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Week In The News

Gay marriage at the Supreme Court. Banks and Cyprus. Abortion and North Dakota. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Demonstrators in front of the Supreme Court in Washington. March 27, 2013. (AP)

Demonstrators in front of the Supreme Court in Washington. March 27, 2013. (AP)

The highest court in the land tackles same-sex marriage. “On the National Day to Demand Action,” President Obama says, “Shame on us,” for not cracking down on guns since Newtown.

North Dakota enacts the toughest restrictions on abortion in the nation.  Tensions grow between North and South Korea.  With an EU bailout, Cyprus banks reopened yesterday.

A massive landslide in Washington State.  And, Tiger Woods, back on top.

This hour On Point: Our week in the news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

- Jane Clayson

Guests

Robert Costa, Washington Editor for the National Review.

Bryan Monroe, Editor of CNNPolitics.com. (@BryanMonroeCNN)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

On Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Momentum in the political world for gay rights could actually limit momentum in the legal world. While the court may throw out a federal law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the justices signaled over two days of arguments that they might not feel compelled to intervene further, since the democratic process seems to be playing out on its own, state by state, elected official by elected official.”

The Seattle Times “A massive landslide damaged one home and threatened many more in Coupeville on Whidbey Island this morning. Seventeen homes were isolated by the 400- to 500-yard slide, eight of them occupied, said Island County Sheriff Mark Brown. ‘The road’s been cut off, the power’s been cut off and the water’s been cut off to the homes on the beach,” he said.”

CBS News “Saudi Arabia and other regional powers have been arming Syria’s rebels for months, but the scale and coordination with the West — and the suggestion by the AP’s sources that the effort is linked to a plan for the rebels to try and seize Damascus — represents a potentially significant escalation in the civil war.”

 

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  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people [b]from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them…Then the two men (angels) said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”  Genesis 19:4-5, 12-13

    • jefe68

      Thanks for the sermon. I prefer Pastor Flash’s Hour of Reckoning, and the words of Pastor E.L. Mouse From the Powerhouse Church of the Presumptuous Assumption of the Blinding Light.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        I bet that you consider yourself a tolerant liberal.  Only tolerant of views that you agree with, that is.

        • 1Brett1

          Your reply/criticism of jefe68 might hold a little bit more water if you didn’t start with such an intolerant, bigoted view yourself. Jefe was simply replying to such intolerance on your part; and, I might add, he replied with humor and stating a preference, hardly a tone of intolerance, no matter how much you choose to read between his lines.

        • jefe68

          The voice of intolerance complaining about intolerance. Well there’s one born everyday, or is it every other day…

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA564EXYjj8

    • Acnestes

       Looking for a good time, Honey?  Call Ed75.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Rather intolerant of religious beliefs that you don’t agree with, aren’t you?

        • 1Brett1

          Acnetes was using humor to tell you that you have a lot in common with Ed, which you do in some respects. Point to where, in his reply to you, that he was “intolerant of religious views”? If someone doesn’t agree with your religious views, are they intolerant? In terms of intolerance, would he even be in the same ballpark as your views toward those who do not share your perceptions of same sex marriage?

          • Acnestes

             Thank you!

        • Acnestes

          You guys with the big beliefs know more about about intolerance than anyone else.  Ask Ed.  He’s constantly consigning people to Hell.  But as far as I’m concerned you can believe any fairy tale you want as long as you don’t insist that everyone else accept it as the One True View of reality.

  • Ed75

    Today is Good Friday. Coincidentally, the Shroud committee announced yesterday that the Shroud of Turin has been dated to the first century. (It had been dated to the Middle Ages because they unknowingly dated an edge piece of cloth that turned out to be mostly a patch that hadn’t been historically recorded.) See ‘The Crucifixion of Jesus: a fornesic inquiry’ Zugibe, F.T., MD, Evans, 2005 for an account of the remarkable scientific analysis of the Shroud.

  • 1Brett1

    I guess it’s ‘Religious Friday’! A ‘scientific’ finding of dubious origin and a quote from the Old Testament as a compass for one’s opinion on same sex marriage…Ira Flato has Science Friday; I wonder who’ll be the undisputed religious voice of this forum on Fridays?

    This weekend is kind of an important holiday for Christians…it marks the Resurrection of Jesus, er, Christ. The myth of the Resurrection is at the foundation of Christianity; without it, Christians have nothing. Sure, a baby born that people say is the Messiah, that’s something, but it’s just a story of an exceptional child. What parent doesn’t look at his/her newborn with the same eyes? But, when “He is Risen,” as it were…huh? Am I right? No Resurrection, no religion. If Jesus wasn’t Resurrected, he just died. Without the Resurrection, the whole, “died for our sins,”  ”the true son of God,” “is the one true Messiah,” “He will return,” etc., stuff is just a lot of bluster. For Christians, there’s a whole lot riding on Jesus rising up from the dead…it’s sort of funny how it has taken Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny to keep Christmas and Easter alive as celebrated holidays. 

    • Ed75

      You’re right, as St. Paul writes ‘If He has not risen, then we are still in our sins, and our faith is in vain, and we are the most foolish of men’. Then St. Paul and the Apostles and the first popes and thousands of others went to their painful deaths to witness to the fact that he had risen, and that he returns at each Mass. You just haven’t encountered him yet.

      About the dubious science, these are premier scientists, you should read about it, it’s a fascinating puzzle.

  • Ray in VT

    I think that one of the best moments of the week for me was the piece of audio that I heard where two anti-gay marriage people were talking to a reporter, and when they were asked about the polls that show some much popular support for gay marriage, they responded that they didn’t believe those polls.  Boy, does that sound familiar.

    • Gregg Smith

      At one time the popular support for slavery was overwhelming. Ditto women not voting. I’m glad we don’t have mob rule.

      • Ray in VT

        It depends.  How did the mob in North Carolina decide when they got to put the position of a minority up to the popular vote last year?

        In a decent number of cases the federal judiciary has done a pretty good job of undoing the mob rule that dominated some states, keeping many citizens from enjoying all of their rights, such as in cases like Brown or Loving.

        • Gregg Smith

          If I understand you right you are talking about Obama and making a racial reference to his black half which seems unnecessary. Elections are not legislation, surely you see the difference. 

          • Ray in VT

            You have totally misunderstood my comment.

      • John_in_Amherst

         One of the fundamental features of the Constitution is to offer protection of the rights of minorities from the whims of the majority. 
        But… If only mob rule was totally absent from American politics!  “Tea Party” sounds so much nicer than “mob of racists and homophobes”, yet the tea party not only leads the rest of the GOP around by the trunk, it is effectively crippling political deliberation in the House, and hence the government at large.  Then there is the NRA, the leadership of which reflects the views of only a small percentage of even NRA members, yet it rules the gun safety debate through its obstreperous bullying.  Etc., etc……

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          So are you coming to the Rally on the Common on April 13th?

    • hennorama

      1Brett1 – you may be referring to Gary Bauer’s remarks about polling.

      Bauer was interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday on March 24, 2013.   Wallace asked Bauer about the results of a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll that showed 58% of Americans feel that same sex marriage should be legal, and 36% saying it should be illegal, as well as the generational differences in opinions on the topic.

      “Do you worry that this only puts the Republican Party further out of touch with the mainstream of American voters?” Wallace asked.

      “No, I’m not worried about it because the polls are skewed, Chris” Bauer responded.

      Bauer continued, “Just this past November, four states, very liberal states, voted on this issue.  My side lost all four of those votes.  But my side had 45, 46 percent of the vote in all four of those liberal states.  In fact, those marriage amendments that I supported, that would keep marriage a man and a woman, outran Mitt Romney in those four liberal states, by an average of 5 points.”

      See: http://video.foxnews.com/v/2251487713001/battle-over-gay-marriage-heats-up-as-issue-heads-to-scotus/?playlist_id=2251487713001

      The exchange above is at about 9:10 in the video.

      At no time in the video did Bauer provide any evidence that “the polls are skewed, Chris” other than his reference to the votes last November in “four liberal states.”

      • Ray in VT

        It reminds me a bit of some of the criticism of the economic, labor and polling data in the runup to the election last fall.

        • hennorama

          Ray in VT – TY for your reply. I appreciate and respect your views.

          Mr. Bauer’s remarks are exactly the same as those from last fall. At least Mr. Bauer has SOME basis for his remarks – the votes in those “four liberal states”.

  • Acnestes

    It is truly sad how much misery has been inflicted upon humanity over the fantasies of those who “know” what happens to you after you die.

    • Ray in VT

      There’s a danger in true belief, no matter what the belief is.  It can blind one to facts and lead one to some very dangerous conclusions about those who do not share those beliefs.  To quote William Joel:  “the only people I fear are those who never have doubts”.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      How many millions were murdered by socialism and how do you score them on your chart?

      • Don_B1

        So how many millions were murdered by fascism? 

        How many young men and immigrants have been murdered by sending them into grain towers to “loosen the grain”? Listen to the series on NPR this week!

        Do you really want to excuse Charles Manson because of the horror of Adam Lanza?

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          I excuse no one.  Not Hitler or Moa.  Not Manson or Lanza.  Do you excuse “Che” Guevara and the
          crowds that yelled “..to the Wall!”

          • Don_B1

            I would have thought just about anyone could have figured out that I do not excuse anyone for killing innocents.

            So using the “failure” of a comment to list all the other massacres that need to be condemned is a way to deny a claim that the massacre that is condemned is not a valid condemnation? WOW!

            But maybe your inability to read and draw a reasonable inference explains your inability to see the truth of a number of issues.

            Or are you here just to raise a ruckus?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Your attempt to switch the subjects is worthy of Jack Beatty.  
            Maybe you are cursed with an inability to stay on topic.  But it seems that flitting around is your deliberate tactic of argument.  In small doses it is entertaining.  And the fake outrage is cute too.
            If I cause a ruckus here it is because reactionaries have trouble when they are forced to examine the consequences of their opinions.  

          • Don_B1

            hat subject was I trying to change? I did push back against your attempt to use false equivalence to discredit the well-documented fact that millions have died in religious wars over issues that would have had little impact on their lives, except that the war ended their lives.

            But that is typical of rightwing approaches to debate when they have no good, winning argument: make a false argument and then accuse the opponent of using it.

            It seems you are feeling the pain. Ad hominem argument is a loser.

            But you are right that reactionaries, you in this case, have trouble when they are forced to examine the consequences of their opinions, which your type of argument is constructed to avoid. That is why you so often avoid the real issues under discussion.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Have a Blessed Easter

      • Fredlinskip

        How much suffering caused by those who profess arrogant, ignorant, hypocritical beliefs?
        Impossible to say.

    • Gregg Smith

      Do you mean athiest? They know nothing happens… but they don’t know.

    • John_in_Amherst

       To be more succinct, those “who know” are the religious zealots who take on the role exacting divine judgement while ignoring admonitions to “judge not, least ye be judged”.  History is rife with examples of people who twist religion to their own political ends (i.e.: the coercion or duping of followers into action for economic gain or acquisition of power).  Hence the separation of church and state our founding fathers wrote into the constitution, and the nearly constant attempts to revoke the idea, mostly by conservative forces that are highly motivated by their own visions of moral purity.

      • Acnestes

        Sure enough.  What I was getting at though is that  the religions that these zealots espouse all ultimately derive their power from their assertions that they, and they alone, know what will befall us all after death.  Which they don’t.

  • Ray in VT

    Also, Representative Steve King said something like “if China and built the Great Wall, then we can build a border fence along the whole thing.”  I wonder if he is aware of how effective that wall was in keeping out foreign invaders.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      History was not a strong subject for you was it?

      • Ray in VT

        Actually it was my major, and I did very well, thank you very much.  Certainly it did have some benefits against smaller actions, but it certainly did not provide that nation security against large scale foreign threats, such as the Mongols, and it is my understanding that it was possible to conduct local raids in various sectors due to the difficulties in properly manning the entire length with any great effective force.  Ultimately it may have had some benefits, although at great cost, but new invaders just came from the sea, where there was no wall.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Most agree that the success of the Mongols had a lot to do with the infighting within China.   The Great Wall was very effective and the security it created resulted in the flowering of amazing advances in China.  

          • Ray in VT

            You say most agree.  Who is most?  The public or academics?  The success of the Mongols certainly was affected by local conditions.  Their successes were also impacted by the fact that they assembled a type of military machine that was able to sweep away all that was before it from Mongolia to Baghdad.  Japan was only likely saved by the Divine Wind.  For much of the history of China her neighbors to the north were relatively weak compared to the might that the dynasties could muster, and the walls may have helped, but even what we now think of as the Great Wall was ultimately not able to keep out invaders, although internal troubles were likely more of threat than outsiders for many centuries, and although the walls may have provided some border security, which may have contributed to cultural advances, one could also make a good argument that those advances had more to do with national unification in the 3rd century B.C.E., a strong central government and long stretches of domestic order.

    • Gregg Smith

      It’s working in Israel.

      • Ray in VT

        Let me know how that works for them over the course of decades or centuries.  Local and short term victories are possible, but a wall has yet to be built that has proved effective over time.  Walls saved Constantinople for decades, but it ultimately fell.

      • John_in_Amherst

         Never mind that even the Israeli border is porous.  Israel is a garrison state where in all able youths are conscripted for service, and non-Jews are highly restricted in terms of immigration and those already in the country are regarded as second- class citizens or worse.  Want to introduce universal service?  How about categorizing levels of participation in citizenship?  While we’re at it, let’s be sure we chisel the inscription “Give me your tired, your poor….” off the Statue of Liberty…

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Maybe we need to electrify what is already there?

      Senators McCain and Schumer were given a tour this week of the fence and an illegal immigrant woman brazenly scaled the 18 foot fence right in front of them.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/344096/illegal-immigrant-crosses-border-john-mccain-chuck-schumer-look-eliana-johnson

      • Ray in VT

        That might not be such a bad idea, although I wouldn’t want for it to be lethal.  People will find a way around that too if they are motivated enough.  Through, over or under.  Some will still find a way, which is not to say that we shouldn’t do what we can to prevent it.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Agreed.

            Our immigration policy is insane and has been for years.  I don’t understand why we don’t remove ALL magnets for illegal immigration and then have a honest and robust guest worker program and legal immigration program.

          If we had a comprehensive immigration program then border enforcement would be much easier.

          • NrthOfTheBorder

            What a sensible comment.  

            But for them there magnets. While many Americans fear ‘illegals” they also like their lettuce cheap, with maid and mamacita bargains thrown in.  

            We enable illegal immigration on one hand and vilify it on the other.  This duplicity is conveniently dropped from the debate. Or, maybe, those taking advantage of low-cost illegal labor couldn’t possibly be the same as those wanting to erect killer fences along the border.   

    • NewtonWhale

      To paraphrase Ygritte from Game of Thrones:

      “You know nothing, Steve King”.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    Remember back when these charlatans were trying to convince us ObamaCare would reduce the deficit?  The same crew of brilliant geniuses, who presume to run the health insurance industry better than any free citizens of private corporations, somehow forgot to consider the possibility that low-income insurance consumers might have families.  But of course, if they had explicitly included such provisions, the con artists of the Democrat Party wouldn’t have been able to pretend that ObamaCare was some kind of deficit-reducing bargain for the American taxpayer… or, alternatively, they wouldn’t have been able to soft-pedal its crushing impact on the business sector.

    http://www.redstate.com/2013/03/28/obamacares-family-glitch/

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Obamneycare will be remembered as a bigger failure than the Eighteenth Amendment.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         I really don’t like the term ‘obamneycare’.  While I don’t like Romneycare it really doesn’t do the damage of Obamacare.  Romneycare was only 60 pages and only impacted a small percentage of the population of the state of MA.  Obamacare will cost trillions and effect everyone in the country.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          I disagree.  If it had been stopped in MA it would not have grown to aflict the rest of the country.  On the other hand it did cause me to become more politically active.

    • John_in_Amherst

       Check how much of the money in Medicare/Medicaid goes to administrative overhead (a few %) versus private insurance plans (where companies have to limited, to avoid excessive payouts to share holders and high-rolling corporate officers. 

    • Don_B1

      @rwb:disqus @WorriedfortheCountry:disqus @John_in_Amherst:disqus 

      When you are ready to look at facts about healthcare costs, you might want to look at some data:

      http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/are-health-costs-really-slowing-and-what-does-it-mean-if-they-are/

      Whether the PPACA is the chief cause, the rise in healthcare costs HAS SLOWED and there are at least indications that that progress will continue.

      I feel so sorry about how this data will break Republican’s hearts.

  • jefe68

    I’m not sure this will be covered in tis show, but it’s up there as far as news of the week, and beyond in my view.
    This is a crisis, and one that will hit everyone in their pocketbooks in terms of food prices.

    A mysterious malady that has been killinghoneybees en masse for several years appears to have expanded drastically in the last year, commercial beekeepers say, wiping out 40 percent or even 50 percent of the hives needed to pollinate many of the nation’s fruits and vegetables.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/science/earth/soaring-bee-deaths-in-2012-sound-alarm-on-malady.html?hp&_r=0

  • NewtonWhale

    Tom, the next time you devote an hour to the economic musings of brain surgeon and  ”conservative rising star” Dr. Ben Carson, you might want to ask him to expand on his view that same sex marriage is the same as pedophilia and bestiality:

    CARSON: My thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman, it’s a well-established uh, fundamental pillar of society. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA [the North American Man/Boy Love Association], be they people who believe in beastiality, it doesn’t matter what they are, they don’t get to change the definition. So it’s not something that’s against gays, it’s against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society. It has significant ramifications.

    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/03/28/1790741/newest-darling-of-the-republican-party-compares-same-sex-marriage-to-nambla-bestiality/

    Better still, as one of your commenters suggested, you might have Paul Krugman on for an hour to discuss brain surgery.

    • Ray in VT

      There was also this response from one of his colleagues at John’s Hopkins:

      The term intellectual emerged around the late-19th-century Dreyfus Affair, when writers, artists, and academics spoke out in the name of impartial justice and individual rights in defense of a man unjustly condemned because he was a Jew, while others insisted that a defense of the established order (notably the Church) required supporting the conviction. Intellectuals, then, are individuals who use their expertise in one esteemed area of human endeavor, science, for example, to intervene in the public debate on topics outside of their specific expertise.

      I admire Dr. Carson as a neurosurgeon, but his intervention into this debate proves that, like those who defended the Army and the Church against Dreyfus, he prefers to defend the ways things have been rather than individual rights and to deny that informed and rational debate is a better basis for making decisions than received wisdom. I doubt that he would apply these lessons to his professional life. In this case, where he knows nothing more than hearsay, the good doctor is wrong about the history.

      Legal marriage is defined by laws made by human beings, not by his definition of what his god decreed. He should check out the Constitution on this matter. Who can get married has been widely debated across different cultures and time periods. It’s always been open to discussion and redefinition. That’s how law-making works.  Age of consent laws in this country, for example, are much more restrictive now than they were in the 19th century. Rape and sexual abuse were far more widely accepted. Feminists, gay rights groups, and others all helped make that change (ask the Catholic Church). He also is insulting, offhand, and ill-informed in the comparison he makes to bestiality, Nambla, etc. Half-baked history and insults, then, are where he wants to stake his tent.

      I don’t think most people at Hopkins think what he says on this subject matters. They make him look nasty, petty, and ill-informed. It doesn’t tell us anything about his amazing abilities as a surgeon. It does remind us, however, that those abilities do not mean we should listen to what he says in any other domain. One of the nice things about the current debate is that it’s not just LGBT people who are concerned. Americans are involved in this discussion. The vast majority of Americans are open to judging this question of equal rights to marry on the basis of the evidence, in a process of open discussion.
      As they’ve seen the evidence, most have moved away from the hysterical and de-humanizing arguments to which Dr. Carson still clings. He is welcome to put them out there. I and others can now judge him on those statements. It makes him look bad. But such reactionary and rancid claims do remind us of how far the general discussion has advanced beyond Dr. Carson and his far-right audience.

      That was from Professor Todd Shepard, who teaches, among other things, French history, and who is also the co-director of the university’s Program for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Colleagues?

        The Homewood campus and the Medical school are  about 5 miles apart.  I doubt Dr. Carson is mingling much with the French history folks.

        • Ray in VT

          So how close do they physically have to be in order to be considered colleagues?  The same building?  The same floor?  For all I know Dr. Carson has a great affinity for French history.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Yup,  he drives over to the French library after those 12 hour surgeries for some cafe au lait et les croissants chaud.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, maybe he walks on water too.  One could conclude that some think that he might, considering how much he’s been getting hyped lately.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             I find him refreshing but  I don’t agree with everything he says.

            What is more interesting is how some on the left have attacked him.  He has even been called an Uncle Tom.  They must see him as a threat because some of his conservative views don’t fit within their racial stereotypes.  I find that very sad.  But alas it is a pattern.

          • Ray in VT

            I find him to generally be presenting much of the same positions now current within the right wing of the GOP and the TEA Party.  He, like Marco Rubio, are just a somewhat different face on the same ideas.

            I don’t care for labeling someone an Uncle Tom, although some from within that community will certainly do so from time to time.  Perhaps it is not because he’s “going off the plantation” or something, but that some see him lining up with groups that have traditionally been hostile to the African American community, and they feel a bit betrayed.  I imagine that some in the gay rights community may harbor somewhat similar feelings towards the Log Cabin Republicans, although they can’t seem to get any love from groups like CPAC.

            I think that there is plenty of room to contest and criticize Dr. Carson’s views without making personal attacks against him.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Who’s making personal attacks on Carson?

            I ask because it’s become a RightWingMediaFact which EverybodyKnows in the news.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m sure that some have, and it has probably gotten ugly in some places online, much as it does with other people in the public eye.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            To Ray: But then I have to wait for the inevitable false equivalence whereing some birhter GOP congressman’s demaind for a “raised seal” is the same to some anonymouse, powerless commentor on a liberal advocacy site: These things aren’t equal, and I won’t jsut accept it when when Worried says “some people call Carson and Uncle Tom”.

            The “who” matters here.

    • northeaster17

      Carson…All hat no cattle. Once he has to defend his positions on the stump, if he ever does, he will lose votes every time he opens his mouth. Looking forward to the contest.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      When I read “brain surgeon” I thought you were going to insult someone who was obviously uneducated. But Carson has done the nigh impossible: Made “actual brain surgeon” not a total compliment.

      On the other hand, I guess the riggt wing media’s over its RisingStarSaviorness with Marco Rubio, so that’s a plus.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         You mean the Marco Rubio who was attacked and mocked incessantly — not for what he said — but for taking a drink of water when he was thirsty.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Pfft.

          Rubio is just like Sarah Palin: The more one digs into the meat of their words, the stupider they look.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that it was a bit of a shame that there was so much focus on Senator Rubio’s thirst rather than his words.  I don’t think that there was a whole lot new in what he was saying, but I think that I will defend him a bit.  There’s no way that he isn’t brighter than Sister Sarah. I think that the same is true with Ted Cruz. I don’t think that he’s dumb. I think that he’s either a bit cracked, or else he’s just playing it up to those who would easily fall in line behind someone who would be shouting about communists 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    The reason, the report says, isn’t just that millions of uninsured will get coverage, which the actuaries estimate will cause them to double their health spending.
    Also driving claims higher is that many employers will dump coverage for workers once ObamaCare kicks in, and those workers will be far more expensive to insure than people already in the individual market.
    Either way, the result will be higher premiums for millions of Americans.

    Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/032713-649596-obama-yawns-about-obamacare-premium-spikes.htm#ixzz2OvqjmDkU 

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Why was this ever called the “Affordable Care Act,” if only those in government can afford care?

      • northeaster17

        It’s a wonder any country survives with universal care. If only we could see the folly of our ways for even trying.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Yeah is would be nice. But sometimes a person must get burned to learn that a stove is hot.

          • JGC

            Obamacare covers that, too.

  • NewtonWhale

    Hey, GOP, how’s that minority outreach going?

    “Rep. Don Young (R-AK) used an ethnic slur to describe Mexican farm workers in an interview with a local station KRBD on Thursday.  

    “My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes,” he said while discussing economic trends of the last few decades.

    “It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.

    ”Young’s “wetback” remark comes as the GOP is engaged in a large scale effort to win over Latino voters, who have been alienated by party members’ anti-immigration rhetoric and policies in recent years.” 

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/rep-don-young-r-ak-reminisces-about-hiring?ref=fpa

    If that’s not bad enough, stay tuned for a copyright infringement suit for stealing one of Jon Stewart’s favorite lines:

    Rep. Don Young on ‘wetbacks’ comment: I ‘meant no disrespect’

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/don-young-alaska-racial-remark-immigration-89451.html#ixzz2OvqDeZhL(And yes, that’s an actual picture of Rep. Young wearing an actual beanie to a congressional hearing)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qvAPX51Jdw

    • Ray in VT

      Assuming that it is not a fashion statement, is there a reason for the beanie?

      • NewtonWhale

        He was mocking Obama’s support for wind power.
        Be grateful Obama wasn’t pushing water power or Young could have been wearing a Speedo.

        • Ray in VT

          Ugh, that’s a disturbing thought.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Good thing he didn’t go after Obama’s support for algae.  That could have been really messy.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Now that would be funny.

    • hennorama

      NewtonWhale – is never ceases to amaze that some politicians remain blissfully unaware that their every public utterance and action can and will be recorded in some way, and shared nearly instantaneously worldwide.

      Perhaps Rep. Don “bridge to nowhere” Young is unaware of the concept of an “open microphone”.  Although how that might be possible, given that he was in front of a group from the MEDIA, while on a Congressional recess tour through Alaska, escapes one completely.

      By the way, Rep.Don “I missed the most votes of anyone in the 112th Congress” Young said quite a bit more than his Archie Bunkerish “wetbacks” remark.  Here’s more:

      “I really think that everybody should consider my 10 percent solution,” he said. “Everybody put 10 percent of their salaries, including those on government welfare, so everyone has something in the game – a little skin in the game – including all the agencies and the whole bit; you’d balance the budget.”

      He also talked about a new ethics investigation (one must write “new” with regard to investigations, as Rep. Young has been involved in so many), building icebreakers for polar shipping routes, and other topics.

      See/hear:http://www.krbd.org/2013/03/28/don-young-talks-regs-budget-economy-arctic-development/

      To say Rep. Don “those were the days” Young is “colorful” seriously downplays his outrageousness.  For example:

      - While railing against the NEA at a high school assembly in Fairbanks, he complained about photographer Robert Mapplethorpe’s work, calling it “Butt(bleeping)!

      - During a 2011 hearing, Young called celebrated historian, Dr. Douglas Brinkley, “Dr. Rice” and when Dr. Brinkley, a professor at Rice University, corrected him, Young snapped back “I can call you anything I want if you sit in that chair. You just be quiet.  Be quiet.”
      “You don’t own me” Dr. Brinkley replied, “I pay your salary”.

      And much, much, MUCH more.

      Sources:
      http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2013/03/29/slurs-slips-ethics-probes-rep-don-youngs-colorful-political-life/
      http://www.minnpost.com/environment/2011/11/video-rep-don-young-every-american-should-see
      http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2011/11/01/congressional_voting_records_don_young_missed_the_most_house_vot.html

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    The country that Chavez left us is a country that is financially ruined. True, we still have a lot of oil under our feet and good management can bring us back to a semi functional state in as little as half a decade. But the bonanza of the last decade will have been spent with very little to show for it.  It has been swallowed by corruption, inefficiency and gifts because what Chavez has done is to distribute cash around, never establishing anything productive and sustainable over time. Nothing.

    http://daniel-venezuela.blogspot.com/2013/03/april-15-2013.html

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Hugo Chavez is gone but his mistakes and crimes are  harming Venezuelians and will do so for a long time.

    • albert Sordi

      What’s the problem RWB?   You lose your cushy job with the foreign oil company that was stealing the resources of your country ?
      Hugo Chavez did amazing good for the MAJORITY of his people, while ignoring not the privleged and the middle class wannabees.  And he did this all with sanctions, and sabotage from the USA, UK and a few others.  Not to mention he allowed 3/4 of the media the freedom to continue to ridicule him.
      JUST LOOK AT THE POLLS, and particularly the next election to see true DEMOCRACY in action, not the corrupt clown charade that goes on in the USA.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Gee that was nice of him to let some of the media survive.  All praise Caesar Chavez.

        • albert Sordi

          Actually, almost 80% of Venezuela’s media is in the same few hands as it is in the USA.
          And that’s why the USA news has become lock-step contrived nonsense and propaganda.  Countries that the USA media accuses of being dictatorial has far more news and analysis than the US charade of news media.  Your name is right on ” worried for the country.  You should be.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.  Voltaire

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    And what is that word?  Why, it’s Obamacare: “After making a big deal of publicly supporting the Affordable Care Act, Walmart—the nation’s largest private sector employer—is joining the ranks of companies seeking to avoid their obligation to provide employees with health insurance as required by Obamacare.”
    http://moelane.com/2013/03/27/obamacare-walmart/

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I’m guessing they believed that if they supported enough of the silly ideas of this administration they would be spared the penalties that have been inflicted on their competitors.  

  • albert Sordi

    Such hypocrisy regarding North Korea pointing missiles towards the west.  The outrage in the western media, while they completely ignore the fact that this is what the USA constantly does to North Korea.  The US holding war exercises is clearly the instigator in this instance. practicing to destroy North Korea.

    And just like with Iran, trying to destroy these people with sanctions and sabotage.  no wonder they see the need to obtain nukes. They know that the US has more people in jail per capita, the inequality, and the wars for profit. They know about the loan sharks from the IMF and World Bank,who favor the wealthy by indebting the people and stealing their resources.

    Face it America,  there are some countries that just don’t want McDonalds hamburgers, Mobil gas, Nike sneakers and cable porno.   Why cant you just leave them the hell alone ?

    • northeaster17

      Maybe you should ask the South Koreans how they feel about the resonable North.

      • albert Sordi

        I constantly see South Koreans protesting against USA and their military presence.

      • albert Sordi

        The population of south korea is TWICE that of north korea.  South Korea is tremendously more wealth than North Korea.  What is the USA sticking its nose and bullying in this dispute?? THere is a large consensus of South Koreans who feel they can settle disputes and perhaps even unification without the USA’s belligerence, CIA shenanigans and war profiteering.

    • jefe68

      Wow. Is this some kind of satirical comment?
      I hope so.

  • NewtonWhale

    God works in mysterious ways:

    Son of Westboro Baptist Church leader attacked on live TV by naked 500lb man who burst out of bathroom, sat on him and shouted: ‘Who’s your daddy now?’

    Westboro Baptist Church member David Phelps was being interviewed in a mobile studio when a 35-stone man, who was wearing no clothes, suddenly burst out of a loo to confront him.

    Mr Phelps was angrily commenting on a forthcoming live crucifixion, which U.S.-based TV station Battlecam intends to broadcast on Easter Sunday.

    But the interview quickly descended into a farce when the naked man, who is understood to call himself Billy The Fridge, burst in on proceedings.

    A video of the incident was posted on YouTube and has run up nearly 30,000 hits over the last 48 hours.

    An eye-witness later claimed that he saw Phelps being pursued down the street outside the mobile studio by a naked fat man.

    Rob Cutler, from Topeka, Kansas, where the church is based, said:

    ‘I was amazed, first I see David run out of a motor home and the next thing I know he’s been sat on by this giant naked man who is screaming “who’s your daddy now, Davey?”‘

    The Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church has previously caused controversy in the U.S. by preaching anti-gay messages.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300604/David-Phelps-son-Westboro-Baptist-Church-leader-attacked-naked-35-STONE-man.html

    • Ray in VT

      Just so long as Mr. Phelps wasn’t hurt, that is pretty funny.

      • NewtonWhale

        In so many ways.

        Take, for example, the writer’s implication that it had not yet descended into farce when they were simply discussing the merits of broadcasting a live crucifixion.

        • Ray in VT

          Come on, we all know that crucifixion is terrible.  That’s why the Romans only did it to that one guy ever, who was such a treat to their empire that they just had to off him.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The History Channel did a show recently on the science of crucifixtion.  Really nasty stuff.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh yeah.  Spikes through the wrists and the ankles or the top of the foot.  Not the hands as so many crucifixes portray, because, I guess, those might rip out.  They really wanted people to hang there for a few days before dying.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Apparently they had to work at keeping the victim alive to extend the torture.  They did some human trials measuring blood oxygen levels in a proxy apparatus and found that they had to quickly stop the experiment for safety.

          • Ray in VT

            Also, how did they squeeze that in between Pawn Stars and all of those sorts of shows.  I used to like the History Channel a lot more when they covered more actual history.  Ancient Aliens is funny, but I don’t think that it really belongs there.  History International does a much better job, much like MTV2 did after MTV stopped showing videos.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             So sad.

            This show seemed to be part of a series related to their Bible miniseries and the run up to Easter.

            They are also dabbling in docu-dramas with their Vikings miniseries.

          • Ray in VT

            But even if to coincide with an event, the crucifixion show still illustrates a historical act.  I’d probably watch the Bible series if I had the time, and my wife is enjoying Vikings.  I do suppose that there were only so many shows that one could run on the Nazis.  I used to sometimes hear people call it the Hitler Channel.

    • hennorama

      NewtonWhale – thanks a lot, for both the excellent comic relief, and the fact that I now need to get that image out of my head, even without daring to view the video.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    The 61-page online Obamacare draft application for health care includes asking if the applicant wants to register to vote, raising the specter that pro-Obama groups being tapped to help Americans sign up for the program will also steer them to register with the Democratic Party.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2525323#.UVLOZKX4yoY.email

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      So this is what Rep. Pelosi meant when she said “we had to pass the bill to learn what is in the bill.”  

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      “Raising the spectre” is horsecrap except to low-information consumers.

      But hey, don’t sweat it. The GOP House just re-re-defunded ACORN for the umpteenth time in February.

      • Ray in VT

        But ACORN helped Obama steal the election, at least to 49% of Republicans polled here:

        http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/12/republicans-not-handling-election-results-well.html

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          ACORN?  Do they still exist?

          ACORN is a bad seed.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that they do, really, but that doesn’t stop some people from believing that they stole the election.  Maybe they’re just so deep in the conspiracy that they faked their own demise to throw off the heat.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Hahaha.

            The fact would suggest otherwise.

            As recently as three weeks ago, all the faked and falsely edited video in the world couldn’t help the anti-ACORN “pimp” : Journalist Human shitstain James OKeefe fined $100k over faked ACORN video.

            Funny how that didn’t make the week in the news three weeks ago. I guess our presscorps isn’t learning.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, at least those videos helped to convict that woman who admitted to having killed her husband.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Comment removed?

            Wow. Nice to know that I can still be called a c0ckbiter in this space here yet I can’t call a sh1tstain a sh1tstain.

            Once more with no feeling: In the news this week, human fabircator James OKeefe will pay $100k for publicly defaming ACORN employees because James Okeefe made shat up.

            Where is the one-hour On Point on this truth?

            Where is NPR’s fascination with this fact?

    • hennorama

      RWB – Voter registration in the U.S. is not automatic.  Partly due to this fact, voter participation rates had been declining, even in Presidential elections, from the early 1960s through the mid-1980s.  This was seen as a problem, and the Congress responded, passing the so-called “Motor Voter” law – the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA).

      Ever since, we have been encouraging voter registration through various government forms.  This is no different.

      For a chart of voter participation in Presidential elections, see:
      http://elections.gmu.edu/voter_turnout.htm

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        That people choose not to register or to vote is proof that people aren’t happy with choices being offered by the “big” political parties.  The choice between airline food and hospital food is not worth much effort.

        • hennorama

          RWB – TY for your response. I respect your views.

          I can’t say I completely agree with your conclusion, primarily because it is very narrowly drawn. For example, if one does not know how to register to vote, are they “choosing” not to register? What about lazy people, or forgetful people?

          But I hear your underlying sentiment – you want different candidates to vote for, and/or more distinctions among candidates and/or political parties.

          Fair enough. Now go out and convince others.

          Of course, you’d merely be wasting your time unless those others are registered to vote.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I always like connecting with you.

            There seems to be a lot of evidence supporting my opinion.  Reduced membership in political parties, increase in distrust of government, and the Occupy Movement all seem to favor me.  The challenge we face is demonstrating that we are an alternative worth the time and energy to support.  Frankly I hope we can, I am only certain of what will happen if we don’t. 

          • hennorama

            RWB – TY for your response. I appreciate and respect your views.

            Thank you for your kind words. Your enjoyment of “connecting with [me]” is far from universally shared, so such a statement is appreciated. Backatcha.

            Indeed, there is considerable evidence supporting your idea.

            On the other hand, as evidenced in the chart on voter participation that I linked to in my original response to you, the downtrend has been broken, and interest in politics in general also seems.to be as high as or higher than ever.

            Then there is the evidence of increased ACTIVE participation in politics, shown in both the Occupy movement and the TEA shindig. as well as CPAC, OFA, etc. etc.

            This is a good thing. The more people who are participating in our politics, the better.

            That’s why voter registration is so important, regardless of your political views. I always tell people “if you don’t vote, don’t complain”.

            When I do non-partisan voter registration work, one of my best lines is “Sign up here for the right to complain about the government!” Works pretty well.

            Thanks again for your kind words.

  • Ray in VT

    What?  North Dakota passed restrictions on abortion that would outlaw the procedure before many or most women would even know that they were pregnant?  But how can this be?  We have been repeatedly told by some that no one is trying to ban abortion.  This looks pretty close to a total ban.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      They don’t want the word “ban” used. It’s called a TRAP bill for a reason.

      Fair enough. I just want to take one of those crap bills and replace “abortion” with “gun license” and see how it flies for those leges.

      Hey, I’ve got a dollar that says Mississippi is jealous that ND thought of it first.

    • hennorama

      Ray in VT – from the Things One Learns When Trying To Learn Something Else Dept.:

      North Dakota does not have voter registration.

      This fact is presented merely as an interesting fact.  I make no claim as to any connection to any law in North Dakota 

      See:http://www.nd.gov/sos/electvote/voting/voter-qualifi.html

      • Ray in VT

        “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

    • 1Brett1

      Oh, yeah, there’s no GOP “war on women”! …And other Red states are, in some form, following suit with things like forced ultrasounds (those are needing to be done within 24 hrs. of the abortion, and needing to be done by the same doctor who performs the abortions, even if the woman has already had an ultrasound), the introduction of legislation for forced vaginal probes (again with the same restrictions and waiting periods as the ultrasounds), draconian regulations on clinics themselves (things like special codes, e.g., widths of doors and hallways, bathrooms needing urinals–as if men need equal access in women’s clinics–etc.), regulations that would be unique to these clinics, effectively shutting down clinics…on and on. 

      Imagine being a poor woman in, say, Mississippi. You’re pregnant; you are happy with that…You then find out from your obstetrician (through an ultrasound) that there is a severe problem with the fetus; a problem where it might not even make it to term; a problem that, if it did make it to term, the child would have severe disabilities. You go home crying, and together with your husband you decide to have an abortion (something you can’t even afford). You find out that the only abortion clinic in your state is 400 miles away. You scrape together the money to travel the 400 miles to get an abortion. At the clinic, the doctor tells you the law states you need another ultrasound (more money), that he will have to be the one who performs the ultrasound as he will be the one performing the abortion. The front desk schedules the second ultrasound, but they say the doctor doesn’t have any available time the following day for your abortion (which is a no go because of the 24-hour rule). You have, by then, neared running out of the money you’ve saved for the abortion. You can’t go home then come back; you can’t spend days on end 400 miles away from home, etc…you’re put into a corner where you have no good options. 

      This was from a story I heard a couple of months ago. While I’m sure not all women’s situations in these matters are as dire as this scenario, it doesn’t take much imagination to see these kinds of scenarios happening. 

    • John_in_Amherst

       pssst!  Ray!  The official GOP party platform specifically references banning abortion with no exceptions. 
      For those of us who believe in BIRTHDAYS (as opposed to “conception days”) and the notion that, while a fetus is a special responsibility of the woman who carries it, life begins at first breath, the time to wake up is NOW.  What the anti-choice movement is about is not just abortion.  It is about contraception, IVF, and all manner of stem cell technology, which in the near future will bring the possibility of making any stem cell, fetal or not, into a complete fetus.

      • Ray in VT

        I think that it’s been in the platform for a while, but I’ve heard some argue that it’s just to placate the pro-life part of the party, but I don’t believe that for a minute.  There has been quite a bit of action across the country over the past few years that has sought to limit abortion access.

      • TELew

         The anti-choice movement is about even much more.  It is about establishing a theocracy in the United States.  There are right wing Christian activists who specialize in certain areas–whether it be same-sex marriage, abortion, evolution in schools, or whatever.  But make no mistake, they are part of a much larger coalition (Focus on the Family, etc.) whose goal is to remake American society in what they believe to be a Biblical Hebrew society’s image.

        Most of them won’t acknowledge their debt to R.J. Rushdoony, who advocated an American society ruled by the laws in Leviticus (minus the ones about eating shrimp, of course), i.e. death penalties for disobedient children, homosexuals, etc.  But a careful examination of their attempts to create public policy reveals their debt to him, and what you hear publicly pales in comparison to what insiders speak among themselves.

  • jer_dna

    Marriage = man+woman.  There is no discrimination.  If you’re a man you can marry a woman.  If you’re a woman you can marry a man.  Noone is excluded.  The only one who can claim discrimination is a Martian who comes to Earth and wants to marry a human.

    • hypocracy1

      your math sucks

    • 1Brett1

      You sound like a Martian, yourself, as you must have been on another planet because you seem ignorant of the issues at hand. 

  • skeptic150

    With respect to ND and pregnancy termination:

    1) Philosophers, theologians, scientists, and doctors do not agree as to when “human life” begins. Politicians are the least qualified to comment on this, much less pass legislation related to this.

    2) The risk of death from pregnancy and delivery is greater
    than the risk of death from an elective pregnancy termination. Politicians should not take away a woman’s choice to avoid a greater risk of death from pregnancy and delivery.

    3) All the cows, pigs, and chickens killed for human consumption are demonstrably more sentient than fetuses. It seems to me to be philosophically consistent politicians should be banning the inhumane treatment and slaughter of cows, pigs, and chickens.

    Related to human sentience:

    When is the Capacity for Sentience Acquired During Human Fetal Development?

    1992, Vol. 1, No. 3 , Pages 153-165
    Susan Tawia†

    Monash University, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
    †Correspondence: Susan Tawia, Monash
    University Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash Medical Centre, 246 Clayton Road, Clayton, Victoria, 3168, Australia

    The question of when the human fetus develops the capacity for sentience is central to many contentious issues. The answer could and should influence attitudes toward IVF and embryo experimentation, abortion, and fetal and neonatal surgery. For the fetus to be described as sentient, the somatosensory pathways from the periphery to the primary somatosensory region of the cerebral cortex must be established and functional. Fetal behaviour is described and the development of the underlying anatomical substrate and the chemical and electrical pathways involved in the detection, transmission, and perception of somatosensory stimuli are reviewed.
    It is concluded that the basic neuronal substrate required to transmit somatosensory information develops by mid-gestation (18 to 25 weeks), however, the functional capacity of the neural circuitry is limited by the immaturity of the system. Thus, 18 to 25 weeks is considered the earliest stage at which the lower boundary of sentience could be placed. At this stage of development, however, there is little evidence for the central processing of somatosensory information. Before 30 weeks gestational age, EEG activity is extremely limited and somatosensory evoked potentials are immature, lacking components which correlate with information processing within the cerebral cortex. Thus, 30 weeks is considered a more plausible stage of fetal development at which the lower boundary for sentience could be placed.
    Read More: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/14767059209161911

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=when-does-consciousness-arise

    4) I recommend When Abortion Was A Crime for those who wish to learn from history regarding this topic.

    5)
    The Impact of Illegal Abortion
    A Fact Sheet from the Abortion Access Project

    Historically, women around the world have tried to end their unintended pregnancies whether abortion is legal or not, often jeopardizing their safety and health by self-inducing or seeking a dangerous illegal procedure. While there is very little relationship between abortion legality and abortion incidence, there is a strong correlation between abortion legality and abortion safety.
    The World Health Organization (WHO) defines unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking the minimal medical standards or both.
    Estimates of the annual number of illegal abortions in the United States during the1950s and 1960s range from 200,000 to 1.2 million.
    Of the 46 million abortions occurring worldwide each year, 20 million take place in countries where abortion is prohibited by law.
    Prior to Roe v. Wade, as many as 5,000 American women died annually as a direct result of unsafe abortions.
    Today, abortion is one of the most commonly performed clinical procedures in the United States, and the current death rate from abortion at all stages of gestations is 0.6 per 100,000 procedures. This is 11 times safer than carrying a pregnancy to term and nearly twice as safe as a penicillin injection.
    According to the WHO, in countries where abortion remains unsafe it is a leading cause of maternal mortality, accounting for 78,000 of the 600,000 annual pregnancy-related deaths worldwide.
    Approximately 219 women die worldwide each day from an unsafe abortion.
    Six months after abortion was legalized in Guyana in 1995, admissions for septic and incomplete abortion dropped by 41%. Previously, septic abortion had been the third largest, and incomplete abortion the eighth largest, cause of admissions to the country’s public hospitals.
    One year after Romania legalized abortion in 1990, its abortion-related mortality rate fell from 142 to 47 deaths per 100,000 live births. These are examples of the positive impact legalizing abortion has on women’s health.
    Legalization of abortion allows women to obtain timely abortions thereby reducing the risk of complications. In 1970, one in four abortions, in the United States, took place after 13 weeks gestation. Today, 88% of all abortions in the U.S. take place before the end of the first trimester.
    Sources:
    1 “International Policy and Practice: Responding to Unsafe Abortion,” Ipas, 2003.
    2 “Medical and Social Health Benefits Since Abortion was made Legal in the U.S.” Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2002.
    3 “Facts in Brief: Induced Abortion Worldwide, 2003,” Alan Guttmacher Institute.
    4 “The Safety of Legal Abortion and the Hazards of Illegal Abortion,” NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, 2003.
    5 “Sharing Responsibility: Women, Society, and Abortion Worldwide,” Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1999.
    6 “Envisioning Life Without Roe: Lessons Without Borders,” Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2003.
    7 “Abortion in Context: United States and Worldwide,” Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1999.
    8 “The Public Health Impact of Legal Abortion: 30 Years Later,”
    Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 35:1, January/February 2003.
    Written by: The Abortion Access Project
    Last revised: June 2003

    6) With these things said, I do agree with “pro-life” positions that pregnancy termination as a form of birth control is problematic – but I think this should be addressed via education and proper health care provision (access to birth control, etc.).  Pregnancy termination should be a decision between a woman, her physician, and her spouse/partner as applicable. Politicians (predominantly white, male, Christian fundamentalists) have no business in this decision making via legislation.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    All hail North Dakota! What a pathetic move.

    I understand they have a problem attracting women to live there. This is gonna help?

    Medically speaking, I guess the only safe thing to do if you’re a woman in ND who wants the slightest control over her own body is to get a preemptive abortion every three weeks, because that’s the only way to do it legally.

    And I’ve heard the forced birthers talk about “heartbeats” being the cause of this bill’s timeline. What about conception, when sperm meets egg? Can’t they get their stories straight?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Do we really need a special envoy from inside the Beltway covering the right-wing beat on behalf of the National Review? Is there a shortage of this on NPR? Where’s the liberal?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Are you joking?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Yes you do.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Yeah, I hear enough of the National Review style propaganda with the regular evening news, thanks.

        You’re so far in you don’t know what sunlight is anymore.

  • Rex Henry

    50% of all marriages end in divorce, but letting gays marry is going to ruin this “sanctity?”

    • AC

      Luke 16:18New International Version (NIV)
      18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”holy moly…i know lots of sinners!

      • brettearle

        That passage ought to serve as a reference point to recognize how irrelevant the Bible, sometimes, can be.

        Sometimes, Divorce is necessary simply to protect one’s life, limb, and ruin–much less from enduring endless misery and sorrow.

        Even back then, the Bible should have known better.

  • AC

    personally, i feel it’s nature’s built in population control. 7 billion people=lots more gay people (thank god!)

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    The COUNTRY, and the CONSTITUTION, are not guided by the bible. This seems to be something that is not considered by those supporting DOMA. 

    • AC

      totally agree, but then religion scares me to death… 

    • Ray in VT

      Please re-read both, BHA.  There’s whole bunch of stuff regarding free speech, prohibitions against the quartering of soldiers in private homes and how to properly apportion the Elector College in the O.T.  People just don’t read it carefully enough.

    • brettearle

       But those who are citizens in the COUNTRY and those who are members of the Supreme Court(s) are sometimes consciously and unconsciously guided by what they THINK is in the Bible. 

  • DeJay79

    The biggest news of the week is being made by NRP with the announced end of Talk of the Nation. 

    Good by and Good luck Neal. We’ve loved you.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Science Friday I will miss.

      I can do without the Political Junkie show, which is very Beltway Inbred.

      • DeJay79

         They are keeping Science Friday.

    • brettearle

      The reason why TOTN is ending, is because Ray Suarez is on PBS.

  • AC

    this is funny:

    • DeJay79

       and to the point that the bible dose not even say “do not be gay” like it does say about those other things where it does say do not do this or that

  • Ray in VT

    Did the Supreme Court consider whether or not the mixing of races could be good or bad when considering Loving vs. Virginia?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Jane: You can ask the caller who is trumpeting their own “economic facts” to show their math. Or ask how much money they make, or if they have a half-decent tax attorney.

    When random caller X starts saying “ohnoes my taxes went up”, does a public radio host have to just sit there and take it like some AM noisemaker would?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Maybe you show start you own radio show on the Web.  I would call in if you did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/atomicdesignads Robert J Zeleniak

    Unfortunately, some of the Justices appeared to be completely thrown by the very concept of homosexuality. Im hopeful they will educate themselves appropriately that being gay is not a lifestyle choice as some suggest. Our relationships deserve to be treated with same respect and dignity as heterosexual marriages.

  • Somebodytookmyname

    Conservatives always want it both ways. We constantly hear states rights, states rights… Kept the Federal government out of states issues. But when a gay couple is legally married in a state that has legalized gay marriage, the conservatives think the federal government should step in a define marriage.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Bingo! There’s that old duplicity thing again. What we have here folks is a failure of empathy.  

  • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

    I must remind those who are speculating that the Supreme Court might limit the scope of any ruling against Proposition 8 to California that in the event that the justices strike down Prop. 8 as a violation of the U.S. Constitution, its ruling MUST apply to all 37 other states where same-sex marriage is banned. The Constitution itself mandates it.

    Article VI, Section 2 of the Constitution says flatly that, ”This Constitution . . . shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” 

    There is no way that the justices can limit the scope of a ruling declaring Pop. 8 unconstitutional to California alone. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution does not allow it. 

    Moreover, limiting Prop. 8′s overthrow to California would effectively reverse the high court’s 14 other rulings on marriage — particularly its landmark (and unanimous) 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision that struck down laws in 16 states that prohibited interracial couples form marrying. 

    That would be an extremely dangerous precedent, one that could have severe social consequences.

  • nj_v2

    Weekly round-up of Rethglicon, right-wing, and other assorted troglodyte idiocy, regressivity, and general jackassery…

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/03/20/1751301/utah-schoolchildren-asked-to-make-earth-day-posters-celebrating-fossil-fuels-and-mining/?mobile=nc

    Utah Schoolchildren Asked To Celebrate Fossil Fuels And Mining On Earth Day

    Earth Day is April 22, and today is the last day children in Utah can send in their submissions for the state-sponsored Earth Day poster contest lauding fossil fuel production.

    This year’s theme is “Where Would WE Be Without Oil, Gas & Mining?”

    Last year’s theme was “How Do YOU Use Oil, Gas, and Mining?”

    The contest is literally made possible by fossil fuel interests. This year’s sponsors include the Salt Lake Petroleum Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining. Last year’s sponsor list was longer, including Arch Coal, Anadarko Petroleum, and Rio Tinto/Kennecott Utah Copper.…

    (snipped)

    http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-news/2013/03/new_mississippi_law_bans_local.html

    New Mississippi law bans local rules for food portions

    JACKSON, Mississippi — A new law in the most obese state in the nation says Mississippi cities and counties can’t ban the Big Gulp or put other local regulations on food and drink.

    Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2687 Monday, and it became law immediately.

    Bryant, a runner, says it’s up to individuals — not the government — to make responsible choices about healthful living.

    Some legislators called it an “anti-Bloomberg” bill, after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who tried to ban the sale of super-sized soft drinks. A New York judge blocked the city’s effort last week, and Bloomberg called the Mississippi bill “ridiculous.”

    The Mississippi law says local governments can’t require restaurants to list calorie counts on menus or ban plastic toys in kids’ meals.…

    (snipped)

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/newtown-residents-irate-nra-robocalls-article-1.1298427

    Conn. senators demand NRA ‘cease and desist’ making robo-calls to Newtown residents

    ‘Put yourself in the shoes of a victim’s family member,’ senators say

    The NRA has no shame.

    Three months after a warped man armed with a Bushmaster rifle slaughtered 20 first graders and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the powerful lobbying group has been bombarding the heartbroken Newtown with robo-calls urging residents to oppose proposed gun control measures.

    The National Rifle Association has also been sending out postcards — and in some cases actually calling Newtown residents — and telling them to urge their local legislators to vote no on “dangerous anti-gun legislation.”

    But the gun group may have shot themselves in the foot.

    Local politicians targeted by the NRA say most the calls they’ve gotten are from people angered by the NRA’s heartless tactics.…

    (snipped)

    http://mediamatters.org/video/2013/03/26/limbaugh-if-you-allow-same-sex-marriage-whos-to/193272

    Limbaugh: If You Allow Same Sex Marriage “Who’s To Say You Cannot Have Sex With A Child”

    Limbaugh Expands On Caller’s Argument Against Marriage Equality

    LIMBAUGH: She was talking about contracts, folks, just so you understand. And we all are equal in the ability to make contracts. Everybody can contract with a member of the opposite sex to marry them. But her point was that if same-sex fits the bill of the contract, then everything fits the bill. And at some point who’s to say that you cannot have sex with a child…some point.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/25/1196949/-With-No-Irony-Rush-Limbaugh-Says-Lesbians-are-Obese-Substance-Abusers

    With No Irony, Rush Limbaugh Says Lesbians are Obese Substance Abusers

    On today’s show, Rush Limbaugh spoke indignantly about two unidentified studies he says are being done, one to determine why so many lesbians are obese and the other to find out why so many are alcoholics:

    “And, of course, the answers to the first case is they don’t have to deal with men, so they don’t have to worry about their appearance. They’re not trying to please men. So they can be obese. It’s no big deal. Alcohol, who knows? They’re having to deal with women so they’re drunk.”

    Limbaugh went on to insult Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts’s cousin, who happens to be a lesbian.  Jean Podrasky plans to attend Supreme Court hearings on California’s ban on gay marriage as Roberts’s guest on Tuesday.

    Limbaugh painted Podrasky with his extra-wide stereotyping brush as well, saying “I can’t ask whether chief justice’s lesbian cousin is any of those things, because people would think I’m being mean.”…

    (snipped)

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/03/27/you-wont-believe-what-glenn-beck-is-saying-about-the-michele-bachmann-investigation/

    You Won’t Believe What Glenn Beck Is Saying About The Michele Bachmann Investigation

    Glenn Beck has come up with a truly fascinating—if completely mad—explanation for why Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s ill-fated presidential campaign is being investigated by federal authorities for alleged improper use of campaign funds.

    According to Beck, the Office of Congressional Ethics’s efforts to discover whether the Bachmann campaign violated the law is nothing more than a plot to deliver a dose of payback to the Minnesota Congresswoman. Per Mr. Beck, this is all happening in retribution for Bachmann’s continuing efforts to combat what she and Beck believe to be the raging influence of radical Islam in our government.

    How, you may ask, can this be?

    Because, opines Beck, the evil influence of radical Islam is so prevalent in our government that these forces have the ability to reach inside the quasi-independent investigatory agency and use them to attack its enemies—enemies such as Ms. Bachmann.…

    (snipped)

  • AC

    i havent met anyone who doesnt think that background checks are necessary – that includes my conservative friends, even one whose dad owns a gun range… 

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       The devil is in the details.  The current background check law also includes a national registry.  I don’t believe the national registry has the same support as closing the gun show loopholes.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Well out side of this section.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Who protects the rights of the 1% when they are taxed at a different rate than everyone else?

    Since gays are 3% of the population, the 1% are a smaller minority.

    • Ray in VT

      How sad for those poor, oppressed people.  One wonders how the can continue to scrape by.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         LOL.  I know.  I feel for them too :)

        • Ray in VT

          I’m glad that you can take some humor in such a comment despite our disagreements on so many issues.

      • brettearle

        “How many Yachts are too many for you?”

        • Ray in VT

          Somehow I get by with my three, but I worry for my children.  How will they be able to fully staff them after I am gone?  It really keeps me up at night.

          • brettearle

            It should.

            Not to mention all the fees you’ve had pay to psychiatrists, to help cure your kids of psychosomatic sea-sickness–which force them to remain hopeless landlubbers.

            More’s the Pity….

          • Ray in VT

            Psychiatrists?  Who can afford those?  My car elevator needs fixing, and one has to prioritize.

          • brettearle

            Well done.

            Except that your shrink will likely make you guilty for installing a self-operated elevator, because you were too cheap to hire an elevator operator. 

        • Gregg Smith

          You can’t have too many yachts, it’s impossible.

          • brettearle

            Of course.

            How silly of me.

            What ever got into me?

            If you ever see me have such subversive thoughts again, either put me on Report or call Sam Fleming.

    • nj_v2

      ^ Winner, Most Ludicrous Analogy of the Week Award.

      Congratulations!

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Thank you. After all, they are an oppressed and vilified minority.

    • jimino

       
      The next logical step for you is to get on your knees when you advocate for the protection of the 1%.  Both to show your worship and to . . . ?

      Pathetic is way to weak a description of your comment.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Don’t be a hater.  I’m trying not to be a hater too.

  • Ray in VT

    Now the President said something about how we’ve quickly forgotten or moved on and that “is not who we are”.  I disagree with the President there.  To a certain extent I think that that is exactly who we are.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Which explains alot about your world view. 

      • Ray in VT

        I’m just being realistic regarding what I see regarding my fellow man.  I think that we are shortsighted and often easily distracted.  Another instance would be regarding homosexuality.  There are those guys who think that every gay man is after them or that somehow allowing gays to marry would almost compel it for straight people.  It’s moronic, but some believe it.

        • brettearle

          Ray,

          You’ve surgically targeted the kind of ignorance in our country that helps to destroy it, spiritually.

          Keep up the good work.

          We all knew that Newtown, in the rear view mirror, might eventually, result in the tragedy fading, out of sight–if not disappear, altogether…..

          And, as long as people exploit, in this country, what they believe are the directives in Christianity, Homosexuality will always be regarded, by many, as a scourge.

          • Ray in VT

            Thank you very much.  As always, I do what I can.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          In that argument we would agree more than not.  DOMA is a Federal overstep and a very bad precedent.  What consenting adults do “in their bedroom” is none of my business.  I can think of a personal scenario that would upset the “gay marriage” apple cart and confound both sides.  

          But this quote comes from the other civil right argument.  The president that wants us to forget “Fast-and Furious” and the thousands of dead from the Drug War, wants us to remember the dead children of Sandy Hook because it serve his political agenda.  It seems one can only win support for restricting civil rights with the blood of innocent children fresh on the ground.  I would say that is the worst kind of emotional political manipulation.  

      • jefe68

        And yours.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Ray.  Coming to grips as to who we really are is both hard and long overdue.  But this flies in the face of being American and all its attendant virtues of optimism and largess.

      But the country has changed. We are not good people when fearful.  We are discovering, much to our dismay, that being “Number One” is less and less a natural extension of Manifest Destiny. 

    • Steve_in_Vermont

      That applies to all subjects, not just guns. We “move on” but forget our mistakes and make them over and over again. I learned long ago that what a person (country) does, not what it says, is the true test of greatness (or lack thereof).

  • IsaacWalton

    Guns. Guns. Guns. Listen, we’ll NEVER change the heart of man. Violence will continue. Reduce the amount of mass killing weapons available. Soooooo tired of rural, mostly white Americans screaming about gov’t taking guns away. Furthermore, mandate that all guns have 1-shooter features, so that gun cannot be fired unless the gun is in the hand of the person who it is legally registered too—that WILL reduce the amount of stolen guns being used in crimes. The technology is there.

    • 2A_equals_Freedom

       and that tech applied to guns would be insanely easy to bypass. Guns are not complicated and are customized all the time by gun owners. Let alone the dependence on federal registration which is not only illegal, impractical and doesn’t help stop or solve crime (ask Canada), but also leads to direct infringement of the 2nd amendment in the form of confiscations (again look at Canada).

      On top of that what is your plan for the 310 million guns already owned by private citizens?

      • IsaacWalton

        First, I see you offering no plan for the existing guns, so it must be escalation. 

        So how many guns is too many? “ sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them” — you will never have more guns than the US military. So forget about ever fulfilling what dead George has to say on the issue. 

        You can thank the war mongering, gun loving republican party for the existence of the best equipped military in the world—one that no amount of American citizens can defend against. Believe me (a rural living gun owner and hunter), no amount of hunting, range time will get ANY American force on equal footing to our military. Please offer me some proof on how EASY it is to bypass this new technology.  

        • 2A_equals_Freedom

          1st: US military 3 million guns US citizens 310 million.
          2nd: sufficient does not mean equal. 3% of the population started the Revolutionary War only about 10% ended up fighting.

          No plan is needed for the existing guns. 310 million guns were not used to commit any crimes yesterday. The gun holstered, concealed at the small of my back is hurting no one at this public coffee shop as I write this. I wish we could have a national open carry day so every one could realize how often they are in the presence of a gun THAT DOES NO HARM. Just from me over 200 people today have been near a gun…. and NOTHING HAPPENED. Btw the 13 rounds in my gun make it an “assault weapon” by some definitions, an “assault weapon” that did no harm today, in fact in the 294 days I have carried it it has not harmed any of the estimated 29,000 people it has been in the presence of.

          The tech you speak of would read a palm print and have some sort of interlock to prevent the gun from firing. Just like you can take a gun apart and remove the manual safety, you could remove that interlock. In any system a sensor can be bypassed.

          • IsaacWalton

            I see where you got your numbers Dec. 2012 (NBC Politics)…great bravo you can surf the web. 

            So now that there are probably MORE guns than there are people in this country…when is enough enough? I have a CCW, but I don’t carry in coffee shops…you must live in a very hostile bad area…inner city? Doubt it. 

            I grew up in the inner city (Norview High school Norfolk Virginia)…2 dead high school friends because of gun violence. They’d still be alive if it was a knife fight. 

            I wonder has gun violence EVER touched your life or are you just one of many Americans who like to play protector from an invisible yet-to-be-seen hostile government threat or intruder that will probably never cross your path? 

            Or maybe you’re just worried that someone is infringing upon what you believe is your anointed right having been born into a country that has to date offered more freedoms than any civilization on earth. A country whose majority is changing its mind about guns. Gotta love Democracy. 

            1776 was a loooooooooong time ago. If we believe that we are no more civilized than we were then, no more free, no more safe from tyranny then I would agree we need MORE guns. 

            But frankly if you believe that, then this (America) has all been a failed experiment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1533378781 Neil Vigliotta

    The President is right!  I argue and fight for changes to the laws EVERYDAY via social media.  Rand Paul is just wrong.  We need to take the steps necessary to make these kinds of actions harder.  Thank God for the President and Mr. Bloomburg.

  • Fredlinskip

    “i grew up in a war-torn country, where the average person had more guns than what even some of the most ardent gun advocates in this country would consider reasonable. i never felt that more guns inspire safety, they inspire fear. it saddens me that we’re trying to convince ourselves that more guns are the answer. in any given situation, the presence of more guns is usually an indication of how afraid and insecure we are. we think we’re seeking protection, but more guns lead only to one thing, more guns! and in the end the escalation leads only to more fear and more death…”
    swanna, 
    Diane Rhem comments page, 3/29/13

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    So Jack is complaining about NRA ads for being mendacious.  Does he complain about the ads showing Paul Ryan throwing Granny off the cliff? Nope!!

  • nj_v2

    Weekly round-up of Dimocrap and faux-liberal corporate kowtowing, gutlessness, authoritarianism, and other assorted general jackassery…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-19/obama-backs-unproven-missile-defense-for-uncertain-threat.html

    Obama Backs Unproven Missile Defense for Uncertain Threat

    The Obama administration’s decision to shift $1 billion to a missile-defense system in the U.S. is raising questions about the still-unproven missile shield’s effectiveness and the threats posed by North Korea and Iran.

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said March 15 that the Pentagon would add 14 land-based interceptors in Alaska in response to threats from North Korea. To pay for that move and develop an advanced warhead, about $1 billion would be shifted from efforts to develop a missile shield in Poland and Romania.…

    …At best, the announcement may be a symbolic one to reassure U.S. allies South Korea and Japan that President Barack Obama takes saber-rattling by North Korea seriously, as well as to win some Republican support at home, said Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, a San Francisco-based security research policy group.…

    (excerpts)

    http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/cyberwar

    The Ugly Truth Behind Obama’s Cyber-War

    Last week, a top U.S. government intelligence official named James Clapper warned Congress that the threat of somebody using the Internet to attack the United States is “even more pressing than an attack by global terrorist networks”. At about the same time, Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency, announced that the government is forming 13 teams to conduct an international “cyber offensive” to pre-empt or answer “Internet attacks” on this country.

    This, as they say, means war.…

    …The carefully planned and coordinated Clapper/Alexander testimony provides a pretext for the array of repressive Internet-governing laws, strategies and programs the Administration already has in place. Their purpose is a ratcheting control of the Internet by the government, a redefinition of our constitutional rights and the eviscerating of our, and the world’s, freedoms. Now, with this “cyber war” scenario, these measures can be more easily defended and made permanent.…

    …The Internet’s true purpose is to bring the world’s people closer to each other. The Obama Administration is doing just the opposite. It would advisable for those of us who have consistently opposed and fought against wars of all kinds to view this “cyber war” as an equally dangerous and destructive threat.

    (excerpts; read the whole thing!!)

    http://www.commondreams.org/video/2013/03/26-1

    Energy Nominee Ernest Moniz Criticized for Backing Fracking & Nuclear Power; Ties to BP, GE, Saudis

    President Obama’s pick to become the nation’s next secretary of energy is drawing criticism for his deep ties to the fossil fuel, fracking and nuclear industries. MIT nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz has served on advisory boards for oil giant BP and General Electric, and was a trustee of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, a Saudi Aramco-backed nonprofit organization. In 2011, Moniz was the chief author of an influential study for MIT on the future of natural gas. According to a new report by the Public Accountability Initiative, Moniz failed to disclose that he had taken a lucrative position at a pro-drilling firm called ICF International just days before a key natural gas “fracking” study was released. Reaction to his nomination has split the environmental community. Advocacy groups such as Public Citizen and Food & Water Watch are campaigning against Moniz’s nomination, but the Natural Resources Defense Council has praised his work on advancing clean energy based on efficiency and renewable power. We speak to Kevin Connor of the Public Accountability Initiative and ProPublica reporter Justin Elliott, who have both authored investigations into Moniz’s ties to industry.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/03/28-5

    Despite ‘Enormous Risk’ White House Reaffirms Commitment to Arctic Drilling

    As US renews pledge to drill in Arctic waters, Greenland places moratorium on new leases

    A White House official reaffirmed Wednesday the Obama administration’s commitment to the Arctic offshore drilling program despite the “dangerous risk” of catastrophic consequences for the pristine marine ecosystem.

    Speaking via video conference before a Alaskan Senate hearing in Anchorage regarding the recent grounding of Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Tommy Beaudreau said, “The administration is committed to supporting safe and responsible exploration of potential energy resources in frontier areas such as the Arctic.”

    Beaudreau’s statement came as the US Coast Guard made a plea to the Justice Department to consider “taking action” against Shell for marine pollution violations—referring to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships—committed in the operations of the Kulluk drillship, said head of the Alaskan Coast Guard Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo.

    Environmental groups, who have long campaigned against the Arctic offshore drilling program citing an assuredly “catastrophic impact on one of the most pristine, unique and beautiful landscapes on earth,” are calling on the Administration to completely shut down operations there.…

    (snipped)

  • Ray in VT

    I am a bit surprised that we didn’t hear anything about Thomas Perez and the supposed scandal of the New Black Panther Party, or was mentioned on last week’s roundup?

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Now we have threats by Republicans to filibuster gun control.
    Are they are defending my rights to bare arms like hand grenades, mortars, RPGs and rockets… No because I don’t have the right to carry around any weapon that I choose, nor does anyone expect or want anyone to be able to so. So what does anyone need a 15, 30, 50 or 100 round magazine for?

    Certainly not home defense in the sense of one or two armed intruders. Nope, these folks are defending their right to feed their fantasies of surviving a post-apocalyptic breakdown of civilization and surviving in a militia.

    If these magazines become illegal, I will gladly turn mine in. They serve no real purpose other than for war.

    • hypocracy1

      I need my 100 round clips to protect my family from the tyranny of Obama’s army of gay zombies.

    • twenty_niner

      “So what does anyone need a 15, 30, 50 or 100 round magazine for?”

      So what does anyone need a website like Stormfront that preaches nothing but hate?

      Why would anyone need a partial-birth abortion?

      The list to ban things we don’t need can get pretty long fairly fast.

    • 2A_equals_Freedom

      I will let George Washington answer:
      A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own
      government.
      –George Washington
      If you can remove 15 round mags worldwide–including police and military–then and only then would I consider it to be viable.

      • IsaacWalton

        Get off GW’s grave. Or do you not have any thoughts of your own. Typical sheep following their dead white male founders. America has changed, AS IT WAS MEANT TO. And it will continue to change. Face it, most of the people supporting gun-rights (to the extreme) are a thankfully dying breed. Just like GW.

        • 2A_equals_Freedom

           look at my reply to your other comment in this thread as to whether i think for my self. Yes America was meant to change, the wording of the Second amendment shows that by using the intentionally vague term “arms.” If you think the second amendment no longer applies that is fine, I encourage you to do something about it; in fact, the constitution lays out the way for you to do something about it: an amendment. Propose the 28th amendment to repeal the 2nd, much as the 21st repeals the 18th.

          • IsaacWalton

            I have a khar pm9, 1 remington model 7 with a swarovski scope, 1 benelli 20ga montefeltro….plenty…and all of that with the 2nd A just the way it is.

        • 2A_equals_Freedom

           Also I quoted Washington because I’m nobody, some random guy on the internet. This account was created today so even on this forum I have no rapport. So I quoted some one who is generally held as a great man. In fact there are many great men through out history who I can quote in defense of my position, not to think for me, but to give credence to my position.

          To quote Gandhi “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India,
          history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the
          blackest. …” (From his autobiography, Part 5 Chapter 27; http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00litlinks/gandhi/part5/527chapter.html)My point is this is not just me spouting the rhetoric of the NRA or the current GOP or any other specific group. It is me expounding on my views supported by countless others from every religion race and creed through out history.  On the contrary, while the idea of a disarmed populace has been around for centuries only now is it seen as a good thing by the majority of that populace. Ask the pesants of medieval Europe if it was good that only the lords be armed. Ask the Jews of the 1940′s if it was good that only the Nazis be armed. Ask any French citizen from 1940 to 1945 if being disarmed was a good thing. Ask the 3 teachers who stormed out of the office at Newtown, CT if they had a better chance of saving children because they were unarmed.

          • IsaacWalton

            Please don’t use Ghandi to support your desire to have more guns in America. It’s embarrassing and disrespectful to his legacy. 

            Having guns doesn’t make you safer. Or less afraid. You’re just afraid and with a gun. I have one, I carry when I need to (like traveling alone across country which I do, or camping alone or hunting alone). 

          • 2A_equals_Freedom

             I don’t carry because i am afraid–i am unafraid with or with out a gun. I don’t need to a gun to defend myself–it is simply a tool to make that job easier. My personal security is my responsibility not yours not the police, not the army’s and not the government’s–mine. the problem with America is that we expect hand outs. It is not our (as individuals) right to BE protected; it is our right and duty TO PROTECT our selves. It is not our right to BE fed; it is our right TO FEED ourselves. it is not our right to BE happy; it is our right TO PURSUE happiness. The mindset is all wrong: rights are not gifts nor handouts. Rights are actions, actions require effort, and America is lazy and doesn’t like to be reminded of its laziness.

            Regarding Gandhi. That is a direct quote of his position that he made clear to the British leadership and that he chose to put in his autobiography. Explain to me how quoting an AUTObiography is disrespectful to someones legacy?

          • IsaacWalton

            Just what America needs…more people jumping in sensationalist conversations to try and validate their hobby or belief that they NEED a gun. 

            Sir, are you in the military? Are you a law enforcement officer? Have you ever LIVED in an area that requires a gun?

            2 dead friends, 2 brothers in war. 1 father in war, 1 grandfather in war gives me more credit to say we DON’T need more guns then someone who just FEELS like they NEED a gun to protect them from all the TYRANNY and TERROR that exists in America today.

          • hennorama

            IsaacWalton – my deepest sympathies for your losses, and your family’s losses.  Best wishes.

      • jefe68

        That was fine in the 18th century.
        We don’t live in the 18th century anymore.

        • 2A_equals_Freedom

          so tyranny is cool now?

          • jefe68

            Who said it was. Try growing up a little. Try using some critical thinking instead of absurd inane comments.

        • nj_v2

          It wasn’t even fine in the 18th Century.

          Unable to make rational arguments based on facts and real history, the gun nutters enthusiasts resort to fabricating distorted quotations from historical figures in desperate attempts to justify their delusions.

          Regarding that quote:

          [[ This quote is partially accurate as the beginning section is taken from Washington’s First Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union. However, the quote is then manipulated into a differing context and the remaining text is innacurate.  Here is the actual text from Washington’s speech:

          A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.

          http://www.mountvernon.org/educational-resources/encyclopedia/spurious-quotations

          • jefe68

            Well one would think that Washington, being a military man, would have been using this tac in regards to arms.

          • 2A_equals_Freedom

            Ahh that text makes my point much better. Thanks!
            To paraphrase it says that the people (i.e non-government entity) should not only be armed but should also not count on outside help, militarily or otherwise, to provide for their well being and security.

          • nj_v2

            Just keep ignoring the “well regulated militia” part and your delusions will be fine.

          • 2A_equals_Freedom

             I’m not ignoring the militia part. I’m all for training etc. but if you form a militia now it is generally considered domestic terrorism so I usually avoid that part of the conversation.

            That being said the way the second amendment is worded, militias and the right to bear arms are independent of each other.

            To paraphrase for those with limited grammar skills:
             ”The right to bear arms shall not be infringed. This (among other things) will allow for the formation of non-government militias which will help keep the state free.”
            note the period after the first sentence because it is an independent
            thought. also note it is the lowercase “state” as in the body of the
            people not the government

  • Ray in VT

    Apparently some of the John’s Hopkins medical students, both current and former, as not very happy with or disappointed by Dr. Carson’s statements regarding homosexuality and gay marriage.

    • notafeminista

      And?

      • Ray in VT

        Just sayin’.

  • hennorama

    Also from the Things One Learns When Trying To Learn Something Else Dept., North Dakota Section, Part 2:

    On Nov. 6, 2012, North Dakota voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to their state constitution, requiring legislators, the governor, and other executive and judicial officials to take an oath of office.  There was no such requirement before this amendment passed.

    This is the new Oath of Office form, which only needs to be signed  before a notary:

    “I, __________________ of__________________, N.D., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of North Dakota and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of ___________ according to the best of my ability, so help me God (under pains and penalties of perjury).” 
    http://www.nd.gov/eforms/Doc/sfn11501.pdf

    I point this out with respect to the recently passed and signed North Dakota law severely restricting abortion in that state.  There is a a prima facie case that this new law is unconstitutional as written.

    As such, those who voted for and signed this law appear to have violated their oath to support the Constitution of the United States.

    Perhaps some of the not-required-to-register-to-vote citizens of North Dakota will propose a recall of the officials involved.  All they need are the signatures of 25 percent of the number of people that voted in the last preceding election for the office of governor in the electoral district of the officer sought to be recalled.

    Of course, since there is no voter registration in North Dakota,  election officials are unable to confirm signatures by comparing them with voter registration documents.  Instead,  the ND Secretary of State checks the validity of a random sample of the signatures, by questioning the voters who appear to have signed.  This is done via telephone calls, personal interviews, and postcards.

    • Ray in VT

      Interesting.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       It appears we have both ends of the spectrum represented because here is a Planned Parenthood official arguing for the ‘right’ to post-birth abortion:

      http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/video-planned-parenthood-official-argues-right-post-birth-abortion_712198.html

      • hennorama

        WorriedfortheCountry – TY for your response. I respect and appreciate your views.

        The WS headline is a mischaracterization of Ms. Snow’s testimony as “Argu[ing] for Right to Post-Birth Abortion”.

        Ms. Snow did no such thing. Rather, she said “… any decison that’s made should be left up to the fam-, to the woman, her family and the physician” and gave similar responses throughout the video.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          hello hennorama —
          When your chosen profession requires you to support all late term abortions it appears you end up losing any sense of moral compass.  The thought of leaving the murder of a live child up to “the woman, her family and the physician” is repugnant.

          But maybe that is just me.

          • hennorama

            WorriedfortheCountry – TY again for your response. I respect your views.

            My point was not at all about the hypothetical event you describe.

            Rather, my point was that Ms. Snow was not arguing FOR anything, making the Weekly Standard’s headline a complete mischaracterization. The fact that she was not arguing AGAINST the hypothetical event you describe is not even close to arguing FOR said hypothetical event.

            Thank you again for your response.

        • pete18

          Wow, are you really trying to parse this that finely that you would ignore what her words actually meant?   Here’s the translation, “ any decison that’s made TO KILL THE BABY AFTER IT IS BORN should be left up to the fam-, to the woman, her family and the physician”

          Are you saying that is NOT arguing for the “Right to Post-Birth Abortion?” Are you saying that there is some ground that could make this morally acceptable from ANY perspective?

          • hennorama

            pete18 – Thank you for your response. I appreciate and respect your views.

            As I wrote in reply to WorriedfortheCountry, my point was not at all about the hypothetical event you describe. Nor was my point about morality or acceptability.

            Rather, my point was that Ms. Snow was not arguing FOR anything, making the Weekly Standard’s headline a complete mischaracterization. The fact that she was not arguing AGAINST the hypothetical event you describe is not even close to arguing FOR said hypothetical event.

            One also needs to point out that the hypothetical scenario you describe is not the only possible “decision”. Other possible “decisions” include:

            - to provide medical care (which was the actual topic of the hearing). Keep in mind that some religious doctrines urge avoidance of medical care in favor of prayer.

            - what medical care might be provided. For example, not everyone believes in using resuscitation

            - is transport to another facility needed

            - etc.

            Thank you again for your response.

          • pete18

             Your response is one of semantics.

            Who cares what preposition
            The Weekly Standard used in their headline?

            People have been charged with murder and found guilty of manslaughter for substituting the use of prayer for medical intervention in the case of children.

            http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1755&dat=19861104&id=QXAeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=42kEAAAAIBAJ&pg=1735,6591275

            http://www.watchman.org/cults/csguilty.htm

            Can a DNR decision be made on the spot by a family or abortion doctor
            without knowing what the possibility of survival would be for the child under medical supervision?

            Ms Snow’s response was allowing for the abuse, murder or manslaughter of a child after it was born, which is a time both the law and the two sides of the abortion debate agree is a moment when life begins.

            Do you agree with Planned Parenthood’s position on this?
            Or should it not be the responsibility of the doctor and family to use every concieviable method of medical resuscitation after a child is born to keep him or her alive?

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY for your response.  I appreciate and respect your views.

            Semantics are important, especially with respect to laws.  Each word of a law is important.

            Speaking of semantics, if, as you state, your hypothetical scenario is “allowing for the abuse, murder or manslaughter of a child after it was born”, one must point out that the word “abortion” is no longer operative.  This means the Weekly Standard headline and repeated use of the term “post-birth abortion” are inaccurate, internally illogical, and intentionally inflammatory.

            Further, this appears to be a case of a proposed law in search of a problem.  In the video, neither the legislators nor Ms. Snow detailed ANY instances of your hypothetical scenario having occurred.  Using your terms for this hypothetical scenario – “the abuse, murder or manslaughter of a child” are all already illegal.

            There is a Federal law already in place, as Ms. Snow referenced in her answers – the Federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 (BAIPA) – which amended Chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, to include a “born-alive” infant, as defined in the Act.  This extended legal protection under various other laws.

            As one hears repeatedly on another topic:  “Enforce the laws already on the books.”

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       hennorama,  in my view your assertion that the legislators that voted for the new law limiting abortion violated their oath to support the Constitution is a stretch, at best.  It will certainly be sorted out in the courts.

      Even though Roe is considered ‘settled’ many legal scholars believe it is a poor decision.  Even Justice Ginsburg — a strong supporter of abortion rights — has issues with Roe.

      • hennorama

        WorriedfortheCountry – TY again for your response. I respect your views.

        I didn’t actually make an “assertion that the legislators that voted for the new law limiting abortion violated their oath to support the Constitution …”

        I did assert that there is a prima facie case that this new law is unconstitutional as written. I went on to say (EMPHASIS added)

        “As such, those who voted for and signed this law APPEAR TO have violated their oath to support the Constitution of the United States.”

        This indicated a level of uncertainty on my part, which remains.

        Also, because the oath requirement for legislators, the governor, and others, is so new in North Dakota, the legislators and governor may simply not be used to being required to uphold the U.S. Constitution. ;-)

        I do agree that this idea is a stretch. However, I am far from alone in my thinking, as this idea is shared by many residents of North Dakota (and elsewhere). One can see this on social media and other online sites. There have even been ND newspaper opinion pieces saying virtually the same thing.

        As to Roe – IT IS THE LAW, regardless of anyone’s opinion about whether it was well-decided or poorly-decided, or whether it is good, bad, or ugly. Given this fact, there is a prima facie case that the new ND law is unconstitutional as written.

        Thanks again for your response.

    • notafeminista

      You can’t violate that which didn’t exist.  Since there was no requirement for them to uphold the Constitution, there can be no violation.  Ex post facto.

      • hennorama

        notafeminista – TY for your response. I respect your views.

        To clarify, in North Dakota, the new oath requirement passed on November 6, 2012.

        According to my accurate, albeit primitive, calendar, this was ex ante facto to the passage of the recent ND abortion bill. Does your calendar work differently than mine?

        Just curious.

        ND Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed his oath of office form on Nov. 28, 2012. You can watch video of this historic event here:

        http://www.kfyrtv.com/Video_News.asp?news=60641

        • notafeminista

          Abortion is still legal in ND.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista – TY again for your response.

            No one has said otherwise.  Thank you for pointing out the obvious.

  • Ray in VT

    From Dr. Carson’s 2012 book:

    “I believe God loves homosexuals as much as he loves everyone, but if we can redefine marriage as between two men or two women or any other way based on social pressures as opposed to between a man and a woman, we will continue to redefine it in any way that we wish, which is a slippery slope with a disastrous ending, as witnessed in the dramatic fall of the Roman Empire.”

    I’m not sure how to take that one.  Is that some sort of implication that tinkering with marriage laws or homosexuality brought about a dramatic decline of the Empire?

    • TELew

      Ray,

      This argument has its origins in the writings of Enlightenment era (1700s) English historian Edward Gibbon.  His thesis was basically that the Roman Empire “fell” because its people became effeminate.  This has been interpreted to mean a growing tolerance of homosexuality.  Of course, as a figure of the Enlightenment, Gibbon believed that Rome’s adoption of Christianity led Rome to become effeminate.  There is a great quote in the Wikipedia entry on Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:”As the happiness of a future life is the great object of religion, we
      may hear without surprise or scandal that the introduction, or at least
      the abuse of Christianity, had some influence on the decline and fall of
      the Roman
      empire.” 
      -and-

       ”The sacred indolence of the monks was devoutly embraced by a servile and
      effeminate age.” 

      And in the spirit of fairness, the quote concludes, “If the decline of the Roman empire was hastened
      by the conversion of Constantine, his victorious religion broke the
      violence of the fall, and mollified the ferocious temper of the
      conquerors.”

      So, once again, the scions of the Religious Right use selective interpretations to support their anti-homosexual views.

      Of course, few actual historians give Gibbon’s writings much credence today.

      • Ray in VT

        Thank you for the detailed response.  Gibbon still seems to have some sort of I don’t want to call it reverence in the field, seemingly, at least that is my perception, although at least some elements of it are no longer useful.  Perhaps that is more true than I thought.  I did have a classmate try to make the argument that you described when I was an undergraduate, and the professor squashed it as invalid pretty fast.

        I was talking Classical history with my 14 year old nephew a few months back, and he said that they were studying Rome, and he asked me about the fall and what caused it.  I really had to think about it for a while, and then I gave him a three word answer:  Lots of stuff.  Then I told him that entire volumes had been written and debated over on that subject, and then I gave him a rundown of the highlights as best I understand them.

        • TELew

          I actually subscribe to a highly modified version of Gibbon’s thesis when it comes to Roman history.  Rome’s original strength was the patriotism of its citizens (note:  the Romans had a very large slave class, usually war captives, especially Greeks, that were not citizens and had no rights–someone more knowledgeable about Roman history might correct me here).  It was from its ranks of citizens that Rome drew men to staff its armies i.e. legions.  But after Rome had expanded to conquering most of the “known world” it was faced with a manpower problem–where would it get the soldiers to staff its armies.  The answer of course was the conquered nations, who at first supplied auxiliary forces, but eventually began supplying legionnaires.  At the same time the wealth of Rome expanded, and the sons of citizens became more focused on politics and increasing their wealth rather than risking their lives in the legions.  This is where “effeminacy” comes in–the sons selected comfortable lives and lost the martial edge that had been so vital to promoting the strength and vitality of the Roman empire.  So fewer actual Romans filled the ranks of the legions, and instead “barbarians” increasingly filled the ranks of the legions.  Of course, the loyalties of the barbarians were always divided between material desires (the wealth of Rome) and national patriotism (their tribes).  They lacked the commitment to the Roman state that the Roman legionnaires possessed, and proved ineffective at stopping more aggressive “barbarian” (Germanic) tribes that invaded the western part of the Roman empire in its last couple of centuries.

          Of course, this was not the only thing.  I have also heard that the increasing use of lead pipes in their water supply systems eventually devastated the citizens of Rome.  You also have the fact that the empire had become so large that it was too difficult to manage given contemporary technology and resources.  The Romans selected the solution of dividing the empire into two regions–east and west–to more effectively administrate their possessions.  But this solution was not entirely effective because of the fact that the eastern part of the empire, which included Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt, Persia, etc.–was much more wealthy than the western part.  So co-emperors often warred on each other to consolidate power.

          I have also heard the idea that the Roman empire did not so much “fall” as it kind of died with a whimper.  And there is the fact that when the Roman empire “fell,” it was only the western empire that collapsed.  The eastern part survived for another thousand years as the Byzantine Empire, only “falling” in the fifteenth century when the Ottoman Turks at last took over Constantinople (Istanbul).

          • hennorama

            One might also argue that the Eastern Roman Empire (a.k.a. Byzantium) really was over after Constantinople fell during the 4th Crusade, at the start of the 13th century.  It was only a matter of time after that event.

            Yadda yadda yadda … civil wars, earthquakes, the Black Plague, various invaders … finally culminating in Ottoman Turk Sultan Mehmed II’s army’s siege and cannon bombardment in 1453, and poof!  No more Byzantium.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s certainly a complex issue.  I’m currently reading Robin Lane Fox’s The Classical World: An Epic History From Homer to Hadrian.  I’m still on the period of classical Athens, so I haven’t read his account of things.  He’s a pretty important guy in the field, I think.  I think that he put out a published work by the Oxford University Press when he was only in his mid-20′s.  So far I’ve quite enjoyed the book.

          • TELew

            Ray,

            He has written a wonderful book about the conflict between paganism and Christianity in imperial Rome.  It turns out that one of the major issues was that of piety.  Essentially, the pagan Romans believed if the gods were not properly honored, they would inflict the Roman people with sicknesses, disasters, wars, etc.  (sounds an awful like today’s Christians’ arguments about why we should not have marriages of same-sex couples).  The problem with the Christians, from the pagan viewpoint, was that they did accord the gods the proper honors.  Hence, the Christians were regarded as unpatriotic and a threat to the well-being of the state.

            It is a fascinating read.

          • Ray in VT

            Is that his book Pagans and Christians?  It has been my understanding that one of the things that made the province of Judea such a problem, in terms of governance, for the Romans was that the Jews, and that little breakoff group there, were not willing to compromise their one god policy and offer the ceremonial honors that the state religion of Rome required.  I do find it interesting that some still advance the notion that disasters have supernatural origins.  I see no evidence for that.  Maybe I’m wrong there.  I’m open to evidence of the divine or the hereafter, but I don’t expect any, which is why it is faith.

          • TELew

            That’s the title. Like I said, a fascinating read.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         And I always thought it was the combination of acidic red wine and lead goblets used by the ruling class. Thanks for sharing.

        • TELew

           My pleasure.

    • ExcellentNews

      Since Gibbon’s writings about Rome, actual research has shown that the Roman empire decline correlates mainly with the rise of its oligarchy to power and with the death of the Res Publica. The second major factor was that the “barbarians” surrounding Rome copied a lot of the Roman technical and social advances.

      • JGC

        Wow, that is really interesting insight. Thanks for that; it rings true.

      • Ray in VT

        I’ve heard the increasing centralization of power in the hands of the rulers, and their near deification, much more like the Eastern absolutist states, cited as a contributing factor.  The Caesars became more powerful, while the Senate became only a symbolic body, and the rulers came to rely more heavily upon the backing of the military, which became more barbarized over time, and the generals eventually realized that they could make or break an emperor.  As I think I may have said above, it was a lot of things, and it was over a great span of time.

  • JGC

    Even as billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen purchased a $155-million Picasso and another (!) $60-million Hamptons home this week, yet one more of his trusted associates was charged with insider trading and arrested this morning, out on $3-million bail.

    • hennorama

      From the Dept. Of Fake News:

      Dateline: The Hamptons, today.

      Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen announced today that he is demolishing all structures on the $60-million Hamptons property he recently purchased.  “I need a place to park my jet” Cohen said.  “In case the Feds try to arrest me, I want to have it always fully fueled and idling, with one of my six pilots onboard.  You just never know, ya know?”

      Cohen, a noted film noir buff, also announced that he will be working with a vocal coach over the next few weeks.  “I want to be able to impersonate Cagney.  My favorite line from his movies is  ‘From now on, the rules are off!  I’m gonna talk when I please and do what I like’.  For some reason, I just feel the need to say that.”

      Cohen’s assistant noted “The fact that Cagney’s character said the line while in prison should not in any way be interpreted as Mr. Cohen predicting his own future.”

      Cohen added “I also want to be able to sound like Cagney when I say “You can kiss my non-extraordinarily-rendered a**, coppers!”  when my jet lands in a country with no US extradition treaty.  It’s a dream of mine.”

      • jefe68

        Or he could do his Cody Jarret impersonation…
        Made it Ma, top of the world!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bytoID_SNnE

        • hennorama

          jefe68 – TY for your response.

          I always found it impossible to suspend my disbelief while watching that scene in White Heat, given that it depicted the firing of a high-powered rifle in what was supposed to be a chemical manufacturing plant.

          But it was a good movie overall, and the scene was great, visually. Those oil refineries in and around LA make great backgrounds, and have been used over and over in TV, films, and commercials.

          TY again for your response.

      • notafeminista

        He can park it next to Secretary of State Kerry’s yacht.  I hear the taxes are lower.

        • hennorama

          notafeminista – TY for your response. I understand (ish?) your views.

          Parking a jet next to a yacht … I believe this requires this thing called an aircraft carrier. When you find one that is taxed, please let us know.

          • notafeminista

            1)I suspect you do not.

            2)Everyone else got it.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Obama’s EPA is proposing new gasoline standards which are purported to add 6-9 cents per gallon with very little air quality benefits.  This will hurt the poor.

    I’m all for clean air but I am suspicious of both sides on this one.  Hopefully, there will be objective analysis and reporting — somewhere.

  • ExcellentNews

    Sure the GOP corporate shills in congress will support gay marriage. After all, they care only about one thing – a 50% unearned income tax cut and 100% inheritance tax cut for the oligarchs who pay them. In fact, in 2016, the Republican party will run on a platform that supports kittens, gay marriage, beer, creationism, free weapons, and more kittens – basically, anything that gets the uneducated peons to vote for more welfare for the plutocracy. Just watch Bobbi Jindal ™ glue his macho mustache and deliver…

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Right on. Class Warfare 101: the agenda of the oligarchs and their running dog pols is to redistribute $ to the top. They don’t care about anything else. So while I support all marriage, don’t ever forget that they don’t care who you marry so long as they get more wealth. They will “fold” on social issues and say OK, we compromised, now how about a tax cut or privatizing SS?

      • pete18

         You guys  should get a tax payer funded room.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Your opinion of the American citizen is repugnant.  But not surprising, it is required to justify your extremism.

      • ExcellentNews

        What is happening to America is repugnant. I just call it like I see it. If it reflects badly on us, so be it. People get the government they deserve (hint – that is not a quote from Karl Marx).

  • jimino

    Will the North Dakota enactment:

    -Require doctors, or perhaps everyone, to have the duty to report all conceptions to a health department or other such entity, OR are they just not going to keep track of lives? 
    -Require all women who miscarry be investigated by law enforcement for their possible role in causing a death, OR are they just going to stop investigating infant deaths?
    -Allow child-related tax deductions for anyone certifiably pregnant during the year, OR eliminate that tax treatment?
    -Allow for the adoption of, or termination of a parent’s rights to a fetus, OR eliminate the State’s role in such matters?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      You forgot:

      -Make cops go thru womens’ trash looking for used positive pregnancy tests? The cutoff date is before women often know they’re pregnant.

      (The worrisome part is, I don’t know if I’m kidding.)

  • JGC

    Too many call-in radio shows on NPR: Diane Rehm, Tom Ashbrook, Neal Conan.  Eenie, meenie, minie, mo…Bye bye, Neal :(     Looks like  Ashbrook dodged the bullet.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Perhaps there is something about the format that creates problems for the NPR organization.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Something sure keeps them from ever getting a guest who is not a member of the righty corporate echo chamber.

    • 228929292AABBB

      Thank Goodness Neal Conan is gone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cacimbo-Smith/1142235495 Cacimbo Smith

    Beatty is quite wily. He never addresses democrat hypocrisy and is permitted to twist the discussion in what ever direction he wants. It would be nice to see him actually be a guest rather than host. 

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I would love to see him on a more even footing, trying to debate his opinions.  But I will admit it was nice to hear some different voices on the program.

      • Gregg Smith

        I agree but better yet I’d love to see Obama on a more even footing, trying to debate his opinions.

    • JONBOSTON

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve never quite figured out why he’s on the program. He’s nothing more than a left wing progressive talking point masquerading as some objective observer.

      • Gregg Smith

        You just answered your own question. Nice.

      • 228929292AABBB

        I wouldn’t take it that far, I think he’s a good part of the show, but an attempt on his part to be a little more objective would be welcome, and some honesty on his part about President Obama’s endless hypocrisy would be nice.  Using this gay marriage press as a shield, the President signs the Monsanto Protection Act, and we need journalists like Jack Beatty to pull that sort of act out of the shadows, rather than dimming the lights further.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Mission Accomplished!

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/middleeast/la-fg-iraq-iran-influence-20130329,0,946032.story“Ten years after Iraq war began, Iran reaps the gainsThe influence of Tehran on its neighbor is growing, while the U.S., Iraqi officials and analysts say, pursues a policy of near-total disengagement.”

    Is W an Iranian secret agent?

    Wasn’t it obvious that turning Iran’s #1 enemy, armed with chem weapons by reagan to attack Iran, over to shiites friendly to Iran would strengthen Iran? Sure was obvious to me.

    Cool. We spend $trillions and shed our blood to help Iran. Way to go, neocons.

  • buddhaclown

    Jane Clayson = robot.

  • Tyranipocrit

    marriage has nothing to do with the state. The institution of marriage has nothing to do with the government. Nor is it anyone’s business–whether one gets married or remains single or has a life partner or marries the same sex–it is JUST NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

    Conservatives/republicans are the biggest hypocrites on the face of the earth–here is why–

    It is always republicans ranting about absurdities of the “nanny state”–and big government interfering in individual rights–but then that is exactly themselves who they talk about–nosing around in marriage and who can love who or be married or stay single is INTERFERING in individual rights–and YOU are being the Big Nanny State (a tyrannical theocracy)–so stay the hell out of my personal life–

    abortion, contraceptives, religion in schools, marriage–these are prime examples of the republican nanny state interfering in our individual rights that has nothing to do with the state or government .  Republicans always want to make big big government and bureaucracy–stay the hell out of my life.  I have paid for abortions–i would again–get over it–and if man wants to marry a man or a woman wants to marry a woman–it is not YOUR big head business–big head big nanny government republicans!  Shut up–mind your own business.

    then republicans want to whine about the rights of government and corporations to pollute water, food, and air–saying they have some kind of right–well, guess what, you as an individaul have rights to clean air, food, and water–and to contaminate it is a denial of your individaul rights–and in fact, is assault.  So  by protecting corporate rights to pollute, poison and kill–you  are supporting the big government nanny state.

    The speaker on the show–”"we” dont have the right to change your idea of marriage”–hello–dummy–you have no  right to dictate mine or anyone else’s idea of marriage–it has nothing to do with you or the government.  BY declaring what marriage is–according to you–then you are forcing your mind on all.  Do you have the right? 

    This is not an issue for the governemtn or state and need not be discussed.  You have no right to tell me how to dress, what to think or who to marry–so shut you fat face.

  • Gregg Smith

    NPR discusses seriously the issue of polygamy making a come back if the SCOTUS throws out DOMA. And you guys thought it was a silly vast right wing conspiracy.

    http://www.npr.org/2013/03/28/175619109/if-supreme-court-lets-states-define-marriage-could-legalized-polygamy-make-a-com

  • 1Brett1

    Among the religious, of those who cite the Bible as their guide, and from which their belief that homosexuality is a sin/is wrong/is an abomination that will be punished by God, one should reasonably assume that all devoutly religious people are to follow all of those “tenets” in the Bible…In Deutoronomy, for example, a marriage is only valid if the woman is a virgin; she should be executed if she is not. Anyone who commits adultery should also be stoned to death. By the same token, in Leviticus 20:13, a male who sleeps with another male should be executed. In Leviticus there are also prohibitions on haircuts, tattoos, working on the Sabbath, wearing garments of mixed fabrics, eating pork or shellfish, getting your fortune told, and even playing with the skin of a pig (there goes football!). There are many so-called laws of this nature in the Bible.

    Why should the devoutly religious compromise on all of those other so-called words of God? Should man’s law diverge from what would be considered God’s law? Why shouldn’t humans decide their own laws if even the devoutly religious are so willing to compromise on so many of God’s laws?

    • brettearle

      Don’t forget:

      Even “thoughts” of committing sin, according to the Bible, will render you disabled.

      Who among us, could stand up to such scrutiny?

  • Gregg Smith

    So now the vast majority of scientist agree, there has been no warming for 20 years and the doomy models were all wrong. This is great news, rejoice.

    • Fredlinskip

      Hallucinating again, are we?
      Or is this the recreational drug portion of your weekend?

      • Gregg Smith

        Didn’t you hear?

    • StilllHere

      A year ago, OP was all global warming all the time because of the mild weather. Now we’ve got a much colder than normal winter and there’s no discussion of the coming ice age.  Perplexing.

  • JONBOSTON

    One of the recurring themes of the left wing class warriors that frequent this site is that the wealthy “aren’t paying their fair share” or that wealth is being re-distributed from the poor to the rich, or that the wealthy are evil, corrupt or outright thieves (ideologues like to call them “oligarchs”), etc. I find this point of view to be lacking in reason, logic and common sense. 

    What do these ideologues regard as “fair”? The average 1% earner makes 50 times as much as someone in the bottom 20% of earners, but pays 1500 times as much in taxes. Is that ” fair” enough? In bashing the “wealthy”, it’s all a matter of perspective. Compared with previous eras and civilizations , the difference between the amenities of life ( ex : cars, TV, cable , cell phones, household appliances , a/c, computers)  available to the rich and non-rich is modest. This is not to say that being poor means one is flourishing in America but there is a need for context. While almost all Americans pay some federal taxes, the 50% or so who don’t pay non-payroll income taxes benefit from federally funded programs and services. Who pays for these services? The top 5% earned 31.7% of the nation’s adjusted gross income but paid approx. 58.7% of federal taxes. Moreover, according to the CBO, the top 1% earned at least $1.29 million in 2009 compared to to the middle 20% of earners who earned $64K ( or roughly 19 times more) but paid 49 times as much in taxes.  In short most taxes for non-retirement social welfare spending are being paid by the top 5%, whose threshold income was a  relatively modest $155K in 2009. And the amount spent on social welfare programs is considerable. For instance, in 2012 the federal govt. spent roughly $670 billion on at least 126 different programs to fight poverty. Including state and local spending, the total is closer to $1 trillion which amounts to roughly $21K for every poor person in America or $62K per poor family of three. Given that the poverty line for that family is just $18K, we should have theoretically wiped out poverty in America many times over. 

    Yes the top 1% make a lot of money. But they also pay a lot of taxes, make up a disproportional share of charitable giving, work hard and honestly, and are entrepreneurial risk takers. 

    • brettearle

      Go ahead and proclaim that the Rich aren’t becoming
      even wealthier, in recent years.

      Or, if you concede that, indeed, they are, go ahead and proclaim that they deserve to–because of their effort, ethic, and talent

      But the fact is, is that statistics demonstrate clearly that the Middle Class is being squeezed by many factors related to the demands of the workplace that are not necessarily the fault of the Middle Class.

      Indeed, the case for an intractable Plutocracy is being demonstrated, more and more, in this country.

      If you are comfortable with that economic condition for the country, then I’ve got a Revolution to sell you, unfortunately, down the line, within 20 or 30 years.

      You’ve got blinders on.

      Wealth or Penury are not exactly the issue.

      Those two conditions are simply disparaging Icons for a society that is losing its foothold on equality, opportunity, and harmony.

      And if you do not see that, then you are living in destructive denial.

      • JONBOSTON

        It’s beyond debate that the rich have gotten wealthier over the past 30 years.  Please tell me, how much people should have to pay in federal, state and local taxes of all kinds and stripes?  50%, 60%, 70%? [and please don't mention what marginal rates were 40-50 years ago since the effective rate of federal taxes was closer to 30% due to more tax deductions and exclusions]. 

        The issue however is what has caused income disparity and what can be done to address the situation. Most studies attribute income disparity to differences in educational achievement, decline of unions and manufacturing, single parent households, cultural and societal decline, and globalization. If you think re-distributing wealth to the poor without tackling the core problems driving income disparity will ultimately prove successful, you’re dreaming. Eventually, as Margaret Thatcher said, socialists run out of other people’s money. This country was built on equal opportunity, not equal results. We need programs and policies that encourage achievement and success rather than policies driven by resentment and envy.

        • brettearle

          Look, if you are going to ascribe positions to me and then “attack” them, then we have no basis, for which to debate.

          For one thing, I was published, nationally, about this subject.

          And for another, as I mentioned in the first paragraph, you are jumping to false conclusions.

          And the conclusions, that you jump to, in my view, will carry you away from part of the problem.

          Although, admittedly, many of your points above, are, very likely, significant factors that are contributing to the problem. 

          But the matter of `socialism’ and `redistribution’ are NOT completely the issues.

          And they certainly are not the ones that I wish to dwell on.

          These “buzzwords” are captured by Right Wing Media to either obfuscate or to hide a lack of knowledge or understanding.

          The problems that you raise–globalization, educational achievement, social and cultural decline, decline of unions, single parent households, etc–are, I agree, very critical.

          But you simply can’t complain about tax policy on the one hand and not recognize how insurmountable some of the issues, that you raise, truly are.

          It would BE different, if what we’re facing were only a smattering of factors.

          But these days–as you well point out, by the sheer number of problems that you list–it is like the country is the Alamo and all the encompassing problems are Santa Anna’s men.

          • JONBOSTON

            If you want to have a debate, then offer solutions rather than the standard left wing knee jerk response to everything, namely tax the rich.  Increasing taxes on the rich will at some point kill the golden goose. And when producers in the private sector stop producing because the incentives to undertake risk are no longer satisfactory, then we’ll all be in trouble, especially those most in need and dependent on government. 

          • brettearle

            Your belief that Tax Relief for the Rich is a panacea for the 
            country’s ills is about as misguided as an antelope taking a casual stroll near a Lion’s lair.

            As you yourself have pointed out, there are an overwhelming number of problems, facing our country–ones that need a panoply of strategies and ideas. 

            The Right Wing response to a Liberal pointing out the overplay of Tax Relief for the Rich is, itself, a knee-jerk response–and it is one that is bigger than the initial knee-jerk response by the Liberal.

            Much bigger.

            That’s because the initial knee-jerk response, by the Liberal, wasn’t a knee-jerk response at all.

            Instead, it was a rationale, pragmatic and sensible response.

    • hennorama

      JONBOSTON – the fact of the date of your post must be addressed.  Easter is the single most important holy day of the Christian Church in that it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This is arguably the central event in Christianity.

      You wrote the following on Easter:

      “Compared with previous eras and civilizations , the difference between the amenities of life ( ex : cars, TV, cable , cell phones, household appliances , a/c, computers)  available to the rich and non-rich is modest. This is not to say that being poor means one is flourishing in America but there is a need for context.”

      Your “context” implies that “non-rich” and “poor” people should be happy and content with having such “amenities of life” as refrigerators.  This is along the lines of similarly foolish remarks as the Wall Street Journal editorial from last fall, by one of Mr. Romney’s top advisors, partly quoted here:

      “Today we hear that the gains from economic growth accrue to the highest-income earners while the standard of living of the poor and middle America stagnates and the gap between the richest and the poorest grows ever wider…”

      “That portrait of the country is wrong“:

      “Yet the access of low-income Americans—those earning less than $20,000 in real 2009 dollars—to devices that are part of the “good life” has increased. The percentage of low-income households with a computer rose to 47.7% from 19.8% in 2001. The percentage of low-income homes with six or more rooms (excluding bathrooms) rose to 30% from 21.9% over the same period.

      “Appliances? The percentage of low-income homes with air-conditioning equipment rose to 83.5% from 65.8%, with dishwashers to 30.8% from 17.6%, with a washing machine to 62.4% from 57.2%, and with a clothes dryer to 56.5% from 44.9%.

      “The percentage of low-income households with microwave ovens grew to 92.4% from 74.9% between 2001 and 2009. Fully 75.5% of low-income Americans now have a cell phone, and over a quarter of those have access to the Internet through their phones.”

      See:http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/10/25/1091501/top-romney-adviser-if-you-own-a-microwave-you-arent-really-poor/?mobile=nc

      What would a newly resurrected Jesus Christ think of such remarks?

      • pete18

        “What would a newly resurrected Jesus Christ think of such remarks?”

        Most likely, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”

        • hennorama

          pete18 – TY for your reply. I respect your views.

          You might be right. Now if you could only point out anything in my post that could be considered “the things which are Caesar’s” ….

          • pete18

             Outside of pointing out that it was Easter, your post was mostly quoting Jon’s post in a chastising, Sunday School teacher mode. Jon’s post was all about stuff in Caesar’s territory. Don’t see why he should be condemned for talking about secular matters on Easter.

            Of course, if Obama’s economy ever got better he might have some material worthy of a resurrection
            discussion, but I don’t see miracles like that happening anytime soon.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY once again for your reply. I respect your views.

            It’s not “talking about secular matters on Easter” that I objected to. Rather, as I said, it’s the implication that “non-rich” and “poor” people should be happy and content with having such “amenities of life” as refrigerators.

            My opinion is also that this was not the most appropriate topic on Easter.

            To me, this portion of JONBOSTONS’s remarks was in marked contrast with the teachings of Christianity. A major theme of Jesus’ words, and the Bible in toto, is generosity to those in need. None of those teachings say anything like “Hey poor people – c’mon already – you have a refrigerator. Be happy with that”.

            My post said nothing at all about what you describe as “the things which are Caesar’s”. It also was mostly a quotation of an article from thinkprogress.org, not JONBOSTON’s remarks.

            There are other criticisms to JONBOSTONS’s remarks that could have been pointed out, but my point primarily was that this arguably insensitive portion of his remarks was inappropriate and incongruous with the day.

  • Mike_Card

    If Rubio and Cruz are the faces of the new Republican party, the two-party system in the US is sounding is sounding its death rattle.

  • J__o__h__n

    Jane Clayson is not a good host for shows dealing with current events.  She frequently demonstrates that she doesn’t understand the issues being discussed and lacks the ability to incorporate facts raised by the guests into the conversation.  Friday’s example:  There was a discussion about the claim by Chief Justice Roberts that the Obama administration was derelict in its duty to defend DOMA despite its continued enforcement of the law.  Jane said, “when Chief Justice Roberts suggested the Obama White House was trying to have it both ways believing DOMA was unconstitutional but continuing to defend it.” This error is even more inexcusable as the prior speaker just summarized Roberts, “that the administration would not defend this in front of the Supreme Court and that he thought this was an abdication of their responsibilities.”

  • StilllHere

    The Obama administration wants banks to lower lending standards for residential mortgages, and promises banks won’t be hurt if the borrower defaults.  Haven’t we already seen how this turns out?

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 24, 2014
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans. (AP)

California as Exhibit A for what happens when a state bans affirmative action in college admissions. We’ll look at race, college and California.

Apr 24, 2014
A Buddhist monk lights the funeral pyre of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during his funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP)

A Sherpa boycott on Everest after a deadly avalanche. We’ll look at climbing, culture, life, death and money at the top of the world.

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Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

 
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

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Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
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