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Morning Fix: Winners and Losers, Sotomayor Day 2



The second day of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings is in the books. Photo by Melina Mara / The Washington Post

The second day of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings ran late but the Fix -- with a major assist from Political Browser's own Ben Pershing -- stayed strong to bring you our winners and losers from Tuesday's proceedings.

As always, your thoughts and suggestions are welcome in the comments section below.

WINNERS

Sonia Sotomayor: Measured, confident, deferential and, seemingly, relaxed, Sotomayor was rock solid in her second day in front of the Judiciary Committee -- with the notable exception of a slight blip during questioning by South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (more on that below). Sotomayor spoke slowly and deliberately, a sign that she is well aware that she is the only person who could derail her confirmation at this point.

Lindsey Graham: Graham, as Ben -- who is live-blogging the proceedings -- noted, was the Republican senator best able to rile Sotomayor with his line of questioning about whether she had the temperament to be a Supreme Court justice and her involvement in the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. (Graham is also the only Republican senator on the committee to say he is considering voting for her.) As we wrote earlier this week, Graham is widely regarded as one of the best questioners/smart legal minds in the Senate, and he proved it with a low-key delivery that managed to unsettle Sotomayor -- albeit briefly.

Gavin Newsom/Jerry Brown: Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco, and Brown, the state's attorney general, are the two Democrats running for governor of California in 2010. Both had to be heartened by the line of questioning adopted by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The California senator, who continues to dangle the possibility that she will run for governor, asked Sotomayor a series of questions regarding intelligence gathering -- a reflection of her engagement and interest in her current role as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. We've long believed that Feinstein has no real interest in returning to California to run for governor but Tuesday's hearing confirmed that sense.

Legal Jargon: Lawyers (and Latin scholars) rejoice! How often do the terms prima facie and stare decisis get mentioned on national television? What's next? Amicus curae? Capias Mittimus? Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres? (The Fix took nine -- NINE -- years of Latin.)

Nunchucks: Not since "Napoleon Dynamite" have nunchucks played such a prominent role in our public consciousness.

LOSERS

President Obama: Sotomayor broke with the man who nominated her to the highest court when asked by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) whether she agreed with the idea -- outlined by Obama -- that in five percent of cases a judge's heart leads him or her to a decision. "I wouldn't approach the issue of judging in the way the president does," said Sotomayor. "He has to explain what he meant by judging. I can only explain what I think judges should do, which is judges can't rely on what's in their heart."

Herb Kohl: Kohl, one of the lowest profile members of the Senate, got his chance to shine Tuesday morning when, as the second ranking Democrat on the committee, he had an early shot at questioning Sotomayor. Then, wham! The cable networks cut away from Kohl to let their analysts break down what had transpired so far. This man owns the Milwaukee Bucks! Of the NBA!

Hypothetical Questions: First rule of politics: don't answer hypothetical questions. Sotomayor has taken that advice to heart in the first two days of confirmation hearings, refusing time and again to walk down the path of "what if" questions -- despite the best attempts by senators to make her do so.

Wednesday's Fix Picks: Stan Musial's lifetime stats are AMAZING.

1. Milbank sketches Sotomayor.
2. Ruth Marcus on the Senate deference principal.
3. Ensign: I'm running.
4. How Al Franken Won.
5. Marketing your iPhone app.

OFA To Air Health Care Ads: Organizing for America, the grassroots component of the Democratic National Committee, is launching health care ads targeting senators (mostly Democrats) who have expressed varying levels of concern about the president's plan. The ad, which features a series of testimonials gathered during health care house parties organized by OFA, will run on national cable stations and in Florida, Maine, Indiana, Nebraska, Louisiana, Arkansas and North Dakota. The central message: "It's time for health care reform." DNC officials familiar with the ad buy would not discuss how much money is being spent on it and, if history is any guide, these ads won't be a significant drain on the DNC's coffers. Still, the fact that the party's campaign committee is willing to fund ads of any sort pressuring its own members to get behind the president's proposal is newsworthy. Will it work?

Another Day, Another NJ Poll, Another Christie Lead: Former U.S. attorney Chris Christie (R) leads New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine 53 percent to 41 percent in a new Quinnipiac University survey. Corzine also posted his lowest job approval rating as governor in the Q poll with just 33 percent approving of the job he is doing and 60 percent disapproving. Sensing opportunity, the Republican Governors Association launched a new ad in the Garden State taking direct aim at Corzine's attacks on Christie. The ad claims Corzine said he would cut taxes and bring jobs to New Jersey but did just the opposite in his first three-plus years in office. "Now he's spending millions falsely attacking Chris Christie," says the ad's narrator. "Corzine -- watch what he does, not what he says. Democrats insist that while Corzine has had a rocky first term in office that New Jersey voters lean toward their party and will eventually come home. But, Christie's steady lead in a series of polls despite attacks from Corzine suggests that the incumbent could be in deep trouble this fall.

Mitt Raises Cash for Comstock: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has penned an e-mail to his fundraising list designed to raise cash for Barbara Comstock's campaign for Virginia state delegate this fall. Romney noted in the email that Comstock served as a senior adviser to his 2008 presidential campaign and adds that she is a "trusted friend." Comstock is running for the 34th district seat currently held by state Del. Margaret Vanderhye (D), a contest that is shaping up to be one of the most competitive and costly races in the Commonwealth this fall. Romney has worked hard to keep much of his inner circle from the 2008 race in place, and his appeal for Comstock is in keeping with that effort. Romney knows that the 2012 presidential race will begin the day after the 2010 midterm elections end and is positioning himself to hit the ground running on that day.

Armey for Rubio: Former House majority leader Dick Armey (Texas) endorsed former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio's Senate bid on Tuesday, the latest in a series of national conservatives to jump behind Rubio. "Marco Rubio is a champion of freedom and an inspiring leader for the next generation of the conservative movement," said Armey who left Congress in 2002 after nearly two decades in the chamber. Armey joins former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee in siding with Rubio in his primary fight against Gov. Charlie Crist. The problem for Rubio is that while he has won the support of some national conservatives, he has struggled badly to raise enough money to stay even remotely competitive with Crist. From April 1 to June 30, Crist raised $4.3 million to just $340,000 for Rubio -- totals that make an upset victory an extremely remote possibility.

Whitman Drops $15 Million: Former eBay president Meg Whitman (R) is putting her money where her mouth is in her campaign for California's governorship -- donating $15 million of her own cash to her bid. "Meg wanted to show her donors that she is as equally committed to fixing California and winning this election as they are," said Henry Gomez, a senior adviser to to Whitman's campaign. Whitman, actually, seemed three times as committed as she matched the first $5 million in campaign donations with $15 million of her own. Whitman's vast personal wealth and her willingness to spend it has drawn the top staff and consulting talent to California to work for her in her primary fight against former representative Tom Campbell and state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. The latest example? Dan Comstock, the son of the aforementioned Barbara Comstock and a veteran of McCain's presidential campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has signed on as director of research and rapid response for Whitman.

Chu is Your New Congresswoman: California Board of Equalization Judy Chu (D) cruised to a special election runoff win over Monterrey Park City Councilwoman Barbara Chu (R) yesterday to claim the seat vacated by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. In the May 19 open primary, Chu took 32 percent of the vote to 23 percent for state Sen. Gil Cedillo (D). Barbara Chu finished fourth with 10 percent but advanced to the runoff as the highest Republican vote getter. Chu, Judy that is, will have the Los Angeles-area seat, which went for President Obama with 68 percent, for as long as she wants it.

Say What?: "People always say I have the ability to turn people on." -- Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) creates an unappetizing image in the wake of a protester being thrown out of Sotomayor's confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 15, 2009; 5:35 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Comments

Really, Jake, please try to be serious. Yes medical malpractice is a serious part of the cost of doing medical business and some doctors have been forced out of practice by the cost of the insurance.

But that has nothing whatever to do with the elephant in the living room, the lack of medical coverage for fifty million citizens of the world's wealthiest nation. That is an unmitigated and entirely inexcusable disgrace.

And before you crank out the next stupid conservative canard, no, it's not illegal aliens.

The uninsured are those whose coverage has been denied (like the guy I heard today who can't get medical insurance from his employer because he had Hodgkin's twenty years ago), whose employer doesn't "do" benefits, or who's working 20 hours a week and ineligible, and whose employer won't allow workers to qualify.

None of these would be true with national health insurance.

Next canard: no it will not break the treasury. What we have now is breaking the treasury. Working with dozens of private insurance companies, each with its own paperwork and requirements, is a major drain on every physician in practice, many have entire rooms used for storage instead of practicing medicine.

It stinks, because it's for-profit instead of for the public good. Don't hyperventilate.

If we can't afford it then how the hell does FRANCE afford it?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 2:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure capping medical malpractice will end the "pre-existing condition" dodge too!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah. that's it. It's patients suing doctors. Frivolous lawsuits, no doubt. Freeloaders looking for a quick easy buck.

Probably mostly dark-skinned people, right, Jake?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

How about we cap all medical malpractice lawsuits first and see if that saves any money?

Posted by: JakeD | July 16, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

We have a free-market healthcare system so it really shouldn't be any surprise that it's geared to make (and cost) the most money, rather than to reach the most people. Other developed countries managed to treat everyone, and at about half the cost per person we have. On the other hand we have that McGuire guy, making $1.7 BILLION in "salary" over ten years.

And we just accept this for some reason. It's a disgrace.

We have no preventive care to speak of, we're obese, diabetic, we don't exercise, tobacco remains legal. Every time anyone tries to broaden our coverage we're inundated with sinister suggestions that we'll have to share waiting rooms and presumably examination tables with shabby silly people.

A sixth of our population has only the ER, where they go when whatever ails them has gotten really advanced and painful.

But that's the free market for you. As promised, it makes things cheap!

Life most of all.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 16, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

"Lisa. Don't argue with imbecilic morons."

Lisa can't argue with you on that!


Posted by: Kili | July 15, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Intriguing information, Lisa. I'm skeptical of claims that the U.S has the best health care in the world on several counts. We spend by far the highest percentage of GDP on medical care, but don't have better health on any measure you could pick. I remember when my father had problems when I was married a few years ago in Costa Rica. He received better care in Costa Rica than he did upon his return to Texas.

I lived in the U.K. for about 4 years and never felt stinted. There were a couple of times I went to see a local physician. Once when I had a very sore throat shortly before I was due to give a talk at a conference (it was just a cold) and the second time when my ears completely filled with fluid after flying with a cold (I was told to take decongestant for a couple of weeks and it would clear up).

I think we do exceptional care exceptionally well and biotech is an important and emerging part of our economy. I think the American health care system is mediocre at best for primary care.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 15, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't care if you quote me or not, troll.

I don't need you thick-witted corroboration to know that something is way wrong when a country awash in money had 50 million people with no recourse but the ER.

It stinks.

Right wing approaches to public policy don't work.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Lisa. Don't argue with imbecilic morons. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the mean, not the median. Math is so perplexing to libs.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I would disagree, but I am no longer quoting you.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

The USA lags on many indicators, not just infant mortality. You can split statistical hairs all you like but the fact remains that the wealthiest country in the world doesn't have the highest quality of life, and nothing like the best medical care.

Maybe private insurance isn't really so great.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

To FairlingtonBlade, point well taken, but there is also a legitimate dispute in the statistics as well. UNICEF uses a methodology to account for reporting differences among countries:

"UNICEF compiles infant mortality country estimates derived from all sources and methods of estimation obtained either from standard reports, direct estimation from micro data sets, or from UNICEF’s yearly exercise. In order to sort out differences between estimates produced from different sources, with different methods, UNICEF developed, in coordination with WHO, the WB and UNSD, an estimation methodology that minimizes the errors embodied in each estimate and harmonize trends along time. Since the estimates are not necessarily the exact values used as input for the model, they are often not recognized as the official IMR estimates used at the country level. However, as mentioned before, these estimates minimize errors and maximize the consistency of trends along time."

While the United States reports every case of infant mortality, it has been suggested that some other developed countries do not. A 2006 article in U.S. News & World Report claims that "First, it's shaky ground to compare U.S. infant mortality with reports from other countries. The United States counts all births as live if they show any sign of life, regardless of prematurity or size. This includes what many other countries report as stillbirths. In Austria and Germany, fetal weight must be at least 500 grams (1 pound) to count as a live birth; in other parts of Europe, such as Switzerland, the fetus must be at least 30 centimeters (12 inches) long. In Belgium and France, births at less than 26 weeks of pregnancy are registered as lifeless. And some countries don't reliably register babies who die within the first 24 hours of birth. Thus, the United States is sure to report higher infant mortality rates. For this very reason, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which collects the European numbers, warns of head-to-head comparisons by country."

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

@Lisa - It struck me as reduction to absurdity. You seem to be asking if permitting those at the peak of health and fertility to procreate will result in a lower rate of infant mortality. My reaction and that of others is that such a question is beneath contempt. There is a real difference between satire and demonization.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 15, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my goodness. I will certainly stop quoting you from now on.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

'female Latina'. Is that like bakery bread, mechanical car, etc.?

==

It's like "ATM machine"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

To chrisfox8, I was merely quoting you.

==

You're a troll. You don't come here to debate any positions, you come here to bait. Go to hell.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Judicial activism is changing established law from the bench.

I support denying access to the court to extremists because I don't want them being activists on the bench.

There is no chance of getting a Justice who would be an activist in causes that matter to me, politics in the USA ranges from far right to extreme right.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

To chrisfox8, I was merely quoting you.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

to drindl:

You're perfectly correct! Sen. Coburn's remarks were a total disgrace!

Incidentally, while Spanish isn't one of my languages, I do know enough to find it laughable that so MANY Senators/TV commentators: a.) cannot pronounce Judge Sotomayor's name, and b.) insist on saying--with no off-air corrections from an aide/producer--'female Latina'. Is that like bakery bread, mechanical car, etc.?

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 15, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats were right to vote against Judge Bork, and Obama was right to vote against Roberts and Alito. All three are extreme, Bork more than the other two. The nation will lose ground socially and economically because of Roberts and Alito, as America becomes a worse and worse place to live and to do (real) business"

That's a fine opinion to have, but by stating this, you have framed the argument to be over whose "judicial activism" you support. So, when you reply to dbw1, you are really arguing whether your values are better than his.

Think you can convince him?

Posted by: Kili | July 15, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

The copious use of the sneer-quote is reminiscent of JakeD, but "attributable" is too educated a word for JakeD to use.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

There was a recent Stanford University study which linked the decline in crime to an increase in abortion as well. I am simply noting that these are NOT all directly attributable to right-wing approaches to social policy. In addition, I doubt that any lawyer thinks of Justice Kennedy as "ultraconservative", "goon", or "troll" either.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

To FairlingtonBlade, I am not, but are you saying that forcing every poor woman (as a group, they disproportionately account for more very low birth-weight babies than, say, wealthy women) to abort or be sterilized would NOT improve the infant-mortality rate? Did you ever read Swift's "A Modest Proposal"? That is all I am suggesting.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to the catlady thing?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Eleanor
how can you "own" land? Our mother earth is not something you can claim as your own. You must wait for the party to assign you quarters comrade.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope you're not in a medical field, Lisa. Neither of your supposed solutions would do a thing about infant mortality.

==

I get a feeling that "Lisa" is already familiar here under another moniker.

The way to reduce infant mortality is better nutrition for pregnant women. IINM, every other industrialized country has the temerity to choose healthy infants over letting the marketplace decide, distorting the market with Stalinesque planning. I'm being sarcastic.

In the USA we used to have public information campaigns for nutrition, and not only for pregnant women, but I guess the people who make junk food didn't want women encouraged to eat apples instead of grease.

Abortion (and forced sterilization) would reduce both numerator and denominator, doing nothing for maternal health.

Where do these goons come from? Is it someplace we can clean out with malathion?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Nonsense. You're just "another" troll.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope you're not in a medical field, Lisa. Neither of your supposed solutions would do a thing about infant mortality.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 15, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Because I want to see where (or IF) you draw the line.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Why do you ask such pointedly baiting questions, Lisa? Forced sterilizations?

I do not notice your troll.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

To chrisfox8, I appreciate you catching my inadvertent mistake. That should read Sen. Webb (D-VA). Can you answer whether the infant-mortality rate should be cut via taxpayer-funded abortions or, better yet, forced sterilizations?

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Other examples: Rep. Rangel (D-NY) introduced legislation to reinstate the draft, and Sen. Webb (D-NY) introduced legislation to increase the time between deployments as back-door approaches to shutting down the Iraq war.

==

Wow, that's a serious bit of lying there. You'll probably get a thank-you from the GOP for that one.

Soldiers were in the war for 15 months at a time, with only a year of rotation. Rangel and Webb wanted their off-time to match their deployments. Not to shut down the war, which would have been a great idea since we have no business there aside from Bush's insecurity and vanity, but to treat the troops as something other than fodder.

Congratulations in upping your suckage level in a single post.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Save your nickels and pennies, zoukie, I already own land in Cần Thơ and Rạch Giá, and I will be retiring there.

Hammer and sickle and all.

Deal.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I think chrissuxcox and drivl would be much happier living in CCCP DDR or NVCP. We could pass a bill to send you there. In the long run it would be cheaper.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

there is a new Obimbo czar that thinks we should sterilize people and force them to have abortions.

this is modern liberalism? sounds more like Mussilini.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

To arizonadineh101, that is what I understood as well. Other examples: Rep. Rangel (D-NY) introduced legislation to reinstate the draft, and Sen. Webb (D-NY) introduced legislation to increase the time between deployments as back-door approaches to shutting down the Iraq war. Last time I checked, neither were right-wingers.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The reasons i heard for the nutrition programs is after WWII, some soldiers could not enlist because they were suffering from malnutrition. Getting rid of free nutrition program is one way to get rid of your future soldiers.

Posted by: arizonadineh101 | July 15, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

We have two federal judges in Brownsville's federal court house - one is very reasonable and a good man (not perfect) the other is Hilda Tagle - her clerks hate her and lawyers fear being in her court - she is beyond abusive to everyone

one time my brother asked me who some woman was giving me a dirty look at a restaurant and I responded "probably some other woman I disappointed in bed" - well it was Judge Tagle

The Republicans held up her nomination for some 3-4 years - this is an example wherein she never should have been confirmed.

Deferring to the president is not a good thing - sometimes the Senators need to listen to witnesses and get a full picture -

On balance I have found Sotomayors handling of the Senators to be very profession and devoid of any evidence she has a temper - I hope she treats lawyers at the Supreme Cour level the way she has treated the Senators.

Oh Lisa I love this because it gives depth to the discussion - nothing is ever so simply as an out of contest quote

"Another cause for the increase is due to the greater numbers of multiple birth babies (increased IVF "success") who are more likely to be born early and weigh less."

This may actually explain in part our infant mortality rate - in part

Bobby WC

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I was unaware that IVF was a right-wing approach. Perhaps the infant-mortality rate could be cut via taxpayer-funded abortions then?

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Other nations have national nutrition campaigns for pregnant women. We used to have the same here. All gone, along with those little commercials about the four food groups.

In the absence of information, poor pregnant women live on pepsi and potato chips. Their babies suffer. In VN they have ads on the street for this, but here it's easier to excoriate poor women for "irresponsible behavior."

Right-wing approaches don't work.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Is there anything more pitiful than an old tired communist preaching the age old doctrine that failed so wonderfully decades ago.

No one can take you seriously when you are that far out in left field. No wonder the Libs are sinking in the polls, their values are revealed and rejected.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@BWC - Again, I'm struck that you have read into Sotomayor an attitude I have not seen in evidence. To quote your response, "both seem to be angry with how they were treated - you see this in their speeches." From what I have read of Justice Thomas, I would agree. Please tell me what you have read in the transcripts of Sotomayor's speeches that has led you to that conclusion? The most famous comment, "wise latina", doesn't come off as angry. So, please, show me the beef. It sounds a great deal like information you have picked up from secondary sources (and I speak as a regular listener of Sean Hannity's radio show).

I've listened to about half of Judge Sotomayor's testimony over the past two days. It's far more interesting listening to the Republicans as the Democrats' questioning is the equivalent of the batting cage. I'd rather see how she handles Clemens, Johnson, and Saberhagen. [Tortured baseball analogy, I realize, but that's par for the course today. Oh no. Tortured golf metaophor!] On the basis of everything I've heard, she's a solid choice for the bench.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 15, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Another cause for the increase is due to the greater numbers of multiple birth babies (increased IVF "success") who are more likely to be born early and weigh less.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

To chrisfox8, the article answered that: very low birth-weight babies - less than 3 pounds - almost always died before birth. We are now able to save many of those, but they still have 20 times the mortality rate. As Mark Twain said "There are lies, there are damned lies, and there are statistics."

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Uh... Lisa?

Why does America HAVE so many low-birth-weight babies?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

reason5 has a valid, if somewhat garbled, point. The politics on appointing judges has grown continuously more rancorous, but of course reason5 is thinking of lower level judge appointments being blocked under Bush's administration.

==

But they were blocked for good reasons; they were extremists, some of them were unserious nominations.

If the Congressmen are supposed to approve them without regard for their positions, why even have hearings?

Judge Bork wanted to do away with every kind of antitrust law. He was an unabashed statist and corporatist and would have moved the Court intolerably far right. Opposing his elevation was the responsible thing to do.

Bush's appeals court nominees were pokes in the eye. And let's not forget about Meiers.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

We have the highest infant mortality rate in the industrialized world because our count is more inclusive and we actually try more to save each and every tiny life, whereas most industrialized countries do not strictly follow the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of a live birth, showing any signs of life, such as muscle activity, a gasp for breath or a heartbeat.

"American advances in medical treatment now make it possible to save babies who would have surely died only a few decades ago. Until recently, very low birth-weight babies - less than 3 pounds - almost always died. Now, some of these babies survive. Whilesuch vulnerable babies may live with advanced medical assistance and technology, low birth-weight babies (weighing less than 5.5 pounds) recently had an infant mortality rate 20 times higher than heavier babies, according to WHO. Ironically, U.S. doctors' ability to save babies' lives causes higher infant mortality numbers here than would be the case with less advanced treatment."

http://www.ocregister.com/ocr/sections/commentary/orange_grove/article_443950.php

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

But, it was the Democrats were so tough against Judge Robert Bork that his name became a verb.

Read then-Senator Obama's statements after voting against Judge Roberts and against Judge Alito. The Republicans are following his rules.

==

Democrats were right to vote against Judge Bork, and Obama was right to vote against Roberts and Alito. All three are extreme, Bork more than the other two. The nation will lose ground socially and economically because of Roberts and Alito, as America becomes a worse and worse place to live and to do (real) business.

We already have the highest infant mortality rate in the industrialized world, one of the lowest life expectancies, the highest divorce rate, the highest incarceration rate, and the greatest wealth disparity. All these are directly attributable to right-wing approaches to social policy. Under the five ultraconservatives now on the court, it will only get worse.

I nurture hope that Scalia kicks buck during the next eight years, since Thomas will follow within a week, giving Obama a chance to replace two men who never should have been sent to the court.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I do not think Kyl should even sit on the Judiciary Committee. There is a 51 year old Navajo Hopi Land dispute case still going on in Arizona. Certain Judges, Defendants and Plaintiffs could not count the number of correct Navajos. The court record says 300 little indians(healing v. Jones, 210 F. Supp. 125). The real record shows 834 little indians. Arizona in its rush to steal water from Indians could not correctly count the number of little indians. Kyl needs to clean up the Arizona Federal District court before he says things about Sotomayor.

Posted by: arizonadineh101 | July 15, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama has put forth a reasonable centrist nominee. Recent Republican presidents have nominated hit-men.

Posted by: chrisuxcox

the latest tripe from moonbat Elenor Clift wanna be is laughable in its accuracy.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"What are you talking about? Alito and Roberts got softball questions and the kid glove treatment"

reason5 has a valid, if somewhat garbled, point. The politics on appointing judges has grown continuously more rancorous, but of course reason5 is thinking of lower level judge appointments being blocked under Bush's administration. But, it was the Democrats were so tough against Judge Robert Bork that his name became a verb.

Read then-Senator Obama's statements after voting against Judge Roberts and against Judge Alito. The Republicans are following his rules.

The parts of the hearings I've heard have left me even more impressed with Judge Sotomayor.

Posted by: Kili | July 15, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I am glad to see Sotomayor is at least getting a fair hearing. This is much more than the Democrats wanted to give the Bush nominees.

==

What are you talking about? Alito and Roberts got softball questions and the kid glove treatment. Alito bobbed and weaved and dodged questions about his membership in Concerned Alumni for Princeton. If Sotomayor had a smell like that in her folder we'd never hear the bloody last of it.

Obama has put forth a reasonable centrist nominee. Recent Republican presidents have nominated hit-men.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

dbw says: "If the LEGISLATURE wants to make a law protecting abortion (or creating a fundamental right to privacy), go for it. But the fact is liberals are usually either too scared or know they are not in the majority on particular issues to actually use the process for making laws that our Constitution established, and instead find willing liberal judges (perhaps like Sotomayor?) to create law by fiat."

Rather than to give you one of the obvious rejoinders, let me recommend to you a book I enjoyed reading: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Legal Theory, and Judicial Restraint
by Frederic Kellogg. It's a couple of years old now, but it might give you a broader view of the issues of judicial activism. (I'm assuming that you are as interested in history as I am.)

Posted by: Kili | July 15, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I am glad to see Sotomayor is at least getting a fair hearing. This is much more than the Democrats wanted to give the Bush nominees. It's refreshing to see that Sotomayor is at least getting fair treatment here. I think the tone of Sessions is a bit over the top. This nominee, Sotomayor, was even voted for by our (North Carolina's) famous senator Jessee Helms. If Helms voted for this woman to the appealeate, it's hard for R's to argue that she is an extrimist worth a filibuster. I'm a Conservative, but I'm a Lyndsey Graham conservative. People say he's a closet homo, I'm not sure about that but I do think he's one Hell of a US Senator. Sotomayor is on her way to confirmation.

As for the rest of the posts: Herb Kohl gets no respect! Whitman putting her own money to her campaign isn't overly impressive, as Poizner can do that as well. How will Campbell compete with those 2? Finally...Chuck Grassley is funny. A little Iowa humor...he's well on his way to reelection.

Posted by: reason5 | July 15, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Alesheba,

thanks for the comments and acknowledgment that not all Latinos speak Spanish. Most people do not know that if you travel to the Caribbean side of Central America or even Belize they speak Engish.

We are a very complex and diverse people with our own prejudices against all groups. I knew a jduge whose parents were from Argentina who would make it a point to tell people his parents were pure castellano with no indian blood - I make it a point to tell people I am 1/8 indian from Nicaragua - I do not know which tribe I just know from Nicaragua - we all have our different views of what it means to be a Latino and whether or not we take pride in our mixed blood lines.

Anyone who believes there is universal support for Sotomayor because she is a Latina misunderstands the Latino community.

I take no pride, but feel a lot of shame, in admitting Central Americans tend to look down on Mexicans - this is wrong but it speaks to our own bigotries

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Alesheba,

thanks for the comments and acknowledgment that not all Latinos speak Spanish. Most people do not know that if you travel to the Caribbean side of Central America or even Belize they speak Engish.

We are a very complex and diverse people with our own prejudices against all groups. I knew a jduge whose parents were from Argentina who would make it a point to tell people his parents were pure castellano with no indian blood - I make it a point to tell people I am 1/8 indian from Nicaragua - I do not know which tribe I just know from Nicaragua - we all have our different views of what it means to be a Latino and whether or not we take pride in our mixed blood lines.

Anyone who believes there is universal support for Sotomayor because she is a Latina misunderstands the Latino community.

I take no pride, but feel a lot of shame, in admitting Central Americans tend to look down on Mexicans - this is wrong but it speaks to our own bigotries

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Alesheba,

thanks for the comments and acknowledgment that not all Latinos speak Spanish. Most people do not know that if you travel to the Caribbean side of Central America or even Belize they speak Engish.

We are a very complex and diverse people with our own prejudices against all groups. I knew a jduge whose parents were from Argentina who would make it a point to tell people his parents were pure castellano with no indian blood - I make it a point to tell people I am 1/8 indian from Nicaragua - I do not know which tribe I just know from Nicaragua - we all have our different views of what it means to be a Latino and whether or not we take pride in our mixed blood lines.

Anyone who believes there is universal support for Sotomayor because she is a Latina misunderstands the Latino community.

I take no pride, but feel a lot of shame, in admitting Central Americans tend to look down on Mexicans - this is wrong but it speaks to our own bigotries

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"On the same side or not, I appreciate the civil tone and discourse of our exchange. I wish more posters here and on other threads were willing to keep the tone civil and to a proper debate, rather than name-calling, hate, and (unfortunately, in some cases) outright lies in an effort to forward their (political, ethnic or religious) agenda."

---

I second this. I disagree with Bobby for the most part as well, but I appreciate his contributions to the thread.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Bobby,
On the same side or not, I appreciate the civil tone and discourse of our exchange. I wish more posters here and on other threads were willing to keep the tone civil and to a proper debate, rather than name-calling, hate, and (unfortunately, in some cases) outright lies in an effort to forward their (political, ethnic or religious) agenda.

Posted by: alysheba_3 | July 15, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Not so,

In PDX we have numerous "Latinos" who do not speak Spanish, Mayans, Aztecs even Mosquitos.

For me, the word Latino means a lot more about the person talking than the "people" they think they are talking about.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 15, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Alysheba,

This is so on point

"Judge Sotomayor was either being honest when she said that she used a poor choice of words, or she lied and she is hiding a "racist" agenda? At this point, the statement has become so politicized that people have made their choices and will never change their minds."

My point is this 5% of the radical right within the Republican party which has learned how to fill e-mail boxes and send letters by the ton to Cngress will make her an issue.

Fair and objective analysis will have nothing to do with it.

Her comments bother me so because I just want people to stop seeing us as Latino, black, yellow - gay whatever - our background and experiences will inform us of who we view the law and even facts.

You can take a simple fact like teh splaining comment and turn it racial or make it a generational thing - I heard it as generational and not racial, but also viewed as incredibly poor judgment.

Not all statements which can appear as racial are racial - sometimes it is poor judgment - but 6 times using the word "Better" is not mere poor judgment it is a heart felt opinion.

She will be confirmed and politics will be what it is -

Only time will tell what will come of this nomination and her statements.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

>>You heard the ball made it to the plate. No visual evidence then. So the same science as warming then?

I heard them talking on the radio about it this morning on my drive in.

Actually I missed the game but I happen to catch the clip on ESPN at lunch. You know from behind the pitcher's mound? It made it there. Granted he's no baseball player so go ahead and lie and say it ate dirt. That seems to be about all you're good for.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 15, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@mibrooks: I agree with VT, you're making this stuff up. You can't point to a single corroborative piece of evidence, neither from a ruling on the bench, a speech, or an unguarded utterance, to support this claim.

Worth pointing out that Sotomayor is a Puerto Ricaña by ancestry, not a Mexican, and the suggestion that Latinos form a cohesive and firmly loyal political bloc has more than a touch of racist overtone.

The two things you can note about their homogeneity:

(1) they speak Spanish

(2) they take major offense at the racist cant coming from the GOP

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Latest news from the people in labcoats...

This is a fact: Everyone is racist, tribal, sexist, prone to addiction and all kinds of other bad things.

Opinion: What separates good people from bad is the ability to recognize the nastiness within oneself and one's circle of influence and combat it. The truly dangerous are the people who make a virtue of their bigotry, a virtue of the evil that binds them together with others.

The only serious question today about Sotomayor is whether any settling of scores based on perceptions about power balance and ethnicity, perhaps formed early in her psychological development - therefore unconscious, will leak into her judgement on the bench.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 15, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"espoused the view that Hispanics have a whole series of rights - automatic citizenship, open borders for Hispanic workers, Hispanic rights to social services, education, health care, etc. - that are not in the Constitution, but she certainly seems to be willing to carve out here being there"

---

Where?

FWIW, you have yet to give me the 3 cases that support your theory of her "Radical Agenda."

Seriously, you're making stuff up. Do yourself a favor and offer some supporting documentation. Right now, you're just fear-mongering.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

This is very true.

"Senator Graham has stated that they need to know why her speeches seem to contradict her judicial decisions. Perhaps the reason there is that difference is because a speech is personal opinion, and a decision is a professional decision based on law."

But so long as she was still subject to some promotion - meaning to SCOTUS - it would be highly unlikely an intelligent jurist would allow her personal views into her opinions.

The problem is, there is no going backwards once she is on SCOTUS and decides to use her personal bias.

Do we not at least need to demand a full vetting of this comments.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
---------------------------------------

True, there is no going backwards. All you need to do to justify that line of reasoning is say that SCOTUS is a lifetime appointment.

My question to you would be "Would you rather have a woman on the bench who, for 17 years, has chosen law over her personal beliefs, or a person who once they were on the SCOTUS bench took their beliefs, evident from previous decisions, to the extreme once they were on the bench? I know MY answer to this one.

Unfortunately the SCOTUS hearings have become too politicized for any nominee to feel free to actually answer questions honestly, and I mean from a legal point of view, not a personal one. Rather than looking at previous decisions, citizens would rather watch personal attacks. It is unfortunate that this is what this process has become,

After 2 days of questioning regarding a comment given in a couple of speeches do you honestly believe that the answer will change? Judge Sotomayor was either being honest when she said that she used a poor choice of words, or she lied and she is hiding a "racist" agenda? At this point, the statement has become so politicized that people have made their choices and will never change their minds. Rather than beat a dead horse (which is what this statement has become), can we please look at her judicial decisions in the past and the reasons for those decisions for her judicial temperament? That is what this process is supposed to be about.

Posted by: alysheba_3 | July 15, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8 _ I o no mean to call Sotomayor a racist in the KKK or Arian Nation clodhopper sense of the term. I am actually at a loss to know what term to apply to her identity politics. She is a Hispanic and believes in the cause of Hispanics. I mean, *really* believes in that cause. She has joined organizations and espoused the view that Hispanics have a whole series of rights - automatic citizenship, open borders for Hispanic workers, Hispanic rights to social services, education, health care, etc. - that are not in the Constitution, but she certainly seems to be willing to carve out here being there. She appears all to willing to run roughshod over the culture of "angry white men" and that worries me and troubles me. A majority of Hispanics, at least in my area of the country, are socially very conservative. A lot of them would an abortion, outlaw/criminalize homosexual behavior, and a lot of other things. They are NOT social liberals. They are social conservatives, at least whenever they act outside of Latino interests. In the topsy turvy world we inhabit, though, conservatives criticize an ideologue that nominally agrees with them and liberals defend an enemy of everything they hold dear. It's really quite amazing.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 15, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm against free trade, against free markets, I believe in vigorous regulation of business and I believe our tax code should make billionaire wealth all but impossible to achieve

chrissuxcox

considering your abilities I don't wonder why you prefer to handicap everyone else.

now let me guess, in place of the free market who will make decisions?

One might conclude it should be "geniuses" like you who know what is best for all of us. Please move back to the CCCP where you belong. they failed and everyone (but you) understands why. (well maybe Obimbo hasn't figured it out yet either. He is still trying to figure out that 9.5>8. not a math whiz that one, nor by visual accounts much of an athelete. Between his bowling and his pitching, we could amuse ourtselves for hours.)

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Chrisfox8

"Backlash is the opiate of the neoconservatives"

I stopped using the actual sentence since nobody gets the joke anymore. It's a Marxist reference."

As someone who believes Marx basically had it right (does not mean I agree with everything he said Marx recognized the dialectic which means he understood new variables could impact his theory)

I get the joke - and you are generally correct as to the general population. But this 5% of the radical right which seems to have a stranglehold on the Republican party can change an election in a close race.

Your comment about Steele is well taken - the problem is the press - we only know on what they report - I do believe that the liberal press has probably given Steele a bit of a pass - and maybe it is true that had there been more national press coverage of Steele the nation would have seen him as a joke - but enough people in the GOP did not see him that way and he was given the job -

facts are a funny thing - the press is even funnier - trying to learn the truth about anything is becoming a near impossibity.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

What's racist is Senator Coburn doing a clownish Ricky Ricardo imitation and saying 'She has some 'splaining' to do.

I can't anyone who doesn't understand this is racist. Imagine if at Thomas' hearing Democratic senators had put on an Amos 'n andy accent? Thomas benefitted from affirmative action, so he's a racist too, obviously.

Posted by: drindl | July 15, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Sonia Sotomayor is a racist

Posted by: hclark1 | July 15, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Okay, poor choice of words "but maybe they did not succeed, because both seem to be driven by how they were treated as minorities - this is sad."

I did not mean driven in the context of their success - as I have noted I give both a lot of credit for not allowing themselves to be victims -

but both seem to be angry with how they were treated - you see this in their speaches.

You do not hear me discounting their experiences - I just think it hurts them when they allow their bad experiences to have an influence in their decisions.

I personally hope I am 100% wrong about Sotomayor - not here but elsewhere I have opined (I hate that word so snobish) that I truly hope Sotomayor and Thomas can sit down together and have a cathartic effect on one another by exchanging with one another their personal experiences coming up through the system - I think in the end if this happens both can become better Justices.

Remember people my personal views are not the same as my political analysis - my original post was based on my political analysis of how the 5% of the radical right will receive Sotomayor and its potential impact on 2010 Senate races.

My personal view is I hope Sotomayor and Thomas sit down and talk and somehow become better Justices by discussing their individual histories.

I personally think this would be a great thing for the Court and the country.

Side note - as a gay rights activist in my Master's thesis I defended the original 1986 sodomy case based on what I coined as the juridical methodology used by SCOTUS.

It did not mean I agreed with the result - it only meant I found support for the result given the historical juridical methodology used by the Court. My point is, to be an effective analyst you need to separate personal bias from the analysis

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@mibrooks: You know I'm in complete agreement re: the financial sector, I consider them to be tapeworms in our economy, producing nothing of value. I'm against free trade, against free markets, I believe in vigorous regulation of business and I believe our tax code should make billionaire wealth all but impossible to achieve. I think many of our corporations should be broken up and their executives jailed, if not executed.

But when you talk about Sotomayor having a racist agenda, you reduce yourself JakeD's level. Quit it. There's not a particle of truth there, it's hysteria.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

VTD, my attorney friend in Anchorage has been laughing at the lower 48's ideas about Palin all along, in a Schadenfreude kind of way, as in, if you knew what we knew...

Posted by: shrink2 | July 15, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I think it is funny.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 15, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"It is very true that since the election Steele has shown himself to be weak and ineffective - in fact wishywashy - but before the election he was seen as a voice of reason trying to bridge gaps and build bridges and that is what the American people were looking for at the time.

My comment was based on who we knew him to be at the time of the election and not the impotent head of the GOP (pun intended)"

---

You don't live in the DC area, I take it? Everyone around here has known how incompetent he is since his laughable term as Lt. Gov. of MD and his failed Senate Bid. Everything would be evident long before people would make the mistake of votign for him, much like what happened with Gov. Palin.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

CF8, BobbyCW has been posting here for years and is not a troll. Bsimon1 and I take him seriously.

==

Didn't say he was one, I said he's reading out of their playbook. For years as well I've been posting that

"Backlash is the opiate of the neoconservatives"

I stopped using the actual sentence since nobody gets the joke anymore. It's a Marxist reference.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"Statements like this discredit you. If there was actually one *worse* person McCain could have picked as a running mate, it would have been Michael Steele. That guy is a joke."

I don't like Steele, but he is far better than Palin. I'm sure he at least reads newspapers and stuff.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 15, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"But so long as she was still subject to some promotion - meaning to SCOTUS - it would be highly unlikely an intelligent jurist would allow her personal views into her opinions.

The problem is, there is no going backwards once she is on SCOTUS and decides to use her personal bias."

---

Comments like this have no basis in reality, though. They are completely built on fabrications and scare-mongering. do you realize that you are essentailly saying: "What if she was just faking it for 17 years?"

17 years is quite a long time to put on an "act" of judicial impartiality.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

@BWC - Being married to a Tica and having become acquainted with many Latinos, I'd agree there's great variety in the community.

My earlier comment should have been driven by some sense of grievance, not grief. I've listened to much of the hearing live on C-SPAN and she comes across as controlled and adept. I would like to justify your earlier comment that "both [Thomas & Sotomahyor] seem to be driven by how they were treated as minorities". If all you can find is that one remark , for which she has all but apologized, you're grasping at straws.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 15, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Bobby, I agree with what you said and the heterogeneity of "ethnic" communities.

I had an AA State Senator in the PacNW tell me one afternoon she would like to see some of the recent arrivals from Africa lynched, so they could see "what happened to the people they sold" and how, "...they will never have to pay with scars on their backs for the riches we built. Now they come over here to steal from us." It was scary and she was as serious as a heart attack.

But, what I was wondering is this. Do you really think Soto will be as divisive as Thomas? Thomas like a permanent monument to Republican cynicism. Will Sotomayor always be a hot button?

Posted by: shrink2 | July 15, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

A few days ago I offerd a reward for finding a single instance of something intelligent that drivl ever posted.

No one was able to discover any.

On the other hand, if you could collect 5 cents for every idiotic statement, you could be rich.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

It is very true that since the election Steele has shown himself to be weak and ineffective - in fact wishywashy - but before the election he was seen as a voice of reason trying to bridge gaps and build bridges and that is what the American people were looking for at the time.

My comment was based on who we knew him to be at the time of the election and not the impotent head of the GOP (pun intended)

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

poor king of zouk. his mental disorder [tourette syndrome] requires that he compulsively post every bizarre and tortured incoherency that forces itself into the small part of his brain that has not completely dissolved, ala Terry Shiavo.

Sad case, but not worthy of wasting rehabilitative services. Not even left to work with.

Posted by: drindl | July 15, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

This is very true.

"Senator Graham has stated that they need to know why her speeches seem to contradict her judicial decisions. Perhaps the reason there is that difference is because a speech is personal opinion, and a decision is a professional decision based on law."

But so long as she was still subject to some promotion - meaning to SCOTUS - it would be highly unlikely an intelligent jurist would allow her personal views into her opinions.

The problem is, there is no going backwards once she is on SCOTUS and decides to use her personal bias.

Do we not at least need to demand a full vetting of this comments.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

Thanks for the recommendations.

Posted by: JakeD | July 15, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"I remain convinced that had McCain chosen Steel as his running mate, my prediction would have fallen on its face."

---

Statements like this discredit you. If there was actually one *worse* person McCain could have picked as a running mate, it would have been Michael Steele. That guy is a joke.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I am as far Left as a person can get. I don't even think VietNam is a Communist country. And I sure do agree with mb27 on this:

"The economy cannot be fixed by doing what George Bush and his gangsters did, but that is precisely what Obama is doing. We need to get [Obama] and the Democrats to focus their attention on this, hold heir feet to the fire to stick with their campaign promises, or we will end up in a disaster that we have no hope of overcoming."

Like I said, the equity markets sure do love the Goldman Sachs Obama administration. As much as Cramer calls Obama a socialist, he knows better and he knows the rich can make a killing right now. Buy, buy, buy!

Posted by: shrink2 | July 15, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"shallow and petty attacks"

drivl stares in the mirror and sees a beauty.
Urgent optomologist needed.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse


VTDuffman - Okay, then is she pro-choice or not? Is she pro- big business or not? Is she a gun control nut or not? Is she for using the court to grant some form of amnesty to illegals or not? What, in fact, is her "judicial philosophy".
-----

The judge has stated her judicial philosophy. The law is the law, and her personal values and personal opinions are not the basis of her decisions.

***********************************

The fact is, on these issues and most others that will come before the court, you don't don't know. No one does. We have a few hints and hose hints are completely outside the main stream. In the end, you are reduced to guessing and hoping. This is not how "advice and consent" is supposed to run. The Senate is supposed to get answers and have an open and honest discussion. They aren't.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 15, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse
-----

Open and honest debate regarding her decisions, not her speeches or her personal beliefs.

The only Senator who really seems to be interested in why she has made decisions on more than 2 cases was Senator Schumer who asked why decisions were reached on (I believe) 10 cases.

Senator Graham has stated that they need to know why her speeches seem to contradict her judicial decisions. Perhaps the reason there is that difference is because a speech is personal opinion, and a decision is a professional decision based on law.

Posted by: alysheba_3 | July 15, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Shrink2, thanks for adding to the discussion and actually extending the discussion - this is when this forum works at its best.

You brought out a good point - the radical left in this country see SCOTUS as a key issue - they will ignore other issues just to insure a Democrat wins the White House -and to be quite frank with you - so too will I.

Politics is not and never has been what is best for the country - it is about power - the Republicans will find states where they believe they can win in 2010 and run the tape to rally the radical 5% of the radical right - this could turn the election.

We will never know for sure because pollsters will never ask the question - we can only look at the campaigns and draw conclusions from the campaign material.

In Texas A Republican Latina female judge ran an ad claiming her opponent on the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals issued a ruling allowing a black male rapist to go free and rape again. She played on the racial tendency of the Mexican American community in South Texas and won. A good judge was removed from the bench. She was given a pass because she is a Latina - it was wrong.

Do not assume all groups stand together. New arrival Mexican Americans are nothing like old guard Mexican Americans - the old guard in many cases were in Texas and California when it was Mexico - they lived through the years of bigotry - they saw their children denied an equal education - this made them Democrats even though as a class they oppose abortion and gay rights.

The new guard Mexican Americans came from Mexico where there is no opportunity and saw opporunity for their children which their children never would have had in Mexico - they like most Central Americans are Independents.

Puerto Ricans like Sotomayor tend to be Demomcrats because without the social programs of the 60's urged by the Democrats many would never have left Puerto Rico.

It is a big mistake to assume we are all alike - we are not - our experiences are difference and therefore our politics are different.

Many new arrival Latinos will be offended by Sotomayor's comments and vote Republican - some will dislike her because she is Puerto Rican - yes a nasty truth we are not allowed to discuss.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

@BWC - What your analysis missed is that (a) SC nominations rarely drive elections and (b) there are many bigger issues in play. The economy, health care, defense for example. The 5-7 comment appeared to be a generic analysis of mid-term losses, not due to the nomination. If you think Sotomayor is driven by some sense of grief, you haven't been listening.

@JakeD - If you're headed north to Boston, consider going up to Portland. It's a great town and has some great eating. Dinner at Fore Street or DB Street & Co is worth the trip.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 15, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Lisa, no one cares about your childish nonsense. You are just another troll in the classic tradition of thinking your shallow and petty attacks mean something to anyone but you.

Posted by: drindl | July 15, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Bobby, I do think the appointment of Clarence Thomas was such a cynical outrage that it still puts off many many people who care and who vote, whether or not they were conscious of it.

For this nomination to put Right leaning people who attend to the Culture Wars off, they would have to be as upset as so many of us on the Left were about Thomas.

Do you think she will be perceived so negatively and create such a lasting legacy of lunacy, like Token Thomas?

Posted by: shrink2 | July 15, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Drivl is up to her usual idiocy.


hate, hate, hate. insult, insult. babble, drivl, howl.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

At least GWB could pitch a strike:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=631knZM9Uiw

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

what a head case you are, mibrooks. i do hope the attendants wipe the spittle from your face after your rants.

Posted by: drindl | July 15, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Time will tell. I'll be amazed if Santomayor is an issue of any particular relevance to anyone even six months hence. It's just fodder for the daily news cycle right now, absent anything better.

Affecting independents in the senate race? Unlikely. White people who are appalled by Santomayor are not now and never will be voting Democrat, whatever they call themselves. Latinos who may once have voted Republican are certainly even more soured on that party now, but they had sufficient recent cause for that even absent Sotomayor. Net Zero.

If seats shift in the senate, I seriously doubt Sotomayor is the cause.

But time will tell.

Posted by: nodebris | July 15, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

drivel - Your sophomoric analysis and comments are so lame, so juvenile, that I am surprised you can chew gum and walk at the same time. Are you really that stupid? Do you really think the rest of us are as immature and foolish as you? "Decent woman", indeed. I am surprised that you weren't a Palin supporter - she was a Woman. Of course, she didn't make the feminist blather that you so mindlessly believe in. If you cannot do an intelligent analysis of Sotomayor and her positions on important issues, might I suggest that you surf on over to Fox News or USAtoday, where mindless drivel is expected.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 15, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"While interviewing Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol on his radio show yesterday, Dennis Miller suggested that conservatives ought to consider commandeering the term “progressive” for their cause. “If I was Republicans right now or conservatives, whatever way you want to look at it — I would plant a flag on the phrase progressive,” said Miller.

Miller claimed that “liberals are trying to co-opt” the term, but they haven’t “completely commandeered it” yet, so conservatives should “start claiming progressivism on the right too.” Kristol agreed, citing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s frequent use of the phrase, “progressing Alaska forward”:

an increasingily clumsy and floundering and illiterate party stumbles downhill...

Posted by: drindl | July 15, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

drindle, thanks for the post - my jaw was on the floor when I was watching the hearings - but it begets the question if we are going to give Sotomayor a pass on "wise latina" should we not also give him a pass on the xplaining comment?

Neither should be given the pass and that is my point.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Nodebris, this is 100% correct "It's very simple, really: economy doing better, Obama reelected. Economy not doing better, the Republicans have a chance, if they can take it."

This forum does not work when people get to long winded so these extended discussions help - thanks for responding to my post with substance?

But it is not 3 years. Come September the 2010 Senate races will be in full swing. This is why Obama wants his healthcare done before the end of August - well before it can influence he election.

If Obama looses the votes he needs in the Senate to proceed with is agenda his agenda will fail. Look I have not and will not judge Obama on the economy at this time - it is way too soon to expect meaningful positive change. But if he looses the ability to control the Senate in 2010, it will make it more difficult for him to continue with his policies - policies which may be needed to insure a strong economy, thereby his election.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse


"Then you would have some 'splaining to do."

-- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), doing his best Ricky Ricardo impression at Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing.

Here's the clip:

http://politicalwire.com/archives/2009/07/15/bonus_quote_of_the_day.html"

After this sorry performance by white republican men, this badgering, taunting humiliation of a decent woman, I expect most Latinos will turn away from the R party in disgust and who could blame them.

Posted by: drindl | July 15, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Mark I agree with you that the impact on Anglos in general will be nearly insignificant - but again what turns a close election are the people who vote based on anger or one issue - This video of her on judges making policy will be played over and over again in States wherein they believe they can sway rightwing voters to come out and vote. This is the possible 5% of the vote which can make the difference in any election.

Look Cornyn went after her as a Republican in a largely hispanic state, but Cornyn understands not all hispanics are the same or think the same or even stick together.

On Obama - I was nearly laughed out of this forum when I predicted he would run and win. The country was looking for a calming voice which appeared to promote compromise.

I remain convinced that had McCain chosen Steel as his running mate, my prediction would have fallen on its face.

We cannot always be right - it is political talking heads analysis - and like all heads somedays he get it wrong - but given the fact the Senate controls the agenda - 60 votes Obama has a good chance of getting what he wants - 59 means he may not get what he wants - even if they can use Sotomayors comments to win close elections in 3 Senate races it changes the Senate for Obama's second two years.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"substantive discussions are so difficult - address the facts "

you are replying to a hate mongering moonbat, you might as well howl at the moon as encourage this loon to address facts.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"In every presidential election in my life-time the Supreme Court has been an issue"

Yes, yes, it's one of those things partisans speechify about to rally the troops. But the SC is never ever even one of the top 20 issues on voters minds. In three years, only a tiny minority of the electorate will even be able to remember that Sotomayor is on the supreme court, much less vote because of her.

It's very simple, really: economy doing better, Obama reelected. Economy not doing better, the Republicans have a chance, if they can take it.

Posted by: nodebris | July 15, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

To everyone thanks for commenting on my post -

First mid-term elections are normally bad for the Party in power - as a general rule.

In every presidential election in my life-time the Supreme Court has been an issue - every presidential candidate has made future appointments a defining issue - now all of a sudden it has no meaning.

Will it be the defining issue in these Senate races - no - but if 5% of the electorate decide it is important that could be enough to swing an election - you cannot think that the issue means 51% will vote against the Dems on the issue - it is about Independents and Republicans (who may not have otherwise voted)

The 5-7 comes from something I read several months ago as to the number of possible seats in play.

As to me being some Republican hack - this is why substantive discussions are so difficult - address the facts - every presidential candidate in at least the last 30 years have made judicial appointments an issue - mid-term elections are bad for the Party in power (as a general rule) Sotomayor has given them some very hot statements to rally Republican voters and conservative and moderate Independents.

I guess when Ed Bradley profiled my work on Street Stories as the only lawyer in the US willing to represent Blacks and Latinos being discharged from the military as gay, it was because he saw me as a Republican hack - my track record on civil rights is solid - and it goes well beyond gay and lesbian issues.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a loser, but not just because Sotomayor disagrees with his "judges uses heart" formulation. By cloaking his domestic agenda in terms of economic recovery, President Obama and his team of liberals have been able to pass the largest spending bill in history, repeal welfare reform, set us on the course to socialized healthcare, advance a very costly energy policy, impose high costs on productive people, and enact unprecedented expansions of governmental power. All of that might have been simple policy disagreements, but he is also endangering the lives of all Americans. By cutting the defense budget and ordering the closing of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, the President demonstrates his complacency toward national security and undermines our ability to respond to future attacks. I pray to God that Obama does not get re-elected.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8 - I am NOT a Republican. Neither am I a conservative. I am primarily concerned about the state of our economy and the future of our country. Yesterday, Goldmann Sachs announced record profits of $3 billion dollars for the first quarter of the year. What isn't well known is that most of those profits came from commodity speculation where traders manipulated oil and food and credit card interest futures and drove the cost of oil up. *ALL* of those $3 billion dollars came our of OUR collective hides. GS and other companies, all 'too big to fail', have wrecked our economy, cost us millions of jobs, and made this country less safe. Instead of regulating them, instead of breaking them up anti-trust laws, this Administration and the Democratic Congress have ponied up to the feeding trough. We are bleeding jobs right now and here are serious questions about our economy collapsing completely. The government ought to be looking a using tariffs and punitive taxes to ensure that jobs stay here. Instead, they are enacting legislation that will encourage outsourcing. Adding taxes and requirements to U.S. employers to, say, require them to offer health care to their employees *encourages outsourcing*. Now, I happen o believe in, want, universal health care, but the way to achieve that is to do away with employer requirements, do away with private heath insurance altogether, and to have the government handle it using a single payer, single source system as they do in Scandinavia.

The stupid nomination of Sotomayor is another example of the utter incompetence of multicultural/multinational schemes pushed by this government. Sotomayor is so clearly a partisan in the cultural wars, caring about the Hispanic agenda, that I am shocked by the stupid unquestioning acceptance of her as a "woman" and "fellow liberal" by liberals and Democrats. She cares about the Hispanic agenda. She doesn't care about gay rights or choice or much of anything that doesn't fit in with her twisted world view. So, universal healthcare might be fine, if it provides healthcare for the hordes of illegal immigrants. So will resident tuition for illegal "residents" of states, access to jobs with no proof of citizenship, killing programs like E-Verify, and on and on. She is dangerous that is NOT a liberal or conservative "view"; it is the view of American's concerned about the very survival of this country.

The sad fact is, this Administration is off the rail. It is busy with it's social agenda, fighting cultural wars, when it should be concerned about the economy. The economy cannot be fixed by doing what George Bush and his gangsters did, but that is precisely what Obama is doing. We need to get he and the Democrats to focus their attention on this, hold heir feet to the fire to stick with their campaign promises, or we will end up in a disaster that we have no hope of overcoming.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 15, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes, mark, bobby w-c is not a troll but his analysis here is laughably off the mark.

Nodebris is correct. This nomination will have ZERO effect on the 2010 elections. The Repubs would be even more insane than I think they are to even bring it up.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 15, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

chrissuxcox - it is a fortunate act of Providence that you don't reproduce and subsequently twist another mind into your subversive view of the world.

at least here we can (and do) ignore you or laugh at you.

It is clear no one in the real world will talk to you or keep company.

blather on.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"Crops grown and sold locally, as intended by the framers, can by no logical measure be considered "Interstate commerce."

There's a nuance here that everyone is missing. I see jaked went out and picked up a con law gilbert's. very impressive jaked.

The whole point of Wickard v. Filburn is that local activity can AFFECT interstate commerce, not that it's in and of itself interstate commerce. If you grow corn and eat it yourself, that's corn that won't have to travel to get to your piehole.

This is indeed a very very broad reading of the commerce clause, but it's the law.

And that's a good thing. See. e.g., Katzenbach v. McClung (Ollie's Barbecue).

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 15, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

CF8, BobbyCW has been posting here for years and is not a troll. Bsimon1 and I take him seriously.

Bobby, I hope this finds you in good health.

But you overestimated the potential backlash to BHO in the LRGV and I think you are overestimating, here, as well. She never should have made that remark [repeatedly] but it will prove, I think, to be of no consequence to Anglos in general.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 15, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

it would help bobbywc's argument if he could point to one instance of a party ever losing senate seats over a SC nomination.

Posted by: nodebris | July 15, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the warning you're coming north, jakey. Bring zookie with you; we have plenty of room in the women's prison in Goffstown for both of you.

Posted by: jasperanselm | July 15, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

In 2010 Senate races Republicans and a large number of Independents will be angry over the Sotomayor nomination. You can bet the farm that the Republicans in states which are in play they will play over and over and over again her statement on "wise Latina" and her video on judges making policy.

==

You claim to be otherwise but, you know, this sounds exactly like the same "backlash" eye-rolling I've been hearing from GOP trolls for twenty years. I don't buy it from them, and I don't buy it from you. The idea that the Democrats will lose Senate seats over the nomination simply has no basis in reality.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, thanks for responding to my post.

In 2010 Senate races Republicans and a large number of Independents will be angry over the Sotomayor nomination. You can bet the farm that the Republicans in states which are in play they will play over and over and over again her statement on "wise Latina" and her video on judges making policy.

The caption will be - Restore Balance to teh Senate by Denying Obama his 60 seat majority" or "This is why we need to put Republicans back into the Senate."

Bobby WC

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

Bobbywc writes
"I remain convinced history will judge this nomination as the biggest political miss step since Nixon ordered the cover-up of Watergate. The nomination will cost the Dems 5-7 seats in the Senate and effectively end Obama's presidency. His last two years will be that of a lame duck."


Bobby, I think you're way off; for one thing, SC nominations rarely reflect on the President or his party at subsequent elections. But... what 5-7 Senate seats do you think will switch (or not switch) based solely on the Sotomayor appointment?

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 15, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow. The equity markets sure seem to love being ruled by Goldman Sachs Obama.

Unemployment, who cares?
Trillion $$ debt, no problem.

Cramer says buy, so we buy, buy, buy.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 15, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Chris, Stan "the Man" Musial does have "Amazing" stats. Check out Bernie Mikilatzi' s article in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch on how MLB disgraceful tribute to a GREAT baseball player.

Posted by: rogden71 | July 15, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I remain convinced history will judge this nomination as the biggest political miss step since Nixon ordered the cover-up of Watergate. The nomination will cost the Dems 5-7 seats in the Senate and effectively end Obama's presidency. His last two years will be that of a lame duck.

Having said that - CHRIS - did you even watch yesterday's hearings. Will the real Sonia Sotomayor please step forward.

As a left wing Latino gay male I am embarassed by this woman. Her nomination and what is sure to be her confirmation sets back equality based on the content of our character back 40 years.

We all know what this means: “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.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/15judge.html

This is no different than when Colin Powell as the Chief of Staff under Bush I told CNN that our primary intelligence coming out of Bagdad, during Gulf War I, was CNN’s live coverage. Saddam immediately ordered the live coverage cut and we lost our intelligence gathering on the effectiveness of the bombing. Had Colin Powell been a white male he would have been immediately fired and possibly court marshalled.

I have spent my entire life asking people to judge me by no other standard than the content of my character. You may not like my politics, which is fair game, but I still demand people look to my actions and my character before they judge me.

I have never taken the position that I cannot succeed because my teachers saw me as a Latino.

I did not claim victim hood when I came to accept I am gay. I stepped up to the plate and demanded respect. I fought for equality in the courts even though I knew ignorant judges, many of whom were closeted gays, would judge me as a trouble maker. After being spat on in the lawyers’ lounge in the Tarrant County Court house by a fellow lawyer, I walked into the courtroom and made my case without feeling a need to cry victim.

the success stories of Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas are something this country should be proud of - they both proved that in a racist society you can succeed if you do not live the life of victims - but maybe they did not succeed, because both seem to be driven by how they were treated as minorities - this is sad.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 15, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Okay, then is she pro-choice or not? Is she pro- big business or not? Is she a gun control nut or not? Is she for using the court to grant some form of amnesty to illegals or not? What, in fact, is her "judicial philosophy".

==

Coming from you these hyperventilating posts are a big disappointment. You raise a collection of Republican hot-button issues and demand to know Sotomayor's personal views on them. Why don't you demand to know what TV shows she watches, what best-sellers she's read, while you're at it? This is TRIVIA.

If one thing has been clear in this puerile questioning it's that her professional life and her personal views are separate. She's s judge, for godssake.

And by the way, your dragging tangents like the RKBA into this thread is taking on jakedesque proportions. You're starting to sound more than a little fanatic. It's this unbreakable connection between gun ownership and mouth-frothing that has me more convinced every year that the Second Amendment should be completely repealed, and that would take a Constitutional Convention, not just a court ruling.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Only a "winner" surrounds himself with people who can respectfully disagree with his opinion and in the most public of forums. And Sonia Sotomajor is definitely a "winner" for doing so.

Posted by: jeb5 | July 15, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

For the record, ...

if anyone else wants to discuss ... in a civil manner ... let me know ...

==

This IS an act, isn't it?

I really need to know this is an act.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

the other hate merchant arrives.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

That's assuming he is even legally President of the United States.

==

Give it a rest, cretin

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"Are you in Vermont?"

---

Sorry, VT is for Virginia Tech, not Vermont.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Given the Sotomayor hearings complete lack of newsworthiness, I'll mention that former Rep Jim Ramstad has declined to run for Governor of MN in 2010. He is a moderate Republican who has promised to remain in public life, just not as Gov of MN. He is one of the dwindling numbers of GOP moderates who still enjoys bipartisan support and respect. The other often mentioned as a potential Gubernatorial candidate is former Senator Norm Coleman, who may have eliminated himself from that list through his antics in challenging the results of the 2008 Senate election.

That leaves the GOP list of potential candidates at about 22, according to MN Post, which includes longshots. The DFL has a candidate list somewhere in the low-teens, with perhaps 5 heavy hitters that are considered most likely to become that party's nominee. Only three names are on the IP list, including perennial loser & accidental Senator Dean Barkley.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 15, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

I see the nuns/brothers taught you well! As a veteran of years of school Latin, I can only say, 'Homo doctvs is se semper divitias habet'! Unfortunately, yesterday's hearings showed very few 'learned men', thus very little 'treasure'.

I'm surprised you didn't list Jeff Sessions as the biggest loser--the way his mean-spirited 'questioning' went was truly over the top. The bit where Sessions praised Judge Cederbaum to the skies, and Judge Sotomayor said (I paraphrase) 'Yes, Judge Cederbaum is a friend of mine. In fact she's here today to support me' was a wonderful put-down!

Jon Kyl and Lindsey Graham were surprisingly nasty as well.

And WHAT is the ghost of Miguel Estrada doing being constantly invoked during the hearings?

Actually, the entire business should be held behind closed doors instead of having the hearings take up where the wall-to-wall Michael Jackson death sage left off. This is all political posturing and show--and it's a bore. Wake me when Sotomayor is confirmed!

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 15, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

It may have been, but its still longer "well settled" law than Roe v. Wade.

Posted by: JakeD | July 15, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman:

Are you in Vermont? My wife and I are headed to Boston in a few weeks, and I wanted to take her to see the Merrimack Restaurant in Manchester. Now I see that it closed last year. Any suggestions for political nostalgia in your neck of the woods?

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

"Read the cases starting with Wickard v. Filburn (farmer selling wheat "locally" and not across state lines still implicated Commerce Clause)."

---

Crops grown and sold locally, as intended by the framers, can by no logical measure be considered "Interstate commerce." Any use of the commerce clause to justify Federal authority over a clearly local practice is "Judicial Activism."

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

"passionately activist" is how I'd describe Scalia's opinion in Heller too.

You know Scalia's gone off the deep end when Richard Posner compares his opinion in Heller to Roe v. Wade.

Posted by: mnteng | July 15, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"It was one of the most strange dissents ever, and passionately activist."

And here I thought Thomas' dissent in the girl's underwear search case was the strangest ever (and activist too). Now I have to go read the VRA dissent. If I can't find the cite I will ask for help.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 15, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Zouk is in rare form today -- extra coffee this morning, KOZ?

And joked (formerly jaked) is back with his birth certificate nonsense and other gibberish.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 15, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman:

Read the cases starting with Wickard v. Filburn (farmer selling wheat "locally" and not across state lines still implicated Commerce Clause).

Posted by: JakeD | July 15, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Thank you kili.

Of course, the right is willfully misunderstanding a bland statement made to encourage minorities to see their futures as including positions as Judges.

In these situations, people who have "made it" encourage the next generation by saying encouraging things like "my life's experiences have given me perspective a white judge who hasn't lived my life misses, so don't you guys think you can't be judges because English is your second language or you went to law school at night. These things can work for you."

This is exactly the kind of pep-talk people give one another 'You think they hold all the cards, but you've got more heart than they do so go out there and win one for the Gipper.'

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 15, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

dbw1, for lawyers the words that describe judicial philosophy: "activism", "incrementalism", "minimalism", and "restraint" do not mean "liberal" or "conservative".

As a practitioner I have generally favored restraint because I want the law to be predictable. Predictability gives me something to base my analysis upon when I am asked to visit an issue by a client.

The Supremes practice restraint when they give deference to statutes that are not unconstitutional. They practice restraint when they give deference to prior case law. So when the Supremes rule that the VRA's preclearance rules are constitutional but that a MUD that does not register voters can opt out - where the statute says that only a registrar can opt out - they are inventing law out of whole cloth. I do not know if one could clearly call "North Austin" a conservative victory but it surely was an activist decision fueled by the more conservative Justices.

Thomas dissented. He wanted to void the VRA as unnecessary. He did not offer an analysis that Congress did not have the power to pass the VRA. It was one of the most strange dissents ever, and passionately activist.

Frankly, I thought Kennedy's line of oral questioning calling into doubt the pre-clearance requirements for some states but not others offered the potential for a non-activist attack on the statute, but it was apparently lost in the bargaining to reach a majority.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 15, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"The Commerce Clause cases are much more "long settled" law than Roe v. Wade."

---

Correct, but the commerce clause has no use in that particular case. A crop grown in a state and sold to citizens of that state is, by no logical bounds, "interstate commerece," and therefore *not* regulatable by federal laws.

Justice Scalia, however, doesn't care about the Constitution. He cares about advancing his right-wing agenda, so he disregards it when necessary, just as dbw is accusing liberal justices of doing.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"The organizations she has belonged to, her public speeches, her contributions, are provide ample evidence that she is a Hispanic radical, not a moderate, a radical."

She has almost 20 years of real, actual, case law to be judged on. Surely, her "radicalness" is evident in those rulings. Please cite 3 such cases that justify your statement. Anything else is heresay.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"I don't care what you believe about abortion (or gun rights, or any other polarizing social issue), the fact is liberal judges take the pieces of the Constitution they like, ignore what they don't like, and create laws that were never there."

Just like conservative judges.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing how quickly Obama has lost his lead. His ratings had fallen steeply after his inauguration. Most polls had his job-approval dropping 13 points in his first three months. But then his numbers revived with the adulatory coverage at his first-100-days mark. Buoyed by hopes of a swift recovery, voters and the stock market gave him a break, and his ratings and the Dow rose sharply.

But since April, he has been dropping fast -- and his alarming losses on his central agenda issues portend further declines.

Congressional elections are still more than a year off, but Obama needs strong approval ratings to steer his legislative package through Congress. If he's sagging in the low 40s or high 30s by the fall, he probably won't be able to persuade moderate Democratic senators to walk the plank and vote for cap-and-trade, health-care reform, higher taxes or an immigration amnesty.

His chief legislative achievements, in other words, may already be behind him.


Of which there is one - the porkulus bill. Can you imagine all the good will that has been squandered by the extreme leftism of this wimp. If he had had any inkling of what he was doing, it might have been different. Next time just vote for the teleprompter and cut out the midlleman.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Obama's approval, in the Rasmussen Poll, has now dipped to 51 percent, one point less than his 2008 vote share of 52 percent. In past polls, most voters registering disapproval for the president had voted for Sen. John McCain. Now, Obama's starting to lose people who backed him last November.

Rasmussen asked voters to compare which party was best on 10 issues. While Obama's ratings are likely better than his party's, the Republicans can take heart in trumping their opposition in eight of the 10 categories.

The most significant topic was, of course, the economy. For the second straight month, Rasmussen shows a GOP lead over the Democrats, this time by 46 percent to 41 percent, indicating that the incessant bad news and the collapse of the false hopes the stock market entertained this spring have taken their toll.

And only 39 percent of voters say that Obama is doing an excellent or good job on the economy, 11 points lower than his overall job approval. Forty-three percent say he's doing fair or poor.


Obama is rapidly losing support on health reform, his key issue. And if he stays behind on health care and the economy for long, nothing much will hold him and his party aloft.

Rasmussen also found a Republican edge on many other issues. Democrats led Republicans 41 percent to 38 percent on education -- but the GOP led 49 percent to 40 percent on national security, 40 percent to 34 percent on immigration, 46 percent to 39 percent on abortion, 34 percent to 33 percent on ethics and corruption, and -- get this -- 42 percent to 37 percent on Social Security.

When Republicans are winning on Social Security, it's bad news for the Democrats.


Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

"she is a Hispanic radical, not a moderate, a radical"

Well, Obama is rash like that, so betting his first SC nomination on an obvious radical is no surprise, right? Why, just look at Obama's record, you can see crazy wild decisions like that all over the place.

[snicker]

Posted by: nodebris | July 15, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

If you think it is the height of fiscal irresponsibility to be raising taxes in the midst of a struggling economy where unemployment is headed into double digits, you're right. This is crazy.

This is not a time when we should be talking about raising anyone's taxes -- middle income or upper income. This is a time when we need all of the economy's oars in the water pulling together, especially upper-income investors whom the Democrats want to tax into oblivion.

This economy is desperately in need of tax-cut incentives to unlock an infusion of private-investment capital to help job-creating entrepreneurs and existing businesses survive what is likely to be many months of economic anemia and turmoil.

But I sense that the political mood in the country, as we see in Ohio, has begun to turn against Obama and his tax-happy, spending-binge allies on Capitol Hill. He's losing his credibility on the core economic issues of our time, and that in the long run is going to spill over into the rest of his agenda as well.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Now that Lies (and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them) author Al Franken is actually a real-life United States senator, we might need to craft either a new definition of “lies” or “truth” – take your pick. The whoppers have been flying thick and fast in recent days.
For instance, in his July 11 radio address, President Obama actually declared that the stimulus “has worked as intended.” If you recall, the White House promised during arm-twisting time in February that the $787 billion stimulus would create or “save” 3.5 million jobs over the next two years. Instead, the unemployment rate has risen from 8.1 percent in February to 9.5 in July. Employers cut 467,000 jobs in June. Something’s working, but it’s not millions of still-jobless Americans. To be fair, the stimulators have got another 19 months or so. And they claim that 8 zillion jobs would have been lost without the massive fix. But it’s not looking good, especially since they’re already talking about Son of Stimulus.

And how about Sen. Patrick Leahy’s glowing tribute to the Wise Latina at her Senate hearing on Monday? With a straight face, and knowing Sonia Sotomayor’s record on racial preferences has been flushed out for all to see, Leahy coughed, ahrem!:

“She understands that there is not one law for one race or another. There is not one law for one color or another. There is not one law for rich and a different one for poor. There is only one law.”

This is not something you might expect about a nominee who served 12 years on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (now the Latino Justice/PRLDEF), or the National Council of La Raza (“the Race”), both of which unabashedly advocate for race-based special rights for minorities along with a laundry list of other liberal causes like unrestricted abortion and economic redistribution.

And if Sotomayor is so committed to the rule of law, why has she been reversed four out of six times when her rulings have come before the Supreme Court?


Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman _ The organizations she has belonged to, her public speeches, her contributions, are provide ample evidence that she is a Hispanic radical, not a moderate, a radical. On the Supreme Court you can count on her legislating amnesty and creating "rights" to citizenship and access to social services and money that do not exist right now. I don't think she has any core beliefs beyond that. You supporters are blind to this, but all of this will come back to haunt you. As a part of that Latino agenda, I expect her to limit access to abortion, come down against private ownership of firearms, be pro-corporation, and pro-government, even stand in opposition to free speech if such speech is in opposition to "Hispanic rights" (E.g. look for a whole new slew of "hate speech laws). She is, and I will remind of this over and over, a dangerous partisan fanatic and will split this country even further, wrecking great harm for years to come. Sotomayor is a disaster in waiting and the short sighted political calculus of the Obama White House ought to frighten every liberal and conservative here. Right now, this country needs jobs, not a stick in the ant hill of the cultural wars.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 15, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

The losers are of course the Republicans, who at best can only curry support with their base by alienating fairly much everyone else. They are trapped in a demographic whirlpool they can't escape.

Obama the loser? Yeah. It's really going to hurt getting his nominee easily approved by the senate, consolidating his support from women and Latinos, and making Republicans look bad in the process. Ouch! I wonder if he can take many more such drubbings?

Posted by: nodebris | July 15, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Very, very provocative article below about Sotomayor's controversial judicial philosophy.

"Through the Sonia Sotomayor Looking Glass"

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

Posted by: supreme22 | July 15, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I see drivl has returned to offer us our daily helping of cut and hate.

If you challenge her loony ideas, she suggests you be ignored.

1. Most intelligent posters ignore HER/IT.
2. this is the only method to hideout from the facts.
3. I thought libs loved to debate and win with their ideas. Seems they win every argument over there on Kos. you might try screaming at your goldfish for the same effect.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk:

I noticed that too.

Posted by: JakeD | July 15, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Reich Wing judicial activism?

My recent favorite is Clarence Thomas deciding school officials can have girls open their underwear to them on demand - lest they otherwise get the message that stashing pills there is a sanctioned activity.

Howz that for a liberal interpretation of the Fourth Amendment?

Posted by: shrink2 | July 15, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Rightwing judicial activism is clearly the problem today, as we can see by pretty much everything Scalito does.

Posted by: drindl | July 15, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman:

The Commerce Clause cases are much more "long settled" law than Roe v. Wade.

Posted by: JakeD | July 15, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"The point is liberal judges ignore the Constitution when it gets in the way of implementing their agenda"

VTDuffman responds factually well enough. So let me drop my jaw in awe.

The arrogant self-delusion of hapless, ill-informed partisans is always astounding to me. The way they manage to substitute tag-lines for thought and partition the world into all good on one side, all error on the other. Remarkable.

The quote above is so trite and revealing of essential ignorance on the subject it purports to expound upon, it would embarrass a wise person.

If you can't deal with complexity, avoid complex subjects.

Posted by: nodebris | July 15, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I would say that Jeff Sessions was a real loser. He came off as a guy who checked his Klan sheets at the door and is racist. I guess it boils down to the fact he does not have to worry about a Latino backlash in his state.

Posted by: bradcpa | July 15, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

jaxas:

Perhaps you need to re-read the Bill of Rights. I'm quite familiar with them, and the Fourth Amendment is clearly dealing with protecting citizens from un-warranted searches and siezures of their private property by the government (a problem back in the days of colonial rule by Britain).

How do you turn the Fourth Amendment into a fundamental 'right to privacy' that protects the right to abortion...unless you consider the bodies of women to be nothing more than 'property' to be protected against searches and siezures?

I don't care what you believe about abortion (or gun rights, or any other polarizing social issue), the fact is liberal judges take the pieces of the Constitution they like, ignore what they don't like, and create laws that were never there.

If the LEGISLATURE wants to make a law protecting abortion (or creating a fundamental right to privacy), go for it. But the fact is liberals are usually either too scared or know they are not in the majority on particular issues to actually use the process for making laws that our Constitution established, and instead find willing liberal judges (perhaps like Sotomayor?) to create law by fiat.

That is the reality of 'judicial activism' that "Kili" labels fiction....Kili obviously isn't a fan of history.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 15, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON - In endorsing Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy did some creative rewriting of history. And he put quote marks around it. Trying to head off criticism of a controversial comment, Leahy misquoted Sotomayor's own words in kicking off the second day of her confirmation hearings.

when the facts are againt you - Lie.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

P.P.S. - uh, no, JakeD - there is no one to discuss your "views" in any manner that does not end in laughter. It would be like arguing with a person who thinks the earth is flat...pointless

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

Also off the top of my head, Scalia and company invented a "freedom of association" mentioned nowhere in the constitution in the BSA case.

Should I keep going with this? I'm sure I could come up with more given time. But please, keep pretending like liberal justices are the only ones who disregard the Constitution when it's in their interests politically.

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

The news is not that American combat troops withdrew from Iraqi cities. The news is that American combat troops withdrew from Iraqi cities in victory - rather than in defeat. Two years ago at this time, few in the foreign-policy establishment considered that outcome possible. Some did not even see it as desirable. There were those who believed that the conflict in Iraq was "unwinnable," that America had met its match


in other words. Libs (especially Reid and Obambi) were wrong and wanted to surrender and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Same as it ever was.

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

Protecting Pelosi, not America
Dems scheme exposed immediately, yet you know they'll try again

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

"Her past pretty much sums her up as a Northeast Latino radical with an agenda and set of beliefs that tramples everything held dear by both conservatives and liberals of the American mainstream."

---

Please cite three cases where you feel Mrs. Sotomayor demonstrated her "radical agenda," and why.

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

you can just ignore mibrooks too. as you can tell by his longwinded loony rants, he went round the bend some time ago.

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

dbw1:

For the record, I think that Bush v. Gore was wrongly decided, in direct contravention of the U.S. Constitution.

P.S. if anyone else wants to discuss that -- or any of my other views which are not racist, mentally unbalanced, or stupid -- in a civil manner, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | July 15, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

drindl - Your blind support for Sotomayor simply because she s woman is silly and breathtakingly stupid. Typical, however, for you juvenile Obama gerbils. Obama hasn't done anything about job outsourcing or guest workers or large companies "too big to fail". In fact, he has made it more "attractive" by granting permission and tax breaks for companies doing this. Now, the Democratic fools in Congress are poised to enact a series of laws that will punish U.S. based employers for not offering a health care benefit to their employees. Employers of guest workers are not required. What do you think the effect of that is going to be? Even more U.S. workers will be laid off. If the guest worker loophole is removed, then even more jobs will be outsourced. The fools at this White House, their Congressional allies, and that moron Sotomayor, are busily engaged in wrecking the kind of damage that would even make Bush blush. Instead of using anti-trust laws to break up Goldman Sachs and fordif commodity speculation, bringing back tariffs and enacting punitive taxes to protect jobs, these fools and amateurs are busy enacting laws that they/you *think* will dictate a new social direction for the country, but instead are driving it further into a swamp. Grow up! Obama is a disaster and Sotomayor isn't anything close to what you want her to be. Her confirmation willl be disaster for you and liberals, in general. Her past pretty much sums her up as a Northeast Latino radical with an agenda and set of beliefs that tramples everything held dear by both conservatives and liberals of the American mainstream. The same, by the way, is painfully true of Obama and his hacks.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 15, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"You would be hard pressed to show me any Supreme Court decisions where Scalia, Roberts, Alito, or any other truly conservative justice ignored the Constitution to suit their 'political bias'."

---

Hard pressed? Hardly. In the California medical Marijuana Case, Justice Scalia said that Federal Anti-Drug Laws trumped State Decriminalization laws. In doing so he reasoned that marijuana grown in the state of California and sold to the Citizens of California fell under the jurisdiction of the federal government under the guise of "interstate commerce."

It doesn't get any closer to "disregarding the Constitution to fit your political agenda" than that. They all do it. You just don't care when justices do it in a way that you agree with politically.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

VT Duffman:
"Every judge does this, that's the point you're missing."

Actually, I'm not missing any point. The point is liberal judges ignore the Constitution when it gets in the way of implementing their agenda, as they believe they are more 'enlightened' now than those old fuddy-duddy founders of ours ('drindl' might call them "old white losers").

You would be hard pressed to show me any Supreme Court decisions where Scalia, Roberts, Alito, or any other truly conservative justice ignored the Constitution to suit their 'political bias'. They may interpret a line from the Constitution or Bill of rights differently than a liberal, but they have never issued a major ruling I know of that ignored the Constitution or Bill of Rights completely, in order to advance a political viewpoint....as, say, the liberal justices did with Roe vs Wade.


Posted by: dbw1 | July 15, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Cilliza, how is Obama a loser? He nominated her. And if you really think Graham surupy questioning about temperment(a question I doubt he would ask of a male nominee) is a winner, you are out to lunch.

JakeD, back again with your usual Alan Keyes inspired drivel? Let me help you - Keyes is mentally unbalanced political hack who you have latched onto in desperation. Four to eight years of a Barack Hussein Obama administation is a long time to be repeating the same drivel over and over, hoping it's true. That is the definition of insanity...get help

Posted by: LABC | July 15, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"That's assuming he is even legally President of the United States."


LOL. This clown, this barely sentient being, who is so fond of the institution of slavery, who's a big supporter of violent white supremacists and people who murder doctors, is also one of those psychotic Birthers. For anyone new here, just know he's completely worthless.

Posted by: drindl | July 15, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what Constitution you are reading Dbw1, but the one I am familiar with has a Fourth Amendment that clearly states that a citizen "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated...". Additionally the GRISWOLD V. CONNECTICUT affirmed a constitutional right to privacy may exist against the government but not necessarily against other individuals or the press.

Where in the world did you get this addled notion that their is no right to privacy affirmed by the Constitution? You've been listening to armchair amateurs like the Grest Hog Rush Limbaugh.

Posted by: jaxas | July 15, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"I think it's fair to say she has some further explaining to do. A judge cannot pick and choose which parts of the Constitution and/or Bill of Rights should apply to states and which ones don't."

---

Every judge does this, that's the point you're missing. You're pretending that Liberal justices only disregard the Constitution when it suits their political biases, but every single one of them does it.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"In the most aggressive questioning of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing thus far, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) read out a laundry list of complaints about the nominee this afternoon. Graham went through insult after insult from anonymous reviews about Sotomayor's temperament, including ones that called her "nasty," "a terror," "a bit of a bull," and one that said she lacks any "judicial temperament." Graham then asked her directly: "Do you think you have a temperament problem?"

In response to that last question, Sotomayor said, "No, sir, I can only talk about what I know about my relationships...when I ask lawyers tough questions, it's to give them an opportunity to explain their positions on both sides and to persuade me that they're right."

Graham later said, "I never liked appearing in court before a judge I thought was a bully." Sotomayor repeated that she does ask hard questions, but she does it "evenly for both sides."

After voicing those complaints and telling Sotomayor that "maybe these hearings are a time for self-reflection" for her, Graham became a bit of a bully himself, asking her if she remembered her "wise Latina" quote. When the judge answered in the affirmative, he asked her to recite it - twice. Sotomayor hedged a response, and Graham plowed ahead, said, "I've got it here," and read the quote out himself.

The infantilizing questioning from Graham continued throughout his entire thread; he interrupted her answers multiple times, and made a theme out of asking her to explain her understanding of certain legal concepts and current events:

Do you know what the term 'legal realism' means? Can you explain it?
On 9/11, which New York City native Sotomayor described as "the most horrific experience of my personal life and the most horrific experience in imagining the pain of the families of victims of that tragedy":

Do you know anything about the group that planned this attack, who they are and what they believe? Have you read anything about them?

It's worth noting what Graham's Supreme Court confirmation questioning was like back in 2006, at the hearings for Samuel Alito. He took his allotted time as an opportunity to apologize to Mrs. Alito, who was upset by what was perceived to be overly tough questioning of her husband"

And the pathetic softballs that were thrown at Alito, and the way the republicans licked his shoes at the hearing was equally disgusting.

GRAHAM WAS A DISGRACE.

Posted by: drindl | July 15, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk:

I've watched baseball games where the (real) President was not booed.

Posted by: JakeD | July 15, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"Okay, then is she pro-choice or not? Is she pro- big business or not? Is she a gun control nut or not? Is she for using the court to grant some form of amnesty to illegals or not?"

---

Those are issues questions, not "judicial philosophy" questions, from my standpoint.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

If Sotomayor utters the phrase "stare decisis" again today, I would like one of the Senators to have the guts to ask her if the Supreme Court should have applied "stare decisis" 50 years ago in deciding Brown vs Board of Education.

Fact is, to a liberal judge, since they don't really like the Constitution or Bill of Rights (these pesky documents tend to get in the way of the liberal agenda), "stare decisis" only applies to past judicial decisions that agree with liberal ideology (i.e., Roe vs Wade).

On any other issue that was not decided how they like, "stare decisis" never even enters their mind...

Posted by: dbw1 | July 15, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

dbw1, I think your argument is flawed, but you are pretending that race does not matter. We're all going in the same direction, but there doesn't seem to be any shortage of white men in the judiciary.

I'm a professor in a world famous engineering institution. There is a lack of women, and a huge lack of black and hispanic professors in my field. We go to the inner city and encourage hispanic kids to consider engineering a profession. You say things to get these kids of kids - girls and boys - to dream big.

Many who focus on the "wise hispanic" statement do so out of willful blindness.

Posted by: Kili | July 15, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

jaxas:

That's assuming he is even legally President of the United States.

Posted by: JakeD | July 15, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I would list Jeff Sessions as a loser, but all he did was confirm his status.

Posted by: szwheelock | July 15, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Loser.... Affirmative Action. The Ricci case is a disaster for those who support using race to hire or promote. Ricci showed the face of those who are discriminated against. And while normally it would be a one day story these hearings are keeping it alive day after day. I mean even Sotomayor isn't saying she supported New Haven position.. only she had NO CHOICE.. because of precedent she HAD to support New Haven. The country knows these firefighters were treated unfairly and affirmative action is being seen for what it is.. reverse discrimination! It's the begining of the end of A.A...

Posted by: sovine08 | July 15, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Every R judge should recuse themselves when it comes to gun laws -- they are all too compromised by their slavish support of the NRA to ever issue a fair ruling.

Posted by: drindl | July 15, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

dbw1:

Great post, but at least Sotomayor promised (for what that's worth) to recuse herself if that 2d Amendment case gets to the Supreme Court -- that's one less liberal vote for that -- we can always pray for more.

Posted by: JakeD | July 15, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

You heard the ball made it to the plate. No visual evidence then. So the same science as warming then?

I "heard" that unemployment was not going over 8.

I heard that pay-go was in effect.

I heard obambi would charm our allies.

I heard bills would be read and displayed for five days.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

By the way, do any liberals on here believe Sotomayor when she dismissed her "wise Latina" comments as "taken out of context" and a "rhetorical flourish that fell flat"? Seriously, are liberals really that hypocritical?

Let me paint a picture. Sarah Palin is being interviewed by Matt Lauer and when asked why she thinks she would be a good vice-president she says something like "well, I think my unique experiences as a white woman would help me make better decisions than, say, a black woman".

Yes, I'm sure the Democrats and media would just brush that aside as a 'rhetorical flourish'.....

Posted by: dbw1 | July 15, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Agreed that the "winners and loser" dichotomy didn't work so well for this - it seems like CC was straining for "losers"

'Okay, then is she pro-choice or not? Is she pro- big business or not? Is she a gun control nut or not? Is she for using the court to grant some form of amnesty to illegals or not? What, in fact, is her "judicial philosophy".'

These aren't questions about judicial philosophy. These are the questions from someone who has bought the fiction of "judicial activism" hook, line and sinker.

Posted by: Kili | July 15, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Nine years of Latin and you STILL managed to get it wrong? NINE years? I had a mere five and a half years and know that it's "amicus curiae," not "curae," unless of course you meant the Latin for "friend of management."

Posted by: richardhebert | July 15, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Most of this analysis is media buzz, catnip for pundits. The truth is that the dispute over Sotomayor's words is just like giving your dog a rubber bone to chew on. The media--being the tail wagging, tounge lapping dog in question--reacts precisely how the right wing expects them to react--they breathlessly try to turn it on Obama. And just like in their past negative narrratives, this will bounce off into the ether as well once Sotomayor is confirmed.

It never ceases to astonish me how easily manipulated the mainstream media is by a right wing that has failed consistently in its every attempt to tarnish the image of President Obama. It didn't work during the campaign and it won't work now.

Posted by: jaxas | July 15, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

All the weak bullying white republican men who are taunting this woman, who is far more accomplished than any of them, are the losers.

Graham -- one of the best minds? Oh puleez. What syncophancy.

Posted by: drindl | July 15, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman:
"Her judicial philosophy is clear from her 17 years of experience, as evidenced in her rulings and opinions. There's nothing controversial there..."

Ummm, I would disagree that her judicial philosophy is 'clear'. You may recall I'm one of the conservatives who believed she should be confirmed and we move on, simply because I believe in a limited view of the Senate's power to 'advise and consent'.

However, she is showing some cracks. I don't care as much that she is clearly liberals as I do that she is inconsistent with some of her statements. The "right to privacy" is settled law? A right that is never mentioned in the Constitution or Bill of Rights or any Amendments? But the right to keep and bear arms, a right specifically included by the founders in the Bill of Rights, is not settled?

Further, she once ruled on the 2nd amendment saying it only applies to the Federal government, and held that states can make any laws they want to restrict guns. So, if she believes that about the 2nd amendment, should we assume she believes the same about the 1st amendment? Can states make any laws they want to restrict the press? Impose a religion or restrict the practice of religion?

I think it's fair to say she has some further explaining to do. A judge cannot pick and choose which parts of the Constitution and/or Bill of Rights should apply to states and which ones don't.

Not that liberals are consistent in their philosophies anyway, but c'mon....

Posted by: dbw1 | July 15, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"The Senate is supposed to get answers and have an open and honest discussion. They aren't."

Those days are long gone. All either side cares about is scoring political points and grandstanding. Unfortunately, this is true with almost all legislation now.

Posted by: RickJ | July 15, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Cillizza, are you some sort of an amateur at this? President Obama the loser? Have you never heard of the sacrifice bunt in baseball lingo? The measured deferential tone on Sotomayor's part was tactical. The President and the democrats knew what was coming from these old white conservatives on the panel.

The object in a sacrifice bunt is to advance the runner into scoring position which is precisely what the democrats did yesterday. Your silly little analysis of putting Obama in the losing category is meaningless because the entire question of empathy and bias is meaningless. Why? Well, it is like Galileo in his interview with his Curch inquisitors. You sound like you are agreeing with them, but under your breath you mutter the truth.

No sir. Obama is winning this one and no amount of slick, pro-right wing analysis can change that.

Posted by: jaxas | July 15, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I think the people asking why Sessions isn't on there have forgotten one important fact. Calling him a loser would be beating a dead horse.

Zouk: So you're an outright liar now? Because from what I heard he made it over the plate or at least to the plate. He definately didn't throw it 'into the dirt' from the coverage. And Presidents are always boo'ed at games. Bush was.

Why so hateful? You might want to get help if you think putting down others makes you look good. Makes you look like a petty fool to be honest not to mention touched in the head.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 15, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Loser - your idea of winners and losers.

Posted by: rlj1 | July 15, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Graham and Sessions were both losers. They would never address a white man in those condescending tones.... The fact that Sotomayor is Latina obviously irritates the hell out of them.

Posted by: RickJ | July 15, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman - Okay, then is she pro-choice or not? Is she pro- big business or not? Is she a gun control nut or not? Is she for using the court to grant some form of amnesty to illegals or not? What, in fact, is her "judicial philosophy". The fact is, on these issues and most others that will come before the court, you don't don't know. No one does. We have a few hints and hose hints are completely outside the main stream. In the end, you are reduced to guessing and hoping. This is not how "advice and consent" is supposed to run. The Senate is supposed to get answers and have an open and honest discussion. They aren't.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 15, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

"The Republican's apparently are split as to whether they should try and "rattle" Sotomayor or get answers to genuine questions about her judicial philosophy."

Her judicial philosophy is clear from her 17 years of experience, as evidenced in her rulings and opinions. There's nothing controversial there, so the GOP feels it needs to harp on the "wise latina" thing as much as possible to score points with their frothing bases.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Losers? We are. The Republican's apparently are split as to whether they should try and "rattle" Sotomayor or get answers to genuine questions about her judicial philosophy. Sotomayor is a robot on the stand and doesn't answer questions. So, at the end of the day, no one in the Senate has the slightest idea of what Sotomayor believes, no Democrat, no Republican, and not the American people, and certainly not Obama's peanut gallary of chattering youth and true believers. What we do know is the Senator from Vermont, Patrick Leahy, is an incurious and somewhat stupid and dangerous snake that was suddenly noticed by the American people, for the first time, who are nightly praying en mass that he drops dead from an embolism.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 15, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

"Senator Graham said Sotomayor would be confirmed unless she had “a meltdown” — a word applied mostly to women and toddlers until Mark Sanford proudly took ownership of it when he was judged about the wisdom of his Latina woman."

Maureen Dowd

This tortured-teutonic sentence could use the stylistic simplicity of Latin, but it is still funny.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 15, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Poor obimbo got booed at the game. And then threw the ball into the dirt. Miss a strong leader yet?

Foreign weakness and now weak throwing arms too.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

SCOTUS, RULE OF LAW SUBVERTED AT THE GRASSROOTS?


Politics becomes nothing more than bread and circuses as a nationwide, government-enabled vigilante Gestapo makes a mockery of the rule of law at the grassroots.

***

"Panetta's Box"

THE SECRETIVE SECURITY / MILITARY / INTEL 'MULTI-AGENCY COORDINATED ACTION PROGRAM'...

A NATIONWIDE EXTRAJUDICIAL TARGETING AND 'TORTURE MATRIX'...

...USING COVERTLY IMPLANTED GPS TRACKING DEVICES TO RUIN THE LIVES OF UNJUSTLY TARGETED AMERICANS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

A DOMESTIC 'BLACK OP' THAT HAS CO-OPTED LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT IN EVERY COUNTY IN AMERICA...

...FAR MORE EXTENSIVE THAN AN OVERSEAS CIA 'ASSASSINATION RING'...

...INVOLVING THE WEAPONIZATION OF THE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM...

...'DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS' TORTURE OF UNJUSTLY 'TARGETED' AMERICAN CITIZENS...

...AND AN ARRAY OF 'PROGRAMS OF PERSONAL FINANCIAL DESTRUCTION'.


When will Congress and Team Obama wake up and smell the police state they have enabled by their naivete?


http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled:

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

RE: "GESTAPO USA: Gov't-Funded Vigilante Network Terrorizes America"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 15, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Graham had the gall to advise Sotomayor to "reflect" on her character flaws while she waited to assume the bench! That condescending comment made him the biggest loser as far as I'm concerned. Then, I'm just a woman ...

Posted by: Casey1 | July 15, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

It seems since the lib president managed to squeeze through without answering any hard questions that their judge is entitled to the same. Look what it got us- a bumbling bufoon.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Give me a break. You people want to act like Cillizza is a "journalist"?
He's an entertainer, a hack. Look who pays him.
'nough said?

Posted by: Tomcat3 | July 15, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

From recollection - unchecked:

In 1948 Musial had an outstanding year, missing the Triple Crown by two HRs. In 1949 he set out to hit homers and promptly went into an extended slump.

In order to break the slump he began to swing at every pitch as if he were trying to slam the ball right up the middle. This caused the great Warren Spahn some grief one game. Three times Musial had batted and three times he had lined the ball back through the box. hard.

The fourth time Musial came to the plate Spahn looked at him and walked back to second base and took his stance, ready to pitch.
--------------------------------------------------
Musial was a joy to watch.
--------------------------------------------------
Musial was certain his HS teammate was cheated by Jim Crow. He was sure his friend would have been a major league star. The friend? Ken Griffey's granddad.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 15, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Graham is "one of the best"? LMAO
That's a LOW LOW standard.
He's another redneck peckerwood, just like Sessions.
A loser, for sure.

Posted by: Tomcat3 | July 15, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to have to agree with the people questioning why you didn't have Sen. Sessions as a loser, Sotomayor owned him with the Cedarbaum thing.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 15, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Since he is running for reelection, I wonder if Harry Reid will stick to his pledge not to help campaign against Ensign in 3 years? Reid is a piranha and if he smells blood in the water I bet he goes after his friend to add one more democrat to his growing ranks.

9 years of Latin, really. Did your parents not like you, or are you just that sadistic?

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 15, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Ummm...You don't think the racist Jeff Session is a loser? Both in general and for his performance during Day 2:
1. What does another Puerto Rican's judge ethnicity have to do with anything?
2. Why the constant references to Estrada's non-confirmation?

Actually, the all-white and predominantly male Judiciary Committee should be listed as a loser for the continued humiliation of this accomplished woman.

Posted by: mykaladrian | July 15, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

So the judge states repeatedly that her feelings are important in her job. Obimbo recognizes a solid lib. But when properly challenged she lies about it to get the job. Obimbo was right. Dependable lib.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

So the libs are losing NJ. Just let them do their work and the voters throw them out.

In other news, obimbos car czar is thrown out for taking bribes. Typical lib only he got caught. The culture of corruption is ramping up in the shadow government.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 15, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

right on the mark, marieburns.

Posted by: mycomment | July 15, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Lindsay Graham is a winner for using anonymous sources to accuse Judge Sotomayor of sexually- & racially-stereotypical behavior??? Brilliant call, Cillizza. The "august body" took on all the loftiness of a Southern roadside bar with Graham's dressing-down of Sotomayor. That the advocate for the temperamentally-challenged John McCain would dare to question ANYONE's temperament was ironic, & his snide demonstration of how "Southern gentlemen" still think they can disparage "the help" was the low point of a hearing that had plenty of low points.

And how is the odious Jeff Sessions not a loser? He held up Judge Miriam Cedarbaum as someone who was "better than" Sotomayor only to have Sotomayor turn to him & say, "I know Judge Cedarbaum, Judge Cedarbaum is a friend of mine, & she's right here with me." Cedarbaum later said she & Sotomayor used the same methods.

You write some ill-considered stuff, Cillizza, but today's column is just not considered at all. Take it back.

The Constant Weader at www.RealityChex.com

Posted by: marieburns | July 15, 2009 7:03 AM | Report abuse

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