Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Obama doctrine

North Korea launches a missile and it takes Barack Obama and the UN five days to respond. Iran holds fraudulent elections, kills protesters and it takes weeks before Barack Obama can stand up and say that he is "concerned" about the situation.

Then the people of Honduras try to uphold their constitution and laws of the land from being trampled by a Chavez-wanna be ... and it takes Barack Obama one day to proclaim that this was not a legal coup.

Why the sudden decisiveness? Where were these strong opinions on foreign matters when Iranian authorities were trampling protestors and cutting off media access to the outside world? Where was this decisiveness when Kim Jong Ill decided that he was going to launch missiles toward Hawaii on the Fourth of July? Why ... NOW ... is Obama suddenly speaking out loudly

How about a little background. Are you really sure you know what has been going on in Honduras? Do you think that this was simply a coup? Let me give you a rough outline here, and then you can sit back and wonder just why PrezBO is in the weeds with Chavez and Castro on this one.



Vanity Fair and Sarah Palin

by: Carol Platt Liebau

There are only two reasons that come to mind why Todd Purdum might have written the nasty little hit piece on Sarah Palin for Vanity Fair:

(1) This is red meat to the coastal elites (and wannabees) to which the magazine panders.

(2) Liberals continue to be afraid of Palin as a potential candidate.

The piece only makes sense if the underlying motivation is #1. Otherwise, it's a strategic blunder of the first order. I've had some disagreements with Governor Palin in the past -- for example, the way she handled Bristol Palin's pregnancy.

But any lingering doubts or disagreements any Republican might have with the Governor become irrelevant when one reads the assemblage of snippy innuendo, predictable negative-insider-quotes and the elitist, snobbish tone of pretention that underpins the entire piece.

And there's reason to believe that it' s not just Republicans like me who feel this way. It will be interesting -- when or if Governor Palin once again becomes a legitimate target of the national political media -- to see the extent to which normal people understand that "elite media's" contempt and condescension for Palin is the same contempt and condescension such "journalists" feel for regular Americans like them.

P.S. Anyone note the irony in Purdum's breathless announcement that "what [Palin] wants the public to know about herself doesn’t always jibe with reality"? Hellooo -- ever heard of a Chicago pol named Barack Obama? More generally, for what politician does this banal observation not hold true?



Obama’s Racist Judge

Let's look at Judge Sotomayor again

Soon the Senate will take up the cause of President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court. In the news this week, one of her decisions that appeared before the current court was reversed. With Sotomayor in the news, then, it is time to look her over once again. It must be said, though, that any close scrutiny finds her wanting.

To begin with, it’s shocking that President Obma has nominated for a spot on the Supreme Court a judge whose decisions have been reversed or rejected in five out of the six times her cases appeared before that august body. Additionally and by her own admission, she was admitted to Princeton ahead of other law students as a result of affirmative action despite having lower grades. She once gleefully called herself a “perfect affirmative action baby,” even as her grades were “highly questionable.”
“My test scores were not comparable to that of my colleagues at Princeton or Yale,” Sotomayor once said on a discussion panel during an event sponsored by a non-profit law organization in the 1990s.

All that is bad enough. To be sure, high grades in law school are not in and of themselves any guarantee of an ideal Supreme Court Justice and should not stand as a final qualification at any rate. One must determine a candidate’s judicial mentality in order to find the most important benchmark by which to consider confirmation and it is that mentality that should serve to disqualify Sotomayor immediately. Her judicial philosophy is a far more disqualifying factor in her bid for the highest court of the land than her grades. Her views are racist, simply put. There is no way to construe them otherwise despite what her supporters’ spin may be.

Those most familiar with Sotomayor’s most publicized comment will recognize her infamous 32-word statement: "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."

Her supporters have said that this quote has been taken out of context and that read in context with the rest of the speech, this single sentence culled from the whole is easily misconstrued. But that is simply not the case. The New York Times helpfully published the entire speech and there is no way, when all is said and done, not to understand that Sotomayor is asserting in a straight forward manner that minorities — “Latinas” in particular — are better judges than white men. She further asserts that white men are less likely to have such experiences that will make them a good judge unless they are fortuitous enough to have reached “moments of enlightenment” that will put them on par with minorities.

Put plainly, she is saying “Latinas” make better judges simply by virtue of being Latinas. That is as perfect an example of racist sentiment as can be imagined.

The whole piece is shocking for its basic assumptions but, aside from the sentence quoted above that everyone is familiar with, the following paragraphs are revealing.
However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Other simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.

I also hope that by raising the question today of what difference having more Latinos and Latinas on the bench will make will start your own evaluation. For people of color and women lawyers, what does and should being an ethnic minority mean in your lawyering? For men lawyers, what areas in your experiences and attitudes do you need to work on to make you capable of reaching those great moments of enlightenment which other men in different circumstances have been able to reach. For all of us, how do change the facts that in every task force study of gender and race bias in the courts, women and people of color, lawyers and judges alike, report in significantly higher percentages than white men that their gender and race has shaped their careers, from hiring, retention to promotion and that a statistically significant number of women and minority lawyers and judges, both alike, have experienced bias in the courtroom?

The first paragraph taken by itself seems almost sensible. Of course everyone’s experience might tend to interfere in how they perceive things. But taken with the second paragraph, one sees that Sotomayor is saying that only a “Latina’s” experience serves as the best basis for judicial perfection. The most stunning part nestled in this excerpt is when Sotomayor said that white men are less able to judge because of their “experiences” unless, she says, they make some supreme effort toward “enlightenment.”

I quote again from the second paragraph:
For men lawyers, what areas in your experiences and attitudes do you need to work on to make you capable of reaching those great moments of enlightenment which other men in different circumstances have been able to reach.

Her basic premise here is that white men are incapable of being inherently good judges unless they make that effort toward “enlightenment” like “other men… have been able to reach.” Yet, Latinas are simply in the perfect place to judge without having to reach for any such “enlightenment.” They just have it by virtue of being “Latinas” and by the very nature of their “experiences.”

How this cannot be understood as an assumption of racial superiority is beyond me. Maybe I’m just not “enlightened” enough to understand how a bald-faced assumption of racial superiority is not a racist sentiment?

So, this is the person that a President of the United States has proffered to take a seat on the nation’s highest court. A racist with low grades and a sense of entitlement that has been reversed or scolded in five out of the six cases of hers that have appeared before past Supreme Court sessions. It shouldn’t be so hard to vote no on such a candidate.




The Supreme Court nominee who can’t write: "Supreme Court opinions are words for the generations that can affect the lives and welfare of millions. No one doubts that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has a compelling life story. But more to the point, we need to inquire about her aptitude to draft thoughtfully-reasoned, well-crafted legal opinions. On this count, there is reason for worry. Sotomayor herself has admitted, ‘Writing remains a challenge for me even today … I am not a natural writer.’ Reporter Stephanie Mencimer has characterized Sotomayor’s legal opinions as ‘good punishment for law students who show up late for class.’ A cursory pass of Sotomayor’s writings reveals them to be clumsy to the point of being impenetrable.”

Reckoning with Ricci: “Today’s ruling clarifies that the mere fear of being sued will not justify an employer’s intentional discrimination unless there is a ’strong basis in evidence’ to believe the employer will be liable under disparate-impact discrimination principles. But it won’t make such lawsuits much less frequent or less prohibitively expensive. And for many of these suits, it won’t make resolution any easier. It may be straightforward enough when, as in Ricci, an employer appears to be citing disparate-impact concerns as a pretext to avoid provoking a powerful political constituency. But in other cases, the employer will not be acting pretextually — he will be motivated to take race-conscious remedial action because he fears, in good faith, being found liable.”

The Ricci ruling’s real message: "America’s unsettled debate over race has too often been conducted between judges writing alone in their chambers rather than in open forums by the public or their elected representatives. That was true again in a ruling on Monday by the Supreme Court that will set back the use of race in employment decisions. In a case known as Ricci, the justices revealed their heated arguments in separate opinions that went beyond mere legal precedent and the Constitution. … The days of using quotas to fix the effects of past discrimination are over. And more states are banning official use of race in hiring and school admissions. With the election of an African-American as president, the politics of race that is aimed at boosting diversity or widening benefits specifically for minorities now faces an uphill battle.”

Missouri neo-Nazis are Greenies -- just like the original Nazis: "The state's litter prevention program got an unusual ally last year: A neo-Nazi group adopted a half-mile section of highway in Springfield and picked up the trash. Lawmakers responded with an amendment to a large transportation bill that would rename that section of road after Abraham Joshua Heschel, a rabbi who narrowly escaped the Nazis in World War II and later marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr... The Springfield unit of the National Socialist Movement committed last year to clean up trash along the section of Highway 160 near the city limits in west Springfield. Two signs noting the group's membership in the Adopt-A-Highway program went up last October. Representatives of the National Socialist movement in Missouri did not immediately return calls seeking comment about the legislation Sunday. But a statement on the movement's Web site calls the renaming "a lame attempt to insult National Socialist pro-environment/green policies."

ABC: The Administration for Brain Control: “ABC Television, formerly known as the American Broadcasting Company, has undergone rebranding and will henceforth be called the Administration for Brain Control. This comes as a result of the network’s news department, having openly and explicitly jettisoned all pretense of objectivity and neutrality, decided to throw in with the Obama administration and voluntarily act as the Joseph Goebbels Memorial Ministry of Propaganda.”

Who Railroaded the Amtrak Inspector General?: "Watchdogs are an endangered species in the Age of Obama. The latest government ombudsman to get the muzzle: Amtrak Inspector General Fred Weiderhold. The longtime veteran employee was abruptly "retired" this month -- just as the government-subsidized rail service faces mounting complaints about its meddling in financial audits and probes. Question the timing? Hell, yes. On June 18, Weiderhold met with Amtrak officials to discuss the results of an independent report by the Washington, D.C., law firm Willkie, Farr and Gallagher. The 94-page report has been made publicly available through the office of whistleblower advocate Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. It concluded that the "independence and effectiveness" of the Amtrak inspector general's office "are being substantially impaired" by the agency's Law Department. Amtrak bosses have effectively gagged their budgetary watchdogs from communicating with Congress without pre-approval; required that all Amtrak documents be "pre-screened" (and in some cases redacted) before being turned over to the inspector general's office; and taken control of the inspector general's $5 million portion of federal stimulus spending. The transparent sacking comes just as Amtrak is awash in more than $1.3 billion in new federal stimulus money. It comes on the heels of the unceremonious dismissal of Gerald Walpin, the AmeriCorps inspector general who dared to probe financial shenanigans by Obama cronies. And it comes on the heels of the stifling of veteran Environmental Protection Agency employee Alan Carlin, the researcher who dared to question the Obama administration's conventional wisdom on global warming."

Arabs failed to maintain crashed plane: "Officials said the plane crashed into rough seas in darkness, after disappearing from control tower radar screens. The A310 jet had aborted a landing attempt in the Comoros islands and was making a second attempt when it crashed. It was the second time in less than a month that an Airbus has crashed into the ocean. This time French authorities said the Yemeni carrier had been under surveillance and that the 19-year-old jet had been banned from French airspace. The flight left Paris on Monday for Marseille and Sanaa, where passengers switched to the older Airbus to continue to Djibouti and Moroni." [See also here]

British backdown on ID cards: "n a dramatic break with years of Labour policy, the new Home Secretary last night scrapped plans for compulsory ID cards. Alan Johnson said the scheme - which has already cost as much as £200million - would always remain voluntary. The project will now focus on persuading youngsters to pay £30 for a card so they can prove their age when trying to buy alcohol in pubs and bars.... Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling, who has vowed to scrap the cards, said: 'This decision is symbolic of a Government in chaos. They have spent millions on the scheme so far - the Home Secretary thinks it has been a waste and wants to scrap it, but the Prime Minister won't let him. 'So we end up with an absurd fudge instead. This is no way to run the country.'... Controversially, everyone who wants a card or a biometric passport will still have their details stored on the huge national identity register database. Civil liberties groups argue this still amounts to a compulsory scheme, as anybody getting a passport from around 2011 will have no option but to sign up... Plans for compulsory ID cards for foreign nationals remain unchanged. [Since British officials regularly lose huge database files on trains etc., there was no confidence that ID information could be kept secure]


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


1 comment:

Robert said...

One other factor to throw in in the case against Sotomayor - in American cities Hispanics and Blacks are notorious for not getting along well with each other. One could imagine how a decision swung by Sotomayor in favor of a Hispanic against a black would go over in black communities given Sotomayor's history of racism.