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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,536

Journal Archives

Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Need Liberals

The numbers show black voters defeated her in 2008 and will make her win in 2016.

By Jamelle Bouie

Somehow, six years after a divisive, bitter primary against a liberal challenger, Hillary Clinton has become the darling of the Democratic left. To liberal Democrats, she’s more “tough,” “honest,” and exciting than any figure in the party. As Noam Scheiber writes in an excellent feature on Clinton and the left for the New Republic, “it’s a striking turnaround for a candidate who, when her opponent famously proclaimed her ‘likeable enough’ in 2008, discovered that less than half her party agreed.”

For Scheiber—who pegs the change to partisan solidarity—liberal support is key to Clinton’s presidential ambitions, if she runs. Without dissatisfied liberals to fuel an anti-Clinton insurgency, he argues, the former secretary of state has an easy path to the nomination, even with her liabilities on income inequality and her close relationship to Wall Street and other titans of the 1 percent. “What’s so unusual about Clinton’s standing is that, unlike 2008, it’s almost certain to hold up even against a perfectly positioned challenger—say, Elizabeth Warren, the most beloved economic populist in the country,” writes Scheiber.

At the risk of nitpicking, I think it’s wrong to call Warren “perfectly positioned.” Not because she isn’t talented and popular, but because liberals—or at least, self-identified liberals—aren’t enough to win a Democratic primary.

Key to Scheiber’s case is the idea that liberals killed the Clinton candidacy of 2008 and could do the same in 2016 if they backed Warren or another credible challenger. But while liberals were a necessary part of the Obama insurgency, they weren’t sufficient to stop the Clinton machine. To wit, self-identified liberals were just 39 percent of all Democrats in 2008, followed by moderates (38 percent) and conservatives (21 percent). Or you could just look at Clinton’s record in the primary, where liberal opposition couldn’t block her victories in New Hampshire, California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Massachusetts, and Arizona.


Fox News Hypes Bill Ayers Interview Like It's 2008

TOM KLUDT – JULY 1, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

For Fox News, the Bill Ayers obsession will never go away.

We may be years removed from the 2008 presidential election, when Sarah Palin accused Barack Obama of "palling around" with the anti-war radical, retired professor and former domestic terrorist, but Ayers hasn't fallen off the right's radar.

Look no further than Fox's much-ballyhooed "exclusive" interview with Ayers this week. Megyn Kelly, Fox's self-described "straight-news anchor," sat down with the Weather Underground leader last week, and she and the network have been hyping the interview ever since.

She offered a dramatic preview Thursday on her program, "The Kelly File."

"Well, he was a main figure in Barack Obama's presidential campaign back in 2008. The terrorist Sarah Palin accused Mr. Obama of 'palling around with,'" Kelly teased. "For months, he dodged the press until after his friend was elected President of the United States. It has been six years and for the first time ever the man who is personally believed to have set several bombs off in this country comes into the Fox News headquarters and answers for his acts."

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Sexual Assault Survivor Referenced By George Will: I Don't Have 'Privileges'


The sexual assault survivor whose story George Will referenced in his controversial column about rape responded to his characterization of rape, criticizing him for making sexual assault "seem very small."

In his column, Will said that the focus on sexual assault by colleges makes rape a "coveted status that confers privileges." He used an anecdote from Lisa Sendrow, who described her sexual assault in an interview with Philadelphia Magazine, to discuss the "ambiguities of the hookup culture, this cocktail of hormones, alcohol and the faux sophistication of today’s prolonged adolescence of especially privileged young adults."

"I absolutely have not received any privileges from sexual assault. [Will] has clearly never experienced the fear of sexual assault," Sendrow said in an interview with Media Matters published Tuesday. "He clearly has no idea how hard it is to sleep, to walk around, thinking at any moment this person that you live down the hall from could come out."

"No one gives a shit about you," she added. "What benefit could we possibly get? Sometimes I feel like I can't have a real relationship because someone might touch me in the wrong way. How is that okay?"


State deadline demands Boulder stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Source: The Denver Post

By Jordan Steffen
The Denver Post

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has given the Boulder County Clerk's office until noon on Tuesday to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses or face further action from his office.

If the clerk stops issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples before that deadline, the AG's office is offering to file a joint request to the Colorado Supreme Court, asking the court to decide if the clerk has legal authority to issue the licenses.

Accepting Suthers' offer will "obviate the need for us to take any further action regarding your issuance of licenses," according to a letter sent to the Boulder office on Friday.

On Monday, the Boulder County attorney sent an e-mail to the AG's office, requesting that the clerk have until July 10 to respond.


Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26063159/state-deadline-demands-boulder-stop-issuing-same-sex

The Time A Corporation Cited Religious Freedom As A Way To Avoid Desegregation

In her dissent in the Hobby Lobby case today, Justice Ginsburg mentioned a 1968 precedent in which the owner of a chain of barbecue restaurants in South Carolina “refused to serve black patrons based on his religious beliefs opposing racial integration.”

The Hobby Lobby majority emphasized that their ruling applied only to contraceptive coverage but would not undercut laws prohibiting racial discrimination. The conservative Justices said that the latter are “precisely tailored” to meet the government’s compelling interest in eradicating racial discrimination, while the Affordable Care Act provision falls in this case because it is not the least restrictive means to meet the government’s interest in providing women access to contraception.

At the time that that case, Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, was being decided, the majority of Americans had religious objections to interracial marriage and many preachers made the religious case for segregation. Efforts to defend the purported right of Christian schools to discriminate against African Americans greatly shaped the modern-day Religious Right.

In its 8-0 decision in Piggie Park, the Supreme Court upheld the Fourth Circuit Court’s ruling against the restaurant chain and found that it was not exempt from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 simply because its owner had religious objections to the law.



Sandra Fluke: The Hobby Lobby case is an attack on women

How is birth control different from blood transfusions and vaccines? It’s not.

BY SANDRA FLUKE June 30 at 3:20 PM

Today, the Supreme Court ruled in the nationally followed Hobby Lobby case. The for-profit corporations that brought these cases to the Supreme Court—a craft store and a cabinet manufacturer—argued that the corporations’ religious convictions should excuse them from compensating their employees through the comprehensive health insurance required by law. Specifically, these private employers sought to exclude insurance coverage of several forms of birth control because, contrary to medical and scientific evidence, the corporations’ owners believe some birth control causes abortions.

The Affordable Care Act already includes special arrangements for houses of worship and religious non-profits, like schools and hospitals. Houses of worship are completely exempted. Employees of religious non-profits receive their birth control coverage directly from their insurance company. The non-profit employer is not required to pay or be involved in any way.

Today’s cases weren’t about those types of religious organizations. They were about privately owned, closely held, for-profit corporations. Today, the Court ruled that such corporations have religious rights under federal statute, just as individuals do. Corporations are not people. Corporations cannot have religious views. And this decision sends us in a dangerous direction.

Some imagine closely held corporations as family-run small business. Actually, closely held corporations make up more than 90 percent of the businesses in this country. They employ 52 percent of the labor force, and the 224 largest closely held corporations had combined revenues of $1.6 trillion in 2013. Some of these companies include Dell, Toys ‘R’ Us, Heinz, Dole Foods, Petco, Stater Bros and yes, even Koch Industries. Under today’s decision, employees (and their dependents) at all of those corporations may lose their insurance coverage of birth control if their employers choose to deny it.


Supreme Court Declines to Hear Anti-Gay Quacks

Tim Mak

A Christian group trying to overturn California’s ban on ‘conversion therapy’ petitioned the high court to hear its case. It said no, which means nothing will stop the law from taking effect.

The Supreme Court denied to hear a challenge to a California law barring “gay conversion therapy” for minors. By omission, the Court essentially allows the prohibition to stand.

Lower courts issued conflicting opinions on whether the state’s ban on the controversial practice would violate the free-speech rights of either those seeking such treatment or the people administering it. The California law only applies to minors and was signed into law in 2012 but has since been stymied by legal obstacles.

Liberty Counsel, a Christian freedom group challenging the law in court, petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case. Liberty said that it was fighting on behalf of child sexual abuse victims who then turned gay—drawing an unproven and provocative link between abuse and sexuality.

“I am deeply saddened for the families we represent and for the thousands of children that our professional clients counsel, many of whom developed these unwanted attractions because of abuse of a pedophile," said Mat Staver, chairman of the organization. “These children have been victimized twice—first by the likes of Jerry Sandusky, and second by legislators and judges who have essentially barged into their private therapy rooms and told them that they must pursue their unwanted and dangerous same-sex sexual attractions and behavior.”


Only Eight Years of President Hillary Can Take the Supreme Court Away From Conservatives

Michael Tomasky

There will be more Hobby Lobbies and Citizens United if Democrats don’t get a lock on the White House and pack the bench for a generation.

We learned a lot about this Supreme Court on Monday. For one thing, its conservative majority thinks that a for-profit company selling plastic flowers is legally the same thing as a religious nonprofit doing charity work in accordance with its scriptural beliefs. But I really mean we’ve learned about the Court’s modus operandi, and it portends terrible things for the future unless that conservative majority is reduced to a minority. I say to despairing liberals today: It can be so reduced, and all of this judicial activism—all of this legislating from the bench—can be overturned.

It’s clear now across a number of legal areas that the Court’s conservatives pick their spots very carefully. They’re playing the long game. They’re like a lion toying with a captured springbok. You’ve seen it on the Discovery channel: The lion captures the prey and toys with it for a while—minutes on TV, but in real life sometimes hours—before actually consummating the kill.

So it has been with the conservative majority. Across numerous areas, from abortion rights to affirmative action to voting rights to campaign finance to school desegregation, the Court’s majority, whether led by William Rehnquist or John Roberts, has generally taken things kind of slow. A decision here will chip away at that particular right, a decision there will roll the clock back a few years but only a few. The result has been a bit of a paradox: a majority that is decidedly radical in its aims but a bit gradualist in its methods.

Voting rights provides perhaps the best example. In a 2009 case, the Roberts Court upheld the Voting Rights Act by 8-1 (Who are you thinking the “1” was? Prize if you guessed Clarence Thomas.) Roberts, writing for the majority, noted then the Court was ducking for the time being the big questions of constitutionality: “Whether conditions [faced by black voters in covered jurisdictions] continue to justify such legislation is a difficult constitutional question we do not answer today.” Four years later, of course, the majority sunk its great canine teeth right into the Act’s neck, in Shelby County v. Holder.


Ahmad Chalabi May Lead Iraq

Ahmad Chalabi may soon go from persona non grata to prime minister. The man who took millions from the CIA to finance his unsuccessful political party and sold the Bush administration on the weapons of mass destruction myth is being seriously considered to replace Iraq's current prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki. Chalabi would fulfill fellow Shiites' goal of getting Sunni Maliki and his party to step aside for another Shiite. Although his Iraqi National Congress never built a sustainable following and he was forced into exile, Chalabi may actually have a shot at Iraq's top job. “Ahmad Chalabi is close to all the parties and is a good candidate,” said Nahida al-Daini, a leader with the Sunni Mutahidoon party. “But accepting him will also depend on internal and external approvals.”

Read it at New York Times



Crossroads books $20M in TV ads for 6 Senate races


WASHINGTON (AP) — Political groups backed by Karl Rove want another $20 million in television air time.

American Crossroads super PAC and its affiliated nonprofit Crossroads GPS on Tuesday sent out ad requests for six Senate races where Democrats are at a risk of losing the seats. Ads to influence competitive House races will be booked later.

The biggest ad booking so far is in Alaska, where American Crossroads plans to spend $5.5 million starting Sept. 9. Crossroads GPS also plans a $5.1 million ad campaign starting Sept. 30 in North Carolina. The groups also reserved ad time in Iowa, Montana, Arkansas and Louisiana.

The bookings, which can still be changed, are on top of the $2.3 million in ads already running in Colorado.


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/crossroads_books_20m_in_tv_ads_for_6_senate_races/
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