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Your Breakfast News, Served By The Confluence

Confirming The Next SC Justice

Sotomayor opens by stressing fidelity to the law

US Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor introduced herself to the nation on Monday, presenting a compelling story of family struggle and a few words of explanation to her harshest critics.

Sotomayor: The Drinking Game

[C]rack open a beer and let the buzz words start flying, says Tom Goldstein, who has argued more than 20 Supreme Court cases and is founder and manager of SCOTUSblog.

‘Jane Roe’ Arrested at Supreme Court Hearing

Norma McCorvey, 61, of Texas, better known as “Jane Roe” in the famous Roe v. Wade case from January 1973, was arrested after she and another protester started yelling during the opening statement of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), according to Capitol Police. McCorvey, whose pursuit of the right to access to abortion in the early 1970s led to the ruling that has been a pivotal part of every Supreme Court nomination process since, eventually become a notable opponent of the procedure.

Why the Supreme Court Needs a “Critical Mass” of Women

Health-care Reform

Liberals brace for fight over scope of health legislation

On a broad array of contentious issues — from government’s role in providing insurance to the sizes of subsidies for lower-income Americans — the liberals who largely control the agenda in the House are holding fast to their principles.
The Democratic liberals face stiff challenges from moderates and conservatives in their own party, however, on the price of the legislation.

Q+A: U.S. healthcare overhaul proposals and goals

Pressure on Obama mounts over healthcare

The president has been a cheerleader for reform, but he’ll soon need to address specifics: how to pay for it, and whether government-run insurance should be involved.

Obama to Meet Baucus, Rangel to Discuss Health Care

Clive Crook sya it’s all good. Nothing to worry about
Two cheers for US health reform

After a frazzled week, the politics of US health reform looks messier than ever. Yet the odds on a bill passing in the end are improving. It will be an untidy thing, but if it moves the country close to universal health insurance the administration will call it a success.

Economy Watch

The Case for More Fiscal Stimulus (By Justin Wolfers)

The case for more stimulus is pretty simple: the economy is doing badly, and fiscal stimulus can help. And the risks are asymmetric. Doing too little risks both deflation and the possibility of doing lasting damage to the economy. Doing too much is both unlikely and unlikely to have as unduly severe consequences.

Goldman execs sold $700m of stock in Lehman aftermath

Executives at Goldman Sachs sold almost $700m worth of stock following the collapse of Lehman Brothers last September, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Most of the sales occurred during the period in which the investment bank enjoyed the support of $10bn from the troubled asset relief programme.

U.S. mulling mortgage aid for unemployed

President Barack Obama is mulling new ways to delay foreclosure for jobless homeowners who are unable to keep up with monthly payments, an administration official said on Monday.

The Economy Is Even Worse Than You Think

The recent unemployment numbers have undermined confidence that we might be nearing the bottom of the recession. What we can see on the surface is disconcerting enough, but the inside numbers are just as bad.

Time to tackle the real evil: too much debt (By Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Mark Spitznagel)

With deficit topping $1 trillion, what does it all mean?

Shadow Banking: What It Is, How it Broke, and How to Fix It

I hope this Q&A with a very smart professor and economist at Barnard College Professor Perry Mehrling provides answers to each of those questions.

Palinpalooza: We simply can’t get enough

Sarah Palin Has Captured Our Imagination

Americans can’t get enough of Sarah Palin. It doesn’t matter which side of the Sarah Palin argument you’re on. Awe or apoplexy produces the same result: Give me more coverage of Sarah.

Republican pundits open fire on Sarah Palin

Palin has been a polarizing figure from the moment she stepped off the tundra into the bright lights last summer as John McCain’s surprise vice presidential running mate. Some of that hostility could be expected, given the hyper-partisanship of today’s politics.

What is remarkable is the contempt Palin has engendered within her own party and the fact that so many of her GOP detractors are willing, even eager, to express it publicly — even with Palin an early front-runner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Strong Grassroots Support For Palin’s SarahPAC

SarahPAC reported $733,000 in total receipts through June 30, of which $420,000 was “unitemized” or from donors who contributed $200 or less.

Around The Nation

Fla. suspects up to 8 involved in couple’s slaying

Cameras set up for child care saw chilling break-in

Down the Mississippi: Barack Obama effect ends white rule in Deep South town

A tiny Mississippi delta town has elected its first black mayor after the white incumbent, unopposed for 30 years, faced a young challenger inspired by President Barack Obama’s feat in winning the White House.

Alabama Physician Chosen as Surgeon General

An African-American, Dr. Benjamin is nationally known for establishing a rural health clinic in Bayou La Batre, Ala. — a small, medically underserved shrimping village along the Gulf Coast. Hurricana Katrina destroyed the clinic in 2005, and then when it was rebuilt, the clinic burned down on the eve of re-opening.

Surgeon General Once Paid in Oysters Pushed Health Care to All

After Hurricane Katrina, Regina Benjamin took only what her patients could afford to pay: bushels of oysters or lumps of Gulf Coast crab meat. Her Alabama health clinic was destroyed and still she helped, navigating through the mud in a pick-up truck to make house calls.

Somebody must be living in Cuckooville
Soldier balks at deploying; says Obama isn’t president

Says he shouldn’t have to go to Afghanistan because Obama is not a U.S. citizen

Middle Eastern Headaches

In Iraq, “mission accomplished”.
Iraq catches it from all sides

As Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki walks the tightrope between Sunnis and Shi’ites, the United States and Iran are breathing down his neck. Turkey, Syria and Iran, meanwhile, are not pleased at the revival of Kurdish ambitions in Kirkuk, while the Kurds in turn are alarmed by calls for a stronger central government in Baghdad

I was starting to miss these guys. Where would they go next, now that in Iraq, the “mission” has been “accomplished”.
U.S. hawks urge ‘sabotage’ against Iran

Some U.S. lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to do more to support Iranian opposition groups seeking the downfall of the hard-line clerical regime in Tehran.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a leading Republican hawk, even called Sunday for the United States to “sabotage” Iran’s oil and gas industry to trigger an economic crisis that would bring about regime change.

7 soldiers, linguist injured in N. Iraq

Seven American soldiers and a linguist traveling with them were wounded in a bomb blast as they walked out of a meeting with local government officials in northern Iraq

Obama to U.S. Jewish leaders: Israel must engage in self-reflection

Obama told the leaders that he wants to help Israel overcome its demographic problem by reaching an agreement on a two-state solution, but that in order to do so, Israel would need “to engage in serious self-reflection.”

Britain halts some arms exports to Israel in response to Gaza conflict

Britain became the first country to halt arms exports to Israel in response to its Gaza offensive, rescinding five export licences for parts used on warships which were deployed in the conflict.

Around The World

Germany lead opposition party to Obama: Stop meddling
Obama Predicts Merkel Victory in Coming Election

In an off-the-cuff remark caught on camera, US President Barack Obama told German Chancellor Angela Merkel she was bound to win the September election. The forecast has annoyed Germany’s Social Democrats.

You thought Uighur people were persecuted in China because of their religion? Think again. There may be other reasons.
Confused about the Xinjiang riots? Follow the money.

The unrest is less about Islam and more about economics.

Uighurs Lament their Lost Homeland

As it did in Tibet, the Chinese leadership is harshly cracking down on unrest in Xinjiang. The region’s Muslim Uighurs feel degraded and robbed of their culture while they suffer in their homeland under the dominance of the Han Chinese.

In exile, an Iranian ‘lion’ keeps fighting

The “Lion Woman’’ of Iran sits outside her 10th-floor office atop the main library at the University of Massachusetts-Boston campus, chafing with frustration as she talks of the turbulence shaking her homeland.

More troops lost to roadside bombs: a familiar pattern

The Taliban and other militants in Afghanistan are turning to a familiar tool to try to kill more Americans and allied troops: the roadside bomb.

Ultimatum issued on Honduras talks

Ousted President Manuel Zelaya warned yesterday that he would deem mediation talks over the country’s political crisis “failed’’ unless he is reinstated at the next meeting, which will probably be held this weekend.

From The Word Of Science

Who needs Oxycontin or anger management? There are much better ways to alleviate your pain.
Why the #$%! Do We Swear? For Pain Relief

Bad language could be good for you, a new study shows. For the first time, psychologists have found that swearing may serve an important function in relieving pain.

That’s it! No more extras for my cat. I suspected all along that he thought I was a sucker. Now I have the confirmation.
Cats ‘exploit’ humans by purring

Researchers at the University of Sussex have discovered that cats use a “soliciting purr” to overpower their owners and garner attention and food.
Unlike regular purring, this sound incorporates a “cry”, with a similar frequency to a human baby’s.

I knew it!

84 Responses

  1. “No more extras for my cat.” Thanks, mablue, for the confirming research on cat owner exploitation. I find it best for family harmony to give in occasionally – especially when the manipulation is particularly clever.

      • I figured you were thinking about the cap and trade issue. I just meant that I had written about the NYT piece. Sorry for “pimping” my post. It’s just that I put it up late at night and not that many people read it.

      • I know, I was thinking of you when I saw that Sirius/XM article. You definitely should hang onto it!

    • To paraphrase:
      Whats good for G-S is good for America.
      Yeah right, the only thing it’s good for is lining Senators’ and Representatives’ pockets.
      When your standing in that unemployment line, wondering how your going to pay for that doctor visit because of the chest pains brought on by the stress of losing your home, remember this:
      Your Senators and Representatives don’t have to worry about the trivialities of a lost job, no health insurance, or a retirement not worth the paper it’s written on.
      And the ironic part?
      You will probably vote to re-elect them.

    • Read the reader comments following this POS “reporting” in the NYSlimes yesterday on Goldman Sux’s obscene profits. They’ll warm the heart – we definitely have company out there.


  2. OK, as I returned I noticed the NYC tabloids (just NY POst) doesn’t want Palin to have all the fun:

    • Hey Edge;

      Nice to have you back. I was missing your traditional 1st comment on The Morning News.

  3. Administration Seeks to Restrict Antibiotics in Livestock


    • They get those diseases because of the way they are kept. Ever see feedlot steers standing knee deep in manure?
      It don’t look or smell to pretty.

  4. How about generating solar energy from Sahara? Sounds kind of logical – and like a great idea.


    Now, if someone could also find a way to transport the excess ice from Greenland’s glaciers to African countries plagued by drought, that would be awesome!
    (E.g. the amount of water produced by the Ilulissat Glacier per day equals the amount of water used in NYC per year!)

  5. Maybe someone posted this before–I was kind of busy yesterday. But is this for real? Russian leaders refused to shake Obama’s hand.

    This is going around the conservative blogs, but apparently it wasn’t reported by U.S. media. Is it a political snub? Or racism?

    • Judging by Obama’s facial expressions, he saw it as a snub. He looks both irritated and embarrassed/uncomfortable. I found it on Memeorandum, so it will get some attention now. I’ll check later on to see if anyone in the MSM gives an explanation.

      • The video that follows it … He was snubbed in Saudi and he was standing in a receiving line where people were ignoring him, shaking the hands of the other leaders, and he looked equally miffed.

        It is not racism in Saudi, that’s for darn sure!

        He is on their bad side bigtime! Might have something to do with his speech in Egypt, or his lightweight stand on Iran, or some WORM that insulted them.

        You can bet Hillary will take the blame if his worldwide adoration takes a nose-dive.

    • looks pretty snubby to me.

    • Can’t really say, as the video hiccups, when I try to watch it.

      But Obama – the wanna-be rockstar – does have a tendency to reach out to shake hands with anybody. As rockstars do with fans, right. Lending some of your superiority – or whatever. Even shaking hands with people who certainly doesn’t expect it. As the Marine saluting him when he enters the “copter”, or the policeman posted outside Downing Street 10, lol!

    • lol! He looks really irritated. He’s so peevish when not worshiped.

    • More a case of Obama not doing his homework on local etiquette to me.

      • How so? Where is this happening? Russia? Same thing happened in Saudi.

        • If you look several people in a row are ignoring Obama’s outstretched hand.
          If there was only one not shaking his hand it would be snubbing. But to me it looks as if there is a rule about not shaking a visiting potentate’s hand. (perhaps they should just bow their heads?).
          A bit like the rules surrounding meeting the Queen.

          • Two different episodes of the same snub….possibly even in two different countries.

            No, I think they are ticked at him over something.

    • I think it’s Obama introducing diplomats to Medvedev rather than him being snubbed. I think that is just how Obama can look sometimes when he is introducing people and not the technical center of attention.

      • More people than Mevedev refused his hand, and the same thing happened with Obama as a member of a receiving line in Saudi…he sure wasn’t introducing anyone there.

        Two videos of Obama’s handshake being refused….two different places.

        • Hmm, I don’t see Medvedev refusing Obama’s hand in that video. I think Obama is introducing Medevedev -to- the receiving line. I don’t know what the case is for absolute certain, but that is how the video looks to me. Shrug.

    • maybe they wanted a bow.

  6. Regarding Goldman

    This is from a more conservative site but refers to Goldman’s ability to manipulate the markets (and to cap and trade) with some proprietary applications. It was sent to me by one of the quants I know.


    “Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street leviathan that is heavily invested in the cap-and-trade carbon market scam, has admitted it has developed and used software that can manipulate such financial markets.”

    I find it disturbing that one investment bank can have so much power

    • And STILL nothing from the MSM about Goldman-Sachs manipulating the market!
      Could it possibly be because, maybe even a little tiny bit, that the MSM is protecting their Wall Street sponsors?

      • Since many in the media are wealthy (Nantucket) perhaps they are keeping shut to protect the investments they have with the Leeches of Wall St.

      • If Goldman Sachs / Wall St doesn’t get its cap and trade scam, it’s gonna start to bring us down again another way. The beast must have something in its jaws .

  7. I don’t agree with all the points the author makes but his repeated references to Goldman’s continuing market manipulations are chilling.

  8. “Green” energy’s higher costs may add to all Austin electric bills. Seems the “Green Choice” option has increased so much in price they can’t seem to sell it now.


    Not good since they have the largest solar facility in the country being built now.

    • I’m for being green, but all the corporate yapping about being “green” is about price jacking .

    • Rather than discuss the points in Palin’s op-ed, Obot commenters are declaring she didn’t write it.

      • They rarely attack the message… in their defense, they are ill-equipped to do so. So they attack the messenger… which is consistent with the high-school mentality that seems to have inflicted that entire voting bloc (Obots).

    • Can’t agree with Palin’s belief in “clean coal” – there’s no such thing. But the reader comments are just what you’d expect – nasty and brutish. Unfortunately, many aren’t short.

      • remember that her belief in clean coal is also Obama’s belief in clean coal. Not such a coincidence that coal lobbiests gave lots of money to him over the last few years.

        But you are right, there is no such thing. I think that what they are hoping is that they can develop such a thing.

  9. For a little real health care information about the current plans.


    “That has led to the new definition of universal coverage as being “close to 95 percent.” This CBO analysis provides support for that view. Leaving only 15 to 20 million people without coverage has become one of the parameters that will define “success” in the reform efforts.”

    And it will only cost a trillion or so. Thanks “progressives”.

  10. Obama’s car czar drives off…..

    >>>> Steven Rattner is stepping down as chief adviser to President Barack Obama’s automotive task force.

    WASHINGTON – Steven Rattner, who led the Obama administration’s auto task force, is leaving that post as a probe into his New York pension dealings heats up.

    The Treasury Department said Monday that Rattner, an investment banker, wanted to return to private life and his family in New York after overseeing efforts to lift General Motors and Chrysler from bankruptcy.

    However, sources said ongoing federal and state investigations into pension-business kickbacks made it difficult for Rattner to remain in the job.

    Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office has been intensifying its scrutiny of Rattner and Quadrangle Group, the firm he co-founded, in recent weeks, an official familiar with the investigation said. But there is no indication charges are looming from Cuomo’s office or the Securities and Exchange Commission, the source said.


  11. CBS: Obama approval rating slips to 57%


    • Ouch!
      >>>Loss In Backing Comes From Democrats And Independents

    • Wow! Obama has slipped on Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll too. Only 28% strongly approve of his performance as prez., and 36% strongly disapprove, keeping him at -8 approval index. Not good.

      It looks like Obama had better cut back on helping Goldman-Sachs for awhile and do something for ordinary citizens.

    • boo hoo

  12. Palin speaks for herself (and check out the hostile hysteria in the comments–why does this woman evoke such irrational responses–sort of like Hillary with the Right?):

    The ‘Cap And Tax’ Dead End
    By Sarah Palin


    • oops, just saw that it was already posted above. Sorry for the repeat.

    • That’s simple, because the truth is Palin is the type of candidate the
      Obots claimed to be looking for: self made, against corruption, moderate on social issues (at least by Republican standards) and religious.

      If you look at their past support of Mcain and other conservatives and the type of democrats they have voted for in the past, Palin is as good, if not better choice.

      In fact if Palin was not seen by the power brokers as being anti corporation and anti corruption my bet is she would be getting more
      support than Obama ever got right now and well on her way to being

  13. Obama and his cronies in the House and Senate want to subsidize insurance payments for low income Americans. Why not just by-pass the insurance companies and allow them to enroll in a public option plan?
    But then I’m guessing those insurance lobbyists are expecting some sort of payback for their thirty pieces of silver.
    Oh and speaking of a limited public option plan?
    It’s bound to fail because the insurers will dump all their high risk customers into it.
    The public option should be open to anybody who wants to enroll and accepted by all health care providers.

    • Oh and speaking of a limited public option plan?
      It’s bound to fail because the insurers will dump all their high risk customers into it.

      well said. That’s most likely why a public option is even in the mix. ….to take out the” trash.”

    • By all means let’s pay some insurance companies to take care of low income people instead of Medicare/Medicaid??? It makes no damn sense at all except as a tax money giveaway to their corporate backers.

      If it’s possible, these Democrats may be more corrupt than the Republicans they replaced. If that’s even possible at all?

      • ONLY if those insurance companies are NOT publicly traded!!!!

        There need to be some laws guiding medical insurance companies before I would want $1 of my tax money going into their pockets. The ones that aren’t traded on the stock market claim to be “not FOR profit” (different than non-profit). ALL of them should be not FOR profit, and any profits earned should go to improved coverage, lower premiums, etc. AND, they should not be allowed an operating budget that allows for outrageous spending….private jet travel for executives, etc..

  14. From a commenter on MarketTicker. Yes, it’s cynical in the extreme, but I must say that a part of me agrees with him/her:

    Here is my observation:

    Ninety percent or more of the American people deserve to experience the real per-capita GDP of the Great Depression for at least one generation. This country is a cultural and spiritual wasteland, full of people that don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone or anything other than their own immediate gratification.

    No one respects the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, people don’t want freedom for themselves much less for other citizens. They want cardboard cutout targets to hate and giveaways paid for by other people. Yes, both liberals and conservatives. Ninety percent of the time there is no difference other than the targets of their bigotry. Everyone wants a free ride and a dead horse to beat.

    That is why I don’t get all bent out of shape over the coming economic tsunami.

    • Strong language, but there is definitely truth in it. My brother is a student of history, and makes the same argument: we have not had to live through a war in which we all had to sacrifice or something like the Depression, and we are spoiled children (generally speaking).

    • I think that’s what Obama and Michelle think too.

    • We have indeed lost our way. Finding a new one is going to be a very protracted, painful process with no guarantee of success. It will be the Bette Davis era – get ready for a real bumpy ride.

  15. The president has been a cheerleader for reform, but he’ll soon need to address specifics: how to pay for it, and whether government-run insurance should be involved.

    Rut row! Those dang specifics! Never Obama’s strong suit . Part of the “we don’t know what to do” shake and shimmy from our leaders is to stall on the specifics. Then 2 hours before their all important vacation starts , they’ll ram though some horror that will need further” fixing” another time. Take out the insurance companies and it becomes very simple .But the insurance companies are the most important part in DC. A case where a cancer is more important than the patient .

    The hemming and hawing on specifics is like the doctors trying to figure out how to tell the family, saving the tumor is object of the operation and a couple of limbs might have to go to achieve that . Even with a fawning press, it’s a puzzlement

  16. My sister’s cat, Ted, is not content with just purring. He pokes her in the cheek and head butts her until she responds, and if that doesn’t work, he resorts to gentle biting on the cheek until she gets up. He also has a tactic of playing with loud objects–newspapers, balls, chords–all strategically out of reach so they get so annoyed they have to get up. Clever little pumas.

  17. My son is in California at the moment. He is there with a group of 13 other Art Students from Florence, guests of CSU.

    Previously he couldn’t understand me starting to blog last year and getting so worked up. But now he can.

    One of the group is an Iranian girl, and he said she was very angry over the wall to wall coverage everywhere of Michael Jackson’s death, and no mention whatsoever of what was happening in Iran.

    He just couldn’t understand CNN, which he said was always on somewhere in the campus, and which was total MJ.

    • I’m speaking of US press coverage and not what was happening in Iranian streets….but our upper crust and its press wanted the guy who bought missiles from us back in the day to get in . But as soon as it became evident the Iran-contra guy wasn’t going to get in, our upper crust and its press went to MJ 24/7.

      I sometimes think our problem with Iran developing weapons is that it would mean they will cease to buy them from us. Weapon export is one of our mainstays….we can’t have folks flying off and developing their own! /snark

    • PEJ News Coverage Index: July 6 – 12, 2009:
      “Jackson’s (and Palin’s) Star Power Drive the Media Narrative”


    • Laurie
      How is he doing over here? Remember if he needs anything tell him to call me.



      • They’re all enjoying themselves enormously, and making lots of friends. Thanks Helen.

  18. Those long deceased Roman Caesars, looking down (or up) from where ever they are now , are smacking themselves on their laurel wreaths and thinking how much easier it would have been with today’s media instead of the circuses.

    • The Caesars felt the need to give the mob bread and
      circuses….today our leaders have arranged it so they can cross out the bread part….that’s progress of a sort

  19. I just posted a thread for Live Blogging the Sonia Sotomayor Confirmation hearings!

  20. The comments at the Times are great — as one commenter noted, it’s sad when readers are better informed than the Times’ own reporters. I liked these:

    “Anyone who has their money in stocks, bonds, or T-bills can do better by spending it on hookers, drugs, and alcohol.. at least you will enjoy it and know where your money went.”

    And this one, which a lot of people understandably liked:

    “Thank heavens the bankers have been saved! While the rest of us slowly circle the drain, it gives me changeable hope I can believe in knowing that no matter how dire the crisis, that the wealthy few will be delivered from all risk immediately so that possibly some day in the distant future the rest of us may return from the brink of ruin to the former privileged wage slave status we once enjoyed. Hajalua!””

    • good stuff

      “Anyone who has their money in stocks, bonds, or T-bills can do better by spending it on hookers, drugs, and alcohol.. at least you will enjoy it and know where your money went.”

      and think how it would help the economy! lol!
      Finally a real stimulus package!

  21. By the way mablue, thanks for the news. Quite a great collection today!

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