maxomai: dog (Default)
I realize a lot of y'all are pissed off that the filibuster didn't go so well, so I'd like to take this opportunity to point out what this looks like through the eyes of someone who's been part of the Democratic establishment since he was a kid.

I don't know how many of you remember Clarence Thomas. You know, the right-wing black judge that was one of three to vote against Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law; one of four that will form a likely anti-Roe bloc now that Alito is assured confirmation. When Bush Sr. nominated Thomas, he got 98 votes in the US Senate. 98. That's when the Democrats were in the majority. There was no filibuster, no talk of a filibuster, not even a hint that the Democrats were going to put up a fight. And so we got what we thought would be our fourth anti-Roe judge, and we were certain then, as we are now, that Roe was about to come to an end. The only thing that saved Roe was the election of Bill Clinton and the appointment of two pro-Roe judges. Correction OK, it wasn't 98 votes for Thomas, it was 52-48; however, a filibuster wasn't even attemped in his case.

Back then, liberals and progressives were just as pissed at the Senate Democrats for rolling over as we are today. The difference is, back then we got one Senate Democrat to take a principled stand.

Over this last weekend, we got 25 Senate Democrats to take a principled stand. Some of these folks, like Biden and Feinstein, were dragged kicking and screaming into taking the stand -- but they took it nonetheless.

Guys, that's progress. And if we keep up the fight, it's only a matter of time before we not only control the direction of the Democratic Party, but also control the direction of the whole country through Democratic majorities. That is what we are fighting for, and it won't come easy, but it will come.

Meanwhile, Alito is going to the bench, and with this the court is going to take a decidedly fascist turn, but not as bad as if the neo-Federalists had a clear majority. Our best strategy to prevent that eventuality is a Democratic Senate in 2006 and a Democratic President in 2008. Best get workin'.
maxomai: dog (Default)
I realize a lot of y'all are pissed off that the filibuster didn't go so well, so I'd like to take this opportunity to point out what this looks like through the eyes of someone who's been part of the Democratic establishment since he was a kid.

I don't know how many of you remember Clarence Thomas. You know, the right-wing black judge that was one of three to vote against Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law; one of four that will form a likely anti-Roe bloc now that Alito is assured confirmation. When Bush Sr. nominated Thomas, he got 98 votes in the US Senate. 98. That's when the Democrats were in the majority. There was no filibuster, no talk of a filibuster, not even a hint that the Democrats were going to put up a fight. And so we got what we thought would be our fourth anti-Roe judge, and we were certain then, as we are now, that Roe was about to come to an end. The only thing that saved Roe was the election of Bill Clinton and the appointment of two pro-Roe judges. Correction OK, it wasn't 98 votes for Thomas, it was 52-48; however, a filibuster wasn't even attemped in his case.

Back then, liberals and progressives were just as pissed at the Senate Democrats for rolling over as we are today. The difference is, back then we got one Senate Democrat to take a principled stand.

Over this last weekend, we got 25 Senate Democrats to take a principled stand. Some of these folks, like Biden and Feinstein, were dragged kicking and screaming into taking the stand -- but they took it nonetheless.

Guys, that's progress. And if we keep up the fight, it's only a matter of time before we not only control the direction of the Democratic Party, but also control the direction of the whole country through Democratic majorities. That is what we are fighting for, and it won't come easy, but it will come.

Meanwhile, Alito is going to the bench, and with this the court is going to take a decidedly fascist turn, but not as bad as if the neo-Federalists had a clear majority. Our best strategy to prevent that eventuality is a Democratic Senate in 2006 and a Democratic President in 2008. Best get workin'.
maxomai: dog (Default)
The bad news is that Alito is soon to be a Justice on the US Supreme Court.

The good news is that AK-47s and surplus ammo are cheap.
maxomai: dog (Default)
The bad news is that Alito is soon to be a Justice on the US Supreme Court.

The good news is that AK-47s and surplus ammo are cheap.
maxomai: dog (Default)
This text was obtained from Raw Story. It is presented here for your benefit.

Floor Remarks by Senator Reid, as prepared for delivery Monday, January 30, 2006

Tomorrow night, President Bush will come to the Capitol and deliver his fifth State of the Union Address. It is an important moment for President Bush and America. In fact, this may be the most difficult speech the President will ever give.

On the difficult year we just had )

SOTU as a Credibility Test )

The assessment of the state of our Union )

On National Security )

On Health Care )

On the Economy )

On Cleaning Up Corruption )

On Sam Alito )

In Conclusion )
maxomai: dog (Default)
This text was obtained from Raw Story. It is presented here for your benefit.

Floor Remarks by Senator Reid, as prepared for delivery Monday, January 30, 2006

Tomorrow night, President Bush will come to the Capitol and deliver his fifth State of the Union Address. It is an important moment for President Bush and America. In fact, this may be the most difficult speech the President will ever give.

On the difficult year we just had )

SOTU as a Credibility Test )

The assessment of the state of our Union )

On National Security )

On Health Care )

On the Economy )

On Cleaning Up Corruption )

On Sam Alito )

In Conclusion )
maxomai: dog (Default)
Have you told your Senator to support the filibuster yet?
maxomai: dog (Default)
Have you told your Senator to support the filibuster yet?
maxomai: dog (Default)
John Kerry just announced that he is going to filibuster Sam Alito. Ted Kennedy intends to join him.

Frankly, he can't do this alone; he needs us to put pressure on Senate Democrats to sustain the filibuster. Even if he goes down fighting, he deserves our support.

Contact your Senators right now -- email, fax, phone, whatever -- and tell them to support the filibuster. You can use Congress.org to get contact information or to send an email. The next few hours are critical to the success of this endeavor.

Update Ron Wyden is apparently going to support the filibuster. So, keep contacting him, but you don't have to quite flood him.
maxomai: dog (Default)
John Kerry just announced that he is going to filibuster Sam Alito. Ted Kennedy intends to join him.

Frankly, he can't do this alone; he needs us to put pressure on Senate Democrats to sustain the filibuster. Even if he goes down fighting, he deserves our support.

Contact your Senators right now -- email, fax, phone, whatever -- and tell them to support the filibuster. You can use Congress.org to get contact information or to send an email. The next few hours are critical to the success of this endeavor.

Update Ron Wyden is apparently going to support the filibuster. So, keep contacting him, but you don't have to quite flood him.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Once in a while you might feel the urge to pop off a fax to your favorite Senators -- say, for example, to instruct them to filibuster Sam Alito. Fortunately, you don't need a fax machine to do it -- in fact you can do it using a web browser.

Here's how you do it:

1) Get an account with an online faxing service, such as RapidFax or MyFax. Note that RapidFax has a free trial you can use; regular price is $9.95/mo for 100 sent and 200 received. MyFax is more by a nickel.

2) Look up the fax numbers for your Senators with Congress.org. For example:

Ron Wyden: (202) 228-2717
Gordon Smith: (202) 228-3997

And since we're at it:
Harry Reid: (202) 224-7327

3) Use your online account to compose simple messages for your state's Senators. Be sure to include your address, so that your state's Senators can verify that you're really a constituent. Examples are behind the cut.

Examples! )

There may be better or free ways to do this. If you know of any, please post them here. Thanks.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Once in a while you might feel the urge to pop off a fax to your favorite Senators -- say, for example, to instruct them to filibuster Sam Alito. Fortunately, you don't need a fax machine to do it -- in fact you can do it using a web browser.

Here's how you do it:

1) Get an account with an online faxing service, such as RapidFax or MyFax. Note that RapidFax has a free trial you can use; regular price is $9.95/mo for 100 sent and 200 received. MyFax is more by a nickel.

2) Look up the fax numbers for your Senators with Congress.org. For example:

Ron Wyden: (202) 228-2717
Gordon Smith: (202) 228-3997

And since we're at it:
Harry Reid: (202) 224-7327

3) Use your online account to compose simple messages for your state's Senators. Be sure to include your address, so that your state's Senators can verify that you're really a constituent. Examples are behind the cut.

Examples! )

There may be better or free ways to do this. If you know of any, please post them here. Thanks.

Alito

Jan. 24th, 2006 10:33 am
maxomai: dog (Default)
Alito passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 10-8 vote. Every Republican voted in favor; every Democrat voted against. This includes Russ Feingold (D-WI), who is normally deferential to the wishes of the President to nominate judges. The only judges he opposes are real nutcases like Rogers-Brown and Pryor.

The nomination now moves to the full Senate. So far the only Democrat voting for him is Ben Nelson (D-NE), and Jim Jeffords (I-VT) is also voting for him. Reid, Schumer and Stabenow have all announced their opposition. Based on this, I expect Alito to get confirmed 57-43.

There's rumblings of a filibuster, but we won't know whether it's going to happen until later today. Don't get your hopes up -- it's very unlikely to happen. Even if the Democrats have enough votes to sustain the filibuster, they might decide that it's not worth risking the GOP exercising the nuclear option and pushing through an even more extreme nominee (e.g. Janice Rogers Brown) next time.

Alito

Jan. 24th, 2006 10:33 am
maxomai: dog (Default)
Alito passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 10-8 vote. Every Republican voted in favor; every Democrat voted against. This includes Russ Feingold (D-WI), who is normally deferential to the wishes of the President to nominate judges. The only judges he opposes are real nutcases like Rogers-Brown and Pryor.

The nomination now moves to the full Senate. So far the only Democrat voting for him is Ben Nelson (D-NE), and Jim Jeffords (I-VT) is also voting for him. Reid, Schumer and Stabenow have all announced their opposition. Based on this, I expect Alito to get confirmed 57-43.

There's rumblings of a filibuster, but we won't know whether it's going to happen until later today. Don't get your hopes up -- it's very unlikely to happen. Even if the Democrats have enough votes to sustain the filibuster, they might decide that it's not worth risking the GOP exercising the nuclear option and pushing through an even more extreme nominee (e.g. Janice Rogers Brown) next time.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Since the mainstream media basically isn't doing its job, it falls to us LJers and bloggers to get you the news you can use. And when it comes to the illegal wiretaps that the Drunk in Chief apparently ordered, anything you can find comes in real handy right about now.

  • Yesterday President-Elect-In-Fact Albert Gore blasted the current regime (MP3) (Realplayer Video) on illegal wiretaps. The mainstream media is reporting this as Gore accusing Bush of criminal activity. The real meat of this, however, is that Gore evicerated The Drunk's excuses for breaking the law by comparison to the days of our Founding Fathers. Quoting:
    The founders of our country faced dire threats. If they failed in their endeavors, they would have been hung as traitors. The very existence of our country was at risk.

    Yet, in the teeth of those dangers, they insisted on establishing the Bill of Rights.

    Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment's notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars?

    It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same.
    The Drunk, by contrast, apparently believes that Al Qaeda is a bigger threat than the Soviet Union or the British Empire -- which makes me wonder why he didn't finish them off before deciding to dedicate so much of our resources to Iraq, and why he stated in 2002 that he really doesn't care that much about OBL. Either that, or he believes that America is made of lesser stuff today than in the days after the Revolution. Either way, you're getting screwed. (Thanks [livejournal.com profile] jk_fabiani for the links)

  • Alberto Gonzales went on Larry King yesterday to try to defend The Drunk. By way of defense, he claimed that the Clinton administration conducted a warrantless physical search. Thing is, Clinton's warrantless searches are legal according to FISA as long as the Attorney General certifies them -- besides which, the man Gonzales used as an example worked for the CIA, and consented contractually to warrantless searches of his home as a condition of his employment. The law has changed since then, but under the law of the time, the search was legal. By way of contrast, FISA requires a warrant for every wiretap, and the vast majority of Americans never consented to a wiretap.

  • The Center for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union are pursuing separate lawsuits against the administration over the illegal wiretaps. Both suits demand the end of the wiretapping program.

  • Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) is promising to look into the administration's wiretapping activity. By the way, he brought up the possibility of impeachment during the Sunday morning talk shows.

  • Edit Senators Voinovich and DeWine (both R-OH) jump on the illegal wiretaps bandwagon. However, they've tempered their remarks by also leaving the door open to prosecute the whistleblower. Sounds like they're spinning to me.

  • A correction: the previously reported Truthout story has been debunked -- meaning, we don't have evidence that the wiretaps started before 9/11.

  • Edit It turns out that the illegal wiretaps also have an unacceptably high false positive rate. The FBI is having to process thousands of leads per month generated by the program. Of these tens of thousands of leads a year, only a couple dozen led to any potential terror suspects -- the rest were all either dead ends or innocent people. This raises the question of whether this enormous expenditure of capital and infringement on our rights is worth the meager benefits. The FBI also, by the way, questioned the legality of the illegal wiretap program long before this stuff burst out upon the news.

  • The latest Zogby poll shows that Americans support impeaching The Drunk "if" he conducted illegal wiretaps. The result was 52% for impeachment, 43% against. Don't get your hopes up, though: the fact is that impeachment is only likely if we give the Democrats control of the US House of Representatives in November.









Meanwhile, you need to write your Senators and your local paper and tell them to halt the Alito nomination until we have more information about where he stands on the authority of the President to ignore the law. You can go here to do all of this with one click. Remember: a one-week delay is not enough time if the question isn't answered.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Since the mainstream media basically isn't doing its job, it falls to us LJers and bloggers to get you the news you can use. And when it comes to the illegal wiretaps that the Drunk in Chief apparently ordered, anything you can find comes in real handy right about now.

  • Yesterday President-Elect-In-Fact Albert Gore blasted the current regime (MP3) (Realplayer Video) on illegal wiretaps. The mainstream media is reporting this as Gore accusing Bush of criminal activity. The real meat of this, however, is that Gore evicerated The Drunk's excuses for breaking the law by comparison to the days of our Founding Fathers. Quoting:
    The founders of our country faced dire threats. If they failed in their endeavors, they would have been hung as traitors. The very existence of our country was at risk.

    Yet, in the teeth of those dangers, they insisted on establishing the Bill of Rights.

    Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment's notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars?

    It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same.
    The Drunk, by contrast, apparently believes that Al Qaeda is a bigger threat than the Soviet Union or the British Empire -- which makes me wonder why he didn't finish them off before deciding to dedicate so much of our resources to Iraq, and why he stated in 2002 that he really doesn't care that much about OBL. Either that, or he believes that America is made of lesser stuff today than in the days after the Revolution. Either way, you're getting screwed. (Thanks [livejournal.com profile] jk_fabiani for the links)

  • Alberto Gonzales went on Larry King yesterday to try to defend The Drunk. By way of defense, he claimed that the Clinton administration conducted a warrantless physical search. Thing is, Clinton's warrantless searches are legal according to FISA as long as the Attorney General certifies them -- besides which, the man Gonzales used as an example worked for the CIA, and consented contractually to warrantless searches of his home as a condition of his employment. The law has changed since then, but under the law of the time, the search was legal. By way of contrast, FISA requires a warrant for every wiretap, and the vast majority of Americans never consented to a wiretap.

  • The Center for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union are pursuing separate lawsuits against the administration over the illegal wiretaps. Both suits demand the end of the wiretapping program.

  • Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) is promising to look into the administration's wiretapping activity. By the way, he brought up the possibility of impeachment during the Sunday morning talk shows.

  • Edit Senators Voinovich and DeWine (both R-OH) jump on the illegal wiretaps bandwagon. However, they've tempered their remarks by also leaving the door open to prosecute the whistleblower. Sounds like they're spinning to me.

  • A correction: the previously reported Truthout story has been debunked -- meaning, we don't have evidence that the wiretaps started before 9/11.

  • Edit It turns out that the illegal wiretaps also have an unacceptably high false positive rate. The FBI is having to process thousands of leads per month generated by the program. Of these tens of thousands of leads a year, only a couple dozen led to any potential terror suspects -- the rest were all either dead ends or innocent people. This raises the question of whether this enormous expenditure of capital and infringement on our rights is worth the meager benefits. The FBI also, by the way, questioned the legality of the illegal wiretap program long before this stuff burst out upon the news.

  • The latest Zogby poll shows that Americans support impeaching The Drunk "if" he conducted illegal wiretaps. The result was 52% for impeachment, 43% against. Don't get your hopes up, though: the fact is that impeachment is only likely if we give the Democrats control of the US House of Representatives in November.









Meanwhile, you need to write your Senators and your local paper and tell them to halt the Alito nomination until we have more information about where he stands on the authority of the President to ignore the law. You can go here to do all of this with one click. Remember: a one-week delay is not enough time if the question isn't answered.
maxomai: dog (Default)
WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter on Friday announced he would vote to confirm Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I intend to vote to support Judge Alito's nomination as associate justice of the Supreme Court," said the Pennsylvania Republican at the conclusion of his committee's confirmation hearing.


He also stated, by the way, "If I thought he should not be on the Supreme Court, I would vote no."

This is coming from a Senator that has been described by many as a supporter of abortion rights. Quite frankly, if Specter can't bring himself to vote against this nominee, then he doesn't pass the litmus test for being pro-choice.

NARAL better be paying attention. And so had the Democrats in the Senate.
maxomai: dog (Default)
WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter on Friday announced he would vote to confirm Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I intend to vote to support Judge Alito's nomination as associate justice of the Supreme Court," said the Pennsylvania Republican at the conclusion of his committee's confirmation hearing.


He also stated, by the way, "If I thought he should not be on the Supreme Court, I would vote no."

This is coming from a Senator that has been described by many as a supporter of abortion rights. Quite frankly, if Specter can't bring himself to vote against this nominee, then he doesn't pass the litmus test for being pro-choice.

NARAL better be paying attention. And so had the Democrats in the Senate.
maxomai: dog (Default)
From the Senate Minority Leader:

I have followed the Alito hearings closely. Democrats on the Committee did their jobs by asking tough questions about important issues: civil rights, privacy, environmental protections, the danger of unchecked presidential power and others. Unfortunately, Judge Alito's responses did little to address my serious concerns about his 15-year judicial record.

I have not forgotten that Judge Alito was only nominated after the radical right wing of the President's party forced Harriet Miers to withdraw. The right wing insisted that Justice O'Connor be replaced with a sure vote for their extreme agenda. Four days of hearings have shown that Judge Alito is no Sandra Day O'Connor.

Senate Democrats will meet next week to discuss the nomination.


Here is a site where you can write your Senators and your local paper about the Alito nomination, all with one web form. This is one-stop shopping for fighting the Alito nomination. I suggest you use it.

You may also want to sign this petition put together by People for the American Way.
maxomai: dog (Default)
From the Senate Minority Leader:

I have followed the Alito hearings closely. Democrats on the Committee did their jobs by asking tough questions about important issues: civil rights, privacy, environmental protections, the danger of unchecked presidential power and others. Unfortunately, Judge Alito's responses did little to address my serious concerns about his 15-year judicial record.

I have not forgotten that Judge Alito was only nominated after the radical right wing of the President's party forced Harriet Miers to withdraw. The right wing insisted that Justice O'Connor be replaced with a sure vote for their extreme agenda. Four days of hearings have shown that Judge Alito is no Sandra Day O'Connor.

Senate Democrats will meet next week to discuss the nomination.


Here is a site where you can write your Senators and your local paper about the Alito nomination, all with one web form. This is one-stop shopping for fighting the Alito nomination. I suggest you use it.

You may also want to sign this petition put together by People for the American Way.

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