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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Liu Hearings Delayed: More of Same

And Also: Obama recently noted: "we can’t go forward without looking backwards and understanding that that was an enormous problem" ... no not about torture.

The National Labor Relations Board was created in 1935 by the National Labor Relations Act and is tasked with adjudicating unfair labor practices. The board has been the source of increasingly rancorous slap-fighting in recent decades, and so while ordinarily the board is comprised of five members, appointed by the president and approved by Congress, it's been limping along with only two members since the end of 2007, while senators—then Democrats, now Republicans—gaily hold up the nominations process for the remaining nominees.

Dahlia Lithwick discussed a lesser known but still quite telling oral argument yesterday. Justice Scalia has a point -- if the rules are lax when something like this occurs, there is no pain for letting it linger on. Delays after awhile actually cause problems ... who knew? The ability of the minority party to delay things is well known though things like this should be understood by more people:
Republicans, however, are now refusing to give unanimous consent and are blocking the hearings. Today, during a Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on transparency, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) announced that he had to stop the proceedings because of Republican blocks

Delays in the area of nominations, particularly appellate judges, is well known. Goodwin Liu's (for some liberal writings see here and here) committee testimony to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit was scheduled today. Liu has had some conservative support:
"I think he's very well-qualified," said Yoo, who is also a Berkeley law professor. "He's someone who would be chosen by a Democratic president, not a Republican one, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't be a good judge on the bench."

That website provides other evidence, including respecting vouchers, of why this is so. But, as they did for other things, Republicans have used the rules to hold his hearings (already delayed) up. Just one more way, helped by Obama focus on other things, the Republicans have delayed even bipartisan nominees. After all, they must do all they can to prevent a "good win" for the Democrats.

Meanwhile, remember ACORN? The NYT recently corrected itself for repeatedly providing erroneous reporting. Of course, court rulings about bill of attainders by Congress or long after the fact clarifying news reports didn't stop Republican attacks from hitting home. The damage done, corrections are found in little read inside pages.

[Update: Calculated delay tactics are expected and on some level I guess fair game, though at some point they come total b.s. and lead one to have little real respect for the parties involved. More people should have this sentiment by now as to the national party as a whole, imho.

But, as noted by various accounts (see, e.g., TPM), there is a dark side to the opposition these days, including of a violent and hateful nature that simply put it is the other party's moral obligation to strongly reject. Instead, too often, they instigate it with over the top rhetoric. If "death panels" and "baby killing" bills are at stake here, what is the right path, after all?]