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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.

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.

Why?

A bigger batch of punditry can be read below the fold.

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.

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?

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones writes in Obama Plans to Pick Up the Pace on Judges:
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. [...]

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?

David Altheide at The Guardian writes about The cycle of fear that drives assault weapon sales:
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.

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.

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins at The Root writes How Climate Change Affects People of Color:
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.

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.

Stanley Crouch at the New York Daily News explains his perspective on Why we listen to Al Sharpton.
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Comment Preferences

  •  If anyone is interested in a look at the history (53+ / 0-)

    of race relations in Shelby County, AL, and if you have a strong stomach, read this book:

    Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon, Doubleday, NY, NY, 2008.

    There is deep irony in the fact that it is Shelby County looking to gut the VRA.

    Oh, and George Will can go screw himself.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:37:00 AM PST

  •  The best case scenario... (16+ / 0-)

    (Which I don't expect unless Thomas rides his Winnebago into the sunset or Scalia decides to collect his social security "entitlement" sometime soon) is that the court would demand that Section 5 be updated to include all the other states and tricks that are being played to prevent minorities (which are now majorities, of course) from having their "entitled" right to vote.

    Given what most of us expect from a court heavily influenced by two deeply bigotted judges, the only positive that will probably come from their decision is a re-awakening of the awareness of our "minorities" to make sure that whatever bar of soap they are given, they "count the bubbles," jump through every hoop and vote!

    •  Who are the two deeply bigoted judges? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, rl en france

      I'm sure you mean Scalia for one. Who's the other?

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:55:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thomas (16+ / 0-)

        He's about the most bigoted man I've ever heard or read from; it's a weird personality quirk, where he proclaims to despite the affirmative action that got him where he is.

        I am honestly not sure of Alito's motivations. He's of the "Opus Dei" ilk, and I think that like Thomas he just sees most of the citizens of this country as "takers."

        •  Bigoted against whom? (0+ / 0-)

          I know that some people don't consider him to be authentically black because of his conservative views, but he is black, moreso than the President.

          I also know that he has spent considerable time with predominantly-minority school children from Prince George's county, encouraging them to dream and strive to achieve those dreams.

          Whatever complaints can be leveled at Thomas -- bigoted doesn't seem to be one of them.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 07:56:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bigoted against the less fortunate (0+ / 0-)

            First of all, there is no such thing as race biologically and to say that one person of "color" is more black than another is biologically and sociologically ridiculous.

            But that said, Thomas is bigoted against those who (in his view) aren't "making it on their own." Tutoring doesn't negate that view. As a matter of fact, his views that anyone should be able to "pull themselves out of poverty by their bootstraps" are truly ignorant of the tremendous barriers that children in some situations face today.

            I'm probably in the minority because I actually favor a radical change in "affirmative action." I'd create a system that gives points for low performing schools, high crime neighborhoods, transience, low income, low access to broadband, unstable families and all of the other conditions that contribute to low performance.  Now, in our nation today, those same conditions would correlate highly with minority populations, but that isn't always true. The Scotts-Irish kid in the remote town in West Virginia would qualify too.

            Make no mistake about it; Thomas believes in "makers" and "takers." Scour out his quotes. Skin color has nothing to do with it, really, except by historical correlation.

            •  I wouldn't call that bigotry, but names are just (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DSPS owl

              a quibble, so I'll give you that for the sake of discussion.

              I agree with you in principle on affirmative action. Don't know how many efforts have been made in that direction, but Texas does something that I find especially cool, and right up that alley.

              They guarantee admission to Texas Universities to the top 10% of graduates in Texas high schools. What's cool is that it includes inner city schools as well as upper-class suburban schools.  Your success in the school you attend is sufficient to get you admitted.

              It doesn't eliminate the disparities between those who are lucky enough to have great schools and those who are not, but...it offers a real chance at a good education to a lot of students who might not ace the ACT.

              I hope they follow it up with support once the kids start school, but it's a great example of how to do affirmative action that is colorblind even when it helps minorities disproportionately.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 01:45:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  When I wrote (0+ / 0-)

                I wondered if I'd be misunderstood. At this point in our history, the correlation between "race" and disadvantage is still unacceptably high. But I've worked with teachers in areas of the Appalachians where mountains disappear, rivers turn orange, and kids turn to drugs...despite the claims of the Senator named after Ayn.

                I loved your description of the Texas program. There are lots of ways to maximize the potential of all our citizens--and every one of them contributes to our economy and our future.

  •  WHY (10+ / 0-)

    Leonard Pitts hits it out of the park with that block quote you've posted !

    I got a good chuckle with that one !

  •  Ya see?....Sequester went into effect and the sun (5+ / 0-)

    is still shining....Shoulda doubled-down....snark.

  •  GOP on the brink (19+ / 0-)

    The GOP can no longer be considered part of a functioning government. They have abdicated their role through rank stupidity and obstinacy. Americans are beginning to understand the deep level of the Republican Party's new embrace of anarchy and the constant political campaign. Rather than forging a novel path of actually respecting the will of voters from an election just two months in the past, conservatives are showing no signs of living in a world of reality, instead relitigating issues decided at the ballot box and inventing new ways to block the progress and routine operation of our nation. The GOP would take us to the very brink of disaster, then promises they want to do it again and again and again. Cabinet positions go unfilled because of petty partisan squabbles and the delusion from the right that they control whom Obama chooses to serve him.   -  progressive

  •  Broken link (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, DRo, rl en france

    There's a problem with the Stanley Crouch link.

    Join the 48ForEastAfrica Blogathon for the famine in east Africa: Donate to Oxfam America

    by JayC on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:48:27 AM PST

  •  More about the Voting Rights Act and (9+ / 0-)

    continued efforts to undermine it can be found in these archived pieces from ePluribus Media:

    The Voting Rights Act, Voter Disfranchisement and the Tail Wagging the Dog

    Dismantling Voting Rights Enforcement

    There's a lot more, too - ePM did a lot on this topic.

  •  Will has a point. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, PsychoSavannah

    Y'all tend to much more interested in laws and programs than the underlying problems they were enacted to deal with.

    Some of that, I'm sure, is the political reality of dealing with Congress.

    For example:

    There is no sensible reason to have Medicare, Medicaid, and ACA.  In a rational world we would simply have health care.  No segregation of seniors and the poor.  From the doctor's standpoint, a patient would be a patient would be a patient.

    But politics is politics, so we have what we have.

    As to the Voting Rights Act, 25 years does seem like an awful long extension when you consider that we just re-elected our first African American President.  

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:54:15 AM PST

    •  You have probably never lived in the South. (17+ / 0-)

      I have, and I'll tell you as a past precinct chair in Texas,  there is still a serious problem on the voting rights front.

      What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

      by commonmass on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:59:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was born in the south, grew up there, and have (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Charles Hall, commonmass

        family throughout the south.

        You don't have to tell me about the south of 50 years ago.
        I was there.

        The south of today still has serious problems, but it is nothing like the south of 50 years ago.

        Truth be told, I think the south is pretty close to parity with the north now in terms of bigotry.  I can't tell you how much casual bigotry I've encountered in the north.

        NOTE: By that, I don't mean as a victim.  I'm as beige as beige can be.  But, from hitchhiking and other activities around the country, I can tell you that people will open up and just say things. Surprisingly ugly things.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:01:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The question is who gets to vote.... (9+ / 0-)
      As to the Voting Rights Act, 25 years does seem like an awful long extension when you consider that we just re-elected our first African American President.
      .....not who they vote for.

      (And most of the states that are parties to the case didn't vote for "our first African American President" by a long shot.)

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:14:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely. And every citizen should be able to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NM Ray

        vote if they wish to.

        However, you have to be pretty damned stubborn to pretend that electing an African American President doesn't indicate some kind of significant change.

        And, as an aside, how much is your presumption of a need for continued special treatment is based on the fact that Obama didn't get as many votes in the south as in the north?

        If you were to single states out for special treatment, shouldn't that list include Ohio and Penssylvania, two states where complaints arose because of long waits to vote in urban areas?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:06:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's no presumption. Theres' months of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades

          congressional investigations and findings followed by a lopsided vote in congress.

          On top of it, any jurisdiction that goes ten years without a violation of the VRA can "bail out".  So we're stuck with the recent offenders.

          On the other hand, the Supreme Court is going to read a few briefs, not do any independent investigation at all.  What 's the basis for them to decide that the law isn't proper?  Besides, of course, that they can get away with it because of their lifetime appointments; I grant that they have the power to do all sorts of shit, but it's still shit.

          That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

          by Inland on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 02:02:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The voting rights act has nothing to do with race (11+ / 0-)

      relations. That's Will's error in analysis. The Voting Rights Act is self explanatory. It addresses voting rights in places where voting rights have been suppressed. To argue that it is no longer necessary must necessitate the idea that attending to voting rights is no longer necessary, despite clear evidence to the contrary.

      Has nothing to do with how people get along.

      •  That's a more than a bit disingenuous (0+ / 0-)

        And note your use of the past tense "have been".

        And what does the voting acts right do about places like Ohio and Pennsylvania, places where significant complaints were raised about the wait to vote?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:08:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It should be expanded, obviously. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac

          There is a bill the CBC put together that expands the Voting Rights Act even further. The fact that you couldn't be lynched for voting in Pennsylvania like you could in Mississippi is no reason not to have a voting rights act.

          But more important is the subtle shift if focus. If you want to talk about race relations, talk about race relations. But if you want to talk about voting rights, we should be talking about voting rights and not confusing the two.

          That's the mistake you're making. You've got black friends so therefore we don't need the Voting Rights Act. Quite untrue because the two things are unrelated.

          •  No, I'm not making a mistake. (0+ / 0-)

            The problems that led to the Voting Rights Act -- and it's application exclusively to Southern States -- were the outgrowth of race relations.

            At the same time, you're right that the Act doesn't specifically address race relations, nor does it need to.  People can hate each other all they want so long as nobody's right to vote is impeded.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:31:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Umm, no. And yes. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dinotrac, Chitown Kev, Inland, DSPS owl
              The problems that led to the Voting Rights Act -- and it's application exclusively to Southern States -- were the outgrowth of race relations.
              No. It was the outgrowth of slavery and unconstitutional oppression by one group over the other, not "relations." Voting Rights Act didn't grow out of "relations." It was a corrective measure for a legal problem, not an attempt to make people get along. And certainly didn't "grow" but was fought for under very difficult circumstances. In many cases people died over it.
              At the same time, you're right that the Act doesn't specifically address race relations, nor does it need to.  People can hate each other all they want so long as nobody's right to vote is impeded.
              That's correct. That is the entire purpose of the Voting Rights Act. To conclude we don't need is to include nobody's right to vote is impeded. Every election we can see that voting rights are being impeded with regularity. We need to expand the Voting Rights Act, not get rid of it.
              •  All in the definitions, I suppose. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                brooklynbadboy

                Last I looked, there was no slavery when the Voting Rights Act passed and the oppression of blacks in the south could easily be considered a part of race relations.  After all, why would you have "colored" water fountains and lunch counters if nobody cared about it?

                We end up in the same place, though, so it doesn't matter what you want to call it.  The Voting Rights Act or son/daughter of Voting Rights Act should address voter suppression wherever it might happen.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:49:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  I think the best solution (6+ / 0-)

      would be to simply extend the VRA to all states.
      We saw the attempts in many states not covered in Section 5 to disenfranchise voters with onerous ID laws, reducing early voting hours and polling sites (primarily in Democratic districts in states run by Republican governors).
      And areas that wish to get out from under the VRA Section 5 requirements, all they have to do is file a lawsuit in the DC District Court and prove they've gone ten years without a discriminatory act.
      Funny thing, only a few jurisdictions have done that.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 06:00:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That would be completely fair. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        Note that some of the biggest complaints this last election came out of Ohio.  Unless somebody's hitched a mighty big chain to a mighty big truck and dragged it south, Ohio ain't a southern state.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:09:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's not for supreme court to decide. (4+ / 0-)

      Anyone who disagrees with the need for a particular law can ask Congress to modify it.  But for the Supreme Court to simply substitute its own judgment is unconstitutional.

      That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

      by Inland on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 06:03:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Court ain't likely to overturn Marbury v. Madison (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chitown Kev

        any time soon, and...

        How do you thing abortion rights came to be?
        The court overturned a whole bunch of state laws at once.

        For better or for worse, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is and is not constitutional.  It's the only branch of the government that can logically fill that role because it is the only branch that is non-democratic.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:14:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Judicial review isn't merely liking or disliking. (0+ / 0-)

          Whether the VRA is "really needed" isn't a constitutional question.  Watching Scalia poo poo the months of congressional investigation and the large majorities renewing the act in 2005 as voting for the VRA because it sounds good, and as a racial entitlement, was the best example of a judge ready to shred the power under Article I as you could find ever.

          For better or for worse, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is and is not constitutional.  It's the only branch of the government that can logically fill that role because it is the only branch that is non-democratic.
          Well, actually, THIS supreme court isn't the final arbiter, because there's going to be another supreme court after it.  Much as the New Deal court overturned precedent where the Scalias of the nineteenth century decided that they would decide which laws were wise, not Congress.

          That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

          by Inland on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 01:58:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  25 years doesn't seem like a very long (4+ / 0-)

      extension at all considering the Voting Rights Act  has been in effect 47 years and the Justice Department is still receiving thousands of reports of voter discrimination each and every year from those jurisdictions covered by Section 5.

      As for the re-election of our first African American president, consider the reaction to his initial election by Republican governors and secretaries of state, which was to do everything possible to make his re-election more difficult by restricting everything from voter registration to polling places and hours.  Furthermore, the discrimination against minority voters is not limited to African-Americans, but now includes Hispanic voters and, if it is deemed acceptable, will be allowed to extend into any minority community that threatens to dilute the white voters' majority.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 06:16:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your example makes no sense. (0+ / 0-)

      Medicare, Medicaid, and ACA are direct policy responses to the failure of our particular social structure to provide needed medical services to people.

      The only people with genuine access to medical services are  of middle-class or better income.  Those with less income can't afford the high price of medical insurance, not to mention that the cost of insurance is only a sliver of the cost of many needed medical services. If you break a leg, $30K. If you break a tooth and want more than an extraction, it's over $1K.

      Why is the cost of medicine so high? 1. The medical academic community limits the number of doctors produced. 2. Those who do achieve doctordom expect to be rewarded with great wealth -- paid for by the consumers of medicine. 3. No price control - rather, prices have been allowed to inflate far beyond the capability of workers with modest incomes to keep up with. 4. Medical, research, and pharm lobbying: these fat cats insist on their pay outs, including the failure to regulate and institute price controls.

      It is not necessarily true that huge prices for medical services are caused by medical malpractice litigation. Do you want to go to a doctor who botched someone else's medical care previously, and was never held accountable? The huge awards granted by juries are generally reduced on appeal, and otherwise may actually be appropriate to the malpractice and resulting injuries.

      Need a tooth extracted? Go get it done, $300 (I'll do it for half that!). To replace the tooth and root will cost over $3K. Now, what if your dentist removes the wrong tooth? Don't you want to be able to sue?

      •  It makes complete sense. (0+ / 0-)

        Health care is a mess in our country.

        Fix health care and the need for those separate programs goes away. If anything, separate programs make health care worse, not better.

        Answer me this:

        If we had a health care system like that in France, why would we need Medicare and Medicaid as separate programs?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:11:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't you listen to Hannity? He says (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades

          our health care system is second to none, best in the world! Obamacare is going to ruin everything for everyone, according to Hannity.

          The biggest problem with the American health care system is that it is extremely overpriced. I attributed that to lobbyists, sweetheart big pharma deals, and control over the supply of qualified doctors in my first response to you. Health care and health insurance are for-profit systems, and the over-priceyness benefits the wealthy. It's a disgrace that health insurance CEOs have 9 houses while refusing to honor insurance policies for their sick clients using manufactured pre-existing condition claims.

          For health care consumers, the solution, up till now, has been to buy health insurance and pool the money so whoever is sick this year, in the pool, can go to the doctor. Obamacare is supposed to streamline that and take some of the excess profits out of the healthcare insurance system.

          That's a free market capitalistic solution that everyone used to buy in to, until the PotUS turned not white.  The biggest problem is that so much money is raked off the top, on the insurance end as well as for the actual health care, that we don't get any where near the bang for the franc that the French get, with their system of socialized medicine.

          The other biggest problem is that the system has left so many people uninsured and consequently, without health care. Free riders, the insured pay for their emergency room visits with higher insurance premiums.

          Obamacare was really a fix for the healthcare insurance system, not the healthcare system. These topics were talked to death during 2009-10 and since I'm at work, I don't have time to repeat the salient points of those discussions now. But imo it's a disgrace that modern day human beings living here in the USA can't take their kids to see a doctor without holding a bake sale first.

          Nonetheless, I do not believe that Americans are going to tolerate a socialistic health care system like the French system, unless the republicans suggest it (ha Ha HAHAHA).

          Your question, while interesting conceptually, doesn't deal with the realities of our right-leaning political climate.

          •  No, I don't (0+ / 0-)

            Funny how our right-leaning political climate has managed to elect a Democratic President twice, a Democratic Senate multiple times, pass a huge "stimulus" bill and the ACA.

            That doesn't sound very right-leaning to me.

            I'm often amazed when I go out into the world with some our personal health care horror stories that other people have had similar experiences or worse.  If Democrats were as smart as you say you are, I think you could get something good done.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 01:40:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The White House press corps (7+ / 0-)

    pushes back? They suck at their jobs. And I love the end of her article Saunders posts only the big, scary, threatening 'you are going to regret this' (because you are wrong) part of the email, as if we haven't already read the whole thing. She sucks at her job too.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:55:14 AM PST

    •  I've been reading about this over the weekend (4+ / 0-)

      It seems the DC press corps is really in a snit about the Obamas because they're being ignored and not pandered to. They don't have the "access", IOW.

      The White House says no threat was intended. I believe that. I also see why Woodward might perceive the exchanges as a threat - not to harm him physically, but to deny him access. Without access, Woodward cannot write best-selling books.
      Frankly, considering how the press has treated the Obamas, I think they're doing the right thing.
      The Obamas don't do the social circuit of DC, where some of the media, the politicians and their spouses, the DC elite, do their deals.
      That infuriates the social butterflies, because their power is taken away.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 06:08:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Scalia is right (10+ / 0-)

    It IS very, very hard to get rid of racial entitlements.

    We have been trying to do so for hundreds of years.

    As MHP says in her MSNBC ad, we won't solve every problem in our lifetimes, but the struggle continues.

  •  Writing to Scalia (16+ / 0-)

    may be cathartic for Melissa Harris-Perry, but it likely will fall on very deaf ears. Rachel Maddow had it right when she compared his comment on voting rights to trolling. Anyone who has paid attention to his opinions and his speeches knows that he likes to provoke reaction, though calling voting rights a "racial entitlement" is a new low, even for him. The Supreme Court is in the hands of a very right wing, narrow majority, but over time we can change that at the ballot box, by electing progressive presidents and senators. Demographics and the arc of history are on our side, if we work at. Still, right for MHP to call him out.

  •  The South shall rise again! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, commonmass

    Always knew it would happen.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:08:40 AM PST

  •  Scraborough conveniently forgets that the reason (8+ / 0-)

    the rethugs (and the country) are in the 'current' pickle is because the GOP thought they'd win the election....They  lost and now they're lost.....Time to hold their breaths until they turn blue.

  •  Racial entitlements (12+ / 0-)

    The right still is still angry about ending "separate but equal" and angry about ending Jim Crow. They are angry that African-Americans feel "entitled" to use the same drinking fountains that everyone else uses. When the right comes out against "racial entitlements", they are coming out against equal protection under the law.

    I don't think the Voting Rights Act should be unchanged. I think it's protections should be extended to all states. Voter suppression isn't limited to the South. I think we need to go further, and have a Voting Rights Amendment.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:14:17 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the roundup, Meteor Blades! (7+ / 0-)

    A thought- provoking start to the day.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:17:09 AM PST

  •  How do you solve a problem like Sca-le-ya? (6+ / 0-)

    Sound of music pun....

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:18:20 AM PST

  •  Blame equality. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, tb mare, johanus

    To the charge that wealth distribution is unequal, the Congress, which has control of the public purse, responded by making everyone equally poorer than they were before.

    To the charge that access to the voting booth is unequal, states all around the nation responded by making it harder for everyone to vote.

    To the charge that some people don't have enough food, our corporate masters have ruled that everyone needs to work harder for their daily bread.

    Thank goodness the Equal Rights Amendment didn't pass!

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:20:20 AM PST

  •  LOL! (0+ / 0-)

    Of course Crouch had to fit something about Wynton Marsalis into his column!

    He never lets his hero-worship drop even for a minute.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:21:44 AM PST

  •  Pitt's simply question won't be honestly answered (7+ / 0-)

    Why should we trust people who live in places with an easily retrieved documented history of suppressing voting rights and have proposed "reforms" that will have the impact of limiting who gets to exercise the right to vote?

    No matter the specific tactic, it comes down to this: some of our "fellow citizens" believe that voting is and should be a privilege and they and only they ought to be the ones empowered to bestow or deny that privilege. Assertions of "ballot security" or "voter fraud prevention" are PR fig leaves that appear defensible only superficially and in the abstract.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:26:59 AM PST

  •  George Will lives in his own world (6+ / 0-)

    Progressives have been asking for change in the Voting Rights Act, just not legislated as part of that act.  Progressives have been asking for extension of the pre-clearance procedures to all 50 states.  Progressives have been asking for an end to misallocation of voting locations based on race, party, or other factor other than one person-one vote.  Progressives have been asking for verifiable paper ballots.  And an end to gerrymandering.

    Wannabe patrician Will needs to look around.  With his snoot so high in the air all he can see is falling birdshit.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:27:14 AM PST

  •  Getting more judges nominated this term is a major (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ohkwai, tb mare

    if not THE major goal Obama needs to accomplish. There is a very real chance we'll lose the Senate in 2014, and even if we keep it we may have fewer Dems making the ConservaDems more powerful. This was of course the major reason I wanted filibuster reform, but even without that, Obama needs to make a major push, and to make GOP obstructionism on judges a MAJOR issue. It really hasn't gotten the press it deserves!

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:28:00 AM PST

  •  Will someone tell me what it is exactly that (6+ / 0-)

    they're afraid of?

    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's not that they need guns because they're afraid that jackbooted Nazis will show up at 3 a.m. pounding on their front doors with rifle butts to make them give up their guns. They were buying guns before Obama was elected the first time.  

    So what is it they're afraid of?

    It can't be fear of dying, because they're all going to heaven, which everyone knows is loads better than here.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:28:57 AM PST

    •  Who knows? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, tb mare, ratcityreprobate

      Paranoia isn't rational.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:31:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  afraid of the savage hordes (3+ / 0-)

      of non-white people (especially young men) busting into their enclave and stealing their loot and doing them bodily harm.

      In other words, there's a pretty direct line from the garrison houses to which colonists fled during King Philip's War (1675-76), through the armed patrols to try to prevent slave uprisings (from Jamaica to New York City), to the ginned-up fears of undocumented immigrants and blacks joining up to take the country away from its "rightful owners."

      Add to that the militia movement that has been pushing for several decades the narrative about the government coming to impose fascism or (now) non-white dictatorship or whatever.

      One is a narrative of government tyranny. The other is a narrative of government impotence in the face of social chaos. They don't exactly match up, but they fuel each other. Both are highly useful to people whose main interest is in selling guns (and canned food, but guns and ammo are much more profitable).

    •  may be of their own lies coming to (0+ / 0-)

      haunt them and driving them so crazy that they start shooting themselves ?

  •  There was much publicity regarding a report (4+ / 0-)

    from DoD when, during the third week of February, the Pentagon grounded the F-35 because of poor performance and a fear of failure in the future - specifically turbine blade failure (a 1/2" crack in a turbine blade on a test aircraft had been discovered).  But there was no equivalent coverage when the jets were returned to service on Feb. 28th after an evaluation process that lasted one whole week.  In fact, the office overseeing the F-35 contract issued a short statement announcing a resumption of the program

    The engine in which the blade cracked was in a plane that had been operated at extreme parameters in its mission to expand the F-35 flight envelope.  Prolonged exposure to high levels of heat and other operational stressors on this specific engine were determined to be the cause of the crack.
    The NYT published an article announcing the plane's "return to service" (i.e., restoring its funding) by telling readers
    Pratt & Whitney, which makes the engines, investigated the problem with military experts. The company, a unit of United Technologies, said on Wednesday that the crack occurred after that engine was operated more than four times longer in a high-temperature flight environment than the engines would in normal use.
    I know all of us here are thrilled that this boondoggle of a program has managed to convince its military contract administrator that turbine blades which can't withstand "high heat and other operational stressors" are just hunky dory for use in prolonged dogfights with al Qaeda.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:44:45 AM PST

  •  Stanley Crouch Link (0+ / 0-)

    ... points not to the Sharpton essay, but to a subsequent thoughtful one about  Wynton Marsalis and the playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.

    The Sharpton essay is a surprise. I stopped listening to him after Tawana Brawley.

    Unlike the Sharpton of MSNBC, the Sharpton of the 70s did not bring civil discourse to the political arena. Many voters remembered him all too well in 2006 when he appeared on Ned Lamont's victory stage in Connecticut. That gave us six more years of Joe Lieberman.

    I am pleased to read he's re-invented himself.

  •  so mr. will, are advocating for EXPANDING VRA to (0+ / 0-)

    ALL states?
    hear, hear!

    "A dollah makes me hollah"-- Stephen Colbert, pretending to be S. Palin

    by stagemom on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:12:44 AM PST

  •  "emaplso" - hmmm? bqhatevwr? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brn2bwild, Meteor Blades

    I consider myself moderately literate, but this word, emaplso is unfamiliar.

    Enlightenment please?

    Debra J. Saunders: at the San Francisco Chronicle pretends to prefer serious discussion instead of emaplso she can blast the White House again in Woodward-Sperling flap may turn tide:
    Would this be a synonymy or related somehow to that Scot Brown world "bqhatevwr"?

    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

    by TerryDarc on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:18:55 AM PST

    •  Beat me to the punch. (nt) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TerryDarc
      •  Yeah, but WTF was it supposed to be? (0+ / 0-)

        I actually googled emaplso and stared at the keyboard for a few seconds. Thought briefly about the semantics... Totally cryptic and unless MB helps us out I'm afraid we'll never know.

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

        by TerryDarc on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 11:23:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Debra J. Saunders: "emaplso"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NM Ray

    Is that a new word I've never heard of?

  •  Voting is a Fundamental Right! (0+ / 0-)

    Without the Right to Vote, recognized as a fundamental right, speech, press, assembly, the right to bear arms, are all inconsequential.  The Right to Vote is the Right to Participate in government.

    Today, we have one party that is against Government and a second party that believes that Government can provide meaningful contributions to society.  We have one party that believes that the Right to Vote is a "Racial Entitlement" and another party that believes that Voting should be encouraged.  We have one party that works to suppress the vote and one party that works to make participatory democracy work.

    I  regret every vote that I have ever cast for any Republican and I vow that I will never, ever cast another wasted vote for anybody who supports a political party that works to discourage voting.

    "Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers offering advice to the Republican Party.

    by NM Ray on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 10:41:25 AM PST

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