We’ll miss you, RIP.
In a whopping 68 to 31 vote, Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed today for the United States Supreme Court replacing Justice David Souter who is retiring.
Justice Sotomayor makes history because she becomes the first Latina ever to serve on the nation’s highest court.
Nine Republicans broke ranks, including Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, to confirm Sotomayor.
Former presidential candidate John McCain of Arizona voted no.
Senator John Ensign of Nevada, recently making nationwide news for an extramarital scandle, voted against Sotomayor’s confirmation.
The Senate is due to recess tomorrow for a month. Their time off is expected to be more of a working vacation as they will be facing voters at home to answer questions on health-care and the economy.
The DEA accompanied by Las Vegas police and Los Angeles detectives searched the home of Michael Jackson’s physician as part of the growing investigation into the singer’s death last month.
Dr. Conrad Murray, who was Jackson’s private physician, tried to revive him. Murray allegedly provided powerful anesthetics to help Jackson sleep.
New poll numbers show that the majority of Americans now oppose Obama’s plan for healthcare reform because of concerns about negative changes to their own healthcare programs if the government option is put in place plus the likelihood of tax hikes on the middle class to pay for it.
A new Rasmussen poll from Friday, July 17, 2009 shows that only 35% percent of voters favor the government-run option which is down from 41% from a national poll taken just a few weeks earlier in mid-June. Voters expressed concern about the cost which would ulltimately raise taxes on the middle class. They also fear that their own healthcare program would be changed because of government intrusion.
Nevertheless, President Obama is insisting that debate over his health reform end and that the Congress move quickly forward to pass the legislation, wanting it on his desk to sign into law by the August recess about two weeks from now.
At Childrens National Medical Center in Washington, D. C., today, Obama called for ending the debate saying, “We’ve talked this problem to death,” referring to the complicated issues, like costs into the trillions, surrounding healthcare reform.
Obama is proving to be more of a typical politician rather than a statesman. Rather than the inspiring leadership Obama showed as a candidate during the elections, he is now resorting to the old standard of fear mongering to try to get his political way in Washington.
Obama fearfully stated as fact that “more children will be denied coverage” unless we pass his program now. Obama evidently conveniently forgot another fact: the SCHIP program, which our tax dollars pay for, makes sure that all children can get medical care whether or not their parents can provide or afford private insurance.
If trying to scare about the “children” wasn’t enough, Obama continued the fear, saying that “jobs will be lost, take-home pay will be lowered, businesses will shutter.”
For all the fear Obama is dishing out, however, it doesn’t appear to be working. Over the weekend, more moderate Dems joined the growing chorus of naysayers against ObamaCare.
We can only hope that these lawmakers continue to be skeptical about this massively expensive program and that they don’t buckle to Obama’s scare tactics!
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is attempting to rally legislators to move forward on Obama’s health care by declaring that everything’s okay and on schedule and the Congress is acting with “wholesome dynamism,” according to Fox News.
Pelosi appears to be in denial of the truth. The Democrats’ expensive health care reform legislation, which could cost $2 trillion or more inside a decade, is losing ground fast. The bill barely passed 2 committees – one by only 5 votes and the other by 4 votes. A bipartisan group of six senators, including Independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, is warning that they will not be bullied into rushing the legislation through.
But yet Nancy Pelosi acts as if nothing is wrong!
Democrats, including the president, know that they have to act fast if they have any chance of getting this bill through. The president’s popularity numbers continue to decline as people are waking up to the fact that Obama is all about spending and no real change.
Obama, with Pelosi’s support and Harry Reid in the Senate, is demanding that both houses of Congress ram his health care bill through before the August recess but it appears that more Dems are now bucking the president’s orders. Democrats in both houses are now realizing that if they go along with the president, they will lose support at home with voters. And, after all, each member of Congress is more concerned about keeping their own power rather than complying with the President, their party, Reid, or Pelosi.
The only thing we know for sure about Supreme Court nominee Sonya Sotomayor is that she is a master dodge ball player. At times boring all of us – except perhaps the most adept legal eagles – with her equivocating answers, Sotomayor has not directly answered any of the questions put to her by the Senators.
Today’s exchange with Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn was an exercise in futility. For nearly one hour, Coburn asked her questions on several key issues including gun control vs. the right to ownership, abortion, and what constitutes a fundamental right that can not be overturned by a Court or the Congress.
Sotomayor’s answers were consistently boring and laden with legal terms and case citings. She never once answered how she would rule on any of these cases or what her own views are on these issues.
What does she think the purpose of this hearing before the Senators is all about? Does she think it’s so we can see her face?
The purpose of appearing before the Senate committee is to ascertain how a nominee for the Supreme Court thinks, what their decision process is, how they arrive at decisions, and their belief system.
The reason why it’s so important to find out how a potential member of the Supreme Court believes and thinks is because Supreme Court justices are, once confirmed, on the Court for life or until they voluntarily retire.
Dodging questions or refusing to answer how she feels about issues does not help the Senators nor any of us understand what kind of justice she will be if confirmed.
At one point, Senator Coburn became so frustrated with her equivocation that he let her know it: “If I can’t get you to go there, I want to quit and go on to something else, if I can.”
Coburn wrapped up his time raising doubts about Sotomayor. “And the problem I’m having is, I really see a dissonance,” Coburn told Sotomayor, “about what you said outside of your jurisprudence,” most likely referring to her “wise Latina” comment. “And the only thing…the only ability we have to judge is what that passion has relayed in the past and your statements here, in combination with your judicial practice…I have yet to decide where I’m going on this, because I am still deeply troubled because of the answers I couldn’t get in the 50 minutes…and also deeply troubled because I believe what you’ve spoken to the law students, what you’ve spoken in your writings truly reflect your real passions, which I sometimes find run in conflict with what I think the Constitution has to say.”
Mayor Oscar Goodman is “angry and upset” at the vandal or vandals who defaced the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign with graffiti over the weekend but is backing off from earlier statements for a public punishment, according to a spokesperson at the mayor’s office.
Las Vegans woke up Monday morning to discover that someone had painted red lettering in the white background. The sign is a landmark, in place since the 1950’s, and a tourist picture-taking spot.
The mayor was quick to speak out against whoever committed the defacing, calling for a public punishment including putting the person or people, if caught, into stockades. But his earlier statements were more a result of outrage than actually calling for a public penalty of putting the perpetrators into stockades allowing the public to paint their faces.
“He’s angry and upset,” a spokesperson for the mayor’s office said today.
When asked about an estimate of what it will cost the city to repair the sign, the spokesperson said that the sign “is actually on county property” so the city itself will not be footing the bill
As far as catching and prosecuting whoever vandalized the sign, the mayor’s spokesperson said the mayor will be involved.
“He’s very active,” the mayor’s spokesperson said. “He would participate in the judicial system.”
The New York Times reported over the weekend that Vice President Dick Cheney ordered a counterterrorism program be withheld from congressional oversight for almost eight years, following the 9-11 attacks.
Because not even the top members of congressional intelligence committees members were informed, some in Washington, including Senator Diane Feinstein (D – California), think the law might have been broken.
Will Cheney be investigated?
Attorney General Eric Holder is allegedly “leaning” now toward a Special Prosecutor, according to Sunday’s Face the Nation. Senator Jeff Sessions (R – Alabama), on the same program, referred to “sources, sources” and the fact that nothing about the plan or Cheney’s involvement (or even if he was involved) can be confirmed. But, when questioned about whether or not officials will be looking into the matter, Sessions, on the same program said, “I’m sure it will be.”
If Cheney did order withholding intelligence info from the Congress, was it illegal?
That will be another matter that will probably herald hearings and debates. The current law requiring Congressional oversight and approval of intelligence actions is vague, permitting allowance for national security.
The Christian Science Monitor (csmonitor.com) is reporting that if cap and trade becomes law, we could see another market meltdown similar to the subprime mess.
The carbon permits created by the legislation, if left unregulated, “would create whole new classes of financial assets, which financial firms could securitze, derivatize, and speculate on,” according to csmonitor.com. This market, the article claims, “is expected to become the world’s largest derivatives market.”
C. S. Monitor link: Could cap-and-trade create another economic bubble? | csmonitor.com.
Another serious concern about cap and trade is how American farmers will be on the losing end of the deal (read the story linked below).