News Roundup for 5/11/09

Michael Steele with his hand raised
Michael "Spanky" Steele

-Headline of the day-
"Steele on judges with 'empathy': ‘I'll give you empathy. Empathize right on your behind!’"

When Barack Obama promised to choose someone with "empathy" for "the daily realities of people's lives" to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Souter, the right seemed to take that as a threat. "Empathy is code for an activist judge!" they said. "It means President Obama wants to put a commie on the court!"

It makes you wonder if anyone on the right owns a damned dictionary.

So, guest-hosting Bill Bennett's radio show Friday, GOP leader Michael Steele decided to combat the Empathetic Threat head on.

"Good morning y'all, we’re back in the house. We're talking a little bit of Constitution and a little bit Supreme Court," he said. "And a whole lot of saving America’s judicial system and saving our rights as citizens and not having empathetic judges decide cases, but rather judges who are actually understanding the rule of law and what the Constitution and those laws are all about. And how to apply the facts to the law and the law to the facts. And adjudicate my case. I don't need some judge sitting up there feeling bad for my opponent because of their life circumstances or their condition. And short changing me and my opportunity to get fair treatment under the law. Crazy nonsense empathetic. I’ll give you empathy. Empathize right on your behind. Craziness."

I'll tell you what's craziness -- paranoia. And paranoia is assuming that an empathetic judge would sympathize with your opponent and not you. That is, unless you're in the business of screwing people who don't really deserve it -- like, say, anyone in the Republican party.

And is it just me or did Steele threaten to give either Obama or whatever empathetic judge he might nominate a spanking? Don't quote me on this, but I think it might be a bad thing to threaten to physically assault the President of the United States. Just guessing.

I'm pretty sure Obama could take him though. Republicans are all about scotch and cigars. You could probably knock Michael Steele over by cranking up your desk fan and pointing it at him.

Don't make me stop this blog and come over there, Mike. Because I will... (Think Progress)

-She prefers the term "wrangler"-
FOX host Greta Van Susteren apparently "went apoplectic on her blog" after several media outlets referred to her as Todd Palin's handler for the White House correspondents dinner. Sarah Palin's husband was a guest of FOX at the dinner. When a Politico reporter approached Palin for an interview, Van Susteren ran interference.

"Politico started to chat with Alaska's 'first dude' when Van Susteren intervened," reported Politico's Carol E. Lee. "The host of On The Record told us this brunch was 'off the record' -- no talking with the husband of former Republican vice presidential nominee, Gov. Sarah Palin.

"Asked why, Van Susteren told us--- as we held pen, pad, recorder and camera in hand -- well, you know, at these things you can't always figure out who's on the record or off the record when you chit chat. And, she added, with all the background noise Palin could easily be misquoted."

It's weird, because that's exactly the sort of thing a media handler would do, so you can really see how someone would mistake Greta for a handler. It's like when you're performing heart surgery -- everyone just jumps to the wild conclusion that you're a heart surgeon or something.

"Here is another tidbit: our guest is NOT a candidate for office -- and never has been a candidate for office," GVS wrote. "Our guest is a family member of a politician. Our guest was there to simply attend a social event." Because, you see, people in the media never interview anyone who isn't running for office. That's why it's so hard to get video of Newt Gingrich or Joe the Plumber or Will Smith.

Look, just because you're acting like a celebrity's wrangler doesn't mean you're that celebrity's wrangler. It just means you're doing some celebrity wrangling. It's a fine distinction, I know, but Greta Susterenenenen really wants you to make it. (Raw Story, via reddit)

-Speaking of FOX...-
...someone's probably gonna get fired.

See, frequent FOX talking head Judge Andrew Napolitano has come out in favor of trying George W. Bush for torture. In discussing a New York Times article reporting that Bush had personally authorized nine torture techniques, Napolitano said that "would mean that the President of the United States of America committed a felony for each act of torture he authorized."

"Is it right, is it proper, for the Obama Administration to prosecute someone in the Bush administration for doing what they thought was right?" Napolitano asked. "My answer is: Yes! We are a nation of laws and not of men. And when people break the law, no matter what their motivation is, they should be prosecuted... Is the motivation a defense to law-breaking? It is not."

Freakin' activist judges! While it's clear that Napolitano hates America and loves him some terr'ists, no one can accuse him of being soft on crime. If there were enough instances of torture, Bush could go away for the rest of his life.

That is, if we want to get all commie and liberal and actually apply the letter of the law to everyone equally. Then we'd all get together and sing Kum-Bai-Yah or however the hell it's spelled, eat some arugula, and sip lattes. Go ahead and cram your own favorite liberal stereotypes in there, if you like.

So Andrew Napolitano is probably going to find himself on the street, unemployed and with a sign that reads "Will judge you for food."

Serves him right. (The New American, with video)

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