Open Thread: Growing Up, Getting Wiser


Adam Liptak, in the NYTimes, reports that Justice Sotomayor has a book to sell:

… The occasion for the chat was the publication of Justice Sotomayor’s memoir, “My Beloved World,” this week. It is steeped in vivid memories of New York City, and it is an exceptionally frank account of the challenges that she faced during her ascent from a public housing project to the court’s marble palace on First Street.

Justice Sotomayor turns out to be a writer of depth and literary flair, a surprise to readers of her judicial prose. (“I am a lawyer’s judge,” she said on hearing the observation. “I write very technically.”)…

She acknowledged that she entered the Ivy League through “a special door” and that her adjustment was rough. “I felt like an alien landing in a different universe,” she said of her arrival at Princeton…

She was part of a vanguard not always welcomed by the old order. In the book, she recalled letters in The Daily Princetonian “lamenting the presence on campus of ‘affirmative action students,’ each of whom had presumably displaced a far more deserving affluent white male and could rightly be expected to crash into the gutter built of her own unrealistic aspirations.”

“There were vultures circling, ready to dive when we stumbled,” she wrote.

She did not stumble. On graduating, she was awarded the Pyne Prize, the university’s highest undergraduate award, presented for a combination of academic success and extracurricular work….

After her second year at law school, Justice Sotomayor spent a summer working at a prominent New York City law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. The vast majority of summer associates at big law firms in those days received offers for full-time jobs, but she did not. She called the experience “a kick in the teeth.”…

Asked why she chose to discuss the matter, she said: “If I write a book where all I’ve ever experienced is success, people won’t take a positive lesson from it. In being candid, I have to own up to my own failures, both in my marriage and in my work environment.”…

Justice Sotomayor seems to be happier with her choices than, perhaps, Justice Thomas. (On the other hand, if my (hypothetical) law school had given David Brooks a teaching slot, I’d be a touch grouchy myself…)

Apart from working hard, hopefully to succeed, what’s on today’s agenda?

75 replies
  1. 1
    Raven says:

    I’m sorry I missed her 60 minutes interview.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Schlemizel says:

    I’m surprised only that they chose coffins, I’d have expected zombies. Zombies have human form and are extremely popular with the gun nut crowd.

    I’m trying to imagine what a large, shambling, mob of low intelligence beings in human form inexorably coming to take all they have from them could possibly represent to the gun nut?

  4. 4
    aangus says:


    Especially since that sounds like you’re describing the House Republicans. : )

  5. 5
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Schlemizel: #3

    I’m trying to imagine what a large, shambling, mob of low intelligence beings in human form inexorably coming to take all they have from them could possibly represent to the gun nut?

    A bad case of projection.

    Some of these people lead their whole lives as if it were a bad trip.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    Legislation to regulate online purchases of ammunition and high-capacity magazines is bringing new attention to a growing cyberspace ammo market that’s operated with little government oversight.  Source

    Listening to the rain pound on the metal roof, and wrestling with the editor within over whether to quibble about one of the most commonly misused words in English (one which even professional writers are leery of) in the post.

  7. 7
    aangus says:

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”


  8. 8
    JPL says:

    This morning I tried to stream Morning Joe and lasted two minutes. What a sanctimonious prick he is. I’m glad Raven updates us because listening to him is not good for my blood pressure.

  9. 9
    NotMax says:


    An online petition should be started to prod Scarborough to change his preferred name (Joseph is his middle name) to Woodrow.

    Then his show could become Morning Woody and drop all the pretense.

  10. 10
    Raven says:

    @JPL: He started railing against the NRA. There is NO WAY he can’t do the same at Obama to keep the door open with the pukes.

  11. 11
    SFAW says:


    I’m surprised only that they chose coffins, I’d have expected darkzombies. DarkZombies have human form and are extremely popular as targets, both literal and figurative, with the gun nut crowd.

    Fixed to comport more with the “Citadel” (not to be confused with “The Citadel,” VMI, or West Point) mindset.

    “Hey! Where the white women at?”

  12. 12
    Raven says:

    @SFAW: Yea, Pat Lang went to VMI.

  13. 13
    SFAW says:

    Didn’t know the name, had to use Teh Google. Seems like a worthwhile guy, but I haven’t read anything by him.

    A childhood friend went to The Citadel, would not group him in with the “Citadel” nut jobs. (Of course, he may have changed, I haven’t seen him since the 1970s, but I hope he hasn’t.)

  14. 14
    JPL says:

    @Raven: The sixty seconds that I streamed was complaining that Obama has done nothing to cut social security and medicare.

  15. 15
    Raven says:

    @SFAW: I’ve been raging trying to get him unlinked from this blog because of his stance on guns. Obviously Cole isn’t going to do it but I’m going to keep picking.

    eta He’s a big middle east expert and was spit on by hippies once.

  16. 16
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Right, that was after his NRA rant.

  17. 17
    Schlemizel says:


    I was thinking more the “47%” but I’m sure they see the majority of them as unheartlandishly dusky.

  18. 18
    NotMax says:

    As deceased Lifetime Members are not routinely scrubbed from the rolls, the true number of NRA members is an open question.

  19. 19
    PeakVT says:

    @NotMax: I believe the Bible says you get 72 unfired AR-15’s when you get to heaven, so that membership might still be a nice thing to have, in case any liberals get in.

  20. 20
    SFAW says:

    OK. Clearly I needed to save the editorial comment for another day. Thanks for edumacating me.

  21. 21
    zmulls says:

    If anyone missed Rachel Maddow last night, my friends David and Francine, who lost their 6-year-old son at Newtown, sat down with Rachel. This is the first time they are speaking publicly since the shooting (probably the first time any of the families have spoken publicly). It’s a two-part interview:

    David and Francine have decided, along with some of the other families, that the best way of honoring their children is to keep speaking, so I’m doing my part by trying to make sure they get heard.

  22. 22
    SFAW says:


    As deceased Lifetime Members are not routinely scrubbed from the rolls,

    Wasn’t there some controversy about the Mormons posthumously converting them to Jews?

  23. 23
    SFAW says:


    so I’m doing my part by trying to make sure they get heard.

    Thank you.

    I can barely imagine how horrible it must be for them. If appropriate, pass along our condolences and heartfelt best wishes for them.

  24. 24
    Cassidy says:

    Any word on Gex?

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    @zmulls: Thank you for the links. Your friends are wonderful people because the interview had to be difficult, although necessary.

  26. 26
    Raven says:

    @SFAW: @SFAW: Aw no, I just perked up when I saw VMI and saw another chance to bitch about Lang.

  27. 27
    Raven says:

    @Cassidy: I don’t think so.

  28. 28
    WereBear says:

    @zmulls: I’m so sorry for their loss. It’s horrible to think that this is what they can do for their child now.

    They have the guts to appear on Rachel, and she has the guts to put them on. Will we be seeing more of them, and parents like them, in the days to come?

    Because we should.

  29. 29
    Ash Can says:

    @zmulls: Thank you for that link, and for posting here on your friends. In all honesty, I’m not up to watching the interview, but the families of Newtown are in my prayers every day. I second SFAW’s comment regarding passing on our condolences if appropriate.

  30. 30
    Raven says:

    OK, there are some really smart younger folks here so help me out. Michael Hastings from Buzz Feed and the Stone is on Joe. Interesting look at his book “Panic” about the last campaign. What is with younger people having to punctuate everything they say with “sort of”? It’s sort of this and sort of that even when it just IS, not “sort of”. Drives me nuts!

  31. 31
    R-Jud says:

    @Raven: It’s a verbal tic on par with “like”. My sisters (aged 25 & 27) do it constantly. It’s sort of maddening. :-)

  32. 32
    JPL says:

    @Raven: We are like the same age and it’s like not unusual to add unnecessary words when speaking.

  33. 33
    Aimai says:

    My parents lost a six year old to cancer. My husbands brother lost his daughter to a brain aneurism at the age of nine. You never get over even the ” natural” deaths.

  34. 34
    JPL says:

    @R-Jud: haha.. Forty years ago that particular word drove me nuts. Some things don’t change.

  35. 35
    raven says:

    @JPL: Maynard G Krebs.

  36. 36
    R-Jud says:

    @JPL: My first employer was a well-spoken, courtly Kentuckian who made me put a quarter in a jar anytime he caught me saying “like”. I was cured by age 15.

    However, there’s something worse than filler words. My youngest sister has been living in NYC for a while now, and she has developed “vocal fry”, a kind of creak that happens at lower pitches. Middle sister’s 16-YO stepdaughter also does it. I can’t stand it.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    raven says:

    @JPL: You would think that people who are on the tube all the time would review the tapes and see how bad they are?

  39. 39
    raven says:

    @R-Jud: OOOOO!

  40. 40
    raven says:

    @NotMax: You’re not getting much sleep are you?

  41. 41
    NotMax says:


    not tired = not sleeping

    Took a power nap after din-din.

    Will, y’know, like sort of conk out sometime around sunrise.

  42. 42
    mai naem says:

    @zmulls: I watched the David and Francine Green interview on RMS. I hope the group decides to use them as their spokespeople. They both have a powerful but quiet way of expressing themselves. I am assuming his real life job involves writing in some form.
    Also half ass watched Morning Ho this morning. I wish I could be bothered to look up Ho’s legislative record because I bet he’s being highly hypocritical in the statements he makes on teevee. Also too, I can’t stand the sight of Harold Ford. Ugh. He just has grifter written all over him.

  43. 43
    Cassidy says:

    I can handle “like” and “sort of”. The first I’ve gotten used to and the last I can see as some sort of premptive, noncommittal statement to be able to alter opinions as needed. It’s the “and stuff” that drives me batshit.

  44. 44
    raven says:

    @NotMax: Aite bro, just checkin.

  45. 45
    raven says:

    @Cassidy: That’s cuz you’re a pup!

  46. 46
    Schlemizel says:


    Like, the misuse of literally is sort of figuratively driving me mad, and stuff

    Edited for Cassidy B-{D

  47. 47
    NotMax says:


    Oddball (even for then) Maynard appearance.

  48. 48
    raven says:

    @NotMax: Not many people call a ride a short anymore!

  49. 49
    Suffern ACE says:

    @R-Jud: oh thank you for that vocal fry comment. I thought it was something I hadn’t noticed before and didn’t know it was something newish. I can’t stand the affected sound and wondered if I was just getting old and cranky, and maybe some deep misongyny was creeping in because I increasingly get annoyed with the voices of young women. It’s not me. It actually is them. Sure, I’m still old and crankier. But at least I now know that what I am cranky about has a name.

  50. 50
    Cassidy says:

    @Schlemizel: I wouldn’t go that far. A pup’s legs wouldn’t be as sore as mine after climbing 42 flights of stairs.

  51. 51
    PeakVT says:

    @Raven: I sort of (ha!) worked with a guy (I actually only dealt with him over speakerphone b/c the team was split between VA and SD) who included “and stuff” somewhere in just about every sentence. We had to put the speaker on mute just to make it through a meeting without offending the guy with our laughter.

  52. 52
    Yutsano says:


    It’s the “and stuff” that drives me batshit

    And you have a teenage daughter…


  53. 53
    PeakVT says:

    @Suffern ACE: I think the “voval fry” thing may be the result of the exaggerated pitch changes that a lot of younger women include as part of their normal speech patterns these days. It’s as though the valley girl stereotype has been mainstreamed, though without most of the specific vocabulary and expressions. It’s been creeping onto public radio and it drives me nuts.

  54. 54
    Cassidy says:

    @Yutsano: Oh no. That’s one of the big “Dad” pet peeves. I can be manipulated with the “Daddy, can I…”, but dammit you’re going to use proper grammar.

  55. 55
    SFAW says:

    That’s because there aren’t many any more. (Shorts, that is.) Know what I mean, Daddy-O?

    ETA: Sorry, that should have been “Like, do you like know what I like mean and stuff, Daddy-O?”

  56. 56
    Yutsano says:

    @Cassidy: Then it’s, “Daddy MAY I…” but I’m just a pedant with several friends who are English teachers.

  57. 57
    Cassidy says:

    @Yutsano: We need a middle finger button. lol

  58. 58
    SFAW says:


    several friends who are English teachers.

    What, no Aussies? Or did you mean something else?

    ETA: Cassidy: just, like, trying to like help out, ya know?

  59. 59
    rikyrah says:

    I admire Justice Sotomayor. She understands that others fought and helped her get where she is…unlike that handkerchief head Clarence Thomas.

  60. 60
    Yutsano says:


    @Cassidy: I’d deserve it too. But meh, I have a pretty damn thick skin by now. Besides it’s not the worst thing I’ve said on the Internet…

  61. 61
    SFAW says:



    I think your starting to get my point, but even if you didn’t, don’t loose any sleep over it.

    Besides it’s not the worst thing I’ve said on the Internet…

    Paging Capt. Renault! Capt. Louis Renault! Your You’re presence is needed, stat!

  62. 62
    Yutsano says:


    unlike that handkerchief head Clarence Thomas

    This made me giggle.

    @SFAW: It’s 6:40 in the morning and I’m gonna have a massively stressful day. It would not surprise me if I’m missing just about everything right now.

  63. 63
    SFAW says:

    Wasn’t really trying to bust them that much, just being a pedant (or something). Plus, for some reason, I thought you were on the Right Coast.

    I hope your day turns out to be significantly less stressful than you anticipate.

  64. 64
    SFAW says:


    Can someone be a “handkerchief head” and a sock puppet at the same time?

  65. 65
    Cassidy says:

    @Yutsano: Speaking of thick skin, I’ve got an redneck idiot addition to my FF class. Former marine who just got out, will probably get hired as a legacy hire, and birther.

    Now, I’ve gone out of my way to not talk politics in class; we’ve got a wide variety of people. But this numbnuts starts running his mouth and I spent about 15 minutes last night calmly refuting everything he said with facts. Basically, he memorized all the chain emails and has never heard of Snopes. And his ending was always “well it sounds like something he’d do”, which I figured on, but I like to argue.

    Anyway, so another knucklehead pipes up about it being unfair that people who don’t pay taxes get tax returns, living off the gov’t, etc. I start laughing because we all stood up and told the classs what we’re currently doing for a living. Plus, this guy is prior service, Navy Enlisted, so not only has he not been paying taxes, but he’s been getting them back in the child tax credits and tax free when “deployed”. So I’m laughing at him and he gets that look on his face and I ask him how is he so upset that he may only get 8K back in taxes instead of 10K with the child tax credits. I then tell him I know what you do for a living, you’re not paying taxes, and the only one standing here who has to worry about taxes (maybe) is me, because between my wife and I we’re making decent money now.

    I’m losing my patience for these assholes.

  66. 66
    zmulls says:

    I’m coming back in late to the discussion, as I was offline for the last couple of hours, and I know this is the bottom of a thread that has been overtaken by other posts.

    I just wanted to thank those who watched David and Francine on the Maddow show, and expressed their thoughts on this thread.

    I think they will wind up doing more public appearances, out of a sense of duty towards their late son Ben. They understand they can make some difference in the longer conversation.

    They’re good people and it is painful to see them struggle with this. They have enormous support from the community and from their large circle of friends, but it’s still something they ultimately have to face alone.

  67. 67
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @Raven: Re Pat Lang, I usta read him back when I had more time, and he seemed a sensible fella. I could not however disagree with him more WRT guns. BUT, as one of the Federalist fellers wrote, I think, in order to protect everyone’s freedom of opinion and the right to express it, we have to sometimes tolerate the most odious of opinions. This presents no real danger to the Republic since the rest of us remain free to dispute them. John’s decision to keep him is ergo as valid as your freedom to criticize him. Something about the 1st Amdt here, right?

  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni

    in order to protect everyone’s freedom of opinion and the right to express it, we have to sometimes tolerate the most odious of opinions.

    True, but that does not include an obligation to publicize or disseminate those opinions.

    Something about the 1st Amdt here, right?

    Not really, as the 1st Amendment deals with regulation of speech by the government, not with editorial judgment, decision, bias or whim.

  69. 69
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Since this is an open thread: What the fuck. Sandy Hook neighbors and teachers who were in the news are being harassed by Sandy Hook Truthers:

  70. 70
    Cassidy says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: Are you surprised?

  71. 71
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @NotMax: “True, but that does not include an obligation to publicize or disseminate those opinions.” True ’nuff, but does Mr. Lang’s presence on the ol’ blog roll really constitute dissemination of his opinion? I don’t see much harm in Raven’s criticism, and he should certainly continue (saves me the trouble of reading Lang myself). But banning Lang deprives me of the opportunity to actually see a gun nut in action, should I ever get the urge to explore (which I won’t. Raven’s exposition is enough for me). But it seems to me that Lang’s advocacy here is useful in itself, if only to expose for the world the outright lunacy of his position.

  72. 72
    SFAW says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni:

    But banning Lang deprives me of the opportunity to actually see a gun nut in action, should I ever get the urge to explore.

    If only there were some way an industrious person could find Mr. Lang’s site/blog/whatever on his/her own … hmmm, I’m stumped! Or, as Cletus Spuckler might say: “Ah cain’t! Ah jus’ cain’t do it!”

    Knowing that Mr. Cole now has the power to ban someone from the Intertubez for all time and space, I will need to be on my best behavior, I guess.

  73. 73
    jp7505a says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: I really wonder what kind of country we have become. There are now Sandy Hook truthers who question whether the shooting even took place or that maybe Obama is behind it.
    There is an article about one of the hero’s of that morning and the hate mail that he is getting. The following is part of that article:
    ‘What did Rosen do to deserve this? One month ago, he found six little children and a bus driver at the end of the driveway of his home in Newtown, Connecticut. “We can’t go back to school,” one little boy told Rosen. “Our teacher is dead.” He brought them inside and gave them food and juice and toys. He called their parents. He sat with them and listened to their shocked accounts of what had happened just down the street inside Sandy Hook Elementary, close enough that Rosen heard the gunshots.’
    What have we become when six year olds have to explain that they can’t go to school because their teacher is dead? And yet we have Limbaugh bellowing his anger and hate about the socialist Kenyan who wants to take everyone’s guns because he is the next Hitler or is it Stalin. The NRA wants to turn every public place into a free fire zone and the GOP wants to turn the US into a deadbeat nation. Alex Jones talks about returning to the days of the patriots in 1776. I suspect the patriots in 1776 would have locked him up as a menace to civil society.
    The GOP, and to a lesser extent the democrats, are talking about cutting trillions of dollars from the budget over the next ten years but they seem to be a bit reluctant to talk details. It’s one thing to cut unneeded subsidies to wealthy wheat farmers and something else again to chop funding for the next generation of weather satellites. When a small country like Latvia has better wireless service than we do and Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than some US cities there is something seriously amiss
    We have a New Jersey GOP congress critter screaming bloody murder that Sandy relief is to slow in coming but he voted against Katrina aid in 2005. Gov. Christie, a supposed reasonable republican, is demanding 60 billion dollars to rebuild after Sandy but he was the one who shut down the project to add a third rail tunnel between New York and New Jersey because the country could not afford the 6 billion dollar price tag.
    Maybe we should let the GOP have its way and just default on our debt. Since they want to return to the glorious days of the 17th century then let’s grant them their wish. Then we can officially become the fourth rate banana republic that we seem to be trying so hard to be. We can slip off the world stage into the shadows of history never to be seen from or heard from again.

  74. 74
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @SFAW: Banning Pat Lang? Lang contributed mightily to this here tribe back in the Iraq war bullshit. And he, being ex-military, carried some weight. That he disagrees with us today is irrelevant. I have a real problem with the suppression of Free Speech in whatever forum, and Raven’s “suggestion” that he be removed from the blog roll mirrors the Teahadist insistence on orthodoxy. I don’t dispute Raven’s position. We are on the same side. I do have however some real problems with the arbitrary suppression of opinion in any forum. ANY opinion. Believe me, I can take it,Pat, even tho’ on this issue, I think you are full of shit.

  75. 75
    SFAW says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni:

    Try these: – Sic Semper Tyrannis, baby!

    Unless, of course, you want Cole to do a 1 Corinthians 9 kinda thing.

    And if you want to talk to Lang, you might consider going to HIS blog, not BJ – you might have a better chance of success.

    But WTF do I know, I’m only a stupid injineer.

Comments are closed.