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Member since: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 04:21 PM
Number of posts: 16,104

Journal Archives

Merry Christmas, Mr. President!


Just one more!

The Senate goes home, the end of the Democratic Senate until 2016. On their way out the door, what a legacy!

By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press

The Senate has approved 76 federal court of appeals and district court judges so far this year. Confirmation of 12 more would bring this year's total to 88 ó the most since a Democratic-led Senate approved 99 of President Bill Clinton's appeals and district court nominees in 1994, according to Russell Wheeler, who studies the judiciary at the Brookings Institution.

Whatever this year's figure, it will easily surpass the 43 approved last year and the 49 confirmed in 2012. Majority Democrats enabled that in November 2013, when they muscled through a weakening of the Senate's rules on filibusters, the procedural delays that minority parties have long used to sink nominations and bills they dislike.

The 88 judges would mean the Senate would have confirmed 303 federal appeals and district court judges through Obama's six years in office, according to Wheeler. That would be more than the 298 confirmed during Clinton's first six years and the 253 confirmed during that same period under President George W. Bush.

Such numbers will let Obama put his imprint on the federal judiciary, though judges don't always follow the political ideology of the president who picked them.

Currently, there are 50 federal appeals and district court vacancies out of 856 judgeships, according to data from the U.S. court system. That's the lowest number of vacancies since December 2008, the month before Obama took office. Vacancies during his presidency peaked at 108 in December 2010.

Another measure of Obama's impact is on federal appeals courts, which have enormous influence on their regions of the country and can be conduits for cases to reach the Supreme Court. When he took office, 10 of the 13 appeals courts had more judges appointed by Republican than Democratic presidents. Now the balance has switched, with Democratic-appointed majorities on nine of the courts.

Most significantly, that includes the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia circuit, considered the nation's second-most powerful court because its jurisdiction includes actions by the White House and federal agencies.

Barack Obama is back!


There are three reasons. The first is that politically, Obamaís immigration gamble is working. Fearful of alienating Hispanics or shutting down the government, Republican leaders have largely abandoned hope of overturning Obamaís move. Whatís more, Obamaís approval ratings are up 15 points among Hispanics but have not dropped among Anglo whites. Add immigration to health-care reform and the fiscal stimulus and more commentators will start noticing that, whether you like Obamaís agenda or not, itís been the most consequential of any Democratic presidentís since Lyndon Johnson.

Second, and more importantly, the economy is improving. The third quarter saw the fastest job growth in three years, and the unemployment rate is now 5.8 percent, down from 10 percent in 2009. Gas prices are also plunging. And thereís evidence Americans are beginning to notice. As Time recently noted, consumer confidence has just hit its highest mark in eight years. Even if the improving economy doesnít boost Obamaís approval rating, itís likely to improve the way heís seen by the Beltway press. And given the role a strong economy played in buoying Bill Clintonís approval ratings in the late 1990s, despite the Monica Lewinsky scandal, itís quite possible that Obamaís will rise too, which will further fuel the journalistic perception that Obama is back.

Finally, the context in which journalists judge Obama is about to change. This yearís dominant storyline was about Obama and the midterm elections. Most key Senate races took place in red and purple states where Democratic candidates distanced themselves from Obama, thus magnifying the mediaís perception that he was a political pariah.
Next year, however, the story wonít be 2014 but 2016. And the Democratic story, in all likelihood, will be Hillary Clintonís march toward her partyís nomination. While Obama was certainly unpopular this fall in states like Kentucky, he remains quite popular among the liberal activists who play an outsized role in Democratic primaries. In fact, Obama retains a connection to many them that Hillary Clinton has never enjoyed.

The best of "The Newsroom" - RIP

Alabama's Nick Saban vs. THE Ohio State's Urban Myth

The historic first NCAA Football Playoffs are on the way! No. 1 Alabama will play No. 4* Ohio State in the Semi-finals.

One of the key matchups in this game will be head coach to head coach. Seems these two have met before!

The last two times they met, Nick Saban made Urban Meyer quit.


So with Saban and Alabama headed toward a Jan. 1 semifinal playoff game against Meyer and Ohio State in New Orleans, the Ohio State AD might want to update his list of potential coaching candidates.

Just in case.


*or is it No. 5, 6, or 7?

Update: Tracey Grissom story goes national

Link to recent broadcast of "48 Hours: The Girl Next Door:"


SEC Football, where's the love?

Last Saturday 2 games offered up agony and ecstasy of epic proportion!

Texas A&M at Auburn was unforgettable, as the magic that has sustained Auburn for so many years came to an end, and an 18 year old true freshman quarterback made it a game. For Auburn, miracle catches were followed by miracle fumbles. What goes around, comes around.

This was followed by Alabama at LSU in Death Valley, ..."where dreams come to die." Ole Miss died there, now for 57 minutes it looked like Alabama's dreams were ending in a typical SEC old-school slugfest where the bigger, faster, stronger pound each other into submission. When Yeldon lost the ball due to excruciating pain, and somehow Alabama held LSU to a field goal, and then for the first time in the entire game put together an Alabama drive, and then KICKED a tying field goal to go to overtime, well, agony and ecstasy again!

That was a remarkable 6 hours of entertainment, wasn't it?

Oh yes -- No.1 Mississippi State comes to Alabama this Saturday. Are you ready for some football?

Here we got more Republicans - less Sharia Law.


In Alabama, we know crazy. A last requiem...and then we move on.

"And that's all I have to say about that."

Alabama General Election - 5 Statewide Constitutional Amendments

I am sure our candidate selections will be simply each and every Democrat on the ballot. To eliminate any easy machine discrepancy from electronic ballot readers advantaging a particular party, I recommend marking the oval by the Democrat's name, not the Straight Party Voting oval. I guarantee you, all the voter fraud is in counting, not voting!

Convinced of overwhelming victory, our only hope as Democrats is the Republicans all assume some other Republican will go and vote. Low turnout is usually a plus for Republicans, but utilizing a stealth Democratic Party strategy (so stealthy even Democrats didn't hear about it) we may be able to steal some elections if the Democratic base turns out and the Republicans take a nap. The strategy may be working:

The Alabama State Constitution is regularly amended during elections. Adopted in 1901, this constitution is quite unique. From Wiki:

At 340,136 words, the document is 12 times longer than the average state constitution, 40 times longer than the U.S. Constitution, and is the longest still-operative constitution anywhere in the world. (The English version of the Constitution of India, the longest national constitution, is about 117,369 words long, a third of the length.)

About 90 percent of the document's length, as of 2012, comes from its 856 amendments. About 75 percent of the amendments cover only a single county or city, and some deal with salaries of specific officials.

Tomorrow we vote on 5 Statewide Constitutional Amendments submitted by our state legislature. There can be additional local amendments on local county ballots, so there may be more than 5 on your ballot.

Simple explanation of amendments from our simple Lt. Gov.:

1, 3, and 5 are right-wing hyperbole. 2 and 4 are reasonable requests.

Number 1 is really outlawing Sharia Law, just in case. Really?

Number 2 is to borrow from General Trust Fund to get critical long-term loans for funding National Guard building improvements and construction.

Number 3 is a State's Right guarantee in addition to our Supreme Court right to keep and bear arms - just in case the Federal government or the UN has other ideas.

Number 4 is to end unfunded mandates imposed by State legislature on local school boards, very reasonable.

Number 5 is an addition to our Supreme Court right to keep and bear arms with right to shoot things with those arms.

So, print you out a ballot for reference, carry it with you - fill in ovals for D's, fill in NO for 1, 3, 5, fill in YES for 2 and 4 - and remember, vote early and vote often!

Update: Tracey Grissom denied new hearing, sentencing.

"Convicted murderess" Tracey Grissom and her defense attorney had their request denied. She and her team will now move on to formal appeal.

The judge commented, among other things, that the whole issue of mental state and PTSD after her ex-husbands 'alleged' attack was irrelevant when the defense focused on self-defense and lost the case on those grounds. Judge England also allowed that:

...he and the jury heard all they needed to during the first sentencing hearing, which lasted five hours. "That's four and a half hours longer than most of my other sentencing hearings," England said.

I guess justice and mercy are not relevant either.


"Just Think Wright" - AL 2nd Cong. District

Erick Wright is our Democratic candidate for the seat presently held by the infamous tea bagger Martha Roby. Not only is Wright a true blue Democrat, but to unseat Roby would send shock waves across America!

Erick Wright Facebook link: http://facebook.com/justthinkwright

The 2nd Cong. District stretches from Montgomery south to Dothan. Politically, it swings both ways, so Democrats do have a shot. Lots of big city voters mixed with rural. 3 elections ago it was Democrat (DINO Bobby Bright). If Wright can get out the vote, and the Republicans stay home and uninspired by Roby, this could be epic!

Republican Martha Roby is worthy of General Discussion attention. She is the poster child of all that is wrong with the national Republican Party. If you are a Democrat in this district, as I am, you know how simply awful Roby is as our representative.

This thread is just to remind you all we do have a real alternative and an opportunity!

Let me say one more time - Erick Wright is a real big D Democrat, this is not evil of two lessors.

Erick Wright for Congress: http://www.justthinkwright.com/
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