Friday, January 20, 2006

Evening Jot

By popular request, once more here's Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts
which shows Alito pissing on the Senate Dems. I recognize Feingold, Feinstein and I think Ted Kennedy but I'm not sure who the other two are. I'll assume the other three, for the total of eight, are covered in urine and we can't see them.

There hasn't been much of a Jot this week, I know. But I've been helping out with the gina & krista round-robin now that it's a daily newsletter until the Alito vote. If you're a community member of The Common Ills, you know that before I even thought of doing a site, I'd write something for them whenever I could.
I think Gina and Krista do a fantastic job with the weekly newsletter.

When C.I. was going to activate the mailing list, with Gina's permission, Gina said, "Look, Krista and I can do a daily round-robin, this is important." (Cedric wrote about this at his site too so check that out.)

I'm glad they are doing that and thank them for it. Each day, we've got the activism tips and a map of what to do that day. And Gina does her point of view and Krista does her point of view.
But to keep the excitement of the round-robin going, they need more than that. But to expect them to do what they do on a weekly basis regularly on a daily basis is asking a whole lot. That's why C.I.'s done the column on Alito each day and the humor column. That's why Isaiah's done a special cartoon, exclusive to the round-robin, each day.

Most members would probably open it no matter what, just for Krista & Gina's point of view columns and the editorials. But the whole point is to get everyone active on Alito so this needed to have a lot of special material. Beth's been doing a column each day too. And like she said in this morning's round-robin, "If people are taking action, this is worth it, otherwise I'm wasting my f**king time."

I talked to Beth about that column today and she said she has maybe one "okay" column in her a week. But she's knocking herself out to make sure she's doing her part so that when members see the round-robin in their inboxes each morning, they're thinking, "What is that crazy Beth going to say today?" (That's Beth's quote, just FYI.)

She also pointed out that two pieces of writing each day for the round-robins and C.I.'s still been doing multiple posts at The Common Ills each day. I'm in awe especially now that Gina and Krista have started back up the roundtables. We'll be doing one tonight and remember there will be Saturday and Sunday round-robins. This is daily until the vote.

C.I. didn't ask me to help me out or even hint. Everyone was wiped out from helping on the daily round-robins during the hearings and that was just last week. Beth said she's amazed how much people have been willing to help out. Like Rebecca who has just written these in depth things for the round-robin each day. I complimented Rebecca on that late last night and she said, "Yeah, but look at my site. I don't feel like I'm doing much there." I think she has but I don't have it in me to do round-robin content and Jot daily. So if you're someone that doesn't get the round-robin, I'm sorry if you thought I was off goofing.

I've also been using time on campus to talk about this and explain why we need to be active.
I don't know the site so I won't name it but two women told me that they go to this feminist site and if it was important to filibuster Alito, they would have seen something at that feminist site.
If there's a feminist site that hasn't talked about how important it is to filibuster Alito this week, that's pretty sad. I mean, if the woman or women are busy doing stuff to stop him and aren't posting, that I understand. But if they're posting and can't talk about Alito that's pretty sad.
I was talking to Mom about that and she said she wonders how many young feminists "get" this because she's working her butt off to get the word out to everyone she knows and she keeps running into resistance from one group of people: young women. They tell her that since they don't intend to have an abortion "ever" that it's not an issue to them.

Abortion is far from the only reason to oppose Alito. There's race, sexuality, the fact that he thinks a wife is the property of the husband, and so much more. But Mom asked me to put this in: "Abortion is a right. If you don't want to use the right, you should still appreciate that it's out there for other women to use should they need it."

I asked her if maybe the young women were anti-choice and she said that they weren't, they just didn't care. There were two that kept interrupting her to tell her that this wasn't an issue that mattered. Mom probably spent twenty minutes trying to politely explain to them why it did, because that's her way. But I bet that was a lot more discouraging than she lets on.

She asked me if I "got" it? I do. It's not like I'll have an abortion, I'm a guy. But this is about women's bodies and saying that the government does not have control of them. And some women, for whatever reason, will have abortions. It's a medical issue and it's not for the government to tell them no.

I didn't come up against that the way Mom did. On campus, most of the time, people were willing to listen. But a lot of them hadn't followed the hearings or just knew that Alito's wife cried.

To get the filibuster to be a real option, we need to really get everyone on board and that means a lot of people who didn't follow the hearings and don't realize what's at stake.

I hope you're doing everything that you can. One guy told me that he didn't feel comfortable bringing up the topic so I told him to go to The Common Ills and just e-mail something from that and if someone wanted to comment on it to him, they would.

C.I. made this comment today and I thought it was pretty dead on:

There will be a gina & krista round-robin Saturday and Sunday. Gina and Krista are doing this every day through the 24th. The action that everyone is pouring into this effort (not just people in our community) is demonstrating that we're not going to take pats on the heads and "We know best." I think this summer (the summer of protest) we saw the spirit leading up to the 2004 election come back to life.

When people do get excited, people I talk to on campus, they start talking about how they were working to get people to vote in the summer of 2004 and then they just kind of stopped caring.
We need to care about this. I was discouraged when Bully Boy got re-crowned too but we need to be fighting this and showing the Democrats that they need to fight for us.

Elaine e-mailed me to ask if I'd note this the next time I'd blogged:

More Senators Announce Opposition to Alito
More Senators have announced their opposition to Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court. Encouragingly, no additional Democrats have announced support for Alito since Ben Nelson (NE). Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), the Democratic Whip, announced his opposition to a packed auditorium at Northwestern University School of Law.

"In the record, the writings, the words, and the life of Samuel Alito, I searched for evidence of his caring heart -- evidence that for the next two or three decades he would use his position on the Supreme Court to enlarge our freedom, protect our privacy, and respect the delicate balance of power and responsibility our Constitution creates," said Senator Durbin. "At the end of the day, at this historic moment, I cannot say with confidence that Samuel Alito meets that test."
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), in announcing his opposition, said, "Based on his record, I am gravely concerned that Judge Alito does not believe the Congress has the authority to protect the fundamental rights of all Americans."
Other Senators who have announced publicly their opposition to Alito include Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (the Ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (the only woman on the Judiciary Committee), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Ken Salazar (D-CO), and Max Baucus (D-MT). Senators Leahy, Baucus, and Salazar all voted for John Roberts in September.
GET THE INSIDE SCOOP with The Smeal Report and the New Leif blogs at
TAKE ACTION Call your Senators and urge them to oppose Alito
DONATE Make an emergency contribution to the Feminist Majority's Save Roe Campaign. We must be a strong voice in this crucial fight to save Roe and the Supreme Court for women's rights.

I want you to think about where we stood at the start of the week, feeling defeated and knowing the Dems weren't going to fight for us. We got active and they know they will have to answer to us. That's why they're starting to respond. If we keep the pressure on, we can get a filibuster so please do your part. And after you do your part, try to get others to do their part and you keep doing your part each day up to the vote.

I need to note something else too. Mike passed on that his reader told him I'd been cited at News Dissector. I didn't know that. I'm a fan of Danny Schechter's so that was way cool. He wrote about the Dems this week and I'll note that here now because it's a good article and also as a thank you. This is from Danny Schechter's "AFTER ALITO: WHAT HAPPENED? WHAT NOW?:"

The Democrats were predictable, baiting Alito, and trying to use comments he made in the 1980's as well as his dense judicial record against him. Like many Generals, they were fighting the last war-the one against Court nominee Robert Bork who took on his attackers but whose arrogance and argumentative approach did him in. Significantly, when Bork himself was asked to comment on Alito's well-choreographed but evasive performance, he said, "The object nowadays is to get confirmed. People will say pretty much -- or avoid saying pretty much in order to get confirmed."
Didn't the Democrats realize that the Republicans would anticipate their knee-jerk approach, and then neutralize its dated and poorly executed confrontation strategy? Why weren't they on alert for dirty tricks like the phony crying spell by Alito's wife publicized by the very firm that promoted the Swift Boat veterans who smeared John Kerry?

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I want to start off this morning talking about this guy I know named Sammy. He's a piece of work. I used to think that but now I know it's not just Sammy that's a piece of work, it's people who let him get away with it.

Like Tuesday, he had an interview with McDonalds. Mickey Dees. I'm sure you know about McDonalds even if you don't eat there.

Sammy shows up for the job interview with his girlfriend. They start asking him stuff like, "Do you like hamburgers? Would you agree that hamburgers are a popular food?"

Sammy goes that he can't answer that because they should hire him because they're interviewing here and he's worked before. He goes, "To tell you if I like hamburgers or even shakes would give you some indication of the amount of effort I might put into my job and I can't do that."

So the two people interviewing scratch their heads on that. Then they go, "Well what about the McRib? Sometimes we have it, sometimes we don't. When we have it, it's pretty popular. What do you think of the McRib?"

"To answer that question," Sammy says as his girlfriend begins sobbing, "would be to indicate how I might perform my job and, again, I can't do that."

So his girlfriends sobbing and tears are just streaming down her face and instead of the two interviewing Sammy saying, "You know, maybe your girlfriend shouldn't be watching this if an interview upsets her so much" they buckle.

Yep. They decide they have to hire him. Even though they've heard he may hate McRibs and he may not even fond of burgers. So now someone who doesn't care anything about what he's doing is going to be serving you because the two interviewing Sammy didn't say, "You know that's crap. You want this job, you answer the questions?"

So it's not just Sammy that's a piece of work, it's the two people who let him get away with it. And they may be worse than Sammy because they get all upset that Sammy's girlfriend cried. She's a grown up. She needs to grow up. She didn't have to come along but she chose to. Now everyone's supposed to stop asking tough questions because his whiney girlfriend might start crying.

Sammy's last name is Alito, maybe you heard of him?

Tell you what you need to do now, order "FILIBUSTER" off the menu. Scream "filibuster."

From NOW:

Alito Must Not Be Confirmed - Demand a Filibuster TodayCall Your Senators
By the time the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Samuel Alito ended last week, Judge Alito had dodged so many questions that we knew little more about his judicial philosophy than we had before they started. Even so, Judge Alito's unwillingness to stipulate that Roe v. Wade is "settled law", as recently confirmed Chief Justice Roberts had, puts a woman's right to choose in great peril. This factor alone should be enough for Senators to vote against his nomination.
Due to the current balance of power in the Senate (55 Republicans, 44 Democrats), we do not have the necessary 51 "no" votes to defeat Alito outright. So the only way for senators to block confirmation is for them to launch a filibuster -- which can only be ended if 60 of the 100 senators vote to stop the filibuster and proceed to a vote on the nomination. In other words, IF there is a filibuster, 41 senators can block the nomination. But without a filibuster, those same 41 votes would not be sufficient to stop Alito -- so the "no" votes are meaningless in terms of the final outcome, unless there is a filibuster.
Make the message to your senators clear: Our nation needs them to do more than vote no. They must support a filibuster in order to prevent Alito's confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Please call your Senators today and ask them to support a filibuster in opposition to this nomination. A no vote without a filibuster is a meaningless gesture. Our Senators' commitment to women's rights is a hollow shell if they will not fight to preserve them.
Talking Points for CallsIt is very clear that Judge Alito does not consider Roe v. Wade "settled law".
This factor alone should be enough for Senators to vote against his nomination.
We need them to do more than vote no.
Ask them to support a filibuster in opposition to this nomination.
A "no" vote without a filibuster is a meaningless gesture.
Our Senators' commitment to women's rights is a hollow shell if they will not fight to preserve them.
More information on Alito's record is available online.
If you're having trouble getting through at the local number, try the Senate Switchboard at (202) 224-3121
Call your Senators

Burger King would let you have it your way, make sure the Senate does to.

Also want to say thank you to Cedric for writing the thing for Gina, Krista, him and me. I didn't have time to blog yesterday and Cedric's good with words so I knew it would come out good but it came out a lot better than good. Thank you, Cedric; thank you, Gina; thank you, Krista; and thank you, C.I.

Now go get active!