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Sisyphus Shrugged
Lasciate ogni speranza and put your feet up.

Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor received the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, just hours after Obama paid tribute to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic woman to sit on the high court.

“When a young Sandra Day graduated from Stanford Law School near the top of her class — in two years instead of the usual three — she was offered just one job in the private sector. Her prospective employer asked her how well she typed and told her there might be work for her as a legal secretary,” Obama said before hanging the medal around O’Connor’s neck. “Now, I cannot know how she would have fared as a legal secretary, but she made a mighty fine justice of the United States Supreme Court

ahhhs. -- hmmm?
another post up at Thers and Molly's
ahhh. -- hmmm?
Thers tossed me a set of keys, so I posted about Governor Sanford's latest troubles over at Whiskey Fire
There are teachers who stay with you your whole life. Mr. McCourt was one of mine.

I was one of those neurotic high school kids he talked about in Angela's Ashes whose dramatic little miseries confounded him in the face of his own great one. It's a measure of the man that I never knew that. All I knew was that he was smart and honest and sharp and funny and kind. He occasionally came to first period exuding a faint air of last night's Guinness (which at the time I thought was terribly glamorous) but always on time and prepared and treating his job with respect and ready to pay attention to us.

He was the first person to tell me I was a writer, and I was starstruck enough that I believed it.

I bought his book the first day it came out. To me, it was a celebrity biography. Her Majesty was just born, and I was still figuring out being a parent, and the whole redemption thing really helped. I got a later edition signed. That first one was all mine.

I got a few of his books signed. He seemed at peace, and I was really glad.

I am glad. I'm glad that he had those last years of people listening to his stories, and I'm glad that his last marriage was a happy one, and I'm glad that he got to know the children of his much-beloved daughter.

And I'm really glad the rest of you got to meet him.

Rest in peace, Mr. McCourt.
ahhhs. -- hmmm?

They were careless people, Tom and Daisy-they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money and vast carelessness

— F Scott Fitzgerald

Bush laughs when he hears that Joe the Plumber briefed House Republicans on Gaza. He doesn't seem to really believe it. Brother and son of recent Republican presidents, he doesn't seem to fully understand what's going on in the party his family has dominated for more than two decades. "Joe the Plumber? Really?" he says. "Well, that... Really?" In response, he mounts a defense of erudition and expertise.

— Tucker Carlson

I think it's okay to have a deeper understanding of things. I think it's okay to talk in three-syllable words. The world we're living in is incredibly complex. And simplifying things to the point where you're misunderstanding where we are as a nation isn't going to help people overcome their fears or give them hope that they can achieve great things. I don't get inspired by shameless populism.

— Jeb! Bush

bonus specialtude: the complex Bush brother apparently has his own issues with long words. That's not actually how "collectivism" works, but since Jeb! supports his brother's bailout, I'm kind of charmed to hear that he thinks so.
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so via Thers I see that some random edgy scenester wrote a bathroom wall-level list of pensées (erm, "vile little épater") about conservative women he'd like to chasten with the mighty power of his luggage, and for some reason Playboy published it online* (I'm guessing Blanche is putting on lipstick because she has a gentleman caller coming).

the rude partCollapse )
ahhhs. -- hmmm?

Ask your local etiquette expert what this gesture signifies

The Times has taken up the burning question of Sonia Sotomayor's temperament
Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s Supreme Court choice, has a blunt and even testy side, and it was on display in December during an argument before the federal appeals court in New York. The case concerned a Canadian man who said American officials had sent him to Syria to be tortured, and Judge Sotomayor peppered a government lawyer with skeptical questions.

“So the minute the executive raises the specter of foreign policy, national security,” Judge Sotomayor asked the lawyer, Jonathan F. Cohn, “it is the government’s position that that is a license to torture anyone?”

Mr. Cohn managed to get out two and a half words: “No, your hon—— .”

Judge Sotomayor cut him off, then hit him with two more questions and a flat declaration of what she said was his position. The lawyer managed to say she was wrong, but could not clarify the point until the chief judge, Dennis G. Jacobs, stepped in, asking, “Why don’t we just get the position?”

To supporters, Judge Sotomayor’s vigorous questioning of the Bush administration’s position in the case of the Canadian, Maher Arar, showcases some of her strengths. She is known as a formidably intelligent judge with a prodigious memory who meticulously prepares for oral arguments and is not shy about grilling the lawyers who appear before her to ensure that she fully understands their arguments.

But to detractors, Judge Sotomayor’s sharp-tongued and occasionally combative manner — some lawyers have described her as “difficult” and “nasty” — raises questions about her judicial temperament and willingness to listen.

and right down as far below the fold as they could get and still be in the same article, they give you Mr. Cohn's reaction (which, unlike most of the negative responses in the article, was not anonymous)
Mr. Cohn, the government lawyer in the Arar case, said he had not been taken aback by Judge Sotomayor’s volley of inquiries. “I thought her questions and demeanor were reasonable and fine,” he said.
McClatchy, who I usually like, was equally silly with the lede on their article

Judge Sonia Sotomayor can be blunt, aggressive and impatient. So get ready for another public debate, and probably some insinuations, about her judicial temperament.

Twenty-two years ago, Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination foundered in part over similar questions.
Um, yeah. That's what I remember Bork foundering over. The way he was bitchy to Archibald Cox when he had his period.

From what I can see, Judge Sotomayor (although I'm an unabashed fan of her life story) is not a clear win for the DFHs of the left. Considering that she got her current job from a Republican president, there's a case to be made that she's not a clear loss for the right.

In either case, it would be far easier to weigh the merits of the claims on both sides if people stopped talking nonsense.

I vote reporters first.

ahhhs. -- hmmm?
they say Michael Steele is a bad female parent (close your mouth) but I'm making reference to Michael Steele (then we are essentially in agreeance)

Michael Steele says he takes no offense to [sic] President Obama's teasing at last week's White House press corps dinner.

"That was just good love between two brothers," the chairman of the Republican National Committee explained Sunday.

Obama ribbed Steele, who is also black, at the correspondents' dinner for his frequent use of slang and attempts to bring a hipper approach to the Republican Party.

"Michael Steele is in the house tonight, or as he would say, 'in the heezy.' What's up?" Obama said at the dinner, to uproarious laughter. "Michael, for the last time, the Republican Party does not qualify for a bailout. Rush Limbaugh does not count as a troubled asset, I'm sorry."

Asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" if he felt he was being mocked, Steele said no.

"I really appreciate the president throwing me a shout-out," Steele said. "It took me totally by surprise, and so this morning I just wanna say 'what's up' right back at ya'."

WADR to whoever Chairman Steele has working on his outreach to the young and diverse, if US News and World Report (which is, to put it mildly, not precisely Vibe) is "hipper" than you are, you might want to consider saving this particular rhetorical trope for dinner parties. Fox, on their end, might want to consider sending someone other than Maynard G. Krebs to cover those dinner parties (ribbed? a hipper approach? srsly?)

'What's up' indeed. Right back at, er, ya'.

ahhhs. -- hmmm?
Michael Savage is upset. He's so upset that he's asking Hillary Clinton for help

Right-wing radio host Michael Savage makes Hillary Rodham Clinton a frequent target of his verbal barbs. Now he's asking the secretary of state for help.

Savage, recently banned from the United Kingdom for allegedly fostering extremism, asked Clinton in a letter to take up his cause.

"She's the secretary of state and I'm an American citizen," he said in a letter sent Wednesday by his lawyer. "Her new position requires her to represent the citizens of the U.S. and their interests."

On his show, he has referred to Clinton as a fraudulent huckster, a dangerous yokel and a race baiter.

A list released May 5 named Savage among 22 people banned from Britain, putting the radio host in the company of Russian gang members and some others accused of criminal offenses.


Savage, who broadcasts are carried by nearly 400 stations, has repeatedly made the news by offending immigrants and minorities.

But that's no reason to be barred from entering a country and to be lumped in with terrorists, said Savage.

"Speech that is shocking, or whatever, is actually protected," he said.

Aw, Mikey. Bless your heart. While you don't appear to realize that the first amendment applies in America

On the October 9 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage declared that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is a "traitor" who "should be tried for treason, and when she's found guilty, she should be hung." Savage called Albright a "traitor" because he said she "went to North Korea" and "came back like [former British Prime Minister Neville] Chamberlain came back and said, 'Chancellor [Adolf] Hitler has told me he simply wants to take a little piece of territory.' " Savage, who also branded former Clinton national security adviser Samuel "Sandy" Berger a "traitor" and referred to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) as "Nancy Paleolosi, because ... [she] is living in the Paleolithic," added of Albright: "[W]hen she is hung, maybe the other quislings in our government will get the message that we're going to crack down on them."

you also don't seem to realize that it doesn't apply anywhere else.

See, England? Not the same country as this one is. We had a revolution. Also a tea party. I was sure you'd heard.

Anyway, the first amendment only (and only because you didn't have anything to say about it) protects speech here.

You may want to look for a new rationale. I'm guessing "because I totally said so" will work with anyone who was willing to take you seriously to begin with.
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Marcy Wheeler, this year's winner of a Hillman Foundation award for "journalists, writers and public figures whose work promotes social and economic justice."

Marcy Wheeler, Emptywheel.Firedoglake.com

Just last month, Marcy Wheeler made the front page of the New York Times after she became the first person to notice that a newly-released Justice Department memo revealed that Khalid Sheik Mohammed had been waterboarded 183 times in one month. Last year, Wheeler’s groundbreaking investigative work on the CIA leak case also made the front page of the Times. Her early and powerful reporting about malfeasance by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales helped to propel him out of the Bush administrations. And her live blogging from the Scooter Libby trial in 2007 is widely regarded as one of the seminal moments in online journalism. Wheeler also produced outstanding coverage of the American auto industry crisis. Combining her background in the industry with a deep commitment to American workers, her depth of analysis was unrivaled.

Now just imagine what she could accomplish if she were doing this for a living.

Jane's raising money to allow Marcy to work full time on her journalism and hire a researcher. I think that's a very good investment.

The donor page is here. Reward good behavior.

edit: neat. The New Organizing Institute is matching today's donations up to $5k. It's always nice to let folks know we appreciate institutional support when we get it...