Just in case he wasn’t familiar with it, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) decided to read the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution to David Kris, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, who was testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee today to urge reauthorization of expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Act.
Franken, who opened by acknowledging that unlike most of his colleagues in the Senate, he’s not a lawyer, but according to his research “most Americans aren’t lawyers” either, said he’d also done research on the Patriot Act and in particular, the “roving wiretap” provision that allows the FBI to get a warrant to wiretap a an unnamed target and his or her various and changing cell phones, computers and other communication devices.
Noting that he received a copy of the Constitution when he was sworn in as a senator, he proceeded to read it to Kris, emphasizing this part: “no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Flashback to mid-December 2003, when Essie Mae Washington-Williams came forward with the bombshell that she was the illegitimate daughter of the recently-deceased patriarch of South Carolina politics, Sen. Strom Thurmond.
Rep. Wilson, a former page of Thurmond’s, immediately told The State newspaper that he didn’t believe Williams. He deemed the revelation “unseemly.” And he added that even if she was telling the truth, she should have kept the inconvenient facts to herself:
“It’s a smear on the image that [Thurmond] has as a person of high integrity who has been so loyal to the people of South Carolina,” Wilson said.
Of course, Williams’ story was entirely true — and never really in doubt. Thurmond was 22 and Williams’ mother, a black maid working in his family home, was 16 when Williams was born in 1925. Thurmond supported Williams financially for decades.
The words were shouted during Obama’s healthcare speech by South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson, and progressives were not happy with the disrespect his words showed toward the presidential office.
So they took action, with literally thousands of twitter users linking to the Act Blue fundraising page for Joe Wilson’s opponent, Rob Miller.
So how much money have they raised so far? It’s now 11 p.m., mere hours after Obama’s speech, and so far
$11,507$41,000 has been raised in that short span of time.
It’s now closer to $100K.
From the HuffPost:
This study investigated biased message processing of political satire in The Colbert Report and the influence of political ideology on perceptions of Stephen Colbert. Results indicate that political ideology influences biased processing of ambiguous political messages and source in late-night comedy. Using data from an experiment (N = 332), we found that individual-level political ideology significantly predicted perceptions of Colbert’s political ideology. Additionally, there was no significant difference between the groups in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements. Conservatism also significantly predicted perceptions that Colbert disliked liberalism. Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert’s political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion.
We haven’t had a Ron Paul item here in quite some time. Here ya go. I like my milk with 1% fat and 0% pathogens so pasteurization for me please.
“Dear President Obama”: The President Reads 10 Letters a Day from the Public, With Policy Ramifications
From Political Punch:
Every day President Barack Obama is handed a special purple folder. The folder contains ten letters, and every day President Obama takes time to read them.
Are they from world leaders? From members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff? Members of the intelligence community?
No, these letters have been culled from the thousands the White House Correspondence Office receives each day from Americans who have taken the time to sit down and write to their president.
“They help him focus on the real problems people are facing,” says Axelrod. “He really a absorbs these letters, and often shares then with us.”
In his first week in office, President Obama requested that he see 10 letters a day “representative of people’s concerns, from people writing into the president,” recalls Gibbs, “to help get him outside of the bubble, to get more than just the information you get as an elected official.”
I admit, I didn’t know much about Bobby Jindal before last night. The more I find out, the more I like about this guy. Here’s his description of participating in an exorcism:
Strangely, I found myself repeating the Hail Mary until it became a chant. Being a recent convert to Catholicism, I had yet to accept the Catholic docÂtrines concerning Mary and considered any form of Marian devotion to be idolatry. Though I had never before prayed a Hail Mary in my life, I suddenly found myself incapable of any other form of prayer. Somehow, Mary’s intercessions allowed me to find peace during that long night; I knew that I had surÂvived the worst and that I would exit with my faith intact. It terrified me to recall how close I came to turning away from Christ out of fear.
The crucifix had a calming effect on Susan, and her sister was soon brave enough to bring a Bible to her face. At first, Susan responded to biblical pasÂsages with curses and profanities. Mixed in with her vile attacks were short and desperate pleas for help. In the same breath that she attacked Christ, the Bible’s authenticity, and everyone assembled in prayer, Susan would suddenly urge us to rescue her. It appeared as if we were observing a tremendous battle between the Susan we knew and loved and some strange evil force. But the momentum had shifted and we now sensed that victory was at hand.
The campaign slogans write themselves!
I’ve written before that I think part of the problem that conservatives/Republicans face is that their mythology has become a bit too complex for mere mortals (people who don’t listen to Limbaugh and read The Corner obsessively) to comprehend. They reference rogues’ gallery of enemies and various “bad things” that most people have never heard of. Simply trying to navigate through the various wingnutty minefields while throwing out the appropriate red meat has become difficult to do, and the result is incomprehensible to most of the country.
Volcano monitoring! High speed rail!