Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Kerry Wants U.S. to Honor Communist

John Kerry is at it again. Instead of submitting REAL legislation, he has sponsored a "resolution" to honor someone. This time it is to honor the memory of "a notorious Communist and rabid anti-American".

As sponsor of a resolution that would have the Senate honor the late W.E.B. Du Bois, Kerry is promoting a man who was fervently anti-American, a member of the Soviet-dominated Communist Party, and twice ejected from the NAACP for his opposition to racial integration.

Apparently Kerry still doesn't get it. He doesn't realize, or doesn't care, that he wasn't elected by the people of Massachusetts to submit 1 or 2 resolutions a year. Isn't he supposed to be sponsoring legislation to help his constituents? I suppose that when he runs again in 2008 and this comes up as one of the few things he did while in office, he will try to spin it as support for an African-American historical figure. (BTW - One of the co-sponsors of the resolution is Senator Ted Kennedy, who has already stated that Kerry has his support in '08.)

I guess this resolution ("support for African-Americans"), plus his co-sponsoring of Hillary's felon voting rights bill ("protecting the voting rights of the disenfranchised"), his recent visit to SYRIA ("diplomacy") and his public statements about everything he thinks President Bush is doing wrong is just part of his grand plan for his 2008 bid for the Presidency.

Teresa Heinz (she dropped the -Kerry from her name since her husband failed to win the election) is aiding him in her usual fashion, making outrageious accusations about the legitimacy of last year's election.

"Two brothers own 80 percent of the machines used in the United States," Heinz told a lunch for Seattle Rep. Adam Smith on Saturday, referring to the brothers as "hard right" Republicans.

She argued that it is "very easy to hack into the mother machines," in quotes picked up by the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Are these people just clueless, or do they really think that most Americans are that forgetful or that stupid?

Of course, it would be interesting to see Kerry and Clinton duke it out for the nomination in '08, don't you think?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Should the filibuster rule be changed?

Over the past two years, the Democrats have done something unprecedented. They have filibustered President Bush's judicial nominees. The result is that many of these nominees have not been confirmed despite the fact that a majority of US Senators are on record as supporting their confirmation.

These nomination fights have generated discussion regarding proposed changes to US Senate rules. The Wall Street Journal writes
The idea is that if the Democrats filibuster another nominee, Majority Leader Bill Frist would ask for a ruling from the Senate's presiding officer that under Rule XXII only a simple majority vote is needed to end debate on judicial nominations. Assuming 51 Members concur--and GOP nose-counters say they have the votes--the Senate would then move to an up-or-down floor vote.
One thing that should be pointed out is that the filibuster rule, the rule that says 60 votes are needed in order to end debate, is not in the United States Constitution. The Constitution describes instances where a super-majority vote is required (defeating a Presidential veto, passing a Constitutional Amendment, ratifying a treaty, etc...). But in all other instances it is assumed that a simple majority is sufficient.

Personally, I don't believe that the filibuster has served our nation well over the years. One could argue that African-Americans might have been able to exercise their civil rights several years earlier if the US Senate did not have filibuster rules. And in today's extremely polarized political environment, it seems that the filibuster guarantees inaction on important issues. In any case, the changes some Republicans are hoping to make to the filibuster rule would only affect judicial, and perhaps cabinet, nominees. I think they should make the rule change by a simple majority vote and ignore what I believe is the unconstitutional Senate rule that says it takes a 2/3rds vote to change a Senate rule.