I imagine that the Obama administration is busily judge-shopping even as we speak, and will find some compliant fellow or lady to knock down the somewhat passive-aggressive (delayed, pending Obama judge-shopping) ruling yesterday against the mass collection of phone records of United States persons.
Because, let's remember what happened when another federal judge issued her own preliminary injunction last year which knocked down the supreme right of Temp Emp Obama to detain anyone, anywhere without benefit of charge or trial.
He went judge-shopping. And so, the National Defense Authorization Act still stands as a monument to totalitarianism. Both right wings of the Money Party are ready and willing to renew it once again during this joyous holiday season when nobody is paying much attention. Obama will again robo-sign it into law from the safe distance of his Hawaii vacation abode.
Let's remember when still another judge ruled against the illegal stop and frisk campaign of departing NYC billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He went judge-shopping. Not only was her ruling overturned, but Judge Shira Sheindlin was kicked off the whole case by a three-judge state appellate panel.
And then there was the case of Judge Jed Rakoff, who threw out a cozy mortgage fraud settlement between Citigroup and the SEC, and demanded that banksters be held criminally accountable. And predictably, Rakoff soon joined the ranks of the bench-slapped. But sweet vindication does abide, because he just penned a scathing indictment of the Obama administration's coziness with the malefactors of great wealth.
We still have the First Amendment. So far.
I'm sure there are plenty of other similar cases out there in the great marketplace known as the American Judicial System. A long time ago, I got a parking ticket and decided to fight it in court because the return envelope requesting my ten bucks (I told you it was a long time ago!) gave no instructions about how to fight it in court. Not only did the late great Newburgh City Judge Albert S. MacDowell throw out my ticket, he declared the whole municipal parking ticket system unconstitutional because it denied due process. And guess what? A couple of years later, he was removed from the bench on grounds of mental instability and insulting lawyers.
So the handwriting is probably on the wall for Richard J. Leon, the judge who slapped down the NSA and the president in public yesterday. The whisper campaign is already beginning. Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times wrote a fun personality profile, characterizing him as a feisty old coot representing a "thorn in the side" of the government:
With his use of exclamation points (“How utterly disappointing!” he once wrote, excoriating the Food and Drug Administration) and cultural references (he mentioned the Beatles and Ringo Starr in a footnote in Monday’s ruling), Judge Leon does not seem bound by judicial sobriety.And how about his metaphors, "so devastating to the government?" Uh-oh. The handwriting's not only on the wall, it's permanently engraved. The inevitable bench-slap is coming. If not from the Supreme Court, then from some Supremely Secret Court which has probably already declared the Fourth Amendment itself unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, Temp Emp Obama is meeting with telecom and Internet CEOs today. Marcy Wheeler thinks The One will try mightily to divide, conquer, and co-opt them into compliance for the Greater Good of the Big Money Deep State. Sounds about right to me.
David Brooks looked in the mirror and actually wrote a pretty amusing takedown of that sleazy group of marketing pros calling themselves "Thought Leaders." My comment:
I have to admit that this column about thought leaders initially gave me brain freeze. Then I realized my mind had gone blank because the first time I'd heard this Orwellian term, it was in reference to Lloyd Blankfein.
This past fall, there was a slight uproar when NBC dubbed Blankfein a Thought Leader for its Education Nation forum. Actual educators were incensed that the CEO of a too big to fail or jail bank would have anything constructive at all to say about educating kids.
Because, besides being coated with Teflon, Blankfein's other claim to fame had been acting as a spokesman for the billionaire deficit hawk cult called Fix the Debt. That is the group dedicated to the creative destruction of the New Deal. He was going on TV telling us we'd better lower our expectations about collecting Social Security and start tightening our belts for his future. He was a big cheerleader for the Sequester, which kicked 57,000 kids out of Head Start.
Blankfein also spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative as a Thought Leader, later paying Hillary Clinton several hundred thousand dollars for her own thoughtful and leaderly assurances that their fears of a populist uprising were merely bad thoughts in their thoughtful little heads.
Oh, and speaking of Orwell -- the term "thought leader" was invented by PR guru Joel Kurtzman when he worked for Booz Allen Hamilton. That outfit, you may remember, is the NSA contractor that once employed a fine and thoughtful patriot named Edward Snowden.