Who is Bush Kidding?

"We have a difference of philosophy in this campaign," Bush told supporters. "It's a clear difference: my opponent's programs will expand government. Our programs will expand opportunity."

Hey asshole, d'ya think the world has been sleeping the last 3.5 years? Think nobody has noticed how much cash you've poured into ill-advised attempts at vote-buying like no child left behind & the whole senior prescription initiative? Just how dumb do you & your handlers think we--as in, the American electorate--are?

...saddest point being that of course he may be correct in pointing out that a potential Kerry administration may push for initiatives even more ill-advised than his own...

-- harm, in response to Bush's phony wordplay

I still narrowly support the war, but domestically the GOP is really no different from their socialist brethren in the other party. We already have a free-spending liberal in the White House, so what's the big deal if Kerry wins?

I'd like to be a Republican, but Bush makes it pretty tough. There was an article in the WSJ a couple months about how all things considered, it's probably best if Bush loses because it will force the GOP to go back to their principles, which will serve the GOP (and the country) better in the future. I tend to agree.

-- Hippster in KC

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Counting regulations in your

Counting regulations in your liberty matrix?

We already have a

We already have a free-spending liberal in the White House, so whatâ??s the big deal if Kerry wins?

I'm personally voting Libertarian, which I suppose makes little difference in any event, since I live in the solidly red state of Georgia.

But as far as a difference in whom we elect, I can but point to the possibility of as many as four Supreme Court Justices retiring in as many years next presidential term.

Kerry appointments to our highest Court would be, frankly, bone chilling.

"Kerry appointments to our

"Kerry appointments to our highest Court would be, frankly, bone chilling."

Tanner, would you explain your reasons behind this thought? Thanks.


I'm not a lawyer, but Cass

I'm not a lawyer, but Cass Sunstein's concepts of "constitutive commitments" and other creative ways of looking at the Constitution to justify anything the state wants to do- a Sunsteinian conception of the courts seems to be not as arbiters of law but as craftsmen and midwives of the New Order, to ease and facilitate the political desires of the Executive and/or Congress, depending on which one is pushing for more statism- that conception of the courts seems to be the one in vogue amongst the Regressives (er, Progressives) infesting Kerry's campaign & the DNC, so I imagine that is what causes the bone chill for Tanner. Currently the federal judiciary has shifted to be more and more conservative in the small-c sense, striking down laws & regulations rather than bolstering government power (I'm sure there are instances where this has not happened), which is much preferable than one packed with stooges bent on upholding, elaborating, and advancing imaginary "constitutive commitments."

The Laughter Never

The Laughter Never Stops
After World Cups, politics is the most entertaining thing in the non-interactive media. Outside of it all as I am (In the sense that I don't vote and don't have any fundamental reason to care whether Bush beats Kerry or the other way around. They'...

[...] y, it will end up this

[...] y, it will end up this way, with both major parties trying everything they can think of to convince people they’re not what they really are. Another reason pol [...]

"which is much preferable

"which is much preferable than one packed with stooges bent on upholding, elaborating, and advancing imginary "constitutive commitments."

Hmm. When you put it that way, it sounds like you are describing the Bush administration to me, to a 'T'.


Diana- I don't follow. I


I don't follow. I haven't seen a groundswell of political judgements in favor of Bush or in accord with his agenda (Lawrence v. Texas, for a counter-example). I do see more decisions striking down regulations in the past 20 years than decisions expanding Federal oversight power. In my last job consulting for the EPA, for example, there was a major regulatory reaction prompted by SCOTUS striking down a "constitutive commitment" defining any open water source as "waters of the United States," despite clear language in the constitution that forbids such an expansive understanding. I forget the precise case name, but it had to do with a former quarry-turned-pond/lake that an Illinois/Chicago firm/waste authority wanted to turn into a landfill (and bought the quarry from the private owners for that express purpose). Environmentalists sued, and SCOTUS ruled in favor of the quarry owner and struck down a (to me) particularly egregious example of judicial overreach/bullshit (i.e. the declaring that any open body of water was under federal jurisdiction/regulation due to the commerce act- with migrating birds constituting commerce!).

OTOH, SCOTUS failed to strike down McCain-Feingold, and I'm not sure if they've upheld the PATRIOT act, but it wouldn't surprise me, so its not all fun and games. Still, the donkey party's view of the judiciary is horrifying, which is of course yet another reason not to vote for Kerry (tho not a particular reason to vote for Bush).

I forget who mentioned it,

I forget who mentioned it, but I remember someone mentioning that the Republicans would probably be able to kill off the Libertarian Party if the Republicans let the libertarian wing of their party pick the judicial candidates. If a Bush presidency meant putting Randy Barnett, Gene Volokh, Dick Epstein into high appellate court positions, and possibly sending one of them or Dick Posner to the Supreme Court, I think libertarians could at least say there was a lesser of two evils and support it.

Personally, I'd like to see Jon Adler, from Case Law School, in a district court position on the fast track to the appellate level.

- Josh

Brian, I just have a


I just have a difficult time imagining anything more frightening than the Bush appointees/nominations:

Even Some Republicans Cannot Stomach Bush Judicial Nominee
The Hill reports that Senate Republicans are currently blocking one of Bush's judicial nominees. Leon Holmes, nominated to a seat on the U.S. District Court in Arkansas, has not been scheduled for a floor vote by Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) after being reported out of committee without recommendation. Holmes' judicial writings have provoked much controversy, including a comment relating to a rape exception for a constitutional amendment banning abortion. Holmes called the issue a "red herring," saying that "conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami." Beyond Frist's failure to schedule a vote, four Senate Republicans, Arlen Specter (Pa.), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), have expressed serious doubts about Holmes. Find out what's at stake with our courts and read more about nominee Judge Leon Holmes.
Source: The Hill, "In Twist, GOP Blocks Bush Nominee," Nov. 19, 2003.

Bush Nominates Right-Wing Extremist to D.C. Circuit Court
On July 25, Bush nominated Justice Janice Rogers Brown to the D.C. Circuit Court, which handles many high-profile federal cases and is considered a steppingstone to the U.S. Supreme Court. Brown is seen as the most conservative justice on California's Supreme Court. In a joint report, People for the American Way (PFAW) and the NAACP reveal that Brown has a record of ideological extremism and judicial activism that makes her unfit to serve on the appeals court. Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP's Washington Bureau, expressed deep concern regarding Brown's "hostility to fundamental civil and constitutional rights principles." PFAW President Ralph G. Neas says Brown "embodies Clarence Thomas' ideological extremism and Antonin Scalia's abrasiveness and right-wing activism." Adding to these concerns, abortion-rights groups have pointed to Justice Brown's dissent in a California case in which she harshly criticized the other justices for overturning a law requiring parental consent for minors seeking abortions.
Source: People for the American Way, "Far Right Dream Judge Janice Rogers Brown joins Lineup of Extremist Appeals Court Nominees," Aug 28, 2003.

Controversial Mideast Scholar Named to Think Tank During Congressional Recess
In order to evade a confirmation vote in the Senate, Bush appointed controversial Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes to the board of directors of the U.S. Institute of Peace on Aug. 22 during the Congressional recess period. Several religious groups and Democrats, led by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), have denounced the recess appointment, the Washington Post reports. Pipes founded Campus Watch, a group that promotes the Israeli right-wing government's agenda on college campuses. According to MotherJones.com, Pipes' solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involves no diplomacy or compromise, only aggressive force by the Israeli military. His extremist views on such a prominent issue, along with his anti-Muslim reputation, have prompted politicians to question whether Pipes is the right candidate to assume such a position at a federally-funded think tank dedicated to promoting peace. "[Dr. Pipes'] record and experience do not reflect a commitment to bridging difference and preventing conflict," Kennedy said. "Surely the administration can find someone better to serve on the Board of the United States Institute of Peace."
Sources: Washington Post, "Pipes to Be Named to Think Tank," Alan Cooperman, Aug. 22, 2003; MotherJones.com, "Pipes-Schemes," Aug. 14, 2003

Governor With Questionable Environmental Record to Head E.P.A.
On Aug. 12, Bush nominated Utah Governor Michael Leavitt as the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. If confirmed by the Senate in September, Leavitt would succeed Christine Todd Whitman, who resigned from the post in May. Democratic presidential candidates Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) have expressed their disapproval of the Bush nominee, with Kerry describing Leavitt as someone who "has a record of working to undermine national environmental protections." Environmental groups have criticized Leavitt for opening public lands in Utah to industry and development, allying himself with oil and gas industries and opposing the Kyoto treaty on global warming.
Source: New York Times, "Bush Nominates Utah Governor to Lead E.P.A.," Katharine Seelye, Aug. 12, 2003

William H. Pryor Jr.: Regarded As Most Controversial Nominee of Bush's Tenure
In nominating Alabama's attorney general, Bill Pryor, for a lifetime appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, Bush has selected what Senate aides from both parties are touting as the most controversial nominee of his presidency. As an outspoken conservative throughout his career, Pryor has as recently as 1997 berated the Supreme Court's decision to legalize abortion in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case. Additionally, Pryor vociferously objected to the repeal of the Texas sodomy law recently struck down by the Supreme Court, and remains a staunch opponent of the enforcement of the separation of church and state. Pryor is a firm supporter of capital punishment and has been criticized for his failure to attend to issues of discrimination and environmental protection.
Sources: Washington Post, "Judicial Nominee Admits Mistake: Pryor Regrets 'Octogenarian' Comment," Mike Allen, June 12, 2003; New York Times, "Senate Judicial Panel to Weigh Another Contentious Nomination," Neil A. Lewis, June 11, 2003

Bush Refuses Democrats' Offers to Consult on Potential Supreme Court Nominees
In recent letters, prominent Democrats have urged Bush to consult with them prior to nominating someone to the Supreme Court, should a vacancy open. In a response the Washington Post described as "curt," the Bush administration immediately rejected the suggestion because officials claimed, as the New York Times reported, "it would be highly inappropriate for a president to dilute his constitutional responsibility to choose Supreme Court nominees." In their letters, Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) argued that a nominee selected through consensus would be much less divisive, resulting in a much smoother confirmation process. They also noted that Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, reportedly suggested both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer to President Bill Clinton, both of whom Clinton selected to the high court. In a later response to Leahy and Daschle's letters, the White House counsel, Alberto R. Gonzalez, indicated he would be willing to meet with senators to hear their concerns. The Washington Post reports that Gonzalez's offer is complicated by the fact that as "a former justice of the Texas Supreme Court, (Gonzalez) is one of Bush's most obvious potential nominees."
Source: New York Times, "Vacancy or Not, Bracing for Supreme Court Fight," Neil A. Lewis & Sheryl Gay Stolberg, June 19, 2003; Washington Post, "Bush to Choose Ex-Starr Aide: Kavanaugh to Be Nominee For Appeals Court Post," Mike Allen, June 19, 2003.

Bush Judicial Nominee Called Gays "Queers"
Bush's nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, Claude A. Allen, is on record as having referred derisively to gay people as "queers." At the time of the incident, Allen was press secretary for the re-election campaign of former Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), one of the staunchest foes of gay rights in Congress. According to the Houston Voice, Allen, who is also a supporter of abstinence-only sex education, is Bush's eighth judicial nominee with known anti-gay views.
Source: The Houston Voice, "Bush Pick for Appeals Court Called Gays 'Queers'," Lou Chibbaro, Jr., May 2, 2003

Bush Names Extremist Who Called AIDS "Gay Plague" to AIDS Panel
George W. Bush nominated Jerry Thacker, an extreme, right-wing evangelical Christian who has called AIDS the "gay plague," to the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS. Although Thacker withdrew his name from consideration on Jan. 23, shortly after his deplorable comments came to light, many questions remain about his nomination. Thackerâ??who attended Bob Jones University, which until recently banned interracial datingâ??has also called homosexuality a "deathstyle."
Source: Washington Post, "AIDS Panel Choice Wrote of a 'Gay Plague'," Ceci Connolly, Jan. 24, 2003

Judicial Nominees: Charles Pickering and Priscilla Owen, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Nominations Resubmitted
Bush announced in early January that he is resubmitting the nomination of Judge Charles W. Pickering and Justice Priscilla Owen to the 5th Circuit Appeals Court. Pushed by Sen. Trent Lott, Pickering's initial nomination was rejected last March by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Like Lott, Pickering has a deplorable past on race issues, including writing an article as a law student suggesting ways to strengthen the state's anti-miscegenation laws; establishing contacts while a Mississippi state legislator with a commission established by the state to oppose integration efforts; and going to great lengths to try to secure a more lenient sentence for a defendant convicted of burning a cross on the lawn of an interracial couple. Bush also renominated Judge Priscilla Owen, a staunch opponent of women's reproductive rights, as well as a number of judges whose positions and opinions are so controversial that their nominations died in the last Congress.
Source: New York Times, "President Renominating Federal Judge Lott Backed," Neil A. Lewis, Jan. 7, 2003

Food and Drug Administration: W. David Hager, Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee
The Bush administration appointed W. David Hager, a controversial doctor who has authored books about Christ's abilities to heal specific women's illnesses through prayer, to the Food and Drug Administration's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. The committee, which plays an important role in shaping women's health policy, is slated to review hormone replacement therapy for menopausal womenâ??an issue that some suspect conservatives want to hijack in order to cast doubt on the safety of birth-control pills. Hager, who assisted the Christian Medical Association with a "citizen's petition" asking the FDA to override the ruling that approved RU-486, has written that it is "'dangerous' to compartmentalize life into 'categories of Christian truth and secular truth'." It was also reported that Hager would not prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women in his private practice.
Source: New York Times, "Tribulation Worketh Patience," Maureen Dowd, Oct. 9, 2002; "Jesus and the FDA," Karen Tumulty, Oct. 14, 2002

National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women: Nancy Pfotenhauer
Independent Women's Forum (IWF) President Nancy Pfotenhauer and another IWF activist were invited to join the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women, which advises the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services in implementing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Pfotenhauer and the IWF are vocal opponents of VAWA. The IWF has testified in congress against VAWA and supported a lawsuit challenging the act. Materials on IWF's site also claim, for example, that "the battered women's movement has outlived its useful beginnings."
Source: Washington Post, "Ashcroft Appointments Assailed; Domestic Violence Law's Foes Tapped for Oversight Panel," Dana Milbank, Sept. 5, 2002

Department of Agriculture: Thomas Dorr, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development
Bush appointed Thomas Dorr to serve as the under secretary of agriculture for rural development during the Senate recess, to avoid a confirmation battle. Some members of Congress opposed this nomination, saying that Dorr had eluded federal limits on farm subsidies and made racially insensitive remarks. Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate Agricultural Committee, said that Dorr "does not meet the standard set by President Bush when he signed a new law on corporate responsibility last week." He cited that Dorr, as the chief executive of a corporation, filed inaccurate information with the Agriculture Department.
Source: New York Times, "Bush, With Senate Absent, Fills a Top Agriculture Post," Robert Pear, Aug. 7, 2002

Department of Justice: John Ashcroft, Attorney General
Ashcroft is a staunch opponent of women's rights and civil rights. Since September 11, he has moved aggressively to curtail civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism. For a detailed look at Ashcroft's record, see the Ashcroft Report.

Department of Health and Human Services: Wade Horn, Assistant Secretary for Family Support
Horn directly oversees the nation's welfare programs. He is a fellow of the ultra-conservative Hudson Institute and the founder of The National Fatherhood Institute. During his confirmation hearings he backed away from prior statements that poor kids whose parents aren't married should be kept at the back of the line for Head Start and other benefits. Once in office, however, he reverted to pursuing marriage promotion schemes by offering special counseling and other services to welfare recipients who agree to get married.
Sources: New York Times, "Human Services Nominee's Focus on Married Fatherhood Draws Both Praise and Fire," Robert Pear, June 7, 2001; Associated Press Online, "Bush Proposes Marriage Programs," Laura Meckler, March 21, 2002

Department of the Interior: Gale Norton, Secretary of Interior
Norton, a land development advocate and former lawyer at Mountain States Legal Foundation, an anti-environmental law firm, was strongly opposed by environmental groups and others largely because of her support for drilling in Alaska's delicate Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a way to explore for oil and gas.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "The Confirmation Hearings; Norton Attuned to Bug Business, Property Rights," Stephen Braun and Gary Polakovic, Jan. 18, 2001

Council of Economic Advisors: Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Board
A former economic advisor under the Reagan administration, Furchtgott-Roth is a fellow of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. As the author and co-author of several books, Furchtgott-Roth discounts the wage gap and the glass ceiling and claims that women are no longer affected by discrimination in the workplace.
Sources: United Press International, "Analysis: Filling up at Think Tanks," Michael Rust, April 11, 2001; The Boston Globe, Shut Office Signals Shift on Women," Anne E. Kornblut, March 28, 2001

Department of Energy: Spencer Abraham, Secretary
As a senator from Michigan from 1995 to 2001, Abraham introduced legislation to abolish the Department of Energy. After Abraham lost his re-election, Bush appointed him to run the Department of Energy. He also backed proposals to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as well as other initiatives favored by the energy industry.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Smart, Diligent Abraham Known as Friend of Industry," Nedra Pickler, Jan. 3, 2001

Department of Health and Human Services: Tommy Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services
As governor of Wisconsin, Thompson opposed welfare programs allowing poor parents to get a college education, saying he didn't want welfare to be a "college scholarship program" for poor people. This Cabinet position implements a host of legislation affecting women, including welfare, child support and domestic violence policy.
Source: Women's Enews, "Bush Names Thompson to Post Key to Women's Rights," Ruth Conniff, Jan. 1, 2001

That is absolutely horrid that a pond or lake was allowed to be turned into a landfill! Do you know if it has happened as yet, or are there appeals to go through?