On May 10, President Barack Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the position of Supreme Court Justice as a replacement for Justice John Paul Stevens. Monday, June 28, marked the first of a series of Kagan’s Senate confirmation hearings, where the nominee appeared to be on the defensive.
Barack and Dmitry. The photo-op lunch couldn't have been chummier: The U.S. and Russian presidents enjoying cheeseburgers and fries together at Ray's Hell Burger, a local burger joint in Arlington, Virginia. That was June 24, just before Obama and Medvedev headed for the big G8/G20 summits in Canada. Prior to that Medvedev was the toast of the town in Silicon Valley, part of his U.S. tour to bring American capital and technology to Russia.
In what sounded like a news headline taken from the height of the Cold War in 1950s, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Monday, June 28, that 11 individuals had been charged for espionage and conspiracy on behalf of the Russian government.
“In the American imagination,” author Ron Chernow wrote in the Wall Street Journal June 28, “the founding era shimmers as the golden age of political discourse, a time when philosopher-kings strode the public stage, dispensing wisdom with gentle civility.” But in this case, the imagination is a lie.
The Obama administration announced recently that it intends to sue Arizona in order to temporarily block implementation of SB 1070 until Congress passes its own version of comprehensive immigration reform.
The voters of Port Chester, New York, went to the polls on Tuesday, June 15 using cumulative voting and early voting. They did so because the Village of Port Chester was ordered to do so by a federal court. According to Amy Ngai of FairVote, this was the first time such methods of voting were used in the State of New York.
The Obama-era CIA has awarded a $100 million contract to the private mercenary firm Xe Services, the former Blackwater Worldwide, to guard its facilities in Afghanistan, according to the Washington Post for June 24.
Andrew Cuomo, in announcing his candidacy for Governor of New York, has attacked: “The influence of lobbyists and their special interests.” His solution is to pass state campaign finance laws which create new contribution limits. As he delivered this pronouncement, however, Cuomo sat on an estimated $7.1 million that he had received from political action committees, real estate and construction firms, big unions, and health care lobbying firms.
To the dismay of free-speech advocates across the nation, the House of Representatives passed the DISCLOSE Act (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act) yesterday evening by a vote of 219-206.
"I wouldn't take it off the table," USA Today on June 24 quoted Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, when he told reporters that he's not ruling out the possibility of a filibuster against President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan.