bush administration really wants is an autocracy with unchecked power.

So long as the Democratic party continues to listen to progresslaves like Steve Soto, unfortunately we are likely to end up with something resembling an autocracy. But it won't be for the reasons Soto sites. Instead, the people will have choices between something we know versus something crazy.

The people take a lot more risks with their own money than they do with their votes.


Islamic Supremacy Watch

These are two photos from a demonstration held outside the US Embassy in London earlier today. As we see, the organizers exploit another story about the United States to express Islamic Supremecist views instead of simply protesting the details of the story. This is one of hundreds of examples every year.

Charles Johnson quotes the London Times report that exposes the ugly face of the so called Religion of Peace™.
The crowd, led by a man on a megaphone, chanted “USA watch your back, Osama is coming back” and “Kill, kill USA, kill, kill George Bush”.

They also chanted “Bomb, bomb New York” and “George Bush, you will pay, with your blood, with your head”.


Travis County Prosecutor Investigatin Delay Raises Money Citing His Investigation

From the "I swear to God the investigation isn't politically motivated" files, Travis County DA Ronnie Earle was recently featured as the guest speaker at a Texas PAC dedicated to recapturing control of the Texas Statehouse. The Houston Chronicle reports.
"In his remarks, Earle likened DeLay to a bully and spoke about political corruption and the investigation involving DeLay, the House majority leader from Sugar Land, according to a transcript supplied by Earle."

Netflix Takes Over Wal-Mart DVD Rentals

Hooray Capitalism!

I use the Wal-Mart DVD rental service. I used to use Netflix. I switched to Wal-Mart for the lower price. Netflix had recently raised my rate so I scanned the market and learned of Wal-Marts entry. Once the DVD's started arriving it became clear that this market was almost indentical in terms of browse and delivery. Wal-Mart lowered my membership rate(2 DVDs out at the same time) over the next 2 years.

Today I learn that Netflix has agreed to take over Wal-Mart's DVD rental service. I guess that is ok, but I know my membership rate will increase. But even if it does rise I received a reminder from Blockbuster for some overdue fees I have not yet paid from November 2004. I still had my card and used it to rent Spartan to watch with some friends. Apparently we were a little late in returning the DVD. I paid $21 in late fees. Netflix will likely charge me $20 a month for the 2 DVD rental service.

Netflix is nice, but you really do pay an arm and leg for on demand rentals from Blockbuster.

CAIR's Hate Crimes Nonsense - article by Daniel Pipes

Daniel Pipes writes about the 2005 CAIR report regarding hate crimes against American Muslims. What he finds is that the incidents reported by CAIR as hate crimes do not fit the criteria predominantly designated for an act to qualify as a hate crime. Pipes' research shows the sloppiness in CAIR's reporting and inattention to follow-up on the details of each report.

On May 12, 2005, Andrea Elliot filed a report for the NY Times, the day after CAIR released their study, that includes this fallacy.
The organization said it verified the legitimacy of a reported crime before including it in its annual study

The Associated Press was able to obtain an advanced copy of the CAIR report and produced this report. Again we see the willingness of the media to present CAIR's study with little or no challenge to the individual incidents contained within the report. The AP story nearly resembles the CAIR press release.

One might be inclined to expect more from the media considering the well documented evidence of connections between terrorism apologetics and the leadership and organizational membership of CAIR. Trust, but verify.


Market +1, Waste -1

Good news from the land of inefficiencies. Two Chicago hot dog bun makers are uniting together in a pledge to solve one of America's long traditions in waste of resources. S. Rosen and Vienna Beef are convening today in Chicago's Loop for the celebration. This press release announces that "Justice Will be Served".

What in the hell am I talking about? The days of 6 hot dog bun packaging are over. S. Rosen will now produce the 8 bun package to complement the 8 hot dog package from Vienna Beef. Rejoice!

Celebrate by consuming a Chicago Style Hot Dog to honor this occasion. In fact, tell me how you like your dogs. I prefer tomatoes, onions, lots of peppers, ketchup and mustard. Sometimes I drown them in cheese or chili. The Hot Dog is just one more in a long line in the Americanization of European delicacies. Utensils, who needs em?

Pakistan Information Minister Rejects Newsweek Retraction

The Pakistani Information Minister issued a statement rejecting the retraction Newsweek offerred regarding their story of the desecretion of a koran. Newsweek reported that interrogations at Camp X-Ray included one example of a koran being flushed down a toilet.

Reuters has the story on the Pakistani Information Minister. What's wierd about the statement is this quote from the minister.
"They should understand the sentiments of Muslims and think 101 times before publishing news which hurt feelings of Muslims."

How do we deport our sensitivity training experts to the Muslim world?


Anonymous Sources

Newsweek runs a story about the alleged desecration of a koran. The source is anonymous.

Roger L. Simon opines about it in a post on Arianna Huffington's blog.

Jim Lampley, an HBO Boxing commentator, responds to Simon's criticism of anonymous sourcing by urging the media to look into a Vanity Fair story that is anonymously sourced.

Stick to the ring your familiar with Jim.


Mario Cuomo and Greg Palast Settle Libel Suit

Newsday reports that Mario Cuomo and Greg Palast have settled the libel suit filed by Cuomo against Palast over allegations Palast made in his book "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" that Cuomo interferred with a court decision against a New York utility firm. Cuomo denied the charge. Palast later removed the passage from other releases of the book.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The initial suit demanded 15 million in damages.


100 Days and Counting

Today is the 100th day since Senator John F. Kerry appeared on "Meet the Press" and told Tim Russert he would sign his 180 form to release all of his military records into the public domain. It should be no surprise; the junior senator from Massachusetts isn't even holding the pen yet.

The word spreads fast in the blogosphere. PoliPundit, The Pirate's Cove, and Cao's Blog are all blogging about the subject with some tips and pointers to help Senator Kerry remember.

I'm optimistic. But I am also realistic. This is afterall the man who said he voted for the war before he voted against it.


Larry Franklin Turns Himself In

Larry Franklin, a former DoD analyst with specialization in Middle Eastern and Iranian affairs, turned himself into the FBI. He was a target of an ongoing four year investigation by the FBI into the illegal procurement of classified material that may have been passed on to non-privelaged people. Franklin's attorney said that he plans to file a plea of innocence.
[Full AP Report]

Over at Justin Raimundo's blog he has already decided that Larry Franklin is an Israeli spy committing acts of treason against the United States. The AP story does not say or imply that Franklin gave classified documents to officials at AIPAC. The anonymous officials speaking to the AP describe that Franklin dictated aspects of classified documents to the AIPAC officials.

I don't know if Franklin was spying on behalf of Israel. The documents in question relate to intelligence that US troops may face attacks from Iranian allied forces when conducting missions in Northern Iraq. A search of Franklin's home turned up 83 classified documents.

Franklin should have had zero classified documents at his home. However, he is not the first government official to bring his work home with him or carelessly handle sensitive documents. FBI Agent John O'neill misplaced a briefcase at a briefing that contained classified documents he was carrying with him. The removal of the documents from the FBI headquarters was wrong. Eventually the incident was used to force O'neill into retirement.

Was O'neill a traitor? He was awfully cozy with security agents in France, Yemen and Italy. In fact, O'neill was a major source of information for the book "Forbidden Truth".

Apparently, Raimundo has made up his mind. I have not.