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Morning Fix: Winners and Losers, Sotomayor Day 1



The Senate Judiciary Committee sits in confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The confirmation hearings for judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, predictably, blotted out the sun in the political world on Monday -- as it will for as long as the questioning and answering go on.

Rather than fight the centrifugal force that is a court confirmation in Washington, the Fix is giving in; for the rest of the week, the top item of the Morning Fix will be a review of the winners and losers -- as determined by an esteemed Fix panel of Democratic and Republican operatives -- from the previous day's hearing.

This is in keeping with our general Fix motto: we watch these things so you don't have to.

As always, if you have winners and/or losers of your own from day one of the confirmation hearings we'd love to hear them in the comment section below.

WINNERS

Al Franken: In retrospect, Franken was set up to succeed in what amounted to his debut as a senator. As long as Franken didn't break into a rant about Rush Limbaugh or reprise his Mick Jagger impersonation, he was likely to get positive reviews. He did neither, and here is his positive review. Franken was gracious and serious, and his decision to honor Sen. Ted Kennedy's (Mass.) service was a very nice touch.

Jeff Sessions: Republicans, to a person, cheered Sessions's aggressive tone in his introductory remarks -- insisting that he made clear right from the start that Republicans had no plans to lie down simply because Sotomayor's confirmation is almost-certain.

Randall Terry: Terry, the former congressional candidate and radical anti-abortion protester, coordinated a series of protests in the committee room that disrupted the proceedings and drew attention to him and his cause.

LOSERS

Kirsten Gillibrand: Gillibrand had a chance to shine today as one of the two senators chosen to formally introduce Sotomayor. But, Gillibrand wound up getting cut off by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and managed to call Justice Antonin Scalia "Anthony." Still, for those not paying close attention to the hearings (i.e., most voters) Gillibrand's prominence in advocating for the first Hispanic nominee to the Court should help her in her primary fight against Rep. Carolyn Maloney next year.

Jeff Sessions: Democrats insisted that Sessions's tone was way over the top, coming across as mean-spirited rather than merely challenging. It will be interesting to see what sort of approach Sessions will take when he gets his chance to ask questions of Sotomayor.

Arlen Specter: It was odd to see a titan of the Judiciary Committee -- back when he was a Republican -- reduced to a speaking slot between a caretaker (Sen. Ted Kauffman of Delaware) and Franken. Not a great moment for Specter who must be stewing about his junior role in this hearing. Of course, if he gets elected as a Democrat next year, Specter will be the one smiling.

Tuesday's Must Reads: The Fix top five power ballads -- 5. "Home Sweet Home" 4. "House of Pain" 3. "When the Children Cry" 2. "November Rain" 1. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."

1. What happens in the hearing room may not stay in the hearing room.
2. Sarah Palin on cap and trade.
3. The six worst state governments.
4. Kirk is (almost) in.
5. Swearing is good for you.

Republicans Release Heath Care Polling: The Republican National Committee released polling on Monday making the case that while President Obama remains popular, his policies -- particularly in regards health care -- are seen with a far more jaundiced eye by the American public. Although more than six in ten voters (61 percent) had a favorable impression of Obama, the sample was split evenly -- 41 percent each -- over whether they approved or disapproved of the way Obama is handling health care reform. In another data point, 35 percent said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who "would help President Obama and the Democrats in Congress pass their agenda" while 56 percent would rather vote for a candidate who would function as a "check and balance" to Obama and the Democratic Congress. "The Obama Administration is acting with extreme haste, hoping to push their health care experiment as fast as they can," reads a memo distributed by the RNC detailing the polling results. "Make no mistake -- their time line is based on what works for them politically, not on what will result in the best health care policy for Americans."

Hutchison's Haul Moves Her Into Race: Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison raised better than $6.7 million in the last six months for her gubernatorial exploratory committee and ended June with $12.5 million in the bank Hutchison's cash haul comes a few days after Gov. Rick Perry announced that he has raised $4.2 million in just nine days (!) and ended June with nearly $9.3 million in the bank. Hutchison is expected to now end the exploratory phase of the campaign and become an official candidate in the coming days; she will embark on a statewide announcement tour in August, according to a source familiar with her plans. As we have said -- and written -- many times, this race is going to expensive and nasty. Both candidates are squirreling away millions of dollars for what will be an onslaught of television ads, direct mail pieces and automated phone calls that will flood the state in the coming months. We can hardly wait. (Side note: The Texas Republican governor's race tops the Fix's Line of best primaries in the country.)

Iowans Want Vote on Gay Marriage, Sez Poll: Two-thirds of Iowans want a vote on a gay marriage amendment to the state constitution, according to a new Republican poll conducted by Jan Van Lohuizen for theiowarepublican.com. Earlier this year the Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in the state. Asked whether the issue is "best" decided by the Court or by a vote on the matter, 67 percent chose the vote option while 27 percent said the decision should be left up to the court. At least on candidate planning a run against Gov. Chet Culver in 2010 -- Bob Vander Plaats -- has put the gay marriage at the center of his campaign. Republicans insist Culver is vulnerable next November despite President Obama's nine point win in the Hawkeye State in 2008.

Click It!: A small town state legislative race? What better fodder for a television show. We give you "The Campaign" by Daniel Poliner, who among other things to his credit is a) a big fan of the Fix and b) from Connecticut. The trailer for the show, which stars Debra Jo Rupp -- Kitty from "That 70s Show" -- is here. Check it out. Spread the word.

Poizner Gets Connerly: Ward Connerly, one of the nation's leading opponents of affirmative action, has endorsed state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner's (R-Calif.) gubernatorial campaign -- praising Poizner's "experience and vision." Connerly came to national fame when he led the successful push in the mid 1990s for a ballot initiative -- Proposition 209 -- that forbid any public institution from using race, gender and ethnicity in their hiring or admissions processes. In touting Connerly's support, Poizner appears to be trying to position himself to former eBay president Meg Whitman's (R) ideological right in next year's primary. Whitman has lined up considerable establishment support for her bid including former governor Pete Wilson who is serving as her campaign chair.

Van Sickle Forms Firm: Erin Van Sickle, a former communications aide at the Republican Party of Florida has started a media and public relations firm called Capitol Energy Communications. Van Sickle is teaming with Jerry Paul and Ron Wilson, veteran lobbyists who have a similar firm known as Capitol Energy Florida.

Blunt Twitters Money #'s: Seeking to build interest in his Twitter feed, Rep. Roy Blunt (R) is planning to release his second quarter fundraising number via the microblogging service. "Our campaign is using technology and social networking to communicate directly with voters," said Blunt. Early reports suggest that Blunt crested $1 million raised between April 1 and June 30, a vast improvement on his surprisingly weak first quarter of fundraising. Blunt now seems likely to have a clear primary field as he prepares for an open seat race against Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, one of Democrats' top recruits in the country, next November.

Say What?: "As most of you know, this is my fifth day in office." -- Minnesota Sen. Al Franken (D) acknowledges the obvious during his opening statement in the Sotomayor confirmation hearings.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 14, 2009; 5:31 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Comments

cseon 10:51 AM revisionism of history is typical of the left wingers BS who now all call themselves Democrats, progressives, and liberals, but aren't.
If his claim that the GOP is controlled by the extreme right were true, they would never have nominated or run Maverick John McCain, who was, and still is, as much a Democrat as a Republican. Matter of fact the Republicans generally are by far more tolerant of different points of view within their party than todays so-called Democrats. It's the so-called Democratic Party that is the most vile, hateful, dishonest, and intolerant political party that's ever existed in the USA, and you can see that with how they've treated Sarah Palin, AND STILL DO!!! The reason that I describe the Democratic Party the 'so-called Democrat Party' is because it's they who have changed politically from what they once were. While they still dress themselves in the Democrat, liberal, and progressive mantel, they are not really Democrats, liberals, or progressives. They are a collection of Marxists, facists, Communists, Socialists, and globalists--depending on their political zeal--who want to change our country from a capitalist Representative Republic, to a "Workers Paradise" with a central government big brother one, where the government becomes more like your mommy and daddy. What they want (and with the election of Obama, they're well on their way) is to make the US Constitution and Bill of Rights just historical pieces of paper with no real meaning, while they run everything, a la the former 'Workers Paradise' in the USSR (they think that they can do it better you see). By contrast, it's the Republican Party who wants to keep our system of government as it is, and how our founding fathers intended for it to be, and that's why todays so-called Democrats, liberals, and progressives hate the Republican Party and anyone who speaks for their viewpoints. It's the reason they want to destroy people like Palin, Limbaugh, and many others like them, and why they want the so-called 'Fairness Doctrine', Union Card Check, Union--owned industries like GM and Chrysler, nationlized Insurance companies, banks, and mortgage companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and nationalized health care and drug companies. It's the reason that they want total and complete control of who gets hired and fired; who gets promotions; who gets bonuses and how much, who sits on the Board of Directors and controls the workings of government-owned industries, etc, etc. That folks is todays REAL Democratic Party.

Posted by: armpeg | July 15, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

We need to consider the fact that the Republicans weren’t always a Unitary Party. Today, the extreme right wing(s) of the party have a vice grip on how the party presents its image to the world, but there was a time when there was a left wing to the Republican Party, and President Teddy Roosevelt – the President who created the Modern Presidency out of whole cloth – was the champion of that wing, and many of the programs – including Health Care Reform – that have been championed for decades by the Democrats, and only now are being grudgingly supported by the Republicans, were all started by him. Indeed, if you look at his Administration, and that of his Cousin Franklin Roosevelt, you will see lots of similarities.

If Teddy were alive today, he couldn’t be a Republican because the party would disown him because of his political position.

At the same time, there was a time when the Democrats were the most conservative party in America, and FDR had to gull the Southern Democrats in order to get things done.

What has changed to force the realignment of the two parties is RACE. When FDR started the ball slowly rolling towards JFK and LBJ’s work on Civil Rights, the Southern Democrats and their northern peers who were Race Sympathizers started migrating from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, with a short stop at the 1948 Dixiecrat Party. The Ultraconservatives you see today who have a stranglehold on the Republican Party are the Sons and Daughters of those Southern Democrats and Northern Sympathizers who moved from Democrat to Republican to maintain their Ultraconservatism, although they were forced to redirect their attitudes only because it became illegal to use Race in the negative fashion they were used to.

Make no mistake, the ones who are shouting Ultraconservatism from the rooftops are those same Sons and Daughters I mentioned earlier.

Posted by: cseon | July 15, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The Obama health care bill will cost this country 250,000 jobs! How can Obama, on one hand, be trying to "create jobs", then cost this country anouther quarter-of-a-million high-paying jobs during health care reform? Is this the tail wagging the dog?

I have already seen health care-related job loss, even before reform passes, on my job board, http://www.gorillamedicalsales.com , a web site for medical sales representatives and pharmaceutical sales representatives to find employment. Medical companies are simply not filling vacant sales territories in anticipation of reform.

Posted by: medsearch | July 15, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I have to say I think there were no winners in the hearings. Senators of both parties are captive to their partisan affliation in being overly deferential or critical toward Sotomayor. Republicans were the biggest losers in asking her questions about her opinions about specific issues, which no appointee should be expected to answer in such a forum. Of course, Democrats do exactly the same when a Republican president nominates a justice.

The hearings almost inevitably become a partisan circus, with some Senators trying to embarass a nominee for making a few arguably foolish or controversial comments over many decades, as if the Senators have not made far more foolish or controversial remarks.

Sotomayor would have been more of a winner if she had not tried to placate Republican critics with her comments about her, as a Latina judge making better decisions than white males. She compromised her integrity by, in effect, trying to retract such comments. Instead, since Sotomayor obviously believes what she said is true, she should have fully defended and explained her statements.

The political circus will be over in a few days, she will be confirmed with over sixty affirmative votes and be able to rule as she pleases on the high court, same as her colleagues.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | July 15, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse

In California there are so many Vietnamese doing cosmetology work that it's now legal to take the test in their language.

Prior to this, many perfectly able nail- and hair-thợ probably failed the test in English. That would be because the test was biased toward people whose mother tongue is English.

Now, armpeg, get hopping mad about that.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

It figures that liberal Obama-supporter chrisfox8 would try to use the 'tests not fair' excuse as a red herring to try to justfy the New Haven Firefighters test results being thrown out and Sonia Sotomayors racist decision to deny the white, and one Hispanic firefighter, the promotions that they deserved. Chrisfox8 apparantly doesn't know that there are two parts to the New Haven Firefighters Promotion Test. It's 60% written and 40% oral. Every question that was given, both written and oral, was first submitted to several different groups for evaluation and to check for bias, including the NAACP. All these different groups approved every question that was given, so there was no bias, as chrisfox8 tries to excuse the racist end result for these tests with.

==

"There was no bias"

Yeah and Americans are the only people who speak without an accent, right? Sheesh.

Pretty quick with the "racist" canard, aren't you.

(wondering what written vs. oral has to do with bias, much less proof of its absence)

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

It figures that liberal Obama-supporter chrisfox8 would try to use the 'tests not fair' excuse as a red herring to try to justfy the New Haven Firefighters test results being thrown out and Sonia Sotomayors racist decision to deny the white, and one Hispanic firefighter, the promotions that they deserved. Chrisfox8 apparantly doesn't know that there are two parts to the New Haven Firefighters Promotion Test. It's 60% written and 40% oral. Every question that was given, both written and oral, was first submitted to several different groups for evaluation and to check for bias, including the NAACP. All these different groups approved every question that was given, so there was no bias, as chrisfox8 tries to excuse the racist end result for these tests with.

thinman1, on the other hand, apparantly didn't get my point with the baseball umpire analogy. My point was that EVERY FAIR AND HONEST BASEBALL UMPIRE SEES THE STRIKE/BALL ZONE THE EXACT SAME WAY. THE ZONE DOESN'T GET BIGGER OR SMALLER JUST BECAUSE THERE'S A WHITE OR BLACK BATTER!!! A FAIR AND HONEST JUDGE WOULD DO THE SAME. Sotomayor didn't, and that's why she has proven that she's a racist. It's the reason the Justice Lady holding the scales also has a blindfold on.
Thinman1 also must not have read all of what I wrote to make the false claim that I didn't address the racist 'wise Latina' remark, and instead focused on Ricci. As anyone who can read can see, I addressed both, although I didn't address Ricci by name but used all the Firefighters who were discriminated against by the New Haven authorities and Sonia Sotomayor.

Posted by: armpeg | July 14, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I guess armpeg doesn't know much about baseball, as the way in which an umpire calls balls and strikes and varies the size of the strike zone very much varies from umpire to umpire.

It's equally interesting that instead of defending the full wise Latina quote that armpeg avoids the question and instead focuses on Ricci.

All I suggested was that to look at that one sentence was to miss much of what she was saying.

As to Ricci, I'm not going to try an argue the case here because I suspect that there is nothing I can write to make armpeg decide to see Sotomayor as anything other than a racist.

Here's a parting thought on so-called judicial activism: to overturn Roe today after 36 years on the books would be an act, one could argue, of judicial activism. But I doubt you'd ever hear any conservative admit that. How ironic.

But then again, if one is looking for an example of conservatism and irony, you need go no farther than Mark Sanford.

Posted by: thinman1 | July 14, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

NO BLACKS WERE ABLE TO PASS OR SCORE HIGH ENOUGH ON THE TEST.

==

You don't know much about written tests. To craft an evaluation exam that doesn't favor one group over another is not an easy thing to do.

Many other municipal fire departments have dropped written tests in favor of skills assessments, because they provide more accurate data.

Tests for IQ are notoriously skewed; in the rural south they can make poor people appear a lot dumber than they actually are because they use words that the rural poor are unlikely to know. And to come up with individualized testing risks creating a paradigm where everyone scores precisely average.

Your hysterical all-caps shout shows serious ignorance about testing. It's not as simple as you would like to believe.

One of the white firemen is a dyslexic who studied his pants off to get a promotion. Should he have gotten one? He's still dyslexic.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

thinman1 12:08 PM falsely claims that anyone using her racist 'wise Latina' remark is 'misquoting' her. Not true. If a black, white or Hispanic baseball umpire is fair, honest, and objectice each will call a strike a strike, or a ball a ball. He/she will not make the strike zone smaller or larger, depending on the color, race, or religion of the batter--as Sonia Sotomayor did in her 'wise Latina' being BETTER than a wise WHITE MAN remark, and her racist decision in the Firefighters case. That was a racist decision, because there is no way on the planet that those test results would have been thrown out had every person that scored on the top of the test results and qualified for promotion, had they been all black. The one and only reason those test results and the promotions were made null and void was because NO BLACKS WERE ABLE TO PASS OR SCORE HIGH ENOUGH ON THE TEST. Sonia Sotomayer is either a racist by going along with an obvious racist decision by the lower court, or she's too stupid for not seeing that racism is the same if it's done to blacks, whites, or Hispanic. In either case she doesn't belong on the US Supreme Court, where she'll make these kind of racist decisions that will trash our Constitution, and our Bill of Rights.

Posted by: armpeg | July 14, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

CC wrote:

"Hutchison's Haul Moves Her Into Race: Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison raised better than $6.7 million in the last six months for her gubernatorial exploratory committee and ended June with $12.5 million in the bank Hutchison's cash haul comes a few days after Gov. Rick Perry announced that he has raised $4.2 million in just nine days (!) and ended June with nearly $9.3 million in the bank."

I had wondered why KBH had not yet solicited me.
Today I received it. She writes that my donation will be matched by her Finance Committee. Bye bye, Rick!

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 14, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

So how is Jeff Sessions a winner here? Throwing a little red meat to the angry base only briefly pleases them, it doesn't win any new GOP votes, it just stirs up the nasty-grimies for a few minutes.

The fact that it reinforces the already strong and accurate perception that the GOP is intolerant and divisive is a real negative, a lasting one.

Hispanics who don't usually follow politics are following these hearings avidly, and the GOP has been losing their votes for three years. Their support for the GOP has recently taken a dramatic drop thanks to all the screeds for GOP officials former and current.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 14, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Sessions a winner? Sessions is a thug.

Now I truly understand why the left fought so hard to keep HIM off the bench. With every snide, mean-spirited, sarcastic, and confrontational comment, he heaps dishonor on the good and gracious people of Alabama.

Playing politics? The GOP seems to think they're playing football. Shame. Deep, deep shame!

Posted by: ethanquern | July 14, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse


RE: Terry

I resented the way the Pink Ladies disrupted hearings -- and don't get me wrong, I often agreed with their point of view.

There is no place for disruptive behavior in a hearing. It is disrespectful to everyone, regardless of political bearing.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | July 14, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps I am selectively remembering that such comments are usually addressed to the base in stump speeches, not to the general public in op-ed submissions. In the latter format, they are most like the writings of a Kristol or Will and not at all appropriate for a person who has to attract moderates at the polls one day."

True, I guess I never really pay attention to the context of these speeches. I'm surprised the politicians do, actually since everything is pretty much heard by everyone nowdays.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 14, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

ddawd writes
"I could imagine almost every Republican from the 2008 field saying this except for maybe McCain. Definitely Guiliani and Romney."

Perhaps I am selectively remembering that such comments are usually addressed to the base in stump speeches, not to the general public in op-ed submissions. In the latter format, they are most like the writings of a Kristol or Will and not at all appropriate for a person who has to attract moderates at the polls one day.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 14, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

In OTHER news

Swearing--

I'm glad my longevity is now assured. The most highly charged word I've ever noticed you say in public is 'Crud'--time to think of your health!

The Fix top five power ballads--

Poison's 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn' has been a favourite of mine for a long time. Brilliant song!

Sarah Palin on cap & trade--

If I want to be amused, I'll watch old episodes of Blackadder or Jeeves and Wooster, thanks. Reading Sarah Palin on policy is like listening to Liz Chaney on security issues, only even less amusing.

Click It--

I did, and Poliner's 'The Campaign' is hilarious. I can't imagine one of the networks airing it, though. Seems more like HBO-material, but side-splitting all the same!

Apropos, JUST WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO 'MOUTHPIECE THEATRE'????????

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 14, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Sotomayor Hearing--

It's hard for me to think purely as a partisan, so I'm afraid that it was difficult for me to rate Sen. Sessions' day-one performance as a 'winner'. He displayed every single reason that the image of the Republican party has deteriorated:

I, for one, took away an impression of a man who was snide, bitter, rude (not in an in-your-face way but in a superficially courtly, under-the-radar way), not even willing to meet the candidate halfway as his far more gracious colleague, Sen. Lindsay Graham was. Even Sens. Kyl and Hatch phrased their reservations in a more temperate manner.

So Sessions succeeded in proving he's just another angry, mean-spirited Southern white Republican male for the entire nation to see. Talk about being temperamentally unsuited to the bench! No wonder Sessions had to go into politics!

Dan Balz had it right in his excellent article when he quoted Simon Rosenburg of NDN: 'If during the next few weeks the Republicans appear to be playing politics with race rather than raising legitimate issues about Sotomayor's judicial approach it could reinforce the deep impression that the Republican Party's anachronistic and intolerant approach to race and diversity is making them less capable of leading a very different and more racially diverse America of the early 21st century'. If that was Sen. Sessions' goal, he achieved it superbly.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 14, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Armpeg, she did NOT make a case that she was only agreeing with SDO'C. She said it was a rhetorical flourish that fell flat.

The statement remains controversial. You do not need to embellish it. She has backed away from it, but has not denied what she said.

Read her cases. She is perfectly qualified as was Roberts and the only reason to oppose her is that Sen. BHO opposed Roberts - tit for tat. I prefer Lindsey Graham's and Russ Feingold's formulation - deference to presidential appointments in the vast majority of court appointment matters - then Sen. BHO's politically motivated votes against Alito and Roberts. LG does correctly remember that many Ds voted for Roberts and some voted for Alito despite Sen. BHO's "lead".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 14, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"postscript: what's with the gratuitous comment that (I paraphrase) "Ironically, soon even liberals will understand supply side economics"? That smacks of someone aiming towards a career as a pundit, not a serious candidate for office."

Meh, I could imagine almost every Republican from the 2008 field saying this except for maybe McCain. Definitely Guiliani and Romney

Posted by: DDAWD | July 14, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"As long as Franken didn't ... reprise his Mick Jagger impersonation, he was likely to get positive reviews."

He would have immediately become my favorite senator in US history had he impersonated Mick in his first formal committee statment. I would have contributed at least $100 to his next campaign. This offer is open to any freshman member of either party and the donation will also be paid for impersonations of the Beatles, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, or Jimmy Buffett in a formal setting.

Posted by: CJMiva | July 14, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"As long as Franken didn't ... reprise his Mick Jagger impersonation, he was likely to get positive reviews."

He would have immediately become my favorite senator in US history had he impersonated Mick in his first formal committee statment. I would have contributed at least $100 to his next campaign. This offer is open to any freshman member of either party and the donation will also be paid for impersonations of the Beatles, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, or Jimmy Buffet in a formal setting.

Posted by: CJMiva | July 14, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Here is a direct quote of the wise Latina line. As ever, those opposing Sotomayor are misquoting and misrepresenting what she said:

"I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

By the same token, looking at what O'COnnor said, there's no way a man and a woman have lived the same life. Indeed, there's no way any two people can live the same life.

Further, the idea that any US Senator doesn't factor in their life experience (or indeed their political contributors) in a vote is laughable on its face. So the idea that any judge in any country in the world wouldn't do the same thing is equally laughable.

Posted by: thinman1 | July 14, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Sonia Sotomayor's response to her "wise Latina" speech before the Senate committee was clearly a lie. Sotomayor made the case that she was only aggreeing with SC Justice Sandra Day O'Connor who had said that "..a wise old woman and a wise old man, at the end of the day, can reach the SAME conclusion in a case". That's not however what Sonia Sotomayor said. Sotomayor said the direct opposite. Sotomayor in 7 different speeches to 7 different audiences, said that "..a wise Latina woman would usually reach a BETTER conclution than a white male". She's not only a racist, but also a liar who'd say anything to get the US SC job.

Posted by: armpeg | July 14, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The Fix loves hair bands. Ugh.

Posted by: micron26 | July 14, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Surprise, surprise, zouk has it wrong.

Obama has sided with the OAS and other governments on Hondouras, opposing the coup.

Trying reading a newspaper sometime and not the pablum Faux News feeds you and you may learn something.

As for the rest of your rant, you are inventing, as usual, issues out of nothing.

And I am fully aware that zouk will now attack me, call me a moonbat, and then about a half an hour later, critize drindl, me, and others for attacking people.

Hypocrisy is no stranger to the GOP. Just ask Mark Sanford.

Posted by: thinman1 | July 14, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

ROME -- What did President Obama achieve for himself and for America during last week's G-8 summit? Not much.

If President Obama can't convince 17 of the world's leading polluters to do more than pump out political hot air with nothing meaningful beyond unspecified pledges to reduce carbon emissions, why should Americans go it alone, or with only some European nations joining us (maybe)?

In the most important arenas -- foreign policy and domestic security -- nations and terrorists who mean America harm have a right to think President Obama is weak and can be challenged with few consequences. While the response to the Somali pirates offered an initial sign that the president was prepared to use force against bad people with evil intent, subsequent statements and inaction to other threats are not encouraging.

Honduras? The president is on the wrong side of this one, too. As Hondurans have demanded adherence to their Constitution, the Obama administration has sided with a protege of Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers who tried to obliterate it.

There is nothing worse for the world than to have a president of the United States who is perceived as weak. Weakness can result in the deaths of innocent people, a wrecked economy (again) and new attacks on American allies and interests around the world. This perception of weakness may be contributing to the drop in President Obama's approval ratings.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 14, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

These SCOTUS hearings are one of the few times that senators have to acknowledge that they are NOT the smartest people in the room. It happens to them quite often, actually, but they generally choose not to admit it to themselves or others. It's also why President Obama absolutely wraps them in knots.

Posted by: jmsbh | July 14, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.

In addition to immediately increasing unemployment in the energy sector, even more American jobs will be threatened by the rising cost of doing business under the cap-and-tax plan. For example, the cost of farming will certainly increase, driving down farm incomes while driving up grocery prices. The costs of manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will also increase.

The ironic beauty in this plan? Soon, even the most ardent liberal will understand supply-side economics.

The Americans hit hardest will be those already struggling to make ends meet. As the president eloquently puts it, their electricity bills will "necessarily skyrocket." So much for not raising taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.

Poor stupid Libs. Misunderestimating again.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 14, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Distributed generation is the way to go. It's just about there on the cost/benefit curve and will make for a hugely robust, efficient system. I'm very much in favor of incentives to speed it along.

Posted by: nodebris | July 14, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Democrats have trumped up a charge that the CIA, on the orders of Vice President Dick Cheney, failed to notify Congress that it was contemplating — not implementing, but essentially brainstorming about — plans to kill or capture top al-Qaeda figures.

This is their most ludicrous gambit in a long time — and that’s saying something. Given their eight years of complaints about President Bush’s failure to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, and given President Clinton’s indignant insistence (against the weight of the evidence) that he absolutely wanted the CIA to kill bin Laden, one is moved to ask: What did Democrats think the CIA was doing for the last eight years?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 14, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"RickJ, when you researched distributed generation, did it rely largely on solar panels? Small local natural gas generators"

It relied primarily on hydrogen fuel cells. There was a lot of interest from energy companies, equipment manufacturers etc but it would have resulted in a very different way of generating energy than is done now which I think generally puts a stop on things... I don't specifically remember the cost ramifications but the expense wasn't greatly out of whack once development costs were dealt with....

Re Sessions: he needs to be careful in his approach..

Posted by: RickJ | July 14, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Amazing, thought provoking article below on Sotomayor's controversial judicial philosophy which is the intense subject of her current hearings.

"Through the Sonia Sotomayor Looking Glass"

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

Posted by: supreme22 | July 14, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

President Barack Obama’s economic forecasts for long-term growth are too optimistic, many economists warn, a miscalculation that would mean budget deficits will be much higher than the administration is now acknowledging. The White House will be forced to confront the disconnect between its original, upbeat predictions and the mainstream consensus about how the economy is likely to perform in a new budget forecast to be unveiled next month.


Look for another "we had no idea" moment of truth from babbling biden.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 14, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Just when you thought Democrats might drive Republicans into Chapter 11, this survey released by Rasmussen last week shows major gains for Republicans on key electoral issues. The poll finds voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on eight of ten major electoral issues, a stunning turnaround compared to previous research. According to Rasmussen: Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on eight out of 10 key electoral issues,


Just let the Libs get their message out. the result is obvious.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 14, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@mark - Palin's editorial appeared in the today's Post. If I were to boil it down to three words, it would be Drill, Baby, Drill!

From today's hearings, Sessions just called Patrick Leahy a liar. To be precise, Sessions said that Leahy "factually misrepresented" what Sessions had previously said. In other words, lied. Sessions is on the war path.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 14, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

The Cheney "Scandal"
"Please don’t look at the socialized medicine in the corner, we’re hunting Cheneys."

Or the tanking economy. Or the weak foreign policy.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 14, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

RickJ, when you researched distributed generation, did it rely largely on solar panels? Small local natural gas generators? I see many commercial buildings going for their own solar panels and I read about the Germans.

What are the cost trade-offs now?

Shrink, thanx for the correction on Nascar/IRL. My ChE friends say "clean coal burning" is not now possible.
I agree that mining coal creates separate issues.

Bsimon1, I agree about Franken.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 14, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The Palin op-ed can be summarized thusly:

"Change is bad."

Problem is, sometimes change happens whether you want it to or not.


postscript: what's with the gratuitous comment that (I paraphrase) "Ironically, soon even liberals will understand supply side economics"? That smacks of someone aiming towards a career as a pundit, not a serious candidate for office.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 14, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

fascinating, thanks

Posted by: shrink2 | July 14, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The fact remains that Gillibrand's speech was cut off after only six minutes, whereas the other speeches rambled on for ten minutes -- and more. Leahy kept mispronouncing Gillibrand's name, too. The Post should be asking what was the real reason for ambushing Gillibrand -- who'd prepared ten minutes' worth of remarks. Or was Leahy in a hurry because he needed to use the facilities?

Posted by: prettierthanyou | July 14, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

In the California governor's race, how can you even postulate what Meg Whitman's positions really are? She only votes half the time and just recently decided it would be a good idea to declare a party affiliation.

Posted by: nicholaslerek | July 14, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Agree that it is hard to see how Terry is a "winner". If anything, the actions of the anti-abortion protestors underscored how marginalized they are right now.

Posted by: Kili | July 14, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Randall Terry is an abomination before the Lord, and will rightly burn in hell.

Posted by: bpai_99 | July 14, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

shrink2-
part of the solution to the fly ash problem is not in storage, but in finding productive uses for the waste. For instance, in bridge building:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/31/science/earth/31conc.html

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 14, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Hard to see Franken as a winner, except as a winner for not losing, which is too low a bar to deserve mention here.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 14, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

IRL runs on methanol, NASCAR is all gasoline and it estimates each race (prep, transports, etc.) uses about 4000-5000 gallons of gas (the cars get ~5mpg when racing), each car uses 16 quarts of oil per race, at least 12 tires and so on.

Obviously the least green "sport" ever.

Coal can be burned cleanly, allegedly, but it can not be mined cleanly and then there is the fly ash storage problem, viz TVA disaster.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 14, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"RickJ and others, I think cost may still be an issue, although wind is very competitive now."

mark-in-austin: I agree that cost is an issue but I did research on distributed generation 20 years ago and it seems to have gone nowhere. Obviously many new technologies are expensive at first but it seems that we keep revisiting the past rather than making a serious effort to move forward and lead in the area of alternative energy

Posted by: RickJ | July 14, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"2] We should be educating the public on the safety and cleanliness of Generation III+ nuclear reactors like the Canadian Advanced CANDU and Generation IV reactors running on Thorium, not Uranium [India is building only Thorium reactors. Thorium is more plentiful, less volatile, and leaves less waste in a recycling reactor than Uranium, AND the half life of the waste is short enough that storage is not a problem for the ages]."

Yeah, I wonder if most people know that the major environmental problem with nuclear power is not with its day to day operations, but rather just when you have a meltdown and in storage. It's actually a very clean form of energy. I didn't know about thorium. Pretty interesting. But more education is needed. I think the founder of Greenpeace is now a spokesperson for the nuclear industry. I'm not sure if this means he geniunely supports it or that he sold out.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 14, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

RickJ and others, I think cost may still be an issue, although wind is very competitive now.

As I understand it, if we use coal as a feedstock instead of as a fuel, we can extract methanol. But last I read, the equivalent cost to crude oil was $69 /bbl.

I believe NASCAR runs pure methanol - is that correct?

When we compare coal based methanol to corn based ethanol, we could mass produce a whole lot more methanol and keep the coal industry alive while not burning the stuff, and while not increasing the cost of food, which so heavily depends on the cost of corn.
----------------------------------------------------------------

Chris, another "winner", IMO, was LG, who called it so straight that many other Senators should have winced.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 14, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I don't support cap and trade either. It's nothing but an accounting game made to look like something's being done.

There are a number of technologies that can be employed or explored further, like distributed generation or fuel cells. Wind and solar are also worth exploring on a larger scale. Not sure why these aren't being promoted to a greater degree... The alternative energy field will certainly be a growth area if people stop talking and get behind it

Posted by: RickJ | July 14, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Thank you DDAWD. I just read it. I oppose cap and trade for a completely different reason - I now see it as fertile ground for the speculators who gave us Credit Default Swaps. I would now prefer a direct carbon tax to move the ball forward.

I agree with DDAWD that SHP offers nothing but the status quo as a response. I have different ideas.

1] Until we can produce enough wind and solar power to replace coal, we should be demanding the use of our two cleanest carbon based technologies: natural gas and extraction of methanol from coal. These are not pure clean, but they are far cleaner than coal burning.

2] We should be educating the public on the safety and cleanliness of Generation III+ nuclear reactors like the Canadian Advanced CANDU and Generation IV reactors running on Thorium, not Uranium [India is building only Thorium reactors. Thorium is more plentiful, less volatile, and leaves less waste in a recycling reactor than Uranium, AND the half life of the waste is short enough that storage is not a problem for the ages].

UT [ Hook 'em!] is building a Thorium reactor for research purposes near Odessa.

3. TX will have enough wind generated power to light 6 million homes by 2012. Time for the rest of the nation to catch up.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 14, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

"I have not read an op-ed attributed to SHP, as far as I can recall. I have seen several about her."

It's on Chris' picks and on the homepage of the WaPo. It's about cap and trade. Nothing in the way of new ideas unless you consider maintaining the status quo a new idea. If you're not a Palin junkie, there's no real reason to read it.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 14, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

JakeD - I thought the same of "Code Pink". I am a proponent of the First Amendment and believe that the reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions allow for the flow of ideas, while disruptions interfere.

I have not read an op-ed attributed to SHP, as far as I can recall. I have seen several about her.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 14, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

The Campaign trailer was a great teaser. I look forward to it being picked up as a regular show. Since there are no more campaign periods and it now goes on from the day of the previous election this program will always be timely and apparently funny.

Posted by: pincusb | July 14, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Nice, even handed article on the six worst run states.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 14, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

The GOP was the biggest loser of the first day. They spend hours demonizing Sotomayor as a liberal monster, then she manages to cut down every one of their arguments with her sparkling opening statement.

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

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 14, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

Did you feel the same way about Code Pink?

What do you think about the Palin op ed?

Posted by: JakeD | July 14, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

CC wrote:

Winners

Randall Terry: Terry, the former congressional candidate and radical anti-abortion protester, coordinated a series of protests in the committee room that disrupted the proceedings and drew attention to him and his cause.

--------------------------
I was listening' on POTUS while I worked, and every protest was met by an immediate call from Leahy or from Sessions to throw the disruptors out. They may have somehow looked like "Winners" to CC, but they sounded like "Losers" to me - and the name "Randall Terry" never crossed the lips of the Chair or the Ranking Member. So the "chief loser" remained unknown until CC named him a "Winner".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 14, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

SCOTUS CAN'T ACT SWIFTLY TO DISMANTLE THE EXTRAJUDICIAL POLICE STATE 'TORTURE MATRIX' SPAWNED OR EXPANDED BY BUSH-CHENEY.

BUT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND CONGRESS CAN. AND MUST.

***

The "aware" call it "the program."

"The program" is a nationwide, federally-overseen multi-agency coordinated action...

...A SECRETIVE SECURITY / INTEL / MILITARY EXTRAJUDICIAL TARGETING AND PUNISHMENT 'TORTURE MATRIX' THAT IS DESTROYING THE LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS OF UNTOLD THOUSANDS OF UNJUSTLY 'TARGETED' AMERICANS.

This is an entrenched, GPS-activated high-tech American Gestapo vigilante army...

...fronted by federally-funded volunteer community police and town watch organizations. It makes a mockery of the rule of law at the grassroots -- literally holding Americans hostage in their own homes -- terrorizing, vandalizing, destroying lives, reputations and livelihoods.

A companion array of "programs of personal financial destruction" decimate "target" family finances, what victims charge is a fascistic theft by deception that involves the interception of U.S. mail.

This "torture matrix" also has WEAPONIZED the electromagnetic spectrum and the silent TORTURE of Americans via so-called "directed energy" microwave and laser radiation weapons. The victims have been deemed as "undesirables," "dissidents," or "social deviates" -- in other words, anyone that those in power seek to neutralize.

The mainstream media already has begun to buy into the cover-up.

THE 'TARGETS' ARE U.S. CITIZENS -- A SOCIAL PURGE -- NOT JUST "AL QUEDA."

The REAL story -- as reported by a longtime mainstream journalist and a victim of this Bush-era spawned- or expanded "torture matrix," can be found HERE:

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

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 14, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

I thought Sotomayor was a winner as well by being forthright in her remarks.

Re hearings: both sides are being disingenous with their criticisms and support. Justices seem to generally vote as bloc and bring their background to bear, otherwise you wouldn't have Scalia voting consistently the way he does and Ginsberg the way she does....

Posted by: RickJ | July 14, 2009 6:46 AM | Report abuse

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