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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, September 30, 2005

The Evil Green Eye...

After lauding him, and pressing the Democrats to vote in favor of the man—based on his high qualifications—the WaPo today does an editorial on Chief Justice Roberts. And one only needs to read the opening paragraphs to know what the paper’s problem is. Seemingly, it sounds like they might be a bit jealous. (Hat-Tip: Wide Awake Cafe)


John G. Roberts Jr. is breathing the kind of air that the rest of us can only dream about, the air of kings and queens and one-name celebrities like Oprah.

He's got Mick Jagger juice now, baby.

They're the folks who possess that rarest of powers -- they've got a job for life. Roberts is right up there with the pope in terms of job security. That is, as long as he lives up to the Constitution's demand of "good behavior."

After being sworn in yesterday afternoon as the nation's 17th chief justice, Roberts said he planned to show up at the office today. But if he doesn't, there's not a thing anybody can do about it. The media might fuss and others might grumble, but that would be it. It would take an act of Congress to fire the guy.

If he wants to take a break every Thursday morning to play tennis -- as his mentor and predecessor, the late William Rehnquist, did -- no problem. The only clock he's got to punch for the rest of his life is his own. And, as so many senators liked to point out during the recent confirmation hearings, Roberts is just 50, the youngest chief justice in two centuries. If he does play tennis weekly -- or golf, or whatever -- and eats well, there's a good chance that Roberts will outlast at least four presidents.

What’s the matter? The WaPo guys don’t get adequate vacation time? Please. I seriously doubt that Chief Justice Roberts will be lax in his duties to the high court. He certainly wasn’t when it came to the DC Court of Appeals. He was a consummate professional, and always did his best.

It’s amazing how quickly the tides turn. The man was sworn in yesterday, and today the WaPo decides to take swipes at him. Yes, they have a point, albeit small. There is precious little that can be done to the man to remove him. The standard of "good Behaviour" that is enumerated under Article III is one that has been misinterpreted by many people, including Congress.

I take that standard for what the Framers believed it to be. That is, one does their job appropriately and exceptionally, or they don’t have a job any longer. Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer have opted, in recent years, to inject foreign law into their reasonings and decisions. For me, personally, that does not fall under the standard stated in Article III. The justices involved in striking down our property rights in Kelo also did not follow that standard.

We do not remove justices (and to my knowledge, only one judge has ever been impeached) because they decide to play tennis or golf. I have never even seen a lawyer chastised for their recreational habits. So, why is the WaPo doing this now, especially after hyping the new Chief? Again, I can only draw the conclusion that some little moonbat at the paper is jealous. Maybe it’s because he/she failed to get their vacation, or it was cut short. Maybe it’s because they had to pay for it this year. Or maybe they lost their membership to their favorite country club. Honestly, folks, who cares why?

The fact of the matter is that they went back to the "business as usual" status quo. But the one thing they won’t be able to deny is that the new Chief will end up working harder and smarter than the snipey moonbats at the WaPo. And that’s the fact that, more than likely, really sticks in their craw. And a little tidbit for the WaPo: Roberts is better and smarter than Oprah. That was a bad comparison. And based on Jagger's history and career, I doubt Roberts is indulging in the juice that Jagger used to imbibe.

Publius II

Thursday, September 29, 2005

A Small Bragging Point...

We aren’t ones to boast about such things, but we’re patting ourselves on the back today. We opened this site in March (yes, I know the archives show January, but we didn’t start posting until March) and even then we weren’t sure we could keep it going. As Hugh Hewitt tutors: Bloggers blog everyday. Sure, we’ve missed a day here and there, but we’re busy, too.

I spend a lot of time involved in my studies. Thomas works, and continues his own private studies free of any classroom. He handles the majority of the work on the site, and a majority of our research. This post will be out 416th post, which averages out to two posts a day. Many people know that on certain days, we put up numerous posts as news permits. Four hundred sixteen posts later, we are finally over the 5000 hit mark.

In blogging terms, 5000 hits isn’t a lot. The elites in the blogosphere average thousands of hits per day. We’re still small potatoes. We’ll probably always be small fish in the big pond. But we’re not deterred. We have our readers, and they appreciate our views and wisdom in the world of politics, law, and current events. And we can never forget our readers; without YOU, we don’t exist.

So, yes. We are patting each other on the back for a job well done, thus far. The future looks bright. But above all, we owe this success to you, our readers. Here’s to the first 5000 hits, and to many more in the future. Have a rum and coke, and celebrate with us. ;)

The Bunny ;) & Publius II

ADDENDUM: We're not ones to overlook certain things. This is a post, not just a bragging point. We noticed AOL's welcome page today where they cite "A Bad Week For Republicans." I'm left scratching my head over this supposed news story. And I'm sure a good majority of our readers are wondering what I'm talking about.

Frist is indeed being probed right now. There is no doubt in that, and there are reasons for the government to launch the probe. DeLay was indicted, however the indictment is vague, and for the most part, baseless. So, for the GOP leadership in Congress, it has been a pretty rough week.

However, today the top GOP leader--President George W. Bush--stood behind Chief Justice John G. Roberts as Roberts addressed those assembled after he took his oath of office. This is a victory for our side this week, and should dwarf anything happening to either Frist or DeLay.Chief Justice Roberts will take his seat with his fellow justices this coming Monday as the Supreme Court reconvenes for it's new session. He will be the one with the gold stripes on his sleeve, and hopefully he will helm the Court through the muddy waters it has created in years past. Hopefully, this is where the Supreme Court cuts out a majority of it's activism.

Regardless of whether he can steer the Supreme Court away from activism, he will serve the court with humility, poise, and precision. He would bring a smile to his mentor's face had Chief Justice Rehnquist lived to see him make the court. And personally, Thomas and I hope he gives Ginsburg, Breyer, Stevens, Kennedy, and Souter absolute fits.

Partisan Bias Equals Ethical Shenanigans

As I pointed out yesterday, Tom DeLay has been indicted in Texas on an all-encompassing, non-specific charge of criminal conspiracy. The WaPo today also deals with this issue. (Hat-tip: Captain's Quarters.)



Nonetheless, at least on the evidence presented so far, the indictment of Mr. DeLay by a state prosecutor in Texas gives us pause. The charge concerns the activities of Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), a political action committee created by Mr. DeLay and his aides to orchestrate the GOP's takeover of the Texas legislature in 2002. The issue is whether Mr. DeLay and his political aides illegally used the group to evade the state's ban on corporate contributions to candidates. The indictment alleges that TRMPAC took $155,000 in corporate contributions and then sent a check for $190,000 to the national Republican Party's "soft money" arm. The national committee then wrote $190,000 in checks from its noncorporate accounts to seven Texas candidates. Perhaps most damning, TRMPAC dictated the precise amount and recipients of those donations.

This was an obvious end run around the corporate contribution rule. The more difficult question is whether it was an illegal end run -- or, to be more precise, one so blatantly illegal that it amounts to a criminal felony rather than a civil violation. For Mr. DeLay to be convicted, prosecutors will have to show not only that he took part in the dodge but also that he knew it amounted to a violation of state law -- rather than the kind of clever money-trade that election lawyers engineer all the time.
What is even better, and hits back at Ronnie Earle, the DA who brought the indictment to begin with. Is what the WaPo admits. That is that the Democrats played the same game in that election cycle, as well.

The only problem is that similar transactions are conducted by both parties in many states, including Texas. In fact, on October 31, 2002, the Texas Democratic Party sent the Democratic National Committee (DNC) $75,000, and on the same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $75,000. On July 19, 2001, the Texas Democratic Party sent the DNC $50,000 and, again on the same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $60,000. On June 8, 2001, the Texas Democratic Party sent the DNC $50,000. That very same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $60,000.

So, if the Democrats were doing it too, and Ronnie Earle is as outraged as he claims to be, then why isn’t he going after the Democrat Party, as well? Simply put, this is a partisan witch-hunt. Ronnie Earle has been a Democrat Party hack for many years, including going after an in-state rival on bribery charges. He went after Kay Bailey Hutchinson, as well, for battery and a number of other trumped up charges. The charges were later dropped by Earle himself.

But Earle has his own problems that, quite frankly, I am surprised he is still able to practice law, or is not sitting in jail. He has violated the Canon of Ethics in the way he has conducted himself. He has filed charges against corporations, then told them he would drop the charges if they contribute to his little political groups. That, ladies and gentlemen, amounts to extortion, which IS a felony the last time I checked.

Lawyers often serve as legislators or as holders of other public offices. This is highly desirable, as lawyers are uniquely qualified to make significant contributions to the improvement of the legal system. A lawyer who is a public officer, whether full or part-time, should not engage in activities in which his personal or professional interests are or foreseeably may be in conflict with his official duties.

Again, the above comes from EC-8-8 of the Canon of Legal Ethics. They say that Tom DeLay’s nickname is "The Hammer." I beg to differ. One only need to look at the actions of Ronnie Earle to see what a hammer is like, or is it more like a moronic bull in a china shop? The only thing the Left can hang it’s proverbial hat on is that DeLay is not in their way in the House right now. No, they have to contend with David Dreier, who may not be Tom DeLay, but he is still a thorn in their side.

If Tom DeLay did break the law, then he should face the music. If he did engage in money-laundering, which is what Earle is alleging in his indictment, though that charge is not mentioned explicitly, then he should be drummed out of the House. Screw losing the leadership position. However, thus far, none of that is evident, and even further, the opposition party in similar tactics. Needless to say, I am skeptical over the charges. Especially those made by an active operative of the Democrat Party.

It is almost a guarantee that the Democrats will have a field day with this. The fur is already flying in Congress as Democrats have taken careful aim at DeLay. Perception is reality, and the Democrats are doing a good job of painting over the reality of the situation. The charge "money laundering" has been thrown out a number of times, and that charge is nowhere within the indictment. And the media is fanning the flames.

And Mark Levin weighed in on this. Levin, as people know, is a conservative radio host out of New York. He is also a superb lawyer with a keen mind for the Constitution. (Quote courtesy of Michelle Malkin.)


Here's my first take on this indictment (I've only read the indictment and nothing more for now): The indictment is three pages in length. Other than a statement that "one or more" of 3 individuals, including Tom DeLay, entered into an illegal conspiracy, I can't find a single sentence tying Tom DeLay to a crime. That is, there's not a single sentence tying DeLay to the contribution. The indictment describes the alleged conduct of two other individuals, but nothing about DeLay. You would think if Ronnie Earle had even a thin reed of testimony linking DeLay to the contribution, it would have been noted in the indictment to justify the grand jury's action. Moreover, not only is there no information about DeLay committing acts in furtherance of a conspiracy, there's no information about DeLay entering into a conspiracy. I honestly believe that unless there's more, this is an egregious abuse of prosecutorial power. It's a disgrace. I understand that not everything has to be contained in an indictment, but how about something!

I stand by my contention yesterday that this will be over soon. DeLay will have the charges dropped on him shortly, and he will be back in the House. Whether he retains his leadership position upon his return is a subject to be dealt with by the GOP in the House. But for sure, the Democrats are going to rack up as much damage as they can to DeLay and the GOP.

The Bunny ;)

Gov. Blanco Goes To Washington, With Tin Cup In Hand

From the Washington Times...(Hat-tip: Wide Awake Cafe and Michelle Malkin)...Commentary thrown in for free ;).


Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, blamed by the former leader of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin for many of the city's post-hurricane problems, was given no questions about her response to Hurricane Katrina when she appeared before a Senate committee to plead for more federal money.

She asked not to be questioned about it and the senators agreed.

That was a stupid move. There are questions galore for this woman, and Mayor Nagin is not above the scrutiny either. He ordered the evacuation of New Orleans just a few short hours prior to Katrina making landfall, then climbed on board a helicopter, and flew to Houston.

Mrs. Blanco, a Democrat, was invited by the Senate Finance Committee to respond to charges by former FEMA Director Michael D. Brown, who the day before called Louisiana officials "dysfunctional" in handling the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"Today, I came really to talk about job creation," she said.

Read this as: We Need More Money. There should not be one single dime handed over until the proper checks are in place to keep an eye on the state government, and how they spend our money. And an investigation needs to be launched. We, the people, need to know how the state screwed up, and why. I am not spinning this. FEMA Director Brown has some culpability in this, but the majority of the blame—99% of it—falls on the shoulders of those in the state of Louisiana.

Later, she told reporters, "The facts will speak for themselves. I will tell our story when the time is appropriate."

In other words, she wants to be able to get her facts straight, and her spin straight before she comes out and gives her sad sob story. I get the distinct feeling she will come clean with her story when she is on the ropes. She is not there yet; she has taken a couple of good blows, but the investigation may prove to be the knockout punch.

Mr. Brown, who resigned from FEMA under a hail of criticism, testified Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the response to Katrina and blamed Mrs. Blanco and Mr. Nagin for the slow reaction to the flooding and devastation to the city.

He was questioned sharply by committee members of both parties. Rep. Christopher Shays, Connecticut Republican, called Mr. Brown "clueless."

And Chris Shays would know clueless, as he looks at a clueless person every morning in the mirror.

Republican senators at yesterday's hearing by the Finance Committee -- Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, Trent Lott of Mississippi, Olympia J. Snow of Maine, Jon Kyl of Arizona, Craig Thomas of Wyoming, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Bill Frist of Tennessee, Gordon H. Smith of Oregon, Jim Bunning of Kentucky and Michael D. Crapo of Idaho -- agreed to Mrs. Blanco's request not to discuss her performance after the hurricane.

I am a bit miffed by this. Kyl is my senator. Santorum could easily become Senate Majority Leader should Frist be forced to step down during his SEC inquiry. (This, I doubt, but Santorum does have the cajones to run the Senate the way it should be run.) I would have expected both of them to throw out a question or two for the governor. Instead, the Finance Committee sat on it’s hands, and gave her free reign of the microphone.

Instead, she devoted her appearance to pleading for help to rebuild businesses and creating jobs in Louisiana. She said Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had wiped out a third of the state's economy.

"It's very important to have incentives for our workers to return, and in order to do that, we have to have incentives for business to return," Mrs. Blanco said, asking specifically for business tax write-offs for new investments, low-interest bonds for business borrowing and emergency business loans.

The Congress has already given the people a tax-break. I am sure one is on the way for the businesses in Louisiana. Congress may be dim at times, but they are not stupid. They know that they will have to help Louisiana get back on it’s feet. As a matter of fact, the Stanton Act from the late 1980’s makes it mandatory for the federal government to pick up as much as 75% of the tab for rebuilding. As Uncle Sugar makes no money, it will be our money going for this.

"Katrina and Rita brought our people and our economy to its knees," she said. "These storms knocked us down, but they didn't knock us out. And with your help and support, we will come back stronger and more prosperous than before."

Oh yes. Just hand her a check, and she will go home, and deal with her problems. That is until she gets home, and starts doling out the money to her cronies. A little here and a little there. The status quo will be kept, and she will be back in DC in a matter of months asking for more. This sort of game has gone on long enough in Louisiana.

The governors of two other states hit by Katrina -- Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Gov. Bob Riley of Alabama -- testified before the committee via closed circuit television. The committee is considering legislation that would provide tax incentives, health care aid and other financial assistance to the Gulf states devastated by the two storms.

Did I not just state that above? I thought I did. Does Gov. Blanco not pay attention to the news in DC regarding the hurricanes? Does she not know that Congress approved of 60 million dollars in emergency aid the day after Katrina. If she is this dense and incompetent, it would be advisable that the people toss her out of office on her ear.

The White House and committee members disagree over details of a health care package backed by Mr. Grassley and Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the top Democrat on the panel. The legislation would ease eligibility requirements for storm victims for the Medicaid program for the poor, and provide federal assistance to help displaced workers maintain private insurance coverage.

The federal government would pay the full cost of Medicaid for disaster victims even though those costs are usually shared by the states. The White House said this week that it opposes the legislation. This appeared to anger the committee.

"We can work with everybody, including the administration, or against them, and I'm prepared to go either way," Mr. Lott said.

Mr. Grassley said he was prepared to hold up other legislation backed by the administration to get the health care bill passed. "It's just ludicrous that this bill can't move," he said.

What Sens. Grassley and Lott have forgotten is that such costs are still taken care of by the state as well as the federal government. And thus far, I am hearing a lot about spending money, and little about how they will keep an eye on how it is spent. Sen. Landrieu introduced a bill calling for 250 billion dollars in federal assistance to Louisiana, and very little is going for the rebuilding of New Orleans and other Louisiana cities ravaged by Katrina. The link below will take readers to where they can read what Sen. Landrieu has requested money for. And they say the highway bill had pork in it.


Point being is that I see Gov. Blanco coming to DC with a tin cup in her hand, and I see no way to hold the state accountable for the funds they are requesting. It is not that I do not feel for the evacuees, and the Gulf Coast, but it is my money—our money—going for this. Louisiana has a history of being a bottomless rat-hole when it comes to federal dollars. All I ask is for a full accounting of the relief package. If the money is misspent, the next time something like Katrina comes ashore, we may be right back in this boat again.

The Bunny ;)

OYEZ! OYEZ! Hail To The New Chief Justice!

Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, we have our 17th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. By a vote of 78-22 (close to my prediction of 79-21 I gave last week), he was confirmed by the Senate.

Chief Justice Roberts will serve his mentor well on the high court, and it’s the first step taken in this war. Step #2 comes with the president’s next nominee. We’re on record here with our short list, and we’re crossing our fingers that J. Michael Luttig will be the next nominee. Below is the way the Democrats voted. At this point, Evan Bayh can no longer be called a moderate. He is firmly in the camp of the Left.

(Note: The years next to each person is the year they face reelection. This cannot be tossed aside. Many of these yes votes are strategic; these Democrats want to look as though they support the president. We shall see when nominee #2 comes up.)

Democrats voting Yes:

Max Baucus of Montana (2008)
Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico (2006)
Robert Byrd of West Virginia (2006)
Kent Conrad of North Dakota (2006)
Russ Feingold of Wisconsin (2010)
Tim Johnson of South Dakota (2008)
Herb Kohl of Wisconsin (2006)
Mary Landrieu of Louisiana (2008)
Patrick Leahy of Vermont (2010)
Ben Nelson of Nebraska (2006)
Bill Nelson of Florida (2006)
Mark Pryor of Arkansas (2008)
Ken Salazar of Colorado (2010)
Christopher Dodd of Connecticut (2010)
Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut (2006)

Byron Dorgan of North Dakota (2010)
Carl Levin of Michigan (2008)
Ron Wyden of Oregon (2010)
Tom Carper of Delaware (2006)
Patty Murray of Washington (2010)
Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas (2010)
James Jeffords (I) of Vermont (2006)
Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia (2008)

Democrats voting no:

Evan Bayh of Indiana (2010)
Joseph Biden of Delaware (2008)
Barbara Boxer of California (2010)
Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York (2006)
Jon Corzine of New Jersey (2006)
Mark Dayton of Minnesota (2006)
Dick Durbin of Illinois (2008)
Dianne Feinstein of California (2006)
Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts (2006)
John Kerry of Massachusetts (2008)
Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey (2008)
Barbara Mikulski of Maryland (2010)
Barack Obama of Illinois (2010)
Harry Reid of Nevada (2010)
Charles Schumer of New York (2010)
Debbie Stabenow of Michigan (2006)
Jack Reed of Rhode Island (2008)
Tom Harkin of Iowa (2008)
Daniel Inouye of Hawaii (2010)
Paul Sarbanes of Maryland (2006)
Maria Cantwell of Washington (2006)
Daniel Akaka of Hawaii (2006)

Now, as I stated above, those voting yes probably voted that way from a strategic point-of-view. They know that when it comes time for reelection, voting in favor of the new Chief Justice could help them in their bid to win back their seat. Now, those that voted no are going to spin their vote. They’re going to carp about how they felt the man was a danger to the Constitution, and that he was not forthcoming with his answers.

It doesn’t matter how they spin it. An opponent should bring up this vote. They should point to what Chief Justice Roberts said in his confirmation, and the fact that he was as forthcoming as he could be. A judge can’t tip his hand to how he will rule on this subject, or that subject. To do so would be a violation of the legal Canon of Ethics. These fools know better.

Next up will be the president’s second nominee. That nominee is expected to be announced early next week. We’re crossing our fingers her at the Asylum that the president will throw down the gauntlet, and nominate a solid Constitutionally-minded jurist to take O’Connor’s seat.

Publius II

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Talk About Grasping At Straws

Rep. Tom DeLay was hit with an indictment from the State of Texas today. The charge? Criminal conspiracy. Travis County DA, Ronnie Earle, convinced a grand jury of knowing malfeasance on Rep. DeLay’s part, and the indictment was handed down.

A Texas grand jury indicted House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) yesterday on a charge of criminally conspiring with two political associates to inject illegal corporate contributions into 2002 state elections that helped the Republican Party reorder the congressional map in Texas and cement its control of the House in Washington.

The criminal indictment forced DeLay, one of the Republicans' most powerful leaders and fundraisers, to step aside under party rules barring such posts to those accused of criminal conduct. House Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the third-ranking leader, was elected by Republican House members yesterday afternoon to fill the spot temporarily after conservatives threatened a revolt against another candidate considered by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).

Although the indictment had been rumored for weeks among top Republicans, based on what several described as a difficult meeting in August between DeLay and the Texas prosecutor behind the case, it shook the GOP political establishment and posed new problems for the party as it heads into the midterm elections next year.

DeLay bitterly denounced the charge as baseless and defiantly called the prosecutor, Ronnie Earle, "an unabashed partisan zealot" engaging in "personal revenge" because DeLay helped elect a Republican majority to the Texas House in 2002. "I have the facts, the law and the truth on my side," DeLay said, reading from a prepared statement, before declining to answer questions.

But the indictment, which comes after three rebukes of DeLay in 2004 by the House ethics committee on unrelated matters, poses a major political problem for the 58-year-old Bush administration loyalist, 11-term congressman, and self-described champion of free enterprise and deregulation. DeLay also faces a likely inquiry by the House ethics committee into a series of foreign trips he took that were initially partly paid for by lobbyists.

The indictment specifically alleges that DeLay, who helped organize the Texas political committee at the heart of the charge, participated in a conspiracy to funnel corporate money into the 2002 state election "with the intent that a felony be committed."

Using corporate funds for state election purposes has long been illegal in Texas, as it is in 17 other states. Earle's probe of the contributions began after 17 Republicans who received the committee's funds were elected, giving the party control of the Texas House for the first time in 130 years. One year later, following a roadmap that DeLay and his political aides drafted from Washington, the Texas House approved a sweeping reorganization of the state's congressional district map meant to favor Republicans.

Then, in 2004, five more Texas Republicans were elected to Congress, enlarging the Republican majority in the House .

The facts of one of the central transactions at issue in the case -- the transfer in September 2002 to an arm of the Republican National Committee in Washington of $190,000 in corporate funds collected by the committee in Texas and the subsequent donation by the RNC arm of $190,000 to seven Texas House candidates on Oct. 4, 2002 -- have never been in dispute.

Earle has long alleged that this transfer was intended to circumvent the Texas law. A copy of the relevant check from the Texas committee has been in his hands for more than a year, and he has repeatedly said the committee supplied the RNC with a list showing which Texas candidates should eventually be paid the funds.

Some evidence collected in a related civil case has pointed to heavy involvement by DeLay in the operations of the Texas committee. Its start-up was financed by a transfer of corporate funds from his leadership fund. He was a member of the Texas committee's advisory board in 2001 and 2002, participated in its strategizing, appeared at its fundraisers, and signed its solicitations. He also attended dinners with corporate donors that agreed to contribute tens of thousands of dollars to it; his fundraisers recorded the favors that donors sought.

But DeLay has long denied participating in its day-to-day operations and said that its activities were vetted by lawyers. As a result, the key question in Washington and Austin has been whether DeLay knew about the $190,000 transactions -- an allegation that lawyers say could be proved only by documentary evidence, such as an e-mail, or in grand jury testimony by one of those involved.

DA Earle has a lot to prove against DeLay, or like his case against Rep. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, it will be dismissed. Both Thomas and I have read the indictment, which presents nothing against Rep. DeLay. This is hearsay and innuendo. None of it can be proven. Consequently, DA Earle has had an ax to grind against Rep. DeLay for years. And he has used it in a extremely partisan fashion. He even went so far as to use his political ax in a Democrat fundraising campaign.

Captain Ed points out that the ABA has stated that DA Earle has violated three areas of the Canon of Ethics. Those are as follows:

(A) A lawyer participating in or associated with the investigation of a criminal matter shall not make or participate in making an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication and that does more than state without elaboration:
(1) Information contained in a public record.
(2) That the investigation is in progress.
(3) The general scope of the investigation including a description of the offense and, if permitted by law, the identity of the victim.
(4) A request for assistance in apprehending a suspect or assistance in other matters and the information necessary thereto.

(5) A warning to the public of any dangers.

(B) A lawyer or law firm associated with the prosecution or defense of a criminal matter shall not, from the time of the filing of a complaint, information, or indictment, the issuance of an arrest warrant, or arrest until the commencement of the trial or disposition without trial, make or participate in making an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication and that relates to:
(1) The character, reputation, or prior criminal record (including arrests, indictments, or other charges of crime) of the accused.

Above was clause DR7-107, Section A and B (1) of legal ethics. Below is Clause EC-8-8. The link to the Canon of Ethics is below.

Lawyers often serve as legislators or as holders of other public offices. This is highly desirable, as lawyers are uniquely qualified to make significant contributions to the improvement of the legal system. A lawyer who is a public officer, whether full or part-time, should not engage in activities in which his personal or professional interests are or foreseeably may be in conflict with his official duties.


Michelle Malkin put down her two cents in an e-mail she received from Barbara Comstock, a former Dept. Of Justice official who commented on the affair in the following:

Neither the RNC nor RNSEC constitute a political party under Texas election law. They are considered PACs, just as the DNC is.

Corporations in Texas could have legally made contributions to the RNC or RNSEC during the period in question under Texas election law.

There was no violation of the Texas Election Code. There was no conspiracy. The underlying transaction was legal. Had corporations sent money directly to the RNC or RNSEC, the transaction would be legal. How could anyone conspire to do indirectly what could legally have been done directly?

In short, DA Earle does not have a leg to stand on, and my very well be risking his career on a witch-hunt. This hunt is now at a crescendo, and he may not be able to stop it aside from dropping Rep. DeLay from the indictment. Now, I am not a kool-aid drinker here, so I will state this as plainly and precisely as I possibly can: IF (and that is a big "if" right now) Rep. DeLay broke the law, he should be tried and convicted just like anyone else would be. NO ONE is above the law.

However, were I on DeLay’s legal team, I would call attention to the handling of DA Earle’s case. I would draw the attention of the judge, and have him do a careful review of the facts surrounding the indictment. At this point, there are no hard, solid facts. Rep. DeLay faces circumstantial evidence, at best. Concocted evidence, at worst. I expect that Rep. DeLay will be exonerated soon enough, and back in the House driving the Left nuts.

The Bunny ;)

And Johnny Goes Marching On...

I don’t like John McCain. I trust him even less. Marcie and I live in Arizona, and see how this two-faced ass keeps getting reelected by a foolish voting populace. He reminds me mof Sen. Ted Kennedy, only not as liberal as the Massachusetts swim coach. McCain’s an opportunist, but his true colors showed during last year’s election. He simultaneously praised the president, especially on the war, then when the president wasn’t around, he’d criticize the war effort. McCain, the ever-hungry-for-MSM-attention whore that he is, met with Mother Sheehan.

WASHINGTON - Peace mom Cindy Sheehan didn't change her opposition to the war in Iraq after meeting Tuesday with one of its supporters, Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam veteran whom she called "a warmonger."

Sheehan thanked McCain for meeting with her, but she came away disappointed.

"He tried to tell us what George Bush would have said," Sheehan, who protested at the president's Texas home over the summer, told reporters. "I don't believe he believes what he was telling me."

McCain, R-Ariz., also seemed disappointed in the meeting, which he said had been misrepresented as including some of his constituents. Only one person in her small delegation has ties to the state, and that person no longer lives there.

The two exchanged views about the war, and McCain described the conversation as "a rehash" of opinions already well known. He said he might not have met with Sheehan had he known none of his constituents was in the group.
Although McCain has criticized the handling of the Iraq war, he has supported President Bush's call to stop terrorism abroad before it reaches the U.S. Sheehan, whose son, Casey, died in Iraq last year, has energized the anti-war movement with her call for troops to be brought home.

"He is a warmonger, and I'm not," Sheehan said after meeting with McCain. "I believe this war is not keeping America safer."

"She's entitled to her opinion," McCain said. "We just have fundamental disagreements."

Sheehan's conference with McCain was one of several scheduled this week as part of her campaign to persuade members of Congress to explain the reasons for the war. She spoke before a massive anti-war rally Saturday on the National Mall and was arrested Monday demonstrating in front of the White House.

Sheehan and McCain had met once before, shortly after the funeral of her son. Sheehan said Tuesday that McCain told her then that her son's death was "like his buddies in Vietnam" and that he feared their deaths were "for nothing." McCain, however, denied he made such a statement.

Later, Sheehan cut short her appearance at the University of Maryland, leaving a rally after about 10 minutes.
Karen Pomer, a spokeswoman for Sheehan, said, "She's exhausted and she's not feeling well, but she intends to meet her obligations."

B-O-O H-O-O. Please. Enough already. This woman is irrelevant, and a partisan whore of the Left-wing moonbat societies. And McCain’s meeting with her shows his true colors, too. He can say that this was about meeting with constituents, but us smart people know better. This wasn’t about meeting with a grieving, upset mother. This was about getting his name in the papers, on the TV, and showing everyone that he cares. Uh huh. Clinton cared, too. He might even have come onto Mother Sheehan.

This was calculated. McCain did this to play a game of one-upmanship with the president. He refused to meet with this nut. McCain agreed to, which is a level of criticism in and of itself. That was reason number one to do it. He still has not gotten over the year 2000; sounds particularly Democrat-like, doesn’t it?

He was also looking to the media to cover this and hype it so they could propel Mother Sheehan back up to the "top’ again, while similarly ramming this woman back down our throats. Don’t believe McCain when he tries to spin his reasons for seeing her. It wouldn’t have mattered whether one of his constituents were present or not. This was rank opportunism at it’s worst, and I’m happy to see it’s backfiring for both of them.

Publius II

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The MSM’s New Crucible

I’ll make this as short and sweet as I can. She was tired after putting up her post this morning, and I’m not faring much better, but I felt the need to rant a bit. And surprise, surprise it happens to be about what she posted up. That being, the MSM’s utter failure during Katrina to do some good. Their reporting was pitiful.

Don’t get me wrong, their correspondents did a good job standing out in the wind and the rain to let America know that is was windy and raining in Louisiana, but that’s where the good coverage ended. As Marcie cited for everyone, the Seattle Times wrote a column on the reality behind Katrina, and it was greatly exaggerated.

From the body counts in the Superdome and the convention center, to the violence erupting around the city, the MSM dropped the ball. Big Time. Outright-frelling-fumbled the damn thing for everyone to see. Not only has Snopes done it’s fair share of debunking Katrina myths perpetuated by the MSM, but so have the bloggers. Michelle Malkin, yesterday, along with John Hinderocker of PowerLine, brought this fiasco to a lot of people’s attention. Bloggers have been punching holes in these reports since Katrina’s departure from the Gulf Coast.

Which is what is so sickening about this whole mess. Over the last few years, the media has been exposed not only for it’s inherent bias, but also it’s ineptitude. Rathergate anyone? How about the Jayson Blair saga? And lest we forget the Eason Jordan chronicles? The bloggers have hit the media the hardest with how much quicker they react with news, and get the verification they need. Bloggers act as the journalists of old used to. It is arrogance that has led the MSM down this road of irrelevance.

Now, I know a lot of people will point to many bloggers as reporting the stories the media was guilty of reporting. True, all too true. Marcie posted an apology to our readers, and many others—including Michelle Malkin, who kept a tight watch on Katrina—have printed corrections, retractions, or posted that their information was not entirely corroborated. Does the media really take these steps? Do they admit when they’re wrong, openly and honestly? Hardly. The New York Times buries it’s corrections, and no apology was ever given by CBS over Dan Rather’s blatant and foolish attempt to pass off phony memos. The media has no humility. They seem snobbish when an apology or retraction is demanded.

Fine, play hard ball if you wish, but you’ve lost too many times on big issues. Take the war, for example. The MSM paints a bleak picture for America, but that picture isn’t so bleak according to the returning soldiers. Bloggers are amongst those fighting, like Colonel Austin Bay, and they maintain their sites regularly. Blogging correspondents are in the field, like Michael Yon, who has done outstanding pieces of real-life situations the company he is with goes through. Marcie posted up a great piece she found on Mr. Yon’s site just a week ago, or so. And the picture painted is anything but doom-and-gloom. There is hope and promise over there, not the "quagmire" the media likes to harp on about.

If the media needed further reasons to show how irrelevant they had become, Katrina should be one of the final nails in their coffin. From what I have gathered from the debunking that has occurred, the MSM’s erroneous reporting may have well hampered efforts, not helped it. If that’s the case, then it is time for a change. I don’t what sort of change, as I am not comfortable with the government getting involved, nor I am open to the prospects of the Supreme Court becoming involved over what is freedom of the press and what isn’t.

My interpretation of it may very well differ from the high court, and even those I admire on the court, like Justice Scalia. But something must be done. This sort of behavior can’t be allowed to continue. No corroborating witnesses. No substantiated claims. No nothing. The MSM really screwed the pooch on their reporting, and they deserve the beating they’re about to receive from the public. I doubt it will be much from the general public, but they’re going to take a black eye from the bloggers over this.

Publius II

And The Truth Shall Set You Free...

The truth is being laid bare in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. We, at the Asylum, made our own mistakes of following up on the stories that were coming very fast out of New Orleans in the wake of Katrina. The armed gangs, the constant looting, the rapes, the murders, and even the death toll. As it has become plainly evident, much of this was bunk. As we are in charge of the information that flows from this site, we apologize to our readers for quoting and using reports that were not fully verified.

A report issued by police and military officials show that much of what was reported by the MSM was unsubstantiated reports. Anyone remember the "grisly" scene at the convention center? The Seattle Times has placed a story up today about some of the myths perpetuated by the MSM.


Following days of internationally reported murders, rapes and gang violence inside the stadium, the doctor from FEMA — Beron doesn't remember his name — came prepared for a grisly scene: He brought a refrigerated 18-wheeler and three doctors to process bodies.

"I've got a report of 200 bodies in the Dome," Beron recalled the doctor saying.

The real total?

Six, Beron said.

Of those, four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide, said Beron, who personally oversaw the handoff of bodies from a Dome freezer, where they lay atop melting bags of ice.

A much different story than what was originally bandied about by not only the media, but by Mayor Nagin. Nagin, as we will recall, stated that "10,000" people perished during Kartrina. The real death toll? About 1000. Now, that is not meant to downplay the severity. One thousand people lost is still one thousand too many, and my prayers go out to the grieving families. But facts are facts.

Anyone remember the story regarding the convention center? Where bodies were stacked up in the freezer, including the body of a seven year-old girl with her throat slashed?

At the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, just four bodies have been recovered, despite reports of heaps of dead piled inside the building. Only one of the dead appeared to have been murdered, said health and law-enforcement officials.

Four bodies. Only four. Yet, we were given a report from a National Guardsman that was checking the facility out.


Meanwhile, a National Guardsman showed a reporter the many bodies piled up in the New Orleans Convention Center, including in the freezer.

"Don't step in that blood – it's contaminated," Guardsman Mikel Brooks told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "That one with his arm sticking up in the air, he's an old man."

Then he shined the light on a smaller human figure under a white sheet next to the elderly man.

"That's a kid," he said. "There's another one in the freezer, a 7-year-old with her throat cut."

Continued the soldier: "There's an old woman," pointing to a wheelchair covered by a sheet. "I escorted her in myself. And that old man got bludgeoned to death," he said of the body lying on the floor next to the wheelchair.

The Guardsmen stationed at the center say there are between 30 and 40 bodies in the freezer.

That was part of a report that Thomas put up on Sept. 8th. Thirty to forty bodies? Really. It seems the numbers revealed today do not fit with the numbers then. But that is not it. Further, from the Seattle Times story:

The vast majority of reported atrocities committed by evacuees — mass murders, rapes and beatings — have turned out to be false, or at least unsupported by any evidence, according to key military, law-enforcement, medical and civilian officials in positions to know.

"I think 99 percent of it is [expletive]," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Lachney, who played a key role in security and humanitarian work inside the Dome. "Don't get me wrong — bad things happened. But I didn't see any killing and raping and cutting of throats or anything ... 99 percent of the people in the Dome were very well-behaved."

Dr. Louis Cataldie, the state Health and Human Services Department administrator overseeing the body-recovery operation, said his teams were inundated with false reports.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan said authorities have only confirmed four murders in the entire city in the aftermath of Katrina — making it a typical week in a city that anticipated more than 200 homicides this year.

"I had the impression that at least 40 or 50 murders had occurred at the two sites," he said. "It's unfortunate we saw these kinds of stories saying crime had taken place on a massive scale when that wasn't the case. And they [national media outlets] have done nothing to follow up on any of these cases; they just accepted what people [on the street] told them. ... It's not consistent with the highest standards of journalism."

That should be the understatement of the year. It is not bad enough that the Louisiana government dropped the ball when it came to instituting its disaster plan. But it is more than evident that the MSM seems to have dropped the ball, as well. They passed off unsubstantiated reports, and then refusing to address them when it became clear that they were false. They pumped up the numbers of the dead. It is much like a most interesting analogy brought up by Laura Donoho of Wide Awake Cafe (link below):


There is a game called "telephone" that is played by children. The children sit in a circle and one child whispers something in the ear of the child next to them and on and on until the message has been whispered to everyone in the circle. The child who is whispered to last tells the message they have received and the child who whispered the message first tells the original message. There is usually uproarious laughter because it is rarely the same message.

The news media have been playing telephone about the reports of all the deaths and atrocities in the Super Dome and Convention Center in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

She is correct. That is precisely what the media did. There were no checks on facts, no corroborating witnesses, no official statements from the people involved in the efforts. What is worse is many of the reports made by the media may have forced law enforcement and recovery teams to areas where no help was needed, which further weakened the response. And if this is indeed the case, then I agree with John Hinderocker of PowerLine:


It's time for some accountability here. The conventional wisdom is that no one performed particularly well in the aftermath of Katrina--not local, state or federal authorities, and not considerable numbers of private citizens. But it now appears clear that the worst performance of all was turned in by the mainstream media. Congress should promptly investigate, and try to get to the bottom of the following questions:

How did so many false rumors come to be reported as fact?

Do news outlets have any procedures in place to avoid this kind of mis-reporting? If so, why did their procedures fail so miserably?

To what extent were the false rumors honest mistakes, and to what extent were they deliberate fabrications?

To the extent that the false reports were deliberate, did the press pass them on through sheer negligence, or did some reporters participate in deliberate fabrication?

Did the widespread breakdown in accurate reporting stem only from a failure to follow proper journalistic standards, or did it also reflect a deliberate effort to damage the Bush administration by passing on unconfirmed rumors as fact?

In deciding what stories to report, did the news media consider the likelihood that passing on false rumors would damage the rescue effort?

It is vitally important to get to the bottom of these questions, so that future natural disasters are not similarly mis-reported.

During, and in the wake of, disasters like Katrina, the press is depended upon to give the people the most accurate, best information possible so that overall everyone stays informed. This has been their job for quite some time, and should continue to be that way. But, this act of malfeasance by the MSM needs to end. This goes beyond a political bias. Because of their inept reporting, and their refusal to stand by a level of ethics involved in reporting stories, the efforts at recovery for Katrina were hampered. In that respect, the MSM is just as culpable in this fiasco as Mayor Nagin, and Governor Blanco.

The Bunny ;)

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Cat Is Out Of The Bag: Balance? What Balance?

As we begin this week, sure to be a long one, I’m reminded by my other half about the carping of the Democrats that the president should maintain the balance of the high court. The Democrats have all but given up the ghost in the Roberts fight (at last count in prospective votes, Roberts has 67 yeas, 15 nays, and 18 undecided) and this man will be the next chief justice. His vote is slated for Thursday, and no doubt exists that certain members of the party will stand up one last time and launch their last-ditch attack on Judge Roberts.

So, once that vote is done, and the Democrats are left by the wayside to lick their wounds, it will fall to the president to present his next nominee. It is rumored that he will make the call Friday, or early next week. And our regular readers have seen our short list of the ten best qualified jurists to take O’Connor’s seat. But, the Left is busying itself with a demand that the president "maintain the balance on the court."

Over at ConfirmThem, a post about the precedent I’m about to discuss had both sides arguing over this so-called "balance." Simply ut, there is no such thing as "balance" for the judiciary. Or, at least, there shouldn’t be. Judges are arbiters and interpreters of the law. Their personal ideologies and beliefs should never enter into a decision. They are irrelevant in the overall case, and if they can’t get past them, then a recusal is in order.

But they still speak of maintaining the current balance of the court. They want a moderate to be appointed so the ideology of Justice O’Connor is maintained on the court. If I may frank with our readers, I don’t want that ideology on the court. It is wrong. It is irresponsible. It is reckless. And as many people know, as Justice O’Connor grew on the court, her thinking was further befuddled. Be it a preoccupation with the failing health of her husband, or her own old age matters not. She was a moderate when Pres. Reagan appointed her, and she slipped further to the left as time marched on.

But when it came time for Pres. Clinton to make his two nominations to the Supreme Court, he chose two people that, I’m sure, he thought were qualified, based on his own ideas. There’s nothing wrong with this. This isn’t cronyism, as neither of them knew Pres. Clinton personally, except while being vetted by his people. He chose Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer. But did Pres. Clinton maintain the balance on the high court with these picks? Hardly.

Justice Ginsburg was nominated after the announcement that Justice Byron White was retiring. Justice White was one of the staunch constitutionalists that voted against Roe v. Wade. He was a conservative justice. His views were on the record during his confirmation process, and from his tenure on the bench. Justice Ginsburg was neither. Pres. Clinton’s nomination of then-Ms. Ginsburg was a precedent set that a "balance" was insignificant. I’m positive that had every justice retired during his tenure, we would have ended up with a mix of moderate and liberal activist jurists. He cared nothing for balance.

Justice Breyer, on the other hand, was chosen to replace the infamous Justice Harry Blackmun. For those that aren’t aware of this, Justice Blackmun wrote the decision in Roe. He cited everything the cat could possibly drag in except a solid, constitutional analysis of the argument in question. So, Justice Breyer’s nomination was a wash. That was maintained.

But Pres. Clinton didn’t do it when it came to replacing Justice White. We got Justice Ginsburg, instead, which shifted the court’s ideology—a concept that has no business on the court—further to the left. Now, the Democrats are demanding that Pres. Bush maintain the current balance. To that I say poppycock. Should Pres. Bush choose one of our ten, or find another judge that is close to them, then he is not changing the balance. He’s restoring the balance robbed by Pres. Clinton.

With such a closely divided court, what did Pres. Clinton do to preserve this suddenly precious balance? Did he replace Justice White with another conservative? Did he choose someone that shared Justice White’s view regarding abortion, that there is no constitutional protection for abortion? No, he chose the former general counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union, a leading liberal law scholar whose special interest was women's rights: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I failed to hear anyone questioning where the balance was maintained then as people knew that Justice White was not even close to then-Ms. Ginsburg.

The question remains: Why is it no so important to maintain the balance when the precedent was set by Pres. Clinton that no such balance need be kept? The answer is simple.

With Judge Roberts’ nomination coming to a close, the Left has seen the writing on the wall. Sen. Kennedy, I’m sure, was hoping to be able to "bork" Judge Roberts, and it didn’t work. Sen. Biden tried to smear the man, and make him something that he wasn’t. Sen. Leahy went after him. Sen. Feinsten went after him. Even Sen. Specter lowered the boom on the man. They couldn’t touch him. By the end of the hearing, Sen. Biden was so befuddled, all he could was laugh at how Judge Roberts had "kabuki" danced his way through the process.

If the Democrats thought Judge Roberts was a softball, I would hate to see how the president plays hardball. But one thing is for sure, the president must nominate not only a well-qualified jurist, but also one who believes in interpreting the Constitution based on what it means, based on what it says, and not by what they believe it should say.

Publius II

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hamas Calls No Joy: Surrendering To Their Own Stupidity

We knew this would happen. The signs were clear from the Gaza pull-out by Israel. The militants, emboldened by what deemed a surrender attacked departing Israelis, and had even sent one suicide bomber into Jerusalem, and killed close to twenty Jews. Then, in a bold move, Hamas decided to utilize Gaza as a staging point, and proceeded to launch rockets.

However, Hamas soon found out the foolishness of their folly. The following comes from the BBC.
(Hat-Tip: Republican Jen and Captain Ed)


The Palestinian militant organisation Hamas has announced an end to rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip after a weekend of escalating violence.

Up to 40 rockets had been fired at Israel, weeks after its military withdrew from the territory.

In response to the rockets, Israel resumed its policy of targeting militant leaders in air strikes.

Authorised by Ariel Sharon to make "unrestricted" strikes, its military launched new missile attacks overnight.

Palestinian witnesses reported attacks across the strip early on Monday:

--Helicopters fired two missiles into Gaza City, knocking out power in eastern districts
--Missiles slammed into Khan Younis in the south, damaging a building reportedly used by militants from the Popular --Front for the Liberation of Palestine faction
--A missile landed in an open field near the southern border town of Rafah
--A missile hit an area near a road in the north of the strip used by militant rocket squads, the Israeli military said; one woman was said to have been injured by shrapnel.

Announcing the end to rocket attacks, the Hamas leader in Gaza, Mahmoud Zahar, said the organisation was committed to a ceasefire which militants declared earlier this year.

Mr Zahar said that in stopping attacks on Israel, Hamas wanted to protect the Palestinian people from what he called Zionist oppression.

Palestinian leaders and Egyptian mediators had been pressing Hamas to stop.

The BBC's Alan Johnston says Hamas is in danger of being blamed for by Palestinians for drawing Israel back into Gaza just two weeks after a withdrawal welcomed with huge relief by the local population.

On Sunday, an Israeli air strike killed two Islamic Jihad militants, including a commander, Mohammed Khalil.

They were the latest fatalities in a long weekend of violence, just a fortnight after Israeli troops withdrew from the Gaza Strip after 38 years.

Palestinian militants launched rockets at Israeli territory around the town of Sderot, injuring five people.

They were responding to the shooting of three Islamic Jihad militants in the West Bank and a blast which killed 15 at a rally in Gaza - an explosion blamed on Israel by Hamas but disowned by the Israelis.

The rocket attacks, in turn, brought a wave of Israeli air strikes.

Whoops. I do hope this time the Palestinians learned their lesson. This wasn’t a wise move on their behalf, and what’s worse I’d bet that Sharon knew this would eventually happen. He took the proper precautions for it. Hamas thought they were exhibiting a show of force, a flexing of their muscles, and simply tired of rattling sabers, they struck. The IDF wasted little time in responding in an overwhelmingly display of force.

Hamas just discovered what being in a real war is like. Israel isn’t constrained by the rules of occupation. The Geneva Convention rules are gone. As a terrorist group, Israel doesn’t have to recognize their status as a POW. They could do pretty much whatever they wanted to with the Hamas animals. And should Abbas declare them soldiers in the Palestinian Army, in hopes to protect them, then the next time rockets are fired out of Gaza, Abbas may be facing a formally-declared war. Not the smartest prospect as Israel won’t allow itself to be victimized again. The Palestinians will be treated like any other "sovereign" enemy that attacks Israelis, or Israel, proper.

Welcome to the world you wanted, boys. Let’s see if you got the smarts, read the memo, and will truly stop this garbage. Keep the peace, and keep your dogs on a leash, and you just may have that peace that Abbas claimed so many really wanted.

Publius II

The MSM Just Loves To Try And Cause Trouble...

I cited Confirmation Whoppers earlier today, and I just picked this story up from them, too. The New York Times has decided that some members of the GOP might end up defecting over the next nominee. Among them include some of our favorites. A couple we might even remember from the Seditious Seven/Gang of Fourteen from a couple months ago.

"It is going to be different," said Senator Lincoln Chafee, Republican of Rhode Island, who is socially liberal and has said he will vote to confirm Judge Roberts.

Mr. Chafee said he would apply a more skeptical standard to the next nominee because of the balance of the court and might even oppose a jurist similar to Judge Roberts. "I will be looking very carefully" at the next nominee's views on privacy rights, "separation of church and state," and the scope of federal power, he said.

He is one to talk as he openly allowed the Constitution to be abused, and the president’s overall right to nominate qualified people to the federal bench by agreeing to execute the deal in the Senate over judicial nominees. And him stating that he "might" oppose a jurist similar to Judge Roberts is most telling; my wager is that he would have opposed Judge Roberts had Chief Justice Rehnquist not died, and Judge Roberts not have been elevated.

Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, a Republican who supports abortion rights and has said she will vote to confirm Judge Roberts, took a similar view. She previously voted to confirm some of Mr. Bush's appeals court nominees who met stiff liberal opposition, like Judge Priscilla R. Owen and Judge Janice Rogers Brown, two people said to be on Mr. Bush's shortlist. But Ms. Snowe said she might not support either one for the Supreme Court.

"This is certainly a different level of evaluation," Ms. Snowe said, "especially because of the balance of power on the court."

In other words, anyone who chooses to abide by the powers, restrictions, and rights enumerated in the Constitution, Sen. Snowe will oppose them. Both Judge Owens and Judge Brown are similarly qualified jurists, and there is no reason to oppose either unless Sen. Snowe is saying she appreciates the rogue, judicial activism that is emanating from the high court; a job of legislating that the court does not possess.

Others have sent more subtle signals. Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said last week that he suggested to the president that he should try to keep Justice O'Connor on the bench for a year, an idea that angered conservatives who said Mr. Bush had promised to move the court to the right.

In an interview, Mr. Specter said he believed the president could still command the support of Senate Republicans but added that a Supreme Court confirmation "brings into sharp focus independence and separation of power."

He continued: "People are more likely to look at this one with more independence as opposed to party line. I think it is pretty hard to vote party line on the Supreme Court."

Sen. Specter is wrong. There are few instances where the majority of the party has not voted for their president’s nominee. No Democrat defected over his judicial nominees, especially those appointed to the high court. And the GOP, for the most part, recognized the president’s power. They could not stop them in committee, and few opposed them in the Senate.

Now, both socially conservative and more liberal Republican senators say they may vote against confirmation of the next nominee if the pick leans too far to the left or the right on prominent issues like abortion rights.

Any Republican defection could provide cover for Democrats who want to oppose confirmation, protecting them politically in Republican-leaning states. Democrats have vowed to dig in for a tough fight over the nominee to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor because she was a pivotal swing vote on the court.

It matters not whom the president chooses. If it is any one of the ten people on our short list, we will be looking at World War Four in the Senate, and enough weak-kneed senators from the GOP might not be willing to back a move to institute the Constitutional Option. The Con Option was the one chance left to restore the proper order in the Senate, and seven of them defected and created a deal to keep the illegal filibusters intact. This story is a chance for those seven to get back in line as Democrat lapdogs.

And if the RINOs that are facing reelection go against their base, they can expect a reprisal at the ballot box they may not enjoy. Sen. Snowe and Sen. Chaffee face reelection in 2006. The president promised the base he would only appoint those that could interpret the Constitution properly. There were no moderates proposed. They were no activists proposed. Only those like Judge Roberts, Judge Owens, Judge Pryor and Judge Brown. These were the sort of people he was meaning when he made that promise.

Beside, regardless of who is nominated it is expected that unless they are an activist, they will be openly, and with all the hostility the party can muster. I say to hell with them. Bring on the next nominee, and let us get this over with. Best to fight the war now, rather than tucking our tails between our legs and running away like whimpering dogs. We knew this was going to be a war. Machiavelli taught that "For those that desire peace, prepare for war."

We are prepared. We have been ready for months. Let the real war for the court begin.

The Bunny ;)

Ignore The Irrelevant Ideologues: THEY Have No Merit

Confirmation Whoppers put up a post today regarding the foolishness of two, veteran Democrat leaders in the Senate. Sens. John Kerry and Ted Kennedy, both from Massachusetts, announced on Wednesday that they would openly oppose the confirmation of Judge Roberts as the new Chief Justice. Yawn. We knew this was coming. The extreme Left side of the Democrats are under incredible pressure from their special interest moguls to oppose Judge Roberts.

What is surprising is that it is the Boston Globe that highlights this move, and calls not only these two, but the rest of the Democrats, on the carpet for such foolish behavior.

HOW SHOULD Senate Democrats respond to the example Ted Kennedy and John Kerry set Wednesday in declaring their opposition to John Roberts in a one-two political punch?
By disregarding it.

Why? Well, first let's review the bidding. When Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement, Democrats warned President Bush not to nominate a conservative ideologue to replace her on the Supreme Court.

Bush responded by putting up a well-qualified jurist with widely recognized legal skills, someone the Senate unanimously confirmed to the US Court of Appeals in 2003. To rework Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.'s line about FDR, John Roberts has both a first-class intellect and a first-rate temper.

Judge Roberts is not just a well-qualified jurist, but he is one that used Sen. Biden as a target in a game of "pin the tail on the liberal." Sen. Biden suffered the worst verbal beating ever handed to him in his life from Judge Roberts. He wasted no time in tying Sen. Biden in common-sense logic that the hapless senator could not have followed with a road map. Why? Simply put, Judge Roberts is better—intellectually—than Sen. Biden. It was proven in the simple fact that Judge Roberts used no notes during his hearings.

Then, when Chief Justice William Rehnquist died, the president effectively lowered the ideological stakes by renominating Roberts for the chief justice's job, which means his confirmation would hardly change the court's makeup.

This was something the special interests seized on immediately. Because he was replacing the Chief, Judge Roberts supposedly became an extremist. I did not know that one became extreme simply by the post they were appointed to, but these people believed it. However, the party had to be dragged—kicking and screaming—to even think of embracing such an idea. It was evident from the word go that the Democrats did not really want to engage in such petty partisanship. Partially due to the focus on them during the committee hearings, but also because they knew they had nothing on Judge Roberts.

Roberts, as expected, played the Sphinx on many issues during his confirmation hearings. Still, he not only called Roe v. Wade ''settled as a precedent" and thus entitled to respect; he suggested that the subsequent decisions upholding Roe have precedental value as well. What's more, he said he sees an established right of privacy in the Constitution. That's further than some successful past nominees have gone.

This case has elicited such passion and scrutiny regarding Judge Roberts that it is positively amazing the vitriol thrown about by those elected on the port-side of the spectrum, and those special interests that seem to doing most of the caterwauling. Judge Roberts, like any good judge, recognizes the precedent set in Roe. Even Thomas and I recognize it. However, that does not mean we cannot work to undo it. Judge Roberts cannot.

That is something that the starboard-side pundits seem to forget. People like Ms. Coulter may want him to denounce Roe in the hearings, however doing so means that a plaintiff coming before the high court would assume that Judge Roberts’ mind is already made up, and call for him to recuse himself. Judges, when dealing with cases, prefer to be much like the Sphinx; he will rule accordingly, but your argument will persuade him to see things your way. He may not agree, and as an arbiter and interpreter of the law, he may be bound to rule against you.

Now, with all that as prologue, the party's liberal interest groups are urging Democrats to oppose Roberts in order to send a message to Bush not to make his next nominee to the court a conservative ideologue.

Ah, that political pretzel logic.

It is not just political pretzel logic. It is simpleton liberal logic. People like Sen. Reid and Sen. Specter have already stated they want O’Connor’s vacancy filled with an O’Connor clone. The answer to that is an emphatic "not no, but hell no." O’Connor was a disaster for the court. As Thomas appropriately pointed out earlier today, O’Connor was supposed to have been the first step in regaining control of an out-of-control judiciary. She was not the catalyst that she should have been. The possibility that scares the hell out of the port-siders is that the next nominee could be that catalyst.

It's true that confirmation hearings are a guessing game and senators are often left to weigh broad statements and small clues rather than specific answers. But it is unrealistic for Democrats to expect that a Republican president would nominate a potential justice who would satisfy all their concerns; if he did so, his own conservative base would revolt.

Kennedy, a liberal icon, clearly feels burned in past efforts to cooperate with Bush and is prone to fear the worst. In 1990, for example, he fretted that ''literally millions of our fellow citizens" would be denied their rights if mild-mannered David Souter was confirmed. (Granted, that foreboding sometimes serves him well; witness Iraq.)

I do not pardon the Globe for the swipe at our war efforts. This is a piece regarding two idiotic senators, not about the war. In the future, I suggest the Globe stick to what is relevant, and leave the war commentary for the subject-appropriate column.

However, they are correct in the fact that the hearings are a guessing game. You can only make a decision based on what you have in hand, and how the person answers. But I must agree with the Globe. There is no way a president is going to go against his base—to go against his word—in naming a nominee that is against the very principles the base clings to. There would be a revolt in the worst possible way.

In his Wednesday speech, Leahy said that though the popular move for a Democrat was to oppose Roberts, he thinks that Roberts is not a conservative ideologue but rather the sort of cautious, principled, precedent-respecting conservative who merits support.

The evidence suggests he's right. And with Roberts replacing the arguably more conservative Rehnquist, this is not the real donnybrook over changing the court; thus it simply doesn't make sense to wage an intense battle over a qualified nominee who is within acceptable ideological bounds.

Further, the idea that running up a strong tally against Roberts will encourage the president to send up a more moderate nominee for the next seat -- or help in the fight if Bush's next nominee is an archconservative -- is the most fanciful kind of thinking.

This logic makes no sense, and I cannot understand how the Democrats and their minions missed this. Yes, the president has nominated a decent amount of moderates to the federal bench; an effort, no doubt, to ensure the majority of his nominees would pass muster. However, he has placed many a conservative to the bench that are equal to people like Justices Scalia and Thomas. The president has, when it comes to a fight, dug in, and fought back. He encouraged Sen. Frist to invoke the Constitutional Option to break the illegal filibuster being run by the Democrats. This man is not afraid to fight when it is necessary.

If Democrats wage war over a qualified, measured conservative like him, it's just as likely to strengthen Republican resolve for a knock-down-drag-out for the kind of ultraconservative the right really want. Further, if Democrats raise a hyperbolic ruckus over Roberts, how can they expect the public to take them seriously when it really matters?

No, Democrats need to dismiss the clamor of the activists and recognize the obvious: Despite their fears, on this one, George W. Bush met them halfway.

Now they need to respond in kind.

I like that last little bit. Not only is it an admonishment of the party, but the criticism is warranted. The president has extended his hand numerous times to the Democrats only to have them snap at him later. They have shown how openly hostile they can be. None of the president’s nominees should be mistreated by the judiciary committee. Either they are qualified, or they are not; this is not some stupid game to be played. The GOP offered little resistance to Justice Ginsburg or Justice Breyer when they came up for their hearings. Did they ask tough questions? Of course they did. But they recognized the president’s right to nominate well-qualified jurists to the Supreme Court.

It is time that the Democrat party recognize that right, too, and quit acting like the spoiled children they portray all the time.

The Bunny ;)

Great Minds Do Think Alike...

OK. Fine. I disavow the "great" part above; pardon my minor indulgence in patting myself on the back. However, the Washington Times has an editorial today that is talking about the next nominee that Pres. Bush will be announcing soon. Now, the Times doesn’t point to a specific jurist, but wouldn’t you know—we’re on the same page. We, at the Asylum, couldn’t agree more with the Times in this editorial. Mostly because we’ve cited these people time and again over the last few weeks. I went over my short-list just a couple weeks ago, and earlier this week, I reiterated it, with some help from my lovely and talented other half.

I am citing the entire editorial below because to read it at the Times site, you have to register with them. Now, registration is free, but why bother? You can read the exact same editorial below, and if you have access to their site already, a link is provided as well.


Thoughts On Associate Justices
September 25, 2005

As President Bush considers his second appointment to the Supreme Court, it is worth pointing out that the appellate courts are filled with relatively young jurists whose conservative credentials are impeccable.

Reportedly under strong consideration for the 1990 Supreme Court nomination that was eventually wasted on David Souter, Judge Edith Jones (a 56-year-old Texan) has served on the 5th Circuit since 1985. Samuel Alito, a 55-year-old who worked for seven years in the Reagan administration and has much more in common with Antonin Scalia than their Italian heritage, has served on the 3rd Circuit since 1990. Michael McConnell, a 50-year-old who graduated from and taught at the University of Chicago Law School (the de facto think tank of conservative legal scholarship), has served on the 10th Circuit since 2002. A judge on 4th Circuit since 1991, 51-year-old Michael Luttig, a Texas native, was an assistant White House counsel in the Reagan administration before he clerked on the D.C. Circuit for then-Judge Scalia and for Chief Justice Warren Burger, whom he later served as special assistant.

If Mr. Bush is inclined to increase his short list in order to diversify the court in terms of sex, race or ethnicity, he should not reward Democratic stalling tactics or outright filibustering, which denied or significantly delayed appellate-court experience for several worthy Supreme Court candidates. Mr. Bush nominated Miguel Estrada in May 2001 for the D.C. Circuit, where he would have been the first Hispanic to serve on what is generally considered to be the second-most influential court in the United States. A Federalist Society member to whom the American Bar Association gave a unanimous "well-qualified" rating -- which Senate Democrats have described as "the gold standard" -- Mr. Estrada, who will celebrate his 44th birthday on Sunday, became the first Bush judicial nominee to be filibustered by the Democrats in 2003, after they lost their majority in the Senate. Before allowing her confirmation to proceed this year as part of the "Gang of 14" compromise, Democrats also filibustered 56-year-old California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, an unrelenting black conservative who was nominated for the D.C. Circuit in 2003.

Repeating verbatim the charge leveled by then-Associate Justices William Rehnquist and Byron White in their 1973 dissent in Roe v. Wade, Judge Jones filed a concurrence to her 1997 opinion in McCorvey v. Hill in which she criticized the Supreme Court's Roe decision as an exercise in "raw judicial power." To paraphrase: A twice-elected conservative Republican president and a solidly Republican-controlled Senate (whose GOP caucus has become increasingly conservative in recent years) would be rejecting their self-professed conservative philosophy if they failed to exercise whatever "raw legislative power" is necessary to guarantee the confirmation of a demonstrably conservative, preferably youthful, associate justice.

So, once more, let’s take a look at their list and ours:

Judge Edith Jones, or the 5th Circuit Court
Samuel Alito, of the 3rd Circuit Court
Michael McConnell, of the 10th Circuit Court
J. Michael Luttig, of the 4th Circuit Court

They also include Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown, of which we have included on our list. The only jurist we do not find on their list that is a dark horse on ours is Emilio Garza, of the 3rd Circuit Court, and the newly bandied-about Karen Williams, of the 4th Circuit Court. And we can’t forget Priscilla Owen, of the 5th Circuit Court. So, there are the ten nominees on our list.

Each and every one of these jurists would be a fine addition to the court, and would maintain the balance that was supposed to have occurred when O’Connor was first laced on the court by Pres. Reagan. With Scalia making it in 1986—the same year that then-Associate Justice Rehnquist was elevated to the Chief’s chair, and Thomas in 1991, the court should have had four solid Constitutionally-minded people. What happened to O’Connor has always been the question.

Many people I know blame it on her sex—that a "skirt" shouldn’t be on the high court. Their emotional standing seems to infect their sound judgment. They lack the ability to reason effectively for what they perceive to be right and proper. Well, to that, I offer up Justice Ginsburg, of whom I strongly disagree with 99.9% of the time. However, this is a woman who truly believes it is right and proper to inject foreign law into her decisions, and openly advocates for more use of such citations.

Sex has zero to do with who should or should not be on the court. Four out of the ten nominees above are female, and all of them are well-versed in the Constitution. They have done an outstanding job of interpreting it, and various state constitutions throughout their careers. The mistake made with O’Connor was that she was more moderate—always more moderate—than she let on. Reagan succumbed to the idea of being the first president to nominate a woman to the high court. His mistake was in assuming O’Connor would be conservative enough.

He was wrong. I can find very few faults with Pres. Reagan. O’Connor was one of them, and in my opinion, she was, perhaps, his biggest mistake.

Marcie and I don’t screw around on subjects like this. The courts—the law—is near and dear to both of us. Our continuing plans for the future involve us both becoming attorneys. So, when it comes to this subject, we are passionate about it, and we dislike having to deal with morons that base their opinions on prejudice rather than sound jurisprudence. That goes for the couple of critics that dislike our choice of Garza and Brown because they’re Hispanic and black, respectively.

Our opinion on this matter is sound, reasoned judgment. We have reviewed cases heard by these people, looked at past legal writings, have read the transcripts of speeches and addresses, and read the transcripts of the committee hearings they have been in. I challenge our critics to match the amount of research we have done, and come to a determination contradictory to us. Our knowledge and confidence doesn’t come from "jumping on the bandwagon." Both of us did our fair share of research regarding these ten people because we wanted to be sure about them, and we wanted to be right. We were right on Roberts, in our constant defense of the man. I know the Times did their homework regarding these people, too. The only we can do now is sit back, hope, and pray that the president has done his, and doesn’t give us another Souter.

Publius II

Moonbats On Parade: Or, Do Not Feed The Animals On Display

Imagine my surprise as I zipped through the blogosphere this morning, and I saw wall-to-wall stupidity on display. No, not the bloggers we, at the Asylum read. No, I am referring to the orgy of anti-American pleasure on display in Washington, DC, and elsewhere. Tons of these moonbats descended on DC in anticipation of Mother Sheehan’s arrival. These people, to say the least, are pathetic. Mother Sheehan has given them purpose. The last time these people had any purpose in life was in the waning days of Vietnam. (As is evident in many a photo.) Links for this Cavalcade of Inanity and Insanity are at the bottom.

But, I came across a couple sites where counter-protesters actually engaged these endangered species in a battle of wits. I have cited a couple of these exchanges below. ("Me" is not me. Had I gone to this I might have punched out a few of these idiots. "Me" in the next couple of citations is Chris Christner who went to the DC protest yesterday.)


Protester: "Giuliani knew the towers were gonna fall"
Me: "I heard on the Internet that micronuclear explosives were used."
Protester: "No, I just think they were regular explosives."
Me: "OK, so President Bush and Giuliani and all were in a conspiracy, isn't that far-fetched?"
Protester: "No, no, on 9/11 the airplanes were just for show."
Me: "Ohhkay, thanks very much for your time.

And, now for moonbat #2...

Me: "Does that swastika mean that you think the President is like Hitler?
Protester: "Yes."
Me: "Because we're occupying Iraq, because of the War on Terror?"
Protester: "Because of everything."
Me: "Give me a couple examples."
Protester: "Uh," [long pause]
Me: "So you would agree with this fellow here that 9/11, that Bush knew about it and brought down the Twin Towers?"
Protester: "No, Al-Qaeda did it, it was done by Al-Qaeda, but they [the Bush administration] needed something like that to justify the war against Iraq. Our intelligence knew that it was coming and they purposely backed off and allowed it to happen."
Me: "So this is like the rumor that FDR knew in advance about the bombing of Pearl Harbor?"
Protester: "Well, yeah."
Me: "OK, thanks very much."

And moonbat #3...

Me: "So would it be fair to say that you guys are pacifists?"
Male protester (MP): "Usually, but not all the time."
Me: "Well, under what circumstances in the last 40 years, would you say a country was justified in going to war?"
MP: "Was justified?"
Me: "Yes."
MP: "I can't think of anything right now."
Me: "Do you think the Japanese attack on Pear Harbor was sufficient provocation for us to go to war?"
MP: "No, I don't."
Me: "So you don't think we should have fought in World War II? Even if we could have prevented the Holocaust?"
MP: "Ahh, maybe the Soviets would have stopped it."
Me: "So it's OK for the Soviets to fight, but not the United States. I'm trying to get your views on this more clearly. You don't think the U.S. should have all the power, I'm getting that from you."
MP: "Yeah, yeah."
Me: "Us being the lone superpower is not a good thing to you people."
MP: "Well don't you agree?"
Me: "Not with a lot of it, I think it's too extreme. But, I'm just here recording the moment."
MP: "Oh, OK."
Me: "Thanks very much for your input."

The exchange above precedes a photo of a girl and a guy, both of them holding Socialist Workers protest signs. Good little communists that they are, they believe the Soviets would have stopped Hitler’s Final Solution. They fail to note, however, that Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, and Mao killed more people than Hitler did. Therefore, Communism carried out it’s own Final Solution, and against those that were opposed to totalitarian control.

That is what these people really do not get. We are not oppressors. We are not aggressors. We are the one nation, on the face of the planet, that everyone looks to when things go wonky. World War I? They came knocking on our door. World War II? Japan did not heed the advice of their allies, and dragged us into the war. North Korea goes over the DMZ? The UN asks for US intervention, on their behalf. As a matter of fact, the UN has asked for our help in most of the matters they have tried to address in the last twenty to thirty years. And the UN, I might add, is an organization that these moonbats like and would support.

It is amusing to see the utter idiocy of these people, but it is sad, as well. These people despise their way of life in this country—the greatest nation on the face of the planet—so much that they are willing to side with an enemy that wants to kill them as much as they want me dead, or Thomas dead, or any number of our friends dead. These people are not just protesters; they are anti-Americans of the first order, and the evidence that a fifth-column still exists in this nation. On Chris’ site (listed below) he does have the counter-protesters, and while nearly in the numbers that Sheehanapalooza was, they were giving plenty of the endangered moonbats problems. This included the infamous Protest Warriors and Freepers. So, the benefit was that we had competent hunters dealing with the endangered ones in the proper way: Shooting them down left and right.

I do respect the right for citizens to protest in this country. It is an inherent, enumerated right under the Constitution. However, sometimes it can be taken to an extreme. Take a good look at some of the signs held by these people, the shirts they wear, and what they are saying. This goes much further than just "I do not support the war." This goes to the extreme of slander, and that is not protest. That is plain stupidity. I will stand up for their right, but respect mine, as well, when I show you are wrong. (I know it is hard to change the mind of a brainwashed moonbat, but anything is possible. Well, except for the children in the DailyKos sandbox.)

My brother is over in Afghanistan. I will see him at the end of October for the first time in four years. Four years! I know other soldiers who have been rotated home for leave twice already, and my brother has not. I do not blame the president, or the military. HE is doing his job, and I support that job. And I despise people like these fools, on display today, that crap all over the memory of those lost in service of this nation. I abhor those that would rather rip our soldiers from their duties, and abandon both Iraq and Afghanistan to the animals that are still preying on the innocent civilians over there. Terrorists were in both nations long before our arrival. We are just like Orkin; we are whacking the cockroaches before they get out of hand. Too bad Orkin missed DC yesterday because the roaches were out in force.

(Above comes from the LA protests, as Sheehanapalooza was nationwide, not just in DC alone.)

The Bunny ;)

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