Sunday Open Thread

I hope you enjoy this weekend with family and friends.

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40 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Friday, August 08, 2014

    En Bunk Redux

    Guest Blogger

    Rob Weiner

    Professor Adler’s response to my previous post continues a coordinated effort to preemptively delegitimize en banc review of the Halbig case by the DC Circuit. The effort appears to reflect the recognition that Supreme Court review of Halbig cannot be justified on the basis of a conflict among the courts of appeals if the conflicting decision has been vacated by a grant of rehearing en banc. The grant of certiorari in such a situation would be wholly inconsistent with long-standing Supreme Court practice. Thus, we hear denunciations of a DC Circuit decision to grant review as political before before the full Court has decided anything.

    Most of Professor Adler’s latest contribution does not merit reply. However, I do want to correct the record on two points.

    First, Professor Adler accuses me of “sleight of hand” in calling attention to the DC Circuit’s sua sponte order staying the judgment in Halbig until disposition of any request for rehearing. He notes that under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 41(b), the mandate of the Court does not issue until the time for filing a petition for rehearing has passed or the full Court has acted on a petition. Precisely. That is why it was unnecessary for the Court to issue an order to that effect. In my experience, such orders are not standard practice, and therefore this one raises the plausible inference that the panel majority anticipated the likely demise of its aberrant decision.

    Second, Professor Adler’s suggestion that the DC Circuit rarely grants en banc review misses the point – actually, several points, but I will address only one of them here. Rule 41 was amended in 1998 (after the opinion of Judge Edwards on which Professor Adler relies, by the way) to add inter-circuit conflicts as a ground to reconsider a decision en banc. The Advisory Committee Notes on that change emphasized that en banc review is particularly important in cases where “a panel decision creates a conflict,” as opposed to cases where the panel merely takes sides in an existing conflict. The reason for the Advisory Committee’s emphasis is clear. Where, as here, the panel decision engenders the conflict, en banc reconsideration can make that conflict go away. That result may derail Professor Adler’s plans to gut the ACA, but avoiding an inter-circuit conflict is an appropriate basis for the DC Circuit to grant en banc review.

    This is probably more information on the intricacies of rehearing en banc than almost anyone cares to know. But, for the reasons noted above, I suspect it will not be the last word.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Mohamed Ghilan @mohamedghilan

    I’m seeing Shia & Sunni scholars come together to renounce ISIS. Never seen such a unanimous consensus between scholars against something.
    5:34 PM – 10 Aug 2014

  3. rikyrah says:

    Liberal Librarian @Lib_Librarian

    HRC isn’t “owed” the nomination in 2016, just like she wasn’t owed it in 2008. Here’s to history repeating itself.
    7:19 PM – 10 Aug 2014

  4. rikyrah says:

    The Weird Power and Liability of Incumbency in Hawaii
    The state’s voters used to revere longtime officeholders. On Saturday, that changed, when the state’s governor, Neil Abercrombie, lost in an unprecedented upset—but the man he controversially handpicked as U.S. senator may win.

    It is because of Neil Abercrombie—the Hawaii governor ousted in a Democratic primary on Saturday—that Brian Schatz became the state’s seventh United States senator in the first place.

    That Abercrombie was unseated was unusual enough, the first time in history a Hawaii governor has failed to win renomination by his party. But now things get even stranger: With the contest between Schatz and his primary challenger, Representative Colleen Hanabusa, still too close to call, the senator’s fate rests with 8,000 or so registered voters who have yet to cast ballots thanks to a tropical storm that closed polling places.

    The backstory is dramatic. Nearly two years ago, in the doldrums between Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2012, Abercrombie picked Schatz, then his lieutenant governor, to replace a man who could never be replaced.

    Senator Daniel Inouye had represented Hawaii in Washington for the entirety of the state’s existence, including nearly 50 years in the Senate, until he died in December 2012. And while Inouye made clear—in a dramatic deathbed letter—his desire for Hanabusa to be his successor, Abercrombie shocked the political establishment and appointed Schatz instead. With that, the governor installed a close ally in Washington, where he’d been a congressman himself for nearly 20 years. (His real motivation, Abercrombie said, was to pick the person he believed would be best for the job.)

    The selection stunned a community accustomed to seeing Inouye get what he wanted. Symbolically, Inouye the kingmaker—a man who a poll once found to be literally more popular than God—had truly fallen. But life went on. Hawaii adapted to a reality without Inouye, in part because the same congressional dysfunction that had plagued him in the twilight of his career prevented Schatz from accomplishing anything of real substance either. Hawaii’s representation in Congress may have dramatically changed, but life in the Islands didn’t feel all that different.

    Then, on Saturday, the story took a strange turn.

    Voters might have been expected to overrule Abercrombie by ousting Schatz. Instead, it was Abercrombie who was overwhelmingly defeated by a little-known state senator, David Ige. Meanwhile, Schatz may still hang onto his Senate seat. As of early Sunday morning, he was leading Hanabusa by 1,788 votes, but the election could not be called because two precincts on Hawaii’s Big Island were closed on Election Day due to back-to-back storms. Voters in those precincts can still mail in their ballots.

    All this chaos raises the question: Which voters are deciding Hawaii’s future? And which constituency would have turned out against Abercrombie but for Schatz?

  5. rikyrah says:

    Social Conservatism Is the Way the GOP Can Win With Black Voters

    To win 20 percent of the black vote—and that’s all they need—Republicans should appeal to socially conservative black Americans.

    By: Theodore R. Johnson III
    Posted: Aug. 7 2014 3:30 AM

    The black electorate is back en vogue. After saving Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran from defeat in the Republican primary just months after propelling Democrat Terry McAuliffe to Virginia’s governorship, black America has demonstrated that it indeed can determine the outcome of elections. More important, perhaps, is the subtext of these results: The black vote is demonstrably in play.

    In recent weeks, the New York Times’ Nate Cohn has argued that Southern black voters will determine whether or not the GOP will control the next Congress. And the Times’ Jeremy Peters has reported on the outreach efforts of prominent Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul.

    Since it already has an iron grip on the black vote, the Democratic Party has a strategy to simply increase turnout. In response, the GOP can either suppress the black vote, which is a goal so immoral and un-American that it will result in increased turnout for Democrats, or it can undertake the large project of actuating a contended black electorate.

    Republicans have been roundly—and rightly—disparaged for their poor and inconsistent efforts to attract black voters. But what usually follows such criticism is nebulous advice about clear messaging and community engagement. This sort of counsel is good-natured, but so unclear and imprecise that it is almost wholly unhelpful.

    A more fruitful approach would be for the GOP to turn to a component of the party platform that some believe is passé: social conservatism. When packaged with other government and economic-reform policies, this ideology could be the key to garnering support from just enough of the black electorate to become the nation’s majority party.

    Social conservatism is sometimes considered nothing more than a euphemism for opponents of abortion and and same-sex marriage, but social conservatism is fundamentally about traditional family values, the role of religion, the importance of community, and the intergenerational transfer of morals and beliefs. These are principles integral to the American culture—and a recent Gallup poll confirms that more Americans identify as socially conservative.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Voting Rights Are in Peril, and Democracy Hangs in the Balance

    Your Take: A year after the Shelby v. Holder Supreme Court case, as the 2014 midterms approach, election changes place our democracy in jeopardy. And it is up to us—all of us—to fight to preserve it.

    By: Jotaka Eaddy
    Posted: June 25 2014 3:01 AM

    The 2014 fall midterm elections are gearing up to be among the most significant in decades, since they have the power to determine the balance of U.S. political power. Yet new laws and election changes across the country—from photo-ID requirements and early-voting cutbacks to the removal of polling places and changes in election procedures—may block many from accessing the ballot box this November.

    From coast to coast, millions of Americans’ right to vote is at risk.

    Protections that were once instituted to guarantee the franchise now hang in the balance following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Shelby v. Holder that dismantled key provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

    For the first time this year, voters in 15 states are facing an array of strict voting rules in major elections, according to a report released by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. And unless these laws are blocked by the courts—and there are court challenges to measures in six of those states—the votes of nearly half the country could go uncast in the 2014 midterm elections.

    Shortly after the Shelby decision, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced that the state’s voter-identification law, previously rejected by a federal court as the most discriminatory measure of its kind in the country, would “immediately” go into effect. And immediately, people encountered new barriers. One such person was Judge Sandra Watts, who was stopped while trying to vote because the name on her photo ID—the same one she had used for voter registration and identification for 52 years—did not exactly match her name on the official voter rolls. Watts was eventually allowed to vote after she signed an affidavit attesting that she was who she said she was.

    There is no guarantee, however, that the next voter without the “proper ID” will be as fortunate.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Before Putting Judges on the Bench, Make Them Prove They Have a Diverse Set of Friends

    If having daughters affects how judges rule, there’s a good chance that having friends of color—or not—would affect their rulings, too.

    By: Keli Goff
    Posted: June 18 2014 3:31 PM

    The findings of a new study released this week have captured headlines.

    According to two political scientists, having daughters has a profound influence on the attitudes of male judges, most notably those appointed by Republican presidents. In analyzing 2,500 votes by 224 federal judges, the study found that having at least one daughter increased the likelihood that judges would be moved to vote in a more “feminist direction.”

    The study is being hailed as incredibly significant because it confirms what many of us have long believed, though it had never been definitively proved: Judges often consider much more than the law and the facts when making rulings. Like everyone else, judges harbor bias. But unlike the rest of us, their biases can have lifelong consequences—including, literally, matters of life and death.

    So now that we know that male judges’ rulings are affected by the women in their lives, isn’t it time we started asking judges about the racial makeup of the people in their lives, too?

    Since our country’s inception, there has been well-documented racial, gender and class bias in our judicial system. But a disturbing study released in 2012, the year that our nation’s first black president was re-elected, proved that significant racial bias remains prevalent in our judiciary. Specifically, the study proved heavy racial bias in sentencing.

    To put in perspective just how severe the bias is, consider this: Researchers found that among the fairest judges, a black defendant being sentenced for the exact same crime as a white defendant was still 30 percent more likely to be sent to prison. Let me reiterate: This was the outcome when dealing with those deemed the fairest judges. I shudder to think what the outcomes are like when dealing with those determined to be the least fair.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Hip-Hop Is Changing Whether You Like It or Not

    The music’s transformation isn’t neglecting its roots but merely a reflection of how millennials view the world.

    By: Taryn Finley
    Posted: Aug. 9 2014 2:30 AM

    Every so often in hip-hop, we’re introduced to a new kid on the block who happens to be white; this new face gets loads of media mentions and a group of the genre’s fans wild out on the blogs—they usually call themselves “true hip-hop heads.”

    The latest to get the wrath is Iggy Azalea. Before her, it was Macklemore.

    Plenty of white rappers have had to deal with the closed-mindedness of a group of hip-hop-goers that can’t get past the prehistoric idea that hip-hop is purely a black experience. This is far from the truth. Over time, the Beastie Boys, 3rd Base, House of Pain, Kid Rock, Eminem and even Vanilla Ice have left their imprints on the culture.

    To be totally clear, by no means is Iggy Azalea the rap game’s Australian messiah (nice try, Forbes), and her “rap accent” is questionable in comparison with her normal voice, but it’s 2014 and she’s welcome to experiment.

    What the so-called true hip-hop fans fail to realize is that those black hip-hop artists they love are doing the same as these white artists. They’re exploring genres that would traditionally seem taboo and infusing them into hip-hop. They are moving into music that is normally considered “white” and embracing the genre.

    Just in case you’ve been sleep for the past few decades, I’m here to let you know this isn’t a new phenomenon. De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising or Run-DMC’s King of Rock are prime examples of expanding music’s horizons. Hell, Rick Rubin alone has godfathered a bridge between rock and rap, but it feels more prominent than ever as more and more black artists blur musical lines and redefine the culture in a unique manner.

    Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Childish Gambino, SZA, Odd Future and Danny Brown are just a few of the growing number of artists incorporating techno, electronic, metal and pop into their music.

    • Ametia says:

      Sorry, but Hip hop is not changing. At least not the kind I listen too.

      This is all about white artist CO-OPTING the music, and claiming they discovered it.

      Nothing new here, ask Muddy Waters, Little Richie, and a host of other black singers.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Red-light cameras a case study in Chicago corruption, waste and failure
    21 Jul 2014
    Austin Berg

    Chicago has the most red-light cameras of any city in the country. Since 2003, the city’s 352 cameras have levied nearly half a billion dollars in fines.

    These cameras are sold to the public as a way to promote traffic safety, but the real outcome of the city’s program has been to grift lawful drivers while making sweetheart deals with poorly run companies.

    The Chicago Tribune is now reporting that cameras throughout the city have burdened thousands of Chicagoans with wrongfully issued $100 tickets over the last five years, at least.

    After analyzing 4 million tickets issued by the cameras since 2007, Tribune reporters David Kidwell and Alex Richards found instances of dramatic, arbitrary spikes in the number of drivers ticketed by the cameras.

    It’s not surprising.

    The company that installed and operated the cameras, Redflex, was fired last year after admitting to “likely” paying $2 million in bribes to Madigan-insider John Bills. Redflex was supposed to have monitored its system for spikes like this, but that never happened.

    The improper tickets were caused by shortened or irregular yellow-light patterns, as well as error-prone analysis of rolling stops on right turns. The wrongful right-turn tickets were caused by limitations of the cameras’ technology. It’s just too difficult to tell if a car has come to a complete stop, is inching forward to see if it’s clear to make the turn or if these maneuvers are at all unsafe.

    As for the irregular yellow lights, experts consulted by the Tribune could think of only two explanations:

    “Either someone deliberately tinkered with cameras to generate more tickets, or the system malfunctioned repeatedly, resulting in wrongful citations. Those anomalies, they said, should have been detected and addressed.”

    A Tribune case study showed a one-second shortening of a Lincoln Avenue yellow light generating 100 tickets over a 12-day boon.

    Evidence as to whether red-light cameras improve traffic safety is mixed at best. Some research suggests that red-light cameras increase the number of crashes at intersections. An audit of Chicago’s program by the Inspector General’s office found no evidence that the program increased the safety of city streets.

    Even though the city has no evidence that its red-light cameras are improving safety, Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed a $44.1 million, five-year deal that replaced Redflex with Xerox, saving taxpayers around $10 million each year. Xerox lost its Baltimore contract in 2013 after equipment failures resulted in thousands of wrongfully issued tickets. And the parallels with now-disgraced Redflex don’t end there, it’s also a politically connected firm, with a “clout-heavy” team that includes Democratic strategist Kevin Conlon.

    Taxpayers deserve to be saving more than the difference in cost between two bad companies. The cameras, proven to be unsuccessful, should be eliminated altogether.

    Even if red-light cameras were effective, it seems the city hasn’t been concerned with reducing crash rates at the most dangerous intersections. A Chicago Sun-Times report found that 42 percent of the 130 intersections where the city installed cameras in 2008 were not even among the top 200 intersections with the highest angle crash rates (angle crashes are those which are not rear-end collisions). And the Inspector General’s audit found it “troubling that [The Chicago Department of Transportation] cannot produce documentation of analysis demonstrating how each camera location was chosen.”

    In short, Chicago government has been wildly ineffective in implementing a program that has zero benefit to taxpayers. It’s time for city officials to stop the shameless cronyism and eliminate this 20-car pileup of a system altogether.

  10. rikyrah says:

    The Secret Fight of the Black-Girl Nerds

    The Internet has allowed an underserved community to unite, but no amount of magic or fantasy erases the racism and sexism they face in the pursuit of their unconventional passions.

    By: Breanna Edwards
    Posted: Aug. 10 2014 2:00 AM

    The life of a “nerd” typically involves a certain amount of loneliness and other social challenges. Try being a black girl on top of that.

    Sure, mainstream culture has its ways of portraying nerd-dom as trendy and cool (hello, The Big Bang Theory), but this treatment is generally reserved for men … most often white men. So it’s not uncommon for a young black girl who may be into comics, science fiction, horror or anime to ask herself, “Am I the only one? Is there something wrong with me?”

    “As black women, just based off our gender and race, we do have two strikes against us,” said Jamie Broadnax, creator of BlackGirlNerds, an online community described as “a place for women of color with various eccentricities to express themselves freely and embrace who they are.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    10 Things the Media Won’t Tell You About Black Millennials

    People seem to be missing out on a lot of information about us while simultaneously “borrowing” our culture. But that’s none of our business …
    By: Diamond Sharp
    Posted: Aug. 8 2014 2:17 AM

    Millennials, those born between 1980 and 1999, are arguably the most misunderstood and the most multidimensional generation. Often derided as lazy, technology crazed and just downright not as successful as our elders, members of Generation Y hardly ever hear good news about ourselves. And of course, black millennials, who have made leaps in education and politics, and have set trends from social media to music, often get the worst of the criticism. But guess what? Young black people in the most talked-about generation don’t need your approval. We’re doing just fine.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Why Carefree Black Girls Are Here to Stay

    Constantly battling stereotypes and bad news, many black women are hungry for reflections of the lighthearted side of their identity. Flower crowns, bicycles and a hashtag to the rescue.

    By: Diamond Sharp
    Posted: Aug. 9 2014 2:30 A

    Danielle Hawkins is a 19-year-old student at the Savannah College of Art and Design. When she isn’t working on her sketches, she can be found reading about black feminism or scrolling through Tumblr. That’s where she first came across the hashtag #carefreeblackgirls. Before long, she’d launched her own blog with the same name.

    Although there’s no consensus about the origins of the 18-letter social media stamp, a cursory search of Topsy indicates that the first recorded use of #carefreeblackgirls on Twitter was in May 2013 by writer Zeba Blay. What’s much clearer is the extent of its appeal among a group of black women who, for more than a year, have used it to anchor expressions of individuality and whimsy in the face of the heavy stereotypes and painful realities that too often color discussions of their demographic.

    “#Carefreeblackgirls was so attractive to me because of my own hyperawareness of issues that specifically affect black women,” Hawkins told The Root. “The whole concept was like a breath of fresh air. Being aware of the black female struggle is important, but it’s just nice to decompress and focus on the positive.”

    Her blog’s self-description is, “A safe space for black girls across the globe and beyond to share their diverse fashions, passions, conversations, and cultures without any drama—and a home away from the various struggles we face in the real world.” On it, you’ll find images of everything from a serene-looking woman with an untamed white-gray Afro to a group of friends dressed like Disney’s Doc McStuffins to a brown-skinned girl in a pink dress caught midtoss as she gleefully scatters flower petals.

    Instead of arguing explicitly against archetypes of black women (Jezebel, strong black woman, mammy, welfare queen, video vixen—take your pick), Hawkins and others who use the hashtag simply present an alternative, communicating with words and images, “We’re multidimensional, and we’re OK.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    United in Complexion and Love, but a Culture Apart

    No, these couples aren’t interracial. But black Americans in interethnic relationships say they have their own unique set of challenges and lessons to learn.
    By: Erin C.J. Robertson
    Posted: July 31 2014 2:00 AM

    At first glance, you might guess by their deep-chocolate complexions, matching warm smiles and coordinated traditional attire that Charlotte Fadare and her husband, Olusola Fadare, have everything in common.

    But the truth is, these newlyweds come from vastly different worlds, continents apart, and have spent much of their marriage bridging the cultural divide between their two backgrounds.

    A year ago next month, the couple merged her Southern African-American heritage and his Yoruba Nigerian traditions through a 250-person, fusion wedding and reception in Baltimore. There was traditional Western and African wedding attire, a symbolic jump over a broom at the altar, Yoruban dishes alongside soul food options and a procession to Nigerian pop.

    After the father-daughter dance ended and “Wobble Baby” blared over the reception-hall speakers, the bride’s side immediately rushed to the floor to dance to what’s become an African-American party staple, while many of the groom’s friends and relatives were left confused about what the fuss was about. It was immediately evident that the hit song wasn’t as big in Nigeria.

    “It looked like confusion, so that was kind of funny,” Charlotte Fadare, 26, remembers.

    Beryl Harold, who immigrated to New York City from Jamaica at 10 years old, recalls a similar wedding-reception experience. A couple of days post-honeymoon, she received a phone call from her new African-American sister-in-law, a devout Southern Baptist who was unfamiliar with Jamaica’s dancehall and reggae scene. The concerned new relative reported that she’d been so “aghast” at the sensual “dolla wine”-ing to artists like Sean Paul and Shabba Ranks that she’d fled the dance floor—and the wedding itself—early, with kids in tow.

    Differences in dance styles and musical preferences are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the questions and complications that black intercultural (also called interethnic) couples encounter when blending cultures in the name of love. One day they might be managing resistance from family and friends whose ethnic biases mean their life partners inspire skepticism. On another, they’re making adjustments to accommodate each other’s cultural mores in areas ranging from food to education to gender roles. The issues they grapple with are daily reminders of the diversity of the black experience in the United States, and their relationships seem almost like microcosms of all its challenges and richness.

  14. rikyrah says:

    5 Lessons on Art vs. Commerce That Kanye West and Damon Dash Should Keep in Mind Before Turning Up

    Straddling the lines between creating art and making money is a never ending battle for these two passionate artists. Here’s some advice that might help.
    By: Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele
    Posted: Aug. 10 2014 2:00 AM

    We all know that Kanye West has an ax to grind with corporations—specifically with some of the major fashion houses and how he thinks they’re trying to sabotage his attempts at launching a high-end clothing line. He thinks he’s experiencing racism and celebrity-ism, saying that because he’s a musician—and a hip-hop musician at that—clothing designers are pigeonholing him into a certain box and aren’t taking his talents at face value. He’s ready to burst through a glass ceiling and the Louis Vuittons and Nikes of the industry are not trying to see that happen.

    Then there’s Damon Dash—Jay Z’s former business partner. He’s been on the press circuit in the past several months blasting the “culture vultures” and “culture robbers” that he says are sucking the blood out of hip-hop culture. Dash called out executive guys like Lyor Cohen and Steve Stoute, who, Dash believes, hook up artists with inauthentic branding opportunities that only end up hurting the artists’ brands, and by extension, hip-hop culture. As an example, he cites Mary J. Blige, who was practically laughed out of town after her Burger King ads ran in April 2012. Many people—including Blige herself—felt strongly about their genre being appropriated to peddle greasy fast food in a way that felt a bit like shucking and jiving.

    While West’s and Dash’s concerns are a bit different, they both reflect the ongoing tension between art and commerce. Both men are battling age-old questions: As an artist, how do you “keep it real” and profitable? How do you stay true to your craft and identity, but maintain a healthy bottom line as you veer into other markets? How do you convince executives to take you seriously—especially if the movers and shakers in a particular industry are predominantly white and aren’t used to having African-American collaborators, let alone leaders?

  15. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, August 10, 2014
    Hillary Clinton is wrong about the lessons of the Cold War (updated)
    Jeffrey Goldberg has published a fascinating interview with Hillary Clinton about her views on foreign policy. Its disappointing that the headline: “Hillary Clinton: ‘Failure to help Syrian Rebels led to the Rise of ISIS” is so misleading. In the actual interview, she states that she supported a policy to arm the rebels early on – in disagreement with President Obama. But when pushed to say whether or not it would have led to a different outcome, she declined (three times) to do so.

    I can’t sit here today and say that if we had done what I recommended…that we’d be in a demonstrably different place.

    There are several places where I disagree with Clinton – such as her unequivocating support of Israel’s recent actions in Gaza and her suggestion that disagreement with that position is fueled by anti-Semitism. For many liberals like me – we have a much more nuanced view of that situation. But my tendency is always to look for the big picture. It was in her recounting of what we should learn from the Cold War that I saw where many of my issues with her approach to foreign policy lie.

    One of the themes Clinton espouses was captured in the article’s tag line: “Great nations need organizing principles.” Citing an example for what that would mean in responding to current “jihadist” threats (her words) in the Middle East, she takes a lesson from our victory in the Cold War.

    I’m thinking a lot about containment, deterrence, and defeat. You know, we did a good job in containing the Soviet Union, but we made a lot of mistakes, we supported really nasty guys, we did some things that we are not particularly proud of, from Latin America to Southeast Asia, but we did have a kind of overarching framework about what we were trying to do that did lead to the defeat of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Communism. That was our objective. We achieved it.

    I’ll leave it for those with more knowledge than I have to discuss what actually led to the defeat of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Communism. But she’s right, along the way “we made a lot of mistakes and supported really nasty guys.” Clinton wants to excuse all that because “we won.” And therefore our “organizing principle” of seeing every global situation through the lens of anti-communism was justified.

    I would suggest that it was the myopic vision of seeing struggles for democracy as nothing more than communist threats that led us to make some of the biggest mistakes in our country’s history. It was the unholy alliance between US corporate interests and fear mongering about the communist threat that led us to support murderous dictators all over the globe.

  16. rikyrah says:

    From Balloon Juice:

    Hunter Gathers says:
    August 10, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Hillary Clinton is the vehicle in which a radical conservative
    will ride to the White House in 2020. If she runs in 2016, unless she
    completely screws up, she’ll win by a very comfortable margin. She
    won’t be able to get anything passed legislatively that deals with
    domestic issues, so she’s going to have to start a war to show the
    Villagers that she can ‘work with Republicans to get things done’.

    She’s still as hawkish as she was in 2008, which means she’ll be more than happy to cut the legs out from under a Democratic led Senate to join with GOPers and conservative Dems in order to get a war in the Middle East so she can prove how ‘tough’ she is. Her new war in the Middle East will have ‘bipartisan support’, meaning that conservatives from both sides came together to kill brown people who pray to the wrong god. And since it’s bipartisan, the Press will deem the war declaration as the greatest bipartisan achievement since Reagan, or some dumb ass shit like that.

    Since during the debate during the run up to her little war will
    involve an absolute shit-ton of hippie punching and ignoring of the
    concerns of black, hispanic and asian voters, she’s not going to get
    support from either side when it blows up in her face. Which it will.
    Spectacularly. The conservatives she wooed to get the resolution to go to war passed in the first place will abandon her two seconds after the invasion begins, as is their wont. And after telling the so-called
    hippies and minority voters to go fuck themselves, she’ll get no support from them. The Press will drop her like a bad habit once the war goes to shit and they remember that she and her husband trashed the place a while back.

    She’ll end up like LBJ in 1964 – totally fucked from every side.
    She’ll still get the nom in 2020, but enough Dems are going to be so
    fucking pissed off that if a billionaire ran on an anti-war platform as
    an independent, she’d loose an ass ton of votes to that billionaire.
    Which would put Ted Cruz in the White House. And smash the Democratic Party into a billion pieces.

    The most important thing to remember about the Clintons is that they
    are total, complete fuck ups. Bill was a fuck-up who accomplished next to nothing in office, other than paving the way to wipe out all the
    economic gains made during his time in office. All he’s going to be
    remembered for is the blow job. Nothing else. Hillary fucked up a
    guaranteed win in 2008 by hiring shitty, stupid handlers, thinking that
    the Iraq war vote wasn’t going to hurt her, and sending her walking
    stereotype of a husband to tell black voters to go fuck themselves in
    South Carolina. Those two have accomplished nothing, and will continue to accomplish nothing.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Obama strikes a blow against the scourge of forced arbitration

    Little noticed in coverage of President Obama’s signing of the Fair Play and Safe Workplaces executive order July 31 was a provision that has been called “one of the most important positive steps for civil rights in the last 20 years.”
    One of the most important positive steps for civil rights in the last 20 years. – Public interest lawyer Paul Bland, on Obama’s executive order limiting arbitration of discrimination claims

    The statement comes from Paul Bland of the public interest group Public Justice, quoted by Emily Bazelon of Slate. He’s right; what he’s referring to is a provision of the order that bars employers from forcing workers to bring workplace discrimination, sexual assault or sexual harassment cases only through arbitration. As Bazelon reports, the order applies to firms with federal contracts valued at more than $1 million. But that’s plenty.

    The arbitration provision got little attention in the media, in part because business lobbyists were so busy carrying on about other aspects of the executive order.

    As my colleague Christi Parsons reported, businesses are exercised about a rule requiring prospective federal contractors to disclose labor law violations dating back three years and government agencies to take those violations into account when handing out federal contracts. The idea is to goad employers into settling the violations before they apply for contracts.

    Business mouthpieces complain that the provision will create a “blacklist” barring companies with even minor violations from hopping on the government gravy train. Repeat after me: “Tough.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Every year, some 50,000 youth with autism come of age in the United States. No one can say for sure what adulthood will hold for them, but legislation signed into law by President Obama Friday will help ease the burden on them and their families.

    Known formally as the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act of 2014 (Autism CARES), it was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.) and his fellow congressman Mike Doyle (D-Pa.).

    The legislation authorizes $1.3 billion over the next five years: $950 million is allocated for research grants; another $110 million will go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue researching the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders; and $340 million will go to early detection, education and intervention.

    “And the new law, for the first time, tasks the federal government with examining and anticipating needs for autistic adolescents who are ‘aging out’ of their school-based support and transitioning into adulthood,” said Smith, who authored the original 2000 legislation that helped form the base line of federal autism programs.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Jamelle Bouie ✔ @jbouie

    The Wal-Mart shooting looks worse and worse. Seems like it was instigated by hysterical shopper.
    10:36 AM – 10 Aug 2014 Charlottesville, VA, United States

  20. rikyrah says:

    once again……



    Hillary Clinton: ‘Failure’ to Help Syrian Rebels Led to the Rise of ISIS
    The former secretary of state, and probable candidate for president, outlines her foreign-policy doctrine. She says this about President Obama’s: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
    Jeffrey Goldberg Aug 10 2014, 12:01 AM E

    President Obama has long-ridiculed the idea that the U.S., early in the Syrian civil war, could have shaped the forces fighting the Assad regime, thereby stopping al Qaeda-inspired groups—like the one rampaging across Syria and Iraq today—from seizing control of the rebellion. In an interview in February, the president told me that “when you have a professional army … fighting against a farmer, a carpenter, an engineer who started out as protesters and suddenly now see themselves in the midst of a civil conflict—the notion that we could have, in a clean way that didn’t commit U.S. military forces, changed the equation on the ground there was never true.”

    Well, his former secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, isn’t buying it. In an interview with me earlier this week, she used her sharpest language yet to describe the “failure” that resulted from the decision to keep the U.S. on the sidelines during the first phase of the Syrian uprising.

    “The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said.

    As she writes in her memoir of her State Department years, Hard Choices, she was an inside-the-administration advocate of doing more to help the Syrian rebellion. Now, her supporters argue, her position has been vindicated by recent events.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Kevin Grüssing @KevDGrussing

    So…@HllaryClinton pretty much calls all us under-30ers who DON’T drink the AIPAC/Israeli lobby kool-aid “anti-semitic”. Right on Hillster!
    10:40 AM – 10 Aug 2014

  22. rikyrah says:

    August 08, 2014 4:52 PM
    Fred Barnes Goes In Circles

    By Ed Kilgore

    I don’t normally pay much if any attention to the predictable stylings of the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes. Yes, I’m old enough to remember when Fred was capable of shrewd political insights, back in the days before he joined the Red Team full-time and became the Standard’s purveyor of the Strict Party Line, even when his colleagues strayed into the occasional heterodoxy. But I noticed his unintentionally humorous take on Elizabeth Warren precisely because if Fred’s saying it, you can bet we’ll be hearing it elsewhere in GOP talking points.

    On second thought, Fred’s column will have to be translated into talking points, because he goes in many circles. Since I don’t want to quote the whole damn thing, I’ll just paraphrase it into a chain of arguments:

    Elizabeth Warren is to Democrats what Barry Goldwater was to Republicans. Goldwater made the GOP a totally conservative party. Warren wants to make Democrats a totally liberal party. The Democrats are already a totally liberal party, and Barack Obama leads the “more liberal” faction of the totally liberal party. And that’s where Elizabeth Warren would take it! Right back to the disaster of McGovern 1972! Just where Goldwater’s heirs have taken Republicans!

    Fred didn’t make that last argument, of course, though that’s where he logically (if we can use that term here) seemed headed. No, instead he lurched into the usual effort to prove that “polarization” is at least as much Democrats’ fault as Republicans. So he goes to the Pew vault and confuses ideological consistency with some sort of leftward shift on a fixed spectrum, and then goes back to the liberal! liberal! liberal! characterization of Obama. Sometimes I just want to shake people like Fred and have them explain how it is that a president whose signature domestic policy initiatives have been an inherited Republican financial relief plan, a discarded Republican health care plan, a discarded Republican cap-and-trade proposal, a couple of discarded Republican education plans, and a discarded (or in-the-process-of-being-discarded) Republican comprehensive immigration reform proposal, is supposed to be leading his party straight to Scandanavia!

    In any event, the real howler is that Fred can’t seem to choose between his Obama-bashing and the red flag he’s waving about Warren. The usual formulation—on the left, certainly, but even among conventional and even some conservative analysts—is that Obama has continued the Clinton center-left legacy and Warren would like to intensify its populist features quite a bit (so far as I can tell, she has no differences with Obama or either Clinton on cultural issues or foreign policy). But for Fred, conceding that (even though it’s rather essential to the Warren-as-McGovern trope) would mean conceding Obama’s not bright red, and we can’t have that. So we’re left with the absurd idea that the Obama and Warren both equal McGovern, and political disaster for Democrats. Last time I checked, Barack Obama won two presidential elections. Did he just let his freak flag fly after 2012? Not according to Republicans, who have been doing the same name-calling about Obama regularly since 2009.

  23. rikyrah says:

    August 09, 2014 4:51 AM
    No Man Can Serve Two Masters

    By D.R. Tucker

    Over at Republican Party headquarters, they’re desperately trying to figure out how they can get both racists and the victims of racism to vote Republican. Good luck with that one.

    The current crisis of Central American children flowing across the border has empowered conservatives, whose more restrictionist views on the issue have taken precedence in the party. House Republicans are pushing for more deportations, and several of the party’s prospective 2016 White House contenders are moving to align themselves with the GOP’s pro-enforcement wing.

    The tough rhetoric can help Republicans appeal to their core voters. But the strategy runs counter to the party’s announcement — after losing the presidential race two years ago — that its future depends largely on broadening its appeal to minority groups and that its viability as a national force in 2016 and beyond depends on making inroads with Latinos, one of the fastest-growing voting blocs.

    “This is a short-term political gain for Republicans,” said Charles Spies, a former Mitt Romney campaign aide who is part of a coalition of Republicans advocating for immigration reform. “The problem, of course, comes on the national scale. Without a friendly posture towards [Hispanics], we still face a massive demographic problem.”

    A demographic problem of their own making. A demographic problem worsened every day by the hostile rhetoric spewed about immigration on right-wing talk radio. A demographic problem that Republicans simply cannot solve—and they know it:

    Obama won more than 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in his 2012 reelection, after which the Republican National Committee wrote in a blunt self-assessment: “It does not matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    August 10, 2014 10:56 AM
    Beyond the Pale

    By D.R. Tucker

    Those of us who remember the affirmative action wars of the 1990s aren’t surprised when some right-winger suggests that Democrats are anti-white: such rhetoric was commonplace among vehement opponents of affirmative action, who often accused Democratic supporters of the policy of trying to disadvantage Caucasians (for example, the late National Review writer and libertarian talk-radio host David Brudnoy would often claim on his program that supporters of affirmative action were engaged in “active retribution” against whites.) So the recent proclamations of Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) (who insists that the Democratic Party is engaged in a “war on whites”) simply continue a sad right-wing tradition.

    Back in the 1990s, the same right-wingers who accused pro-affirmative-action Democrats of disliking whites also insisted that nonwhites must reject the so-called “politics of victimology”: Brudnoy, Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Walter E. Williams and other right-wing pundits would routinely lambaste progressive political figures who were allegedly trying to get people of color to think of themselves as victims in need of government assistance. I guess we weren’t supposed to pick up on the contradiction of encouraging whites to think of themselves as victims, while simultaneously encouraging nonwhites not to do the same (and presupposing, of course, that nonwhites did).

    RNC chair Reince Prebius is trying to do some damage control, and in the immortal words of Rush Limbaugh, I hope he fails. As for Brooks, I assume this makes him the first Republican in a long time willing to run on an antiwar platform.

  25. rikyrah says:

    ForUS50 @FORUS50

    @HillaryClinton Mrs Clinton as Sec State did you ever say or DO anything about ISIL? Didn’t think so. Once a neocon always a neocon.
    8:58 AM – 10 Aug 2014

  26. rikyrah says:

    In stunning defeat, Hawaii Gov. Abercrombie ousted by state Sen. Ige in Democratic primary
    By CATHY BUSSEWITZ, Associated Press

    HONOLULU (AP) — In a stunning defeat for an incumbent, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie was unseated by a fellow Democrat in Saturday’s primary election, as Democratic voters chose state Sen. David Ige as their nominee in one of two marquee races that have divided the party.

    Abercrombie had tried to hold onto his seat while disgruntled voters turned their allegiance to Ige, who promised to bring a less confrontational political style. Voters rewarded Ige with a decisive victory Saturday.

    In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Democrat Brian Schatz also faces a threat from fellow Democrat U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who believes the seat should have been passed on to her when her mentor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, died in 2012.

    Hanabusa took a slight lead over Schatz with 49 percent compared with 47 percent for Schatz in early returns Saturday night, based on 104,000 votes cast early or absentee.

    The winners of each race will face Republicans and independent candidates in the November general election, but such campaigns are often longshots in heavily Democratic Hawaii.

    Ige mounted his challenge against Abercrombie despite being outspent by about 10 to 1. While Abercrombie tore through $4.9 million through July 25, Ige spent just $447,000, according to Hawaii’s Campaign Spending Commission.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Rand Paul is Bombing

    by BooMan
    Sun Aug 10th, 2014 at 10:00:03 AM EST

    Rand Paul, as a presidential candidate, has a few advantages over his father. Being a senator is a better credential than being a member of the House of Representatives. He’s also younger than his father was when he ran, so age isn’t such a big issue. Finally, he’s not as doctrinaire, so he has the advantage of being able to show a little flexibility. He can pander a little bit, here and there, which is helpful as long as it isn’t overdone. Much of Ron Paul’s appeal came from his near-absolute refusal to pander, but that also put a strict cap on the level of support he could attract.

    However, despite these advantages, Rand Paul is not having a good run on the campaign trail. He’s gaining a reputation for inauthenticity. That’s hardly surprising in a serial plagiarist, but it’s beginning to bite him in the ass. It was always going to be inevitable that he would disappoint his father’s impassioned followers whenever he deviated from the libertarian line, but he’s not convincing the social conservatives he’s trying to woo with his flip-flopping on aid to Israel and his ambivalence about gay marriage.

    He has a tendency to contradict himself in ways that are easily disprovable in this age of digital information. This is important because his task was always going to be exceedingly difficult to pull off. How to remain largely true to his principles without making himself unelectable because of the opposition within the Republican base to his ideas on foreign policy and social issues? To make something like that work, you have to be very slick and have an ability to really think on your feet. You have to make people like you and trust you to a point that they’re willing to overlook some of their disagreements with you on policy. Ronald Reagan was excellent at this kind of task. So far, Rand Paul is pretty horrible at it.

    Personally, I think character has something to do with it. Truthfulness just isn’t part of his make-up. It’s not that he’s willing to be a little loose with the truth in the way politicians so often are; it’s that he doesn’t have a filter that tells him when he’s lying. I think he is sometimes genuinely surprised to discover that something he has just said is plainly and demonstrably false. Reagan seemed to suffer from the same fault from time to time, as when he told stories that weren’t real but had derived from some movie script Reagan had worked on or read. But Reagan’s gaffes (Iran-Contra aside) were generally affable mistakes rather than complete contradictions of his previous policy positions. Rand Paul will tell you he never opposed foreign aid to Israel with a straight face and then act surprised when he discovers that he needs to retract the statement.

    In any case, he’s bombing in Iowa. He should probably just move on to New Hampshire and start over.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone.

    As good a morning as we can have in a country in which unarmed children can be gunned down by law enforcement for no reason.

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