Monday, July 13, 2009

TV That Sucks (Other Than Idol) and the AOTW

I'm in the middle of catching up on the cleaning I've been neglecting or falling short on (mainly because I'm either streaming shows on my laptop (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 3 (because 24, season one, is coming up at 1 ep a week)) or gaming (4AM on Sunday morning) or chasing kids) and I notice that the normal PBS Kids programming (which I both value and ridicule (they made the mistake of rhyming in my presence)) is off and the Sonia Sotomayor nomination hearing is on.

It's been 25 minutes at this point. So far, we've heard from a couple of senators who apparently like to hear the sound of their own voice. Oh, and they really like to explain the obvious (each one of them) and tell the nominee how she should do her job.

And I think I heard them mention they were going to have to preempt some question time tomorrow to have some more opening statements.

And the only idiots worse than the Senators is the screaming protestors (got one in the first hour already).

Either way, it's boring fucking television. If it were me up there, I'd say, "Read your shit statements; then call me in lest we have to stop to mop vomit."

And on that note:

Sonia Sotomayor is Asshat of the Week!

Now before you either cheer or sneer, let me explain why. It's not because of her jurisprudence, because that's going to be mentioned somewhere in the hearings (and then I'll grill her on substance). It's because she has to sit in front of a bunch of sanctimonious pricks and listen to them vomit shit for hours upon end, all in the name of "assessing" her credentials and suitability for the position of Supreme Court Justice.

Because, except at the local level, judges are not elected officials. They are supposed to advance on merit, and on sound philosophy. It should not degenerate into a political bitch fight.

But it will, of course. Although it's likely that this hearing will degenerate, it probably won't be the worst. The worst I can remember (and I'm a relative young'n' compared to many of my readers) was the nomination of Justice Thomas, which degenerated into a sexual harassment debate (pubic hairs on a Coke can and Long Dong Silver should have never become a part of any discussion at this point). Having dealt with the "guilty until proven innocent" attitude that prevailed at the time myself, bullshit is not nearly a strong enough term.

And the fight over Sotomayor has been going on since the moment she was nominated (with or without all the facts). Hell, it made news when she blew out an ankle (Hillary Clinton only got a mention because it was a week after Sotomayor's stumble)

But now, the public opinion argument gives way to the inherent asshattery of the Senate hearing. So for subjecting herself to this kangaroo court/handjob session that masquerades as a quest for fact and assessment, the next Supreme Court justice deserves some honest mockery (as opposed to Proclamations of the Pompous).

25 comments:

TAO said...

Patrick,

A truly insightful AOTW adward!

TRUTH 101 said...

A spot on the Supreme Court is the dream of almost every lawyer. Going through bullshit confirmation hearings is just a distasteful part of it. It's not Sotomayor's fault. Therefore I disagree with your naming her AOTW.

Patrick M said...

101: Then I assume you'd also disagree with my award to President Obama on his inauguration (which he shared in spirit with every president that came before).

Remember, we are all asshats at some time (even me).

Shaw Kenawe said...

Tell me about it.

Jennifer said...

I truly wonder why the SCOTUS can't be nominated by the people. Then again they did such a bang up job electing some of our representatives and presidents!

TRUTH 101 said...

I prefer the term "shithead." "Asshat" is copywrited material owned by you and a few others Patrick. I don't want to piss you off by lifting your catch phrases.

But yes. You are wise to point out we all wear the brown hat sometime or another.

Beth said...

Why not make the process of nominating the SC judges the asshats instead of Sotomayor?

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

She is the next god of the left. Obama has been letting them down, so she is next to be deified as the Holy One.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...
She is the next god of the left. Obama has been letting them down, so she is next to be deified as the Holy One.


And you base this opinion on what evidence?

Admiring a person for his or her accomplishments and for realizing the American Dream of great success through one's own hard work and intelligence appears to enrage some conservatives.

Judge Sotomayor is nobody's "god." She's an extremely well-qualified judge--better qualified than was Judge Roberts and Judge Alito.

Are you serious about learning what Judge Sotomayor's record is or do you prefer to throw out unsubstantiated charges?

If you're serious, here's a site that talks about the judge's opinions.

Z-man said...

I agree totally with your blog Pat but this begs the questions why are Republicans so damn polite?? Look what the Dems did to Bork and Thomas (though for the record I don't at all share Bork's views on censorship as elucidated in his bestselling Slouching Towards Gomorrah). I don't really have strong feelings about Sotomayor but am troubled by that firefighter case in CT so I don't know why everyone feels she should be a shoo-in. Oh well there's always the Michael Jackson coverage to fall back on.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"...am troubled by that firefighter case in CT..."

Now couple that with Obama's desire to appoint judges with empathy and you've got the makings of a destructive force to the last best hope we have in America, and that is justice.

Patrick M said...

Jenn: The Constitution, and because our Founding Fathers knew better than to trust mob rule to get anything right.

Beth: Because Sotomayor makes a much better talking point. And she's a person, as opposed to a process.

PCC: I hate to agree with Shaw on this, but....

Shaw: I agree as far as your criticism of PCC's point. I'll be tearing into said nominee after I've read more on the hearing.

Z-man: ...why are Republicans so damn polite??

Two thoughts: 1. they have souls. 2. They're spineless pussies (especially the idiot Lindsey Graham, McCain's bitch boy).

And she's a shoo-in because the GOP can't do anything other than talk about why she's a bad choice, and because she's smart enough not to shoot herself in the foot if there is dirt out there.

Soaptastic: I'm trying to have an open mind about the independence of Sotomayor, and you keep reminding me of the person that nominated her. And I suspect your suspicions aand mine) will be proven right.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

It is quite a pleasant thing to be consistently right. And, without sounding too arrogant, I have to say that my track record thus far has been pretty good. Let us count some of the ways shall we?

I called the runup to the 2008 elections 1976 all over again. The Republicans, instead of putting up a true conservative, would throw out another Gerald Ford of sorts and lose to a liberal that would make Jimmy Carter look almost saintly in the eyes of Conservatives.

I called bullshit on the smoking bans placed upon private business owners and in so doing said it had nothing to do with health and everything to do with regulation and control. No sooner did I make such a claim and the SS (stop smoking) Nazis were out trying to ban smoking in open air parks.

I called bullshit on the Bush/Paulsen bailout and said that not only would it not do a thing to "stimulate" the economy, it would serve as the first of many blank checks going forward.

As soon as the Coleman/Franken Senate race entered a recount, I asserted that with the aid of ACORN and our corrupt Secretary of State, ballots would be found, double counted or not counted, the whole thing would result in a clusterfuck of mass proportion and Franken would come out the winner.

And I'm telling you now, Sotomayor is the furthest thing from a proper respresentative of blind justice.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

The "independence" of Sotomayor...LOL. Don't fall into the trap Patrick. The facts are these:

The District Court ruled that a neutral test used to determine promotions in the New Haven fire department, even though it was facially neutral, did have a disparate impact. Therefore, the court held that they were not going to allow the promotions of the white firefighters (and one Hispanic) because not enough minorities passed the test. The District Court then held that the discrimination against the firefighters was fine based on Griggs and all of that.

From there it went to the Second Circuit. And, it is here that it gets interesting…

In the Second Circuit it goes to a panel with Sotomayor and two other judges on it. They don’t consider the merits of the case, they don’t consider whether it was a quota, they don’t consider whether it was a reverse discrimination. They issue a Summary Judgment and the summary orders basically go unnoticed. Except, a Clinton appointee (Judge Jose’ Cabranes) reads about this in the newspaper and says, “I wasn’t aware of this and I sit on the Second Court.”

So he goes back and reads the District Court and he then demands, in a very unusual move, that the entire Second Circuit rehear the case en banc. He was voted down 7-6 (therefore the case was not revisited) to stand with the quota system and Sotomayor again voted to uphold the quota system by New Haven. At that point, it goes to the Supreme Court, where Cabranes was voted right and Sotomayor was voted wrong.

In yesterday’s hearings, Sotomayor would not say whether or not the Second Amendment was a fundamental right despite it being affirmed in the recent Heller opinion.

So let’s see if we understand Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy thus far… the Second Amendment explicitly stated in the Bill of Rights, is not a fundamental right that applies to the states. BUT, the right to privacy and abortion is settled law and that does apply to the states as she stated yesterday?? Is that consistent jurisprudence??

Hardly.

Case in point: what we’ve clearly seen is that Sotomayor will be a judicial activist when she needs to be to such that she would overturn centuries of common law as was done in the Griswold case, the Roe v. Wade case, and the Lawrence case. But then…when she and others of her willy nilly judicial philosophy want to keep that law going, they’ll cite Stare Decisis and Precedent applying the law as it exists.

So how is it that in the Frank Ricci case (New Haven firefighter case) that a Clinton appointee of Puerto Rican heritage (presumably a Democrat though we don’t know. Regardless he was a Clinton appointee so that’s good enough) thought that the Summary orders from the panel that Sotomayor sat on was so outrageous that he demanded a vote on a rehearing en banc? Did Cabranes and the Supreme Court get it wrong and Sotomayor get it right?

Again hardly.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

Also Patrick, with regards to "asshattery", I should think it more appropriate that it be reserved this week for the Republican "opposition" (to say there exists any) who has thus far exhibited neither the desire nor the fortitude to challenge Ms. Sotomayor's judicial inconsistencies on matters of Private Property rights, Gun rights, Quotas et al.

For the life of me, I'm not seeing much in the way of any challenge to those inconsistencies.

Patrick M said...

Soapster: I'm going to get into the meat of the hearing later this week, and while I'm letting her, and the idiots in the committee (including your junior Senator, Stuart Smalley) have their day and say, I think when I get to my final assessment, you won't be disappointed.

In other words, my Spider-sense is tingling like a mofo.

As for the GOP, I think they just need a box of porta-spines.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Soapster wrote: "In yesterday’s hearings, Sotomayor would not say whether or not the Second Amendment was a fundamental right despite it being affirmed in the recent Heller opinion.

So let’s see if we understand Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy thus far… the Second Amendment explicitly stated in the Bill of Rights, is not a fundamental right that applies to the states."

Wait a minute. Sotomayor did not give an unequivocal statement on the 2nd Amendment issue. You made a huge leap in saying she does not believe it is a fundamental right.

Here's a discussion of what went down in the hearings.

The Gray Headed Brother said...

I am sure that you will delete this comment, but just know that y'all sound like typical republican racists

Name: Soapboxgod said...

Hey Shaw. How about instead of linking a "discussion" of what went down (thus placing interpretation upon what ACTUALLY went down), you take a look at the actual transcript. The transcript is not a "discussion" of what happened but rather the factual existence of what went down.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/07/sotomayor-hearings-complete-transcript-part-two.html

"HATCH: OK. As I noted, the Supreme Court puts the Second Amendment in the same category as the First and the Fourth Amendments as pre-existing rights that the Constitution merely codified. Now, do you believe that the First Amendment rights, such as the right to freely exercise religion, the freedom of speech, or the freedom of the press, are fundamental rights?

SOTOMAYOR: Those rights have been incorporated against the states. The states must comply with them. So in -- to the extent that the court has held that...

HATCH: Right.

SOTOMAYOR: ... then they are -- they have been deemed fundamental, as that term is understood legally.

HATCH: What about the Fourth Amendment, about unreasonable -- unreasonable searches and seizures?

SOTOMAYOR: As well."


So let me stop here for a moment to point something out.

Sotomayor agrees that the aforementioned as outlined in the The Bill of Rights are fundamental rights.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

BUT, when it comes to the Second Amendment, she has held a different view as Hatch points out here:

"HATCH: I want to begin here today by looking at your cases in an area that is very important to -- to many of us, and that's the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms, and your conclusion that the -- that the right is not fundamental.

Now, in the 2004 case entitled United States v. Sanchez Villar, you handled the Second Amendment issue in a short footnote. You cited the second circuit's decision in United States v. Toner for the proposition that the right to possess a gun is not a fundamental right."


Those are the facts Shaw. Deny them all you want but it doesn't negate the fact they are there plain as day to see.

Try as you may, you cannot escape the reality that A is A.

dmarks said...

Gray Headed must have commented on the wrong post. The post and comments here have been racism-free.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

For the record Gray Headed Bro I'm not racist. I hate everyone with the same fervor.

Z-man said...

Hey Gray-Headed Brother we've been called racists for so long so why fight it?

whatchu lookin' at motherfucker?
i said WHATCHU lookin' at motherfucker?

Patrick M said...

GHB: First, let me say welcome, as I never really got the chance to get into it with you before you pulled your site due to some real idiots.

Second, I don't delete substantial comments, no matter how abysmally wrong. So if all you want to do is blather racism on something that isn't, go somewhere else. Otherwise, feel free to contribute.

Soaptastic: Let me guess, you hate people, but love gatherings.

Z-man: I'm willing to give GHB the floor on this if he can provide any grounds that we're all "racist Republicans" or even Republicans. So let's hold off on the dick waving contest.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"Soaptastic: Let me guess, you hate people, but love gatherings."

Bingo!

I especially love it when at said gatherings there are a flurry of individuals who wear socks with their sandals. I just point and laugh....