Greg Prince's Blog

Musings and pontifications from a reality based progressive

Archive for May, 2009

Marvin K. Mooney will you please go now?

Posted by Greg on May 27, 2009

Norm Coleman had a story written about him.

And he refuses to get the hint.

But how pathetic is this?

When debating judges, I was firm that I would use the same standard to evaluate judges under a Democrat President as I would a Republican President. Are they intellectually competent, do they have a record of integrity, and most importantly, are they committed to following the Constitution rather than creating new law and policy. When I am re-elected, I intend to review Judge Sotomayor’s record using this process. Certainly, the nomination of a Hispanic woman to the nation’s highest court is something all American’s should applaud.

Norm, how about a nice cup of STFU!

Posted in My Musings | Leave a Comment »

That didn’t take long

Posted by Greg on May 26, 2009

While disappointing to civil rights advocates, the California Supreme Court ruling upholding Proposition 8 is not unexpected.  The revision vs. amendment line was always considered a long shot.

Courage Campaign already has a new ad.

Posted in Civil Rights | Leave a Comment »

It’s Sotomayor

Posted by Greg on May 26, 2009

Apparently Obama got the memo, my favorite, Sonia Sotomayor, will be nominated for the Supreme Court this morning.  This bio from the NYTimes has been cited so much it’s amost trite by now, but it bears repeating.

Her potential appeal to President Obama as a nominee to the Supreme Court also derives in part from her personal story, a version of the up-from-modest-circumstances tales that have long been used to build political support. Judge Sotomayor, 54, grew up in a Bronx housing project, a child of Puerto Rican parents. She would be the court’s first Hispanic justice.

Her father died when she was 9, leaving her mother to raise her and a brother. In speeches to Latino groups over the years, Judge Sotomayor has recalled how her mother worked six days a week as a nurse to send her and her brother to Catholic school, purchased the only set of encyclopedias in the neighborhood and kept a warm pot of rice and beans on the stove every day for their friends.

She loved Nancy Drew mysteries, she once said, and yearned to be a police detective. But a doctor who diagnosed her childhood diabetes suggested that would be difficult. She traded her adoration of Nancy for an allegiance to Perry — she became a fan of Perry Mason on television, she said, and decided to become a lawyer.

She went to Princeton, which she has described as a life-changing experience. When she arrived on campus from the Bronx, she said it was like “a visitor landing in an alien country.” She never raised her hand in her first year there. “I was too embarrassed and too intimidated to ask questions,” Judge Sotomayor said.

In one speech, she sounded some themes similar to Mr. Obama’s description of his social uncertainties as a biracial youth in a largely white society.

“I have spent my years since Princeton, while at law school and in my various professional jobs, not feeling completely a part of the worlds I inhabit,” she said, adding that that despite her accomplishments, “I am always looking over my shoulder wondering if I measure up.”

After graduating summa cum laude from Princeton, she went to Yale Law School, worked for Robert M. Morgenthau in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and spent time in private practice before being named to the bench.

She will be a worthy addition, and thank heavens they didn’t listen to the idiocy coming from TNR on her record and abilities.

UPDATE:

The wingnuts are going to piss and moan about a clip where she speaks of the appeals court making policy.

All good and fine, but that’s not what she actually said.  Listen  to the whole thing.

She’s talking about the difference between appeals court, where you are looking at precedent and district court which deals with facts of the individual case.  It makes perfect sense and is completely accurate when you look at the whole thing.  Doesn’t mean the wingnuts won’t trumpet soundbites that mislead and lie.

Posted in Justice and the Courts | Leave a Comment »

More time in the wilderness

Posted by Greg on May 26, 2009

I’ve heard the assorted wingnut speak longingly about this type of thing, but to actually propose it in Congress?

U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, a Republican candidate for governor of Georgia, has proposed changing the long-standing federal policy that automatically grants citizenship to any baby born on U.S. soil, a move opposed by immigrant rights advocates.

Supporters of Deal’s proposal say “birthright citizenship” encourages illegal immigration and makes enforcement of immigration laws more difficult. Opponents say the proposed law wouldn’t solve the illegal immigration problem and goes against this country’s traditions of welcoming immigrants.

Automatic citizenship is enshrined in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which says: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

Posted in Congress, Culture War, Immigration | Leave a Comment »

The Reagan Recession, 2008 style

Posted by Greg on May 24, 2009

Interesting review of the natural consequences of policies attractive to Reagan Democrats.

The reality is that the Reagan Democrats revolted against the very system that had protected and fostered them, and in two directions. The metro map here shows one direction: the raw slagging of unemployment in the Upper Mid-West, Coastal areas, and the Atlantic Coast south is clear. The other direction is seen, ironically, in a long belt of low unemployment that runs along the Great Plains. How is low unemployment a problem? In itself, it is not. However, these are areas where it is virtually impossible to be unemployed; and so rather than stay and remain unemployed (there being no government programs to keep them there) young people pour out of these empty stretches, which include parts of the North-East such as rural Maine. This youth drain is a deep political and social issue in these areas.

Posted in Economics | Leave a Comment »

Taking Gibbs to the mat

Posted by Greg on May 21, 2009

Posted in Civil Rights | Leave a Comment »

Keeping on the heat

Posted by Greg on May 21, 2009

Gibbs gets yet another question on the Obama administrations lack of attention to civil rights issues:

Good on Cox.  I’m reminded of the story of FDR who counselled advocates that it’s good they agreed with him, but the responsibility was theirs to make him follow through.  Obama has made many committments toward gay civil rights, restoring rule of law in Washington, etc.  The administration’s feet needs to be held to the fire to make things turn into reality.

Posted in Civil Rights, Obama Administration | Leave a Comment »

Not gonna make the cut

Posted by Greg on May 20, 2009

So who CAN Obama nominate that would get GOP approval?

Love the Bachmann dig.

HT: Joe My God

Posted in Humor, Justice and the Courts, Minnesota, The Right | Leave a Comment »

California dreaming, of meltdown

Posted by Greg on May 20, 2009

So California voters aren’t interested in the state remaining solvent.

Curious.  John Cole observes:

You are a state DOMINATED by Democrats, yet plague us all with the craziest Republicans in the country in Congress, you are lagging behind Iowa in terms of civil rights, and you consistently refuse to outvote the smattering of fanatical anti-tax Republicans who show up to vote down any ballot initiative to balance your budget. Can anyone give me reasons I should feel sympathy?

He shouldn’t.

Megan McArdle notes:

There is a surprisingly sizeable blogger contingent arguing that we have to bail them out because however regrettable the events that lead here, we now have no choice. But actually, we do have a choice: we could let them go bankrupt. And we probably should.

When a state is hell bent on being ungovernable, maybe we should just all sit back and watch for a while?  Eventually things will get bad enough they write a new state Constitution and fix things.

Posted in Economics | Leave a Comment »

Giving it to them straight

Posted by Greg on May 19, 2009

It’s not often I’m proud of my former governor, but he’s done a good job these days…

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap | Leave a Comment »

Not adding up

Posted by Greg on May 18, 2009

A great review of the Honda Insight from the Times UK.

In a Prius the electric motor can, though almost never does, power the car on its own. In the Honda the electric motor is designed to “assist” the petrol engine, providing more get-up-and-go when the need arises. The net result is this: in a Prius the transformation from electricity to petrol is subtle. In the Honda there are all sorts of jerks and clunks.

And for what? For sure, you could get 60 or more mpg if you were careful. And that’s not bad for a spacious five-door hatchback. But for the same money

you could have a Golf diesel, which

will be even more economical. And hasn’t been built out of rice paper to keep costs down.

I cannot see how making a car with two motors costs the same in terms of resources as making a car with one.

The nickel for the battery has to come from somewhere. Canada, usually. It has to be shipped to Japan, not on a sailing boat, I presume. And then it must be converted, not in a tree house, into a battery, and then that battery must be transported, not on an ox cart, to the Insight production plant in Suzuka. And then the finished car has to be shipped, not by Thor Heyerdahl, to Britain, where it can be transported, not by wind, to the home of a man with a beard who thinks he’s doing the world a favour.

Why doesn’t he just buy a Range Rover, which is made from local components, just down the road? No, really — weird-beards buy locally produced meat and vegetables for eco-reasons. So why not apply the same logic to cars?

At this point you will probably dismiss what I’m saying as the rantings of a petrolhead, and think that I have my head in the sand.

That’s not true. While I have yet to be convinced that man’s 3% contribution to the planet’s greenhouse gases affects the climate, I do recognise that oil is a finite resource and that as it becomes more scarce, the political ramifications could well be dire. I therefore absolutely accept the urgent need for alternative fuels.

But let me be clear that hybrid cars are designed solely to milk the guilt genes of the smug and the foolish.

I’ve taken just a few bits from a significantly longer piece that you really owe it to yourself to read in full.

Hat tip to Timothy Sandefur

Posted in Economics | Leave a Comment »

The cost of poverty

Posted by Greg on May 18, 2009

A good piece in WaPo explaining how those with less end up paying more.

Posted in Economics | Leave a Comment »

A conservative on the court

Posted by Greg on May 18, 2009

A good review of how modesty and humility measure up on the Roberts’ court.

When Antonin Scalia joined the Court, in 1986, he brought a new gladiatorial spirit to oral arguments, and in subsequent years the Justices have often used their questions as much for campaign speeches as for requests for information. Roberts, though, has taken this practice to an extreme, and now, even more than the effervescent Scalia, it is the Chief Justice, with his slight Midwestern twang, who dominates the Court’s public sessions.

Roberts’s hard-edged performance at oral argument offers more than just a rhetorical contrast to the rendering of himself that he presented at his confirmation hearing. “Judges are like umpires,” Roberts said at the time. “Umpires don’t make the rules. They apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire.” His jurisprudence as Chief Justice, Roberts said, would be characterized by “modesty and humility.” After four years on the Court, however, Roberts’s record is not that of a humble moderate but, rather, that of a doctrinaire conservative. The kind of humility that Roberts favors reflects a view that the Court should almost always defer to the existing power relationships in society. In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff. Even more than Scalia, who has embodied judicial conservatism during a generation of service on the Supreme Court, Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the contemporary Republican Party.

Posted in Justice and the Courts | Leave a Comment »

Alexander Rybak wins Eurovision 2009 for Norway

Posted by Greg on May 16, 2009

Not the best set of pipes, but the kid is fun to watch in this and in other things I’ve seen.  Well earned!

Here’s the Eurovision blurb, with a little bio on Alex.  He’s an actual musician – piano and violin, composes, has already performed with many big names.  Read it here.

Posted in Entertainment | Leave a Comment »

Stewart rips them, Part 2

Posted by Greg on May 15, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Stewart rips them, Part 2", posted with vodpod

Posted in My Musings | Leave a Comment »