I haven't been feeling well lately, and have not been blogging. But I decided to post some links to some interesting things I've been reading over the last few days.
Wisconsin Republicans broke the law when they held an emergency vote Wednesday night on their anti-union bill (which they said had to be in the budget bill because it was a fiscal issue, then they said it was not fiscal so it could be removed from the budget and voted on separately) because they violated the Open Meetings law. Wisconsin GOP Anti-Union Vote Violates State’s Open Meetings Law. Money quote: "The provision in Wis. Stat. § 19.84(3) requires that every public notice of a meeting be given at least twenty-four hours in advance of the meeting, unless 'for good cause' such notice is 'impossible or impractical.' If 'good cause' exists, the notice should be given as soon as possible and must be given at least two hours in advance of the meeting. … If there is any doubt whether 'good cause' exists, the governmental body should provide the full twenty-four-hour notice"
This one just takes the cake. Former Speaker of the House and 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says it was his love of his country that caused him to cheat on his wife. Newt Gingrich: 'Passion for the country' led to personal indiscretions. Money quote: "There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate." Weird use of the passive tense from Newt. "Things happened?" I wonder how many women believe this crap.
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter has an interesting piece regarding Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) anti-Muslim hearings in the House. How Peter King's Muslim Hearings Help the Terrorists. Money quote: "King needs to ask himself whether the anxiety he’s creating within the Muslim-American community is helpful to future cooperation. Will he be able to guilt-trip, shame, or otherwise compel American Muslims to communicate more with law enforcement? It’s hard to see how. More likely, the bad feeling will mean fewer leads and less cooperation. That helps the bad guys."
Sticking with King, Think Progress has debunked a central theme to the Congressman's hearings, namely that only Muslims commit acts of terrorism in the US. As King Targets Muslims, There Have Been Almost Twice As Many Plots Since 9/11 From Non-Muslim Terrorists. Money quote: "In fact, right-wing extremist and white supremacist attacks plots alone outnumber plots by Muslims, with both groups being involved in 63 terror plots, 18 more plots than Muslim Americans have been involved in."
Here is a video clip of an emotional Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) (America's first Muslim member of Congress) detailing the story of a Muslim first responder who died on 9/11:
Omaha's weekly, The Reader, has an article up about Nebraska's recent privatization of the child welfare system. Hard Climb Ahead, More questions than answers regarding Nebraska’s child care privatization. Money quote: "What is clear about Nebraska’s early effort to outsource its child welfare responsibilities is that it’s floundered. Three of the five lead agencies hired in the revision process have dropped out or declared bankruptcy, leaving just two service providers to oversee thousands of Nebraska’s most vulnerable children and families."
Stephen Kinzer of The Guardian has a well-written op-ed giving his reasons against the US intervening in Libya. Why the US must not intervene in Libya. Money quote: "The US is fighting two wars in Muslim countries. Since the results have included thousands of dead Americans, a near-bankrupt treasury and a surge in anti-Americanism in the world's most volatile region, launching a third war might seem unwise. Intervening in Libya would require the US to take sides in a highly obscure conflict. Any group the US helps bring to power would be heavily tainted, and Americans would have to defend it in an explosive environment." I tend to agree with Kinzer's argument, though I go back and forth on the issue. I am torn. He is right, however, that we know very little about the rebels in Libya. If we help them, how do we know we are not handing control over to people who are worse than Khaddafi?
What exactly does the GOP have against the Special Olympics? Among the Republican's targets of their non-fiscally related budget cut proposals, funding for the Special Olympics is on the chopping block - big time. GOP Cuts: A "Guillotine Job" on the Special Olympics. Money quote: "Food safety, family planning, cancer research, and low-income housing—now add the Special Olympics to the long list of organizations and federal programs targeted for major funding cuts by congressional Republicans."
The New York Times has an article up today that shows that new Republican hero, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, is not exactly the most truthful guy on the Republican side. Christie’s Talk Is Blunt, but Not Always Straight. Money quote: "Mr. Christie, a Republican who took office in January 2010, would hardly be the first politician to indulge in hyperbole or gloss over facts. But his misstatements, exaggerations and carefully constructed claims belie the national image he has built as a blunt talker who gives straight answers to hard questions, especially about budgets and labor relations. Candor is central to Mr. Christie’s appeal, and a review of his public statements over the past year shows some of them do not hold up to scrutiny."
Despite the fact that losing VP candidates never become president (see John Edwards, Joe Lieberman, Jack Kemp, Lloyd Bensten, Geraldine Ferraro, Bob Dole, Thomas Eagleton, etc) Sarah Palin is running and basing her
flight of fancy campaign in Arizona, according to Politico. Palin would base campaign in Scottsdale. Money quote: "And Arizona carries its own significance: Basing a campaign there would be a provocative rejection of any lingering political cost from those who connect her harsh rhetoric and Gabrielle Giffords' shooting -- a traditional refusal to retreat. It's also the core of the politically contested, fast-growing new West."
Paul Campos of The Daily Beast makes a decent case for removing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from the bench for his potentially illegal activities, while acknowledging that he will never really be punished for his misdeeds. Throw Clarence Thomas Off the Bench. Money quote: "Thomas' defense is that he didn't knowingly violate the law, because he 'misunderstood' the filing requirements. This is preposterous on its face. Bill Clinton was impeached—and subsequently disbarred—for defending his false statements about his affair with Monica Lewinsky with an excuse that wasn't as incredible as the one Thomas is now employing."
SPIN has a nice review of the recent Bright Eyes shows at Radio City Music Hall. Bright Eyes Earns Radio City Music Hall Spotlight. Money quote: "There's something about watching any band play Radio City Music Hall that inherently feels like a coronation, a moment to savor and take stock -- must be the vaulted ceilings and the faint musk of old Rockettes. But in the case of Bright Eyes, playing the first of two shows at the hallowed midtown Manhattan sanctuary, the pomp and circumstance felt apt, and earned."
An Illinois marathon runner named Joe D'Amico says he will prepare for his next marathon by eating only McDonald's for 30 days prior to the race. ‘McRunner’ trains for marathon by eating only McDonald’s. Money quote: "It may sound more like a recipe for getting the runs than running fast. But ultra-lean D’Amico aims to beat his personal best time of two hours and 36 minutes — a six-minute-mile pace that should put him among the top 50 finishers."