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Headline: “Sen. Biden Suggests Scrapping Hearings”

Thursday, January 12, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

“I need help. You turn those cameras on, and I don’t know what happens to me. I can’t stop talking. Really, I can’t. Stuff just pops into my head, you know, ah uhm, ah, stuff. Like little league. I haven’t thought of little league in many years and then Judge Alito mentions platying baseball, and I’m right back in my Tigers uniform…I couldn’t hit, all field no pitch Coach Jerold would say, and he was a piece of work. Window man. Coach, I mean. Put in windows. Kids were always breaking windows so it was a good thing we had a windows guy as coach, but he could swear. Man could he swear, ah, uhm, like a sailor, which I have never been. Couldn’t afford to go sailing. Sailing takes time. Takes money. My daughter-in-law, she lieks to sail, but doesn’t get the chance to, much, becasue she’s studying. But Alito’s sailing through, isn’t he? Sailing, ah, right through.

What was the question?”

The full report at ABC News
See also Richard Cohen this morning.

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Capping CAP, Al Capone’s Safe, and The Further Ruin of Teddy

Thursday, January 12, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

In a two minute summary of the results of the overnight examination of the CAP papers, Chairman Specter again exposes the Roy Cohn-meets-Emmett Kelly Ted Kennedy as a buffoon.

Kennedy’s demand for an examination of the CAP papers, which he and his crackerjack staff no doubt never expected to be granted without a subpoena and which he and his crackerjack staff no doubt intended to use as an excuse for delay, was not only quickly undercut by Bill Rusher’s consent, but also boomeranged as the results of the overnight examination will kill the CAP conversation dead. It is the Judiciary Committee equivalent of the 1986 televised opening Al Capone’s safe, and has done for the Dems who have howled about CAP what that episode did for Geraldo.

Or at least it should. No doubt CAP speculation will carry on in the fever swamp –I am waiting to see the first Koskid poster who suggests the papers were “cleansed”– and we should keep track of those Democrats who bring up CAP in the floor debate (I am betting Boxer) as a sure sign of late stage Moore Disease.

But what it ought to bring home to the left is the sheer ineptness of their senators, who spent so much of their television time chasing this chimera rather than attempting to build a serious argument against Judge Alito based on ideology. This has been Professor Chemerinsky’s complaint on my show for the past three days, and that leader of the left in the legal academy understands very well that the Democrats failed to lay a glove on Alito, and in the process appeared as light weights, injuring their own cause rather than in any way discrediting Judge Alito.

House Leadership Developments

Thursday, January 12, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., is drafting a petition calling for elections for several junior leadership posts. Every position but Hastert’s would be at stake.

An AP story from late last night reports on a failed attempt by pro-Blunt Members to push the date forward for voting on the Majority Leader post, a move that suggests that the exploratory calls by Arizona’s Shadegg have spooked the front runners. The inability to get the date advanced may well have the effect of triggering additional candidacies. I will have The National Review’s Rich Lowrey on the program today to discuss the leadership scramble.

The AP report also notes that Congressman Dan Lungren is playing a role in the reform movement. The former, eight-year Attorney General of California returned to the House after a failed run for the govenorship, and he carries not only broad experience outside of the House, but also a well-deserved reputation for integrity. Lungren’s experience as a state’s top prosecutor should be listened to very carefully inside the Conference.

James Q. Wilson on Rudy Guiliani

Wednesday, January 11, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Professor Wilson has an enorsement of Rudy for President disguised as a book review in the latest Claremont Review of Books.

First graph:

Modern politics is often about little more than adding another government program'”or demonizing opponents in order to attract marginal voters. Yet from time to time a statesman comes to power who breaks the mold and tries to govern against the grain. Ronald Reagan did that in the 1980s for the nation. And Rudy Giuliani did it the 1990s for New York City.

Last graph:

Republicans should keep in mind that, more than four years after 9/11, Giuliani still commands Americans’ respect and admiration. His worst behavior as mayor leads me to suspect that he is only as domineering and publicity-driven as many of our presidents (good or bad) have been. His best behavior as mayor suggests many of the qualities a good president should have, such as honesty, decency, and a commitment to make government work better and to enable the middle class to live better. As the presidential primaries approach, Republicans concerned with the country’s moral character may want to ask themselves whether, in the present predicament, what the country needs most is a strong executive, unafraid of criticism, to prosecute the war we are in.

Be sure to read the graphs in between.

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