“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ricci vs. New Haven: Where's Red Sonia's Empathy?

There does indeed, as some pundits have noted, seem to be a double standard at work in the confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor.

For example, as one editorialist in the Wall Street Journal observed, Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer decried a Bush appellate nominee for being Catholic. But he finds no problem with Sotomayor's sharing, however notionally, that church affiliation.

But perhaps the more curious question is, in the Ricci case, where was Sotomayor's famous "wise Latina" empathy?

The lead plaintiff, in an interview on Fox News last week, explained that he expected a full review of the case from the Second Circuit's Appellate Court. Instead, Sotomayor's response was terse and lacking in any discussion of the case.

Yet, here we have a group of wronge firemen, some with meager means, scrounging money to fund their own tutoring for an exam, the passing of which would provide them with career advancement and better compensation.

What was really horrifying was, in the same broadcast, hearing the discussion of Supreme Court Justice Alito's explicit identification of the case's origin. That is, a New Haven black minister visited the city's mayor and threatened him with electoral defeat if he didn't overturn the exam results.

Alito called Sotomayor's and her colleagues' review of the case in error and completely missing the obvious racial aspect.

Hmmmm.....wronged blue collar union workers. A racist minister pressures a mayor to overturn fair exam results. Sounds tailor made for a heavy dollop of judicial empathy, doesn't it?

Unless, of course, the jurist is Sonia Sotomayor, and the plaintiffs are neither Hispanic, nor black.

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Democratic Congressional Misunderstanding of the Recent Financial Crisis

Just yesterday afternoon, during Congressional questioning of former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, I caught part of Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings' silly rant regarding last year's global financial crisis.

Sounding full of himself, Cummings summarily declared that, for so much financial damage to have occurred, someone must have done something criminal, and Congress would be getting to the bottom of it.

Well, yes, in one sense, Cummings is right. His colleague, Barney Frank, and over in the Senate, Democrats Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad, who took bribes from Countrywide Finance, all greenlighted many practices, if not insisted on them, involving Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the CRA, and various allowances to private mortgage conduits. So, if there is criminal activity to be found, Capitol Hill is an excellent place to start, Rep. Cummings. In fact, your own party's House and Senate Caucuses will do fine.

Beyond that, a logical next step is to ask why so many questionable mortgages were overseen and allowed by Fed and FDIC regulators. It fell to these civil servants to supervise the soundness of banking and lending practices at various housing finance lenders, but they evidently took a break from this activity.

So far, we're not really even at the private sector, and we have a target-rich environment.

Isn't it just what you'd expect from a Congressional member these days? To turn his gun sites on the private sector and threaten unspecified witch hunts and criminal penalties, when his own colleagues led the way in fostering, demanding and facilitating unwise lending practices which figured heavily in the financial crisis of the past few years?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bill Cosby Would Be a Better President

I've contended in prior posts that our current president is extremely dangerous because he has no significant life experience with which to have become prepared for the office.

Yes, he's old enough. He might have been born in the US, but we're still not sure, because he's never released a certified copy of a state birth certificate from a US state.

I've also contended, not alone, that Wonderboy was elected primarily by a margin of guilty, wealthy white voters who didn't take his campaign promises of wealth redistribution seriously, but felt good voting for a respectable, educated and well-spoken black.

As I watch our First Rookie mess up energy, the auto sector, health care, the value of the dollar and our deficit, I can't help thinking that there was a much, much better black man for the job.

Bill Cosby.

Yes, I really mean it. Bill Cosby.

There are many reasons why I honestly would have seriously considered voting for Cosby, rather than even McCain last fall.

First, Cosby has had nothing, if not plenty of real world experience and accomplishments. He was a hugely successful standup comic before the color line was dissolved. Everyone loved Cosby. He was brilliant.

He went on to co-star in "I Spy," in the mid-1960s. His was probably the first network television series to so feature a black. Later, he spun off his "Fat Albert" character into a children's cartoon program.

Cosby did various movie roles, but really became mainstream in the 1980s when he conceived of the "The Cosby Show" featuring himself as Dr. Heathcliffe Huxtable.

Even that, however, wasn't his zenith, in my opinion. It was in 1992 that Cosby tried to buy NBC. At about that time, Cosby began to speak out more forcefully against 'ebonics,' the so-called 'black english,' and for blacks to be responsible for behaving not as victims in society.

I can't conceive of Cosby engaging in such empty, meaningless rhetoric while ramming society-changing legislation through Congress.

Cosby, far more than Wonderboy, has relevant life experience in areas that connect him to the electorate. He's been a creative entertainer and businessman. He's excelled in many pursuits and crossed/broke the race barrier long ago.

Does Cosby have conservative values and principles? Probably the former, but less so the latter. Still, as a black liberal, he'd be a much better choice than our current failure in the Oval Office.

If we were going to elect a celebrity black president, why shouldn't we have gone for the real thing? Someone who accomplished so much on his own, rather than as a privileged, coddled minority?

Our country would be so much better off with a president, irrespective of color, who had a visceral appreciation for hard work, self-made, honest success, and a proven ability to understand and connect with the American populace.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sotomayor's Hearings

I confess to being confused.

Didn't Wonderboy tell us a few months ago that he would require quite some time to assemble a list of nominees for the Supreme Court? And didn't he agree that such a nomination would require a thoughtful, careful confirmation process by the Senate?

So why are we getting the bum's rush with Sotomayor?

It seems Wonderboy dug up an appropriately-minority nominee in no time flat, then pressured his party's Senate leaders to push the confirmation through between the July 4th recess and Congress' later, summer recess.

With longer-lived justices meaning fewer Supreme Court openings, we ought to see longer confirmation hearings and evaluation periods, not shorter ones.

Plus, this nominee has uttered such egregiously inappropriate statements- on the record- regarding her supposed superiority due to her gender and race, and that judges make law, that she is tainted from the start.

Can't we at least have a liberal nominee who is less sarcastic and dismissive about the legislative process reflecting the will of the people, rather than judges re-ordering society from their benches?

Everything about this nominee and nominating process screams out for starting over with a different candidate.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Continuing Question

As I drove home yesterday through central Pennsylvania, a billboard appeared with this simple message:


It took me a second to realize the context. And I have to agree, this important Constitutional qualification is still murky in Wonderboy's case.

Wouldn't you think, if there were no issue, that his handlers would have blasted a certified copy all over the media last summer? Instead, the Secretary of State of Hawaii mumbled about how they couldn't release it for privacy reasons. We were assured that there is one, but never actually saw it.

This so-called president remains illegitimate so long as this question goes unanswered.

Like so many other important questions, Wonderboy and his handlers deflect it with an arrogance meant to belittle those asking for this simple proof of birth in the US.

Right after I realized the meaning of the billboard, I quickly asked myself why Pennsylvania went for Obama in the last election. It's clearly a state with many residents who share virtually no values with our current president.

The birth certificate billboard came amidst several for guns and ammunition.

How in the world could a state full of people referred to by Wonderboy derisively as 'clinging to their guns and religion' have voted for him?

How different would things be now if they had not?