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That Damned 19th Amendment...

The New York Times has an article on Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. She was active in conservative political circles before she met her husband, toned it down a bit for some time after, but now is getting back in touch with her beliefs and activism -- especially the Tea Party movement.

The question of the political activities of the spouses of prominent public officials is a tricky one. On the one hand, they are legally bound together, and in many ways are seen as one in the eyes of the law. Debts incurred by one are binding on the other, for one example. They are also immune from testifying against one another in court, in most cases -- which is kind of an extension of the 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

On the other hand, one's spouse is not one's property. "My wife" or "my husband" is a specifier, not an indication of possession. One is not expected to give up one's identity when one marries -- no matter what position the spouse might hold.

It's a tough subject, and it's certainly valid to question the potential improper influence -- to steal a very useful term from the Catholic Church, an "occasion of sin" -- that can arise from the spouse of a powerful official taking on roles of influence.

In cases like this, it can be enlightening to discuss the matters with others in similar positions. However, my attempts to broach the subject with a few prominent political spouses met with failure.

Bill Clinton, husband of the Secretary of State, when I finally got through to him at a certain sorority house, had other matters on his mind. When pressed for comment, all he would say was "it's been over four hours! I've gotta get to a doctor!"

Tipper Gore and Elizabeth Edwards were in a seminar on making voodoo dolls.

Finally, the attorneys representing Monica Conyers and Patrice Tierney said their clients were unavailable, would be unavailable for some time, and would not be inclined to comment even if they were.

And that's a shame. Those last two women -- especially Mrs. Conyers, with her own history as an elected official and her husband's position as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee -- could offer some great insights into the concerns raised by Mrs. Thomas engaging in political activism.


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Comments (39)

Odd, the "paper of record" ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Odd, the "paper of record" could not find the time to question other women, as you did, on this topic. Perhaps "liberal" women do as their husbands tell them, therefore talking to them would be irrelevant.

I do no know what vitamins ... (Below threshold)
epador:

I do no know what vitamins you've been taking lately, but i want some too.

You see, mere "ethics" conc... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

You see, mere "ethics" concepts which aren't even rules are only applicable to conservatives and Republicans. Democrats and leftists are well beyond the reach of "appearances" since they are already fully engaged in criminal activities.

~~~~~~~~~~

In unrelated news, President Obama, whose country faces "unprecedented" and "historic" difficulties, and whose party faces a tough election, both of which have been made worse by his policies, managed to find time to play his 52nd round of golf as President today.

We pray he also was allowed to eat his waffle in peace.

So much for the dignity of ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

So much for the dignity of being a Supreme Court Justice. No wonder Justice Thomas has never asked a single question from the bench since 1996, or authored an opinion in 20 years of sitting on the Supreme Court. He is the perfect stooge for the Conservatives.

Thomas was the deciding vote -he didn't recuse himself- in the Citizens United case which now allows his wife's 501(c)4 to spend large amounts as well as obtain her salary at Liberty Central.

She/he can be real power brokers for the wealthy and there is no disclosure of where the money comes from, thanks to the Supreme Court decision and Thomas' vote in the 5-4 decision.

Steve, I see you missed my ... (Below threshold)

Steve, I see you missed my point. People are getting hysterical about potential conflicts of interest because of who someone is married to. Meanwhile, the wives of two powerful Democratic congressmen have been convicted of corruption charges -- felony charges -- while their husbands were in office, and no one on the left wants to talk about how that might be worth noting -- especially House Judiciary Committee John Conyers.

J.

I wonder how many other lib... (Below threshold)
Stan:

I wonder how many other liberal Congresscritters spouses are on the payola list? They get a whitewash job by Tom Sawyer's friends and relish it. Yet, a conservative woman gets the scrutiny of such an august media giant, like the New York Slimes, for even the least little whiff of misappropriate behavior. Mrs Thomas should be flattered that the New York Times has seen fit to publish a boat load of lies about her. Make for excellent lawsuit fodder in the future.

Jay, one is the Supreme Cou... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay, one is the Supreme Court-checks and balances- fundamental to the way our political system operates or is supposed to. There are no appeals. Lifetime appointments, with an excellent salaries, because they are supposed to be beyond the temptations of political influence.

The Conyers are crooked-sure, but these are Tammany Democrat hall local scandals.

It isn't potential, because Thomas's wife gets her salary from Liberty Central who now get their funds from anoymous corporate undisclosed donors. Thomas should have recused himself. Apparently Sotomayer has already recused herself from several cases. Thomas has he ever?

Bow here is an obvious conflict of upcoming interest LIberty Central-Repeal of Obamacare is GOP's Top Target After Election if the issue of the constitutionality of mandates make to the Supreme Court.

This post was incoherent. ... (Below threshold)
galoob:

This post was incoherent. Your point was?

Steve you are aware that Ju... (Below threshold)
John:

Steve you are aware that Justice Thomas' wife was not appointed to the supreme court right?

Crick: Unless you are inti... (Below threshold)
James H:

Crick: Unless you are intimately familiar with the rules regarding jurists and conflicts of interest, I advise you to shut up.

Also, unless you are intimately familiar with the Supreme Court's jurisprudence, I advise you to shut up. Justice Thomas has indeed authored opinions over the last 20 years. I am not entirely sure whether he has authored a majority opinion in that time, he has authored any number of concurrences and dissents.

Jay, you and I go round and... (Below threshold)

Jay, you and I go round and round from time to time and we will only ever rarely agree on politics. However, even when I want to call you a dumb schmuck I will grant you that you're coherent.

This post? It ain't your best writing. Your point's a bit weak and lost in your strained attempt at humor and even your title is a bit odd. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. They were already politically active before then. Hell, we even had women who ran for office before their fellow women could vote for them. Since this isn't directly about voting the title is a bad fit.

You are a dumb schmuck, but you're usually better than this.

Jerry, I don't recall sparr... (Below threshold)

Jerry, I don't recall sparring with you much. I guess you just aren't that memorable.

But maybe I didn't work my thesis properly, or maybe you're too dense to pick up on it. Either way, let me dump the flourishes and rhetorical gimmicks and sardonic tones, and spell out what I was getting at:

Today, the New York Times wrote a piece about how troubling it was that the wife of a Supreme Court justice wasn't just a housewife, but continued in the same activities she participated in before her marriage -- conservative political activism. Their concern struck me as hypocritical, as I consider the fact that two prominent Democratic representatives have recently have had their wives convicted of felonies for serious corruption -- and very little attention has been paid to the potential conflicts those raise.

Hell, John Conyers is the head of the Judiciary Committee, which funds the Bureau of Prisons where his wife will be staying and approves the judges who found her guilty. That alone should be huge news -- but it's buried.

But Ginni Thomas has a life outside being Mrs. Associate Justice? That's big news.

Get back to me when she's charged with a federal offense.

J.

No, I did get it even throu... (Below threshold)

No, I did get it even through the incoherence of your piece and I do agree that there is a level of hypocrisy on display here. Likewise there's hypocrisy on display by those conservative pundits and media sources who are downplaying this for all they're worth despite crying foul on Democrats over the years on this type of thing for equally flimsy reasons. The one thing that almost all politicians no matter party affiliation have in common with almost all professional pundits and reporters is that they're almost all partisan hypocrites.

I just thought that this wasn't your best work. You're usually more coherent in your writing style. I didn't point it out to argue the rightness or wrongness of the subject matter with you; just to point that out. It wasn't meant as (much) snark; just an observation.

James, my bad, I- realized ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

James, my bad, I- realized it immediately after I wrote it- I should have said rarely authored a majority opinion. Yes he (and his clerks) have authored many dissenting opinions.

Apparently Conyours, Jeffer... (Below threshold)
914:

Apparently Conyours, Jefferson democrat MO and Rangler are better at coercion and corruption then lord big ears.

uhmmmm! I mean jefferson d... (Below threshold)
914:

uhmmmm! I mean jefferson democrat and freezer repairman Louisiana.

Your criticism greatly woun... (Below threshold)

Your criticism greatly wounds me, Larry. I value your opinion tremendously, and take what you say to heart. Whenever I write a piece, I ask myself "what will Mr. Handler think of this?" and don't publish it until I can honestly say "he will disagree with it, but respect it and commend my abilities."

To hear that this piece provoked the opposite reaction, Terry, gives me great doubt as to my abilities and whether I should even bother to continue.

I need to reconsider this whole blogging thing. Thank you for bringing me to this insight, Mr. Sandler. I wonder if I even have any business continuing to live.

J.

Well, Jay, glad to see you ... (Below threshold)

Well, Jay, glad to see you can take a little constructive criticism or handle a little discussion on your home turf without your devolving to your usual juvenile pettiness and acting like infantile prick.

Oh, wait... You can't.

And you actually wonder some times why so many people think you're a mouth breathing child when you venture away from the safe havens of Wizbang and post elsewhere.

Jerry: "Likewise there's hy... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Jerry: "Likewise there's hypocrisy on display by those conservative pundits and media sources who are downplaying this for all they're worth despite crying foul on Democrats over the years on this type of thing for equally flimsy reasons."

uh, examples please.

crickmore: "James, my bad, ... (Below threshold)
Drago:

crickmore: "James, my bad, I- realized it immediately after I wrote it-...."

And yet you offered no correction until called out on this patently false assertion. How noble...

crickmore: "..I should have said rarely authored a majority opinion."

Define "rarely". Actually, you could have looked up how many opinions Justice Thomas has written and compared his output against other justices over the years. If you were actually competent, you might even have taken a look at the subject matter for those cases where Justice Thomas has authored the majority opinion or dissent and attempted to determine if there was a particular area (or areas) of the law that Justice Thomas seems the most involved in and where other members of the court may or may not seem more deferential to his opinions. But that's simply asking far too much of you. So much easier to go off half-cocked. Par for the course for you.

crickmore: "Yes he (and his clerks) have authored many dissenting opinions."

I particularly liked this little snide comment buried in the middle of your mea culpa.

Yes, Justice Thomas has clerks who are actively engaged in the creating of the opinions that Justice Thomas issues. And this is clearly a brand new thing that not any other Justice in the modern era has ever done. Or maybe it's just news to you?

Oh, JERRY! I didn't recogni... (Below threshold)

Oh, JERRY! I didn't recognize you away from PAD's site. That is where I recognize your name from, right?

You had me confused in a couple of ways. From your tone of familiarity, I thought you were a regular around here. Then I realized I had no idea who you were -- I didn't make the connection with PAD's site.

PAD, by the way, is a hell of a guy. I have tremendous respect for him both individually and as a writer. Politically, though... oh, well. I don't read him for his politics, and he's exceptionally good at not injecting them.

But might I suggest you learn a lesson from me? Show a smidgen of respect for your host. I've never insulted PAD, never condescended to him, never belittled him in any of the times I've gotten into things over at his site.

Give it a whirl some time. I don't recall you ever saying anything that wasn't snotty to me, so forgive me if I take your critiques as "same shit, different day."

J.

Jay, you insulted me first.... (Below threshold)

Jay, you insulted me first.

I was simply being honest before. I wasn't taking a potshot at you. You and I rarely agree on most things political, but I at least respect your ability to get your point across. I've never commented on your writing style in your other Wizbang pieces because, even when laying the humor on thick, your point came across much more clearly.

This piece, from referencing the 19th amendment in the title to the kind of rambling style I usually don't so as much of in your writing, just didn't seem like you're A-Game. Again, despite disagreements on the body politics I do respect your ability to get your point across and this just didn't read like the usual level you try to write art on this site. It just seemed a bit odd to me so I said something about it. I honestly didn't know if you where just a little tired or you're actively trying change your style up a bit to increase the humor level in your posts and not quite getting it all to gel yet.

It wasn't an insult, it wasn't an attack and it wasn't me trying to be a jerk. It was just feedback. It just seemed a little off to me when compared to your usual standards for your writing here. And, yeah, i have been reading for a while. I only ever comment rarely though.

Jerry, I didn't recognize y... (Below threshold)

Jerry, I didn't recognize your name at first, so I did a quick review of your comment history. You've NEVER had anything pleasant to say about anything I've written until just a few minutes ago. Your opening comment offered a fig leaf of a compliment -- that I was usually "coherent" -- and then went into generic slams.

Which I'm more than used to. Part of the biz. I knew the job was dangerous, etc. So I gave back the attitude I was getting. SOP. I think I'm pretty decent at it.

Now you wanna dial it down and be all friendly and collegial?

Not too certain I'm interested at this point.

J.

"uh, examples please."</... (Below threshold)

"uh, examples please."

Right of the top of my head (because I'm not Googling and digging right now since I want to go to bed.)

A number of conservative talkers on Fox News and some in the GOP raised a stink about Barney Frank back in 2008 or 2009. Their statements were basically that he had a conflict of interest in his legislative work on the House Banking Committee then and in the 90s because his partner/boyfriend for a good chunk of the 90's was connected to Fannie Mae.

Neil Cavuto, Hannity, Dick Morris and a number of the radio and Fox talkers pushed a story about candidate Clinton back before the 2008 election (and Cavuto asked her about it on his show) that she was compromised by conflicts of interest of our national financial sovereignty. She would be unable to be objective in matters where foreign powers (such as nations like China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the banks they controlled) might be seeking to acquire ownership in American owned banks who were at that time looking to make deals because of the financial issues that were arising. The problem was, they claimed, that Bill had taken money for the Clinton Library and Foundation from some of the same names being floated.

It was total malarkey and it sounded foolish coming from many of the same people who downplayed or ignored Bush and Cheney's ties to foreign money. But, hey, that's just the way of the talking heads these days. They pick a side and they advocate for that side even if they have to be as mindlessly hypocritical as possible.

"I didn't recognize your... (Below threshold)

"I didn't recognize your name at first, so I did a quick review of your comment history. You've NEVER had anything pleasant to say about anything I've written until just a few minutes ago."

Jay, I don't believe I've ever actually posted anything in any of your threads on Wizbang. I actually made a point for a while of not getting into it with you here since this is more or less your electronic home and I figured you more than got your fill of our going round and round on Peter's blog.

And I'm not trying to be friends. This piece just seemed a little off when compared to your other stuff here and it made me curious.

Jerry, let me spell out to ... (Below threshold)

Jerry, let me spell out to you why I reacted the way I did.

1) You have no credibility with me as a constructive critic. You've never in the past said anything constructive to me; your first comment on anything I wrote was above. Once I remembered who you were and sparring with you elsewhere, I didn't recall a single encounter that was not at least slightly antagonistic.

B) There was nothing constructive in your criticism. "Weak." No specifics. No suggestions for improvement. It was, quite frankly, a pissy little comment, and I treated it as such. I think I take constructive criticism quite well; your comment wasn't it.

III) PAD's blog is his personal blog, where he sometimes ventures into politics. Wizbang is NOT a personal blog; it's almost exclusively about politics. I put my opinions out there on a daily basis, and I not only expect challenges, I welcome them. Deferring to disagree with me is not a sign of respect; it's missing the whole point of this site.

I'm glad you have appreciated my pieces in the past. I'll even believe you when you say it. But it saddens me that you just don't get the point of a political blog.

J.

Steve Crickmore (post #4) i... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Steve Crickmore (post #4) is an idiot for claiming that "Justice Thomas has never ... authored an opinion in 20 years of sitting on the Supreme Court." While Steve's opinions are, in my opinion, wrong, the foregoing sentence is a verifiable lie. You can simply Google "Justice Thomas opinions" for a list of decisions which he has written for a majority of the court.

Damn Steve we were all hopi... (Below threshold)
John:

Damn Steve we were all hoping you wouldn't find out that Justice Thomas has law clerks. Could you be more condecending?

Is this kind of like the du... (Below threshold)
Olsoljer:

Is this kind of like the dumbocraps calling attention to Meg Whitman's situation with the illegal alien - you know, the one where her HUSBAND allegedly addressed the issue?

Wonder what Mary Matalin and James Carville talk about at home?

It appears Steve still has ... (Below threshold)
epador:

It appears Steve still has a crick in his neck from looking down his nose so much. Must be why he's missing so much in his arguments lately. It is hard to read the footnotes when your line of site is limited to the first line of the top paragraph.

Jerry, your trivial point about the title might have a little traction if it weren't followed by nothing but masturbatory vitriol to back up the rest of your nasty diatribe.

And I still wanna know what vitamins JT's been using.

Jay, Jerry's idea of "const... (Below threshold)

Jay, Jerry's idea of "constructive criticism" seems very much like my late father's.

Despite that, I learned a lot from my dad, mainly by doing as much as I could manage the opposite of how he did.

Where on Earth do such mani... (Below threshold)

Where on Earth do such manifestations of evil as "Steve Crickmore" draw the envy that fuels them, the rage that drives them and the hatred that foments to bloody lies they spew?

Herr Crickmore aught read a little before ever again opening his mouth and leaving his audience in so little doubt as to his ignorance of his subject and to be made aware of his willingness to keep himself in everlasting ignorance by, prior to any investigation, be so contemptuous of anything or anyone!.

Try: The Supreme Court Opinions of Clarence Thomas, 1991-2006: A Conservative's Perspective and;

First Principles: The Jurisprudence of Clarence Thomas and;

Clarence Thomas: A Biography and;

My Grandfather's Son : A Memoir by Clarence Thomas.

Justice Thomas may well be the very brightest and most astute judge the court has seen this past century or so.

I think you meant "That Dam... (Below threshold)
Rich Fader:

I think you meant "That Damned First Amendment".

Our leftist friends should be grateful Virginia Thomas is merely pursuing the peaceful redress of grievances through the political process. Based on what I saw on her face during her husband's confirmation hearings, I think she would have been perfectly happy to tear the beating hearts out of Joe Biden and the other Dems on Senate Judiciary.

Well I did mention two thin... (Below threshold)

Well I did mention two things that were "specifics" as to why your piece was a bit off in my first post, Jay. But since you seem to have missed them I'll be more than happy to relist them in an expanded list.

From the top...

The first thing you did was try to be cute with the title and used a header that referenced the 19th Amendment. The 19th deals with suffrage. Now, with the recent Tea Party news and the conservatives talking about some of their candidates possibly pulling women voters in higher numbers, it would be timely to write a piece on the left attacking some of the conservative women in the races based on "women's" issues. So the title does create an expectation of a topic going in that isn't at all there and it takes a second for the "huh" factor to go away when absolutely nothing you wrote has anything to do with voting rights for women or woman actually voting.

You can't even logically shoehorn women being politically active in into a reference to the 19th since woman were politically active before the 19th was fought for and passed. You even had a woman run for president some 50 or so years before the things was passed. So, no, it isn't even remotely close to being a good fit.

You then start the piece by linking to an article that questions whether or not there is a legitimate conflict of interest issue with Mrs. Thomas founding Liberty Central. The supposed conflict of interest coming from the fact that (1) Justice Thomas has ruled on and will likely rule in the future on matters that directly benefit or impact her group and (2) her activities based on her own words and actions are amongst the most partisan, if not the most partisan, ever engaged in by a Justice's wife.

There's also two side notes in there that should bother you and every reader of yours no matter how much they agree with you. Because of prior decisions, some that Thomas had a hand in, we don't know who is dumping money into her group or anybody else's group like it on any side of the political spectrum. Liberty Central and groups like it get anonymous single donations of upwards of a half a million dollars. They then use these anonymous donations to help outspend money raised locally in local elections. I really have no issue with someone rich who wants to donate a large amount of money in a local election, but it should bother everyone when a handful of people, or now corporations, can wildly outspend money raised from local voters to influence races from behind the mask of anonymity in our most important public obligation.

But, as I said, that's a side note.

You then went on to discuss the intricacies of the conflict of interest issues by, well, really not saying anything. You start out by pointing out the obvious concept of one's spouse not being one's property. Nice, but not really addressing the issue in the least. You followed that with strained humor on the oh so original topic of Bill Clinton and womanizing.

That didn't add anything or say anything about what is actually a rather unique case involving the possibility of conflict of interest. Supreme Court Justices do not have to recuse themselves from most cases; it's voluntary. That's somewhat in line with other examples of a lower level, but the difference is that you cannot appeal a Supreme Court decision.

If I'm a politician or a judge on a lower level and I choose to make a decision that benefits my spouse directly or an organization that my spouse has major active involvement in the system has ways to address that. If you feel my actions didn't pass the smell test then you simply need to raise the objection and get my decision appealed to a higher power. If I did something wrong it can then be addressed and corrected.

You can't do that here. There is no appeal for the perceived improprieties of a Supreme Court Justice in matters like this. Thomas could be the deciding factor on something that is nakedly obvious in its conflict of interest and there's not a lot that can be done about the decision in any reasonable timeframe. As a result of that you really do have somewhat of a higher standard to hold to insofar as avoiding such conflicts of interest and finding a truly applicable equal example in another area is a bit difficult.

Which brings us to the examples you did raise.

Monica Conyers: I can see where you might try to raise the issue of conflict of interest here based on the fact that she was an elected council woman in a city in the state her husband was the elected representative of. However the legal issues that arose were not related to that issue. She accepted bribes for votes. She directly acted in the manner that created the legal issues. It was not the actions of her husband who created the issues that rightfully took her down and sent her to jail. You can't really equate that with conflict of interest without stretching the concept paper thin.

Patrice Tierney: Not only is she not an example of conflict of interest issues without stretching the concept ridiculously thin, but it's not even an issue of a politically active spouse. She was convicted of helping her brother to falsify his taxes for three or four years running. The closest thing you could try to claim is a conflict of interest with her case was that John Tierney voted against the UIGEA when it first came up in 2006. But that entire debate and vote would have been before he could have had full knowledge of his brother-in-law's involvement with online gambling.

So only one example fits as an example of a politically active spouse and and neither of them fit as examples of conflict of interest issues creating problems. As a result they're both weak examples of the point you're trying to make and with Tierney completely unrelated to anything you're talking about. The only possible use she serves is for you to point to a Democrat and yell, "Democrats did something wrong too!"

A very weak argument and a weak defense in any discussion.

You then try and clarify your position in the comments section.

"Steve, I see you missed my point. People are getting hysterical about potential conflicts of interest because of who someone is married to. Meanwhile, the wives of two powerful Democratic congressmen have been convicted of corruption charges -- felony charges -- while their husbands were in office, and no one on the left wants to talk about how that might be worth noting -- especially House Judiciary Committee John Conyers."

Well, as I noted, your examples of supposed conflict of interest are as weak as a baby kitten. Could be why he missed the point. If your side point is that no one is noting these issues than you would be wrong. With Conyers there's really nothing to discuss and with Tierney it has been reported and discussed that his UIGEA votes could have been issues of conflict of interest. It's just not getting huge play because there doesn't appear to be very much there there.

If you want to say that there isn't a lot of talk about it at all right now... Well, there may just not be a lot of news at all right now about the Conyers case since they covered it when she pleaded guilty in 2009 and discussed it briefly as a news item when she was sentenced early this year. And they may not be bringing up conflict of interest as much because the legal actions were very clear and didn't touch that arena. You're also dealing with, as I noted above, a completely different equation.

You can address and appeal poor decisions tainted by possible conflict of interest by both of these two women's husbands to a higher power and quite possibly get the matter corrected. Not so easy to do here.

Also, as I noted in the comments section, you had Frank in the 90's and the 00's publically questioned and giving answers about possible conflict of interest due to his partner's ties to certain businesses and candidate Clinton was questioned about here ability to avoid conflict of interest problems in some dealings with foreign powers that had financial dealings with Bill's foundation. Frank and Hillary are different than your examples but similar to the Thomas situation in that the possible conflict of interest directly related to decisions they had recently made or that they might make in the near future and the issues were things that would directly impact matters on a national scale.

The fact that people like Hillary and Frank can be pointed to also undercuts your secondary point that no one on the left wants to talk about this kind of thing if there's a D in front of the name as it was discussed by the Right and the Left. What you did was point to two dissimilar and very poor examples that didn't get big national play and try to compare them to questions about Thomas and his wife (also not yet really getting big national play) while ignoring examples that are much closer to the Thomas issue and got much bigger national media play.

For anyone who pays attention to the news and who has gotten tired of both side's garbage your point was weakened by that. It came off as somewhat intellectually dishonest.

I actually agree with you that it would be a big deal about nothing if this is turned into a major story and treated like a major scandal based just on speculation about what he could do in the future. That would be silly and partisan hack journalism at its best. However, I see nothing wrong with discussing the rather unique situation that this now presents any more than I saw anything wrong with questioning Frank about his situation. The Hillary thing I did find somewhat stupid because if most the people making the loudest noise about it actually cared about that issue they would have also been asking Bush, Cheney and a host of others the same questions about financial ties to Saudi powerbrokers and royal families and never did.

If you had simply discussed the idea of why it was silly to question this I would have disagreed with you but likely not found much else worth commenting on. As it was the other stuff that got thrown in just seemed to weaken the idea a bit and detract from the idea a bit.

Justice Thomas may well ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Justice Thomas may well be the very brightest and most astute judge the court has seen this past century or so.

Really, or are you trying to protect the reputation of Thomas! or maybe Brian Richard Allen, some day you will recant and do a 'uturn' like former Republican hitman and Thomas apologist, David Brock'


The author of a best-selling book that attacked the credibility of Anita F. Hill has disavowed its premise, and now says that he lied in print to protect the reputation of Justice Clarence Thomas.

David Brock, the author of the book, ''The Real Anita Hill'' (Free Press, 1993), has also suggested, in a magazine article to be published this week, that Justice Thomas used an intermediary to provide Mr. Brock with damaging information about a woman who had come forward to provide support for Ms. Hill's accusations of harassment by Justice Thomas. Ms. Hill's accusations became the focus of Senate hearings into Justice Thomas's nomination to the Supreme Court in 1991.

Steve, it's not the brighte... (Below threshold)

Steve, it's not the brightest move in a discussion to cite as a source for solid information a guy who essentially says that, yeah, he lied for years for political advancement and and financial gain but now he's only telling the truth political advancement and and financial gain. It doesn't matter if he's on your political side or not these days; anything he says has to be backed up to the hilt with facts and references because he's an established and admitted liar and political hit artist.

David Brock... where have I... (Below threshold)

David Brock... where have I heard that name before?

Oh, yeah... founder and head of Media Matters For America.

Go back to citing Puffington Host for sources, Steve. That's at least marginally more credible.

J.

Wow, Jerry, we found common... (Below threshold)

Wow, Jerry, we found common ground.

I guess we owe Steve some thanks -- if we didn't have "isn't Steve an idiot here?" to agree on, we might still be at each others' throats.

J.

So for years David Brock wa... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

So for years David Brock was lionized, praised and called an honest authority by the conservatives on Thomas and other subjects, finally, can no longer take it no longer, because he couldn't come up with the goods, a conspiricacy theory-Troopergate on Hillary, admits the truth that he was right wing sleaze artist /hitman like Lee Atwater with his own death bed confession, recants and becomes a pariah.

Make sense to you guys. You still believe that Anita Hill made that stuff up? Wake up and look around at real life!


I can't find, Charles Brock`s July 1997 Esquire article 'Confessions of a Right-Wing-Hit-Man' You probably wouldn't read it anyway
but I did find another 1997 Esquire article about how sleazy Tiger Woods was , that middle America discredited at the time as well, because it didn't fit Tiger's cultivated image. After all they were only the prescient words (of Tigers') quoted in a left-wing publication, Esquire of which I'm sure you on the right feels, has no credibility.




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