1. "Stephanie Says", The Velvet Underground
2. "When My Boy Walks Down the Line", The Magnetic Fields
3. "Going Away", Utah Phillips
4. "The World Began In Eden and Ended In Los Angeles", Phil Ochs
5. "Electric Guitar", The Talking Heads
6. "Rother Sing a Don Song", Roy Bailey
7. "Greensleeves", John Coltrane
8. "Four Horsemen", The Clash
9. "Gimme What You Got", Keb' Mo'
10. "Navajo Rug", Ian Tyson
Here's the substantive information I was able to sift out of the gossip:
In 1985, when Alito was applying for a political appointment in the Reagan administration, he wrote that he disagreed with decisions by the Warren Court in the 1960s involving "reapportionment." Those rulings required electoral districts to have equal populations and helped ensure greater representation of urban minorities.
Those 20-year-old words are highly inflammatory to civil rights groups marshaling forces against President Bush's choice to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. But the White House and a key Republican ally this week were spreading the word that Alito has privately assured senators he has no intention of overturning the Warren Court's reapportionment precedents. Democrats, for their part, refuse to say what, if anything, Alito has told them on the subject. [...]
In Alito's case, the question revolves around what, if anything, he told senators about his views on Baker v. Carr, a 1962 case that gave federal courts the authority to review legislative redistricting, and Reynolds v. Sims, a case two years later that fundamentally altered political representation in the United States by ensuring that voters in rural areas had no more power than voters in denser urban areas. [WaPo]
Baker v. Carr upheld the federal government's right to intervene when state and local governments' (re)districting policies violated citizens' constitutional rights. Those who followed Tom DeLay's Texas redistricting scam may feel their Spidey Senses starting to tingle.
[Senator Joe] Biden singled out Alito's mention of reapportionment as cause for special concern. "The fact that he questioned abortion and the idea of quotas is one thing," Biden said. "The fact that he questioned the idea of the legitimacy of the reapportionment decisions of the Warren court is even something well beyond that." [Invest Bus Daily]
If Alito is skeptical about those 1960s reapportionment decisions today, he's no moderate. They were controversial at the time, but it was radically conservative to question them in back in 1985.
Update: In a nice turn of phrase, Nathan Newman describes Alito's views on reapportionment as "radically retrograde."
What are you cooking/eating this Thanksgiving?
Here's my menu
I'm doing my Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, so I'm still in the early stages of prep. I made turkey stock today to use in the gravy and the stuffing. I also baked the carrot cakes, which will be wrapped and frozen until Sunday morning and iced at the last minute. I'm debating about whether to start the cornbread this afternoon or wait until tomorrow.
I'll be adding pictures to the Thanksgiving 2005 gallery as the preparations progress.
The Institute for Southern Studies is raising money for its Investigative Fund. The fund supports investigative journalism and alternative media, including the new Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch.
Donations are tax-deductible and a generous benefactor has promised to match donations up to a total of $7500. Support muckracking today.
I thought FOX was objecting to the assertion that Alito approved the strip search of a 10-year-old girl. Actually, it wasn't anything that substantive. Scott Lemieux has the real story at LGM.
According to People for the American Way:
Fox News told IndependentCourt.org that it would not run the ad because it uses the words "ruling" and "voted" in reference to a dissenting opinion issued by Alito as a federal circuit judge.
The media frequently use terms like "voting" and "ruled" to explain judging activities to the public. Alito didn't technically rule to make employment discrimination easier because he was writing a minority opinion. Saying that Alito voted is an accurate colloquial description of his actions.
FOX was obviously looking for excuses to turn down the ad while embarrassing its creators for putting out a "sloppy" product.
The Daily Mirror reports that George Bush planned to bomb Al Jazeera headquarters in Qatar, but that Tony Blair managed to talk Bush out of the idea in a face-to-face meeting at the White House on April 16, 2004.
Josh Marshall has more on the Al Jazeera bombing memo. He concludes that there is a secret memo from April 2004 in which Bush suggests bombing Al Jazeera. Two British civil servants have already been charged under the Official Secrets act for leaking that 5-page transcript. The only question is whether Bush was serious. Maybe he was just kidding about murdering innocents in a friendly country. He's funny like that.
As Kevin Drum says, there's no way to gage Bush's intentions without seeing the memo itself. The full text would probably tell us a lot, especially about Tony Blair's reaction to Bush's suggestion. Josh wonders why a British diplomat would have bothered to memorialize Bush's remarks if they were obviously delivered as a crass joke.
Looks like Tom DeLay's legal difficulties are threatening his House Majority leadership:
According to Hotline On Call, Denny Hastert told Tom DeLay that he'd hold the wolves at bay until the new year. That is, no leadership election would be held to permanently replace DeLay as majority leader if he extricated himself from legal trouble by January. DeLay had his fingers crossed that the judge overseeing his case would dismiss the charges, but no such luck.
Read the rest at Swing State Project.
[Hat tip to Left In The West.]
In other Hackett meta-news, Dave Sirota and Tim Russo agree to lay off the personal attacks during the Democratic primary. I applaud their efforts to break the circular firing squad. I'm also nominating this pact for "Truce least likely to hold past Thanksgiving."
The Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday that Ruben Cantu was wrongfully executed in 1993 for the murder of Pedro Gomez. A prosecutor, the jury forewoman, an alibi witness and even a victim told the Chronicle that Cantu was the wrong man.
Miriam Ward, forewoman of the jury that sent Cantu to his fate, said the entire process failed.
"We did the best we could with the information we had, but with a little extra work, a little extra effort, maybe we'd have gotten the right information," she told the newspaper. "The bottom line is an innocent person was put to death for it. We all have our finger in that." [Yahoo]
Cantu was convicted based on the testimony of a single eye-witness who twice failed to identify him and who was later pressured by police into fingering him on the third try. Subsequently, Cantu's friend David Garza confessed to committing the robbery that culminated in Gomez' murder. Cantu wasn't even there, he said in a sworn statement obtained by the Chronicle.
[Hat tip to Grits for Breakfast.]