Friday, 5/31/13, Public Square

Al Franken


by | May 31, 2013 · 6:00 am

33 responses to “Friday, 5/31/13, Public Square

  1. With high profile decisions on affirmative action and gay marriage coming in the weeks ahead, many missed an important Supreme Court decision last week. The decision was a victory for President Obama (and written by Justice Scalia no less)!

    The underlying question was this: If a law is ambiguous, who gets to interpret it? Federal judges or the agency that carries it out? Who interprets the crucial ambiguities in the Affordable Care Act, the Clean Air Act or the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act?

    The divisions within the court defied the usual ideological predictions. In a powerful and convincing opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court’s majority ruled that even when the agency is deciding on the scope of its own authority, it has the power to interpret ambiguities in the law. Scalia was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas.

    The decision empowers regulatory agencies at the expense of the court. It also is a warning to Congress to write clearer laws so that these ambiguities don’t exist.

    Scalia Gives Obamacare a Big Boost

    • Thanks, fnord. I was generally aware the decision would be handed down this term, and flat missed it. Very important; I cannot overstate its importance. Interesting majority (but in the case of Justice Scalia, his opinion for the majority was very consistent with his prior opinions).

    • That maybe true for now, but not so much cheering is due since it also means that when the cause or issue is not one where freedoms are at issue then it will not be the court governed by the laws that will make the distinction.

  2. I was catching up on the end of yesterday’s comments and something RD said reminded me of a funny from yesterday’s news. I just love Joy Reid on MSNBC. I wish they’d give her a show of her own instead of just letting her be a comment tater. Anyway, she was talking about Michele Bachman resigning and she said Louie Gohmert must be saying, “What? Now the job of President of Crazytown is open? Hmmmm….”

    Hahahahaha. He is a worthy successor to Bachman as President of Crazytown. Hope the GOP takes him out next. But I think he’s still a useful tool for them. The are not ready to be rid of him like they were Michele. And, he’s a man, so there is that. They have a lot more tolerance for crazy when it comes from a man. Women? Not so much.

  3. Is this day 98, 99?

    The Kansas House voted 94-18 Thursday night to kill a plan to keep the state sales tax at 6.3 cents while reducing it for groceries to 4.9 percent.

    So the Legislature remains without a budget or a tax plan.

    Read more here:

    • What…..Republicans have NO budget?

      Where is all the outrage from Conservatives and why are there no people with torches tracking this Frankenstein monster?

      I guess it’s okay when the monster is a Republican?

      • After boasting that this year since they finally got rid of the riff-raff RINOs they could finish the session early — yep, no need to even go the full 90 days of a regular legislative session… And what does it cost daily for their overtime session? Is $45,000 per day what I remember?

      • Now – to be fair – I did hear where a handful of Kansas legislators have refused their extra pay.

        But…..why don’t all these loyal and super-patriotic CONservative Republicans do the same.

        Make them put their own skin into this game.

    • Wow. Crazytown is also alive and well in Kansas.

      And, not only do they not have a budget and no end to the session in sight so those costs keep mounting, but think of all the money they will have to spend to defend the blatantly unconstitutional laws they did pass while they were busy not passing a budget.

      And people wonder where their tax money goes? It goes to Crazytown, courtesy of the Republican Party. They are completely unfit to govern.

      • CONS are very good at political speeches at the county fair – but when it comes to actually doing something for the state or country…

        Don’t hold your breath…..

      • They don’t have to be good at legislating because all their constituents expect is for them to be elected instead of someone with a “D” beside their name. All is good in crazytown when the R’s are in office, there aren’t even any complaints from those R voters.

        Here’s a great image I found at the link to the Juanita Jean blog PrairiePond shared:

  4. Speaking of Crazytown. From Crooks and Liars.

    “James Carville, of course.

    “God closes one door for Michelle Bachmann and opens three to Louie Gohmert.”

    And then yesterday, to make it so, Louie says –

    It is clear that the reason for the collapse was due to a collision with the super structure of the bridge – not a lack of structural integrity of the bridge. The bridge would indeed be standing today had the truck’s load NOT rammed the super structure of the bridge.

    In fact, 11 of the 12 sections of the bridge are still standing.

    Hummm … and as Charles Pierce points out, “92 percent of a bridge really isn’t a bridge.”

    No, I believe it would be a diving board.”

    Juanita Jean blogs at The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc.

    If you don’t read Juanita Jean, you are missing out on something special. She represents the Texas I know and love.

  5. Oops, forgot the link to Juanita Jean. She’s the best thing since Molly Ivins. Wish I could write like that. She has a way with words.

  6. Here is a listing of all Kansas Legislators who have refused overtime pay.

    Speaking of crazy town…..look at the comments as to one person actually said that these legislators should take the money rather than to leave it around Washington for Obama to take another trip.

    I pray for the day these TeaPots actually do get an education.

    • I always marveled at the genius behind moving people at the Disney parks — there are arbors and fans to keep the people in line cool and they move along quickly in my estimation. I think I’ll continue to use my energy in different ways than trying to get around rules.

      • I have not been to a theme park in years – but to think there are able-bodied people paying for a disable tour guide is something my mindset could not even comprehend.

        I don’t get people these days… you?

  7. Did anyone else watch Rachel Maddow last night?

    I agree with her 100% – it is going to be a long hot stupid summer.

  8. As long as Fox News and their puppets — the republicans — continue along this line, the majority voters — women — will turn away in disgust. Misogyny… so easy a caveman can do it.

    • You do know where this Neanderthal crappola is coming from – don’t you?

      The more fundamental a religion – the more the male domination seems to be emphasized.

      What I find very laughable is when these Fundy Christians are demonizing the Muslims for how they treat women . WTF

      What alternative universe are these Fundies living in?

      • Doesn’t this remind you of a certain Congressional hearing in which all males were on the panel discussing birth control?

        Isn’t this the same Darrell Issa that kept Sandra Fluke from testifying at the particular hearing that is now the lead Puritan in the ongoing witch hunts we are witnessing today?

        Tell me….just what does Issa do in between these witch hunts?

  9. I wonder if any of those males on the Fox panel have any clue as to why so many women are in the work force?

    Could it be due to the fact that women make less than men – and that makes them more ‘useful’ to the employers who only look at their bottom line and can exploit the cheaper labor.

    Could it be due to the fact that some men just don’t care how they treat their women – and since the Neanderthals have their preachers and priests patting them on their head and telling them that God has commanded they are the master and the woman is the slave – then the women have to take it upon themselves to go out and work to bring home the money to put a roof over the kids head and food in their stomachs.

    Could it be due to the fact that since everything has gone up in price – in a lot of marriages, it takes both adults to work – to just pay the damn bills.

    And then – if they’re lucky – they get health insurance benefits.

    And if are they not lucky – then how the hell can a family premium of at least $500 month going to be paid if the mother does not work…

    I know a lot of women who are only working to get the health insurance.

  10. As usual, Oprah was an inspiring speaker in her Harvard commencement address this week. There are too many brilliant quotes in here to single out. She talks about politics at about the 1/2-way point, mentioning gun control, immigration reform, and social safety nets. The way she ties it all in to her positive message is flawless.

    She quoted a couple who lost their child in the Newtown massacre, David and Francine Wheeler:

    Francine: “I am going to tell them what it’s like to find a conversation about change that is love and I am going to do that without fighting them.”

    David: “You simply cannot demonize or vilify someone who doesn’t agree with you because the minute you do that you discussion is over – we cannot do that any longer.”

    I think that too often we do what David mentions – we call people who disagree with us “evil” or “morons” instead of questioning WHY they think the way they do and how we can find a common ground. Nothing will ever get done on a big scale in the country if we stand on opposite sides of a valley & point fingers & call names.

    • But what if the people we refer to (in my case, Fundy Christians) brag about how they will never compromise?

      How does that one keep themselves from calling these folks morons?

      I am only human……


      • But…..I will try and do better.

      • I think they’re morons too but I agree that no one is going to listen if I begin by insulting them. So when we’re not here where no one comes but us we’ll probably have a better chance of being heard if we look for common ground. 🙂

  11. U.S. gun deaths since Newtown exceed Iraq war deaths

    The number of Americans killed from gun violence since last December’s shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn. has surpassed the total number of U.S. military casualties during the nine-year war in Iraq.

    • I think these NRA supporters are more mad at Michael Bloomberg because he has as much money as the Koch Brothers, Wayne LaPierre and the NRA fat cats.

      I am convinced the best way to get a Conservative Republican p.o.’d is to let him know that money is no object.

      Republicans measure success and everything else in life according to the money one has in some bank account.

      Hurt these folks where they live – in their money wallets.

      And Bloomberg is just the guy to do it…..maybe with the help of George Soros?

  12. As the great Tracy would say, “Pitiful. Just pitiful.”

  13. I was just on the Huffington Post Blog about the highest unemployment rate in the Eurozone has just hit 22 ? (I think that was the number)

    There are CONS on there actually trying to say that Liberals are the ones pushing the same austerity measures in America – which is what is ruining Europe.

    But what is laughable , of course, following this statement, these CONS are saying that Obama is going to spend us into the same fate as Europe..

    How is over-spending and austerity even remotely the same?

    Do these people even think before they speak?

    Or do they really not know what the word means?

    Or are they just mis-reading the written script given at the GOP Trollsville Factory and they just regurgitate for a nickel a throw-up?