The boys of summer

Nobody on the road, nobody on the beach
I feel it in the air, the summer’s out of reach
Empty lake, empty streets, the sun goes down alone
I’m drivin’ by your house, though I know you’re not home
.

– Don Henley and Mike Campbell

Damn, this really is a great song:

‘Democrats should come out swinging’

Michael Tomasky dreams on about how Obama should react to a SCOTUS ruling overturning the ACA:

Let’s say the court overturns the mandate by a typical 5-4 vote, but leaves the rest of the law intact. What must the Democrats do? The main thing is all about tone. I can just picture already what I fear I will see: Obama coming out to a press conference with his head down, speaking in a dour monotone, still trying to point out the silver linings but in a way that sends the message to anyone listening that he’s really apologizing for them, and muttering that he is now “calling on the Congress to act” (this has become my least favorite Obama phrase) and get busy working on one of the alternative approaches that will still keep the law alive—which is nothing more than a punchline, really, because everybody knows Congress isn’t lifting a finger.


No, a thousand times no! He needs to stand up there and get mad. The law may be unpopular, but he and the Democrats are stuck with it, and being stuck with it, they need to stick by it. Almost never before in American history has a Supreme Court taken a law duly passed by the people’s representatives and in just two years’ time invalidated it. If that isn’t legislating from the bench, what is? Mr. Cool needs to get Hot. Against unanimous and ferocious opposition, and in the face of blatant lies about what this bill would and would not do, he and the Democrats came up with a way for people with cancer and diabetes and what have you to get the treatment they need and not be either turned away or gouged. He’s proud of that, he ought to say, and by God, he’s going to fight for it. That provision of the law is wildly popular—85 percent supported that, in a late-March New York Times survey. If you can’t play offense with 85 percent of the people behind you, I give up.

Personally, I think it’s a crappy bill that has a lot of downside for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of money, but whatever. It won’t break my heart if the mandate is overturned, because Republicans will simply defund the subsidies and it will be worthless, anyway.

Whipping nuns is ‘always fun’!

Isn’t that just the funniest thing you’ve ever heard? Ha ha!

On an Iowa radio show this weekend, Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) laughed along as the host suggested he “pistol whip” nuns who are objecting to the Republicans’ draconian budget cuts. A group of Catholic nuns are traveling around the country to protest the cuts, which they say go against the Christian belief of helping the poor and infirm. But last week, the host seemed resistant to the nuns’ message, saying someone should “pull the Nuns on the Bus over and pistol whip them.” Rep. Latham responded to the suggestion by saying, “It’s always fun to be on your show.” Listen:

A cruel and unusual record

Jimmy Carter:

THE United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.


Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended. This development began after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions, without dissent from the general public. As a result, our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues.


While the country has made mistakes in the past, the widespread abuse of human rights over the last decade has been a dramatic change from the past. With leadership from the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948 as “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” This was a bold and clear commitment that power would no longer serve as a cover to oppress or injure people, and it established equal rights of all people to life, liberty, security of person, equal protection of the law and freedom from torture, arbitrary detention or forced exile.

Didn’t we just see this movie?

Ceny Uygur on the individual mandate:

So, this brings us to the central problem with President Obama’s administration. They were under the unbelievably mistaken impression that if they worked with the Republicans, compromised with them and gave them what they wanted, that the Republicans would react likewise. Progressives (and anyone that was paying attention to politics in the last decade) warned them that would not be the case. We were dismissed. Now look at what’s happened.


Not only did the Republicans not thank the president for including their mandate in the health care law, they have turned around and pretended they are against it. But of course it goes much deeper than that. In fact, they are now using it as the principal argument to take down the whole law.


They have no sense of shame or propriety. They’re not embarrassed at their legendary hypocrisy and mendacity. They will do whatever it takes to win and support the corporate interests they are sworn and paid to defend. They also know that Democrats, generally speaking, are horrible at defending themselves and the media will help them tremendously by calling everything even.


So, we warned the president — don’t ever, ever agree with the Republicans, they will only use it against you. I must have said this on our show a hundred times over the last three years. It’s not because Republicans are always wrong or I am always opposed to compromise. It’s because we’ve seen this movie — it’s a trap. It’s like the feckless, young girl walking outside into the barn at night in a horror movie — bad idea, we know how that ends. She is not going to be able to compromise with Jason. Jason is going to rip her face off. Don’t go into the frickin’ barn!


And now we wait as the Supreme Court is getting ready to rip the face off President Obama’s signature legislation because he thought the Republicans would appreciate it if he switched his position and adopted their mandate. They must have laughed long and hard. Now they ready their steely knives to gut that same law with the same provision they argued in favor of for decades.


President Obama thought compromise, conciliation and agreement with Republicans was the correct path in his first term. He was dead wrong. The correct course is to be as progressive as possible and argue strongly for your own principles (if you have them). The country is on your side. Look at almost any poll on any issue, the country sides with the progressive position — tax the rich, stop the wars, don’t cut Social Security or Medicare, and on and on.


And after all this, I’m not sure President Obama has learned anything at all from this debacle. He now says he’s sure they’ll work with him if he gets a second term. Come on! Didn’t we just see this movie?

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