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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Taxpayer Cost of Small Gov't Republicans

Fast off this story about the cost of error in the judicial system and in memory of the cost of Wisconsin's Governor having illegally fired some people years ago only to have the state forced by the courts to pay restitution, there comes this, a clearly unconstitutional attempt to restrict access to abortion:

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There is no way that this passes constitutional muster (at least, I think there is clear precedent, but one never knows with today's radical conservatives on SCOTUS).

So, the only question is, what will be the cost to taxpayers, eventually, from this kind of overreach?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not Everyone Misunderstands Robert P. George

One doesn't have to worry about his lament that "intellectuals" give short shrift to his philosophy.

Here, in three points or so:

1. Andrew Koppleman put it best (paraphrase): on inspection, people can see that gays can and do coordinate with each other toward a fundamental human good. (This is what makes rejections of George and his travellers' conclusions so easy for so many, not just that they don't understand his purported sophistication, aims, or good intent).

2. The moral truth of marriage, even as George grounds it ('a community of adults coming together in a special way'), need not logically be grounded exclusively in hetero-sex. (I have come up with a new way to illustrate this, succinctly.)

3. The effort to locate "gay" as nothing more than a step in the long process of "sexual liberation" is a conceptual non-starter. No matter whether or when any particular society is "liberal" or "conservative", the question of gay abides, including marriage, because of the fundamental character of gay attraction. This is one reason why his Harvard journal article will not interest "intellectuals", except as an illustration of his ability to do apologetics, not analysis. (Recall the joke about the New Natural Lawyer who only brought a liberal consequentialists with him to a dialectical drinking party).

4. His own ideology has blocked him to the idea that parents of gays do not have to be "liberationists" and can, in fact, teach what we might otherwise think of as "conservative" sexual norms. His idea that parents of gays would have no reason/justification to counsel anything but promiscuity and hedonistic abandon is laughable on face.

Sullivan's reply/notice is brief and political.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Burden of DOMA :: Legislative action required


Perpetual contender Newt Gingrich was just on the horn yesterday, touting his participation, "leadership" even, in the moral panic that was 1996's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

While DOMA pretended to enshrine a kind of federalism for gay marriage progression, its real fire came in the infamous "section 3", which excludes people from key aspects of citizenship at the Federal level, no matter what their state decides.

To wit:

Today my husband, Sergio, and I will report to the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services to be interviewed for the purpose of determining the legitimacy of our marriage in connection with my petition for his "green card" as my spouse. Unfortunately, despite the historic nature of this interview - the first, to our knowledge, to be conducted for a same-sex couple - it will only be a formality, for we stand no chance of having our case approved.-link

On July 13 in San Francisco, Doug Gentry and Alex Benshimol, a married California couple who have been together for six years, will face every same-sex binational couple’s worst nightmare: a deportation hearing. As anyone following this issue knows, for years there has been little hope for same-sex binational couples seeking to reside together in the United States. Many binational couples are legally married like Alex and Doug, but they are still treated as legal strangers in the eyes of the federal government. -link

Are there no Republicans in the House or Senate who will stand against these injustices?

Yes, it would be nice to have the president's voice on marriage. But, that is not required (nor perhaps as urgent).

If a gay couple is going to take up the burdensome "institution of marriage" at state law, the least that the Federal Government can do is get out of their way.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Quote of the Day

Regarding Michelle Bachman, I just wonder what is going to happen if she gets that 3 a.m. crisis call, that the U.S. is under attack.

Will the nation wait while staff finds her eyelashes?

Bad Things Gonna Come

Some amount of steam letting off is expected from anti-gay groups, who suffered a defeat, on their calculus, with gay marriage in NY.

But, ...

It's rank bigotry simply to intone that "bad things gonna come", without saying what those things are, specifically, and how it is going to happen. Not just because it is a summary judgment, but because some bad things always gonna come, in some form or other, if history is any guide, right?

So, the media and the talking heads should set themselves to the tasks of journalism: who, what, when, when, and how, when and if these pronouncements continue past the cooling off period.

Below the cut, "ArmeGAYdon" with "There is a new threat to marriage, and it won't be solved by clearing your Web browser."-Colbert

Friday, June 24, 2011


The Empire State takes the lead.

First ever Republican controlled, elected body to vote to allow committed, loving, gay couples to marry. A Catholic state governor will sign the bill into law.

June 24, 2011, 10:30 p.m.

"Small Government" Republicans Learn Their Porking Ways Young


Here's NY State Senator Greg Ball, who is copiously advertising the tony Greenwhich, Connecticut, Victory Cup:

The last thing a deploying soldier should have to worry about when they go to war is whether they’ll have a job when they come home,” Chairman Ball said. “This is the least we can do for our brave men and women who put their lives on the line, and on hold, for this country.”

The legislation was created following the layoffs of Army Sergeants Anddy Moreno and Alvin Taylor, who were let get by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) last year while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill says that no public employer in New York shall abolish a position occupied by a person absent on military duty, based solely upon the fact that the positions are filled by individuals engaged in military duty."

Isn't that special. Job rights from American Conservatism.

Meanwhile, this pandering young Senator? Well, he's decided that he can't vote for marriage for committed gay couples. Apparently there is no way Big Government can "protect" his religious constituents enough (which we can infer because the coward won't specify what he wants).

Seriously. This is what passes for conservative "thought" these days, a microcosm of exactly what it is.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

The most effective online diplomat in the world, bar none, is husain haqqani

- Marc Ambinder

(HH is the Pakistani Ambassador to the US.)

'We The People' can Compel You to Take a Lie Detector Test?


That's what it looks like:

Under the new rules, agents will be allowed to search databases without making a record about it. Once an assessment has started, agents will be permitted to conduct lie detector tests and search people’s trash as part of evaluating a potential informant. No factual basis for suspecting them of wrongdoing will be necessary.

I wonder if that is like jury duty and you get $8.00 for lunch from the FBI (assuming that "Joe McCarthy" is never confirmed to run the FBI...).

Republicans Flush American Constitutionalism


More on the travails of the ongoing constitutional crisis in America.

GOP-Tea have decided that advice and consent now applies to wholesale rejection of even lawfully created positions and lawfully appointed nominees.

Senators have long exercised their constitutional prerogative to derail nominations. And, for just as long, the party in the White House has accused its opponents of abusing that power. But several of the current standoffs differ in at least one respect: Republicans have said they are not opposing a particular nominee but rather any nominee, whoever it may be. - NYT

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day of Outrage

Looks like we'll be scheduled for a day of outrage against Pakistan, led by the far right.

Consider this: If Mexico started to conduct cross-border operations to interdict the guns trade in the U.S., since Bush's GOP let the ban on assault weapons expire, would we just shrug our shoulders?

Or, would we let known Israeli spies continue to "operate" inside the U.S.? (okay, don't answer that one ...).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Question of the Day

So, why didn't Congressman Anthony Weiner just follow Rush Limbaugh's lead and auction off his photos on eBay "for charity"?

I mean, I think I know why, but recall that Rush did an auction with the blessing of the CEO of Clearchannel.

Sort of makes you think for a moment about who has the moral ground here, still.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Honey, I shrunk the Church

I keep telling those waving their "conservative exegesis" in public that they don't understand the risks they are running.

But, it appears that they are willing to pay the penalty or are in so deep they don't know how to pivot.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Since when is a closed mind open for debate?

The rightwing Family "Research" Council apparently hates the fact that the Southern Poverty Law Center finally nailed them, and others, for years of spewing factless, anti-gay rhetoric and more.

Now I read that the FRC is trying to build a coalition to fight back by pretending that they want to "debate" not "hate", taking out full page ads.

This was written for something else, but I'll reproduce it here:

We cannot have a "civil debate" until these groups and signatories admit that they do and have tortured thier own kids and rained spiritual violence on them, by sponsoring parochial "research" and promoting groups and ideas that raise false, deeply damaging, and unnecessary hopes for changing sexual orientation.

We cannot have a "civil debate" while the streets are populated with their throw-away children, while their courtroom seats are empty of cross-examined defenses and they fill the airwaves with their deceits, while their politicians vote discrimination in silence and seek to hide their malice with claims they are weak, victims themselves under attack, and that they seek 'debate'.

We cannot have a "civil debate" with the strictly doctrinaire, who cannot and will not believe, even hypothetically, that homosexuality is a fact, a normal varient, a "left handedness".

We cannot have a "civil debate" with people who insist as a debasing precondition that all gays accept that their civil rights are up for a vote of the people and not a birthright.

We cannot have a "civil debate" with those who make it plain by declaration in Manhattan that they brazenly withdraw from civil society on the issue and encourage others to lawlessness before they accept that they might be wrong or that a society, with goodwill, can be fashioned in which gay and nongay are not irreconilable truths.

[that's just a list off the top of the head]

Tweet of the Day

"Boehner fiddles with Weiner while Rome burns".

I honestly think that is the general sentiment about D.C.'s circle of madness.

"Walk it off, Grandma" - GOP Has Their 2012 Medicare Slogan

Courtesy of Colbert.


A bit of a sophomoric view behind this hackneyed cover.

I wonder what parades Andrew would really attend with gusto. How about a small town Veterans Day Parade in America? Right kind of "identity" there? AS would identify with the bake-sale women and the high school band and the local Knights of Columbus, the local fire department volunteers, local business boosters, and so forth? All those groups? (I suspect no parades...).

How tenable is the elitist view, "I love humanity, I just don't like those people, they are so gay, or stereotypical, or cravenly "memetic"?

I sense that this rejection has less to do with the high minded notions offered and more to do with a resentment or discouragement or anxiety or dissonance over a kind of forced association. And, while sexuality might be just one thing, it's hardly just one among equals (that is, you can't just downplay it for this set of circumstances).

Insanity Today


Let's see.

Someone accessed Weiner photos, by hacking or whatever.

Then, Breitbart hijacks Weiner's tell-all presser, by getting up and grabbing the mike before it started.

Now, Breitbart himself has been stolen from. Anthony and Opie (and friends) reportedly used surveillance cameras to steal the most explicit photo (unconfirmed) from Breitbart.

That might be all the rings to this circus.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June 7, 2001, A Day That Will Live in Infamy

We are at the ten year anniversary of the first Bush-43 tax cuts (he put another round through just before his swiftboat re-election).

You probably didn't realize it, but June 7, 2011, is a momentous day in US history. It marks the 10-year anniversary of the signing into law of the Bush tax cuts, a day when President George W. Bush helped replace an unprecedented federal budget surplus with a mountain of debt in order to slash taxes for rich people (including dead ones). The anniversary of the cuts comes at a particularly fortuitous moment, with the political classes deep in debate over the increase in the federal deficit. Now is a good time to take a look back to see just how well those tax cuts have worked out for the country. Some highlights, with data from the Economic Policy Institute

Just a reminder: Al Gore, whatever his problems, promisd a "lock box" for Social Security receipts and for continuation of Clinton era policies and all kinds of new green initiatives. In other words, a stronger Republic. Yet, people keep coming back to the GOP like they have some kind of brand-credibility or something.

Why Fallows is Wrong

There are at least three constants:

  1. 1. As we learned in Minority Report, when they come to arrest you, "everybody runs".
  2. 2. Once they are caught (or targeted), even the most vociferously opposed to the very concept of 'human rights' suddenly, ardently start yelling about their human rights.
    and last:

  3. 3. Everyone lies about "sex". Whether little, big, harmful, not-so-harmful, there are lies. It's because sex and sexual desire are considered (and should be considered) private and because sex, in so many ways, is simply irrational and crazy.

So, no, as of now, no crippling breach of trust. Just bad judgment.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

WaPo Publishes Military Porn

I mean, what else can you call this air-filled story about 'Who Exactly Shot UBL' (as if it mattered) but soft porn?

He was probably a high school or college athlete, Smith says, a physical specimen who combines strength, speed and agility. “They call themselves ‘tactical athletes,’ ” says Smith, who works with many prospective SEALs in his Heroes of Tomorrow training program in Severna Park. “It’s getting very scientific.”

Marcinko puts it in more conventional terms: “He’ll be ripped,” says the author of the best-selling autobiography “ Rogue Warrior .” “He’s got a lot of upper-body strength. Long arms. Thin waist. Flat tummy.”

Monday, June 6, 2011

Daily Downer

We forget so much in our own, often petty-looking "culture war":

According to statistics from the United Nations Population Fund, one out of every four girls in Cameroon is a victim of breast ironing. That’s 3.8 million girls.

The practice is most prevalent in the Christian and animist south of the country, where in some regions, half of the female population is subject to breast ironing.

The damaging effects of this form of body mutilation by far outweigh any reasoning behind the practice. Fertilized by the culture of silence, breast ironing has made it right up to this age of scientific advancement.

Many women have seen the benefits of educating their girl children. They are ready to do anything to prevent their daughters from teenage pregnancy and early marriage that would bring an end to their daughters' education. This mutilation has proven to be futile when it comes to deterring teenage sexual activity and many of the girls still end up disfigured with teenage pregnancies.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

This week in new D.C. whores

David and Dick together forever.

(This is maybe why the Muslims believe that everyone should have a ... er, field of study, so you don't find that all you know how to do for a living is whore the public purse, or whatever.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Double, double, toil and trouble

Arab spring could be more like hot springs. A weakened Yemin seems worse than lawless Mogadishu...