As always, our thanks go to the talented and observant cartoonists who, each week, help us smile through the pain.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
President Obama delivered the commencement address at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee today…
Those kids are going to remember this day for a long, long time.
The transcript of the President’s remarks follows the break.
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.
“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:
Transcript after the break.
President Obama traveled to El Paso, Texas today where he talked about immigration reform. Watch the entire speech here:
Transcript follows the break.
Here is the complete 60 Minutes interview with President Obama, recorded just three days after the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. The president discusses the mission at length…