November 22, 2010

GOP Rep Promises to Hold Middle Class Tax Cuts Hostage–Unless the Rich Get a Permanent Break

Seriously, read that headline and think hard about it – now you know who the GOP represents in Congress. Not the angry, disillusioned, ignorant Tea Partiers who voted them in, and not you or I or anyone else in the reality-based community: they represent the millionaires who line their pockets, wine and dine them on the backs of the American people, and who shovel money into their campaign funds in return for the earmarks and pet projects and contracts that the GOP says they’re so opposed to but will likely flinch over.

So this is what it’s come to – if you’ve ever wondered if there’s really a class war in America, this is it, and sadly, there are a number of wealthy Americans who see this for what it is and are begging Congress to raise their taxes.

But no – the GOP claims that they’re doing us all a favor by hand-feeding more caviar to the rich while the middle class can’t afford to stay in their homes and small businesses can’t afford to hire even if they want to, so this is the result:

The Republican rich-people bias isn’t exactly a shocker, but finally someone’s had the gall to spell it out. In a speech to the pro-business Tax Council, House Rep. David Camp said that the Dem’s middle-class tax extensions–permanent breaks for those earning $200,000 or less, with temporary extensions on the wealthy–would be blocked during the lame-duck session unless the rich get the same permanent extensions. Wait–he’s demanding the rich get equal treatment as the middle class?

Sad, isn’t it?

[ GOP Rep Promises to Hold Middle Class Tax Cuts Hostage–Unless the Rich Get a Permanent Break ]
Source: AlterNet

November 15, 2010

One Million Reasons the Millionaire Bailout is a Bad Idea

Cracks are starting to show that President Obama and Congressional Democrats may flinch on the issue of the Bush-era tax cuts for the super-wealthy, and let them become permenent instead of allowing them to expire into the nothingness that they should be – they did nothing for the economy when they were passed, despite the loving praise that Republicans lavished on them when they gleefully passed them when they had majorities in the House and the Senate, and Americans didn’t see a single job created thanks to them.

Now, Republicans are claiming that if their best friends don’t get to continue to enjoy the disproportionate tax breaks and the fact that even without them the wealthy have the smallest tax burden they’ve ever had in the United States, second only to the absolute poorest among us, the sky will fall and the economy will grind to a halt.

They may have some leverage there actually – you do have to wonder why so many businesses have decided to only hire very very slowly over the past two years, and why so many businesses are suddenly interested in squeezing as much as they can possibly get from their current employees rather than bring on new ones. Everyone’s trying to hold the government accountable for job growth, but no one seems willing to hold the millionaires and the business owners accountable – the people who are shredding resumes by the thousand. And as illogical as that seems, Tea Party thugs and Republicans of multiple stripes are interested in giving these same people tax breaks, rewarding them for their gross mistreatment of the rest of America.

The folks at MoveOn.org are collecting a list of reasons why the Millionaire tax breaks are a bad idea. I encourage you to submit your own:

[ One Million Reasons the Millionaire Bailout is a Bad Idea ]
Source: MoveOn.org

November 9, 2010

Letter to a Whiny Young Democrat

One of the best pieces of post-election coverage that I’ve seen came from the San Francisco Chronicle, and was titled Letter to a Whiny Young Democrat; which lambasted progressive slacktivists who, instead of making sure they turn out to the polls each and every election like they should if they want to see true progressive motion in our country, stayed at home grumbling because Barack Obama hasn’t made the sky rain money and candy bars just yet and everyone isn’t holding hands singing yet.

Because I simply can’t cut up the op-ed, here’s the whole thing with all credit to the Chronicle and the piece’s author, Mark Morford:

Oh, now you’ve done it.

See? You see what happens when you young liberal voters get so disgruntled and disillusioned that you drop all your party’s newborn, hard-won ideas about Hopeâ„¢ and Changeâ„¢, without any patience, without really giving them sufficient time to mature, without understanding that hugely foreign, anti-American concept known as “the long view”?

See what happens when you wallow in hollow disappointment, trudging all over your liberal arts campus and refusing to vote in a rather important mid-term election, all because your pet issues and nubile ego weren’t immediately serviced by a mesmerizing guy named Barack Obama just after he sucked you into his web of fuzzyhappy promises a mere two years ago, back when you were knee-high to a shiny liberal ideology?

Well, now you know. This is what happens: The U.S. House of Representatives, the most insufferable gaggle of political mongrels this side of, well, the rest of Congress, reverts to GOP control like a brain tumor reverts to a more aggressive form of cancer, and everything gets bleaker and sadder and, frankly, a whole lot nastier.

What happens is: Many kinds of fragmented, muddled, but still constructive Democratic progress might get stopped quite nearly dead, and even a few pieces of legislation we actually did gain get slapped around, threatened, stomped on the head like a scientist at a Rand Paul rally. Happy now?

Check it out, kiddo: This is not just any Republican party you allowed back into power; these mealy folks are not anything like the war-hungry, Bush-tainted army of flying monkeys and Dick Cheney moose knuckles you so wonderfully helped bury in the history books last election.

No, the GOP of 2010-2011 is even weirder, dumber, less interested in anything you even remotely care about; this GOP is infused like a sour cocktail with a bitter splash of the most cartoonish, climate change-denying Tea Party dingbats imaginable — most of whom think you’re an elitist, terrorist-loving, gay-supporting threat to “real” American values, btw — all led by a guy named Boehner who wears a bizarre, shellacked tan so fake and creepy it makes Nancy Pelosi looks like a supermodel.

And you made it all happen. Or rather, you failed to prevent it from happening, by not voting, by turning your collective back on Obama’s tough love, by getting all whiny and dejected like some sort of sullen teen vampire who can’t get laid.

Do you deny it? Did you see the polls and studies that said that most fresh-faced, Obama-swooning Dems like you are now refusing to support our beloved Nazi Muslim president because he didn’t wish-fulfill your every whim in a week? That he was, in fact, not quite the instant-gratification SuperJesus of your (or rather, our) dreams?

Of course you didn’t see any of that. Hell, I bet you’re not even reading this column right now. You’re probably back on Twitter, raging into the Void about, hell, who knows what? The Wolf Parade concert. Angry Birds. The People of Wal-Mart. Anything but politics, really.

But hey, whatevs, right? Screw it. Screw him. After all, the prez let you down. Conveniently “forgot” to include you in the dialogue, after a major election that you helped him win. Where were the outreach programs? The campus speaking tours? Weekly appearances on “The Daily Show”? Legal pot and gay marriage and discounts tickets to SXSW and Burning Man and Coachella? I want my goddamn political perks, and I want them now.

Hey, I understand. We’re an instant gratification culture, and you’re an ADHD generation. Who wants to hear that serious enviro legislation might take a decade or two to fully come to fruition? Who wants to hear about Obama passing rather amazing student loan reform? Or even financial reform? Or health care, the Iraq drawdown, saving a million jobs at GM, or all the rest of his rather astonishing achievements to date? Dude, so boring.

Of course, you’ve now learned the hard way that the hot flush of a major election is far more electrifying than the gray n’ meaty grind of actual governing. Obama flew into office on gossamer liberal wings, but the real halls of D.C. are a goddamn pigsblood slaughterhouse, brutal and depressing, full of gnarled legislative compromise. Screw that noise, you know?

And you know what? You’re right. Well, sort of. The Obama administration sure as hell could’ve done more to keep young activists inspired and involved. It’s an opportunity squandered, no question. Then again, dude was sorta busy unburying the entire nation, you know? And the twitchy Democratic party has never been known for its savvy cohesion. Maybe you can give him/them a break? Whoops, too late.

Look, I’m sorry. I know I’m being far too hard on you. Of course it’s not just you. It’s not completely your fault these dimwit Repubs were allowed to ooze back into a bit of power so soon. As many analysts have pointed out, this wasn’t a vote for the Republicans, but against the limp-wristed Dems who didn’t step up and lead with more authority and clarity of purpose. Truly, libs and independents of every age are frustrated Obama isn’t governing with the same kind of magical, balls-out visionary zeal that fueled his campaign.

And let’s not forget a shockingly unintelligent Tea Party movement that stands for exactly nothing and fears exactly everything, all ghost-funded by a couple of creepy libertarian oil billionaires — the leathery old Koch brothers — who eat their young for a snack. Who could’ve predicted that gnarled political contraption would hold water? But hey, when Americans are angry and nervous, they do stupid things. Like vote Republican. It happens. Just did.

But here’s your big takeaway, young Dem: It ain’t over yet. The 2012 election is just around the corner. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that two years whip by insanely quickly. Anything can happen, and usually does. You’ll have another chance. And probably another after that. Maybe more.

So here’s what you need to know, right now: Barack Obama is, and will continue to be, a bit of goddamn miracle. He’s simply as good as we’re going get for an articulate, thoughtful, integrity-rich Democratic prez in your lifetime. Period. To hamstring his administration out of spite and laziness is childish and sad. Check the accomplishments. Understand the process. Deal with the messiness.

It will never be perfect. It will never be giddy liberal nirvana, because it doesn’t work that way. Politics is corrosive and infuriating, de facto and by definition, even with someone as thoughtful as Obama in the Big Chair. Understand it. Deal with it. Get back in the game. If you don’t, we all lose.

Your choice, kiddo.

Absolutely fabulous, from top to bottom.

I know a lot of people take offense to being lambasted this way, and will inevitably claim that the tone of the article is too harsh and will drive people away from following politics and the political process, not wake them up to how important it is to participate. Frankly, I think we’re definitely at the point where we’ve been rewarded for participation in the process and now we need to be reminded that it is indeed a process – not an game of instant returns. It’s a process and we all need to keep participating, and we all need to keep fighting, or else what happened here will continue to happen.

[ Letter to a Whiny Young Democrat ]
Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

November 8, 2010

7 Reasons the GOP’s House Takeover was No “Wave”

All the credit goes to the folks at AlterNet for this one, but while many people are sitting back and wailing about the loss of the House to the Republicans as something catastrophic, the one thing you won’t hear anyone but the Republicans themselves saying is that they have some kind of mandate to reduce spending and create jobs – two things that are all but impossible to do since employing people involves spending money on those people. As usual, the instant the Republicans and their tea party friends win a few elections, they’re back to their Bush Era paradoxical talk and impossible promises – after all, those promises and paradoxes are what got them elected.

A lot of good Democrats lost in the House, but in some cases I don’t regret their losing – Blue Dog Democrats who caucused with the Dems but voted with the Repubs, or who held up critical legislation in order to push their own semi-centrist agenda won’t be missed. This is a rallying call for the Democrats who remain to trust in their progressive base and go on the attack, and make sure the American people know loud and clear who’s responsible when the improvements already in place either start to stall, or when one of those new Tea Party freaks does something stupid, says something racist/sexist/homophobic, and inevitably gets busted taking money from the private industries whose boots they lick.

Perhaps the only loss I’m really mourning is the Senate seat of Russ Feingold – the one Senator who voted against the Patriot Act, the one Senator who truly appreciated and respected the rights and civil liberties of the American people, voted out and replaced with a car salesman who bought his way into the Senate with a ridiculous amount of money. Just goes to show you where the Tea Party heads are at, doesn’t it?

So they’re in the House now with a ridiculously slim majority, no majority in the Senate, and an agenda that includes something like repealing Health Care reform, which I would almost be happy to see them try to do – they’re going to need a whole lot more votes to do that, and any effort they make to try and pull people in front of Congress to talk about the new health care laws, the more the American people will see what it does for them, so good luck with that.

Regardless, over at AlterNet, there’s an excellent list of 7 reasons why this was anything but a “wave,” and nothing compared to the 08 elections, and while it’s worrysome in many ways, it’s nothing that progressives can’t rally against – and we all should. Here are a couple of highlights:

We thought a little perspective was in order, so without further preamble, here are seven things progressives should keep in mind after Tuesday’s drubbing:

1. Midterm elections, unlike presidential races, are a collection of low-turnout, localized contests rather than a barometer of the nation’s ideological tilt.

The GOP’s gains in last night’s elections, as Rosenberg notes, “are part of the predictable rebalancing that occurs between presidential elections, rather than ideological shifts in the electorate.”

2. The electorate is hopping mad, but they still dislike Republicans. A month before an election that has swept some rather extreme GOPers into Congress, an Associated Press-GfK Poll found that “60 percent disapprove of the job congressional Democrats are doing — yet 68 percent frown on how Republicans are performing.”

A New York Times/CBS News poll last week found that while a majority of Americans voted GOP yesterday, the electorate “continues to have a more favorable opinion of the Democratic Party than of the Republican Party, with 46 percent favoring Democrats and 41 favoring Republicans.”

This will be the third consecutive year in which the party out of power wins. That’s not a measure of the country’s ideological leanings, it’s a sign that people are hurting and are mad as hell about it (in case one needed such a sign).

3. Blue Dogs took the brunt of it. The loss of Wisconsin’s liberal lion, Russ Feingold, is a blow to the progressive movement. Alan Grayson’s defeat in Florida hurts. Other good lawmakers were booted out of office last night as well. But in many cases, what we saw were conservatives with Ds next to their names replaced with conservatives with Rs.

I’ll leave the others – really good ones, I might add, to you to head over and check out.

[ It’s Not the End of the World — 7 Things Progressives Need to Keep in Mind About Last Night’s GOP ‘Wave’ ]
Source: AlterNet

October 25, 2010

How’s This For “Follow the Money?”

(click to enlarge)

This is fabulous. The far right loves to play “follow the money,” as though somehow people who are truly interested in American progress and who are willing to help push forward with their wallets is a bad thing – so let’s give them a taste of their own medicine.

Click the above image to enlarge and see exactly where the Tea Party is getting all of its money. If you think it’s grassroots organizations that represent small-town America and reject big established government and incumbent politicians, you’d be as misinformed as the rest of the Tea Party thug’s gallery – these people have been swindled and have fallen for it hook line and sinker.

Their money is coming from a couple of really deep pockets who are intensely angry that President Obama won the election and the nation essentially rejected the policies of the Bush era and the so-called Neoconservatives wholesale. They’re looking for revenge, and they’ll take it at the expense of the American people and as many dollars as they can spend and raise in the process. Don’t be fooled.

[ Tea Party Inc.: The Big Money and Powerful Elites Behind the Right Wing’s Latest Uprising ]
Source: AlterNet

Eight False Things The Public “Knows” Prior To Election Day

If you read Not So Humble at all, you know what’s at stake in the upcoming elections and how important it is for progressives and liberals everywhere who care about the future and continued progress of our country – incremental as it is – to get to the polls on November 2nd. The far-right wingnuts and Tea Partyists are definitely headed to the polls, and you bet they’re hoping you don’t go because they know full well they’re in the minority.

Do you need more convincing that a lot of the nonsense we’re hearing in the media amount to little more than right-wing talking points? Check out this fabulous list from Dave Johnson over at the Campaign for America’s Future that I have to lift in its entirety because they are, point for point, critical to be read together:

1) President Obama tripled the deficit.
Reality: Bush’s last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama’s first budget reduced that to $1.29 trillion.

2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.

Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the “stimulus” was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.

3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
Reality: While many people conflate the “stimulus” with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be “non-reviewable by any court or any agency.”) The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.

4) The stimulus didn’t work.
Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.

5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.

Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.

6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.

Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.

7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is “going broke,” people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.

Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.

8 ) Government spending takes money out of the economy.
Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on “welfare” and “foreign aid” when that is only a small part of the government’s budget.

If people want to make this a referendum on President Obama, they’d do well to head over to one of our previous articles where we highlight the Obama Achievements Center – where, even if you don’t particularly think President Obama is progressive enough or effective enough, you have to acknowledge the things he’s done so far and ask the question of whether or not you’d get the same from John McCain if he had won the election.

Great example – President Obama participated in the It Gets Better Project. Would John McCain have done that? Would any of these Tea Party nuts who claim to defend the constitution but have never read it (Christine O’Donnel’s “where in the constitution is freedom of religion” and Sharron Angle’s “There’s a second amendment?” comment prove it) have participated? Never – they’re too busy blaming everyone else for the problems they and their financial backers caused while draping themselves in American flags and claiming to be “of the people.”

Be wary my friends, that Trojan Horse is right outside the door, and there are a lot of clueless people willing to let them in.

[ Eight False Things The Public “Knows” Prior To Election Day ]
Source: Campaign for America’s Future

Headed to the Rally to Restore Sanity/Keep Fear Alive? RideToRally.com Can Help You Get There

(click to enlarge

Headed to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity/Rally to Keep Fear Alive in Washington DC over Halloween weekend? Of course you are – you’re a good progressive and you and a couple hundred thousand of your friends are headed downtown too!

But the question is how are you going to get there? Living in the Washington DC area, I strongly suggest that you consider taking the Metro, but if you live outside of the region and need a ride into the area, the folks over at RideToRally.com tipped me off to their service that can help you find someone who’s headed to the rally and willing to give a couple of good progressives a lift into the area.

If you have some space in a car and you’re headed to the rally, or if you live in the area and you’re willing to pick up some folks, you can head over to the site too and sign up to help people get to the event! Head over and take a look, and see how you can help/if you can find help.

[ RideToRally.com ]

October 18, 2010

O’Donnell Debate: Comes Up Blank on Supreme Court Question

This woman is running for Congress.

Seriously. Don’t get me wrong – polls show she’s going to lose, barring any ridiculous right-wing surprises, but read this and remember that this woman wants to be a public servant. She wants to be a leader. From The Huffington Post:

NANCY KARIBJANIAN: What opinions, of late, that have come from our high court, do you most object to?

O’DONNELL: Oh, gosh. Um, give me a specific one. I’m sorry.

KARIBJANIAN: Actually, I can’t, because I need you to tell me which ones you object to.

O’DONNELL: Um, I’m very sorry, right off the top of my head, I know that there are a lot, but I’ll put it up on my website, I promise you.

After a little more needling and Wolf Blitzer trying to get her out of the topic (either because he’s a tool or because he thought the whole exchange was somewhat cringeworthy) she just gave up and went with some generic anti-civil-rights talking points that she and her Tea Party brethren already had cooked up for her and she had committed to memory.

The hilarious part of this – other than the obvious, that O’Donnell simply can’t name a single recent Supreme Court case – is that she decided, like any schoolyard bully or kid caught in class with an incorrect answer – to shift the blame to someone else. Instead of owning up to it, she just pointed the finger at her opponent and called him a “marxist.”

Stay classy, Christine.

[ O’Donnell Debate: Comes Up Blank on Supreme Court Question, Calls Opponent Marxist ]
Source: AlterNet

October 11, 2010

Obama’s Courageous Stand on Foreclosure

In an excellent post outlining one of President Obama’s most daring and uplifting actions in the White House that just simply hasn’t seen nearly enough attention from the mainstream media, Marc Ash, writing for Reader Supported News, has this to say, which I simply can’t cut:

President Barack Obama today made good his pledge to use the power of the Oval Office to help American homeowners. Obama refused to sign legislation specifically crafted to protect lenders involved in record numbers of home foreclosures, and stymie efforts by homeowners and their attorneys to challenge documents in those foreclosure actions.

While public attention and media coverage has been drawn in recent days to the issue of foreclosure document-doctoring by mortgage lenders, including some of the nation’s largest, Congress was quietly crafting legislation that would have given the protection of federal law to the very documents at the center of the storm.

The “Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act,” first passed by the House in April of this year, sat quietly in the Senate Judiciary Committee until the day before Congress recessed for their midterm-election break. On September 27, with little media coverage, public attention or public debate in the Senate, the bill was unexpectedly brought to the floor and passed.

Reminiscent of modifications made in 2008 to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that provided retroactive immunity to giant American telecommunications companies for their participation in Bush-era domestic electronic surveillance, the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act appears custom-crafted to validate retroactively mortgage foreclosure documents that many states’ attorneys general fear may be fraudulent.

At the center of the recent firestorm are what are alleged to be flawed foreclosure documents. Challenges to those documents are the basis for foreclosure defense actions in many states. The Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act would have forced state courts to ignore many of the most commonly cited flaws in foreclosure documents, potentially streamlining and accelerating the already record pace of US families’ home foreclosures.

Flawed documents, experts say, may only be a symptom of the larger, more tangled web of so-called “securitized mortgages,” mortgage notes bundled into Wall Street investments – the very investments at the heart of the nation’s economic crisis.

In refusing to sign the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act, President Obama broke with his own party’s leadership on legislation successfully passed by both Democratic-controlled houses of Congress. It was a bold and principled stand by a president often maligned by party activists for failing to act forcefully enough on issues of passionate concern to the party’s base, and often touted by the president himself.

For Obama, locked in a pitched battle to preserve congressional majorities for his party and his agenda, this decisive stand is sure to resonate with homeowners across the nation, regardless of party affiliation. For a presidency struggling to define itself, Mr. Obama’s demur is a gauntlet thrown down.

Most people didn’t even know that this legislation was quietly working through Congress – and not so much thanks to the Democratic majorities in both chambers, but because of the phenomenon that most Americans simply don’t understand: a great deal of legislation is crafted by lobbyists and then presented to lawmakers with a candy coating, regardless of whether it’s actually good for America or not. Even some of the best legislation winds up being written by special interest groups.

President Obama, seeing the nation’s foreclosure crisis for what it was, simply refused to sign the bill. He didn’t veto it, he didn’t reject it, he simply refused to allow it to become law. He told Congress that in a time when our priorities should be towards keeping Americans in their homes, even at the cost of the bottom line of the greedy banks that made them unsustainable loans using unsustainable financial practices, now is not the time for another bank bailout, and now is not the time to give the banks another helping hand when the American people are drowning at worst and treading water at best.

Thank you, Mister President, for standing up for us, yet again.

[ Obama’s Courageous Stand on Foreclosure ]
Source: Reader Supported News

The Conservative Assault on the Constitution

A brilliant op-ed article in the LA Times outlines how the conservative voices on the Supreme Court – all of whom are likely to stay as long as they can in order to make sure they’re never replaced with anyone less vitrolic than they are – are, when acting in the interest of conservatives in the United States are actually shredding the Constitution that they supposedly worship so deeply.

It’s amazing how quick conservatives are to bemoan President Obama and progressive politicians and activists for “trampling” on the constitution, holding up the banner of being its so-called defenders, but nothing could be further from the truth. They may be interested in defending some ideological perception of what America looked like and who benefitted from whom’s strife during the time of the framing of those ideals, but they — as we’ve seen a number of times — contradict themselves freely in order to maintain their own interests, and in the end are willing to eliminate the rights and freedoms that the Constitution mandates in order to ensure their own privilege and grip on political, economic, and social power.

Nowhere is this more evident than on today’s Supreme Court, where a term as ugly as “judicial activism,” a phrase I hate to no end, can actually be appropriately applied to some of the Court’s more recent widely Conservative and completely unconstitutional judgements.

During the first years of the Roberts court, it has consistently ruled in favor of corporate power, such as in holding that corporations have the 1st Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts in independent political campaigns. For the first time in American history, the high court has struck down laws regulating firearms as violations of the 2nd Amendment and held that the Constitution protects a right of individuals to possess guns. It has dramatically cut back on the rights of criminal defendants, especially as to the exclusion of evidence gained through illegal searches and seizures under the 4th Amendment and the protections of the 5th Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination. It has greatly limited the ability of the government to formulate remedies for the segregation of public schools. It has significantly expanded the power of the government to regulate abortions.

As always, the composition of the court is a product of historical accident and presidential elections. From 1968 to 2009, there were only two Democratic appointees to the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, in part because President Carter is one of the few presidents who did not get to fill a vacancy. Republican Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and both Bushes had a total of 12 vacancies to fill, and their picks included four staunch conservatives who are now on the court: Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

On the issues that today define the ideological continuum, these four justices are as conservative as any in American history. Their views are best understood far more by reading the 2008 Republican Party platform than by studying the views of the Constitution’s framers.

How apalling is that? You can go back to the documents and writings and papers of the founding fathers of the American state, and find less in common with these justices – who claim to be strict and staunch interpreters of the Constitution as a document that is not up for interpretation and must be judged exactly as written – and find less in common with them as you’ll find in common with hooligans like Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin. Why? Because it serves their interested – both the Justices who seek to steer the course of American social and political discourse, and their favored interests and friends off the bench as well. It’s terrifying, and unfortunately it’s likely to continue as long as the American people lack the patience and courage to elect and maintain progressives in the Legislative branch who can sponsor, author, and push legislation that will withstand challenge by that court.

[ Supreme Court’s Conservative Majority is Making its Mark ]
Source: The LA Times