Liberal musings and other opinions on the sometimes-entertaining, sometimes-frustrating world of American politics. Expect lots of GOP-bashing -- if for no other reason than they make it so damn easy!
For a quarter-century, Antonin Scalia has been the reigning bully of the Supreme Court, but finally a couple of justices are willing to face him down.
As it happens, the two manning up to take on Nino the Terrible are women: the court’s newest members, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
The acerbic Scalia, the court’s longest-serving justice, got his latest comeuppance Wednesday morning, as he tried to make the absurd argument that Congress’s renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006 by votes of 98 to 0 in the Senate and 390 to 33 in the House did not mean that Congress actually supported the act. Scalia, assuming powers of clairvoyance, argued that the lawmakers were secretly afraid to vote against this “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”
Kagan wasn’t about to let him get away with that. In a breach of decorum, she interrupted his questioning of counsel to argue with him directly. “Well, that sounds like a good argument to me, Justice Scalia,” she said. “It was clear to 98 senators, including every senator from a covered state, who decided that there was a continuing need for this piece of legislation.”
… Sotomayor allowed the lawyer for the Alabama county seeking to overturn the law to get just four sentences into his argument before interrupting him. “Assuming I accept your premise — and there’s some question about that — that some portions of the South have changed, your county pretty much hasn’t,” she charged. “Why would we vote in favor of a county whose record is the epitome of what caused the passage of this law to start with?”
Moments later, Kagan pointed out that “Alabama has no black statewide elected officials” and has one of the worst records of voting rights violations.
Scalia and Justice Samuel Alito tried to assist the Alabama county’s lawyer by offering some friendly hypotheticals, but Sotomayor wasn’t interested in hearing that. “The problem with those hypotheticals is obvious,” she said, because “it’s a real record as to what Alabama has done to earn its place on the list.”
Sotomayor continued questioning as if she were the only jurist in the room. “Discrimination is discrimination,” she informed him, “and what Congress said is it continues.”
I’m seeing newspapers throughout the country offer their presidential endorsements, and many of them are endorsing President Obama’s re-election. Even newspapers that, traditionally, have leaned to the right, are throwing their proverbial weight around the president. While that’s great and all, I do have one question …
Do newspaper endorsement really affect anything, in terms of who someone votes for? Like, would someone who was leaning toward Mitt Romney read a newspaper’s endorsement of President Obama and change their mind?
Do such endorsements actually change how people vote? I’m not so sure.
Mostly because my mind has already been made, so I see little point in watching President Obama and Mitt Romney go back and forth discussing issues, policies, and talking points that I’ve already heard dozens of times before over the past several months — even dating back to when Romney was still fighting through his party’s primary.
Essentially, all that will come out of tonight will be a series of ads from the Obama campaign (and the pro-Obama SuperPACs) featuring all of the lies Romney told tonight.
This debate will not swing the election, no matter what the pundits say.
A smart, exhaustive look at President Obama’s first legislative achievement — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — which has been unfairly demonized by both sides of the political aisle despite its myriad successes.
Your morning must-read, courtesy of DC bureau chief David Corn.
President Obama wants to give businesses tax breaks for keeping jobs in America. His opponent, meanwhile, earned his riches by shipping American jobs overseas — and despite Mitt Romney’s claims that he was no longer at Bain Capital when that all took place, Mother Jones has been reporting that’s not exactly the case.
As of December 2011, House Republicans have voted 191 times against environmental issues — blocking action on climate change, undermining both the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, and weakening protection of lands and waters.
You don’t really think the debt ceiling crisis last year — where the Republicans tried to take the economy hostage in an effort to score a political victory against the president — was about jobs, do you?
Make no mistake: the Republican majority in the House — and Republicans in D.C. as a whole — are not interested in putting people back to work. They are not interested in helping the middle class. They are focused on inflicting as much harm on President Obama as possible, while also alienating anyone in this country who isn’t white, male, Christian, and rich.
Don’t believe me? Consider what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said shortly before the 2010 midterms, when he told National Journal, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”