Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Morning copy 11.02.2005

Rule 21

Imagine my surprise. A power play from the Senate Dems!

The question is: who won? The Democrats have the fundamentals in poll numbers on their side, but they have been very, very bad at crafting a message.

The war is unpopular, Bush's administration and its honesty is doubted by the American public. Ronald Brownstein on CNN said it was similar to Newt Gingrich pre-1994. But the Dems have been very, very bad at crafting a message.

Brownstein also said that the Congress has left a lot of questions open in the CIA Leak investigation that would usually be settled by Congress' role as an oversight body. But the Dems have been very, very bad at crafting a message.

What realy counts though is: 1. Getting to the truth about a bad war 2. Supporting the troops and 3. Getting out of Iraq as quickly as we can while leaving Iraqis a chance to better their lives.

The Washington Post lede:

Democrats forced the Senate into a rare closed-door session yesterday, infuriating Republicans but extracting from them a promise to speed up an inquiry into the Bush administration's handling of intelligence about Iraq's weapons in the run-up to the war.

The Los Angeles Times:

Reid forced the Senate to interrupt a debate on budget cuts — a GOP priority — and go into the rare, closed session to discuss a Senate committee investigation into prewar intelligence on the danger posed by Iraq.

During the session, the Senate agreed that a bipartisan group of lawmakers would present a status report on the investigation within two weeks.

The AP lede from the USA Today (note: important. note: Reid quoted in second graf):

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unable to win their way with votes, outnumbered Democrats used a rarely invoked Senate rule to force a secret session Tuesday, calling attention to assertions that the Bush administration misused intelligence in the run-up to war in Iraq.

Boston Globe:

After the two-hour session, lawmakers emerged to announce that the Intelligence Committee would resume work on its investigation of the prewar intelligence next week. Republicans insisted the review was already scheduled to begin next week, but Democrats countered that the GOP had been dragging its feet on the inquiry since before the 2004 presidential election, as US casualties mounted and more questions surfaced about the war.

Scalito's way

Charlie Savage in the Boston Globe has this on Samuel Alito's rulings:

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court nominee, Samuel A. Alito Jr., was criticized twice in recent years by appeals court colleagues who said he ignored established rules when he voted on cases, calling into question assurances from some of Alito's supporters that he would probably respect precedents such as the Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision.

In separate cases involving the deportation of foreigners, Alito sided with the government. In both cases, Alito was outvoted by his colleagues, who accused him of ignoring court precedent.


The Christian Science Monitor:

The best evidence of his work as a judge are his published opinions. They contain a few surprises and some ammunition - for both the left and the right.

For example, of the four abortion cases in which he participated as an appeals court judge, he voted on the pro-choice side in all but one. A 1995 Alito vote striking down a Pennsylvania abortion restriction in particular is raising eyebrows among some legal scholars.

"That [1995 case] strongly seems to indicate that Alito is not a policy-driven true-believer who's used every possible opportunity to advance one side's preferred outcome, but instead a judge who has indeed come down on both sides, in different cases," says David Garrow, a constitutional historian and expert in reproductive rights cases at the high court.

The Washington Times says that this nomination will really test the Gang of 14:

After meeting with Judge Alito for more than an hour yesterday, Mr. DeWine said the federal judge is in the "mainstream" of conservative judicial thinking and doubts that Democrats in the "Gang of 14" will permit a filibuster.

The Washington Post on Alito's play for the middle ground:

A day after President Bush nominated him to succeed retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Alito spent the day on Capitol Hill introducing himself to more lawmakers. He focused on Democratic senators representing Republican-leaning states as well as Republican members of a bipartisan coalition that headed off judicial filibusters this year.

The New York Times on the same general story.

Adam Liptak in the New York Times has this interesting lede:

One distinct theme emerges from an examination of 15 cases decided by Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. involving abortion: his thinking is shaped by a traditional concept of marriage.

Bird Flu

The New York Times: The president's policy announced yesterday (look how low it is today) calls for $7.1 billion -- that's $.9 billion below the Senate's already approved measures. Bush called for support from the Congress for his plan, but that surprised Senator Tom Harkin who already got a very similar plan passed.

Looks like the dash to look presidential has come full circle in less than two news cycles.

Tom DeLay

The headline from the Washington Post: "DeLay Loath to Doff His Leadership Hat".

Moving right along...

The Houston Chronicle on DeLay's judge(s):

AUSTIN - In an unprecedented ruling Tuesday, a visiting judge removed state District Judge Bob Perkins from overseeing the criminal case against U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, agreeing with defense attorneys that Perkins' Democratic political donations would create an appearance of bias.

Retired Judge C.W. "Bud" Duncan Jr., a Killeen Democrat, removed Perkins from the case without comment. Administrative Judge B.B. Schraub, a Republican, will name a new trial judge from among other Travis County district judges or any Texas judge on senior status.

Hurricane relief

From the Washington Post:

Donald E. Powell, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and a major Texas backer of President Bush, was named federal coordinator of long-term hurricane recovery efforts on the Gulf Coast, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced yesterday.

Iraq and the war on terror

An AP story off CNN:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Coming off one of the deadliest months for American troops, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld indicated that the number of U.S. forces in Iraq could rise temporarily as Iraqis prepare to vote in mid-December parliamentary elections.

"We have had a pattern of increasing the number of coalition forces during periods when there was an expectation that the insurgents and terrorists would like to try to disrupt the political process," Rumsfeld told Pentagon reporters.

The Christian Science Monitor on the continuing tension in Najaf:

The political fight for the control of the country's Shiite holiest city turned Najaf into a battlefield last summer when forces loyal to rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr engaged in fierce firefights with US forces. And in August, skirmishes involving Mr. Sadr's supporters turned Najaf's streets violent again, this time clashing with the militia of the ruling Shiite religious party the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).

Today, in the shadow of the city's gold dome and tile porticoes of the Imam Ali shrine that makes Najaf Shiite Islam's capital, a barely restrained tension between SCIRI and Sadr supporters continues.

And but however

Now Hitch on a former National Security Advisor in Slate:

Let's just say a serious blue-ribbon, bipartisan, full-out inquiry. This inquiry, however, could hardly be confined—as Kerry, Krugman, and Rich so obviously hope—to the years 2001-05.

At the very minimum, the starting point of such a retrospective should be the decision, in 1991, to confirm Saddam Hussein in power after his expulsion from Kuwait and to keep his population under international sanctions. Another place to begin might be the apparent "green light," given by the Carter administration, for Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran. Real specialists and buffs might wish to start with the role of the CIA in the 1960s military coup—or coups—that brought the Baath Party to power in Baghdad in the first place.


Blogger Bassizzzt said...

Imagine ME getting up in the morning and hearing Harry Reid....power play?? Hardly. That was the cry of desperation and a well-staged political maneuver that went very bad for the Dems. It made them appear foolish if you ask me.

To further boost the morale of the Republicans was Howard Dean stating something to the effect that Scalito cut the mob some slack "because he's Italian."

All of the above equates to nothing but hot air, rude incompetence with nothing achieved, and once again the Democratic leadership showing their true colors.

You GO, Reid and Dean - the "pride" of the Democratic Party - making MY day this morning! Without these clowns, politics wouldn't be any fun at all!

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Da Truth said...

ANY billion is way to much to spend on this bird flu. Let's wait and see if it actually becomes a problem. Remember all the money spent on Y2K? THat was a big waste.

Bird flu will only affect first generation and immigrant communities, most of which aren't even US citizens!

How about an across the board 9 billion tax cut and private companies will find a solution. Democrats don't want to give Americans back their own money? Tell them to spend it on education; 7 billion was about what the US spent last year.

9:36 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

bassizzzt, I would not be so certain about who won this round. I think the Dems hit the weak spot of the armor and Leader Frist was not "in control" when he reacted. He should have been more JFK like and shrugged it off as a small tactic meant to set the White House off balance while they were trying to lead the country. But who knows who will win.

da truth, there are not enough vaccines for a bad flu outbreak as it, so I don't think this is something provate corporations can handle with present economics.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Bassizzzt said...

As far as this bird flu goes, it's either another "global warming" threat or it's going to be the real deal, where over a third of the population of humans on the planet will die from it.

Willing to bet it ain't the latter.

12:21 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

As for global warming, don't invest in any beach front property anytime soon.

12:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home