Patterico's Pontifications


Behind the Scenes of the Capitulation

Filed under: Judiciary,Morons — Patterico @ 11:17 pm

The AP has a fascinating story that sheds more light on the filibuster capitulation, including who will be thrown under the bus next:

In the privacy of his Capitol office last Monday night, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., asked for commitments from six Democrats fresh from the talks. Would they pledge to support filibusters against Brett Kavanaugh and William Haynes, two nominees not specifically covered by the pact with Republicans?

Some of the Democrats agreed. At least one, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, declined.

This occurred just minutes after the deal was finalized. Later in the story, it appears that at least five of the seven Democrats agreed to filibuster Kavanaugh and Haynes:

Reid asked Democrats to support filibusters against both Kavanaugh and Haynes.
Nelson declined. Several participants in the meeting said the others agreed, although Landrieu said Friday through a spokesman that she had not. Reid’s spokesman declined comment.

The story makes it fairly clear that, while many Senators had input into the negotiations, Frist was not driving this, as a recent Fox News story suggested.

It also makes it pretty clear that there will be more filibusters very soon. My only consolation will be that I will be able to drown my sorrows with a bottle of wine bought for me by Paul Deignan.

Misalliance of Convenience

Filed under: General — Dafydd @ 7:54 pm

One of the most “unhelpful” memes circulating through the blogosphere is that the Memorandum of Understanding between the seven Democratic senators and the Seven Dwarfs is some sort of “agreement,” as in a legal contract. Center-right bloggers — mostly lawyers — have proclaimed with appropriate head-shaking that even if the Democrats go right on filibustering every nominee who meets the “extraordinary circumstances” test (that is, any nominee nominated by George Bush), there is nothing the Republican members of the Gang of Fourteen can do, because the “agreement” allows the filibusters to continue but “prohibits” Republicans from voting for the constitutional option.

This is completely wrong, however; and a six-year-old argument between my wife, my liberal sister, and the conservative writer Brad Linaweaver demonstrates why the MoU will not last — and why we will likely see an actual vote on the constitutional option before the end of this year.


More drugs in LA!?!?

Filed under: General — See Dubya @ 2:21 pm

Thanks to Dave at Garfield Ridge, we see that Oliver Stone has been arrested for booze-cruisin’ and drug-havin’.

Patterico’s Pontifications has obtained partial transcripts of some surveillance tapes that may have led to the arrest. Excerpts below the fold; do mind the harsh language: (more…)

L.A. Times Sat on Evidence Relating to Clinton Pardon

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 8:53 am

Does the name Carlos Vignali ring a bell? He is the drug trafficker who was pardoned by Bill Clinton, after his rich father contributed hundreds of thousands to local politicians who lobbied Clinton on the son’s behalf. The politicians included Gloria Molina, Antonio Villaraigosa, Bob Hertzberg, Xavier Becerra, Richard Polanco, Richard Alatorre, Esteban E. Torres, Mike Hernandez, and others. It didn’t hurt that the elder Vignali “hired” Hillary Clinton’s brother Hugh Rodham to “lobby” the White House for the modest fee of $200,000. (After negative publicity threatened to harm Hillary Clinton’s continuing political ambitions, Rodham later returned the money.)

In March 2002, it came to light that the DEA had long suspected that the father, Horacio Vignali, was himself involved in drug trafficking. Here’s the interesting part: the L.A. Times had this information in February 2001, and didn’t publish it.


Condi dings the Minutemen?

Filed under: General — See Dubya @ 4:55 am


Okay, I like her a lot, and it’s her job to be diplomatic and keeps things copacetic with our neighbor to the south. And it’s also her job to be loyal to her boss’s (irresponsible) border control policies. And she was speaking on the fly here. And it sounds like she delivered an otherwise great speech that the paper said impressed even some of the Democrats listening to her, and it’s not like I don’t feel like a schmoe picking out one off-the-cuff answer and harping about it.

And foidermore, it’s not like I was always the hugest fan of the Minuteman Project, at least until the ridiculous, sanctimonious, obnoxious MSM-ACLU opposition to them (“They’re carrying legal firearms! They’re flying American flags! Some of them are pasty and wear rayon! They must be racists, or at least nutballs!”) has radicalized me to the point that now I’m ready to pick a fight just to support them and their right to peacefully assemble.

Anyway, Condi spoke at Frisco’s Commonwealth Club and, according to a Mercury News article that’s really not worth going through the long, intrusive registration process , she was asked about the Minutemen:

Most of the audience questions selected by club CEO Gloria Duffy centered on war and global diplomatic efforts, but Rice was asked for her opinion about the role of armed volunteers guarding the border with Mexico.

“As to enforcement, that is a role for the United States government and the United States government alone,” she said bluntly.

This is, of course, blatantly misrepresenting what the Minutemen were trying to do, and actually did, without any reports of civil rights violations during their one-month patrol–which is to notify legitimate law enforcement of border violations so the proper authorities could deal with the problem. You know, like a Neighborhood Watch program. Or Crimestoppers. Or the Guardian Angels in NYC.

Is Secretary of State Rice against Neighborhood Watch Programs? Of course she’s not. She knows better. Law enforcement depends on cooperation and information from citizens.

Also, and this is a quibble, but the United States Government alone? Even local and state law enforcement agencies don’t have a part to play?

Let’s be honest: I greatly admire the stalwart agents of the Border Patrol, the US Park Rangers service, Customs, INS, all the enforcement agencies monitoring the border, which is thankless and sometimes dangerous work. They do the best they can. That said, “the United States Government and The United States Government Alone” hasn’t been doing a particularly overwhelming job of securing the south end of the country.

Ten Thousand Armies of One

Filed under: Accepted Wisdom,Space,Terrorism,War — Dafydd @ 2:48 am

That slogan of the U.S. Army — “an Army of one!” — has always set me to pondering. What do they mean? On the one hand, they extol teamwork; but on the other hand, the brass seem to want recruits to feel like individuals, cardinal numbers instead of merely ordinal numbers. It seems confused, to say the least.

But what if it were literally true? What if one man (or woman) could be the hyperpowered equivalent of an entire army back in the days of the so-called “greatest generation?” What if the United States had ten thousand “armies of one?” To explore this intriguing idea, do the obvious….


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