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Tilting at Windmills

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January 13, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

JUDGING ALITO....I've only paid a modest bit of attention to the Alito hearings, but from what I've seen I'd say that Michael O'Hare has it about right:

....He doesn't have a screw loose; what he has is a piece missing, conspicuously, radiantly, displaying the absence of any sense of, well, justice. Not a case came up for discussion in which he registered that one or another outcome was just wrong, outrageous to a sense of decency, or to him.

He's on record in a memo as believing that to shoot an eighth grader, known not to be armed, who was trying to climb over a fence in escape, is a proper use of deadly force by a policeman. In a discussion of immigration cases that have been regularly occasioning inexcusable, vile, un-American heartbreak on people who missed obscure deadlines or violated arcane requirements, all he could say was that the courts get bad transcripts and it was hard to find translators for some of the plaintiffs, but that was a problem for Congress.

It wasn't exactly Pilate washing his hands, but the man appears to be completely comfortable dealing with frightful social wrongs by moving the issue down the hall to another office. Sometimes the Court has to do this, but to Alito it's an especially good day's work, not a disappointment.

A smart, decent, small man....

Kevin Drum 1:17 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (268)

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Comments

In what sense is the person described in that article at all decent?

Are we using some obscure meaning that I am unaware of?

Posted by: Patrick on January 13, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

"decent" as in "my standards for republican nominees is so low that any humanity short of active cannibalism of babies is pretty good."

Posted by: Nads on January 13, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

You don't get it at all, Kevin. For a lot of people, the entire point is to put someone on that bench who doesn't fancy himself to be a Hero of the People, creating the law instead of interpreting it. Someone who isn't an "activist" judge.

Someone who wants to stand on a soapbox and express his outrage should be running for office, or starting an advocacy group, not being appointed to the Supreme Court.

BTW, the Democrats are really shining in those hearings. Keep it up.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 13, 2006 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

Hannah Arendt's phrase "the banality of evil" comes to mind. Repressive regimes could not exist without these sort of bland, bespactled bureacrats who are good at making the trains run on time -- but whether the trains are running to Auschwitz or to Frankfurt isn't, they feel, their concern.

Posted by: Stefan on January 13, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Good one Stefan. Probably a new record for invoking Godwin's Law.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 13, 2006 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

He's a fucking fanatic, without the googly eyes and Bork attitude.

Are the Democrats going to sack the hell up and filibuster him?

Posted by: Rad Racer on January 13, 2006 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

He doesn't have a screw loose; what he has is a piece missing, conspicuously, radiantly, displaying the absence of any sense of, well, justice.

It's not just Stripsearch Sam; you see it in a lot of Republicans these days, this sense that they are missing some vital part of themselves, some component of character or personality that is somehow not part of them. Did they never have it or did they lost it at some point? Does the lack of this sense of empathy, compassion, fair play, concern for others, justice, etc. cause their slavish worship of power, or does the worship burn those qualities out of them?

But look, sometime, at men like Frist, or Rove, or DeLay, or Bush, or Feith, look into their eyes and you'll see beneath everything else a void, a vast yawning emptiness where their humanity should be. This absence, this lack of any core, is even more frightening than active evil. Evil, after all, at least implies some passion, some feeling. This is merely nullity, almost a sociopathic lack of connection with their fellow man.

Posted by: Stefan on January 13, 2006 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

He doesn't have a screw loose; what he has is a piece missing, conspicuously, radiantly, displaying the absence of any sense of, well, justice.

Actually he has a superb sense of justice. He knows the most important goal of America is to kill the terrorists. That's why we need a unitary executive under the leadership of George W Bush who isn't restrained by the will of Congress from doing what is necessary to make this country safe from the murderous terrorists. And that's what Alito will fight for on the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Al on January 13, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Try tradesports. They give you like 7 to 1 odds on his getting in at the moment. Why not mortgage your house, bet half of it on him being stopped, then spend the other half on effective liberal organizations like Moveon to stop him?

You'll rake it in and have plenty left to contribute to the next election.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 13, 2006 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

Someone who wants to stand on a soapbox and express his outrage should be running for office, or starting an advocacy group, not being appointed to the Supreme Court.

Correct tbrosz. Liberals like Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Souter are nothing more than liberal Democrats who can't understand the difference between a judge and a politician. That's why they're judicial activists. The conservative judges like Thomas and Scalia do understand the difference.

Posted by: Al on January 13, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

For a lot of people, the entire point is to put someone on that bench who doesn't fancy himself to be a Hero of the People

Tom, does that really register with He's on record in a memo as believing that to shoot an eighth grader, known not to be armed, who was trying to climb over a fence in escape, is a proper use of deadly force by a policeman. ? Or strip-searching a young girl? Do you really consider say, William O. Douglas, someone who considered himself a "Hero of the People"? If so, there is a greater gulf between us than I had perceived.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 13, 2006 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

If someone wants to change the rules to make the world a better place he should run for office.

The purpose of the judicial branch of government is to apply the rules written in the constitution, the laws, and government regulations (in that order of precedence), not to create new rules to avoid injustice, etc.

If the American people want it to be unconstitutional to "shoot an eighth grader, known not to be armed, who was trying to climb over a fence in escape" then there is a process for them to follow to amend the Constitution. It is certainly not a judge's place to make that decision for them.

Posted by: Michael Friedman on January 13, 2006 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

Sign the petition to stop the confirmation of Alito, and more.

http://www.usalone.com/cgi-bin/petition.cgi?pnum=142

Posted by: maximus on January 13, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

If someone wants to change the rules to make the world a better place he should run for office.

The purpose of the judicial branch of government is to apply the rules written in the constitution, the laws, and government regulations (in that order of precedence), not to create new rules to avoid injustice, etc.

Michael Friedman, you have just given a good definition of a conservative judge. A conservative judge is someone who applies the law and doesn't make the law. He is like a umpire who simply applies existing rules and doesn't make new ones. Doing anything else would be legislating from the bench which a judge is not supposed to do.

Posted by: Al on January 13, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

If the American people want it to be unconstitutional to "shoot an eighth grader, known not to be armed, who was trying to climb over a fence in escape" then there is a process for them to follow to amend the Constitution. It is certainly not a judge's place to make that decision for them.

You're not really that dumb, Michael Friedman, MIT alum, are you?

Posted by: ogmb on January 13, 2006 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

I need Senator Coburn's truth-detecting skills to determine if Alito can be trusted. He always shines at these hearings, lol.

btw--you don't have to "create" law to know that shooting a fleeing child or strip-searching a girl is unconstitutional. Are the conservative judges who ruled that way "activists", or only the ones appointed by Democrats?
of course, if you're just one of George W. Bush's moronic sheep, you throw a few buzz words around and actually believe that you know something about the law.

Posted by: haha on January 13, 2006 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

If the American people want it to be unconstitutional to "shoot an eighth grader, known not to be armed, who was trying to climb over a fence in escape" then there is a process for them to follow to amend the Constitution.

the Constitution is already clear on that--at least it's clear for the vast majority of people, not including yourself.

Posted by: haha on January 13, 2006 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

It is certainly not a judge's place to make that decision for them.

Whew, that's not the talking point I would have chosen in your place. Although fakeAl is cheering you on. Shooting teenagers is really going to help you raise that 38% approval rating isn't it? Brilliant, keep it up. I'm almost convinced. Now, if we can just strip-search a few teenagers, and torture some Muslims...yes...I'm converted!!! GWB is god!!! The Democrats will never win elections again. Global warming is good for property values. Trade deficits and outsourcing promote free enterprise. Jack Abramhoff is a democrat.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 13, 2006 at 2:22 AM | PERMALINK

Look, since the Judges just need to do what's right and not refer to the law...Would it be OK for them to extend Bush's term?

Posted by: McA on January 13, 2006 at 2:23 AM | PERMALINK

Look, since the Judges just need to do what's right and not refer to the law...Would it be OK for them to extend Bush's term?

Oooh, now that's my boy. I'm going for a walk.

Posted by: aristotle on January 13, 2006 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

"the most important goal of America is to kill the terrorists"

Wow, talk about inspiring! Just what Jefferson had in mind, for sure.

Posted by: Kenji on January 13, 2006 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

Good one Stefan. Probably a new record for invoking Godwin's Law.

More to the point is this administration and Congress setting a record for people feeling it necessary to invoke it.

Does the lack of this sense of empathy, compassion, fair play, concern for others, justice, etc. cause their slavish worship of power, or does the worship burn those qualities out of them?

Excellent post, powerful stuff.

Posted by: trex on January 13, 2006 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

A smart, decent, small man.

I think that that is the very pinnacle of human virtue of which today's conservative is capable.

Alito is as good as it gets with them, and that is a more telling truth about who and what they are than perhaps any other.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 13, 2006 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

When you read the transcripts of Eichman's defences of his decisions, you have the same sense of his blamelessness in the business. He didn't originate the problem, he just enforced the orders and passed the details along for correction to another department if someone felt it wasn't right. As John Denver would sing if he were alive: "Thank God I'm in Another Country Boy"

Posted by: murmeister on January 13, 2006 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

"He doesn't have a screw loose; what he has is a piece missing, conspicuously, radiantly, displaying the absence of any sense of, well, justice."
--

You have defined a... Republican.

Posted by: Jay in Oregon on January 13, 2006 at 2:56 AM | PERMALINK

With five ultraconservatives on the Court, the public will finally find out what the words conservative and liberal mean. Then maybe they'll start to throw the Republicans out.

Posted by: yankinpak on January 13, 2006 at 2:58 AM | PERMALINK

I listened to much of his testimony. I came away thinking that this was a regular mind with an okay grasp of constitutional law. I keep reading about how smart he is. I didn't hear it -- not because he was taking complex notions and explaining them in a simple, understandable way so that everyman could understand, but because he didn't seem to have a complex, nuanced understanding of the subject matter.
For a 15-30 year practioner, not very impressive.

Posted by: spasm on January 13, 2006 at 3:00 AM | PERMALINK

Haha says:

If the American people want it to be unconstitutional to "shoot an eighth grader, known not to be armed, who was trying to climb over a fence in escape" then there is a process for them to follow to amend the Constitution.

the Constitution is already clear on that--at least it's clear for the vast majority of people, not including yourself.

Please point me to the relevant clause.

The way you refer to the Constitution reminds me of the way some people refer to religious faith - "God told me".

In actual fact, it's just a document. It says a bunch of things about what the government can and can't do and how it needs to go about doing those things. That's it.

There's nothing in the Constitution preventing the government from making rape and murder legal, using confiscatory taxation to take over the economy, or from shooting people (including 8th graders) who are running from the police.

It's up to the legislature to handle those issues.

(BTW, did you know that there is no federal law against murder except in limited cases such as on federal land or of federal employees while carrying out their duties? Same issue... federal law does not try to cover everything... some things are left to the states.)

Posted by: Michael Friedman on January 13, 2006 at 3:00 AM | PERMALINK

Try tradesports. They give you like 7 to 1 odds on his getting in at the moment. Why not mortgage your house, bet half of it on him being stopped, then spend the other half on effective liberal organizations like Moveon to stop him?

I have a better idea. Why don't I mortgage my house and bet half that you can't stand in the public square in Kuala Lumpur and criticize the prophet Mohammed without getting caned or worse, then bet the other half that you can't write editorials criticizing your country's government without getting held indefinitely without trial?

Wonder what odds tradesports will give me on that one given the fact that Malaysia ranks 122nd out of 167 countries for freedom of the press and that the government disappears people whenever they see fit?

Those of us who don't support Alito for the Supreme Court may not be able to prevent his appointment to that seat, but at least we live in a country where we're free to debate it.

Why don't you clean up your own house instead of spending so much time here throwing spitballs? You're big on the whole glib remark that if we libs don't get more serious on terrorism we'll end up in a country where we have to pray five times a day -- but the last time I checked Malaysia was the country where Shariah law was enshrined in the constitution.

How can you even say that with a straight face?

I don't think you personally are ready for democracy, you're still too willing to cede your rights to the authoritarian father figure at a moment's notice. No man is worthy of the kind of adoration that you give to Bush on a daily basis.

We are all created equal.

Posted by: trex on January 13, 2006 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

Have to repost there. Stefan's pushing for a Pulitzer.

> Hannah Arendt's phrase "the banality of evil" comes to
> mind. Repressive regimes could not exist without these
> sort of bland, bespactled bureacrats who are good at making
> the trains run on time -- but whether the trains are running
> to Auschwitz or to Frankfurt isn't, they feel, their concern.

Amen.

> Good one Stefan. Probably a new record for invoking Godwin's Law.

And rendering it moot.

> "He doesn't have a screw loose; what he has is a
> piece missing, conspicuously, radiantly, displaying
> the absence of any sense of, well, justice."

> It's not just Stripsearch Sam; you see it in a lot of
> Republicans these days, this sense that they are missing
> some vital part of themselves, some component of character
> or personality that is somehow not part of them. Did they
> never have it or did they lost it at some point? Does the
> lack of this sense of empathy, compassion, fair play, concern
> for others, justice, etc. cause their slavish worship of
> power, or does the worship burn those qualities out of them?

> But look, sometime, at men like Frist, or Rove, or DeLay,
> or Bush, or Feith, look into their eyes and you'll see beneath
> everything else a void, a vast yawning emptiness where their
> humanity should be. This absence, this lack of any core, is
> even more frightening than active evil. Evil, after all, at least
> implies some passion, some feeling. This is merely nullity,
> almost a sociopathic lack of connection with their fellow man.

Evil, unlike a vaccuum, is also something you can actively fight.

Samuel Alito's not an activist judge -- he's just following orders.

> If the American people want it to be unconstitutional to
> "shoot an eighth grader, known not to be armed, who was trying
> to climb over a fence in escape" then there is a process for
> them to follow to amend the Constitution. It is certainly
> not a judge's place to make that decision for them.

> Posted by: Michael Friedman

How about just finding it wrong?

Are we really becoming a nation of good Germans?

I tremble for my country.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 3:16 AM | PERMALINK

The purpose of the judicial branch of government is to apply the rules written in the constitution, the laws, and government regulations (in that order of precedence), not to create new rules to avoid injustice, etc.

Posted by: Dan B. on January 13, 2006 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK

but at least we live in a country where we're free to debate it.

Posted by: trex on January 13, 2006 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

So why are you against the Iraqi's having that freedom?

On Malaysia: This is about where its gotten to.
Read http://www.malaysia-today.net/index.html

And I would doubt this is a fair test in democracy, "criticize the prophet Mohammed without getting caned or worse". This would be hate speech in France and England.

Oh, we're allowed to pray in our schools.

Posted by: McA on January 13, 2006 at 3:53 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, we're allowed to pray in our schools.

Posted by: McA on January 13, 2006 at 3:53 AM | PERMALINK

Can you?

Religous freedom is a human right according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, y'know.

Posted by: McA on January 13, 2006 at 4:10 AM | PERMALINK

I live in a country where judges are supposed to interpret the law to get the "right" results, not just the result dictated by the cold hard reality of the law.

Of course, in China, the "right" result is the one that is convenient to the Communist Party.

The government here is very well aware of the importance of having judges who get the "right" results. In fact, they make a point of distinguishing between "rule by law", which they like, and "rule of law", which is how bad countries like the US think they should run things.

As soon as you start talking about vague concepts like "right" as opposed to the cold hard letter of the law you suddenly are at the mercy of the judge's concept of what is "right". For example, in election disputes, should the judges focus on who they think the "right" candidate is or on the exact wording of the statutes?

Having seen rule by law I'll take rule of law thank you.

Posted by: Michael Friedman on January 13, 2006 at 4:28 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle:

> "but at least we live in a country where we're free to debate it."

> So why are you against the Iraqi's having that freedom?

Nobody's against anybody having freedom. You want freedom? Do
what we did -- take it! Seize the day! No country can "give"
another country freedom. Freedom only comes from within.

If Iraq evolves some leaders who can get their shit together,
who are widely recognized as legitimate by all parties, they'll
be worthy of support. It would actually be rather soul-stirring
to root for Iraqi freedom, rather than this US-imposed charade.

> And I would doubt this is a fair test in democracy,
> "criticize the prophet Mohammed without getting caned or
> worse". This would be hate speech in France and England.

You really are a fucking dope, McA. That comment is so utterly
ignorant of France and England I just don't know what to say.

> Oh, we're allowed to pray in our schools.

Allowed ... or compelled?

> Can you?

Depends on what sort of school.

> Religous freedom is a human right according to
> the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, y'know.

So is freedom from religious coercison.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 4:39 AM | PERMALINK

Michael Friedman:

Of course, the more a judge is a legal automaton, the easier it is to make law which -- no matter how it looks as black letter -- is inhumane and unjust.

Adolph Eichmann was a model bureaucrat, admirably following the letter of his superiors' assignments.

He was only following orders -- but he was a moral monster the same.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 4:45 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: "You don't get it at all, Kevin. For a lot of people, the entire point is to put someone on that bench who doesn't fancy himself to be a Hero of the People, creating the law instead of interpreting it. Someone who isn't an "activist" judge."

It is you who does not get it at all, Tom. Alito is ironically an "activist judge." Always reaching verdicts supporting the "authorities" over the people.

The strip search of the nine year old girl is a good example. The constitution says: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The warrant in this case did not name the girl, or her mother for that matter, yet the police strip searched them anyway. Alito ruled hey, that's ok; the police can violate the plain language of the founders and suffer no penalty.

Tbrosz, you claim to be a libertarian. Why do you find comfort in a man like Alito?

Posted by: joeiscoffee on January 13, 2006 at 4:46 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: david on January 13, 2006 at 4:46 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin - why the fuck can't you geniuses find a way to get rid of this kind of spammy crap? pathetic.

And as for Al, fake Al or whatever reptile wrote this: "He knows the most important goal of America is to kill the terrorists." Well, it's hard to know what's more insipid about this notion, the complete trashing of all that America once stood for, or the dismal lack of understanding about what works and what doesn't. Oh yeah, and there's that so-called "Commandment". Goddamned moral retard. I'm so sick of this Bush-inflicted disease on my country I could puke.

Posted by: twoupfromtheright on January 13, 2006 at 4:57 AM | PERMALINK

Good one Stefan. Probably a new record for invoking Godwin's Law.

Of course, Flanders realizes he'd be the guy walking past Auschwitz holding his nose and not caring what goes on inside as long as Der Fuhrer is giving him his tax cuts.

Meanwhile, McMao is inside, thinking that since he's a kapo, he really isn't destined for the showers.

And Michael Friedman later shows up in Burt Lancaster's role in Judgement At Nuremberg.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on January 13, 2006 at 6:17 AM | PERMALINK

(Speaking of Judgement, Alito does have a passing resemblance to Werner Klemperer...)

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on January 13, 2006 at 6:19 AM | PERMALINK

Scalito really does inhabit a Somebody Else's Problem field.

I am surprised how few bloggers have covered what I considered the telling moment today: Sammy refusing to comment on the 1898 precedent on birthright citizenship, citing the POS bill attempting to strip children (no pun intended) of something they had no control over.

Posted by: ahem on January 13, 2006 at 6:29 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

Let me strongly second the comment about spam, at least in regards to David's effluent.

I know you run this as a free-speech blog, and I appreciate that. You probably don't want to be even remotely in the moderating biz, and I don't blame you at all. The speech-moderated blogs and fora I've posted on have been a lot more personally ugly and bitter. There's something to be said for letting it all hang out.

But Jesus H. Donald Rumsfeld Christ, Kevin. 40 PAGES of Chinese character spam in a single post to wade through? It freaking DESTROYS the thread.

The two or three screen spams are tolerable. But can't you siteban this David turkey or something -- or at least get around to pulling that crap off in the morning?

It would really be an improvement if you could. At least consider it.

Thank you,

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 7:27 AM | PERMALINK

One of the absolutely strangest things to me is watching banal and morally reprehensible types like Chimpy, Rove and Scalito being defended by people who should know better.

Very soon - we are going to see dominionist legislation being introduced and allowed to pass constitutional muster because folks like Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas will allow that to happen. We will see provisions requiring people to be Christians to hold public office and guess what that will do to folks like Bader Ginzburg. I think Pat Robertson would make an excellent replacement.

I will not of course not have any problems such legislation. After all, my family and I are not of Jesus killer persuasion. But I have for some odd gnawing reason a vague premonition that perhaps it might go too far -- but if strip searching a 10 year old, shooting some youngster and torturing Muslims makes us safer -- I say bring it on!

Posted by: Erasmus on January 13, 2006 at 7:29 AM | PERMALINK

Other sites have one of those graphical thingy's before you post. That stops the spam bots.

U guys are all histrionics. Alito is home!
Bush is 2 - 1 on Supreme court nominees....

I'm hoping another two retire. Ginsburg & Souter deserve a rest.....

Posted by: McA on January 13, 2006 at 7:39 AM | PERMALINK

Smallness is often not decent. Sometimes it's not even smart.

Posted by: derek on January 13, 2006 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like the classic definition of a psycopath to me.
What I find interesting is the concern over how he'll deal with abortion issues. He's demonstrated that he has no problem with killing children.
Women will just have to get deputized, then claim "the little bastard was stealing my red blood cells and refused to come out voluntarily, so I took the steps necessary to expel it."
No problem.


(and yeah, that was sarcasm)
Y'know, I still have 2 black ribbons hanging from my car's rearview mirror - one for Bill Brennan, one for Thurgood Marshall. I have to say, most of the current lot just doesn't measure up. Some are more honest than others, of course.

Posted by: kenga on January 13, 2006 at 7:46 AM | PERMALINK

Good one Stefan. Probably a new record for invoking Godwin's Law.

Godwin's law is predictive, not proscriptive.

Posted by: cleek on January 13, 2006 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz -
have you ever read Eichmann in Jerusalem?
Arendt, Hannah - aka The Banality of Evil.

If not, you should. Her thesis is not that Nazis were bad, but that humans easily lead themselves to reprehensible and irrevocable actions by failing to closely examine them. Eichmann was just a sort of case study.

Posted by: kenga on January 13, 2006 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like the classic definition of a psycopath to me.

BTK.

Actually, that's harsh. Sammy Scaly should have been one of those guys whose sole job is to turn down insurance claims on nitpicky small print. It's his true vocation.

Posted by: ahem on January 13, 2006 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

Alito is as good as it gets with them, and that is a more telling truth about who and what they are than perhaps any other.

Sam Alito is as good as it gets with anyone. You fools have human vermin like Teddy Kennedy try to lead a charge of bad ethics against a man who is clearly a paragon of virtue. If you can't see the outrage can you at least see the gross stupidity? Allow me to suggest you get over yourself to save what little sanity you have left. The story of the Borking of Alito will replace the story of Bork. The soundbite will be of Linsday Graham and the image will be of Mrs. Alito running from the room under Teddy's glare.

You've got to see the pure gold for Karl Rove in that. Sam is now 20 - 1 on Tradesport. Although less attractive than John Roberts the morons in the Democratic Senate acted so poorly the even more Conservative judge is just as certain to become a justice. Teddy is God's gift to conservatives. Not only is Sam a far, far, far better man that Edward Kennedy but so was every person in the room an every person watching on TV. And yes, Sam is as conservative as you fear. Even better, he's pissed.

BTW: He's what the video will show, Liberal elitists beating up on a white ethnic guy as the worst kind of racist with zero evidence just because they're liberals. How soon do you think you'll be getting the catholic vote back? Still think it's a swing vote? Then why did Catholic John Kerry lost the Catholic vote to non-Catholic GWB?

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

This opinion confirms what conservatives think liberals want -- namely for the judges to write their own legislation.

obscure deadlines ... arcane requirements,

In other words, the laws as written by Congress (and, not incidentally, well learned by Judge Alito); "technicalities", as they call them in the criminal justice system when the "wrong" people are not convicted. This goes along with the idea that the wording of the congressional Iraq war resolutions doesn't matter, and the Congressional votes on them don't matter either.

It was the "arcane" laws, remember, that Democrat Reno decided to enforce when she sent Elian Gonzales back to Cuba.

That opinion was not "about right" -- it was unthinking bitterness.

I had thought that 2005 was a particularly low year for Democrats (admittedly, not great for Republicans either), but with the Alito hearings the Democrats began 2006 with an even more particularly bad showing.

Posted by: contentious on January 13, 2006 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, the Democrats are really shining in those hearings. Keep it up.

Tbrosz does get one thing right--Senate Democrats haven't been able to lay a hand on Alito and that's too bad.

Someone praising Judge Bork for being 'in the mainstream' of America should have been exposed for the wingnut that he is. Alito is so far outside of the mainstream of American culture that he should have been exposed as a sham nominee--and remember--Bush's second choice to fill the open seat. I mean, if Alito isn't as good as Miers, what can you really say about the whole sordid process?

Biden was right--do away with the hearings if the nominee isn't going to be compelled to give his or her views--and by that, yes, I do acknowledge that Ginsburg was also evasive and didn't give complete answers, so put the gun back in the holster.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

But look, sometime, at men like Frist, or Rove, or DeLay, or Bush, or Feith, look into their eyes and you'll see beneath everything else a void, a vast yawning emptiness where their humanity should be. This absence, this lack of any core, is even more frightening than active evil. Evil, after all, at least implies some passion, some feeling. This is merely nullity, almost a sociopathic lack of connection with their fellow man.

Get a grip, wake up to reality, take your meds, ... whatever. That is thoroughly deranged.

On a more positive note, you might like the description of Satan in C. S. Lewis's novel "Perelandra".

Posted by: contentious on January 13, 2006 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

BTW: He's what the video will show, Liberal elitists beating up on a white ethnic guy as the worst kind of racist with zero evidence just because they're liberals. How soon do you think you'll be getting the catholic vote back? Still think it's a swing vote? Then why did Catholic John Kerry lost the Catholic vote to non-Catholic GWB?

Well, I think it was probably because the Catholic Church told people they would go to hell if they voted for Kerry.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

Sid Blumenthal on truthout.org nailed Alito in a way everyone else seems to have missed. Alito has Nixon's ickiest characteristic: that nasty, cringing bitterness of a smart buy poor and homely boy desperate to be liked but hating and envying all the popular, privileged boys like John Roberts. It's almost worth having Alito on the court to watch the Sam vs. Jack street fight.

Posted by: yellowdog on January 13, 2006 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

pale rider,

Snide remarks against catholics. Why thanks you! Please, more of the same. do note what this means for the future of liberalism. Catholics have kids. Liberal elitists don't!

yellowdog,

Alito and Roberts are both very conservative. They'll be fighting all right, against Stevens! This is big loss.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

Did everyone here read the strip search opinion? The issue in that case was whether the officer's affidavit (which included references to others present at the residence) was incorporated into the search warrant when it was not explicitly stated. As I understand the case, if the warrant had explicity listed the 10 year old girl, there would be no question but that the search was permissible. So the question became whether the officer's affidavit, seeking a search of all persons at the residence at the time of the search, became incorporated in the search warrant without an explicit statement that "the affidavit is incorporated." Alito's dissent held that it was.

You may disagree with the holding - the majority, including Judge Chertoff, did. Calling it a sign of moral degeneracy, in my opinion, merely weakens your arguments. Don't adopt the tactics of the right. The generally honesty of progressives is one of their most attractive features.

Posted by: Sue on January 13, 2006 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

"Writing about the Alito situation, Think Progress cites Senate Rule 37 in the Senate Ethics Manual. The rule says: "No Member, officer, or employee shall engage in any outside business or professional activity or employment for compensation which is inconsistent or in conflict with the conscientious performance of official duties."

Why aren't the Dems all over this. What would it take to get them to fight. Now we know what it was like when Hitler rolled over the Social Democrats and other centrists in 1933.

Posted by: Kenji on January 13, 2006 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

Catholics have kids. Liberal elitists don't!

Now you're denying that Catholic church officials were told not to allow Kerry communion?

As a Lutheran, I would say that I have a great deal of tolerance for all religions and faiths and beliefs. Atheists are, as Bill Maher once said, just people who believe that God has hurt them and therefore they won't believe in him anymore.

And as a matter of fact, the God Parents of my children are Catholics.

But who cares, rdw? Which stream of lies are you going to spew next?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

You have defined a... Republican.

That was my thinking precisely. The moral void that Michael O'Hare described is precisely the same one that we can all see in tbrosz, rdw, and Joe Schmoe. They have no concept that something is wrong.

Posted by: Constantine on January 13, 2006 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

I conclude that tbrosz misses the point on purpose.

Posted by: Ace Franze on January 13, 2006 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

You don't get it at all, Kevin. For a lot of people, the entire point is to put someone on that bench who doesn't fancy himself to be a Hero of the People, creating the law instead of interpreting it. Someone who isn't an "activist" judge. - tbroz

Yeah. He so much doesn't create law as ignore existing laws when they get in the way of his position. He happily supports positions which in no way make the country a better place, nor have any place in the letter nor the spirit of law.

The point of a judge is to have a human there looking at the situation.

If we wanted a rubber stamp for the president's ideals, we wouldn't need a person at all.

Posted by: Crissa on January 13, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

Tom, does that really register with He's on record in a memo as believing that to shoot an eighth grader, known not to be armed, who was trying to climb over a fence in escape, is a proper use of deadly force by a policeman. ? Or strip-searching a young girl? Do you really consider say, William O. Douglas, someone who considered himself a "Hero of the People"? If so, there is a greater gulf between us than I had perceived.

He wasn't responding. He was fancying himself a Hero to the People.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on January 13, 2006 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

PS - it's not constitutional to kill someone. There may be no law against it, but Congress makes laws not constitutional amendments.

To say that killing someone is not unconstitutional is to throw out the entire constitution.

Morons.

Posted by: Crissa on January 13, 2006 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Pale rider,

I've confirmed or denied no such thing. I haven't commented on anything the Church has said nor will I.

Your problem isn't the Church. Your problem is you. Americans detests elitists of all stripes and none are more repulsive than liberal elitists.

Kerry and Clinton banned 'liberal' from their campaigns and the MSM dare not speak it. George Clooney is doing everything he can but, alas, that's not much. That clip of Mrs. Alito and Lindsay Graham is far more powerful than anything George can manage. 3x's as many people have seen it than saw his last 5 movies. One second of Teddy Kennedy oozing sleeze is more powerful than any Clooney flick.

BTW: the Graham audio is riveting on the radio.

Politically speaking the Borking of Alito was a major blunder on every level. He's in. He's pissed. You've managed to piss-off major chunks of former swing groups. I could not have written a better cript for conservatives. It does look as thought Reid will NOT delay the vote for a week. I'd prefer he did. keep this on the front burner as long as possible.

BTW: See Roberts side with the majority on the 5-4 to restore a death penalthy conviction? And Sam is even more conservative.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Godwin's law is predictive, not proscriptive.

And, it's a tautology. The odds of anything being mentioned approaches 1 as time passes. In fact, having the focus of Godwin's Law being Nazism or Hitler makes it self-reflexive.

It could have said, "As USENET discussions get longer, the possibility of someone mentioning Maria Teresa's favorite poodle approaches 1."

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on January 13, 2006 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

I've confirmed or denied no such thing. I haven't commented on anything the Church has said nor will I.

rdw at 8:07:

BTW: He's what the video will show, Liberal elitists beating up on a white ethnic guy as the worst kind of racist with zero evidence just because they're liberals. How soon do you think you'll be getting the catholic vote back? Still think it's a swing vote? Then why did Catholic John Kerry lost the Catholic vote to non-Catholic GWB?

Can you edjimicate me on the diffy here? Catholic John Kerry lost the Catholic vote because Catholic officials told Catholics that John Kerry was pro-choice and therefore was to be denied communion.

Oh--now I get it. What the Catholic Church does and what it says--two different things. Sort of like saying they're for the poor and against having their non-profit tax status revoked for getting involved in politics so that they can pay more taxes to help the poor in the communities in which the churches are located.

Your problem isn't the Church. Your problem is you. Americans detests elitists of all stripes and none are more repulsive than liberal elitists.

shorter rdw: "If you can think for yourself, you're an elite!"

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

They have no concept that something is wrong.

au contrair!

It was not just wrong but stupid beyond belief to allow Teddy Kennedy to attack ANYONE on MORALS or ETHICS. He is without a doubt the sleeziest man in all of Government. His entire life is one scam after another. He kills a girl while stoned and cheating on his family, doesn't report it for 18 hours and yet doesn't even get his hand smacked.

And you know as well as I there's lot's more to that slimeball's history.

A majority of Americans are outraged every time they see that prince's face on TV. They should line up EVERY Democratic figure in Congress and the DNC and smack everyone of them in the face one time for being so stupid as to allow that man to attack another on ethics.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

ahem:

> Actually, that's harsh. Sammy Scaly should have been one
> of those guys whose sole job is to turn down insurance
> claims on nitpicky small print. It's his true vocation.

ROTFL !

> Sam Alito is as good as it gets with anyone.

Bullshit, asswipe. He's a front for the tremendous free-floating
resentment and rage that Nixonian po' boys who made it into the
middle class and positively loathe everybody both above them and
below them that you demonstrate daily in your posts, Wooten.

He is the judicial analogue of *you*. Small-minded and parochial
with a big grasp of technical arcana and exactly zero heart.

He has the withered soul of bureaucrat in an authoritarian regime.

> You fools have human vermin like Teddy Kennedy

Fuck you, Wooten. You aren't worthy to eat a greasy omlette off
of Ted Kennedy's shoe soles. You know this and it infuriates you.

> try to lead a charge of bad ethics against
> a man who is clearly a paragon of virtue.

"Clearly a paragon of virtue" to a man who lies to his
daughters about the medals he's received in the military.

> If you can't see the outrage can
> you at least see the gross stupidity?

I see the outrage in you and people like you. It's pure Nixon.
And the gross stupidity kind of comes with the territory.

> Allow me to suggest you get over yourself
> to save what little sanity you have left.

Allow me to tell you to stick your ill-meant
suggestions where that omlette will exit your body.

> The story of the Borking of Alito will replace the story of Bork.

In your NewsMax dreams, Wooten.

> The soundbite will be of Linsday Graham and the image will
> be of Mrs. Alito running from the room under Teddy's glare.

As if we all don't know that entire incident was wholly staged
and rehearsed beforehand, a bit of theater learned in the Thomas
hearings. Sammy's "high-tech lynching" moment. Nobody but right-
wing frothers will remember it next week. Alito's a charisma-
free dork, totally uncomfortable in front of the camers.
Nothing about that hearing will stick in the public imagination.

> You've got to see the pure gold for Karl Rove in that. Sam is
> now 20 - 1 on Tradesport. Although less attractive than John
> Roberts the morons in the Democratic Senate acted so poorly the
> even more Conservative judge is just as certain to become a justice.

Oh fuck you and your idiotic straw men. Nobody ever thought there
was a serious shot of Alito not being confirmed with a Republican
majority, and it would take a major set of issues to trigger a
filibuster. The Democrats tried and it's their duty to try.

> Teddy is God's gift to conservatives.

And Tom DeLay is god's gift to liberals :)

> Not only is Sam a far, far, far better man that Edward Kennedy but
> so was every person in the room an every person watching on TV.

That's what you're about, Wooten. Spewing hate on a guy for an
incident -- how old? -- just because you think you can. You're
as ugly-souled in that regard as any Bush-hater on the Animal.

> And yes, Sam is as conservative as
> you fear. Even better, he's pissed.

Right. You're not interested in this bloodless let's-look-at-what-
the-law-says bullshit. It's payback time against blacks and women.

> BTW: He's what the video will show, Liberal elitists
> beating up on a white ethnic guy as the worst kind of
> racist with zero evidence just because they're liberals.

Because he belonged to a paleolithically racist and misogynist
Princeton club that even Bill Frist felt compelled to denounce.

> How soon do you think you'll be getting the catholic vote back?

November 2006.

> Still think it's a swing vote?

Oh it is indeed. Not every white ethnic has the soul
of a Nixonian closet racist or hates people because
they're higher up on the social ladder than they are.

contentious:

> It was the "arcane" laws, remember, that Democrat Reno
> decided to enforce when she sent Elian Gonzales back to Cuba.

> That opinion was not "about right" -- it was unthinking bitterness.

What bullshit. Everybody with half a heart felt that kid should be
reunited with his dad. It was the knee-jerk anti-Castro gusanos who
were filled with unthinking bitterness when Reno did the right thing.

Like our Cuba policy is a sterling model of sanity and compassion.

GMAFB.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

Don't adopt the tactics of the right. The generally honesty of progressives is one of their most attractive features.

That's not actually true, Sue. The honesty of progressives plus $2 has historically gotten them a latte at Starbucks (but not since the price went up). Innuendo is where it's at in American politics today. Gingrich Revolution, don't you know?

Besides, if the best you can say for him is that it was possible for him to honestly arrive at a monstrous decision, that speaks very poorly of him. In this hardest of hard cases, it was still possible for him to arrive honestly at the opinion the other judges had, too. I'd have more sympathy if he was genuinely compelled to his opinion, instead of adopting it comfortably by temperament.

And it's his temperament that this thread is about. This is the kind of decision the man is going to make as a Justice: decisions that interpret every ambiguity in a way that ensures maximum freedom of action for government, and minimum freedom from interference for The People. So now we know what big libertarians conservatives are. R.I.P. conservatarianism, and what a shameless lie it was.

Posted by: derek on January 13, 2006 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

rdw, move to Massachusetts and run for the Senate. Or shut up.

Posted by: Ace Franze on January 13, 2006 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

maybe rdw thinks he's a catholic. Of course the Pope has told us the death penalty is wrong, the war is wrong, killing is wrong. The only killing rdw is opposed to is when blastocysts are aborted, otherwise he can't wait to see someone killed....and it doesn't much matter who either.

Posted by: WhoSays on January 13, 2006 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

How, exactly, is it any of our decision which Senator stands up and speaks about ethics?

How, exactly, is it a problem that Ted Kennedy, a politician who actually hasn't been indicted or convicted of ethics violations, a problem?

He's not my Senator, so I don't particularly have a choice in the matter, do I?

But on the other hand, he isn't Minority Leader, either...

Posted by: Crissa on January 13, 2006 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

R.I.P. conservatarianism, and what a shameless lie it was.

Well, Derek nails it.

Nothing I've seen from the Bush Administration or the Right adds up to the conservatism that was inflicted on this country in the 1980s.

Reagan would say, "but government is the problem, and government needs to be smaller and get out of the way of the American people."

And Bush says "could you repeat that? We missed the first part of your conversation and the tapes aren't working."

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

He's on record in a memo as believing that to shoot an eighth grader, known not to be armed, who was trying to climb over a fence in escape, is a proper use of deadly force by a policeman.

That of course is a mischaracterization. Use of deadly force by police isn't a federal issue in most cases (in the Rodney King case, the federal issue was that the history of racism in the LA Police violated the equal protection clause of the 14th ammendment). If I wrote that "Killing while robbing is not a federal issue" and "Growing marijuana for personal use is not a federal issue" (c.f. Justice Thomas), I would not be saying that either is good policy.

Whatever I thought about the judiciousness of keeping Theresa Schiavo alive, it was not an issue for the federal Congress, and it was appropriate for the federal judges to stay out. Plenty of people who post here thought that Bush v. Gore was not an appropriate case to be adjudicated at the federal level; it's debatable, but certainly we all respect that the federal government needs to leave some things alone (and I doubt that anybody is perfectly consistent about what things are and are not federal matters.) The idea of limited federal power isn't an indication of soullessness.

Posted by: contentious on January 13, 2006 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

rdw, you prove my point regarding the affliction that the non-troll right-wingers suffer from here. You have no concept that something that is wrong is offense. You are only concerned about "your team." This is why the smallness of Alito reminds so many here of you guys. That smallness is the same thing that causes you to get rhetorically hot-and-bothered about TK yet at the same time allows you to be blissfully unperturbed about the war in Iraq, illegal wiretapping, corruption, judicial rulings that are callous, offenses to justice, etc. That rant of yours is simply exactly what a small man such as yourself would do, and you accomplish nothing but prove our point.

Posted by: Constantine on January 13, 2006 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Constantine:

hifive!

Exactly. A small man, concerned with nothing larger than himself.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Michael Friedman:

Thanks for exposing yourself as someone who knows nothing about what he talks about (REally! No federal law against murder! Oh wait, I've read the constitution once, so I know that!). The Constitution speaks rather clearly on that issue in two places. As the Supreme Court pointed out in that case.

The 4th Amendment says that the people have a right to be free from unreasonable seizures. Being shot and killed is a seizure. Now I don't know what your philosophy about never stepping outside of the laws would say about this situation, but clearly the 4th Amendment was written with design that the courts would interpret it and flesh out it's boundaries and begin to define the word "unreasonable." You forget that our system was based on English Law which was and is largely dependent on Common Law (or judge made law). In fact many laws on the books, are mere codifications of those Common Laws that would exist without the statute (legal privileges come to mind).

So anyway, the 4th Amendment along with the 14th Amendment saying a person has a right to due process before being deprived of their life both go to the issue of shooting an 8th grader as he runs, and are both clauses and amendments explicitly designed to be clarified and specified by the courts.

Now I know you have no clue, so you're probably thinking, "well the police are allowed to kill some people on the job without taking them to court!" And the court already addressed this issue. In applying both the 4th and 14th Amendment to this situation, there is a balancing test that weighs the competing government interests with the the liberty interest. Therefore, possibly as an example a murderer with 3 guns running from a scene could be shot in the back by police because he poses such a strong danger to the public (overriding need for process and making the seizure reasonable)

I guess under your philosophy of "just applying the law," the police could never shoot anyone without taking them to court. I'm surprised you agree with that approach but clearly you do. It is after-all the most mechanical application of the written law.

Oh, and if the people wanted to protect the right of an 8th grader to not be shot by police they would not have to Amend the Constitution, jeez.

Posted by: Nick T. on January 13, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK


Pale Rider;

Huh?

I haven't commented on the churches pronouncements. What's hard to understand?

What I've said is, and it's just a repeat of David Brook's column in the NYTs, was that the Democrats have lost Catholics as a reliable bloc. Moreover I diagree with the conventional wisdom that says they've become a swing group.
I don't think so. Catholics are social conservatives and a much more natural fit inside the GOP.

This is a very important change. When I was little growing up in rowhouse West Phila I never knew who JFK or LBJ were running against. They each got over 95% of the vote. I never saw GOP buttons. Democrats owned urban catholics. In 2004 a Catholic named JFK, from Boston, can't win the catholic vote. Think about that. Think about trustfund Teddy Kennedy abusing this proud, accomplished rowhouse Catholic based on his belief's.

Dumb doesn't describe it well enough.

BTW: Are you thinking the churches strong stand against abortion is new news? Are you thinking there's someone left in America who thinks it's possible the Democrats would ever nominate an anti-abortion candidate?



Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

A small man, concerned with nothing larger than himself.

What would the voice of rdw sound like? Would it be a combination of Cartman and Tom Clancy? Everytime he posts something he does a victory lap around his rumpus room in his rolling chair, spittle flying every as he waves his arms in the air and screams "my country tis of thee..."

rmck1 can get on the keys and compose a theme song for rdw, something that brings Lee Greenwood's Proud to be an American together with Right Said Fred'sI'm Too Sexy.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

For a lot of people, the entire point is to put someone on that bench who doesn't fancy himself to be a Hero of the People

No, tbrosz, but rather a hero of corporations and the government. So much for your so-called "libertarian" credentials. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on January 13, 2006 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Are you thinking there's someone left in America who thinks it's possible the Democrats would ever nominate an anti-abortion candidate?

What, like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Alito's inability to register any emotional understanding of Feingold's question regarding how to handle a death row inmate's immediate incarceration if evidence is produced proving the inmate was, in fact, innocent, was chilling. He could not get beyond 'Well, there are procedures to follow, and the inmate would have to file a petition...' no matter how Feingold pushed. Chilling.
Remember how Michael Dukakis was pilloried for the same type of judicial answer when he was asked how he would respond if his wife were raped? Ah, but he's a Democrat, so blah blah blah.
lq

Posted by: Lois Quick on January 13, 2006 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Lois Quick:

PRECISELY.

Sam Alito is Adolph Eichmann in his son's baseball uniform.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

I usually leave Researcher -- er, McAristotle -- to his rantings, but I simply must dispose of this canard on the slight chance that he/she/it is misinformed and not simply dishonest (yeah, right):

Oh, we're allowed to pray in our schools. ...Can you?

And the answer is an unequivocal yes. The First Amendment guarantees that individuals can pray in school. Say Grace before lunch, ask for a blessing before a game, go for it!

It also forbids the government from coercing others into praying, which means that organized prayer is the only no-no.

Of course, that prohibition rankles so-called Christian conservatives, who would use the power of the State to impose their religious doctrine upon all. Just like the Muslims you complain about. Fancy that.

Posted by: Gregory on January 13, 2006 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

What, like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Yup, run him for President. Although Lieberman would be better.

------------

Michael Dukakis was pilloried for the same type of judicial answer when he was asked how he would respond if his wife were raped? Ah, but he's a Democrat, so blah blah blah.
lq

Posted by: Lois Quick on January 13, 2006 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Was he running for the Supreme Court or the President? You guys think the Supreme Court is a political role.

Well, maybe it is - but it'll be a Republican political role or a by the law role now.

Posted by: McA on January 13, 2006 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

geez, rdw and tbroz need stronger drugs. talk about bitter and irrational!.

Posted by: John P. on January 13, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

> This is a very important change. When I was little growing
> up in rowhouse West Phila I never knew who JFK or LBJ were
> running against. They each got over 95% of the vote.
> I never saw GOP buttons. Democrats owned urban catholics.

Right. Back in the good old days.

When Catholics reliably hated blacks.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

TWM most likely won't mention this:

Roger Keith Colemans last words moments before the state of Virginia put him to death May 20, 1992

"An innocent man is going to be murdered tonight. When my innocence is proven, I hope Americans will realize the injustice of the death penalty as all other civilized countries have."

DNA HAS PROVEN THAT YOU BOY COLEMEN WAS INDEED A MURDERER AND A LIAR.

Posted by: patton on January 13, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

DNA HAS PROVEN THAT YOU BOY COLEMEN WAS INDEED A MURDERER AND A LIAR.

Hello, are you lost? Have you wandered away from a group home somewhere? Do you need change to take a bus back to where you're supposed to be? Are you well?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

bob,

You are such a clueless putz.

Did you ever go into that West Catholic High School web site? We have a catholic inner city high school with a very large majority black enrollment being almost fully supported by it's mostly white alumni. Moreover they also support a health, dental and drug counseling clinic at the old high scool. 90% of graduating students go to college and they managed to get over $5M in scholarships and grands last year. The public highschol 4 blocks away gets less that 10% on to college.


But please, please, please keep it up. I know you are morally superior. It is your responsibility to make sure every catholic understands they are racists and you are pure.

I would make one recomendation however. Try to get it so Catholics aren't allowed to actually vote. If they do you're screwed! Not that it would be a big deal. You'd still be morally superior.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Soullessness is the cornerstone of libertarian philosophy.

It'd be more informative to the public if MTV punked his ass

Posted by: pondweed on January 13, 2006 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Biden was right--do away with the hearings if the nominee isn't going to be compelled to give his or her views--and by that, yes, I do acknowledge that Ginsburg was also evasive and didn't give complete answers, so put the gun back in the holster.

Posted by: Pale Rider

If Biden spent less time bloviating and more time asking questions. He might get a few more answers. Also if questions were asked that were relevent to a nominee's actual qualifications and judicial temperment answers might be more forthcoming. Maybe if they spent less time trying to smear the nominee answers would be more forthcoming. Maybe if the did not ask questions about how a nominee would vote on issues certain to come before the court there would be more answers.

It appears to me that the problem is more the bozos asking the questions than the nominee. Biden and his buddies seem more intent on satisfying special interest groups and advancing their own agenda than determining the qualifications of Ailito.

It would also be improper to force a judicial nominee to say how they would vote on specific issues that might come before the court. By all accounts Ailito answered more questions than anybody in recent history. So again it looks more like the questioner and not the nominee is the problem. Maybe less posturing and more attention paid to their job and role in the process would make for a better product and more satisfying outcome for everyone.

Posted by: Fat White Guy on January 13, 2006 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

What, like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid?

I missed his nomination. Here I thought Bush ran against kerry.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Ace,

Hate to tell you but the 1st amendment even covers conservatives.

Alas, I can't move to MA although they could use my help. I think they are 3rd on the list for losing population. It troubles my heart they'll have to transfer another house seat and electoral vote to Texas but we knew the Roe effect was going to kick in.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Roberts and Alito are two of the finest legal minds ever to have a seat on the SCOTUS. And then there is the alcoholic murderer from Mass. I am imploring the Dems to please let him speak his mind (whatever is left of it) whenever and wherever and as often as possible. He alone will ensure that the conservatives will continue to hold the majority.

Posted by: Jay on January 13, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Hey, *you* were the one reminiscing about the good ol' days back in your nabe when 95% of those mostly Catholic voters went Democratic.

That was before the civil rights movement. You know ... when the Dixiecrats controlled the party and before blacks had a reliable vote in the south?

Ever hear of Nixon's infamous Southern Strategy? LBJ himself said that when he signed the Voting Rights Act it would be the end of the FDR coalition.

And guess what ... they were right.

Fancy that.

What you like to do is try to pretend it was more about Big Gubmit than it was about racism. But we're talking history here.

Not to say, of course, that all or most Catholics are racist.

The politicians who pander them are *quite* aware of this legacy, though. Lee Atwater, Karl Rove's mentor, said that all Southern politics have race at their core.

And if you don't believe a northern liberal elitist like me -- ask little ole jim. Ask MJ Memphis.

It's a large part of how the GOP keeps those white ethnics on board against their economic interests.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

How, exactly, is it a problem that Ted Kennedy, a politician who actually hasn't been indicted or convicted of ethics violations, a problem?

Crissa,

It's not a problem for me. I consider Teddy Kennedy a gift for God. That's my point. I think it's perfect strategy for Liberals to roll out the most repulsive man in America to sit in judgement of another man's liberals.

Remember, I want Sam Alito on the court. And I'm about to have my way.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

rdw asked:

Are you thinking there's someone left in America who thinks it's possible the Democrats would ever nominate an anti-abortion candidate?

And, my reply was, Senator Reid, who is pro-life to a certain degree, would make a fine national candidate.

rdw then replied:

I missed his nomination. Here I thought Bush ran against kerry.

And therein lies what's wrong with responding or engaging rdw--he's too stupid for words. When he asked who the Democrats "would ever nominate" he was given a specific answer. When that answer kicked the leg out from under the three-legged table that is his psyche, he has to go back to November 2004 and completely miss the point of the question thathe, himself had asked.

Who gave a computer and a broadband connection to this man? Was it the work of the Devil?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

I think they are 3rd on the list for losing population.

that couldn't have anything to do with the fact that other parts of the country (for example, the south-east) are growing due to the combination of low taxes, cheap land and generous incentives for business, could it?

more than once, i've walked into a pizza place in Raleigh, NC, and discovered that everyone there is from NY state. 85% of everyone i know here in NC is from the northeast or upper mid-west - native NCers are almost as rare as snow days in Raleigh. but that's not because of abortion - that's because NC attracted a ton of businesses in the late 80s with great incentives, and young working people like me and my wife followed the jobs.

Posted by: cleek on January 13, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Who gave a computer and a broadband connection to this man?

They're doing wonderful things with technology in preschools these days.

Posted by: Otto Man on January 13, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Biden was right--do away with the hearings if the nominee isn't going to be compelled to give his or her views--

Biden's incentive has nothing to do with the candidates views. He's screaming, 'Stop me before I make a total bufoon of myself AGAIN!"

I will give Joe some credit. After taking an early lead in the hambone stakes, Joe talked 79% of the time in the 1st round of talks he managed to slow it don a bit and only came in 3rd.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

And then there is the alcoholic murderer from Mass.

Laura Bush is from Massachusetts?

Posted by: Marc on January 13, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Wow... I haven't even made it through, and from the wingnut infestation in the wee hours I have to conclude that drunk tanks were emptied earlier than usual in some areas.

Kevin, I think the point you missed-- and I may have missed someone else saying it-- is that to the right, "justice" is an almost entirely punitive concept. There's nothing lofty or benevolent in their definition; it's only the grim satisfaction of vengeance, the sense that someone else is getting what's coming to them, that makes them feel superior. So, to them, he has a great sense of justice, because his opinions have mostly been harsh and vindictive... it's really an alternate universe.

Posted by: latts on January 13, 2006 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Laura Bush is from Massachusetts?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

That was the line of the day...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Laura Bush is from Massachusetts?

George Bush is.

Posted by: cleek on January 13, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Laura's not an alcoholic. Kennedy is one up on her.

Posted by: Jay on January 13, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Goodwin's law ignores the fact that in many threads the invocation of Nazism is eminently justified.

Posted by: lib on January 13, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Oh yes decent. Lies on resumes. The strip search ruling. The ruling you noted about shooting at the 8th grade uharmed boy. Oh yes, there is the disturbing CAP business and his obvious philosphical affinity towards unlimited power for a (GOP) executive.

Oh yes decent, meaning just what? That he could be your neighbor in the OC burbs? Give me a fucking break.

Posted by: Ba'al on January 13, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Atrios nails it.

Why is it that white guys who comb their hair, dress well, and mostly speak in full sentences are presumed to be "decent" no matter what the evidence to the contrary?

Posted by: lib on January 13, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

In defense of Alito, I don't think his job is to create outcomes in individual cases that he thinks are just or are the most palatable to the masses. I think his job is to apply the law (whatever that means).

If judges start making legal exceptions because we don't like the fact that a law or legal principle leads to strip-searching 10 year-olds or [insert objectionable outcome here], then we stop having notice of what the law actually is--we only find it out after we've acted when a judge lets us know what comports with his definition of this amorphous, unwritten goal of "justice". That situation itself--lack of true notice as to what the law is--seems profoundly unjust to me. Moreover, if we are dealing with a statute (as opposed to judge-created common law), altering application to get desired legal outcomes seems to clearly thwart democratic will, as expressed in the law created by the elected legislature.

I'm fed up with the Alito hearings and disscusion of the Alito hearing because people want to cherry-pick outcomes in individual cases. To me, that seems antithetical to the Rule of Law, and I think it hinders real debate about should be the role and the methods of the judiciary.

Posted by: Vergasy on January 13, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

You don't get it at all, Kevin. For a lot of people, the entire point is to put someone on that bench who doesn't fancy himself to be a Hero of the People, creating the law instead of interpreting it. Someone who isn't an "activist" judge...

Posted by: tbrosz

Then, we can assume you were appropriately outraged by Bush v. Gore?

(Actually, I'm popping my popcorn as we speak, and putting my feet up, just champing at the bit to read your righteously indignant rationalization as to why THAT little Antonin Scalia production wasn't modern history's #1 textbook case of "judicial activism"!)

Posted by: Barry Champlain on January 13, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Someone who isn't an "activist" judge..

STFU with the "activist" nonsense. everyone is perfectly aware that the only activity conservatives oppose is when it leads away from their preferred outcome.

Posted by: cleek on January 13, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

You will have to wait for a long time Barry Champlain.

tbrosz is the guy who suspects that desegregation may have to led to increase in lietracy rates for blacks.

Posted by: nut on January 13, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

cleek,

That's absolutely a big part of it and probably the biggest part. There's no good data on birthrate by party or by religion. It's hard to know how dramatic the Roe effect is. Republicans certaily have abortions. It's very clear liberals are much more likely to have an abortion and much more likely to have smaller families. They are also less likely to get married and stay married. Liberals are far more likely to see a child as a consumer of precious earths resources and thus prefer to 'cap' themselves at one or two.

What I see with my eyes in stunning however. anecdotally I'd suggest catholics have a birth rate 2 to 3x's higher than secularists and 50% higher than non-evangelical christian faiths.

The critical fact of the Roe theory is that it's effect is just being felt. I think Roe became effective in 1971. Those 'aborted' babies would otherwise be turning 35 and having kids. How many fewer voters aged 18 - 35 are there due to Roe and how many wold otherwise be democrats? What ever the number is it's starts to double in 15 years and quadruple in 35.

This might not seem substantive. But look to Europe. Within the next decade most of their populations start to shrink (exclud immigration) and in each decade the shrinkage occurs as a faster rate. This isn't opinion. They know how many 20-yr Germans there will be 20, 19, 18,... years from now and it's many fewer than today. I'd argue the birthrates of american liberals is very near that of the French and Germans. It's not a god story.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Vergasy,

The most important things the Supreme Court does is fill in gaps and resolve conflicts in the law. All you need is a fe opinions from one person on a subject to get an idea of how they view certain gaps or conflicts. It's the extreme or unique cases that are the most important in the law and in the job of a Justice.

Statutes are not always clear, and are often drafted with heavy judicial involvement and efinition in mind. Look at the Sherman act, it's essentially a resolution. That's the Statute that controls anti-trust rules in our country, and it basically is two paragraphs which say "conduct detrimental to competition is illegal." Then the courts over years and years and hundreds of opinions have carved out exactly what that means, and how to determine if conduct falls within that meaning. The Justice department then operates and prosecutes under these rules. The system works pretty well where judges appropriately clarfiy or expand the law. Only morons think it's an easy thing to "apply the law" and that any judge who makes rulings not supported by specific language in a written law is "creating the law."

Posted by: Nick T. on January 13, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Laura is not an alcoholic.

Then I want to know what she is taking.

Posted by: lib on January 13, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Must say, Sam, you're doing a heckuva job - Your new Boss will be as proud of you as mine was of me. Be sure to recommend "piano wire".

Posted by: Roland Freisler on January 13, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

rdw,

They know how many 20-yr Germans there will be 20, 19, 18,... years from now and it's many fewer than today. I'd argue the birthrates of american liberals is very near that of the French and Germans. It's not a god story.

No, your thinking doesn't involve God in anyway, that's for sure.

What a pathetic old fool.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Laura is not an alcoholic.

Then I want to know what she is taking.

Wasn't she 'dimebag Laura' in college?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

By what standard does this asshole qualify as "decent"? And by what standard do you qualify as "liberal"?

Posted by: Farinata X on January 13, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin - why the fuck can't you geniuses find a way to get rid of this kind of spammy crap?

In Kevin's defense, it would be hard to block Al, rdw, conspiracy nut, FWG, McA,...

Posted by: ckelly on January 13, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Vergasy:

Well, to tell you the truth, I'm kind of fed up myself with people who talk about The Rule of Law, because they sound like fucking Good Germans (with Alito playing the role of Adolph Eichmann).

News Flash: Everybody who reads a statute interprets it.

To pretend otherwise implies we might be able to design a machine to scan and parse the constitution and case law. Heh. Link it directly up with Lexis/Nexis.

I think all of you "Rule of Law" types really need to sit yourselves down and read Portia's "The quality of mercy" speech from The Merchant of Venice.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

And, my reply was, Senator Reid, who is pro-life to a certain degree, would make a fine national candidate.

Pale rider,

You are a klutz.

1st of we were talking about Kerry and the very common knowledge he was pro-abortion and the even more common knowledge that means the catholic church is against him.

That fact you think Harry Reid is a good candidate is meangingless. You don't nominate candidates. The party that would not allow Governor Casey to speak is NOT going to nominate an anti-abortion candidates.

and what does pro-life 'more or less' mean?

You can correct me AFTER he gets nominated.

BTW: He's not even going to run. Besides the health issues he's a bad candidate. He doesn't appear to have a pulse.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

"Hate to tell you but the 1st amendment even covers conservatives."~rdw

What is this supposed to mean? Do you think I am a federal official depriving you of a constitutional right? Sorry, that's Bush's game.

I'm simply advising you, out of human compassion for the disabled, to shut up.

Posted by: Ace Franze on January 13, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

ace,

You don't want me to speak. Too Bad!

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Crista is disappointingly obtuse:

PS - it's not constitutional to kill someone. There may be no law against it, but Congress makes laws not constitutional amendments.

To say that killing someone is not unconstitutional is to throw out the entire constitution.

Morons.

Strangely enough the Supreme Court seems to have missed this Constitutional provision while adjudicating on subjects such as the death penalty, presidential war powers, and use of force by the police.

Silly Crista. Arguments about the Constitution are for people who are curious enough to actually read the blasted document!

Posted by: Michael Friedman on January 13, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

You don't nominate candidates.

You nominate people who have not declared themselves candidates for office? You nominate people who have not properly filed to be candidates for public office?

rdw: easily the stupidest man alive.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Michael Friedman:

Well, if a shameless devotion to literalism is your game, you might try reading her name correctly.

It's Crissa, not Crista.

Glass houses and stones and the like.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

DNA HAS PROVEN THAT YOU BOY COLEMEN WAS INDEED A MURDERER AND A LIAR.
Posted by: patton Of course, notice the capitals.

Hunh, I figured you didn't believe in DNA. Since you don't believe in Science.

Posted by: ckelly on January 13, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK
Well, I think it was probably because the Catholic Church told people they would go to hell if they voted for Kerry.

Well, except that the Catholic Church, per se, did not say that. A small minority of American bishops made statements that a Catholic could not, for any reason, in good conscious vote for Kerry (or any candidate favoring abortion rights), a position which was contradicted by the Holy See. However, the US news media, which has a prewritten narrative of "Christian v. liberals" that they like to tailor stories to fit, distorted the story significantly so that it seemed that the Catholic Church was saying that.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 13, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Tick Tock, Michael F. Still waiting for a reply to my post please. It's easy to cherry pick those commenters who know less about the Constitution than you do.

Do you still stand by your comments that the Constitution does not speak to the shooting of a fleeing suspect, and that to address such an issue the people would have to amend the Constitution?

Posted by: Nick T. on January 13, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

He kills a girl while stoned and cheating on his family, doesn't report it for 18 hours and yet doesn't even get his hand smacked.
Well, he did kind of get his hand smacked. Pleaded guilty to leaving the scene and got a couple months probation, as memory serves me.

But on Alito, the Democrats that have worked for and with this guy find him to be an excellent judge. The ABA said the following:

On the basis of its comprehensive investigation investigation, and with one recusal by our Third Circuit representative, the Standing Committee has unanimously concluded that Judge Alito is Well Qualified to serve as Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. His integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament are indeed found to be of the highest standing. [source PDF]
I've heard more concrete objections against him from the right than I have from the left.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 13, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

Yep, that's exactly right.

The doctrine of Least Harm -- endorsed by John Paul II.

Not to be confused with cafeteria Catholicism.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Im curious why Allito, who was so appalled at what he saw in the 60s, never manage to speak out against racist policies of Princeton. Why didnt he seek out an organization to join that was trying to right that injustice? It was a far bigger affront to American justice than not having a ROTC unit on campus.

Posted by: michaelw on January 13, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, Alito also told the Senate he would recuse himself in any matter related to Vanguard. He then did not recuse himself, arguing that as a common shareholder he did not stand to lose money based on the decision.

The man lied on one of the most basic professional issues a member of the bar can face.

Yes, he is also a crank and a monarchist.

Posted by: Charles on January 13, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

King George W. The First and his Plutocracy cannot survive without the modern versions of Eichmann. Alito, Roberts, Rice....they are all evil henchman of the Empire serving the New World Order amd building the Fourth Reich. You can add many more names to this list. There is almost humorous futility in all the rage because it still goes on with or without our rage. In the 60's they had a slogan that said "It is better to light one molotov coctail than to sit and curse the darkness" but it is too dangerous and too fearful to say or write things like that to-day...wait .....someone's Knocking on my door....I'll be right back.....

Posted by: murmeister on January 13, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

michaelw:

For the same reason he objected to all those Warren court decisions like Miranda and one-man-one-vote.

He doesn't give a shit about people lower on the totem pole than he.

And that's the truth, pbbbbtt.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

Yes, you are correct. However, I thought then-Cardinal Ratzinger was in favor of denying Kerry and other pro-choice US politicians communion? How was he contradicted by the Holy See? Did that occur after he wrote this or before?

Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion. General Principles

by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgement regarding ones worthiness to do so, according to the Churchs objective criteria, asking such questions as: "Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?" The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum," nos. 81, 83).

2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorise or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a "grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. [...] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to take part in a propoganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it" (no. 73). Christians have a "grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to Gods law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it" (no. 74).

3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

4. Apart from an individualss judgement about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).

5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a persons formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Churchs teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

6. When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it" (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgement on the persons subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the persons public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.
-----------------------------

Now, as for this whole Alito thing--I think the best we can say about him is that he's no Harriet Miers.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Nick T. says:

Thanks for exposing yourself as someone who knows nothing about what he talks about (REally! No federal law against murder! ...)

ummm... not exactly. No federal law against murder except in special cases such as on federal government property, etc. For example, if I break into your house and shoot you it is highly unlikely that I will be breaking any federal law. Just state laws.

The 4th Amendment says that the people have a right to be free from unreasonable seizures. Being shot and killed is a seizure.

This is a wonderful example of the tendentious reasoning of judges who try to make the law instead of interpreting the law. Killing someone is obviously not the same as seizing them. If you believe that it is, try reversing the case. If a judge issues a warrant allowing the police to seize you can a cop just walk up to you and blow your brains out? After all, killing someone is a seizure, right?

...but clearly the 4th Amendment was written with design that the courts would interpret it and flesh out it's boundaries and begin to define the word "unreasonable."

Gark. Ever hear of Marbury vs. Madison? It doesn't exactly address this kind of issue, but the point remains - the current role of the Courts to define the boundaries of the Constitution was established after the Constitution was written, primarily by Justice Marshall.

the 14th Amendment saying a person has a right to due process before being deprived of their life both go to the issue of shooting an 8th grader as he runs

Hard to see how this could apply. After all, if it applies to the 8th grader how come it doesn't apply to the bank robber who is shooting it out with the police? There's no requirement there for reasonableness or anything else.

there is a balancing test that weighs the competing government interests with the the liberty interest. Therefore, possibly as an example a murderer with 3 guns running from a scene could be shot in the back by police because he poses such a strong danger to the public (overriding need for process and making the seizure reasonable)

Balancing tests are applied in some parts of the Constitution - for example the First Amendment, no shouting "fire" in a crowded theater - but I don't believe in this area. For example, the government cannot jail a criminal without trial because there is an unacceptable risk that a jury would set him free and use a balancing argument to justify its actions as being a necessary balance between liberty and government necessity.

I guess under your philosophy of "just applying the law," the police could never shoot anyone without taking them to court.

Nope.... under my philosophy of "just applying the law" the legislature defines the cases in which police can shoot people while arresting them, etc. This is not an area covered by the Constitution.

Oh, and if the people wanted to protect the right of an 8th grader to not be shot by police they would not have to Amend the Constitution, jeez.

Well, in any particular state you could handle it with legislation.

Posted by: Michael Friedman on January 13, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Nick T:

You're right that application of law in novel situations requires judgment, but it should be judgment about what the law requires, not judgment about what is generally best/just/decent. You're right that applying the law can be incredibly difficult, and you're right that that doesn't give judges license to make it up. (Aside: it's my understanding that the Sherman Act is fairly unusual, being largely a codification of the common law.)

Posted by: Vergasy on January 13, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

It's hard to know how dramatic the Roe effect is. Republicans certaily have abortions. It's very clear liberals are much more likely to have an abortion and much more likely to have smaller families. They are also less likely to get married and stay married

do you have any cites for that ?

especially that last part, since divorce rates are lower in 'blue states'. and the rate is higher among conservatives Christians than among other faiths.

Posted by: cleek on January 13, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Oliver Wendell Holmes: "The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience. The felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories, institutions of public policy, avowed or unconscious, even the prejudices which judges share with their fellow men, have had a good deal more to do than the syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be governed. The law embodies the story of a nation's development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics."

Alito and his apologists: "Screw that, I'm going with the mathematics."

Posted by: Alek Hidell on January 13, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

If the democratic party wants to start making the case that judges should start ruling on cases based on their personal idea of "fairness" then that is a fight the republicans are more than willing to engage in. While many democratic voters think it is a failing of conservative judges that they do not use their personal judgements- the democratic party is not at all willing to make the case that judges should be doing it.

The problem in all of this is that the reasons that democrats REALLY want Alito blocked are not the ones that they are bringing out in the hearings. In fact, democrats want Alito blocked because he is a mainstream conservative judge who was nominated by GWB. Democrats don't care at all about CAP or stuff like that. They want Alito blocked because he is someone that Bush wants, and now is just looking for any reason they can find to get the public to go along with them. But thats why the arguments are so weak- they aren't the reasons that convinced dems in the first place.

Posted by: Damon on January 13, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK
But on Alito, the Democrats that have worked for and with this guy find him to be an excellent judge. The ABA said the following

The ABA -- much as this contradicts Republican propaganda -- is not an arm of the Democratic Party. It is rather rare that a nominee to the Supreme Court is not rated "Well Qualified" by the ABA.

OTOH, the role of each political branch in the nomination and confirmation process is not merely as a reviewer of resumes and the kind of qualifications the ABA judges, but also political/ideological by design. For that process provides the principle connection between the judiciary, with enormous practical power to control the important actions of government that affect the populace, and the public which is notionally the sovereign power.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 13, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats don't care at all about CAP or stuff like that

Democrats don't care about a group that worked to exclude women and minorities from a college ? they don't care that he clearly wants to outlaw abortion ?

Posted by: cleek on January 13, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Cmdicely and others interested in the ABA rating: It is online at www.abanet.org/scfedjud/Alito-letter.pdf

It makes one want to scream. The guy has THREE failures to recuse. And the committee says stuff like, "He told us that once again this case had 'slipped by' and it was unclear to him why the screening system had not picked it up."

It is *not* vetting a candidate when you just take his word for it. I am disgusted with the ABA. It took a dive.

Posted by: Charles on January 13, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

He kills a girl while stoned and cheating on his family, doesn't report it for 18 hours and yet doesn't even get his hand smacked.

Well, he did kind of get his hand smacked. Pleaded guilty to leaving the scene and got a couple months probation, as memory serves me.

Oh, My!!!! A young girl dies and Teddy got 3 months probation. That's just cruel! Didn't they know he was a Kennedy? I'll bet those bastards made it even harder by making him serve his probation at the family mansion. They probably didn't even let him go to their ocean side compound!

I didn't know this. I thought he got off scott free. I feel so ashamed.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

It is rather rare that a nominee to the Supreme Court is not rated "Well Qualified" by the ABA.
Well, isn't that kind of the way it should be?

but also political/ideological by design.
By design? That sounds kind of like cabal and intrigue, doesn't it?

The people collectively, from their number and from their dispersed situation, cannot be regulated in their movements by that systematic spirit of cabal and intrigue, which will be urged as the chief objections to reposing the power in question in a body of men.
Those who have themselves reflected upon the subject, or who have attended to the observations made in other parts of these papers, in relation to the appointment of the President, will, I presume, agree to the position, that there would always be great probability of having the place supplied by a man of abilities, at least respectable. Premising this, I proceed to lay it down as a rule, that one man of discernment is better fitted to analyze and estimate the peculiar qualities adapted to particular offices, than a body of men of equal or perhaps even of superior discernment. Federalist 76
Looks like, by design, they were looking for the President to find someone of ability and the Senate to bog down in cabal and intrigue (or political wrangling).

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 13, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

A young girl dies and Teddy got 3 months probation

it's more than Laura Bush got.

Posted by: cleek on January 13, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Michael F.

Astonishing!! HAHAHAHA. That was hilarious!!

Ok, where to begin. First I know how federal murder statutes work, thanks.

Next, shooting someone and killing them IS A SEIZURE. I know you're really smart but the Courts have said so. And it logically follows. You are seized when you are not free to go, of course being shot dead is included. Warrants are not signed to "Seize" someone in all of it's forms, it is signed for an arrest, which is a certain type of seizure. And your argument on this area anyway is just laughable. Shooting somoeone to death is indisputably a seizure.

As for Marbury Madison, you are completely wrong. Marbury v. Madison established Judicial review which says the court is the final authority on what the constitution says and can strike down laws thta conflict with it. It does not give the court the authority to intepret the constitution in the first place, dumbass. The document was written in a legal contexts which included judges constantly interpretting laws and thereby establishing their meanings. The 4th Amendment was clearly written with this understanding in mind. It was envisioned that the court would interpret the word "unreasonable."

The balancing test issue: wow this was unbelievable, you can think anything all you want it doesn;t make it true. The 4th amendment is rife with balancing tests under judicial decisions. FACT, deal with it. Your example here is also horrendous, the courts can hold someone without a trial, it's called bail. This is part of that balancing test. The person can't be held forever, of course. But generally unreasonable is detemrined by balancing the state interest in searching or seizing with the nature of the liberty invaded. This is why we have Terry stops and pat downs, for example. Also, ya know who advanced the idea of the balancing test? Scalia, when he went to define the word unreasonable (Gark!).

Due Process does apply to that situation. FACT. I already addrssed your bank robber scenario in my previous post.

The federal Congress could also pass a law as to when a policeman could use deadly force, actually. They have the power to legislate if it means effectuating any portion of the Constitution, so they could do it under the 14th Amendment.

But please Michael, keep applying your own readings of the constitution to all scenarios even when they fly in the face of established jurisprudence. Also if you could misconstrue important cases like Marbury v. Madison (an activist decision by the way, which has prevented a constitutional crisis), and offer horrible backwards illogical arguments, that would rule.

Posted by: Nick T. on January 13, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Cleek- Democrats wanted Alito blocked long before that stuff about CAP came about. Its a sideshow- just throwing crap against the wall hoping that something will stick.

On abortion- Alito's actual record is very mainstream. Whether a spousal notification statute constitues an "undue burden" is certainly open for debate. What it comes down to is that democrats are convinced that Alito will overturn Roe because GWB nominated him- but that isn't a reason that works for the public.

Posted by: Damon on January 13, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

This is why the smallness of Alito reminds so many here of you guys. That smallness is the same thing that causes you to get rhetorically hot-and-bothered about TK yet at the same time allows you to be blissfully unperturbed about the war in Iraq, illegal wiretapping, corruption, judicial rulings that are callous, offenses to justice, etc. That rant of yours is simply exactly what a small man such as yourself would do, and you accomplish nothing but prove our point.

Let's not forget rdw's(the "d" stands for dumbass) huge blind spot for the the biggest sleazebag in congress--you know, the one currently under indictment, completely in bed with admitted criminal Abramoff, disgraced former majority leader, REPUBLICAN Tom Delay.
No one in the real world gives a shit what the idiots like rdw say. No matter how much he spams the comments with his idiocy, doesn't change Bush's sub-40 approval rating and the black cloud hanging over Republican in Congress. Democrats don't have to do anything but sit back and enjoy the show, watching the Republicans and their blind followers flail around.

Posted by: haha on January 13, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

If judges are supposed to just read the rules and not inject their own sense of justice into their decisions, then Alito's strip-search ruling was wrong. The rules--i.e., the Bill of Rights--are very clear that you need to specify who and what you're going to search. The warrant in question didn't do that, and the police strip-searched the kid anyway. Alito's opinion said that even though the letter of the law wasn't followed, the violations were unimportant and should be ignored. In other words, even though the law was on the kid's side, "justice" was on the side of the police. That's a pretty sick sense of justice. If nominating such a guy to the Supreme Court isn't "extraordinary circumstances"....

Posted by: Jim on January 13, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

haha,

Of course you can't just sit back. You think Biden and Schumer are capable of sittin back when there's a camera in the room?

Love the optimism though.

GWB is on the verge of putting an ultra-conservative on the Supreme Court for 30 years and you're enjoying the show. Cheers!!!!!

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Does the lack of this sense of empathy, compassion, fair play, concern for others, justice, etc. cause their slavish worship of power, or does the worship burn those qualities out of them?

None dare call it penis envy.

Posted by: Michael7843853 GO in 08! on January 13, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

rdw has another blind spot--screams and screams about Ted Kennedy, completely ignoring the fact that Laura Bush killed a man while driving recklessly.

It's okay to kill someone if you're a Republican, or married to one--this is the "morality" of rdw.
Keep that in mind every time you see him flailing around about Ted Kennedy--he's just a piece of shit who only cares about death when it suit his political purposes. Animals have more morality than this scum.

Posted by: haha on January 13, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

The Brainbox and the Blowhard

That's the headline of the Economist story on Judge Alito's encounter with the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Kennedy in particular. I'm sure you can guess which participant fits which description.

Here's a taste:

Ted Kennedy is deeply troubled by the ethics of the Supreme Court nominee. Between 2001 and 2006, Samuel Alito, who is currently an appeals court judge, accepted $7,684,423 in donations from special interests who perhaps wanted the law tweaked in their favour. That included $28,000 from defence contractors, $42,200 from drug firms and a whopping $745,373 from lawyers and law firms.

No, wait. Those are Senator Kennedy's conflicts of interestor, rather, a brief excerpt from a long list compiled by the Centre for Responsive Politics.

Please read the whole thing.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

rdw sez It's very clear liberals are much more likely to have an abortion

Then how come the abortion rate in the South is so much higher than in the Northeast?

Posted by: WhoSays on January 13, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats wanted Alito blocked long before that stuff about CAP came about

i don't have a timeline that shows all the various disclosures and investigations along with the dates that [all?] Democrats made up their individual minds. no doubt some want to fight Bush just because he's Bush. but, some people actually wanted to see what Alito was like before they made up their mind... read the polls, as of a day or so ago, 50+% of those surveyed hadn't decided yet.

What it comes down to is that democrats are convinced that Alito will overturn Roe because GWB nominated him

exactly. here's all anyone needs to know about Alito's opinion on anything: Bush appointed him after getting his ass split open by cultural conservatives over his Myers choice. he appointed someone who would please them. and the information that has come out about Alito confirms this - he is someone who wants to outlaw abortion. this was known almost immediately after his nomination.

but that isn't a reason that works for the public.

this insight into the mind of "the public" is interesting. what are they thinking... NOW! ?

Posted by: cleek on January 13, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Michael784 at 11:36, damn, that was funny.

Posted by: shortstop on January 13, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

whosays,

Don't know. Where did you get yor data?

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Guess who gave the longest speech without before actually asking a question? Republican Dewine of Ohio. Talk about being enamored with yourself--but still not as funny as Republican Tom Coburn bloviating about his truth-detecting powers during the Roberts hearings.

But to get back to my point, yes I am enjoying the show, watching the Republican leadership going down in flames. What's the matter r"dumbass"w, can't stand seeing your former house leader under indictment, or the fact that it's going to be the biggest story of the year heading into the elections?
Try to calm yourself--you look even more frantic and unhinged than usual, and that's pretty bad.

Posted by: haha on January 13, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Question: Which member of Congress is currently under indictment?

A. Ted Kennedy
B. Nancy Pelosi
C. Harry Reid
D. Tom Delay

If you guessed the Republican cockroach from Texas, you're correct!

Oh, and what was that congressman's name from California who recently was forced to resign in disgrace? I know he's a Republican(goes without saying), just can't remember his name.

Posted by: haha on January 13, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Witless, next time you're sleeping off a night of boozing at Maggie O'Neill's, lift your head down there at the Drexel Hill Library and check out Roland Freisler. He was a great debater and "well qualified" by the German equivalent of the ABA. Roland was your kind of guy. Geez, if you had more Rolands in Drexel Hill, you wouldn't have any crime. He loved the use "piano wire" and did not put up with any "elitist scheisserei" from those aristocrats.
Sieg, baby.

Posted by: stupid git on January 13, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

rdw, I thought if I just stated that abortion rates were higher in the South that you would take it as the truth.

Posted by: WhoSays on January 13, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK
What it comes down to is that democrats are convinced that Alito will overturn Roe because GWB nominated him- but that isn't a reason that works for the public.

Strangely, I oppose Alito because he ignores the clear limits in the Constitution in favor of unfettered government, and particularly executive, power. While I don't think he is particularly fond of Roe, I'm not at all convinced he'll vote to overturn it, though, in creating additional government power at the expense of personal freedom, such an action would certainly be consistent with the reasons I think he is unsuitable for office.

He's clearly being coy on Roe to avoid controversy, but I don't think the Bush Administration is as interested in overturning Roe as in using those Republicans who believe Alito will do so because Bush appointed him as a solid base of support to make sure that someone who supports their view of expansive government, and particularly executive, power gets on the Court. So I'm agnostic as to whether his past stated opposition and present coyness with bland invocations of stare decisis when it comes to Roe indicates that he is likely to overturn Roe and trying to avoid raising a flag with the Democrats and the pro-choice majority in the public, or that he is likely to leave it alone, and trying to avoid alienating the Republicans highly motivated pro-life base.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 13, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

"rdw, you prove my point regarding the affliction that the non-troll right-wingers suffer from here. You have no concept that something that is wrong is offense. You are only concerned about "your team."

No, the problem is that when we see an injustice we know that quite often it is the legislature that is the proper arm to fix things. If we just empowered judges to "right wrongs" we wouldn't have a government of laws we would have a autocracy of judges.

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw on January 13, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

a wolf in sheep's clothing... or should that be judges robes?

Posted by: Pete Bogs on January 13, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

haha,

I believe his name was "Flameout" something or other or was it "Bottom PeaShooter"?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 13, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Oh, and what was that congressman's name from California who recently was forced to resign in disgrace? I know he's a Republican(goes without saying), just can't remember his name.

That'll be Duke "the Puke" Cunningham. The mock Republican war "hero". Actually, a brain-damaged, criminal and extortionist.

Just a question - Do you suppose Scalia, Thomas, Alito, et al, believe in the right to a 'fair trial'??? After all, the Constitution doesn't explicitly say that you are entitled to one. Since they don't believe in any rights that aren't explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, I'm guessing they don't believe in them!

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on January 13, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

News Flash: Everybody who reads a statute interprets it.

And now the administration that signs them into law issues interpretations (aka "signing statements") as a sort of bonus-- it kinda makes me wish they'd stick to free toasters or something.


but I don't think the Bush Administration is as interested in overturning Roe as in using those Republicans who believe Alito will do so because Bush appointed him

Bush doesn't give a rat's ass about Roe, really, except for the reason you cited. That's a bomb he'd much rather have go off after he's left the building, thankyouverymuch... besides, laws against abortion wouldn't ever affect him or his kind. (To be fair, they'd only affect me in the way something like, say, a major car repair would, because I have adequate resources to travel to more forward-thinking areas should the issue arise. Of course, this debate isn't about those of us who are middle-class or above anyway, and it never was.)

Posted by: latts on January 13, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Question: Which member of Congress is currently under indictment?

And with the Republicans running the Justice Department, how crazy is it that there aren't any Democrats under indictment? You'd think by now 30 or 40 would be up on charges, what with all the information being obtained through wiretaps without warrants...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't democratic senators ask every Supreme Court nominee about his opinion on Bush v. Gore?

Posted by: lib on January 13, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

If the American people want it to be unconstitutional to "shoot an eighth grader, known not to be armed, who was trying to climb over a fence in escape" then there is a process for them to follow to amend the Constitution. It is certainly not a judge's place to make that decision for them. Posted by: Michael Friedman on January 13, 2006 at 2:02 AM

Michael, it's already blatently obvious that the police shouldn't shoot unarmed children, whether or not they are guilty of some crime. It doesn't take a judge or a genius to realize this.

The fact that you believe that it requires a Constitutional admendment to make it obvious shows how out of touch with both reality and humanity you are.

Beside, it's the JOB of a judge to make decisions for the people, within the parameters of their job. What kind of idiot doesn't understand that?

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 13, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

rdw,

Declaring that the United States was at a crossroads in Iraq, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops said Thursday the time had come to withdraw U.S. troops as fast as responsibly possible and to hand control of the country to Iraqis.

"Our nation's military forces should remain in Iraq only as long as it takes for a responsible transition, leaving sooner than later," said Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando, Fla., speaking for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

My advice to Catholics is to stop voting Republican...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't democratic senators ask every Supreme Court nominee about his opinion on Bush v. Gore?

because they are pussies.

Posted by: cleek on January 13, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm hoping another two retire. Ginsburg & Souter deserve a rest....."


Me too.

It will only further ensure a liberal legislative and executive branch.

Your dreams of having some "conservative eutopia" are going to be completely destroyed by the fact that a few rulings by a far-right court that go completely counter to the mainstream majority, will simply be used by the Democrats and liberals in this country as a means for rallying support.

Just like Republicans have harnessed the "furor" over Roe, far-right decisions handed down by the SCOTUS will only serve to bring about a dynasty of liberal politicians...and this "furor" will be REAL, unlike the "furor" that has been propogated by the Republicans concerning Roe...as the majority of mainstream Americans support the decision in Roe.

So come on...bring it on...appoint an entire court of conservatives...it will only bring about the inevitable rejection of conservativism. This is a liberal nation...it's high-time we reflect that truth.

Posted by: Neither on January 13, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

kevin,

You make Alito sound like the perfect candidate for the Court. The Court does not care, generally speaking, about justice in individual cases. Not even liberal Justices care about justice in individual cases. They all care about making law and precedent.

This is a common misconception that most people have about the Court, so your confusion is understandable.

Posted by: DBL on January 13, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

...and one more thing...

Since these "justices" are going to be ruling on legislation, the constitution, etc...there won't be anything they will be able to do when a law is passed that unequivocally states that every state in this country MUST allow legal abortions.

I mean, we can't have those "justices" legislating from the bench and overturning such legislation, right?

The pendulum swings...

I look forward to another long era of liberal legislation and executive enforcement.

"Justice for life" will ensure that reign.

Posted by: Neither on January 13, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a hypothetical question for all you "rightys"...


A case comes before the SCOTUS, let's call it Woe vs. Rade.

The decision in this case ultimately overturns Roe vs. Wade.

What do you think the political fallout for such a case will be?

Posted by: Tread Lightly on January 13, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK
What the Catholic Church does and what it says--two different things. Sort of like saying they're for the poor and against having their non-profit tax status revoked for getting involved in politics so that they can pay more taxes to help the poor in the communities in which the churches are located.

If the particular tax-exempt status at issue were revoked, the Church would, as I understand it, still be a tax-exempt nonprofit, but its donors would not be able to deduct donations from income in reporting taxes. Most likely, this would reduce donations to the Church and reduce the charity work of the Church more than it would increase tax revenues. Further, the increased tax revenues, if any, would be mostly federal income tax revenues, which, given the proclivities of the present federal authorities in all three branches, would be unlikely to fund any additional programs to help the poor, but instead would provide additional funding for tax cuts for the rich or handouts to corporate donors.

So I find your particular accusation of hypocrisy rather spurious, even though I think there are certainly areas where members of the Catholic heirarchy can be validly accused of hypocrisy, particular when it relates to the relationship between the general social teachings of the Church and the specific political positions, parties, and candidates embraced (or targetted) by particular members of the heirarchy.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 13, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Reapportionment

Posted by: Boronx on January 13, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

I think the trolls are exactly right. We should march right into the National Archives, rip the Constitution out of its glass case, tear it up, and then disband Congress and all fifty state legislatures. George Bush should be crowned King George I, and anyone who dares question or dissent should be immediately shot. All in the name of the War on Terror, of course.

This should immediately be followed by proclamations from the King's Court that suspend the Bill of Rights, and require a tribute of half of all citizens' income towards funding the War on Terror. The extra funds will go towards a National Identification Card, and enough troops to register all firearms and cell phones and computers.

Yeah, that's the ticket. Al's got it exactly right. Or is Al and his ilk the terrorists?

Posted by: a_retrogrouch on January 13, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

But better than Bush who is dumb, non-decent, but certainly very, very small.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 13, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

So I find your particular accusation of hypocrisy rather spurious, even though I think there are certainly areas where members of the Catholic heirarchy can be validly accused of hypocrisy, particular when it relates to the relationship between the general social teachings of the Church and the specific political positions, parties, and candidates embraced (or targetted) by particular members of the heirarchy.

Sorry, cmdicely. Friendly fire went wide. I was responding to rdw and trying to goad him along. I have no problem with the Catholic Church and I am quite tolerant of their practices, where legal and ethical.

But that is a thought--revoke the tax exempt status of ALL churches and expect them to pay taxes to support the community which provides them services, infrastructure and followers. It would largely be a tax on poor people because I don't know of many highly affluent churches, so I think the Republicans could probably go for it.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

"Or is Al and his ilk the terrorists?"


Given that terror is defined as

intense, overpowering fear

...I'd say the answer to your question is...YES.

But for the sake of clarity, perhaps Al and his ilk should be called "Fearists".

Posted by: Neither on January 13, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider:

Are you a Catholic now?! I think most Catholics who believe the Pope on abortion know how to vote, thank you very much.

I think the point was all about the Bishops calling for US troops to leave Iraq...

But since Charlie/Cheney/Chuckles is back--and no one who reads here on a regular basis has forgotten that you are guilty of willfully spamming a thread on Howard Dean in order to close down debate, it's not a surprise that you would drag your abortion-loving ass back here for more abuse.

Repeat: Cheney is a serial abuser of his right to post here and has spammed a thread to close down debate.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

"No worse than overturning Dred v. Scott would have been. Regardless, the government has no higher duty than saving its innocent human lives, political fallout be damned. I've state repeatedly, it would make nice American historical bookends for the Republican Party to have abolished slavery and then abortion."

But Dick...

Roe vs. Wade is not about "abortion"...it's about a woman's right to make medical decisions for herself without government intrusion. Perhaps overturning Roe will finally make that perfectly clear to folks like you.

Posted by: Tread Lightly on January 13, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

What do you think the political fallout for such a case will be?
Little.

The far left will howl that life as we know it has just ceased to exist, the far right will howl that utopia has finally come to the planet. State legislatures will step into the gap, and satisfy the citizens of that state. And 80% of the US will rapidly realize that nothing happened.

Leaving the fringes to continue carping about abortion.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 13, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Leaving the fringes to continue carping about abortion.

Cue Cheney/Charlie/Chuckles...serial spammer and abuser of blog threads.

Cheney,

If you had the ability to read the thread prior to posting, you would see that I have clearly identified myself as 'Lutheran.'

But thanks for showing up--you bring a positively demented brand of logic to the table that helps us gear up for the fight against real trolls.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

There's no good data on birthrate by party or by religion.

Actually that's not true. The University of Michigan does a nation wide survey and some of the questions they ask are family size, party preference, and religion. I beleive they conduct a short version of the survey every year and an extensive version every five years.

So you could run a cross-tab on birth rates and political party and religion with statistically valid results for the entire nation.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 13, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut,

Thank you for the well-thought, logical response to my question.

You summed up the most probable outcome quite nicely.


as for this:
"Leaving the fringes to continue carping about abortion."

Yes.

God forbid we actually move on to more important matters.

Posted by: Tread Lightly on January 13, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie (Cheney) GW Bush did say 'imminent threat' we all know that...

Do you have some sort of Abortion word alarm on your computer? As soon as the 'A' word is mentioned at PA you seem to immediately appear. Got a subcontract with NSA or something?

Regarding anti-abortion laws, for god's sake, the republicans have had total control of the government for awhile now. Why aren't they passing a law prohibiting abortion?

Posted by: WhoSays on January 13, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

I never spammed the Howard Dean thread, but I did post in direct response to someone's challenge to prove Bush never said "imminent threat" - I doubt me posting here 1/2 hour per year is going to kill anyone (unlike the number of abortions in the past 1/2 hour).

You spammed the thread. The vast majority of those posts which bear your handle on the thread were transcripts from the White House archives of speeches given by the President. When asked to stop Spamming, you continued. You even boasted about it, and made threats later in the week to continue doing that to close debate.

HOWARD DEAN'S TRACK RECORD....Kevin Drum 12:42 PM Permalink | TrackBack (0) | Comments (753)

Here is the Permalink:
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_12/007726.php

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

"That's about what I figure too - once the dust settles, the majority of Americans who still want abortions will either live in a State, or next to one, in which abortion remains legal."

Let's make this perfectly clear, Dick...

No one "wants" an abortion. No one.

You people are really good at framing arguments to suit your agenda...but that doesn't change the truth of the matter...and as every "Good Christian" (TM) knows...the truth will reign supreme. The way you folks twist stuff should make it perfectly clear to the world whose side you're fighting on.

Why, as a man, is the issue of abortion so important to you? Why are the rights of women so eagerly detested by men such as yourself?


"Each State legislature is where the new battleground will be."

No, not really.

Because those states where abortion has been accepted aren't going to budge an inch for the likes of folks like you...and the rest of the country...well, you and your states will have to figure out what you're going to do with all of those new babies that aren't wanted...but just like Iraq, there's no plan for what to do about that once the deed is done.

Your silly ideas about somehow curbing the human appetite for sex by repealing the right to an abortion are going to fall flat on their face...and of course, we can count on you and your ilk to not have any other plans on how to deal with the problem once it is a problem.

Posted by: Tread Lightly on January 13, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, please explain to me how, absent Roe v. Wade, a federal statute banning abortion isn't going to be held as consitutional.

You might note that we currently have a Congress and President who'd likely pass and sign such legislation once it comes to a vote- and regulation of abortion certainly comes under the Interstate Commerce clause. If we can ban and restrict the sale of drugs under federal statute, we can certainly ban abortions.

Posted by: eponymous coward on January 13, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Regardless, the government has no higher duty than saving its innocent human lives, political fallout be damned

American lives, of course. those 30,000 dead Iraqis had it coming.

Posted by: cleek on January 13, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider,

Still waiting for a bite?

Just for the record, I'd love to see the libs try to take something away from churches. You won't get 30% of the vote.

How about all those catholics on the Supreme Court? Thomas, Alito, Scalia, Roberts and Kennedy. Notice the pattern? All solid thinkers, solid conservative thinkers. Allow me to suggest another pattern, Catholic prep schools. If you want to end a charitable deduction the one you want to end is contributions to these schools. Catholics are funny about their heritage. They want to preserve it. Imagine that.

The result, as least in the Philadephia area, is that at least 50% elite prep schools are catholic. They are the masters of tax advantaged fund raising and the use of trust funds to create various endowments. At each school they have separate funds for construction, maintenance, professional staff, athletics and of course scholarships, both athletic and academic. If you look at a top 10 list for any high school sport in Philly or South jersey catholic schools will be well represented. Like the Alito's of the world these kids are destined for the Ivy Leaque, Duke, Stanford and other top schools. Also note that the other Catholic schools are no slouches in the trust fund dept either. Phila Public shchools advance about 15% of their student body to college. Non-prep Catholic schools are over 70%. It evens out in the burbs but you get my point. Not only do Catholics breed but they study.

BTW: What is the life expectancy of the Luthern Church in America? Fox just did a series on Christian churches in Europe that was dismal. Their churches are empty. From what I've seen the non-baptist protestant churches have all but abandoned the city and have seen dramatic erosion in all of the older burb due to much smaller family size and increased secularism. I'd bet the birth rate for lutherns in the USA is less than 1.4 which means you will be 1/3 as large next century.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, in my experience, the surest way to insure that someone does NOT remain a practicing Catholic is to send them to Catholic school

Posted by: WhoSays on January 13, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

How about all those catholics on the Supreme Court? Thomas, Alito, Scalia, Roberts and Kennedy. Notice the pattern?

nominated by Presidents who were courting the Catholic vote. duh.

Posted by: cleek on January 13, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

What is the life expectancy of the Luthern Church in America? Fox just did a series on Christian churches in Europe that was dismal.

America and Europe are different places. By your logic, the Catholic church will decline in numbers as well.

I'd bet the birth rate for lutherns in the USA is less than 1.4 which means you will be 1/3 as large next century.

Ignorance is bliss, and rdw lives in a world of sunshine, lollipops and moonbeams...

Since children usually grow up to reject the ideas of their parents, the possibility that liberal elites are not having children means that those children that aren't being born would likely have rejected their parents' philosophy and become conservatives.

The reverse would then be true; if conservatives are having children at a faster rate, their children will reject conservatism and become liberals.

But then, in rdw world, the candy canes grow on trees and the gumdrops fall from the sky...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Demographic protrait of American Catholics
Republican 37%
Democrat 41%
Independ 22%

http://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2005c/093005/party%20politics.pdf

Posted by: WhoSays on January 13, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Eponymous,

I don't think you're right. Such a law may be reagrded as constitutional under the commerce clause (Due Process/Privacy aside), but it's less likely than the sale of drugs. Drugs directly involves shipping, manufacturing and sales which are inherently more commercial activities. An abortion is merely a medical procedure on it's face (murder/not murder issues aside), and so, for commerce clause purposes banning abortions would be of similar validity as banning kidney transplants. Indeed any procedure implicates commerce as the doctor is paid, and drugs are likely required etc. but trafitionally the states will establish medical rules and regulate these areas - it's under the police power of human health and well-being - and Lopez and VAWA case have shown us that Congress can't regulate something based on tenuous connections to commercial actions. Again, it's not clear, but it's a more vague case than drug sales.

This is of course under the commerce clause alone.

Posted by: Nick T. on January 13, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas, Alito, Scalia, Roberts and Kennedy. Notice the pattern? All solid thinkers, solid conservative thinkers.

yup, and Kennedy was the one who wrote the majority opinion overturning the Texas anti-sodomy law.

someone pass the popcorn before r"dummy"w's head explodes.

Posted by: haha on January 13, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

would be of similar validity as banning kidney transplants
It's probably evil to point this out, but moving that donor kidney would be more likely to fall under Commerce than an abortion.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 13, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Dr Evil Nut,

It's probably evil to point this out, but moving that donor kidney would be more likely to fall under Commerce than an abortion.

I would think that if you sold your kidney, had it transported across state lines and then filed a lawsuit against whoever mishandled the organ, it might fall under Commerce.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Long Dong Silver is a thinker???? Whatever Alito and Scalito say, is a thinker????

Reproduction - hmmmmm, something about "good head", I wonder why they learned to do that so well? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Our little Drexel Hill Dummy is in rare form today.

Posted by: stupid git on January 13, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Well Mr. Rider, I guess my point was that if the SCOTUS was going to rely on the Commerce Clause, they'd have better grounds for kidney transplants than they would abortions.

Personally, I think everytime the SCOTUS uses the Commerce Clause they should be subjected to the rack while listening to gangsta rap. That'd make them think twice about using it for everything under the sun.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 13, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan said it, at 1:51 am. Expressed just what I think about these guys.

Remember the Carl Cameron reporting on the 2004 campaign while his wife worked for Bush? In Outfoxed they show some film from before Carl's interview with Bush, with Carl fawning all over the Shrub.

Bush nods, and smiles, and "Oh, yeah, she's doing a great job." But although his mouth smiled (or smirked, you know the look) his eyes were dead, dead, dead.

Frist has always looked like an automaton, except when he's done something really stupid and looked like a deer in the headlights. Rick Santorum, too, has that plastic look. And I agree, Alito has it in spades.

"Gee, I have no idea why I would have put a reactionary, discriminatory group on my resume!"

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 13, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Don't quite understand your anti-Frist comments - Why, when he was in "Nawlins" doing triage to determine who had medical insurance coverage for HCA, I couldn't help but think of Marcus Welby, Young Dr Kildare or a Dan Ackroyd commercial of "Yes, you too can be a certified MD for only $19.95".

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 13, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

"And then there is the alcoholic murderer from Mass."

Kinda like the alcoholic murderer First Lady from Texas?

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 13, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Laura's not an alcoholic. Kennedy is one up on her."

Oh, so Laura kills SOBER. That makes her SO MUCH better!

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 13, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Cal Gal:

Stefan pretty much summed up my view as well.

Lois Quick's comment of about 4 hours ago was astute, too -- about how he bloodlessly answered Feingold's question about what he'd do if evidence proves a death row inmate is innocent.

As I responded, Sam Alito is Adolph Eichmann in his son's baseball uniform.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

"I think his [a judge's] job is to apply the law (whatever that means)."

Ah, so much in a parenthetical.

I just love it when non-lawyers think "applying the law" is a black and white kind of thing.

If the application of "the law" to a particular set of facts is clear cut, the issue never, ever gets beyond the trial court. Even first-level appellate cases involve situations in which the application of the law is NOT clear and therefore has to be interpreted by the judge. And this is especially true at the Supreme Court, where they deny certiorari (or "cert") if they don't agree the case presents a particulary important issue of legal interpretation.

Where A is the situation where the law clearly applies, and C the situation where it clearly doesn't, deciding the B is closer to A than to C is one that involves a judge's philosphy, his "world view," his sense of "right and wrong."

It is the purest cynicism for a judge, especially an appellate one, to say "I just follow the law."

And it's a tautology to say "I apply the law to each set of facts as it comes before me."

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 13, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Juvenile comments. Kennedy is such a bloated relic of the 1960 Democratic Party that it's sad to see him bulging in that chair instead of one of his brothers.

The complaint that Alito's comments didn't explain in enough detail his answers ignores the fact that the bloviating gas bags didn't allow him enough time. If he looked like he was actually going to explain at any length, he was interrupted.

The suggestion to do away with hearings is not a new idea. They were not held prior to 1925.

These hearings hurt the Democrats so badly that they might make the proposal seriously. When Stevens finally quits or keels over, I want to see the hearings for Janice Rogers Brown's nomination. Ted Kennedy's head will explode.

Posted by: Mike K on January 13, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Cal Gal:

Very well put. Which it's why it's so troubling to have heard Alito back time and again into technical issues and make hairsplitting distinctions instead of just coming out and stating his philosophy.

Especially so in Roe, but in other cases as well, such as new DNA evidence in a capitol case.

Nobody is really fooled by this, of course. The social conservatives know he's their boy, which (as Chris Dicely said) serves a political agenda whether or not Alito would ever get around to flatly overruling Roe or just chipping away at the edges.

The bottom line is that this guy *does* have a philosophy and an orientation and it can be summed up in a phrase:

A rigid deference to authority.

The guy freakin' *terrifies* me.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't democratic senators ask every Supreme Court nominee about his opinion on Bush v. Gore?

They asked him. Schumer, I think. His reply? Couldn't, 'cause he hadn't studied the case, doncha know.

The first SCOTUS decision on an election to the highest office in the land, one which involves a question of federalism and squawks of "constitutional crisis!" and a federal appeals court judge doesn't pay attention?

That's either implausible or disturbing to me, I can't decide which.

And how come conservative Catholics can sneer "Cafeteria Catholic" at their pro-choice co-religionists, then blithely ignore the church's teachings on war and the death penalty?

About taxing churches: Aren't they tax-exempt not just due to their non-profit-ness, but also as a further manifestation of church-state separation? Seems to me that paying taxes would give them a stake in government (or at this point, a bigger one).

Posted by: hamletta on January 13, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Aren't they tax-exempt not just due to their non-profit-ness, but also as a further manifestation of church-state separation?"

I'm not sure about this, but you can bet that their tax-exemption is one reason that religion is the first refuge of scoundrels.

I'm gonna start me one and git me a radio show and rake in those not only tax-free but tax-deductible contributions & build me a McMansion parsonage!

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 13, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK
How about all those catholics on the Supreme Court? Thomas, Alito, Scalia, Roberts and Kennedy. Notice the pattern?

Yeah, I do notice that the fundamentalist-dominated, often virulently anti-Catholic Right can't actually find anyone from their own background with the intellectual credibility to nominate successfully for the Court, so they always have to settle for the most conservative Catholics they can find.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 13, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

And how come conservative Catholics can sneer "Cafeteria Catholic" at their pro-choice co-religionists, then blithely ignore the church's teachings on war and the death penalty?

Because the sex & gender issues aren't just a meal, they're apparently a big ol' communion wafer. It's kinda sad how the RCC (meaning those in positions of power & the ones who aspire to same) so fervently embraces its weakest doctrines, even to the exclusion of issues that are better documented, or at least better debated.

Yeah, I do notice that the fundamentalist-dominated, often virulently anti-Catholic Right can't actually find anyone from their own background with the intellectual credibility to nominate successfully for the Court, so they always have to settle for the most conservative Catholics they can find.

I was thinking something a bit different: that the right could only find social conservatives with even any pretense to intellectual credibility among conservative Catholics, since they sure aren't getting them out of Bob Jones or Oral Roberts Universities.

Posted by: latts on January 13, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

latts:

Heh, I'd agree with that. Catholic doctrine is surely more defensible for a legal mind than the radical individualist crud that comes out of a saved-by-grace Protestant.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 13, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK
Because the sex & gender issues aren't just a meal, they're apparently a big ol' communion wafer. It's kinda sad how the RCC (meaning those in positions of power & the ones who aspire to same) so fervently embraces its weakest doctrines, even to the exclusion of issues that are better documented, or at least better debated.

I remember hearing about someone getting nailed to a hunk of wood a while back, largely for pointing out the same kind of problems in the Sanhedrin. The more things change...

(Though, to be fair to the heirarchy, this problem in the modern Church, while very real, is nonetheless exaggerated by the media, which, even considering the relative attention paid to those issues by heirarchs, provides disproportionate attention to the the ones about sexuality and gender compared to, e.g., those about economic justice.)

Posted by: cmdicely on January 13, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Oops... actually it looks like cmdicely & I were pretty much saying the same thing, although his was more polite. That'll teach me to post online & talk about something completely different at the same time.

It's a good point, anyway, and one I think more liberals should probably be making.

Posted by: latts on January 13, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Though, to be fair to the heirarchy, this problem in the modern Church, while very real, is nonetheless exaggerated by the media, which, even considering the relative attention paid to those issues by heirarchs, provides disproportionate attention to the the ones about sexuality and gender compared to, e.g., those about economic justice.

I agree, but think it's also a bit of chicken/egg thing in that the media appeal of sex issues has proven too tempting for quite a few ambitious Catholics, so they feed that beast happily. The same arguments apply IMO to the temptations of political power (another old weakness of the RCC), although I'd be relieved if someone could talk me out of that notion since I was brought up to respect the RCC far more than my fundamentalist peers were.

Posted by: latts on January 13, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K: These hearings hurt the Democrats so badly...

From Rush Limbaugh's mouth to Mike K's brain, to this blog.

When you read through the Bush bootlickers' comments here, you notice that they all use the same exact word-for-word phrases, e.g. "these hearings hurt the Democrats so badly ...".

It's just a puppet show.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 13, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

America and Europe are different places. By your logic, the Catholic church will decline in numbers as well.

The catholic church has declined and rather dramtically in some place. But is hasn't declined anywhere as much as European Protestant chuches have declined everywhere. The key factor is militant secularism. In so many places in Europe and the elitist liberal bastions of the North to be religious is to be stupid. Note whosays and his comments above.

I know of few liberals willing to publically profess their faith and it's quite common to work alongside a liberal for years and not know if they belong to any religion. This banishment of such discussion from public discourse defines liberalism.

But that's not the case in Red State America and never will be. I don't have the data but I suspect the USA replscement birth rate of 2.06 has many distinct components with the secularists in the USA not much different than Europes near 1.4 while religious America is near 2.5. If true that will be devastating over time.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK
Michael, it's already blatently obvious that the police shouldn't shoot unarmed children, whether or not they are guilty of some crime. It doesn't take a judge or a genius to realize this.

Is that the criteria judges should use rather than the letter of the law - what's "blatantly obvious"?

It's blatantly obvious to a lot of people that Communists, being responsible for far more murders than the Nazis ever were, should not be allowed to go around spouting their nonsense. Should judges focus on that or the exact wording of the 1st Amendement?

Posted by: Michael Friedman on January 13, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK
Since these "justices" are going to be ruling on legislation, the constitution, etc...there won't be anything they will be able to do when a law is passed that unequivocally states that every state in this country MUST allow legal abortions.

I mean, we can't have those "justices" legislating from the bench and overturning such legislation, right?

You misunderstand "legislating from the bench". Overturning unconstitutional legislation is not legislating from the bench.

Not following the text of the Constitution, the laws, and government regulations is legislating from the bench.

Unless Congress can show a valid relationship to its powers (ie. under the Commerce Clause) Congress cannot legislate on in-state abortion.

Congress can certainly prohibit states from preventing women from traveling to other states to receive abortions or make certain funding dependent on the state allowing abortions or even paying for them but I don't think Congress could prevent states from making abortion illegal within their own borders.

Posted by: Michael Friedman on January 13, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK
Uh, please explain to me how, absent Roe v. Wade, a federal statute banning abortion isn't going to be held as consitutional.

Well, under the left's rather expansive interpretation of the Commerce Clause it might be. But not under the right's.

Consider the Drug Free Schools Act. The conservative justices held it unconstitutional because they couldn't see the relationship between interstate commerce and preventing drug sales within 1000 yards of a school.

regulation of abortion certainly comes under the Interstate Commerce clause. If we can ban and restrict the sale of drugs under federal statute, we can certainly ban abortions.

Drugs, by and large, are sold inter-state. The federal government could almost certainly ban the morning after pill and make it illegal to take a woman across state lines to get an abortion or to transfer money through the interstate banking system to pay for one but it is highly unlikely that it could ban an abortion transaction that is purely in state.

This is due to the Court's more reasonable reading of the interstate commerce clause. The earlier expansive reading was in response to FDR's threat to pack the Court when it invalidated statutes that did things like preventing farmers from growing corn on their own property from their own use outside of the framework of FDR's economic plan.

Posted by: Michael Friedman on January 13, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I do notice that the fundamentalist-dominated, often virulently anti-Catholic Right can't actually find anyone from their own background with the intellectual credibility to nominate successfully for the Court, so they always have to settle for the most conservative

Catholics they can find.

Cmdicely,

I have no idea who on the right is anti-catholic and I've been conservative for 30 years. The Catholics face anti-religious bias from the secularists on the left including morons like Ted Turner and others.

Five Catholics on the Supreme court is the result of preparation meeting opportunity. All of these justices are products of Cstholic school systems. Their prep schools are among the finest in the country. They have many hunderds of them across the country and they have permanent funding sources. You already know about the strength and wealth of the Catholic Colleges and Universities and Law schools.

I don't know if the next conservartive nominee will be Catholic but I know there will be 15 qualified catholic candidates.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

Alito answered more questions than the last 3 nominees. You can only stop a nomination for ideological reasons if you are in the majority. The worst part of these last two exercises isn't just that GWb added two conservatives BUT that the Democratic Senators have made ideology as issue. Even if Stevens and Ginsurg are able to hang on until 2009 and Hillary wins she will not be able to replace either with a liberal. It'll bea pieceof cake for the conservatives to filibuster. No matter what happens this court will continue to get more conservative.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK
You can only stop a nomination for ideological reasons if you are in the majority.

Er, why are the words "for ideological reasons" in the sentence? Inasmuch as it is true at all, this is true as a matter of procedure regardless of the reasons.

The worst part of these last two exercises isn't just that GWb added two conservatives BUT that the Democratic Senators have made ideology as issue.

Ideology has been an issue in Supreme Court nomination fights since no later than 1795. Its hardly something that the Democratic Party first made an issue under this President.

Even if Stevens and Ginsurg are able to hang on until 2009 and Hillary wins she will not be able to replace either with a liberal.

If Hillary is President, what makes you think she wouldn't have a Senate majority, too?

It'll bea pieceof cake for the conservatives to filibuster.

Didn't someone just say "You can only stop a nomination for ideological reasons if you are in the majority." Oh, yeah, that was you. Can't even stay consistent in one post, can you.

No matter what happens this court will continue to get more conservative.

Since your side's victory, as you tell us in every post, is inevitable no matter what happens, could you just go off somewhere and celebrate it, rather than boring us with your blather?

Posted by: cmdicely on January 13, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think the hearings hurt the Dems. They did to themselves. They just used the forum of the hearings to accomplish the feat. Robert Cohen said that the only thing that seperated Joe Biden for the Presidency was his mouth.

Teddy blustered his way trying to get access to private documents of another individual to support his view of CAP. Isn't that what the Dems are crying about Bush? He's trying to invade the privacy of individuals without a reasonable basis? Then when the author voluntarily gave access to the decades old ducuments, there wasn't a single word in them about the nominee.
Apparently the staffs didn't realize that the NY Times had been given the same documents 2 weeks before with the same results to their research.

There were several instances where different Dem Senators asked the same question. Why? Because they hadn't been listening.

There were other times when Senators reiterated reults of cases which did not match the actual verdicts. They were enhanced or changed to suit their question. Alito answered and corrected many more questions and statements than other previous nominees.

It's interesting to see previous posts refer to Alito in the manner of a Nazi or facist. Without reference to any of decisions as support.

Several of his decisions discussed were actually affirmed upon appeal to the SC. Some supported by O'Connor. Somehow, these facts failed to get mentioned.

What became evident was that the Dem Senators were upset because Alito would comment directly on Roe. No duh. He would be hearing cases on relevant cases in the future.

I think it was telling that all but Feinstein walked out for the majority of the time when co-justices fo Alilto were testifying. The fact that many of them were appointed by Dem presidents must have made their testimony even more difficult to listen to.

No, the hearings didn't hurt the Dems. It was the national exposure to their questioning and treatment of the nominee that showed people what their agenda is and how trivial their respect is for the process.

Posted by: meatss on January 13, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Michael Friedman wrote:

"If the American people want it to be unconstitutional to "shoot an eighth grader, known not to be armed, who was trying to climb over a fence in escape" then there is a process for them to follow to amend the Constitution. It is certainly not a judge's place to make that decision for them."

Posted by: Michael Friedman on January 13, 2006 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK


To claim that that whole quoted section would have to be made a constitutional amendment is to extend the idea of strict constructionism to an absurdity. And, perhaps that's where it belongs.

Since a SCOTUS justice interprets the Constitution then one should clearly be able to consider the Constitution and the situation you quote together.

The 5th Amendment states that "No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; ..."

Also, the 9th Amendment is often quoted as an indication of the limits of government: that "the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people".

The "due process" clause makes it clear there is a fundamental right to "life". The police officer took a life. The burden then shifts to the police officer and that city, municipality or state to show that "due process" occurred. I think clearly it did not. There was no judicial involvement and there was no life threatening situation which required the executive's agent (the police officer) to defend someone by killing the kid.

Sheesh, having to make such basic arguments is tiresome and ridiculous. Why do the Repubs always have to argue for such childish standards of thought and language?

Posted by: MarkH on January 13, 2006 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. That's the best you've got, Kevin. That being the case, say it with me, "Justice Alito".

Posted by: Chris on January 13, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

It is depressing to read this thread because the hysteria and "sky is falling" emoting is terribly off-putting. Few seem to understand what the intended basis is for denying the appointment of a SCOTUS justice, or if they do they suppress it in order to just spew. (Hint: it is something other than "we don't agree with this nominee's tendencies" -- especially when the guy is very highly respected as a jurist).

I live in the small city Midwest, among so-called "regular people" (for the most part). What I am hearing in my conversations is this: (a) The Democrats who appear on TV in these kinds of situations are incomprehensibly detached from reality and must have no concept of how foolish they seem. (b) Alito seems like a decent human being that you would be comfortable with re: thoughtfully and sincerely applying law and precedent and respecting the constitution and role of the courts (c) Those opposing Alito have virtually nothing worth asking about, so they don't ask (just talk), and when they do ask it is about things that a common-sense person doesn't care much about.

Now, if that doesn't fit your view of how the world should be, that's too bad. But as far as I can tell, that's how the world is. Continuing to scream and shout will make the world noisier, but it will not change it in any other way.

Just one other comment, then I will go away. America is a very short-sided kind of place; our sense of "urgency" comes from that, which is good, but it has a downside. That is: when we want something changed we do whatever is expedient to get that done. For quite some time, conservatives have had their shorts in an uproar because "liberals" used the courts to make law, sometimes seemingly usurping the legislative role. Now, liberals are terribly concerned that the conservatively-oriented SC will have the ability to "make law", and the right sees an opportunity. We Americans don't think very far ahead and when we open a door (in this case, judicial activism) and we tend not to think about the 500 pound gorilla that may wander in one day. Same thing with the role of the President in appointing SC justices. That's one of his/her jobs. If we take that wide-ranging authority away, by using all kinds of creative tactics and antics, it won't be there when someone we like is in the Oval Office.

Posted by: Terry Ott on January 13, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely

I don't expec to lose the senate because we have at least 31 red states and 55 incumbants. It's hard to defeat incumbants. Especially with the GOPs increasing skill at getting out the vote. I don't expect Hillary to win either.

You never told me which groups on the right are anti-catholic.

Posted by: rdw on January 13, 2006 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Well, to tell you the truth, I'm kind of fed up myself with people who talk about The Rule of Law, because they sound like fucking Good Germans (with Alito playing the role of Adolph Eichmann).

I suppose that if the law doesn't actually matter and judges should rule by the words of the fictional Portia, then Alito isn't such a good nominee. Perhaps when a Democrat is president we'll have a Supreme Court nominee who is an actress completely ignorant of the law. If the Rule of Law doesn't matter, then there isn't much point in debating the wording or studying the results.

For what it's worth, the people who worked with and for Alito testified that the characterization quoted by Kevin Drum ("small man") is inappropriate. but I guess that's what you'd expect his supporters to say.

Posted by: contentious on January 13, 2006 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

rdw,

I think you dropped your ass after cmdicely handed it to you. It might be on the floor next to your copies of PlayNut and Megalomaniacs Monthly.

If you've been a conservative for thirty years and don't know of any groups on the right that are anti-Catholic then you must have been living underground. From the followers of Jack Chick and Swaggert and Ankerberg to more recently the Pentacostals and the entire Southern Baptist convention among many, many others.

The biggest threat to the Catholic Church in America are Catholics themselves. They're showing that they're willing to defy the heirarchy at a moment's notice on issues doctrinal, pastoral, and administrative. Talking about American Catholics as a monolithic group when they've never been closer to a schism shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the dynamics of the institution.

Not that that's new for you.

Posted by: trex on January 13, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

I just came back from Iraq two months ago.

Some of you have been commenting on "Iraqi Freedom".

I would just like to point out, for the record, that the only thing one is free to do in Iraq is get blown up.

In Iraq, there is only liberation in death.

It's a disaster. Anyone who continues to argue otherwise is mentally compromised.

Posted by: tricky dick on January 13, 2006 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

tricky dick,

There is a thread about Iraq called "Civil War Watch." I think people would appreciate hearing about your observations and experiences there if you're up to talking about them.

Thanks.

Posted by: trex on January 13, 2006 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

A smart, decent, small man....

Kevin, you are really losing it this week. This "sounds about right"???? There is nothing either smart or decent about this guy. He's well educated, but hardly smart. He sounds like a complete weasel who'd do anything for self-promotion. Sure, it sounds like a lot of people, but this lot generally does not contend for the Supreme Court.

Decent? What do you mean by that? As a judge, he's on the short end of judicial decisions more often than not--probably more often than any other circuit judge in the country. The cons make a lot of hey out of the 9th Circuit being overturned more often than any other because it is so liberal. Alito is either overturned, when in the majority, or is already in a losing minority more often than any other judge in the country. Does that make him "supremely qualified"? There is no decency here.

And Schumer nailed his ass with the children of immigrants question--it's plainly obvious that Alito either does not know the Constitution or does not care for it, much like many of his Republican colleagues. What? Never heard of the Bill of Rights? Never heard of the Fourteenth Amendment? Aha! I believe that.

As for small, that is clear... Small intellectually, socially, and physically, not that the last one really matters. It's the first two that count.

Posted by: buck turgidson on January 14, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

trex,

The Southern baptist are the friends of the catholic church. There is no antimosity between them. There is also far more that brings thems together than separates them. Also the American Catholic Church has never moved in lockstep with Rome. It works out just fine.

The only foe to the Catholic Church in America are the secularists. I could pull a snarky comment from some well known Democrat toward people of faith every day. The faithful are actually fortunate to have them. They remind people why the church is important. It is this common ground which the Catholics and Southen baptist share, among others, which unites them in keeping America a Judeo-Christian nation.

France can no longer make that claim and it explains why Chirac in speeches now feels the need to tell Frenchmen to cheer up. They will almost definitely be an Islanic nation by 2050 while the USA will remains solidly Christian.

Posted by: rdw on January 14, 2006 at 5:19 AM | PERMALINK

It'll be a piece of cake for the conservatives to filibuster.

Didn't someone just say "You can only stop a nomination for ideological reasons if you are in the majority." Oh, yeah, that was you. Can't even stay consistent in one post, can you.

I should have been clearer and said Supreme Court nominee. It is technically possible for the minority to stop a Supreme court nominee on ideogogical gounds using a filibuster but so extremely difficult as to not be remotely practical. Alito is proudly and soldily conservative. He will not be filibustered despite the screeching from the entire Democratic base of special interest groups.

The posturing we now see to delay the vote for a week is testiment to the legislative weakness of Harry Reid. He was unable to mount any kind of serious defense in either the Roberts and Alito nominations and in fact the Democratic Senators were so inept even a camera hog like Joe Biden is crying "Uncle" in asking to end the entire process. They did the impossible in making Arlen Spector a hero to conservatives and then doing the impossible again in restoring Lindsay Graham. Will anyone forget the image of Arlen telling Teddy to cram it up his ass? How about Mrs. Alito?

The week delay is purely a sop to the secularist left so bitter after the Roberts lovefest, and so politically incompetent, they are demanding a fight no matter how counter-productive it may be. Harry feels a desperate need to keep them 'happy' knowing two things:

1) This appointment will make a difference and this Senate will forever feel the venum from the radicals for allowing it to happen on this watch.

2) The 'fight' has gone far worse than they could have expected and will cost them politially long term. The extra week can only keep attention focused on their ineptitude and make the political even worse.

The two most enduring images of the entire proceeding, Mrs. Alito & Arlen, will be replayed again and again and again. Still, Harry is so desperate to say, "see, I'm doing something" he'll make this deal now and suffer the consequences later.

The Kennedy hysterics look even worse in hindsight. The slimming of CAP was as stupid as it was baseless. Kennedy making a big deal out of those CAP papers stored in the Library of Congres was bonehead stupid. The NYTs had already been through them and reported Alito's name was not to be found. The simple ass is rambling on about supoenas when the papers are in the friggin library for everyone to see.

This is actually a watershed moment for conservatives. They have nominated an authentic and proudly conservative judge willing to defend his conservative positions and neither the Senate nor the press could touch him. The court is now more conservative than it's been in over 50 years. You can bet that if Ginsburg or Stevens leaves their replacement will be conservative.

Posted by: rdw on January 14, 2006 at 5:55 AM | PERMALINK

The National Review campaigned for Bill Toomey over Arlen Spector in the 2004 elections because they did not want him to become the chair of the Judiciary committee. The Senate Democrats were so inept the entire NRO staff is praising Spector now. This is only one example.

Congratulations, Chairman Specter
[Ed Whelan 01/13 03:52 PM]
Senator Specter deserves great credit for the fair and efficient way that he handled both the Alito hearing and the Roberts hearing and for his deep appreciation and effective defense of two outstanding nominees.

Posted by: rdw on January 14, 2006 at 6:01 AM | PERMALINK

Michael F:

Just to clarify some small msitakes in your last post. The Court struck down the Gun free School Zone Act, it was guns not drugs. That was lopez. The broader past application you mention was the Wickard case where the guy kept some of the wheat he grew in the face of a Federal act intended to raise Wheat prices.

That is actually still good law, and was heavily relied on in the Marijuana case (Raich). I Agree with Lopez (the guns) and the VAWA case, and I think Wickard was the right decision.

Posted by: Nick T. on January 14, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

From Andrew Sullivan

THE CAP SMEAR: I have to say that Senator Kennedy's attempt to smear Samuel Alito with an article in a magazine he never even read, an article that was apparently meant as satire, was about as low as it gets. It was a smear. In some ways, it was a symbol of how some Democrats think of people like the Alitos, people with obviously conservative leanings, but also the kind of people who would never engage in the basest of ethnic or sexual slurs. Kennedy hurt himself more than anyone. But it was disgusting nonetheless - not that, after Kennedy's performances in other hearings, it was particularly surprising. I'm not a Kennedy-hater. He's done some good things in the Senate, and I'm close to members of his family. But this tactic was crude, inappropriate in a judicial hearing, and completely counter-productive. It reminded me again why, for all my alarm at what has happened to Republicanism, the left is always there to remind me why I couldn't ever be a Democrat. I don't think I'm the only one.

Posted by: rdw on January 14, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Alito follows the law and the Constitution, Kevin Drum wants Alito to bend the rules to obtain certain 'outcomes.'

Gimme a break!

Posted by: GOPGregory on January 14, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Nick,

If Wickard was right then what possible application of Congress's powers is not allowed under the Commerce Clause?

In actual fact, although Wickard has not been overruled the Supreme Court has definitely been applying the Commerce Clause more restrictively since then.

Posted by: Michael Friedman on January 14, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Alito has proven himself to be a liar. IMO, thatis a disqualifier for SCrOTUS.

I'm a fed in acquisition. If I was involved in some conflict of interest or appearance thereof, I'd be sacked. But Alito swore under oath to recuse himself from cases involving his money managers. Then he didn't. So he's qualified for SCrOTUS!??!?!

BTW, interesting to bring up (totally irrelevant) Teddy's misadventure in Chappaquiddick. Any comments wrt shrubco's driving record? Howzabout Pickles' driving?

Posted by: bob on January 14, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Ted Kennedy, Above Politics

Now, this is just precious: Ted Kennedy complaining in today's New York Times that the judicial confirmation has become too political! Mr. Kennedy said the nomination process, and particularly the hearings, had "turned into a political campaign," and that the White House had proved increasingly skilled in turning that to its advantage.

"These issues are so sophisticated - half the Senate didn't know what the unitary presidency was, let alone the people of Boston," he said, referring to one of the legal theories that was a major focus of the hearings. "I'm sure we could have done better."

"But what has happened is that this has turned into a political campaign," he said. "The whole process has become so politicized that I think the American people walk away more confused about the way these people stand."

Well Teddy it's not like you could have done any worse.


Bob,

The point of Teddy's past is to highlight the lunacy of having a pig like Teddy comment on anyones integrity. The man is morally repugnant. 60% of American people find him repulsive. You just had to know why Alito went out of his way to describe his 1st impression of his classmates at Princeton as being rich, irresponsible and repulsive.

If your party wants to trash a Supreme Court candidate use someone with credibility.

Posted by: rdw on January 14, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

I don't have a political party.

60% - hmmm, a similar proportion wants bush gone.

morally repugnant - fits so many people on both ends of Pennsylvania Ave.

And who were the credible folks who trashed Harriet "bush is God" Miers nomination?

So lying to get a judgeship is OK? I mourn for my country. It will only remain as memories for fogies.

Posted by: bob on January 14, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

From the Daily News:

For every 100 babies born in New York City, women had 74 abortions in 2004, according to newly released figures that reaffirm the city as the abortion capital of the country.
And abortions for out-of-town women performed in the city increased from 57 to 70 out of every 1,000 between 1996 and 2004, a subtle yet noticeable trend that experts say may reflect growing hurdles against the procedure in more conservative parts of the country.

The new Vital Statistics report released by the city Department of Health this month shows there were 124,100 live births, 11,700 spontaneous abortions and 91,700 induced abortions in the city in 2004


There can be little question secularists are breeding themselves out of existance.

Posted by: rdw on January 15, 2006 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

bob,

Mourn away. You may not have a party but you have a clear ideology and you are the classic liberal elitists.

morally repugnant - fits so many people on both ends of Pennsylvania Ave.

Teddy is in a class by himself. Ask MaryJo's family.

And who were the credible folks who trashed Harriet "bush is God" Miers nomination?

They're called Conservatives. That was pretty slick wasn't it? Georgie got the message didn't he?

These hearings will be remembered for many things just as the Thomas and Bork hearings are remembered. You can bet conservatives are salivatng over the prospect of Stevens or Ginsburg while even the athiests on the other side are praying they can hand on. We can at least agree this Democratic Judiciary committee is a disaster and there's nothing you can do to fix it. Biden, Kennedy and Schumer will never leave and are not capable of change.

Not in a millions years did I ever think Conservatives would look on at Arlen Spector and Lindsay Graham fondly. They came out as stars.

Posted by: rdw on January 15, 2006 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

Washington Post: "Confirm Samuel Alito"

The Washington Post's editorial to be published in Sunday's paper is a model of how responsible and intelligent liberals should treat Judge Alito's nomination. I obviously don't find Alito's record "troubling" in the areas that the Washington Post does, but its views are well within the range of fair commentary and flow naturally from its more liberal judicial philosophy and political outlook.

Here's a key excerpt, which provides (implicitly, to be sure) a resounding repudiation of Teddy Kennedy and company:

"Judge Alito is superbly qualified. His record on the bench is that of a thoughtful conservative, not a raging ideologue. He pays careful attention to the record and doesn't reach for the political outcomes he desires. His colleagues of all stripes speak highly of him. His integrity, notwithstanding efforts to smear him, remains unimpeached."

Is It a Cold Day in Hell?

From the Washington Post: " No president should be denied the prerogative of putting a person as qualified as Judge Alito on the Supreme Court."

Gee Bob, The Washington Post doesn't seem to be doing any mourning. Think maybe you and your buddies have gone off the deep end here? It's amazing to read all of the posts on the Alito threads and see just how whacked out the left can be.

Posted by: rdw on January 15, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

The End

Poor Jacques. A 21% approval rating.

I wonder if he and Gerhard can go into business together.

Martin, Schroeder, Chirac

Posted by: rdw on January 15, 2006 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Mark Steyn nails it.

During the Roberts hearings, I compared the Senate Democrats to Lord Cardigan's poor doomed dragoons facing the Russian guns in Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade":

"Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do & die . . ."

The poor fellows had no choice but to sacrifice themselves on national TV at the behest of NOW and Daily Kos and the kookier parts of the base. It was said of the British Tommies in the trenches of the Great War that they were lions led by donkeys. In the Democratic Party, the old lions are now led by the grassroots donkeys, and, like some moth-eaten circus act, Ted and Pat Leahy and Dianne Feinstein are obliged to jump through ever more ludicrous hoops for the gratification of the base.


Bob, He's talking about you.

Posted by: rdw on January 15, 2006 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Can't you guys even consider a question? Why is a liar like Alito qualified? He ditched his recusal promise while censoring other judges for "appearance of conflict of interest". Where's the integrity?

Here's some more:

Why is Bush NOT an elitist? Look where he really grew up and went to school. How is he not an elitist? Does the phony Texas accent fool you? Do his phony speeches inspire you? Check into the facts - he's more of a blowhard than Lewinski ever was.

Can you really believe that Bushie is a christer? Check his actions. Sanctity of human life - unless you are born. Turn the other cheek - I think not. He's playing you all for suckers, twisting your emotions, laughing all the way to the bank.

How is the current administration conservative? Government spending and deficits have skyrocketed, any way you slice it. Government intrusion into privacy are unprecedented. Where is the conservatism in wildly unbalanced budgets? Where is the conservatism in an unprovoked war on a tinpot bastard dictator? If that's conservatism, we have a shitload of wars to wage, many of them on our "allies".

BTW, the dems aren't jumping through new hoops, they are trying the same weak-ass namby-pamby approach that has failed so well in the past. They are disappointing the so-called base, showing themselves to be sacless panderers. That fact does not remove the irrelevancy of Chappaquidick to Senat confirmation hearings. If it did, how could shrubco object to drug abuse - his "youthful indiscretions" currently get copycats thrown in prison.

Plenty of corruption for all - any national politician is already a whore. Lucky for the right they all have the same pimps.

Posted by: bob on January 15, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for lumping me with the "liberal elitists". You don't know my hair color, but you know all about my mind. Amazing powers you have.

FYI, I voted for Reagan, Bush I and McCain, I vote for John Warner as one of my state Senators.

Corruption is not related to party affiliation or ideology.

Posted by: bob on January 15, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

No one could be making the various comments you've made and not be a liberal elitists. The stereotype of racist catholics is the quintessential liberal smear. 98% of the time the person maknig the racist charges is a holier-than-thou lib.

Elitism isn't a position of birth or something that comes from a large bank account. It's a state of mind. The entire Bush family is far from elitist. George W, unlike Howard and John and Teddy, went to public elementary schools in Texas.

Your moronic rantings calling Alito a liar are pricisely why the hearings this week were such a disaster for the Democratic Party. Like the term racist it's been so overused by liberals it's lost its meaning. Everyone is a liar. It's also the obvious confirmation of elitism. I only watched a bit of Fox this AM but it was good to see Bill Krystol so happy. Getting so conservative a Judge apponited so easily it a major turning point. There's little question if GWB gets another shot he'll appoint another strong conservative and the Senate Democrats won't be able to stop him.

There are at least 10 more very solid conservatives on the appelate courts with similarily sterling reputations. While it's absolutely true GWB has been a major disappointment regarding spending he's been outstanding on Judicial appointments far exceeding Reagan and Nixon. And he's got 3 more years.

Posted by: rdw on January 15, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

take note of the power of the alternative media. Two decades ago the smear of Alito as a liar and racist may have worked. We have a brave new world. Normal people paying attention know Judge Alito actued horourably in the Vanguard decision. If they didn't know the actual facts they know the ABA and others addressed the issue specifically and gsve him 4 stars.

If they were paying attention even a little bit they know the CAP issue was a joke. They also now know Teddy has a real issue in this regard. ABC would never report how much time those preening assholes spent talking. We all know and too bad for Biden his Presidential run is over. ABC would not have shown the Arlen and Tedd show. They would not have shown Mrs Alito crying or would have blamed it on Graham as the AP and others did.

ABC would not have had Lindsay Graham lead the Sunday morning show as Fox did, This is 2006. We have both the Washington Post AND philly Inquirer endorsing him. There is ZERO chance for a filibuster and this very conservative justice will get at least 60 votes.

My own preference is he gets 51. If we have President Hillary I want her to know if she nominates a liberal they can't get more than 45 votes.

Posted by: rdw on January 15, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I see. You think there's only one bob in the world. I should have guessed. News for you, there are at least 2 bobs on the internets. I'm the one that never wrote anything about catlicks.

And lying is lying. Check into Alito and Vanguard. A lie is a lie. And APPEARANCE of conflict of interest is important - check into Alito's rulings about it.

How is not recusing himself after testifying under oath that he would, maintaining integrity?
RDW "Like the term racist it's been so overused by liberals it's lost its meaning. Everyone is a liar. It's also the obvious confirmation of elitism."

Looks to me you just made yourself a liberal elitist.

All you guys, both sides, act like this is all a game. It isn't. We are loosing our country to a different fascism. Instead of the traditional fascism where state controls industry, industry controls the state. All politicos have been bought by business, and now business has more rights than persons. "We the people" my ass.

Posted by: bob on January 15, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

Sorry kiddo, Samuel did NOT lie about VANGUARD. The ABA loooked at it and said he acted totally ethically. The received their Gold Star rating.

It was actually bizzare to even bring it up. Anyone who understands Vanguard and mutual finds understands there was absolutelty not shot at financial gain in ay event. The entire episode was goofy.

Posted by: rdw on January 15, 2006 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

He didn't lie about Vanguard, he lied about recusal. Sure, he acted ethically, but he chastised others for appearance of conflict of interest.

Anyway, it's not like it matters. Dear Leader will soon enough "suspend" the Constitution, which essentially eliminates the United States, certainly any rights we thought we could keep the gummint off of.

see you around the gulag

Posted by: bob on January 16, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

Bob,

He lied but he acted ethically?

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

Sure, any of us can do it.

What Alito lied about was what he would do if a case involving Vanguard came before him. He said he'd recuse himself. He did not recuse himself. That was the lie.

His consideration of the case appears not to have been influenced by that conflict. That would be ethical conduct.

It's like if you are an umpire for little league. You say "I won't ump my own kid's games". Then you do. Now, you called the game totally unbiased, even though you want your kid's team to win.

The lie was when you called the game despite saying you wouldn't. The ethical part was that you showed no favoritism. Luckily, nobody has their life riding on LL games, and it's not a lifetime appointment. Too bad about SCrOTUS, though.

Posted by: bob on January 16, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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