Day: 2015.05.07

The Ben Carson Show (Interesting Pilot)

Ben Carson announces his candidacy for president during an official announcement in Detroit, Monday, May 4, 2015.  Carson, 63, a retired neurosurgeon, begins the Republican primary as an underdog in a campaign expected to feature several seasoned politicians.  (Photo: Paul Sancya)

This is going to be interesting.

As you might have heard, Dr. Ben Carson is running for president:

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson slammed “slick politicians” in both parties as he launched his bid on Monday for the 2016 Republican nomination for president, casting himself as a problem-solver whose experience sets him apart from the field.

Carson, a favorite of conservative activists, said the upcoming elections should bring in leaders with “common sense” to enact policies like reversing President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care overhaul and revamping the U.S. tax code.

“I’ve got to tell you something. I’m not politically correct, and I’m probably never going to be politically correct because I’m not a politician,” Carson said in a speech in Detroit, his hometown.

“Politicians do what is politically expedient, and I want to do what’s right,” he said.

Carson, who is 63 and the only black person currently seeking the nomination in either the Republican or Democratic parties, is a political neophyte. In polls of the Republican Party’s wide field of likely candidates, he currently gets about 4.8 percent of the vote, according to Reuters/Ipsos polls.

(Stephenson)

It is hard to know where to start. To the one, Dr. Carson presents the possibility of simply being yet another clown with delusions of the White House. Or maybe he is looking forward to book sales. Nonetheless, inasmuch as any candidate can tell us why he or she is running for office, a certain question sometimes remains, like, “But why are you running for office?”

(more…)

A Timeless Conservative Priority

Round Two: Detail from FLCL episode 1, 'Fooly Cooly'.

This is going on. You know, just so you know:

When city lawmakers in Washington, D.C., approved a new law banning discrimination on the basis of reproductive choices, much of the right was not pleased. But the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal website published a report this week that some conservative organizations are actually preparing to ignore the new policy.

Hours after the Senate allowed a controversial anti-discrimination law to officially take effect in the nation’s capital, a group of pro-life organizations released a joint statement pledging to continue operating in accordance with their beliefs – thereby putting themselves at risk of violating the law.

“Despite the enactment of this unjust law, we will continue to hire employees who share our commitment to the dignity of every member of the human family,” reads the statement released by Alliance Defending Freedom, the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Americans United for Life and Americans United for Life Action, March for Life, Concerned Women for America, the Susan B. Anthony List, the Family Research Council and the Assoc. of Christian Schools International.

The groups’ statement added, “We will not abandon the purpose of our organizations in order to comply with this illegal and unjust law. We will vigorously resist any effort under RHNDA to violate our constitutionally protected fundamental rights.”

If so, it seems an interesting showdown is on the horizon.

(Benen)

In a way, certainly this seems sudden. But asserting religious rights to make decisions for other people is the in thing to do among conservatives. There really is nothing new going on here. This is, after all, the same outlook asserting an employer’s right to interfere in doctor-patient relationships, that religious exemption paperwork is a violation of religious conscience, and a religious right to discriminate against homosexuals in the public square. Historically, this is the same outlook as any empowerment majority facing a loss of privilege; equality itself feels dangerous to them, as the unknown is almost always at least a little scary.

Something goes here about teaching an old bull new sh―

Oh, right. Anyway, you get the idea.

____________________

Benen, Steve. “Right vows to ‘vigorously resist’ reproductive rights law”. msnbc. 7 May 2015.

—————. “At the intersection of reproductive choices and discrimination”. msnbc. 6 May 2015.

See Also

Maddow, Rachel. “Republican war on reproductive rights seen in DC bill”. The Rachel Maddow Show. msnbc. 6 May 2015.

Hillary and the Clowns

Republicans attempts to turn the discussion to Hillary Clinton and 2016 are getting silly.

“Republicans’ intransigence has created an obvious opportunity for Hillary to rip off our arms and beat us with the bloody ends. She’s expertly exploiting our party’s internal problems.”

Fergus Cullen

Wincing in abject human sympathy is probably fair. So is former New Hampshire Republican Party chairman Fergus Cullen’s assessment. As David Nakamura and Robert Costa explain for the Washington Post:

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s fighting words on immigration this week, designed in part to provoke Republicans into a reactionary counterattack, instead drew an unusual early response from several top-tier GOP presidential candidates: silence.

Two days after Clinton vowed to expand on President Obama’s executive actions to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was one of the only leading Republican 2016 contenders to strike back, calling it a “full embrace of amnesty” that is “unfair to hard-working Americans.”

By contrast, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did not weigh in publicly on the remarks Clinton made Tuesday at a campaign stop in Las Vegas. Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), one of Obama’s most vocal critics on immigration, waited to make a late evening post on Facebook, writing that Clinton “wants to expand and continue” Obama’s programs and “lawlessness.”

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee told MSNBC that Clinton was wrong, saying the country needs to focus on border security first.

This is, as the WaPo duo put it, a “relatively subdued GOP reaction”. Typecast tinfoil and tuneless, tin-can triviality are hardly the stuff of candidates aspiring to show their presidential leadership, but they are hallmarks of the Republican clown car.

And while Jeb Bush might not have responded directly to Hillary Clinton, at least the offered up a Cinco de Mayo message … in Spanish. As platitudes go, that one apparently counts as creative; or, as such, Jeb Bush hopes to be the serious clown.

____________________

Nakamura, David and Robert Costa. “Why Clinton’s immigration speech left many Republican rivals speechless”. The Washignton Post. 7 May 2015.

DelReal, Jose A. “Here is Jeb Bush’s Cinco de Mayo message to Mexican-Americans”. The Washington Post. 5 May 2015.

The Red Balloon

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), ca. 2015, in Associated Press photo.

This is a question:

As recently as Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) sounded very much like he was moving towards the 2016 presidential race. Just one day later, however, Politico reported that the Republican governor had decided to bow out ....

.... So, that settles that? Oddly enough, no. Late last night, the MLive Media Group that covers Michigan news confirmed with the governor’s spokesperson that Snyder “has not made any decisions” about the presidential race, pushing back against the Politico report, which cited unnamed sources.

The governor’s press secretary specifically said that when it comes to Snyder’s possible national plans, nothing has changed. “On 2016, he’s watching the presidential race closely and hoping a common sense problem-solver emerges,” press secretary Sara Wurfel said. “He has not made any decisions about entering the field at this time.”

What’s left is a confusing picture.

(Benen)

Why doesn’t everyone just say, “trial balloon”, and get on with it?

(more…)

Nebraska (Belfry Beats Mix)

SayWhat

“In a strongly worded opinion, the judge said it is not up to the court to decide whether homosexuality is sinful.”

Alissa Skelton

Naota winces in sympathy as Ninamori suffers the effects of N.O. (FLCL ep. 3, 'Marquis de Carabas')This is just one of those lines we might read and then wonder for ourselves what sort of courses might bring our lives to such a moment. Judge John Gerrard felt the need to say it; Alissa Skelton had every reason to report it.

A federal judge will not allow a Nebraska woman to be a legal spokeswoman for God and his son, Jesus Christ.

Judge John Gerrard dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday filed against all homosexuals ....

.... Gerrard said Driskell lacked subject matter jurisdiction and cannot sue a class of unidentified defendants. Driskell did not set forth a factual or legal basis for a federal claim.

“The United States Federal Courts were created to resolve actual cases and controversies arising under the Constitution and the laws of the United States,” Judge Gerrard said. “A federal court is not a forum for debate or discourse on theological matters.”

The thing is that many journalists have seen entire careers pass without having an opportunity to write lines like these. To the one, we will see more explanations like this as the mass media overflow continues to grow into a market flood. To the other, yes, it really does seem like we are, as a society, dispensing with certain dignities quite suddenly seeming inconvenient as traditional empowerment majorities reel from the shock of learning that their bully privileges are being revoked. In this case, the tacit obligation of actually having a point has stretched so thin a judge felt compelled to make the point specifically.

These should be rare days.

After all, the election cycle is only beginning. Things aren’t supposed to get really strange until the Boone Straw Poll in August. And that’s still a whole state away.

____________________

Image note: Naota winces in sympathy as Ninamori suffers the effects of N.O. (FLCL ep. 3, “Marquis de Carabas”)

Skelton, Alissa. “Federal judge dismisses Nebraskan’s suit against all homosexuals”. World-Herald. 6 May 2015.

Kilgore, Ed. “Ames Straw Poll Leaving Ames”. Washington Monthly. 12 March 2015.