From E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post, re President Obama's remarks in the SOTU address on conservative judicial activism and Judge Alito's reaction to it:
"There is ample precedent for Obama’s firm but respectful rebuke of the court. I know of no one on the right who protested when President Ronald Reagan, in a 1983 article in the Human Life Review, took on the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision of 10 years earlier.
“Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution,” Reagan wrote. “No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the court’s result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right. ... Nowhere do the plain words of the Constitution even hint at a ‘right’ so sweeping as to permit abortion up to the time the child is ready to be born.”
Reagan cited Justice Byron White’s description of Roe as an act of “raw judicial power,” which is actually an excellent description of the court’s ruling on corporate money in the Citizens United case.
Reagan had every right to say what he did. But why do conservatives deny the same right to Obama? Alternatively, why do they think it’s persuasive to argue, as Georgetown Law professor Randy Barnett did in The Wall Street Journal, that it’s fine for a president to take issue with the court, except in a State of the Union speech? Isn’t it more honorable to criticize the justices to their faces? Are these jurists so sensitive that they can’t take it? Do they expect everyone to submit quietly to whatever they do? "
Paul Krugman calls out Roger Ailes for deliberately misinforming his millions of FOX viewers, exposing the cable news station as nothing more than the propaganda outlet that it most assuredly is:
"In an interview Sunday, New York Times economist Paul Krugman hammered conservative talk show host Glenn Beck for spreading blatantly false information about the Democrats' health care bill -- and put the blame squarely on Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.
"Glenn Beck doesn't, you know," Krugman began, "what bothers me is the fact that people are not getting informed, that we are going through major debates on crucial policy issues; the public is not learning about them. And you know, you can say, well, they can read the New York Times, which will tell them what they need to know, but you know, most people don't. They don't read it thoroughly.... People did not know what was in the plan, and some of that was just poor reporting, some of it was deliberate misinformation. I have here in front of me when President Obama said, you know, why -- he said rhetorically, why aren't we going to do a health care plan like the Europeans have, with a government-run program, and then proceeds to explain why he's different. On Fox News, what appeared was a clipped quote, "why don't we have a European-style health care plan?" Right, deliberate misinformation."
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes interjects: "Wait a minute, wait a minute..."
And Krugman replies, "I can show you the clip, and you can..."
"The American people are not stupid," Ailes says.
"No, they're not stupid," he said, delivering a tacit blow to the Fox News chief. "They are uninformed.
Later, Krugman adds, "People, again, this was a plan that is -- it's actually a Republican plan. It's Mitt Romney's health care plan. People were led to believe that it was socialism. That's -- and that was deliberate. That wasn't just poor reporting."
And finally, this coming weekend will feature the Tea Party Nation shindig, where conservative bigwigs will come together to bash President Obama and everthing he has done since his birth in Kenya, and where they'll pretend the gathering is a grassroots uprising. Except maybe not:
— By Stephanie Mencimer, Mother Jones Magazine
Will Sarah Palin's Tea Party dinner be a bust?
Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips likely assumed that scoring a dinner speech by the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate would guarantee a huge turnout for his National Tea Party Convention, scheduled to start Feb. 4 at Nashville's Gaylord Opryland Hotel. But according to Tea Party insiders, the tickets for the Palin banquet aren't selling—and some conservative activists who have already paid to attend are now demanding refunds. With the controversial event shaping up to be a potential flop, some Tea Partiers are urging Palin to cancel her speech to avoid a humiliating public relations disaster.
The problems began after news broke that Phillips intended to profit from the convention—which costs $549 a person for access to both the conference and Palin’s banquet, or $349 for a ticket to the dinner alone. With one prominent conservative blogger charging that the event seemed "scammy," several key sponsors yanked their support, including the National Precinct Alliance, the American Liberty Alliance, American Majority, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform. As the rash of bad press continued, this week Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), announced that she’s considering pulling out as a convention speaker. And some Tea Party activists think Palin should join her. According to internal convention planning documents obtained by Mother Jones, Palin will be paid $115,000 to address the attendees—as they dine on steak or lobster. To some Tea Partiers, this lavish affair sounds suspiciously like an exclusive GOP fundraiser and a betrayal of their grassroots movement. (In mid-January, Palin told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that she will not profit from her appearance at the convention, suggesting she would donate her speaking fee to Republican candidates. But she has not provided any details on that, and a Palin spokesperson did not respond to requests for clarification.)
Phillips has bragged publicly that the tickets covering both the convention and the speech have sold out. Yet Tea Party insiders say that's not the whole story. Anthony Shreeve is an activist in Dandridge, Tenn. who quit the convention organizing committee over the expensive ticket prices. He says he has it on good authority that most of the approximately 500 speech-only tickets have not been sold. Shreeve adds that Phillips "isn't going to sell any more," and says other would-be attendees have been demanding—and receiving—refunds. Late on Tuesday afternoon, I tested his claim by attempting to buy 10 tickets to the dinner. If I’d been prepared to shell out $3,587.10, that would apparently have been no problem. "I really hope that Sarah Palin doesn’t come to this event because it's going to be really embarrassing for her to walk into a half-empty room," says Shreeve.