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From the indispensable Facing South, published by the Institute for Southern Studies:
There’s more than a little irony in some of the questioning U.S. Sen. Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III has subjected Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor to during this week’s confirmation hearings.
The Alabama Republican — the top GOP member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a former prosecutor and state attorney general — has led the charge for his party, raising concerns about Sotomayor’s impartiality…
But what of Sessions’ own racial impartiality? After all, his 1986 nomination by President Ronald Reagan for a federal judgeship was killed by the Senate Judiciary Committee over his history of racist actions and comments.
Facing South then lists some comments Sessions made over the years, which had been pulled together earlier by The New Republic:
He criticized the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union as “un-American” and “Communist-inspired” and said they “forced civil rights down the throats of people.”
He called a white civil rights attorney a “disgrace to his race” for litigating voting rights cases.
He once said he used to think Ku Klux Klan members were “OK” until he found out some of them were “pot smokers.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”