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Wednesday, January 25, 2006  

For your delectation and viewing pleasure, we refer you to The Beast magazine's 2005 edition of "The 50 Most Loathsome People in America." Contains, among hundreds of other tiny delicious razor-filled bon-bons, this gem: "[Bush] interprets the Constitution like a Unitarian interprets the bible; for maximum convenience and with no regard to the actual text." Go read it, then feel queasy at the thought that these people are very real, and have their grotesque dishonesty, greed and grasping ambition to thank for their very real weath and power. It's just that kind of a world, I guess.

Via Pandagon. Picture stolen from The Beast without permission, but with maximum respect.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006  
It would be funny if it didn't make you want to chuck yourself headfirst off a bridge: This Modern World's Year in Review, parts one and two.


Chris Bertram is right - the new Google video search is amazing.

Also, The Alito hearing is lurching forward, and Kevin Drum asks a fair question:

I listened to a few minutes of the Alito hearing this morning and I heard Alito say that he thought Griswold v. Connecticut, the landmark privacy case, was correctly decided. But of course he won't tell us whether he thinks Roe v. Wade was correctly decided. Why not? Why is it OK to take a firm stand on some decisions but not on others?

This confirmation kabuki is always instructive less for what it says about the nominee than for the data that can be gleaned from watching how hard each party fights. The objective can't be to determine what kind of judge Alito is. Guess what - he's an anti-abortion conservative. Anyone who thinks that there is any uncertainty about that and that these hearings are going to "get to the bottom of it" is an idiot. As I said before - Bush gets to nominate an anti-abortion conservative because that's how he ran, and that's how the country voted. And don't think that Roe v. Wade is so firmly based in unavoidable principles of the Constitution that it can never be flipped, because it isn't.

A side note - People often confuse the historic significance of Roe v. Wade with its legal significance. Anyone who would choose the reasoning in Roe as the bulwark of abortion rights has simply never read it. It's a horrible decision, that basically leaves the door open for scientific advances to eliminate abortion rights. Casey is much stronger.

Anyway, my point is that the nominee's shuck and jive has nothing to do with strongly held beliefs about the propriety of prejudging controversies, but rather reflects the fact that the judge is already politicized, already sensitive to, and altering his behavior to adapt to, political sensibilities and third-rails. Does this affect his rulings? Who knows. All I know is that the more nominees pretend to be above the political firefights, the more they demonstrate that they are anything but.

Arg, I'm out of time. More later.

Hmm. I see that She Who Must Not Be Linked has sent her teeming minions in my direction, so welcome!


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