Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

Morning Read

The war against Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Already
It all started with this excerpt from an article in The Politico:

The top candidate, on paper, is Sotomayor, 54, a Clinton appointee to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She meets the empathy criteria, having grown up poor in the South Bronx, as well as Obama’s preference for sterling credentials, having graduated from Yale Law School.

Even before Souter’s retirement was formally announced, some in the GOP already say they’re gearing up for a fight with Obama over his nominee, particularly if he picks Sotomayor.

It didn’t take long for some to begin the GOP’s bidding.

Jeffrey Rosen started with a hatchet job in the “esteemed” TNR: The Case Against Sotomayor

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking to a range of people who have worked with her, nearly all of them former law clerks for other judges on the Second Circuit or former federal prosecutors in New York. (…) Nearly all of them acknowledged that Sotomayor is a presumptive front-runner, but nearly none of them raved about her. They expressed questions about her temperament, her judicial craftsmanship, and most of all, her ability to provide an intellectual counterweight to the conservative justices, as well as a clear liberal alternative.

Wonkette had an excellent summary of the article:
Is Frontrunner Mexican Lady Judge A Dumb? Anonymous Sources Think So!

Matt Yglesias responded To Jeffrey Rosen after making a very intriguing catch in the piece:

I haven’t read enough of Sotomayor’s opinions to have a confident sense of them, nor have I talked to enough of Sotomayor’s detractors and supporters, to get a fully balanced picture of her strengths.

Eric Boehlert has a simple question for Jeff:

Isn’t it probably a good idea, journalism-wise, to do that before publishing a take-down piece that’s filled with anonymous quotes and is headlined, “The Case Against Sotomayor”?

Glenn Greenwald has a thorough analysis of Rosen’s article:
Jeffrey Rosen, TNR and the anonymous smears against Sonia Sotomayor

Watch Rebecca Traister smack down Jeff
Her Honor: Domineering and dumb

Political headaches
Barack Obama hints at tougher line on Israel

Pakistani President Tries to Assure U.S. on Taliban

Barack Obama to meet Afghanistan and Pakistan presidents

US investigating Afghan reports of 70 civilians killed

US, Karzai seek to mend fraying relationship at summit

Washington has been increasingly critical of the Afghan president. But with Karzai likely to win reelection this year, both sides will want to dial back the recriminations.

Economic headaches
Ben Bernanke says things are not as bad as they could have been
Bernanke’s Outlook a Bit Brighter

The U.S. economy seems to be contracting at a slower rate than it was a few months ago, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told lawmakers yesterday, delivering a message of optimism that was tempered by his forecast that the economy could perform well below its potential for some time to come.

Didn’t we hear for days that it was $10,000,000,000?
BofA Faces $35 Billion Gap

Glenn Hubbard, Hal Scott and Luigi Zingales join Richardson and Roubini
Banks Need Fewer Carrots and More Sticks

This is really scary
Latest round of Microsoft layoffs may not be last

Our daily GOP Quo Vadis
Republicans on the Hunt for Messengers as Party Moves to Reconnect With Voters

Palin joins old pal McCain to rescue GOP from extinction

D.C. determined to ruin my heterosexual marriage
D.C. to Recognize Gay Marriages

Congratulations, House Dems
Matthew Shepard Act

Latest from “Torturegate”
Torture Memos: Inquiry Suggests No ProsecutionsAn internal

Justice Department inquiry has concluded that Bush administration lawyers committed serious lapses of judgment in writing secret memorandums authorizing brutal interrogations but that they should not be prosecuted

How to Handle the Guantanamo Detainees(By Lindsay Graham and John McCain) So now beyond preemptive war there is preventive detention?

Third, preventive detention will continue to have a place in the war on terror . Under the law of war, the idea that an enemy combatant has to be tried or released is a false choice. Rather, it is well-established that combatants can be held off the battlefield as long as they present a military threat.

John Bolton is a Bag of Douche
Obama’s Prosecutions by Proxy

Huh???
Chinese civil servants left fuming by order to smoke more

That wasn’t too long, was it?
After 1,000 years, women can see treasures of Mount Athos

For the first time in almost 1,000 years, many of the legendary Byzantine treasures of Mount Athos in Greece are on view to women

In today’s absolutely unnecessary gloating
Red Sox clearly better than Yanks
Let’s not even get in that painfully ridiculous New Yankee Stadium. We will have the next decades to laugh at it.


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68 Responses

  1. Impressive news round-up.

    I’ll read it when I get up — later today.

  2. I really hope that is the last link to Wankette ever to be posted on this blog.

    {{taking deep diaphragmatic breaths}}

    • I certainly hope all the Wankette trolls won’t show up now after they see the link come in!

    • I thought long about it but they did a very good job ridiculing the article by Jeffrey Rosen.

      • I usually don’t hold grudges, but it’s very hard for me to let go of some of the stuff they did, especially posting pictures of people and ridiculing them and using our commenters names to post horrible comments.

        • Glenn Greenwald did a better job ridiculing Rosen and he never attacked us.

          • Next time please think about it longer and harder.

          • Should I never link to Wonkette ever again? I don’t really mind but we may have to do it for other publications.

            I am allergic to some RW publications that sometimes (rightfully) get linked to by us.

          • MABlue,
            It’s not the wing-iness – it’s the history of that site coordinating a serious troll attack.

            For a while during the voting period for the weblog awards we were deleting over a hundred trolls a day (and many/most of the trolls were directly related to that site). It was a serious problem.

            And the things they said were unbelievably ugly so we HAD to moderate 24 hours a day.

          • I didn’t follow the whole thing so closely because I was already here. I never knew it was that bad.

            I’ll keep that in mind and never mention them again, at least not with the intend to give them traffic.

          • Personally, I would prefer that we never mention or link to Wankette. I never want to go through a horrible experience like that one again.

      • Wonkette had an excellent summary of the article:
        Is Frontrunner Mexican Lady Judge A Dumb? Anonymous Sources Think So!

        via Wikipedia:

        Of Puerto Rican descent, Sotomayor grew up in a housing project in the South Bronx, just a short walk from Yankee Stadium. She was diagnosed with diabetes at age 8.

        Well, they can’t even tell a Puerto Rican from a Mexican, so that is telling and they missed the ADA connection all together. So, she is a woman, a Latina, and she has had a life long medical condition and graduated summa cum laude from Yale University, and was editor of the Yale Law Journal.

        Sounds like a real threat to the right to me and thus the explanation of her being called a lightweight. It is commonly known that some people use the word ‘Mexican’ as a derogatory which is rather sad and most telling (part of the US was once Mexican and it is a little like biting your nose to spite your face).

        • Well, it turns out I still can’t do quotes on wordpress very well. :lol: but I am still trying. :shock:

        • Sounds like a real threat to the right to me and thus the explanation of her being called a lightweight.

          lol! Indeed.

        • It was more of a snark.

          It’s a prototypical caricature that every Hispanic is Mexican.

          • Exactly. Those of Oriental decent run into the same mind set . Years ago, every Oriental was” Japanese” ….now they are, “Chinese”. etc.

          • It’s a way of mocking those who keep perpetuating that.

    • I agree – that site is putrid

  3. Back on topic, it appears that Jeffrey Rosen has pretty much trashed his own reputation at this point. I hope he was well paid for it.

  4. I forgot Marc Ambinder’s piece on the matter. I’m going to add it.

    • Ambinder deserves ridicule too – he rubberstamped Rosen

      • Feel free to ridicule him.

        I just liked his overall message: Go out there and make the case for Judge Sotomayor before these smears get out of hand.

        • His overall message will get used by the conservatives to slam Sotomayor.

          • Jeffrey’s or Marc’s?

            I read just the overall tenure of the article last night. If it’s too bad I can replace it with Emily Bazelon’s article.

          • Ambinder basically agreed with Rosen, and conservatives will use both of them to say “Even libruls say she’s no good”

  5. OMG, did you see in the Rosen piece that the the two NY Senators’ second choice for SCOTUS is Ken Salazar?!

  6. I know I’m talking to myself here, but I hope the Red Sox destroy the Yankees by beating them all 19 times this season!!

    • You mean you can’t see me nodding away over here?

      • I’m a Giants fan – no season is a losing season if we knock the Dodgers out of play-off contention.

        One year we finished in fourth place but on the last game of the season we beat the Dodgers and they finished second instead of first.

        It was glorious.

      • No, but now I see you out of the corner of my eye.

      • i see you..

    • Not about the baseball stuff…. I don’t know anything about baseball. Except that you have to carry around a lot of 3×5 cards with numbers on them if you want to talk about it.

      • How come I don’t get those cool social networking things added to my posts???

        • Because I’m a lazy slob with bad memory. But, I’m getting a grip on my blood sugar and hoping that will improve. THIS is the first day I’ve done the morning links before noon in over a week….

          Please remind me to do it if I don’t get to it right away — Sometimes I get caught up in the post and comments and forget I have a job to do. BB has to remind me all the time so it’s not just you.

          I’ve gotten spoiled by Kat who does her own.

          • Unlike me, Kat is competent

          • Unlike me too. I’ve left them off my own posts.

            I’m not kidding when I ask that you remind me (either by email or the comments) but, maybe the humiliation of this conversation will help me improve on my own…

          • Once I get through this nightmare of a dissertation, I promise I will learn how to do the social links, KB.

    • How can you be alone in that.

      Why do you think I posted the item in the first place?

    • I am with you Boomer!!!! Red Sox nation!!!

      • Yeah! I want those Yanks to be utterly humiliated. I wonder if Johnny Damon has any regrets?

  7. And in the truthiness department, did you know that Obama is becoming more and more like Hillary? (this being a bad thing, obviously)

    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/05/06/re-molding-brand-obama-rewriting-the-primaries/

  8. Dugg

  9. Somehow graduating summa cum laude from Yale University, and being an editor of the Yale Law Journal….. becomes simply …. graduated from Yale Law School.

    Amazing ain’t it ?

    • But being President of the Harvard Law Review while publishing NOTHING makes Obama a “legal scholar” and lecturing on Con Law out of a case book makes Obama a “Professor of Constitutional Law”

      • And as for the summa cum laude part, we aren’t even allowed know President Fancy Pants grades! lol! We had to know Hillary’s every bathroom break for 11 years…but we can’t know Barry’s collage record? WTF?

        • Fancy pants only graduated Magna from Harvard Law.

          • * cum laude, “with honor” (direct translation: “with praise”)
            * magna cum laude, “with great honor” (direct translation: “with great praise”)
            * summa cum laude, “with highest honor” (direct translation: “with highest praise”)

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_honors#Types

            ….
            Did he really graduate with ‘magna cum laude, “with great honor” (direct translation: “with great praise”)’? I thought he wouldn’t release ANY of his education records.

          • That’s what I read. I think the graduation status is public. He didn’t get any honors at Columbia.

            Keep in mind that Harvard is notorious for grade inflation, and it’s pretty hard to get below an A in grad school anyway. He must have had at least one B.

      • Other activities

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Sotomayor#Other_activities

        She was an Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law from 1998 – 2007 and has been a lecturer-in-law at Columbia Law School since 1999.[24] She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Princeton University.

        :lol: Look at her ‘other activities’…gees, that would be the core of someone’s main resume. :lol: Lightweight?

  10. Rebecca Traister notes the sexism in Jeffrey Rosen’s takedown of Sotermayer.

    http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2009/05/04/rebecca_sonya/index.html

    • That was a spectacular piece.

      I don’t know if I should remove Ambinder’s piece (which Myiq seems to despise) and replace it with Traister’s takedown.

      • She did some good ones during the primary. You might want to include the link from Dissenting Justice also. I’d like to send more traffic his way. His piece is fantastic.

        • Actually I was just on his site.

          I check all my peeps regularly, especially those who were pro-Hillary or those who didn’t blindly join the Obama bandwagon during the primaries.

          • You’re a treasure, MABlue. I can’t believe it took us so long to nag you into posting.

      • Ambinder is rapidly turning into a Village idiot.

        • Wasn’t he always one?

        • Ambinder is a stenographer for Obama. If the goal is to get the most pure version of what camp Obama wants the public to think, then he’s probably the best place to go.

          Glenn Greenwald had a good takedown of Ambinder a few months ago with regard to relying on anonymous Obama-friendly sources.

  11. I just got back and I see the tribe has spoken. I accept the verdict:

    Marc Ambinder is gone.

    Rebecca Traister now has the very coveted spot on our “News Page”

  12. good..

  13. Mablue2, thank you for the great “breakfast read.”

    Regarding the “War Against Judge Sonia Sotomayor,” you noted that ‘Glenn Greenwald has a thorough analysis of Rosen’s article’ and you provided (above) a link to the Greenwald article at Salon (Greenwald’s analysis is outstanding).

    Greenwald has a theory on the possible REAL REASON Rosen savaged Sotomayor which he notes at the end of his article, check this out:

    “[Jeffrey Rosen's brother-in-law is Neal Katyal, the current Deputy Solicitor General in the Obama administration.

    If Sotomayor's prospects are torpedoed, that could clear the way for one of the other leading candidates to be named to the Court: current Solicitor General Elena Kagan.

    The selection of Kagan (rather than Sotomayor) would almost certainly result in Rosen's brother-in-law (Katyal) becoming Solicitor General. Additionally, Katyal himself was once a clerk for a Second Circuit judge, obviously raising the question of whether he was one of the anonymous sources for his brother-in-law's hit piece disparaging Sotomayor's intellect and character.

    One can question whether this Rosen/Katyal relationship should have been disclosed by TNR (on balance, it was probably unnecessary), but at the very least, these are illustrative of the types of problems that inevitably arise when anonymous sources are used so casually in a political culture rife with incestuous relationships and conflicts of interest].”

    Oh no, incestuous relationships in the Obama Administration. Didn’t PBO promise to put an end to these kinds of dirty tactics that were business as usual before THE COMING OF THE ONE? Guess not really!!

    Another little twist to this drama, imho, I believe PBO’s promotion of Sotomayer is a ruse and that the candidate he really wants is Leah Ward Sears; “the current chief justice of Georgia’s State Supreme Court. Sears would be the first black female justice. Sears, describes herself as a judicial moderate….but court watchers say she has long been one of the State Supreme Court’s most liberal members.”

    By promoting Sotomayer first (in the media), PBO will get credit from the Hispanic Community (and many others) for trying to appoint the first Latina to SCOTUS. Thus, by taking the approach of appearing to lean toward Sotomayer for the SCOTUS nomination, PBO, Axelrod, and Company know that most all of the negativity will be directed toward Sotomayer (who becomes a lightening rod for the opposition). PBO will perform the proper amount of weeping over Sotomayer and announce his deeply felt regrets.

    Finally when PBO comes out with the name of Leah Ward Sears, Sotomayer will have taken the brunt of the slings and arrows and Leah Ward Sears (although garnering some attacks) will sail through the confirmation process for appointment to SCOTUS.
    PBO (and Company) are the MASTERS OF DECEIT and MANIPULATION. PBO’s, Rule #1, the end ALWAYS justifies the means.

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