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Illinois Recognizes Civil Unions the Right Way

After the elected members of both houses of the state legislature passed a bill recognizing civil unions, the elected governor of Illinois signed a bill recognizing same-sex civil unions:

The measure, approved last month during the General Assembly’s lame-duck session, lets gays and lesbians use civil unions as a way to enjoy several of the same rights as people who are married, ranging from sharing a nursing home room to being involved in dramatic end-of-life decisions.

The law takes effect June 1 once signed. It also applies to heterosexual couples, signifying a step short of marriage.

While it is a good thing that the bill allows same-sex couples to seek protections and privileges for their relationships, it is unfortunate that the legislation also applies to mixed-sex couples who already enjoy the option of seeking state recognition of their unions as marriages.

Still, it is a step in the right direction.  Kudos to the elected officials in the appropriate branches of Illinois state government for moving forward on such recognition.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour Heads to Israel

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:05 pm - February 1, 2011.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Politics abroad

As a Jew who can recall older relatives’ skepticism about the GOP because they feared of the party’s supposed indifference to Israel, it’s heartening to see how many Republicans today have come to embrace the Jewish State.  To be sure, my family members did not have grounds for concern.  Up through the early 1990s, though in ever-dwindling numbers as the years passed, there were a number of Republicans, usually from the Northeast, but occasionally from the Midwest, who seemed to harbor an animus against Jews while promoting anti-Israel policies.

Today, few, if any, leading Republicans support such policies, with most party leaders strong supporters of the Jewish State.  Indeed, many presidential candidates go out of the way to show their pro-Israel bona fides.  At a time of tension and uncertainty in the Middle East, one potential contender for the GOP presidential nomination, Misssissippi Governor Haley Barbour is headed to Israel:

According to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Barbour will meet with senior level Israeli officials. Those include Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been meeting with all of the prospective Republican contenders as they tour his country. Netanyahu met with Romney last month and Huckabee earlier this week.

Those meetings are particularly notable because they come as Netanyahu’s relationship with the Obama administration appears to be straining.

Kudos to the Magnolia State governor.  This is a smart move.  It seems the Republican understands the importance of the American alliance with the Jewish State.

Obamacare Declared Unconstitutional


The latest from our pal, the awesome Gabriel Malor:

The law is unconstitutional and that ruling is binding on the parties. Not just the 26 plaintiff states, mind you, as I’ve also seen erroneously reported. All parties to a lawsuit are bound, including and especially the defendants, that is, the U.S. departments attempting to implement ObamaCare.

That means that at this moment all parts of the law are unenforceable, including the guaranteed issue rule, the preparations for the exchanges, the minimum standards, the Medicaid expansion, the FSA adjustment, the 1099 debacle, and, of course, the individual mandate. The Obama Administration risks a contempt order if it attempts to continue to impose any of these ObamaCare requirements on the states.

Now, don’t get too excited. The Administration will, I guarantee it, be seeking to stay Judge Vinson’s order pending appeal. At the moment, there is no order on a stay and the District Court’s docket is closed for the day. So, at the earliest we’re not looking at Judge Vinson taking a crack at their stay motion until tomorrow. And if he denies the Administration stay motion, they’ll seek it from the 11th Circuit. The appellate court will very likely grant it, given the disparate court decisions so far and because the stakes are so high. I can’t imagine that the Administration would have to go so far as the Supreme Court to get a stay, but any way it happens, they’re going to get one eventually. I guarantee that too.

So enjoy the moment.  It may or may not last.  But for today, the Constitution Reigns Supreme over King Barack Hussein Obama I.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Something Is Missing In Egypt Crisis…..

Oh yeah, well besides a strong American President…

No, it is something else.  Can’t quite put my finger on it….



Why aren’t left-wing progressive actor Sean Penn & left-wing liberal Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) in Cairo defending Mubarak against regime change like they did for Saddam?  Does that mean Penn & McDermott tacitly support The Muslim Brotherhood — the group that assassinated Anwar Sadat?   Or is Muburak “their kind of dictator”… and Saddam Hussein was not?

Just askin’ the tough questions that Katie Couric won’t, folks.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Egypt’s Imponderables

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:42 am - February 1, 2011.
Filed under: Freedom,Politics abroad

Yesterday, a friend with whom I don’t often agree on matters political linked a good piece on the background of the unrest in Egypt and the imponderables for the future, Ross Douthat’s, “The Devil We Know.” He shows how a good deal of al-Qaeda’s ideology was forged in Egypt’s prisons.  A great irony indeed that this hateful and oppressive ideology developed in reaction to Mubarak’s own authoritarian excesses.

Instead of responding to the heavy hand of that tyrant’s rule with a longing for freedom, they replaced it by doubling down on the narrow ideologies they already espoused.   “Middle Eastern politics,” he writes, “is never quite that easy.”

But history makes fools of us all. We make deals with dictators, and reap the whirlwind of terrorism. We promote democracy, and watch Islamists gain power from Iraq to Palestine. We leap into humanitarian interventions, and get bloodied in Somalia. We stay out, and watch genocide engulf Rwanda. We intervene in Afghanistan and then depart, and watch the Taliban take over. We intervene in Afghanistan and stay, and end up trapped there, with no end in sight.

Sooner or later, the theories always fail. The world is too complicated for them, and too tragic. History has its upward arcs, but most crises require weighing unknowns against unknowns, and choosing between competing evils.

Douthat is less sanguine than others, but he does get at the challenges of foreign policy.  

We don’t know what is going to happen in Egypt.   While we sympathize those taking to the streets to protest an oppressive government, we fear that some more authoritarian forces may take advantage of the unrest to impose their narrow ideologies on the Egyptian people.  Should they succeed, the oppression the protestors now seek to overthrow will seem benign by comparison. (more…)