We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for May 29th, 2009

What Will Obama Say in Cairo?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

What Will Obama Say in Cairo?

Next week President Barack Obama travels to Cairo to deliver what is expected to be a major statement on relations between the United States and the Islamic world, but informed skeptics predict his new approach to the region will resemble the late months of the Bush administration.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries


Mark Dowie on I.F. Stone

bookcover

Critic and crusader, the late I.F. Stone was an American original. Neither changing times nor his failing eyesight blunted his radical edge or dimmed his acerbic wit. A new biography by D.D. Guttenplan gives us the man behind the legendary muckraker.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries



Glenn Beck And Craig T. Nelson Talk About Not Paying Taxes Ever Again, For Some Reason

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Glenn Beck And Craig T. Nelson Talk About Not Paying Taxes Ever Again, For Some Reason
Via the Cajun Boy comes this epic clip of Glenn Beck and Craig T. Nelson. Nelson has a big ol’ sad, because no one takes…

Robert Slayton: Republicans, Immigrants and Sotomayor
A number of mainstream publications, including the New York Times, are reporting on the problems the Sotomayor nomination poses for the Republican Party. If the…

Green Day Gives Stephen Colbert The Keyboard Cat Treatment
Fans of Stephen Colbert have long celebrated the calamitous pre-show fall that led to Colbert breaking his wrist and the WristStrong movement which followed in…

Abortion Rights Backers Reassured On Sotomayor
The White House scrambled yesterday to assuage worries from liberal groups about Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s scant record on abortion rights, delivering strong but vague assurances…

Pentagon Plans New Military Command To Wage War In Cyberspace
WASHINGTON ?” The Pentagon plans to create a new military command for cyberspace, administration officials said Thursday, stepping up preparations by the armed forces to…


Wash. Times claims “extraordinary rebuke” for Sotomayor if Ricci is reversed

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Wash. Times claims “extraordinary rebuke” for Sotomayor if Ricci is reversed

In a May 27 editorial, The Washington Times wrote of the 2nd Circuit decision joined by Judge Sonia Sotomayor in the New Haven firefighters case: “The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Ricci v. DeStefano before the Senate votes on Judge Sotomayor’s nomination. It would be an extraordinary rebuke were a current nominee to be overruled on such a controversial case by the very justices she is slated to join.” But whether or not a majority of the court votes to reverse Ricci, at least one justice, David Souter — whom Sotomayor would replace — made comments in oral argument that were supportive of the position taken by the 2nd Circuit in the case. Moreover, it is not unprecedented for a Supreme Court nominee to have been rebuked for an appellate court opinion. Indeed, Justice Samuel Alito received a “rebuke” as an appeals court judge, by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, whom he replaced. Nor would it be unprecedented for a justice to have a ruling he or she reached as an appellate court judge subsequently reversed.

As Media Matters for America has noted, during the Supreme Court’s April 22 oral argument in the case, Souter asked the counsel for the firefighters, “Why isn’t the most reasonable reading of this set of facts a reading which is consistent with giving the city an opportunity, assuming good faith, to start again? … [I]sn’t that the only way to avoid the damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation?”

In his book The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court (Doubleday, 2007), New Yorker staff writer and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin wrote that in 1992, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor had “excoriated” the “logic, approach, and conclusions” of her eventual successor, then-3rd Circuit Court of Appeals judge Alito, in her opinion for the abortion-rights case Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

In his 3rd Circuit opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, Alito had argued that Pennsylvania’s spousal notification law was constitutional “because it is ‘rationally related’ to a ‘legitimate’ state interest” and does not pose an “undue burden.” Joining Justices Anthony Kennedy and Souter in a plural opinion, O’Connor affirmed the 3rd Circuit’s finding that the spousal notification law was unconstitutional, finding the statute “repugnant to our present understanding of marriage and of the nature of the rights secured by the Constitution. Women do not lose their constitutionally protected liberty when they marry. The Constitution protects all individuals, male or female, married or unmarried, from the abuse of governmental power, even where that power is employed for the supposed benefit of a member of the individual’s family.”

Moreover, it also would not be unprecedented for the court to reverse a ruling reached by a justice before their elevation to the Supreme Court. Then-appeals court judge John Roberts was a member of a three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court, which, in its July 2005 unanimous ruling on Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, overruled a district court’s holding that Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemini national, “could not be tried by a military commission unless a competent tribunal determined that he was not a prisoner of war under the 1949 Geneva Convention governing the treatment of prisoner.” The panel found that “the 1949 Geneva Convention does not confer upon Hamdan a right to enforce its provisions in court” and that “the 1949 Convention does not apply to al Qaeda and its members.”

Roberts was elevated to chief justice of the United States several months later, in September 2005. Then, in 2006, the Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s decision on a 5-3 ruling. In reversing the ruling, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in the majority opinion that the circuit court’s ruling with regard to whether Hamdan had a right to enforce the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions was based upon a footnote which “does not control this case” and stated that the panel’s “reasoning” with regard to whether members of the Conventions applied to members of Al Qaeda was “erroneous.” The court further found that “the military commission convened to try Hamdan lacks power to proceed because its structure and procedures violate both the UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice] and the Geneva Conventions.” Roberts recused himself from participation in the Supreme Court’s ruling.

From the Times editorial:

Judge Sotomayor seems to favor racial discrimination. Consider the case of Ricci v. DeStefano. In that controversial case, 19 white firemen were denied promotion because no blacks scored high enough on a race-neutral test to also be promoted. Judge Sotomayor ruled against the white firefighters.

If Mr. Obama wanted a judge with the right “empathy,” he struck out with Judge Sotomayor. One of the white firefighters denied promotion, Frank Ricci, is dyslexic. In order to ace the promotion exam, he quit a second job, spent $1,000 for instruction materials, and spent many hours reading those books into an audio tape to help him study. For his extraordinary efforts, he finished sixth out of 77 applicants for promotion — but then was denied, simply because he is white.

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jose Cabranes, appointed by a Democratic president, complained that the ruling written by Judge Sotomayor and two other judges “contains no reference whatsoever to the constitutional claims at the core of this case.”

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Ricci v. DeStefano before the Senate votes on Judge Sotomayor’s nomination. It would be an extraordinary rebuke were a current nominee to be overruled on such a controversial case by the very justices she is slated to join.

Judge Sotomayor seems to be the most radical person ever nominated for the high court. To continue to command public respect, the Senate will have to ask her some hard questions. The simplest one to ask will be the hardest one for her to answer: Given her statements against whites and males, can she be fair to all Americans?


Source: CIA Dissembles In Briefings

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Source: CIA Dissembles In Briefings
Yet more evidence that the CIA may not have been totally up front with Nancy Pelosi during that contested torture briefing from 2002… A former “deep-cover” CIA operative tells CQ’s Jeff Stein that agency briefers often hide facts or shade…

Feds: Kerik Lied To White House
Looks like Bernie Kerik’s legal woes aren’t going away any time soon. The former NYC police commissioner and Giuliani crony has been indicted in Washington DC on charges of lying to the Bush White House officials who were vetting him…


The Tattlesnake – Suggestions for the Fox Populi and the Other Media Maroons Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

The Tattlesnake – Suggestions for the Fox Populi and the Other Media Maroons Edition
Remember, Kids, Freedom Isn’t Free: While I would never support censoring anyone’s freedom of speech, I think there should be special conditions for those in the right-wing media who regularly abuse this right by using it to spread outrageous fabrications and misleading distortions. Following are a few suggestions: – Sean Hannity should be required to do […]


Insiders Agree that GOP Shouldn’t Block Sotomayor

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Insiders Agree that GOP Shouldn’t Block Sotomayor
The latest Political Insiders poll finds that 89% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans don’t think it would be a smart political move for Republicans to try to block the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be on the Supreme Court.

Corzine Loses to Both GOP Challengers
A new DailyKos/Research 2000 poll finds New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine losing to both possible Republican challengers in this fall’s election.

Chris Christie (R) beats Corzine, 46% to 39%, and Steve Lonegan (R) wins, 43% to 40%.

“There is a little bit of good news for Corzine in these numbers, however. For one thing, his numbers versus his Republican opponents appear to be holding steady, compared to other recent polling in the race. His numbers had been heading south, but there is at least some sign that his poll numbers have bottomed out.”

Meanwhile, a new Rasmussen Reports survey finds Christie beating Lonegan, 46% to 35%, in next week’s Republican primary.


Is Larry Summers Taking Kickbacks From the Banks He’s Bailing Out?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Is Larry Summers Taking Kickbacks From the Banks He’s Bailing Out?
Why did Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley steer millions to a company Larry Summers directed while he administered "stress tests" on them?

Why Our Troubled Economic Times May Spell Disaster for Your Marriage
Based on what happened to the American marriage during the Great Depression, things don’t look for married couples.

Seasteading: Libertarians Set to Launch a (Wet) Dream of ‘Freedom’ in International Waters
A fringe brand of libertarians have been planning to escape the iron fist of democracy by founding a new country in the middle of the ocean.


Dead Spy’s JFK Files Pose a Test for Obama’s FOIA Order

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Dead Spy’s JFK Files Pose a Test for Obama’s FOIA Order
In his executive order strengthening the Freedom of Information Act, President Obama declared that the law should “be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails.” Many have applauded Obama’s intentions but whether his beautiful words…

The Bushes and the Media: A Compassionate Affair
Without wading into the “true conservative” debate here (having not yet read the book) let me just offer these observations from my perch as something of a media critic. There’s little questions that whatever their true-blue (or rather true-red)…





Oedipus Tex: Spies, Jesus, and Father V. Son
Like Greg Mitchell, I plead guilty to not having read Russ’s book yet–and that inevitably limits whatever I can add to the discourse. Regardless, I have no doubts that Bush senior’s operational experience with the CIA went beyond his…






Barnes: Sotomayor ?benefited? from affirmative action ?tremendously.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Barnes: Sotomayor ?benefited? from affirmative action ?tremendously.?
On MSNBC yesterday, Pat Buchanan repeatedly attacked Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor as an “affirmative action candidate,” echoing right-wing claims that she has “been the recipient of preferential treatment for most of her life.” On Bill Bennett’s radio show this morning, Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes argued “that she’s one of those who has […]

On MSNBC yesterday, Pat Buchanan repeatedly attacked Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor as an “affirmative action candidate,” echoing right-wing claims that she has “been the recipient of preferential treatment for most of her life.” On Bill Bennett’s radio show this morning, Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes argued “that she’s one of those who has benefited from affirmative action over the years tremendously.” When Bennett noted that she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Princeton, which he called “a pretty big deal,” Barnes dismissed it, saying “I guess it is”:

BARNES: I think you can make the case that she’s one of those who has benefited from affirmative action over the years tremendously.

BENNETT: Yeah, well, maybe so. Did she get into Princeton on affirmative action, one wonders.

BARNES: One wonders.

BENNETT: Summa Cum Laude, I don’t think you get on affirmative action. I don’t know what her major was, but Summa Cum Laude’s a pretty big deal.

BARNES: I guess it is, but you know, there’s some schools and maybe Princeton’s not one of them, where if you don’t get Summa Cum Laude then or some kind of Cum Laude, you then, you’re a D+ student.

Listen here:

On Tuesday night, former Bush adviser Karl Rove said that despite her stellar academic credentials, Sotomayor was “not necessarily” smart. “I know lots of stupid people who went to Ivy League schools,” said Rove.

Transcript:

BENNETT: She does have an interesting life story.

BARNES: She does have an interesting life story, but then so did Clarence Thomas. That didn’t seem to have much bearing on…

BENNETT: That’s exactly right.

BARNES: On the Supreme, on the Judiciary Committee. You know, 48 voted against him. So, that’s fine. But look, that’s, I mean, the life story shouldn’t make any difference. Remember the figure of justice is blind.

BENNETT: Yeah, exactly, that’s right.

BARNES: They’re not supposed to be ruling on the basis of their life experience, even when it sounds pretty great. I think you can make the case that she’s one of those who has benefited from affirmative action over the years tremendously.

BENNETT: Yeah, well, maybe so. Did she get into Princeton on affirmative action, one wonders.

BARNES: One wonders.

BENNETT: Summa Cum Laude, I don’t think you get on affirmative action. I don’t know what her major was, but Summa Cum Laude’s a pretty big deal.

BARNES: I guess it is, but you know, there’s some schools and maybe Princeton’s not one of them, where if you don’t get Summa Cum Laude then or some kind of Cum Laude, you then, you’re a D+ student.

BENNETT: That ain’t one of them, I know, because I’ve got two boys there and that’s the grade deflation thanks to your buddy and my buddy Robbie George. He started, he said they’re grading too high. Now this may have been before the grade deflation thing, but they’ve had a movement there at Princeton to cut those grades way down.


Kennedy’s Health-Care Measure To Require Employers to Chip In

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Kennedy’s Health-Care Measure To Require Employers to Chip In
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) is circulating the outlines of sweeping health-care legislation that would require every American to have insurance and would mandate that employers contribute to workers’ coverage.


White House Tries to Quell Abortion Rights Supporters’ Fears About Sotomayor
The White House scrambled yesterday to assuage worries from liberal groups about Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s scant record on abortion rights, delivering strong but vague assurances that the Supreme Court nominee agrees with President Obama’s belief in constitutional protections for a woman’s right to…


U.S. Is Urged to Ease Off Cuba to Improve Relations in the Hemisphere
The U.S. government is fighting an effort to allow Cuba to return to the Organization of American States after a 47-year suspension. But the resistance is putting it at odds with much of Latin America as the Obama administration is trying to improve relations in the hemisphere.