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September 13, 2005


I have arrived in Iowa, and am pleased to report that it is a friendly place with electricity and Cheez-Its. They also have cable TV, so I've been watching the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on John Roberts. I have one question: Does Roberts ever get to, you know, talk? Or would that violate some Senate rule?


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Ah, Dave, you and your quaint, old-fashioned ideas about government. No, in a Senate confirmation hearing, the senators talk and talk and talk until the breath has left their bodies and their lungs have shriveled up to approximately the size of yams. Then the person being confirmed talks at their unconscious bodies as they recover, at which point they begin talking again as if nothing happened. It's in the Constitution somewhere.

If you talk, you cut down on the "face time" of the senators, risking them appearing on Lehrer News Hour to blather on.

It's sort of like a pro bono activity to sit there and nod like you are paying attention.

It's just that autumn is coming and they need heat the building with all that hot air.

He gets to talk when the break out the nachos, which is sometime after the meatpuppets finish grandstanding.

He probably would talk, if he'd ever stop sucking on Cheez-Its™ ...

No wait. Evidently he CAN talk, but the only word he knows is "Uh ... "

you went to iowa to watch c-span????

I smell a column (no wait, I have gas)

Cheezits and Cokie? A Robert's family tradition. I look this way because of it.

Seems like many of the Senators, notably the senior gentleman from Massachusettes, have decided to assume Roberts responses, and proceed to argue with what they have not yet heard.

Welcome to Iowa, Dave! Now just travel south on I 29 and come visit us in Council Bluffs! Don't forget to buy some sweet corn.
Gee, don't you guys have cable TV in Florida?

This is from the live coverage, and is precisely what Dave's talking about. You will think that what you're reading comes from "Dave Barry's Guide to the Confirmation Process":

12:17 - Senator Biden is up. He suggests that Roberts is out-classing the Senators in his legal knowledge. (He's pretty much right.) He says Roberts "hit a home run yesterday." So far, no questions.

12:21 - Still no question. Biden says that judges could change the strike zone given ambiguities in the Constitution.

12:23 - Biden is talking about "tacit postulates." (At some point, the Gang of 14 will decide this is an improper filibuster.)

12:24 - "Let me get right to it."

12:24 - A question: Is there a right to privacy in the liberty clause of the Fourteenth Amendment? Yes. Roberts thinks that every member of the Court believes that to some extent.

Maybe they're making him practice.

Don't judges have to sit and endlessly listen to stuff they don't even pretend to give a crap about? It's in the job description.


I thought this was the 2008 primary. Are they confirming a nominee? For what?

I don't pay much attention to politics; Roberts is from Indiana, right? Hooray for my home state?

Supreme Court Chief Justice. Didn't you hear about the one we just worked to death? We need a new one.

How was Hong Kong?

For an absolutely hysterical, yet true account of our nation's most well paid employees at work, you have to read this:

12:23 - Biden is talking about "tacit postulates." (At some point, the Gang of 14 will decide this is an improper filibuster.)

I just wanted to point out that Tacit Postulates is most definetly a horrible name for a rock band.

I agree with marlodianne - he's practicing the listening part!

He's obviously a robot - a real human being couldn't stay awake through all that. And look at that cookie-cutter ('kooky-cutter'?) family of his. It's obvious their biggest issue is getting Junior to use his salad fork instead of his dessert fork. Wake up, people! Roberts is... a Stepford Judge.

Annie he is not a robot, He is demostrating the most valuable skill any judge can have. Sleeping with your eyes open.

Here is the question to answer wording ratio: 100:1.

I'm sorry, Addicted. Did you say something? I was staring at my screen.

I wasn't real sure how I felt about Roberts, but right now, bravo to him for not answering questions about how he would rule on matters that may come up before the Supreme Court. He's got to read the arguments presented at the time in those cases.

Dang! I love Constitutional Law.

I'm just trying to figure out how Dave flew from Miami to Iowa in time to get to his hotel, check in, watch the Senate confirmation hearings, log onto the internet, and post a pithy, humorous entry on his award-winning blog. I can't even get a rental car that fast? Did you fly by private jet?

This Sioux City newsteam looks as if it stayed up all night.

Doing what?

Hopefully, tomorrow Dave will tell us about:

Sioux City's hockey team, the Musketeers, or Muskies, who will play the Buc Bowl Thursday

The fact that the greater Sioux City area is referred to as "Siouxland"

His photo op by S.C.'s Famous Dave's.

Cheez-Its. But does S.C. have Tab? Tab's metallic/Windex flavor enhances Cheez-Its' greasy tang.


Read Blair's link.

An example:

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), the committee's ranking Democrat, led off with an observation that the hurricane was "a tragic reminder of why we have a federal government."

You can't put a price on this stuff.

As one who sees a lot of judges I can safely say they don't do much listening. Even when they look like they're listening, they're probably thinking about dinner or retirement or how cute the chick in the back row is or how stupid you are.

I suspect Roberts is not talking because if he talked then the Senators would have to STOP talking and we all know that's impossible.

Does Howdie Dowdie have a tongue?

Question: How many Senators does it take to question and interrogate a future Supreme Court Nominee?

Answer: none...those men on C-Span are simply their clones..the REAL Senators are in the Senates' bathroom trying desperatly to unscrew the ceiling lightbulb, which they can't figure out how to reach.

Read Scat's link and tell me, does anyone else find it odd that Dave's "credentials" listed by the author seem to be missing something?

Oh, I don't know . . . PULITZER PRIZE WINNER seems like a big enough deal to rate a mention, but maybe that's just me.

'Barry's many achievements include writing for the "Miami Herald" for several years...'

Several? 1983-2005 is more than "several"

"...his teacher's weren't always amused with his jokes." I guess they did stay up all night with their research, and were too dozy to check for grammatical errors.

You see, the way it works is that these confirmation hearings are a lot like the best man's toast at the wedding which is designed to point out how useless and foolish you are without you being permitted a rebuttal. Then everyone has a good laugh and pats the bride on the back as she sits there in shock because she just learned about the incidence with her husband, the best man, the lawn tractor and a herd of livestock.

Senate hearings are similar only without the humour and these people hate you just because.

Barry also won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1988.

This was at the bottom of the article - they must have added it after they saw scat's post!

I just wish I could see the photos the Sioux City Chamber of Commerce must have of Dave that blackmailed him to speak at their event. Wait, no I don't.

This should be interesting to follow

This should be interesting to follow

We'll see how it goes.

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