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September 3, 2005 8:13 PM   Subscribe

Chief Justice William Rehnquist died Saturday at age 80. cnn reports renquists death
posted by R. Mutt (207 comments total)
 
When it rains it pours.
posted by brundlefly at 8:14 PM on September 3, 2005


*Rehnquist
posted by R. Mutt at 8:14 PM on September 3, 2005


Link to CNN.com? No, no.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:14 PM on September 3, 2005 [1 favorite]


2 appointments to the Supreme Court by a man who should be impeached, indicted, and forced to suffer like the people of New Orleans--simply unbelievable.
posted by amberglow at 8:14 PM on September 3, 2005


errr... i was going to wait for an actual story link, but i guess this suffices?
posted by spiderwire at 8:14 PM on September 3, 2005


oh shit
posted by peep at 8:15 PM on September 3, 2005


We are FUCKED.
posted by fungible at 8:15 PM on September 3, 2005


Sorry spider ... I'm a bit on edge.
posted by R. Mutt at 8:15 PM on September 3, 2005


No, this doesn't suffice. All I see on cnn.com is a massive HOW YOU CAN HELP headline, which is much more appropriate at the moment.

Rehnquist is dead. There will be an obituary thread. This should not be it.
posted by yhbc at 8:15 PM on September 3, 2005


kos diary.
posted by moonbird at 8:16 PM on September 3, 2005


i saw it on the kos diary.

it's at the top of the CNN page.

RMutt - no criticism, i was thinking of doing it myself. i'm sure details will come out. it's more important that people get informed. we can post specifics here.
posted by spiderwire at 8:17 PM on September 3, 2005


AP report.
posted by moonbird at 8:17 PM on September 3, 2005


AP article
posted by amberglow at 8:17 PM on September 3, 2005


I hope Bush nominates a lesbian african american with genital deformities and sociopathic tendencies to frustrate the current environment.
posted by paleocon at 8:17 PM on September 3, 2005


oop
posted by amberglow at 8:17 PM on September 3, 2005


It's strange, CNN has already shown a prepacked obit piece and has brought on Jeffrey Toobin (?) to provide commentary. I'm surprised they don't have an article posted yet.

Anyway, this is just awful. At least at this moment, the president is under more scrutiny than he has been previously.
posted by missmerrymack at 8:18 PM on September 3, 2005


*sits down, clutches box of popcorn nervously*
posted by nyterrant at 8:18 PM on September 3, 2005


Heaven help these United States if Dubya spends his politcal capital the way so many of us fear he will.
posted by ahimsakid at 8:18 PM on September 3, 2005


sorry - prepackaged not prepacked
posted by missmerrymack at 8:18 PM on September 3, 2005


Jesus christ.

I hope everyone that attended the "Justice Sunday II" rallies pushing others to pray for more supreme court nominees are proud of themselves. It seemed pretty creepy then, there was an undercurrent of "praying for retirement" that felt way too close to "praying for the death of people we don't agree with" and now someone has died, and they achieve their goal of one more supreme court seat.
posted by mathowie at 8:19 PM on September 3, 2005


There are two points here, fuckwads.

One (1). MetaFilter, despite all appearances, is not a "breaking news!" blog.

Two (2). Even though a Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court has just died, the top story on CNN, Yahoo, et al, is, as it should be, the continuing tragedy in the Gulf.
posted by yhbc at 8:19 PM on September 3, 2005


At least now he can appoint someone with the stoutness to show those damn hurricanes who's boss around here.
posted by Balisong at 8:19 PM on September 3, 2005


And a personal note to "amberglow". Get a fucking life. Vulture.
posted by paleocon at 8:20 PM on September 3, 2005


Hopefully the Democrats have grown some balls over the last six days.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:20 PM on September 3, 2005


and I don't mean that as "oh crap, my side lost and the other side gets another gain" I mean it honestly as "oh crap, they practically asked a nation to pray for the death of those stricken with cancer and now that person has died."
posted by mathowie at 8:20 PM on September 3, 2005


damn ... but as important as this is ... it is not the critical issue facing us now

the impeachment of bush is
posted by pyramid termite at 8:20 PM on September 3, 2005


Can we at least change the link to an actual, you know, story?
posted by mediareport at 8:20 PM on September 3, 2005


Agreed, yhbc.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:20 PM on September 3, 2005 [1 favorite]


everything hits at once. i swear to fscking god.
posted by spiderwire at 8:21 PM on September 3, 2005


ABC News story link
posted by Serena at 8:22 PM on September 3, 2005


Heaven help these United States if Dubya spends his politcal capital the way so many of us fear he will.

After Katrina, W is completely bankrupt, and has no credit whatsoever. All that he's got left is theft, baby.
posted by moonbird at 8:22 PM on September 3, 2005


you know how they say "well, he's in a better place"...

well, he's definately in a better place.
posted by tsarfan at 8:22 PM on September 3, 2005


foxnews is reporting that rehnquist has become a zombie, and eating the brains of innocent bystanders.

...

Sorry.

.
posted by yeoz at 8:22 PM on September 3, 2005


Can we at least change the link to an actual, you know, story? ok ... lets change the link.
posted by R. Mutt at 8:22 PM on September 3, 2005


Why are we fucked? Do you really think Bush could find someone worse than Rehnquist was to replace him on the Court? I doubt it.
posted by cerebus19 at 8:23 PM on September 3, 2005


.

I may be a lefty, but this was a man who shaped the country I grew up in.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:23 PM on September 3, 2005


.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:23 PM on September 3, 2005


This is a terrible movie and I want my money back.
Even odds on a California earthquake within the week.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:24 PM on September 3, 2005


.
posted by Gilbert at 8:24 PM on September 3, 2005


"After Katrina, W is completely bankrupt, and has no credit whatsoever. All that he's got left is theft, baby."

Well, that and the power of the President of the United States to nominate appointees to the Supreme Court. That power doesn't evaporate because he's doing a lousy job, unfortunately.
posted by zoogleplex at 8:24 PM on September 3, 2005


A great man, no matter what anyone says. His "Dark Tower" series will live long in the memory.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:25 PM on September 3, 2005


nonononono

no, please, no

there is no god.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:25 PM on September 3, 2005


"there is no god."

Or there is, and he's on Pat Robertson's side.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:26 PM on September 3, 2005


Please, please put Sandra Day in the top spot. She never said that she would turn down the Chief Justice job. She was on the right side of Lawrence v. Texas and Kelo v. New London, right?
posted by Alison at 8:26 PM on September 3, 2005


This actually may not be absolute doomsday for liberals. It appears that Roberts, though he'll certainly be confirmed, will be shown to be quite conservative in the process. Rehnquist was one of the most conservative members of the court; if the Democrats can make the case that they're already being very accomodating by approving Roberts, it will be easier to apply pressure for Bush to make the other appointment more moderate. And a moderate replacement for Rehnquist would actually shift the court to the left.
posted by gsteff at 8:26 PM on September 3, 2005


Do you really think Bush could find someone worse than Rehnquist was to replace him on the Court?

I think Bush could find someone worse than Judge Jeffries was to place on the court.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:27 PM on September 3, 2005


PS: pretend Presidents shouldn't get to nominate real SC justices.
posted by spiderwire at 8:27 PM on September 3, 2005


there is no god.

Funny, I was just about to start believing in Revelations.
posted by blendor at 8:27 PM on September 3, 2005


Man.

Can I stop watching the news now?
posted by selfnoise at 8:27 PM on September 3, 2005


Chief Justice Scalia, new Justice Roberts, and one more--say, is Ashcroft available?
posted by amberglow at 8:28 PM on September 3, 2005


Well, the one we really don't want to lose is stevens.
posted by delmoi at 8:28 PM on September 3, 2005


Armitage... I live in LA and I totally hear you. I went to the store this week to stock up on water and canned food. If NO got that bad, can you even f'ing IMAGINE what LA would do?

When that quake hits I'm going lockdown. And you know it's coming.

/me turns off the news
posted by AspectRatio at 8:29 PM on September 3, 2005


The funny thing is ... the first place I saw it was on the front page of Wikipedia (who had already updated his entry). It took me another 15 minutes to find a second source.
posted by RavinDave at 8:29 PM on September 3, 2005


"He couldn't coordinate a rescue operation for the worst national disaster in our history, and we're supposed to trust him to pick a Supreme Court justice?"

I can see the ads now.
posted by mediareport at 8:30 PM on September 3, 2005


people started posting about this on the kos thread i was reading, which was about how they grounded relief helicopters in LA the entire time Bush was in the state.

what selfnoise said. seriously.

(this isn't a derail -- it's just.... really exasperating. i dont have words for it. i want to go run out on the street and scream right about now.)
posted by spiderwire at 8:31 PM on September 3, 2005


Y'all, he was going to step down anyway.

This only eliminates the memoirs.
posted by hackly_fracture at 8:32 PM on September 3, 2005


OK, how about this: Can Bush nominate someone if he's impeached?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:33 PM on September 3, 2005


.
posted by Benway at 8:33 PM on September 3, 2005


The sound of me.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:34 PM on September 3, 2005


and, seriously, except for the nausea it will induce upon hearing, how, really, is Chief Justice Scalia any worse for us than Justice Scalia?
posted by hackly_fracture at 8:34 PM on September 3, 2005


hackley_fracture: i'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that it's unlikely Rehnquist would have stepped in the middle of the disaster that's going on right now. this is just too unbelievable.

this whole week has just felt like getting hit on the head over and over with a tragedy stick or something.
posted by spiderwire at 8:34 PM on September 3, 2005


OK, how about this: Can Bush nominate someone if he's impeached?

Good question. Is there any Democrat with spine enough in DC to answer it?
posted by amberglow at 8:34 PM on September 3, 2005


CNN says that President Bush will make a statement tomorrow morning, after he attends church services.
posted by Serena at 8:37 PM on September 3, 2005


Point of procedure: can the president be impeached without a Chief Justice?
posted by dilettante at 8:37 PM on September 3, 2005


Oh, shit.
posted by loquacious at 8:37 PM on September 3, 2005


.

arrrrghhhhhhhh. *deciding slamming head into desk is insufficient, vulcanmike walks around apartment slamming head into random objects*
posted by VulcanMike at 8:38 PM on September 3, 2005


.


...... what loquacious said. dilettante makes my worst week ever even worse, just when i thought it impossible.
posted by spiderwire at 8:39 PM on September 3, 2005


dilettante ... the senate made those rules, the senate can change them
posted by pyramid termite at 8:39 PM on September 3, 2005


.
posted by caddis at 8:39 PM on September 3, 2005


termite: riiiiiight. how many votes are needed for that?
posted by spiderwire at 8:40 PM on September 3, 2005


dilettante ... the senate made those rules, the senate can change them

U.S. Constitution, Section 3, Clause 6: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
posted by gsteff at 8:41 PM on September 3, 2005


Answering myself: of course. But it looks like a 2/3 majority is needed to amend the Senate rules - the same margin as is needed to convict in case of impeachment.
posted by dilettante at 8:42 PM on September 3, 2005


It's time to call the cops. March them out of the WH. There are many many charges that can be brought--criminal negligence just one.
posted by amberglow at 8:43 PM on September 3, 2005


Comet heading towards Earth
Humanity doomed, unsurprised at this point
posted by brundlefly at 8:43 PM on September 3, 2005


whoops, i am wrong ... "The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside"

damn, damn, damn
posted by pyramid termite at 8:43 PM on September 3, 2005


sorry, guys, i really should have looked it up first
posted by pyramid termite at 8:44 PM on September 3, 2005


Not that there's a snowball's chance in hell of Bush getting impeached right now. I personally think its counterproductive to advocate for that, though it may feel good. Better to focus the midterms.
posted by gsteff at 8:44 PM on September 3, 2005


...if the Democrats can make the case that they're already being very accomodating by approving Roberts, it will be easier to apply pressure for Bush to make the other appointment more moderate

Man, someone's been hitting the Pollyanna juice pretty hard.

Democrats? Making a case? No way. They're going to be much too busy using the hearings on Katrina to pin the blame for the whole thing on some low-level functionary. (They'll pick a Dem to crucify, of course, just to prove that they're nonpartisan.)
posted by mondo dentro at 8:45 PM on September 3, 2005


gsteff: Not that there's a snowball's chance in hell of Bush getting impeached right now. I personally think its counterproductive to advocate for that, though it may feel good. Better to focus the midterms.

last week i would have agreed with this, being the political pragmatist that i try to be. after iraq, plame, and -- most of all -- the rank incompetence demonstrated in dealing with new orleans, i say fuck what's' politically productive.' let 'em burn.
posted by spiderwire at 8:45 PM on September 3, 2005


Do two vacancies mean the dems will get to negotiate 'our guy/girl for their old white guy'?
posted by whatgorilla at 8:46 PM on September 3, 2005


"Do you really think Bush could find someone worse than Rehnquist was to replace him on the Court? I doubt it."

Exactly. I don't why people are moaning about this (if they're leftists, I mean). He was one of the solid conservatives. No nominee can be as bad as Rehnquist, it's likely that Bush won't be able to avoid the court moving a bit leftward because of this. Who you ought to fear is the death of John Paul Stevens, who has been the oldest of them all and is moderate-left.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:46 PM on September 3, 2005


Can Bush nominate someone if he's impeached?

Look, the man is not going to get impeached over this. It would be nice, I would personally be made joyful near unto death if such a thing were to occur, but it's not going to happen. But it looks bad when you drool in public over something you just can't have.

Will he be weakened by Katrina? Maybe. But this is what he needed, above and beyond the actual implications for the court itself. This is a big new thing in the news, Rehnquist dying, and regardless of whom is appointed, what is so valuable to him right now is the distraction. There is plenty of grass-roots mobilization to be done to drum up support for another nominee...even if it doesn't really need to be done, it will be. And October is not that far away.

They can't rally around him for a court appointee and condemn him for his handling of the disaster at the same time. Most people do not easily embrace holding contradictory reactions. Anyway, that's the part of this that depresses me.
posted by umberto at 8:46 PM on September 3, 2005


Democrats? Making a case? No way. They're going to be much too busy using the hearings on Katrina to pin the blame for the whole thing on some low-level functionary.

then we get rid of them, too, next election ...
posted by pyramid termite at 8:47 PM on September 3, 2005


Does anyone think President Bush will use the Supreme Court vacancy to divert attention from his mishandling of the Katrina situation?
posted by Serena at 8:48 PM on September 3, 2005




And I think Scalia has burned his bridges with regard to the Chief Justice nomination. I expect it will be Kennedy.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:48 PM on September 3, 2005


I'm emailing my Senators and Reps now.
posted by amberglow at 8:48 PM on September 3, 2005


umberto: the only caveat to that is that it cuts both ways. after this week -- if there is any justice left in this country -- they won't be able to drum up support for anyone.

(first democrat that starts screaming from the rooftops about new orleans gets my vote in 2008. period.)
posted by spiderwire at 8:49 PM on September 3, 2005


And I think Scalia has burned his bridges with regard to the Chief Justice nomination. I expect it will be Kennedy.

Actually, I think the safe money is on him nominating an outsider straight to chief justice. If he nominates a current justice, he has to go through 3 confirmation hearings. If he nominates an outsider, only 2.
posted by gsteff at 8:50 PM on September 3, 2005


After the mid-terms, we can impeach.
posted by delmoi at 8:50 PM on September 3, 2005


"But this is what he needed, above and beyond the actual implications for the court itself. This is a big new thing in the news, Rehnquist dying, and regardless of whom is appointed, what is so valuable to him right now is the distraction."

No, you're wrong. This is a small story compared to New Orleans. We haven't gotten the death count yet, but I predict it will be at least 10,000. And a major American metropolis has been (will be) evacuated and will continue to be for at least five or more months. This story will continue to be the major story for a long, long time.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:51 PM on September 3, 2005


hmmmm.

actually, ok -- i know why this scares me. the president and his handlers fucked up this week like they never have before, and arguably, worse than any president since, i dunno, coolidge. at this point, if they have brain one in thost twisted little heads of theirs, they know the game is up.

i expect them to go nuts. start nominating nutcases. go full-on Hail Mary. that's what's scary right now.

aside from that, i haven't thought too much about the strategy of it all, honestly. i just want this week to be over. i want to concentrate on new orleans. i want this to stop.
posted by spiderwire at 8:52 PM on September 3, 2005


audible "oh my GOD."

.
posted by sdrawkcab at 8:52 PM on September 3, 2005


Hey, since we are doing newsfilter, please note that Chirac ain't doin' so well either...possible stroke.
posted by squink at 8:54 PM on September 3, 2005


Well, I hope you are right, Ethereal Bligh. I hope they can't sweep this ghastly business under a political carpet. But it's hard to overestimate Karl Rove's ability to construct enemies for his adherents to attack, and to blow molehills into red meat mountains. You have to admire his talent in that regard, even as you despise it.
posted by umberto at 8:54 PM on September 3, 2005


I mean, heck, if they only have eight (seven?) justices going into this session (a somewhat likely outcome at this point, I'd say), won't there actually be a better shot than usual of getting the outcomes liberals might prefer, this year, at least?

I personally salute the Good Justice's choice of timing.

on preview: spiderwire, don't fuck with Coolidge.
posted by hackly_fracture at 8:55 PM on September 3, 2005


what if they give Thomas the post to prove they don't hate Blacks?
posted by amberglow at 8:55 PM on September 3, 2005


/me bets on a trifecta: Huge earthquake, terrorist attack or another hurricane followed up by suspension of the Constitution.

Who the fuck is directing this flick? Jerry Bruckheimer? Or David Lynch?
posted by loquacious at 8:56 PM on September 3, 2005


Actually, I think the safe money is on him nominating an outsider straight to chief justice.

Yep. Alberto "It ain't torture if you're still alive" Gonzales.
posted by mondo dentro at 8:56 PM on September 3, 2005


hackly: sorry, i was thinking about Harding. still not a huge calvin coolidge fan tho. ;)
posted by spiderwire at 8:57 PM on September 3, 2005


20,000 plus, EB. My guess.
posted by zoogleplex at 8:58 PM on September 3, 2005


.
posted by gyc at 8:58 PM on September 3, 2005


Does nobody realize that, no matter what happens in the 2006 elections, Bush isn't going to be impeached? Even if the Democrats take back the House, enough of them will break ranks on an impeachment vote that it would probably fail.

Even if he were impeached (and whoever was acting Chief Justice would probably preside), he would never be found guilty by the Senate, because that would require 67 Senators to vote for conviction, and no matter what happens in the elections next year, the Democrats won't get that many seats.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:01 PM on September 3, 2005


_
posted by amberglow at 9:02 PM on September 3, 2005


spiderwire,

You could actually make a good Harding-Coolidge-Hoover analogy to Reagan-Bush/Clinton-Bush. Were you so inclined.
posted by hackly_fracture at 9:02 PM on September 3, 2005


cerebus is right. Talk of impeachment is probably counterproductive (even if warranted). Focus on the elections so we get someone better next time around.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:02 PM on September 3, 2005


EB, I hope you are right. I predict a big, ugly mess over Rehnquist's replacement. Such a thing would be a perfect way to distract the media from the hurricane story.
posted by nyterrant at 9:03 PM on September 3, 2005


cerberus19,

on all counts, sadly, yes, many of us realize.
posted by hackly_fracture at 9:03 PM on September 3, 2005


cerebus19, we know. i do, anyway. but i've just about lost my mind with frustration at this point. i want them all out, now. now now now now now now now.
posted by spiderwire at 9:05 PM on September 3, 2005


You know, nothing against the original poster, or anybody talking about this, but the news organizations should not be letting Katrina be story number 2. Nor should people in a position of power be worried about the Court now. There is one thing to worry about right now, and that is a full-blown goddamn national crisis in the Gulf states. When that is addressed, I and everybody else can get back to political sniping.
posted by lackutrol at 9:05 PM on September 3, 2005


Fuck....
posted by SweetJesus at 9:06 PM on September 3, 2005


Does nobody realize that, no matter what happens in the 2006 elections, Bush isn't going to be impeached?

i want someone to try, anyway ...

let history record that a cowardly congress refused to do the right thing by removing a criminally negligent leader ... and they can damn well do it by a vote
posted by pyramid termite at 9:08 PM on September 3, 2005


There is one thing to worry about right now, and that is a full-blown goddamn national crisis in the Gulf states.

That's very sweet. But do you think the Republicans are going to stop worrying and strategizing and mobilizing about this? If not, do you think the Democrats sit idly by anyway?
posted by gsteff at 9:08 PM on September 3, 2005


er, Democrats should sit idly by
posted by gsteff at 9:09 PM on September 3, 2005


From the current New York Times article on it,
The death President Bush[sic] his second court opening within pour[sic] months

heh
posted by nervousfritz at 9:13 PM on September 3, 2005


In my fantasy world, Bush would nominate Bill Clinton to the Supreme Court.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:15 PM on September 3, 2005


See the thing is, the people in positions of power want the news organizations to focus on the Supreme Court. And newspeople are easily addled by people with power. The seem to coming out of their stupor for a moment, but we are left hoping that outrage can face off against power and win. A lot of us seem to hope so, but there are things that outrage other people that we can't understand. And that will be played upon.

I think spiderwire may have nailed it: they may nominate someone nutty and almost indefensible. Someone the dems will scream themselves hoarse decrying, which will drown out the fainter screams of the fading (yes, to those who want to think so) disaster. Someone positively paleo-lithic in outlook. And if you think the dems won't fall for that...that's hoping the baby won't pee in the pool. I wouldn't drink that water. And who knows, they may WANT to drag it out for three confirmations...
posted by umberto at 9:16 PM on September 3, 2005


That's very sweet. But do you think the Republicans are going to stop worrying and strategizing and mobilizing about this? If not, do you think the Democrats sit idly by anyway?

Yes. They can strategize all they want, but as soon as word one about Rehnquist or anything else comes out of Hastert's mouth, the immediate response should be exactly what Reid said (paraphrasing): shut the fuck up. We don't care right now. If you want to talk about Roberts, go ahead, but if we're not going to talk about what's going on in New Orleans then I'm getting on a plane right now and heading down there, because it's a hell of a lot more important than anything else I could be doing right now.
posted by spiderwire at 9:17 PM on September 3, 2005


Impeachment would do no good anyway. Cheney would move up to be president in name as well, and that would be the only difference. Next in line after Cheney is Hastert. A real push for impeachment would just be a waste of energy and willpower.

Given the events of the past week maybe Rehnquist died of shame over his role in bringing Bush to office, rather than thyroid cancer. For a while I've wondered if his reluctance to resign was the usual refusal to admit weakness and mortality, or if it was a distaste for the idea of allowing Bush to appoint his successor, anyway.
posted by dilettante at 9:18 PM on September 3, 2005


umberto: I think that's a much more terrifying and specific scenario than what I was suggesting, which was just that if they still had anything left to lose, they certainly don't now. I'd bet you're right. I bet they start with Falwell and trade down to Roberts.

As for the 'fading' disaster, which someone else referenced upthread, I don't see the SC issue trumping this. There aren't even death counts in from most places yet. If you think that things are getting better, well... I wish I had your optimism. We're only at the tip of the bad news, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by spiderwire at 9:21 PM on September 3, 2005


it's up to the media now--will they continue to cover the unfolding stuff in the Gulf--a disaster of historic proportions--or just go for the easy talking points they're probably already faxing out?
posted by amberglow at 9:25 PM on September 3, 2005


There's been lots of talk about Thomas as Chief Justice, and it's quite plausible politically. One big problem is that all the other justices don't like or respect him (in my opinion). And the Chief Justice job is really an administrative position above and beyond the regular duties. The CJ has to work fairly well with all the other justices (which is a big strike against Scalia, too). On the other hand, Thomas is next to worthless as a justice, maybe he'd be useful as an administrator.

Gonzales would be a shoe-in, but he's got some liabilities in the context where Bush's enemies are emboldened.

I don't think anyone will be able to spin NO into obscurity. There's going to be all sorts of repercussions we'll see daily for a long time (everything from gas prices to overburdned school districts in Baton Rouge, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, etc. to the availability and price of oysters). And all this time, for months and months, there will be a metropolis that is a ghost town. No, this will loom large in the public consciousness for a long time.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:26 PM on September 3, 2005


I second you on that MegoSteve.
posted by Toecutter at 9:31 PM on September 3, 2005


I don't think anyone will be able to spin NO into obscurity. There's going to be all sorts of repercussions we'll see daily for a long time

Something you didn't mention that sticks out for me is the rescue workers. I flew back to Austin from my small hometown in the Northwest on Thursday, and there was a guy in a Red Cross shirt sitting in the terminal across from me (this is in a town of 20,000), looking incredibly morose. People would come up and talk to him from time to time. He would just tell them that "It's the worst thing we've ever had to face."

He'll likely be one of the volunteers who's being held out of the city. And he'll be yet another who'll come home with firsthand accounts of the devastation visited on a major city, and of the fuckups that can be laid squarely at the feet of this administration. I would expect that when he comes back to my small town, he'll have stories to tell.

I think that, because of people like him, there will be accountability, one way or another. What's what I hope, anyway.
posted by spiderwire at 9:43 PM on September 3, 2005


i think rehnquist was politely asked to die today to get the heat off bush. loyal to the end.
posted by brookish at 9:43 PM on September 3, 2005


Gsteff, I think that all parties should stop strategizing and plotting and all that for now. Do I think they will? No. I am not some kind of naive jerk living in fantasyland. But what I do hope is that the media retain their newfound vague and iffy interest in what's really important. There seem to be at least a few reporters who are finally willing to challenge official bullshit a little bit. I hope that continues and that they guide the discourse towards the immediate and dire emergency facing us.

This whole damn thing is a lot closer to me and mine than I would like. I have been trying to at least make phone calls to agencies to help someone I don't even know (long story) and I have been colossally impressed, today, with the incredibly poor effort planning-wise, that is going on down there. Before I go on too long about something that is not even the damn topic here, I'll go vent in some more relevant place.
posted by lackutrol at 9:45 PM on September 3, 2005


It'll be Thomas. That way he can show Kanye West that he really does care about the black people, after all.

Oh for the love of FSM. Fuck.
posted by moonbird at 9:47 PM on September 3, 2005


We all knew it was coming, I just don't know what to think of him not actually retiring. I wonder what his thought process.

Possible Rehnquist tombstones:

"Did not puss out and quit"

"Supreme 4 Life"
posted by cavalier at 9:47 PM on September 3, 2005


when in the course...
posted by amberglow at 9:47 PM on September 3, 2005


.
posted by adzm at 9:51 PM on September 3, 2005


at this moment, i'm at the coffeeshop where i do most of my work, which also has a bar -- so, it being a friday, there's all these smiling, dressed-up college students around me, enjoying their weekends, talking and chatting and smiling. there are tears in my eyes and i'm hoping that no one notices. this week has been too much. just way, way too much. i'm out.
posted by spiderwire at 9:53 PM on September 3, 2005


oh. man. This is gonna be ugly all the way around.
posted by dejah420 at 9:54 PM on September 3, 2005


**saturday. screw it. done.
posted by spiderwire at 9:58 PM on September 3, 2005


Things comes in threes don't they?... ...What next?
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:00 PM on September 3, 2005


No, no impeachment. Who wants a President Cheney? I mean, for real.

But really, this couldn't have happened at a better time. Bush is at his absolute weakest politically right now. Congress may have GOP majorities in both houses, but the momentum is with the Gang of 14 -- a bipartisan cadre of moderates and pragmatists. That isn't great news for progressives, but it isn't bad news, either.

We all knew it was coming, I just don't know what to think of him not actually retiring. I wonder what his thought process.

I remain perplexed that none of the conservative Justices retired during his first term, which conceivably could have been the only one he got. That at least seemed a telltale of a certain institutional independence from party politics, even in the face of decisions such as Bush v. Gore.

Who will it be? My money's on the near also-rans for the nomination given to Roberts, either Edith Jones or Edith Brown Clement, both of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. They're both women, and they're both based in ...

wait for it ...

New Orleans.
posted by dhartung at 10:00 PM on September 3, 2005


No no no no no.
Not good.

That's all I've got. It's been a hell of a week.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:07 PM on September 3, 2005


.

The squabbles over a new justice are not going to push the images of floating corpses or dehydrated infants out of most people's minds for a good long time. I suspect Rove might think otherwise, but it's over for the administration.
posted by maryh at 10:10 PM on September 3, 2005


Jesus. This is the beginning of the end.
posted by ed at 10:13 PM on September 3, 2005


I guess I'm not done drinking tonight.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:15 PM on September 3, 2005


.

R.I.P
posted by b_thinky at 10:18 PM on September 3, 2005


Oh boy! Just what I wanted for my birthday, a Supreme Court vacancy!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:23 PM on September 3, 2005


Cheers Spiderwire - here's hoping that more people will understand how exactly incompetent this current admin is. I have hopes for the smaller communities in the US, but I fear that the majority of ex- and sub- urbanites won't have a similar first/second hand education available to them.

Maybe now that the mainstream news networks have shown their (previously lost) teeth...

but I'm hoping too much.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 10:28 PM on September 3, 2005


at this moment, i'm at the coffeeshop where i do most of my work, which also has a bar -- so, it being a friday, there's all these smiling, dressed-up college students around me, enjoying their weekends, talking and chatting and smiling.

I rode to the gym earlier today, and I ride past the stadium. Today was the season opener, and there were tons of people out barbequing, etc. I could smell their grillin' and it smelled good. I wondered how many of them had the Disaster on their mind. I don't know. I feel so strange.
posted by delmoi at 10:29 PM on September 3, 2005


This week has just been way too bad to even think about. When I saw this headline, I actually felt a large portion of my brain shut off. It felt like the transmission falling out of a car.
It was the part of my brain that cares about things. It blew a fuse and fell to pieces.


I'm going to go buy some non-perishables and weld my door shut.
posted by Jon-o at 10:34 PM on September 3, 2005


Just for fun, allow me to invite all MiFis to edit the wikinews article
posted by jeffburdges at 10:41 PM on September 3, 2005


Question: Is it even remotely possible for O'Connor to take back her resignation?
posted by ed at 10:44 PM on September 3, 2005


O'Connor hasn't actually resigned yet.

She said that she would resign once a replacement had been appointed and approved.
posted by blasdelf at 10:59 PM on September 3, 2005


when in the course...

amberglow, i'm really trying not to go there ... i'm really trying to believe that this can be fixed under the system we have ... i'm really trying to hope that this can change

i'm trying ... but it's getting harder and harder
posted by pyramid termite at 11:00 PM on September 3, 2005


Who will it be? My money's on the near also-rans for the nomination given to Roberts, either Edith Jones or Edith Brown Clement, both of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. They're both women, and they're both based in ... wait for it ... New Orleans.

Edith Jones is actually in Houston, but other than that it's a plausible scenario. I doubt it will be Clement, and frankly, Jones sunk her chances by writing a concurrence recently that urged the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade. My prediction is that neither Thomas nor Scalia will be named Chief, despite Scalia's recent politicking for it. I wouldn't be surprised if Bush pulls a switcheroo and makes Roberts the nominee for Chief Justice. After that, politically Bush pretty much has to nominate a woman or an hispanic. I doubt Gonzales, but maybe Garza.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:03 PM on September 3, 2005


PT: Give it a couple weeks/months for everything to get straightened out. Can you imagine what impeachment proceedings would do our government's response?

Then you can despair that nothing happens.

But who knows, Maybe Bush will finally get some decency and resign in disgrace.
posted by delmoi at 11:03 PM on September 3, 2005


Bush might play nice and nominate Martinez, the senator from FL. He's a "friend of the family.", and he's been 'pre-aproved' by senate democrats.
posted by delmoi at 11:05 PM on September 3, 2005


i'm willing to wait awhile ... but things have to change
posted by pyramid termite at 11:08 PM on September 3, 2005


For a while I've wondered if his reluctance to resign was the usual refusal to admit weakness and mortality, or if it was a distaste for the idea of allowing Bush to appoint his successor, anyway.
posted by dilettante at 12:18 AM EST on September 4 [!]


While no one can know exactly what his reasons were, it is worth noting he was a huge student of Sup.Ct. history. And he was 2 years away from being the longest-serving justice. I bet this had at least something to do with it.
posted by zaack at 11:15 PM on September 3, 2005


Jesus, and I thought being all weepy because this is the one-year anniversary of the "we've grown apart [I mean I'm fucking my high school girlfriend]" speech from my now-ex (and the subsequent horrible year complete with horrible recurrent medical, emotional, financial, you-name-it problems) was bad. With subsequent oprah-esque blabbing about MY shitty life to a could-care-less charge nurse during most recent liver biopsy on Fri....

I never thought I'd say this but....this country needs a revolution, 1776-style.

G.W.'s slow response was probably because he was on VACATION. for FIVE WEEKS. I guess his one-page "here's what's going on in the U.S." briefings didn't include "massive storm headed for N.O." And I'm sure he's rubbing his greasy palms and running his beady eyes over a list of SC nominees right now.

Meanwhile guestimates are at 80 days OR MORE before the levees can be fixed and all the water pumped out.

I laughed at the stupid "deep impact" movie, but you watch--space debris is next, my friends.

ed--maybe. probably not, though. She's probably glad to be the hell out of it.
posted by MiHail at 11:17 PM on September 3, 2005


bush v. gore ... his legacy.

think little george called his dad and asked what to do now? or perhaps the nut case on vacation in wyoming? or just got down on his knees and prayed real hard?
posted by specialk420 at 11:18 PM on September 3, 2005


But who knows, Maybe Bush will finally get some decency and resign in disgrace.

Wouldn't that be something? I'd actually remember him fondly . . .
posted by hackly_fracture at 11:20 PM on September 3, 2005


Surely this is the best of all possible worlds.
posted by fraxil at 11:24 PM on September 3, 2005


Those of you asking for the impeachment of Bush: have you thought of who would succeed him? Do you really want a President Cheney?
posted by Cranberry at 11:24 PM on September 3, 2005


cranberry, i'll admit that a president cheney isn't desirable

but this is about more than who the president is ... it's about the standard of conduct and responsibility this president and all future presidents are expected by the people to have

such carelessness and negligence cannot be allowed

a president cheney may do all sorts of things we may disagree with ... but he's damned well going to know that when our country's in crisis, we expect a president who can get his job done
posted by pyramid termite at 11:29 PM on September 3, 2005


ok. i know i said i was going to bed, but i sat there for a long time, staring at the ceiling, and... well, now i'm back. but i feel better, strangely.

first of all: PurplePorpoise, delmoi, and Jon-o: thank you. i feel pathetic for taking some solace from some unknown people on my favorite website, but i do feel better knowing that there are some people out there somewhere who are just as lost as i feel right now.

second: i think that i can sleep soundly now, and i wanted to share with y'all why. it's this: when Andrew Sullivan, David Brooks, and Jonah Goldberg, of all people, are willing to come out and call out the Administration for the job it's done so far (Sullivan said that Goldberg was "stating the obvious"), it makes me think that all conservatives are not yet lost, and that there may still be some hope for the country i love.

i miss arguing about tax cuts and No Child Left Behind. those are legitimate issues for liberals and conservatives to disagree about. we let them divide us. 9/11 was supposed to be the tragedy that brought us together, and it wasn't, because this Administration, craven as it is, spun the most significant attack even on american soil for political gain -- but they can't spin this. tonight, i found myself agreeing with Jonah Goldberg and Andrew Sullivan, of all people, because we all believe in the fundamental promise of this country, which is that we help our own, and no matter what, we try to do right. we roll up our sleeves and we work hard.

for a long time, many of us on the liberal side of the fence have fumed at bush for 'clearing brush' in Crawford -- a staged media event, like the 'food distribution centers' and the 'levee repairs' that were broken down as soon as the cameras left. not because we don't like the image of the hardworking american cowboy, but because we didn't like seeing that dream sold out. but if you wanted to believe in bush, i can see -- i can certainly see -- how promoting that fundamental ethic is a worthwhile and admirable thing.

but here we are. and the gloves are off. and the emperor has no clothes. they weren't interesting in protecting you. they didn't care about security. i supported the iraq war, because i believed that america could change the world, and eventually i had to come around, chagrined and humble. i was wrong. i think that this week was that moment for the jonah goldbergs of the world. we can disagree about tax cuts. we can't disagree about levees.

let bush do what he likes with the supreme court. let him spin. i don't care. i'm going to write my congresspeople and my governor and tell them what kind of government i want -- one that will make sure that if my house is destroyed, i don't die -- and i'm going to write jonah goldberg and andrew sullivan and tell them that, for once, i agree with them.

it's late. i know that many of y'all won't read this. and i'm going to bed, too. but i was up on sunday night, watching and crying, thinking that the hurricane was going to crush new orleans, destroy it utterly, and it wasn't until just now that i finally felt that things might -- might -- be ok.

now i really am going back to bed. i hope that you all sleep well.
posted by spiderwire at 11:30 PM on September 3, 2005


Do you really want a President Cheney?

Absolutely. The cult of personality built around this yammering illiterate fratmonkey is far more disturbing to me than an old-fashioned hardass like Cheney.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:31 PM on September 3, 2005


Cranberry, I think (I hope) Cheney's pacemaker would give out within days. However...his next-in-line SPO Hastert...THAT gives me pause...

And I'm sure Georgie is wearing out his knees right now.
posted by MiHail at 11:31 PM on September 3, 2005


(oops...SOH...dur)
posted by MiHail at 11:32 PM on September 3, 2005


For those that think that it can't get any worse than Rehnquist, you should realize that his federalism revolution, while closely linked to Republicans, is not facially a conservative proposition. Devoling power to the states, which frankly hews closer to the intent of the Constitution IMHO, can be utilized in many ways. For example, using the "50 laboratories" to carve out spaces for gay marriage is fundamentally a proposition that is neatly in line with "Our Federalism."

All this to say that a principled conservative judge is a hell of a lot better than right wing ideologues like Scalia and Thomas who are more likely to infuse their jurisprudence with their moral beliefs. Those sort of ideologues are a million times scarier than a Rehnquist or a Roberts and those sort of ideologues are going to comprise the next nomination. Summer ends really soon, both literally and metaphorically.
posted by Falconetti at 11:39 PM on September 3, 2005


when Andrew Sullivan, David Brooks, and Jonah Goldberg, of all people, are willing to come out and call out the Administration for the job it's done so far

Well, Goldberg has a pretty fucking massive karma debt for posting this on the National Review blog earlier in the week (subsequently removedm apparently):
ATTN: SUPERDOME RESIDENTS [Jonah Goldberg]
I think it's time to face facts. That place is going to be a Mad Max/thunderdome Waterworld/Lord of the Flies horror show within the next few hours. My advice is to prepare yourself now. Hoard weapons, grow gills and learn to communicate with serpents. While you're working on that, find the biggest guy you can and when he's not expecting it beat him senseless. Gather young fighters around you and tell the womenfolk you will feed and protect any female who agrees to participate without question in your plans to repopulate the earth with a race of gilled-supermen. It's never too soon to be prepared.
Posted at 10:05 AM
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:41 PM on September 3, 2005


goldberg's an asshole, but that's not a criticism. to be honest, and for what it's worth, he's right. all he was saying is exactly what i would have said on sunday night: shit is about to get really, really bad, and don't have any delusions about it. say what you like about his phrasing (admittedly, misogynistic and just downright stupid, but we're talking about jonah goldberg here), but taken at face value as a prediction of total anarchy, we was right.
posted by spiderwire at 11:44 PM on September 3, 2005


"principled," yet chosen by this crew? not possible at all. The current Court wasn't even truly principled, as Bush v. Gore showed.
posted by amberglow at 11:45 PM on September 3, 2005


Well FYI, I didn't find out about this from any of the major news networks - just a "Fox News Alert" banner. It didn't even cause a blip on CNN Headline News, which I thought was odd. So I came online to find out if it was true.

The cable news networks are ramping up their all-weather-porn-all-the-time coverage and I can't even watch the US Open this weekend without being reminded every five minutes that there's a disaster going on. And now this.

I don't know if Bush's slow response and the complete chaos among all levels of goverment will be enough to turn the tide in the Southern stronghold states, but the European news has been reporting than when Bush visited MS he received a very chilly welcome from the few people he found to chat with. It may be enough to open their eyes, but I don't know if it's enough for them to see down party lines for specific blame. There's been better coverage of the hurricane here than any major news outlet, so who knows.

If he tries to nominate a loony, don't you think it will sink him? The hurricane and all its criticism and now the gouging gas prices over a holiday weekend have most people pretty steamed. It'll take a lot to bait and switch all that, I'd suspect.
posted by somethingotherthan at 11:46 PM on September 3, 2005


**he was right.

look, i'm not saying the guy's an angel. it's not like andrew sullivan and david brooks don't have a LOT of shit to answer for. but just like it was hard for me to swallow my pride and admit that maybe supporting shrub in the iraq debacle was, well, stupid--

.....well, i can only imagine what it takes for those guys to be saying what they are now. i wouldn't be ripping into them too much. we could be seeing a watershed moment here.

if not, then sure. gloves are off again. until then, if jonah goldberg is willing to point out that the emperor has no clothes, i don't care what else he does. the priority is clear right now.
posted by spiderwire at 11:48 PM on September 3, 2005


amberglow, I agree that Bush v Gore was a travesty and a complete failure of the judicial branch, and the "conservative" wing in particular, to maintain their impartiality which is where that branch derives its strength. I am just saying that over 33 years, Rehnquist wasn't so terrible and that a couple years from now lefties are going to be pining for someone like him. The future is dim.
posted by Falconetti at 11:48 PM on September 3, 2005


but taken at face value as a prediction of total anarchy, we was right.

Yeah, but he didn't know that it was going to be anarchy because they'd be without food and water for days on end. Why on earth would he want to write something that flippant about other people's suffering even if it hadn't turned out as it did? The whole thing reads like a thinly veiled "you know how those Negroes are" to me.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:50 PM on September 3, 2005


Armitage, what in the hell is that Goldberg post? Does he think this is goddamned funny? I would suggest that anybody glib about this thing ("gills"?) needs to be taken out back and shot.
posted by lackutrol at 11:51 PM on September 3, 2005


Armitage: I guess we're just reading it differently. My issue with the quote is the whole "protect your womenfolk" bullshit.

(Somehow I can imagine a number of the women I've seen on the news coverage having to protect Jonah Goldberg rather than the other way 'round.)

That said, there's nothing in there that indicates why he thought that the situation was about to get Lord of the Flies-level bad. All I'm saying is that at that point, I agreed. Things have looked bad -- really bad -- all week, and I don't know that it's flippant so much as "hello, don't listen to the government at any level, get the fuck out."

I'm not trying to defend him. Maybe it is flippant. Regardless, if you're right, I think it only supports my point:

If an asshole like Jonah Goldberg is willing to admit that "damn, the Bush Administration fucked this up like I couldn't have imagined, even though they were supposed to be preparing for it for the last few years," then there is, as of yet, hope for this country. He may be an asshole, but at least he's not an idiot (well.... ok, with qualifiers), and that's what I was afraid of.
posted by spiderwire at 11:55 PM on September 3, 2005


OK, reading that quote again, I'd like to reiterate:

HOLY SHIT, Jonah Goldberg is a gigantic fucking douchebag. Seriously. Writing that is goddamn ridiculous.

But. Again. The Jonah Goldberg canon is not lacking in ridiculous bullshit, and that fact that even a galactic-level douchebag like him is willing to admit that the Bush Administration fucked this one up -- angels though they may be -- bodes well for this country. That's all I'm saying.
posted by spiderwire at 11:58 PM on September 3, 2005


Devolving power to the states

Medical marijuana this year? Ah... I see O'Connor, Rehnquist, and Thomas dissented on that one. Good on them, for a consistent attempt to limit the Commerce Clause.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:04 AM on September 4, 2005


I am just saying that over 33 years, Rehnquist wasn't so terrible and that a couple years from now lefties are going to be pining for someone like him. The future is dim.

He wasn't so terrible compared to Scalia, sure--but that's not saying much of anything. ... William H. Rehnquist was 47 years old and far to the right of the judicial mainstream when President Richard M. Nixon named him to the Supreme Court as an associate justice in 1971. ...Chief Justice Rehnquist's legacy was "a thick jurisprudence hostile to popular democracy and protective of race privilege and corporate power."

I won't pine for this old dead racist. We've seen this week the abject failure of the federal government as a force to help its citizens--what it was created for. The destruction of the Judicial Branch by the rightwing's "activist judges" appointed by these criminals is to be expected, tragically.
posted by amberglow at 12:08 AM on September 4, 2005


also from that article: ...three basic elements of the Rehnquist judicial philosophy: conflicts between the individual and the government should be resolved against the individual; conflicts between state and federal authority should be resolved in favor of the states; and questions of the exercise of federal jurisdiction should be resolved against such exercise. The 1976 article was often cited in later years because it proved to be such a reliable roadmap to the Rehnquist judicial philosophy....
posted by amberglow at 12:10 AM on September 4, 2005


Karl Rove's No.1 masterstroke of all time:
bumping off Rehnquist just when the fourth estate starts to turn on Bushco....
posted by dash_slot- at 12:17 AM on September 4, 2005


...three basic elements of the Rehnquist judicial philosophy: conflicts between the individual and the government should be resolved against the individual; conflicts between state and federal authority should be resolved in favor of the states; and questions of the exercise of federal jurisdiction should be resolved against such exercise.

The first point is disturbing and is true, the second and third points don't bother me (again, points 2 and 3 cn cut both ways, it is a way of allocating power, not a moral proposition). The federal government is terrible, as we've seen. I'd rather they be limited as much as possible. At least at the state level voters have more control over their elected representatives. Frankly, I'd rather balkanize the country then let the federal government run rampant. But we aren't really disagreeing. At least Rehnquist was a known quantity. His replacement is invariably going to be much worse.
posted by Falconetti at 12:18 AM on September 4, 2005


We're not disagreeing, but the federal government --and the Judicial branch--have vital roles to fill in ensuring the promises of the Constitution are fulfilled.

You can't balkanize everything (and disaster relief is one thing that definitely can't be).
posted by amberglow at 12:28 AM on September 4, 2005


and most importantly--we don't have rights and protections because of state or local governments--we have them solely because of the Federal Government, and we can only keep them if we keep the Federal Government alive and responsive. The courts are a large part of that.
posted by amberglow at 12:31 AM on September 4, 2005


Fuck! Fuckity fuck , grrrr boo.
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 1:01 AM on September 4, 2005


The Constitution acknowledges that the states have the power to grant certain rights as well. Furthermore, state constitutions usually grant similar rights as the Bill of Rights. And the 14th Amendment has been construed over the last 150 years to grant states most substantive due process rights. It comes down to personal philosophy on the matter because strong state power also has its pitfalls (the difficulty in developing environmental laws being a good example). I realize, beyond platitudes and thumbnail sketches of our rights, the dangers and benefits inherent to both conceptions of federalism. Going too far one way or another is dangerous.
posted by Falconetti at 1:24 AM on September 4, 2005


(meekly)
Um, God/Yahweh/Allah? You've proven that your sense of humor is wonderfully, um, dry and all, but I think I speak for many down here when I say we're a little worn out by Your (on) hijinks.

Would You mind just cutting to the chase, and wipe us all out now quickly?* It'd be a mercy.

Thanks a mill.

*You could take a little longer in certain places -- I think You know what I mean.
posted by rob511 at 2:01 AM on September 4, 2005


fact that even a galactic-level douchebag like him is willing to admit that the Bush Administration fucked this one up -- angels though they may be -- bodes well for this country.

not really. it simply means that the marginally more intelligent among the many faithful Bush lackeys in the media realize that there is no way that they can spin this humiliating disaster into something positive for their GOP employers.

I mean, they can always pull the "Saddam bad wmd's looked real omg terrah terrah terrah" shit to try and defend the Iraqi disaster. but there is no way to spin the Katrina debacle into anything less than humiliating for this administration. playing guitars when New Orleans drowned, and all that.

this is a new low that not even good PR men like Goldberg can turn into anything good
posted by matteo at 5:15 AM on September 4, 2005


isn't it nice of them to lower the flags to half-mast now, and not at all for the victims of Katrina?
posted by amberglow at 5:46 AM on September 4, 2005


Truthfully, I don't think the constitution is relevant anymore. Government is going to do whatever it wants to do, and judges exist merely to justify it.

America has degenerated into a plutocracy run by big business and the leisure class.

It's a shame. Representative government had such promise, once.
posted by Jatayu das at 5:52 AM on September 4, 2005




tourist: My, the Eiffel Tower is beautiful.
native: Ah oui, it reminds me of a woman's curves.
tourist: What are you talking about? It's made of cast iron girders!
native: Monsieur, everything reminds me of a woman's curves.

Armitage Shanks:

> The whole thing reads like a thinly veiled "you know how those Negroes are" to me.

No doubt, no doubt. But then everything reads like a thinly veiled "you know how those Negroes are"--to you. At the time Goldberg made his [some say flippant, some say dead-on-target] comment, not one person in twenty outside of New Orleans knew there were any Negros there. NO was supposed to be full of misplaced French Canadians, a group not notorious for their blackness.

Those who insist on seeing racism where it doesn't exist cooperate in the perpetuation of racism. But then, your kind has a deep psychological need to continue perceiving racism in every microscopic nook and cranny of life, don't you, so you can feel noble about opposing it.

You did notice, didn't you, that Goldberg's attitude is exactly the same as amberglow's, back up here? Except that Goldberg supplies his own poetic language, while amber hides behind linking to somebody else's.
posted by jfuller at 6:14 AM on September 4, 2005


Point of procedure: can the president be impeached without a Chief Justice?

Oh my God! They killed Rehnquist! (You bastards!)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:13 AM on September 4, 2005


> Point of procedure: can the president be impeached without a Chief Justice?

Point of reality: the chance of impeachment is vanishingly small--but don't let that stop any of you from masturbating over the idea. Keeps you harmlessly occupied and preempts your getting up to any effective mischief.
posted by jfuller at 7:38 AM on September 4, 2005


Well, shit. I'm pretty much speechless.
posted by ubersturm at 7:53 AM on September 4, 2005


isn't it nice of them to lower the flags to half-mast now, and not at all for the victims of Katrina?

i'm afraid in my neck of the woods the flags have been at half-mast for quite some time ... for dead soldiers in iraq
posted by pyramid termite at 7:54 AM on September 4, 2005


Crap. Poor Rehnquist and poor America.

I just can't wait to see who GWB nominates...
posted by huskerdont at 8:02 AM on September 4, 2005


The wailing from the left is not because we thought Rehnquist was a great guy. The wailing is because now we'll have the same, or worse in his place for the next 40 years.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:16 AM on September 4, 2005


2 very good ideas here in this Kos thread, and probably more lower down: I believe that this sad development merits a suspension of the Roberts hearings. If only out of respect for Rehnquist's passing.

Doesn't that sound wrong to anyone else, to use a person's death in that sort of political way? And no, the Republicans weren't any better with the whole Schiavo deal, but two wrongs don't make a right.
posted by gyc at 8:50 AM on September 4, 2005


Can someone explain the political woe (beyond the fact that a man just died) to a non-american? My understanding was that the two justices now slated for replacement (one retiree and one deceased) were conservatives and that they'll be replaced by other conservatives?
posted by snarfodox at 9:32 AM on September 4, 2005


snarfodox: They'll be replaced by other conservatives, quite possibly more radical-right than Rehnquist or O'Connor. And those replacements will have lifetime appointments. The effects will go on much longer than the end of GWB's term and will give W's bunch much more chance to shape the country for the next 20 or 30 years.
posted by dilettante at 9:45 AM on September 4, 2005


Well, at least the Chiefie discovered Hunter Thompson lying in wait for him. That must have been a rude awakening.
posted by warbaby at 11:18 AM on September 4, 2005


I'm rather amazed that this thread has turned into a discussion of the actual FPP material!

Everything I've heard about W's predilection for rewarding his faithful friends made me assume that he was going to nominate Gonzales this last time around. And I've only been willing to believe that the reason he didn't was that he knew this second nomination was going to come. I don't think I've seen any reason to believe it won't be Gonzales this time.

Yeah, it would be a big "fuck you" to anyone in the anti-torture special interest group. I'm pretty sure that counts as a plus.

That said, my hope is that in order, Gonzales is nominated, the second round of Abu Ghraib photos and videos comes out, and his nomination process turns into a referendum on torture. At that point I fear that Gonzales would be withdrawn, and somebody worse (yes!) would be substituted, who the Dems would roll over for so as to not look ungrateful.
posted by Aknaton at 11:41 AM on September 4, 2005


Can someone explain the political woe (beyond the fact that a man just died) to a non-american?

You don't read threads completely.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:58 AM on September 4, 2005


> Can someone explain the political woe (beyond the fact that a man just died) to a non-american?

It's because this is metafilter, where handwringing, viewing-with-alarm and going "it's the end of the world as we know it" is as constant as the summer breezes are elsewhere. This is the place to come when you want to piss and moan.


> That said, my hope is that in order, Gonzales is nominated, the second round of
> Abu Ghraib photos and videos comes out,

Say, when is that shoe going to drop? Or has it already dropped? We were predicting back on June 3 that they would appear no later than June 30, and all Hell was going to break loose. If it did, it was a strikingly circumspect and diffident and mousy form of Hell and I just plain didn't notice it. Here it is September. When are these demons actually going to rise and walk? Halloween?
posted by jfuller at 11:59 AM on September 4, 2005


I think monju is right; it makes the most tactical sense for Bush to nominate Roberts as CJ, and Garza seems like the most likely appointee for an AJ seat.

(Then again, I was expecting Clement to be nominated instead of Roberts, so what do I know?)
posted by Vidiot at 12:06 PM on September 4, 2005


jfuller, on the (probably misguided) assumption that you care about the answer to the question you posed, it's because the Bush administration used a painfully transparent last-minute stalling tactic to further delay the release of that information, and -- they hope -- prevent its ever being shown the light of day.
posted by ook at 12:19 PM on September 4, 2005


Not that that has anything to do with this discussion, of course.
posted by ook at 12:21 PM on September 4, 2005


It will if Gonzales is nominated!
posted by Aknaton at 1:19 PM on September 4, 2005


Actually, in the universe of possible appointments, Gonzales would be great! Let's face it, we're not looking at many better possibilities...
posted by smithnine at 6:36 PM on September 4, 2005


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