If you'd asked Nick Yarris how old he was, on May 17, 2004 -- his 43rd birthday -- he'd have told you, "121 days." For the rest of his life, Yarris will have his regular birthday and the day he was born again: January 16, 2004, the day he walked out of the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Greene a free man after 22 years on death row.
Carlos Kelly was six years old when, in December of 1991, his mother, Caridad, was arrested by federal agents in Florida for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
"I remember it was, like, me and my stepbrothers and sisters, we was all gathered in the playroom," says Carlos, now 16. "I told my mom that the Nintendo was broke--this is what I remember the most--I asked my mom if she could get us a new one. She went out to get the new Nintendo, and she never came back."
After years of following the Republican Party as it side-stepped rightward like a drunk at a Bob Barr confederate-pride cookout, and months of watching George W.'s slight grin of "bipartisanship" pasted over his very partisan agenda, a Republican has finally had the courage to stand up and admit that the party he joined no longer exists.
Exhausted by six months of Republican howlers -- those distortions, prevarications, hypocrisies, and Bushisms so blatant that even mildly informed observers burst into howls of laughter when they read them -- Jim Jeffords, Senator from Vermont, is expected to announce that he will leave the Republicans to become an Independent. The question now is, which howler did it?
Before John Ashcroft's confirmation hearings even started, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott announced that all 50 Republican senators would vote to confirm Ashcroft as attorney general. When Democratic Senators Zell Miller of Georgia and Robert Byrd of West Virginia announced recently that they would vote for him, they reconfirmed that Ashcroft would be approved. That is, unless there's a filibuster. And filibuster is just what Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy is hinting he may do.
A filibuster on a cabinet confirmation would be apparently unprecedented -- and the Senate's Democratic Minority Leader Tom Daschle announced this weekend that he would not support such a move. But extreme nominees call for extreme means.
Yesterday, as leading party strategists gathered in a Washington, D.C. hotel conference room to apportion blame for Gore's victory, Senator Tom Daschle assured President Bush that Democrats would not filibuster John Ashcroft's confirmation for attorney general, thereby all but guaranteeing that Ashcroft would be approved. The promise came just one day after ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, asked to postpone the Ashcroft vote for a week -- a move that many interpreted as a signal that Democrats were gearing up for a fight.