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Archive for July 16th, 2009

Darth Cheney [A Cartoon From Germany]

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2009 4:46 am by HL

Darth Cheney [A Cartoon From Germany]

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NRSC To Lobbyists: We Love You More Than Dodd Does

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

NRSC To Lobbyists: We Love You More Than Dodd Does
Following up on a Politico report on how Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) bashing lobbyists as part of his latest email fundraising pitch, the National Republican…

Arlington National Cemetery Scandal: Some Headstones Don’t Match Records For Bodies, Iraq Vets’ Memorabilia Trashed
An elegant white sign at Arlington National Cemetery informs visitors they are inside “our nation’s most sacred shrine.” Run under the jurisdiction of the U.S….

Kate Kelly: Medical Knowledge Used to Depend on Grave Robbing
Last week’s chilling discovery that bodies within Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois were routinely being dug up and moved so that the burial plots…

Michael Shaw: Reading the Pictures: Reaching The High Court On The Backs Of White Heroes
Talk about wedge tactics. Take a look at this line of New Haven firefighters filing into the Sotomayor confirmation hearings Wednesday morning. (If you…


Nets silent on sexism of anonymous quotes Graham used

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Nets silent on sexism of anonymous quotes Graham used

On their July 14 evening news broadcasts, both ABC’s World News and NBC’s Nightly News reported Sen. Lindsey Graham’s citation of anonymous criticism of Judge Sonia Sotomayor published in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary without noting that Sotomayor’s colleague on the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Guido Calabresi, has reportedly said of criticism of Sotomayor’s temperament on the bench, “It was sexist, plain and simple.” Additionally, neither ABC nor NBC noted that, in the words of CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, “[I]f you look at the full entry in this lawyers’ guide, Senator Graham did pick out the most negative comments, and there were a lot of positive comments in there, as well,” or that the American Bar Association rated Sotomayor its highest possible rating, “well qualified.”

On World News, ABC correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg reported that Graham “asked about harsh evaluations from lawyers who have appeared in her courtroom” before airing Graham at the hearing asking Sotomayor, “Do you think you have a temperament problem?” and Sotomayor’s response. Similarly, on NBC, correspondent Pete Williams reported that “one Republican noted that some lawyers have said they consider her a bully on the bench beyond merely tough questioning.” He then aired Graham stating at the hearing, “Obviously you’ve accomplished a lot in your life, but maybe these hearings are a time for self-reflection. This is pretty tough stuff that you don’t see from — about other judges on the 2nd Circuit.”

But neither Crawford Greenburg nor Williams noted that Calabresi reportedly said that Sotomayor’s behavior on the bench “was identical” to that of other colleagues. From a May 29 New York Times article:

Judge Guido Calabresi, a former dean of Yale Law School who taught Ms. Sotomayor there and now sits with her on the Second Circuit, said complaints that she had been unduly caustic had no basis. For a time, Judge Calabresi said, he kept track of the questions posed by Judge Sotomayor and other members of the 12-member court. “Her behavior was identical,” he said.

“Some lawyers just don’t like to be questioned by a woman,” Judge Calabresi added. “It was sexist, plain and simple.”

He said Judge Sotomayor’s forceful and lucid arguments had persuaded him to reconsider his position in a number of instances. “And I’m a tough act,” he said.

Similarly, a May 27 McClatchy Newspapers article reported that “Sotomayor’s colleague and former Yale Law School professor, Judge Guido Calabresi, became aware of the anonymous sniping after she joined him on the 2nd Circuit in 1998. He eventually concluded that the complaints reflected sexism among male attorneys.” The article quoted Calabresi saying of Sotomayor’s detractors: “They didn’t like the idea of a woman being as strong as her male colleagues.” In an interview aired on the May 26 broadcast of NPR’s Morning Edition, Calabresi similarly said about criticism of Sotomayor’s behavior, “When — some people, when she first came on, asked — said some things like that, I kept track.” He continued:

CALABRESI: Her way of dealing with other people is exactly the same as male judges do. The fact that she is a woman and does that meant that some people thought, oh, women shouldn’t act that way. She is a totally fair, good negotiator, good talker with other people, but she’s no different from anybody else.

In contrast to Crawford Greenburg and Williams, both Toobin and Fox News contributor Lis Wiehl noted that the anonymous comments Graham cited may reflect gender biases. Toobin stated of Graham’s citation of the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary: “[I]t’s worth remembering that this is an anonymous survey, and all of us who have read blog comments — I think we know that people in anonymous comments are often unduly hostile. And women in positions of power tend to be described in precisely these terms. You know, men are tough, women are shrill. Men are experienced; women are battle axes. And I think that’s a little bit of this kind of commentary we got here.” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer added, “[L]et’s not forget … that the American Bar Association gave her the highest possible rating as someone very qualified to be on the Supreme Court.”

And on July 14, Wiehl stated, “[D]on’t forget, any lawyer that goes in front of her, who loses, is going to have a beef with her and say, ‘Oh, she was terrible.’ ” She later added that the criticism of Sotomayor was “she was too tough, and that she was aggressive, which again is a, you know, male-female thing.” Moments later, Fox News host Megyn Kelly stated: “In any event, I have to say in her defense, on the lawyer comments, there were only eight of them. If you only have — to my knowledge — if you only have eight lawyers going online to complain about you as a judge, I think you’re doing OK. If you could hear some of the things that some of the judges said to me when I was practicing law, I would have loved to have gone online and complained about them anonymously. I wouldn’t put too much stock in those anonymous comments.”

As Media Matters for America has documented, scholars and other media figures have also noted that the criticisms in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary may reflect gender and racial biases. Additionally, The Handbook of Social Psychology — edited by Daniel T. Gilbert, Susan T. Fiske, and Gardner Lindzey, and described by its publisher as “the standard professional reference for the field of social psychology for many years” — cites characterizations similar to those used to describe Sotomayor as being among “Anglos’ generic stereotypes of Latinos”:

Stereotypes and especially subtypes of Latino Americans have received even less research attention, probably because most Anglo Americans (the majority of researchers) differentiate less among types of Latinos than Latinos do themselves (Huddy & Virtanen, 1995). Anglos’ generic stereotypes of Latinos include aggressive, poor, lazy, ignorant, loud, unreliable, emotional, unambitious, uneducated, inefficient, rude, messy, unindustrious, family-oriented, and proud (Goodwin & Fiske, 1996; Marin, 1984). The origins of this stereotype content have not been elaborated either, but it might stem from presumed class differences, based on an erroneous assumption that immigrants come from and join only the lower social classes.

From the July 14 edition of ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson:

[begin video clip]

CRAWFORD GREENBURG: And Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina asked about harsh evaluations from lawyers who have appeared in her courtroom.

GRAHAM: Do you think you have a temperament problem?

SOTOMAYOR: No, sir. I believe that my reputation is such that I ask the hard questions, but I do it evenly for both sides.

CRAWFORD GREENBURG: On abortion, she said there’s a right to privacy, or so the Supreme Court has ruled.

SOTOMAYOR: That is the precedent of the court, and settled.

CRAWFORD GREENBURG: On gun rights, she walked a fuzzy line.

SOTOMAYOR: Like you, I understand that — how important the right to bear arms is to many, many Americans.

CRAWFORD GREENBURG: On affirmative action, she quoted Sandra Day O’Connor.

SOTOMAYOR: It is firmly my hope that in 25 years, what race in our society won’t be needed to consider any situation.

CRAWFORD GREENBURG: As the grueling session drew to a close, Republicans had more questions than answers.

GRAHAM: Who are we getting here?

CRAWFORD GREENBURG: And Democrats had more praise.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY): In your courtroom, rule of law always triumphs.

[end video clip]

CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Now, Judge Sotomayor never lost her composure today as the senators asked question after question. She took vigorous notes — almost like she was trying to keep her focus by writing as they spoke. And she’ll be back in this hearing room again tomorrow for another full round of questions — Charlie.

From the July 14 edition of NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams:

[begin video clip]

WILLIAMS: And one Republican noted that some lawyers have said they consider her a bully on the bench beyond merely tough questioning.

GRAHAM: Obviously you’ve accomplished a lot in your life, but maybe these hearings are a time for self-reflection. This is pretty tough stuff that you don’t see from — about other judges on the 2nd Circuit.

[end video clip]

WILLIAMS: The questions and answers continue tomorrow, and toward the end of the week the committee hears from outside witnesses for and against the nomination, Brian.

BRIAN WILLIAMS (host): Pete Williams at the court starting us off tonight. Pete, thanks.


New Info Brings More Questions On Secret CIA Program

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2009 4:43 am by HL

New Info Brings More Questions On Secret CIA Program
We’ve gotten some more information in recent days about that secret CIA program that the agency withheld key information from Congress about, and that CIA director Leon Panetta promptly shut down when he learned about it last month. But the…





Lanny Davis Now Lobbying In Support Of Honduran Coup
It seems like just yesterday that Lanny Davis was making the rounds of every news outlet that would have him, talking up Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House — and/or pushing the Reverend Wright story. Not too long after,…


Bachmann Gets Another Strong Challenger

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Bachmann Gets Another Strong Challenger
“Minnesota could again have one of the most closely watched congressional races in the country in 2010,” reports KSTP-TV.

“For weeks, the political blogoshpere has been full of speculation that Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark (D) might challenge Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN). On Wednesday, sources close to Clark tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she will run.”

Elwyn Tinklenberg (D), who came within a couple of points of unseating Bachmann last year, is also expected to run along with Maureen Reed (D), a former Independence Party candidate, who is now running as a Democrat.


Michael Jackson’s Death Was Sensationalized by the Same Corporate Media That Drove Him Insane

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Michael Jackson’s Death Was Sensationalized by the Same Corporate Media That Drove Him Insane
The hubbub around Michael Jackson's death was orchestrated by the same corporate forces that drove him insane.

Why the "New Atheists" Are Right-Wing on Foreign Policy
Chris Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins have enlisted in the War on Terror because they believe that religion is not just mistaken, but evil.

It’s Wasn’t Only Cheney Who Had Assassination Programs: Clinton Did It, and Obama Does It, Too
While the current focus is on Dick Cheney's role concealing these nefarious missions, the U.S. has long had a bipartisan assassination policy.


Marty Peretz Hissyfit: That Obama Is So Mean

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Marty Peretz Hissyfit: That Obama Is So Mean
The Likud right is really hurting. President Obama had 15 Jewish organizational figures at the White House Monday and refused to genuflect. The last time this happened was 1957. Seriously. Here’s the best part. Malcolm Honeline who is head of…


Sponsored Topics: White HouseBarack ObamaMartin PeretzLikudUnited States

Three Cheers for the House Health Care Bill
Take a step back and applaud the accomplishment of the House health care bill released yesterday– three committees agreed on a consensus draft backed by the leadership of the body. And there looks to be a majority in the House…






Sponsored Topics: Health careHouseBusinessSenateHealth


Hatch distances himself from right-wing attack ad on Sotomayor.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Hatch distances himself from right-wing attack ad on Sotomayor.
Earlier today, Think Progress pointed out that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was present at a fundraiser for the right-wing Committee for Justice, a the group that is now sliming Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a terrorist. We wondered whether Republican senators are willing to defend CFJ’s ad. Huffington Post’s Sam Stein asked Hatch’s office, which responded […]

newEarlier today, Think Progress pointed out that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was present at a fundraiser for the right-wing Committee for Justice, a the group that is now sliming Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a terrorist. We wondered whether Republican senators are willing to defend CFJ’s ad. Huffington Post’s Sam Stein asked Hatch’s office, which responded by distancing itself from CFJ:

Asked if he agreed with the ad pushed by the group for which he once raised money, the senator’s spokesperson, Andrea Saul, relayed the following message from Hatch himself: “I haven’t seen the ad, but it sounds pretty harsh. Not the type of ad I would run.”

Is Jeff Sessions prepared to follow Hatch’s lead?

Bush Department of Justice blacklisted applicants from LGBT, immigrant advocacy groups.
The Washington Blade reports that, during the Bush administration, “applicants for Justice Department internships and honors programs may have been rejected based on their membership in LGBT” and immigrant advocacy groups. Pro-immigrant groups reportedly made up 25 percent of the list. Some other blacklisted organizations: The Blade recently learned that among the blacklisted groups was Immigration […]

goodling.jpgThe Washington Blade reports that, during the Bush administration, “applicants for Justice Department internships and honors programs may have been rejected based on their membership in LGBT” and immigrant advocacy groups. Pro-immigrant groups reportedly made up 25 percent of the list. Some other blacklisted organizations:

The Blade recently learned that among the blacklisted groups was Immigration Equality, which focuses on LGBT-related immigration issues.

Also blacklisted was the immigration project for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. […]

Rachel Tiven, Immigration Equality’s executive director, said in a statement that her organization was “proud to be the only national LGBT organization included in the Bush Justice Department’s list of dangerous organizations” and that “opponents of equality and justice are right to fear us.”

A 2008 report by the Justice Department concluded that former Bush loyalists at the DoJ broke the law by allowing politics to influence hiring decisions. The Justice Department’s screening process was headed by Monica Goodling, a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University who acknowledged that she “crossed the line of the civil service rules.” Goodling blocked the hiring of someone she viewed as a “liberal,” and she frequently checked the backgrounds of candidates for their views on “abortion” and “homosexuality.”


Sen. Kaufman Questioning at Judge Sotomayor Confirmation Hearing

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Sen. Kaufman Questioning at Judge Sotomayor Confirmation Hearing
Review all exchanges organized by senator SEN. PATRICK LEAHY: Senator Kaufman is probably as knowledgeable as anybody on this committee, having run it for years before becoming a senator. I said before, judge, that senators are merely constitutional requirements or impediments to the sta…

Barely a Scratch
It wasn’t so much what Sonia Sotomayor said, but how she said it.

Sen. Franken Questions Judge Sotomayor at Supreme Court Nomination Hearings
Review all exchanges organized by senator


Sen. Klobuchar Questions Judge Sotomayor at Supreme Court Nomination Hearings
Review all exchanges organized by senator LEAHY: There’s been an interest expressed by — I was going to say by all of the senators, but most senators have left the hearing room, but don’t think that doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be more questions, Judge, because there will be this round…


Democrats’ Healthcare Surtax is Disastrous

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 16th, 2009 4:31 am by HL

Democrats’ Healthcare Surtax is Disastrous
James Pethokoukis, Reuters

‘The Malaise Speech’: 30 Years Later
Gordon Stewart, New York Times

Health Care Can’t Wait
Kathleen Sebelius, CNN

Senate Hearings Reflect Broader Struggle
Gerald Seib, Wall Street Journal