Thursday Evening News Wrapup

Afternoon Tea, by Mary Cassat

Good Evening! I’ll start off with some good news. Minkoff Minx has arrived home from the hospital and is doing well. She’ll be resting for I a few days, but she should be back to posting regularly sometime next week. I sure do miss her cheery evening reads! I’m doing my best to fill in again tonight.

It’s been a slow news day, but there are a few things happening even though most of Washington, DC–including Congress and many pundits are on a two-week Easter vacay. Why do they get such long vacations anyway? They only work about three days a week and they accomplish very little.

President Obama has waked up to the reality of women’s electoral power. Today we learned that he thinks it’s high time that Augusta Golf Club, which hosts the Masters Tournament, should start accepting women members.

Not to be outdone, and because he obviously has no original thoughts, Mitt Romney announced that he, too, And he discussed the issue in his usual stuffy manner.

When asked if women should be admitted, the Republican presidential frontrunner responded: “Of course.”

“I am not a member of Augusta. I don’t know if I would qualify. My golf game is not that good,” Romney told reporters after an energy-themed event in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania. “Certainly if I were a member, if I could run Augusta, which isn’t likely to happen, of course I’d have women into Augusta.”

Newt Gingrich thinks his wife Callista would be “great member,” and Callista herself tweeted that she “wants in.” No word on how he-man woman-hater Rick Santorum feels about the issue.

Afternoon Tea, by Cezanne

It’s looking like Romney has the Republican nomination all sewn up–he’s even leading in Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania now. But at the Daily Beast, Michelle Goldberg explains why conservatives still want Santorum to stay in the race.

Conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace isn’t convinced. “In the minds of social conservatives, it’s not even close to over,” he says. “The real question is how committed someone like Rick Santorum is to fighting this out all the way to the end. If he’s committed to doing this on a personal level, there’s plenty of social conservatives that will ride him to the finish line.”

Indeed, despite the best efforts of the Republican establishment, many on the religious right are far from ready to accept Romney’s inevitability, or to coalesce behind him. They remain distrustful of his record on abortion, and unsure they can believe his campaign promises. And the harder party elites push Romney on them, the more alienated they become. “The biggest story that everyone in the media has missed this cycle is how frustrated and fed up the Republican Party base is with the Republican Party,” says Deace. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”

Goldberg quotes a number of conservative sources who just won’t accept a Romney candidacy and think Santorum to fight to the bitter end at the convention. They sound a lot like Hillary supporters who in 2008 wanted her to take the fight to the convention. Hillary is a loyal Democrat and so she ended up going with the flow, but Santorum is more of a renegade with a lot less to lose than Hillary. In any case, it seems as if the bases of both corporate parties are disgusted with their party elites.

Afternoon Tea Party, by Mary Cassatt

Also at the Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky writes that the Supreme Court is “on the ropes.” Back in the ’80s, Conservative starting pushing for “judicial restraint.” But now that the shoe is on the other foot and there is a Conservative majority on the court, suddenly they love the notion of “judicial activism” that they once reviled (just like they now despise the Heritage Foundaton health care plan now that Democrats have written it into law).

John Roberts has to know and see all this. He has to know that Fifth Circuit Judge Jerry Smith, who asked federal prosecutors for a homework assignment in the wake of Obama’s remarks—a brief stating the Justice Department’s position on judicial review, that had to be at least three pages, single-spaced!—is making conservatives look silly and cheapening the bench. And he has to know that the court’s reputation will suffer an immense blow if it overturns the mandate. It will be seen by a large majority—even a lot of people who weren’t crazy about the law—as completely political. Remember, they didn’t have to take the case in an election year in the first place. They could have put it off. But the court said it must do this now. If it then overturns the ACA, it will look and smell like a political hit job to many Americans. And the court would be saying to America, “We know what you think, and we don’t give a damn.”

What would happen to the court then? Slowly—no; probably quickly—it will come to be seen by most Americans as just another cesspool of political mud wrestling; just another arena where the rich get what they want while everyone else gets screwed (Citizens United); just one more ideological whorehouse full of patrons pretending to be just the piano player.

Despite what we’re all brought up to believe, nothing about the court is sacrosanct. Lifetime appointments can be changed to fixed-year terms. It’d take some doing, but it can be done. And there’s nothing anywhere that says it has to be nine justices. That’s just tradition, but it’s nowhere in the Constitution. It just needs to be an odd number; could be three or 23. For that matter, Congress could disregard Marbury v. Madison. Yep. It could. Tom DeLay used to speak of this from time to time, back in the dear old Terri Schiavo days. He never specifically invoked M v. M, but, referring to judges who would have let Schiavo die, he said things like they had “thumbed their noses at Congress and the president” and would someday pay. He meant a campaign against judicial review. He never got around to it, having been indicted and convicted and all, but that’s what he meant. There’s nothing to prevent liberals from mounting a similar campaign. So far they’ve has held back by their respect for the institution. But that may soon be gone.

There is a heartbreaking story out of Greece: Pensioner’s Suicide Continues to Shake Greece.

Dimitris Christoulas, a divorced and retired pharmacist, took his life on Wednesday in Syntagma Square, a focal point for frequent public demonstrations and protests, as hundreds of commuters passed nearby at a metro station and as lawmakers in Parliament debated last-minute budget amendments before elections, expected on May 6.

In a handwritten note found near the scene, the pensioner said he could not face the prospect “of scavenging through garbage bins for food and becoming a burden to my child,” blaming the government’s austerity policies for his decision.

The incident has prompted a public outpouring, with passers-by pinning notes of sympathy and protest to trees in the square, as well as comment from politicians across the spectrum. A solidarity rally on Wednesday night turned violent when the police clashed with hooded demonstrators in scuffles that left at least three people injured.

I guess we can look forward to similar tragedies here in the U.S. if Congress succeeds in gutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. And I don’t exempt the Democrats from my cynicism about support for the social safety net among the Villagers.

Speaking of the rich, powerful, and selfish, Jamie Dimon is once again on the top of the heap in terms of CEO compensation. Richard Escrow writes:

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is still the poster child for today’s morally degraded, self-entitled banker mentality. I don’t know why he keeps talking, but he’s the gift that keeps on giving.

At every major junction in the post-crisis debate about banking, Dimon has stepped in with a perfectly tactless remark that illustrates both the vacuity and the moral corruption of his industry. This week was no exception.

Excrow provides a number of specific examples of Dimon’s and Chase’s lack of ethics. And yet, Dimon is still whining about “excessive” government regulation.

Dimon just complained that regulators “made the recovery worse than it otherwise would have been” — which is not only wrong, but avoids addressing the issue of the recovery’s cause, which was banks like Dimon’s. Dimon added that the government forced banks to de-leverage “”at precisely the wrong time” — which is precisely wrong. The government’s real error was in not breaking up too-big-to-fail banks like Dimon’s.

“Complexity and confusion should have been alleviated, not compounded,” complains Dimon.

So Dimon and his cronies have formed a superpac to intimidate liberal Congresspeople. Please go read the whole article. It’s really frightening.

The domestic terrorist who tried unsuccessfully to blow up a Planned Parenthood office in Wisconsin has explained his motivation.

Francis Grady, 50, spoke to reporters who were covering his first appearance in federal court since the Sunday night attack. The Green Bay Press-Gazette posted video of him walking through the courthouse followed by a short clip of him speaking to reporters outside.

“There was no bomb,” Grady said. “It was gasoline.”

A reporter asked why Grady attacked the clinic.

“Because they’re killing babies there,” he responded.

The newspaper also got more from inside the federal courtroom, where Grady reportedly interrupted the judge to ask, ““Do you even care at all about the 1,000 babies that died screaming?”

“Screaming?” Fetuses that are aborted in the first trimester aren’t “babies,” and they don’t have nervous systems to feel pain or the ability to scream. The ignorance of these people is beyond belief.

Lizzie Borden

Finally, some new evidence has been found in the Lizzie Borden murder case–journals kept by her attorney.

Borden was acquitted in 1892, and much of the evidence in the case ended up with Andrew Jackson Jennings, Borden’s attorney. The two journals, which Jennings stored in a Victorian bathtub along with other evidence from the case, including the infamous “handless hatchet,” were left to the Fall River Historical Society by Jennings’ grandson, who died last year.

The society received the fragile journals about a month ago but won’t be exhibited until they are properly preserved, curator Michael Martins said.

Each journal is about 100 pages. One contains a series of newspaper clippings, indexed using a lettering and number system that Jennings devised. The second contains personal notes that Jennings assembled from interviews he conducted. Some of the individuals interviewed are people mentioned in the newspaper clippings Jennings retained.

“A number of the people Jennings spoke to were people he knew intimately, on a social or business level, so many of them were perhaps more candid with him than they would have been otherwise,” Martins said. “But it’s also evident that there are a number of new individuals he spoke to who had previously not been connected with the case.”

I hope at least some of those links will pique your interest. What stories have you been following this afternoon and evening?


27 Comments on “Thursday Evening News Wrapup”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Sending out good vibes and virtual hugs to Minkoff Minx! Maybe she’ll be able to get on line in the next couple of days. I hope so.

  2. Warm wishes for a quick recovery Minx.

    I nearly laughed out loud when I read this about SCOTUS: “There’s nothing to prevent liberals from mounting a similar campaign. So far they’ve has held back by their respect for the institution. But that may soon be gone.” in your post. First, even if liberals were to band together, would it really do any good? Second, respect? I certainly can’t speak for the rest of the “liberals” out there, but I lost respect for the court when Clarence Thomas was approved by Congress. Anita Hill was humiliated by Thomas & Congress in front of the entire country (Biden in particular). Adding to that insult, Thomas was replacing THURGOOD MARSHALL. I find it nearly impossible to believe that the Conservatives on the court (Scalia in particular) give a damn about what any American thinks about the court. Cheney’s comment, when told that polls showed most Americans were against the war in Iraq, came to mind reading the SCOTUS piece. Cheney responded with no emoition, “Who cares.” Not a question, a statement. What a bunch of itty bitty dicksters.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yeah, me too. But I do think the lack of respect has reached critical mass. It’s showing up in mainstream polls now.

      • Personally, I think the court has absolutely no respect for the American people. Maybe Kagan, Ginsberg & Sotomayor still remember what it’s like to be an average, everyday person, but the men on the court – Scalia in particular – have nothing but disdain for the common man & woman. The recent ruling on strip searches is evidence to me. Seriously, someone reported that someone could be cited and arrested for having a bell on their bike that wasn’t loud enough……and get strip searched. Guilty until proven innocent.

      • RalphB says:

        Leaving Justice Breyer out of that list doesn’t seem fair.

  3. Outis says:

    Healing thoughts to Mme Minx!

    And as for the PP bomber, I don’t think he’s living in reality with the rest of us. But I do believe that he is exactly the type of person wingnuts are trying to activate. By speaking to their primal fears and hatred, they unleash these weapons, the same way kamakazis and suicide bombers are created. It’s so sickening.

  4. My reference to Biden is that I blame him above everyone else for the horrendous treatment to which Anita Hill was subjected. Such a courageous woman. She is the epitome of integrity, IMHO.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Biden is absolutely responsible, along with Arlen Specter and cowardly Ted Kennedy not speaking up because of his own family issues.

    • Woman Voter says:

      I am in total agreement, her treatment was dismal and hateful and thankfully she was able to work as she was dragged through the mud and she was an honest person and I too blame Joe Biden the holder of the Institutional Patriarchal Chair (did their bidding). Funny he got the VP spot without hardly any support from the voters, but plenty of support from the patriarchy.

  5. dakinikat says:

    Wow, lot’s of interesting things! The Lizzie Borden thing is fascinating! I’m still a history buff at heart!

    I think that Santorum and his cronies wil really damage Romney because he’ll have to stay right longer before he can shake his screen and flip to different positions. I bet Axelrove is drinking Dom tonight.

  6. ANonOMouse says:

    ” No word on how he-man woman-hater Rick Santorum feels about the issue.”

    I think Santorum will let us in, but there will be a chastity belt mandate, plus dues and caddy fees,

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Or maybe Santorum will at least let the girls carry his bag. Or maybe not, he’ll likely think the term “bag” has too many sexual connotations and, according to some scripture, somewhere, he will deem that it is immoral, which means “bag carrying” is prohibited by god. If not that maybe we could carry his putter instead. No, probably not! .

    • PJ says:

      You’re my hero, Mouse. Damn, you single-handedly took on the whole bunch and kicked their a$$es.

      And so many funny lines. I hope you could hear me laughing my a$$ off.

  7. RalphB says:

    F’king Willard is hiding the ball.

    Romney using ethics exception to limit disclosure of Bain holdings

    Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, whose wealth has become a central issue in the 2012 campaign, has taken advantage of an obscure exception in federal ethics laws to avoid disclosing the nature and extent of his holdings.

    By offering a limited description of his assets, Romney has made it difficult to know precisely where his money is invested, whether it is offshore or in controversial companies, or whether those holdings could affect his policies or present any conflicts of interest.

    In 48 accounts from Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded in Boston, Romney declined on his financial disclosure forms to identify the underlying assets, including his holdings in a company that moved U.S. jobs to China and a California firm once owned by Bain that filed for bankruptcy years ago and laid off more than 1,000 workers.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Heard on Ed Schultz show that Kraft Foods has now said it will no longer support ALEC.