Ringside Seat: Following the Law Is an Impeachable Offense

Today, President Obama continued his reign of terror with an act of tyranny that would have made old Joe Stalin blush. If you can believe it, he nominated three people to fill the vacant seats on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, often called the second most important court in the land. The gall!

You might say that it's the president's duty under the Constitution to appoint judges, but that's not how Republicans see it. These appointments are just part of Barack Obama's sinister scheme to remake this great country according to his twisted socialist vision. "It's hard to imagine the rationale for nominating three judges at once for this court given the many vacant emergency seats across the country, unless your goal is to pack the court to advance a certain policy agenda," said Iowa senator and increasingly crotchety grump Chuck Grassley. Yes indeed, "pack the court," by appointing people to fill vacant judgeships. Just like every president has before him. Obama has also had the temerity to name a cabinet, deliver State of the Union addresses, and pardon the occasional turkey. It's almost like he thinks he's president or something.

The nominees in question—Patricia Ann Millett, Cornelia Pillard, and Robert Leon Wilkins–all seem highly qualified (and in naming two women and an African-American, Obama maintains an admirable record on judicial diversity, as we recently detailed). By nominating them all at once, Obama is almost daring Republicans to launch a filibuster.They could attack just one nominee and claim that he or she is a judicial activist, but doing it to three at a time would give up the game, making it clear that their real objection isn't to these particular individuals but to Obama nominating anyone. But that won't necessarily stop them. They're more likely to hem and haw for a while, then allow the nominees to come to a vote. It would be a small victory for the President, but these days, small victories are the only kind he's got.

So They Say

"I did not look bored. How do you think you looked? You were really bored. You were bored, too!”

Anthony Weiner talking to reporters about yesterday's mayoral election debate, saying what everyone is always thinking about debates.

Daily Meme: The End of the Solid South

  • We're releasing a big four-part series on the future of Southern politics on our website this week—the first of which is Bob Moser's essay declaring the end of the Solid South.
  • The demographic shifts he sees morphing the South's politics over the next decade are happening (and have been changing Southern politics for decades, slowly but surely), and the South stands as the fastest-growing region in the country. 
  • but for now, most articles written from the Northeast will continue to view the South as an unreachable electoral block...
  • ... especially since the states that are changing fastest also have some of the most dismal records of electoral engagement in the country. Texas, for example, ranked 51st in voter turnout in 2010. 
  • It's not just politics that are undergoing a makeover in the region either, journalist Tracey Thompson argues. The culture of the South is changing too.
  • Not that there aren't plenty of residents who wouldn't like the process to hurry up a little. In North Carolina, "Moral Monday" protests have been taking place since April 29 in the state Capitol, pushing against the legislature's sharp turn to the right. 151 people were arrested at the protest held yesterday.
  • In the Carolina directly below, Obamacare has people all a tizzy. (Who are we kidding, Obamacare has the whole South in a tizzy).
  • The state is fighting for the chance to be the first to nullify the landmark health-care legislation (although you think they would have learned from the last time they tried to nullify a major law that it usually isn't a great idea).
  • Gun laws are quietly being erased in the South too. In Charleston, West Virginia, you might be able to carry a concealed gun into a public pool soon.
  • By 2020, things may change, but for now, politics in the South are as crazy as you'd think.

What We're Writing

  • When a new Pew Research Center poll cited a rise in the number of women who made the most money in their household, a discussion panel on Fox News was more or less apoplectic. E.J. Graff uses this recent event as a launching point to catalog some other not-so-smart things men have said.
  • There is a coming progressive majority in traditionally red states, but the capitals of those states are more conservative than ever. As Bob Moser writes, this tug-of-war has to end somehow. 

What We're Reading

  • A brief glimpse of the life of Afghan children, who have never known their country without war.
  • Why are baby boomers committing suicide at such high rates?
  • The Congressional Research Service examines the legal issues at hand with closing Guantanamo.
  • Why were 900 bus drivers shot in Guatemala City?
  • Mayor Tom Barrett talks about Milwaukee's attempts to shuck off its rust-belt looks.
  • Zak Pashak was looking for a cheap factory and skilled manufacturers—a few months later Detroit Bikes was born.
  • Ben Bernanke's likely to retire this January and there's no worldly philosopher who's earned it more, writes John Cassidy.

Poll of the Day

With an unemployment rate that has been double the national average for years, black Americans would have good reason to feel dissatisfied with parts of their lives. But a recent poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health shows that 86 percent of African Americans are satisfied with their lives. Not only that, but a majority believe that life is only going to get better, as 60 percent say they will eventually own a home and be financially stable.

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