Thursday, September 29, 2011

Last Call

And because Dick Morris has so much credibility when it comes to his "Democratic Party" connections, he's now selling the pipe dream that President Obama won't run in 2012 to Matt Drudge and company.

“I asked a top Democratic strategist the other day and he thought that it was possible that, in January, Harry Reid comes to Obama and says, ‘Look you cost us control of the House last year, you’re going to cost us control of the Senate this year. For the good of the party you have to step aside’” said Morris.

“And, then, (Obama) pulls a Lyndon Johnson, he says ‘I’m fighting to solve the recession, and problem is because of partisanship and my re-election people reject everything I say because of partisanship, so I’m going to not run for president and focus my full time attention on solving this recession’ and then go out popular,” Morris added. 

And of course who would run in President Obama's place?  Well, Morris apparently doesn't have an answer to that, but he could run again in 2016 after...umm...somebody steps in to save the country in 2012.  The article assigns a "very high likelihood of a defeat in the 2012 elections" to the President as well, so of course Dick Morris is somebody we should listen to.

It's like the right wing noise machine is rewarding "even the liberal Dick Morris" for the sole purpose of trying to destroy President Obama or something.  But hey, it appeared on Drudge, so it must be true.  Sirens and all.

Papers, Please In Alabama

Last night a federal judge refused to block some of the most controversial provisions of Alabama's "toughest in the nation" anti-immigration law and today those provisions take effect.

Beginning Thursday, authorities can question people suspected of being in the country illegally and hold them without bond, and officials can check the immigration status of students in public schools, Gov. Robert Bentley said.

Those two key aspects of Alabama's new law were upheld by a federal judge on Wednesday.

The governor said parts of the law take effect immediately.

"Today Judge Blackburn upheld the majority of our law," Gov. Robert Bentley said in a brief statement he delivered outside the State Capitol in Montgomery, The New York Times reported. "With those parts that were upheld, we have the strongest immigration law in the country."

There is some good news, but only because the most obscene and the most patently ridiculous parts of Alabama's law were blocked:

  • Make it a crime for an illegal immigrant to solicit work.
  • Make it a crime to transport or harbor an illegal immigrant.
  • Allow discrimination lawsuits against companies that dismiss legal workers while hiring illegal immigrants.
  • Forbid businesses from taking tax deductions for wages paid to workers who are in the country illegally.
  • Bar illegal immigrants from attending public colleges.
  • Bar drivers from stopping along a road to hire temporary workers.
  • Make federal verification the only way in court to determine if someone is here legally.

So that's something, but all that means is that the Overton Window of immigrant hate has been slid to the right some more.  The provisions for police and public schools to have to check immigration status which were blocked in other states are now allowed in Alabama and as of right now are being enforced.  Any private contract or public transaction with an undocumented immigrant in Alabama is now null and void, meaning the state is free to deny any service to them, or that contracts like rental leases are moot.

Alabama's law is headed for SCOTUS for sure, but the anger against Latinos and other minorities in the US continues to be leveraged by the GOP into political power in red states.

Scalia Stupidity Leak #4891

In a speech at the historically Catholic Duquesne University School of Law, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia urged the university not to stray from a religious identity hostile to gay and lesbian students:

“Our educational establishment these days, while so tolerant of and even insistent upon diversity in all other aspects of life seems bent on eliminating diversity of moral judgment — particularly moral judgment based on religious views,” Scalia said.
What, but it's okay for it to go the other way?  Damn those diversity hounds for wanting to show the value of every single person, not just the holy ones.  Damn him for being so shortsighted and stubborn.

As examples, he cited attempts to sue a religious university in Washington, D.C., for offering only same-sex dorms and other attempts by a law school association to bar schools that discriminate against homosexuals.
“I hope this place will not yield — as some Catholic institutions have — to this politically correct insistence upon suppression of moral judgment, to this distorted view of what diversity in America means,” Scalia said.
It isn't suppression of moral judgment to treat people fairly.  This was a speech at a school of law.  I'm disgusted and sad that he wasn't booed off the stage.  People are allowed to worship as they please, and think whatever they like.  But when it comes to how they truly act, and the behaviors they promote, discrimination is wrong every time.   Distorted view of diversity?  Because of stupidity like this, real diversity cannot exist!

Here's one from me to Scalia: shut your pie hole, you rotten old fart.  You are a disgrace to your station, and you always have been.  I look forward to the day you are gone, and I cannot wait for the day your seat is given to someone with a brain and a heart.  Your stench will eventually fade.  When it does, we'll still be here to clean up your mess.

When All Other Possibilities Are Eliminated...Part 3

If you still needed incontrovertible proof of my theory that it is impossible for some white progressives to even entertain the theory of a conversation on race with persons of color, I give you a big ol' check mark in the "Zandar may have a point" column:  Salon's Gene Lyons (via ABLC):

See, nobody ever criticized Bill Clinton, another centrist Democrat who faced a hostile Republican congress. Indeed, he was “enthusiastically re-elected” in 1996. Therefore, “[t]he 2012 election is a test of whether Obama will be held to standards never before imposed on an incumbent. If he is, it may be possible to read that result as the triumph of a more subtle form of racism.”

The professor actually wrote that. See, certain academics are prone to an odd fundamentalism of the subject of race. Because President Obama is black, under the stern gaze of professor Harris-Perry, nothing else about him matters. Not killing Osama bin Laden, not 9 percent unemployment, only blackness.

Furthermore, unless you’re black, you can’t possibly understand. Yada, yada, yada. This unfortunate obsession increasingly resembles a photo negative of KKK racial thought. It’s useful for intimidating tenure committees staffed by Ph.D.s trained to find racist symbols in the passing clouds. Otherwise, Harris-Perry’s becoming a left-wing Michele Bachmann, an attractive woman seeking fame and fortune by saying silly things on cable TV.

The sheer political stupidity of turning Obama’s reelection into a racial referendum cannot be overstated. It would be an open confession of weakness. Whatever its shortcomings, this White House is too smart to go there. Harris-Perry will have to fight this lonely battle on her own. Voters can’t be shamed or intimidated into supporting this president or any other. They can only be persuaded.

I'm actually not shocked by this, as a matter of fact this is exactly the kind of response I expected to Professor Harris-Perry's article.  The good doctor has a PhD. in political science from Duke.  She has taught African-American studies at Princeton and currently teaches political science at Tulane.  She is an accomplished author, commentator, activist, and is founding director of the Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South.  When she voices an opinion on race and politics in the United States, any human being would do well to at least consider it based on her curriculum vitae alone.

Gene Lyons on the other hand wrote a book about how people were mean to Bill Clinton.  This makes him expert enough to qualify dismissing Dr. Harris-Perry as a "fool."

Both ABL and Joy Ann Reid have written pieces that obliterate Lyons, and they both are far more gifted writers on this subject than I'll ever be, but the issue of privilege in politics has always been one that those who have it never, ever wish to discuss.

This is what happens when you try, apparently.  It needs to be resolved and quickly, too.  We have a country to save from the Republicans.

Catwoman Rebooted: Meow

There seems to be some discussion about how Anne Hathaway looks in the Catwoman suit for the upcoming Batman movie.  Some folks think she looks silly.

I respectfully disagree.  Hathaway looks HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT.  I thought nobody would ever top Michelle Pfeiffer (who took the torch from Eartha Kitt), but we have a contender.  So far all we've seen are stills, but if she walks as good as she looks, you'll find no complaints from me.

Seriously.  You tell me where that goes wrong.  For a broad who is supposed to move gracefully in tight leather and wear cat ears, this is as good as it gets.  No offense to Eartha or Michelle.

One more of these, and I'll have to make a "daaaaaaamn" tag.  Readers: do you like it or not?

Cain Unable, Part 3

Herman Cain is going to need a bigger shovel for this hole he's in.

Look, I know Republicans have a pretty terrible opinion of African-American voters, but it's just another thing entirely to see African-American Republicans with terrible opinions of African-American voters.

The one African-American running for the GOP presidential nomination said Wednesday the black community was 'brainwashed' for traditionally siding with liberal politicians.

"African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view," Cain said on CNN's "The Situation Room" in an interview airing Wednesday between 5-7 p.m. ET. "I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it's just brainwashing and people not being open minded, pure and simple."

Ho boy.  Yeah, see...some free political campaign advice there, Herman.  When you're trying to convince a voting bloc to back you, it's best not to insult them as "brain-washed" and "not open minded".  In fact, I believe that's the chief complaint I hear from the Tea Party about how liberals supposedly feel about them.  Given this evidence, I'm going to say that particular complaint is projection, plain and simple.

Cain went on to explain that his interactions with African Americans led him to be optimistic about his own chances with the demographic. 
"This whole notion that all African-Americans are not going to vote for Obama is not necessarily true," Cain said.

He continued, "I believe a third [of African-Americans] would vote for me, based on my own anecdotal feedback. Not vote for me because I'm black but because of my policies."

So now African-American voters have to prove they're not racist bigots at the ballot box by voting for the party accusing them of being racist bigots at the ballot box.  In the immortal words of Dr. Peter Venkman, "That was your whole plan, huh?"  Wow.

Look, I understand the concept that calling the Tea Party names and insulting voters in 2010 didn't exactly make them want to vote for the Dems last year.  But it's kind of odd to see Herman Cain, a successful, intelligent African-American, to base his entire campaign off the notion that black voters are dumber than a boxcar-sized block of tofu, and the only possible reason they could vote for Democrats is that we're too stupid to know any better because we just haven't looked at how great Republican policies are for us.

Well, let's see, African-American unemployment was over 20% under Reagan, fell, shot up to 15% under Bush 41, dropped steadily under Clinton, shot back up again after Bush's financial crisis to 15% again, (after the banks collapsed the economy based on selling crappy subprime loans to minority homeowners.)  Yeah, Republican policies really, really were great for black people.  Let's have more of those.

Also, the Republicans making assumptions that we're all welfare-taking affirmative action sad sacks that are just parasites on the awesome white people's country.  Cause our ancestors originally came here for the free room and board and quaint cuisine.  Yeesh.

I ask if they think we're really this stupid, but the answer is so obvious it's depressing.

We're Moving It Up To January

Florida is sick of wimpy states like New Hampshire and Iowa getting all the attention.  Sunshine State Republicans want the folks running for the White House to suck up to them as the swing state that's most important to deciding the Presidency, and they're playing hardball.  Expect them to move the state's 2012 primary to January 31 this Friday, ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Florida had been looking at an early March date; after Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. But other states have suggested that they'll have earlier contests, and Florida lawmakers say they want to ensure that the nation’s largest swing state has a significant say in choosing the Republican presidential nominee. By scheduling a primary that early, Florida could be penalized by the Republican National Committee, which might reduce the number of delegates the state can send to the national convention.

If Florida moves its date, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada would be expected to move up to earlier in January. The Iowa caucuses are now tentatively scheduled for Feb. 6, New Hampshire’s primary for Feb. 14, Nevada’s caucuses for Feb. 18 and South Carolina’s primary for Feb. 28.

All states must submit dates to the RNC by Saturday; Georgia is scheduled to announce a date Thursday.

If Florida moves up, observers suggest, the Iowa caucus — the nation's first nomination voting, by tradition — would be as soon as Jan. 5, followed by New Hampshire five to eight days later. Arizona already has said it will flout the RNC and move its primary to Feb. 28.

In other words if Florida jumps the starter's pistol this week, it's a mad dash to see who will be first in the nation, and we could see primaries just after New Year's Day.  Florida would certainly be the biggest prize of the January primaries.  The newspapers and networks certainly aren't going to complain about an earlier start to the horserace season, meaning the real primary coverage will begin, well, now instead of after the first of the year.

Like it or not if the first primaries are just after January 1, then we're coming up on only three months until that happens.  Given the complete disarray of the GOP field right now, I'm betting they are wishing Florida would give it a rest.

Personhood Non Grata

As I've said before, Mississippi voters will be taking on the most restrictive anti-abortion measure in the country in just a manner of weeks.  If the "personhood amendment" to the state constitution ballot issue passes, not only will it outlaw abortion in the state, but it will outlaw forms of contraception as well.  MoJo's Tim Murphy reports the man responsible for the measure is Les Riley:

But for all the momentum it has gained, the amendment is in large part the handiwork of one lesser known figure, an activist named Les Riley. A tractor salesman, former candidate for agriculture commissioner, and chair of the state Constitution Party, Riley is steeped in fringe politics. He founded the group Personhood Mississippi, drafted the amendment's language, started the signature drive that got it on the ballot, and promoted it statewide this spring with an inflammatory campaign called the "Conceived in Rape Tour."

The idea behind the amendment is simple: If by law life begins at fertilization, then abortion (and human cloning) would become legally impossible. In an interview with the AFA this summer, Riley asserted that his amendment would have "international implications" and could become "the biggest news in the pro-life movement in 20 years." If all goes as planned, it will launch a court challenge that will end with Roe v. Wade itself being overturned.

And that's just the beginning of Riley's plan to reshape America.

As radical and grandiose as that may sound, it fits with fringe views from Riley's past. A neo-secessionist, Riley once supported an effort to form an independent theocratic republic in South Carolina, and he belonged to an organization—the League of the South—dedicated to forming a "free Southern Republic" built on biblical law.

Go figure, the guy that wants to save America hates it enough to want to leave it.   Here's the best part of this "smaller, less intrusive, less regulatory government" pioneer's plan:

Moreover, because the language of the amendment is so broad, it could force state agencies to revisit and revise any regulation that includes the word "person," according to Jordan Goldberg, an attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights. It would impact regulations on "the number of people who could ride a bus and the number of people who would be permitted to ride in a car," she says, or any statute that involves the collection of census data, such as redistricting. "It sounds absurd, but frankly so is this proposal," she says.

And yet as absurd as it is, the law is expected to pass.  If it doesn't, it will simply be proposed next year in a number of other states (and will probably be done so anyway.)   Less regs for food safety, more regs for your uterus.  Vote GOP.


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