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Reverse… 5 December 2006

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, SCOTUS, U.S. Senate, WAR!.

  traffic in Caracas  [bbc]

Greenhouse in the NYT

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 — By the time the Supreme Court finished hearing arguments on Monday on the student-assignment plans that two urban school systems use to maintain racial integration, the only question was how far the court would go in ruling such plans unconstitutional.

There seemed little prospect that either the Louisville, Ky., or Seattle plans would survive the hostile scrutiny of the court’s new majority. In each system, students are offered a choice of schools but can be denied admission based on their race if enrolling at a particular school would upset the racial balance.

Joan Biskupic in USA Today:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court appeared ready Monday to strike down public school diversity programs that use race as a factor in deciding where students go to school.

In the first test of school integration efforts to come before the court since Chief Justice John Roberts and fellow conservative Samuel Alito joined the bench last term, the justices heard two cases — one from Seattle, the other from Louisville — that examine whether using race in school assignments violates the Constitution’s equality guarantee.  […]

The significance of the cases — and of their potential impact on the 1954 landmark — was apparent in the courtroom. Among the spectators was Cecilia “Cissy” Marshall, the widow of the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, the nation’s first black justice and a legal architect of desegregation. Also in the court was William Coleman, who was part of Marshall’s legal team in 1954, went on to become secretary of Transportation in the Ford administration and is now a lawyer in Washington.

Outside the marble-columned building, supporters of the integration programs vastly outnumbered challengers. They chanted, “Equal education, not segregation.”

However, it is the challengers — mostly white parents whose children were not assigned to their schools of choice — who seemed more likely to prevail.

I caught the oral argument yesterday in two cases before the SC on school desegration, one in Seattle and one in Jefferson Co (Louisville) KY.

The Reuters and NYT links point up the emergence of Kennedy as swinging to the conservatives on this issue…

But none points to a fateful and ugly train of questions begun by Scalia in the KY case (the oral argument in the KY seemed more contentious to me, hotter) and quickly picked up by Kennedy… Scalia introduced as a query, do we know the school board is benign?  This despite the fact that I heard the KY atty for the school board state that surveys (plural) are included to show that the plan enjoys wide support, up to 80% of the community… Scalia elaborated that perhaps schools are equal but at one school performance is higher and thus a racial group on the board wishes to benefit their race by inserting children from their racial group into that school, perhaps to 80%. 

You get the drift…

Well… Kennedy ran with it.  Honestly, he appeared agitated in a way that seemed revealing.  But it was Breyer who broke thru in dismay with this:

“Think, go back to Cooper v. Aaron,” Justice Breyer told the solicitor general, referring during the argument in the Louisville case to the court’s 1958 decision enforcing a desegregation order in Little Rock, Ark. “Go back to the case where this court with paratroopers had to use tremendous means to get those children into the school. That’s because the society was divided.”

He continued: “Here we have a society, black and white, who elect school board members who together have voted to have this form of integration. Why, given that change in society, which is a good one, how can the Constitution be interpreted in a way that would require us, the judges, to go in and make them take the black children out of the school?” 

Afterwards, out front of the court in questions with reporters, the atty for the Seattle plan said if this is struck down, if the court finds for the parents, that little will be left of Brown v BoE.

A case in which the the court was so careful to achieve a unanimous decision that they worked two years to deliver their ruling.  Further, Jonathan Kozol has said that while KY delayed integration, when they got to work, they did just about the best job in the nation and thus are more integrated than many large northern states, CA, NY, IL, MI and MA are the states he names…

From a December 2005 Kozol article in The Nation, entitled Overcoming Apartheid:

In the Louisville area as well, school integration, initially carried out under court order, has now been in place without court order for a quarter-century. The sweep of the program, under which the city schools and county schools have been combined into a single system in which more than 90,000 black, Hispanic, white and Asian children are enrolled, has had the effect of rendering Kentucky’s public schools the most desegregated in the nation. The typical black student in Kentucky now attends a school in which two-thirds of the enrollment is Caucasian.

When a proposal was made in 1991 to terminate or cut back on Kentucky’s integration program, protests were voiced by community groups, the teachers union, the local press, the Jefferson County Human Relations Commission and the regional branch of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. A survey revealed that the number of black parents who believed their children’s education had improved under the busing plan exceeded those who took the opposite position by a ratio of six to one. Less than 2 percent believed that education for their children would be better in resegregated schools. Despite occasional recurrences of opposition from groups or individuals who represent small pockets of resistance, support for school desegregation in the Louisville community continues strong and unabated to the present day.

It was unbearably sad…  I see no good spin on this one.  None.

“Even many black leaders,” notes education analyst Richard Rothstein, are weary of the struggle over mandatory busing programs to achieve desegregation and “have given up on integration,” arguing, in his words, that “a black child does not need white classmates in order to learn.” So education policies, he says, “now aim to raise scores in [the] schools that black children attend.” “That effort,” he writes, “will be flawed even if it succeeds.” The Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown decision, he reminds us, “was not about raising scores” for children of minorities “but about giving black children access to majority culture, so they could negotiate it more confidently…. For African-Americans to have equal opportunity, higher test scores will not suffice. It is foolhardy to think black children can be taught, no matter how well, in isolation and then have the skills and confidence as adults to succeed in a white world where they have no experience.”


UPDATE: 2:25 pm in San Francisco…

I think this can safely be called MIssing the Point… from Roll Call (behind subscription wall) today, via The Note:

In her “Heard on the Hill” column, Roll Call’s Mary Ann Akers has a “well-placed GOP source” saying that Nancy Pelosi, “in a random act of bipartisan kindness that will surely irk Members on both sides of the aisle, has decided to reward Hastert with the plush and coveted Capitol office suite now held by retiring Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.).” 


UPDATE… 4:40 pm

The Armed Services committee voted unanimously (21-0) today to approve Gates, so he proceeds for a vote from the full senate.  I am sure voice vote will be fine.  Perhaps they can phone it in from their perch on some gold leafed commode somewhere.  And not that I expected much different… certainly they are still the handmaiden party.

You have to laugh.  We are just downstream… and the pollution is heavy. 

Madman has a post up…

[T]here is ample evidence that this bagman for imperialist warmongers and enablers of death squads shouldn’t be given this very important post. None of that matters, though, because the fix is in. BOTH parties support and foster our warlike ways, our bullying and unconstrained extraction of the world’s resources.  [snip] 




1. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 December 2006

Regressive, hateful, violent, selfish, destructive … we have no interest in community, NOT if it involves sharing w/ people not like ourselves. We’re like rabid rats locked in a box w/ each other and no food.

2. Deepest Throat - 5 December 2006


If this is struck down, it will not only be the schools (universities included) who are affected, it would include employment. It is bad enough affirmative action is has been totally been water down when it comes to hiring, but depending on their ruling, it could be the nail in the coffin that the anti-AA have been waiting for.

I hear the economy in the left leaning Latin America countries are improving.

3. colleen - 5 December 2006

It was unbearably sad…

Yes. I listened last night on C-Span and it was unbearably sad and revolting at the same time. The white male catholics were putting on quite the display of unconscious bigotry.
Their understanding of race and poverty has as much depth as Rush Limbaugh’s.

4. marisacat - 5 December 2006

colleen yeah agree. I clearly heard the Catholic Cabal firming up… Fetal pain is heard Wednesday, also. Very very dispiriting.

Deepest Throat exactly… we are speeding backward.

The Louisville plan showed all the promise, hope and OUTCOME of a nation that, once it agrees to extension of rights and agrees to be a modern pluralistic society, CAN get on iwth it.

What a pity.

5. CSTAR - 5 December 2006

I suppose this is a logical step in the systematic destruction of the public place in America, ensuring a safe, terror-free sanitized environment if you can afford it. If you can’t, the message is take refuge in some church basement and hear the Gospel or eat dogfood. To insure this sanitized environment, big cars, big houses in which to fit giant Xmas trees. Supersized America. If you permit me some adoloscent obscenity (only useful thing I learned from my Spanish Jesuits), as of yet no way to succesfully supersize penises. Although one should note that such artifacts are not necessary for rape. Rape away with what you’ve got.

6. marisacat - 5 December 2006

CSTAR Quite succinct.. you rape with the equipment you’ve got – not the equipment you wish you had.

I am poking around and seeing howclose Gates was to Casey. Lordy. Tight as bugs in a canonical rug… and casey was a BIG BIG Cahtolic. I am assuming Gates is Catholic as well – Casey trusted him on all fronts, to write speeches, write his testimony, in all matters Gates was his right hand man…. LOL I am just opposed to the cabal when it drips iwth eclesiastical holy water…

Bill Casey relied, for all sorts of testimony and briefings and talks that he gave, on Bob Gates. Bob Gates wrote all of his major speeches. He wrote some of his Op-Ed articles, and he wrote all of his testimony. And, of course, there were backdated findings. There were denials of information that was widely known. Bob Gates was told by his deputy about sensitive intercepts involving how we were arming Iraq, how we were getting aid, some of it from the Israeli inventories, to Iran, how we were supplying the Contras with funds that were the profits of these arms sales to Iran. So, Bob Gates and Bill Casey worked extremely closely on all of these matters, and Casey really relied on Bob Gates.

And Bob Gates has always been really a political windsock in these matters in serving the interest of his masters. That’s the way he operated at the National Security Council, and that’s the way he operated at the CIA. And I remember in 1987, he was admonished severely by George Shultz, the Secretary of State at the time, and then in 1989 by James Baker, the Secretary of State at the time, because he was undercutting American policy in trying to serve the interest of the National Security at a time when American policy was changing.

And this on Casey from Abolish the CIA by Chalmers Johnson:

William Casey, the CIA’s director from January 1981 to January 1987, was a Catholic Knight of Malta educated by Jesuits.

Statues of the Virgin Mary filled his mansion, called “Maryknoll,” on Long Island. He attended mass daily and urged Christianity on anyone who asked his advice. Once settled as CIA director under Reagan, he began to funnel covert action funds through the Catholic Church to anti-Communists in Poland and Central America, sometimes in violation of American law.

He believed fervently that by increasing the Catholic Church’s reach and power he could contain Communism’s advance, or reverse it. From Casey’s convictions grew the most important U.S. foreign policies of the 1980s – support for an international anti-Soviet crusade in Afghanistan and sponsorship of state terrorism in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

7. CSTAR - 5 December 2006

From Kucinich, on Huffington Post here Any proposal for “fixing Iraq” without this is worthless (I want to say “immoral”)

4. The United States must agree to pay for what we destroyed. An Iraq reconstruction fund, monitored by the UN in cooperation with the Iraqi government, must be annually replenished to replace destroyed infrastructure. The United States must pay reparations to the families of innocent Iraqi civilian noncombatants killed and injured in the conflict. The United States must renounce all privatization schemes in Iraq. It is illegal under both the Geneva and the Hague Conventions for any nation to invade another nation, seize its assets, and sell those assets. The Iraqi people, and the Iraqi people alone must have the right to determine the future of their country’s resources. All privatization agreements must be subject to review by a special Iraqi assets board set up by the UN with the cooperation of the government of Iraq.

However, I am a little skeptical of the UN as reparations administrator being able to function independently from US meddling, but I’m not sure I can think of anything better.

8. marisacat - 5 December 2006

agree and agree… iirc the McGovern / Polk plan calls for both acknowledging what we did and reparations.

I am not hopeful tho. We never paid anything as a national reparation to Vietnam as I understand it, tho lots of personal “friendship” missions have occurred…

I learned recently there was a movement around the turn of the century – as in 1899/1900 – to set up some small, tiny, miniscule pension for the living former slaves… Not descendants or dependants, but actual living former slaves… and it. just. kept. getting. lost, tho it apparently did reach discussion level in congress….

9. TustonDAZ - 5 December 2006

Modern American Racism, while brutal in the ghetto, the barrio and overseas, is such a genteel matter in the eastern salons of power; why not engage in debate on ,”Reparations”? how nobel we are, how novel!

…with such paltry pantomines public indigestion is alleved…

Bromides imbibed, the public’s obscene hunger for scapegoats, for more greasy barbecue for mesquite flavored long porkhas always commanded the attention of those who would serve such cruelty

When it comes to illegal immigration, no border, no problem. Not for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Even though his Central Arizona county doesn’t border Mexico, the man who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff” thrust himself into the lead in aggressively fighting illegal immigration last spring.
In March, Arpaio sent a posse of sheriff’s deputies and volunteers out to arrest illegal immigrants and smugglers under a new state law that makes smuggling a felony. Using an interpretation from Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas — that the law can be applied to the smuggled illegal entrants themselves — the deputies have made 351 arrests so far, Arpaio said. Two people have been convicted, but the interpretation is being challenged in courts.
snipThe explanations that sheriffs need more resources or that immigration is a federal problem hold little weight with Arpaio, who questions why his colleagues have failed to enforce the new state law. Last week he sent 200 inmates out to pick up trash left in the desert by illegal immigrants. He is currently in negotiations to get as many as 200 deputies cross-certified by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“When I get my deputies cross-certified, I guarantee you that these illegals, whether they are in a bar drinking or whatever, they are going to be shook,” Arpaio said. “They are going to be afraid, because they see that black and gold car coming by thinking they are going to be arrested.”

Joe Arpaio is human cockroach….

10. marisacat - 5 December 2006

ugh. I almost did not go to read this… and sure did not bother with the 1252 comments LOL.


11. marisacat - 5 December 2006

Oh that Arpaio is a brute. And media so fell in love iwth him, years ago…

12. bayprairie - 6 December 2006

‘We Can’t Afford to Leave’

As the debate over Iraq intensifies, leading Democrat Silvestre Reyes is calling for the deployment of more U.S. troops.

Dec. 5. 2006 – In a surprise twist in the debate over Iraq, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, the soon-to-be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he wants to see an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops as part of a stepped up effort to “dismantle the militias.”

am i really supposed to act surprised?

13. marisacat - 6 December 2006

Might as well just laugh… and then laugh some more.

I also saw the array of the group of senators and reps who are working away madly on lobbying and ethics issues. Cspan at some point today.

Same old same old. Shays, Meehan, McCain, Lieberman, Collins, Feingold (fine a good guy who does his job, I am tired of being thankful) and McCain actually said that the working group needs help, the job is tough and they need editorials and all sorts of support to convince the American people.

I am not kidding.


14. raincat100 - 6 December 2006

i’ll bet the comments will be interesting in this diary by thereisnospoon:


i’ve already read one suggestion that he/she get their own blog.

15. marisacat - 6 December 2006

LOL thanks for the link… off to read.

But I thought Boyz loved thereisnospoon… despite all that “comunists vote Democratic”.


16. marisacat - 6 December 2006

hmm. That is a stupid ugly diary… and once again I find myself wondering what the Boyz do and say offline.

A LOT uglier is my guess.

They really need ot run disclaimers when they have political/candidate consulting businesses, as thereisnospoon does with Bondad and Bowers… and when they are taking pay and blogging. Or working a campaign and blogging.

They so dislike running disclaimers that are VISIBLE.

but they love to drool rant. And be abusive and Holier than Thou.

Thugs. Plain old style Dem party thugs.

17. raincat100 - 6 December 2006

yeah, it is all very tiring. still not helping with the insomnia though.

18. marisacat - 6 December 2006

hahah,,, insomnia… I am working on a big grocery list online. Making use of insomnia…;)

19. CSTAR - 6 December 2006

That diary reads like one of those promotional letters for a magazine, a financial service or a course … or a university dean asking for money. Lot’s of hyperbole, underlining, bold face. America is $8,644,540,954,988.12 in debt as I type this.

20. marisacat - 6 December 2006

well I think that thereisnospoon originally had some sort of promotional, ad, data extraction business… then, it seems, decided he could affect politics. Or advise politicians. Or blubber on blogs.


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