Ben Buchwalter


Friday Brain Dump

The economy sinks, the GOP rebounds, and a prolific liberal falls ill.

  • Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, one of the Supreme Court’s most consistent liberal voices, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this week. Ginsburg was appointed to the bench in 1993 by Bill Clinton. This raises questions about whether Ms. Bader-Ginsburg will step down sooner than anyone thought. If she does, Obama will get his first chance to nominate a Justice and maintain the Court’s ideological balance. Matt Cooper discusses options. Clearly, Obama will face pressure to nominate a woman. I like the suggestion of Sonia Sotomayer, who would be the Court’s first Hispanic judge. At the very least, this would perpetuate connections between Obama and The West Wing
  • Last month, nearly 600,000 people lost their jobs. Unemployment is now 7.6%. Has someone told Senate Republicans? If have a paying job, you should probably leave it for an unpaid internship.
  • Speaking of the economy, lets pass a stimulus bill. Barack Obama delivered an empassioned speech last night asking Senators to pass a friggin bill. He’s right, this is not a game. While people continue to lose jobs (see above), Republicans are running out the clock to make Democrats look like fools by supporting a stalled stimulus bill. Yes, its not perfect. But the GOP is trying to make it not perfect…er. Right now its looking like a version around $800 Billion will pass after revisions from Senators Collins and Nelson. Now the Goldilocks dilemma.
  • Michael Steele, the newly elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee, has asked for the resignations of a large number of RNC staffers. It’s easier to be in the opposition than the ruling party. For that reason, I think we’ll see Republicans become more popular in the next two years. But also, Steele is not your typical Republican. Democrats should be afraid
  • Elections in Israel in only 4 days and the two leading parties are all tied up. I have not been paying close attention, but lets hope that Kadima pulls this out.
  • A former Batman might run for Governor of New Mexico.

Happy weekend.

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