Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Dude, I Saw God . . . No, Wait, It May Have Been Russ Feingold
From the Associated Press and Yahoo News, the least surprising headline of the year so far: "Alito Pleases GOP Senators, Not Democrats." You coulda wrote it last week and put it in a box until today. The AP's David Espo makes a good point, though, saying it's like Alito is testifying at parallel hearings, one with tough questions by Democrats and one with softballs by Repugs. Of course, he also coulda wrote that last week and put it in a box until today.

The best place for minute-by-minute, issue-by-issue analysis of the hearings is at Daily Kos, where Armando, a lawyer by trade, is breaking down the questions and the answers in great detail--and proving, even though there's nothing we can do about it, that the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice in the modern era is too important to be left to politicians whose primary purpose is to posture. Orrin Hatch: "Let me just ask you directly, on the record, are you against women and minorities attending colleges?" Alito: "Absolutely not, Senator. No." (Well, hallelujah--at least we don't have THAT to worry about, although the devil is in the details.) Hatch, in response: "You know, I felt that that would be your answer. I really did."

No shit, Sherlock.

Fairness compels me to report that stupidity was bipartisan today, however. Joe Biden's ramble, in which he invoked his Grandfather Finnegan and recapped Sandra Day O'Connor's employment history after graduating from college, is precisely what you'd expect from a guy more interested in hearing the sound of his own voice than in asking substantive questions of the nominee.

It shouldn't surprise anybody that one of the toughest questioners so far has been Russ Feingold.

Recommended Reading: Here's a news story that won't get reported much of anywhere today--the Plamegate prosecutor offered Karl Rove a plea deal last month in exchange for rolling over. Rove said no, and so the likelihood remains high that he'll get his ass indicted eventually. Really, there's no reason for him to take the deal. As Steve Soto at the Left Coaster observes, no matter what happens, he's got a pardon in his pocket. Also in the news, Albert Hofman, the inventor of LSD, turns 100 years old today. What I'd like to know is who put it in the whole country's water supply.

Quote of the Day:
Gordon Atkinson, a Baptist preacher/blogger (there's a combination you probably never dreamed would actually exist) reviewed NBC's new series The Book of Daniel for Salon. That's the one that has religious groups freaking out, in part because Jesus is one of the characters. Atkinson says the uproar disturbs him because of the growing number of Christians who think that "affirmation from our culture is where they will find their power." He suggests that they'd be better off practicing their devotion and letting their lives be an example to the culture. Here's the best part, though: "And I've got news for you, Christian. If your faith isn't changing your life enough to make a difference in the world, you've got bigger problems than NBC."

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