Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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Amba, I agree and disagree with you. I think senators have the right to vote any way they want, and I think the president has the right to nominate any one he chooses. If it's a liberal president I fully expect liberal nominees. It's just the way it is. I didn't get excited over the religious Miss Miers and I can't get excited over Alito. It's what happens when they win elections.

Why did conservatives feel they had the right to say who was conservative enough for the position? Why did they feel they had the right to question the president's judgment?

Tom Strong

I think this points to an interesting Constitutional quandary.

You argue that the right to tilt the court belongs to the President - undoubtably true. But there is no Constitutional limit on the actual ability of the Senate to vett the President's nominees - just a _cultural_ claim that to do so for ideological reasons is bad.

Isn't this the opposite of the way our Constitution usually works? I mean, the genius of the Constitution is supposedly to be found in the founders' skepticism of human nature, and their insistence on limiting the power of every governing body through checks and balances. Yet there is no law that actually prevents Senators from voting for or against a nominee on ideological grounds.

Conservatives may insist that this makes the Democrats ingrates. Maybe. But to me, it suggests that Democrats are playing the game the way it's written - and that Republicans, historically anyway, have not.

Perhaps that means they're idealistic. But it might also mean they're stupid.


I think Bush picked one of the most extreme conservative candidates he could find, specifically to take the heat off of him in other areas.

The upcoming confirmation battle will dominate the headlines, kicking stories like "2000 dead in Iraq", "Libby Indicted and Rove is next" to page A9.

Unfortunately I think he will be nominated, because the Democrats will either be too spineless to stick together or the Republican 7 of the Group of 14 will break their promise (one of them already has yesterday) and push the nuclear button.

This damned political pendulum is taking way to long to start swinging back to the left!



Of course, you're right -- senators have the right to vote any way they want, and interest groups on all sides have the right to opine and agitate and campaign pro and con. I didn't express myself very well.

However -- I read somewhere that this business of trying to appoint judges as a form of social engineering started with the liberals about 30 years ago and that it's been a bad deal all around. Judicial philosophy overlaps only to some extent with social and cultural philosophy. No doubt Judge Alito found good conservative reasons for ruling in favor of an Iranian feminist seeking asylum.

But why I am I telling all this to you, a lawyer who know better than I do . . .



Preach it, sister! :-)


To give you an idea of how much the Left hates this guy, MoveOn's petition drive to get 250,000 signatures against the nomination is already at 110% of target - in less than a day.

Yet again Bush proves that he has no understanding of the word compromise. Or a lot of other words for that matter.

Joel Sax

>A president has a right to try to shape the courts through his nominations!

And the Constitution says that the Senate has the right to approve or block his choice. It has happened before, but not until this century have people treated it as an undemocratic affront for that body to do so.

If you look back at the record, you will see that Republicans, too, objected to certain candidates and managed to stop them. This is the system. Even when it means that a justice I love gets the ax, I accept it.


Actually I think the Republicans blocked a ton of Clinton's judicial appointments - can't remember exactly but I think they had a majority on the judicial committee so they never let the names go to a full Senate vote - doesn't that sound familiar?

Splitting hairs rather fine to say that blocking a judge in committee is somehow more honorable than blocking a judge with a filibuster.

Unfortunately that's the reason why when Bush came to office that he had so many empty judgeships he could screw Republicans into. The legal system will feel the effects of that power grab for decades.

dan ramirez

Jeff, and Ann: Thanks for the response to my curiosity. I offer the following to your comments Ann.

“Appearance of unfairness” aside (if only for the briefest of moments here) I am bewildered and perplexed by your statement “Liberals are traditionally very respectful of the rights of those accused of crimes.” Now either I have not understood the thrust of your complete rationale regarding my question about DeLay or I am feeling the pangs of the type of semantical acrobatics I normally associate with the intentional ambiguity that the present presidential administration has structured much of its process on. Have I naively believed that everybody respected the rights of those accused of crimes? Your comment, for me, begs the question of “Appearance” of unfairness.

I guess I am going to need a little more clarification on the matter. So far only two things have given me an opening as to how I think I understand what is going on. First, Jeff’s paraphrasing of Orwell that “while all judges are impartial, some are more impartial than others,” and secondly; a response to a very negative criticism to the recipient of this years Booker Prize in Literature, author John Baneville and his novel “The Sea” in an article in today’s Arts section of the New York Times.

The Times, filtering its criticism through a “standard” of the use of language, heavily criticized Baneville’s books for their opaqueness and density to which he asserted some puzzlement. Commenting on his use of language and his ethnic background as an Irishman he said: “I’m constantly being accused of being elitist…But I write quite easy, approachable books.” Followed by “English writers for the most part try to follow Orwell’s dictum that prose should be a pane of clear glass through which you look. (Italics mine). “But Irish writers think of prose style as a distorting lens. We love that ambiguity; we love that a word can have three or four meanings at the same time.” We’re a language based society. You can get away with practically anything in this country if you give a good account of it.” To which quickly comes to mind a line often used in the Irish neighborhood I grew up in, “ Hey we’re all Irish on St. Patty’s Day.” But…I thought that only came around once a year! I’m thinking…not!

Perhaps it is all substance versus style. Whatever the case, with all due respect, I’m not swayed by your perception or rationale Ann. An “appearance” of anything leaves a little too much room for the kind of “language” that just as easily produces only more “appearances.” And since, if “truth” is what we are after in De Lay’s instance, then….well you tell me.

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