PROGRAMS! Gitcher Programs Here!

Bring it, RicciWell, the Sotomayor hearings start tomorrow.  For those of you dear readers who have yet to scan the list of actors to search for the man or woman who is most likely to bring the crazy, we present the following viewer’s guide.

But also: if you are having trouble heckling at a moment of great stupidity, from home or office, we — as a service to you — have included some helpful suggestions.

And now… introducing… the key players in the drama that is to unfold.

Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) — He paid the costs to be boss of this crew.  Former district attorney for Burlington.  An extra in The Dark Knight.  Fan of the Grateful Dead. Dirty hippie.

Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) — Ranking member.  Was on the business end of the Judiciary Committee when Reagan gave him a nomination, when it was revealed that he wasn’t exactly the biggest fan of the NAACP and the ACLU.  Has not performed much better since then.  Middle name is — of course — Beauregard.

Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) — Bland as dry toast.  Owns the Milwaukee Bucks.  Has lots of bucks himself.  His name is slapped on the U.W. basketball/hockey arena as evidence of his vast supply of the munnie.

Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) — If one recalls correctly the sayings of St. Molly Ivins, one might recall that he is one of the few men alive who can pucker his lips tighter than a chicken’s asshole.  Dude gets paid to be a pain in the ass.  (In better news, he is the chief proponent of abolishing the Bowl Championship Series.  That really is Change I Can Believe In.)

Dianne Feinstein (D-Cal.) — Harder than she really has to be.  Unearned reputation for being a San Francisco liberal, just because she was mayor of the town for a good long while. 

Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) — This guy made some noise by going after the tax-exempt status of several televangelists a while back.  Otherwise?  As conservative as they come in the Middle West.  Note that Iowa’s Supreme Court went off the reservation a while back.  This could be a thing with him.

Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) — At times, an All-World Badass.  At others, a sincere disappointment.  On the whole?  I like the guy a lot.

Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — This guy?  Makes a lot of unorthodox, perhaps mavericky, moves, so much so that he can be seen as a moderating force.  A clever ruse, this.

Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) — Odds-on favorite to do something really, really insane with his time.  He’s near the end of the seniority order.  It may be worth the wait. 

John Cornyn (R-Tex.) — Unremarkable, except for the fact that this will be the first major event since the swearing-in of the man he sought to defeat after the election.  Him…

Al Franken (D-Minn.) — The only member who has impersonated a Senator at a Judiciary Committee hearing on Saturday Night Live, in which he, as Paul Simon (D-Not The Singer), suggested to Clarence Thomas that he might not be as popular with the ladies as Thomas was, because of the bow tie.

Also appearing: Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Chuck Schumer (D-Who You Lookin’ At?), Arlen Specter (??-Pa.), Dick Durbin (D-Barry), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Edward Kaufmann (D-Biden).

Amongst the witnesses for Sotomajor…

David Cone — Really now.  For those not up-to-date on Sport, he was a pitcher.  A good pitcher (a perfect game, and another game with 19 strikeouts).  And also a guy in the booth for Yankees broadcasts.  (Notable: this will happen during the All-Star break, so he doesn’t miss any work.)  The qualifications, beyond his involvement in the 1994 strike case, escape me.

Michael Bloomberg (??-Noo York) — Doesn’t he have a city to run into the ground?  (No, wait — it’s Albany that is screwing things up at present.  Thus: Go with God, Mike.)

Louis Freeh — Former FBI head. On board for Ruby Ridge and Waco, and the whole Wen Ho Lee mess.  I have no idea why he’s here, or why he’s useful.

And for the opposition…

Linda Chavez — Most recently, a warrior against affirmative action for an outfit known as the Center for Equal Opportunity.  No idea what she brings to the table in this… no, wait, it’s coming to me….

Frank Ricci — Ah.  All is revealed now.  Odds are high that this guy might be the next Joe The Plumber.  It’ll be hard to outpace the original, but he might have the horses to bring the serious crazy.


She’s going to get confirmed after more air time is wasted on crazy people. Let’s move on.

@JNOV: Good catch. Sorry. Arlen’s in on this too.

I’m going to have to read more about Ricci. I was distracted when he blipped past the news. Say, what’s Allan Bakke up to?

@chicago bureau: Besos. Hey, what time is this jumping off?

@Dodgerblue: A day or two ago I was thinking about how much joy I derived from watching the roll call and the live blogging bidness with nojo. I might need to take a personal day tomorrow.

@Arlen: I’m watching you, buddy…Anita Hill?

anita hill? phffft. i’m still hatin on him from the warren commission.

@JNOV: I’m on a Virgin American flight to DC tomorrow; they have those seatback TVs. I’ll prob break down and watch some of the hearing, but I’ll need to be considerate to my seatmates and not yell at the TV.

@nojo: apparently our Mr. Ricci is what one might call a serial suit filer.

Chicago, was the use of “Sharks v Jets” intentional? Golf claps, there.

@Signal to Noise: Or “unscrupulous professional litigant,” which balances an ungodly number of syllables with a certain poetry.

Honest question: Is dyslexia incompatible with firefighting?

@chicago bureau: if Sonia ever wanted to go (back) to San Juan, Jeff Sessions knows a boat she can get on.

@nojo: it’s got a melifluous quality about it.

@nojo: I tried an airplane accident case a number of years ago where the flight engineer was dyslexic, had a hard time following checklists under stress, and yet had been approved to fly by, uh, my firm’s client. This was not a fun fact for us. I don’t know whether firefighters train to use checklists, but airline crew personnel do.

@Signal to Noise: So funny – in Ricci, the circuit court followed the law, and then 5 Supremes turned into activist judges. Quelle horreur!

@blogenfreude: There’s a point where “hypocrite” fails to satisfy — it presumes some standard being purposely violated. “Congenital liar” seems more appropriate to contemporary debate.

Which is why I don’t understand how the wingnut elites are turning on their gal. She really is one of them.

@Dodgerblue: Virgin has wi-fi on their flights so you could liveblog it.

I’m thinking we should have a pool to see if it’s Cornyn, Coburn, or Sessions who slips up first and uses a derogatory word for Latinos or Puerto Ricans.

@Dodgerblue: Or end up throwing something through the seat back. Have a safe flight.

@blogenfreude: the only activist judge a Republican gripes about is one who doesn’t agree with his or her political philosophy.

@SanFranLefty: Sessions knows he can’t slip up because of his performance decades ago. Texas senators have too many Latinos to worry about. Coburn’s crazy enough to do it.

@SanFranLefty: I’m looking for Dr Coburn, OB/GYN, to ask her about her menopause symptoms and whether her raging hormones will affect her decision-making, after his opening statement in which he declares menopausal women legally insane.

@Mistress Cynica: @Mistress Cynica: I’m betting her opening statement will be warm, thoughtful and measured, kind of like that president guy we have now.

@Mistress Cynica: Oh, that fuckwit Coburn will be banging the “are you a baby killer” drum louder than anyone. He’ll probably say something about how she doesn’t “understand” the anti-choice position because she’s one of those unnatural women who haven’t popped out a kid. Oooh, maybe they’ll quiz her about whether she’s a lesbian because she’s not married.

@SanFranLefty: @Mistress Cynica: Didn’t she support that don’t give monies to the countries that abort law?

@JNOV: She’s never ruled directly on the extent of Roe. The global gag rule decision was based upon the precedent of the Supreme Court case that upheld the Hyde Amendment prohibiting Medicaid-funded abortion.

I suspect she won’t be as much of a full-throated supporter of reproductive rights like Ginsburg – I’d put my money on Sotomayor being along the lines of O’Connor.

It has been a good long time since we saw a contested confirmation hearing at a time when the dems are in control of congress. The opposition here is just going to be noise, the fact that they are bringing in Ricci just shows they got nothing. I expect fighting back, when the republicans start their shit, this time. But its just theater, she will be confirmed, the cool thing is, with pretty much all republicans gone completely insane what with negro president and the loss of what they felt was their deserved, permanent, God-given majority, there will be lots of Republican Crazee on display, which will just serve as election fodder for years, I expect crazy stupid offensive shit, petards which will blow in their faces.

The Refreaklicans have tried to make it appear that she’s this overly emotional, AK-47 wielding, Mexirican revolutionary, when–of course–the reality is the exact opposite. Her actual rulings seem to indicate that she’s a banal technocrat, with no interest in the practical effects of her rulings. She won’t be friendly to progressive and liberal causes, that’s for sure.

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