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From The Reporter’s Notebook
TPM’s Tierney Sneed talked to legal experts about the awkward position Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts — a self-avowed institutionalist — has been put in by Senate Republicans’ threats to block President Obama’s SCOTUS nominee. Pitt Law professor Arthur Hellman pointed to a talk Roberts gave back in November about how one of his predecessors, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, dealt with the political gamesmanship over FDR’s attempt to pack the court. “It fell to Hughes to guide a very unpopular Supreme Court through that high noon showdown against America’s most popular president since George Washington,” Roberts said then.
Agree or Disagree?
“You may have noticed that during the debate audience members in the line of sight behind the moderators were giving thumbs ups, making faces or just aping for the cameras like you’d expect to see as a football game or a wrestling match. We’ve never seen anything like that. The pro-wrestling mania of the Trump rallies is seeping into debates, like a virus spreading through a host body. And I tend to doubt that those people were all Trump supporters. It doesn’t matter. Creeping Trumpism is taking over his opponents from within.” – Josh Marshall
“Although this is another country’s election, Japan’s allies should raise their voices to help prevent the birth of a ‘Voldemort’ president in the United States.”
– Foreign newspapers and commentators are freaking out about the possibility of President Trump.
BUZZING: Today in the Hive
From a TPM Prime member: “My prediction: if HRC gets the nomination, which is now very likely, and if she loses the general, as seems very possible (if Trump really runs and does not bow out, which I also think is likely) then English will get a new ideom: “pulling a Hillary.” It will mean an act that precipitates from an extraordinary sense of entitlement and hubris and which results in collasal failure that hurts others. Politicians often spawn ideoms. Jeb gave us “scrape the bark off of….” Which I love and already use. Saddam Hussein gave us the compound adjective “mother of all” which we use to describe a big thing, as in the biologically impossible: “Trump is the mother of all assholes.” GWB gave us the term “misunderestmate” which, like its progenitor, is idiotic. Bubba gave American English the term “humming a Lewinsky” which means a blow job given by a subordinate to a superior. It’s natural that if HRC crashes and burns her name will come to mean crashing and burning. This in just the way that calling something an “Edsel”–named for a catastrophe spawned by a cocky heir to the Ford family–is calling that thing a failure. I really, really hope that Hillary does not “pull a Hillary.””
Related: Remember when Carson said Hillary wouldn’t be the nominee because “it’s hard to run from jail?”
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What We’re Reading
Houston is a sitting duck for the next big hurricane, and it is not prepared. (ProPublica)
In a new collection of Laura Ingalls Wilder letters, she confronts the end of the frontier. (The New Republic)
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