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READER COMMENTS ON
"VIDEO: Alito Ducks, Dodges, Dances on Bush v. Gore Question"
(97 Responses so far...)
No people ever recognize their dictator in advance.
He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He always represents himself as the instrument of the "A Free America," "Service to the Lord," or some other useful, supercilious buzzwords.
You can depend on the fact that our Dictator is one of the boys, and he stands for everything traditionally American. And although nobody will ever say 'Heil' to him, nor call him 'Fuhrer' or 'Duce,' they will greet him with one great big, universal, democratic, sheeplike bleat of 'O.K., Chief! Fix it like you wanna, Chief! Oh Kaaaay!'
What's happening in America is the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation is so complicated that the government has to act on information which the people cannot understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it cannot be released because of national security.
This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, is taking place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real security purposes. And all the crises and safeguards (occasionally real safeguards, too) so preoccupy the people that they cannot not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.
To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most ever have occasion to develop. Each step is so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted,' that, unless one is detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understands what the whole thing is in principle, what all these 'little measures' (that no 'reasonable, patriotic American' could resent) must some day lead to, one no more can see it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head. One day, the government can do anything (and does) that it sees necessary, law or no law.
One doesn't see exactly where or how to move. Each Neocon outrage, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a *little* worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for the one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in dissenting somehow. You don't want to act, or even to talk, alone; you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble.' Why not? --- Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.
Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, everyone is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Britain there will be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in the U.S., even in the largest cities, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, 'It's not so bad' or 'You're seeing things' or 'You're an alarmist.'
And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can't prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don't know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end?
As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does fascism. In both instances, there is a twilight. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air --- however slight --- or we all become unwitting victims of the darkness.
Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
Clowntime is Over: The Last Stand of the American Republic
So now, at last, the crisis is upon us. Now the cards are finally on the table, laid out so starkly that even the Big Media sycophants and Beltway bootlickers can no longer ignore them. Now the choice for the American Establishment is clear, and inescapable: do you hold for the Republic, or for autocracy?
There is no third way here, no other option, no wiggle room, no ambiguity. The much-belated exposure of George W. Bush's warrantless spy program has forced the Bush-Cheney Regime to openly declare what they have long implied --- and enacted --- in secret: that the president is above the law, a military autocrat with unlimited powers, beyond the restraint or supervision of any other institution or branch of government. Outed as rank deceivers, perverters of the law and rapists of the Constitution, the Bush gang has decided that their best defense --- their only defense, really --- is a belligerent offense. "Yeah, we broke the law," they now say; "so what? We'll break it again whenever we want to, because law don't stick to our Big Boss Man. What are you going to do about it, chump?"
That is the essence, the substance and pretty much the style of the entire Bushist response to the domestic spying scandal. They are scarcely bothering to gussy it up with the usual rhetorical circumlocutions. The attack is being led by the fat, sneering coward, Dick Cheney, who has crawled out of his luxurious hidey-holes to re-animate the rotting husk of Richard Nixon and send it tottering back onto the national stage. Through the facade of Cheney's pig-squint and peevish snarl, we can see the long-dead Nixonian visage, his grave-green, worm-filled jowls muttering once more the lunatic mantra he brought to the Oval Office: "If the president does it, it can't be illegal." This is what we've come to, this is American leadership today: ugly, stupid men mouthing the witless drivel of failed, dead, discredited, would-be petty tyrants.
But not even Nixon was as foul as this crew. When he was caught, he folded; some faint spark of republican conscience restrained him from pushing the crisis to the end. He was a vain, stupid, greedy, grasping, dirty man with blood on his hands, but in the end, he did not identify himself with the government as a whole. He did not say, "l'etat, c'est moi," he had no messianic belief that the life of the nation was somehow bound up with his personal fate, or that he and his clique and his cronies had a God-given right to rule. They just wanted power and loot --- as much of it as they could get --- and they pushed and pushed until the Establishment pushed back.
It has long been evident, however, that Bush and Cheney do believe their clique should by all rights rule the country --- and that anyone who opposes their unrestrained dominion is automatically "anti-American," an enemy of the state. For them, there is no "loyal opposition," or even political opponents in any traditional understanding of the term; there are only enemies to be destroyed, and herd-like masses to be manipulated. They believe that their dominion is more important than democracy, which they despise as a brake and hindrance to the arbitrary leadership of an all-wise elite --- i.e., them. They are the state; a police state.
Elections are just necessary evils, a way to manufacture the illusion of consent, shake down corporations for big bucks and calibrate the loyalty of courtiers. Democracy is simply another system to be gamed, subverted, turned to factional advantage --- in precisely the same way that Enron gamed the California electric grid. This accounts for the strange, omnipresent tang of unreality that permeated the last three national elections, in 2000, 2002, and 2004. It's because they were unreal: the results were gamed, sometimes in secret, sometimes in plain sight; the "issues" and rhetoric were divorced from the reality that we all actually lived and felt --- and the outcomes were as phony as an Enron balance sheet.
Dominion seized on such sinister and cynical terms will almost certainly be defended --- and extended --- by any means necessary. That is the great danger. The Bushists have already pushed on further than Nixon ever dared; will they "bear it out even to the edge of doom"? This is the crux of the matter; this is the crossroads where we now stand. Will the American Establishment push back at last? Will they say, This far we will go, but no further; this much we will swallow, but no more?
Click Read More... Some of us have been writing for years about Bush's piecemeal assumption of dictatorial powers. We have watched in rage and amazement as the Establishment meekly accepted Bush's repeated, brutal insults to democracy. Time and again, I've quoted the words of the Emperor Tiberius, after the lackeys of the Senate grovelled to do his bidding: "Men fit to be slaves." In one sense, then, the Rubicon was crossed long ago. Yet "we live in hope and die in despair," as my father always says. In the back of the minds of many an embittered dissident, there has been a spark of hope that somewhere down the line, one of the many, many Bush outrages would somehow take hold, gain critical mass, and force the Establishment to act, to rein in the renegade, break him, box him in if not remove him from office.
For let's be clear about this: only the Establishment --- the institutional powers-that-be --- can break an outlaw president. Millions marched in the street against Nixon and the system; whole city quadrants went up in flames in those days; but none of this was decisive in the corridors of power. (Nor to much of the American public, to be frank; after Kent State, after My Lai, after Cambodia, Nixon was still re-elected in a landslide.) It was his insult to the institutions --- the Watergate break-in of Democratic headquarters, the subsequent cover-up and subversion of the legal system, the defiance of Congress --- that led to his downfall. He pushed too far, tried to grab too much --- and the Establishment pulled him short.
And it will have to be the Establishment that breaks Bush --- or he won't be broken. All the blogs in the world won't bring him down, no matter how much truth they tell, how much bloodsoaked Bushist dirt they expose. Yes, perhaps if we had millions of outraged citizens marching in the street day after day across America, a sustained mass movement and popular uprising for liberty and democracy, this might obviate the need for Establishment action. But we all know that such marches are not going to happen. If there was sufficient fire for liberty and democracy in America, there would have already been a popular uprising --- and Bush would never have garnered enough public support to keep the election results close enough to be fudged. No, it will be the Establishment --- or no one.
That's why the spy scandal is so pivotal. Because it is a direct, open and unignorable challenge to the institutional life of the American Establishment. In it, the Bush Regime is saying to the various powers-that-be, especially in Congress and the courts, but also to centers of power and influence outside government: you no longer have any power. All real power is now in our gift. Your laws, your institutions, your traditions, the whole complex infrastructure of checks and balances that have sustained society are now essentially meaningless. As in ancient Rome, we will keep the old forms, but the life of the state has now passed into the hands of the autocrat and his court. His arbitrary will can override any law --- although of course, strong law will still be applied to his enemies, and to the riff-raff in the lower orders.
How will the Establishment deal with this direct challenge? The past few years give little grounds for hope: the Democrats spineless, conflicted, co-opted and corrupt; the Republicans slavish, bellicose, cruel and criminal; the media timorous, witless, corporate-controlled; big business absolutely rolling in gravy from the autocrat's larder; academia cowed, silenced, ignored, demonized; the military acquiescent in criminal aggression, top-heavy with time-servers currying autocratic favor. Only the courts provide some stray sparks of hope, although they too are now loaded with political sycophants, corporate bagmen and knuckle-dragging throwbacks produced by the Right's decades-long devolution of American jurisprudence. Prosecutors like Patrick Fitzgerald and Elliot Spitzer "keep hope alive," but their efforts will mean little in a system where lawlessness at the top has been countenanced by the rest of the Establishment. And in any case, the outcome of their work lies ultimately with the Supreme Court --- the same court that shredded the Constitution in awarding power to Bush in the first place, and which is now led by a Bushist apparatchik.
Still, you don't go through a constitutional crisis with the Establishment you want; you go through a constitutional crisis with the Establishment you have. And this sad, sick crew, ladies and gentlemen, is all we have. If they swallow the spy scandal, if they don't push back now --- and I mean really push back, not just make a lot of harrumphing noise or hold a few toothless hearings or get a couple of underlings offered up as ritual sacrifices to save the Leader --- then we will have well and truly and finally lost the Republic that Franklin, Jefferson and Madison gave us so long ago.
The next few weeks will show us if there is still some hope of restoring the Republic through the old institutions, or if we will have to follow the course laid out by Bob Dylan some 40 years ago: "Strike another match, go start anew." Who knows? Maybe we can make a better republic next time: one not born of blood, greed and fury --- those all-too-common elements of human organization --- but made from a new compound of mercy, justice, communion and liberty. Still imperfect, of course, still corrupt --- because that's our intractable human nature --- but with our worst instincts restrained by enlightened, ever-evolving law, and the predatory ambitions of the rich and powerful reined by elaborate checks and balances.
It's just a dream, of course; probably a vain one. But we will need some vision to guide us if, as seems likely, we must soon set forth into the unknown territory of an openly declared American autocracy.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
... big dan said on 1/10/2006 @ 3:53 pm PT...
On Lou Dobbs, he thought it wasn't important to mention that Alito was in a conservative group called CAP at Princeton. CAP was against minorities and women going to Princeton. Alito said he doesn't recall much about CAP. Yeah, I always forget everything about clubs I join. I joined the chess club in high school, and I can't even remember if I played chess! Right.......
And on PBS, they mentioned he was in CAP. That's the difference between Corporate News and Public Television News, and that's why the Nazi's....OOPS!...I mean the Republicans are trying to infiltrate PBS. Because they are unbiased. Hear that rightwingers??? Unbiased, not liberal. Reporting a true story is not liberal, it's unbiased!!! Conservatives have everyone believing that true stories that make them look bad are liberal. That's their definition of liberal: "True news that must be suppressed from the public, because it doesn't help our agenda."
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
... agent99 said on 1/10/2006 @ 4:33 pm PT...
Listening to the voices, the accents, of the senators on that committee, I can't help but wonder if the United States wouldn't be a far better place today if we had LOST the Civil War. The SCOTUS might be a righteous body, while the maniacs of the Confederate States to the south of us would be laboring under the decisions of its SCOTCS (pronounced "scote-ucks) right now. Or, am I being naive again?
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
... bvac said on 1/10/2006 @ 4:44 pm PT...
lou dobbs is a schmuck. and this guy needs to be roundly rejected. i'm not sure i can let feingold off the hook if he votes affirmative.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
... Doug Eldritch said on 1/10/2006 @ 5:47 pm PT...
That and, Sam Alito doesn't know where to draw the line on presidential power.......
Time to grill him up good and then move the hearings on warrantless spying forward into the public arena....
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
... Doug Eldritch said on 1/10/2006 @ 5:53 pm PT...
OFF TOPIC but question for Bev Harris,
"Mr. Dunlap said we shouldn't move on it, just do it.
Dr. Schilit said maybe it's me and I'm just stupid. I don't know how in the hell that we can go through documents when we don't know the issues yet. I am getting so tired of bird walking around what we are supposed to be doing and not doing what we are supposed to be doing. It does not make a lot of sense for me to drive an hour up here and spend two hours and drive an hour home. I don't want to keep discussing this. You are all nice folks. I enjoy meeting every two weeks. Let me tell you something, I should have been home watching football.
Mr. Dunlap said he has been involved in a lot of community activities over the years and one of the things that you will always run into is diverse views in the community. One method that I have seen that seems to work pretty well is that you can write all the issues down on a board up here. Everyone gets some dots and they put the dots where they think things are most important. We pick the top three. "
Who is Mr. Dunlap and why does he have this kind of behavior where people pretend like they are getting work done, or reforming things and its not getting done?
Anyone able to elaborate on who Mr. Dunlap is?
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
... Joan said on 1/10/2006 @ 6:20 pm PT...
Wow, are you THE Amazing Kreskin? Cool. Welcome!
Very well said. Although I would disagree with you on a few points, I think you pretty much hit the fascistic nail on the head.
But you might want to check out freewayblogger.com and the Whispering Campaign at psstpsstpsst.blogspot.com
because there are more than a few out there who DO see, who are doing what they can against this creeping horror that's taken over our country.
You said "...unless one is detached from the whole process from the beginning...one no more can see it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head..."
Seems to me it's been over our heads for a long damn time now, and you're right, still far too many of us, myself included sometimes, "... don't want to act, or even to talk, alone; you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble...". You make excuses, feel overwhelmed, feel you're powerless.
But we're not giving up. And it's good you're here! We need all the help we can get.
Here's an idea: how about you go, nice & friendly-like, & pay our king george a visit. He'd see YOU, the Amazing Kreskin! You wouldn't scare him like Cindy Sheehan does.
Wear a cowboy hat, maybe. Tell him what a genius, what a statesman he is, and hypnotize all this neocon madness right out of his tiny little brain. Better yet, get them all in a room---george, dick, karl, condi, rummy, the lot---and just hypnotize the bejesus out of them.
It's worth a shot.
I saw you in New York years ago. I was impressed. Now, if you're NOT THE Amazing Kreskin...damn. I'll be disappointed.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
... MMIIXX said on 1/10/2006 @ 7:02 pm PT...
re: post #1 & #2
There once was a ship built by hard working men. Who took great pride in their work and the experts of the day said it was "unsinkable”. The ship was launched with much fanfare and sailed on it maiden journey. Unknown to all, the Captain was not in control as he should have been. For he knew the dangers that lay ahead and the folly of traveling at full speed in dangerous waters. Under pressure of the owner he was instructed to proceed at "top speed" but did he over rule this foolhardy demand based on his years of experience, no he allowed the owners want of a “record breaking" journey to adulterate his skill. It ultimately cost him his life and that of hundreds of his charges but the owner got his “record breaking journey” for reasons he could not anticipate.
There once was a country built by hard working men. Who took great pride in their work and the experts of the day said it was a "democracy”…ruled by the people, for the people…
Will there be enough “life boats” to go around this time?
Will you be “entitled” to a seat?
Would you risk all to save all?
Do you think one person can “make a difference”?
Do you wonder “where will this end”?
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
... merifour said on 1/10/2006 @ 7:07 pm PT...
#1 just got thru reading your post and couldn't even get to #2. You are so right on. I have been following politics for 30 years and have seen this day coming....have been waiting actually. I saw the rev up in '91 and sounded the alarm to anyone within ear range, but no one would listen. (I was obsessing long before that, but '91 was so blatant) A very small percentage of the U.S. population is anywhere near being aware of what is happening as I write this. I agree, they may have a bit or piece here or there, but to see the whole picture...no, not even are they capable of understanding. We have lost our Nation, and I for one am grateful that I do not have 'the fear' factor wired into my brain circuitry. I feel a great saddness and pity for those that are asleep, but perhaps they will be better off in the long run. Maybe it is those of us that can see what is happening that will be the ones to suffer, not at the hand of dictator, but by our hand because we were not able to effect the change. We will beat ourselves up and drive ourselves crazy because no one will listen. Thank you for your excellent post. M4
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
... Lou Marino said on 1/10/2006 @ 7:13 pm PT...
The only way we are going to bring down this band of fascists is to start massing in the streets and clamoring for impeachment. That's what happened against Nixon when he pressed ahead with the Viet war. Millions of people marching in a show of strength for our democracy. Only when the people start surrounding the White House will Americans get some results. Are we going to march to save the nation or just turn over our country to the Bush fascists?
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
... karnevil_9 said on 1/10/2006 @ 7:35 pm PT...
What about the republican senator(sorry, i forget his name) who asked Alito about upholding an Impeachment vote? Did anyone see that? I know he was'nt making a direct implication of impeaching the scrub, but nontheless, I found that very interest ing that a republican would ask that question rather than a democrat.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
... Grizzly Bear Dancer said on 1/10/2006 @ 7:43 pm PT...
Comment #1 and #2 Wow. Some of the best i've ever seen at Bradblog. While i would never claim to be anything more than an angry AMERICAN watching a constitution that so many AMERICANS have given their life for slip down the street sewer back into the ocean. You guys are right on it and you speak to Bradbloggers who refuse to give up on our country and swallow the BUSHIT. While my calling is to save the brown bear which is soon to lose their endangered specie protection based on lies and mismanagement by our corrupt government so Bush's Crony developers can rape the wildlands Most AMERICANS are unaware these lands were taken away in addition to any control of THE AMERICAN PEOPLE had on the issue of FORESTRY last December 2004. i personally encourage you both to return (even if you give shorter comments). Seriously, there's good people here trying to make a difference. If the day ever comes that these rightwing fascists Skull and Bonesmen stop Bradblog or steal the constitution and put it next to Geronimo's skull, I, Grizzly Bear Dancer make an oath right now to take our US flag underground.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
... Doug Eldritch said on 1/10/2006 @ 7:44 pm PT...
That's because the republican senators are getting ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater...
Feingold goes for the gut-hitting goalie post
They'll do anything to save their own asses, always. And the democrats especially with Feingold leading the way need to get one hundred percent behind it.
Then we need to drag wannabe dictator out on his ass all the way back to Texas, clean the clock of his crooked judges, clean out congress, and go after the neocons with both guns blazing to finish off the corruption once and for all.....
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
... Rich Austin said on 1/10/2006 @ 8:30 pm PT...
Ok, granted, Alito's confirmation would be a lousy deal for the overwhelming majority of folks here in the U.S.
That said, the Alito issue is not something that will grab the attention of a single mom living in a tenement trying to keep cockroaches out of the powdered milk. It will not inspire a man working at a dead-end and low wage job to suddenly exclaim, "Yeah, let's keep Alito off the Supreme Court". It won't motivate poor parents unable to get medical attention for an ailing child.
Some may say, "Well, this affects them too". Maybe, maybe not. If you have already been disenfranchised what more is there to lose? If you are one of the legions of people who have been ignored through all the dandy rhetoric about Enron, a corrupt Congress, ANWAR, Iraq, and “important““ issues ad nauseam, what compelling tidbit of information will prompt you to get involved?
Here is another slant: If we elect politicians who support national single-payer health care, livable-wage job creation, and a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq, it is highly unlikely that those same politicians would even consider someone like Alito as a candidate to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Millions and millions of good and decent folks do not vote. Most of them are not registered to vote. They have not been given good reasons to do so. What will it take to solve that dilemma?
How about a program that includes the huge majority of working class folks? Health care for all will do that. Good jobs will do that. Peace will do that. (After all, it is mainly the children of the poor and middle classes who are being sent into battle. Many of those kids joined the armed forces because they were unable to find decent jobs in their home towns.)
It is up to us, to you and me and people just like us, to set a national agenda that addresses the needs expressed by vox populi.
Isn’t it time to reassert ourselves and remind politicos that the Congressional seats they are allowed to occupy belong to we the people? Isn’t it time to demand that a people’s program must take precedence over all other matters? Isn’t it time to let political candidates know that the price they will pay for ignoring our issues will be ballot box revenge?
So, we have our work cut out for us. By embracing and championing basic human needs we will attract those who are already tuned in as well as those who otherwise feel left out. People will have concrete reasons to register to vote and to vote for and elect a Congress answerable to the masses.
And we’d find that by returning to the basics, an issue like who will occupy the next seat on the Supreme Court would become moot. No President would dare nominate someone like Alito to the High Court!
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
... bvac said on 1/10/2006 @ 8:49 pm PT...
The whole time Feingold was questioning Alito, I was thinking "wasn't Lindsay Graham part of the team that coached him on the questions? Yes, yes he was."
Feingold should consider going straight to whoever was on that moot court and find out what they coached him to say about the NSA wiretaps.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
... Arry said on 1/10/2006 @ 9:38 pm PT...
Agree with #1 and #2, but I can see a possiblility of more "people power" than anticipated. True, the Establishment must do the work and we have to encourage it and follow it closely; and true, the line has been drawn.
But acting from what actually happens (for example, if the Establishment folds), it is possible that we will see a popular movement of non-violent (and, sadly, sometimes violent) resistance that will go far in shutting down the system. (It doesn't have to be everybody.) We haven't been tested in a long time - not even fully in the Vietnam era, but this is - as stated - much worse than the Nixon era. Not only much worse, but it can't stand. It can't be "the Establishment or nothing."
The Establishment has to learn that there are times in history when it cannot exist in arrogant separation from citizens - from the people.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
... Doug Eldritch said on 1/10/2006 @ 9:51 pm PT...
BVAC: He definitely was part of it.
Feingold should go right to the source and find out what they said and start leaking all the details.....derail Alito and stall him no matter what, put NSA hearings into action immediately.
As for Rich.....what we have to do is make the INDEPENDENT PARTY the highest viable option...
Get rid of the corporate politics system by outlawing lobbying gifts period and throwing them out.....then elect the independent party for long term plan by ending the 2 party dictatorship.....first step is voting out the incumbents already there.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
... Ricky said on 1/10/2006 @ 10:00 pm PT...
You people cant win an election and yet you claim the will of the people. Alito represents the will of the people. You far lefties represent a very small minority, this group even more so.
You seem to only realize that for a very breif period fght after you lose something, then you go back into your fantasy land. I believe last election some of you where succeeding the union?
The majority of America has spoken, you lose again.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
... agent99 said on 1/10/2006 @ 10:24 pm PT...
Yeah, I'm surprised Alito's hearing has not been stalled already by the much more pressing issues before us. I'm only up to Biden, so far, on today's round, and at least Alito isn't driving me batty with 25 minutes of empty high-flown blather for every one Democrat question like Roberts did. At least he has the grace to bob and weave, and the courage to disparage his own stupid statements. While I sure don't want him on the SCOTUS, I have to say he comes off as more of a man than Roberts did... so far.
Uh, you guys, does Ricky ever change his shtick, or is it always the same blurb?
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
... bvac said on 1/10/2006 @ 10:37 pm PT...
While there were a few Republicans that asked a few tough questions, most of them pretty much just set him up with an easy question to knock out of the park. This makes it pretty clear that no one's getting impeached for awhile, and i'm not holding my breath for investigations (where the fuck is Phase II?). I'll have to pay close attention tomorrow to who asks what about NSA wiretapping and executive power.
2006 can be the year of the independents, but aside from Kevin Zeese I haven't heard about any high profile three party races.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
... bvac said on 1/10/2006 @ 10:42 pm PT...
Agent99: Alito may be more of a man, but he's far more dangerous given his unitarian executive views. And Ricky says the same stuff over and over. It's just a diversionary tactic, ignore at will.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
... merifour said on 1/10/2006 @ 11:29 pm PT...
I finally got myself back together, after ranting at everyone in my house, (who politely listened but failed to become impassioned..par usual). Many excellent posts here, and some are still expressing hope that this can be turned around. I fear the Alito nomination will be the one that gives the final 'gift' to bushco's takeover of the Republic. His record shows he has no regard for congress, even as he sits in those hearings, telling the committee exactly what they want to hear. He is a very dangerous man and we are at a critical point now, today. Some of those questioning him today were so soft and gave him the answers...he just had to agree. I am on that darn roller coaster again....brain on overload...I need to go to a quiet place and detach for a bit. Why does Congress hate us?...for our freedoms? I believe someone here said on one of the threads, 'why do we need Congress anymore'.. prophetic. M4
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
... Bob Bilse said on 1/10/2006 @ 11:30 pm PT...
Here's the point: The Bush administration will NOT nominate anyone who should actually be a Supreme Court Justice.
This guy talks like Pat Paulsen: "If elected, I will win" - "I've upped my standards, now up yours".
Many Repubilcans in the last twelve years have discovered that lying works better than laying out a right wing philosophy. But it doesn't always work and it's important to remember that. Almost nobody bought Bush's ideas for social security once it became clear what his ideas meant and that he wasn't being truthful about it.
For judicial nominees and others that need to go through the televised confirmation process, the only real requirement these days besides telling Congress what it would like to hear regardless of whether it's true or not is to say everything in a very dignified, calm and rational-seeming way. There are plenty of people willing to offer the necessary coaching. It's a ridiculous qualification for a powerful life-time job.
Democrats need to stand up and say that Alito's words don't necessarily match his record and there is no way to resolve the contradiction. My grandfather didn't have too much trouble with this issue: he said he didn't judge people by their words or politeness, he judged them by their actions.
Democrats also need to raise the issue of trust. The president has demonstrated an activist interpretation of the laws and Constitution that appear to exceed his authority; how do we know that Alito will not be an activist judge who will validate the president's interpretations? There's evidence to suggest that he would do so.
Short of a major discovery that disqualifies Alito, he will probably be confirmed in the current environment but Democrats need to make their own philosophy loud and clear. The clock is running out in more ways than one. It's doubtful that the Democrats will fillibuster Alito but it's time to make a collective stand of some sort; standing tall against the Repubican assault on the Constitution would be a place to begin.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
... Doug Eldritch said on 1/11/2006 @ 2:05 am PT...
The point is stall, and DELAY Alito no matter what and make sure he either gets fillibustered or they put someone else in.....
THE POINT IS TO JUST DELAY THE WHOLE THING....
You do that by shooting straight for the gold, where Russ Feingold is aimed: His record on domestic NSA spying, and warrantless surveillance. Period.
No questions allowed, he must be STALLED, and bitten to pieces by the rabid senators in Congress.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
... agent99 said on 1/11/2006 @ 2:14 am PT...
Okay. I got through most of today's hearing, skipping big chunks of Republican "questioning". It seems to me this guy has had the SCOTUS in mind since college, and he chose to impress the conservatives because those were the ones in power while he was trying to rise. I have not read a range of his opinions, barely read the "range" of the complaints of his opinions. I absorbed the majority view of progressives that Alito will throw the court into an unbreakably right wing body. I have the impression that his views on the unitary executive MAY have been directed at getting himself to the SCOTUS, as opposed to being genuinely held, absolutist, personal convictions.
I'm seeing too many who show clearly that personal convictions are not the motive force in their actions, but rather personal advancement. Everyone accepts that outrageous statements on job applications are "only" salad dressing, nothing to be held against them in when considering them for the highest post in the land. In a sick sense, there is merit to this argument. Who can say what a person will do when they no longer have to pose to get what they want? Is there a chance Roberts and Alito will find themselves, at last, where no considerations of sponsorship can upset their apple carts? I'm poking through my conviction that Scalia and Thomas have relatives being held hostage to explain their flagrantly unSCOTUSness in order to hold out this ray of hope.
I thought Feingold rocked. I think Dean is on it. I'm going to keep it in my heart that the Democrats will be unfolding for us in the days ahead something that will spare us the doom we all feel looming. But, I really think that people who can think outside the box, who have the guts and brains and heart to advance extraordinary measures, need urgently to be devoting themselves to the Democrats, using a bullhorn over the rooms full of drones, whatever it takes. Calls, emails, letters are not good enough, and, er, lately, neither are votes.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
... agent99 said on 1/11/2006 @ 2:30 am PT...
Yes, like Doug says, stalling it with this thrust would be most a excellent way to make sure the power structure goes down and stays down without any more distraction from the relentless criminality.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
... Soul Rebel said on 1/11/2006 @ 3:27 am PT...
(P)Ricky fails to understand democracy yet again.
This American Democracy is not simply about the "will of the people", although anyone who cares to look will see that the will of the people has been thwarted in elections over the last five years. If the will of the people was all that counted, we'd still have colored and white drinking fountains and women wouldn't be voting. Those were social revolutions that would not have taken place without committed and brave individuals and organizations willing to risk physical danger, incarceration and ostracization in order to fulfill rights granted in the Constitution but not yet attained in society. These social revolutions were not the will of the people, as you, (P)Ricky, are claiming to define it.
Like the dog that bites the hand trying to free it when it has fallen down a well, (P)Ricky and company do not realize that we are here to help him and others like him, as well as ourselves and our country.
#1 and #2, as already expressed by others, both are powerful and compelling pieces of work. Thanks to the both of you.
MLK day is coming, as is the State of the Union address. I know that www.worldcantwait.org is organizing protests for SotU. MLK day (not a day off, a day on) would be an excellent starting point for gathering daily mass rallies to protest our government.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
... Joan said on 1/11/2006 @ 5:31 am PT...
Alright if I copy that & hand it out on the street?
I sometimes skip long posts.
I urge people to read #1. Read all of it.
Then read #2. Read all of it.
Then DO SOMETHING. Something legal, but SOMETHING.
#1 and #2
Long posts like that are disfavored and against the rules. Use a link to a page to shorten the text. I say this because I like your post content for the most part, and would like you to "fit in" in every way.
Rich Austin #15
Enjoyed your post. You stated "Millions and millions of good and decent folks do not vote. Most of them are not registered to vote. They have not been given good reasons to do so. What will it take to solve that dilemma?"
Seriously, we invaded and now occupy Iraq and battle an Iraqi insurgency to bring them "democracy". We want to make sure they "reap all the benefits" of a nation that can't even inspire "millions and millions of good and decent folks" here in the US to vote.
But actually maybe we can say that they are voting with their refusal. They are saying the vote offers them nothing to get into. They have, without voting, all the constitutional protections.
The government is closely watching to make sure all things are done well (link here).
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
... agent99 said on 1/11/2006 @ 6:48 am PT...
Okay. I've stayed up all night, boning up on The New Civics, and more manly as I find Alito than the smooth car salesman Chief Justice, he really must not be confirmed. We couldn't take a chance that he'd get religion once freed of political fealty by a lifetime appointment... if, indeed, one can ever be that anymore.
I'm sorry #1 and #2, but you're saying stuff that was appropriate in 2000 and 2001 and 2002 and 2003, but should long have been dispensed with, replaced by proposed action. Using your talents to characterize, now, well... I don't think it's better late than never in this situation, EVEN as any victories now WILL be late, and better than never.
Since I don't have the wherewithal to get to the capitol in time to bang on the door of chambers, I guess I'm going to be on the phone raising hell till I drop. Howard Dean just asked me for money. I'm gonna respond that if he slaps testosterone patches on his Senate Democrats, I'll give him my grocery money.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
... merifour said on 1/11/2006 @ 7:22 am PT...
Back again...just read a brief article (OT) that bush is one more time threatening people that are voicing their opinion about his war. (Opposition) He says 'they will suffer at the polls'...well I am sure he knows what he talking about...corrupt voting machines etc.
I take his hate speech as directed to any American that dares to disagree with him as a direct threat to his authority. I took a poll and so far out of some 83,000 votes, 59% say he is wrong. Does he care, I doubt it. As #2 so aptly states 'what are you going to do about it chump'. bush is threatening us, making his list and checking it twice. He has an insatiable appetite for Power and the people be damned. I can only hope there exists some powerful people that are onto this and are trying to undermine his effort, at a level that is far beyond my imagining. M4
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
... big dan said on 1/11/2006 @ 8:43 am PT...
Followup to my comment #3 about Lou Dobbs. On his news yesterday, he also had a story of how liberals are trying to portray that more Americans are against Bush's illegal wiretapping than in actuality.
Lou: I don't think the question is whether liberals are trying to portray that there are more people concerned about Bush breaking the law than there actually are, I think the issue is whether Bush can break the law or not. That's the story. Does public opinion matter? Are you saying it's OK to break the law if people don't care?
More CNN bullshit news...I hope people watch Corporate News with the same bullshit-detector I am using...
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
... Joan said on 1/11/2006 @ 9:49 am PT...
Indeed. Mandatory bullshit detectors should be handed out free to all.
In the hearings today, so far, Chairman Spector has been emulating The Dick.
Senator Kennedy sent him a letter on Dec 12 and Spector, in a tirade, said he did not get the letter.
So Kennedy asked to put Spector's response to the letter, and Kennedy's reply, into the record.
This, to me, dulled Spector's tirade about the Supreme Court case pointing out the flawed reasoning on one statute congess fabricated. He was adamant that congressional reasoning was as good as anyone else's. Shortly thereafter he was beating the gavel down on the table yelling that Kennedy was not going to take over Spector's committee nor tell him what he had or had not received in the mail.
He adamately said he had not received it, period, and that was the end of it he yelled as he blasted the table with the gavel.
Spector should apologize because he was a pure asshole in the exchange. He was wrong.
We should know all about Alito's membership in a racist and gender biased group, which is all Kennedy is trying to find out about.
Since Judge Alito cannot remember what he was doing during those years, documents would help.
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 1/11/2006 @ 11:31 am PT...
Democrat Senators are making fool's out of themselves as expected.
Kennedy's father was sympathetic to the Nazi's and Kennedy himself was responsible for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. I wonder if he remembers. Can we find out why he took 10 hours to report her missing.
Alito hired women so he is not gender biased. You guys are called the left kook fringe for a reason.
Ricky is Right!
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 1/11/2006 @ 11:43 am PT...
Arlen Specter was exactly right in what he said.
Some day this country will be better served when both are no longer senators, especially Kennedy.
Thank you Mary Jo Kopechne for ruining Kennedy's chance to be President!
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 1/11/2006 @ 11:52 am PT...
Demo Senator claimed that a woman on Alito’s staff is upset that he was a member of a group at Princeton who want more men than women at Princeton. He was trying to say Alito is anti-women.
Alito said “I know the lady. I hired her.”
THAT IS HILARIOUS!
He only joined this group in Princeton because it wanted to keep the ROTC on campus.
Demo Senator asked him “Do you believe the constitution protects free speech?”
Senator ““Then why can’t you say that a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion?”
Alito “The constitution speaks about free speech and the non-abridgement of it while abortion is only an interpretation.”
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 1/11/2006 @ 12:08 pm PT...
You left kook fringe types remind me of a song from Ben Folds Five:
Will you never rest
"Fighting the battle of who could care less"
And you think Rockford Files is cool
But there are some things
that you would change
if it were up to you
So think about your masterpiece
Watch the Rockford Files
Call to see if Paul can score some weed
See I've got your old I.D.
And you're all dressed up like the Cure
Will you never rest
fighting the battle of who could care less
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
... Medium Right said on 1/11/2006 @ 12:10 pm PT...
Listen to all this libs trying to DELAY the vote on Alito. Why is it that when it comes to voting, this gorup wants no part of it. Oh wait, I know why, because whenever there is a vote, they lose!
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
... annrice said on 1/11/2006 @ 12:36 pm PT...
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
... Floridiot said on 1/11/2006 @ 1:01 pm PT...
Nowhere to go pukes?
Abraham Jackoff scandal got you down?
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
... bvac said on 1/11/2006 @ 1:34 pm PT...
A congressional investigation into the death of Mary Jo Kopechne needs to be pursued right now! We need to take to the streets people!
COMMENT #45 [Permalink]
... big dan said on 1/11/2006 @ 1:36 pm PT...
Rightwingers are admitting they lost an arguement, when they bring up Mary Jo, Clinton, or Carter.
YOU LOSE!!! BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO ANSWER!!!
CLINTON DID IT!!!
CARTER DID IT!!!!
MARY JO KOPECHNE!!!
WE HAVE NO LOGICAL ANSWERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IT'S OK TO BREAK THE LAW BECAUSE CLINTON DID TOO!!!!
BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!!!!!!
Remember, YOU LOSE!!! When you mention Clinton, Carter, or Kopechne for a "non-answer".
COMMENT #46 [Permalink]
... Jeff McTiernan said on 1/11/2006 @ 1:59 pm PT...
Paul, who are you trying to convince, us or yourself? Obviously you missed the point of this entire conversation. Also, it might be a plan to put your ideas in one post and find a day job. Also regarding your mention of:
"Demo Senator claimed that a woman on Alito’s staff is upset that he was a member of a group at Princeton who want more men than women at Princeton. He was trying to say Alito is anti-women.
Alito said “I know the lady. I hired her.”
Does that mean if Alito was part of the KKK and he he hired a black man that it's okay because he hired him? Admit it, he is a rascist fascist bigot that has a hidden agenda bigger than Dick Cheney's ass.
COMMENT #47 [Permalink]
... Doug Eldritch said on 1/11/2006 @ 2:13 pm PT...
Paul & Ricky are one in the same person that's why everything that comes out of their mouth is bullshit.
Ignore their BS. As you can see over 82% say there should be no confirmation. Lets go for the goal and shut this guy down in committee forcing them to elect someone else or delay the proceedings.
COMMENT #48 [Permalink]
... bvac said on 1/11/2006 @ 2:26 pm PT...
Alito will be confirmed, but there's absolutely no reason a single democrat should be in the yea category on this one.
COMMENT #49 [Permalink]
... A Concerned Citizen said on 1/11/2006 @ 3:35 pm PT...
Wow, lot's of good posts and thoughts, #1 and #2 especially. It's all very scary to me and I feel like the darkness is already upon us.
Too bad these paid trolls have to clutter such an indepth discussion about things that have such important merit. Never do they address the topics, but sling crapola. I can skip their posts easily now, but I still read about them from other people's comments. We should all just ignore them, they'll go away eventually.
Alito will be confirmed because we do not have any checks and balances, obviously. The "nominees" never have to answer anything important, nothing is ever discovered, democrats don't collectively own a spine, so why bother having the hearings? It's all an okay show, but it's all just a game, a joke, an injustice, etc. We're screwed. Wish Sandra would reconsider and stay until '08!!
COMMENT #50 [Permalink]
... bvac said on 1/11/2006 @ 4:07 pm PT...
So whats the big story the media focuses in on after a day of hearings?
Alito's wife cries because the mean Democrats are asking why he was part of a crew that wanted to disintegrate Princeton.
The Democrats are trying to catch Alito in a "gaffe", showboating for the cameras.
Meanwhile, Lindsay Graham, Alito's personal coach, puts on a show that would make Nathan Lane jealous.
Poor little Alito, look at all the anguish he must go through to become a LIFETIME APPOINTEE TO THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND.
Between this and the dumbfuck callers I've been hearing on cspan, we're headed in one lousy direction in the next few decades.
COMMENT #51 [Permalink]
... agent99 said on 1/11/2006 @ 4:40 pm PT...
Goddammit! I haven't slept in almost two days! MAYBE he isn't going to be confirmed! MAYBE he's toast.
COMMENT #52 [Permalink]
... Medium Right said on 1/11/2006 @ 4:40 pm PT...
You libs are losing everywhere as a reslt of the will of the people. The majority of this country are NOT in your corner. Ricky is right, you only realize it after an event like an election. It wont be long before they think they are winning again and quote some obscure poll to prove it.
COMMENT #53 [Permalink]
... Jeff McTiernan said on 1/11/2006 @ 4:54 pm PT...
It is a scary thought. If Alito has no issues with reversing a woman's right to an abortion, what's to say, given his past history with certain groups, that he won't try and move the country back to the 40's and 50's when women worked for much less than equal pay and the country was secluded into white's and non-white's. It makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it but it seems like the more and more that comes out about this guy the worse the scenario gets.
COMMENT #54 [Permalink]
... JUDGE OF JUDGES said on 1/11/2006 @ 4:54 pm PT...
Concerned Alumni of Princeton CAP = KKK - SHEETS
COMMENT #55 [Permalink]
... bvac said on 1/11/2006 @ 4:58 pm PT...
Jeff, none of that matters apparently. The real story is that Joe Biden flip-flopped on his opinion of Princeton. Get it straight.
COMMENT #56 [Permalink]
... Jeff McTiernan said on 1/11/2006 @ 5:09 pm PT...
"Listen to all this libs trying to DELAY the vote on Alito. Why is it that when it comes to voting, this gorup wants no part of it. Oh wait, I know why, because whenever there is a vote, they lose! "
"You libs are losing everywhere as a reslt of the will of the people. The majority of this country are NOT in your corner. Ricky is right, you only realize it after an event like an election. It wont be long before they think they are winning again and quote some obscure poll to prove it. "
Does the GOP elephant shit these pre-made statements out of it's ass? You might as well give up, get your shitkickers on, throw on your cleanest dirty shirt, comb your mullet with a rake and drive your dumbass white trash ass back to the trailerpark you were conceived in.
COMMENT #57 [Permalink]
... JUDGE OF JUDGES said on 1/11/2006 @ 5:49 pm PT...
Here's an Idea for all you bush supporters - neocons
Get in your SUV, YOU Know the one with the Flag and Ribbon Magnet
Drive your Little Bastards to the Nearest Recruiting Office.
COMMENT #58 [Permalink]
... big dan said on 1/11/2006 @ 6:55 pm PT...
I can't believe it's come to the point, where our media doesn't think it's a big deal that a potential Supreme Court judge was a member of a racist group! And then further insults everyone's intelligence, by saying he doesn't recall anything about CAP! The MSM tore down Howard Dean for an emotional scream, but "pooh pooh"'s that a potential Supreme Court justice was a member of a racist group!!! There's your proof of Corporate America media!!!
In my opinion, Alito should be rejected SOLELY because he was a member of CAP. That's not the judgement I want in a Supreme Court justice, I don't care how long ago he was in CAP. Rightwingers bring up Mary Jo Kopechne from 5 decades ago, then hypocritically turn around and say, "Oh, it was so long ago that Alito was in CAP." When are rightwingers going to see that we are all over their bullshit???
This is serious business, that Bush would even nominate someone that was in a racist group.
You don't "accidentally" join clubs. They aren't "thrust" upon you. You seek them out, research them, and join them because they share your views.
And Mr. Alito, "FUCK YOU", saying you don't remember CAP. "FUCK YOU", you liar!!!
COMMENT #59 [Permalink]
... big dan said on 1/11/2006 @ 6:59 pm PT...
You don't join the chess club because you hate chess, and you don't join CAP if you're not a racist.
COMMENT #60 [Permalink]
... Truth Seeker said on 1/11/2006 @ 7:21 pm PT...
Alito is unacceptable. It would be difficult to find someone worse. The Democrats must filibuster. If not now, when?
COMMENT #61 [Permalink]
... mag said on 1/11/2006 @ 7:57 pm PT...
I don't live in America. However, that doesn't make me any less nervous about what is happening there. I fear that we in Australia have as many sheeple as you do and reading these comments makes me very nervous. I too am concerned that if Atila (oops, Alito!!) gets in your country will suffer but so will mine. Our prime minister has been lock step with your guys for far too long and the religious right are being courted by him in the same ways as has Bush. Keeping my fingers crossed.
COMMENT #62 [Permalink]
... JUDGE OF JUDGES said on 1/11/2006 @ 8:03 pm PT...
alito is the best bush can Select ?
> A LIAR CHEAT AND BIGOT
Then Again, They are kindred soles. . .
COMMENT #63 [Permalink]
... bvac said on 1/11/2006 @ 8:04 pm PT...
The thing to keep in mind is that this is Princeton we're dealing with here. They had to apply to which private DINING HALL they ate at. Joining CAP isn't quite on the same level as joining the intramural volleyball team. For someone who has risen to the level of Supreme Court nominee, it should be obvious that nothing Alito has done in life was not without meaning. The real issue though is his view of a unitary executive.
COMMENT #64 [Permalink]
... Jonathan said on 1/11/2006 @ 8:06 pm PT...
Has anyone here ever noticed that the posts that trolls write are so poorly constructed? I mean, these folks are spokespeople for the unter menschen and they seem not to know about proper punctuation, capital letters, verb agreement, etc, ect. I have worked with some of these people. You should see how their non spokespersons write.
Is it any wonder that people who have such muddied thought processes are inclined to support the medieval republican policy positions?
COMMENT #65 [Permalink]
... Rich Austin said on 1/11/2006 @ 8:32 pm PT...
Re: Comment # 18
Hey Doug, I'm with you...to a point. I don't believe ANY party is the answer. I believe WE are the answer. It is up to us to produce a national agenda and vote only for candidates who support it! As far as lobbyists go, it should be a criminal offense for a lobbyist to give "favors", and it should likewise be a criminal offense for politicians to receive "favors". Let's make that a stipulation in our national agenda.
COMMENT #66 [Permalink]
... Jo said on 1/11/2006 @ 10:17 pm PT...
I haven't read every post here ( I just worked a double shift) so if this is up already, I apologize. It looks like Mr Alito may be fibbing. If so, then that should disqualify him for the supreme court. I think this is a hokey answer. He remembers. I think that means he agrees with the views of this organization or he wouldn't lie to cover it up. I don't have anything against him personally, but I don't think he is telling the truth and this organization he "highlighted" seems pretty bad. From the AP:
"Challenged by Democrats, Alito repeatedly said he had no memory of involvement with the conservative Concerned Alumni of Princeton, though he highlighted his membership in a 1985 job application for the Reagan administration.
He repudiated the opinions expressed in articles in the organization's magazine. "They're not my views ... I deplore them," he said of writing that contained material that was racist, sexist and homophobic."
COMMENT #67 [Permalink]
... Bob Bilse said on 1/11/2006 @ 11:34 pm PT...
...big dan said..."You don't join the chess club because you hate chess, and you don't join CAP if you're not a racist".
Very succinctly put.
Keep in mind that this administration is never going to nominate someone that should actually be on the Supreme Court. That would not fit in with their modus operandi...
...however, after reading this man's evasive and contradictory answers, I feel he shouldn't be a jusge at all - anywhere. Judges need to be alot more direct than this man is capable of being.
This quote, by Alito, for example, is absolute rubbish:
"I don't think it's appropriate for me to speak about issues that could realistically come up before the courts".
What balderdash! What issue is it that might NOT come up before the Supreme Court? All issues stop there!
This is not a worthy candidate for the post.
COMMENT #68 [Permalink]
... Jo said on 1/12/2006 @ 6:18 am PT...
He does seem evasive at best and dishonest at worst. I think a judge should be held to a higher standard. He has to be fair, truthful and unbiased in his opinions. I can't imagine that he doesn't know what organizations be belonged to in college or that he doesn't know what is highlighted on his resume. These things don't add up. He looks like a nice enough guy with a nice family and impressive credentials. He just isn't being straight and honest.
COMMENT #69 [Permalink]
... agent99 said on 1/12/2006 @ 6:40 am PT...
Bob, #67, I have to, in sympathy, disagree. If it were not for the heinously rightist cast of mind, Alito would be a far better candidate for the SCOTUS than Scalia, Thomas or Roberts. His testimony at this hearing has been rehearsed to a the last eyelash, and his wife's tearful departure from chambers probably was too. He has executed his charge brilliantly. It's SLEAZY, but his grasp of the law and the careful discharge of his duty for the last fifteen years, with that one BLARING exception, seems to put him as, indeed, completely qualified, and in fact, in other circumstances, someone we should wish to have on that bench. The problem is that he is not "American", in the sense that we have come to know ourselves. He wants a regent. He has so much difficulty treating those he feels are beneath him equally that we cannot trust that he will maintain his poise in this regard should the constraints be removed by appointment to the SCOTUS. He IS lying. If we had eight solidly-grounded other justices on that court right now, I think I'd want him on the court to keep them from erring on the side of too fanatical liberalism.
I'm deeply embarrassed by our current SCOTUS, these hearings, where so many senators are abdicating their charges by falling to group think, and, clearly, letting aides do their thinking for them. I disapprove of the format! If we are going to put someone into such a post, the hearings should NOT be in committee, they should be on the Senate floor, impossible to rehearse this well, and take much longer to push through. The process should be SO rigorous that a candidate could ONLY sit there and tell the truth, or be exposed beyond any political protection.
Russ Feingold, though, emerges as a man apart, here. I am thrilled by his bearing and performance so far, and believe he outclasses most of the Democrats we've had up for nomination in recent elections. I'm glad to have my eggs in his basket.
I think that is the point too. It is a question of credibility just like what a jury considers when listening to a witness on the stand. Is it likely?
While we must not give too much import to what someone did far enough back for them to change, and to remember that Alito could have been a member of CAP then but has changed his views. It is also possible, given the exact same circumstances today, he would have nothing to do with CAP.
His "forgetfulness" on things that far back, but his memory of cases that far back do not match and do raise some legitimate questions.
I mean he can remember the issues in a complex case but can't remember a club he joined in rebuttal to a ban of the ROTC from campus? Something he has his heart into?
Not likely, and that is why this resembles the classic convient loss of memory.
Better to say I joined because my political and social views were askew, and now I realize that, and would not join CAP today like I did then.
While I agree with all you say, one thing you mention needs some additional comment. It is an American myth of the neoCons forced upon the public.
Alito mouthed the myth in his answer to questions about the Supreme Court referring to foreign law in its decisions. Alito could have shown his legal prowess by debunking the myth, but instead he failed to bring out a fundamental reality that is important in the equation.
We won independence from a foreign nation by declaring our independence. Afterward that foreign nation invaded us and occupied us and we defeated that foreign nation.
Even tho that foreign nation was an enemy combatant we adopted that foreign nation's basic common law as our own. In fact, when you see the term "common law" in the US Constitution it refers to the "common law" of a foreign nation we had been at war with. Yes, they tried to destroy us yet we adopted their "common law".
The cases in the courts of this mortal foreign enemy nation became the foundation of our law, our common law. You can read case after case in our law that cites, as binding principle, the enemy law.
Why? Because it is good law. It had tresspass, privacy, assault, battery, habeas corpus, jury, contract, and general tort law principles that are good and in general still part of our law today.
What is important, then, to bring out is not whether or not a law is "foreign" from a geographical standpoint, but whether or not it is "foreign" to the principles of freedom, constitution, and similar American principles.
What was foreign to us was the King and the notion that the King can do no wrong.
It just so happens that the neoCons are trying to bring foreign law back, the law of the King. The law that existed before the constitution, and at the same time criticize others for considering foreign law that is foreign only geographically.
For instance, the Supreme Court mentioned European law that children and mentally impaired folk should not be put to death. That was the recent case where they outlawed putting teens to death.
COMMENT #72 [Permalink]
... Jo said on 1/12/2006 @ 8:20 am PT...
I agree. People change and it's ok to say "I was young and I didn't realize all the views this organization held when I joined." Ok. Fair enough. To say "I don't remember" is not honest. Honesty is the issue.
COMMENT #73 [Permalink]
... agent99 said on 1/12/2006 @ 10:42 am PT...
It looks to me as if the Democrats have identified the areas of highest concern, are seeking, and have reason to expect they will get, hard evidence to settle these questions in support of not only a straight down vote, but of more vociferous means to combat appointment of this candidate. It's already being made plain there is a firm basis for this action, and I don't think the outside testimonials can alter that. The Democratic members of this committee seem unified, and I know the party chairman will support them. We have reason to believe they will act with strength and clarity here, and so I believe we should support that as best we can by making our desire for this explicit to our Senators and to the DNC.
COMMENT #74 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 1/12/2006 @ 10:56 am PT...
I cannot believe all of you left kook nuts talking about Alito being a racist.
FDR put a man on the Supreme Court who was a current member of the KKK.
Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd is an ex-Grand Wizard of the KKK.
Democrats put up the rebel flags on their state houses.
Republicans set the slaves free.
Republican Reagan gave us the National MLK Holiday.
What party does Condi Rice and Colin Powell belong to?
You people are so ignorant!
Please go back to your old communist country!
COMMENT #75 [Permalink]
... Jo said on 1/12/2006 @ 11:30 am PT...
I think he should have left the racist organization off from his resume in 1985 if he didn't want to answer questions about it.
Lots of people have done things they are not proud of but they don't put them on their resume.
Regardless Mr Alito will be confirmed.
I hope he is worthy of the position he is about to receive.
I pray he is fair and truthful. I sincerely hope his membership in this organization was brief and a lapse of good judgement that he has since reconciled.
COMMENT #76 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 1/12/2006 @ 11:40 am PT...
He is more worthy than most and the court will be titled 6-3 on the conservative side. Then, Bush will get to pick another conservative by end of this year.
COMMENT #77 [Permalink]
... annrice said on 1/12/2006 @ 12:25 pm PT...
"Democrats put up the rebel flags on their state houses.....Republicans set the slaves free"
.......Talk about ignorance! The Rebublican Party of the 1800s was the left wing party, The Democrats the right wing, and are just the opposite today.
A notably stupid post.
COMMENT #78 [Permalink]
... JUDGE OF JUDGES said on 1/12/2006 @ 12:26 pm PT...
Elito Hearings - what a Staged Fucking SHAM
& Crocodile Tears To Boot
COMMENT #79 [Permalink]
... bvac said on 1/12/2006 @ 4:09 pm PT...
You're a clever one, Paul
COMMENT #80 [Permalink]
... Bluebear2 said on 1/12/2006 @ 5:18 pm PT...
annrice #77 said:
"A notably stupid post."
One of many from that source!
His classic is "A lie is only a lie if you believe it's a lie"
COMMENT #81 [Permalink]
... Soul Rebel said on 1/12/2006 @ 5:23 pm PT...
Unless you're an idiot, you know that Reagan's demeanor towards the MLK holiday was reserved at best. There was open resistance to the creation of the holiday among many Republicans (most notably Jesse Helms), while Conyers had been fighting for the legislation for fifteen years. It was only overwhelming public pressure (bipartisan, yes, but the vanguard of those efforts were Democrats in both the House and the Senate). Republican state Arizona overturned the federal legislation under new governor Evan Meacham (oh, remember he was impeached?)
On the day that the legislation was signed, the group gathered on the White House lawn sang "We Shall Overcome." Guess who did not sing? Yup - Reagan and Bush Sr. I don't know - maybe someone didn't give them the words.
Saint Paul, don't be such a boner doofus. You forget you are conversing with intelligent folks here, not the rubes you are used to dealing with on a regular basis (I'm assuming.)
COMMENT #82 [Permalink]
... JUDGE OF JUDGES said on 1/12/2006 @ 5:54 pm PT...
Just On the Surface aliDo is a FUCKING WEENIE !!!!
Thank You, Uncle Teddy Kenedy, You Earned your Keep !
COMMENT #83 [Permalink]
... Truth Seeker said on 1/12/2006 @ 6:06 pm PT...
Re Alito and CAP, we have now heard three stories: 1) I didn't like the quotas; 2) I didn't like the loss of ROTC on campus; 3) I forgot. The truth is that he is embarrassed by this and is afraid to tell the truth. Is this the wimp you want on SCOTUS?
Also, did you see what he did when the hearings ended? He walked straight out of the room without even looking at his wife.
COMMENT #84 [Permalink]
... Jonathan said on 1/12/2006 @ 7:16 pm PT...
Alito clearly has lied his ass off during these hearings. And lying under oath is perjury. Regarless of whether he gets confirmed Congress should commence an investigation into his perjury and impeach him (and hence remove him from either the Supreme Court or the Appeals Court) when they find enough evidence.
COMMENT #85 [Permalink]
... owen said on 1/12/2006 @ 7:33 pm PT...
Paul, Ricky and Medium Right,
You are all really annoying me (and everyone else here), and are not posting under your real names.
You may want to look into a new prohibition that your master recently signed into law: "Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."
Anyone else feel that our friends Ricky, Paul, and Medium Right qualify?
All we have to do is use your IP addresses to find you and report you. Shall I make the call?
Ahhh, the irony is so delicious. Yummy!
COMMENT #86 [Permalink]
... bvac said on 1/12/2006 @ 9:14 pm PT...
I knew it all along:
take note of the last sentence.
COMMENT #87 [Permalink]
... Jose Chung said on 1/13/2006 @ 9:29 am PT...
Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn't answer diddly-squat and she was confirmed 96 to 3.
It would be inconceivable that Alito woul be confirmed 96 to 3, even if the Democratic Senators believed in their hearts that he should be. They can't vote for him because their votes don't belong to them; they belong to Big Labor, Big Lawyer, Big Teacher, Moveon. org, Big Minority, and so on, and so forth.
By the way, the guilt-by-association tactic used by Teddy (the swimmer) Kennedy, was as ugly and unfair as it gets.
Personally, I wish these confirmation hearings would go on for another month so the American public can see what the Democratic party is all about.
Somewhere Johnny Cochran is smiling.
COMMENT #88 [Permalink]
... bvac said on 1/13/2006 @ 10:44 am PT...
9/11 changed everything.
COMMENT #89 [Permalink]
... YayAlito! said on 1/13/2006 @ 2:44 pm PT...
AnnRice and Bluebear harped on about this:
""Democrats put up the rebel flags on their state houses.....Republicans set the slaves free"
.......Talk about ignorance! The Rebublican Party of the 1800s was the left wing party, The Democrats the right wing, and are just the opposite today.
A notably stupid post."
Well, if your point were 100% true, I would say that one point cancels the other one out. You can't blame the Republicans or the Democrats - but you use the point to buff your side of the debate by characterizing the pro-slavery as the right winged.
I would say viewing the facts of this: your notably just as stupid for using the same point already brought up, switching the terms to relieve racist Democrats (by the way how many African Americans were in the Clinton Administration?).
To the other RUBBISH in here about Alito, these arguments make Kennedy's and Biden's look "scholarly".
This country is taking the Supreme Court back, from activist judges who twist the constitution to invent rights that nevr existed.
Get used to it, aint nothing you can do about it .
COMMENT #90 [Permalink]
... bvac said on 1/13/2006 @ 9:41 pm PT...
Renquist, Thomas, Scalia = activist judges
Brad, I looked for a contact link, couldn't find one, so am writing to you here.
Stopping Alito's confirmation has is a timely issue. Sending messages to our senators that we want Alito stopped is vital to let them know where we stand. Alito on the Supreme Court will help give even more power to the president and will affect our civil rights. We must stop him.
In this vein, the members of ConyersBlog have created a STOP ALITO! Challenge. This challenge is for blogs to create a team and to send the most messages to our senators demanding that Alito be stopped.
We challenge BradBlog to create a team and out perform us. Other teams are welcome, too.
To create a team, team leader, click my link then:
1. Register and log in
2. Follow path 'members', 'soapbox', 'create team'
3. Create team
4. Edit team, adding the team's banner and a team message
5. Your link will be provided. Copy and paste it into your blog.
Meet the challenge:
1. Your users will click the link on your blog and be taken to your challenge page
2. Users get the senators contacts and write to them
3. Users put their names next to the senator to whom they wrote
4. The scoreboard is automatically updated.
5. Users do not need to register.
Other teams maybe created by the same method.
Meet the challenge! Together, let's get Alito stopped. Our futures depend upon it.
COMMENT #92 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 1/14/2006 @ 9:22 am PT...
You heard it here first: Ted Kennedy, the Democrat Party mascot, is a tone-deaf alien from a distant galaxy. How else to explain his impudent inquisition into the integrity of our nation's next Supreme Court justice, the Honorable Samuel Alito?
In Senate Judiciary Committee hearings this week, Kennedy actually asserted that the nominee's association with a conservative Princeton alumni group two decades ago should disqualify him from a seat on the High Court.
Well, it's not as if Judge Alito is a spoiled trust baby who got kicked out of Harvard for cheating. Nor is he a United States senator who got drunk, drove a young female campaign worker to her death, then chose not report it to authorities until the next day, and then, only after calling his lawyer, concocting an alibi and developing a strategy to contain the political fallout.
Only an extraterrestrial could wield so much power over the minds of some Bay Staters, willing them to re-elect him to the Senate in perpetuity. Perhaps they are "Manchurian constituents," but we digress.
Looking at the spectacle of Judge Alito's hearing, one is left to conclude that it has nothing to do with his qualifications, and everything to do with the Left's power to implement its political and social agendas.
Judge Samuel Alito is exceptionally qualified for a seat on the Supreme Court. The ill-fated nomination of Harriet Miers notwithstanding, President George Bush's follow-on nomination of Judge Alito is bold and brilliant.
Stepping out on a limb here---color us unimpressed by Sen. Chuck Schumer's warnings of a filibuster---Judge Alito will be approved by a floor vote next Friday, or the following week if it takes a bit more finessing to get the good judge out for a floor vote. After all, back in 1987 when Ronald Reagan nominated Alito to be a U.S. District Attorney, Kennedy's vote was among the Senate's unanimous consent. And when Sam Alito was nominated for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in 1990, he again received Kennedy's vote and unanimous consent from the Senate.
So what's with all the theatrics?
First and foremost, the stage show is about political agendas, not "advice and consent" ---specifically, the Left's objection to the fact that Judge Alito is precisely what our Founders desired in a jurist---one who will interpret the plain language of our Constitution, not amend it by way of judicial diktat, as has been the practice of Leftist judicial activists for decades. That practice has all but rendered the Judiciary, in the inimitable words of Thomas Jefferson, a "Despotic Branch."
"If confirmed," blustered Kennedy, "Alito could very well fundamentally alter the balance of the court and push it dangerously to the right." Sen. Hillary Rodham-Clinton (or is it just "Clinton" these days?) concurred: "The fate of the Supreme Court hangs in the balance." Chuck Schumer added, "Alito is a controversial nominee for a pivotal swing vote on the High Court who could shift the balance of the court, and thus the laws of the nation, for decades to come."
What balance? Just where does the Constitution specify that judges are supposed to make the laws? To borrow from its author, James Madison, we cannot undertake to lay our finger on that article of the Constitution, which states that certain Supreme Court justices are supposed to be "swing" justices.
As penned by Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist Papers, the definitive explication of our Constitution, "[T]here is not a syllable in the [Constitution] which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution..."
To that end, Sam Alito insists, "Judges shouldn't be legislators, they shouldn't be administrators." He has demonstrated that he's a strict constructionist who supports states' rights and thinks the First Amendment restricts only Congress when it comes to the Left's sacred (read: bogus) "wall of separation" between church and state. He thinks the Second Amendment means what it says.
He thinks parents know better than the government how to raise their kids. He would, we believe, return to states and local communities the decision to have prayer in their schools. He's even approved Christmas displays by local municipalities. He has certainly not found any language in our Constitution suggesting a "right" to terminate the life of children before they are born, or that husbands---and parents in the case of minors---should not be notified before an abortion.
COMMENT #93 [Permalink]
... Paul said on 1/14/2006 @ 9:24 am PT...
QUOTE OF THE WEEK...
"Federal judges have the duty to interpret the Constitution and the laws faithfully and fairly, to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans, and to do these things with care and with restraint, always keeping in mind the limited role that the courts play in our constitutional system. And I pledge that if confirmed I will do everything within my power to fulfill that responsibility." ---Judge Samuel Alito
COMMENT #94 [Permalink]
... Doug Eldritch said on 1/14/2006 @ 1:55 pm PT...
Why is anyone still talking about this?
COMMENT #95 [Permalink]
... JUDGE OF JUDGES said on 1/15/2006 @ 10:00 am PT...
After consideration of the alito Testimony.
alito is a Fucking FASCIST and has no place on the S. C.
alito is qualified to Judge the Following :
* Mud Wrestling
* Pissing Contests
* Roller Derby
* Cock Fights
The Question that should have been asked is :
If alito's wife was rapped would she have an Abortion?
COMMENT #96 [Permalink]
... Soul Rebel said on 1/15/2006 @ 10:13 am PT...
I used to find your remarks annoying, but they have grown on me. You are a funny guy (gal?) and quite astute in your one-liner-ship.
COMMENT #97 [Permalink]
... JUDGE OF JUDGES said on 1/15/2006 @ 11:17 am PT...
Soul Rebel, Thank You & have a Great Day !
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