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Judge Roberts failed to meet the burden of establishing his worthiness to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. So says a Bush Republican:

What I was waiting for, as were many Americans, was a clear affirmation that the life-altering decision as to whether or not to have a child must be a woman's decision," [NYC Mayor] Bloomberg said in his statement. "Unfortunately, Judge Roberts's response did not indicate a commitment to protect a woman's right to choose."

And so did a Bush opposing Democrat:

For his part, [Democratic NYC Mayoral candidate Fernando] Ferrer said in July that he opposed the nomination because of what he saw as a lack of commitment to protecting abortion rights and because of Mr. Roberts's role as Gov. Jeb Bush's adviser during the Florida vote recount in the 2000 presidential election.

Opposition to Judge Roberts is neither a partisan nor inappropriate position for any politician. He failed to answer critical questions. Senators of good faith and reasonable minds should oppose his nomination, whether Democrat or Republican (I am looking at you Senators Chafee, Collins and Snowe).

I would also add that I applaud Mayor Bloomberg for acknowledging the relevance of the policies of President Bush to the Mayoral election. I think he should also tell us his views on:

(1) The Iraq Debacle;

(2) Bush's performance before, during and after Katrina, and his view of the Bush Administration's emergency preparedness plans and personnel;

(3) Bush's tax cuts, particularly the proposal to repeal the Estate Tax.

(4) No Child Left Behind;

(5) Bush's environmental policies;

(6) Bush's energy policies and the price of gasoline;

(7) The type of nominee Bush should select to replace Justice O'Connor.

Let's hear what you think on that Mayor Bloomberg. After all, you did endorse Bush for reelection and raised over 7 million dollars for his reelection last year. Your record is one of support for Bush Administration policies. It is fair to assume you support them all.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:11 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Vote no on Roberts (none)
    Roberts basically refused to answer any questions. Talk about your interview from hell, and this is for a lifetime appointment. If the dems don't put their foot down, all future potential nominees will use this same defense and refuse to answer any questions. After all, if you take Roberts method to its logically conclusion, he can basically avoid all questions because they might conceivably come before the court in the future. It appears the only question we can really ask is his favorite color.

    VOTE "NO" on this bozo. It is unacceptably to vote for a blank page for a lifetime appointment. Besides, if Bush nominated him, there has to be something seriously wrong with him. Bush's judgement is absolutely terrible.

    The Bush administration is a Travesty of a Mockery of a Sham!

    by Bailey Savings and Loan on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:12:11 AM PDT

    •  Foot stomping (none)
      Democrats can stomp their foot if they want, and they should vote against him if they think he is a bad choice. But they aren't going to be able to stop his confirmation. They have not, if you ask me, come up with any good rebuttal to the "Ginsburg Precedent" canard. Biden was up there saying that she answered this question and that question, and all the GOP had to do was release a reel of her saying "I can't answer that" or "no hints, no forecasts" over and over. And they use a clip of Biden basically telling her not to answer anything she does not want to answer. I've really been surprised at how little has been done to even try to overcome this attack. Until that happens, the "answer questions or else" line is not as effective as one might hope.

      I certainly don't want one of Bush's nominees on the Supreme Court, but he won. The public knew he was going to pick SC justices and he won anyway. So they gave him permission.

      •  I Disagree (none)
        My posts explain why.

        3 words - "Another Clarence Thomas?"

        The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

        by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:34:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Armando, (3.60)
          you've done a hell of a lot of work on this matter. When I criticize re: Ginsburg I am criticizing the people who just say "he refuses to answer questions, vote no!!!" or someone like Biden, who blusters and mugs for the camera and does not realize that his past comments and his showboating are one of the reasons that Roberts was able to get away with greasing his way through the hearings.

          I think a lot of the comments on Roberts here amount to this:

          #1 He looks "crazy" or his eyes are strange - reject him
          #2 Bush picked him - reject him
          #3 He won't tell us every single thing we want to know - reject him
          #4 He might be a white supremacist/he's an asshole/he's evil incarnate - reject him

          These may be great attacks if people want to let off steam, but they are not being well articulated for the American public. All the talk about "framing" and yet I haven't seen a lot of emphasis on shifting the public opinion in a way that will make them want to oppose Roberts. Or at the very least, wound the GOP politically for confirming Roberts. Instead they had Chuck Schumer up there pouting because he didn't get answers to a question about favorite movies.

          It just comes off, to the average voter I know, as people who are pouting because they lost the election and didn't get their way.

          •  I have not made any of those arguments (none)
            I made a detailed argument related to your #3, but none of the others.

            I think if you are going to judge the oppositon to Roberts on the worst articulation then you would have a point. But that's not fair.

            And not realistic.

            The vote is on the 26th. The rationale will be buttoned down by then.

            The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

            by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:47:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Armando, as I just said, (none)
              you've done a lot of work and kept a very high standard. I am talking about a lot of the comments from others.

              I think most people were unable to focus and have brought too many different subjects into the fight. Ultimately to the average voter it comes across as looking for a reason to oppose someone. You've given a lot of valid reasons to oppose Roberts. But I can't say the same about a lot of the other comments I've seen here. I can't count how many times someone just ran a photo of his eyes and that was supposed to be the smoking gun.

              •  And as I said (4.00)
                It is not fair to judge a position by its worst articulation.

                The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

                by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:07:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Worse... (none)
                  At times this type of stuff was just about all the analysis one could find, aside from your diaries and some other diaries. I will admit I haven't read everything, but overall I think that a lot of the arguments, especially the one involving Ginsburg, have never been properly diffused.
              •  Here's a very good reason (4.00)
                why Ruth Bader Ginsberg was allowed to refuse to answer direct questions and Roberts should not be allowed to do so.

                When the Clinton was considering nominees for the Supreme Court, he made a list of potential nominees and then consulted with the Republican opposition.  He met with Orrin Hatch, head of the Judiciary Committee, and they went over the list, discussing who the Republicans were willing to vote for and who they would flatly reject.  Hatch suggested that the majority of Republicans could vote for Ginsberg, potentially heading off a nasty senate confirmation fight.

                Clinton nominated Ginsberg, and more than enough Republicans voted for her so that she was easily confirmed. This was not largesse granted by the Republicans - it was part of the deal.  Clinton took the advice of the senate and the senate consented to his choice.

                Bush has refused to even listen to the opposition in the senate and has nominated a candidate with very little background as a judge and whose available writings as a member of the justice department are now 20 years old.  And Bush refuses to release any more current information on him.

                In the case of Ginsberg, senators in both parties had access to years of her previous opinions, knew well her judicial philosophy and agreed in advance of the hearings that she would be confirmed.

                It is not acceptable for Roberts to refuse to answer questions relevant to his political philosophy since there is no other way for the senate to understand his approach to the cases he may face.  

                •  So, if... (none)
                  a majority of Senators agree in advance of the hearings to support a nominee, then the nominee doesn't have to answer questions?

                  A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

                  by JakeC on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 11:20:34 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not necessarily (none)
                    However, if the President does NOT seek the *advice* of the Senate on the nomination, then he only has himself to blame if he does not get the *consent* of the Senate if the candidate stonewalls.

                    The nomination of Ginsberg was a case where Clinton DID seek the advise and consent of the Senate on a nominee that had a longer judicial record than Roberts.  There is no double standard wrt the Ginsberg nomination; it is entirely up to the Senate to decide what to do in response to any particular nominee's answers in hearings, based on the circumstances.  Roberts' circumstances are clearly different from that of Ginsberg.

                    To me, the Constitutional obligation to advise and consent on the President's nominations means the President should consult with the Senate to ensure the candidate will be approved.  He doesn't have to, but he should.  It does not imply an 'up-or-down vote'.  What it implies from the Senate is for the Senate to offer its advice and to consent(or not) to a nominee according to its own rules and procedures.  If those rules and procedures allow for a filibuster, then the President risks losing the nomination if he fails to consult a significant minority that is capable of maintaining a filibuster.

                    •  Except (none)
                      A person can listen to "advice" and then choose to go another way.

                      And, your second paragraph has nothing to do with what I questioned initially.

                      My position: either a candidate has to answer questions, or they don't.

                      Your position seems to be:  A candidate has to answer questions up until the point where he/she has sufficient support to be confirmed, at which point they can stop.

                      Well, given that Roberts has enough votes to confirm, and there isn't going to be a filibuster, then I guess under your analysis he did the right thing in not answering questions.

                      A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

                      by JakeC on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 12:25:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Have you changed a single mind? (none)
                        There was no advice accepted or compromise given in this example, Bush did what he wanted.  If the Democrats had any common sense at all they'd do what they damn well feel like also, but they won't.  There is no limit to the number of times the Democrats will be bamboozled by this administration, which is good from your perspective, but please don't condescend.  There was no Democratic input on the nomination.
                        •  Whose mind am I trying to change? (none)
                          Is your response even meant for me?

                          Recap- the first post I replied to was answering (titled: Here's a very good reason) stated that  Ruth Bader Ginsberg was allowed to refuse to answer direct questions while Roberts should not be allowed to do so because Orrin Hatch had signed off on Ginsberg.

                          I replied that, did that mean that if a majority of Senators all agreed on a nominee in advance, that he doesn't have to answer questions (Keeping in mind- the advise and consent clause refers to the Senate, not the opposition party in the Senate).

                          The reply I got to that was that, well, if the President doesn't listen to the advice, then he shouldn't be counting on the consent.

                          To which I simply pointed out that "advise" doesn't mean supplying a short list to choose from- the President can, at his peril, do whatever the hell he wants with that advice.  I then returned to my initial point- that either a SCOTUS nominee has to answer direct questions, or he doesn't, it shouldn't matter what the current nose count is.

                          To which I got your reply, which doesn't seem to be a reply to what I wrote.  If it was, then I ask- whose mind am I trying to change?  How am I being condescending?  And, based on which of the above leads you to believe that somehow I consider it to be a good thing when the Democrats are "bamboozled" by the administration?  (I don't actually believe they are being "bamboozled" in this case, I just think they are backed into a corner that there is no escaping.)

                          A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

                          by JakeC on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 02:55:23 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  Past Practice (none)
                  My understanding is that Bill Clinton's autobiography suggests much less of a quid pro quo with Hatch. Even Hatch characterizes his views as more of a warning the Bruce Babbitt would have problems from Western Democrats. In any event, Ginsburg is hardly the only precedent for not commenting on issues that could come before the Court. Virtually all nominees have done that, with some exceptions for those that had already written or spoken on a matter explaining what they had said.

                  Just out of curiosity, when did not being able to predict how a judge might rule become disqualifying?

                •  I don't see it that way. (none)
                  I doubt that the Senate Republicans would have picked Ginsburg if they had a real say. Clinton wanted Cuomo or Babbitt (some say he wanted Hillary but I don't really believe that one). Cuomo was too wishy-washy and Clinton was told by members of his own party not to pick Babbitt. So he went with Ginsburg. That wasn't consensus as much as running out of options.

                  I wish Roberts had answered more questions, but I do think that he answered a fair amount. As many as we are going to get answers to from this administration.

                  Democrats have no real options here. I think he is the best of a very bad situation. If I were the democrats I would get maybe 30-35 votes against him, just to send Bush a message. But no filibuster, and no crying "UNFAIR!!!" unless there are stronger counters to the arguments the GOP have been throwing out on this matter.

            •  Armando, the fight is quixotic (none)
              at this point, but I'm so glad you're still in there. The supporters of Roberts attack his opponents, but offer almost nothing to prove Roberts worthy. They feel he is a good candidate, but for some reason don't give the same weight to the feelings of those who see things differently.

              The argument that a smart, rich, privileged man who has enjoyed extraordinarily advantaged life, surrounded by people exactly like himself, is entitled to become the Chief Justice because he was nominated is ridiculous. The entitlement class now enjoys an almost absolute presumption that their right to rule.  Questions regarding the nominee's fitness, integrity and legitimate inquires into the nominee's true perspectives are scorned as pestering annoyances from far below. Those charged with the responsibility to insure the very basic questions aren't left unanswered have failed in that charge and accepted the presumption.

              At very least, Roberts disqualified himself when he lied about his participation in the Federalist Society. The Democrats tolerance of perjury from all those who testify before any committee is disgraceful, this is no exception.  Democrats have not served the nation, its future or their own political careers well  as placate the majority,   for some reason they still manage to delude themselves that limp resistance is the least dangerous path, it's not.

          •  It's equally bad for any 'side' to confirm (none)
            ... based on a lack of 'evidence' of his views, when neither the documentation nor his answers have been forthcoming, as was promised.

            You're ignoring points that have been made here having nothing to do with the trivialized, diminishing versions you posted. That's not an affirmative case for the guy, either.

            This isn't an appointment, like Bush's other (disastrous) appointments, that should be rubber-stamped and let's all keep our fingers crossed.

            The very fact that Roberts won't be forthcoming and the WH has gone back on their promise to give the Senate what it needs to look at judicial temperament is reason enough not to confirm.

            All Roberts has shown is that he's very good lawyer.

            •  Exactly!! (none)
              This secretive administration is continuing the secrets and telling the Dems - just get over it!
              BushCo is not following expected protocol in releasing docs but the Dems just roll over and bow down -and carry on - oh- and complain.
              Roberts is nothing more than a political hack! in 2 previous Republican administrations and assisted in placing Bush on the Throne!  That should be enough for Dems right there!
              Dems like to jockey, rationalize, and frame for the NEXT Bush assault - rather than just being honest about each and everyone of them as they're presented.

              Cheney died a natural death - on the phone with Halliburton.

              by annefrank on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:59:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Armando is on crack. (none)
          haa haa...

          okay seriously now.

          Why should a city mayor talks about those very large issues? Isn't he suppose to run a city? not foreign policy or federal court?

          SO I propose modifying the question to make it harder/more effective for new yorker to chew bloomber.

          1. Iraq. (How does it effect NYC national guard, inc ase of riot/lights out/ terror attack.  How does Iraq affect city budget/federal resource allocation?)

          2. Bush performance. (really, he screwed up big time in NOLA. Ya think the bastard will help NYC when its under attack again? Bush wouldn't know squat. He'll have his pet goat moment again, just like he did during 9/11 and katrina. )

          3. Tax. (NYC is screwed. a lot of local issues, housing, health care, some federally funded city services.)

          4. NCLB. (same thing, plenty of local specifics)

          5. Bush environmental issus? NYC is downwind from midwester coal plants. Acid rains.

          6. Bush energy policy. (It's $3 bucks.)

          7.  Justice nominee. (Gay issue, city right issue, state issue, property, will Bush insisting on taking over NYC security when attack happen? I am sure there are a lot of local related issue)
        •  you must be joking (none)
          Calling him another Clarence Thomas is a joke.

          Gerardo Orlando

          by orlandoreport on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 12:34:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  vote yes (none)
        Strong democrat agrees.  Roberts is so gay, and so in the closet.  There's no way he can vote yes on restricting gay marriage.  born in another time he would be trying to wed his boyfriend, instead of having a beard, and two adopted children.  Born twenty years later, he and his life partner would be having children with their two best lesbian friends.
        •  Whoa! (none)
          Roberts, gay?  I've not heard that rumor.  Where's that from?

          And, I dunno, even a gay person can be self-hating and self-defeating enough to support conservative policies that seem to go against them.  Just look at the Log Cabin Republicans (shudder.)

  •  Question (8) The First Amendment (4.00)
    oh, oops, we already know Bloomie's views on that one...

    You have the right to assemble peacefully as long as you don't mind being locked up on a barge in the Hudson river. And don't walk on the grass.

    I would be more upset if I weren't so sedated...

    by Paolo on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:13:18 AM PDT

    •  But did they still get locked up if they wore a (4.00)
      "Peaceful Protester" sticker? That was a very gracious initiative of his, dont you think?

      Ah, New York, New York ... come back to us, ye who we once knew.

      Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:15:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ...the latter--BREAK OUT! (none)
        •  Like that tagline, eh? :-) (none)
          Getting the party to break out includes kicking out the dead (Dem and Repub) wood that keeps getting thrown back on waves of horrendous Bush policy to thwack us in the head.

          Case in point would be senators like Mary Landrieu, who vote for every baddest of the BAD Bush policy (and Owens, Gonzalez!) that come down the pike. I get stopped in my tracks trying to sell this party as the party of the people every time by traitors like her.

          Wonder how those hundreds of thousands of Katrina victims in Louisiana feel about being hit again and again, on top of the hit they took from nature, by their own senator voting YES on Bush's tax cuts and the bankruptcy bill. Apparently, the 9th Ward and other needy parishes cannot compete with her corporate friends and preferences. And she is in line to help the GOP and hurt the have nots with the Estate Tax REPEAL too. Because she can always be counted on to perform like a GOPper where it REALLY counts. (Iraq war res, medicare, ANWR drilling all get AYES from Mary, too.)

          Landrieu will be a YES for Roberts as well. Mark my words.

          But this thread isnt really about Roberts or Landrieu, its about Bloomberg, isnt it?

          Bloomberg's tenure has seen a rise in poverty in NYC that tops the national average, already risen by 9% under Bush,

          Check this out

          Poverty RISES in NYC ... A LOT! Obscene GAP btw Haves and Have-Nots

          but who would know it when skipping thru prettified, pricey Manhattan? When scanning Real Estate sections of the paper, who would know? Want a dinky one bedroom apt? Got 2000 bucks a month for starters? And if it is 2000 bucks a month, you no longer qualify for rent stablization, ie, your landLORD can raise your rent to whatever he/she damn well pleases in a year or two. If you come in a few hundred or so below that, in a matter of a few years of stabalization increases, you will soon clear that godawful $2000 cap and be in that unprotected zone yourself. I dare anyone who dreams of living in this city on a lower or middle class income to check out the Real Estate ads without popping some Valiums first, or moving to the as-of-yet ungentrified outpost neighborhoods in the other boros. Hurry up! Soon the whole city will be like that nice park in Grammercy square ... off limits to all but its wealthy residents, who literally have a key to the garden gates. The rest of us just get to stare at the pretty greenery thru the bars.

          And Mayor Bloomberg says and does WHAT about this? About the statistics in the link I gave which occurred under his tenure?

          (the sound of crickets in NYC ... Yes, we do have some, and you can hear them ... when it is really, REALLY quiet.)

          Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

          by NYCee on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 11:23:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  And (none)
    we need to know if he's ever inhaled.
  •  ignore all opinions on anything except Iraq first (none)
    Any politician who does not first condemn the Bush war in Iraq should be ignored as an opportunist  bullsh!ter.
  •  Political questions are horrible ideas (none)
    Look, we can't ask Roberts to answer questions about his political beliefs.  It would be a violation of the canon of judicial ethics for him to answer.  

    Period.  Judges aren't supposed to have bumper stickers on their cars, and we absolutely do not want judges going around and using their power to influence public political opinion.

    We have separation of powers for reasons, and this is one of the most ill-informed, ill thought out posts I've seen.

    •  Heh n/t (none)

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:18:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so? (none)
        All the more reason to hold nominees to a high standard of judicial ethics.
        •  Heh n/t (none)

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:21:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. (none)
          Too bad they made a grotesque comedy out of judicial ethics, oh, I don't know, just around November 2000, was it?

          Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

          by DaveW on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:22:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  look (none)
            Bush v. Gore was a horrible travesty.  But that doesn't justify dismissing judicial ethics for the rest of all time.  That's like saying, "I've already killed one person, what's another hundred gonna hurt?"
            •  Heh n/t (none)

              The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

              by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:25:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  To put it more simply, (none)
              maybe it's time to quit treating the court and its nominees as if they're anything more than cheap pols who are just as corrupt as their bretheren in congress and the white house. Oops, sorry, that's already been accomplished. Otherwise a mediocrity like Roberts would never have been considered for such an elevated position, and we wouldn't have been hearing all the cheers about how "brilliant" he is. The PTB obviously know exactly how much respect the SC deserves.

              Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

              by DaveW on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:34:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is precedent of mediocrity (none)
                "Clarence Thomas"

                He was rammed through despite his mediocrity, that too in a Democratic senate.

                This is going to happen time and again.

                The problem is the system - what is the rationale for lifetime appointments for seven people who are the ultimate arbiters in the nation (including having helped anoint a president in 2000)?

                I think it would be to the Democrats' advantage to campaign for term limits for the supremos. Hell it would be to the nation's benefit. If Roberts was going to be on the seat for 4 or 5 years, the implications of his nomination would be drastically different. What if someone comes up with medicine to extend human longevity? Would we want a John Roberts as a chief justice for the next 150 years in that case? Or anyone for that matter?

                •  Exactly. (none)
                  The Constitution is full of crap as well as gold, and the whole SC setup is of the former substance. I'd go for maybe 8 or 12 years, but the lifetime appointment nonsense should have gone out with Divine Right of Kings.

                  As long as we're at it, having a president nominate a justice is the perfect way to assure partisanship and corruption rules the process. I don't much care for moderation in politics, but the SC is the one institution where it should be treasured. We'd do much better by having the Senate nominate with 60 percent and the House confirm by the same margin. Give the president an overridable veto.

                  The overall quality of the court under the current system is a terrible embarrassment. Maybe with a true consensus process we can think about the High court without flashing on drugs or egos.

                  Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

                  by DaveW on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:59:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You may not like Thomas' philosophy (none)
                  or approach to judging, but let's refrain from calling him mediocre.

                  This is a guy who graduated college with highest honors, went to a top law school (reportdely with higher LSAT scores than Bill Clinton) ran a major federal agency, and served on the most prestigious appellate court.  Now compare that with William O. Douglas, William Brennan or Earl Warren.  Douglas had no judicial experience whatever, Brennan served on a state (NJ) Supreme Court (and other lower courts), while Warren had neitehr judicial experience nor a degree from a top school.  So, Thomas was more than qualified to take that seat.

              •  Don't Forget Roman Hruska (none)
                On Rejected Judge Carswell, the esteemed Senator from Nebraska memorably said in 1970:

                "Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they?"

                How prescient!  Little did he know that in just 30 years, all branches of government would be dominated not just by the mediocre but by the negligent, reckless and just plain evil.

              •  Mediocrity?? (none)
                Describing Roberts as a "mediocrity" is likely to erode the credibility of those making the charge. The public's conclusion appears to be just the opposite.
            •  Should they also be suspended when a (none)
              justice accepts a paid vacation with a party before his court?  

              How about a judge interviewing for a job with a party before the his court?  Assuming that it was political beliefs in question, which it wasn't, your position is that the standard for enforcement of the cannons of judicial ethics is should be strictly enforced when it will serve a right wing objective and ignored the rest of the time.  

    •  I think you misread Armando's post (none)
      He wants Bloomberg to be asked those political questions, not ROberts.

      Oh when the frogs. . Come marching in. . Oh when the FROGS COME MARCH-ING IN!

      by pontificator on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:20:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Still a crap shoot (none)
    Over the years, going back to Carter days, I've taken chances on principals, superintendents, politicians, judges, and my success rate is zero.  Talk is so very cheap.  Forget Roberts, and set some definite criteria for what an ideal Justice would present.  I just don't trust the guy.  But, than again, he may surprise everyone and actually be just.  I can't forget the Florida crap, though.
  •  Between your regular gig (4.00)
    and all the time you put in posting here, do you think you could spare some time to run a certain dem candidate's mayoral campaign?

    Because I think Ferrer really needs to take on this angle of attacking Bloomberg for all the things he's not and can't be because he's a Republican.

    •  Nice idea, Jane! (none)
      Bloomberg's statement re Roberts is bald and cynical political opportunism. Maybe he still thinks he's a RINO and can score points with the left this way, but he showed his colors proudly last year, and the rest of us know a true-red Republican when we see one. Raising money for Bush, inviting the Repugs to use our city as their stage set, sucking up to Chimpy onstage, herding demonstrators into pens and arresting people for the lawful exercise of the First Amendment - does that sound like a guy who switched parties just to get a ballot line? Does he really think our memories are so short that we don't remember a year ago?

      Not to mention trying to shove his rich pal's stadium down our throats.

      He's always run the city as though he owned it; I guess it's just really difficult to care about ordinary people when you've forgotten what it feels like to be one.

      As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

      by sidnora on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:32:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Two stadiums (none)

        and that's not counting upcoming Shea and Yankee stadium deals.

        "Can we all get along?"

        by hotspur on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:25:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Two - true (none)
          but to be honest, there are others I blame more than Bloomie for the Brooklyn stadium (notably Marty Markowitz), and I live there.

          As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

          by sidnora on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:32:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  From one Brooklynite to another... (none)
            I'd suggest voting for Gloria Mattera for Brooklyn borough president. Probably not likely to win (though I hate having that attitude about candidates I support) but she's got some good ideas and is definitely against the Ratner deal.
            •  I intend to do so. (none)
              I've met her and was pleased. I might even give some time to working for her, especially if she seems like she has any kind of a shot at winning (I, too, have a long and glorious history of supporting worthy losers).

              I knew Marty in college (35 years ago), and when he first ran I thought he'd be ideal for the job; not the brightest bulb on the porch, but he was born to boost Brooklyn. Unfortunately, his idea of boosting isn't quite what I had in mind. I fear the Ratner project will destroy and denature downtown Brooklyn for the rest of my life, and it seems unstoppable at this point.

              As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

              by sidnora on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:37:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Bloomberg's little wander from the fold (none)
    is just another crack between his undeserving-rich/corporate posse and the screaming Jesus hoardes they need to keep them running the show. Unfortunately the cracks never develop into anything more interesting than the sight of a few million exposed assholes.

    Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

    by DaveW on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:20:25 AM PDT

  •  Roberts (none)
    I know it's a minority view here, but I probably would vote to confirm Roberts if I were in the Senate.  Here's my rationale:

    1.  Context.  He's replacing Rehnquist.  So there's no change in the Court's balance.  (If anything, I think he'll be an improvement.

    2.  Strategy.  The next one is the real battle should Bush come forward with an Edith Jones, or someone similar.  By voting to confirm Roberts, you'll be showing the MSM that Democrats are willing to be reasonable, and make it much harder for the Republicans to characterize Democrats as obstructionists with the next nomination.

    3.  Substance.  Roberts' answers on the commerce clause, federalism, Lochner and "privacy" gave me some reassurance.  I think he's a fair-minded guy, committed the judicial process.  Not an ideologue in the Thomas-Scalia mold.  I thought he should have been more forthcoming in some of his answers, but that's the nature of the game.

    No more Melissa Beans!

    by Paleo on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:26:20 AM PDT

    •  Vote no on Roberts: Here's My Rationale (4.00)

      Democrats must shore up their base and claim the title of an effective and vigorous opposition party. Accordingly, the best course at the moment is to begin making principled stances on high profile issues that can further a narrative describing what Dems believe in and stand for (ex., a) broadening the rights of Americans that have been historically marginalized; b) guarding domestic programs and the social well being; c) represented the little guy that cannot hire big time lawyers, like Roberts, to represent him before the Court). That narrative, at the moment, is set against the backdrop of a drowned New Orleans; which, as Dems in the Judiciary Committee have already cited, clearly illustrates the failures of Republican policies and of their administration of our government's readiness and response.

      With Roberts Dems have been given a perfect opportunity to describe the judge's frequent refusal to answer forthrightly on so many issues, as unsatisfactory to the American people and that they -- the American people -- at a time of such political polarization, where the Court has, of recent, very narrowly decided many contentious cases dealing with national elections to eminent domain, deserve a judicial nominee that's more forthcoming and ready to share with the country what the nominee's views are on the many issues that Americans care about.

      To my mind, Senator Biden did a good job of laying the ground work for such a tact when the Senator said, the American people would be rolling the dice with Judge Roberts, given that he's refused to let the American people begin to understand his political philosophy. Now the Dems need to run with that, and device a message along the lines of: after being promised by President Bush that he would unite us, not divide us, and at a time when our country cannot afford any further polarization, the American people deserve a judicial nominee whose philosophy is clear and whose motives are transparent. Further, because judge Roberts has refused to answer so many vital questions, and because President Bush has not released the documents that would help the Senate better understand judge Roberts' philosophy and his motives, we cannot in good conscious -- on behalf of the American people -- endorse him to sit on the Supreme Court.

      Now, because the filibuster is off the table, Roberts is likely to win confirmation; however, the point here is to rally the base and to send a message to the administration. Moreover, this is the only way that Dems can begin to chip away at the Republican strangle hold on the national discourse. The fact is that Republican talking points and their surrogates dominate the public forum; accordingly, it is only through bold moves that Dems can hope to inject their narrative into the national discourse.

      And, yes, don't be surprised if Republicans and their media surrogates begin an all out assault against such an "obstructionist, partisan and bitterly divisive" move by the "obstructionist, partisan and bitterly divisive" Democrats. I mean, come on, would you expect anything else from Republicans? No matter what, Republicans and their allies do one thing, if nothing else, exceedingly well, and that's attack, attack, attack. So, please, save your breath if you think that the ammo must be saved for the next big fight, rather than "wasting" it against Roberts. Again, understand this, this is one continuous big fight, and all enemies respect is one thing: a strong show of force. A strong Nay vote on Roberts, say 42 Nay votes, would bolsters the Dems credibility as an opposition party that's ready to go to the matt over the issues that are important to the American people.

      If you've not done it, contact your Senators and encourage them to demand more from Roberts and to vote no on him, we deserve serious answers. Also, as Howard Dean has suggested , use the DNC letter writing tool to send a letter to your local papers. We gotta turn up the heat on Roberts and let our Dem Representatives know that we expect results from them not just rhetoric.

      Our Progressive ideological ancestors bled too much, fought too hard, died too frequently and surpassed too much for a bunch of soft bellied 21st century wankers to let them down now. The least we can do is make a call, write a letter, encourage a friend and let our representatives know that we expect results and some backbone.

      •  If Democrats use this (none)
        strategy about protecting the "little guy" from lawyers, how will they respond when Republicans say, "good, you are finally seeing the light about evil trial lawyers"? They will make sure they use the criticism to furhter their agenda against the little people.

        I admire your passion, and I do agree that at least 30-35 Democrats should consider voting no, just to send a message. But I think it is more of a longterm message. The public isn't paying attention to Roberts, but if Democrats muster up about 30-35 votes against him, that would put the GOP on notice and put more pressure and public focus on the lunatic they pick to replace O'Connor.

        If you are going to keep using the part about ducking questions, you should come up with something about Ginsburg's hearings.

        •  Okay Mr. Hatch we get your point (none)
          You sounds like Orrin Hatch advising Roberts not to bother allowing the Senate to perform it's role of advice and consent. I thought this question was answered better than I can do it upthread, but here goes my effort...

          Ginsberg served on the bench much longer than Roberts. Her views were well known- she was a solid liberal whom Hatch told Clinton would be approved by the GOP. Clinton nominated her and the GOP went along with the deal. There was no deal here. Bush once again played dictator and went with someone who hadn't been cleared by anyone on our side, with such a short history on the bench that his views are not known, who hasn't allowed his papers to be fully revealed which might allow us to know his views, and who hid the fact that he was being interviewed for this position while hearing a case from his prospective employers! Roberts didn't just not answer questions, he picked and chose which ones he'd answer (seems like the only ones he dodged were the areas where, based on those old memos, we know his ideas are out of step with most Americans') and on some question just plain filibustered the Senators. Doesn't the fact that no one really knows this guy's views give you pause- especially when the entire right wing media machine seems to know exactly where he stands?!

          Dick should go Cheney himself in the George Bush.

          by Joe Willy on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:21:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Argument is Not... (none)

          The rationale is not about the little guy...

          My argument is, Roberts did not answer the most important questions on which the American people are focused on and we deserve to know where the nominee stands on the issues.

          My argument is that Dems need to change the narrative -- and the Roberts nomination is a good opportunity to do so. It has little to do with the little guy.

      •  I agree with Paleo (none)
        You write-

        "Democrats must shore up their base and claim the title of an effective and vigorous opposition party."

        I agree- with an emphasis on effective.

        If the Dems en masse vote against Roberts, he still ends up Chief Justice- nothing effective about that.

        And, if Bush nominates someone who is, I don't know, maybe just a tad crazy, and the Dems point it out, and the Republicans counter "There they go again", and that all ends up in the spin together- nothing effective about that, and you end up with a crazy justice on the SCOTUS (but, not a crazy Chief Justice.

        Save your chips, keep your powder dry, whatever cliche you choose- the most effective way to control the spin on the next nominee (and the one after that, which is the ultimate battle) is to appear reasonable.

        The Democrats can test the line that the White House is hiding something by not releasing documents- but unless they get some data showing that it's an effective line, there is no reason to lose this one by a close vote rather than a medium sized vote.

        A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

        by JakeC on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 11:34:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How do you know? (none)
      Roberts is a $700/hr litigator. In my mind that implies, beyond his obviously powerful intellect and legal knowledge, considerable acting skills. He managed to look very light on his feet as he dodged and wove his way out of all those questions. Why do you assume that his reasssuring answers were true?

      As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

      by sidnora on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:39:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  PS. (4.00)
      Unfortunately, I think too many here agree with your position that, as Dems have consistently done, the ammo must be saved for the next big fight. Man, by now the Dem armory must be well staked with all sort of ammo and plenty of dry powder. Can we at least fire a few rounds!? Please, just for once.
    •  Depending on the MSM (none)
      to consider the Democrats as reasonable - that will happen when pigs start flying.

      I would not come up with a strategy dependent upon such tactics, they don't work.

      Republicans have followed a simple strategy - attack, attack, attack. Some of the stuff sticks, and soils the victim. Democrats, on the other hand, keep their powder dry most of the time, and that's why they lose election after election.

    •  You are exactly right (none)
      A vote against Roberts is a vote for Bush.  We have the moron on the ropes over Iraq and Katrina -- let's not give him and the GOP the excuse to take the iniative over Democratic obstruction of a clearly qualified, non-Neanderthal judge who's only opposition in the heartland comes from the left wing of the party and single-interest groups like NARAL.  We keep sucking at those teats -- we keep losing elections!
    •  Roberts' answers on "privacy" (3.50)
      was dissembling and very, very cagey.  In specifying Griswald as "settled law," he affirmed married couples' right to privacy in the area of contraception.  It was later that the question of an unmarried person's right to contraception came before the court and was won.  Roberts never said he agreed with the "right to privacy" cited in that decision.

      And that right to individual privacy was much more important in the Roe v. Wade decision than Griswald was.

      I have to admit his hearings proved him a master at concealment, though.  He has even managed to convince some Kossaks that his answers on the right to privacy are "reassuring."

    •  That strategy point one is a hoot. (none)
      The treatment of the Democrats in the SCLM is independent of the realities on the ground.  There is nothing to be gained by capitulation, zero, it is pissing in the wind.
  •  No on Roberts, Even Bloomberg Gets it (none)

    How is it that Bloomberg opposes Roberts and would recommend a no vote, and yet some members of the community would accept and advise a yes vote on his nomination?

    For crying out loud people, even Bloomberg gets it :


    "In July, following the nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court, I stated clearly that I wanted to hear a clear indication that Judge Roberts accepts Roe v. Wade as the law of the land. After days of testimony and intense questioning at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Americans have had a glimpse into the thinking of Judge Roberts.

    "While I am impressed with the deep intellect and understanding of the law that Judge Roberts has shown and believe him to be a man of integrity, I am unconvinced that Judge Roberts accepts the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling as settled law. What I was waiting for, as were many Americans, was a clear affirmation that the life-altering decision as to whether or not to have a child must be a woman's decision. Unfortunately, Judge Roberts' response did not indicate a commitment to protect a woman's right to choose.

    "At the hearings, Judge Roberts spoke with clarity and, of course, correctly, that he agreed with the 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education. And this most important decision, which ended the evil practice of segregation, is now considered settled law.

    "What I was hoping to hear was the same simple affirmation of Roe v. Wade, a decision which has had a long-lasting, profound impact in improving women's health and lives. There can be no turning back and for that reason I oppose the nomination of Judge Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. " (emphasis added.)

    Now, note his rationale:

    What I was hoping to hear was the same simple affirmation [.]

    Bloomberg, like the rest of us, wanted to hear simple and specific answers to very important questions, in his case Roe v. Wade -- however, Roberts FAILED to provide simple and clear answers on a whole host of questions. As Biden said, we -- the American people -- at such polarizing times, cannot afford to roll the dice on such an unknown nominee. This rationale alone is sufficient grounds to VOTE NO ON ROBERTS.

    Yes, the filibuster is off the table, but a significant down vote would send a clear message -- we gotta get 41+ Dems to vote for a nominee that will provide simple and straight answers to the American people; accordingly, they gotta vote no on Roberts.


    •  Oh please (4.00)
      Bloomberg is mayor of one of the most Democratic cities in America. Before you tell us that he's better than we are, you may remember who raised $7 million dollars for Bush last year. Who gave him an entire city to use as a playground.

      If Bloomy was so upset about the Supreme Court, last year was the time to speak out. Not when he is running for reelection.

      No nominee chosen by Bush is going to be satisfactory. The sad part is that Roberts is probably the best we'll ever get.

      •  Don't Be an Absolutetist (none)
        This is a different political occasion on a different question.  And the question at hand is Roberts, not something Bloomberg did in the past.  Is it opportunistic? Yes.  Can we use that to our advantage, yes.  A high profile Republican gets it and does not support Roberts.

        If Bloomberg, a Republican opposes Roberts, why would any Progressive Democrat support his monition?


        •  No real advantage (none)
          Bloomberg is an opportunist who is far to the left not only of his party, but of many Democrats.

          The problem with being an opposition party is you have to give someone a reason to support your efforts. The Republicans managed to convince people in 1994 that they needed regime change. They had actual ideas, even if they never intended to make those ideas stick. Not just "vote for me because of Clinton". And they also knew enough to not oppose either of Clinton's SCOTUS nominees.

          The 2004 election showed how well the "I'm not Bush" strategy worked for Democrats. We need something more for 2006.

      •  Democrats could have chosen (none)
        New York, but passed on it.
      •  PS. (none)
        As I mention above, Roberts will get in, because the filibuster is off the table.  However, as EJ Dionne wrote, a clear message needs to be sent via a STRONG no vote on Roberts.

        A strong no vote would raise the stakes for the next nomination.

        Moreover, it is not our job to rationalize whether Roberts is the best we'll get.  Our job is to form a robust and competing opposition.  We'll never be a robust opposition, nor ever present a competing narrative, if all we/Dems do is capitulate.


        •  Dumb strategy (none)
          EJ Dionne is out of his mind.  A no vote on Roberts is a yes vote for Bush -- because it makes Democrats look like assholes who only do what NARAL tells them to.  Give Roberts a pass to prove you're reasonable--pounce if Bush tries to name a new Scalia for O'Conner's seat.  But pouncing on Roberts is a fool's errand sure to cost Democrats millions of votes in 06 and 08.
          •  Millions of votes (none)

            The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

            by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:24:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Pouncing means the filibuster (none)
            This is no vote on a nominee that was not forthcoming at this very polarizing times.  Dems have many strategies to inoculate themselves against "partisan" charges, for example the current climate vs. what the political climate was in the 90s -- when Hatch recommended Gingsburg's nomination.  Of course, the no vote strategy depends on elected Dems presenting a united message -- and a grassroots that supports them and encourages the to show some backbone.  Unfortunately, both are lacking at this time... the grassroots has not focused on the nomination and, therefore, elected Dems have no incentive to show backbone.


    •  Pure political theater. (none)
      Bloomberg coming out "in opposition" to Roberts is political theater, nothing more, nothing less.  It's an attempt to woo more Democratic voters -- to show he's "independent" of Bush and willing to criticize him.  Of course, it's on an issue that Bloomberg has no role in.  It's total, complete bullshit.  In the story in the Times, they even got "Bush administration sources" to say how displeased they were with Bloomberg.  It's all so fucking calculated, you'd really have to be an idiot to think that it has anything to do with how Bloomberg really feels about Roberts.  I'm sorry, but that's the truth.
  •  Frugal Legalese Missing (none)
    Where's Roberts on the rights of the ordinary?  He's sure an expert on the technicalities, though.  In fact, his technical legalese passes for common, proving to me that he really has no concept of the ordinary other than thaqt of the typical elitist.  Little original or inspired here.
  •  Stands on the Issues (none)
    It is fair to assume you support them all.

    Well, that's holding politicians to a high standard. I don't think its fair for you to know where a mayoral candidate stands on the issues. It would be unethical for a politician to predetermine their political stands before the politics of the issue are fully vetted in the public sphere.

    a modest experiment

  •  Seriously (none)
    I appologize, but I'm extra slow today.  I know someone has asked Roberts why his giving his position on various cases which have came before the court and may again (abortion) affects him in ways in which the other justices who have already ruled on said topics, but what is his most coherent response for that question?
  •  Armando, Fuck Bloomberg (none)
    I live in NYC, my advice to Mr. Ferrer who is not the world's greatest candidate, to say the least, is tie Mr. Bush around the neck of Mr. Bloomberg until Bloomy turns green.

    The only hope Ferrer has is to make this election a referendum on Bush.

    Problem is, in wake of Katrina, New Yorkers want a mayor who will be effective in next crisis/attack and thus far Ferrer has not even begun to meet this challenge.

    by nyceve on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:29:52 AM PDT

  •  e.j. dionne jr. (4.00)
    as he wraps up his view of what he though of Roberts performance, By the end, the baseball metaphors of the early hearing had given way to gambling analogies. Schumer one-upped Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), who had declared that senators were "rolling the dice with you, Judge." Schumer said Thursday: "This isn't just rolling the dice. It's betting the whole house."

    That's right, and it's why as many senators as possible should vote no on Roberts -- by way of saying no to this charade. A majority of "no's," very unlikely to be sure, need not mean the end of his nomination. It would constitute a just demand for Roberts (and whoever Bush names next) to answer more questions in a more forthcoming way and for the administration to provide information that the public, and not just the Senate, deserves.

    How many senators will have the guts to make that statement?

    "Betting the whole house."

  •  Bipartisan? (none)
    So the fact that one RINO Republican, running in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 5 to 1, expresses a few reservations, that means critisism of Roberts is "bipartisan".  I don't think so.  Bloomberg has carefully distanced himself from national Republicans on social issues in the past, and this is probably just a part of that.  Republicans are solidly behind Roberts.

    The only calculation Democrats should be making at this stage is whether voting against Roberts helps or hurts them in 2006 and 2008.  Nothing else is of any consequence.  Roberts will be confirmed, absent an unforseen revelation.

    But if Dems do decide to vote against Roberts, there better be a coordinated strategy of communicating to the American people just why they're doing it.  They need to use it as an opportunity to sketch out a vision of what role the SCOTUS should play and how that matters to you, the voter.  

    I think this is probably not the approach they'll take, though.  There probably won't be any coordination, some Democrats will vote to confirm and others to reject and it won't mean squat one way or another.

    •  Would it be bipartisan if (none)
      Chafee, Collins and Snowe opposed him?

      Or would it be one of those "Blue State" things?

      And of course, it is literally bipartisan. That is  a fact.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:38:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who cares? (none)
        What difference will it make if a few moderate Northeast Republicans, for their own reasons, vote to reject?  

        Will it be a "black eye" for Bush?  No.
        Will it cause other Republicans to reject Roberts? No.

        You're grasping at straws.  Unless Democrats use this opportunity to trumpet loudly the contrasting visions of the parties, and make the case for how Roberts is indicative of a philosophy that Americans should reject, then it won't make a bit of difference.  History shows that SCOTUS nominations in general matter very little come election time.

      •  Fine (none)
        There is bipartisan support for him too.  At the very least Nelson of NE and probably a bunch of others.  So, whats your point?
  •  Bloomberg (none)
    is pandering to the NYC vote for mayor or maybe further up the state or national ticket, after safely elected the Repugs always drift right, in some parts of the country he would be considered liberal, in NY he is conservative.
  •  "I applaud Mayor Bloomberg" (4.00)
  •  Campaign strategy (4.00)
    Phase 1 - EVERY piece of Ferrer's campaign material should link Bloomberg to Bush.  EVERY mention of Bloomberg, whether in commercials or speeches, should have a requisite Bush mention in the same sentence.  EVERY picture of Bloomberg should include a picture of Bush right next to it (or, better yet, have both of them in the same picture together).  Pound this connection hard, to the point where no one in the entire city can think of Bloomberg without thinking of Bush.

    Phase 2 - Once the association in complete, start attacking Bush's policies for their effect on the city.  Resources wasted on Bush's war has made NYC more vulnerable.  Why did Bloomberg support him?  Bush's NCLB is terrible for NYC schools.  Why did Bloomberg support him?  Make Bloomberg defend Bush.

    Bloomberg's public opposition to Roberts is a nice little tipoff to his campaign's current thought process - he thinks one of his biggest weaknesses right now is his ties to Bush and the Republicans.  We need to hammer him on this, early and often.

    Uh, even though this, uh, is, represents the red-blue county map, it's actually green, because I ran out of ink on my printer.

    by Ickey shuffle on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:50:36 AM PDT

    •  I'd even pull out the old cliche (none)
      The TV ad where the picture of Bloomberg morphs into Bush.

      Do an Osama on his ass - like Chambliss did in Georgia.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:54:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Freddy's campaign also better start ... (none)
      rolling up its sleeves and rolling out some straight talk about what it is going to do about our abysmal tenant/small business/housing situation. It is sucking in the rich and sucking out everyone else, it is draining the creativity and unique flavor, the grit, diversity and beauty from my city!

      Bloomberg has already proven he will do nothing but help/allow the gap to increase, so buh bye to him!

      And if Freddy doesnt aim high and hit hard for the lower/middle earners, then he gets the boot too in four years, IF we can get him into Gracie Mansion, IF these Dems for Bloomberg will just get on board, we at least have a chance to change things for the better. Freddy has a big, disenfranchised constituency behind him. And Bloomberg? He will have a mandate to keep on keepin on as usual, maybe worse, as he will be in his last term. This will also send a message to other candiates for our votes in future (Dems!) that we are willing to tolerate a very low bar for performance. Great NY Dems for Bloomberg! Way to go! Very traditional "Dem" in the sense of caring about the nonwealthy, eh?

      My streets are safest of all the big cities, my subways are good enough. HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING/RENT RENT RENT. That is our #1 issue. Because what good are safe streets, good subways or schools (or the FIRST AMENDMENT!) when ONLY the RICH are welcome to them in NYC?

      Go to it Freddy. We'll be supporting you and watching you.

      You'll get your chance from me and others, but not without grief and a ticket outta Gracie Mansion if you do not perform to make this city truly reflect all people by raising the quality of life and access to this city for those below the top rungs.

      Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 11:40:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This horse left the barn... (none)
    this week.  Odds were steep against denying confirmation from the start, and they're non-existent now.

    MAYBE, if there had been a coordinated assault by Judiciary Dems that included short, pointed questions about such subjects as his role in W's ultimately being awarded FL's critical electoral votes in 2000, there still might be an outside shot.  Instead, we saw "questions" that were more like speeches and "forensics" that would shame a moderately competent personal injury attorney.  Hell, Russert on a bad day was would've been tougher than most of the Judiciary Dems are on a good day.

    Of course, taking that kind of approach requires one to believe, deep down to one's marrow, that Roberts is an ideologue who will lead the Supremes down a dangerous path.  Instead, we are seeing Dianne Feinstein, who clearly ought to know better, openly stating that she is still on the fence about him.  If Roe and Title IX mean as much to her as I think that they do, it should be an easy decision, but it doesn't appear to be one to her.

    Barrring a Thomas-style revelation, Roberts will be confirmed w/ plenty of votes to spare.  Even w/ such a revelation, he'll probably still be confirmed, just as Thomas ultimately was.  Except, perhaps, for Chaffee, I don't see any Rethugs straying, and I expect a few DINOs to stray.  I supect that he may get 60 votes, and he may get more.

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

    by RFK Lives on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:54:15 AM PDT

    •  re the horse and the barn and the leaving... (none)
      The barn door got opened the moment Dems agreed to participate in these hearings.  Given Katrina, it would have been possible not to participate; Dems could have said: we're in the middle of a national catastrophe, and until accountability is established and the cause of the clusterfuck remedied, we will not allow the business of government to continue.

      Ok.  Too late for that now.  But still, I believe we're falling into bipolar, all-or-nothing, "upperdown" Republican thinking.  Are the only two choices really to vote for Roberts or against him?  If so, that horse has indeed left the barn.

      But aren't there other ways to block him?  We could at least stall his confirmation for a while (citing lack of documents, insufficient answers) thus creating time for a number of possibilities: for Bush to sink further in public support, for Fitzgerald to bring indictments, for Chertoff to get canned, for Cheney to get sicker, for documents to which the Senate is entitled to be made available, for the populace to express its outrage on September 24, in short, for the fortunes of these motherfuckers to continue to unravel.

      I guess my point is that the horse may leaving the barn but we can grab it by the tail and pull with all our might.  We shouldn't make it easy for Repubs to put Roberts on the bench.  The public should be given as much time as possible to realize that this administration lacks all moral legitimacy to be putting anyone on the SCOTUS.  

      •  I agree entirely, but those steps largely... (none)
        already had to have been taken, and none of them have been taken.  There's no indication that the Dems will take any of the remaining recommended steps now.  They're showing every sign of punting on this one, the same way that the punted on Thomas in 1991 and that they punted on the 2000 prez election aftermath.

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

        by RFK Lives on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:26:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bloomberg's Game (none)
    I think y'all are missing the point here - the point of why Bloomberg is doing this.

    Two main reasons.
    One - a cost-free way to to appeal to Democrats on an issue that has nothing to do with the NY Mayor's race (cost-free, becuase who really cares what Bloomie says, Roberts is going to be confirmed anyway, and the national Republicans will just wink at Bloomie and say - "go ahead, say what you need to say in order to win - this one is in the bag anyway").

    Two - He wants to put the screws to Hillary and Chuck. Both of them, especially Hillary, are probably seriously considering voting for Roberts. When Hill becomes President, she certainly wants a marker to have been laid down, such that when she gets to appoint a SC justice, he/she will be expected to win some Republican votes even though he/she will be a liberal. IF Hill and the rest of the Dems vote against Roberts, you can be sure that ALL republicans will vote against any Hillary nominee - as opposed to what they did with Ginsburg (they voted for her even though she was a lib).
    So with Bloomie coming out against Roberts, it makes it embarassing for Hill to support him. But

    I think she will do so none the less. And lots of lefties will be outraged (hey - even a Republican could be against Roberts!!!). And that is what Bloomie is looking to do - divide democrats.

    •  Point 2? (none)
      Are you crazy? No effing way. That's not why he is doing it. Clinton and Schumer are definite Nos.

      Point 1 - duh.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:56:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you're right... (none)
        We probably have to worry about losing the Nelsons, Pryor, Lincoln, Byrd, Bayh, and Salazar. I think we can reasonably expect the rest to vote no.

        What about moderate Republicans? Do you think they will be unanimous in support or can we pull off a few? Linc Chafee has a tough campaign coming up.

        •  NARAL (none)
          An interesting situation with Chafee.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:15:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dont forget Mary Landrieu, with her vote for Owens (none)
          She is an essential A-List player on the Dem team whose slogan is: Let's Win One for the Corporatocracy! She is a sure bet on the Aye for Roberts.

          She is willing to go even further than most of her other team players, as with Owens, Gonzales and let us not forget her pro-ANWR drilling vote this year. She was being lunched to help out on the final death blow to the "Death Tax" although Katrina may have made her unavailable for a few of those, as she must now perform "concerned representative" of her impoverished and traumatized constituency. Dont forget she voted FOR the BANKRUPTCY BILL, which will soon go into effect, just in time to smack down her already traumatized constituents with yet another knockout in column "Plutocracy."

          This is why I loathe (much of) my own damn party, (18 Dem senators joined her in the bankruptcy treasonous vote) feel utterly disconnected from them and agree with Seymour Hersh who ridiculed the extremely "clownish" state of our Congress, as he called it. IE, they who abdicate responsibilty to serve their constituents well, both sides of the aisle, and take breaks to eat Freedom Fries as men are tortured and denied representation in Enemy Combatant Limbo awaiting Military Tribunals.

          A very UNAmerican status that Roberts agreed with.

          I dont even bother to write Hillary any more, as I figure any woman who could ignore a half million protesters against the war in her own city, and another 300,000 or so a month later (and also ignore antiwar res by city council, polls against by residents of NY, marches to her office, requests by groups to meet with her) doesnt give a flying fuck about progressives concerns. (That was a BIG one, not you say tomato, I say tomahto.)

          Maybe we do have to focus more on the local scene, as Dean says. Maybe these fuckers on the Hill are beyond us. Yeah, Feingold and a few others are reliably on our side, but there are too many who are diseased by a system that allows it with corporate campaign contributions, wealthy donors, ie, not publicly funded campaigns ... and a nasty, messed up, riggable, disenfranchisable electoral system.

          So, back to Bloomberg

          Hey Mike! You aint such a bad bloke, youre anti DP, proChoice, but damn if we dont have an increasing nightmare of Two Cities, one for the rich like you and one for the have nots and have littles ... NY City has the greatest gap between the rich and poor, and growing all the time, of US cities. Our poverty rate has skyrocketed consistent with our rents. Our protections have been stripped from us. We need affordable housing, protection for small businesses and sane rents for tenants. You may be used to the slick, gated community feel this city is taking on, but many of us see the heart and soul getting sucked out .. with the immigrants, artists, teachers, bus drivers, short order cooks, etc and so on ... who just cant live here anymore.

          So, Mayor Bloomberg,

          Is is okay that NY City is a place for the ultra rich and the ultra poor, with the former finding a prettified city, the latter fewer and fewer crumbs?

          How does being antiDP and ProChoice fix these bread and butter issues?

          What say you, Mr Bloomberg? What have you done? What will you do? What have you said?

          Zilch ... it seems to me.

          Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

          by NYCee on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:18:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  A Few More - At Least (none)
          I think there will be a few more Senate Dems going for Roberts: Conrad, Dorgan, Johnson &  Landrieu are all good possibilities. Probably a few more will join in once it's obvious that there won't be a unified vote.
  •  Bipartisan Opposition to Roberts (none)
    Has lying to Congress been legalized?  After observing Rice, Roberts, and others lie to
    Senators, the press, and the American people,
    not only has it been legalized, but now must
    be considered a cultural custom.

    How can one tell when a republican is telling
    a lie?  His lips are moving.  Is no longer a
    joke.  It describes exactly what is occuring.

    Maybe that is why some democrats find it so
    difficult to express themselves.  If the newest
    lie hasn't been memorized, they do not know
    what to say.  

    The republicans are more organized, because I know that they must have a database that is updated by the "shadow" government between 3 and 4am, so they can stay current with the daily lies.

    All that can be said of Roberts that is positive
    is that he memorizes his lines perfectly while always keeping in mind his strategy of obfuscation bordering on disrespect.

    Some members of the press must have access to
    a sub-database of new lies so they can all hit
    on the same note at the same time.  It really
    is quite impressive, though disgusting to anyone who thinks individual ideas are the source of discovery and innovation.

  •  local v national (none)
    Interesting that you think local officials should comment more on national policy.  One NYC pol did that and was criticized heartily.  Though others did like his message, still many Dems scratched their heads and asked, "What does Bush have to do with Borough President."  I guess the same thing he has to do with a New Orleans, Parish president.  Still a cool ad.
  •  Quick and Dirty No on Roberts (none)
    Watching some on Cspan this morning. Was shocking to me that Roberts would not agree that Congress has the power to end a war.  He seemed to leave it open that perhaps the President had final say on that and could keep a war going even if Congress passed a resolution to end a war.

    He did say Congress could vote to remove funding for a war, and thereby end it, but that is as far as he would go.  The quesitoner pointed out that removing funding does not always end a war - Iran-Contra for example.

    Also, it came up the other day in questioning that Roberts takes credit for arguing a case on the side of gay rights in Colorado, but on everything else he says he was just arguing the side of a case his boss paid him to argue. The questioner pointed out that if the state had asked Roberts first, he would have argued against gays for Colorado.

    I have not been able to watch much, but from what I've seen, it's either scary (my first paragraph), or just no real information, a roll of the dice (2nd paragraph).

    "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 Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:03:18 AM PDT

    •  2nd paragraph note should say 3rd paragraph n/t (none)

      "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 Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:15:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He also said he (none)
      had no moral objection to representing gays. Whether that is a step forward or cold-bloodedness, who knows. At least it means he might not react out of prejudices.
      •  ideology (none)
        yes, I guess my point is that it looks like he would also have no moral objection to NOT representing gays, or representing the other side. If he had been asked the question the other way, the answer would have been similar. All of his issues have been dependent on who he worked for and what side he was supposed to represent. So, it just tells us nothing.

        On this line, as a very ultra lay person, if you will argue either side, wouldn't you be using ideology rather than the rule of law to make your argument. It seems to me that if you were strictly using only your interpretation of the law, one side would be correct and the other would not.

        It looks to me like all of Roberts work has been based on ideology.

        "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 Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:35:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  objections (none)
        Thank you for your comment, JamesB3, and the reminder that he said that. I do think though in addition to my first reply that anyone sitting in Roberts' chair is slippery, and language is also slippery.  Since he is a lawyer, and everyone deserves a competent attorney and a fair trial, I believe Roberts would say he has no moral objection to representing murderers, or really anyone at all.

        His comment just means nothing to me. Do you know what I mean?

        "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 Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:45:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I know what you mean (none)
          I guess since he was asked to volunteer on the case, I think it's more notable because many who hate gays would say that no rights were taken from gays with Amendment 2. It isn't as severe to a right winger as someone being accused of murder. If he was severely biased, he would have turned the chance down.

          I'm not saying he is supportive of gays. I can only assume he isn't, given who nominated him. But I expected Bush to nominate someone who was vocally, bitterly homophobic. So yeah, I do think he's the best we could have gotten from Bush.

  •  And if Bloomberg disagrees (4.00)
    with more than half of those Bush issues you've presented, then I think we're owed a public explanation of the $2000 he gave to Bush and the $250,000 he gave to the RNC.

    Culture of life? More like Republican cesspool of violence.

    by vancookie on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:03:26 AM PDT

  •  These are good questions about Bush's policies (none)
    ... for you to answer, Mr Bloomberg..

    I would also like to know, Mr Bloomberg, why we never ever hear anything about the fact that ours IS a Tale of Two Cities, with the greatest yawning Grand Canyon GAP between Haves and Have Nots in any city in the nation.

    I find this shameful and distressful. There is a great lack of affordable housing, and the rent deregulation and laws as they stand make it too difficult for people who are not wealthy to live here and own small businesses. The rents and selling prices are obscenely high, wholly out of reach to those who work here and want to live here, but, under this exclusionary system, are shut out Those who are still here, and are poor, are neglected in their struggle. This was not always the case. It didnt start under you but it is getting worse under you, as the article indicates.

    This was not always a city of, for and by the rich. It IS now and it is sucking the heart and soul, the unique, traditional, distinctive, wonderful character out of our great city. It's unAmerican, its unfair, and its not New York.

    Poverty rate increases in New York City


    August 31, 2005

    A growing job market and strengthening economy don't seem to have helped low-income New Yorkers, as more of them sank into poverty last year.

    New York City's poverty rate rose to 20.3 percent in 2004, up from 19 percent in 2003, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released yesterday. Across the city, the rate ranged widely, from 9.6 percent in Staten Island to 30.6 percent in the Bronx.

    That's compared with a national rate of 12.7 percent, a slight increase from the 12.5 percent rate in 2003.

    "We can't assume that just because we have something that looks like a recovery, that people are better off," said Mark Levitan, senior policy analyst with the Community Service Society of New York, a Manhattan nonprofit poverty organization. "They're not better off, and they need help."

    New York City had a particularly tough time, according to the local data, which come from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Of cities with more than 1 million people, New York City was the only one to experience a statistically significant increase in its poverty rate. And the Bronx and Brooklyn were two of the 10 counties with the highest poverty rates in the country, the Census Bureau said.

    The poverty threshold for a family of four in 2004 was an income of $19,307. The threshold is the same for all regions, regardless of variations in the cost of living.

    Census Bureau officials and other experts suggested that improvement in the poverty rate often lags behind the rest of the economy.

    But there may be more going on, said economist Jared Bernstein, with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

    "I think the fingerprints of a faltering job market are all over this report," Bernstein said. "We've got more people working, but they're failing to get ahead."

    In parts of New York City, immigrants and single-parent families may have even more trouble staying afloat, according to Rae Rosen, senior regional economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The problem may be even more serious than the data suggest, she noted, since the statistics don't adjust for cost of living increases.

    "The people who are most vulnerable found it more difficult, Rosen said.

    Above the poverty line, however, city residents fared a bit better, though their wages are not growing. Real median household incomes stayed virtually the same, as they did nationwide. The city's median household income, adjusted for inflation, stood at $41,509 in 2004, the Bureau said.

    "What this data shows is that New York has the greatest gaps between wealth and poverty in the country," said Frank Mauro, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute in Albany.

    In a separate report, the Census Bureau said the percentage of the U.S. population without health insurance remained the same, at 15.7 percent, in 2004. In New York State, the percentage of uninsured stood at 14.2, down from 2003's 15.1 percent.

    The percentage of people with employment-based coverage fell to 59.8 percent in 2004, from 60.4 percent in 2003. Government programs picked up the slack. "It shows that Medicaid and CHIP [Children's Health Insurance Program] are the only programs standing between millions more people being uninsured," said Barbara Lyons, vice president for the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, D.C.

    Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.

    What say you about this? What will you do? I havent heard you really acknowledge our plight, nor speak to any solutions. It's been four years and it is getting worse. Do you even recognize it as a plight, or, like so many wealthy people in suburban, gated communities, do you think it is just fine to have Manhattan (and Queens and Brooklyn, increasingly) become its own urbanized version of the same? And to leave the Bronx and parts of Brooklyn as the most impoverished urban areas in the nation?

    What say you on this? It seems a very BushCo outcome, our plight, to me. And that means a collosal failure for the people of New York City. You are OUR leader. What say you, Mr Bloomberg?

    Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

    by NYCee on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:06:21 AM PDT

    •  Bloomberg and all Republicans are responsible (none)
      for Bush and his policies, so it is appropriate that they each be asked to speak up for or against them.  I will urge Ferrer to do so.  In truth, many times I see posts which say that Bush causes this or that, but in truth it is the Republicans, or every Republican (and a few bad Democrats) who are responsible.
      •  Yes, I intend to contact Ferrer's campaign (none)
        And urge them to get him to take a strong, populist, progressive stance and really roll up his sleeves to fight for the people, to seriously set his sights on getting back NY for ALL people, and that means getting SERIOUS about the poor and middle class. The tilt is so aggregious, it's not just uphill struggle, it's a slide that drops people right off the board.

        As for the "few bad Dems," unfortunately, that number seems to be growing to untenable proportions. In the case of the vote for the war and for the bankruptcy bill in the Senate it was about half of the entire Dem aisle.

        This is outrageous.

        I am starting to think Dean is on target when he says start from the local and work up ... too many on the Hill have too little in the way of integrity, and that is all we can count on in a sick system like ours that allows for so much corruption electorally and elsewhere. We need to try to change ourselves systemically, too, but in the short term, electoral politics being what they are in this system, we must get rid of Bush backers and slackers who dont help their masses of nonwealthy constituents (Bloomberg. Last FOUR. Proven.) and go for the most progressive, populist Dems who are plugged into the disenfranchised.

        Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

        by NYCee on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:33:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the article. (none)
          I have hope that Ferrer will come through on these issues.  At least, I have a lot more hope that he'll come through on them than I do for Bloomberg doing much of anything for the poor of this city (or than I did with Weiner.)  Here's to hoping.
  •  note of 2nd paragraph should be 3rd paragraph n/t (none)

    "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 Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:06:39 AM PDT

  •  You Are Out Of Your Mind (none)
    So Roberts refused to answer Roe v. Wade.  Duh.  If he says sure, I support it, no Republican votes for him.  If he says no, I don't support it, no Democrat votes for him.  It would be a HUGE mistake for Democrats to oppose a guy who is clearly qualified, thoughtful, not a Neanderthal a la Scalia, and nice to boot.  Jesus, do you really expect Bush to nominate someone better than this?  The mere fact that he supports the concept of the right to privacy ought to be considered a victory for our side.  We have Bush on the ropes over Iraq and Katrina -- and you want to hand him ammunition and give him back the initiative by having Democrats be obstructionists over a reasonably conservative judge.  Listen, dudes -- Bush is a fucking conservative.  Whoever he nominates is going to be a conservative.  Unless you want Democrats to filibuster everyone Bush sends up and blow their chances in 06 and 08 by looking like the party of gridlock, you should be urging Democrats to VOTE FOR this guy, to prove that we on the left are not fucking captives of NARAL and People For the American Way.
    •  You mean Bloomberg (none)
      is out of his mind.

      That was his position. Not mine.

      Mine is discussed in my posts below.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:12:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, I mean you (none)
        The rationales you (or anyone else) offers to justify voting no on Roberts are essentially made-up.  "Another Clarence Thomas"? -- you want one, vote against Roberts and you will get one.  You cannot have a situation in which the GOP voted practically unanimously for ACLfuckingU counsel Ginsburg and the Dems vote against a conservative-but-not-Scalia Roberts without one side -- ours -- looking stupid and obstructionist and pandering.  Voting yes on not-nearly-so-bad Roberts, too, provides the moral armor that may be necessary if Bush's second SCOTUS nominee IS a Clarence Thomas warmover.  I repeat:  it is a HUGE STRATEGIC MISTAKE to vote no on Roberts.
        •  is there anything the Democratic Party (none)
          and its representatives can do or say, re: any issue, that won't be portrayed as "stupid and obstructionist and pandering"?

          seriously -- this is a serious question.

          people like you haven't realized that it doesn't matter what policies and proposals are put forward by Democrats, the GOP noise machine will disparage and ridicule them. Making decisions on policies and proposals in order to try to avoid being disparaged and ridiculed is useless (let alone the wrong thing to do).

          •  Are you serious? (none)
            Politics is theater, Jennifer -- is there any other way to explain how an idiot like Bush was able to get elected?  Yes, the Rep noise machine will always try to make Dems look bad -- but that's no reason to help them out with Pyrrhic hissyfits over someone like Roberts who, whatever else he might be, is better than Rehnquist ever was.  In case you haven't noticed, the GOP fucking loves to run against NARAL and People for the American WAY, and, you know what -- they keep winning elections!
            •  we disagree as to why Dems keep losing n/t (none)
            •  Maybe... (none)
              It's a good thing that the Dems should stand by their principles for once, instead of making a show of playing nice with Bush in order to appease conservatives.  The Republicans aren't willing to concede their points in order to play nice with the Dems, so why should the Dems be willing to concede theirs (and sell out their constituencies in the process?)

              I don't see how politics-as-theater, as you describe it, is going to come to an end if Democrats just go along with it.

        •  What? (none)
          Their answers on privacy are indistinguishable.

          Are you capable of actually formulating an argument or is this the best you got?

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 12:54:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Democrats lose because they are Republican (none)
      light, not because once in a very rare while they stand up to the Republicans. They'll be tarred with the obstructionist label until there aren't any left in either chamber, cooperating won't change that one single bit.
  •  Get him ON the record (none)
    Q:  During your interviews with the president, his team, and the Senate prior to your nomination, did you discuss your opinions on any cases that might come before the court?

    We all know there was a litmus test for the nominee.  He obviously will not discuss his Philosophy in public, because that would somehow be inappropriate.  But make him state, UNDER OATH, that he did not have that discussion with the president or his team.  It may not stop the nomination, but if documents ever appear to contradict that stement, or smomebody decides America finally deserves to be elevated over the Republican party and comes clean, then we have an impeachable offense.

    There are things we are pretty sure he is lying about, make him lie explicitly and unequivocally while under oath.  There is no statute of limitations on lying to congress when you have a lifetime appointment.

    (Clarence Thomas:  I never thought about Roe V Wade and never discussed it with anyone, despite it being the most important case in 20 years)

  •  Dean's call to action - LTEs (none)
    Just a reminder in case anyone has time to do LTEs on Roberts this weekend.
    Howard Dean's letter and call to action.

    Web form to find and send email to local, regional and national papers.

    "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 Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:19:04 AM PDT

  •  Umpire Roberts (none)
    At a recent Senate confirmation hearing, Judge Roberts took a swing at a question by claiming that he would, as Chief Justice, be an umpire rather than a player.

    As the founder and (as yet) only member of CHASM (Concerned Humanists Against Sports Metaphors), I invite other acrimonious acronymics to join a coalition.  Let SPASM (Serious People Against Sports Metaphors) and ORGASM (Outraged Radical Gays Against Sports Metaphors) and all the other -asms huddle together and hold the line against such gamey rhetoric.  Only through teamwork . . . oh, never mind.

    Julian Smith

    3-D Republicans=deception, disservice and debt

    by hannah on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:19:04 AM PDT

  •  With all due respect Armando (none)
    Bloomberg is not the typical hatchet Bush yes man neo-con nasty so the Bush republican tag doesn't stick.

    That said, Roberts will be no different than Rehnquist with his votes most likely so Dems should oppose him because Rehnquist was atrocious with his votes, except at the end with some states rights votes (that legacy thing).

    Jesus: "Destroy this Temple" - Gospel of John

    by The Gnostic on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:50:41 AM PDT

  •  re: Ferrer's second reason to oppose (none)
    "because of Mr. Roberts's role as Gov. Jeb Bush's adviser during the Florida vote recount in the 2000 presidential election."

    I read one comment posted here earlier that this issue hadn't been raised at all by Democrats at the hearings this week.

    Was the commenter correct that this issue has been avoided? Do dKos readers think committee Democrats should be raising this issue? Does Armando? I don't recall seeing discussion of this here, other than a few cynical comments, or in the mainstream media, but could easily have missed it.

  •  Bipartisan? Spare me. (none)
    Bloomberg's agreement with some Dems is as much evidence of bipartisanship as Zell Miller agreeing with the GOP, which is to say not much at all.

    I'd laugh if someone used Miler to prove bipartisanship. I must laugh at this.

  •  Oh please Armando (none)
    don't get taken in by election year pandering. Bloomberg doesn't give a shit what the Supreme court does, if he did, he wouldn't have sucked so hard on Republican tit during 2004. All he is doing is showing a convenient spine so he can show all the "Bloomberg Democrats" (makes me want to vomit just typing it) that he truly is his own man then so we can all forget about the 2004 convention when he was a Bush lapdog. We won't forget Bloomberg stifled dissent and illegally imprisoned hundreds of American citizens for peacefully organizing all in the name of your Fuhrer. Shame on you any Democrat who is thinking of voting for this spineless twit.

    "Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly there is no possible way we can remain free" - Frank Burns

    by Central Scrutinizer on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:56:27 AM PDT

    •  I hardly think Armando was taken in (none)
      I'm sure he sees it the same as you -- an opportunistic sham (even if Bloomberg probably does oppose Roberts -- he probably opposes most things Bush has done, but hasn't had the courage to challenge them.)

      E.g.,  Has anyone done an accounting of the famous $20 billion that Bush pledged to NY?  If we didn't get all of it, Mike should have been crying bloody murder.

      •  So then what's the point (none)
        Every Republican is going to see it the same way I have so it just looks like desperation when you link to a quote from a pandering spineless Republican who has never stood up against his party when it counted. You can't have it both ways. That speaks to all the Front Page posters. You can't call someone like Bloomberg all the names you called him in 2004 they all of the sudden when he says something you like expect us to give him any credibility. Kos does this with WAPO as well. One day he's calling them a Republican front organization, the next day he is linking to them when they write a story critical of the administration. You can't have it both ways.

        "Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly there is no possible way we can remain free" - Frank Burns

        by Central Scrutinizer on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 11:12:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think they're different (none)
          Armando's point is that Bloomberg is not likely to take any of the other steps he recommends and that Bloomberg's opposition to Roberts is just opportunism in a blue city.  (Armando is tyring to convince Dem. Bloomberg voters to vote against him.)

          If Bloomberg does adopt any of these positions, it serves the purpose of undermining Bush further.

          As for the WaPo -- it's a paper that has a lot of different writers, and I see nothing wrong with complmenting them when they finally get something right, while going after them when they are GOP tools.

    He weaseled out of that one by saying the issue may come before the Court again.

    But what about the Bush v. Gore Court's outrageous statement that it could not be used as precedent?  Does that take it out of the "may rule on it" rule? (which the Dems should argue should not apply anyway).

    But Bush v. Gore should be the ultimate litmus test.  As Dershowitz and Bugliosi have pointed out, the decision was purely political and treasonous.  Judges who had ruled the opposite way on every equal protection case, ruled the other way for the purpose of that case (and then said their ruling could not be used!).

    Then, they frivolously said that there was "no time" for a recount, when precedent (e.g., 1960) was clear that the date to count the votes was not sacrosanct.

    Bush v. Gore blows out of the water all of the RW crap about "originalism" "states rights" and "Judicial activism".  We should know Roberts' opinion of it.  If he's not willing to give it, he should be filibustered.

  •  What about ... (none)
    I'd also like to know what his views are on
    1. Torture
    2. Indefinite Detentions
    3. Deployment of armed Israeli mercenaries in New Orleans, not to mention Blackwater


    no i won't hold my breath


  •  Where's the love? (none)
    Armando this diary is the same argument I made yesterday in the comments of your "controversial" diary!

    Where's the love?


    Keep up the good fight against Bloomberg!

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds - Albert Einstein.

    by GregNYC on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 11:12:31 AM PDT

  •  light weights (none)
    "Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Schumer said that they were still weighing their decisions about how to vote on Judge Roberts."
    While repub Bloomberg, announces a certain "NO".....
    •  Thats ridiculous (none)
      I know it seems partisan but why the hell should they be considering their votes on Roberts? This guy is way too crafty...and those eyes....I'm having nightmares already.

      Listen to Air America Radio, in L.A. at 1150AM and S.F. at 960AM. All others check out

      by proudprogressiveCA on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 11:42:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't count on Chafee... (none)
    to vote against Roberts. He's on that express train known as the Republican Party. He was bought and paid for by that fine organiztion just last week.

    1221 days to go for the Bush regime.

  •  Ginsburg a liberal? (none)
    For gosh sakes, could we quit saying that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a liberal?  She's not a liberal; she's a centrist-to-liberal and much, much closer to the center than to the liberal side.  She's not even as liberal as Justice Blackmun became in his last few years on the Supreme Court.

    Justices Brennan and Marshall were actually liberals.  Those two actually believed in the true living Constitution.  While Justice Ginsburg believes in the living Constitution, she also believes in judicial restraint in that the Supreme Court should not move ahead of public opinion and/or congressional action.  This is what differentiates her from Justices Brennan and Marshall, who believed that if a decision (e.g., those upholding the constitutionality of capital punishment) was morally wrong, it was the Supreme Court's obligation to overturn that precedent and/or break new ground in expanding the standards of human dignity/decency.

    The last two sentences in the previous paragraph explain why Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who also had a record as a gifted professor, and winner of five of six Supreme Court cases involving womens' rights, and a DC Circuit Judge for 13 years, was acceptable to Republicans.  Pres. Clinton could also have nominted someone also on the DC Circuit such as Pat Wald, Ab Mikva, or Harry Edwards, who were all considered just as competent but more liberal than Ginsburg at the time.  Pres. Clinton, having the luxury of 55 Democrats in the Senate, could have nominated someone just as gifted as Ginsburg but much, much more liberal such as Judge Nathaniel Jones (6th Cir.), Judge Steve Reinhardt (9th Cir.), New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, Prof. Walter Dellinger, or Prof. Larry Tribe.  Republicans knew that given the circumstances at the time, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who they disagreed with most of her jurisprudence, was the best they were going to get from a Democratic administration and a Democratic Senate.  Republicans knew if they were going to give Ginsburg a hard time and vote against her, Pres. Clinton, knowing he would have received the same level of opposition against a far more liberal nominee such as Judge Reinhardt, Judge Jones, or Prof. Tribe, would have gone for the more liberal nominee.  Republicans were mature about the situation, and let Ginsburg through.

    •  You can't be serious (none)
      Ruth Ginsburg was counsel to the ACLU, for heaven's sake.  Center-left?  Get serious.  She's not as far left as Bork is far right, but she is certainly as far to the left as Roberts is to the right.
      •  I am serious (none)
        Even that left-wing Forbes Magazine labeled her a centrist this year.  Just because you serve as general counsel to the ACLU does not mean you agree with all the organization's policies.  Ruth Bader Ginsburg certainly does not agree with the ACLU's blanket opposition to capital punishment, for example.  Ruth Bader Ginsburg's record on the DC Circuit, where she voted with Robert Bork 100 percent of the time and with Antonin Scalia 95 percent of the time shows that she is certainly not a flaming liberal.

        Ruth Bader Ginsburg may have liberal leanings, but she certainly is much closer to the center than she is to Justice Brennan and even Justice Marshall.  She, for example, voted in 2003 to limit the rights of prisoners to visit their family members, and also rejected claims of race-based housing discrimination claims.  These are positions that Bill Brennan and Thurgood Marshall would never have taken.

      •  Also, (none)
        Then-Prof. Ginsburg was general counsel for the ACLU's womens' rights project -- not the entire ACLU, so that doesn't mean she agrees with everything of the ACLU.  It's analagous to Federalist Society members.  Very few Federalist Society members who are judicial nominees -- Judge Pryor being one of the few exceptions -- actually believe in the entire mission of the organization.
    •  She Is, But It Doesn't Really Matter (none)
      Republicans knew if they were going to give Ginsburg a hard time and vote against her, Pres. Clinton, knowing he would have received the same level of opposition against a far more liberal nominee such as Judge Reinhardt, Judge Jones, or Prof. Tribe, would have gone for the more liberal nominee.  Republicans were mature about the situation, and let Ginsburg through. - jim bow

      The fact that some were more liberal doesn't really establish that Ginsburg wasn't to some degree liberal. Regardless of exactly where one thinks Ginsburg belongs on the political/judicial spectrum, it seems to me that Democrats are in just about the identical situation with Roberts. There are possibilities for this vacancy & the next that Democrats would have more trouble with.

    •  Nice (none)
      So now it really does not matter at all what the Constitution actually says.  Now the standard is "what is morally right/wrong?"  And Justice Brennan gets to decide?!  Lovely.  And here I was thinking that the Constitution is actually law and should be adhered to, and Justices are not supposed to substitute their moral judgments for that of the people.  How silly of me.
      •  Robert Bork testified the same thing (none)
        If a Justice believed that a decison was morally work, Judge Bork said that decision should be overturned.

        Also, do you honestly think any Justice's personal opinions are completely independent of their decision making?  Please.  It's hard to believe on any issue -- particularly those involving life and death such as abortion, capital punishment, disability rights, the infamous DeShaney v. Winnebago County Dept. of Social Services (1989) case, etc. -- that a Justice's personal opinion isn't at least a factor in their decision making.  A liberal's view of the Constitution is to expand justice to more people, and be limited only by what the Constitution prohibits instead of what it permits as conservatives believe.

    •  He offered it to Cuomo (none)
      Cuomo hemmed and hawed for months until Clinton essentially withdrew the offer.
  •  Fuck Bloomberg and his 'opposition' (none)
    Bloomberg is an intelligent guy. How could he possibly not think Bush was going to put at least 2 (likely 3) anti-privacy judges on the Supreme Court if re-elected.  

    For him to now show 'concern' is either incredibly phony, or shows a degree of short-sightedness that should disqualify him from having a position of public trust. (Since he's a self-made multi-billionaire, I tend to think he's probably not short-sighted.)

    To Bush's credit, he's never danced around the type of Justices he will install: the Scalia/Thomas mold.  

    Pro-choice, pro-privacy citizens who voted for Bush should feel nothing but shame for the America they are going to leave their children.  "Oh, but President Bush keeps us safe from terrorists."  Retards.

  •  New Political Comic at The Hollywood Liberal (none)
    Check out the latest Political Comics at The Hollywood Liberal

    Don't You Know Who I Am?

    HLs Blog

    If you like it there are lots more at. HLs Comic Feature Page

    Thank You

  •  Bloomberg: Berlusconi for New Yorkers? (none)
    Bloomberg is a nice enough guy, but his economic record is still only 64,000 jobs for NYC in a 5 year period. The national economy needs 150,000 new jobs a month, just to keep up with the birthrate results coming out of schools, etc. Thus Bloomberg, in one of the most powerful job engines in the world, which with less population in the 1800's helped transform the US in the industrial revolution. NYC could use a new engineer, instead of this "valet parking" economy that has been delivered.
       Mayor Mike might be a nice guy, but try to explain his role in the so-called "free speech"zones, which were quite obviously chain-link cages. You don't have to have published a book on the Constitution for Oxford University Press to understand that this is not good for Democracy.
       Then you have the factor that he is forced to be on the short end of Republican politics, and having a nominal Republican as the head of such a major city only strengthens the stranglehold of the Republicans on office.
       Plus the press very kindly doesn't give much coverage to the fact that his girl friend, last I heard, is the banking commissioner of New York State. Conflict of interest? Sure looks like it.
    Mike was great in the private sector. He could probably create more jobs there than he has for the city in 5 years. He had his shot, did a so-so job, but was a diligent caretaker when the City needed one. That time has passed, the City should thank him for the good things he's done, and move past politics in the form of "Guiliani as usual."
  •  He looks alright to me. (none)
  •  You funny (none)
    Bloomberg is a Bush Republican?  Wai a second until I pick myself up from the floor where I fell while laughing.  This is a guy who up until 2001 was a registered Democrat, and donated money to all sort of Democratic causes (inculding Hillary's run for Senate).  The only reason he "switched" parties (and he acknowledged it) is because the Democratic primary in 2001 was too crowded, while the GOP one was wide-open.  This is a guy who endorsed gay marriage, Roe v. Wade and other liberal social issues.  This is a guy who instituted mandatory abortion training for residents of NYC Hospitals (subject to conscience clause).  He may be aligned with Bush on some national security issues, but even there he is way to the left of him.  So the importance of his opposition to John Roberts ranks right around Al Sharpton's opposition to him.  (I would say Barbara Boxer, but, hell at least she gets to vote on the issue).

    As for Bloomberg's views on Bush's policies who really cares?  What influence precisely would the Mayor of NYC have on any issues listed above?  I thouht that we picked the mayor on who best can run the city, not who can mouth off about issues that he can do nothing about.  But that's just me.

    •  He endorsed Bush and gave him 7MM (none)
      Pssst, you are a Bush Republican too.

      So is Collin, Snowe etc.

      All of you are Bush Republicans.

      Why are you afraid to admit it.

      You don't enjoy that I know.

      But it is what you support.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 11:51:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am not here to (none)
        disabuse you of your delusions (that is a job for a professional).  If the best GOP opposition to Roberts is in the form of Michael Bloomberg, then you have failed miserbly at attempting to convince even liberal Republicans of Roberts' "unacceptability."  Compare rxn to Roberts among GOP to the rxn to Bork (or even Thomas).  Jeffords and Packwood opposed Thomas.  I am going to bet dollars to donuts that not a single GOP Senator will vote NO on Roberts, and that about 20 Democrats will vote YES.    
        •  Jeffords (none)
          not a Bush Republican. Did you miss 2001?

          Packwood gone.

          I'll go out on a limb and say you have no idea that the GOP has become the Party of Dobson.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 03:02:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the history lessor (none)
            Professor Obvious.

            I was pointing out that Thomas got 2 GOP NO votes.  I would bet that Roberts gets 0.  Which is to say that for all your arm-flailing you, along with NARAL, NOW, and otehr "abortion is the most important issue there is under the sun" crowd have failed miserably at convincing moderate GOPers, or conservative Democrats (or for that matter even a good portion of moderate Democrats) to oppose Roberts.  Like I said, if the only opposition within the GOP that you can find is Bloomberg, you are in a really bad shape.

            •  It is obvious that you missed my points (none)
              One of the two GOP votes was Jeffords, who is no longer a Republican and is possibly a No vote on Roberts.

              The other is that the GOP of that period was not the Wingnut Party it is today.

              there never was a a doubt that the GOP would do whatever Bush says - hence Bush Republicans.

              The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

              by Armando on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:47:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And I suppose Bush Democrats, right? (none)
                Given the fact that about 20 Democrats are thought to be supporting confirmation, does that make them Bush Democrats?  If so, then Bush is probably the most succesful coalition builder since FDR.
  •  bloomberg's not a bush republican (none)
    and pretending that he is to make this point is cheap. for Blueniks inside and outside of New York

    by theshelldog on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 06:13:48 PM PDT

    •  He endorsed Bush (none)
      He is he not a Bush Republican?

      What a crock.

      You want to vote for Bloomberg you have to face up to that fact.


      It is cheap to delude yourself otherwise.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 11:50:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Clues on Bloomy's Potomac Fever? (none)
    Bloomberg is a proven political opportunist, giving the old shark-eye's stare at whatever seems to be best for Mayor Mike's ambitions. He just has enough money to buy more expensive velvet (higher-tone political ads) for the iron fist. In running for office, his ads featured his best hand's on the shoulders pose on the underpriviledged kid's, then once in office campaigned like crazy for a stadium no one wants, and an Olympics venue that still fewer people cared about. When it came to real democracy, the Republican National Convention showed the real stripes on the old Tiger-shark: chain-link cages for the people who dared to exercise the First Amendment against the Grand Old Party.
       Bloomberg obviously has ambitions to go higher if he can, and is positioned to seize an opportunity if it arises. His invention, the superior trading desk platforms used in many brokerages, throw off a lot of money every month, contributing to his personal wealth. More power to him for that. But he also has Bloomberg Radio branding his name for him, and for a while has had a magazine on wealth-building going out to financial advisors all over the country.
       Unfortunately for General Bloomberg, the last opportunity for him, switching to the Republican Party, is no longer the political high ground. To borrow a simile from the headlines, it's like picking the French Quarter in New Orleans. It was the high ground for that space, but unfortunately, the political dam has broken. A wave of Republican Corruption--having apparantly little to do with Bloomberg directly--is now swamping the low lying areas. The war in Iraq was based on deliberate lies, so much so that even Colin Powell publicly regrets his role in misleading the public; Troops keep coming home to cemeteries and hospitals that hassle them about medical coverage; The Halliburton contract situation remains an open sore; the scandals surrounding the votes in 2000 and 2004 won't go away; Republican elected officials are already doing way more jail time than Martha Stewart; Tom Delay and cronies have apparantly swindled Native Americans over casinos on Tribal Land; the gerrymandering scandal in Texas is an outright fraud that is even more scandalously taking too long to get prosecuted in the courts; and the White House, time after time, keeps hiding things from the American People, denying freedom of information act requests to the press, and hiding as much as possible from Congress--all the time demanding that every schoolkid who wants to play computer games as the local public library has to sign in and be subject to secret investigation as a potential terrorist.
       Mayor Mike wants to opine on national matters? Fine. But when he had his chance to stand up for democracy, in the "free speech zones" at the GOP convention, Mike was on the side of the repressives. There is no longer enough velvet in the world to mask the iron fist underneath. In the American Revolution, the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area was called the "cradle of the Revolution." George Washington would be depressed to see the low caliber of "leadership" that possesses the resources to try to attempt to govern today. They want to build stadiums, not a functioning democracy. Stadiums have been used in Latin America to kill people seeking a change of leadership; in New Orleans, there are now stadium deaths also to contend with. On that situation, Mike is not making it much of a campaign issue. Actions speak louder than words.

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