do yourself a favor
stop whatever you are doing, and follow this link now!
be sure to watch both the raw and enhanced versions.
locdog ben kenobi, jedi master
can anyone explain to me why the secret service insisted on having an agent present with bush while he flew in that viking?
let's say, for the sake of argument, that the pilot was a nut who wanted to kill the president. does he pull his 9mm and give the agent an opportunity to dramatically and in slow-motion hurl himself in front of the speeding round like clint eastwood in in the line of fire?
negative. if that was so much of a concern, they simply would have disarmed the guy before he got into the plane, and in fact they probably did.
no, he would slam the plane full-throttle into the sea.
so say our dashing agent realizes that dialing the engines up to full-military and aiming the nose seaward isn't exactly standard operating procedure and manages to incapacitate the pilot. now what? who's going to fly the plane? in theory, bush could do it, but he hasn't piloted a jet in thirty years and i gotta believe that it's a bit more complicated than riding a bike.
i guess at that point they could eject and be picked up by rescue craft, but what's to stop bush from doing that even if the agent isn't there?
i bring all of this up for one reason and one reason only: if bush's secret service nannies hadn't insisted on not trusting one of the finest pilots in the navy (think they let just anyone take the CIC in for a carrier landing?) then bush would have had a sexy two-seater f-18 as his steed rather than a clunky old s-3.
what a gyp.
locdog thinks that would have been super cool
democrats rewrite constitution over judicial nominees
let us suppose that we have a duly elected president who wishes to make a judicial nomination. according to the us constitution, he is authorized to do so with the "advice and consent" of the senate whereby he obtains a simple majority of 51 votes. there are absolutely no restrictions placed on who the president may nominate. none. not a word about track records or ideologies or even qualifications. the framers must have figured that the president wouldn't make irresponsible nominations and if he did the senate would be smart enough to vote them down.
let us further suppose that the president made a pick that, for whatever reason, the senate didn't like. what could they do about it? well, as i read through article II, section 2 of the us constitution (linked above) i can't seem to find anything about filibusters. looks like they are limited to same power they always have: if you don't like something, vote against it. get 50 of your senate buddies to join you, and you've won.
that's pretty much all the constitution has to say with regards to nominees. the president is given broad power to nominate whoever he wants, and as long as 51 senators like his nominations, they're in.
continuing our little game of what if, let us say that the senators of a certain party find a certain nominee disagreeable, but they don't have enough votes to defeat the nomination. what can they do? well, there's the parliamentary tactic of filibustering, but it takes a two-thirds supermajority to defeat a filibuster, and that's a hurdle that judicial nominees were never meant to clear constitutionally speaking. furthermore, using a filibuster means that a minority group is negating democracy by over-trumping the will of the majority. given that the senate is elected by the people as the representatives of the people, using a filibuster frustrates the will of the people and is hence antithetical to our representative form of democracy. that's true of any filibuster, of course, but in the case of a judicial nominee the violation of our constitutional spirit is even worse since the president is given limitless power when it comes to making picks--not to mention the fact that one minority of one house of one branch of government tyrannizing the other two branches.
now it may be that in certain extreme cases, such a move would be justified. democracies can at times be self-destructive. the president could nominate a communist spy to the supreme court, for instance, or he could try to place osama bin laden on the fifth circuit court of appeals. maybe his party would go along with him for political reasons even though deep down they knew it was the wrong thing to do, and maybe a courageous minority would, for the good of the nation, use a filibuster to squash the constitution and the will of the people in this special case. so...just how bad, exactly, would someone have to be before a minority took the awesome responsibility of a filibuster upon themselves?
they would have to be "so egregious that we have no choice but to filibuster," some might say. that strikes me as reasonable since, obviously, the person who holds this view realizes that they are mutilating constitutional law and 200 years of precedent, else they wouldn't strive to "be selective," "careful," and to not "abuse the practice of filibusters." indeed, this might explain why, in the entire history of our nation, a filibuster has only been used to block a nominee once. that was over the 1968 nomination of abe fortis, a johnson nominee surrounded by corruption charges. 24 republicans and 19 democrats teamed up to keep fortis from becoming chief justice of the supreme court in a bi-partisan display of integrity and moral courage.
one might have one's doubts, however, if suddenly two filibusters were applied by the same senate to presidential nominees. one might have one's doubts if more filibusters were threatened. one might have one's doubts if these filibusters were highly partisan in composition. one might have one's doubts if the nominees whose records were so egregious as to leave no choice included, for example, a person who
earned the highest score that year on the Texas bar exam and was a successful commercial litigator for 17 years. In 1994, she was elected to the Texas supreme court and reelected by a landslide in 2000. She is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Judicature Society, the American Bar Association, and a fellow of the American and Houston Bar Foundations.
and who has a unanimous "well-qualified" rating by the american bar association. not only would this person be the first ever appellate court nominee to be blocked by filibuster, she would be the first ever nominee with a unanimous "well-qualified" rating rejected by the senate judiciary committee at all.
say that two other nominees who were being filibustered or who were threatened with filibusters were also both rated "well-qualified" by the ABA and had similarly glowing legal track-records. if you add all that up, it seems like the minority trying to block the nomination has some explaining to do. seems like they'd need some awfully good reasons to be obstructing these nominations. seems like they'd need something more to fall back on than nebulous, unprovable charges of, say, racism, or unsubstantiated claims about a person's ideology disqualifying them from making objective legal decisions. seems like they'd need an arsenal's worth of smoking guns. seems that if they didn't have overwhelming evidence to justify what on the surface is an outrageous usurpation of authority, they probably shouldn't be filibustering anyone. seems that if they did, they'd be guilty of placing partisan politics ahead of our constitution and the will of the people as represented by their elected officials.
just a hypothetical, though. nothing to get upset over.
locdog shudders to think of the ramifications for american democracy were such tactics ever adopted for real
palestinian statehood is nearer than ever
here's all the proof you'll ever need.
on the very day mahmoud abbas is confirmed as palestinian prime minister, like clockwork, we have a bombing. if tomorrow ariel sharon put on sackcloth and crawled through palestinian streets, promising the west bank, gaza, and full right of return, the response would be a vaporized school bus or smoldering crater where a disco used to stand.
locdog will not be surprised if abbas gets taken out in the coming months
and i read playboy just for the articles
in response to my dixie chicks post, fray poster adam_masin looked me in the eyes and said with a straight face
Only a blind conservative or an adolescent boy would look at the Dixie Chicks picture and see three naked women. The rest of us who know the story see what the picutre intends: three women who were stripped of their right to have opinions and branded by the patriotically incorrect police based on an unscripted throw away comment made by one of them at a concert.
i scanned that post three times with my satire filters on full gain and, i swear to you, it came away clean.
locdog finds himself at a loss for words
p.s. with regards to my aforementioned ole stomping grounds, msn's slate (host of The Fray--or vice versa as far as i'm concerned) webzine has done what no other webzine (and few other internet companies of any sort) has ever been able to do: they turned a profit. congrats, slate.
as you can plainly see...
...people respect them for their opinions. that's a new york post printing of entertainment weekly's latest cover.
feminists, these be thy heroes.
you know, it's funny. you feminist-terriers out there used to bark up a storm over women whoring themselves to gain equal access at the workplace--and rightly so. well where's your outrage now? these girls aren't trying to feed their starving kids, after all. they're just trying to be taken seriously (got my attention, that's fer sure...) but do the dixie chicks do it with patience, dignity, and hard work? no, they sell out their homelier sisters by stripping down and flaunting their money-makers like a butcher hawking his wares at a meat market. they've set the cause of feminism back fifty years with that picture.
will you care? of course not. just like you didn't care when the most powerful man on earth exploited a twenty-something intern. just like you didn't support television's truest feminist, mr. andy rooney, when he called a spade a spade concerning female sideline reports. (ever seen an ugly female tv sports personality? must be a conicidence.) you hypocrites even had the gall to brand him a misogynist. it's gotten to the point where men are the only ones who will stand up for feminism because the feminist leaders are too busy coming up with ways to sell out their prettier, less cerebral sisters. heck, if there's a principle you gals won't sell out in the name of political expediency, i haven't seen it.
locdog thinks maybe he'll need hans blix to help him find one