January 11, 2006

I Love This Graphic

Dem Senators.jpg

Drudge has it above the headline "Unstoppable?". It really illustrates the frustration of the Democrat Senators. The talking points and questions provided to them by PFAW, NARAL and other Left-wing interest groups are being casually batted away by Alito like so many annoying mosquitos.

Heh.

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January 10, 2006

Alito Hearings

Based on Captain Ed's observations, this is looking a lot like John Roberts: Part Deux.

BullDogPundit looks at yesterday's performance, and concludes that the Dems have a losing hand:

There's a saying trial lawyers have that goes something like this: "If you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. If you have the law on your side argue the law. If you haven neither, try to baffle them with bulls*it". Well, it seems pretty clear that since the Dems have neither of the first two on their side in the Alito hearings, they're opting for the latter.
John O'Sullivan's take on day one: "Is that all you got?" (I'm paraphrasing, of course).

Certainly overconfidence wouldn't be prudent. But as Dan Balz writes in the WaPo this morning, while activists are riveted the average Joe isn't paying any attention anyway.

LiveBlogging of the hearings here and here.

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January 09, 2006

Today's Session Of The Judicial Hearing Ends

With a statement from Judge Samuel Alito:

A judge can’t have any agenda, a judge can’t have any preferred outcome in any particular case and a judge certainly doesn’t have a client.

The judge’s only obligation — and it’s a solemn obligation — is to the rule of law. And what that means is that in every single case, the judge has to do what the law requires.

In other words, rulings should be based on the law and the merits of the case. Not based on whether or not you sympathize with either side, not based on what you think the law should be and certainly not based on how you interpret the way society has "evolved" since the days of the founding fathers or the way other countries handle the issue.

Defining "constitutional" is simple. You ask the question, "Is it in the Constitution?" You don't ask "Is it in the Constitution's subtext?" or "Can you find it in the Constitution if you read between the lines?".

A Justice Alito will ask the first question and stop there. Which is why we need him on the Court.

Q&A starts tomorrow morning. 9am.

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Live Blogging Of The Hearings

Over at SCOTUSBlog.com. Good stuff.

See also Michelle Malkin.

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The Forces Of Mordor Are Ready For Their Attack

Character assassination Alito hearings scheduled to begin this morning at 11:30am. C-SPAN will provide live coverage.

The President is taking the high road. Is his team prepared? We shall see.

UPDATE: 12:15pm - the next three hours will be the opening statements of the committee members, ten minutes each. 100 minutes will be the Republicans and 80 minutes will be the opening salvos from the likes of Chucky Schumer, Teddy Kennedy, Joe Biden and Pat "Leaky" Leahy. Expect Arlen Spector and maybe even Mike DeWine on the GOP side to be low-key in their support, saying they're taking a "wait and see" posture.

But the tone of the Democrat statements will lay the foundation for the smear campaign that will hit the airwaves this week.

If I can find a site that has a good round-up of "notable quotes", I'll be sure to link it.

UPDATE II: Excellent song parody about the Democrat Committee members and their puppet-masters on the Left (to the tune of "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music. Check it out here.

Thanks to NRO's "Bench Memos" for the heads-up.

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January 08, 2006

Further Confirmation That Alito Is The Best Choice

The Boston Globe calls him the "worst choice".

The GOP is preparing for the smear campaign that launched this morning on the Sunday shows. Follow the Human Events site, AlitoBlog.com for the latest.

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January 05, 2006

VT Judge Stricken With Pathological Liberalism

In a demonstration of how the bleeding heart can eventually draw blood (and by extension, oxygen) from the brain, a Vermont Judge gave a child rapist a 60-day sentence because he "no longer believes in punishment and is more concerned with rehabilitation".

Prosecutors argued that confessed child-rapist Mark Hulett, 34, of Williston deserved at least eight years behind bars for repeatedly raping a littler girl countless times starting when she was seven.

But Judge Edward Cashman disagreed explaining that he no longer believes that punishment works.

"The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn't solve anything. It just corrodes your soul," said Judge Edward Cashman speaking to a packed Burlington courtroom. Most of the on-lookers were related to a young girl who was repeatedly raped by Mark Hulett who was in court to be sentenced.

The sex abuse started when the girl was seven and ended when she was ten.

The only soul that has been corroded here belongs to this first-rate son of a bitch judge - and it was touchy-feely, criminal-coddling Liberalism that did it. Apparently, when he first got on the bench some twenty-five years ago, he handed out stiff sentences. But now his attitudes have changed. So he lets this monster off with just a slap on the wrist. Because he doesn't believe in punishment?
"I discovered it accomplishes nothing of value;it doesn't make anything better;it costs us a lot of money; we create a lot of expectation, and we feed on anger,"Cashman explained to the people in the court.
Um, yeah. When you punish a scumbag like this it sets a very clear expectation: when you commit brutal and heinous crimes against children, we're going to lock you up in a place where you'll get to see what it's like to be victimized - by your fellow inmates.

The recidivism rate for sex offenders pretty much guarantees that - thanks to this "soft-hearted" prick - some other poor kid is going to suffer the same fate as this little girl. What will he sentence him to then? Ninety days?

It wouldn't shock me if they were to discover that this judge was succumbing to dementia. Liberalism can do that to you as well.

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November 03, 2005

All I Want For Christmas Is...

...a Filibuster!

What? Oh yes, if Harry Reid's moonbat-appeasing stunt earlier this week is any indication of how desperate Democrats are, they may indeed try and filibuster Samuel Alito. So why is this a good thing?

Because two members of the "gang of 14", OH Senator Mike DeWine and SC Senator Lindsey Graham have already gone on record that if Alito is filibustered they will vote in favor of changing the Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster in the case of judicial nominations. These two defections ensure that any filibuster of this nominee will result in 50 votes (plus Cheney's tie-breaker) for the Constitutional Option, which would drive a stake into the heart of Democrat obstruction. They'll be stripped of the one weapon they still have.

The only other factor is if Frist has the cojones to call for the motion. Based on his comments after Reid screwed him over with the lockdown, you can bet the good doctor will is itching for some payback. It's gotten personal.

I figure we won't have hearings until after Thanksgiving. Alito will be approved in committee quickly and passed on to the full Senate before the holiday break (Republicans control the body so the Senate won't adjourn until this is resolved). If Reid and company are pressured enough by the KosKids to go for the filibuster...game, set, match!

And to Dems, I would quote Willy Wonka: "You get NOTHING. You LOSE. Good DAY, sir!"

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October 31, 2005

Thank You, Mr. President

I always thought Sam Alito would be a good pick but as I read through everything written about him, the more LOVE his pick. And the icing on the cake is the reax on the Left. Their heads are exploding!!!

Decision '08 has a list of the top ten posts at Daily Kos. Very amusing to see them losing it.

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The Confirm Alito Coalition

Well, there are a lot of choices that would have been just as good, but very few that would have been better. Samuel Alito is an excellent pick that will so unite Republicans that it'll be like like the last four weeks never happened.

Frankly, I'm tickled over it.

And I'm signing up for the "Confirm Alito Coalition" over at Blogs For Bush!

alito_200.jpg

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Trick Or Treat?

Hah! Major treat for Conservatives! The word is that the President Bush is naming Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court! Formal announcement to come at 8:00am.

Erick at RedState.org called it yesterday (actually he's been talking about it since Friday). What's even better, he points out that there are 19 Democrat Senators currently still in office that voted in favor of Alito for his elevation to the Circuit Court in 1990. Can't wait to hear the squirming from the likes of Senators Kennedy, Biden and Leahy who thought he was just fine fifteen years ago. Heh.

The verdict from Democrats and Liberal interest groups will definitely be: Scary!!

Happy Halloween!! This should be fun.

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October 28, 2005

A Let-Down For Libs

There aren't too many details at this time. But it looks like one idictment for Scooter Libby, with five counts: obstuction of justice, perjury (2), making false statements (2). None of the indictments relate to an "outing" of a CIA operative. It appears neither Libby nor anyone else in the administration was deemed to have "outed" Valerie Plame. Did anyone, technically speaking? Who knows? We certainly don't know who Robert Novak's source it yet.

The indictments have to do with the investigation. And while we don't have Libby's side of the story, Fitzpatrick deemed that the answers he gave had the appearance of being intentionally misleading. Libby has officially resigned and no doubt will have his day in court.

Legally, I can't really comment on the indictments as I don't speak legalese. I need to look at the analysis of others. There are still a lot of unanswered questions here.

Politically, while this isn't a great outcome for the administration it's basically a big goose-egg for the Democrats and others on the left when compared to the hopes and dreams they had of perp walks, handcuffs, jackets over the head...and oh yes Karl Rove.

The fact is, if you were to ask your co-workers who Scooter Libby is, very few would know. In fact, I guaranty at least one of them would answer: the orange muppet with the google-eyed glasses. Hell, most people don't even know who Karl Rove is but they may have at least heard the name before.

Anyway, we need to wait and see how this plays out to accurately gage the fallout but if I was a Rove-hating Liberal today, I'd be pretty disappointed.

UPDATE: 2:55pm
Listened to the press conference. Here's my take-away:
1) Neither Libby nor Rove nor anyone else knowingly or intentionally "outed" Valerie Plame.
2) Someone's statements or actions did lead to Plame being "outed". Exactly who that person is has not been revealed and that person is not being charged with any crime
3) Prior to Libby's testimony, there was no crime committed. Libby committed a "crime" by saying he first learned of Plame's investigation on a certain date and they have testimony that he in fact knew and said so prior to that. It's this false testimony that "obstructed" the investigation and that is a crime under the rules of a grand jury investigation.

So the ideas that 1) the revelation of Plame's identity was something the White House did to "get back" at Joe Wilson and 2) that this can be extrapolated to a scenario that the whole WMD charge was fabricated by the White House as a justification to got to war in Iraq are completely out the window.

More analysis as this percolates.

UPDATE II: 3:55pm
One thing that I can't quite figure out. By "outing" a CIA operative, you're not saying they worked for the CIA, you're revealing that they were operating "covertly" for the CIA. Near as I can tell, Libby (or any one else, including the reporters) never said or is reported to have said that Plame was a "covert" agent. When asked by a reporter at the presser, Fitzgerald would not say whether or not Plame was, in fact, classified as a "covert" agent.

So was she really, then? I'll have to do some searching around about that.

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October 27, 2005

Preferred SCOTUS Nominee Quiz (Updated!)

I took this quiz on September 29th (almost exactly one month ago) and I got Karen Williams back then, too. I wanted to take it again to see if my answers were any different after the whole Miers mess. Strangely enough, I thought they were when I answered them.

JUDGE KAREN WILLIAMS
JUDGE KAREN WILLIAMS
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, appointed by
G.H.W. Bush, 54 years old
Lots of recent buzz for Judge Williams, known best
in constitutional law circles for writing the
opinion that said the Miranda warnings are not
constitutional requirements. The Supreme Court
reversed her. If you can't beat em, join em!


New World Man presents: My favorite candidate for the Supreme Court
brought to you by Quizilla

Note: There are sixteen possible results (you have to take the quiz here in order to view them). Thus far Priscilla Owens leads with 26%, Karen Williams is second with 19% and Edith Jones is third with 18%. Harriet Miers is one of the sixteen - with 0% (17 votes).

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Miers Withdraws

Whew. Less than twenty-four hours after my post officially opposing this nomination, Harriet Miers apparently was convinced enough by my persuasive arguments to withdraw her nomination. Seriously, though. It doesn't come a moment too soon.

Michelle Malkin's feelings echo mine (and probably most of the blogosphere):

What a relief. Sad, pensive, what-a-waste relief. Not happy-joy-joy relief.
There will be those on the Right who will be more than relieved. They'll be gloating. Cut that shit out right now! It's time to unite again for a new nominee.

I'm sure the President is angry right now. I hope he takes some time to cool off. This is no time to be playing games by throwing in Alberto Gonzales' name. He needs to pick a tried and true Conservative, originalist, strict constructionist nominee who will make mincemeat out of their opposition. Man, woman, white, black, hispanic...whatever. If the pick is any one that was on the wishboards prior to him picking Miers, Republicans will come together and fight hard. They need to, because so will the Democrats.

I predict that this time next month, Liberals will be kicking themselves that they didn't get Miers.

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October 26, 2005

Uncle!

Color me thoroughly pissed off at this point on the Miers confirmation. I have been a staunch supporter of waiting for hearings before taking a formal position on her nomination. It has been over three weeks since the President made the announcement. I've gone from bewilderment to concern to dismay to digust. I've even tried to come up with rationalizations about things we don't know that would mitigate all the uncertainty.

Back on the 14th I believed that a withdrawal would be an unmitigated disaster. Since then it has become an even bigger disaster. During that time we've become familiar with things that Harriet Miers has written, statements she has made, organizations to which she has belonged and scrutinized everything she has done over the last twenty years or so. Senators who have interviewed her (including some of the President's biggest supporters) are thus far unimpressed.

I would only support this nomination if I can be assured that Miers is a solid pick. Considering what we know at this point, I can't imagine what kind of answers to even the most intelligent and fair questions that she could give at a judiciary hearing that would convince me to support her. I'm sure she's a swell gal and Bush trusts her as much as anyone. But that's not enough.

My sentiments echo those of Edward Whelen today in NRO's The Corner:

I have tried hard to give the White House and Harriet Miers the benefit of the doubt on her nomination and to withhold judgment. But I can no longer do so. The damage from this disastrous selection has gotten worse and worse every day, and there is every reason to think that it will continue to compound.
Mr. President, please swallow your pride and withdraw her name. This needs to end now.

Though I've resisted thus far, I will go on record over at N.Z. Bear.

I oppose the Miers nomination.

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October 21, 2005

Another Miers Post: Sorry, I Couldn't Resist

Back on Monday, I posted a whacky theory on this nomination. Today, Jonah Goldberg posts a snippet of an email he received:

I can’t believe everybody is missing the real story here. Bush doesn’t want Harriett Miers on the Supreme Court – he wants McConnell or Luttig. But he knew that, after Roberts, he couldn’t just send up another white guy, especially for O’Connor’s seat. So he sends up an obviously unqualified woman, knowing that she’ll generate intense opposition from both sides. And here’s where the subtlety kicks in – because her lack of qualifications are so apparent, he knows that the attack against her will be something like, “This is THE SUPREME COURT we’re talking about!!! Quality is what matters! Look at Roberts, he could recite from memory every constitutional case since Marbury v. Madison, and has probably written law review articles about the friggin’ THIRD amendment. How can we settle for anyone less?” So after Miers is forced to withdraw or voted down, Bush comes back with McConnell or Luttig, and says, “OK, you convinced me. I tried the quota thing, but you said it was too important. So I’ve decided just to go with the most qualified person out there.” And for good measure, he might throw in something like, “I’d like to thank my good buddies Chuck Schumer and Pat Leahy for pointing out my error. I couldn’t have done it without you fellas.”

Geez, the man is brilliant.

So it seems I'm not the only lunatic who's considered something like this. Ah, if only.

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Miers Nomination Going Down Like Monica Lewinsky

Sigh. Well, I was hoping for the best - some pleasant surprise, some information that those outside the White House weren't privy too, maybe even just a performance at the hearings that showed a solid, if unspectacular, nominee. As I said, I was hoping. But with every passing day, this nomination is looking more and more like a collossal blunder.

Yeah, I'm going to get a lot of "we told you so"s. But I'd rather come to my own conclusions based on as much information as possible. And the President must shoulder the blame for this fiasco. One day someone (perhaps several folks) will write a book and we'll get a first hand look into how this turned out so badly. But for now, it looks like the White House is standing its ground and we'll have to ride this one out. Unfortunately, it'll probably only get worse.

Byron York writes in NRO about what people close to the process are saying, and the mood right now is pretty pessimistic.

"It's been a gradual descent into almost silence," says a second source of the calls. "The meetings with the senators are going terribly. On a scale of one to 100, they are in negative territory. The thought now is that they have to end....Obviously the smart thing to do would be to withdraw the nomination and have a do-over as soon as possible. But the White House is so irrational that who knows? As of this morning, there is a sort of pig-headed resolve to press forward, cancel the meetings with senators if necessary, and bone up for the hearings."
It's a shame, really. However, now is not the time to keep piling on. The media are having too much fun with this and we don't need to be giving them more grist for the mill.

If the White House is going to move forward, then it's up to the Senators - on both sides of the aisle - to come to their own conclusions. Personally I don't see Miers' nomination surviving out of committee.

So unless something significant happens between now and then, I for one am going to step back and withhold comment. I think this process will be less painful if others do the same.

Update: 10:08am
Krauthammer sees a "face-saving" way out of this mess.

We need an exit strategy from this debacle. I have it.

Sen. Lindsey Graham has been a staunch and public supporter of this nominee. Yet on Wednesday he joined Brownback in demanding privileged documents from Miers's White House tenure.

Finally, a way out: irreconcilable differences over documents.

For a nominee who, unlike John Roberts, has practically no record on constitutional issues, such documentation is essential for the Senate to judge her thinking and legal acumen. But there is no way that any president would release this kind of information -- "policy documents" and "legal analysis" -- from such a close confidante. It would forever undermine the ability of any president to get unguarded advice.

That creates a classic conflict, not of personality, not of competence, not of ideology, but of simple constitutional prerogatives: The Senate cannot confirm her unless it has this information. And the White House cannot allow release of this information lest it jeopardize executive privilege.

Hence the perfectly honorable way to solve the conundrum: Miers withdraws out of respect for both the Senate and the executive's prerogatives, the Senate expresses appreciation for this gracious acknowledgment of its needs and responsibilities, and the White House accepts her decision with the deepest regret and with gratitude for Miers's putting preservation of executive prerogative above personal ambition.

Could it be that simple?

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October 17, 2005

Crazy Miers Theory #642...

Here's another whacky idea. Let's say the White House planned everything that's happened to date on the Harriet Miers nomination. To accept this premise you have to believe that Bush nominated a candidate that he knew most Conservatives would find unacceptable despite personally attesting to the fact that she is a "conservative" and personally against cases like Roe. John Hinderaker of Powerline points out that this last bit of information will unify Democrat opposition to her.

Stay with me here... more...

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Preserving The Constitution Is The Real Goal

A lot of people in the media are framing the Miers debate is terms of Pro-Life forces versus Pro-Choice forces, mostly because the abortion issue has become one of the most contentious between Conservatives and Liberals. But the bigger picture here is the circumstances that led to Roe v. Wade, which goes beyond the issue itself. more...

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October 14, 2005

Some Conservatives Calling For Miers Withdrawal

An article in the Wash Times quote several prominent Conservatives in both Washington and among the punditry who are now emboldened enough to call for President Bush to rescind Harriet Miers nomination. While I will admit that if Miers withdrew her own name, the political firestorm would be quelled somewhat and her critics perhaps satisfied, for the President to pull the nomination would be an unmitigated disaster.

1) The media would paint the President - and by extension, the Republican party - as beholden to a fringe, extreme Right-Wing element who "pulls the strings" of the GOP. This impression will take root with the great numbers of voters who really aren't paying all that much attention to this matter. It will only serve to reinforce a stereotype of the Republican party that the Left and their media enablers will use to their advantage in 2006 and 2008, by scaring off moderate/independent voters.

2) The Democrats would interpret this move as a sign of weakness on Bush's part and be emboldened to ratchet up the "borking" of any replacement nominee, no matter who it is. The bloody battle that the President may have been trying to avoid would only be intensified. If Bush has damaged the relationship with his own base, why should Democrats not kick him when he's down?

3) It's just not right. Miers deserves a hearing even if it already seems like there is nothing she could say to undo the damage done by the attacks on her, compounded by the White House's lame defense of her. Conservatives rail at Liberals for treating Republican nominees unfairly. How can they be equally unfair without being hypocritical?

In the article, Leonard Leo reminds us of the lack of leadership and conviction demonstrated by the GOP-controlled Senate last May:

"I find it highly ironic that many of the same conservatives criticizing the president's nominee were nowhere to be found when it came time to pull the trigger on filibuster reform," said Mr. Leo, adding that he wholeheartedly supports the Miers nomination. "If I'm the president, I wouldn't have a high level of confidence that my boys in the Senate can get the job done."
Rather than dodge the controversy by encouraging the President to kill the nomination now, I challenge the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to give Miers her chance to make her case. If she fails, they are free to vote "no" and Bush will send another nomination. But considering the shenanigans that resulted in their failure to pass filibuster reform, why should they be let off the hook on this one? It's time they showed some leadership and courage to meet their responsibilities. Bush did his job, they have a nominee. Now they need to do theirs.

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