Thursday, April 24, 2003
Bush's administration takes deceit and deception to new heights. The arrogance and hubris behind this kind of crap evidently knows no bounds. I may have been born at night but it wasn't LAST night.
April 24, 2003
Another Unworthy Judicial Nominee
Carolyn Kuhl, a nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, seems to have undergone a classic confirmation conversion. As a lawyer and as a California state court judge, she advocated objectionable positions on civil rights, abortion and privacy. But at her confirmation hearings, she backpedaled furiously. Her testimony may have been tactically shrewd, but it failed to allay serious concerns about how she would perform as a judge. The Senate should not confirm her.
Judge Kuhl started out as a hard-driving conservative lawyer in the Reagan administration. When the I.R.S. denied tax-exempt status to Bob Jones University, which discriminated against blacks, she played a key role in persuading the Justice Department to take Bob Jones's side. In a landmark 1983 decision the Supreme Court rejected her position, 8 to 1. Judge Kuhl also argued forcefully for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. And she was co-author of a brief backing the defendant in a landmark sexual harassment case. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected its conclusion, ruling for the woman who had been harassed.
Under questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Kuhl repeatedly retracted or minimized her positions: supporting Bob Jones was a mistake, she said, but she had been a "very young staffer" and had not understood the issues fully. She had advocated overturning Roe because President Reagan had wanted it. When, as a private attorney, she had later written a brief critical of Roe, it had not been because she shared its views, but because she had wanted to build an appellate practice and "filing briefs in the Supreme Court is a prestigious thing to do." In the sexual harassment case, her difference with the Supreme Court had been over only a "technical" issue.
Judge Kuhl's many shifts are suspect because of their timing. It is also clear, given this administration's track record, that she was chosen precisely because of the actions she now seeks to distance herself from. The White House can tell from her record that she shares its conservative agenda, including opposition to abortion rights and skepticism about civil rights. It is unlikely that when she spoke with the administration she was as quick to renounce her past as she was before the Senate.
It shows how politicized the selection of judges has become that Judge Kuhl received a hearing at all. In the past, the Judiciary Committee often would not consider a nominee who lacked the support of both senators from the person's home state. The Republicans have pushed Judge Kuhl forward even though Senator Barbara Boxer has not endorsed her. They have also trampled on the Senate's traditional courtesies by reporting out Priscilla Owen for a Fifth Circuit judgeship, even though the committee rejected her last year.
The Senate has confirmed a vast majority of the administration's judicial nominees. It recently confirmed Jay Bybee, a conservative legal scholar, for the same court for which Judge Kuhl has been nominated. But senators must oppose candidates with views well outside the ideological mainstream, including Judge Kuhl and Judge Owen. Only by holding firm can they persuade a president who campaigned on a promise to govern from the center to start looking there for his judicial nominees.
Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
One more comment. So, the story is now that the WMD's were either destroyed just before the war began or they were moved into Syria. Just how stupid does our gov't think we and the rest of the world are?? The entire rationale for invading Iraq was based on WMD's and connections with Al Quaeda. The gov't had incontrovertible proof of both (they said) - what and where. So, what do we have to show for this fucking war? Oh, sorry. Oil and fat contracts to politically-connected U.S. companies awarded in a closed bidding process. Never mind!
I can't believe it! It's April 23, Easter has already come and gone, and I'm in Montana visiting kids and grandkids! I've been here since last Thursday when I drove up from Denver. I left Mexico on April 12 and won't return until at least mid-May.
So,,, Iraq's now been "liberated," Bechtel and Halliburton are ready to gather in the spoils, the 7,000 year old cultural and intellectual history of Iraq has been virtually erased (even though today's news says that some looted items have been recovered), Baptist missionaries are poised to convert the Iraqi heathens, Bush is still mindlessly pursuing the tax cut, the flag-wavers are out in force in the U.S., and it's still not safe to voice support of the French or non-support of the President. Just to make sure that the level of surrealism stays high, Karl Rove has engineered pushing back the dates of the Republican Convention to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11. Unbelievable, naked, and obscene opportunism.
I love being here in Montana with family, there's a gorgeous spring in progress, I have been outside tilling, mowing, trimming, planting sets, and generally soaking up the "Big Sky." It's almost enough to take my mind off the fact that my country is seriously off the track and that our President and his minions are causing damage that will be decades in the fixing, if ever. The guy's gotta go, he's GOTTA GO! Why aren't the American people up in arms and why the hell does he have such a high approval rating?