alito hearings: like really bad sex

it started with a whimper, then it picked up a little, then it whimpered to an end.

no climax. if the alito hearings had been a lover, you'd have been smart to kick it out of bed.

this is the oppostion party? this is how they do the brave stands?

i'm not talking about a filbuster. 1 of the nelsons brothers (that's how i see the 2 senators named nelson, they're like the really bad pop band of the 80s) has already given indications that he's willing to vote for alito.

so i'm not talking about that. i'm talking about asking tough questions and then asking follow ups. too often i felt like i was watching toy poodles who'd been housebroken long ago.

they'd bark a little at you while you were sitting on the couch but if you stood, they'd whimper and run out of the room.

that's not an opposition party.

it's sad that the democrats think that makes 1.

when alito kept fudging and refusing to answer, they should have treated him like a hostile witness. by the last day, every 1 of them should have used their time to hit on the same issues.
over and over.

diane feinstein, to name 1 of the worst offenders, could shoot scattershot (although she acted as though she were tossing out lillies throughout the hearings) in the other days but on the final day, she didn't need to be bringing up new issues. this is where you make the case to the people.
not where you suddenly introduce a new topic.

and for some 1 who interrupted ted kennedy repeatedly the day prior as he asked about caps, wasn't it strange that she didn't have a question on that? when kennedy was speaking yesterday, she couldn't stop interrupting. today? she's moved on.

miss diane gets my vote for most useless and i'm not fan of kohl. but miss diane was supposed to be fighting for women and instead we got a timid school marm trying to get the rowdy class to like her.

it's not just her. that's a point c.i. made tonight in the roundtable. c.i. pointed out that arlen specter couldn't stop treating her like she was a 'special' and not a real senator. he referred to her 'dramatic entrance.' there was another specific example c.i. brought up but i'm forgetting it now. but the point is, she is treated that way by others on the committee.

as an adult, she should ask them to cut it out. instead she seems tickled by the patronizing attitude.

i'm looking for the non-action figure miss diane. she comes non-fully poseable. she's in a seated postion. you can extend her legs or bend them depending upon whether you want her to sit in a chair or to sit on the floor. she wears a lovely dress with several layers. she comes with white gloves and the cutest little purse that matches her hat, her belt and her shoes. the non-action figure has a silly grin pasted on its face and is called 'miss diane, girl senator.'

the tea set is purchased separately.

so where we are we?

in it by ourselves. we can Take Action: Call Your Senators Today (link from now, the national organization for women). but let's not make the mistake of thinking our opposition party will fight or even knows how to.

'good sports,' they want the press to fight their battles.

that's the sort of thinking that's led them to the huge defeat of 2002, a history breaking moment as the repubes took control of the white house, the senate and the house.

but they just can't learn.

'what if the press gives us a mean editorial?' well they have. but even when they give the dems a nice editorial, it doesn't really have any effect.

people need to know that you will fight for them. not that an editorial board thinks you are all 'swell guys' and 'a respectable lady.' you're not trying to gain admittance to a country club, you're trying to reassure voters that you have what it takes.

they blew it on the alito hearings.

i could note the exceptions like charles schumer, ted kennedy and russ feingold. but what's the point?

i don't mean that in a defeatist mode. really, what's the point?

the democrats can have many strong fighters but it is meaningless if they can't get behind the fighters. instead they run from murtha, for instance, or they leave barbara boxer out to dry.
it's stupid.

i think every 1's getting the idea that tom delay isn't that popular in his own party. but until the all scandals, did they break ranks and say 'tom delay is crazy!'?

no, they supported their strong members. (i think tom delay is nuts but for his party he is a strong member.) a democrat takes a stand and there's no natural tendency to say 'yeah! me too!' instead the other elected members rush to distance themselves from murtha, or howard dean, or barbara boxer, or . . . go down the damn list.

let's put it in sports terms since that's the only thing many seem able to understand. you can have some 1 who can slam dunk the ball everytime they make it down the court. but if the rest of the team can't do defense, you're not a championship team. the la lakers were unbeatable when they worked as a team. when that fell apart, so did their winning streak.

dick durbin, i'll single out. he was strong. i'll note that today because i might not tomorrow since he's another example of a problem. he takes a strong stand and then, under pressure from astroturf and the echo chamber, apologizes. if the criticism isn't coming from your base, tough it out. that's what the republicans do.

democrats and republicans stand for different things.

the vision of the 2 parties is different (or is supposed to be). instead of realizing that they had acted weak repeatedly and that's what hurt their election turnout, they've made a point to seek out 1 guru after another to help them craft a message or some other nonsense.

the message matters somewhat. how you present it, this is coming from some 1 who made a living in public relations, matters even more. you can sell tons of crap, and it happens every day, not because it's any good, but because you present it effectively.

part of that requires showing strength. the democrats can line up 1 guru after another and it won't make a damn bit of difference. they can frame until their little heart's content. or they can demonstrate repeatedly 'we support religion too!' none of it matters if you come off as weak.
there needs to be some discipline in the senate and in the house.

the hearings demonstrated that there's not even any discipline from a small group serving on a committee.

that doesn't mean overdose on the macho. (the way the republicans do.) that does mean that diane feinstein, for instance, could have tried channeling a little marcia clark in her questioning.
and a single topic should have been agreed upon for the final day of the hearings. 'we'll hit on this over and over.'

feinstein may have thought her 'oh here's another thing' questioning today was helpful. if the issue mattered to you (and it did matter to me, i just wish she had been effective and pressed alito on it), you're thinking, 'why hasn't she brought this up before?' it's a distraction. this was the summing up to the jury, closing the sale day. they treated it like the 1st day of the hearings.

let me close by quoting c.i. because we all agreed that c.i. captured the final day of the hearings perfectly:

So what has today been like? Not as lively as yesterday. "Enough of that. Let me move on." Who said that? Which Democrat? Does it matter? Doesn't that seem like those two sentences summed up much of what's gone on so far today? (Diane Feinstein said it today to Alito, for those who missed it.)

and check out kat who wrote something yesterday that can make you laugh as you cry.


alito hearings: the mint julup exploded on my best dress! starring lindsey graham and diane feinstein

let me say what i'm willing to bet everyone wants to but no one wants to be the 1st to do so: diane feinstein, are you trying to help or hurt?

over and over she plays 'miss diane' with the white gloves and 'oh my's.

miss diane, it's the 21st century. you are a us senator. try acting like 1.

now maybe she's confused because she's got lindsey graham playing like the heroine to a tennessee williams play that he never had time to write: the mint julup exploded on my best dress!

'i am sorry,' blanche, er, lindsey sobbed to alito, 'that you had to go through this. i'm sorry that your family had to sit here . . .'

oh the tragedy! oh the drama!

poor alito! asked questions!

i can barely hear lindsey crying due to the rustle from his crinoline petticoat.

but diane feinstein was worse than a joke, she was a distraction.

yesterday it was all 'miss diane you are so pretty' nonsense. and she basked in it.

today, ted kennedy's reading an article by a cap member. what's being read is pretty shocking.

he's leading to a question and the thing has soundbyte written all over it.

what happens?

miss diane interrupts him. 'read the last sentence.'


miss diane, in your own time, where you 'let things pass,' and you have no follow ups, you can read that last sentence. (it applied to women.)

what you shouldn't do is step on someone's powerful moment.

i was listening to the hearings on pacifica and hope you were too.

but i wondered what ted kennedy's face looked like during that?

did he realize his soundbyte was blown?

and did everyone get that diane thought she was being silly. 'read the last sentence.'
twice she interrupts and sounds so delighted.

as though teddy were given a toast and she'd just cut him off to say, 'oh look, the grants brought baked beans! yoo hoo! over here!'

can someone have a talk with diane feinstein?

from a p.r. perspective, she needs it explained to her that she didn't just butt into ted kennedy's time, she destroyed a soundbyte that could have been on all the news networks - well, not fox 'news.'

it was a powerful moment - until she piped off. twice.

now in her own time, she wastes everyone's. she won't follow up on anything. she wastes time playing the 'girl' which is embarrassing from any senator but especially 1 of her advanced years.

so i'll ask it, is she trying to help us or trying to hurt us?

if she's trying to help us, she needs some 1 to explain to her the importance of not butting in on some 1's sound byte.

the importance of not being 'cute' in the hearings but instead doing your job.

this isn't a social, it's not a dance. conduct yourself like a senator or get off the committee.

there are many reasons to sing barbara boxer's praises. 1 of them is that she can lay it out without trying to pour on the filigree. she doesn't need to 'girl' it up. she's a strong woman, a confident 1. that's how she conducts herself and that's 1 reason so many respect her.

diane feinstein needs to be diane feinstein. but if she thinks playing it like shirley temple is appropriate, she needs to rethink being on the committee.

for a summary of the hearings as of early into them this morning, see c.i.'s entry.

i know it's important to follow the hearings (if you're able to, they can be very frustrating, i've got friends over to listen) but i hope you're making time for democracy now as well. here's a headline from them today:

NSA Denies Whistleblower's Demand To Testify Before Congress
Meanwhile, ABC News is reporting the National Security Agency has denied the request of whistleblower Russell Tice to testify before Congress. Tice, a former intelligence agent at the NSA and Defense Intelligence Agency who has spoken out against the domestic spy program, was told he is not free to testify because staff members on Capitol Hill do not have high enough security clearance to hear the secrets he has to tell. Tice first spoke out on record on Democracy Now last week.


pacifica continues bringing you live coverage of alito hearings while npr's gas air provides you with paul bremmer

if you listened to pacifica's live coverage of the alito hearings, you were informed. if you listened to npr you got gas air as terry 'that's so gross!' interviewing paul bremer. i hope someone's planning to fact check that interview because terry's all about exploring feels and moods and seems lost when dealing with any topic not taught in art history.

day 2 of the hearings and npr still doesn't think they're worthy of live coverage. remember that when they beg money for next time. pacifica, or at least 1 station, is having a 1 day fundraisher on mlk day so remember who provided you with live coverage.

ruth told me about the fundraiser. she had a ruth's morning edition report during the week - today, in fact. i asked her about that because it's always great when she does 1 of her reports.
she said due to the screw ups with the e-mail accounts, she's been dictating today and sunday's to c.i. over the phone. she feels bad about that because she knows c.i. is pressed for time as it is.

we talked about the hearings and we've got some points we'll both be making tonight during the roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin.

but 1 point i'll make now is that monday it sure was sweet - sarcasm - to listen to white men rush to say that sandra day o'connor can be replaced by a man and that it's practically reverse discrimination to suggest otherwise.

why there's no difference that a woman could bring.

which was blown out of the water this morning when some 1 made some stupid comment about diane feinstein's looks and then it was turned into a mini joke to be picked up on. if there were several women on the committee, instead of just 1, would that have happened?

i don't think so.

there were so many overtones of 'the little lady' during these 'jokes.'

as c.i. noted:

If you're following the hearings, you know that poor little Alito can't remember membership in a group he saw fit to list on his resume in the eighties.

that was a big theme. that and the press lies. knight ridder got it wrong, this news source got it wrong. why if alito wasn't in the mainstream, picking up on that again, would they all be for him?

yes, because republicans close ranks.

diane feinstein? i'll blog on her tomorrow night. i wasn't impressed.

c.i. also noted the upcoming issue of ms. featuring jane fonda on the cover:

Ms. Winter 2006 Issue
Available on 7,757 newsstands across the country January 17. Exclusive: Jane Fonda Talks Sex, Politics & Religion with Robin Morgan
The renowned actor/activist sat down with her friend, Ms. editor Morgan, to take on the "most impolite dinner-conversation subjects." Listen in on their lively discussion.

jane fonda alone makes it worth checking out. but robin morgan doing the interview means even more so. robin morgan was addressing the issue of terrorism long before 9-11. addressing realities for women that the adminstration still doesn't want to touch.

so be sure to look for that issue on january 17th. there's more in it but i've got to run an errand before we start the roundtable tonight.


skip gas air terry 'that's gross' and listen to the alito hearings on pacifica

did you catch pacifica's live coverage of the alito hearings?

if you are following them or want to the follow them, i hope you're using pacifica. npr isn't providing the live coverage.

gas air? terry 'that's gross' had 2 guests, a historian and some 1 to discuss classical music. both white, by the way. no, i didn't listen to npr.

i did visit the site to see if they'd rethought their decision that hearings on a potential supreme court justice was just another day in the senate?

they didn't.

and that's too bad.

for a number of reasons.

1) they are supposed to be public radio and this is of public interest.

remember how they took their bows and tried to act modest when they aired the party conventions that the networks wouldn't?

all that talk about obligations to the public?

somehow the supreme court, lifetime appointment, isn't an obligation.

2) best reason they should have covered?

if gas air's terry 'that's gross' had been present when john cornyn was speaking, i think the senate building would have floated right off the ground.

common ills community member billie has talked a lot about cornyn, he's her senator, and his cornyisms.

i enjoy it anytime c.i. posts any of billie's 'look, here he goes with another cornyism!' comments. but i wasn't prepared for him.

as i listened to him ramble from 1 topic to another, i would have thought the man insane if i honestly believed he meant a word he said.

at 1 point, he was speaking of school prayer and working himself into a case of the dry heaves over students wanting to pray at a school football game when all the sudden something else caught his attention and he started ranting that depictions of sex and violence are allowed but public expressions of religion are not.

okay, help me out here, but are students allowed to depict sex at a sporting event? i'm remembering get balled out by an assistant principal just for kissing in the bleachers. and violence?

is corny calling football violent? i thought he was from the state of texas?

if you're looking for easy laughs, always stand within ear range of john cornyn because his cornyisms will have you rolling on the floor.

the other thing was hearing christine todd whitman tell the senate how to vote and how to do their job. unless i'm remembering wrongly, todd whitman could have used some 1 explaining what an epa administrator does?

but there she was, doing the bully boy's bidding yet again, telling congress not only that they should vote for alito, but also the meaning of the senate.

has christy forgotten that she never won that senate race? she challenged bill bradley and she lost.

but she's always been the insider playing outsider so maybe this time she confused herself?

1 thing i was pushing to get highlighted at the third estate sunday review this weekend was c.i.'s 'NYT: Dexy & John will never forget that summer when . . ." so if you missed it, check that out. it's an important read. another heads up i want to note is that trina has started her own site, trina's kitchen. trina is a member of the common ills community and she is also mike's mother. she's also a really great person so look forward to her posting at trina's kitchen on saturdays.

let me do 1 more shout out. if you're a common ills community member, read your round-robins. gina and krista do an incredible job on those and this week, it's not weekly, it's day by day by day . . . throughout the alito hearing.