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11 May 2010


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Keep on mind that Larry Summers pushed harder than anyone else in the financial-industrial complex to keep financial derivatives unregulated -- the very thing that enabled Goldman and other shadow banks to blow up the economy. And now we hear that Larry Summers was responsible for appointing Elena Kagan dean of Harvard Law School. Coupling that with Kagan being on Goldman's payroll throughout most of their bubble-making years should be reason enough, IMO, to oppose Kagan's appointment to the Supreme Court. It's bad enough that Obama appointed a bankster enabler to be his chief economic adviser, but it's even worse that he appointed a bankster enabler to the Supreme Court. All I can figure is that Obama either has very poor judgment or he's married to the mob. Either way, none of this speaks well of Obama's ability to lead our country.

I can't emphasis enough how bad it is that Goldman owns Congress and the White House, but I can't begin to emphasis how bad it is that Goldman will soon be owning a piece of the Supreme Court, too!


Let me also mention that I don’t think it was a mere coincidence that Eliot Spitzer got caught soliciting sexual favors from a prostitute just a few months before a fraud-filled bubble burst on Wall Street. Nor do I think it was a mere coincidence that the news about SEC staffers surfing for porn on government time broke just a few days after the SEC announced that it is suing Goldman Sachs for fraud. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending the misconduct of either Eliot Spitzer or the porn-surfers at the SEC, but what I do think is happening here is that the shadow banking industry is trying to pull a “Spitzer sting” on the SEC. After all, the shadow banks have the most to lose if the SEC wins its case against Goldman.



Sad to say but Obama has nominated someone just as qualified to be a supreme court justice as Condoleezza Rice was to be National Security Adviser. Of course we we're stuck with Condi for life.


"Obama's narcissistic focus on Ivy, liberal credentials, etc."
Sir, I thought you were too smart to be surprised by any of this.
This is government (to quote Michael Barone) "from the faculty lounge."
Where, or when, in Obama's ambiguous past, is there any connection to "American life"?

Patrick Lang


Why do you think that I am surprised? pl


So you supported Obama's candidacy knowing that he is a one-dimensional narcissicist?



You were here in Oregon? Shame you didn't publicize it.

Obama has the nickname "no-drama" for a reason. He's not LBJ, he's not Jerry Brown, he's not Che Guevara. He got where he is today by NOT challenging The Establishment. Thus, real liberals -- let alone Trotskyites -- have no chance under this Administration (no matter what blather Blenn Geck spews). Daring and adventure and all that aren't on the Tagesmenue right now.

You go to the governing with the President you have, not the President you wish you had. (To paraphrase a brilliant strategist.)

Adam L Silverman

Graywolf: Chief Justice Roberts, Associate Justice Scalia, Associate Justice Alito, Associate Justice Thomas, and Associate Justice Kennedy - all four solid conservative jurtists and the swing, center-right jurist respectively - have their law degrees from either Harvard or Yale. Last time I looked both were East Coast, Ivy league universities. So were their appointments by Republican presidents, with the Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Alito's confirmation by a majority Republican Senate, an example of a "narcissistic focus on Ivy, liberal credentials, etc" or "government from the faculty lounge"?


Obama's narcissistic focus on Ivy, liberal credentials, etc. is pathetic.

But, but, but, [stutters] he was a community organizer.

I really view Obama as a rather cynical corporatist who trots out progressive platitudes solely for the polls. The fact that he still has Wall Street whore Larry Summers on board as "chief economic adviser" says it all so far as populist economic reform goes. And, Obama is a colossal disappointment in the areas of executive branch overreach and civil rights.


i"m going to get hanged for the comment, b/ half the country is thinking this.

this brings back the comedy channel South Park episode on Scientology. The one when Tom Cruise locks himself in the closet & won't come out.

"Come out of the Closet, Tom Cruise!"

Patrick Lang


The alternative was a decrepit egomaniac. This one was more or less unknown. pl



This is what I said on my blog about the Kagan nomination. I am in full agreement http://keydet1976.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/why-kagan-should-not-be-confirmed/


I thought this thread was about the Supreme Court. No one (starting with the title of the thread, Colonel) has attempted to explain why Kagan isn't qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice.


I must say that it's very neoconnish of Elena Kagan to have helped shield Saudi royals from 9/11 lawsuits:


This just reconfirms my suspicions that Kagan is not only a neo-con enabler who's hell-bent on making Muslims around the world subservient to the American Empire, but she's also a plutocratic enabler who sides with the plutocrats over us plebs!


Once you realize that Harvard is just behind Goldman as the third biggest contributor to Obama's presidential campaign (see link below), then you'll understand why Obama chose Elena Kagan to be his top pick to the Supreme Court. And needless to say, crony capitalism is what's fueling this revolving door between the White House, Goldman Sachs, and Harvard University.


Patrick Lang


I did not say that she is not qualified. I said that I preferred someone else. I think it would have been better to get someone who is not a product of the Northeastern elites. pl

Clifford Kiracofe

"what a good judge he is, how grounded in the life of the West he is..."

Sounds good, a man with a solid background in practice and on the bench.

Is Kagan a Zionist?

Also, would anyone know about her course of study at Princeton and Oxford?

No experience on any bench...and she is nominated to the Supreme Court???

How does the ABA feel about this???


The choice in 2008 was not exactly confidence-building.
I know someone (Republican) who worked on the Senate Armed Service Comm. staff. She says that McCain was the "rudest, most obnoxious" of all.


Isn't it time for David Brooks to wax poetic about Kagan's nomination as proof of Jewish Achievement? I am always amused how ethnic or religious groups measure achievement by the effects of networking. I appoint my friends....so we are all superstars.

This has a long pedigree in our Great Republic. Andrew Carnegie was already a multi-millionaire before he ever worked for a non-Scottish employer. The Scots ran the American steel industry. They all helped each other. Nothing wrong with that....but let's not confuse tribal networking with genetic or cultural superiority.

One more example: When I started playing chess as a child, chess was dominated by Jewish chessplayers, both within and without the Soviet Union. Now, the chess world is increasingly producing lots of Asian and Indian talent. Did the Jews become worse at chess...or are others now more focused on it? You decide.


When I watched Justice Rehnquist do a 180 on every legal principle he ever espoused (see Bush v. Gore, 2000), I realized it makes no more difference who serves on the Supreme Court as who serves as Gov. of California.

Patrick Lang


I would have nominated Joe Biden as the nastiest most impolite senator I ever dealt with. Gore would have been a close contender for the honor. pl

Nancy K

I feel there are too many conservative judges on the Supreme Court and would like to see someone nominated that was less conservative in their outlook.
I never though I would see the day that an education from Harvard, Princeton and Oxford would be a carrer buster. As the Dean of Harvard Law school, she probably knows a little about the law.
I'm not sure that I agree with all of her opinions but I know I would trust her more that I do Scalia, Roberts, Alito and Thomas.

Adam L Silverman

Professor Kiracofe: While I personally find this to be a less than inspiring pick, Ms. Kagan was nominated by President Clinton to the Federal Appellate Bench back in the mid 1990s. She was one of the large number of judicial appointees, somewhere between 75 and 150 if I recall correctly, that the newly Republican Senate held up (holds and soft filibusters) and did not confirm in the hope that a Republican would be elected president in 2000 and could then fill those vacancies. This, of course, did occur, and now well over 65% of all Federal District, Appellate, and Supreme Court justices have been picked by Republican presidents or confirmed by Republican majority Senates. This is, especially the treatment of the Clinton nominees and the behavior of the Republicans towards the Bush 43 nominees, how one plays judicial political hardball!

William R. Cumming

Okay my two cents! As a long service retired government lawyer I believe two sectors of law will dominate the next two decades of SCOTUS analysis and rulings. Perhaps surprisingly to some they are not what might be expected? Such as whether the Executive Branch organizations can be effective in their missions, whether administrative or regulation or whatever? The two key areas will be the final struggle over the role of the National Security State in American life and whether federalism, menaing intergovernmental relations between all levels of government mean anything for the future of American life. SCOTUS has shown almost no desire to be consistent and provide guidance in these two areas of law. The result is the rapid decline of the United States as both a democracy (Republic) and as being in any way within the vision of the founding fathers.
Whether or not Ms. Kagan reaches confirmation she will add absolutely nothing to these two issues and the policy arena in which they sit because her vision is primarily one of the corporate socialism now resident in the vision of the other eight Justices as the prime objective of SCOTUS in its rulings.
Privacy, individualism, and the rights of the minority in the face of majority rule are not of interest to these ladies and gentlemen.

Sidney O. Smith III

Tend to agree with WRC.

But Kagan is a horrendous choice. Just horrendous. Check out her view on the 1st amendment. If the government determines that such speech is harmful, then it is no longer free. The government -- what some here are now describing as a plutocracy -- decides what you can or cannot say. This is a classic example of a totalitarian predisposition making its way into the common law, and otherwise, through an ostensibly progressive outlook. Such is the dark side of the enlightened Woodstock generation.

The same tendency may very well appear in her view on executive privilege. In other words, as Greenwald has pointed out time and time again, the ideologies of the right and progressive left intersect at that place known as unitary executive theory, aka the imperial presidency.

As for her career, I have a distinct recollection of Dr. Robert Coles, when critiquing Duncan Kennedy's work on Harvard's critical legal studies program, saying, yes it is all fine and good, but maybe he could learn more by serving in a soup kitchen.

Has she ever struck a jury? Has she filed a pleading? Ever served a subpoena? Every dealt with someone crying after a trial? Not saying they are pre-requisites but what evidence exists that she is representing the people and not special interests? What evidence exists that the she understands what some call “the streets.”? What experiences outside academia reveal her character? Playing softball?

My gut tells me that Kagan, unfortunately like other attorneys, would act very condescending towards those who work in the clerk’s office at a county courthouse. You can tell much by how a person treats the staff who work at a courthouse…a true federal judge told me so. One of his secrets.

This federal judge also told me that the number one attribute of a federal judge is humility. He embodied that virtue. Good luck with that one in the case of the People vs. Kagan.


The people I'd really like to hear from before making some judgement about Kagan are her subordinates at Harvard and her former students.

My suspicion is that she is a narcissist like Obama that can't and won't empathise with ordinary people because as a general rule narcissists attract each other. Ordinary folk are repelled by them once they become aware of their proclivities.

I would add that if there is a deafening silence from former students and subordinates, that would indicate that a chilling effect is being exerted by Kagan and the powers that be.

One student is less than impressed with the imperious Kagan. Were more stories in this vein to surface, that alone should disqualify her, in my opinion, since it suggests that she will always side with the strong against the weak.


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