Hearings on the SCOTUS Nominee

As he leaves his glass house, on his high horse, toting his self absorbed speeches and questions he already answered (or knows can’t be answered), he arrives at his seat on his thrown….

It would be my hope that more people in our Nation tuned in to watch, at least some of, the hearing on Judge Alito.
The hearings seem pointless.
The hearings are nothing more than an opportunity for some of the Senators to pound their chests and put on a show for their campaign contributors.
A photo op. Free television coverage of a campaign speech.

It would be my recommendation that these Senators find out what the others will ask and STOP asking the same questions over and over again.
The Nominee is basically on their own while some of the Senators have staffers hanging out behind them whispering questions in their ears.
The goal is to trip up the Nominee in their statements.

An interview - 'Democrat says Alito hearings may be pointless'
'As questioning of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito was set to resume Thursday following some raw emotion a day earlier — two senators in a testy exchange and Alito’s wife bursting into tears — a senior Senate Democrat told NBC News that the hearings serve no purpose and should be replaced with a straight up or down vote on the nominee.

“The system's kind of broken,” Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., told NBC’s “Today” show. He defended the type of questions that apparently unnerved Alito’s wife, Martha-Ann Bomgardner, who briefly left the hearings in tears shortly after Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham told Alito, “I am sorry that you’ve had to go through this. I am sorry that your family has had to sit here and listen to this.”'

Kind of broken? It's a joke.
The hearings do not need to stop, but, they do need to be changed. A vote without any sort of hearing won't work either.

A 'disagreement' between Spector and Kennedy.
I rather enjoyed that part of the hearing. Today it turns out that Kennedy was 'doing his job' investigating Alito BUT he was not correct in his implication. Without his finishing his 'homework' he was able to make statements without evidence to back them up.
It happens ALL the time. A Politician - or someone - makes an accusation and the accused has to prove it wrong. Why is it they are allowed to get away with this?

When Roberts was being drilled, I wondered why ANYONE would want to go through these hearings. I wondered how his family could sit there and listen to all the accusations and assumptions of questionable character without 'losing it'.
Mrs. Alito 'lost it' yesterday. It took until a Senator was apologizing for the way Alito was being treated, but, she broke down in tears and left the hearing for awhile.
Good for her!

'They made his wife cry.'
This will play well with the American audience. It may get more people to tune in to what is going on. Regular folk. Those that vote but don't have the big money to contribute to the campaigns of these self righteous Politicians.
Let the hearings begin .... to be what they were meant to be.
A chance to find out about the Nominee.
Not a chance for the Politicians to 'fire up' their base and line their pockets.

Posted by Dawn at January 12, 2006 9:25 AM
Comments
Comment #112449

Good piece. This is the kind of thing (the Kennedy comment that Spector smashed him on) that he has been doing for over 46 consecutive years.

IMO it is ridiculous to ask a nominee how he or she would rule if appointed yet, we seem to want the answers before they even become questions.

Posted by: steve smith at January 12, 2006 10:30 AM
Comment #112451

Dawn:

Politics is keeping with the times. Image is as or more important than substance. Short soundbytes are suited for the shortening attention span of people bombarded by the myriad quasi-news stories. And the Alito confirmation hearings are right in the middle of it all.

Remember when Al Gore kissed Tipper heartily at the podium during his presidential campaign? Not really a newstory, but it was turned into one by the sensation seeking media. Why? Because it presented an image of Gore as less than wooden.

Bush donning a flight suit, Kerry saluting Democrats at the Democratic convention, Clinton holding a Bible constantly during the Lewinsky days, Nixon and his Checkers speech….all these are images that are presented. They signal a depth or gravitas or character essence, but they are no more than image.

The Alito hearing is such a thing as well. I believe that most of the Senators have their minds made up ahead of time, and the hearings are simply for show. Not much new will come out of them, little of substance that is not yet known will emerge, but Senators will clap each other on the back and spout off about how important this has been.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 12, 2006 10:35 AM
Comment #112452

Steve Smith wrote:

IMO it is ridiculous to ask a nominee how he or she would rule if appointed yet, we seem to want the answers before they even become questions.

Why do you believe it’s ridiculous?

Posted by: bobo at January 12, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #112454

Dawn, there is much you are not aware of. For example, Alito was not on his own, he was coached, rehearsed, and provided feedback by Whitehouse employees on a number of occasions. So, yes, the Senators had their research staff, and so did the Alito and the Whitehouse. I believe Alito when he says his rehearsals did not contain instructions as to the substance of his answers, only to style. But, let’s be clear, these terms (substance and style) are highly debatable.

To diminish the importance for the people’s representatives to vet a nominee to hold the highest and one of the most powerful positions in federal government is to diminish the U.S. Constitution and the preservation of peace which this process provides. Secret courts, secret nominees to courts, secret agendas by Justices on courts all can catalyze revolution and civil unrest, as evidenced by S. American nation’s histories and other nations in the world like the Phillipines.

I agree with the thrust of your article that these vitally important for the people and act as a check and balance against unbridled power acquisition by the Whitehouse. But, these hearings are by no means sufficient to prevent such broadening and usurpation of power by the Executive Branch, and I believe Judge Samuel Alito will himself, be ample evidence of that if confirmed.

Great article, and extremely well written.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 12, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #112456

Dawn
Nice post.
I rather enjoyed the Specter-Kennedy exchange. I think Ted “red-nosed” Kennedy got sat on and he deserved it. The swimming and diving champion from MA pontificates continually and as the hypocrite that he is thinks he is doing a good job as a United States Senator. The line of questioning he did on the future Justice Alito concerning his membership of the club at Princeton was so ruthless, mundane, pointless, and to the point that Sen. Kennedy did a good job looking and acting foolish. The other disgrace of a senator is Sen. Schumer of Hillaryville. Is his only concern the abortion issue? Sen. Schumer is not a mainstream senator and should look in the mirror before applying any litmus test to Judge Alito. I could rant for a longer time but it isn’t needed.

Posted by: tomh at January 12, 2006 10:41 AM
Comment #112459

David,

‘Dawn, there is much you are not aware of. For example, Alito was not on his own, he was coached, rehearsed, and provided feedback by Whitehouse employees on a number of occasions. …’

I realized that. I was speaking of during the actual hearing.

The question isn’t whether or not questioning the nominee is right…
The question is… Is the way they go about it ‘right’?

Posted by: dawn at January 12, 2006 10:51 AM
Comment #112460

and thank you …

Posted by: dawn at January 12, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #112465

tomh wrote: The swimming and diving champion from MA ….

I can’t stop laughing……Thanx Tom for the post…….

Posted by: Jim at January 12, 2006 11:09 AM
Comment #112469

I can’t help thinking this is going to be the proverbial “it” for the Democrats.

They could have accepted a draw simply by being polite to Judge Alito. They could have opposed him without the outright hostility and ended up with the same number of votes against.

Instead, they decided to harass him to the point of making the point of making his wife leave in tears. This is the image they portray to the people and yet they wonder why they can’t win a majority!

The funny thing is, it’s the Democrats (here at WB anyway) who are the first to accuse people of using “McCarthy-like” tactics, yet it’s their party that continues to utilize senators like Chuck Schumer! Then they try to prove guilt by association on the CAP “issue.” Since when does guilt by association fly in America? Fortunately, it never did. And it didn’t fly at the hearings, either.

The Democrats have accomplished nothing in these hearings but hurt their own image, and as JBOD pointed out, image counts a lot in today’s politics. This is not the way people should to act when they have to convince people to vote for them.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 12, 2006 11:23 AM
Comment #112470
[The Senate Democrats] could have opposed [Alito] without the outright hostility

Please quote an instance of “outright hostility.”

Posted by: bobo at January 12, 2006 11:33 AM
Comment #112471

TheTraveler, Alito’s wife has nothing to do with anything. These hearings were not for her benefit and she was not under subpeona. If she chose to leave, she should have done it before her maudlin display. But, because she didn’t, it sure looked a bit like my method of acting on stage. Take real emotions and prime and release them on cue. All her tears said to me was that she was inexperienced with her husband ever being criticized, and that she worships his perfection and it was painful for her to sit and watch the spectacle of others who do not regard her husband as the Adonnis she views him as.

Her tears were real, but, her timing and location for their release were pure showboating for right wing.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 12, 2006 11:33 AM
Comment #112472

Dawn,

Great article.

I agree that most of the Democratic Senators were just blowing smoke, especially Kennedy.
I believe we will never get the true feel of a Supreme Court nominee ever again. The system in place makes it so much easier and practical to hide your real answers with vague responses. The system rewards lying.
As far as the people’s interest in the Alito hearings, I feel that there are two groups.
Group 1: Those who support this nomination and want real conservatism back in the Supreme Court.(Activism)
Group 2: Those who do not trust Bush and see this as more of a Bush move that has to be scrutinized to death because anything Bush does is bad. We believe that Alito and Roberts are on some mission to overturn Roe v. Wade and give more power to the executive branch. We want our kind of judge(Activism)
Both parties want “their kinda judge.” An activist to promote their cause.
I want to warn the Republicans that this President has had little to do with “real” conservatism. He’s also becoming famous for selling a bill of goods that he does not deliver on.(to both parties) You better hope you’re getting what you think you are.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 12, 2006 11:37 AM
Comment #112473

David,

‘All her tears said to me was that she was inexperienced with her husband ever being criticized, and that she worships his perfection and it was painful for her to sit and watch the spectacle of others who do not regard her husband as the Adonnis she views him as.

Her tears were real, but, her timing and location for their release were pure showboating for right wing.’

…and you know this how? Fly on the wall maybe?
Aren’t you being a tad bit presumptuous?

Posted by: dawn at January 12, 2006 11:38 AM
Comment #112474

this just pumped me up 4 dah day.Its coldhearted to see how ARNOLDS uncle inlaw could do this in front of Alito’s wife. Oh well thats Politics!!!!

Posted by: peter at January 12, 2006 11:40 AM
Comment #112478

Traveler,

To be clear, that’s not really “guilt by association”, as you call it. The true use of that tactic that you are decrying occurs when an innocent person is tied to an objectionable person via a shared group or circumstance, in an attempt to attribute to the innocent party the bad qualities of the objectionable person. Which is, of course, not a necessary logical connection.

Here, Alito voluntarily sought and gained membership in a group for which the founding purpose was discriminatory in nature. Then later believed that said membership was a feather in his cap for resume purposes. This is not guilt by association — that is holding him accountable for a questionable choice.

If he really wanted to defuse this issue, he should’ve said, “Yeah, I understand that this could seem a little messed up, but there is a plausible excuse…” Instead, he chose the “I do not recall”, B.S. route, which just compounds his folly.

Continue.

Posted by: Yossarian at January 12, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #112482

David:

You jump to some pretty big conclusions about Alito’s wife. It would be very hard for you or me to sit silently and watch our spouses be hectored and subjected to this kind of questioning. It would be similarly difficult for our spouses to see us subjected to that treatment, even if they knew it was coming.

For you to callously dismiss Mrs. Alito’s emotions by saying that she “worships his perfection” and thinks of her husband as an “Adonis”, even while adding waffling statements that accept her tears as “real emotions” is belittling more to you than to her.

I know little about Buddhist beliefs, but I thought compassion was amongst them. I’ve heard it said that everyone possesses the potential of a bodhisattva; that is, the potential to behave with compassion towards others. You fell short of your potential in your post.

To paraphrase the esteemed words of Army Counsel Joseph Welch, “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of compassion, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of compassion?”

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 12, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #112485

Another funny thing about these proceedings is that most of the democrat members of the committee are lawyers. They know they cannot ethically expect the questions they ask to be answered. What I mean is for the candidate to say how he would come down on a future situation. That just shows the foolishness of those educated lawyers on the committee. They also, for the most part, knew how they were going to vote before the hearings. So why do they have to be so agressively out of line in their questioning. I am speaking of Schumer, Kennedy, Biden, Kole, Leahy.

Posted by: tomh at January 12, 2006 12:02 PM
Comment #112486

bobo,

I said IMO the questions of how he or she would rule were ridiculous because of the fact that actual conditions at various points in time have a strong bearing on the opinion/vote of any individual. In the world we live in today, a NO vote might be a good thing, in the world of a decade from now, the reverse may be true.

Also, SC decisions are based on the majority collective agreement of the group, not a single individual. We talk about “swing” votes but we don’t really know as time progresses how the opinions of the other members of the court may change.

Posted by: steve smith at January 12, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #112487

He’s getting a lot of sympathy mileage from the wife crying thing. She needs to stay home.

He can suck it up for a couple days. Are republicans now the party worried about someone’s feelings? He should be able to reasonably defend his thoughts and actions. Couldn’t you defend yours?

Posted by: Schwamp at January 12, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #112489

Dawn,

The Senators from each party know what each other will ask. They just need to ask quesitons themselves for their re-election campaigns. If I’m running in DE, I can’t show a picture of a senator from MA asking asking the same question instead, now can I?

tomh,
It’s not foolishness, it’s politics. Every quesiton asked plays to their audience. They know Alito is a lawyer and lawyers are known for saying lots of words that mean nothing. Of course, if Alito had nothing to hide, then why is he hiding behind words?

jbod,
Was’t that “decency”? BTW; you never answered my expectations (Posted by: Dave at January 6, 2006 02:50 PM ) question…

Posted by: Dave at January 12, 2006 12:17 PM
Comment #112491

Two things:

I’m not so concerned about Alito’s stance, but I am concerned that such a forgetfull man is going to the SCOTUS. I mean he doesn’t remember if he told auditors? He doesn’t remember joining a contraversial group and then boasting about it in his resume? Surely the man’s not lying, so he must be insanely forgetfull.

As for the “regular folk” getting in on this. That’s just not going to happen. You have the religious fanatics watching this, you have your professional politicians, you have your politicos (which we are, let me tell you we are not normal in our attention to politics), but everyone else sees this as the Democrats whining and the republicans smugly getting their way. Business as usual in Washington, no reason to watch.

Posted by: chantico at January 12, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #112492

I find it distasteful a Supreme Court nominee has to be treated in much the same manner as a terrorist detainee by the Democrats. Yet they demand much kinder treatment for ACTUAL terrorists.

Posted by: pige at January 12, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #112495

It is evident now that the Democrats are finally realizing that they are the party that’s out of power. They can’t touch this guy and they truly can’t argue ideas; they’re finished, toast.


And, Pige, that’s just how these Supreme Court nominations work; they throw dirt and it gets messy. Making his wife cry isn’t as bad as “pubic hair on a coke can”. Yeah, and liberals stuck up for Clinton on the “Consensual ” sex thing, but not for a black Conservative.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 12, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #112496

Dawn, NOTE MY WORDS: “All her tears said to me…”

This was my impression. And I said that. Apparently you missed that part.

JBOD, she sure suckered you to her defense didn’t she. Fact, she knew her husband would be questioned on issues which may not reflect positively upon him. Fact, one cannot be distraught over criticism unless one failed to recognize it was coming (not the case here) or she truly believed her husband was above critique.

Fact, there was nothing humilitating about the questions posed. Nor for that matter, was there any reason for Alito or his wife to give any weight to the presumptions about Universities group. Hence, it appeared to be semi-staged tears. Worked pretty good apparently, Alito is sensitive man by association with a wife who cries in public for her husband’s reputation.

Please… I spent too many years in theater and in counseling sessions to accept that the notion that her tears were beyond her control. B.S., I say, they were very much in her control. I would have accepted such tears at that time as far more spontaneous from Alito himself, than his wife. And the were in response to a Republican defender’s comments, not to a Democrat’s remarks. So, no, it appeared to be a nice piece of theater to me.

I will save my empathy for the innocents in prison, for children humiliated and bullied in schools and on school buses, for the veteran’s lying in our hospitals, for women who may one day feel forced by Alito to seek an illegal abortion risking their own life in the process. My empathy has better places to be, than with a woman who can’t handle Lindsay Grahams’s tear choked defense of her husband’s honor.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 12, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #112500

She cried because a Republican senator got all dramatic and suggested that Democrats were painting her husband as a closet bigot.

If someone is a member of a hate group, shouldn’t he be asked about it? He says he doesn’t recall and that was never his philosophy. Question asked and answered. Unfortunately, now her crying is going to be used to politically attack Democrats. These are the kind of bs games that need to stop in general.

Posted by: Max at January 12, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #112503

David:

First you said that her tears were “real emotions” and now you say they “appeared to be semi-staged tears”. Since the two versions are generally at odds with each other, it would help if you picked just one of them, rather than claiming them both to be accurate.

You claim that I’ve been “suckered to her defense”, but your conclusion leap is far from true. I don’t consider her tears to even be a part of the process that I would use in judging Sam Alito. I recognize that for some in the public, the image of her tears will create a sympathy, in the same way that Al Gore’s kiss created a feeling about Gore.

I don’t defend her nor do I castigate her, for the reason that she is irrelevant to Sam Alito’s ability to handle the position for which he is nominated. I simply found your comments about her, based on your impressions, to be incorrect and entirely lacking in the kind of compassion I thought you had.

I guess I’ve been once again shown to have misjudged you. I’ve based my opinions on what you’ve said you are, but I see now that there are different angles from which to view you that arent necessarily consistent with some of your words.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 12, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #112504

Bobo,
Please quote an instance of “outright hostility.”

Schumer’s questioning. ‘Nuff said, although there are plenty of other examples.

Yossarian,

If he really wanted to defuse this issue, he should’ve said, “Yeah, I understand that this could seem a little messed up, but there is a plausible excuse…” Instead, he chose the “I do not recall”, B.S. route, which just compounds his folly.

Actually, He did choose the former. He gave a good reason for joining the organization. When the senators gave him examples of what some of the CAP members had written and he denounced the ideas that were expressed.
Your own definition of guilt by association fits here perfectly:
an innocent person is tied to an objectionable person via a shared group or circumstance, in an attempt to attribute to the innocent party the bad qualities of the objectionable person. Which is, of course, not a necessary logical connection.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 12, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #112514

Traveler,

Wasn’t the mission of CAP to stop affirmative action at Princeton by excluding minorities and women? How does some excuse and a renunciation 20 years later of some co-conspirators statements take away from that?

Someone like Alito wouldn’t join a group unless it was because he supported it’s goals and it could help get him a job.

Posted by: Dave at January 12, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #112517

Though I would hardly make a woman cry for any reason, if I could help it, It doesn’t mean we don’t subject Alito to great scrutiny.

As wonderful of a woman as she may be, it is better for us to prevent the tears of millions rather than dry the tears of a Supreme Court candidate’s wife.

As for painting her husband as a bigot, I would have you note that he was indeed a part of an organization whose direction was decidedly bigoted, and he has been very amnesic about what went on there.

Are we to not ask the tough questions of our leaders because feelings could get hurt? Do we practice the rule of law, or do we instead run our government by the feelings and moods of a few?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 12, 2006 1:31 PM
Comment #112520

TheTraveler–

I can’t help thinking this is going to be the proverbial “it” for the Democrats.

I think that’s a little short-sighted. The majority of America isn’t watching this, and the majority of America is more likely concerned with the current corruption probes and warrantless wiretapping. This will be but a blip.

Instead, they decided to harass him to the point of making the point of making his wife leave in tears. This is the image they portray to the people and yet they wonder why they can’t win a majority!

…you didn’t actually watch the hearings, did you?

His wife went from smiling to crying all during Alito’s conversation with Senator Graham, a Republican. It was all very dramatic, though I think you’re mischaracterizing it just a bit (not really your fault, as you’re basically echoing the media portrayal).

As far as this constant talk about being unable to “win a majority” … the Democrats were in power for quite a long time. Politics in this country are always changing. Polling all but suggests that the country is ready to take the majority away from the GOP, every recent poll I’ve seen has suggested as much, and the Dems are likely to gain several seats at the very least in this year’s elections.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 1:46 PM
Comment #112521

Dave,

He joined CAP because they supported the ROTC. He never participated other than joining.

You can believe what you like, of course. But that would be a little like someone assuming a Democrat is a racist because his party has Senator Byrd in it.

Anyway, the issue is pretty much dead now, except for the fact that a few senators made themselves look bad.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 12, 2006 1:48 PM
Comment #112523

Stephen,

So, you’re calling what the Dems are doing in this committee “tough” questions?! They are making themselves look like fools; they can’t debate this guy. They pull up this “club” he was in decades ago that didn’t want to further quotas; that’s not bigotry.


The dems got nothing on this issue; it’s a shame that there are those out there that are clinging onto this dying dinosaur called the Democratic Party. Ha! Ha! It’s actually entertaining watching this unfold.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 12, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #112524
The Democrats have accomplished nothing in these hearings but hurt their own image, and as JBOD pointed out, image counts a lot in today�s politics. This is not the way people should to act when they have to convince people to vote for them. Posted by: TheTraveler at January 12, 2006 11:23 AM

Senators should act in a way that their constituents expect them to. A lot of people (in this thread anyway) find Senator Kennedy objectionable. Keep in mind Senator Kennedy, whose behavior some see as so foolish, has gotten him reelected 7 times for a total of 43 years.

The line of questioning he did on the future Justice Alito concerning his membership of the club at Princeton was so ruthless, mundane, pointless, and to the point that Sen. Kennedy did a good job looking and acting foolish.

tom,

I don’t think there was anything wrong with Senator Kennedy requesting the subpoena for records that Judge Alito himself didn’t object to. Apparently, low blood sugar levels drove the exchange between Kennedy and Specter. When the committee resumed hearings after lunch, a much more civil exchange on the subject of Kennedy’s letter was brought up again by Sen. Specter, who confirmed that his office did indeed receive the letter that Sen. Kennedy sent to him and that those requested documents would be available to the committee. Sen. Kennedy thanked Sen. Specter and explained that he brought up the subject the way he did because he had sent a letter to Sen. Specter asking for the records and thought Specter was aware of his request. I think the bigger issue here is that Alito doesn’t remember something he himself put on his resume.

They could have opposed him without the outright hostility and ended up with the same number of votes against.

Traveler,

Harriet Miers couldn’t even make it to these hearings because of the “outright hostility” of some Republicans. Do you think the Republicans on the committee would have treated her with kid gloves, if she had made this far?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 12, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #112528

rahdigly–

The dems got nothing on this issue; it’s a shame that there are those out there that are clinging onto this dying dinosaur called the Democratic Party. Ha! Ha! It’s actually entertaining watching this unfold.

I have to admit, I find such comments to be quite puzzling.

Yes, the Democrats do not control Congress. They haven’t for over ten years now. However, the did control it for a good deal of time before that.

Call them a “dinosaur” if you must, but the Republican party is incredibly vulnerable right now. Congress, under their control, is extremely unpopular. Our Republican president is extremely unpopular. Several scandals (with more on the way) will weaken the party even more.

Public polls for months have shown that the public would like take control away from the Republicans. Republican incumbents are down in several states. Many Republican hopefuls have already decided that this time isn’t appropriate to run.

You just seem a tad overly optimistic…

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #112529

JBOD, no that would confuse. It is annoying that you don’t read my full comments before responding, JBOD, or you cherry pick what you will let in.

See my former explanation of how actors bring real emotions to play on cue. The emotions can be real, and still be staged. That is the very definition of a good actor. DUH!!!!

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 12, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #112530

mattlaw,

I did watch quite a bit of the hearings and I saw the part where she cried. Senator Grahm was in the midst of apologizing for the treatment of her husband. Mrs. Alito didn’t cry during the questioning, but it was as a result of it.

The majority of America isn’t watching this, and the majority of America is more likely concerned with the current corruption probes and warrantless wiretapping. This will be but a blip.

Most of the people who care about those issues will care about this. After all, Alito may be called on to rule on wire tapps, etc.

Polling all but suggests that the country is ready to take the majority away from the GOP, every recent poll I’ve seen has suggested as much, and the Dems are likely to gain several seats at the very least in this year’s elections.

I’ve seen no such polling. From what I’ve seen, both parties and Congress itself are polling far below the President.

As for winning back the majority, if it happens it will be due to something that happens between now and november. The Democrats have made political mistake after political mistake for years and these hearings are but one example.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 12, 2006 2:07 PM
Comment #112531

MattLaw:

There is a big difference between the Democrats being “likely to gain several seats at the very least in this year’s elections” and the country being “ready to take the majority away from the GOP”. I won’t be surprised to see Republicans lose some seats—-first, there is a historical precedent for it, and second, there may be a fallout from the Abramoff thing. I don’t see a wholesale power shift though.

I think Alito will be confirmed without a filibuster. Currently, Dems are posturing (as are Repubs), but I think ultimately Alito will be found to be qualified for the position, despite how people view his ideological stance. The stance of an appointee to the SCOTUS will always be taken into consideration, depending on which party is in power.

Agreed that this will be a blip—the latest of many. If Dems are serious about eliminating Alito, I don’t think they are making a case for it by going back to his Princeton days. On the flip side, I’d agree with what Yossarian said as a means of defusing the issue.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 12, 2006 2:08 PM
Comment #112533

‘Public polls for months have shown that the public would like take control away from the Republicans. …’

If given a choice … would the public really want to give it right back to the Democrats?

Posted by: dawn at January 12, 2006 2:10 PM
Comment #112535

JBOD, I don’t write or express my opinions to please you, be judged by you, or assessed by you as consistent or any other measures you choose to run around judging people by. I am an American, I have opinions, I express them. I am sometimes in error, I am sometimes inconsistent, and I am very fine with that. Like I said, I will reserve my empathy for where it is much more warranted and needed.

I am not sorry to have let you down, it was never my intent to lift you up. I think you have that responsibility, or not, as the case may be.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 12, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #112537

Jay,

You should truly go over what the conservatives said about Harriet Miers; they disagreed with her not hate her. Big difference! They didn’t call Bush a liar or say that he’s a terrorist or he’s unqualified to appoint a judge, they just disagreed with her qualifications and felt she was the wrong choice. She stepped down and Bush picked a rock, solid conservative that’s going to get nominated and he’s going to debunk those hateful democrats (who have no power) along the way.


The dems don’t disagree with Alito and the conservatives, they hate them. It’s that clear.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 12, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #112539

Dawn, good point, but, what choice do they have? Incumbents or challengers, the choices remain the same, Republican or Democrat. Goofy and Goofier! :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 12, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #112540

The hypocrite Kennedy asking about CAP and he belonged to OWLS at Harvard an organization which refused admittance to women until FORCED to do so during the 80’s.

Posted by: pige at January 12, 2006 2:19 PM
Comment #112541
that would be a little like someone assuming a Democrat is a racist because his party has Senator Byrd in it.

Posted by TheTraveler at January 12, 2006 01:48 PM

Traveler,
That is poor logic. If your groups mission is to prevent affirmative action and let ROTC onto campus, then I assume you are against affirmative action and for the ROTC. If a member of that group believed in segregation and segregation was not an action item for that group, then I would not extend that belief to the group as a whole nor did I do so in this instance.

Scenario two, above, is you are for ROTC and don’t care about affirmative action. If Alito hadn’t come out against affirmative action in other forums, I would benefit-of-the-doubt to this scenario. But, he has, so I can’t.

The dems don’t disagree with Alito and the conservatives, they hate them. It’s that clear. Posted by rahdigly at January 12, 2006 02:13 PM
That’s what Bush wants you to believe. The reality is that it’s mostly reflection of your own feelings of hate towards the left back onto the left. Also, many on the right were very directly hostile to Meirs because of her clear inadequacy for the job. Posted by: Dave at January 12, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #112543

All I can say is that if she had to become emotional, I’m glad that Mrs. Alito cried instead of laughed, though she had every right to.

You have to admit that there’s something pretty funny about Mr. Alito’s sterling personal credentials and ethics being questioned by the likes of:

1). Joe Biden, plagiarist and blowhard.

2). Dianne Feinstein, employer of an undocumented Guatemalan housekeeper who was fined $190,000 for illegally failing to report 3.5 million in campaign spending.

3). Ted Kennedy, who was expelled from Harvard and abandoned a woman to die at Chappaquiddick—when, very probably drunk—he drove his car off the road.

The proper response to this ridiculous spectacle is LAUGHTER, not tears, as I’m sure Mrs. Alito herself will realize by the end of next week.

Posted by: sanger at January 12, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #112544

The dems don’t disagree with Alito and the conservatives, they hate them. It’s that clear.

Not all of them, but some of them do.

The worst part is that some of them actually come right out and say it! Dean is a good example. This is one of the political mistakes I was talking about.

Image is part of politics. Making yourself look hostile or spiteful is not a good way to get people to like you.

We can debate how much the hearings will affect public oppinnion. But it is a fact that the Democrats took a loss that could have been a draw simply by acting respectful.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 12, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #112545

The Traveler–

I’ve seen no such polling. From what I’ve seen, both parties and Congress itself are polling far below the President.

Absolutely … though the President’s own numbers are quite dismal.

Polling Report is a great resource that gathers all of the national polls.

As for winning back the majority, if it happens it will be due to something that happens between now and november. The Democrats have made political mistake after political mistake for years and these hearings are but one example.

Quite the contrary–I’m not convinced that they’ll have to do anything at all.

Many are fed up with Congress. Such a mentality can only hurt the majority party more … and this whole Abramoff mess couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #112548

Dave, quite right, in psychology it is called ‘projection’ and there is a huge amount of it going around these days. I get my daily dose on C-Span’s call in Washington Journal every morning. It is at once, illuminating, sad, and hilarious, the mental gymnastics Americans will peform in public.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 12, 2006 2:28 PM
Comment #112550

Mrs. Alito’s tears: Crocodile!
Jbod, I think David Remer can be a Bodhisattva. After all, one needn’t be a total sucker in order to be wise and compassionate.

Schwamp:
“He can suck it up for a couple days.”
Yeah, for a LIFETIME appointment.

To All,

FYI, Concerned Alumni of Princeton is so very much a racist and sexist organization that Senator Bill Bradley AND Senator Bill Frist who both graduated from Princeton felt the need to publically censure it. CAP earned an even worse reputation during the period that Alito belonged to it, yet he had no problem with using it on his resume because it helped him get a promotion with the Reagan administration.
It really is complete bullsh*t for Alito to now say that he can’t remember something which he previously touted on his resume.

Personally I feel that no one who ever belonged to such a clearly racist and sexist organization deserves to sit on our nations highest court — most especially since he is to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Conner who is both a woman and a moderate.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 12, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #112554

mattlaw,

Good points. But you are forgetting three things.

1. Incumbents are usually re elected.
2. The dislike of the parites leaves the door open for independants to run
3. The Democrats are very bad at playing politics and recently they have had trouble captializing, even when the Republicans make a mistake.

So although it could still go either way, by money’s not on the Democrats.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 12, 2006 2:38 PM
Comment #112556

The Traveller wrote:


Please quote an instance of ‘outright hostility.’

Schumer’s questioning. ‘Nuff said, although there are plenty of other examples.

Well, if that’s how you ‘quote’ an instance, then than I can ‘quote’ Alito’s answers and say that they disqualify him from the Supreme Court.

Posted by: bobo at January 12, 2006 2:40 PM
Comment #112559

Mattlaw,
“Yes, the Democrats do not control Congress. They haven’t for over ten years now. However, the did control it for a good deal of time before that. Call them a “dinosaur” if you must, but the Republican party is incredibly vulnerable right now. Congress, under their control, is extremely unpopular. Our Republican president is extremely unpopular. Several scandals (with more on the way) will weaken the party even more.”


That’s my point, the dems haven’t run things for years and yet they use the same tactics that they used when they were in power for over 40 years. They are actually starting to realize this now. All they’ve been doing is obstructing and throwing out accusations about the Repubs; it’s pathetic on their part, and yet, very entertaining.


“Public polls for months have shown that the public would like take control away from the Republicans. Republican incumbents are down in several states.”

And they should have been; hell, I was against them at the time. Immigration, spending, ANWAR, Patriot Act, etc. I’ve been against them on those issues and that’s why their polls were down. Yet, that was months ago. If you look now, the repubs have a rock, solid conservative for Supreme Court; they’re going to address immigration; tax cuts; Patriot Act; and try and pass ANWAR.

So, the shoe is definitely on the other foot, we’ll have to see how the “defender of the little guy” democrats do with those issues. If it’s anything like they are with the war, immigration, taxes, granting lawyers to terrorists, Patriot Act, energy bill and judges, then they’ll be in further trouble.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 12, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #112560
1. Incumbents are usually re elected.

Certainly. However, even some incumbents are facing tough elections. See DeLay or Santorum.

2. The dislike of the parites leaves the door open for independants to run

…something I would certainly welcome.

3. The Democrats are very bad at playing politics and recently they have had trouble captializing, even when the Republicans make a mistake.

This may be the case, but the GOP will certainly be facing trouble if they manage to get their act together. As it stands, I think the GOP is mostly taking self-inflicted damage (though not an insignificant amount).

I think the warrantless wiretapping might potentially become a very damaging issue for the White House (as it should, in my opinion). Of course, many on the Right have started to distance themselves from the President.

I would love to see more conservative Republicans elected. Balance is necessary, in my opinion. I don’t really see a lot of benefit from the neocon mentality, though.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #112562

Pige,

Just a clarification, the Owl club is still not co-ed. Probably never will be.

Posted by: Rob at January 12, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #112564

bobo,

These are public hearings. Everything’s on record.
Since you’re the only one who asked, I’ll assume that everyone else here either watched the hearings or read about them. Most of the news stories I’ve read about the hearings aluded to that line of questioning.


mattlaw,

I don’t disagree with anything in your last post.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 12, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #112566

Mattlaw,
“I think the warrantless wiretapping might potentially become a very damaging issue for the White House (as it should, in my opinion). Of course, many on the Right have started to distance themselves from the President.”

I hope that’s an issue, b/c it’s a winner for Bush. Bigtime! All the bloggers that have been writing about these “warrantless” wiretaps haven’t been able to sway public opinion. Americans don’t care about that, as long as the gov’t is keeping us safe. And, that’s what Bush did and any dem or rep that wants to “distance” themselves from that will end up losing in the end.

And, as far as the “incumbent party usually wins”, remember what happened in 2002. Bush and the reps were supposed to take a fall and they didn’t; the same happened in 2004, as well. Wake up people, the voters are doing and saying something completely different than you.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 12, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #112567
I hope that’s an issue, b/c it’s a winner for Bush. Bigtime! All the bloggers that have been writing about these “warrantless” wiretaps haven’t been able to sway public opinion. Americans don’t care about that, as long as the gov’t is keeping us safe. And, that’s what Bush did and any dem or rep that wants to “distance” themselves from that will end up losing in the end.

On the contrary, I think you’ll find that many Americans are concerned with the warrantless wiretapping of the conversations of American citizens. Wiretapping is unconstitutional without a warrant. Furthermore, the NSA ignored federal law by circumventing the FISA court.

I find it extremely troubling that anyone might believe this is an unchecked power that the Executive (under ANY president) should possess…

And, as far as the “incumbent party usually wins”, remember what happened in 2002. Bush and the reps were supposed to take a fall and they didn’t; the same happened in 2004, as well. Wake up people, the voters are doing and saying something completely different than you.

I don’t remember anyone claiming that the GOP was going to “take a fall” in either 2002 or 2004, except for maybe the President … who was reelected by the slimmest majority of any reelected incumbent president in history.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #112568

rahdigly,

You point out that the (R) congress will “address immigration; tax cuts; Patriot Act; and try and pass ANWAR.” as if that’s a good thing. What are you taliking about?

immigration? They want illegals to pull cheap veggies for their megafarm corporations. They want cheap illegals to sleep in storerooms after cleaning wal-marts.
tax cuts? More deficits, less services. Greater distance between the rich and the rest while stealing our children’s future.
Patriot Act? A powergrab response by lazy and scared politicos during sheep stress. Same for warantless wiretaps.
ANWR? A few years of oil, increased global warming, and higher profits for energy companies, in exchange for the permanent destruction of pristine habitats. If we open it up, it needs to be publicly owned to ensure equitable distribution.

The majority of this country is tired of the republican lies and their soulless cheerleaders.

Posted by: Dave at January 12, 2006 3:05 PM
Comment #112570

rah:
“All the bloggers that have been writing about these “warrantless” wiretaps haven’t been able to sway public opinion. Americans don’t care about that, as long as the gov’t is keeping us safe.”

matt:
“On the contrary, I think you’ll find that many Americans are concerned with the warrantless wiretapping of the conversations of American citizens.”

Here is some polling info about whether or not people care about warrantless wiretapping.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 12, 2006 3:26 PM
Comment #112578

Adrienne,
Most of it looks pretty positive for Bush…

Can’t wait to hear how it will be spun the other way.

Posted by: THC at January 12, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #112580

TheTraveler wrote:

These are public hearings. Everything’s on record. Since you’re the only one who asked, I’ll assume that everyone else here either watched the hearings or read about them. Most of the news stories I’ve read about the hearings aluded to that line of questioning.

you — not me — are the one who used the term “outright hostility” to describe the Democrats and have not presented a single quotation to back up that claim.

I’ve challenged you to back up that assertion with a quotation. You haven’t done that. If all you’re going to tell me to look “Schumer’s questioning” then, I’m just as free to say look at “Alito’s answers” and you will see that Alito isn’t qualified to be on the Supreme Court. Frankly, I expect a little more thoughtful analysis from someone before you describe them as “hostile.”

Posted by: bobo at January 12, 2006 3:56 PM
Comment #112583

“Most of it looks pretty positive for Bush…”

Looks almost evenly divided to me. Obviously plenty of people DO care about warrantless wiretapping.

“Can’t wait to hear how it will be spun the other way.”

All I do is put up some polling info and that is spinning?

Posted by: Adrienne at January 12, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #112584

It looks about even (certainly within the margin of error) and I suspect support will drop significantly when the extent of the warrantless monitoring is more completely known.

How could anyone support a program that could so easily be used in illegitimate ways?

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #112585

I’m sorry, did I say YOU were spinning?

Posted by: THC at January 12, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #112586

So, Judge Alito belonged to a sexist CAP organization that had a female for the CAP magazine editor. It will take me a while to figure that one out. Maybe a typo. Maybe a lack of what sexist means. So far these don’t fit. So I’ll keep trying to find a logical sane explanation.

Posted by: tomh at January 12, 2006 4:11 PM
Comment #112589

Dave,
“You point out that the (R) congress will “address immigration; tax cuts; Patriot Act; and try and pass ANWAR.” as if that’s a good thing. What are you taliking about?”


Immigration reform is a good thing. Holding illegals and our own elected officials responsible for obeying our Immigration Laws is a good thing. We shouldn’t have gotten this far; however, they will now deal with it. And, just to let you know, allowing illegals here so they can vote for a particular party (democrats) in mass numbers is no better then having them “pull cheap veggies for their corporations”. They’re both wrong and that will (better) be addressed.

Tax cuts are a good thing. Allowing our citizens to have more of our hard, earned money is definitely a good thing. Our economy is booming right now (see the latest numbers) and it’s b/c of the Bush tax cuts.

Patriot Act is a good thing. It allowed us to do what is necessary to protect this nation, all while not violating our constitution.


Drilling in ANWAR is a good thing. Allowing us to explore and potentially use our own oil will help keep us from depending on despots like the Mullahs and that fat idiot in Venezuela that would like nothing more than to keep us dependent on them so they can sway public opinion.

Now, Adrienne and Dave, you can try and deny it; however, the public is just not buying it about these wiretaps. The only way Bush would be hindered (or impeached) by that story is if he hadn’t done anything or had he waited for the 72 hours for the warrant and something did happen. Then, I personally would be calling for impeachment. Would you? If a terrorist attack happened while Bush was waiting to get a warrant, would you defend him?! Hmmm!


The warrantless wiretaps is a winner for Bush, I’m sorry you’re not seeing that right now. You will though.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 12, 2006 4:18 PM
Comment #112592
Now, Adrienne and Dave, you can try and deny it; however, the public is just not buying it about these wiretaps. The only way Bush would be hindered (or impeached) by that story is if he hadn’t done anything or had he waited for the 72 hours for the warrant and something did happen. Then, I personally would be calling for impeachment. Would you? If a terrorist attack happened while Bush was waiting to get a warrant, would you defend him?! Hmmm!

The FISA law laid out by Congress allowed for the emergency wiretapping during the time period needed to obtain a warrant.

The warrantless wiretapping of American persons is unconstitutional … and this is not to mention the fact that Congress has spoken on this issue and circumventing the FISA Court is outside of federal law.

The warrantless wiretaps is a winner for Bush, I’m sorry you’re not seeing that right now. You will though.

I will NEVER agree to the monitoring of American citizens by the government without oversight, and many others (liberals, libertarians, AND conservatives) feel the same way and will continue to.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #112593

This has been one great discussion! However, there are some things that just get to me.

David: You have absolutely no right to denigrate Mrs. Alito’s tears. That is such a judgemental attitude that I would expect from some “fundamentalist wacko” rather than a reasonably intelligent person as you seem to be, most of the time.

As far as the hearings are concerned, I have watched 4-5 hours of the goings on and my reaction is that we deserve better. The Democrats looked like Matlock wannabes trying trap the nominee in an “AHA” confession of some great error. Some of the Democrats, Biden, Feinstein, Kennedy, et al, have a definite problem. They don’t when they are looking foolish, and don’t care.

Senator Kennedy demanded access to some of the documents pertaining to the CAP. He got access and, my goodnes, there’s nothing there. Yet this morning he uses his time to castigate Judge Alito.
During his diatribe, I counted at least seven outright lies. Misstatements were abundant, and the overall impression was one of a sad, aging never-was trying act like somebody, hoping people would pay attention to him.

Joe Biden never met a word he didn’t like and uses all of them. Yesterday he took eight minutes to ask a question, and it was a question that had been asked several times before.

Republicans, for the most part were as bad, fawning over Judge Alito and tossing little softball questions.

We deserve better! We deserve hearings that are designed to show us a nominee, not something to impress the news media so that everyone has their 15 minutes of fame.

“Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” That’s my impression of the Senate Juciary comedy show. “A pox on both your houses” My reaction to said show.

Posted by: John Back at January 12, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #112596

This was a show trial, a PR exercise. The staffers have long ago done the research and the Senators know how they want to vote. The only variable was how it would play in public. If the Dems could make Alito look bad enough, it would give those in the middle the courage or political cover to vote against him.

As it turns out, we can thank Teddy Kennedy for making himself the butt of the joke (Specter handled him very well) and this game is now over. The chance of a successful Filibuster is over. Alito is in with a slightly elevated reputation. The big losers are people like Kennedy and the NGOs that worked so hard to trash this nominee. They will need better luck next time.

Posted by: Jack at January 12, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #112597

Mattlaw,
“I don’t remember anyone claiming that the GOP was going to “take a fall” in either 2002 or 2004, except for maybe the President.. who was reelected by the slimmest majority of any reelected incumbent president in history.”


See the “Wellstone Memorial”. Look that up and come talk to me. The dems swore they were going to get back the Senate. Also, look at previous incumbents during mid-term election numbers, it usually goes against the incumbent party and, in 2002, it didn’t. The 2004 election had the most disgusting, felonious attacks against our President (for over a year), while we were in an unpopular war and our economy was on shaky ground; not to mention the death toll for our troops was rising day in and day out.

And what happened? More people voted for this President than for any other President in the history of the US and the military voted for this president by almost 4 to 1. And, it was by 4 million votes in the popular vote and by 70,000 thousands votes in the deciding state.


And yet, people still have the audacity to try and go after him in a hateful that didn’t work in 2004. Man! If anything, it’s certainly entertaining watching these attacks backfire on the people that do it.


Posted by: rahdigly at January 12, 2006 4:35 PM
Comment #112602
The 2004 election had the most disgusting, felonious attacks against our President

I’m not certain that you know what “felonious” means. Many attacks that occur during political campaigning are unfair and often “disgusting.”

The problem is, you appear a bit hypocritical accusing others of attacking the President in this way. The President’s political advisor Karl Rove has been the source of many “disgusting” political attacks, many in Bush’s name and several against fellow Republicans (see: the 2000 GOP primaries, “push polling,” etc.).

And what happened? More people voted for this President than for any other President in the history of the US …

That’s a rather specious claim, considering the slight margin of victory. John Kerry received 59 million votes … that’s about 8 million more than Bush won by in 2000. The turnout was large, but that by no means suggest any overwhelming popularity of the President (who’s poll numbers have been terrible … a few months ago quite near what Nixon was polling during Watergate).

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #112605

For all you people who are so concerned about CAP - why don’t you clean out your own back yard and kick Robert Byrd out of your party. Beyond the horror of having the longest serving US Senator be a former KKK member, it makes your party totally hypocritical.

On the one hand being in a sexist, racist group like CAP should bar you from a job immediately (even if your time in was brief and motivated by something unrelated)…

… on the other hand being in a racist, sexist, antisemetic murderous group like the KKK is fine to lead our party.

Posted by: norberto at January 12, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #112606

For all you people who are so concerned about CAP - why don’t you clean out your own back yard and kick Robert Byrd out of your party. Beyond the horror of having the longest serving US Senator be a former KKK member, it makes your party totally hypocritical.

On the one hand being in a sexist, racist group like CAP should bar you from a job immediately (even if your time in was brief and motivated by something unrelated)…

… on the other hand being in a racist, sexist, antisemetic murderous group like the KKK is fine to lead our party.

Posted by: norberto at January 12, 2006 4:55 PM
Comment #112607
… on the other hand being in a racist, sexist, antisemetic murderous group like the KKK is fine to lead our party.

I am by no means a fan of Byrd (I believe Congress should have term-limits), but your comparison is a bit off.

His participation in the Klan (a hugely popular Southern organization back in the day) ceased in the 50’s.

He’s also an elected, not appointed, official.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 4:58 PM
Comment #112608

Mattlaw,
“The FISA law laid out by Congress allowed for the emergency wiretapping during the time period needed to obtain a warrant.The warrantless wiretapping of American persons is unconstitutional… and this is not to mention the fact that Congress has spoken on this issue and circumventing the FISA Court is outside of federal law.”

Let’s get one thing perfectly clear, FISA SUCKS!!! That’s right, you read that correct. If FISA was so good at protecting us against terrorism, then why did every President since Carter (when FISA was signed) stink when it came to terrorism?!!! Since, 9/11 we have used the Patriot Act and Executive Powers (granted by Congress) to go after the terrorists and keep us safe. And that’s what the President did.


Remember people, this isn’t about spying on any American citizens, it’s about spying on Al Qaeda internationally that were making calls to terrorist cells in the US that were American citizens. Period. And, I’m telling you, this is a loser for the ones trying to twist this story. Americans want Al Qaeda and their terrorist cells that are American citizens to be spied on. Period!!


http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/felonious


http://www.multied.com/elections/2004pop.html

Bush 59,459,765 Kerry 55,949,407


You’re still living in the past with the 2000 election. I’m talking about 2004 and Bush won big. You’re going to have to accept it and get over it.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 12, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #112610

I think this link provides a more thorough look at the CAP issue than the confirmation hearings. CAP and Alito article in the Daily Princetonian

If this article has any foundation, it provides a reasonable explaination for Alito’s association and his failed memory. I’m guessing that Alito knew enough about CAP to seek membership and use the connection to help him get a job in Reagan’s justice department. ON a side note, I think Alito probably had sympathy for that “good old days” theme that was central to CAP.

I also think the answer “I joined CAP knowing their purpose but just to get a job”, while possibly close to the truth, is not an answer that would play in the hearings, which explains the memory loss.

I’m disappointed at the tone of the hearings. It doesn’t reflect well on anyone, but Dems in particular. Since scuttling the Alito nomination never seemed a real option, I don’t entirely understand it.

Stephen, I think you are right. This is just theater.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as offensive to the right as Alito is to Dems, was confirmed 96-3. Sadly, it does not appear we will see a bipartisan vote for some time to come.

Posted by: CPAdams at January 12, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #112611

Here’s the nightmare I have periodically. I hope it isn’t true.

Alito is one more piece in the orchestrated resurgence of the “conservative” movement. The quotes indicate that this is a shell of what conservatism used to stand for. Basically, a cabal of the rich and powerful set out two decades ago to capture the reins of government and this movement is the product of those efforts. The proliferation of conservative think tanks, the careful cultivation of quiet, bureaucratic, but radically right-wing jurists like Roberts and Alito — they are all part of this plan. The right-wing talk radio shows, the emergence of Fox News television, the Federalist Society, and all the rest are implements in this effort. If you pay close attention, the core values pursued are not those stated by traditional conservatives and given lip service, but rather the retention and more rapid accretion of power and wealth by those who already possess it. This cabal has taken over the White House, the Senate, and the House, and is about to put the last piece in place to take over SCOTUS for decades. As in the 2000 Presidential race, they will use this body to shore up control of the other branches of the Federal government. They will continue to strain the Federal budget by reducing the tax burden on the rich, spend money on reckless international military actions to grasp at controlling raw materials, and funneling Federal dollars to their cronies in places like Haliburton. Meanwhile, they deny needed services for the less advantaged and increase the economic burden of govenment on the middle class. They will measure their success based on the performance of the international companies they control, and turn their heads as the middle class sees its real incomes slowly retreat back to 1960 levels. This is not accidental, or an unfortunate side effect of economic cycles. This is a planned sequence of events that coopt intellectually honest conservatives, the religious right, working class resentments and fears, and the American Dreams of the middle class. There have been many “democracies” over the last few decades in the world that held elections, had elective bodies, and a “president” that ruled with an iron fist by a cunning combination of reward and intimidation. The last piece of the puzzle to accomplish this in the US is for the newly Scalitoed SCOTUS to uphold the right of the President to do anything he wants in the name of fighting terror. This will allow the ultimate intimidation of the opposition. As Saddam, Qaddafi, the Shah, Fidel, and all their ilk showed, all you need to do is scare them by flexing your muscles, and most of the public opposition melts away. With the power to listen in on and imprison anyone he wants to without review by unbiased courts, the President can establish a dictatorship, set the legislative agenda, change the constitution to allow multiple terms, pass the office on to his heirs (oh, yeah, they already figured that one out), and never worry about the opposition.

Huh? Is that the alarm? Morning already? Whew! What a dream. Time to get up and drive to work. Wonder what’s on public radio…

Posted by: Mental Wimp at January 12, 2006 5:07 PM
Comment #112612

rahdigly–

Let’s get one thing perfectly clear, FISA SUCKS!!! That’s right, you read that correct. If FISA was so good at protecting us against terrorism, then why did every President since Carter (when FISA was signed) stink when it came to terrorism?!!! Since, 9/11 we have used the Patriot Act and Executive Powers (granted by Congress) to go after the terrorists and keep us safe. And that’s what the President did.

That doesn’t begin to make sense. FISA authorizes wiretaps, it doesn’t conduct surveillance of its own. It allows for emergency wiretapping prior to obtaining a warrant, and it has RARELY denied the request for one. Your criticism is illogical.

Not to mention the fact that, even if the law did “suck” … there is a mechanism for changing that law: The Legislative Branch. It is not acceptable for the Executive Branch to simply ignore the law that it is bound by.

It’s also quite far-fetched to assume that Congress somehow implicitly gave the President permission to avoid FISA.

Remember people, this isn’t about spying on any American citizens, it’s about spying on Al Qaeda internationally that were making calls to terrorist cells in the US that were American citizens.

Again, you’re not making sense. You state that “this isn’t about spying on any American citizens,” then later state that American citizens were spied upon. You’re completely ignoring the fact that American citizens who were only tangentially connected to suspected terrorists were also monitored, and some reports have suggested that thousands and thousands of calls into and out of the U.S. were monitored without warrants. This is against the FISA statute and it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/felonious

…and you’re claiming that statements made about the President were illegal? Might you cite the law in question?


Bush 59,459,765 Kerry 55,949,407

You’re still living in the past with the 2000 election. I’m talking about 2004 and Bush won big. You’re going to have to accept it and get over it.

No, I was comparing KERRY’S NUMBERS to the numbers that Bush brought in in the 2000 election. My point was that it is irrelevant that he received the ‘most votes’ of any election–because Kerry received a huge number and nearly as many!

The point I was making was quite obvious, and I think you’re being quite disingenuous. I’m beginning to think that you might be more interested in making partisan attacks than you are interested in actually discussing anything substantial.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #112613

rahdigly,

though a waste of time, I feel compelled to remind you that the 2004 vote, 51.2% to 48.8%, does not qualify as any sort of landslide. It doesn’t even qualify as decisive. Bush’s victory, by 2.4% overall, was comparable to Carter’s 2.1% win, and the third closest win in the last 40 years (2000, of course, is first).

Bush got more votes because there were MORE PEOPLE VOTING.

Anyway, I felt compelled to waste my breath.

Posted by: CPAdams at January 12, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #112619

Matt and CPA,

I never said it was a landslide victory for Bush in 2004, I said it was monumental; the most votes in Presidential history and that included a 4 to 1 military vote. So, try not to twist my quotes next time; that way you “won’t have to waste your breath”.


“and you’re claiming that statements made about the President were illegal?”


Matt, felonious means: very evil; villainous; hence the reason I gave you the link.


“I’m beginning to think that you might be more interested in making partisan attacks than you are interested in actually discussing anything substantial.”

I’m not making partisan attacks, I’m just stating facts that you guys (obviously) don’t want to handle. If you look at what I wrote, I was on record saying that I would be for impeaching President Bush had he not authorized warrantless eavesdropping between Al Qaeda and their American citizens terrorist cells.


And, none of you have yet to answer my question directly:

If Bush went through the FISA courts and waited the 72 hours for a court order and a terrorist attack happened, would you defend Bush for not “spying on US citizens” w/out a warrant?!!


Just answer the question directly; unless of course your worried about your stance on this issue.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 12, 2006 5:49 PM
Comment #112620

I don’t think rahdigly knows what “archaic” means, either. I tend to ignore his thoughtless screeds.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at January 12, 2006 5:52 PM
Comment #112622

Well I am SHOCKED, SHOCKED to discover that there are politics going on inside the beltway. But please people, don’t act so naive.

To those who condemn the Democrat senators while conveniently forgetting that Mrs. Alito’s reaction was to Republican Senator Lindsey Graham’s words…you are what you claim to eschew. There has been no shortage of Republican grandstanding in the hearings either. Senator Graham being exhibit “A”.

The SC confirmation process has been used and abused by both parties. Both sides have staked out the judiciary as a battle ground and what we see on our TV screens is the result. That being said, I would like to add that the SC confirmation process appears to have been designed by a people who eat their young.

Posted by: RMD at January 12, 2006 6:00 PM
Comment #112632

Wimp,

Feeling a little paranoid?

Posted by: Cliff at January 12, 2006 6:33 PM
Comment #112634

Cliff

Yeah. Did you see this.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at January 12, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #112635

rahdigly:

Matt, felonious means: very evil; villainous; hence the reason I gave you the link.

That’s actually not the case, though your link does refer to an “archaic” definition of the word that says as much. The word is no longer commonly used in such a fashion.

If Bush went through the FISA courts and waited the 72 hours for a court order and a terrorist attack happened, would you defend Bush for not “spying on US citizens” w/out a warrant?!!

I already answered your question. FISA allows for an emergency period of WARRANTLESS monitoring while a warrant is being pursued. He would never have to wait any amount of time at all to monitor a conversation involving Al Qaeda.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #112645

Matt,

FISA DOESN’T WORK!!! Why do you insist on defending something that is not worth defending in the first place. If FISA was useful, we wouldn’t of had a 9/11. Heck, if it did work, we wouldn’t of had the first world trade bombing in 1993 and all the other terrorists plots since then.


The Patriot Act helped “connect the dots” with intelligence gathering that FISA just doesn’t allow. Once again, FISA SUCKS!!!!


And, for the last time, the warrantless searches were against Al Qaeda and the terrorists cells in America. Period!!! People are trying to spin this like they did for the Patriot Act and the “Library card” searches. Not one person was reported to have their library cards searched and yet it was thrown around like the “sky was falling”. Whatever.


I’m telling you guys, you’re going to find out how wrong you are on this issue; it’s a winner for Bush. He did the right thing, and many Americans (liberals, statist, libertarians, conservatives) would have the President do it again. Remember, Al Qaeda the enemy and all the people they’re in contact with (regardless if they’re US citizens) are the enemy as well. So, they should be spied on.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 12, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #112653

rahdigly–

This is getting rather silly. You’re not reading or absorbing anything that I’m posting, you’re simply reacting.

FISA DOESN’T WORK!!! Why do you insist on defending something that is not worth defending in the first place. If FISA was useful, we wouldn’t of had a 9/11. Heck, if it did work, we wouldn’t of had the first world trade bombing in 1993 and all the other terrorists plots since then.

FISA is an act of Congress that prescribes the appropriate methods by which electronic surveillance should be handled. The FISA Court approves warrants for such searches. They RARELY, if EVER, deny warrant requests. They do not conduct their own surveillance.

Educate yourself. It is the law of the land. Congress makes laws, and the Executive is bound to adhere to such laws. Are you suggesting that when the President thinks a law “sucks,” he just ignore it?

And, for the last time, the warrantless searches were against Al Qaeda and the terrorists cells in America. Period!!!

You are wrong. Even if every single American who was monitored was aligned with some terrorist group (incredibly unlikely), the warrantless monitoring of an American person is a violation of the 4th amendment.

Let me guess: you don’t care about the Constitution (or the Supreme Court) any more than you care about Acts of Congress, right?

Remember, Al Qaeda the enemy and all the people they’re in contact with (regardless if they’re US citizens) are the enemy as well. So, they should be spied on.

The FISA Court has never denied a warrant to listen in on a conversation involving a member of Al Qaeda.

Think critically about this for a minute, please: why would the decision be made to circumvent FISA if the only intention was to monitor Al Qaeda and their contacts? Such monitoring would ALWAYS be allowed under FISA.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #112657

A couple of interesting items Re: Alito hearing.

The first three days some of the words that got some over consideration. Here are some of them and the number of times mentioned.

Abortion-101 times
Roe vs. Wade-115 times
Stare Decisis-120 times
Precedent-168 times
Super-Precedent-10 times
Griswold-44 times
Privacy-52 times
Bork-21 times
Concerned Alumni of Princeton/CAP-49 times

Another interesting item.
NARAL in an e-mail of 12/5/05 titled “Just 5 Days Left” was attempting to raise 500,000 petition signatures to give to the senate.

In an e-mail of 1/10/06 titled “Thanks For Your Hard Work” they stated that they were only able to raise 2,000 signatures.

This effort was to make their voice heard concerning the Alito nomination.

NARAL appears to be punchless.

Posted by: tomh at January 12, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #112662
You are wrong. Even if every single American who was monitored was aligned with some terrorist group (incredibly unlikely), the warrantless monitoring of an American person is a violation of the 4th amendment.

You have no idea who was monitored and who wasn’t. But what you do know (or should) is that the president’s own order EXCLUSIVELY permitted such monitoring of those suspected of terrorist ties.
If others were monitored, that was a violation of the president’s own order.

As for the 4th Amendment question, there is a lot of disagreement about that.

In the first place, what constitutes an “unreasonable” search? Fourth amendment considerations do apply, but they have to be balanced against other things in the Consitution—namely executive authorities, including those specifically authorized by Congress (which is also spelled out in the Consitution).

It’s been long established that customs officials can open and inspect mail originating from overseas, with or without a warrant and whether it’s addressed to an American citizen or not.
Is a warrant required to look inside your baggage at the airport, even if you’re boarding a domestic flight? Monitoring phone calls is different, but it’s not a simple matter of applying the Fourth Amendment when other parts of the Consitution apply.

Posted by: sanger at January 12, 2006 8:31 PM
Comment #112663

Matt,

You seem like a smart person, so I’ll have to assume that partisan politics is clouding your judgement. The fourth amendment was not violated; neither were the 5th and 6th amendment for that matter. The wiretaps were not used to criminally prosecute in a court of law, they were used to gather intelligence and (ultimately) stop terrorist attacks. What the President did was legal and he will be vindicated; the question is, will the people that are crying “foul” admit they were wrong? Probably not.

Clinton and his administration did the same thing and you don’t say a word about that. He had the right to do it and his DOJ argued in front of Congress about it.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0512210142dec21,0,3553632.story?coll=chi-newsopinioncommentary-hed

“President Bush’s post- Sept. 11, 2001, authorization to the National Security Agency to carry out electronic surveillance into private phone calls and e-mails is consistent with court decisions and with the positions of the Justice Department under prior presidents. The president authorized the NSA program in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America. An identifiable group, Al Qaeda, was responsible and believed to be planning future attacks in the United States. Electronic surveillance of communications to or from those who might plausibly be members of or in contact with Al Qaeda was probably the only means of obtaining information about what its members were planning next. No one except the president and the few officials with access to the NSA program can know how valuable such surveillance has been in protecting the nation.”


“Four federal courts of appeal subsequently faced the issue squarely and held that the president has inherent authority to authorize wiretapping for foreign intelligence purposes without judicial warrant.”


“In the most recent judicial statement on the issue, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, composed of three federal appellate court judges, said in 2002 that “All the … courts to have decided the issue held that the president did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence … We take for granted that the president does have that authority.”

“The passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978 did not alter the constitutional situation. That law created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that can authorize surveillance directed at an “agent of a foreign power,” which includes a foreign terrorist group. Thus, Congress put its weight behind the constitutionality of such surveillance in compliance with the law’s procedures.”

“But as the 2002 Court of Review noted, if the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches, “FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power.”

“Every president since FISA’s passage has asserted that he retained inherent power to go beyond the act’s terms. Under President Clinton, deputy Atty. Gen. Jamie Gorelick testified that “the Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes.”“

“I do not believe the Constitution allows Congress to take away from the president the inherent authority to act in response to a foreign attack. That inherent power is reason to be careful about who we elect as president, but it is authority we have needed in the past and, in the light of history, could well need again.
—————
John Schmidt served under President Clinton from 1994 to 1997 as the associate attorney general of the United States. He is now a partner in the Chicago-based law firm of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw.”


Good luck trying to convince someone that what Bush did was illegal; because, most people don’t, they can see what’s going on and they want to be safe and defeat this enemy. Period…

Posted by: rahdigly at January 12, 2006 8:32 PM
Comment #112665

I turned the hearings on for about 10 minutes. That was about all I could stand of the self rightiuos Chappawidick Teddy.
Now there would be some hearings worth watching. Chappawidick Teddy explianing why he let a girl drown in his car.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 12, 2006 8:42 PM
Comment #112675
You have no idea who was monitored and who wasn’t. But what you do know (or should) is that the president’s own order EXCLUSIVELY permitted such monitoring of those suspected of terrorist ties.

If they knew ties existed, then FISA would certainly allow for a warrant.

As for the 4th Amendment question, there is a lot of disagreement about that.

In the first place, what constitutes an “unreasonable” search? Fourth amendment considerations do apply, but they have to be balanced against other things in the Consitution—namely executive authorities, including those specifically authorized by Congress (which is also spelled out in the Consitution).

There’s a good deal of jurisprudence regarding the Fourth Amendment on the books, including the Fourth Amendment protections of phone conversations involving Americans.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 9:03 PM
Comment #112677

Wimp,

Yes I did…You are paranoid…

tomh,

I also found it very interesting that during the hearings this afternoon, all the dems left accept one when the other judges were giving their testimony about Alito. I could not believe it…

Posted by: Cliff at January 12, 2006 9:09 PM
Comment #112678

rahdigly–

You seem like a smart person, so I’ll have to assume that partisan politics is clouding your judgement.

Baseless.

The fourth amendment was not violated; neither were the 5th and 6th amendment for that matter. The wiretaps were not used to criminally prosecute in a court of law, they were used to gather intelligence and (ultimately) stop terrorist attacks.

A Fourth Amendment violation against an American citizen is complete the moment it occurs–no criminal prosecution is necessary. It’s on the books, look it up.


Clinton and his administration did the same thing and you don’t say a word about that. He had the right to do it and his DOJ argued in front of Congress about it.

Untrue. I am completely opposed to the monitoring of any American citizens without a warrant in violation of FISA. Your accusations that this is some “partisan” belief of mine is hallow. I am distrustful of the government under ANYONE’S control and I do not believe that such monitoring can exist unchecked.

one person’s opinion…

Former CIA General Counsel Jeff Smith says otherwise.

If you disagree with me, fine … but please educate yourself on the law in question. I’m not the only person who is concerned about this–I know plenty of Republicans who feel the same way (some have said as much on this board!)

I have a deep respect for the Constitution, and I’m suspicious of unchecked government power. Please don’t try to paint my opinion as something else, even if you happen to disagree.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 9:14 PM
Comment #112679

Ron,

Why don’t we ask Alito how he felt allowing 10 year old girls to get felt up as part of strip searches? Probably felt just like keeping out them pesky negroes and uppity women from Princeton… He knows their place, how come they don’t?

rahdigly,

This is a real question: Do you honestly believe that last post? I gotta say, it seems that you’re a market vetter to see how people tolerate a particular spin then tune it up for their audience.

Posted by: Dave at January 12, 2006 9:21 PM
Comment #112685

Dawn,

Right on and thanks!

Jay

Posted by: Jay at January 12, 2006 9:54 PM
Comment #112686

mattLaw,

The link (Jeff Smith-CIA)in your last post is about as bogus as it gets. I cannot tell if it was yours or from someone else, but any website that says it will take and then post uncorroborated information must be sponsored by Dan Rather.

Posted by: Cliff at January 12, 2006 9:55 PM
Comment #112687

Cliff

I think it would be absolutely COOL for the voters to act upon that situation and leave a mark absent from their name at the ballot box.

Posted by: tomh at January 12, 2006 10:10 PM
Comment #112689

Mattlaw, as you must know, the admistration CAN seek retroactive warrants through FISA up to 72 hours later.

While this fact is often offered as a criticism of the adminstration’s anti-terror efforts—under the baseless assumption that warrants are NOT being secured in cases when they otherwise could be—it not only raises important constitutional questions about the balance of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches, but gets to the heart of what’s necessary to actually fight entities like Al Qaida.

What happens when our intelligence agencies suspect security threats based on reasons which would not hold up to the standards of evidence which a judge would require in order to issue a warrant?

What if intelligent officers believe we’ve got to monitor somebody who just entered the country because they’re planning an attack? What if law enforcement monitors them for 72 hours, submits a request for a warrant, and is then turned down by a judge?

Reall. What if the retroactive 72 hour warrant is denied?

Does that fact—the legalistic view of a single judge—trump the executive’s power as validated by the congress? Must all monitoring of a suspected terrorist stop?

Is one judge, because he is a member of a FISA court, suddenly invested with ALL of the powers of not only the judicial but legislative and executive branch?

Posted by: sanger at January 12, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #112691

If the terrorist hunters intercept a phone call from outside the U.S. to an unkown recipient (which is exactly the claim) from a known and watched suspect, and they do not speak of anything tangible in the terrorist hunters view, Then Who do we warrant? Do we tip our hand that we are listening on this communication path? And if they do come up with something substantial, and act upon it in our favor, to nuetralize the issue then whats the problem?

Cliff-

Exactly the issue. The ramp up to the most important job interview in the country, and our esteemed senators are AWOL during much of the hearings. Biden, was not even present during the Mrs. Alito incedent. Even more annoying, the overpaid, overperked senators do not even bother researching or writing anything-Staffers do it. Join a committee, get more staff. Good example and I feel like kicking Kennedy around a little, called for a subpoena the records of a fellow CAP member and promptly sent Staffers to the Library of Congress to look it up! Important enough to pontificate, but not enough to actually do it himself. The topper comes when there is an error, mistake etc. and out comes “I Do not know—My Staff did not tell me” The justice department, Civil courts and the SEC all weighed this year and crucified several CEO’s using the same defence. (It of course happens on both sides of the Isle.) But the true point is what do they do? Vote, pontificate, raise money, go on junkettes, happy hour—then as a cherry on top, lifelong pensions. Good work if you can get it.

Posted by: Scott at January 12, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #112697

Sanger–

What happens when our intelligence agencies suspect security threats based on reasons which would not hold up to the standards of evidence which a judge would require in order to issue a warrant?

The FISA Court has acted as a virtual rubber stamp in all but a miniscule number of cases in which the government just could not give any reason at all for being suspect of a United States person.

The reality is that NO ONE wants our intelligence agencies to be without information, and NO ONE wants a foreign attack to occur on our soil.

However, there MUST be oversight. Consider what you’re saying, for a moment. With no one to answer to, you’re basically expecting the Executive branch to make use of such expansive powers in an appropriate manner to protect American citizens.

Set aside any pesky Constitutional issues for a moment. Without oversight, WHO determines when the procedure is being used legitimately and who determines when it has been used illegitimately? There is no one there, but the Executive itself, to make that determination. It’s as if you’re assuming that the expansive power to monitor American citizens will ONLY ever be used for benign purposes. What’s that old saying about “absolute power?”

Self-appointed guidelines are irrelevant, because there’s no one there to tell them they can’t break them! There must be a check on that power. You don’t think a President (of ANY party) would stoop so low as to use surveillance powers to monitor political opponents? How quickly we forget.

What if intelligent officers believe we’ve got to monitor somebody who just entered the country because they’re planning an attack? What if law enforcement monitors them for 72 hours, submits a request for a warrant, and is then turned down by a judge?

We’re talking about multiple judges, first of all.

Secondly, someone who “just entered the country” is not a “United States person” and thus is not protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Third, are you saying that this theoretical judge is going to disallow the monitoring of someone we know or suspect is “planning an attack?” Not a chance. In the crazy event that such a thing would occur, I’m guessing the person would be monitored illegally.

Does that fact—the legalistic view of a single judge—trump the executive’s power as validated by the congress? Must all monitoring of a suspected terrorist stop?

I really think you’re mistaken about the validity behind these searches. If a United States person is a “suspected terrorist,” then already more than enough information exists to monitor that person. We’re talking about people who are tangentially connected (once, twice removed) from suspects (and that’s probably being quite generous).

Is one judge, because he is a member of a FISA court, suddenly invested with ALL of the powers of not only the judicial but legislative and executive branch?

That’s such an odd thing to ask. A FISA judge possesses no executive nor legislative powers. He can only grant or deny a warrant request in a limited circumstance.

Without guidelines, without oversight, without rules … aren’t you basically saying that the Executive should be able to conduct warrantless ‘searches’ on ANYONE they deem to be a threat? That renders the Fourth Amendment meaningless.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 11:46 PM
Comment #112698

(Sigh) Republicans and Ethical behavior really seems to be like oil and water:
Graham’s Behind-the-Scenes Coaching of Alito Could Violate Senate Ethics Rules

From the above link:

Coaching a judicial nominee behind-the-scenes is not the proper role for a Judiciary Committee member who must subsequently sit in judgment on that nominee. Indeed, it could be a violation of the ethical duties of a senator. Here’s what Senate Rule 37 (Conflicts of Interest) in the Senate Ethics Manual 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.’’ … The Committee has interpreted this paragraph to prohibit compensated employment or uncompensated positions on boards, commissions, or advisory councils where such service could create a conflict with an individual’s Senate duties due to appropriation, oversight, authorization, or legislative jurisdiction as a result of Senate duties.

Also, if any of you thought it a bit strange that the MSM and the rightwing blogs had such a rapid response time to Martha-Ann’s little soap-opera moment, you might find this link kinda interesting: Tracks of Her Tears: The Swift Boaters and Sam Alito

Just in case anybody wants to watch the touching drama unfold again (and note how the woman sitting next to her leans over to tell her it’s time for her big exit), Crooks and Liars has it up under the title: Martha-Ann Bomgardner leaves in Tears

Posted by: Adrienne at January 12, 2006 11:51 PM
Comment #112699

Cliff–

The link (Jeff Smith-CIA)in your last post is about as bogus as it gets. I cannot tell if it was yours or from someone else, but any website that says it will take and then post uncorroborated information must be sponsored by Dan Rather.

Oh, you’re right … former CIA General Counsel Jeff Smith isn’t appearing as a witness on behalf of Rep. John Coyners at the hearings concerning the spying program in question.

Silly me.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 12, 2006 11:54 PM
Comment #112701
…aren’t you basically saying that the Executive should be able to conduct warrantless ‘searches’ on ANYONE they deem to be a threat? That renders the Fourth Amendment meaningless.

Not at all. Not “anyone” or anything close to it.

As a point of fact, this is not actually about “searches,” with or without a warrant, a measure under which a different standard applies. Listening to a phone call from overseas terrorists is not a search.

As a further point of fact, after 9-11, Congress ONLY voted to give the Executive branch authority to pursue using “all means necessary” Al Qaida and similar foreign organizations intent on harming the United States and its citizens. If you don’t like this fact, take it up with Congress.

They did not vote for more than that. But they did also not—and this is key—vote for less for that.

Using very similar language to what Congress voted for, the President’s order ONLY authorized law enforcement (and not, by the way, the Republican Party or any partisan organization) the right to eavesdrop on overseas terrorist organizations who make phone calls to suspected associates in the United States.

It’s absurd to think that the judiciary, even if they wanted to, would have the right to cancel out both the executive and leglislative branch on this issue and rule—what? Under the divine right of kings?

It’s absolutely incredible that blind partisan rancor has led liberals to obscure and blur these important facts in a vain and pointless attempt to strip American citizens of common sense protection from terrorism. If they think that this is going to gain them votes, then they have it exactly backwards. I have no doubt, however, that some of them are so far gone that they’ll say that it’s not about getting votes but about some kind of principled regard for civil rights that they’ve never shown before now. Funny, though, that they show such a hyper-senstive regard for the rights of terrorists when for generations now they’ve given not a care to the rights of the rest of us.

It’s truly, truly sad that all of their whining and posturing springs from no better motivation than to attack a second term President who is NOT standing for reelection and has no interest whatsoever in these matters except a desire to protect us from head-choppers and bombers.

I’m a little tired of liberals, I must admit, who for the past forty years have shown NO interest whatsoever in the Bill or Rights, and who suddenly have found themselves so gravely concerned about the rights of Al Qaida.

These people want to snuff the First Amendment entirely on college campuses and in the workplace with your “speech codes.” They want to snuff the Second Amendment entirely.

They want to take and redistribute wealth, enslave the entire universe to their absurd and reactionary notions of political correctness….and meanwhile, protect Al Qaida from eavesdropping?

Give me a break. The left is already dying on the ash heap of the history. The rest of us would prefer not to join them.

Posted by: sanger at January 13, 2006 12:50 AM
Comment #112704

Sanger–

As a point of fact, this is not actually about “searches,” with or without a warrant, a measure under which a different standard applies. Listening to a phone call from overseas terrorists is not a search.

Actually, wiretapping a phone conversation is a “search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. United States v. Katz is the case, and it was decided in 1967.

As a further point of fact, after 9-11, Congress ONLY voted to give the Executive branch authority to pursue using “all means necessary” Al Qaida and similar foreign organizations intent on harming the United States and its citizens. If you don’t like this fact, take it up with Congress.

Sure, within the law! Are you asserting that Congress intended for the President to break any laws possible in pursuit of terrorism? How can you ascribe an “intent” to a declaration when many members never intended that declaration to allow the circumvention of FISA to begin with?

You’re inappropriately suggesting that Congress was complicit in allowing Bush to avoid FISA, and reality does not reflect that.

Using very similar language to what Congress voted for, the President’s order ONLY authorized law enforcement (and not, by the way, the Republican Party or any partisan organization) the right to eavesdrop on overseas terrorist organizations who make phone calls to suspected associates in the United States.

Can you link to this presidential order? The leaks to the press suggested that suspected associates were bugged, and then the conversations of those associates were bugged, creating a web.

Either way, there was no required OVERSIGHT.

It’s absurd to think that the judiciary, even if they wanted to, would have the right to cancel out both the executive and leglislative branch on this issue and rule—what? Under the divine right of kings?

What? The FISA court (by CONGRESS’ DOING!) had the power to grant or deny warrant requests. The court has no other way to stay the Executive’s hand. The law call for a warrant, the Court is the method by which a warrant is granted.

It’s absolutely incredible that blind partisan rancor has led liberals to obscure and blur these important facts in a vain and pointless attempt to strip American citizens of common sense protection from terrorism. If they think that this is going to gain them votes, then they have it exactly backwards. I have no doubt, however, that some of them are so far gone that they’ll say that it’s not about getting votes but about some kind of principled regard for civil rights that they’ve never shown before now. Funny, though, that they show such a hyper-senstive regard for the rights of terrorists when for generations now they’ve given not a care to the rights of the rest of us.

It’s truly, truly sad that all of their whining and posturing springs from no better motivation than to attack a second term President who is NOT standing for reelection and has no interest whatsoever in these matters except a desire to protect us from head-choppers and bombers.

I’m a little tired of liberals, I must admit, who for the past forty years have shown NO interest whatsoever in the Bill or Rights, and who suddenly have found themselves so gravely concerned about the rights of Al Qaida.

These people want to snuff the First Amendment entirely on college campuses and in the workplace with your “speech codes.” They want to snuff the Second Amendment entirely.

They want to take and redistribute wealth, enslave the entire universe to their absurd and reactionary notions of political correctness….and meanwhile, protect Al Qaida from eavesdropping?

Give me a break. The left is already dying on the ash heap of the history. The rest of us would prefer not to join them.

My my, that was quite a rant. Let me take us back to reality, now: Many people are concerned by this, Democrat and Republican. I couldn’t give a flip what any politicians in Washington are saying or doing. My concern is not borne of “blind partisan rancor,” and I care not at all for the rights of Al Qaeda–in fact, I’ve professed nothing in this thread but a concern for the rights of AMERICAN CITIZENS.

I cared greatly about the civil rights demanded by our Constitution BEFORE Mr. Bush took office, and I will certainly continue to care about them and fight for them when he’s finally gone.

If you want to discuss the issue, fine. Save your partisan ranting for someone who cares.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 1:10 AM
Comment #112705

Sanger–

Perhaps you noted that (aside from all those evil liberals you’re convinced are behind this) the Congressional Research Service (the non-partisan research arm of Congress) determined that the Administration’s claims are not solidly grounded in law. The report is quite detailed, but worth reading.

It can be found here.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 1:21 AM
Comment #112731

Dave

Why don’t we ask Alito how he felt allowing 10 year old girls to get felt up as part of strip searches?

Works for me.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as offensive to the right as Alito is to Dems, was confirmed 96-3. Sadly, it does not appear we will see a bipartisan vote for some time to come.

Posted by: CPAdams at January 12, 2006 05:03 PM

We most likely won’t. And if anyone never deserved a Supreme Court seat Ginsburg is the one. If she aint the devil, she’s his twin sister.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 13, 2006 8:36 AM
Comment #112735

Ron,

If Ginsburg was “offensive to the right” then why was she confirmed 96-3?

Posted by: Dave at January 13, 2006 8:42 AM
Comment #112736

Dave
I’d rather the Senate be asking Alito questions like that than how he’d rule on cases that aren’t even before the Court yet. And might never be.
How he’s ruled in the past could say alot about his future rulings. And if he allowed that kind of thing to happen then I sure would like to hear him explain it. It disturbs me that a judge would let adults touch kids in that manner. It don’t matter if they’re girls or boys it just aint right.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 13, 2006 8:43 AM
Comment #112737

Ron,

If Ginsburg was “offensive to the right” then why was she confirmed 96-3?

Posted by: Dave at January 13, 2006 08:42 AM

Just more proof that Republicans aint Conservitives.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 13, 2006 8:45 AM
Comment #112746

Ron,

We agree that “it ain’t right to let adults” inappropriately touch children.
I also think if he was asked the question I posted, the GOP would be all over the quesitoner as in “It was a ruling of law in support of our law enforcement. How dare you suggest he supports pedophilia!?!”
So, they all have to ask questions based on how the opposition will spin it.
As for GOP .ne. conservatives, it all comes down to what you mean by conservative. Just as there are different types of inteligence, there are different types of conservatives. I think the GOP have become religious conservatives. If you listen to them talk, they always bring up G-d. Yet, it seems that they sleep with the devil to stay in power.

Posted by: Dave at January 13, 2006 9:11 AM
Comment #112782

Sanger,

Sorry, but your post looked like it had some meat to it, which I really appreciate, so I thought I would give it a try.

“As a further point of fact, after 9-11, Congress ONLY voted to give the Executive branch authority to pursue using “all means necessary” Al Qaida and similar foreign organizations intent on harming the United States and its citizens. If you don’t like this fact, take it up with Congress.”

Congress cannot make a law to violate a law… especially a constituntionally protected right such as wire-tapping without a warrant. Thus, there never was a belief that their authorization was to be construed to mean illegal wire-taps.

Therefore, if there needed to be a branch to take this too… it would appear that the Supreme Court would be that branch since that type of authorization would clearly be unconstitutional.

“It’s absurd to think that the judiciary, even if they wanted to, would have the right to cancel out both the executive and leglislative branch on this issue and rule—what? Under the divine right of kings?”

No sir… that was the beauty of the creation of the 3 branches with checks and balances.
It happens all the time that the court trumps the legislative and executive branch
Think for a moment… the Congress passes an unconstitutional law and the President signs it. Now, the Surpreme Court rules it unconstitutional.

“Funny, though, that they show such a hyper-senstive regard for the rights of terrorists when for generations now they’ve given not a care to the rights of the rest of us.

I have heard this claim before… that the Democrats have disregarded the rights of Americans before. Could you please give me some examples to work with because I am at a loss as to how to respond to this.


“It’s truly, truly sad that all of their whining and posturing springs from no better motivation than to attack a second term President who is NOT standing for reelection and has no interest whatsoever in these matters except a desire to protect us from head-choppers and bombers.”

Has no motivation? So, Presidents come in for their (hopefully) 2 terms and then wash their hands of politics? Excuse me, don’t you think that the President has a bit of a wider view of the political world? That he might want to increase the position of the Republican party, ensure the election of another Republican to the Presidency?

Believing in the process of law… keeping the President accountable to the Congress and the People is wrong? Especially in wartime? Don’t you think that especially in war time the President needs to communicate and be responsible to the people, because it is much too easy to rationalize behavior?

“I’m a little tired of liberals, I must admit, who for the past forty years have shown NO interest whatsoever in the Bill or Rights, and who suddenly have found themselves so gravely concerned about the rights of Al Qaida.”

Again, if you could give speficics it would really help me to discuss this.

“These people want to snuff the First Amendment entirely on college campuses and in the workplace with your “speech codes.” They want to snuff the Second Amendment entirely.”

There has been, and still is, debate as to what might be considered speech codes through out America.

I have to say that most of the political correctness is just people not putting up with boorish behavior anymore. You know. Racist and sexist jokes? Stereotypes accepted as facts… that sort of thing.

So, if you are talking about people not wanting to hear “Watermelon” jokes about a particular group of Americans… you are right.

If patting someone on the fanny and saying how sexy she looks is your idea of just being charming then I have to agree.

However, coming from 2 colleges, with one of the colleges and programs being considered one of the most liberal of degrees (teaching) I do admit that they challenge people to evaluate their beliefs.

However, a good argument supported by logic and facts will always win out when you have people of honesty and integrity to the truth and not to a party.

Granted, there are fanatics off all stripes…

When it comes to political correctness… can you believe that some people even want to limit the debate in America concerning the war?!?!


“They want to take and redistribute wealth, enslave the entire universe to their absurd and reactionary notions of political correctness….and meanwhile, protect Al Qaida from eavesdropping?”

No sir, we are not protecting Al-Qaeda from eavesdropping… we are trying to protect innocent Americans from unfettered eavesdropping. There is a slight, but significant difference there.

If you completely trust the government (which I never thought was a Republican position) then go ahead.

You cannot escape the fact that it is going overboard without oversight. Quakers being investigated? Granny singing groups? Environmentalists. Critical authors ending up on the list of people suspected of being terrorists or sympathizers and not allowed on planes. Boy, do I sleep better now!

Oh my goodness… the old, liberals are communists! I love that one. Redistribution of wealth…

Just two sides of the same coin really…
The Republicans want to redistribute the wealth to the already wealthy by distorting Capitalistic principles with “Supply side economics” which gives money to all companies regardless of their efficiency or viability.

The Democrats are wanting to redistribute the wealth to the people… so the free market can choose the winner and losers in the marketplace. You know, give the money to the consumers and let them decide.

Who would you like your money going to? Yourself or IBM?

“Give me a break. The left is already dying on the ash heap of the history. The rest of us would prefer not to join them.”

You are basing this on? That the Republicans have had a two term President? So did we. How far out does the typical conservative look?

Historically… Nixon was 1 1/2 terms? Ford, one term? Carter, one term? Reagan, 2 terms? GHW Bush, one term? Clinton, 2 terms? President Bush, 2 terms?

Based on the way business is run… one fiscal year is about the typical foresight. No wonder we are getting out butts kicked internationally in the market.

Let’s try thinking a bit further into the future… we can look to our past to give us some general assumptions to go on…

Political parties rise and fall in favor. All the things you ask for us to give to this President will become null and void the first moment a Democrat is elected President (And, one will). This is not specualtion… it is based on the really disgusting behavior of the Republicans during the last Democratic President (And Republicans call us “whiners”).

Based on the past… I would even imagine that before the next Democratic President will be sworn in there will be impeachment bumper stickers on cars… there will be rumors and innuendos whispered… there will be calls for special prosecutors… there will be Rush doing his “America held hostage countdown.”

Now, I have posted this position all over this Blog and I invite you to answer this question…

There was absolutely no opposition to President Bush’s action against Afganistan! There was an absolute and undeniable link between them, the Taliban and OGL and his Al-Qaeda.

Why do you think that it was so different with Iraq?

I belive that it wasn’t partisan politics. I think that it was an honest disagreement with the evidence presented (which proved to be true). It was a distraction from completing the clean up of the terrorists who were all in one place.

Let’s be pragmatic here, shall we? The results of his unilateral actions:
1) No WMDs
2) No big link to terrorists and Saddam
3) Thousands dead… combatants and noncoms
4) $Billions wasted
5) OBL escaped
6) Hundreds of new terrorists that never would have existed
7) America’s prestige and political capital internationally squandered
8) Honest debate concerning the direction of a war being called treasonous, unAmerican and cowardly (How about that for political correctness?)


I know this is a long post, but I appreciated the opportunity to have someone post something that could actually be discussed.

Now, if you would just send those examples of Democrats not caring about American civil rights I would appreciate it… because, personally, I beleive that there is a serious problem with that statement.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 13, 2006 10:51 AM
Comment #112789

Almost missed this:
tomh:
“So, Judge Alito belonged to a sexist CAP organization that had a female for the CAP magazine editor. It will take me a while to figure that one out. Maybe a typo. Maybe a lack of what sexist means. So far these don’t fit. So I’ll keep trying to find a logical sane explanation.”

In fact, after founding editor T. Harding Jones ‘72 left in 1976, CAP was never to find another Princeton grad to edit the publication. A succession of seven non-alumni filled out the final decade of Prospect’s life, mercenaries paid to come into town and shoot up Nassau Hall for a year or so and then depart, while their rich sponsors sat in immunity.

Quote taken from this article in the Daily Princetonian:

Alito needs to shed his CAP

Also from the article:

From its founding in 1972 till its unlamented demise in 1986, CAP was an organization that at first openly opposed full coeducation and the representative inclusion of minorities at Princeton, and then when those became “settled issues,” continued its opposition to the mere presence of women and minorities at Princeton through tactics ranging from code words to open harassment.

Simultaneously, and with a blind eye to its perverse irony, CAP campaigned for affirmative action for alumni in the administration and faculty. CAP especially wanted affirmative action in the admissions office for its members’ kids and for those student-athletes with bad grades and board scores.


Posted by: Adrienne at January 13, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #112796

Dave
Yeah, I can see it now. “How dare you say that cops cann’t molest children in order to enforce the law.”
And if they had done that I would hope that the public would be all over it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 13, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #112800

Laura Ingrahm edit the magazine at CAP for a season. How sexist is that?

Posted by: tomh at January 13, 2006 11:36 AM
Comment #112805

Mattlaw,
“Oh, you’re right … former CIA General Counsel Jeff Smith isn’t appearing as a witness on behalf of Rep. John Coyners at the hearings concerning the spying program in question. Silly me.”


Matt, Matt, Matt, that would be “silly” to stick up for anybody that sided with Conyers; he’s a far left nut that will say and do anything that opposes Bush, even if it’s true or not.

The former Clinton guy I sent you cited the 1994 testimony from Jamie Gorelick when she argued that Presidents have that Authority. Congress gave the Prez authority; nuff said. You don’t want to believe that fact, though. Sorry, but it’s true.


As far as the fourth admendment, they are not using it to criminally prosecute, they are using it to gather information. And, it’s not you and I they were “Authorized” to spy on; it’s AL QAEDA!!!! You know, the group that the libs say we should (only) go after.

Clinton used satellites to spy on white supremacists after the Oklahoma bombing; they were American citizens and their rights were violated. Where was your out cry?! I personally am glad Clinton did that; these hate groups and terrorists are the enemy of America, regardless if they’re an US citizen or not.

FISA is worthless to fight terrorism all on its’ own; it take longer than 72 hours just to fill out all the paper work. Our intelligence gathering should not be hamstringed to 72 hours (or any hour for that matter) in order to keep this country safe.

Take a look at the Rassmussen poll; a majority of Americans are fine with this wiretapping National Security topic; which is a winner for Bush.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/NSA.htm


“Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans believe the National Security Agency (NSA) should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that just 23% disagree.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Americans say they are following the NSA story somewhat or very closely.”


Chew on that for a while; it’s certainly not “Baseless”…

Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 11:51 AM
Comment #112809

Those points are just seeds rahdigly. Very few people support the unwarranted wiretap of american civilians within America. Just asking the question in a certain way doesn’t reflect reality.
When there is no independent oversight to those eavesdroppings, then there is no limit. Big brother is watching you!

Posted by: Dave at January 13, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #112815

Dave,

Come on, you just can’t accept the fact that the majority of Americans don’t agree with you on this topic. I told you guys, this is a winner for Bush. Now, whether you choose to believe me or not is up to you; however, the numbers don’t lie, it’s not “seeds” as you so put it.


Get over it peeps, National Security is important; especially after 9/11. Anyone remember that day? Most Americans do!

Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 12:17 PM
Comment #112829

rahdigly
I remember 9/11. And I STILL don’t want the government spying on me.
They can spy on noncitizens all they want as far as I’m concerned. They don’t have Constitutional rights anyway. But to spy on citizens without a warrant IS and NEEDS TO STAY Unconstitutional.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 13, 2006 12:45 PM
Comment #112832

What about ‘citizens’ who have joined the likes of Al Queda?
If they are planning to do damage or kill inside our nation - should their rights be revoked?

Posted by: dawn at January 13, 2006 12:49 PM
Comment #112836

rhdighy–

Matt, Matt, Matt, that would be “silly” to stick up for anybody that sided with Conyers; he’s a far left nut that will say and do anything that opposes Bush, even if it’s true or not.

That post was in response to a challenge to the authenticity of a document I linked to. Please try to keep up.

The former Clinton guy I sent you cited the 1994 testimony from Jamie Gorelick when she argued that Presidents have that Authority. Congress gave the Prez authority; nuff said. You don’t want to believe that fact, though. Sorry, but it’s true.

You seem to be having a terrible time grasping the fact that this is NOT decided law. No matter how many conclusory statements you make, so matter how many times you disingenuously “apologize,” the fact remains that this is an unanswered question of law. Of course Jamie Gorelick argued for expansive Presidential authority…he worked for the executive branch. Arguing in favor of the President was his job.

The Congressional Research service came to the conclusion that the President’s claims were NOT well grounded in law. That group is non-partisan, and is NOT requested to make an argument, but to analyze the situation for possible outcomes.

As far as the fourth admendment, they are not using it to criminally prosecute, they are using it to gather information.

It does not matter if the searches are used for criminal prosecutions or not. I’ve already attempted to tell you this (I’m pretty well studied on the 4th amendment).

And, it’s not you and I they were “Authorized” to spy on; it’s AL QAEDA!!!! You know, the group that the libs say we should (only) go after.

Incorrect.

Clinton used satellites to spy on white supremacists after the Oklahoma bombing; they were American citizens and their rights were violated. Where was your out cry?! I personally am glad Clinton did that; these hate groups and terrorists are the enemy of America, regardless if they’re an US citizen or not.

First of all, you don’t have the slightest clue of what I have or have not criticized Clinton for (and the list is long). Secondly, I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about. When I google those terms, I get your posts on this board.

FISA is worthless to fight terrorism all on its’ own; it take longer than 72 hours just to fill out all the paper work. Our intelligence gathering should not be hamstringed to 72 hours (or any hour for that matter) in order to keep this country safe.

So the emergency period of 3 days isn’t long enough to obtain a warrant? Do you have a link where that is suggested, by anyone?

Please stop making thing up.

Take a look at the Rassmussen poll; a majority of Americans are fine with this wiretapping National Security topic; which is a winner for Bush.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/NSA.htm


“Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans believe the National Security Agency (NSA) should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that just 23% disagree.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Americans say they are following the NSA story somewhat or very closely.”

Consider the question being asked. It says nothing about a warrant not being obtained, it says nothing about an American citizen being monitored, and it assumes that a suspected terrorist is directly involved in every monitored conversation.

Such conversations would be covered under FISA.

If the NSA was doing nothing more than simply identifying terrorism suspects and tapping their calls, there would have never been any need to circumvent FISA.

Get back to me when the poll question asks “Should the NSA be allowed to monitor conversations of U.S. citizens without judicial or legislative oversight?”

Read the FISA law. I’m not going to keep repeating myself over and over if you’re not going to educate yourself about what you speak.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 1:01 PM
Comment #112837

Rob,
“I remember 9/11. And I STILL don’t want the government spying on me.”

They are not spying on you; they are spying on Al Qaeda! They’re also spying on Americans that are in connection with Al Qaeda; that’s fine, too!


The majority of Americans believe this as well:

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/NSA.htm


“Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans believe the National Security Agency (NSA) should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that just 23% disagree.”


Those people probably remember 9/11 as well…

Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #112838

rahdigly–

Come on, you just can’t accept the fact that the majority of Americans don’t agree with you on this topic. I told you guys, this is a winner for Bush. Now, whether you choose to believe me or not is up to you; however, the numbers don’t lie, it’s not “seeds” as you so put it.

I’m not quite sure why you keep insisting that “this is a winner for Bush,” as if my opinion on the situation might suddenly change in light of such a fact.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #112839

New polls:

monitor terrorists without warrant- 58% yes

Patriot Act - good 59%

Support Patriot Renewal - 57%


44% think own Representative took a bribe -

Posted by: dawn at January 13, 2006 1:09 PM
Comment #112842

Of course Americans will agree to the monitoring of “terrorists.”

Without oversight, we have no idea who is actually being monitored.

Shall we take Bush’s word for it? What about Clinton II?

Nixon thought his wiretapping was justified, right?

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #112843

Mattlaw,
“I’m not quite sure why you keep insisting that “this is a winner for Bush,” as if my opinion on the situation might suddenly change in light of such a fact.”


I don’t care if this changes your opinion or not; I’m just stating facts. 64% of Americans don’t agree with you, that’s just a fact. Take what you want from it. Debates are about opinions backed up by facts; I did that, so don’t get mad or think that I’m trying to change your view when I present those facts.


Just b/c you consider yourself Libertarian doesn’t mean that all Libertarians look at this issue the same way as you do. The same applies for Libs, Conservatives, statists, etc. These 64% are representative of all Americans and Americans want to be safe. They want to win this war. Connecting the dots and gathering information on our enemy that’s trying to destroy us is a good thing to the majority of Americans. I’m sorry you don’t feel the same way.


Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 1:17 PM
Comment #112851
I don’t care if this changes your opinion or not; I’m just stating facts. 64% of Americans don’t agree with you, that’s just a fact. Take what you want from it. Debates are about opinions backed up by facts; I did that, so don’t get mad or think that I’m trying to change your view when I present those facts.

It’s a single poll (with a margin of error) and with a singular way of posing a question that did not involve any mention of being without a warrant or being against American citizens.

Hey look, I found a poll too!

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of 1,003 adults found that 50 percent of those polled believe it’s OK to forgo warrants when ordering electronic surveillance of people suspected of having ties to terrorists abroad.

Another 46 percent said the policy is wrong, and 4 percent said they had no opinion.

Link.

Oh dear, it appears to be a much closer question when the fact that a warrant has not been obtained is mentioned.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #112856

Matt,

Closer still doesn’t get you the majority. And the margin of error in the rassmussen poll is +- 3; that’s still over 60%. Check the CNN poll to see how many democrats were polled compared to Republicans and independents; that makes a big difference when it’s 45% dems and 35% repubs. Look at the Rassmussen poll again, read further into it and you’ll see this:

“Eighty-one percent (81%) of Republicans believe the NSA should be allowed to listen in on conversations between terror suspects and people living in the United States. That view is shared by 51% of Democrats and 57% of those not affiliated with either major political party”

I’ll tell you this people, you guys better stop worrying about trying to get Bush and pay attention to this Iran situation. This is the real enemy and them thumbing their noses at the world b/c Russia and China are backing them is a serious and grave threat to the World.


Figure out what side you’re on and get on it…

Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 1:34 PM
Comment #112859
Closer still doesn’t get you the majority.

50 to 46 percent? That’s right about even friend, and opinions change quickly. Consult our President’s approval ratings over his presidency.

I’m not quite sure of your point, anyway. As long as a scant majority believes one thing, the issue is decided?

And the margin of error in the rassmussen poll is +- 3; that’s still over 60%.

4.5. Check the bottom of the page.

Check the CNN poll to see how many democrats were polled compared to Republicans and independents; that makes a big difference when it’s 45% dems and 35% repubs. Look at the Rassmussen poll again, read further into it and you’ll see this:

It doesn’t matter, because it’s a random sampling.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #112867

tomh:
“Laura Ingrahm edit the magazine at CAP for a season. How sexist is that?”

Uh, didn’t you read the quotes or the article I put up? CAP’s whole founding and the foremost reason for it’s pathetic 14 year existence was sexism and racism, and very little else. Do you understand that any attempt to defend CAP as just some conservative group would be like saying the Klan was formed simply to preserve Southern culture?
Only the most objectionably unethical, racist, and sexist of aristocratic snobs (or those such as Alito who aspired to their ranks) with a complete and total lack of decency and conscience would ever belong to that group.
Alito used his membership with CAP on his resume because that is exactly who the Neocons are comprised of, and who they actually represent. Now, I don’t know about you, but the only things that have ever appeared on my resume are those things which I’ve felt were very significant and which have played a role in defining me as both a human being and as a professional. Therefore, I feel it is quite important to note that Alito remained a member of CAP until it went under, and that before it did, he was proudly using it as one of a number of affiliations, associations, and accomplishments that he felt would qualify him to serve within the Reagan administration.

Martha-Ann’s waterworks the other day were obviously an orchestrated attempt to distract our attention away from what is surely the most explosively damning of all the information we have learned about Alito thus far.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 13, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #112878

MattLaw:

Of course Jamie Gorelick argued for expansive Presidential authority…he worked for the executive branch. Arguing in favor of the President was his job.

Just for clarity, Jamie Gorelick is a SHE, not a he.

The part about her doing her job sounds like the defense Alito supporters are giving for some of his past writings. By using the logic you use here, it sounds like you agree with that he did so in an official capacity of the Reagan admin, as opposed to necessarily because he believe the positions himself.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 13, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #112884

Matt,
“4.5. Check the bottom of the page… 50 to 46 percent? That’s right about even friend, and opinions change quickly. Consult our President’s approval ratings over his presidency.”


Why do you insist on wasting my time with this?! 4.5 still would give 59.5% in favor of it and 27.5% not in favor of it. And, if you really want to play that poll game, did you want me to respond to your “President Approval ratings” with the 43% that he has now or the 80% approval rating he had in his first term? Or did you want to include the 4 to 1 margin in the 2004 election from the military vote? That’s over 75% of our military that voted for this President that “lied to get us into war”, “that never served in War”, “Chicken hawk”, and all the other disgusting lies and crap us Americans had to hear for over a year leading up to that election. It didn’t work then and it’s not working now. Scare tactics are not going to work; the majority of Americans know who our (true) enemies are and Bush is definitely not one of them.


Either way, I agree with the polls, whether they are up or down it’s still indicative of what’s going on at the time. The President’s approval rating will be up once again when the economy continues on it’s Upward path, more and more success in Iraq, along with the b*tch slappin we’re going to give Iran if they don’t wise up. However, right now, the President has the majority of people agreeing with him on this issue; you’re just going to have to deal with that. Later!

Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #112886
Just for clarity, Jamie Gorelick is a SHE, not a he.

D’oh! Yes, he was talking about some male referring to her speech, and I mixed up my pronouns. Thanks.

The part about her doing her job sounds like the defense Alito supporters are giving for some of his past writings. By using the logic you use here, it sounds like you agree with that he did so in an official capacity of the Reagan admin, as opposed to necessarily because he believe the positions himself.

Well of course. Someone arguing on behalf of another might offer an interesting jumping-off point to a discussion, but it should never be taken as unbiased truth or as a critical analysis of a legal issue.

Yes, any attorney who works on behalf of the government is going to make the best possible case for their client. They likely WILL agree with many of their own arguments (political affiliation is generally important in obtaining these jobs) but there is no reason to assume that one necessarily agrees with everything they argue.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 2:28 PM
Comment #112897
What about ‘citizens’ who have joined the likes of Al Queda? If they are planning to do damage or kill inside our nation - should their rights be revoked?

Posted by dawn at January 13, 2006 12:49 PM


Ummm, no, their rights should not be ‘revoked’. And what ever happened to “guilty until proven innocent”? But I’m sure you apply the same logic to people like McVeigh and Koresh and think they had no rights either. Posted by: Dave at January 13, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #112902

Dave,

’ “guilty until proven innocent”? ‘

Except when it comes to … Bush, Delay, or any other Republican…

Enemy combatant?

It’s all in the interpretation of the law? Our language makes it extremely easy to find the meaning one wants in just about all that we say.

Posted by: dawn at January 13, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #112905

I hadn’t realized it had been proven McVeigh was Al Queda.

Posted by: dawn at January 13, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #112912

Dave,
“Ummm, no, their rights should not be ‘revoked’. And what ever happened to “guilty until proven innocent”?”


It’s called 9/11; most Americans don’t want to go through that hell again by giving the “guilty until proven innocent” to Al Qaeda and their cells here in the US.


“But I’m sure you apply the same logic to people like McVeigh and Koresh and think they had no rights either.”

Ask Bill Clinton if they had rights; he went after them as well. How does the Clinton Administration “Separate Church and State”? It’s called Wacko. Ha!

Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #112956

Wow, those replies are truly incredible.

Dawn,
McVeigh blew up an American Gov’t building in OKC. Remember? Are you proposing that only Al Queda terrorists lose their rights or do you just not consider that a terrorist act? Also, we were talking about YOU. Do YOU believe in “innocent until proven guilty”?

rahdigly,
That doesn’t even deserve a reply. “Wacko” is right.

Posted by: Dave at January 13, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #112959

Yes. BUT - which American citizen was thrown in jail due to these wiretaps?
I thought we were talking about gathering info - not executing people.

Posted by: dawn at January 13, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #112962

Dave:

I’m curious as to how you can believe the following two quotes of yours. They are diametrically in opposition:

I didn’t need a verdict to know OJ did it by the preponderence if evidence.
And what ever happened to “guilty until proven innocent”?

The answer to the question in your second quote seems to be answered by your statement in the first: Proof is only required when YOU want it provided. If you think someone is guilty, then what the jury decides is unimportant. How very convenient.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 13, 2006 5:10 PM
Comment #113219

JBOD, I don’t usually make other people’s arguments for them, but, your response to Dave fails to recognize his word “I”.

I support our judicial system and its safeguards to protect the innocent. I too believed that OJ was guilty based on the preponderance of the evidence. I however, DO NOT believe we should change our criminal trial procedures or rules.

Saying one believes a person is guilty does NOT mean they advocate overhauling the judicial system. One can both support our system AND hold beliefs about innocence or guilt about others regardless of how the trial verdict reads. We are not machines, we are capable of multi-dimensional reasoning and beliefs, as in this case where we hold that one standard should apply for the state and another for our own sense of appraisal independent of the state.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 14, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #113231

David:

You missed part of David’s comments from a different thread, where he claims that all those involved in the Abramoff thing should be convicted. Never mind that no one in government has been charged with anything—convict them anyway.

Now, when people start taking that mind set, but typically only about the opposing party, well, its either hypocritical, irrational or stupid….perhaps all three at the same time.

While I agree that we aren’t machines and we can have our opinions, when people begin to assume guilt and innocence with no evidence or even charges, its simply wrong. Now if you want to defend THAT, have at it.

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt since part of Dave’s argument wasn’t available in this thread. But the gist of his argument is that if you are Republican, then any slurs or accusations of guilt can be thrown out, since he’s willing to accept them as truth. If that is what counts as honest and intelligent discourse, then please call my discourse something else, as I don’t wish to lower myself to that level.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 14, 2006 5:18 PM
Comment #114036

jbod,

I had a great weekend, thanks. as for your accusation that: “he claims that all those involved in the Abramoff thing should be convicted. Never mind that no one in government has been charged with anything—convict them anyway.” Please provide the quote so I can retract. Otherwise, that’s just a typical KKKarl lie.

Posted by: Dave at January 17, 2006 12:30 PM
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