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Will Of Steel?

Sometimes, you just need a little Spinal Tap…

BooMan hits the same notes of frustration that I’m feeling this morning:

What did the administration buy with the resignations of Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales? Apparently, they bought a get out of jail free card. Whereas, previously, Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy had insisted he would not hold hearings for attorney general nominee Michael B. Mukasey until he got all his subpoenaed documents, now he appears ready to go forward….

Based on what I learned in Jack L. Goldsmith’s The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration, a full disclosure of the Office of Legal Counsel’s historical legal reasoning on warrantless domestic surveillance and torture would probably lead directly to a slam-dunk case for impeachment…especially of Dick Cheney. It appears that the administration’s decision to jettison Rove and Gonzales has given them some wiggle room.  

TheMuck has the full Leahy letter.  As if reading about the bait and switch torture memoranda — and lord only knows what else is hidden under the creepy Cheney/Addington infested rocks — weren’t nauseating enough this morning.

Matt at OpenLeft has some better news from Russ Feingold’s office. And KagroX finds a potential path to the light amidst the Beltway cave-ins — I like to call them facts:

Republicans want to force the Senate to approve all four pending FEC nominations at once, in a single vote. The argument is that previous FEC nominations have been considered that way, so this one should be, too. Such nominations are typically paired up, one Democratic nominee, one Republican. And significant opposition is rare, so the Senate has in the past saved itself some time and considered the nominations together. But Von Spakovsky has significant opposition, so some Senators want — gasp! — separate votes on each nominee.

Adam B. notes (in e-mail) that McConnell’s claim of strong precedent for only having paired votes is iron clad  b.s. Way, way back, lost in the mists of time, as far back as May 2000, the Senate did indeed vote separately on FEC commissioners.

And who was in charge of these separate FEC commissioner Senate votes in the year 2000? Why, that would be the Republicans. Mitch McConnell, once again blowing smoke and falsehoods in the name of obstruction. More from KagroX via e-mail:

There’s no rule [requiring block votes on FEC nominees]. McConnell’s claim grows out of the fact that the nominations are paired and that there’s rarely any significant opposition to anyone being named, so by unanimous consent they dispense with the business more quickly by voting on all nominations together. But as DiFi noted in committee, this is only the case when there’s no significant opposition to any nominee, and we’ve been lucky enough that that’s just never been the case, or at least so rarely so that it became routine to vote on all the nominations at once.

What it would take, presumably, is a unanimous consent agreement that all nominations be voted on at once. Otherwise, normal rules of procedure should enable Senators to require separate votes. So an intention to object to such an agreement should at least throw a temporary wrench in the works.

Will the Democratic leadership have the will of steel to call McConnell’s craptastic bluffitude? Just say no to a unanimous consent agreement on Von Spakovsky.  No, no…NO.  Stay tuned…and call your Senators today and tell them to say “no” to Von Spakovsky. 

You can find direct dial numbers for individual Senators here.  More on the odious Mr. Von Spakovsky here, here and here.  And Katymine found some toll free numbers to the switchboard:

1 (800) 828 – 0498
1 (800) 459 – 1887
1 (800) 614 – 2803
1 (866) 340 – 9281
1 (866) 338 – 1015
1 (877) 851 – 6437

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com