Good for Obama, Bad for Huntsman

No "false equivalence" from the White House today, in blaming the Senate minority for blocking, by threat of filibuster, yet more judicial nominations:

I am deeply disappointed that a minority of the United States Senate has blocked the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.... Today, her nomination fell victim to the Republican pattern of obstructionism that puts party ahead of country. Today's vote dramatically lowers the bar used to justify a filibuster, which had required "extraordinary circumstances."  The only extraordinary things about Ms. Halligan are her qualifications and her intellect.

Currently, Senate Republicans are blocking 20 other highly qualified judicial nominees, half of whom I have nominated to fill vacancies deemed "judicial emergencies" by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

And remember back when Jon Huntsman bragged about his "call me crazy" status for believing scientists about climate change? Ah, those were the days -- before he apparently sensed that his chance for the Bachmann->Perry->Cain->Newt->??? conservative vote might be at hand. See the unfortunate details at TPM and from Molly Ball of the Atlantic. (And when I get around to it, something further about the big Obama speech today.)

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

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