News Roundup – Gaza, Impeachment, Stephen A Smith


I truly wish that I had something original and thoughtful to say about the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. There are no right answers. Gaza is in flames. I believe that any reasonable, rational individual would look at all of the aspects of this conflict and throw his hands up in frustration. Hamas, a terrorist group, is lobbing rockets into Israel. This is a fact. The rockets are currently ineffectual, but they are rockets nonetheless. Israel has tried to take out these rockets with selective precision bombing (isn’t precision bombing an oxymoron?). There were high civilian casualty rates. The rockets kept coming. Israel has launched a ground offensive in order to destroy these rockets and also destroy a number of tunnels which have been dug into Israel. Again, the civilian casualties are high. Personally, I don’t see any reasonable short-term or long-term solution to this problem. A two state solution is basically apartheid for the Palestinians. A single state solution would be disastrous for the Israelis.

Impeach the president. We’ve heard this rallying cry from conservatives since the day that Barack Obama took office more than five years ago. The exact reason for impeachment has always been fuzzy. The bottom line has always been that they don’t like Obama and therefore we need to get rid of him. There is a reason that Barack Obama has not been impeached. He hasn’t done anything to be impeached for (at least not that I know of). By now, impeachment is a rallying cry from both conservatives and liberals. Both sides are able to rake in money to support Obama’s impeachment or to defend him from it. The whole thing is simply crazy. By the way, while both sides are raking in money, the average American is still struggling to make ends meet.

ESPN commentator Stephen A Smith has been suspended for saying uninformed, misogynistic and, frankly, wrong comments about domestic violence. Mr. Smith suggested that women do something to provoke their attackers. As I sit here in my office in 2014, I cannot think of anything that a woman can do to provoke the beating that Ray Rice inflicted on his then fiancée. Oh, and that brings me to the NFL, which has suspended Ray Rice for two games. I don’t understand how you get suspended for two games under a “zero-tolerance policy” for beating someone within an inch of their lives, but you get suspended for four games if you break the substance abuse policy. The priorities of the NFL continue to be screwed up. Ray Rice needs to be kicked out of the league and Stephen A. Smith needs to do a week-long segment on domestic violence sports.

Last member of the Enola Gay has died.

No signs of the inflation fairy. I know that conservatives were yelling that the injection of $800 billion would cause disastrous inflation. The good news is that they were really, really wrong.

ObamaCare – Yes and No

Health care reform

It is kind of crazy that two separate courts made two opposite rulings on ObamaCare. Both courts were looking at the same thing – are subsidies for ObamaCare legal?

From Abbe Gluck -

As Marty notes, the opinion is out. Initial quick reaction, more to come:  The opinion is terribly disappointing from a statutory interpretation perspective. It relies in part on irrelevant legislative history (from the HELP committee, whose bill wasn’t even the basis for these provisions–the Finance committee’s was) and gets it wrong anyway (as I argued here);  it bends over backwards to come up with reasons why Congress might have intended this result (which we all know it certainly did not); and it attaches far too much significance to a line in the statute that expressly deems exchanges in the territories to be state exchanges and does not replicate the special deeming language for the federal exchanges.  The territories language is boilerplate language used by Congress when talking about territories in statutes even beyond the ACA, and should have been attached no significance here. What’s more, applying the exclusio unius presumption  (that when Congress specifies X we can assume that it meant not to specify X elsewhere) to a statute as long and complicated as the ACA — and one that did not go through the usual linguistic “clean up” process in Conference (as I wrote here) does a disservice to textualism and all those who have defended it over the years–turning it into a wooden unreasonable formalism  rather than the sophisticated statutory analysis that textualists have been claiming they are all about.

Who is Abbe Gluck? Continue reading

William Barber, Moral Fusion Movement

Moral Fusion Movement

If you have not heard the Reverend William Barber speak, you’re missing an event. I had the privilege of sharing the stage with him a couple of years ago. Although my speech was awesome… his was far better. What I really admire about Reverend Barber is the fact that he truly wants to build a movement. He has been thinking about this and studying the problem for years.

“Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed” (Isaiah 10:1).

This the Moral Fusion Agenda:

  • Secure prolabor and anti-poverty policies that ensure economic sustainability
  • Educational equality that ensures that every child gets a high quality public education (this includes access to colleges and junior colleges)
  • Healthcare for all (this includes providing environmental protection for all communities)
  • Fairness in the criminal justice system by addressing continued inequality in the system and providing equal protection for black, brown and poor white Americans
  • Protecting and expanding voting rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, immigrants rights and the fundamental principle of equal protection under the law

BTW, there is another recording of Reverend Barber’s speech to Netroots. This other recording was taken by someone in the audience. You can really hear the audience applause and reactions, which makes his speech much more enjoyable. IMHO.