Obama divides us (and other political links)

So Obama makes a speech at a mosque which includes a discussion of discrimination against Muslims being bad. Marco Rubio is shocked, shocked and appalled that Obama would bring up discrimination because it’s divisive. And of course there’s discrimination (yes, Rubio said that) but what’s important is Islamic terrorism! By mentioning that people discriminate against Muslims, Obama’s setting Americans against each other!  Whereas, presumably, Ted Cruz saying it’s okay to let in Syrian Christian refugees but not Muslims isn’t divisive at all. Ditto Rubio’s own claim we should shut down Internet cafes, Muslim businesses and mosques that are hubs of radical activity (no chance that could be abused, of course). It’s the same logic by which “Gays are disgusting pedophiles” is, in some conservative eyes, a legitimate part of the conversation, but criticizing the speaker is unacceptably divisive.

•Is Ted Cruz anti-semitic? Or playing it on the campaign trail?

•The tone argument is criticism that focuses on the way you say something (“That was too harsh/Your tone will alienate people instead of persuading them/You’re too angry!” etc., etc.) and avoids the substance. A lot of liberals (myself included) consider it a bad argument (maybe someone has a reason to be angry), but a feministing article by Katherine Cross argues that sometimes tone and intent matter.

In a related post, Samantha Field says while she understands why some bloggers and activists vent their rage, as a Christian she feels personally called to a different path (no, she’s not being condescending when she writes that). I have a similar perspective, sort of: I get very uncomfortable when I’m consumed with anger, so I usually avoid it. That’s not saying anger is an unacceptable tactic for everyone.

•LGM argues that universal healthcare doesn’t necessarily mean single-payer.

•Good news: India’s Supreme Court is hearing a case challenging the country’s anti-sodomy laws.

•Human Rights Watch says at least eight women and girls have been raped by UN Peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.

•We’re not the only country that does bad things on the grounds of fighting drugs.

•An evangelical who’s solidly conservative on issues like birth control comes out as pro-immigrant. Now he’s a “controversial” figure.

•A new federal bill would make it harder for small businesses to force consumers into binding arbitration.

•At a Congressional hearing, Martin Shkrelli pleads the fifth to everything, even questions about Wu-Tang Clan. Yes, that Martin Shkreli, the price-gouging drug CEO.

•U.S. News says the CDC recommends women between 15 and 44 stop drinking if they’re not on contraception, because alcohol could damage the baby even if they don’t know they’re pregnant. At the link, Echidne points out this omits some details (if a woman’s not having sex, no problem) and takes a look at the original CDC report (which unsurprisingly doesn’t suggest abortion as an option).


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