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NY Legislature Votes to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

Just caught this via Instapundit:

CHANGE: Gay marriage legal in New York State after Senate passes historic bill 33-29. I think it’s good that it was passed by the legislature rather than imposed by a court.

Ditto what Glenn said about being passed by the elected legislature. And to note that it passed with Republican votes — and in a legislative chamber run by the GOP.

May have more to say on this tomorrow, but Glenn pretty much summed up what I had to say (though I may add something about the religious amendment added during the final debate).

Treasury Secretary Wants to Tax Those Whom President Says Create the Most New Jobs

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:09 pm - June 24, 2011.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Economy,Entrepreneurs

Seems administration officials are bound and determined to shrink the size of the private sector by penalizing those whom even the president identified as job creators:

ADMINISTRATION PRIORITIES EXPLAINED: Geithner: Taxes on ‘Small Business’ Must Rise So Government Doesn’t ‘Shrink.’ “When Ellmers finally told Geithner that ‘the point is we need jobs,’ he responded that the administration felt it had ‘no alternative’ but to raise taxes on small businesses because otherwise ‘you have to shrink the overall size of government programs’—including federal education spending.”

Does that mean the Treasury Secretary doesn’t believe in cutting the size of government, something his boss hinted at when he promised us a “net spending cut.”  ”Government,” the president said last September

. . . can’t create jobs to replace the millions that we lost in the recession, but it can create the conditions for small businesses to hire more people through steps like tax breaks. . . . Small businesses produce most of the new jobs in this country. They are the anchors of our Main Streets.

Do hope Mr. Obama takes Mr. Geithner to the woodshed to give him a refresher course on his policies.

In Memoriam Peter Falk

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:19 pm - June 24, 2011.
Filed under: Hollywood Legends,Movies/Film & TV

Few Americans (alas!) are aware of (what is, in my mind) Peter Falk’s greatest screen role where he plays a “fallen” angel in the Germany film Wings of Desire (remade, but without him, in the U.S. as City of Angels).  Whether it was in his serious turn in that flick or his comic turn in any number of movies, starting (at least) with the 1963 classic, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, not to mention his twenty-year stint at TV detective Columbo, Falk had a quirky screen presence that was hard to describe, part street smart New Yorker, part favorite uncle, part cynic, occasional romantic.  He kept our eyes riveted to the screen and interested in him.

He died yesterday in his Beverly Hills home:

Falk, 83, was a five-time Emmy Award winner, four for his portrayal of the police lieutenant on episodic TV and television films from 1971 to 1993. In a ubiquitous trench coat, the absent-minded Columbo — whose first name was never revealed — was a slightly built, unassuming character who subtlety hounded murderers with dogged persistence. Inevitably, he confronted suspects with the comment “just one more thing,” which became part of the title for his 2006 autobiography, Just One More Thing: Stories From My Life.

Truly a legendary figure and proof that even a one-eyed man with a craggy face and raspy voice can command our attention on screens both big and small.

Bearing greatest burden of Obama’s policies, young voters remain Obama’s most enthusiastic supporters

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:54 pm - June 24, 2011.
Filed under: Obamania

Not long have the 2008 election, I ran into a young woman at who had worked hard to elect Barack Obama President of the United States.  She was all dewy-eyed about the changes her man would bring to this great country.  But, when I pressed her as to what those changes would be, she couldn’t identify any specific proposals the Democrat supported, only reassured me he would be different from George W. Bush.

It does seem that many of the president’s young supports were more taken by the image this man projected (and was projected onto him) than the results he achieved.  Heck, if they were going for a charismatic new politician who had accomplished real change in office, they would have flocked to the Republican banner in 2008, given the record of the party’s vice presidential nominee.

Their infatuation continues today, though someone lessened from 2008.  A recent poll shows that while only 31 percent of those in the 18-29 age bracket approve of the president’s handling of the economy and youth unemployment, more than half of those younglings approve of Obama’s record in the White House:

Over at the Hill, Christina Marcos elaborates: (more…)

Reagan Jokes About Republicans & Democrats

If Jon Huntsman was good for anything, his speech if front of the Statue of Liberty this week has many of us Reagan Revolution kids yearning for the leadership, values and strength of Our President.

This clip comes courtesy of PatriotMom!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Face it, gay Democrats, he’s just after you for your money

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:47 am - June 24, 2011.
Filed under: Gay Leftist Lickspittles,Obama and Gay Issues

Welcome Instapundit Readers!

The title at the left-leaning Huffington Post says it all, Obama, At LGBT Fundraiser, Gets A Pass For Punting On Same-Sex Marriage.  But, of course he does, it’s that all-purpose (D) after his name, the (D) that makes a political candidate immune to criticism from and subject to adoration by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and other gay activists to whom being loved by the Democrats means achieving your most sought-after goal, even if said lover only pays lip service to his affection.

Sure, he said yesterday “at a Manhattan fundraiser. . . geared specifically to the gay community” (the “Gala With the Gay Community”) that he believes “gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country,” but what has he done to make that a reality?  Did HRC head Joe Solmonese ask his BFF why the Democrat failed to press Congress to act on the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act when his party held an overwhelming majority in the House and a filibuster-proof margin in the Senate?  And when they held that legislative majority, his Democrats didn’t even bring repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) up for a vote, crossing their fingers and hoping unelected federal judges do what they were afraid to do.

Even though he was in the Empire State, where at this very moment, the legislature is considering state recognition of same-sex marriage, the HRC-endorsed Democrat “did not personally endorse the pending New York bill — which is nearing passage in the statehouse — or same-sex marriage itself.”  And still HRC head Joe Solmonese and company just couldn’t keep themselves from swooning.

Face it, guys, Obama just wants your money, like the cute boy who sweet talks you at the bar while ordering a $20 cocktail, then reaches for his wallet, only to feign shock when he just can’t find it.  “Maybe you can help me look for it,” he says as he puts his hand on your knee and looks into your eyes, but once he’s taken a few sips from the pricey drink you’ve bought him, he manages to slip away.  (more…)

If Koch Industries support a policy, it must be bad
(even if Obama, Biden & Howard Dean back the same policy)

Over at the Huffington Post, they’re huffing and puffing about a new film about the Koch Brothers made by Xanadu-filmmaker Robert Greenwald who faults those libertarian entrepreneurs to raise the Social Security retirement age.  For the star witness in his “echo chamber” (his word* not mine), the director of the 1980 box office bomb turns to Bernie Sanders, the only self-professed socialist in the United States Senate.

To show just how the Koch Brothers want to “destroy Social Security,” Greenwald/Sanders provide quotes from positions papers published by (and clips of scholars who work for) think tanks which the Koch Brothers support.  But, get this, not a single one of them says he wants to defund Social Security (or otherwise repeal the New Deal program).  They just warn of its coming insolvency (seems to me that those who warn of a program’s insolvency want to save it, not destroy it) or advocating reducing the retirement age to reduce its costs (which would serve to make the program more solvent).

Scholars at conservative and libertarian think tanks aren’t the only ones who favor raising the retirement age.  According to the left-wing web-site Talking Points Memo, the president’s own fiscal commission favors indexing “the retirement age to longevity — i.e., increase the retirement age to qualify for Social Security — to age 69 by 2075.

In 2007, Joe Biden, the man Obama would tap the following year as his running mate “told the AP in ’07 he was open to discussions about raising the cap.”  On more than one occasion, Howard Dean also said he was open to raising the retirement age for Social Security.

So, we’re supposed to believe because scholars at think tanks funded by the Koch Brothers favor an idea put forward by the president’s fiscal commission, once embraced by Howard Dean and considered by Joe Biden, the libertarian philanthropists want to “destroy” Social Security.  Methinks some on the left are a little bit too eager to demonize “corporate interests” (as Sanders calls ‘em) funding small-government causes.

Wonder if Mr. Greenwald has any plans to look into the corporate interests backing big-government causes.

It seems the Koch Brothers have become to folks like Greenwald what George W. Bush once was and Sarah Palin now is to a number of folks on the left, their demon du jour.  In honor of those Koch haters, we inaugurate today a new category, KIDS (Koch Industries Derangement Syndrome).

* (more…)

More unexpected bad economic news

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:50 am - June 24, 2011.
Filed under: Economy,Media Bias

As I was preparing for bed, I caught this on Yahoo! homepage:

Once again, a piece of bad economic news comes unexpected to our even-handed news media:

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week, suggesting little improvement in the labor market this month after hiring stumbled badly in May.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed by 9,000 to 429,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists had expected claims to come in at 415,000.

Emphasis added. (more…)

Jamie Kirchick’s window into (the reactionary nature of) contemporary liberalism

On Monday, realizing that nearly 500 e-mails had accumulated in my blog and personal e-mail accounts, I started wading through them, going through nearly 200 e-mails.  I did catch a few personal ones I missed, but most (fortunately!) were just links to (or summaries of) news and opinion pieces which I mostly skimmed over.

A number caught my eye, including this one from the globe-trotting Jamie Kirchick:

The subtitle struck me even more than the title, “The political legacy of opposition to apartheid has devolved into hostility toward the West — and sympathy for anyone else engaged in ‘anti-imperial struggle’”. It’s almost as if that statement defines many facets of American liberalism — and other left-wing ideologies — particularly since the Civil Rights movement.

All too many on the left saw segregation not as an ugly stain on a noble experiment, but instead as a defining aspect of America. In opposing that heinous system, many became hostile toward the United States and, by extension, the West. Their animosity is often furthered by the way the legacy of the Civil Rights’ movement is taught on college campi. Western civilization, our teachers tell us, is fundamentally hostile to “the other.”

No wonder some left-wing outfits show support for the ostensible representatives of other oppressed groups, even when those representatives are themselves hostile to those supposedly represented by the groups themselves. Witness Codepink. Or “Queers for Palestine.

All too few (alas!) recognize that Dr. King drew on the very best of the Western tradition in crafting his (successful) movement to end segregation, frequently citing, in his speeches, our country’s founding documents and national hymns and regularly referencing Scripture and lessons drawn from his education in Christian theology.

Gay Rights Victory in Wisconsin!

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:58 pm - June 23, 2011.
Filed under: Freedom,Second Amendment

Great news from the Badger State.  Gay people now have a new (and most effective) tool to protect themselves from bashers.  The state Assembly approved a concealed carry bill:

The legislation would require those who want to carry concealed firearms to obtain permits. It would allow people to carry concealed weapons in the state Capitol and other public buildings but not places like police stations and courthouses. Weapons also would be prohibited in buildings where posted notices bar them, and in places like Summerfest music festival at Milwaukee’s lakefront.

Bashers will now be on notice that gay people in Wisconsin could be packing and have the means to defend themselves if attacked.  While not entirely satisfied with the legislation, MadisonConservative, who alerted me to the actions of the state Assembly, observes, “the people of Wisconsin have the ability to defend their lives, their families, and their property.

People here means all people, gays included.  What’s good for all folks in the Badger State is good for gay folks in the Badger State.

Why is Codepink supporting Gaza flotilla?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:06 pm - June 23, 2011.
Filed under: Anti-Western Attitudes,Liberal Hypocrisy

Seven months ago today, Khaled Abu Toamah described the plight of women living in the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip:

Since Hamas seized full control over the Gaza Strip in 2007, Palestinian women have been deprived of many of basic rights, such as strolling along the beach alone or smoking in public. Under Hamas, female lawyers are not allowed to appear in court unless they are wearing the hijab.

They are also barred from going to male hairdressers. A woman who is seen in public with a man is often stopped by Hamas policemen and questioned about the nature of the relationship between them.

Women in the Gaza Strip who have dared to participate in public political and social events have been repeatedly harassed by the Hamas government. As a result, many of them have been forced to stay at home out of fear for their lives.

Yet, over on Codepink’s website, we find this:

Why is this women’s organization so concerned about how the nation in the Middle East which provides the fewest restrictions on women because of their gender treats a flotilla providing supplies to an enclave run by terrorists who treat women as third-class citizens?

Guess these folks are so opposed to “U.S. funded wars and occupations,” as they bill it, that the enemy of their enemy is their friend even if said “friend” restricts women from participating in civil society.

Many private employers to drop employee health insurance coverage when Obamacare takes effect

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:24 pm - June 23, 2011.
Filed under: Obama Health Care Tax/Regulation

“Under the reforms we seek,” said President Barack Obama in August 2009, “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.

Guess that means that those working for certain private-sector employers don’t much like their health care.  According to the editors of the Washington Examiner:

Two weeks ago, the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. released a widely reported survey that said almost a third of private-sector employers reported they will drop their employee health insurance coverage when Obamacare’s government-managed insurance exchanges come online in 2014.

And take a gander at this tidbit:

Among those most informed about how Obamacare would affect their business, 58 percent said they would either definitely or probably drop employee care. By contrast, only 16 percent of the best informed said they were planning on keeping their plans.

Things do tend to go wrong when the government meddles in your industry.

No, Andrew, Ronald Reagan was no Herbert Hoover*

Daniel Mitchell, one of my favorite Fellows at one of my favorite think tanks (which I heartily encourage you to support) takes Andrew Sullivan to the woodshed today for suggesting that Herbert Hoover wanted to reduce the burden of government spending:

I went to the Historical Tables of the Budget and looked up the annual spending data. As you can see from the chart, it turns out that Hoover increased government spending by 47 percent in just four years (if you adjust for falling prices, as Russ Roberts did at Cafe Hayek, it turns out that Hoover increased government spending by more than 50 percent). . . .

Sullivan’s mistake is understandable. The historical analysis and understanding of the Great Depression is woefully inadequate, and millions of people genuinely believe that Hoover was an early version of Ronald Reagan.

The historical record shows that Herbert Hoover was a big spender and the stock market crash that occurred under his watch (not, as Joe Biden has suggested, under FDR’s) led to a prolonged downturn.

When in the White House, Ronald Reagan, even facing off against a big-spending Speaker of the House, did his utmost to hold the line of federal spending.  And the economy boomed.  Perhaps, the incumbent president would do well to emulate the Gipper instead of following in Herbert Hoover’s footsteps.

Via Instapundit.

* (more…)

What A Real Campaign Introduction At Lady Liberty Looks Like

(h/t – Gateway Pundit)

The Carter record is a litany of despair, of broken promises, of sacred trusts abandoned and forgotten. Eight million — eight million out of work. Inflation running at 18 percent in the first quarter of this year. Black unemployment at 14 percent, higher than any single year since the government began keeping separate statistics. Four straight major deficits run up by Carter and his friends in Congress. The highest interest rates since the Civil War, reaching at times close to 20 percent, lately they’re down to more than 11 percent but now they’ve begun to go up again. Productivity falling for six straight quarters among the most productive people in the world.Through his inflation he has raised taxes on the American people by 30 percent, while their real income has risen only 20 percent. The Lady standing there in the harbor has never betrayed us once. But this Administration in Washington has betrayed the working men and women of this country.
The President promised that he would not increase taxes for the low and middle-income people, the workers of America. Then he imposed on American families the largest single tax increase in our nation’s history. His answer to all this misery? He tries to tell us that we’re “only” in a recession, not a depression, as if definitions, words, relieve our suffering.
Let it show on the record that when the American people cried out for economic help, Jimmy Carter took refuge behind a dictionary. Well if it’s a definition — if it’s a definition he wants, I’ll give him one. A recession is when your neighbor loses his job.  A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.

I would point out that there are now over 16 million Americans unemployed, many for the longest duration since WWII.  And African-American unemployment is close to 17%, higher than when Reagan gave this speech.

Substitute “Jimmy Carter” for “Barack Obama” in Reagan’s speech and it still measures up today.  I hope we make it to November 2012 when we can show Obama the definition of true recovery.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

I thought this guy promised a “net spending cut”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:48 pm - June 22, 2011.
Filed under: Big Government Follies

In the third debate of the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama said:

But there is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.

Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.

Today we read that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that President Obama’s “stimulus” nearly doubled the national debt:

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) finds that President Obama’s economic stimulus program helped nearly double U.S. debt.

The 2011 Long-Term Budget Outlook, released Wednesday morning, reports that the “the combination of automatic budgetary responses” and Obama’s stimulus “had a profound impact on the federal budget.” According to CBO projections, before Obama’s stimulus became law, federal debt equaled 36 percent of GDP and was projected to decline slightly over the next few years. Instead, thanks in large part to the stimulus, debt reached 62 percent of GDP by 2010.

Under Barack Obama, we’re continuing to living beyond our means.

Liberal blogger: courts not engines of social change

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:19 am - June 22, 2011.
Filed under: Blogging,Gay America,Legal Issues

I couldn’t agree more with this post from Matthew Yglesias:

Something that I think most people don’t realize is that for the vast majority of American history, the judicial branch has been a very conservative elite-dominated institution. Most people’s view of the matter is distorted by the historical aberration that occurred roughly between the Brown andRoe decisions, with a lot of good criminal justice decisions in between. Even there, one has to recall that with its landmark civil rights decisions, the Supreme Court was in large part just reversing what the late 19th century Supreme Court did by throwing out the civil rights legislation of the Grant administration.

Emphasis added.  Well said.  Read the whole thing.

There is much, much more to this, particularly as it pertains to gays.  I have always believed that social change comes from our communities, through private institutions and enterprises.  It is not the government’s role to foster social change nor to prevent it from happening organically.

Had I not chanced upon this piece a few minutes before bed, I might have more to say on it, but for now, I think it’s important to alert our readers to the post, especially because a liberal blogger is putting forward a view in sync with conservative legal scholars.

FROM THE COMMENTS:   Jim Hlavac offers:

Virtually all gains made by gay folks in the past 40 years towards our acceptance as decent people has been made without legislative or judicial help; and sometimes even despite laws and rulings against us. No court ruling is going to change anyone’s mind about us. Long before laws against us were removed we had already started the process of removing the negativism, person by person, mostly starting with our families and hetero friends. Even Bowers v. Hardwick did not dent the trend, nor did Lawrence push it. And the trend is still moving forward.

Exactly.  Read the whole thing!

The prejudiced presumption of Palin’s incompetence

It seems that Sarah Palin arrived just in time for the Bush-hating left.  In 2008, as the much (and mostly unfairly) maligned President of the United States was preparing to head off into a constitutionally-mandated retirement, his political party nominated the charismatic governor of Alaska as its vice presidential candidate.

And ever since, those who once projected their inner demons on George W. Bush found a new target for their wrath.  He might be going into retirement, but they would still have a Republican to revile.

So much has their demonology of Sarah Palin developed that her haters remain clueless how this accomplished reformer earned so much respect among Republican reformers — even before John McCain tapped the Alaskan as his running mate.  Indeed, mainstream media outlets were so convinced they’d find dirt in her recently released e-mails that they dispatched as many as thirty reporters to Juneau to sift through them.

They were simply not prepared to discover e-mails which showed a focused and energetic executive doing her job.  The emails, as the editors of the Richmond Times-Dispatch put it, “have redounded to the author’s benefit and have left her critics dismayed” (via Instapundit).

They were dismayed because the e-mails did not confirm their conviction of her incompetence.  Reality did not conform to their narrative.

Maybe if they had actually bothered studying her record as governor of the Last Frontier, they might realize that she reached across the partisan divide to accomplish real change for Alaska, where she was, to borrow an expression, a kind of a post-partisan politician.  They wouldn’t have been so dismayed had they taken the time to study her record and consider her accomplishments, instead of viciously responding to her nomination.

Will gay bloggers take gay groups to task for alliances with unions?

Over at West Hollywood Patch, Scott Schmidt, the civic activist once known as BoifromTroy wonders at the outrage over GLAAD and “Equality California” “sending out letters in support of AT&T and its position on Net Neutrality and/or their proposed merger with T-Mobile.”  While left-of-center gay bloggers have faulted the groups for sending out letters ostensibly to please corporate donors, they have not criticized them for their alliances with left-wing interest groups.  Scott writes:

On the other hand, gay and lesbian groups scarecly come under criticism when making similarly-tenuous links to liberal causes, such as the labor movement. Gay rights activists continue to target Hyatt Hotels, not over Doug Manchester’s bankrolling of Proposition 8, but because the labor unions want to avoid secret ballots for union certification and are targeting Hyatt through a “sleep with the right people” campaign.

Do hope they will take the groups to task for such alliances with liberal groups whose agenda has nothing to do with the average, everyday concerns of most gay Americans.

Such alliances may prevent gay organizations from reaching out to private companies, eager to develop policies benefiting gay and lesbian employees, but wary of union influence, influence which often leads to decreased productivity in private companies.

In the Bush era, this would be news

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:32 pm - June 21, 2011.
Filed under: Gay Politics

Matthew Boyle reports at the Daily Caller:

The Daily Caller has obtained two photographs from inside the Department of Labor (DOL) elevators where Obama administration employees have again defaced photos equating gay rights with civil rights.

A worker or group of workers in the DOL ripped off a portion of these posters that compared gay rights to African American civil rights.

It is one thing to disagree with the notion that the gay rights movements is comparable to the civil rights movement that culminated in the 1960s, quite another to deface posters saying as much.

This isn’t, Boyle adds, “the Obama administration’s first experience when it comes to vandalized posters promoting gay rights.”

I could find nothing on HRC’s web-site about this incident.  Guess when you endorse the president, you don’t pay attention to actions such as these which take place under his nose.

Top Enlisted Marine Cool with DADT repeal

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire blog features today some snippets from an interview with “Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, recently selected to be the senior enlisted adviser to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos”. With a “long military resume, including combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Nathan Hodges quips that “he doesn’t need a microphone to get his point across.” And when he comes to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, he cites a most important charter:

“Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution is pretty simple,” he told a group of Marines at a base in South Korea. “It says, ‘Raise an army.’ It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, sexual orientation.

“You all joined for a reason: to serve,” he continued. “To protect our nation, right?”

“Yes, sergeant major,” Marines replied.

“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?” Sgt. Maj. Barrett continued, raising his voice just a notch. “Right?”

Sgt. Maj. Barrett then described conversations with U.K. troops, who saw a similar ban lifted a decade ago, with little disruption. And to drive the point home, he produced a pocket copy of the Constitution.

“Get over it,” he said. “We’re magnificent, we’re going to continue to be. … Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines.”

Emphasis added.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  ILoveCapitalism offers:

What’s important is that the military preserve its high performance and no-nonsense attitude by applying a uniform code of conduct to punish those individual gays – or straights, whomever – who do undertake actions that disrupt morale and unit cohesion.

Exactly.