Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Last Call For Flagging Support

And in the end, after all the attention and embarrassment to Southern states still choosing to fly the flags of traitors, they still choose to fly the flag of traitors.

Mississippi’s state flag will include the Confederate battle emblem for the foreseeable future, after state lawmakers on Tuesday said they didn’t have enough support to remove the controversial symbol. 
There were 12 different bills in the Mississippi Legislature to either redesign, change, or remove the Confederate symbol from the state’s 122-year-old flag. But they all died on Tuesday, which was the deadline for lawmakers to act on bills that were stuck in legislative committees. 
The bills offered numerous different options for Mississippi’s flag. One bill would have changed it to include a magnolia tree, just like the state’s flag did from 1861 until 1865. A few bills would have provided for new design submissions, either from state universities or from a newly-created commission to find new design options. One would have even changed the flag back to the Bonnie Blue Flag, which is also a Confederate-related banner, but less recognizable. 
But none of those bills had majority support from lawmakers in either the state House or Senate, Republican Rep. Jason White told the Associated Press. “I’m not saying that all of them are necessarily bad ideas, but we don’t have a consensus on any of them,” he said. 
The speaker of Mississippi’s House of Representatives, Republican Rep. Philip Gunn, had previously expressed support for removing the Confederate symbol from the state flag. On Tuesday, he said in a statement that he had “not wavered” on that viewpoint, and has been trying to convince other lawmakers “to adopt my view.” 
“I have explored every option from taking legislative action to change the flag to adopting two official flags, but we cannot get a consensus on how to address the issue,” he said. “I will continue to stand by my view that changing the flag is the right thing to do. The flag is going to change.”

No, it's not.  You've had 150 years to do it.  You've yet to actually do it.  There's no reason for us to believe you on this.  You're racist trash, your fathers were racist trash, grandfathers, right on up the line, Phil.

Change the goddamn flag.

Flipping The Script On SCOTUS, Con't

President Obama took to the excellent SCOTUSBlog today to make his case as both president and as a constitutional law scholar as to why he will nominate a successor to the late Justice Scalia.

The Constitution vests in the President the power to appoint judges to the Supreme Court. It’s a duty that I take seriously, and one that I will fulfill in the weeks ahead. 
It’s also one of the most important decisions that a President will make. Rulings handed down by the Supreme Court directly affect our economy, our security, our rights, and our daily lives. 
Needless to say, this isn’t something I take lightly. It’s a decision to which I devote considerable time, deep reflection, careful deliberation, and serious consultation with legal experts, members of both political parties, and people across the political spectrum. And with thanks to SCOTUSblog for allowing me to guest post today, I thought I’d share some spoiler-free insights into what I think about before appointing the person who will be our next Supreme Court Justice. 
First and foremost, the person I appoint will be eminently qualified. He or she will have an independent mind, rigorous intellect, impeccable credentials, and a record of excellence and integrity. I’m looking for a mastery of the law, with an ability to hone in on the key issues before the Court, and provide clear answers to complex legal questions. 
Second, the person I appoint will be someone who recognizes the limits of the judiciary’s role; who understands that a judge’s job is to interpret the law, not make the law. I seek judges who approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda, but rather a commitment to impartial justice, a respect for precedent, and a determination to faithfully apply the law to the facts at hand. 
But I’m also mindful that there will be cases that reach the Supreme Court in which the law is not clear. There will be cases in which a judge’s analysis necessarily will be shaped by his or her own perspective, ethics, and judgment. That’s why the third quality I seek in a judge is a keen understanding that justice is not about abstract legal theory, nor some footnote in a dusty casebook. It’s the kind of life experience earned outside the classroom and the courtroom; experience that suggests he or she views the law not only as an intellectual exercise, but also grasps the way it affects the daily reality of people’s lives in a big, complicated democracy, and in rapidly changing times. That, I believe, is an essential element for arriving at just decisions and fair outcomes. 
A sterling record. A deep respect for the judiciary’s role. An understanding of the way the world really works. That’s what I’m considering as I fulfill my constitutional duty to appoint a judge to our highest court. And as Senators prepare to fulfill their constitutional responsibility to consider the person I appoint, I hope they’ll move quickly to debate and then confirm this nominee so that the Court can continue to serve the American people at full strength.

It's a relatively short argument and a very strong one.  It's also an example of the President going around the usual media channels to make his case to the people directly, and no president has been as effective at this as our current one. I certainly don't blame him for not depending on our awful media to get his message out, the same media tacitly enabling the unprecedented blockade now before him.

President Obama, the law professor, is definitely a subscriber to the legal theory of a "living Constitution" and is letting the largest community of Supreme Court aficionados and legal minds know that his nominee will also be such a person.

How that affects this battle with the GOP Senate remains to be seen.

The Rough Beast '16 US Tour

Donald Trump has metastasized the body politic's lingering infection of racism and bigotry into a force that's giving him the GOP nomination...and possibly the country.

Mr. Trump’s support among those who say they support a temporary ban on Muslim entry into the United States — a notion Mr. Trump first advanced in early December — is significant. He won more than twice as many supporters of the ban in South Carolina as any other candidate. Voters often echo the things candidates say on the campaign trail, so that level may not be revelatory.

Possibly more surprising are the attitudes of Mr. Trump’s supporters on things that he has not talked very much about on the campaign trail. He has said nothing about a ban on gays in the United States, the outcome of the Civil War or white supremacy. Yet on all of these topics, Mr. Trump’s supporters appear to stand out from the rest of Republican primary voters.

Data from Public Policy Polling show that a third of Mr. Trump’s backers in South Carolina support barring gays and lesbians from entering the country. This is nearly twice the support for this idea (17 percent) among Ted Cruz’s and Marco Rubio’s voters and nearly five times the support of John Kasich’s and Ben Carson’s supporters (7 percent).

Similarly, YouGov data reveal that a third of Mr. Trump’s (and Mr. Cruz’s) backers believe that Japanese internment during World War II was a good idea, while roughly 10 percent of Mr. Rubio’s and Mr. Kasich’s supporters do. Mr. Trump’s coalition is also more likely to disagree with the desegregation of the military (which was ordered in 1948 by Harry Truman) than other candidates’ supporters are.

The P.P.P. poll asked voters if they thought whites were a superior race. Most Republican primary voters in South Carolina — 78 percent — disagreed with this idea (10 percent agreed and 11 percent weren’t sure). But among Mr. Trump’s supporters, only 69 percent disagreed. Mr. Carson’s voters were the most opposed to the notion (99 percent), followed by Mr. Kasich and Mr. Cruz’s supporters at 92 and 89 percent. Mr. Rubio’s backers were close to the average level of disagreement (76 percent).

According to P.P.P., 70 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters in South Carolina wish the Confederate battle flag were still flying on their statehouse grounds. (It was removed last summer less than a month after a mass shooting at a black church in Charleston.) The polling firm says that 38 percent of them wish the South had won the Civil War. Only a quarter of Mr. Rubio’s supporters share that wish, and even fewer of Mr. Kasich’s and Mr. Carson’s do.

Nationally, the YouGov data show a similar trend: Nearly 20 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters disagreed with the freeing of slaves in Southern states after the Civil War. Only 5 percent of Mr. Rubio’s voters share this view.

Mr. Trump’s popularity with white, working-class voters who are more likely than other Republicans to believe that whites are a supreme race and who long for the Confederacy may make him unpopular among leaders in his party. But it’s worth noting that he isn’t persuading voters to hold these beliefs. The beliefs were there — and have been for some time.

Mr. Trump has reinvigorated explicit appeals to ethnocentrism, and some voters are responding.

After eight years of a media that has relentless demonized the nation's first black president as everything from a traitor to the actual Antichrist, the racist backlash of Trump was absolutely inevitable. It's now on full grisly display for all to see, and there's nothing that the Republican party can do at this point to stop him. The big money learned their lesson after foisting Romney on the party four years ago and would rather have Trump than any Democrat.  There will be no help from the Koch or Rove machines to stop The Donald.

As Donald Trump picks up momentum, the chances of a well-funded assault to block him from the Republican presidential nomination are dramatically dwindling, according to interviews with about a dozen donors and operatives who are appalled by the billionaire real estate showman's campaign.

The party’s elite donor class has mostly closed its checkbooks to groups dedicated to stopping Trump, while the outfits that have built massive reserves are increasingly deciding to forgo anti-Trump campaigns, despite widespread fears that he is making a mockery of conservatism and could undermine Republicans up and down the ballot.

The deepest-pocketed operation on the right, the network helmed by the billionaires Charles and David Koch, had seriously debated launching an aggressive assault on Trump, but sources familiar with the network's planning tell POLITICO that’s now highly unlikely. And the Karl Rove-conceived Crossroads outfits also are sitting out the party’s bitter primary, instead spending their cash attacking Democrats.

Republican operatives have told major donors it would require an eight-figure advertising campaign or campaigns to make any kind of dent in Trump’s surprisingly durable popularity. While many of the donors have privately voiced support for the cause, most have begged off writing big checks.

Nevada had Trump at 46%, and after a slate of Super Tuesday wins next week, including in Ted Cruz's home state of Texas, and Marco Rubio's Florida on March 15th, the game will all be over.

The rough beast is slouching its way to Cleveland, folks...its hour come 'round at last.


Related Posts with Thumbnails