Yesterday, the Judiciary Committee voted 10 to eight to send John Ashcroft's nomination for attorney general to the Senate floor. The "aye" votes included every Republican on the committee and Democratic Senator Russell Feingold. Feingold told the committee that he voted for Ashcroft because it is customary to give the president his cabinet. As he righteously explained, "The Senate has nearly uniformly sought to avoid disapproving nominations because of their philosophy alone, and I believe that we should not begin to do so now."
Feingold warned that if Ashcroft didn't act as "the attorney general of all the people, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, I will seek to be the first to call him on it and demand that he be held accountable."
Once Ashcroft is attorney general -- with Feingold's assistance -- it will be too late. He has already refused to be a leader for all the people, and Feingold declined to hold him accountable. John...
Very early morning, November 8, 2000. I'm at home, in bed, my eyes propped open with toothpicks. Last night -- as the networks called Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida for Al Gore -- I revived the moonwalk in my glee. Now the networks have called the election for George W. Bush, and I'm thinking the moon wouldn't be such a bad place to be right now, with or without oxygen. The Bush supporters in Austin, with all the class of an obnoxious football crowd, are doing the "Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye!" chant. I doze off. When I wake up, my nightmare has begun. The Bushies have already started in on their "Sore Loserman" campaign to stop vote counting. We all know the history of the next five weeks, of course. Florida turns out to be a statistical tie, and the Republicans, holding the decisive power cards of Secretary of State, a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, and a Republican mob in Miami-Dade, install George W. Bush as president. In the days leading up to the inauguration,...
Before John Ashcroft's confirmation hearings even started, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott announced that all 50 Republican senators would vote to confirm Ashcroft as attorney general. When Democratic Senators Zell Miller of Georgia and Robert Byrd of West Virginia announced recently that they would vote for him, they reconfirmed that Ashcroft would be approved. That is, unless there's a filibuster. And filibuster is just what Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy is hinting he may do.
A filibuster on a cabinet confirmation would be apparently unprecedented -- and the Senate's Democratic Minority Leader Tom Daschle announced this weekend that he would not support such a move. But extreme nominees call for extreme means.
Welcome to week one of Ralph Nader's plan to energize the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. (Remember his pronouncements that it would be better for progressive causes if George W. Bush won?) Well, Dubya is in the White House and former...
After four months of post-election purgatory -- more than 100 days in which liberals have watched Democratic leaders weakly grumble as President Bush has handed the government over to corporations and sought to pay off their C.E.O.s with giant tax cuts -- real leadership has finally emerged on the left. Who are these new leaders? A bunch of kids from, of all places, Harvard University. A little more than two weeks ago, they staged a sit-in in the University President's office (Massachusetts Hall) to support a drive for a living wage of $10.25 an hour for all Harvard employees. They're still in there, and the sweaty bunch has become a beacon for progressives around the country. The AFL-CIO's John Sweeney, Senator Ted Kennedy, and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich have all visited them; Rage Against the Machine sent a letter of support; local and national TV and newspapers have taken note. Seemingly every day some new group stages a march or a rally on their behalf -- Harvard faculty...
Tuesday : Dems on Cells
Wednesday : The Three-Convention Drop
Thursday : Babs on Politics
Tuesday: Dems on Cells
Our bus makes its way to Staples Center through a neighborhood
of squat white and pink houses and small shops with signs mostly in
Spanish. The sky over LA is brown. Locals tell me it used to be worse, and I'm sure it was -- and that today is a bad smog day, and I'm sure it is. But the green hills and the blue sky barely shimmer through the grainy brown smog.
As we near the convention hall, we pass a row of police cruisers. Officers are sitting and standing by their cars, sipping water. Our bus stops. Far ahead I can see a line of protesters carrying green signs.
"Do we have to wait for the whole protest march?" the woman in the seat ahead of me asks. "Can't they stop it like the Macy's parade?" Since it's an orderly union rally, it turns out they can...