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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Conservatism and Samuel Alito's Tenure on the Supreme Court - The Atlantic

Conservatism and Samuel Alito's Tenure on the Supreme Court - The Atlantic

"In the end, both Roberts and Alito are solidly conservative justices—willing to use a range of interpretative tools to push the law to the right in a number of critical areas. But there is one significant difference between the two justices, and that difference helps explain why their records have been materially different in their first decade on the Court. As we concluded after taking a year-long look at Roberts’s first decade as chief justice, Roberts is deeply concerned about the institutional legitimacy of the Court—since joining the Court, he’s repeatedly expressed the concern that the Court not be seen as an extension of the political process—and there are areas in which that concern trumps his ideology. In contrast, Alito’s record is almost always consistent with his conservative ideology."

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

LOL - Donald Trump’s Angry, Perfectly Timed Debate Exit - The New Yorker

AEDLE / GETTY
Donald Trump’s campaign said that Fox News’s C.E.O., Roger Ailes, can’t “toy” with him, and so he’s not going to the network’s debate in Des Moines on Thursday night. The Republican debates had already become strange playthings, with giant planes on the stage, and grown men having tantrums about how much attention they were getting. They argued about how they would scare people in other countries and beat them up, and the less popular candidates attacked one another and hoped that no one would notice that they weren’t going after the bully. There was a debate in which they were asked about putting a woman’s picture on American currency, and they started talking about their moms and cool foreign ladies. It was getting pathetic. The sitcom—or tragicom—needed a bright new character. Fox News seems to have thought that Megyn Kelly, its intelligent host, might do the trick. But Donald Trump doesn’t want to play with her anymore.

He had done so, plenty, after she asked him a pointed question in an earlier debate about his attitudes toward women. That led to Trumpian Twitter attacks and his description of blood from “her wherever.” It also encouraged the idea that Kelly might be the voice of a more sensible wing of the right, but it’s not clear that there is any such thing, or not in any coherent form. And, anyway, that’s not how Fox News was using her. Instead, it was playing up the gladiatorial aspect: Can Trump take on the smart blonde? Their interaction would indeed have been a side show in the debate—an illuminating one, perhaps, or maybe just a very special episode in this series of Republican dysfunction. After Trump’s complaints about whether Kelly could be fair to him.





Thursday, January 21, 2016

NYTimes: The Poisoning of Flint’s Water

NYTimes: The Poisoning of Flint’s Water

"Some of the water tested so high for lead contamination that it was “more than twice the amount at which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies water as hazardous waste,” according to Guyette."

NYTimes: Republicans Ignore a Poisoned City

NYTimes: Republicans Ignore a Poisoned City

"On Tuesday, Rick Snyder, the state’s Republican governor, acknowledged that his government had “failed” the city’s nearly 100,000 residents. That is an understatement. His appointed task force reported late last month that the state’s environmental agency had responded to those who tried to bring attention to this unfolding tragedy with a “persistent tone of scorn and derision.”

Friday, January 15, 2016

NYTimes: Is Vast Inequality Necessary?

NYTimes: Is Vast Inequality Necessary?

"Now, recent experience has not been kind to the conservative position. President Obama pushed through a substantial rise in top tax rates, and his health care reform was the biggest expansion of the welfare state since L.B.J. Conservatives confidently predicted disaster, just as they did when Bill Clinton raised taxes on the top 1 percent. Instead, Mr. Obama has ended up presiding over the best job growth since the 1990s. Is there, however, a longer-term case in favor of vast inequality?"

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Dolly Parton and her 'lack of judgment'

Dolly Parton and her 'lack of judgment'

"Dollywood attracts lots of church groups, but it has also become a draw for the LGBT community. What does that say about you?

It's a place for entertainment, a place for all families, period. It's for all that. But as far as the Christians, if people want to pass judgment, they're already sinning. The sin of judging is just as bad as any other sin they might say somebody else is committing. I try to love everybody.

You have a large gay following. To what do you attribute that?

They know that I completely love and accept them, as I do all people. I've struggled enough in my life to be appreciated and understood. I've had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself. I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are, and to love who they love. I don't think we should be judgmental. Lord, I've got enough problems of my own to pass judgment on somebody else.

As I smiled at those words and silently thanked Dolly to myself, I knew that heads would be exploding across the tracks. These people didn't disappoint. The Christians she was directly speaking to became unhinged for being so directly called out."

Friday, January 08, 2016

NYTimes: What Donald Trump Owes George Wallace

NYTimes: What Donald Trump Owes George Wallace

"DONALD J. TRUMP, reality television star and real estate mogul, is different in many ways from major political figures in our past. But there are striking similarities between Mr. Trump and George C. Wallace, the Deep South politician who ran for president each opportunity he got from 1964 through 1976. The connections between the two — their rhetoric and their ability to fire up crowds — give us a better sense of what Trumpism will mean once he is gone from the campaign stage. After all, political losers as well as winners can shape the future.

Barack Obama: Guns Are Our Shared Responsibility

Barack Obama: Guns Are Our Shared Responsibility

"In the article, Mr. Obama urged Americans who agree with him on gun control measures to join him in pushing to elect new lawmakers in Congress."

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Michigan Governor Declares State of Emergency in Flint Over Drinking Water | TIME

(FLINT, Mich.) —Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency in Flint on Tuesday over problems with lead in the city’s drinking water, the same day federal officials confirmed they’re investigating the matter that prompted a local public health emergency.
Snyder’s action follows emergency declarations by the city and Genesee County, which requested help from the state. Michigan’s declaration makes available state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery operations.
U.S. attorney’s spokeswoman Gina Balaya said in an email that the federal investigation is “an effort to address the concerns of Flint residents,” but she couldn’t say whether it is a criminal or civil investigation.


The city switched from Detroit’s water system to Flint River water in a cost-cutting move in 2014, while under state financial management. That was intended as a temporary step while a pipeline was built from Lake Huron.


Residents complained about the water’s taste, smell and appearance, and children were found to have elevated levels of lead due to the water supply. Exposure to lead can cause behavior problems and learning disabilities in children.
The city returned to Detroit water in October.


Michigan Governor Declares State of Emergency in Flint Over Drinking Water | TIME