Friday, July 09, 2010

Original Recipe or Extra Crispy?

I've been wanting to blog about this topic since the matter came up last week with the July 1 "new law day". This little ditty in the WashPost finally gave me the impetus to sound off.

Now, I'm not a Harvard Law prof, but it seems to me that Mr. Kennedy's examples aren't exactly "apples-to-apples."

First of all, he brings up the Crack Conspiracy Theory (which immediately should signal caution) but since he brought it up, let's go with it.

Unless Mr. Kennedy is stooping to use racial profiling (and with that name, I can't see how this is possible) crack-heads don't necessarily have to be African-Americans (haven't we been told that?). No, crack cocaine laws apply to those persons of any color carrying/using/dealing crack, just as powder cocaine laws apply to those felons. The law has to do with "the thing" NOT the person holding the "thing."

More apropos analogies might be, say, a tax on Rap music CDs or skin tattoos, which theoretically (or dare I say stereotypically) were once the provenance of one racial group more than another. Yet even these examples aren't the same as this law because a sizable portion of Rap consumers are indeed Latinos and Whites; and just tune into any NBA game and you'll see that many non-Caucasian players (regrettably) sport "tatts" nowadays.

It would be interesting to know two things:

1) the percentage of tanning booth customers who are "people of color," AND,

2) if the law-writers knew or discussed this statistic while drafting the legislation (even the snarky off-the-record jokes told in the House & Senate cloakrooms).

But since the Tanning Tax's purpose -- in fact, not in effect -- is to single out tanning beds for an excise (or special) Tax, and the means of this extra revenue is derived from people who seek to DARKEN skin color, how can this tax NOT be considered directed at (and therefore primarily disadvantage) one racial group over another?

A tax on Jheri curl, anyone?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Follow the Blago

This cracks me up--Have you seen yesterday's "Swampland" blog on TIME magazine?

Talking about how the Blago trial in Chicago is opening up a can of worms regarding the complete "transparency" of our Dear Leader. (Now there's a news flash.) Seems that in the wacky, zany world of Chicago politics*, expressing a preference by name and sending in a go-between to lobby for a certain candidate IS NOT the same thing as meddling in the Senate seat replacement process.

(* = which is the Media's term for letting things slide--could you imagine hearing "that's just Texas politics" for explaining the US Attorney firings a few years ago?)

But here is my favorite passage:

"Since the press had no information suggesting otherwise, President
Obama was allowed to move on from the scandal." --
Michael Scherer

ALLOWED! The press "had no info suggesting otherwise..." WTF?!? Did the "press" think Barry deserved a Mulligan since it was just his first drive off the first tee? Mustn't allow a quid pro quo scandal get in the way of a good "immaculation" (nod to RHL3)

Isn't "The Press" supposed to get otherwise information? I couldn' t believe it when it was happening and I really can't believe someone is no suggesting that maybe the news didn't look into this enough. Duh!

And since when does the press take spoon-fed "internal" investigation at face value? (Oh, since Barry just won, that's since when.) BO: "...Um, .... we investigated ourselves, really hard... and we found that we did nothing wrong. Honest. So I guess that answers that." Hey, have you seen my way-cool Office of the President-Elect seal?"

That whole fiasco was akin to "Nothing to see here folks. Nothing to see. Move along, move along."