Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Alito has been confirmed

Samuel Alito was confirmed by the U.S Senate today. The vote tallies currently stand at 58 for and 38 against. This is the narrowest margin for a Supreme Court nominee since Clarence Thomas back in '88.

According to Fox News, Alito will be sworn in this afternoon and will be attending the State of the Union adress tonight in his Supreme Court robes.

One thing I noticed were the absenses of several Democratic Senators, most notably Robert KKK Byrd and John "I have 31 purple hearts" Kerry. Given Kerrys screed on Kos (see prior posting) I'm surprised that he couldn't be bothered to at least cast a 'nay' vote. Byrd surprises me because I would have thought that racist piece of crap would have jumped at the chance to vote against Italian-American Alito

UPDATE
Final tally was 58-42 with Byrd voting for Alito and Kerry voting nay. Each of them apparantly voted in the second round of voting.

Those Democrats who crossed party lines to vote for Alito are as follows:

Byrd, W.Va.
Conrad, N.D.
Johnson, S.D.
Nelson, Neb.

Republicans who voted with the Dems are as follows:

Chafee, R.I.

And anyone who can't guess how Jim Jeffords (I) voted needs to be taken out back and beaten with a stick.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Senator Kerry's Message

The following is a diary posted by Senator Kerry over at DailyKos. It makes a strong case for the filibuster of Judge Alito. It explains why it is necessary to oppose Alito, and it outlines the hypocrisy of the right: refusing to give Harriet Miers the up-or-down vote "every presidential nominee deserves" while demanding it for Alito. Read on...

Do I support a filibuster? The answer is yes.

Yesterday Senator Kennedy and I spoke with our colleagues about it. I don't have a shred of doubt in my opposition to Sam Alito's nomination. I know Senator Kennedy does not either. He has truly been a great leader in the effort to oppose Judge Alito.

I spent a lot of time over the last years thinking about the Supreme Court and who America needs on the highest court in the land. So I don't hesitate a minute in saying that Sam Alito is not that person. His entire legal career shows that, if confirmed, he will take America backwards. People can say all they want that "elections have consequences." Trust me, more than anyone I understand that. But that seems like an awfully convoluted rationale for me to stay silent about Judge Alito's nomination.

I voted against Justice Roberts, I feel even more strongly about Judge Alito. Why? Rather than live up to the promise of "equal justice under the law," he's consistently made it harder for the most disadvantaged Americans to have their day in court. He routinely defers to excessive government power regardless of how extreme or egregious the government's actions are. And, to this date, his only statement on record regarding a woman's right to privacy is that she doesn't have one.

I said yesterday that President Bush had the opportunity to nominate someone who would unite the country in a time of extreme division. He chose not to do this, and that is his right. But we have every right, in fact, we have a responsibility, to fight against a radical ideological shift on the Supreme Court. Just think about how this nomination came to be. Under fire from his conservative base for nominating Harriet Miers--a woman whose judicial philosophy they mercilessly attacked--President Bush broke to extreme right-wing demands.

This was a coup.

Miers was removed and Alito was installed to replace the swing vote on the Court. The President gave no thought to what the American people really wanted--or needed. So it's up to us to think about what America really needs - that's part of the true meaning of "advice and consent."

Here's the bottom line though and I'll just be blunt and direct about it. It takes more than one or two people to filibuster. It's not "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." I'm doing what I can, Senator Kennedy is doing what he can, but if, like me, you want to stop Judge Alito from becoming Justice Alito, we can't just preach to our own choir. We need even more of your advocacy.


The right opposed Harriet Miers and got rid of her. We must oppose Alito and get rid of him! I'm not saying we'll succeed, or even that we have a chance, but the fight is worth fighting. Many rights are at stake here. I don't think any of us are willing to return to the 1950's. Good day! -Lefty

Monday, January 23, 2006

Update from Lefty

Greetings Everyone!

I apologize for the lack of content on my part throughout the past couple of weeks. I didn't want to bore anyone with my personal life, but I think I'll tell you all what's going on in my life. I encourage every Metal Pundit to do so as well.

I've been incredibly busy the last three weeks. I took a Kaplan prep course for the Law School Admissions Test. It has been going very well as I see steady improvement. I've taken three practice tests and I'm in the range to attend a decent law school. I'm not intimidated by the test anymore, which has allowed me to think clearly and focus on the material. I take the real exam on February 4. So wish me good luck!

Aside from that, I've been practicing guitar a couple of days a week. I still suck, to say the least, but I'm seeing, and hearing, improvement.

As for social life, what social life? Friday the 13th was my birthday (23 already). I had dinner with my family and received three pairs of much-needed shoes and a laptop. This past Saturday, I attended my best friend's baby's birthday party. It was the little dudes first birthday, so it was fun be there. I hung out with my friend Alex and his wife after the party. Of course, the little dude came along.

The LSAT is in two weeks. I'll be posting content more often then. Once again, wish me luck guys.

Lefty

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Rebel Meets Rebel



With the untimely death of his brother "Dimebag" Darrell, Vinny Paul decided to release their collaberation with outlaw country singer David Allan Coe. The record, titled "Rebel Meets Rebel" couldn't be more aptly titled. It's set for an April 4, 2006 release date on Big Vin Records, Vince's new label.

New sound clips are available on the webpage (www.rebelmeetsrebel.com), and I encourage everybody to check it out. To hear the mighty Dimebag's legendary Dean guitar wailing again nearly brought tears to my eyes, and compelled me to bang my head violently.

It's not metal, it's not country, it's just balls-out rock and roll created by some of the best rule breakers ever to record a song.

All hail the mighty RIFF!

Conservatives Against Illegal Spying

Borrowed from Kos at DailyKos

What do most conservatives think about Bush's illegal spying on Americans? I cannot really say for I haven't spoken to an adequate sample of them to make a conclusion. Nevertheless, the conservatives in the Wingnutosphere, namely the hacks over at Redstate, Instapundit, and that wench, Michelle Malkin, get behind their man and attempt to discredit or smear anyone criticizing the program. Some on the left are no better, passing judgment before knowing the facts.

The reason I'm writing this diary is to shed light on the few conservatives who openly criticize Dubya's illegal spying. To do so, I will quote the mighty Kos:

...here are some of the key figures of the conservative movement essentially calling foul on the administration's egregious overreach. Norquist is literally the central figure of the VRWC. Weyrich, another key figure in the VRWC, was the founding president of the Heritage Foundation and founded the American Legislative Exchange Council. Keene's credentials are self-explanatory. Barr is no surprise. He's an old-school libertarian who has been consulting with the once-hated ACLU.


Kos is right on:
This should never have been a partisan issue, despite the knee-jerk defense of the indefensible by those who think Bush can't do any wrong.


Getting back to the conservatives, what is the big deal, right? These are a few quotes from some of these big shots:

Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances (PRCB) today called upon Congress to hold open, substantive oversight hearings examining the President's authorization of the National Security Agency (NSA) to violate domestic surveillance requirements outlined in the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, chairman of PRCB, was joined by fellow conservatives Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR); David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, in urging lawmakers to use NSA hearings to establish a solid foundation for restoring much needed constitutional checks and balances to intelligence law.

"When the Patriot Act was passed shortly after 9-11, the federal government was granted expanded access to Americans' private information," said Barr. "However, federal law still clearly states that intelligence agents must have a court order to conduct electronic surveillance of Americans on these shores. Yet the federal government overstepped the protections of the Constitution and the plain language of FISA to eavesdrop on Americans' private communication without any judicial checks and without proof that they are involved in terrorism."

The following can be attributed to PRCB members:

"I believe that our executive branch cannot continue to operate without the checks of the other branches. However, I stand behind the President in encouraging Congress to operate cautiously during the hearings so that sensitive government intelligence is not given to our enemies." -- Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO, Free Congress Foundation

"Public hearings on this issue are essential to addressing the serious concerns raised by alarming revelations of NSA electronic eavesdropping." -- Grover Norquist, president, Americans for Tax Reform

"The need to reform surveillance laws and practices adopted since 9/11 is more apparent now than ever. No one would deny the government the power it needs to protect us all, but when that power poses a threat to the basic rights that make our nation unique, its exercise must be carefully monitored by Congress and the courts. This is not a partisan issue; it is an issue of safeguarding the fundamental freedoms of all Americans so that future administrations do not interpret our laws in ways that pose constitutional concerns." -- David Keene, chairman, American Conservative Union


So what is the proper, or just, course for conservatives? Should they support an independent investigation of Bush's impeachable offenses (impeachment isn't just for blowjobs anymore)? Or should they stand by their man regardless of what bullshit he's done?

Friday, January 13, 2006

From the mouths of Liberals

In reaction to Alitos wife breaking down and crying over the awful treatment that her husband recieved from some of the dimmest bulbs in the nation, The Kos kids have come out and shown just how much they care about their fellow man.

Read below the fold for some quotes that really show how caring the modern Democrat is.



From your more basic claims of it being staged and faked

"I have to vote that it was staged
Especially given how at the ready editorials and opinion columns from WSJ and Noonan were. Amazing coincidence. Also, her smirking and being disruptive for three days shows her true respect and regard for both the Senators and the proceedings themselves.
She really could give two craps about any of it, if those looks are any indication
.."

To the theory of her being abused physically by Alito

The misogynistic controlling husband (Mr. Alito) might be kind of hard on his wife in private and she knows the truth (he is a bigot) and can't say it publically. When faced with a somewhat sympathetic Graham, she can't hold her pretend face anymore and falls apart briefly. That is how it looked to me.
by jamoca


To the extremely bigoted anti woman postings that the Kos kidz generally try to associate with conservatives.

WTF
is she doing there, anyway! She should be home baking cookies and making more home-made clothes!
Why do wives, or husbands for that matter have to hang around, looking like complete asses at these hearings?
Another stupid cow married to another Nazi motherfucker.
Cry, you cow. You moron. You shithead married to a man who would destroy this country!
Cry? You ain't seen nothin' yet.
IMPEACH


Ahh, the modern liberal, a paragon of virtue in todays corrupt world. Showing compassion for their fellow man (woman) and always interested in the betterment of humanity.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Say it ain't so Joe

Sen Joe Biden, A Senator with whom I generally disagree with everything that comes out of his mouth, has apparantly realized the value of the confirmation process following the Ginsburg standard - jack shit.

In an interview with the Today show this morning, Joe Biden stated that "Nominees now, Democrat and Republican nominees, come before the United States Congress and resolve not to let the people know what they think about the important issues,"

Sounds spot on to me, his suggestion makes even more sense. Basically, he proposed canning the entire hearing process and just sending the nominee straight to the Senate where the merits of said nominee could be debated.

I like this idea for one primary reason: It will allow a Senators constituents find out whether or not their Senator holds the same values they do. I also like this since it somehow just seems like the right way to handle it. I can't get more specific than that, maybe a good night's sleep will help me find the words.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hell hath no fury...

Well it would seem that Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad realizes what many Republicans have been saying for years. The U.N is a weak, inneffective collection of pussies that is no longer capable of holding any sway over world governments.

In a move that has sent Hans Blix back to his desk to write up another nasty missive, Iran has broken U.N seals at a uranium enrichment plant and has declared that it is resuming enrichment.

I wonder what the U.N will do to reign in Iran? Maybe they could start up more black market trade programs with Iran, hell they've already got the infrastructure in place, just transfer the Oil for Food idiots over to a new deal with Iran. Another good idea would be to bluster some more making loud noises (clucking comes to mind) and then to blame it on America. I'm willing to bet money that they do the latter.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Thoughts on Scalito



Samuel "Scalito" Alito's Senate Confirmation Hearings began today in a predictable fashion. Both Donkeys and Elephants unleashed their talking points almost flawlessly. Read the story below the fold:



GOP:
Alito has exceptional record of serving the public.
Alito is qualified for the position.
Alito has an unquestioned character and integrity.
Alito is a FAIR and IMPARTIAL judge.


Ok, Alito has a nice resume, but why don't Republicans talk about his judicial philosophy? Why don't they mention his view on the issues most important to Americans?

Perhaps the left has some answers. Michael at AmericaBlog has some interesting thoughts, which mirror what I was going to say. Since he beat me to it, he gets the credit for writing this insightful piece:

The far right wants us to believe that Supreme Court nominee Alito is similar to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Even though everyone knew Ginsburg was a liberal, she was passed by a vast majority in the Senate. They are both in the mainstream of judicial philosophy, the far right says. So Alito deserves the same treatment because he's "qualified."


The wingnuts must be crazy to make a comparison like this! As for Ginsburg:

Ginsburg IS in the mainstream of judicial philosophy, even though she's clearly a strong liberal. But she never pretended to be anything else. And everything on Ginsburg's resume was something she was proud of. Every group she belonged to, every organization she worked for, every position she staked out on the issues of the day and every promise she made reflected who Ruth Bader Ginsburg was, what she stood for and what she believed in.


Great, but what really separates Ginsburg from Scalito is this:

Did she insist you shouldn't read anything into her work for the ACLU? Of course not; she was proud of that work. Did she insist you shouldn't read anything into her activism over the years, her push for equality among the sexes? Don't be absurd. Did she break her word on solemn pledges made before the Senate? Never.


Unfortunately, the same can't be said about Scalito:

Nothing could be further from the truth for Alito. He is apparently ashamed of everything he's ever done. Alito boasted on an application for promotion in the Reagan administration about belonging to the racist, Neanderthal-ish Concerned Alumni For Princeton. Now he pretends he can't remember ever belonging to them at all.

Alito said he wanted to become a lawyer because he was so distraught about Supreme Court rulings that led to "one person, one vote," a cornerstone of our modern democracy. Now, he says we should ignore his consistent, persistent attacks on affirmative action.

Alito also cannily helped to devise the incremental approach to dismantling Roe v Wade that has been the very tactic the far right has used. Now Alito says to ignore all that.

Alito has repeatedly proven he believes the president is more like an emperor -- someone who deserves almost unlimited deference from the Supreme Court, especially during a time of war.

Finally, Alito pledged to the Senate that he would recuse himself under certain situations as a federal judge. He repeatedly broke that pledge. His excuses vary: he forgot, the computers shouldn't have assigned him those cases in the first place, he never HAD to recuse himself, and finally he never promised he would recuse himself forever. The reasons change, but the fact remains: Alito gave his word and then he broke it. He can't be trusted.


Why should this gentleman be a Supreme Court Justice if he hides his past. Proponents of Scalito boast about his intellectual record, citing cases in which his opinions truly stood out. Furthermore, only a brief synopsis of his work is generally given without mention of his judicial philosophy. Of course, Michael's piece aims to discredit the proposed similarities between him and Ginsburg. Nevertheless, one can conclude that Scalito may be hiding too much for him to comfortably be confirmed.

Which brings me to these questions: Why aren't conservatives open about their beliefs? Why must they hide their true feelings?

I suggest you be proud of your beliefs! If overturning Roe v. Wade is your goal, just say so. Admit that you wish to deny homosexuals their right to marriage. Admit that you would like to blur the line between church and state. Admit that you would love nothing better than to privatize everything and destroy government. Most importantly, for the time being, please admit that your beloved Sam Alito is just like you! He's a judge with an agenda. The least he could do is be honest about it!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

It's the WHOLE economy, stupid.

As Bush goes on and on about how good the economy is, Think Progress points out some truths that show just where this good economy is going.
1. The Unemployment Rate Would Be 6.6% if As Many People Were Looking for Work Today as Were When President Bush Took Office.

2. Both Average Real Weekly and Average Real Hourly Wages were Down in 2005 – and Indeed are Down for the 4 years Since the End of the Recession.

3. The Rate of Job Growth for the Fourth Year of a Recovery is the Weakest it has Been Since the 1930s.
Go to the TP Post for some really good statistics and great links.

Bush in Chicago!

Cross-posted on BigNewsDay. Warning, this is a RANT!

Today, the City of Chicago (my home), had the complete displeasure of hosting President Bush in a luncheon hosted by the Economic Club. Dubya talked about the economy and how over a hundred thousand jobs have been created. He also took credit for the "bustling" economy! In short, this luncheon can best be described as the "Annual Wishful-Thinking Shindig".

The President was among the richest businessmen in Chicago. Why the hell didn't they include Chicago's real citizens in there? Dubya would've gotten a beatdown, courtesy of sweet-home Chicago! That fucker had the audacity to mention my beloved White Sox, although he made fun of the Cubs! Nevertheless, Mr. President, you weren't welcome in our great city. As a person, perhaps I would welcome you, but as a president, hell no! The relatively few wingnuts in Chicago were probably sopping in their trousers at the sight of their king, but the rest of us had a bad taste in our mouths.

Sorry for the lack of academic content, but studying for the LSAT has bludgeoned me! Surely I'll be back with real diaries with proper academic prose! - Lefty

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

National Champs


WOW!

That was the best football game I have ever seen. Hats off to the Trojans for all of their achievements and for making this the greatest college championship game in a long time.

HOOK 'EM HORNS!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year to All!

Happy New Year to all the Metal Pundits! These past several months have been great! Let's make 2006 even better! I wish health and prosperity for everyone. Take care.