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Merit baby picks Ivy prof to construct police state

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday May 11, 2010 12:08 AM

She looks a little like Jackie Gleason, doesn't she? But don't be fooled -- this is an authentic brainiac. The Times says so, burbling about her PLU(*) New York antecedents in a style that might seem over the top for People magazine:

A Climb Marked by Confidence and Canniness

She was a creature of Manhattan’s liberal, intellectual Upper West Side — a smart, witty girl who was bold enough at 13 to challenge her family’s rabbi over her bat mitzvah, cocky (or perhaps prescient) enough at 17 to pose for her high school yearbook in a judge’s robe with a gavel and a quotation from Felix Frankfurter, the Supreme Court justice.

She was... the literature lover who reread Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” every year.

"Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice" -- not the Tolstoy novel with the same title. "Felix Frankfurter, the Supreme Court justice" -- not to be confused with the eponymous ancestor of the hot dog. Paris, France.

"Literature lover". Christ on a motherfucking crutch. Is there any institution in the world more sublimely Philistine than the New York Times? In what other pages could a phrase that self-revealingly tin-eared ever possibly appear?

Supreme Court fanciers have been reading the entrails very closely, and have all come to the same conclusion: this liberal Upper West Side success story will certainly give the police-state ratchet a turn or two. She's been diligently on the case as Solicitor General, and since there appears to be a clear elite consensus that civil liberties and privacy and due-process protections need to go, she can be depended on to help show them the door.

We all of course remember how important it was to elect a Democrat a couple of years ago, for the sake of the Supreme Court. I haven't checked with Dailiy Kos on this one, but no doubt there are Cheerybles there ready to assure us that McCain would have certainly found somebody worse.

That's probably even true, in the sense that a McCain appointee might have been even more uncouth -- a person, conceivably, who might not be a "literature lover" at all. But if the Upper West Side lt-lvrs like Kagan are chummily willing to "reach out" to the Orcs like Scalia -- what's the course made good, folks? Where are they taking us? Where were we yesterday, where are we today, where will we be tomorrow? What does "worse" even mean? They'd take us to Hell in a handbasket at 90 mph, instead of just 89?

Is even that true? The Hellward movement seems to be pretty steady, as far as I can tell, whether a Carter or a Reagan or a Bush or a Clinton or an Obama has his executive wingtips on the Oval Office desk. I haven't really noticed any accelerations or decelerations of late. Have you?

On one of my lefty mailing lists somebody passed along an email purporting to originate from The Nation's dependably vomitous Ari Melber. I can't vouch for this, but it sounds authentic:

'As a lawyer, I think there is no doubt that: 1. Kagan is supremely qualified and merits confirmation by any standard 2. Replacing Stevens with Kagan moves the Court to the Right. Ergo 3. The sum consequence of Obama's first term appointments will be to advance qualified nominees through a respectable selection process that ultimately tilts the Court a bit more to the Right. Not the end of the world, but not what most Obama voters had in mind, either.'
Ah. I see. As long as it's "qualified" people from top-notch schools waterboarding us, that's okay.


(*)People Like Us.

Comments (23)


I like this blog a lot more than I thought I would, given that my introduction to it was that awful Easter article and despite the fact that I am pretty sure you boys are writing it from inside a recording of "Imagine," but this post nearly turned my blood to cherry slurpee.

She was... the literature lover who reread Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” every year.

AUGH. Austen is one of the worst writers in the history of time. Anyone who would return to her novels repeatedly for anything other than an emergency source of toilet paper isn't safe to elect to a schoolboard.

(Also, and unrelated, but: I'm not sure I quite realized how awful the government is/was/had become, until I picked up your RSS. So, thanks?)


Hey, thanks for the kind words, Emma. You're quite mistaken, though, about Jane Austen, who's a wonderful writer. Try again -- just leave the whole Great Books mentality out of it, and approach her for pure self-indulgent pleasure as an early avatar of Chick Lit.


Elena Kagan is the same careerist fraud who certified Alan Dershowitz didn't plagiarize from the utterly discredited work of Joan Peters.

Norman Finkelstein commented saying this is similar to the victory medals handed out by Saddam after the first Gulf war.

When I first looked at Elena Kagan, I thought she resembles a Buffalo. Of course, I mean no offense to Buffalos.


What sort of creature does a 17-year-old girl who cosplays in a judge's robes and no doubt dreams of throwing society's miscreants into the slammer with extreme prejudice grow up to become?

Now you know.

Al Schumann:

The Times's philistinism is a learned affectation. They draw their "talent" from a pool of aspiring perception managers who have been taught to take smugness for certainty and lofty ignorance for aesthetic integrity. The end result is Michiko Kakutani, Andrew Sorkin, Katharine Seelye and... Thomas Friedman.

As a cruel joke, it would be funny, but the Times and its dedicated readers are blissfully horrible people; well-adjusted guardians of their society's values.

I for one am quite grateful that "merit baby" has spent a year plus methodically dismantling each and every justification offered for faith in him.

When professional liberals go about their business, now, they must examine their coat roam of premises, decide which ones must be turned on their heads to mean the opposite of what the words actually convey, subject their convenient and well-remembered anti-Bush arguments to alchemical transubstantiation and transmutation, so that they can defend Hopey McChangealot with the very terms they used to attack the Sock Poppet.

I especially enjoy the delight of seeing Ezra Klein, Yggie and Krugman undertake the project of re-interpreting their large volume of anti-Bush work so that the arguments they made against Bush can be used to defend Obama for his field of Bush-like choices.

All of which is setting the stage for the return of Republican muscularity, since the electorate is not peopled with complete idiots. Given a choice between moral cretins with bad logic, aired openly, and moral cretins with bad excuses for their shifty behavior, voters invariably swing back to bad logic with clean air.

I know none of this is of any consolation to Obama's growing list of victims. But whatchagonnado?

LA Confidential Pantload:

My heart is gladdened that the good Melber doesn't think that moving the Supreme Court further to the right is the end of the world. I had been laboring under the illusion that people of the left (who perhaps do not actually exist)thought that the current makeup of the Court was much too far to the right and needed a leftward tilt. It appears that I have nothing to worry about.


"a clear elite consensus that civil liberties and privacy and due-process protections need to go"

is this our father S here
playing at
latter day friar tuck ??

fighting the good fight
for merrie old america
the sherwood forest of natural liberty ??

a rear guard john wilkes action indeed
that one is

to preserve at least in form
our 18th century illusions

the form of an illusion
now what street value has that ??

our civil "rights "
traduced by "their "
uncivil wrongs

independence dignity and fraternity
leveling up of all
before the bar and sceptre

our home spun garments of comity
into hand cuffs
muzzles and butt plugs

fascism thy name is ohbummer


she looks more like the king of queens
not the baron of brooklyn



zero in full subduction mode
could play harold bloom no ??

or vice versa

i came within a whisker of linking to him
on the prior post's comment thread

but i left the great zero unsullied

Yeah, this isn't good (read: can the Supreme Court go further right?) but do we really have to pick on her looks like a bunch of misogynists?

Huuhhuhuh yeah she's ugly, how dare she not be beautiful!

Attack her for being a police-state, executive-empowering, oppressor - not for looking ugly.



This site practices equal opportunity lookism. Not mere misogyny Just take a gander at the chosen photograph and commentary immediately below.

So what...snideness can be fun, too. Why so serious?

Oh, no seriousness. More like the watchful friend who may be overly cautious.

I have to put in Hillary's name every time I comment which brings back memories of listening to "progressive" Obama fans just tear her apart for her looks so maybe that's the root.

As long as us guys get equal opportunity at being called ugly - sounds good. Certainly didn't want to piss all over a good time.


Just looking for resemblances here. Nothing else. I see the Kevin James resemblance but think Zero is closer, primarily because of the expression.

The info afloat on the left-net is not favorable to Ms. Kagan but maybe once she is 'in power' we will see a different person emerge. It has happened before. Or maybe she will convert to Catholicism like Thomas.

Does anyone think there is a message being sent to Protestants by their kind's exclusion from the top bench? Does that fact just demonstrate what a progressive nation we have, that the 9 most supreme are drawn, without controversy, from 25.1% (6 justices, Roman Catholic) and 1.2% (3 justices, Jewish) of the adult population, while 50.9% have no representation on the court? Good thing? Bad thing? No thing?

This may be the wrong forum for the question.


Addendum: 50.9% is the portion of the adult US population that identifies itself as non-Catholic Christian.



"As long as us guys get equal opportunity at being called ugly - sounds good. Certainly didn't want to piss all over a good time."

i wish others had your dexterity
or is it sinisterity

we get lots of folks passing thru here
of the short armed variety
all too self righteously eager
to display
the acuity of their fem-gen antenna

a form of displaced nastiness i guess

ps oppressed groups
i submit
oughta rely
primarily and essentially
on themselves
as they strike out down
the road to liberation


"This may be the wrong forum for the question"

not at all
of course if the warren court had such a composition
this pattern would be a very clear target no ??

the catholic reactionary (4)
was and maybe still is
the compromise appointable ass hole

where the wasp cracker sheet in hand

the jew of either gender makes
the ideal merit liberal... no ??
make it a jew lesbian and you have nailed two object balls with one cue shot

the one liberal that is also a catholic
is of course a hispanic boot strap merit gal

on balance ohbummer
loks a lot less sedulous in his appointments
then billy was

two shots two jews

Martin Luther:

Does anyone think there is a message being sent to Protestants by their kind's exclusion from the top bench?

Actually yes.

You've basically got two kinds of Protestants in America.

You've got your William Sloan Coffin liberal mainline Protestants. And you've got your George Bush James Dobson style Bible banging evangelicals.

If Obama had nominated an evangelical, leftists would be even more pissed than they are about Kagan.

If he had nominated a liberal Protestant, the right would have tanked the nomination.

So he settled for "Pat" from Saturday Night Live.


Michael Hureaux:

Not only is it interesting at the national level, but as that old law of Crowley's "magick" would have it, "as above, so below".

At my current high school, for example, we have a new administrator who has been sent to us to save urban education from itself. A wrinkly, skinny new age born again capitalist in birkenstocks, highly esteemed by white corporate liberals everywhere in Seattle, a fiscally responsible meritocrat who smiles widely when it's very clear that she wants to rip your throat out with her teeth. "Nice teeth", I thought, when I first met her. Especially when one questions the assigned seating and other nonsense that goes on at her faculty meetings.

So my work in education may be nearing its end, this may well be the one who finds a way to pry me out of my classroom. She's a bastard, and she's a smart bastard. Clearly a frontline soldier for the public education privatization gig. And on we go.

Al Schumann:
Especially when one questions the assigned seating and other nonsense that goes on at her faculty meetings.

I'll bet she deliberately mispronounces, and over-pronounces, people's names too. There's a whole canon of infantile management tricks, designed to make employees uncomfortable.


I am of the opinion that the Supreme Court is setting itself up for a legal challenge, as to whether or not 1) their opinions are in fact biased due to their common Ivy League education, and 2) they are engaging in discrimination, by limiting the Court to Ivy League Graduates.

The following applies to Kagan, just as it did to Sotomajor.

This editorial was created by 160 Associated Press readers under a Creative Commons Share-Alike Attribution License 3.0 using MixedInk's collaborative writing tool. For more about how it was created, see here. It can be republished only if accompanied by this note.

Obamas Appointment of Sotomayor Fails to Offer Educational Diversity to Court.

Sotomayor does not offer true diversity to our Supreme Court. The potential power of Sotomayor's diversity as a Latina Woman, from a disadvantaged background, loses its strength because her Yale Law degree does not offer educational diversity to the current mix of sitting Judges. Once she walked through the Gates of Princeton and then Yale Law School she became educated by the same Professors that have educated the majority of our current Supreme Court Justices, and our Presidents.

Diversity in education is extremely important. We need to look for diversity in our ideas, and if our leaders are from the same educational background, they lose the original power of their ethnic and gender diversity. The ethnic and gender diversity many of our current leaders possess no longer brings a plethora of new ideas, only the same perspective they learned from their common Ivy League education. One example of the common education problem is that Yale has been heavily influenced by a former lecturer at Yale, Judge Frank, who developed the philosophy of Legal Realism. Frank argued that Judges should not only look at the original intent of the Constitution, but they should also bring in outside influences, including their own experiences in order to determine the law. This negative interpretation has influenced both Conservatives and Liberals graduating from Yale. It has been said that Legal Realism has infested Yale Law School and turned lawyers into political activists.

A generation of appointees with either a Harvard or Yale background, has the potential to distort the proper interpretation of our Constitution. America needs to decentralize the power structure away from the Ivy League educated individual and gain from the knowledgeable and diverse perspectives that people from other institutions can provide. We should appoint Supreme Court Justices educated from amongst a wider group of Americas Universities.

Harvard -

Chief Justice John Roberts
Anthony Kennedy
Antonin Scalia
Stephen Breyer
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Harvard, Columbia)


Samuel Alito - Yale JD 1975
David Souter
Clarence Thomas - Yale JD 1974
Sonia Sotomayor - Yale JD 1979

Northwestern Law School.

Justice John Paul Stevens

The Presidents we have elected for the last twenty years, have themselves been Harvard or Yale educated. This has the potential to create an even more closed minded interpretation of our laws.

Yale - Bush Sr. - 4 years
Yale Law - Clinton - 8 years
Yale - Bush, Jr. - 8 Years
Harvard Law - Obama - 4 - 8 years

When we consider that our Nation has potentially twenty - eight years of Presidential influece from these two Universities, as Americans, we should look long and hard at the influence Yale and Harvard have exerted on our nation's policies. Barack Obama promised America Change, but he has continued the same discriminatory policy by appointing a Yale graduate over many qualified candidates that graduated from other top Colleges and Universities in America.


the horse from the Northwestern stable
wins the derby

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