The stampede to confirm Judge John Roberts as the 17th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court roared through the full Senate Thursday as the chamber voted 78-22 to give President Bush's 50-year-old nominee a lifetime sinecure at the head of the nation's highest and most powerful court.
Roberts's record of opposing expansion of the Voting Rights Act, unyielding allegiance to the corporate interests he served as an attorney in private practice and extreme deference to executive power he served as an aide to President's Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush drew broad grassroots opposition.
People For the American Way, the National Organization for Women, the NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Human Rights Campaign, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Americans with Disabilities Watch, the National Council of Women's Organizations, the National Council of Jewish Women, Rainbow PUSH, the Fund for the Feminist Majority, Legal Momentum, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Abortion Federation, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and MoveOn.org all expressed strong opposition to the Roberts nomination.
With religious school vouchers and public displays of the Ten
Commandments on government monuments, the United States is following Europe's path to a melding of Christianity and the state. That's no way to instill
loyalty among Islamic immigrants.
Americans are becoming more hostile by the day to the war in Iraq,
the nation is demoralized over official abandonment of the victims of
the Gulf Coast storm, but the Democratic Party is missing in action.
Where normal human
beings see a storm-devastated community, George W. Bush sees only a
Three senators caved and supported the
nomination of John G. Roberts Jr. as Supreme Court Chief Justice. But
one lawmaker, banking on the public's cynicism of the oil industry,
wants to tax its windfall profits.
Scientists universally recognize the devastating
effects of global warming, including its possible role in creating
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It's time for skeptics to listen up before another devastating storm hits.
Before 9/11, the Bush Administration thought tax breaks and environmental deregulation would solve the energy crisis. They were wrong. Now it's time for policies that promote conservation and energy alternatives.
"Crony capitalism," Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer writes this week, "is the name of the Republican game."
Scheer couldn't be more correct. The headline of the lead business story in September 28th's Washington Post is a good example: "Hurricanes Give Lobbyists Hope." The article reports that with Congress dangling as much as two hundred billion dollars in hurricane-related aid, lobbyists for oil companies, airlines and manufacturers are clamoring to get their cut as they work to get regulations waived so oil companies can build (dirty) new refineries which skirt EPA rules and so the airlines can go belly up on their pension obligations.
(For more on predatory profiteering in New Orleans and the Gulf region, read Naomi Klein's recent searing investigation for The Nation and check out recent Doonesbury strips where the ever-opportunistic Duke is characteristically in tune with the latest political currents.)
Today's indictment of House Majority leader Tom DeLay is a sign that there is some accountability in our capitol. Over the last year, a small group of public interest organizations have led the charge against DeLay--and done commendable work in bringing his abuses to public attention.
One invaluable group is Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) in Washington. CREW's work also shows why Democrats--even as they rightly expose DeLay's corruption, and the abuses of this Republican Congress--should make themselves the party of reform, offering a series of measures to curb lobbyists, expose the backrooms to sunlight and move towards clean elections that limit the role of big money in politics.
For more on CREW's efforts to bring accountability and transparency to our democracy, click here to read a piece on CREW I posted last March.
Local lawmen don't usually involve themselves in the affairs of state. It is their job to indict crooks and put them behind bars.
But when the affairs of state are corrupted by crooks, sometimes only a local prosecutor has the skills -- and the sense of duty -- that are required to address the crisis.
That explains why Wednesday's criminal conspiracy indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the Texas Republican who essentially runs the Congress, came not from Washington but from Austin.