MadCity Blogs

Wed, 12/31/1969 - 7:00pm

"It is not a coincidence... that judges appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents have divided along party lines in these cases."

Althouse - 2 hours 41 min ago
"I do not believe this is because Republicans dislike Obamacare and Democrats like it. It is because Republican presidents now appoint judges who stick to textualism even when it leads to harsh results while Democratic presidents are more likely to choose judges who will look at the big picture and the human costs, when they’re parsing the words of a law."

Writes lawprof Richard L. Hasen.

My question for Hasen: But if a judge is going to look at the big picture and the human costs, won't that perception include his likes and dislikes?

I think the answer must be yes, and if so, I believe Hasen — wittingly or unwittingly — conceded that textualism does constrain a judge. Yes, this person — this Scaliaesque entity — will not save us from harsh results, but at the same time, this means that the textualist's idea of what results are, in fact, harsh never becomes part of the analysis.

ADDED: What, if anything, is wrong with Republican Presidents choosing textualists and Democratic Presidents choosing nontextualists? (Maybe that isn't what's happening, but we can assume it is, for the purpose of discussion.) Why isn't that what a liberal should like best (aside from preventing any Republican Presidents from ever appointing any judges)? What would the nontextualist conservative do with clearly written statutes that seem "harsh" to him or impose what he calculates as "human costs"? Does Professor Hasen really want this character's "big picture" trumping the words of legislatures?

AND: I'm trying to imagine what this out-and-proud conservative creative-rewriter of statutes would do. Imagine an arch-conservative President appointing stalwart conservatives with strong visions of the good who feel free to fix statutes to save us from harsh results and human costs. Obviously, Hasen would hate that, and yet it's so tempting to excoriate the textualist conservatives for their textualism, even when you know damned well you'd really hate their nontextualist work. But I think most laypersons think textualism is what a judge should do, and a judge who emerges from the cloak of textualism is much easier to criticize.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

The newest attack in the war on women: Men commenting on the food women eat.

Althouse - 2 hours 57 min ago
Be careful, guys, women are taking notes and tweeting about your off-handed remarks about what they are eating, and what you might imagine is lighthearted and even charming, they are portraying as an effort to control their bodies.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

"In my late 50s, at a time of life when most people are supposed to be drifting into a cautious conservatism..."

Althouse - 3 hours 8 min ago
"...I am surprised to find myself moving steadily leftward," writes Thomas Ricks a Politico piece titled "Why Am I Moving Left?/I used to be right down the middle. But America’s changed, and so have I."

Is Ricks someone whose political shift matters, someone we shouldn't suspect of hacking out another essay desperate for links? He informs us that he's spent his journalistic career "covering the U.S. military, first for the Wall Street Journal and then for the Washington Post, and now for Foreign Policy magazine." He's "written five books about the Marines, the Army and our wars." And he actually refrained from voting, because he wanted to maintain a professional detachment from his subject matter. (I wonder how many reporters do that. I've actually toyed with the idea of not voting, but it was a way of conveying my commitment to what I call "cruel neutrality," and in the end, I care too much about participating in the ritual of going to the polls.)
Categories: MadCity Blogs

"What is ridiculous is the Obama administration refusing to answer simple questions about whether this was dictated by politics and why the FAA is singling out Israel..."

Althouse - 3 hours 25 min ago
"... while not focusing on other areas around the world... Was this politics from the White House? Or was this an airline safety decision? And I think the facts strongly suggest it was politics and an effort to strong arm the nation of Israel."

Said Ted Cruz.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

I'm considering posting about...

Althouse - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:05pm
... this article on procrastination, and I'm pondering exactly how to do it, and the whole time I'm distracted by this plan I formed 10 minutes ago to shut off the computer and go to bed.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

"The execution of a convicted murderer in Arizona lasted for nearly two hours on Wednesday..."

Althouse - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 9:52pm
"... as witnesses said he gasped and snorted for much of that time before eventually dying."
“I’m telling you he was snoring,” Stephanie Grisham, spokeswoman for the Arizona attorney general’s office, said in an e-mail to The Washington Post. “There was no gasping or snorting. Nothing. He looked like he was asleep. This was my first execution and I have no reason to minimize this.”
Categories: MadCity Blogs

Marco Rubio's social conservative manifesto.

Althouse - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 7:24pm

Here's the full text. There's good, there's boilerplate, and there's the predictable effort at grappling with the discrimination against gay couples that some people feel sure belongs in the social-conservative platform:

[T]raditional marriage... is the definition of marriage that I personally support – not because I seek to discriminate against people who love someone of the same sex, but because I believe that the union of one man and one woman is a special relationship that has proven to be of great benefit to our society, our nation and our people, and therefore deserves to be elevated in our laws....

Those who support same sex marriage have a right to lobby their state legislatures to change state laws. But Americans, like myself, who support keeping the traditional definition of marriage also have a right to work to keep the traditional definition of marriage in our laws without seeing that overturned by a judge.

Our nation has in the past demonstrated a tremendous capacity to work through issues such as this. And I believe it will again. Doing so will require those of us who support traditional marriage to respect those who support same sex marriage. But it will also require those who support same sex marriage to respect those of us who support traditional marriage, for tolerance is also a two way street.People who experience discrimination are going to have trouble tolerating the discrimination supported by those who think the discrimination is a good idea, but I get the feeling Rubio sees that in the end, Americans will accept same-sex marriage and wonder that acceptance didn't come more quickly. Or why would he refer to working through the issue? The resolution is coming soon enough. Please don't be too mean to people like him who are communing with the stragglers on the road of progress. That's how I hear it anyway. Meanwhile, this social conservatism is ruining its reputation, and I wish that if Rubio really cares about its survival into the next generation, he would rip this retrograde plank out of the platform.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

At the Green Café...

Althouse - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 6:43pm

... I think I'm going to lie down right here and rest.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

"In fact, this is nothing like breast implants. If breast implants got stuck under your tongue..."

Althouse - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 6:39pm
"... and in the back of your throat when you were pleasuring your (hypothetical) woman, then you could say it's the same. Also, these are not so much complaints as they are common, first-hand reports on the sexual logistics associated with not grooming. We women (and men) are trying to give you [ungroomed] men a glimpse into our struggle. We just want to help, man, we just want to help."

Comment (by a female) at a Buzzfeed article (written by a man) called "Dear Men, Stop Shaving Your Pubes/Let’s end this once and for all." The article got huge pushback from females, and the comment I've quoted comes after a defensive male said:
Dear women, I don't groom for you. I groom for me. If you don't like it, we're obviously not sexually compatible, and I couldn't care less what you think. I say the same thing about breast implants, but that makes me a misogynist. Your complaints are no less superficial than that of people who hate "fatties" and "uggos"...What's this world coming to? It seems that people don't like each other too much anymore.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

Wisconsin -- a state of division

Uppity Wisconsin - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 2:38pm

Wisconsin makes the news again - for the growing division in politics and everything else. From the PBS news hour.

Categories: MadCity Blogs

"Given the potential for chaos in the Obamacare scheme if the states decline to participate, it's surprising that Justices Breyer and Kagan went along with the Chief Justice's opinion on the spending power."

Althouse - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 2:19pm
"The original legislation had the states locked in, because they'd lose all their Medicaid funding if they didn't participate. That was held to be coercive, and thus not supportable by the spending power, which requires that states be given a choice whether to run federal programs and accept various related conditions. Under the Court's ruling, the states only lose the funding for the expansion of Medicaid, which makes it possible for them to say no, as many seem to be doing. There's an elaborate set of moves in the future, and I wonder how far ahead the Chief Justice looked when he chose his position. Perhaps Obamacare is doomed by the seemingly modest, miminalist hit it took on the spending power issue. But wouldn't Breyer and Kagan have seen ahead too? Why did they join him? I'm not ready to give him genius points for skillful playing of the long game."

Just something I wrote on July 5, 2012 that should be useful in thinking about the new Court of Appeals cases.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

Ever wonder how people get on the terrorist watch lists?

Uppity Wisconsin - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 2:16pm

This just in from Jeremy Scahill - The Intercept has published the entire government document that describes how people get placed on the Terrorist Watchlists.

The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place “entire categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.

URL:  Blacklisted article at The Intercept
Categories: MadCity Blogs

"A new Marquette Law School Poll finds that the Wisconsin governor’s race remains a dead heat..."

Althouse - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 1:38pm
"... with Republican Gov. Scott Walker receiving the support of 46 percent of registered voters and Democratic challenger Mary Burke receiving 45 percent support...."
Among likely voters, i.e., those who say they are certain to vote in November’s election, Burke receives 47 percent and Walker 46 percent....

The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points. For the sample of 549 likely voters, the margin of error is +/- 4.3 percentage points.
Categories: MadCity Blogs

Walker Administration Unilaterally Ends Enforcement of Wisconsin Birth Control Law in Latest Effort to Restrict Women’s Access to Essential Health Care

Uppity Wisconsin - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:07pm

 Press release in today from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin:




July 23, 2014


Contact: Lisa Boyce




Walker Administration Unilaterally Ends Enforcement of Wisconsin Birth Control Law

in Latest Effort to Restrict Women’s Access to Essential Health Care

National Women’s Law Center Says Move is in Conflict with Law


MADISON – This week, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) under Governor Walker’s administration announced via a media interview that the state will no longer enforce Wisconsin’s birth control coverage law (Wis stat. 632.895(17)) that ensures prescription drug plans cover birth control the same as other prescription drugs. Governor Walker justified this move in light of the Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court in June. Legal experts with the National Women’s Law Center, however, have released an analysis that concludes the Hobby Lobby ruling does not invalidate Wisconsin’s contraceptive coverage law and it must therefore be enforced. The Walker Administration’s move is just the latest in a long line of efforts to reduce women’s access to everything from sex education, cancer screens, and birth control to safe and legal abortion.


“Governor Walker’s latest effort to unilaterally end the enforcement of Wisconsin’s birth control law without legislative action shows just how far he is willing to go to restrict women’s access to essential health care,” stated Tanya Atkinson, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin. Since taking office, Governor Walker has initiated and/or signed into law an unprecedented number of laws and policies that compromise women’s health and wellbeing. “Despite the proven benefits of affordable birth control access for women and their employers, and the overwhelming public support for birth control coverage, it’s unbelievable that we are still fighting for access to birth control in 2014.”


Last month, in a 5-4 ruling, conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of corporations who argued that they should not have to provide insurance coverage for their employees’ birth control, as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because of the business owners’ personal religious beliefs. The Hobby Lobby decision was an answer to a specific question related to whether for-profit companies with religious objections could be exempted from the ACA's coverage requirement and not state-specific laws related to insurance requirements.

According to a legal analysis from the National Women’s Law Center, “the Hobby Lobby decision does not directly affect the Wisconsin contraceptive coverage law.” The legal memo goes on to state, “Closely-held for-profit corporations doing business in Wisconsin that do not self-insure must abide by the state law, and continue to provide birth control coverage to the same extent they provide preventive care and prescription drugs. The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance must continue to enforce this provision.”


“We call on Governor Walker to enforce Wisconsin's birth control law,” Atkinson stated. “It is time to stop the political interference in women’s health. Ninety-nine percent of women rely on birth control at some point in their lives. Ensuring affordable access to this important preventative service is one area where we should all agree.”


“While Governor Walker continues his career-long campaign to restrict women’s health care, Planned Parenthood remains committed to providing essential health care services including birth control, cancer screens, STD testing and treatment, and health referrals that women and families rely on to stay safe, healthy, and strong,” Atkinson concluded.






Birth control is basic health care and used by 99 percent of women at some point in their lives, yet before the passage of laws like Wisconsin’s Contraceptive Coverage Law in 2009, many health insurance plans deliberately excluded coverage for contraceptives. Before this inequity was addressed, women of reproductive age were forced to pay as much as 68 percent more for out-of-pocket medical care than men. For each woman supplied with prescription contraceptive coverage over a five-year period, insurance companies save a minimum of $10,000 because of the costs associated with unintended pregnancy (Population Connection, Contraception Equity: What You Need to Know, 6/21/2007)


After decades of discriminatory coverage by insurance companies, it has been categorized as a part of women’s basic preventive care and all insurance policies to cover birth control with no out-of-pocket cost to women. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 30 million women nationally are already eligible for this benefit. When the law is fully implemented, 47 million women nationally will have access to no-co-pay birth control thanks to the Affordable Care Act.


Studies also show that women who receive birth control with no co-pay or at a reduced cost are able to avoid more than two million unplanned pregnancies each year, which also reduces the need for abortion. It’s not surprising that the public overwhelmingly supports the birth control benefit by a nearly two-to-one margin


Birth control is tremendously important to women for all kinds of reasons, including the need to control certain medical conditions and to plan our families. Under the birth control benefit, women have access to this important preventive care at no cost.


·         The wide availability of birth control has been an enormous benefit for countless women and their families, enabling them to support themselves financially, complete their education, and plan their families and have children when they’re ready.

·         Virtually all (99 percent) American women between the ages of 15 and 44 who are sexually active have used birth control at some time.

·         A 2010 survey found that more than a third of female voters have struggled to afford prescription birth control at some point in their lives, and as a result, used birth control inconsistently. This isn’t surprising considering co-pays for birth control pills typically range between $15 and $50 per month — up to $600 per year. 

·         Other methods, such as IUDs, can cost several hundred dollars, even with health insurance. For the first time, under the birth control benefit, IUDs are now fully covered by insurance companies without additional out-of-pocket expense.

·         For many women, birth control is used for a host of health care reasons. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 58 percent of birth control pill users cite health benefits as a contributing factor for using the birth control pill, including treating endometriosis, menstrual pain, and menstrual regulation.


For a comprehensive list of policies Governor Walker has passed that restrict women’s health and well-being, click here.

AttachmentSize july_23_media_statement_ppawi_contraceptive_equity.pdf242.38 KB
Categories: MadCity Blogs

Citizen Koch showing is ON!

Uppity Wisconsin - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:04pm

We just got word that the Eau Claire showing of Citizen Koch has been approved as we've sold the threshold of tickets.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that there are now only 21 tickets available, so if you're interested in going you should get your order in.  The initial batch of tickets for the film have already been emailed out to the people who have signed up.

URL:  Citizen Koch Ticket Web Site
Categories: MadCity Blogs