Monday, October 31, 2005

Alito Nomination

Bush today appointed Federal Court of Appeals Judge for the Third Circuit Samuel Alito to succeed Sandra Day O'Connor. I love the pick. I think it is a fiendishly sly move. In fact, I wonder if there isn't a possibility that Bush et. al. didn't orchestrate the Miers' nomination with an aim at a withdrawal or Senatorial fillibuster. Though this claim will never be capable of verification, my reasons for the thought are thus:

First, Democrats' outspoken opposition to Federal Court judges earlier in Bush's term wasted political capital. The spoils of the presidency have always been nominations. Dems can only so long play the "we disagree with judicial philosophy of this President, we're going to take a stand!" drum.

Second, Bush has remedied the flaws articulated about the Miers candidacy. Alito is very experienced with the Federal Judicial System. He has spent a career of working for the Solicitor's general office and as a Federal Appellate Judge (15 yrs on the bench). His pedigree academically and otherwise is top notch.

Third, Alito is the third SCOTUS candidate that Dems have immediately attempted to rally against (See Ted Kennedy's statement today). Roberts because he was too young, too inexperienced on the bench, too conservative, and an unknown quantity, as most of his written work was for the earlier administrations and therefore reflected his professional obligation to a client (the White House), rather than independent judgments. Miers was opposed because under-qualified educationally and otherwise, unkown for views independent of working for Governor, now-President Bush and other insitutional clients, had no experience as a judge, and was a suspected Roe v. Wade-basher.

Enter Alito: the "too-conservative" cry cannot stand in light of the sequence that yielded his nomination. By most accounts on the Volokh Conspiracy and elsewhere among centrist academics, Alito is another judge fashioned from a Robertsonian cloth. If this was all engineered by the Bush administration, this pick is even more brillant than the Roberts nomination!

Bush has satisfied me that his campaign promise to the base was in fact met. The holy outrage over Miers has passed. An egg-shell walking contest looms for the Democratic party.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Gender Equality?

French golfer Jean Van de Velde wants to qualify for the Women's British Open. This announcement comes on the heels of the decision to allow women to qualify for the Men's Open. Naturally the golf authorities refuse to publicly address such a story head-on. But I think that a frank discussion of this dichotomy should be forthcoming.

Though silly it may seem, why shouldn't men be allowed in a professional sport in which men's leagues admit the most competitive of their female peers? I believe that this policy is inherently sexist. The message conveyed signifies one of two possibilities. Either 1) men should not aspire to lessen themselves to the level of women's competition, or 2) the competition of men's leagues are so clearly superior (vis-a-vis the women's equivalent) that the best women should not be subjected to the limitation of only playing with women.

It is the feeble intentions of the gender equality folks that have set up this framework by allowing, even forcing, womenly participation in men's ahtletics. These folks have some explaining to do.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

One Reason I'm a Zionist

Iran president wants Israel "wiped off the map"

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Liz Phair...

...just gave what might be the worst rendition of "God Bless America" I have ever heard during Game 1 of the World Series.

The Wit of an AMFA Member

I have stumbled upon an anti-AMFA by AMFA members. The primary feature of the site is the message board, where fed up members voice their displeasure for their union. This is the rank-and-file speaking its mind - not the union heads spouting off the usual rhetoric on AMFA's site. Kudos to those speaking out - it is, after all, these people who are feeling the real effects of this strike.

The following is an excerpt from one of the e-mails posted on the site. One wouldn't know that actual members feel this way about their "leadership" from following the mainstream media's coverage of the strike.
Our fearless Assistant National Director, Steve MacFarlane has recently conducted a garage sale and is in the process of selling his house. He's moving to Utah. Well I guess it would only be natural to move to Utah after he's finally done screwing all of us he's got to go to a state where polygamy is legal so he can screw more people.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Best Explanation of Cards' Win

Last night I saw the most incredible thing on a baseball field that memory will allow me to recall (apart from the collective 4-game comeback by last year's Red Sox--nonetheless, this was a dramatic momentary turn-around). Pujols of course hit that towering home run into left field, with his team having been just one strike away from playoff elimination. The following is one possible explanation:

Now, as for the Astros' playoff beards: Is it me, or are these guys actually grooming their playoff beards? Take a look at Lance Berkman's chin line; it's suspiciously clean, isn't it? If I'm right, then this is very, very bad form. This is George Michael territory. The baseball gods will punish this behavior. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but soon and for the rest of their lives.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Larry David

All three of us Reasonably Rightsters were having lunch today at Peter's Grill in downtown Minneapolis. I am convinced that I spotted Larry David, co-creator of "Seinfeld," creator of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and the biggest genius in comedy, in the same restaurant while we were there. All of us had a few good looks at him, but none of us could say with absolute certainty that it was him.

If anyone can point me to a source that definitively states whether Larry David was in Minneapolis today or not, the first one to do so will earn a complimentary lunch/dinner at Peter's.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Baseball Playoffs

I am fond of making predictions about my teams in a tangible medium of expression prior to the big games, so that I can hope to have bragging rights when I am right (this happens roughly 9% of the time).

So, for my NLCS-bound St. Louis Cardinals: Might the key to the series be Reggie Sanders' .429 BA, .529 OBP, 5 HR, and 13 RBI in 11 games against Houston this regular season?

I agree that Houston's cadre of pitchers is the best playoff 1-2-3 I've ever seen assembled for a playoff series. However, these same teams played last season. Houston was missing Pettitte due to injury. St. Louis was missing Carpenter for the same reason. Both are back and pitching well.

Mark Mulder is the bonus addition for the Cards. That is a pretty big bonus. Oswalt and Backe (who is scheduled to start game 4) were a combined 1-3 against St. Louis this year in 6 starts. Backe gave up 13 runs in 11 1/3 innings, and Oswalt surrendered 11 runs in 19 innings.

Might it be that the Cards that won last year, are stronger on paper this year? Let's hope so. STL in 7.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Miers, part III

Of her religious persuasion, Today's Times has this story, and this line:

Religion appears to have influenced her views on certain subjects. In a discussion with her campaign manager in 1989, Ms. Miers said she had been in favor in her younger years of a woman's right to have an abortion, but her views evolved against abortion, influenced largely by her born-again religious beliefs, said Lorlee Bartos, a Democratic campaign consultant in Dallas who managed Ms. Miers's City Council campaign.
"She was someone whose view had shifted, and she explained that to me," Ms. Bartos said.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Miers, part II

Linked here is an observation from Miers' student-authored casenote while at Southern Methodist Law School. *Big disclaimer:* My own view of student-authored law review articles is that not everything written directly reflects the views of the author (they are seeking to get published per the editorial board's satisfaction). Additionally, I think views certainly may change in 30+ years of practice.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Bankruptcy Reform and special interests

Remember in the Spring of this year when the Reform legislation to the Bankruptcy Code was passed with much criticism because it was solely a product of the special interest that is the credit card industry? Well this article, that I missed at the time, speaks to other special interests involved.

It is interesting to note that Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY, received $2.5 million in campaign contributions from lawyers in his last campaign. Ted Kennedy, D-MA, received the single largest campaign pot from lawyers (relative to all other groups) in his last campaign.

Curious? The new Bankruptcy laws made attorney's fees the number 2 priority, to family support obligations in the priority hierarchy. Formerly, lawyers got paid ahead of all other comers. Hmm. . . I wonder if any of those lawyers forking out cash to Democrats had an interest in voting against the legislation?

Miers nomination

The media channels are currently being glutted with analysis of Harriet Miers validity as a nominee to be a Justice of the SCOTUS. I have this morning read blog presentations ranging from, "no experience as a judge," to "Bush crony," to "highly professional and loyal." Most strange, one person has claimed she is in fact a lesbian who sent her partner to enter a proxy vote for her in some sort of committee meeting while in Texas (this anonymous individual claimed personal knowledge of this event, claiming that Miers said in advance that she was "sending her partner") .

I thought it would be of interest, that Jay Sekulow, of the Evangelical conservative non-profit, the American Center for Law and Justice, is a supporter of Ms. Miers. He calls her in a recent grouplist email "[an] excellent nominee [and] a strong candidate who shares your values and ideals, and one who will properly interpret the Constitution and not legislate from the bench. She is bright, thoughtful, and a consummate professional."

He adds, "As head of the Texas Bar Association, Harriet Miers attempted to reverse the pro-abortion position of the American Bar Association - returning it to its former position of neutrality."

The PR-fury yet in its infancy demonstrates that members of the conservative establishment have views all over the board concerning Miers' nomination. Many thought that the views of Judge Roberts were such a mystery. Enter Harriet Miers.