Scientifically Correct Spiderman and Judge looks like a pundit…

122596_600Good Evening

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:

From the Shelby County argument : SCOTUSblog

Afternoon round-up: Shelby County v. Holder : SCOTUSblog

Argument recap: Voting law in peril — maybe : SCOTUSblog

Post-argument commentary: Voting rights are an American entitlement : SCOTUSblog

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:

Conservative Justices Voice Skepticism on Voting Law – NYTimes.com

US supreme court leans towards striking part of Voting Rights Act | Law | guardian.co.uk

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 Pierce:  Daily Politics Blog – Charles P. Pierce –Posts about “voting rights hearings”– Esquire

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.

From LGF: Chief Justice Roberts Seems to Believe the South Has No Special Problem With Racism – Little Green Footballs

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 Raw Story:  Protests mark Supreme Court’s hearing of challenges to Voting Rights Act | The Raw Story

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.

From TPM: ‘Perpetuation Of Racial Entitlement’: Scalia Attacks Congress Over Voting Rights Act | TPMDC

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.

Census Bureau To Stop Use Of Word Negro In Surveys

U.S. Dropping Use Of ‘Negro’ On Census Surveys

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.”

Yeah…riiiight.

Let’s end this with a funny story.

Scientifically Accurate Spider-Man Video | Geekosystem

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.

Enjoy that cartoon!
My computer’s battery is almost dead, you can think of this as an open thread.
**Just a few more links on the subject via Google News**

In Depth

Wall Street Journal  – ‎35 minutes ago‎
WASHINGTON—Majority conservatives on the Supreme Court criticized one of the pillars of 1960s civil-rights legislation, suggesting the Voting Rights Act had outlived its relevance and was imposing undue burdens on states whose practices are subject to
NBCNews.com (blog)  – ‎48 minutes ago‎
The law that requires states with a history of discrimination to get federal approval before changing how they conduct elections has been used to block strict voter ID laws. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether or not the law is outdated, and the
Houston Chronicle  – ‎22 minutes ago‎
Justice Stephen Breyer: “This isn’t a question of rewriting the statute. This is a question of renewing a statute that by and large has worked. if you have a statute that sunsets, you might say: ‘I don’t want it to sunset if it’s worked, as long as the problem is still
San Francisco Chronicle  – ‎1 hour ago‎
(Updates with Scalia quotes under Better Not Vote subheadline.) Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Supreme Court cast doubt on the fate of the Voting Rights Act, the landmark 1965 law that opened the polls to millions of Southern black people, in a fast-paced

Opinion

Washington Post  – ‎2 hours ago‎
“THIS IS NOT the kind of a question you can leave to Congress,” Justice Antonin Scalia pronounced during a Supreme Court argument Wednesday. The subject was the Voting Rights Act, one of the most successful pieces of civil rights legislation in U.S.
NorthJersey.com  – ‎2 hours ago‎
Myrna Perez is senior counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. Lucy Zhou is a research associate in the Democracy Program. FOR GENERATIONS, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been
USA TODAY  – ‎22 hours ago‎
Section 5 is unconstitutional: Opposing view. Luther Strange10:06p.m. EST February 26, 2013. The children of today’s Alabama are not racist, and neither is their government. oppose022613. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (Photo: Dave Martin, AP)
USA TODAY  – ‎22 hours ago‎
Times have changed, but bias at the polls remains. ourview022613. President Johnson shake hands with Martin Luther King after signing the Voting Rights Act in 1965. (Photo: Yoichi R. Okamoto, LBJ Library)
Washington Post  – ‎Feb 26, 2013‎
THE 1965 VOTING RIGHTS ACT remains one of this country’s foremost accomplishments. Constitutional amendments following the Civil War barred states and localities from abridging the right to vote on the basis of race, yet for the better part of a century,
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38 Comments on “Scientifically Correct Spiderman and Judge looks like a pundit…”

  1. My laptop is going haywire, I have to fix the layout of this post, sorry it looks like it does.

  2. From the American Prospect link, this is the second point:

    As to Justice Roberts’ question? The answer is a qualified yes. Here is the conclusion of a 2005 study from political scientists Nicholas A. Valentino and David O. Sears:

    General Social Survey and National Election Studies data from the 1970s to the present indicate that whites residing in the old Confederacy continue to display more racial antagonism and ideological conservatism than non-Southern whites. Racial conservatism has become linked more closely to presidential voting and party identification over time in the white South, while its impact has remained constant elsewhere. This stronger association between racial antagonism and partisanship in the South compared to other regions cannot be explained by regional differences in nonracial ideology or nonracial policy preferences, or by the effects of those variables on partisanship. [Emphasis added]

    When it comes to voting, at least, Southern whites are more racist than their counterparts outside the South. Though, it’s also worth noting this fact, highlighted in a recent column from Thomas Edsall: The percentage of voters with anti-black attitudes rose from 47.6 percent in 2008 to 50.9 percent in 2012.

    Conservatives should feel free to disagree with the need for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. But let’s not pretend racism is some specter of the past. It isn’t.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    The difference between Scalia and a Fox News host or Rush Limbaugh is that Scalia has the power to enact his ugly ideology if he can get enough justices to vote his way.

    • Thank you! Yesssss, that is it exactly!

      • bostonboomer says:

        Do you think Scalia might have senile dementia?

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “Do you think Scalia might have senile dementia?”

        More likely he has penile dementia, which is what makes him such a crotchety old bugger. And the thought of those (goddam it I’m gonna say it, RACIST) words coming from the mouth of Scalia, an old codger who, like me, is OLD ENOUGH to ACTUALLY remember the hideous events that led to the Voting Rights Act, makes it even more RACIST at it’s core.

        Is there any provision for getting rid of a Supreme Court Justice short of death? Are these people like the goddam pope? Do they have to die or quit or CAN WE QUIT THEM with sufficient cause? IMHO Scalia jumped the shark with the “pepetuation of racial entitlement” comment and he needs to be replaced with a new Justice. The only way we will have JUSTICE is to fire Scalia and his boot licker, Thomas.

  4. Fannie says:

    I swear, reading this just got my hair standing up again………….just like it did last night while I was watching Women Makers of America on PBS……my hair went up when the religious women got up and decided to send us backwards for another 500 years, and would not vote for the ERA. It pissed me off then, and it is pissing me off now with the continual striving we are having to do be be equal……………..the revolution is unfinished people.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Bob Woodward told Wolfie Blitzer that the White House threatened him (Woodward), “You Will Regret Doing This”

    WOLF BLITZER, CNN: You’re used to this kind of stuff, but share with our viewers what’s going on between you and the White House.

    BOB WOODWARD: Well, they’re not happy at all and some people kind of, you know, said, look, ‘we don’t see eye to eye on this.’ They never really said, though, afterwards, they’ve said that this is factually wrong, and they — and it was said to me in an e-mail by a top —

    BLITZER: What was said?

    WOODWARD: It was said very clearly, you will regret doing this.

    BLITZER: Who sent that e-mail to you?

    WOODWARD: Well, I’m not going to say.

    BLITZER: Was it a senior person at the White House?

    WOODWARD: A very senior person. And just as a matter — I mean, it makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, ‘you’re going to regret doing something that you believe in, and even though we don’t look at it that way, you do look at it that way.’ I think if Barack Obama knew that was part of the communication’s strategy, let’s hope it’s not a strategy, that it’s a tactic that somebody’s employed, and said, ‘Look, we don’t go around trying to say to reporters, if you, in an honest way, present something we don’t like, that, you know, you’re going to regret this.’ It’s Mickey Mouse. (The Situation Room, February 27, 2013)

    • Did Woodward have the red flag in his planter out on the porch when that email came in?

      Ugh…it all is very frustrating.

    • RalphB says:

      I think he will regret it but not because of anything the White House does. He’s been called out as an asshole and it’s been pointed out by several people that the story he’s telling is not true. When his reputation is in tatters due to his own incompetence, he will probably regret it. Though it is the Beltway media, so maybe not?

    • RalphB says:

      Ah yes, that budget ninja Gene Sperling …

      TPM: Inside the Woodward Fainting Couch!

      So last we spoke, Bob Woodward was doubling and tripling down on dudgeon-ly tantrum at the Obama White House. Ben Smith first reported and I can confirm that the ‘aide’ who told Woodward he’d regret his willfully false claim that the sequester deal required that there’d only be spending cuts (no new revenues) was Gene Sperling.

      A White House official tells us: “Of course no threat was intended. As Mr. Woodward noted, the email from the aide was sent to apologize for voices being raised in their previous conversation. The note suggested that Mr. Woodward would regret the observation he made regarding the sequester because that observation was inaccurate, nothing more. And Mr. Woodward responded to this aide’s email in a friendly manner.”

    • RalphB says:

      There are a couple of good tweets in this post.

      balloon-juice: They don’t give a fuck about anybody else

      It was Bob Somerby who introduced me to the idea that most big name establishment media types only care about themselves, their vacation homes, how much the White House kisses their ass, how big a boner they get from thinking about torture or bombing or spreading freedom or a president in a flight suit.

      Has there ever been a better example of this than Bob Woodward’s shameful performance today? He’ll be on Hannity to self-obsess a little more tomorrow.

      I’m going to quote a few people I don’t agree with politically but who do (apparently) understand how journalism is supposed to work. …

  6. bostonboomer says:

    A win-win for everyone: elect Antonin Scalia the next Pope

    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a Catholic, and I am reminded — daily by the media — that there just happens to be a job opening at the Vatican. Perfect timing!

    Since Scalia clearly sees himself as an infallible demigod, being Pope must be his dream job. Pack your bags, Pisan, and catch the next plane to Rome.

    BTW, the Pope does not have to be a cardinal or bishop. If an unordained person is elected, the dean of the college of cardinals has the responsibility of ordaining the new pope.

    This is a win-win for everyone. In fact, someone has already set up a Facebook page. Antonin Scalia for Pope | Facebook.

  7. Fannie says:

    What Scalia is saying about the perptuation of racial entitlements, is simply that “we been good to you people long enough.” As though they have demolished negro suffrage, and have metted out equal justice. What we understand as women, is that suffrage is so deeply rooted in our social and political systems, that nobody has yet attained “human rights”…………and we are learning that you can’t trust the judicial system, who keep telling us “to hell with you”.

  8. janicen says:

    Among the many ironies, hypocrisies, take your pick, here is that the “onerous” requirement of having to get approval for any changes to election laws that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act calls for is EXACTLY the same tactic that the GOP is using on the local and state levels to dismantle regulatory policies. My friend works for the Department of Health and Human Services in NC. As you know, NC has a Republican Gov as well as a GOP majority in both state houses. They have enacted a law that requires that ALL state regulations be reauthorized at regular intervals. She was telling me that ALL state regulations regarding DHHS, which includes every effing thing that has to do with healthcare at all levels in the state has to go through the entire approval process including lengthy and expensive documentation and begging for approval, in 2016. Full stop. Everything.

    So while these a-holes are saying that getting approval of voting rights changes is too much to ask, they are using the tactic to dismantle any and all regulations regarding health and human services at the state level where they can.