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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stories to Watch: 2/27/13

Rosa Parks statue unveiling ceremony

A statue of civil rights hero Rosa Parks is installed in the Capitol's Statuary Hall, the first African-American woman ever to be honored there. "This is kind of a super woman in a way in Clark Kent's clothing," said sculptor Eugene Daub. "She's this courageous warrior for racial injustice and yet she sits quietly in mid-century dress and is looking, for all intents and purposes, as an average American citizen." That this happened on the very day the Supreme Court considers striking down the Voting Rights Act should be lost on no one. The right may believe the civil rights era is over, but the wiser among us know that the fight for civil rights is never over. There's still a long way to go and what's been gained must be defended, because -- as the Supreme Court is currently reminding us -- what's been gained can be lost.

In the case involving the aforementioned Voting Rights Act, Chief Justice John Roberts asks the dumbest question ever. Of course, I'm being hyperbolic. It was actually the second-dumbest question ever.

House Republicans quietly cave on renewing and expanding the Violence Against Women Act. This whole War on Women thing is really going very badly for them, as much as they refuse to stop fighting it. Of course, there are still VAWA holdouts. You'll be shocked to learn they're all Republican and all men.

A hilarious item from Right Wing Watch: "Sarah Palin writes that 'the feds are stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest' after we go into default... and then calls on politicians to 'stop the hysterics.'" I'm almost going to miss her. Almost.

A last ditch effort from the White House to avoid sequester.

The latest brilliant wingnut idea: force every citizen to join a militia to fight against gun control. Somehow this is about liberty. Can't really see how, though.

The Milwaukee police chief (not to be confused with the insane Milwaukee County Sheriff) schools Lindsey Graham on background checks and leaves the senator looking like the grandstanding jackass he is.

The AP reports that a Dept. Homeland Security official has resigned in protest over the release of low-priority immigration detainees. This report is wrong. The guy announced his retirement weeks ago and he's not leaving until the end of April. Still, expect the uncorrected version of the story to run rampant through the rightwing blogosphere.

Did the GOP just lose any hope of wining an Iowa Senate seat currently held by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin? At the very least, their odds just took a hit. From another perspective, the biggest loser here may be Karl Rove.

Gun regulation isn't about theories or concepts or kneejerk ideological principles, gun regulation is about people -- as a poignant moment in a Senate hearing reminds us.

It's official, Mitch McConnell is completely gutless. Senate GOP leadership are said to be considering a bill that would avert sequester by requiring the White House to list $85 billion in spending cuts of the president's choosing. In other words, after demanding spending cuts since the day Obama arrived in town, McConnell doesn't want to take responsibility for those cuts, because he knows they'd be deeply unpopular, no matter what they were. Don't expect Pres. Obama to fall on his sword for Republicans. If you don't have the guts to own the cuts you demand, stop demanding them.

It's been one year since Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman.

Finally, Sen. Jeff Sessions goes to ridiculous lengths to cook up an absurd lie about Obamacare. Oddly, the lie is to no one's advantage. It's pointless.

[photo via Reuters]

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