Friday, January 13, 2006


Friday! The 13th! We made it to the weekend.

Noting four things and then calling it a Jot.

Need to laugh? Don't miss Kat's "Alito Hearings and John Tierney's abortion" which will get your weekend started off with a good laugh and some deep thoughts.

Mom saw this excerpt at The Common Ills and asked, "Please, put it up at your site."
From the National Organization for Women's Kim Gandy's "Mostly Serious New Year's Resolutions:"

- I pledge to do my part to oppose the nomination of Samuel Alito the Supreme Court, for all the reasons given here and here. Even if I've already called my Senators, I pledge to go call 'em again now! I know this fight could decide women's reproductive rights for the next 40 years or longer, and I am committed to doing my part to stop Alito. (And in fact, if you have some time, we'd love to have you in D.C.! Find out more about joining our campaign in D.C.)
- I resolve not to be fooled by Sam Alito's evasion, obfuscation, and wiggle words (that's a legal term, for all of you non-lawyers out there ;>) and to focus on his very serious anti-woman ideology, even if it is really funny that his excuses sound a lot like "the dog ate my homework" The excuses? In today's hearing they went something like this: the computer forgot to remind me that I promised not to rule on Vanguard cases and I really don't remember being in that misogynistic club, but if I did it must have been about the ROTC and the military (sounds of patriotic music playing in the background).
- I will do everything I can to make sure Congress doesn't take women's rights lightly, and to remind our elected officials--especially the ones who claim to be "progressive"--that women's issues matter and women's votes count!
- I'll work with my local NOW chapter on whatever campaigns I can help with in my area, knowing that all across the country I will be joined by hundreds of thousands of feminists and progressive allies working to take back our country from the far Right! (Don't know your local chapter? Click here!)

It's not over yet. If everyone works together we can still defeat Alito.

C.I.'s got a look at the upcoming issue of Ms. and it's got me interested in peaking it up so read the mag spotlight.

And Seth's got a post on Alito that went up yesterday.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Alito: "I'll say anything to be confirmed"

Another day of hearings on Alito. Worth remembering Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts from November when Alito told Bully Boy, "I'll say anything to be confirmed."

Well almost anything! He won't give an honest answer on Roe v. Wade. What he has said makes it plain that he doesn't want to say Roe v. Wade is settled law.

Like C.I. pointed out yesterday, he had no problem weighing in on public displays of worship and you know that's coming before the Court.

Rebecca's got a funny thing comparing Lindsey Graham to a character in a Tennessee Williams play. Kat's tired of Diane Feinstein playing the "Little Lady of the Senate." (Me too.) Mike's proud of his senator (Ted Kennedy) but irriated by Feinstein. Elaine wonders if Feinstein's trying to be "Lily Tomlin's Tasteful Lady"? (Mom says it was an overly refined woman, one of the characters Lily Tomlin does but not as famous as Ernestine or Edith Ann.) And Betty weighs in on "The Tough Talking Thomas Friedman."

Be sure to listen to the Alito hearings live on Pacifica today.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Things heated up some in the Alito hearings

The comic is Isaiah's most recent The World Today Just Nuts and it's called "The Confirmation Process."

The roundtable last night was depressing. C.I. wrote about it a little so you can read about some of it here. But the press was already calling it over after yesterday because so many of the Dems were so damn spineless and kept saying things like, "You're such a good person," "I like you" blah blah blah blah.

But after a slow start, they came to life. Maybe there's still hope?

I hope so. I thought Russ Feingold, Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy and Charles Schumer did a great job. It looked like Alito was finally getting some tough questioning. I hope they keep it up.

C.I. noted something and Mom asked me if I could put it in when I did my next entry. It's here because it's good but if it had been not so good, it would be here just because Mom asked. (But it's good. Read it, you'll see.) This is about Tuesday's hearing, Eleanor Smeal's "Alito Hearings Day Two:"

The Computer Glitch that Wasn't
Senator Russ Feingold's (D-WI) questioning of Judge Alito on his failure to recuse himself from cases involving Vanguard, despite his promises to the Senate, was another particularly exciting exchange in the hearing.
Before the hearings, Alito had explained his failure to recuse himself in Vanguard cases as a "computer glitch," blaming it on a problem in the computerized screening process used to prevent judges from being assigned to cases in which they may have an interest.
But documents just obtained by the Judiciary Committee make clear that Alito failed to place Vanguard on the recusal list he submitted annually to the court during various years. Feingold asked Alito, "But you don't think it was a computer glitch anymore, do you?" Alito acknowledged, "It was not a computer glitch..." and went on to suggest that he was misled by a clerk. But Feingold was unsatisfied, asking Alito, "Why not just admit you made a mistake, agree to recuse and move on? Why didn't you just do that when the issue was raised here, instead of coming up with these different explanations that, in some cases, I think, have become unconvincing?"
This is an issue that does not seem to be going away for Alito. Indeed, it shouldn't, since his credibility is at stake.
Perhaps the most remarkable statement of the day, and the one that is most telling about what is on the minds of many on Capitol Hill, was Senator Lindsay Graham's (R-SC) off-the-cuff statement made immediately following Alito's Vanguard exchange with Feingold.
Graham stated, "That was an interesting exchange ... I hope you'll understand if any of us come before a court and we can't remember Abramoff, you will tend to believe us!"

And remember to listen to the hearings on Pacifica.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Alito Jot

Early start on The Jot. Or maybe late, if you're wondering where Monday's Jot is? Let it go, let it go. I thought I'd do an evening Jot on Monday but time slipped away and next thing I knew it was time for the roundtable Gina and Krista are doing for the round-robin. I signed up for every night. How come? If Eli can give every night, so I can I.

Monday morning? I couldn't think of anything to jot. Guess I used up all my jots helping The Third Estate Sunday Review with their edition. (That's a hint to go check the latest edition out.)

So The Jot's about Alito today. (It's early, early Tuesday.) You've got Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts at the top. Bully Boy's got his little hands balled into fists, tear coming out of his eye and he says, "Damn Alito!" Condi explains the problem with Bully Boy, he thought he was nominating Judge Ito. From the OJ Simpson case. That makes me laugh.

What doesn't make me laugh is stealing and so that I don't accidentally steal one of the good points made in the roundtable, I'm going to note some thoughts and announcements about Alito and the hearings that stood out to others enough that they posted on it before the roundtable.

Mike: I hope you're listening to the Alito hearings coverage on Pacifica. Remember that is not a one day thing. As long as the hearings are going on, Pacifica's covering them live.

Elaine: I'll also remind everyone to check their inboxes during the Alito hearings for the special editions of the gina & krista round-robin. Remember as well that Pacifica is broadcasting the hearings live. If you don't have a Pacifica radio station broadcasting in your area, you can listen online by visiting Pacifica and there is no charge for listening.

Mike and Elaine get stuck with the announcements. If you visit there two entries, you'll see that they're talking about an air raid in Iraq and how weapons get into Mexico from another country.
What other country? Someone didn't watch, listen or read Democracy Now! today. Now here's Rebecca making some points about the hearings after noting that NPR isn't broadcasting them.

Rebecca: if gas air's terry 'that's gross' had been present when john cornyn was speaking, i think the senate building would have floated right off the ground.
common ills community member billie has talked a lot about cornyn, he's her senator, and his cornyisms.
i enjoy it anytime c.i. posts any of billie's 'look, here he goes with another cornyism!' comments. but i wasn't prepared for him.
as i listened to him ramble from 1 topic to another, i would have thought the man insane if i honestly believed he meant a word he said.
at 1 point, he was speaking of school prayer and working himself into a case of the dry heaves over students wanting to pray at a school football game when all the sudden something else caught his attention and he started ranting that depictions of sex and violence are allowed but public expressions of religion are not.
okay, help me out here, but are students allowed to depict sex at a sporting event? i'm remembering get balled out by an assistant principal just for kissing in the bleachers. and violence?
is corny calling football violent? i thought he was from the state of texas?
if you're looking for easy laughs, always stand within ear range of john cornyn because his cornyisms will have you rolling on the floor.

Cedric: Yesterday, I was talking to Three Cool Old Guys and they were pointing out that not only is Alito not a woman, he's White. So when Sandra Day O'Connor steps down, we'll have one female on the bench and one person of color. We're going backwards. And that's just like everything else the Bully Boy does. He wants to turn back the clocks to before FDR when the robbers baron ran free and if you were poor, working class or lower middle class, you were just screwed.
Three Cool Old Guys pointed out that Clarence Thomas being African-American didn't influence the way he looks at things "But he still doesn't realize that he's Black." He acts like he doesn't realize it. They said something else too. I thought about it today when one of the Republican senators was going on in the hearings about porn and those 'bad liberals.'
They pointed out that the only time you can expect Thomas to fight is when the case has to do with porn and his love of porn may be the only thing he brought to the bench.
I don't know if you know this, but Clarence Thomas never speaks in Court. He's the only Justice that doesn't ask questions. He says it's because people picked on the way he spoke earlier in life.
Three Cool Old Guys said that's not an excuse, that when he's a national figure, he has an obligation to learn to speak. But he doesn't speak. Maybe if he started asking questions, he'd find his voice, his real voice. Instead, he just shuts up and pretends he's white.

C.I.: With regards to Alito, let's note this from an interview Grover Norquist gave to El Mundo (September, 2004):
Question: And if Bush wins?
Norquist: The Democratic Party will be forever doomed. If we take control of the legislature and the executive branch, we will reinforce our control of the judicial branch to direct it against the Democrats. We will bring about a modest limit of the ability of the people to initiate lawsuits against corporations, which will damage the lawyers who specialize in these cases, which is one of the props of the Democratic Party. We will accelerate the decline of the unions. We will cut funding to groups of public employees, like teachers, who are one of the great sources of Democratic votes. And we will begin to move the welfare state toward a private system, in pensions and health care.
That excerpt is from Troy Duster's foreword (p. ix) of Si Kahn and Elizabeth Minnich's The Fox In The Henhouse: How Privatization Threatens Democracy. (And worth thinking about with the hearings going on.)

And there's a community note, so I'll note Kat.

Kat: While I'm noting things, let me note Elaine who wrote the nicest thing about my 2005 list. And let me note Trina who we interviewed at The Third Estate Sunday Review and who has just started her own site Trina's Kitchen.
I think Trina's wonderful. She's smart, she's funny and, without taking anything away from her husband, she's done a wonderful raising a large family. Just growing up in one can be a challenge but being one of the two responsible for all the children is a real challenge. Now she's doing her site Trina's Kitchen and it's intended to be a once a week site, Saturdays, where she'll talk about cooking and politics.

That's Mike's mom and she's a nice lady. My mother said, "I hope you're planning on mentioning Trina's site when you blog." Moms stick together LOL.

So pulling from members' sites, we got the information that Pacifica is broadcasting the Alito hearing live and we got some takes on the hearings and we got information about Trina's Kitchen.