The New York Review of Books has an essay by Michael Tomasky, the editor of Democracy: a Journal of Ideas, that has a sobering look at the growing clout of the Tea Party mentality that is partly fueled by racism. Saying that it's unlikely that the reaction would be as hatefully demonstrated if the Democrats had elected a white president. He writes:
"We can't measure this, and I'm not sure what good it would do us to know even if we could. What we do know is that this movement is backed by corporate millions, powerful media organizations, such as Fox News, and votes in Congress, and that it will be around for some time, advancing new scandals and lies. The next phase in all this, if health care passes, might well be 'nullification' lawsuits or resolutions in states that don't want to have to implement Obama's reform."
Tomasky notes that South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty have "intimated" that nullification would be the best course of action. (Sounds to me like the kind of stuff that was going around in South Carolina in the years leading up to the Civil War.)
THE BONUS ONUS remains very much alive, no matter where you look today. Even the Tribune Company, the mega-media owner of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and TV stations, is arguing in bankruptcy court that its $66 billion in bonuses were important to
"incentivize"(God, how I hate the word!) its management. David Carr takes up this silliness in his The Media Equation column in the New York Times.
"Let's say that a group of corporate executives uses scads of debt to take over a struggling company, sells off some profitable assets, lays off thousands of employees while achieving miserable results. And then less than a year after saddling the company with $8 billion in debt, they opt for bankruptcy.
"You'd expect them to walk the plank, or at the least, spend a good stretch of time in the naughty corner. but you wouldn't expect the top 700 managers to collect $86 million in bonuses. But that's just what might happen at the Tribune Co.
(By the way the guy defending incentivization (!) is the Tribune Co.'s chief financial officer, Chandler Bigelow III. That's not the sort of name that would head a Laborers Union.)
Thanks to Talking Points Memo for alerting us to the judicial setback for the wacky California dentist/lawyer Orly Taitz, who has been one of the national ringleaders in challenging President Obama's birthplace. Taitz is a birther who has been challenging Obama's legitimacy wherever she could park her lawsuits. But U.S. District Judge Clay Land (Georgia Middle District) decided he had had enough of her nonsense and fined her $20,000 for misconduct. Should you question the logic behind the fine, here is, in part what he wrote:
When a lawyer files complaints and motions without a reasonable basis for believing that they are supported by existing law or a modification or extension of existing law, that lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law. When a lawyer uses the courts as a platform for a political agenda disconnected from any legitimate legal cause of action, that lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law. When a lawyer personally attacks opposing parties and disrespects the integrity of the judiciary, that lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law. When a lawyer recklessly accuses a judge of violating the Judicial Code of Conduct with no supporting evidence beyond her dissatisfaction with the judge's rulings, that lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law. When a lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law, that lawyer ceases to advance her cause or the ends of justice.