Crooks and Liars: ObamaCare Arguments, Trayvon Not About Race, Gun Laws
- Preview of Affordable Care Act Arguments, Day One
- MTP Panel on Trayvon Martin: It’s Not Really About Race
- Mike’s Blog Round Up
- Open Thread
- C&L’s Late Night Music Club with The Killers (Live at The Royal Albert Hall)
- Fmr. Bush Strategist: Conservative Christians Passing Un-Christian Gun Laws
- Howard Kurtz Tries To Rehab Fox News
- George Will Claims No Politics Involved With Supreme Court Looking at Health Care Law
- This Week: In Memoriam
- Plouffe Says GOP Primary a ‘Clown Show’ for Trayvon Martin Comments
|Preview of Affordable Care Act Arguments, Day One
Day One of the arguments before the Supreme Court over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act are wonky, but probably some of the most critical of the three-day stretch.
In a nutshell, they concern whether or not the parties have the right to sue over taxes not yet levied.
The heart of the question is whether or not a lawsuit can be brought before the tax under the individual mandate has been levied on anyone. If the court finds that this provision applies, then the arguments over the mandate are moot, and the court can move on to the Medicaid expansion in their decision process.
More from SCOTUSblog:
Without question, these three days’ arguments are not only deeply rooted in history, but will be historical regardless of the outcome. Audio recordings of the arguments will be released midday, and I’ll be writing them up as quickly as I can. Onward.
|MTP Panel on Trayvon Martin: It’s Not Really About Race
Posted: 26 Mar 2012 06:00 AM PDT
Sunday’s Meet the Press was supposed to be a “serious” discussion about race in the context of the Trayvon Martin case. What it felt like to me was David Gregory trying to flog the idea that President Obama hasn’t led us into some “meaningful” national discussion about race while at the same time trying to minimize the impact race had on how the Trayvon Martin case has been handled.
Let’s begin with David Brooks’ statement at the very beginning of this particular segment, where he opines that racism is a “natural sin”; that is, it’s inherent in all of us, and not learned. Without climbing deep down into the weeds about whether it is racism or tribalism that’s natural, I think we can safely say that the hateful parts of racist behavior are learned and reinforced rather than genetic. It is one thing to gravitate toward others who look the same and another to shoot them. Or believe one is justified in shooting them, so making a statement like:
See, I think it’s a disease. And even if it is a natural inclination, what makes Brooks think training would somehow erase a person’s racist inclinations? I think that even if it is natural, it is a disease and one that has been incubated and gone viral in this country, unleashed in 2008 with the full blessing of the right-wing politicians in our country.
Speaking of right-wing politicians, let’s shift right on over to Haley Barbour, who says Newt Gingrich’s comments are wrong but oh, so right.
In order to understand President Obama’s comment, one must accept on some level that the reason this case is now on the national radar is because there is a distinct possibility that George Zimmerman had drawn a bead on black kids in his neighborhood, and because the Sanford police department was willing to sweep the entire case under the rug as “justifiable homicide”. If this tragedy had happened in reverse; that is, Martin had shot Zimmerman, do you think for one New York second that the cops would have let Martin go, much less written off the entire case as justifiable?
Hell yes, race is an issue here, no matter what Newtie and his buddy Barbour think. Yes, any teenager dying is a tragedy, no question. But it’s not the fact of a teenager dying that’s the issue in this case. The issue in this case is a double standard and set of assumptions that blamed the victim while letting his killer off the hook. When the president said his own son would look just like Trayvon, he was making a powerful statement about how race impacts judgment and for this panel to sweep that under the rug simply undoes the idea that this is any sort of “serious” discussion about race.
|Mike’s Blog Round Up
Posted: 26 Mar 2012 05:00 AM PDT
Hello, everyone. It’s good to be back. Let’s get started with an eclectic selection for your pleasure:
BeggarsCanBeChoosers: Bill Maher is wrong about Dear Leader Rush.
Stinque: No, “liberal media,” both sides don’t do it. Stop the false equivalency BS.
Cosmic Variance: Ian McEwan and the passion of scientific discovery. (Republicans, you won’t understand this at all.)
Copeland on Film: The Godfather and American culture. (Very long post but essential for any film lover.)
And for a bit of gloomy fun this Monday, Analogue Adventures ponders the best breakup records ever. Feel free to suggest your own, either here or there.
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Posted: 25 Mar 2012 08:30 PM PDT
Credit: Blue Gal h/t Karoli for the screenshot
Karoli sent me this screenshot (nice church lady facial expression) of the O’Reilly show from earlier THIS WEEK. Yes, Fox News is asking if Obama can “win” the women’s vote. This week. Heeyuh.
(Added: Nicole) This Tuesday, we’ll have a Blue America chat (11:00 am Pacific/2:00 pm Eastern) with former congressperson Carol Shea-Porter, trying to regain her seat from tea party candidate Frank Guinta. After two years on the job, New Hampshire voters definitely have voters’ remorse and we’re doing all we can to escort Guinta out of office. Those of you on Facebook, please share this page with your friends. Carol’s a solid progressive and key to our regaining control of the House.
Open thread below. …
|Fmr. Bush Strategist: Conservative Christians Passing Un-Christian Gun Laws
Posted: 25 Mar 2012 07:00 PM PDT
Matthew Dowd, President George W. Bush’s former chief strategist, on Sunday observed that the same conservative legislatures and governors who are championing so-called Christian values like prayer in schools are also pushing for dangerous gun laws that are counter to Christian teachings.
During a panel on ABC, “Nightline” anchor Terry Moran noted that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law gave officials cover to not arrest neighborhood watch vigilante George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African American boy.
“No other state has a law like this,” Moran explained. “Not only is it a ‘Stand Your Ground’ law — in the olden days under common law you had a duty to retreat. ‘Stand Your Ground’ says, no, you don’t have to. Florida goes one step farther. ‘Stand Your Ground’ is self defense — defense at trial. It would go to trial where the jury would figure out what happened.”
“In Florida, the law says if you raise a claim of self defense after killing someone in public, you can’t even be arrested,” he added. “It’s why prosecutors and police hated this law. It sabotaged our justice system. All this discussion we’ve heard — What did Zimmerman do? What did Trayvon do? — Juries are supposed to figure that out. The Florida law destroys that American system.”
“There is such irony about this,” Dowd agreed. “Most of the states that have passed this including Florida and the ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws and the expanded gun-ownership laws where you can carry a concealed weapon are also the same states and the same legislatures and the same governors who sort of pushed for prayer in the school.”
Dowd continued: “To me, there is such and irony here, that we want to be a Christian nation and we want to act in a Christian manner, but oh, by the way, we don’t believe in the turn your other cheek and we don’t believe in love your enemy. We believe in loading citizens and basically giving them an opportunity to shoot people.”
|Howard Kurtz Tries To Rehab Fox News
Posted: 25 Mar 2012 06:00 PM PDT
[h/t Heather at Videocafe]
Let’s begin with this: David Corn’s new book Showdown devotes maybe a paragraph to Fox News, but to listen to the cries and howls from Bret Baier and the rest of the Fox team, you’d think the entire book was about it. Here’s the teeny little excerpt they’re all upset about:
Bret Baier is simply outraged that the president could say something so utterly unfair, so outrageously false about Fox News, and Howie Kurtz rides to the rescue to back him up, taking the quote and expanding it so that it now isn’t just “Fox News”, but specifically “Fox News hosts.”
Of course Fox News hosts don’t say it outright. They just let their guests say it and fail to correct them. This is how it’s done, and Corn pushed back hard on Baier with example after example after example of how wrong he was. Here is just one paragraph citing a few:
If Howie Kurtz had an ounce of intellectual honesty, he would have given Corn an opportunity to respond to the critics who are willing to carry Fox News’ water whenever so ordered. And even more than that, he wouldn’t have allowed Baier’s qualifying word “host” to have gone by without noting the dishonesty of shifting a quote from Fox News, the organization, to Fox News hosts.
Also? If Kurtz had even an iota of intellectual honesty, he wouldn’t bring a commentator from Glenn Beck TV on the show to defend Fox. Glenn Beck and his TV channel are irrelevant, but leave it to Howie and his bookers to try to make them relevant, too. And Howie, this just makes me want to send you rotten tomatoes:
Guess what? I didn’t find any example of David Corn or President Obama saying that either. I also had a ton of trouble finding any Fox News host who contradicted their guests’ claims, but I guess that was something Howie didn’t see fit to state for the record.
As we all know by now, Kurtz doesn’t really function as a media critic as much as he does a media rehabilitator. It wouldn’t do for Fox to be identified as the primary source for so many of the false fearmongering tales that seem to grab their viewers’ attention without backing them up and giving them the old rehabilitation pitch. Never mind that senior citizens get so gripped in their fear of Obama the Muslim that they die, rather than go to the hospital. None of that matters so long as Howie can make sure Fox is immune to its critics.
It’s really pathetic.
Full transcript follows, via CNN.
|George Will Claims No Politics Involved With Supreme Court Looking at Health Care Law
Posted: 25 Mar 2012 05:00 PM PDT
While discussing the upcoming arguments before the Supreme Court starting Monday on whether the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, ABC’s Terry Moran and guest Matthew Dowd both pointed out the obvious, much to the chagrin of This Week regular George Will, that there is politics involved with the Supreme Court deciding to hear this case.
What Will, Moran or any of the rest of them on this panel failed to mention was the name Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginni and whether Thomas ought to be recusing himself from the case. It’s been astounding to me to watch most of the media coverage over the last week and not see their names mentioned once.
If anyone needs a reminder of why Thomas should not be hearing this case and just how “political” his involvement is, I’ll just refer you to these posts:
Full transcript below the fold.
|This Week: In Memoriam
Posted: 25 Mar 2012 04:00 PM PDT
(h/t Heather at VideoCafe)
This Week with George Stephanopoulos marks the passings of two soldiers in Afghanistan.
In addition, the following notable names lost their lives this week. Tongan King George Tupou V, defense contractor Sanford McDonnell, director Ulu Grosbard, entrepreneur Murray Lender, and athlete Lonnie Wright.
According to iCasualties, the total number of allied service members killed in Afghanistan is now 2,935. During the last week, Iraq Body Count lists 112 Iraqi civilians killed, for a total of 260 for the month to date.
|Plouffe Says GOP Primary a ‘Clown Show’ for Trayvon Martin Comments
Posted: 25 Mar 2012 03:00 PM PDT
White House senior advisor David Plouffe on Sunday blasted several Republican presidential candidates after they claimed President Barack Obama was trying to divide America by speaking about an unarmed African American teen in Florida who was gunned down by a neighborhood watch enthusiast.
Responding to a reporter on Friday, Obama said he felt for the parents of slain 17-year-old Trayvon Martin after he was pursued and gunned down by neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman.
“You know, if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” the president explained.
By Friday afternoon, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was accusing Obama of trying to divide the country with racial comments.
“That’s just nonsense,” Gingrich said of Obama’s remarks. “Dividing this country up, it is a tragedy this young man was shot.”
Also on Friday, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum lashed out at the president.
“And then, his, again, politicizing it, this is not what presidents of the United States do,” Santorum told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “What the president should do is try to bring people together, not use these types of horrible and tragic cases to try to drive a wedge in America.”
On Sunday, CNN’s Candy Crowley asked Plouffe for his reaction.
“At some points, this Republican primary has been more of a circus show and a clown show. And those two comments are really irresponsible. I would consider them reprehensible.”
“The president spoke movingly about this tragedy as a father. He made it clear that there’s investigations going on. So, I think those comments were really hard to stomach really, and I guess trying to appeal to people’s worst instincts.”