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If this weren't a family blog, I could have headlined this one "Gang (of 14) Banged! Lindsay Graham F*cks 13 Senators in One Day!"

Word is that CNN is reporting the "Gang of 14" will meet today, presumably to declare the possibility of a filibuster of the Alito nomination dead. That the Gang is getting together to say so is, we must assume, a declaration that the now-infamous "extraordinary circumstances" bar has not been cleared.

But as I've suggested before, perhaps the Senators are looking in the wrong place for their circumstances. What if the guy on the other side of the table is what's extraordinary about the nomination?

Recall that the Gang's agreement entitled each Senator to make his or her own determination about the existence of "extraordinary circumstances."

Well, what chance did they have to do that, when signatory Lindsay Graham was coaching Alito on how to avoid or obfuscate such circumstances?

According to the January 9th Wall Street Journal  -- a pay service for which I cannot provide a link, but which our friend AdamB provides the text -- Graham made it his business to make sure his 13 Gang colleagues never got a chance to exercise the discretion he promised them they'd have:

In preparation for his confirmation hearings, which start Monday before
the Senate Judiciary Committee, Alito has been drilling regularly since
Thanksgiving in questioning sessions lasting around 30 minutes at the
Justice Department, with two department lawyers doing the questioning.
On Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of the "gang of
14" who sits on Judiciary, joined a so-called moot court session at the
White House.

Well, how do you like that? A Senator who sits on the Committee that's supposed to be the front line of  "advice and consent" was coaching the nominee. A highly questionable practice, don't you think? "Extraordinary," really, when you think about it.

And what of the mutual trust the Gang of 14 pledged in one another? Do the other 13 feel Graham has honored that trust, or betrayed it?

Let's be honest. Lindsay Graham coached Alito in how to avoid giving the appearance of "extraordinary circumstances," and in so doing created "extraordinary circumstances" of his own. Graham is in breach of the terms of the Gang's agreement, having interfered with his colleagues' ability to make the individual determinations on "extraordinary circumstances" he promised them.

The deal is now, finally, completely hollowed-out. Even as it extracted a promise on "extraordinary circumstances" that many argued rendered the filibuster dead -- given that it could only be used in a situation in which a nominee would likely lack majority support in the first place, it offered nothing in return by way of passing on the legitimacy of the nuclear option. Democrats surrendered the right to use a filibuster for its intended purpose, but Republicans were permitted to keep their nuclear option as a viable alternative -- just not during the 109th Congress.

Now, we at last learn that there was never any intention to allow an honest, straightforward determination on "extraordinary circumstances," either. At least not in Graham's mind. And although this comes as no surprise to someone who told you from the beginning that Graham was not serious in his commitment to the agreement, it's still a bit shocking that his colleagues appear unperturbed by his questionable, if not outright unethical, interference -- both in their own decision-making process, and with the Constitutional duty to offer advice and consent.

Originally posted to David Waldman on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:17 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lindsay Graham spits in the faces of: (4.00)
    John S. McCain III, Arizona
    John Warner, Virginia
    Olympia Snowe, Maine
    Susan M. Collins, Maine
    R. Michael DeWine, Ohio
    Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island
    Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut
    Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia
    E. Benjamin Nelson, Nebraska
    Mary Landrieu, Louisiana
    Daniel Inouye, Hawaii
    Mark Pryor, Arkansas
    Ken Salazar, Colorado

    And their response?


    •  he did not spit in their faces (4.00)
      they are with him

      the earlier nominees should have been filibustered

      this 'brilliant' deal was always a surrender and a sell out and i would be amazed if anyone who signed on to such a deal objects

      the other senators are GRATEFUL to graham for his actions

      Politics is not arithmetic. It's chemistry.

      by tamandua on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:54:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lindsey Graham and the Gang are Extraordinary (none)
        As I've commented several times over the past few days, it is Sen. Graham who is extraordinary.  The Bush Administration effectively hijacked the Senate with the "Gang of 14". Sen. Graham was the Trojan Horse. The President could have nominated anyone he chose, after the deal was struck, and his nominee would have passed.  But of course, it was sheer political genius because they were able to spin it as preserving the integrity of the Senate when in reality the Gang essentially stripped the minority of it's last legislative tool. In one fell swoop, the Administration and its Trojan Horse, Sen. Graham, defanged the Minority party. And all this happened with the  acquiescence of the Minority members themselves.

        The Gang of 14 is extraordinary in itself in that they effectively stripped the Institution, that same Institution whose traditions and practices they swore they were upholding, of its final and most effective means of preserving the integrity of the Supreme Court.  They effectively neutered the last of the "checks and balances" in our Constitutional form of government. Instead of a nation founded and preserved by the rule of law, they substituted with themselves, the rule of the Gang. Unfortunately, few realized what a power grab it was at the time. Now we know that the President effectively will have carte blanche with any future Supreme Court nominee.      

        One issue that I find interesting is how the media keeps repeating that the most important players in this whole Alito Debate were the Gang of 14. But, not nary a mention was made of the fact that Sen. Lindsey Graham, a key member of that so-called moderate group, was not only a questioner, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, of Judge Alito, but was also one of the key people to prep Judge Alito for his confirmation hearings.

        Given the clear conflicts of interest of Sen. Graham in his dual roles as coach and preparer for Judge Alito while at the same time acting in his Constitutional role in "advising the President" one wonders how Sen. Graham could have beem considered to be an honest broker among the members of the Gang of 14.

        As an Administration pointman for Judge Alito, I wonder how the other members of the Gang of 14, those supposed moderates who reportedly cared so deeply about preserving the institution in which they served, could have had any confidence in the role that Sen. Graham may have played as a member of the Gang.  I hope that someone will get the opportunity to ask them.  

        Although this Gang has been held out to the public, both by themselves and by the media, to be the conservators and protectors of the Senate and its practices, it would appear that they have an Administration Player in their midst.

        Sen. Graham must surely be a very talented man to have worn so many hats in this debate ... Administration Pointman .... Preparer of the Nominee ... Powerbroker ... Senator ... but honest broker?  

        If Sen. Graham has not compromised himself, let alone, the Gang of 14, then perhaps the "Gang of 14" charade can continue for the next nominee.  But must other Senators and the media play along with it?

    •  Graham coached Alito to lie (4.00)
      about Concerned Alumni of Princeton. Not only did Alito lie about membership in CAP, Alito lied by saying he didn't remember what CAP did. You won't find a single Princetonian graduating between 1972 and 1987 who has forgotten about CAP, nor about the guerrilla tactics used against women and minorities on campus (including a 1984 incident which gained national notoriety [pdf file]).

      CAP was closer to a terrorist organization than anything else, which is why Alito was encouraged to "forget" all about it. Shame on our media for not telling the truth about CAP and its victims.

      "And I hope you'll understand if any of us come before a court and we can't remember Abramoff, you'll tend to believe us." - Senator Lindsey Graham.

      by QuickSilver on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:19:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is how the deal was done (none)
      Senior Republican sources tell Fox, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and The Bush Whitehouse were worried enough about possibly losing the vote to end judicial filibusters that they dispatched two conservatives, SC Lindsey Graham and Ohio's Mike DeWine to cut the best possible deal.

      The principle source of anxiety was Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter. Top GOP sources say it was unclear until the last minute how Specter would vote...

      Dewine said uncertainty was very real.

      "No one knows how the vote on the Constitutional Option would have come out. We might have won. We might have lost. If we lost it would have been devastating to the president."

      "I can do alot better with divergent interests if I maintain as close to a centrist position as possible and that means keeping quiet."
      The Deal behind the Deal

      •  Can Frist keep the vote for cloture open... (none)
        ... indefinitely if the first poll is not the result he wants, ala what DeLay did with the Medicare fiasco bill?

        I was wondering about that anyway, and now we have an injured senator who can't make the vote today... can they keep things open until he is able to show up, at least by tomorrow?

        Maybe silly questions, but if you know, please comment if you know.

        •  These guys do whatever they want (none)
          If they can torture and kill uncharged detainees, what's another hour or two to swing the vote their way?
        •  I should have been more clear (none)
          The deal I'm referring to is the one done last spring when the Gang of 14 was established. This was when the nuke the Senate fight was on.

          This part on the deal is little known and interesting in that Specter was the question mark for republicans at the time, that's why they couldn't nuke.

          Specter said this right before the deal, he is a strange guy.

          Specter seemed to hint at that outcome as he told reporters that the separation of powers between the president and Congress "functions best when people are a little uncertain as to how it is going to work out."

          In other words, if Bush knew his nominee needed 60, not merely 51, then he might choose a less conservative nominee.

          The Senate and Bush "are now back to pre-1987 (before the defeat of conservative Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork). Everything is a little on tippy-toes as to how to proceed and that is the best way for our separation of powers," Specter said.
          MSNBC May 24, 2005

    •  John Ensign R-Nv. likely not able to vote . . . (none)

      Senator Ensign in Car Accident
      Jan 30, 2006, 12:03 PM EST  

      Senator John Ensign was transported to the hospital this morning following a car accident.

      The accident happened before 8 a.m. near Paradise and Sands. Police say the driver of a Jeep swerved into Ensign's lane hitting his vehicle head on. Ensign's vehicle was also rear ended by another car.

      Ensign was a passenger. His personal assistant was driving and also transported to the hospital. Both are said to not have life threatening injuries.

    •   liebermans Staffer just confirmed (none)
      The Jr. Senator From Ct WILL NOT be supporting a filibuster.

      by ctkeith on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:28:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  when has lindsay graham... (none)
      ever refused an accomodation. true, he had all the judges and politicians in his pocket and refused to share them. but he didnt act out of malice.  he thinks the filibuster business will destroy us in the years to come.
  •  Excellent point (none)
  •  Drilling session (none)
    The material about the Alito drilling session is dated January 8:
    Sunday, Jan. 8
    Judge Alito

    Strategists from both parties consider confirmation of Alito as Supreme Court justice likely, but on nearly a party-line vote.

    Sen. Chafee of Rhode Island is considered the most likely Republican defector, and Sen. Nelson of Nebraska the likeliest Democratic crossover. In preparation ...

    The above link to the article should work for non-subscribers for ~1 week.
  •  Graham is just another (4.00)
    "say one thing, do another" Republican.  When are the Dems going to quit cutting deals with them?
    •  Next time. (4.00)
      I swear! Please, God, if you just let me make it through this one time, I'll never do it again!
    •  Our esteemed Democratic Representatives (4.00)
      are definitely not stupid. Those 7 of The 14 knew exactly what they were signing on to.

      Neither Democratic nor Republican Senators care about Judge Alito's stand on social issues. The elitist Senators and their elite backers care only for a government that favors the haves over the have-nots.

      This filibuster threat is a big lie to excite the liberal base. Alito will be confirmed nearly as easily as Roberts.

      Evil is genetic. Sterilize the Bush crime family.

      by rjo on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:17:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly and cynically... (none)
        I agree.  I wonder if it so much about party and philosophy as it is about those who have against the have nots and for the haves to get more or at least keep what they've got.

        "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis D. Brandeis

        by VA6thDem on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:28:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes - but our fight gained recognition (none)
        which we RARELY get in the Bush-MSM.

        Bush is NOT America!

        by annefrank on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:33:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Graham is McCain's heir (none)
      Watch the man closely.  He is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative (let's not forget he was one of the Impeachment Managers for Clinton!), but he is very good at McCain's trick of pretending to "rebel" at just the right time to be portrayed as an independent-thinking maverick.  He'll cast vote after vote for the party line, but he'll make sure to tell the press all about his "deep reservations" so they praise him as an independent thinker.

      The formula works for McCain and it will work for Graham too.  Keep a close eye on him.

  •  Just called Salazar's office (4.00)
    His Western Slope office was accepting calls and the staffer there talked to me quite a while. I brought up my arguments about the Gang of 14 could still make up their own mind about what was an 'extraordinary circumstance'. I did tell him we were precinct captains in our Colorado city and we would work out buns off to defeat him in a primary if he did not listen to his heart and the democratic base in this event. He said he would pass on my message.
  •  Graham (4.00)
    evey once in a while he does something that makes me think that he isn't the same old piece of crap as the rest of the repugs.

    Then he does 2 or 3 things like this, and I remember that, yes, he is still a piece of shit.

    •  Yes, I have had the same weird sensation (4.00)
      of Graham actually being on the side of right once or twice - my husband and I look at each other and pinch ourselves. Then, of course, he shows his true colors again, and we know that the paradigm shift was merely an illusion.
        We live in SC, and it always puzzles me how John Edwards and Graham are from the same town, similar if not same type background, and turned out so differently.


    •  He has flashes of conscience.... (none)
      ...which are then clouded by his true nature.

      Lest we forget, this was the man who was 100% behind McCain (another Janus, but I digress) on the issue of torture at Gitmo and Abu Gharaib, then tries to do an end-around and carry the Preznit's water by tacking on to some bill a habeus corpus provision that denies any habeus hearings for enemy combatants at Gitmo.  So, it's okay if we torture, as long as that evidence is never brought before a court of law?

      So, let's get this straight, Lindsey.  You were against torture, before you were for it, right?

      Just like he was against the nuclear option before he was for it.  These guys only care about one thing, political cover.  Ideals be damned.

      People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

      by viget on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:36:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A Republican Senator... (4.00)
    ...cheating, manipulating the system to his own ends, trampling on precedent.  

    Extraordinary?  or ordinary?

  •  Lieberman's voice mailbox is full (none)
    and I could not get through to a human as of 12:46 central time. I shall keep trying to get through to let them know in a poltie manner that, should Sen. Lieberman collude in taking filibuster off the table, I shall be donating money to Lamont as a result.

    In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor- let them be caught in the schemes they have devised. -Psalm 10:2

    by chicagochristianleft on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:47:43 AM PST

  •  for the gang of 14 (4.00)
    and everybody else, actually...

    a) as per, ummm...what's that guy's name..."the SCOTUS is extraordinary."

    b) has any other president in the history of this country consulted with members of the religious right when considering judicial nominees?  i think not.  

    that is extraordinary.

    p.s chambliss can bite me

    he just said that anything short of voting and confirming is "obstructionist."

    888-355-3588 or 888-818-6641

    Washington D.C. Office:
    416 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    Main: 202-224-3521
    Fax: 202-224-0103

    politely tell him to get bent.

    weather forecast

    The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

    by Cedwyn on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:48:38 AM PST

  •  This would be less infuriating ... (4.00)
    ...if the "moderates" who make up the Democratic half of the Gang would catch a clue from this about future behavior. Not to mention scream about the current behavior.

    Instead, I suspect we'll see from several - if not all - of them, more making nice-nice down the road.   When will they learn that negotiating with people who have the morality of velociraptors is a losing proposition?

    Good grief, what am I saying? Smart as they supposedly are, they will never learn because it is apparently not in their interests to do so. We can only hope that their replacements get it, and that they are replaced soon. Because what they're doing, and what they're not doing is certainly not in our interest.

    •  MB (4.00)
      I have to disagree on them being replaced soon. I agree with Kagro's diary, and I agree that the Gang of 14 deal wasn't a good one, although I think our backs were up against the wall and that we didn't have another choice.

      But even though I disagree strongly with the lack of outrage at Graham coaching Alito, we can't throw these people out right now.

      We need a majority in the Senate, and outside of this boneheaded decision, many of these senators are looking out for our interests far more than they're given credit for. And the ones who aren't? Well they're from states where I think we're getting as much representation as we possibly can.

      Replacing these Senators may mean replacing them with a Republican in many cases, and I can't get on board with that when we're already so far in the minority.

      Doesn't mean they shouldn't hear it from constituents like crazy for cozying up to Graham after this though...

      Republicans aren't evil. They're just wrong.

      by AnnArborBlue on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:05:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Majority of Liebermans? No thanks. (4.00)
        Why even bother with a so-called "majority" when they are like the DINO Lieberman and Nelson?  Did Zell Miller help the dems in any way?

        No, it is time to primary every one of the Bush suck up dems like Lieberman.  Scalito will turn his "Unitary Executive/Dictator" theory into reality.  Will Bush even step aside in 2009?  Why should he, only the dictator Bush knows what's best for America, according to the RWCM, sell-out dems, and Bushite scum repugs.

        •  check out Lieberman's (none)
          voting record+interest group ratings sometime.

          They're half-decent. He needs to learn to keep his mouth shut and stop attacking Democrats, and he's waaaay too hawkish for my tastes.

          But I'm not sure he's so bad that he's worth distracting time and resources away from defeating Republicans. I'm not sure anyone on this list is.

          As for Nelson. He's from Nebraska. He's what you're gonna get from Nebraska, much like Olympia Snowe is what Republicans are gonna get from Maine.

          Republicans aren't evil. They're just wrong.

          by AnnArborBlue on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:47:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not only is Lieberman (4.00)
            hawkish, but he says that we shouldn't criticize the President in a time of war. Hmmmm, seems to me that this war on terror is ongoing and never ends.

            Oh yah, almost forgot. Lieberman is unabashedly pro-torture and was annoyed at the uproar of those opposed to torture.

            •  Lieberman kisses Bush (none)
              Check out the photos from the SOTU.  Lieberman is one disgusting person, and has actively worked against the democrats for years, starting in 2000 when it was 3 against one among those at the top of the tickets.  So Joementum, you believe that a "military" voter doesn't have to follow the law?  Is that why you wanted to count those "military" votes that were cast AFTER the election?

              Sounds a lot like Bush, the laws don't apply to him either.

              Lieberman also supports the "unitary dictator" policy of Scalito, and of course this lazy jerk also voted for "Heckuva job" Brownie on his committee.

      •  Sure, on some issues ... (4.00)
        ...those seven ARE on "our side." And much as I want the whole loaf, I'll settle for a slice if that's all I can get.

        However, the argument has become that not only do we need these "moderates" - hardly a word that applies to 46-percenter Ben Nelson - but that we cannot even mount primary challenges against them because that would mean we'd divide the party and lose the general election. So we're stuck between a rock and bog.

        When we really really need these guys on our side - as say with a lifetime appointment of a rightwinger to a Court that has been moving rightward since I was still draft age - they abandon us because, the argument goes, if they stood as obstacles it might cost them the next election. The vicious circularity of this cannot be gainsaid.

        Of course, I don't want a 60-40 GOP Senate. And our focus needs to be on getting MORE Democrats elected, not jettisoning the ones we already have. But the idea that Mr. Nelson or Mr. Pryor or Mr. Lieberman are doing us much good because "at least they're Democrats," is, as my granny would have said, a snare and a delusion.

      •  Every seat is an open seat. (4.00)
        There's no entitlement to a renomination. You have to earn it. Only Federal judges get life appointments.

        A Senator YOU can afford
        $1 contributions only.
        Masel for Senate
        1214 E. Mifflin St.
        Madison, WI 53703

        by ben masel on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:12:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yup! (4.00)
      The Dems should tell the Republicans that we do not negotiate with terrorists.
    •  Maybe we'll have to "learn" them (none)
      Meteor, I completely agree that they are acting according to what they perceive as their interests constitute.  The only way to change that is to make it political suicide to sell out our interests.  We do that by funding an opponent to them in the primary, even if it is not our senator or congressman.  Then, and at the same time, we need to enforce on our party leaders the notion that they can't just take us for granted, we do that the same way.  If they act against our interests we mobilize to defeat them.  This fight is not lost yet, and even if we do lose this fight was not in vain.  We acquired information about each other and about those who sold us out.  We should do as the right has been doing so profitably for the last 20 years and immediately start the next battle with the same focus and intensity as we have fought this for the last couple of weeks.  Remember we were almost alone 2 weeks ago and now we changed the positions of a number of Senators.  I know Sen. Feinstein heard plenty.

      Support those that fought all the way, punish those that sold us out.

      "I felt as if I alone of all my townsmen had paid my tax." Thoreau

      by NearlyNormal on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:43:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  SCOTUS is extraordinary by definition (none)
  •  Keep hammering! (4.00)
    Much of what CNN's Henry is reporting sounds to be a GOP-planted story designed to make us give up:

    If that's the case, we're closer to our goal than we know.

  •  If in fact they're going to declare (4.00)
    the filibuster is a dead issue, I'd like to know what the hell the Democrats in the "Gang of 14" thought they were accomplishing when they joined this group.

    So far, the "compromise" has only benefited the Repubs.  The extremist Republican judicial nominees that were blocked, went through.  The Roberts confirmation sailed through.  The Alito confirmation looks perilously close to going through.

    They've been made fools of.  These "Democrats" may as well be Republicans. They're a disgrace.

    •  And while I'm at it, (none)
      how do these "moderate" Repugs look at their Democratic peers in the eye, knowing that they deliberately misled them.  They promised to be reasonable.  Ha! They had no intention of compromising anything.  It was just another low, dirty trick.  But of course, this is what happens when you're fool enough to believe anything coming from that side of the aisle.


  •  Nevada Republican Senator (none)
    Nevada Senator Ensign in car accident. In hospital. Not life threatening.


    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 30, 2006 at 10:55:08 AM PST

    •  that's...really random (4.00)
      Good to know that he's apparently not in serious danger.  Car accidents always suck.

      At the same time...I guess I'll take one for the team and say it, because I'm sure no one actually wants to be the one to say it:

      Christ...can I even make myself say this?, hell.

      That's one shitty way for the GOP to end up -1 votes for cloture.  I'll take what I can get, but hell...a car accident?  That's just wrong.  Like I said above: I'm glad he's apparently more or less ok, though.

      "...but the people aren't looking for a handout/they're America's working core, can this be what they voted for?" - Bad Religion - Let Them Eat War

      by Fraction Jackson on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:08:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm glad you got an answer (none)
      When I posted this info on the Filibuster open thread on the main page, nobody answered.

      "A smoker would have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response," Judge Francis L. Young, 1988.

      by cwkraus4clark on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:33:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, but wait... (none)
    turn that frown upside's an extraordinary achievement just to be on the field to get our asses kicked! Think about THAT!

    We in the blogosphere and all the dems should all be proud of ourselves for getting the snot knocked out of us, and celebrate this achievement. While some want to handwring, I will and others will sensibly be here to get our asses kicked tomorrow and celebrate that, too.

    Thank god, they haven't made it illegal to register as Democrat, yet. We still have that, guys. We still have that.

    You lose some, you lose some.
    •  it may not be illegal to register as a D (none)
      ...but some sideline- and drydock-loving Dems  sure are working hard to make it meaningless. </grumble>

      Earth to the 'Gang of 14':

      "shredding the Constitution in favor of a monarchy" = "extraordinary circumstances".  WAKE UP!!!

      Let me state emphatically that we in the Bush administration do NOT condone torture. We sidle up to it, wink at it, and climb into bed with it.

      by turbonium on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:35:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Last minute talking point (4.00)
    Over on C-Span, there is a poll asking whether a filibuster will help or hurt the Democrats. Fully 61% say that a filibuster will HELP the Dems. I haven't seen anyone mention this poll on dKos this morning so I'm guessing that the poll is totally unfreeped. Any fence-sitting dems should be made aware of majority saying filibuster will help Democratic party.
  •  Reid on (4.00)
    Reid on C-Span 2 now. 2PM ET

    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 30, 2006 at 11:00:28 AM PST

  •  Please...take one final action (4.00)
    well take more than one...but for sure do this:

    this is the address for site which makes it very very very easy to use their fax to fax your senators.  Even if they are republican, any republican, send them a fax.  You know that the other side, the religious right, is phoning and faxing ALL democratic senators.  

  •  Nobody Could Have Forseen This n/t (4.00)

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

    by Gooserock on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:07:03 AM PST

  •  thanks for the update (4.00)
    But did anyone actually believe the Republicans that were in the Gang? I didn't. The Gang meant nothing.
  •  Call Lamar! (4.00)
    I just called up Lamar Alexander's office (the other TN Senator) after Frist's people wouldn't even take my name or phone number.

    Hm.  I bet Fristie is getting flooded with calls from folks all over the US today on his tactics.  His number in Nashville is 615-352-9411.

    Anyway, when I called Lamar!, his staff took my zip code and actually acted interested in what I said.  Told 'em I assumed Lamar! would vote for Alito, but that I was really disappointed in the conduct of our Senators on this and would look for him to do better in the future.

    Nashville number: (615) 736-5129.  Frist probably doesn't have a closer political ally, so this might do some good.

    The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Eleanor A on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:19:31 AM PST

    •  Sen Alexander (none)
      I called Friday and the staffer I spoke to was pleasant. He said he'd pass on my comment but stressed that there is no way a filibuster would happen and told me the Senator already decided to support Alito.

      However, keeping up the pressure sure can't hurt.

  •  Mark Dayton has signed on to the Filibuster (none)
    According to the Young Turks.


  •  We've been had... again (4.00)
    Not that we didn't know as much back when this gang of weasels was formed.

    Bush could have nominated Roy Moore and these guys wouldn't have batted an eyelash.

    I've been staying out of the Alito diaries, but, as a Party, we apparently deserve what we get.  We voted the likes of Lieberman in.

    How fucking pathetic...

    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

    by Bob Johnson on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:26:59 AM PST

  •  I would love for (none)
    one of those Republicans -- perhaps Snowe, Collins, or Chafee -- to give a concrete example (i.e. NAME A NAME) of a judge  currently on the federal bench who they'd deem to be too extreme.  Is there a living instance of this extraordinary circumstance?

    Visit and follow every 2006 Senate race.

    by AnthonySF on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:48:05 AM PST

  •  the rethugs just lost another (none)
    vote for cloture. sen ensign(nv) was in a car accident and can't make it to the vote today.
  •  Bob Menendez (none)
    Great speech by Bob Menendez against Alito.
  •  I just sent this to Joementum (none)
    I just read on the internet that you were not going to filibuster the nomination of Judge Alito.  I will be happy to support anyone who runs against you in the primary.  You know perfectly well that this nomination is dangerous for the country, and damaging to the constitution that you swore to uphold.  I am very disappointed in you.


    "I felt as if I alone of all my townsmen had paid my tax." Thoreau

    by NearlyNormal on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:23:59 PM PST

  •  Oh No He Didn't (none)
    John Cornyn did NOT just get up and present an argument that the Alito must be confirmed because he believes in "values" that previously existed but began to disappear when Democrats "abandoned" the "values of" "working class whites" and "drove away" "middle class whites" from the Democratic party.  Cornyn contends that the values of "ethnics" (does he mean immigrants?) like Alito were consistent with what America used to be and should be again but for Democrats.  I am literally blinded mentally with anger but I know I just heard him get up and affirmatively argue that basically, that Democrats embracing the claims of angry uppity people in the '60's was anti-American.  

    No he didn't.  No he didn't NO HE DID NOT.

    My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

    by shanikka on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:27:15 PM PST

  •  We call this a (none)
    Self-fulfilling Sophistry

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:39:08 PM PST

  •  That explains the script. (none)
    Graham is bringing in the Rove script.  At a certain point he rails at the Dems and uses infammatory language and this is the cue for Mrs. Alito to cry.  Then Graham can blast the Dems for hurting poor Mrs. Alito's itty bitty feelings.  I knew it was scripted, as the Dems were really nice and I was getting disgusted with how nice they were being.

    The shrub needs to be pulled he is terrifying

    by libbie on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 12:40:34 PM PST

  •  Our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan do not want (none)
    Alito because they want KBR (Haliburton) investigated for corruption and for not improving the infrastructure and security in those countries. Read my last diary about my son and his friends morale problem overseas.  It is from our own corporate corruption!
    Yahoo! News is reporting that Senator John Ensign (R-NV) was in a car accident this morning in Las Vegas. The accident occurred around 7:30AM (MST), and Senator Ensign was released a few hours later. DOES THIS MEAN THAT SENATOR ENSIGN WILL BE UNABLE TO VOTE FOR CLOTURE THIS HOUR???
  •  Just got through to Salazar (none)
    Told his staff to tell the Senator to vote no on cloture. Gonna hit all the Dems on the gang.
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