Could this be daybreak?

Another reason–perhaps the reason–why they’re trying so hard to finish off the Supreme Court.

Published on Oregon Voter Rights Coalition (http://www.oregonvrc.org)

It’s been a long trek since Nov. 2, 2004 — now getting shorter
by Robert Lockwood Mills
January 11, 2006

Dear Friends: It took the downfall of a lobbyist who dresses like a Hasidic rabbi one day and a baseball coach the next to make it happen. But if looks as if our 14-month-long effort to expose the fraud in Ohio that gave the 2004 to Bush is bearing fruit at last.

Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) was one of the architects of HAVA (Help America Vote Act). In that role he worked with Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and others to reform certain election procedures that had arisen from the controversial 2000 election. But where electronic voting machines were concerned, the HAVA architects neglected accusations that they were “hackable” and focused instead on lesser issues, in particular making it easier for blind people to vote.

Diebold, Inc., from Ney’s home state of Ohio, is the leading company in electronic voting machines. In response to public demand dating back to 2000 for verifiable paper trails to accompany its machines (similar to their ATM machines’ transaction receipts), Diebold argued that it wasn’t practical. Ney, using his Congressional clout, blocked every piece of legislation that would have mandated such paper trails, even after the 2004 election and reports from Ohio and elsewhere that hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of votes had been flipped from Kerry to Bush. As many of you know, I witnessed this very thing in Florida as a pollwatcher.

Read more.

Rightists push for paperless e-voting

Think Tank writer pushes for the vendor’s perspective

Submitted by Vicky Perry on Thu, 01/12/2006 – 7:32pm.

A conservative ultra-free market think tank is pushing its agenda that paperless voting is the way to go. Find out who these writers are and where their money comes from.

The Pacific Research Institute , a free-market think tank, has called the paper trail requirement one of California’s top 10 policy blunders of 2005.

Read more.

Better email addresses for stopping Alito

Attention:
Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic members


Arlen Specter
CHAIRMAN, PENNSYLVANIA
http://specter.senate.gov/

Patrick J. Leahy
RANKING DEMOCRATIC MEMBER, VERMONT
http://leahy.senate.gov/

Charles E. Grassley
IOWA
http://grassley.senate.gov/

Edward M. Kennedy
MASSACHUSETTS
http://kennedy.senate.gov/

Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
DELAWARE
http://biden.senate.gov/

Dianne Feinstein
CALIFORNIA
http://feinstein.senate.gov/

Russell D. Feingold
WISCONSIN
http://feingold.senate.gov/

Charles E. Schumer
NEW YORK
http://schumer.senate.gov/

Richard J. Durbin
ILLINOIS
http://durbin.senate.gov/

Regarding Judge Sam Alito and what to ask him about Roe v. Wade, etc.

Regarding Roe v. Wade and other questionable issues I would like to know what criterian that Judge Alito would consider important in making judgments overturning R v. W. What are the reasons to keep Roe v. Wade, or not, if any, that would influence your decision?
As a lawyer Alito should be able to argue both sides of a case if he is making an unbiased judgment.


I haven’t heard questions asked this way yet. Have you?

Chris

Alito update

Dear Citizen:

Momentum is shifting on the Alito nomination. Senator Schumer’s aggressive questioning Tuesday evening reflected Democrat’s growing frustration with Alito’s inconsistent and inadequate answers, and yesterday several senators refused to let him get away with stonewalling.
At a news conference yesterday, they vowed “to keep digging until we get some answers.”
Ralph G. Neas
President
In this Special Issue:

1. Is Roe “settled law”?

2. Does Alito understand the “crushing hand of fate”?

3. Why can’t Alito give a credible explanation for his membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton?

IN FOCUS:
The Hearings So Far


Is Roe “Settled Law”?
Alito’s refusal to answer Senator Schumer’s straight-forward question Tuesday about whether he still believed, as he wrote in 1985, that the “Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion” clearly angered several Democratic Committee members. Yesterday, Senator Durbin tried a different approach to discover Alito’s views on reproductive freedom, but with no more success.
Senator Durbin asked Alito to tell the Judiciary Committee whether he considered Roe vs. Wade to be “settled law.” John Roberts answered this question during his hearing, but Alito, amazingly, would not even match the low standard set by the Chief Justice. When Senator Durbin refused to accept Alito’s empty tributes to stare decisis, Alito took refuge in semantics: his answer depends on what “‘settled’ means.”
Later in the day, Senator Feinstein took issue with Alito’s excuse for not answering Senators Durbin’s and Schumer’s questions — that cases concerning Roe might come before the court. “[T]here are four cases pending in the court right now on one man, one vote,” she pointed out, yet “you were willing to give your view on one man, one vote.”
To learn more on Alito’s record on personal privacy, visit http://media.pfaw.org/pdf/stc/Privacy.pdf

Does Alito Understand the “Crushing Hand of Fate”?
Will “the average person, the dispossessed person, the poor person,” asked Senator Durbin, “be subject to the ‘crushing hand of fate'” if they come before a Supreme Court with a Justice Alito? Senator Durbin noted a “recurring pattern” in Alito’s decisions where he sided with powerful corporations and the government against individuals who were forced to turn to the courts for protection. Several independent studies of Alito’s record have confirmed that he overwhelmingly rules against such individuals.
One case concerned Kevin Pirolli, a young developmentally disabled man who presented evidence that he was the victim of horrific sexual harassment. In a vigorous dissent, Alito argued that he should not even have the opportunity to present his case to a jury because “his lawyer had not adequately provided citations in his brief to places in the record describing his harassment.”
Another case has particular resonance today. Alito sided with a coal company that went to court because it had been cited by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission for violating federal mine safety law. Alito dissented from the majority ruling that held the Commission had the power to protect workers at the coal processing site, arguing that the facility did not fit the technical definition of a “mine.”
“In many of these tough questions,” Senator Durbin concluded from Alito’s record, “you end up ruling in favor of established institutions and against individuals.”
To learn more about Alito’s record siding with corporations, visit http://media.pfaw.org/pdf/stc/CorporatePowerAndAbuse.pdf

Why can’t Alito give a credible explanation for his membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton?
Senator Kennedy was so dissatisfied with Alito’s answers to questions about having touted his membership in Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP), which vehemently resisted growing university admissions of women and minorities, that he threatened to call for a subpoena of withheld records at the Library of Congress.
Senator Kennedy cited examples of the reactionary views that had made the organization notorious at Princeton and in the national press and raise credibility concerns about Alito’s claims that he now doesn’t remember.
Not long before Alito bragged about his CAP membership in his now-infamous 1985 job application, the group’s magazine published an essay that began, “People nowadays just don’t seem to know their place.Å  Everywhere one turns blacks and Hispanics are demanding jobs Å  the physically handicapped are trying to gain equal representation in professional sports, and homosexuals are demanding that government vouchsafe them the right to bear children.” In 1984, CAP’s magazine wrote “scientists must find humans, or rather homosexuals, to submit themselves to experimental treatment [for AIDS].”
Alito, who has claimed not to remember joining the group, is adamant that he would not have done so “because of any attitude toward women and minorities,” but he said he probably did so because of anger at ROTC’s expulsion from Princeto
n’s
campus during the Vietnam War. When he recycled this explanation to Senator Durbin, the Senator objected, “Do women and minorities have anything to do with” controversy over ROTC?
To learn more about Concerned Alumni of Princeton, visit www.SaveTheCourt.org/CAPandCredibility

Call for a FILIBUSTER!

From Sheila:

I have just come from a meeting with two Kennedy aides – about Alito.

This is about a filibuster

Two free numbers for D.C Capitol Switchboard: 1-866-340-9281 and 1-866-340-9279

We must get enough Democratic votes for a filibuster

EVERYONE SHOULD CALL FEINSTEIN IN CA. SHE IS ON THE COMMITTEE

Each state must work on their Senator – those that voted for Roberts. Call, email, visit, etcetcetc. Probably we should all work on all these Sens, but they will often not pay attention to those out of state

Those up for election are especially vulnerable (of course, this precludes the e-voting machines)

Everyone should call Feingold – (this from us: 202-224-5323 – or the above numbers

As far as working on the Repubs, there is always Chafee, Snowe and Collins, but working on the Dems is better.

CHOICE IS THE KEY ISSUE we were told

Thanks

Sheila

Two on the Alito hearings as propaganda theater

Political theater
by kos
Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 09:50:54 AM PDT
The story about Borkemada’s wife crying during the hearings is getting a lot of ink today, which is yet another sign of just how well the established news media is doing its job. One thing the stories on the tears seem to miss is that she started crying during Lindsay Graham’s questioning, and Lindsay Graham helped prepare Alito for the hearings. Hmmm… that seems a little fishy, doesn’t it?
Update: A PR stunt? This seems to suggest so:
The always-alert Creative Response Concepts, a conservative public relations firm, sent this bulletin: “Former Alito clerk Gary Rubman witnessed Mrs. Alito leaving her husband’s confirmation in tears and is available for interviews, along with other former Alito clerks who know her personally and are very upset about this development.”
It’s all a freakin’ game. And the media is the biggest enabler.

Call now to stop Alito!

From Stephanie:
New Yorkers, in addition to the request below, join the phone banks at PFAW this week and next. Call Tony Simone at 212 420 0440 and tell him you can come in with your cell phone to call people to lobby their reps against Alito.
Thanks!

Current thinking and analysis seems to bring us to the following WRT Judge Alito. He’s a weasel, and worse than that, he’s a non-responsive weasel. Anyone at all who has listened to the hearings (including Schumer’s masterful attempts to get him to give a straight answer on anything) cannot conclude otherwise.

Further, that for the moment, unless a lot more Americans get off their butt and call or write their Senators, he’s getting that seat on the Court. This might be expected to have an adverse impact on women’s rights, including abortion, privacy, and the Imperial Presidency, along with the environment, promotion of big business, and strip searching ten year old girls. But Americans cannot or will not connect the dots and do something about it, or try to.

Here is the Judiciary Committee, you know who your senators are, go to it.

Arlen Specter
CHAIRMAN, PENNSYLVANIA
http://specter.senate.gov/

Orrin G. Hatch
UTAH
http://Hatch.senate.gov


Patrick J. Leahy
RANKING DEMOCRATIC MEMBER, VERMONT
http://leahy.senate.gov/

Charles E. Grassley
IOWA
http://grassley.senate.gov/

Edward M. Kennedy
MASSACHUSETTS
http://kennedy.senate.gov/

Jon Kyl
ARIZONA
http://kyl.senate.gov/

Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
DELAWARE
http://biden.senate.gov/

Mike DeWine
OHIO
http://dewine.senate.gov/

Herbert Kohl
WISCONSIN
http://kohl.senate.gov/

Jeff Sessions
ALABAMA
http://sessions.senate.gov/

Dianne Feinstein
CALIFORNIA
http://feinstein.senate.gov/

Lindsey Graham
SOUTH CAROLINA
http://lgraham.senate.gov/

Russell D. Feingold
WISCONSIN
http://feingold.senate.gov/

John Cornyn
TEXAS
http://cornyn.senate.gov/

Charles E. Schumer
NEW YORK
http://schumer.senate.gov/

Sam Brownback
KANSAS
http://brownback.senate.gov/

Richard J. Durbin
ILLINOIS
http://durbin.senate.gov/

Tom Coburn
OKLAHOMA
http://durbin.senate.gov/

Orrin G. Hatch
UTAH
Patrick J. Leahy
RANKING DEMOCRATIC MEMBER, VERMONT
Charles E. Grassley
IOWA
Edward M. Kennedy
MASSACHUSETTS
Jon Kyl
ARIZONA
Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
DELAWARE
Mike DeWine
OHIO
Herbert Kohl
WISCONSIN
Jeff Sessions
ALABAMA
Dianne Feinstein
CALIFORNIA
Lindsey Graham
SOUTH CAROLINA
Russell D. Feingold
WISCONSIN
John Cornyn
TEXAS
Charles E. Schumer
NEW YORK
Sam Brownback
KANSAS
Richard J. Durbin
ILLINOIS
Tom Coburn
OKLAHOMA

Bush to jail his critics as "disruptors"

Bush to criminalize protesters under Patriot Act as “disruptors”

http://www.bushflash.com

Bush wants to create the new criminal of “disruptor” who can be jailed for the crime of “disruptive behavior.” A “little-noticed provision” in the latest version of the Patriot Act will empower Secret Service to charge protesters with a new crime of “disrupting major events including political conventions and the Olympics.”
Read article.

Secret Service would also be empowered to charge persons with “breaching security” and to charge for “entering a restricted area” which is “where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting.” In short, be sure to stay in those wired, fenced containments or free speech zones.

Bush to criminalize protesters under Patriot Act as “disruptors”
by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse

Wed Jan 11, 2006 at 07:27:26 PM PDT

Bush wants to create the new criminal of “disruptor” who can be jailed for the crime of “disruptive behavior.” A “little-noticed provision” in the latest version of the Patriot Act will empower Secret Service to charge protesters with a new crime of “disrupting major events including political conventions and the Olympics.” Secret Service would also be empowered to charge persons with “breaching security” and to charge for “entering a restricted area” which is “where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting.” In short, be sure to stay in those wired, fenced containments or free speech zones.

Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse’s diary :: ::
Who is the “disruptor”? Bush Team history tells us the disruptor is an American citizen with the audacity to attend Bush events wearing a T-shirt that criticizes Bush; or a member of civil rights, environmental, anti-war or counter-recruiting groups who protest Bush policies; or a person who invades Bush’s bubble by criticizing his policies. A disruptor is also a person who interferes in someone else’s activity, such as interrupting Bush when he is speaking at a press conference or during an interview.

What are the parameters of the crime of “disruptive behavior”? The dictionary defines “disruptive” as “characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination.” The American Medical Association defines disruptive behavior as a “style of interaction” with people that interferes with patient care, and can include behavior such as “foul language; rude, loud or offensive comments; and intimidation of patients and family members.”

What are the rules of engagement for “disruptors”? Some Bush Team history of their treatment of disruptors provide some clues on how this administration will treat disruptors in the future.

(1) People perceived as disruptors may be preemptively ejected from events before engaging in any disruptive conduct.

Read more.

DOJ is suing to force touch-screens on New York!

The Department of Justice has sent a letter to New York indicating their intent to file a lawsuit against New York State due to our non-compliance with HAVA.

The DOJ letter is attached (see below). The implications of this, and how it proceeds, are huge. Just how far will the DOJ go to insure compliance with HAVA? Will they only take back the HAVA funds and fine us, or are there more ominous possibilities – a federal judge stepping in and choosing NY’s voting machines, or enforcing a DOJ imposed implementation plan?

-Bo L.

*****

On January 10, 2006, the Department of Justice sent a letter to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and the New York State Board of Elections informing them that:

“I have authorized the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of the United States against the State of New York as well as the New York State Board of Elections, et al, pursuant to Sections 301 and 303(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, 42 U.S.C && 15481 and 15483(a).Section 401 of HAVA, 42 U.S.C. & 15511, authorizes the Attorney General to bring an action in federal district court for such declaratory and injunctive relief as is necessary to carry out the requirements of Title III of HAVA.”

Basically, we are considered non-compliant with the voting machine provisions of HAVA (section 301), and the voter registration database requirements (Section 303).

The letter is clear that they feel NY is the worst of the worst non-compliant states:

“It is beyond dispute that New York is not now in compliance…”

and

“…it is clear that New York is not close to approaching full HAVA compliance, and , in our view, is further behind in that regard than any other state in the country.”

They state that resolution may be resolved through a “negotiated consent decree rather than through costly and protracted litigation” and ask if NY is willing to “enter into negotiations for a fair and equitable settlement of this matter…”

Three "leftists" on Alito

Today’s New York Times claims that “the left” wants the Democrats on the
Judiciary Committee to get tougher with Alito.

“The left”? Is it “left-wing” to insist on the separation of powers? Is it “leftists”
who won’t want the president to wield imperial authority? Apparently the Founding Fathers were a bunch of socialists.

Here are three strong “leftist” pieces on the threat posed by Alito’s nomination and those Democrats (and sane Republicans, if there are any left) who won’t oppose the will of George I.

George Bush’s rough justice

The career of the latest supreme court nominee has been marked by his hatred of liberalism

Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday January 12, 2006
The Guardian

“If the president deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?” “No treaty,” replied John Yoo, the former justice department official who wrote the crucial memos justifying President Bush’s policies on torture, detainees and domestic surveillance without warrants.

Yoo publicly debated last month the radical notion of the “unitary executive” – that the president, as commander-in-chief, is sole judge of the law, unbound by hindrances such as the Geneva conventions, and has inherent authority to subordinate independent government agencies to his fiat. This is the cornerstone of the Bush legal doctrine.

Yoo’s interlocutor, Douglass Cassel, a professor at the Notre Dame law school, pointed out that the theory of the unitary executive posits the president above other branches of government: “Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.”

“I think it depends on why the president thinks he needs to do that,” said Yoo.

The “unitary executive” is nothing less than “gospel”, declared the federal judge Samuel Alito in 2000 – it is a theory that “best captures the meaning of the constitution’s text and structure”. Alito’s belief was perhaps the paramount credential for his nomination by Bush to the supreme court.

Read more.