Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Midday News Feeds – Thursday, 28 Feb 2013

From the newswires …

Sotomayor Leads Liberal Justices In Defending The Voting Rights Act

Seemingly aware that they were outnumbered and fighting an uphill battle, the four liberal justices on the Supreme Court defended the Voting Rights Act during Supreme Court oral arguments Wednesday with a mix of sharp questions, appeals to history, and indirect rejoinders to the more conservative justices.

All four of them participated actively in oral arguments. None was more emphatic than Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

The Obama-appointed justice asked the first question of the day. She hammered Burt Rein, the lawyer representing the challengers, Shelby County of Alabama, over its record of discrimination. The county contends that Section 5 is unfair to its residents and other jurisdictions that it requires to obtain federal preclearance before changing their voting laws.

Read More: Scalia: Voting Rights Act Is ‘Perpetuation Of Racial Entitlement’

Read More: Jamelle Bouie: Today in Magical Beliefs about Racism

Read More: Josh Marshall: Scalia, Top Democratic Plant?


AFL-CIO Executive Council Calls for Repeal of Sequestration to Disarm the Republican Hostage Takers

The AFL-CIO Executive Council today called on Congress to repeal-not replace-the economically destructive budget cuts that Republicans in Congress are using as leverage to demand Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefit cuts.

Read More: Woodward’s Sequester Spat With The White House (TIMELINE)


Conservatives turn on CPAC

The Conservative Political Action Conference is facing backlash from … conservatives.

It began when it was reported that gay Republican groups like the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud would not be in attendance at this year’s conservative confab in Washington, D.C. GOProud, in fact, was banned before last year’s event and was not welcomed back this year, either.

There was more trouble for CPAC when, this week, the chair of the American Conservative Union, which organizes the conference, explained that CPAC snubbed super-popular New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie because he opted in to the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, and put too much pressure on congressional Republicans who were blocking Hurricane Sandy aid.

Read More: Conservative Group Gets Jump On ‘Primarying’ Republicans In 2014


Syria conflict: John Kerry set to up US aid to rebels

New US Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting Syrian opposition leaders in Rome, as the US prepares to increase its support for rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

He is attending a gathering of the Friends of Syria group of nations that support the Syrian opposition.

Mr Kerry is expected to announce increased “non-lethal” aid for the rebels but not weapons.


Police Chief Embarrasses Lindsey Graham At Gun Hearing

The police chief of Milwaukee called out Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – an opponent of gun safety regulation – for echoing National Rifle Association talking points about the uselessness of expanding background checks for all gun purchases. The organization argues that the government should enforce existing laws instead.

Read More: Mark Kelly Says NRA Trying ‘To Make It Easier’ For Criminals And Mentally Ill To Get Guns


Quick Takes …

Photos: Rosa Parks Statue Unveiled On Capitol Hill: Civil Rights Leader Honored

Panic in Greek pharmacies as hundreds of medicines run short

“Pharmaceutical companies accused of cutting supplies because of low profits and unpaid bills”

Shell to suspend Arctic offshore drilling program over safety fears

“Oil company will ‘pause’ exploration off Alaska’s northern coasts over concerns for equipment and employees”

Are NFL hopefuls being vetted for their sexuality?

“The Player’s Association has called for an investigation into interview practices at the NFL combine”

EU agrees to cap bankers’ bonuses

“European Union officials have struck a provisional deal on new financial rules, including capping bank bonuses.”

Climate-Changed Coastlines Need New Maps

Mississippi Republicans Would Prohibit Towns From Establishing A Minimum Wage


Where do you news? The following is a table of news and opinion sites from around the world.

  TPM Livewire     The Onion  
  the guardian     Salon     The American Prospect  
  Newseum News     Newseum Front Pages     The Daily Beast  
  Mother Jones     Discovery News     BBC  
  McClatchy     Reuters     NPR News  


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  1. Dictionary Of Idioms Gets Everybody On The Same Page

    If you’ve ever shot the breeze, had a heart-to-heart, or bent somebody’s ear – in fact, if you’ve ever talked at all – odds are you’ve used an idiom. These sometimes bizarre phrases are a staple of conversation, and more than 10,000 of them are collected in the latest edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, which came out this week.

    Here’s one:

    Get on the bandwagon

    In the second half of the 1800s, a bandwagon, or horse-drawn wagon carrying a brass band, would accompany candidates on their campaign tours. Eventually the term was extended so that “getting on the bandwagon” meant supporting a campaign or joining a cause.

  2. princesspat

    The Establishment’s Obama Derangement Syndrome

    Others have done an excellent job explaining why so many pundits and news analysts are constitutionally unable to describe the impasse over sequestration as anything other than a bipartisan failure – while also revealing, perhaps unintentionally, that President Obama is advocating the very compromise they claim to believe is necessary.

    But mark down Feb. 27, 2013, as the day this self-deception morphed into something more like the establishment’s very own Obama derangement syndrome.


    If nothing else, Obama’s done a genuinely excellent job of fixing the broken link in the public’s mind between taxes and popular spending priorities. Likewise, because asking nicely won’t change their minds, he’s done the yeoman’s work – at real political risk – of flipping the politics of taxation to make the GOP’s once bulletproof position a vulnerability.

    Brian Beutler’s analysis of the sequester fight is interesting, and his words re President Obama’s actions as a “testament to leadership” are nice to read. I posted these links earlier, but will repeat them here because I think his analysis of the whole sequester debacle is informative.

    Yes, Dems Have A Structural Advantage In Sequestration Fight

    Thanks for all the news Jan. I’ll be back later to read more.

  3. Fox News host Megyn Kelly went after the White House on Thursday over its treatment of veteran journalist Bob Woodard

    “We’re in a situation where you’ve got a respected journalist whose career is taking hits by the day because he has so many people piling on,” Kelly said. “And they’re treating him like he’s some rookie reporter who doesn’t know when he’s been threatened”. […]

    White House press secretary Jay Carney said Sperling’s email made it clear he was not threatening Woodward, adding that his tone was “incredibly respectful.”

    Okay, Bob Woodward, you are officially the “formerly respected journalist” if you are having Fox News defend your honor. I have not liked Woodward since he started writing the self-serving “tell all but only when it is too late to save lives” books. Woodward now joins the rest of the beltway pundits who are not journalists but prima donas.

    Edward R. Murrow as a journalist, Walter Cronkite was a journalist. Bob Woodward is a hack.

  4. jlms qkw

    Side effects

    High Country News; blog; Marshall Swearingen

    Humboldt State University faculty member Tony Silvaggio, who made the Google Earth video of marijuana grows, says this lack of regulation is causing all kinds of environmental problems, not just low stream flows. Sediment run-off from new roads and pesticides is degrading water and rodent poisons are killing off forest critters and birds. High Country News and others have reported on these problems before, but it can be hard to visualize the impact and scale of industrial pot growing in Northern California. That’s where Silvaggio’s video comes in.

    In a narrated version of the video for Mother Jones, Silvaggio suggests that the solution to the widespread environmental damage wreaked by industrial pot growers is to end the federal prohibition of marijuana, a sentiment shared by Gary Graham Hughes, executive director of the Arcata, Calif.-based Environmental Protection Information Center. “(Marijuana) is clearly something that’s here to stay,” he said.

    “This vacuum that’s created by the way the federal government continues with prohibition, it’s making it very difficult to address the environmental issues.”

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