Introducing Elena Kagan


When the doctrine of allegiance to party can utterly up-end a man’s moral constitution and make a temporary fool of him besides, what excuse are you going to offer for preaching it, teaching it, extending it, perpetuating it? Shall you say, the best good of the country demands allegiance to party? Shall you also say it demands that a man kick his truth and his conscience into the gutter, and become a mouthing lunatic, besides?  

Mark Twain  

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Scotus nominee Kagan (right) W/ Sen. Shaheen

 

I watched some of the Kagan confirmation hearings today, and I have to tell you I am surprised that I am not particularly impressed by Gen. Kagan.  But then again I wasn’t really all that impressed by any of her questioners either.  General Kagan, and I find it odd calling her that, but it is her title, she being the Solicitor General of the United States, did seem at times a very effective speaker, while at others she seemed to struggle to make some points, but I think may have had something to do with her questioners, as well as her skirting some issues.  

To begin with she really did have some genuine issues, especially with Sen. Arlen Specter.  Arlen was trying to pin her down with some particular questions, and when she, apologetically, tried to deflect them, he got angry and bitter because she wasn’t answering the way he wanted her to.  She, when she saw this, tried her best to give the best non – answer she could, but he simply wasn’t hearing it, and got even huffier and more blunt.  She didn’t want to answer his questions because she was trying to skirt political intrigue as much as possible.  She also didn’t want to seem like she wasn’t being accommodating, and that caused issues between them.  To my mind, Sen. Specter ended up looking like a befuddled, cantankerous confused old man with a chip on his shoulder.  

Truth be told he wasn’t the only one that sounded… well … odd.  Was it me, or does Sen. Leahy sound drunk every time he talks?  I don’t know everything about the man, but i would have to guess that the man either has a severe drinking problem, or else he had a stroke and didn’t tell anyone, and his drunken sounding lisp is a lingering vestige of the damage done by it.   

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Viddy of the day, from today’s Scotus nomination proceedings:  

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If I was thrown off by the questioning of Arlen Specter, I was even more thrown off by the good natured friendliness exhibited by Republican Senator Lindsay Graham.  The man was, without a doubt the most eloquent, well spoken, calm and intelligent speakers in the hearings today.  Now I know the man is whip smart and a good public speaker, but I was surprised by the friendly tone, and lack of political divisiveness on his part.   

One almost expects nowadays, when there is a public display between a Democrat and a Republican, that there be some level of angst, anger and ugliness to exist.  There was none of that here.  I expect it had something to do with the fact that, Knowing there was nothing to gain by a big show of negativity, that he simply decided to be a gentleman about things.  

That was, even if there was a political calculation behind it, very refreshing to see and hear.  Thank you, Sen. Graham.  

I rather enjoyed listening to Sen. Schumer talk to Gen. Kagan as well.  He started each of his points with very broad brush strokes, and then after a minute of making very basic philosophical points, got into details about viewpoints of relevant and current law that has made its way through the Supreme court in recent years.  

I heard talk of the Hamdi v. Rumsfeld case a great deal, as well as much talk, from all participants, about the Citizens United case.     

As far as her viewpoints go, she wants cameras in the supreme court, She thinks she wasn’t too harsh on military recruiters in Harvard because she was protecting her gay and lesbian students from the military’s anti gay and lesbian DADT policy, she supports the use of military commissions to prosecute enemy combatants, and is is pro second amendment.   

She made a great show of bipartisanship during the first day of hearings.  I for one cannot wait for day two to see what happens next.  

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The object of government is not to change men from rational beings into beasts or puppets, but to enable them to develop their minds and bodies in security, and to employ their reason unshackled; neither showing hatred, anger, or deceit, nor watched with the eyes of jealousy and injustice. In fact, the true aim of government is liberty.  

Baruch Spinoza  

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Tuesday’s links o’ joy:  

Kagan makes Bipartisan appeal in Supreme court confirmation hearings  

The Dodgy Miss Kagan  

Graham, the gentleman, at Kagan hearings  

F as in Fat: How Obesity threatens America’s future 2010  

The Euphemism Generator  

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Work update: Only one resume sent out after over 2 hours scouring the Internet looking for various jobs.  Signed up at one job site, a union job site.  No job yet.  There be slim pickins out there right now. It’ll pick up.  Phone calls tomorrow. Feeling some trepidation about that.  Why I have no idea.  That’s what I get for waiting.  No worries though.  It’s only talking to people, no hassle involved.  

Music update: Played some guitar today, not a lot.  Call it 45 minutes worth.  First time I hit the scale exercises in a VERY long time.  Played “over the hills and far away” or as much of it as I could remember, as well as some Dio/Sabbath “Neon Knights”, and some arpeggio exercises.  Twas a goodness.  I didn’t realize I’d missed playing that much til I had my guitar back in my hands.  It felt pretty damn good.  

That’s about it from here.  G’night America!

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