Wednesday Open Thread [12.19.12]

Filed in Open Thread by on December 19, 2012

Jeffrey Toobin:

“Conservatives often embrace ‘originalism,’ the idea that the meaning of the Constitution was fixed when it was ratified, in 1787. They mock the so-called liberal idea of a ‘living’ constitution, whose meaning changes with the values of the country at large. But there is no better example of the living Constitution than the conservative re-casting of the Second Amendment in the last few decades of the twentieth century.”

“The re-interpretation of the Second Amendment was an elaborate and brilliantly executed political operation, inside and outside of government. Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980 brought a gun-rights enthusiast to the White House. At the same time, Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican, became chairman of an important subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he commissioned a report that claimed to find ‘clear–and long lost–proof that the second amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for protection of himself, his family, and his freedoms.’ The N.R.A. began commissioning academic studies aimed at proving the same conclusion. An outrĂ© constitutional theory, rejected even by the establishment of the Republican Party, evolved, through brute political force, into the conservative conventional wisdom.”

The AP reports that the leaders of an independent panel is blaiming systematic State Department management and leadership failures for gross security lapses in the deadly Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya, and they will explain their findings to Congress on Wednesday. In a letter that accompanied the transmission of the report to Capitol Hill, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “thanked the board for its ‘clear-eyed, serious look at serious systemic challenges’ and said she accepted all of its 29 recommendations to improve security at high-threat embassies and consulates.

The Rupert Murdoch owned New York Post, in an editorial:

Has technology rendered the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution obsolete?

That is, has the application of modern military design to civilian firearms produced a class of weapons too dangerous to be in general circulation?

We say: Yes.

Oh, and we found another Earth with intelligent life, maybe. It orbits Tau Ceti with four other planets.

Barack Obama is Time’s Person of the Year.

Like a broken clock, John McCain ends up being right once and a while. McCain watched the new movie Zero Dark Thirty and said it “left him sick” because it suggests the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques led the United States to find Osama bin Laden.

Said McCain: “Not only did the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not provide us with key leads on bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed, it actually produced false and misleading information.”

Good for him.

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  1. Steve Newton says:

    “Oh, and we found another Earth with intelligent life, maybe.”

    Seems to me that we’re still at the “maybe” stage for this.

  2. Delaware Dem says:

    LOL, Steve. Agreed.

  3. Dave says:

    Sam was at The Buttery Restaurant in Lewes that evening. He knocked back a double margarita, while waiting for a bottle of wine. He appeared to be alone but don’t know if the bottle was just for him. Other than cursory glances, did not pay much attention to him, so maybe he had more later. I guess he was enjoying the Lewes Christmas parade like the rest of us. But maybe he enjoyed it too much.

  4. geezer says:

    “I guess he was enjoying the Lewes Christmas parade like the rest of us. But maybe he enjoyed it too much.”

    Yeah, the event is justly famous for its double-margarita-and-a-bottle-of-wine atmosphere.

  5. kavips says:

    One cannot enjoy the Lewes Christmas parade “too much”. That is a physical impossibility.

  6. meatball says:

    Damn Dave, you do love you some Buttery, don’t you.

  7. Jason330 says:

    I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.

  8. Jason330 says:

    Sam Donaldson is everything that is wrong with Lewes. Aside from Mike Maffafie and Sarah Brady you can keep Lewes – Delawares most over rated town – as voted by me.

  9. Dave says:

    The Buttery porch (with a hot toddy) is the best place to watch the parade!

    For those who have never been, the Lewes Christmas Parade is one of the best small town parades I have ever seen. The local atmosphere is great. It is one of the reasons I moved to Delaware.

  10. puck says:

    Time for a brief popcorn break today from the stress of watching Obama negotiate:

    Boehner scrambles for GOP votes to pass ‘Plan B’ tax proposal

    So the GOP Speaker is currently pushing Republicans to vote for tax increases:

    Fiscal-cliff talks deteriorated into dueling press conferences on Wednesday as Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) scrambled for enough Republican votes to pass his backup tax plan over a presidential veto threat.

    …while other members (teabaggers, presumably) say “Okay, but only if we can vote for spending increases too!

    Under pressure from its members, GOP leaders decided late Wednesday to allow a separate vote on a measure replacing the automatic cuts from sequestration.

    And best of all:

    Both the Club for Growth and Heritage Action came out against the bill, and another Tea Party group said it would back primary challenges to Republicans who supported it.

  11. Tom McKenney says:

    The notion of originality is nonsense. The signers could not agree on the everything the constitution meant, but a pompous corrupt right winger like Scalia knows exactly what they wanted.