Last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Shelby County v. Holder, which is challenging the constitutionality of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, specifically the provisions of Section 5, which require certain states to receive Federal permission before altering any of their voting laws.
Note that this law was so controversial that, when it was re-authorized in 2006, it squeaked through the Senate on a vote of 98 to 0.
During his questioning, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia suggested that the protections of Section 5 were a form of “racial entitlement” that the “normal political” process could not be trusted to get rid of, because no legislator would ever be brave enough to vote against something called the “Voting Rights Act.” It apparently did not occur to Justice Scalia that legislators of both parties had done their due diligence and determined that the law was still useful. One does not need to be brave in order to not be stupid.
Today, on NBC’s Meet the Press, our old buddy John McCain responded to a simple question about Benghazi with a bizarre non-sequitor attack on host Dick Gregory. The host wanted to know what McCain actually thought the administration had covered up about the attacks on Benghazi. Rather than answer the question, he deflected it by accusing Gregory of not caring about the four people. It was the sort of petulant non-answer you would expect from someone who doesn’t have an answer.
Today the United States Senate broke with 200+ years of tradition, and not in a good way. By a vote of 40 to 58, they failed to invoke cloture in the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense. That’s fancy Senate-speak for not being able to force an up and down vote on the nomination. Cloture votes typically occur when Senate is trying to overcome a filibuster by the minority. According to Senator Graham, this wasn’t really a filibuster, just a delay.
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and John McCain of Arizona, are the Senate’s “Three Stooges” on the subject of the fatal attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 of last year. They keep picking at a scab and pretending it’s an open wound, insisting that some very answered questions about that day remain unanswered. Continue reading →
With 20/20 hindsight, it is easy to see that Mitt Romney was, if not unelectable, fighting an uphill battle. In a year when the incumbent was supposedly politically weak and vulnerable, the best option the GOP had was not much of an option at all. Romney looked vaguely presidential, if you squinted hard enough, but his chief asset seemed to be that he was not Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachman, or Rick Santorum. The primary selling point of the others had been that they weren’t Mitt Romney. That fact alone throws the Republicans’ current problems into sharp relief.
Rev. Pat Robertson has reached a stage in life where, if I were at that position, I’d hope my family would ask me to stay upstairs when company is over. You can’t blame everything he says on advancing age, because he’s always been slightly nutty. Even as a middle-aged buffoon, he was predicting that Disney Gay Days would increase the ferocity of hurricanes striking Florida.
As Executive Vice-president and CEO of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre is currently the face of pro-gun side of the gun control argument. In the wake of the Sandy Hook mass shooting in December, he has been holding up his end about as well as Todd Akin has been presenting himself as an expert on the female anatomy. In Senate hearings yesterday, LaPierre’s arguments against universal background checks for gun transactions couldn’t have been more fanciful if he had hired Lewis Carrol as a ghost writer. He has the additional problem that he is arguing against the position supported not only by 92 percent of the American body politic, but by 80 percent of his own members.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was one of the “gang of three” senators, along with John McCain and Kelly Ayote, who led a vicious smear campaign against UN Ambassador Susan Rice Continue reading →