The Spectacle Blog

Chafee Against Alito, For Cloture

By on 1.30.06 | 11:07AM

The former mayor of Warwick will vote against the filibuster and against Alito's nomination. Jim Baron, the Pawtucket Times/Woonsocket Call columnist with whom I was acquainted as a pup intern at the Times, argues Chafee's playing both sides in a "cynical political calcuation." The NRSC money keeps flowing Chafee's way, which will help in his primary race against Stephen Laffey, and he can claim some moderate/liberal credibility when/if the general election rolls around.

The party should cut him off.

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Bush Hits 50 Percent

By on 1.30.06 | 9:35AM

In his approval ratings, according to Rasmussen. Don't hold your breath waiting for the major press to report this as loudly as they do when his ratings dip.

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Snowe: Not for Filibuster

By on 1.30.06 | 9:31AM

Senate source reminds that Snowe of Maine has never and does not vote for filibuster -- that is, against cloture.

She may vote no on Alito, but not with Kerry and the filibuster crew.

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Roberts and Alito — Regular Charity Cases

By on 1.29.06 | 9:46PM

Thought I'd take a look at Eleanor Clift's latest column (don't worry -- it's not a habit) for what thoughtless/ridiculous things she had to say. I didn't have to read past the first paragraph:

Get ready for the divider, not the uniter, when President Bush delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday to a packed House chamber. It will be a ceremonial evening, with Chief Justice John Roberts likely to be joined by newly confirmed Associate Justice Samuel Alito in the front row to look up admiringly at the man who made their careers.

Made their careers? I could see her arguing that for John Roberts based solely on his posts on the D.C. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court (obviously discounting his immense legal knowledge independent of the last two points on his resume). But Sam Alito? When Bush took office, he'd already been serving on the 3rd Circuit for 11 years.

Yep, a coupla' bums he found wandering on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Too Close to Call

By on 1.29.06 | 9:34PM

Admittedly, I'm hopeful that Roy Blunt doesn't have this race wrapped up just yet (see below). But the article on the race in the Washington Post tomorrow confirms my hopes... and suspicions:

With 92 declared supporters, Blunt remains the favorite, well ahead of Boehner's 49 declared supporters and Shadegg's 16. But House members and advisers say the race remains more open than it looks. All three candidates will make presentations to a gathering of conservative House members in Baltimore today. The House returns tomorrow for President Bush's State of the Union address, the first time most members will have the chance to discuss the race among themselves.

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House Race: Two on Laurels, One on Principles

By on 1.29.06 | 9:22PM

The New York Times, in its House majority leader race report for tomorrow's editions, captures the essence of each campaign:

Mr. Blunt, 56, the majority whip who has been serving as interim majority leader since Mr. DeLay's indictment in Texas last fall on campaign-related money laundering charges, has portrayed himself as a seasoned member of the leadership team - essentially the incumbent. "This is no time for on-the-job training," Mr. Blunt said in an interview.

Mr. Boehner (pronounced BAY-ner), 56, the chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee and a member of the House leadership in the 1990's, is emphasizing his legislative capabilities, pointing to major education and pension bills he delivered with rare bipartisan support. "I am the only one with broad legislative skills and experience," Mr. Boehner said.

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EUnuchs on the March

By on 1.29.06 | 4:01PM

It's fascinating. For European diplomats, nothing succeds like failure. Bloomberg reports that the EU-3 are resuming nuclear talks with Iran tomorrow, allowing Ahmadinejad & Co. to continue to dance away from even the possibility of UN Security Council action. The fact that there is no change whatsoever in Iran's position since the talks were declared dead will, inevitably, produce the same result after this round. And leaves the EU-3 tugging its collective forelock at the feet of the Iranian regime. When will they ever learn? Never.

China and Russia, siding with Iran, will certainly stall the UN, and the Euros are doing the same. The game remains the same for appeasers the world 'round. So how long do we wait before taking action against the mullahs' regime and their nuclear operations? If the Euros have their way, it will be long enough for Iran to deploy nuclear weapons.

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Re: Alito and the Betrayal Margin

By on 1.29.06 | 2:18PM

John B.: I get the impression from the tone of your posts that you're completely misreading the situation on the Hill.

There is no way that Alito is going to be stopped. Unless they're really, really stupid, the Dems calling for a filibuster don't actually want a successful filibuster. They want to convince their far left base (which is really stupid) that they've done all they can. If the cloture vote fails, the judicial filibuster will be swiftly killed for good on a simple majority vote (the so-called nuclear option). It will represent a massive miscalculation by the Democrats. We should be hoping for that, not fearing it.

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Alito and the Betrayal Margin

By on 1.29.06 | 1:46PM

Choral member Democrats falling in line, D-Day Minus 1:

Obama indicates he will vote for cloture and asks a sensible question: why would any Democrat vote yes for cloture if he or she aimed to vote no on the Alito nomination on the Senate floor?

Also Lieberman, a Doubtful Dem as of Friday, now falls in with the chorus and says he will vote no for cloture on Monday afternoon.

Moving count, this leaves the cloture vote still in doubt.

Among the Dems, only Nelson, Johnson and Byrd of Deep Red States are pledged to vote for cloture.

Dems Dorgan and Conrad of Deep Red North Dakota are considered likely cloture yes votes.

However this means that the wobbly Republican senators now are critical to the Frist led cloture vote. Losing even one red senator makes the task to get to 60 most arduous.

Snowe of Blue Maine and Chafee of Blue Rhode Island are considered uncertain, and they are both standing reelection in activist dominated small states, where a rush of outside (netroot or DNC cash) help could send them to defeat. The mention of Stevens of Alaska as wobbly appears specious.

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