Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Nuke-Yuh-Ler Opshun Uhvoyded...For Now Anyway...

Nuke-Yuh-Ler Opshun Uhvoyded...For Now Anyway...

A bipartisan panel of Senate Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement whereby three of President Useless Moron's federal judicial nominees will get up-or-down confirmation votes. In return for the Dems throwing the Repubs this bone, the majority promised not to change the rules of the voting process to a simple majority.

Yahoo News excerpt:

WASHINGTON - Breaking years of gridlock, the Senate cleared the way for confirmation of Priscilla Owen to the U.S. appeals court Tuesday amid fresh debate over an ambiguous compromise on President Bush's current and future judicial nominees.

"Years of gridlock". Gee, could this be the same gridlock we saw when Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott pulled the same moves on Bill Clinton's nominees?

The vote was 81-18 to clear Owen for a final vote after Democrats abandoned four years of blocking action, well above the 60 votes needed to cut off debate. That made confirmation a mere formality, expected either late in the day or Wednesday.

So why even bother with a confirmation hearing now? Just get the damned rubber stamp out and be done with it.

At the same time, senators disagreed over the precise meaning and staying power of Monday night's centrists' compromise that averted a showdown over judicial nominees — including any to the Supreme Court — and the Senate's own filibuster rules.

Funny, but I don't recall the Republicans struggling over any ambiguity when they were picking off Bill Clinton's nominees like clay pigoens.

Majority Leader Bill Frist said the agreement, "if followed in good faith, will make filibusters of judicial nominees in the future, including Supreme Court nominees, almost impossible." At the same time, he said his ability to seek a limitation of the rights of Democrats to filibuster "remains on the table."

In other words, Frist reserves the right to bitch and moan the next time the Commander In Geek nominates another group of thugs that the Democrats can't stomach. Then we'll see another "negotiation".

Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada disagreed, and said so quickly. "The agreement that will allow Justice Owen to receive an up-or-down vote also had the effect of taking the nuclear option off the table," he said, referring to Frist's threat to strip Democrats of their ability to filibuster. "This agreement makes clear that the Senate rules have not changed. The filibuster remains available to the Senate minority."

That sounds to me like Reid is saying he'll use a weapon he has no intention of even bringing to the fight.

Under Senate rules, opponents of legislation or a nomination can prevent final action by erecting a 60-vote hurdle, a parliamentary device known as a filibuster.

Republican Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, one of seven Republicans and seven Democrats to sign the accord, sided with Frist's interpretation, although he and other members of the bipartisan group of negotiators said they expected good faith to prevail.

Those who say otherwise "are the same ones, I think, who said we would never get an agreement," said John McCain, R-Ariz. That accord was sealed Monday evening around a table in McCain's office.

Full story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050524/ap_on_go_co/filibuster_fight_21

That last portion of the excerpt is a puzzler. McCain is one of the few well known Republicans who can consistently pass for human. But whenever he inserts himself into these types of situations, his own party inevitably stabs him in the back. In addition, the nitwits on the local knuckledrag radio station are calling him an outright traitor.

What I don't get is why McCain stays in this party in the first place. His 2000 presidential campaign was torpedoed by the lies of the Bush camp. The stories about Bush staffers calling voters in the deep south before their state's primary elections to tell them that McCain had fathered a black baby is just one sick example. Another is the insinuation that McCain was unstable due to his imprisonment during his Vietnam service (such service President Douchebag went to extraordinary lengths to avoid) and was therefore unfit to lead this nation. So what did McCain do when his campaign died? He endorsed the very man who slandered him on the campaign trail!

The real joke here is that McCain is ostensibly a candidate for President in 2008. Wanna bet that the Frist-Santorum tag team puts the fork to him early and often during the primaries? I'll have to get a sporting line on this action from my colleague, the esteemed Ken Kanniff, Connecticut's Most Wanted Gansta. Stay tuned!

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