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The so-called Progressive, whom I say should rather be called a "Regressive" "kos" from dailyKos.com censored/locked my JamBoi AND JamBoi2 accounts so I started this one.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

NYT Calls for Alito Filibuster! Alito "far more frightening" than Filibuster

New York Times
January 26, 2006
Senators in Need of a Spine

Judge Samuel Alito Jr., whose entire history suggests that he holds extreme views about the expansive powers of the presidency and the limited role of Congress, will almost certainly be a Supreme Court justice soon. His elevation will come courtesy of a president whose grandiose vision of his own powers threatens to undermine the nation's basic philosophy of government — and a Senate that seems eager to cooperate by rolling over and playing dead.

[b]It is hard to imagine a moment when it would be more appropriate for senators to fight for a principle. Even a losing battle would draw the public's attention to the import of this nomination.[/b]


But portraying the Alito nomination as just another volley in the culture wars vastly underestimates its significance. The judge's record strongly suggests that [b]he is an eager lieutenant in the ranks of the conservative theorists who ignore our system of checks and balances, elevating the presidency over everything else.[/b] He has expressed little enthusiasm for restrictions on presidential power and has espoused the peculiar argument that a president's intent in signing a bill is just as important as the intent of Congress in writing it. This would be worrisome at any time, but it takes on far more significance now, when the Bush administration seems determined to use the cover of the "war on terror" and presidential privilege to ignore every restraint, from the Constitution to Congressional demands for information.

[b]There was nothing that Judge Alito said in his hearings that gave any comfort to those of us who wonder whether the new Roberts court will follow precedent and continue to affirm, for instance, that a man the president labels an "unlawful enemy combatant" has the basic right to challenge the government's ability to hold him in detention forever without explanation. His much-quoted statement that the president is not above the law is meaningless unless he also believes that the law requires the chief executive to defer to Congress and the courts.

Judge Alito's refusal to even pretend to sound like a moderate was telling because it would have cost him so little.[/b]


A filibuster is a radical tool. It's easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, [b]there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.[/b]

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Third Party Reformers Aided by Abramoff?

Although Fineman is concentrating on the likes of McCain, I think he raises an interesting larger question, which is: how can we third party progressive independent types leverage this situation to advance reform?

Winners and losers in the Abramoff scandal The GOP could suffer, opening the way for a third-party movement
By Howard Fineman

(big snip)


Third-party reform movement: If Sen. John McCain doesn’t win the Republican presidential nomination, I could see him leading an independent effort to “clean up” the capital as a third-party candidate. Having been seared by his own touch with this type of controversy (the Keating case in the '80s, which was as important an experience to him as Vietnam), McCain could team up with a Democrat, say, Sen. Joe Lieberman. If they could assemble a cabinet in waiting — perhaps Wes Clark for defense, Russ Feingold for justice, Colin Powell for anything — they could win the 2008 election going away.

Public Integrity Section: The Abramoff case is proof, at least so far, that it’s possible for lifers in the bureaucracy to still have a corrective influence on politics run amok in the capital. The case has been handled from the start by professionals who do this kind of work out of a sense of loyalty and idealism. We’ll see if Attorney General Alberto Gonzales leaves them alone if they start working their way toward the White House.