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Bill of Rights
  • Gov. Sam Brownback Narrowly Survives High School Student's Mean-Spirited Tweet

    Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is, by all accounts, safe and relatively unharmed following a harrowing Twitter attack from an 18-year-old high school student last week.

    Luckily, Brownback has a brave and astute staff ready to snap into action at the first sign of an online trolling

    Emma Sullivan, a senior at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, was in Topeka on Monday as part of Kansas Youth in Government, a program for students interested in politics and government.

    During the session, in which Brownback addressed the group, Sullivan posted on her personal Twitter page:

    There was a problem connecting to Twitter.

    Does anyone know if there are any al Qaeda sleeper cells operating in Kansas? Because I highly doubt that a high school student is capable of an act of terrorism so heinous on her own.

    Don't worry, though. Sullivan is paying the ultimate cost for trespasses against her innocent governor…

    On Tuesday, Sullivan was called to her principal’s office and told that the tweet had been flagged by someone on Brownback’s staff and reported to organizers of the Youth in Government program…

    The principal "laid into me about how this was unacceptable and an embarrassment," Sullivan said. "He said I had created this huge controversy and everyone was up in arms about it… and now he had to do damage control… I'm mainly shocked that they would even see that tweet and be concerned about me," she said. "I just honestly feel they're making a lot bigger deal out of it than it actually was."

    Sullivan said the principal ordered her to write letters of apology to Brownback, the school’s Youth in Government sponsor, the district's social studies coordinator and others.

    Hopefully next time, Ms.Sullivan will think twice before exercising her First Amendment rights.

    Just where does she think she is? Someplace that's not Kansas?

    Tags: Bill of Rights, Constitution, Education, Kansas, Sam Brownback, Twitter
  • Jon Stewart on the "In God We Trust" Resolution

    I find it so hard to believe that Congress would spend its time doing things like reaffirming "In God We Trust" as our national motto. That's time that could be spent on television complaining about the atheistic hordes who are overtaking our poor nation. Where are their priorities?

    The Daily Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11/10c.

    Tags: Atheists, Bill of Rights, Charlie Rangel, Constitution, Fox, Gretchen Carlson, House of Representatives, Jerrold Nadler, Jon Stewart, Religion, The Daily Show, Tom Price, Trent Franks, Unemployment, Video
  • House GOP Seeks to Reaffirm "In God We Trust" as National Motto Because, Eh, Why Not?

    With so so many problems facing our foundering nation these days, it must be incredibly difficult, as a legislator, to decide where to direct our congressional resources.

    Should our elected representatives focus on the crushing unemployment our economic middle and lower classes are experiencing? Should it keep its gaze fixed resolutely upon our skyrocketing national debt? What about our flagging educational system? Our addiction to foreign-bought fossil fuels? Our military presence in the Middle East? The ever-increasing disgust being expressed by the populist uprising on our city streets? Should Congress do anything about any of those things?

    Or should it maybe just pass a non-binding GOP-sponsored resolution that our already-agreed-upon national motto "In God We Trust" is still super nifty and we all really like it forever and ever amen? Probably that last one is the way to go

    The concurrent resolution, sponsored by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), would not have the force of law, but instead is aimed at "supporting and encouraging the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools and other government institutions."

    The bill briefly outlines the history of government references to God, and adds in that "if religion and morality are taken out of the market-place of ideas, the very freedom on which the United States was founded cannot be secured."

    Oh, wow! I have never heard it put quite so eloquently before. "Religion and morality" obviously can't be taken out of "the market-place of ideas." Whatever that means exactly, it would be totally crazy? Can you even imagine our "market-place of ideas" without "religion and morality"? I can't! And only partially because I don't quite know what that means. But it totally rings true!

    But, of course, not everybody can see these clear and obvious abstractions with such impeccable clarity…

    Democrats argued that at a time of high unemployment and a record-high budget deficit, it makes little sense to spend time on what could be a divisive bill.

    "Instead of addressing any of these critical issues, and instead of working to help American families keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables, we are debating whether or not to affirm and proliferate a motto that was adopted in 1956 and that is not imperiled in any respect," they wrote in the committee report accompanying the bill.

    But, don't you see? That's exactly the point. Back when President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the 84th U.S. Congress officially replaced the unofficially-adopted "E Pluribus Unum" with "In God We Trust" as our national motto, their intent was clear: To draw a distinction between us (morally-upright, God-fearing Americans) and them (godless Communist Soviet scum).

    And this resolution is pretty much doing the same thing, with a minor tweak: To draw a distinction between us (morally-upright, God-fearing Republicans) and them (godless Communist Democrat scum).

    "[I]nstead of working to help American families keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables…" What kind of socialist nonsense is that? Hahaha! The Democrats are playing right into their trap!

    Photo by Visions of America/Joe Sohm/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    Tags: Bill of Rights, Dwight Eisenhower, House of Representatives, Religion, Republicans
  • Quote Unquote: Corporate Decency

    CNN commentator and former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin, on Anderson Cooper 360 last night, in response to Reddit exercising its First Amendment rights and not shutting down some user-generated "potentially illegal" (read as: "legal") corners of its website — such as r/jailbait and r/asianjailbait — that many may deem as being in poor taste

    "Even if they aren't [technically in violation of any actual laws], don't we want them to be good corporate citizens? What happened to decency? What happened to corporations doing the right thing?"

    I should point out that she was not saying that in jest.

    Also, time spent on Anderson Cooper's show last night wringing hands over "the possibility that somebody somewhere might be looking at sexually suggestive photos of your teenage child" on the Internet: 8 minutes.

    Time spent on Anderson Cooper's show all told covering the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations – protesting "negative corporate influence over U.S. politics" — that have been happening 5 miles from the CNN studios in New York City for the past two weeks: 0 minutes.

    Tags: Anderson Cooper, Bill of Rights, CNN, Constitution, Occupy Wall Street, Porn, Quote Unquote, Reddit, Sex, Wall Street
  • Stephen Colbert on Corporations' First Amendment Rights

    It's like that old saying: I disapprove of what you sell, but I will defend to the death your right to slather it in chipotle sauce and sell it at a 300 percent mark-up.

    The Colbert Report airs Monday through Thursday at 11:30/10:30c.

    Tags: Bill of Rights, Constitution, Corporations, Dan Savage, EPA, Google, LGBT, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, Video