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Why Obama Needs to Nominate a Liberal Judge

Obama hopefully has gotten to the stage to cut the crap about making peace with Republican bigots. The New Jim Crow was subsidized and supported by the 5-4 conservative court.

As to Scalia’s Lawn Ornament…

The Human Toll of Antonin Scalia’s Time on the Court

Blacks, Latinos, and poor whites suffered because of his draconian approach to criminal punishment.

In the days since Antonin Scalia’s death, he has been duly recognized as one of the most impactful justices in the Supreme Court’s history. A critical part of his troubling legacy has long been staring us in the face, although it finally started receiving the public scrutiny it deserves in recent years. As draconian punishments became the norm over the last three decades, the Supreme Court largely rubber-stamped these practices. Justice Scalia played a key role in this process, as his hardline stances on criminal punishment significantly contributed to mass incarceration, numerous executions, and systemic racial discrimination. Scalia was an outspoken supporter of harsh punishments and wanted the court to take an even more hands-off attitude toward so-called “tough on crime” laws.

Not long after he made it onto the court in 1986, Scalia’s influence on these issues began to be felt. In McCleskey v. Kemp, one of the first cases he heard, anti-death penalty advocates brought compelling evidence of pervasive racial discrimination in Georgia’s administration of capital punishment. A sophisticated statistical study demonstrated that sentencing was tied to the race of the victim and offender. All other factors being equal, blacks who killed whites were the likeliest to receive a death sentence. Justice Scalia was unfazed. During oral arguments, he derisivelyasked: “What if you do a statistical study that shows beyond question that people who are naturally shifty-eyed are to a disproportionate extent convicted in criminal cases, does that make the criminal process unlawful?”

John Charles Boger, who represented the black death-row prisoner in McCleskey, responded by pointing to the obvious: “This is not some sort of statistical fluke or aberration. We have a century-old pattern in the state of Georgia of animosity [toward black-Americans].” Scalia and four other justices nonetheless chose to analyze discrimination out of its social context, including in cases from Southern states with a lengthy history of slavery, segregation, and lynchings.

Scalia was in the majority as the court held that statistical proof of systemic discrimination in the death penalty is irrelevant. A defendant must instead prove intentional discrimination in his own case, an almost impossible standard without considering systemic patterns. Many experts consider McCleskey among the worst Supreme Court decisions of all-time. It largely closed the door to statistical evidence as a means of challenging systemic discrimination in criminal punishment.

Scalia would also play a significant role as the Supreme Court licensed ruthless sentences leading America to world record incarceration levels. He wrote the operative part of the influential Harmelin decision, a 1991 plurality opinion holding that the Eighth Amendment ban on “cruel and unusual punishments” does not require that a prison sentence be “proportional” to the crime. The court thus upheld a life-sentence for cocaine possession.

Scalia again was in the majority in Lockyer v. Andrade, a 2003 case upholding a 50-year-to-life sentence under California’s three-strikes-law for a man who shoplifted videotapes worth $153 because he had prior convictions for petty theft, burglary, and transporting marijuana. Erwin Chemerinsky, who zealously represented the prisoner,was in tears as the media asked him about his reaction to the court’s inhumane decision.

McCleskey, Harmelin, and Lockyer were all 5–4 decisions that could have been decided otherwise if Scalia had thought differently. Naturally, he was not a swing vote but a sure one for harsh justice.

While the justices might not have been able to stop mass incarceration singlehandedly, they definitely could have limited it. Indeed, the court’s belated decision in Brown v. Plata, has contributed to reducing California’s incarceration rate. In this 2011 case, the court ordered California to reduce its dramatically overcrowded prison population because “depriv[ing] prisoners of basic sustenance, including adequate medical care, is incompatible with the concept of human dignity.” In a vehement dissent, Scalia charged that this was “a judicial travesty” and that the majority was “wildly” overstepping its authority.

Similarly, he fiercely dissented in other rare cases where the court decided to check ruthless punishments. If it had been up to Scalia, it would still be constitutional to execute mentally retarded people or teenagers, not to mention sentence teenagers to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for homicide or any other crime.

This aspect of his legacy has been overshadowed by the common misconception that “at least Scalia was quite fair to criminal defendants.” To his credit, he concluded in several procedural cases that juries, not judges, must decide if all facts leading to harsher punishment are proved beyond reasonable doubt. In various other cases, he found that police searches went too far. But these are exceptions. He regularly took an extremely narrow view of due process, such as when he argued that the Constitution does not create “a right to demand judicial consideration of newly discovered evidence of innocence.” Scalia further suggested that executing an innocent person would not be unconstitutional per se. More than 1,300 prisonerswere executed while Scalia was on the Supreme Court though he was persuaded that his colleagues created unjust procedural hurdles to executions by baselessly expanding the rights of death row prisoners.

Had Scalia had his way, far more people would have been executed during his tenure and the court would have adopted an even more accommodating approach to mass incarceration. In his view, merciless punishments were just deserts for “evildoers.” Hescoffed when fellow justices advanced a more nuanced view of criminal behavior or occasionally suggested that draconian punishments were dehumanizing. He was certain that the court already cared too much about people who faced the death penalty or endless prison sentences. Justices who disagreed with him were judicial activists who refused to defer to elected branches of government. Of course, Scalia did not do so himself in multiple cases. Tellingly, he voted to strike down campaign finance legislation in Citizens United. He likewise voted twice, unsuccessfully, in favor of eviscerating the democratically enacted Affordable Care Act…More Here

 

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Adding Some Color to the Supreme Court Bench

Leading candidates for President Obama’s nomination for the seat recently vacated. Most of these candidates are considered “moderates” which is a bit of a negative. I would like to see some strong liberals to bust up the last 20 years of far-right wing hegemony on the court. Because confirmation of any judge breaking up the Conservative 5 Cabal is going to be resisted by Republicans, Obama may not decide to try and compromise with the Republicans anymore and (hopefully) ram a truly liberal candidate down their throats like Goodwin Liu . These are in no particular order.

 

Paul Watford: Watford, 48, was confirmed to the Ninth Circuit in 2012. He clerked for prominent conservative judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit as well as for liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Watford, who is African-American, is also considered a moderate.

Sri Srinivasan: The 48-year-old D.C. Circuit Judge is considered a moderate. His unanimous confirmation to the federal appeals court for D.C. in 2013 was the first confirmation to that court in seven yearsthanks to what NPR’s Nina Totenberg called “huge bipartisan support in the legal community.” Srinivasan, who clerked for former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, has argued before the Supreme Court two dozen times (including arguments against the Defense of Marriage Act) and served in both the Bush and Obama administrations. During his nomination, senator and current Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz called him a longtime friend, and Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch called him “terrific.” Srinivasan, who was born in India and grew up in Kansas, is the first-ever South Asian circuit court judge.

Merrick Garland: A Chicago native, Merrick Garland was appointed to the D.C. Circuit Court in 1995 to replace a longtime Windy City mentor of President Obama’s, Abner Mikva. His nomination was held up for two years by Senate Republicans over mostly technical issues. Senator Orrin Hatch, the Republican committee chair at the time, called Garland a “good nominee.” And since arriving on the bench, he has proved to be anything but controversial as a justice. Ed Whelan, a former Bush Justice Department official and adviser to Senate Republicans on judicial issues, calls Merrick “the best that conservatives could reasonably hope for from a Democratic President.”

Jacqueline Nguyen: Nguyen, in her early 50s, is a judge on the Ninth Circuit. Her confirmation in 2009 was unanimous. Nguyen was born in Vietnam, and her family fled to the U.S. when she was 10. Her appellate court nomination announcement from the White House notes that they lived at a refugee camp in California before settling in Los Angeles.

Kamala D. Harris: Unlike the other names so far on this list, Harris isn’t an appellate judge: she’s a politician and the current Attorney General of California. Harris, 51, is the first woman, first African-American and first South Asian to hold her current post. “Her mother was a breast cancer researcher from India, her Jamaican father taught economics at Stanford,” NPR’s Richard Gonzales reported in 2012. “As a young prosecutor, Harris cut her teeth on cases of homicide, domestic violence and sex slavery. Later, at San Francisco’s district attorney, she doubled her predecessor’s conviction rate and she talked about being smart on crime.”

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2016 in News, Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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The Sno’ Heaux’s Daughter Knocked Up by Obama!

Yesterday in yet another example of Loon’s mating – Sarah Palin, AKA the Sno’ Heaux endorsed Donald Trump as simultaneously her wife beating, alcoholic son was arrested.

What to do? Blame it on Obama!

Now, Chastity and Sexual Abstinence Consultant and speaker at right wing religious gatherings daughter of the Sno’ Heaux, is pregnant… with her second illegitimate child by two different men

Can’t wait for the…  “Obama Done It!”

Anyway, at least Stephen Colbert is happy with the union of the Sno’ Heaux and the Trumpazoid…

 

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2016 in Stupid Tea Bagger Tricks, The Clown Bus

 

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Tavis Smiley Takes on Megyn Kelly on Faux

Megyn interviews Tavis Smiley. Tavis masterfully turns Megyn’s arguments back upon themselves again and again, as Megyn confuses symbols with reality.

Did President Obama miss opportunities? Yes, from the beginning in not realizing the depth and scope or Republican racism, and acting to counter that directly. Leading to the losses in 2010, based on his party’s perceived inability to lead, and allowing Republicans to dominate the megaphone. Are black folks worse off today because of that strategy failure…Yes. But it misses the point of who engineered that situation – and that in vast majority rests upon the shoulders of a Republican led Congress.

Watch Tavis Smiley brilliantly deflect Fox News talking points on race on “The Kelly File”

Megyn Kelly kept trying to talk about the political optics of race, Smiley kept on returning to the substance

On “The Kelly File” Monday evening, host Megyn Kelly spoke to PBS’s Tavis Smiley about the state of race relations in America today, which according to a recent Gallup poll are worse now than when the president first took office.

Smiley opened by noting that this is largely the Republican’s fault, as they have made the president’s race a divisive issue by other means.

“But people were crying the night he was elected in Chicago,” Kelly replied, “and I don’t want to say he was ‘The Messenger,’ but this was a guy who could change things.”

Smiley said that we will “debating unto time immemorial whether or not the right move was to go after jobs or healthcare first.”

“The healthcare was divisive,” Kelly replied.

“It’s not just divisive, I think it was the right thing to do ultimately, I’m just not sure I would have led with that,” Smiley said.

“That one cut to the heart,” Kelly agreed, “people were scared — but on the subject of race, are we better off now than we were seven years ago?” Kelly seemed intent on speaking about race relations as a political issue, but Smiley deftly returned to the subject to the actual lives of actual black people.

“On every major economic issue, black Americans have lost ground,” Smiley replied. “For the last ten years, it’s not been good for black folk. The debate’s going to be whether he wasn’t bold enough, or whether he obstructed.”

“I think the answer’s ‘both,’” Smiley added. “Historians are going to have a field day juxtaposing how in the era of the first black president, the bottom fell out for black America. Black people are still politically marginalized, socially manipulated, and economically exploited.”

Kelly again attempted to goad Smiley into a conversation about the optics of the Black Lives Matter movement, saying that Obama’s “tried to walk a line on that,” referring to the president’s support for police and “law and order.”

“I think law enforcement has diminished itself,” Smiley replied, explaining that turning the subject of police abuses into a racial issue is precisely the problem with the conversation Kelly was attempting to have with him.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2016 in Faux News

 

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Faux News Bimbo Accuses Obama of Faking Tears

The Faux News Blonde Bimbos, Heauxs, and Harlots are at it again…

Fox host: President Obama put a ‘raw onion’ in his podium so he could cry fake tears for kids killed by guns

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2016 in Faux News

 

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Another one of Those Political Things Obama Doesn’t “Get”

The “no-fly-list” was created by the Bushit Administration. It was at least in part a political tool to punish those who spoke out against the illegitimate presidency, illegitimate invasion of Iraq, and political suppression of the Bushit regime. The real reason Republicans won’t support a ban on guns to people on this list has to do with the possibility it may be used on their provocateurs and Domestic Terrorists..

Obama: It’s ‘Insane’ That People On A No-Fly List Can Legally Buy A Gun In The U.S.

“If you’re too dangerous to board a plane, you’re too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun.”

President Barack Obama honored the victims of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 dead and 21 injured and renewed his call for tougher gun restrictions in his weekly address on Saturday.

Obama has called for similar action many times before during his presidency, but Congress has failed to act. On Thursday, Congress failed yet again, when an amendment that would have required background checks for all gun sales did not pass the Senate.

“This tragedy reminds us of our obligation to do everything in our power, together, to keep our communities safe,” Obama said in his address. “We know that the killers in San Bernardino used military-style assault weapons — weapons of war — to kill as many people as they could. It’s another tragic reminder that here in America it’s way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun.”

Obama, who has said that failing to pass comprehensive gun reform is the “greatest frustration” of his time in office, said it was ridiculous that people on a no-fly list in the United States could legally purchase a gun.

“That is insane. If you’re too dangerous to board a plane, you’re too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun. And so I’m calling on Congress to close this loophole, now,” he said. “We may not be able to prevent every tragedy, but — at a bare minimum — we shouldn’t be making it so easy for potential terrorists or criminals to get their hands on a gun that they could use against Americans.”

Two of the assault-style rifles used in the San Bernardino attack were bought legally in California because of a loophole in state law.

 

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Ex-Convict “Dimwit” D’Souza = “Obama is a criminal”

Anyone knowledgeable about Dinesh D’Souza would remember him for his screed “The End of Racism” in which he asserted the nonwhite (AKA black) masses in America were criminal…

I guess he forgot to talk about the “brown masses”, ala himself – as he was convicted of two felonies, and spent 8 months incarcerated in a white people’s prison…A Detention Center. Sort of like being an outpatient at a real hospital.

Here “de-Dimwit” sports the ever fashionable Prison Orange Jumpsuit”

Under the presumed meme “It takes one to know one”, now that he is an ex-con, he is back to flinging s*&t.

Ex-Con D’Souza: Obama and Hillary are Crooks, Too

Right-wing author Dinesh D’Souza is a free man, after pleading guilty to a felony violation of campaign finance laws. Now he’s drawing parallels between gang culture and the Democrats.

Rightwing social/political theorist and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, who once wrote a book arguing that “the cultural left in this country is responsible for causing 9/11,” has a similar take on the carnage in Paris.

“I don’t retreat one inch from that assertion,” D’Souza says, referring to his claim in The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 that “the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector, and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world.

“The Muslims who carried out the 9/11 attacks,” he wrote back then in 2007, “were the product of this visceral rage—some of it based on legitimate concerns…”

Eight years later, the 54-year-old D’Souza—a native of Mumbai, India, who became a United States citizen in 1991—is promoting a different if equally provocative volume, Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me About Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party.

The book, his 14th, is an incendiary meditation on D’Souza’s eight months of punitive confinement in a halfway house in San Diego—his sentence after pleading guilty last year to a felony violation of campaign finance laws.

I would argue that this lack of “social re-education” has been sustained by the fact the judge didn’t send “DeDimwit” to a real prison. where he could be influenced by his social interactions with real people. Perhaps next time…

Since Dinesh cuts such a striking figure in an Orange Jumpie…I’ll add him to the list of black conservatives.

 

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2015 in Black Conservatives

 

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