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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Stories to Watch: 7/16/13

Think the smearing of Trayvon Martin couldn't get any stupider? Guess again. The new theory among the "kill kids in hoodies!" crowd is that he beat up George Zimmerman because he thought Zimmerman was a rapist stalking him -- and this somehow makes him homophobic. So it's OK for Zimmerman to think Martin was acting suspicious and take matters into his own hands, but the reverse isn't true. Bonus: this means wingnuts are pretending to give a fuck about homophobia. If homophobia really was a capital offense, most of the right would be on death row.

The NAACP's annual convention begins today and Trayvon Martin is front and center.

Attorney General Eric Holder says it's time to do away with bloodthirsty "stand your ground" laws. If you kill someone in self-defense, it shouldn't be a problem to have to prove that in court. Sorry if you find that inconvenient.

On the issue of the deal to avoid the "nuclear option" on filibuster reform, Ezra Klein makes an argument counter my own (I said it was a lousy deal that protected the status quo). As a result, I'm reassessing my conclusion -- it really is an excellent argument. "This will be the new normal. It will be the new normal under Democrats and then it will be the new normal under Republicans. The Senate stopped short of actually ending the filibuster against executive-branch nominations today. But the effect might well be the same," Klein writes. "The Senate didn’t actually go nuclear today. But the majority took out a nuke, put it on the table, and made clear they can detonate it whenever they feel like."

In defense of that obstructionist status quo, Rand Paul agrees with the mother of all straw man arguments, offered by a notoriously stupid foxbot -- that the only thing standing between Rachel Maddow and an appointment to the Supreme Court is the filibuster.

Lindsay Graham wants to politicize the 2014 Winter Olympics over Eric Snowden and Russia. Don't worry, he can't even get his ideological blood brother -- John McCain -- to agree that boycotting the games is a good idea. People shouldn't have to put their Olympic careers off for four years -- or cancel that dream altogether -- just because Graham wants to play foreign policy hardass in an election year.

Anti-abortion extremism is hurting N. Carolina Republicans. So you can't imagine it's doing Republicans any good any place else, then.

[cartoon via Truthdig]

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