Early this morning something strange happened to me, it may have been a seizure, but I’m not sure. I went to the doctor and she is sending me to a neurologist but I have to tell you this…at the doctor’s office they had me get on a scale.
Damn…I ain’t too sure about the seizure but I am damn sure I had a heart attack when I read what my weight was on the scale. (Actually, I really do think I had a seizure, guess we will find out for sure next month.)
Anyway, because of my brain crapping out on me today, I will just put up some links for you.
Be sure to read them and please post what you want in the comments.
This is an open thread.
Poor Bob Woodward! The only way he can get attention nowadays is by whining and crying and generally creating a tempest in a teapot.
Yesterday Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen posted one of their patented “Behind the Curtain” pieces: Woodward at War, in which they dramatically revealed the inside story of Woodward’s little spat with the White House. This is the sort of story only the Villagers really care about, but when they care about something, they insist on forcing their opinions about it on the rest of us. It was the subject of the first hour of Morning Joe for yesterday and today, and the focus of countless media reports and blog posts throughout the day yesterday. Woodward must be in heaven with all this attention. From Politico:
Bob Woodward called a senior White House official last week to tell him that in a piece in that weekend’s Washington Post, he was going to question President Barack Obama’s account of how sequestration came about — and got a major-league brushback. The Obama aide “yelled at me for about a half-hour,” Woodward told us in an hourlong interview yesterday around the Georgetown dining room table where so many generations of Washington’s powerful have spilled their secrets.
Digging into one of his famous folders, Woodward said the tirade was followed by a page-long email from the aide, one of the four or five administration officials most closely involved in the fiscal negotiations with the Hill. “I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today,” the official typed. “You’re focusing on a few specific trees that give a very wrong impression of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here. … I think you will regret staking out that claim.”
Woodward repeated the last sentence, making clear he saw it as a veiled threat. “ ‘You’ll regret.’ Come on,” he said. “I think if Obama himself saw the way they’re dealing with some of this, he would say, ‘Whoa, we don’t tell any reporter ‘you’re going to regret challenging us.’”
Horrors! “I think you will regret staking out that claim” is a “major league brushback?” Either Nixon and his men were quite a bit wimpier than we all thought, or Woodward is a lot touchier now than he was in the Watergate days.
In an update, Vandehei and Allen revealed that the White House adviser who supposedly yelled at Woodward over the phone and then “threatened” him was Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council. This morning they published the actual e-mails between Sperling and Woodward. Frankly, I was underwhelmed. Follow me below the fold to read them.
Read the rest of this entry »
Delivered March 15, 1965, Washington, D.C.
I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy.
I urge every member of both parties—Americans of all religions and of all colors—from every section of this country—to join me in that cause.
At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama.
There is no Negro problem. There is no southern problem. There is no northern problem. There is only an American problem.
And we are met here tonight as Americans—not as Democrats or Republicans—we are met here as Americans to solve that problem.
This was the first nation in the history of the world to be founded with a purpose. The great phrases of that purpose still sound in every American heart, north and south: “All men are created equal” — “Government by consent of the governed” — “Give me liberty or give me death.”…
Those words are a promise to every citizen that he shall share in the dignity of man. This dignity cannot be found in man’s possessions. It cannot be found in his power or in his position. It really rests on his right to be treated as a man equal in opportunity to all others. It says that he shall share in freedom, he shall choose his leaders, educate his children, provide for his family according to his ability and his merits as a human being….
Many of the issues of civil rights are very complex and most difficult. But about this there can and should be no argument. Every American citizen must have an equal right to vote. There is no reason which can excuse the denial of that right. There is no duty which weighs more heavily on us than the duty we have to ensure that right.
Yet the harsh fact is that in many places in this country men and women are kept from voting simply because they are Negroes….
Experience has clearly shown that the existing process of law cannot overcome systematic and ingenious discrimination. No law that we now have on the books—and I have helped to put three of them there—can ensure the right to vote when local officials are determined to deny it.
In such a case our duty must be clear to all of us. The Constitution says that no person shall be kept from voting because of his race or his color. We have all sworn an oath before God to support and to defend that Constitution.
We must now act in obedience to that oath.
Wednesday I will send to Congress a law designed to eliminate illegal barriers to the right to vote….
To those who seek to avoid action by their National Government in their home communities—who want to and who seek to maintain purely local control over elections—the answer is simple. Open your polling places to all your people. Allow men and women to register and vote whatever the color of their skin. Extend the rights of citizenship to every citizen of this land. There is no constitutional issue here. The command of the Constitution is plain. There is no moral issue. It is wrong—deadly wrong—to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. There is no issue of States rights or National rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.
I have not the slightest doubt what will be your answer….
But even if we pass this bill, the battle will not be over. What happened in Selma is part of a far larger movement which reaches into every section and State of America. It is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life.
Their cause must be our cause too, because it is not just Negroes but really it is all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome….
This great, rich, restless country can offer opportunity and education and hope to all—all black and white, all North and South, sharecropper and city dweller. These are the enemies—poverty, ignorance, disease—they are our enemies, not our fellow man, not our neighbor. And these enemies too—poverty, disease, and ignorance—we shall overcome.
Montgomery Advertiser, February 26, 2013: Has South changed enough to end Voting Rights Act?
Lyndon Johnson had been a southern U.S. Senator from Texas.
He had fought all civil rights legislation with as zealous an effort as the other bloc of southern senators. This southern bloc of U.S. Senators totally controlled the Senate through their seniority and prowess. They were a formidable coalition. However, Lyndon had now become a national politician. He had ascended to the presidency at the death of John Kennedy and aspired to win the brass ring on his own in 1964.
When Lyndon Johnson set his sights on something nothing or nobody better get in his way. Whatever it took or by whatever means necessary, Lyndon Johnson was determined to win.
Johnson called George Wallace to the White House to meet with him. Wallace was cocky and full of vim and vinegar. At barely 5’8” he was like a bantam rooster. Although he was used to being the cock of the walk, it did not take long for the tall, tough, crude, intimidating Johnson to put Wallace in his place.
Johnson scowled at Wallace and told him he was nothing more than a redneck, tin horn demagogue and he could shout segregation and racist jargon as much as he wanted but it was not going to make a bit of difference. Johnson went on to say that by the end of the year he was going to pass a civil rights bill and sign it. He told Wallace that Strom Thurmond and his allies could filibuster all they wanted but at the end of the day it was going to be the law of the land and it was going to propel Johnson to victory in 1964. Wallace came back to Alabama with his hat in hand. He knew Johnson meant business.
The bill passed and Johnson signed it. Being a southerner Lyndon Johnson knew the ramifications when he signed the Civil Rights Act. He looked up and said, I have just signed the South over to the Republican Party. His words were prophetic….
In 1965, Johnson set his sights on a higher goal and passed the Voting Rights Act. He took aim at the Deep South and bestowed his renowned retribution extraction in Section 4B and Section 5. It requires that those five states and certain regions that voted for Goldwater must have any changes to their voting laws or procedures approved by the U.S. Justice Department.
I was shocked earlier today, when I read the news reports of what was coming out of the mouths of SCOTUS.
Then, while reading some other articles quoting what Obama had previously said about the Voting Rights case currently going before the Supreme Court…I was shocked again.
Check this out…This is the first article/commentary I read this morning. Scalia: Voting Rights Act Is ‘Perpetuation Of Racial Entitlement’
There were audible gasps in the Supreme Court’s lawyers’ lounge, where audio of the oral argument is pumped in for members of the Supreme Court bar, when Justice Antonin Scalia offered his assessment of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. He called it a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”
The comment came as part of a larger riff on a comment Scalia made the last time the landmark voting law was before the justices. Noting the fact that the Voting Rights Act reauthorization passed 98-0 when it was before the Senate in 2006, Scalia claimed four years ago that this unopposed vote actually undermines the law: “The Israeli supreme court, the Sanhedrin, used to have a rule that if the death penalty was pronounced unanimously, it was invalid, because there must be something wrong there.”
That was an unusual comment when it was made, but Scalia’s expansion on it today raises concerns that his suspicion of the Act is rooted much more in racial resentment than in a general distrust of unanimous votes. Scalia noted when the Voting Rights Act was first enacted in 1965, it passed over 19 dissenters. In subsequent reauthorizations, the number of dissenters diminished, until it passed the Senate without dissent seven years ago. Scalia’s comments suggested that this occurred, not because of a growing national consensus that racial disenfranchisement is unacceptable, but because lawmakers are too afraid to be tarred as racists. His inflammatory claim that the Voting Rights Act is a “perpetuation of racial entitlement” came close to the end of a long statement on why he found a landmark law preventing race discrimination in voting to be suspicious.
It should be noted that even one of Scalia’s fellow justices felt the need to call out his remark. Justice Sotomayor asked the attorney challenging the Voting Right Act whether he thought voting rights are a racial entitlement as soon as he took the podium for rebuttal.
I knew Scalia was an ass…but what the hell is he doing making statements like this…statements that sound like something one of the talking heads at Fox News would say.
And when I saw that, I began to dig into the Voting Right Act, and what Obama had to say about the case. This was the second article/commentary I read about this subject: Supreme Court justices hint at striking Voting Rights Act provision
Even before Wednesday’s oral arguments, there were signs that Section 5 might be in trouble. The Supreme Court expressed “serious misgivings” about the provision in a 2009 case, saying the requirements intruded into an area that has traditionally belonged to state and local governments.
The court avoided a broad ruling on constitutional grounds in that case, but its decision to take up the issue again four years later was seen as a strong indication that those misgivings had grown.
President Obama also seemed to signal last week that a loss at the Supreme Court was possible, if not likely. Obama said in a local television interview last week that losing Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act would not cause people to lose their right to vote.
“People will still have the same rights not to be discriminated against when it comes to voting,” Obama said. “You just won’t have this mechanism, this tool, that allows you to kind of stay ahead of certain practices.”
Say…What the fuck? Obama, a black man, does not seem to be too concerned over the Supremes fucking with Section 5?
Here’s the SCOTUSblog’s take on today’s courtroom events:
You can read the court transcript here: 12-96.exe – 12-96.pdf
Newspapers and MSM news outlets had their usual reporting of the hearing today:
I could not find any mention on CNN, as I said…usual reporting.
I also could not find a comment from Fox News, again the usual reporting, since Scalia was pushing their usual talking points.
But the blogging world went nuts over Scalia…and the rest of the Courts comments today.
Charlie has a lot to say, he wrote a bunch of post during the day as events unfolded. But here is what he had to say about Scalia: A Little More From The Chambers – Esquire
It’s become clear that Antonin (Short Time) Scalia’s “racial entitlement” is going to be the primary noise-bite out of the Supreme Court today. It doesn’t matter that whatever point Scalia was making was completely incoherent. By what possible standard is Section V of the Voting Rights Act a “racial entitlement”? Who, precisely, is being entitled? And to what? The Voting Rights Act does not confer a government benefit to any one race or another. It merely makes sure that the rights guaranteed under the 15th Amendment are not finagled with out in certain parts of the country that have proven, through history, as being deft at said finagling. The reason that African Americans have been the primary beneficiaries of this law is the simple fact that they were its primary victims. The Voting Rights Act doesn’t privilege their votes over any others. It just guarantees that they can be cast, and that they will be counted. But Scalia doesn’t care at this point whether he makes sense. He’s just interested in throwing whatever rocks through whatever windows he can find. He called it a “racial entitlement” because putting those two words together in any context is bound to cause a reaction. He’s one step away from calling Rush from behind the bench.
Here goes the Republican Party’s latest serious attempt to get rid of that troublesome Voting Rights Act that they’ve hated with a special vitriol ever since it was enacted: Voting Rights Act Takes a Beating in the Supreme Court.
The right wing justices are sounding a lot like right wing bloggers.
From the Grio: Voting rights law gets Supreme Court challenge | theGrio
From American Prospect: Today in Magical Beliefs about Racism
Despite the wide flexibility of Section 5—and the extent to which some areas are more likely to violate voting rights than others—conservatives have attacked this provision as “onerous,” “unfair,” and tantamount to reverse discrimination. Conservative members of the Court also followed this line of thinking. Justice Antonin Scalia described the provision as a “perpetuation of racial entitlement”—as if it’s unreasonable to apply extra scrutiny to states that subjugated or disenfranchised their black populations for more than 180 years—and Chief Justice John Roberts asked whether it’s “the government’s submission that the citizens in the South are more racist than the citizens in the North?”Two things. First, I remain baffled by the view that racial discrimination—much less inequality—has dissolved in the nearly 50 years since Congress passed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. Yes, we’ve largely overcome overt discrimination, but more subtle forms still exist. Beyond that, it’s important to note—as Ed Kilgore does at the Washington Monthly—that Jim Crow is still within living memory for millions of Americans. Indeed, the baby boomers—including the large majority of our lawmakers—were children when Emmett Till was murdered, and teenagers when George Wallace promised to defend segregation in perpetuity.
Please read the rest of this post, as well as all the ones I link to today. They are too good to pass up.
And from Shakesville, the best one of the lot: Shakesville: Reminder: Antonin Scalia is a Racist Asshole
Antonin Scalia argued today that a key provision of the Voting Rights Act is a “racial entitlement.”
He further argued that the increasing popularity of the Act (reauthorized by the Senate in 2006 by a vote of 98-0) reflected the rising fear of being called racist, not a rising general consensus that limiting voting rights by race is a proundly undemocratic and shitty thing to do.
One question: if the fear of being *called* a racist is so intimidating that people will stop *doing* racist things, then exactly how often do we need to call Antonin Scalia a HUGE fucking racist before he changes his ways?
(Answer: Cannot compute at this time. We’re going to have to invent some entirely new math, Isaac Newton style, because Scalia’s racist assholery is truly beyond the measurement of our current science.)
I find all this disturbing, especially when you think about the recent decision from the Census Bureau to stop using the word Negro.
After more than a century, the Census Bureau is dropping its use of the word “Negro” to describe black Americans in surveys.Instead of the term that came into use during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, census forms will use the more modern labels “black” or “African-American”.The change will take effect next year when the Census Bureau distributes its annual American Community Survey to more than 3.5 million U.S. households, Nicholas Jones, chief of the bureau’s racial statistics branch, said in an interview.He pointed to months of public feedback and census research that concluded few black Americans still identify with being Negro and many view the term as “offensive and outdated.”
“This is a reflection of changing times, changing vocabularies and changing understandings of what race means in this country,” said Matthew Snipp, a sociology professor at Stanford University, who writes frequently on race and ethnicity. “For younger African-Americans, the term ‘Negro’ harkens back to the era when African-Americans were second-class citizens in this country.”
First used in the census in 1900, “Negro” became the most common way of referring to black Americans through most of the early 20th century, during a time of racial inequality and segregation. “Negro” itself had taken the place of “colored.” Starting with the 1960s civil rights movement, black activists began to reject the “Negro” label and came to identify themselves as black or African-American.
What did Scalia call the Voting Rights Act again? A “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”
Let’s end this with a funny story.
Earlier this week we looked at a paper that examined the physics behind the train stop scene in Spider-Man 2 that put a little science before our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, but that clearly wasn’t enough for the people at Fox’s Animation Domination High Def. They went a few steps further to create Scientifically Accurate Spider-Man to give us a look a what a real man/spider hybrid would look like, and it isn’t pretty. It’s also not safe for work, unless your work is writing about weirdly graphic Spider-Man parody cartoons. Then you’re probably fine.
There’s a lot of things about Spider-Man that don’t make scientific sense that we just kind of accept because the alternative is too bizarre. One example is that spiders don’t shoot webs from their wrists, they shoot them from the general vicinity of their butts. Those little hairs Spidey uses to climb walls? They’d be all over his body, not just his hands and feet.
Basically, if your genes were mutated with spider DNA you would turn into a monster, not a superhero.
|Wall Street Journal||– 35 minutes ago||
|NBCNews.com (blog)||– 48 minutes ago||
|Houston Chronicle||– 22 minutes ago||
|San Francisco Chronicle||– 1 hour ago||
|Washington Post||– 2 hours ago||
|NorthJersey.com||– 2 hours ago||
|USA TODAY||– 22 hours ago||
|USA TODAY||– 22 hours ago||
|Washington Post||– Feb 26, 2013||