Wednesday briefing and open thread

Today in talk

  • Tony’s got Gary Peters, Occupy Detroit and Debbie Stabenow. Remember that you can live stream Tony’s show, connect with him on the First Shift Facebook page, and pick up the podcasts from his show here.
  • Stephanie Miller – Hal Sparks will be in all day (Humpdays with Hal).  Gordon Brisner and John Nichols will be calling in.  You can stream Steph live from ustream. Her show follows Tony’s on 1310, so you can stream it the same way you stream Tony.  We have some links to the Sexy Liberal Show and some Hal Sparks stand-up .. if you are looking for some lols to get you through the day, these are great!  I bought Halcatraz over the weekend and rofl’d all the way through it.
  • Thom Hartmann – News and calls.  I <3 Thom but he’s one of those guys I never get to listen to except on the weekends.  Usually I listen to Tony, then  Steph, then Big Eddie, and then the day is almost over.  I never listen to anything after work .. so that leaves Thom for the weekend.  But if you’ve never listened to him I highly recommend him because he’s just so interesting.  I love it when he brings in people to debate.  He is good.
  • Ed Schultz – I always get Eddie’s lineup later in the day so I’m not sure what the plan is yet. You can find out by going to; he’ll have the lineup on the front page. Also remember if you missed his MSNBC shows, you can watch them online here.
  • The War Room with Jennifer Granholm is on Current at 9pm.
  • I’m leaving this link in the daily briefings until I put something up in our sidebars. Did you know you could catch Ring of Fire and other great progressive content on You Tube? Well I suppose you probably did, but here’s a link anyway. Go Left TV.

Needful blogs (Too good to just put in the reading section)

  • From DailyKos front page – Grover Norquist tells conservatives that all they need is someone who can handle a pen.

    “All we have to do is replace Obama. …  We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate. […]

    Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.”

    The purpose, and the danger, of institutions like ALEC and Mackinac Center cannot be more clear:  these institutions write wtf legislation their masters want, and then it doesn’t matter who gets elected as long as that person is willing to carry the water.

    There is a skoch of inevitable futility in being a member of the Democratic Party, but you Republican rank & file jackbags are just plain irrelevant.

  • Another from DK, this time on an opinion by Justice Scalia

    Justice Antonin Scalia, writing the majority decision in Employment Division v. Smith:

    We have never held that an individual’s religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate. On the contrary, the record of more than a century of our free exercise jurisprudence contradicts that proposition.


    When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.

    In other words, if they want to be members of American society, the Catholic bishops have to live by the rules of American society.

  • Here is an interesting and relatively short opinion piece in Red State on the Romney – Santorum polling matchup.
  • And here is LOLGOP on Santorum and Romney in Michigan.



  • Here we go again with Republican vote suppression
  • Citizens would be required to show a photo ID when registering to vote under a package of bills that passed the Senate on Tuesday over Democrats’ objections.

    Critics, including the Michigan League of Women voters, AARP Michigan and the American Civil Liberties Union, said the bills would discourage voter participation. Similar legislation adopted in Florida is under review by the Department of Justice to determine if it violates the Voter Rights Act, said Wayne State University constitutional law professor Jocelyn Benson.

    “This is a sad day for democracy — it’s something that’s happening nationwide and has now come to Michigan with these bills,” said Benson, who ran against Johnson as the Democratic candidate in the 2010 secretary of state race. Sen. Coleman Young II, D-Detroit, said the requirements will discourage people from organizing voter registration drives and reduce the number who register to vote.

    But why would the Republicans do such a thing, you ask?

    David Rohde, a professor of political science at Duke University, said such reforms benefit Republicans.

    “Low-turnout elections benefit Republicans and high-turnout elections benefit Democrats,” Rohde said. “(Democrats) tend to vote more sporadically.”

  • And Bill Schuette is on duty to protect us from birth control. He’s spending taxpayer dollars fighting for the religious right to exclude certain types of women’s health benefits from insurance plan. Namely, contraception. I call BS on this; he’s fighting for the right to prove he’s batpoo crazy enough to win Michigan’s gubernatorial primary when Governor Snyder’s time runs out.

    Sigh. If only Bill Schuette’s parents had practiced better birth control. Michigan weeps.

  • ps. Bill Schuette, please see Justice Scalia’s opinion above.
  • Mother Jones on Michigan’s Hostile Takeover. “”There’s been nothing in other states where a budget measure overturns the democratic vote.” “

Profile America — Wednesday, February 15th.  On this day in 1953, 17-year-old Tenley Albright became the first American to win the Women’s World Figure Skating Championship, having overcome polio as a child.  She repeated the championship two years later.  She also won five U.S. championships in a row, and in 1956, became the first U.S. woman to win a figure skating gold medal in the Olympics.  She ended her competitive skating with that victory and did not turn professional.  Instead, Albright entered Harvard Medical School and went on to a career as a respected surgeon in Boston.  Now, there are 872,000 physicians and surgeons in the U.S., about a third of them women.  You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at

Have an awesome Wednesday :)

There are no cover bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Follow me on Twitter - @christinebarry
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