For some of us at TNR, the most surprising aspect of yesterday’s Great Internet Blackout wasn’t the crushing recognition of just how often we head to Wikipedia—it was noticing the strange political bedfellows forged by SOPA, the House's Stop Internet Piracy Act, and its Senate analogue PIPA. In this hyper-partisan political climate, seeing Michele Bachmann on the same page as Nancy Pelosi, and Rupert Murdoch agree with avowed-liberal Patrick Leahy was unusual (and somewhat refreshing).
Just after dawn on a cool morning in September 2008, two FBI agents and a police officer walked into the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas and took the security elevator up to the twenty-third floor, where they knocked on the door of a high-roller haven known as the Grand Lakeview Suite. A Minnesota businessman named Tom Petters answered wrapped in a bathrobe. After a moment’s hesitation, he invited them in.
The Sunday NYT carried an unusually useless op-ed yesterday, asking for a "Palin of Our Own" for the Democrats. Anna Holmes and Rebecca Traister note that Sarah Palin generates a lot of publicity, and conclude: The left should be outraged and exasperated by all this — but at their own failings as much as Ms. Palin’s ascension. Since the 2008 election, progressive leaders have done little to address the obvious national appetite for female leadership. And despite (or because of) their continuing obsession with Ms.
How many times in the past year have journalists written some variant of, "Hey, we should be getting an energy bill sometime in the next week"? Too many to count, right? So it's probably unwise to make any bold predictions this time around. But Senate Democrats do seem to be getting closer to unveiling a brand-new energy bill, with the aim of getting it passed before the August recess. What's going to be in it? Well, that's the tricky part. No one knows for sure. Harry Reid's office is trying to cobble something together this week, and there's a lot of guessing.
At least one good thing has come out of the Kagan hearings. The nominee is pushing back against the silly analogy of judges to umpires: [Sen. Amy Klobuchar] asks Kagan whether the metaphor fits. Kagan says it does in some ways, but it doesn't in others. Judges are like umpires because they "should not be rooting for one team or another"--we expect judges to have umpires' neutrality and to be fair to both parties.
Tom Goldstein is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and lecturer at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools. He is the founder of SCOTUSblog. A version of this piece was originally posted there on February 23, 2010. When Justice Stevens retires, what happens then? There will be a pretty efficient process. The White House will receive significant pressure from both the right and left, all of which it will basically ignore. Conservatives will want to use the Court as a rallying point for their base for the 2010 midterm elections and beyond.
Could Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar be any more condescending? Ms. Klobuchar said she had talked regularly with Mr. Franken and offered various bits of advice. “I’ve forged friendships with Republicans, and that’s important,” she said. She also said he needed to study the example of other celebrities who had come to the Senate, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bill Bradley and Fred Thompson; Mr. Franken has said he has done so and has talked with Mrs. Clinton’s former chief of staff. “It’s important he go against the grain of his past career and really get to know the issues,” Ms.
One of the other speakers I saw at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference today was Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who's as hilarious as advertised and, not surprisingly, very keen on the notion of green jobs. "We've even got a bed-and-breakfast up here in Minnesota where you visit, see some windmills, stay the night, wake up in the morning and see... more windmills." Among other things, she said she was stunned by how quickly green issues had gone mainstream—when she was first campaigning in 2006, she said, it was mostly college kids in "penguin buttons" raising the issue.