Here’s your blood pressure raiser of the day: Campus police casually pepper spray a group of Occupy Davis students who are sitting on the ground in protest after refusing to remove their tents from the quad. It’s not Kent State or anything, but it’s sure as hell an outrageous overreaction. Don’t watch unless you have a fairly strong stomach for casual brutality.
During a town hall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa Friday afternoon, Rick Santorum argued that Americans receive too many government benefits and ought to “suffer” in the Christian tradition.
If “you’re lower income, you can qualify for Medicaid, you can qualify for food stamps, you can qualify for housing assistance,” Santorum complained, before adding, “suffering is part of life and it’s not a bad thing, it is an essential thing in life.”
On Friday, Slaughter submitted a new letter, this time addressed to Chief Justice John Roberts in his capacity as the presiding officer of the Judicial Conference, to update and clarify the September letter.
At issue is the fact that Thomas repeatedly checked a box titled “none” on annual financial disclosure forms in response to a question about the sources of spousal income. Yet during those years, his wife, Virginia Thomas, worked for the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation and for the Tea Party lobbying group Liberty Central, which she helped found.
The first letter asserted that Thomas’ nondisclosures persisted “[t]hroughout his entire tenure of the Supreme Court,” which began in 1991. It was fair to infer from his “high level of legal training and experience,” Slaughter wrote, that the justice’s failure presented the type of “willful” behavior that federal law requires the Judicial Conference to refer to the Department of Justice for investigation.
Friday’s letter, however, states that Thomas actually did report the sources of his wife’s income until 1997, therefore heightening the inference that the justice had not “misunderstood the reporting instructions,” as he asserted in January when he filed seven pages of addenda correcting his omissions over a six-year period. Citing information obtained by the left-leaning watchdog groups Common Cause and Alliance for Justice, Slaughter wrote that “Justice Thomas accurately filed his financial disclosure forms, including his wife’s employment, for as many as 10 years beginning in 1987 when he was Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.”
Best Opinion: Outside the Beltway, Knoxville News, Slate
Republicans are pouncing on President Obama’s recent remark that America has been “a little bit lazy” in pursuing foreign investment over the last couple decades. “We’ve kind of taken for granted,” the president said, that “people will want to come here, and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business to America.” GOP presidential hopefuls sprang into action: Mitt Romney said the comment shows Obama is out of touch, while Rick Perry released an ad accusing the president of calling the whole country slothful. “Can you believe that?” Perry said. “That’s what our president thinks is wrong with America? That Americans are lazy?” Obama surrogate Bill Burton insisted that Republicans are twisting the president’s meaning so badly that it’s “laughable.” Did Obama call Americans lazy or not?
Of course not: Claiming that Obama was calling Americans lazy is about as misleading and deceptive as anything we’ve seen in this pathetic GOP nomination fight, says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. Obama essentially said that “we as a country, businesses and government, have been complacent in promoting investment in America abroad.” There are plenty of reasons to oppose Obama, but deliberately making it appear that he said something he didn’t is “stupid and sophomoric.” “Republicans say Obama called Americans ‘lazy,’ except he didn’t”
Obama’s meaning was clear enough: Obama’s “lazy” comment was part of a pattern, says Greg Johnson in the Knoxville (Tenn.) NewsSentinal. Recently, he said America had gotten “a little bit soft.” If Obama really believed in American industry, he would have said U.S. companies are “far from lazy,” and pointed out that they had tripled overseas sales over the last couple of decades. Once again, his choice of words shows his “ill-concealed contempt for American businesses and American workers.” “Obama’s ‘lazy’ comment insulting”
We can argue about what he thinks, but not what he said: “If you want to psychoanalyze the president — and who doesn’t?” — you’re free to argue that the mere use of the word “lazy” reveals contempt for Americans, says David Weigel at Slate. But if the issue is what Obama actually said, then Perry and other Republicans are taking the president’s words “completely out of context.” “The ‘lazy’ people in this reference are bureaucrats, not average Americans.” “No, President Obama didn’t ‘call Americans lazy'”
This week, U.S. President Obama embarked on a nine-day Asia Pacific tour focused on creating opportunities for American businesses and entrepreneurs in some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Before leaving, he marked veterans day by visiting servicemen and women aboard the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego and attending the Carrier Classic. Stay tuned for a behind-the-scenes look at the President’s trip that included stops in: Hawaii where he hosted the APEC conference; Australia where he announced a strategic military agreement with the Australian Prime Minister; and Indonesia where he attended the East Asia Summit, a first for an American President.