Alito: Dem staffers blame their senators

At least, according to a Raw Storystory. One aide is quoted:The myopia among too many Senate Democrats is stunning. They can't see this is the fight for the future of the Supreme Court. Three years from now if Justice Alito has rolled back the right to choose, Democrats should want to be remembered for fighting tooth and nail to stop this guy.
Problem is, the polls and the traffic from constituents are pro Alito by a comfortable margin.

Another anonymouse says

its hard to say that there's something so egregious that's completely disqualifying. He's just not that scary a person like a Bork.
The Dems apparently bet the farm that, after that smooth JR, Bush would nominate a knuckle-dragging cracker who would turn the hearings into a Monkey Trial Part Deux for the nightly edification of swing voters. They would merely have to stand by and let the nominee implode.

Uh oh. Even when the un-cracker-like Alito was announced to the world, they Micawberishly hoped against hope for something to turn up, and ploughed on regardless.

I can't say I stayed glued to the hearings; but I've nowhere read that the Democratic committee members demonstrated much in the way of forensic expertise, or even of coordination and pre-planning, such that might have got over to viewers the impression that Alito was a dangerous subversive to be kept off the Court at all costs.

After all these years of dire warnings from lefties about the danger of letting Bush make SCOTUS picks, he finally puts up the Big Bad Wolf - and Dem Senators can't make the American public see past Grandma's nightshirt.

No wonder their people are pissed off!

(Of course, this could all be misdirection, and the MSM  left with Dewey Defeats Truman egg on their faces, if a Dem filibuster is starting as I write.

Yup, I'm dreaming on...)

GOP perfect the corporate giveaway

The Washington Posthighlights the technique: the conference committee on S 1932, the Deficit Reduction Act, was all GOP. Stitched up the conference report just before the recess, fait accompli, rammed through both houses in no time flat, tied in a bow for a Bush Christmas present.

(That was clearly the plan, at least. Except that certain provisions in the conference report were stricken in the Senate as contrary to the Byrd Rule (§313 of the Congressional Budget Act) and the vote to waive was lost, thus tossing the bill back to the House.)

The Post piece explains the changes made by the conference to the Medicare Advantage scheme (§5301 of the conference report): technical, boring, nothing to get folks into the street about. But the bottom line is a benefit to the insurance companies estimated by the CBO at around $20 billion.

Dem senators huffed and puffed; but, since the bill is a reconciliation bill, as I understand it, no filibuster is possible. (Not that there would have been a filibuster even without that rule, I'm thinking.)

There's no rule against forming a conference committee which excludes members of the minority party, that I can see. The surprise, I suppose, that Dems have previously been allowed spots on them at all!

Of course, if the Dems organize the Senate in the 110th, the boot will be on the other foot. If.

Pelosi two-faced on House corruption...

According to a piece in the Nation by Ari Berman, at least.

He says that former Rep Chris Bell (he of the complaint against Tom DeLay that broke the ethics truce in the House) and lawmakers who asked not to be named told him that

Pelosi has specifically told House members not to file complaints.

He gets an element of corroboration from an on-the-record source:

Asked whether Democrats would start filing ethics complaints again, Pelosi spokeswoman Jennifer Crider was less than emphatic: "We're getting to the point where you may see Democrats that do that," Crider said.

So we have Harry Reid issuing an apology for being rough on Republicans in his Abramoff memo; and Pelosi saying House Dems might just move from bloviation to action on corruption on the other side of the aisle - if it gets any worse.

Salute your Democratic Congressional Leadership of 2006!

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