Friday, June 29, 2007

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere


The five opinions that made up yesterday’s decision limiting the use of race in assigning students to public schools referred to Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 school desegregation case, some 90 times. The justices went so far as to quote from the original briefs in the case and from the oral argument in 1952.

All of the justices on both sides of yesterday’s 5-to-4 decision claimed to be, in Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s phrase, "faithful to the heritage of Brown."

But lawyers who represented the black schoolchildren in the Brown case said yesterday that several justices in the majority had misinterpreted the positions they had taken in the litigation and had misunderstood the true meaning of Brown.


The Supreme Court ruled 53 years ago in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated education is inherently unequal, and it ordered the nation’s schools to integrate. Yesterday, the court switched sides and told two cities that they cannot take modest steps to bring public school students of different races together. It was a sad day for the court and for the ideal of racial equality.


Let us now praise the Brown decision. Let us now bury the Brown decision.

With yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling ending the use of voluntary schemes to create racial balance among students, it is time to acknowledge that Brown’s time has passed. It is worthy of a send-off with fanfare for setting off the civil rights movement and inspiring social progress for women, gays and the poor. But the decision in Brown v. Board of Education that focused on outlawing segregated schools as unconstitutional is now out of step with American political and social realities.


I'll say. I've never been more disgusted, and that’s from a lifelong Republican and occasional activist who still voted for Clinton in 1992. Yes, I'm more disgusted than I even was then.

I never liked Trent Lott, and the fact that he was elected the Minority Leader in the Senate was a red flag. GWB has lost me completely on the immigration issue and his utter lack of leadership, right now, on just about anything. Not only that, but I am so disgusted that what I once willing to overlook for what I believed to be the Cause, I retroactively do not. The unbridled spending… the cronyism . . . the complete surrender of the message on the Iraq war and, yes, the failure to communicate effectively about just about anything, certainly since the 2004 election.

What a squandered, ugly moment for Republicans conservatives like me. What a shame for America.


The immigration bill is dead, yet again, after the Senate rejected cloture by fourteen votes. In the end, the compromise could not even gain a majority in support of what conceptually may have been a passable compromise, but in reality was a poorly constructed, poorly processed mass of contradictions and gaps. Many of us who may have supported a comprehensive approach to immigration found ourselves amazed and repulsed by both the product and the process of this attempt to solve the immigration problem.

So what should happen now? The problems of immigration did not disappear with the failure of the cloture vote a few moments ago. Congress needs to act to resolve them -- but they need to do so in a manner that respects the processes of representative democracy, and in a manner that builds the confidence of Americans rather than fuel their cynicism.


The Wall Street Journal editorial board warns that the immigration debate threatens to make the GOP a minority party. They're right. It splits the Republicans right down the middle, demoralizes the base in advance of 2008, and is prompting a conservative counter-mobilization that could make Latinos a Democratic constituency for years to come.

Ironically, the issue was not pushed to the top of the legislative agenda by Democrats. . . . Democrats haven't been able to push through any legislation that splits Republicans and forces a Bush veto (for now, at least, GOP party loyalty is too strong to overcome a filibuster).

Instead, Bush has been doing the Democrats' work for them.

Israeli President Moshe Katsav agreed to resign yesterday in a plea bargain that drops rape allegations and the threat of jail time in return for pleading guilty to lesser charges. The deal was a reversal by Attorney General Meni Mazuz, who had said in January that he planned to try Katsav on charges of rape and other sex crimes that could have sent him to prison for 20 years.


The Palestinian Maan news agency is reporting in the name of the Hebrew newspaper Maariv that Hamas terrorists discovered sexually explicit videotapes of high ranking Fatah terrorists when Fatah's headquarters in Gaza were captured.


More than a year after the United States renewed diplomatic ties with Libya, leader Moammar Gadhafi still has not completed settlement payments to the families of Pan Am 103 victims, and he recently delivered an incendiary speech during which he laughed off any financial impact of the settlement.


Even before a United States Congressional panel overwhelmingly passed a resolution urging Japan to apologize for its wartime sex slavery, the Japanese government said it would have no comment.

But the vote of 39 to 2 by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs has set the stage for an adoption by the full House of Representatives next month, at which point Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will face pressure to respond in some way or another.


The bald eagle, America's national symbol, is flying high after spending three decades in recovery. On Thursday, the government took the eagle off the Endangered Species Act's "threatened" list.


Photograph by Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John Dos Passos would approve!