Monday, January 30, 2006

Re: NYTimes and Alito

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


Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 8:47 PM
Subject: RE: NYTimes and Alito


Dear Dean Velvel---

I read the NYTimes editorial to which you refer yesterday and was
astounded by the evident depth of its commitment.
Simultaneously there was the surprising announcement that Sen. John
Kerry was calling for a filibuster on the Alito nomination, followed by
Ted Kennedy's reported support.
Followed by Sen. Harry Reid (D, Nevada, Mormon) saying he didn't think
it could happen.

Then, this evening (Friday 1/27) I now hear that Reid, Dem Leader in
the Senate, seems to be wavering and may end up supporting the call for
a filibuster.

Were I in your position I would be calling on Kerry/Kennedy/Reid to push
for a real full frontal assault on the Alito nomination---to force
Frist's hand on the so-called "nuclear option" being the threat of a
rule-change in the Senate to enable confirmation of a Supreme Court
nominee by a simple majority. I have several reasons for this, not the
least being that I believe that Alito is an architect of the
recently-exposed "unitary executive" theory, and thus if he is named to
the Supreme Court, all the machinations of the Senate will be rendered
meaningless (as your article suggests!). Alito also seems to have been
instrumental in calling for the executive "signing statements." (They
certainly chose a bland term for what amounts to a drastic twist on
Constitutional law!)

Sen. Kerry would seem to agree with the above perspective. See:

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/printer_012606Q.shtml

It is a virtual certainty that Alito would, in effect, as a member of
the Federalist Society, and with a long record of judicial opinions
supporting the Establishment as against Democracy, abrogate the
Democratic intent of the Founding Fathers---as narrow as was that
intent!---in favor of Corporatism, in a time when the little guy is
getting littler and the big guy is getting bigger.

Meanwhile, there is the question of the NSA spying issue and domestic
surveillance (there are at least two FBI files on me which under the
FOIA I was unable to receive, and at least two FBI files on my father,
an immunology professor, which I finally did receive after a year of
wrangling...), going to the Bill of Rights. I have known about FBI
spying on me since at least 1963---four decades. The chilling effect on
my mind has been immeasurable.

Thus, see, relevant to your concerns, a recent article in the NYReview
of Books
entitled, "ON NSA SPYING: A LETTER TO CONGRESS" by 14 authors
or signatories, most well-known, at

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18650

It is astonishingly to the point of your exegesis. And fully documented
with afternotes. I am not a lawyer. You must be. You will appreciate
this article far more than I can, and I appreciate it.

Again, thanks for being there in these precipitous times, and keep it
up, old man!

Dennis Dean Sandage


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


Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2006 6:27 PM
Subject: Re: The Times And Alito.


You say that "The Times, like The Wall Street Journal, seems to have developed a case, albeit a lesser case, of journalistic schizophrenia as between its news pages and its editorial pages." But if there were congruence instead of schizophrenia, you might blame their news department for being subservient to the wishes of the owners. I agree that Alito is an apologist for King George. But I think it's the slimy Senators who should be excoriated for going along with this fiasco rather than the NY Times.

Anthony D'Amato


At 01:11 PM 1/26/2006, you wrote:
January 26, 2006

Re: The Times And Alito.

From: Dean Lawrence R. Velvel

VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com

Dear Colleagues:

A few days ago it was said here that The Times’ news and editorial pages had performed very well during the Alito nomination, bringing to the public the information and ideas one needs. The few days since then have been rather peculiar, however.The Times editorial page has continued to oppose Alito in very strong editorials. Today, the editorial page even seemed unmistakably to call for a filibuster, although the editorial also seemed bathed in a tone of hopelessness, because of what the newspaper sees as Democrats’ spinelessness. (The editorial is even entitled Senators in Need of a Spine.) But, regardless of its "bath tone," the editorial, i.e., the newspaper, plainly did call for a filibuster because Alito poses such a threat of helping to create a presidential dictatorship. (The phrase is mine, but the sentiment pervades The Times’ editorial.)But while The Times’ editorials come out four square against Alito, the news pages don’t even cover what is going on. There is no story, absolutely no story, in today’s news pages about it. A few days ago there likewise was virtually nothing in the news pages on the matter. Meanwhile, The Times’ (I think wholly owned) subsidiary, The Boston Globe, does carry stories on its news pages. And when The Times’ news pages do carry a story on the nomination, the paper never seems to miss a chance to say that Alito’s confirmation is assured. (Indeed, while there is no news story in today’s Times about the Alito nomination, a very long story on Bush’s forthcoming State of the Union address contains a single sentence (on p. A18) that says the nomination was handled smoothly, and on the same page is a huge picture of Alito meeting with Republican Senators who, the caption says, "congratulated him on winning a recommendation of confirmation from the Senate Judiciary Committee.") The Times’ constant refrain that confirmation is certain can only, of course, increase the chance that Democrats and conceivably even some potential Republicans will not filibuster or abstain from voting against a filibuster. Why should they filibuster or abstain from voting against one when the newspaper of record repeatedly assures them -- makes a point of repeatedly telling them -- that such action would be hopeless because confirmation is assured. And nowhere on the news pages, of course, does one find significant information, or even any information, about the efforts of people who are trying to encourage a filibuster. (Obviously, the people who make news judgements for The Times think that a huge picture -- what the accompanying caption conceded was "a photo opportunity" -- of Alito meeting with congratulatory Republican Senators is more important than information about efforts of those who might be against the nomination. No, all that news pages say is that Democrats will try to use the Alito nomination to win more seats in the 2006 election. Excuse my French, but what bullshit. What absolute bullshit. If Alito proves to be what The Times editorial page thinks he is (as do many of us) -- if he proves to be a guy who will support the efforts of his nominating "president whose grandiose vision of his own powers threatens to undermine the nation’s basic philosophy of government" while the "Senate . . . seems eager to cooperate by rolling over and playing dead," if he supports the views of a president of whom Bob Herbert today correctly said (while recounting some of his terrible actions) that "His breathtaking arrogance is exceeded only by his incompetence. And that’s the real problem. That’s where you’ll find the mind-boggling destructiveness of this regime, in its incompetence" -- if Alito proves, as threatened, to support the actions of these dangerous and incompetent clowns in the Administration from Bush on down, then all the hoped for Democratic gains of 2006 -- even if they were to occur despite the fact that many persons will refuse to give otherwise available support to the Democrats because of extreme distaste for the Democrats’ obvious cowardice -- all the hoped for Democrat gains of 2006 will not make one goddamned bit of difference. Legislators have never made a difference to executives who have successfully asserted dictatorial power. Not in Germany, not in Iraq, not in the Soviet Union, not anywhere. The Democrats are just peddling bullshit because they have no guts. And no principle. And don’t, underneath it all, really give enough of a damn about the country if faced with the possibility that there are voters who would dislike them for a stand on principle. For the Democrats, the gutlessness, lack of principle and caring not a damn about the country is Viet Nam redux during the time that Lyndon Johnson was president.Meanwhile, The Times, like The Wall Street Journal, seems to have developed a case, albeit a lesser case, of journalistic schizophrenia as between its news pages and its editorial pages. Far worse than this schizophrenia, however, is that once again, this time by the silence and one-sidedness of its news pages, The Times will have helped to allow a disaster to occur. Its refusal to carry stories it knew of during World War II about the destruction of the Jews, its failure to write about the forthcoming Bay of Pigs invasion, which it knew about in advance, its failure to question the Bush claims about weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq war, the associated Judith Miller fiasco, its one year delay in reporting the current electronic eavesdropping story -- a delay that one can think, given the currently unknown timing of the paper’s original knowledge, may have enabled George Bush to be reelected -- and now the failure of its news pages to say virtually anything about Alito or to cover the efforts of those who still seek to fight his nomination via filibuster -- all this shows that The Times continues to have much to answer for in the court of history. Its answerability, incidentally, does not exclude an explanation of the reasons why Bill Keller and Arthur Sulzberger, who is increasingly revealed as only a product of nepotism, continue to head the paper even though they have presided over so much screwing up. Again forgive the French, but if it were Howell Raines, you can bet that he would have been out on his ass a long time ago.*

*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: Friday, January 27, 2006 6:23 PM
Subject: Doublethink diaries / DLC oppose Alito and Kerry's filibuster!!!


In the latest installment of their doublethink diaries, the DLC have
announced their opposition to the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito
AND their opposition to Senator Kerry's pledge to filibuster against
him. Is this a new form of political centrism? While that is
dubious, it is clearly a centrifugal explosion of doublethink at the
DLC - as usual. The DLC have abused the term, "principled," for far
too long. Its current definition in their lexicon of doublethink
terminology is, "Ambivalent, ambidextrous, bifurcated and bipolar -
dichotomous, having two opposing meanings at once, while maintaining
balance between diametrically opposed polar extremities."

See item 2 below, but for the punch-line; click on the link to the
mother site of the DLC.

Michael Carmichael
_______________________________________



> From: Democratic Leadership Council
> Date: 27 January 2006 21:17:33 GMT
> Subject: NEW DEM WEEKLY: Idea of the Week: Fighting Terrorism
> Within the Rule of Law
>
> =============================================
> THE NEW DEM DISPATCH
> (Weekly Digest Version)
> Political commentary & analysis from the DLC
> =============================================
> [ DLC Online: http://www.dlc.org ]
>
> January 27, 2006
>
> -- Table of Contents --
>
> 1.) Idea of the Week: Fighting Terrorism Within the Rule of Law
> 2.) A Principled Stand On Alito
>
> ----------
>
> 1.) Idea of the Week: Fighting Terrorism Within the Rule of Law
> (New Dem Dispatch, 01/27/2006)
>
> In the end, the war on terror does not require a president above the
> law, and the rule of law does not require unreasonable restrictions
> on surveillance. Rejecting false choices is the first step towards a
> real debate on how we can best protect the American people and their
> liberties and values.
>
>
>
> -----
>
> 2.) A Principled Stand On Alito
> (New Dem Dispatch, 01/24/2006)
>
> Given Judge Samuel Alito's long and consistent record of
> conservative activism on and off the bench, it is prudent to oppose
> this confirmation as a matter of principle, reflecting the gravity
> of a lifetime appointment to a closely divided Court.
>
>
>
>

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


Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 6:06 PM
Subject: Re: The Times And Alito.

Pretty good article. The NYT is a joke. Too bad they have so much influence inside the beltway. I would not read the NYT if they paid me the subscription rate.Democrat politicians such as Reid, Kennedy, Durbin, Leahy, Schumer, and Pelosi are pathetic people of hate and habitual serial liars/deceivers. They do not give a rats ass about my freedoms in the Bill of Rights. They have one value: themselves.They continue to destroy blacks (now the GOP is also onboard) with Great Society programs. What is it, 2/3s of all black children live in a single parent family almost always only a female parent. This spells disaster. Man, I feel very sorry for a black child in this country, but I did not ruin them. Idiots like the above, and do not give a rats ass. People come from southeast Asia and succeed in this country even though they often came with little. Blacks fail. Hell, sooner or later we will fill up prisions with these hopeless people. We must defeat Government schools.Spare me the poverty crap. I was born in 1933, first lived in a house with a hand driven vacuum well pump and an outhouse, didn't live in house with a refrigerator until I was 10, had one radio in the house and no car. But I had the love and guidance of a father and mother as well as 14 aunts and uncles and three grandparents who made me a competent reader of newspapers prior to WWII and to embrace most of principles of Jesus Christ and of God. I was not however a theist.The Democrats are aided by moronic university professors who have never created and sustained a society. But they hate America. Move out jerks, how about moving to Iran?

James B. Smith



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


Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 6:06 PM
Subject: Re: The Times And Alito.

Pretty good article. The NYT is a joke. Too bad they have so much influence inside the beltway. I would not read the NYT if they paid me the subscription rate. Democrat politicians such as Reid, Kennedy, Durbin, Leahy, Schumer, and Pelosi are pathetic people of hate and habitual serial liars/deceivers. They do not give a rats ass about my freedoms in the Bill of Rights. They have one value: themselves. They continue to destroy blacks (now the GOP is also onboard) with Great Society programs. What is it, 2/3s of all black children live in a single parent family almost always only a female parent. This spells disaster. Man, I feel very sorry for a black child in this country, but I did not ruin them. Idiots like the above, and do not give a rats ass. People come from southeast Asia and succeed in this country even though they often came with little. Blacks fail. Hell, sooner or later we will fill up prisions with these hopeless people. We must defeat Government schools.Spare me the poverty crap. I was born in 1933, first lived in a house with a hand driven vacuum well pump and an outhouse, didn't live in house with a refrigerator until I was 10, had one radio in the house and no car. But I had the love and guidance of a father and mother as well as 14 aunts and uncles and three grandparents who made me a competent reader of newspapers prior to WWII and to embrace most of principles of Jesus Christ and of God. I was not however a theist.The Democrats are aided by moronic university professors who have never created and sustained a society. But they hate America.

Move out jerks, how about moving to Iran?


James B. Smith

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