Insisting that God "certainly needs to be involved" in the Supreme Court confirmation process, three Christian ministers today blessed the doors of the hearing room where Senate Judiciary Committee members will begin considering the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito on Monday.....[They] let themselves in a day earlier, touching holy oil to the seats where Judge Alito, the senators, witnesses, Senate staffers and the press will sit, and praying for each of the 13 committee members by name....Capitol Hill police said they weren't aware that the three had entered the hearing room earlier, but added that hearing rooms typically aren't locked because "they're not of interest to anyone.
The same Rev Robert Schenk said something extremely judgemental about the families of the miners who lost their lives in West Virginia.
+ ON JUDGE SAMUEL ALITO: It's a matter of trust. + ON SEN. LIEBERMAN: He's insulting Americans who stand up for what's right. + ON DONALD RUMSFELD: He should resign now. + ON PRESIDENT BUSH: He's turning off Latin America, thus stifling democratic progeress
Questioned by Wolf Blitzer this morning on CNN, Howard Dean said that, in an ethically charged atmosphere in Washington DC, we don't want or need more fears about scandals within our own Supreme Court. There are some disturbing questions about SCOTUS nominee Samuel Alito. Advocating for strip-searches of 10-year old boys and a conflict of interest on a case regarding mutual funds (with a refusal by Alito to recuse himself) are not going to be issues that engender trust in Alito's ability to be the right choice for the position of Supreme Court justice.
*An aside on ALITO: Unrelated to the Dean interview, Fox News Sunday's regular panelist Juan Williams commented this morning that the narrowing of the scope of individual rights indicated by some of the Judge's past legal decisions should be of concern to citizens, especially his dismal record on affirmative action. Williams was so strong in his conviction that fellow panelist reacted (in full knee-jerk mode) by accusing Williams of "smearing" Alito.
Blitzer asked what Dean thought about a filibuster. Dean replied that he had no real vote and therefore he had no comment. It would be up to Senators like Patrick Leahy, Senator Reid, and others who will decide once they've heard answers to their questions. It's their perogative as Senate members and leaders to decide from there.
Dean said he was disgusted and incensed when he read (in the Washington Post) that 80% of torso injuries to troops in Iraq could have been prevented had there been sufficient body armor. Donald Rumsfeld should resign his position as Secretary of Defense.
Regarding Senator Joseph Lieberman's statement
"In matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril":
Howard Dean said that the President has lacked credibility since he entered office. He isn't interested in consulting others. Dean said that Senator Lieberman is "insulting Americans who wish to stand up for what's right."
As for President Bush, Dean says that Bush has "turned off" Latin American countries and has therefore moved any hope for democracy in the wrong direction. When you 'turn people off,' they'll do things that are not in our nation's best interests.
On the GOP/Jack Abramoff scandal: Dean said that "not one Democrat took money from Abramoff." He claimed that FEC reports will prove that what he's saying is true. Some Democrats received donations from Indian tribes, but Americans are being misled to believe that elected Democrats such as Byron Dorgan received money directly from Abramoff.