07/30/2010 archive

Punting the Pundits

Punting the Pundits is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Eugene Robinson: In the short term, immigration ruling is a gift for the GOP

Christmas came early for demagogues. The court decision  putting a hold on the worst provisions of Arizona’s new anti-Latino immigration law is a gift-wrapped present to those who delight in turning truth, justice and the American way into political liabilities.

As surely everyone knows by now, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday blocking the state from enforcing parts of the law that look patently unconstitutional. The political fallout is pretty clear: In the short run, at least, Republicans win and Democrats lose.

Longer term, the impact of the immigration issue on the major parties’ prospects is the other way around. But the focus now is on winning in November, and the GOP is licking its chops.

Paul Krugman: Curbing Your Enthusiasm

Why does the Obama administration keep looking for love in all the wrong places? Why does it go out of its way to alienate its friends, while wooing people who will never waver in their hatred?

These questions were inspired by the ongoing suspense over whether President Obama will do the obviously right thing and nominate Elizabeth Warren to lead the new consumer financial protection agency. But the Warren affair is only the latest chapter in an ongoing saga.

Mr. Obama rode into office on a vast wave of progressive enthusiasm. This enthusiasm was bound to be followed by disappointment, and not just because the president was always more centrist and conventional than his fervent supporters imagined. Given the facts of politics, and above all the difficulty of getting anything done in the face of lock step Republican opposition, he wasn’t going to be the transformational figure some envisioned.

On This Day in History: July 30

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour a cup of your favorite morning beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare, a health insurance program for elderly Americans, into law. At the bill-signing ceremony, which took place at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, former President Harry S. Truman was enrolled as Medicare’s first beneficiary and received the first Medicare card. Johnson wanted to recognize Truman, who, in 1945, had become the first president to propose national health insurance, an initiative that was opposed at the time by Congress.

The Medicare program, providing hospital and medical insurance for Americans age 65 or older, was signed into law as an amendment to the Social Security Act of 1935. Some 19 million people enrolled in Medicare when it went into effect in 1966. In 1972, eligibility for the program was extended to Americans under 65 with certain disabilities and people of all ages with permanent kidney disease requiring dialysis or transplant. In December 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), which added outpatient prescription drug benefits to Medicare.

Crank it up

Behind The Wheel

I’m Comin’ Out Today — As A Thirteenther!

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!!  Do I have a FANTASTIC topic for your next Teabagger rally:

Iowa GOP jumps on the ‘Thirteenther’ bandwagon

A provision in the Republican Party of Iowa’s platform calling for the “reintroduction and ratification of the original 13th Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution got some national attention this week, with the party’s spokesman admitting the plank is focused solely on Barack Obama.

The current 13th amendment bans slavery, and Iowa Republicans are not in favor of its repeal. They are, however, interested in reintroducing an amendment originally put before the states for ratification back in 1810. It outlawed any person who accepts a “title of nobility” from a foreign country from ever holding political office.

Does that bring to mind a certain President who flew to Sweden to accept a Nobel Peace Prize that he didn’t earn?  Hmmmm?  (oh, wait . . . it already said it was about Obama?  That just blows my suspense buildin’ all to heck!)

I know it’s confusing (well . . . it is to me), so let me help ya out a bit.  Instead of activist congresses bannin’ slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment, here is what the real Thirteenth Amendment, known as the Titles of Nobility Amendment (or TONA) was meant to say way back in 1810 already:

If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain, any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.

Future? There’s a Future?

It’s a hour and 15 minutes. Which is not too far into the future, you say?

But you don’t have to watch it all. Just watch the first 8 or 10 minutes.

You may or may not decide to watch the rest of it, but I’ll bet you will, and you’ll be shortchanging yourself if you don’t.

If you watch the first half hour I’ll buy the drinks. You’ll want one.

Hat tip to Sagebrush Bob

Prime Time

No Keith, Rachel.  The Boys are back in town for their final appearance this week.

You know, it’s not just his ignorance, arrogance, and hypocrisy that puts me off Schwarzenegger, or even his Republicanism; it’s the misogyny of his movies, epitomized by True Lies but equally evident in vehicles like Eraser.

I’ll never watch another one again except under duress.


Dave has Paul Rudd, Bill Burr and Interpol.  Jon has Liev Schreiber, Stephen Andy Cohen.  Alton cooks with alcohol.  Mid-life Chrysalis.

Apparently this is the reward I get for years of screwing with super-science. In short, I pissed in God’s eye, and he blinked.

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Shell defends deep-water oil production, as profits soar

by Ben Perry, AFP

Thu Jul 29, 12:30 pm ET

LONDON (AFP) – Royal Dutch Shell posted soaring profits on Thursday and defended deep-water oil production, arguing it has an “important role” to play despite the Gulf of Mexico disaster that rocked rival BP.

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant reported a 15-percent jump in net profit to 4.39 billion dollars (3.38 billion euros) in the second quarter to June as it slashed costs and raised output.

Shell’s performance contrasts with that of BP, which on Tuesday posted a second-quarter loss of 16.9 billion dollars — the biggest-ever quarterly loss for a British company — after the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill.