Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I Passed the Bar Exam!

   What a relief!

   The swearing-in is the week after Thanksgiving. I guess that is a good reason to cut short my trip home by one day.


   Am celebrating tonight. Given the way this week started, this is quite the turn-around.

   Blogging to resume tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

There is a nasty rumor going around...

that Massachusetts bar exam results were mailed this morning. Which means that they should arrive by tomorrow.

God, I hate rumors.

I'm almost afraid to admit this...

Pure Nerd
73 % Nerd, 8% Geek, 17% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.



Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

[Hat tip: enrevanche]

Ted Kennedy: Convert to the "Up or Down Vote"

   My jaw dropped this morning when I heard Ted Kennedy say the following on CNN:

I felt sorry for the -- Ms. Miers, who really never got a chance to either have a hearing, let alone have a vote.

So, let me get this straight: Ted Kennedy has had no problems supporting years-long filibusters on eminently qualified judicial nominees, but he feels bad because an unqualified hack decided to withdraw before her timely-scheduled judiciary committee hearing.

   Color me unimpressed. This had absolutely nothing to do with senators using procedural tactics to hold up the nominee, and everything to do with the nominee bowing out. That the bow-out came from external political pressure is completely beside the point, and my disingenuous senator knows it.

   Can this be anything less than an admission that Ted Kennedy will never support a qualified Bush nominee, when he feels "sorry" that the Senate is not spending its time on an unqualified one?

   Brilliantly played, Ted.

   If this is the foundation upon which an Alito filibuster is to be built, that house won't stand.

Monday, October 31, 2005

An Apology (in advance)

   There is a small to fair chance that I might say or write things in the coming days that are less than civil. If that is the case, I apologize in advance.

   There is a much greater chance I will not be quite myself for what I hope is only a few days.

   Last night, there was something of a family crisis and, while it has abated, it isn't yet over. My father, who is not yet quite fifty years old, had an incident last night that leads me to surmise that he had a heart attack. I don't know for certain since we had to beg him to go to the emergency room and he declined the doctor's request to stay overnight for observation. Tests are scheduled, but the next week or so is likely to be very stressful, especially since the rest of my family is 700 miles away. I don't know how I would be holding up without the support of The Lady Exile.

   Whatever your spiritual inclination might be, thoughts, prayers, vibes, and all similar emanations are greatly appreciated.

   In the meantime, I don't anticipate any real disruption to the daily routine around here. All the same, posting could be spotty for any number of reasons in the coming days.

The Miers Nomination: Mere Prologue

   I have hinted in the past that Harriet Miers' abortive nomination to the Supreme Court was a ruse, that it was never intended to achieve confirmation.

   This morning's selection of Samuel Alito seems to confirm this suspicion.

   I grew suspicious of the Miers nomination within the first few days of its announcement, first registering my thoughts in a comment to a post over at Classical Values. Several things about the nomination just did not make sense:

  • The nomination was announced at 8 a.m. Eastern Time, relinquishing the initiative to introduce her to the Americans who would not awake on the west coast for several hours. (Although, the same is happening this morning with the Alito nomination.)

  • No one knew who Harriet Miers was, largely because she was woefully underqualified. The president passed up a list of potential nominees -- perhaps two dozen deep -- to make this selection.

  • Conservatives were not about to stand for anyone who might look like a "stealth nominee," after having been burned by Justices Kennedy and (more often) Souter.

  • The questionnaire she submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee was called "incomplete," at best. What is more, the questionnaire was unsigned, but authenticated by the White House.

  • Initial reaction from conservatives was vitriolic.

  • She was a terrible writer, lacking clarity of thought and language.

   For all of this, Harriet Miers was the "most qualifed person" for the job. Harriet Miers, whose ABA recommendation probably would have come back as "not qualified."

   And now, we have before us Samuel Alito. A former prosecutor. A federal judge for 15 years. Someone who is eminently qualified for consideration to the Court, having appeared on many shortlists over the last year. Someone who is probably "in the mold of Scalia and Thomas," as the president promised on the campaign trail. And also someone for whom confirmation may depend upon an energized conservative base.

   Alito was the dissenting judge in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and the Supreme Court ultimately ruled against his position.

   This is about abortion, it always has been, and now the president has nominated a judge with a fifteen-year long paper trail, whose most famous opinion is the one that will raise the most controversy.

   This is the battle that the nation has been expecting, and it's been in the preparation phase since the start of October. Given Alito's qualifications, and judicial history, the Democrats will face pressure from both sides as to whether to vote to confirm. Their progressive consituents will vehemently oppose his nomination, while their conservative (and some moderates) constituents will ask what more they could want. Given the number of Democratic senators from red states up for re-election next year, navigation may be tricky.

   And it's this uncomfortable place that the President wanted to create for Democratic senators who might remain on the fence.

UPDATE (6:51 p.m.): One of my favorite left-of-center bloggers has a similar theory, but sees the Miers withdrawal/Alito nomination as a calculated distraction from the indictments of Scooter Libby handed down last week. I considered this, but I find it less likely because the Libby indictments (and trial) are likely to outlive this confirmation process. The focus will be back on that criminal case before long; in fact, I bet it outplays the confirmation again by the end of the week.

Alito to be elevated to SCOTUS

   CNN has confirmed this morning that President Bush will nominate Samuel Alito, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, to the Supreme Court.

The announcement is scheduled for 8 a.m. EST.