President Obama to Nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan for Supreme Court Vacancy


According to the New York Times and MSNBC, President Barack Obama will nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan will be nominated for the Supreme Court vacancy.  If confirmed, she will replace Justice John Paul Stevens. 

According to Wikipedia,com:

Elena Kagan (pronounced /ˈkeɪɡən/),[2] born April 28, 1960[1]) is Solicitor General of the United States. She is the first woman to hold that office, having been nominated by President Barack Obama on January 26, 2009, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 19, 2009. Kagan was formerly dean of Harvard Law School and Charles Hamilton Houston Professor of Law at Harvard University. She was previously a professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School. She served as Associate White House Counsel under President Bill Clinton. It has been reported by MSNBC and the New York Times that Kagan will be nominated to be the next U.S. Supreme Court justice, replacing John Paul Stevens, by President Obama on May 10, 2010.[3][4] If nominated and confirmed, she would become the fourth female Supreme Court justice in United States history and third on the court’s current bench. She would also be the eighth Jewish justice and the third on the current bench.

Dodd pledges hearings into market plunge

Putting His Money Where is Mouth Is
Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is

According to Politico:

Sen. Chris Dodd (D- Conn.) pledged Sunday that Congress will hold multiple hearings “right away” to explore how computerized trading allowed the markets to plunge suddenly this week.

“We need some answers pretty quickly on this issue,” the chairman of the Banking Committee said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

He said the Securities and Exchange Commission needs to “step up very quickly and let us know what happened here and what steps need to be taken.”

“I don’t think you need legislation in this area, my guess is,” Dodd said. “You need the regulators to step up and make sure that this high frequency trading, this flash trading that’s going on…that clearly is something we ought to take a look at.”

He appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking member on the Banking committee. Shelby seemed to agree with each of Dodd’s points on the flash trading issue.

“I believe what’s really happened is the technology has gotten ahead of the regulators, and the regulators have got to get ahead of the technology,” Shelby said. “That’s going to be a big challenge down the road. Otherwise we could have more of this.”

Dodd said he asked Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the chairman of the relevant subcommittee, to spearhead the Senate’s examination.

Dodd also sought to use the bizarre market behavior as another reason why Congress must pass regulatory reform next week, which he said will create an “early warning system.”

“We’re trying to deal with systemic risk,” he said. “We need to get in place our bill, have the president sign it, so we have the tools to protect our economy from these kinds of events

Probably no one is more hell bent on leaving office with financial reform finalized and enacted into law  than Senator Chris Dodd.  Early on Dodd declined taking over Senator Kennedy’s committees so he could aggressively work towards finance reform.  The bizarre freefall in the market on Wednesday has not been fully explained yet.  At first finance experts thought it was the riots in Greece.  Then they attributed the fall to human error, thinking someone had typed on a B (billion) instead of M (million).  Then came the computer glitch theory.  So  far no definitive reason has been given for the Dow’s  drop in 1000 points.  It regained more than600 of those points 15 minutes later.  However, it was one hell of a drop that set off national panic and the markets have not yet recovered. 

Chris Dodd is determinted to seek reasons and to fix the situation so it can’t happen again.    Meanwhile, some of the pundits are advising selling equities.  No one is saying where people should put their investments, however.  Those with 401ks simply don’t have that many options open to them, as a rule. 

It is time for the naysayers, may of whom simply don’t have the knowledge to make complex financial recommendations, to shut up.  It is time to put partisan politics aside, for the good of us all.  Macro-economics is a complicated subject and one that after a point, lends itself simply to theory.  Let’s bring in all the experts and disregard those who are experts only in their own minds.

Radio Interview with Greg and Caller Elena 5/8/10

Greg Letiecq interviews with ‘Sarge’ on the Jeff Fargas Show. Sarge is out in Arizona.

The show takes callers and Elena calls to throw in the other side of the story.

The podcast will appear. It takes about a minute. You will want to chose the May 8 if it isn’t chosen for you.

Sorry folks, it isn’t pretty but I got it here…sort of.


Bristol Palin Spotted Clubbing


Bristol Palin went clubbing Wednesday night, according to  So what’s the big deal, other than she was under-age? 

Oh Bristol, don’t you know by now that someone is always watching?

Miss Palin may have spent Wednesday morning celebrating the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy — but she spent Wednesday evening fretting that her cover would be blown at NYC hot spot 1Oak.

“Bristol was there around 1 a.m. with friends,” a partygoer says. “She was trying to have fun, but she looked like she was terrified that people would recognize her and start gawking. It seems like she couldn’t even relax.”  A second denizen of the club backed up the sighting.

We can’t blame Bristol for being nervous: After spending all day at events like “The Harsh Truth: Teen Moms Tell All” — and tirelessly promoting her new good-girl image — showing up at a 21-and-over venue may not have been the best idea.

The Palins are making a huge mistake trotting out Bristol to be the poster child for abstinence-only pregnancy prevention programs.  In the first place, its horribly hypocritical.  A classic case of closing the barn door after the horse is out of the barn.  Bristol Palin seems like a nice enough kid.  She has a year old child, she is continuing her education.  She was involved with a guy who should be the poster boy for who you want your daughter to stay away from.  Her mother is now a millionaire politician turned author ex-governor, if having a ghost writer counts. 

If we are to keep politicos kids as sacred cows, and I believe they are, then politico’s kids should not take public positions.  Bristol Palin has a job to do.  She needs to enjoy her youth at the same time she is raising her child.  That’s not an easy task.  She should not be expected to go out there and tell all the other kids to not have sex.  My mother’s Day wish for Young Ms. Palin is that she toss aside politics and get on with the difficult task ahead of her which would be being a kid while raising a kid.  It almost feels like she is having to serve penance because she had a kid.  Bristol Palin owes none of us any apologies if she will just be herself.

[bold mine for those too lazy to read the post.]

The Pill Turns 50

What better tribute to mothers than a birthday party for The Pill. The Pill has probably been one of the top 5 inventions of the last century that has altered our society the most.

In Sunday’s Washington Post, columnist Elaine Tyler May celebrates The Pill:

Forget the single girl and the sexual revolution. The pill was not anti-mother; it was for mothers. And it changed motherhood more than it changed anything else. Its great accomplishment was not in preventing motherhood, but in making it better by allowing women to have children on their own terms.

A glance at history tells us that  up through the late 19th  century, nearly all women seemed to have endless children. My own grandfather was one of 9. These weren’t country people. Sure, they had rural roots but they weren’t having children to work the farm. They had children because they didn’t know how to not have children. Endless childbirth robbed women of their health and often their lives.  My own great grandmother was a victim. It’s impossible to take a cursory walk through a 19th century cemetery without noticing the number of untimely deaths of women in their child-bearing years. 

Women did a little better as they moved through the 20th century toward 1960, when the FDA approved the use of THE Pill for contraceptive purposes. Barrier methods of contraception as well as some chemical products improved a woman’s chanced of preventing unwanted pregnancy. However, it wasn’t until 1960 that The Pill really altered the way American couples married and had families.

The Pill wasn’t without great controversy. Even FDA approval was not easy to come by. There were moral and religious objections, social objections, and a fear that sexual behavior would somehow alter our sexual mores forever. Perhaps it did. However, there is something very liberating about being able to control one’s own reproduction.  It is almost frightening to realize the Griswald vs. Connecticut wasn’t decided until 1965, making contraception of any kind a right of privacy.  Griswold guaranteed that states could not prevent the use of contraception.  Griswold isn’t 50 yet. 


The Griswold Case 

The pill: Making motherhood better for 50 years

From the Washington Post: