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March 05, 2005


Nothing is left to be said. Senator Byrd lies exposed. Democrats interested in challenges to President Bush ought not allow Byrd to own any issue such as this. For their part, Republicans should encourage Byrd to further flights of fancy.

Is this true: "President Bush has renominated 20 men and women to the federal bench, seven of whom the Senate rejected last year"?

Did the entire Senate reject seven of these nominees, or were they not permitted a vote? If they were voted down, is it possible that the newly configured Senate would vote to approve them? In which case, why shouldn't a President be allowed to nominate whomever he wants, cognizant of the shifting landscape of the Senate? Or is Byrd's argument that once a nominee has been rejected, he has been blackballed for life? I'd like the former Klansman to point to the section of the Constitution where that is addressed.

And what happened to the other 13? Obviously, they were not approved by the Senate, or they wouldn't have been renominated. Did they get a hearing in Committee? A vote in Committee? Please fill in the details.

From Byrd's op-ed: "President Bush has renominated 20 men and women to the federal bench, seven of whom the Senate rejected last year."

Byrd is a liar.

The Senate did not "reject" Bush's nominations, because his nominees were never put to an up/down vote, which is the whole point of the rule change.

Thanks, Observer, as that is what I thought the truth was. And, so, Byrd is lying about factual matters, in addition to misleading, as Brendan ably points out in his post.

What of the other 13? Did they not get a Committee hearing at all? If they did, did they not get a Committee vote?

As the saying goes: Don't argue facts, only opinions, because facts can be checked. The gasbag from West Virginia should heed the wisdom of that adage.

I could not help but notice that all comments re: Sen. Byrd are negative. Are those the only ones you allow?
Why all the flap about Byrd's comments? What he SAID is a far cry from the lies that Mr. Bush is trying to sell the American people. The tax cuts and benefits given to the upper class are real and still going strong. this administration's policies, which are somewhat secretive, especially to those who know it all already, have sold out our govt. to special interests, namely the rich and the corporations.
The war was never represented for what it is; a gravy train for the bush crime organization.
If this language is too strong for you, try listening to the radical right.
Senators are on the stump lying through their teeth about social security.
Let's go back a bit: remember WMDs, the flawed intelligence system, the stolen elections, the incredible high gas, energy, insurance ,and banking costs all from this corporation friendly administration.
How about immigration? Bush sits silently, does nothing. Does not invoke the laws already on the books for employers who higher illegal. There are more hands off issues by bushco.
I think the feeling that is under the surface in this country is very dangerous.
The entire Christian, "our religion is better than yours....". The insidious censorship that gripped the country are all indications of the rise of a fascist state. Check out the fascism index. The definition of fascism and it's characteristics.
The media is paid off as are many others who play at bipartisanships but who are deceptive in actuality, down right dishonest.
Sorry for the disagreement.

Just to be clear, I don't censor comments based on what views they express, though I reserve the right to delete those that I deem to be inappropriate, abusive, etc.

Brendan, I'm not sure the differentiation is made between an up-or-down vote on an appointment and a vote on a piece of legislation that can be amended until it wins enough votes to overcome a filibuster. You can't amend an appointment.

The right of unlimited debate, and unlimited amendment, is not generally guaranteed in a legislative body. In the House, for instance, a 'rule' for every legislative matter is created which may and typically restricts the time of debate allowed, and the number of amendments that can be entertained, and amendments must be germane to the bill.

However, that isn't true in the Senate, where the right of unlimited debate and amendment HAS been the rule, from the beginning of its existence. That right was considered so fundamentally important that a supermajority was required to end debate, invoke cloture, and call the question to a vote. It USED to be MORE than 60%; this is already a far weaker supermajority than used to be required by Senate rules.

So, make no mistake. A change in the rules to allow cloture by simple majority rule certainly DOES have the effect of stopping debate and/or amendment. If this is supposedly only in the case of judicial nominees, yet it is a precedent and a crack in the wall of presumption that unlimited proceedings ought to the rule, for which a supermajority provides the exception.

Maybe I'm missing something crucial, but it seems to me that if the "right to filibuster" is so fundamental to free speech, EVERY legislative body in this country would be constitutionally required to allow it.

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