January 10, 2006

Question Alito!

I confess that I have paid somewhere between little and no attention to the Alito SCOTUS confirmation hearings. There is no real issue about the man's qualifications, so the Donks are pretty much left to political grandstanding, a game Alito doesn't seem inclined to play. Yawn.

On the other hand, as a concerned citizen, I feel it is my responsibility to participate in this process in at least some capacity. In that spirit, therefore, I offer


10. Yes or no - have you stopped beating your wife?
9. If you had a hammer, would you hammer in the morning or the evening and why?
8. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
7. If God can do anything, can he make a boulder heavy enough that he can't lift it?
6. Where's the beef?
5. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could no longer get an abortion?
4. If you're us....what number are we thinking ? [* A movie quote. Bonus points if you can identify it.]
3. What's the frequency, Kenneth?
2. Are you better off than you were four beers ago? [Ted Kennedy only - stolen from David Letterman]
1. Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

UPDATE: Welcome Salon readers! We guarentee that no genetically modified materials were used in the creation of this bit of nonsense.

Posted by Robert at January 10, 2006 02:20 PM | TrackBack


Posted by: Eric J at January 10, 2006 02:26 PM


Posted by: Robbo the LB at January 10, 2006 02:36 PM

Wyld Stallyns!

(...yeah, that'll never get old...)

Posted by: Rex Ferric at January 10, 2006 02:48 PM

Or, for Ace of Spades readers . . .

"Where's Joe?"

Posted by: The Colossus at January 10, 2006 03:10 PM

African or European?

Posted by: rbj at January 10, 2006 03:12 PM

SEN SPECTER: Judge Alito, if I were to ask you, "Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it in dew, cover it in chocolate, and a miracle or two?" would you not agree that that person, would, indeed, be the candy man?

And -- given your stated adherence to the principle of stare decisis -- would you not agree that had prior case law found that indeed, this person was the candy man, you would find that ruling, if not binding, then at least worthy of considerable respect before you considered whether or not that person might, indeed, be someone other than the candy man?

ALITO: Yes, senator.

Posted by: The Colossus at January 10, 2006 03:20 PM

How about: "Would you allow a policeman to stripsearch your 10 year old daughter for drugs?"

Posted by: LB Buddy at January 10, 2006 03:58 PM

Oh, you lawyers and your complicated questions.

Why not "What's your favorite ice cream flavor?"

Thank you, San Dimas High!

Posted by: owlish at January 10, 2006 04:19 PM

Birch Barlow: "Mayor Quimby, you are well known for your lenient stance on crime, but suppose for a second that YOUR house was ransacked by thugs, YOUR family was tied up in the basement with socks in their mouths, you try to open the door but there's too much blood on the knob..."
Mayor Quimby: "What is your question?"
Birch Barlow: "My question is about the budget, sir."

Posted by: utron at January 10, 2006 04:38 PM

It's clear that when you guys REALLY don't want to take about an issue, you feign boredom. Abramhoff indictment? Yawn. NSA revelations? Boring. Torture memos? Can't be bothered. This is the blogger equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and going "HMMMMMMMM I can't hear you!!!" If you had actually watched the Alito hearings you would have seen a man who obviously has problems with the truth (he was for CAP before and after he forgot about it) and dodges questions about the right to privacy and the role of the executive. Which to my mind makes him unfit for the Supreme Court. And it should you, as well. After all, if Roe is so bad and the unlimited Presidency so good, why is he afraid to scream them from the rooftops?

Posted by: zen_less at January 10, 2006 04:47 PM

Methinks zen-less needs more Zen.

Posted by: jen at January 10, 2006 04:59 PM

Zen thinks to himself: "that little girl is beginning to damage my calm." [from Serenity].

Posted by: LMC at January 10, 2006 05:13 PM

Jeopardy style

The answer is "42".

normal style:
If you were a baseball umpire would you be a hitters umpire or a pitchers umpire? (You may consult with the Chief Justice for 2 minutes before answering.)

Posted by: Marvin at January 10, 2006 05:51 PM

Zen Less---

If these issues are so important to you, get your own damn blog. They're free, you know, which should appeal to your free-range tofu Mumia luvin' soul.

As it is, we blog about what interests us, when we have the time to do it. Blogads and t-shirts aside, this is still a hobby which means when the paying work calls, that gets priority. Also, the nature of blogging is that you do not have to be comprehensive--a lot of other folks have covered these areas with more expertise than us, so I haven't had much to say. Call it the post-holiday blahs. That, and I'm about half-way through Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, so that's my spare time (that and family stuff).

So my point is: get a fucking life, or get a fucking blog of your own.

Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at January 10, 2006 06:00 PM

Marvin, that's an outstanding way to phrase it.

And even if you are a pitcher's umpire, that doesn't mean you won't enforce the balk and beanball rules.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at January 10, 2006 07:01 PM

Didn't they just outlaw trolls the other day?

Posted by: jwookie at January 10, 2006 07:32 PM

Robbo - thanks

tis a slightly more open ended question than:
Do you know the way to San Jose?

Posted by: Marvin at January 10, 2006 09:29 PM

No, really, I'm grooving on this. Doesn't baseball provide the ultimate analogy for practically anything?

We can all legitimately argue about whether or not the ump should call a strike at the knees. Fair enough. But argueing that the ump who calls a strike at the knees is also going to arbitrarily rule that the batter is out on two strikes is hyperbolic foolishness. And that's where I see a lot of the rhetoric. Which is why I'm not really that interested.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at January 10, 2006 11:13 PM


This is the argument made by Glen Greenwald on his blog and underscores why I don't think this is a rhetoric game:

That is a real crisis in our Government. And the critical point to make is that if you searched the federal judiciary high and low, you will not find a federal judge who has displayed greater deference to Executive power than Sam Alito has. From the time he was in the Reagan Justice Department through his 15 years on the federal bench, he has time and again demonstrated a fealty to Executive power at the expense of the other two branches -- exactly what would be most dangerous for our country today in light of the truly unlimited power expressly claimed by the Bush Administration.

The issue is can the ump allow one team to ignore the rules completely.

Posted by: LB buddy at January 11, 2006 12:24 AM

LB Buddy---

Sorry, but I could name at least a dozen and a half other judges, but to me that's not the point. Rather, if the issue is of deference to executive authority during wartime, the frame of reference is FDR's wartime appointments to the Court. In this sense, Alito matches up quite well with Robert Jackson, who if anything "displayed greater deference to Executive power" than anyone---but so did Black, Frankfurter, Douglas and the rest of FDR's appointments.

What is interesting to me, though, is how the left has so completely absorbed the Lindberg/Burton Wheeler anti-FDR line so completely in terms of foreign policy isolationism and conspiracy mongering that it has colored all of its politics. The objections you are quoting, you would be quite pleased to know, would be almost word for word a rant from an America-firster complaining about any of FDR's later appointments.

Those complaints then, of course, would be wrapped in a whole "we're only in this war because the President lied to us because he's under the control of his Jewish advisors."

Oh wait....

I'm sorry I'm being intemperate, I'm in a crappy mood as of late because of work.

Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at January 11, 2006 08:47 AM

"Le Waterslide."
"I don't think it's going to work dude."
"Viva la France!"

Classic movie.

Posted by: Beck at January 11, 2006 09:26 AM

The whole baseball analogy works fine, to a point.

But one team is upset that there are people in the stands shooting at the players, and wants the umpire to call the cops to have those people ejected from the stadium. The other team wants the game to go on as if the bullets are just a light sprinkling of rain, or in some cases, wants those folks in the stands admitted to the field as players, even though they are not wearing uniforms and show a complete disregard for the rules of the game.

Posted by: The Colossus at January 11, 2006 10:35 AM

Those were brilliant, Robbo! May I be so bold. . .?

Senator: Who let the dogs out!?

Alito: Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof!

I'll omit the "Pony Show" references. . .

Posted by: Margi at January 11, 2006 10:36 AM

And on question #7, we resolved in one of my Philosophy of Religion classes in college that God can, indeed, make a stone so heavy he can't lift it.


Because in the act of creating that stone, he ceases, thereafter, to be God, because he has surrendered the power of omnipotence, which is critical to his Godhood.

Posted by: The Colossus at January 11, 2006 10:40 AM

That's gotta be a Borg quote from some Star Trek flick, yeh?

Posted by: BummerDietz at January 11, 2006 10:40 AM

The Dems are showing once again they aren't interested in taking power back from the hopelessy corrupt Republicans. Holy crap man, this guy is in line for a lifetime position lording over our legal system and all they can lob at him are softballs. With Alito's record, it should be easy to expose him as an enemy of the Bill of Rights. They also need to scewer him about his membership of a racist/sexist organization at Princeton, you know, the one he included on his resume to get in with the Reagan administration, but now he conveniently can't remember.

Posted by: Randy at January 11, 2006 11:04 AM


You probably know better than I about judges that would kowtow to executive authority, but I would argue that the FDR power grab was also problematic. I am not an adherent of the “allow great men to be great” school. Just because I agree with the politics does not make a power grab attractive to me. Power should be decentralized to protect everyone’s rights. There are not enough checks and balances.

Posted by: LB buddy at January 11, 2006 12:00 PM

And it is oil exectutives not the Jews. Duh.

Posted by: LB buddy at January 11, 2006 12:01 PM

Come on, haven't you ever played Illuminati? Clearly the Discordians control Dick Cheney, who controls both the oil companies and Fox News, which controls the Global Zionist Conspiracy. Which controls the Boy Scouts.

Or is it the other way around?

Posted by: owlish at January 11, 2006 12:50 PM

Owlish, you left out the Rosicrucians and Freemasons (or did you?...)

Posted by: Rex Ferric at January 11, 2006 01:13 PM

Bart: So finally, we're all in agreement about what's going on with the adults. Milhouse?
Milhouse: [at blackboard] Ahem. OK, here's what we've got: the Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people --
Bart: Thank you.
Milhouse: -- under the supervision of the reverse vampires --
Lisa: [sighs]
Milhouse: -- are forcing our parents to go to bed early in a fiendish plot to eliminate the meal of dinner. [sotto voce] We're through the looking glass, here, people...

Posted by: mikeski at January 11, 2006 02:35 PM

does alito like eggplant?

The good Senator Graham from South Carolina jerks tears from Sammy "The Sphincter" Alito's chattel wife by apologizing for having to answer tough questions from Democrats. So, is he a closet bigot? His family knows. I'd lay 8-5 that over the course of their lives, his collective family has uttered "moolie" more than the GOP would like to know. But, what the heck, he was otherwise raised well, right?

Posted by: Will at January 11, 2006 08:27 PM

Heck, why do we even bother to have confirmation hearings?

Posted by: Blimfark at January 11, 2006 10:21 PM

Umm... ummm... ummmmmmm...


Sorry. I Panicked.

Posted by: Beck at January 12, 2006 10:42 AM


I would argue that there is, in fact, one thing that God cannot do, of which the failure to do so does not impinge on His omnipotence, or any other characteristic. He cannot do something that is contrary to His nature. Therefore, He would never even bother with making a rock so big that He couldn't lift it. The question is moot. But at least your class gave it the ol' college try!

And my question for Judge Alito: If you could be a fruit in a fruit salad, what fruit would you be, and why?

Posted by: Sloan at January 12, 2006 05:06 PM

Sorry, LB Buddy, but all the "neo con conspiracy" talk---with the exagerated pronunciations of Wolfwitz's name etc.---fall well within the late 1930s style of Jewish conspiracy talk.

Lindberg's speeches were mind-boggling in this way, and if you substitute "American greatness" for "AmeriKKKan evil" they are indistinguishable from those of the current leader of the Democratic party.

Hey, I'm enormously sympathetic on the civil liberty front: but I agree with Justice Jackson that the constitution is not a suicide pact. I think the events of the last month v/v the security leaks would have been the equivalent of Republicans leaking word to the Chicago Tribune in 1943 that we had cracked the Japanese codes and had the Nazi Enigma machine---scoring tremendous points for the political base, and doing incalcuable damage to American security abroad.

I am a fan of David Hume, in this: we live in a dark world.

Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at January 13, 2006 08:44 AM