08/04/2010 archive

CA Prop 8 Ruled Unconstitutional by Federal Judge

Proposition 8 has just been ruled unconstitutional by Federal Circuit Court Judge Vaughn Walker:

“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.”

Ruling enjoins enforcement of California’s Proposition 8.

More Violations of Rights by Obama Administration: Up Date

When Barack Obama gave the OK to assassinate an American citizen, Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who was deemed a terrorist without due process, his father, Nasser al-Awlaki, retained the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights to to seek a federal court order restraining the Obama administration from killing his son without due process of law. But guess what, the Treasury Department has a regulation that prohibits any American from “engaging in transactions” with individuals labeled by the Government as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist”, including lawyers. The lawyer would have to seek a special “license” to represent such a client.

Up Date: Rep. Dennis Kucinich has announced that he will introduce a bill in the House to prevent anyone, including the President, from targeting American citizens for assassination.

The bill states that “No one, including the President, may instruct a person acting within the scope of employment with the United States Government or an agent acting on behalf of the United States Government to engage in, or conspire to engage in, the extrajudicial killing of a United States citizen.” It adds: “the authority granted to the President in the Authorization for Use of Military Force… following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, is not limitless.”

The bill would require the president to submit to the Intelligence Committees a report “on the identity of each United States citizen that is on the list of the Joint Special Operations Command or the Central Intelligence Agency as `high value individuals’ or `high value targets’.”

h/t to Jeremy Scahill at The Nation for his excellent article

Apathetic Open Thread

There is an old joke truism:

A survey was taken in the U.S. that asked “What is the greatest problem in the country today, ignorance or apathy?”

Fifty percent of respondents said “I don’t know”

Fifty percent of respondents said “I don’t care”

hat tip to Snafubar

Punting the Pundits

Punting the Pundits is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

I am hardly Mayor Michael Bloomerg’s biggest fan but on this I am right there with him.

Michael R Bloomberg: Defending Religious Tolerance: Remarks on the Mosque Near Ground Zero

The following are New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s remarks as delivered on Governors Island.

We have come here to Governors Island to stand where the earliest settlers first set foot in New Amsterdam, and where the seeds of religious tolerance were first planted. We’ve come here to see the inspiring symbol of liberty that, more than 250 years later, would greet millions of immigrants in the harbor, and we come here to state as strongly as ever – this is the freest City in the world. That’s what makes New York special and different and strong.

Our doors are open to everyone – everyone with a dream and a willingness to work hard and play by the rules. New York City was built by immigrants, and it is sustained by immigrants – by people from more than a hundred different countries speaking more than two hundred different languages and professing every faith. And whether your parents were born here, or you came yesterday, you are a New Yorker.

We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That’s life and it’s part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11.

On that day, 3,000 people were killed because some murderous fanatics didn’t want us to enjoy the freedom to profess our own faiths, to speak our own minds, to follow our own dreams and to live our own lives.


Laura Ingraham Gets the Colbert Treatment

The conservative talk show host and author, Laura Ingraham, has penned a new book, The Obama Diaries, based on on President Obama’s fictional private thoughts. Steven Colbert exposed the racial stereotyping calling the book “hideous, “hackneyed” and ‘terrible writing”.

The Colbert Report
Laura Ingraham
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

On This Day in History: August 4

On this day in 1964, the remains of three civil rights workers whose disappearance on June 21 garnered national attention are found buried in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Mississippi. Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, both white New Yorkers, had traveled to heavily segregated Mississippi in 1964 to help organize civil rights efforts on behalf of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). The third man, James Chaney, was a local African American man who had joined CORE in 1963. The disappearance of the three young men led to a massive FBI investigation that was code-named MIBURN, for “Mississippi Burning.”

On Junr 20, Schwerner returned from a civil rights training session in Ohio with 21-year-old James Chaney and 20-year-old Andrew Goodman, a new recruit to CORE. The next day–June 21–the three went to investigate the burning of the church in Neshoba. While attempting to drive back to Meridian, they were stopped by Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price just inside the city limits of Philadelphia, the county seat. Price, a member of the KKK who had been looking out for Schwerner or other civil rights workers, threw them in the Neshoba County jail, allegedly under suspicion for church arson.

After seven hours in jail, during which the men were not allowed to make a phone call, Price released them on bail. After escorting them out of town, the deputy returned to Philadelphia to drop off an accompanying Philadelphia police officer. As soon as he was alone, he raced down the highway in pursuit of the three civil rights workers. He caught the men just inside county limits and loaded them into his car. Two other cars pulled up filled with Klansmen who had been alerted by Price of the capture of the CORE workers, and the three cars drove down an unmarked dirt road called Rock Cut Road. Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney were shot to death and their bodies buried in an earthen dam a few miles from the Mt. Zion Methodist Church.

The Week in Editorial Cartoons (Part I) – Dropping the Ball

Crossposted at Daily Kos and Docudharma

John Sherffius

John Sherffius, Comics.com (Boulder Daily Camera)


Due to the unusually high number of editorial cartoons published over the past week or so (I literally have another 300+ cartoons saved), I’m going to try and post another edition of this diary by Friday, August 6th.  It something I’ve never done before.

Racism Part 2- Sex

Guys, you just have to face it.  Your ‘Y’ Chromosome is a damaged ‘X’ and you’re a deformed cripple in the genetic scheme of things.

Look at Ants or Honeybees.

Or around you.  The every day misogyny of our society is appalling.  My brother’s girlfriend (who is much younger than I, but I’m 120 years old) was watching a Doris Day movie and said “Wow!”


My experience with women as friends is that they are in almost every respect superior to my male friends.  Brighter, more sympathetic, more loyal, more tolerant.

And yet as a society we inculturate them from birth to be submissive.

Men are intimidated by women (as they should be) and motivated by vagina envy and desire seek to suppress and control them, especially their sexuality.

Thus the slut penalty.  If you’re a woman and you like sex (and I have no idea, but speaking as a man it’s pretty good for me) you’re supposed to face the 9 months and 18 years of child bearing or at least the tut-tutting of your neighbors shaking their shame fingers at you.

Well fuck that.

When I look at women I look them in the eyes and not their breasts (to the extent I can, I am a guy), and I never ever delude myself that they’re not smarter than me.

Update: Amanda Marcotte  


I own it as a badge of honor.  Freemasonry celebrates the Enlightenment ideal that the Universe is knowable and it’s our duty to understand it the best we can.

You can learn every ‘secret’ of Masonry on the internet, including the silly walks, but that does not in itself enable you to work and act as a Mason.

As master of my lodge I wore a dead man’s hat and a single rap from my gavel commanded the attention of all, but at the end of every meeting I descended from my dias and took off my hat because-

  • We Meet on the Level
  • Act on the Plumb
  • And Part upon the Square

I haven’t been to my lodge in years but I expect at my funeral to be buried with my apron and a sprig of evergreen (most likely cut from the shrubs outside at the last minute) as is customary.

That’s the sort of thing we do.

Tim Geithner Says Don’t Worry, Be Happy

As Atrios pointed out, there was not one word about foreclosures or housing in Geithner’s Op-Ed in today’s NYT..

What’s Missing

What’s missing from Timmeh’s NYT op-ed?

The words “foreclosure” or “housing.”

Obviously HAMP isn’t in there either.

Pending housing sales for June dropped another 2.6%.

The number of contracts to purchase previously owned houses unexpectedly fell in June, indicating demand kept unraveling after the expiration of a homebuyer tax credit.

The index of pending home resales dropped 2.6 percent from the prior month, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. Economists projected a 4 percent gain, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. The expiration of a government tax credit on April 30 caused the gauge to slump 30 percent in May, the most since data began in 2001.

To add to the economic quagmire Bloomberg reports to day that Consumer spending and Income is expected to “stagnate” for June, as well.

Consumer spending and personal incomes in the U.S. unexpectedly stagnated in June, showing a lack of jobs is hurting the biggest part of the economy.

Purchases were unchanged after a 0.1 percent gain the prior month that was smaller than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Incomes didn’t increase for the first time since September and the savings rate increased to the highest level in a year.

At least it isn’t dropping. Perhaps that’s the reason for Geithner’s optimism. Just clap louder. I can’t my hands are bleeding

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