The Jade Monkey

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

Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States


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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!


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.



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).


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.


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?


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.


Soldier in Afghanistan crash found alive!

Some happy pre-happy 4th news!

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


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!


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).



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.