A few items from Salon:
California's Barbara Boxer offered up her pick to replace Chief Justice William Rehnquist: Sandra Day O'Connor. "I think that would be a healing choice," Boxer said. "She's a moderate woman. Wonderful, respected, terrific."
Boxer said O'Connor would have an easy time winning congressional approval. She predicted O'Connor would "flow through the Senate like water down a hill."
I don't see why anyone would really get their panties in a bunch about who becomes Chief Justice. The position means very little; basically, the Chief Justice gets to swear in presidents, preside over impeachment trials, and decide who writes the decisions (if he or she is in the majority). One might argue that the power to determine who authors decisions is an important one, since the written decision is the record of the Court's reasoning behind its decision (the 'Opinion of the Court'), but traditionally this duty is passed around pretty evenly, and technically any justice is permitted to write his opinion separately. The bottom line is that who ends up Chief Justice will make no real difference regarding the Court's decisions.
Also from Salon:
What were we saying this morning about Republicans who have internalized the idea --- all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding -- that Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks of Sept. 11? It turns out that it's not just random Republican voters around the country who think that way; the Republican vice chairman of the House subcommittee on terrorism apparently does, too.
In an interview about the president's Iraq speech, North Carolina Rep. Robin Hayes told CNN this morning that Saddam Hussein was "very much involved in 9/11."
According to the transcript of the interview, CNN's Carol Costello told Hayes, "But there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was connected in any way to al-Qaida." Hayes' response: "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but you're mistaken. There's evidence everywhere. We get access to it. Unfortunately others don't. But the evidence is very clear." Costello asked, "What evidence is there?" Hayes responded: "The connection between individuals who were connected to Saddam Hussein, folks who worked for him, we've seen it time and time again."
Costello narrowed her question: "Well, are you saying that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11?" Hayes' answer: "I'm saying that Saddam Hussein -- and I think you're losing track of what we're trying to talk about here -- Saddam Hussein and people like him were very much involved in 9/11."
When Costello said that there is "no evidence" to support the claim that Hussein was involved in 9/11, Hayes shot back: "Well, I'm sorry, you haven't looked in the right places."
Too many Republicans and Bush apologists seem to think that any 'connection' between Saddam's regime and members of 'al Qaeda' - which isn't really a political/ military/ terrorist organization in the sense that most people think it is, but rather a label used to classify various groups and individuals using similar tactics and adhering to similar ideologies (much like 'ALF' or 'ELF') - is sufficient to establish that Saddam was 'behind' 9/11 (and that the invasion and occupation of Iraq is thereby justified). Sorry, but simply playing six degrees of separation with Saddam and Osama isn't going to cut it. I could use such 'reasoning' to prove that Barney the Dinosaur was involved in the attack on the World Trade Center.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is offering up the names of some people he'd like to see George W. Bush nominate to the Supreme Court, and they're not from the usual short lists.
"We have had approximately 10 members of the Supreme Court that came from the United States Senate over the years," Reid told reporters Tuesday. "There are people who serve in the Senate now who are Republicans who I think would be outstanding Supreme Court members."
Reid's list: South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Florida Sen. Mel Martinez, Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine and Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo.
This is troubling, since all of these senators are anti-choice - as is Sen. Reid. When Reid was chosen as Senate Minority Leader, we were assured that his views on abortion wouldn't be an issue. I hope this isn't proving to be false.
At any rate, any Democrat who votes to confirm an anti-choice Supreme Court nominee should be persona non grata among liberals and progressives.