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The Week in Sharia: Mama Grizzly Edition | Mother Jones

Um. Really? Banning Sharia law from United States courts? What’s next? Banning consideration of the Vulcan High Command?
No state court in the United States of America is bound by Sharia law. That being said, that so many conservatives seem to think that (theocratic) Sharia law is in some magical danger of bearing on court decisions here really should tell you something about what these same folks think about the separation of church and state here at home.

The Week in Sharia: Mama Grizzly Edition | Mother Jones: Legislators in Wyoming, South Carolina, and Arkansas introduced proposals to ban Islamic Law from state courts, bringing the total number of states that have moved on the issue to 11. Of note: State rep. Gerald Gay, who introduced the Wyoming measure, ran for office last fall on a platform of shooting abstract theories with high-powered weaponry; the Arkansas bill, meanwhile, was sponsored by state senator Cecile Bledsoe, who you may remember as one of Sarah Palin’s ‘Mama Grizzlies.’

TPM: Mitt Romney Wins New Hampshire GOP Straw Poll

Of course it’s far too early to read much into this, but Romney wins the New Hampshire straw poll…I can’t help but wonder what this means for the 2012 Republican field.

The leaders of the New Hampshire Republican Party have spoken, and they have given Mitt Romney the early presidential lead in the Granite State. In the first-of-its-kind straw poll of members of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, Romney drew 35% of the total vote. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) came in second with 11%.

Does this mean Romney’s more moderate positions he held as Governor of Massachusetts will get pushed even further to the side? Can we hope that he’ll tack more toward the center to try and win swing democratic votes?

Mother Jones Mojoblog on the administration’s gun control efforts

From Mojo: 

The Tucson massacre has prompted gun-control advocates to promote several measures to regulate certain firearms or ammo. But it has not moved the Obama White House to propose any such initiatives. And the White House appears to have no plans to do so.

Well, not to ask the obvious question, but why not? 
As Rachel Maddow’s (Jan 13th show, MP3) been saying since the shootings happened, what the NRA has to say on gun control isn’t the last word in anything. 

It’s what they say, not how they say it

Spot on analysis of calls for the “new civility” in the political landscape in the wake of the Arizona shootings.

It’s what they say, not how they say it |

The central point is important:

Obama didn’t refer directly to Palin or the controversy about the extent to which the right wing’s hate-filled rhetoric should be held responsible for what happened. He didn’t have to–most people who heard Obama’s call for ” a more civil and honest public discourse” would have filled in that blank for themselves. 

But what he did say directly was telling – that Americans should rise above their differences and unite around “all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.” 

That begs the question: How are Sarah Palin’s “hopes and dreams” for the world bound together with those of the targets of her bigotry? Why should people whose lives are being ruined by the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression “rise above their differences” with Republicans like Palin – or with Democrats like Obama? 

This is the whole issue. Civility is nice, but not if it’s an excuse for inaction. Bipartisanship, the administration’s mantra-like refrain, is a tool for getting policy done, not a goal of being in office. 

Michael Steele on Rachel

It’s late, I can’t sleep and I’m re-watching tonight’s Rachel Maddow show. The interview with outgoing RNC chairman Michael Steele is interesting, but Steele seems to be as blind as ever about his mismanagement of the RNC the last two years. Maddow, god love her, is essentially softballing on the finance irregularities the show’s been reporting on for more than a year.

I suppose it’s asking too much for a reflective Steele to allow that it wasn’t just the power brokers in the party with an agenda against him: some of what went wrong were choices he made. Maddow is usually less willing to let that kind of evasiveness slide.

So, rather than asking Steele on the show to discuss issues that – as Maddow’s own reporting points out really beg some explanation – instead we get half the interview on the fact that Steele didn’t appear on the show. Steele laid the blame at unnamed folks within the party who – Steele says – also forbade him from appearing on his “buddy” Bill Maher’s show.

See? Pretend the last two years of red meat tossed at the party’s base didn’t really happen; Steele’s been a closet moderate all along. No, really. He watches Rachel and everything.

Pretend the incredible disappearing chairman didn’t really happen. Did the same minders forbid Steele from being in front of a camera for the whole election cycle? There’s a ton left just barely unsaid that begs a followup, which, atypically we just didn’t get.

Maddow is usually so spot on with this kind of interview. A bit of a disappointment, this, I’m sorry to say.