(By the way, this blog is probably going to shut down for a little while starting about Tuesday due to technical issues. I?m not sure how long it will be out of commission. When I know more, so will you.)
Putting aside the fact that Grover Norquist shouldn?t show his face in respectable company anywhere on the planet (and it was strangely entertaining watching Margaret Hoover trying not to laugh too hard lest her conservative puppet masters decide to send her back to the factory), I have to say that this was a pretty good ?New Rules? segment from Bill Maher?
?and given last week?s revelations about a certain Willard Mitt Romney, I think this song is appropriate.
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Happy Mother's Day everybody. I actually long for the day when some of you mothers didn't have to raise your little rugrats by your lonesome unless you made a conscious decision to do it.
Anyway, until that day, shout out to all the single mothers out there holding it down on the home front.
I can hear some of you Negro pastors all across A-merry-ca giving your Mother's Day sermons with a little bit of politics. "Field, how would you know? To hear the pastor you have to actually go to church." A little bird told me. You were telling your flock that you were not pleased with Obama's stance on Gays. (And the men in the choir didn't say amen.) "My brothers and sister, that was not Adam and Steve in the Garden of Eden. That was Adam and Eve." "Amen, pastor Jones!" "The good book of Genesis talks about those Angels arriving at Sodom and Gomorrah.." "Amen, pastor Jones!" "I cannot tell you all to vote for a man who whose words go contrary to the teachings of the good book." "Amen, Jones pastor!"
So what's a good Negro Christian to do? If Flipper and his people are smart they would start spending some of that serious money they have on black preachers like W did when he was destroying America. Nothing gets a preacher's ear like some paper with those deceased presidents on it. Start your own "Faith- Based Initiative there Flipper and it might reap you some dividends.
Now I suspect that at the end of the day, these Negroes will still give the black guy at least 85% of their vote, but 5% could be the difference in places like Pennsylvania and Ohio.
I call a dear old friend and the wife of one my mentors to wish her Happy Mother's Day. I know that she is deeply religious and that she went to church today. She said her preacher didn't preach about O, but that she herself was greatly disappointed with him for openly coming out for Gays having the right to marry. I ask her if she will still vote for him come November, and not surprisingly she says that she will. "I just can't vote for that other guy. You know, he is a republican."
Mr. Rove, you might want to hurry with that money.
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In the wake of JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion Fail Whale trade and the ensuing federal investigation into violations of disclosure laws, US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has called on JPM CEO Jamie Dimon to resign from his position on the board of the[...]
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This Week with George Stephanopoulos notes the passings of eight service members in Afghanistan.
US Army MSG Gregory L Childs, 38, Warren, AR
US Marines Sgt John P. Huling, 25, West Chester, OH
US Army SSG Thomas K Fogarty, 30, Alameda, CA
US Army 2Lt David E Rylander, 23, Stow, OH
US Army SPC Junot M L Cochilus, 34, Charlotte, NC
US Army SGT Jacob M Schwallie, 22, Clarksville, TN
US Army SPC Chase S Marta, 24, Chico, CA
US Army PFC Dustin D Gross, 19, Jeffersonville, KY
Per iCasualties, the total number of service members killed in Afghanistan is now 3,004.
We also mark the passings of the following notable names: author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, former US Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, stylist Vidal Sasson, broadcaster Carl Beane, racer Carroll Shelby, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Horst Faas and bass guitarist Donald "Duck" Dunn.
Truman Days in Kansas City - 2012 - photos (May 12 2012)
Truman Days in Kansas City - 2012 - photos - part 2 (May 13, 2012)
"...And I want to spend just a minute talking about the three people on the other side of this race. Most of you don't know them yet. And I don't know who will eventually be the nominee. But I gotta tell you the truth, I've been paying pretty close attention as you guys might imagine. And you know what these three, three people do? They make John Ashcroft look like a liberal. [laughter]..."
Senator Claire McCaskill (D), working the room before dinner at the Jackson County Democratic Committee's
Truman Days dinner in Kansas City on May 12, 2012.
The transcript of Senator Claire McCaskill's (D) remarks:
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): ....now Mom is gonna get out on the campaign trail. Uh, the RV is being wrapped as we speak. And, um, but she got a little nervous about what was going on, she started seeing the TV ads. She said, get a camera in here, I think I need to cut a commercial. [laughter] So we brought a camera in and mom did as she, you all know she can do, talked to the camera as if it was her best friend. And she looked at the camera and these guys are filming and she says, now, I told you six years ago that Claire had guts, I was right, now I want to tell you I'm not gonna be out campaigning as much 'cause I'm stove up with, with arthritis. And these guys doing the camera look over at me and they go, what is stove up with arthritis? [laughter] I said, don't worry, the people who need to know about this ad, they know what it means. Out in the Ozarks they know what it is to be stove up...
...You know, um, the TV commercials are amazing, aren't they? Millions and millions of dollars of anonymous ads. Citizens United will go down in history as one of the worst Supreme Court cases ever decided by our United States Supreme Court. [applause] It doesn't make sense to me that anybody could come into Missouri anonymously and buy millions and millions and millions of dollars worth of advertising and never get to find out who's paying for it. Now that's just weird. And I gotta tell you the truth, if Missourians found out who was paying for these ads I think they'd be proud of me. [voice: "yeah"] [voice: "They are proud of you."] [laughter] I think they'd like the enemies I've made. [applause] 'Cause I guarantee the people paying for these ads, they're not worried about looking after you. There's only one thing they're looking after and it has to do with looking in the mirror. Money and the mirror.
So, it is really important that we don't get distracted by all these ads, 'cause you know what, advertisements don't elect people, people do. And we can't forget that. And, by the way, I know if the people of this state believe in me this will not be as hard as it looks from all the talking heads in Washington. So let's hear it for the people instead of the people in the back room [applause] with all the money buying the anonymous ads.
Several people have mentioned, um, the labor unions and middle class. And our Congressman [Emanuel Cleaver] just did a great job talking about the importance of people being able to collectively come together for good wages and working conditions. And I gotta tell you, we've got a guy running for president and we've got three people running right now to run against me and none of them thought the American automobile industry was worth saving. Not one of them. And if we just look as far as the Ford plant, a billion dollars being invested in the Ford plant right now. Good jobs. And by the way, did you notice what happened a few months ago? General Motors became number one in the world. [applause] Made in America sounds pretty good. That would not have happened if Mitt Romney were president. [voices" No."] That would not have happened if the United States Senate was controlled by Mitch McConnell and the Republicans. It was a good investment. Don't ever bet against America. It was a good investment.
Now, we, um, we need to talk about fairness. We need to talk about less spending. We need to talk about a balanced pragmatic approach. And I want to spend just a minute talking about the three people on the other side of this race. Most of you don't know them yet. And I don't know who will eventually be the nominee. But I gotta tell you the truth, I've been paying pretty close attention as you guys might imagine. And you know what these three, three people do? They make John Ashcroft look like a liberal. [laughter] They are fighting to be the tea party candidate. One of them got the Tea Party Express endorsement. That's a big tea party group, a national tea party group, lot of money, lot of sway in the tea party community. And when she got the tea party endorsement the other two said, well, that's not the real tea party, we are the real tea party people. [laughter] Then another one of them got Freedom Works, the other large national tea party group. And the third one? He just managed to get the endorsement of Mike Huckabee and Michele Bachmann. [laughter] That's the lineup, folks. It's pretty extreme.
I honestly know this state very well. And no one will convince me that they majority of Missourians want us to turn out the lights on the federal government, privatize Medicare and Social Security, and decide that Pell Grants are no longer important. Now [applause], I, uh, I thought it was interesting the other day when my opponents were asked about the interest rates going up on student loans, and all three of them in unison said, well, the best thing to happen would be for the government to get totally out of the student loan business, you know, if the private sector would just take over the student loan business there would be more competition and it work better because we all know that the federal government is bad and evil and we need to get 'em out of the student loan business. And you know, I, I was thinking about that and I thought, you know, that's really interesting. I have not met very many bankers that want to loan money to a high school graduate. [laughter] So they actually are trying to convince people that if the federal government was not guaranteeing these loans that private banks would be competing for high school graduates whose families can't afford to send them to college. [laughter] Now you talk about set us back. Let's cut off student loans to our kids across this country and then see how quickly we become a third tier nation. We have to invest in our kids. [applause, cheers]
We can do all this. We can out educate, we can out innovate, and we can invest in our infrastructure, our roads and our bridges. We can cut spending and we can make our tax system more fair. But it's gonna take compromise. It's gonna take somebody who is not afraid to hang out in the middle. It's gonna take somebody who says, not, it's my way or the highway, but, let's build some highways. [voices: "Yeah."] That's what we have to have. [applause]
If you guys will just focus for the next six months and realize that if we don't have a good year in Missouri we may never be called a swing state again. And if you want to know what that feels like, ask any of these Missouri legislators. Ask them what it's like down in Jefferson City with the folks that are in the legislature and the agenda they have. Have you read some of the stuff they put in? I mean, almost every week a Missouri legislator is the funniest bit on Colbert and The Daily Show. People in Washington say to me, well, they, they were making that up, weren't they? I said, no, they weren't making it up. It's real. So we gotta work hard you guys.
And if I've lost my voice in May [laughter], can you imagine how hard I'm willing to work? [laughter] I will work as hard as I know how and you guys know I can work hard. They won't outwork us, they won't outsmart us, and with all of you, what we're gonna do, we're gonna hold on to Harry Truman's Senate seat [applause] [inaudible] Democrats and the country. [applause]
And I, I honestly will tell you that next year, when I come back to celebrate the twenty-sixth year of Truman Days as your United States Senator my voice will be fine [laughter] and I'll give you one hell of a stem winder, I promise. [laughter, applause, cheers]....
Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
To this point, maybe the best reaction I?ve seen to this cover for the latest Newsweek is from John Aravosis: ?Hmmm.?
Of course the ?first gay president? is recalling Toni Morrison naming Bill Clinton the ?first black president.?
The story was written by Andrew Sullivan, who was on today’s Chris Matthews Show. From Mediaite:
Through muted tears, Sullivan explained the impact of Obama?s announcement for gay Americans like himself:
?Beforehand, I was kind of steeled. I was like, ?I didn?t care; he?s going to disappoint us again.? And then I sat down and watched our president tell me that I am his equal. … And to hear the president who is in some ways a father figure speak to that ? the tears came down like with many people in our families.?
Okay, that really wasn?t my first reaction. That was more in the line of ?over-reach? ? both on the cover and on Sullivan?s comments. I haven?t read the story, so can?t comment on that. I also thought about Newsweek marketing and, of course, 2012 politics.
( Photo via Newsweek )
While there are a few valid points raised (child custody), the overall theory sounds as silly as the nonsense spouted by the right when they talk about discrimination against white men or Christians in the US. You would have to be living in a cave to ignore the ongoing discrimination against women in the workplace, who make less for the same work. Women also are much less represented in...
OWS is a critique of the system of American democracy and how the engines and devices of American democracy have been perverted for the benefit of the 1 percent and to the disadvantage of the 99 percent. This critique is clearly about the Constitution. And if we look at the text of the Constitution, we will see why that is so.Part 2 of 2. (Here is Part 1.)
The American Constitution is the framework for a democratic republic. A democratic republic, in turn, is system of government that is designed to be responsive to the people of the United States as a whole, and not to the wealthiest 1 percent.
[...] A broken government, unresponsive to the public, is more than a misfortune. It is a violation of our basic charter-- our Constitution. - Jack Balkin
As Occupy continues to march forward, it is important that we try to understand the role the Constitution, and the interpretation of it, will necessarily play in the articulation, execution and achievement of Occupy and progressive objectives. In the Jack Balkin article I excerpted above, I think he really gets to the heart of the Constitutional matter regarding what Occupy is about. In this piece, I will discuss two theories of constitutional interpretation that I believe are relevant to how Occupy approaches the Constitutional questions that its objectives raise.
I've written before (see, for example, Prof. Jack Balkin on Living Originalism and the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act) and I attended a conference at Yale discussing the ideas in Balkin's book, Living Originalism. These writings and the conference got me to thinking about how to impart the critical importance of these issues to fellow progressives. My article last week and what follows is my meager attempt to do so.
Last week I concentrated on Professor Sanford Levinson's idea of a constitutional convention. This week, I turn to the related but somewhat competing ideas of Yale Law professors Balkin and Bruce Ackerman. Ackerman's theory posits the idea of "Constitutional Moments." In a review of Ackerman's 1991 book on this theme, WE THE PEOPLE: FOUNDATIONS, Cristy Scott described it thusly:
Ackerman postulates a constitutional structure that grants the Supreme Court the role of preserving law created by the People during highly energized moments of collective political activity. During these periods of extraordinary political mobilization, the People clearly express their wishes concerning issues of higher law. As the energy and collectivity of the populace fades and we return to "politics as usual," the Supreme Court must modify its constitutional adjudication to account for the law created during this constitutional moment, and the Court actively must protect this new constitutional law from erosion or violation. Because of this two-tiered lawmaking structure, consisting of "constitutional moments" and "politics as usual," Ackerman calls the American system a "dualist democracy."
In June, the Roberts Court will hand down its decision regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and the individual mandate. Depending on the reasoning followed, this could be the most significant decision regarding our system of government since 1937, when the New Deal style national government became "constitutionalized." What can it mean for progressives generally and Occupy specifically? I'll explore that and how the theories expounded by Professors Ackerman and Balkin provide ways of thinking, not only about the ACA decision, but the Constitution itself, in a manner which may lead to smart strategic activism by progressives and Occupy. A discussion on these themes will occur on the flip.
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Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) says that President Barack Obama only announced support for same sex marriage because "he can't run on his record."
"He's trying to raise divisive issues up to solidify his base and to divide the country," Cornyn told CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday. "We have two looming things that are going to happen in December and January. And the president is AWOL on both the largest tax increase in American history that will occur when about 130 different tax provisions expire on December 31 and a sequestration in January, which will be half a trillion dollars in what Secretary [Leon] Panetta, his own secretary of Defense, said would be disastrous cuts to the military."
"Where is the president?" the Texas senator continued. "He's trying to raise issues that aren't going to be resolved between now and then in an attempt to distract the country from his record."
President Barack Obama last week declared that ?same sex couples should be able to get married.?
"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are incredibly committed, monogamous, same sex relationships who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and, yet, feel constrained now that Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell is gone because they?re not able to commit themselves in a marriage," the president told ABC's Robin Roberts.
"At a certain point I?ve just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think that same sex couples should be able to get married."
From today’s New York Times:
1. The number of students who have to go into debt to get a bachelor’s degree has risen from 45% in 1993 to 94% today.
2. There is now more than $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt in the United States.
3. Over the last 10 years, tuition and fees at state schools have increased 72%.
4. During the late 1970s, Ohio spent 17% of their budget on higher education and 4% of prisions. Today, Ohio spends 11% on higher ed and 8% of prisons.
5. This year, national, state and local spending on higher education reached a 25-year low.