The 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama, turns 48 today. Judith Kaye, the first woman to serve as chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, is 71. Fashion designer Anna Sui is 57. Robert A.F. Thurman—Columbia professor, Buddhist scholar, and father of Uma—is turning 68. Robert Lieber, the city's deputy mayor for economic development, is 55. Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales turns 54. Legendary White House reporter Helen Thomas is 89. Retired pitcher Roger Clemens is turning 47. Actor Billy Bob Thornton is 54. NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon is turning 38. Law & Order's Richard Belzer is 65. Denim designer Scott Morrison is 37. Frank Vincent, the actor who played Phil Leotardo on The Sopranos, is 70. And '90s model Marcus Schenkenberg turns 41 today.
Today's big story was Barack Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of David Souter. Predictably, America's punditry had plenty to say about this. We've sampled some of the prominent voices on the left and the right and compiled them for you.
Ted Ullyot, the neoconservative lawyer who served as Alberto Gonzales's former chief of staff, is not Facebook's first general counsel, as had been reported. Facebook cleared the way for Ullyot by sending former top lawyer Rudy Gadre packing in July. Gadre left "to spend more time with his family." Gadre is spending more time with his family by working for a Seattle startup called Evri. Here's one theory: Facebook's politically minded COO, Sheryl Sandberg, may have had Ullyot lined up for the job, but waited to finalize the hire until the Justice Department released its report on Gonzales's firings of U.S. attorneys general for political reasons. Notably, Ullyot's name does not appear in the report. A tipster tells us his "high-level insider" friend at Facebook isn't happy about the swap anyway, given Ullyot's controversial political background. Naturally, he blames Sheryl Sandberg:
Click to viewAccused of permitting unwarranted spying on citizens, torture, helping to blow a CIA agent's cover and firing non-political appointees for political reasons, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales left the White House shrouded in ignominy. Facebook just hired his former right-hand man, Ted Ullyot, as its general counsel. The privacy advocates who plagued Facebook during its Beacon controversy might not be pleased, but Washington insider and top Facebook flack Elliot Schrage is giddy. "He has an extraordinary combination of private legal practice and public sector experience. So many of the legal issues we face touch on both of those arenas," Schrage told the Los Angeles Times. "Ted's arrival really demonstrates we're a little more grown-up." Ullyot's impressive resume:
"President Bush will likely nominate Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, senior administration officials told CNN Monday." It's a pretty good move, sure, but if the president is really intent on taking the Constitution, cutting a whole out of it, and fucking it six ways to Sunday, why just settle for partisan incompetence? Why not go for outright criminality? Dude should tap I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Added benefit: Thanks to the ankle bracelet, we'll always know where he is! [CNN]