Tuesday reading *UPDATED*

Lots of good stuff out there, so I offer this for your consideration:

Bret Stephens explains how Obama’s approach to, well, just about everything seems to derive from the a South Park episode involving some gnomes who had a goal, but were a little unclear on how to achieve it.

Here are several posts about Sandra Sotomayor’s past performance as a judge all of which, at most, damn her with faint praise:  Power Line quotes from the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary; Hot Air has a compilation of Sotomayor’s own statements about her role as a judge; Jeffrey Rosen writes a moderate indictment of Sotomayer in The New Republic (no friend to conservatism);and Jeffrey Rosen provides a follow-up to his first indictment.  [UPDATE:  Stuart Taylor, one of the best analysts of the legal system there is, looks at identity politics and Sotomayor.]

Apropos Rosen, he opens by saying her life story is compelling, as do many other people.  It’s sad that her father died when she was young and that she has diabetes.  But what’s compelling about someone who got affirmative actioned into Ivy League schools and then spent the rest of her life working government jobs in the the legal system?  She’s about as compelling as a rock.

The Scotus Blog talks about the predictable political dynamic of her nomination (and praises her to high heaven along the way).  Rick Moran talks about the politics of the nomination too, although without the high praise.

Apparently Netanyahu did not leave Obama’s exalted presence with the happy belief that Obama’s unconditional talks with Iran would automatically ensure Israel’s continued safety.  Instead, Netanyahu headed home feeling isolated, and, despite some promises of help and support from Obama, believing that Israel is on her own — and needs to act to protect herself.  (And if you’re wondering why Netanyahu reached this conclusion, despite the One’s promises, this might help explain.)

I’ve been enjoying the Obama-Cheney faceoff, especially considering that Obama was a fool to get into this fight in the first place.  The Wall Street Journal editors explain just why it is that Cheney’s been so effective.

Donna Reed, the archetypal Hollywood Mom was once a WWII pin-up girl.  She saved many of the letters she received, and they provide a moving look into the past.

And two things for visual pleasure.  While I’m not a fan of facial hair, these impressed me.  And if you like trompe l’oeil, these will impress you.

UPDATE II:  I’m thinking a little bit more about Rosen’s article, especially this paragraph (emphasis mine):

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking to a range of people who have worked with her, nearly all of them former law clerks for other judges on the Second Circuit or former federal prosecutors in New York. Most are Democrats and all of them want President Obama to appoint a judicial star of the highest intellectual caliber who has the potential to change the direction of the court. Nearly all of them acknowledged that Sotomayor is a presumptive front-runner, but nearly none of them raved about her. They expressed questions about her temperament, her judicial craftsmanship, and most of all, her ability to provide an intellectual counterweight to the conservative justices, as well as a clear liberal alternative.

Doesn’t this make Sotomayor actually sound like the perfect liberal justice for the Supreme Court?  She’s so intellectually unstable that she won’t be an effective counter to the conservative justices.  Given that a liberal Supreme Court justice is inevitable, isn’t it better to have one who is ineffective, than one who is effective?

Of course, as someone who has been forced for decades to read Supreme Court opinions, I would argue that it’s not coincidence that Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia are the best writers, whether you want fireworks, humor or pragmatism.

Unlike those liberal justices who write practically incoherent opinions (Stevenson, Ginsberg, Souter, etc.), the conservatives can be straightforward because they’ve got nothing to hide.  They look to the Constitution and to American precedent.

The liberals, however, in order to keep the traditional Supreme Court opinion format, while creating law out of whole cloth, have to go through extraordinay verba contortions to render to an opinion with their desired outcome.  It makes for appalling, illiterate reading — and I’m sure even the best liberal justice won’t be different.

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  • Charles Martel

    It may be—although I’m not holding my breath—that the first big breach in Obama’s cloak of invulnerability will be the realization among Jewish Democrats that the most anti-Semitic president in U.S. history is now in power. If/when Israel finally takes on Iran and all hell breaks lose, Obama certainly isn’t going to brook criticism of or dissent from his guaranteed mishandling of the crisis.

    So, even as some liberal Jews come to their senses, they will be isolated by the anti-Semitic media (NYT), the African American wing of the Democratic Party, the academy and all of the other cesspools where the world’s favorite self-inflicted disease festers. Nevertheless, as they come over to our evil side, they will bring with them the great energy of the newly converted and the great insights of the once true believer.

    That’s just one thing to anticipate this summer. I predict that in light of the Cowardly One’s schoolgirlish response to North Korea that we will soon hear the first rumblings in the Diet of a move to rearm Japan—with nukes. Way to go, nancy boy!

    Maybe we’ll luck out and a consortium of countries with balls will take over where Obama is making us leave off. India, Japan and Australia may well become the next guarantors of some semblance of civilized global order.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~nooriginalthought/ Charles

    “She’s about as compelling as a rock.”

    LOL! I hope to use that phrase myself sometime.


    WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama Tuesday nominated judge Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, praising her “brilliant” legal mind and wisdom nurtured by an “inspiring” American story.

    The is the sap of the press, who can’t even get their facts straight in the lead.
    Does the name Benjamin Cardozo ring a bell or is the press so blinded by their agenda, they cannot do even a little fact checking.

  • SGT Dave

    Don’t confuse the narrative with facts – there is no history where the O is concerned. Everything he does is the first, greatest, mostest groundbreakingest wondrous thing. Except when things are bad; then they are the fault of his predecessors.
    Kinda like many creationists – the world is very young, except for those evil things that confuse the issue, because the devil has been around forever.
    They don’t want to know, they don’t care, and they aren’t even cognizant of their hypocrisy. J-school is now for those who can’t cut it teaching English (and my wife is a University of Missouri grad, so that hurts for me to say).

    Pardon the rant, had to deal with a bunch of in-laws that hated me this weekend; it was worse than wearing my dress uniform in San Francisco (and I did that – once).

    SSG Dave
    “A wedding is supposed to be a joyous thing – this one made me laugh so hard I peed my pants.”

  • Oldflyer

    When I hear these compelling stories of accomplishment by someone from humble beginnings, I am left wondering why the subject would not be among the greatest defenders of the Constitution. Perhaps it reveals a limitation in my own intellectual development, but I think the U.S. Constitution is the greatest insurance ever devised for the minority and the disadvantaged against the whims of the majority or those with advantage. It seems to me that Clarence Thomas has it exactly right, when he supports continuity and predictable interpretation of the law. He clearly realizes this is the individual’s greatest protector.

    I have Rush Limbaugh on at the moment. Often he is just background noise and in this case I didn’t hear whether this thought was original with him, or if he were quoting someone else; but, he just said that you never hear a nominee such as Sotomayor praise government programs for their success. It is always the hard work and encouragement of parents and other supporting individuals. I would add that a climate of predictable laws and individual liberty plays a large part, also.


    “the first, greatest, mostest groundbreakingest wondrous thing”

    Ahh..now I understand more clearly.
    It’s Barnum & Bailey with Ringmaster, Obama, Circus.

    Step right up folks -see the Greatest Show on Earth!
    Ticket Sales went up last November after a year and a half of advertising.

  • Oldflyer

    Oh Sadie. Not just Cardoza (I believe he was Portugese and don’t know if that qualifies as Hispanic in today’s vernacular. Yes, I do understand that Portugal is actually part of the original Hispania, but facts are largely irrelevant.) I wonder if we will hear much about Estrada. The Dimocrats started on him early because they projected him as a possible SCOTUS nominee. One Senator, and I forget which, listed all of the strikes against him and among those was the fact that he was–too Hispanic. You have to hand it to the Dimocrats, they are not afraid to call a spade a spade, so to speak.

    Related topic. My comments above notwithstanding, in the world of identity politics should we still use the term Hispanic? Or are we supposed to use the term Latino? I seem to recall not too long ago that some politically correct commentator did point out that Hispanic would properly refer to someone of Spanish or Portugese origin–which of course would make them, gasp, European. Almost as bad as English, French or Norwegian. I bring this up because I would hate to offend anyone. If one is a hyphenated American, it is very important to get both sides of the hyphen correct. As for myself, I answer to any of several constructs; e.g., Scots-Irish-American, Floridian-American, Confederate-American, or my favorite, Native-white American. Of course during football season I am a Gator-American.

  • SGT Dave

    You’re giving him too much credit (and I just saw the B&B Circus two weeks ago with the kids!) – he’s the elephant. He’s the headlining draw, larger than life, and drops s#!t all over the place.
    Sorry, had to be done.

    SSG Dave
    “Government is like a sloth; even when you put good things in it is painfully slow, ugly as sin, and only produces feces.”

  • suek

    >>Everything he does is the first, greatest, mostest groundbreakingest wondrous thing. Except when things are bad; then they are the fault of his predecessors.>>

    In a nutshell!!! Love it!


    Oldflyer… Oh my, I’ve stepped in the elephant dung now according to Dave (wink-wink) – Latino vs Hispanic.

    I am clueless as to which applies to whom and where and when now. Might have to be a tad creative and start using Histino.

    You raised an interesting point, up to a point…

    “One Senator, and I forget which, listed all of the strikes against him and among those was the fact that he was–too Hispanic. You have to hand it to the Dimocrats, they are not afraid to call a spade a spade, so to speak.”

    The Dems were not really ready to go with too heavy a hand with identity politics, which is possibly why ‘O’ made the cut.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    The Californian-born artist said: ‘It seems almost universal that people take delight in being visually tricked.’

    Magnificent. Truly a work of art in the best traditions of human aesthetics and beauty.

  • Oldflyer

    Not chiding you Sadie. My comment was intended as a reflection on this whole group identity business, and the changing target of what is acceptable. I am not revealing any secrets when I say it can be a minefield figuring out what is currently in fashion.

    I note in the line you quoted from me, that I back-slid (as we Baptists used to say) and referred to Estrada as a Hispanic when I should have said Latino (although back when Estrada was an issue, Hispanic may have been the acceptable term–I don’t remember). The Dims attacked him because they were determined not to let Bush appoint a Latino to the Supreme Court for fear it would dilute their Latino vote.


    “The Dims attacked him because they were determined not to let Bush appoint a Latino to the Supreme Court for fear it would dilute their Latino vote.”

    What a bunch of wishy washy warts.
    Now that the dimwits have the advantage that’s exactly what they want.

  • Danny Lemieux

    To refer back to one of your earlier posts about politically motivated car dealership closings, the news from Gateway Pundit is starting to indicate that you really are onto something, Book:



    For anyone following the Hispanic vs Latino identity can read this link. Government vs Grass Roots vs who’s calling who what.

    Oldflyer reference to a “minefield’ is right on target.


  • Danny Lemieux

    It’s more complicated than that: working in a factory early in my career, I was quickly corrected by the largely “Spanish-speaking” workforce on my terminology:

    I learned that “Spanish” referred to people who had been living in the now-US when the Americans took it from Mexico in the 1800s, “Tejano” was a Texan of Mexican-Indian descent (usually borderlands), “Mexican-American” was a person who was at-least 2nd generation American, “Chicano” was a first-generation American of ethnic-Mexican/Indian origin, and “illegal” or “wet back” was an illegal immigrant.

    I also learned that the largely ethnic-Mexican workforce felt very little in common with other “Hispanics” (esp. those from Cuba and Puerto Rico) and that the just-described terminology breakdown reflected a status-based hierarchy that was rigidly enforced. Those that had just crossed the river needed to earn their stripes in America. And, heaven-help-me if I ever got it wrong (I very quickly learned who was “Spanish”).

    Me? I liked working with all of them, found them to be very hard workers, fun-loving and, overall, to have great family values. My experience with them in those days as well as living in a Tejano-dominated neighborhood is a very big reason why I don’t get on the anti-“Spanish speaking” immigrant kick that a lot of my fellow conservatives do (yes, yes, yes…I know…note that I said “anti-immigrant”, not “anti-illegal immigrant”).

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    People will not trust each other until and unless 1. they are required to mutually rely on each other for survival and 2. a greater power than all factions combined sits as a Sword of Damocles to enforce good conduct on ALL sides.

    People will always distrust each other. Force, violence, discipline, law and order are the solutions that will make them forget their differences in order to work together for a better tomorrow.

    The Left seeks unity by coercion and the elimination of free will and the denial of human nature. Thus they inevitably produce huge amounts of uncontrolled violence, societal upheaval, lack of discipline, and a huge decrease in trust, which inevitably eliminates law and order. It is only by applying the iron to the anvil and hammering it hard, over and over again, do you get something approaching societal harmony, “equality”, or “unity”.

    First off, the Left must be hammered into oblivion. Their beliefs destroyed and discredited on the level of the Nazis, if only by killing all of the Nazi leaders and intellectual priests. Their power must be broken, if only by physically eliminating their power wielders and holders. Until they are removed from the field of battle, any reconstruction on the part of America, like in Iraq, would be futile. The terrorists would just blow it up a day later. Eliminate the terrorists first.

  • suek

    Re: the Spanish speaking immigrant…

    We had a customer in the store yesterday who brought along his _maybe_ ten year old daughter to help him look for a part. This is at least the third same situation – where the parent speaks virtually _no_ English, and is totally dependent on a pretty young child to translate. The skills of the child are remarkable – the language goes in the ear in Spanish, and comes out the mouth in English – and viceversa. There’s still a problem – it’s hard enough to determine electrical parts needed when we’re talking adults with the same language…but the child has absolutely no idea what sort of electrical requirements her father had – just the words. I have no idea if he knew the right words for the parts in Spanish and she didn’t know them in English, but we went to the picture books for help (catalogs). Actually, I suspect he didn’t know them either. And the child was so self-possessed. I told her to tell her father he needed to learn English – he’d only have her for another 7-8 years. I’m not sure she translated that, but in the other two cases, the translation was so automatic that I think there was no thought process inbetween that allowed for a censorship function. She couldn’t get better preparation for _some_ career!

    Cute as a button, she was. She could come home with me in a heartbeat!

  • suek

    Actually, she _was_ pretty…but I meant that to mean “pretty young” with pretty modifying young, not child. The other two cases were boys.