Friday, April 29, 2005

A Few Predictions

Here are my thoughts on a few things. These are based on nothing more than a gut feel:

1. Senator Frist will change the Senate rules and the rest of President Bush's judicial nominees will be approved during this session of Congress.

2. John Bolton will be confirmed as ambassador to the U.N.

3. Tom DeLay will face his ethics probe. The highly partisan probe will capture the attention of the country, distract from the other business going on in Congress, and will allow most of the Republican's legislative agenda to move through with little fanfare. Ultimately, DeLay will get thrown under the bus and will have to step down as the leader of the Republicans in the House. However, he'll take a few Democrats and Republicans with him.

4. Karl Rove will start instructing Dr. James Dobson and other religious leaders to tone it down, let the "we're living in a theocracy" argument die, and rest assured that the President will continue to advance the conservative agenda in a more subtle way.


UPDATE: Sorry, one more: Jim Spencer of the DP will continue to write columns about only 2 subjects - emergency contraception and the Denver 3. Diane Carman will also write about these 2 subjects, but will throw in an occasional column about homelessness.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Speaking of Brother-in-laws...

Another brother-in-law is back on the job at Fred's Franks.

If you're in the north Boston area, stop by and have the best hot dog you ever ate.

Cellphones Don't Kill People...

From a new study recently released:

"A new study published in the April issue of the journal Neurology shows no connection between cellphone use and the risk of developing a brain tumor."

The money quote:
"Dr. John Boice, scientific director of the International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Md., and a co-author of the study, said, 'The most dangerous thing you can do with a cellphone is to use one while you're driving a car.'"

I don't believe every study, but I believe this one because the co-author mentioned above is my brother-in-law.

Friday, April 22, 2005

John F. Kerry - The Non-President

Hugh Hewitt has the transcript of John Kerry's speech in the Senate:

"Forces outside the mainstream now seem to effortlessly push Republican leaders toward conduct that the American people really don't want in their elected leaders...,"

Effortlessly? Have you listened to talk radio lately? The Republican base is screaming for action on this while the Senate Republicans seem to be wondering about like Moses in the desert.

"...inserting the government into our private lives, injecting religion into debates about public policy where it doesn't apply. Jumping through hoops to ingratiate themselves to their party's base while step-by-step and day-by-day real problems that keep Americans up at night fall by the wayside here in Washington..."

I am pretty incensed at the stalling and obstructionist tactics of the Democrats that are holding up the business of the Senate, but I'm not losing any sleep over it.

"...We each have to ask ourselves, 'Who's going to stop it? Who's going to stand up and say "Are we really going to allow this to continue...?"

You know who could stop it? The voters! And they chose to put the Republicans in power, in both Congress and the Presidency. If you want to stop it, Senator Kerry, then win an election!

"...Are Republicans in the House going to continue spending the people's time defending Tom DeLay or they going to defend America and defend our democracy...?"

They wouldn't have to spend time defending Tom DeLay if the Democrats on the ethics committee would convene to allow an investigation to commence.

"...Will Republican senators let their silence endorse Senator Frist's appeal to religious division, or will they put principle ahead of partisanship and refuse to follow him across that line? Are we really willing to allow the Senate to fall in line with the Majority Leader when he invokes faith, faith, all of our faiths over here? Joe Lieberman's a person of faith. Harry reid's a person of faith. And they don't believe we should rewrite the rules of the United States Senate, and we certainly shouldn't allow this issue of people who believe in the Constitution somehow challenging the faith of others in our nation. Are we going to allow the Majority Leader to invoke faith to rewrite Senate rules to put substandard, extremist judges on the bench?" Is that where we are now? It is not up to us to tell any one of our colleagues what to believe as a matter of faith. I can tell you what I do believe though. When you have got tens of thousands of innocent souls perished in Darfur...,"

Yes, Darfur is a tragedy, but so far, Senator Kerry, your beloved U.N. has failed to act to do anything to stop this.

"...when 11 million children are without health insurance, when our colossal debt subjects our economic future to the whims of Asian bankers, no on can tell me that faith demands all of a sudden that you put the Senate into a position where it is going to pull itself apart over the question of a few judges. No one with those priorities has a right to use faith to intimidate anyone of us."

Just ridiculous. It is the Democrats who are pulling the Senate apart by not giving these judges an up or down vote. The voters gave the Republicans these majorities and the presidency to appoint judges.

We live in a republic, a representative democracy, which means we elect people to represent the rest of us. Just because you lose elections and don't agree with the winners, doesn't mean our democracy is crumbling. In fact, it means that our democracy is functioning exactly as planned.

John Kerry, save your blustering and hot air for a windless day on your sailboard.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Thought For the Day

A friend of mine emailed this to me:

Thought for the day:
Did you ever notice when you put the two words "The" and "IRS" together it spells "THEIRS"?

Friday, April 15, 2005

Filibuster myth-busters

Wendy E. Long addresses some of the myths and facts of the filibuster in this Washington Times article.

The issue of the filibuster is one that tricky because there are many facets and it is more of a procedure than a part of our Constitution or any law. Most of us remember the concept of the filibuster from or civics classes, but I don't recall ever getting into this much detail on the subject. Let's hope the civics teachers of today (if there are any left) are taking advantage of all of this debate to help educate their students.

McCain Crosses Over

Apparently, John McCain can talk the talk, but can't walk the walk. After saying this weekend that, "Elections have consequences," and that he would listen to party leaders on the filibuster issue, McCain has decided to side with the Democrats and vote against changing Senate rules.

Hugh is posting like crazy on this issue.

I doubt we'll see any McCain for President signs in 2008. For all intensive purposes, his career in the Republican party is over.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Filibuster and the Founding Fathers

The next time someone says that the filibuster was a result of the wisdom of the founding fathers to protect minority rights, keep this in mind:

"The right to extended debate was not created until 1806, when the Senate cleaned up its rulebook and dispensed-probably by mistake-with the rule that allowed a majority to limit the debate. Filibusters did not begin in earnest until the newly formed Democratic and Whig parties formed several decades later."

Courtesy of

So Much to Blog, So Little Time

There's been tons of stuff going on, but not enough time to get to it all. I've been working on my wife's site lately. It's still under construction, but coming together nicely. I've also been dealing with all the latest fire drills at work.

All that being said, I've given a lot of thought to one of my two positions in this earlier post.

On the issue of the Senate filibuster and confirmation of judges, I've switched opinions: I think that the Republicans should change the Senate rules to require only 51 votes for cloture. As Sen. McCain said this weekend, "Elections have consequences." Our whole system of government from the national level down is baed on majority rule. The fact that we have 3 branches of government, especially an independent judiciary, ensures that no one branch becomes more powerful than the others. That does not mean that the minority gets to shut down the government whenever they don't like something. The purpose of the minority is to object, not obstruct. If the minority wants to make a change, then they need to win elections.

Also, if the party in the majority was reversed, I doubt that the Democrats would hesitate to change the rules of the Senate to halt a Republican filibuster.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Berger gets off too easily in review caper

The Rocky Mountain News comments on the laughable penalty for Sandy Berger's crime.

A lot of people are wondering why he got off so light and there has been no further investigation. Some say that had the Watergate scandal stopped at just slapping the burglars on the wrist that it would not have progressed to the White House. Where is the media to elevate the scandal.

Here's the reason: Berger is a Democrat that worked for Clinton. The Watergate burglars were working for Republicans. That's it. Go no further.

However, this one's not done. In 2008, Hillary will be running for president with Berger by her side and the blogosphere will make sure that everyone knows that she is employing a criminal, again.

1042 - The Pill Bill

Governor Owens vetoed House Bill 1042 yesterday. Of course the Denver Post is all over it this morning.

In a big surprise, Jim Spencer decided to use up his alloted space to criticize the Governor:

"Gov. Bill Owens spent two single-spaced pages Tuesday explaining why he vetoed a newly passed bill that would have required hospitals to inform rape victims about emergency contraception.

What the governor didn't bother to mention is what he would say to a sexual-assault victim who ended up pregnant by her attacker because her doctors chose not to tell her she didn't have to be.

That's what the "EC bill," as it came to be known, was all about.

"I have never heard of a rape victim who wanted to have her rapist's baby," said Cynthia Stone, spokeswoman for the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault. "But this bill was just about information. We believe this should be a victim's choice, and we support the victim in any choice she makes."

So should the governor.

Hmm, if the bill is about information, why did it specify that hospitals have to be the ones that give out the information? Maybe they can re-write the bill to make the police or other counselors give the information to the women.

Even better, maybe Spencer and the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault could spend their time and their alloted number of newspaper column inches to inform women of this option. Spend more time educating women that this choice is available so that the hospitals don't have to.

Nah, that's no fun. It's more important for Spencer to slam the Governor for his beliefs than to present any real solutions that respect both the victim's and the religious beliefs of the care providers.

There's more on this subject over at BestDestiny and Thinking Right.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Unintended Consequences

Something tells me that this and this will turn out badly for Republicans.

On the first issue, the volunteer border patrols in Arizona, there will inevitably be an accident or incident in which illegal immigrants and the volunteers clash. Of course, the blame will be on the volunteers. Now don't get me wrong, I think that the border security with Mexico is a joke and needs to be addressed. I also admire the volunteers who are trying their best to do something about it. However, short of them stopping a group of terrorists from entering the country, only bad things will come out of the Arizona border region. Instead of patrolling, the volunteers should use their resources to help build the fence along the whole of the U.S.-Mexico border. As Robert Frost writes, "Good fences make good neighbors."

On the second issue, I am as sick of the Democrat filibuster as any other Republican. I think that changing the rules is a good, quick way of ending this nonsense. However, the nuclear option will only backfire on Republicans. Instead of debating the rule change, the Republicans should be out educating the public on the court system and the history of appointing judges. They should be showing the voters that the Democrats are a party of desperation with no real ideas or prospects. The effort to elect the needed 60 Republican senators should begin so that the rule change and filibuster are non-issues.

Nothing worth doing is ever easy.