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  • Top Posts

Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

Morning Read

  • The “Racist” Speech
  • By now, many have heard about the famous speech Judge Sonia Sotomayor gave in 2001, the one that made her a “racist” in the eyes of Right Wing apparatchiks, the one that earned her comparisons to David Duke from Rush Limbaugh, the speech that should bar her from ever ascending to the SCOTUS.
    What has become clear is that very few have actually read the speech, apparently not even WH Spokesperson Robert Gibbs. Please read the whole speech and try to figure out why anyone characterizing it as “racist” isn’t laughed at and what justifies Gibbs’ “I think she’d say that her word choice in 2001 was poor.”

    Lecture: ‘A Latina Judge’s Voice’
    Here’s is the entire paragraph with the “offending” sentence:

    Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, 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.

    Here’s a complementary and good article making what Judge Sotomayor said even clearer.
    The Waves Minority Judges Always Make

    “Anyone who has ever sat on a bench with other judges knows that judges are supposed to influence each other, and they do,” Justice Souter wrote in a 1998 dissent in a death penalty case. “One may see something the others did not see, and then they all take another look.”

  • Case of Bad Journalism
  • Doing my best Brad Delong impersonation, I shake my fists to the Heavens and scream: “Why oh why, Can’t we have a better press corps”
    Sotomayor’s Focus on Race Issues May Be Hurdle

    Now conservatives say her strong identification with such race-based approaches to the law is perhaps the strongest argument against her confirmation, contending that her views put her outside an evolving consensus that such race-conscious public policy is growing obsolete.

    This NY Times article illustrates a typical case of stenography. David Kirkpatrick just transcribed what “conservatives say” even if it’s not supported by the facts.

    Peter Nicholas and James Oliphant of the LA Times do a much better job on the same topic.
    Two sides to Sonia Sotomayor

    The passion for minority rights that she showed from Princeton onward is scarcely reflected in a review of her judicial decisions. So which way would she lean on the Supreme Court?

    Considering her track record, it looks like those who want Judge Sotomayor to reliably decides cases in favor of minorities are the ones who should be worried. But why let facts stand in the way?

    Tom Goldstein of the SCOTUSBLOG actually took the time to read all of Judge Sotomayor’s race-related cases:
    Judge Sotomayor and Race — Results from the Full Data Set

    Other than Ricci, Judge Sotomayor has decided 96 race-related cases while on the court of appeals.

    Of the 96 cases, Judge Sotomayor and the panel rejected the claim of discrimination roughly 78 times and agreed with the claim of discrimination 10 times; the remaining 8 involved other kinds of claims or dispositions. Of the 10 cases favoring claims of discrimination, 9 were unanimous. (Many, by the way, were procedural victories rather than judgments that discrimination had occurred.) Of those 9, in 7, the unanimous panel included at least one Republican-appointed judge. In the one divided panel opinion, the dissent’s point dealt only with the technical question of whether the criminal defendant in that case had forfeited his challenge to the jury selection in his case. So Judge Sotomayor rejected discrimination-related claims by a margin of roughly 8 to 1.

    Should the Ricci Case really be viewed as symptomatic for Judge Sotomayor’s legal views?
    Bias Case Looms Large for Nominee

    Ruling on Firefighters’ Lawsuit Raises Questions About Sotomayor’s Philosophy

    Court Choice Pushes ‘Identity Politics’ to Forefront

  • Changing Washington, DC
  • U.S. vows to keep using ‘state secrets’ defense

    The Obama administration has informed a federal judge it will continue to invoke the “state secrets” privilege in a legal battle with an Islamic charity suspected of funding terrorism.
    The Obama administration has criticized President Bush’s Justice Department for invoking the state secrets defense too quickly.

    Obama walks a fine line over mining

    Environmentalists feel betrayed by the EPA’s decision not to block new mountaintop mining projects.

    Administration opposes Uighurs’ release in US

    The Obama administration, picking up the argument of its predecessor, is opposing the release of Chinese Muslim detainees at Guantanamo Bay into the United States.

  • The Other Battle
  • Kennedy plan to outline U.S. healthcare overhaul

    Democratic plans for revamping U.S. healthcare are taking shape, with Senator Edward Kennedy soon to announce a proposal which could form the core of the nation’s new health system.

    Kennedy and Baucus ‘Seek Common Ground’ on Health Care Legislation

    Two Senate committee chairmen issued a joint statement on Saturday saying they would “seek common ground on health reform legislation,” despite reports that they disagreed on the shape of a new public health insurance plan that many Democrats want to create.

    A Red State Booster Shot

    Those in the red states still smarting over Barack Obama’s election victory can perhaps take solace in this: The Democrats’ No. 1 domestic policy initiative, universal health care, is likely to help red America at the expense of blue.

  • “Torturegate”
  • ‘We Could Have Done This the Right Way’

    How Ali Soufan, an FBI agent, got Abu Zubaydah to talk without torture.

    For all the debate about interrogation, little research exists

  • No End in Sight
  • Pakistani cities are new battleground for Taliban

    Officials say troops have secured large areas of the Swat Valley and the main city of Mingora, but a recent spate of bombings in three cities signals a shift in the Taliban’s tactics.

  • Economy Watch
  • Attention, Economic Optimists: Not So Fast

    IN THE DEPTHS OF THE Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt inspired confidence when he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Today, our economy is definitely showing signs of coming out of a near-depression. Ironically, all our recovery has to fear is the recovery itself.

  • Painful
  • Father of slain NYPD cop Omar Edwards feels sorry for son’s killer

    Racked with grief, the father of slain cop Omar Edwards Saturday reached out to the man who shot his son.

    “I feel sorry for the guy who shot my son,” said Ricardo Edwards, 72, just two days after his youngest son was shot by a fellow cop on a Harlem street. “I feel sorry for his family, and I feel sorry for him.”

    On Diverse Force, Blacks Still Face Special Peril

    Two black police officers stand outside the 70th Precinct station in Brooklyn and consider the disastrous turn of events the night before: an off-duty black officer dead in a Harlem street, felled by the bullets of a white officer who mistook him for a threat.

    One runs his hand across his corn-rowed scalp; he is disgusted. “Same deal always,” he says of the deadly encounter between colleagues on Thursday night. “They’ll say it’s about training.”

  • Cowards
  • Kidnappers swoop on China’s girls

    The state’s one-baby policy has led to a shortage of females that gangs are ruthlessly exploiting

  • How’s Your Brain Health?
  • Take the Fit Brains Brain Lifestyle Quiz

    The Brain Lifestyle Quiz is designed to help you learn more about your own brain health!
    We recommend you repeat this survey every three months to see your progress.

  • The Queen of BS?
  • Crazy Talk

    Oprah fans regard her as an oracle. But some of what she promotes isn’t good, and a lot of the advice that guests dispense is just bad.

    What are you reading this morning?

    Please DIGG & SHARE!!

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    29 Responses

    1. Thank you for looking at the context of Judge Sotomayor’s statements. Very few are doing so. And I have been disturbed to see fellow PUMA’s jumping on baord the “racist” bandwagon.

      There is nothing inherantly racist in what the Judge said. Taken in context… the statements are actually anti-racist.


      • I think accusations of racism need to be well documented or not made.

        If there is any uncertainty or ambiguity the person should get the benefit of doubt.

        BTW – mentioning race is not racism.

      • I hadn’t noticed PUMAs going after her on r@cism; many are asking the legitimate question: is she pro-choice enough or is this incredibly sneaky stands-for-nothing president trying to pull one over on the “feminists” (who’ve proven they have no idea what a feminist looks like)?

    2. Been reading about the Queen being snubbed out of the D Day. Our media makes it exclusively a French thing – but what of the proposed “Franco-American” slant of the event? Where is the US in this?

      • Since Queen Elizabeth is the only head of state who actually served in WWII, as a truck driver and mechanic, this is a pretty bad mistake. Leaving her out shows a disdain for both history and actual service.

        • There was some suggestion that the two princesses be evacuated to Canada, where they, along with their parents, would have lived at Hatley Castle in British Columbia. This plan never came to fruition; to the proposal, Elizabeth’s mother made the famous reply: “The children won’t go without me. I won’t leave without the King. And the King will never leave.”[20] The children remained at Windsor, where they staged pantomimes at Christmas, to which family and friends were invited, along with the children of Royal Household staff. It was from Windsor that Elizabeth, in 1940, made her first radio broadcast during the BBC’s Children’s Hour, addressing other children who had been evacuated from the cities. She stated:

          We are trying to do all we can to help our gallant sailors, soldiers and airmen, and we are trying, too, to bear our share of the danger and sadness of war. We know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well.[17]

          During Elizabeth’s years at Windsor, plans were drawn up by the constitutional expert Edward Iwi to have a member of the Royal Family present in Wales, in order to quell the growing nationalist influence of Plaid Cymru.[21] In a report to the Home Secretary Herbert Morrison, Iwi proposed appointing Elizabeth as Constable of Caernarfon Castle (the post then held by David Lloyd George) and patron of Urdd Gobaith Cymru, and to tour Wales as such.[21] The ideas were rejected by the Home Secretary, on the grounds that it might cause conflict between north and south Wales; by the King, who refused to subject his young daughter to the pressures of conducting official tours;[21] and by the government, as two leading members of Urdd Gobaith Cymru were discovered to be conscientious objectors.[21]

          In 1945, Elizabeth accompanied her parents on visits to Commonwealth service personnel, and began to carry out solo duties, such as reviewing a parade of Canadian airwomen.[17] She joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, as No. 230873 Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor. She trained as a driver and mechanic, drove a military truck, and rose to the rank of Junior Commander.[22] She is, at present, “the only living head of state who served in uniform during World War II”.[23]

          You are spot on, on her being there and being the only head of state to serve in uniform during World War II. It couldn’t be cause she is a woman?

    3. PS. I have no idea why my former statement is underlined. I was not trying to be bossy. Just sayin’.

    4. I also have no idea why my comment doesn’t show up

      • Hey Edge!

        Lemme check, although I don’t know how to free comments. I was starting to miss your traditional 1st comment on the “Breakfast Read”

    5. It did appear, underlined. Trying now with the link about rewriting history to leave girls out

    6. Thanks! There may be some duplicates by now – only allow one comment , please

    7. Don’t everyone comment at once

    8. Steve Benen doesn’t get it. Re: the Obama’s “Date Night in New York” he says:

      Good for them; I’m sure it’s nice for the Obamas to get out once in a while. Their date led to some street closings in NYC, but folks in the city nevertheless seemed pleased to see the First Couple: “As the motorcade left the West Village and drove up Sixth Avenue to the theater, crowds of people, at times about eight deep, gathered on the sidewalks of the blockaded streets to wave as the Obamas passed. Some cheered…. The Obamas left the theater after the play and were greeted by more cheers from enthusiastic bystanders along New York streets as they headed back for the flight to Washington.”

      This is one of those “Let them eat cake” kinda things.

      Politically tone deaf.

      • Oh, yes. I’m sure everyone loved the Saturday Night street closings. And the extra (unannounced?) security at the Theater.

        • How much did this “dinner and a show” cost us taxpayers?

          3 Gulfstream jets, a chopper, limos, cops, Secret Service, tickets, tax and tip?

          • Don’t ask me. I once got “discount” tickets to a Broadway show and the cost scared me to death. I couldn’t even begin to think of the cost of last night’s “date”

          • I read $25,000, but I also heard $100K.

    9. About the Oprah linky: I’m not a Suzanne Somers fan (at all), but the Newsweek article is bogus too.

      I’m surgically menopausal, and trust me, menopause is hell and hormones help. I don’t care what a 30-something doctor tell you. My brain gets foggy without them, I feel so tired, I can’t hardly stand up. The fact that our bodies lose them at 50, is more about a disease, and aging process than it is about the fact that “we don’t need them anymore”. Yes, they increase our cancer risk (albeit the risk is small in the great grand scheme of things, overplayed like everything else), but when your quality of life suffers, you take the freaking hormones.

      But yeah, Oprah is a beotch in her staunch support of all things insane. And her followers tend to believe whatever she says which is simpleee ridicoolus (as Billy Crystal would say).

      • Her show is more like the Church of Oprah these days and no one questions anymore like in the past, nor gives their comments. It is just all nob and smiles. It is not good to show that as role models for women, not to question, and simply go along. At least Phil Donohue (sp) would pose the questions and initiate the discussions. Critical thinking skills are a must if you are going to survive out in a technological world…a must!

    10. ATTENTION NY VOTERS & other interested parties (warning: rant ahead):

      I’ve mentioned this before, but I want to address it again, because it might become a big issue in the near future if Maloney challenges Gillibrand for the Senate. I am incredibly disappointed and disgusted by Carolyn Maloney’s behavior since Paterson appointed Gillibrand. I live in Kirsten’s district, and she is extremely popular here, because she is like a mini-Hillary: strong, dedicated, wonky, incredibly hard-working and accessible. It’s a traditionally conservative district, so she had to walk a fine line on some issues as a centrist/blue dog to have a chance in hell of getting elected and winning. She beat four-term incumbent Sweeney in 2006, and Treadwell this year by a 2:1 margin. Her voting record is solidly progressive. She opposed the war in Iraq, is a staunch advocate of women’s rights, pay equity and choice; gay rights; stem cell research; increasing the minimum wage; and expanding affordable housing, Head Start and SCHIP. She is also greatly respected for her experience in financial services and banking. She has been endorsed by numerous progressive democratic issue-groups, including the ACLU, the League of Conservation Voters, EMILY’S List, NARAL, the Sierra Club, and the AFL- CIO. Since becoming Senator, she is actively meeting with all constituent groups, traveling the entire state, and adjusting her positions on gun control and immigration to reflect her new constituency. Many Dem leaders have started declaring their support for her–except downstate pols who are still furious that they were not chosen. Maloney leads the pack.

      My beef is that she is the woman who wrote “Rumors of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated,” regarding the dearth of women in government, and the need to increase our numbers and support for women representatives. Instead, she has been undermining Gillibrand from the start in a childish, vindictive manner. She is not challenging her policies per se, but attacking her personally, leaking distortions of her record to the press, and bad-mouthing her at Dem events. I know people in the NY Dem Party and on Gillibrand’s staff. Recently, they both attended an event for Eleanor Roosevelt’s Legacy group to honor Hillary, and even with Gillibrand there, Maloney circulated around the room, trash-talking her. Gillibrand has reached out to her, and McCarthy, offering to co-sponsor legislation, and she has been repeatedly rebuffed. Today, this appeared in the Daily News:

      Rep. Carolyn Maloney left little doubt she’s coming after Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand next year. Appearing at a Thursday night fund-raiser at the Manhattan home of folk legend Peter Yarrow, Maloney riffed on Yarrow’s classic “If I Had a Hammer,” saying that when she heard Gov. Paterson’s “doozie” appointment of Gillibrand to Hillary Clinton’s seat, “I wished I had a hammer.” Maloney, who handed out campaign buttons, promised “an important announcement very soon.”

      How are women supposed to progress if our mentors treat younger, talented and earnest colleagues like this? It’s repellent.

      End of rant.

      • p.s. if she does challenge her, either way, there will be one less woman in the Dem Party, because one of them will lose their position of considerable influence.

      • Well, the powers that be will apparently always despise anything that resembles Hillary. Hillary is the epitome of leadership. Can’t have her or others like her breaking long-standing stereotypes.

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