[Rep. William] Snyder, a former police officer, said the proposed legislation is needed to protect undocumented immigrants, who are vulnerable to abusive employers and violent criminals.
“This is a human right issue,” he said. “They don’t enjoy the same rights and privileges that you and I do. The solution is to enforce the laws that currently exist and to discourage people from coming here to ‘find a better life’ when in fact they just come here and are victimized.”
Aww, what a sweet compassionate man. He only wants to harass Hispanics to protect them. Needless to say, Florida’s immigrant and Hispanic communities don’t see it quite the same way…
“The reaction is, ‘What? This is ridiculous,’ ” said Neelofer Syed, a Tampa immigration lawyer who hails from Pakistan. “It is supposed to be that you are legal until you are proven guilty. This law is like, ‘we think you are guilty unless you establish that you are innocent.’ ”
Rep. J.C. Planas, a Republican from Miami, called it an election year stunt.
“I don’t understand how anyone can think the Arizona law is good for Florida,” said Planas, chairman of the Florida Hispanic Legislative Caucus. “It is a huge waste of police resources to start doing these things.”
I’m wondering what the Cuban community thinks of this. I’m no expert on Florida politics, but I got the pretty strong impression that they have an awful lot of political clout, and antagonizing them seems like a really bad idea. I’m not sure they necessarily see things the same way as the Hispanic population in general, but they would certainly be subject to being harassed for their papers, so I can’t see them being big fans.
This week’s Monday Media Blogging is a tribute to The Apple, one of the maddest movies of all time (it is probably best described as a psychedelic disco bible allegory). The trailer does a pretty good job of hitting the highlights, like the National BIM Hour when everyone has to stop what they’re doing and dance (note the guy on the operating table making a game attempt) and the synchronized disco orgy.
Pope Benedict XVI had harsh words for Belgian police Sunday, calling their raids investigating priestly sex abuse last week “surprising and deplorable.”
Police conducted the June 24 raids during the monthly meeting of the Belgian Bishops Conference, detaining the nine members for hours and confiscating their cell phones.
They searched two main church offices and the home of former Archbishop Godfried Danneels, seizing computers and files, and opened a tomb, prompting outrage from the Vatican.
“The Secretariat of State expresses its deep shock over the way some of the searches were carried out…and its indignation over the violation” of the tomb, the Vatican said in a statement Friday.
Speaking out for the first time since the raids, the pope issued a letter to the head of the Belgian Bishops Conference Sunday. “At this sad time, I wish to express … my closeness and solidarity for the surprising and deplorable ways in which the searches were carried out,” he wrote.
“I hope that justice takes its course, guaranteeing the fundamental rights of people and institutions with respect to the victims, recognizing without prejudice all those who are committed to collaborating with justice and refuting all that which seeks to obscure its noble goals.”
I’ve always been mystified by this country’s willingness to just let the Catholic Church handle sex abuse cases in-house, as if our own criminal and legal system has no jurisdiction over them. But obviously the Church believes that to be the natural order of things.
This is great. Nitpicker collects a whole bunch of National Review quotes full of outrage against MoveOn for comparing Bush to Hitler (and by MoveOn, of course we mean a couple of anonymous make-your-own-campaign-ad contestants whose entries were taken down as soon as MoveOn became aware of them). My personal favorite is by the guy who wrote that book about how liberals are just like Hitler:
…in polite and supposedly sophisticated circles in America today it is acceptable to say George Bush is akin to a Nazi and that America is becoming Nazi-like. Indeed, in certain corners of the globe to disagree with this assertion is the more outlandish position than to agree with it.
I don’t say this because I feel a passionate need to defend George Bush. I would make the exact same points if Al Gore were president. I would make the exact same points if anybody running for the Democratic nomination were president. This has nothing to do with partisanship. It has to do with the fact that such comparisons are slanderous to the United States and historical truth and amount to Holocaust denial. When you say that anything George Bush has done is akin to what Hitler did, you make the Holocaust into nothing more than an example of partisan excess.
That’s awesome. As Nitpicker points out not only has Jonah not “[made] the exact same points” now that his fellow conservatives are comparing Obama to Hitler, but he wrote an entire book that does exactly what he claims to find so nonpartisanly despicable. I can’t wait to see Jonah’s incoherent and snotty rationalization of his epic hypocrisy, but I probably never will.
Personally, I think Robert Bork attacking Elena Kagan is just about the best thing that could happen to her, at least in terms of bolstering her (near-zero) credibility as a progressive, but it’s the non-Bork part of the story that really jumps out at me:
Gerard Bradley, a Notre Dame law professor, and William Saunders, senior counsel of Americans United for Life, added that Kagan’s admiration of Thurgood Marshall – the first black Supreme Court justice – indicate she would bring pro-abortion rights views and a political agenda to the bench.
“No one would describe Justice Marshall as particularly analytically driven,” Bradley added. “They would describe him as a particularly politically driven justice.”
“We are concerned that [Kagan] is quite extreme on the abortion issue and that she would be an agenda driven judge,” Saunders said.
Because if there’s one thing conservatives can’t tolerate, it’s judges who issue rulings based on politics and ideology rather than impartial legal analysis.
Also, props to Politico for this little zinger at the end:
Tuesday, the New York City Bar Association rated Kagan as “highly qualified” according to their 140-year history of evaluating judicial nominees. The only candidate that they have not rated either “highly qualified” or “qualified” since 1987 was Robert Bork.
I still don’t want to see her on the Supreme Court, but that was a thing of beauty.
SYDNEY, Australia – The Light Speed Opera House has a revolutionary new show in previews – a real space opera!
“For years we’ve struggled to maintain our identity in the shadow of the much larger Sydney Opera House,” impresario Jonathan Drake told Weekly World News. “When I was approached by aliens from the Cygnus System to mount a production of their classic space opera, The Tentacle Groomer of Sigma-Seven, I leapt at the chance.”
The libretto details how Lar, the wealthy tentacle groomer, feigns poverty to find true love. Disguised as a neutron disposal chef aboard The Sigma-Seven star cruiser, he meets and woos a luckless thrall worm. Tragically, during a battle with space pirates, his beloved is killed. Luckily, thrall worms can regenerate – just in time for the finale.
“More important than the hoary plot are the transcendent music and and splendid voices of the Cygnian performers,” Drake enthused.
“The thrall worm is sung by Adra, an Omega-Soprano from Nebula M-78. She hits notes far beyond the range of human hearing. Her voice doesn’t just shatter glass but actually melts it within a ten-meter radius. We’ve had to replace our chandelier with one made of plastic.
“The pivotal role of the tentacle groomer is sung by Bar Parse-Five, a renowned Pulsar Tenor. His voice is beyond mellifluous. Parse-Five’s complex phrasing can actually cause earthquakes. During his solo, ‘Sepulchral Activity of a Multiple Heart,’ tremors were detected as far away as Perth.”
Since the opera is performed in its native Cygnian, crawling subtitles are available for those who wish to read them.
“They really do crawl,” added Drake. “They appear on the skin of lizard-like Cygnian Chameleonaries that creep back and forth on the top of the proscenium.”
The space opera is currently in previews and will premiere next month with a gala benefit for Cygnian Children of the Gravity Challenged.
So on the one hand you’ve got the conservative talking point that you can’t raise taxes to reduce the deficit because it slows down the economy, and on the other hand you’ve got the unemployed people who conservatives don’t want to help because it would… increase the deficit.
Well, which is it? If the deficit is such an existential threat that it trumps any thought of stimulating our way out of a deep recession, then why can’t we raise taxes on the have-mores instead of cutting Social Security and other benefits for the “lesser people”? And if economic growth is more important than balancing the budget, then why can’t we extend unemployment benefits and spend more stimulus money where it will actually create jobs?
Don’t tell us that we have to sacrifice economic growth and Social Security to the balanced budget god, and that we can’t raise taxes because it would kill economic growth. Please just choose one ridiculous position and stick to it.
Great Recession? What recession? The world’s millionaires and billionaires — now totaling 10 million — saw their overall wealth jump 18.9 percent last year, to $39 trillion.
The surge in the stock market in 2009 restored many people back to the ranks of the rich as the financial crisis abated. The number of people with at least $1 million in assets beyond their homes and household goods climbed 17 percent, according to a report on the world’s wealth by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, a Paris-based business consulting firm. Their total wealth approached the 2007 peak of $40.7 trillion, after a 20 percent plunge to $32.8 trillion in 2008.
“We are already seeing distinct signs of recovery, and in some areas a complete return to 2007 levels of wealth and growth,” Sallie Krawcheck, president of global wealth and investment management at Bank of America, said in a statement.
The very rich — those with disposable assets exceeding $30 million — did even better, increasing their wealth by 21.5 percent, the report said. The very rich, however, took a bigger hit in 2008, losing 24 percent of their fortunes.
I guess we don’t need another stimulus after all! I’m so relieved.
Bob Herbert has a great column in yesterday’s NYT about how the U.S. has let greatness slip away, mishandling crisis after crisis and allowing their opportunities go to waste. But I think his perspective is a little skewed:
As a nation, we are becoming more and more accustomed to a sense of helplessness. We no longer rise to the great challenges before us. It’s not just that we can’t plug the oil leak, which is the perfect metaphor for what we’ve become. We can’t seem to do much of anything.
We are submitting to this debacle with the same pathetic lack of creativity and helpless mind-set that now seems to be the default position of Americans in the 21st century. We have become a nation that is good at destroying things — with wars overseas and mind-bogglingly self-destructive policies here at home — but that has lost sight of how to build and maintain a flourishing society. We’re dismantling our public school system and, incredibly, attacking our spectacularly successful system of higher education, which is the finest in the world.
How is it possible that we would let this happen?
We’ve got all kinds of sorry explanations for why we can’t do any of the things we need to do. The Democrats can’t get 60 votes in the Senate. Our budget deficits are too high. Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck might object.
Meanwhile, the greatness of the United States, which so many have taken for granted for so long, is steadily slipping away.
It’s not that we can’t fix anything, that we’ve become too collectively stupid to figure out solutions to problems, it’s that we won’t fix anything. Our political system has become so corrupt that concern for protecting the well-being of corporations and the wealthy now trumps all other considerations. Remove that constraint, and a whole realm of possibilities and solutions opens up. But as long as we’re stuck with it, we will continue to muddle through with half-assed band-aids that don’t work because they were designed by the very industries whose recklessness and criminality made them necessary.
I have long believed that if The Darkness traveled back in time to the 1970s and brought their video for A Thing Called Love with them, they would have been worshiped as gods. But now Alex Varanese has done them one (or four) better, with these brilliant retro product concepts and no-we-totally-didn’t-travel-in-time-why-would-you-think-that-that’s-crazy-talk advertisements for iPods, laptops, cellphones and Gameboys… done 70s style. Awesome!
Holy crap, just read the transcript of him repeatedly insulting, belittling, and swearing at Alex Lawson, accusing him of spouting misinformation while spewing a geyser of it himself. Rahm must have picked this guy to co-chair the deficit commission.
BP’s CEO, Tony (I want my life back!) Hayward is testifying today before a House Committee, and he just received a heartfelt apology from one of his most loyal subjects. Joe Barton (R. Texas) just apologized to BP.
The Republican Party’s quintessential oil Congressman, Barton told Hayward how shameful it was that the Obama Administration would “shake down” BP by demanding that it give up dividends to shareholders and instead set aside a small fraction of their net revenues to the greedy Gulf folks who’ve been only slightly inconvenienced by losing their jobs, their livelihoods, and their environment. Never mind that BP agreed to this on its own, because it knows or fears it’s legal liability may eventually become worse.
Seriously, what the hell is wrong with these people???
As Talking Points Memo’s Justin Elliott described in a June 15, 2010 story, Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle was a member of the Independent American Party of Nevada during the 1990’s, from 1992 to 1997, during which time the IAPN engaged in bizarre anti-gay agitation and campaigns to legalize discrimination against homosexuality. Describes Elliott,
The small party attracted considerable controversy in 1994 when it took out a newspaper ad titled “Consequences of Sodomy: Ruin of a Nation,” which suggested HIV could spread through the water.
It wasn’t a fluke. As Elliott’s TPM story goes on to detail,
During the period that Angle was a member, the party bought a red, white, and blue 16-page advertising insert in several Nevada newspapers to promote an effort to add a clause to the state constitution stating that “objection to homosexuality is a liberty and right of conscience and shall not be considered discrimination relating to civil rights,” according to a 1994 article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The so-called Minority Status and Child Protection Act would have explicitly allowed discrimination against gay people in jobs and housing.The party then picketed a newspaper, the Reno Gazette-Journal, that refused to run the ad.
Angle apologists will no doubt try to claim that Sharron Angle’s stance towards homosexuality and gay rights has changed since the 1990’s, but that’s not going to be so easy given that, according to Angle’s current official biography, “She is proud of her past chairwomanship of We the People Nevada PAC that sponsored the Property Tax Restraint Initiative.”
The We The People PAC had a web presence from 2003 to 2007, during which time its statement of principles web site page declared, “The radical homosexual movement and other groups seek to destroy the traditional family structure which is the underpinning of society. Their agenda should be opposed.”
I’m always kind of mystified by any claims about the existence of a vast gay conspiracy in a country where only a few gay people can get married, where they can be legally discriminated against, and where they’re not allowed to serve openly in the military or even donate blood.
If BP is the responsible party under the law, they’re to pay for everything.I do worry that this idea of making them make a huge escrow fund is going to make it less likely that they’ll pay for everything. They need their capital to drill wells. They need their capital to produce income. … But this escrow bothers me that it’s going to make them less able to pay us what they owe us. And that concerns me. … [I]t bothers me to talk about causing an escrow to be made, which will — which makes it less likely that they’ll make the income that they need to pay us.
Obama needs to be tougher about holding BP accountable… without harming them in any way.
It’s like the Exorcist version of “Man Bites Dog”…
When famed exorcist, Father Henry Flapps, received an urgent call to rescue the victim of demonic possession, he was completely unprepared for what happened.
“I arrived at the location at three a.m. and discovered that the request had come from a group of Satanists,” said Flapps. “They were gathered in a small, black barn that that had been transformed into a demonic church on the fringe of a dark woodland. Despite my reservations, I followed them into a hayloft that was decorated like a young girl’s bedroom. There, I witnessed the most astonishing sight I could have imagined: a horned demon, sitting on the floor, legs crossed, combing a doll’s hair.”
The embarrassed Satanists explained that earlier that evening the novice demon, Revadac, had attempted to possess a little girl who lived in town.
“We didn’t realize that Revedac was dyspossessive – the demon equivalent of dyslexic,” Satanic leader Derrick Nethers told the priest. “Because of this, he accidentally brought the girl’s spirit into his own body. To save the demon – and, uh, of course to help the girl – we didn’t know who else to turn to other than the church. Yours, I mean.”
“I knew that conventional exorcism rites wouldn’t work, so I had to improvise,” said Flapp. “I first told the girl, whose name was Ashly, that her mother and father wanted very badly to see her again.”
Unfortunately the Ashly-possessed demon was too preoccupied primping her doll to be moved by Flapps’ appeal to her sense of family.
“I realized I had to arouse her more fundamental desires,” said Flapp. “As much as it repelled me, I repeatedly made offers of vast amounts of ice cream and candy to coax her from the demon’s body. I reasoned that, after all, this is sort of what we do when it comes to talking up the afterlife.”
After three exhausting hours, Flapp managed to draw Ashly from Revedac and sent her back to her own body, which was still asleep.
“I was overjoyed to have saved Ashly’s soul,” said Flapps. “I also took some pride hearing that Revdac lost quite a few demon friends during an evening of hopscotch and tea parties.”
Dem leaders have no plans to create a new carve-out that would exempt labor organizations from a sweeping campaign finance disclosure bill, DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen told Hotline OnCall in an interview Tuesday evening.
Labor groups have voiced concerns over the DISCLOSE Act, a legislative response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision earlier this year that dramatically loosened campaign finance laws. The legislation would require corporations and labor groups that run political advertisements to disclose far more about their donors than they must currently.
One carve-out, announced on Monday after marathon negotiations between Van Hollen and Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) and the National Rifle Association, exempted a small number of large organizations from disclosure requirements. That deal has mollified the NRA, removing what would have been a significant roadblock to the legislation’s success, but it irritated progressive Dems in the House, which oppose the NRA.
Campaign finance advocates are not happy about the deal, but they still support the legislation. Labor leaders, which will not get a similar compromise, have yet to endorse the bill.
“We will be continuing to meet with our members,” Van Hollen said Tuesday. “We’re working to address everyone’s reasonable concerns, and I think we’re making progress.”
But, he said, other groups aren’t likely to get the same deal that the NRA — along with the Humane Society and the AARP — won.
“Looking at it, it would be a mistake to eliminate all [501(c)(4)] organizations from the conversation,” Van Hollen said. “That’s why we settled on a provision that said, for well-established C4 organizations that have dues-paying members that aren’t trying to hide from anybody — that would be the test.”
Asked directly whether that meant labor groups would not receive a carve-out compromise, Van Hollen said: “That is correct.”
Awesome. How’s that hold-your-fire-on-the-healthcare-bill-in-exchange-for-EFCA strategy been working out for you guys? It appears that our two-party system now offers us a choice between The Anti-Labor Party and… The Other Anti-Labor Party.
Talks were under way Tuesday to extricate the administration by coming up with offsets to pay for new education assistance to avert teacher layoffs this fall. At the same time, renewed efforts began to salvage a $24 billion package of state Medicaid assistance, even if it means paring back a proposed 18-month fix of Medicare reimbursements for physicians.
The backdrop in both cases is a Saturday night letter from Obama calling for action on education and Medicaid assistance but giving no direction on how to pay for them — or how to win support in a deficit-conscious Congress. Leaked in advance to the Sunday newspapers, the letter caught party leaders by surprise, and with Obama largely absent from both fights to date, it was widely seen by Democrats as more political showmanship at their expense by the administration.
Clearly annoyed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called White House congressional liaison Phil Schiliro to her office Monday, and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey served notice that he would withhold action on Obama’s new war funding until the dust clears on domestic spending issues.
Obey has been central to the fight over education aid and, in an interview, drew a direct link between war funding and progress on domestic priorities.
He said he would withhold action on the war funds until there was some resolution on a major economic relief bill extending jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and popular tax breaks for individuals and businesses.
I love this because holding war funding hostage is a not-so-subtle reminder that the supposed fiscal conservatism that the Republicans and conservadems use as an excuse to block any kind of stimulus or relief is a complete sham that magically evaporates wherever military spending is concerned. Barney Frank has been doing much the same thing with the deficit commission, agitating and gadflying to remind them that Social Security isn’t the only government entity that spends a whole bunch of money.
PAUL: I think whoever owns the property can do with the property as they wish, and if the coal company buys it from a private property owner and they want to do it, fine. The other thing I think is that I think coal gets a bad name, because I think a lot of the land apparently is quite desirable once it’s been flattened out. As I came over here from Harlan, you’ve got quite a few hills. I don’t think anybody’s going to be missing a hill or two here and there.
Sure, who needs stupid hills, right? They’re always getting in the way of stuff and they’re hard to build on.
For an encore, maybe Paul can go down to the Gulf and tell them that he doesn’t think anybody’s going to be missing a few miles of shoreline here and there either.
It’s a funny thing about this nefarious Gay Agenda the social conservatives are so determined to stop: It sure looks like a big chunk of it centers around a yearning to be productive, contributing members of society. They want to serve openly in the armed forces, they want to work, they want to teach, they want to be ministers and priests, they want to enter into stable, formally committed relationships, and they want to donate blood:
Did you know that in America gay men still can’t donate blood? The ban on gay blood donors is based in the worst kind of anti-gay prejudice and AIDS hysteria from early in the epidemic. America needs to end the ban and allow gay men to donate blood. Science supports lifting the ban, and so does basic fairness.
Today, the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability is kicking off a two-day meeting to reconsider the FDA ban on blood donations from men who have had sex with men (MSM). The current policy has been in place since 1985 when no HIV testing was available and little was known about HIV/AIDS. Since then, while many policies towards blood donations have changed, and HIV testing has significantly advanced to the point where a permanent ban no longer makes sense, the ban still remains in place. The ban is also discriminatory in that it unfairly targets gay and bisexual men because it does not distinguish between high-risk and low-risk MSM, banning potential MSM donors who are HIV-negative and consistently practice safe sex or are in long-term monogamous relationships, while others with a significantly higher risk of HIV infection are subject to less restrictive deferrals or none at all. The ban also contributes to a dangerously and chronically low blood supply in a country in which approximately just 5% of all eligible donors give.
Look, if gay men and women want to give of themselves to serve their fellow Americans, be it in the blood bank, on the battlefield, in a school or in a church, why on Earth would we not let them? Is the right to serve others really such an unreasonable thing to ask for? Are we as a nation so hysterically, blindly homophobic that we think their sacrifice and service are too tainted to accept?
Please sign Change.org’s online petition, then visit Open Left’s action post and send an e-mail comment to HHS’s point person on blood donation policy at email@example.com. Our government may not be ready to let gays shed their blood in combat yet, but surely it can at least let them donate some?
What gave me hope last night was that we saw voters don’t like to be pushed around any more than I do. A lot of labor money went into the Arkansas Senate primary. It produced a lot of drama – stand-alone, who’s-side-are-you-on drama – and a real hero. Women celebrated in the pro-labor film “Norma Rae;” the irony is that the heroine, the Norma Rae, last night in Little Rock was the Democratic senator who labor tried to beat. Norma Rae’s name in this picture is Blanche Lincoln.
That’s right: Blanche Lincoln is a scrappy populist pro-worker underdog who took on Bill Halter’s mighty union-hating labor juggernaut, with no one at her side but Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, the Chamber Of Commerce, and the entire Democratic establishment. Truly this is an upset for the ages.
Perhaps the most telling thing of all about the Obama White House’s open hostility towards labor for supporting Halter over Lincoln is that it’s not like the unions took on one of Obama’s staunchest allies. The unions opposed Lincoln because she helped torpedo EFCA and the public option, two things which Obama supposedly (emphasis on supposedly) really wanted.
So that tells us that:
A) Obama really really hates unions,
B) Obama really really likes conservative politicians who screw him over again and again,
C) Lincoln was in fact acting as Obama’s staunch ally by sabotaging progressive initiatives he cynically pretended to support in order to get elected, or
D) Some combination of both A and C.
None of these possibilities are exactly what I would call encouraging.