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Guns and presidential runs………… 26 June 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Border Issues, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

packing heat

From November 2007, with some brief background…:

(CBS/AP) The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will decide whether the District of Columbia can ban handguns, a case that could produce one of the most in-depth examinations of the constitutional right to “keep and bear arms.”

The justices’ decision to hear the case could make the divisive debate over guns an issue in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections.

The Court has agreed to hear the case of Dick Heller, who’s challenging the 31-year-old ban on owning handguns in the District of Columbia, reports CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews. Heller, a security guard, packs a handgun during the day, but can’t have one in his own home.

“We the people have the right to defend ourselves with whatever firearm is most practical,” said Dick Heller.

That simple argument has led to the most important gun case in decades, adds Andrews.

“It’s one of the rare times when the Supreme Court gets to tell us what the text of the Constitution means,” said professor Randy Barnett. ::snip::

AND saw this poking around…

Mayors brace for D.C. gun ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to soon issue a ruling in the Washington, D.C. gun case and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin worries that cities may be hampered in their crime-fighting efforts if the justices strike down the D.C. gun control laws.

“If the justices agree with the lower court’s ruling, cities and states throughout the country may face challenge after challenge to the constitutionality of firearm regulations enacted to protect the public and prosecute criminals. And city attorneys may find themselves spending as much time fighting lawsuits as they do fighting crime,” writes Franklin, in an opinion column signed by several other mayors. “Those resource-draining challenges would come at an inconvenient time. Gun violence is a national crisis, but one that disproportionately affects those of us who live in urban areas. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 340,000 homicides were committed in large American cities between 1976 and 2005. About 64 percent of those homicides involved firearms.” ::snip::

Apparently hand guns are banned inside DC proper, shotguns may be kept but the law requires they be unloaded in the home and under lock and key. For years I have read people simply leave DC, go near or far and buy what they want.

Well, here I am in SF, we have all of ONE gun store. Of course CA has plenty… plenty of gun owners in SF… despite what people may think.

Jeralyn at TL has a good overview

Several court watchers think so. Concurring Opinions believes it will be authored by Justice Anton Scalia, who has yet to write an opinion in the March sitting cases. Heller is also the only case remaining among the March sitting cases.

And this…

Goldstein of Scotus Blog believes if Scalia authors the opinion:

So, that’s a good sign for advocates of a strong individual rights conception of the Second Amendment and a bad sign for D.C


And this tidbit…from Potomac Confidential in the Wapo – which gave me a laugh:

[D]uring a 30-plus-year career with D.C. police, the U.S. Marshals office and the D.C. corrections department, Lucas taught hundreds of officers how to handle and shoot firearms. A fourth-generation Washingtonian, he had the bad luck to practice his skill and love in a city that since 1976 has maintained the nation’s strictest gun ban, which prohibits handgun ownership.

No one ever accused the government of being terribly logical, but get this: The District, throughout the three decades of its gun ban, has continued to license firearms instructors — Lucas is one of about 60 licensees — but has declined to let them open businesses where they could use their licenses.

Since he retired from the police force, Lucas has trained security guards and other licensed gun owners who work in the District. To do so, he must take his clients, and their tax dollars, to ranges in Chantilly or Upper Marlboro. “How can they license me to do a job that they then don’t allow me to do?” Lucas asks. ::snip::


From the Obama presser Wednesday…

(from the CNN transcript)

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) The Supreme Court is expected to rule tomorrow on the D.C. gun ban.

Can you review for us where you stand on that?


OBAMA: Why don’t I wait until the decision comes out, and then I will comment on it, as opposed to trying to prognosticate what the Supreme Court is going to decide tomorrow?

QUESTION: You commented on it before you — you support the D.C. gun ban (OFF-MIKE)

OBAMA: What I have said is that I do not — what I have said is, is that I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but I do not think that that precludes local governments being able to provide some commonsense gun laws that keep guns out of the hands of gangbangers or children, that local jurisdictions are going to have different sets of problems, and that this is a very fact-intensive decision that has to be made.

But I do think that the Second Amendment is an individual right. So, what I would like to do is wait and see how the Supreme Court comes down, and evaluate the actual reasoning in the case to see how broad or narrow the decision’s going to be.




1. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 June 2008

How funny/appropriate that WordPress’ “possibly related posts” application brings up MOGADISHU as the first linked post.

2. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 June 2008

RFLMAO … that party is a big pathetic sorority/fraternity house:

Why Bill Clinton’s Miffed At Obama

But Bill Clinton has a beef. A Democrat who has spoken directly to Clinton about his feelings said that the former president remains “miffed” for two reasons. One is that he feels that Obama’s candidacy was essentially an anti-Clinton candidacy; that Obama ran against Clinton’s presidential record at times, implying that it was timeworn, divisive, and damaging to the party while adopting policy positions that seemed to flow directly from the Clinton oeuvre. Why should Clinton embrace a guy who spent the past twelve months bashing him and his accomplishments?

Two: Clinton is convinced that the Obama campaign went out of its way to portray the former president as a racist. Clinton wants a private meeting with Obama to sort these things out; he has reconciled himself to the reality of Obama’s nomination and does not want to sit on the sidelines.

3. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 June 2008

Vote tally on cloture on the FISA bill in the Senate. Only 15 nays. Not voting?

Not Voting – 5
Byrd (D-WV)
Clinton (D-NY)
Kennedy (D-MA)
McCain (R-AZ)
Obama (D-IL)

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 June 2008

San Francisco Green Party endorses Cindy Sheehan run against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

“We admire Sheehan’s bravery in standing up to the corrupt two-party system. She has suffered immeasurable loss because of the unwillingness of our government to stand up for justice,” added McDonald.

The Greens, who are not putting up a candidate of their own in the race, hope to provide some needed muscle for Sheehan, who must collect about 10,000 signatures by Aug. 8 to have her name put on the ballot. As of this past week, she had about 3,500 signatures.

The goals of the Green Party and Sheehan are similar – protect U.S. troops in Iraq by ending the war now, a position rejected by Pelosi and other Democrats in Congress who say they are opposed to the war, but continue to fund billions for it.

Greens, like Sheehan, have endorsed the impeachment of Pres. George Bush, vice-president Dick Cheney and other Bush Administration officials. Sheehan also comes from working class roots, which compares favorably to the Green Party’s strong social justice platform.

5. ms_xeno - 26 June 2008

If only Sheehan could say something obnoxious and/or stupid about Black folks. Then maybe Blogland would finally give a shit about her.

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 June 2008

Heller quotes from the majority

Quotes from the opinion:

“Logic demands that there be a link between the stated purpose and the command.”

“We start therefore with a strong presumption that the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.”

“the most natural reading of ‘keep Arms’ in the Second Amendment is to “have weapons.”

“The term was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity.”

“Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.”

“Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose.”

“The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right; most undoubtedly thought it even more important for self-defense and hunting.”

“It was plainly the understanding in the post-Civil War Congress that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to use arms for self-defense.”

“Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”

“Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

Let the bloodbath continue!

7. ms_xeno - 26 June 2008

P.S.– All atheists are big ol’ Ayn Rand groupies. I’m looking at YOU, Madman. [glowers threateningly]


8. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 June 2008

Ya caught me!

Time to go out and find some poor orphans to exploit.

9. JJB - 26 June 2008

DC gun ban overturned by SCOTUS loonies:

The Supreme Court declared for the first time on Thursday that the Constitution protects an individual’s right to have a gun, not just the right of the states to maintain militias.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in the 5-to-4 decision, said the Constitution does not allow “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.” In so declaring, the majority found that a gun-control law in the nation’s capital went too far in making it nearly impossible to own a handgun.

The decision upheld a federal appeals court ruling that the District of Columbia’s gun law, one of the strictest in the country, went beyond constitutional limits. Not only did the 1976 law make it practically impossible for an individual to legally possess a handgun in the District, but it spelled out rules for the storage of rifles and shotguns.

Scalia’s ludicrous reputation as a great jurist is one of the more curious things about life in this country in the early part of the 21st century. A judge who thinks that a man proven innocent shouldn’t be released from jail because the trial met what he considered to be acceptable standards of fairness cannot devine the meaning of the very simple phrase saying clearly that the right to own firearms is predicated on the necessity of being able to raise a militia, and since local governments no longer raise militias from the general populace (and before you say “what about the National Guard?”, NG members NG members are provided with weapons and thus don’t need to own them), the damn clause is as vestigal as the appendix, and ever more harmful. But then neither could Roberts, Kennedy, or Alito (I won’t bother even mentioning Thomas, he’s just Scalia’s ventriloquist’s dummy).

10. marisacat - 26 June 2008

Madman at 6 and JJB at 9… thanks for posting from the ruling…

Day 2 here that smoke from the fires is bothering me. ugh.

11. marisacat - 26 June 2008


it is such a shame about Scalia. And if he pops off from clotted arteries, they jsut give us another like him.

Shortly before the voting on either Roberts or ALito (may they congeal) I happened to catch an intervew with Leahy… he appeared to say he regretted his vote for Scalia. A lie!, I say. They love burdening us with shits. IMO Scalia is a crazy shit.

12. marisacat - 26 June 2008


and i see is is a post of mine from 2006, LOL

13. wilfred - 26 June 2008

These are very bad times, amigos. Between the FISA vote from our horrendous Senate and this awful SC ruling, we are fucked six ways to Sunday.

14. CSTAR - 26 June 2008

Obama’s recent faith-based rhetoric is disconcerting because it doesn’t seem like old-fashioned, non-specific pandering to the religious right, that is vague gestures without too much specific commitment. Instead, I think he is conveying a tightly articulated message that on various issues, including and especially SCOTUS nominations, the right has nothing to fear. Buyer Beware!

15. JJB - 26 June 2008

It’s always been obvous to me that Scalia is just smart enough to be able to twist the Constitution’s wording in a way that it can be said to conform to his prejudices and obsessions with a minimal amount of plausibility, though certainly nowhere near enough to pass a common sense test. This, however, isn’t plausible in the least:

“The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right; most undoubtedly thought it even more important for self-defense and hunting.”

Well, if they were so concerned about self-defense and hunting, why didn’t they enumerate that, it would have been simple enough to do. Or leave out the phrase reading “[a] well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” and just have it read “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Obviously, with the militia being mentioned up front, that was their primary consideration, and by having the citizenry armed, the relevant local governements wouldn’t have to worry about providing the weaponry. I would guess there’s nothing discussing that in the Federalist Papers, else it would have been quoted. Besides, who hunts with a handgun? It’s a bogus argument.

I see how people react to bad traffic conditions in Washington and its environs on a daily basis, and see people use their cars as weapons with which to threaten and intimidate other motorists. It’s easy to imagine the moron who thinks he has a god-given right to drive his SUV or 4by4 90 MPH in heavy traffic on the Beltway taking things to the next step with a handgun altered to semi-automatic killing potential.

16. JJB - 26 June 2008

A miserable day on Wall Street:

Stocks slumped on Thursday, with the Dow falling to its lowest level since September 2006, on worries about losses by big banks and a plunge in General Motors Corp’s stock to a 53-year low.

17. Arcturus - 26 June 2008

fyi, Pacifica is live broadcasting the torture hearings today – have Scott Horton, Phillipe Sands & Jane Mayer among others commenting during breaks

18. Arcturus - 26 June 2008

lol – Nadler asked Yoo the basis for his privilege assertions – hums, haws, finally sez ‘cuz the Justice Dept told me to . . .’

19. marisacat - 26 June 2008

Arcturus and JJB out of moderation, sorry! the filter snagged yuu…

Hunting up Obama comments… all over the map. Will post…

20. marisacat - 26 June 2008


I agree. Loons like “natural law” devotee Kmeic are jsut too slap happy with him. And the blood hounds for the religious are just too happy with him.

I am so off the bus.

21. CSTAR - 26 June 2008

# 15

They don’t want a population capable of critical thinking, they want obedient workers, and now they want your social security

They also want your retirement savings and they’re getting that too since we’ve been conveniently herded into this giant con game called private retirement accounts.

Real assets don’t “vanish”; what vanishes are claims to assets. The pie is still there, unfortunately your claim to part of it has vanished. “Now get outta here and starve”, and as Carlin might have added for emphasis “you f..”

22. marisacat - 26 June 2008

ABC looks back at previous Obama statements, to Chicago Trib and a later campaign walk back calling it “inartful”.

23. marisacat - 26 June 2008

Ben Smith also has up an exchange from during the Potomac primary:

Here’s the exchange:

LH: One other issue that is of great importance to the people of the district here, is gun control. You said in Idaho here, recently, that “I have no intention of taking away folks’ guns.” But you support the D.C. handgun ban, and you’ve said that it’s constitutional. How do you reconcile those two positions?

BO: Because I think we have two conflicting traditions in this country. I think it’s important for us to recognize that we’ve got a tradition of handgun ownership and gun ownership generally. And a lot of people – law-abiding citizens use if for hunting, for sportsmanship, and for protecting their families. We also have a violence on the streets that is the result of illegal handgun usage. And so I think there is nothing wrong with a community saying we are going to take those illegal handguns off the streets, we are going to trace more effectively, how these guns are ending up on the streets, to unscrupulous gun dealers, who often times are selling to straw purchasers. And cracking down on the various loopholes that exist in terms of background checks for children, the mentally ill. Those are all approaches that I think the average gun owner would actually support. The problem is, that we’ve got a position, often times by the NRA that says any regulation whatsoever is the camel’s nose under the tent. And that, I think, is not where the American people are at. We can have reasonable, thoughtful gun control measure that I think respect the Second Amendment and people’s traditions.

24. marisacat - 26 June 2008

From the ABC link at comment 21, LOL

Asked by ABC News’ Charlie Gibson if he considers the D.C. law to be consistent with an individual’s right to bear arms at ABC’s April 16, 2008, debate in Philadelphia, Obama said, “Well, Charlie, I confess I obviously haven’t listened to the briefs and looked at all the evidence.”

25. marisacat - 26 June 2008

Stocks slumped on Thursday,…

Last I heard down 209

26. JJB - 26 June 2008

. . . I think we have two conflicting traditions in this country.

Very true. One the one hand, we have a tradition based on the realization that the fewer guns there are in a society, the less violence there is. On the other, we have a tradition that seeks to provide easy access to all the guns and ammo you can lay your hands on. The former is sane and sensible, the latter something close to complete insanity.

27. marisacat - 26 June 2008

From Obama )Ambinder calls if “from a statement” but offers no link):

“I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures. The Supreme Court has now endorsed that view, and while it ruled that the D.C. gun ban went too far, Justice Scalia himself acknowledged that this right is not absolute and subject to reasonable regulations enacted by local communities to keep their streets safe. Today’s ruling, the first clear statement on this issue in 127 years, will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country.

“As President, I will uphold the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun-owners, hunters, and sportsmen. I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact common-sense laws, like closing the gun show loophole and improving our background check system, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals. Today’s decision reinforces that if we act responsibly, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.

28. marisacat - 26 June 2008

Scotus blog, quotes from Heller

29. wilfred - 26 June 2008

I am so thankful for Russ Feingold. From TPM:

Objections by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) will push back an overhaul of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) until after lawmakers return in July, Democratic leaders said Thursday. Feingold is strongly opposed to language that would likely give telephone companies that participated in warrantless surveillance retroactive immunity from lawsuits.
“It doesn’t look like it,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said of taking up the FISA bill this week. “Sen. Feingold wants additional time and would like to postpone it until after the Fourth of July.”

30. marisacat - 26 June 2008

hmmm Jake Tapper’s comment re Obama on hand gun ban, quoted at # 23, during Potomac primary:

The problem with that answer is that the DC handgun ban was not a regulation or a restriction of guns — it was a ban.

Tapper entry charting Obama Words, going back.

31. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 June 2008

29 – maybe some of them will get earfulls when they go home to their districts for the holiday.

Not that it matters …

32. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 June 2008

It was a ban on HANDGUNS, not all guns. Anyone who thinks they can defend their home with a fucking handgun in the middle of the night (without a lot of training in its use) is an idiot who has watched too much tv.

The only reason to have a handgun is to conceal it. Why do you need to conceal it in your own home?

33. marisacat - 26 June 2008

I must be turning into Tweety, I get such girlish tingles up my legs when the Big Boyz talk about patriotism As both McC and OB do in TIME.. [That was sarcasm. LOL.]

Obama in TIME on patirotism, enitlted Faith in Simple Dreams. I would toss in Toto for the full ‘Kansas, we’re not there anymore’ effect:

[I] write this knowing that if previous generations had not taken up this call, I would not be where I am today. As a young man of mixed race, without a firm anchor in any community, without even a father’s steadying hand, this essential American ideal — that our destinies are not written before we are born — has defined my life. And it is the source of my profound love for this country: because with a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya, I know that stories like mine could only happen in America.

34. marisacat - 26 June 2008


I will be honest any sort of rational gun control has been so mismanaged POLITICALLY, and as we learned with VTech NO MONEY for local adherence to checks… that I frankly DO NOT CARE any more.

I tracked the DC sniper case of 2002 backwards and forwards. What a joke, from Washington state to DC. A joke.

Let it rip.

35. ms_xeno - 26 June 2008

I wonder whatever happened to the “rare and legal” arguments as applied to gun possession.

I myself do not want my husband, parents or children to own guns unless they notify me and the Pastor first. Also, I think they need to watch some brutal documentaries about the dangers of guns– lovingly produced by people who hate guns. By “brutal documentaries” I don’t mean Straw Dogs, either.

36. CSTAR - 26 June 2008


AFL-CIO Endorses Obama, as reported in La Gran Naranja

37. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 June 2008

Eat Your Heart Out, Paul Nitze

You know, back when Republican President Harry S Truman and his cabinet lay the foundation of the modern security state, one might be pardoned for believing . . . I’m sorry. What? He was a what? Oooooooooh. Well, sic. Back when Hiroshima Harry was laying the support beams for the modern security state, people were fond of citing the Red Menace as a reason for knuckling under to temporary tyranny–and it was always assumed to be temporary–until the threat passed. Now we have new “security threats,” and to everyone’s Casablancan shock, shock, they function precisely the same way in the domestic arena: to justify and apologize for the increase in central state power. Barack Obama’s entire campaign is centered on his princely, Messianic image. He’s like a mellifluous Tudor, and his call for us all to gather at the bosom of a grand, national, post-identity community from whose teat we may drink and be nourished, body and soul, is ghoulish and disturbing. More ghoulish and disturbing?–that our dday thinks Obama is reneging on the principles of the Nuremburg tribunal and is going to vote for him anyway. Well fuck, wait till he gets around to the Geneva Conventions, and so on.

38. JJB - 26 June 2008

Here’s an all-too-typical story the SCOTUS gun nuts might have paid a bit more attention to:

Neil Entwistle was jailed for life today without the possibility of parole after he was convicted of murdering his wife and baby daughter.

The 29-year-old Briton, who shot his wife Rachel, 27, and nine-month-old daughter, Lillian, at their home in Massachusetts, showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down.


Prosecutors say Entwistle, a former computer consultant, was facing bankruptcy and trawling the internet for extra-marital sex when he borrowed his father-in-law’s revolver to shoot dead his family.

He then fled to Britain, saying later that he had been too upset to alert police.

An alternate juror, Andrew Tringale, told the Boston Globe the defence argument that a depressed Rachel Entwistle killed her baby then herself was “unrealistic”.

He questioned why the defence did not call witnesses to back the claim.

Presumably, that gun was legally obtained and meant to provide protection against marauders. Even if that is not the case, it demonstrates how much easier it is to commit a crime like this if a gun is easily available. Incidents such as this are far more common than those of people thwarting criminals with firearms.

39. JJB - 26 June 2008
40. marisacat - 26 June 2008

another ruling today, on “billionaires” rule in campaigns.

The Court today struck down the “millionaire’s amendment” to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, with Justice Alito writing that it’s unconstitutional to set different limits for candidates competing against one another, even when one of them has the resources to self-fund. Election law expert Rick Hasen believes that the “5-4 decision has much broader implications, laying the groundwork for striking down limits on spending by corporations and unions” and may signal the beginning of the end for public financing because “the opinion repeatedly (see maj opn 10-18) rejects the idea that Congress has any ability to try to level the playing field, stating that doing so would take the question away from voters.” ::snip::

41. CSTAR - 26 June 2008

# 35 Pastor-endorsed weapons.

They could be collectively blessed in a solemn ritual: a priest walking through a path lined with rows of weapons on each side, holding a swinging thurible wafting incense.

Mr Obama could then pronounce his message of renewal.

42. ms_xeno - 26 June 2008

More on the McCain-Feingold ruling, if anyone’s interested– via BAN.

43. ms_xeno - 26 June 2008

CSTAR, as an added bonus, the Pope could appear with a sort of miniature duck blind on his head in lieu of the traditional white peaked hat…

44. CSTAR - 26 June 2008

# 43. I’m OK with the duck blind, just so long as he doesn’t forget the protection for his nose.

45. James - 26 June 2008

I’ve got something over at the Great Orange Satan to make a few “progressive” heads explode.

46. ms_xeno - 26 June 2008

CSTAR, that would make for one awesome collage, if I only had some Pope-related imagery in my clipping file. Eh, some heathen in Europe’s probably done it already anyway. :/

James, how long do you figure they’ll let that diary stay up ? Is it at your place or at MBM if I feel like linking to it w/o plugging Kosland ?

47. marisacat - 26 June 2008

140.05 for oil.

Prolly going to look cheap soon

48. marisacat - 26 June 2008


LOL do Dkossers have rights to carry conceal? Or Open Carry? Then you better worry.

All i can suggest is have a getaway car… 😉

49. CSTAR - 26 June 2008



50. ms_xeno - 26 June 2008

Holy Hell, it’s like a jamboree of stupidity on that thread. I’m not sure any of those people are smart enough to work a gun. [rolleyes] Figuring which end the bullet comes out of should take them most of an afternoon…

51. marisacat - 26 June 2008


so appalling that Silent Scream gets shown in some public school districts. Geesh.

Other than that when I am forced to swallow the Holy Host, consecrated by the state, all I ask for is … a gun. [more sarcasm]

It all seems to go together. With war abroad and repression at home.

52. James - 26 June 2008

ms_xeno: here’s the same post at my blog just in case.

53. marisacat - 26 June 2008

I’ll refrain from editorial comment (4+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
Samer, arielle, allmost liberal european, Mia Dolan

in respect for this blog’s rules.

Obama still gets my vote, but my bumper belongs to Privacy ’08.

by ben masel on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:25:18 PM PDT

such a stalwart guy. Always ready, across years, to support the FPers.

54. marisacat - 26 June 2008

Bronfman, Bernstein head Obama Jewish group

Some major players in New York’s Jewish community, most of whom backed Hillary Clinton, have joined Obama, lending him important voices with a circle he’s working hard to court.

An invitation for a gathering of the Obama Jewish Leadership Council of Metro New York on July 2 lists Edgar Bronfman as one of the group’s chairs. The Seagram’s heir is a major player in American Jewish politics and was the longtime president of the World Jewish Congress.

The group’s other chairs are Merryl Tisch, Howard Milstein, and Tom and Andi Bernstein.

The last couple is notable because Tom Bernstein is a Yale friend and prominent supporter of George W. Bush.

full text from BS at politico, no embedded links

55. JJB - 26 June 2008

The DJIA lost 358 points today.

56. JJB - 26 June 2008

That comment thread over at Kosolini’s is hilarious. This is my favorite comment:

Instead of this… (3+ / 0-)

… why not a campaign to get Pelosi ousted as speaker?

Maybe replaced with someone with a conscience, like Dodd or Kerry or Feingold?

Only thing is, I don’t know how a speaker gets replaced or who makes that decision.

by droogie6655321 on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 12:28:40 PM PDT

Evidently not, since you’re suggesting that a trio of Senators might be Speakers of the House. And one idiot actually tries to “correct” the only person who noticed this gaffe by saying “If I remember correctly, there is no definitive requirement for that [i.e., being a member of the House of Reps].”

Good luck to Cindy. Whatever her flaws, I’m sure she’ll make a far more conscientious Congresscritter than Pelosi.

57. marisacat - 26 June 2008

BlahgSnotosphere has never been certified to boast of brains.

Rahter the opposite.

58. marisacat - 26 June 2008

Speaking of the really big guns… Eric Prince argues for Shari’a law.. For Blackwater… .

interesting Q&A, and pulls in the really quite heinous CA political family, the Schmitzes, who are also all tied up with the Knights of Malta.

Also on the agenda was Blackwater’s recent request that a U.S. federal court apply Islamic Shari’a law to a lawsuit brought by the widows of three U.S. soldiers who died in a crash of one of the company’s planes in Afghanistan four years ago. Blackwater subsidiary Presidential Airways of Florida initially argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed since the company was acting as a government agent and soldiers can’t sue the government, but the courts rejected that argument. Now it argues the suit should be dismissed because Shari’a law — not U.S. law — applies.

related, I read a couple of days ago that Blackwater got a go ahead, from a judge, to set up operations in S Cal. The local district had fought them for I guess a couple of years.

Massive earthquake in the East Bay, no question, BlackHawk moves on Oakland, like Katrina/NO. No question in my mind, anyway.

59. marisacat - 26 June 2008

Hey, they, the Righties, said it, not I. But it TRACKS.

Fast Eddie’s Jurisprudence [Yuval Levin]

The past two days of Supreme Court decisions have shed a bright light on Obama’s rightward pivot for the general election. Yesterday in the child rape case, Obama agreed with two Justices he voted against and disagreed with those he holds up as models. Today, revising a long held position on gun control, he agrees with Justice Scalia’s reading of the Second Amendment and again disagrees with Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer and Stevens. If only the Court could overturn Roe before the election, Obama would become a pro-lifer.

06/26 04:30 PM

From that bevy of fine people, The Corner. [that was sarcasm]


60. ms_xeno - 26 June 2008

Ever want to totally hug your computer ? I do right now:

…I must be some kind of unnatural anomaly. I have been fat most of my life and guess what, when I wanted dick, I got dick. I didn’t have to starve myself or walk across hot stones to prove my worthiness either. Fat women get laid when we want it, believe it or not life is not all vibrators, wine and tears. I don’t spend my days looking at pictures of other women in envy. I also am committed to living my life everyday, and as such the idea of waiting until I lose all of my so called excessive weight to stake my claim in this world is decidedly unappealing. So Qviloa you keep telling the world what is appropriate for women, and we fat women will just keep on getting on. While you are at it, you might want to take the time to think about what women find attractive, because shockingly enough having a dick is no guarantee of access to the bodies of women. We might also have a demand or two. — Renee at Womanist Musings 6/26/08.

61. marisacat - 26 June 2008

My guess, ObamaRama handlers have polling that shows otherwise, they hope to cause soma-tization on this issue.:

[N]ow — an Obama campaign spokesperson did not mention one area in Obama HAS gone outside of his comfort zone, and that’s with his support for the FISA compromise. Liberals are pissed off; Democrats in Congress are angry, and Obama went ahead and did what he thouht was right. So FISA’s a good talking point for him. I’m surprised the Obama campaign isn’t using it.

Link to Ambinder

62. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 June 2008

the next few years are going to make the late 1920s / early 1930s look like nothing, given the wide open field for more power for the wealthy and more easy access to easy death for everybody.

Maybe something will rise from the ashes. I’m just looking out for me and mine for a while. Screw it.

63. NYCee - 26 June 2008

Just another scoop from the big shitbucket:

Obama Condemns Supreme Court Decision in Child Rape Case

Just to be clear, that ruling that he condemned was actually one for the liberals, albeit just a snip off the whole (rancid) enchilada that is our state sponsored murder system. Way to go, O!

Barack Obama criticized the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision today striking down the use of the death penalty in cases of child rape.

“I disagree with the decision. I have said repeatedly that I think that the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes,” Obama told reporters at a press conference in Chicago.

The expected Democratic nominee said he believed the rape of a child “is a heinous crime” that fits the circumstance, siding with the four conservative justices who sit on the court, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas.

!Memo! to idolizers of He-Who-Can-Do-No-Wrong: Justice Anthony Kennedy is more liberal on the death penalty than Boy Wonder.

64. NYCee - 26 June 2008

I’m sure that any day now BO will show that, if a bit light on “jesusy” fiber (a la his pro death penalty stance), at least he has some gonads to stand up to the smear machine on the Muslim game.

I am sure I will soon see a few hijabs bobbing behind him in a sea of restless “Yes we can!” and “Change!” signs, as he aims his eyes heavenward and (swoon!) … speaks!

Hey now! This one just might do it…

65. marisacat - 26 June 2008

Some showy visit to a mosque, with snipers all in a row. LOL some conservative US State Dept or DOD aligned mosque that spies on its own observant.

Alwyas a way to do it.

66. CSTAR - 26 June 2008

OT, but still of course about preachers: Just heard a track on KCRW.com from legends of the preacher. Pretty authentic brazilian forro. What intrigued me was this snippet

Nation Beat has recruited Brazilian vocalist Liliana Araujo, whose rich, earthy voice brings a powerful shot of soulful authenticity to each of these 15 tracks. Two percussionists, a bassman, a fine fiddler, and a versatile guitarist complete the group, and that would be quite enough. But on Legends of the Preacher, the band joins forces with Frank London and the adventurously eclectic Klezmatics,

The piece played was the first on the list here . Strange title, but, whatever.

67. wilfred - 26 June 2008

#63 ugh, that is completely disgusting.
If Obama doesn’t get that the death penalty is absolutely wrong under any circumstances he is clueless, and as a man of color it’s shameless as well.

68. marisacat - 26 June 2008


he is not oppossed to the death penalty. This is not new iwht him. I forget the details now (will look later if I hve time) but reading months ago at Chicago Trib and Sun-Times he approves the death penalty in cases HE deems merit it. This is am ethical dodge in my opinion. Sick ofthe fucking xtians.

One special circumstance that I recall was within a certain number of feet of a church. I guess he decides what offends god and how much I fell to utter sarcasm about him months ago.

Pox on his house. Tons of info in the Chicago papers.

69. wilfred - 26 June 2008

Sick ofthe fucking xtians.

You mean faux Christians. Any so-called Christian who can glean a pro-death penalty stance from any of Christ’s words is living in the Twilight Zone.

70. marisacat - 26 June 2008

Well, says you.

Not the way it works wilfred. These are the US xtians. The ones who run the morality game.

Or did you think some creep rises so high and does not do as told? From collection plate to Oval Office.

Sorry, his support for the death penalty is NOT NEWS. And where then is war? Which is murder. Esp as we practice it.

71. marisacat - 26 June 2008

And I meant it: sick of the CHRISTIANS.

72. CSTAR - 26 June 2008

Wouldn’t it make more sense to try to reduce crime near bars where tempers might be more likely to flare?. I think evidence shows the death penalty has no effect on violence in any case, but this church thing is just too weird. Maybe we could criminalize other activities near Churches: blasphemy? How about financial transactions?

Do the Raelians officially count as a church?

73. marisacat - 26 June 2008

LOL after the pool reporter was ushered out. The netteries are so useful sometimes.

74. marisacat - 26 June 2008


I later read that Pfleger’s adopted kid, one of them (such a busy priest!) was shot near a church. Killed. I meant to go back and see what was the impetus for this legislation, within so many feet of a church, if it was connected in anyway.

So little time tho.

75. wilfred - 26 June 2008

More distressing news from Italy from the new fascist regime:


76. James - 26 June 2008

Wilfred (comment #69): right effin’ on!

77. CSTAR - 26 June 2008

Meanwhile, Amos Luzzatto, the former president of Italy’s Union of Jewish Communities, said the measure was a form of “ethnic surveying”.

It is ethnic surveying, not a form of.

The disease of xenophobia has reached the status of a worldwide epidemic.

78. marisacat - 26 June 2008

what a shock… records reported on tongiht indicate that Tatiana the tiger at the SF zoo that killed a man Christmas day.. was being systematiclly underfed. 10 lbs less of meat per week than she was used to. After arriving from Denver, til her death (just a few months) she lost 50 + lbs. To keep her hungry and active for feeding times.

I say throw the appropriate authorities into the tiger grotto. Let them figure it out.

Close the fuckign zoo.

79. marisacat - 26 June 2008

I think the BBC article refers to the “camps” that were built outside the city for transients and Roma and whoever else (A few weeks ago I posted articles on the elections in Rome, the return of fascism, and one discussed the camps).

Better start calling them concentration camps…

80. marisacat - 26 June 2008

This is what I posted on the italian elections late May — and one article spoke of “solidarity camps”… and what a shock!, Center left Prodi had been accomplishing more herding the non natives than had Berlusconi in his earlier incarnations.

In truth, the previous centre-left government had connived in the demonisation and repression of Roma gypsies. It was Prodi who introduced an emergency decree authorising expulsion of the Roma in October 2007. And whereas Berlusconi had been unable to drive gypsies outside Rome’s city limits because of protest, Veltroni responded to racist hysteria about gypsy criminality by pledging to drive them into ’solidarity villages’ – small camps outside Rome controlled by police.

It’s hard to imagine a more disgusting politically correct term for such an obscenely racist measure. This followed the rape and murder of one Giovanna Reggiani, it turned out by a Roma gypsy. The reason the police were able to track down the suspect quickly was that a resident of the same camp on which the man was living had alerted them

And this, Alemannno, the fascist who won in Rome and was greeted by calls of Duce! and fascist salutes, had significant Jewsish support… from a FT snip at the Mcat post :

Fascists and Jews united for Rome mayor
By Guy Dinmore in Rome
Sunday May 4 2008 13:20

Rome’s election last week of its first rightwing mayor since the time of Benito Mussolini has been celebrated by fascists as a historic victory over the left.

Packs of young, thuggish supporters of Gianni Alemanno greeted the new mayor’s appearance at the Campidoglio city hall with straight-armed “Roman” salutes, shouting abuse at communists and immigrants.

“Before, if you were a fascist you had to pretend to be part of the mainstream to have respectability. Now they are coming out of the closet,” said an aide to the defeated centre-left candidate, Francesco Rutelli.

Mr Bokhobza had always voted for centre-left candidates for Rome mayor. Giving his second reason for changing, he said they had not managed the city well. “The ideology of politics is finished,” he added. [sound familiar? ”I am non-idealogical, trust me chilld!” — what fucking BULLHSITE — Mcat]

Sandro Di Castro, president of the Jewish community’s Bene Berith association, says the present sense of danger posed to Israel by Islamists and Iran outweighs memories of the more distant and tragic past of the mass deportations from Rome by the Nazis and Mussolini’s anti-Jewish race laws. ::snip

tons of links at the post, Forza Italia…

81. CSTAR - 27 June 2008

Crumbling financial markets, exploding energy and food prices, social safety nets frayed to the point of failing, intimations of war with iran, rampant xenophobia, religious fanaticism.

This is not necessarily grounds, I think, for a generally optimistic view of future developments

Or as the irreplaceable Billmon would often say, quoting Hirohito

the war situation has developed not necessarily to our advantage.

82. marisacat - 27 June 2008


That reminds me of some report or internal dispatch I read the other day, from Japan toward the end of the war…

We continue to win the war, closer and closer to home.


83. Arcturus - 27 June 2008

We are the last “first” people. We forget that. We act big, misuse our land, ourselves. We lose our own primary.

–Charles Olson, Call Me Ishmael: A Study of Melville, 1947

spermaceti to petrol

1. Farewell to the Holocene

Our world, our old world that we have inhabited for the last 12,000 years, has ended, even if no newspaper in North America or Europe has yet printed its scientific obituary.
. . .

This planetary deficit of opportunity and social justice is captured in the fact that more than one billion people, according to UN-Habitat, currently live in slums and that their number is expected to double by 2030. An equal number, or more, forage in the so-called informal sector (a first-world euphemism for mass unemployment). Sheer demographic momentum, meanwhile, will increase the world’s urban population by 3 billion people over the next 40 years (90% of them in poor cities), and no one — absolutely no one — has a clue how a planet of slums, with growing food and energy crises, will accommodate their biological survival, much less their inevitable aspirations to basic happiness and dignity.

If this seems unduly apocalyptic, consider that most climate models project impacts that will uncannily reinforce the present geography of inequality. One of the pioneer analysts of the economics of global warming, Petersen Institute fellow William R. Cline, recently published a country-by-country study of the likely effects of climate change on agriculture by the later decades of this century. Even in the most optimistic simulations, the agricultural systems of Pakistan (a 20% decrease from current farm output predicted) and Northwestern India (a 30% decrease) are likely to be devastated, along with much of the Middle East, the Maghreb, the Sahel belt, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Twenty-nine developing countries will lose 20% or more of their current farm output to global warming, while agriculture in the already rich north is likely to receive, on average, an 8% boost.

In light of such studies, the current ruthless competition between energy and food markets, amplified by international speculation in commodities and agricultural land, is only a modest portent of the chaos that could soon grow exponentially from the convergence of resource depletion, intractable inequality, and climate change. The real danger is that human solidarity itself, like a West Antarctic ice shelf, will suddenly fracture and shatter into a thousand shards.

Mike Davis, “Living on the Ice Shelf: Humanity’s Melt Down,” 26 June 2008

84. JJB - 27 June 2008


Didn’t someone (Pat PukeCannon, maybe) recently say on TV that Jesus would be a proponent of capital punishment were he alive today? He who stopped an execution (“let he who is without sin cast the first stone”) and was executed himself.

What’s worst is that no one ever challenges these despicable morons.

85. marisacat - 27 June 2008

new post………….


……… 8)

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