The Conclave: An Election MyDD Won't Be Able To Cover

Being an election site, I really wish we were able to provide inside information on the biggest election of the year, but it looks like we will not be able to do so. Newsweek provides a summary of how a conclave works:The voting process itself is in a closed setting, and there are no debates, platforms or position papers.(...)

The conclave will begin a minimum of 15 days and a maximum of 20 days after the pope's death. Before it starts, cardinals are likely to make quiet soundings over meals, even though formal politicking is strictly forbidden. By the time the cardinals are locked up for the conclave--the term itself comes from the Latin words for "with a key"--the whole world's attention will be riveted on "the greatest show on earth," as veteran Vatican correspondent John L. Allen describes it.(...)

Yet it will be a great show with no inside access. Everyone involved, down to the housekeepers and cooks, will be sworn to secrecy and face excommunication if they break that vow--much to the frustration of the thousands of journalists on hand.(...)

The balloting is elaborately choreographed: one ballot on the first day, four ballots each in the following days. The cardinals write out their choice on a piece of paper headed by the Latin words for "I elect as Supreme Pontiff." The ballots are tallied, and the number must equal the 117 electors (cardinals older than 80 cannot vote). If not, the ballots are burned and a new vote is taken. At the end of each day, all the ballots are burned, with black smoke signaling that no one has won the required two-thirds support for election. If someone is elected, a chemical substance is added to produce white smoke. In a revision of the rules, Pope John Paul II allowed for a switch to a majority vote if no one is elected after about 12 days.

The lack of inside information is particularly disappointing to me, since I really have a soft spot for ancient representative structures. Still, I really doubt that we will have an idea of what direction the new Pope will take the Catholic Church in until at least a year or two after his election.

Noonan on the run

Peggy Noonan, who really did a number playing Pied Piper on DeLay, Frist, & Bush is off and spinning this now, trying to shift the debate toward Democrats. Noonan writes: On Democratic Underground they crowed about having "kicked the sh-- out of the fascists."

But here's she leaves out from the original quote:

"Don't know if you guys have seen this yet. But we just kicked the shit out of these fascists without even lifting a finger. They're RUNNING from this issue, now".Democrats are not obsessed with Schiavo, but with stopping what Republicans are trying to do with the country. We're not obsessed with death, but with beating back theocons that are trying to destroy the balance of our government. And we stand with the super-majority on this issue, watching the Republicans as they race with eachother to go over the cliff.

Though this might actually help him with the Kansas-Wing of the Iowa Republican caucus in '08, Senator Frist is damaged goods; thanks Peggy.

Republican Flatliners

This, coming from the National Review:It is time, therefore, for Governor Bush to execute the law and protect her rights, and, in turn, he should take responsibility for his actions. Using the state police powers, Governor Bush can order the feeding tube reinserted. His defense will be that he and a majority of the Florida legislature believe the Florida Constitution requires nothing less. Some will argue that Governor Bush will be violating the law. We think he will not be violating the law, but if he is judged to have done so, it will be in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr., who answered to a higher law than a judge's opinion. In so doing, King showed respect for the man-made law by willingly going to jail (on a Good Friday); Governor Bush may have to face impeachment because of his decision.Where's the cat-scan of Schiavo's brain in the mainstream media? Why isn't that on CNN 24/7? The theocons are out creating myths of her, claiming she can eat and drink if just given the chance, and can speak- isn't PVS. Here's what-said the person who actually diagnosed Shiavo:Dr. Ronald Cranford, a neurologist and medical ethicist at the University of Minnesota Medical School who has examined Ms. Schiavo on behalf of the Florida courts and declared her to be irredeemably brain-damaged, said, "I have no idea who this Cheshire is," and added: "He has to be bogus, a pro-life fanatic. You'll not find any credible neurologist or neurosurgeon to get involved at this point and say she's not vegetative."

He said there was no doubt that Ms. Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state. "Her CAT scan shows massive shrinkage of the brain," he said. "Her EEG is flat - flat. There's no electrical activity coming from her brain."

If she physically dies on Good Friday, there will be theocons awaiting for her resurrection on Easter.... with KJ Lopez live-blogging it, and RightMarch passing around the collection plate.

Update: Creepy Freeper, they are already on it:

If Terri should die tomorrow on Good Friday, that would be the ultimate statement to the Pontius Pilates who washed their hands of her crucifixion.

3 posted on 03/24/2005 4:48:35 PM PST by Made in USA (Thank you, Lord, for answering our prayers and giving GWB 4 more years.)

If you have a few moments, go and read the "Terri Ping" thread on FreeRepublic, Ground Zero of the Republican Party.

Ohio's Gay Marriage Ban Strikes Down Domestic Violence Charge

Conservatives argue that gay marriage must be stopped in the name of traditional values, family values, moral values, whatever. To do so, they end up passing laws that reduce punishments for domestic violence:Domestic violence charges cannot be filed against unmarried people because of Ohio's new constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, a judge ruled Wednesday. (...)

Judges and others across the country have been waiting for a ruling on how the gay marriage ban, among the nation's broadest, would affect Ohio's 25-year-old domestic violence law, which previously wasn't limited to married people.

Burk, 42, is accused of slapping and pushing his live-in girlfriend during a January argument over a pack of cigarettes.

His public defender, David Magee, had asked the judge to throw out the charge because of the new wording in Ohio's constitution that prohibits any state or local law that would "create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals."

Before the amendment, courts applied the domestic violence law by defining a family as including an unmarried couple living together as would a husband and wife, the judge said. The gay marriage amendment no longer allows that.

I feel like I run across stories at least four five stories a day that, like this one, demonstrate the hypocrosy of the modern conservative movement. No one ever seems to report on this stuff though. Gay marriage bans will damage domestic violence laws across the country. Those are real conservative values.

Next stop, the Supreme Court, then back to Florida

There are only a few options left, now that the federal appeals court rejected whats become the Bush Administration effort (the Bush lawyers have joined the case) to federally intervene in the right to die case of Terri Schiavo.

It was a 2-1 ruling that rejected the appeal, so the Republicans are already having some success in making this a partisan issue:

Judge Charles Wilson dissented, saying "I fail to see any harm in reinserting the feeding tube" while the case proceeds in federal court. "Congress intended for this case to be reviewed with a fresh set of eyes. We are not called upon to consider the wisdom of this legislation," he said.

... In Florida, groups supporting the Schindlers pressed for action in the state Senate to reintroduce a bill aimed at keeping Terri Schiavo alive, the Tampa Tribune reported today. Republican state Senator Dan Webster told the newspaper he didn't have enough support to reintroduce the bill, which failed last week.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused last week to hear a previous appeal by the Schindlers and one by the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform. When those failed, Congress returned to Washington from recess to pass the law authorizing the federal courts to act. Bush came back from vacation to sign it.

It's likely that SCOTUS slaps this down again, but what are the chances of having a dissenting opinion by Scalia or Thomas?  Pretty good I'd say.  You can count on this coming back to Florida by the end of the week, with all the thugs turning their strongarm tactics onto the Florida legislature to yield.


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