Being a campaign season, there have been a lot of things happening that are aggravating, upsetting, annoying, and - in general - frustrating. It's hard to watch the news without wanting to throw something at the TV. I suffer from Outrage Overload as much as the next guy. So - since it's Friday, and we all need a reason to smile, here are a few items which might turn your mouth up on the corners...
First of all: It looks like Congress will be moving forward to extend the student loan rate cut
, rather than let it expire. President Obama has been pushing for this for a while, but it apparently took Mitt rMoney agreeing that it was the right thing to do before the Republican House decided to act on it. Boehner "criticized the President, saying he is 'trying to create a fight where there isn't one.'" Perhaps he needs to talk to Rep. Virginia Foxx
In other national legislative news, Republicans have also folded on the Violence Against Women Act
. Why they would be against this (other than to be contrary) is mystifying - perhaps they are beginning to realize that it is not in their best interests to piss off 51% of the electorate.
Moving to the state level, a court of appeals has upheld a block
of the the Wisconsin voter ID law:
The law was blocked last month by two separate state appeals courts, who ruled the law was unconstitutional because it abridged the right to vote.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice appealed both decisions. But the state Supreme Court refused to take up the cases, which were consequentially sent back to the appeals courts.
In other state-level news, a federal judge has ruled that Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s requirement that all state workers undergo drug testing is unconstitutional
“The Supreme Court maintains that the government, unlike private employers, can test its employees for illegal drug use only when the testing is consistent with the Fourth Amendment,” Ungaro wrote.
“To be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, a search ordinarily must be based on individualized suspicion of wrongdoing,” the judge added. “The privacy interests infringed upon here outweigh the public interest sought. That is a fatal mix under the prevailing precedents.”
So yay - there are some shreds of the 4th Amendment still intact.
Finally, in what can only be described as selling one's political soul in an attempt to save it, Paul Ryan has rejected the Rand philosophy
(after embracing it his entire life) for supposed religious reasons:
Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), when faced with a letter of condemnation by 90 Catholic faculty members at Georgetown University, has abruptly decided to back away from his famous endorsement of the works of controversial author Ayn Rand and her philosophy of “Objectivism.” The congressman, who is scheduled to speak at the Catholic university today, is now emphasizing Christian philosophers and the writings of Pope Benedict XVI as the true exemplars of his world view over Russian émigré and atheist Rand.
A National Review profile from early Thursday said, “‘I reject her philosophy,’ Ryan says firmly. ‘It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas,’ who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. ‘Don’t give me Ayn Rand,’ he says.”
Ryan did tell The Weekly Standard in 2003 that he requires all of his staff members to read Rand’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. He conceded, though, that most of them don’t finish it.
Think Progress points to a quote from an article in The New Republic, which has Ryan saying to a group of attendees at a banquet to honor the author, ”The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”
At the same dinner, Ryan also said that virtually every national struggle our society faces can be boiled down to the Randian binary, “Almost every fight we are involved in here on Capitol Hill … is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict–individualism versus collectivism.”
I would LOVE to be a fly on the wall in the rooms of all the rabid Ron Paul/Paul Ryan supporters, who live and breathe Ayn Rand's fictional philosophy. They are certainly NOT the type to let religious belief trump political dogma, even when it is so obviously a transparent political move.
Let the bashing begin!