Jul 12 2018

Pondering the Pundits

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

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Margaret Carlson: Trump to Children: Get Lost

On his way to Marine One, the president blew the White House PR offensive trying to protect him from the consequences of his disastrous zero-tolerance immigration policy by pretending the lost babies are an unintended consequence of enforcing an otherwise valid immigration policy, not the purpose of it.

Refusing to acknowledge problems in reuniting families, Trump revealed why he tore them apart in the first place: as a deterrent, and don’t forget it.“Tell people not to come to our country illegally,” he shouted as he headed off to Europe to slap down our NATO allies and backslap our Russian enemy. “That’s the solution. Don’t come to our country illegally.”

In fact, it’s not asylum seekers acting illegally. It’s Trump with his disgraceful violation of the Refugee Act of 1980, which codified America’s long practice of offering asylum to those facing persecution and death in their home countries.

Max Boot: I hardly questioned American exceptionalism. Soccer changed that.I hardly questioned American exceptionalism. Soccer changed that.

I have had a change of heart about one of my deepest and longest-held beliefs. No, I’m not referring to my view of the GOP, a party I belonged to my entire adult life until the election of President Trump. Even before I was a Republican, I was a soccer skeptic. [..]

I couldn’t fathom how foreigners could be in thrall to such a tedious game. This confirmed my American chauvinism. I assumed that, as the greatest country in the world, we must have the greatest sports. It never occurred to me there was anything hubristic about using the term “World Series” for a contest in which only U.S. competitors (plus one token Canadian team) take part, while disdaining the true World Cup. [..]

By learning to appreciate soccer, I have also learned to appreciate the limits of American exceptionalism. Yes, we are a great nation, but that doesn’t mean that it’s our way or the highway. In fact, we become even greater if we learn to treasure the customs and attitudes of other lands. I suppose, in the end, my change of heart about sports is related to my change of heart about politics. In both fields I eschew the Trump Doctrine: “We’re America, b—-.” No, we’re part of the world.

Dana Milbank: Look what crawled out from under Trump’s rock

Behold, a new breed of Republican for the Trump era.

Seth Grossman won the Republican primary last month for a competitive House seat in New Jersey, running on the message “Support Trump/Make America Great Again.” The National Republican Congressional Committee endorsed him.

Then, a video surfaced, courtesy of American Bridge, a Democratic PAC, of Grossman saying “the whole idea of diversity is a bunch of crap.” Grossman then proclaimed diversity “evil.” CNN uncovered previous instances of Grossman calling Kwanzaa a “phony holiday” created by “black racists,” labeling Islam a cancer and saying faithful Muslims cannot be good Americans.

Grossman gave an interview claiming that he supports diversity in part because he likes “to go to Chinese restaurants.” He called the oppression of African Americans “exaggerated.” And this week, the liberal group Media Matters found that Grossman had previously posted a link on Facebook to a white-nationalist website’s piece claiming black people “are a threat to all who cross their paths.”

After weeks of delay, the NRCC finally withdrew its nomination.

Karen Tumulty: Where the real fight over abortion will take place

In Rhode Island, Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat running for a second term, has called for a special legislative session to codify abortion rights into state law.

In Wisconsin, former state representative Kelda Roys, battling in a crowded Democratic gubernatorial primary, has declared that if federal protection of abortion rights is eliminated, she would pardon anyone charged with violating the state’s 169-year-old law criminalizing the procedure.

In Florida, ex-congresswoman Gwen Graham, in a five-way contest for the Democratic nomination for governor, has put reproductive freedom front and center in her campaign, saying she would veto any legislation that restricts abortion — and not-so-subtly reminding voters that she is the only female candidate of either party in the race.

Most of the attention surrounding the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh has focused on the fireworks taking place in the Senate.

But the truth is, Republicans probably will have the votes they need to confirm a stalwart originalist from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and give the high court a sharper rightward tilt. That means big consequences outside Washington, where the politics of this Supreme Court choice are heating up the governors’ races underway this year in 36 states.

“This is an issue for all of us, and the states are obviously where the action is,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown , who is up for reelection. She has blasted her GOP opponent, state Rep. Knute Buehler, for saying that “abortion in this country is mostly settled as a legal matter.”

Not anymore.

Michael Daly: Brett Kavanaugh Said Banning Assault Rifles Would Be Like Banning Speech

If you hear cheers coming from the NRA, that is because President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court has flatly declared that an assault rifle ban is unconstitutional.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh has even gone so far as to contend that banning assault rifles would be akin to violating one of our most fundamental rights.

“A ban on a class of arms is not an ‘incidental’ regulation,” he wrote in 2011 dissenting opinion as a judge on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. “It is equivalent to a ban on a category of speech.”

The case, known as Heller II, sprang from The District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down Washington, D.C.’s blanket ban on handguns in the home.

Gun-rights people sought to extend the ruling to assault weapons. The majority of the Court of Appeals upheld the assault-weapons ban. Kavanaugh was one of two appeals court judges who disagreed.

“In Heller, the Supreme Court held that handguns—the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic—are Constitutionally protected because they have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens,” he wrote. “There is no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semiautomatic handguns and semiautomatic rifles.”

As The Daily Beast noted after a previous mass shooting, a distinction between semi-automatic handguns and assault rifles is established by a law of another kind, this one a general law of physics:

K.E. = 1/2MV²