Posts Tagged ‘Al Franken’
* The health care bill the president just signed into law includes a 10 percent tax on all indoor tanning sessions starting July 1st, and I say, who uses tanning? Is it dark-skinned people? I don’t think so. I would guess that most tanning sessions are from light-skinned Americans. Why would the President of the United States of America—a man who says he understands racism, a man who has been confronted with racism—why would he sign such a racist law? Why would he agree to do that? Well now I feel the pain of racism. This is a truly exemplary case of what Al Franken calls “kidding on the square.”
* Dahlia Lithwick plays “Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?” In just a few short weeks Cuccinelli has turned himself into the hero of conservative cable news shows, but he’s done it with what can be described only as acts of purely aspirational lawyering. When TV pundits or politicians argue about what the Constitution should say, it’s one thing. But when an attorney general does it, it’s another matter entirely. What Cuccinelli is doing transcends legal activism—with which I have no quarrel—and places him squarely in the world of constitutional yearning. That’s a particularly cynical enterprise for someone who preaches fidelity to the law and Constitution as they are written.
* Responses to Robert Samuelson’s morally obscene claim that “Obama’s behavior resembles a highly indebted family’s taking an expensive round-the-world trip because it claims to have found ways to pay for it. It’s self-indulgent and reckless.” The best is from Ezra Klein:
And before you think this is all about Samuelson, consider that Charles Krauthammer calls coverage “candy.” There’s an absence of empathy here that borders on a clinical disorder…We are a rich, decent society, or so we say. Extending health-care coverage to those who can’t afford it would be worth it even in the absence of cost controls. Health-care insurance is not candy, and it is not an indulgence.
And that’s before you remember that Samuelson supported the Bush tax cuts, which (unlike the Affordable Care Act) perfectly fit his description of an unwise, self-indulgent splurge…
* Perhaps the GOP should have thought its anti-Census rhetoric through: Only 27% of Texas households have returned their census forms, well under the national average.
In Texas, some of the counties with the lowest census return rates are among the state’s most Republican, including Briscoe County in the Panhandle, 8 percent; King County, near Lubbock, 5 percent; Culberson County, near El Paso, 11 percent; and Newton County, in deep East Texas, 18 percent. Most other counties near the bottom of the list are heavily Hispanic counties along the Texas-Mexico border.
Ed O’Keefe says the Census is also particularly concerned about response rates in Alaska, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
* Greece-style debt overload (including accounting malfeasance) is happening in California, New York, and elsewhere. Even President Palin’s beloved Alaska is hard hit; when the former governor unexpectedly quit her job halfway through her first term the state’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 70%, making it the most endebted state in the union. That’s just the sort of fiscal conservatism she’ll bring to the White House.
* And it’s funny sometimes how liberal American politicians suddenly figure out how bad their policies are just as soon as they leave office—but mostly it’s just terrible.
* Building the best lede ever: A self-styled Nevada codebreaker [check] convinced the CIA [check] he could decode secret terrorist targeting information sent through Al Jazeera broadcasts [check], prompting the Bush White House [check] to raise the terror alert level to Orange (high) in December 2003, [check] with Tom Ridge warning of “near-term attacks that could either rival or exceed what we experience on September 11,” [check] according to a new report in Playboy. [and mate]
* Al Franken tries to convince the Kossacks that the health care bill is good. So does Jonathan Cohn. Jane Hamsher’s 10 Reasons to Kill the Senate Bill. Harry Reid, progressive hero? Progressive senators are still grumbling. What could still be sped up. What could still go wrong. Health care winners and losers (and don’t get caught on the wrong side of that line).
* Monster post at MyDD on our broken Senate.
* Good Christians pray for the death of Robert Byrd. Jesus wept.
* It’s only treason when Democrats do it.
* After 20 years, Sen. Whitehouse has finally figured out the Republican Party is not negotiating in good faith.
* Grist considers whether or not climate debt is a workable frame for ecological politics.
* Laredo, Texas, is now the country’s largest book desert.
* Sumerians Look On In Confusion As God Creates World. Via the Onion‘s top ten stories of the last 4.5 billion years, which I think I already linked to once with the dinosaurs story.
Ridiculous, petty, and meaningless as it is, Matt seems to be right that Al Franken’s snub to Joe Lieberman on the Senate floor today is rapidly healing all the blogosphere’s wounds. Dave Weigel has your added dose of minor irony. I’d rather have the Medicare buy-in.
* UNCG (Go Spartans) has opened an important digital archive on American slavery.
* A visibly distraught Senator Alesi casts his “no” vote on marriage equality yesterday in Albany.
* Detroit, Dubai, Dresden, more: cities before and after radical changes.
* Comcast, a company about which I have never heard a single good thing, will buy NBC. Only 30 Rock fans will benefit.
* NPR has a Logicomix preview. I enjoyed the entire novel; check it out.
* Barbara Boxer: Climategate is a criminal matter. Communist!
* The rest of the senators I can mostly do without.
* And Toothpaste for Dinner zeroes in on my particular pathology.
Al Franken’s opening statement from yesterday’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing. About midway through Franken makes our terms clear when he calls out the real judicial activists. Franken oh-twelve?