Tag: TMC Politics

Federal Judge Blocks Part of AZ Immigration Law: Up Date x 3

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton has placed an injunction some of the most controversial parts of the Arizona Immigration Law stating that they are likely to be held unconstitutional. The judge has blocked sections that

– Require a police officer to make a reasonable attempt to check the immigration status of those they have stopped;

– Making it a violation of Arizona law for anyone not a citizen to fail to carry documentation;

– Creating a new state crime for trying to secure work while not a legal resident;

– Allowing police to make warrantless arrests if there is a belief the person has committed an offense that allows them to be removed from the United States.

“There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens under the new (law),” Bolton ruled. “By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a ‘distinct, unusual and extraordinary’ burden on legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose.”

Judge Bolton ruled only on the lawsuit brought by the Justice Department. There are seven other lawsuits.

Here is the link via Scribd to the ruling.

h/t to TPM and AMERICA blog

Up Date: Judge Bolton’s decision is based on the the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.

The Supremacy Clause is a clause in the United States Constitution, Article VI, Clause 2. This clause asserts and establishes the Constitution, the federal laws made in pursuance of the Constitution, and treaties made by the United States with foreign nations as “the Supreme Law of the Land” (using modern capitalization). The text of Article VI, Clause 2, establishes these as the highest form of law in the American legal system, both in the Federal courts  and in all of the State courts, mandating that all state judges shall uphold them, even if there are state laws or state constitutions that conflict with the powers of the Federal government. (Note that the word “shall” is used here and in the language of the law, which makes it a necessity, a compulsion.)

The text of the Supremacy Clause

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The VA Eases the Rules on Medical Marijuana Use: Up Dated x 2

VA doctors still can’t prescribe marijuana but the patients in the 14 states where it is legal, no longer have to fear losing their VA benefits if the are found using marijuana. Certainly a step in the right direction for many patients.

V.A. Easing Rules for Users of Medical Marijuana

DENVER – The Department of Veterans Affairs will formally allow patients treated at its hospitals and clinics to use medical marijuana in states where it is legal, a policy clarification that veterans have sought for several years.

A department directive, expected to take effect next week, resolves the conflict in veterans facilities between federal law, which outlaws marijuana, and the 14 states that allow medicinal use of the drug, effectively deferring to the states.


Veterans, some of whom have been at the forefront of the medical marijuana movement, praised the new policy. They say cannabis helps sooth physical and psychological pain and can alleviate the side effects of some treatments.

“By creating a directive on medical marijuana, the V.A. ensures that throughout its vast hospital network, it will be well understood that legal medical marijuana use will not be the basis for the denial of services,” Mr. Krawitz said.

Many clinicians already prescribe pain medication to veterans who use medical marijuana for pain management, as there was no rule explicitly prohibiting them from doing so, despite the federal marijuana laws.


Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project, which favors the legal regulation of the drug, called the decision historic. “We now have a branch of the federal government accepting marijuana as a legal medicine,” he said.

But Mr. Fox said he wished the policy had been extended to veterans who lived in states where medical marijuana was not legal.

Mr. Fox said it was critical that the veterans department make clear its guidelines on medical marijuana to patients and medical staff members, something officials said they planned on doing in coming weeks.

What Keith Said

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Does White House Economic Team Have a Woman Problem?

It is fairly evident by now that the White House and the Treasury have been pushed into a corner and will have to nominate, or possibly appoint, Elizabeth Warren, currently the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to investigate the U.S. banking bailout (TARP), to be the head of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While she is eminently qualified and was the inspiration for the creation of the new agency, what is their objection? The Treasury Department and the President’s Council of Economic Advisors is a an “Old Boys’ Club” headed by an out right sexist, misogynist, Larry Summers and a closet one, Timothy Geithner. While Geithner has not out right said he opposes Warren, his statement that she was qualified was not a “bell ringer”.

As pointed out by Amy Siskind at the Post this is not Geithner’s “first clash with women in power”

One of his first acts in the role of Treasury Secretary was to attempt to push out FDIC Chairwoman Shelia Bair. As Rep. Barney Frank observed: “I think part of the problem now, to be honest, is Sheila Bair has annoyed the ‘old boys’ club…we have several regulators up in the tree house with a ‘no girls allowed’ sign…”

Geithner’s inability to respectfully interact with women in positions of power was further in evidence when he was questioned in April by the Congressional Oversight Panel. Warren rightfully asked Geithner about AIG’s funneling billions of taxpayers’ dollars to Goldman Sachs: Do you know where the money went? Geithner could barely conceal his disdain: watch his angry, condescending response here.


Pres. Obama, Rehire Shirley Sherrod

What is the Obama administration doing? I can’t believe that Secretary of Agriculture, Thomas Vilsack, demanded a resignation from Shirley Sherrod, an Agriculture Department appointee in Georgia,  based on a video from a statement made 25 years ago that was edited by Andrew Breitbart’s cronies to look like Ms, Sherrod is a racist. Now, even though the whole affair has been exposed as phony, Vilsack is refusing to rehire her, at least, according to the White House, who is saying it is totally his call.

What digby says:

“Her decision ‘rightly or wrongly” will be called into question” because some right wing hitman put out an edited tape that makes her sound as if her point is the opposite of what it is, so she had to be fired.

They are telling wingnuts everywhere that all they have to do is gin up a phony controversy (especially about a black person, apparently) and the administration will fire them so as not to shake confidence that they are “fair service providers.”

This is sheer cowardice.

Even the NAACP has admitted they were “Snookered”:

With regard to the initial media coverage of the resignation of USDA Official Shirley Sherrod, we have come to the conclusion we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias.

Having reviewed the full tape, spoken to Ms. Sherrod, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans.


Next time we are confronted by a racial controversy broken by Fox News or their allies in the Tea Party like Mr. Breitbart, we will consider the source and be more deliberate in responding. The tape of Ms. Sherrod’s speech at an NAACP banquet was deliberately edited to create a false impression of racial bias, and to create a controversy where none existed. This just shows the lengths to which extremist elements will go to discredit legitimate opposition.

According to the USDA, Sherrod’s statements prompted her dismissal. While we understand why Secretary Vilsack believes this false controversy will impede her ability to function in the role, we urge him to reconsider.

Pres. Obama, tell Secretary Vilsak to immediately rehire Ms. Sherrod.


Alan Grayson: “May God Have Mercy on Your Souls”: Up Date

They have “souls”?

“The Republicans are thinking, why don’t they just sell some of their stock? If they’re in really dire straits maybe they can take some of their art collection and send it to the auctioneer. And if they’re in deep deep trouble maybe the unemployed can sell one of their yachts. That’s what the Republicans are thinking right now. But that’s not the life of ordinary people…”


“I will say to the Republicans who have blocked this bill for months, to those who have kept food out of the mouths of children, I will say to them now, may God have mercy on your souls”

h/t Blue Texan @ FDL and digby

Obama Bans Abortions for High Risk Pool Women: Up Date

Yes, our Progressive, Democratic President who was elected on Democratic Platform that supports a woman’s right to choose has banned abortion to women who buy into the “high risk” health care insurance pool. That is if they are lucky enough to qualify, afford or be accepted into that pool.

From RHRealitycheck:

Obama Administration Applies Stupak Amendment to High Risk Pools

This week, a commotion  arose over the question of whether Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans, also known as high risk pools, can include abortion coverage.  The Obama Administration responded immediately by imposing a total ban on abortion coverage in the pools that echoes the Stupak Amendment, even though nothing in the law requires such action.

PCIPs are temporary health insurance pools that states or the federal government must establish or expand in every state to cover people who do not currently qualify for individual health insurance because of a preexisting condition.  PCIP coverage will expire in 2014 when enrollees become eligible for the new health insurance exchanges that will become operational that year.  PCIPs will be funded with a combination of federal, state, and private money.

Women entering these plans are, by definition, those who have experienced serious medical conditions-so serious that insurers are unwilling to sell them insurance.  In other words, those who get pregnant are already at a heightened risk for needing an abortion for health reasons when compared to the general population.

There is noting in the health care bill that was passed to put such a restriction on women.

From the ACLU press release on this:


Even using their own private funds, individuals would not be able to buy policies that cover abortion in these pools. The only exemptions would reportedly be for women who have been raped, who are the victims of incest or who will likely die if they carry the pregnancy to term.

Is This Site About Politics?

I was asked that very question late last night. The answer is yes, very much so. We are a very “hard”, left leaning blog but willing to entertain many points of view. Just be prepared to defend whatever you write. We are democratic in that sense.

We like people like Glen Greenwald, Sirota, digby, Jane Hamsher, Atrios and even occasionally, Armando (BigTentDemocrat).

We support sites like Corrente, Feministing and Think Progress among others.

We encourage you to read the sites that are to the right of us like Open Left, Booman Tribune and Balloon Juice for perspective.

We support our friends’ blogs, too. Edger’s Antemedius, RiaD’s Firefly Dreaming and davidseth’s The Dream Antilles.

We will be up dating our blog roll to reflect not just the views of the site but to include others that though they may not fit our mission to move the Overton Window left but are well written and thought provoking.

We want to hear what you think in diaries and in comments. Don’t be shy because we know you’re not. Speak up, be heard. We want to hear you

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