Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This about sums it up this morning for USa....


*** It's Sotomayor: At 10:15 am ET from the White House's East Room, President Obama will again make history by nominating the first Hispanic to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court: Sonia Sotomayor of the 2nd Circuit. The big question: Will she survive the confirmation process? Some Senate Democrats worry she'll be a heavier lift than others he could have nominated (like Diane Wood or Elena Kagan). But consider these points: One, it's clear Sotomayor -- whom the president knew the least about when this process began -- blew Obama away when he interviewed her on Thursday. In fact, White House officials believe that once Senate Democrats get to know her, they'll be as blown away as the president was, and she'll be confirmed easily. Two, would Republicans dare vote against the first Hispanic, especially after their rhetoric during the immigration debate of 2006-2007 clearly hurt them with this important voting bloc? And three, don't ignore the politics surrounding this pick. As we've mentioned before, Latino groups have been grumbling somewhat about their representation (or lack thereof) in the Obama administration, as well as the fact that immigration reform doesn't appear to be on the White House's front-burner. But this pick buys Obama A LOT of time with Hispanics -- a demographic he won last year, 67%-31% -- on immigration and other issues. Is it a coincidence that Obama this week heads out West to Nevada and California, two states with large Latino populations?

*** Sotomayor's Bio: Here's the bio we ran on Sotomayor earlier this month: She currently serves on the Second Circuit in New York and was appointed to that position by Bill Clinton. BUT she was appointed to her first federal court appointment by President George H.W. Bush. She checks lots of boxes: Woman. Hispanic. Empathy. While working for the famed Robert Morgenthau in the New York District Attorney's office in the early 1980s, she described herself as a "liberal.". Also has drawn criticism for saying in 2005: "All of the legal defense funds out there they're looking for people with court of appeals experience because it is-- court of appeals is where policy is made." She tried to backtrack, but conservatives are already rallying to defeat her based on this. Other bio information: Child of parents born in Puerto Rico... Grew up speaking mostly Spanish... Raised in a public housing project in The South Bronx in the shadow of Yankee Stadium... Father died when she was 9... A diehard Yankees fan, she's credited as the judge who saved baseball, issuing an injunction that led the eventual settlement of the 1990s-era Major League Baseball strike... Described by the New York Times in the early 1980s as an incessant smoker. Divorced from Kevin Edward Noonan in 1983 after seven-year marriage (no children). She left the NY District Attorney's office a year later and went into private practice... Graduated summa cum laude in 1976 from Princeton after winning a scholarship to the school... Earned her law degree from Yale in 1979, where she edited the Law Review.

*** Another Crisis For Obama: In addition to Sotomayor, the other big political news has been North Korea's nuclear test, as well as its firing of two short-range missiles. What do you do about a country whose leadership is so unstable it doesn't respond to normal diplomatic overtures or threats? It's an enigma wrapped in a riddle. The Washington Post's editorial page says the time for reacting is gone. "It's time, at last, to break this pattern and call Mr. Kim's bluff. That doesn't mean threats of U.S military action or a blanket refusal to talk with the regime; those tactics have been tried and have failed as well. Instead, Mr. Obama should simply decline to treat North Korea as a crisis, or even as a matter of urgency." Of course, others like Council of Foreign Relations head Richard Haas believe it's time to ratchet things up more and get with Japan and South Korea and outline a "red line" for a military response. Key now is China and Russia, which have both amped up their rhetoric against North Korea more than they did during the Bush and Clinton years. But rhetoric is always the easy part.

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