TheDC Morning: Whales at SeaWorld are modern day slaves

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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1.) This happened: Judge rules whales aren’t slaves — Because some Americans are morons, a federal judge was put into a position where he had to rule on whether the whales at SeaWorld are modern day slaves. TheDC’s Caroline May reports on PETA’s impressively stupid argument:

“According to PETA, the basis of the suit was that the 13th Amendment’s ‘plain text’ prohibiting slavery does not mention the species of the enslaved. ‘Slavery is slavery, and it does not depend on the species of the slave any more than it depends on gender, race, or religion,’ said PETA general counsel Jeffrey Kerr in a statement prior to the ruling.”

For Kerr’s sake, let’s hope that he can’t keep a straight face when he’s making that argument.

2.) Is school choice really more of a civil rights issue than whale enfranchisement? — As hard as it is to believe, some people in America don’t actually think giving whales similar rights as humans is a particularly important civil rights issue. School choice on the other hand, according to some, is where the real civil rights battle is today. TheDC’s Alexis Levinson reports:

“School choice is today’s civil rights issue, if you ask Michelle Bernard, and she’s trying to start a movement to get people to fight for those rights. The Bernard Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy released an ad campaign Thursday, timed to coincide with Black History Month, drawing a connection between the civil rights movement of the 1960s and school choice, and calling on children and parents to take action.”

3.) Those who live by the ascot, die by the ascot — Ascot-wearing CNN political contributor Roland Martin was suspended Wednesday for a tweet a gay advocacy group said was homophobic. TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein (ME!) reports:

“The world of journalism was thrust into a state of shock Wednesday afternoon when CNN pulled Martin, a political contributor to the network, off the air for ‘the time being’ for a tweet he published during the Super Bowl which a gay advocacy group said was homophobic. ‘Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive,’ CNN said in a statement.”

At least CNN didn’t punish its audience by bringing back Rick Sanchez.

4.) Biden, Cheney, same difference, right? — A new poll shows that nearly a third — likely the smartest third — of South Carolina voters can’t identify who Joe Biden is. But really, who needs to know who Joey B is? Far more disturbing, some South Carolinians confused Biden with Dick Cheney. TheDC’s Paul Conner reports:

“Almost a quarter of those surveyed had no answer to the question, three percent provided the wrong name and another three percent identified Dick Cheney.”

Confusing Joe Biden for Dick Cheney is like confusing Simple Jack for Professor X.

5.) Poll of the Day — Gallup’s congressional job approval rating: 10% approve, 86% disapprove. The approval rating is the lowest ever recorded by Gallup while the disapproval is tied for the highest.

6.) BIRTHDAYS!  — George Hamilton (the first Earl of Orkney, not the orange actor) turns 346; Citizen Tom Paine turns 275; Old Tippecanoe William Henry Harrison turns 239 (h/t John Tyler); actor Joe Pesci turns 69.