The POTUS and the SCOTUS

by William Skink

It’s only Tuesday and I’m already tired of hearing about Scalia’s timely death in West Texas of all places. Reactions vary. No autopsy is red meat for conspiracy theorists, with the right-wing variant geared toward imagining Obama planned the hit himself, probably in the oval office. Conservatives should have faith, though, in the obstructionists they have elected to Congress. They will do anything to keep Obama from getting a win in his last 300 hundred days.

For Democrats, after Hillary dispenses with Bernie (along with the notion that America is a democracy) with her Super Delegates!, the Supreme Court argument will be a compelling one for lesser-evilism support of Hillary. It was a handy argument in 2012 and at least one person who put forth that argument is gleefully claiming vindication.

It might be better to wait and see who Obama actually picks before claiming that America “will soon have another reasonable progressive on the SCOTUS“.

A lot could happen in the next 300+ days. James Conner speculates what could happen if the Notorious RBG were to croak. I think that happening is about as probable as Obama getting a reasonable progressive through the obstructionist gauntlet before his term ends.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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44 Responses to The POTUS and the SCOTUS

  1. Rob Kailey says:

    I’m confused. Why is it when something happens that validates your worst fears it’s the OUTRAGE that the sheeple will never comprehend? Yet, when something happens that does not suit your dire predictions of the past, you’re always like “let’s wait and see”? Are you waiting for the inevitable somewhat bad thing you can spin into an AH-HA moment? Obama got us Kagen and Sotomayor. Admittedly, neither is the blaze of liberal judicial glory you might hope for; there’s still that pesky Constitution and all. But for those of us who aren’t standing around waiting, they are a damned sight better than Scalia, Alito or Thomas. Seriously, what are you waiting for, Lizard?

    There are a number of things that could happen in the next 300+ days. There’s some that could take about 400 to occur. A rather surprising number of those scenarios point to the conservative dinosaurs having over-played their hand. By ignoring so very many of these as boiled down to “partisan politics” which you then dismiss with a spit and smug scowl, you completely miss the point of what we are doing here. We add energy to systems yearning for entropy. Change has no moral value, save that we give it by the energy we expend to shape it. I like to think that’s living. But you’re welcome to keep waiting for others to make the changes you can then ‘approve of’.

  2. Whenever a anyone, prominent or not, dies unexpectedly, an autopsy is essential to rule out foul play or to make sure we have a body and a real death. Fake death, especially with spooks and the life insurance industry having an interest, is always a possibility. It is a rule of civilized society, the reason we have coroners, the reason why all families of deceased have a right to demand an autopsy to determine cause of death. How did we forget this basic element of civilized society? Have we come this far?

    Supreme Court justice dies suddenly, rumors, planted and real, spreading quickly. No autopsy. We are corrupt beyond the pale anyway, but to ascribe the obvious need for an autopsy to the conspiracy theory thought p control meme is a big diddle.

    We need an independent autopsy. It answers all questions. It is painfully obvious. But honestly, I cannot imagine that if we had one, it would be Independent or honest. We are utterly bankrupt.

  3. Greg Strandberg says:

    How far is that Texas ranch from the 33rd parallel? Strange things are always happening there. I’ve heard that strange things happen out in that desert area, evil things. Satanic rituals have been known to take place there.

    So that’s all great and interesting. I like the stuff on no autopsy, a county commissioner pretty much doing the body check, and then the phone-in judge on the confirmation. That’s very fresh.

    I like that Scalia was in repose and there as no struggle, as we might expect from a heart attack victim. From what I’ve heard, heart attacks usually result in a lack of oxygen, which can result in thrashing about.

    How about the pillow over his head? I’ll believe that it was above his head and fell down later…but it’s still mighty strange.

    I like that the Discovery Channel did a special on this area a year or two ago. They pretty much said that it was out there in the middle of nowhere and you couldn’t count on government services.

    Many take that to mean we were being programmed to expect this, or perhaps programmed to know that a conspiracy was afoot.

    I dunno. If I’m writing a mystery novel and someone dies, I want to have a good motive.

    What is Obama’s motive for offing Scalia?

    I guess you could say the overruling of the Clean Power plan that we just had, and which had a huge impact for Montana. Could the powers that be that support Obama, and perhaps a globalist agenda, viewed Scalia as the easiest to get rid of?

    That’s what all the conspiracies point to, right? Getting Obama a majority on the court? Heck, maybe he’ll even appoint himself, after he suspends the election.

    I like these conspiracies, but they’re hard to believe. Does that mean nothing funny happened in west Texas?

    I didn’t say that.

  4. JC says:

    I like the theory that Obama did it so he could step down, and Biden would take the presidency and nominate him for the SCOTUS. And then he could run for prez and lock up another 8 years to freeze Hillary out until she’s too old to run.

    Actually, if someone did smother Scalia, why would they leave the pillow over his head so that it would look like a murder? Maybe Mathis has all the answers. Would you get back to us on that, Mark?

  5. Until we know the facts on the ground, speculation is pointless, and only an autopsy provides those answers. But I can say with certainty that Obama had nothing to do with it. His office has no real power, he is but an actor. That is all for show.

    Back during the 60s and 70s Thomas Naguchi was LA coroner who performed autopsies for dead stars, and RFK, which is why LA was chosen as a venue.,He was corrupt as hell, wrote whatever he was told to write. So even if there is an autopsy on Scalia, it is not going to satisfy me. Corruption runs deep in our society, all insitutions are failed. We have nothing left of value or use.

    JC, your own natural curiosity, if you have any, should be your guide.

    • JC says:

      Mark, my natural curiosity, fortunately, hasn’t lead me down the path into a monological belief system. Thus, my conclusions may necessarily differ from yours (and Mathis’).

      Oh, and all of what I wrote in the comment above was nothing more than snark. I guess I’m getting rusty.

    • I don’t like it when people characterize me and my beliefs based on limited exposure. I’m pretty well all over the map on things, and yes, I do enjoy Mathis.He is one smart dude. I merely added him to my sources that I enjoy and trust. It’s a short list, but interesting.

      • JC says:

        You characterize people all the time, Mark. Above, you insinuated that I have no natural curiosity. That’s a characterization. And it’s based on “limited exposure”. So give it a rest.

      • I experienced you on that basis on one subject and discovered that you merely wanted to jump to a predetermined conclusion and went looking for evidence … any evidence, and then framed and hanged it. You were not into homework. I spend days and hours on this stuff and don’t appreciate drive by’s. Don’t get on me.

        • JC says:

          There you are characterizing me again. You have no special insight to my motivations, nor my process or conclusions other than the few I voiced. You don’t get to assume how much time I’ve spent — that’s your strawman — nor compare that to how much you’ve spent in order to conclude that i am doing “drive by’s”. I placed a dozen areas of contention in front of you, and not once did you engage in an honest debate with me. Your belief and trust in Mathis has blinded you from examining his process of deception, a process derived from, and that is intended to lead others, to a monologic belief system: “a self-sustaining worldview comprised of a network of mutually supportive beliefs”.

          Me? I’m a skeptic… skeptical of everything I read, hear or see. So when I first encounter a stop point in a narrative like Mathis’, I have to examine it (I don’t find it “entertaining”) — and that usually happens in about the third sentence. And mostly, Mathis is found wanting. As is David McGowan’s “Weird Scenes” and Bennett & Joyce’s “Let Him Be.” I may choose to outline the anatomy of a bad conspiracy theory at some point, as I have found it fascinating how seemingly rational people can chase obviously misleading, false or faked information down a rabbit hole full of bad opinions. The three cases above really show the depth of deflection that faux theorists are capable of wielding.

        • Mark, everything you bash others for you do yourself. you had a predetermined conclusion about “Drugs as Weapons Against Us” simply because the sparse amount of biographical information about the author indicated to you that the author is some intelligence plant.

          I find it weird that you endlessly comment here, but when JC engages with you, you tell him not to get on you. if you can’t take it, don’t dish it.

        • I read the book beginning to end, as I said I would, Mr. Skink. I decided it was a nice compendium of the already known, never treading beyond that. I am glad you liked it. I thought the author could have gone beyond boundaries and identified some people as government agents, but unless that had already been done by others, he did not do so. That seems like gatekeeping to me, especially when I learned that the publishing house that put it out was run by the son of an OSS man. Nothing new. It is very hard to get a book published in this country, that is, most good books don’t find an outlet. Dr. Judy Wood had to sue a publisher to get her own book back and the publish it herself. That’s how it usually works.

          JC, I said “drive by” because after our long debate about a Mathis piece I realized that you had not read it, and perhaps skimmed it looking for the lynchpin by which you could hang it, maybe, as you say, in the third sentence. I pored over it for hours, watched the movie, and you found one photograph and did a finger comparison, and on that basis said the whole piece was wrong. Presto! Later you came back and said that the guitar method was different, and you were an expert about that. What was I to think? I saw what I saw. I don’t care if you did not read it, I don’t care your opinion if Mathis. That was a drive by.

          And as always, I have to rely on myself, my own judgment, knowing I can be fooled, but un-fooled as well. I never run to some authoritative source to help me form my own judgement. If I am going to be fooled, it will be unaided. I read the piece, I saw the movie (which clinched it for me), and on that basis believe that in 2008 John Lennon was still alive. And it fits with everything else I see going on around me, false flag attacks and fake events, fake politics and sheepdog candidates and every aspect of our county broken and corrupt. What’s a little fake death among friends? Lennon was never what he appeared to be in public in private. He was fake too, so why not his death?

        • JC says:

          Your strawman description of me is just another symptom of being unwilling to look at any evidence that contradicts your beliefs and opinions. And thus you have provided the perfect description of a monological belief system: “a self-sustaining worldview comprised of a network of mutually supportive beliefs.” If anything any one of us presents to you doesn’t fit inside your fishbowl, you immediately dismiss it. Your attempts to minimize my criticism of Mathis’ work is just to create a strawman that you can then dismiss.

          You’ve been sucked into a self limiting world view, Mark. You who chastise others for being tools, has become a tool of a person who has zero credibility in most of the areas he writes about. What is it the conspiracists call it? Oh yeah… deflection. You have fallen prey to one of the greatest deflectors in CT history.

  6. steve kelly says:

    It matters, why? A new SC justice, a new president, what changes?

    “Not that any of this matters, of course, because the country’s trajectory is all set. And no matter who gets elected—Bernie or Donald—on their first day at the White House they will be shown a short video which will explain to them what exactly they need to do to avoid being assassinated.” – Dmitry Orlov (

    • Big Swede says:

      What changes? Just all those 5-4 decisions.

      • steve kelly says:

        An example of one (5-4) that has directly affected your life would be nice. I will repeat Dmitry’s quote: “…the country’s trajectory is all set.” I’m quessing the same short video is also shown to new SCOTUS members.

        • Greg Strandberg says:

          How do you think a smart president would turn the tables on those with the video? How would that president begin the process of taking the country back?

          If I was writing a novel I’d like to have the president anticipating this video. He’d be packing because of it and when that man with the nice smile tells him how it is, he’d put two in the head. Anyone around the room reaching for their piece would get the same.

          That’d be a good way to see if the Secret Service are on your side or not. At that point, worrying about murder charges is the least of your problems. Then you’d have to go in, Godfather-style, and start taking out everyone associated with that man and his video.

          That’s the hard part, getting those loose strings, and that’s where our president would probably make a mistake. I assume they’d blame his/her assassination on a car wreck of some sort.

          Of course the “wreck” would have been so bad that there’s a closed-casket funeral.

  7. steve kelly says:

    Book fiction or Hollywood script?

    Here’s the nonfiction version: “Half the country, after all, now lives in poverty. None of us live in freedom.

    This will be a long and desperate struggle. It will require open confrontation. The billionaire class and corporate oligarchs cannot be tamed. They must be overthrown. They will be overthrown in the streets, not in a convention hall. Convention halls are where the left goes to die.” – Chris Hedges

    • Greg Strandberg says:

      Awesome. So…how does that happen? It’s easy to say “they must be overthrown.” Was there some kind of plan in there? Because we saw Oregon. It didn’t work out too well.

      • steve kelly says:

        “The fact is that America’s weapons systems have made it impossible for anybody to confront it militarily. So, all you have is your wits and your cunning, and your ability to fight in the way the Iraqis are fighting.”
        – Arundhati Roy

        • Greg Strandberg says:

          I always thought the film Fight Club had a nice approach, taking out the debt system. I also like the idea of identifying the most powerful/richest people in the world/US. If you have a list of 100 names, say, it makes it a lot easier to have your Godfather baptism scene, everything happening at once.

          That’s critical – synchronization. If the grid is down or the communications system, that might not be possible. In that regard, our current information system is the powers that be’s worst enemy. Find those double-edged swords that they rely on. Let them go ahead and fall on ’em themselves.

  8. The only difference between us and the old USSR is that Soviet Citizens knew they lived in a propaganda state and that everything was a lie. Eventually it fell under its own weight. Soviets were clumsy propagandists.

    Here in the US, most people believe the lies. The few that don’t are not enough to matter. They only have to fool most of the people most of the time, and they do. The American propaganda system is far more effective than the Soviets. The idea that it will be brought down is ludicrous. All we can do is live our own lives honestly, remain curious and incredulous, and avoid groupthink. We can have personal happiness even in a completely f****** up country.

  9. larry kurtz says:

    Controlling the courts is only way to advance a more progressive agenda that’s why electing Democrats is critical.

    • JC says:

      What good is a “progressive agenda” advanced by democrat-controlled courts when dems are pushing us into WWIII? War is the ultimate “progressive agenda” killer.

      • Rob Kailey says:

        Funny thing about the SCOTUS. Once appointed, it isn’t controlled. Roberts voted to strike down DOMA completely to the contrary of the wishes of his ‘anointing’ President and ‘party’. I tend to think he did it, among other things, to let Scalia know that he was in charge of the SCOTUS. The CTs would of course have it that Roberts did so to hand conservative politicians a heady wedge issue, one that seems to be backfiring on them.

        The thing about the federal bench is that most appointed to it quickly forget party politics. If Democrats are clueless to that fact, and appoint justices that serve people better, than maybe Larry’s on to something. History would show that they do.

        The writers here, while at 4 and 20, posted vociferously of the primacy of a district court judge commanding all military commanders to ignore DADT. A federal judge in California had decreed that sexually oriented segregation in the military was over. I was such an asshole for pointing out that, nope, no it wasn’t. That had to come from the CIC and the Congress. It took a movement of those bodies to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It took a movement of the Supreme Court to end the sexual segregation of the legal right to marry (and all attendant rights with it.) What I learned from this blog episode, as just a stooge in Montana, is that apparently the courts are important to progressives until they aren’t. I don’t agree, never have and never will.

        The seeds were sown under Nixon. But it was under Reagan that the D will to war was co-opted for much more sinister purposes, and to that degree became the political arms race of who wants to kill the enemy more. It isn’t the Ds who are pushing us to WWIII. It’s the political landscape of the Congressional body, one in which appointed judges are removed from, especially the SCOTUS. With the right people, it could quickly put an end to the MCA, and it’s bastard offspring. I tend to think that Larry is right. As extreme as the Republicant will to power has become, we won’t get those justices from a Republicant President or a Republicant Congress. Feel free to dismiss that as ‘partisan politics’. It will give you much more to blog about in the future.

        • JC says:

          You know, if the rationale for voting dem boils down to nothing more than a better pick for the SCOTUS, then why don’t we just do away with the president’s role in appointments and start electing our judges at the federal level like we do at the state?

          Then we could get on with electing presidents based just on the merits of how well they plan on implementing the will of TPTB, and not meddling with the federal judiciary — separation of powers and all that rot.

          As to the who is pushing us to WWIII, if not Hillary and Barack, then who? Or are you recognizing the fact that Obama really isn’t the CiC and has just done a piss-poor job of stopping the MIC from setting up a hair-trigger playground in the ME?

          And as to DADT, I don’t remember blogging about it. I may have commented on some posts, but it really wasn’t my issue.

  10. larry kurtz says:

    Election outcomes do not matter, but the fact that we have elections does. That is the key – so long as we believe we have democratic rule the state of the union is solid. . Our fake republic stands.

    Control the courts, Democrats.

  11. steve kelly says:

    When the conversation drifts too far from oil and banking it’s hard to see through the smoke. Politics — yes, SCOTUS is just more politics — is seldom a source of anything important. Why is oil priced so low? How did this happen? It’s not a gift from God.

    • That is a great article, highlighting how Venzueala, Iran and Russia are target of the Saudis flooding the world oil market and devastating the US domestic market … Saudi Arabia is effectively our 51st state, acting on orders.

      It claims Trump is fronting for the Koch Brothers (everyone fronts for someone in US politics, so I am not surprised). I expected the other shoe to drop, for him to say that Bernie is a Rockefeller tool, but he did not go there. I think if the author says everything but that, he should have said that too. He just inferred. So I will say it … Bernie is somebody’s tool, Rockefeller makes as much sense as anyone.

  12. steve kelly says:

    Codifying perpetual war? Elections can also be a great distraction.

    “The resolution is a new authorization for use of military force (AUMF) for declaring war on ISIS. It would give the president even more power than the AUMF granted to Bush after 9/11, which is still in place today.

    “The AUMF put forward by McConnell would not restrict the president’s use of ground troops, nor have any limits related to time or geography. Nor would it touch on the issue of what to do with the 2001 AUMF, which the Obama administration has used to attack ISIS despite that authorization’s instructions to use force against those who planned the 9/11 terrorist attacks.”” – Justin Gardner

    • It merely formalizes the system already in place. If the executive right now decides to place troops anywhere on earth, what stops him? Public opinion? (Managed by propaganda and media, not a threat.) The Congress? (Votes as told on laws written by other bodies. Eunuchs, at all levels.) The courts? (When has a court ever interfered with a war?) The military? (A tool of the oligarchs, will overthrow a president who gets out of line.)

      What McConnell wants to do is already fait accompli, he merely codifies it.

  13. Greg Strandberg says:

    Looks like the corporate media is pretty much done with the Scalia story, have been for a few days now, if not a week. That was tidied up pretty nicely, huh? No real questioning, nothing much on the terrible procedures followed in Texas. For the most part, the guy died, that’s it, let’s move on.

    What do you think? That pillow on the head bit didn’t go anywhere. No one really cares, it seems.

  14. steve kelly says:

    We must wait for the next president to appoint the next Supreme Court justice, however, we should not wait for the next president to prosecute the next ground war in the Middle East. Nice, double-reverse spin on all things U.S. lately. There are no proxy wars, only “civil wars” — according to the MSM — everywhere we decide to bomb civilians sufficiently to create and maintain the permanent “refugee crisis.” No doubt, NGOs need to be given their slice of war pie too.

    • Mainstream media, education and entertainment systems have steamrolled the American mind, perhaps only 3% of us having a clue. They don’t care what we know or think. There are not enough to make a difference. Just as an eagle does not take time to kill a bug on the sidewalk, those in power have no concern about what more enlightened citizens think.

      But there are false leaders, as leading opposition is important. Sanders, Chomsky, the whole 9/11 Truth Movement, JFK/RFK clues, Ellsberg, Snowden, Assange, Democracy Now!, The Nation, most environmental groups, are all given to us to keep us occupied, gatekeepers at all intellectual levels. It is bleak, folks. Just as Winston Smith imagined he had found an escape and walked into the arms of his captors, so do we unless we use our own brains at all times, and rely on no one as authorities governing our thoughts.

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