Melissa Harris-Perry at MSNBC has written a letter to Justice Antonin Scalia in which she declares Voting is no ‘racial entitlement’:
So, Justice Scalia, when you spew that entitlement discourse from the bench you undermine the very core of our democracy. But you know what? I want to thank you for what you said. Because on Wednesday, you showed us all exactly who you are.George F. Will at the Washington Post tips his patrician nose a smidge higher aloft in his latest off-the-mark Op-Ed, The Voting Rights Act, stuck in the past:
Progressives are remarkably uninterested in progress. [...] they say that the Voting Rights Act, another 48-year-old, must remain unchanged, despite dramatic improvements in race relations.Leonard Pitts Jr. at The Miami Herald explains why he is no longer naïve about voter rights in Voting Rights Act not a ‘racial entitlement’:
Yes, the South has changed — largely because of the law Shelby County seeks to gut. Even so, attempts to dilute the black vote have hardly abated. We’ve just traded poll taxes and literacy tests for gerrymandering and Voter ID laws.A bigger batch of punditry can be read below the fold.
So we can ill afford to be as naïve as a top court conservative at the prospect of softening federal protection of African-American voting rights. “Trust us,” says the South. And the whole weight of history demands a simple question in response.
Paul Krugman at The New York Times whacks a very loud whiner about big government who is Mooching Off Medicai:
Consider the case of Florida, whose governor, Rick Scott, made his personal fortune in the health industry. At one point, by the way, the company he built pleaded guilty to criminal charges, and paid $1.7 billion in fines related to Medicare fraud. Anyway, Mr. Scott got elected as a fierce opponent of Obamacare, and Florida participated in the suit asking the Supreme Court to declare the whole plan unconstitutional. Nonetheless, Mr. Scott recently shocked Tea Party activists by announcing his support for the Medicaid expansion.Kevin Drum at Mother Jones writes in Obama Plans to Pick Up the Pace on Judges:
But his support came with a condition: he was willing to cover more of the uninsured only after receiving a waiver that would let him run Medicaid through private insurance companies. Now, why would he want to do that?
Sure, Republicans in the Senate have been obstructionist, but Obama himself has nominated many fewer judges than other presidents have during their first years in office. Apparently that's about to change.Joe Glenton, a British veteran of the Afghanistan war who served prison time for refusing a second tour of duty there, writes at The Independent that Bradley Manning served democracy far better than the generals who want him sent to jail:
When Bradley Manning was asked by a military judge recently if he understood what would happen if every soldier ignored their commanders in favour of their own moral code, he answered “You'd have junior ranks making their own decisions until the organisation seizes up.” He did not add, as he might have done, and as I would, is that in a post 9/11 context this might be a good thing. [...]David Altheide at The Guardian writes about The cycle of fear that drives assault weapon sales:
Soldier’s keeping their mouths shut keeps things in the sorry condition we see today. Thankfully, just doing what you are told is not wholly the theme of the age and Manning’s actions reflect this. Soldiers, long held to operate on bonds of trust and fellowship, have found themselves on the leading edge of a corrupt and grubby political project in the Middle East. Given the absence of moral leadership since the Twin Towers fell, who can a soldier possibly turn to but himself if he wants to see the right thing done?
It is hardly news that the US is politically divided, but the empirical evidence of escalating stockpiling of semi-automatic weapons also suggests that the US is less socially stable. It is hard to see how this frenzy of fear that is driving a spike of emotional intensity over gun ownership will dissipate any time soon.Doyle McManus at the Los Angeles Times writes optimistically in Do-nothing Congress does something: Forget sequestration—gun control measures have made surprising headway:
If Congress acts on background checks and gun trafficking but fails to pass a ban on assault weapons or ammunition clips, liberals will be disappointed. But President Obama will declare it a victory—and he'll be right.Rick Thames, executive editor of The Charlotte Observer explained the newspaper's reasoning for seeking to examine North Carolina's county records of permits to carry concealed firearms in We Should Handle with Care, But Keep Them Public Records:
In 2011, The New York Times obtained the same database we recently received from the [State Bureau of Investigation]. It checked those names against five years of crime data and found that more than 2,300 people issued concealed weapons permits in North Carolina had been convicted of felonies or misdemeanors (excluding traffic-related crimes). More than 200 of those crimes were gun-related, and at least 10 involved murder or manslaughter.Debra J. Saunders: at the San Francisco Chronicle pretends to prefer serious discussion instead of "distractions" so she can blast the White House again in Woodward-Sperling flap may turn tide:
Why am I writing about what Ron Fournier, National Journal editor-in-chief, described as "a silly distraction to a major problem" - Washington's failure to lead under a budget deadline? Because this could be a turning point: the moment the White House press corps starts pushing back.The Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times concludes in The right way to regulate pot:
The bill introduced this week by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is the wrong way [for the government to reconsider its stance on marijuana prohibition]. It requires that marijuana be reclassified as no higher than a Schedule 3 controlled substance, making it similar to most other prescription drugs. But it leaves oversight to the states. Although other drugs are controlled by the Drug Enforcement Administration and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, marijuana would be a class unto itself: The bill exempts marijuana from control by these agencies, allowing any state to legalize it and come up with its own regulatory framework for producing and distributing it. When it comes to licensure, quality control, testing, enforcement of distribution laws and so on, the states would be on their own.Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins at The Root writes How Climate Change Affects People of Color:
We've already seen where that road leads. California's experiment with medical marijuana has been a regulatory nightmare, in part because of confusion and conflict with federal law, but also because coming up with a new regulatory framework for a drug whose medical value is uncertain is difficult and expensive.
Knowing what we know about the effects of climate change on our communities [of color], we must fight it with all we've got. It's much more than an environmental issue; it's also a civil and human rights issue.Stanley Crouch at the New York Daily News explains his perspective on Why we listen to Al Sharpton.
As daunting as climate change is, it's not unsolvable. We can still tackle it. [...]
Just take a look at Mark Davis, who started the first African-American-owned solar-manufacturing company in the country and is now putting people to work in his neighborhood of Anacostia in Washington, D.C. -- all while fighting pollution. We can make major financial gains, especially in underserved communities, by embracing climate solutions. But turning the promise of the clean-energy economy into an economic engine requires actions from our leaders that we must demand.