At the center of the case is New Haven's 2003 promotion exams to select firefighters for 15 open captain and lieutenant positions within the fire department. One hundred eighteen candidates took the test, 27 of them black. After the tests were scored, no blacks scored high enough to qualify for consideration for the promotions. In response, the city decided not to promote anyone, citing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Eighteen white test takers who would have qualified for consideration for the promotions, including one who is part Hispanic, sued the city, alleging reverse discrimination. The federal district court ruled for the city (DeStefano). Upon appeal, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals initially affirmed the district court's ruling, but then added a per curiam opinion which recommended review by the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.
As <a href="http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=45d56e6f-f497-4b19-9c63-04e10199a085">Jeffrey Rosen has pointed out, "the extent of Sotomayor's involvement in the opinion itself is not publicly known." Reasonable people would probably agree that more needs to be learned about Sotomayor's role in this decision before we form judgments about her fitness to serve on the Supreme Court. But what if -- as expected -- no reasonable people materialize? Well, then: we shall be forced to consider whether or not Sotomayor is a firefighter-murdering zombie monster.
Of course, reasonable people would cite other Sotomayor decisions that clearly put her on the side of public safety officials, like <a href="http://circuit2.blogspot.com/2008/09/good-faith-efforts.html">United States v. Falso and <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-05-26/the-sonia-i-know/?cid=hp:blogunit1">United States v. Santa (which had nothing to do with Santa Claus!). But why bother when we have baseball? Baseball is a symbol of patriotism! And did you know that were it not for Sonia Sotomayor, there might not be baseball? That's what President Obama says! Just imagine what America would be like if our nation's steroid-soaked rageaholics didn't have the outlet of major league baseball? They'd probably be roaming the streets right now, raping and murdering people with wild abandon!
There you have it, America! Firefighters or baseball. YOU CAN'T HAVE BOTH!
LIMBAUGH: Do I want her to fail? Yeah. Do I want her to fail to get on the court? Yes! She’d be a disaster on the court. Do I still want Obama to fail as President? Yeah. AP you getting this? He’s going to fail anyway, but the sooner the better.
President Obama nominated federal judge Sonia Sotomayor as Supreme Court Justice on Tuesday, a position recently vacated by Tired of the Job Justice David Souter. Sotomayor would become the first Latino and the third woman to put on the SCOTUS robe. Republican grumbles in the Senate will certainly follow the nomination as some consider her too “empathetic” for the job.
In 2001, referring to her cultural and socioeconomic background - she grew up in a project in the South Bronx - Sotomayor said “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Three words: You go girl!
The Los Angeles Times:
President Obama today nominated federal judge Sonia Sotomayor of New York for the Supreme Court, positioning the longtime federal jurist to become the first Latino and only the third woman on the nation’s highest court.
[...] Obama, who has said that he wants a new justice with “a common touch” and a measure of “empathy,” also is offering a measure of ethnic diversity to a court dominated by white men in his replacement of the retiring Justice David Souter. The nine-member court includes just one female justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and one black justice, Clarence Thomas.
Last week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that the CIA misled her when they first briefed her on the Bush administration’s torture program. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) responded by saying that it was “hard” for him “to imagine that anyone in our intelligence area would ever mislead a member of Congress.” Today, Boehner made similar comments as he announced that Congressional Republicans would introduce a resolution calling for an investigation of Pelosi’s claims (the resolution failed). Boehner said an investigation was justified because Pelosi made what he called a “serious charge”:
BOEHNER: It has nothing to do about — it has nothing to do with detainees. It has nothing to do with anything else.
The speaker of the House is third in line to the presidency. And for the speaker of the House to lay this kind of charge at the men and women who are charged with helping to protect us is a serious charge.
But when reporters questioned Boehner about his own comments that the intelligence community could not be trusted when the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear capabilities came out 2007, the Minority Leader demurred. Boehner said that the comparison was “mixing apples with oranges”:
QUESTION: [I]n 2007 — I just looked at the transcript — you had accused the intelligence community of greatly misleading the nation by changing their national intelligence assessment about the…
BOEHNER: We’re mixing apples — we’re mixing apples and oranges here.
QUESTION: Why is that different?
BOEHNER: Because when the National Intelligence Estimate came out with regard to Iran, it — it contradicted most everything that I had been told in the six months leading up to it. … I was questioning how this National Intelligence Estimate could — could vary and contradict a lot of information that I’d been told for the six months coming up to it.
In fact, Boehner and his Republican colleagues worked extremely hard to portray the intelligence community as misleading Congress and the President on Iran’s nuclear capability. At the time, Boehner said that he doubted the CIA’s conclusions, while Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) called the presentation that the intelligence committee delivered to members of Congress on the Iran NIE “pathetic.” “Members didn[base ']Äôt find them forthcoming, or even well-versed in answering very tough questions,” Hoekstra added.
The partisan firefight over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s incendiary allegation that the CIA lied to Congress about its use of “enhanced interrogation techniques”—torture—is a blessing. It turns the compelling case for a public inquiry into the Bush administration’s policies toward terrorism detainees into an urgent necessity.
Conservative Health Care Group Caught Fabricating Ad Controversy As the fight over health care reform heats up, the teevee airwaves have become one of the battlegrounds. And the rivalry between pro-reform Health Care For America Now and pro-something-other-than-reform Conservatives For Patient Rights is aflame! And aflame with persnicketyness! CPR is bugging out big time, over this ad from HCAN:
After reviewing ads produced by Health Care for America Now that attack CPR Chairman Rick Scott personally, Comcast has determined that they are indeed misleading and have been pulled off the air.
"Supporters of government-run health care were taught a lesson today - they can try to change the subject, but they can't lie to change the subject. Their misleading ads against me were a desperate attempt to change the subject. They don't want to debate the substance of what we want in health care reform -- choice, competition, accountability and personal responsibility - versus their goal which is a government-run health care system where bureaucrats, not patients make the decisions. We'll continue our fight to put patients and patients' rights first and bring true competition to lower costs," Scott stated.
Now that Comcast has put an end to HCAN's misleading personal attack ad, it is time for the proponents of government-run healthcare to stop misleading the American people about the pitfalls of a government takeover, including fewer choices and longer waits for patients.
But is there any truth to this claim of Comcast laying the mad kibosh on HCAN? The Huffington Post contacted Jacki Schechner, National Communications Director of Health Care For America Now, and as it turns out, the ad was not pulled.
"Uhh, no," Schechner said, "The ad buy ran out on Wednesday." And far from being ordered down by Comcast, a second ad buy will soon see the spot returning to the airwaves. At Comcast's suggestion, HCAN will be making a single change to a single graphic on the original advertisement. "And because we stand behind the ad one hundred percent," Schechner says, "We will make Comcast's one suggested change and go back up with a second buy."
In a statement, Sena Fitzmaurice, Comcast's Executive Director for Corporate Communications and Government Affairs, backs up Schechner's side of the story: "To clarify -- Comcast has not pulled any ads produced by Health Care for America Now (HCAN) off our systems. The media buy for the ad in question expired on May 13. Comcast has asked HCAN to include a clarification in future versions of the ad."
And the change? It's not anything that alters the ad's premise: "It is literally nothing more than adding the Hospital Corporation of America logo to additional portions of the advertisement," Schechner says.
I want to tell you up front that we’re not going to ask you to do anything, to make a phone call or to write a letter or anything.
There is nothing you can do at this time about what is taking place because there is simply no limit to what the left can do at this time. Anything they want, they get and so we can’t stop them.
We tried with [Health and Human Services Secretary] Kathleen Sebelius and sent thousands of phone calls and emails to the Senate and they didn’t pay any attention to it because they don’t have to. And so what you can do is pray, pray for this great nation… As I see it, there is no other answer. There’s no other answer, short term.
Dobson recently made headlines when he conceded that the far right had lost most of the recent so-called “culture war” battles. “Humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost,” said Dobson, adding that he would keep on fighting.
Obama, Sykes, Limbaugh Slated To Be Today's Media Obsession It's a fact of life that sometimes, events unfold in such a way that you can smell a White House Press Corps obsession coming from a mile away. And while this Sunday's morning chat made me feel like a whole lot of new attention should be given to our regional partners in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region, I can tell you for certain that today's press cycle shall be given over to the subject of laughter.
Specifically, the topic of Wanda Sykes, and the laughter of President Barack Obama at this weekend's White House Press Correspondents' Dinner, and specifically a joke, made at Rush "I Hope He Fails" Limbaugh's expense. "I hope his kidneys fail."
Oh, and the joke? I don't much go in for humor based in ultra-personal, real-life death fantasies, and renal failure, on top of that, has always struck me as a particularly sad way to die. Jokes about it, and this one in particular, approach the same level of unfunniness as say, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/08/david-feherty-cbs-golf-an_n_200514.html">jokes about armed forces members gunning down Congressional leaders. (By the way, go out and make note of all those David Feherty defenders who've suddenly discovered outrage this morning. I bet you they are out there.)
The question percolating in Washington as a new week starts is whether comedian Wanda Sykes's shots at conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh at the White House Correspondents Dinner were the former, the latter or somewhere in between.
"Maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker but he was so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight. . . . I hope his kidneys fail."
"Too much?" Sykes asked, when the lines drew a mixture of laughter and boos.
That was the question debated throughout Washington on Sunday -- whether Sykes had crossed an imaginary line with her attacks on Limbaugh, turning a fun night into a harder-edged partisan affair.
And on the Today show, David Gregory and Meredith Vieira have already taken up the issue:
You can expect the White House Press Corps to pepper Robert Gibbs with questions today about how could Obama have laughed at something so terrible. Obviously, it would be unwise and impolitic of Robert Gibbs to reply this way, but one almost wishes he would respond by saying, "It was your party. And all of you laughed, too."