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October 31, 2005

About that caricature the left is painting of Alito

Ditto what Orin Kerr said at The Volokh Conspiracy:
A number of popular liberal blogs are portraying Alito as a right-wing nut, and are predicting that his confirmation hearings will be the Mother of All Confirmation Hearings. Here is the Daily Kos in a post entitled "The Showdown Finally Arrives":
[T]he Right refused to accept Bush's winks and nods on Miers. They didn't just want a conservative jurist. They wanted a showcase of conservatism they could shove down the throats of the likes of us liberals and the rest of America. They wanted one of those obnoxious touchdown dances.

Now we have a true-blood conservative on tap, and this now sets up the showdown of ideas that I think we've all craved. Thanks to Miers, ideology is now absolutely open to debate, and it's now time for America to see what conservatism really looks like. . . .

. . . As the usual vetting process gets underway and people research his background, his writings, his speeches, and the testimony of colleagues, we'll get an even more complete picture of the man. But it's already obvious that the nuts got exactly what they wanted - a nut. Scalito is everything they hoped for and more.
This initial reaction is to be expected, as I noted earlier today. But Alito is very far from this caricature, and it won't take people long to realize that. Reading over Alito's opinions, the striking thing about them is how modest they are. Alito is not trying to score points, make grand ideological claims, or show the world how smart he is. His opinions are simple and straightforward: they state the facts, apply the law, and call it a day. Don't get me wrong - Alito is a solid conservative. But if he were the kind of ideological crusader Kos imagines, Alito's 15-year career as an appellate judge would have left a mile-long paper trail of controversial decisions. The fact that you're not hearing about that long paper trail of controversial decisions should speak volumes.

W hits paydirt with Alito nomination, Part 2

Conservatives and constitutionalists are lining up to praise W's choice of Samuel Alito.

Heritage Foundation press release:
"President Bush has made an outstanding choice in nominating Judge Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court. Judge Alito is a distinguished scholar, a gifted lawyer with broad and impressive experience, and is known in the bar as one of the greatest appellate judges in America today."

[...] "Judge Alito also has the personal characteristics and dedication to the rule of law that will make him a renowned justice of the Supreme Court. He is a humble man with the highest integrity, an even temperament, and a sound judicial philosophy. In his actions as a lawyer and a judge, he has shown careful and consistent fidelity to the Constitution and laws as written, without injecting bias or personal preferences.

"We thank the president for his fidelity to the Constitution and laws in naming such a distinguished jurist. It is now up to the Senate to act promptly to consider and vote on this nomination to fill the vacancy on the high court that was announced on July 1."
Public Advocate of the U.S. press release:
"This is a great day for Democracy in America. Samuel Alito is a highly qualified nominee. He is a proven originalist who respects the constitution and will help restore judicial restraint to the Court.

Although we opposed the Roberts and Miers nominations, we will fight vigorously for Judge Alito.

We thank President Bush for this principled nomination.

We welcome President Bush with open arms back to the conservative movement."
National Pro-Life Action Center press release:
"We applaud the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito to the Supreme Court of the United States. Had the current nomination cycle begun with his nomination on July 19 of this year, we believe that the country would be well on its way to truly returning the Court to its constitutional foundation.

"Judge Alito's professional qualifications for this position are clear, but his lone dissent in the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision leads us to believe that he also has a firm grasp of an American view of law and justice that is necessary to fulfill his duties.

"We look forward to Judge Alito’s confirmation hearing so that we might obtain a more complete understanding of his judicial temperament. We encourage him to reject the modern practice of concealing his judicial philosophy behind the 'Ginsberg Cloak of Silence.' To that end, NPLAC intends to submit the same 'Five Questions' in this nomination that it did during Judge Roberts' nomination. In the case of Harriet Miers, pro-lifers put principle over party and it is important that we maintain this practice from this point forward.
American Values (Gary Bauer) press release:
"For fifteen years Judge Alito has served on the federal bench, providing an extensive and distinguished record that demonstrates a consistent philosophy of judicial restraint, faithfulness to the Constitution, and respect for the values of the American people. He is a mainstream conservative who will uphold the best traditions of our nation's highest court."
Bauer also noted that Alito was an "exceptional selection", at which point the ears of the Senate's "Gang of 14" perked up.

Fidelis press release:
"Judge Alito is a first class nominee and his judicial philosophy appears to be one that reflects faithfulness to the Constitution and the rule of law. Judge Alito's background and temperament make him particularly suited to serve as a Justice on the Supreme Court.

"The depth and breadth of Judge Alito's intellect and service to his country is exemplary. We are confident he will extend his record of judicial restraint and impartial leadership on the Supreme Court.

[...] "Judge Alito is likely to spark a robust debate about the Constitution and the proper role of a judge and the courts. We welcome this debate and believe it to be a healthy exercise for the country."
Concerned Women for America press release:
Concerned Women for America (CWA) expressed its wholehearted support for President Bush’s nomination of Judge Samuel Alito Jr., 55, to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Alito is eminently qualified and has a consistent record as a conservative constitutionalist during the past 15 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

“Judge Alito has always been one of our top choices for the Supreme Court,” said Jan LaRue, CWA’s chief counsel. “He has all of the qualifications needed: intellect, knowledge and experience in constitutional law, integrity, competence, humility and judicial temperament.”
Focus on the Family Action press release:
"We are extremely pleased by President Bush's selection of Judge Samuel Alito, who has earned the respect of colleagues in both parties for his legal acumen and courtroom demeanor. As a federal judge for the last 15 years, Judge Alito has demonstrated that he understands the role of the judiciary is to interpret existing law in light of the Constitution, not make new law in service to a personal political agenda.

"Perhaps the most encouraging early indication that Judge Alito will make a great justice is that liberal senators such as Harry Reid and Charles Schumer and leftist pressure groups such as People for the American Way and Planned Parenthood have been lining up all day to scream that the sky is falling. Any nominee who so worries the radical left is worthy of serious consideration."

W hits paydirt with Alito nomination, Part 1

The left has gone to DefCon 1 on the news of Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court. Here's a sampling of what's burning up the fax machines at major media organizations.

MoveOn.org press release:
Alito Fails Basic Test: Sides with Powerful Special Interests against Ordinary Americans; President Opts to Divide Nation in Time of Crisis for Administration; History of Decisions against Workers, Women, Minorities, People with Disabilities
NARAL Pro-Choice America press release:
"Instead of unifying the country, President Bush has chosen the path of confrontation," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro- Choice America. "Sandra Day O'Connor has been the Court's swing Justice, casting the deciding votes over the years to protect women's reproductive freedom. Alito's confirmation could shift the Court in a direction that threatens to eviscerate the core protections for women’s freedom guaranteed by Roe v. Wade, or overturn the landmark decision altogether."
Alliance for Justice press release:
Alliance for Justice opposes the nomination of Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court. "Influential segments of the radical right torpedoed the nomination of Harriet Miers because she didn't have a proven record of being a 'movement' conservative, dedicated to carrying out their political agenda on the bench. The right is now giddy about the nomination of Samuel Alito - undoubtedly because he has such a record. If confirmed to the pivotal O'Connor seat, Judge Alito would fundamentally change the balance of the Supreme Court, tipping it in a direction that could jeopardize our most cherished rights and freedoms," stated Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice.

"The president and the right claim to value judicial restraint. Yet Judge Alito has not demonstrated such restraint," noted Aron.


"With Judge Alito, President Bush has sought to appease the radical right and fuel a revolution on the Supreme Court," said Aron. The National Law Journal reported that lawyers believe that Judge Alito is "much more of an ideologue than most of his colleagues." A prominent legal observer, who strongly supported John Roberts' nomination, has similarly called Judge Alito a "conservative activist" and asserts that his "lack of deference to Congress is unsettling."

"While it's clear Judge Alito possesses a keen intellect, it is equally clear the president selected him for his backward- looking judicial philosophy. The Supreme Court is not a place for 'movement' judges of any kind. Supreme Court Justices do not rule for a narrow segment of the population, but for all of us. It is truly disheartening that President Bush thinks otherwise. Instead of going to the Senate for advice and consent, President Bush chose to go to the right wing, injecting divisiveness and controversy into a situation that calls for unity. We call on Democrats and Republicans alike to reject this nomination," concluded Aron.
Aron continues to propagate the left's obfuscation of what "judicial restraint" actually means—namely, fealty to the plain wording of the Constitution. If fealty requires striking down acts of Congress, that's not judicial activism.

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence press release:
How could it have gone in any other direction, from a White House that just gave blanket immunity to the gun industry, which refuses to bar terrorists from buying guns, that broke a campaign promise and put Uzis and AK-47s back on America's city streets, and insisted that records of gun purchases be destroyed before the sun sets on them twice?

It had to be a Supreme Court pick that favors legal machine guns.
Maybe, just maybe, Alito just thinks that Congress has no constitutional business regulating firearms. Doesn't necessarily mean that he favors legal machine guns.

Some clippings from the right in the next post.

Ouch! But, the ugly truth.

Mallard Fillmore, October 29:

(Click image to view full size)

Well, whattayaknow... Alito it is

For once, the speculation turns out to be on the money. Of course, AP can't resist editorializing in its supposedly straight-news report on the nomination (not that Ron Fournier has ever been credibly accused of straight-news reporting):
President Bush, stung by the rejection of his first choice, nominated longtime judge Samuel Alito Monday in a bid to reshape the Supreme Court and mollify his conservative allies. Democrats said that Alito may be "too radical for the American people."

"Judge Alito has served with distinction on that court for 15 years, and now has more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years," Bush said, drawing an unspoken contrast to his first choice, Harriet Miers.

Unlike her nomination, which was derailed Thursday by Bush's conservative allies, Alito faces opposition from Democrats.

"The Senate needs to find out if the man replacing Miers is too radical for the American people," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.

Alito's nomination is one step in Bush's political recovery plan as he tries to regain his footing after a cascade of troubles rocked his presidency. His approval rating in the polls has tumbled to the lowest point of his presidency and Americans are unhappy about high energy prices, the costly war in Iraq and economic doubts. Bush also has been hit by a criminal investigation that reached into the office of Vice President Dick Cheney and led to the indictment of I. Lewis Libby, the vice president's chief of staff, on perjury and other charges in the CIA leak investigation.
Et cetera, et cetera, yada, yada, yada.

This time, the president will have the benefit of the full backing of the conservatives in his party. This time, we won't have to wait for the confirmation hearing to find out who the heck the nominee is. From what I've read so far, Alito looks like a judge worth fighting for.

October 29, 2005

Coolest web searches resulting in a visit to this blog

I'll add more to this list as I come across them.

October 28, 2005

Why "movement conservatives" fought so hard against Miers

James Pinkerton in Newsday:
[T]he renaissance of conservative legal scholarship has been one of the great success stories for the right in the past few decades. Yet, it wasn't always so. In the middle of the last century, "progressive" legal thinking was so dominant that it was hard for many even to acknowledge a different view of the law. No wonder judges felt free to issue a string of left-leaning decisions, covering everything from criminal rights to tort law to abortion.

The result was a huge backlash on the right, as conservatives, too, took to their law books, rediscovering the almost-lost world of "strict constructionism" - the idea that judges should be the umpires of American public life, not players themselves.

Today, conservative gatherings are oftentimes like law school classrooms, as movement types gather to mull once-arcane legal doctrines - and to grill politicians and prospective judges, to keep them all toeing the conservative line.

So while Bush's gut instincts seem to be conservative enough, it's painfully obvious that his head isn't engaged on these topics. That's why Bush pushed Miers - and why the movement pushed back.

The movement knows that W. will be out of office in barely more than three years, while Miers might have been on the court for decades. And the conservative movement, like all ideological movements, sees itself as eternal. So the movement, if it is to be worth anything, has no choice but to fight for what it believes - even against a Republican White House.

Rumor mill: Alito to be the nominee?

The following dispatch from RedState is just a rumor, but it's a heartwarming one. Alito's record shows that his judicial philosophy is quite similar to Scalia's, to the point that the judge has earned the nickname "Scalito". Seems like this would be a very good pick if it actually happens.
Multiple sources are telling RedState that Samuel A. Alito, Jr. of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals will be named by the President at the next associate justice of the United States Supreme Court as early as Monday.

"The situation is still in flux," says one source, "but not very much." Says another, "The White House Counsel's Office is not doing too good at keeping this a secret."

Still another source says, "Luttig and Alito were the fall backs to Miers. They have both been vetted. Alito seems more palatable. There is no need to drag this out, he's been vetted a million times."

And yet another source tells me that he is convinced Alito is the nominee barring some last minute unforeseen issue. All signs are pointing to Judge Alito right now. Things could change, but as the weekend draws closer it seems more and more likely that Judge Alito will be the nominee and conservatives will have a fight on their hands in the Senate -- a very winnable fight.
You can read U.S. News' bio of Alito here.

UPDATE: Less than an hour after this was posted here, C-Pol was visited by someone in the uscourts.gov domain who was doing a blog search on the word "alito". Within minutes of that hit, I also got a similar blog search hit from the Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering Hale & Dorr law firm in D.C. Things that make you say Hmmmm.....

UPDATE #2: RedState is now back-pedaling on the Alito rumor. They say that the chatter is now leaning more in Michael Luttig's direction. Another name that is "in play": Karen Williams. RedState claims to have informed sources, but we'll have to see how many times these informed sources change their story.

UPDATE #3: More about Alito from law.com.

Why did the CEO of Wal-Mart call for a minimum-wage hike?

Wal-Mart is already paying its hourly employees well above minimum wage, so none of the minimum wage increase proposals will have the least negative effect on it. As Lew Rockwell points out, the company actually stands to benefit from a wage hike:
So who would [a minimum-wage hike] affect if not Wal-Mart? All of its main competitors. And the truth is that there are millions of businesses that compete with it every day. Many local stores have attempted to copy Wal-Mart's price-competitive model, but face lower costs and can actually thrive.

There are many ways to compete with Wal-Mart. Not all shoppers like sprawling stores. Others like better service with more experts on the floor. Others just hate crowds. But a main way to compete is to hire lower-priced labor. This could mean that your employees are from a "lower" rung on the social ladder, but they too need opportunities. The savings can be reflected in other amenities that Wal-Mart does not offer. There can be non-standardized products otherwise not available. The location might be better. Even prices for goods can be lower.

Even similar stores such as K-Mart can pay lower wages, and that can make the margin of difference. K-Mart pays over a much wider range, as low as $6.75 an hour. A major competitor is mainstream grocery stores, where workers do indeed start at minimum wage. Target too pays starting employees less than Wal-Mart, if the Target Union can be believed.

Now, if Wal-Mart can successfully lobby the government to abolish lower-wage firms, it has taken a huge step toward running out its competition. The effect of requiring other firms to pay wages just as high as theirs is the same as if the company lobbied to force other companies to purchase only in high quantities, to open large stores only, or to stay open 24 hours. By making others do what Wal-Mart does, the company manages to put the squeeze on anyone who would dare vie for its customer base.
Indeed, there appears to be a long, honored tradition of large companies using government regulation to shut out smaller competitors:
Historians such as Robert Higgs, Butler Shaffer, Dominick Armentano, and Gabriel Kolko have chronicled how the rise of business regulation, including intervention in market wages, was pushed by large companies for one main reason: to impose higher costs on smaller competitors.

This is how child labor legislation, mandated pensions, labor union impositions, health and safety regulations, and the entire panoply of business regimentation came about. It was pushed by big businesses that had already absorbed the costs of these practices into their profit margins so as to burden smaller businesses that did not have these practices. Regulation is thus a violent method of competition.
If this is in fact Wal-Mart's motive, shame on them—but even greater shame on the federal government for giving large companies such a sledgehammer to use against their competitors.

October 27, 2005

A toast to Hamilton, Madison and Jay

The first of what was to be 85 essays on the merits of the proposed U.S. Constitution was published in the New York Independent Journal on this day in 1787. The collection of essays came to be known as the Federalist Papers.

From the Library of Congress:
Proponents of the new Constitution believed centralized government was essential for successful commercial and geographic expansion. Only a strong national government, they argued, could effectively negotiate with foreign countries, ensure free trade between states, and create a stable currency.

The Federalist essays addressed widespread concern that a national government, distanced from the people, would soon grow despotic. The essays eloquently and comprehensively argue that distributing power across the various branches of government provides checks and balances to the concentrated sovereignty of the federal government.
Possibly owing to the fact that the principles in the Federalist Papers are heartily embraced by a large percentage of one political party and are heartily abhorred by the other political party, the LOC felt compelled to include this disclaimer (emphasis added):
Ultimately, the federalist vision of a national government prevailed. However, the Federalist represents one of many perspectives in a nationwide debate over the Constitution.
...such as the "living Constitution" perspective that allows the document to take on meanings diametrically opposed to its plain wording.

October 26, 2005

Lotteries: A way for states to recoup welfare costs?

OpinionJournal's Holman Jenkins uses the so-called scandal of Harriet Miers' tenure on the Texas Lottery Commission as an opportunity to rip into the very idea of state-sponsored gambling. It doesn't matter how lotteries are presented to the voters; this is the reality:
Lottery tickets are what economists call an "inferior good"--demand grows as you go down the income scale. They are also highly taxed: At least 40% goes to the state, unless you think a lottery ticket itself is a tax on stupidity, in which case the tax is 100%.

Lotteries don't solve fiscal problems: The Texas proceeds go into a "Foundation School Fund," but that hasn't stopped legal and political wars over education funding from being the nemesis of the past three Texas governors. Studies increasingly conclude that lotteries don't add to state revenues in the long run. They just shift the burden of taxation from higher-income households to lower-income lottery players.

The ultimate refinement of this insight might have been a 1997 paper by economist Sam Papenfuss, which showed a strong correlation between lottery adoption and welfare spending. He concluded that lotteries operate as a mechanism by which taxpayers are able to reclaim some of the money they're forced to spend on welfare programs.

Lotteries advanced on the same wave of voter frustration that led various states in recent decades to adopt balanced budget amendments, property tax caps and requirements for legislative supermajorities to enact tax hikes. Lotteries are but a symptom of a growing standoff between the beneficiaries of federal transfer programs and the taxpayers called to support them.

October 21, 2005

A national debt milestone

...Or is that a millstone?

The U.S. national debt hit $8 trillion this week.

Just wait until the Medicare prescription drug entitlement kicks in. Thanks, GOP!

October 20, 2005

Before the feds usurp first-response authority on natural disasters....

Texas Governor Rick Perry and other southwest governors suggest that Washington try its hand at a task that the Constitution actually assigned to it: securing the border.

October 19, 2005

They're watching...

Friend and fellow blogger Ray noted that the maker of Degree anti-perspirant/deodorant (Unilever) is now including inspirational slogans (e.g. "LIVE LIFE") on their products. Not long after posting that observation, Ray got an e-mail from one of the folks behind Degree's new marketing campaign, thanking him for the product mention (it wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement of the slogan idea, but any product mention that doesn't trash the product is counted as a positive mention, I suppose) and offering him a year's supply of Degree as a thank-you gift.

Since I'm a long-time loyal user of Degree, you might think that I'm using this post to troll for free stuff. Well, I am.

October 18, 2005

Congress behaves in suspiciously conservative manner (for once)

From master satirist Scott Ott. Sure, it's light years from the dream of true constitutionally-limited government, but it's nice to see that the House leadership managed to yank itself back from the fiscal precipice called Katrina Recovery (thanks in no small part to the bold efforts of congressmen like Mike Pence of Indiana):
(2005-10-17) -- Congressional Republicans today announced a plan to make real spending cuts in the fiscal 2006 budget, as part of a new approach that one House Republican called a 'conservative' agenda.

"The GOP transition from 'the party of compassionate deficits', to one that advocates lean federal budgets and local solutions to local problems could take years," according to an unnamed legislative aide, "but it's a radical experiment that's worth a shot."

Some Republicans immediately bristled at the new term 'conservative' because it suggests a stubborn reluctance to create generous new entitlement programs, like the Medicare prescription drug benefit, with taxpayer dollars.

"How in the world are we going to buy votes if we can't use the voters' money to do so?" said one seven-term Congressional veteran. "You start throwing that word 'conservative' around, and people will expect us to reduce spending, focus on national defense and get the government off the backs of small businesses. Ordinary Republicans will wonder what happened to the party of Lincoln...you know, Lincoln Chafee."

Exploit your baby for a just cause!

babyPolitico is offering a line of children's clothing bearing a variety of liberal political messages (and available in 100% USDA Certified Organic Cotton!). Not that I object to the left engaging in a bit of capitalist self-expression.

Given the Democratic Party's embrace of abortion as a fundamental human right, I did find it curious that one T-shirt has the little tyke proclaiming, "Don't blame my Mom, she voted DEMOCRAT." Hey, kid, just be happy that you're around to wear the T-shirt.

(Credit: AdRants, via The Urban Grind)

What good are men, anyway?

Albert Mohler reports that an increasing number of radical feminists are arguing that, apart from their usefulness as anonymous sperm donors, adult males are mostly surplus.

They're not just saying that kids raised without a dad turn out okay; they're saying that kids raised by mom—divorced, never married, or in a lesbian relationship— are better off than they would be if dad was present. They casually dismiss the vast body of research indicating the importance of the father, especially in the development of boys.

I wonder when these women are going to break the news to their sons that, once they're grown up, they'll be expected to stay the heck away from the women.

October 11, 2005

What role does the Declaration of Independence play in the structure and proper functioning of the U.S. government?

The Federalist Patriot has a new online petition seeking no less than the restoration of constitutional government in the U.S., a goal with which I heartily agree:
Petition to Restore Constitutional Integrity

To President George Bush, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, House Majority Leader Roy Blunt and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist:

Whereas you have, in some notable cases, neglected your oaths to support and defend the Constitution of the United States; and

Whereas we believe individual liberty and personal responsibility, together with limited government, free enterprise and a strong national defense are the formula that keeps America great; and

Whereas we believe that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence should and must be returned to their rightful place as the delimiters of Republican government and civil society; and

Whereas we believe that individual liberty rapidly decays into anarchy and corruption without a meaningful commitment to personal responsibility based on our nation's godly heritage, and that traditional beliefs and values must continue to serve as our nation's touchstone and compass; and

Whereas we believe that government that is strong but limited best secures liberty, a notion -- Lex Rex and not Rex Lex -- that guided our Founders in composing the Declaration of Independence and its subsequent guidance, our Constitution; and

Whereas we believe that government that exceeds or dismisses those bounds becomes tyrannical, regardless of the party in power;

We, therefore, declare our commitment to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence over that of any individual or party.

Furthermore, amid the abuse, neglect and ignorance of the Constitution that permeates American government today, even among those who would call themselves conservative, we call on congressional leaders and President Bush, in their respective branches, to hence forward respect our nation's law by restricting the role of government to that provided in our Constitution, and to ensure appointments to the federal courts will do likewise.

We, the people of these United States, rightfully petition our President, House of Representatives and Senate to restore Constitutional law, and entreat the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches to confine their actions accordingly.
I'm troubled, however, by the fact that the petition seems to give the Declaration a role as legally binding as the Constitution has in defining the structure of the federal government and the scope of its power. I would say instead that the Declaration provides the philosophical foundation for the Constitution. A proper understanding of the Declaration is an essential prerequisite to a proper understanding of the Constitution, but there is nothing in the Declaration that has the force of law.

A minor quibble, but I'm happy to get that off my chest. :-)

Harriet Miers and the autumn of conservative discontent

When is the last time that the right has been so vigorously divided on an issue? Some say: Just wait until the confirmation hearings, and all of your doubts will be addressed. Others say: Why should we have to wait until then to learn something substantial about her? President Bush says: Trust me.

The fact of the matter is that President Bush—a genuinely good man who is precisely the right one to lead our country in the war on terror—has never governed as one who reveres originalism in constitutional interpretation. Mainly for that reason, I will take his Trust me with a big grain of salt.

Updates below cartoons

(Click images to view full size)

UPDATE: By the way, Laura, you're not helping things by suggesting that Miers' conservative critics might be motivated by sexism. You could bet the farm that none of this opposition would have occurred if Janice Rogers Brown had been nominated. In fact, you would have seen these same critics fighting alongside W in the trenches.

October 8, 2005

It depends on what the meaning of "wrong" is, Mr. Clooney

Brit Hume reports (emphasis added):
Movie star George Clooney is warning other Hollywood liberals to keep their mouths shut when it comes to politics, saying they're likely to hurt the candidates they're trying to help. Clooney says he declined to campaign for John Kerry last year because critics would use his involvement to paint Kerry as beholden to liberal Hollywood. But while he thinks it's dangerous for actors to go public with their politics, Clooney still defends his left-leaning views, saying, “It's pretty hard to find a time when liberals were on the wrong side of an issue."
Kinda funny how always being on the right side of the issues is like poison to your favored candidates, Mr. Clooney...

Harriet? Sigh.

Countless electrons have been expended expressing the negative reaction of the conservative and constitutionalist right to the nomination of Harriet Miers for associate justice on the Supreme Court. I have nothing unique to add, except to cast my vote...

In general, I agree with James Taranto, who said he was "underwhelmed, not appalled" at the pick. W could have done much, much better.