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Archive for May 10th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: The Battle Of The Folkies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 10th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: The Battle Of The Folkies
The Battle Of The Folkies from The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, featuring Peter, Paul, and Mary, Donovan, and The Smothers Brothers performing abridged versions of their greatest hits.

The Battle Of The Folkies from The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, featuring Peter, Paul, and Mary, Donovan, and The Smothers Brothers performing abridged versions of their greatest hits.
What’s on your mind?

Unleash the Kagan
Oh Elena Kagan, there’s another “well-kept” secret in Washington.

source: Harvard Law Record via Flickr

My initial thought about the claim that Elena Kagan is going to be nominated by Obama to the Supreme Court is — oh God, there’s another Kagan?! Hasn’t that family done enough to ruin America?

But then I found out, different family — one that has only begun to do so.

So sort of a relief. Sort of…

Some liberal critics have said that Kagan’s views on executive power and the treatment of terrorist detainees are too conservative.

Oh, that and other things, go into the ‘hope & change’ exclusions clause in 1-point pitch on your campaign contribution receipts.

Please feel free to begin your day of expressing dissatisfaction of varying degrees below.


Supreme Court: Elena Kagan Gets Obama’s Nod

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 10th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Supreme Court: Elena Kagan Gets Obama’s Nod
Much will be pored over and found and reported on Elena Kagan in the coming months. Right now the important bit is this: She’s Elena Kagan, former Harvard Law dean, current U.S. solicitor general and President Obama’s choice to sit on the highest court in the land. Oh, and Thurgood Marshall called her “Shorty.” Washington Post: Even though the solicitor general is often called “the 10th justice,” she would be the first to join the court since Thurgood Marshall in 1967. It would be especially sweet for Kagan, who clerked for the civil rights icon in 1987-88 and has referred to him as “the most important lawyer, I think, of the 20th century.” He nicknamed her “Shorty.” “She is a first-rate legal scholar, but she brings much more than that,” Walter Dellinger, an acting solicitor general under Clinton, said when she was nominated as the first woman to hold his old job. “She knows government, and she knows how to run institutions.” Read more

Much will be pored over and found and reported on Elena Kagan in the coming months. Right now the important bit is this: She’s Elena Kagan, former Harvard Law dean, current U.S. solicitor general and President Obama’s choice to sit on the highest court in the land. Oh, and Thurgood Marshall called her “Shorty.”

Washington Post:

Even though the solicitor general is often called “the 10th justice,” she would be the first to join the court since Thurgood Marshall in 1967. It would be especially sweet for Kagan, who clerked for the civil rights icon in 1987-88 and has referred to him as “the most important lawyer, I think, of the 20th century.” He nicknamed her “Shorty.”

“She is a first-rate legal scholar, but she brings much more than that,” Walter Dellinger, an acting solicitor general under Clinton, said when she was nominated as the first woman to hold his old job. “She knows government, and she knows how to run institutions.”

Read more

Related Entries



Terry Newell: Who Cares What the Experts Say? – The Democratization of Science

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 10th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

Terry Newell: Who Cares What the Experts Say? – The Democratization of Science
The difficulty during last year’s Copenhagen Climate Summit in reaching agreement on how to address global warming reflects the contentious political environment on even scientific…

Morris Davis: Obama Perptuates Discrimination with Kagan Pick
“The founders of (historically black) institutions knew, of course, that inequality would persist long into the future. They recognized that barriers in our laws, and…

IMF Approves Greece Loan: Nearly $40 Billion Bailout
WASHINGTON — The International Monetary Fund has put up nearly $40 billion to help bail out Greece and appease investors’ fears of a spreading European…

Robert Kuttner: Teachable Moments — But Where’s the Teacher-in-Chief?
What do the Goldman Sachs fraud case, the BP oil blowout and the stock market going berserk have in common? They each demonstrate why the private profit motive cannot be relied upon without some steering or harnessing mechanism by government. A president committed to rallying public opinion to the cause of a more balanced economy would be all over these teachable moments, connecting the dots, rebuilding the ideology of managed capitalism, making the case for tougher government action in the public interest, and rallying the citizenry to his cause.


Conservative opposition to Kagan is motivated by politics, not substance

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 10th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Conservative opposition to Kagan is motivated by politics, not substance

From the beginning, conservative media figures made it clear they would aggressively fight whoever President Obama nominated in order to excite their base and weaken the White House. By indiscriminately attacking potential nominees regardless of their opinions or qualifications, conservatives have made it clear that their opposition to Elena Kagan will be motivated by politics, not substance.

Conservatives promised to attack whoever Obama nominated

Bill Kristol says he “endorsed Elena Kagan,” but Republicans “should oppose her” anyway. On the April 11 edition of Fox News Sunday, when host Chris Wallace asked if Republicans’ “decision as to how much of fight they want to make” over the nomination would depend in part on who Obama nominated, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol responded, “Not that much.” Kristol added that while he “endorsed Elena Kagan” as a nominee, he believed that “most Republicans would oppose her and, honestly, should oppose her, with respect and with deference to her, you know, impressive academic credentials, because she will be a reliable liberal vote.” 

Conservative activist Viguerie signals that conservatives will paint any nominee as “radical.” The New York Times reported in an April 16 article:

Richard Viguerie, a conservative fund-raiser who is developing direct-mail and Internet campaigns about the coming nominee, said conservatives relished the prospect of a fight with Democrats over the Supreme Court before the November election.

“The more material he gives us to work with, the easier the battle will be,” Mr. Viguerie said. “The more quickly we can identify that person as an ideological liberal, the easier it is for us to communicate to the American people how radical the president is and the nominee is.”

Coulter urges “huge court battle” to benefit GOP election hopes. On April 12, conservative commentator Ann Coulter said: “A huge court battle is fantastic for Republicans. The reason the Democrats need the courts to legislate for them is their ideas are heinous to the American people. They can’t win in democracy so they do it through the courts. This is always good to have a fight over the courts.”

Hannity agreed that it was a good idea to have a court battle “whether you win or lose.” In response to Coulter’s statement that “it’s always good to have a fight over the courts,” Fox News host Sean Hannity said: “I agree with you, whether you win or lose.”

Torture memo author John Yoo urges Republicans to filibuster whoever Obama nominates. University of California law professor John Yoo — who is most famous for drafting the so-called “torture memos” — used his May 2 Philadelphia Inquirer column to urge a filibuster of Elena Kagan, Merrick Garland, or Diane Wood should President Obama nominate one of them to be a Supreme Court justice. Yoo wrote that a filibuster “would have little to do with these three distinguished lawyers, and everything to do with President Obama and his Senate allies.”

National Review Online: “The question for conservatives will be not whether but how to oppose Obama’s nominee.” An April 9 National Review Online editorial stated: “We know that President Obama will nominate a replacement who is also committed to imposing liberal policy outcomes over the objections of legislatures and without constitutional warrant. We know because Obama told us so, pledging during the campaign to nominate only justices who would support constitutionalized abortion.” It later added: “Unless Obama provides evidence of having dropped his litmus tests, the question for conservatives will be not whether but how to oppose Obama’s nominee.”

Kathleen Parker: In public, GOP will “be open-minded”; privately, “they’ll try to figure out how to derail the nominee.” During an April 15 online discussion, Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker said about Republican strategy regarding the Supreme Court: “In public, they’ll be open-minded; behind closed doors, they’ll try to figure out how to derail the nominee. I hope the president will go moderate on this one. I think the nation is suffering battle fatigue and could use a respite. If he does, Republicans will have no basis for opposition.”

Gloria Borger: Some conservatives “looking for a fight” over Supreme Court nomination to “unite the base.” During the April 9 edition of CNN Newsroom, senior political analyst Gloria Borger stated that “there are conservatives … outside the Senate who are looking for a fight, because they believe that this would unite the base.”

Beck: Obama will find a “gay, handicapped, black woman, who’s an immigrant” who’s a “radical” justice like Sotomayor. On the April 9 edition of his radio show, Glenn Beck said of the then-upcoming Supreme Court nomination, “Mark my words. A radical is coming.” He later said: “He’s going to pick another radical.” Beck added that if Obama’s “smart,” he’ll nominate a “handicapped black woman who’s an immigrant.”


McDonnell Mum On Cuccinelli’s Climate Science ‘Witch Hunt’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 10th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

McDonnell Mum On Cuccinelli’s Climate Science ‘Witch Hunt’
Since news broke that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is conducting a fraud investigation into the work of a former UVA climate scientist who was caught up in the “Climate-Gate” controversy, reactions have been pouring in. But one interested observer has been noticeably mum: Governor Bob McDonnell.


Cantor’s GOP Ideas Factory Declared Dead A Year After It Launched (VIDEO)
Rep. Eric Cantor’s National Council for a New America is now dead one year after it launched to what, in hindsight, appears to be excessive media coverage of an entity that hadn’t actually done anything.


RepublicanEric CantorNational Council for a New AmericaUnited StatesBarack Obama


Oil slick update

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 10th, 2010 4:42 am by HL

Oil slick update
Excerpt: Sifting through the information, trying to make sense out of what is happening with the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico can be confusing. Trying to write an article about that is like trying to mix a cocktail with cognitive dissonance, misdirected anger, a little Chinaco Anejo, lime and bovine excrement. So, I’m going to […]


McCollum Loses Steam in Florida

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 10th, 2010 4:41 am by HL

McCollum Loses Steam in Florida
In Florida’s race for governor, a new Mason-Dixon poll finds Bill McCollum (R) is quickly losing ground among likely Republican voters to Rick Scott (R), “a former hospital chain chief executive who came out of nowhere to pelt the television airwaves with millions of dollars in commercials during the last four weeks.”

The survey found McCollum leads, 38% to 24%, “a shocking erosion considering McCollum’s two decades in Congress and three statewide campaigns.”

McCollum is also losing some steam to the likely Democratic nominee, Alex Sink (D), and now leads by just seven points, 45% to 36%. That’s down from the commanding 15-point lead he held in late March.

Sestak Now Five Points Ahead
The latest Muhlenberg/Morning Call tracking poll in Pennsylvania shows Rep. Joe Sestak (D) has opened a five point lead over Sen. Arlen Specter (D) in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary race, 47% to 42%.

Obama Chooses Kagan for Supreme Court
President Obama will nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan as the nation’s 112th justice, “choosing his own chief advocate before the Supreme Court to join it in ruling on cases critical to his view of the country’s future,” the New York Times reports.

Why? The Washington Post notes Obama “wants someone who can serve as a counterweight to the intellectual heft of Chief Justice John Roberts. Regardless of how strong a liberal Kagan would prove to be, as a former dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan practically defines legal gravitas.”

“She’s also a female, which adds to the court’s gender diversity. She’s young, at 50, which means she could be on the court for a quarter century. And she’s never been a judge, which gives her a quality that Obama is known to have been seeking: someone to bring a different sensibility to a court that’s currently dominated by judges.”

Required reading: Tom Goldstein has an in-depth review of the nomination process and what debates are most likely to appear over the next two or three months. SCOTUSblog also takes a long, long look at Kagan’s record and breaks down the likely vote totals in the Senate for and against confirmation.


Regardless of our stance on immigration, the SB1070 is unconstitutional

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 10th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

Regardless of our stance on immigration, the SB1070 is unconstitutional

By Jeffrey Cohen, associate professor, Ohio State University Governor Brewer’s signing of Arizona law SB1070 late last month has shifted the debate concerning immigration reform in our country and changed the very environment into which migrants (legal and extra legal) now live. The law, which at its most basic seeks to “deter the unlawful entry and […]


Stock Market Plunge

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 10th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

Stock Market Plunge
The 1000 point drop in the Dow this afternoon adds to my conviction that an age of complexity brings decreasing returns to scale. As societies and systems get more complex the layers of hierarchy cannot keep up with the complexity…



BusinessInvestingStock marketStocks and BondsResearch and Analysis

The Rebirth of Regulation
What do oil giant BP, the mining company Massey Energy, and Goldman Sachs have in common? They’re all big firms involved in massive plunder. BP’s oil spill is already one of the biggest and most damaging in American history. Massey’s…



Massey EnergyGoldman SachsOil spillMiningMine Safety and Health Administration


Liz Cheney criticizes administration for its ?first instinct? to Mirandize Time Square suspect.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 10th, 2010 4:37 am by HL

Liz Cheney criticizes administration for its ?first instinct? to Mirandize Time Square suspect.
This morning, Liz Cheney criticized the Obama administration’s handling of attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad as “insufficient.” Speaking on the Fox News Sunday’s panel, Cheney insisted that the administration’s “first instinct is to inform him [Shahzad] that he’s got the right to remain silent”: CHENEY: When the administration captures a terrorist and their first […]

This morning, Liz Cheney criticized the Obama administration’s handling of attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad as “insufficient.” Speaking on the Fox News Sunday’s panel, Cheney insisted that the administration’s “first instinct is to inform him [Shahzad] that he’s got the right to remain silent”:

CHENEY: When the administration captures a terrorist and their first instinct is to inform him that he’s got the right to remain silent, that is exactly the wrong way to win this war. When we capture a terrorist, our first instinct has got to be: How do we understand the networks to which this terrorist is connected? How do we understand where he was trained? How do we understand who the leadership is? The administration is approaching this, and again this morning you had John Brennan saying, “Well, this was one-off because he drove the truck alone.” That doesn’t even make sense, it’s inexplicable. But if you aren’t willing to acknowledge that you’re facing a committed network of terrorists as your enemies, and that it’s radical jihadist Islam, then your response to that is gonna be, by definition, insufficient time and time again.

Watch it:

In reality, Faisal Shahzad was questioned before being Mirandized. When Faisal Shahzad was apprehended 53 hours after having parked his vehicle in Times Square, the arresting agents invoked the “security exception” in order to immediately question Shahzad about imminent threats before informing him of his right to remain silent — a right he is legally entitled to as an American citizen.

Asked on Friday whether Mirandizing Shahzad had impeded the ongoing investigation, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “No, it did not. Reading suspects their Miranda warnings has not deterred them from speaking to investigators, and Mr. Shahzad is, in fact, continuing to cooperate with us.” But, in Liz Cheney’s world, this represents a failure.