Friday, April 29, 2005

You Can't Make This Up

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has enlisted new allies in the war against the bad guys.

The Growing Case Against John Bolton

Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee decided to postpone the its vote on John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador as more doubts about his suitability for the job continue to surface. It was a rare moment when a decision was made spontaneously in public view.
Joe Biden, the ranking member, led an impassioned appeal to hold up the nomination based on Bolton's abuse of State Department analysts, his ill manners and contempt for anyone who disagreed with him. There in the committee meeting, live on C-SPAN, George Voinivich (R-Ohio) spoke up to say he favored further review. Chairman Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) was forced to agree to a postponement.

Lugar and Biden have now jointly requested copies of ten highly sensitive NSA intercepts that Bolton requested in his capacity as Under Secretary of State. Whose conversations did Bolton seek to spy on? Were these requests part of Bolton's efforts to undermine those who dared to disagree?
Bolton's unfitness for such a sensitive diplomatic post is not based on his policy views or on his undiplomatic temperament, but on his behavior--his history of going to extreme lengths to undermine State Department officials including career analysts, the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea and Colin Powell.

For the best reporting on this story, go to Steve Clemons at The Washington Note.


The cloture vote on the nomination of Stephen Johnson as EPA Administrator just carried by 61 to 37. Why does this matter and how does this illustrate the importance of checks and balances in government?
Mr. Johnson's nomination was held up for a time by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), a centrist by inclination. Tom Carper didn't question Stephen Johnson's qualifications to run the EPA. Carper put a roadblock in the nomination out of frustration over the EPA's lack of response to his requests for analysis of his alternative proposal to President Bush's "Clear Skies" initiative, which has been stuck in committee since its introduction, even though the Senate is controlled by the GOP.
This is a clear example of why checks and balances are built into the system. For the Bushies, it hasn't been enough to control the executive and legislative branches of government; they have chosen to prevent a reasoned consideration of a proposal from a centrist Democrat.
I call this a case of Republicans acting like sore winners -- a theme that is repeated in the Republicans' threat of the "nuclear option" to sweep away the fillibuster for judicial nominations and proposals to reduce the independence of the federal courts.
There's a reason why these checks and balances have been in place for more than 200 years, and that reason has to do with the durability of our constitutional form of government. History has provided ample evidence that "winner takes all" forms of government simply don't last.
P.S. Sorry to have been absent from these pages recently. I'm recovering from bronchitis and am just getting back to speed -- hopefully in time to catch up with the swift current of events.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Joe Biden in South Carolina

Delaware Senator Joe Biden just finished his keynote speech at the South Carolina Jefferson Jackson Dinner, and he lived up to his considerable reputation as an orator. The text will likely be published soon (Biden's best speeches are not fully written in advance), but here's a noteworthy highlight:
We cannot lead in this century as a people divided as we are now.
We'll let you know when the text becomes available.

Privatizing the Weather

Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa) has introduced a bill, S.786 called the National Weather Services Duties Act of 2005, that would limit direct public access to information that is now available for free from the National Weather Service. Critics say he did on behalf of AccuWeather, whose founder has donated $4,000 to Santorum since 2000.
I think the issue runs deeper. Some conservatives want to limit the extent to which the government provides public benefits to the citizenry at large. Senator Santorum evidently believes it is more important to protect private business than to allow us the benefit of weather information that we have already paid for.

Who Gains

Here's something interesting from Moon of Alabama for those who think we have to give the wealthiest all the breaks we can for the economy to prosper. This graph, which comes from the Financial Times, shows that all segments of British society have seen income gains during Tony Blair's tenure:

The graph reminds me of how U.S. cities prospered in the 1990s. Clinton and Blair are alike in that they are more respected than loved. But no peacetime leader can do better than to promote prosperity that benefits all citizens.

An Old Joke

It's Earth Day; take a clod to lunch.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Oklahoma City Bombing Conspiracy Theory

Fox News has been running a story that Iraq may have had a hand in the Oklahoma City bombing ten years ago. Rita Crosby reported on Sunday:
One month after the April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people, authorities demolished what was left of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Officials said the implosion was a necessary part of the psychological recovery for the citizens of Oklahoma City. But critics question the FBI’s tactics and argue the building came down too soon and the implosion is one piece of a government cover-up.
John Gibson followed up on the story Tuesday, posting his opinion on the Fox News site, saying:
The whole thing stinks of Iraq.

Monday, April 18, 2005

"I'll certainly have to take your advice about that."

Here's a post from Daily Kos about Wes Clark's speech to SoCal Grassroots and The 4-Star Democratic Club in Los Angeles:
He adds" The Christianity I know is about love. It's about lifting every person up." The Christian right is "taking the word of the Good Lord and twisting it to political purposes."
Wow. I didn't know Clark would be so effective against the God talk crowd, but damn! He's got it down, he's totally authentic with it.
As for whether he plans to run again, here's what he said:
"Well...I'll certainly have to take your advice about that."
The Political Dogfight has a video of the speech. I supported Wes Clark in '04 and could well be convinced to support him next time around. In the meanwhile, let's see what Joe Biden does...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

History According to Tom DeLay

According to Tom DeLay, congress has failed in preventing the judiciary from protecting our rights:
The reason we had a right to privacy is because Congress didn't stop them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

History Homework

From Marbury v. Madison:

To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing, if these limits may, at any time, be passed by those intended to be restrained? The distinction between a government with limited and unlimited powers is abolished, if those limits do not confine the persons on whom they are imposed, and if acts prohibited and acts allowed, are of equal obligation. It is a proposition too plain to be contested, that the constitution controls any legislative act repugnant to it; or, that the legislature may alter the constitution by an ordinary act.
Between these alternatives there is no middle ground. The constitution is either a superior, paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means, or it is on a level with ordinary legislative acts, and, like other acts, is alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it.
If the former part of the alternative be true, then a legislative act contrary to the constitution is not law: if the latter part be true, then written constitutions are absurd attempts, on the part of the people, to limit a power in its own nature illimitable.

Senator Carper Votes Nay

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to send the nomination of Stephen L. Johnson as Environmental Protection Agency adminnistrator to the floor of the Senate. The vote was 17 to 1, with Tom Carper voting nay. Why? Carper is not known as a firebrand; he's one of the Senate's most moderate Democrats.
Senator Carper has offered an alternative to President Bush's "Clear Skies" legislation (which has failed to make it out of committee). The problem is that Carper has asked the EPA for analysis on his proposal, but has not had any response. Having voted nay, he is considering placing a "hold" on the nomination, which would then require 60 votes to come to the floor.
Senator Carper, in a prepared statement, said:
Repeatedly, I’ve asked the EPA to conduct a detailed, technical analysis of the economic and health benefits of my clean air proposal. I’ve been consistently denied, even though what I’m asking for is simple. The EPA has run a detailed health and cost estimate of the president’s Clear Skies plan. I want the same type of analysis completed on my bill because I believe it’s essential to help us craft a clean air compromise bill this year.
The compromise Carper has in mind would be based on his proposal, not the President's.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Theocracy on the March, Part 3

Here's an excerpt from an undercover report on the "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith" conference in The Nation:
Like a perform­ance artist, Keyes riled the crowd up, mixing animadversions on constitutional law with sudden, stentorian salvos against judges. "Ronald Reagan said the Soviet Union was the focus of evil during the cold war. I believe that the judiciary is the focus of evil in our society today," Keyes declared, slapping the lectern for emphasis.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Theocracy on the March, Part 2

Not content to win elections, the zealots are attacking Republican judges.
What's perhaps most astonishing is that this anger is being directed at a federal judiciary in general, and a Supreme Court in particular, that is far more conservative than the liberal bench that once provoked similar complaints. Consider the distance traveled: What started as "Impeach Earl Warren" -- the archetypal judicial activist -- has now become "Impeach Tony Kennedy" -- the archetypal middle-of-the-Republican-roader.
The proposed "solutions" include not only impeachment but also simply removing judges from office, without having to go through the bother of impeachment proceedings, on the grounds that they have failed to live up to the required standard of "good behavior" in office. In addition to the usual misguided push for Congress to strip the federal courts of power to hear certain types of cases, such as abortion or the Pledge of Allegiance, lawmakers are also threatening to cut courts' budgets if they are displeased with their rulings.
Hype? Hardly. Here a short excerpt from S520/H.R.1070
Provides that any Supreme Court justice or Federal court judge who exceeds the jurisdictional limitations of this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offense for which the justice or judge may be removed, and to have violated the standard of good behavior required of Article III judges by the Constitution.
Radical conservatives have seized on the "good behavior" standard as the means to trump the authority of an independent judiciary after two centuries of constitutional government. For the theocons, "good behavior" means doing as they say.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Wackos in Washington

In a previous post on the conference on Confronting the Judicial War on Faith, I mentioned Edwin Vieira. Here's a report on his comments from last week:
Not to be outdone, lawyer-author Edwin Vieira told the gathering that [Supreme Court Justice Anthony M.] Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, "upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law." Ominously, Vieira continued by saying his "bottom line" for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Joseph Stalin. "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem,' " Vieira said.
The full Stalin quote, for those who don't recognize it, is "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem."
Vieira has a habit of referring to figures from the Russian Revolution. Here's an excerpt from a speech he made in 1998, titled, "How to Restore Constitutional Money: The Challenge" in which he presents a rather esoteric theory of why our economic system is unconstitutional:
The Civil War was the beginning of the degeneration or the devolution to the American Constitutional monetary system. In 1862, the Congress submits the first legal tender paper currency, the greenbacks, and it maintained those as an irredeemable currency until the 1870s.
Of course, the Supreme Court was there to give all sorts of fallacious reasons as to why that was justifiable. Always be sure the Supreme Court will be there to give reasons when the cogs turn in one direction, but never to give reasons when the cogs turn in the other direction (and I have spent 25 years futzing around with the Supreme Court, so I speak from experience).
So we see one connection between the corruption of our judiciary and the monetary system. Continuing with his paranoid ramblings from 1998:
This brings you now in a sense to Lenin's question, or it brings me in a sense to Lenin's question, "What is to be done?".
Well, we first have to realize what we have. We have essentially a fascistic banking cartel running this country. This is really nothing different from what Mussolini would have set up, except maybe the uniforms are not as nice and the parades are not as big, because they want to keep the level of public understanding down. But fundamentally this is the fascist system, and I use that word in the technical economic sense, without any pejoratives at all.
Last week's conference was not just a gathering of obscure wackos. As Dana Milbank wrote in the Washington Post:
This was no collection of fringe characters. The two-day program listed two House members; aides to two senators; representatives from the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America; conservative activists Alan Keyes and Morton C. Blackwell; the lawyer for Terri Schiavo's parents; Alabama's "Ten Commandments" judge, Roy Moore; and DeLay, who canceled to attend the pope's funeral.
You will remember that last week President Bush cast aspersions on the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury, when he said that all there is backing up Social Security is meaningless paper:
There is no trust fund, just IOUs that I saw firsthand.
Powerful people in Washington pay attention to this lunacy, which means we have to pay attention as well.

Adult Supervision, Part 2

Speaking of needing adult supervision, the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation has been found to have invested $50 million in a rare coins partnership. The fund seems to be turning a profit, but how do you audit a stack of old coins?
The BWC is the only investor in a rare coin business run by Republican businessman Thomas Noe, a former chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party. Ohio's Republican governors have appointed him to the Board of Regents and the Turnpike Commission, where he serves as chairman.
The story in the Toledo Blade prompted one letter to the editor asking,
"Does Mr. Noe have any expertise in the highly profitable and exciting world of Beanie Baby futures?"

The Party of Adult Supervision

Good advice from Josh Marshall:
Perhaps it is time for the Democrats simply to embrace their destiny as the party of grown-ups. No members of congress threatening judges. No gonzo federal legislation cooked up in the middle of the night to game a family struggle in Florida. Borrowing money and saving money are not the same thing. A reasonable respect for the rules under which the country has long been governed. Congressional staffers will neither steal work material from members of the opposition party nor stand on principle when caught. Bribes tendered on the floor of Congress will be frowned upon ...

Conservatives Call for Impeachment of Reagan Appointee

Also from Dana Milbank of the Washington Post:
Conservative leaders meeting in Washington yesterday for a discussion of "Remedies to Judicial Tyranny" decided that [Supreme Court Justice Anthony M.] Kennedy, a Ronald Reagan appointee, should be impeached, or worse.
Phyllis Schlafly, doyenne of American conservatism, said Kennedy's opinion forbidding capital punishment for juveniles "is a good ground of impeachment." To cheers and applause from those gathered at a downtown Marriott for a conference on "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith," Schlafly said that Kennedy had not met the "good behavior" requirement for office and that "Congress ought to talk about impeachment."

Not to be outdone, lawyer-author Edwin Vieira told the gathering that Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, "upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law."
Ominously, Vieira continued by saying his "bottom line" for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Joseph Stalin. "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem,' " Vieira said.
The full Stalin quote, for those who don't recognize it, is "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem."

"I'll let the record speak for itself."

So said Retired General Wesley Clark, referring to the validity of his views, and those of Richard Perle, presented at a 2002 joint appearance before the House Armed Services Committee. Their joint appearance was reprised this week, as reported by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post:
As chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, Perle had gone before the same committee in 2002 and smugly portrayed retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, who urged caution in Iraq, as "hopelessly confused" and spouting "fuzzy stuff" and "dumb cliches."
Thirty months and one war later, Perle and Clark returned to the committee yesterday. But this time lawmakers on both sides hectored Perle, while Clark didn't bother to suppress an "I told you so."

Perle wasn't about to provide the apology Jones sought. He disavowed any responsibility for his confident prewar assertions about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, heaping the blame instead on "appalling incompetence" at the CIA. "There is reason to believe that we were sucked into an ill-conceived initial attack aimed at Saddam himself by double agents planted by the regime [emphasis added]. And as we now know the estimate of Saddam's stockpile of weapons of mass destruction was substantially wrong."
While Perle's preparation for the hearing was no better than the preparation for the Iraq war, General Clark's readiness was evident:
When [committee chairman Duncan] Hunter's GOP colleagues didn't join his line of questioning, he took another turn grilling Clark. The chairman likened President Bush's Middle East policies to those of President Ronald Reagan in Eastern Europe.
"Reagan never invaded Eastern Europe," Clark retorted.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The SEC and Small Investors

The SEC adopted a regulation known as the trade-through rule that would ensure that brokers get the best price for customers buying stocks, even if it means going to another stock exchange:

Order Protection Rule
  • Rule 611 would require trading centers to obtain the best price for investors when such price is represented by automated quotations that are immediately accessible.
  • Specifically, the rule would require trading centers to establish, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to prevent trade-throughs, and, if relying on one of the rule's exceptions, which are reasonably designed to assure compliance with the exception.
  • The rule would protect the best bids and offers of each exchange, Nasdaq, and the NASD's ADF.
  • The rule does not contain a general "opt-out" exception that would have allowed market participants to disregard displayed quotations. The elimination of any protection for manual quotations is the principal reason that this broad exception is not included in the rule being considered for adoption.
  • The trade-thorough rule, considered a win for small investors, was adopted by a 3-2 vote, with the Commission's two Democrats siding with Republican Chairman William Donaldson.

    Wednesday, April 06, 2005

    That's It?

    Murray Waas of The American Prospect reports that the investigation into the leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame is all but over.

    The Full Faith and Credit of the United States

    President Bush visited the Treasury Department facility that holds the bonds for the Social Security system to give us his assessment of the federal government's financial strength:
    "A lot of people in America think there is a trust -- that we take your money in payroll taxes and then we hold it for you and then when you retire, we give it back to you," Bush said later in a speech at the University of West Virginia at Parkersburg. "But that's not the way it works. There is no trust fund, just IOUs that I saw firsthand," Bush said.
    Democratic leaders responded quickly:
    In a letter to Bush, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said the president's statements about the trust fund "could raise needless doubts among American and foreign investors about the United States' willingness to meet its fiscal obligations. This has potentially broad ranging and damaging implications for our economy." At issue are the special-issue Treasury bonds - now totaling around $1.7 trillion - that make up the trust fund.

    Wes Clark on the Iraq War

    Retired General Wes Clark testified before the House Armed Services Committee today. In his prepared testimony, he provided a concise summary of effect of the Iraq war on our national security:
    Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network are still at large, terrorist incidents have continued to take innocent life, and U.S. military actions in Iraq have provided a magnet for recruiting and training large numbers of extremist youth in continuing warfare. If Iraq is today the center of the war against terrorism, as some in the Administration have contended, it is not because the terrorists were there originally, but because they have been recruited there to the fight against us. Our military action in Iraq is more a catalyst for terrorists than a cure. Whatever results may ultimately come from removing Saddam Hussein from power, ending the terrorist threat against the United States of America is not likely to be one of them.
    General Clark continued with this assessment of the readiness of our armed forces:
    Even more importantly, the human costs to the all-volunteer Army, especially, have been staggering. The Army currently has 17 brigades deployed in Iraq, from an active force of 33 brigades, which should grow to 44 brigades as the result of internal Army restructuring. Most reserve component brigades have already been called up and deployed.
    Even worse is the treatment that the United States is meting out to its returning reservists, Guardsmen, and other veterans. Over the past three years there has been a substantial erosion of veterans benefits -- hospitals have closed or reduced treatments, usage fees have risen, returning reservists and Guardsmen have lost jobs, had their homes foreclosed on, credit scores ruined, suffered family tragedies, and significant stresses. The adjustment mechanisms to receive home our soldiers and then to sustain them and care for them as a grateful nation should are simply inadequately developed and funded.

    The Real Culprit Behind Tom DeLay's Troubles

    Tom Delay stepped forward today to identify who is to blame in the stories about his questionable dealings, including today's revelations about Russian-funded junkets and his wife and daughter collecting $500,000 from his political action and campaign committees. The answer is...the liberal media:
    "My wife and daughter have any right, just like any other American, to be employed and be compensated for their employment," DeLay said. "It's pretty disgusting, particularly when my wife and daughter are singled out and others are not, in similar situations in the Senate and as well as the House.
    "But it's just another seedy attempt by the liberal media to embarrass me."

    Tuesday, April 05, 2005

    Senator Cornyn and Federal Judges, Part 2

    We're not talking about loony remarks from a survivalist hiding out in a cabin in the woods. We're talking about a United States Senator who has served on the bench, as noted in Senator Cornyn's bio:
    Cornyn served for six years as a District Court Judge in San Antonio before being elected to the Texas Supreme Court in 1990, where he served for seven years.

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    Senator Cornyn's Concern for Federal Judges

    U.S. Senator John Cornyn from Texas offered these thoughts on our federal judiciary (reported by AMERICAblog) late this afternoon:
    And, indeed, I believe this increasing politicalization of the judicial decision-making process at the highest levels of our judiciary have bred a lack of respect for some of the people that wear the robe. And that is a national tragedy.
    And finally, I – I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news. And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in -- engage in violence. Certainly without any justification but a concern that I have that I wanted to share.
    We have seen these kinds of statements before--understanding the motives of terrorists and criminals while deploring their methods--all around the world: in Ireland; in the Middle East; and in the U.S. when white supremacists killed civil rights activists and even innocent children, when deluded middle-class college kids bombed laboratories, when environmentalists torched construction sites, and when militias took up arms in open defiance of our system of laws.
    If patriotism is the refuge of scoundrels, how then should we characterize this statement from a U.S. Senator expressing understanding of--while carefully stopping short of justification for--the recent murders of one federal judge and the mother and husband of another?
    Representative John Conyers promptly and properly offered these words of rebuke:
    This apparent effort to rationalize violence against judges is deplorable. On its face, while it contains doubletalk that simultaneously offers a justification for such violence and then claims not to, the fundamental core of the statement seems to be that judges have somehow brought this violence on themselves. This also carries an implicit threat: that if judges do not do what the far right wants them to do (thus becoming the "judicial activists" the far right claims to deplore), the violence may well continue.

    Ghost of Charisma Past*

    Bill Bradley's recent op-ed in the NYT is worth reading. He says that Democrats have it exectly wrong; that we look for a charismatic leader and pin everything on that hero:
    A party based on charisma has no long-term impact. Think of our last charismatic leader, Bill Clinton. He was president for eight years. He was the first Democrat to be re-elected since Franklin Roosevelt. He was smart, skilled and possessed great energy. But what happened? At the end of his tenure in the most powerful office in the world, there were fewer Democratic governors, fewer Democratic senators, members of Congress and state legislators and a national party that was deep in debt. The president did well. The party did not. Charisma didn't translate into structure.
    Instead, Bradley counsels that Democrats should focus on building the Party, policies, think tanks, fund raising and strategies to support political candidates before campaign season begins:
    There is no clearly identifiable funding base for Democratic policy organizations, and in the frantic campaign rush there is no time for patient, long-term development of new ideas or of new ways to sell old ideas. Campaigns don't start thinking about a Democratic brand until halfway through the election year, by which time winning the daily news cycle takes precedence over building a consistent message. The closest that Democrats get to a brand is a catchy slogan.
    Thanks to
    Beverly at Blog for Delaware for highlighting this piece.
    *This headline was first used in Esquire magazine in 1973 for a piece on who might pick up the Kennedy mantle of leadership--a story that mentioned John Kerry as among the contenders.

    Sunday, April 03, 2005

    Theocracy on the March

    The Theocons in congress have introduced a bill that would turn the separation of church and state on its head. The Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 was introduced in the House (as H.R. 1070) and Senate (as S.520) one month ago. The summary reads as follows:
    Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 - Amends the Federal judicial code to prohibit the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal district courts from exercising jurisdiction over any matter in which relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government or an officer or agent of such government concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.
    Prohibits a court of the United States from relying upon any law, policy, or other action of a foreign state or international organization in interpreting and applying the Constitution, other than English constitutional and common law up to the time of adoption of the U.S. Constitution.
    Provides that any Federal court decision relating to an issue removed from Federal jurisdiction by this Act is not binding precedent on State courts.
    Provides that any Supreme Court justice or Federal court judge who exceeds the jurisdictional limitations of this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offense for which the justice or judge may be removed, and to have violated the standard of good behavior required of Article III judges by the Constitution.
    Analyzing this one will take some work, but according to my quick reading, any government official anywhere could declare that his or her understanding of God's law supercedes local, state or federal law and the federal courts would be prohibited from doing anything about it. A judge who decided otherwise could be hauled before congress for impeachment.
    Likewise, a federal judge who refers to international law in a decision (like the majority Supreme Court decision prohibiting the death penalty for minors, written by Sandra Day O'Conner) could face impeachment.
    My inexpert opinion is that this wouldn't pass muster with the Supreme Court. Even so, this is one of the most audacious attempts to limit the historic authority of the federal judiciary we've seen in quite some time.
    Thanks to Sandrover at Daily Kos for bringing this to light.

    Friday, April 01, 2005

    Blogosphere as of April 1

    Check out this April 1 posting on Boring Boring (itself a Boing Boing
    parody), with this headline:
    State of the Blogosphere: Increase in post volume mostly Josh Marshall on Social f#@king Security

    Does DeLay = GOP?

    As we watch Tom DeLay and his supporters prepare an all-out counterattack against his critics, observers like Josh Marshall are wondering whether they're not making a big mistake:
    When DeLay says 'bring it on' to his critics and marshals the full host of movement conservatism to defend him, I can't imagine that worries his critics a wink. I don't say that because these folks are impotent or can't raise a ruckus; they can. It is rather that in purely partisan terms the aim of the people leading the charge against DeLay is to raise his profile, to make him the face of the Republican majority on capitol hill -- with all his full measure of snarl, extremity and venality.