Rep. Don Young, bears, Jesus, Sarah Palin, “Star Trek,” feet, figs, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the pope and Chick-fil-A. They all made their way into the national discourse this week. But how?
1.) The Voice: The hands-down winner of the, um, aural arguments at the Supreme Court this week was Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Listening to the native New Yorker in the audio recordings of the court hearings on California’s Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage, and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was as intoxicating as a hot toddy after a long winter hike. She was a joy to listen to — and not just because the justice and I appear to be on the same side in both cases. C’mon, I can’t be the only one grooving on Sotomayor’s warm tone and deliberate delivery. Am I?
2.) What did Jesus say?: No matter what the Supreme Court decides on the two cases related to marriage equality, we should all celebrate the incredible, serious and respectful discussion engaged by the justices. Meanwhile, outside the oral arguments, people on all sides of the issue made their views known. This one by Kristina VanSant wins hands down: “Guys, I said I hate figs.” Clever.
3.) All wet: Feast your eyes on the latest example of why the Republican Party has a major problem with people of color in general and Latinos in particular. “My father had a ranch. We used to have 50 or 60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes,” Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) said in a local radio interview. “It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.” He would later say that he “meant no disrespect.” But I give mad props to Speaker John Boehner, whose reaction to Young’s wildly offensive nonsense knocked it out of the park. “Congressman Young’s remarks were offensive and beneath the dignity of the office he holds,” he said. “I don’t care why he said it – there’s no excuse and it warrants an immediate apology.”
4.) There’s something about Francis: Pope Francis continues to wow. He refused the palatial papal residence for a humble apartment. He joyfully dives into throngs of people without a care for his security. And on Holy Thursday, the pope washed the feet of 12 inmates ages 14 to 21 at a youth detention center. Everything about it was unprecedented, including his washing and kissing the feet of women and non-Catholics. “Washing your feet means I am at your service,” he told them. “Help one another. This is what Jesus teaches us. This is what I do. And I do it with my heart. I do this with my heart because it is my duty. As a priest and bishop, I must be at your service.” How can you not be moved by such humility?
5.) Palin’s pluck: On the eve of gay week in Washington, Sarah Palin wore a Chick-fil-A T-shirt to a Phoenix Suns basketball. Click this link to find out why her apparel choice was significant. But the cry for attention from the half-term-governor-turned-reality-TV-star-and best-selling-author didn’t end there. Palin’s SarahPAC put out another fundraising video this week titled “Loaded for Bear.” In it, she slammed the “big bad media” while liberally using clips of pundits going on about her influence within the Republican Party. There is no shame in her game. None.
6.) Beam them up — please!: Nothing says “Your government at work” like a video of government works participating in a Star Trek parody. And a bad one at that. The offending folks in this case toil for the one agency that everyone loves to hate, especially this time of year: the Internal Revenue Service. If you see one of them on the street, set your phasers to stun.
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