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Alito Can't Recall Membership?

   Mild-mannered monarchist Samuel Alito has had a rough morning, because he's in the position of arguing that he applied "common sense" to his ruling that police were not out of line in strip-searching a 10-year-old girl. Or, as Patrick Leahy put it, "a TEN...YEAR...OLD...GIRL." Then Leahy (after much self-indulgent throat-clearing, which is required of any Senator) asked Alito why he listed on a 1985 job form his membership in the lunatics-only Concerned Alumni of Princeton. Alito's answer: He didn't remember being part of the group. No recollection. Wasn't active. He would have joined (and here he was trying to read his youthful mind from the distance of middle age) merely to oppose the banning of ROTC from campus.

    Given the cantankerous nature of CAP, which existed solely to cause trouble and grief for the moderates and liberals who had taken over Nassau Hall (and started doing outlandish things like letting women and blacks attend Princeton), it's hard to see how membership in the group could be even slightly fuzzy in one's memory. But hey, a lot of people barely remember what they were doing in the 70s. Alito should be honest, and blame all that pot.

    CAP was an early combatant in what later would be called the Culture Wars. It finally fell apart, victim of its own Neanderthal craziness. The Princeton Marching Band gave its own tribute to CAP at halftime during a football game, forming the letters of the group and inserting, after the C, an R.

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 10, 2006; 11:43 AM ET
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Is the Princeton band one of those free-wheeling outfits, like the Marching Owl Band (the MOB, as they're endearingly known) of Rice University?

Posted by: Bayou Self | January 10, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Semi-locally we have the UVA pep band or, as they prefer to be called, The Award-Winning Virginia Fighting Cavalier Indoor/Outdoor Precision Marching Pep Band and Chowder Revue, Unlimited. They PO'd the poobahs in Charlottesville so mightily and so often that they are now banned from all University of Virginia sporting events.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 10, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

It's a well-documented fact that the klieg lights and electronic cyclopae of Congressional hearing rooms force the shutdown of the hippocampus, traffic cop of memory. People remember much better in dark, secluded parking garages. Or on Dr. Phil's couch, which SHOULD be dark and secluded.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 10, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Scotty - Yes, they remember better in the parking garage, but particularly so when drinking coffee.

Posted by: Bayou Self | January 10, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

For the Achenporch, I nominate the Crab Grass band...

And then you consider the Crab Grass Band, and uniqueness climbs right off the chart -the Unique Chart, that is. The Band has yet to make a chart-busting CD, but they're working on it. They recorded their first CD last year.

So how do the Crabs rate their own band? As a rule, major league teams don't have their own bands. Oh, they've got an organist here or there. Some even refer to their "keyboard artists". Occasionally they'll even invite a band or two in for some big game. But a team band? Nah, it doesn't happen....Unless you happen to be in Humboldt County.

The Crab Grass Band sort of happened about 20 years ago. A bunch of former Lumberjack band members from Humboldt State University [Humboldt State Marching Lumberjacks] got together and asked the Crabs if they could play at a few games. Ned Barsuglia, the Crabs GM at the time, said, "Why not?" And the rest, as they say....

Contrary to suspicious minds, the Crab Grass Band was not named for Humboldt County's most famous and most infamous products. Officially the band was christened by the mother of an original member who noted that despite a lack of sophisticated management and deep-pocket financing, the band managed to survive and return to the ballpark every summer, just like that pernicious weed. Thus the name. And that is the official word.
Gordon Johnson, the delightful ensemble's "Semi Conductor" claims about 40 Crab Grass Band members, more or less. Twenty-five or so make it to the games...depending. The members have real day jobs - and wives - and husbands - and families. But enough of them manage to make it to the park to entertain the fans, raise the spirits of the team and razz the competition. Razzing, after all, is part of what baseball is all about. And the Crab Grass Band does it sooo well. Not crude. Not obscene. But oh so deliciously nasty.

Posted by: Loomis | January 10, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Just a little school pride...

Recognized as a unique North Coast community treasure, the Marching Lumberjacks band has appeared on the Jay Leno show and in National Geographic magazine.

Posted by: Loomis | January 10, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

There's a book called _Mushroom_ written by a Princeton grad that designed a nuclear bomb for his design thesis. He has a chapter about how he got fired from the marching band for gross dereliction. In the words of Alito and every other memory impaired Congressional witness "I can't recall" any other details about the inner workings of the Princeton Marching Band. I read the book when I was in my "gonna build nukes in my basement phase" many years ago. I got the book used awhile ago, but haven't reread it yet.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 10, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey! The UVA Pep band...I wonder if West Virginia will let them even enter their state yet?

I wonder if Alito has a jar of Jelly Beans on his desk...Those are popular snacks of people that can't recall what they saw, signed, did or said.

Posted by: Joe D. | January 10, 2006 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Life defining moment at age 5. The newsreel shown before the movie at the Majestic Theatre featured the (now world renowned) high-stepping, spirited Florida A&M Marching 100. That snappy, jazzy, pizazzy drum cadence stirred my little soul and I knew that I had to , not wanted to, but **had** to play drums. Which I did in Luther Burbank Highschool Band in San Antonio. And in a short-lived neighborhood all girl band. Now if I could only have a life defining moment to be rich and generous.

Posted by: Nani | January 10, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

At his confirmation hearing, Clarence Thomas couldn't recall taking a position on Roe v. Wade. Pass the jelly beans...

Posted by: Nani | January 10, 2006 1:52 PM | Report abuse

As for Alito, it's interesting that he doesn't remember his membership in the group. For one thing, a number of blogs and such have been talking about it, so you've got to bet that it came up during his preps for the hearings. And, at least according to one source, he had his membership in CAP on a 1985 job application.

From the story ...

Diane Weeks begs to differ. Weeks graduated from Princeton three years after Alito did and went on to work with him as an assistant US Attorney in New Jersey. In an interview she took pains to stress that she considers Alito "a man of integrity" with a first-rate legal mind. But, she added, "when I saw CAP on that 1985 job application, I was flabbergasted. I was totally stunned. I couldn't believe it." CAP, she said, "made it clear to women like me that we were not wanted on campus. And he is touting his membership in this group in 1985, thirteen years after he graduated.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2006 2:04 PM | Report abuse

1. I can barely recall what I had for lunch, much less in any detail at all what I was doing 25 years or so ago (or who I may have been doing it with, other than they were old enough to be in bars).

2. Who didn't join some bizarre anarchist organization for laughs in college? I remember one organization - DAMM (Drunks Against MADD Mothers) - that for all I know I might have joined. Then there was that fraternity that some guys tried to start...

C'mon, Alito's got bad hair, glasses and a Q rating of exactly zero (0). Unless he grows some bizarre Borkesque facial topiary during these hearings, or blurts out one of his deeply held beliefs that the Holocaust is a myth or that the Moon landings were faked or that GW Bush is doing a fantastic job as President, it's difficult to imagine his not being fitted for robes shortly.


Posted by: bc | January 10, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

You know, one of the things that really gets me about both Roberts and Alito is that their explanations about so-called "questionable" activities earlier in their legal careers -- either to get a job or keep a job -- revolve around the explanation or excuse (take your pick) that they were really representing their clients (or, of course, trying to get a job).


But consider what they would do to get that job, or represent that client. Do these guys have no moral center? Is there *anything* they would say no to in order to get that job or represent that client? Is this just another form of *gasp* prostitution?

For myself, I would *never* represent a tobacco company and I would *never* represent any company where I would disagree with their internal or external policies, should I consider those policies to be egregious enough for me to gag on my food. And, yes, it's against my economic interests, but I get to sleep at night and I do feel the need to scrub myself with industrial strength disinfectant to cleanse myself from the accompanying taint.

Decisions are made for a reason. I've made mine and Roberts and Alito made theirs. For Alito not to "remember" being a member of CAP is laughable. And astonishing.

Oh, yeah, I sure feel safer should this guy get on the Court. Not. . . .

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 10, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

SCC (man, the year is too young for this already!): I do *not* feel the need to scrub myself . . . .

Carry on.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 10, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

From a reasonable blog about Alito and CAP:

For this reason, CAP tended to attract not conservatives per se, but the sort of conservative who is forever getting deeply hysterical about some perceived threat to a supposed previous golden age, who sees such threats everywhere, and who is willing to completely distort the truth in order to feed his (and it generally was 'his') obsessions.

(I mean: just ask yourself: what sort of person would devote time and energy to a group focussed entirely on combatting trends at his undergraduate institution, trends that the actual undergraduates of the time had no problem with? We used to wonder: don't these people have lives?)

CAP did a number of things to combat Princeton's slide into mediocrity and decadence, otherwise known as its decision to admit women and more than a token number of minorities. It published a magazine, Prospect, devoted to lurid stories about all that decadence and mediocrity and outraged editorials calling for a return to the halcyon days of the 1950s.

Posted by: Loomis | January 10, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Well, when you consider what Ol' Sam will do to get a job, and that these hearings are nothing more or less than a high profile job interview...

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 10, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Hail Old Nassau!

Posted by: Mommy | January 10, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

bc - I don't dispute that he's rather likely to get the job. And I don't dispute that people can forget things that happened long ago. But Alito put CAP on a job application -- or so says that lawyer who intervied him -- more than a decade out of college. That why saying he doesn't remember is questionable to me.

Posted by: Bayou Self | January 10, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

He thought it sounded good, so he went with it in the job app.

No doubt he woke up after a binge weekend in Wildwood with a CAP card in his wallet bearing his name, and started getting magazines in the mail that went right into the trashcan.


Posted by: bc | January 10, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

MY mommy used to warn me:

You can always tell a Princeton man, but you cannot tell him much.

Fits with my experience.

I think it is neat, nonetheless, that Alito felt uncomfortable with the whole eating club scene and signed up for a commons arrangement where he could easily meet faculty members.

Posted by: jerkoff | January 10, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

bc writes:
"No doubt he woke up after a binge weekend in Wildwood with a CAP card in his wallet bearing his name, and started getting magazines in the mail that went right into the trashcan."

Is that what men do, bc, binge 13 years out of college? When do men grow up? (she asks gently, then sighs). At age 34 or so (I assume Alito graduated in '72, and joined CAP in '85), Alito didn't know what he was joining? It's not exactly like subscribing to Newsweek or Time magazine, I would think. And I don't think I'd put my magazine subscription/CAP affiliation on a resume/job application.

Posted by: Loomis | January 10, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I read the story -- and I'm willing to be corrected -- as saying that Alito was in CAP back in college, but put it on his job application years later, as something he was part of back when.

Posted by: Bayou Self | January 10, 2006 4:32 PM | Report abuse

When do men grow up?

Posted by: Peter Pan | January 10, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

That's the way I remember reading it as well; Alito joined CAP as an undergrad, put it on a job app years later.

I suspect he found it in his wallet behind his driver's license and social security card when he was removing all his id cards to fill the application out. Dogeared, with a beer ring on it, dirty and redolent of old sweaty leather wallet and tequila.

He holds it between thumb and forefinger like an unpleasant fish, adjusts his glasses and tilts his head to read it.

"Hey, what's this? Cool...I'm a member!"


Posted by: bc | January 10, 2006 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Did he also include his membership in the local bar Mug Club?

Posted by: Bayou Self | January 10, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Forgive my lack of attention to detail about Alito. I've been ferrying wheelbarrow-fuls of bricks across the backyard today and am utterly worn out.

Like bc, I think his confirmation will be a slam-dunk, as I think most Americans assume this. So my interest/excitement level on the topic of Alito is low indeed. And I don't think Alito would say anything during his questioning that would jeopardize his nomination in any way, shape or form, as I think Roe v. Wade is the big issue.

Some interesting observations from Washington Post's Robert Kaiser who was at the Senate Judiciary Committee's goings-on today and a whip-smart comment about Congress:

Robert G. Kaiser: Hello again. We've now had nearly eight hours of questions and answers for Judge Alito, and I have to report that the great drama promised yesterday by Arlen Specter, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has yet to materialize. I fear it isn't going to. Alito seems to have stymied the Democrats while reassuring the Republicans. On the basis of what we've seen so far, it's hard to see how serious opposition to his nomination can now be mustered.

If my analysis is correct (always a problematic proposition), the liberal interest groups that have been trying to stimulate opposition to Alito will be disappointed. But the Washington Post poll published today suggests that their efforts had already fallen short. Only 27% of those polled said Alito should be rejected.

Why has the drama petered out so quickly? We can discuss this over the next hour or so. I see a few explanations, including:

1) Alito seems smarter and more articulate than his Senate critics. Today's hearing could help a Martian understand why Americans don't hold their Congress in a very high regard these days. No Senator could inject any excitement into the proceedings. Those who set out to poke holes in Alito's armor, especially Sen. Kennedy, failed to do so, it seemed to me.

2) Alito, like now-Chief Justice Roberts before him, shows no appetite for overturning Roe v. Wade, the key decision that legalized abortion in the United States. This is the one step a conservative court could take that would mobilize opposition in the country, in my opinion. But judging by Alito's testimony, it isn't imminent.

This of course could be deceptive, though personally I doubt it is. At the beginning of today's hearing, in response to questions from Specter, Alito seemed to send a strong signal that he would not want to overturn a well-established, oft-restated and well accepted (in the society at large) precedent like Roe.

Posted by: Loomis | January 10, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I remember every club I joined in college. Even those whose implicit purpose was to induce amnesia.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 10, 2006 5:35 PM | Report abuse

If he was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, that'd maybe be a plus.

Posted by: Bayou Self | January 10, 2006 5:44 PM | Report abuse

This whole Princeton culture story that Alito's hearing is bringing out is pretty fascinating in itself. What the heck is an eating club? (yeah, I know a bit about it, but didn't Woodrow Wilson ouotlaw them or soemthing back when he was President? ... of Princeton, not the U.S.)

Posted by: Kane | January 10, 2006 5:54 PM | Report abuse

i think bc makes a very good point... i was a different person at college - heck, i went to art school and had blue hair, i was a vegetarian, pro-animal rights, pro-uber feminism and completely anti-military...
i wouldn't say i'm completely different, i still *heart* animals, but back then i was a member of PETA, NOW and Greenpeace... (at least I can remember what clubs i was a member of and why) not that they aren't worthwhile organizations but they tend to be a bit zealous in their ideals... but that's what was attractive to me in my youth...
i'm quite more middle of the road now... (and those NOW women scare the bejeesus outta me!) and proudly support the military (NOT the war, but the men & women in the military - not to open a big can 'o worms!)

Posted by: mo | January 10, 2006 6:03 PM | Report abuse

*faxing mo one of those can-resealing devices from HSN*

Loomis, any clue how many actual lawyers are on the Judiciary Committee?

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 10, 2006 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, I'm not Loomis but I hope this helps.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who have law degrees:


Those who do not have law degrees:


Posted by: pj | January 10, 2006 7:20 PM | Report abuse

pj, thanks.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 10, 2006 7:39 PM | Report abuse

You guys are really amazing. I was impressed earlier today at how easily Kurosawaguy rattled off the seven dwarfs, and now I'm stunned at the way pj came up with those j-committee names and credentials.

Joel, what can you tell us about secret Princeton societies, the Skull & Bones type stuff, all those stuffy ivy-league places have them, right? Any secrets you can share just among your buddies here on the kaboodle? We won't tell.

Posted by: Reader | January 10, 2006 8:07 PM | Report abuse

The book about string theory that I heard reviewed on the radio last night was "Cosmic Landscape, String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design" by Leonard Susskind. It sounds like something those interested in that type of science might enjoy.

If we run out of dwarfs for nicknames we could additionally use those of Santa's reindeer. You know - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen and of course Rudolph, unofficially. (I can't believe I remembered all of those. At Christmas time I only got six.)Kudos to pj for the lawyers on the Judiciary Comm. and to K-guy for the seven dwarfs. I can never remember all of those.

The Alito hearings (or is it Alito's hearing) seem to be putting people to sleep. I don't know anyone in my area who has their ears glued to the TV or radio. I am sure the interest in DC is more widespread but what about the rest of the country?

Most people around hear are wondering about who will win the playoffs and be in the Superbowl and are happy that Bruce Suter finally got into the Baseball Hall of Fame after 12 attempts.


Posted by: boondocklurker | January 10, 2006 8:45 PM | Report abuse

SCC - Bruce Sutter - and I should have said 12 previous attempts. This was the 13th.


Posted by: boondocklurker | January 10, 2006 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I believe Ol'Sam joined CAP about a year or two after he graduated- it was an alumni org after all. It is implied in some of the stuff I have read that one at least of those vetting him for the job in Reagan Justice was an old Princetonian who would be impressed by the CAP connection.

It's easy to remember the names of the Seven Dwarves when you're.... Dopey.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 10, 2006 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Dunder and Blixem, or Donner and Blitzen?

German Myth 5
The Reindeer Donner and Blitzen

Two of Santa's reindeer are named
Donner and Blitzen, or are they?

Christmas is a source of many legends. If you ask the average American to name Santa's reindeer (eight in all?), the first name to pop up will probably be Rudolph (the Red-Nosed Reindeer). The next two would no doubt be Donner and Blitzen.

But is this correct? Where did these names come from?

The popular Christmas ditty "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was a 1949 hit tune sung and recorded by Gene Autry and based on a character originally created by a marketing team for Montgomery Ward in 1939. The lyrics were written by Johnny Marks, who borrowed most of the reindeer names from the classic 1823 poem "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" (more commonly known as "Twas the Night before Christmas") by Henry Livingston. (Clement Clarke Moore got credit for the poem in 1836, but he was not the author. But that's another story.) The original poem refers to "eight tiny reindeer" (Rudolph actually makes it nine tiny reindeer) and gives them each a name: "Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!/On, Comet! on, Cupid! on Dunder and Blixem!"

"Dunder" and "Blixem"? You've always heard "Donner" and "Blitzen," right? The former were Dutch names written into the poem by Livingston. Only in later versions, modified by Moore in 1844, were the two names changed to German: Donder (close to Donner, thunder) and Blitzen (lightning), to better rhyme with "Vixen." Finally, for some reason, in the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" Marks turned "Donder" into "Donner." Whether Marks made the change because he knew German or because it just sounded better is uncertain. In any event, there is certainly some logic in using German Donner and Blitzen (thunder and lightning) for the names. Since 1950 or so, the two reindeer names have been Donner and Blitzen in both the "Rudolph" song and the "Visit" poem.

Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus, and he has eight, no nine, reindeer named...

Posted by: Loomis | January 10, 2006 10:23 PM | Report abuse

At parties I am often called upon to rattle off George Carlin's seven kinds of farts, which I invariably do. Despite this fact, my wife continues to love me. As the Geoffrey Rush character in Shakespeare in Love would say "It's a mystery!"

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 10, 2006 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Reader writes:
"Joel, what can you tell us about secret Princeton societies, the Skull & Bones type stuff, all those stuffy ivy-league places have them, right? Any secrets you can share just among your buddies here on the kaboodle? We won't tell."

Joel can probably speak about secret societies at Princeton and I can shed some light on Yale's Skull and Bones.

"Those on the inside know it as The Order. Others have known it for more than 150 years as Chapter 322 of a German secret society. More formally, for legal purposes, The Order was incorporated as the Russell Trust in 1856. It was also known as the "Brotherhood of Death." Those who make light of it, or want to make fun of it, call it "Skull & Bones," or just plain "Bones."

The American chapter of this German order was founded in 1833 at Yale University by General William Huntington Russell and Alphonso Taft who, in 1876, became Secretary of War in the Grant administration. Alphonso Taft (a Rawson descendant, as am I) was the father of William Howard Taft, the only man to be both President and Chief Justice of the United States.

--from Anthony Sutton's "America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones"

Posted by: Loomis | January 10, 2006 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm hiding under a rock until this blows over, much like W's State of the Union addresses.

Thanks for the kit n boodle on this, you guys.
The "Brotherhood of Death" reminds me for some reason of Terry Pratchett's Assassin Guild School "to educate gentlemen".

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 10, 2006 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little concerned about Joel's offhand remarks about the very important decision regarding the strip-searching of ten year-old girls. I mean, c'mon. If you don't get serious with these little hooligans, the next thing you know, they become twelve year-olds boldly munching french fries on the Metro!

(By the way, I seem to remember that Chief Justice Roberts was involved in THAT case at some point)

Posted by: Bob S. | January 11, 2006 3:22 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Loomis for the information about Santa's reindeer. When I was little - oh so long ago we had the original story from Montgomery Ward of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It was printed on newspaper type paper and given away during the Christmas season. I had not known of the evolution of Donner and Blitzen but have always referred to Donner as Donder - from the original Night before Christmas story. Rudolph was added as an adjunct.(Added insignificant detail - all the "deer in the road signs" around here often have a red nose painted on the deer around the Christmas season.)

I usually give presents to my relatives from the various reindeer and it drives some of them crazy. That's why I always need to remember the names around Christmas.

Weren't - or aren't - both Pres. Clinton and Pres. Bush II members of the Skull and Bones? Bush I may have also belonged. This may have been mentioned before, if so, forgive the repetition.


Posted by: boondocklurker | January 11, 2006 4:26 AM | Report abuse

I think that the reason that no one is raising a fuss over the Alito hearings is that everyone is either happily, or wearily, resigned to the expectation that he will be confirmed. A president really is supposed to be able to place his ideological brethren on the court, if he so wishes. A senatorial denial of the nomination is supposed to be based on something more objective than mere political opposition to the candidate's political preferences.

To be rejected, a candidate must be revealed to be genuinely out of touch with the content of the Constitution and with a sense of realism about the Constitution's role in society. Bork was willing to inflict his form of state-favoring anti-citizenry zealotry on the court in defiance of pragmatism and respect for widespread social conceptions of the role of government, threatening a destabilization of the nation's bedrock respect for the court. Court positions are not based on a popularity contest, but a decision that is philosophically at odds with 90% of American society is a decision that makes the court irrelevant to the society that the court purports to serve. That is what a Bork court would have done. Thomas was an unqualified and obvious Trojan Horse for extreme positions, pushed into place under the cover of diversity. Both these cases deserved real fights; unfortunately, Thomas won his fight. Miers was a joke candidate -- I remain inclined to think that she served the purpose of smoothing the way for the real candidate, who happens to be Alito, who looks like a godsend by comparison. Roberts and Alito clearly are academically and intellectually qualified. While they may hold extreme positions, neither is/was willing to admit to extremely activist right-wing positions like Bork was. They may hold those positions, but they're savvy enough not to say so. Hence, no legitimate basis on which to oppose, scary as one may find the prospect of them being on the court together.

Posted by: Tim | January 11, 2006 5:25 AM | Report abuse

Tim, wouldn't it be wonderful if both Roberts and Alito turned out like Thomas a Becket? That would be such a delicious outcome for us...and fabulous comeuppance for Henry II, I mean Dubya.

Posted by: slyness | January 11, 2006 7:32 AM | Report abuse

K'guy, I wasn't offended in the least when George Carlin rattled off the "seven dirty words you can't say on tv" on his tv special back in the 70s, but it perturbs my Victorian Sensibilities to hear others use those words. As Yul Brenner in Anna and the King of Siam would say "Tis a puzzlement!"

Posted by: Nani | January 11, 2006 8:30 AM | Report abuse

There will be no happy ending to this administration, nothing redeeming will come from it and every action that it takes will result in deep lasting misery for all. Worse than forgotten, memories of Bush will be actively suppressed so that in 20 years people will express surprise that anyone so clearly unsatisfactory as a leader, a president and a man could ever be voted for let alone selected by a plurality. George W Bush is the Lyndon Larouche and Jesse Ventura of national politics--a famous name with a sound alike agenda that betrays his professed beliefs as readily as he betrays his enemies- pursuing an agenda of cronyism, self-agrandizment and chasing blood money at the expense of our national honor and the blood of our sons and daughters. He is a very very very bad man.

Posted by: Chris | January 11, 2006 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I think JA is teasing us today... No comments possible yet on the new Kit.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2006 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I imagine that Joel's as jealous as the rest of us in that some Plucky Young Man figured out How To Make A Million Dollars On The Internet In Five Months Without Really Trying, and we didn't.


Posted by: bc | January 11, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

It WOULD make a great halftime show... If you could cram 1,028 x 768 people on the field and give each of them one small colored square.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2006 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Joel pulls a visual, colorful joke on the Boodle this morning, ha!

Maureen Dowd writes an op-ed at the NYT this morning about Alito--essentially the tale of two Sams. In short sentences in her piece, she describes Alito as shifty, sapless, and sighing, as well as evasive, disingenuous, and deferential. However, the humor is in her portrait of the before-and-after Alito--quite similar to the political cartoon in today's local paper.

To answer boondocklurker's questions about recent presidents and Yale's Skull & Bones:

Three have been many Bushes in "Bones" including these three generations:

Prescott Bush '17
George Herbert Walker Bush '48
George Walker Bush '68

as well as John Forbes Kerry '66
but not William Jefferson Clinton:

Clinton was graduated from Georgetown University and in 1968 won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. He received a law degree from Yale University in 1973, and returned to his home state of Arkansas where he entered politics.

Posted by: Loomis | January 11, 2006 9:06 AM | Report abuse

The whole thing's a bit of a Rohrshach... I could swear I see Abramoff's outline in there.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2006 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Harrumph! Thing claims to be a SB halftime preview, yet neither my kitchen nor my bathroom is shown. Fraud, false advertising, bait and switch, perfidy! I eructate in your general direction, Jo-el.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 11, 2006 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Where the heck is Cricklade (Saxon for "creek lands"), Wiltshire, England (Tew's hometown)? At least it's the same shire that has Stonehenge....

May, 2002 - The remains of two men have been found buried at Stonehenge. Tests on the larger skeleton indicate he was between 35 and 45 years old when he died around 2300 B.C. The second person was 20 to 25 when he died. They were found surrounded by more than 100 personal items, including hair ornaments made of gold.

11 Februay, 2003 - The Independent newspaper reports that DNA tests on the larger skeleton unearthed at Stonehenge reveal that he was from central Europe; most likely from the area of Austria, Germany or Switzerland. This is a disappointment to those who had hoped he would be one of the earliest Britons and even took to calling him "Amesbury Archer." Tests also show that the two skeletons were related, most likely father and son.

Posted by: Loomis | January 11, 2006 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I don't get it. Maybe it's because of my cold and my head feels like it's full of lime jello with cottage cheese.

I did rather like this site, though it's reassuringly dull.

Posted by: CowTown | January 11, 2006 9:48 AM | Report abuse

CowTown, read the story:

Posted by: slyness | January 11, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

From comedian Andy Borowitz ...

January 10, 2006
Senate Democrats Skeptical of Judge's Latest Claim

At his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, Judge Samuel Alito once again attempted to convince members of the committee that he did not have an agenda, telling them at one point, "Not only do I not have an agenda, I do not have an agenda book."

The bombshell about Judge Alito's purported lack of an agenda book drew a skeptical reaction from Democrats on the committee, many of whom found it hard to believe that an appeals judge with a busy schedule could stay organized without owning an agenda book of any kind.

Even under tough questioning, however, Judge Alito stuck to his story, telling Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), "I don't have an agenda book, period - I show up at the court every day and I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do."

The judge said that if confirmed as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, "I will continue my practice of not owning an agenda book and not knowing what I am doing."

But just as Judge Alito appeared to have satisfied Senate Democrats on the agenda book issue, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass) produced the most dramatic moment of the day by holding up an agenda book belonging to Judge Alito that the senator claimed to have bought on eBay.

Reading from the agenda book, Sen. Kennedy said, "It's right here, as plain as day: 'Monday, 9 AM: Pick up dry cleaning.  10 AM: Pass litmus test.'"

Elsewhere, Iran announced plans to enrich uranium, and vice president Dick Cheney announced plans to enrich himself.

Posted by: Bayou Self | January 11, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Bayou Self....

Iran is only doing that because Enriched Uranium is a leading economic indicator.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | January 11, 2006 10:43 AM | Report abuse

From enriched uranium to television...the circle goes round...

[In 1953] Ernest Lawrence had meanwhile found another diversion,--an invention--which put new demands on his time. For almost a year, Lawrence had been working on a new type of picture tube for color television, a technology then in its infancy. Ernest hoped that his invention, conceived in spare moments on the beach at Balboa, might also make him rich, the equal of those wealthy businessmen he admired. Rowan Gaither and Alfred Lee Loomis bankrolled the founding of a new corporation, which Lawrence christened "Chromatics." A dilapidated Oakland warehouse was readied as an assembly line for the day when the picture tube was perfected.

[Expanding on the black and white television technology that Loomis descendant Philo T. Farnsworth had developed, Ernest Lawrence's project was indeed underwritten by Alfred Lee Loomis, whose first wife was a Farnsworth.]

[Because of declining health] Ernest had also been forced to abandon his dream of riches from his color-TV invention when Paramount sold the Chromatics production facility in Emeryville to Litton, which promptly converted it to making military radars. The venture that began with such enthusiasm and the financial support of Loomis and Gaither never produced a commercial product.

--from Gregg Herken's "Brotherhood of the Bomb: The Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller"

Posted by: Loomis | January 11, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Followed that link CowTown posted and took the hacker test ( ) and only scored a 52. Man, I need another 28 points to become a nerd. Damn.

Posted by: omnigood | January 11, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I must admit to answering yes to 0424, omni...

I think I'm now officially scared of myself.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2006 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone read the Milbank piece?

He points out the very thing that was driving me crazy as I listened on the radio: The Senators won't shut up. They speechify. Someone needs to grab them by the lapels and say, "IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU." Biden had this utterly irrelevant digression about how he didn't like Princeton. I didn't take umbrage as a Princeton man -- we go through life knowing that we are loathed, and that even those of us from Li'l Abner country will always be viewed as though we prepped at Andover -- but I just couldn't figure out why he was wasting our time. The whole set-up is insane: The first day, Monday, was devoted entirely to opening statements by these egomaniacs, with 15 minutes from Alito at the bitter end. This is a national crisis, a crisis of bloviation. In fact I wonder if it's even constitutional. The Court should rule on this.

Posted by: Achenbach | January 11, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I am going to try to post a microkit in a little bit.

Posted by: Achenbach | January 11, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), in his first 12 minutes of questioning the nominee, managed to get off only one question. Instead, during his 30-minute round of questioning, Biden spoke about his own Irish American roots, his "Grandfather Finnegan," his son's application to Princeton (he attended the University of Pennsylvania instead, Biden said), a speech the senator gave on the Princeton campus, the fact that Biden is "not a Princeton fan," and his views on the eyeglasses of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Posted by: Achenbach | January 11, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

If we could only invent a TiVo-kinda device to fast-forward through the bloviating... *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2006 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Comments are still busted on the microkit, Fearless Leader...

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Damn that TypePad! Oh, when will it end! When. Will. It. End. *Sobbing shamelessly*

Posted by: CowToiwn | January 11, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and at least Alito knew the first day was his "potted plant" phase... *grin*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

This fellow is good. He relates real life to Reel Life. The Force is strong in him-

"After catching up on the first day of the Alito hearings, one conclusion seems inescapable; namely, that Alito is more machine now than man; twisted and evil. He yearns to take liberals, women, minorities, gays, small children, and puppies to the Dune Sea, and cast them into the pit of Carkoon, the nesting place of the all-powerful Sarlaac, in whose belly they will find a new definition of pain and suffering as they are slowly digested over a thousand years. (Or maybe it's the slavering maw of Cthulhu the Great. I zoned out for awhile during Durbin's opening remarks.)

Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen. Schumer and Leahy's feeble skills are no match for the power of the Dark Side. As for that that slimy piece of worm-ridden filth, Ted the Hutt, he'll get no pleasure from these hearings. You can either profit by this or be destroyed. The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 11, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I have used my vast powers to keep the comments closed on the two nonkit-kits. The microkit is still coming. There's a difference betwixt a nonkit and a microkit.

Posted by: Achenbach | January 11, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I abase myself before the Kitmaster... A thousand pardons, I beg of thee!

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 11, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse


Do you have a job? You seem to be posting all the time, like achenFan, who apparently is giving up her job.

If you do have a job, how do you multitask so much/well? I want to fool my manager in the same fashion

Posted by: vulvix | January 11, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

First year law student at Princeton asks 3rd yr. student "Where's the law library at?" Upperclassman looks down his nose and replies "At Princeton we don't end our sentences with a preposition." 1st yr. student, "Oh, sorry. So where's the law library at jerk?"

Bahda boom bahda bing!

Posted by: Nani | January 11, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, I blogged on the Alito hearings, and posted it in the Titan Kit as well.


Posted by: bc | January 11, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Nani-that joke might be funny if Princeton had a law school or law library.

Posted by: Ex-tiger | January 11, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

aaahhh....Democratic senators...the new McCarthys.

Posted by: Hector | January 12, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Princeton students, generally speaking, are a group of exceptional people with the unique capacity for remember esoteric bits of knowledge. Something as simple as a club membership should not pose a difficulty for his memory. For Alito to claim to not remember his membership in a club is completely not to be believed.

Posted by: gp | January 12, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Today (Thursday 12 January) we hear that Kennedy's staff has gone through 4 boxes of CAP-related documents and not one item has Alito's name on it. Nothing to link him to CAP at all. Clearly he never belonged but claimed to be a member in order to curry favor with those passing judgement on him for the job with the Reagan Administration. Combine this falsehood with his "error" regarding his mutual funds and you have a wonderful example of someone this administration considers to have a great deal of integrity......

Posted by: Jimbo | January 12, 2006 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"What good fortune for those in power that people do not think."

Adolf Hitler

Posted by: Larryzzzz | January 12, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse

As one who was at Princeton, and remembers CAP as being the creature of a Dartmouth graduate, Dinesh D'Souza, the surprising thing about Alito's membership is that he has been otherwise so prudent and circumspect . . . and CAP was just a cranky organization, and not generally the sort of people that he's otherwise had much to do with.

CAP was decidedly not a "single-issue" organization devoted to keeping ROTC on campus, and Republicans have claimed; but to trouble oneself over Alito's something this minor two decades ago is bad way to go.

Posted by: Old Tiger | January 12, 2006 12:29 PM | Report abuse

How divorced from reality has Washington politics become when it's considered a good thing for a federal judge, who has been nominated to the US Supreme Court, to admit to lying in a job interview? Because isn't that what Alito's saying -- he's not denying that he once claimed to have been a member of CAP, only that he can't remember whether or not he was one in fact? Why isn't this an issue in itself? Simply making a false statement to agents of the federal government can be prosecuted as a crime -- see Martha Stewart and lots of nobodies who get prosecuted for doing so. And how many political careers have crashed because of resume fraud? I guess Alito's "I don't remember" position works as a legal defense strategy, because crimes involving fraud typically require that the accused intend to deceive. But it's still a very strange position for such an intelligent jurist to take. Has anyone bothered to ask him directly whether he did, in fact, claim in 1985 to have been a member of CAP and if so, why? Did he remember then but forget since? A trial lawyer would have a field day with this. There isn't a single effective cross-examiner on the Judiciary Committee, I think it's clear they want to make a fuss without really trying to score.

Posted by: smell the coffee | January 12, 2006 1:08 PM | Report abuse

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