- Thom's back home from Alaska, where he had a great time.
- The nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. The Republican talking points were leaked, they will be reasonable until they decide not to.
- Article: RNC fumbles Sotomayor talking points.
o President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is an important decision that will have an impact on the United States long after his administration.
o Republicans are committed to a fair confirmation process and will reserve judgment until more is known about Judge Sotomayor's legal views, judicial record and qualifications.
o Until we have a full view of the facts and comprehensive understanding of Judge Sotomayor's record, Republicans will avoid partisanship and knee-jerk judgments - which is in stark contrast to how the Democrats responded to the Judge Roberts and Alito nominations.
o To be clear, Republicans do not view this nomination without concern. Judge Sotomayor has received praise and high ratings from liberal special interest groups. Judge Sotomayor has also said that policy is made on the U.S. Court of Appeals.
o Republicans believe that the confirmation process is the most responsible way to learn more about her views on a number of important issues.
o The confirmation process will help Republicans, and all Americans, understand more about judge Sotomayor's thoughts on the importance of the Supreme Court's fidelity to the Constitution and the rule of law.
o Republicans are the minority party, but our belief that judges should interpret rather than make law is shared by a majority of Americans.
o Republicans look forward to learning more about Judge Sotomayor's legal views and to determining whether her views reflect the values of mainstream America.
President Obama on Judicial Nominees
o Liberal ideology, not legal qualification, is likely to guide the president's choice of judicial nominees.
o Obama has said his criterion for nominating judges would be their "heart" and "empathy."
o Obama said he believes Supreme Court justices should understand the Court's role "to protect people who may be vulnerable in the political process."
o Obama has declared: "We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old-and that's the criterion by which I'll be selecting my judges."
Additional Talking Points
o Justice Souter's retirement could move the Court to the left and provide a critical fifth vote for:
o Further eroding the rights of the unborn and property owners;
o Imposing a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage;
o Stripping "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance and completely secularizing the public square;
o Abolishing the death penalty;
o Judicial micromanagement of the government's war powers.
- Article: Sotomayor: 'Policy is made' at Appeals Court.
"All of the legal defense funds out there, they're looking for people with Court of Appeals experience. Because it is — Court of Appeals is where policy is made," she said. "And I know, and I know, that this is on tape, and I should never say that. Because we don't 'make law,' I know. [Laughter from audience] Okay, I know. I know. I'm not promoting it, and I'm not advocating it. I'm, you know. [More laughter] Having said that, the Court of Appeals is where, before the Supreme Court makes the final decision, the law is percolating. Its interpretation, its application.""
- Article: So Who Are the Activists? Paul Gewirtz and Chad Golder, July 6, 2005.
"We found that justices vary widely in their inclination to strike down Congressional laws. Justice Clarence Thomas, appointed by President George H. W. Bush, was the most inclined, voting to invalidate 65.63 percent of those laws; Justice Stephen Breyer, appointed by President Bill Clinton, was the least, voting to invalidate 28.13 percent. The tally for all the justices appears below.
Thomas 65.63 %"
Kennedy 64.06 %
Scalia 56.25 %
Rehnquist 46.88 %
O’Connor 46.77 %
Souter 42.19 %
Stevens 39.34 %
Ginsburg 39.06 %
Breyer 28.13 %
- Guest: Chris Slattery, Founder and president of Expectant Mother Care. Anti abortion. The only case Sotomayor heard about abortion, she voted on his side, but it had more to do with funding, procedure. She will be the 6th Catholic out of 9 justices on the Supreme Court, and Roman Catholics are only 23.9% of the population. Kennedy on partial birth abortion. Obama said this morning judges are there not to make policy, but she has said they have done. Judicial activists. Buckley v. Valeo. First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti. Gay marriage, she's had no big case yet. Should Obama have appointed an activist right wing judge? Racism, sexism.
- Bumper Music: Shake It Up, The Cars.
- Article: Sotomayor’s Notable Court Opinions and Articles.
- Article: Seven GOP Sens voted for Sotomayor in '98, Glenn Thrush.
"Sens. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) joined a unanimous slate of Dems in pushing Sotomayor through by a vote of 68-28.
Among the 29 Republican nays were current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kent.), Minority Whip John Kyl (R-Ariz.), ranking Judiciary Committee member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.). ...
McCain, who has been extraordinarily sensitive to those trends (if unable to fight them) might be the real bellwether here: He's been a pretty reliable GOP soldier on SCOTUS, so if he breaks from his party early — or had really nice things to say about Sotomayor — it could be a sign that Sotomayor will have an easy time."
- Sotomayor seems more realist, center than liberal. She has mostly decided on procedural cases, not big issue cases. She broke the major league baseball strike, came down on the side of labor. New York Times summary of her cases. Trent Lott for one year put a secret hold on her nomination under Clinton, believing that she was being put on that court because they were grooming her for the Supreme Court, but some Republicans did vote for her. McCain will be the bellwether. She has worked for corporations on copyright. Her ruling on the EPA, power plant killing aquatic life, she ruled it had to be redone, and the Supreme Court said you could apply a cost benefit analysis although that is not in the law, so she is not activist.
- Obama is right of center, banking buddies, health care campaign promises appear to be being broken. Bill Moyers Friday night.
- Bumper Music: Come On In, Brad Paisley (video).
- Upcoming Event: June 1-3, Washington D.C. – America’s Future Now – Thom is on Radio Row. Omni Shoreham Hotel. In 2006 and 2008, we began to TAKE BACK AMERICA - Our new mission: mobilizing a progressive majority.
- Upcoming Event: June 5-6, NYC – TALKERS Convention – Thom is speaking. Show from the United Nations on the 5th.
- Upcoming Event: June 28, Reno, NV – Washoe County Democratic Party Brunch – Details TBA.
- Men and the issue of abortion.
- When progressives, liberals get in power, they obliterate the constitution? The three justices who knocked down laws most, which the constitution does not say they can do, are right wing. In the Iraq constitution 25% of the legislature has to be women.
- Book: Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution, by Stephen Breyer.
- Are the results of elections representing the will of the people? For example most want social security improvements, single payer health care. Corporations giving money to legislators.
- Bumper Music: Let the Day Begin, The Call.
- Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
- Article: Gangster blasts own manhood.
- Quote: "It would be a very strange Thing, if six Nations of ignorant Savages [the Iroquois] should be capable of forming a Scheme for such an Union, and be able to execute it in such a Manner, as that it has subsisted Ages, and appears indissoluble; and yet that a like Union should be impracticable for ten or a Dozen _English_ Colonies, to whom it is more necessary, and must be more advantageous; and who cannot be supposed to want an equal Understanding of their Interests." Benjamin Franklin.
- The world needs women, nurturers, mothers. Iroquois confederacy, 5 had only women voting.
- "Let us provide in our constitution for its revision at stated periods. What these periods should be nature herself indicates. By the European tables of mortality, of the adults living at any one moment of time, a majority will be dead in about nineteen years. At the end of that period, then, a new majority is come into place; or, in other words, a new generation. Each generation is as independent as the one preceding, as that was of all which had gone before. It has then, like them, a right to choose for itself the form of government it believes most promotive of its own happiness; consequently, to accommodate to the circumstances in which it finds itself that received from its predecessors; and it is for the peace and good of mankind that a solemn opportunity of doing this every nineteen or twenty years should be provided by the constitution, so that it may be handed on with periodical repairs from generation to generation to the end of time, if anything human can so long endure." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:42
- Times change, the interpretation of the constitution changes, Jefferson wanted it revisited every 19 years.
- Women have been having abortions for hundreds of years, getting rid of Roe v. Wade would mean more dead mothers from illegal abortions.
- Article: Liberals Cash in on Their Own Brand of Hate: Journalists decry conservative 'anger,' but left has turned venom into big business, Dan Gainor.
"The news is boiling over with claims of conservative anger or hatred. Those on the right are depicted as knuckle-dragging savages eager to pick up their guns to shoot police or attack others they disagree with.
But for all that poorly aimed commentary, it’s actually liberals who have taken hate and turned it into a business model. From MSNBC’s Mouth That Roared – “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann – to foul-mouthed gossip blogger Perez Hilton, liberals are making big bucks out of what the Clintons once called the politics of personal destruction."
- Article: Obama urged to curb Buy American plan.
- Article: GM plans China-built vehicles for US market.
- Guest: Dan Gainor, the T. Boone Pickens Fellow and the Vice President of the Business & Media Institute. "Liberals Cash in on Their Own Brand of Hate". For example Keith Olbermann, with his "worst person". "Obama urged to curb Buy American plan". 60 Minutes. "GM plans China-built vehicles for US market". Go back to Hamilton's plan. Protectionism. Other countries should keep to the same rules, for example copyright, import tariffs. He says mandating 'buy American' is sparking a trade war with Canada. America's percentage of imports is under 5%, exports double digits. Caterpillar. The Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930. He called Thom a Luddite.
- Article: U.S. to Respond to North Korea with ‘Strongest Possible Adjectives' .
- The show team wondered whether to get John Bolton on about North Korea. He has said to throw them out of the UN, etc., everything except we need to bomb them. North Korea supplied Syria, acting like a rogue actor, in defiance of treaties. On the other hand, going nuclear is a logical and arguably from their point of view intelligent response to the Bush doctrine of preemptive war.
North Korea has supplied Syria with some of the with some of their nuclear technology, which is like destabilizing to the Middle East. Here's the one hand on this. On the one hand, there's two hands here, on the one hand is behaving like a rogue actor, like a non-state actor. They're, you know, detonating a nuclear weapon is a defiance of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, it's a defiance of the United Nations treaties, it's agin' the law.
On the other hand, I would suggest that what we are seeing in North Korea right now is the logical and arguably, from their point of view, intelligent response to the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war. And it's one of the reasons why probably Iran is thinking that they need a nuke as well.
Because what Bush essentially said to the world is, 'if you don't have nuclear weapons, we're going to invade your country, steal your oil, destroy your national treasures, rape your women, kill your men, and occupy you for a hundred years. If you do have a nuclear weapon, we'll yell about you a lot. That's what George Bush said. That's the Bush Doctrine in a nutshell.
And Kim Jong-il, he may be crazy, but he's not nuts. Or what's the, maybe, he may be crazy but he's not stupid, or whatever. The bottom line is, he looked at this situation, he said, 'axis of evil, huh? I'll show you'.
Frankly I think that what we need to do in this, and I'm very, very pleased that Hillary Clinton's at the head of the State Department right now, and that we've got some rational people in the State Department. Can you imagine if this had happened during the Bush administration? Well, probably they would have just ignored it and pretended nothing was going on, because Bush, like all bullies, does not take on somebody who can actually fight back. But this is an opportunity, I think, frankly, for some good diplomacy, and we need it very much.
- 1791 Hamilton 11 step plan based on the Tudor plan of Henry VII, used by other countries.
- Hamilton's plan:
I. Protecting duties.
Protective duties, or duties on those foreign articles which are the rivals of the domestic ones, intended to be encouraged. [B]y enhancing the charges on foreign articles, they enable the national manufacturers to undersell all their foreign competitors.
II. Prohibitions of rival articles or duties equivalent to prohibitions.
Considering a monopoly of the domestic market to its own manufacturers as the reigning policy of manufacturing nations, a similar policy on the part of the United States in every proper instance, is dictated, it might almost be said, by the principles of distributive justice; certainly by the duty of endeavoring to secure to their own citizens a reciprocity of advantages.
III. Prohibitions of the exportation of the materials of manufactures.
The desire of securing a cheap and plentiful supply for the national workmen, and, where the article is either peculiar to the country, or of peculiar quality there, the jealousy of enabling foreign workmen to rival those of the nation, with its own materials, are the leading motives to this species of regulation. …
IV. Pecuniary bounties [industry direct financial subsidies].
This has been found one of the most efficacious means of encouraging manufactures, and it is in some views, the best. Though it has not yet been practiced upon by the government of the United States (unless the allowances on the exportation of dried and pickled fish and salted meat could be considered as a bounty) and though it is less favored by public opinion than some other modes. Its advantages, are these -- It is a species of encouragement more positive and direct than any other, and for that very reason, has a more immediate tendency to stimulate and uphold new enterprises, increasing the chances of profit, and diminishing the risks of loss, in the first attempts.
V. Premiums [incentives for production, innovation, or quality].
These are of a nature allied to bounties, though distinguishable from them, in some important features. Bounties are applicable to the whole quantity of an article produced, or manufactured, or exported, and involve a correspondent expense.
Premiums serve to reward some particular excellence or superiority, some extraordinary exertion or skill, and are dispensed only in a small number of cases. But their effect is to stimulate general effort. Contrived so as to be both honorary and lucrative, they address themselves to different passions; touching the chords as well of emulation as of interest. They are accordingly a very economical mean of exciting the enterprise of a whole community.
VI. The exemption of the materials of manufactures [raw materials] from duty [import tariffs].
The policy of that exemption as a general rule, particularly in reference to new establishments, is obvious. It can hardly ever be advisable to add the obstructions of fiscal burdens to the difficulties which naturally embarrass a new manufacture; … exemptions of this kind in the United States, is to be derived from the practice, as far as their necessities have permitted, of those nations whom we are to meet as competitors in our own and in foreign markets.
VIII. The encouragement of new inventions and discoveries [patents and copyrights].
The encouragement of new inventions and discoveries at home, and of the introduction into the United States of such as may have been made in other countries; particularly those, which relate to machinery.
This is among the most useful and unexceptionable of the aids, which can be given to manufactures. The usual means of that encouragement are pecuniary rewards, and, for a time, exclusive privileges. The first must be employed, according to the occasion, and the utility of the invention, or discovery: For the last, so far as respects "authors and inventors'' provision has been made by law.
IX. Judicious regulations for the inspection of manufactured commodities [regulation and inspection].
This is not among the least important of the means, by which the prosperity of manufactures may be promoted. It is indeed in many cases one of the most essential. Contributing to prevent frauds upon consumers at home and exporters to foreign countries--to improvement quality and preserve the character of the national manufactures, it cannot fail to aid the expeditious and advantageous sale of them, and to serve as a guard against successful competition from other quarters.
The reputation of the flour and lumber of some states, and of the potash of others has been established by an attention to this point. And the like good name might be procured for those articles, wheresoever produced, by a judicious and uniform system of inspection; throughout the ports of the United States. A like system might also be extended with advantage to other commodities.
X. The facilitating of pecuniary remittances from place to place [a stable currency and banking system].
The facilitating of pecuniary remittances from place to place is a point of considerable moment to trade in general, and to manufactures in particular; by rendering more easy the purchase of raw materials and provisions and the payment for manufactured supplies. …
XI. The facilitating of the transportation of commodities [transportation infrastructure].
Improvements favoring this object intimately concern all the domestic interests of a community; but they may without impropriety be mentioned as having an important relation to manufactures. There is perhaps scarcely any thing, which has been better calculated to assist the manufactures of Great Britain, than the ameliorations of the public roads of that kingdom, and the great progress which has been of late made in opening canals. Of the former, the United States stand much in need; and for the latter they present uncommon facilities. …
- Bumper Music: I use What I got, Jason Aldean (video).
- Bumper Music: You can leave your hat on, Randy Newman.
- Article: British men dressed as nuns stand trial in Crete.
- Louise says that the photos of Thom in Alaska at a party hosted by Shannyn Moore were taken at 1am. The sun was still up at when they went to bed at 2am, and up again at 5pm when they got up to fly home. People there included Senator Bill Weielechowski, veteran Alaska broadcaster Steve Heimel the host of "Talk of Alaska" and his wife Johanna Eurich, progressive blogger Phil Munger featured in "Bloggers on the Bus", former Anchorage Assembly member Jane Angvik, KBYR's Rishi Maharaj, President of the Alaska AFL-CIO Vince Beltrami, and original Alaska Constitutional delegate Vic Fisher who signed a copy of the Alaska Constitution for Thom.
- Book: The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot, Russell Kirk.
- Keeping jobs in America. Erosion of America as an industrial power. If all the jobs go abroad, who will buy the product? Productivity is the ability to produce things. Wages are the wages that workers get and thus create demand as those workers then go out and buy things. Productivity is supply. Only a supply and demand economy functions. Historically in the United States until the 1980s, supply and demand followed each other. Wages went up as productivity went up. People were expecting more leisure time as automation improved productivity. Instead, during the Reagan era right wing think tanks were created and waged war on labor, so wages have been flat or declining ever since. Productivity continues to increase. The gap between supply and demand opened up, which would normally cause an economy to crash into a depression, but Alan Greenspan decided the gap could be filled with credit, the lower classes should not be able to own so much stuff and be upwardly mobile, classes and orders, "The Conservative Mind". Debt. Rant.
- Bumper Music: Hesitation Blues, Willie Nelson.
- Bumper Music: I'm A Nazi, Rush Limbaugh / WNNX-FM (Atlanta, GA) (video).
- Article: Limbaugh On Sotomayor: "I Want Her To Fail" (AUDIO).
- Article: California Upholds Gay Marriage Ban But 18,000 Same-Sex Couples Who Married Before Prop 8 Can Retain Rights.
- They are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.
- Article: The Path of a Pandemic: How one virus spread from pigs and birds to humans around the globe. And why microbes like the H1N1 flu have become a growing threat. Laurie Garrett, May 2, 2009 From the "Fear and the Flu" magazine issue dated May 18, 2009.
- Guest: Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations, author of "The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance ". Fear and the Flu…are conditions ripe for a major pandemic? Betrayal of trust. Newsweek "Fear and the Flu" cover. In 1918 there was a nasty flu in the summer, then it whacked folks in fall, same in '57. The norm is the first wave tends to be milder than the second. The more it circulates among humans, the more it adapts to their receptors. Nobody can predict, but it is unlikely that it will not come back. prepare for the worst, hope you are crying wolf. Ebola.
SARS. Flu comes back more transmissable/contagious but less virulent as a rule? It can be very transmissable before people get sick. So for SARS they grabbed everyone who had a temperature. How SARS was stopped, and why can't we do same with flu?. With flu people can be very contagious before they have a temperature. A lot of people with it have gastroenteral symptoms. With SARS people are only contagious with high fever, so people are not walking around, and most transmission was in hospitals. China brought it under control, and she saw it, they found that lying about it did not work, so told the world, and lots of people headed for the countryside. They set up roadblocks, fever check stations everywhere, people were checked many times a day. Any one with fever was isolated.
People can also shed the flu virus 5 days after symptoms, or have no symptoms, so you cannot contain the flu. What should we do? Cry wolf, assume something nasty will come and be prepared with vaccines, drug supplies, instructions for health professionals, symptoms. We are out of masks. Catch now for immunity against a more serious version later? No, there's no guarantee.
- Article: .
"A new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers found that participants who drank for a week from polycarbonate bottles -- the popular, hard-plastic drinking bottles and baby bottles -- showed a two-thirds increase in their urine of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA). Exposure to BPA, used in the manufacture of polycarbonate and other plastics, has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals and has been linked with cardiovascular disease and diabetes in humans. ... In addition to polycarbonate bottles, which are refillable and a popular container among students, campers and others and are also used as baby bottles, BPA is also found in dentistry composites and sealants and in the lining of aluminum food and beverage cans. (In bottles, polycarbonate can be identified by the recycling number 7.) Numerous studies have shown that it acts as an endocrine-disruptor in animals, including early onset of sexual maturation, altered development and tissue organization of the mammary gland and decreased sperm production in offspring. It may be most harmful in the stages of early development."
- The Center For Constitutional Rights and other constitutional groups went to the White House the day before Obama's speech about "precrime". Obama is setting aside pieces of the Constitution to satisfy the right wing. FISA. Thom is very concerned. Obama and the rest swore an oath to the Constitution. Bruce Fein was on the show echoing Howard Zinn, and he is saying president Obama is wrong on this.
- Bumper Music: Hold On, KT Tunstall (video).
- Berlusconi alert. His wife dumped him, now he is dating an 18 year old, says reports are due to a left wing conspiracy.
- Thom is saying that the Supreme Court should not overturn popular legislation, yet when the California Court upholds a popular law, he's against it?
- The California constitution, the court went along with the law. We should not put civil rights to a majority vote. The problem was with the referendum. Republic, constitution not people is the last word, to protect minorities. Schwarzenegger talking about a constitutional convention to kill the referendum process. Oregon kicker, no rainy day fund.
- Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad, 1886.
- Bumper Music: Democracy is coming to the USA, Leonard Cohen.
- Member of day was Mundy who won a copy of a DVD of in which Thom appears, for saying on today's blog,
Who do these people suppose will be buying all these cars in America, when nobody has jobs anymore?
- A California lawyer called in and said that the Supreme Court originally in marriage cases held that the California Constitution created a fundamental right to marriage, including gay marriage, overturning statutory law that was not a constitutional amendment that had banned same sex marriage. This time the California constitution was amended by initiative - prop 8, so the law that the court was looking at was different. The existing gay marriages stood because they were before the law was changed. A lot of groups argued that the amendment went too far, you can't do away with a fundamental right. The court disagreed.
- Jay Tamboli, Talk Radio News, a lawyer. Supreme Court troubling decision. 30 year rule, if a person arrested says they want a lawyer, the police have to stop talking. The 5-4 decision threw that out. Stephens wrote the dissent, he wrote the original. Sonia Sotomayor. They are calling her a liberal activist, but quotes were taken out of context, she said, "I am not promoting that". Her background.