March 6th, 2009


(no subject)

Justices seem to be leaning in favor of Prop. 8

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, March 5, 2009

(03-05) 17:10 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court, which last year declared the right of gays and lesbians to marry, appeared ready Thursday to uphold the voters' decision to overrule the court and restore the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

"There have been initiatives that have taken away rights from minorities by majority vote" and have been upheld by the courts, said Chief Justice Ronald George. "Isn't that the system we have to live with?"

George wrote the majority opinion in the court's 4-3 ruling in May striking down California's ban on same-sex marriages - which voters, in turn, reversed in November by approving Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being only between a man and a woman.

Another member of last year's majority, Justice Joyce Kennard, said the challenge to Prop. 8 brought by advocates of same-sex marriage involved "a completely different issue" from the court's ruling that the marriage laws violated gays' and lesbians' rights to be treated equally and wed the partner of their choice.

"Here we are dealing with the power of the people, the inalienable right, to amend the Constitution," Kennard said. Speaking to a lawyer for same-sex couples, she said those who want to overturn the voters' decision "have the right to go to the people and present an initiative."


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'New to us'

But Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar said no previous case had presented the question of whether an initiative could be used to take away fundamental rights. "This is new to us," she said.

Starr also argued that Prop. 8 was a modest measure that left the rights of same-sex couples undisturbed under California's domestic-partner laws and other statutes banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The initiative "does not erode any of the bundle of rights that this state has very generously provided," he said, but merely "restores the traditional definition of marriage."

Several justices seemed to agree. Kennard said the voters arguably "took away the label of marriage, but ... left intact most of what this court declared," including unprecedented constitutional protections for gays and lesbians.

Christopher Krueger, a senior assistant in Attorney General Jerry Brown's office, also urged the court to overturn Prop. 8, saying the equality and individual liberty at the heart of last year's ruling were "inalienable rights" that should not be subject to a majority vote.

The court seemed unconvinced. Justice Carol Corrigan said Krueger appeared to be arguing that people may amend the Constitution "unless they do it in a way that this court doesn't like."

The lead case is Strauss vs. Horton, S168047.


E-mail Bob Egelko at


i want joe biden i need joe biden

Newt Gingrich Openly Talking About 2012 Run

Newt for president?

Newt Gingrich, the conservative former Speaker of the House, didn't rule it out tonight in Ashland, before he was to address a packed house of 650-plus at Randolph-Macon College.

"Callista and I will look seriously and we'll probably get our family totally engaged, including our two grandchildren, probably in January, 2011, Gingrich told reporters during a sit-down interview before last night's speech.

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Saucy via HuffPo

lol forever, you guys

ALERT: More pathetic whining from some British "journalist"

No, this one isn't from the Daily Fail either.

President Barack Obama dislikes Britain, but he's keen to meet the Queen

President Obama has been rudeness personified towards Britain this week. His handling of the visit of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to Washington was appalling. First Brown wasn't granted a press conference with flags, then one was hastily arranged in the Oval office after the Brits had to beg. Obama looked like he would rather have been anywhere else than welcoming the British leader to his office and topped it all with his choice of present (*) for the PM. A box of 25 DVDS including ET, the Wizard of Oz and Star Wars? Oh, give me strength. We do have television and DVD stores on this side of the Atlantic. Even Gordon Brown will have seen those films too often already.

his was coupled with Michelle Obama's casual choice of gifts for the Brown sons - matching models of the helicopter which ferry her husband around. While Sarah Brown had spent time choosing gifts for the Obama girls, Michelle had clearly sent an aide to the White House gift shop at the last moment.

All in all, he doesn't think much of us, as I explained in my post here earlier this week.

But what's this? Something, suddenly, seems to have made the Obama White House perk up and start to take an interest in the Brits. The Queen has invited the President to tea when he's here for the G20 in April. And he's in through the front door of Buckingham Palace faster than a Harley Davidson roaring along Route 66.

Note how the coolness of Team Obama disappears when a bit of regal glamour is introduced into the equation. He might not like the Brits, but he can recognise a global superstar when he encounters one. He wants to be associated with her. He's shameless.

(*) If Obama, or someone in his inner circle, had spent two minutes thinking about what present to get Brown then they could easily have come up with something appropriate. He likes books. He loves American history. Get him a signed first edition of a good Robert Dallek book such as the brilliant Flawed Giant  on LBJ. Come to think of it, Obama should read it too, if he hasn't yet, as it reveals a great deal about how a Presidency can go so wrong.


Seriously, can a British ontd_p member please explain this to me?  Why are some people across the pond so obsessed with this trite garbage?  He didn't get FLAGS!  THE NERVE........?  huh?

fleur de lis

Maddow: "I'm More of a Quiet Angry"

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow was back on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night. She made her first Tonight Show appearance in October.

"I enjoy your show because you don't yell and scream," said Leno. "When I watch a lot of the cable shows about politics, it's like people screaming all the time."

"I get excited sometimes, which means I'm sort of loud, but when I'm angry I'm more of a quiet angry," said Maddow.

Also discussed: Bernie Madoff's potential "secret paper route," Rush Limbaugh's "fail" comments and the high cost of health care.


Boy charged in Kalamazoo school-bus driver beating

by Rex Hall Jr. | Kalamazoo Gazette
Thursday March 05, 2009, 5:30 PM

KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP -- Prosecutors have authorized an assault charge against a 16-year-old Kalamazoo boy accused of repeatedly beating a Kalamazoo Public Schools substitute school bus driver Tuesday, authorities said.

The teen, whose name has not been released, is charged as a juvenile with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, Kalamazoo County Assistant Prosecutor Karen Hayter said Wednesday. The boy, who was being lodged at the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home, is scheduled to appear April 3 in the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court Family Division for a pretrial hearing.

Meanwhile, the bus driver, a 37-year-old Kalamazoo woman whose name also has not been released, was treated at Bronson Methodist Hospital for a broken finger and bruising, cuts and scrapes to her face and head, Kalamazoo Township Police Chief Tim Bourgeois said. The woman was released from the hospital Tuesday night, the chief said.

Police said the incident occurred at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday on Brook Drive near Gull Road as the bus driver was taking students from the juvenile home's school and Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency's Valley Center School, a facility that educates students who've shown emotional or behavioral problems. Police allege that during the trip the teen, a student at Valley Center, began verbally threatening the driver from the back of the bus, and she pulled over.

The teen, who police said was apparently upset with how the driver was performing her duties, went to the front of the bus after it stopped and attacked the driver, punching her in the face and head as she tried to radio for help, police said.

Police said other students on the bus twice pulled the teen off the driver before he stopped the attack. After the incident, the teen got off the bus, but officers later located him at his Kalamazoo home.

Kalamazoo Public Schools issued a statement that the bus driver involved was "a veteran driver and one chosen specifically to take substitute routes because of her ability and training. The driver was conducting her duties in accordance with all rules and requirements when this incident occurred."

The statement also said: "Kalamazoo Public Schools' transportation personnel are given professional development on an ongoing basis that includes positive-behavior-support training which incorporates training in de-escalating situations."

Contact Rex Hall Jr. at or 388-7784.

Kalamazoo school bus beating (sound fixed)


He should be tried as an adult. If this bus was for Juvi kids why the hell wasn't there a security guard of any sort on the bus? I went to a decent high school with little to no fights and we still had security.
cookie monster

Funny stuff going on with the objectivists these days

Those Grapes are SOUR!

"Going Galt" describes Ayn Rand followers who are saying they are shutting down their businesses, not because the entire economy is in recession and lots of businesses are going under, but rather by choice as a protest against a higher tax rate.

They glorify themselves as the only productive members of our society and thus making millions just isn't good enough for them, they also want their tax havens and big tax breaks. In reality they can't face the fact that times are tough and want to save face with self righteous rage. Don't buy it. More under the cut.

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(no subject)


Woman Arrested For Driving In Saudi Arabia

(CNN) -- Police in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca Wednesday arrested a woman for violating the country's ban on women driving, according to the Saudi English-language daily Arab News. The woman, whose nationality and name were not released but who was described as being in her 20s, attempted to flee when she realized police had spotted her driving, Saudi authorities said.

"The woman tried to escape when she saw a police car and in the process hit another car, which was slightly damaged," Maj. Abdul Mushin Al-Mayman, a police spokesman, told Arab News. According to the spokesman, the woman was turned over to the Saudi Prosecution and Investigation Commission for investigation.

Women are barred from driving in most of Saudi Arabia, with rural areas being the exception.

It is not known how frequent such arrests are in Saudi Arabia, and arrest statistics are not released.

The issue has become one of the more controversial ones for Saudi Arabia in recent years. While women's rights activists in the country have been openly campaigning for the right to drive, many high ranking officials maintain it is a societal issue and will be resolved only when Saudis feel the time is right.

Last year, more than 125 women signed and sent a petition to Saudi Interior Minister Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, asking that the ban on women driving in the kingdom to be overturned.



Kentucky Gay Adoption Ban passed by Senate Committe

The gay adoption ban has passed in the Kentucky Senate Committee. It will now go to the Senate floor. Currently I'm awaiting further details but WHAS11(local news channel takes forever to upload their site) and I shall upload the rest of the information as soon as it's posted.

For the backstory this was their story from last week if anyone had missed it.

FRANKFORT, Ky. 2/25/09 (AP) -- A measure that would bar gay and lesbian couples from adopting children is sparking protests in Frankfort.

Opponents gathered in the Capitol on Wednesday to call on lawmakers to defeat the legislation. Their calls for "fairness" echoed through the marble hallways.

Louisville civil rights group The Fairness Campaign organized the rally against legislation that would bar gay, lesbian and unmarried heterosexual couples from adopting children or providing foster care.

The measure would allow children to be placed only in adoptive or foster homes with people who "are not cohabiting outside of a marriage that is legally valid in Kentucky."

Chris Hartman, head of The Fairness Campaign, said the legislation unjustly rules out potentially good parents just because they're not married in the traditional sense.


(no subject)

NPR Hearts Prop. 8 Supporters


Reporting on the California Supreme Court hearing yesterday, NPR ombudsman Karen Grigsby Bates decided to focus on the people really hurt by Proposition 8, which in her view, means Prop. 8 supporters. She talks with Dave Leatherby, "a devout Roman Catholic father of 10" who runs an ice cream shop in Sacramento and who donated $20,000 to Yes on 8 and who's "mystified" why gays and lesbians would send him angry emails and phone calls. Bates goes further, saying that all the protests have given "rise to charges that as gay rights advocates tried to change public opinion, some stepped over the line and turned their protest into a witch hunt", which is a journalisticly weasel way to insert her own opinion into the article. Watch how easy it is:

"Some are now claiming that Karen Grigsby Bates is using public radio to bash gays and lesbians by accusing them of 'witch hunts' without bothering to get any quotes from actual gay people." Except, we actually have an example.

The Stranger's Dan Savage is calling on gays, lesbians and allies to call in to NPR and voice their displeasure, saying:

"Gee, maybe a gay person should've been asked to respond to those charges. Perhaps a gay person could've pointed out that we are under no obligation to patronize businesses that are owned and operated by our enemies, discussed other boycotts launched during other civil rights struggles, and pointed out that gays and lesbians have just as much right as faithful Mormons or devout Roman Catholics to act on our consciences and spend our money accordingly, and, again, that boycotts are a peaceful and legitimate form of protest, not "witch hunts."

Direct complaints about KGB's idiotic and unfair "reporting" to NPR's ombudsman here, or call 202-513-3245."

Yes, that's right: We're calling for a witch hunt on Karen Grigsby Bates.


(no subject)

NYC: Nelliest Town In North America


According to the latest dumbass "study" to hit teh intertubes, NYC is the least "manly" major city in North America, as ranked by number of hardware stores, sports bars, monster truck rallies, and other such nonsense. The story has been been picked up by almost every major news outlet, particularly in the "manliest" towns, but so far only the Chicago Tribune seems to have noted that this "study" is actually a PR stunt by a snack food company:
Mars Snackfood US and its Combos snack food brand commissioned the study. The ranking is part of the Combos launch of its Ultimate Man Zone Sweepstakes, which awards prize packages to upgrade men's tailgating, grilling, home theater or gaming "zones."
NYC lost points for an abundance of "emasculating" characteristics like home decor stores and high subscriptions to beauty magazines. Oy. Anyway, here's the top and bottom ten cities.
1. Nashville 2. Charlotte 3. Oklahoma City 4. Cincinnati 5. Denver 6. St. Louis 7. Columbus 8. Kansas City 9. Indianapolis 10. Toledo

41. Sacramento 42. Miami 43. San Diego 44. Oakland 45. Washington DC 46. Chicago 47. Portland 48. San Francisco 49. Los Angeles 50. New York


Drink up baby doll

Obama to reverse limits on stem cell work

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama expected to sign an executive order on Monday reversing restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. The long-expected move is likely to stir up not only the promise of scientific breakthrough but also the controversy over where government crosses a moral line.

Obama will hold an event at the White House to announce the move, a senior administration official said Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the policy had not yet been publicly announced.

Under President George W. Bush, federal money for research on human embryonic stems cells was limited to those stem cell lines that were created before Aug. 9, 2001. No federal dollars could be used on research with cell lines from embryos destroyed from that point forward.

Obama's move is expected to lift that restriction. The official said the aim of the policy is restore "scientific integrity" to the process.

Embryonic stem cells are master cells that can morph into any cell of the body. Scientists hope to harness them so they can create replacement tissues to treat a variety of diseases — such as new insulin-producing cells for diabetics or new nerve connections to restore movement after spinal injury.

"I feel vindicated after eight years of struggle, and I know it's going to energize my research team," said Dr. George Daley of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Children's Hospital of Boston, a leading stem cell researcher.

Such research is controversial because embryos must be destroyed to obtain the cells; they typically are culled from fertility-clinic leftovers otherwise destined to be thrown away. Once a group of stem cells is culled, it can be kept alive and propagating in lab dishes for years.

There are different types of stem cells, and critics say the nation should pursue alternatives to embryonic ones such as adult stem cells, or those found floating in amniotic fluid or the placenta. But leading researchers consider embryonic stem cells the most flexible, and thus most promising, form — and say that science, not politics, should ultimately judge.

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Governors aren't the only elected officials refusing to take stimulus funds...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Liberty Twp. Trustees said Tuesday, March 3, they philosophically disagree with the federal stimulus bill approved late last month.

As a result of their protest, a majority of trustees voted against township officials moving forward to start the process of applying for a portion of the $787 billion bill.

Receiving the money would have been a long shot anyway, said Trustee President Patrick Hiltman, who joined Trustee David Kern in issuing the dissenting votes. But township administrators say two local projects totaling approximately $6.5 million — a new firehouse and a new administration building — could have qualified for the federal funds.

"It's not a stimulus bill, it's a strangulation bill," Kern said. "It's like playing with Monopoly money.

"I'm probably going to lose this vote, but by God my hands will be clean," he added. "And I say shame on you if you do vote for it. "

Had trustees approved the motion Tuesday, the township's economic development director would have notified the state's Department of Development of the community's interest in receiving federal money. Then the township would have been issued an application specifically intended for their purposes.

"These are two projects that we thought could have materialized rather quickly," said Caroline McKinney, township economic development director.

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(source) -- Mason, Ohio based paper
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New Ad Hit GOPers On Budget: Who Are You With? Rush Or America?

A Dem operative sends over an advance copy of a new radio ad being launched next week by Obama’s allies on the left that ups the stakes in the Limbaugh wars.

The spot confronts GOP Congressmen with a choice on the coming budget fight: You’re either rooting for Rush to get his way, or you’re rooting for the success of America:

The ad, which is being paid for by the labor-backed Americans United for Change, will air in the districts of five House Republicans next week: Reps. McCotter, Reichert, Dent, Castle, and McCotter (the latter being the target in the above version).

The ad lays the groundwork for the budget battle by saying that opposing Obama’s budget would be tantamount to embracing Rush’s desire for failure.

“This past weekend Limbaugh again said, `I Hope he fails,’ just as Congress begins to take up President Obama’s budget,” the ad intones, adding: “Will Congressman Castle follow Rush Limbaugh’s lead again — and embrace partisanship and the failed policies of the past? Or will he work with President Obama to set America on a new course?”

In other words, the ad is basically serves notice that Obama’s allies on the left will keep using Rush as a cudgel against the GOP right on through the coming budget wars, and likely beyond. In case you thought this might end anytime soon.

  • bispo

Bush's Catholic Outreach Guru: GOP Leaving Catholics Dispirited

Trying to understand why Republican leaders have been all but silent on Kathleen Sebelius's appointment to head the Department of Health and Human Services even as the party's antiabortion base goes ballistic, I spoke yesterday with Deal Hudson, who directed Catholic outreach for George W. Bush's presidential campaigns. Hudson has launched a website called Catholics Against Kathleen Sebelius.

You've written that the Republican wall of silence over Kathleen Sebelius is misguided. But what explains it?
They are playing it safe. They think a sea change has occurred in American politics, represented by Obama's victory, and they are trying to rebrand the party in a way that they think is more popular. The conversations I'm hearing in Washington right now are, "Where else are those [values] voters going to go—they'll come around because they have no other way of having influence."

What party officials and professional Republicans don't understand, with the exception of Karl Rove, is that these are voters who will walk away and they will cultivate their own garden until they have a leader who makes decisions based on principles and is willing to lose. They will walk away, and the Republicans will lose as a result. So it's a bad tactical choice to leave this group of people dispirited.

But isn't one lesson of the 2008 election that values voters—white evangelicals—will vote for the Republican no matter what? John McCain did a poor job of evangelical outreach, but he got more evangelical votes than George W. Bush in 2004.
But Republicans have to worry about Catholics. We know that evangelical voting habits are much more deeply engrained than Catholics'. And Catholics are potentially just as sizable a number of votes. I calculated that between 1996 and 2004, we brought in around 7 million Catholic voters to the Republican Party.

And even those evangelicals won't hang around and continue to support lackadaisical and half-hearted candidates. Even they will begin to drift away. In 2008, a lot of them were voting Republican out of gratitude for eight years of Bush leadership.

A new poll by Pew's John Green suggests that Obama doubled his share of traditionalist Catholic votes from Kerry 's level in 2004. Is that proof that a Catholic shift has already happened?
I've got to believe that something went wrong with that poll. But some of these traditionalist Catholics, their parents and grandparents were Democrats. And they want to be Democrats again. So Obama's religious outreach did very effectively give a lot of those people the sense that it was OK to come back. From a political point of view, they did a very good job of that.

But this is an important moment for Michael Steele, who I like very much, and a very important moment for the party. The Republican grass roots right now, they don't want political calibration and calculation. They want the leadership to fight for the country.

It's fascinating to compare Catholic criticism against John Kerry in 2004 to that now leveled against Sebelius. Now there are Democratic-allied Catholic groups like Catholics United to come to Sebelius's defense. Those groups didn't exist in 2004. Have they made a difference?
Now you're forcing me to say nice things about the people who like to beat me up. From a political point of view, those groups made a big difference. When you can get what is taken as a Catholic organization in the mainstream press supporting your guy, that adds a whole new element. We were successful in 2000 and 2004 in keeping the [liberal Catholic groups] Voice of the Faithful and Call to Action at bay because we were able to label them dissident. We haven't been able to do that with Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance.

The other groups claimed to be about the church, so at a certain point the church standard had to be respected. These new groups aren't speaking to the church per se. They're grounded in faithful citizenship. So there's no real reason for the press to adjudicate who's really Catholic.

  • bispo

AFL-CIO official sure of votes on card check

WASHINGTON — With renewed support from the White House, labor officials said Wednesday they are confident that legislation making it easier to unionize workplaces will pass Congress this year.

President Barack Obama offered some of his most supportive comments for the Employee Free Choice Act since he took office this week, telling AFL-CIO members in a videotaped message Tuesday that he will work to pass the bill.

“As we confront this crisis and work to provide health care to every American, rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, move toward a clean energy economy and pass the Employee Free Choice Act, I want you to know that you will always have a seat at the table,” Obama told the federation as it held its winter meeting in Miami Beach.

Bill Samuel, the AFL-CIO’s legislative director, dismissed speculation that some Democratic supporters may waver under pressure from business groups.

“There are some members who prefer to sort of stay behind the curtain, as it were, until the vote is closer,” Samuel told reporters in a conference call. “I’m not surprised there are some signals being sent that might sound confusing, but we’re very confident.”
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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gives Obama historical artifacts; Obama gives him DVDs

Let's hope he's a Star Wars fan.

President Obama gave British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a set of 25 classic American films to mark his historic visit to the White House, British media reported on Friday.

Brown, the first European leader to visit Obama since his Jan. 20 inauguration, was presented with a "special collector's box" of DVDs during his two-day visit to Washington.

Downing Street, which reportedly tried to keep the present a secret, declined to say what movies were included in the set.

"One reason for the secrecy might be that the gift seems markedly less generous and thoughtful than the presents taken to Washington by the Prime Minister," London's Evening Standard newspaper reported.

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  • Current Mood
stalin animated 2

US jobless rate increases to 8.1%

The US jobless rate jumped in February to 8.1%, according to official figures from the Labor Department.

The number of people out of work rose by 651,000 during the month. Both figures were bigger than expected.

The number of job cuts in January was revised up to 655,000 while December's losses were pushed up to 681,000.

December's figure was the biggest job loss in a single month since October 1949. The unemployment rate was the highest since December 1983.

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Omg we canz be friendz?!

OTTAWA — The federal government hopes to open formal negotiations within months toward a free-trade deal with the European Union.

International Trade Minister Stockwell Day announced the news Thursday as both sides published a list of 15 discussion topics to guide negotiations.

The federal cabinet will now prepare instructions for Canadian negotiators to take into their meetings with European counterparts.

The topics include broad themes such as customs procedures, sanitary issues, barriers to trade, government procurement, intellectual property, and sustainable development.

“This agreement puts us in a position to launch comprehensive negotiations as early as possible,” Mr. Day said in a press release.


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Orszag's war: 'Ending wars saves money'

An interesting post from budget director Peter Orszag, taking on criticism that the way the White House budgeted for the war represents a giant "gimmick," something Rep. Paul Ryan went after him for last week:
The President is committed to responsibly winding the war. I don’t do foreign policy, but I can tell you this: ending wars saves money – and so the Administration’s budget includes savings from ramping down overseas military operations over time.

Yet critics are claiming that, in calculating the amount saved by ramping down operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Administration is wrong to compare its proposed funding levels to the level in 2008—the last year in which overseas operations were fully funded. Such criticisms are inconsistent not only with common sense but also established practices of budget accounting (and even what the critics themselves have said in the past).

Orszag's key point: George H.W. Bush budgeted for a peace divident the same way, and his projections were borne out.
source: Ben Smith

Great Analysis by Queerty on Prop 8 Hearings

In Prop 8 Hearing, Justices Look For Solutions Beyond the Bench



Now the waiting game begins.

In a three-hour long oral hearing yesterday, justices grappled with the fate of Prop. 8 as gay and lesbian rights attorneys, civil rights lawyers and representatives of both the City of San Francisco and the Attorney General's office asked them to overturn the ban. So, how'd we do? Short answer: It appears Prop. 8 will be upheld. The longer answer, however, is more interesting.

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Police Sargeant Targeted With Homophobic "Jokes"

sgt-neil-harveyWe've become familiar with Newport Beach for one high school's Rent scandal. Now, the town is on our radar again because "[police] Sgt. Neil Harvey, a 27-year veteran of the force, said he's been denied a promotion from sergeant to lieutenant numerous times because he is perceived among colleagues to be a homosexual and a whistle-blower." And now he's suing the department for discrimination.

At times, the sergeant was choked up when he spoke of insults that he recalled, including being called a derogatory term for a homosexual, "Sgt. Death," and being referred to with other demeaning sexual epithets. Harvey said the rumors, which started near the time he became employed in Newport Beach, may have started because he is unmarried and spent time working as an ocean lifeguard in Laguna Beach and in the Hollywood division of the Los Angeles Police Department. In testimony Friday, Harvey and his lawyer identified more than 20 people who Harvey claims have made comments about him through his tenure.

Harvey elaborated Monday, and said his training officer, Trent Harris, referred to him with a sexually derogatory term on repeated occasions. "I felt terrible," Harvey said, adding that he had asked Harris to stop. "He just laughed and would stop, then would do it again some other time."

Harvey, who has not taken a leave from his job during the trial, said his boss, Police Chief John Klein, who was in the courtroom, had been derogatory. Harvey said Klein, when he wasn't chief, had told him to not buy a house in Laguna Beach based on the perception that he was homosexual. Officers David Moon and David Byington were also mentioned by Harvey, who said the two had referred to him derogatorily as a homosexual at a party at Klein's house a decade ago. Harvey also said his marital status came into question under former Chief Bob McDonnell, saying "I felt I had to justify being 33 years of age and not being married."

And the police department's defense? That the officers were just joking around, because that is completely acceptable and certainly can't qualify as discrimination!

Attorney James B. MacDonald, in a Tuesday afternoon cross-examination of Harvey, set out to describe the insults as playful banter common among men.

"(Have you) heard other officers in the Newport Beach Police Department call each other 'fag' in just a joking way?" MacDonald asked.

"I have," Harvey responded.

In that same line of questioning, MacDonald sought to ferret out inconsistencies in Harvey's testimony. On Monday, MacDonald said, Harvey recalled an officer targeting him with a homosexual slight that did not come across as humorous.

But Harvey's deposition suggests that remark was in fact lighthearted, MacDonald said.

"I believe he might have had a joking tone," Harvey conceded.

MacDonald made other attempts to imply Harvey was being overly sensitive and making assumptions when he leveled allegations about homophobia. One officer, Harvey recalled, once made a comment about homosexuality being a sickness.

Asked if the comment was directed at him, Harvey responded: "I don't know."


RDJ - Ent Week Dec 2009

Mr. Obama goes to Europe

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Europe to be Obama's first overseas trip

(CNN) -- President Barack Obama will make his first overseas trip since taking office at the end of this month, visiting England, France, Germany and the Czech Republic, the White House said Thursday.
President Obama wil travel with first lady Michelle Obama to four European nations in the coming weeks.

President Obama wil travel with first lady Michelle Obama to four European nations in the coming weeks.

The trip is scheduled from March 31-April 5.

Obama, who will be joined by first lady Michelle Obama, will first visit London, where he will attend a summit with other world leaders.

He is to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on April 3.

Obama will also attend NATO summit meetings in Strasbourg, France, and Kehl, Germany, then travel to Prague, Czech Republic, to meet with Czech leaders and leaders of other European Union nations.

His first trip outside the United States was to Canada last month.


Obama to meet Queen in London
Barack Obama is to meet the Queen when he comes to Britain for a three-day visit next month.
By Andrew Porter, Political Editor
Last Updated: 10:25PM GMT 05 Mar 2009

The red carpet will be rolled out at Buckingham Palace for the United States President for the first meeting between the two heads of state, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

It is being described in Washington and London as a "getting to know you" session.

Officials on both side of the Atlantic are finalising plans for the President's visit which will attract global media interest

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It must be the case of the "First insert-activity-here" with Obama as president, 'cause this is making me more giddy than it should!

It's like, I just feel like showing off our President and First Lady and say "Hey there, world! Look at our gorgeous and awesome first couple and be just a little bit envious XD"
panda bear

(no subject)

Limbaugh: Kennedy Will Be Dead By The Time Health Care Bill Passes

On his radio show Friday, Rush Limbaugh suggested that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) would be dead by the time health care reform legislation passes. "Before it's all over, it'll be called the Ted Kennedy memorial health care bill," the talk show host says. He says President Obama has moved on to health care because he can't solve the economic crisis. Listen,

If you guys can't see it, go here!

&#39; jules

Quis custodiet ipsos whoremongers?

First Amendment Transparency vs. Grand Jury Secrecy: Does Eliot Spitzer’s Vindication Hang in the Balance?

On February 19, 2009, US District Judge Jed Rakoff ordered the US Attorney's Office, SDNY, to turn over Grand Jury materials to the New York Times. This is reported to be the first time that a federal judge has issued such an order.
Although I have written before that federal statues dealing with Grand Jury secrecy allow for the materials to be turned over for use in "another proceeding", or in the interests of justice and case law, this ruling has expanded the definition of "another proceeding" to include congressional investigations. The procedure in the law traditionally involves a motion MADE BY THE PROSECUTOR for permission to release the info.

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Prosecutors Fight Release of Spitzer Records

Prosecutors of the prostitution case that exposed Eliot Spitzer as a client while he was governor are appealing a court order directing them to unseal records that may shed light on the origins of the investigation. The case led to Mr. Spitzer’s resignation as governor of New York in March 2008.

The Feb. 19 ruling by Jed S. Rakoff of United States District Court in Manhattan ordered the federal prosecutors to provide the records — including sworn affidavits that were part of wiretap applications in the case — to The New York Times, which in December filed a motion to unseal the material.

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I'm the last person to believe in conspiracies but the more I read about this case the shadier it seems. I wonder why more people aren't interested in investigating why this happened, especially with the crime running rampant on Wall Street lately, and (as the first article references) the Iglesias and Siegelman cases reaching some prominence.


Obama Citizenship Case A Waste Of Time: Federal Judge

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Thursday threw out a lawsuit questioning President Barack Obama's citizenship, lambasting the case as a waste of the court's time and suggesting the plaintiff's attorney may have to compensate the president's lawyer.

In an argument popular on the Internet and taken seriously practically nowhere else, Obama's critics argue he is ineligible to be president because he is not a "natural-born citizen" as the Constitution requires.

In response last summer, Obama's campaign posted his Hawaiian birth certificate on its Web site. But the lawsuit argues it is a fake and that Obama was actually born in his father's homeland of Kenya, even though Hawaiian officials have said the document is authentic.

"This case, if it were allowed to proceed, would deserve mention in one of those books that seek to prove that the law is foolish or that America has too many lawyers with not enough to do," U.S. District Judge James Robertson said in his written opinion.

The lawsuit didn't even use Obama's legal name but called him "Barry Soetoro," the name he went by while attending elementary school in Indonesia. It's one of many that has been filed claiming Obama is ineligible to serve as president.

Robertson ordered plaintiff's attorney John Hemenway of Colorado Springs, Colo., to show why he hasn't violated court rules barring frivolous and harassing cases and shouldn't have to pay Obama's attorney, Bob Bauer, for his time arguing that the case should be thrown out.

Hopefully this will continue to be a non-issue.
you could cut ties with all the lies

Ann Coulter Jealous About Limbaugh Being Singled Out Instead Of Her

Two-Time Voter Fraud Suspect Ann Coulter could not get enough attention during her appearance on last night's (3/5/09) Hannity. Between interrupting Sean Hannity while he was focused on other people, instead of her, spewing extra-poisonous barbs about liberals and George Soros and her ever-present fascination with her hair, Coulter made it clear that her only goal in that segment was to attain the same "stature" as Rush Limbaugh. Meanwhile, the FOX News meme of complaining that Democrats were using Limbaugh as a diversion from policy once again served to allow FOX News to do just that. With video.


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by moi

Juvenille court judges accepted $2.6m for sending children to detention center

Jailed for a MySpace parody, the student who exposed America's cash for kids scandal
• Judges deny kickbacks for imprisoning youths
• Slapping a friend or having tantrum led to prison

Hillary Transue was 14 when she carried out her prank. She built a hoax MySpace page in which she posed as the vice-principal of her school, poking fun at her strictness. At the bottom of the page she added a disclaimer just to make sure everyone knew it was a joke. "When you find this I hope you have a sense of humour," she wrote.

Humour is not in abundance, it seems, in Luzerne County, northern Pennsylvania. In January 2007 Transue was charged with harassment. She was called before the juvenile court in Wilkes-Barre, an old coal town about 20 miles from her home.

Less than a minute into the hearing the gavel came down. "Adjudicated delinquent!" the judge proclaimed, and sentenced her to three months in a juvenile detention centre. Hillary, who hadn't even presented her side of the story, was handcuffed and led away. But her mother, Laurene, protested to the local law centre, setting in train a process that would uncover one of the most egregious violations of children's rights in US legal history.

Last month the judge involved, Mark Ciavarella, and the presiding judge of the juvenile court, Michael Conahan, pleaded guilty to having accepted $2.6m (£1.8m) from the co-owner and builder of a private detention centre where children aged from 10 to 17 were locked up.

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Slight Update(mostly actual short article) of KY Senate Commitee passing Gay Adoption Ban

Bill To Bar Gay Couples From Adopting Passes Senate Committee

Senator Gary Tapp of Shelbyville rounded up the votes and convinced Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Robert Stivers to hold a hastily-called special meeting to pass SB 68 this afternoon. SB 68 would bar unmarried couples who live together from adopting a child or serving as foster parents in Kentucky. The Fairness Alliance claims the law is aimed at gay and lesbian couples. We'll be sure to ask Senate President David Williams and House Speaker Greg Stumbo about the bill at their news conference Friday morning, just to see a couple of articulate guys squirm a little.


The source is from WHAS 11(local news channel) website, the info initially can from a very tiny broadcast from the news program and ever since then I had a tough time finding any information from the brief clip that had this morning. Though they did have a decent segmant last week that actually included a video of the protest in frankfort.


Dean under consideration for surgeon general: report

Howard Dean, a practicing physician before entering politics, was under consideration by the Obama administration for the post of U.S. surgeon general, CNN reported Friday.

Dean, who recently wrapped up a four-year term as Democratic Party chairman, has been a supporter of health reform, and has privately made clear that he is interested in the job, according to the cable network.

CNN said two White House officials noted that, while it is too early to compile a list of candidates for surgeon general, they did not rule out Dean getting the job.

"I would not dismiss it," one of the White House officials said of the possibility that Dean will be selected.

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if this is true then excuse me while I
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