Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Can't Possibly Create a Cool Enough Title

Right, so, I definitely spent lunch today with my good friend George. You know, that President guy.

Actually, what happened was, President Bush joined Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele at a fundraiser to help raise money for Steele's Senate bid. As usual, nobody tells us anything until the last minute. The State Chair of the Maryland Federation of College Republicans, Rose Capozzi, got a phone call two days ago saying she needed to bring as many volunteers as possible out to this event. There were going to be protestors, they said, and they needed people to hold signs in a counter-protest of sorts.

It was really short notice, and lots of schools have finals this week, so we only managed to get like six College Republicans to come out. Together with some adult volunteers, we held signs outside, and then later went to stand on this road and direct traffic towards the correct parking lot. It was fun.

We also got to yell at hippies. The protesters had a permit for 600 people, but maybe 40 showed up, tops. I think it was an excuse for the press to be able to say something like, "We aren't sure of their exact numbers, but we know the protesters were cleared for 600 people.

They had the stupidest chant ever too. Much as I hate "Bush lied, kids died," I have to admit it serves its purpose. It gets the point across, and its easy to remember. Quite possibly because some of the protesters are incapable of remembering more than four syllables at a time.

Their chant, though, was really long. One woman on a bullhorn chanted three lines, then the crowd yelled the fourth together. But their timing was so horrible, you couldn't tell what the fourth line was supposed to be. So all together, it went like this:

"Hey Mike, get away from the right. Mr. Bush, [mumble mumble mumble]."

So, we couldn't understand a quarter of it, and what we could decifer didn't make any
sense at all.

We yelled that they needed to annunciate more. ;)

The hippies. Sad, isn't it?

So that, and maybe a chance to see Marine One fly in, was all we were really expecting. But when we were done, one of the guys in charge said "Hey, you guys wanna go in?" Well, of course, that was a given. As we're walking towards the building, A helicopter comes and lands nearby in a parking lot. It's Marine One. Or it's double. We couldn't tell, because they landed within minutes of one another, and we didn't see the President get off.

So we go in, and I immediately feel like a bum. Naturally, this was an expensive event. So everyone was dressed up in nice clothing. My group members and I, however, were all wearing jeans. It turned out alright, though. Whenever someone looked at me funny, I told them they let us in because we yelled at hippies. Suddenly, everything would be alright, and often that person would turn to another and say, "don't you remember the days when we got to yell at hippies?"

Then, after about half an hour or so, the speaking started. Michael Steele spoke for a few minutes, and then the President spoke for about twenty minutes. I got several good pictures of him, and lots of bad ones. I'm not kidding, almost every time I put my camera up to take a picture (it was standing-only, so you had to raise the camera over everone's heads,) this woman in front of me put up her camera. I think I have more pictures of this woman's camera than I do of the President.

One of the pictures that did turn out. The
man on the right is Lt. Governor Steele.

So all in all, the event itself was pretty amazing. Afterwards, though, we walk back to the car we came in to find another small miracle had happened. We hadn't had time to feed the meter again before we went in, so it had been expired for quite a while. Yet, for what has to be the first time in recorded history, a car sat next to an unfed meter in Baltimore in the middle of a workday for over an hour, and didnt get a parking ticket. Needless to say, the car's owner was pretty happy about that.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Geography of Environmental Systems

It sucks. I have an exam in that class tomorrow that covers five chapters, 300 pages in the textbook, and over 200 slides. My "brief" study guide is 20 pages long.

I swear, if I ever find the grad student who swore that class was an easy A for a Poli Sci major who hates science, there will be vengeance.

UPDATE: As if that wasn't bad enough, I just remembered I have 20 pages of Marx to read for Political Philosophy tomorrow morning too. Talk about depressing.

Where's George?

So, we know that on Monday and Tuesday, President Bush is going to be touring the border states. Several commenters have expressed doubts about the President's sincerity on this issue, and I'm inclined to agree; he hasn't shown much interest in the securing the border in the past. All we can do is keep speaking out for real border security measures, and hope he decides to finally listen. It would probably raise his approval rating, as well, because he would earn back support from conservatives.

But anyway, what, you may ask, is the President doing after he tours the border states? Well, he's coming to Maryland. Baltimore, to be exact. Why? I haven't the foggiest clue- I just know I've been told (well, asked, but would I turn it down?) to get up freakishly early Wednesday morning to go wave signs when the President arrives in Baltimore. I don't know that we'll get to see him much, but in exchange we do get tickets to this other event later this week. I won't be going to the second event, though, because I already promised some friends I'd do something else.

Also, apparently there will be protestors at this event. There are, of course, always protestors, but I never understand how. I mean, we only got notified of this event today, two days in advance. We still barely know what's going on, and we have connections with the people planning it. How do the protestors find out in enough time to organize?

So, anyway, look for a new post Wednesday where I'll fill you all in on what happens.

It may be science, but...


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Is it too good to be true?

It seems that President Bush is finally taking concerns about border control seriously. After spending Thanksgiving at his Crawford ranch, he will spend the next two days touring parts of the Texas and Arizona borders with Mexico. During his tour, he will receive briefings from Customs and Border Protection concerning the problems with illegal immigration.

White House aides say the president will make remarks pledging additional resources and the use of technology to secure the border. One concept he'll discuss is "interior repatriation," a term that means returning illegal immigrants from Mexico to the interior of their country, rather than returning them just over the other side of the border.

It remains to be seen if this is a legitimate attempt to address the border issues, or just talk. Hopefully, President Bush is sincere about addressing this problem, and will take steps to make real long-term solutions.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Check this out!

Everyone should go over to the Camp Katrina blog and look around. Like their tagline says, it's "proving that the United States military does much more than just kill people and break things."

Now, what is the definition of "biased"??

As a college student, I've gotten used to the liberal bias of many professors. It's all part of the deal, I ignore their deluded, insane concepts of the world they've hidden from in academia their whole lives, and then make fun of them to my College Republican friends later. For the most part, I don't let it bother me. I know where I stand politically, and no professor on a power trip that likes to play god with students' grades is going to change my mind.

But it's something entirely different when it's done in younger levels. While some high school students know where they stand politically, many are only just starting to learn and care about what's going on in the outside world. They should have the freedom to explore these opinions on their own, and not have filth like this shoved down their throats.

Bret Chenkin, a social studies and English teacher at Mount Anthony Union High School, said he gave the quiz to his students several months ago. The quiz asked students to pick the proper words to complete sentences.

One example: "I wish Bush would be (coherent, eschewed) for once during a speech, but there are theories that his everyday diction charms the below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes." "Coherent" is the right answer.

Now, I won't even try to deny the fact that President Bush is hardly the world's best public speaker. But "his everyday diction charms the below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes?" Really? So basically, he's telling his students that if they don't want to be considered retards, they should be Democrats. Way to foster intelligent debate.

The teacher, probably sensing something was about to hit the fan, decided to take a conciliatory tone.

"I'll put in both sides," he said. "Especially if it's going to cause a lot of grief."

I have a better idea. How about you leave politics out of your quizzes entirely and focus on your real job?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving in the Field

My best wishes are with all the soldiers who are away from home this holiday season. May God bless you and bring you all home safely.

I was just watching the news a few minutes ago, and they were telling about the traditional Thanksgiving meal the soldiers in Iraq are getting, and how much food the military had to buy.

It included:

~Over 200,000 pounds of turkey
~55,000 pounds of stuffing
~and over 33,000 pies

It's hard to imagine that much food, but I certainly hope everyone enjoys it.

Actually, because of the time difference, they've probably already eaten at this point. So, I hope it was good!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Nothing really political to say, but Happy Thanksgiving everybody!! I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this after months of crappy college food.

Mmmmm....turkey. Mashed potatoes. Stuffing. Cranberry sauce.

And last but not least...


John McCain V. Hillary Clinton

Sorry its been so long since I updated- the end of the semester is coming up, and things have been rather insane lately.

I just read some stats from a NewsMax poll that I just had to share. Keep in mind that this is generally a reliable poll of conservative opinions.

1) What is your overall opinion of Sen. John McCain?

Favorable - 40%
Unfavorable - 56%
No Opinion - 4%

2) Do you believe John McCain is a loyal Republican?

Loyal - 33%
Not Loyal - 67%

3) Is John McCain your candidate for president in 2008?

Yes 36,878 - 27%
No 100,299 - 73%

4) In the following field, who is your 2008 candidate?

John McCain - 23%
Condi Rice - 23%
Jeb Bush - 7%
Mitt Romney - 5%
Rudy Giuliani - 17%

5) If the 2008 Presidential race was between John McCain & Hillary Clinton, who would you vote for?

McCain - 91%
Clinton - 9%

The response to the last question is the funniest, in my opinion. It just goes to show that no matter how much conservatives dislike John McCain, we will always, always, hate Hillary Clinton more.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

John Locke and Torture

I just finished a post in the comments section of Right Wing News, and I'm so proud of it I decided to post it here, as well.

What started everything off was this post:

I am an American. By cosmic virtue and heavenly mandate, I was allowed to be born and raised in America. I love this country so much - like an entity, like a friend. It's dear to me, and when I reflect on its birth, how it came to be, the passions of the men who forged it - the hot, passionate blood of revolution and unrestrained freedom - I really do fill with pride. It's a fantastically lucky thing, to be born American. That is a blessing in this life, and through all of history, rare is a country so nobly fashioned and shot through with high ideals.

The above, being true, is why torture in America's name is so repellent. It reeks of everything that the founders of this nation would've recoiled from, holding their noses, shrieking curses...oh yes, believe it. For I tell you this: you insult the founders of this country every time you presume that modern-day terrorism trumps every Constitutional consideation they made. I ask you: do you really think, for moment, that men who could fashion such a soulfully rich document as the Constitution could also function with a level of impairment so complete that it doesn't take in consideration an historically contextual problem like the terrorism we face? Do you really think the Constitution is so delicate, so flimsy? Why don't you just spit on it, rub the spit in? Why don't you shit on it? I mean, really, it's the same thing, if you're supporting torture and you're doing it under American auspices. You're a bastard scoundrel at that point, and no American I know, born here or not.

Torture takes everything this country rests upon and spits acid into every nook and cranny. Torture insults every man, woman and child who's died from the moment of this country's founding to...this moment...I tell you, torture is unjust, torture is inhumane, torture is anathema to everything America has been/is/strives to be. There is no way around it. This one is easy. This one's the easiest of them all to read.

You support torture, you're an SOB. Period. There is no contesting that. There is no refuting that.

by crappy_jack on 2005-11-08 01:45:47

My response was a little halfhearted at the time. Cut me some slack, though, as it was nearing three in the morning.

You do realize they tarred and feathered the British tax collectors, right? Go look it up if you don't know what that means. Comparatively, loud rock music and sleep deprivation are nothing.

And what about the other forms of punishment of the day? Public floggings? The stocks?

by RightWingConspirator on 2005-11-08 02:26:45

To which Crappy_jack responded

Come on, rogue! Don't play relativism with me. I know the operations of scoundrels. I know the fervid machinations of tiny minds.

Let's get this crystal-clear straight: "they" tarred and feathered British tax collectors, therefore "we" can torture alleged, un-sentenced Muslim "terrorists"? What kind of, er, tortured logic is that? There is no substantive difference whatsoever between what you say and this: they all jumped off the bridge, mama; can I jump, too? I mean, please...logic, okay? I've never heard of anything as weak as what you're putting forward. The country's laws and ethical heart are decidedly NOT founded on the tarring and feathering of tax collectors, or the fully grotesque nightmare of heads in stocks, I really need to tell you that? I guess, but that's sad. Crazy, nutcase sad.

Friend, when Jesus came down, he was here to do a job that had to do with this: cutting all the bureaucratic bullshit out and getting to the long-forgotten truth. Buddha did the same thing. You are a Pharisee, no better, just the same - a Pharisee who's lost in the self-created bureacracy of willful imposition. You've completely forgotten the essence of the thing. Your finger's slipped right off liberty's pulse.

Get with it, friend. Get with what is real, fling Occam's razor around, make love to the truth, touch soul, burrow and sleep in the soft marrow...

by crappy_jack on 2005-11-08 02:40:34

To which I responded:

You're an idiot. You come out with this grand notion that torture goes against everything that this country was founded upon, yet when I give an example of something Americans of the time did that could be considered torture, you respond with "Well, just because they did it doesn't mean we should." Make up your mind.

I can understand arguments against physical torture. I don't necessarily agree with them in extreme conditions, but mental torture? No problem. Sleep deprivation, loud music? No problem at all.

Answer me this, CJ. You stumble across Osama Bin Laden. You're the only one around, and he brags to you that in an hour a nuke is going to go off in a major American city and kill millions of "infidels." What would you do? Ask him to pretty please tell you where he hid the bomb so you can call and warn the FBI?

by RightWingConspirator on 2005-11-08 02:50:51

A bit abrupt for me, perhaps, but again, it was three in the morning.

Now, Crappy_jack has yet to respond to that post. By that logic, unless he eventually creates a response, he forfeits the argument and I win, right? But I wasn't satisfied, and so I wrote this post.

I didn't really have the energy to do so at 3:00 am, but now that I'm mostly conscious I feel like shutting down Crappy_jack's assertion that torture goes against everything this nation was founded upon.

Keep in mind that this post is not meant to be my argument for or against torture. It is merely meant to argue the depth of crappy_jack's knowledge of history.

The Founding Fathers looked, more than anywhere else, to the writings of John Locke when considering rebellion against Britain and the formation of a new government. The introduction to the Declaration of Independence, for example, reads like a veritable Cliff Notes version of Locke's Second Treatise of Government.

For example, you may recognize this line:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That, to secure these ends, governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed...

You might not recognize, however, this very similar line, which was the foundation for the one above.

The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it which obliges every one; and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it that, being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or estate.

This is not to say that one is never justified in using force. If a person unustifiably attacks another's "life, health, liberty, or estate," they enter into a state of war with that person. At that point, the person attacked has the right to punish the person who attacked them.

The practical problem to this, of course, is that having individuals determine punishments rarely leads to an equitable outcome. If I were to hit someone, then by Locke's theory they would be justified in hitting me back. But what if they fly into a rage and beat the shit out of me? Or what if I have lots of big friends, and they can't hit me back for fear of their own safety?

It is for this reason that governments are formed. Often, people are incapable of resolving major disputes without things degenerating. The government, according to Locke, serves as a neutral arbitrator. They are empowered to make laws, interpret them, and enforce them, all towards the public good. Their number one duty is to ensure the safety of the people they govern.

Now, no one will argue that torture is a great thing. It isn't nice, it isn't pleasant, and it isn't a tool that should be used lightly. However, as Locke says, the government has the
"power to act, accordng to discretion, for the public good, without the prescription of the law, and sometimes even against it."

Now, by Lockean logic, when the terrorists attacked Americans on the USS Cole, the WTC in '93, at our embassies, and on 9/11, they infringed upon our right to life. They entered into a state of war with us, and therefore the government has the right to respond in kind. They have the "power to act, according to discretion, for the public good." Unarguably, preventing a nuclear attack on the United States would qualify as being for the public good.

Now, this entire argument is based on the idea that governments have the right to act as they see fit in order to preserve the safety of their citizens. If you do not agree with that, then the rest of the argument would be invalid. It would, of course, be your right to think that way.

However, this argument isn't meant to represent what you think. It is meant to represent how Locke would have seen torture. And, since Locke's philosophy of government was the foundation for the Founders' philosophy of government, it isn't unsafe to assume that at least some of them would agree with this logic.

So argue against torture in terms of modern morality if you want. But the idea that the founders would have been vehemently against its use is flawed.

by RightWingConspirator on 2005-11-08 12:21:42

I posted this about fifteen minutes ago, so there's no response yet. I'll update later if there is.

And, before I end this post, let me state for the record my opinion of torture, so I don't get flamed by people who think I support it's indiscriminant use. In the vast majority of cases, I do not approve of physical torture (ripping off fingernails, strapping electrodes to certain sensitive body parts, etc.) The information is not always reliable, in many cases we cannot be 100% certain of guilt, and the frequent use of torture puts on on the same level as our enemies.

Mental duress, however, is not torture. Do they strap people in Gitmo to chairs, with the lights on as bright as they will go, blast loud rock music every time they start to doze off, and deprive them of sleep for 24 hours? I don't know, and I don't care. It doesn't cause lasting physical pain or discomfort. Instead, it serves to temporarily disorient them and lower their mental defences, making them more likely to inadvertantly share information.

In extreme circumstances, however, anything goes. If we capture Osama Bin Laden tomorrow, and he laughs his head off saying that he'll gladly become a martyr, because millions of Americans are going to die tomorrow anyway, than we need to do whatever it takes to ensure that such an attack does not take place. It sounds grim, but really, which would be worse, torturing Osama Bin Laden, or not torturing him and letting millions of people die?

Friday, November 04, 2005

Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue

So, last night was amazing. A bunch of College Republicans attended the Red, White, and Blue Dinner. For those of you who don't know, the RWB Dinner is the Republican event of the year in Maryland. The cheapest tickets sell for $200. And, with 925 people attending, the dinner raised nearly a million dollars for the Maryland Republican Party. Guests included Governor Ehrlich, Lieutenant Governor Steele, Congressman Bartlett, and RNC Chair Ken Mehlman.

The College Republicans, however, were able to attend the event for free. The higher ups in the Party wanted some younger faces at the event. They were, however, fully aware that, as college students, we are inherently poor. So the offered us free seats in exchange for some volunteer work before the event. We helped hang signs, and then stood outside the hotel and cheered when the Governor and Lieutenant Governor arrived. This turned out well for us, because they came over and said hi before they went in. Some of their staffers used our cameras to take pictures of the group, which was awesome. After the event, the Governor and Ken Mehlman had to leave right away, but Michael Steele stayed, and I got a really good picture of the two of us together.

By the way, while we were standing outside waiting for the Governor, an amazing thing happened. This homeless guy came up to us, saw our signs, and started saying how wonderful the Governor was, and how Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley was evil. It was definitely the one of the funniest things I have seen in my life. The guy even got to shake the Governor's hand when he arrived.

So, if anyone happens to live in Baltimore, and you see a homeless guy walking around with an Ehrlich sign, a Steele sign, and a Dan Zubairi for Congress sticker, you know why.

Both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor spoke, and did great in front of the crowd. Steele addressed the recent racist remarks against him, saying things like, "they don't call me Steele for nothing" and "they say my values are not the values of black people. This should come as quite a surprise to the black woman that raised me, because my values are her values."

Then the Governor got up and spoke about how wonderful it was that the Republican Party was gaining in power, and that Maryland was once again a two-party state. He went on to say how monopolies are bad, "and oh, by the way, we need another newspaper." The only large newspaper in Maryland, The Baltimore Sun is very liberal, and is constantly complaining about the Governor.

Finally, I have to mention how amazing the food was. I'm a college student, remember, so I survive off of crap that is mass-produced for thousands of people. In comparison, the stuff last night was heavenly. Stuffed chicken breast, twice baked potatoes, and the most amazing cheescake ever. I don't know how I'm going to go back to simple college food.

So, overall, last night was awesome. I got to meet a bunch of new people, expand my network of contacts, and catch up with some people I hadn't seen in ages. Good times.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Hypocrisy from the Left

Well, more than the usual hypocrisy.

I've written before about how Maryland's Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, an African-American, is running for the open Senate seat in 2006. The Democrats will have a bloody, party-splitting fight in the primary before they even face Steele. However, they are all united, at least temporarily, to attack the Republican opponent. Their primary argument? Republicans are still racist, and Michael Steele isn't really black.

Let's count the racist statements quoted and actions described in this Washington Times article shall we?


Such attacks against the first black man to win a statewide election in Maryland include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an "Uncle Tom" and depicting him as a black-faced minstrel on a liberal Web log.

Couldn't throwing hard objects at someone be considered assault?


Operatives for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) also obtained a copy of his credit report -- the only Republican candidate so targeted.

Those operatives have resigned. The Democrats issues some vague we're-sorry-but-not-really comment, and haven't said anything about it since. To the best of my knowledge, no action has been taken against them for the illegal acts, nor has anyone tried to look higher up the chain- I don't believe these people were acting without the knowledge of their party.


But black Democrats say there is nothing wrong with "pointing out the obvious."

"There is a difference between pointing out the obvious and calling someone names," said a campaign spokesman for Kweisi Mfume, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Alright. Let me "point out the obvious." These people are race-baiting idiots. And it isn't 'obvious' if they can't prove it.


State Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, a black Baltimore Democrat, said she does not expect her party to pull any punches, including racial jabs at Mr. Steele, in the race to replace retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes.
"Party trumps race, especially on the national level," she said. "If you are bold enough to run, you have to take whatever the voters are going to give you. It's democracy, perhaps at its worse, but it is democracy."

Really? Can you imagine the reaction if Republicans were to attack a black Democrat this way? We would never hear the end of it. And, really, if they are so willing to take whatever the voters give, I have a few ideas I'd like to try... ;>


Delegate Salima Siler Marriott, a black Baltimore Democrat, said Mr. Steele invites comparisons to a slave who loves his cruel master or a cookie that is black on the outside and white inside because his conservative political philosophy is, in her view, anti-black.
"Because he is a conservative, he is different than most public blacks, and he is different than most people in our community," she said. "His politics are not in the best interest of the masses of black people."

Oh, so as a black woman, she can unequivocally say that, but Michael Steele, a black man, is a dupe and an idiot and anti-black for expressing his opinions about what would be best for his race, and his country?


In 2001, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. called Mr. Steele an "Uncle Tom," when Mr. Steele headed the state Republican Party. Mr. Miller, Prince George's County Democrat, later apologized for the remark.
"That's not racial. If they call him the "N' word, that's racial," Mrs. Marriott said. "Just because he's black, everything bad you say about him isn't racial."

Ah. I get it. So they can imply it's racial all they want, but it isn't really unless they use the 'N word'? Does that mean that, say, if I called them ten different kinds of idiot and said it was people like them who kept a relatively high percentage of blacks in poverty, and that they were the dupes being fooled by a party who couldn't give a damn about them so long as they showed up to vote, all that is fine? They aren't going to yell or criticise or condemn my remarks? After all, it's just an opinion. And I didn't use the 'N word,' so they shouldn't have any problems.



This week, the News Blog -- a liberal Web log run by Steve Gilliard, a black New Yorker -- removed a doctored photo of Mr. Steele that depicted him as a black-faced minstrel.
However, the blog has kept its headline "Simple Sambo wants to move to the big house." A caption beneath a photo of the lieutenant governor reads: "I's Simple Sambo and I's running for the Big House."

There aren't enough words in the English language to describe the extent to which this is crap.


State Sen. Verna Jones, Baltimore Democrat and vice chairman of the General Assembly's legislative black caucus, said black Republicans deserve criticism because the Republican Party has not promoted the interests of the black community.
"The public policies supported by Democratic principles are the ones that most impact the African-American community," she said. "I'm not saying [Mr. Steele] is a sell-out. That's not for me to say."

Really? That kind of sounds like exactly what she's saying to me.


In July, however, Mr. Mfume noted how Republicans were rallying for Mr. Steele but his party had ignored his historic candidacy. "More voters in Maryland are carrying the impression that the Democratic Party talks the talk, but doesn't always walk the walk. People may find a way to cross over in the fall," he said.

This isn't so much racism as it is whining. Boo hoo hoo. Republicans aren't paying attention to one of the Democratic nominees. Would he prefer we attack him, like Democrats are doing to Steele? Would he feel special then?

On a side note, though, it is pretty interesting that Mfume acknowledged that "more voters in Maryland are carrying the impression that the Democratic Party talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk." Most Democrats in the state are in denial about that.

Finally, the article ends with a comment from the Steele campaign.

Steele campaign spokesman Leonardo Alcivar said state Democrats are afraid of losing the black vote to Mr. Steele.
"That has caused a great tremble throughout the Maryland Democratic Party,"

Well, with racial attacks like these coming from the left, no wonder Democrats are worried about losing the black vote.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

What the heck?

So, in a giant temper tantrum, the democrats in the Senate have decided to close the Senate.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate returned to its daily work late Tuesday after Democrats enacted a rare parliamentary rule forcing a private session of the chamber so senators could speak in secret about the lead-up to the war in Iraq.

As a result of the session, in which Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and the panel's Ranking Democrat Jay Rockefeller sparred for 40 minutes about whether Republicans had failed in their oversight of the Bush administration, lawmakers set Nov. 14 as a deadline for six members of the Senate — three from each party — to assess the progress of the committee's investigation into pre-Iraq war intelligence.

I have to admit, I don't see the point of this. The Democrats should be trying to gather all their strength in the upcoming battle over Judge Sam Alito's confirmation hearings. Instead, they're wasting political clout on forcing an obscure procedure that most Americans don't undertand, and that can easily be portrayed by Republicans as obstructionist. So the question is: what the heck are they thinking?

Not that all the Democratic political clout could block Alito's confirmation, though. Of the 55 Republicans in the Senate, 48 are reliable votes we can count on for Alito. The remaining seven Senators form half of the "Gang of 14," and are not guaranteed votes.

However, one of those seven, Mike DeWine, has stated that Alito does not merit he filibuster agreed to for "extreme circumstances." If the Dems try to filibuster, he is willing to vote for the nuclear option. This is understandable- DeWine has a tough primary coming up, and he's smart enough to realize voting against the party on this one would cost him the election. Senator Lindsay Graham, another one of the Gang of 14, has also said he will not support the filibuster if it is used on Sam Alito.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is 50 votes. Add a tiebreaker vote from Cheney, and that's the 51 votes needed to launch the nuclear option.

I don't think we will need to use Cheney, though. Senator McCain, another Republican in the Gang of 14, still harbors hopes of becoming President in 2008. He knows that if he votes against the party now, it will prove more than anything else that he's a RINO, and his chances of geting the Republican nomination will be nonexistant.

Once McCain supports Alito, it's only a matter of time before the remaining four Republicans fall into line. Nobody is going to want to risk being the only Republican to vote against the Republican SCOTUS nominee.