Quotes of Interest from McConnell

Yes, Mitch McConnell wrote about the Senate’s proper role in confirming Supreme Court nominees. Back in 1970. Somehow, he no longer believes these things. Thanks to Sarah Glassmeyer for tweeting the cite to the article, 59 Ky. L.J. 7. Of course, you have to have access to a subscription database to read the article in it’s entirety.

  • There could not have been a worse time for an attack upon the men [sic] who administer justice in our country than in the past year, when tensions & frustrations about our foreign & domestic policies literally threatened to tear us apart. p.8
  • [U]ntil Hayneswoeth only one nominee had been rejected in this century. p.11
  • Most of the time, however, Senators sought to hide their political objections beneath a veil of charges about fitness, ethics & other professional qualifications. p.13
  • A pattern emerges … in which the Senate has employed deception to achieve its partisan goals. This deception has been to ostensibly object to a nominee’s fitness while in fact the opposition is born of political expedience. p.13
  • Political & philosophical considerations [are] not proper & tends to degrade the Court & dilute the constitutionally proper authority of the Executive in this area. p.32
  • The President is presumably elected by the people to carry out a program & altering the ideological directions of the Supreme Court would seem to be a perfectly legitimate part of a Presidential platform. p.32
  • [I]f the power to nominate had been given to the Senate, as was considered during the debates at the Constitutional Convention, then it would be proper for the Senate to consider political philosophy. p.32
  • “In examining the qualifications of a Supreme Court nominee, use of the following criteria is recommended.” Competence, level of achievement/distinction, temperament, no ethical violations, “clean record” p.33


Book Reviews: We Are Anonymous & This Machine Kills Secrets

We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker Wold of Lulzsec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olsen tracks the rise of cyber-attacks by Anonymous in the name of freedoms. Ms. Olsen talks to the “insiders” about why and how they do what they do. A fascinating read, with information and details not found in traditional media.

This Machine Kills Secrets: How Wikileakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World’s Information by Andy Greenberg follows the rise, and surprising starts of several individuals involved with WikiLeaks. The book reads as more of a multi-person biography rather than a history of outing secrets.

I would recommend these books for readers who know only a bit about Anonymous or WikiLeaks.  As I follow many privacy and activist blogs, the information was not new to me, just in a different form. Both books were easy to follow even with the multitude of people involved.

Public Spaces and Diversity

A recent article in the NY Times highlights the 30th anniversary of Denver’s Downtown pedestrian mall. Two years ago I was at a conference in Denver and enjoyed the variety of people on the mall, even in the evenings when it was a bit sketchy. the article highlights the diversity of the folks using the pedestrian mall with a negative slant.

Most cities have a diverse population. Denver is lucky to have the pedestrian mall where these diverse groups gather. Articles such as this one which highlight the negative aspects of public spaces make more people leery of creating such places in their own cities.