Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Mashup (7/21/10)

(I also posted here.)

  • I give you more “conventional wisdom” from CNN’s Gloria Borger here…

    (President Obama) did an economic stimulus plan and devoted a year to health care. He bailed out the banks and passed financial reform. And he still wants to get something done on energy and immigration, so long as there are enough Democrats to pass something.

    All of which has left an American public anxious about the reach of government in general, and, more specifically, about what all of this is costing.
    Well, despite what Borger considers to be an “anxious” American public “about the reach of government in general,” I think the following should be noted (here).


    It's no surprise, for instance, that a slim majority of the American public now believes that reducing the deficit is more important than spending or even tax-cutting to promote economic growth, according to a new National Journal poll.
    I’ll see Borger her National Journal poll and raise her two ABC and CBS polls here, with the results indicating that those polled thought jobs were more important than reducing the deficit.


    So anything that smacks of big-government right now is a no-no.

    For its part, the Obama administration argues that its view is the long view that health care will, for example, reduce the deficit in the long term. And, as one senior adviser tells me, they could end up with the best of both worlds -- renewed economic growth as well as a list of momentous policy achievements.

    In the meantime, however, they've given rise to the Tea Party and given congressional Democrats political agita. Long-term thinking can be politically dangerous.
    Those zany teabaggers would have made their presence felt regardless of what Obama said or did because of the color of his skin (I got into some of that yesterday in response to David Brooks here).

    Yeah, I know that Gloria Borger is “low-hanging fruit” when it comes to our corporate media, but still, that doesn’t mean that she should escape scrutiny.

  • Also, did you know that the unemployed are “unpleasant personalities” who don’t know how to do a day’s work?

    Ben Stein said so here, so he must be correct, right?

    That figures in a way, really, when you consider that this is the same guy who said that we are in a “psychological” recession and Exxon Mobil “needs a hug” here (he also said our deficit was “highly stimulative”).

    Oh, and did you know that Stein also said here that he didn’t like the idea of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama's plan to deliver his speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination at Denver's Invesco Field (or, as Stein put it, he didn’t "like the idea of Senator Obama giving his acceptance speech in front of 75,000 wildly cheering people,” adding that, "Seventy-five-thousand people at an outdoor sports palace, well, that's something the Fuehrer would have done.")?

    Don’t you just hate it when “Hollywood types” pollute our political discourse with their opinions?

  • (And by the way, I guess Stein is OK with this also, apparently.)

  • Also, this New York Times story tells us that Solicitor General Elena Kagan has cleared her first hurdle, as it were, to being confirmed to the High Court; the Senate Judiciary Committee approved her by a 13-6 vote, with Huckleberry Graham as the lone Repug voting in favor (which also gave him the excuse to pontificate about the confirmation process along the lines of “well, I don’t like her but I’m going to defer to the president, unlike those bad Democrats under Bush,” blah blah blah)…

    If she is confirmed as expected, Ms. Kagan, 50, a former dean of Harvard Law School and the nation’s first female solicitor general, would be the court’s youngest justice, putting her in a position to influence American jurisprudence for decades to come. She would be only the fourth woman to serve on the court, and the only current justice who did not come from the federal appellate bench.

    Although Democrats on the Judiciary Committee gave Ms. Kagan their unanimous approval on Tuesday, one, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, said he was doing so with “grave concerns.”

    Tuesday’s session was a kind of swan song for Mr. Specter, a former Republican who was once chairman of the judiciary panel. After being defeated in a primary election, he is being forced to retire. He used his last Supreme Court committee vote to complain that Ms. Kagan, who had criticized confirmation hearings as vapid and hollow, did not meet her own standard.

    “She chastised nominees by name and castigated this committee,” Mr. Specter said. “When she came before this committee, it was a repeat performance.”
    Tick tock, Arlen – you gambled by leaving the political party where you truly reside ideologically, and you lost. The rest is sour grapes.


    The committee’s Republicans cited many reasons for voting against Ms. Kagan: her lack of judicial experience; her decision, while dean at Harvard, to briefly bar military recruiters from the use of law school facilities; and her work as an aide to President Bill Clinton on matters like gun rights and the procedure known as partial-birth abortion.
    You know, it really would be nice if our corporate media stenographers would do some actual research and call out the Repugs for the liars that they are; among other things, this Media Matters post tells us that Harvard students had access to military recruiters during Kagan's entire tenure as dean.

    Stolberg’s story also tells us…

    The Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, said Mr. Graham had made him rethink his own approach to judicial nominations, including a move by Democrats several years ago that prevented Miguel Estrada, a prominent conservative lawyer and a good friend of Ms. Kagan, from having a hearing after President George W. Bush nominated him to a federal appeals court. The Estrada filibuster remains a sore point with Republicans.

    “I reflected on some of the things that I have said and how I have voted in the past, and thought that perhaps his statement suggested a better course,” Mr. Durbin said. He said he now believes “Miguel Estrada deserves a day in court or a day before the committee.”
    Excuse me?

    Are we talking about the same Miguel Estrada who was told by Bushco “not to answer questions, not to give up certain documents that would show his views on key issues that affect millions of Americans, workers’ rights, and the right to privacy, and the First Amendment, and environmental rights” at his confirmation hearing for a spot on the U.S. Court of Appeals (here)?

    Memo to Durbin and the Dems (particularly in the Senate) – just because Kagan and Estrada are friends, that doesn’t give you the right to go all wobbly and start propagating revisionist history.
  • 1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    This citizen is not afraid of the reach of government. She is afraid of the return of the 19th century.

    As for Ben Stein, he stopped short of saying what he would like to do about the unemployed he disdains.

    Would he like detention camps? I suspect so.