The judiciary committee voted, from the Feminist Wire:
Judiciary Democrats Vote Solidly 'No' on Alito
In a straight party-line vote (10-8), the Senate Judiciary Committee voted this morning to approve Alito's confirmation, sending the debate to the Senate floor.
"The strong statements from Democrats on the Judiciary Committee demonstrate that the confirmation of Judge Alito is too risky for a nation divided in a time of crisis," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority.
"This unusual straight party vote on a Supreme Court nominee shows that the Republican Party has moved too far to the right, deserting basic women"s rights and individual rights, and it shows a willingness on the part of Republican Senators to give the President a blank check in expanding presidential powers, even to the extent of breaking the law, such as in the domestic surveillance," Smeal continued."Women in this nation must recognize that the dominant force in the Republican Party has decided to take away women's fundamental right to an abortion. We cannot continue to fool ourselves and call some Republicans pro-choice when they continue to vote to empower those who would take away our rights," Smeal said.
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Can you believe how much work it took to get that vote? Can you believe how much work still lies ahead of us? Those whose nerves were frayed and beyond tired should now read "'How do you think a story can change a life?' (Laura Flanders to Robert Redford)" and take the breather they've earned.
Speaking as a health professional, there is no guilt or shame in down time. If you need it, and I'm guessing many do, take it. Take it right now without guilt. There's no date set for the full Senate to vote on Alito. There's no reason for you to feel guilty. So if downtime for you means taking a break, take it now. You've earned it.
You'll come back rested and ready to fight. You cannot run a marathon forever. You need a finish line. This was the finish line. Go get some rest prior to the next track meet.
I applaud the work of Gina and Krista in their round-robins and of C.I. They worked their butts off. I hope they'll take some downtime. But whether they do or not, those of you who've e-mailed saying you were exhausted and didn't know how much you had left in you, take the break you've earned. Do it for yourself because you need it. Do it for the movement because you're no good to anyone if you've got nothing left.
Depending upon what's in the news tomorrow, I'll take tomorrow off. You take the downtime you need. There will always be something popping up in the news. But I know many of you have gone beyond anything you knew you were capable of. Take some time to absorb what you did, what others did and what the effect was. It will make you all the more stronger for the next battle.
Bush Vows Anti-Choice Movement "Will Prevail" (Democracy Now!):
Back here in the United States, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote today on whether to recommend the confirmation of Samuel Alito as a Supreme Court justice. The vote is expected to be split largely along party lines. Meanwhile on Monday, President Bush told activists who are tying to make abortions illegal that they are pursuing a "a noble cause." To mark the 33th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, Bush said "This is a cause that appeals to the conscience of our citizens and is rooted in America's deepest principle. And history tells us that with such a cause we will prevail." Several groups include the National Organization of Women have urged Democratic Senators to filibuster Samuel Alito's confirmation because they fear he will overturn Roe v. Wade. In 1985 Alito wrote that the Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion.
Need another reason to recharge for the next wave of this battle? Bully Boy wants to win it. Unlike the Dems, he's playing to win. We'll need to light an even larger fire underneath the Dems for the full vote. Go recharge.
Military Jury: No Jail Time For Interrogator Who Killed Iraqi (Democracy Now!):
In other Iraq news -- a military jury in Colorado ruled last night an Army interrogator who killed an Iraqi general would not have to serve any time in jail. The interrogator -- Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr. - killed the Iraqi man after putting a sleeping bag over his head, wrapping him in electrical cord, sitting on his chest and covering his mouth. Over the weekend the military jury convicted Welshofer of negligent homicide which carries a maximum prison term of three years. But the jury chose instead to fine him $6,000 and ordered him to spend the next 60 days restricted to his home, office and church. The Los Angeles Times reports soldiers and officers inside the courtroom broke out in applause after the jury announced Welshofer would not be jailed for the killing.
While it appears fairly obvious that others (such as the CIA) were involved, the fact that there's no punishment for Welshofer is appalling. He walks. Must be nice to be able to walk away. The dead man doesn't have that luxury.
Peace Activist Gets 6 Months in Jail For Recruiting Station Protest (Democracy Now!):
In upstate New York, a peace activist has been sentenced to six months in jail for pouring blood inside a military recruiting station in March 2003 in order to protest the invasion of Iraq. The man, Daniel Burns, 45, was one of a group now known as the St. Patrick's Four. The other three members will also be sentenced this week.
Daniel Burns also doesn't walk. For pouring blood in a recruiting station, he gets six months time. Abed Hamed Mowhoush is dead and Welshofer walks. Burns killed no one and gets six months in jail. Our logic and priorities seem to be in question.
Thanks to Cheryl for her e-mail highlighting something from BuzzFlash that C.I. linked to. I wasn't in the mood for links this morning when I checked The Common Ills. No offense to BuzzFlash or Robert Parry, the excerpts showed strong writing. Cheryl did read the BuzzFlash editorial in full and highlighted a section. (Cheryl, I mentioned your e-mail to Mike who had read it and he's going to note the editorial as well.)
"The Power of One" (BuzzFlash):
The timid will lose. In avoiding risk, in bypassing the filibuster of Alito, the Joe Bidens and the Dianne Feinsteins of the world will have taken the biggest risk of all.
George Bush has broken the law and signaled in every way that he intends to keep doing it -- and to ignore the rule of law whenever he sees fit. He and Cheney are showing daily contempt for Congress and packing the Supreme Court with supporters of the "Unitary Executive," or dictatorship.
It is a concept that disdains democracy, that finds no support in the Constitution, and that destroys our system of checks and balances.
Those who would shrug off an Alito confirmation with a "No" vote -- without a filibuster -- are giving into the mugging of democracy.
This will not stand.
Go to Mikey Likes It! to get his take. He's tired but sounded (on the phone) like he had more energy than I do.
Peace requires common sense and energy. Recharge your energies.