Thursday Morning Open Thread

Some WTF moments from last night’s SOTU extravaganza:

h/t CX4800: Chris Matthews “forgot he was black tonight for an hour.” WTF?! No. Obviously you didn’t forget. Chris Matthews needs to be put out to pasture.

h/t Judge Alito commits a major breech of protocol when he shook his head and mouthed “not true” as Obama talked about the recent SCOTUS decision that Corporations can donate any amount to candidates, according to Glenn Greenwald. Supreme Court Justices are not supposed to show any emotion; they are supposed to be completely unbiased. I guess that tradition ended in 2000.

TPM has a post on how the SCOTUS decision does “open the floodgates” to foreign influence in U.S. elections.

Justice John Paul Stevens didn’t even show up for the SOTU. New York Times Columnist Gail Collins says there are rumors he may retire soon. No, please, nooooooooo!

I also heard that John McCain mouthed “complete bullshit” at one point during the speech. If I find the video, I’ll post it.
Think Progress also saw McCain mouth “blame it on Bush.”

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71 Responses

  1. If anyone else finds the McCain video, please post. I have to go to work in an hour.

    • This is all I could find:
      McCain seen mouthing ‘blame it on Bush’ when Obama outlines the problems he inherited.
      http://thinkprogress.org/2010/01/27/mccain-sotu-obama/

      • Thanks!

        • At what point does he get to quit blaming everything on Bush? Seems to me he wanted to President and he owns it now …

          • He went back to campaign mode. His handlers decided that would be the best angle going forward post-MA election, and he tested that theory last night.

            Shouldn’t the SOTU be a recap of what actually occurred during the year to get the country to it’s current state? Not a rehash of campaign rhetoric so he can ignore responsibility for all he did/didn’t do over the past 12 months while acting tough on what the pollsters told him people want done.

            The speech is just words until something materializes.

      • sweet lord – i just watch this – this is worth then expected…kindergarten politics – hand me the bucket!!

  2. Thanks for posting the Tweety comments. Chris Matthews is a *racist* and he’s out of the closet.

    I swear, the man has lost his mind….

    • He lost his mind when he hounded Bill Clinton day in and day out in the 90′s. Now he is just a sad sad old fool.

      Imagine if he had said, “I was particularly conscious of Michelle’s blackness tonight.”

      It’s that idiotic.

      • He needs to go.

      • Totally unacceptable. I think it’s a sign of things to come. Even if he thought he was saying something flattering, he’s signalling permission to foreground Obama’s color, something a lot of Obama’s detractors will use to harness the backlash. *shudder*

        • He clearly thinks there is a stereotype for blacks that deserved mention. How hard is it to believe he forgot Obama was black when he pounded on and on about it. I want him to now define black…one only has to look at the tv screen to not forget Obama is 50% black, so Matthews had to be talking about something other than skin color.

  3. Good Morning B.B. Thanks for the morning links. I start my day with them, so please keep it up. Never mind the naysayers.

    All the talking heads I saw after the speech seemed to think it was a good speech, so I expect he’ll get a bounce in the polls. But it won’t last. Next week, people like me still need to go out and look for work; and the odds are we won’t find anything.

    • I noticed Jeralynn’s posters are giving her lots of pushback on her A grade, or saying “our government is in good hands.” She even threatened to ban a reader for “bashing Obama” based on lack of delivery of promises, but the other posters came to the “dissident’s” defense.

      Poor ole Jeralynn. (snark)

      • the chickens are coming home to roost … dealing with bad karma sux doesn’t it Jeralynn?

      • Not quite.

        She threatened to ban the commenter whose comments she deleted for calling another commenter a r@cist.

        The commenter you refer to was defended by others because Jeralyn clearly went after her only because she is a far superior writer and analyst than Jeralyn and no one was jumping in line for the koolaid JM was serving.

  4. Unbelievable….not only can you not “say” anything in America anymore….you can’t even “mouth” anything anymore….simply unreal that this is what the press pays attention to….by the way, what did Obama “mouth”????

  5. I didn’t watch.
    I hate the SCOTUS decision but calling them out like that seems rude and not classy. Like trying to humiliate someone at a party.
    Also seems stupid, because, hello, way to antagonize the few supporters you do have on the one power that can kick yo biutt and isn’t afraid to do so. I would not blame any of the SCOTUS judges if they were to feel personally slighted, specially those that dissented.

    • I felt the same way. It was tacky. Especially after he lectured everybody in the room about civility . Bad, bad choice.

      Not to mention that Obama’s statement is now being rated by Politifact.com as “Barely True.”

      It seems Alito was right, and our resident “Constitutional scholar” was just playing political games at the justices’ expense.

      Tacky. Really tacky.

    • I agree that it was wrong and petulant for BO to call out the Supreme Court. The man has no class.

      • Additionally, what Obama said was not true. Surely he must have know this and so was lying. The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly. It is also unlawful to help foreign nationals violate that ban or to solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations from them. Persons who knowingly and willfully engage in these activities may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment. http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/foreign.shtml

        • What does FECA have to do with it? The concern isn’t that foreign individuals are now free to influence U.S. elections, it’s that foreign-owned corporations are. Congress must now pass a law to try to stop it, one that US subsidiaries of foreign corporations are lobbying against, and hope that it will pass muster with our corporate-friendly Supreme Court.

          So I’m glad that Obama said what he said.

          *****A

          • If a corporation is considered the same as a person, wouldn’t it also be prohibited?

            Here’s Linda Greenhouse’s analysis

            http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/27/justice-alitos-reaction/

          • are you Linda Greenhouse?

          • From the ruling:

            From the ruling: “‘The Court held that 2 U.S.C. Section 441a, which prohibits all corporate political spending, is unconstitutional. Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibiting from making “a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election” under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e, which was not at issue in the case.’

          • Linda Greenhouse is the winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize. She reported on the Supreme Court for The New York Times from 1978 to 2008. She teaches at Yale Law School and is the author of a biography of Justice Harry A. Blackmun, “Becoming Justice Blackmun.”
            She wrote about the ruling in the NY Times today.

          • Unless Linda Greenhouse is on the SCOTUS, what she thinks won’t matter one bit.

            *****A

          • You’re right, ****A, Linda Greenhouse’s opinion is scarcely worth more than ours, except the ever-shrinking NY Times does pay her to give it.

            PFAW Backs Ban on Foreign Electioneering in Wake of Citizens United

            “The legislation introduced today by Senator Franken would do much to close the foreign electioneering loophole. Most importantly, it would prohibit electioneering by corporations which are controlled or highly influenced by foreign nationals. It would also mandate heightened disclosure of the level of foreign influence of corporations engaging in electioneering.

            “The Franken bill is a crucial first step in cleaning up the mess made by the Supreme Court. We urge Senators to quickly adopt it.”

      • The President is a politician. He is supposed to be partisan. Supreme Court justices are supposed to avoid even the appearance of bias. Alito violated that protocal in a big way. SC judges aren’t even supposed to applaud during the SOTU. They are not to react in any way or express any emotion. Just because we may not like Obama doesn’t mean the rules suddenly change.

        Alito was completely out of line. It amounted to an SC judge heckling the POTUS. Very poor behavior. And calling out the Supreme Court isn’t wrong! This is supposed to be a democracy. No one is supposed to be above criticism.

  6. Here what Clive Crook of the FT wrote abt yesterday – needless to say he is no fan of O-wreck

    http://clivecrook.theatlantic.com/archives/2010/01/the_state_of_the_union.php

  7. Somebody called it

    ‘last night’s teleprompter special ‘

  8. Peter Wehner of Politics Daily

    President Obama’s State of the Union address should unnerve Democrats in Congress and throughout the country. It was one of the worst State of the Union addresses in modern times – a stunning thing for a man who won the presidency in large measure based on the power and uplift of his rhetoric.
    [snip]
    Much of what he offered up last night was symbolic. His budget freeze on a subset of domestic discretionary spending – which might amount to $15 billion – will hardly put a dent into our $1.35 trillion deficit. His budget commission, which will have no real power or authority, is worthless.
    Full piece is here:

    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/01/28/a-self-reverential-state-of-the-union-address/?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl1|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politicsdaily.com%2F2010%2F01%2F28%2Fa-self-reverential-state-of-the-union-address%2F

  9. I saw this cited on a comment at politico

    “History shows that presidents rarely, if ever, get bounces out of the annual ritual. Since the 1970s, Clinton was the only president to get any kind of bump in his approval ratings, according to Gallup, with an average increase of 3 percentage points after his State of the Union addresses. Jimmy Carter , Reagan and George W. Bush each lost an average of 1 point, and George H.W. Bush lost an average of 4 points.” By Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers Steven Thomma, Mcclatchy Newspapers – Wed Jan 27, 10:26 pm ET

    I miss Big Dawg. *sigh*

  10. I wonder if Keith O. will issue a “Special Comment” on “ole tingle leg”.

    • More likely that he’ll call Alito names.

      • The more names Alito gets called, the better as far as I’m concerned–and his pals Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas too! They have hurt this country immeasurably, and they all should be impeached for what they did in 2000.

  11. about stevens and Thomas being absent.
    I believe Hillary was not there also.

    Some of the exec and other branches are selected to go to the dungeon in case of a bomb.
    its the continuation of government objective. Not all can be present in one spot at one time.

    • Hillary is out of the country at an important meeting re: the Middle East. It was known days ago that she would not be able to attend the SOTU because of the more important obligations of her job.

      Had she been in DC, she would have been there applauding along.

  12. I forgot that Obama is black a long time ago. The only time I remember is when somebody plays the race card.

    I never really thought of him in racial terms in the first place. Ironically it’s his supporters who are most likely to classify him based on the color of his skin rather than the content of his character.

    Calling Obama black makes as much sense as calling me “blue” because of my eye color.

    They are adjectives that describe our physical appearance, not the defining characteristics of who we are.

    If you feel the need to racially pigeonhole Obama into a single category then the correct classification is white. He is biologically half white. He was raised by white people and spent virtually his entire life living in the white community, mostly with the rich elite white subculture.

    He had virtually no contact with the AA community until his mid twenties, and has not had much direct contact with them since.

    • B-I-N-G-O!

      At a multi-generational party recently, I had a conversation with a black woman of my own age. (We were the designated grannies, seated comfortably and treated royally.) We compared notes on our observations of what little kids DON’T see when it comes to skin colour. She then said that, for 14 years now, she has been married to a white man and living in a whitish community. Recently she attended a wedding (of about 300 guests) where everyone was black. She said she felt completely out of place, and realized that she identifies with the people she sees every day, not who she sees in the mirror.
      This little conversation confirmed for me what I’ve always suspected in Obama; a complete disconnect from his skin colour unless it serves his ambition. His skin is another empty suit in his wardrobe of all things to all people.

    • Exactly, and representative of the way most people look at him. His qualifications, his vision, his passion, and his friends were all weighted carefully when deciding he was not ready for such huge responsibilities. His color is not even on the grading scale for most Americans.

      Except Matthews clearly is obsessed over Obama being half black.

    • The BLUE GUY ‘Klown’ wins the BINGO!

  13. Hello again,

    I am I hope I’m not been too pushy, but time is running out and I will need to find an alternative if I can’t get permission soon (my deadline in February 1st).

    As I said before, I am working on a Powerpoint presentation for a university course an image which can be found on your blog

    http://myiq2xu.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/bankers.jpg

    Where would I get permission for use of that image? The presentation would be posted on the university department’s website (I can send you the link).

    By the way, I agree that Obama is “white” in more ways than one. Take care and thanks.

    Marlene del Hoyo
    Vancouver, BC

    • let me email myiq2xu to see if it’s his image

      • I created the text but the picture of Mr. Barrymore was just one I found online.

        I”m pretty sure the picture is free to use but don’t quote me on that. Barrymore won’t complain, he’s deader than Obama’s reelection hopes.

        Anyone who wants to use it has my blessing, approval and permission.

        You can create your own at a blog called Automativator.

        http://wigflip.com/automotivator/

  14. Yeah, the real breach isn’t one justice being unable, spur of the moment to repress a little head shake. It’s a president pre-meditatedly calling out the Supreme Court in the SOTU. He’s a law professor, after a fashion. You’d a thought he’d heard of separation of powers.

    • If he can’t repress his headshake and his words, he isn’t qualified to be on the Court. Period.

      IMO, he isn’t qualified anyway.

      • Really? Does the ability to repress a headshake go to his intellect, legal ability, or even judicial temperment? Isn’t it more true to say that a president who baits Supreme Court justices, who are there as guests of Congress, not props of the president, and who have no ability to respond to the president’s (btw, wrong) analysis of a recent decision, is nothing but an intellectual bully whose ability to lead in a crisis is very suspect?

        • I agree with Tom. It was totally inappropriate for BO to make that statement, which was wrong (and he either knew it was wrong and lied, or he’s just stupid) in that setting in which the SOTUS were not supposed to respond in any way. And then the SOTUS were mobbed by the standing, applauding mob around them. BO is just a thug with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

        • really, wrong in your opinion you must admit. But in any case you aught to go tell that to the republicans in general because they never shut up about “judicial activism” every time they don’t like a ruling.

          • I think the difference many se here is for the sitting President to be calling out the Supreme Court Justices during a State of the Union address.

            No one has amy problem with either Democrats or Republicans criticizing the court. Just that for a POTUS to do it in this particular formal setting was a major protocol breach, that came across very badly to the public.

          • Create a “co-equal” branch of government, give it’s members life time appointments and put them in charge of making their own rules and what happens?

            They act like the head of one of the other co-equal branches can’t tell them what to do.

          • Perhaps in 2012, the powerless justices who can’t even respond will once again select a Chief Executive who is more to their liking. :)

        • Yes, it goes to his judicial temperament, and the President can’t do anything to them. They hold those offices for life unless they get impeached. I can’t believe any liberal would defend what Alito did or anything else about Alito. But I don’t know if you are a liberal. I don’t think I’ve seen you here before.

          • Judges and appellate justices are supposed to avoid conflicts of interest and be unbiased towards the parties and witnesses who appear before them. They are allowed to be biased as to policies, legal theories political ideology. Once a case is decided judges and justices have more freedom to speak publicly about the issues involved.

            SCOTUS basically does whatever the fuck they want.

            They make their own rules, decide what cases they want to hear and which ones they want to ignore. SCOTUS rules like “case or controversy” and “mootness” were created by SCOTUS aand can me modified or discarded by SCOTUS.

            Lower courts (which is every court in the nation except SCOTUS) are bound by legal precedent, but SCOTUS is not – a 5-4 majority can reverse a longstanding precedent that was decided 9-0.

            SCOTUS has always been heavily politicized and many of the “traditions” we hear about are fairly new creations. We really don’t much about how people behaved during the SOTU prior to the television age.

          • If 4 years from now Sonia Sotomayor rolls her eyes during a SOTU address by the new GOP POTUS many of the people who are defending Alito now would be screaming for her impeachment or resignation.

          • Good point. And many of the people (in general, not here) who are acting like Obama released the hounds and Congress attacked from behind with pitchforks while the Supremes huddled together in terror probably weren’t that upset by Joe Wilson’s breach of decorum, either.

    • huh? Separation of powers has nothing to do with criticism. Are you suggesting the Judicial, the legislative and the executive and not disagree or criticize each other ?

  15. J.D. Salinger, author of “The Catcher in the Rye” has died, according to his literary agent.

    • I loved his writing!! Had the whole series…starting with his short stories and through the “Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters and Seymour, an Introduction” …. most of his characters had at least a cameo appearance in more than one of the books. Such wit.

      • I read every single of his books too, but from what I’ve read about his later life, I think he had a serious psychological disorder. He was able to stop a lot of people from writing about him; but his daughter wrote a book, and the behavior she described seemed to indicate serious problems.

        He also had an affair with a very young woman–I think she was only in her teens at the time, Joyce Maynard, also a writer. She wrote a book about her time with him and he wasn’t able to stop her from publishing. She had a lot of letters from him to back up her memoir.

    • maybe he will find peace in the next life from sycophantic worshipers he could not avoid in this life.

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