Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday News Brief

Here are the stories you need to know about going into the weekend.

In domestic politics:

As I noted yesterday, the Senate confirmation hearings for SCOTUS nominee Judge Samuel Alito are scheduled for mid- January, according to the Judiciary Chaiman Arlen Specter.

In a related story, Former Democratic president Jimmy Carter condemned the Democrats' stance on abortion, as well as the party's intolerance for candidates and nominees who oppose abortion.

Also, Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, a Republican trying to become the state's first African-American senator, is seeking an apology from Sen. Chuck Schumer, head of the DSCC, for the racist attack by a liberal blogger who doctored a photo of Steele with minstrel makeup and called him "Simple Sambo."

Schumer DSCC also illegally obtained Steele's credit report, but has neither apologized nor taken any responsibilty for the DSCC's actions. RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman noted the silence of top Dems' on their party's treatment of Steele.

Earlier today the president refused to comment on whether Karl Rove will keep his job. The president said that he wanted to wait until an investigation into Rove's role in the CIA-leak case is completed.


In foreign affairs:

The riots in Paris continue, and they're spreading.

French Prime Minister Dominique Villepin declared Thursday that he "will not give in" to the violence and would make restoring order parliament's "absolute top priority".

Today, however, Villepin met a group of young people from urban areas affected by the rioting, seeking input on how to launch a plan of action.

According to Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the riots are well organized and not spontaneous. Furthermore, the riots are becoming more violent and less rational. Earlier in the week, a woman on crutches was doused in flammable liquid and set on fire as she tried to get off a bus in a Paris suburb.

Finally, China reported its fourth Bird-Flu out break in the past month.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Left's Grass Roots Army

The past couple days have seen various anti-war/anti-Bush protests in places like San Francisco and New York. Needless to say, the protests have granted a few glimpses into the left's true persona.

When they use their freedom of speech and assembly rights to...
...throw Molotov cocktails at police officers

...try to set fire to buildings

..."fight capitalism"

...equate Hurricane Katrina with "genocide"
it kind of has a tendency to undermine their credibility, and thus their argument. Nonetheless, they'll continue to show up for the rallies with plenty of enthusiasm and the false opinion that they represent America. (HT: Michelle Malkin for all the links)

When Is The Alito Vote?

Courtesy of National Review Online, Kathryn Lopez is reporting at The Corner that Senate Judiciary hearings will begin January 9, according to Senator Arlen Specter. The chairman hopes Alito will receive a floor vote by the 20th. (HT: Hugh Hewitt)

While it would be much more efficient and sensible to get Alito on the SCOTUS by the end of this month, we have seen that when we force the Democrats' hand, they resort to obstructionist maneuvers like the one we saw on Tuesday. So if Senate Republicans think that avoiding a hurried approach towards the nomination will make it less likely for the Dems to fillibuster, then I'll go along with them.

Between now and when Alito gets confirmed, however, there are some very important cases that will make their appearance in front of the SCOTUS. The parental consent abortion hearing is one such case. But if the Court acts logically, which it certainly will with John Roberts now as the Chief Justice, then it will not rule on any of these controversial cases before Alito joins the Court in January.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Gang Of 14 Behind Alito

If Senate Democrats seek a fillisbuster to delay the nomination of Judge Alito to the SCOTUS, it looks pretty clear that we have to votes to invoke the constitutional option. (HT: Power Line) From the Washington Times:
Senate Republicans said yesterday they will use the "nuclear option" to ban judicial filibusters if Democrats try using the tactic to block the confirmation of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court...

Most Republicans have said they support using the "nuclear option" to break any new filibusters against judicial nominees such as Judge Alito. But for Republicans to ban judicial filibusters, they need the support of at least three Republicans in the Gang of 14.

Four Republicans and two Democrats [from the Gang of 14] have found no "extraordinary circumstances" with the Alito nomination. Although that number is not enough to prevent Democrats from filibustering the nomination, it is enough to employ the nuclear option.
It's very encouraging to see that the GOP is pledged to get an up-or-down vote on Alito, especially since they now have the votes to do it. In all likelihood, we should see Alito seated on the SCOTUS by the beginning of next year.

My Point Exactly

Over at the Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby has taken the words right out of my mouth. In an article titled "The good news from Iraq is not fit to print," he does a superb job of summarizing the distorted perspective of the MSM on Iraq. Key graph:
Hostile to the war and to the administration conducting it, the nation's leading news outlets harp on the negative and pessimistic, consistently underplaying all that is going right in Iraq. Their fixation on the number of troops who have died outweighs their interest in the cause for which those fallen heroes fought -- a cause that advanced with the ratification of the new constitution.
The article provides the Washington Post as one example of this attitude, and notes how the paper published a huge front page story on the 2000th soldier who died, with only a small mention of the landslide victory of the new Iraqi constitution.

The MSM isn't going to suddenly start reporting without its bias against the president and the war, despite being caught red-handed. But in the mean time, we must continue to circulate articles like this, that expose the MSM for who they really are.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

More Democrat Shenanigans

The Democrats decided to force the Senate into a closed session today, citing the need for answers about what the administration knew about Iraq's WMDs before the war began.

Democrat Senator Harry Reid said that the American people and U.S. troops deserved to know the details of how the United States got involved in the war, claiming that this was particularly necessary in light of the indictment of Libby, Cheney's chief of staff. So the Dems see these two situations as highly relevant to one another. But consider this passage from CIA leak prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's news conference last Friday:
This indictment is not about the war. This indictment's not about the propriety of the war. And people who believe fervently in the war effort, people who oppose it, people who have mixed feelings about it should not look to this indictment for any resolution of how they feel or any vindication of how they feel....The indictment will not seek to prove that the war was justified or unjustified. This is stripped of that debate, and this is focused on a narrow transaction. And I think anyone who's concerned about the war and has feelings for or against shouldn't look to this criminal process for any answers or resolution of that.
Perhaps the real reason Harry Reid wanted the public out of this Senate session was in order to keep them from seeing his fellow Democrat Senators struggle to explain how there is any connection between Libby's indictment and pre-war intelligence on Iraq, especially given that there is none.

If the Dems find it acceptable to let their senate minority leader pull stunts like this, it should become obvious quite quickly how disoriented their party is. This weekend must have been a rough one to be a Democrat. Republicans got their SCOTUS agenda back on track with a solid nomination in the form of Samuel Alito, Karl Rove escaped charges in the Libby leak case, and the economy grew by 3.8% GDP in the third quarter, despite the hurricanes.

The fact that the Senate Democrats see their stunt today as a way to regain momentum and support, rather than as reminder to the public that they are not fit to govern, says a good deal about the party.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Alito Nominated To The SCOTUS

As was expected, 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito was chosen by the president this morning to fill the O'Connor vacancy on the SCOTUS. Alito is a great nomination for the president, and one that I expect will reunite the Republican party after the division created by the Miers nomination.

Judge Alito is highly qualified as the next member of the SCOTUS, and it's tough to think otherwise. Here's a brief profile of the Judge. But for quick reference, he received a bachelor's degree from Princeton and graduated from Yale Law School, and has served on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals since 1990 when the elder Bush appointed him there. Serving on that court he has established a strong conservative judicial track record.

The Supreme Court Nomination Blog has amassed a number of links to key opinions given by Judge Alito.

CNN's has another profile of Alito's hefty legal resume.

ConfirmThem has comprehensive background information on Alito at the top of the right margin.

But despite Alito's obvious qualifications, we're in for a fight with the Democrats. The Dems could very likely attempt to fillibuster and deny Alito an up-or-down vote. These tactics can be easily stopped if the Gang of 14 gets behind Alito, and invokes the constitutional option. If the Gang of 14 Republicans can reject the Dems claims of extraordinary circumstances, then Alito should be able to avoid a Democratic fillibuster and get his shot at confirmation.

Ankle Biting Pundits is urging readers to put pressure on the 7 Republican Senators in the Gang of 14. ABP has contact info for the Senators and asks that we "demand a fair and timely confirmation hearing and a fair up-or-down vote by the entire U.S. Senate with no liberal filibusters."

Hugh Hewitt agrees, and has the phone numbers of the 9 Republican Senators thought to be reluctant on invoking the constitutional option, as well as their email addresses. Senator Graham, who is one of these Republicans, has already stated that he will not allow a fillibuster. Hewitt says that in order to truly prevent the Dems' fillibuster, the other 8 Republicans must "announce, early and often, that they will vote for the constitutional option if Democrats attempt a filibuster based upon ideology."

With the impending showdown in the Senate, I join ABP and Hewitt in urging people to call, email, write, and send whatever message you can to get these Senators to commit to stopping the Dems' fillibuster.

If we get the up-or-down vote, as we should, PoliPundit says that Alito has the votes to be confirmed. His post provides a breakdown of which Senators hold the key votes, as well as accurate (I think) speculation on whether or not Alito will get them.

So get ready folks, we're in for a political battle, but it's one I'm confident that we will win.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Latest On The SCOTUS

It has been reported by some of the major news networks that the White House will announce its nomination for the SCOTUS tomorrow morning. From the Washington Post:
President Bush planned to announce a new Supreme Court nomination today, moving quickly after a weekend of consultations to put forward a replacement for the ill-fated choice of Harriet Miers in hopes of recapturing political momentum, according to Republicans close to the White House.

Judging by the names the White House floated by political allies in recent days, Bush seems ready to pick a candidate with a long track record of conservative jurisprudence -- one who would mollify the Republican base, whose opposition to Miers's nomination helped scuttle her chances. Several GOP strategists said the most likely choice seemed to be federal appeals judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., with judges J. Michael Luttig and Alice M. Batchelder also in the running.
The latest speculation at ConfirmThem favors Alito as the president's choice. This is in harmony with what many sources are saying about the nomination, though it appears that Luttig is still in the running. Don't count him out, the president hasn't been afraid to surprise, and so Luttig could be a late-breaking decision.

That being said, I highly doubt he will stray far from these two choices. Either of these two men would be an outstanding SCOTUS nomination for the president, and if either of them are nominated, it will be a good day to be a Republican.