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Igor Bobic

Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Igor

The Repubican National Committee (RNC) released a web ad earlier this week making it appear that U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, the lawyer who argued that President Obama's health care law should be upheld, gave a worse presentation than he actually did. Bloomberg News reviewed the transcript, and found the RNC altered the audio of the oral arguments to present Verrilli's argument as significantly more halting.

In light of that, Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog.com makes an excellent point. The RNC's use and distortion of the audio could actually make the Supreme Court less transparant by delaying such releases in the future for a longer period of time, and perhaps killing any chance that the Court allow cameras during proceedings:

It probably also sets back the effort to get the Court to become more transparent.  As Amy pointed out to me, the Justices now have before them a perfect illustration of the gross distortion that can instantly be made of recordings of their proceedings.  What is to stop the same misleading stunt being pulled with the Justices’ own oral argument questions and comments?  Nothing at all.  The Court made a special exception in releasing the oral argument tape for the health care arguments so promptly, and it probably will hesitate before doing so again.  If there were any chance that the Justices would permit cameras in the Court, I do not see happening now.

 

Jose Hernandez (D), who is looking to unseat Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), has released a video defending his claim that he is in fact an astronaut. A Sacramento law firm asked a judge to block describing himself as such because he left NASA.

The video simply shows Hernandez working in space, followed by large text: "Jose Hernandez is an astronaut."

Watch the video:

(h/t politicalwire)

Some of the first reaction is in following the third and final day of Supreme Court oral arguments on President Obama's health care law - primarily on the issues of severability and Medicaid. According to the AP, at least five justices seemed receptive to letting the entire law stand should they rule the mandate unconstitutional:

In their questions, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg - and even conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia - seemed open to the idea that the wide-ranging law contains provisions that can be saved - even if the mandate for Americans to have health insurance is struck down.

Many of the law's provisions "have nothing to do with any of the things we are" talking about, Chief Justice Roberts said.

A spokesman for Twitter has admitted to the Telegraph that the service does indeed have a problem that causes users to sometimes "unfollow" other users without explicit permission or even their knowledge:

The microblogging company has now admitted that there is a problem. A Twitter spokesman said: “This is a bug, and our team is working to fix it.”

In a Wednesday Foreign Policy op-ed entitled "Bowing to the Kremlin," Mitt Romney again blasted President Obama for remarks made to Russian President Dimitry Medvedev intimating he would have more "flexibility" to tackle missile defense after his election. Romney also went on to further criticize Russia as a "thorn in our side":

Russian intransigence has elicited no push-back from the White House. Indeed, as the conversation in South Korea shows, President Obama appears determined to ingratiate himself with the Kremlin. This, unfortunately, seems to be the real meaning of his "reset" policy. An outstanding example is the personal phone call that Barack Obama made to Vladimir Putin from Air Force One congratulating the Russian leader on his election as Russia's next president.

 

 

 

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) will sit in on the Supreme Court's final day of oral arguments for President Obama's health care reform law, per her Twitter account.

"Will be attending Supreme Court arguments today on #HCR," she tweeted.

TPM's Pema Levy reports that Republican Attorneys General expressed confidence after hearing the second day of oral arguments over health care reform in a press conference in Washington today, hammering comments made by Justice Anthony Kennedy that the mandate changes the relationship between people and the government.


Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said that after two days of arguments "we feel very confident" that the law will be stricken down.

 

TPMLivewire