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An Exciting Elixir for a Stale Statesman: Mitt Romney Inspires Our Beer of the Week

It’s barely 2015 and we already have our first official casualty of the Almighty 2016 Presidential Election Cycle. Mr. Romney, we hardly knew ye. Just kidding, Mittens. You’ve been clambering toward the highest office in the land since all the way back when John McCain was a widely respected figure in national politics. We’re well over a decade removed from those days. As you close the door on yet another campaign, allow me to open the fridge to a fresh new Imperial ale out of Brooklyn. Threes Brewing has just thrown its hat in the ring as a candidate in the New York City IPA Primary, introducing its first heavily hopped offering. With a name evoking the same level of excitement that Romney has always elicited in (at least 47 percent of) the electorate, we bring you Superf*ckingyawn — our beer of the week.

When Threes Brewing opened late last year, it brought more than just the promise of inventive craft styles to Gowanus. The mammoth brewpub on Douglass Street incorporated a rotating pop-up kitchen, a beer garden, artisanal coffee bar, and multi-use event space, all under one roof. With something for everybody, the new neighborhood hangout represented the same sturdy consensus-building defining the Romney/Ryan ’12 ticket.

Noticeably absent, however, was a debut IPA. Presumably, the three owners who inspired the bar’s numerical name were tired of all the so-called hops-takers. You know the type; no matter how many IBUs their brewers offer them, these folks are always thirsty for a bigger handout. Rather than appease these nasty ne’er-do-wells, Threes launched with subtler styles: saisons, wheated session ales — the kind of stuff that’s only enjoyed after you’ve pulled yourself up to the bar, by your bootstraps.

But learning from the mistakes of Mitt’s past, Threes quickly realized that you gotta give the depraved masses what they want. Enter Superf*ckingyawn — a 9.5 percent hop bomb with undertones of tropical fruit and sticky pine resin. It’s that big, bold beer you want to stack up against grilled, spiced meats. Happily, the brewpub agrees and will team up with The Meat Hook on March 1 to host its own convention of sorts, although this one is unlikely to feature Clint Eastwood or many empty chairs. The Sunday-afternoon celebration will, however, showcase a whole roasted lamb.

In the meantime, Superf*ckingyawn is now on tap at Threes along with the brewery’s newest pilsener, Vliet Pils. Since Romney has yet to make an official endorsement, let’s just assume he approves. He should know; he’s tried both of them. Actually, as a devout Mormon, probably not. All the more to pour for the fine craft enthusiasts of the five boroughs.

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John Catsimatidis Yells ‘Bullshit!’, Says He Could’ve Beat Obama

As we know from our past interviews with him, John Catsimatidis is a man of many words. The Greek-born billionaire and Republican hopeful, who’s sworn that he’ll be a mayor “for Harlem and for Wall Street,” is quite verbose when it comes to his thoughts/feelings/emotions.

So this is a type of headline we should get comfortable with going forward into this mayoral race.

On Sunday, the Brooklyn Young Republicans collected into a pub’s back room in Cobble Hill. And Catsimatidis was there. An audience member named Frank Russo, who’s also the president of the Brooklyn Tea Party (yup, this exists), asked the candidate if his plan for public-private partnerships for vocational training in schools was a scam. Apparently, that was one step too far for the Gristedes entrepreneur.

“Bullshit! Go bullshit yourself, if you want!,” Catsimatidis bellowed. “The program is to teach these people the ability to earn a living. OK?”

Russo told the Daily News that he wouldn’t be voting for Catsimatidis anymore.

Soon after, the former Romney SuperPAC donor dove into federal policy and its trickle-down effect on the city. So, naturally, it was time to discuss hypothetical 2012 situations if Catisimatidis was able to run for the White House, barring the born-here provision.

“I’m running for mayor, I can’t run for president!” he said. “But let me tell you something, I would have won. I could have beat Obama. Buy me a box of Kleenex.”

As we said before, get used to it. November is still half a year away.

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Obama Team to Support Gov. Cuomo in Campaign Finance Reform Battle

In January, Gov. Cuomo reiterated a point in his State of the State address that he’s made since his first day on office: New York needs to completely overhaul its campaign finance system ASAP.

“We must enact campaign finance reform because people believe that campaigns are financed by someone else at exorbitant rates,” he told the audience. Except, in a modern political landscape where voices are heard through dollar signs, his plan has not made it out of the rhetorical stage.

But maybe a boost from a victorious White House team will help a bit.

According to Politico, Organizing for America (OFA) will join forces on the “fair elections” issue with Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, starting first with a conference call for supporters. “This is about empowering real people in the political process and making sure that voters are the ones deciding an election — not the corporations, special-interest groups, or lobbyists,” an e-mail told members.

For those who missed the last two Presidential elections, OFA, formerly known as Obama for America, is the unbelievably powerful grassroots side of the Obama administration–a well-equipped and super-high-tech force of Democrats who have redefined canvassing in the modern era. That might sound hyperbolic, but these guys beat Mitt Romney–a candidate held up by more Wall Street money than the Monopoly man.

Cuomo has gained quite a powerful ally in this fight.

As of now, individual donors in New York state elections can do essentially whatever they want (maximum contributions right now are past $10,000). In lieu of that, the governor wants to implement a matching funds system similar to the one we have here in the city. Anyone with a last name that isn’t Bloomberg would say it’s mediocre at best.

The move by OFA could signal a change of pace on overturning Citizens United via constitutional amendment–a gesture mentioned sotto voce by the White House a few times. In turn, that’ll make sure none of this happens again.

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White House Files Voluntary Amicus Brief, Demands SCOTUS Overturn Prop 8

Nothing like a Presidential push to get the ball rolling.

Yesterday was the deadline for parties to file amicus curae briefs — or “Here’s what we think you should do” memos — to the Supreme Court before the Nine hears the arguments facing DOMA and Prop 8 at the end of March. And, in this past week, they came flooding in.

At the start, over eight Republican figures signed a brief, showing their support for same-sex marriage in the name of conservatism. This notion was followed by the ACLU, California Assembly Speaker John A. Perez and, most importantly, the White House (which also filed one against DOMA on Monday).

Warm up the bully pulpit.

FYI: In Supreme Court cases, the White House briefs are voluntary as a good measure of judicial restraint on the executive. But, in the brief, the Obama administration’s Justice Department, led by Attorney General Eric Holder, stated the ways in which Prop 8 violates the Constitution. The main route of argument taken is one we’ve heard made by same-sex marriage advocates for a few years now: that the idea of marriage strictly for heterosexuals violates the equal protection clause in the Fourteenth Amendment.

Also, the White House is taking it a step further with something called the “eight state solution.” This legal gesture suggests states that already have all the benefits of civil unions might as well go all the way and legalize same-sex marriage. Eight states currently do this; hence the name of the plan.

We’ll leave you with a clip from the brief:

“Throughout history, we have seen the unjust consequences of decisions and policies rooted in discrimination. The issues before the Supreme Court in this case and the Defense of Marriage Act case are not just important to the tens of thousands Americans who are being denied equal benefits and rights under our laws, but to our Nation as a whole.”

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Psssst, Obama! Mention Something About the State of Civil Liberties Tonight

In the most non-rightblogger tone possible, Obama has been on quite a roll when it comes to his administration’s assault on civil liberties lately.

Not one, not two, but three different pieces of legislation and policy with the potential to drastically infringe on the civil liberties of Americans have come out of the Obama administration in the past week alone.

So, tonight might be a good time for the president to address why his policies on civil liberties are even more intrusive than those set forth by his predecessor George W. Bush.

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We covered one of those bad boys last week, the National Defense Authorization Act, and if it’s as bad as journalist Chris Hedges and infamous whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg say, it creates a loophole for the military to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens on American soil.

Then there is that Department of Justice white paper that MSNBC obtained last week, which lays out the government’s policy on authorizing drone strikes that target American citizens without affording them due process of the law.

To cap the off his incredible streak, it appears that as early as tomorrow, Obama will sign off on an executive order to push the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. CISPA would allow tech and Internet companies to legally hand over the emails and user information of American citizens to U.S. authorities upon request–without being held liable for the distribution or potential misuse of that information.

The Obama administration actually condemned the bill last spring, but now reports indicate that the president will sign an executive order for the exact same, or at least a very similar bill, tomorrow. Hacktivist group Anonymous, whose loose collection of members would likely be targeted by the law, is apparently threatening to disrupt live-streams of Obama’s Address in protest of CISPA.

Now don’t be silly, obviously none of these policies explicitly state that the government can plainly strip these long-held rights away from Americans. The problem with all of them is that they fail to explicitly state the government can’t do these things.

Take for example the NDAA legislation that was argued in the U.S. Second Circuit of Appeals last week. The language of the law allows the U.S. military to detain an American citizen suspected of being:

“A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”

The plaintiffs in the case argue that the law is vague and overly broad. What does it mean to “substantially” support? What and who are”associated forces?” The group of plaintiffs in the case, which includes Hedges, Ellsberg and other activists and journalists, fear that they could be detained under the law for their work covering, reporting, interviewing and interacting with both actual and alleged members of terrorist organizations.

They aren’t pulling those concerns out of thin air, either. The government has already tried to associate several of them with terrorist entities such as al-Qaeda and has harassed them to no end.

“If they had written in there that U.S. citizens were exempt, none of us would be here. But they didn’t do that. And they didn’t do that on purpose,” Hedges told the Voice last week.

The DOJ white paper on drone strikes supposedly limits the use of lethal force against Americans on foreign soil to a “senior operational leader of al-Qaeda or an associated force of al-Qaeda.” Not only does this definition include the overly-broad term “associated force,” but the memo goes on to say:

“The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”

In other words, the military is giving itself some wiggle room to execute strikes without possessing terribly strong evidence.

It seems pretty evident that if Obama actually had to account for these apparent abuses of civil liberties, he’d have a lot of explaining to do. Fortunately for him, these and other overreaching policies, including warrant-less wire-tapping under the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act, are quietly and all to conveniently seeping past the mainstream machine.

“The deterioration of civil liberties under the Obama Administration has complete continuity with the attack on civil liberties under the Bush administration,” Hedges said during a press conference following last week’s NDAA hearing. “In fact, under the Obama administration it has been worse.”

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U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Hears Arguments in NDAA Battle (We Barely Could)

It sounded like a panel of Federal Appeals Court judges drilled lawyers with a barrage of questions yesterday during a hearing of oral arguments in the high-profile lawsuit against the Obama administration over the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.

Of course, that’s a bit tough to confirm considering that despite numerous requests from plaintiffs to have the arguments heard in a large courtroom, it was held in a rather small one. Unfortunate journalists and onlookers such as myself were subjected to listening to the hearing in a spacious overflow courtroom decked-out with two antiquated speakers fit for an iPod-Mini dock-system–which court technicians didn’t get to work until 15 minutes into the hearing.

Public interest in the case is so high that many spectators and journalists couldn’t even get into the ill-equipped overflow room. No biggie though, it’s only a case that will decide whether the U.S. Military and the Executive Branch have the right to detain American citizens.

Yesterday’s Second Court of Appeals hearing was the latest in a case brought by a group of seven plaintiffs–including former New York Times Reporter Chris Hedges, noted scholar Noam Chomsky and Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg–against the Obama administration over section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA, which authorizes the military to detain:

“A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”

From what could be heard over the shitty speakers, lawyers from the Obama administration seemed to present a bit of a scattered argument. In lower court hearings, they refused to answer whether any of the plaintiffs would be subject to detention under the provision. Yesterday the U.S. Department of Justice attorneys argued that the law doesn’t apply to the plaintiffs in their work as journalists, activists, researchers and commentators.

The attorneys for the plaintiffs, Bruce Afran and Carl Mayer, continued to argue that the provisions hardly ensures that their clients will face future immunity from detention because the statue fails to precisely define what constitutes “substantially” supporting terror groups or groups “associated” with terrorism. The plaintiffs frequently interview and voice the opinions of subjects who are either directly associated with, or could be identified by the government as associates of terrorist organizations.

“[The government] kept qualifying that independent journalists are going to be fine,” Tangerine Bolen, the founder of RevolutionTruth and a plaintiff in the case,” told the Voice. “Well, where is that line of independent versus dependent? And, who defines that line?…No matter what, the language of 1021 opens the door for anyone, anywhere to be detained.”

Journalist Alexa O’Brien has reported extensively on U.S. abuses at Guantanamo Bay, and in the course of her investigations she’s spoken to many detainees who are classified as current and former members of terrorist organizations. She previously testified that the government has already targeted her for her journalism and association with U.S. Day of Rage.

“It’s certainly chilled my freedom of speech because there are articles that I have chosen not to publish since the passage of this law,” O’Brien said. “People aren’t going to express themselves openly if there’s the threat of indefinite detention over their head.”

According to Matt Sledge of the Huffington Post, DOJ attorney Robert Loeb argued that the law “expressly exempts our citizens” from detention, but Judge Raymond Lohier countered that it really “doesn’t exempt anything.”

“If they had written in there, that U.S. citizens were exempt, none of us would be here. But they didn’t do that. And they didn’t do that on purpose,” Hedges told the Voice.

What made the government’s argument a bit bi-polar is that while the lawyers insisted that American civilians won’t be detained. They concurrently argued that if an American is detained under the law, subsection 1021-(e) affords them with the same Fifth Amendment rights they’ve always had. Afran and Mayer argue that this doesn’t solve the issue of whether the military has the right to detain them in the first place.

“That section of the law actually says that Americans in this country can be detained, but they can assert their rights to get out later,” Afran said at a press conference following the hearing. “This presumes something that the Supreme Court has always said is unconstitutional: the detention of Americans by the military.”

Mayer added that there’s no telling how long a detained American would have to wait to exercise his or her Fifth Amendment right to due process of the law.

“Once someone is already detained they can then move the government to clear them, but usually these cases take seven or eight years,” Mayer said.

Despite this apparent flaw in the logic of the provision, the plaintiffs fear that if the judges do decide to rule against them, they’ll use this so-called “saving-clause” as their out.

“I think on the merits we should win. It’s hard to know,” Hedges told us. “The only judge in the last decade to stand up to the abuses of the National Security state has been Judge Katherine Forrest in the Southern District of New York. The pattern has been one where courts have essentially issued opinions where they’re arguing why they can’t [strike down] the law.”

As Voice writer Nick Pinto previously reported, Forrest affirmed many of the plaintiffs’ arguments in her district court ruling.

She levied an injunction on the law in September, but the Obama administration quickly filed an emergency appeal with the Second Circuit, which granted the president with a stay on the injunction. As it stands now, the law is still in place, and Obama signed off on a 2013 update of the law in January, which grants the military similarly vague authorities to detain Americans.

“For once, for once, a judge [was] willing to say this is officially unconstitutional no matter to whom, when, or under what circumstances,” Ellsberg said during the press conference. “I’ll be pleasantly surprised if [the Appeals Court judges] have the courage to do what she’s done, and not simply be time-servers for their own advancement. I don’t think [Forrester’s ruling] will advance her very much.”

Afran and Mayer are confident that they sufficiently argued their points, but declined to predict how the court will rule and noted that a decision on the case likely won’t be rendered until months from now. Both sides of the lawsuit plan to appeal to the Supreme Court if they lose.

“If we don’t prevail, we will appeal to the Supreme Court. If we do prevail, we’ll call on the Obama administration to stop their practices,” Mayer told the Voice. “Either way I think it’s been a huge success because not only did we win [in district court], but we’ve given the administration and the military the distinct impression that they can’t do this without a reaction from the citizens.”

Previous Coverage:

NDAA Suit Argued In Federal Court Yesterday

Obama’s NDAA Law Allowing Indefinite Military Detention of Citizens Ruled Unconstitutional

Syke! Permanent Military Detention For American Citizens Is Totally Cool Again

Appeals Panel Undermines Free Speech Victory Over NDAA

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FOOD ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES

What’s On The Inauguration Luncheon Menu?

On January 21, 225 guests will arrive at the White House to celebrate President Obama’s inauguration… again! As they mingle and slap Barry on the back, thanking him for sharing the White House’s beer recipe with the masses, they’ll also feast on a menu from Arlington-based catering company Design Cuisine.

Obamafoodorama made the menu public (after the jump) and said that the theme of the luncheon will be “Faith in America’s Future.” Of course, all the food is farm-to-table, artisanal, sustainable, and local.

Fear not, plebeian. You too can dine like the President. The blog posted recipes on how to make all these dishes at home.

First
Steamed Lobster with New England Clam Chowder Sauce
Served on Sauteed Spinach with Sweet Potato Hay
Wine: Tierce 2009 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling (NY)

Main
Hickory Grilled Bison with Wild Huckleberry Reduction
Strawberry Preserve and Red Cabbage
Red Potato Horseradish Cake
Baby Golden Beets and Green Beans
Butternut Squash Purée
Wine: Bedell Cellars 2009 Merlot (Long Island, NY)

Dessert
Hudson Valley Apple Pie with Sour Cream Ice Cream with Maple Caramel Sauce

Aged Cheeses and Honeycomb
Toma Celena and Jersey Girl Colby,
Cooperstown Cheese Company (Milford, NY)
Wine: Korbel Inaugural Cuvee (California)

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What The Fiscal Cliff Means for New York, Pt. 2

 

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid admitted his cynicism towards a fiscal cliff compromise, blaming the House Republicans’ “dictatorship.” The New York Post’s cover featured a diver jumping off a cliff, with the catchy headline “This Fall Is Really Going to Hurt.” We later found out that a handful of legislators aren’t even back in Washington yet.

Basically, the morale level is pretty low right now for something serious to get done in less than a week.

Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, we collected the New York-only consequences from a failure to solve this impending “crisis.” They included: a $43 billion tax increase for 8.9 million working Americans; 3.4 million people now forced to pay the federal alternative minimum tax; a drop of $609 million in funds for Albany; and a loss of $164 million for our schools. New Year’s Eve wasn’t supposed to hurt this badly.
Hopefully, you’re sitting somewhere near a stress ball while reading this. And, after you’re done, make sure you buy another one because we have two more major things to add to this list: a huge blow to unemployment benefits and Hurricane Sandy recovery funds.
According to Gothamist, 200,000 New Yorkers will lose their unemployment benefits on January 1. That huge number makes up nearly a tenth of the nationwide amount — the only other state with more residents collecting this insurance is good ol’ California. If our elected representatives were to save face a bit here, they’d have to scrap together $30 billion. And, in the Big Picture, it doesn’t look like that’ll happen, providing us with a perfect segue way into our next national grief.
The Hurricane Sandy recovery package barely moving its way through Congress right now is worth $60.4 billion. Transportation officials are literally waiting on this money to mitigate costs but, as luck provides, the attempt to obtain funds could not have come at a worse time. It’s like trying to fix up a tiny hole in an enormous floodgate.
Yesterday, former Bloomberg administrator and current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan told the Daily News that relief for the thousands of victims across the Tristate area were lost in a “nightmare of inaction and limbo that is completely unacceptable.” According to Mr. Donovan, this nightmare is due in part to the aforementioned ‘dictatorship’ in the House of Representatives; the HUD Secretary is sure the full package will pass the Democratic Senate but the budget-weary Republican House is a whole other story. These guys won’t give in on tax cuts for the wealthy, let alone $60 billion for an area most of the House Republicans have probably never visited.
That leaves us with five days or so before any of this actually happens. The Sandy relief package underlies another argument; its legislative faith depends on whether or not an agreement on a much bigger situation can be met. A whole lot for New Yorkers rides on what happens between today and Tuesday. We’ll leave it at that.
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Thanksgiving at the White House: Obamas’ Table Will Include Kale Salad and Thyme Roasted Turkey

President Obama is is a pretty hip guy. He fist bumps, rebounds, and is best friends with Jay-Z. And now comes the news that he’s putting a kale salad on his Thanksgiving table.

Next Thursday will mark the fourth Thanksgiving for the Obama White House and, for the first time, the day’s menu and recipes have been released in advance of the festivities.

So what does the leader of the free world eat? Well, on Thanksgiving, pretty similarly to a lot of other Americans. This year’s White House feast will include a thyme-roasted turkey, honey-baked ham, cornbread stuffing and mashed potatoes. Oh yeah, and that kale salad — which include fennel, radishes and a few jalepeño peppers. Obamafoodorama, which includes recipes for all of the dishes, notes that the President is also a pretty big fan of pie and the meal will feature six of them.

Does your menu stack up to that of the POTUS? Let us know in the comments.

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The Racist Tweet War Against Obama Comes to New York

It’s no doubt that a few people were devastated when Romney lost the election. And by “few people,” we mean everyone on this site. Oh, and this young kid, too. The 48 percent of the country that wanted Romney in (or, more so, wanted Obama out of) the White House was defeated by the tyranny of the 47 percent (which, really, was closer to 50 percent) majority. It was over – Obama had solidified another four years crashing America into the ground and there was nothing more that could be done.

Except, of course, resort to the 21st century version of sore-loser-ism: when all else fails, go on Twitter. You have 140 characters to broadcast to all 132 of your followers the post-election anguish, pain, night terrors and, according to Jezebel, good ol’ fashioned American pastime known as heartless racism.

In the report, writer Tracie Egan Morrissey collected a ton of tweets a few days ago that are just…. yeah, they exist. That’s all. The South will rise again and all that jazz. Here’s a quick preview:

@Walken4GOP: “Why did Obama’s great grandaddy cross the road? Because my great grandaddy tugged his neckchain in that direction.”

@pukingvagina: “So the nigger is still living life in that big white apartment.”

@KG39baseball: “The movie 2012 first New York floods and there is a nigger in office also. See a coinensadince.”

Yes. A coinensadince.

Well, two of those lucky contestants were fellow New Yorkers like me and you. And not even old enough to vote yet.

The first case is Ricky Cantanzaro of Xaverian High School in Brooklyn. On Election Night, reeling from Romney’s concession, the teen took to social media to tell us all how he was feeling about this Obama victory:

@madhouse12345: “No NIGGER should lead this country. #Romney”

@madhouse12345: “Only thing black people are good at is basketball #run #shot #steal”

There’s something really unsettling about dropping a hashtag after statements like that, right? However, since then, the teen’s Twitter has been taken down and there has been speculation that someone (read: a really racist hacker) might’ve tapped into Cantanzaro’s account. Mostly because of this final tweet he posted:

@madhouse12345: “Whoever is on my twitter stop making tweets.”

The second case is Lou LaDonna of West Islip High School in Long Island. The tweets represent the highs and lows of LaDonna’s night on November 6th. Here’s one before the ballots came in:

@LouieeMaggsz: “When in doubt, kick the nigger out. #Romney!!”

And after the ballots came in…

@LouieeMaggsz: “If your black and did NOT vote for #Obama, clap your ass.”

LaDonna’s father also denied his son was responsible, pointing to the fact that there was no hate speech law in this country (which is technically true – the only provision is in Supreme Court precedent that the comments cannot attempt to incite action). Also, West Islip High School gave the same answer as Xaverian: it’s being taken care of.

But no one should be surprised that these tweets exist for two reasons:

One, the past four years have demonstrated how unbelievably hated this President can be to some people. Whether it’s Tea Party signs connecting Obama to Mao or that one dude showing up a town hall with a loaded assault rifle, there’s a whole cache of racist events to draw from since 2008 to show that White America has gone insane. Or what’s left of it. We’re not living in a post-racist age but an age where the racist have become much more racist.

Second, it’s Twitter – if millions have prescribed to 140 characters, you’re going to have a strata of those aforementioned racists. But what’s great about social media is that a side-effect of self-inflection is public stupidity. That Jezebel article has gotten over 7 million hits. You should feel better knowing that majority of those 7 million other people think these people suck, too. And that the entire school probably read that article and will now shun the two kids for the rest of their high school careers. Humiliation in numbers. (On the other hand, Slate doesn’t agree).

Now, the question of what the school should do is a completely different conversation. A very peculiar aspect of constitutional law is that any student who enters a school leaves his or her inalienable rights at the door. Yeah, of course, First Amendment, no hate speech laws, yada yada yada; we get it. But the school doesn’t have to – the Bill of Rights is not applicable to the classroom.

But this event didn’t happen in class. The students took to Twitter (notwithstanding the fact that it might not have been them) and posted their personal opinions. Given, it was a really shitty thing to say but it was their Twitters, not ours. The situation is similar to an employer who refuses to hire someone based on pictures found on Facebook of that someone taking shots at a strip-club. Social media can provide us with an infinite amount of shit we don’t want to see but what gives us a right to reprimand them? We can all agree that the Internet can be a dark and scary place. And there’s nothing we can really do to quell that negativity.

In the end, the punishment in the end depends on the wall of privacy the schools can breach and what they make of those statements. In my high school, a few kids were kicked off a sports team because pictures popped up on Facebook of them drinking underage. That’s different, though: they were caught in the act of something that is illegal. But these are the personal views of Cantanzaro and LaDonna – they just happened to put them on the Internet for everyone to see. And racism isn’t illegal; it’s just terribly immoral.

Remember: you have to be 18 to vote but Twitter is for all ages.