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21 Jun 2011 15:41


Politics: Marine Sgt. Major speaks in support of gay rights in military

  • It says, ‘Raise an army.’ It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, sexual orientation. How dare we, then, exclude a group of people who want to do the same thing you do right now, something that is honorable and noble? Get over it… Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines.
  • Marine Corps. Sergeant Major Michael Barrett • Speaking to a group of Marines about the reversal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Barrett argues that, even to somebody who may harbor personal prejudice against homosexuals, is likely to strike a chord. Namely, the argument for a military free of discrimination that relies on the strength and valor of said military as the pitch. We’ve always thought this was an underplayed aspect of the DADT debate from last year — the mentality that our men and women in service couldn’t handle being around a homosexual soldier is not only an affront to our society’s standards of equality, but it seems to imply a pretty distasteful thing about the professionalism of our military forces. Having somebody in Barrett’s position say this is very important for a smooth transition to a more open military, so we thank him. source

11 Apr 2011 23:47


Politics: For second time, federal appeals court finds Arizona immigration law unconstitutional

  • Immigration station: Though its prominence in the news cycle has faded, the fight over Arizona’s controversial immigration law is anything but over; in fact, it’s taken a rather significant turn. Quick recap: When Governor Jan Brewer signed a possibly-racist anti-immigration bill into law last year, the Justice Department successfully sued to block its implementation, arguing that it usurped federal jurisdiction. Brewer appealed the ruling, and today, the appeals court issued its verdict: the Arizona law does in fact encroach on federal authority, and the injunction against it will remain in place. This one could make its way up to the Supreme Court; considering that lower courts’ rulings often influence the decisions of higher courts, this is an important development. source

02 Apr 2011 21:26


Politics: Senate Republicans endorse balanced-budget amendment; policy wonks’ heads explode

  • Every single Senate Republican has endorsed a constitutional amendment that would’ve made Ronald Reagan’s fiscal policy unconstitutional. That’s how far to the right the modern GOP has swung.
  • Ezra Klein • Analyzing (demolishing is more like it) the merits of the Balanced Budget Amendment, which all 47 Senate Republicans have endorsed. The amendment would require 2/3 majorities in both chambers of Congress in order to enact any tax increases, and wouldn’t allow total spending per year to exceed 18% of GDP. Bruce Bartlett, former domestic policy advisor to Reagan, has said that the proposed amendment is “quite possibly the stupidest constitutional amendment I think I have ever seen,” and that it “looks like it was drafted by a couple of interns on the back of a napkin.” Ouch. source

14 Feb 2011 14:57


World: Higher Military Council in Egypt issues timeline for reforms

  • 2 months maximum expected before Egypt’s constitutional referendum source

06 Jan 2011 22:43


Politics: After reciting Constitution aloud, House Republicans violate it

  • first After reciting the Constitution on the floor of the House, Republicans got to work attempting to repeal health care reform.
  • but Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), however, missed the official swearing in ceremony (a violation of the Constitution).
  • so That means he’s not technically a Congressman, and all of his votes over the last two days have been invalid. Whoops!
  • nowJohn Boehner has to ask Nancy Pelosi for unanimous consent to retroactively validate Sessions’ votes.
  • We’re having a little fun here. This isn’t actually that big of a deal; it was an honest mistake on the part of Sessions (and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, who also missed the swearing in), it will likely be rectified by tomorrow, and Sessions and Fitzpatrick have already been officially sworn in. Still, it’s amusing and slightly ironic that, after making a big show of reading the Constitution aloud on the House floor, two Republicans inadvertently violated it whilst on the House floor. source

06 Jan 2011 19:44


Politics: Boehner not a birther, won’t clamp down on GOPers who are

  • The state of Hawaii has said that President Obama was born there. That’s good enough for me.
  • House Speaker John Boehner • Speaking on the topic of birthers, a topic that found itself in the news today thanks to someone who really likes shouting during a formal recitation of the U.S. Constitution. Despite his own personal feelings on Tea Partiers, don’t expect Boehner to stomp on the political beliefs of his fellow members of Congress, no matter the party: “People come, regardless of party labels, they come with all kinds of beliefs and ideas. It’s the melting pot of America. It’s not up to me to tell them what to think.” Ultimately, we pretty much agree with that sentiment, even if it means a couple of weirdos get in there. source

04 Jan 2011 22:42


Politics: Antonin Scalia: Hates deep-dish, likes helping the Tea Party

  • On the plus side, nobody’s talking about Ginni Thomas anymore. So, Michele Bachmann has convinced our boy Antonin Scalia to have a fireside chat with incoming GOP members of Congress to remind them of the finer points of the constitution. Now, obviously, this is kind of a bad idea because it makes Scalia look like he’s in bed with the Tea Party and conservatives in Congress. But, who cares? This is the guy who’s so traditionalist that he complains about pizza that isn’t made New York-style. Sure, it’s bad judgment, but he doesn’t like deep dish pizza, so his judgment is worthless anyway. (photo by Stephen Masker) source

30 Dec 2010 20:22


Politics: Reciting Constitution on House floor will have “no practical impact”

  • Reading [the Constitution] on the floor of the House will not make the country more like you want it to be, unless your problem with the country is that you thought the Constitution should be read aloud on the floor of the House more frequently.
  • Ezra Klein • On the GOP’s requirement that all proposed laws in the next Congress be prefaced by a reading aloud of the Constitution. Klein calls the move, seen by some as an attempt to appeal to the Tea Party, a “gimmick” that will have “no practical impact” on how members legislate. Kevin Gutzman, history professor at Western Connecticut State University, agrees: “This is the way the establishment handles grassroots movements… once they’ve humored [Tea Party sympathizers] and those people go away, it’s right back to business as usual.”source