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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
Number of posts: 168,475

Journal Archives

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dominates in abortion case

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dominates in abortion case
By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter
Updated 8:10 AM ET, Thu March 5, 2020

Washington (CNN)If there is any question whether 86-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has spent her life steeped in issues concerning women's rights, is slowing down after four bouts of cancer, it was not evident Wednesday morning in Washington.

For over an hour, Ginsburg, the leading liberal on the bench, engaged in a high stakes constitutional version of whack-a-mole, taking down arguments put forward by supporters of a Louisiana abortion access law that requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

As lawyers for the state and the Trump administration urged the justices to greenlight the law, arguing it is necessary to protect public safety, Ginsburg worked to dismantle each of their arguments one by one. At times, she even went after her own conservative colleagues.

Ginsburg, who has served almost 30 years on the Supreme Court, is witnessing efforts by Republican-led states, emboldened by a new conservative majority on the Court, to pass increasingly restrictive abortion laws. Abortion rights supporters, who have spent years in the trenches, are fearful that the Court is rolling back rights. In Court, Ginsburg calmly, persistently and systematically dissected each point.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 5, 2020, 11:19 AM (3 replies)

Schumer Being Reprimanded by Chief Justice Roberts 'Hurts the Notion of Judicial Independence...

Chuck Schumer Being Reprimanded by Chief Justice Roberts 'Hurts the Notion of Judicial Independence,' Say Legal Experts
By James Walker On 3/5/20 at 7:32 AM EST

Supreme Court Justice John Roberts' rebuke of Chuck Schumer over remarks he made at an abortion rights rally risked hurting "the notion of judicial independence" and "public faith" in America's top court, two senior lawyers have said.

The Obama-era U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, Joyce Vance said Chief Justice Roberts' comments released in a Wednesday statement risked damaging public faith in the Supreme Court's neutrality.

Gibson Dunn Partner Ted Boutrous added that Roberts should have "repudiated" President Donald Trump's attacks on Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Ginsburg last week, suggesting his failure to do so while blasting Schumer brought the court's impartiality into question.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 5, 2020, 11:14 AM (20 replies)

Democrats Lead In Four Key Senate Races


Democrats Lead In Four Key Senate Races
March 5, 2020 at 8:40 am EST By Taegan Goddard

Public Policy Polling surveyed four critical U.S. Senate races and found Democrats leading in them all:

ARIZONA: Mark Kelly (D) leads Sen. Martha McSally (R), 47% to 42%

COLORADO: John Hickenlooper (D) leads Sen. Cory Gardner (R), 51% to 38%.

MAINE: Sara Gideon (D) leads Sen. Susan Collins (R), 47% to 43%

NORTH CAROLINA: Cal Cunningham (D) leads Sen. Thom Tillis (R), 46% to 41%.

Key takeaway: “The Maine result is most interesting. When PPP first polled the Gideon-Collins match up for a private client last spring, Collins led by 18 points at 51% to 33%. The reason for the 22 point shift since then is that in the wake of opposing impeachment, Collins has lost most of the crossover Democratic support she’s relied on for her success over the years.”
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 5, 2020, 09:04 AM (13 replies)

A Not-So-Super Tuesday By Connie Schultz

A Not-So-Super Tuesday
By Connie Schultz

March 5, 2020 6 min read


Jessica Valenti, a brilliant feminist writer two decades younger than me, wrote this after Super Tuesday, for Medium:

"Even just supporting Warren has come with an unbearable amount of misogynist condescension. I'm tired of being told that I'm a single-issue voter because I care about a candidate's gender, even if it's not the only thing I care about. I'm over being made to feel as if representation for half the population isn't a necessary and radical political position. I don't appreciate being told that I'm either anti-revolution because I didn't support Bernie Sanders or unrealistic because I won't vote for Joe Biden. I especially resent the theory being bandied about that Warren somehow 'stole' votes from Sanders; it's nonsense."

If you had told me 20 years ago that we'd still be having this conversation about the limitations of women, the only thing I would have allowed you was a running start to get out of my way. Our daughters aren't much younger than Valenti, which might be why these words of hers took my breath away:

"Whoever the nominee is, their campaign is going to have to come to terms with the intense misogyny so many female voters have dealt with — and understand that it's an issue we care deeply about. And their supporters are going to have to let us be sad — depressed, even — that once again we're going to watch a race to leadership between old white men."


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 5, 2020, 12:20 AM (11 replies)

DoD Contractor Charged with Leaking Military Secrets to Individual Linked to Militant Group


DoD Contractor Charged with Leaking Military Secrets to Individual Linked to Militant Group
4 Mar 2020
The Canadian Press | By Eric Tucker

WASHINGTON — A Defense Department contract linguist has been charged with giving classified information, including the names of American intelligence assets, to a Lebanese national with ties to Hezbollah, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors accused Mariam Taha Thompson, 61, formerly of Rochester, Minnesota, of turning over information that placed in danger those intelligence assets and American military personnel.

Thompson was due in court later Wednesday for an initial appearance. She was arrested last week on the espionage-related allegation.

Prosecutors said that during a six-week period starting in late December, when U.S. airstrikes targeted Iranian-backed forces in Iraq, Thompson repeatedly accessed dozens of files that she had no need to review. Those files included the names of human assets, their photographs and cables detailing the information that the sources provided to the U.S. government.

Prosecutors said that when officials searched her living quarters, they found a handwritten note in Arabic concealed under her mattress with information about Defense Department computer systems and warning of a Defense Department target.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 4, 2020, 06:14 PM (2 replies)

Is there any chance Biden and Sanders will debate?

Any precedent? I can't remember if that's a thing.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 4, 2020, 06:09 PM (4 replies)

digby: The Best and the Brightest fail again


The Best and the Brightest fail again
Published by digby on March 3, 2020

This piece by George Packer may be the best analysis of what’s happened to our government — and why — than anything else I’ve read:

When Donald Trump came into office, there was a sense that he would be outmatched by the vast government he had just inherited.


The adults were too sophisticated to see Trump’s special political talents—his instinct for every adversary’s weakness, his fanatical devotion to himself, his knack for imposing his will, his sheer staying power. They also failed to appreciate the advanced decay of the Republican Party, which by 2016 was far gone in a nihilistic pursuit of power at all costs. They didn’t grasp the readiness of large numbers of Americans to accept, even relish, Trump’s contempt for democratic norms and basic decency. It took the arrival of such a leader to reveal how many things that had always seemed engraved in monumental stone turned out to depend on those flimsy norms, and how much the norms depended on public opinion. Their vanishing exposed the real power of the presidency. Legal precedent could be deleted with a keystroke; law enforcement’s independence from the White House was optional; the separation of powers turned out to be a gentleman’s agreement; transparent lies were more potent than solid facts. None of this was clear to the political class until Trump became president.

But the adults’ greatest miscalculation was to overestimate themselves—particularly in believing that other Americans saw them as selfless public servants, their stature derived from a high-minded commitment to the good of the nation.

When Trump came to power, he believed that the regime was his, property he’d rightfully acquired, and that the 2 million civilians working under him, most of them in obscurity, owed him their total loyalty. He harbored a deep suspicion that some of them were plotting in secret to destroy him. He had to bring them to heel before he could be secure in his power. This wouldn’t be easy—the permanent government had defied other leaders and outlasted them. In his inexperience and rashness—the very qualities his supporters loved—he made early mistakes. He placed unreliable or inept commissars in charge of the bureaucracy, and it kept running on its own.

But a simple intuition had propelled Trump throughout his life: Human beings are weak. They have their illusions, appetites, vanities, fears. They can be cowed, corrupted, or crushed. A government is composed of human beings. This was the flaw in the brilliant design of the Framers, and Trump learned how to exploit it. The wreckage began to pile up. He needed only a few years to warp his administration into a tool for his own benefit. If he’s given a few more years, the damage to American democracy will be irreversible.


Read the whole article if you can. It’s actually quite frightening because it discusses in detail just how much carnage he has caused within the institutions of government. It’s laid bare just how vulnerable they always were. And someone smarter but equally conscienceless as Trump will be able to take advantage of that in a much more systematic way.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 4, 2020, 05:50 PM (3 replies)

To Democratic Party voters who "will never vote" for so-and-so:

Copied from a friend:

To Democratic Party voters who "will never vote" for so-and-so:

You're not voting for President.

You're voting for who replaces RBG. You're voting for the next Secretary of Education. You're voting for federal judges. You're voting for the rule of law. You're voting for saving national parks. You're voting for letting kids out of cages. You're voting for clean air and clean water. You're voting for scientists to be allowed to speak about climate change. You're voting for what the President says on Twitter. You're voting for housing rights. You're voting for LGBTQ people to be treated with dignity. You're voting for non-Christians to be able to adopt and to feel like full citizens. You're voting for Dreamers. You're voting so that there will be Social Security and Medicare when you retire. You're voting for veterans to get the care they deserve. You're voting for rural hospitals. You're voting so that someone else can have health insurance. You're voting for PBS. You're voting to have a President who doesn't embarrass this country every time she or he attends an international meeting. And you're voting against allowing the USA to become yet another authoritarian regime.

No Democrat is perfect. Your first AND second choices may have dropped out. Your third might. But here's the thing--and I need you to understand it--the nominee, no matter who she or he is, will not be perfect. They won't pass your purity test. And yet every single one of them will be better than four more years of Trump.

Please copy and paste this. Share it far and wide.

Copied from a friend, but sums it up perfectly.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 4, 2020, 11:25 AM (23 replies)

Liz Cheney says Trump and Pompeo flat-out lied about the Afghan peace deal


Liz Cheney says Trump and Pompeo flat-out lied about the Afghan peace deal

Posted by Will Bishop | Mar 4, 2020 | GOP, International News, National News, Trump | 0 |
Liz Cheney says Trump and Pompeo flat-out lied about the Afghan peace deal

Even though she has been one of President Donald Trump’s most ardent defenders over the past three years, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) isn’t happy with the recently announced U.S.-Taliban peace deal, and she’s even claiming that Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied about the details of the plan.

During a briefing in the House on Tuesday, Cheney accused Pompeo and the administration of not telling the truth, noting that classified documents related to the deal with the Taliban don’t include the things the Secretary of State said they would:

Video @ link~

As Cheney is learning the hard way, much of what the Trump administration says cannot be accepted at face value. The president himself has been caught in over 16,000 lies or half-truths since taking office, and usually resorts to fiction rather than merely stating the facts and being honest.

When it comes to the U.S.-Taliban deal, Cheney sounded totally unconvinced that such a plan was in the best interests of the United States, remarking:

“What we have seen with this agreement now concerns me as much as the Iranian nuclear deal did, now that I have seen the documents and now that there seems to be still no verification mechanism by which we are going to enforce any of the so-called Taliban promise.”


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 4, 2020, 11:00 AM (22 replies)

The Rude Pundit: The Coronavirus Reveals the Need for a Strong Federal Government


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
The Coronavirus Reveals the Need for a Strong Federal Government


We don't know yet how bad it's gonna get with coronavirus. It might be fucking awful, with millions infected and tens of thousands (or more) dying. It might fade as more and more measures are put into place to deal with it. Or not. We don't fuckin' know. We know it kills more people than the regular flu. And, right now, we know that the Trump administration has fucked it up something awful.

For instance, we knew that the virus was spreading quickly in China in late January, and we knew that Americans had traveled there and returned, along with whatever visitors came to the United States from there. But the federal government didn't really kick into gear until a little over a week ago. Yep, we could have been doing shit to get ready for this for weeks before we did, but Trump didn't want anyone to think a virus would be able to get across the border while he's president or some fucking thing, so we waited and now we're scrambling to get to where South Korea and the EU are now. (By the way, the EU Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is an awesome resource.)

As the number of cases and the number of deaths rise, as Trump displays his brand of breathtakingly confident stupidity, the nation is getting a simple lesson: We need a fucking strong federal government precisely for shit like this instead of the toxic soup of incompetence, cruelty, and narcissism that's running things now.

And there's a related lesson: this is why you have health care freely available to everyone. Every-fucking-one. Otherwise, you have a bunch of sick people in your country who aren't getting treated because they can't afford it or are afraid some depraved fuck is going to have them deported. And a country might get away with that cruelty when it's just regular ol' flu. But when shit gets real and you don't have that infrastructure even close to in place? You might just get fucked by some new disease.

Now that they're scared, even some Republicans are saying, "Well, fuck me. Okay, fine, on this the government needs to step up and pay for shit or we're all fucked." Except guess who's been helping the president take a wrecking ball to the CDC and other agencies? Look in the mirror, fuckos.

Yes, back in 2009 and 2010, Democrats didn't get the job done on health care. But fuckin' Republicans stood as a bloc in the way. They are more to blame than just a couple of Democratic senators (although fuck them, too). The Republicans need to pay for an ideology that has actually led to more death and suffering in the United States, and if this virus gets really bad, that check is gonna be high.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 4, 2020, 08:10 AM (0 replies)
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