JanF

Leonard Pitts: “Where can we find sanctuary?”

Leonard Pitts, widely syndicated opinion writer for the Miami Herald, published an editorial yesterday: There is no sanctuary

He begins with the definition of “sanctuary”:

The main hall of a church is called a sanctuary.

It is where you go to worship, to seek fellowship and solace, and commune with your maker. The dictionary definition of the word adds an additional layer of resonance. A sanctuary is where you are sheltered and protected. A sanctuary is where you are safe.

Wednesday night, Emanuel AME church in Charleston, S.C., was a church without a sanctuary. Wednesday night, Emanuel AME was a killing ground.

The killer, dishonoring sanctuary, shouted out his manifesto of hatred:

“I have to do it,” [confessed killer Dylann] Roof is quoted as saying. “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”

If there is reason to believe the Rev. Pinckney or any of his congregants guilty of raping anyone or plotting to overthrow the government, it has not yet come to light.

But of course, when Roof said “you,” he did not mean “you,” singular. Rather he meant, “you,” plural. “You” people. “You” all. Individuality is, after all, the first casualty of racism.

In a country that Pitts points out is in the grip of gun fetishism, he suggests that this crime is not surprising. And he goes on to talk about the myth that allows people who should know better to declare that our country is post-racial and challenges them:

Let them go to any of a hundred cities and talk to black people who are sick of hearing how America overcame, learned its lesson, reached the Promised Land, yet somehow, sister can’t get a loan, dad can’t find a job, brother has to factor stop-and-frisk encounters into his travel time to and from school, and Walter Scott gets shot in the back while running away. All for rapes they never committed and government takeovers they never planned.

This!

Solange Knowles, sister of Beyonce, put it as follows Thursday in a tweet: “Was already weary. Was already heavy hearted. Was already tired. Where can we be safe? Where can we be free? Where can we be black?

Where, in other words, can we find just a moment to breathe free of this constant onus? Where can we find sanctuary?

It is up to white allies, people of goodwill, willing to own our part in what our country has become, to declare ourselves people who refuse to bury our heads in the sand, people who won’t just say “this has to stop” but will vow to MAKE IT STOP.

The promises of Abraham Lincoln in the Emancipation Proclamation (underscored by the sacrifices of those who died to preserve the union and end slavery) should not be left unfulfilled 150 years later, the promises of Lyndon Baines Johnson and the Democratic Congresses of the early 1960s (passing into law the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act) should not be left unfulfilled over 50 years later. It is time we, all Americans, fulfilled those promises … and provide sanctuary.

GOP Primary Primacy – NBC/WSJ Poll

Jeb!mentum and Trumpmania were the watchwords last week as the clown car swelled by two. Word was that Bobby Jindal, dictator of Louisiana, was to have announced on Saturday but probably held up as he went looking for a Confederate flag to hang in the capitol in Baton Rouge so that someone … anyone! … would notice that he can be a world class racist as well as the next guy.

National polls show that Jeb Bush got a bump and now leads all Republican candidates.

Jeb Bush 22%
Scott Walker 17%
Marco Rubio 14%
Ben Carson 11%
Mike Huckabee 9%
Rand Paul 7%
Rick Perry 5%
Ted Cruz 4%
Chris Christie 4%
Carly Fiorina 2%

Donald Trump 1%
Lindsey Graham 1%
John Kasich 1%
Bobby Jindal 0%
Rick Santorum 0%
George Pataki 0%

(The top ten will be invited to the Fox News debate. Carly Fiorina says that she needs to be invited so that she can “throw punches” at Hillary Clinton. Stay classy, Carly!!.)

I am sure that Rick Santorum has more than 0 actual supporters … well, on second thought, maybe not.

For what it is worth, none of these candidates believe that global warming is caused by human activity and most are quite peeved that the Pope stuck his nose where it was did not belong!

WASHINGTON—In response to a 184-page papal encyclical that urges immediate action to address the environmental and social consequences of global warming, a coalition of frustrated Republican leaders issued statements Thursday arguing that Pope Francis should leave scientific matters to scientists who deny climate change. “Frankly, it’s not really anyone’s place to make declarations about climate science or global temperature changes unless they’re a scientific expert who has spent years rejecting the concept of climate change,” said former Florida governor Jeb Bush, … “The pope should just stick to theology and let the several dozen scientists who support the scientifically disproven point of view on global warming do the talking.” Bush also told reporters that Pope Francis was unqualified to issue policy recommendations of any kind unless he had personally accepted money from the fossil fuel industry.

SCOTUS Watch – Monday, June 22nd – UPDATED

June is SCOTUS Decision month, when all eyes turn to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this term (before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer). The calendar calls for orders and opinions to be released every Monday – 9:30am for orders and 10:00am for opinions. However, history has shown that additional “opinion days” are often added as the month unfolds and this year is no different as last week we had our first Thursday opinion day (no word yet on this week) THERE WILL BE A THURSDAY OPINION DAY – Liveblog to start at 8:30am Eastern, opinions at 10:00am and also Friday at 10:00am.

As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.

 
All eyes turn to the court

UPDATE: Four cases
– The City of Los Angeles vs. Patel – 9th Circuit upheld in matter of turning over guest registries. The city has no right to the guest registries.
– Kimball v Marvel Entertainment LLC – Marvel wins. Lower court rulings upheld that the original holder of a patent is not entitled to royalties after the patent expires.
– Kingsley v Hendrickson – 7th Circuit overruled in a Due Process case granting protections to a jail inmate.
– Horne v Department of Agriculture – 9th Circuit overruled. Raisin farmer entitled to compensation for raisins seized in the excess raisin program.

The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for orders and opinions starting at 9:30am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 9:00am Eastern.

Included in the list of cases heard in the current term but not yet decided are these:
– The marriage equality cases, listed under Obergefell v. Hodges (6th Circuit ruled in favor of the state bans)
– The Affordable Care Act state exchange case, King v Burwell (4th Circuit ruled in favor of Burwell)
– The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the Federal District Court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
– A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
– An assault on the Fair Housing Act, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (The 5th Circuit ruled against the state agency’s application of the Fair Housing Act)
– Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)
DECIDED – 9th Circuit Upheld A 4th Amendment case involving hotel guest registries, The City of Los Angeles vs. Patel (the city is appealing 9th Circuit ruling that the registries do not need to be turned over)

A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.

President Obama: “I refuse to act as if this is the new normal”

The president spoke at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco on Friday. One of the topics was gun violence.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Obviously, the entire country has been shocked and heartbroken by what happened in Charleston. The nature of this attack — in a place of worship, where congregants invite in a stranger to worship with them, only to be gunned down — adds to the pain. The apparent motivations of the shooter remind us that racism remains a blight that we have to combat together. We have made great progress, but we have to be vigilant because it still lingers. And when it’s poisoning the minds of young people, it betrays our ideals and tears our democracy apart. […]

More than 11,000 Americans were killed by gun violence in 2013 alone — 11,000. […] At the very least, we should be able to talk about this issue as citizens, without demonizing all gun owners who are overwhelmingly law-abiding, but also without suggesting that any debate about this involves a wild-eyed plot to take everybody’s guns away.[…]

I remarked that it was very unlikely that this Congress would act. And some reporters, I think, took this as resignation. I want to be clear — I am not resigned. I have faith we will eventually do the right thing. (Applause.) I was simply making the point that we have to move public opinion. […]

We need a change in attitudes among everybody — lawful gun owners, those who are unfamiliar with guns. […]

And ultimately, Congress acts when the public insists on action.

Another “normal” that we should not accept: that people of color should always fear for their basic safety. This comment, by David Remnick at the New Yorker, highlights the issue:

No small part of our outrage and grief—particularly the outrage and grief of African-Americans—is the way the Charleston murders are part of a larger picture of American life, in which black men and women, going about their day-to-day lives, have so little confidence in their own safety. One appalling event after another reinforces the sense that the country’s political and law-enforcement institutions do not extend themselves as completely or as fairly as they do for whites.

THAT is what needs to change. Until people of color can feel safe going about their day, until the benefit of the doubt is extended to them … and their children … things will not be right. We need to demand a New Normal for fairness in America and shift public opinion so that protections are extended to all people of all races and genders and sexual orientations.

(Full context of the president’s remarks on gun violence are below …)

Weekly Address: President Obama – Creating New Pathways of Opportunity for Americans Like You

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President spoke to his priority of growing the economy and opening new avenues of opportunity for hardworking Americans. While the United States has already made economic progress, with more than 12 million new private sector jobs created over the past five years, there’s still more to be done. That’s why the President has continued to press for strong, high-standard trade agreements that are good for American workers and good for American businesses. And it’s why his Administration has partnered with mayors and governors across the country on issues such as minimum wage and paid leave that impact hardworking Americans. The President discussed impactful initiatives like these in his address before the Conference of Mayors on Friday.

President Obama: “Hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals”

The President:

There is something particularly heartbreaking about the death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace, in a place of worship.

Mother Emanuel is, in fact, more than a church. This is a place of worship that was founded by African Americans seeking liberty. This is a church that was burned to the ground because its worshipers worked to end slavery. When there were laws banning all-black church gatherings, they conducted services in secret. When there was a nonviolent movement to bring our country closer in line with our highest ideals, some of our brightest leaders spoke and led marches from this church’s steps. This is a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America. […]

… just over 50 years ago, after four little girls were killed in a bombing in a black church in Birmingham, Alabama … Dr. King said … “we must be concerned not merely with who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.”

SCOTUS Watch – Thursday, June 18th – UPDATED

June is SCOTUS Decision month, when all eyes turn to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this session (before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer). The calendar calls for orders and opinions to be released every Monday – 9:30am for orders and 10:00am for opinions. However, history has shown that additional “opinion days” are often added as the month unfolds and this year is no different as we have our first Thursday opinion day.

As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.

 
All eyes turn to the court

UPDATE: Six decisions, reporting from SCOTUSblog
McFadden v. U.S. – “In a unanimous judgment (the Chief Justice concurs in part and concurs in the judgment), the Court holds that when an analogue is involved, the statute requires the government to establish that the defendant knew he was dealing with substance regulated under either the Analogue Act or the main federal Controlled Substances Act.”

Ohio v. Clark – “The Court is unanimous in its judgment that the child’s statements to his teachers (the introduction in court of a young child’s statements to his preschool teachers about child abuse at home, when the child was unfit to testify) did not violate the Confrontation Clause (the Sixth Amendment right of the accused to confront the witnesses against him.).”

Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans – “The majority holds that the specialty license-plate designs offered by Texas constitute government speech, and thus Texas was entitled to refuse the design proposed by the Confederate heritage group that featured a Confederate battle flag.”

Davis v. Ayala – “The Court rules five to four to reverse the Ninth Circuit and hold that a trial judge’s decision to exclude a criminal defendant’s attorney from part of a Batson v. Kentucky hearing, in which the prosecutor explained the basis of some of his peremptory strikes of jurors, was harmless error.”

Brumfield v. Cain – “The Court rules five to four … that there was sufficient evidence that a death-row inmate in Louisiana could show he was impaired by an intellectual disability that he was entitled to have his claims under Atkins v. Virginia (which bars the execution of inmates with a mental disability) considered by a federal court.”

Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona. – “In a unanimous judgment (with five other Justices joining Thomas’s opinion), the Court holds that the town’s relevant sign restrictions are content-based regulations that fail strict scrutiny.” (Overturning 9th Circuit)

The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for opinions starting at 10:00am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 9:30am Eastern.

Included in the list of cases heard in the current term but not yet decided are these:
– The marriage equality cases, listed under Obergefell v. Hodges (6th Circuit ruled in favor of the state bans)
– The Affordable Care Act state exchange case, King v Burwell (4th Circuit ruled in favor of Burwell)
– The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the district court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
– A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
– Some other First Amendment cases:
– The Confederate license plate case, Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans (5th Circuit ruled against state, state appealed) DECIDED: State can ban racist plates
– A signage case Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona (9th Circuit ruled that the restrictions were reasonable, Reed appealed) DECIDED: Town cannot ban church signs
– An assault on the Fair Housing Act, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (The 5th Circuit ruled against the state agency’s application of the Fair Housing Act)
– Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)
– A 4th Amendment case involving hotel guest registries, The City of Los Angeles vs. Patel (city is appealing 9th Circuit ruling that the registries do not need to be turned over)

A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.

Mobilizing Private-Sector Support for Homegrown Clean Energy

From the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz:

Ingenuity is one of our country’s greatest assets. America’s entrepreneurs and innovators have a legacy of unleashing their creativity, grit, and imagination to invent, discover, and build solutions that not only contribute to our growing economy, but also solve some of the toughest challenges facing the nation. Investing in homegrown innovation, including the development of new, clean-energy technologies, is a crucial part of the fight against climate change – and is key to keeping America on the leading edge of the world’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

That’s why today, we’re hosting a Clean Energy Investment Summit at the White House, where we’re announcing $4 billion in independent commitments by major foundations, institutional investors, and others to fund innovative solutions to help fight climate change, including technologies with breakthrough potential to reduce carbon pollution.

Taken together, these commitments far surpass the initial $2 billion goal set at the launch of the Administration’s Clean Energy Investment Initiative last February. And we look forward to seeing this initiative continue to build momentum in the months ahead.

Vice President Biden:

Biden touts clean energy to investors

[T]he vice president addressed the White House Clean Energy Investment Summit, rallying charitable groups and large investors to commit $4 billion toward clean energy technologies.

“To state the obvious, I’m not an investment banker,” Biden said. “I wouldn’t go long on investments that lead to carbon pollution. I’d bet on clean energy.”

Biden said even China was beginning to understand the escalating health effects of carbon pollution.

“In the United States, even the climate deniers are preparing for greater impacts from more extreme weather, from heat waves wildfires, superstorms, droughts — all of which drastically effect local security and local economies,” he said.

(Transcript of Vice President Biden’s speech will be added when it becomes available.)

SCOTUS Watch – Monday, June 15th – UPDATED

June is SCOTUS Decision month, when legal geeks look to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this session before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer. The calendar calls for orders and decisions to be released every Monday at 10:00am but history has shown that additional “decision days” are often added as the month unfolds.

This week, the decision days will be Monday and Thursday.

As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.

 
All eyes turn to the court

UPDATE: Decisions on three cases: Kerry v Din, Baker Botts v ASARCO, and Maya v Lynch

Back on Thursday! There are 17 cases left to rule on this term.

The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for orders and opinions starting at 10:00am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 9:30am Eastern. The Thursday liveblog will begin at 9:30am Eastern with opinions at 10:00am.

Included in the list of cases heard in the current term but not yet decided are these:
– The marriage equality cases, listed under Obergefell v. Hodges (6th Circuit ruled in favor of the state bans)
– The Affordable Care Act state exchange case, King v Burwell (4th Circuit ruled in favor of Burwell)
– The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the district court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
– A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
– Some other First Amendment cases:
– The Confederate license plate case, Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans (5th Circuit ruled against state, state appealed)
– A signage case Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona (9th Circuit ruled that the restrictions were reasonable, Reed appealed)
– An assault on the Fair Housing Act, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (The 5th Circuit ruled against the state agency’s application of the Fair Housing Act)
– Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)
– A 4th Amendment case involving hotel guest registries, The City of Los Angeles vs. Patel (city is appealing 9th Circuit ruling that the registries do not need to be turned over)

A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.