Not an Etch-a-Sketch, But a Blank Slate

Real profile in courage:

Actually, the Supreme Court pretty much said the exact opposite of that today, and states don’t have the right to craft their own immigration policy. That’s what those three counts that were struck down were all about.






100 replies
  1. 1
    Valdivia says:

    John I am wondering if that profile in courage holds true for the next SCOTUS ruling, because Halperin the All Knowing says

    * Romney to go on offense on SCOTUS ruling, too: Mark Halperin:

    It appears Mitt Romney is going to put himself front and center when the Supreme Court decision on health care is released. Romney was aggressive in dealing with the sticky issue in fighting for the Republican nomination, and it appears he plans to be aggressive again in positioning himself in opposition to the President.

    Link in case you guys want to give the a-hole the page hit.

    What is aggressive? Running away from the question in fifty ways instead of 20?

    ETA: blockquote fail, Halperin’s words up to the word link.

  2. 2
    Hunter Gathers says:

    At least that’s something resembling a position. Most days I think that Mittens isn’t running for POTUS, but is actually running to become leader of the Neutral Planet.

  3. 3
    schrodinger's cat says:

    For matters relating to immigration, this is the blog I find invaluable.

  4. 4
    gogol's wife says:

    This technique of just repeating word for word the same non-responsive answer seems to be the new Republican modus operandi. I can’t remember who it was, but there was some congressman who got caught by a reporter on the street and did the same thing. They don’t even know how to equivocate gracefully and make it look natural.

  5. 5
    DougJ says:

    You call it a non-answer, I call it Burkean modesty.

  6. 6
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @DougJ: You call it Burkean modesty, I call it Hayekian principles.

  7. 7
    Thoughtcrime says:

    O/T:

    “…Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

    http://www.politicspa.com/turz.....-pa/37153/

  8. 8
    eric says:

    His plan is to ignore immigration specifics until Thursday (he was hoping it was today) when the Court rules on ACA, which will use up the political oxygen in the known universe. Immigration will be a footnote. Smart play. It does not matter what the decision actually is.

  9. 9
    Tonal Crow says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    This technique of just repeating word for word the same non-responsive answer seems to be the new Republican modus operandi.

    The Republicans’ widespread use of this technique dates back at least to Newt’s takeover of the House. It’s a propaganda technique intended to replace reality with Republican crazy. It seems to have worked pretty well so far. They used the same technique to raise the idea that the ACA is “unconstitutional” from a birther-fringe argument to one that I would not be shocked to see the crazies on the Court embrace.

  10. 10
    Anne Laurie says:

    Anybody else remember Ron Ziegler, Richard Nixon’s press spokespuppet, and the majical incantation “That statement is no longer operative”? Which, for the younglings among us, was the oft-recited response to “Hey, how come what you told us yesterday turned out to be (yet another) lie?”

    Forty years on, it’s the candidate who’s ‘no longer operative’…

  11. 11
    scav says:

    Blank Slate writes Black Check for Presidency.
    VICTORY!

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Zach says:

    I don’t get the “Romney won’t comment on case” story that everyone’s jumping on although I guess it fits in the indecisive Romney narrative and I really shouldn’t complain about it. In fact, Romney’s statement backed every aspect of the dissenting minority argument unless you think Scalia was advocating that state sovereignty means they can have their own immigration laws (which he may well have done… I’ve just seen it summarized). Mitt Romney said not only should states be able to enforce Federal immigration law, but they should be able to do so whether or not the Feds are already doing a good job. In the oral argument, all of the skeptical hypotheticals were about what states can do when the Federal government is ignoring an immigration problem and not enforcing Federal law.

  14. 14
    Martin says:

    So, if the Individual Mandate in PPACA is struck down, does that mean that Romneycare is equally unconstitutional?

  15. 15
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Hunter Gathers: I thought it was Oakeshottian restraint.

  16. 16
    Martin says:

    @Zach:

    In the oral argument, all of the skeptical hypotheticals were about what states can do when the Federal government is ignoring an immigration problem and not enforcing Federal law.

    States can send representatives to Congress to vote for funding to enforce immigration laws.

    Fucking democracy, how does it work?!

  17. 17
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Martin:

    So, if the Individual Mandate in PPACA is struck down, does that mean that Romneycare is equally unconstitutional?

    That depends how they strike it down, assuming (for the sake of argument) that they do. If they hold that it’s beyond Congress’s power, that’ll have no effect on Romneycare, which was enacted by a state. If they hold that the mandate violates some negative right (e.g, one of those terrible rights of bodily integrity and personal autonomy recognized by the Court in Griswold, Roe, etc.) then that could ditch Romneycare too.

    But I think the Court’ll uphold ACA as a conditional tax credit under the tax-and-spend Clause while entirely sidestepping the Commerce Clause question. I’m betting on 7-2, with Thomas and Alito dissenting.

  18. 18
    russ says:

    this whole Romney campaign is like watching someone dance with both shoelaces untied

  19. 19
    Tonal Crow says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    @Hunter Gathers: I thought it was Oakeshottian restraint.

    No. That’s what Cheney exercised when he shot the guy in the face only once.

  20. 20
    dr. bloor says:

    @Anon: Wait, someone gives a shit what we think? Who knew?

  21. 21
    Martin says:

    @Tonal Crow: So even the liberal Antonin Scalia is going to uphold, eh?

    I thought so as well until Scalia put out his ‘All that commerce clause stuff I supported – yeah, that’s all bullshit’ clarification.

  22. 22
    bemused says:

    @russ:

    Good one.

  23. 23
    Davis X. Machina says:

    No. That’s what Cheney exercised when he shot the guy in the face only once.

    You’ve confused ‘Oakeshott’ with ‘birdshot’….

  24. 24
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Martin:

    @Tonal Crow: So even the liberal Antonin Scalia is going to uphold, eh?
    __
    I thought so as well until Scalia put out his ‘All that commerce clause stuff I supported – yeah, that’s all bullshit’ clarification.

    Yes, I do think that Scalia will vote to uphold the ACA. Whatever he said about the Commerce Clause (I haven’t read the book), it doesn’t matter because the tax-and-spend Clause can support the mandate in exactly the same way it supports hundreds of other tax credits. That the mandate is phrased as a penalty for not doing something rather than a credit for doing it, is immaterial, because the effect is exactly the same.

  25. 25
    Valdivia says:

    @Martin:

    I am with you here. I think there is no way Scalia upholds. At max 6-3 upholding.

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:

    @Zach:

    In fact, Romney’s statement backed every aspect of the dissenting minority argument unless you think Scalia was advocating that state sovereignty means they can have their own immigration laws (which he may well have done… I’ve just seen it summarized). Mitt Romney said not only should states be able to enforce Federal immigration law, but they should be able to do so whether or not the Feds are already doing a good job

    Well, since the minority opinion doesn’t really matter, is Mitt going to repair and replace the Supreme Court so it gives him the result he wants if he becomes president?

    Also, too, activist court. Bad. Bad.

  27. 27
    pragmatism says:

    @Tonal Crow: that was buckshottian modesty. oakeshottian modesty is that sully turns away the lithograph of oakeshott’s likeness on his nightstand when he does the no pants dance with his partner.

  28. 28
    lamh35 says:

    So I see Boner’s scheduled Holder’s contempt vote on Thursday, same day as SCOTUS decision. I’m guessing Boehneer’s thinks SCOTUS will go his way, so wants to plan a “double whammy” or if the SCOTUS doesnt’ go his way, then the House can still “win” by holding Holder in contempt.

  29. 29
    BGinCHI says:

    The spox dude keeps saying, “The governor understands that…”

    Right there. He “understands”? What the fuck does that even mean in this context?

    There is legislation, it is challenged in court, the Supremes rule on it in a final way. His understanding is what exactly?

    THIS is how a businessman runs things. By lying when he can’t change reality.

  30. 30
    Valdivia says:

    @lamh35:

    or it could be read as he thinks he is going to lose so he is doing this to distract from the fact.

  31. 31
    The Moar You Know says:

    Wait, someone gives a shit what we think? Who knew?

    @dr. bloor: That’s some weapons-grade desperation there, coming to us for opinions. On anything.

    Argle bargle Sandra Fluke libtard something Kenyan

    @Anon: Fellow citizen of the United States of America, I have a confession. I didn’t click on the link or read one word of what you wrote. The sad thing is that I don’t need to. I could probably recite it back to you verbatim anyway. Hell, I probably just did.

  32. 32
    dmsilev says:

    @lamh35: Personally, I’d regard an official vote of being in contempt of this House as a badge of honor.

  33. 33
    pragmatism says:

    @dr. bloor: no no no. anon, a/k/a whomever wrote that post and then link trolled for hits, only cares that what teh libtards say is mean, intemperate, etc. to play the victim. those poor tough conservatives.

  34. 34
    ChrisNYC says:

    He’s running for office for Pete’s sake!

  35. 35
    Redshift says:

    @gogol’s wife: It is pretty weird. Basic advice for political interviews is “answer the question you want to answer, not the question that was asked.” But the characteristic of a good politician or spokesman is that they can do that without making it obvious.

    In line with the old joke about prisoners telling jokes they all know, Romney and his spokesbots might as well respond to questions by saying “Standard campaign response #37. Next?”

  36. 36
    Tonal Crow says:

    @pragmatism:

    @Tonal Crow: that was buckshottian modesty. oakeshottian modesty is that sully turns away the lithograph of oakeshott’s likeness on his nightstand when he does the no pants dance with his partner.

    ROTFLMAO!

  37. 37
    Tonal Crow says:

    @BGinCHI:

    THIS is how a businessman runs things. By lying when he can’t change reality.

    No, No, NO, a thousand times NO! He lies precisely in order to change reality. It’s pure propaganda.

  38. 38
    lamh35 says:

    Hmmm, remember when the usual suspects were hooting and hollering about who’s fault is was that gas prices were so high. Welp, looks like gas prices are going down and there is silence.

    http://thinkprogress.org/clima.....?mobile=nc

  39. 39
    gogol's wife says:

    @lamh35:

    Yes, crickets.

  40. 40
    gogol's wife says:

    I just noticed the post title, good one.

  41. 41
    MikeJ says:

    @Redshift: Yes, politicians used to be artful about it, but why should they bother? Who’s going to risk getting thrown off the bus by asking a tough question?

  42. 42

    @dmsilev:

    Personally, I’d regard an official vote of being in contempt of this House as a badge of honor.

    Well, Boehner et. al. are contemptible, so it’s well deserved.

  43. 43
    BGinCHI says:

    @Tonal Crow: Ah, the Joseph Heller Defense. Well played.

  44. 44
    BGinCHI says:

    @Roger Moore: If they vote to hold him in contempt he ought to issue a statement that says, in part: “I hold the House of Representatives in contempt for their following actions….”

  45. 45
    Maude says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Think it will be a party line vote? Dems sometimes get strange ideas.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Keith says:

    Only thing Romney stands for is a speech, and I fully expect him to be sitting for those by August.

  48. 48

    @Keith:

    Only thing Romney stands for is a speech, and I fully expect him to be sitting for those by August.

    So you think he sits down to pee? Harsh, man.

  49. 49
    Martin says:

    @Roger Moore: Artificial life forms don’t pee.

  50. 50
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Anon: #12

    American Power

    Keeping an eye on the communist-left so you don’t have to!

    That’s cute. I’ll give them points for cleverness.

    [Yes, it isn’t very original but the right wing has so little humor, I think we should reward it when we see it.]

  51. 51
    burnspbesq says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    But I think the Court’ll uphold ACA as a conditional tax credit under the tax-and-spend Clause while entirely sidestepping the Commerce Clause question. I’m betting on 7-2, with Thomas and Alito dissenting.

    As long as we’re being optimistic, I’m betting on a unanimous opinion saying that the Anti-Injunction Act bars litigation of the issue until somebody actually has to pay an amount assessed under Internal Revenue Code Section 5000A.

    How much am I betting?

    How about a dollar and seventeen cents?

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Martin:

    “If you cut me, do I not…leak?”

  53. 53
    burnspbesq says:

    @pragmatism:

    no pants dance

    I believe that’s the first Little Feat reference of the day. Under Rule 63 of the Six Unwritten Rules of Balloon-Juice, everyone must drink.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @BGinCHI: I found it to be anti-Joycean.

  55. 55
    GxB says:

    @Valdivia: Amen.

    Now we got another John Cole to cheer, though I’m sure I’ve seen his toons before. Throw in Juan Cole and it starts getting eerie.

  56. 56
    Valdivia says:

    @GxB:

    I know right? Will the real John Cole please stand up? :)

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tonal Crow: I still think Fat Tony votes no. He is becoming a caricature of himself, and I never had that high an opinion of the original.

  59. 59
    pragmatism says:

    @burnspbesq: everyone needs a drink today. not as badly as we will on thursday, though.

  60. 60
    Martin says:

    Speaking of SCOTUS decisions.

    I don’t understand the opposition to life w/ possibility of parole. Unlike any other sentence, the parole option promises nothing. It is functionally identical to the non-parole sentence except that it provides a relief valve while the same sort of process that lead to the sentence is repeated.

    I can understand there being issues with a parole board, but to establish from the outset that you don’t trust that board as a matter of policy suggests that the board should be reconsidered, or that your interpretation of the boards actions are out-of-line. Routing around the board as policy suggests that you don’t believe in the very process you are a participant in. Writing a lengthy dissent that you deliver from the bench to draw attention to your lack of trust for the legal system seems, at a minimum assholish.

  61. 61
    GxB says:

    @Valdivia:
    Typing a response to John Cole,
    ’bout a post made by Juan Cole,
    Where he referenced a toon by John Cole,
    while Pandora plays some John Coltrane…

    Regular Hank Wadsworth I am.

  62. 62
    4tehlulz says:

    Imagine what fun will be had if Mittens ever gets the keys to the nuclear arsenal:

    Romney’s campaign bus circled Obama’s fundraiser at Boston Symphony Hall Monday night several times honking its horn, according to Romney deputy press secretary Ryan Williams and verified by several onlookers.

  63. 63
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I still think Fat Tony votes no. He is becoming a caricature of himself, and I never had that high an opinion of the original.

    I can see the former, and heartily agree on the latter. He’s a Republican hack in an age of all-consuming Republican hackery. Still, my gut (which was, admittedly, wrong on Bush v. Gore) says that Scalia, deep down, still wants the approval of the academy that he professes to abhor. And he won’t get that by reversing Wickard and ruling the ACA unsupported by the tax-and-spend Clause. And still less will he get it by resurrecting Lochner.

  64. 64
    MattR says:

    @Martin: I’ve been staring at this quote from Alito for a while now trying to figure out what exactly his problem is.

    Alito argued that the majority decision shows that Eighth Amendment cases are “no longer tied to any objective indicia of society’s standards.”
    __
    “Future cases may extrapolate from today’s holding, and this process may continue until the majority brings sentencing practices into line with whatever the majority views as truly evolved standards of decency,” he wrote.

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tonal Crow: I’ll take 7-2 over 6-3; if Scalia wants to cast one of his occasional “liberal” votes, I won’t say no.

  66. 66
    GxB says:

    @4tehlulz: Christ, again? How can this man be a grandfather? He acts like he doesn’t have armpit hair yet…

  67. 67

    @4tehlulz:
    Their bragging about it makes me think Josh Marshall’s interpretation is correct: Romney is trying to prove what an asshole he is to the kind of mouth breathers who want the guy with the biggest swinging dick to be President. There’s no other plausible explanation.

  68. 68
    Violet says:

    @MattR:
    Let me help. Here’s what he’s thinking: “I didn’t get my way. Waaaah, waaah, waaaaaaaah!”

    That’s his problem.

  69. 69
  70. 70
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MattR: Alito’s main problem is that he is a vicious prick. Most of the other ones flow from that source.

  71. 71
    Turgidson says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Bush’s ol’ press secretary lackey Scooter McClellan made the bumbling, repetitive non-response response a high art form.

    Tony Snow at least did the same thing with a bit of style.

  72. 72
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @GxB:

    You got your Wadsworth out of that one!

  73. 73

    @Martin:

    I don’t understand the opposition to life w/ possibility of parole.

    I think you’re basically right, and it’s based on a mistrust of parole boards. Those who think the main purpose of prison is punishment rather than rehabilitation or even sequestration want to ensure that criminals will never get out, no matter what. They’re worried that the parole board will listen to the criminal’s story of reform (or harmlessness when they’re old and infirm) and ignore the heinousness of their original offense.

  74. 74
    4tehlulz says:

    @Roger Moore: I’m starting to think that Mitt is Obama’s crazy stalker ex.

  75. 75
    jl says:

    When the Mitt people do this kind of thing, I think everyone should freak out and pee themselves out of fear and excitedly talk about how we can never beat an act like that.

    Might encourage them to pull more stunts like this.
    Just Halperin wandering in front of the TV camera machine and babbling about whatever happens it’s good for Republicans might not do the trick.

    Will be hard to not to break the kayfabe though.

    Except from the contemptuous comments I see, it might be too late.

  76. 76
    General Stuck says:

    Thursday could be Armageddon, The Rapture, and Dante’s Inferno, all wrapped up in one

  77. 77

    @4tehlulz:

    I’m starting to think that Mitt is Obama’s crazy stalker ex.

    No, but he’s courting the crazy stalker ex demographic.

  78. 78
    dmsilev says:

    @4tehlulz: Circling Symphony Hall in a bus? My compliments to the driver, that’s pretty impressive work.

    (Boston Symphony Hall sits on the corner of two main streets, but the other streets you would need to traverse to ‘circle’ the hall are tiny little side streets that are not particularly conducive to mammoth buses like the Romneymobile)

    Edit: Also, too, Symphony is built in such a way that from inside the hall you’re pretty well insulated from most outside sounds. Being a concert hall and everything. So, it’s pretty unlikely that any of Obama’s donors inside the Hall had even the vaguest clue that Romney’s bus was outside shouting “look at me!”

  79. 79
    jl says:

    @General Stuck: And time is running out on that 2012 Mayan Apocalypse thing. Could be a big day.

  80. 80
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Roger Moore: Which is why some of the bigger states’ penal systems now have separate Altzheimers’ facilities.

  81. 81
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @burnspbesq: There are people who bought Intel in ’74 at 6. The ones who are still alive own islands.

    Who knows. You might get lucky.

  82. 82
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq:

    until somebody actually has to pay an amount assessed under Internal Revenue Code Section 5000A.

    Which I’m sure they’ll do out of the goodness of their hearts, since there is no enforcement mechanism the IRS can use. What’s the point of a tax change if nothing is there to back it up?

    Worst part is it will have to be programmed in. Dead cycle is gonna be fun next year!

  83. 83
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @dmsilev: All the Northeastern and BU kids are gone for the summer, so Hemenway and Gainsborough and St. Stephen’s aren’t all crammed full of double-parked cars….

    Might just be possible.

  84. 84
    burnspbesq says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    If your 57 is intended as a response to my 51, I strongly recommend that you take your snarkometer in for re-calibration.

  85. 85
    rikyrah says:

    they asked them 20 fucking times.

    20 FUCKING TIMES.

    my only consolation is that Spanish -Language media has no investment in covering for Willard. they’re telling it like it is.

  86. 86
    Keith says:

    @Roger Moore: Yes, because I strongly suspect he has carpeted bathrooms.

    Incidentally, I look forward to Romney’s defense of states’ rights with regards to Montana’s right to prohibit large corporate donations.

  87. 87
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Valdivia:

    Will the real John Cole please stand up? :)

    All 3,587 of them, in the U.S. alone?

    @dmsilev:

    Symphony is built in such a way that from inside the hall you’re pretty well insulated from most outside sounds. Being a concert hall and everything. So, it’s pretty unlikely that any of Obama’s donors inside the Hall had even the vaguest clue that Romney’s bus was outside shouting “look at me!”

    Hell, given the traffic noise level outside Symphony Hall whenever I’ve been there, even the passers-by would’ve assumed the driver was just another lost & frustrated tourist. Maybe if the volunteers had been ‘tasked’ with hanging their butts out the bus windows, the Herald would’ve run photos…

  88. 88

    @Keith:

    Yes, because I strongly suspect he has carpeted bathrooms.

    Why should he care? Doesn’t he have a servant to steam clean the carpet every time he’s done using the toilet?

  89. 89
    chopper says:

    @MattR:

    “Future cases may extrapolate from today’s holding, and this process may continue until the majority brings sentencing practices into line with whatever the majority views as truly evolved standards of decency,” he wrote.

    clearly, we need to interpret ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ through the eyes of a bunch of slaveowners 200 years ago.

  90. 90
    Keith says:

    @Roger Moore: Doesn’t need a servant for the bathroom because his shit don’t stink.

  91. 91

    @Keith:

    Doesn’t need a servant for the bathroom because his shit don’t stink.

    But we’re not talking about whether his shit stinks, we’re talking about how good his aim is. Now maybe he has perfect aim as befits his status as an Android-American, but maybe not.

  92. 92
    Mnemosyne says:

    @4tehlulz:

    It’s not a real prank until they start mooning everyone out the windows of the bus.

    Hop to it, Romney staffers.

  93. 93
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    The more I think about it, I’m optimistic about Thursday. Fat Tony was viciously, seethingly angry today. I think that means either A: He voted to strike down ACA and lost, or 2: He was forced, very much against his will, to vote to uphold, out of fear of the consequences of basically repealing the Commerce Clause, or III: Much less likely, did 2 and was blindsided by it flipping the other way, trapping him on the wrong side. The fact that Alito was also viciously angry today is a good indication of A, because there’s no way in Hell he voted to uphold. I’m (very) cautiously upbeat.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    This technique of just repeating word for word the same non-responsive answer seems to be the new Republican modus operandi.

    When you were a kid, didn’t you have a younger brother who said the Same.Damn.Thing. again and again, forty fifty ninety two hundred times in a row, no matter what you said or asked?

    It’s not only non-responsive, it’s deliberately designed to make us lose our shit.

  96. 96
    Keith says:

    @Roger Moore: Mitt pisses rainbows.

  97. 97
    catclub says:

    @lamh35: This is where the rubes lack of understanding that gas prices are lower because demand is down and the European economy is in recession – and ours may follow – is helpful to Obama.

  98. 98
    Valdivia says:

    @GxB:

    hat’s off sir :)

  99. 99
    lol says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think it’s actually different. Right-wingers have this hilarious belief that Obama is thin-skinned and prone to anger. So this bus stuff (and other dickery) is *really* going to get to him and then he’s going to explode like the angry blah man we all know he is.

    Of course, it’s all projection because Mitt is the one that’s thin-skinned (as pretty much any situation out of his control has demonstrated) so I have to imagine if some people were to start doing this sort of thing to his events… well, the results might be interesting.

  100. 100
    noodler says:

    That’s not even good folderol. To not have a canned answer for this decision is pretty appalling. Should’ve added a seinfeld clip: “And you want to be my latex salesman”

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