Wednesday, April 27, 2011

And Should Further Seasons Coagulate into Years, Like Spilled, Dried Paint, Why, Who's to Say We Weren't Provident?

Doopty-do, perpetual war, deck chairs:

President Obama is expected this week to name Leon E. Panetta, the director of central intelligence, as defense secretary and Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan, as director of the C.I.A., administration officials said Wednesday.

But Mr. Gates’s role is the most critical. He often allied with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton — who has said that she intends to leave the administration when this term ends — including persuading Mr. Obama to start the military buildup in Afghanistan in 2009. Together they won many other battles, but they visibly split last month on the military intervention in Libya.

So much for the argument that HRC would have ruled more progressively than Obama, but when did she say she was leaving at the end of Obama's first term (assuming she made this statement on the assumption Obama would have two)? I still see rumors she's gonna bump Biden off the ticket.

O! Also this:

But that does not mean that the justices are free to interpret the abstract clauses of the Constitution to match their own political convictions, whatever these are. In the last few years they have overruled a long series of recent and important precedent decisions and they have reversed several long-standing constitutional traditions. They have flatly prohibited even obviously sensible race-conscious social and educational policies, bolstered government’s support for religion, and progressively narrowed the scope of abortion rights. They have changed the American electoral system to make the election of Republican candidates more likely, for example by guaranteeing corporations a constitutional right to spend as much as they wish denouncing candidates they dislike. As I have argued, these various decisions cannot be justified by any set of principles that offer even a respectable account of our past constitutional history.

But wait, there's more!

Roberts’s declaration in the new case suggests a malign sleight of hand: that an act passed by popular referendum to promote electoral equality will now be condemned by that motive even if there is no other constitutional objection to it. The enthusiasm with which at least three of the conservatives toyed with the idea that equality is just in itself a forbidden goal gives further evidence that they are driven by political convictions wholly alien to the Constitution—convictions that a genuine jurisprudence of principle must reject.

The one Thursday Night Pinter who still grasps at obamagasms cites Kagan and Sotomayor, says don't fully judge Obama until one of the pigs quits or dies. Maybe, and I'd point out that Kagan and Sotomayor are centrists, not liberals, but that's the argument - and probably the most effective - we're gonna hear starting soon and running through October 2012 for holding our noses and pulling the lever for Obama.


John Ashbery

Is it possible that spring could be
once more approaching? We forget each time
what a mindless business it is, porous like sleep,
adrift on the horizon, refusing to take sides, "mugwump
of the final hour," lest an agenda—horrors!—be imputed to it,
and the whole point of its being spring collapse
like a hole dug in sand. It's breathy, though,
you have to say that for it.
And should further seasons coagulate
into years, like spilled, dried paint, why,
who's to say we weren't provident? We indeed
looked out for others as though they mattered, and they,
catching the spirit, came home with us, spent the night
in an alcove from which their breathing could be heard clearly.
But it's not over yet. Terrible incidents happen
daily. That's how we get around obstacles.


  1. The sharks are circling. Our overlords will stop at nothing:

    FBI serves Grand Jury subpoena likely relating to WikiLeaks