Friday, January 20, 2006

Re: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 4:13 PM
Subject: Re: Alito and 'the law'


Dear Dean Velvel:

Sorry if you get this twice; I ran into some trouble with the mail server
down here.

As it happens, I did indeed read your 'VoNA'.com blog; somehow I got it into
my head that you preferred to get responses sent directly to you rather than
to the blog itself. I sit corrected! I should probably search out your
"counterpunch" blog, but due to a congenital problem (I'm incurably lazy)
I'll most likely just stick to what I'm doing now. I've been reading your
commentary for a little time now (I can't recall exactly when I started, but
I believe that I connected during the uproar over the Harvard plagiarism
stuff), and do find that it resonates with me. My prejudices and biases are
delighted to find that they have company at the top of a law school (of all
places)! I've been appalled by this President and his coterie of
Ivory-tower quacks since I first started paying attention during the
Republican primary against McCain. It seemed obvious to me then that this
Bush had all (and more) of his father's weaknesses and none of his father's
(few) strengths. After the disgusting display of Nixonian dirty tricks his campaign used to dispose of McCain, I realized that there was little that this petty, weak-minded
prep-school bully would not stoop to in order to get his way, and his
apparent sense of privilege is completely unmixed with any of the old-style
sense of "noblesse oblige". Say what you like about the Kennedys (and as a
life-long Republican until recently, I've said much myself), at least they
have demonstrated a concern for those less fortunate (which may even on
occasion be unfeigned). The Bushes have to date showed no such weakness...
And this group of Haldeman/Ehrlichmann/Liddy retreads and disciples that
he's surrounded himself with; if the company he keeps doesn't give an
observer a clear insight into Mr. Bush and his actions, I can't imagine what
would. He's been saying one thing and doing almost the opposite for what,
seven years now? on the national stage; and yet a sizable number of people
seem still to take him at face value and take him at his word. Oh, sainted Barnum! Lincoln was
apparently optimistic. Whether he's cynically lying or Reagan-like,
believing his own hogwash, is essentially immaterial, in my opinion; either
way, Bush cannot be believed or trusted in anything he says. Any man so
pig-headedly sure of his position, yet so disdainful and fearful of
opposition, and with so little regard for facts, has no business in charge
of a corner grocery store, let alone a country.

And so it appears that Alito will be confirmed, barring some outlandish
happening, and we go one more step down the road to the end of the great
American Experiment in representative government. Still, you have to give
the F.F.s credit - they crafted a system of government that lasted a good
200 years before the pressures of laziness, corruption and greed which they
foresaw wore it down. Jefferson was more right, I think, than the others,
but his flaw was that he trusted too much in the inherent wisdom of rural
folks. And those who confidently expect the vast machine of government to
wobble back to the center may find to their dismay that while they weren't
paying attention the mechanics were surreptitiously adjusting and removing
parts so that the engine will now only run their way, no matter who's
nominally in charge. Boy, I'm feeling dyspeptic today. Must have been the
chili at lunch. Anyway, back to my paying job.

Regards,

John Robinson

Oh; almost forgot - of course anything I send you can be posted if you so
desire, all or in part as you see fit. As an aside, I rather wish you had a
higher caliber of opposing-view posts to put up than those nut-case jobs to
date. I suppose I could take the trouble to try to make the right-wing case
for them, but I'm so revolted at the anti-Constitutional machinations of
this group that I can't even weakly argue for the arguably positive
justifications they offer. They've gone so far beyond anything justified by
the world situation that it just boggles the mind that Congress is not
formally considering impeachment proceedings right now. Typical Democrat
wishy-washy-ness; too bad there are so few conservatives left in Congress to
stiffen the spines of the Democrats in this case. The so-called
'Republican' party now being controlled by the reactionary oligarchs isn't
likely to give up power out of the goodness of their hearts, just as
business never obeys laws (environmental or otherwise) unless forced to. Grumble, grumble; in my day, we trudged through waist-deep snow - uphill both ways - to hold our government
accountable. These kids today.



----- Original Message -----

From: "Dean Lawrence R. Velvel"
Date: Thursday, January 19, 2006 10:17 am
Subject: Re: Alito and 'the law'

> January 19, 2006
>
>
> Dear Mr. Robinson:
>
>
> I really appreciate receiving your response to my blog. It
> appears to me that you must have read
> the blog on Counterpunch rather than on my blogsite
> (VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com). On the blogsite I say that a
> response may be posted on the blogsite unless the responder tells me not to. I
> would like to post your response, and hope you will not register an objection. I
> shall also take the liberty of putting you on the list of people
> who automatically receive my blogs; it sounds like some of them may resonate with you.
>
>
> Sincerely yours,
>
>
> Lawrence R. Velvel

>
> ----- Original Message -----

> Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2006 9:40 AM
> Subject: Alito and 'the law'
>
>
> Dear Dean Velvel;
>
> I keep seeing and hearing Judge Alito's comment that the President
> is 'not above the law', generally in the approving context that this puts
> to rest those liberal fantasies that he is a supporter of unfettered
> Presidential powers. Perhaps I'm slower than usual, but it seems to me that
> the judge's comment is essentially meaningless. It seems to me that it
> depends on what the meaning of 'is' is, to coin a phrase. For instance, if one
> holds the view that the Constitution allows the President essentially
> unconstrained powers in wartime (as Judge Alito appears to), then none of Mr.
> Bush's actions to date are illegal, no matter how patently
> unConstitutional they appear to be. From that point of view, it seems to me that the
> President declaring himself Tsar and formally declaring Congress and the
> Supreme Court to be irrelevant would be also within the law. I am not impressed
> by Judge Alito. We currently have already a rigid idealogue on the bench
> in the person of Justice Thom as (Justice Scalia, while a fervent idealogue, seems to have a
> more flexible approach to decision-making); Shirley, that is more than
> sufficient. As an aside, this convenient memory loss; this disavowal of earlier
> positions, and indeed the entire defense that he was merely saying what the
> employer wanted to hear so as to get hired, I find disturbing in the extreme.
> It's a variant on the 'Reagan defense' - in this case, he's either lying
> or 'ethically flexible'; and if he would do that then to get
> something he wanted badly, why on Earth would he not do it now?
>
> Excelsior!
>
> John Robinson


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 1:22 PM
Subject: RE: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."

IMHO, there’s not much difference between the Democrats and Republicans. To quote Jack Douglas (see http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/douglas6.html), they’re both factions of the “Neo-Fascist Party of America”. Both are committed to coercive, intrusive, all-powerful big government.

Did you notice that Tuesday’s NY Times didn’t even mention Al Gore’s speech on Monday? In my view this suggests that we are already living in a covert police state.



-----Original Message-----


From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel [mailto:velvel@mslaw.edu]
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 11:52 AM
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Subject: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."

January 19, 2006

Re: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."
From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel
VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com

Dear Colleagues:

This shall be the shortest blog ever posted here.

The Boston Globe reported today that, in a Wednesday meeting of Democratic Senators regarding the Alito nomination, a Democrat who intends to vote for Alito said that not a single Democratic Senator argued that the Alito nomination presented an "extraordinary circumstance," the standard for a filibuster adopted by the gang of 14. My question is this: How in hell can it not be an "extraordinary circumstance" to put on the Supreme Court a man who refuses to say he will not vote for the vastly expanded executive power that will destroy our constitutional plan and turn our country into a de facto dictatorship, and whose prior record and statements indicate that he will vote to allow this dictatorial executive power? Does no one in the Democratic Party understand how Hitler became all powerful? -- do they think there will be no "extraordinary circumstances" until people are packed off to jails or concentration camps by the tens of thousands, as the Japanese Americans were? What the hell is the matter with the Democrats anyway?*

*This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel. If you wish to respond to this email/blog, please email your response to me at velvel@mslaw.edu. Your response may be posted on the blog if you have no objection; please tell me if you do object.


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 11:59 AM
Subject: RE: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."

Like an infected tooth in the mouth of someone without money or health insurance (no shortage of those), things are going to have to get a whole lot worse before they get any better. Feel free to use this analogy.



----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 4:57 PM
Subject: Re: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."

Last night I had the pleasure of listening to the most requested presentation to come on c-span TV a lecture by Thomas P.M.Barnett he talked of the defense of these United States. The most striking part of the presentation was when he said that for the first year in our history the number of state&federal prisoners coming out was going to be more than those going in, and in that this was a new threat catalyzing to our security. For the prison system was the least effective at education (sky high illiteracy rate http://www.tecweb.org/vault/white/prison2.html ) and I might add brutalist system since the gulags. With the appointment of Alito do you believe with looking at his record that this Supreme Court will do anything to reform this american gulag, remember "they" will be coming out in increasing numbers and the degradations and deprivations inflicted will if not stopped be inflicted on society as a whole this is a quantifiable threat aimed at the heart of our liberty as theocrats overtake and lay waste to liberty in the name of god we all become less free and as the president states all too often "they hate us for our way of life" well theocrats wanting god back in government are like little Osama's (in Christian clothing) waiting to force their version of thinking on this free republic. All signs, all legislation, all actions point to the desire of this administration to further these goals this nomination portends grave implications for all as faith based pro-religion doctrine get one more seal of governmental approval. But of all seals this is one that this man enunciated actually laid out a stealth plan to turn his doctrine into the policy of the government. This is but one more action in the "chipping away" suggested as policy of the individual rights granted in roe v. wade or one man one vote all pointing to idealogues acting thru government to impose its will on individual libertys so as to make little cookie cutter citizens. Also in answer to your question on demos: They are power hungry politically correct PUSSIES unwilling to have a mind to speak or backbone enough to lead for they want those despensing to the republican coffers not to forget them with their money and perks, proving alas we live in a land ruled by money not laws.

Quoting "Dean Lawrence R. Velvel"
velvel@mslaw.edu
:>> January 19, 2006>>
Re: An "Extraordinary Circumstance.">>
From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel>>

VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com>>>>

Dear Colleagues:>>

This shall be the shortest blog ever posted here.>> The Boston Globe reported today that, in a Wednesday meeting of > Democratic Senators regarding the Alito nomination, a Democrat who > intends to vote for Alito said that not a single Democratic Senator > argued that the Alito nomination presented an "extraordinary > circumstance," the standard for a filibuster adopted by the gang of > 14. My question is this: How in hell can it not be an "extraordinary > circumstance" to put on the Supreme Court a man who refuses to say he > will not vote for the vastly expanded executive power that will > destroy our constitutional plan and turn our country into a de facto > dictatorship, and whose prior record and statements indicate that he > will vote to allow this dictatorial executive power? Does no one in > the Democratic Party understand how Hitler became all powerful? -- do > they think there will be no "extraordinary circumstances" until > people are packed off to jails or concentration camps by the tens of > thousands, as the Japanese Americans were? What the hell is the > matter with the Democrats anyway?*>>

*This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel. > If you wish to respond to this email/blog, please email your response > to me at velvel@mslaw.edu. Your response may be posted on the blog if > you have no objection; please tell me if you do object.




----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 4:57 PM
Subject: RE: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."

Dean Velvel,

Do we have any real men left in the Senate? Where is Senator Bryd when we need him.

Scott Fisher


From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel [mailto:velvel@mslaw.edu]
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 10:52 AM
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Subject: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."

January 19, 2006
Re: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."
From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel

VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com

Dear Colleagues:

This shall be the shortest blog ever posted here.

The Boston Globe reported today that, in a Wednesday meeting of Democratic Senators regarding the Alito nomination, a Democrat who intends to vote for Alito said that not a single Democratic Senator argued that the Alito nomination presented an "extraordinary circumstance," the standard for a filibuster adopted by the gang of 14. My question is this: How in hell can it not be an "extraordinary circumstance" to put on the Supreme Court a man who refuses to say he will not vote for the vastly expanded executive power that will destroy our constitutional plan and turn our country into a de facto dictatorship, and whose prior record and statements indicate that he will vote to allow this dictatorial executive power? Does no one in the Democratic Party understand how Hitler became all powerful? -- do they think there will be no "extraordinary circumstances" until people are packed off to jails or concentration camps by the tens of thousands, as the Japanese Americans were? What the hell is the matter with the Democrats anyway?*

*This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel. If you wish to respond to this email/blog, please email your response to me at velvel@mslaw.edu. Your response may be posted on the blog if you have no objection; please tell me if you do object.



----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 12:17 PM
Subject: RE: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."

Dean,

Here’s my thoughts.

Alito is a Bork-like character in a vanilla wrapper. The dems understand that middle-America think he’s “nice.” They have no support for a filibuster from the moderate Republicans and will not be able to sustain the filibuster. They are concerned that a filibuster will only piss-off certain swing voters that they need for the 2006 elections. They are picking their fight.

Mark L. Kincaid


From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel [mailto:velvel@mslaw.edu]
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 8:54 AM
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Subject: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."

January 19, 2006

Re: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."
From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel
VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com

Dear Colleagues:

This shall be the shortest blog ever posted here.

The Boston Globe reported today that, in a Wednesday meeting of Democratic Senators regarding the Alito nomination, a Democrat who intends to vote for Alito said that not a single Democratic Senator argued that the Alito nomination presented an "extraordinary circumstance," the standard for a filibuster adopted by the gang of 14. My question is this: How in hell can it not be an "extraordinary circumstance" to put on the Supreme Court a man who refuses to say he will not vote for the vastly expanded executive power that will destroy our constitutional plan and turn our country into a defacto dictatorship, and whose prior record and statements indicate that he will vote to allow this dictatorial executive power? Does no one in the Democratic Party understand how Hitler became all powerful? -- do they think there will be no "extraordinary circumstances" until people are packed off to jails or concentration camps by the tens of thousands, as the Japanese Americans were? What the hell is the matter with the Democrats anyway?*

*This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel. If you wish to respond to this email/blog, please email your response to me at velvel@mslaw.edu. Your response may be posted on the blog if you have no objection; please tell me if you do object.


----- Original Message -----


Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 12:01 PM
Subject: RE: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."

Prosecute entire political body...!...We're 240 years to late as it is!


From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel [mailto:velvel@mslaw.edu]
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 11:55 AM
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;Subject: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."


January 19, 2006

Re: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."
From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel
VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com

Dear Colleagues:

This shall be the shortest blog ever posted here.

The Boston Globe reported today that, in a Wednesday meeting of Democratic Senators regarding the Alito nomination, a Democrat who intends to vote for Alito said that not a single Democratic Senator argued that the Alito nomination presented an "extraordinary circumstance," the standard for a filibuster adopted by the gang of 14. My question is this: How in hell can it not be an "extraordinary circumstance" to put on the Supreme Court a man who refuses to say he will not vote for the vastly expanded executive power that will destroy our constitutional plan and turn our country into a de facto dictatorship, and whose prior record and statements indicate that he will vote to allow this dictatorial executive power? Does no one in the Democratic Party understand how Hitler became all powerful? -- do they think there will be no "extraordinary circumstances" until people are packed off to jails or concentration camps by the tens of thousands, as the Japanese Americans were? What the hell is the matter with the Democrats anyway?*

*This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel. If you wish to respond to this email/blog, please email your response to me at velvel@mslaw.edu. Your response may be posted on the blog if you have no objection; please tell me if you do object.



----- Original Message -----


Subject: Alito

Dean Velvel:

One of the things that have always concerned me is “hidden agendas”. Many are not very open to what they really think.
This wicked war and deficits and debt will result in a lot of pain one of these days and sooner rather than later. All the markets will return to the mean and there will be wailing a gnashing of teeth. Pension funds will go under and on and on.

Jack O.. Ludwick
Tyler, TX 75703



----- Original Message -----


Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 12:57 PM
Subject: Re: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."


Sir -

You ask the following:

"What the hell is the matter with the Democrats anyway?*"

The answer: they are not in power, that is all. They WANT the power to be
placed as you indicate, even if to the detriment of the nation as a whole,
so that when THEY take power, they will be able to use it just as the
current chimp-in-charge is using it.

Face it, George Wallace was right - there is not a dime's worth of
difference between the major parties. BOTH want ALL the POWER in the world.
They are all very dangerous people, regardless of "which side of the aisle"
they inhabit.

Kirk A. Hayes


>
> From: "Dean Lawrence R. Velvel"
> Date: 2006/01/19 Thu AM 10:54:20 CST
> To:
> Subject: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."
>
>
> January 19, 2006
>
> Re: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."
>
> From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel
>
> VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com
>
>
>
> Dear Colleagues:
>
> This shall be the shortest blog ever posted here.
>
> The Boston Globe reported today that, in a Wednesday meeting of Democratic
> Senators regarding the Alito nomination, a Democrat who intends to vote
> for Alito said that not a single Democratic Senator argued that the Alito
> nomination presented an "extraordinary circumstance," the standard for a
> filibuster adopted by the gang of 14. My question is this: How in hell can
> it not be an "extraordinary circumstance" to put on the Supreme Court a
> man who refuses to say he will not vote for the vastly expanded executive
> power that will destroy our constitutional plan and turn our country into
> a defacto dictatorship, and whose prior record and statements indicate
> that he will vote to allow this dictatorial executive power? Does no one
> in the Democratic Party understand how Hitler became all powerful? -- do
> they think there will be no "extraordinary circumstances" until people are
> packed off to jails or concentration camps by the tens of thousands, as
> the Japanese Americans were? What t
he hell is the matter with the Democrats anyway?*
>
> *This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel. If
> you wish to respond to this email/blog, please email your response to me
> at velvel@mslaw.edu. Your response may be posted on the blog if you have
> no objection; please tell me if you do object.
>



----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 12:26 PM
Subject: Re: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."

In a message dated 1/19/2006 8:56:33 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, velvel@mslaw.edu writes:
What the hell is the matter with the Democrats anyway?*

Money or as we said in Brooklyn: moolah.




----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 1:00 PM
Subject: RE: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."


Naturally, the next step for Bush in 2007, or 2008 is to postpone the 2008
general elections because we are at war, much like Hitler did. Will he
declare himself PRESIDENT FOR LIFE? One way, or the other, the constitution is now
invalid under Bush's regime.



>-- Original-Nachricht --


>From: "Dean Lawrence R. Velvel"
>To:
>Subject: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."
>Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 11:54:43 -0500
>
>
>
>January 19, 2006
>
>Re: An "Extraordinary Circumstance."
>
>From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel
>
>VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com
>
>
>
>Dear Colleagues:
>
>This shall be the shortest blog ever posted here.
>
>The Boston Globe reported today that, in a Wednesday meeting of Democratic
>Senators regarding the Alito nomination, a Democrat who intends to vote
for
>Alito said that not a single Democratic Senator argued that the Alito
>nomination
>presented an "extraordinary circumstance," the standard for a filibuster
>adopted by the gang of 14. My question is this: How in hell can it not be
>an "extraordinary circumstance" to put on the Supreme Court a man who
>refuses
>to say he will not vote for the vastly expanded executive power that will
>destroy our constitutional plan and turn our country into a defacto
>dictatorship,
>and whose prior record and statements indicate that he will vote to allow
>this dictatorial executive power? Does no one in the Democratic Party
>understand
>how Hitler became all powerful? -- do they think there will be no
>"extraordinary
>circumstances" until people are packed off to jails or concentration camps
>by the tens of thousands, as the Japanese Americans were? What the hell
is
>the matter with the Democrats anyway?*
>
*This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel. If
>you wish to respond to this email/blog, please email your response to me
>at velvel@mslaw.edu. Your response may be posted on the blog if you have
>no objection; please tell me if you do object.


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 7:52 PM
Subject: Iran air war by April?


I have been monitoring Defense Intelligence Agency employment websites since last April and there has been a large increase in hiring for Geospatial Intelligence Analysts and Underground Facilities Analysis Center GPS target mappers.

Today another set of 95 intelligence analyst jobs are open to be filled by mid-February.
Also the Air Force is hiring large numbers of intelligence people and particularly those capable of presenting Geospatial target data to foreign military organizations in "crisis" situations.
I am surprised nobody in the news media has ever commented on this large amount of hiring of
highly paid ( $80,000 to $150,000 per year) people needed to conduct a large scale air war against underground targets such as those in Iran and the surprising fact that the technical details of these highly sensitive jobs are publicly advertised on the internet even in these days of extreme secrecy by the government. You would think they would hire these kind of people through very higly classified channels.

Hundreds of domestic "intelligence research operations specialist" jobs are also open and are to be filled by April.

What happens then?



----- Original Message -----


Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 7:23 AM
Subject: Deming, Herrera v. Collins, and Alito; what to do about prosecutorial misconduct?


Dear Dean Velvel:

I remember feeling shocked when I read that Judge Deming refused to hear evidence of police having framed innocents convicted of a bombing they didn't commit because to acknowledge the facts of the police crime would lead to implications too appalling for him to contemplate. That a judge would not be able to comprehend that a government's agents are capable of crime was amazing. Likewise, to the average layperson, the notion that actual innocence is no bar to a sentence arrived at in a constitutional manner is a proposition so self-contradictory that it is shocking to people that arguments about the constitutionality of convicting an innocent person and carrying out the sentence even arise. That Alito seems to think of the law as a game makes sense of why the Senate chooses the types of people it does for the Supeme Court - they think it's a game, too, otherwise they'd demand more substance in candidates.

Paul Craig Roberts wrote recently about a case in Louisiana where a prosecutor was suspended for three months for withholding evidence that had led to a death sentence (or could have lead to a death sentence?) for a 16 year old. You said in your article about Alito that the law is a technical game for him, but it seems that it's also a technical game for prosecutors and others who are not under proper scrutiny because of the (? what to say?) ignorance of the populace and lack of scruples of the bar as a whole. From what book of logic are the jurists arguing when they say that there should be no appeal of actual innocence absent a free-standing violation of the Constitution? Why don't they see the wrongful conviction or potential wrongful conviction as a violation of its own? Is the notion that an apparent chain of evidence accepted by a jury might not be what it seems so repugnant that it can't even be entertained as a logical possibility? Have they never heard of police corruption?

What can we do about the abuse of prosecutorial discretion and prosecutorial misconduct of various kinds that lets government-sanctioned criminals go free (Posada Cariles, Blandon, etc.) but withholds evidence or otherwise takes action to imprison people who would otherwise be found innocent, such as the 16 year old mentioned above?

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,
Alan thompson
Prague, Czech republic


----- Original Message -----


Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2006 9:40 AM
Subject: Alito and 'the law'


Dear Dean Velvel:

I keep seeing and hearing Judge Alito's comment that the President is 'not
above the law', generally in the approving context that this puts to rest
those liberal fantasies that he is a supporter of unfettered Presidential
powers. Perhaps I'm slower than usual, but it seems to me that the judge's
comment is essentially meaningless. It seems to me that it depends on what
the meaning of 'is' is, to coin a phrase. For instance, if one holds the
view that the Constitution allows the President essentially unconstrained
powers in wartime (as Judge Alito appears to), then none of Mr. Bush's
actions to date are illegal, no matter how patently unConstitutional they
appear to be. From that point of view, it seems to me that the President
declaring himself Tsar and formally declaring Congress and the Supreme Court
to be irrelevant would be also within the law. I am not impressed by Judge
Alito. We currently have already a rigid idealogue on the bench in the
person of Justice Thom as (Justice Scalia, while a fervent idealogue, seems to have a more flexible approach to decision-making); Shirley, that is more than sufficient. As an
aside, this convenient memory loss; this disavowal of earlier positions, and
indeed the entire defense that he was merely saying what the employer wanted
to hear so as to get hired, I find disturbing in the extreme. It's a
variant on the 'Reagan defense' - in this case, he's either lying or
'ethically flexible'; and if he would do that then to get something he
wanted badly, why on Earth would he not do it now?

Excelsior!

John Robinson

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