November 5, 2005
Slowing Down Alito
WASHINGTON -- The January scheduling of Judge Samuel Alito's confirmation
hearings for the Supreme Court, instead of December as desired by
President Bush, was caused in part by political needs of Republican
senators facing opposition for re-election.
Kyl of Arizona and Mike DeWine of Ohio are supporters of Alito.
But each wanted to get home in December to prepare for strong
The Alito nomination could help Sen. Rick Santorum's uphill fight
for re-election in Pennsylvania. His Democratic opponent, State
Treasurer Bob Casey, like Santorum is Catholic and pro-life and
now will have to take a stand on the pro-life, Catholic Alito.
In Rhode Island, Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who has vowed
to vote against any anti-Roe v. Wade nominee replacing
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, could face trouble in a contested
Republican primary if he votes against Alito.
McCain, a potential 2008 Republican presidential candidate, has
gotten a tepid response to a New York City fund-raiser Monday
for his "Straight Talk America" political action committee.
a Sept. 27 letter announcing his appearance at the St. Regis Hotel
Nov. 7. The price was $1,000 per person for a 6 p.m. reception
and $5,000 per person for a 7:30 p.m. dinner.
York contributors to McCain's 2000 presidential campaign were
reluctant to attend this year's event. The fact McCain will be
72 years old for the 2008 presidential campaign was cited to explain
lack of enthusiasm, as was the senator's support for the Iraq
Rep. Jim Marshall of Georgia, facing a serious Republican challenge
next year, was the only Democrat Thursday to break party ranks
and vote against his party's pressure for tougher congressional
oversight of Iraq.
Leader Nancy Pelosi's resolution demanded investigation of "abuses"
arising out of the Iraq war. The resolution obviously would fail
in the Republican-controlled House, but Democratic leaders wanted
a unanimous party-line vote. Five Democrats voted against the
Pelosi resolution at various points, but all were pulled back
with the exception of Marshall.
a former mayor of Macon, Ga., squeaked through in a newly created
district in 2002 and was re-elected easily in 2004. The district
has been made more Republican for 2006 because of redistricting,
and Marshall will face a formidable foe in former Rep. Mac Collins.
Taxpayers Union recruited 257 economists, including two winners
of the Nobel prize, to sign a letter to all members of Congress
that opposes a tax on windfall oil profits. The proposal has been
attracting key Republican support with Sen. Charles Grassley,
chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, joining Democrats in
pressing the new tax.
signatories are headed by the two Nobel laureates: Milton Friedman
of the Hoover Institution and Edward C. Prescott of Arizona State
pointed out that the 1980 windfall profits tax entailed large
compliance costs but yielded almost no revenue before it was repealed
by Congress in 1988. Reenactment of the tax, said the letter,
"can be predicted to result in a diminution of domestic energy
production, an increase in American dependence on foreign oil
and a reduction in the overall supplies available to consumers."
Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee,
at an Oct. 26 hearing drew from an animal rights activist an admission
that he advocated murder of medical researchers who performed
experiments on animals.
Vlasak of North American Animal Liberation was quoted as saying
at an animal rights convention: "I don't think you'd have
to kill, assassinate too many. I think for five lives, 10 lives,
15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million, or 10 million
by Inhofe whether he was "advocating the murder of individuals,"
Vlasak replied: "I made that statement, and I stand by that
2005 Creators Syndicate