1. Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances. That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.
    — The Lee Resolution, adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 2, 1776.
     

  2. Egyptians have really mastered the whole mass protest coup d’etat thing.  

     


  3. A Plea: Please Actually Read Today’s Decisions

    This is shaping up to be quite a big summer for the Supreme Court, and I’m glad that people are discussing today’s decisions.  But most of the on-line commentary I’ve seen has either cherry-picked short quotes from the decisions or the news media without providing context or analysis, or—even worse—has mindlessly responded to contrary points of view with seemingly no reflection whatsoever.

    Being a citizen in a democracy means more than just reinforcing your own views on a subject—it requires that you be informed, not only about the issues, but also about how the political process works.  So whether you are for or against gay marriage, I’m begging you to actually read today’s decisions.  The full text is available for free on the Supreme Court’s website.  Let’s all at least try to raise the level of discourse.  Thanks.

    United States v. Windsor (DOMA decision)

    Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop 8 decision)

     

  4. NYTIMES: South African Police Fire on Striking Miners.

    South African police fired on machete-wielding workers engaged in a wildcat strike at a platinum mine here Thursday, leaving a field strewn with bodies and a deepening fault line between the governing African National Congress and a nation that, 18 years after the end of apartheid, is increasingly impatient with deep poverty, rampant unemployment and yawning inequality.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

     


  5. A missed opportunity…

    It was a chance encounter. Today I was walking down Broadway with a colleague from law school to meet our professor at her office. As I crossed 54th Street, I glanced to my right and saw Jon Huntsman walking toward us. We reached the corner a half step before him, and I managed to say, “Good afternoon, Governor.” Huntsman saw me, nodded, and gave a faint smile in acknowledgement. No one broke their gait, my friend and I crossed in front of him, and within a few seconds we were far apart, perhaps never to meet again.

    I never told Mr. Huntsman that I respected his service to our country. I never told him that I thought that he should be our party’s nominee. I never told him how angry it made me today when I had to begrudgingly cast a vote for his robotic and aristocratic rival, Mr. Romney.

    I never told him that he’s the first candidate I ever donated money to—$10 may not have made much difference, but it was a lot of money coming from a law student without gainful employment. (I never told him that his staff still hasn’t sent me the ceramic mug I purchased for $15 via his campaign website.)

    I never told him how irritated I was that Saturday Night Live didn’t write his character into its last cold opening, even though he was the only candidate to appear on the show.

    I never told him that I too regret his decision to “raise his hand” during the Iowa debate. I never told him that I completely agreed with his recent criticism of the party’s failure to accommodate dissenting opinions. I never told him how important it is to still have reasonable voices like his in the party, particularly in the current political climate. 

    So I missed my opportunity today to tell him anything substantive. I spent the next few minutes explaining to my friend that we had just passed the only presidential candidate I had ever been enthusiastic about and that I didn’t even stop to shake his hand.

    Sometimes it’s tough to be a Republican in New York City. Young liberals regularly object when they discover that I am a registered member of the GOP: “You’re too smart to be a conservative!” “But, you’re not crazy!” I often have to justify myself with lengthy explanations.

    But these days I think it might be even tougher for a reasonable candidate to justify himself as a Republican. Huntsman’s campaign was certainly flawed, but his biggest problem seemed to be that he was the reasonable man in an unreasonable field. During the campaign, right-wing commentators painted Huntsman as a liberal, merely because he was civil and didn’t engage in unreasonable attacks on the President. The mainstream media did this too, tagging him as a moderate because he didn’t share some of the irrational or intolerant beliefs of his fellow GOP candidates. They assigned front-runner status to imbeciles and lunatics—even entertaining the presidential aspirations of Donald Trump—rather than focusing on a conservative ex-governor that didn’t fit neatly into their narrative. And even though Huntsman is no longer in the race, the media still portray him as the odd man out.

    I hope Jon Huntsman has a future in the Republican Party. Political realignment may be necessary if reasonable voices can no longer find a home in the GOP.

    (Source: jvbrewer)

     


  6. Mr Mnangagwa, the former head of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation, was appointed campaign manager by Mr Mugabe during the 2008 presidential election and was widely blamed for the brutality unleashed after his rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, edged ahead in the first round of voting.

     


  7. A group of junior officers in the West African state of Mali, upset over the conduct of a sporadic guerrilla war in the country’s north, has seized control of the country’s national television station and its presidential palace in an apparent coup attempt.

    In an early morning broadcast on Thursday, a spokesman for the group said Mali’s institutions had been “dissolved” and its Constitution suspended….

    The spokesman insisted that the group was not “in any way aiming at a seizure of power,” and promised a “restoration of democratic order.” He denounced the “incapacity of this regime to manage the crisis” in the country’s north, and its “inefficiency in fighting the terrorists.” The officers, he said, had “decided to take our responsibilities in place of an incompetent regime.”

     

  8. politicalprof:

    Sad but true.

    The above juxtaposition is clearly absurd. My retort:

    One’s preference for moral law over secular law is not, in itself, problematic. Nor are secular laws, by default, naturally free from the prejudiced and oppressive tendencies that characterize extremist religious dogma. The threshold question in determining if a law is good is not whether it is religious or secular, but rather, whether or not that law promotes justice. 

    It is true that Santorum believes some current laws are unjust based on his personal religious convictions. But the fact that one’s reasoning is informed by religious belief is not a sufficient basis for rejecting it. Are some of Santorum’s positions controversial? Perhaps. But comparing him to a murderous fanatic is unwarranted. 

     

  9. President Obama watches Joey Hudy demonstrate his “Extreme Marshmallow Cannon” during the White House Science Fair.

    (.gif animation created using photos by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

    (Source: jvbrewer)

     


  10. I’ve already voted, I voted absentee. And thank God it’s a secret ballot.
    — Jeb Bush, who has yet declined to endorse any of the GOP candidates for President ahead of Tuesday’s Florida primary.
     


  11. Did the President just say “deficit of trust”? Is he playing for Jon Huntsman supporters?

     


  12. Before the recession, the factory only made luxury yachts…

    I’m sorry, Mr. President, but have you ever seen the shipyards that make luxury yachts? They’re impressive, and they are full of skilled workers. 

     

  13. Right now, American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years. That’s right—eight years. Not only that—last year, we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past sixteen years.

    But with only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, oil isn’t enough. This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy—a strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs.

     

  14. In which the President calls upon all states to require all students to attend school until they graduate or turn eighteen. Good luck with that.