Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Published on Mar 1, 2013
Singers Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell perform "Chase the Feeling" from their new album, "Old Yellow Moon," in the Wall Street Journal's studio in New York.

Thanks to WSJDigitalNetwork·

Friday, March 1, 2013

"Is John Boehner Drunk At Work?"

Heh. Thank you, Old Fart, for making this so easy!

And I heartily concur that drug testing for people taking our tax money, in this case three breathalyzer tests per day, should start at the top to set a good example.

Scalia's slam of the Voting Rights Act is a bar-stool rant


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is alleged to be one of the great intellects of conservative jurisprudence, but his comments during oral arguments over a challenge to the 1965 Voting Rights Act displayed all the mental acuity of a third-tier talk radio bozo.

In court on Wednesday, however, Scalia mocked that vote. He said the Senate’s unanimity simply proved the law had not been given serious consideration. The senators were afraid, he said, to cast a vote against a law with a "wonderful" name. He went on to assert that the reauthorization of the act was merely "a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement."

That sort of legal reasoning may be good enough for someone sitting on a bar stool well into his third pint, but it is not good enough for the highest court in the land.

Tossing actual statistics back at Scalia, Justice Elena Kagan cited a string of continued voting-rights violations. As to the state of mind of the senators, she said the unanimous vote was pretty good proof that the evidence of contemporary abuses was convincing, even to conservative Southerners.

"It was clear to 98 senators, including every senator from a covered state, who decided that there was a continuing need for this piece of legislation," Kagan said.

Undeterred, Scalia opined that a law governing voting rights is "not the kind of question you can leave to Congress." Oh, really? The right to vote is the core of our constitutional democracy. It is not, as Scalia says, "a racial entitlement," it is an American entitlement. It seems that might be a very useful thing for Congress to watch over and protect. It was eminently important in 1965 and remains important today.
The crux of the biscuit:

Given the weirdness of his comments, it might not be wrong to assume Scalia's true concern is less about "racial entitlement" than it is about making sure his fellow Republicans are entitled. Entitled, that is, to manipulate elections when they can no longer win fair and square.

Rachel calls Fat Tony what he is

In case you missed this, you MUST see it!

In this exclusive, unedited interview, Rachel Maddow shares her in-person observations of the Supreme Court, and champions civil rights legislation.
And nails Fat Tony's considerable hide to the barn door in the process.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Headline of the Day

CPAC is the 'Star Wars Bar Scene of the Conservative Movement'
Heh. No shit!

Kagan, Sotomayor Bitch Slap Fat Tony

Dana Milbank

For a quarter-century, Antonin Scalia has been the reigning bully of the Supreme Court, but finally a couple of justices are willing to face him down.

As it happens, the two manning up to take on Nino the Terrible are women: the court’s newest members, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Get that fat bastid, ladies! Good on yas!

The styles of the two Obama appointees are different. Sotomayor is blunt and caustic, repeatedly interrupting. In an opinion this week, she harshly criticized a Texas prosecutor for a racist line of questioning. She has been on the interview circuit publicizing her memoir.

Kagan is choosier about when to interject herself, but she’s sardonic and sharp-witted. (“Well, that’s a big, new power that you are giving us,” she said, mockingly, when a lawyer tried to argue that the justices should overrule Congress’s discrimination findings.)

Both are more forceful than the Clinton appointees, the amiable Breyer and the frail Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The two new justices are sending a message to the court’s conservative majority: You may have the votes, but you’re going to have a fight.

Wednesday’s voting rights case was typical. Surprisingly, the five conservative justices seemed willing to strike down a landmark civil rights law (the provision that gives extra scrutiny to states with past discrimination) that was renewed with near-unanimous votes in Congress. Conservative jurists usually claim deference to the elected branches, but in this case they look an awful lot like activist judges legislating from the bench.
Gee, I thought Repugs frowned on "judicial activism"? Oh, that's right, IOKIYAR.

Sotomayor allowed the lawyer for the Alabama county seeking to overturn the law to get just four sentences into his argument before interrupting him. “Assuming I accept your premise — and there’s some question about that — that some portions of the South have changed, your county pretty much hasn’t,” she charged. “Why would we vote in favor of a county whose record is the epitome of what caused the passage of this law to start with?”

Moments later, Kagan pointed out that “Alabama has no black statewide elected officials” and has one of the worst records of voting rights violations.

Scalia and Justice Samuel Alito tried to assist the Alabama county’s lawyer by offering some friendly hypotheticals, but Sotomayor wasn’t interested in hearing that. “The problem with those hypotheticals is obvious,” she said, because “it’s a real record as to what Alabama has done to earn its place on the list.”
This lawsuit by Shelby County, Alabama, is being privately financed by a big donor, and it's obvious that they want Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act overturned so they can proceed with James Crow Jr. Esq. voter disenfranchisement without the pesky "pre-clearance" requirement. I hope they do not get away with it.

The Crackpot Jackpot and Ghost Boner

A fun and not too off the mark look at Senator Ted "Tailgunner Joe's Ghost" Cruz at Political Garbage Chute. Shit, Cruz even looks like McCarthy.

5 Things Ted Cruz Wants To Accomplish In the Senate

The Smarmy Index in Washington has hit an all time high, thanks to the arrival of the Junior Senator from Texas by way of Canada. (Honestly Canada! What did we do to deserve this son of a bitch?) Cruz makes every Tea Party Lady quiver in her nether regions. It’s as if someone created a mold for “Peevish, Accusatory, Inflamatory, Self-Righteous Prick Senators,” poured a glop of hair gel and good ol’ fashioned Texas Bullshit into it, squeezed the damnable thing together, and out popped Ted.
Yeah, Canada, we'll take poutine, Ice Road Truckers, BC bud, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, Natalie MacMaster, and many other wonderful Canadian things with great pleasure, but, really, you should have kept this sonofabitch. Honest, Canada, we get it - you're laughin' yer frozen asses off, but still...

[...] But what else can this legislative lightweight hope to accomplish after having pissed off members of both parties in his Hill debut?

Maybe one of these things…

Sen. Joe McCarthy just got a ghost boner while he works the phone bank in Hell.

#4. Getting To The Bottom of [insert CRAZY RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY THEORY HERE]
I don’t think Republicans in Congress are interested in anything unless it involves vaginae or a conspiracy. If you could somehow concoct a conspiracy around President Obama using the vaginae of all the women in the land to smuggle guns into Mexico so that they may one day ban both guns and female genitalia, you would hit the Republcian crackpot jackpot. It’s not shocking or surprising at all that the GOP loves their conspiracies – whether they be Fast & Furious or FEMA death camps — they’re the party of alternate reality as it is anyway. After all, it takes a certain conspiratorial dismissal of truth to not only believe in but proselytize trickle down economics.

#3. Outlaw Dancing In His Town
I know he’s Canadian. But Senator Cruz came to Congress by way of Texas. And it’s probably safe to say that approximately 82% of all towns in Texas qualify as being “Footloose-ian” in nature. That is to say that most small towns in Texas could easily play host to a Kevin Bacon and/or Kenny Wormwald figure to stroll into town and wreak havoc on the elders, inciting rock and roll dance marathons! And women wearing dungarees!

#1. Be A Complete and Total Dickhead
Oh wait. He’s already accomplished that. So maybe it should say “Continue Being a Complete and Total Dickhead” instead. Oh well. The point is that Senator Ted Cruz is a complete and total dickhead.
Word and Amen. Go see the rest.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Backing Into Equality

I think I'm getting jaded over politics in my old age. Or something. Anyway, I'm not finding much to be outraged about today. Perhaps the Repugs have moved the bar of hate, fear, and delusion to a new normal and I'm just getting used to it after eight and a half years of doing this shit. Ho-hum.

Or maybe we really are finally starting to win and I just feel more relaxed about it all.

Anyway, here's some educational light entertainment. I really like the Carolina Chocolate Drops (website) and I watch L.A.-based Tavis Smiley pretty often. This was just put up a few days ago. Enjoy. Learn.

Published on Feb 19, 2013
The original trio of Dom, Rhiannon and Justin made an appearance in 2010 on the Tavis Smiley interview show (PBS). Their 2nd studio album "Genuine Negro Jig" was released that year to great critical acclaim and much media attention. The album won a 2010 Grammy in the Best Traditional Folk album category, and reached the top 10 on the Billboard Folk Album chart and the top spot of the Bluegrass album chart.

Thanks to lordchauncey.

Here's a tune.

Published on Jun 18, 2012
This Quick Hits video brings together all four members of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, including cellist Leyla McCalla, for a rendition of a bluegrass standard, "Don't Get Trouble in Your Mind." It's hard to imagine a quartet being more in sync than the Drops are during this virtuoso, rowdy romp.

Thanks to SoundTracksQH.

And for good measure, this outfit'll liven up yer next square dance! "Homebrew alcohol" is a staple at those.

Published on Jun 18, 2012
Featuring Dom Flemons on the bones and Rhiannon Giddens on the 5-string banjo, "Old Corn Likker" was performed backstage exclusively for Quick Hits. This is a square dance song with Flemons calling out to the dancers and telling the story of a man who fell off a wagon and lost his hat due to some overindulgence in some homebrew alcohol.

The reason for the title of the post is that instead of raising themselves professionally and socially by going for high-class bullshit, these folks have used their Master's Degrees to show that being hillbillies ain't just for whites no more, not that it ever really was. They're doing a damn fine job of it. Heh.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Why Are You Still Here?"

I'm still suffering from truck lag from driving home from the coast yesterday so I'll probably take the easy way out today with light entertainment for you.

Old Fart tears Limpbaugh a new one but he's still more polite than I would have been.

Thanks to oldfartrants.

Oh. the irony...

Ironic Times

Supreme Court to Revisit Campaign Finance Limits
Why, it will ponder, can't one person, like ExxonMobil, give as much money as it wants to a candidate.
Well, this stuff is supposed to be irony...

Americans Prepare for Last-Minute Sequestration Frenzy
Stock up on earplugs.
Boy, that one's no shit either.