Friday, March 20, 2009

Cleaning Up

These are followups to earlier posts.
The words are there, but it doesn't look like the Obama White House gave GOPervs a win in the fight for controlling appointments to Texas judgeships, detailed in an earlier post here. The article in the Dallas Morning News is titled; GOP senators rule day on judges. The information is that the formerly secret committee that TX Senators Cornyn and Hutchison used for screening applicants has new Democratic members and the WH will accept nominees from TX Dems as well.

Texas' Republican senators refused to cede control of judicial nominations, and now the Democratic White House seems to have struck a deal in their favor: The senators will continue screening applicants, though Texas Democrats will get input.

"We have an understanding with the Obama administration," Sen. John Cornyn said Thursday. "We've worked out a pretty good arrangement."

The dozen Texas Democrats in Congress had insisted on full control of sending the names of possible nominees to the White House. They apparently lost the argument.

On Thursday, the senators – both Republicans – issued an invitation for lawyers to apply for the U.S. attorney openings in Dallas and Houston.

Aides said the invitation was issued with at least tacit approval from the White House, and the Democrats' point man in the feud, Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin, offered no direct objection.

While President Obama has gotten a lot of flack about being too bipartisan, his approach seems to head off trouble from the blatantly anti-public service wingers. It appears to me that he has given himself room for making reasonable choices while giving the mudwrestling wingers he has to work with wriggle room in their favorite arena, the media.

The News calls a victory, but has to give the details which don't support its view. And while it would be nice to have the satisfaction of blowing off the dirtballs, having to work with them would make that a truly pyrrhic victory.


In another wrap to a story told in the cab earlier, trading in illegally trapped turtles and other reptiles has been shut down by a sting operation.

The smugglers moved their goods across borders using secret compartments, a Maryland meat processing plant and the help of a corrupt Louisiana turtle farm. Their lucrative product: rattlesnakes, snapping turtles and salamanders.

This was the portrait of a trade in illegal reptiles and amphibians that New York State environmental authorities painted on Thursday, when a two-year undercover investigation called Operation Shellshock ended with criminal charges against 17 people. More charges were filed by officials in other states and Canada, the New York officials said.

The case had the familiar ring of a drug bust, but it was instead built in the unlikely world of herpetological shows and included charges against leaders at organizations like the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society, the Long Island Herpetological Society, and the pet Web site, a Florida-based company that is also facing New York charges.

“Our investigators began this operation with a simple question: Is there a commercial threat to our critical wildlife species?” Pete Grannis, the commissioner of the State Department of Environmental Conservation, which conducted the investigation, said in a statement.

What they found alarmed them. “A very lucrative illegal market for these creatures does exist, fostered by a strong, clandestine culture of people who want to exploit wildlife for illegal profit,” Mr. Grannis said.

Turtles taken from the Trinity are not safe for use, as reported earlier, and their suspected export abroad - or use here at home - has been ended. The threat to anyone's health from unconventional food sources is just not worth the savings.

My little garden, and possible pond, grows ever more attractive.

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Anonymous Karen said...

I had a tiny pond in Kansas and was always amazed at the amount of turtle and frogs that used it as an oasis. I say, 'Start digging!'

6:55 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

That's great. It would also be useful for watering the garden. I'm thinking of lots of good things about having a pond. By the way, there's a stream nearby.

8:57 AM  

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