Saturday Report 7/8/23 - Crazy Alert! Oklahoma Superintendent says about infamous Tulsa massacre, "Let's not tie it to skin color…"
The Best of the Rest of the News
— Republicans on the Supreme Court are just not that into you… This last year has seen the US Supreme Court turned from the nation’s court of final appeals, as it’s designed in the Constitution, into an unelected legislative and ruling body dancing to the tune of a handful of rightwing billionaires.
In the student debt relief case, they took on arguments from two states who would not have been injured by the student debt relief: in other words, there was no harm and therefore no standing. An honest court would’ve thrown the case out without hearing it. But this Court has decided that any old issue they want to change law or policy on they will simply go ahead and do, regardless of precedent, the law, or even the Constitution’s stipulations that there must be an injured party.
To make it even worse, the law under which the Biden administration intended to reduce student debt (the HEROS Act) actually explicitly allows the president to do just that. It is literally in the black-letter body of the law. The Republican majority on the Supreme Court simply chose to ignore it to wound a Democratic president.
In cases involving pollution and other issues of interest to their billionaire patrons, Republicans on the Court have invented a new “major questions doctrine” test, a fundamentally dishonest and Constitutionally nonexistent excuse for legislating from the bench that is as thinly transparent as Scalia’s Originalism scam.
Even worse than “major questions,” in last years gun ruling Clarence Thomas’ opinion essentially said that because there were no restrictions on gun ownership when the Constitution was written there shouldn’t be restrictions today. As a result of this ruling, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just gave guns back to a man who has been stalking his girlfriend for years and was involved in five different shooting incidents. Their logic was that because there were no laws protecting women from stalkers or domestic abusers in 1789, such laws cannot be enforced today. Seriously. This is getting nuts.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden tells Nicole Wallace that expanding the Court would politicize it. That horse has already left the barn. If Democrats can regain control of Congress in the 2024 election, their first order of business needs to be major reform of the Supreme Court including term limits, a code of ethics, limiting their ability to rule on issues involving money in politics and voting rights, and expanding the number of justices.
— The true story of an armed assassin. Inspired by a terrorist leader. On a mission to kill an American President. One of the primary tools that both Hitler and Mussolini used in their rises to power back in the day was what we today call stochastic terrorism. It’s where the leader identifies potential victims for his movement and makes vague references to the need for their punishment, prompting deranged people among his followers to seek those victims out for harm or even assassination. We saw this played out last week when a man, following a social media message by Donald Trump giving the address of Barack and Michelle Obama’s home in Washington DC, proceeded to their neighborhood while live-streaming his planned assassination of them.
Stochastic terrorism goes hand-in-hand with hate speech. Hate-motivated violence and murders are up substantially since Donald Trump made hateful rhetoric part of legitimate societal discourse with his 2015 campaign for the presidency and in all the years since then. Arguably, a major achievement of the civil rights movement of the 1960s was to make it socially unacceptable to engage in racist rhetoric. Trump has single-handedly undone that part of our social contract and I don’t see any easy way to recover it. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
— Finally, white women have a hate group of their own and the mainstream media loves them. Back in the 1950s in early 1960s, after the Supreme Court’s Brown v Board decision integrating America’s public schools, groups of suburban white mothers popped up all around the country to “defend” their schools, oppose integration, oppose “forced busing,” and come up with lists of books by Black authors or about Black contributions to American society that should be banned from public education.
Several new groups have reprized the idea, the most prominent being Moms For Liberty, which recently held a convention filled with bizarre and often hateful rhetoric. Their main issues appear to be banning books by or about Black or queer people, generally attacking public education, and rewriting America’s public school curriculum to be white-supremacism-friendly. For the most part, the mainstream media has treated them with fluff pieces, characterizing them as “concerned mothers,” although increasingly investigative news outlets and groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center are pointing out their funding sources and their aggressively political positions.
— Antiabortion groups are going to love this Sacramento sheriff who’s turning license plate data over to anti-abortion states. One big concern of civil libertarians has been the possibility that states which have criminalized abortion my use law-enforcement information from states where abortion is legal to prosecute women who’ve traveled out-of-state to obtain the procedure. Now we learn that at least one sheriff in California has been sharing data from automated license plate readers, which can track a car with extreme precision across a city over time, with states that have outlawed abortion. This may well be an area requiring federal legislation, although as long as Republicans control the house of representatives and the senate filibuster it must stay, for the moment, on our to-do list.
— And by-the-way: They are coming for your birth control! A great in-depth article in Elle magazine documents how Republican legislators in state after state are more and more willing to speak openly about their plans to outlaw birth control, now that they’ve succeeded in outlawing abortion.
It’s even possible the Supreme Court could lay the foundation for this by following Clarence Thomas’s advice and revisiting the Griswold v Connecticut decision from 1965 which legalized birth control nationwide. Thomas argued, in his concurring opinion in Dobbs, that since the Court had struck down the “right of privacy” rubric under which Roe v. Wade was decided, other cases that embraced that right, including Griswold, should be revisited.
If Republicans take control federally in 2024, expect this to become a national issue, with or without the Supreme Court. Otherwise, it’s a safe bet that within the next year we’re going to start seeing Republican-controlled states trying to take us back to the 1950s when multiple states outlawed the possession of even condoms.
— Trump is Screwed Alert! Mar-a-Lago photos reveal classified docs were unguarded and spilled out during Trump party. That infamous photo from the Trump indictment of the box of classified documents spilled on the floor of a storage room at Mar-a-Lago, including some of the most sensitive secrets our country has, were apparently being rummaged through by somebody attending a party Trump threw to endorse a rightwing Putin-supporting Republican candidate for Congress from Florida. The storage room opened onto the pool area where the party was held, and multiple photos from the party show the door sitting wide open throughout. This story of Donald Trump’s treason and hate for our country just gets worse and worse every day.
—Congress is next? Jack Smith has hired Raymond Hulser and David Harbach, both public corruption specialists, to investigate the role of members of Congress in Trump’s attempt to overthrow the government of the United States. Expect the Sedition Caucus to flip out in coming weeks. Hysteria will be the tone of the next few months…
—Crazy Alert! Oklahoma Superintendent says about infamous Tulsa massacre, “Let's not tie it to skin color…” Back in 1921 the good white people of Tulsa, Oklahoma went on a rampage, slaughtering hundreds of Black people and burning to the ground the Greenwood District, often referred to as “Black Wall Street,” because it was such a prosperous Black-owned area. Oklahoma’s new statewide Superintendent of Public Schools came to office on the promise of ending the teaching of critical race theory, and when he was asked in a public forum how a teacher should deal with the Tulsa massacre, he said, “Let’s not tie it to the skin color and say that the skin color determined that.” Exactly. Moms For Liberty couldn’t have said it better.