Archive for May 9th, 2008

Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

This week’s quote is from the Mel Brooks parody Robin Hood: Men In Tights – I have no idea what it means…

I will take these cotton balls from you with my hand… and put them in my pocket.

And, of course, there’ll be other people’s cats…

The shadowy and mysterious Codename B, looking alarmed.

1 comment May 9th, 2008 at 10:32pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

The #1 Reason We Need A Democratic President

Judiciary, Judiciary, Judiciary.

Al Kamen provides some perspective on just how imbalanced the courts are right now, and how much worse SCOTUS could be four years from now if McCain becomes president:

The next president will find the federal bench solidly controlled by the GOP, with about 100 Republicans in appeals court seats, compared with approximately 66 Democrats. Republicans have a 56 percent majority at the trial court level.

At least for the first couple of years, [the next president] would probably find the number of Republican retirees far outnumbering Democrats. Forty-six of the 53 longest-serving appeals judges are GOP appointees. [A Democratic president] would have a golden opportunity to replace them with liberal court-abusers. McCain, at least for a chunk of his first term, would only be treading water.

(…)

But there would be a huge silver lining for President McCain. He might have the chance to solidify GOP control of the big prize, the Supreme Court, for many years to come. The senior liberal, Justice John Paul Stevens, just turned 88, although he’s still golfing and, we hear, maybe playing a little tennis.

A second liberal opening might come from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is 75. McCain also might be able to replace conservative justices Antonin Scalia, 72, and Anthony Kennedy, 71, with younger Republicans. If everything worked out, McCain could create a court with a seven-member conservative majority whose oldest member would be Clarence Thomas, who turns 60 next month.

More...Every Democrat and progressive should be scared to death by this possibility.  Even if McCain were held to a single term, followed by the Democrats hammerlocking the White House and the Congress for the next 30 years, they could still be overruled at every turn by an unabashedly right-wing Supreme Court, with absolutely no recourse. Roe v. Wade: gone.  Affirmative action: gone.  Employee protections against discrimination, abuse, injury and death: gone.

Any questions on campaign finance, voting rights, or electronic voting machines would be decided in favor of the GOP.  But torture would be okay, just so long as the victims haven’t been convicted of anything.

And that’s just what IWANAL (I Who Am Not A Lawyer) can think of off the top of my head.  I’m sure I haven’t even scratched the surface of what kind of havoc an all-wingnut Supreme Court could wreak.

But if, God forbid, John McCain does become president, I have two specific requests to make of Senate Democrats that might hopefully reduce the damage a little bit:

1) Please remember that judgeships are lifetime appointments, so don’t worry about comity or deference to presidential prerogative.  If you screw up, we all have to live with it for the next 30 or 40 years.  (I feel obliged to point out that life expectancy is quite a bit longer now than it was when the Constitution was written…)

2) Place more weight on the nominee’s judicial history and less weight on their evasive-at-best-dishonest-at-worst responses to your questions.  If they’ve been a right-wing judge all their life, that’s not going to change when they get a promotion.

Yeah, we’d still have a conservative judiciary, but at least some of those judges would choose the law over ideology every once in a while.

(h/t Peterr & dakine)

1 comment May 9th, 2008 at 08:28pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Democrats,Elections,Judiciary,McCain,Politics

Republicans Hate Their Mothers

Not really sure what they were thinking here…

On Wednesday afternoon, the House had just voted, 412 to 0, to pass H. Res. 1113, “Celebrating the role of mothers in the United States and supporting the goals and ideals of Mother’s Day,” when Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), rose in protest.

“Mr. Speaker, I move to reconsider the vote,” he announced.

Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), who has two young daughters, moved to table Tiahrt’s request, setting up a revote. This time, 178 Republicans cast their votes against mothers.

It has long been the custom to compare a popular piece of legislation to motherhood and apple pie. Evidently, that is no longer the standard. Worse, Republicans are now confronted with a John Kerry-esque predicament: They actually voted for motherhood before they voted against it.

Republicans, unhappy with the Democratic majority, have been using such procedural tactics as this all week to bring the House to a standstill, but the assault on mothers may have gone too far. House Minority Leader John Boehner, asked yesterday to explain why he and 177 of his colleagues switched their votes, answered: “Oh, we just wanted to make sure that everyone was on record in support of Mother’s Day.”

Umm… What the hell?  I would be interested in hearing what supposed conservative principle was on display here to vote against a bill to celebrate Mother’s Day.  And what makes Mother’s Day so much less worthy of legislative support than Christmas? Is Mother’s Day, like, a pagan holiday or something?

Tiahrt is a nasty piece of work, by the way.

(h/t Julia)

May 9th, 2008 at 11:20am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Blue Dogs Share Republican Vision Of “Fiscal Responsibility”

God, I hate these people:

A small group of fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats is threatening to block the emergency war spending bill over a program for veterans’ benefits not offset with tax hikes or spending cuts.

Because of that problem, and the efforts by House Republicans to stall floor action with procedural motions, the vote on the carefully crafted supplemental measure could be delayed until Friday or next week.

“Some of us oppose creating a new entitlement program in an emergency spending bill, whether it’s butchers, bakers or candlestick-makers,” said Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), a founding member of the Blue Dog Coalition who serves on the House leadership team as a deputy whip.

The so-called GI Bill of Rights, authored by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), would give veterans money for college and cost $720 million in its first two years. But critics say that could grow to billions in future years.

House Democratic leaders attached it to the supplemental spending bill figuring Bush wouldn’t dare veto veterans’ benefits. If he did, Republicans would pay a steep political cost.

But that calculation is now causing heartburn for Blue Dogs, the same members who have generally supported war funding. The fiscally conservative coalition is split. Some members are willing to block the bill because “pay-as-you-go” budgetary rules — offsetting new spending with spending cuts or increased taxes — have been ignored one too many times….

Got that?  They’re perfectly fine with spending $200 billion to continue the disastrous Iraqupation, but a few billion more to do right by the troops would be fiscally irresponsible.  What a bunch of loathsome tools.

(h/t Stoller)

May 9th, 2008 at 07:20am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Iraq,Politics,Wankers,War


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