An occasional list of links to provoking commentary. Some annotated by me.
|To-be Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson|
Theodore Johnson, director of the Fellows Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, writing at The Bulwark: "... what will it mean if the progressive wing of the Court made up of three women—one black, one Hispanic, and one Jewish—is consistently on the losing side, their constitutional interpretation on issues of civil rights and criminal justice routinely defeated?" My heart goes out to these sisters ... Can you imagine having to work with those pricks (one honorary)?
New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie: "for Americans who want a more equal society, the Supreme Court has been, is and will continue to be an adversary, not an ally. Understanding that fact is the first step toward doing something about it."
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Polish politician and member of the European Parliament Radosław Sikorski observes: "Populism has roots in many things, including frivolity. Electorates were voting for outlandish politicians in the UK, in the United States and elsewhere, out of a sense that nothing can go wrong, and therefore we can have these weird individuals. And now we know that things can go very badly wrong, and we need steadier hands." Over and over we have to learn this -- the politics of frivolity is a luxury item suitable only for an unserious society.
G. Elliot Morris, data nerd for The Economist: "Congressional election outcomes serve as very limited barometers of the public’s preferences for policy and presidents. ... If Democrats lose 30 or 40 seats in November, it is very hard to claim that x, y, or z is the thing that costs them electorally. That’s because lots of things matter marginally but most of the swing is already baked in. Though they have some control over how many seats they will lose in November, barring a war or political realignment by November, the Democrats lost Congress when they won the White House." I think of this well-founded observation when I read screeds about how Democrats should adopt this message or that one -- or throw this part of our coalition under the bus or that one ... We will need to work our darndest to hold as many Congressional seats as possible knowing the odds are against us, while winning some winnable Senate races and governor contests.
Nsé Ufot, chief executive of the New Georgia Project: “We need to remember that disinformation and fear that drives the other side, particularly around issues like critical race theory, do not equally drive Black voters ... We have to stop being reactive to talking points that motivate other audiences while ignoring the issues that actually matter to Black voters.” These Georgia folks have proved they know how to focus where their work can do the most good.
Stacey Abrams, running for Georgia governor, is very clear on what will get her elected: "You should not vote for me as a person. You should vote for me as a proxy, as a representative for who you are and what you want your community to be. The minute a politician becomes the product itself, we find ourselves in a lot of trouble. We’ve had recent examples of people buying the commodity versus the conduit." Abrams is the living antithesis of our frivolous politicians.
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Philip Bump in the Washington Post: "Putin’s defenders in his fight against democracy are those who are disparaging America’s diversity, over and over again." Republicans are finding the present moment confusing. Putin invaded a democratic Ukraine, politics became more serious, and massaging racial and gender resentment ceased to provide an adequate compass. Some might find new bearings; many will remain unserious panderers to unserious crackpots.
Feminist stalwart Jessica Valenti: "To the politicians pushing anti-choice laws, women dying isn’t collateral damage—it’s just our job. They believe that if we were real mothers and real women, we’d give up anything for pregnancy: Our education, our finances, our safety, our health and even our lives." Woman hatred is real.
Paul Butler: "Students who think their education should be free of racist slurs from professors are not illiberal snowflakes who don’t understand academic values. They simply want to learn in an environment where their teachers don’t judge them by their race or gender." He's calling bull___ on fear of "cancel culture."
Hamid Hayat served 14 years in federal prison for a crime he didn't commit because there was no crime. "His country once looked at him and imagined a terrorist. Americans feared his anger, and for that, he lost nearly everything. So if he does feel anger now, he isn’t free to show it. He still worries what co-workers and neighbors will think when they learn about his story. He still feels the need to show that he has a good heart, a good mind. He is still afraid of America’s fear." Because it was convenient for the people running the country, we let ourselves be run off our rails by exaggerated fears of Muslims. We should remember this, if we don't want to compound the folly and our crimes of cowardice.
Ariel Dorfman explores the urge of the powerful to censor: "... Winnie the Pooh was banned in China because apparently the portly, lovable bear was being used by dissidents to mock President Xi Jinping."
For a last word here: the Reverend Dr Ellen Clark-King, Dean of King’s College London: "TL:DR God is not male so broaden your pronouns."