Day: December 10, 2013

Senate “Nuclear” Fallout Snares State Department Nominees

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This is so much like kids squabbling on a playground.


— Domani Spero

CNN reports that the partisan battle over presidential nominations is heating up again and threatens to dominate the remaining days before the winter recess.  The Senate Republicans, reportedly are still angry over filibuster changes Democrats made last month, and have blocked “a series of largely non-controversial nominations Democrats tried to clear.”

On December 9, 2013, Senator Harry Reid asked for unanimous consent to confirm all Executive and Judicial nominations on the Executive Calendar. Senator Lamar Alexander objected to the request.

We can’t say how long long or how intense this battle is going to be. What we know is it has already snared dozens of State Department nominees.  Senator Reid filed cloture on 10 executive nominations.  Under the rule, the first cloture vote will occur one hour after the Senate convenes on Wednesday, December 11th. Among the 10 nominees are Heather Anne Higginbottom, of the District of…

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Review of ‘Amari’

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I’ve been a science fiction fan since reading Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter series way back in the dark ages of the 1950s. I particularly like the swashbuckling space epics with the good guys battling evil a la Han Solo from the bridge of his Millennium Falcon. So, I approached Steven Atwood’s Amari with some pretty high expectations.

Amari is the story of space pirate Amari Prokop, who does battle against the International Security Space Force (ISSF), the dreaded secret police of the UN. With her crew of pirates, including her XO, Borris, with whom she has a somewhat strange relationship, Amari dashes off to dispense justice and get some payback for past ISSF misdeeds when she is tasked with snatching a prisoner from an ISSF prisoner transport vessel.

This is a competently written story – albeit with a few grammatical glitches that threw me a bit off stride, but not irrevocably so, and one or two minor internal inconsistencies – but, despite the potential, it doesn’t quite rise to the level I believe Atwood is capable of.  Dialogue and descriptions are at time a bit wordy and cliché. That said, Amari is still a fun story to read  I can see the four-star potential in Atwood’s writing, but alas, I can only give him three stars this time.