A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.
First up, in Garden Grove, CA, gun-wielding jewelery store owner frightens off... the Keyston Cops?
Seriously, check these guys out.
0:34 : You would not be mistaken if you at first thought that the robbers were scared off by the dog on the counter.
Someone actually wrote this:
It’s so ironic, people. The national electorate is totally turned off by partisan standoffs. You can almost hear the public imploring, will you guys please just make some back-room deals? And, at that same moment, the Republican candidates are being pushed into being more and more intractable.
That someone is Gail Collins, columnist for the New York Times.
Can we officially stick a fork in Hopenchange? We knew it to be a farce all along but America's newspaper of record is, in print, championing business as usual.
What's ironic, Gail, is that Obama's two greatest legislative accomplishments were fashioned in the manner for which you are pining. Porkulus (aka: the American Recovery Act) and to a much greater degree, ObamaCare, were epitomized by back room deals, bribes, kick-backs and business as usual politics.
How sad that the Hopenchange set has been reduced to supporting the most shamelessly cynical politician in our lifetime.
If Bill Clinton was shamelessly cynical, and he was, he at least had the political sense to realize that to build his legacy he would have to work with the opposition party to achieve legislative goals that were popular with a majority of Americans.
If the current Occupier of the Oval Office wins a second term, will he have a similar instinct? At this point, we have seen nothing in his behavior pattern that would suggest he is anything but a hard-line ideologue. Intractable, to use Collins' words.
What we've been tweeting...
So, this Olympic trampoline business... The Man Show, right?
Headline from CNBC:
Get used to the 'New Norm' of 6-7% US Jobless Rate
Memo to CNBC: In case you haven't noticed, the jobless rate has been above 8% for 41 straight months. There would be nothing normal about a 6-7% jobless rate.
This tack is notable in two ways: 1) softening the expectations going into the heat of the presidential campaign. The President can't talk about the economy so his water-carriers will in the form of lowering the bar and 2) it's sickening. The most innovative and hard-working people on the planet are being told to just get used to the 'new malaise' of the 'new norm'. That's not the American exceptionalism we'd heard about from our parents and some of our teachers while growing up. We're not taking this laying down - will you?
For all of you yacking about the do-nothing Congress: rejoice! They did something even if it meant further curtailing of free speech rights.
99.999% of Americans can agree that there are no more dispicable humans that blight this country of ours than the 7 or 8 members of the Westboro Baptist Church, but guess what, gang? There rights need to be protected as well. Congress, evidently, felt otherwise.
Westboro Baptist Church protesters will soon be severely limited in their ability to disrupt military funerals, after Congress passed a sweeping veterans bill this week that includes restrictions on such demonstrations.
According to “The Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012,” which is now headed to President Barack Obama’s desk, demonstrators will no longer be allowed to picket military funerals two hours before or after a service. The bill also requires protestors to be at least 300 feet away from grieving family members.
This aspect of the legislation was introduced by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who, at the urging of a teenage constituent, proposed new limitations on military funeral demonstrations as a response to a 2011 Supreme Court case that ruled such actions were protected under the First Amendment.
Yep. Your tax dollars spent on legislation that was already struck down by the Supreme Court.
And even more importantly: we would need no 1st amendment if we all spoke and thought the same. The whole concept of free speech is to protect that which you may find offensive. That's what this big ol' experiment of a constitutional republic is all about. Looks like we have some elected officials charged with stewardship of this experiment, however, that are not so mindful of this.
This must be some more of that "new civility" I've been hearing so much about.
Think that the Chick-fil-A "kiss-in" on Friday as a counter to the "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" was largely a bust but that didn't prevent some meaningful exchanges from the two camps.
Anne Sorock, blogging at Legal Insurrection was at a Chicago event. Here's what she heard and saw:
I attended Friday night’s “Kiss-in” protest outside the only Chick-fil-A location in Chicago. The small group of between twenty to thirty protesters gathered outside the restaurant around 7pm. A few same-sex couples took the opportunity to kiss in public, as the protest organizers encouraged attendees to do on their facebook page.
I asked many of the protesters whether they agreed with Alderman Moreno’s actions; the reactions were mixed. Some agreed — one woman told me she took a “European view” of our Constitutional Rights — while others felt he was in the wrong despite agreeing with him in a general sense.
While there, a group formed around an elderly African-American homeless man, who was reading his bible while seated along a fence rail off to the side of the protest. Some in the group confronted the man, who was reading the bible aloud, and engaged him in theological debates. A few others took the opportunity to mock the man, which I captured on video:
Nearing the end of the protest, someone from the group wrote on the sidewalk in front of the homeless man, “He’s Really Gay Deep Down,” with an arrow pointed to where he was seated.
A "European view" of our Constitutional rights, huh? Kind of like, the constitution means whatever the hell we want it to mean? Looks like that whole tyranny of the majority thing is catching on.
But why do those little boys have to behave like such mean girls?
OK, gang. That's it for today. We'll catch up with you all tomorrow.