- The Maddow Blog – Stupid is as stupid does — by Steve Benen
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who uses Twitter far more than most elected politicians, published a curious message over the weekend.
To translate the abbreviations, the Iowa Republican said that his constituents asked why he’s not outraged at President Obama’s attack on the Supreme Court’s independence. Grassley responded to these questions by telling constituents that the American people are “not as stupid as this ex-professor of constitutional law.”
Grassley’s Senate office later confirmed that the tweet came from the senator himself — his account was not hacked by someone trying to make Grassley look foolish — and a spokesperson said the senator believes the president doesn’t “understand Marbury v Madison.”
The general response to this over the weekend was to use Grassley’s comments as another example of the toxicity that permeates the political discourse. There’s certainly some truth to this — 30-year veterans of the U.S. Senate traditionally conduct themselves with more dignity and stature than Grassley chooses to show, and his tweet calling the president “stupid” is a reminder about the overall demise of “statesmanship” in the Republican Party.
But there’s more to this. Intemperate rhetoric from a classless senator matters, but what matters more is the substance behind his rhetoric. Grassley is a crude politician, but the larger significance of this is that he has no idea what he’s talking about.
First, as a factual matter, Obama didn’t attack the Supreme Court’s independence, and he never failed to understand judicial review. This is simply ridiculous, as Grassley and his press office likely realize — all one has to do is read what the president actually said.
But the larger point to this is that Grassley has a lot of nerve questioning the intellect of others as part of the debate over health care. [read the rest of Steve’s post…]
- Rachel Maddow: Maddow: Sen. Murkowski gets what GOP does not
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- Only the Most Dangerous Weapons Will Be Allowed at GOP Convention — Daily Intel
In the interest of public safety, the city of Tampa has temporarily banned the presence of “clubs, hatchets, switchblades, pepper spray, slingshots, chains, shovels, and all manner of guns that shoot water, paint, or air” in its downtown area during the GOP convention this August. Guns that shoot bullets, though? Still okay.
- The Law of the Gun in Florida – NYTimes.com
…The City Council is sensibly preparing tight security precautions for the downtown area by temporarily banning clubs, hatchets, switchblades, pepper spray, slingshots, chains, shovels and all manner of guns that shoot water, paint or air.
But not handguns that shoot actual bullets. In other words, someone outside the convention hall will be entitled to pack a handgun, but not a squirt gun.
- Infographic: President Obama’s Judicial Nominees | The White House
- Local Fox affiliate calls neo-Nazi org a ‘civil rights group’ | The Raw Story
- The Gullible Center – NYTimes.com
So, can we talk about the Paul Ryan phenomenon?
And yes, I mean the phenomenon, not the man. Mr. Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and the principal author of the last two Congressional Republican budget proposals, isn’t especially interesting. He’s a garden-variety modern G.O.P. extremist, an Ayn Rand devotee who believes that the answer to all problems is to cut taxes on the rich and slash benefits for the poor and middle class.
No, what’s interesting is the cult that has grown up around Mr. Ryan — and in particular the way self-proclaimed centrists elevated him into an icon of fiscal responsibility, and even now can’t seem to let go of their fantasy.
The Ryan cult was very much on display last week, after President Obama said the obvious: the latest Republican budget proposal, a proposal that Mitt Romney has avidly embraced, is a “Trojan horse” — that is, it is essentially a fraud. “Disguised as deficit reduction plans, it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country.”
- I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave | Mother Jones
- The Libertarian Argument – YouTube
First: My apologies for slipping off the map. I was assigned to run a workshop at AACR at the last minute, and I’m uploading this from my hotel in Chicago (at AACR2012). It’s been the busiest month of my life with the house going on the market, a new project and new position at work, and AACR on top of it all. For those of you who are curious about why I missed the Reason Rally, it’s because my daughter’s birthday was on the same day, and I’m a father first and foremost. Sorry to have missed it. I should be back at 100% very soon.
Let’s see who can be the first to misinterpret this video to be advocating for a totalitarian state with no personal liberty! Winner gets a free “Slippery Slope-n-Slide”*
I’m not interested in criticizing the “Big L” party because they provide a small minority of people with a voice and they provide a useful counterpoint to the two-party system. This video is strictly about the misuse of “the government has no right to tell me to…” argument. “We, the people”, have a right to act when one person’s choices affect the rest of us. It’s easy to miss the subtle externalities that come from living in a complex and interdependent society.
Other topics where there is clearly a conflict between personal liberty and the best interests of the society:
1. Vaccine refusal
2. Extreme sports
3. Unlicensed medical practices
4. Religious tax exemptions
5. Recreational drug use
*offer not valid on planet Earth
The Culture Wars