Democrats & Liberals Archives

Corruption of "Advise and Consent"

Samuel Alito was questioned by Senators for 18 hours and he answered every question but committed himself to nothing. Republicans tout this as a sign of legal genius and as one more reason to confirm Alito. I believe that Alito’s outrageous performance shows contempt for the Senate. He and the Republicans who tutored him in the “speak-and-say-nothing” method of winning confirmation have made a mockery of the “advise and consent” process for judicial nominations. They have corrupted the confirmation process just as they have corrupted the legislation process.

Republicans cited Alito's legal knowledge, mind and temperament as reasons for his confirmation. All these were on display at the hearings. He showed that he could answer every question calmly, bore us with the details of the issues at length, and not provide us with even a hint of his judicial philosophy. He is an excellent lawyer, who can talk, talk, talk until he wins his case.

Republicans cited Alito's integrity. What integrity? He swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Then he proceeded to give evasive answers to hundreds of questions. He was asked about abortion over and over again. Though he has said before that he was against Roe v. Wade, during questioning he discussed everything associated with abortion, but not his philosophy on the subject. He did the same for every issue of importance.

Where's the integrity when a man decides to fool the system? Where's the integrity when a man spends hours preparing how to answer questions without revealing what he truly believes? Where's the integrity when a man tells you his main concern is for the law, but refuses to tell you his philosophy about the law?

By his inexcusable actions, Samuel Alito displayed contempt for the senators and contempt for the entire process. He should be cited for contempt of the Senate.

Of course, Alito wasn't alone. The Republicans showed him the way. When Reagan nominated Robert Bork, Bork showed integrity. He told the senators what his judicial philosophy is. He did not exercise his brilliant legal mind to avoid answering questions. He was honest and forthcoming. He was not confirmed. So the Republicans decided that the way to gain judicial confirmation is my not worrying about integrity, by building a cloud of doubt about the nominee, and by issuing proclamations that a nominee shouldn't be forthcoming.

By the way, back in 1988, Alito said that Bork was one of the most outstanding nominees of the century. Today, paying close attention to Republican instructions, he gives us some mumbo jumbo about being for Bork because he, Alito, was part of the Reagan administration. Sometimes he agrees, sometimes he does not agree with Bork.

Republicans have made a mockery of the advise and consent process. People all over the country tuned in to find out Alito's views. They tuned out when they got confused.

Are we going to allow corrupt Republicans to win this way? Their corruption of the legislative process has been and will be demonstrated with Affaire Abramoff. Their corruption of the "advise and consent" process has been demonstrated by the Alito hearings.

We must stop this Republican corruption. The only way to do it is by a filibuster.

Tell your senator to filibuster Alito!

Posted by Paul Siegel at January 13, 2006 3:01 PM
Comments
Comment #112914

Paul, while I’m not a fan of Judge Alito, I’m even more not a fan of Senate hearings on judicial candidates. I think these hearings are a waste of time. They are simply vehicles for Democrats and Republicans to throw questions at a candidate they know will not yield a straight answer.

We should do away with this Circus Maximus and debate the candidate’s merits on the Senate Floor followed by an up or down vote. This is pontificating politics at its worst.

Posted by: Dennis at January 13, 2006 3:07 PM
Comment #112918

Paul:

I think you are railing at the system, but pointing the finger at Republicans. The system encompasses both parties, and nominees to the SCOTUS have long been answering questions in the manner that Alito did. No nominee is going to say how they definitively would rule on an issue that might come before the Court. It’s up to the people and the Congress to determine whether they feel the nominee is acceptable based on the nuances of the answers. They may or may not vote for him, but not as a result of the system.

I do think, though, that a filibuster would be extremely harmful to Democrats. They’ve gone on record as saying a filibuster would be used only for extreme purposes, and several Democratic members of the gang of 14 have said that Alito’s nomination hearing does not rise to that level.

If Dems filibuster, I believe it will make them look obstructionist. They might defeat Alito, but it would make it even harder on them to defeat the next nominee, regardless of whether that nominee were more conservative than Alito or not.

As someone who disagrees with many of the Democratic political stances, I’d love to see them filibuster. But I don’t think it will happen.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 13, 2006 3:15 PM
Comment #112920

As usual, the new GOP is more interested in it’s goals than in the means or in America’s interest.

To reinforce Ron Brown’s assertion; the GOP is not Conservative, it is radical and dangerous. Perhaps the new-new GOP revolution that’s starting with the DeLay fiasco can gain some steam and we won’t have to see these neofascist Benito-wannabe candidates any more.

Posted by: Dave at January 13, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #112924

Why do you think being “borked” has become a verb. Bork was qualified for the court. He was attacked on ideological grounds. Ever since then we have understood that the actual Senate questioning is a PR exercise. We (Republicans) didn’t have to do anything to make Kennedy, Durbin or Feinstein look stupid. They did that to themselves. You got the system Democrats created. Republicans were much more civil to Ginsberg and Breyer, with whom they also had ideological differences.

Posted by: Jack at January 13, 2006 3:27 PM
Comment #112927

Well…this is one of Paul’s most comical posts yet. They keep getting more hilarious, more myopic, and lack any historical recollection at all.

Open your eyes Paul…Republicans unfortunately are following your lead.

Posted by: cliff at January 13, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #112931

Kennedy, et. al. only look stupid to people who are prejudiced against them and are unable to use their mind in an open fashion. It’s the process that’s stupid. It’s the candidate who is inappropriate. It’s the GOP who are at fault.

Posted by: Dave at January 13, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #112939

Paul,
Vent if you must, but advocate filibuster? That’s a waste of time and would play into Republican hands.

Posted by: Schwamp at January 13, 2006 4:11 PM
Comment #112945

A rather silly, myopic, everything-is-the-Republicans’-fault post. It would be nice if Supreme Court nominees could discuss issues openly, but since the Bork nomination Dems have poisoned the process with character assassination.

With Bork they looked into his video rentals digging for dirt. With Alito they have tried to paint him as a racist/sexist because he may have been affiliated with some obscure group 20-plus years ago.

Dems are trying to placate radical pro-abortion interest groups. The irony is that the “constitutional right” to an abortion rests on an implicit right to privacy in the Constitution. Yet it is the candidates privacy rights that have been violated in the process.

Paul, you undoubtedly object to the Patriot Act enabling law enforcement agents to scan library records of suspected terrorists. Do you also object to Supreme Court nominees’ video rental records being broadcast publicly? Or Ted Kennedy forcing the files of a private organization to be made public? Think about the precedent being set. If a female Dem is nominated, can we scan Planned Parenthood’s record to see if she had an abortion? All in the name of false candor?

Republicans did not try to block or smear Clinton’s Supreme Court nominees, but Dems have resorted to sordid tactics against Republican nominees. Liberal women’s groups “fight” for women’s rights and against sexual harrassment, unless the sexual predator is a Democratic president and ally. It makes me wonder if liberals actually believe in the priciples they espouse or merely want power at any cost. Ends justify the means?

The sad truth is that nominees are essentially forbidden to speak openly about issues lest they provide ammo for partisan attack dogs. I would have enjoyed nothing more than watching brilliant, accomplished men like Roberts and Alito truly engage lightweights like Schumer, Durbin and Kennedy.

Posted by: boojum at January 13, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #112947

Confirmation hearings are now essentially party line votes except for those Senators, knowing the vote is won/lost, voting to look good to their constituents.

Ill cut to the bottomline: we need campaign finance reform aimed at weakening the incumbent and the party.

How can we possibly have independent minded congressmen when the need to fundraise constantly is the number one issue for political survival? And of course, the primary source of funds is the party, followed closely by the lobbyists.

With congressmen dependent on their sponsors for funds, it’s no wonder that the party whips controls voting as effectively as they do.

If we want to end the debacle that is now the politics of shouting across the canyon, we need to change the rules our elected leaders must follow to survive, giving them the much needed freedom to vote their conscience and for the greater good without threatening their politcal survival.

Posted by: CPAdams at January 13, 2006 4:35 PM
Comment #112951

Something about the rule, “Do not answer to questions which might come before one in court” never rang as true with me. It always appeared as a duck and dodge.

It just occured to me, that in fact, that is just what it is. There is nothing in law or ethics which prevents a judge or prospective judge from saying, “At this time, if this issue were before me, given these and only these circumstances, I would likely rule this way or that, and here is why”.

The only excuse for not answering in such a way is that they might be held to account for their words later if they did not live up to them. So, in reality, this duck and dodge routine is nothing more than a smoke screen between the judge and the public as I see it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 13, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #112963

As a moderately Liberal Democrat I really cannot find any item discussed in the hearings that would call to question Alito’s qualifications. Thee is absolutely he is a qualified jurist. Do I agree with him? Not very much. Does that disqualify him? Absolutely not.

As it now stands these proceedings are useless as they are just propaganda soundbite oportunites for both sides and have relatively nothing to do with what’s important…His Philosophy of the Judicial Interpretation of the Constitution.

Does he interpret the Constitution only throught the eyes of its writers or does he see it as a”living document” applicable to new circumstances as they arise in an ever more complicated world. That, to me, is what’s most important. That’also what was essentially never touched upon.

Posted by: Richard at January 13, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #112969

Richard,

I am also a moderate liberal (I like that term!) and found Alito’s acknowledgment of a right to privacy to be some evidence that he is not a strict constructionist.

Regardless, I think we will find that his decisions will turn back the clock on individual rights in favor of corporations and the government.

I think in the next decade we will find that strict constructionist was a red herring. Neither CJ Roberts nor soon to be AJ Alito are strict constructionists and we will soon see them both deciding cases against the individual with entirely new schools of reasoning.

Posted by: CPAdams at January 13, 2006 5:29 PM
Comment #112973

Joe writes, that if the Dems filibuster they will look like obstructionists … SO WHAT … it does not seem to be doing them any ood standing around sucking their thumbs, and saying things like ‘he iss so qualified, I do not agree with everything he says but”. The Dems should be stand up for their base principals, shout out liar, anti-abortionist, presidential lackey, etc.
Any Dem that does not emphatically point out the lies, and evasions. Stop posturing, Stop emulating the Repugs, Stop being a DINO.

Posted by: HereticSpeaks at January 13, 2006 5:39 PM
Comment #112984

Paul good article. I don’t think Alito is going to be filibustered, though he definitely should be. Belonging to an organization like CAP, using it on his resume, and then lying about it before the committee is more than enough reason for him not to be confirmed to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
David, excellent points.
Heretic— spot on. The Dems just don’t seem to want to stand up for their principles these days.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 13, 2006 6:17 PM
Comment #112987

Dave, you said, “The only excuse for not answering in such a way is that they might be held to account for their words later if they did not live up to them. So, in reality, this duck and dodge routine is nothing more than a smoke screen between the judge and the public as I see it.”

This is the reason that Justice Souter gave in his hearing, “Anything which
substantially could inhibit the court’s capacity to listen truly and to listen with as open a
mind as it is humanly possible to have should be off-limits to a judge. Why this kind of
discussion would take me down a road which I think it would be unethical for me to follow
is something that perhaps I can suggest, and I will close with this question.
“Is there anyone who has not, at some point, made up his mind on some subject and
then later found reason to change or modify it? No one has failed to have that experience.
…. With that in mind can you imagine the pressure that would be on a judge who had stated
an opinion, or seemed to have given a commitment in these circumstances to the Senate of
the United States, and for all practical purposes, to the American people?”

Posted by: Rob at January 13, 2006 6:28 PM
Comment #113002

The senate can ask any questions they like of the candidate and the candidate is free to not answer them. There is little sense in decrying the process, which has evolved over the life of the Republic to its present state. If the Senate were smart and wanted to keep its power, rather than play politics, it would insist on candidates opening up somewhat. It would be perfectly reasonable to vote down an applicant who refused to answer questions forthrightly, or who appeared to dissemble in response. Lack of candor makes advice and consent meaningless, both to members of the party in power and of the one not in power.

In any event, Bork was well qualified on paper, (i.e., he had the requisite academic credentials) but his temperament displayed during the hearings and the far-right beliefs he brandished would have made him ill-suited to the court. Like Scalia, he would have used his seat to “legislate” from the bench. He was clear on that point. He intended to over-turn settled law and made no bones about it. He instructed the Roberts-Scalitos of the world on how not to slide onto the court. Since then, the right-wingers have hunkered down and played possum until they get on the court, then look out. Welcome back, botched back-alley abortions and unrestrained chief executives!

Well, at least Jack, rahdigly, and the rest of that ilk will be happy.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at January 13, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #113014

Paul s.. Here is a name you Dems love, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She never said a word. Now there’s Contempt!!!

Posted by: philipz at January 13, 2006 7:22 PM
Comment #113059

Paul: When are you and your ilk going to understand that there are more important issues than weather or not you can kill babies with government approval? As important as that is how about weather or not the arab scum kill us. By putting Alito on the bench we may have one more voice of reason that will render you guys and your useless retoric even more impotent than you are now.

Posted by: jc at January 13, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #113068

Aside from his stand on Roe v Wade, Alito’s stand on the unitary theory of presidential power frightens me even more.

I will be keeping my fingers crossed. I suspect there will be no filibuster by the democrats, because of the threat of republicans legislating against ever using that again, or worse.

It’s a crime what this administration, president AND congress has done and will do in the future.

Posted by: womanmarine at January 13, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #113075

Filibuster Alito? Why dag-gummit that would be awb-strukshun-ism by them democrats.

The problem is with the republicans in these proceedings are that they think Justice Alito will just nod and smile to everything these right-wing crazies say. He isn’t although his wife will cry over it apparently (The word that set her off was “african american”) it’s become a made for cable ‘Lifetime’ special some of this stuff especially on CNN and that “raw emotion” nonsense.

Did anyone see Eddie Gillespie there? Judge Alito’s apparent handler after the weepy incident. Public Relations gaffe control.

The republicans make these proceedings so cheesey, tacky and inane with their phony supporters outfront cheering Judge Alito like he were a movie star or a local hero, it’s all such contrived republican PR horsecrap. Why must George W. and his miscreant dingbats make everything republican doggerel theatre? Who do they think they are fooling? Why would this impress democratic votes or anyone else? Does that come out of our tax dollars to put on a show of republican inanity for the public? It’s more shallow baloney just like Bush talking to hand selected soldiers in Iraq or his dumb and overtly fake town hall meetings and his Social Security panel of bobble-headed actors. I’m just shocked they didn’t put the wallpaper behind him with the words “Supreme Court Nominee” written on it infinitum.

Dems probably won’t filibuster, perhaps with exception to Ted Kennedy who might. There are little if any grounds to filibuster this man but Bush and republican stylings are what really get me, Are republicans so stupid that they fall for that tripe? They might actually like that farcical stuff. They are pretty half-witted.

Posted by: Novenge at January 13, 2006 10:54 PM
Comment #113081

The question is:

1)Who do the Republicans want to represent them on the court? Does Alito really agree with mainstream Republicans, or does he hold views contrary to theirs that this softballing by the GOP has allowed?

2)Do the Republicans really want to get the president new power knowing that a Democrat may follow and use those to frustrate their will in congress?

The Republicans are no longer thinking about what their “victories” are doing to the party, to its principles, and to its cohesion. That is why the Democrats are winning the public relations battle to the extent they are.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 13, 2006 11:14 PM
Comment #113085

Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it”
~Robert Frost

Take your pick on which political party is which…

Posted by: discerner at January 13, 2006 11:38 PM
Comment #113098

Democrats just don’t get it - Most Americans see Kennedy as scum. He gets reelected on the memories of his brothers and his fathers political connections in Boston.

Posted by: Reporting for Doody at January 14, 2006 12:50 AM
Comment #113113

Paul

You are correct.

Alito is scum.

After all,ask Senator Kennedy.

He is a scum expert.

Isn’t it hilarious that Kennedy is even sitting on this committee?

Really..if the guy was applying for admission to any bar(I am not talking about an alcohol bar) in any of the 50 states,he would be precluded admission as an attorney.

Why?

Character.

He was kicked out of Harvard for cheating.

Maliginent character.

Not to mention that he left a floater up on Cape Cod.

How do you think Mary Jo’s family feels as they watch him blasting away at Alito?

My view is that at every Senate hearing of every committee that Kennedy sits on that they should be subpeoned and asked to testify on their opinion about the old boy.

Thus the ultimate irony here…a man who cannot even be a lawyer in any of the fifty states gets to skewer the candidate.

What a counrty..America…

Posted by: Sicilian Eagle at January 14, 2006 4:48 AM
Comment #113170

The basic problem I see is that we have DEMs and REPs controlling what is said/asked/discussed, and they orchestrate these hearings to reinforce their party’s belief/benefits. It’s political grandsatnding on both sides of the fence and there’s not enough room for anything but posturing.

It seems like we should have Senators and Congresspeople who work together to thruly vet a candidate. What we has is one side trying to toss softballs and the other trying to undermine the nomination. Who was representing ‘we the people’? What concerns were we able to bring to the table?

Why do we allow these parties to run things for us? Can anyone here say that they are completely happy with ‘their party?’ Can anyone say that they feel truly represented?

Posted by: tony at January 14, 2006 11:29 AM
Comment #113185

This is the time for Democratic leaders to stand strong and fillibuster. This is an extreme situation and having this man on the supreme court could very well allow this administration to do it’s filthy business unchecked. I vow now, that if the Democratic Party can not stand in this most precious protection of our future freedoms, I will vote green. If I’m to throw my vote away, at least I will be on record as supporting those with true passion and courage. Democrats out there, righteous indignation is not enough. We need unified action and we needed it a long time ago. Now will do.

Posted by: Jack at January 14, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #113186

One thing, I also wanted to add. Martin Luther King once remarked when commenting on racism in the south, that there was the “South south, and the north south.” Increasingly, when viewing our government I am lead to believe that there is the “Right Right, and the Left Right.” Is there any hope out there?

Posted by: Jack at January 14, 2006 12:25 PM
Comment #113213

Alito is profoundly dangerous - is there any point in filibustering him - only if we could actually win and force a more moderate nominee. There is just cause for filibuster. It is clear that he lied about CAP. Clinton’s nominees were more moderate and forthcoming. Roberts is more moderate and was more forthcoming.

Elections have consequences… so I guess that the women who voted for Bush can watch their daughters die from back alley coat hanger abortions. That is a natural consequence. So who cares about Roe v Wade? “We the People” knew that was on the line when we allowed Bush to continue to disgrace the Office of the Presidency.

But “We the People” did not know about this “Unitary Executive” threat to our constitutional democracy. Bush flat out bald faced lied and said that they did not wire tap anybody without a warrant. The “Unitary Executive theory” is the idea that the President has the power to interpret the constitution and declare any law unconstitutional - such that the only law that he is bound by is the Constitution - and then only by his own interpretation of it. Alito was an author of that theory. Bush has used it to justify crossing his fingers behind his back when he signed the Anti-torture bill by issuing a signing statement saying that the law does not apply to him. Bush has used the Unitary Executive” theory to justify his illegal wiretaps by saying that the FISA law does not apply to him. This not just about war time powers. Let us not forget that Bush has formally declared an end to major combat operations.

I just got off the phone with my daughter who is a combat medic serving in Germany - no doubt I was spied on. Bush has time and energy enough to waste on listening to a boring conversation between me and my pregnant daughter, but he doesn’t have enough time to go after OSB. I can’t wait for a liberal extremist Democratic president to have the same absolute powers that you Republicans are giving to the Office of the Presidency. Hillary is loving this. You Republicans are going to soil yourselves - but it will be too late. Your last chance to save our democratic system of checks and balances is to join us now. There are going to be protest against Bush around the country on January 31 and in DC on February 4. Details are available at: www.worldcantwait.org.

Posted by: Ray G. at January 14, 2006 3:36 PM
Comment #113230

SE-
I think Kennedy could be every bit the scumbag you claim him to be and Alito still be dangerously sycophantic to the president. Tell me again what justifies this Palpatine-like concentration of power on Bush’s part.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2006 5:17 PM
Comment #113257

Sicilian Eagle, Reporting for Doody,
Sir, you seem to have it wrong… it is the Republican Party that has for years… well, since about 5 minutes after President Clinton won the first election… have been insisting that integrity was absolute!

The Democrats, on average, are pretty understanding. Like all the people on this site trying to slur Byrd because of previous KKK connection. There were A LOT of southern Democrats that were not in favor on intergration. Most that I know of have come around. Note, Strom Thurmond never really changed. The reason for this will be covered below.

You see sir? Democrats believe that humans are intelligent. Humans are capable of evolving personally, professionally, spiritually… this is almost a cornerstone of the Democratic frame of mind.

Let me try to explain. We are the “Intellectual Elite” because we listen to different opinions… intergrate what they say in accordance with what we believe and if need be… we change our minds based upon new information. We do this with our lives in all areas. It is known as “Growing.”

Republicans want to believe that if a person makes a mistake then you hold it over him for the next 30, 40 or 50 years. Longer if it can be used as a weapon against someone. Well, unless it is youthful (40 years old) indiscretion of someone like the President.

Republicans believe that it is a sign of integrity to deny truth and hold fast to a wrong belief. This is morality. (As in Stomm from above) Not to be confused with the wish-washy, two-faced people like Kerry who realize that they might be wrong about something.

What is so ironic… is that if… and this is an incredible IF, the President were to be a little less “steadfast” in his pride at his ignorance he might have listened to others opinions and found an alternative to this stupid war. Just an alternative history theory.

My 15 year old son and I used to laugh when we would listen to Republicans saying that President Bush’s lack of intellect was not a problem because he surrounded himself with smart people… we always wondered… if the President isn’t that smart… how would he know if his handlers were smart or not?

So Mr. Sicilian Eagle and Reporting for Doody thank you for your contributions. It gave me this opportunity to explain a basic difference between a Democrat and a Republican and how they value people for more than the dirt someone might be able to smear them with.

As a wishful thinking… I wonder how your personal lives would measure up? Oh wait… that is awfully dangerous to that Christian tenent of “Judge not…” Sorry, we Democrats are not really good at bringing God into everything so I might do it wrong. But, I am sure if I hang around someone will tell me once again how God is a Republican and He really wants Georgie to do this. Though… after the troubles Bush is having with Iraq… I don’t think he should be listening to that little voice in his head. It just MIGHT not be God. (Could be Cheney?)

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 14, 2006 7:40 PM
Comment #113276

The CAP thing was difficult to explain away.
I’m not buying it that he doesn’t remember.
He should have come clean and said he was wrong.
Instead, he’s trying to say he doesn’t remember.
On that alone, I don’t like him.

And, I am not partisan motivated at all.

I simply see the nation on the wrong path.

Government continues to grow and grow to nightmare proporations. In the beginning, the government was only to provide for the national defense. Now look at everything it meddles in. Do we need all of these departments, committees, agencies, commissions, offices, appointments, etc. ?
And, to top it all off, the federal government can’t even secure the nations borders, which could easily be done using only 1% of our existing 2.6 million active military, guard, and reserves.
And, where the hell is Bush’s veto pen? He has essentially rubber-stamped all of the irresponsible spending and borrowing. We have about 4 times more debt now than we did after World War II (adjusted for inflation; see graph).

Government is FOR SALE. They will never reform by themselves. Only the voters can do it (peacefully) by merely doing the easy, simple, non-partisan, safe, peaceful, and responsible thing they were supposed to be doing all along: vote out irresponsible incumbents.

Thus, there is no mystery why our federal government is fiscally and morally bankrupt. There is no transparency. Look at the irresponsible way Congress spends, while our troops risk life and limb.

Now we also have government and the Supreme Court spying illegally on its citizens, seizing citizens land via abused eminent domain laws, incarcerating people indefinitely without charging them with a crime, pandering and bribing the people with the people’s own tax dollars, $8.2 trillion in National Debt, GPBC and pensions $1.6 trillion in the hole, mismanaged and plundered Social Security and Medicare, and abused presidential pardons, etc.
Clinton pardons Dan Rostenkowski
Clinton pardons 140 felons

How can you have responsible and accountable government if it is above the law ?

You can’t. And we don’t.

For voters that don’t believe there is a historical precedent for anti-incumbent voting, they need to look at history. There have been years in the last 60 years when voters got fed up and voted out almost half of Congress.

Young voters should perhaps be more concerned about this than anyone, because massive debt is being piled onto them.

127 years is how long it would take to pay off the $8.1 trillion National Debt if you started paying back enough each day to keep the national debt from growing larger every day.
That would require that we pay more than the $1 billion in interest that we have to pay each day.
That would also require that we stop borrowing $1 billion per day to pay that interest.
Thus, it will cost approximately $2 billion per day (in a sense).
Thus, if the federal government ever had the discipline to do this (which is doubtful), stopped borrowing, and started paying $1.01 billion per day on the $8.1 trillion national debt, it would take 127 years to pay it all off, and the total interest paid would be $38 trillion (in 2005 U.S. dollars). But, that’s only possible if nothing bad happens along the way. It could be that the problem is now too large to ever be resolved. If so, some terrible economic times await us in the not too distant future. Many respected economists, with sophisticated computer models, vast amounts of data, and history, are now starting to draw the same conclusion: we’ve got a serious debt problem.

It is immoral to be heaping so much massive debt onto future generations. Also, it’s highly unlikely they will ever be able to absorb that much debt. Especially, with 77 million baby boomers that will soon begin to earn less, pay less tax, spend less, and want to draw Social Security and Medicare entitlements that have already been plundered (and still are being plundered, and are underfunded). And, there’s also a pension problem in this country, in which the PGBC and pensions are $1.6 trillion in the hole. Like the S&L scandal/bailout, tax payers will get stuck with that debt too. And, China, yesterday announced that they are going to start reducing their exposure to our irrresponsible debt situation. It’s a Catch-22. It probably spells more trouble for the falling U.S. dollar.

But, it’s not just the $8.1 trillion national debt that poses a serious problem.

It is the potential culmination of many pressing problems simultaneously.

In fact, a energy shortage, alone, could be the catalyst for an economic disaster.

We all need to vote to clean house, and keep doing it until bought-and-paid-for politicians get the message, and start proving that they are responsible, and stop looking the other way.

Until then, none of the incumbents deserve to stay, and that is the price they should pay for looking the other way.

Thus, I hope the voters will give Congress a very simple test.

Ask Congress to do these things now:
[1] CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
[2] ONE PURPOSE PER BILL
[3] BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT
[4] STOP PLUNDERING SOCIAL SECURITY
[5] SIMPLIFY THE TAX SYSTEM
[6] ENFORCE THE LAW
________________________________________
Who could argue against any of that ?

Posted by: d.a.n at January 14, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #113291

One again, we have a second “Jack” writing. This Jack doesn’t plan to vote Green.

Posted by: Jack at January 14, 2006 11:14 PM
Comment #113330
Aside from his stand on Roe v Wade, Alito’s stand on the unitary theory of presidential power frightens me even more.

As far as I’m concerned, Alito’s flawed understanding of the Constitution regarding presidential powers is the only issue. Alito’s ability to understand our founding document should be an important consideration. I say filibuster.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 15, 2006 5:52 AM
Comment #113336

And BTW, I’m shocked at the hypocrisy of Republicans calling Democrats obstructionists.

The way you Republicans threw up roadblock after roadblock in the path of the immensly qualified Harriet Miers’ is shameful. Shame on you guys.

You should have given her the straight up-or-down vote she deserved instead of back stabbing that poor woman through the media and arcane procedural maneuvers. Shame.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 15, 2006 5:59 AM
Comment #113372

I’m sorry, I didn’t see another Jack here when I posted. I’m the one who intends to vote Green, till the Democrats change my mind. By the way, if you caught the news shows this Sunday morning, most of the talk was centered on how the Democrats have shot themselves in the foot, made themselves look bad, etc., by questioning Alito in such a harsh manner. Can you believe this? Maybe we really don’t have a choice but to back off of every issue. We have NO representation in this supposedly free media. Man, we’ve got problems here in America. It just gets more disgusting and disheartening every minute.

Posted by: AnotherJack at January 15, 2006 11:31 AM
Comment #113379

As a first time visitor, I have to say I am impressed with the quantity of passion and quality of writing most posters exhibit.

As for intelligent debate - forget about it. Same old vitriol here as on every other dem or rep site I visit.

I don’t especially like Alito, but he has done nothing to disqualify himself from the job. Did you really expect him to get trapped into saying “I intend to restrict abortions” by those senatorial clowns? One thing was obvious, he was more than up to the challenge of this past week’s charade.

Seriously Dems, the best thing you can do is to get out of your echo chambers of Bush-hatred and smell take a good whiff of the sentiments of most Americans. Your extremism is counterproductive to your goals. As much as it will hurt, the only way to solve a problem is to first admit to it. You have to be pragmatic and at least fake a more centrist ideology - ala Bill Clinton, or you will wander in the wilderness for future generations.

Best Regards,

JL

Posted by: Joe Leery at January 15, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #113415

>>Seriously Dems, the best thing you can do is to get out of your echo chambers of Bush-hatred and smell take a good whiff of the sentiments of most Americans.

joe l,

You are right, I’m gonna change my evil ways. I’m gonna accept the inevetable, and I’m gonna become a Republican so’s I can start feelin’ better about myself. I’m gonna bow down to Dubbya. I’m gonna accept less freedoms just because I can’t stop the steamroller of elephants. I’m gonna believe everything Cheney/Bush says from now on, even when I know damned well he’s lyin’ through his teeth. I’m gonna believe that Alito, bless his pea-pickin’ heart, is the best thing for the Supreme Court since sliced bread.

I’M REFORMED!!!

The 51% of you have beat the hell out of us merely 49%, because most Americans said so.

What’s our platform again? Keep corruption out of government? Be compassionate? Lower the national debt? Embrace individuallity and freedoms?

I hope I’ll be welcomed…

Posted by: Marysdude at January 15, 2006 3:30 PM
Comment #113438

Marysdude:


What’s our platform again? Keep corruption out of government? Be compassionate? Lower the national debt? Embrace individuallity and freedoms?

If more democrats expressed themselves like this, you just might win back congress. The hatebush rhetoric is a turn off. Positive ideas are what wins elections.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at January 15, 2006 6:11 PM
Comment #113439

Stephen:


I think Kennedy could be every bit the scumbag you claim him to be and Alito still be dangerously sycophantic to the president. Tell me again what justifies this Palpatine-like concentration of power on Bush’s part.

Winning Congress and the Presidency. The Supreme Court should be conservative, Republicans have held the Presidency for 25 out of the last 37 years. The bottom line is elections mean something.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at January 15, 2006 6:16 PM
Comment #113443

If Alito”s nomination is not filibustered, then we as American’s have proof positive that we have no representation. I can not believe that He was allowed to sit in front of a panal of elected officals and lie, lied to all Americans. Evaded questions as only a well practiced lier could.
This is not the man that should be allowed to decide the fate of we the people. I have been listening and watching my fellow countrymen and we are not happy. There is talk of walks on washington and I believe that it may be the only way to get the message out, that it is not a matter of party, it is a matter of what is happening to America. Americans are trusting but not stupid. Bush and Cheney must be removed. Alito can not be allowed to sit on the Supreme Court of these United States. This is a very important time in American history. Americans must take a stand NOW and show who is in charge. US, we are.!!

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 15, 2006 6:30 PM
Comment #113523
What’s our platform again? Keep corruption out of government? Be compassionate? Lower the national debt? Embrace individuallity and freedoms?

If more democrats expressed themselves like this, you just might win back congress. The hatebush rhetoric is a turn off. Positive ideas are what wins elections.

LOL! Craig, that’s supposed to be the conservative agenda. Marysdude is pointing out that the Republican Party speaks with a forked tongue. :)

And Craig, we expect the President to choose conservative justices, but Alito doesn’t exhibit a clear understanding of the checks and balances placed on the executive branch in the US Constitution.

I think it’s possible to be conservative and “in tune” with our founding document. Roberts seems to be. Alito is not.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 16, 2006 4:32 AM
Comment #113577

Marysdude:

Bush and Cheney must be removed. Alito can not be allowed to sit on the Supreme Court of these United States. This is a very important time in American history. Americans must take a stand NOW and show who is in charge. US, we are.!!

I guess that if Bush and Cheney are NOT removed, and if Sam Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court is approved, then you will be forced to admit that you are not one of the “we!!” who are in charge.


Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 16, 2006 11:25 AM
Comment #113578

AP:

With the circus the Senate has become it is hard to tell what any nominee believes in.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at January 16, 2006 11:28 AM
Comment #113588

AP:

LOL! Craig, that’s supposed to be the conservative agenda.

Exactly my point. Republicans have been winning with this agenda. Now that Republicans have been in for long enough to be truely corrupt and arrogant, it might be time for the democrats to be the reform party.

I don’t think the Democrats are there yet. They still are blinded by their hatred and cannot see the opportunity. I don’t think the Democratic party is ready to lead, yet. It may take a new generation.

Craig


Posted by: Craig Holmes at January 16, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #113994
They still are blinded by their hatred…

I have no idea what you’re talking about there, but you’re probably right about the new generation. Some Democrats in Congress — especially among the elders in leadership positions — are still in a “majority pary” mindset.

It’s like they think the Republican majority is an aberration that will disappear soon and then things will get back to the way they’re supposed to be — you know, it’s the same way Republicans thought about Clinton and the presidency.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 17, 2006 11:02 AM
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