Category Archive 'US Senate'

12 Sep 2018

Democrats Finally Getting What’s Coming to Them

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Nemesis, statue dedicated by Ptollanubis. Marble, found in Egypt, 2nd century AD. Louvre Ma 4873.

Noemie Emery gleefully observes that the day of reckoning for democrats for what they did to Robert Bork has arrived.

Are you happy now, Teddy Kennedy? Are you happy, Joe Biden? Are you happy now, Harry Reid? It’s due to the things that you did and said that Donald J. Trump is now naming his second Supreme Court justice in under two years in office. It is your fault that the once courtly process of Supreme Court appointments turned into the blood-and-thunder-eye-gouging drama that we hate and we live through today.

It was 31 years ago, in 1987, that Edward M. Kennedy burst on the floor of the Senate to tell us all that with Robert Bork on the Supreme Court, “women would be forced Into back-alley abortions,” blacks would eat at segregated lunch counters, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the government, and the freedom of millions would hang by a thread.

Before it was over, liberals would raise and spend over $10 million in negative ads (quite a sum at the time) and in lobbying efforts. They would threaten black witnesses with career-ending reprisals and seize and search records of video rentals for signs of blue movies that were never found.

As Steve Hayward says, “The demagogic nature of the public campaign against him made it a watershed moment in American politics, permanently deforming the nomination process as for the judiciary, with ideological battles now extending to the lower federal courts as well.”

RTWT

Tell us, Chuck Schumer, where is that filibuster, now that you need it?

05 Jan 2017

Assange: “Podesta’s Password Was ‘Password’ “

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The Senate is right now holding a hearing based on the entirely questionable premise that Russian hacking “interfered with” the presidential election. As on any occasion in which democrats are screwing over the Republicans, there was John McCain playing a prominent part.

Just two nights ago, Julian Assange told Sean Hannity that the Wikileaks source was no state actor at all.

As the Townhall quotation makes clear, hacking the DNC was hardly difficult:

Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange revealed to Sean Hannity in an interview that aired Tuesday night that Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta’s email password was “password.” As such, a 14-year-old could have hacked into the system.

    “We published several … emails which show Podesta responding to a phishing email,” Assange said during the first part of the interview, which aired on “Hannity” Tuesday night. “Podesta gave out that his password was the word ‘password’. His own staff said this email that you’ve received, this is totally legitimate. So, this is something … a 14-year-old kid could have hacked Podesta that way.”
09 Dec 2014

Senate Democrats Arm the Left With Partisan Intelligence Report

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De_Niro


Spence (Sean Bean): – lnterrogation.

Sam (Robert De Niro): – What ?

Spence: – Methods to withstand interrogation.

Sam: – You’ve done that ?

Spence: -We were taught to hold out indefinitely.

Sam: – Nobody can hold out indefinitely.

Spence: – Ah, is that so ?

Sam: -Everybody has a limit. l spent some time in interrogation… once.

Spence: – They make it hard on you ?

Sam: – They don’t make it easy.

– Yeah, it was unpleasant. l held out as long as l could.

– All the stuff they tried.

– You just can’t hold out for ever.

– lmpossible.

Spence: – How’d they finally get to you ?

Sam: – They gave me a grasshopper.

Spence: – What’s a grasshopper ?

Sam: -Let’s see… That’s two part gin, two part brandy, one part crème de menthe…

–“Ronin” (1998).

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What Sam mockingly tells the pretender Spence in “Ronin” (1998) is a truth generally recognized by all adults in the military & the intelligence community: Nobody can resist all forms of coercive interrogation indefinitely.

There is, however, serious dissent on this obvious truth from the left-wing democrat party establishment, and particularly from prominent portions of the Gay commentariat.

Democrats, having just lost control of the Senate, are leaving power in the manner of dead skunk, leaving a terrible odor behind them, with today’s cynical publication of a totally partisan official intelligence report, concluding that enhanced interrogation (not even the trained attack caterpillar!) never worked, the CIA allegedly misinformed the rest of the government about the results of enhanced interrogation, the CIA roughed up some of the prisoners in manners and forms displeasing to the sensibilities of Senate democrats, confinement conditions were bleak, and the CIA was generally naughty, misleading, evasive, and destructive both to good government and the standing of the US in the world(!).

It is a total hatchet job, and it will be interesting to watch over time what the CIA does to democrats, particularly to Nancy Pelosi, in response.

Jose A. Rodriquez Jr. ran the CIA Interrogation Program, and he responded, back in April, to what was obviously coming.

On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify and release hundreds of pages of its report on U.S. terrorist interrogation practices. Certain senators have proclaimed how devastating the findings are, saying the CIA’s program was unproductive, badly managed and misleadingly sold. Unlike the committee’s staff, I don’t have to examine the program through a rearview mirror. I was responsible for administering it, and I know that it produced critical intelligence that helped decimate al-Qaeda and save American lives.

The committee’s staff members started with a conclusion in 2009 and have chased supportive evidence ever since. They never spoke to me or other top CIA leaders involved in the program, or let us see the report.

In other words, that report is just a partisan crock.

08 Dec 2010

Constitutional Illiteracy Rife in US Senate

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When journalists diffidently inquired a few months back about the Constitutional basis for mandated health insurance purchases, the response of democrat party Solons typically varied between blank incomprehension and clear indignation at the effrontery of anyone suggesting that any kind of limits on their power might exist.

Walter Olson remarks on a recent demonstration for the need of remedial high school civics lesson for US senators.

Last Tuesday, despite warnings of regulatory overreach, the Senate voted 73-25 in favor of S. 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, which would greatly expand the powers of the federal Food and Drug Administration and impose extensive new testing and paperwork requirements on farmers and food producers. Almost at once, however, the bill was derailed — whether temporarily or otherwise remains to be seen — by what the New York Times called an “arcane parliamentary mistake” and the L.A. Times considered a purely “technical flaw“. Roll Call put it more bluntly: “[Senate] Democrats violated a constitutional provision requiring that tax provisions originate in the House.” While the New York Times weirdly cast Senate Republicans as the villains in the affair, other news sources more accurately reported that it was the (Democratic) House leadership that was standing up for its prerogatives:

    “Unfortunately, [the Senate] passed a bill which is not consistent with the Constitution of the United States, so we are going to have to figure out how to do that consistent with the constitutional requirement that revenue bills start in the House,” [House Majority Leader Steny] Hoyer said.

    According to Hoyer, this has happened multiple times this Congress, causing severe legislative angina.

    “The Senate knows the rule and should follow the rule and they should be cognizant of the rule,” Hoyer scolded. “Nobody ought to be surprised by the rule. It is in the Constitution, and you have all been lectured and we have as well about reading the Constitution.”

To those familiar with the history of the U.S. Constitution, the Origination Clause should hardly count as arcane or technical. It stands as the very first sentence of Article I, Section 7: “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.” …

With its two-year terms of office and less populous constituencies, the House of Representatives was of course designed to be the legislative branch closest to the people, most readily thrown out of office when it strays from the public mood. Those considerations aside, the Constitution is rightly celebrated for the way its framers made the House and Senate different from each other precisely in order to ensure jealousies and dissensions between the two, those jealousies and dissensions serving as a safeguard against hasty or ill-considered legislation. In this case it worked exactly as planned, and the self-regard of the House leadership will serve as the reason for another round of scrutiny for a bill that could badly use some. Somewhere up above the spirit of James Madison may have heard the scolding words of Rep. Hoyer, and smiled.

Things, of course, are not really different among House democrats either. Remember Alcee Hastings’ analysis of the legal dynamic behind the operations of American government?

22 Nov 2010

So We Didn’t Take the Senate… This Time

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Peter Robinson opines that Mitch McConnell is going to calling the shots much of the time anyway.

Over the last couple of weeks, though, I’ve noticed that Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, has sounded a lot chirpier–and, frankly, a lot more aggressive–than a man ought to sound when he’s just drawn a bad hand. Why? Well, after looking over a few statistics, I think I know. Sen. McConnell doesn’t believe he’s drawn a bad hand at all. Just take a look a this:

Twenty-three Democratic senators must face re-election in two years (actually, 21 Democrats plus Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, both Independents who caucus with the Democrats).

* Of those 23, five represent states that John McCain carried in 2008 and George W. Bush carried in 2004. To wit: Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia (although just elected this year, Manchin is merely filling out the unexpired term of the late Sen. Byrd).

* Four more Democratic senators facing re-election come from states that McCain lost in 2008–but that Bush carried four years earlier. Namely: Bill Nelson of Florida, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Jim Webb of Virginia.

Which means?

Which means that although he’ll have only 46 votes in the new Congress to call his own, Mitch McConnell will find that no fewer than nine Democrats are willing–perhaps even eager–to work with him.

12 Oct 2010

“Atlas Shrugged” Becomes an Issue in Wisconsin Senate Debate

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The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports on the latest manifestation of the influence of Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel on contemporary American politics.

U.S. Senate candidates Ron Johnson and U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold clashed sharply Monday night on Ayn Rand’s famous novel “Atlas Shrugged,” about an economy crumbling under the weight of government intrusion and regulations. …

While the two went back and forth on issues such as the economy, Social Security, the health care law and the war in Afghanistan, the most spirited discussion came from a book that was written in 1957 and remains popular among some conservatives and people who espouse limited government.

Rand’s book describes a dystopian America where the leading innovators leave society out of frustration with rules and regulations. It is a book that Johnson says he admires and has been a driving force in his political philosophy.

Asked by a panelist about the book, Johnson said “Atlas” represents the producers of the world, while “Shrugged” represents how overburdened the producers are with rules, regulations and taxes.

“It’s a warning of what could happen to America,” Johnson said. “When you hear people talk about a tipping point, that’s what we’re concerned about. . . . We have more people who are net beneficiaries of government than are actually paying into the system. That’s a very serious thing to think about.”

“I believe in the community,” Feingold responded. “I believe in the community of Wisconsin. . . . You believe the producers are a very special group of people. I guess they’re better than the rest of us. When things aren’t going their way, you take the position that people shouldn’t have unemployment compensation because you have the view they don’t want to work.”

Johnson said he wasn’t against the minimum wage and the extension of unemployment benefits. He said the fact that Feingold was talking about that showed that the stimulus bill was a failure.

“The last thing we should be doing is increase taxes on anybody in this recovery,” Johnson said.

After the debate, Feingold said Johnson “had a very narrow view of who actually does the work in society. I think everybody is working hard.”

It sounds a lot like Hank Reardon debating Wesley Mouch.

20 Jul 2010

Death Panel Chief Berwick To Go Before the Senate

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Barack Obama reversed course and put Donald Berwick up for Senate confirmation after all today, after having had him sworn in as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid via a recess appointment.

When asked why, an Administration spokesman told reporters, it was just a formality. They aren’t fooling anyone. This is a clear signal that the White House believes that they are going to lose the Senate in November and the best possible chance of confirmation is right now.

22 Jun 2010

You Heard the Lady, Senators, Bork Her Thoroughly

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Elena Kagan says (in a speech at Case Western Reserve in 1997) she “loved what happened in the Bork hearings… The Bork hearings were great, the Bork hearings were educational. The Bork hearings were the best thing that ever happened to Constitutional Democracy.”

0:19 video

From Breitbart via Glenn Reynolds.

20 Feb 2010

“It’s Back!”

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After the monster is finally dispatched in the dramatic climax of the conventional exemplar of Hollywood’s scary movie genre, when the nerves of the mass audience begin to relax, pulse rates slowdown, and theater-goers are expecting the final credits to arrive any moment on the screen, it has become traditional for directors to have a little fun by confounding expectations, setting aside all considerations of plausibility, and having the recently slain monster come right back to life and attack (and be dispatched) all over again.

One of the most impressive riffs on this by-now only too familiar trope is performed by Jon Voight, playing a murderous hunter in Anaconda (1997). Voight’s Paul Sarone comes a cropper, winding up in the coils of the giant anaconda. He is squeezed until his bones audibly break, and then ingested while the audience gets a view right down the alimentary passage of the giant reptile. We think we’ve seen the last of the heartless and relentless Sarone, but no, moments later, the snake regurgitates the villain, all covered with digestive juices, who –in one of trash cinema’s moments of genius, proceeds to wink at a truly horrified Jennifer Lopez.

2:14 (Spanish-subtitled) video

It appears that, in the same unappetizing style of curtain call made well known by Jon Voight, the health care bill may be coming back.

New York Times:

President Obama will put forward comprehensive health care legislation intended to bridge differences between Senate and House Democrats ahead of a summit meeting with Republicans next week, senior administration officials and Congressional aides said Thursday.

Democratic officials said the president’s proposal was being written so that it could be attached to a budget bill as a way of averting a Republican filibuster in the Senate. The procedure, known as budget reconciliation, would let Democrats advance the bill with a simple majority rather than a 60-vote supermajority.

Congressional Democrats, however, have not yet seen the proposal or signed on.

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I don’t agree one bit with Ezra Klein‘s claim of the public option being popular in the country, but here you see what the democrat party left is telling itself as it winks (from its current moribund position) at a horrified American voting public.

What you’re seeing here are the weird politics of the public option at play. It’s popular in the country. It’s wildly popular among the base. It’s the subject of obsessive interest in the media. There is little downside to supporting it publicly, huge downside to opposing it, and no one is allowed to ignore the issue, or even take a few days to see where the votes are.

But it’s divisive on the Hill. Bringing it back energizes all the narratives that Democrats fear most: That they’re cutting secret deals without Republicans in the room, that they’re building an extremist bill, that health-care reform is a government takeover. And this is all happening without 60 votes in the Senate or even certainty of simple majorities in the Congress. Democrats have spent the last month in a state of agonized confusion, and just as matters were clarifying, now this battle threatens to start up again.

No one I’ve spoken to — even when they support the public option — thinks that its reemergence is good news for health-care reform. It won’t be present in the package that the White House will unveil Monday. Everyone seems to be hoping this bubble will be short-lived.

But it might not be. The media is talking about it, liberals are organizing around it, none of the major actors feels politically capable of playing executioner, and Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson don’t have the power to do the job on their own. As of now, the strategy only has 20 or so supporters, and it’ll need at least another 20 or 25 to really be viable. But if it gets there, White House and Senate leadership are going to have some hard calls to make.

So, there you are. The democrat party base sees no downside, in ramming through a health care bill opposed by 58% of the American public via an unprecedented ultra-partisan maneuver around the conventional rules and procedures of the United States Senate.

It remains to be seen whether the parliamentarian of the Senate will permit the de facto elimination of the filibuster, and it is probably not altogether certain that Reid can muster even the 51 votes he would need to take that ultra-radical step.

If the democrats have the hubris to do all this, well, we will see just how well they like being in the minority in a Republican-controlled Senate with no filibuster. The first thing we should do is to repeal Obamacare, and kill the monster of socialism permanently and for the last time.

20 Nov 2009

Here They Come

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Don Troiani, Bunker Hill

From Gateway Pundit:

Senate Democrats will only deliberate 10 hours on Saturday before they vote to nationalize one-sixth of the US economy.

The bill will nationalize the nation’s health care industry, increase costs, ration care, tax cosmetic surgery, cut Medicare, charge a monthly abortion fee, and take away your freedom.

Please take time tomorrow and Saturday to call your US Senator.

HERE IS THE PHONE LIST.

Don’t let the democrats destroy our health care system.

Support for this disastrous bill is down to 40% with 52% opposing.


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