When the President picks someone who is his ideological soul mate, that's his right, in my reading of "advise and consent." I do think, though, the more you get up the ladder, when someone is no longer accountable to the President, and more importantly, will stay in office after the President, the standard gets tougher and tougher.
I have long believed that Israel should seek to give up the so-called Occupied Territories in return for security, and that a Palestinian state should be established. I have felt that way all my life. I think it is unreasonable to ask the Israelis to do this in a context where there is no guarantee at all that suicide bombers will be controlled.
People whose terms go for five years or longer, like FCC commissioners. That's a higher standard. Then district judges, who are appointed for a lifetime but can be overruled. Then Court of Appeals judges. They're not the highest level, but they're almost the final word. And then, of course, the Supreme Court.
Make no mistake, our military readiness is already suffering, ... According to a recent RAND study, the Army has been stretched so thin that active-duty soldiers are now spending one of every two years abroad, leaving little of the Army left in any appropriate condition to respond to crises that may emerge elsewhere in the world. In an era in which we confront a globally networked enemy, and at a time when nuclear weapons proliferation is an urgent threat, continuing on our present course is irresponsible at best.
I don't worry too much about what people think about my image, but I think I am pretty polite. My colleagues say I am a gentleman in my dealings with them, even when I disagree. I am difficult because I won't back off on things like the pay raise and the anti-terrorism bill. I'm not a go-along kind of guy. I do respect the institution. I do respect my colleagues. But I didn't go to Washington to make friends. That's not where my friends are.
I believe that the Israelis and the Palestinians, by and large, want peace, they each want their own country, and they want to get along, and they are going to get along. I know it sounds unbelievable, but I know enough about this, having been there, that these are sophisticated people. It's not like in Pakistan, where people have been told about Jews for a thousand years but don't know any. The Palestinians know the Jews.
I want to see a more progressive Democratic ticket. I'm not happy with the Democratic Leadership Council's dominance of the party. And although I'm unlikely to be the person, I want Wisconsin's progressivism to influence the ticket. And we'll do better as a party if we do. We'll have more energy. We'll have a broader tent.
The most significant impact is what it does in terms of the integrity of the legislative process and the executive process, as opposed to what it does for campaigns. But to remove this unheard of process in the 1990s, where members of Congress are being pushed and shoved every Tuesday to ask for $100,000, $500,000, a million dollars from corporations, unions, and individuals, this was never allowed in American history.
There's a tendency on the part of Americans, all of us, to say, 'Hey, the Cold War is over, the Soviet Union is gone, we don't have to worry about these guys again.' We always have to be worried about them, we always have to be concerned about them, and we have to be well-informed.
The economy has definitely been improving, and things like the stock market are doing better, but the economy has to be good for working-class and middle-class families who work every day, send their kids to a school like is in front of my house, and they have to be able to enjoy their lives. That's why you don't pass a trade agreement that ships even more jobs overseas.
Its the reality of a situation like this that when you have a large troop presence that it has the tendency to fuel the insurgency, because they can make the incorrect and unfair claim that somehow the United States is here to occupy this country, which of course is not true.
One can see the results of those policies in hundreds of communities around my State. As one might expect, our largest communities--places like Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay--lost thousands of jobs as a result of those trade policies, most notably NAFTA and permanent most-favored-nation status for China.
Health care is still the number-one issue out there. Someone who seizes it, I think, will do very well in an election. Let's face it: Clinton's two big issues were the middle class tax cut, which he dropped, wisely, at the time to help reduce the deficit, and health care. That's what he ran on.
We should not use special budget procedures to jam through legislation to drill in the Arctic Refuge. This topic is too important to the public to address it in such a back-door manner. We should be having a full, open discussion of the issue during an energy debate.