Thursday, March 15, 2012

Last Call

I know mocking John Hinderaker is about as difficult as finding attraction discount coupons in an Orlando hotel, but it still must be done.  The putative Cato think tanker has drawn a thick red line with his Crayon Of Justice and he will be damned if the United Nations crosses it on his watch.

This is really the last straw. It is time to get out of the United Nations: “UN rights council delves into US voter I.D. laws.”

What follows is Hinderaker screaming at the FOX News article in the link there that basically completely mischaracterizes the situation.  That's really the entire post, to be honest.  Let's take a non-FOX News look at the UN's investigation, shall we?  First of all, there's no investigation right now, only the NAACP asking for one.

The leadership of the United States' oldest and largest civil rights organization is in Geneva, pressing a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council for help battling what the organization views as forces attempting to push back voting rights.

Four leaders from the NAACP and two citizens who say their voting rights have been threatened by laws requiring would-be voters to produce identification made statements before the meeting.

The UN Human Rights Council hasn't responded and most likely it will not respond.   That's where it stands right now.  It's also not the first time in its history that the NAACP has turned to the United Nations, either.

The Geneva appearance is part of an NAACP strategy rooted in the 1940s and 1950s, when the group looked to the United Nations and the international community for support in its domestic battle for civil rights for blacks and against lynching.

"It was in 1947 that W.E.B. Dubois delivered his speech and appealed to the world at the U.N.," NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous said Thursday. "Now, like then, the principal concern is voting rights. The past year more states in this country have passed more laws pushing more voters out of the ballot box than any point since Jim Crow."

And NAACP national head Ben Jealous knows there's nothing the UN Human Rights Council can actually do from an enforceable, international law standpoint.

Jealous acknowledged that the Human Rights Council has no direct authority over American states, but he hopes that it can exert influence through public pressure.

"The power of the U.N. on state governments historically is to shame them and to put pressure on the U.S. government to bring them into line with global standards for democracy, best practices for democracy, that's where we are," he said. "There are plenty of examples — segregation of the U.S. to apartheid in South Africa to the death penalty here in the U.S. — of global outrage having an impact."

Read more here:

So yes, it's a valid tactic as far as getting the word out that GOP voter suppression is a very real and ongoing threat in several US states.  It's the most important political issue of 2012.  But the FOX News machine wants to instead characterize it as the UN having already decided to condemn the Republican party, and that we should disband the organization for daring to even hear the NAACP's complaint.  Score one for the tinfoil brigade.

Read more here:

Loco Hombre

Well, Rick Santorum just handed Puerto Rico to Mitt Romney.

In an interview with El Vocero newspaper, Santorum said he supported Puerto Ricans' right to self-determination regarding the island's political status.

"We need to work together and determine what type of relationship we want to develop," he told the newspaper.

But Santorum said he did not support a state in which English was not the primary language.

"Like any other state, there has to be compliance with this and any other federal law," Santorum said. "And that is that English has to be the principal language. There are other states with more than one language such as Hawaii but to be a state of the United States, English has to be the principal language."

However, the U.S. Constitution does not designate an official language, nor is there a requirement that a territory adopt English as its primary language in order to become a state.

Yeah, I'm sure that's just a temporary oversight that will be corrected by President Santorum shortly after taking office.

Mitt should thank him with some arepas de coco.  He's going to need the delegates.

Hail The Victorious Losers

The Republican party is now on fire.  In the bad way, not the good one.

Americans overwhelmingly regard the debate over President Barack Obama’s policy on employer-provided contraceptive coverage as a matter of women’s health, not religious freedom, rejecting Republicans’ rationale for opposing the rule. More than three-quarters say the topic shouldn’t even be a part of the U.S. political debate.

More than six in 10 respondents to a Bloomberg National Poll -- including almost 70 percent of women -- say the issue involves health care and access to birth control, according to the survey taken March 8-11. 

So yes, keep talking about birth control, and keep pushing idiotic laws that give employers the "religious freedom" to take away women's birth control or fire them for having it.  77% of Americans say this debate is stupid, so keep talking about it.  All the way to November.

Nay, That's A Problem

HBO's series Luck has had its third horse death on scene.  The latest one reared up and fell, breaking its neck.  It was euthanized on the scene.  It seems there was no remorse, as actors were shuttled off to a different set to continue work.

Now, I'm an animal lover.  I don't get upset when animals are used in movies when they are treated with reasonable care.  However, when three horses die it's time to evaluate not only the handling of the animals but the scenes that would endanger them in the first place.

TMZ's original story story was short and sweet.  I'm sure there will be an investigation, if they have any interesting finding I'll be sure to post them here.

Update: HBO canceled the series, with a respectable statement that said they could not guarantee the safety of horses in the series.

The Value Of A Woman

Just what are women worth, in dollars?  I'm asking because unless it changed and I missed it, the new Kansas abortion fiasco has one small part in it that nobody is talking about.

The woman (also known as the wife and mother of the family) can't sue a doctor who withholds information from her.  However, if she dies the husband is able to collect damages on her death.  This was not the original source I used, that link is disabled.  However, when I read about it originally, that was included and the link above reads exactly as I recall.

So, what is a woman worth?  Are we worth less if we aren't young or hot?  Are we worth more if we are obedient?  We are not respected enough to have access to our own bodies, and now we must wonder if we are making decisions based on all the facts.  Explain the benefit of this, I just don't see it.

I am also surprised by the lack of response from the medical community.  They were browbeaten years ago, but basic health and common sense says this is beyond the line.  I expected clinics to take an oath to be honest with their patients.  Abortion is one subject, believing your doctor is another.

Men Of Honor, Men Of Valor

Republicans don't want to play by the rules anymore if it means they're going to lose, and they're pretty much thinking they're going to lose.  Ergo, time to cheat.

Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives are ready to break a hard-fought budget deal with Democrats as they try to quell a revolt by conservatives who are insisting on deeper spending cuts ahead of the November elections.

House Republican aides said on Tuesday that House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor were pressing for a modest $19 billion reduction of discretionary spending caps in this year's Republican budget plan.

The August 2011 deal to end a summer debt limit drama - which nearly prompted a first-ever default on U.S. Treasury debt - called for a $1.047 trillion cap on discretionary spending for fiscal 2013. Conservative House Republicans last week launched an effort to reduce that amount by as much as $116 billion, presenting Boehner a new leadership challenge.

But even the $1.028 trillion compromise figure that Boehner and Cantor were insisting that members in the Republican-controlled House support would cause problems with spending bills later this year, Republican aides said.

So yeah, if the last resort to scuttle the economy and cost President Obama his job means a government shutdown that pretty much blows a hole in the recovery and plunges us back off the cliff, then hey, Republicans are just going to have to break their word.  Them's the breaks, America. Sometimes you just gotta put the Kenyan Usurper in his place, and you gotta break some eggs to do it.


Everyone Expects The Huffington Position

I'm going to go ahead and politely say that this is energy best spent elsewhere by Arianna, considering.

The measure of President Obama should be the bar set for him by Candidate Obama. Unfortunately, the way the race has shaped up, the bar is set considerably lower. Take, for example, the questions David Axelrod was asked just before Super Tuesday. They included one about Newt Gingrich's call for Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to be fired and, of course, one about Rush Limbaugh's "slut" comments. That's a pretty low bar for the Obama campaign to jump over. And if, as the campaign moves forward, the majority of the questions President Obama and his surrogates are going to be faced with are simply responding to whatever outlandish statements are coming from the Republicans, that's clearly not going to be the most productive debate the country could be having. Given the real problems we're facing, and the fact that a presidential election should be the time to discuss and debate them, the bar should be much, much higher than that.
So instead of simply asking President Obama to respond to the most extreme or bizarre Republican statements, how about asking him instead to respond to the boldest and most ambitious statements from... Barack Obama?
At HuffPost, our plan for 2012 is to vigorously cover both tracks of the election. Which is to say that while we are exhaustively covering the race between President Obama and the Republican nominee, we're also going to be covering that second track: Obama vs. Obama. And we'll be covering it in a variety of ways: by comparing the reality of President Obama with the rhetoric of Candidate Obama; by focusing on real underlying problems in the country that are being temporarily masked by a slight improvement in the unemployment numbers; and by using satire.

NOOOOOOOOOOOBODY expects the Huffington Position! Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: comparison, problem focus, satire, ruthless efficiency from not paying contributors, an almost fanatical devotion to Centrism, and a nice web layout - Oh damn!  I'll come in again.

Look folks, if you're devoting your considerable reach and power to this re-election battle being about What Obama Hasn't Done Yet before he gets re-elected to have a chance to do it, I'm going to say that you may not be fully vested in the idea that he should be re-elected, follow?  I understand that the President has made some mistakes, and has done things that I don't agree with, especially when it comes to civil liberties.   Considering what he has accomplished, I'm hoping that this will be taken into balanced consideration.  When the other party's response is "Let's reduce the last one hundred fifty years of American progress to a shiny, slightly concave crater of smooth, blackened glass and take a mulligan on everything after 'and the Union was preserved' okay?" I'm thinking the time for holding the President's feet to the fire on things is, you know, November 7th, and not now.  I'm completely willing to have the debate Arianna soon as we keep the Morlocks, Mole People, and CHUDS in the GOP from eating our flesh.

Even better, I would think that time and energy would be invested in getting NANCY SMASH back her gavel, and keeping the Senate, in addition to keeping the White House.  If you haven't noticed, the Republicans have spent the last 15 months dumping trucks of salt on the earth after covering it with napalm, cat pee, and graffiti that reads "TEA PARTY RULZ."  We might want to do something about that rather than saying "You know, Candidate Obama hasn't delivered on all of his campaign promises."  Congratulations on that insight and welcome to politics.  Keeping those promises will require a Congress not led by John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, capiche?

I'd say that I can't believe anyone in that position would be that dense, but given the person making the call, everyone should have expected it by now.


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