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Liveblogging Arlen Specter:

Specter is giving a press conference on what he thinks about Bush’s appointment of Samuel Alito to SCOTUS. Specter, the greatest mistake Bush made (campaigning for him in the primary over a more conservative candidate), appears to be supporting Alito’s appointment.

Specter is a blowhard, thinks he’s in charge of the Senate. It’s too bad that he heads the judiciary committee.

Specter doesn’t appear to be ouright endorsing Alito, instead he’s giving a “let’s get through his record and give him his day in committee.”

That’s enough for me though. Specter might be waiting to see how the public reacts to Alito, but Specter doesn’t have an election to worry about for some time. He might assume that this nomination will be forgotten by the time he looks for office again in 2010.

Nothing special, the only important fact is that Specter won’t be actively trying to sink Alito…yet


Origins I

There has been much talk of blog origins, blogparents, blog family trees, and blog intellectual heritage amongst the MOB lately. The reason is simple, some smart aleck thought he could increase his traffic by putting together a blog family tree.

Well, it worked, damnit. And I’m now a willing participant.

The tree.

I listed my blogparent as Hugh Hewitt. However, that could be easily disputed. I’m fairly confident I’m a bastard child blogger. I was not borne of another blogger’s influence, but by the mainstream media.

Sickening, I know.

In January of 2004, I had noticed the continuing coverage of something called “blogs” in the news. I had noticed blogs earlier in my Internet surfing, but never thought anything of them. However, as I kept hearing about blogs, specifically their role in the Lott-Thurmond Birthday scandal, I became interested in actually starting a blog. First week back from Christmas Break in my senior year from college, I wrote down in one of my notebooks “Get a blog.”

I simple searched for “blog” on Yahoo (I wasn’t a Google user until late) and “Blogger.com” was the first return that mentioned “Start Publishing Now!” I got an account, and on February 1st, I started posting on my new blog “MartyEmail Goes Blog”

MartyEmail was what I called my weekly “ezine.” I had a bad habit of forwarding funny stories in the news and weird websites I found to friends. Soon enough, instead of sending them these things individually, I made an email list. Soon I had an organized weekly ezine that I sent to about 100 people through email. It was originally a bit of a joke, but it became for me a serious endeavor. MartyEmail, the original ezine, is pretty dead now, but what I did with it fits into blog form much better anyway.

I still post on that blog, mostly those inane online quizzes, sometimes the funny crap I find that wouldn’t work on this blog. Presently MartyEmail is hosting my travel reflections, posts of which I’m fairly proud. It gets about 10 hits a day, which has been consistent since it started.

I started this blog in March of 2004, but I didn’t start posting on it consistently until just before the 2004 presidential election.

I went about looking for the first blog that I posted up, when I was searching for my origins, and this is the first blogger I mentioned in my blog[s]:


For the most part though, I was blogging in a vacuum with no main blogger influences. I remember the first blogger that I read regularly being Peter Welle. Peter wasn’t a political blogger at all, he’s a humorist that blogs about events in his life.

When Tony and I first got a radio show on “The Deuce” I remember interviewing blogger Gerry Daly, and having Aaron Clarey call in to talk about his blog (Aaron didn’t make it on that day, but he has since done a few radio shows on KSTP in Minneapolis after his appearance on KSTP’s “The Next Big Thing”).

I first met Mitch Berg at this time as well.

But I was still not reading any bloggers regularly, and I wouldn’t for sometime. It wasn’t until after I started going to Keegan’s and other MOB events that I would read other bloggers heavily.

So, if I started blogging because of MSM, and I didn’t read any bloggers at all for a long time, how on Earth did I come up with Hugh Hewitt as my blogfather? Well, between all the bloggers I mentioned above and all the external influences, one book shaped my blogging philosophy


Hugh Hewitt Sold me on blogging. A number of others influenced me, but it was Hugh Hewitt that showed me “the way.” When I first started blogging, my thoughts were that a blog was a great place to try out column ideas and put links to stories I found funny. Since then I have adjusted my posting to be less formal, and to drop some of my MSM training hangups (I was a journalism student to start out with at the U of M).

So, the “intellectual heritage” that I belong to is Hugh Hewitt, sorry Mr. Welle.

Random Link o’ the Day:


I’ve found who I want to be nominated:

Michael McConnell

Age: 50
Graduated from: University of Chicago Law School.
He clerked for: Judge Skelly Wright, Justice William Brennan.
He used to be: a law professor at the University of Chicago and the University of Utah, an appellate attorney for Mayer Brown.
He’s now: a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit (appointed 2002).

His confirmation battle: When McConnell was nominated to the 10th Circuit three years ago, he had the support of liberal law professors who called him Bush’s “most distinguished” nominee and signed a letter of support for him. Other liberal groups, on the other hand, fought hard against his confirmation, highlighting his support for expanding the role of religion in the public sphere. How to account for the split? As a respected and well-liked law professor, McConnell was well-placed to win support in the academy, and one of the arguments made on his behalf was that, as an advocate of judicial restraint, he’d be sure to follow the Supreme Court’s directives. McConnell wouldn’t be similarly bound by precedent, however, if he joined the high court himself. Instead, the combination of his hard-line conservative views and his sunny disposition could make him extremely effective at bringing about change.

Civil Rights and Liberties
In a law review article, argued that the support for school desegregation in Brown v. Board of Education is consistent with the intentions of the framers of the 14th Amendment to guarantee equal protection under the law. McConnell’s remains the minority view.

In a Slate dialogue, opposed a constitutional right to assisted suicide.

Before the Supreme Court, represented the Boy Scouts in their successful suit to keep out gay scoutmasters. (Boys Scouts of America v. Dale, 2000)

On the bench, dissented from a ruling in favor of Jessica Gonzales, who sued the city of Castle Rock, Colo., when her three children were killed by her ex-husband after the police failed to enforce a restraining order against him, despite her repeated calls. McConnell said that the majority’s ruling would “expand greatly the liability of state and local governments.” A Supreme Court ruling is pending in this case. (Gonzales v. City of Castle Rock, 2004)

Separation of Church and State
In a law review article, argued that the framers intended to provide for broader protections for religiously motivated conduct than modern jurisprudence allows for.

In a law review article, questioned the outcome of Bob Jones University v. United States, the 1983 Supreme Court decision that revoked the school’s tax-exempt status because it forbade interracial dating. McConnell argued that even if Bob Jones’ policy is “morally repugnant to most of us” the rule affected “only those who choose to become part of the religious community defined by Bob Jones” and so should come under the constitution’s protections of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

In a Slate dialogue, backed government-funded school vouchers that can be used at parochial schools. Argued that religious activity in a public setting or paid for by public funds is OK, as long as the government remains neutral rather than supporting a particular faith.

Agreed to grant a preliminary injunction to a New Mexico sect to stop the government from prosecuting its members for using a hallucinogenic tea during worship. In a concurrence, McConnell argued that the sect’s interest in religious observance trumped the health risk to the sect’s members and the interests of the federal government in enforcing its drug laws. (O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal v. Ashcroft, 2003)

Environmental Protection and Property Rights
For a unanimous panel, upheld a law that Congress passed specifically to permit logging in the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. The law upended a court settlement designed to prevent the logging from going forward. (Biodiversity Associates v. Cables, 2004)

Criminal Law
For a unanimous panel, held that the federal prosecution of a child pornographer—who paid a boy to photograph him and transported him across states lines—was consistent with Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce. (U.S. v. Riccardi, 2005)

In 1996, signed a statement supporting a constitutional amendment to ban abortion. “We believe that the abortion license is a critical factor in America’s virtue-deficit,” the statement reads.

Before Congress, testified in opposition to a bill designed to limit the access of protesters to abortion clinics.

Judicial Philosophy
Supports the originalist approach to constitutional analysis, which urges judges to interpret the Constitution in accordance with the understandings of its framers.

McConnell combines the two best predicting factors in avoiding “the shift.” A history as a law professor and experience on the bench. Alone each variable are fairly usable, combined they historically show candidates that remain consistent in ideological views over time.

…Scooter Libby Shall be Hanged Until Dead from the nearest Tree…

Scooter seems guilty until proven otherwise in the MSM, I remain unconvinced.

The Indictment

The Novak column

Novak follows up

Captain Ed

Michelle Malkin

Personal Update:

Man, I hate missing a day on the blog, but yesterday I went from Madison to St. Cloud to secure a conservative group at SCSU. That’s a lot of driving. The best part was that on the way, I stopped off to workout and go see a reading of “The Baron.” Of course, I hurt my knee working out something fierce.

“The Baron” was a reading of a play that is still in its working stages about Baron Von Rashke, an old school professional wrestler. I’ll have more to post on that later.

Looking ahead to the Radio Show, Tony and I are still working out what to talk about. The Miers deal is noteworthy, but how much is there to talk about? I think that, while I would have voted for Miers as a nominee, I still wasn’t happy with her selection. I think pulling her was a victory for conservatives, but was it Pyrrhic?

Scooter Libby’s indictments might be something of interest. In fact, there’s a number of GOP scandals to look at, however all are based on campaign finance reform, one of the stupidest laws congress has passed.

Oil for food scandal in UN, Isreal wants Iran out of the UN (UN, who cares?).

There’s always Baseball, with the Sox breaking their curse, what is the next sign of the baseball apocalypse? There’s still a case to be made for Instant Replay in baseball as well.

I’d like to get some local stuff in too, a discussion of the St. Cloud Mayoral election (but it’s something I actually care little about). The most interesting things happening so far in Minnesota headlines-wise are polio related. (Yes, Polio)

What’s great about doing the show is the phone calls Tony and I go through in the days preceding the show where we make fun of each other and argue about how important a particular newstory is really.

My blogdodge campaign continues…

“Blogdodge” was a term created by Bill Gilles to describe when a blogger posts crap instead of substance, or what we in the media call “filler.”

I read this from one of my company’s typical email memoranda. It was so hilarious that I’m risking employment just to bring you the story of an LI Field Rep and proud Kentuckyian T. J. Litafik, In Texas:

Leftists Try to Scare Out Conservative Harvard Professor
CLP Field Reps Counter the Lunacy

When Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington arrived at Texas A&M university to speak to a crowd about the necessity of tighter immigration control no one expected leftist radicals to try to quell the speech of such a distinguished individual. But once again, the left proves to be unpredictable. There cries were soon ended when Leadership Institute Field Representatives Ross Mann and T.J. Litafik, along with the newly CLP organized Aggies for Naturalization Documents countered the left-wing demonstrations. While the administration asked no questions of the liberal demonstrators, they harassed Ross and T.J. about their right to be there. Proving that the right packs more wit, T.J. simply responded “I have a permit, it’s called the 1st Amendment.” The administration did not hassle the Aggies for Naturalization Documents anymore. The counter-protest caught the attention of the media and was featured on the local CBS affiliate, KBTX-3.

Link to story.

T.J. has a slow southern drawl, and is quite the wit.

Have I gotten into any trouble? Not yet, I’m fairly laid back. I’ll have a few chances to get some media on November 2nd though.

What does Tom Delay have in common with Florida prostitutes?

The same positive attitude!

News Briefs

Because there are times when I need a little catching up…

White Sox continue to have calls break their way:

These calls have ignited debate about the need for instant replay while playing a key role in their six-game postseason winning streak entering tonight’s Game 3 of the World Series against the Houston Astros.

Four times an umpire has ruled their way — despite replay evidence to the contrary in some cases — usually followed by a momentum-changing hit.

I happen to think it’s time for instant replay in baseball, and they should look to their parent sport, Cricket, for a workable method. Cricket has a seperate umpire for TV replays alone, and it only takes 30 seconds to make a decision. It wouldn’t be like the long delay of game caused in Football.

Bush makes appointment that about everyone agrees with

Once he steps into Mr Greenspan’s shoes, Mr Bernanke will undoubtedly try to keep a low profile for a while as he feels out the new job. But he will probably not be able to maintain it for long. For one thing, Mr Bernanke, unlike Mr Greenspan, has endorsed the idea of setting an explicit target for inflation, which would be a substantial policy shift for the Fed. For another, the new chairman will face considerable challenges. Though guiding monetary policy is less fraught than it used to be, now that the Fed has established its hawkish credentials through a long period of stable prices, there are storm clouds gathering on the economic horizon.

The most worrying of these is America’s housing bubble. Soaring house prices have been crucial in underpinning consumer spending since 2001 as Americans have blithely ridden out slowing income growth by releasing large sums of home equity. A related problem, the gaping (and growing) current-account deficit, has many observers worried about a sudden dollar devaluation triggering a “hard landing” for America’s economy—and thus the world economy. And rising oil prices have once again raised the spectre of the devastating combination of high consumer prices and slow growth that haunted the 1970s. There are no clear answers to any of these problems, and Mr Bernanke will have to feel his way with the eyes of the world upon him. Perhaps Mr Carville had the right idea after all.

He might even be the smartest ever…

I think he’s a good choice, but I agree with Greenspan’s goal of zero inflation versus Bernanke’s set goal of consumer price index. Splitting hairs really.


Why couldn’t Bush have made SCOTUS appointment of such credentials (though I still stand by my statement that there’s no good reason to not vote for Miers. “There’s more qualified people” is not a good argument, there are always more qualified people.)

The news headlines have left me quite happy that there are term limits for Presidents.

A WWII soldier is found

Tom Delay is unsinkable…

That’s his mug shot, here’s a fake story about an autographed Delay mug shot

And here is a photo of one of my coworkers at LI:

I think that Delay is going to be fine, my coworker on the other hand…

Random Link o’ the Day: