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 July 1st, 2009

The Root of Madoff’s Evil

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 1st, 2009 4:43 am by HL

The Root of Madoff’s Evil

Bernard Madoff should be exhibit A in why the dark world of totally unregulated private money managers and hedge funds should be opened to the light of systematic government supervision. Instead, he is being treated as an aberrant menace.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries


Undo the Coup

The first coup d’etat in Central America in more than a quarter-century occurred last Sunday in Honduras. It was led by a graduate of the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas, a military facility that has trained some of Latin America’s worst torturers, murderers and human rights abusers.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Related Entries



Jen Boulanger: Come Together to Prevent My Murder

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 1st, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Jen Boulanger: Come Together to Prevent My Murder
In my 15 years as the executive director of the Allentown Women’s Center, a reproductive health care facility that also performs abortions, I have never felt more vulnerable.

Carol M. Swain: Famed Actor Alec Baldwin’s Poor Advice to Serial Adulterer Mark Sanford
We can forgive Governor Sanford for his human frailties. We can pray for him. We can wish him well. But, what we cannot condone is another day of his remaining in the Governor’s mansion.

Beau Friedlander: Happy National Sovereignty Day, Iraq. Sorry About The Mess
Our presence is an ongoing affront to democracy and human dignity, and yet now that the damage is done, everyone’s stuck between that rock and a hard place.


Media use Ricci to revisit “racist” smear of Sotomayor

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 1st, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Media use Ricci to revisit “racist” smear of Sotomayor

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Ricci v. DeStefano — reversing by a 5-4 margin a decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — conservative media figures including Rush Limbaugh, The Washington Times and Investor’s Business Daily have used the decision to revisit smears that Sotomayor — in the words of Limbaugh — “is racist.” Media Matters for America has documented numerous instances of conservative media figures labeling Sotomayor racist since President Obama nominated her to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter.

Discussing the Ricci decision during his radio program, Limbaugh stated, “Sonia Sotomayor was following her basic instinct. She is racist, in her own words.” He continued:

Remember, she’s out there and said a number of times that a Latina — a Latina woman — would bring a much richer and diverse experience to the court than a white male would. That’s racist, pure and simple. And she had sympathy, and so did the dissenting opinion of the Supreme Court, sympathy for the white firefighters, but that sympathy wasn’t enough. She ruled on the basis of just, you know, a racist belief that minorities should always be found in favor of simply because they are minorities, pure and simple, regardless of the merits of any particular case.

Limbaugh was not alone in using the Ricci decision to revisit and advance the smear:

  • A June 30 Washington Times editorial asserted, “In Judge Sotomayor’s America, people are judged by the color of their skin, not the content of their character. In Judge Sotomayor’s America, ability and the drive to excel are sent to the back of the bus. In Judge Sotomayor’s America, justice only applies to those to whom she says it does. In Judge Sotomayor’s America, white men need not apply.”
  • A June 29 Investor’s Business Daily editorial asserted, “The Supreme Court’s overturning of high-court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s ruling in the New Haven firefighter case exposes what lies at the core of her misguided philosophy: stark racial favoritism.”

But the court’s four dissenters, in an opinion authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, agreed with the lower courts that “what this case does not present is race-based discrimination in violation of Title VII.” Moreover, as Supreme Court litigator Tom Goldstein wrote in a May 29 SCOTUSblog post that after reviewing 96 race-related cases Sotomayor decided on the court of appeals, “it seems absurd to say that Judge Sotomayor allows race to infect her decisionmaking.”

From the June 29 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Now, the Sotomayor case — I want you to hear the state-run media describe the bad news. There is no question Sotomayor was overturned. Her court decided in favor of the city of New Haven and the black firefighters who didn’t score as well on tests — summary judgment without a trial — and they have been upbraided for this by not only the majority of the Supreme Court today, in Anthony Kennedy’s opinion, but also by Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the dissent.

And this is why brilliant legal analysts are saying this decision, when you get right down to it, is actually nine-zip, not 5 to 4, when you look at some of the things that Ginsburg wrote about the mistakes here in not even hearing the case, not even taking the constitutional questions.

And the reason for this is — I go back to what I said at the beginning, and I stand by this. Sonia Sotomayor was following her basic instinct. She is racist, in her own words. Remember, she’s out there and said a number of times that a Latina — a Latina woman — would bring a much richer and diverse experience to the court than a white male would. That’s racist, pure and simple. And she had sympathy, and so did the dissenting opinion of the Supreme Court, sympathy for the white firefighters, but that sympathy wasn’t enough. She ruled on the basis of just, you know, a racist belief that minorities should always be found in favor of simply because they are minorities, pure and simple, regardless of the merits of any particular case. That’s who Obama has nominated.

From the June 30 Washington Times editorial:

The case is another illustration of Judge Sotomayor’s biased view toward jurisprudence. There are numerous examples, from her 1994 comment that “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion” than a white judge, to her lengthy 2001 exposition on the centrality of ethnic identity to her decision-making, “A Latina Judge’s Voice.” A close examination of the 300 boxes of materials from Judge Sotomayor’s years as a lawyer with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund would no doubt lend even greater insights into her views on the importance of ethnically weighted outcomes. The danger of the contents of these 300 boxes of information is one reason why Senate Democrats are hell-bent to rush through her hearings before the record can be revealed.

Most Americans, including a majority of Democrats, side with the high-scoring firefighters in the Ricci case because their plight spoke to the American sense of fair play. Those same Americans would not approve of Judge Sotomayor’s inherently biased approach to justice, and Senate Democrats do not want to take the chance that they will find out. Once their hurry-up offense puts Judge Sotomayor on the bench, she will be free to enshrine her racially biased views into case law for decades.

The New Haven firefighters who did well on the promotion test played by the rules. They did what was asked of them to advance their careers and provide for their families. They prepared; they studied; they excelled. They competed fairly on a level playing field and came out on top. But honest achievement is not valued in Judge Sotomayor’s America.

In Judge Sotomayor’s America, people are judged by the color of their skin, not the content of their character. In Judge Sotomayor’s America, ability and the drive to excel are sent to the back of the bus. In Judge Sotomayor’s America, justice only applies to those to whom she says it does. In Judge Sotomayor’s America, white men need not apply.

From the June 29 Investor’s Business Daily editorial:

The Supreme Court’s overturning of high-court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s ruling in the New Haven firefighter case exposes what lies at the core of her misguided philosophy: stark racial favoritism.

Thanks to the court’s ruling Monday in Ricci v. DeStefano, all the YouTube video clips from Judge Sotomayor’s old speeches and conferences take on a clearer meaning now.

Her claims that she was cheated when she took the racially skewed SATs, her contention that a Latina judge is morally superior to a white male judge, her mock sotto-voce declaration that appellate courts make policy — they have all been distilled and disposed of in one shot by the high court majority.

The court ruled 5-4 that the city of New Haven was guilty of reverse discrimination. Fearing lawsuits, New Haven had thrown out the results of fire department exams it conducted after only two Hispanics and no blacks from its firefighter ranks scored high enough to warrant promotions. It got sued anyway, as 18 firefighters claimed they were victims of reverse discrimination.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, including Judge Sotomayor, sided with the city. One of Sotomayor’s fellow 2nd District judges — Clinton appointee Jose Cabranes — charged that the panel’s Lilliputian opinion contained no “clear statement of either the claims raised by the plaintiffs or the issues on appeal,” plus “no reference whatsoever to the constitutional claims at the core of this case.”

As Justice Kennedy’s opinion noted, “there is no evidence — let alone the required strong basis in evidence — that the tests were flawed because they were not job-related or because other equally valid and less discriminatory tests were available to the City.” He concluded that New Haven had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which forbids employer discrimination.

But what need is there for pesky things like evidence when a judge has “empathy” — the quality that President Obama said was so important in a Supreme Court justice? A justice can sit back and declare that in her view the members of a downtrodden minority group are more worthy of favors than those in the majority — appellate court policymaking at its purest (more properly known as judicial imperialism).


Health-Care Market Characterized By Consolidation, Not Competition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 1st, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Health-Care Market Characterized By Consolidation, Not Competition
digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/politics/Health_Care_Characterized_By_Consolidation_Not_Competition’; As Congress gets set to take up health-care reform, there’s a crucial piece of data that hasn’t received nearly the prominence in the debate that it deserves. Defenders of the status quo on health care like…





Sanford Learned Of Emails Hours Before Confession
We hate to kick a guy when he’s down. But as we get a clearer picture of exactly how the events surrounding Mark Sanford’s admission of an extra-marital affair went down, it’s seeming more and more likely that the randy…


Mark Sanford: Republican Super A-Hole

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 1st, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Mark Sanford: Republican Super A-Hole
AP Newsbreak: SC Governor ‘Crossed Lines’ with Women Tamara Lush & Evan Berland, AP, June 30, 2009. Criminal Probe Darkens Sanford’s Political Prospects Patrick Jonsson, Christian Science Monitor, June 30, 2009. Sanford Admits to More Contact with Mistress Chris Cillizza, The Fix, Washington Post, June 30, 2009. GOP’s Coleman Concedes, Sending Franken to Senate Brain Bakst, AP, June 30, 2009.


Honduran Leader’s Populism Is What Provoked Military Violence

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 1st, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Honduran Leader’s Populism Is What Provoked Military Violence
Contrary to most media accounts, President Manuel Zelaya wasn't seeking to abolish term limits.

‘I Quit the Evangelical Movement in Disgust’: Former Evangelist Fears Right-Wing Lunacy Will Lead to More Murder
Conservative pundits and GOP lawmakers must try to cure the sickness of their right-wing followers — before it explodes again. Or don't they care?

Getting Laid-Off May Lead to Early Death — But There Are Ways to Cushion the Severe Health Impact of Job Loss
Studies show that the current economic climate may be eroding months or even years from the lives of those on the bleeding edge of insecurity.

The Military Invades U.S. Schools: How Military Academies Are Being Used to Destroy Public Education
In Chicago, there's a push to replace public schools with military academies. This model may soon spread to the rest of the country.


Australia – the lucky but unbalanced country

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 1st, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Australia – the lucky but unbalanced country
I get many emails asking for my opinion as to the Australian economy and the Australian banks in particular. That is not surprising because I am probably the best known Australian writing a global investment blog. Certainly I write the…


Sponsored Topics: AustraliaNew South WalesOceaniaUnited StatesNew Zealand

Show Me The Money, Bernie
OK, so Bernie Madoff will spend the rest of his life in jail. But the question of what happened to the money still remains. The central problem being played out among Madoff victims is that only a small fraction of…


Sponsored Topics: Bernard MadoffBusinessPonzi schemeFraudBernie Madoff


Thune To Conservative Activists: ?We Need You? To Help Obstruct Sotomayor

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 1st, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Thune To Conservative Activists: ?We Need You? To Help Obstruct Sotomayor
On a conference call organized by the right-wing Judicial Confirmation Network, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) told a group of conservative activists that he needed their help to prevent Judge Sotomayor from being confirmed to the Supreme Court in a timely manner. “We need you involved in this process,” Thune told the call’s listeners, because […]

On a conference call organized by the right-wing Judicial Confirmation Network, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) told a group of conservative activists that he needed their help to prevent Judge Sotomayor from being confirmed to the Supreme Court in a timely manner. “We need you involved in this process,” Thune told the call’s listeners, because Senate Democrats “are going to jam through this lifetime appointment rather than provide a full and fair review of her record.”

But Thune sang a different tune when President Bush was in office. Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) modeled Sotomayor’s 72-day confirmation schedule after the exact same 72-day schedule that was used to confirm Chief Justice John Roberts. Back then, Thune thought this schedule was more than adequate for him to make up his mind:

“Today marks the beginning of a historic and revered process. As we pay tribute to the legacy of former Chief Justice Rehnquist, we see many of the qualities that marked his tenure of excellence mirrored in Judge Roberts,” Thune said. “Judge Roberts brings with him a brilliant legal mind and a profound respect for the Constitution and the Court.

I urge Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to put politics aside and allow a fair and efficient confirmation process to work. I look forward to hearing from Judge Roberts and have full confidence his experience and character will carry him swiftly through these important hearings.”

Perhaps Thune is simply having trouble understanding how Sotomayor’s confirmation schedule compares to Roberts’. To help explain this difficult concept to Sen. Thune, ThinkProgress has prepared this helpful chart:

confirmation-graph


Byrd Would Speed Senate Energy Bill To House Parley

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 1st, 2009 4:32 am by HL

Byrd Would Speed Senate Energy Bill To House Parley
Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.) said yesterday the Senate could endanger passage of a national energy program if its gets bogged down attempting to rewrite $40 million in industrial tax credits approved by its Finance Committee.

President Obama Delivers Remarks on Nonprofit Programs
SPEAKER: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA [*] OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Thank you. Please, everybody has a seat. Thank you very much. Well, it is wonderful to see all these do-gooders in one room. (LAUGHTER) And it is always a dangerous thing trying to follow Geoffrey Canada.

After Call From Senator Inouye’s Office, Small Hawaii Bank Got U.S. Aid
Sen. Daniel K. Inouye’s staff contacted federal regulators last fall to ask about the bailout application of an ailing Hawaii bank that he had helped to establish and where he has invested the bulk of his personal wealth.

Minnesota Supreme Court Declares Franken Winner in U.S. Senate Race
The Minnesota Supreme Court yesterday declared comedian-turned-politician Al Franken the winner of the state’s U.S. Senate race, ending an eight-month-long election saga and giving Democrats a 60-seat majority that theoretically would allow them to block GOP filibusters.

Bauer, Sanford’s Lieutenant Governor in South Carolina, Draws New Attention
With every word South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) utters about his extramarital affair, his would-be successor leaps closer to a job that he wants dearly but that many leaders in the state’s fractured Republican Party have been scheming to keep from him.


Honduras: Obama Stands with Chavez & Castro

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 1st, 2009 4:30 am by HL

Honduras: Obama Stands with Chavez & Castro

A Bad Test for Racial Equity

Climate Bill Hurts the Least Among Us
Kenneth Chilton, Detroit News