Bush on Harriet Miers: "A justice must be a person of accomplishment and fair legal judgment... must strictly apply the laws of the Constitution of the United States, not legislate from the bench."
The Spectacle Blog
I saw somewhere on Townhall.com that Michigan Democrats Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow were "the only senators from the same state belonging to the same party" who split their votes in the Roberts confirmation last week. Actually, that's not so. Washington state's scintillating Democratic duo, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, did the same thing, Murray like Levin voting to confirm, Cantwell like Stabenow to oppose.
Unlike Red state Democrats who voted to confirm because they're running for re-election next year, Blue staters Stabenow and Cantwell, who are also up for re-election in 2006, voted to oppose. Does that tell us anything, other than that they're obnoxious?
Though maybe not as obnoxious as Maryland's Paul Sarbanes, who is retiring this term and voted against Roberts apparently just for spite. He gave no explanation that I'm aware of.
Yesterday's Nascar crash day extravaganza at the sublimely named Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama provided more thrills, wrecks, and flips per rpm than any Hollywood disaster flick could ever match.
It also reminded me of a classic letter I saw the other day in the New York Times regarding how the nation might cope with the hurricane and Bush-caused gasoline crunch. A fun-loving Kyle M. Medley of New York City wrote in:
A suggestion to President Bush on how to limit gasoline consumption: no more Nascar circuit, which is a complete waste of gasoline on the race cars themselves and on the large motor homes that the fans drive to follow the circuit.
Nascar is the quintessential example of nonessential driving.
The White House was breathing a sigh of relief on Sunday afternoon: no major dustups on the Sunday morning talk shows, no huge headlines breaking through to carry over into the early part of the week, seeming clarity on the Frist investment story, etc.
That clears the way for a Supreme Court announcement should the President decide to move quickly and pick up a week's worth of possibly good news. Too many names in play right now to make predictions, but one source we speak to fairly regularly made clear the President is not locking himself into young, or minority, or woman picks. That may mean Michael Luttig is more in play than we had been led to believe. It means a woman older than 50 might be in play (good news for a certain judge with ties to Ohio).
Tonight's last-minute emergency talks among the EUnuchs, deciding whether the negotiations to admit Turkey can commence tomorrow, are apparently deadlocked. Austria wants to block Turkish membership, and has offered a "privileged partnership" in its place. Turkish PM Erdogan has pursued membershp as relentlessly as several predecessors, and has already rejected the Austrian proposal. Erdogan said that if Turkey weren't allowed to begin talks on full membership -- even though that means acceptance of about 85,000 pages of EU law -- Turkey would walk away. He said that the EU would then merely be a "Christian club."
It's not at all clear that Turkey would benefit from membership, except to export its unemployed to France and other EU members. (France's "Polish plumber" problem times ten.) But if Turkey is rejected, or even delayed again, the most moderate, Westernized and democratic nation in the Muslim world will be further alienated not only from the EU but from us, and given a big incentive to drift closer to Russia or Middle Eastern allies. The Turks are not Arabs; they have no cultural inclination to divorce themselves from NATO and join with the Arabs.
I met the Duchess of York the other night at a friend's Manhattan residence. She expressed unreserved admiration for my shoes. Frankly, that caught me off guard. But then I realized that though they are old shoes they are English shoes and with English shoes age becomes them.
The sartorial run-in reminded me of my great moment a few years back with the editors of George magazine. That adventure should remind us of the current high seas that the Republicans are supposedly suffering. Only in America's Kultursmog could the various and occasionally bogus stories of the Hon. DeLay, the Hon. Frist, this idiotic Plame woman, Katrina, and the President's polls be agglutinated into Republican Scandal.
Someone needs to be proofing Scott McClellan's cue cards before he reads them aloud in the White House Press Briefing Room.
A Republican White House spokesman with sense -- or at least cojones (as W might say) -- would have simply replied to the reporter who asked about the Bennett kerfluffle, "This is a nonstory as far we are concerned. Why don't you all get a life and a real job instead of parrotting the press releases from the NAACP and the DNC?"
That this White House didn't have the nerve to back Bennett given all of the cover Bennett has given them on the War on Terror and the Iraq War, the fact that he didn't entirely agree with the bloated No Child Left Behind Act, yet didn't go out to make mischief for the new Administration, that he has worked tirelessly on behalf of conservative Republican candidates to make sure President Bush has a controlling majority in Congress, shows how badly disconnected Bush's "B Team" really is.
Rush Limbaugh -- along with lots of readers -- took exception to my column yesterday. Now that Rush's DeLay monologue is featured on RushLimbaugh.com, I'm getting a new wave of hate-mail. A few points:
1. This isn't about whether DeLay is a good guy or not, or the value of loyalty, or whatever. Politics is about winning and losing. I remain completely unpersuaded that sticking by DeLay is a winning move, either for the Republican Party or for sound policy. As John Hawkins of RightWingNews.com puts it, DeLay "is such a spendthrift that he makes Jimmy Carter look like Scrooge McDuck."
2. Several readers insist that Ronnie Earle isn't someone "no one has heard of," at least in Texas. Fair enough, but my point, that Earle's scalp is no big prize, still stands.
Regarding the criticism of William Bennett for a statement wrenched out of context and then attacked as racist by the leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, let us take note. The NAACP is so dated in its views that it continues to go by a name that in itself is racist. The word colored was dropped years ago, the episodic progressive terms of replacement being Negro, Black, Afro-American, and now triumphantly African-American!
If the NAACP cannot modernize its name to keep up with modern sensibilities its leaders should.... Well I leave it to Bennett to tell its leaders what to do. Though, Bill, in doing so please do not sound as self-serving as your critics now sound. And unlike them do not deny them their First Amendment rights. Were they banned from the airwaves America would be denied many reliable sources of laughter.