31 October, 2005

Breaking news: Alito sends Miers a day-old Carp wrapped in newspaper

Hariet Miers dropped out of the hearings for her Supreme Court Nomination, opening the door for Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to step through this morning. Much like I thought, after the Miers debacle, Bush's nominee is a very experienced judge who Democrats say may be "to extreme," and Republicans can rally behind.

I don't see why Alito won't be confirmed, despite any heel-dragging by the Democratic minority in the Senate. While he is a conservative, he seems fairly open to at least listening to other points of view. He has supported religious cases before (Child Evangelism Fellowship of N.J., Inc. v. Stafford Township School District, 2004), but his support has extended to other religions as well (ACLU-NJ v. Township of Wall, 2001). From the NY Times this morning:
An early signal of conservative approval came from Gary Bauer, a prominent social conservative, who called the choice of Judge Alito a "grand slam home run." Mr. Bauer, interviewed on CNN, called the judge a "mainstream conservative" and predicted that while there would be a battle from Democrats, Judge Alito would ultimately be confirmed. "They'll try to label him as extreme, but when you get into the hearings, you'll get into specifics," he said.
Alito has drawn comparisons to current justice Antonin Scalia. If Alito is confirmed, bet on the justices instituting a semi-annual pasta dinner as their first order of business. From the Guardian this morning:
[Bill] Frist, a fellow Princeton graduate, read from a school publication a prediction that Alito would eventually ``warm a seat'' on the Supreme Court. ``That was a college joke,'' Alito said with a grin. ``I think my real ambition at the time was to be commissioner of baseball. Of course, I never dreamed that this day would arrive.''
He doesn't seem too bad. I mean, he likes baseball and is willing to answer basic questions and fill out forms correctly.

The Democrats, however, feel that he is to conservative, and have promised to block his appointment to the court through a filibuster, if necessary. I, for one, am getting my popcorn ready and turning to C-Span a lot more these days. While interesting, the filibuster is an enormous waste of time. It's silly to think that these elected public officials are entertaining the notion of talking about nothing for as long as necessary, wasting their time (and my money) by doing things like reading from the phone book.
The Republican Party was the first to initiate a filibuster against a judicial nominee in 1968, forcing Democratic president Lyndon Johnson to withdraw the nomination of Associate Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas to be chief justice.
Yes, it's entertaining in an 'oh look, they're peeing in bottles' kind of way, I think overall it's a stupid waste of time. Thankfully, so does the Mod(erate) Squad. The Gang of 14, as they are more commonly know, consists of 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans, all moderates, who seek to keep the legislation process moving along. In their official agreement, one of the last statements reads as follows:
Such a return to the early practices of our government may well serve to reduce the rancor that unfortunately accompanies the advice and consent process in the Senate.
That's just awesome. Senators from both sides seem to dislike the ethos of these 14, but they're just whiny pansies. Seriously. These men (and women) are trying to move things along, to force cloture and maintain some integrity in the Senate. People are just upset because these 7 representatives from each side are working together (shock!). Whether or not they agree on the issues, they do agree that it is important to work through the issues instead of wasting everyone's time.

Speaking of a waste of time, I also read in the Inquirer this morning about people whose job it is to wait in line for important politicians and lobbyists in Washington so they can get a good seat at certain events such as hearings and such. Some people do this for a living and make over $50,000 a year. What sort of bullshit is that? Somebody gets paid to wait in a line for hours? Ridiculous.

I did a little research (okay, it was a link from the main page), and decided I am going to submit a piece or so to Modern Drunkard Magazine. They take unsolicited pieces, so it can't hurt, right? The thing is, I can't think of any ideas, really. It's a magazine about drinking, I mean, how hard can it be? Still, I haven't the foggiest idea of what to write on.

On a related note, I hope I can find a job after college. I have pretty much settled on the fact that I am going to stay in Philadelphia. Save for that, I'm not sure in what direction I'm going to go. I know I want to write, but for what? A newspaper? Magazine? I live in perpetual hope that some publication in Philly will give me a job, or someone I know who has already found employment will let me ride their coattails to the land of milk and money (or a livable wage).

The situation at two of the daily's in Philadelphia is less than encouraging. The Inquirer and Daily News both recently cut jobs in their news rooms, as well as the editorial staff. Thanks, Knight Ridder. There are other publications in the immediate area, though, so I'm pretty hopeful about the odds.

This weekend I didn't do a whole lot. I did, however, read Duane Swierczynski's first book, Secret Dead Men. I have read some weird shit in my literary escapades, but this book takes the cake. It is a little hard to follow at times, but well worth it. Again, Duane's brevity keeps the book moving rapidly, which made me want to keep reading despite other obligations (read: schoolwork and sleep). Not giving anything away, here are two of my favorite excerpts:
Paul, the eager beaver, arrived early for his first day of work. He'd woken up earlier than I - even souls need rest - and as a result, I awoke to the dim awareness that my body was making a pot of coffee. I wandered down to the Brain Hotel lobby and watched Paul on the screen.
and second:
"I turned around. A young woman in blue scrubs was staring at me. I had to think fast. A reasonable explanation for a naked, supposedly dead man trying to break into an office? Yeah, sure. Then it came to me.
I lifted up the axe and started lurching toward her, zombie style.
"Braaaiins... I chanted. "I neeed ..Braaaaaiiinsss..."
My gambit paid off. The woman, who surely must have seen George Romero's
Night of the Living Dead at a drive-in at some point, took off screaming down the hall.
After a few short moments the doors opened. There were four other people in the elevator. I stepped into the car, and everyone collectively gasped and inched themselves backward. Of course they would - after all, I was a walking corpse in a bloody tuxedo, carrying an axe. I felt the need to explain things.
So that's a general idea of how odd this book is. Trust me though, it's very engaging.

I have read some other mystery/detective books recently, and as I result I think I have subconsciously absorbed some of the more macabre aspects of these books. In my poetry class last week I wrote a sonnet about a guy getting shot dead under the El and his blood running through the gutter.


Blogger Drew said...

Damn Lou, you love the Supreme Court these days. I'ma nominate you when I'm the first half-Asian president. My litmus test is going to be that all my justices will have to have handlebar moustaches.

5:23 PM, November 02, 2005  
Blogger Drew said...

Lou, you know how you just sit at your computer and go through the same rotation of sites, hoping for some change since you checked it five minutes previously?

I do that, too, but I have a much, much, much shorter roster.

Long story short: update, asshole.

10:57 PM, November 07, 2005  

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