Because of his position, disposition and bipartisan popularity, Judge Garland has been on Mr. Obama’s shortlist of potential nominees for years. In 2010, when Mr. Obama interviewed him for the slot that he instead gave to Justice Elena Kagan, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, said publicly that he had urged Mr. Obama to nominate Judge Garland as “a consensus nominee” who would win Senate confirmation.

Obama to Nominate Merrick Garland to Supreme Court – The New York Times

Now the ball is in the Senate’s hands. I’m afraid that the GOP is dysfunctional and contrarian enough not to debate and confirm Mr. Garland, just out of spite. This might get messy, just like the race for the presidency.

All Powerful – Achieving Nothing

Parallel in not-so-unexpected-places: The more I think about it, a particular brand of “Gamergate” criticism of Anita Sarkeesian is like a particular brand of TeaParty/right-wing criticism of Obama: Sarkeesian is completely useless and can do nothing, but has the absolute power to dictate, censor the course of the massive, mainstream gaming industry to a Stalinist degree. 

Yeah, that makes sense.

O’Reilly To Valerie Jarrett: Get ‘Gangsta Rappers’ To ‘Knock It Off’

Last night I watched a few of The O’Reilly Factor parodies SNL did over the last decade. These days, he’s increasingly turning into his own caricature. The story on TPM linked above could be the pitch for a SNL skit.

Sure, at-risk teenagers certainly watch The Factor for live-changing moral guidance. The work the My Brother’s Keeper initiative is about to do and that O’Reilly rails against – urging stronger efforts to create more opportunities for young minority men and to improve conditions that keep them impoverished and imprisoned in disproportionate numbers” – is just not as fundamentally urgent as turning your cap in the proper direction. Why work at structural issues when the real foundation of crime and misery is hat fashion. If only Jay would wear his cap properly.

O’Reilly To Valerie Jarrett: Get ‘Gangsta Rappers’ To ‘Knock It Off’

This song is copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.

Notice Woody Guthrie wrote in at least one of his songbooks. I found it in the comments to a This Land Is Your Land tab, the song the saddly now late great Pete Seeger popularized further, for example singing it at President Obama’s inauguration, 

The other day, I wrote about still not being sure what Trayvon Martin was supposed to do that night in Florida, when a strange man who turned out to have a gun was following him. A number of commenters asked why he couldn’t have just called 911. And said what? I am a young black man, walking through a gated community, and someone seems to think I don’t belong? Would they have sent a squad car, or told him to stay inside and be less visible—less of a citizen? Maybe that would have led to a sequence of events that kept him alive (or maybe not), but, as Obama recognized, it is not good enough for our country.

Some commentators asked, afterward, if Obama was putting himself in the middle of a case where he didn’t belong. But his voice does belong in it, as many more voices do. Messages about not belonging have haunted this case from the beginning. When the police found Trayvon Martin’s dead body, they at first accepted not only that he didn’t belong in the neighborhood but that he didn’t belong anywhere, or with anyone; his parents had to come looking for him the next day, after an night of uncertainty, only to be pointed to his body. But he belonged anywhere in America, as the teen-ager he was and the adult he could have been

Divisive Twitter (Sigh)

As much as I (sometimes) enjoy public shaming lists, I wonder whether it does more harm than good to further amplify the voice of every fringe voice with a twitter account. Case in point, the responses to Obama’s speech today.

Also, this: 

“You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” Obama said during an unannounced appearance at the White House press briefing. “And when you think about why in the African-American community at least there is a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away. There are very few African-American in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me.

"There are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars,” he continued. “That happens to me, at least before I was a senator.There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.”