Yesterday, Senator Richard Shelby made the astonishing claim that background checks for gun buyers "undermines the Constitution." Because certainly the Founding Fathers thought that "freedom" depended on allowing felons and the mentally ill to buy as many guns as they could afford, right?
During his filibuster, the Senator went even further into the weeds: "The Second Amendment states unambiguously: "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." So.... does that mean there should be no background checks at all and that I can immediately place an order for a couple of machine guns and a rocket launcher or two?
Apparently, Senator Shelby doesn't realize that 2nd Amendment violations are taking place right under his nose! When I travel to DC to visit the Capitol or meet with Shelby's staff in the office, I'm not allowed to bring my shotgun into either building. Damn it, I'm not even allowed to carry it on the airplane with me. When is Shelby going to introduce a bill to rectify those violations of my "unambiguous" right to "bear arms?"
The Republican proposal on gun shows passed by a single vote, 48 to 47.... [...] Only one Democrat, Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, joined 47 Republicans in favor, while 7 Republicans sided with Democrats in opposition to it. [...] Mr. Hatch and Mr. Craig said their measure would require all vendors at gun shows, whether professional dealers or hobbyists, to conduct background checks on prospective buyers. It augmented another amendment by Mr. Craig, passed by Republicans on Wednesday, that merely made it easier for vendors to conduct voluntary checks.
Senate Democrats opposed the measure, saying it didn't go far enough. But yesterday, they'd have grabbed it with both hands.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has a searing op/ed in today's New York Times:
Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown. Some of the senators who voted no have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, 6 of whom died. These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.
I watch TV and read the papers like everyone else. We know what we’re going to hear: vague platitudes like “tough vote” and “complicated issue.” I was elected six times to represent southern Arizona, in the State Legislature and then in Congress. I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither. These senators made their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association, which in the last election cycle spent around $25 million on contributions, lobbying and outside spending. [...]
They will try to hide their decision behind grand talk, behind willfully false accounts of what the bill might have done — trust me, I know how politicians talk when they want to distract you — but their decision was based on a misplaced sense of self-interest. I say misplaced, because to preserve their dignity and their legacy, they should have heeded the voices of their constituents. They should have honored the legacy of the thousands of victims of gun violence and their families, who have begged for action, not because it would bring their loved ones back, but so that others might be spared their agony.
This defeat is only the latest chapter of what I’ve always known would be a long, hard haul. Our democracy’s history is littered with names we neither remember nor celebrate — people who stood in the way of progress while protecting the powerful. On Wednesday, a number of senators voted to join that list.
Yep. Money talks and cowardly senators listen - then cash the checks. How long will we continue to let them get away with their lies and distractions?
Such a sad spectacle for Alabama and for the entire country.
Let's start with the bad news. After holding over a committee vote on HB57 (the TRAP bill), the Senate Health Committee voted 7-3 to support Mary Sue McClurkin's ill-conceived bill:
The committee turned back an effort by Sen. Linda Coleman, D-Birmingham, to amend the bill. Coleman recommended a number of changes, including a provision to grandfather in the state’s five existing clinics. [...]
Coleman said she was not surprised her amendment was rejected and said she might try again on the Senate floor. She said she did not think the bill was really about health and safety.
“This was an attempt to close these type facilities down because of personal religious beliefs,” Coleman said.
Meanwhile, outside the Statehouse, Governor Robert Bentley was busy acting as ringmaster for the anti-choice circus. Governor ("only Christians are my brothers") Bentley went himself one better with this comment:
“We need to remember we are dealing with human life and this is what God expects us to do,” Republican Gov. Robert Bentley said at a Montgomery rally organized by abortion opponents in Montgomery. The Legislature’s Republican presiding officers, Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey and House Speaker Mike Hubbard, also attended the rally.
This just begs some good journalist to ask the obvious question: Why does God want Bentley to shun the Medicaid expansion that will really protect human life?
The good news - public education advocates had reason to cheer:
Momentum on on the "Dump Common Core" effort has slowed. The Senate Education committee held a public hearing yesterday, but delayed a vote until next week. Note that's only a minor victory: look what happened with HB57!
Speaker Mike Hubbard hit a roadblock in the form of Montgomery Circuit Judge Charles Price, on the "Alabama Accountability Act:"
“The judge mentioned that not only did they violate their own rules, they also are in violation of the state constitution that says you can’t take a bill and introduce it as a bill and say it’s about one thing and substitute it with a different bill,” said James Anderson, an attorney for the plaintiff.
The judge’s order prevents the House Clerk, Jeff Woodard, from delivering the bill to Governor Bentley for signing.
Hubbard decried the so-called "judicial activism," which the GOP seems to define as "any decision we don't like." He's appealing to the Alabama Supreme Court.
And finally, Governor Bentley showed a tiny piece of common sense and vetoed the first "guns in schools" bill to hit his desk:
Gov. Robert Bentley today sent a note to Franklin County lawmakers saying he is vetoing a bill approved last month by the Legislature to allow teachers and community members there to be trained as reserve police officers and sheriff’s deputies.
In the letter, Bentley said he was concerned primarily with the training because the bill does not provide adequate training requirements.
“Failure to provide for specific, applicable training would create an unacceptable high-risk situation with the possibility of dire consequences, including the injury or death of a child, teacher, or a volunteer member (of the security force),” Bentley said.
If only Alabama legislators would learn from their Washington counterparts.
The Legislature has gun-related bills stacked a mile high this term, but I can find only one bill filed that deals with mental health. And guess what... it's also about guns. SB133, introduced by Senator Trip Pittman changes the reporting requirements for mental commitments and updates procedures for former mental patients who want to petition for reinstatement of their firearms rights.
Now, nobody thinks it's a good idea for mentally unbalanced people to be running around with firearms, but why isn't the state addressing the tremendous obstacles facing people (and their families) who need mental health care? Alabama has cut its mental health budget by 36% since 2009. The 2nd largest reduction in the US during that time.
From 2009 to 2012, Alabama cut its total general fund mental health budget from $100.3 million to $64.2 million, according to NAMI. Only South Carolina (39 percent) experienced a deeper percentage of cuts. [...] The NAMI report expressed alarm that many states, including Alabama, are also making deep cuts to Medicaid, "further cutting off vital services to people living with serious mental illness." Alabama's mental health budget was sustained with federal stimulus dollars from 2009 through 2011, but did not replace funding when the enhanced federal Medicaid match expired, NAMI said.
Last week, Don Williamson, director of the Alabama Department of Public Health, told the House Ways & Means General Fund Committee that he would explain the consequences of a $400 million cut to Medicaid. While some committee members lamented the "devastating" nature of the cuts, Rep. Greg Wren (HD75) framed the issue in more personal terms:
“If this agency goes forward and puts out any haunting emails about potential cuts to programs that could affect the lives of individuals, I will be personally offended, and I will look forward to talking with whoever is in control of Medicaid,” he said.
How about haunting TV images of a small boy held in a bunker or thousands gathered for the funeral for the man who tried to protect him? Was Rep. Wren "personally offended" by any of that?
Surely, it's it better to provide treatment before there's a tragedy instead of shaking our heads in sorrow after the fact.
Much of the 2013 legislation introduced by members of both parties in the Alabama legislature ranges from the silly, to the unnecessary, to the downright delusional. And Republican Mike Jones pulls of a legislative hat trick HB8, as does Senator Gerald Allen with his Firearms Freedom Act (SB43).
Jones started the gun legislation stampede off with a bang when he introduced HB8, an Alabama constitutional amendment to protect the right to "keep and bear arms" (read full text):
Article I, Section 26 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, provides that every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state.
This proposed amendment would provide that every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms and that any restriction on this right would be subject to strict scrutiny.
This proposed amendment would also provide that a citizen cannot be compelled by international treaty or law from taking actions that prohibit, limit, or otherwise interfere with the fundamental right to bear arms.
It's silly because - contrary to what many GOP elected officials believe - the "right to keep and bear arms" is already in the US Constitution and what's in that august document trumps any silliness added to Alabama's state constitution.
A couple of red flags with this bill:
Strict Scrutiny is a standard of judicial review where the courts weigh a government's ability to "weigh the government's interest against a constitutional right or principle." Some Alabama sheriffs have expressed concern that this section might require them to issue concealed carry permits to virtually anyone who applies. Under current law, sheriffs have more latitude.
So the unnecessary part of the bill is to restrict the discretion local law enforcement. And we thought the GOP was all about local control!
"International treaties." Really, GOP? Is it remotely possible for you guys to introduce any piece of legislation without an delusional dash of anti-UN paranoia? This isn't so much of a red flag as it is just more stupid Republican unicorn hunting.
This bill would exempt from federal regulation under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured and retained within the borders of Alabama.
The important thing to understand about the so-called "Firearms Freedom Act" is that it is not homegrown Alabama legislation: it's a nationwide effort on the part of the "tenther" movement. If that sounds suspiciously close to the "birther" movement, well... its is. Those groups cross-pollinate pretty regularly.
The "tenthers," though, are far more dangerous. Read more about them here, but here's a taste of their worldview:
Representative Paul Broun (R-GA) has been an opponent of the Federal Reserve, Agriculture Department, and Justice Department, and claims the Federal government should only focus on crimes such as counterfeiting, treason, and piracy. Broun wasn’t specific, but he intimated that the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Food and Drug Administration should be eliminated. Broun’s argument is that the main function of the federal government is national defense.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), recently said that Federal child labor laws are unconstitutional and claims that states have the right to regulate commerce and that the Federal government is usurping states’ authority.
Multi-national corporations would just LOVE to be freed from the constraints of child-labor laws, minimum wage regulations, food safety requirements, and anti-pollution laws. In the "tenthers," they've found an eager horde of foot soldiers who seem determined to turn the United States of America into a North American version of Somalia.
Not surprisingly, the Alabama GOP leadership seems to think that's a good thing.
(I don't care for the diary title, but the issue is worth a discussion. - promoted by countrycat)
Okay, I've had some discussions here on the second amendment, and we've gone round and round. This time I don't want to make the libertarian case for the 2nd amendment, I want to link to a Daily Kos article that was written by a self-proclaimed liberal and makes the case for liberal support of the second amendment.
Liberals love the Constitution. Ask anyone on the street.
While liberals certainly do not argue for lawlessness, and will acknowledge the necessity of certain restrictions, it is generally understood that liberals fight to broadly interpret and expand our rights and to question the necessity and wisdom of any restrictions of them.
Liberals can quote legal precedent, news reports, and exhaustive studies. They can talk about the intentions of the Founders. They can argue at length against the tyranny of the government. And they will, almost without exception, conclude the necessity of respecting, and not restricting, civil liberties.
Except for one: the right to keep and bear arms.
When it comes to discussing the Second Amendment, liberals check rational thought at the door. They dismiss approximately 40% of American households that own one or more guns, and those who fight to protect the Second Amendment, as "gun nuts." They argue for greater restrictions. And they pursue these policies at the risk of alienating voters who might otherwise vote for Democrats.
And they do so in a way that is wholly inconsistent with their approach to all of our other civil liberties.
The author goes on to deal with the subject in depth. My purpose here is not to advance or oppose either side, my purpose is to get your comments and thoughts on this article.
If the author is wrong, WHY is he wrong? If he's right, how does that square with your own positions on second amendment rights?
I think this piece has a lot of truth in it, and I'd like to get opinions here.
Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning told WHNT News 19 that his office will not enforce new gun control legislation if he feels those laws violate the Second Amendment. Dorning said he has serious doubts about President Obama’s latest proposals, stating that any gun laws which do pass would have to be in line with the U.S. Constitution and Alabama state law in order to be enforceable. [...] “As long as you are a law-abiding citizen, then I don’t see a problem with law-abiding citizens being able to arm themselves however they so choose,” said Dorning, who pledged to ignore any law that would call for the confiscation of assault weapons or any other firearm. “Our people in our communities and homes need not fear that the Sheriff of Madison County or his deputies would come to their homes and make an attempt to disarm them. It will not happen under my watch.”
Holy Marbury vs Madison, Batman! Do not pass Go, do not ask SCOTUS for review, just call up the Madison County, AL Sheriff for Constitutional law advice!
Notice how deftly Dorning tosses in a strawman about "disarming" people at the end of that statement. It plays totally into the paranoid conspiracy theory that the feds - backed by UN black helicopters & copies of the fanciful Agenda 21 - are just waiting for marching orders from the half-Kenyan, half-Muslim, half-Socialist, half-Fascist non-American spawn of Hitler occupying the White House. Don't bother to point out that no person can be "four halves" because these are not people who can be swayed by either logic o.r math
It's really amazing: thesheriff of one of Alabama's most populous counties has the time to do his job, the aptitude to study constitutional law, and the legal expertise to interpret laws. Oh, and he also possesses the total chutzpah to think that he has the authority to choose which laws he'll follow and which laws he won't.
That hasn't worked out so well for us in the past.
Let's visit those not-so-thrilling days of yesteryear, why don't we....
Lynching. Now, murder has always been against the law, but Southern law enforcement officials ignored that fact when it came to lynching. Southern politicians prevented the passage of a federal anti-lynching law and the US Office of Civil Rights (part of the DOJ) obtained its first lynching conviction in 1964 after a lynching in Florida.
Hate Crimes: We have federal hate crimes laws because - once again - local officials have had a tendency to ignore crimes committed against marginalized groups: GLBT, Native Americans, minority religions, etc.
The President cannot get the two major revisions unless Congress signs off, but Sheriff Dorning said even if they do, Washington is not his final authority.
Um... yes it is.
George Wallace. Schoolhouse Door. Enough Said.
The amazing thing here is that it's Sheriff Dorning who thinks President Obama is out of line and overstepping his authority.
Please Sheriff, remove the log in your own eye before worrying about the speck in anyone else's.
AL State Senator Bill Holtzclaw (SD-2) is taking issue with Albertville Representative Kerry Rich's (HD-26) plan to allow public school personnel to carry weapons. The GOP Senator makes a compelling case for why Rich's plan is, well, just plain stupid (my words, not his).
Holtzclaw is a retired Marine who served as a Primary Marksmanship Instructor. He does an excellent job dissecting flaws in Rich's reasoning.
For instance, Rich's plan requires school personnel to "undergo firearms training every six months." Holtzclaw notes that the requirement is inadequate:
Then there is the most important skill set - being an effective shooter - putting steel on target. This can only be acquired over time through regular trips to the firing range. When training Marines I shot several weapons in a single day and hundreds of rounds of ammunition a week – it was my primary job. Today, I’m good, but I’m not nearly as good as I once was. My point, it takes time and dedication to acquire and maintain this skill level. Should we expect teachers to maintain this skill level when armed in a school with our children?
Holtzclaw also notes a huge flaw in the proponents' plan to arm teachers and principals:the chaos factor. This is the first thing that occurred to me when putting guns in schools was first proposed as a "solution" to school safety.
I have a shotgun and a handgun and I target shoot. I can hit my target most of the time with the .38 and 95+% of the time with the shotgun. But before each shot, I have to take a second or two to check my stance, slow my breathing, and aim. At no time am I hiding behind furniture, checking my back for an assailant, dealing with panicked bystanders running in front of me, or afraid for my life.
Holtzclaw describes a similar situation:
We must include high stress training environments that go along with rapid decision making; is the shooter active or threatening, on the move or holed up with hostages? We must add the fog of war in our training - loud noises, confusion, gun flashes, confined spaces, people being shot, people running into the line of fire; you get the point. We should also include draw techniques from our concealed carry position. This will vary widely based on how the weapon is being carried, how crowded the room is, and where the shooter is encountered. Simply put, our teachers must train, train, train in realistic environments.
Um yes. The reason the military & police spend so much time and money on training is because it's crucial to their success and their safety. No matter how skilled you are as a range shooter, a live fire situation requiring a clear head and split-second decision making is a totally different matter.
Senator Holtzclaw is a trained Marine and he knows that. We can only hope that the rest of our legislators will listen to the experts and to the almost unanimous disapproval of school officials.
I don't agree with Holtzclaw on many issues, but he's right on this one and deserves an "attaboy" for trying to stop the stampede.
With the saturation media coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings, there hasn't been anything new that we could add here at LIA. However, I have run across a few very interesting articles from various perspectives that are worth sharing. I also have a slight rant about said media coverage....
Dear CNN, MSNBC, FOX, CBS, local affiliates, etc:
Would you please stop jumping to conclusions, scrambling to be the first to report bad information, and reporting rumor as fact during a crisis? And for heaven's sake, if you're going to presume to know the name of the shooter and disseminate that information - along with a link to his Facebook page - how about making sure you have the right person? Really, we're all grown-ups here and understand that in the middle of a crisis situation, the first responders have more important things to do than talk to your roving reporters. The survivors don't need to be harassed, interviewed, or videoed while in such a vulnerable state. Have some respect for the people grieving for their friends, co-workers, and the children.
"How do you feel?" you guys ask them. How the heck do you think the feel? Of all the dumbass questions, that one takes the cake.
Now.... on to some interesting perspectives on what comes next.
Jeffery Goldberg at The Atlantic makes the case for more people carrying guns in public. Note that this article is in the current issue and so was written well before this recent tragedy.
America’s level of gun ownership means that even if the Supreme Court—which ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment gives citizens the individual right to own firearms, as gun advocates have long insisted—suddenly reversed itself and ruled that the individual ownership of handguns was illegal, there would be no practical way for a democratic country to locate and seize those guns. [...] Anti-gun activists believe the expansion of concealed-carry permits represents a serious threat to public order. But what if, in fact, the reverse is true? Mightn’t allowing more law-abiding private citizens to carry concealed weapons—when combined with other forms of stringent gun regulation—actually reduce gun violence?
Atlantic Cities discusses The Geography of Gun Violence and there's a distressing big blue blob in the middle of Alabama. And it sends a chill through this parent who's moving her only child to Birmingham in a few weeks to attend UAB:
The rates vary substantially from a high of 32.8 in New Orleans to a low of 3.6 in Boston. Birmingham has the second highest rate with 20.5, followed by Memphis with 19.8. Las Vegas (17.6) and Jacksonville (17.5) round out the top five metro rates.
There are more maps & statistics, with this interesting finding:
While one would think gun violence would be higher in states with higher levels of economic anxiety related to unemployment or inequality, we found no association to either at the state level. My colleagues and I did, however, find gun deaths to be higher in states with higher levels of poverty and lower incomes, as well as in red states and those with more blue-collar working class economies. Conversely, we found gun deaths to be less likely in states with more college graduates and stronger knowledge-based economies.
Reid Wilson, editor in chief of the National Journal, says that if there are to be any changes in gun laws or attitudes, President Obama must take the lead in the conversation and the debate - something that he was reluctant to do during his first term:
Gun sales have spiked during Obama's first four years in office, prompted by fears that the president will take steps to restrict future purchases or, in the minds of conspiracy theorists, orchestrate some plot to rob Americans who still cling to their guns and religion. The ironic truth is that the administration hasn't done anything to justify those fears.
And the first limit ought to be a ban on automatic and semi-automatic rifles, and the components that allow weapons to be “upgraded” to such capabilities. This is not about hunting – anyone hunting quail with a Glock should probably stop calling it a sport. It is about what can no longer lawfully constitute a “personal” or “recreational” firearm in the interest of public safety.
What - if anything - do y'all think should happen? Changes in the laws? Better mental health care? More or fewer concealed carry permits?
A carry-guns-everywhere group wants the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve differing lower court decisions on whether it’s constitutionally permissible for states to ban weapons in houses of worship. That is basically the most American sentence anyone will write today, but GeorgiaCarry, the everyone-needs-guns group behind the court case, almost tops it with their argument for why a state law banning guns in religious institutions violates their rights:
In its filing with the Supreme Court, GeorgiaCarry maintains that the ban applying specifically to places of worship burdens “religiously motivated conduct by regulating how or what a worshipper can do with a weapon while he is worshipping.”
A church is the last place I would expect to find people carrying guns, but apparently that attitude marks me as hopelessly old fashioned.
Just a few days ago an acquaintance was describing how a man showed up inebriated in her church last Sunday. He sang the hymns too loud and hummed during the sermon, and also crossed himself (this is a Baptist congregation) although wasn't disruptive otherwise. Several men in the congregation, who either retrieved guns from their cars or actually had them on their persons -- "you know ____ always carries a gun to church because you just never know" -- escorted this fellow out of the sanctuary and called authorities to take him away or home or somewhere else.
After hearing this story, what I really wanted to ask was "What exactly is the name of your church again? Because I don't want to accidentally end up there some Sunday."
The idea that a church is the House of God where the troubled can find help and violence is never an appropriate response is apparently long gone. Seems more folks are putting their trust in Smith and Wesson for protection these days, instead of God.
Will we soon see a Gun Lovers Version of the Good Book to replace the King James Bible?
The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD pistol is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD .38 shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
To hear these guys tell the story, the reason a dozen people are dead & many more wounded is because of: liberals, civil libertarians, atheists, & Hollywood. Because certainly, easy access to body armor, huge amounts of ammo, & weapons played absolutely no part....
I'm so happy that I know many, many perfectly reasonable, devout Christian people who recoil at the remarks of these Evangelical "leaders." I hate it that they get tarred with the same brush as these bozos.
In a column in One News Now, Newcombe wrote that the shooting was evidence that “we’re reaping what we’ve been sowing as a society,” explaining, “Lawsuit after lawsuit, often by misguided ‘civil libertarians,’ have chased away any fear of God in the land.”
On the same radio segment, Fred Jackson, the host and director of the American Family Association, similarly blamed Hollywood, liberal media and churches for contributing to mass shootings:
I have to think that all of this, whether it’s the Hollywood movies, whether it’s what we see on the internets, whether it’s liberal bias in the media, whether it’s our politicians changing public policy, I think all of those somehow have fit together—and I have to say also churches who are leaving the authority of Scripture and losing their fear of God—all of those things have seem to have come together to give us these kinds of incidents.
Um.... so somehow the shooter was responding to attacks on Christianity or he had seen too many "Hollywood movies" or he was a civil libertarian or.... what exactly?
Gohmert also lamented the fact that nobody else inside the theater was packing. Because that's what you want in an enclosed space with hundreds of panicked adults & children fleeing a nutcase wearing body armor: a number of civilians also armed & firing into the crowd.
He was joined in his dismay by former AZ State Senator Russell Pearce, who was the sponsor of Arizona's anti-immigrant bill & who was later recalled by voters:
"Had someone been prepared and armed they could have stopped this "bad" man from most of this tragedy. He was two and three feet away from folks, I understand he had to stop and reload. Where were the men of flight 93????," Pearce wrote.
Yep. All you victims... it was your own damn fault for being such wusses.
Question: Supposing that a number of people in the theater were armed when the shooting started... How do these armed strangers know who's part of the shooting conspiracy & who's a good Samaritan? How do the law enforcement people distinguish between the good guys & bad guys when they arrive on the scene?
I know we have people with law enforcement experience here at the blog. What do you think?
(Please add your comments and join in the conversation that Michael has started! - promoted by mooncat)
Well first let me apologize for not posting a new diary for a while. I have been working a lot of overtime at the "TVA" and as such it leaves little time for family and leisure much less blogging. I have been checking my Facebook on a regular basis and trying to share links to great progressive and liberal leaning posts/status updates to educate the people of North Alabama unlucky enough to be my friends. The problem with that is it is like preaching to the Choir.
So tonight I have decided to share a bit of philosophy with you folks that I want some feedback on. I have over the last few weeks been doing a lot of thinking and I am quite distressed by the results of that exercise. I have come to the conclusion that our side is on the wrong side of the pendulum swinging through the sands of time and we are in for a long ride, or as they say on the (relatively) new HBO series - "Winter is coming".
It will not be all doom and gloom, but maybe a bit of religion and politics - the main two things our Mothers told us not to talk about in public so maybe, just maybe, your interest is peeked enough to follow through the jump and read some more.
So Alabama's AG has decided to join the multi-state lawsuit against federal health care reform legislation. Spencer Bachus offered a clue as to the main focus of Republican legal strategy:
"The individual mandate to buy insurance is especially troubling. There is no power in the Constitution for the federal government to force people to buy something they don't want to buy," Bachus said.
But as usual, the Party of No doesn't have a leg to stand on. The legal challenge to a mandate will certainly fail, and the reason may surprise you: guns.
In a previous thread a regular LiA commentor tried to make the "both sides do it" argument about the violent, angry, mobs disrupting townhall healthcare meetings, specifically
regarding the *ahem* victim the *cough, cough* attorney who happened to be a witness to the incident. Well check out this open letter to the Attorney in question (pun intended). Be sure and read the comments. I'd also like the expert legal minds/readers at LiA to weigh in. Sorry I don't know how to insert links yet, so just click and read!
You know how conservatives/republicans are anti guvvermint run anything even when in some cases they are running the guvvermint? Check this out, snicker, them comment.
Uh, if you can't take a gun into a courthouse/federal building, the airport or a school building, why can you take them to townhall meetings? Where the heck are the metal detectors? Why aren't people being frisked and searched? Why don't people have to take their shoes off before entering the meeting? Don't they know this is the Wild Wild South, I mean West?
The Supreme Court must not care about black children and black people. Yes I said it. In case regular readers haven't guessed I'm pissed off about the recent Supreme Court ruling reversing the D.C. gun ban. I would like to share some statistics from the Children's Defense Fund.
According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,006 children and teens were killed by firearms in 2005, the first increase since 1994 and the first rise in gun deaths since Congress allowed the Assault Weapons Ban to expire in 2004.
AAPP: "This is one of the most bigoted decisions of the Supreme court. This U.S. Supreme Court has made a calculated decision to continue what many in African American communities across America consider, official U.S. Supreme Court condoned genocide. Thurgood Marshall would have never sat still on this." Where are the national black voices? Silent.
According to the Supreme Court individuals have the right to protect their homes and property and in self defense . John Whites conviction should be over turned. Prometheus6 agrees.
The defendant, John White, raised the nation's history of racist violence in describing why he brandished a gun at a group of angry white teenagers who came to his house on Aug. 9, 2006. White ultimately shot Daniel Cicciaro, 17, in what he said was an accident but a prosecutor said was the result of poor judgment.
Saying White plans to appeal, defense lawyer Fred Brewington called the verdict "disappointing for African Americans" in the area.
"You have to survive in Suffolk County, where people can roll up on your house at 11:30 at night, threaten you, threaten your family, curse at you, call you a [N-word], and you've got to take it," he said.
Johnny and Susie get your guns because guns don't kill people, people do! Huh? Read THIS and weep. Emphasis mine....
In another close decision (5-4) the supremes basically told cities like D.C. and Philadelphia to get over their high murder rates and get their citizens in check. Guns don't kill people, people do. Yeah, but don't they need something to kill each other with? Sorry, I didn't exactly see where it said in the Second Amendment that we have a right to posses a firearm. I thought the Second Amendment was a limitation on the Federal government. Why not give states and local governments the right to regulate the possession of firearms in a way that they think is best for their communities? Hey I am with Justice Stevens on this one: "thesupremes have basically enshrined the common law right of self defense",
MCCAIN: (Chuckling) And I stopped beating my wife just a couple of weeks ago….
Vice Presidential Watch JJP Style: Jack and Jill Politics is having a "Veep watch". I thought we could do the same here at LiA. Here are some of the contenders at JJP:
John Edwards - Four years later. It's not that he would even bring North Carolina, but in all the polls where they actually test out VP choices, he always, in the swing states, helps Obama by four or five points. If he maintains with the voice he found this time around, he would be an effective attacker against the GOP.
Ed Rendell - Pennsylvania. He proved that a Democrat could win. He's Jewish. On a personal front, I'm not down with anyone who ACTIVELY RACEBAITED with Hillary to be even considered.
Evan Bayh - My problems with him are the same as Rendell. While he didn't racebait, he was trying to cash in during ' Bittergate', accusing Obama of being elitist. I just thought the patent absurdity of Evan Bayh, who got NOTHING in his life without being helped by being Birch Bayh's Boy. He's been riding his Daddy's coattails every chance he got, and had the NERVE to accuse Obama of being an elitist. Plus, the latest polls from Indiana have Obama well within the margin of error, so why would he need Bayh. If Obama wants boring and safe, then Bayh is his guy.
Joe Biden -The way that Biden's been speaking up, he's been interviewing by being a good pitbull. He definitely shores up the foreign policy experience 'gap'. On the downside, Biden's been there in the Senate for 'forever', and while that might not be ' change', it would mean ' stability' and 'reassurance'.
Tim Kaine - Governor. Popular. Obama contemporary. Would mean a true generational shift. Roman Catholic and Pro-life (THIS could be the sticking point, i.e. judges), married to an equally accomplished woman. Kaine's endorsement was among the first from a state-wide elected officials outside of Illinois to endorse Obama for the Democratic Nomination.
I don't know what to say about Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (Republican). Yesterday he signed a chemical castrastion bill for child molesters and today he signed a bill allowing creationism to be taught in public schools. I hope they don't have another hurricane or levee break in Louisisana anytime soon. It's no telling how this guy would handle it.
Jindal ignored those calling for a veto and this week signed the law that will allow local school boards to approve supplemental materials for public school science classes as they discuss evolution, cloning and global warming.
GOP candidates on the ballot in November must show "deep empathy towards the voters" and rely on local rather than national issues, according to the report, ordered by party leaders after the loss of formerly safe seats in Illinois, Louisiana and Mississippi that stunned the rank and file.
Note to our resident right winger and fellow Blogger Brian: Did you read the part about relying on "local rather than national issues"? All Politics are local.
Continuing a pattern of ignoringdevelopments in the ongoing investigation into the firing of several U.S. attorneys, none of the broadcast networks' June 24 or 25 evening newscasts reported on the Justice Department Inspector General's findings of politicization of hiring practices in several of the department's recruiting programs.