Morning Reads for Tuesday, May 15th

May 15, 2012 5:33 am

by Jason · 17 comments

Here in Georgia…
- John Smoltz will speak at the Atlanta Press Club on Monday.
- Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson have signed onto a lawsuit to end the filibuster.
- Atlanta Public Schools approved some 500 job cuts yesterday.

National stories of interest…
- Mitt Romney is due to make a major speech about the budget deficit today in Iowa.
- Ann Romney was recently compared to Stalin and Hitler on MSNBC.
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker leads his recall race by nine points.
- California will attempt to solve its continuing budget woes by raising taxes on the rich.
- Family Guy poked at the Tea Party on Sunday.
- FAMU’s band will remain on the sidelines for another year.
- Is the GOP having an internal debate over gay marriage?
- The Pentagon conducted a study about studies.
- You can’t buy a Coke or a pack of gum with a debit card anymore.

A few that I like…
- Gallup shows that Americans are the happiest they’ve been since 2008.
- Will the Braves resign Michael Bourn?
- National Journal provides demographics of America’s war veterans.
- Georgia Bulldogs star Aaron Murray has graduated.
- Rumor is that the iPhone 5 will be completely redesigned.
- A fatty meal hits your waist in three hours.
- Parks and Recreation has been renewed for another season.
- The USFL is making a comeback?

Buzz Brockway May 15, 2012 at 8:18 am

The lawsuit against the filibuster is interesting. Any legal scholars out there know if there have been similar suits in the past? I would think Courts would not want to meddle in what rules the Senate makes for itself.

As a political matter though, the way things are now (and have been for some time now) you need a super-majority to get anything passed. Something has to change.

I Miss the 90s May 15, 2012 at 8:22 am

Something does have to change, but not the Senate rules. The Senate is no place for the ideologue. Anybody advocating the scrapping of super-majority rules in the Senate does not really understand what it is like to be in the minority party. These rules, like the filibuster and cloture votes, are designed to prevent a tyranny of the majority. That is exactly what they have done.

Max Power May 15, 2012 at 10:49 am

Two reasons why no court will touch this thing:

1. Separation of powers

2. Courts will look at this as a political rather than a legal question and invoke the political question doctrine.

Chris Huttman May 15, 2012 at 11:06 am

We used to prize compromise between the parties and the filibuster encouraged this. Now both sides draw a line in the sand dare the other to cross it, though I would argue the Republicans are worse.

Take Health Care for example – a bill passed. I know many Tea Partiers are rooting for repeal and SCOTUS nullification, but in a saner world wouldn’t we have wanted a compromise healthcare bill that could get 75 votes in the Senate instead of the process we had?

That’s why I favor filibuster reform that gradually lowers the threshold over some period of time until it eventually gets to a simple 51 vote majority. Right now, the minority (and depending on this issue we could be talking about any minority) is held hostage by their supporters and has no incentive to negotiate since they are instructed to block at any cost. How perverse is that. So in the healthcare example, instead of Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins (or take your pick) being incentivized to offer a compromise that could pass on day 1 (when 60 votes were still required) they just tried to put up a road block. And in a perverse kind of way, the tea party got what they wanted. They didn’t want a compromise, they wanted a war.

And I’m afraid without filibuster reform we’re in for a lot more of that pointless legislative war in the future. Even 50 years ago, the parties were more regional creations which meant you had conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans who had ideological, partisan and regional reasons to compromise. We no longer have that as the parties have aligned strictly along ideological lines. Overall I think this is a good thing – it’s good for voters to have simpler choices in party – a common party currency if you will – but institutions like the filibuster really weren’t designed for this type of partisan outcome.

saltycracker May 15, 2012 at 10:10 am

I understand John Smoltz is a friend and supporter of Brandon Beach who is running against Chip Rogers.

“Can’t buy a coke or gum with a debit card” Hyperbole and untrue.
As the Feds try to control matters, businesses try to keep making money.

The merchant has a choice when a customer uses a debit or credit card for purchases under $10.
Pay the fee (previously discounted) or don’t accept cards for under $10 transactions.

tidbit: Amercian Express Blue Card APR rate in Mexico: 42% with added fees 57%
(Forbes 5/7/12)

California., first it was copying French wine and now, French taxes.
How many of Obama’s movie stars have or will keep their residency in California ?
We Georgians as fine U.S. citizens stand ready to bail them out when ever. Don’t we ? No ?

James May 15, 2012 at 10:29 am

I’m no legal scholar, but it seems like this lawsuit violates one of the most longstanding legal principals in western jurisprudence — “be careful what you wish for . . . .”

Max Power May 15, 2012 at 10:57 am

- You can’t buy a Coke or a pack of gum with a debit card anymore.

You know the problem with Reason? They’ll never let facts get in the way of a good story. Have they ever looked at a Visa or MC merchant agreement?

“U.S. retailers may require a minimum purchase amount on credit card transactions. The minimum purchase amount must not exceed $10 and does not apply to transactions made with a debit card.”

taylor May 15, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Despite a merchant agreement, I have seen small retailers post signs that they would not accept debit cards for transactions less than $5 or $10. I’ve never pushed the issue.

That said, you know another problem with Reason? They cherry-pick information from a much longer article about savings (to businesses and/or consumers) and the lack of the predicted negative consequences rsulting from the new debit card rules.

SallyForth May 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm

“The Gallup and Healthways began tracking emotional health in January 2008, and the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index shows that Americans’ emotional health index score is now 79.9. The previous high was 79.8, which was reached in March 2008 and May 2010. ”

Just give it time – this year’s political campaigning will get rid of any happy people! :-)

saltycracker May 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I’d question the emotional health of anyone eager to do a long telephone interview as this was:

Or we can move to California or North Dakota or maybe just to another district:

Gallup and Healthways have released in-depth 2011 state reports, which include city and congressional district level findings for each state. To download these reports……….

http://well-beingindex.com/

saltycracker May 16, 2012 at 8:29 am

UH OH !!!!!

(CNN) — A medical report by George Zimmerman’s family doctor shows the neighborhood watch volunteer was diagnosed with a fractured nose, two black eyes and two lacerations on the back of the head after his fatal confrontation with Trayvon Martin.

The medical exam, which was taken a day after Zimmerman’s February 26 altercation with the unarmed 17-year-old, says Zimmerman suffered a “closed fracture” of his nose, according to two sources who have detailed knowledge of the investigation.

benevolus May 16, 2012 at 9:25 am

Why the “uh oh”?

Harry May 17, 2012 at 11:10 am
Calypso May 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm

To the front-pagers, you know how you have ‘Bank Closure Fridays’? I think another feature column should be instituted. It would be called ‘Latest Judge to Resign Amid Investigation’ Mondays.

saltycracker May 17, 2012 at 8:57 am
Rick Day May 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Wow, speaking of medical marijuana, a Justice of the NY Supreme court, suffering pancreatic cancer, outs himself as a med mj user. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/opinion/a-judges-plea-for-medical-marijuana.html?_r=1

That is what I call bravery.

Calypso May 17, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I think he should sentence himself to the max. /sarcasm/

But then again, the sentence the Flying Spaghetti Monster imposed upon him is far greater than doing some time behind bars.

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