Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) plans to review the Senate testimony of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel A. Alito to determine if their reversal of several long-standing opinions conflicts with promises they made to senators to win confirmation.
Specter, who championed their confirmation, said Tuesday he will personally re-examine the testimony to see if their actions in court match what they told the Senate.
Read farther down in the article to see what Sen. Schumer has to say and there can be little doubt that the SCOTUS will be one of the biggest issues of '08. Just sayin'.....
¶ 8:43 PM1 comments
Why did my rates rise 20% for less coverage when I moved here?
I wanted to post on this earlier, but hordes of tourists have kept me from my computer for more than a few minutes at a time.
On first glance, these reforms to the way auto insurance rates are formulated seem to make sense. If the data from New Jersey's switch to competitive rates is an accurate comparison, I think the fact that rates dropped on average by $53 a year since 2005 speaks volumes.
I do believe in a strong Insurance Commissioner. I have lived in states where the insurance companies did whatever-the-heck they wanted and the results rarely seemed to benefit the customer, but the idea of allowing companies to lure drivers doesn't bother me in the slightest.
There are readers of this blog who know a whole lot more about this subject than I, so if any of them care to leave their thoughts, your fellow surfers would be most grateful.
¶ 10:37 PM5 comments
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Spoils of Victory
If you can get past the stilted language of people who read too many legal documents, Stanley Fish boils down the arguments in the recent SCOTUS school desegregation case better than anyone else:
The conflict between the accidents and practicalities of history and the principle that race consciousness should not drive government policy is restaged around the distinction between de jure and de facto segregation. The distinction, Roberts explains, is “between segregation by state action and racial imbalance caused by other factors.” The results of these other factors — individual choice, economic inequalities, historical biases — may be regrettable and include de facto segregation, but in Roberts’s view, they should not be remedied by law.
Why? Because history, not government did it, and what history has done, history, not legislation, should undo.
That’s all very nice on paper, declares Justice Stephen Breyer in dissent, but it simply ignores “the long history and moral vision” that stretches from the 14th Amendment to Brown and beyond — the vision of “true racial equality,” not as “a matter of legal principle but in terms of how we actually live.” In other words, my principle — true equality — is more principled than yours.
This move of Breyer’s shows that while I have framed the opposition as one between history and principle, the identification of principle is itself the work of history, and history can always go the other way. This is Stevens’s point when he slyly reminds Roberts of one of his own recent pronouncements: “history is written by the victors.”
I said it after the last abortion case and I'll say it again. The SCOTUS will be a huge factor in the 2008 Presidential election and will cost the GOP the election short of a major terrorist attack or other catastrophe. There will not be an openly conservative justice confirmed to the Supreme Court for at least a decade, if not much longer.
The far right should enjoy this 5 conservative justice block while it lasts. It will be the last remnants of the so-called "movement conservatives" to fall. But fall it will.
¶ 9:37 PM23 comments
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Sincere Question Time
Can somebody please explain the role of the Planning Board? North Adams is the first place I have come across where *all* new business owners must present a plan to such an entity. In my previous experience, such boards only had jurisdiction when changes to site-use, and such, were at issue.
Why would the new owners of a previously existing business, who were not changing a thing, have to submit to the board? Strange.
¶ 10:45 PM0 comments
If I'm gonna do it....
... you're gonna' do it too!
It is the final days to register for the first ever 90 Second Sketch Comedy Contest being held at the Main Street Stage on Tuesday, July 24th. This sounds like it is going to be a whole lotta fun and I suspect that some poor bar will be over-run with wanna' be comedians afterwards.
Granted, it is a city council meeting night, but why don't our civic leaders just move the meeting to the theater? They would probably win!
¶ 9:32 PM0 comments
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Why do so many pissed off people who run away from North Adams feel the need to lob insults back over our borders?
How much of the big dollars generated by the art-and-culture community remain in North Adams? I wonder how many true North Adams residents, or residents from local areas, can receive a living wage from the "arts payrolls?"
I'll tell you what Mr. Francis, I am a "truer" resident of North Adams than anybody living in Florida and I make a solid living off the tourist trade. Guess where I spend my money? Right here.
Sheesh! Does Florida attract more than its share of bitter New Englanders? Just askin'.....
¶ 8:45 PM11 comments
Monday, July 02, 2007
Not that it will do any good, but....
the White House Comment Line is: 202-456-1111. Call tomorrow, the line has been closed tonight. (Why would they do that? Gee.)
It's time to give them a dose of their own style of ginned-up indignity. If Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, et. al., can jam a switchboard, so can the left.
¶ 8:07 PM1 comments
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Forget OnStar! Gimme the Trunk Monkey
(Special thanks to the birthday boy for the original link.)
¶ 8:44 PM0 comments
A blog of random thoughts and reactions emanating from the bank of a mountain stream in the farthest reaches of the bluest of blue states.