Anyone remember the scenes in Fahrenheit 451 when the citizens are told to be on the alert for convicts? I can recall them searching for Montag in a nightmarish sequence--they track and shoot some poor schnook.

Here's an interesting variation of that Citizens Helping Big Brother scene--only I think this instance is kind of cool--as long as any "FACTS" are relevant and ARE TRIPLE CHECKED. Dang, it could be a nightmare for anyone if misused. But the questions they ask seem relevant. They don't ask if she got drunk at the Senior Prom and threw up on her date--they ask about her legal career.

This is most of the email I got**

Dear MoveOn member,

This morning, President Bush nominated Harriet Miers to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. Miers is a long-time political appointee, campaign counsel, personal lawyer and Bush loyalist who has never served as a judge.

Ex-FEMA Director Michael Brown taught us that vital national positions must be filled with qualified candidates, not political friends with limited experience. With such a thin public record, how can Americans know Harriet Miers' approach to critical issues like corporate power, privacy and civil rights?

Right now we urgently need more information, and we need your help to get it. In the next few hours the Internet will fill with facts, anecdotes and rumors about Harriet Miers. We need your help to sort through it all, select the relevant and important details, and let us know what you find—decentralized, grassroots research.

We've set up a simple web form where you can post facts and sources that will fill out the picture on what kind of Supreme Court justice Miers would be. We'll get your research to the media, the Senate and our partner groups. This info will also be crucial in setting MoveOn's course for this nomination. Even if you just have a few minutes to spare, it could help a lot at this crucial time.
You can post facts right now at:
this site

Here is a quick chronology of Harriet Miers' career, courtesy of the Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary, to help jump start your research.
1970—Graduated from Southern Methodist University Law School
1970-1972—Clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Joe Estes
1972-2001—Joined Texas law firm, Locke, Purnell
1985—Elected president of the Dallas Bar Association
1986-1989—Member of the State Bar board of directors
1989-1991—Elected and served one term on the Dallas City Council
1992—Elected president of the Texas State Bar
1993-1994—Worked as counsel for Bush's gubernatorial campaign
1995-2000—Appointed chairwoman of Texas Lottery Commission by Gov. George Bush
1996—Became president of Locke, Purnell, and the first woman to lead a major Texas law firm
1998—Presided over the merger of Locke, Purnell with another big Texas firm, Liddell, Sapp, Zivley, Hill & LaBoon, and became co-managing partner of the resulting megafirm, Locke Liddell & Sapp
2000—Represented Bush and Cheney in a lawsuit stemming from their dual residency in Texas while running in the Presidential primary
2001—Selected as staff secretary for President Bush
2003—Promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy
2004—Selected as White House Counsel
There are many important questions that need to be addressed, including:

      What policies did she advocate for on the Dallas City Council?

      What was her record at the head of the scandal-ridden Texas Lottery Commission?

      What cases did she take on while working as a corporate lawyer in private practice, and what positions did she fight for?

      What has she written or said in and outside of her law practice about her views on constitutional issues like privacy, the "commerce clause" or equal protection?

      As White House councel Alberto Gonzales played a pivotal role in softening America's stance on torture. What positions has Harriet Miers advocated for in the same role?

      Has she ever publicly distanced herself from George W. Bush?

. . . This kind of decentralized research may never have been tried before at this scale. But a Supreme Court nominee with a record only the president really knows is a new national challenge. If we act quickly, we can meet that challenge together.
Please pitch in by taking some time to research today, and post what you find:


** Oh come on. You knew I was on their email list.


  1. Interesting -- a Wikipedia approach to journalism.

    By the way, I think you have an unclosed italics tag -- your whole site is italicized.



  2. OK. Why do they have to take a perfectly good idea and end it with such a retarded comment?

    " ... record only the president really knows ... "

    Oy. You cannot say Bush is clueless AND that he's the only person who knows.

    Kills me.

    Using the scare tactic that she has no experience when NPR (liberal press) has already pointed out that at least 30 Supreme Court Justices had no time on the bench as judges either before their appoin tment to the Supreme Court, doesn't bode well for their integrity. Are they assuming their members don't listen to NPR? Or that they don't have any knowlege of American Hudicial History? Dude! They are asking you to look up judicial records! They can't expect you to know how to do that and NOT know some basic facts about the Supreme Court. Perverse.

    It makes it sound like they are trying to sway the reader to equate Miers directly with Brown. Is it necessary to insult her like that?

    I'd like to know more about her also but do they want their members to dig up facts or just the dirt? Depressing.

  3. yeah, that's more than a bias--I'd say they had an agenda.

    I don't know if they exactly equate her with Brown, they point out it's important to have candidates who have the right experience to match the job--and that Bush doesn't have a good track record for that.

    I must say I feel like hunting down something with an equivalent but conservative bent to see if you find that depressing, ferfe.

    And Doug, I don't see all italics. Sure it isn't your eyes?

  4. PS good point about the record and Only The Bush Knows.

    Sheesh, the woman's been out and about in the public eye for years...should be pretty easy to find out what she did in her various jobs. It'll be interesting to hear what she has to say . . .

  5. Oh you should see me snark on the republican email I get. Generaly their bias leans toward getting you to donate money.

    They appeal to your fear and then tell you the solution is to throw money at them. Sound familiar? Democrats appeal to your outrage and fail to get that money request in there clearly enough, probbably hoping you'll get the hint.

    Unfortunately, most conservatives fall back on God to make their point whereas liberals tend to assume the reader is stupid. Both are extremely irritating.

  6. ferfelabat -- you should have seen all the "Pro-Israel, Pro-Bush" email I got prior to the '04 election. Guys with Jewish surnames writing to tell me how I should support Bush cuz he's such a friend to Israel yatta yatta (or, to be consistent, yatata yatata). Egad. It allowed me to write lots of responses, "Look at yourself in the mirror. Your mother would be so ashamed of you." That was fun.

    Kate: still looks like italics to me. BTW, is today a slow blog day all over, or do people just hate spiders that much?

  7. Hi Kate--
    Yeah, my first reaction was, okay, another Bush crony. That's worked so well up until now. And for the person who says, maybe she's different. Well, maybe that should be up to the people proposing her to prove. I'll bet they said the same thing with good ole 'Brownie' was up for approval.
    So, my second reaction was, if she's been Bush's lawyer, at least she should be good at keeping her eyes closed. Maybe she can model as the justice goddess with a blindfold on.

  8. Douglas - ya gotta send me at least one or two of those next time you get them and I'll snark it apart on my blog for you and Kate.

  9. "Oy. You cannot say Bush is clueless AND that he's the only person who knows."

    Actually, yes, you can. There are different types of cluelessness:

    - You can not know something and cluelessly fuck up because of lack of knowledge

    - You can know something and still cluelessly fuck up because you grossly misunderstand the information or misapply what you know

    If Bush has no idea what makes a candidate competent enough to serve in Supreme Court, or if his criteria are silly or completely out of whack, he can know everything about her record and STILL be clueless.

    I also didn't see this particular MoveOn letter calling him or implying that he's clueless, so I'm not sure where you got the whole Bush = clueless thing.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

what I'm talking about above--the letter in RWR

My Writing Day with an Unproductive Brain