03/06/2011 archive

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

Now with 36 Top Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Clashes as Libya rebels deny counter-offensive report

by Samer al-Atrush, AFP

25 mins ago

LANUF, Libya (AFP) – An onslaught by Moamer Kadhafi’s army sparked UN calls for urgent access to the “injured and dying” on Sunday as a secret British mission to contact opposition forces ended in a diplomatic fiasco.

Rebel forces traded rocket and machine-gun fire with the army as they tried to advance westwards on the Kadhafi stronghold of Sirte, but were beaten back along a dusty desert highway after suffering heavy losses.

The rebels said they had been forced to pull back from the coastal hamlet of Bin Jawad, occupied on Saturday in an advance westward on Kadhafi’s home town, after clashes that doctors said left two dead and around 50 wounded.

Rant of the Week: The Funnies

The last segment of this past Friday’s “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell had a collection of comments, cartoons and skits from comedians who put the top news stories into perspective.

The Week in Late Night Laughs

Top comment goes to Robin Williams for his take on Charlie Sheen’s antics:

When he did rehab at home, that’s like a self administered colostomy

March Meta Madness

Starting on the 15th I’m going to be liveblogging the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments.

Not to get whiny on you, but events like that suck a lot of energy and I’m already quite busy as you can see.

Ideally I’d like someone, or several someones, to step forward and take over some of the easier but more time consuming tasks.

Prime Time in particular takes way too long.  It’s not so much the links (though it typically has just as many as any Evening Edition), it’s finding the quotes.  After making the list I look at the movies (or shows in some cases) for ones I’m familiar with and know have some quotable moments.  After that it’s Google |imdb (film here) quote| which usually turns up the Internet Movie Database quote page and then slugging through them to find something funny or appropriate (not always the same thing).

You can waste a lot of time doing that.

Back in the deep dark mists of 8 months ago when TheMomCat and I were setting up The Stars Hollow Gazette my concept was that we needed content in the overnight period that would remain kind of current and self updating, and provide something of depth and interest (if you click the damn links) for the reader.  I think it’s certainly served that purpose admirably.

Now, of course, I have the daily digests from DocuDharma and firefly dreaming to extend our broadcast day and it’s not quite as critical as it was.

On some levels it’s really instructive to do.  I’m not really a Nexflix type and what I like about cable is that sometimes it presents you with something fresh and interesting that you wouldn’t have thought that you’d like.  Reading the links as I harvested has informed me of things about old favorites I didn’t know.  Sometimes I wish I was able to devote even more time to it.

But it doesn’t have to be done the way I do it either.  Let’s say you were a big fan of (shudder) American Idol and you wanted to do a series of liveblogs.  Well, that’s an ok direction I guess.  So would the Magnifico less is more approach.  At the very least I’d expect you might consider more closely the networks you like and find reliable sources of mindless blogging background noise entertainment.

In any event now is the time to organize for the future and that future includes my customary June “vacation” where I take constant mudbaths at my spa and the Internet is mostly unavailable.  What I’d like to do is transition to a system of rotating responsibility like we used to have with Overnight News Digest and What’s for Dinner.

So, play in on the 15th, if you want alternative programming you’ll have to make your own fun or click the links.

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

On This Day in History March 6

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

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

March 6 is the 65th day of the year (66th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 300 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1857, the US Supreme Court hands down its decision on Sanford v. Dred Scott, a case that intensified national divisions over the issue of slavery.

Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), was a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves (or their descendants, whether or not they were slaves) were not protected by the Constitution and could never be U.S. citizens. The court also held that the U.S. Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories and that, because slaves were not citizens, they could not sue in court. Furthermore, the Court ruled that slaves, as chattels or private property, could not be taken away from their owners without due process. The Supreme Court’s decision was written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney.

Although the Supreme Court has never overruled the Dred Scott case, the Court stated in the Slaughter-House Cases of 1873 that at least one part of it had already been overruled by the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868:

   The first observation we have to make on this clause is, that it puts at rest both the questions which we stated to have been the subject of differences of opinion. It declares that persons may be citizens of the United States without regard to their citizenship of a particular State, and it overturns the Dred Scott decision by making all persons born within the United States and subject to its jurisdiction citizens of the United States.

The Decision

The Supreme Court ruling was handed down on March 6, 1857, just two days after Buchanan’s inauguration. Chief Justice Taney delivered the opinion of the Court, with each of the concurring and dissenting Justices filing separate opinions. In total, six Justices agreed with the ruling; Samuel Nelson concurred with the ruling but not its reasoning, and Benjamin R. Curtis and John McLean dissented. The court misspelled Sanford’s name in the decision.

Opinion of the Court

The Court first had to decide whether it had jurisdiction. Article III, Section 2, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution provides that “the judicial Power shall extend… to Controversies… between Citizens of different States….” The Court held that Scott was not a “citizen of a state” within the meaning of the United States Constitution, as that term was understood at the time the Constitution was adopted, and therefore not able to bring suit in federal court. Furthermore, whether a person is a citizen of a state, for Article III purposes, was a question to be decided by the federal courts irrespective of any state’s definition of “citizen” under its own law.

Thus, whether Missouri recognized Scott as a citizen was irrelevant. Taney summed up,

   Consequently, no State, since the adoption of the Constitution, can by naturalizing an alien invest him with the rights and privileges secured to a citizen of a State under the Federal Government, although, so far as the State alone was concerned, he would undoubtedly be entitled to the rights of a citizen, and clothed with all the rights and immunities which the Constitution and laws of the State attached to that character.

This meant that

   no State can, by any act or law of its own, passed since the adoption of the Constitution, introduce a new member into the political community created by the Constitution of the United States.

The only relevant question, therefore, was whether, at the time the Constitution was ratified, Scott could have been considered a citizen of any state within the meaning of Article III. According to the Court, the authors of the Constitution had viewed all blacks as

   beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.

The Court also presented a parade of horribles argument as to the feared results of granting Mr. Scott’s petition:

   It would give to persons of the negro race, …the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, …the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went.

Scott was not a citizen of Missouri, and the federal courts therefore lacked jurisdiction to hear the dispute.

Despite the conclusion that the Court lacked jurisdiction, however, it went on to hold (in what Republicans would label its “obiter dictum”) that Scott was not a free man, even though he had resided for a time in Minnesota (then called the Wisconsin Territory). The Court held that the provisions of the Missouri Compromise declaring it to be free territory were beyond Congress’s power to enact. The Court rested its decision on the grounds that Congress’s power to acquire territories and create governments within those territories was limited. They held that the Fifth Amendment barred any law that would deprive a slaveholder of his property, such as his slaves, because he had brought them into a free territory. The Court went on to state – although the issue was not before the Court – that the territorial legislatures had no power to ban slavery. The ruling also asserted that neither slaves “nor their descendants, were embraced in any of the other provisions of the Constitution” that protected non-citizens.

This was only the second time in United States history that the Supreme Court had found an act of Congress to be unconstitutional. (The first time was 54 years earlier in Marbury v. Madison).

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Ms. Amanpour will have an exclusive interview with Sen. John McCain about the revolt in Libya and why he thinks a “no-fly” zone should be enforced. Also a discussion withe guests Daily Beast and Newsweek Editor in Chief Tina Brown, Egyptian writer and activist Dr. Nawal El Saadawi, Zainab Salbi of Women to Women International and Sussan Tahmadebi of the International Civil Society Action Network for Women’s Rights, Peace and Security who will discuss how women are changing the Muslim world.

ABC News anchors Diane Sawyer, David Muir and Sharyn Alfonsi will discuss jobs and manufacturing in the US. The publisher and real-estate magnate Mort Zuckerman, Chrystia Freeland of Reuters and United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard will discuss how America can generate more jobs in a competitive global economy.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer:Mr, Schieffer’s guests are Sen. Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader (R-KY), Sen. John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (D-MA) and Tom Friedman, New York Times columnist.

The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests are Katty Kay, BBC Washington Correspondent, Rick Stengel, TIME Managing Editor, Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post Senior Political Editor and Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC Chief Washington Correspondent who will discuss these questions:

Is America Still Number One?

Will Establishment Republican Hopefuls For 2012 Pander To The Far Right?

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Mr. Gregory has two exclusive interviews with White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). The round table guests will be Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and New York Times columnist and author of the new book “The Social Animal,” David Brooks.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Sunday’s guests will include Stephen Hadley, the former U.S. National Security Adviser, and Dr. Ali Errishi, the former Libyan Immigration Minister to discuss Libya. Also, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) looking at potential 2012 contenders for the White House. Finally, Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has planned hearings on the radicalization of Muslims in America. He’ll join us to explain what he’s hoping to learn. Also joining us will be Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress.

Fareed Zakaris: GPS: The schedule for this Sunday was not available at the time this diary was published.

The other Pundits are below the fold

Six In The Morning

The Nerve Center of the Libyan Revolution

A Courthouse in Benghazi


By Clemens Höges in Benghazi, Libya  

The old general is crying, his cheeks trembling. His eyes are red from weeping. Then he buries his face in his hands. Brigadier General Abdulhadi Arafa is one of the most powerful men in Benghazi, in the entire rebel-held eastern part of Libya, in fact. The 64-year-old officer commands 2,000 members of a special-forces unit. And he did everything right a week and a half ago when, after 41 years of service, he decided to refuse to obey Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

When the revolt began, he ordered his officers to stay in their barracks, lock the gates and not take any action against the protesters. Their men were not to shoot at anyone unless they were shot at themselves.

DocuDharma Digest

Regular Features-

Featured Essays for March 5, 2011-


Supporting Wisconsin: Michael Moore Marches with Workers

This is not just about the rights of workers to bargain but it is a class war that, as Michael Moore says, was started 30 years ago by Ronald Reagan. It is civil and human rights issue as well.

‘America Is NOT Broke’: Michael Moore Speaks in Madison, WI — March 5, 2011

Tens of Thousands Cheer Michael Moore in Madison: “You Have Aroused a Sleeping Giant, Known as the Working People”

by John Nichols

Filmmaker Michael Moore marched with members of Madison Firefighters Local 311 to the Wisconsin Capitol Saturday and delivered a old-school progressive populist address is which he told a crowd numbering in the tens of thousands that: “Wisconsin is not broke. America is not broke.”

“The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just not in your hands,” he told the Wisconsinites who rallied to challenge the claim that the state needs to strip public employees and their teachers of collective bargaining rights in order to balance budgets.

Moore ripped apart Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s claim, made repeatedly in recent weeks, that the state is broke.

“Never forget the three biggest lies of the past ten years,” Moore said. “Number one: America is broke. Number two: there are weapons of mass destruction. Number three: The Packers can’t win the Super Bowl Without Brett Farve.”

Laura Flanders of GRITtv interviewed Mr. Moore this past week.

People Still Have The Power

Today’s Heroes: The Wisconsin 14
by Richard Trumka

For anyone who still thinks the inspiring actions in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana are just about public employees in those states, here’s a moving dose of reality.

People in every walk of life and every part of the country — even other countries — are expressing heartfelt gratitude to the 14 Democratic state senators who left Wisconsin Feb. 17 rather than allow Gov. Scott Walker to pass a sham budget bill taking from state and local workers the right to bargain for good middle-class jobs.

Gov. Walker and state Republicans may be sending them $100-a-day fines and arrest warrants, but take a look at some Facebook and phone messages real people are sending the brave Wisconsin 14

Prime Time

College Hoopies, Duke @ North Carolina.  Another miserable remake.  Austin City Limits has Aimee Mann and Iron & Wine.

Look, if you have a clumsy child, you make him wear a helmet. If you have death-prone children, you keep a few clones of them in your lab.

I guess he had it coming.

We all have it coming.



Mr. Wuncler, ya know, yesterday I thought this was cute, but, don’t you think you guys are taking this a little far?

Jazmine can leave whenever she wants, but Sammy Davis, Jr. the Pony will have to be put down.


He’s your pony now. Your percentage was supposed to pay for his food and upkeep. Now he’ll starve to death in a puddle of his own feces.

SNLMiley Cyrus (ugh) and The Strokes

BoondocksThe Block is Hot.  The Venture BrothersPowerless in the Face of Death

But, sanity eventually returned, and when it does, you better have your coat.

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings