From Farah's May 30 column, headlined "A racist for the Supreme Court":
Sotomayor is a member of the National Council of La Raza. What is La Raza?
It bills itself as a "civil rights" organization. It would be more appropriate to say it disguises itself as such. It camouflages itself as such. It hides its real purpose and true intents as such - with the willing and skillful assistance of many of my media colleagues.
In reality, La Raza is a racist hate group - a band of "Hispanic supremacists," if you will, though it is seldom characterized that way.
It is no more a civil rights group than the Ku Klux Klan is a group promoting the civil rights of white people. It is no more a civil rights group than the neo-Nazi scum who marched a generation ago at Skokie, Ill., with the legal protection of the American Civil Liberties Union, another misnamed organization. It is no more a civil rights group than the Aryan skinheads who victimize Jews and others they detest in trying to lift themselves up from the gutter.
La Raza is part of the movement in this country to destroy it from within by dividing and "reconquering."
Its members and leadership are linked directly to those who believe the Southwestern U.S. was unjustly seized from Mexico in the 19th century. It should, they believe, by any means necessary, be reconstituted either as part of that thoroughly corrupt, socialist regime fled by tens of millions of refugees or as an independent, autonomous, Spanish-speaking socialist state - like the mythical land of Aztlan.
The only real differences between La Raza and the neo-Nazis and the KKK are its wealth, power and level of sophistication.
It's official: This nutty right-wing conspiracy hatched by the blogosphere has gone bust. (I know, right?)
The premise was that Obama personally oversaw which Chrysler dealership were forced to close as part of the company's, government-sponsored restructuring. And since Obama picked which ones got the ax, guess what? He shuttered dealership whose owners gave money to Republicans. It's all part of Obama's ruthless plan to "punish" GOP donors.
Trust us, this was a very big deal among right-wing true believers this week even though, as we tried to point out, all the bloggers' dogged research was able to confirm was that car dealers in general give lots of money to Republican politicians. Meaning there's nothing to indicate that the dealerships that survived were big Democratic donors. Clueless bloggers simply confirmed that dealers that got closed had given to the GOP in the past and then deduced the evil connection.
Anyway, the Macomb Daily in Michigan does the (further) honors of debunking this nonsense:
In Macomb County, three dealerships were closed in the Chrysler bankruptcy process and seven were saved. The FEC records show no noticeable difference in the political leanings of the owners of the 10 businesses.
Anthony Viviano, president of the Metro Detroit Dodge dealer's association and owner of Sterling Heights Dodge, which will remain in operation, said politics was never a factor in the process.
"That's just a bunch of baloney," said Viviano, former president of the Detroit Area Dealers Association.
According to the FEC, Viviano donated $4,150 to federal candidates over the past 10 years, with most of the money flowing to former Republican senator Spence Abraham and GOP Rep. Candice Miller. The only deviation was a $500 contribution to Democrat Carl Marlinga's 2002 bid for Congress.
As with every other Chrysler dealer in Macomb, Viviano did not donate to President Obama or any other 2008 presidential candidates.
Uh-oh, Chrysler dealer Vivano is staying open, yet 90 percent of his political donations have gone to Republicans. How did Obama let him slip through the cracks?!
We noted yesterday that it's hard to believe that if judge Sonia Sotomayor were a man that the New York Times, just three days after the nomination was announced, would run a lengthy news piece that revolved solely around the fact that Sotomayor had a reputation of being pushy on the bench. (That's a trait that's often celebrated when displayed by male judges.)
We noted that the Times, at least according to Nexis, never wrote an article about legal hot head Antonin Scalia's temperament during his nomination process. In fact, the Times never wrote a single sentence about how Scalia famously pushed people around from the bench.
But at The New Republic, Jonathan Chait claims that the Times article, and the topic of temperament, is completely common and nobody should be surprised or offended:
But nobody can seriously contend that the subject of a potential Supreme Court Justice's temperament is unfit for publication. Indeed, the New York Times today has an article on the exact same topic.
Here's the thing though, not only did the Times not think that Scalia's famous temperament was newsworthy during his confirmation process, but for the last two judges nominated to the SCOTUS, John Roberts and Samuel Alito, the Times never bothered to report out their court room temperament either. (And it certainly never relied on anonymous quote to make its point the way it did in its Sotomayor article.) Chait claims that nobody would suggest temperament was out of bounds and that's fair game for Sotomayor because heck, even the NYT wrote about it.
But the truth is the Times, with its temperament article on Friday, showed a deep interest in a topic that it simply has not displayed before. The Times simply invented new rules for Sotomayor.
UPDATE: Talking Points Memo clipped a video of the New York Times' Adam Liptak, who co-wrote the Sotomayor "temperament" story, discussing this issue on MSNBC. Liptak didn't know whether the Times ever wrote about Scalia's temperament during his nomination. According to Nexis, the newspaper did not.
And the newspaper's Adam Nagourney told MSNBC it was a "legitimate" topic to write about, even though as I point out, the Times didn't write about the temperament of the two previous (male) SCOTUS nominees.
Just a coincidence, I guess, that the Times is tackling the topic with Sotomayor.
From The Hill:
Mitt Romney isn't a Senator. He's never been a Senator. He isn't even in elected office anymore. How he could fillibuster is anyone's guess.
Responding to the insulting claim from right-wingers that Sonia Sotomayor is a "racist," at least one prominent Republican said, enough:
"I think it's terrible," Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told NPR's "All Things Considered" Thursday. "This is not the kind of tone any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advise and consent."
It's an interesting development not only because it highlights how the Republican Party has completely lost control of the GOP Noise Machine, which rejects any semblance of adult supervision. But it's also telling that the Republican senator called out Limbaugh and Gingrich's "racist" nonsense while the so-called liberal media hasn't said boo about it.
I foolishly thought that when Gingrich made his "racist" claim that it would set off a media firestorm of sorts with all sort of commentators denouncing the hateful allegation and pointing out that likening a single sentence from a esteemed judge's speech eight years ago with racism and America's dark history of Jim Crow laws and lynchings, for instance, was beyond the pale and that Gingrich ought to apologize.
Instead, the press simply treated the "racist" attack as straight news. The Times, the Post, all the networks they all did the same thing: Gingrich called Sotomayor a racist. Period. They all acted like it was common place, like that's what happens to all Supreme Court nominees; within hours of their introduction to the public they're labeled racists. That's part of the process. And that Gingrich's wildly incendiary claim was normal.
It's not. It's unprecedented. But the press wouldn't say so. Instead, it took a conservative member of Congress to state the obvious--it's terrible.
The Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb remains on the lookout for evidence that Sonia Sotomayor has benefited from "preferential treatment."
On Wednesday, Goldfarb argued that one such example was when a law firm apologized to Sotomayor for suggesting that she only got into Yale Law School because she was Puerto Rican (rather than because she had compiled an impressive academic record at Princeton, including winning the school's top academic prize.) That's a pretty absurd example of "preferential treatment," but today Goldfarb outdoes himself.
In October 1974, Princeton allowed Sotomayor and two other students to initiate a seminar, for full credit and with the university's blessings, on the Puerto Rican experience and its relation to contemporary America.
I went to Princeton but somehow I never got to teach my own class, or grade my own work. One wonders how Sotomayor judged her work in that class, and whether the grade helped or hindered her efforts to graduate with honors.
And here's the Princeton press release Taylor cites:
So they [Sotomayor and two other students] did what scores of other Princeton Students have been able to do for the past six years: they initiated their own seminar ... The seminar is being taught by Dr. Peter E. Winn, Assistant Professor of History and a specialist in Latin American affairs. Under a plan adopted by Princeton in 1968 students are free to propose seminars on special topics to a faculty Committee on Course of Study. ... In the past 12 terms 132 such courses have been approved and offered."
Would the NYT ever dream of typing up a straight news article about whether the judge was too bossy on the bench? I can't imagine the newspaper would, simply because when male judges assert themselves they're often cheered and they build careers around that, but apparently when a woman judge does it, she's a you-know-what.
But the press has ceded the Sotomayor 'debate' to the right-wing, so if they say there's a problem with Sotomayor's temperament, the press, including the Times, feels duty bound to puff it into news, so that's what the newspaper does today, and yes it will make your head hurt.
Sotomayor's Sharp Tongue Raises Issue of Temperament
And the guts:
Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's Supreme Court choice, has a blunt and even testy side, and it was on display in December during an argument before the federal appeals court in New York. The case concerned a Canadian man who said American officials had sent him to Syria to be tortured, and Judge Sotomayor peppered a government lawyer with skeptical questions.
The example the Times then details to showcase Sotomayor's "testy" side--the Canadian man sent to Syria--is so pedestrian as to be comical; she interrupted a lawyer with questions. Again, male judges do this all the time. But at the Times because Sotomayor did it, and because the right-wing is pushing the idea that she's a bitch, reporters type it up as news.
And FYI, at no time during the nomination process of notorious legal hot head Antonin Scalia did the New York Times news team ever devote an entire article, let alone a single sentence, to examining his "temperament."
From a May 29 WorldNetDaily article:
WND also used Fox Nation's post to fundraise for it's "Where's the birth certificate?" billboard campaign and promote its petition for the "PUBLIC RELEASE OF BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA'S BIRTH CERTIFICATE."
As Media Matters for America documented:
A May 28 headline on The Fox Nation -- Fox News' purportedly bias-free website -- asked: "Should Obama Release Birth Certificate? Or Is This Old News?" But contrary to The Fox Nation's question, the Obama campaign released a copy of President Obama's birth certificate, posting it on the campaign's Fight the Smears website. It also reportedly provided the original document to FactCheck.org, whose staff concluded in an August 21, 2008, post that it "meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship." The Hawaii Department of Health also repeatedly confirmed that the birth certificate on record with the state is valid and proves that he was born in the state of Hawaii.