|Subject:||Bill Frist is a moron.|
As Sen Chuck Schumer has demonstrated. In response to Schumer's question about whether it was true that Frist had voted against cloture on the nomination of Richard Paez (who was eventually confirmed, after enduring a record 1506 day period from nomination to confirmation), Frist said:
The issue is we have leadership-led partisan filibusters that have, um, obstructed, not one nominee, but two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, in a routine way. ... The issue is not cloture votes per se, it’s the partisan, leadership-led use of cloture votes to kill -- to defeat -- to assassinate these nominees. That’s the difference. Cloture has been used in the past on this floor to postpone, to get more info, to ask further questions.
Gee, Dr Frist, didn't you say, on Justice Sunday, that filibusters of judicial nominees were unconstitutional? Isn't that why your spin-doctors tried to rename your plan to violate Senate rules "the Constitutional Option"? If something's unconstitutional, the purpose to which it's put, and the frequency of its use, are irrelevant. But then, he probably also thinks that he gets a freebie shot at your right to free speech, just as long as he has good reasons and doesn't use censorship too often.
ETA: In other news, the DoD continues its own tradition of Rumsfeldian stupidity. I used to think Iraq/Vietnam comparisons, while worth exploring, were a bit strained. No longer.
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Iraqi tribal leaders in [Western Iraq] had formed a vigilante group called the Hamza Forces to stave off the Islamic extremists streaming across the Syrian border. Outnumbered, at least three of the tribal chiefs asked the Iraqi defense ministry and the U.S. Marines for help.
Rather than respond in a coordinated fashion, U.S. forces blazed in with armored vehicles and helicopter gun ships and simply pummeled the place. Fasal al-Goud, a former governor of Anbar province and one of the sheiks who had asked for assistance, told the Inquirer, "The Americans were bombing whole villages, and saying they were only after the foreigners."
Villagers who returned after the fighting were stunned to find entire neighborhoods destroyed. Men who had stayed behind to help were found dead in shot-up houses. Over 100 jihadists were killed, but so were a lot of Iraqis fighting on the side of the Americans, to say nothing of several bystanders caught in the crossfire.