The Spectacle Blog

Tapping Alito

By on 1.6.06 | 9:23AM

That Ted Kennedy can be so cheeky. A Washington Times story indicates that Alito is going to have to face the wiretap issue in his confirmation hearings, and here's an excerpt.

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Girly Governor

By on 1.6.06 | 8:47AM

So much for challenging California's power bases as "girly men." New, in 2006, it's the sensitive, repentent Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The people, who always have the last word, sent a clear message: Cut the warfare, cool the rhetoric, find common ground and fix the problems together. To my fellow Californians I say -- message received.

Translation: Dear, I've changed. Really! Just come back home and it'll all be fine.

And kissing and making up costs more than $220 billion over the next ten years -- a 20% annual budget increase. There's nothing like a principled governing philosophy, eh?

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Howling Harry

By on 1.6.06 | 7:53AM

If it already isn't taking place, there is a conference call scheduled this morning among Senate Democrats to discuss their Alito hearings strategy. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was said by aides to be livid that staff went public yesterday with his party's plans for a one-week delay. We should start hearing about the call's content by lunchtime.

As we reported yesterday, the one week delay is one of several strategies Reid is considering deploying in the Alito fight. In the past couple of days Reid has spoken with DNC chair Howard Dean, as well as other outside Democratic activists, and was told that they wanted a fight. That they had raised more than $15 million to fight Supreme Court nominations, and that they were ready to spend it over the next month.

Not surprisingly, Sen. Patrick Leahy has no recall of promising his colleague Sen. Arlen Specter that he will play nice during the confirmation process.

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Harry Howler Pt. 2

By on 1.5.06 | 5:34PM

Sources inside the Judiciary Committee and Democratic Senate leadership say that the one week carryover in the vote on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is something that was put forward by Sen. Harry Reid and his staff, in consultation with Democrats both inside and outside the Senate. Presumably this means Sen. Dick Durbin and Howie Dean over at the DNC.

Democrats and their operatives insist that "shoes are going to drop" about Alito and the nomination in the next couple of days. From our media contacts, we aren't hearing about anything earthshaking that anyone is working on. There just isn't anything out there. The man apparently is what he has appeared to be: authentic, bright, and more than competent.

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Alito’s Way Blocked … Slightly

By on 1.5.06 | 4:05PM

Interesting. According to Democratic leadership sources, this is but the first of what may be a series of shifting strategic moves by the leadership to wring every last drop of drama and angst out of the nomination:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats will force an one-week delay in the Judiciary Committee's vote on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, Senate aides say.
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Big Allen Move

By on 1.5.06 | 2:37PM

There will be all kinds of tea-leaf reading about the formal annoucement that former RNC Chairman and all arounnd GOP-go-to-guy Ed Gillespie has signed on as the treasurer of Sen. George Allen's leadership PAC.

One of the lingering questions around town is which camp of prospective '08 Presidential candidates Gillespie might join. This move doesn't necessarily answer the question, but it should give conservatives some indication about where the battle lines are going to be drawn in the coming couple of years. And it focuses a national spotlight on Allen in a way that it wasn't a few weeks ago. It means Allen will be a bigger player and supporter of Republican races around the country.

That Gillespie would commit to the Allen sidegig would seem to indicate that he isn't going back into the White House in an official capacity. There has been lingering talk over the past few months that he might fill Karl Rove's or Andy Card's job should either leave. Anything could happen, but it's doubtful Gillespie would commit to a big job as a national fundraiser unless he thought his calendar was clearer in the coming months.

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Answering Lefty Questions

By on 1.5.06 | 2:22PM

Duncan "Atrios" Black (echoed by Markos "Kos" Moulitsas):

No one has yet managed to explain how revealing that the administration illegally spies on American citizens without obtaining warrants, instead of legally spying on people after obtaining such warrants, damages national security.

Anyone?

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