January 12, 2006

it seems like everywhere I go the sky is falling



* Troubling times, troubling nominee. excerpt:

"This country is facing one of the most serious constitutional crises in its history. President Bush has claimed virtually absolute authority to act in contradiction of federal and international law. In the recently disclosed National Security Agency operation, he has claimed the right to order surveillance that may be a crime under federal law. Last week, it was disclosed that when Bush signed a prohibition on torture he had long opposed, he reserved the right to violate it if he deemed it in the nation's interests.

"The Framers gave our nation three branches in a system of checks and balances to prevent the concentration of power. The Republican-controlled Congress has remained largely passive in the face of these extreme assertions of power, leaving only the judicial branch as a check. Over the past five years, many federal judges — including Republican appointees — have stood against some of the president's most extreme actions.

"We are down to our last branch, and Alito would supply the final vote to shift the balance of power toward a president claiming the powers of a maximum leader. Alito's writings and opinions show a jurist who is willing to yield tremendous authority to the government and offer little in terms of judicial review — views repeatedly rejected not only by his appellate colleagues but also by the U.S. Supreme Court."
...
"As he did as a Reagan administration attorney, Judge Alito often adopts standards so low that any government excuse can overcome any government abuse."
...
"An independent judiciary means little if our judges are not independently minded. In criminal, immigration and other cases, Alito is one of the government's most predictable votes on the federal bench. Though his supporters have attempted to portray this as merely a principle of judicial deference, it is a raw form of judicial bias.

"The Alito vote might prove to be the single most important decision on the future of our constitutional system for decades to come. While I generally defer to presidents in their choices for the court, Samuel Alito is the wrong nominee at the wrong time for this country."

* Frank Zappa tells Washington Times wingnut John Lofton, to "kiss my ass" in a 1986 edition of Crossfire. video at link.

* "My wife and I were in a car with Andy. It was snowing out and the driver was speeding. I asked him to slow down. Andy turned to me and in a fey arch whiny voice said, 'You wouldn't have said that a few years ago.' He was being so evil so I never spoke to him again." -- Lou Reed

* hanzismatter is dedicated to the misuse of chinese characters in western culture. it features many pictures of tatoos that don't mean what their wearers believe they do.

* "The truth is, people like Samuel Alito & George W. Bush don’t want to stop at the fifties. After all, that dirty rock ‘n roll was already subverting the nation with its African appeal to white teenagers. No, Alito & Bush & the rest of them won’t stop until they have restored the Gilded Age, where every robber baron sat in the front pew on Sunday." - Joseph Duemer

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