Archive for January 28, 2010
Yeah, right. They’ve been telling us that for years but look at what those shameless hypocritical liars did today (screen shot from TPM):
Don’t believe me? See for yourself. Here’s the roll call.
From Oliver Willis:
Absolutely, and John O’Keefe is the most recent example of a crime being committed due in part to the carrot of fame and fortune Fox dangled in front of his nose.
I just watched Chip Reid deliver a report on the CBS Evening News about President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night. Reid repeatedly brought up something Obama said and followed it up with “but critics say,” as if what “critics say” is the truth. (This is what’s known as “fair and balanced news” these days.)
Has Chip Reid ever heard of something called fact checking? Why can’t he take what Obama said and fact check it instead of telling us what “critics say”? Or, at the very least, include the facts somewhere in his report?
And could Chip Reid change his rhetoric to: “…but critics Republicans say,” so we have a bit more context already?
Glenn Greenwald, my favorite lawyer on the web:
There’s a reason that Supreme Court Justices — along with the Joint Chiefs of Staff — never applaud or otherwise express any reaction at a State of the Union address. It’s vital — both as a matter of perception and reality — that those institutions remain apolitical, separate and detached from partisan wars. The Court’s pronouncements on (and resolutions of) the most inflammatory and passionate political disputes retain legitimacy only if they possess a credible claim to being objectively grounded in law and the Constitution, not political considerations. The Court’s credibility in this regard has — justifiably — declined substantially over the past decade, beginning with Bush v. Gore (where 5 conservative Justices issued a ruling ensuring the election of a Republican President), followed by countless 5-4 decisions in which conservative Justices rule in a way that promotes GOP political beliefs, while the more “liberal” Justices do to the reverse (Citizens United is but the latest example). Beyond that, the endless, deceitful sloganeering by right-wing lawyers about “judicial restraint” and “activism” — all while the judges they most revere cavalierly violate those “principles” over and over — exacerbates that problem further (the unnecessarily broad scope of Citizens United is the latest example of that, too, and John “balls and strikes” Roberts may be the greatest hypocrite ever to sit on the Supreme Court). All of that is destroying the ability of the judicial branch to be perceived — and to act — as one of the few truly apolitical and objective institutions.
Justice Alito’s flamboyantly insinuating himself into a pure political event, in a highly politicized manner, will only hasten that decline. On a night when both tradition and the Court’s role dictate that he sit silent and inexpressive, he instead turned himself into a partisan sideshow — a conservative Republican judge departing from protocol to openly criticize a Democratic President — with Republicans predictably defending him and Democrats doing the opposite. Alito is now a political (rather than judicial) hero to Republicans and a political enemy of Democrats, which is exactly the role a Supreme Court Justice should not occupy.
The Justices are seated at the very front of the chamber, and it was predictable in the extreme that the cameras would focus on them as Obama condemned their ruling. Seriously: what kind of an adult is incapable of restraining himself from visible gestures and verbal outbursts in the middle of someone’s speech, no matter how strongly one disagrees — let alone a robe-wearing Supreme Court Justice sitting in the U.S. Congress in the middle of a President’s State of the Union address? Recall all of the lip-pursing worrying from The New Republic‘s Jeffrey Rosen and his secret, nameless friends over the so-called “judicial temperament” of Sonia Sotomayor. Alito’s conduct is the precise antithesis of what “judicial temperament” is supposed to produce.
It was clear from Sam Alito’s confirmation hearing and his record of appellate opinions that he is a dogmatic, state-revering, right-wing judge. But last night, he unmasked himself as a politicized and intemperate Republican as well.
And then there’s this from earlier today from the right, about how Alito might retaliate against Obama. Now that would show real “judicial temperament” wouldn’t it?
I must say, the depth to which our society is collapsing is really stunning, and it’s appalling that the people in power are leading the way.
From The Hill:
A day after bashing lobbyists, President Barack Obama’s administration has invited K Street insiders to join private briefings on a range of topics addressed in Wednesday’s State of the Union.
What was the administration doing? Saying, we didn’t mean it?
Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, sounds like a desperate, panicked man in this video, during which he turns into an arrogant bully when asked (this afternoon) to actually name which programs he would cut (yes, a rare thing in the MSN). Oh, and the two people interviewing him are women, MSNBC’s Melissa Francis and Contessa Brewer. Wonder if that — wink, wink — had anything to do with his amazingly condescending, macho attitude.
Oh, and get a load of what Judd said the other day: Hey Americans — Judd Gregg (R-NH) Wants You to Shut Up.
Judd really should consider checking himself in somewhere.
HERE’S A MUST-READ
On January 25, conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote an op-ed titled, “The Populist Addiction.” In it, he took 14 paragraphs to say the same thing we hear all the time from conservatives, that elites control the system and they create all the jobs, so poor, dependent, ungrateful slobs like you and me had better cut the populist anger about the way things are, or we’re going to be living in the woods somewhere:
Hamilton championed capital markets and Lincoln championed banks, not because they loved traders and bankers. They did it because they knew a vibrant capitalist economy would maximize opportunity for poor boys like themselves. They were willing to tolerate the excesses of traders because they understood that no institution is more likely to channel opportunity to new groups and new people than vigorous financial markets.
This week, Matt Taibbi, a writer who I love because (1) I almost always agree with him, and (2) he doesn’t mince words, had a thing or two to say to Brooks in what is a must read: Populism: Just Like Racism!
I think it’ll lift your spirits because Taibbi says so well what so many of us are feeling.
Scott Roeder, the man who murdered Dr. George Tiller in cold blood last year, is on trial in Kansas for that murder as we speak. Roeder took the stand today and credited Pat Robertson’s “700 Club” with stoking his anti-choice rage:
Roeder testified that he attended church with his family when he was younger, but did not consider himself religious until he had a conversion experience while watching the “700 Club” on television in 1992.
The popular show, hosted by Pat Robertson, airs on the Christian Broadcasting Network.
“I was alone in my room,” Roeder said. “That day I did kneel down and accept Christ as my saviour at that time.”
After that, his views on abortion, which he had always considered wrong, became stronger.
The trailer for Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps” was released today. Here it is:
The film comes out April 23. If it’s as good as the original “Wall Street,” it should be good. (Only problem is, you have to pay Rupert Murdoch in order to see it.)
Bernanke was confirmed this afternoon by the Senate — 70-30.
That’s right folks. George W. Bush’s Federal Reserve Chairman is still with us.
Change you can believe in.
From Popular Mechanics — the worlds most interesting and impressive tunnels.
I agree. Robert McDonnell, the new Republican governor of Virginia gave the Republican response to the SOTU last night and it was very good. McDonnell came off as a calm, likable guy; his he didn’t use any hot-button words so he sounded sane and moderate compared to some in the GOP; he brought up God; he had a Black woman and an Asian man standing behind him (implying diversity in the GOP), and a military man wearing lots of metals sitting to his right (see below). It was all for show of course, but I’m sure it appealed to a lot of people. From a marketing standpoint it was definitely “excellent.”
The conservative site Townhall suggests today that, in light of what President Obama said last night in opposition to the Surpeme Court’s decision in Citizen United (granting unlimited contributions in political campaigns to corporations), he should,
…know enough not to alienate justices whose opinions may have some impact on his future success . . . they’re only human, after all.
So, Roberts, et al., are so immature they can’t take a little criticism? They might retaliate? Are there any grown-ups out there anymore?
Here’s a fascinating and funny (maybe pathetic is a better word) account of what members of the House and Senate were doing last night during President Obama’s SOTU speech, when the camera was on Obama and not them. A taste:
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) embraced as they took their seats, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) sat with her arms crossed most of the evening.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, a former Democratic senator from Colorado, spent more time than his counterparts speaking with Senate Republicans. He hugged Sens. Tom Coburn and John Ensign and spent time laughing with Sens. Jim DeMint and David Vitter, and kissed Sen. Susan Collins.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Republican Congressman from Illinois, also spent time chatting up Republicans. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis mingled with her former Democratic colleagues in the House.
Obama pointedly gave embattled Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner a big hug as he walked into the chamber.
When Obama said a jobs bill should be “the first order of business this year” for the Senate, someone on the Democratic side shouted “Do something!”
I came across this article this morning at the NewAmerican.com: Media Censorship of Pro-Life Rallies Backfiring. It talks about the lack of media coverage of a pro-life rally held last Friday in Washington, D.C. that was attended by “hundreds and thousands of pro-life demonstrators.” It claims the “censorship” is backfiring because participants are filming demonstrations themselves and posting the video on YouTube. Fair point, but I don’t think the pro-lifers are being signled out for special censorship. I just think they’re running into the same wall many of us have run into: the media tends not to cover demonstrations at all, no matter the cause.
If there’s violence, they’ll drop everything and go to it. But peaceful rallies against abortion or, say, a war? No. They aren’t interested. It’s intentional: they don’t want to give us any power because if we have power we might upset the corporate apple cart.
For those of us who use sites like bit.ly and TinyURL to shorten long URLs, the thought is ever-present that the shortened version they give us might not lead to the site we want. Poor Major Garrett of Faux News. That happened to him in a very embarrassing way last night.
Gee, us little people must be really, really scary and dangerous if someone like Kim Kardashian has to tool around in an armored car.
Let them eat cake, huh?