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Governor Dean came out full force against John Roberts today in an email to the grassroots, and sent everyone a preview of a nationwide op-ed that will run tomorrow.

Full text of both after the bump.

Email from Governor Dean to Democrats across the country:
Dear Fellow Democrat,

I've been watching Supreme Court nominee John Roberts artfully dodge question after question during his confirmation hearings. And I've read the limited documents the White House released about his work in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations -- though we are still waiting for answers for the over 100,000 Americans who submitted Freedom of Information Act requests for key documents.

But we know enough to see a pattern -- and I've made up my mind about John Roberts. He's the wrong man at the wrong time for our country -- a trait that he shares with much of the Republican leadership, including the president who nominated him.

I've written an op-ed that will appear in newspapers across the country tomorrow (you can get a preview at the bottom of this message). But I am just one voice -- your community needs to hear from you. By filling local papers with letters to editors, Americans watching this process unfold will understand that we have a different vision for the court and a different vision for our country.

Join me on editorial pages across America by writing a letter to the editor -- with our new online tool and talking points, you can write and submit your letter in minutes:

http://www.democrats.org/robertsletters

John Roberts may have a sharp legal mind, but his record shows that he lacks a sense of justice.

The skills John Roberts displays are like those of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove or House Republican Leader Tom DeLay. Both of those men have sharp political minds -- they are among the smartest in Washington. But they use those skills to push a narrow ideology and win at any cost. Roberts has spent a career using the law to protect corporate interests and roll back the rights that protect us all.

Roberts, Rove, DeLay and the rest of the extremist Republican leadership all have the same problem. They abuse their power by pursuing ideological crusades -- and they ignore the real problems we face as a country and as a community.

Thousands of letters appearing in papers across the country will reach every American with our message -- that the time for narrow ideology and protecting the rights of only a few is over. Write a letter to the editor now:

http://www.democrats.org/robertsletters

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the disastrous response, we have seen the consequences of government by ideologues and political cronies.
We have also seen the stark reality of American life that people like Roberts, Rove and DeLay either don't understand or choose to ignore -- that inequalities still persist to this day.

Our rights -- and the rights of the most vulnerable in our society -- are in danger. They are in danger from those who actively seek to roll them back, and they are in danger from those in positions of leadership who don't understand how important it is to protect the rights of every American.

The ultimate battleground for justice, fairness and opportunity in America has always been the Supreme Court. Justices have the power to use the law to hold America back, and they have the power to use the law to hold America to the high moral standards we set for ourselves.

Let's make sure that Americans open their newspapers and understand the
stakes:

http://www.democrats.org/robertsletters

Thank you.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

P.S. -- You can get a sneak preview of my op-ed before it appears in papers across the country: http://www.democrats.org/robertscolumn

Here's the full text of that column:

The Verdict on John Roberts
By Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

John Roberts is a decent family man and a bright, articulate, thoughtful judge. He has a quality absent in previous right wing candidates like Antonin Scalia and Robert Bork, namely a judicial temperament that makes litigants feel that they have been respectfully heard whether they are on the winning or losing side of a verdict.

But John Roberts is the wrong man for the job. Despite the fact that the White House has withheld key documents either out of incompetence or a fear that those documents might prove embarrassing, we have learned enough from the files on Roberts at the Reagan Library to make it clear that he should be rejected.

This conclusion has only been solidified by Roberts' testimony during this week's hearings. He has been a polished performer, but in failing to present clear answers to straightforward questions, Roberts missed a crucial opportunity to answer legitimate concerns about his record and show compassion for those who have been excluded from the American Dream. The consistent mark of Roberts' career is a lack of commitment to making the Constitution's promise of equal protection a reality for all Americans, particularly the most vulnerable in our society.

He has opposed laws protecting the rights of girls and young women to have the same opportunities in sports as boys and young men. He has argued that politicians, not individual women themselves, ought to control women's reproductive health care. He has opposed various remedies for the racial injustices which have occurred in America since slavery and which persist today. He has consistently joined the radical right in seeking to weaken voting rights protections, in essence attacking the rights of black and Hispanic voters to cast their ballot without paying poll taxes or being subjected to intimidation or gerrymandering. He fought against protecting all Americans from workplace discrimination. Most worrisome, he refused to answer questions on his limited view of the right to personal privacy that most Americans take for granted.

Over the last half century, we have made great progress in promoting equal opportunity for all Americans, but there is still much work to be done. Hurricane Katrina was more than the most catastrophic natural disaster in American history. Those who have in so many ways been denied the opportunity for full participation in our society once again suffered disproportionately in this tragedy--seniors, African-Americans and those burdened by poverty.

Now is not the time for a Chief Justice who is bent on turning back the progress we have made in moving America forward.

Judge Roberts is said to love the law, but loving the law without loving the American people enough to protect their individual rights and freedoms will make our American community weaker. And the exercise of the law without compassion--something that Judge Roberts and so many on the far right have consistently been guilty of--undermines the grace and wisdom of the founders whose sense of balance and fairness made this country great.

In the past few weeks we have seen what happens when politics and indifference supercede compassion and organization. The enduring lesson of Hurricane Katrina is that there still are too many Americans who are disproportionately vulnerable. Despite the fact that they worked hard and played by the rules, their luck ran out. Americans are a compassionate, fair-minded people. Our nation is great and strong because of that compassion, not just because we have a strong military. We also have strong moral values which include an innate sense of justice often absent in many other parts of the world.

Our Government today shrinks from compassion. In doing so they have first diminished America in the eyes of the rest of the world, and now they have diminished America in the eyes of our own people. This is a time for justice tempered with mercy and understanding. There is no evidence of either in Judge Roberts's career. The President should be denied this nomination.

Originally posted to Joe Rospars on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:09 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you, Howard!! (4.00)
    I only hope that Democrats in the Senate will have the spine to stand up and oppose him.

    I fear that if they don't, Bush will be emboldened to make an even more appalling pick for the next vacancy.

    Of science and the human heart, there is no limit. -- Bono

    by saucy monkey on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:15:41 AM PDT

    •  Did you catch Howard on the View today? (4.00)
      He was talking with the girls, most of whom seemed receptive.  Only one - and I don't remember her name - was spouting the Republican talking points that continue to be disseminated, even though they've been discredited.

      He was talking about Hurricane Katrina, and about the government's response to the disaster, and John Roberts' appointment - but most importantly, he's working on a new platform for the Democrats.  His announcement that this country needs a universal system of health care was applauded.  He's right - we're the only industrialized country in the world without health care for all of its citizens.  It creates a condition of wage slavery, where a person can't work for a living without being part of a major corporation, because only major corporations can afford to provide health care to its employees.

      Hurricane Katrina is Bush's Monica Lewinsky. The only difference is 10,000 people weren't stranded in Monica Lewinsky's vagina. - Jon Stewart

      by Jensequitur on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:15:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You'll Be Applauding This Movie... (3.82)
        ...when it is finished too. Finally, we'll have a movie that speaks about the real leader who speaks for us and the people who have his back. I hope you all will check it out and offer ideas, comments and any support you can afford.

        Just yesterday a guy in California wrote us and offered sound and video because he sees why this film needs to be done the right way. He didn't have money to give, but he understands the "Stone Soup" method we are hoping our community connects with.

        Thanks to those who are continuing to send in their donation. You'll get your DVD first, and your name in the film's credits when we make the final cut.

        This is our way of saying thanks to Dean for making politics fun and meaningful again by reminding the world how empowered people are when they feel that their voice counts to. You have the power!

        Directing Your Grassroots Movement Movie at thegrassrootsmovie.com

        by deantv on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 01:21:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I gave you a 4 because you got marked way down. (none)
          I hate it when folks do that.  We donated to the movie, and we think it is an important part of the campaign's history.  Thanks.

          "I'm willing to say things that are not popular but ordinary people know are right." Howard Dean

          by floridagal on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 03:05:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can you help me clear something up? (none)
            First of all, I still don't quite understand this ratings business and generally don't worry about it because I'm not the kind of person who is out there trying to hurt anybody's feelings. Frankly, I'm trying to help with this movie by breaking down the stereotypes we Democrats can have amongst us. (but thanks for the good rating if I was assaulted somehow).

            More importantly, though, I have not been able to find if there is a rule about putting images in comments that are related but are asking for support.

            I really don't know the answer. Is this a no brainer? I'd like to comply with the community wishes.

            Directing Your Grassroots Movement Movie at thegrassrootsmovie.com

            by deantv on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 03:31:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I rated you down because (1.50)
              you tried to hijack a thread about a Supreme Court nominee into a fund raising pitch for your commercial movie project.
              •  I don't think it was meant that way. (none)
                Many are interested in this movie,and I don't think it was meant to hijack.  

                "I'm willing to say things that are not popular but ordinary people know are right." Howard Dean

                by floridagal on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 07:51:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  many are interested in all kinds of things (none)
                  but there is a time and place for each of them.  It would be entirely appropriate for deantv to post a diary now and then about progress with the movie.  Or better yet, take out a blog ad, since it's a commercial project.  It's completely off topic for this thread.
          •  And Thank You So Much (none)
            For your support!

            Directing Your Grassroots Movement Movie at thegrassrootsmovie.com

            by deantv on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 03:42:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  nothing's wrong with filming a campaign's history (none)
            but a thread about Dean's response to John Roberts is not the right place to fundraise for a movie.  The Roberts nomination is not a marketing event.
            •  I'm Sorry Clyde. (none)
              No harm or hijacking was intended.

              I was just excited about hearing from Dean too on Roberts and thought this was a post where people might want to hear more from Dean and the people behind his movement. A lot of us can't get enough of him. In my excitement I may have become careless in following the official protocol of blogosphere manners. I'm still learning. My hats off to Joe Rospars for his tireless work on our behalf by the way. Please keep in mind that the documentary is not just about a campaign. It is about grassroots movements. The people. Believe me, I'm no commercial enterprise.

              Roberts sucks.

              Directing Your Grassroots Movement Movie at thegrassrootsmovie.com

              by deantv on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 05:00:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you're not a commercial enterprise (none)
                I'd appreciate it if you could put a clearer explanation on your web site about the exact nature of your operation.  Are the people producing the film getting paid?  If revenues from the finished movie exceed the production costs, where will the surplus go?  Will people be allowed to download and share the movie for free, as they were for "Going Upriver" (the movie about John Kerry in Vietnam)?

                All indications I can see so far on your site are that you're using the standard commercial model.  Nothing's wrong with that--it's worked great for Michael Moore, and if your films are as good as his, I'll be happy to see you make megabucks just like he does.  But soliciting donations (as opposed to investments) for that type of project is a bit tacky, as is claiming to be noncommercial without being precise and specific about what you're doing instead.

                •  Gee Whiz Clyde (none)
                  If you don't like Howard Dean don't take it out on me. I'm just a guy living in a broken down old farmhouse in Morrisville, VT who picked up a camera before Dean left office in Vermont and asked him if he would participate in the documentary. He thought the project was "really neat." Three years and two babies later I found that this was something important for the people since it is about the people but simply couldn't afford to do it alone anymore. No, I have not been paid a dime but have often been in tears for having to leave my new babies and wife for extensive periods of time because I felt that this film was developing into an important piece of history based on what the people were saying to me. Since it became a full time job for a while we really had to start begging for help. No one knew how long Dean's ride would last. In fact, he's still riding and a lot of people think that's important. That's why I'm asking the people to lend a helping hand. It's a community project. It's stone soup. Do you know how humiliating and hard it is to beg for money even though the cause is pure, honest, decent and debt ridden. Do you know what it is like to have $70,000 in credit card debt because you felt that there was something bigger than yourself, an idea that had to be pursued despite a worry about the money that it will take to disseminate that idea for the greater good?

                  What's really tacky is claiming you went to the site where real people do believe in this project and are investing in a community project; donating their own video, audio, ideas and offering free ads, and links, and not finding the answers to the questions you are so paranoid about.

                  Go back to the site, read all the information, and come back with some more ideas because you started out great. Those are some good ideas, Clyde, and if you had the same community spirit like the hundreds of people I talked to on camera who were part of the Dean movement you might be a little more productive with your time and try to be a part of the solution instead of the problem.

                  When you've watched the free movies again at thegrassrootsmovie.com and realize you are seeing something that's never been attempted before you might actually relax and enjoy the show. Some people actually get up from their computer screens and participate in their democracy. Those people are more important than any little squabble you have with me about injecting my little people-powered movie project into a Dean post about Roberts.

                  I have learned my lesson though Clyde that there are cops in the blogosphere and I guess I've been on the road too long to know what the protocol is. I certainly know what a rating system is now and I thank you for your education on that. It's kind of like a little sport isn't it? I hope you'll donate $50 bucks after you have really looked at the site for your answers. Your investment will get your name in the credits of the final cut and you can share your free DVD with all your friends. Don't hesitate though because the more we can show a potential distributor how really united we are behind this, the more we can show the world why ALL Democrats are united in taking back our country from the Republicans. Thanks again for your ideas!

                  Directing Your Grassroots Movement Movie at thegrassrootsmovie.com

                  by deantv on Fri Sep 16, 2005 at 07:02:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I like Dean just fine (none)
                    and did a nontrivial amount of volunteer work on his campaign (though nowhere near as much as some other people did).  I originally got to DKos through Blog for America.  That doesn't mean that if I start peddling Dean T-shirts through a web site, it's noncommercial or a community project.  And yes, I do put tons of energy into community projects and sometimes ask for use of community resources (such as donations) to do them.  That's why it bugs me when I see people asking for those same resources to do commercial projects under the pretense that they're community projects, which I've seen happen many, many times and have grown sensitive to.  

                    I'm not saying you're definitely doing that, but am asking for clarification about exactly what you're doing, and your answers have been vague and possibly evasive.  Also, I did read your site in search of answers and didn't find them (I can't look at the videos because they require closed source plug-ins that I refuse to run).  So I'll repeat the questions in the hopes of getting clear, unambiguous, yes-or-no answers, not sob stories about your credit card bills:

                    1. Are the producers getting salaries?  --> OK, you're self funded from credit cards, I guess this is answered.  Of course that doesn't make you noncommercial; it's a classic entrepreneurial approach.  And even high salaries don't make you commercial: the CEO of the Red Cross gets over $400K a year.  But knowing this info helps fill in the picture.

                    2. If the movie brings more revenue than its production costs, where will the surplus go? --> You ignored this question but I think it's the litmus test for distinguishing a noncommercial project from a commercial one.

                    3. Will viewers be able to download the film for free and also share copies online?  --> All I see on the site is "copyright so-and-so, all rights reserved" in several places.  If it's a community project, why are the rights reserved to the producers instead of to the community?  What exactly do you mean by saying I can share the DVD with my friends?  If I can put it online like the Kerry movie was online, that starts being meaningful.  If you just mean I can invite friends over to watch it, that's already true even of Hollywood DVD's.

                    If you want to see a REAL noncommercial, community project, take a look at Wikipedia (though it's an encyclopedia rather than a movie), which I've been donating both volunteer effort and cash to.  There is no unclarity about any of those questions for Wikipedia:

                    1. It does have one paid staff person but his salary is very low.  

                    2. Revenue comes from fundraising drives (about $250K for the last one) and goes into project expenses, mostly computer hardware.  Exact accounting of the donations is published on the Wikimedia Foundation's web site.  The organization itself is set up as a 501(c)3 nonprofit and so donations are tax deductable.  That puts constraints on how the cash can be spent.  (Those constraints probably make 501c3 organization a bad idea for political activism but other types of NPO might work).

                    3. All Wikipedia content is free to redistribute under a community license (the GFDL, same as DKosopedia's, originally intended for computer documentation).  The comparable community license for a movie would be one of the Creative Commons licenses (www.creativecommons.org), specifically CC-BY-SA, although using any of the CC licenses would count as a definite yes anwer to whether the video can be shared.

                    The last part, to me, spells out what a real community project is.  Take a look at Our Media to see how some other projects along the lines of your film are being done.  

                    Anyway, if you're truly doing a community project according to that last definition, and are willing to update your web site to say so, I'll be happy to make a small cash donation and to offer some video I've shot at a few Dean and other events (though you surely have tons of better video already, so I can't promise my stuff will be of much interest).

                    Right now though, I'd have to say at the very minimum, that it doesn't look like you've thought these issues through very clearly.  

                    •  Does that mean you do not want to hear about ... (none)
                      ...selling my car for the movie? Just kidding. Clyde, beyond your initial attack and subsequent insults you make some great points and I'm happy to answer your questions. I have absolutely no intention of being evasive and in fact am trying to lay it all out on the table so let me address your questions. And thanks for allowing me to clear this up; it was so hectic just trying to get the website made that I just decided to deal with issues as they arose based on the feedback I get from the launch of the site.

                      On the contribute page at the site it says: "Grassroots filmmaking requires funds as well as heart. We ask you to contribute what you can to help us finish and distribute Grassroots: The Movie. For a gift of $30 you will receive a free advance copy of the DVD. For a gift of $50 or more your name will also appear in the film's end credits.

                      Your gift will make possible a final cut of the film that is distribution ready. Also, any profits from distribution will in turn make possible our next film on grassroots participation in American democratic self-government. This is a continuing story, we trust."

                      So yea, even though I'm told again and again that I can't expect to get more than $50,000 as a first time feature filmmaker, I do hope I can get that to make the next film on grassroots politics. Of course, I hope I am still married after all this too (that's a joke Clyde, stop rolling your eyes). So technically speaking I am not a big commercial entity but you are correct, I am commercial since I want to recoup my cost and produce, distribute and shop around a film that I think will be beneficial on a large scale for our community. So if it's all right with you I still consider it a community project since it is told by, and is about the community. It costs money to get those dvds and names in the credits so I consider that a return on an investment for the small donations.

                      1. Are the producers getting salaries?

                      No. In three years money has gone out and I have paid for my co-producers flights etc to keep her happy though she works as a professor of film at the New School in NYC and Purchase. In fact, our original budget is $175,000 that includes salaries for time actually making it estimated, but I cut that out and other things because I didn't think I could justify certain costs yet with the community. The $108,130 budget is what I thought was the bare minimum we needed to beg for to simply keep the film alive and get it into production. I had the budgets up initially at the site but took it down because it just was not necessary and took away from the concentration of the video I thought. I'm not against putting them back up.

                      2. If the movie brings more revenue than its production costs, where will the surplus go?

                      Again, as it says on the donation page:

                      "Also, any profits from distribution will in turn make possible our next film on grassroots participation in American democratic self-government."

                      3. Will viewers be able to download the film for free and also share copies online?

                      I'm so far away from that stage I do not know how to answer the question. Do you have resources you can share that would give me an idea how I could do that and still get a return to get out of debt?

                      One idea I have been kicking around is to offer shares for the level of commitment to the film. I'd really like to see this kept in the family because a big movie house would make demands on the direction of the film. That could disastrous for this type of content. Anyhow, if one sends in $100 for example they get .00000001 or something from a percentage pool of any profits (if there ever is a movie). If you know about these things please share. What do you think of the idea?

                      Clyde, since you have not seen the video. Let me briefly share what it is that is free on my site:

                      1. the first clip is about annatopia.com and me (citizen journalists video blogging for Dean Nation at the time) canvassing for Dean in Iowa and talking about that lost sense of community.

                      2. Citizen journalist going after Sean Hannity, Carville, Tucker, etc etc... in the hopes that in a finished film younger generations will see that cheap technology can even the playing field with the MSM if one has the courage to go after them to get unscripted moments. In the film, you will see me get on the CNN bus and confront Bob Novak for instance.

                      3. This road trip of a film includes regular characters like Darius Mitchell who became my friend on the trail of democracy during the campaign. He's a big black guy from Lowell, Mass. who is concerned about the way MSM depicts African Americans. He says the media is segregated. He wants to change that. I want to help get his message out within my message in the finished movie.

                      4. The MSM kept reporting these peaceful protests in NYC at the RNC as violent, unruly hippie people. You and I know that was not the case. The video shows an undercover cop revving up and gunning down a woman on purpose. My video actually shows the cop doing this (when blown up and in better light you can actually see the cop smiling before he did it). That night and the next morning MSM all over reports that a policeman was attacked by angry mobs. If I was into conspiracy theories, this is the video that would make me believe in them because I think this attack by the cop was coordinated somehow.

                      Anyhow, I'll probably end up in court over that one since there are so many lawsuits over that incident. That's free at my site too.

                      5. The last video just shows how nuts things get during these times following presidential candidates. Larouche supporters rioting at Dean speeches. Al Franken "wrestling" protestors into submission (he used the video on a talk show--for free. I just hope he'll speak with me again for the final cut of a film).

                      I hope you will see the video and consider what's at stake here.

                      So, if you have some ideas on all this please write. Perhaps I'll post part of our discussion to see if others want to chime in. I'm open to all ideas but think I've been up front about what's going on.

                      Again, I didn't mean to hijack anything either. Do you think it would be okay to post my ad in open threads? I really don't know the answer to these questions. I am really still learning about how these things works so thanks again for opening up the discussion..

                      And what does a 17 rating mean?

                      My shoulder is killing me I have to stop writing for now.

                      Directing Your Grassroots Movement Movie at thegrassrootsmovie.com

                      by deantv on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 01:10:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  reply (none)
                        1. A lot of your post is about how good the finished movie is going to be.  That's all very nice but it doesn't have anything to do with the business model so I won't address it.  If you want me to watch the videos you're going to have to post them in open formats.  I'm not willing to pollute my computer with closed-source plugins just to watch a few video clips.

                        2. I notice that "Outfoxed" was funded by CAP, MoveOn, and some other political types (link).  It sounds like you talked with similar sources and they were interested in funding you at $50K but not more.  Maybe there was a reason for that, and you're spending too much despite your opinion to the contrary.  (Everyone who spends too much on something usually doesn't realize they're doing so).

                        3. Take a look at http://www.creativecommons.org or http://www.craphound.com or other such sites for info on how people are doing ok releasing stuff for gratis download.  There was also the Kerry movie "Going Upriver" that I mentioned.   If you want to go this route, and I hope you do, be very careful about licensing 3rd party content, for example all the songs in Fahrenheit 911.  Michael Moore said he personally didn't object to people downloading the movie.  However (my reading, not something he said) is that the presence of all those licensed songs stopped him from granting official permission for downloading.  All he could do was look the other way when it happened, which meant there was less downloading than there could have been, and the film's impact was diminished.  So if you use external music or whatever, make sure to choose sources that won't obstruct free downloads.  Again, see Creative Commons, http://www.magnatune.com and so forth.  (Also here).

                        4. While your film is no doubt worthwhile, don't overestimate its impact ("what is at stake here").  F911 was one of the top 20 grossing films of 2004 (something like $240 million in revenue so far) but now that the brouhaha has settled down, it's just another movie.  Be very happy if you have 1/1000th as much influence as F911 had.

                        5. Your notion of offering .00000001 of the film per $100 of backing is ridiculous--it means that putting up the whole $100K would get only .000001.  That's just laughable, backers are going to want at least 50% and probably more like 90%.  Put another way you're saying you think the film is worth somewhere north of $5 billion.  Don't kid yourself.  Making it 1/2000 (.0005) per $100 starts to make sense, but of course then it's just another business venture.  I can't advise you about that though.  There's nothing wrong with it, it's just something I have zero knowledge about or interest in.

                        6. I believe it's highly inappropriate to run ads for anything in comment threads, whether open threads or anything else (an exception might be, say, a thread specifically about activist movie projects).  If you want to run an ad, recognize that an ad is an ad, and run it as an ad.  See that guy in the DKos front page ad section talking about Bob Dylan?  He ran an ad for his mp3 download, and you can do the same.  He's not even trying to sell anything or ask for donations.  You've mentioned getting some complimentary ads and that's fine too, but if those aren't available, then pay for your ads.  Blog sites have expenses just like you do.

                        7. That said, I think most DKos readers wouldn't mind if you once in a while (I mean no more than once every couple months) posted a diary about progress with the film.  Ideally any such diary should be timely (i.e. describe what you've actually been doing on the film recently) and even newsworthy ("yesterday we just filmed a really good interview with so-and-so").  It should be at least a couple screens long, can include some photos and links to new video, etc.  It should not be an ad!  There can be a brief fundraising appeal included towards the end but the main substance of each diary should be to inform people about what's going on (and therefore shouldn't be the same diary over and over).  That will go over a lot better than trying to turn DKos into a telethon.

                        Hope this helps.
                        •  It Does Help Clyde (none)
                          Thanks for your input.

                          Directing Your Grassroots Movement Movie at thegrassrootsmovie.com

                          by deantv on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 06:58:18 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  You really did help me out. (none)
                          You've helped me focus on some serious questions. I hope you'll stay in touch. I can't find an email for you so...good luck. I'm starting to share more of the movie now at the blog at my site.

                          Directing Your Grassroots Movement Movie at thegrassrootsmovie.com

                          by deantv on Tue Sep 20, 2005 at 04:08:23 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

      •  The View's right-winger (none)
        That would be Elisabeth Hasselbeck - I think they hired her because of her right-leaning opinions since the rest of the gals are relative lefties.  She's married to Tim Hasselbeck (quarterback for the Redskins?) and is one of those reality-made celebs - was on Survivor in Australia.  She's mostly annoying.  I'm sure she was spun up at the prospect of having to be nice to Howard Dean.

        "We can only reach the dream if we are all together - black and white, gay and straight, man and woman." ~ Howard Dean

        by Nancy in LA on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 02:34:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In a world full of intelligent beings (4.00)
        Howard Dean would be President of the United States of America.

        And I wouldn't be flirting with an aneurysm.

    •  God Bless our leader, Howard Dean! n/t (none)
  •  Time for the full court press, so to speak (4.00)
    Get writing, phoning, and blogging, folks. Let's turn up the heat on this nominee.
    •  Write those letters, it matters (none)
      If you want to find some newspapers or contact info use the media endorsement link from the dKosopedia, we gathered up contact info and data on quite a few of the nations newspapers before the election for project Fool me Once/ Shame on You.

      Write to your local papers, you are more likely to be published.  Keep it short and sweet and write to a mainstream audience.  Even if the people don't read your letter the staff of the politicians will.

      Even if your letter doesn't get published it increases the chances that someone else's letter will be.  It also effects how the editorial board approaches their articles and editorials.

      ...in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent
      -G.W. Bush
      Looking in the mirror?

      by Luam on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:41:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  PS Write your own (none)
        Write your own letters they will have more impact, getting a bunch of letter that they know originated from the DNC isn't going to have nearly the same effect as writing your own.

        I just followed through on the link Dean gave us, and that gives more power to the party that they can get those letters out there, but they are less likely to be published and count for less if they all have the same text.

        ...in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent
        -G.W. Bush
        Looking in the mirror?

        by Luam on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:46:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  For a given value of lose... (none)
        Perhaps he will be confirmed.  I know that you probably would like that amoral snake on the bench, but we want to make it clear that Bush doesn't have much leeway when it comes to replacing Justice O'Connor.

        ...in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent
        -G.W. Bush
        Looking in the mirror?

        by Luam on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 01:39:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (none)
        kay.

        is this worthy of a recipe?  mmm. no.  i'm too busy writing letters to the Houston Chronicle.

        thank you Dean!

        my letter:

        It's impossible to think of a more meaningful and important position in our democracy than that of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

        It may not have the glamour of the Presidency but, because of its longevity and judicial influence, I don't know of another position that needs to be scrutinized as closely as who we judge to be the Chief Judge (so to speak) of the United States.

        What do you know about the current nominee, John Roberts?  

        Where does he stand on Roe v. Wade?  Where does he stand on civil rights?  On Affirmative Action?  On Gay Marriage?  On dozens of key issues that will be decided upon by the next Supreme Court.

        Does Roberts bring preconceived ideas that will hinder his ability to judge impartially or will he be an activist judge?

        Furthermore, given he has been a judge for only two years, does he have the experience to lead this role & does he have the right to?

        After all, are we saying that we could not find a more experienced, impartial judge in the entire country?

        It is EXTREMELY important that Congress & the People know who we are electing.  

        Roberts spent this week artfully dodging questions put to by Republicans and Democrats in the Congress.  

        We hate this behavior in defendants.  It is even more dangerous if our judges can't be straightforward.  How can Roberts judge a man who evades his questions if he has done the same thing?

        It would be like having a thief judge a thief.

        John Roberts needs to stop evading the questions posed to him & give clear answers.  We need strong judges on the bench, NOT politicians.

        Especially if that person is going to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

    •  reality dictates (none)
      that homeboy is the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

      Deal with it.

      On the bright side - after confirmation, dude can be whoever he wants to be, beholden to no-one.

      Time will tell.

      •  Thanks not to smoke crack when posting. (4.00)
        There's actually three motives at work here.

        First, Dean is trying to get the dems unified on a common message re Roberts, and perhaps get a party-line vote.

        Second, Dean is trying to scare the bejezuz out of the GOP so that the next nominee -- the one that matters -- is a moderate.

        Third and most importantly, we're trying to keep the heat on the GOP. The longer we keep that up, the better our chances in 2006.

        •  Reiterated - it's a done deal (none)
          Roberts is going to be the next Chief Justice and there's nothing that you or I or Jesus or Ted Bundy or Ted Kennedy can do to stop it.

          How hard is that to understand? This aint rocket science. One can only hope that the obviously competent, and perhaps genius level nominee with his right wing haircut so perfectly parted on the right isn't a closet Nazi.

          Time will tell.

          Fighting the Roberts' confirmation is akin to beating a dead horse. He will never get up. Put your whip away.

          •  Did you read the previous post? (none)
            Evidently not.  I'll repost it:

            First, Dean is trying to get the dems unified on a common message re Roberts, and perhaps get a party-line vote.

            Second, Dean is trying to scare the bejezuz out of the GOP so that the next nominee -- the one that matters -- is a moderate.

            Third and most importantly, we're trying to keep the heat on the GOP. The longer we keep that up, the better our chances in 2006.

            In other words, just because Roberts is almost certain to be confirmed -- I agree about this -- doesn't mean we should just give up, stand down, and roll over.

            There are reasons in the game of politics to keep fighting and making noise even if we aren't going to win the battle in front of us at the moment.  We need to win the war, and that means not making things easier for the Repubs.

            •  The 'dead horse" analogy stands (none)
              Delay was indicted. Progressives are actually making progress, and "progressing." Call it what you will, but I don't picture Roberts as a venal wannabe Nazi

              Obstructionism is not good politics. Never has been. It's boxing.

              What i'd like to see is a feint with the left and give them the children having abortions sans parental consent issue. Jab,Jab and then a body blow to the solar plexis.

              The highest bidder twits have nothing to stand on besides unleashing human fears regarding sexual tension. "Gay Marriage as an issue." Hold on a minute while I puke.

      •  deja vu (none)
        >>after confirmation, dude can be whoever he wants to be, beholden to no-one.<<

        That's what you said about Clarence Thomas!

        Okay, I don't really know if SecondComing said anything about Uncle Thomas, but a lot of people were predicting once Thomas got on the court, he would stop kissing white Republican asses and do something for minorities. Didn't happen.

        Frankly, it doesn't happen that often. Sure occasionally there are surprises. A judge with little record gets into a new job on the Supreme Court and starts acting in ways we didn't see coming. But those cases are not that common. No one with integrity or a conscience would violate what he believes for several years just in hopes that one day he will get on the Supreme Court.

        The only hope I see here is that once Roberts gets on the court, he will develop a friendship with Stevens, and Stevens' attitudes will rub off on him.

  •  Bravo! (4.00)
    THIS is why Howard Dean was elected to head the DNC.

    He came out full-force against Roberts, and stated very clearly the reasons why he is unacceptable.  Then he pens a great op-ed for a bunch of newspapers.  Then he sets up a website that makes it very easy for people to find their local newspapers, write a letter to the editor using writing tips and talking points given by the DNC, and then he sends out the marching orders.  This is exactly the way to use that however-many-million large email list the DNC has.  Put people to work on simple tasks like writing a letter and spreading the message.

    •  Equally Impressed with the Timing (4.00)
      I'd little doubt which way Dr. Dean would fall. I'm proud that he'd chosen to keep his powder dry until it mattered. By waiting until the hearings had made these questions about Judge Roberts clear, he's well positioned to claim rational basis (rather than strident partisanship) for his opposition.

      Whatever the ultimate result (with Roberts still likely to be confirmed), the Democrats will be able to find a victory in taking a principled stand.

      Some times require that you accept circumstances as they are ... claiming blamelessness just doesn't cut it

      by wystler on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:47:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. (4.00)
        This is a good move for the Dems.  Let the media get all flatulent about Dean speaking out.  They always do.  But Dean is putting out a great pre-emptive "I'm telling you so" to compliment the (what I fear is inevitable) "I told you so".  Smart.

        George W. Bush deserves a fair trial.

        by CJB on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 02:12:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  That is called leadership. (4.00)
    Clear talk, to the point.  I think he knows the Democrats are wavering on this nomination.  

    "I'm willing to say things that are not popular but ordinary people know are right." Howard Dean

    by floridagal on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:26:02 AM PDT

  •  This where the rubber meets the road... (4.00)
    Dean has laid out an elequent roadmap for opposing Roberts.  Unfortunately, Dean does not have a vote.  

    But, Dean is the party chair.  And, he speaks for the majority of the grassroots.  If the Dems do not vote as a solid block against Roberts they are turning their backs on Dean and us.

    I hope this is a strategy.  I hope that this is a coordinated effort between Dean and the Senate Dems.  I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

    Any party that would lie to start a war would also steal an election.

    by landrew on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:27:39 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, I hope Reid is with him on this (4.00)
      It's a good sign that it's not just an offhand comment but a coordinated strategy with OpEds and a Letter writing campaign.
    •  I'd be surprised if Dean was free-lancing (none)
      He made it very clear at the beginning that he wasn't in his job to formulate policy or influence the legislators. He was all about grass-roots building and mobilization and message work.

      Nothing he's done since has strayed from that, so I'm thinking that this is done as part of a Reid/Dean coordinated thing.

      Biden, remember, was fairly strong against Roberts. And if Biden and Dean are saying the same things ... well that almost assures a party-wide unity.

  •  can someone give a timeline? (4.00)
    Great letter from Dean.  My "dumb question" -- and perhaps I'm asking it on behalf of others alongside me, so here goes...

    What's the process and timeline here on Roberts' nomination?  When is the actual vote expected.. or are there a series of votes?  can someone give an overall summary of the procedural road ahead, and the timeline?

    THANKS in advance for your assistance -

    •  Next week, I think (4.00)
      I thought I heard on the morning news that Roberts would be up for a vote next week.  That makes sense because SCOTUS opens for business on October 3.

      Liberal: "I still think it's a respectable word. Its root is "liber," the Latin word for "free," and isn't that what we are all about?"--Mary McGrory

      by mini mum on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:36:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Committee Vote (4.00)
      Scheduled for next week, Thursday, September 22, with a full vote of the Senate expected on September 26.
  •  Love it (4.00)
    I love the way Howard frames it into not a question of love for the law, but of love for the people it represents.  It gives Roberts his due on legal credentials, but takes consideration beyond latin.

    Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

    by Stevo on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:37:08 AM PDT

    •  Doesn't sound like Howard though (none)
      Picture him giving that as a speech.  It just doesn't sound like his words.  The substance of the letter is fine and consistent with how I expect Dean as DNC chair to respond to Roberts' hearings, but it has a certain quality to it.  I don't know.  I wonder if we're getting Dean's approval of a staffer-written document.  
      •  Oh Yes (4.00)
        I watched Dean on CNN last week and he said "I know Robert's loves the law, I'm just not sure he loves the American people".  His words, and a great angle.  

        Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

        by Stevo on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:10:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not Pro-abortion (4.00)
    There are other reasons why Dem oppose Right wing judges which does not have to do with abortion.

    Gov Dean said what Mr.Roberts and other Right wing administration leaders is Compassion.  They push their corporate agenda against the backs of ordinary people.  The Right wing will paint this as pro-abortion and culture of death.

    Dems must not fall into the trap.  They should make clear that this is not about abortion.

    Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!! http://www.democrats.org/democracybonds.html

    by timber on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:41:07 AM PDT

    •  Please (none)
      Pro-choice, not pro-abortion. There's a big difference!
    •  If we gave them (none)
      Abortion and gay marriage - they'd have nothing. I don't recommend such a stance, but dammit anything is better than the direction these nutwads are taking us.

      We could always get it back.

      Flame away.

      •  I wouldn't 'give' it to them, but (none)
        we definitely need to a) talk about it in logical terms and b) stop running away from the issues.

        The point that normal Americans can agree on is, we'd like to see the abortion rate reduced. One way to do that is by telling our children the truth about how they get pregnant in the first place.

        Second, quit calling it gay "marriage", and start talking about civil unions. Just my 2c.

        Save the animals still trapped by Katrina at hua.org

        by epluribus on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 07:17:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If only Dean were on Judiciary... (4.00)
    we might still have an outside shot at derailing the Roberts Express.  He isn't, so we don't even have that outside shot.

    I haven't seen that much of the hearings, but what I've seen has been highly disappointing.  Roberts played  a still undefined role in W's theft of the presidency in 2000, yet I am unaware of him being asked about it.  He couldn't have hidden behind his "won't comment on potentially pending cases" mantra if someone on Judiciary had had the stones to thoroughly grill him about it.

    I did see him totally run roughshod over Feinstein during her feeble inquiry about his views on the Commerce Clause.  There was no follow-up and, evidently, not much preparation by her or her staff on that critical issue.  For the next 25-30 years, we will probably have a CJ who will be ready, willing, and able to overturn legislation that is premised upon the Commerce Clause.

    I appreciate Dean's efforts, but all they will likely do is limit the margin of defeat.  The judiciary Dems didn't lay a glove on Roberts this week, and, absent a Thomas-type revelation, they don't have a prayer of stopping him now.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:43:13 AM PDT

    •  asdf (none)
      ... might still have an outside shot at derailing the Roberts Express ...

      To manage that, they'd have to flip 6 GOoPers' votes. Cannot begin to imagine where they'd come from. The only chance to stop Roberts - a filibuster - has always been improbable. The only attainable Democrat victory can be measured in what we-the-people (both the plugged-in and the average stiffs) will think and talk about in moving forward.

      Some times require that you accept circumstances as they are ... claiming blamelessness just doesn't cut it

      by wystler on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:53:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Filibustering a CJ nomination has precedent... (none)
        the R's did it w/ Fortas in '68.  The Dems would have every reason to do it here given the current balance of the Court, given the fact that W has yet to name his other nominee, and given the fact that Roberts has not been forthcoming in producing documents and answering questions.

        Unfortunately, no attempt was really made by the Judiciary Dems to create a climate where a filibuster might even be feasible.  My fear is that Roberts will pick up some DINO votes and that his easy confirmation will embolden W to pick someone who's even worse to replace O'C.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:20:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  true enough (none)
          Filibuster has precedent, but it's a sword that cuts both ways. The overwhelming problem of doing so has more to do with the public reaction to it. My best inside-baseball guess is that, unless public opinion can be moved severely, that it would result in a net loss for the Dems, with the coverage (and resulting buzz) working against our side.

          Some times require that you accept circumstances as they are ... claiming blamelessness just doesn't cut it

          by wystler on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:14:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Dems didn't make the case (none)
            Judiciary committee Dems didn't do a good enough job making a good case on the issues. The best thing they could have done though was to let Roberts make these completely laughable statements about not commenting on issues that might come before him while having just commented on issues that might come before him. Also, Roberts made a BIG mistake when he failed to recuse himself AFTER being interviewed by Gonzo.

            I think that Dems should cleverly use Dean's idea though that on paper he is great, but in reality he is a political hack that is purposely hiding his views with bullshit answers. Unfortunately not enough Dems have the spine to oppose him, partly because they know they failed to make the case. The one thing we got going for us is that this might be an early litmus test for those Presidential hopefuls who want to make their name. Sadly, too many timid Dems will not be willing to stand with the team here (many up for re-election in '06) unless Reid makes them- not sure I see that happening here as the Dems will be more tempted to put up a fight NEXT time. Dems need to tie Roberts to Bush and stand firm against anytthing this administration wants until we have a guarantee that Katrina and Plame/Niger will be fully and properly investigated.

            Dick should go Cheney himself in the George Bush.

            by Joe Willy on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 04:43:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Lets Wait for the Roll Call (none)
              We can talk about the stand Sens. Clinton and Biden will have taken after the fact. My guess is that the Dems already have a fairly firm commitment of 40+ NAY votes on Roberts.

              We shall see ...

              Some times require that you accept circumstances as they are ... claiming blamelessness just doesn't cut it

              by wystler on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 04:49:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Roberts confirmation (4.00)
      Roberts was asked what he thought of Bush v Gore, and he said he didn't know why the Court granted cert...which was a non-answer answer. He didn't comment on whether the SC came to the right decision, but he seemed to imply that the issue shouldn't have been heard by the SC. Sounded a bit like evasive double-talk to me, since he didn't actually come close to answering the real question (although if the SC hadn't granted cert, the Florida SC ruling would have stood and we very well may have had a President Gore).

      However, Dean's message wasn't intended to derail Roberts's confirmation. I would guess that Roberts will be confirmed, and Dean's hope (and hopefully also is strategy) is for it to be a near party-line vote, with at least 30-35 dems voting against confirmation.

      That forces Bush's hand somewhat in choosing J. O
      'Conner's replacement, as it sends a signal that any nominee to the right of Roberts might face fillibuster.

      If the dems break and vote overwhelmingly for Roberts's confirmation, then it really does open the door for a more extreme nominee in a couple of weeks. (cf Kennedy/Scalia and Souter/Thomas nomination pairings--a reasonably non-controversial moderate vote followed by a hard-liner).

      That's really the biggest reason Bush hasn't made his second nomination yet. He's waiting for the dem vote to signal whether he should go moderate or extreme.

      Personally, I register Roberts as something between J. Kennedy and C.J. Rehnquist ideologically, so I don't think there is any threat to the balance of court opinion by confirming him in place of Rehnquist. In fact, it might nudge the court ever so slightly to the center.

      But if I were a political advisor for the dems right now, I'd strongly urge them to vote against confirmation en masse. It nicely sets up a challenge for O'Conner's replacement, which does have a real possibility of tilting the court on a number of issues.

      •  The issue is not his view on Bush v. Gore... (4.00)
        this issue is what role he played in the legal coup that occurred in 2000.  We know he was involved, but we don't know what he did for whom and what positions he took.  For all I know, there may be a quid pro quo here like the ones that they keep giving to John Bolton.

        In any "job interview," questions about the applicant's past work history that led to him being a candidate for the job should be front and center.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:25:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Howard Dean (4.00)
    is the leader of our party.
    This needs to be on the front page.  Any statement he gives, especially of this gravity should be on the front page here.
    everyone should recommend this.
    this man is one of a handful in a position of power in this country who has the balls to actually do what government is designed to do-be the voice of the people.
    it is a shame there are not more like him and that his influence over this country's policy is so limited.
    •  Recommended is good enough (none)
      If Dean wants to talk to Kos about getting front page privileges, that is great.  Until then he can post diaries like everyone else including several Senators and Representatives.

      Chances are he will get on the Recommended list, and that is for the best.  Recommended diaries are as important as front page posts.

      ...in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent
      -G.W. Bush
      Looking in the mirror?

      by Luam on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:30:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree absolutely! We do a lot of grumbling (none)
      about lack of leadership in the Democratic Party.  Well, there is not question Howard Dean is a wonderful leader and he should be headlined at every opportunity.  He may not be our nominee in 2008 even though he was my choice in 2004 but he damned well Speaks for Me!.  He is articulate and has so much common sense (read that as he says what I am already thinking but not articulate enough to say) and we need to use our assets to the best for our party.

      Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

      by macmcd on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 01:38:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Roberts is the Artful Dodger... (none)
    but unlike in Oliver Twist, he's not a cuddly little ruffian with Oliver's (and our) best interests at heart.

    Let justice reign though the heavens tremble

    by Viceroy on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:44:40 AM PDT

  •  Biden's ASS is on the line. (none)
    If he's going to be a National leader, he needs to bring home the goods on this one.

    Otherwise, what's the point of having a "tenured insider" in Congress if they can't do shit for us?

    Better put this corporatist out on his ass if he can't stand up when it's necessary.

    Feinstein too. I really don't like that muppet... she's a traitor on most corporate votes.

    U.S. blue collar worker vs. CEO income in 1992 was 1:80; in 1998 it was 1:420.

    by Lode Runner on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:48:05 AM PDT

    •  I don't like what i saw on Drudge (none)
      Saw a gossip item up there today, saying "sources" overheard Biden effusively complimenting Roberts on his performance during the questioning.

      Drudge and his "sources" at times go in for "making shit up" (e.g. the Kerry intern flap) -- but he's right half the time.  Let's hope this is a case of the former, not the latter.  

      •  That's unsurprisingly (none)
        disappointing. Biden is such a waste of flesh.

        U.S. blue collar worker vs. CEO income in 1992 was 1:80; in 1998 it was 1:420.

        by Lode Runner on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:19:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dear Sen. Biden, Do The Right Thing. (none)
          Under no circumstances will I vote for you for President in 2008.  You are free to Do The Right Thing in the Roberts matter (and everything else).  No need for you to figure out how your every word will play politically.  Just Do The Right Thing.  You know what that is.
      •  by the way... (none)
        King Torta is my favorite sandwich place in LA. They make their own bread... and boy howdy! It's good.

        U.S. blue collar worker vs. CEO income in 1992 was 1:80; in 1998 it was 1:420.

        by Lode Runner on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:20:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not meant (none)
          to be a recipe is it? ;)

          Time flies like the wind, fruit flies like the bananas

          by Warren Terrer on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:11:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think ... (none)
            ... it's just Lode Runner's modernized impression of a Monty Python bit (as Collin):

            NORMAN:   "I  think I should point out that in this constituency since  the last  election  a  lot of very silly people have moved into a  new  housing estate with the result that many of the sensible voters have moved  furthur down the road the other side of, number, uh, uh, twenty nine."

            GERALD:  "Well, I can't add anything to that.  Collin?"

            COLLIN:   "Can  I  just say that this is the first time I've been on  television?"

            GERALD:   "No I'm sorry there isn't time, we're just going straight over to Luten."

            Some times require that you accept circumstances as they are ... claiming blamelessness just doesn't cut it

            by wystler on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 04:56:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  But it sounds similar in tone to his sucking up (none)
        to Abu Ghraib Gonzales. So it is plausible.

        Can we drown Grover Norqvist in his bathtub?

        by lecsmith on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:15:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm impressed by Biden (none)
      Personally I have been impressed by Biden's questioning it is tough and fair and very too the point.  He is the one who accused Roberts of giving misleading answers when Specter asked him not to interrupt, and then the next day he came back and pointed out that Roberts was used to being interrupted as as a lawyer.

      From his comments and his questions, I don't think Biden will vote for Roberts, he may vote for Cloture.

      ...in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent
      -G.W. Bush
      Looking in the mirror?

      by Luam on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:35:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, Joe (none)
    Where is your tip jar?  I'm recommending. I hope everyone will write LTEs today and tonight, and make phone calls and send emails to your Senators and the Judiciary committee.

    Let's take advantage of our numbers and put them to use today!

    "He's done a hell of a job, because I'm not aware of any Arabian horses being killed in this storm." Kate Hale re FEMA Dir. Mike Brown.

    by OLinda on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:51:02 AM PDT

    •  Tip jar or no tip jar -- (4.00)
      -- just want to make sure everything gets out there to folks who want to know.
      •  You need (none)
        to write more often then Joe, cause we want to know everything. We need to hear Dean's voice, we want to know what our leader is doing and thinking.

        There is a huge void of leadership out there whenever Dean is so deep in the grassroots that we cannot see him anymore.

        We are all wearing the blue dress now.

        by PLS on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 04:33:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is it just me (4.00)
    ...or has Dean gone a long way toward answering the Repub question-meme du jour, "What do the Democrats stand for?"

    Compassion.
    The American Dream.
    Equal opportunity.
    Justice.

    And more importantly, these values should take precedence over a literal interpretation of the law.

    Great job, Howard.

    •  I agree withyou that Dean has defined what (none)
      a democratic appointment to the Supreme Court should be. Unfortunately, this is a Republican nomination from the worst and most right wing president in our history. I think, at this time, Roberts is the best we could get. And I also think, not predict mind you, that he could move to the compassion side as he aged and became more experienced.
      •  If he is confirmed (none)
        then I hope your posit comes true:  

        "I also think, not predict mind you, that he could move to the compassion side as he aged and became more experienced."

        What other alternative hope would we have at that point?

      •  Ever since his nomination... (4.00)
        (for associate justice), I've almost daily, grown more certain that the opposite is the case, and that he is far worse than I originally thought, and will prove to be every bit the rigid ideologue. However, with all my heart, I hope that you are seeing things more clearly than I.

        "Quoting: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another..." Robert Benchley

        by greeseyparrot on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:23:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who would have guessed that Earl Warren, (none)
          appointed by President Eisenhower, would lead for many, many years, the most progressive Supreme Court in our history.
        •  I agree with you. I am sure he is another (none)
          slick hypocrit who knows what to say to sound non-threatening; however, if he were truly non-threatening, then he would tell the truth instead of hide behind "I'm not going to talk about that because it could come up."  BS!  If he were honest, then the WH would not be hiding so much stuff on him.  If he were honest he would have recused himself instead of sitting on the bench on a case the WH had so much interest in.  He is a Bushco player and he is just pretending to be non-threatening.  

          Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

          by macmcd on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 01:59:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  promise of america (none)
      right on.
      I think my favorite was his line about the "constitution's promise of equality"
      that's a big one.

      however, he should have left out "...not just a strong military", yes it's a true statement that our compassion for each other makes us stronger than just military alone.. but it's bad to say because it just sets up the stage that we're weak in military issues.

      instead, he should've just said "compassion for each other makes us the strongest"

      EVERY STATEMENT NEEDS TO BE ABOUT WHAT WE ARE FOR, NOT WHAT WE ARE AGAINST - OTHERWISE, WE'LL CONTINUE TO LOSE THE INITIATIVE IN ALL THESE BATTLES.

      HAMMER THIS INTO YOUR HEAD EVERYONE :)

  •  Recommend everyone (4.00)
    Repeating myself and others, but please recommend.  This is the kind of thing we gather here for.

    Joe, would you consider putting "ACTION" in the title?

    "He's done a hell of a job, because I'm not aware of any Arabian horses being killed in this storm." Kate Hale re FEMA Dir. Mike Brown.

    by OLinda on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:53:53 AM PDT

  •  How many Democrats does it take (4.00)
    to tell the truth about a right wing asshole supreme court nominee?

    Answer: 100.  99 to play games, and Howard Dean.

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:03:42 AM PDT

  •  So many (4.00)
    dems have said so many things about Roberts. There have been numerous diaries here on Roberts. But by God, this letter precisely captures my fears. My fears about Roberts are not of a legal or political nature, but rather about his human nature. The man has lived a privileged and cloistered life that has had a pathological effect on him. Like Bush, he thinks poor people are poor because they are lazy. He thinks a woman's primary duty is to bear children and that she should sacrifice her career for this. He completely lacks the sensitivity that would inhibit the instinctual, reflexive orientation towards covert racism and classism.

    He is not good for post-Katrina America.

  •  Thanks Howard. (4.00)
    What struck me yesterday was the whole hypocracy about the "I can't discuss pending cases" shtick.  Is there anybody here who thinks Roberts gave the same answer to Bush when he was asked how he feels about Roe v. Wade?  Of course not.  If Roberts wants the appointment then he has to answer the question when Bush asks.

    I think Congress should be entitled to the same straight answers that the White House gets.  Just like Roberts would not be nominated if he wouldn't answer the White House's questions he shouldn't be confirmed if he won't answer the Senate's questions.

    As we saw with Bolton, it doesn't look like obstruction if the other side can get a vote any time they want.  I'd love to see the Democratic senators tell Roberts very directly that they won't vote to cut off debate until Roberts decides to answer the questions the American people want answered.  Roberts can get an up or down vote any time he wants one - he just has to really answer a few questions first.

    Of course that kind of assumes no fillibuster if Roberts tells the truth and admits he wants to overturn Roe.  Not sure anybody wants to make that commitment.  So, instead we just get posturing. Roberts will be confirmed because there is no "smoking gun" and then he'll vote just like he told Bush he would.

    The Bush White House: Where being right gets you fired and being wrong gets you the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    by Tod on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:06:43 AM PDT

    •  Judge Roberts Claims (none)
      In his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that no one in the Bush White House asked him about his views on Roe v. Wade.
      •  Yah... (none)
        like Clarence Thomas's claim to have never discussed Roe v Wade with anyone either.

        You're doing a heckuva job, Brownie.

        by Agent of Fortune on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:34:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I missed that. (none)
        That testimony presents two possibilities.

        Either Roberts didn't tell the truth, or

        Nobody in the White House had to ask.  Roberts' views were either voluntered without a direct question or nobody had to talk about it because everybody knew where he stood.

        We can dismiss any possibility that Bush nominated a Supreme Court justice without knowing where he stands on the issue.

        The Bush White House: Where being right gets you fired and being wrong gets you the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

        by Tod on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:37:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You know already that Roberts feels that same (none)
        as Bush does about Row v. Wade.

        Neither one cares about how people
        get around in New Orleans. <snark>

        "Republicans are men of narrow vision, who are afraid of the future." --Jimmy Carter

        by murasaki on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:15:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  IMPEACHABLE? (none)
        if it was proven that he lied about not talking to anyone in the white house about Roe v Wade... would that be impeachable, grounds for removal??
      •  Yeah (none)
        Feinstein asked him that and he said no.  Just before that, she noted that he seemed more forthcoming prior to the lunch break on Tuesday, and asked if anyone had cautioned him about that, and he said no to that too.  I found it funny that she asked that, because I noticed that too.

        I wonder if Sen. Coburn was watching Roberts' body language to see if he was lying when he answered those two questions!

        Left At The Gate-Thoroughbred Racing and Other Opinions

        by ckck94 on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 02:19:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This almost makes you want to cry... (4.00)
    ...when you consider this could have been the man sitting in the oval office. :::sigh:::

    A President that get's it. I've forgotten what that's like.

    Excellent letter Howard.

    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

    by Alumbrados on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:09:11 AM PDT

    •  Forgotten (4.00)
      what it's like. Honey, I'm 50 and I have never seen the like of Howard Dean before. Clinton probably was more in touch than Bush, but he sold out to the Corporations to occupy the WH, and it cost us dearly in many areas.

      I am getting tired of seeing "gee it's too bad he can't run in '08", of course he will run, how could he not? WE LOVE HIM. In 2003, Clinton told us "It is fine to fall in love, but when the time comes you need to fall in line." Ok, we did what we were told last time, and look where that got us. I for one think Dean had a much better chance than Kerry did and so did Rove apparently, while else would he single out Dean to attack during the primary? When Kerry came out on top, Repugs all said he would be "tough". But Dean could have lost, so what? I would have been happy for alot longer, and the American people would have heard alot of truth from Howard that they need to hear.

       I am not about to be forced into another arranged marriage, and they can't scare me into it with Bush fear either. How are we going to give up Dean for another corporate-lite Dem like Clinton, Biden, or god forbid Kerry again?

      Of course it doesn't really matter what I and other long term Deaniacs think, if it did he would be president today. The far more important fact is that Howard makes new fans everyday. I know he didn't do is cynically, but becoming chair was a brillant way to build support. He gets to demonstrate his leadership skills and woo the grassroots all over the country. Most importantly, he gets to do so by and large out of the media spotlight/distortlight. And we all know what happens when people get to see the real Howard.

      He will run, because by then we will not accept anyone else. We call the shots here, because Dean did not create the movementment he just accepted the top leadership position. He wasn't all that keen on being the chair ether, but we talked him into it. So, we just tell him he has been promoted.  

      We are all wearing the blue dress now.

      by PLS on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 04:24:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dean is spot on (none)
    which, of course, means that our Dem senators will support the nomination.

    I'm guessing 37 of the 44 will support.

    I am I and you are you, and we are both each other too -- Clair Huffaker, The Cowboy and the Cossack

    by xysrl on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:09:24 AM PDT

    •  Yep, including (none)
      all the hopefuls for '08.  

      If voters spent even a few minutes thinking before voting, then any democrat who supported a republican SC nominee would suffer a humiliating defeat.  Alas, these are desperate times...

      IMO, Biden, Kerry, Hillary, and Reid will all happily vote for Roberts.  Biden, because he's a nutjob, Kerry, because he's a spineless twit, Hillary, because she's a republican, and Reid, because he believes a woman should not control her own body.

      Our party needs more than a house cleaning, it needs to be burned down and rebuilt from the bare dirt on up.  

      "The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government." -Thomas Jefferson, 1809.

      by Subterranean on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:31:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To me, (4.00)
    Howard's words are gold.  I am starved for this elegant, thoughtful, compassionate, true, concise, open voice with nary a hint of partisan shrillness (of which I am sometimes guilty).  Howard speaks for me; he speaks for America.

    We shape the clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want. - Lao-tzu

    by myeye on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:14:08 AM PDT

  •  Howad Dean is the answer... (4.00)
    ... to the perennial question people ask in frustration around here: "Where are the Democrats?"

    Here's what one looks like. Right here. This. Him.

    Following a strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution... Clarence Thomas would only get 3/5th of a vote.

    by Malacandra on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:16:34 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Howard. (4.00)
    This is why we love you -- you're a leader, you stand with and for US.
  •  I wouldn't mind seeing Dean run again in 2008 (none)
    I always liked Howard Dean from the get-go and I wouldn't mind seeing him run again in 2008.  I think the media took him a little out of context in 2004.
  •  Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll (none)
    WSJ - sub required
    Today, 9/15/05.

    [emphasis mine. Let's help them know enough to say!]

    To be sure, the survey contains some bright spots for Mr. Bush. Federal appeals court Judge John Roberts, his nominee to succeed the late William Rehnquist as chief justice of the Supreme Court, has drawn respectable support and little intense opposition. Some 38% say they support Judge Roberts for that post, while just 20% oppose him and 41% don't know enough to say.

    Also:

    Democrats enjoy firmer support in public opinion for their demand for more documents about Judge Roberts's previous government service; 41% say the White House should make additional documents public, outpacing the 31% who say Democrats already have enough information.

    "He's done a hell of a job, because I'm not aware of any Arabian horses being killed in this storm." Kate Hale re FEMA Dir. Mike Brown.

    by OLinda on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:21:50 AM PDT

  •  One question (none)
    What about Roberts' pro-bono work in helping forward gay rights? Is that inconsequential?

    'We have a single system...the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold.' Henry Adams

    by jorndorff on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:22:43 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, sure (none)
      If Roberts freely volunteered his time to fight for gay rights, then I'll suck my own dick.

      "The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government." -Thomas Jefferson, 1809.

      by Subterranean on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:37:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Howard, (4.00)
    I want to thank you very much & also respectfully request that you run for President again in 2008. Sir, with all due respect, we, as a country, need you. Please see your way through to agree.

    The fault, dear Brutus, lies not within the stars, rather, it lies within ourselves.

    by triciawyse on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:23:00 AM PDT

  •  around it (4.00)
    I'm not so sure this op-ed really pulls out the connection between Katrina, poverty and the injustice to the American people overall.
    I wish he had tied in the use of the law to strangehold justice and opportunity for all Americans, giving more and more power to corporations.

    But, he said it, it's certainly better than the other Dems, sitting there dumbfounded on what to do and say.

    I agree, Roberts reminds me of a robot, a perfect heartless soul, a walking eating machine to preserve and protect corporate interests at the cost of the American people, the United States as we knew it and the world in which we live.

  •  Thank you, Dr. Dean! (4.00)
    Your inspiring words are just what we wanted to hear.  

    Context + analysis + call to action = Leadership!

  •  Dr. Dean still speaks for me. (none)
    And now I'll speak back...to the local press.

    CHEERS to Vermont cardiologists-turned-politicians1

    Ari Mistral

    "Nature has laid [New Orleans] waste - with a scope that brings to mind the end of Pompeii." - Anne Rice

    by Ari Mistral on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:26:07 AM PDT

    •  He wasn't (none)
      a cardiologist, he was a GP I believe. He wasn't a high paid specialist, he was a real Doctor, and his wife still is one.

      Interesting isn't it? For like Bush, he was born with a silver spoon too. He and his brothers when to private school, he sent his kids to public school (and not because he couldn't afford private school).

      Howard is really, really special.

      We are all wearing the blue dress now.

      by PLS on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 04:42:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (none)
        I was living in NH during Dean's first term as VT governor. I was under the impression he was a cardio. If not, I stand corrected. We all know he's a physician, though. :)

        Ari Mistral

        "Nature has laid [New Orleans] waste - with a scope that brings to mind the end of Pompeii." - Anne Rice

        by Ari Mistral on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 08:37:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Will the fucktard Democrats in the Senate... (4.00)
    ....wake up and embrace this well spoken and truthful LTE and the vital points and issues it raises?

    Or will the vertebrate challenged members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate make jackasses of themselves once again by dissembling and running for cover behind pussy* excuses like "must give deference to the President, tradition says, yadda yadda yadda"?

     

    * No denigration to either felines or female genitalia implied, as I adore both.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:26:17 AM PDT

    •  The problem is that our Senate minority leader (none)
      does not adore pussy.  He believes women should have neither control nor privacy over their pussies.  

      How can we trust a man who views woman as inferior humans to lead the fight against Roberts?   How can we trust the democratic senators who made Reid their leader?

      With the current lot of democrats in congress, why even bother with the hearings?  We know they're nothing but a pack of non-poisonous jellyfish!

      "The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government." -Thomas Jefferson, 1809.

      by Subterranean on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:45:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dr. Dean right again (none)
    Dean is right, of course, and his analysis is spot on. The distinction between justice, compassion and the law is a essential one.  As Shakespeare wrote:

    The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
    'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
    The throned monarch better than his crown;
    His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
    The attribute to awe and majesty,
    Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
    But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
    It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
    It is an attribute to God himself;
    And earthly power doth then show likest God's
    When mercy seasons justice
    .

    Obviously, as his ruling in the "french fry" case demonstrates, Roberts is unaware of this important aspect of being a judge.  More's the pity, but the question is "what can be done?"

    Barring some unforeseen explosion, Roberts will be confirmed.  We can only hope that he will mature as a judge, and see more in compassion, and less in the narrow rulings of the law.

    I still feel he is not the worst of all possible choices. What did we expect from George Bush, anyway? A no vote may express our displeasure, but it will not stop the confirmation.  I agree with those who would save our real fight for whomever Bush nominates next. After all, Roberts is replacing Rhenquist and may be, if not more liberal, at least more modern, if only by the virtue of being younger and having grown up in more liberal times.  When Rhenquist was 30 Jim Crow laws were still on the books, and descrimination a a fact of life.  

    The real battle will be for O'Connor's spot, the true swing vote. It's good we bring up our concerns now, of course, but I fear (and I'll probably get killed for this by my fellow Kossaks) too much wailing about Roberts may diminish our ability to thwart the next, possibly worse, one.  

    In sum, don't stop complaining, don't stop holding Roberts to account, don't stop pressing our views, be loud and strong, but accept the inevitable and keep our eyes on what my turn our to be the real battle - the next one.

    It may serve us well to be able to say "You got Roberts, even though we had great reservations about him and certainly did not agree with his views, but you're not getting this!"

    A liberal is a man so broadminded he wouldn't take his own side in an argument........Robert Frost

    by mjshep on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:30:43 AM PDT

  •  Roberts (none)
    I know I'm in the minority here, but my impression of Roberts is that he's not that bad.  Or should I say, it could have been much much worse considering Bush is doing the nominating.  Only time will tell, but my feeling is that he won't be another Scalia.

    Welcome to Bizarro World. Please check all rational thought at the door.

    by starkness on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:34:31 AM PDT

    •  If we had the votes (4.00)
      Would we deny him confirmation, given who else Dubya might nominate?  I really wonder.  We can hope that Roberts might grow a conscience, even if we think he probably won't.  But at the end of the day, he may just be an even trade for Rehnquist, having no net negative impact on the Court.  

      I'm with those who say we should fight like hell on O'Connor's replacement. Drag it out for a year if we can, until we can toss out DeWine, Santorum, Chafee, and maybe one or two others.

      •  Of course we deny him (none)
        if we have the votes.  And if Bushco then nominate yet another evil bastard, we deny that one, too.  And the next, and the next, and on and on until Bush realizes he either nominates a left of center judge or doesn't get to nominate one at all before his term runs out.

        These Christian Fundamentalists want to destroy our nation and rocket us back to the 13th century.  The democratic party keeps trying to appease them, and it only whets their appetite for even greater power.  We must not give these barbarians an inch.  They cannot be reasoned with, since their language doesn't deal in reason.

        When confronted with a grave danger that cannot be reasoned with, there are only two choices:  let the danger have its way with you, or destroy the danger.  The democrats chose the former.  We must replace them with a party that confronts and destroys dangers.

        "The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government." -Thomas Jefferson, 1809.

        by Subterranean on Fri Sep 16, 2005 at 12:04:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ho-Ho Be Da Man / nt (none)
  •  Here's my letter (4.00)
    I am very concerned about the future of our nation after hearing John Roberts' testimony, or lack thereof, the last 3 days.  He is a well-spoken, intelligent man, but that he will not address some of his past memos, and that the Bush administration will not release more recent ones, worries me greatly.

    Roberts has written in the past that Roe v. Wade should be overturned, he has found against equal funding for girls' sports, and has ruled against the Endangered Species Act.  His wife headed a group called "Pro-Life Feminists." I also fear that he will be a tool for the corporations, taking away the protections created the last 70 years which protect the "little guy" from the power and pocketbook of corporations whose only goal is to make a profit.

    John Roberts grew up in a well-to-do family, went to an exclusive prep school, and then on to Harvard. I don't see from his life experiences that John Roberts understands that those who were not born with silver spoons in their mouths need protection from intrusive government and impersonal corporations.  From his hearing, I did not hear that he had the concern or compassion to learn about those less fortunate.  I doubt that this $700 per hour lawyer ever even comes across anyone who does not have all of his/her needs fulfilled in our nation of increasing "haves and have-nots." So I believe that John Roberts as Chief Justice will roll back womens' rights, minority rights, disability rights, environmental protections and wage and labor rights in the name of corporate American.
    I fear for our nation.

    Adigal

    "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

    by adigal on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:39:17 AM PDT

  •  my letter (4.00)
    Damnit, this is hard!! I think my letter kindof sucks but I wanted to get something out there.
    ____________

    I was with great eagerness and anticipation that I tuned in this week to listen to the John Roberts conformation hearings broadcast on NPR this week. While I was greatly impressed with the man's intelligence and legal knowledge, what I was extremely disappointed by was what I did NOT hear.

    He went on at length about his willingness to comment on settled law but would not comment on any of the issues which will actually have an effect on the American people he would be appointed to serve.

    John Roberts may be managing to dodge question after question at his confirmation hearings, but he can't avoid what he's written in the past during his work for the Reagan administration. His claims that those writings do not represent his own views but only the views of the administration he worked for are unconvincing. Either those are his views, in which case we must reject him for extremism... Or they are not his views, in which case we must reject him for being an unknown quantity. A lifetime appointment which is likely to last upwards of 35 years is not the sort of thing to hinge on the toss of a die.

    As an American who believes in moral fairness, equality and compassion, I urge the Senate to reject John Roberts.

    •  oh hey (none)
      I think this is a pretty good letter to send to my senators as well. (oh, and I fixed the bit in the first sentence where I said "this week" twice before submitting the emails to the papers, just not before posting it here).
  •  Watch Him Grow (none)
    Dean is maturing into national stature by the week. This piece and his position are sorely needed right at this moment.

    If Bush gets essentially what he wants on the Court, in 100 years nobody will remember the financial and energy frauds, Iraq, 9/11, or Katrina. He'll be known as a father of his Country.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:49:45 AM PDT

  •  I'm working on my LTEs (4.00)
    This is a nice change from the Terry McAuliffe letters telling us to lie down and accept what's coming....... (snark. That was just the message, not an actual directive or plea from the former DNC chairman)

    "If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever" P. Westerburg

    by mungley on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 11:53:12 AM PDT

  •  More WSJ - Repub. strategy (4.00)
    Sorry, I'm unable to link to the WSJ article. It has rolled off the main page and when you find it now, it comes up in a non-linkable popup.
    Can be found through here though. sub req'd.
    Politics and Policy articles

    I've heard some smart Kossacks saying this, but here it is in the WSJ:

    The Bush administration wants to pull in a substantial number of Democrats when the full Senate votes -- likely in two weeks -- on Judge Roberts, hoping that will give the president room to nominate a more openly conservative judge to fill the seat of retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

    ...
    White House officials have hoped that Judge Roberts' résumé and gracious manner could persuade at least one or two Democrats on the panel, say people familiar with their strategy. But one of their prime targets, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D. Calif.), yesterday expressed frustration. In order to make a judgment on his nomination, "I do expect to know a little bit more about how you think," she said.

    Write or call Dianne: in addition to your others
    Phone: (202) 224-3841
    Web contact form

    contact page

    "He's done a hell of a job, because I'm not aware of any Arabian horses being killed in this storm." Kate Hale re FEMA Dir. Mike Brown.

    by OLinda on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:04:00 PM PDT

    •  Strategy (none)
      WSJ is confirming a strategy I covered upthread...if the dems want to force Bush's hand on the next nomination, they must vote against Roberts getting confirmed.

      Roberts isn't so objectionable he should be outright fillibustered...that would make things ugly for all sides. He's certainly qualified, and he won't be any worse for the good guys than Rehnquist was.

      If dems vote "yes" on confirmation, they send the message that they approve of Roberts and like nominees. What they will get a month from now is an ultra hard-line conservative--or, what is worse, a crony with more love of party than either ideology or law. (As much as I disagree with J. Scalia on most issues, he at least is fairly consistent in his ideology and that trumps party on occasion. He was not kind to the Bushies in the cluster of detainee cases. Who would have thought Scalia and Stevens would be eye-to-eye on any controversial matter?!?)

      However, if the dems are solid in voting "no" for confirmation, they send the message that they are allowing Roberts to take a seat on the SC...he's only just barely at the acceptable stage.

      Bush is having to expend a lot of political capital on Katrina and Iraq right now, so he's vulnerable to that attack by the dems.

  •  Just who do you think would replace him? (none)
    If Roberts is not approved, just who do you think Bush will give us next? Someone far far worse out of spite and revenge, which is what he does.

    SAVE THE OUTRAGE for the next one. I will not allow them to approve a Priscilla Owen type.

    We may well NEED the filibuster for the next one. Saveit for now.

    •  No (4.00)
      We need to stop their agenda and grind it to a halt.

      President Bush doesn't get presents when his report card is straight Fs.

    •  Win or Lose -- exactly the right tone (none)
      The wtiting is on the wall -- Roberts will in all likelyhood sail on in -- BUT we must use the process to continue pressing our agenda hard and that's exactly what Howard Dean's message sets.  

      If the next nominee is a wing-nut then we can go balistic and be in our rights and have set-up the general public to support us by preparing the ground with Dean's strong message on Roberts.

      Republican't Leadership is a dangerous combination of cut-backs and incompetence.

      by casamurphy on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:31:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NO, we have waited and waited and this is (none)
      the condition our country is in.  It is time to STOP THEM NOW.  Sorry to scream but the next one can't be any worse.  Bush needs to be stopped in his tracks and the place to start is where we are today.  Write your senators and newspapers.  Every thing Bush does is deadly serious for our country and we must stop the bleeding.  Roberts would be there for another fifty years.  If he were an old bastard like 75 or more, I would say okay because he won't live much longer but this son of a bitch is going to be around far too long to allow him on the Bench.

      Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

      by macmcd on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 02:16:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dean's Statement on Robert (none)
    Howard writes a clear, concise Op-Ed piece doesn't he? Dean carefully planted seeds of doubt which will give pause to all who vote to confirm Roberts. Roberts will be confirmed as the Chief Justice who is a law machine with no heart.

    My question is where are the articulate Democratic Leaders these days. They should be braying to the moon about reducing the troops in Iraq?

    Why aren't the Dems getting out of the corner on the Pledge ruling? They should all be condeming the 'under god" ruling so they can move on to defeat the very SCARY next Supreme Court nomination.

    Where are the Dem leaders who should be taking every advantage of the Bush Administration free fall?

    •  most are pre-occupied with one thing: (none)
      raising corporate money for their next election.  I sense that they feel the pendulum swinging their way -- but still don't trust the people(with a capital P) to support them with money and shoe leather and phone calls, etc.  Therefore, they "hold back".  It's a dis-connect thing.  They have so separated themselves from the common people they are insecure about their ability to appeal to the common people and thus feel they better be able to present a repub-lite image to corpoarate sponsors as a back-up position.

      Republican't Leadership is a dangerous combination of cut-backs and incompetence.

      by casamurphy on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:36:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One question not asked (4.00)
    "Judge Roberts, I grant that your advice in previous administrations was limited to finding the most compelling arguments which supported your clients' positions. I further grant that as such, they may not in fact reflect your own opinions.

    Furthermore, I can accept your unwillingness to state clearly your personal views on a host of subjects, since those views truthfuly ought to bear little upon objective decisions regarding the law.

    But one thing which cannot be denied, rather like Descartes' famous cogito ergo sum, is that you must have personal opinions. This means, therefore, that you had opinions regarding the advice you gave to former clients, and you have opinions as to what the "correct" decision in any case should be, regardless of your reading of the law.

    My question to you is simple: are you purposefully dodging the questions put to you in order not to reveal the opinions you fear may be not to our liking, or is it the case that you have very few opinions of your own, other than those you absorb from your clients, colleagues and peers? If the former, I fear that your election will see justice dispensed in your court along ideological lines you have shown a deep unwillingness to discuss. If the latter, I question whether a judge so devoid of his own opinions can truly be a serious candidate for chief justice. Please explain, given these two choices, why you feel you should be confirmed as the next Chief Justice."

    "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 12:31:41 PM PDT

  •  International Law (none)
    The discussion about whether a judge should ever consider Int'l Law is interesting. Scalia and Thomas argue that it borders on treason. The reality is that Int'l Law could be a threat to corporate interests.

    I'd like to point out that the Ten Commandments predate our country by a few thousand years.

  •  My letter- Roberts: An inexperienced ideologue (4.00)
    John Roberts is well spoken, intelligent, and by many accounts a good listener and nice man. He is also astoundingly inexperienced for the job of Chief Justice with only 2 years on the bench.

    John Roberts is meant to be an appealing candidate whose word we will instinctively trust and whose record reveals little about opinions and agenda. He has carefully maintained this image. We have observed in recent days his skill at almost invisibly deflecting or giving meaningless answers to questions he does not like, while politely pretending to be more forthcoming than he should be.

    For such an important position as Chief Justice, Americans deserve an experienced judge and to know who we are hiring. In John Roberts, we have neither.

    Yet despite the White House's refusal to release documents which may be damning, and despite John Roberts' eloquent avoidance of sharing his mind, we have learned enough to warrant his rejection. The record shows he believes the constitution does not provide for equal rights for all races, genders, and social classes. Battles for corporate and government power over individual rights define his career as a lawyer. His 2 year tenure as a judge is defined by his argument that it is perfectly acceptable to hand-cuff, arrest, and mistreat a 12 year old girl for eating a french fry on a subway.

    Most importantly, his nomination is a product of the same cronyism that got us Michael Brown as the head of FEMA. I would not hire a man with 2 years of experience to run my company, and we cannot confirm a man with 2 years of experience to lead the highest court in the land.

  •  mixing metaphors (none)
    god is still speaking and dean still speaks for me!

    god bless you, guvnah!

  •  Damn... (3.75)
    ...now I understand why Dean has the impact on the grass roots that he does.

    Now, the important question...do we have anyone who's actually in office who will say the same?

    Alas...I feel as though I have no hope...06 seems so, so far...

    •  his email inspired me (none)
      to write my first ever LTE.  I used the tool provided in the email link, which allowed me to select the local papers we read, but from there (having to disagree with the post way-up thread about cookie cutter letters) I tried hard to use my own words.  I don't expect my LTE to be published, but it felt good to write it and get stuff off my chest, even down to noting the tactless naming of Roberts for CJ before Rehnquist was even buried.
  •  Thank you for posting this important information. (4.00)
    Gov. Dean is still the most articulate and thoughtful Democrat we have speaking in public on issues that are so important to our country.  Thank God, he is the Democratic Chairman.  I only wish he were President.  We would not be in all this mess.

    Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

    by macmcd on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 02:28:18 PM PDT

  •  fyi (none)
    off topic but definitely worth reading: roberts' nods to the right.
    s.

    the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity --w.b.yeats the second coming

    by synth on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 02:46:21 PM PDT

  •  Dean and Roberts (4.00)
        I'd almost forgotten why I worked so hard for Howard, but now I remember, and I'm proud and happy once more. Great letter, and beautifully timed. Let's just hope the Democratic Senators are with him, and that the Guv is speaking for the party as well as for himself on this staggeringly important issue.
         I'd like to add a personal note as an attorney. It's an easy cop-out for us lawyers to say that our advocacy has been on behalf of our clients and does not necessarily represent our own point of view. But when an attorney has chosen to spend his entire professional life as a political operative, as John Roberts has, that fact in and of itself tells you volumes  about that attorney's thinking.
         John Roberts was brilliantly credentialed: he could have had any job in the country. The fact is, he did not choose to use his talents on behalf of the ACLU or the NAACP; he did not choose to work for the Sierra Club: he did not even choose to work in an ordinary law firm and make the mega-bucks that men of his background conventionally make in America today. He chose instead to work for Ronald Reagan, the nation's most extreme right wing President prior to 43. And even in the context of that den of vipers, Roberts' advice was extreme; he was a super right-winger in the land of the far, far right.
         Lawyers who spend their lives working for right-wing causes and not doing this work because they can't find a job: they are doing it because their clients express their own views. In John Roberts' case, it is clear that he believes in what might be called "the right wing agenda" and he believes in it very, very deeply.
         Howard is absolutely right is saying that being a skilled legal technician is not enough: we need a justice with a heart as well as a brain.
        But I would go even further. I would say that a man like Roberts, a man who has, for the entirely of his professional career, used his great gifts to further the interests of corporations and the privileged, a man who has, as far as we can tell, never once in his life lifted a single finger on behalf of the poor, or the victims of racial or other discrimination; a man who therefore seems as cold blooded and emotionally dead as a guilliotine, is the very definition of an immoral man --and therefore the precise antithesis of the kind of person who should be sitting on the Supreme Court of the United States.            
         I hope every Democratic Senator will vote to oppose this deeply immoral man. And I thank Howard for speaking out on this enormously important issue.
  •  George Bush NEVER grew up. Roberts is proof. (none)
    Dubya has spent his "adult" life trying to relive his carefree childhood.

    Since landing this gig he's been trying to relive those days. Dressing up as a pilot to make up for never really having been much of a pilot when he had a chance. Hanging out with first responders, police and firemen (his favourite), when he is always last to respond.

    And now this Roberts chap.

    To me, the chap looks and acts as if he's straight out of a 50's movie. All up tight, not a hair out of place, etc. model wife and model children etc. Do such people still exist?

    They look to me to have been recently removed from some kind of suspended animation freezer, defrosted and given a script.

    They do not look as if they've been living in the  America of the late 20th and early 21st century. More like the 50's.

    Perhaps this is why he can't ask simple "what movie do you like" questions. He wasn't there.

    He's an alien or something.

    He should as a mere precaution be quizzed on some of the basics of pop culture in the last 30 years and have a blood test to see if he has any DNA.

    Maybe he is an reptilian like Cheney...

    WHO KNOWS?

    ;)

    When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane. - Herman Hesse

    by jpwillis on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 03:13:45 PM PDT

  •  supersede (none)
    sorry to be nit-picky, but maybe you can change it before publication
  •  Here's what I wrote to a whole slue of papers (none)
    As I listen to John Roberts evade direct question after direct question in his Chief Justice of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings I am struck by what is so wrong with him as a nominee.  Though Roberts might follow the law, and claim to have respect for the law, he demonstrates that he has no respect for the spirit of the Law.

    The Constitution was designed and has been amended to protect the American People and to preserve our freedoms.  It is designed to protect ALL of us.   Roberts, like so many of his friends on the extreme right wing, has demonstrated by his previous opinions that he feels that the Constitution protects only a narrow range of Americans.  Those Americans Roberts seeks to protect are most often the privileged few.

    Where Roberts falls in the opinion in Bush vs. Gore in 2000 is a great question.  Roberts should answer such questions.  Does he agree with the majority opinion of the Court that the votes from the strongly Republican counties in Northern and Central Florida are more sacred than the votes of those from the Southern counties that are home to more minority voters who might tend to be liberal? Since the votes of those in the second group were never counted, we can make any assertions about how the election would have gone. The Court backed the established instead of the disenfranchised.  Robert's refusal to offer his position on that subject would indicate that he continues to want to protect the privileged while ignoring the needs of the underprivileged.

    John Roberts also has spent much of his career backing corporate interests over the interests of the public, both as a lawyer and as a judge.  Indeed one could argue that in Robert's view corporate interest trump private interests most of the time.  Robert's has argued that he only acts according to his position.  As a lawyer he defends his clients, and as a judge he does what he thinks is best.  The problem with that stance is that according to precedence he thinks that what's good for business is good for America.  

    Being smart and affable are great qualities.  Most Americans would agree that getting along with others is a strong point in Robert's favor. Unfortunately it doesn't matter how nice you are when you tell someone that he or she has no rights.  We need Supreme Court justices who work for ALL Americans; men, women, minorities and children a like, not just the well connected.

    "If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever" P. Westerburg

    by mungley on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 03:42:06 PM PDT

  •  Again, Howard Dean... (none)
    ...speaks for me.

    Spread the memes: USA is a Failed State. We have no President.

    by MamasGun on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 06:19:05 PM PDT

  •  We've Seen This Before (none)
    Dean is correct; dodgeball is not really an acceptable game to be played by a nominee for Chief Justice.

    but think about it-- isn't this in fact PAR for the entire bush administration? bushco attempted to block the 9/11 investigation until they realized the families of the victims weren't going to sit back and take their bullshit. then they stonewalled on handing over pertinent documents..

    and who could forget THIS gem.. the president and others agreeing to "testify" BUT NOT UNDER OATH.

    ????

    uhhh.. sorry, it doesn't quite work that way.

    Roberts is just more of the same old shit. there's no way one single democrat should vote to confirm.

  •  that's smart calling delay and rove smart (heh) (none)
    cuz you know, it lumps them into the "elitist" group.  (ie, "hell naw, i ain't votin for that guy, he speaks too good")

    "Private property means you get nothing"
    -Jeff Ott

    by mediaprisoner on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 07:49:52 PM PDT

  •  Finally, a dem with some balls (none)
    Watching democrats fall over each other to support Bush's SC nominee has been utterly depressing.  Once again, Dean is a gust of fresh air in a room stuffy with the smell of democrats fellating Bush.

    "The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government." -Thomas Jefferson, 1809.

    by Subterranean on Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 10:28:53 PM PDT

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