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Quote of the day

Atrios:

We are ruled by people who think $250,000 annual income means you’re poor, but the minimum wage is too high and the olds have it too good.

No

You’ll pry my teabags from my cold, dead fingers.

This is the best thing you’ll see today

What a wonderful story. Just watch:

Mitchell Marcus, the basketball team manager for Coronado High School in El Paso, Texas, is developmentally disabled. He loves the game, but isn’t able to play competitively. Nonetheless, Coach Peter Morales decided to put him in a game against Franklin High School.

His teammates wanted to give Mitchell a chance to sink a basket. But even after several attempts, Mitchell was unsuccessful. Franklin High School gained possession of the ball. That’s when Franklin High player Jonathan Montanez passed the ball to Mitchell for one more shot. Watch the video to see what happened next.

(h/t Ron.)

St. Ronnie

Robert Parry on how Reagan promoted genocide in Central America:
stronnie

Soon after taking office in 1981, President Ronald Reagan’s national security team agreed to supply military aid to the brutal right-wing regime in Guatemala to pursue the goal of exterminating not only “Marxist guerrillas” but their “civilian support mechanisms,” according to a newly disclosed document from the National Archives.

Over the next several years, the military assistance from the Reagan administration helped the Guatemalan army do just that, engaging in the slaughter of some 100,000 people, including what a truth commission deemed genocide against the Mayan Indians in the northern highlands.

Recently discovered documents at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, also reveal that Reagan’s White House was reaching out to Israel in a scheme to circumvent congressional restrictions on military equipment for the Guatemalan military.

In 1983, national security aide Oliver North (who later became a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal) reported in a memo that Reagan’s Deputy National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane (another key Iran-Contra figure) was approaching Israel over how to deliver 10 UH-1H helicopters to Guatemala to give the army greater mobility in its counterinsurgency war.

According to these documents that I found at the Reagan library – and other records declassified in the late 1990s – it’s also clear that Reagan and his administration were well aware of the butchery underway in Guatemala and elsewhere in Central America.

The relaxed attitude toward the Guatemalan regime’s brutality took shape in spring 1981 as Reagan’s State Department “advised our Central American embassies that it has been studying ways to restore a closer, cooperative relationship with Guatemala,” according to a White House “Situation Room Checklist” dated April 8, 1981.

The document added: “State believes a number of changes have occurred which could make Guatemalan leaders more receptive to a new U.S. initiative: the Guatemalans view the new administration as more sympathetic to their problems [and] they are less suspect of the U.S. role in El Salvador,” where the Reagan administration was expanding support for another right-wing regime infamous for slaughtering its political opponents, including Catholic clergy.

What a brave new world

That we live in:

Collin Brewer, a local councilor in England, regrets having called for disabled children to be euthanazed: “I meant no offence by my remarks to you. I can see, in retrospect, that they were ill-judged and insensitive.” [BBC]

More than a whisper

Nanci Griffith:

You never can tell

Emmy Lou:

Windfall

Son Volt:

Some of Shelly’s blues

Michael Nesmith:

Must. Hit. Head. On. Wall. Adam Serwer:

Pop champagne: Racism is over.

“There is an old disease, and that disease is cured,” Bert Rein, the attorney leading the legal challenge to the Voting Rights Act—the landmark law intended to ensure all Americans can vote—told to the Supreme Court on Tuesday. “That problem is solved.”

Rein represents Shelby County, Alabama, one of the jurisdictions covered by a key section of the Voting Rights Act called Section 5. Under Section 5, parts of the country with histories of discriminatory election practices have to ask for permission—or “preclearance,” in legal terms—from the Justice Department before making any changes to their voting rules. But the South, where most of the covered jurisdictions are, has changed, Rein said, and the law, although once justified, is now unfair and unconstitutional. The five conservative justices on the Supreme Court seemed to agree. “The Marshall Plan was very good too, but times change,” argued Justice Anthony Kennedy.

That’s not to say all discrimination is a thing of the past. In the eyes of the high court’s conservatives, America has transcended its tragic history of disenfranchising minorities, but there’s still one kind of discrimination that matters: Discrimination against the states covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Justice Antonin Scalia said that it was “sort of extraordinary to say” that “Congress can just pick out…these eight states,” referring to the states covered by Section 5.
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