Jan 27, 2010

SOTU, and stuff

So, the State of the Union is over. Let me reiterate my longstanding objection to minority party responses. I hate them in general, and I, personally, really disliked how Bob McDonnell did his from the Virginia House of Delegates--as if it were a mini-State of the Union and McDonnell were 'President Lite'. McDonnell's speech was pretty good, but, again, I didn't approve of the setting or its very existence.

I kind of half-listened to the SOTU, reading along on the internet and looking at other, more important things (like, should I try to go to an animation school...). I was going to do the 'every time he blames Bush' drinking game--to my mother's chagrin--but after five minutes and no Bush-bashing, I was thirsty and downed my booze.

Best part of the speech? The networks are talking about it: when Obama bashed the Supremes for the Citizens United decision, Justice Alito--breaking longtime tradition--shook his head and mouthed "Not true". Now, while some are up in arms (most because they simply dislike Alito--I'm sure if Justice Souter had done the same thing if President Bush had slammed the Boumediene decision, you would hear it from the right), I actually enjoyed it. Yes, I admit that I like Alito. I also think that it's appropriate for the Supremes to remain apolitical. However, when the President, with the Supreme Court sitting twenty feet away, announces that they are playing politics with their decisions, the justices have every right to shake their heads and disagree. They make their decisions--politically motivated insomuch as each justice has a judicial philosophy that aligns most of the time with a certain party--based on law. To be accused in such a public setting, with them right there, of being wrong, is a direct assault. Yeah, Alito had every right to show his displeasure with the President.

P.S. I'm watching Fox News...Karl Rove always sounds like he's got something stuck up his nose...
P.P.S. I hadn't though about this, but Drudge is pointing out that after saying his stuff about the Court, Dems stood up and cheered; is that political intimidation of the judiciary? Seems kind of like it. I don't expect four of the five in the majority to be cowtowed, though. Kennedy--who knows? He's a big fan of the NY Times liking him.
P.P.P.S. Justices Thomas and Scalia were notably missing. Scalia has missed before, I believe, because he hates going. He doesn't like the presence of the Court at such a political event. Thomas usually shows up. Don't know why he wasn't there.
P.P.P.P.S. Video!

P.P.P.P.P.S. Obama was wrong, as a matter of law. Justice Alito was simply defending the United States Code from its own executive (courtesy of National Review Online):

President Wrong on Citizens United Case [Bradley A. Smith]

Tonight the president engaged in demogoguery of the worst kind, when he claimed that last week's Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, "open[ed] the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities."

The president's statement is false.

The Court held that 2 U.S.C. Section 441a, which prohibits all corporate political spending, is unconstitutional. Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibiting from making "a contribution or donation of money or ather thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election" under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e, which was not at issue in the case. Foreign corporations are also prohibited, under 2 U.S.C. 441e, from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party, and they prohibited from making any "expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication... ."

This is either blithering ignorance of the law, or demogoguery of the worst kind.

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