BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Son of Scalia!

A few things today.

1. Sca-lito.

Messrs Dobson, Bauer and Perkins are getting the nominee they wanted.
WASHINGTON - President Bush, stung by the collapse of his previous choice, nominated veteran judge Samuel Alito on Monday in a bid to reshape the Supreme Court and mollify his conservative allies. Ready-to-rumble Democrats warned that Alito may be an extremist who would curb abortion rights.

*

In a political twist, Republicans who helped sink Miers' nomination rallied to Alito's side. A leading Democrat who backed Miers led the attack against Alito.

*

WITH NO SIGN OF IRONY, REPUBLICANS DEMANDED THAT ALITO GET A VOTE IN THE SENATE — SOMETHING THEY DENIED MIERS.
Did you get that?
"Let's give Judge Alito a fair UP OR DOWN VOTE, not left or right," said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota.
Spineless bastards all.
It was a challenge to Democrats, but it was Republicans who sank Miers' nomination without either a hearing or a vote.

Specter said HE WOULD NOT ASK Alito directly about whether he would overturn
Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion rights ruling.

"There is a lot more to do with a woman's right to choose than how you feel about it personally," he said.
Oh, really?
Specter cited adherence to legal precedent in view of a series of rulings over 30 years upholding abortion rights.

*

(Alito) favors more restrictions on abortion rights than either the Supreme Court has allowed or O'Connor has supported, based on a 1992 case in which he supported spousal notification.
Great.

2. Think Progress has a fairly simple run-down of some of Alito's past opinions:
ALITO WOULD OVERTURN ROE V. WADE: In his dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Alito concurred with the majority in supporting the restrictive abortion-related measures passed by the Pennsylvania legislature in the late 1980’s. Alito went further, however, saying the majority was wrong to strike down a requirement that women notify their spouses before having an abortion. The Supreme Court later rejected Alito’s view, voting to reaffirm Roe v. Wade. [Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 1991]
I'd like to hear Dr. Dobson's thoughts on the nominee.
Asked if he had any contacts with the White House about the next nominee - reports of his conversation with Mr. Rove about the last one drew threats of subpoenas from the Senate - Dr. Dobson said that this time he was going to keep that to himself.
Damn.

Meanwhile...

3. The MSM is still going after Cheney & "Cheney's Cheney."

From Newsweek:
Now Fitzgerald's probe is aimed at the operational inner sanctum of Bush's "war presidency" — and, by extension, at Bush's anchoring view of what his administration has been about since the 9/11 attacks.

As he prosecutes "Cheney's Cheney" for perjury, false statements and obstruction, Fitzgerald will inevitably have to shine a light on the machinery that sold the Iraq war and that sought to discredit critics of it, particularly Joseph Wilson.

And that, in turn, could lead to Cheney and to the CHENEY-RUN EFFORT central battleground in the war on terror.

As if that weren't dramatic enough, the Libby trial—if there is one—will feature an unprecedented, high-stakes credibility contest between a top government official and the reporters he spoke to: Tim Russert of NBC, Judith Miller of The New York Times and Matt Cooper of Time magazine. Another likely witness: CHENEY HIMSELF.
Not gonna happen.
White House officials were admonished not to have any contact with Libby about the investigation. That presumably includes the vice president.

Just as the prosecutor's role has become familiar, so are the epigrams and questions that accompany his arrival on the scene, subpoenas in hand. Once again, it appears that the old cliche applies: IT'S NOT THE CRIME BUT THE COVER-UP.

And once again, the hoary "Howard Baker Questions" are being asked: WHAT DID HE KNOW AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT?

This time, however, the target isn't the president, protected for now by his reputation as a rigorous delegator, but Cheney, viewed as the most powerful vice president in modern times.
Good stuff: Read the whole piece.

Finally...

4. Talking Points Memo takes a look at some of that "intelligence" that Cheney & Libby used to SELL THE WAR.

Intelligence...based on lies:
According to US government sources I spoke to in the course of my reporting, there was far more tying the forgeries to Italy than the mere fact that they had first emerged in Rome in October 2002.

Almost a year earlier, US suspicions about an illicit uranium trade between Iraq and Niger had begun with intelligence reports from Italy. Soon after the September 11th attacks, the Italian military intelligence agency SISMI sent its first report to the US government including details of an alleged Iraqi purchase of 500 tons of lightly-processed uranium ore from Niger.

Details of this and a subsequent SISMI report formed the basis of a reference to alleged Iraq-Niger uranium sales which was included in a CIA briefing Vice President Cheney received in early 2002.

It was that briefing that prompted Cheney's request for more information on the Iraq-Niger sale.

And that request led, in turn, to the CIA's decision to dispatch Joe Wilson on his trip to Niger. The Italian reports had set the whole process in motion.

But there was another key detail: The reports out of Italy were not a separate source of intelligence from the forgeries.

THEY WERE THE FORGERIES.

To be precise, the intelligence reports from Italy were actually text transcriptions and summaries of the forged documents.

The reports from Italy and the forgeries were one and the same. The distinction is rather like saying you haven't seen the PDF of a letter only the text from the letter that someone copied down from the PDF.

The fact that the Italian reports came from as-yet-to-be-revealed forgeries of course could not be known at the time.
Again, I encourage you to read the whole thing.

More later...

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