Just read between the lines...

Red Text is the real story hiding between the lines.
Violet Text is a notable quote from a specific blogger.
Blue Text is my own personal commentary.
Gold Text is a link to the original sources.

One word of advice I would offer to everyone who reads this blog;

....Each and every day, take just a moment of your precious time to pray for Peace and Justice.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Cloudy Friday

Red text is the "real" headline buried in the news.
Blue text is my own commentary.
Violet text is the blog quote of the day.

The decision, coming on the last day of this year's term, highlighted the fact that a conservative bloc led by Roberts prevailed in nearly all of the major cases that came before the court. On abortion, religion, campaign finance and now school integration, the chief justice has put together a five-member majority to move the law to the right. Roberts cited the decision in Brown in support of his opinion in the current case. Just as Brown struck down forced segregation nationwide, he said, the court is now declaring that students may not be classified "based on the color of their skin."The court's four liberal justices accused the majority of turning its back on Brown and the promise of racial integration."This is a decision that the court and the nation will come to regret," Justice Stephen G. Breyer said in a long dissent delivered in the courtroom."It is not often so few have quickly changed so much," he said at one point.In a separate dissent, 87-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens noted how far the court had moved in his long tenure. "It is my firm conviction that no member of the court that I joined in 1975 would have agreed with today's decision," he wrote.
Which brings us to the blog quote of the day,
"Just say no."
The Senate’s Democratic majority—joined by all Republicans who purport to be moderate—must tell President Bush that this will be their answer to any controversial nominee to the Supreme Court or to the appellate courts. The Senate should refuse even to hold hearings on Bush’s next Supreme Court choice, should a vacancy occur, unless the president reaches agreement with the Senate majority on a mutually acceptable list of nominees. And no Bush nominee to a lower court deserves any deference now that we learn that U.S. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh may have misled the Senate during his confirmation hearings. Kavanaugh claimed he was not involved in administration discussions about setting the rules for the treatment of enemy combatants. The Washington Post reported that he actually was. Although a spokeswoman for Kavanaugh insisted that his testimony was “accurate,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy said, “I don’t believe that he was truthful with us.” As for the Supreme Court, we now know that the president’s two nominees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, are exactly what many of us thought they were: activist conservatives intent on leading a judicial counterrevolution. Thursday’s 5-4 ruling tossing out two school desegregation plans was another milestone on the court’s march to the right.

Striking down an antitrust rule nearly a century old, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that it was not automatically unlawful for manufacturers and distributors to agree on minimum retail prices. Five justices, agreeing with the nation’s major manufacturers, said the new rule could in some instances lead to more competition and better service. But four dissenting justices agreed with 37 states and some consumer groups that abandoning the old rule could result in significantly higher prices and less competition (now wasn't that paltry sum they spent on Republican political campaigns over tha past ten years a great investment!!!) for consumer and other goods. The court struck down the 96-year-old rule that resale price maintenance agreements were an automatic, or per se, violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. In its place, the court instructed judges considering such agreements for possible antitrust violations to apply a case-by-case approach, known as a “rule of reason,” (sounds like a floating decimal point is being tacked on the "rule of law") to assess their impact on competition. The new rule is considerably more favorable to defendants (big corporations). The decision was handed down on the last day of the court’s term, (as were some other very historically significant decisions, this is like a Supreme Court version of a Friday dump!) which has been notable for overturning precedents and for victories for big businesses and antitrust defendants. It was also the latest of a series of antitrust decisions in recent years rejecting per se rules that had prohibited various marketing agreements between companies. (are they simply protecting gasoline manufacturers ??? Bush is doing pretty well by book-cooking, no-bid CEO standards)

The paradigm shift that senior adviser Karl Rove saw (and convinced every doofus on the right was inevitable, which inevitably led to some very careless arrogance and delusions of legal impunity) after the 2004 election has now proved illusory. The Ownership Society that Bush promised to build in 2005 is rarely mentioned these days. (that's because "they" already own all of it!!!) Even the hope-against-hope optimism of finding bipartisan common ground after the 2006 elections has officially evaporated. "Sand is flowing out of the hourglass," said Fred I. Greenstein, a Princeton University scholar on the presidency, who was struck by the gloomy tone of Bush's televised statement. "He looked much less like the kid on the cover of Mad magazine without a care. . . . He looked very angry and almost having difficulty getting the sentences out. (Alfred E. Bush, the consumate oriator) That seems to me to contrast with some of the early stages" of his presidency. Bush emerged from reelection (election theft chapter 2) with four main domestic priorities for his second term, as identified by Rove and other aides: He planned to reinvent Social Security to allow investment of some funds in the stock market, overhaul the tax code from top to bottom, bring millions of illegal immigrants out of the shadows and impose tough new curbs on what he called excessive litigation. He is now almost zero-for-four.
The Social Security plan died when a Republican Congress decided not to take it up. Tax overhaul died when Bush took the report he commissioned and put it on a shelf because it would be too provocative. And though he pushed through limits on class-action lawsuits, the rest of his litigation program -- proposals to restrict medical malpractice awards and settle long-standing asbestos claims -- has been stalled for years. Bush has lately sketched out a new agenda in areas such as energy and health care, and he may yet make progress on those in the 18 months he has left. But going forward, aides acknowledged, the once swaggering president will be in a defensive crouch. His immediate domestic plans include imploring lawmakers to reauthorize his No Child Left Behind education program, while trying to stop Congress from expanding a children's health insurance program and, with it, the federal deficit. (maybe some of those corrupt no-bid KBR/Halliburton contracts would be a better place to cut those deficits? ...not if you're a no-bid Halliburton executive profiteer.) Although each fight has had its own dynamics, aides broadly blame the collapse of Bush's domestic agenda on the war in Iraq, (can I get a group "DUH!") which soured Congress and the public even before Democrats won control of the Hill last November. (IT IS THE REASON DEMOCRATS WON IN NOVEMBER!)

More solid opinions from the Seattle PI, (I sure do agree with these Seattle folks so often...) this time from columnist Bonnie Erbe;
Cheney and t(his) administration are not only toxic, they are downright radioactive. It is almost as if they covet the No. 1 spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the worst administration in American history. (unless you are a Halliburton executive raking in all that no-bid cash) Any Republican running for president knows that an affiliation with the Bush administration is the political equivalent of Superman touching green kryptonite. Democrats will be able to posture and do nothing for decades and win elections merely by running against the Bush legacy. A front-page story in Wednesday's New York Times reveals the depth of damage the Angler and his co-president, "W," have done to the party. The Times reports on a poll showing that young Americans have shifted dramatically left in their political thinking. "They share with the public at large a negative view of President Bush, who has a 28 percent approval rating with this group, and of the Republican Party. They hold a markedly more positive view of Democrats than they do of Republicans." What Republican in his right mind would want an affiliation with this crowd? (key words; right mind...)

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