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The Rundown

8 a.m. ET: Supreme Court campaigns are unlike most others in politics, in that nominees usually make a point of not saying what they really believe, and are applauded for it.

So one day after pro-abortion rights groups made it clear they had "concerns" about Sonia Sotomayor's views, the White House moved to reassure them -- sort of -- that she would be on the right side of the debate from their perspective. Of course, Sotomayor's public record on the issue is thin, and she and President Obama supposedly never discussed abortion. So Robert Gibbs didn't come right out and say yesterday that she supported Roe v. Wade. Instead the press secretary spoke of Obama being "comfortable with her interpretation of the Constitution." And we all know what that means, right? As Eric Idle once put it so eloquently, "a nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat."

Code words abound this morning, and so the delicate discussion of Sotomayor's "temperament" continues. She has "a blunt and even testy side," according to the New York Times this morning, traits that surely no one on the Senate Judiciary Committee possesses. Her supporters wonder whether her "assertiveness" and "aggressiveness" would be an issue at all if she were a man. Casting those code words aside, her detractors go further, tagging her as "nasty," "angry" and a "terror on the bench." As for another label lobbed against Sotomayor -- "racist" -- John Cornyn is urging his party not to use it. (On a related note, Cornyn's home state of Texas has a large Hispanic population. But according to an interesting new item on FiveThirtyEight, the data shows "Hispanics were not a key component in Obama's win." Read the whole thing, as they say.)

We've also learned this morning that Sotomayor developed some of her initial views on race at the same place Michelle Obama did several years later -- Princeton. And we know that Sotomayor is at least discreet, as she was able to dodge reporters staking out her New York apartment last week and sneak down to Washington for her meetings at the White House.

Beyond the Supreme Court, in the near term Obama is emphasizing the economic stimulus package, dispatching administration officials to several states next week to promote the measure. The White House also remains focused on the auto industry, as GM is set to enter bankruptcy court Monday after days of furious negotiations between the administration and the company's bondholders.

Domestic policy is not the only preoccupation for the administration this week. Obama met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday, as a growing rift between the White House and Israel over Jewish settlements came into view. As for North Korea, Robert Gates said the country's nuclear weapons tests do not represent "a crisis," though they are "provocative" and "aggressive." Reassuring, isn't it?

By Ben Pershing  |  May 29, 2009; 8:05 AM ET
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The questionable legality and constitutionality of covert, warrantless GPS tracking of unjustly targeted persons and their families FINALLY has broken through to the mainstream media:


This is the Achilles heel that can bring down the technological infrastructure of organized stalking and constitutionally suspect police procedures in conducting investigations of "innocent but targeted" individuals and their families.

Mainstream media: Please follow up on the Yahoo News story referenced above.

Civil libertarians: Urge lawmakers to pass a law that prevents the electronic tracking of any individual without an individual-specific (not general) court order -- no more arbitrary, wholesale electronic surveillance and no more covert implantation/activation of devices in vehicles, cell phones or personal property.

This is the issue that the public can understand. Once covert implantation of GPS devices -- or the use of an individual's cell phone as a GPS tracking device -- is definitively made illegal, any official who knowingly allows such surveillance would be an accomplice to a crime. This should be a felony and not a misdemeanor ("harassment," under the law, is a misdemeanor, which is why unjustly targeted American citizens should use the term "torture," or "psychological torture," for non-physical harassment.

Victims of the "extrajudicial targeting and punishment network" spawned or expanded under Bush-Cheney (and now enabled by the inaction of the Obama Administration):

Organize a mass demonstration demanding an end to "covert GPS stalking". Such a demonstration should be aimed at the ACLU -- a demand that these declared civil libertarians address the issue that enables organized stalking of unjustly targeted people and their families.

For more:


OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):


Posted by: scrivener50 | May 29, 2009 12:32 PM

As if the remains of the old Republican Party needs any more reasons to turn former or potential voters away! I think they should take Walt Kelly's "Pogo" advice:

"I have seen the enemy, and it is us!"

Posted by: Maerzie | May 29, 2009 2:19 PM

The mainstream Republicans in the Senate have bitter memories of the way the Democrats grilled/verbally water-boarded their court nominees...look up 'to BORK', and more and more crap about Sotomoyer is now surfacing...even Gibbs had to play down some neo-racist & sexist remarks she made.

When the White House has to apologize for her views, you know this isn't going right for them....some suggest another Harriet Miers is going result.

Posted by: poppadata | May 29, 2009 5:44 PM

ok I get it so we cant say the truth that she is a racist, if I was it would be ok but for her its not... so lets look at her track record instead... has anyone brought up the fact of the % her cases brought to the Supreme court that are overturned? I believe I read it was 60 -65% hmm sounds like that is a bit high to me but I am just a laymen but in my research an average judge doesn't see that many cases overturned... Why does she? Why are so many of her cases seen in the Supreme Court with the process that is gone through to get a case heard means there is evidence of an issue to begin with and to have it overturned means there was definite issues..Am I right? Like I say just a layman so my 2 cents on it... I want someone who can sit on the bench and give sound thought and heart to the law its not a right or left side issue at this point but can they interpret the law? The law is not black and white as people would love to think, there are two sides to it the spirit of the law and the letter of the law and I want someone on the bench who understands that and can honestly sit down hear a case and dissect it and give it their all setting aside all bias and I think given her judicial track record she cannot. I would love to see another women take the bench, I think her story is amazing however I think her heart, and attitude is tainted and so her interpretation and implementation of the law is as well. Name calling never gets you anywhere so I think the article is dead on with that, state the facts where are they? Its public record how many of her cases went to the Supreme Court how many did they over turn and WHY?

Posted by: AuraMorganna | May 30, 2009 12:17 PM

Where's the empathy for Ricci?

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | June 1, 2009 6:20 AM

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