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  • The Alito hearings are covered on MSNBC, and they couldn't find a single Democrat or liberal to comment on them? Not one? Instead, they gave us Pat Buchanan, Ed Gillespie, and Bill Frist. Let MSNBC hear it:

  • Think Progress thinks that Lindsey Graham's behind-the-scenes coaching of Alito could violate Senate ethics guidelines. That would just be par for the course for this GOP congress. They also note that if Alito is like an "umpire" (Cornyn's analogy), he'd be an umpire that always roots for the home team.

  • Hotline on Call has summarized everyone's opening statements today in Haiku format.

  • Jane Hamsher notes that we can stop Alito, despite the GOP spin of inevitability and consternation in some parts of the liberal blogosphere. And she's right. The key right now is to focus on spreading the word about who Alito really is and how afraid Republicans are of that happening (except for Coburn).

  • The Legal Times has a comprehensive, in-depth "field guide" to the Alito heartings.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 04:55 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "field guide" to the Alito heartings (4.00)
    apropos typo
    •  "Alito: Elitist bandito" (none)
           Works for me.
      •  Alito - Elite-o Bandito... (none)
        ...neato alito-ration...
        •  new "No to Alito" tool: (4.00)
          Here's a new "No to Alito" tool:
             Write a letter to the editor of your local paper and contact your congress critters -- all with one click.

          Also: gathered 300,000 signatures in their Anti-Alito petition -- in a day!
          They're shooting for 500,000, please sign if you haven't already:

          Move's stop Alito petition

          People for the American Way have sent over 60,000 letters to the Senate:

          Save the Court Petition

          American Rights at Work also
          Oppose Alito Petition

          Defending the Constitution's Stop Alito Petition

          Democratic anti-Alito petition:

          Democratic Party's Reject Alito Petition

          Stop the NRA is also getting in on the party:

          Stop the NRA's Oppose Alito Petiton

          And while you're at it: sign Planned Parenthood's anti-Alito petition, too:

          Planned Parenthood Petition

          NARAL is shooting for 500,000 signatures, please add yours:

          Naral Anti-Alito Petition

          And don't forget: urge Congress to support Plan B:

          Plan B Petition

          •  Veto Alito... (4.00)
            ...I think that's the alliteration that you're looking for...
            •  YESSSSSSSSSSSS !! (none)
                   That's neat-o!
              •  A MESS NBC (none)
                No Dems on MSNBC? That's why I call them A Mess NBC. They are just a more subtle version of FAUX Gnus.

                I haven't watched FAUX for about a year and I turned off NBC on New Year's Day.

                I now get 100% of my news from the independent internet.

                Oh ya, and no more Poshington Wost either!

                •  msnbc (none)
                  NBC is in the back pocket of the liberal controled media.
                  •  indeed. (none)
                    they're owned by a defense contractor after all.  and we all know that the defense industry is just chock full of anti-capitalist pinkos from hollywood.  like that howard hughes fella... the way of the future...

                    we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
                    — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

                    by zeke L on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 08:42:32 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  my disjointed comments to msnbc (none)
                  On Hardball tonight to discuss the Alito hearings, Nora O'Donnell first
                  talked to a Republican from the Reagan era for a long time. I flipped the
                  channel and came back several times, and he was still on. There's no sense
                  in watching some lifelong party loyalist say "he's a wonderful guy" for half
                  an hour. Then she talked with an RNC official forever, who no doubt also
                  said he's a wonderful guy many times, but I didn't watch. The only other
                  guest was a reporter, who was interesting (and I did not flip the channel)
                  but he was not asked how he feels about Alito; maybe she should have asked
                  him what he thinks about adding a true believer in the imperial presidency
                  to the Supreme Court, since king George no doubt believes this reporter
                  belongs in jail, and no doubt this reporter in his heart of hearts would
                  prefer someone who feels strongly about the Bill of Rights.
                      Anyway, I wouldn't have bothered writing to you to complain about the
                  absence of Alito opponents or any Democrats whatsoever in this hour, except
                  that I complained to a friend who laughed and said you had no Democratic
                  commentators all afternoon.
                      So what's going on? Is this the new all-GE setup? Are you competing with
                  CNN to see which of you can run further right than Fox faster? And now that
                  I'm on the topic, whatever happened to Ron Reagan? He was like a breath of
                  fresh air, but finding out when he's on your channel is like three-card
                  monte. He should have his own primetime show. While I'm at it, get rid of
                  those stupid shows looking for missing white people in the Caribbean and
                  touring with pro wrestlers.
                      I hope I'm jumping the gun in my criticism, that actually Howard Dean
                  will be on Hardball for the full hour tomorrow night, and that tonight's
                  show was "balance." Or some such. But give me a break. All the TV I watch
                  now is Hardball sometimes and the first 45 minutes of Countdown (before
                  "celebrity" news about people I know nothing about except that they might be
                  getting divorced).
                  •  Hardball (none)
                    had Ted "Arkansas Project" Olson on forever. No Democrat on with him, just him and Norah praising Alito. Then they had some Dem that I had never seen before talking about the Abramoff scandal for about two minutes. I actually would love to have had a Republican on in this segment. Let them defend it.

                    get more Evil at

                    by Evil on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 07:21:40 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  My note to "A Mess NBC" ... (none)
                  Like your call sign for them, almost as good as Faux News ...

                  In any event, what I sent them ...


                  I am greatly concerned that, for whatever reason, MSNBC was only able to find people who could easily be called 'conservative' (Buchanan) or were clearly Republicans (Frist) to discuss Judge Alito and the hearings.

                  No one from the ACLU picked up the phone?  There wasn't anyone home at the American Progress Action Fund?  The bloggers from Daily Kos couldn't be dragged from their keyboards?  Scheduling your commentators must be easy when all it takes is calling the Republican National Committee, the White House, or Senator Santorum and the K Street Project.

                  If MSNBC wants to retain a fig leaf of coverage that it is actually a news rather than partisan organization, on issues of such grave national importance it should ensure that legitimate viewpoints covering the real range of issues on the table are reasonably represented.  So far, when it comes to Alito, that is not the case.  I would hope that this changes.

                  9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

                  by besieged by bush on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 08:28:18 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Love it! (none)
              But in order that I continue to merit my Nom de blog, I gotta point out that while it may rhyme, it ain't no alliteration! ; )
        •  Thot of "elite-o", but thot (none)
               "elitist" would be easier to understand... :D
      •  um... (4.00)
        There once was a judge named Alito
        Who kept all his views incognito
        But his ruse didn't last
        'Cause the judge had a past
        And the Dems held the fire to his feet-oh!

        Well, a guy can hope, can't he?

  •  Scariest Poll result (4.00)
    ABC/Washington Poll has released the result that the majority of Americans believe that Scalito will NOT vote to over turn Roe vs. Wade.
    •  An even larger majority (none)
      than believed that Saddam and Osamba were buddies before the truth starting making the rounds?

      Republicans have got lying down to an art. It gives them time to stall and by the time people find out it's too late. No one holds them accountable so what's the problem, right?

      I was going to say that I'd like to see lying made punishable but it is. The problem is not the lack of laws and rules but someone to enforce them.

      -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

      by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:06:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Link to Poll (none)

        So, this clown is at 53%, with 40% of Dems supporting him....I expect that number to drop by 10%+ over the next week or so.....

        "...The Alito nomination has yet to galvanize opposition among Democratic rank-and-file, the survey found. Democrats remain split over Alito, with 40 percent supporting the appointment while 39 percent oppose it. Even among liberals, those who oppose him (44 percent) narrowly outnumber supporters (38 percent)..."

        I did not receive $ from Ketchum, U.S. Department of Ed or HHS to write this---though I wish I had.

        by Volvo Liberal on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:13:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Heartings? (none)
    I don't heart him one damn bit!!
  •  umpire (4.00)
    I loved how Schumer killed that umpire analogy that had been made.

    Can't find a transcript yet though for the exact quote.

    "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." -Gandhi

    by midvalley on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:04:28 PM PST

    •  This quote? (4.00)
      If the records showed that an umpire repeatedly called 95 percent of pitches strikes when one team's players were up and repeatedly called 95 percent of pitches balls when the other team's players were up, one would naturally ask whether the umpire was being impartial and fair.

      is here.

    •  Cheat Sheet Session (4.00)
      Some things I'd like to hear after Graham's cheat sheet session with Alito...

      • What, you don't know your own views well enough to come up with your own answers?  

      • How are we supposed to know which answers are yours, and which were cooked up in your cheat sheet session?

      • So, just what answers did Graham give you in the cheat sheet session?

      Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

      by mataliandy on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:15:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Make No Mistake (4.00)
    This is the coup you've all feared, and it is happening Right. Before. Your. Eyes.

    People you would never suspect of shilling for monarchism will be doing it.

    People you always suspected of doing it will be hailing the Second Coming.

    Never let being humane get in the way of being human. And vice-versa.

    by cskendrick on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:05:12 PM PST

  •  Shaky Alito Equation (none)
    Unitary Executive Power = The Cheese Stands Alone
  •  The general tone on ChimpNN was that ... (none)
    ... the filibuster was practically unheard of (though the GOP didn't mind availing itself of the long-held Senate tradition during the Clinton terms).
    However, the draconian GOP tactic to end-run the constitutional role of the Senate with the UNPRECEDENTED nuclear option didn't strike them as scary.

    If the wingnut cause is just, why all the weaseling? Anyone? Bueller? scAlito?

    by Peanut on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:08:17 PM PST

  •  We have an overreaching, (none)
    power abusing executive branch.  This is not the time to put a person like Alito on the Supreme Court.
    Roberts is bad enough, Alito shows every sign of being a toady of the far right.
    God help us.
    •  And that's the way to stop it (none)
      As the Senate starts to realize that Bush and his ilk would take away THEIR power, they will start to turn against Alito.

      It's not us, it's THEM. They don't care what happens to US, but if THEY'RE going to be rendered impotent, they will not take kindly to it.

      I think it's starting to sink in, thank God.

  •  Once they have the court locked up (none)
    with Alito or his clone they'll start taking the issues that they care about to the SCOTUS. Who's to stop them from making law then?

    It won't get straightened out in my lifetime.

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:10:47 PM PST

    •  The law will be whatever they say it is (4.00)
      ... on any given day. No due process, no checks and balances, no separation of powers, no equality of branches -- just the cronies of a sliver of a theocorporate elite doing whatever the fuck they want and sucking funds out a privatized government.
      If Mad King George's War on Whatever ($2 Trillion tab dumped on your kids), torture, and secret spying on people without a warrant is making people sick, scAlito will have them vomiting out their spinal columns.

      If the wingnut cause is just, why all the weaseling? Anyone? Bueller? scAlito?

      by Peanut on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:33:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ted Kennedy was great on CNN!! (none)
    Did you catch him with the Wolf?

    It keeps getting repeated on MSNBC too. The clip is something like this:

    At a time when the President is [did he really say "lying to"??] the American people, excusing torture and spying on Americans, this is (a critical time in which we are making this decision).

    Sorry, but at the last minute I was not sure of the first part. I THINK he said LYING. This does not happen that often--calling the prez a liar on the news--so forgive my not trusting my memory!

  •  I state for the record (none)
    After seeing his Tapped entries on Democrats and the Alito nomination:

    If Matthew Yglesias is ever all that is standing between us and oblivion... we might as well just jump into oblivion.  

    Funny thing, George Orwell just called... he said that Big Brother's name is George.

    by LeftHandedMan on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:11:20 PM PST

    •  Sorry if that offends anyone (4.00)
      but if an Alito, Brown, or a Luttig isn't a case of extraordinary wingnuttery to go to the mat over... then there isn't a rightwing judge too extreme for moderates and liberals to fight against.

      Funny thing, George Orwell just called... he said that Big Brother's name is George.

      by LeftHandedMan on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:14:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What the Circus-owners Want, They Get (none)
    The media is big business, Alito is pro big business, therefore it only follows that the media will do its level best to support Alito. To grease the slides, to make the public feel comfortable with his ascendency to the highest court.
  •  MSNBC (4.00)
    flamed.  Thanks for the link, Kos

    -7.50, -6.15 Health care should be for people. Not for profit.

    by bloomer 101 on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:12:21 PM PST

    •  I add my thanks (4.00)
      for the link, Kos.  I ripped them.  First regarding their inability to find a Democrat to comment on Alito and second to ask why Ken Mehlman wasn't told to put up or shut up when he claimed Democrats made "18 mis-caracterzations" in their opening statements.  

      "He that sees but does not bear witness, be accursed" Book of Jubilees

      by Lying eyes on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:59:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I sent three emails to them (4.00)
      to complain of their lack of balance.  Now I'll go use this link too.

      Norah should be fired.  She interviews Buchanan, Frist and Olson and not a single Dem re: Alito.  Then she has some guy - Flannery, I believe - talk about Delay, and the first question (or just about) she had for him was something like "So you're a Democrat?"  and then she cackled like a hyena.

      Q:  Why didn't she ask any of the Repugs she IV'd about Alito what THEIR political orientation was??

      Just outrageous and atrocious "journalism."

    •  me too (none)
      You covered the Alito hearings that started yesterday and couldn't find a single Democrat or liberal commentator to give responses, to add some variety to the current and former GOP leadership lineup (Buchanan, Gillespie, Frist) that you mustered?  Either your clout has really slipped, or you've already decided on a specific angle with which to present these hearings.  I think you owe the American people better.

      Philadelphia, PA

      Those who would trade an essential freedom for temporary security deserve neither freedom nor security. ................ Benjamin Franklin

      by redfox1 on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 08:23:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  MSNBC's behavior is the Democrat's fault (4.00)
    Before you troll-rate me, hear me out.

    Simply put, there are no national Democrats on the record condemning MSNBC for their bias.  There are no public officials calling the bosses and threatening the network with consequences for their behavior (like reduced access when the Democrats return to power, like juicy stories going to other networks first).

    The networks don't dare treat the Republicans this way because the Republicans would kill them: have the phones ringing off the hook, launching advertiser boycotts, calls to the FCC to get their licenses yanked, the works.

    Since there are no consequences for treating Democrats unfairly, and major consequences for displeasing Republicans, the result is completely predictable: even well-meaning journalists veer right, because all of the screaming comes from that direction.  We in the netroots can complain, but if leading Democrats don't, this is what we get.

    •  TV Network versus Political Party? (none)
      The network will win everytime . . . oh, unless the party is the Republican party, and the network is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In that case the aforementioned political party can have its way.

      I think the only way a media outlet will turn against the right wing is if the economy TANKS. Then the media, the moneyed media, will change its tune very quickly.

      •  I disagree (none)
        While it's true that there's a certain degree of institutional bias, the Democrats need to demand fairness or they won't get it.
        •  What are you waiting for? (4.00)

          Let MSNBC hear it:

          To wit:

          To whom it may concern;

          Every day I become less willing to add your news programming to my limited day. The amount of deference shown to hard-line, neo-conservative opinions is apalling, and I'm not buying it. There are alternatives, and a growing number of forums that give voice to values I care about, among which is a desire for the free flow of information. Honest, unbiased information makes our nation great, and myself a better citizen. The more I look at you, the less I see it.

          I keep up with a variety of sources for news and current events. I care deeply about values, and the direction our country moves both morally and ethically. And, I vote. With my ballot, with my money, and with my time.


          It's what I sent, and if it works for you, have at it.

          Someone give him a blow-job so we can impeach him, already!

    •  I disagree. A litte. (none)
      It's not up to the party to fight back against this. It's up to us!! It looks like whining if politicians cry about the media. If grass roots organizations do it it's viewers complaining.

      But we should let them know what we think about their coverage. I assure you Brent Bozo would let them know if it was the other way around.

      get more Evil at

      by Evil on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 07:27:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What I don't understand (none)
    Regardless of how the hearings go, shouldn't the Democrats just fillibuster in any case?  Then Bush can decide whether to nominate another Alito or someone more moderate.  In any case, that'll provide another 3 month delay.  If he refuses to nominate a moderate, the the delay should just be continued until the 2006 election.  There is a distinct possibility of a more favorable Senate next January.
    •  why settle for a filibuster? (none)
      I think that a straight defeat is achievable.  There are a number of Republicans that could be persuaded, Bush is a lame duck, and the enforcers in the leadership are under a cloud.

      The wedge issue is not abortion, but Bush's effort, aided by Alito, to make the Congress irrelevant.

  •  New Political Comic at The Hollywood Liberal (none)
    Check out The latest Political Comic from H.L.

    A Biking Safety Message From Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Thank You

  •  MSNBC is owned by GE, a huge defense contractor (4.00)
    and GOP donor. This pretty much says it all. At this point they'd probably be willing to lose tons of money in order to shill for Bush. And they do it cleverly, in a way that isn't quite as obvious as Fox, which I think is intended to appeal to the middle and professional classes, as opposed to Fox, which appears to try to appeal to the working and blue collar classes. So I'm not sure how useful a letter campaign would be. This is not about ratings, let alone journalistic integrity (hah!).

    As for Graham's coaching, I thought that nothing was illegal  unless Bush said it was. Duh!

    The right has figured out--or, I hope, simply thinks it's figured out--a magic formula for ignoring if not dismantling the constitution and over 200 years of democratic checks and balances and traditions. If they really have, then barring a miracle we're pretty much all doomed. But if they haven't--and let's hope they haven't--then they're just living on borrowed time as they approach the inevitable collapse of their corrupt PNAC once the system FINALLY stops them in their tracks.

    Personally, I think the system will eventually work, with our help of course. Like everything else they've done, I think that they've grossly overestimated their powers and underestimated the difficulty of accomplishing their mission.

    I compare it to the DotCom boom of the 90's. While it lasted everyone decided that the laws of nature simply no longer applied--until nature decided otherwise. Sooner or later, the system will make itself felt.

    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." W.B. Yeats

    by kovie on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:20:27 PM PST

    •  I agree. (none)

      I think the system will eventually get them. The real issue is always greed. Each of the repubs is greedy, they each want to take as much as they can as quickly as they can. If they had kept clean(ish) for another 15 years, they would really have won.

      I guess that's what happens when the entirity fo your philosophy is "greed is good, fleece the sheeple." How can you expect devotion, even to the team, out of that. They all go about their criminal endeavors as quickly as possible, and then they start getting caught before the plan is complete.

      It is a common tale. If the wicked are unable to tolerate the just, then how much more trouble must they have cooperating with the wicked? When cooks fall out, it's a wise man's delight.

      I think I see the beginning of the end now. The only question is how much more damage they'll do before they are taken down. Hopefully 2006 is the end of the road for them.

      •  There are immutable laws at work here (none)
        That is, it's not the "system" that will get them in the end, per se, as it will be certain unavoidable "laws" of social, political, legal and economic reality (among others) that will stop them in their tracks and eventually lead to their demise. It happened to Napoleon (as it did to the the arrogant, greedy and stupid French monarchs whom he eventually replaced, as well as to the reign of terror fanatics who replaced them), the Confederacy (I'm assuming that the Daughters of the Confederacy aren't well-represented here), Hitler, the Soviet Union, the Shah of Iran, etc., and it's going to happen to BushCo (as well as to the current Iranian band of thugs, Assad, the various central Asian tinpot dictators, Mugabe, etc.). Absolute power simply is not possible, and any attempt to get and keep it will ultimately destroy those who think otherwise and try anyway.

        Of course, as you said, let's hope they don't take the rest of them down with them as they try.

        "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." W.B. Yeats

        by kovie on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 09:21:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or at least it looks that way in retrospect (none)
          But that's cold comfort to today's Zimbabweans or Cubans, as it would have been to inhabitants of the Soviet Union right up to the end. Stalin made it to his deathbed with his totalitarian regime intact. Furthermore, democratic regimes are sometimes overthrown as well.

          As a sidelight, many Europeans -- such as serfs and Jews -- would have been much better off if Napoleon had remained in power, since whatever emancipation they experienced ended when he was overthrown.

          "I think that in modern America, we have far too many options for breakfast cereal and not enough options for president." - Barry Schwartz

          by AlanF on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 07:00:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thus my last sentence (none)
            I believe that they're going to go down sooner or later. But, I agree, that would be cold comfort if it took a generation or two (or more) before it happened.

            I just read that today, in a speech before the VFW (btw, has Bush EVER spoken to a crowd that wasn't made up almost entirely of carefully screened GOP donors, GOP leaders or military people?) that Bush issued a VERY harshly worded warning to Dems to be careful about how they handled their '06 campaigns. I can only interpret this is a shot across their bow hinting at what he'd be willing to do should they defy recent history and actually prove to have some real fight in them and stand a chance of retaking the house and/or senate. Perhaps this was a desperate bluff made in a moment of fear, but I'm inclined to believe that he was DEAD serious, and was fully prepared to pull ANY of a variety of unprecedented steps to assure that they don't retake either house or even gain a substantial number of seats. You're free to decide what I mean by "ANY".

            I think these guys have made careful study of their historical tyrannical predecesors to find out where their regimes ultimately failed, and have spent years carefully coming up with a VERY detailed and comprehensive plan that takes into account all of the factors that brought down previous tyrannies or that are unique to our democracy that could bring them down, and come up with a variety of ways to handle them. These people are not casual would-be tinpot dictators. They've thought this stuff through for years, if not decades, and have come fully prepared with a very formidable playbook and team. They've learned not only from Nixon and Reagan, but also Hitler and Stalin. And I suspect that to date we've only seen the very tip of their sword. They've doubtlessly got a lot more in store that they'll bring out at the proper time, that would probably make what they've done to date seem pretty tame. They're in this to win, and they're dead fucking serious.

            I still think that in the end, the "laws" of political reality will ulitmately undermine their efforts. They're effectively trying to create a political perpetual motion machine, which simply can't be done. EVERY dictatorial regime in the past has fallen eventually. The longer dictators are in power the harsher they have to clamp down on dissent and potential threats, which unavoidably stifles the sort of vitality that every society needs to survive and grow and deal with foreign rivalry. Sooner or later, this proves to be untenable and these regimes fall of their own weight. But in our case it might well be later rather than sooner, perhaps MUCH later, and we obviously can't afford to let nature take its course and bring them down. We've got to help bring that about, while we still can. If unchecked, it's just a matter of time before they take away whatever ability we still have (or, perhaps, simply think we have) to fight them legally. And I'm not yet ready to think about what our options would be then.

            This is why it's crucially important to fight them now, before it might be too late. I fear we're headed in a very bad direction if we lose.

            "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." W.B. Yeats

            by kovie on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 01:31:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree with what you say (none)
              though I tend to come at it from a direction that puts more emphasis on random and external circumstances. Dictatorial regimes do eventually end, but so do most regimes. Of course, the "pure randomness" end of the continuum is undoubtedly off the mark, just as the "dictatorship immediately brings its own destruction" end of the continuum is.

              If a dictatorial regime comes to an end, foreign powers are often involved. It's possible that the behavior of the current U.S. administration could reach a point that would not only disgust other countries (we're already there) but bring about sanctions from them. But there doesn't seem to be any momentum in that direction.

              "I think that in modern America, we have far too many options for breakfast cereal and not enough options for president." - Barry Schwartz

              by AlanF on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 04:32:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's one of the things that I most fear (none)
                Because I think the neocons have anticipated this and have taken various steps to prepare for it. Personally, I now believe that Iraq was all about controlling the world's supply of oil and natural gas when the day comes that others might be willing to fight to get their hands on it. And there's really only one power with which this could conceivably happen. And they just happened to announce today that they'd no longer be investing most of their revenues in dollars. Hmm.

                Iraq wasn't about WMD, terrorism, SH, mideast stability (let alone democracy), Israel, or even oil (in the sense of wanting near-term access to it and the profits coming from it). It was about what oil will mean in coming decades, expecially vis a vis the rise of China.

                As for dictatorships and their eventually demise, I agree with you that all sorts of factors both domestic and foreign can bring this about, often quite randomly (or at least unpredictably). But feeling optimistic about the LONG TERM outlook somehow helps me feel a bit more optimistic about the short term outlook. Irrational and pointless, perhaps, but one looks for hope anywhere one can when things look this bleak.

                "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." W.B. Yeats

                by kovie on Tue Jan 10, 2006 at 05:20:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Yay to the haiku! (poss. double post?) (none)
    Alito will go
    Mark these next five syllables:
    fillibuster, ho!
  •  A Good Judge Has No Agenda, but Alito Does (none)
    Since Alito has an ultra-conservative agenda to overturn Roe v. Wade and put the executive branch over the judiciary branch, Alito should never, never be confirmed and America has to give George W. Bush a painful defeat!

    Re-elect Al Gore in 2008!!! Reform the American Media!!!

    by Gorestro on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:32:56 PM PST

  •  Hardball tonight was especially off balance (none)
    3 Hard Core Republicans
    1 Moderate Democrat
    1 Reporter

    Did you catch when Norville yet again did a "Your a Democrat!"  Shes nutty.

  •  Mehlman (none)
    Don't forget Mehlman, they had him on Hardball and the girlie sitting in for tweety practically slobbered when she said, with a big ole smile, "Ken Mehlman!"
  •  My e-mail to MSNBC (4.00)
    If no other Democrat can be found to comment on the Alito hearings, I am available.  You can contact me by phone at (XXX) XXX-XXXX or by return e-mail.  

    Susan Smith

    Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

    by Susan S on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:48:54 PM PST

  •  CNN Nancy Grace (none)
    back on the "Missing White Girl" diversion thing....

    Is there a team on standby waiting to snatch white girls when diversions are needed?  Is this FBI, CIA, NSA or outsourced?

    •  People disappear all the time. (none)
      There's a readily available pool of diversionary material.  The one caveat is that they're not all white, buxom, blonde, or very rich.

      Thank God CNN/MSNBC/FOX are there to tell us when one of those uberfrau's disappears.

      •  But the diversion doesn't work (none)
        with poor old black people or young hispanic boys or......

        alot of demographic research went into finding the MAXIMUM diversion.

        The missing well off white guy story - disappearing off a cruise ship ON HIS HONEYMOON - didn't have the "legs" Hollaway had...... and it sure sounded like an Agatha Christie story

        Really big diversions - like "miners killed waiting for rescue" -  tend to have unfortunate side stories.  You know like lax mine safety, reduced federal oversight, all that.....

        And the HUGE diversions like Hurricanes and such - well we saw how THAT only highlighted the incompetence further

    •  I'm calling Nancy et. al. The Vulture Squadron (none)
      The diversionary blithering blondies are plugged into waiting for (a) the disappearance of an attractive white female between the ages of 12 and 35 --please, no Hispanic, African American, or Native American women over the age of 40 please! (b) the landing gear to collapse completely sending a load of innocent passengers to their untimely deaths; (c) the mine to blow up again trapping a rescue team; (d) several large sharks to gather near a fashionable beach; (e)the disappearance of a white make between the ages of 12 and 35-- no overweight, out of shape, minority men please. (f) an earthquake, preferably in the continental US--the more damage the better. (g) a fire in a warehouse--a fire in an apartment building--a fire in a house..What the Heck! Any Fire. Any Time!

      All of this can be covered with the journalism skills necessary to land a job with any Tabloid. None of this requires that the anchor have the vaguest background in American politics, history, or the Constitution. When anchors and reporters view themselves as successful because they've ridden on Air Force One, or gotten a "scoop" from a White House insider, then journalism has a REAL problem?

    •  OK, Nancy Grace is supposedly a prosecutor... (none)
      Does she EVER talk about the mass amount of CRIMES being committed in the Republican Culture of 3 Cs Government (3 Cs are corruption, cronyism, and crime)?

      I'm thinking that, as a seasoned prosecutor, she'd LOVE to offer her $0.02 on Abramoff, Rove, DeLay, etc. etc. as well as the Missing White Girl Du Jour.

  •  PFAW (none)
    I guess everyone is familiar with People for the American Way. I got an email from them that is excellent, but really too long to post. When will site owners learn to have a page that is the same as the email?

    Anyway, a lot of information can be found on their site.

    As we are learning, a petition or email generated from PFAW and similar Democratic organizations may not have as much weight. Get some help from their words, but send your own snail mail letter to your Senators, the Judiciary Committee, your local papers.

    Say no to hate, bigotry, and the author of the Fed. Marriage Amendment, Marilyn Musgrave. Please donate to Angie Paccione.

    by OLinda on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:51:02 PM PST

  •  Alito against America (none)

    Visit Hughes for America, the Worldwide Leader in Web Log Technology for 50 Years!

    by BobcatJH on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 05:51:06 PM PST

  •  for those "liberal media" friends (none)
    Today is a perfect day to use as an example of the myth of the liberal media.  How many Dems did we hear from?  How is it that so many Republicans took money from Abramoff, but yet we hear Timmeh talking about Harry Reid and his Indian tribe contributions, as if that is somehow connected.  The VRWC (yes!) just fabricates shit and acts as though its completely bulletproof, then when faced with reality, it's "Sorry that's all the time we have!"
  •  Something to Bring Up (none)
    I've used my one-diary quota for today but Steve Benen ( brings up something that I thought of in listening to the hearings today.  Okay...he goes into more depth than my thinking did but the main point where our thoughts meet is this: Ruth Bader Ginsburg was essentially chosen and pre-approved by Orrin Hatch in spite of her horrible, frightening, disgusting, dirty-word liberal background.  Clinton didn't force her on the GOP minority, the GOP minority selected her.

    Shout it loud!

    I was starting to think that you were at least a little rational.  I know that you have a hard-on for Reagan-something I will never understand, but if it is true that you coached Alito at the W.H., and such coaching is an ethical violation.  YOU MUST RECUSE YOURSELF IMMEDIATELY, AND THE DEMOCRATS ON THE COMMITTEE MUST INSIST THAT HE DO SO.  


    •  It would be sweet (none)
      if graham did this intentionally so he could not vote but still say he supported him and if it weren't for some archaic senate rule he would have.  Just a pipe dream though.  All hail our fascist overlords.
    •  It was against Senate Ethics Rules (none)
      Graham should recuse himself immediately, and/or the Senate should begin an investigation into Graham. Here's a link to ThinkProgress on Alito/Graham, and a quote of Senate rules:

      A similar debate has been blazing on the "What the Fuck" recommended diary. I have a few choice selections from the Senate rules there myself (but won't repeat here for sake of bandwidth). There are those that argue that Linday Graham's coaching a nominee he's supposed to later sit in front of and vote on is no big deal. Rather than repeat the arguments pro and con, interested parties should go to the link above.

      Thanks Kos for bringing this to front page attention.

      " this abject posture have ye sworn / To adore the Conquerour?..../ Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n."

      by Valtin on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 06:32:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Democrats perform the way they did today, ... (none)
    ... there is no chance in hell they are going to stop this nomination.  I really was disappointed in Democrats today.  I thought Sen. Biden's opening statement in the Roberts hearing, where he outlined the Democratic rhetorical case, was so much better than his statement today.  Sen. Durbin, who almost regurgitated his Roberts hearing statement, was good.  Sen. Kohl was the only Democrat on the committee who impressed me.

    This mechanical "I disagree with the nominee's jurisprudence on issues A, B, C, D, ..., the nominee holds extreme views on issues X, Y, Z, ..., the nominee won't provide information on issues  AA, AB, AC, ..., and I therefore will vote 'no'" isn't going to cut it.  If you want to kill a snake, you don't poke it in 20 different places -- you chop off its head.

    This "the nominee holds extreme views" stuff isn't going to cut it.  Something more like "the nominee dispassionately reads the law in a manner abstracted from human experience and indifferent to injustice" is much better.

    The quest for freedom, dignity, and the rights of man will never end. - Justice Brennan

    by jim bow on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 06:06:33 PM PST

  •  I think that Durbin landed a zinger (none)
    about his decision that a coal refuse disposal plant didn't have to abide by mine saftey regulations (as it wasn't, in his opinion, a "mine").

    For a fun way of reviewing the hearings, I highly recommend:

    this has links to relevant case law too.

    When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

    by onanyes on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 06:14:14 PM PST

  •  jane (none)
    Luv Jane BUT- this time she is wrong. No way in hell that that right wing piece of crap is not going to get the nom. A done deal. Stop wasting time. The only chance that exists is taking back the house and we all know what chance there is of that happenning.
      Its the streets folks, the streets.
  •  Thanks for the link Kos (none)
    I wrote the letter to MSNBC services as well. I mentioned how disappointed I was in their biased coverage of the Alito hearings. I did laud them for having Edward Lazarus(?) appear on the Abrams Report against Pat Buchanan, although I complained that Pat and Dan A still talked the most during that ONE segment where they had  the one Democrat appear to talk about the hearings.

    I asked why they couldn't get Bill Press or one of their other regular pundits to appear on MSNBC and talk about the hearings. Even Shrum would have been better than no Democrat at all . . . .

  •  For what its worth... (4.00)
    Maybe I was too nice but I sent in the following...

    As a viewer of MSNBC I find it very disheartening that you could not have one Democratic voice represented in your initial discussion of the Samuel Alito hearings today.  I hope that as the hearings move forward both sides of the issue are given time to voice their opinions and you do not rely solely on Republican spin concerning the nomination.  The SCOTUS is an important foundation to our democracy and Americans deserve to hear both sides of the issue.  Thank you for your time. -xxxxx in Chicago
  •  My letter to MSNBC (none)
    Dear MSNBC:

    Let me get this straight - you were not able to find one liberal or progressive person to comment on the first day of hearings for Judge Alito. Not One.

    One kind of bullshit is that?

    Since you seem to have such a hard time of it, I make myself available to you. Sure, I'm not a big name like Ted Kennedy, Lewis Lapham, Amy Goodman or  David Barsamian, but I can guarantee that I'll be here when you call.

    I'm not asking you to be balanced - I'm shaming you into it.



  •  Move On's poltical ad: Fact (none)
    From 's analysis of's Alito ad "he isn't a moderate but he plays one on TV"

    In summary, we find nothing false or seriously misleading in this ad. But as often happens, there is more to it than a one-sided, 30-second spot can cover fully.

    When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

    by onanyes on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 06:27:40 PM PST

  •  Poll to answer (none)
    Do you think Samuel Alito should be confirmed?

    We're not doing very well right now...

    It's far better to uphold the Constitution and burn the flag than it is to hold up the flag and burn the Constitution.

    by beemer on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 06:32:14 PM PST

    •  must be diebold s/w (none)
      i swear to god i just clicked on "no" in that poll and it bubbled in "yes."  i clicked on "no" again and both were checked... no way i can turn off the "yes" button.

      apparently it's test run of black box voting for this november.

      we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
      — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

      by zeke L on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 08:54:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My Email to MSNBC regarding their Alitist Slant (none)
    In case you ever wondered why your network is called MSGOP among the blogs, here's a hint from Media Matters:

    Summary: In the first four hours of MSNBC's January 9 coverage of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr., the network featured interviews with Pat Buchanan, former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) -- but no Democratic or progressive commentators.

    What the hell is wrong with you all? Have you abandoned all sense of journalistic integrity as a corporate benchmark?  Is there some incentive linked to how cleanly you can slant  your coverage?  

    During the possibly most important Supreme Court confirmation  of the 21st century, you've inaugurated your coverage by shutting out anyone who might have a valid question about this nominee. Don't even pretend you couldn't get anybody but Alitists to come to the microphone.  If your bookers can't manage to get Democratic spokespeople (or heaven forfend some non-politician who can articulate the issues), then I suggest it's time for a refresher course in how to get people to talk to you.

    More likely, your bookers are doing their job splendidly. They know what corporate expects, and they are delivering that.

    Shame on you all.

    Our nation is on the cusp of a defining moment. The American experiment will either revive or expire based on what we do right now.  

    That means you, too. Every choice you make in coverage, every voice you silence from the debate, every single false-equivalency you belch forth for the putrefication of the public debate has consequences.  

    You are responsible for fostering public dialog as well as getting ratings. Time to start acting like it.

    A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey


    by boadicea on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 06:37:49 PM PST

  •  I emailed MSNBC (4.00)
    I emailed MSNBC.

      Told them it was SO slanted PRO Alito today


      " Does MSNBC want to know as FOX lite?"

  •  Question????????? (none)
    In the 15 years as a Circuit Court Judge, how many times (what percentage) was Alito a lone dissenter?

    I heard Sen. Kennedy say that in 86% of his DISSENTS he was against the little guy and for the gov't or the big corporation.  

    By the way, this guy, as a lawyer, has had only the United States government as a client.  It would be interesting to know what the splits were when the U.S. was a party to a case in front of him, and, in particular, whether he was in the majority or minority.

    I haven't seen any numbers like this because I didn't like him to begin with, but the numbers would be interesting.

  •  My letter to MSNBC (none)
    Dear Corporate Shills.

    Fuck you.



  •  fun read (none)
    but this was a load of dreck if ever i've  seen one:

    "Sam will be home free when his most ardent political opponent cannot resist genuinely sharing in Sam's dry, laserlike humor..."

    what the !@#$%& ever.  i'm sure thomas has cracked a few good jokes in his day.  hell, even hitler probably did.  but that doesn't make them suitable for their respective positions any more than shrubya's faux folksiness qualifies him to breathe my oxygen.

    Some say that Alito can chalk the statements up to job-application hyperbole that can be expected from someone applying for a political position. "The best thing he can say is that he was sucking up," says Rutgers' Baker.

    hahaha!  Instant Frameshop classic! This one is pretty cool, too:

    But Alito supporter Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute says, "He can't back away from the 1985 statements, nor should he."

    These are going to be some great hearings...

  •  NPR continues to run a promo (none)
    for the Alito hearings, in which Alito himself says that SD O'Connor asked him the first (gentle) question at his first appearance at the court. Is there anyone that can easily verify this?


  •  aaaaaand... my letter (none)
    I was appalled at your incredibly one sided coverage of the Alito confirmation hearings.  In your usual rush to appease the far right's continuous and baseless allegations of 'liberal bias' you presented as commentators on the Alito confirmation hearings only three republican extremists [former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, senate majority leader Bill Frist, and Pat Buchanan].  There was no democratic commentary to counter the repetitive right wing spin.  Zero.

    This, to me, is a very good example of the sad state of modern journalism in America.  No matter how far to the right most news organizations tilt their coverage -- even to the point of reducing what should be fact based reporting into simply repeating what each side claim as if, no matter how ridiculous the claims may be, they have equal weight regardless of the actual facts -- it is never enough.  There are still claims of 'liberal bias'.  It's a tool the far right has used very successfully to co opt news organizations into promoting their agenda.  Very, very successfully, it would seem.

    xxxxx in Seattle

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