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Judge Overturns Prop 8

More information as it becomes available.  While I’m happy for the couples who can now have the state recognize their unions as marriages, I fear that this decision will further divide the nation on gay marriage and embolden social conservatives.

More anon.

UPDATE (decided to put this, likely my final update to this post) ahead of the others.  I have now read or skimmed the entire opinion.  I find that the judge makes some good arguments for gay marriage, but doesn’t succeed in relating them to the constitution.  His legal analysis is sloppy at best and dismisses the sex-difference argument for traditional marriage by flippantly referring to what he calls “discredited notions of gender” as if the assumptions about a supposed social construction of gender had been proven true when, in fact, all serious psychological, sociological studies have shown the opposite.  Not to mention studies of the human brain.

He fails to cite a provision of the federal constitution which prevents states from making distinctions based on sex difference, primarily because there isn’t one.

I will now put the rest of my thoughts, “penned” while reading/skimming the decision below the jump. (more…)

CA Public Employee Salaries to be Posted on Web in November

In response to public outcry because of the inflated salaries of public officials in Bell, California, “one of the poorest municipalities in Los Angeles County“, California’s Controller John Chiang has promised to “to start reporting the salaries of elected officials and public employees.

He plans to post the information immediately on his website in November.

Wonder why he’s waiting until November?

(H/t Dan Riehl via Instapundit.)

What Does HRC have against a Republican Gubernatorial Candidate with a stand on gay marriage similar to the Democratic President?

The more I reflect on the recent attacks on corporations made by right-wing and left-wing groups because the corporation in question has not adopted the world-view of these organizations, the more I realize that each group, the American Family Association (AFA) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), is just looking for a company to attack in order to get some media attention and rally their base.

The AFA simply refuses to accept (and indeed actively seeks t0 undermine) the social changes of the past decade.  Americans, even on the right, now accept that gay people should live openly while an increasing number of institutions welcome them and seek to accommodate our relationships.  The group seems to have been casting about for a corporation to boycott where they thought they could be effective.

By a similar token, HRC was casting about for a company to attack.  Just look at how tenuous is the connection between Target (which has adopted a number of policies beneficial to its gay employees) and anti-gay attitudes.  The corporation gave money to a political organization which ran ads in favor of a candidate who has a similar stand on gay marriage to the president.

As I did a google search of likely Republican nominee for Governor of Minnesota’s alleged anti-gay attitudes, Lori Heine, one of our readers, did a google search to see what she could find out “about people in Minnesota wanting to kill gays” (in response to an e-mail she received).  And like me, all she found were references some obscure Christian rock band.  Now, given the number of liberal gays who read this blog, we have an active chorus of critics familiar with — and eager to criticize  — our posts.  Not one of them chimed in to defend HRC’s characterization of that Republican as “rapidly anti-equality” or otherwise bitterly anti-gay. (more…)

More Evidence of Katie Couric’s Anti-Palin Bias?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:09 pm - August 4, 2010.
Filed under: Media Bias,PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome)

Last November, I reviewed the “tapes” and read the transcripts of CBS Anchor Katie Couric’s interviews with the major parties’ 2008 nominees for Vice President of the United States.

While she tossed softballs to the Democrat, then-Senator Joe Biden, never following up on his contention that FDR went on TV when the stock market crashed in 1929*, she saved her toughest questions for the Republican nominee, then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Even as Couric challenged the Republican, she failed to ask that accomplished woman about her record in office:

Not once did Couric manifest any knowledge of Palin’s record in Alaska, save the media scuttlebutt about her church and her views of social issue.  But, that does not go to her record as a public official.  Nothing about Palin’s work on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) where she took on a fellow Republican and ally of the Governor who had appointed her.  Nothing about her work with a Democrat to bring down the corrrupt Republican Attorney General of her state.  Nothing about the reforms she achieved as Governor by working across party lines.

Now, we may well have further evidence of Couric’s bias. Conservatives4Palin has video of the CBS Anchor mocking the then-Alaska Governor.  Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey reminds us “that this is an edited clip; there is at least one cut in this video, and quite obviously we don’t have everything Couric said off air for context.”   He asks a number of important questions and makes an important observation:

Did a CBS News employee shoot this while watching the satellite feed, or did a C-band satellite owner get a now-rare unencrypted feed from CBS at the time?  Why did it take two years for this to come out?  I assume these questions will eventually get answered, but for now, Couric’s snobbish reaction to Palin, the names of her children, and mooseburgers is pretty instructive

Instead of dismissing interest in this clip as the product of a slow news day (as the network has), CBS needs to come clean and search its archives for the entirety of this footage and release it to the public. (more…)

Do Congressional Democrats Read the Bills They Vote For?

A few day ago on her Facebook page, a left-leaning lesbian friend of mine linked this article:

Talk about a paperwork nightmare: Tucked into the massive new health care law is a demand that nearly 40 million U.S. businesses file tax forms for every vendor that sells them more than $600 in goods.

Talk about a paperwork nightmare: Tucked into the massive new health care law is a demand that nearly 40 million U.S. businesses file tax forms for every vendor that sells them more than $600 in goods.

House Democrats now want to repeal it.

Sound familiar?  Once again, we see that Democrats either didn’t read the bill they overwhelmingly supported — or didn’t understand the real-world implications of the provisions they passed.

Gives new meaning to Speaker Pelosi’s statement on the imperative of passing the bill so people could “find out what is in it.”  As Democrats scramble to repeal this provision, they should recall this is not a mess they “inherited,” but one they created.  Each and every Democrat who voted “Yay” for Obamacare is responsible for this provision they now find so reprehensible.

Another ride on the California gay marriage rollercoaster

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:18 am - August 4, 2010.
Filed under: California politics,Gay Marriage,Legal Issues

Via various sources (including this one), I learn that a decision is expected sometime between 1 pm and 3 pm today (PST) in the federal case seeking to overturn Proposition 8.  “It will be available electronically to the public not only through PACER but also directly from the court’s website, www.cand.uscourts.gov , free of charge soon after it is e-filed.”

I expect that Judge Vaughn Walker will overturn the popular initiative.  And while gay activists will be giddy, they are only setting themselves up for future disappointment.  Given the make-up of the Ninth Circuit, it may sustain his opponent, only to have their decision struck eventually down by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Another ride on the California gay marriage roller coaster, jubilation following a judicial ruling, disappointment and bitterness when it’s overturned.

Should Walker uphold Prop 8, watch for gay activists to demonize him as some kind of Anti-Christ.

That said, his verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, the gay couples seeking to overturn the constitutional provision, would be a huge boon to Republicans in the Golden State.

A Republican won’t gain any votes by supporting the ruling.  (So doctrinaire are those for whom the issue is their primary concern that they’d never support a Republican no matter how broad-mind he  or she was.)  But, opposition to the ruling could help Republicans make inroads into certain segments of the Democratic base when some Democrats who supported Prop 8 see a Republicans criticizing a court which overturned by fiat an issue they passed with their ballots, they might reconsider their partisan affiliation. (more…)

Americans’ First Vote on Obamacare?

Welcome Washington Examiner Readers!!

From 1960 through 2004, the state of Missouri (along with Tennessee) was a bellwether, going with the winner in every presidential election.  Two years ago, it broke the trend when John McCain won the state by fewer than 4,000 votes (3,903 to be precise–slightly higher than Walter Mondale’s 1984 margin in Minnesota).  With 49.23% of the vote, Obama ran 3.64 points behind his national tally of 52.87%.

Well, yesterday, voters in the Show-Me State may well have been the first Americans to vote on Obamacare in a statewide initiative.  And they rejected it — decisively.

According to the  Missouri Secretary of State’s office, 71.1% of primary votersapproved Proposition C, a ballot initiative that says Missouri residents do not have to purchase health insurance or pay an annual fine to the federal government, as the new law states.

It even won in counties that Obama carried, losing only in the City of St. Louis and Kansas City.  In Boone County, which Obama carried with 55.20% of the vote 60.3% of voters rejected the mandate.  Obama may have carried Buchanan County by 54 votes (0.13%), but Prop C passed by 5,965 (a margin of 43.2%).  Obama edged McCain in Iron and Washington County, but more than 70% of voters in each backed the Proposition.

Obama enjoyed a 14-point victory in St. Genevieve County, but Prop C won by more than 22 points.  In Jefferson County, just south of St. Louis, Obama won by 2,663 votes; Prop C passed by 13,490.  In St. Louis County, where Obama trounced McCain by margin of 3 to 2, Prop C passed with a similar margin.

Bellwether indeed.

UPDATE:  Ed Morrissey reads the returns and observes:

If anything, this shows that opposition to ObamaCare is growing, not receding, but that’s probably not what actually happened.   (more…)