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Friday Talking Points [378] -- Back To The 1960s

[ Posted Friday, February 12th, 2016 – 18:15 PST ]

For those readers who weren't alive (or old enough) to experience the 1960s, this week we had somewhat of a history lesson, packaged as a Democratic debate. Now, part of why this happened is that the Democratic presidential campaign has entered into a "convince the minority voters" phase, since the upcoming two states to vote have a lot of Latino (Nevada) and African-American (South Carolina) voters. So there was quite a bit of attention spent on the Civil Rights era, which will continue right up to Super Tuesday, at the very least. We keep waiting for Bernie Sanders (or a moderator, for that matter) to bring up the term "Goldwater Girl" in a Hillary Clinton question, and last night would have been a dandy opportunity. But PBS held a much more "polite" debate, meaning lots of softball questions and ignoring any unseemly discomfort for the candidates (at least, for the most part).

Think about it: in the time that has passed since the last Democratic debate, there have been a number of interesting stories from the campaign trail, but almost none of them were brought up last night. The Clinton Foundation got subpoenaed over the whole Hillary email investigation. Her Goldman Sachs speech transcripts (which she promised, at the last debate, that she'd "look into" releasing) were not mentioned -- even though Politico ran an article this week quoting someone who was in the audience at one of those speeches saying:

It was pretty glowing about us. It's so far from what she sounds like as a candidate now. It was like a rah-rah speech. She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.

Bernie wasn't questioned about an apparent dirty trick in Nevada by some of his campaign supporters. Neither candidate was questioned at all about Nevada (we don't even think the word was used, the entire night), even though it will be the next state to vote. Nevada politics is interesting for both candidates (they both have strengths and weaknesses there) but you have to check the local press to even hear this discussion. We saw the debate as somewhat of a draw. Bernie made some good points, but so did Hillary. Both attacked sharply here and there, and both stammered through a few answers.

But the real blast from the past in the debate made us wonder if Team Bernie reads this column. Last week, when we reviewed the previous debate, we said: "Sanders could also have called Clinton on the carpet about that Kissinger praise, as well." This week, Sanders took that advice, in a big way.

There's a reason why this was so easy a criticism for Bernie to make, but again it's one that anyone under the age of 50 (or so) might miss. For those who don't really know who Henry Kissinger was, here's an easy way to explain it. First, how do you now feel about Dick Cheney? Or Donald Rumsfeld? Have you ever used the term "war criminal" to describe either of these men? Do you have a positive impression of them in any way? OK, now imagine yourself, decades in the future, watching two Democrats debate. If one of them said: "I was very flattered when Dick Cheney said I ran the State Department better -- better than anybody had run it in a long time," what would your reaction be? This is pretty close to how Democrats who remember Kissinger reacted to Clinton's praise (of Kissinger's praise of her).

Bernie Sanders remembers the awfulness of Henry Kissinger, obviously. He hit Clinton hard on the issue last night, which was entirely the right thing to do. For those still unclear, try searching the web for subjects like "secret bombing of Cambodia" or "Augusto Pinochet." That secret bombing was in fact what is technically known as "carpet bombing" and "bombing civilians without regard to their innocence." America dropped more tonnage of bombs on Cambodia -- a country we weren't even officially at war with -- than we dropped in all of World War II. Anyone still unsure about Kissinger's record can read a deep dive into that record at Salon, or an even-deeper dive over at the Washington Post.

As we noted, the entire debate was somewhat of a trip back in time to the 1960s, and the Kissinger slam was just one part of it. But again, we think both candidates did what they set out to do in this debate, which was to make themselves as appealing as possible to both black and Latino voters. Since there is a dearth of polling in Nevada (I wrote an article about how Nevada "don't get no respect" earlier this week, exploring why the media and pollsters almost completely ignore the state's caucuses), we'll all have to wait until next weekend to see how each of them did, at least with Latinos.

Republicans also had a debate last week, but the less said about that the better. Missed it? Here's a quick recap: "Fear! Be afraid! Of everything and everyone, because they're coming to get you -- and in fact they're already in your house! Run!!!"

Ahem. Well, that's what it sounded like to us, at any rate. The most notable takedown of the night was Chris Christie finding a bug in Marco Rubio's software, which caused an audio loop of a single nonsensical talking point. The Rubio-bot (or Marco-bot, if you prefer) is going to be a continuing thing for the rest of his run, that's for sure. What will not be continuing for the rest of the campaign, though, is Chris Christie -- so at least he had a final moment of debate glory before his exit. And, of course, we're also all thanking our lucky stars that the only way Carly Fiorina is going to get into the White House is to take the public tour.

New Hampshire seriously shook up the Republican field, as Donald Trump scored his first big win and John Kasich leapt into relevancy with his second-place finish. Jeb! Bush has spent tens of millions of dollars by now, but all this spending only got him fourth place -- if we were Bush investors, we'd be pretty annoyed about that return-on-investment thing, right about now.

The Republican race is so chaotic heading out of New Hampshire that we began to contemplate a rather bizarre concept -- establishment Republicans may, in the end, have no choice to throw all their support behind Trump. This might be the only way they will have to defeat Ted Cruz, whom they hate with a white-hot passion. But then, we spent a whole article on this yesterday, so you can read more of our thoughts on this fascinating subject, if you're interested.

Salon noticed a discrepancy nobody else seems to be bringing up -- the top three Republican presidential candidates have not yet publicly released their tax returns. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio have yet to take this step, which (as Salon points out) is more usual before the primaries even begin. It'll be up to the media to make a stink about this, but perhaps they're too busy reporting Trump gaffes for now. Don't hold your breath, in other words.

And finally, the governor of Maine (a Tea Partier who long ago easily claimed the "most embarrassing governor in the country" title) clarified what he really meant in his previous comments about the scourge of drug dealers: "I had to go scream at the top of my lungs about black dealers coming in and doing the things that they're doing to our state." Previously, he had denied any sort of racial context, so it's good to see that he's now just admitting what everyone suspected all along.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

This one's pretty easy this week, because the results of New Hampshire's primary were clear for all to see. Bernie Sanders won such an impressive victory that he was easily the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

Granted, this is just one state, and a small an non-representative one at that. In fact, this could be the high point of the entire Bernie Sanders campaign -- something Bernie supporters should be a little more aware of, in our humble opinion. But even with those caveats, Bernie's triumph in New Hampshire was impossible to ignore. He won every demographic except seniors. He won women voters -- by 11 points. His overall margin of victory was a whopping 22 points -- far greater than the single-digit realm Team Hillary was hoping for.

Sanders set a milestone this week, one that often gets lost in the coverage. He became the first Jewish candidate to win a presidential primary. This might not stack up against the "first woman" excitement for Hillary, but (to coin a phrase) it ain't chopped liver, either.

There are still very real questions whether Bernie can translate his New Hampshire success to many other states. From here on out, it becomes a chase for the delegates, and Hillary Clinton obviously has an edge (in fact, some are already getting worried about the superdelegate imbalance). But worries like these are for another time. Because nothing can take away a 22-point win in the first primary of the country.

Bernie didn't just have a good week this week, he had a great week. Want to hear the icing on the cake? The Secret Service has assigned Bernie a code name -- "Intrepid." Not a bad week, all around!

For his New Hampshire victory alone, Senator Sanders was easily the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Congratulate Senator Bernie Sanders on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Sadly, we have quite a few candidates for Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this time around, most of them campaign surrogates of one sort or another.

The Democratic National Committee earns a (Dis-)Honorable Mention this week, for quietly rolling back rules President Obama put in place barring lobbyists and political action committees from direct donations. The raw cynicism and business-as-usual stench of such a move will likely soon be featured in a Bernie Sanders stump speech.

President Bill Clinton's anti-Bernie tirade was pretty disappointing, last weekend, but he did point out the "Bernie Bros" online can indeed be pretty sexist and dismissive of Hillary supporters. To his credit, Sanders strongly disavowed them in multiple interviews afterwards, saying:

Look, we don't want that crap.... Look, anybody who is supporting me that is doing the sexist things is -- we don't want them. I don't want them. That is not what this campaign is about.

Representative (and icon of the Civil Rights movement) John Lewis was also disappointing this week, dismissively saying he had never met Bernie back when he led a national Civil Rights group: "I never saw him, I never met him." This was during an endorsement announcement from a political action committee for Hillary Clinton, but Bernie's Civil Rights credentials are indeed real -- and implying he is somehow making them up was a pretty low blow.

Madeline Albright caught some heat (pun intended) this week for flat-out telling women in New Hampshire that didn't support Hillary not only that they were going to Hell, but to a very special section of Hell. It's a stock line for her, but the context it was delivered in created a backlash (as it rightly should have).

But one Hillary surrogate went beyond (Dis-)Honorable Mention territory this week, so we're giving Gloria Steinem the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award. Steinem was, like Albright, trying to shame young women into supporting the woman candidate, but she did so in absolute refutation of everything she's fought her entire life for. Think that's too strongly put? We don't. Here's what she said, on Bill Maher's show, speaking about young women:

They're going to get more activist as they get older. And when you're young, you're thinking: 'Where are the boys?' The boys are with Bernie.

What is this, a "Gidget" movie or something? [For those not old enough to recognize that reference, the word itself is objectionable, being a mashup of "girl" and "midget."] Steinem is calling young women engaged in activism for Bernie nothing short of "boy-crazy teens."

Bill Maher, not exactly noted for his feminist views, responded by pointing out: "Now if I said that -- 'Yeah, they're for Bernie 'cause that's where the boys are' -- you'd swat me." He was entirely right (again, he has some much-deserved experience getting swatted over this sort of thing) -- he would have been swatted by feminists all across America for uttering such a thought. Rightly so.

The very concept should offend feminists everywhere. In fact, when the women's liberation movement began back in the 1960s, one of the attitudes they were fighting was that girls and young women were brainless beings with no more concrete aspiration in life than finding a husband. Women back then, it was widely assumed, even went to college merely so they could shop the ranks of higher-class husband material. Today, this is so outdated and offensive a concept it's hard to picture anyone even trying to defend it. Even Bill Maher.

It's beyond disappointing to hear one of the true leaders of the feminist movement use such language, and reduce all female Bernie supporters to nothing more than boy-crazy idiots. This misogynistic horse manure is what feminists fought hard against, a half-century ago. Steinem, more than most, should remember that. Apparently she doesn't, which is why she is our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week.

[Gloria Steinem is a private citizen, even though she is a Clinton surrogate, and our policy is not to provide contact information for such. You'll have to search out her Facebook page or her Twitter account on your own to let her know what you think of her statement.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 378 (2/12/16)

Before we begin, we have to issue an apology for running with a story last week about the coin tosses on caucus night in Iowa. We used the story as a hook into the entire article (it gave us a metaphor for the column's title, in other words), but as it turns out we cited an article which was an early report and did not have full data. There weren't just seven coin tosses in Iowa caucuses, and they didn't determine Hillary Clinton's win. Ironically, we used the Salon article because it was (when written) actually more complete than many others (which claimed Clinton won six out of six coin tosses -- the Salon article claimed she won six out of seven). But in any case, a big mea culpa maxima for the error from last week (which was pointed out by several commenters).

OK, enough old business, let's get on with this week's talking points. We have two to begin with which are suggestions for both Hillary and Bernie to use at the next Democratic debate, both points we think they should be making. Because of the previous paragraph, for penance we determined who would go first by flipping a coin. Hillary won, so our first talking point is for her. The other five talking points are more generic, praising what all good Democrats should be praising and deriding what needs a healthy heaping of derision. So buckle your seatbelts and hang on for the ride, as usual.

 

1
   You think this is hard? Just wait.

This is an excellent point that Hillary Clinton really should be making. For all the fears from the Democratic National Committee over the debate schedule, Hillary is actually pretty damn good at them. She can take punches, she can be forceful defending herself, and (unlike Bernie) she does so in a variety of ways rather than just falling back on a handful of campaign rhetoric. At some point in a future debate, when Bernie complains about a jab she threw at him, Hillary Clinton should respond thusly:

"You think this is hard, debating me? You think I'm being unfair and taking cheap shots? Facing me in a debate is going to be a picnic compared to facing whatever blowhard the Republicans choose. Democratic voters aren't just watching us tonight to see how we measure up against each other -- they're also wondering which of us will be the best to take a progressive stance and defend it well, when on stage with a Republican candidate. Forget the 'electability' arguments -- this is all about how hard we can fight, how intelligently we can make our case, and how thick our skins are when the inevitable falsehoods come at us from the Republican candidate. I ask all Democrats -- who do you want to see on that stage in the general election debates? Me... or Bernie? Which of us do you think will be better at taking punches in the general election season? I'm ready not just to take on Senator Sanders, I'm ready to take on any Republican now running. In fact, I'll downright enjoy sparring with them, later this year."

 

2
   You said the same thing about Obama

OK, Bernie's turn. This one is much more specific, because it is designed to counter something that Hillary is making a centerpiece of her debate performances -- how much she supports Barack Obama. She has been hugging Obama as tightly as possible, and Bernie got in one good line on the subject last night ("One of us ran against Obama. I was not that candidate."). However, this was at the very end and for some bizarre reason (the debate actually ended seven minutes early) Bernie wasn't allowed to follow it up, because the moderators ruled it was time for closing statements. Here is how Bernie should respond the next time Hillary tries to paint herself as closer to the Obama agenda than Bernie.

"I want to read everyone a quote from Secretary Clinton:

I could stand up here and say, 'Let's just get everybody together, let's get unified. The sky will open. The light will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing. And everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect.' Maybe I've just lived a little long, but I have no illusions about how hard this is going to be. You are not going to wave a magic wand and have the special interests disappear.

The thing about this quote is that she wasn't actually talking about me or my campaign. This is a quote from the 2008 campaign, and she was talking about Barack Obama. Back then, she ran against Obama as being naive for having bigger dreams than her. She thought he was naive. She thought he was some head-in-the-clouds idealist -- just check the record, there are plenty more quotes like this one. Now, she is running to continue Obama's legacy. President Obama got things done precisely because he did have big dreams. So why should America settle now for someone who didn't believe in him then, and only believes in minor changes to what he's accomplished? I believe the president made great strides because he was looking over the horizon -- not at his shoes or five feet in front of him. The American people elected someone like that eight years ago, which only goes to prove that sometimes you gotta dream big! Later on, others will praise your accomplishments, even if they can't manage to dream such big dreams themselves."

 

3
   Obama provides some irony out in the desert

These two events were largely coincidental, but the timing of them may not have been.

"This week, we saw the illegal occupation of public lands end peacefully out in Oregon, and Cliven Bundy himself arrested while getting off a plane. The protests -- both the original one at Bundy's ranch and the more recent one -- were nothing short of people demanding the right to freely take something that belongs to us all. They want to graze their cattle for free on public land, which is nothing short of demanding something for nothing. In the same week that saw the end to this lunacy, President Obama declared thousands of acres of the Mojave Desert will be preserved forever. Not only did the revolution never materialize, by the end of the week more public land had been created out West. That's a good week for the American public, all around."

 

4
   Idiotic Drug War policy may soon end

This one never made sense in the first place, so it's good to see a bipartisan effort to end such a counterproductive policy.

"In the frenzy of anti-drug laws passed a few decades ago was one policy that made no sense. If youthful offenders had ever gotten caught with drugs, they were barred from receiving federal student aid. Got that? You screw up as a kid and get caught with a joint -- you can't go to college. Shouldn't we be encouraging people to turn their lives around? Shouldn't we be standing behind people who are trying to make their lives better? Instead of slamming the doors of college in the face of a teenager caught with their stash, we should be trying to convince them that college will lead to a better life and -- in some cases -- perhaps turn them away from a crime-ridden future. I fully support the bill introduced by Senators Bob Casey, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Orrin Hatch titled the 'Stopping Unfair Collateral Consequences from Ending Student Success Act' -- or 'SUCCESS Act' -- and I strongly urge all Democrats to do the same. It is the right thing to do, and it is time to scrap a policy which was so counterproductive in the first place."

 

5
   Porn stars for Cruz!

For some reason, Ted Cruz gets two talking points this week. Well, on the bright side, Donald Trump gets none, so at least there's that.

"I see that Ted Cruz released an ad featuring a soft-core pornography actress. That's a little strange, because I didn't really think Cruz was fighting for the porn vote. It doesn't really fit in with the rest of his holier-than-thou campaign, does it? I mean... 'Porn stars for Ted!'... really?"

 

6
   Should've called Jindal

Thought that last one was bizarre? Things actually got even weirder for Cruz on the campaign trail this week.

"I see that a Ted Cruz rally was interrupted by an interesting group of people this week. Here's the headline: 'Retching hecklers attempt to perform an exorcism on Ted Cruz.' One was quoted as saying: 'He's possessed by a demon!' This is the point where I have to note that perhaps Bobby Jindal dropped out too early -- since we all know he took part in an exorcism while in college. The protesters really should have called Jindal in, for some expert advice on driving demons out of people. Maybe then, they'd have had more success."

 

7
   Be still, my beating heart

Every so often, we get the urge to write about some crazy idea for political reform. It's fun, and it doesn't hurt anybody. But once in a blue moon, the crazy idea actually takes baby steps towards becoming reality. So it is with great excitement (we live in California, we should mention) that we present this last talking point -- in the hopes we'll get to vote on it this November. We should add that we first brought up the idea (which we certainly don't claim originality for) way back in 2011, in FTP 189 (also as talking point number seven).

"A group in California has already collected 40,000 signatures for a ballot initiative which would force state legislators to wear the names of their top sponsors while on the floor of their respective chambers. The official name is 'California Is Not For Sale,' but it's really nothing more than a 'NASCAR jacket law.' Since our elected officials are bought and paid for by big donors, the people deserve to see who owns whom. The more money they take, the bigger the logo should be on their jackets. I don't even care if this law is eventually found unconstitutional, because passing it with an overwhelming margin will send a message to elected officials everywhere how fed up the public has gotten over the corrosive influence of money in politics. I urge every state with a ballot initiative process to copy this effort -- because we all know it'd be a cold day in Hell before any legislature passes such a law for themselves."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

152 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [378] -- Back To The 1960s”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    8 Enough is enough.

  2. [2] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Mrs Cruz says that the Canadian Cheater is all in for free trade - he's always been a free trader. Oops. I'd like to see her Goldman Sachs transcripts too.

  3. [3] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    wRong Paul has to be kicking himself for lying about his racist newsletters. If he had publicly embraced his white supremacy, his rEVOLution might have swamped Rmoney.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The real problem with many Americans is their tendency toward extreme hypersensitivity.

    Oh, and their lack of a sense of humour.

    Sorry, but that is how it looks from my vantage point.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Donald Trump likes to think of himself as railing against political correctness and imagines that his words and actions can only be construed as the opposite, or political incorrectness, otherwise known as the truth of the matter.

    He couldn't be more mistaken about that. I don't think Trump would know political correctness if he fell over it, much less the truth of any given matter.

    Maybe I don't know what PC is, either but, I'm pretty sure that this week's MDDOTW portion of the show overflows with it.

    Gidget is a cross between girl and midget? Seriously? I can remember watching and enjoying that show. But, then ... guess what? ... I grew up. And, rightly so!

    When Madeleine Albright repeated her mantra that there is a special place in Hell for women who don't help each other, Hillary had a big LAUGH-OUT-LOUD moment, as she rightly should have! It was hilarious!

    Here's a little free advice for the extremely hypersensitive among us who aren't quite able to leave yesterday behind:

    Take it ee-ee-zee, take it ee-ee-zee. Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand. Just find a place to make your stand and take it ee-ee-zee ...

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Madeleine Albright has an op-ed in the New York Times, talking about her "undiplomatic moment" ...

    Which she certainly didn't have to do but, it was a great opportunity for her to talk about real issues and she did a great job.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/opinion/madeleine-albright-my-undiplomatic-moment.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Rep. Lewis, on the other hand, has yet to apologize (as far as I am aware, at least) to Senator Sanders for his mean-spirited and not-so-artful smear against the Democratic presidential candidate.

    I'm guessing Bernie Sanders has too much respect for Lewis to comment other than to say how much respect he has for such an iconic civil rights leader and a good and decent man as Rep. John Lewis.

    For me, knowing who Lewis his and some of his life story, that was beyond disappointing.

  8. [8] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    'Porn starts for Ted!'

    Nice typo.....or maybe not. No one needs to know when porn starts or stops for Ted...or for that matter what porn he likes...

    I suppose he can still be "trusTed" when he disavows any knowledge of it, should make for good debate fodder.

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    goode trickle -

    Dang... fixed!... sorry 'bout that...

    -CW

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    When Madeleine Albright repeated her mantra that there is a special place in Hell for women who don't help each other, Hillary had a big LAUGH-OUT-LOUD moment, as she rightly should have! It was hilarious!

    Allow me to put it into a context where the non-humor of the quote is evident..

    A Ben Carson surrogate says the following:

    "There's a special place in hell reserved for black people who don't vote for Ben Carson"

    Still funny?? :D

    I'm guessing Bernie Sanders has too much respect for Lewis to comment other than to say how much respect he has for such an iconic civil rights leader and a good and decent man as Rep. John Lewis.

    Apparently not such a good and decent man... Nothing more than a do/say anything politician.. :^/

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    President Bill Clinton's anti-Bernie tirade was pretty disappointing,

    If you think THAT was bad, you should see Bubba's current Anti-OBAMA tirade...

    "Yeah, it's rigged, because you don't have a president who's a change-maker, who, with a Congress who will work with him. "

    What a crock!

    Obama has totally been a "change maker"... Granted, all the changes he has made, the American people have been completely against...

    But there is no doubt that Obama is a "change maker"... And Hillary would simply be more of the same... Giving herself a boost and to hell with what the American people think....

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    . The Clinton Foundation got subpoenaed over the whole Hillary email investigation.

    That makes 3 investigations of Hillary Clinton by the Obama Administration

    This isn't any "faux scandal" or any "vast right wing conspiracy"... This is a Democrat Administration going all out, balls to the wall, heavy duty, take no prisoners investigating Hillary Clinton and her actions..

    I find it hilarious how the Left Wingery constantly points to the Right Wing when it's Obama's Administration who is prosecuting these cases... :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Democratic National Committee earns a (Dis-)Honorable Mention this week, for quietly rolling back rules President Obama put in place barring lobbyists and political action committees from direct donations. The raw cynicism and business-as-usual stench of such a move will likely soon be featured in a Bernie Sanders stump speech.

    I know, right??

    As I said in the previous commentary, someone needs to remind me again how it's REPUBLICANS who are all greedy and all about money in their elections..

    Because, with all the FACTS to the contrary, I seem to have forgotten.. :D

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's going to be very easy for Sanders to refute Clinton's YOU HATE PRESIDENT OBAMA!!! attacks..

    All Bernie has to do is ask, "Who was it that said 'Com'on!! A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags!!"

    Like Trump's responses to Hillary's sexism attacks, this will shut Hillary up about trying to hide behind Obama's skirt...

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:
  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Madeleine Albright's re-statement of her oft-repeated phrase about there being a special place in Hell for women who don't help each other has obviously ruffled a few hypersensitive feathers of those who are quick to be offended or to take it upon themselves to find offense on behalf of others.

    While I have my hypersensitive moments also, I try very hard to keep them to myself and certainly not wallow in them on the internets. But, I haven't yet lost my ability to find the humour in moments like the ones created by Albright and Steinem, knowing their history and context and, in both of these cases, their complete lack of any intention of mean-spiritedness.

    Now, take the Bill Clinton and John Lewis examples that only made it to the dishonourable mention status in the MDDOTW section this week ... both men stooped to levels near the gutter in terms of the mean-spiritedness of their comments about Senator Sanders. And, both will probably find that their comments will do more to help Sanders than hurt his campaign for the Democratic nomination. They should both keep their mean-spirited comments to themselves.

    As for your Carson example ...if he were ever to say that, I am sure it would be said in jest if said at all and I'm sure some people around here would be all up in arms about it, too. :)

  17. [17] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Now IS the time for Bernie supporters to do something about the superdelegates. What Bernie supporters should do is start a petition asking superdelegates to commit to separating their personal endorsement for a presidential candidate from their vote as a superdelegate. Superdelegates could personally endorse Hillary or Bernie, but commit to putting major emphasis on the vote total in their state's primary over their personal endorsement when casting their superdelegate vote.
    Bernie supporters could also participate in Voucher Vendetta creating small contribution candidates to run against the superdelegates in 2016 as explained in previous posts and a recent comment on Revolt Against Plutocracy. This may help force some superdelegates to make and/or honor the commitment mentioned in the petition above to benefit their own campaign.

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don,

    Have you had any response from the Sanders campaign about your efforts?

  19. [19] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    my advice to bernie: go on the offense. clinton is vulnerable from the left, but in order to make real headway you have to hit hard. no gentle insinuations, say it plainly, you know hillary won't really try to uphold our principles, she'll look for a halfway point between us and the republicans, negotiate down to half of that, and end up with practically no progress at all. I'll try to achieve the things we've been all been fighting for, and i will only compromise when i have to to get things done that advance our core progressive values.

    my advice to hillary: stop using the word "i." when it comes down to it, the biggest knock on her is that she looks out first and foremost for #1. the real way to get more people on board and engender trust is to start talking about the campaign as a team effort. More about what "we" have been fighting for, more about the other people who have been active in the campaign on her behalf. hillary's toughest enemy is herself, and making the campaign about all the other people who contribute and who will benefit from her presidency is a much, much stronger position.

    JL

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As a Canadian and outsider looking in at your electoral process, I don't understand the superdelegate situation - and most of the rest of it, for that matter - but your comments make a lot of sense and sound like they would fit right in with Sanders' message ...

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Btw, Michale ... that would be Sanders's message. Heh.

  22. [22] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller (18)
    Unfortunately, the Sanders campaign as with most people or organizations I contact provided no response. The Sanders campaign may not want to respond because Voucher Vendetta is a superpac, even though I pointed out that I was merely informing Bernie of a campaign financing approach and seeking his opinion on this idea and not attempting to coordinate campaigns.
    I seem to be stuck in the "they ignore you stage". While I am not particularly enthused about the hopefully soon to come "they ridicule and attack you stage" I am looking forward to the "then you win stage".
    There must be some Bernie supporters out there capable of taking off the blinders and recognizing that it will take more than just Bernie to make a revolution and that by using Voucher Vendetta to extend Bernie's small contribution model to congressional elections in 2016 it will help his campaign and increase the chances of him getting stuff done if elected.

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don,

    I seem to be stuck in the "they ignore you stage". While I am not particularly enthused about the hopefully soon to come "they ridicule and attack you stage" I am looking forward to the "then you win stage".

    Heh. Well, the best of luck with all of that! Seriously.

    Bernie, himself, always points out exactly what you say ... it will take more than one presidential candidate to make a revolution.

    I'm still wondering about Voucher Vendetta, though. Wondering about what exactly it means and where exactly it proposes to go. Do you think a name change for your 'movement' might be in order? You know, one that would lend itself better to attracting more people and more campaign interest.

    I remember when I was trying to put together a local group where I'm from to support First Nations, Metis and Inuit in Canada in their struggle for justice. Choosing the right name for the group was an important first step. I wanted something that would compel my fellow non-Aboriginal Canadians to get involved and be something that Aboriginal Canadians could also encourage and support.

    I'm thinking that you might need a name that would do the same sort of thing. Voucher Vendetta has always struck me as not being very compelling in terms of attracting like-minded people to join the cause or support it.

    Just my two cents worth ... :)

  24. [24] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Chris,

    I would like to nominate Bill Maher as next week's Most Impressive Democrat for passing that joint around on his show last night. Mota!

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    JFC,

    I think that will be a given. :)

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But, who knows anymore ...

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am surprised there was nothing about the precedent-setting ruling from the SCOTUS that spanked the Obama Administration for over-stepping it's bounds with the rule-making by the EPA...

    This is the first time in history that the SCOTUS has stayed a regulation after a lower court refused to do so, and the first time the justices have issued a stay before any court heard the merits of the case.

    That's a pretty clear indication how the SCOTUS will rule once the case actually makes it to the court..

    Which will be under POTUS Trump, so it's likely to be a moot point.. :D

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale, remind us of your record on predicting what the SCOTUS will do ...

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, it just occurred to me...

    If Hillary is indicted, the Bill can defend her in court...

    Oh... wait.....

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Elizabeth (23)
    I thought the alliteration would make it easy to remember. Voucher is a buzzword that gets everyone's attention although I seem to have found the exception.
    I thought I had a good name for a third party, the Hundred Dollar Party, where the ideas for Voucher Vendetta evolved from but that didn't work either.
    When I realized that most citizens don't want become zealots or spend years trying to start a third party I tried to make this approach something that all citizens can use to influence any candidate or party.
    It is not a good time to change the name for now but I am open to suggestion for the future.

  31. [31] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [11] -

    Bubba's putting Obama down? Got a link for that quote?

    [27] -

    Now, what have we told you about counting SCOTUS chickens? Remember... you've been burned before!

    Heh.

    LizM [28] -

    HA! Beat me to it...

    :-)

    Don Harris -

    I do like the alliteration, but then I've been accused of overdoing it on that front, myself...

    :-)

    -CW

  32. [32] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don/liz,

    i agree that "voucher vendetta" doesn't really give me any clue as to what the thing is actually about. if someone mentioned it to me without any context, i'd think it was something to do with school vouchers. my suggestion would be to change it to "voter vendetta" - not a huge name change, but has some direct relationship to the topic.

    JL

  33. [33] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @cw [31],

    there's an apocryphal quote attributed to bill clinton about obama in 2008, where he says to ted kennedy that someone as inexperienced as obama should be carrying the bags of the more experienced candidates, not running against them. if true (which is anybody's guess), such a comment could be easily interpreted as racist, because until the civil rights era people of color used to be relegated to the lowest rungs of the service professions. even in today's job climate, it's significantly tougher for black and brown people to climb the ladder than it is for white people.

    for whatever reasons, bill clinton has long been accepted as an insider by the black body politic, so he has received a lot more leeway from them than most other politicians would. read more here:

    http://tinyurl.com/oh9yloh

    JL

  34. [34] 
    Paula wrote:

    Antonin Scalia dead. Gonna be interesting -

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris[31]/Joshua[33]

    There's another Bill quote that keeps coming up where he is supposed to have called Obama's 2008 presidential campaign a pure fantasy. I've even seen this video of him saying it just very recently but, alas, the video the media keeps playing from the 2008 campaign puts his statement completely out of context.

    What Bill Clinton was actually referring to as being pure fantasy was then Senator Obama's stance regarding the 2002 congressional vote on the AUMF in Iraq. And, Bill Clinton was right about that.

    I often commented at the time that Senator Obama was being quite disingenuous on that very complex congressional vote to authorize the Bush administration to use military force in Iraq under certain very clear conditions - conditions which Obama never acknowledged. Obama never demonstrated even a cursory understanding about what that vote was all about nor the context within which it took place.

    And, I'm damn sure he never paid any attention to the Senate debate on the issue. Although, he probably got an earful about it once he chose Joe Biden as his running mate. After making that critical choice - a choice I had been advocating for since Biden suspended his 2008 campaign after Iowa - I largely forgave Obama for his little Iraq fantasy.

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    Interesting? Maybe.

    It's certainly going to be a monumental struggle for President Obama to get his nominee through the US Senate.

    I can just imagine all that the Republicans will do to block Obama from even nominating someone, let alone confirming that nominee.

    Hopefully, the Republican strategy on this will backfire on them, big time!

  37. [37] 
    Paula wrote:

    Elizabeth (36): Yep!

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I might just add with regard to the death of Justice Scalia that if the present chaos of the 2018 presidential campaign persists, then this "seismic event" may just be what will propel Vice President Biden into the fray, in one way or another.

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Make that 2016 presidential campaign!

    Would this be enough to postpone the campaign for a couple of years? No, I don't think so.

  40. [40] 
    Paula wrote:

    Not sure I see your logic re: Biden but I guess we'll see!

    From my vantage point, the 5-4 conservative majority just became a 4-4 deadlock. That is an improvement.

    The President may not be able to get anyone in due to Repub obstruction but this may help push rank and file Dem involvement in this election coz the stakes just went from an abstraction to a reality.

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    The President may not be able to get anyone in due to Repub obstruction but this may help push rank and file Dem involvement in this election coz the stakes just went from an abstraction to a reality.

    That's an excellent point!

    As for Biden making a more prominent contribution to the 2016 campaign, he has always been deeply, deeply devoted to the notion that the POTUS has few greater responsibilities than to nominate justices to the Supreme Court. He is a constitutional scholar and actually taught constitutional law right up to the point in time when he was chosen to be Obama's running mate.

    He shepherded SC nominees through the confirmation process as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    I can only try to imagine what might be running through his head right now ...

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I can only try to imagine what might be running through his head right now ...

    I mean aside from the condolences that he will surely be making public very soon.

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Holy shit!!!!!

    Justice Scalia, longest-serving on high court, dies after hunting trip

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    I guess I am a little slow on the uptake...

    I mean aside from the condolences that he will surely be making public very soon.

    Yea, condolences on the outside..

    But you HAVE to know he is kicking up his heels and yelling "YES!!!" on the inside...

    On the other hand, if there is even a HINT of Democrat foul play...

    There will be hell to pay...

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    On the other hand, if there is even a HINT of Democrat foul play...

    Oh, I think the foul play we have to worry about will be emanating from the other side and, indeed, has already begun.

    As for Biden kicking up his heels ... you still don't understand who Joe Biden is, on the outside or inside, I'm sad to say ...

  46. [46] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet22 (32)
    Voter Vendetta does sound and work better. Maybe I can begin a transition by using in a slogan like "Join the voter vendetta at Voucher Vendetta". Thanks for the suggestion.

  47. [47] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, here's a little reading material as we contemplate what happens next:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2014/04/23/not-justice-ginsburg-but-the-two-after-her/

    A few things (I have yet to double-check this, I should caution).

    If there is a tie vote from SCOTUS (which we can expect often until Scalia's replaced -- which might not be until the middle of next year, or "the remainder of this term and all of next term" in SCOTUS years), then what I believe happens is the the appellate court decision is upheld -- no matter what it said.

    This could be good news or bad, depending on the case and who won the appeals court decision.

    There are several momentous cases already making their way through the court season, so now might be a good time to take a look at how the appeals courts ruled in each of them before they got to SCOTUS level.

    One other thing. It was a throwaway line at the time, but I bet it'll start getting more attention now -- Hillary was asked a few weeks (months?) back whether she'd consider appointing ex-pres. Obama to the court. She said she'd consider it (he was a constitutional law professor, after all).

    Like I said, I bet that quote starts getting a lot of attention...

    -CW

  48. [48] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, here's some intelligent discussion:

    http://www.scotusblog.com/2016/02/what-happens-to-this-terms-close-cases/

    still reading it myself...

    -CW

  49. [49] 
    Paula wrote:

    I loved the idea of Obama on the Court but I thought I'd read (after the question you're referencing Chris) that Obama had said he wasn't interested. I'd love it he changed his mind!

  50. [50] 
    Paula wrote:

    IF he changed his mind! sigh.

  51. [51] 
    Paula wrote:

    Repubs immediately announced they will try to block Obama from appointing a successor. Not that anyone is surprised. Indeed, the move is very Scalia-like -- he was very idiosyncratic is his alleged dedication to the Constitution.

  52. [52] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    There are practical as well as political reasons why Pres. Obama should refrain from nominating a new SCOTUS justice before the election.

    While the President (indeed any modern president) certainly always has a reasonably short list of potential candidates, he'll need time to vet and consider them. Given the campaign season, any attempt to do so will be under even heavier scrutiny than usual in a way sure to make it more difficult to make a deliberate choice. At the earliest, he probably couldn't put forth a formal nominee until April, seven months before the end of the election.

    Even were this a Democratic senate in a non-election year, it would take months of hearings before a confirmation vote would even make it to the floor. In recent decades, it hasn't been too uncommon that a first choice might have to be withdrawn and a second nominee brought forth, restarting the clock. In a same-party, non-election year, it be the summer at the earliest before a nominee could be confirmed and so after the current SCOTUS term. As Chris said, in the meantime tie SCOTUS votes affirm lower court decisions, though the opinions' content still carry some judicial weight with appellate judges in considering current and future cases.

    Chances are, even in a non-election year, the filibuster-happy Senate would drag heels for months and months, perhaps stretching this out for the better part of a year regardless just like they have the lower-court appellate judge appointments. So, even with an election, we likely would never see a justice appointed in time for the new term in the fall.

    But of course, it is not a same-party Senate and it is indeed an election year. In recent years (really the last couple of decades (since Bush v Gore), the Court has been increasingly viewed as particularly partisan, regardless of whether that's true in closed chambers. To the degree any Justice would offer advice to the President, they would prefer that any nominee be as separate from election politics as possible to help reduce that perception of judicial partisanship.

    Given how easy it would be for the Senate leadership to simply run out the clock, it seems foolish for Pres. Obama to attempt to offer a nominee before the election. If he were to simply state that no nominee will be named before the election, he would reduce the role such a choice would make in the election and allow the choice to be more deliberate than racing a clock he can't hope to beat. Now, he could use that offer to not name a nominee as a behind-the-scenes bargaining chip to wrest other appointment confirmations or even budget considerations. And from there the President might have some leverage. But a full-scale effort to push a nominee for real seems a waste of his nearly full last year in office.

    While anything can happen, the electoral college arithmetic currently favors the Democrats, so odds are in the Democrats' favor to be in the same position after the election: a Democratic president nominating with a likely Republican senate. And since Justice Scalia was a Republican-appointee, it's not like Democrats are trying to hold on to a previously Democratic-appointed Justice seat. So that favors the Democrats to hold tight and let the nominee come after the election is held in November.

    Note that I said after the election. What could be really interesting is the dynamic of a lame-duck President AND a 1/3 lame-duck Senate. What if Obama named a nominee after the election knowing full well that the Senate would have to wrestle with this before the new Senate was in session? If he did so, it might allow the new (likely Democrat) President to have a good first 100 days in office. If the incoming President turns out to be a Republican, he (no women Republican candidates any more) could simply withdraw the nomination (though now having to explain what was wrong with the previous name), but if she or he were a Democrat, he or she could leave Congress to decide the fate without having to take any risk in naming that nominee themselves if the lame-duck Senate declines to seriously consider it.

  53. [53] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    Not to be crass, as I'm sure all the Justices to a person respected Justice Scalia even if they vehemently disagreed with him (and he seems like he would have been fun to have as a co-worker even in disagreement), but Justice Ginsburg could be especially affected as I understood her to be close personal friends with Scalia. It may be in the coming months, likely well after the election, that his death affects her personal calculus.

    A new President might well have to consider more than one appointment in her or his first term.

  54. [54] 
    Paula wrote:

    Per what I'ver read elsewhere the President already has a list of nominees -- he'd be a fool if he didn't. Court members are elderly and this could have happened at any point.

    The President has a year to go. Per Charles Pierce: "17 justices have been confirmed during election years, including Roger Taney, which sucks, in 1836, Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist, who were appointed in 1972, and Anthony Kennedy, who was appointed in 1988."

    This is just Republicans obstructing like the always do. If a Repub was in office they'd be threatening to arrest Harry Reid if he announced Dems were going to refuse to do their jobs. And if that's going to be the outcome anyway Obama should make sure the country sees, loud and clear, that Republicans should not hold elected office because they continually refuse to carry out the duties inherent in their positions.

    May the congressional Republicans follow the example of the Malheur Refuge insurgents -- may they take hold of the ropes offered them and hang themselves, one after another.

    In the immortal words of Barack Obama to Mitt Romney: "Proceed."

  55. [55] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    whatever we may think of scalia's legal opinions or partisanship, we can't deny that the man cared deeply about our country and gave himself fully to his work. i think the scalia vacancy is a careful what you wish for situation, for both parties.

    yes, obama should nominate someone, and it's a chance to change the ideological complexion of the court. but think for a second about the political changes that followed the nomination battle over clarence thomas, when thurgood marshall retired. the hearings were circus-like and lurid. the nomination was a close vote. a year and a half after thomas was confirmed, bill clinton was president and the now legendary conservative hunt for his sexual misdeeds was in full swing. the roles reversed, the gloves were off, sexual foibles were fair game, and the fallout over gary hart's little dalliance in 1988 was about to seem quaint by comparison.

    JL

  56. [56] 
    Paula wrote:

    I don't think "caring deeply about his work" etal is any kind of excuse for the kinds of damage Scalia inflicted on this country. Let's start with Bush v. Gore, and Citizens United (not that other justices weren't also complicit) and move on from those.

    In terms of a political battle -- when won't there be a political battle? Circus-like and lurid? Yep, kinda like tonight's Republican debate.

    It's a bomb alright -- it just went off and changed the direction/trajectory of this election. But if we've learned anything about Republicans we've learned we shouldn't wait on anything on the the theory they might be more reasonable given theoretical-situation-that-might-occur-in-future. They take that as surrender and just up the ante. Obama needs to put a solid nominee out there immediately and then we can all step back and watch the tantrums commence. It's what they'll do anyway and even when Hillary or Bernie wins, we'll still likely to have a very tight senate and all the same pressures will still exist.

  57. [57] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Something else worth keeping in mind (which few others have yet to notice, I might add...):

    SCOTUS gets hundreds of cases on appeal, each term. They (obviously) don't hear all of them. What they do is triage -- they hold a sort of straw-poll vote on whether the case is even worthy of a SCOTUS decision.

    As far as I'm aware, it only takes 4 votes to force SCOTUS to take the case up.

    Now, think about that in the current scenario.

    If the Senate blocks everybody until the next POTUS is sworn in, then we'll likely have a full year-and-a-half of an 8-member court. The 2015/16 term is already pretty set in stone -- they've announced which cases they'll be hearing, and some of them are still left on the schedule for oral arguments, but most are already in the pipeline. They'll be decided by June, the end of the SCOTUS year.

    Next year, they'll open the 2016/17 year in October. Half the cases, they'll announce early, and the second half by (roughly) January. That is: "these are the cases we'll hear this term."

    The new president, Dem or GOP, will be sworn in at the end of January, 2017. At best, they'll immediately announce their appointment. They'll have to be vetted by the Senate committees, which will likely take at least a month or two. In other words, the earliest possible confirmation would mean the new justice wouldn't even be part of ANY of the 16/17 decisions. Maybe a few, at the tail end of the oral argument calendar, but that's all.

    So -- for the entire next term, if a case gets 4 votes, it'll be heard. But also, if a case is decided 4-4, the appellate court ruling will be affirmed.

    This could lead to all sorts of partisan mischief -- by BOTH sides.

    Something to think about.

    -CW

  58. [58] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @newman,

    strongly disagree about leaving a scotus vacancy for over a year. like it or not, obama's responsibility as president is to nominate someone to fill the vacancy at the highest level of the judicial branch, and he can likely have a nominee chosen before the end of march. any less and he wouldn't be doing his job.

    @paula,

    scalia was a hard core conservative, and that was his bias. we who lean to the left tend to believe that conservative rulings are harmful, but intense disagreement on the good or harm done by policy or legal philosophy does not make someone a bad person, much less someone to speak ill of when they've passed. if justice scalia was such a terrible person, was justice ginsberg a traitor for being his friend? like it or not, we need to share this country with people who may think it is we whose policies and rulings are harmful.

    JL

  59. [59] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @CW,

    agree completely. anyone who seriously suggests we wait for the next president isn't taking into account how long it would take for that president to nominate someone and be sworn in, and how much chaos would result from such a long period with a vacant seat on the highest court in the land. it would be the longest vacancy in over a century, at least. congressional republicans may force that scenario, but they do so at their own peril.

    JL

  60. [60] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    AND at the peril of their presidential nominee.

  61. [61] 
    Paula wrote:

    JL: Sorry to offend your sensibilities but his dying doesn't change the fact that he brought shame to the Supreme Court and, through his actions, accomplished a great deal of harm. Notice, I referenced his actions and judicial decisions, I didn't say he was a bad person -- I won't expound on that at this time.

    The fact that Justice Ginsberg liked him personally is just peachy for her -- it has nothing to do with me and in no way changes what he did. I'm not sure that enjoying opera and having a sense of humor makes Bush v. Gore more excusable, but I guess cheery, witty partisan hackery, perhaps enacted while humming tunes from La Boheme, is to be preferred over gloomy, humorless hackery enacted by people who don't like music.

  62. [62] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @paula,

    i'm sure many on the right feel the same about president obama's actions. but at some point you have to respect the person - the guy voted his beliefs, no matter how harmful i think they were. i would hope that reasonable people on the other side would treat the president with the same courtesy. although i happen to agree with you that the bush v. gore and citizens united decisions - as well as many others - were harmful, in this country our opinions aren't the only ones that matter. and that's as it should be.

    JL

  63. [63] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    another point - of the nine battleground senate seats in 2016, seven are currently held by republicans. mccain, johnson, portman, kirk, toomey and burr are all up for re-election, and marco rubio's seat in florida will be vacant. refusing to confirm a highly qualified supreme court nominee, much less two or three, would not look good for them in november. unless obama chooses a real liberal firebrand (thus far not really his style), those six may not wish to let a constitutional crisis make them any more vulnerable than they already are.

    JL

  64. [64] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    also ayotte in new hampshire. not so much mccain, i just threw him in because he's the type to vote his conscience when he's able, and on top of that the likely republican nominee basically called into question the mind-blowing five year sacrifice he made for our country and his fellow POW's.

  65. [65] 
    Paula wrote:

    JL: I can't quite put together what you're trying to say. The fact that our opinions aren't the only opinions that matter seems irrelevant to the notion of courtesy. If you are trying to say that we should be able to have disagreements with opponents about policy etc. without them having to descend into nastiness, I agree that would be nice. It does take both sides to commit to that principle for it to work, however, otherwise one side is nice and the other is awful and the awful side get's what it wants.

    If you are saying we have to pretend Scalia wasn't disgraceful because he has died, I don't agree. I agree I shouldn't go to his funeral and be disrespectful, or send nasty letters to his family. But I can most certainly continue to believe about him what I believe. His death doesn't change that. He held one of the most consequential positions, literally, that exists on this planet. He felt well-equipped to hold it as well -- no false modesty from him! So poor practice on his part wasn't just a matter of disagreement -- you say tomayto and I say tomahto -- it was cataclysmic. The difference between the importance of his opinions and mine or yours is that he held the power to enforce his opinions on the world. He is accountable, even if only in terms of the way he is thought of and will be remembered, for his use/misuse of that power.

  66. [66] 
    Paula wrote:

    JL (63): "those six may not wish to let a constitutional crisis make them any more vulnerable than they already are."

    I agree with you but we'll have to see what they think!

    It's late where I am -- g'night!

  67. [67] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @paula,

    "we should be able to have disagreements with opponents about policy etc. without them having to descend into nastiness," is at the heart of what i'm saying. however, i vigorously disagree about having to be nasty to get what you want. anyone who believes you have to be mean to be firm has never successfully taught middle school.

    furthermore it behooves us at the very least to show someone on the other side some courtesy when they're no longer around to respond. we don't have to pretend we like or agree with scalia's decisions or their impact, but being as he's gone, we have to believe that he meant well unless we have hard evidence that he didn't.

    JL

  68. [68] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    so... both.

    "Do not speak evil of the dead"
    ~Chilon of Sparta

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh, I think the foul play we have to worry about will be emanating from the other side and, indeed, has already begun.

    Oh I am sure.. :D But I was referring to foul play in the death of Justice Scalia.. Not in the aftermath..

    As for Biden kicking up his heels ... you still don't understand who Joe Biden is, on the outside or inside, I'm sad to say ...

    My mistake.. I thought you were talking about Obama..

    Yes, Biden is a class act.. We are in complete agreement on that..

    Michale

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    You remind me of someone with your comments in this issue..

    :D

    One has to wonder what would be said here if someone on the Right made the same type of comments about Ginsberg if Ginsberg had died..

    Actually, no.. I don't think we have to wonder at all.. :D

    Michale

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not to be crass, as I'm sure all the Justices to a person respected Justice Scalia even if they vehemently disagreed with him (and he seems like he would have been fun to have as a co-worker even in disagreement), but Justice Ginsburg could be especially affected as I understood her to be close personal friends with Scalia. It may be in the coming months, likely well after the election, that his death affects her personal calculus.

    Not to be even more crass, but depending on how deep her friendship was with Scalia, his death might effect more than just her personal calculus.. Her health, for example..

    Michale

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    I can't believe that Lefties are still bitter over Bush v Gore...

    Bush won EVERY pre-ruling and POST-ruling count...

    Basically, Democrats wanted to count and count and count again and count some more and KEEP counting until the desired result was achieved.. REGARDLESS of the harm that would come to this country...

    Bush was the democratically elected President of the United States..

    Your guy lost..

    Get over it...

    Paula, you seem bitter that Scalia would vote with his convictions in court... But what you fail to realize is that the liberal justices ALSO voted their convictions in court...

    You castigate Scalia for doing the EXACT same thing that the liberal justices do...

    Where is the logic in that??

    Michale

  73. [73] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale [27]

    This is the first time in history that the SCOTUS has stayed a regulation after a lower court refused to do so, and the first time the justices have issued a stay before any court heard the merits of the case.

    That's a pretty clear indication how the SCOTUS will rule once the case actually makes it to the court..

    I appreciate that you didn't know Scalia had died when you wrote this but, given CW's response:

    CW [31]

    Now, what have we told you about counting SCOTUS chickens? Remember... you've been burned before!

    Heh.

    It didn't take long for you to get burned this time! :D

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    Paula,

    What I mean to say is that, if you want to castigate the dead for their convictions, fine.. It's kinda a low blow, but at least it is logical or rational in that context..

    But to castigate someone like Scalia for having "the power to enforce his opinions on the world" is illogical when the liberal justices (whom you approve of) have *AND EXERCISE* that exact same "power"...

    You see my point??

    Michale

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mopshell,

    Yea.. This is a "burn" of Cosmic proportions.. :D

    Which is why Scalia was assassinated by the minions of Illuminati led by Leonard Nimoy...

    I read it on the Internet so it HAS to be true.. :D

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    I find it very... rude that Obama would have Scalia assassinated JUST to prove me wrong on another SCOTUS ruling.. :^/

    Michale

  77. [77] 
    dsws wrote:

    From the post linked in [47]:
    Federal judges are appointed for life. There's a reason for this, and the reason is to avoid politics on the bench.

    Why didn't someone explain that to the Federalists?

    In other words, for as long as the Supreme Court as-we-know-it has existed, it has been intensely political. It's just that the politics on the Court have been those of a few decades earlier, as when Federalist justices continued to enact Federalist policy even after the Federalists no longer existed as a quasi-party.

    Obama will nominate a far-right jurist with sterling credentials -- but not far-right enough for some Republicans in the Senate (or for Michale). The nomination will be rejected.

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, for as long as the Supreme Court as-we-know-it has existed, it has been intensely political. It's just that the politics on the Court have been those of a few decades earlier, as when Federalist justices continued to enact Federalist policy even after the Federalists no longer existed as a quasi-party.

    I disagree.. The actions of the SCOTUS have been INTERPRETED as "intensely political".. Usually by those on the losing side..

    It's along the same lines as a gun not being good or evil.. It's simply a tool..

    SCOTUS rulings, by and large, have not been political, but rather in accordance with the law as it is understood by the justices...

    At least, that's my take..

    Obama will nominate a far-right jurist with sterling credentials -

    Yea?? On what planet?? :^/

    The only way Obama will nominate a far-right jurist is if he let's Mitch McConnell do the choosing.. :D

    Or was that a typo??? :D

    Michale

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is the first time in history that the SCOTUS has stayed a regulation after a lower court refused to do so, and the first time the justices have issued a stay before any court heard the merits of the case.

    That's a pretty clear indication how the SCOTUS will rule once the case actually makes it to the court..

    I appreciate that you didn't know Scalia had died when you wrote this but, given CW's response:

    CW [31]

    Now, what have we told you about counting SCOTUS chickens? Remember... you've been burned before!

    Ahhhh But I get the last laugh..

    In the case of a 4-4 tie, the case is decided as the lower court has ruled..

    But in THIS case, there *IS NO* lower court ruling...

    So what happens then, smart people!! :D heh

    Michale

  80. [80] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The only way Obama will nominate a far-right jurist is if he let's Mitch McConnell do the choosing.. :D

    you must be reading the thread on the previous post. no apostrophe in that usage of LETS! [let us] hope mcconnell [allows] obama to nominate a moderate, which he was probably going to do anyway.

    Or was that a typo??? :D

    now THAT was ironic!

    ;)
    JL

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    hehehehehehe

    When in doubt, apostrophe it!! :D

    Michale

  82. [82] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    this is how we end up with things like chocolate covered pickles...

  83. [83] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    and why auto-correct is the bane of my existence.

  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:

    hehehehehehe

    What was auto-corrected??

    Chocolate?? Covered?? Or Pickles?? :D

    Michale

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Michale [11] -

    Bubba's putting Obama down? Got a link for that quote?

    ASK... And ye shall receive.. :D

    “A lot of people say you don’t understand — it’s rigged now. Yeah, it’s rigged now because you don’t have a president that’s a change-maker.”
    http://nypost.com/2016/02/14/bill-clinton-downplays-obama-were-all-mixed-race-people/

    Michale

  86. [86] 
    Paula wrote:

    (67): "being as he's gone we have to believe that he meant well unless we have hard evidence that he didn't."

    I don't care about what he believed -- I am remarking on what he did and the results. And even though he is no longer here to defend himself he will be judged. He will be written about, argued about, evaluated, for years to come because of the significance of the position he held and the reach of his decisions.

    His death doesn't suddenly turn terrible actions into good actions. By your logic Donald Trump's embrace of torture must equally be accepted because we can't know what's truly in his heart -- or can we? Or is it ok to be horrified at his statements now, but, once he kicks the bucket we have to speak reverently of Mr. Trump and all his works?

    So I'll take your quote: "Don't speak ill of the dead" and raise you:
    "By their fruits ye shall know them."

    (83): Auto-correct -- yep.

  87. [87] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Yea.. This is a "burn" of Cosmic proportions.. :D
    Which is why Scalia was assassinated by the minions of Illuminati led by Leonard Nimoy...
    I read it on the Internet so it HAS to be true.. :D"

    There are no indications at all that Scalia died of anything other than a completely natural death.

    However, there is some food for though. What could prevent ANY President from having a political opponent secretly killed, and then pardoning the assassin before the President's own involvement was discovered, if it ever was? Technically, there is nothing legally against that, as far as I can see.

  88. [88] 
    Paula wrote:

    Michale (74): The point isn't the having of the power, the point is the exercising of the power being held.

    Re: 'low blows" -- from the man who scatters "thug" like leaves in a tornado whenever Black Lives Matter's related events are mentioned, please.

  89. [89] 
    John M wrote:

    Elizabeth

    What about appointing Joe Biden to the Supreme Court to fill Scalia's position? Having been in the Senate, being so well know, and having so many Senatorial friends who respect him, what are the chances?

  90. [90] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John,

    Not surprisingly, that thought had crossed my mind. There are a number of reasons why that would be a good appointment.

    What are the chances? I have absolutely no idea. :)

  91. [91] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John,

    Here is what I think is more likely ...

    Vice President Biden will attempt to persuade Senate majority leader McConnell to hold a hearing or hearings for the nominee and have an up or down vote in the Senate before the end of the summer.

    If the vice president is unable to persuade the Senate leader, then - in a thinly veiled threat accompanied by a big and bright smile - he could provide a last-ditch, friendly warning to all of the oppositionists in the Senate that they will oppose President Obama's nominee at their very distinct peril.

    If there is still no nominee or confirmation process by the end of the year, then appointing Biden to the SCOTUS makes slightly more sense.

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    There are no indications at all that Scalia died of anything other than a completely natural death.

    Yea... That's what they WANT you to think.. :D

    However, there is some food for though. What could prevent ANY President from having a political opponent secretly killed, and then pardoning the assassin before the President's own involvement was discovered, if it ever was? Technically, there is nothing legally against that, as far as I can see.

    Other than the fact that, if the POTUS knew who it was before it was discovered, that would involve said POTUS as a co-conspirator...

    Paula,

    Re: 'low blows" -- from the man who scatters "thug" like leaves in a tornado whenever Black Lives Matter's related events are mentioned, please.

    So, we're both guilty...

    "Yea.. I can live with that."
    -Keeanu Reeves, THE REPLACEMENTS

    :D

    Michale

  93. [93] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    BHO could nominate Bernie as a Supreme and clear the way for his preferred candidate. Bernie could make a bigger impact against billionaires on the court than he can in the senate anyway.

  94. [94] 
    Michale wrote:

    Re: 'low blows" -- from the man who scatters "thug" like leaves in a tornado whenever Black Lives Matter's related events are mentioned, please.

    For the record, however...

    The thuggery and racism of BLM is well established with concrete and objective facts... Even the black Left Wingery officials in Baltimore condemned the "THUGS" (their word) of the Black Lives Matter racists...

    The same cannot be said for the political bigotry which condemns Scalia... Which heralds solely and completely from the afore mentioned Left Wingery...

    Michale

  95. [95] 
    Michale wrote:

    There are no indications at all that Scalia died of anything other than a completely natural death.

    Unofficially, that is the story coming out of Texas... Until a full tox screen is done, it's all speculation....

    Michale

  96. [96] 
    Michale wrote:

    But suspend belief for a second...

    Postulate a scenario where Scalia knew he was at the end of his life...

    In one final big FRAK YOU to the Left Wingery that so hounded him, he ingests poison and leaves a trail to implicate said Left Wingery...

    Michale

  97. [97] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Vice President Biden will attempt to persuade Senate majority leader McConnell to hold a hearing or hearings for the nominee and have an up or down vote in the Senate before the end of the summer.

    Considering how badly Reid mangled Senate rules to favor the Democrat Party with regards to the filibuster, there ain't NO WAY that there is going to be ANY vote on Obama's nominee..

    Let alone an "up or down" vote...

    Democrats made their bed... Now they have to lie it in....

    Democrats play with fire.. Democrats get burned...

    Choose yer metaphor....

    Michale

  98. [98] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Considering how badly Reid mangled Senate rules to favor the Democrat Party with regards to the filibuster, there ain't NO WAY that there is going to be ANY vote on Obama's nominee.

    that is certainly possible. however, unless the nominee is an absolute flaming liberal, that tactic would be highly likely to backfire on the seven or eight vulnerable senate seats the republicans will be defending in november, as well as the GOP presidential nominee.

    i.e. in that scenario the GOP senate leadership would win the battle but lose the war - especially when there are at least two more justices likely to be appointed in the next president's first term.

    in my view, a wiser strategy on mcconnell's part would be to ultimately confirm the nominee, but arrange the confirmation battle to play out in a way that lulls the liberal base and motivates the conservative base.

    JL

  99. [99] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Choose yer metaphor....

    ok, here goes:

    http://tinyurl.com/hwzwav9

    JL

  100. [100] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    Great article by Christopher Bates at electoral-vote.com analyzing the history of late-term SCOTUS appointments.

    It certainly shows my points (in #52) are not supported by past occasions and corroborates Pres. Obama's decision last night to name a nominee soon. The Republican Senate has little historical support for resisting a confirmation hearing in Obama's last year.

  101. [101] 
    Michale wrote:

    that is certainly possible. however, unless the nominee is an absolute flaming liberal, that tactic would be highly likely to backfire on the seven or eight vulnerable senate seats the republicans will be defending in november, as well as the GOP presidential nominee.

    Considering the arrogance of Obama and the Left Wingery, it's unlikely that Obama will choose anything BUT an absolute flaming liberal...

    in my view, a wiser strategy on mcconnell's part would be to ultimately confirm the nominee, but arrange the confirmation battle to play out in a way that lulls the liberal base and motivates the conservative base.

    And have a 5-4 FLAMING Liberal court???

    Shirley, you jest....

    Michale

  102. [102] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Republican Senate has little historical support for resisting a confirmation hearing in Obama's last year.

    And the Democrat Senate had NO historical support for nuking the filibuster..

    And yet, they did...

    Michale

  103. [103] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @michale [101],

    let's get specific: sri srinivasan of the dc circuit is generally thought to be the leading candidate for the nomination. he clerked for sandra day o'connor, worked under both bush and obama, is widely regarded as a moderate, and was confirmed to his current position in 2013 by a 97-0 vote in the senate.

    JL

  104. [104] 
    Michale wrote:

    let's get specific: sri srinivasan of the dc circuit is generally thought to be the leading candidate for the nomination. he clerked for sandra day o'connor, worked under both bush and obama, is widely regarded as a moderate, and was confirmed to his current position in 2013 by a 97-0 vote in the senate.

    And if he is the nominee, then we can revisit the issue.. :D

    Michale

  105. [105] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i was just pointing out that obama nominating a moderate isn't exactly far fetched.

    but then, based on the comments of trump and cruz yesterday, even chief justice roberts isn't conservative enough to pass muster. it's the senate's prerogative to reject a moderate nominee, but i don't think it would be a winning strategy for them in the long run.

  106. [106] 
    Michale wrote:

    It then took hours for authorities in remote West Texas to find a justice of the peace, officials said Sunday. When they did, she pronounced Scalia dead of natural causes without seeing the body and decided not to order an autopsy.

    Hmmmmmm

    ME pronounces Scalia dead of a heart attack OVER the phone and without ordering an autopsy..

    Yea.. THAT's not suspicious... :^/

    Michale

  107. [107] 
    Michale wrote:

    i was just pointing out that obama nominating a moderate isn't exactly far fetched.

    I would argue that point, but it would be nothing more than an informed opinion based on Obama's past and the viciousness of the Left Wingery..

    but then, based on the comments of trump and cruz yesterday, even chief justice roberts isn't conservative enough to pass muster. it's the senate's prerogative to reject a moderate nominee, but i don't think it would be a winning strategy for them in the long run.

    Unless, it works...

    "That was a stupid move."
    "Only because it failed. If it would have succeeded, it would have been a brilliant move. Such as it is with those things."

    -INFINITE WORLDS OF MAYBE, Lester Del Rey

    :D

    Michale

  108. [108] 
    Paula wrote:

    (106) Ah, the seeds of the newest wingnut conspiracy theory are loosed upon the world, seeking friendly soil...

  109. [109] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale, why don't you take a little break and go watch The Pelican Brief.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

  110. [110] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale [75]

    Which is why Scalia was assassinated by the minions of Illuminati led by Leonard Nimoy...

    Okay, this got a huge grin from me!

  111. [111] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale [76]

    I find it very... rude that Obama would have Scalia assassinated JUST to prove me wrong on another SCOTUS ruling.. :^/

    And that got a genuine laugh-out-loud from me followed by another huge grin!

  112. [112] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale [79]

    the first time the justices have issued a stay before any court heard the merits of the case.

    But in THIS case, there *IS NO* lower court ruling...

    So what happens then, smart people!!

    Um... the answer is in what you wrote:

    the justices issued a stay

    A "stay" is an order to take no further action until there's a decision -- a stay is not a decision in itself, nor is it permanent; it's just a temporary placeholder.

    the justices have issued a stay before any court heard the merits of the case.

    In other words, the case has not been heard yet. If, after that hearing, the vote is 4-4, the stay is lifted and they return to pre-stay status.

  113. [113] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale [102]

    And the Democrat Senate had NO historical support for nuking the filibuster..

    And yet, they did...

    Nuking the filibuster helps the Senate party holding the majority and that would be... the Republicans! So they have to be happy with the situation.

    Certainly McConnell, since becoming majority leader 14 months ago has failed to carry out his threat to reinstate the filibuster rule. And why would that be? Oh yes, it's because a no-filibuster rule (which applies only to the confirmation of judicial nominees) favors the majority party and that would be... McConnell's own party!

  114. [114] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale [106]

    It then took hours for authorities in remote West Texas to find a justice of the peace, officials said Sunday. When they did, she pronounced Scalia dead of natural causes without seeing the body and decided not to order an autopsy.

    Hmmmmmm

    ME pronounces Scalia dead of a heart attack OVER the phone and without ordering an autopsy..

    Yea.. THAT's not suspicious...

    I wouldn't have used the word "suspicious" so much as ineptitude on steroids. Unless the Justice of the Peace has medical qualifications, then I cannot see how that person can possibly be considered qualified to make any such pronouncement.

    S/he spoke to Justice Scalia's doctor on the phone and made their determination from that remote consultation? I agree, that's a huge FAIL right there.

    I did read that the family did not give permission for an autopsy but that remains rumor until there's reliable confirmation. Also, does the final decision re autopsy rest with the family? I have heard this is the case in America (I know it doesn't pertain here) but I'm not sure of that.

  115. [115] 
    Michale wrote:

    Paula,

    (106) Ah, the seeds of the newest wingnut conspiracy theory are loosed upon the world, seeking friendly soil...

    I am only saying what YOU would be saying if it was Ginsberg that died under the same circumstances.. :D

    Michale

  116. [116] 
    Michale wrote:

    MS,

    And that got a genuine laugh-out-loud from me followed by another huge grin!

    Yea, it was a pretty funny blurb...

    http://harddawn.com/nimoy-and-obama-killed-scalia/

    :D

    Nuking the filibuster helps the Senate party holding the majority and that would be... the Republicans! So they have to be happy with the situation.

    Regardless of who it helps or helped, the simple fact was it was unprecedented.. Which was my point to RD regarding having a SCOTUS vacancy for such a long time..

    Like CW pointed out with regards to no incumbent Party has retained the White House when their POTUS' approval numbers were below 50%..

    Things are unprecedented.. Until they are not.. :D

    I did read that the family did not give permission for an autopsy but that remains rumor until there's reliable confirmation. Also, does the final decision re autopsy rest with the family? I have heard this is the case in America (I know it doesn't pertain here) but I'm not sure of that.

    The county ME can overrule the family on an autopsy if they felt the need..

    I would think that the sudden death of a such a controversial Supreme Court Justice in such times as we face in the here and now would CRY OUT for an autopsy..

    Like I said to Paula.. If it had been Ginsberg that died under these circumstances, the Left Wingery would be batshit hysterically screaming "MURDER!!!" and "RACISM!!!" and "AUTOPSY!!!"....

    Michale

  117. [117] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, the case has not been heard yet. If, after that hearing, the vote is 4-4, the stay is lifted and they return to pre-stay status.

    Ahhh.. That makes sense. Thanx :D

    Michale

  118. [118] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in other news..

    Undercover Video Shows Why New Hampshire Needs Stronger Voter-ID Laws

    Anyone can fill out a form, say he’s a resident, and cast a vote.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/431205/new-hampshire-voter-id-okeefe

    Yea.. Voting Fraud is a myth.. :^/

    Michale

  119. [119] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in other news..

    Undercover Video Shows Why New Hampshire Needs Stronger Voter-ID Laws

    Anyone can fill out a form, say he’s a resident, and cast a vote.
    http://tinyurl.com/zrgp7pv

    Yea.. Voting Fraud is a myth.. :^/

    Michale

  120. [120] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale [116]

    Regardless of who it helps or helped, the simple fact was it was unprecedented..

    That it's unprecedented doesn't make it a bad thing. The word "unprecedented" doesn't imply good or bad in its meaning.

    That being said, McConnell has the authority (and has had this authority for 14 months now) to reverse Reid's decision re the filibuster issue. McConnell has chosen not to reverse it, presumably because he prefers it this way.

    Which was my point to RD regarding having a SCOTUS vacancy for such a long time..

    Thus far, the longest time between nomination and confirmation is 125 days. It will no doubt be much longer this time! It's unlikely to be resolved prior to the middle of 2017 and may even take 1000+ days if the next president is Democratic and the Senate majority remains in Republican hands.

    That would be unprecedented but not unConstitutional. The Constitution does not stipulate a time frame so there's no legal barrier to the process taking several years.

    The only Constitutional stipulation is that it is the sitting president's duty to nominate someone for the vacancy. After that, the ball is in the Senate's court and they can do - or not do - whatever they want and for as many years as they choose to take over the process.

    I have no idea if this will have any effect on the 2016 election. I strongly suspect that it won't. Though people are full of the news right now, while it is still new, that will pass and other news will replace it. People forget this kind of stuff really quickly, especially when it doesn't even remotely impact on their lives.

  121. [121] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michal [116]

    I would think that the sudden death of a such a controversial Supreme Court Justice in such times as we face in the here and now would CRY OUT for an autopsy..

    I agree with you! Re The Washington Post:

    One of two other officials who were called but couldn’t get to Scalia’s body in time said that she would have made a different decision on the autopsy.

    “If it had been me .?.?. I would want to know,” Juanita Bishop, a justice of the peace in Presidio, Tex., said in an interview Sunday

    But it was Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara who "pronounced Scalia dead of natural causes without seeing the body — which is permissible under Texas law — and without ordering an autopsy."

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/texas-tv-station-scalia-died-of-a-heart-attack/2016/02/14/938e2170-d332-11e5-9823-02b905009f99_story.html?tid=pm_politics_pop_b

    I am stunned that any state law would specifically provide for a medically unqualified person to make a determination of death-by-natural-causes without seeing the body or consulting with a medical examiner who has seen the body. I wonder how many other states have this law and why?

    Incidentally, that article also mentions that the family did not want an autopsy.

  122. [122] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale [117]

    Ahhh.. That makes sense. Thanx :D

    You're welcome. :-)

  123. [123] 
    Michale wrote:

    That it's unprecedented doesn't make it a bad thing. The word "unprecedented" doesn't imply good or bad in its meaning.

    Agreed...

    That being said, McConnell has the authority (and has had this authority for 14 months now) to reverse Reid's decision re the filibuster issue. McConnell has chosen not to reverse it, presumably because he prefers it this way.

    Or, being the crass politician he is, McConnell is waiting for the perfect moment to lower the hammer... :D

    As far as the issue itself.. If the Democrat Party is so sure that Hillary will win the election, I would think that they wouldn't have a problem with waiting...

    I am also constrained to point out that if the POTUS had a '-R' after his name and it was Ginsberg's seat that needed to be filled, do you think the Democrat Party would be screaming for the GOP POTUS to fill the seat??

    Of course not.. The Democrat Party would be doing EXACTLY what the GOP is doing right now...

    Am I wrong??

    Michale

  124. [124] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am stunned that any state law would specifically provide for a medically unqualified person to make a determination of death-by-natural-causes without seeing the body or consulting with a medical examiner who has seen the body. I wonder how many other states have this law and why?

    I am equally stunned...

    Granted, an autopsy will not END speculation of nefariarity..(an old word I just made up.. :D) But it might prune the hysterical conspiracy theories some..

    Incidentally, that article also mentions that the family did not want an autopsy.

    And that's likely the biggest thing that the Administration can hang it's hat on..

    I just have to wonder. Scalia was energetic and full of life the day before, as reported by those who were with him.. A man of his advanced years, if there were any health issues, they likely would have manifested themselves..

    But we're now getting back-tracking on the cause of death. ME was quoted as saying it was a heart-attack.. But then it was, "No, I didn't examine the body so I just said 'natural causes'..."

    This is a conspiracy nut's wet dream... I would check for any Russian's in the area.. :D heh

    Michale

  125. [125] 
    Michale wrote:

    Looks like the rank and file of the Democrat Party is in revolt..

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/bernie-sanders-superdelegates-democrats-219286

    What do ya'all say??? :D

    Michale

  126. [126] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-123

    Why does the Obama Admin have to "hang it's hat" on anything to do with Scalia's cause of death? What part of the Constitution makes POTUS Coroner in Chief? Where is the original intent, as the late Justice might have wondered?

    The whole thing was handled badly, but it was just Texas badly, a combination of weak laws and politeness. With a dash or two of loose terminology. "Last rites" implies (in common speech) that the Justice was alive when discovered, the press and local official narratives say he wasn't. Inconsistent narratives feed conspiracy mongering, which took about 10 minutes to get started after the news broke. So does the family's understandable desire for a timely funeral w/o autopsy.

    So, if you want to bring up the Russian's, why not bring up Last Rights Rockeller Style, if you catch my drift (any EMT will tell you stories, probably true). The guy was 79 years of age, and he had been putting on weight for 30 public years. In the last few he was beginning to look like Jabba Hut. He was at high risk for sudden death. If you dispute the call, than bring it up with Texas officials, or maybe the Scalia family.

  127. [127] 
    Michale wrote:

    The whole thing was handled badly,

    And that's all I am saying...

    Considering the circumstances and who is going to catch the fallout, it would behoove the Obama Administration to push the "transparency" model that they so love to claim they cherish...

    . If you dispute the call, than bring it up with Texas officials, or maybe the Scalia family.

    The FIRST thing an investigator asks themselves is "WHO BENEFITS??"

    And, also keep in mind. I am not saying ANYTHING that the Left Wingery wouldn't be saying if it had been Ginsburg who had died and faced these circumstances..

    I am just saying it a lot less hysterically... :D

    Michale

  128. [128] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Mr. President, your silence about these events SPEAKS VOLUMES!!!! PS: I'll be standing outside in the cold next week with my deputies for the funerals of the Harford Co deputies; I'll save you a spot next to me!"
    -Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees

    Obama jumps to the media whenever any two-bit thug is legitimately killed by LEO and security personnel...

    But when cops are brutally murdered LOD??

    {cchiiiirrrrrppppp}{{chiiirrrrrrpppppppp}}

    Nuttin' but crickets...

    When was the last time Obama attended a cop's funeral??

    Michale

  129. [129] 
    Michale wrote:

    And remind the few... When ill of us they speak...

    That we are all that stands between the monsters and the weak....

  130. [130] 
    Paula wrote:

    Personally I'd be fine with an autopsy being done just to put suspicion to rest. Uncertainty will only feed paranoia. Of course then we end up having to vet everyone involved in the autopsy because who knows who might have been planted to fake results…that's the problem when paranoia starts to run rampant (I'm serious here -- not being sarcastic).

  131. [131] 
    Michale wrote:

    Paula,

    Personally I'd be fine with an autopsy being done just to put suspicion to rest.

    And that's all I am saying.. Like I said above, an autopsy won't shut up conspiracy nuts completely... But it will give them one less thing, one less BIG thing to rail about...

    If the President or Vice President were to die in their sleep with absolutely NO SIGN of foul play....

    You can bet that an autopsy would be the VERY FIRST thing done...

    While the death of a SCOTUS Justice is not a President or a VP, it's still sufficiently high up on the IMPORTANCE scale that an autopsy would be SOP....

    At least one would think it would be SOP...

    Michale

  132. [132] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale [124]

    Looks like the rank and file of the Democrat[sic] Party is in revolt..

    What do ya'all say???

    They've been at each other's throats for months now. It's just like the acrimony in 2007-8 all over again. Frankly I find it tedious and childish. It's all "my candidate is better than your candidate neener neener neener". It's downright embarrassing (and politically foolish) to see adults acting like this.

  133. [133] 
    Michale wrote:

    MS,

    Speaking of tedious and childish...

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/clinton-hillary-nevada-blowback-219295

    What IS it about politicians that they represent the WORST of humanity??

    This isn't a Right V Left issue..

    Michale

  134. [134] 
    Michale wrote:

    In Nevada, a tightening race threatens Clinton’s post-New Hampshire ‘firewall’
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-nevada-a-tightening-race-threatens-clintons-post-nh-firewall/2016/02/15/ad347b48-d327-11e5-be55-2cc3c1e4b76b_story.html

    Hillary's firewall in Nevada is fizzling out!

    FEEL DA BERN!!!!

    :D

    Michale

  135. [135] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here's a WAG scenario for ya'all to contemplate..

    Michael Bloomberg throws his hat into the POTUS-ial ring as an Independent when it looks like Trump has the nomination and Bernie defeats Clinton in the Dem primary...

    Then the GOP pisses off Trump, Cruz is the nominee and Trump ALSO runs as an Independent..

    Comments??

    Bonus round..

    Hillary, still hoping for the White House, ALSO throws in her hat as an Independent...

    So, a Democrat, a Republican and 3 Independents all running for President.. :D

    Michale

  136. [136] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, a Democrat, a Republican and 3 Independents all running for President.. :D

    Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke..

    A Democrat, a Republican and 3 Independents walk into a bar.

    heh

    Michale

  137. [137] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's ask REAL cops what they think of a lack of autopsy in Scalia's death..

    “He’s not at home. There are no witnesses to his death, and there was no reported explanation for why a pillow is over his head. So I think under the circumstances it’s not unreasonable to request an autopsy. Despite the fact that he has pre-existing ailments and the fact that he’s almost 80 years old, you want to be sure that it’s not something other than natural causes.”
    -Retired NYPD Detective

    “I took a look at the report and I almost fell out of my chair. Every death investigation you are handling, you consider it a homicide until the investigation proves otherwise. How do you know that person wasn’t smothered? How do you know it’s not a homicide until you conduct an investigation? You have to do your job. Once you go through that process, you can conclude that this is a naturally occurring death.”
    -Retired Homicide Instructor
    http://nypost.com/2016/02/15/detectives-question-lack-of-autopsy-in-scalia-death/

    Michale

  138. [138] 
    Michale wrote:

    So Clinton's on a stump speech and she is saying how kewl it would be if the had a dog that would follow Republicans around and, every time the Republicans lied, the dog would bark..

    "One of my favorite political ads of all time was a radio ad in rural Arkansas where the announcer said, 'Wouldn't it be great if somebody running for office said something, we could have an immediate reaction to whether it was true or not. Well, we have trained this dog. Well, the dog, if it is not true, he is going to bark,'" Clinton said. "And the dog was barking on the radio and so people were barking at each other for days after that. I want to figure out how we can do that with Republicans. We need to get that dog and follow them around and every time they say these things like, 'Oh, the Great Recession was caused by too much regulation,' arh, arh, arh, arh."
    -Hillary Clinton

    Awww right.. Awww right...

    "I dodged sniper fire in Bosnia"

    arh, arh, arh, arh

    "I used a private insecure bathroom closet email server solely for convenience."

    arh, arh, arh, arh

    "I did not send classified information thru my private insecure bathroom closet email server."

    arh, arh, arh, arh

    "The classified information I sent thru my private insecure bathroom closet email server was not classified at the time."

    arh, arh, arh, arh

    Hillary is right..

    This IS fun!! :D

    Michale

  139. [139] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I was named for Sir Edmund Hillary"

    arh, arh, arh, arh

    "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

    arh, arh, arh, arh

    "I didn't inhale.."

    arh, arh, arh, arh

    :D

    Michale

  140. [140] 
    John M wrote:

    "arh, arh, arh, arh"

    Sounds like you have been watching too much "Galaxy Quest" Michale. GRIN

  141. [141] 
    Michale wrote:

    And the hits just keep on coming...

    ANOTHER CLINTON LOVER SPILLS; FEARS HILLARY; SLEEPS WITH LOADED GUN

    EXCLUSIVE: 'He put on my frilly nightie, and danced around playing his sax.' Former Miss Arkansas says Bill Clinton was so-so in bed and confided Hillary was into sex with women. Now she fears Hillary vendetta and sleeps with loaded semi-automatic
    Bill Clinton's lovemaking was largely forgettable, says ex-mistress Sally Miller, but Clinton would rarely disappoint when divulging intimate secrets
    Miller, then 44, would leave her back door ajar so her seven-years younger paramour - then Governor of Arkansas - could slip in
    Known then as Sally Perdue, she claims during pillow talk he revealed Hillary preferred female lovers
    The former singer and radio host, is preparing to dish more secrets of their three-month affair in a tell-all memoir
    She is convinced that the Democratic presidential candidate is behind a plot to silence her ahead of November election
    Miller insists she has been stalked, spied upon and plagued by anonymous phone calls since word of her memoir leaked out
    'There is a vengeful, spiteful ugliness that some women have for other women. Hillary is just one of those women.'

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3427366/He-frilly-nightie-danced-playing-sax-Former-Miss-Arkansas-says-Bill-Clinton-bed-confided-Hillary-sex-women-fears-Hillary-vendetta-sleeps-loaded-semi-automatic.html#ixzz40MBHve4z

    I almost feel sorry for Hillary...

    Almost...

    Michale

  142. [142] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sounds like you have been watching too much "Galaxy Quest" Michale. GRIN

    hehehehehehehehehe

    Well, that was the way the article phrased it, but yea. I see yer point..

    That was damn funny, John M!! :D

    Michale

  143. [143] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "That was damn funny, John M!! :D"

    Thank you. :-) I have to admit that I love it when that kind of stuff just seems to write itself. Like when Gary Hart was busted for having an affair on a boat called "Monkey Business." Who could make this stuff up??? :-)

  144. [144] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh my gods, this is HILARIOUS!!!!

    'Who Let the Dogs Out' - featuring Hillary Clinton
    https://youtu.be/KgCP9vOUd1o

    Michale

  145. [145] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Oh my gods, this is HILARIOUS!!!!

    'Who Let the Dogs Out' - featuring Hillary Clinton
    https://youtu.be/KgCP9vOUd1o"

    Oh that was so bad!!! But I have to agree with you at the same time, too funny!!!

  146. [146] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/02/wow-trump-invites-supporters-on-stage-for-handling-protester-crowd-erupts-when-he-says-hes-a-veteran-video/

    This is why Trump will win..

    Because he gets it...

    And the American people get that he gets it..

    Michale

  147. [147] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/17/politics/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-nevada-poll/index.html

    So much for Hillary's Nevada Firewall...

    NEVADA IS FEELING DA BERN!!! :D

    Michale

  148. [148] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "This is why Trump will win..

    Because he gets it...

    And the American people get that he gets it.."

    No, this is exactly why Trump will LOSE. This was absolutely shameful. Just think about it for a moment. This veteran, who supposedly fought for everyone's freedom here at home, is being praised for acting out with violence against someone's who's free speech he disagreed with!!! Contrast this with the Bernie Sander's rally, where the protesters were actually allowed to come up on stage and allowed to state their viewpoint, and Sanders ASKED the crowd to actually LISTEN to them!

  149. [149] 
    Michale wrote:

    Contrast this with the Bernie Sander's rally, where the protesters were actually allowed to come up on stage and allowed to state their viewpoint, and Sanders ASKED the crowd to actually LISTEN to them!

    Yea, if you cherry pick your protesters..

    Here's MY example of a protester..

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/02/17/decorated-marine-vet-attacked-robbed-at-washington-dc-mcdonalds-police-say.html

    The problem with the Left Wingery's idea of protesters is that THEY ignore anyone ELSE's right to free speech..

    Remember the Left Winger idiot who requested "muscle" to remove a reporter???

    The Left Wingery is REPLETE with people trying to muzzle free speech of those they disagree with..

    NO ONE here seems to have a problem with it THEN??

    So why have a problem with it at a Trump rally???

    Michale

  150. [150] 
    Michale wrote:

    The right to swing your arms ends where someone else's nose begins

    In other words, you are not allowed to use YOUR freedom of speech to infringe on someone ELSE's freedom of speech..

    It's that simple...

    Michale

  151. [151] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    A Democrat, a Republican and 3 Independents walk into a bar

    they both sit down.

  152. [152] 
    Michale wrote:

    A Democrat, a Republican and 3 Independents walk into a bar

    they both sit down.

    heh

    Good one.. :D

    {knock, knock}
    "Oh dear god, what horrible pestilence have you delivered unto me now!?"
    "Alan!?? It's mommy."
    "...... good one..."

    TWO AND HALF MEN

    :D heh

    Michale

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