State Of The Union · State of the Union Address

State Of The Union Address 2011: Supreme Court Justices Won’t All Attend


 NOTE:  This article was to have been posted hours ago.  I was having some connectivity issues with my computer.  I apologize for the delay.

Never, in my lifetime have I seen such disrespect for a sitting president…

Huffington Post

Chief Justice John Roberts will lead a contingent of six Supreme Court justices at President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, quieting speculation that only Democratic appointees to the court would attend.

Roberts had objected to the partisan atmosphere at last year’s address, particularly after Obama offered rare criticism of the court during his speech.

Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg confirmed that six justices would be present at Tuesday’s speech, although she would not say which ones. But as three of the nine justices had previously all but ruled themselves out, it seemed a safe assumption that Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy would join their four colleagues who were appointed by Democratic presidents.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor also are expected to attend. For Kagan, it would be her first speech since Obama nominated her last year. Sotomayor was Obama’s first high court pick.

Justice Samuel Alito, who mouthed the words “not true” in response to Obama’s criticism, is spending this week as “jurist in residence” at the University of Hawaii law school. Justice Antonin Scalia, at the Capitol Monday to speak to the Tea Party Caucus, has not attended a State of the Union speech at least since the mid-1990s. Justice Clarence Thomas said last year that he doesn’t go because “it has become so partisan,” although he attended Obama’s first speech to Congress in February 2009.   More…

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MediaMatters · Right Wing Extremism · Right Wing Vitriol · Right-wing disinformation campaign · Right-wing Media · Right-Wing Propaganda · Right-wing Race-baiting · Rush Limbaugh

Roll Call: Republicans Admit Congress Members Carefully Avoid Contradicting Conservative Media Figures

Rush Limbaugh Cartoon by Ian D. Marsden of mar...
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Media Matters

Roll Call’s Christina Bellantoni reports today that “Several Republicans privately admitted Members carefully monitor what’s being said on conservative airwaves to make sure they aren’t contradicting it or enraging talkers.”

Also from Bellantoni’s January 24 article:

With Members taking cues from the echo chamber as well as their party leadership, it’s changed the way business gets done. Limbaugh and Fox News hosts Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity can mobilize more voters than any press release or floor speech, so Members find themselves needing to be responsive or face their wrath.

A Republican strategist and former top Republican National Committee aide told Roll Call that Members have one of two reactions when constituents start a message with “I just heard on Rush today …” — “joy and panic.”

Limbaugh has more than 20 million listeners, and most Members couldn’t dream of their message being so widely spread back home, the GOP strategist said.

“You’ve got to break eggs to make an omelette, and if you’ve never been mentioned on these shows in either a favorable or less than favorable context, one has to wonder, are you actually making an impact?” the strategist said.

If Limbaugh or Beck pushes an issue, his audience picks up the phone and taps out e-mails, asking lawmakers to take action. “These Members understand that their constituents are listening to this, and the consequence will elicit action that will place pressure on them,” the strategist said.


Keith Olbermann

Senator Olbermann? Online Movement Afoot To Draft Ex-MSNBCer For Senate Run

Things are getting curiouser and curiouser…

TPM LiveWire

Friday night’s shocking announcement that Keith Olbermann was immediately leaving MSNBC has had an interesting effect on both detractors and supporters. Right of center media outlets appear to a have embraced a measured yet celebratory tone, while those on the left have called it an “end of free speech,” and have begun to hypothesis what could be Olbermann’s next steps. Some enterprising members of the left wing DailyKos website have begun a DraftOlbermann campaign for the Connecticut Senate seat soon to be vacated by Joe Lieberman. Hey if Linda McMahon can run

Started by DailyKos contributor who goes by the moniker “Stranded Wind,” the movement is still very much in its infancy, and is likely to be seen as delusional by its detractors. Still, its a rather impressive reaction that says more about the loyal following that Olbermann engendered from the DailyKos, even if detractors are certain to portray this as a joke, or if there is realistically very little chance for a potential senate run.

The thinking is summed up “He is, however, just old enough, smart enough, polished enough, and has all of the other attributes that would make him a darned good Senator for the state of Connecticut,” adding “So we decided we’d draft him to replace Joe Lieberman.” There are some concerns for NOT doing this, but those get addressed as well.    More…

Politics · Politics News · President Barack Obama · State Of The Union · State of the Union Address

Justice Scalia Goes to Capitol Hill

President George W. Bush delivers his State of...
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As Rachel Maddow pointed out on her show last night, the normal contingent of the nine Supreme Court Justices will not be attending the State of the Union address this evening.  Apparently, Justices Roberts and Alito claim that the event has become more like a political pep rally in recent years, thus choosing not to be there this year.

The problem most Progressives would have with the Justices conclusion is simply personified with Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas attending right-wing political events.  Justice Scalia has gone even further, by holding  a constitutional seminar for the freshman class of the 112th Congress, yesterday.

Now if that’s not “political”, what is?  I think the SOTU being “too political” excuse doesn’t hold water to the four afore-mentioned Justices attendance to various GOP political functions.

The New York Times

Representative Michele Bachmann played hostess Monday to Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court in the first of what she said would be several “constitutional seminars” for members of the House.

Monday’s seminar, which Ms. Bachmann’s office said was attended by 30 to 35 House members, including at 4 Democrats, focused on the separation of powers. The session was closed to the media, but afterward some members described Justice Scalia’s remarks as probing and funny, and said he told them to “pay attention to the Constitution.”

The Obama administration’s health care law did not come up in Mr. Scalia’s remarks or during the question-and-answer session, Ms. Bachmann said. Instead, she said, the session focused on other issues, like whether earmarks would be considered constitutional, though she declined to provide Mr. Scalia’s thoughts on the matter.

Ms. Bachmann declined to comment on other matters, like her flirtation with a 2012 run at the White House, or the fact that she is giving a response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, in addition to the official Republican response planned by Representative Paul Ryan. “It’s not a competition,” she said, as she headed off down the hall.

Ms. Bachmann said she would be inviting other members of the court to speak to members
of Congress, as well as law professors and other constitutional scholars.
“We will be extending an invitation to any of the justices who would like to speak with us,” she said. “We’d be honored to have any of them come that are there, and whether they are liberal or conservative we leave it for your judgment to determine.”

She added later, “The Constitution is not a partisan document.”

Fox News · Fox News Distortions · Fox News Lies · Fox News Violent Rhetoric · Invoking the Word "Nazi" · Jon Stewart · Nazism

Jon Stewart Demonstrates Just How Often Fox News Personalities Reference Nazis

Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "Th...
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Only Jon Stewart can (or will) pull this off…


Last week Megyn Kelly notably pushed back when guest Richard Socarides claimed that Fox News opinion media types were guilty of making similar sort of Nazi references that Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) made on the house floor earlier last week. Tonight Jon Stewart challenged his production staff to find evidence of Nazi references on Fox News within 24 hours of Kelly’s comments and the results were not pretty. (Funny though!)

The following segment opens with a quick recap of Olbermann’s departure, before launching in a tour de force that is sure to make loyal fans of The Daily Show very happy.