Washington Post editor: “Confirm Alito”

This morning’s Washington Post editorial gives me pause. It is clear about the fact that the editor would dearly love to see a Sandra Day O’Connor clone rather than anyone you could remotely refer to as conservative. It is equally clear, however, that that wish isn’t sufficient to call for denying Alito confirmation by the Senate.

:::::::: Supreme Court confirmations have never been free of politics, but neither has their history generally been one of party-line votes or of ideology as the determinative factor. To go down that road is to believe that there exists a Democratic law and a Republican law — which is repugnant to the ideal of the rule of law. However one reasonably defines the “mainstream” of contemporary jurisprudence, Judge Alito’s work lies within it. While we harbor some anxiety about the direction he may push the court, we would be more alarmed at the long-term implications of denying him a seat. No president should be denied the prerogative of putting a person as qualified as Judge Alito on the Supreme Court. ::::::::

I am surprised at hearing this from this town’s reliably left-leaning publication. The editorial is correct, of course, which is the attitude the Republican-led Senate held when Bill Clinton’s nominees appeared before them. You can see the difference in attitude when you look at the list of sitting justices, who nominated them, and the votes by which they were confirmed. Since the Robert Bork nomination, no conservative has been confirmed with more than 78 votes. No liberal has been confirmed with less than 87. (Only 1, in fact, has had less than 90.) It is clear that since Bork, Democrats as a group have been consistently voting against anyone who can be identified as having conservative views where Republicans are clearly voting based on the judicial qualifications of the nominee.

The Post recognizes this and hits the nail on the head. I approve and I recommend reading it in full.

NASA probe returns comet dust to earth

NASA is celebrating the safe return of the Stardust spacecraft whose mission was to collect cometary dust and return it to earth.

:::::::: The touchdown capped a seven-year journey by NASA’s Stardust spacecraft, which zipped past a comet in 2004 to capture minute dust particles and store them in the capsule.

“It’s an absolutely fantastic end to the mission,” said Carlton Allen, a scientist with NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

A helicopter recovery team located the capsule Sunday and was transferring it to a clean room at the nearby Michael Army Air Field. The capsule will be flown Tuesday to the Johnson Space Center in Houston where scientists will unlock the canister containing the cosmic particles.


I just hope some of those scientists are old enough and sci-fi fans enough to remember The Andromeda Strain. Careful what you let lose down here, boys.

US Aid to Palestinians should cease if Hamas wins

I note from over on LGF this story about the unrest ahead of the January 25th elections being held in Palestinian-controlled territory. There’s a tidbit in there that drew my attention:

:::::::: With the violence bolstering Hamas’ prospects in the legislative election, U.S. officials warned Saturday that millions of dollars of aid could be in jeopardy if the militant Islamic group joins the Palestinian government. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Hamas’ participation in the government was “not an American issue.” ::::::::

I believe we should concede Abbas’s point in this regard. Let the Palestinians show the world where their true sympathies and loyalties lie with the casting of their votes. Should Hamas win, we know that the majority of Palestinians, rather than just a narrow slice as we’ve been constantly told, support their terrorist tactics and methods.

Fair enough. However, we aren’t required to subsidize their efforts and attacks against an ally. The second Hamas takes power at their ballot box then the Palestinians can fund themselves from there on. I say we cut any and all official government aid that very moment.