Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Personal Asides: More Sadness Anent Terry Barnich…Burris’ Pathetic Pleading…Obama’s Dilemma about North Korea…His Pick for the Supreme Court.


Terry Barnich.

I have just learned something more about Terry Barnich, the patriot who as a civilian was killed on Memorial Day in Iraq: He was preparing to come home to Chicago in July and begin a run for the U. S. Senate on the Republican ticket. That really makes me feel sad. Dear God, in so many ways—what a loss.

Burris Agonistes.

Hungry for the Senate appointment to the point of being tumescent about it, Roland Burris was caught on the feds’ tape pleading for the appointment and all but offering to buy the seat. That tape should settle everything about his possible future candidacy for the office. Were he to run for election and win, Illinois would go down in permanent…not temporary disgrace…as voters countenanced his blatant attempt to office-buy.

Robert Blagojevich says: “…[I]f you guys can just write checks that’d be fine, if we can’t find a way for you to tie in.”

Burris pleadingly agrees: “Okay, okay, well we, we, I, will personally do something, okay.”

Burris adds: “I know I could give him a check. Myself.”

He never wrote a check because the federal heat came on too quickly—but that doesn’t dismay Burris who lies so volubly his very soul could turn to ashes, saying:

“These transcripts verify the accuracy of my previous public statements on this matter and demonstrate once and for all there was no `pay to play’ involved in my appointment to the United States Senate or perjury I my recounting that process.”

The truth isn’t in him. Ugh is all I can add.

The conversation starts with Burris telling Robert Blagojevich: “I know you’re calling telling me that you’re gonna make me king of the world. And therefore I can go off to, you know, wherever and do all these great things. I’ve been trying to figure out what the heck, you know, I can do.”

To which Robert Blagojevich responds: “ We’ve had a number of conversations about, you know, anything you might be able to do.

Burris says—rightly—he is concerned about how fundraising on his part would be viewed if he got the Senate seat.

“And I’m trying to figure out how to deal with this and still be in consideration for the appointment.”

Says Robert Blagojevich: “I hear ya. No, I hear ya. I understand your concerns, Roland.”

Burris rattles on: “And God knows, number one, I, I wanna help Rod. Number two, I also wanna, you know, hope I get a consideration to get that appointment.”

Disgusting. No shame. He ought to quit right now. But when one has no shame, that wouldn’t even be considered, would it?

North Korea Missile Firings.

North Korea’s firing of a round of short-range missile last night in addition to having launched a ground-to-ship missiles into the East Sea dramatizes the folly of us importuning the UN to do anything. It is an impotent body and by trying to get it to deliver anything outside of a nasty note to the offender we’re just wasting time.

Of course President Obama is a great one for beseeching dictators to act nicey-nice. But what should happen is that we should begin negotiations immediately to encourage Japan to utilize nuclear technology…which would rectify the imbalance which in term would serve to stabilize China.

That’s what should happen. Whether it will remains to be seen. Don’t hold your breath. That’s what would happen if George W. Bush were still in control. Now we have an orator, ladies and gentlemen. One who sees his first job as ordering roofs in the United States to be painted white to help conserve energy.

First things first.

Obama’s Supreme Court Appointment.

The most compelling assessment of the lack of excellence in Obama’s Supreme Court appointment comes, paradoxically, from an unlikely source—“The New Republic’s” legal analyst Jeffrey Rosen whose review of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s (2nd Circuit court of Appeals in New York) credentials appear in the May 4 issue of the magazine.

After pointing out Sotomayor’s political bona fides as the first Latina to go on the Court, Rosen writes of those on the 2nd Circuit who know her well “there are…many reservations about Sotomayor. I’ve been talking to a range of people who have worked with her, nearly all of them former law clerks for other judges on the 2nd Circuit or former federal prosecutors in New York. Most are Democrats and all of them want President Obama to appointment a judicial star of the highest intellectual caliber who has the potential to change the direction of the court [sic]. …[N]early none raved about her. They expressed questions about her temperament, her judicial craftsmanship, and most of all her ability to provide an intellectual counterweight to the conservative justices as well as a clear liberal alternative.”

My, the fact that Rosen thinks she’s a lightweight sort of cheers me up.

“The most consistent concern was that Sotomayer although an able lawyer was `not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench,’ said one 2nd Circuit clerk for another judge. `She has an inflated opinion of herself and is domineering during oral arguments but her questions aren’t penetrating and don’t get to the heart of the issue.’ During one argument, an elderly judicial colleague is said to have leaned over and said, `Will you please stop talking and let them talk?’”

Rosen goes on and on. The upshot is that this is a very mediocre judge who has traded on her nationality…not unexpected from the likes of Barack Obama.

I would imagine the Republicans would forego filibustering for two reasons. First, a number of them…six or so…voted for her during her last confirmation hearing. Second, there will be the old liberal caterwauling about how awful it would be for Republican senators to vote against an Hispanic. Very unpersuasive. A whole list of Hispanic candidates was submitted by George W. Bush i.e. Emilo Garza, who were vehemently opposed by the Democrats in the Senate. Third, the seat being vacated is of a liberal and the appointment of another liberal would not change the balance.

But watch out: the next vacancy will see Obama appoint a fiery liberal and the fight will be on.

However, this fight may not be over at all as one can never predict what will come out of a confirmation hearing. Errors can be made, goofs can be made, negative research can be turned up.

But in the meantime the one argument that doesn’t hold water is the one that says: oh-oh, Republicans can’t be seen as opposing a…gasp…Hispanic! Balderdash.

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