Update, May 27: Demcrats dashed the good feelings of the up-and-down vote agreement, without filibusterations, by refusing to proceed with such in regard to the Bolton nomination to the UN Ambassadorship. Delaying once more they have pushed the vote to next week, presumably not longer.
May 26: The Democrats, having given up on blustering filibust of Priscilla Owen, newly confirmed after four years of being put on filibluster hold by Democrat Senators, are now renewing their promise to talk to death the nomination of John Bolton to become US's UN Ambassador. All the trumped up and hypostasized charges they've dredged up so far, just haven't worked as the Republicans have dismantled them for the meanspirited and fear-mongering canards that they were. Now, the Dems and Republican Sen George Voinovich want to go fishing further in certain documents, much of which they've already seen. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, and Sen. Joseph Biden are leading the filithreatening charge, according to Stephen Dinan in today's Washington Times. Dodd and Biden, both on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
are seeking e-mails and other documents that would answer whether Mr. Bolton tried to influence intelligence analysts who were working on congressional testimony about Syria's weapons programs. ¶ "Did Bolton attempt to badger or change the views of intelligence officers relating to whether or not Syria had WMD at a critical juncture when you all were writing, and we were asking, is Syria next?" Mr. Biden told reporters. ¶ Mr. Biden also wants to have access to unredacted versions of 10 intercepted foreign communications that name Americans, since Mr. Bolton sought the identities of the Americans named, and the Democrats say it could have been part of an attempt to bully intelligence analysts. ¶ Mr. Biden said the administration has not provided any other reason for refusing to turn over the administration other than to say it's not relevant to the investigation. ¶ Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican, forwarded the requests to the administration as a matter of courtesy, according to a spokesman, but Senate Republicans and the White House said enough information has already been given. ¶ "We've provided the Senate with the information they need to do their job," said Erin Healy, a White House spokeswoman. "John Bolton testified [before the Foreign Relations Committee] for more than eight hours, responded in writing to many additional questions, and the State Department has worked to provide the Senate with many additional documents as well." ¶ The intelligence intercepts already were provided to the top Republican and Democrat on the intelligence committee, though with the names redacted. ¶ Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas Republican and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said the redacted documents show no indication of anything untoward, and that he didn't think the unredacted documents would show anything more.
I've no idea whether or not the Dems have the strength to filibuster this nomination to death. The policy that won the day for Priscilla Owen was one that applied only to nominees for offices as justices (judgeships); ambassadors were not covered. But Sen. Majority Leader, Bill Frist, seems to regard his policy of a straight-up-down vote after thoro debate on each nominee for whatever office, is sufficient and that what he calls "the constiutional option" just described simply must prevail, or he will move forthwith to have the Senate Rules changed. Will we see filibuster or flibluster? And how long will the debate on Bolton drag on?
May 25: Today the Bolton debate has started, quick on the heels of the Senate's confirmation of Justice Priscilla Owens, held up for four years. The Republican Party leadership in the USA said all the cloud of gnats adduced as arguments against John R. Bolton as Ambassador to the UN, had been exhausted and did not stand. The AP's Ann Gearan put it this way, "Exhaustive investigations turned up nothing to disqualify John R. Bolton from becoming U.N. ambassador, and he should be quickly given the post," Richard Lugar (Republican of Indian and chair of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee) "said Wednesday as the Senate opened debate on the long-delayed nomination."
Bolton debate starts
May 23 [?]: Speaking of rightwing views on Bolton, here's one that will motivate many of those predisposed to chortling at France's diplomatic didos, when one is not simply annoyed with Chirac et al. WND's headline for this one by analyst Dr Jack Wheeler, "Bolton to shake France's cage - Bush nominee will seek ouster of Paris from Security Council." Actually, what is envisioned is the creation of one seat on the Security Council for the European Union, while maintaining a separate seat for Britain and expanding to a few other seats with no veto. But all this is speculative murk, if only because France presently has vero-power. And Japan's bid to become a member of the SC, with or without the veto, is sure to be thwarted by Communist China, already a Permanent Member which also has the veto.
May 21: Back on April 19, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, by which the whole Senate fulfills its duty to the President by advising and consenting to his conduct of foreign relations, including consent to the appointment of ambassadors to represent the government the President leads, a number of these "ladies and gentlemen" decided to go another merry-go-round on the nomination by George W. Bush of John R. Bolton as US Ambassador to the UN. I won't describe the merry-go-round to which the committee devolved, delaying again its decision-making process, and setting the avid committee staff members under the behest of the Democratice faction of the committee. to dig up as much dirt against the nominee as possible.
Three weeks elapsed in which this cadre looked everywhere for some scrap of valid evidence to back up the earlier tantrums of its behesters - Boxer, Kennedy, and Schumer in particular. Red-faced, they came up empty-handed and evidence-less.
So, on May 12, the redoubtable leftwing daily the Washington Post (affectionately known to its readership as WaPo), surprisingly published an editorial, that declared, "The committee ought to give Mr. Bolton a vote today. Ours would be an unethusiastic deference-to-the-president yes." Paroxysms of shock circled out to less-responsible deep sectors of the Left. The editorial continued with an observation that in the circumstances was most astute, "What emerges from the interviews conducted by committee staffers [out to get the nominee trashed] is how intensely policy-driven, as opposed to personal, were most of Mr. Bolton's clashes in the State Department, during President Bush's first term, under Secretary of State Colin L. Powell."
A certain Lawrence B. Wilkerson from within the Powell-led State Department issued lengthy whines against the President's nominee, but when being interviewed a week before the WaPo editorial, gee-willikers, the fellow "was unable to provide any fresh examples of misbehavior [such as the committee's left research-cadre craved] by Mr. Bolton. Instead he complained about policy differences: Mr. Bolton was too eager to sanction Chinese companies that violated the nonproliferation regime, thereby making diplomacy more difficult. He was too zealous in carrying out his mission to persuade other countries to exempt U.S. soldiers from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. When Mr. Bolton delivered a speech vilifying North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, "Rich was very angry" -- that would be former deputy secretary Richard L. Armitage -- but, Mr. Wilkerson acknowledged, he was angry because the [Bolton] speech had been cleared by the assistant secretary for Asia, a Powell ally." Need it be said that Wilkerson was Powell's chief of staff?
After WaPo honestly outlines why its editors and the Left generally fears the Bush policy in regard to the UN, as would be administered by a man who understands it and has the fortitude to develop it daily in the General Assembly, the Secuirty Council, and among his own staff; WaPo's editorialists conclude, "The nominee is intelligent and qualified; we still see no compelling reason to deny the president his choice."
Undoubtedly, however, others on the monomaniacal Left will have since found what to them are "compelling reasons," as they act and think more from compulsions in this generation than from well-thawt policy standards that engage the times creatively. They seem as a lot to have no interest in reforming the UN. That's the biggest problem. They want pragmatists committed in advance to accrediting every crazy gambit put forward by a restive rogue régime on any of the UN's commissions. Unless the UN is reformed, it will not last. Bush is committed to making a persistent and systematic effort to rescue the UN from itself (its packs of factions and deal-makers, many of them hoping to line their own pockets as the Oil-for-Food Program has shown).
Of course, there's little chance that Bolton will be consented by the Senate. And the implicit advice will be: find us someone else to trash.
In the meantime, those on the far Right, like the organizers behind MoveAmericaForward.com which duns for advertizing funds to raise the question of UN irresponsiblity in the most vivid way possible, may have some tipping influence on whether Bolton's candidacy for the ambassadorship goes thru. But, MAF still will not own Bolton, as they would try to suggest were he to wiggle thru the Senate Dem's blockade, reinforced by a few tepid Republican Senators. The MAF folk may applaud some of Bolton's moves were he to get into the office for which the Prez has nominated him; but the MAFies are just as likely to whack Bolton with words akin to the verb "betray." MAF may end up equally disappointed with the Presiden'ts UN policy as brawt into action by his nominee Bolton, should the diplomat get the Senate's nod after all.
This MAF outfit in particular is led by people who have a far different agenda for the US than that of President Bush; they love to bad-mouth, as I have come to know by monitoring the radiocasts on the Internet by one of the ringleaders. But that's neither here nor there. I just hope the TV ads they are sponsoring are accurate and fair in their critique of an institution that just isn't all its cracked-up to be, and can't be; while it could be a whole lot less self-aggrandizing and helpful in the world. Everyday the UN does something somewhere in the world that is good and bettering for this or that zone; but everyday somewhere among its its agencies, agents and leadership and armed forces are doing something execrable as well (like the persistent pattern of rape by the UN forces in the Congo).
The UN needs an inner reformation, a reorientation to plausible and realistic goals, an attitude that doesn't assume to tell member states with heavy responsiblities in the world what to do about problems they are already dealing with (as in the case of the enormously-salaried Danish head of the Humanitarian Aid Commission who spouted off presumptively during the fund-raising for Tsunami Relief, trying to put the other enormously-salaried UN bureaucrats at the hub of everything, all with a certain air of entitlement, to say next to nothing about hubris). - Owlb
The earlier entries have been deleted as of today