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2006 January 29 — Why Now?
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Closed Session

I’m sure that everyone remembers when, with great regret, Harry Reid had to invoke Rule 21 to take the Senate into closed session to find out why Senator Pat Roberts hadn’t seemed to moved forward on “Phase Two” of the investigation of the pre-war intelligence on Iraq.

Well, it’s nearly February and there is still no report. While I realize that the Alito nomination is important, and there needs to be an investigation into the illegal wiretapping, maybe it’s time for the Senate to go into closed session to clean up old business and find out when Senator Roberts is going to schedule oversight hearings in the Intelligence Committee over the activities of NSA.

With the Republicans in charge of Congress and the Presidency one would think that these matters could be handled in an expeditious fashion. There’s entirely too lollygagging going on and there are too many issues waiting to be looked at by the major committees in the Senate.

Sooner or later they are going to have to start looking for the billions of dollars the Coalition Provisional Authority lost track of while it was in charge of Iraq.

Since Justice O’Connor has been gracious enough to remain on the court while the approval process is pending, I think there are other issues that really are more pressing than the Alito confirmation. Senator Frist doesn’t seem to have much in the way of organizational skills as he keeps letting things slip behind.

Knowing Senator Reid’s preference for the collegial approach, I hesitate to bring this up, but the Senate really does need to get some real work done, and there do seem to be a number of Senators who want to talk on Mr. Alito, so it may be time for the Senate to review its priorities.

January 29, 2006   Comments Off on Closed Session

Interesting Read

Over at MSNBC they have a long Newsweek article, Palace Revolt, about the battle among the lawyers in the Bush administration over the legality of various actions.

Given the claim that the warrantless wiretap program was vetted by lawyers, it is interesting to find out which lawyers, and that conservative Republican lawyers were unhappy with what was done.

This is a further indication that Alito is out of the mainstream of even Republican lawyers with his views on the Unitary Executive Theory, also known as the Divine Right of Presidents.

January 29, 2006   Comments Off on Interesting Read

A Surprising Win

Listening to the coverage of the victory of the Hamas in the Palestinian elections I beginning to suspect that among those most surprised and least prepared for the results was Hamas.

Fatah has held all of the offices and was in total control since the beginning. Hamas was running its paramilitary operations and social services, but it didn’t have a “shadow cabinet”, members that mirrored the government offices controlled by Fatah. I don’t think Hamas has people ready to take over the government.

I’m getting a definite feeling that Hamas was expecting win enough seats in the legislature to be a respectable minority party and to gain some experience in the government, but had no plans for forming a government.

This may be an example of everyone hating the election results, even the winners.

January 29, 2006   Comments Off on A Surprising Win

That’s Pre 7/4 Thinking

Via Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog I found Larry Stevens on The Lyceum on dealing with the constant references to pre and post 9/11 thinking.

Larry thinks we should respond by pointing out that much of what the Busheviki are selling is pre-7/4 thinking, 7/4 referencing the Fourth of July, 1776.

For a taste of pre-7/4 thinking Mary at Pacific Views has an interesting article, When the Ends Justify the Means, in which we learn that Judge Richard Posner of Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the University of Chicago Law School thinks that as long as warrantless wiretaps produce good results, there’s no reason to bother about their legality.

Apparently Judge Posner would have no problem with dropping a nuclear bomb on Chicago as long as it was to reduce the crime rate. Any innocent people that die would just be called collateral damage and forgotten about in the celebration of the end of crime in the city that no longer existed. Anything you do is fine as long as you have a good excuse.

The courts let the Shrubbery get away with kidnapping people by calling them “enemy combatants”, and now he’s spying on us all. And this is different than what King George was doing in what significant way?

I was in law enforcement. I obtained warrants and arrested people by providing a court with probable cause. It is not a barrier, most of the time it’s hardly a bump in the road. If you can’t come up with the minimal amount of evidence required for probable cause, you are probably on the wrong track. Based on the stories of the FBI chasing down worthless leads I would say that the program is wasting resources, not providing security.

For those who have forgotten, even with all of his resources, King George lost to the “terrorists”.

January 29, 2006   Comments Off on That’s Pre 7/4 Thinking

Happy New Year, 4703

Bingxu – Year of the Red Dog

Happy New Year
Happy New Year

Chinese New Year
[Spring Festival]

January 29, 2006   Comments Off on Happy New Year, 4703