• Group Hug

    I'm reading through some of Roberts' Senate testimony from his appellate court nomination (you can find the whole thing here but, be warned, it's the pdf to end all pdf's) and, while this part is totally unimportant, it's still worth excerpting. As context, Warner said he'd be attending his 50th reunion that week: Senator LEAHY. I was impressed, the 50th reunion, so you graduated at the age of 10? Senator WARNER. I beg your pardon? Senator LEAHY. You graduated at the age of 10? I was very impressed, your 50th reunion. Senator WARNER. No, I was not a child prodigy. [Laughter.] Senator WARNER. Nor am I a senior prodigy. I am just one of your fellow Senators. Senator LEAHY. And a good friend and highly respected on both sides of the aisle, I might add. Senator WARNER. I thank you. Chairman HATCH. We are grateful to have you here, Senator Warner. We appreciate that. How can these guys be throwing nuclear options at each other? It's a total lovefest up there. Frivolity aside, Greg has...
  • Uh-Oh

    Looks like more bombings in London .
  • Saber's Quiet

    I tend to agree with Brad on this. Roberts is the pick. He'll most likely be confirmed. He most likely won't be filibustered. In any case, nothing will progress on that front for weeks yet, not until the Senate hearings start. So drop it. Don't spend the next month or two saber-rattling and talking about arrested kids with french fry breath. There'll be plenty of time for that later. For now, the Roberts announcement was moved up a week two knock Rove out of the news. Had Bush chosen a nutball, we could've wailed and beaten our breasts for the next six weeks. But in their rush for good press, the President chose a guy that there's nothing much to say about. So let's not say anything. Let him drift out of the news cycle and, in a day or two, make it all Rove, all the time. That's where their weak spot is, let's not lose focus and attack at the only smart thing they've done in months.
  • A Question

    I've been puzzling this out all day. If not for Rove, would Bush have picked Roberts? Which is to say, if not for Rove, would Bush have been spoiling for a long, protracted battle that could end with more public disapproval of his administration and priorities (even as the Justice eventually won confirmation), or would he have still wanted the lovefest Roberts created? Because the pick, all things considered, has given an Administration desperately in need of some good press an avalanche of positive coverage and sunny photo ops. Even Democrats are having trouble mustering much more than resignation. But was this weakness on their part or what they wanted all along? What do you guys think?
  • Smart Subsidies

    Yesterday, Matt pointed to a Times article saying that new hybrid technologies were being pumped into the acceleration side of things rather than going to increase fuel efficiency. That's not going on everywhere, sure, but the Accord hybrid and a few others are using the increased power to, well, increase power. This is essentially what happened in the 80's when the advances that had been going to cut fuel consumption were, with Reagan's freeze on CAFTA standards, plowed into engine muscle, at least by American companies. The Japanese kept going for efficiency and, well, you know how that turned out. Matt uses this as evidence for why we should let the market take care of oil or, if we insist on meddling, have something straight forward like a gas tax. I'm not so sure. As I've said in the past , gas taxes are enormously regressive, hurt those who (for reasons of employment or whatever) can't change their transportation patterns, and will make all manner of good more expensive because...
  • Bits n' Pieces

    I don't know if other writers are experiencing the same thing, but there's really nothing left to write about Roberts at the moment. Nevertheless, I feel I should be writing about Roberts now. It's all very confusing. So, while I try to mentally segue into other subjects, here are some bits that got buried: • Matt Holt wrote an excellent piece on the failure of Clinton Care yesterday that everyone should read. If you missed it, correct the mistake. Correctly understanding what happened there is crucial if we want to move forward. • I wrote a less-excellent, but still rather interesting (or so I thought) piece arguing against the predictions that HSA's and the collapse of employer-based health care will necessarily lead to single-payer. Worth a look, I hope. • My soon-to-be colleague Mark Goldberg notices Obama has picked up genocide-expert-extraordinaire Samantha Powers as an advisor. That's very good news for all of us concerned with humanitarian crises and interventions. • And...
  • First Impressions

    Check out BagNewsNotes on framing images. Most of the framing talk -- particularly Matt Bai's old-news article about Lakoff -- tends to twirl around the same old block, saying what we heard before but louder. The idea that you can lose on visual cues as surely as aural ones, though, hadn't occurred to me, but after seeing Bag's post , I'm convinced we're probably doing it. Definitely worth a read .
  • How It's Done

    The New York Times gets it exactly right : The American people know little about Judge John Roberts, other than that President Bush is nominating him to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court. But in the coming weeks that should change. The Senate has a duty to scrutinize his background and to question him closely at his confirmation hearings about substantive areas of the law. If he is a mainstream conservative in the tradition of Justice O'Connor, he should be confirmed. But if on closer inspection he turns out to be an extreme ideologue with an agenda of stripping away important rights, he should not be.
  • And Now, Bed.

    A few thoughts on Roberts before bed. Liberals need to be careful how they play this one. I've heard a fair number of folks demanding that Democrats force the nuclear option, and that any who don't should be disowned by the party's base. At this point, that's idiotic. As we begin this battle, a few facts should be kept in mind. First and foremost, President Bush will nominate and the Senate will confirm a conservative judge. As McCain says, elections have consequences, and this is one of them. If we somehow shut down the Senate and force Bush to pick a different candidate, the replacement will also be conservative. There is no possible outcome where Roberts is replaced by a liberal, or even a moderate. Without a majority, we're just not going to get an agreeable judge. So the question, on Roberts, is how to lose. One way or the other, we will lose, all that matters is how we look while we flame out. And the first rule there is that we shouldn't look like a bunch of rabid ideologues...
  • Roberts

    In the last post, I wondered why everyone was calling Edith Clement Brown "Clement" rather than "Brown". As it turned out, her name is "Edith Brown Clement". Happily, none of this matters because she's not the nominee. A non-Hispanic, non-female, white man is. More specifically, it's John G. Roberts Jr. What do we know? Well-connected lawyer. Liked by Democrats. Long conservative pedigree. Non-Scalia temperament. Friend to business. Social conservative. Well-respected judicially. Has represented some interesting clients, including the 19 states that sued Microsoft for anti-trust violations. But I'm not the go-to guy on this, they follow below: • A long Washington Post article comparing him and Luttig. So far as I can tell, the article thinks he's Luttig, but with much better social graces. • Courting Influence has some of his ties to special interests. He was a peanut farmer lobbyist, apparently. • National Abortion Federation hates him, on grounds that as lawyer for Bush's father, he...