Judicial blockage

 Posted by at 18:15  Politics, Republicans
May 192011

Senate Republicans today blocked (via filibuster) President Obama’s nominee to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Goodwin Liu. Let us travel back in time just a few short years and see what several of the Republican senators had to say about the filibuster of judicial nominees while George W. Bush was in the White House. Note that these are all senators who voted against cloture (for filibuster) today…

Senator Saxby Chambliss (GA): “I believe [filibustering judicial nominees] is in violation of the Constitution” (4/13/05).

Senator John Cornyn (TX): Judicial filibusters are “offensive to our nation’s constitutional design…. [S]eparation of powers principles strongly suggest that the Senate may not—and especially not by mere Senate rule—enhance its own power in such a manner without offending the Constitution” (2004).

Senator Mike Crapo (ID): “[T]he Constitution requires the Senate to hold up-or-down votes on all nominees” (5/25/05).

Senator Jim Demint (SC): “[D]enials of simple votes on judicial nominees” are “unconstitutional” (5/22/05).

Senator Lindsey Graham (SC): “I think filibustering judges will destroy the judiciary over time. I think it’s unconstitutional” (5/23/05).

Senator Orrin Hatch (UT): Filibustering judicial nominees is “unfair, dangerous, partisan, and unconstitutional” (1/12/05).

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX): “[T]he Constitution envisions a 51-vote majority for judgeships…. [Filibustering judges] amend[s] the Constitution without going through the proper processes…. We have a majority rule that is the tradition of the Senate with judges. It is the constitutional requirement” (4/28/05).

Senator Johnny Isakson (GA): “[T]he Constitution require[s] an up-or-down vote” on judicial nominees. “I will vote to support a vote, up or down, on every nominee. Understanding that, were I in the minority party and the issues reversed, I would take exactly the same position because this document, our Constitution, does not equivocate” (5/19/05).

Senator Jon Kyl (AZ): “The President was elected fair and square. He has the right to submit judicial nominees and it is the Senate’s obligation under the Constitution to act on those nominees” (4/10/08).

Senator Jeff Sessions (AL): “[The Constitution] says the Senate shall advise and consent on treaties by a two-thirds vote, and simply ‘shall advise and consent’ on nominations…. I think there is no doubt the Founders understood that to mean … confirmation of a judicial nomination requires only a simple majority vote” (7/27/03).

Senator Richard Shelby (AL): “Why not allow the President to do his job of selecting judicial nominees and let us do our job in confirming or denying them? Principles of fairness call for it and the Constitution requires it” (11/12/03).

Senator John Thune (SD): Filibustering judicial nominees “is contrary to our Constitution …. It was the Founders’ intention that the Senate dispose of them with a simple majority vote” (4/21/05).

Hypocrisy? If this isn’t it, it would be difficult to put a definition to the word.

May 192011

President Barack Obama visited the State Department today to talk about America’s diplomatic efforts in the Middle East and North Africa. Here is video of his remarks, preceded by an introduction by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

The transcript of the President’s remarks follows the break.

Continue reading »


 Posted by at 15:16  Politics, Republicans
May 182011

Concerned citizens would like to know what exactly is going on between Rick Perry and Rush Limbaugh. First, we had this in The Dallas Morning News, April 7, 2009:

Rick Perry to Rush Limbaugh: Come to Texas

Gov. Rick Perry says he’s delighted that Rush Limbaugh has mentioned maybe moving to Texas. And the governor is throwing out the welcome mat to the conservative radio talker. Limbaugh says he’s tired of the taxes in New York and wants to move — and mentioned Texas as a possibility. Perry says he’s in the process of contacting Rush personally to extend the invitation, but we got to him first — so it’s public. Perry told me the Lone Star State would be a great place for El Rushbo.

And now we have this in today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Limbaugh unleashes a Perry love-fest

You can expect the revived talk of a Rick-Perry-for-president campaign to shift into hyperdrive now that Rush Limbaugh is declaring the Texas governor the best hope Republicans have to bring life to a lackluster presidential field. Limbaugh, on this afternoon’s show, declares the staunchly anti-Washington Perry has the mix of message and personality and appearance to drive Democrats “nuts” and dispel America of the notion that President Barack Obama is unbeatable in wake of the death of Osama bin Laden.

None of the current Republican candidates are building any excitement among GOP voters, Limbaugh said. But Perry, he declared, has the “potential to light this up.”

What’s more, Limbaugh said, “he’s got great hair.”

Is it just the attraction that one bag full of hot air feels toward another?

Wouldn’t it be delightful, though, if the Republicans did get serious about nominating Rick Perry? Now that Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump have both dropped out and Newt Gingrich is rapidly tanking, the only thing better than a Perry nomination for the Democrats to hope for would be the nomination of, oh, say Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann.

People are talking about President Obama raising a billion dollars for his reelection campaign. I doubt seriously he is going to need it.

Sunday morning talk

 Posted by at 20:43  Politics, Republicans
May 152011

Steve Benen notes that there were ten Republicans and one Democrat as guests on the Sunday morning talk shows this morning. Wow. Talk about your liberal media at work, huh?

I used to watch some of the Sunday morning shows. I don’t usually any more unless I know someone is going to be on whose opinion I actually give a hoot about. I think the Sunday morning talk show genre kind of died with Tim Russert. When Bob Schieffer leaves, it will really be gone.

Weekly Address 05-14-11

 Posted by at 08:59  Politics
May 142011

“Expanding Responsible Oil Production in America”

From the White House weblog:

As part of his long-term plan to reduce our reliance on foreign oil, President Obama lays out his strategy to continue expanding safe and responsible domestic oil production.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Transcript after the break.

Continue reading »

May 132011

Welcome to a Friday the Thirteenth edition of Friday Night Cartoons. (What does that mean?) Click and enjoy.

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deering051211.gif   heller051211.jpg   keefe051211.jpg

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As always, our thanks go to the talented and observant cartoonists who, each week, help us smile through the pain.

Bonus video (may not be viewable outside the United States):