Nephew of Justice Thomas Tased and Beaten

From Raw Story:

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is reportedly "outraged" after security guards at a New Orleans-area hospital were accused of punching and tasing his epileptic nephew, a news report states.

Derek Thomas was admitted to West Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, Thursday, after a possible suicide attempt, reports ABC affiliate WGNO.

When the Supreme Court justice's nephew refused to put on a hospital gown and said he wanted to leave the hospital, doctors ordered security to restrain him.

Security guards "punched him in his lip, pulled out more than a fistful of his dreadlocks and tasered him to restrain him," a statement from Thomas' family said.

Best wishes to the Thomas family and I hope his nephew, who suffered massive epileptic seizures after the incident, will be ok. The ABC video report below the fold.

Open Thread - Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Retiring

What has been speculated on by many for a while now is official:

Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, leader of the liberal wing of the Supreme Court, announced on Friday that he would retire at the end of this term, setting up a confirmation battle over his replacement that is sure to dominate the political scene this summer.

Many knew this was probably coming sooner or later since Justice Stevens had not hired on a full staff. a typical sign of a Justice that is retiring. Consider this a speculation thread on whom will be nominated - because you know that you want to - and an Open Thread. [update] President Obama is about to go live at 1:45 p.m. NOW to comment on the WV mine tragedy, and Justice Stevens’ retirement. Video below the fold.

Rumors of Roberts Stepping Down from SCOTUS?

From ctblogger I caught a cross your fingers and hope it is true comment linking to this story:

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Considering Stepping Down

John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

, is seriously considering stepping down from the nation’s highest court for personal reasons, has learned exclusively.

Absolutely no sources in the story... Zip. Zero. Nada. But imagine the SCOTUS being taken out of the screwardship of that far right wing activist judges' corporate influenced rule?

[update - CM1] Linkbait? Radaronline updated with:

Update: has obtained new information that Justice Roberts will NOT resign. The justice will be staying on the bench.

Open Thread - Ridiculously Shrill Republicans on Reconciliation

The GOP is in full freak out mode because the Democratic party is going to use the budgetary process of reconciliation. But they are only harping on this because it is the Democratic party using reconciliation, and using it to fix healthcare if they do it right, and not the Republicans that use reconciliation far more often and to do things like mess the budget up by drowning the nation in debts with their Ronnie Reagan trickle-down voodoo tax cuts for the uber rich.

The GOP tried THE BIG LIE about reconciliation being the "Nuclear Option" in order to muddy the waters of the debate. But the little fact that the "Nuclear Option" was a Republican attempt to eliminate the filibuster altogether so they could ram through far right wing activist judges was just a little too fresh in everyone's memory and the fact reconciliation is a simple budget fix more often used by Republicans is clearly apparent. And as hard as it would be to believe that there were even more right wing extremist judges than the five GOP SCOTUS activist judges that handed election funding over to foreign owned corporations and their lobbyists recently, and as much as Bush's Alito and Roberts appointments deserved to be Borked
back to the typically extremist torture loving Federalist Society rocks these criminals crawl out from under, none of that had anything to do with budgetary issues and reconciliation as Healthcare Reform does.

More often used by the GOP than the Democratic party, as well. Though reconciliation is used to get around filibusters it has nothing to do with going nuclear on political appointees by completely eliminating the filibuster. Not even the Heritage Foundation can coherently make an argument for this stupidity.

A small part of Healthcare Reform is a simple budgetary issue and it will pass through reconciliation. Get over it.

While in the majority the GOP abused reconciliation to kick the poor and middle class just as the GOP have always abused the filibuster to kick Americans when they were in the minority. Just look at what Bunning was doing to the unemployed and Medicare with his recent filibuster.

The GOP claimed reconciliation should never be used for Healthcare Reform. Even though Republicans used reconciliation for Healthcare Reform often and the GOP used it to cut things like Medicare and Medicaid.

Reconciliation Usage – Republicans 14, Democrats 5

The Republicans will act as though they have never used reconciliation to get what they wanted when they could not get past the Democratic minority. Which, of course, is complete hogwash.

Reconciliation have been used 22 times, 19 times it has not received a presidential veto (reconciliation fun fact, President Clinton is the only president to have vetoed a reconciliation bill). Of those 19 times, can you guess which party was in control of the United States Senate for 14 of them? I will give you three guesses but you will only need one. That is
right, the Republican Party.

The Brookings Institution
was kind enough to put together a list of the bills that were passed using reconciliation, you can find it here. Here is a look at the top ten Republican usages:

1981 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act: This act made major spending cuts into social programs including welfare and food stamps.

1982 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act: This act reauthorized the welfare and food stamps cuts as well as making changes to the federal pay grades.

1985 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act: This act actually did something good, it created the COBRA program. While COBRA is a often not affordable it is a good idea. And look at that, the Republicans where the ones that used reconciliation to create it.

Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act: This is the act that ended welfare. Enough said.

Balanced Budget Act of 1997:
This act was the first step of the Clinton Administration to balance the budget. It also included the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997: Clinton era tax cuts that were passed by the Republicans in the Senate using reconciliation.

Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001: President Bush’s first round of tax cuts for the wealthy.

Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003: President Bush’s second round of tax cuts for the wealthy.

Deficit Reduction Act of 2005: Made cuts to Medicaid and Medicare spending, as well as student loan programs.

Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005: Extended Bush Administration tax cuts including cuts on capital gains. It also included a temporary alternative minimum tax fix.

As you can see Republicans have not been shy about using this method of passing bills that could not beat a 60 vote threshold. They are not even consistent in their objections about creating health care programs as both COBRA and CHIP (not to be confused with SCHIP, which is a state program and created by Democrats) were created under their use of reconciliation.

This is a rule the Senate put in place and is allowed to use or abuse it just like the filibuster.

Now? Republicans want to complain about the Parliamentarian because they say he will side with Harry Reid when it comes to deciding what is and what is not allowed to go through reconciliation.

Did I mention that the Parliamentarian the GOP is complaining about was a Bush hire? Even More even shriller Republicans Below The Fold...

Open Thread - How To Edition

You have to love the dry humor in this YouTube documenting how the media does (or doesn't do) its job these days:

Charlie Brooker - How To Report The News

More How To Open Thread stuff form fitted below the fold.

SCOTUS decision: An executive order is the appropriate short term response

The horror of what some right wing activist Supreme Court judges just did to the Consitution hasn't yet sunk in to the nations collective conciousness yet and it is pretty clear that the ramifications of this outrageous ruling are not yet apparent to everyone. So let me lay it out for you:

The Supreme Court just ruled that foreign nations can control our electoral process. That's right, what those five judges just did was to commit treason.

A Challenging Hypothetical SCOTUS Scenario For The Right

Here's a hypothetical question for our "family values" friends among the GOP and "Christian" right:

An elderly, gay Latina nun is selected for SCOTUS, but would have to close the late-term abortion clinic she runs out of the ACLU back offices in Nebraska if she accepts; reports indicate that she actually doesn't mind the work at the heavily fortified clinic, saying that it "reminds her of home, when she was growing up as the love child of Che Guevara and Jane Fonda."  The clinic, funded by ACORN in partnership with Move-On and a grant from the Soros Foundation, has been in operation for fifteen years.

The question: Should she accept the nomination, or continue to operate the clinic?

Please answer in complete sentences in comments below.

Hat-tip to Hnglkjss and Peskydang of Delphi Forums.

Supreme Court Stops Ohio GOP Voter Suppression Effort

Via the AP, the Supreme Court kicks the voting suppression efforts of Republicans where it counts... Out of court:

The Supreme Court is siding with Ohio's top elections official in a dispute with the state Republican Party over voter registrations.

The justices on Friday overruled a federal appeals court that had ordered Ohio's top elections official to do more to help counties verify voter eligibility.

Across the nation the GOP is trying to suppress newly registered voters' rights. Because a very few people turned in ridiculous voter registration cards the GOP has been trying to use it as an excuse to boot as many of the millions of newly registered voters from voter lists.

Republicans screech about "Mickey Mouse and Acorn!"

I say...