Lindsey serves in Afghanistan September 4, 2006Posted by Judy in Congressional News, Lindsey Graham, National Defense, Welcome.
America’s Good Life August 21, 2006Posted by Judy in America.
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America provides an amazingly good life for the ordinary guy. Rich people live well everywhere, but what distinguishes America is that it provides a remarkably high standard of living for the “common man.” A country is not judged by how it treats its most affluent citizens but by how it treats the average citizen. In much of the world today, the average citizen has a very hard life. In the Third World, people are struggling for their basic existence. It is not that they don’t work hard. On the contrary, they labor incessantly and endure hardships that are almost unimaginable to people in America. In the villages of Asia and Africa, for example, a common sight is a farmer beating a pickaxe into the ground, women wobbling under heavy loads, children carrying stones. These people are performing arduous labor, but they are getting nowhere. The best they can hope for is to survive for another day. Their clothes are tattered, their teeth are rotten, and disease and death constantly loom over the horizon. For most poor people on the planet, life is characterized by squalor, indignity, and brevity.
Change the War Crimes Act, I Think Not August 9, 2006Posted by Judy in National Defense.
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The administration has insisted that they were not breaking the law or ignoring international standards in its treatment of detainees, however, a draft revision of the War Crimes Act may shed light into their actual desire to change a law in order to protect against prosecution for lawbreaking that has already occured.Today’s Washingotn Post reports on the administration’s proposed amendments to the War Crimes Act, which specify the categories of illegal activities that are absolutely banned while leavig flexibility so great that CIA officials and others operatig under orders of the Presidet or a political appointee immunity from prosecution as well as giving the appoitee immunity from prosecution. However, the military officials, who are immue under the War Crimes Act, would be prosecutable for the Conduct uder the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Our military personnel can be charged with an offense under the general article if their offense is not covered by a specified article.
This attempt by the administration to propose very narrow definitions of war crimes comes on the heels of a request for Congress to define war crimes reproted in the New York Times. The administration did not give them a fair chance to do their work. This proposal will preoccupy and cotrol debate because it is the first and gives staunch supports of the President like John Cornyn and Jeff Sessions suggestions to work with in handling the most difficult issue of our time.
According to my interpretations of the reports these amendments would effectively make the McCain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA) ineffectual. The McCain provision was approved by the Senate 90-9 and also by an overwhelming house majority.
The language of the McCain provision expressly forbids “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment as well as outrages upon personal dignity.” We have been having this battle since the legislature used their Article I authority to regulate conduct of the War on terror ad place our values at the fore of the fight. The first move by the president was the signing statement to last years defense bill saying that he would follow sections of the DTA when he felt they did not conflict with his claimed Article II authority as Commander in Chief. Sen. Arlen Specter has proposed a bill to allow Congress to have standing in the courts when there is a dispute with a presidential signing statement.
With this history, progression of events, and reports of things that have occured at Abu Ghraib and Guatanamo Bay I am vehemently opposed to the amendmets to the War Crimes Act. Also, with the administration wanting to allow coerced testimony and hearsay evidece in military commissions I beleive that their needs to broad prosecution authority for wrongdoing. I believe that these amendmets not only create a conflict with our values, but also between laws.
Trying Terroists, Round 2 July 16, 2006Posted by Judy in National Defense.
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John Yoo, a former top lawyer in the Bush administration, has a simple remedy for the Supreme Court decision striking down the military tribunals created for war crimes trials at Guantanamo. Congress, he says, should pass a law overruling the Supreme Court. From a legal point of view, that is not entirely implausible, and given the breadth of the court’s ruling, the administration may be tempted to try to show the court who’s boss.
But that would be a mistake. First, it’s a political loser: Even prominent Republican senators like John Warner of Virginia and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have made it clear they think some changes are in order. Second, it would delay any trials indefinitely, until the courts can decide whether it’s constitutional–which it may not be.
No Nomination Games Being Played June 15, 2006Posted by Judy in Jim Haynes.
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I agree that something needs to be done about the obstruction of judicial nominees, but what can be done so that we do not change to operation of the Senate? The “nuclear option” is no option at all becasue it will destroy the Senate.
Sen. Graham is blocking Mr. Haynes on principle becasue of his role in the torture scandal. No game here. Mr. Haynes wrote and endorsed the memos.
You bet that there would be cries of foul play if his election were moved up to tomorrow becasue it is not supposed to be until 2008. He is not supportive of nominees colling their heels fro years, but the one in question is problematic and there was some given up by the compromise.
The abuses have existed for a long time, but that does not mean we need a radical solution that makes irreversable changes.
I support the reforms because it would give all nominees of all presidents a fair vote, however, the Senators should have a right to block if there are substantial concerns, such as there are with Mr. Haynes.
I do not have a problem with knowing who is doing the blocking, however, a rules change should be done without the “nuclear option” and the Specter approach is a good start.
Response to “Lord on Judicial Nominations” on ConfirmThem.
Glad to be Lindsey’s Friend June 15, 2006Posted by Judy in Jim Haynes.
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Paul at PowerLine is as disappointed in Sen. Graham’s lack of a response to the issue of weather he is blocking the Haynes nomination in his recent letter to conservative groups. The partisanship of the retired military officer does not matter as long as his concerns are valid. I am sure that Paul would be siging a different turn if this military officer were a partisan Republican. The other man mentioned, Mr. Guter is not incoherent just becasue he disagrees with a policy. If Mr. Haynes could not break from his ’superiors’ as General Counsel of DoD than it is right to question hsi indepedence as a judge when dealing with the cases that are sure to come before the court in the interceeding years.
Sen. Graham is relying on the testimony of former officers that either worked with Haynes or in the environment that Haynes created when he sold out his DoD position to go along with the Jusitce Department position. It is unfair to say that Sen. Graham is ignoring pro-Haynes viewpoints of the officer cited. If Maj. Gen. Michael Marchand would go in and talk to him or write a letter to him than He would consider his viewpoint as well.
He refers to these memos because they represented DoD policy and the concerns about the effect on the service men and women were valid.
He is talking about the JAG memos, which took him a year and one-half to get and they were classified for some unknown reason. If the advice was followed than why couldn’t the Senator have them sooner? If they weren’t doing aything wrong why classify the opinion of the JAGs when the memos between Bybee, Haynes, Gonzales, and the other civilian lawyers were made public? Why did Secretary Rumsfeld later have to decertify some of the methods and why are we still dealing with this if he listened to their advice and the document addressed their concerns?
The argument that Sen. Graham did not consider the views of Maj. Gen. Roning or supoprters of Haynes is wrong because just the fact that he called someone that poisitively assessed Haynes is telling about his willingness to consider views contrary to his own and the critics.
The letter does not directly address the issue of his role in stopping the Haynes nomination, but conservatives have drawn the conclusion from the wording that he is the impediment. This is no surprise to me because he has said that there was one nominee that he would vote against and I think Haynes is that nominee. If the Haynes nomination goes through committee and to the floor there will be a filibuster and I would rather see Sen. Graham do everything in his power to preserve the civility and working order of the Senate.
Lindsey Graham Doesn’t Disappoint Me June 12, 2006Posted by Judy in Immigration, Judiciary, Taxes, Welcome.
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Response to Mike Reino at SC6.
I started out volunteering for the Presidential campaign of John Edwards two years ago. I went to Iowa and Milwaukee as a volunteer. I cam home from one of these trips and I was watching the Senate on C-SPAN 2 when I happened across a specch by Lindsey Graham, who was the Jr senator from South Carolina at th time. The speech was about trade. I remembering who would dare present the unorthodo position that he did.
I have followed his Senate career for the last two years and have defended him every chance I get becasue I do plan to pattern myself after him. I like his style of hammering out compromises and tackling current and controversial issues head on without fear.
Inspite of the high praise I do sometimes wonder what he is thinkig, but it is just a disagreement to me and not a dispointment. There is much wrong with the Senate version of the immigration bill, however, I think his heart is in the right place. THere is another problem with this issue besudes the agency not being able to handle the influx and that is the executive department’s lax enforcement. Sen. Graham is only trying to assist in fixing a problem that the President could have fixed quickly with an executive order that demanded stepped up enforcement of existing law. The solution is not perfect, but that is why we have a conference committee.
I understand the perils of the immigration issues becasue I live in Chicago and have a difficult time finding employment because I don’t speak Spanish. I also understanfd that until we enforce the fines on employers for hiring illegals than we will have the problem.
I do think that Lindsey is caught up in the spirit of comproise as he tends to be because he wants the Senate to work together. It is unfortunate that John McCain and the rest you name are so derided. I do not think that Lindsey should be beat based on the Groupof 14 becasue we still got our judges. Did we really want to destry to Senate and change forever the way it works? I don’t. I like judicial compromise because it has given good judges positions. Some still won’t make it, but that is the process.
I do not think that the second is as plausible as the first. Lindsey made some of the most passionate and compassionate speeches I saw from anyone on this issue. I am sure he recieved som contributions from business interests, but so did all the senators. This is not as much the problem as his bleeding heart may be on the issue.
I am and always will be more like Lindsey Graham than Jim DeMint. I am still not a Fair Tax supporter and will remain a compromiser for the overall good.
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As Paul at PowerLineBlog points out Jim Haynes has his defenders who are also people who worked with him. If there is nothing wront with ihim being a plaintiff against Secretary Rumsfeld in a case over abuses with the ACLU and being on the National Veterans for Kerry sterering committee, than why mention becasue it is not relevant escept as a tool to say look here’s a liberal who worked against the Presidnet in an election and was willing to work wit ht eACLU as a way to tarnish his argument and call it incoherent. He may say there is nothing wrong wotht his but it is enough to plant doubt in the minds of people who might have been willing to support the argument before that Haynes was unfit. This casts a political question that does not belong. I do not believe that this stuff would have even been mentioned if he had worked with say the ACLJ on a case or the Bush Veterans Committee.
Paul has also spoken with a former co-worker that says good things about Mr. Haynes. However, this alone does not take away the serious and important questions being raised by the retired officers, Sen. Graham, and Sen. McCain about his role in the torture scandal.
Why is it not a good enough reason for him to have been instrumental in writing and approving memos that may have contributed to the environment of the Abu Ghraib situation? To me and others this is enough. He may be a dedcated civil servant with the ability to serve on the vourt, however, the nomination is derailed not for political reasons, but for reasons of principle. We don;t torture and we should not condone or support it either. The Haynes nomination is a chance for us to make a conclusive statement about torture and the memos. It is no more disgusting that the nomination is held up than if it were a nominee you did not like who had the same background.
Lindsey Graham may have been block Haynes’ nomination, but he is doing for a reson or principle, not because of politics. THe Judiciary Committee is the place to stop an undesirable nominee. If you want him out of Committee so bad and believe he is being blocked get a majority of senators to sign discharge papers and move him out of committee without a vote. Lindsey is doing the honorable thing standing up for who the American people are and that we do not stand for torture even of terror suspects. He is not carryinf water for John McCain, but standing on his own two feet. THis is a risk for their political careers, but I contend that it is one worth taking. I do not live in South Carolina, but I write letters supporting the block becasue I feel it is the way that we best serve the country and keep the court room a quiet place where everyone can feel that they will recieve justice. The block is the honorable course. I think that the good people of South Carolina should lend moral support in his block of the Haynes nomination becasue of the torture issue. Lindsey is a fine public servant, but he does not support torture. This is his way of telling us the the president is not going to completely get his way and that is correct.