The Jade Monkey

I didn't have a superiority complex until inferior people gave me one.

Name:
Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States

8.02.2005

Kos admits Dems can't win without cheating

or so says a commenter at Red State (I'd not descend into that cesspool myself, so I'll take JK1150's word. and I'd not doubt it - Kos should know).

Announcement of Indefinite Cessation of Blogging Activity

(ok, not such a flurry. too tired to post more now, may tomorrow, or may not. eh.)

I intended to make this announcement a while back (like almost a month ago), but you'll take it when you can get it, and like it! For various reasons, some having to do with laziness and such, and some having to do with this blog's schizophrenia, its not knowing what it wanted to be, The Jade Monkey is going on a temporary hiatus (probably at least until 20 August, a few days after an ex-roomie's wedding) . The timing is good, as nothing new on the Supreme Court will be happening until 6 Sept, and really, what else is there? I may pop in briefly between now and then, just so you'll have reason to check in now and again. ;-)

I do not know what the future holds for this blog. The most likley option at this point is to open a second blog rather than to shut this one down. The split, as I currently envision it, will not have so much to do with content, but with register. The Jade Monkey will remain as it has sometimes been, a half-assed beginner's effort, offering shorter analyses and links to other things and arguments that have caught my interest (and probably moreso, as I won't be trying to avoid unneccessary clutter), with maybe some quirky humor thrown in more often. The new, as-yet-to-be-named blog, will be devoted to longer pieces of deeper and greater effort, and hopefully on more topics than politics, as this one has been mostly devoted to, including maybe some of my own attempts at fiction (stealing a page from KG's new effort, Wild Bill's Kicker). Another idea I'm kicking around is turning this blog (or a totally new one, having scrapped this one) into a group blog...we'll see if I can rope one or all of my roomies in later this month when I see them.

From the Uninetentionally Funny Reporting Department:

on the way home from getting dinner, a news blurb mentioning that plane crash in Toronto described the jet as "a non-stop flight from Paris to Toronto." Heh.

(never let it be said that I don't laugh in the face of (other people's) death (or non-death, thankfully, amen)

Jade Monkey: "I'm not dead yet, either!"

that announcement of (temporary) cessation of blogging activities should come tonight, after a brief flurry...

7.22.2005

Free Cotton Candy With Ticket Purchase!

It's a new Carnival of the Chillin'! So get on the carousel and enjoy the joyous joy that is a George W. Bush Supreme Court nomination!

7.21.2005

John Roberts: Extremely Extreme

Or so says IowaHawk in this hilarious parody.

Personally, I think this country is in dire need of some Xtreme Justice!!!

Also if you haven't seen them, scroll down for special guest columns from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

7.20.2005

Roberts!

Internet's been down for the past couple days, finally back up. Still just some brief obligatory thoughts for now, though.

Like most everyone else, I like the pick a bunch. And wow, I was sorta, kinda right. Though my speculation a couple days ago that Roberts could be the pick, with Jones or Rogers Brown to replace the CJ, seems to be on track, I still fully expected a woman this time around.

Not that I don't have some concerns about how he'll turn out, I think such nervousness is only natural. His unanimous voice vote, his support from some on the left (and the muted criticism thus far) is all troubling, the same concerns I had for McConnell. Odd to note the concern over Clement's unanimous approval when it looked like she was the pick, but almost no concern over same for Roberts. But there are very promising signs from him. His wife having been a vice president for Feminists for Life is the best part, IMO. Conservatives that know him, like Hugh Hewitt, are very enthusiastic. Not to mention President Bush is clearly very enthusiastic. Despite any (limited) concerns, with a little reason prevailing, I come back to the fact that there would be some natural nervousness pretty much regardless of the nominee, no less for McConnell, or Clement, or Gonzales. And I keep coming back to the fact, as I said before, that I trust the President, and I believe anyone he chooses to appoint will be fine. Verdict: Still Chillin'.

Looks like we're getting a Rehnquist for O'Connor, a Scalia for Rehnquist, and an O'Connor for Stevens/Ginsberg*. That's just fine with me.

* though I wouldn't rule out someone more conservative for S or G, especially if Bush gets to replace them both, which I kind of doubt - an older conservative like Glendon or Wilkinson especially could probably get an easier confirmation with a tenure on the bench more likely to be 15 years than 30. Also would not be surprised with Clement for S/G and a Garza- or an Estrada-like nominee to replace the Chief, though I think (and would rather) a conservative woman next.

So I'm sticking with Edith Jones (or Janice Rogers Brown) to replace Rehnquist (in a year or half that). And I'll predict Roberts gets about 76 votes for confirmation (a rather sad number, and infuriating revelation of the extremism of the Democrat party, considering Ginsberg and Breyer, much further left-of-center nominees than Roberts is right-of-center got 10 or 20 more votes each).

7.15.2005

Rehnquist: "I'm not dead yet!"

Court watchers respond, "He'll be stone dead in a moment."

In other news, Senator Tedward Kennedy threatened to hold his breath until President Bush consulted with him and promised not to nominate extremist wackos like himself. This had the positive side effect of changing his misidentifying reddish hue to a more appropriate blue.

No, I don't expect more respect in the retirement process to mean anything for increased chances of respect in the confirmation process.

as far as SCOTUS goes, my thoughts when it looked like might get a 3-fer was Jones (or maybe Rogers Brown), Roberts (or maybe Luttig), and Gonzales. now that it looks likely we'll only get 1 at a time, I'm less certain. Roberts still seems likely (and it might prompt Rehnquist to step down since he gets his guy). McConnell's stock may have risen too. Erick at Confirm Them thinks it's Glendon. I also think I agree with those who think a Roberts (or McConnell) now make Edith Jones or Janice Rogers Brown more probable to replace the Chief (and I think nominating a pro-life woman to CJ would be great, though McConnell/Roberts for AJ and then a promotion to CJ is very possible). I also won't rule out Garza, but I think Bush is still holding Gonzales out for a Stevens retirement, which could lessen Garza's chances (not that Bush couldn't or wouldn't nominate two Hispanics, but that seems to be the common calculus).

Conspiracy Theories

been taking a break, which will continue, but I should say something rather than just disappear. so some sporadic blogging will continue for the next few days.

so a couple thoughts on Washingtonian intrigue the past few days...

first the Plame game. AJ Strata has been blogging up a storm, especially (but not just) on this issue. I don't know if I'd go quite as far as AJ's counter-conspiracy conspiracy theory (though I find it quite plausible), but it certainly makes much more sense than the loonies on the left wetting themselves over the prospect of getting their boogeyman, Karl Rove. The silence from the WH was a bit troubling, although that is their standard M.O., and my biggest complaint, that Bush doesn't fight back with the truth often and forcefully enough, always proves misguided. AJ has a whole category devoted just to the subject, so I'll just point you there, rather than ramble on about what he's already covered better.

second, a slightly older theory is that of Gerry Daly at Daly Thoughts (been searching for the post for ever now and can't find it, so I'll just link to the front page): that John McCain has orchestrated the whole Gang of 14 thing to win the Presidency when he saves Bush's nominee by gravely announcing that despite his best efforts, the Democrats continue to be unreasonable, and he sadly must push the red button. I also find this plausible, and though McCain has been the one Republican I was unsure I could vote for for President in 08 even if that meant effectively being a vote for Hillary, if it is so, this would be so astonishingly brilliant (cynical and self-serving, yes, but brilliant nonetheless) that I would vote for him out of pure respect (probably not in the primary, but if he should win it, I'd vote for him in the general election). My hope continues to be Condi, though, even if I'm not sure she matches my value set 100%. But she's pretty close, an extraordinary candidate, and she's the closest thing I can imagine to voting for W to have a third straight term.

7.06.2005

Pro Gonzolo

There is a lot of opposition out there to the prospect of President Bush nominating Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. I am not certain I don't join in that opposition; nevertheless I think a deeper examination would be, if not valuable, at least interesting. In this piece, I'd like to play devil's advocate by saying an unwavering demand for "no more Souters" may in fact be depriving the Democrats of a well-deserved Souter of their own, in the person of Gonzales. In other words, building upon several previous posts, Gonzales may be more conservative than we think, less liberal than we fear.

First, let us take as given two or three propositions, not about Gonzales, but about Bush:

1. The President is a man of loyalty, and values that trait in others.
1b. The President really wants to appoint the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.
1c. Because of 1a and ab, the President really wants it to be the Attorney General.
2. The President, in addition to being a man of loyalty, is also a man of principle and of long-term vision, and values those traits in others.

I don't think these questions, put separately, would reach with anything but unanimous consent from Bush supporters, but put together, there seems to be a bit of a disconnect. Why is this so? Why don't we trust the President in this matter?

He promised that if elected, he would name to the court strict constructionists in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. I believe he is an honest man, and committed to these principles, so if he wishes to name Alberto Gonzales to the Supreme Court, it is obvious that he does not view him as antithetical to those principles or to the long-term goals of the conservative base.

Now much of the fear on both the left and the right involving any potential Bush nominee is that 800-pound gorilla, Roe. And this is the issue in the opposition to Gonzales on the right. But do we truly know what Gonzales' views on the matter are? He has ruled, so far as I can tell, not so much on the core issue itself, but on the judicial-override clause in a state legislative statute. In ruling with the majority (a majority Pricilla Owen joined in full or in part on at least 2 instances), he has not shown a propensity to favor abortion so much as he has a deference for the legislative process. And isn't this what we really want? For the will of the people on the subject, through their elected legislatures, to be heard? It is presumably possible, for the non-idealogue, to favor abortion, but to think Roe was wrongly decided. And again, I am not sure what Gonzales' views are. While a concurring statement saying "...even if we ourselves might have made different policy choices" may be merely euphemistic for the usual liberal "I can't legislate my morals on anyone else" tripe, isn't it at least equally likely that he's hinting he's more on our side, but aquiesced to what he saw as the intent of the law.

(As an aside, in noting Gonzales' siding with the majority, I recall reading somewhere that one of Rehquists' virtues as Chief Justice was a willingness to change sides when his was lost, so that he could assign himself to write the majority opinion to avoid the setting of dangerous precedent - to neuter it as much as possible as it were. A question, to which I do not know the answer: would the majorities with which Gonzales sided have been majorities even without his vote? And did he actually write the opinion for the majority in any of these cases, or just a concurrence, if that?)

I see reason to suspect that Gonzales would at the least be willing to uphold legislation restricting partial-birth abortion, replacing O'Connor's decisive 5th vote for the bad guys with a 5th vote for the good guys. And this too can only be a good thing, a step in the right direction.

I know it would feel good to strike the enemy down with one blow, that it would be righteous and just. But would it be lasting? A morass of wrong-headed jurisprudence has sprung up in the last three decades, the ramifications of which will take time and careful effort to clear awar completely. If you tried to fell a mighty oak (though that image is far more noble than the Culture of Death deserves, the metaphor will have to do) with one swing of the axe, you'd be as (more) like to shiver the haft as to topple the tree. President Bush has indicated he sees the victory of the Culture of Life being, of necessity, an incremental one. He has indicated that while he sees abortion as an unequivocal moral wrong, the country is not yet ready to overturn Roe. This is probably, sadly, true. We have taken a while in getting to the edge of the abyss, we will have to edge ourselves back carefully. A justice willing only (if only it is) to put logical limits on this secularist sacrament may be all we need to put the brakes on the erosion of our legal and moral foundations.

In the same vein, remember Reagan's 80% rule. We can geth the other 20% next time. This is the same philosophy I think is fundamental to the anti-anti-Specter coalition and the anti-anti-deal coalition, the Coalition of the Chillin'. If we overreach, right though we may be, we risk MSMisinformed public backlash, being viewed as two-year olds wanting cake AND cookies, and getting neither. Or managing both, getting sick as well in the deal, and throwing it all up. Slow and steady wins the race, though I know this is of little consolation to those who deem it unconscienable to piddle around, to suffer a gradual reversal while an horrific infanticide is going on now - a view I share, and so I am little consoled myself.

To use another analogy (if I have not used up my allowance), I am something of a Texas Hold'em afficianado, and putting the politics in the context of a poker game, I think you could call the President an aggressive player, but not a player on tilt. The best way to increase your stack is to get people to call, and you're more likley to do that without going all in. Sometimes that will only steal you the blinds. Sometimes you'll get called and win. But sometimes you'll get called and lose everything. I think Bush is a skilled poker player, and I think he may be slow-playing his hand, Alberto Gonzales.

The bottom line is President Bush trusts Gonzales, and I trust President Bush. And, unlike (I assume) his father, with Souter, or Reagan with O'Connor or Kennedy, Bush knows Gonzales very well. If he's looked into his eyes and taken his measure, that's good enough for me.

To put it more conspiratorially, in the moonbat fashion (and if the DUmmies or the Kossacks get ahold of this, can I claim royalties?), since Bush stole the election and he's something more nefarious and evil than the love- (hate-?) child of Hitler and Satan, isn't it all probable that, knowing he'd be installed as President by the neocons, and maybe the Illuminati, he ordered Gonzales to pretend to be moderate and pro-"choice" so as to fool those last heroic defenders of human rights and democracy, the Democrats?

Again, I freely admit that I don't know, and may be missing some more telling facts. I freely admit this may be pure fantasy and entirely more faith in Gonzales (or Bush, or both) than is warranted. And I don't disagree with those who say there's no reason to pick Gonzales when we can have a surer thing, or with those who would accept him as a second (or better yet, third) nominee, but not as the first. And I do somewhat doubt, for all these reasons, that Gonzales will be Bush's first nominee. Right now I would bet on one of the women (which one, again, I don't know, though if forced to guess, I'd say Edith Jones), but I'd also bet that Gonzales will get his chance later. Nor do I disagree that the Democrats will be wholly ruthless and unethical in their attempts to bring down whomever the President puts forward, and that even a supposed moderate like Gonzales stands little chance of giving someone more conservative any more leeway later on.

Nevertheless, this random thought exercise is submitted for your consideration. Do we serve our purpose by not giving Bush, and by extension Gonzales, the benefit of the doubt, especially if Bush nominates him and we, in our righteous anger, stay home in 2006 and 2008? Do we protest too much? Or is this a bunch of hogwash?

Protestors

Ye gods, they're idiots. Watching a bit of coverage of these lunatics at the G8 summit on CNN, just shaking my head.

Happy...umm...6th of July

Hope you all enjoyed Independence Day. I spent mine with a half day of work, then goofing off, working on a defense of Alberto Gonzales that I'll finally get around to posting shortly, and finally joining my brother and SIL for some good music and a great fireworks show at a place called Teen Challenge (which I think is a Christian rehab type center for teenagers with problems with drugs and alcohol, at which some of their (bro and SIL) friend's used to work before accepting promotions to locations elsewhere in the state earlier this year). All in all a good day.

7.03.2005

Soldier in Afghanistan crash found alive!

Some happy pre-happy 4th news!

ETA: that should be crash search team, I guess.

7.02.2005

I've changed my mind

Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen sounds mighty good.

Of course I would have been very happy with her anyway. But while reading her bio, I learned she's a fellow Baylor alum. Sic 'em Bears!

SCOpy/pasTUS

Paul at Power Line perfectly sums up the Democrats' dishonesty in the upcoming Supreme Court battle, especially in regards to their use of the "Orrin Hatch" gambit. If the Dems really want a similar situation (which they of course don't), it is contingent upon them, not the President. The fair comparison, as Paul states, would be:

"I'll support John Ashcroft for the Supreme Court, but you'd be better off nominating Janice Rogers Brown, John Roberts, or Michael McConnell."

The objection of Sen. Hatch to Babbitt being primarly that he was a politician, this could also effectively end speculation about Sen. Cornyn (although he was a judge before he was a politician).

7.01.2005

more SCOTUS

looks like my Garza/Cornyn speculation may have some viability (ht: Red State). was ready to rule out Cornyn just yesterday too, before today's Red State, though that may be a Red Herring (hehe I'm so clever).

I of course also like Luttig and Roberts. Becoming a bit more skittish about McConnell...anyone who has that much support from liberal academia has to scare you ;-) I doubt Owen or Brown (or Pryor), because there are too many good nominees as it is, and I think in their cases the Dems could at least make a slight case against them (though more a rhetorical/P.R. one than a real one, namely that they lack experience - though experience on the appellate courts of course is no requirement), though they'd be excellent. Ediths Clement or Jones would also be good choices, as increasing the court's minority memberships would be an impressive Bush legacy (Hispanics 0 to 1 (Garza or Gonzales), African Americans 1 to 2 (Rogers Brown), and women 2 to 3 (Rogers Brown and Owen/Clement/Jones)...but this would assume 3 vacancies AND mean no Luttig or Roberts). So I think Garza's a pretty good bet, as well as at least one of the women (wouldn't hazard a guess as to which one though, but I think it is important that we get a pro life woman on the high court, though the dems would oppose this as nastily as a minority conservative, as they are of course in the business of keeping minds closed, not opening them as a role model for young minorities or women might do), and either Luttig or Roberts (the latter may be slightly more likely as he'd probably be a bit easier to get through, and would be a gift to Rehnquist). Also, I don't know (I'd think rather not) if it's possible that Bush would have promised a Ginsberg or Stevens that if they retire he'd replace them with a supposedly pro-choice Gonzales, which could replace the Garza pick.

Also, as I sort of wondered about earlier (reverse-Souter), John at Power Line thinks if Bush does nominate Gonzales, it could mean he's more conservative than we think. Also still not convinced the recusal issue is a problem if its what Bush wants.

But the best (or at least funniest) potential nominee? Robert Bork (thanks to a commenter at PoliPundit). Or Judge Judy (ht also a commenter at PoliPundit).

SCOTUS prediction

The next high school to be constructed in the NISD in San Antonio, Texas will bear the name Emilio Garza High School. (All the high schools in this district are named for Supreme Court Justices, the newest one* having been named after Sandra Day O'Connor. It's a safe bet that a city with a Hispanic majority won't wait long in honoring the first Hispanic to serve on the high court).

* or one of, at least, about 8 (?) years old now... what the heck? just went to their web site and I see there are 2 newer schools, Earl Warren and John Paul Stevens??? Why not a Felix Frankfurter High School (a very quatoable justice). Others are John Jay, John Marshall, Tom C. Clark, Oliver Wendell Holmes, William Howard Taft.

everything old is new again

Iran's new "president" a "former" terrorist? Just like Abbas...

And who put Michael Moore in Brian Williams' NBC anchor chair? Dude, that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" shtick should be left to globular mad cow filmmakers. And they're not "our" founding fathers anyway. They're mine, you Canadian scum (ok, I take that back. I like Canadia, eh. They gave us hockey, afterall. But some Canadians are still scum, just like some Americans. Americans so dim or dishonest that they could make draw such parallels with a straight face).

Perhaps I don't quite understand the complete usage of the phrase "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" but I'm surprised to see LGF didn't share some of Rather's wealth with Mr. Williams. Beating up one idiot reporter's as good as another, right? Also, I now see from the quote provided that Williams didn't claim our founding fathers as his own (error based just on an approximate quotation provided in conversation on the radio this morning). Which at least makes him better than other lefties in that he's not causing them to roll in their graves by bastardizing and usurping their names and legacies. Well, ok, he is. But not by trying to attach himself to them.

6.29.2005

If s/he'd been a Monkey reader, s/he wouldn't have had to wait

You got the analysis of the parts of the speech that really mattered here first (ok, I have no way to back that up). Another couple lines that belong in the "chaos for the cameras" category of subtle slap downs which I couldn't remember last night but have since been reminded of are "I'll listen to those whose opinion matters" (take that Kerry!) and "sober judgement" (take that Tedward!).

for future reference: no matter how many times you say it, you're still wrong

or a liar. though i've pretty much ceased bothering with the forums in which i had to deal with the psychopathy of moonbats, it's a good idea to keep this handy (h/t Hugh Hewitt)

Nicholas Lemann in the New Yorker, before the inception of the war, itemizes the numerous justicfications for war that Presiden Bush laid out in his State of the Union address of 2003 (and lest this too is disappeared, I'll copy the portion Hugh does):

"In his State of the Union address, President Bush offered at least four justifications, none of them overlapping: the cruelty of Saddam against his own people; his flouting of treaties and United Nations Security Council resolutions; the military threat that he poses to his neighbors; and his ties to terrorists in general and to Al Qaeda in particular. In addition, Bush hinted at the possibility that Saddam might attack the United States or enable someone else to do so. There are so many reasons for going to war floating around—at least some of which, taken alone, either are nothing new or do not seem to point to Iraq specifically as the obvious place to wage it—that those inclined to suspect the motives of the Administration have plenty of material with which to argue that it is being disingenuous. So, along with all the stated reasons, there is a brisk secondary traffic in 'real' reasons, which are similarly numerous and do not overlap: the country is going to war because of a desire to control Iraqi oil, or to help Israel, or to avenge Saddam's 1993 assassination attempt on President George H. W. Bush.

Yet another argument for war, which has emerged during the last few months, is that removing Saddam could help bring about a wholesale change for the better in the political, cultural, and economic climate of the Arab Middle East. To give one of many possible examples, Fouad Ajami, an expert on the Arab world who is highly respected inside the Bush Administration, proposes in the current issue of Foreign Affairs that the United States might lead 'a reformist project that seeks to modernize and transform the Arab landscape. Iraq would be the starting point, and beyond Iraq lies an Arab political and economic tradition and a culture whose agonies have been on cruel display.' The Administration's main public proponent of this view is Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, who often speaks about the possibility that war in Iraq could help bring democracy to the Arab Middle East. President Bush appeared to be making the same point in the State of the Union address when he remarked that 'all people have a right to choose their own government, and determine their own destiny—and the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom.'"

6.28.2005

The President Speaks

...grabs the media by the shoulders, glares straight into their eyes and commands, "Listen to me you little twits!" Ahhh...

Oh. Yeah, I thought Bush's speech was pretty good, but could have been better. I think he needed some more Natan Sharansky and Arthur Chrenkoff in there. But, as Rocket Man notes, "There was nothing in it that we and our readers didn't already know, but the message is one that many rarely hear." I think that is very true and must be kept in mind. While it may not seem like a whole lot to those of us who are actually informed, those of us who get it, for the majority who are kept in the dark by the media, this may have opened some eyes. I (as always) wish he would have been more scathing to his detractors, but he was (as always, never rising to the bait) the statesman, so it was as expected there. That said, he did offer some very nice, very subtle digs ("chaos for the cameras," etc). And the second half really did come to life and was pretty moving (not to the level of his best speeches, but that's a very high standard) after a somewhat slow start.

I give it a B+, but he needs to do more of these, and have Chrenkoff's page opened as a crib sheet.

ETA: just heard on Hugh's show (tape delayed here in SA) that Terry Moran's sole analysis on ABC was to indicate the troops didn't like it (they only clapped when Bush's guys started it), when in fact they had been told not to applaud beforehand. disgusting, but the beat goes on for the MSM. same crap they pulled with Bush's speech to the UN earlier this (last?) year.

If I didn't tell you...

If I didn't tell you that these acts were committed by the American press, and against Truth as much as people, you would surely have thought they had been committed by the Nazis, by the Soviets in their gulags, or by some made regime, Pol Pot or others.

Whoops. Don't think I'll get the support of the New York Times for that one. But given the media's spectacular ability to disappear quotes, or to bury them, or to cut them up to say exactly the opposite of what the speaker said, seems more accurate than Sen. Durbin, no?

The Anchoress mentions two such recent events: spinning the repetition of an old joke to make it seem Billy Graham is endorsing Hillary, and the NYT burying Dems saying no torture at Gitmo to the gulags of page A19.

It must be pure torture for the media when the truth gets out.

Thomas for CJ!

I'm on the bandwagon. Let me say this: Scalia is by far my favorite Supreme Court Justice, and it's not even close. His wit, scathing rebukes or quizzical bemusement alike, is a delight. But I think they are better suited to an associate justice. As Chief, I think he'd have to rein himself in a bit more, and that's no fun. Thomas has a quieter demeaner, and is probably better liked by his colleagues (as an odd aside, I read somewhere that Scalia's best friend among his fellows was Ginsberg, how's that for dogs lying down with cats?). Of course, it's interesting that Little Harry thinks Thomas is an embarrassment but Scalia as chief would be just peachy. And I sort of doubt whether Thomas has any desire to go through the confirmation battle again.

So I think an outsider as Chief might make the most sense. And I think that guy will be John Roberts. I'm starting to think we really might get Rehnquist and O'Connor stepping down together, and Bush will replace the departing pals with pals Roberts and Luttig. For the same reason I think Clarence Thomas would make a better CJ than Antonin Scalia (though to a lesser extent), Roberts will be the next CJ. I wish Bush could nominate McConnell, Garza, and Clement too, though. And, as a Texan, I of course already liked Senator Cornyn, but his actions and words in recent months have raised his stature in my eyes immensely, to the point where he's almost as great as Hutchinson, and I'd be thrilled to see him get a nod too (though that would mean we'd have to replace one of our awesome senators - does any other state boast two such excellent and distinguished senators? I think not. Off the top of my head, Kansas, with Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, is the only one that's even close...that would be a fun game, name the best and worst 5 senate pairs...Massachussetts is definitely at the top of the bad). Ooh, new thought just struck me in this stream of consciousness judgeblogging: I wonder if KBH's decision not to leave the Senate for the State House had anything to do with a tip from Bush Cornyn may indeed be donning black robes again, and that both of the state's senate seast being vacated at once was undesireable...??? So maybe Garza for CJ and Cornyn for AJ?

Update: K-Lo posts over at Bench Memos that Reid has a problem with Sen. Cornyn (but the big question is what Dustin, or whatever the little urchin's name was, thinks). In my mind, that could mean he thinks Bush may nominate him. Yay for wild speculation!

6.26.2005

Carnival of the Chillin' #2

AJ Strata has it all. Go. Read. Chill. Or not, whatever (the chillin', that is, is optional. the going and reading is not).

On Kelo, SCOTUS, and blowing the whole thing up and starting over

As I commented over at Coalition HQ, Kelo doesn't change my chillin-ness. The nuclear option would not have changed this decision, as the court still would have come down to the same justices and the same verdict. As I commented there and here, Gonzales being Bush's first nominee might (although, really, the nuclear option would have only facilitated my unchillin-ness in this instance, and it would have been the first time Bush would have disappointed me, albeit not entirely of his own fault. I am not necessarily opposed to Gonzales for SCOTUS, but rather the precedent the Democrats may make of him).

However, Kelo does potentially give us an out of the coalition and the deal, and with much greater chance of public support than the unknowable consequences of before, as commenter Paul Deignan notes at Say Unlce (with a great quote from Aristotle to boot):



There is a right time and a wrong time to nuke the filibuster. The right time is when it brings along that wobbly 5-10% in the middle that see the action as a correction rather than an overreach. Remember, there are elections coming up.


This case makes our case for the nuke option far more sound. If we had nuked earlier, it would have not seemed as prudent. Now everyone (not just pro-lifers) should see the threat that these robed thugs pose to the Constitution.

“Chillin” does not mean oblivious.


Gentleness or good temper is the mean in feelings of anger. Short temper or irascibility is the excess, the deficiency has no name but may be called insufficient anger or apathy. The emotion of anger can be caused by many different factors, but the good-tempered man is always angry under the right circumstances, with the right people, in the right manner and degree, at the right time, and for the right length of time. Excess can be shown in too much anger, or unjustified anger, or too lengthy anger, etc. Apathy is the vice of those who do not get angry when anger is justified and who are not affected by things that should arouse anger; apathetic people often seem to have no feelings and to be unable to suffer pain for any reason.
—-Aristotle


AJ Strata makes much the same argument in the thread at Decision '08 linked above: "The coalition, in my mind, was never going to lay down - just lay back for the proper moment."

Well said, both.

Of course, I wonder where Graham, DeWine, Warner, et al fall on Kelo. And I am not altogether sure how much swaying of opinion Bush (thanks to the reporting, or lack thereof, of the MSM) will be able to do with Kelo. The MSM conveniently declines to mention which 5 judges thought they could take your home away. And even if they did, you must remember Wizard's First Rule*: People are stupid. And the Democrats have mastered this if nothing else: they fool the foolish very, very easily and consistently. I have seen comments too numerous to count regarding Kelo that "yeah, 4 Republican judges voted against it, but 3 voted for it" thus declaring it a wash as to who's to blame. They use this dishonest numbers game (7-2, or more often, by those slightly less dim-witted, 5-4) to decry a "conservative" court and Bush's nominees, despite the fact that there are more liberals than conservatives on the court. How much traction can this make with the average, uninformed citizen? I sometimes think Bush's biggest flaw is putting too much faith in the intelligence of the people (this seems the best explanation for his reluctance to remind the American people every 10 seconds why we're doing what we're doing, and explain every detail of every operation; something that should indeed be unnecessay, in a just, unstupid world). Nevertheless, I have to share something of that optimism, for this simple reason: I don't know what I'd do if I didn't.

* I only made it through the first 4 books of the series (currently 9 volumes long), and this is the first and best of the 4 (#4 gets the 2nd place nod, IIRC), and the only one I'd really recommend (mainly for the humorous scene near the beginning where we get the first explanation of the title). Although I myself don't find the quality to be particularly high, given the nature of the attacks and the attackers of the series, I may have to give it a second chance. ;-)

Brit Hume on FNS

to Chris Wallace's question about the media coverage of Rove vs. Durbin:

"No more needs to be said about the motives of the media."

Snark!

I haven't said much about this, because others have already done so brilliantly. Of course the comparisons between Rove and Durbin's comments are extraordinarly disingenuous. Rove's comments have the demonstrable advantage of being true (the Rove/Dean comparisons are a little better, but Rove's weren't done out of hatred (and lest anyone object, hate is of course the exact word Dean himself has used to describe his feelings for Republicans), and again have the advantage of being true). But even the comparison is an example of the Left's new speak, their redefinition of words and attempts to shift the center of the political spectrum by declaring the ends equal, despite their embracing much more extreme ends as part of the "mainstream" than the right does, or could ever get away with. Loud rap music = torture (which in a totally non-partisan, tounge-in-cheek fashion I would wholeheartedly agree with, but that is neither here nor there), and Karl Rove = Dick Durbin. These are unserious and irrelevant people, but still dangerous.

6.25.2005

Alberto Gonzales

Some have said Gonzales' involvement as WH counsel and/or AG in researching/advocating legalalities of a number of cases that may face the Supreme Court in the coming years would require him to recuse himself, and probably should disqualify him as a SC nominee. I'm not so sure I'm persuaded, though I'd very much like to be (unless Gonzales were to replace Stevens or Ginsburg). Has Ruth Bader Ginsburg ever recused herself from cases in which the ACLU was involved? Of course, I know there's a gigantic double standard when it comes to Republicans and their nominees versus Democrats and their nominees, which should tell me all I need to know.

6.23.2005

movie quotes

California Mafia has a list. The Corner's been teeing them off. Thought I'd add a few of my own (quotes may not be 100% accurate, but I don't feel like double checking, so there). Right now I'm going to stick to an arbitrary 3 quotes per movie rule in the instances where I double or triple dip, we'll see if I can restrain myself.

"May those who love us, love us. And those who don't love us, may God turn their hearts, and if he does not turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, that we may know them by their limping." - Keeping the Faith (actually, not a bad line for certain current unfortunate political realites)

"What's 'taters', Precious?" - Gollum, in one of the Lord of the Rings movies (TTT or RotK), and strangely enough not only my favorite quote from the trilogy, but one of my most quoted in the past couple years (and then my brother always follows with Sam's "Po-ta-toes")

From The Big Lebowski:

"Are these men Nazis?"
"No Donnie, these men are Nihilists. There's nothing to be afraid of."

"Nihilists? F*** me. Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, but at least it's an ethos!"

"Donnie, you are out of your element!"

"What we do in life echoes in eternity!" - Russell Crowe in Gladiator

From Mystery Men:

"Maybe you should put some shorts on, if you want to keep fighting evil today."

"God gave me a gift: I shovel well. I shovel very well."

"Maybe that's because Lance Hunt is Captain Amazing."
"Don't start this again. Lance Hunt wears glasses. Captain Amazing doesn't wear glasses."
"He takes them off when he transforms."
"That doesn't make any sense! He wouldn't be able to see!"

From The Princess Bride:

"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

"As you wish."

"I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake, but until then, sleep well, and dream of large women." (my only funny quote from this one, as the others (including my favorite, the "classic blunders" one) are posted elsewhere)

"You do too much. You're not Superman, you know." - Aunt May in Spider-Man

From various Star Wars movies:

"Why do I have a feeling you're going to get me killed one of these days?" (Obi Wan Kenobi to Anakin Skywalker in AotC)



From O Brother, Where Art Thou?:

"He's a suitor!"

"We thought you was a toad!"

"Make way, I take large steps!" - Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

More later.

grrr, part 2

William Kristol says it's O'Connor leaving, and that the Prez will put up Alberto Gonzales to replace her (ht: Prof. Hewitt). Unless Gonzales is a reverse Souter in disguise, I'm VERY unhappy about this. It means, as Kristol says, that any chance of changing the court for the Good is out of the question. The plan was to replace the Chief with a staunch conservative (McConnell or other), then O'Connor with a less "controversial" but also conservative justice (Roberts or maybe even Sen. Cornyn). The other fly in the ointment is, of course, the Democrats' bastardized filibuster, which took Miguel Estrada off the table as Bush's (presumptive) hoped-for first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.

Has O'Connor ruined it all by stepping down ahead of Rehnquist?

This is may be enough to make me UNchillin'. I don't know...Then again, given the Dem's insane Abu Grahaib-Gitmo-gulag-Auschwitz connect-the-dots, I don't know if Gonzales has any certainty of getting past a filibuster either (if he does, it proves them to be liars, and if not, a defeated Gonzales is better than a defeated conservative, while making the case that the Democrats are obstructionists, and making it harder to justify a filibuster for a SCOTUS position after).

Update: RedState (ht: Strata-Sphere) says Rehnquist is the one stepping down. Of course I'm updating in reverse order of AJ, so Kristol's tip may be the most current and best one. But we shall see tomorrow.

Update 2: Confirm Them has the transcript of a Hewitt-Kristol interview up, as well as some other thoughts.

grrr

Baylor's gone. Texas wins on a walk-off home run in the 9th. Baylor added to it's woes by stranding a ton of men on base as usual (at least twice on 3rd). And the ump made a horrible call in the 5th or 6th inning...man on 1st, nobody out, full count....a strike called on a ball that is a foot outside and the catcher throws out the runner at 2nd. so two outs, nobody on, instead of 1st and 2nd with no outs. But the strike zone has been... erratic, to put it as charitably as possible... all Series long, (sometimes) benefiting Baylor too (though not in so big a situation), so what else is new? And Texas' tying run did so after interfering/shoving/running over both the first baseman, causing the ball to go rolling all the way to the ball and allowing him to go all the way to 3rd, and then the catcher who was in FRONT of the freaking plate, not blocking it, didn't even have a foot on the 3rd base line until he braced himself to make the catch from the right fielder. He probably could have slid safely in both instances, so that's not really the complaint, but he would have been at 1st, not at 3rd, had he not popped the 1bman.

Normally I'd cheer for the Big XII team, even if it beat Baylor to get where it is, but I don't know if I can manage that in this circumstance.

Still, hats off to another great year from another Baylor team!

Baseball blogging will now be interrupted by our regularly scheduled broadcast...