Wednesday, April 27, 2005

News and Perspectives

(Note to frequent visitors -- Updates have been added at the bottom)

Castle Denizens are losing our war correspondent in Afghanistan, which is good news for MSG Keith, who will be returning from his deployment next month. Visit the Castle to read his latest (and possibly last) report - complete with fantastic pictures.

While you are there, read through the latest News You Can Use updates from the Armorer.

I've been concerned with the machinations on both sides in the Senate battle over judicial nominations, so I enjoyed reading this item in the NY Times from Bob Dole - Up, Down or Out. I urge you to read the complete article, but here is a snip to set the tone and whet your appetite :

IN the coming weeks, we may witness a vote in the United States Senate that will define the 109th Congress for the ages. This vote will not be about war and peace, the economy or the threat from terrorism. It will focus instead on procedure: whether the Senate should amend its own rules to ensure that nominees to the federal bench can be confirmed by a simple majority vote.

I have publicly urged caution in this matter. Amending the Senate rules over the objection of a substantial minority should be the option of last resort. I still hold out hope that the two Senate leaders will find a way to ensure that senators have the opportunity to fulfill their constitutional duty to offer "advice and consent" on the president's judicial nominees while protecting minority rights. Time has not yet run out.

But let's be honest: By creating a new threshold for the confirmation of judicial nominees, the Democratic minority has abandoned the tradition of mutual self-restraint that has long allowed the Senate to function as an institution.

Hat tip to Cass at Villainous Company for the link, and for her post yesterday on Alexander Hamilton and the Appointment Power.

Jack at Random Fate poses some interesting thoughts on the Cold War in the Would that Will not Heal, and his readers offer their thoughts in comments as well. His quote of the day is a good reminder on Perspective :

Like the wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we are, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.
-Harlan Ellison

Now that the amazing Kat of The Middle Ground has her computer up and running full steam again, she is using it to good effect! Her essay today on This Imperfect Freedom is a great read, fill up the coffee cup and take your time ...

Another must read is Bunker Mulligan's discussion on the Democratic Talking Points.

In other places, Punctilious has a critter round up today with buffalo, an ostrich, and silly geese, and Alan has an interesting photo needing a caption. Meanwhile, Eric gives us an instructive look at how some Marines livened up their PT time with Games.


Word has been received from our friend Heartless Libertarian that the extra Guardian Angel Squad provided from the Castle (Thanks, John and Bill!) is going to be able to stand down soon, when SPC HL returns home in the near future. However - the GA should be aware that pending force changes will require some occasional checking-in, as the HL team plans to increase to full fire-team size around the December time-frame!