The Spectacle Blog

Roberts and Alito — Regular Charity Cases

By on 1.29.06 | 9:46PM

Thought I'd take a look at Eleanor Clift's latest column (don't worry -- it's not a habit) for what thoughtless/ridiculous things she had to say. I didn't have to read past the first paragraph:

Get ready for the divider, not the uniter, when President Bush delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday to a packed House chamber. It will be a ceremonial evening, with Chief Justice John Roberts likely to be joined by newly confirmed Associate Justice Samuel Alito in the front row to look up admiringly at the man who made their careers.

Made their careers? I could see her arguing that for John Roberts based solely on his posts on the D.C. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court (obviously discounting his immense legal knowledge independent of the last two points on his resume). But Sam Alito? When Bush took office, he'd already been serving on the 3rd Circuit for 11 years.

Yep, a coupla' bums he found wandering on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Too Close to Call

By on 1.29.06 | 9:34PM

Admittedly, I'm hopeful that Roy Blunt doesn't have this race wrapped up just yet (see below). But the article on the race in the Washington Post tomorrow confirms my hopes... and suspicions:

With 92 declared supporters, Blunt remains the favorite, well ahead of Boehner's 49 declared supporters and Shadegg's 16. But House members and advisers say the race remains more open than it looks. All three candidates will make presentations to a gathering of conservative House members in Baltimore today. The House returns tomorrow for President Bush's State of the Union address, the first time most members will have the chance to discuss the race among themselves.

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House Race: Two on Laurels, One on Principles

By on 1.29.06 | 9:22PM

The New York Times, in its House majority leader race report for tomorrow's editions, captures the essence of each campaign:

Mr. Blunt, 56, the majority whip who has been serving as interim majority leader since Mr. DeLay's indictment in Texas last fall on campaign-related money laundering charges, has portrayed himself as a seasoned member of the leadership team - essentially the incumbent. "This is no time for on-the-job training," Mr. Blunt said in an interview.

Mr. Boehner (pronounced BAY-ner), 56, the chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee and a member of the House leadership in the 1990's, is emphasizing his legislative capabilities, pointing to major education and pension bills he delivered with rare bipartisan support. "I am the only one with broad legislative skills and experience," Mr. Boehner said.

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EUnuchs on the March

By on 1.29.06 | 4:01PM

It's fascinating. For European diplomats, nothing succeds like failure. Bloomberg reports that the EU-3 are resuming nuclear talks with Iran tomorrow, allowing Ahmadinejad & Co. to continue to dance away from even the possibility of UN Security Council action. The fact that there is no change whatsoever in Iran's position since the talks were declared dead will, inevitably, produce the same result after this round. And leaves the EU-3 tugging its collective forelock at the feet of the Iranian regime. When will they ever learn? Never.

China and Russia, siding with Iran, will certainly stall the UN, and the Euros are doing the same. The game remains the same for appeasers the world 'round. So how long do we wait before taking action against the mullahs' regime and their nuclear operations? If the Euros have their way, it will be long enough for Iran to deploy nuclear weapons.

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Re: Alito and the Betrayal Margin

By on 1.29.06 | 2:18PM

John B.: I get the impression from the tone of your posts that you're completely misreading the situation on the Hill.

There is no way that Alito is going to be stopped. Unless they're really, really stupid, the Dems calling for a filibuster don't actually want a successful filibuster. They want to convince their far left base (which is really stupid) that they've done all they can. If the cloture vote fails, the judicial filibuster will be swiftly killed for good on a simple majority vote (the so-called nuclear option). It will represent a massive miscalculation by the Democrats. We should be hoping for that, not fearing it.

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Alito and the Betrayal Margin

By on 1.29.06 | 1:46PM

Choral member Democrats falling in line, D-Day Minus 1:

Obama indicates he will vote for cloture and asks a sensible question: why would any Democrat vote yes for cloture if he or she aimed to vote no on the Alito nomination on the Senate floor?

Also Lieberman, a Doubtful Dem as of Friday, now falls in with the chorus and says he will vote no for cloture on Monday afternoon.

Moving count, this leaves the cloture vote still in doubt.

Among the Dems, only Nelson, Johnson and Byrd of Deep Red States are pledged to vote for cloture.

Dems Dorgan and Conrad of Deep Red North Dakota are considered likely cloture yes votes.

However this means that the wobbly Republican senators now are critical to the Frist led cloture vote. Losing even one red senator makes the task to get to 60 most arduous.

Snowe of Blue Maine and Chafee of Blue Rhode Island are considered uncertain, and they are both standing reelection in activist dominated small states, where a rush of outside (netroot or DNC cash) help could send them to defeat. The mention of Stevens of Alaska as wobbly appears specious.

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Cindy for Senator

By on 1.29.06 | 9:17AM

Cindy Sheehan may challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein for in the Democratic primary this spring, ABC reports. Here's hoping for some political entertainment...

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Alito Cloture Not Done

By on 1.29.06 | 12:39AM

Reverse engineering intelligence gathered from the Democrat blog sites, informed by the report of a delightfully frantic phone call by Ted Kennedy to the so-called netroots with regard whom among his colleagues he doubts, the Alito filibuster fight centers around eleven Doubtful Democrats.

The Doubtful Democrats are Pryor and Lincoln of Arkansas, Cantwell and Murray of Washington, Baucus of Montana, Dorgan and Conrad of North Dakota, Bayh of Indiana, Lautenberg and Menendez of New Jersey, Lieberman of Connecticut.

Breaking this eleven down, there are six in red states and seven in blue states.

As of this moment, Nelson of Red Nebraska and Byrd of Red West Virginia and Johnson of Red South Dakota are pledged to vote with the GOP for cloture. (Add to this the most likely and all but announced, determined, certain cloture votes of Democrats Dorgan and Conrad of Red North Dakota. )

The summary is that at this moment there are now five reliable Red State Democrats to join fifty-five Republicans for cloture.

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Unfinished Story of Iraqi WMD

By on 1.28.06 | 10:08PM

Speaking routinely now with Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard and John Loftus of and also my best source with regard the Byzantine tale of the Iraqi WMD program that cannot be proved or unproved by the public record of facts established since the capture of Baghdad in April 2003.

I mention again the promising mysterious treasure said to be coming to all of us within the next month. John Loftus is in possession of a CD that came to him by a reportedly trustworthy route that represents a collection of recorded sessions from 1988 to early this century (perhaps as late as 2002) in which Saddam Hussein plots with thirty other voices to supervise and conceal WMD.

The voice of Saddam Hussein is now verified by trustworthy agent; the voice of Tariq Aziz is verified by trustworthy agent. Blix and ElBaredi are said to be mentioned most disparingly and or damangingly. The core topic is how to manipulate inquiries and searches for WMD, after the Gulf War I, 1990-91, during the UN inspection regime from 1991-98, after the inspectors returned to Baghdad in 2002.

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Lib Blogs Change Meds

By on 1.28.06 | 5:44PM

Someone must have cut off their absinthe and Prozac. The lib blogs are going nuts over the Kerry mini-buster against the Alito nomination. The Boys from Lord of the Flies -- the DailyKos temper tanrtum teens, FireDogLake and Democratunderground, among others -- are all linking arms and running toward the same cliff. Apparently, Teddy was on the phone with them asking for "netroots" help with the Dems who -- so far -- haven't joined up with them. The Filibuster crew now numbers about 15. Which is a long way from 41.

The most interesting part of this is that Hillary has endorsed the filibuster. Poor Chuckie Schumer. For once, someone beat him to a microphone. He must be distraught.

Keep an eye on this one. What will the NYT say tomorrow? Until we know that, we can't know how the rest of the Dems will go. NYT, after all, is their think tank cum operational commander. (I wonder what Jill Abrahamson has in store for tomorrow?)

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