Wednesday, June 30, 2010

30 June 2010: Today's Democracy Now!

At Confirmation Hearings, Kagan Faces Questioning on Political Leanings, Gun Ownership, Military Recruiting, and Abortion
The Senate Judiciary Committee will continue questioning Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan today after she mounted a spirited defense against her critics Tuesday. Fifteen years ago, Kagan called the Supreme Court confirmation process "a vapid and hollow charade" where nominees simply offer a "repetition of platitudes." Although many noted that Kagan did not significantly depart from this script, her confirmation did have a few heated as well as light moments in exchanges with Senators from both sides of the aisle. We play excerpts, and get commentary from Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree, who has known Kagan for 25 years and serves as special counsel to President Obama.

Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree on "The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America"
The Cambridge Police Department is scheduled to release the results today of an independent review of the arrest of leading African American Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. by a white police officer last year. The incident made national headlines and sparked a national debate on race relations that reached all the way to the White House. Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree acted as counsel to professor Gates throughout the incident, which he documents along with other incidents of racial profiling in his new book, "The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America."

From Ku Klux Klan Member to Iraq War Opponent and Obama Supporter, Late Sen. Robert Byrd Remembered for "Principle and Honor"
Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia will lie in state today following his death at the age of ninety-two. Elected in 1958, Byrd served an unprecedented nine terms in the US Senate. In the 1940s, Byrd was a prominent member of Ku Klux Klan in West Virginia, rising to the position of "exalted cyclops." He opposed the desegregation of the US military and filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Byrd would later apologize, saying his association with the Klan was a sad mistake. In 2008, he endorsed President Obama for president. In 2003, he was a leading critic of President Bush’s push to invade Iraq. Charles Ogletree says: "We don’t judge people by how they were born but how they lived their life, and here is a man who in the long-term was a giant and a champion."

Headlines

Kagan Faces Opening Day of Questioning at Confirmation Hearings
Petraeus Vows to Review Restrictions on U.S. Attacks in Afghanistan
Taliban Fighters Attack NATO Base
Claim: U.S. Ambassador Threatens Afghan Attorney General With Dismissal
Kerry, Lieberman Offer to Further Weaken Climate Bill
Dems Remove $17.9B Bank Tax from Financial Overhaul
BP, Coast Guard Sued for Burning Endangered Sea Turtles
Putin Criticizes U.S. Arrests of Alleged Russian Spies
Israeli FM: No Palestinian State By 2012
Supreme Court Orders New Hearing in Siegelman Case
Survey: Majority of Americans Hit by Recession
Olympia Peace Activist Wins $400,000 in Damages for Gov’t Surveillance


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