Oh John Carroll

Tag: politics (page 1 of 2)

James Marsh explains why he doesn’t rise for “God Bless America” at Washington National games:

This incident made me think more about the question: I love this country and don’t want to live anywhere else. But being pressured to stand up at a baseball game for a song that’s essentially a prayer seems, well, un-American. It feels like being pushed into the river for a baptism I didn’t choose. It’s an empty ritual, and one that I think doesn’t hold much theological water.

Simply Insane →

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo walks us through a shocking and bizarre story from Ohio.  In a work of fiction, James Gilkerson would be described as “a little too on the nose for the political point you’re trying to make.”

House of Un-Representatives →

Timothy Egan, writing for the Opinionator section of The New York Times:

You may wonder how he gets away with this. You may also wonder how Gohmert can run virtually unopposed in recent elections. The answer explains why we have an insular, aggressively ignorant House of Representatives that is not at all representative of the public will, let alone the makeup of the country.

(via my brother, Oh Dan Carroll)

His Rights →

Slate‘s Emily Bazelon explains why you should care that Dzhokhar Tsamaev has not yet been read his Miranda rights:

There is one specific circumstance in which it makes sense to hold off on Miranda. It’s exactly what the name of the exception suggests. The police can interrogate a suspect without offering him the benefit of Miranda if he could have information that’s of urgent concern for public safety. That may or may not be the case with Tsarnaev. The problem is that Attorney General Eric Holder has stretched the law beyond that scenario. And that should trouble anyone who worries about the police railroading suspects, which can end in false confessions. No matter how unsympathetic accused terrorists are, the precedents the government sets for them matter outside the easy context of questioning them. When the law gets bent out of shape for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, it’s easier to bend out of shape for the rest of us.

An American being charged for a crime committed on our soil.  Should be simple, right?

Dead Children & Monied Politicians →

David Simon, blogging in response to yesterday’s defeat of gun control measures:

Our elections — and therefore our governance — have been purchased. Instead of publicly funded elections, instead of level playing fields, instead of processes in which the power of actual ideas prevails over the size of the bankroll, we have given our democratic birthright over to capital itself. A gun manufacturer’s opinion can be thousands of times louder than the voice of any grieving Connecticut parent. And the damage that might come to political careers from individual Americans who wish to have gun laws require as much responsibility of gun owners as, say, motor vehicle laws? It pales when compared to the damage that can come to political careers from a lobbying group backed to hilt by those who will profit directly from the fear and violence in our culture.

It’s a very small comfort that there’s been such good writing in response to such bad news this week.

Fear and ‘Fear’ →

Gabby Giffords in The New York Times:

Senators say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.

 It’s been a shitty day, huh?

Gitmo Is Killing Him →

Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, through interpreters, in The New York Times:

I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they restore my dignity.

I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial.

First, Do No Harm →

My pal Tyler has a piece about California’s S.B. 1172 and his own experiences with Sexual Orientation Change Efforts at the Huffington Post:

In 2002 I elected to get help to “cure” my homosexuality through a so-called therapeutic practice, “reparative therapy,” “conversion therapy” or, as it’s currently known, “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE). I sat opposite a man who communicated his heterosexuality quite strategically: family pictures, a “Father of the Year” mug and a shiny, gold wedding band. I coveted those tokens of heterosexuality, because I lived under the assumption that they were never mine to possess. I was 21, an adult, and I knowingly sought out help because I was told that my same-sex feelings were a “choice” that was wrong and curable.

Previously: Tyler’s interview with Ted Conover

On Why It Matters →

Pema Levy, for Talking Points Memo:

A number of unlikely sources defended President Obama last week when he called California Attorney General Kamala Harris “the best looking attorney general” and was later forced to apologize for it. His defenders mostly sang a common refrain: What’s the harm in complimenting a woman’s appearance?

As if on cue, a study released Monday showed that media coverage of a woman candidate’s appearance actually makes people less likely to vote for her — even if the comments are positive.

Punditry Serves No Purpose →

Philip Butta conducts a great interview with Nate Silver for Chicago Magazine.  I could pull many great quotes from this, but I’ll limit myself to one:

How can you cover politics and not have any sense for where you think the truth lies in the problem? That disturbs me. A lot of journalism wants to have what they call objectivity without them having a commitment to pursuing the truth, but that doesn’t work. Objectivity requires belief in and a commitment toward pursuing the truth—having an object outside of our personal point of view.

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