The Terminal Stage of Obama Derangement Syndrome

“Here’s your new office, Mr. President. Sen. McConnell picked it out just for you.”

There’s a vacancy on the Supreme Court.    It’s President Obama’s job to send up a nominee to the U.S. Senate to fill it.   Mitch McConnell and his gang of thugs  say, “Hell no, they can’t go!”

The Republicans have made it clear they do not want a moderate, a middle-of-the-roader, a safe choice, or an acceptable alternative. They want Rush Limbaugh or someone further to the Right of him and nothing less than this is acceptable and even that might not be enough. What if Clinton or Sanders wins the presidency? Is McConnell and crew going to say, “Okay, we’ve got a new president. Send over a nominee.

The Republicans have the House and the Senate and hope to sweep the trifecta with taking the White House back too. Their reasons for keeping Scalia’s seat vacant are twofold: they don’t want to foreclose the possibility of a Republican president picking the next nominee or deny themselves the pleasure of sticking it to Obama one more time.

Why would Obama not make a nomination? The President is a scholar of Constitutional law. He knows what his responsibilities are. McConnell knows what his responsibilities are too, but only one player in this game is trying to change the rules.

If Scalia has died in October or November, McConnell might have a point. There are eight months until Election Day and the Senate Republicans can’t claim they’re too overworked to fit in a confirmation hearing. They just don’t want to allow this president to select the next Supreme Court justice.

“Y’know, you’re even uglier in person, Mitch.” “Thanks, Barack and I just farted.”

That, Mr. and Mrs. America, is obstructionism. No finessing or tap-dancing around it and anyone who thinks GOP opposition to replacing Scalia will magically melt away on January 20, 2017 if President Hillary Clinton or President Bernie Sanders takes the Oath of Office is on crack.

Since Republicans don’t understand the Constitution, what else do they want Obama to punt until the next president arrives? If a shooting war breaks out imperiling American interests, does McConnell want Obama to stand down until a Republican replaces him? If the economy starts to crater, should Obama go golfing and leave the mess for the next guy or gal to clean up?

The president may be in the last year of his presidency, but despite the inability of Republicans to read the Constitution or a calendar, he’s still the only president they got.

McConnell is still trying to undo the results of the 2012 election and this is his last chance to do so. He’s misreading the situation. The GOP has more Senate seats to defend in blue states than do the Democrats. Lose control of the Senate as well as the White House going to Clinton or Sanders, and a nominee further to the Left than what Obama might offer up becomes a near-certainty. Say “good-bye” to overturning Roe v. Wade and say “hello” to the end of Citizens United–especially if Hillary Clinton gets the nod.

The stance taken by the Republicans is historical. We’ve never seen anything like it in American politics. Contentious arguments over Supreme Court nominees is nothing new. Refusing to even consider a nominee no matter how qualified they may be out of malice and spite is.   McConnell and his mob really do not seem to grasp we already have a President of the United States and they have NO valid excuse which passes legal, political, or Constitutional muster to deny giving Obama’s nominee a hearing. It’s simply a naked power grab, plain and simple.

I DEMAND you stop the Black guy from replacing me!”

Let’s be honest here: The Republicans don’t want to see their most-favorite Supreme Court justice’s replacement chosen by their least-favorite Chief Executive. This is all about jamming up Barack Obama and denying his legitimacy as the president one more time.

In our hyper-partisan age, it’s no mystery why the Republicans are doing what they are doing. I don’t even really care if they use their numerical superiority in the Senate to vote down Obama’s nominee. That would be fair and every Democrat and/or liberal would have to recognize when you lose an election it has consequences and this is one of them.

But when the Republicans lost the 2008 and 2012 elections that has its consequences too, and one of them it is Barack Obama–not his successor–who has both the duty and Constitutional right to choose a nominee to replace Antonin Scalia and all the rest of this is just noise obscuring the signal

The hatred and disrespect of this president by the Republicans has reached a new low in Obama Derangement Syndrome and it should cost them dearly.

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Help Wanted at The Supreme Court

Gone, gone, gone. Done moved on.

It’s an election year and everything that comes out of Washington has political calculation written all over it. Hell, Antonin Scalia wasn’t dead a day before Mitch McConnell proclaimed no nominee of the president would be confirmed no matter how qualified. they may be.

McConnell said, “The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”

The distinguished senior senator from Kentucky is totally full of shit.

The American people expressed their voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice in 2012 when they reelected Barack Hussein Obama as President. We already have a President in place. We don’t have to wait until January 20, 2017 to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia’s demise.

The Senate has no reason not to fill the vacancy expect for political ones.    You know, like the one where the Republicans hate Obama’s guts?

The President should place before the U.S. Senate a nominee on Monday–President’s Day–and DEMAND they give his nominee a hearing and a up-or-down vote by the Senate.

Oh, I know McConnell won’t give a Obama nominee that vote and Obama knows it too. The president can’t make the Senate do anything. But he can make them sweat bullets for stonewalling his nominee. Nothing will prove to the American people how obstructionist the Republicans are than denying President Obama the right to exercise the Constitutional authority that is his and his alone.

Obama should call bullshit on McConnell, roll up his sleeves and go hard for his replacement for Scalia.   In the last months of his presidency pretty much the only thing Obama can do besides the daily ceremonial stuff is unleash hell on a “do-nothing Senate” that is stonewalling a qualified nominee.   This would be an excellent time for Obama to nominate a  Black or Latino jurist with exemplary credentials and dare the GOP to deny them Scalia’s empty seat.

Thus, with Scalia’s death, the vital importance of who gets to choose who sits on the nation’s federal and the Supreme Court, is refocused with laser-beam intensity. Now more than ever “who chooses?” will be a critical consideration for the American voters in November.

"Tony, in about 30 years you'll be dead and a Black guy in this office will pick your replacement."

“Tony, in about 30 years you’ll be dead and a Black guy in this office will pick your replacement.”

If McConnell wants to give Obama and the Democrats the rope to which to hang Kelly Ayotte, Mark Kirk, Rob Portman, and other GOP incumbents facing tough reelections in the fall, they’ll happily accept that gift. It will make sure McConnell’s one term-and-done as the Majority Leader, and passing the gavel over to Chuck Schumer so he can stonewall a President Rubio or Trump’s nominee. We could be looking at a long wait until there are nine Justices on the Supreme Court.

I know he won’t but I wish Obama would nominate a committed, unapologetic, true progressive to replace Scalia.    The question is would Bernie Sanders take the job?

I know he won’t but I wish Obama would nominate a committed, unapologetic, true progressive to replace Scalia. The question is would Bernie Sanders take the job?

Fact is, since there’s nobody Obama can nominate the Senate Republicans won’t block, why half-step with a “confirmable centrist?” There has to be a liberal jurist with impeccable legal credentials, pedigree and accomplishments under their belt, so why not? Send them a nominee who deserves a hearing and when McConnell and company throw up their mealy-mouthed bullshit excuses about “letting the American people have their say” pointedly remind them they had their say in 2012 when Obama won the election despite McConnell’s declaration nothing was more important than making sure Obama was a one-term president.

scalia_racist_credo_lp
There’s nothing much dramatic President Obama can do in these last months of his presidency beyond his daily ceremonial duties. Filling a Supreme Court vacancy is one of the most important jobs any president has and since this one in now in official legacy mode, he should fight like hell and go ballistic on the Republican Senate. Obama can lose and probably will lose this fight, but it’s a fight well worth the waging. Nothing less than the balance of power of the High Court hinges on it.

Passivity and retreat are not an option. President Obama should send a Supreme Court nominee to the Senate and then scorch the earth to fight for their confirmation.

I’m sending this quote to the President from a great progressive, the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, “If we don’t fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don’t really stand for them.

I don’t want another squishy centrist or mushy moderate. I want President Obama to nominate someone like Leah Ward Sears, the former Chief Justice of Georgia and the first African-American Chief Justice in the United States. Let him nominate someone like Sears and dare the Republicans to deny her a confirmation vote.

As for the late Antonin Scalia himself, it has been said if you can’t say anything good then say nothing at all and I got nothing to say.

What? Too soon?

What? Too soon?

Fat Tony Would Prefer You Lesser Blacks Go Back to Your Lesser Schools.

Scalia knows how many intelligent Blacks he’s met.

I’m a bit behind the news so I missed on commenting on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s outrageous remarks during oral arguments on an affirmative action case, but it doesn’t mean I’m cool how boldly Scalia showed his contempt for Black college students.

You know the conventional wisdom is  Scalia is the possessor of a brilliant legal mind and is easily one of the most intelligent jurists ever to sit on the Supreme Court? The conventional wisdom is wrong and so is Fat Tony.

“One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas.  They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.”

What exactly is a “lesser school?” A HBCU or another college not as big as the University of Texas? What classes are “too fast” for Black students?

Fat Tony is saying Black scientists/students come from “lesser” (re: inferior) schools where the pace has been slowed to a point where they can keep up (re: since Blacks are slower in processing complex and difficult material, it must be kept as simple, basic and rudimentary as possible for them to grasp it).

“I’m just not impressed by the fact that the University of Texas may have fewer” minority students. Maybe it ought to have fewer.”

Well, golly gee Tony. I wish you had told me this before I had my daughter waste three years at predominantly White institution before she transferred to a HBCU. We could have sent her to a Black school from the get-go and not wasted the time exposing her to all those White kids she’s not smart enough or fast enough to keep up with.

You don’t have to parse Scalia’s words to find his contempt for the intellectual capacity of “minority” students. You only have to read.

The strongest argument possible against affirmative action is making Clarence Thomas a lifetime member of the United States Supreme Court. He was unqualified when he was selected and time has not made him any less so.

Thomas’ hypocrisy and intellectual inconsistency reeks like an infant’s diaper after too many jars of cream corn. I’m attacking this unqualified, groveling, sniveling dullard because he is the WORST sort of hypocrite because Thomas benefited from the very same affirmative action he now lusts to destroy.

The man is a joke and not a particularly funny one at that. I am repulsed by Clarence Thomas. Not because he’s a conservative. Because he’s selfish, cold, hateful, vengeful and malicious. Thomas is fueled by spite and has turned that spitefulness into a long and sustained attack on African Americans from his seat on the Supreme Court. Where his predecessor Thurgood Marshall fought for and articulated for the Constitutional rights of 35 million Blacks, Thomas wages war against them

If Scalia thinks Blacks can’t hack it, he should start with the moron who sits next to him, but he won’t because Uncle Thomas is Scalia’s idea of a Good Negro. Never speaks out of turn, defers to his betters, and knows his place. Yep, Uncle Thomas is Scalia’s boy, all right.

A boy and his dog.

My opinion on affirmative action is this: it was a necessary remedy due to the sickness of institutional racism that stigmatized and excluded people of color. And it’s still necessary.

Fat Tony’s insulting, belittling, and despicable remarks have the stench of industrial strength racism wafting from them and I have no reason to be respectful of an unrepentant bigot. Calling Scalia “fat” is a mild insult compared to his massive insult Blacks are too stupid to compete on the collegiate level.

Scalia is a fossil and when he finally dries up and blows away it will be a net plus for the highest court he drags into a sewer of ignorance.

Should She Stay or Should She Go?

Liberals welcomed Ginsburg’s arrival on the Court but some worry she’s stayed too long.

The legal legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg may hinge on two  “20/20” questions only she knows the answer to.   Should she step down from the Supreme Court seat she’s held for 20 years while there’s a Democrat in the White House until 2016 and a Democratically controlled Senate for at least another 20 months?

If Ginsburg cares at all about her legacy, she should step down while there’s still an opportunity to be replaced by a like-minded justice. If she hangs on beyond 2013 the odds keep going up a Republican controlled Senate will turn back any successor they consider too far to the Left.

I’m not the only progressive checking out the calendar and worrying Ginsburg may hang around past President Obama’s term.  In an essay for Salon Jonathan Bernstein laid out the looming dilemma.

Retiring and giving up her final years on the nation’s high court is a lot to ask from Ginsburg, who has been a liberal hero for many years. But just as she was a liberal hero before serving on the Supreme Court, she can be a liberal hero again by leaving it.

This is all pretty straightforward. Ginsburg is 80. Her health is apparently fine now, although she’s a two-time cancer survivor. There’s every possibility she could not only continue in office beyond the Barack Obama presidency but that she could survive even eight years of a Republican in office after that, if that’s what’s in the cards.

And yet: “Every possibility” isn’t good enough. Ginsburg will turn 84 soon after Obama’s successor will be sworn in. Realistically, anyone planning for the future has to assume there’s a 50 percent chance of that successor being a Republican.

Moreover, the simple fact is that most Republicans will support a filibuster against any Supreme Court nominee. Right now, the 55 Democrats (including two independents who caucus with the Democrats) may be enough, combined with a handful of Republicans who are moderate enough or simply oppose knee-jerk filibusters, to get a nominee confirmed.

It’s only going to get harder, however. Next year is an election year, and Republicans fearing a Tea Party challenge will be even more reluctant to let the Kenyan socialist in the White House have a third Supreme Court nominee confirmed. And after that, the odds are pretty good that Democrats will lose ground in the 2014 elections and that they could even lose their majority in the Senate altogether.

And then every month that goes by brings us that much closer to January 2017 and makes it that much easier for Republicans to just implement a confirm-nobody strategy to run out the clock.

Polski: Thurgood Marshall

Marshall was replaced by Clarence Thomas, his polar opposite.

Why should she stay? She’s been there 20 years already. Or do you want her to repeat Thurgood Marshall‘s mistake by hanging on too long and letting a Republican president appoint her replacement?

I’ve never understood why these Justices hang on to the bitter end. They live in Washington and they’re political animals: Ginsburg knows she’s more likely to be replaced by someone closer to her ideologically if Obama has Patrick Leahy running the Judiciary Committee instead of Charles Grassley.

An appointment to the Supreme Court is a lifetime gig, but why wait until you’re almost dead to step aside gracefully.   It’s not as if Ginsburg will out-wait Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas to see who steps down first.  Those two bastards would sooner eat their feet than allow Obama to pick their replacements.  Unless they drop dead during oral arguments (and as Thomas rarely speaks or asks any questions, who’s gonna notice if he does?), it’s Ginsburg at the top of the chart of associate justices most likely to call it quits.

It sounds cold to suggest Ginsburg exchange her robes for  slippers and morning television, but if she’s replaced by another Thomas as Marshall was she might have wished she retired a year earlier than later.

I’m a political animal too. Holding on to the bitter end is not a good way for a Supreme Court Justice to go out.   Ginsburg is serving a lifetime appointment and as long as her health holds up and her mental facilities are sharp (as lawyers who  are subject to her questioning during oral argument before the Court can attest to) she shouldn’t be badgered into leaving before she’s ready to go.   The way most of the Justices ignore the media and decline to do interviews it is unlikely Ginsburg pays much attention to the angst of progressives.

Ginsburg and her colleagues on the Court serve lifetime appointments to insulate them from political pressure.  That doesn’t mean when they choose or don’t choose to step aside doesn’t have major political impact.

Whether Ginsburg decides to stay or go, this woman who is small in stature will have a huge impact on the future direction of justice in America.

Ginsburg is a little lady who has a big impact.

Clarence the Cruel’s Reign of Error

Thomas mopes thinking about the prisoners that got away from him.

“I don’t think that he was a strong enough jurist and legal thinker at the time to be elevated to that position.’  ~ Barack Obama on Clarence Thomas

Long before he bumped Uncle Thomas from his perch as the Most Powerful Black Man in America, Barack Obama taught Constitutional law at Harvard.   This put him in a position where he could make an informed judgment as to what makes someone “the right stuff” to sit on the Supreme Court.

The skimpy qualifications, the shaky jurisprudence, and the dubious legal philosophy of Uncle Thomas are bad enough, but add his predisposition to actively stake out the most intemperate, extreme and even deliberately sadistic positions, particularly when minority prisoners are involved and Thomas earns the title of “Clarence the Cruel” as columnist Derrick Z. Jackson dubbed him in 2003.

In an 8-1 ruling, the court found that state and federal courts ignored evidence that prosecutors used peremptory strikes to eliminate 10 of 11 potential black jurors in a death penalty case involving a black defendant. Their finding will allow Thomas Miller-El, convicted in 1986 of killing a hotel clerk in a robbery, another chance to challenge his sentence in federal appeals court.

In writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy cited the fact that prosecutors used their peremptory strikes so sweepingly for black jurors while using them for only four of 31 nonblack jurors. Kennedy noted the fact that black jurors were grilled in much more graphic ways than nonblack jurors about the proposed execution of Miller-El. Prosecutors also suspiciously used a ”jury shuffle” to remove potential black jurors from the front seats of the pool.

”Happenstance is unlikely to produce this disparity,” Kennedy wrote.

Kennedy found relevant the sordid history of Dallas County, which had a reputation for excluding African-Americans from juries. The reputation is encapsulated in a 1963 circular from the district attorney’s office that told prosecutors, ”Do not take Jews, Negroes, Dagos, Mexicans, or a member of any minority race on a jury, no matter how rich or how educated.”

Kennedy said there was evidence that such practices lingered into the 1980s, at the time of Miller-El’s trial. ”The culture of the district attorney’s office in the past was suffused with bias against African-Americans in jury selection,” Kennedy wrote. He added, ”Even if we presume at this stage that the prosecutors in Miller-El’s case were not part of this culture of discrimination, the evidence suggests they were likely not ignorant of it. Both prosecutors joined the district attorney’s office when assistant district attorneys received formal training in excluding minorities from juries.”

The evidence was enough for even the highly conservative Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Antonin Scalia to go along with the majority. But Thomas dissented. Despite all of Kennedy’s citations, Thomas said Miller-El’s case rested only on ”circumstantial evidence and speculation.” Thomas wrote that Miller-El ”has not shown by clear and convincing evidence that any peremptory strikes of black veniremen were exercised because of race.”

Back in 1992, just after joining the court, Thomas dissented in the 7-2 decision that upheld a $800 award for damages for a Louisiana inmate who, from behind his locked cell, argued with a prison guard. Three guards took the inmate out of his cell, put him in handcuffs and shackles, and dragged him to a hallway where they beat him so badly that he suffered a cracked dental plate.

The lower court ruled that the beating had nothing to do with acceptable prison discipline. But Thomas all but laughed off the beating, saying the injuries were ”minor.” Thomas said the ”use of force that causes only insignificant harm to a prisoner may be immoral, it may be tortious, it may be criminal, and it may even be remediable under other provisions of the Federal Constitution, but it is not `cruel and unusual punishment.”’

Last year Thomas was one of three dissenters, with Rehnquist and Scalia, in the 6-3 decision that found that executing the mentally retarded was ”cruel and unusual punishment.” Also last year, Thomas dissented from a 6-3 decision to ban the practice in Alabama of chaining prisoners to outdoor ”hitching posts” and abandoning them for hours without food, water, or a chance to use the bathroom. While the majority also called that ”cruel and unusual,” Thomas said the hitching post served ”a legitimate penological purpose,” encouraging a prisoner’s ”compliance with prison rules while out on work duty.”

No justice for Black inmates from the Court’s only Black justice.

Thomas dismisses any suggestion of bias playing a part in excluding Blacks from a jury pool even when Antonin Scalia agrees it is present as he did in a separate 2005 case.

The question in Johnson v. California, No. 04-6964, was how much evidence of possible discrimination must be presented to invoke the Batson decision’s requirement of a race-neutral explanation.

The California Supreme Court had required evidence that discrimination was “more likely than not” the reason for the peremptory strike. But Justice Stevens, writing for the 8-to-1 majority on Monday, said that this standard was too onerous. It was sufficient to have “an inference” of discrimination at this initial stage, he said.

Justice Thomas was the lone dissenter.

Thomas had been on the Court for a matter of months when he joined with Scalia in dissent on the founding fathers “simply did not conceive of the Eighth Amendment as protecting inmates from harsh treatment” and “The Eighth Amendment is not, and should not be turned into, a National Code of Prison Regulation.”

Let’s review: Uncle Thomas is fine when district attorneys use their power to strike all Blacks from a jury pool.  Uncle  Thomas is fine with guards beating a prisoner so severely it leaves him with a cracked dental place and blows off the injury as “minor.”

Uncle Thomas is fine with executing the mentally retarded.  Uncle Thomas is cool with chaining prisoners to “hitching posts” without food, water or even if they soil themselves.

Uncle Thomas has an expansive view of prisoners rights.  He doesn’t believe they have any.   His hostility towards the incarcerated continues to this day.   In January, the Court ruled 8-1 to overturn the murder conviction of Juan Smith because prosecutors had failed to disclose that Larry Boatner, the only eyewitness had informed authorities he could not identify the killer.

Need I say the name of the “justice” who was the Lone Ranger with no problem that the prosecutor had withheld evidence?

In 1995, intruders attacked a home in New Orleans in search of money and drugs.  They shot and killed five people in the home invasion.  Boatner said the assailants were Black, but never saw their faces.

“We have observed that evidence impeaching an eyewitness may not be material if the state’s other evidence is strong enough to sustain confidence in the verdict,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. “That is not the case here.”

Roberts wrote a four-page opinion, but Thomas furiously retaliated with a 19-page dissent,  “Much of the record evidence confirms that, from the night of the murders through trial, Boatner consistently described — with one understandable exception — the first perpetrator through the door, that Boatner’s description matched Smith,” Thomas wrote.

“The question presented here is not whether a prudent prosecutor should have disclosed the information that Smith identifies.”

Thomas was unsuccessful in swaying a majority of his Court colleagues of Smith’s guilt, but in 2011, he persuaded them to join him in denying financial restitution to a prisoner who had been wrongly convicted and incarcerated on Death Row for 14 years.

Thompson was weeks away from his scheduled execution when a private investigator discovered a blood test that prosecutors knew of, but hid from Thompson’s attorneys.   They also learned of eyewitness reports that didn’t match Thompson’s description.    In 1999, Thompson was acquitted and the jury awarded him $14 million in damages–a million for each year he spent in prison.

Thompson’s attorneys found out the evidence that could have set him free was known by at least four prosecutors, but Thomas, writing for the 5-4 majority said Thompson’s case was a “single incident” and there was no misconduct.

Wrongly convicted, condemned to die, and the Court’s conservatives say, “tough.”

The prosecutor in Thompson’s case was Harry Connick Sr. (father of the famous singer) and the Court’s conservatives bent over backwards to shield his decision to withhold evidence that would have set a wrongly incarcerated man free.  Thomas wrote:    The role of a prosecutor is to see that justice is done. “It is as much [a prosecutor’s] duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.” By their own admission, the prosecutors who tried Thompson’s armed robbery case failed to carry out that responsibility. But the only issue before us is whether Connick, as the policymaker for the district attorney’s office, was deliberately indifferent to the need to train the attorneys under his authority.

Uncle Thomas has slammed shut the doors of the Supreme Court in the faces of every falsely convicted inmate and given the green light to unscrupulous prosecutors to subvert the law in order to obtain a conviction.

Black America Web columnist Tonyaa Weathersbee could only shake her head at the casual cruelty of Uncle Thomas.

Maybe John Thompson reminded Clarence Thomas of a childhood nemesis.

Maybe Thompson, who spent 14 years on Louisiana’s Death Row when prosecutors deliberately withheld evidence that would have proved his innocence, reminded the Supreme Court justice of one of the bullies who taunted him about his coal-black skin.

Or maybe, at least in Thomas’ eyes, Thompson quickly morphed into a black man who was looking for a handout instead of justice.

Thomas resents the way he was treated by what he considers “liberal Black elites.” He doesn’t like it that people believed Anita Hill and not him. He feels he was treated poorly by other Blacks for being “too dark” and “ethnic” in his appearance. He really resents the expectation that because he replaced a legendary figure in Marshall, he has to follow in his footsteps.

All that anger, all that bitterness and all that scorn Thomas believed he had to take, he’s giving back in spades.

Uncle Thomas is full of resentment and he’s not leaving the Court until he’s settled all scores and grudges, real or imagined.