Clarence Thomas can’t figure out forms, SCOTUS hypocrisy, Beck’s ratings plunge and other ICYMI clicks

So … if a guy can’t figure out how to properly fill out his federal disclosure forms, does he really belong on the Supreme Court …?

That question may be rattling around inside the heads of Clarence Thomas critics, after he amended 20 long years of such forms to finally report his wife’s income (mostly from the Heritage Foundation.) Did I mention his wife’s current income comes from being a tea party radical? That hopefully will make it onto the next filing form, provided someone’s around to explain the instrux to poor Clarence. Good times…

Meanwhile, the yin to Clarence’s yang, and the guy he cribs his decisions from, Tony Scalia, delighted tea party congressmen with his glib antics under the gaze of Michelle Bachman today. Cameras not allowed, of course.

And Ms. Bachman will get her chance to delight America when she gives the official Tea Party Express response to the State of the Union by the president (and the officially doomed response by budget-busting Social Security slayer Paul Ryan)… A little enthusiasm, please??? Anyway, here’s hoping she doesn’t frame her response as a “letter to Abe Lincoln,” like a certain former TPE bigwig did last year

Bachman has already issued a tantalizing preview of her message tomorrow: her very own budget! Red ink and school children beware …

Calmate: President Obama is not going to call for cutting Social Security or raising the retirement age in the SOTU.

Chris Christie’s big time GOP dis?

BTW which SCOTUS members will skip the speech? And if the answer is “all the conservative ones,” isn’t that kind of a disaster for the Court’s image? A damning clip from the Slate article:

Finally, some of the same justices who decline to attend what Scalia recently decried as the “juvenile spectacle” that is the State of the Union, have shown themselves all too willing to appear in other settings where ideological hectoring is not just part of the program but seemingly the entire objective. Scalia and several of his colleagues routinely attend the Red Mass, which occurs every fall. And if the State of the Union is too embarrassingly political and partisan to endure, how is teaching a constitution class for the Tea Party Caucus the day before any less so? Isn’t it preferable for a member of the Supreme Court to attend openly partisan events that are televised—and to do so en masse—than to attend those that happen in secret? If anything is likely to harm the prestige of the court, it’s this bizarre project of selective invisibility on which some of the justices have set themselves.

Also from Slate: Let Rahm Run! (I concur…)

Are Wall Street prosecutions coming? Tick-tock…!

Obama’s climate change chief is leaving.

So here’s a shocker: Bush aides broke the law by twisting their offices to political ends.

Fascinating data point from this John Avlon piece on Keith Olbermann, Glenn Beck, and the apparently resurgent center:

Here’s a snapshot side-by-side comparison of their slide: On January 20th of last year, Olbermann reached an estimated 251,000 people aged 25-to-54 at 8 p.m., according to data kept by TVNewser.com. Exactly one year later, this past Thursday, he reached only 198,000—a decline of nearly 20 percent.

Beck’s collapse was even steeper over the same period. On January 20th of 2010, he was flying high at a point of maximum influence coincident with Tea Party enthusiasm, reaching 965,000 in the 24-to-55 demographic. On 1/20/11, Beck reached roughly one-third that number at 5 p.m.—only 377,000.

Olbermann’s 20 percent drop versus a more tha 60 percent drop for Beck? Pretty serious on the Fox side, and proof that you just can’t maintain that level of intense crazy forever. (Also at The Beast, Howard Kurtz attempts to explain Olby’s exit. Telling para re Keith’s famous clashes with Phil Griffin:

Olbermann was acutely aware that his maneuvering room might shrink with the more buttoned-down executives at Comcast set to take over NBC this week. And for Griffin, the overriding question was whether to keep fighting the same battles or bet the network’s future on the liberal hosts he hired in Olbermann’s wake: Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell.

Arizona update: Loughner pleads not guilty.

Arizona’s never-fails-to-top-herself governor seeks new, creative ways to bounce her state’s poor off of Medicaid. (Can workhouses be far behind???)

George Allen says “macaca” isn’t racial — so maybe he should head over to his mother’s old haunts in North Africa and call somebody black that name and see what happens!

Richard Cohen tells the truth: the Republican party has given itself over to the heebie-jeebie crowd, and there’s no turning back.

Case in point: Rick Santorum’s back. James Taranto: your witness.

Bill Graham spells out his regrets (politics among them…)

Last but not least: who put the grand piano on the sandbar??

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2 Responses to Clarence Thomas can’t figure out forms, SCOTUS hypocrisy, Beck’s ratings plunge and other ICYMI clicks

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