Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On The Internets 06.30.2010

  • The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan are going into some very bizarre territory. In their opening statements, most Republicans on the Judiciary Committee spent their time savaging former Justice Thurgood Marshall. Marshall is an American icon, and was the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court. He was also the lawyer who argued the Brown v Board of Education case in front of the Supreme Court. The most savage attacks came from Sen Jeff Sessions (R-AL) who, in the past, has shown sympathy and support for segregation. In fact, Sessions' racism is what kept him from getting a federal judgeship in the 1980s. "During the 1986 confirmation process, Sessions was accused of unfairly targeting black civil rights workers for election fraud charges as a federal prosecutor. A black lawyer under Sessions in the U.S. attorney's office accused him of saying he thought the Ku Klux Klan was "OK" until he found out some of its members were 'pot smokers.' Not sure Sessions is wise to attack an icon such as Marshall, and it is definitely a bad move for the Republican Party.
  • Another odd line of attack from the GOP was its criticism of Kagan for not supporting a mandatory military draft. What is so strange about it is that conservative icon Ronald Reagan felt the same way as Kagan. Quoting the former president, "Conscription rests on the assumption that your kids belong to the state. If we buy that assumption then it is for the state — not for parents, the community, the religious institutions or teachers — to decide who shall have what values and who shall do what work, when, where and how in our society. That assumption isn't a new one. The Nazis thought it was a great idea." So, the GOP is attacking Kagan for agreeing with Ronald Reagan on something he equated to Nazism. Hmmm, does that make the current GOP pro-Nazi?
  • Vice President Biden said on Monday that he knows that many reluctant Republicans have been forced to vote "no" on everything and filibuster nearly all bills to placate the GOP leadership. He says that Republican Senators are being threatened by leadership with losing their committee posts if they don't tow the party line. "I know at least 7 [GOP] senators, who I will not name, but were made to make a commitment under threat of losing their chairmanships, if they did not support the leadership on every procedural vote." I would like to know those names, Mr. Vice President. Shouldn't this be public information? Why is this administration so reflexively deferential to the other side of the aisle? What exactly have you gotten in return? Mr. Biden, you are no longer a Senator. Stop acting like these guys are your friends.
  • The DailyKos website, which is essential reading for liberals, is suing the polling company Research 2000 alleging the company fabricated or manipulated polling data that DailyKos commissioned from the firm. Research 2000 is a respected firm which is used by a number of sources across the political spectrum, still Kos says, "We do not know exactly how the weekly R2K results were created, but we are confident they could not accurately describe random polls." Let the lawsuits begin!! Research 2000 is now claiming Markos Moulitsas, founder of DailyKos, will be serving jail time for his claims about the polling company. Not sure how that would work out exactly.
  • Here's some government waste that conservatives should get outraged by (the natural state of a conservative). The Pentagon yesterday revealed the official portrait of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The cost of the paining? $50,000! That is nearly 10x the amount of a standard portrait, and Rumsfeld is already in the gallery from his previous stint as Defense Secretary!
  • A doctor in Florida is treating pregnant women with an experimental drug that she says will prevent lesbianism. "Pediatric endocrinologist Maria New—of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Florida International University—isn't just trying to prevent lesbianism by treating pregnant women with an experimental hormone. She's also trying to prevent the births of girls who display an 'abnormal' disinterest in babies, don't want to play with girls' toys or become mothers, and whose 'career preferences' are deemed too 'masculine.'" This is truly scary experimentation and should be condemned by persons of all political persuasions.
  • Larry King announced his retirement from his daily CNN show, but not his retirement from broadcasting, last night on Larry King Live. King invited his good friend Bill Maher on the show last night for the announcement. After the retirement news, Maher then gave his hilarious take on current events. Larry King holds the record for the longest running show with the same host, at the same time, on the same network.
  • Good news on the indie rock front. Legendary rockers Guided By Voices have announced that the "classic" line-up of the band from the early to mid 90s will be reforming to play the upcoming Matador Records 21st birthday party in Las Vegas. The "party" is actually a three day festival - October 1-3 - and also will feature: Pavement, Sonic Youth, Belle & Sebastian, Spoon, Cat Power, Yo La Tengo, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the New Pornographers, Girls, Superchunk, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Guitar Wolf, Fucked Up, Shearwater, Harlem, Cold Cave, Kurt Vile, Jeffrey Joe Jenson, and more. Looks awesome.


  1. I don't know what is in Sessions' heart and mind, but I suspect he and other GOP members are critical of Kagan and her hero Thurgood Marshall because of their liberalism and not because of Marshall's race.

    Biden won't or can't produce the names of the senators because he is likely as full of crap on this issue as he is on nearly everything else he makes up.

    Admittedly I am not familiar with the story, but am I to understand that Daily Kooks is mad because they commissioned a poll and didn't like the results of the poll?

    I absolutely do agree with you on the Florida doctor and such egregious experimentation.

    "Larry King holds the record for the longest running show with the same host, at the same time, on the same network." Yeah and with the same 2000 nation-wide viewers. (Oops! 1999 viewers, since Bill Maher was actually ON the show and not watching that night.) :)

  2. Being a liberal is not illegal, nor is it a reason to disqualify someone from serving on the Court. And, Marshall is not up for nomination. Kagan is, though I suspect you know that. It just seems, to me, that the GOP is once again gleefully going into racially charged territory for the purposes of...killing the party's future? I'm not sure.

    RE: Biden, I think he won't reveal the names for the reason I stated, that he still considers these people his friends. Problem is, while Dems want to remain on friendly terms with their colleagues, the Republicans would just assume stab theirs in the back.

    On the Kos thing, they hired an independent expert to study the results of polls they commissioned, and the expert said there were too many statistical anomalies for them to be accurate. Kos says they were victims of fraud. I honestly can't say whether they have a case or not. Just thought it was interesting since Research 2000 is used by a helluva lot of other places besides DailyKos.

    I actually don't watch Larry King because I don't like his thoroughly unprepared style. But, hell, he is a broadcasting legend, so I felt it was worth mentioning.


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