On this 227th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, a reality check: the politics associated with the ratification of the Constitution (completed in 1788), were nasty. Really House of Cards stuff.
To wit: a breakdown of which areas in the various states voted to support or oppose the new Constitution.
George Clinton was such a relentless dick, it’s unbelievable.
People too poor to afford private attorneys too often appear before judges without a lawyer by their side, or are forced to navigate the criminal justice system with a revolving cast of overworked attorneys unfamiliar with their cases. Public defense attorneys who strive to protect the rights of their clients are too often thwarted by caseloads up to five times the recommended maximums and a lack of resources for investigations, experts and even workplace basics like computers. New York has turned its back on decades of studies and official reports warning that indigent defendants are consistently denied their right to counsel. As a result, justice in New York often is available only for those who can afford it. — From the NYCLU’s new report State of Injustice: How New York State Turns its Back on the Right to Counsel for the Poor.
N.Y. State Senator Looks to Legalize Marijuana for General Use -
Liz Krueger has been great on this issue and tried to mount a legalization effort last year but unfortunately for everyone who is or will be imprisoned for marijuana offenses, Democrats in New York recently decided that Andrew Cuomo should be their governor instead of Zephyr Teachout, who supports legalization. Last year, Cuomo’s spokesman called Krueger’s marijuana bill a “non-starter.”
So thanks, Democrats, for making marijuana reform an impossibility. Keep up the great work.
A Staten Island high school is facing a backlash from students for its newly implemented, hyper-strict dress code, for which 200 students have already been given detention for violating.
Students at Tottenville High School are fighting back against the draconian new policy, which prohibits girls from wearing shorts or skirts shorter than finger-tip length—in addition to low-cut or midriff-bearing tops—despite many classrooms not having air conditioning. In protest, some girls—who comprise 90 percent of the detentions given over the past two weeks—are dressing more skimpily than ever. —
If you’re an adult who has been made to look ridiculous and sexist by a bunch of teenagers, you should probably re-examine your life.
While we all oppose terrorism, a more tempered, well-tailored response is needed than to write a blank check to the president for waging war in unknown places, against unknown adversaries, and at unknown costs. —
One of the supportive letters written to Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Ca.) after she was the sole “no” vote in the overbroad Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Afghanistan in 2001.
Lee received quite a lot of mail following her vote, some of it supportive, some angry but reasonable, and some super incoherent and racist (click here to see examples of all three categories—it’s a fascinating collection).
Lee’s concern that the AUMF would give the President “a blank check to attack an unspecified country, an unspecified enemy for an unspecified period of time” proved prescient; President Obama is now using that same AUMF to justify war on ISIS without congressional approval.
Harlem, 1970. Stylin’
That guy on the left just knows he looks good.
Horse carriage debate 'about to begin' -
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday afternoon that his proposed ban on horse carriages will start winding its way through the City Council soon.
I cannot for the life of me understand why banning horse carriages in/around Central Park is being prioritized by anyone. I’d rather not have horses trotting about busy intersections and I suspect that accusations of animal abuse have some merit, but this is a divisive issue that will rile up the public. If de Blasio is going to lose approval points and provoke protests he should do it for something that concerns the two-legged: homelessness, racially biased arrests, charter schools, affordable housing, low wages, etc. He shouldn’t blow his political capital on this. Not to mention, he’s turned Liam Neeson into an enemy, which can have devastating consequences…
[T]he president seems grimly determined to practice what Mr. Bush’s lawyers only preached. He is acting on the proposition that the president, in his capacity as commander in chief, has unilateral authority to declare war.
In taking this step, Mr. Obama is not only betraying the electoral majorities who twice voted him into office on his promise to end Bush-era abuses of executive authority. He is also betraying the Constitution he swore to uphold. —
Bruce Ackerman’s devastating op-ed in The New York Times.
The paper’s editorial board was just as harsh.
This excellent human being is named Draven Rodriguez and he’s a student at Schenectady High School. He wants this photo to be in his yearbook photo, but the school administration are being massive tools and not letting him.
Which is bullshit.
In fact, I think lasers and cats should be mandatory in all high school yearbook photos
Jessica Roy at NYMag disagrees because:
It may seem cute and funny and cool now, but imagine explaining it to your future significant other in ten years. It’s not worth it, bro. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything …
Bullshit. If his future significant other rejects him for this amazing photo, they’re a loser and he should walk away.
update: here’s the petition
Today’s profile in courage.
All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaeda, in order to make the generals race there and cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses… —
Osama bin Laden
A reminder that terrorists want to drag us into war.
[Zephyr] Teachout won at least 20 counties from the Hudson Valley to the Canadian border, many of them rural and conservative. She even defeated Cuomo in more populous Albany County — the seat of state government.
I’m guessing that Teachout’s surprisingly strong performance in the Hudson Valley can be attributed to anti-frackers, anti-casino types, and small farmers. But what does it say about Cuomo that he lost in Albany? There must be a good number of government workers who quietly detest him.
A Southern GOP Can’t Be the Party of Lincoln -
The basic North-South split…is the historic natural division of American politics. One coalition is Greater New England —the areas of the United States settled originally, or in successive waves, by Yankees, with its greatest strength in the Northeast, and stretching through the upper Midwest and including California. The other coalition is based in the South, often including the Mountain West, with its greatest strength in the Deep South.
The broad ideological contours of those coalitions have held firm for some two centuries. Southerners, dating back to Andrew Jackson, strongly opposed a centralized government, believed the Constitution strictly prevented the government from intervening in the economy, distrusted cultural change, and represented the interests of whites as opposed to nonwhites. (Jackson’s defenses of strict Constitutionalism and the gold standard, and hatred for the national bank, perfectly anticipate tea-party economics.) Northerners believed more or less the opposite.
It’s amazing how many people don’t get this.