Specter To Play Softball With Roberts
In a continuing pattern of helping his party erode the rights of American citizens, Senator Arlen Specter has agreed to play softball regarding John Roberts' views on Roe v. Wade during Roberts' upcoming Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:
WASHINGTON - The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Sunday he will not ask Supreme Court nominee John Roberts whether he would vote to overturn the landmark decision that legalized abortion.
Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., did say he planned to ask Roberts, the president's pick to succeed the late William H. Rehnquist as chief justice, whether there is a right to privacy in the Constitution.
Right, and you'll act satisfied when Roberts says that there is, then pretend to be shocked to learn that he lied, just as Slappy Thomas lied about the same matter during his confirmation hearings.
Specter said he was uncertain whether Roberts would favor overturning the Roe v. Wade decision from 1973 that established a right to abortion. Specter supports a woman's right to choose to end her pregnancy.
How can this boob be uncertain of such a possibility when Roberts has worked for organizations like Operation Rescue?
"I think it is inappropriate to ask him head-on if he's going to overturn Roe, but I believe that there are many issues close to the issue, like his respect for precedent," Specter told NBC's Meet the Press. "We'll get a better idea of his views, but I think at the end of the hearings he's not going to take a definitive stand on that question," the senator said.No shit he's not going to take a definitive stand until you bastards confirm his religiously insane ass for the job. Then it will be too late to ask these "inappropriate" questions. I have a question for Mr. Specter: Are you simply too lazy, or just too scared to do your goddamned job?
He said people are not wrong to want to know Roberts' views on abortion, "but a judge ought not to have to make commitments in advance as to how he's going to decide cases or (if) it impinges on his judicial independence."
Asking whether cases such as Roe or Bush v. Gore, which cleared the way for George W. Bush's election victory in 2000, were decided properly would be too close to asking whether Roberts would vote to overrule a case, Specter said. Such questions "ask a little too much," the senator said.
That's really the bottom line here. Specter, acting as a Republican first, and an American second (at best) doesn't want to make Roberts look like the regressive dolt he is (look at his views on abortion, equal pay for women, etc.), so he's going to lob a few batting practice fastballs for Roberts to hit into the cheap seats. Then, talking heads like Timmeh Russert and Chrissy Matthews can pretend that Roberts faced tough questions. Then again, Specter is the clown who helped come up with that "magic bullet" nonsense that has clouded any real investigation into the JFK assassination, so we shouldn't be so surprised that he's going to roll over for President Uncaring Bastard's Stepford Nominee.
Setback For Ancient Navigation Attempt
An international crew suffered a quick setback in an attempt to use ancient shipbuilding techniques to sail across the Indian Ocean. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:
CAIRO, Egypt - It was a quick end for a Bronze Age-style boat of reeds and tar, sinking just after leaving Oman on a voyage across the Indian Ocean. But its crew vowed Saturday to try again to prove that traders 4,000 years ago could have made the journey to India.
The 40-foot boat, dubbed the Magan after an ancient name for Oman, set sail Wednesday from the Gulf sultanate's port of Sur but several miles offshore it started to take on water and sank within 30 minutes.
Its eight-member crew of two Americans, an Australian sailing master, two Omani seamen, two Italian graduate students and an Indian archaeologist tried to bail out the water but soon had to escape on a life raft to an Omani ship escorting the Magan, the crew said in a statement.
The boat was made from reeds, date-palm fibers and bitumen tar, with a wool sail and two teak oars. The team was hoping to make the 600 mile voyage across the Indian Ocean to the historic Indian port of Mandvi to follow what archaeologists believe was a Bronze Age trade route.
The idea that these types of voyages were not only made, but that they were common in the ancient world has slowly begun to gain acceptance recently, and it is largely due to work like this. This story is reminiscent of the voyages Thor Heyerdahl made with boats constructed of similar materials like the Kon-Tiki and the Ra that crossed the Atlantic Ocean from the west coast of Africa. I hope these guys get it together and re-launch a successful voyage.
Bronx Pitchers Duel
The Red Sox lost a tough one this afternoon to the New York Yankees 1-0 at Yankee Stadium in what turned out to be an old fashioned pitchers duel. Randy Johnson threw seven innings of one-hit ball, and struck out seven to earn the win for the Pinstripes. He didn't really need, but received bullpen help from Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera, who got the save.
Sox starter Tim Wakefield pitched eight strong innings, surrendering just three hits, but one of them was a first inning homer by Jason Giambi, his 29th of the season. Wakefield's knuckleball was ridiculous as he struck out a career high 12 Yankee batters.
The Sox lead in the AL East now drops to three games, as the team travels to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays, against whom they have struggled this season. The Yankees travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Devil Rays who have given them fits this season (the Yanks are 5-11 against them).