This week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) finally buried her former persona as a law professor. In a transition that began in 2011, Warren has struggled with the demands of politics that often pit her against core legal principles. Warren’s final measure of devotion to politics came in her Boston Globe op-ed where she called for the Supreme Court to be packed with a liberal majority. She justified her call by denouncing the court for voting wrongly on decisions and, perish the thought, against “widely held public opinion.” Of course, the Framers designed the courts to be able to resist “widely held public opinion” and, yes, even the Congress. Warren’s solution is to change the Court to make it more amenable to the demands of public (and her) opinion. Some of us have been discussing the expansion of the Court for decades. However, there is a difference between court reform and court packing. What Democratic members are demanding is raw court packing to add four members to the Court to give liberals an instant majority — a movement denounced by figures like the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer. Last year, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, and others stood in front of the Supreme Court to announce a court packing bill to give liberals a one-justice majority. This follows threats from various Democratic members that conservative justices had better vote with liberal colleagues . . . or else. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., recently issued a warning to the Supreme Court: reaffirm Roe v. Wade or face a “revolution.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal previously warned the Supreme Court that, if it continued to issue conservative rulings or “chip away at Roe v Wade,” it would trigger “a seismic movement to reform the Supreme Court. It may not be expanding the Supreme Court, it may be making changes to its jurisdiction, or requiring a certain numbers of votes to strike down certain past precedents.”Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also declared in front of the Supreme Court “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price.”For her part, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. questioned the whole institution’s value if it is not going to vote consistently with her views and those of the Democratic party: “How much does the current structure benefit us? And I don’t think it does.”
Warren seems to be channeling more AOC than FDR. Roosevelt at least tried to hide his reckless desire to pack the Court by pushing an age-based rule. It was uniquely stupid. The bill would have allowed Roosevelt to add up to six justices for every member who is over 70 years old. Warren, like AOC, wants the Democratic base to know that she is pushing a pure, outcome-changing court packing scheme without even the pretense of a neutral rule.
It really is sad and disturbing to watch this nonsense. Court packing is not the answer and never was. I'd be more than fine with a retirement age being imposed. But our current problems with the Court is that Ruth Bader Ginsberg didn't retire when she should have. She knew she was near death. Barack even asked her to step down and she refused.
The so-called 'hero' was a narcissist who refused to do the right thing for the country and step down.
That's the most recent problem.
The larger problem is that the court has titled right over and over. That has nothing to do with the conservative make up via conservatives. That has to do with Democratic Party presidents who have gone for corporatist candidates -- Kagan, for example.
Instead of addressing real issues, Warren wants to pull this nonsense.
All that happens from her stupidity if it succeeded? When Dems are in control, they pack the Court which means Republicans have an excuse to do the same when they're in control and on and on.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, December 15, 2021. The continue persecution of Julian Assange is met with a lot of continued silence and LAT decides to make clear that women and girls in Iraq don't matter to them.
Starting with this from John Pilger's latest at MINT NEWS PRESS:
“Let us look at ourselves, if we have the courage, to see what is happening to us” – Jean-Paul Sartre
Sartre’s words should echo in all our minds following the grotesque decision of Britain’s High Court to extradite Julian Assange to the United States where he faces “a living death”. This is his punishment for the crime of authentic, accurate, courageous, vital journalism.
Miscarriage of justice is an inadequate term in these circumstances. It took the bewigged courtiers of Britain’s ancien regime just nine minutes last Friday to uphold an American appeal against a District Court judge’s acceptance in January of a cataract of evidence that hell on earth awaited Assange across the Atlantic: a hell in which, it was expertly predicted, he would find a way to take his own life.
Volumes of witness by people of distinction, who examined and studied Julian and diagnosed his autism and his Asperger’s Syndrome and revealed that he had already come within an ace of killing himself at Belmarsh prison, Britain’s very own hell, were ignored.
The recent confession of a crucial FBI informant and prosecution stooge, a fraudster and serial liar, that he had fabricated his evidence against Julian was ignored. The revelation that the Spanish-run security firm at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where Julian had been granted political refuge, was a CIA front that spied on Julian’s lawyers and doctors and confidants (myself included) – that, too. was ignored.
The recent journalistic disclosure, repeated graphically by defence counsel before the High Court in October, that the CIA had planned to murder Julian in London – even that was ignored.
Each of these “matters”, as lawyers like to say, was enough on its own for a judge upholding the law to throw out the disgraceful case mounted against Assange by a corrupt US Department of Justice and their hired guns in Britain. Julian’s state of mind, bellowed James Lewis, QC, America’s man at the Old Bailey last year, was no more than “malingering” – an archaic Victorian term used to deny the very existence of mental illness.
To Lewis, almost every defence witness, including those who described from the depth of their experience and knowledge, the barbaric American prison system, was to be interrupted, abused, discredited. Sitting behind him, passing him notes, was his American conductor: young, short-haired, clearly an Ivy League man on the rise.
In their nine minutes of dismissal of the fate of journalist Assange, two of the most senior judges in Britain, including the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett (a lifelong buddy of Sir Alan Duncan, Boris Johnson’s former foreign minister who arranged the brutal police kidnapping of Assange from the Ecuadorean embassy) referred to not one of a litany of truths aired at previous hearings in the District Court – truths that had struggled to be heard in a lower court presided over by a weirdly hostile judge, Vanessa Baraitser. Her insulting behaviour towards a clearly stricken Assange, struggling through a fog of prison-dispensed medication to remember his name, is unforgettable.
What was truly shocking last Friday was that the High Court judges – Lord Burnett and Lord Justice Timothy Holyrode, who read out their words – showed no hesitation in sending Julian to his death, living or otherwise. They offered no mitigation, no suggestion that they had agonised over legalities or even basic morality.
Their ruling in favour, if not on behalf of the United States, is based squarely on transparently fraudulent “assurances” scrabbled together by the Biden administration when it looked in January like justice might prevail.
Are we still pretending we have an independent media in the US? Not talking about corporate media. I'm talking about Panhandle Media -- send money, send money, we tell the truth, send money, send money.
Scan around looking at various websites and grasp the garbage your money has kept afloat.
THE PROGRESSIVE? The words "Julian Assange" are apparently unknown to them. Worse is the current front page of THE NATION which also ignores Julian Assange but does make time for many useless bits of garbage -- which would include John Nichols' attempt to refurbish dead Bob Dole into a 'good guy.' That's how John Nichols chooses to waste his -- and your -- time. From MOTHER JONES back in 1996, here's all you need to know about the Bob Doles that John Nichols is going down on:
He opposes labor laws, consumer protection legislation, medical price controls, environmental regulations, and campaign finance reform. His cultural orthodoxy is paleo-American, not Christian: He gets more exercised about rap music, bilingualism, and self-critical American history textbooks than about abortion. Likewise, on foreign policy, he’s an ultrahawk and a frequent ally of Jesse Helms.
John Nichols wastes everyone's time and tht's really become a hallmark of THE NATION and their columnists who pretend to cover politics but really just offer lifestyle pieces. Counting on IN THESE TIMES to tackle this issue of the continued persecution of Julian Assange? Think again. Mid-week and they still have other things to do. I scanned the headlines at TRUTH OUT and, apparently, truth is out -- at TRUTH OUT -- as they offer nothing on Julian Assange.
At JACOBIN, their front page goes back to 12/8 (further if you count the bad article that they published in November -- poorly written, there might be a story there but they can't find it -- that they continue to highlight and front page). Gues what you won't find? Julian Assange. But they do gush over Noam Sellout Chomsky and Fraud Squad leader AOC -- the most important member of Congress, they insist, not grasping how little that says about Congress.
THE NATION wants you to know that Jessica Cisneros is the face of the Democratic Party!!!! A lot of glorigying politicians, not much reality and mot much that actually matters to your lives but, please, send money, sned money. Otherwise they might have to get real jobs.
Maybe after both Julian Assange and press freedom have died at the hands of Joe Biden, we'll be able to get coverage from Panhandle Media?
Probably not. Probably around that time, Katha Pollitt will be breaking new ground with such strong pieces as "Fatten Your Ass in Five Minutes a Day with These Sastisfying Snacks."
Kate Halper Tweets:
Sarah Abdallah Tweets:
And before some misinformed soul dashes off an e-mail about how awful corporate media is, I know that already and we call them out regularly.
Like right now. WHy is the Pulitzer Center donating money to fund 'investigative reporting' that is nothing but sexism? And why is THE LOS ANGELES TIMES paying pig Nabih Bulos? Let alone publishing him?
His hideous article is entitled "Invasion Generation: Iraq's children of war come of age with little hope."
They do. They do come of age with very little hope. Especially if they're girls and women. Especially if they were counting on THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.
I spent how many years in the early days of the Iraq War calling out this b.s. -- stories about the 'people' of Iraq that do not includ women? And now, 2021, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES publishes this garbage.
How many female students get quoted? Zero. How many males? I stopped counting after five.
Women don't exist in the press portrayals of Iraq.
It's a land of widows and orphans but the western press is determined to disappear all the women and girls.
Sis paragraphs from the end of this long garbage the following appears:
[. . .] said Miguel Mateos Munõz, UNICEF’s chief of communication in Iraq. He added that the most affected are the vulnerable, including young women, youths with disabilities and those facing extreme levels of poverty.
Wait, young women are especially vulnerable?
Then maybe that should have been the damn focus of the article and not instead speaking to only boys and passing their lives off as the norm and the uniersal.
LAT should never have published this garbage. That it did goes to their own seixm as well as the sexism of the reporter. It is outrageous.
Pretend otherwsie and don't expect anything to ever change.
Over at ALJAZEERA, Kamaran Palani offers:
On November 30, Iraq’s Electoral Commission finally announced the results of the October 10 legislative elections. It confirmed that Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s political bloc had secured 73 out of 329 seats in Parliament, thus emerging as the election winner. Meanwhile, its rival the Shia al-Fatah alliance – which is affiliated with Iran-backed militias of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMFs) – lost ground in the vote and has decided to reject the results.
These tensions within the Shia political elite have opened the door for a new political arrangement in which Iraq’s leading Kurdish parties could play a significant role. Sadr has already indicated that he will not deal with some groups within al-Fatah and the State of Law party of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and will instead seek “a national majority government” through an agreement with the main Sunni and Kurdish political forces.
Still no government. All this time after the election.
The following sites updated: