Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Last Call For The Left Sinking Another Obama Nominee

David Barron's nomination for the First Circuit is about to get derailed by "I stand with Rand" Democrats, who as usual have no problem backing my quasi-racist troll of a Senator over their own party and president.

President Obama’s choice for a powerful appeals court appointment is in peril from both the left and the right, highlighting how the fraught politics of an election year are threatening the president’s agenda even among his allies on Capitol Hill. 
The nomination of David Barron, who was a Justice Department lawyer at the start of the administration and is now a Harvard Law School professor, is mired in a maw of contentious issues. Republicans object to what they say are his radically liberal views on the Constitution. Democrats in conservative-leaning states, especially those who are up for re-election, are wary that a vote for him might backfire with voters at home. And members of both parties say they are disturbed by Mr. Barron’s authorship of legal memos that justified the United States’ killing of an American citizen overseas with a drone. 
The American Civil Liberties Union wrote to all 100 senators on Monday urging them to put off a vote on Mr. Barron’s confirmation until the White House allowed them to read all of his writings on the drone program.

Barron would only need 51 votes, which means Republicans are completely powerless to stop him from being approved.  Only Democrats can kill this nomination, and that's exactly what these cowards are planning to do, because DROOOOOOOOOONES.

Mr. Barron, chosen by the president last year for a vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, needs 51 votes, meaning only a handful of Democrats, who control 55 seats, could defect. The majority leader, Harry Reid, has not decided whether he will proceed with a vote given the uncertainty, a spokesman said Monday.

The A.C.L.U.’s objections, along with the announcement by Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, that he would use his power to slow down the confirmation unless the administration released one of the legal memos written by Mr. Barron, raised fresh questions on Capitol Hill on Monday about whether the nomination would survive.

So yes, pathetic cowards are running from Obama again, as if Republicans will magically go easier on them in November just because they say "Hey, I stood up to that one"  and that Democratic voters will be more likely to vote for them after slagging the President.

Keep right on going, kids.  We don't forget.

Fly By Night, Rob By Day

The nation's airlines continue to rebound from the recession and the 9/11 terrorist attacks with a report Monday of $12.7 billion in net profits last year, up from $98 million in 2012.

The profits come on $199.7 billion in operating revenues for the nation's top 26 airlines, compared with $156 billion for 2012, according to the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics. 
For 2013, the airlines collected $120.6 billion from fares, $3.3 billion in baggage fees and $2.8 billion from reservation change fees. Fees for food, WiFi service and other onboard extras are not reported separately to the bureau. 
After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the industry lost a cumulative $55 billion before the nation's airlines started a rebound in 2008 by consolidating carriers, adopting bag fees and cutting less-profitable routes. 
"We have every fee known to man," said Rick Seaney, chief executive of the travel site Farecompare.com. "That tells you why there are profits now." 
Airlines also increased profits by filling more available seats on bigger, newer, more fuel-efficient planes. 
In 2013, the number of flights from the top 26 airlines dropped to 9.1 million, down from 9.3 million in the previous year, according to the Department of Transportation. 
At the same time, the number of passengers grew from 734 million in 2012 to 741 million, according to the federal agency.

So the airlines are specifically gunning now to give us worse service, fewer flights, and less competition. Revenues jumped by nearly a third, fares and fees jumped especially at smaller airports.  In fact, airlines are rewarded for giving us as awful service as possible.  There's no profit motive in good service for the industry anymore.

But of course we can't regulate the airlines, because taxes and regulatory burdens are too awful.  So awful in fact the airlines are making record profits...

Privileged Little Liars

In a development that should shock nobody, turns out Tal Fortgang, the obnoxious rich white privileged Princeton freshman who "refuses to apologize for his white privilege" in a rant published all over the conservative press (and in beltway outlets like TIME Magazine) is working for the Right-Wing Noise Machine, Collegiate Division.

Fortgang wrote his rant for the Princeton Tory, an independent campus publication that's just one of about 80 bankrolled by the Collegiate Network and its parent group, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. According to its website, ISI was founded in the McCarthy era as a "fifty-year plan" to advance conservative political causes "by implanting the idea in the minds of the coming generations." 
Today, ISI is a "nonpartisan" non-profit with a $10 million annual budget that astroturfs scores of conservative campus publications across the country, funding them and grooming their staffs to become TV pundits, politicians, and political moneymen. Praised by the likes of Ronald Reagan and Antonin Scalia, it started humbly in 1953 with nothing but an idea and a president: a recent graduate of Yale named William F. Buckley. 
The ISI and Collegiate Network have raked in millions of dollars from major conservative financiers over the years, most of it from the coffers of Richard Mellon Scaife, a banking tycoon (yes, those Mellons) who's most famous for bankrolling the conservative witch-hunt against Bill Clinton that led to Whitewater and Monicagate. Scaife's money also helps keep the lights on at the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute, ALEC, and just about every other conservative money-and-opinion laundromat you can name.

And the ISI/Collegiate Network is also responsible for some of the most infamous names in wingnut welfare: the ghoulish Ann Coulter, indicted propagandist Dinesh D'Souza, National Review editor Rich Lowry, and Washington Free Beacon editor Matthew Continetti.  It seems Tal here will fit right in to this crowd when he graduates.

Let's be honest here:  Fortgang produced a product for consumption, and that product is outrage.  Unless you believe in America that white men are the aggrieved party, his theories are so much whining of a petulant child, the Princeton freshman version of Veruca Salt screaming how she wants everything now.  There's a market for that product, and ISI and the Collegiate Network produces and nurtures those producers the way a baseball team's farm system brings up major league talent.

This was an audition for the big leagues of faux outrage, and Fortgang passed with flying colors.  It's all that "conservative intellectualism" has these days.


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