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Morning Fix: Political Pause for Sotomayor Week?



Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings begin next week. (AFP Photo/Tim Sloan)

The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin its week-long confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor on Monday, which, although their outcome is as close to a foregone conclusion as we get in Washington, are certain to blot out the sun in the political world for the next seven days or so.

The political pause comes at a fascinating time in Washington.

President Obama is facing significant obstacles with the economy continuing to struggle and his health care plan still mired in the Senate Finance Committee.

National Republicans are growing more optimistic about the fate of their party despite scandals featuring two former 2012 hopefuls -- South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Nevada Sen. John Ensign -- and the puzzlement caused by the recent resignation announcement of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Assuming that the Sotomayor hearings contain no juicy revelations that threaten her seemingly certain confirmation, the most interesting thing to keep an eye on next week will be how the media onslaught of the Court story affects how the other major Washington narratives -- health care, the economy, Republican resurgence -- are covered.

At first glance, the break provided by next week's Sotomayor hearings seems to benefit Obama who has spent his week abroad dealing with problems with his domestic agenda.

If the Sotomayor hearings come off without a hitch -- Democrats roundly supportive, Republicans cautiously challenging -- Obama will likely emerge from the week stronger than when he entered it.

Republicans will have an interesting choice to make as it relates to their messaging over the next seven days. Do they go full bore after Sotomayor in an attempt to placate their base? Or do they stay focused almost exclusively on the economy and the economic stimulus package, running the risk that such a choice could be seen by some within the party as giving Sotomayor a pass?

Supreme Court confirmation hearings are appointment viewing in Washington. (One needs only to think back to Robert Bork or Anita Hill to know why.) But, with Sotomayor a near-lock for confirmation, keep an eye on how both parties handle the issues pushed out of spotlight for the next week or so.

Friday Fix Picks: Best dunk ever?

1. Ensign's parents paid mistress $96,000. Not good. At all.
2. A great polling analysis of Palin's problems.
3. Kirsten Gillibrand gets a friendly Elle profile.
4. Is the Connecticut GOP Senate primary about to get more crowded?
5. Bruno: Deconstructed.

Specter Attacks Sestak, Sestak Attacks Back: Baring his legendary campaign teeth for the first time since switching to the Democratic party in April, Sen. Arlen Specter put out a statement Thursday calling Rep. Joe Sestak (D) a "flagrant hypocrite" for attacking his party loyalty. Specter notes that Sestak registered to vote as an independent in 1971 but did not cast a ballot in a primary election between then and 2005. Specter rejected Sestak's explanation that he did not register with a party due to his military service (Sestak is a retired two-star admiral in the Navy) as a "lame excuse"; Specter added that the real reason Sestak didn't vote during that time was a "documented disinterest in the political process." Sestak, never one to back down, decried Specter's "Republican swift boat attack on the integrity of Democrats who have served in the military." Back to Specter who said Sestak's response proved that he "can dish it out but he can't take it." This primary, which we ranked as the second best of 2010 in our recent Line, has all the makings of a political war. Both Specter and Sestak are more than willing to mix it up and there is no love lost between the two men.

Draft Mitch!: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who has pledged (repeatedly) to never run for another office when he is term limited out in 2010, is the subject of a draft movement designed to get him to re-consider. Known as "Americans for Mitch," the Web site was founded by Mike O'Brien, a former Daniels staffer and chairman of the Hendricks County Republican Party. "We hope to use this site as a living diary of the Mitch Daniels' administration and tell the story of Indiana's continued comeback," reads the site's mission statement. "There has been no shortage of pundits and big shots of all kinds who have looked to Governor Mitch Daniels to lead the way to a national comeback for the Republican Party." (The Fix is one of them; we wrote about Daniels as part of our "Rising" series recently.) Daniels, to date, has been resolute in his pledge. Can he be convinced otherwise?

Ill. GOP Delegation Stays Neutral: The Illinois Republican congressional delegation has decided to stay neutral in the pending Senate primary fight between Rep. Mark Kirk and state party chairman Andy McKenna, according to an informed Illinois GOP source. Kirk and McKenna huddled with the delegation on Thursday and there was considerable consternation toward Kirk for his recent vote in favor of President Obama's climate change bill. (Kirk was one of just eight House Republicans to support the bill.) Kirk is likely to enjoy the backing -- whether public or private remains to be seen -- of the national party apparatus, and several GOP strategists suggested that McKenna will eventually drop out of the race to help boost the party's chances of winning the seat currently held by retiring Sen. Roland Burris (D).

Is Culver Vulnerable?: A new poll conducted by Republican pollster Jan Van Lohuizen for theiowarepublican.com, a GOP-aligned website, suggests that Iowa Gov. Chet Culver (D) could be vulnerable in 2010. Just more than one-third of the poll's sample (36 percent) said Culver deserves reelection while 53 percent preferred to give someone else a chance. Culver's job approval ratings were better with 53 percent approving of the job he has done and 41 percent disapproving. A slew of Republicans are looking at the race with 2002 gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats and state Rep. Chris Rants already in the mix. Given Iowa's recent move toward Democrats -- President Obama won it with 54 percent in 2008 -- it remains to be seen whether national Republicans, who will have 37 governors races on the ballot next year, will spend money in Iowa.

Say What?: "I was counseling him as a physician and as an ordained deacon." -- Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, an obstetrician, explains why he won't be revealing the details of his conversations with Nevada Sen. John Ensign.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 10, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: Friday Governors Line: A Republican Rust Belt Revival?

Comments

Chris,

Political pause? What are you talking about? The House Dems just unleashed their health care plan today. The president powwowed with Big Labor yesterday. He also warned us of soaring new unemployment highs. So stop trying to lull us to sleep.

Posted by: Stajack | July 14, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Wondering how the GOP is going to handle SS' hearings. This will be elected officials, not Limbaugh and Liddy, but with people like Sessions you can't count on them being reasonable and sane.

My guess is that we're going to be shaving another percentage point off GOP identification after her hearings. I don't see them ceasing to play to the dollar seats anytime soon.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I was going to make mnteng's recitation. Thanx, Prof.

There is no reason to think SS will take an activist position on guns or undocs. Her most notable undoc cases were where she supported refugee status for pregnant Chinese women and their spouses, because of Chinese forced abortion policies. A snippet:

“The termination of a wanted pregnancy under a coercive population control program can only be devastating to any couple, akin, no doubt, to the killing of a child,” she wrote, also taking note of “the unique biological nature of pregnancy and special reverence every civilization has accorded to child-rearing and parenthood in marriage.”

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 10, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 10, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Floyd Abrams on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal tells about his experience with Sotomayor as a judge. He points out that she can question lawyers very vigorously and makes them refine their points sharply. After questioning one side very pointedly, she can turn around and give the opposing lawyer the same treatment. A lawyer who comes before her will have to be well prepared. What seems to me would be her strongest attribute is that the quality of performance in the court will be enhanced for a lawyer who presents to her knows that he has to perform well for her, even if she will eventually will agree with his or her side.

From what I read in the WSJ she sounds exceptional.The criticisms I have read about her is that people who have not read the facts of her cases make judgements about her rulings. According to Mr Abrams she tries to keep her rulings confined to the circumstances of the case. Those critiquing her for her rulings who do not know the facts of the case are just blowing smoke.

From what I read in the WSJ she sounds exceptional.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 10, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Those things should be banned everywhere. I knew someone who lost an eye from some stupid kid showing off his nunchucks in a park.

What bloody idiocy we have here about weapons.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

VTDuffman:

The Second Circuit's ruling on NY state's ban on martial arts equipment (specifically in re nunchakus).

"Earlier this year, Sotomayor was part of a three-judge panel that rejected a claim that New York’s ban on nunchakus violated a defendant’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

[snip]

In the short unsigned opinion that’s now being scrutinized by gun-rights groups, Sotomayor and two colleagues on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit stuck with a longstanding distinction between weaponry limitations imposed by localities and states and limitations imposed by Uncle Sam.

Their opinion in the case of Maloney v. Cuomo relied on an 1896 Supreme Court decision for the proposition that “The Second Amendment applies only to limitations the federal government seeks to impose on this right.” "

http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=news-000003132802&cpage=1

To my laypersons reading, a deferential and non-activist decision, with which the Seventh Circuit agreed. Of course, the Ninth Circuit (where CF8 and mibrooks are) ruled that the 2nd A was incorporated to local governments. SCOTUS will have to figure this one out soon.

Posted by: mnteng | July 10, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

As for illegals, I feel for them, but we simply cannot afford the more than 20 million that are here and they have got to go, one way or another.

==

Wrong on several counts.

They're here because there are jobs for them. Agriculture depends on them. Asparagus growers aren't going to pay real wages.

They've got to go? What are you hoping for, checkpoints and raids? You really want to go there? I don't.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"(And, I think a national identity card, required to gain access to health care or a job is the way to go.)"

FWIW, there is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that grants the Federal government the power to issue such a card.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 10, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Well there we differ.

First of all, I don't want psychotics and hotheads to have guns, period. If there is no way to restrict Ps and Hs from having guns without compromising their access by everyone else, then compromise away.

Second, the idea that private ownership of guns is in some way a bulwark against tyranny is a chest-pounding conceit. The military far outmatches anything private citizens can bring to bear, and in any case I think a lot of gun owners would side enthusiastically with the tyrant.

Third, we need to get a license to drive a car, but not to own a lethal weapon? Wrong. Period.

Fourth, the demographics tell the tale. Other countries with gun laws have way way fewer murders. I don't think having campuses shot up and right-wing nutbars killing doctors and security guards is worth it.

If there was a way to keep guns out of the hands of psychotics and hotheads and allow responsible owners to own them, then fine. But the NRA has so polarized the issue that there is no real middle ground, and I now favor repeal.

But I won't put that on a bumpersticker, because some gun owner would probably kill me.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"Sotomayor, frankly, worries me. Her decision on martial art equipment, I think, gives us insight into how she would decide on upcoming gun control issues before the court and, based on my understanding, I don't want her anywhere near that court."

Links, please. "Her decision on martial arts equipment, I think?" What does that even mean? She's replacing Souter, is her position on your pet issue radically different from his?

Even so, her disagreeing on your pet issue does mean she's "unqualified" to be a justice, it just means you disagree with her.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 10, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8 - Chris, I really don't much like the NRA nor NRA types, but I am, as you and I have discussed, a "gun nut". I feel about the 2nd Amendment like most women do about having access to a safe abortion. I am, and always have been pro-choice and I am and always have been strongly opposed to any sort of gun control laws beyond what exists on the books today. As for illegals, I feel for them, but we simply cannot afford the more than 20 million that are here and they have got to go, one way or another. (And, I think a national identity card, required to gain access to health care or a job is the way to go.) Sotomayor, frankly, worries me. Her decision on martial art equipment, I think, gives us insight into how she would decide on upcoming gun control issues before the court and, based on my understanding, I don't want her anywhere near that court.


And, we are friends and I will up your way the weekend of the 18th. I treasure our friendship as much as I treasure our differences....we'll argue!

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 10, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

In the fable of the frog and the crocodile, the frog convinces himself to trust the crocodile not to kill and eat him as he catches a ride on his back across the river. Powell talked himself into believing the tax-and-spend Obama would not tax and spend away the next generation’s future. But just as the crocodile instead does what crocodiles do, devouring the surprised and betrayed frog, Obama is doing what we knew he would do: exploding the size of government, undertaking unparalleled spending sprees and racking up massive budget deficits and unimaginable national debt.

Just what part of candidate Obama’s agenda of big government, big taxes and redistribution of wealth did Powell not understand? Or, as many suspect, was he so blinded by the celebrity of Obama that he threw common sense out the window and joined in the mindless, meaningless chant of “Yes we can!”? He was, in his own endorsement words, impressed with Obama as a “transformational” figure who could “electrify” America. “He is crossing lines — ethnic lines, racial lines, generational lines,” Powell said.

Vice President Biden recently blurted out on ABC, “The truth is, we and everyone else misread the economy.” The truth about Obama’s irresponsible approach to the economy and stewardship of our tax dollars is becoming more and more difficult to dance around. (BTW — Expect to see and hear even less from the vice president as he will no doubt be shuffled off to an undisclosed location to prevent future embarrassing truth-telling.)

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

You're not clever, zouk, you're merely tiresome. Hurry up and get bored and go away, would you?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

VATICAN CITY - President Barack Obama promised Pope Benedict on Friday that he would do everything possible to reduce the number of abortions in the United States, the Vatican said. (snip) In a surprise move, the pontiff gave Obama a booklet explaining Vatican opposition to practices such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research, which Obama supports.

Lying to the Pope. Uh oh.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

when your diagnosis is that everyone but you is crazy

==

I don't think you're smart enough to be crazy

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

We're friends mibrooks but I gotta tell you I think VTD is spot-on here.

The NRA has no interest in being reasonable or sane, and if you're getting this BS from their publications, they're being out-and-out hysterical.

The ones who are losing their jobs over Sotomayor are Republicans. Who ever thought Texas would ever be in play? With Republicans both elected and otherwise screaming racist remarks, and such a high Latino population in the Lone Star state, it's verging on 50-50.

Your information is bogus.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"There are a lot, a *very* large number, of Democrats out here that are opposed to Sotomayors confirmation."

There isn't. Unless you can find a link of some sort to prove me wrong.

"Many are gun owners or citizens who are opposed to any new gun control laws (66% of voters)"

What does a Supreme Court Justice have anything to do with "new laws." Judge Sotomayor is opposed to legislating from the bench, as evidenced in her dissent in the TWA Flight 800 Trial.

"and quite a few fall into the class of 80% of voters who do not want illegals or their children to receive federal funds of any kind."

I don't see what this has to do with the nominee at all, other than...she's hispanic and many illegal immigrants are also hispanic? Let me guess, you would flip out if I qualified this part of your statement as racist?

That said, the children of illegals (provided they are born here) are American Citizens, "denying them federal funding" is unconstitutional.

"I am not at all certain of just how suicidal Democratic Senators feeling right now, but voting to confirm this awful choice for the Supreme Court is going to cost several of them their jobs."

It's not going to cost anyone their job, you're thinking wishfully.

"Sotomayor is, quite simply, a bad choice and has no business being on the bench in any court."

She's not a bad choice at all, she actually far more qualified than the last 3 GOP confirmations. You've provided no factual backing whatsoever to back up your points. You just kind of rambled for a while.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 10, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I see the semicolons and elseif statements are well behaved today. no calls for off/on switch issues?

Oh goody. that means the barely employable moonbat chrissuxcox can spend his entire waking hours carping here about the injustice in the world, overlooking the fact that Libs have run the schools, the courts, the job banks, the colleges and all the other failed enterprises for decades. Now they are trying to do to the medical, military and the government what they foisted on the housing industry, on the car business.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

If gun-owners feel threatened by this, they probably belong in a mental hospital.

chrissuxcox

when your diagnosis is that everyone but you is crazy.......................

Maybe you and drivl could bunk together. you will probably have to leave the cats behind.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Could someone explain global warming in comic-book form for zouk?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"Should Republicans treat Sotomayor like Democrats treated Robert Bork?"

VTDuffman:

Because IF they did, it would be like Don Quixote tilting at windmills--AND, to bring politics into it, they would drive the final nail into the coffin in which the 'Conservatives' have driven the Hispanic vote.

Many Hispanics are in sync with a lot of the Republican platform: socially conservative, family-oriented, etc., but the undisguised discrimination displayed by the Republican Right-wing (viz. Sens. Sessions, Inhofe, Cornyn--in his pre-RCC Chairman days--, et. al.), particularly during the 2006 Immigration debate, drove a decisive number of them over to the Democratic party.

'Do a Bork' on Judge Sotomajor at your peril, gentlemen. (I wonder if 'gentlemen' ought to have ironic quote marks around it?)

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 10, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

sorry, "illegal alien DRUG dealer"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot, a *very* large number, of Democrats out here that are opposed to Sotomayors confirmation. Many are gun owners or citizens who are opposed to any new gun control laws (66% of voters) and quite a few fall into the class of 80% of voters who do not want illegals or their children to receive federal funds of any kind. I am not at all certain of just how suicidal Democratic Senators feeling right now, but voting to confirm this awful choice for the Supreme Court is going to cost several of them their jobs. Sotomayor is, quite simply, a bad choice and has no business being on the bench in any court.

==

Breathe into a paper bag and calm down.

What has Sotomayor ruled about guns?

She ruled that an illegal alien gun dealer had no right to pack heat.

If gun-owners feel threatened by this, they probably belong in a mental hospital.

Speaking for myself, I'm a little sick and tired of the American monomania around firearms and I've seen enough "cold dead fingers" bumperstickers to be open to simply repealing the Second Amendment. Honestly, I think the whole gun "thing" in the USA is sick in the head.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot, a *very* large number, of Democrats out here that are opposed to Sotomayors confirmation. Many are gun owners or citizens who are opposed to any new gun control laws (66% of voters) and quite a few fall into the class of 80% of voters who do not want illegals or their children to receive federal funds of any kind. I am not at all certain of just how suicidal Democratic Senators feeling right now, but voting to confirm this awful choice for the Supreme Court is going to cost several of them their jobs. Sotomayor is, quite simply, a bad choice and has no business being on the bench in any court.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 10, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

so which is it.

Warming is good or bad?

cooling is bad or was it good?

I thought change was good? I guess everyone figured out that change is not always good. for example, if you had a job under bush, you may pine for those salad days. If you had an IRA before Peloony took over congress, you may wish for Repub rule again. If you owned a home before barney messed everything up, you may not want the Libs running things. If you liked America being strong and proud, you most certainly will not like the new guy.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Record cold moonbat.

Just how stupid do you think people are?

==

Re-routing of the warming ocean currents like the Gulf Stream is part of the model, child.

One effect of global warming will be the reconciliation of climates in the UK and Iceland. England will get a lot colder.

I can understand how you're confused, being a "conservative" you need things nice an' simple.

The surge worked, right, zucchini?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Over 40% identified themselves as conservative.

==

Since only half that number identify as Republican, it's pretty safe to say this is bogus data

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

there are probably fewer Republican scientists than black Republicans, or gay ones.


>>chrissuxcox

I must conclude that you have used Liberal counting methods as usual. Here's how it works.

A black liberal scientist counts twice. A female hispanic liberal scientist counts triple, A gay black female liberal scientist hits the jackpot and counts for 6.

Its basically the same way their justice system operates and their jobs program.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Record cold moonbat.

Just how stupid do you think people are?

Recent polls indicated only about 20% of the population (hereafter referred to as the below average set) identified themselves as Liberals.

Over 40% identified themselves as conservative. (aka - the thinking set).

now after immense hope for intelligence and honesty in the new Lib admin, the empty promises are beginning to get old and the messiahs ratings are dropping like a lead balloon.

Of course, the below average set is immune to fact. too busy howling.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

you can bet it is either a cut and paste from Huff or Kos

==

You're scarcely in any position to criticize people for copying and pasting, fool

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Hardly any surprise that a nery few scientists are Republicans. Considering that Republican identification is down to 20% or under, most of it in the south, most of it uneducated, almost all of it on the fringe right.

Factor in the fact that the GOP is determinedly anti-science, anti-Darwin, determined to disbelieve in global warming even with temperature records being broken every month, there are probably fewer Republican scientists than black Republicans, or gay ones.

Why should people swear fealty to a party that hates them?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

At least zouk eventually gets bored and moves on for the day

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

another leftist kook clocks in.

If they didn't know so much about what is good for everyone, they might know something.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Should Republicans treat Sotomayor like Democrats treated Robert Bork?

==

Why should they? She isn't Bork.

You guys are still enraged you didn't get that monster on the court. Well, you go on being enraged until the overhead lights fade to black in the hospital, because Bork was a very real threat to our form of government. Bork had open antipathy to every kind of business regulation and any protection of the humble from the powerful. We dodged a bullet with that weird-beard and the Congress was right to reject him. Deal.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 10, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The loon drivl replies:

you can bet it is either a cut and paste from Huff or Kos or the demented ramblings of an angry leftist loon, mad at the world for some perceived injustice at the hands of those evil Republicans.

what a world, what a world. where her monstrous ignorance lies in fetid wait for some method to pounce.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Condemning the June 28, 2009 coup d’état in Honduras, calling for the reinstatement of President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales, and for other purposes.

Whereas Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales was elected President of Honduras in November 2005 in elections that were deemed free and fair by international observers;

Whereas President Zelaya and other political actors in Honduras became embroiled in a political dispute over whether to hold a non-binding referendum asking Honduran voters whether they wanted a constituent assembly to be established to amend the Constitution;

Whereas on June 28, 2009, the day that the non-binding referendum was to take place, Honduran military forces stormed President Zelaya’s residence, apprehended him, sent him out of the country, and seized the materials for the referendum;

Whereas the Honduran Congress named Roberto Micheletti, the head of the Congress, as President and subsequently suspended a number of constitutional rights, including the freedom of association and of movement;

Whereas the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has expressed its concerns regarding human rights abuses by the de facto Micheletti government, including the arbitrary detention of Zelaya supporters;

Whereas the Organization of American States, the United Nations, and the European Union – representing governments from across the political spectrum – have condemned the coup d’état, refused to recognize the de facto Micheletti government, and demanded the unconditional return of President Zelaya to office;

Whereas on July 1, 2009, the Organization of American States voted unanimously to suspend Honduras from participation in the OAS unless President Zelaya was returned to office within three days;

Whereas, on July 4, 2009, the OAS unanimously voted to suspend Honduras;

Whereas the Administration of President Barack Obama has condemned President Zelaya’s removal, supported the OAS resolutions regarding Honduras, and demanded that he be returned to office;

Whereas the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank have suspended aid and loans to Honduras;

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"you have such a weak grasp of facts. How do you survive?"

the questions we all ask ourselves about the demented clown, zouk. how does he survive when he never leaves his mother's basement, his poor weak brain struggling with even the simplest concepts, his poor grasp of language crippling him from making even the simplest argument, not even one cogent, logical statement from him all the years he's been on this blog, all day, every day.

i'd say what a waste, but you start with nothing, you end up with nothing.

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@drindl - The problem with those numbers is

............

that you did not supply a link and I am pretty sure the defintion of scientist includes loons like Ward churchill, al sharpton, Barry Obimbo and all those practicing feminists in the "Science" of idiocy.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

No matter what you think of Zelaya (and he is clearly a flawed character) his ouster was a subversion of a 30 year old democracy by the military

What planet are you writing from today dignbat drivl.

He was removed after the SUpreme court ordered it. a result of his attempt to stay in power past the constitutional limit.

you have such a weak grasp of facts. How do you survive?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

ATTN -- AG Holder, DHS Sec. Napolitano, Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Jay Carney:

APPARENT MALICIOUS INTERFERENCE, OVERT CENSORSHIP
OF INTERNET TELECOMMUNICATIONS INTENSIFIES
IN WAKE OF ‘PANETTA’S BOX’ REVELATIONS
OF SECRET CIA INTEL PROGRAM

• Desperate attempt to cover up a much broader covert ‘multi-agency coordinated action program” of nationwide extra-legal targeting and punishment — using a GPS-enabled citizen volunteer vigilante army recruited from federally-funded volunteer and public safety agencies and “directed energy weapons” torture?

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: “GESTAPO USA”

For more on apparent government surveillance “fusion center” censorship and prior restraint of citizen telecommunications, see “comments” section of this ACLU blog thread:

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-government-mandate

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 10, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@drindl - The problem with those numbers is that most practicing scientists have post-graduate education. There's a clear correlation between education and political leaning with Republicans most likely to have some college education up to a bachelor's.

@dbw - When you stop asking questions along the lines of when did liberals stop beating their wives, you might get some serious responses. Of course, that was never your intent.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 10, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

" The entire Organization of American States, from left wing Hugo Chavez to Columbia's right wing President Alvaro Uribe, have condemned the coup. And there is good reason for such unanimity.  It is not long ago that military backed overthrows of duly elected  national leaders was a run of the mill occurance in Latin America.  We thought those bad old days were gone. The coup in Honduras shows they are not. 

No matter what you think of Zelaya (and he is clearly a flawed character)  his ouster was a subversion of a 30 year old democracy by the military.  That should be a problem no matter what side of the aisle you are on. "

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I think Chris C had JakeD in mind this morning during the chat:

"Chris Cillizza: It is! [reference to his last name] My dad is Italian and my mom is Irish. And, to pre-empt any further questions, I do have an official U.S. birth certificate.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 10, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Astonishing, isn't it? Democracy is overturned in a military coup in the US backyard, and several fascists [ I mean republicans are supportive of it! No one should be shocked by coziness with dictators, though, it's a core tenet of the party.

"Representative Connie Mack's (left) resolution supportive of the Honduras coup was officially submitted for congressional review. It has nine original co-sponsors, including Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Thaddeus McCotter (MI-11), Zach Wamp (TN-03), Ted Poe (TX-02), Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01), Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46), Chris Smith (NJ-04) and Dan Burton (IN-05).

These members of congress (all Republicans) can be considered the founding members of a congressional "coup caucus." The resolution that they sponsored is firmly supportive of a military-backed coup in America's backyard. Nowhere does the resolution express concern for the fact that the coup undermined a key tenet of democracy: the seperation of the military from civil affairs. "

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a press release to announce that she will be meeting with the United States Drug Enforcement Agency to talk about drug trafficking in Honduras.
“Obtaining an assessment from DEA about the situation on the ground is of increasing importance in light of recent developments in Honduras and reports of possible Zelaya drug ties.

“The drug network is like a spider web extending into arms trafficking and used to finance such extremist groups as the FARC. It undermines our regional security and stability. It is critical that we understand the full scope of the problem and the players involved in order to combat it effectively.” [Emphasis mine]

These "reports of possible Zelaya drug ties" have come from none other than the newly-minted Honduran "Foreign Minister" Enrique Ortez. He claimed in an interview that "Every night, three or four Venezuelan-registered planes land without the permission of appropriate authorities and bring thousands of pounds ... and packages of money that are the fruit of drug trafficking."

Ortez, as those who have been following this situation are well aware, was dressed down by the United States Ambassador to Honduras for frequently invoking the racially charged pejorative "negrito" to refer to President Obama. At one point, Ortez described the president of the United States as "this little black man (negrito) who has no idea where Tegucigalpa is."

But it gets worse:

A third quote by Ortez Colindres surfaced yesterday, made during an interview with a Honduran television station and cited in El Tiempo newspaper:
"He negociado con maricones, prostitutas, con ñángaras (izquierdistas), negros, blancos. Ese es mi trabajo, yo estudié eso. No tengo prejuicios raciales, me gusta el negrito del batey que está presidiendo los Estados Unidos."

--------

"I have negotiated with queers, prostitutes, leftists, blacks, whites. This is my job, I studied for it. I am not racially prejudiced. I like the little black sugar plantation worker who is president of the United States."

I think I finally understand why so many Republicans are backing the coup. "

Let;s call it a lack of patriotism and respect for democratic institutions.

They really love those authoritarian coups and dictators.

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The Roberts confirmation, by traditional standards that I support, should have been unanimous. As, LG has said, to use Sen. BHO's standard would require a party line vote against SS. But LG does not subscribe to Sen. BHO's standard, and probably will ultimately vote for SS, b/c she is highly qualified and in no way out of the judicial mainstream.

I have read her opinions and she has followed precedent on the bench. She has a good rep among lawyers on both sides of the civil and criminal dockets.

All of this was true of Roberts, as well, btw.
-----------------------------------
Why was Bork "different"? Because he had written articles denouncing the strength assigned to precedent, and because he believed that the anti-trust laws of the USA should be repealed. Upon being questioned, he said he would not carry those views into practice on the bench, but one could be forgiven for not having been reassured.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 10, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Here in FLA, we have another rightwing nutjob politician, who supports the military coup of a dictator in Honduras, while criticizing her president. Smacks of fascism, which the R party is creeping closer to every day.

Looks like some republican senators are right -- it really is like germany in the 30s here -- except the republicans are turning into the nazis.

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

dbw -- you are simply a joke, a laughingstock. No one can take you seriously. Everything you write is a lie, like every other lying rightwinger.

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Finally, some news other than Sarah Palin!!! Quit giving her the spotlight. We all know she is a loose cannon who craves attention - so quit giving it to her. There is so much more to worry and write about than her.

Posted by: judithmur | July 10, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

dbw1 writes
"Question is: why are Democrats so mean and hateful and always politicing these judicial hearings that were never meant to be used how they are used today?"


dbw, that's a somewhat selective history, don't you think? For instance, Alito & Roberts were confirmed without too much drama, to pick two recent examples. The Miers nomination was withdrawn because of Republican objections, not the Dems. So your analysis seems to have something of a partisan bend to it, in my opinion.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 10, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"You help prove the point that most Obama supporters can't defend liberal policies. They can only call names and take potshots at anyone who disagrees with liberal policies."

...Says the person who followed up this quote with potshots about a "drunken stupor" and "socialism."

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 10, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"And I'm a big supporter of the Democrats continuing their drunken stupor of spending like it's going out of style. It's like 1992-1993 all over again. They keep it up, and 2010 will be like 1994 all over again, too."

Which is fine, the reality though is that most normal people don't care about spending. "It's the economy, stupid." If the economy still stinks in 2010, the Dems will lose some seats. If it still stinks in 2012, They could lose the white house.

Either way, it's immaterial to the subject at hand. The bottom line is that there's really no good reason to oppose the Sotomayor nomination. She's got arguably more experience at the judicial level, esp. the federal judicial level than the last 3 confirmed GOP nominations combined.

Any effort to oppose her confirmation will stink of partisan hackery, and require extreme streches of logic, and a risk of credibility that the GOP plain can't afford right now. The "Liberal Judicial Activist" label just doesn't fit once you actually look into her record, opinions and rulings. Attemping to paint her as such will only succeed in painting the person trying as a clown.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 10, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman:

And I'm a big supporter of the Democrats continuing their drunken stupor of spending like it's going out of style. It's like 1992-1993 all over again. They keep it up, and 2010 will be like 1994 all over again, too.

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money." - Margaret Thatcher

Posted by: dbw1 | July 10, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

drindl:

Thanks for exposing yourself as hateful, intolerant, and probably a bit of a sexist. At least we know where you are coming from. You help prove the point that most Obama supporters can't defend liberal policies. They can only call names and take potshots at anyone who disagrees with liberal policies.

Not that I really expected someone like "drindl" to come with facts and thoughtful discourse, because that's usually too much to ask from a liberal.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 10, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"Should Republicans treat Sotomayor like Democrats treated Robert Bork?"

I think they should. But, I'm also a huge supporter of the current crop of GOP "leadership" doing everything in their power to show the world how incompotent they are.

Example: I am a huge supporter of the GOP running Palin/Bachmann in 2012.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 10, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

why are democrats so mean and hateful? boohoohoo. whining crybaby republicans, are crucifying sotomeyer over nothing. what a pack of cowardly jackals.

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Palin herself says that her ethical lapses are costing the state money it could use for teachers, cops and firefighters. She is right to resign -- she's a liability and a loser, besides being just plain dumb.

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I have a question for the double-standard liberals (of course, I'm being redundant) on the board. Should Republicans treat Sotomayor like Democrats treated Robert Bork?

Ouch. That hurts to think about, doesn't it? Both received the highest rating from the ABA, and both had a fairly lengthy and distinguished resume of judgeships. But they held decidedly controversial opinions on divisive issues, and that was enough for Democrats to wage an all-out assault on Bork...and pretty much any other nominee to the Supreme Court by a Republican president.

Of course, unlike their Democrat counterparts who use the Constitution as toilet paper, conservatives believe in the 'advise and consent' clause. Meaning, unless there is some glaring legal (e.g., the nominee is under investigation for bribery), the President should largely get to put on the bench whoever he wants.

So as a conservative, unless some new information comes to light that Sotomayor harbored illegals in her basement or something, she should be confirmed and we move on.

Question is: why are Democrats so mean and hateful and always politicing these judicial hearings that were never meant to be used how they are used today?

Posted by: dbw1 | July 10, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Only 6% of scientists consider themselves republicans. republicans can't do math, or any stuff that requires intelligence, you see.

The comparable figure for Dems is 55%. Here's the data:

%who are Public% Scientists%
Democratic 35 55
Republican 23 6
Independent 34 32

Ideolog. self-rating
Liberal 20 52
Moderate 38 35
Conservative 37 9

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

So drivl's expert is a 19 YO kid. No wonder the Libs are a laughing stock of the world. this is what passes for intelligence on their side.

I wonder what the Wiggles think. Maybe you could interview them along with Streisand, your Lib brain trust.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Just like all republicans, palin is only in it for the money.

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The former fiance of Gov. Sarah Palin's 18-year-old daughter says he thinks he knows why the Alaska governor is resigning _ concerns over money.

Levi Johnston, 19, whose wedding to Bristol Palin was called off earlier this year, says he believes the governor is resigning over personal finances.

Johnston says he lived with the Palin family from early December to the second week in January. He claims he heard the governor several times say how nice it would be to take advantage of the lucrative deals that were being offered, including a reality show and a book.

"I think the big deal was the book. That was millions of dollars," said Johnston, who has had a strained relationship with the family but now says things have improved.

Palin has a book deal, but compensation details haven't been disclosed. '

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

rightwing MSM

drivl

still living in an alternate universe.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The predictably rightwing MSM shills predictably for rightwingers. Yawn. What else is new?

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"Republicans facing tough elections in 2010 don’t want Sarah Palin campaigning with them.

Though the soon-to-be-former Alaska governor is seen as popular with the conservative grass roots, several Republicans said she’d help them by staying home in Wasilla.

Several of these Republicans hail from districts or states carried in 2008 by President Obama, a frequent target of Palin’s criticism. Republicans must keep these districts and win others where Obama is popular if they are to gain seats next year.

GOP Rep. Lee Terry (Neb.), who squeaked out a victory despite his district’s overwhelming turnout for Obama, said he’d rather have House colleagues campaign for him than Palin.

“There’s others that I would have come in and campaign and most of them would be my colleagues in the House,” Terry said.

Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican from Northern Virginia, which is increasingly becoming Democratic territory, offered caution when asked whether he’d welcome a Palin fundraiser.

“I don’t generally need people from outside my district to do a fundraiser,” Wolf said.

Several other lawmakers indicated a wariness about accepting help from Palin, but did not want to criticize the GOP’s vice presidential candidate from last year. They said Palin could hurt them by firing up Democrats.

Can you imagine how horrified a Republican in a purple district might be at the thought of Palin coming to town? Why not bring the entire freak show- Rush could emcee, Santorum and George Allen could do their greatest hits, Sanford and Ensign could come and talk about family values, then Sarah could bat clean-up and tell 70% of the district that they aren’t real Americans and like the wrong mustard.

And then when the candidate gets killed in the election, Malkin and Red State can write fifty diaries saying that the reason he/she lost was because they were not true conservatives.

I think this has potential.'

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Her decision was one with her brand for two main reasons:

1) She's practical and holds government to the same standard. This means that when she was watching millions being spent on what seems to amount to frivolous investigations against her, she couldn't stand by and watch the money be wasted. Not only was she being hamstrung in her job, but dollars were being thrown out the window. Her frustration over this waste showed at her press conference. Not only does this point back to the sincerity of her brand and reinforce that she actually cares about every taxpayer dollar, but it puts her "quitting" in a different light -- by stepping aside and risking hurting her political career, she is actually saving Alaska money (one of her core promises she made to the people of that state).

2) She embodies family values and put them first. For the political class, a family is often an accessory, but even so, families are semi-sacred ground for the media, that is except for Sarah Palin's. By any reasonable standard, her family was dragged through the mud. The wife and mother making the announcement on July 3 was someone who could not and would not bear any more. She made a choice that came out of the deepest part of herself (her core brand) -- no wonder the political class was left scratching its collective head. They hadn't taken her claims of loving her family seriously. But the wives and mothers who make up Palin's supporters got it.

Fact is, as Stanley Fish over at The New York Times pointed out: if you just listened to what Palin said at her press conference, you'd understand that this was not someone making a traditional political calculation. This was someone being real about her choices and her pain.

And that's why Sarah Palin has just strengthened herself for the long run (if she ever chooses a political future). She wasn't erratic at all; she was true to the things she believes in.

A real person, not a stuffed shirt media spin artist.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

cheerleading for republicans is called stating facts in the non-moonbat world.

all the dirt on Libs is beginning to emerge after the press took their long holiday. Of course the Libs, like cockroaches, can't tolerate the light of day.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

At White House BBQ:
No blogging, Twittering
Politico, by Michael Calderone

Gawker reports that at least 30 reporters attended the annual White House 4th of July barbeque, under some pretty strict ground rules.(Snip)It's not unusual for some White House social events to be off the record.(Snip) And while Gawker's correct that reporters were present, it should be noted that most of the White House briefing room all-stars were not. The press charter had already left for Moscow


Iran or US?? Hard to tell in the modern banana republic of america these days.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with blarg , here, Cilizza. Your cheerleading for the republicans is becoming really nauseating and obvious.

You are becoming as transparently rightiwng as Politico.

Posted by: drindl | July 10, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

News from the Lib front:

'My Cousin In Kenya Can't Get a Job Without Paying a Bribe':
Obama Tells African Leaders to Get Their Houses in Order
Ask Burris and Blago how that works

Plumage - But At a Price
Obama signs an air-agreement as Russians glide back to
their dachas to laugh themselves silly

Thousands protest in Iran,defying crackdown vow
This is really awe inspiring. Someone should tell Obama about it

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 10, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

"We will flip ... Nevada if we can find a reasonable candidate to go against Reid."

That's what I'm saying. If Ensign steps down now, the timing will be PERFECT for a comeback in 2010.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 10, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

National Republicans are "growing more optimistic" about the fate of their party? Really?

When were they pessimistic, exactly? In fact, when has any leader of a large organization declared publicly that their organization will fail? The Republicans have always claimed to be optimistic about their future. They announced their impending victory before the 2006 election, before the 2008 election, and at every possible moment since. There are occasional comments about rebuilding the party or changing their message, but in general the Republicans always act as if victory is right around the corner.

Everything's been used as evidence for the "Republican resurgence": Recruiting a good candidate for one district, winning a special election in a friendly district, not losing a special election too badly, etc. And every time Republican cheerleaders announce how bright the future is, media hacks like CC report it as if it's the gospel. It's ridiculous.

Posted by: Blarg | July 10, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I put the number of Democratic Senators who will likely NOT vote in favor of Judge Satomayor at zero.

It seems unlikely that more than 20 Republicans will vote against her.

That will give her about 78 votes. Well above the 50 needed. (2 Democratic Senators, Byrd and Kennedy, will likely not be available to vote).

Everyone expects the minority party to ask tough questions. They always do and Republicans will fill that role this time. But everyone also expects Judge Sotomayor sufficiently answer these question.

Thus, no surprises. Her nomination is definitely "a foregone conclusion".

But I'm sure the MSM will conjure up a lot of "drama".

Posted by: MDLaxer | July 10, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Fantastic article below about Sonia Sotomayor and her judicial philosophy.

"The the Sonia Sotomayor Looking Glass"

By Matt Semino, Esq.

http://elitestv.com/pub/2009/06/through-the-sonia-sotomayor-looking-glass

Posted by: supreme22 | July 10, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

SCOTUS HEARINGS WON'T BLOT OUT THE SUNSHINE THAT'S EXPOSING THE DOMESTIC EXTRA-LEGAL TARGETING AND TORTURE MATRIX...

...a covert "multi-agency coordinated action program" that's ruining the lives and livelihoods, torturing thousands of unjustly targeted Americans and their families.

Congress: Open "Panetta's Box" and restore democray and the rule of law in America before it's too late.

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA: Gov't-Funded Vigilante Network Terrorizes America"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 10, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"Gillibrand strikes me as a little Sarah Palin-like in that she is extremely ambitious and she is learning on the job. The differences are that she has not aspired to an office that is inappropriate for her, she speaks with care and she is actually intelligent."

She strikes me as Palin like in that they are both women.
Give me a few weeks and I might think of a second item to add to that list.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 10, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

http://www.slate.com/id/2222523/

Slate on Palin. I'm getting tired of the woman, but this is a very cogent column on what her main issues are.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 10, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Other polls show Sotomayor with a much higher rate of approval, so I'm not sure you can categorically say that less than half want her confirmed.

Gillibrand strikes me as a little Sarah Palin-like in that she is extremely ambitious and she is learning on the job. The differences are that she has not aspired to an office that is inappropriate for her, she speaks with care and she is actually intelligent.

Ensign's mistress? What a haul! Over $100K!?! That's just so sleazy -- why is she being paid that kind of money over an affair she freely entered into?

Posted by: msame | July 10, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

The only news coming out of the hearings for the highly qualified Sotomayor will be the desperate tactics put in play by Republicans to embarrass the nominee and our president.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 10, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Only 47% americans wants her confirmed at the next justice. Lets take a few more pounds of political flesh and let it go. Don't overplay your hand Senate GOP. Looks like things are shaping up where we will keep Fla., NH NC and Ohio in republican hands. We will flip NY, ILL, PA, and Nevada if we can find a reasonable candidate to go against Reid. We will most likely lose KY if Bunning trys to fight it out.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 10, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Re Sotomayor: It depends how much she 'stonewalls' with her responses as did Roberts and Alito..

Re economy: WSJ's (not exactly a Dem mouthpiece) latest forecasting survey said the U.S. doesn’t need another round of stimulus now, despite expectations of continued severe job losses. Just eight of 51 economists said more stimulus is necessary. On average, the economists forecast an unemployment rate of at least 10% through June, with a decline to 9.5% by December 2010.

When asked how much the stimulus has helped the economy, 53% of respondents said it has provided somewhat of a boost, but the larger effect is still to come. That sentiment echoes what the Obama administration has said about the stimulus.

Re Palin polling: This is news? Of course a majority don't think she's qualified. She comes across as certifiable. And now the controversy that she's quit to take advantage of the money she can make through a book deal and media appearances... Bye bye Palin!


Posted by: RickJ | July 10, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

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