Sometimes we just need reminding.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 7:29 pm
Tuesday, July 19, 2011 8:40 pm
… but this, too, happened:
The nomination of the first openly gay man to serve on the federal bench would at one time have been a flashpoint in the culture wars. But Paul Oetken was confirmed without a word of objection on the Senate floor and with hardly a mention in the commentariat.
Even some of the chamber’s most ardent social conservatives – Tom Coburn, John Cornyn, Jeff Sessions, Jon Kyl – cast votes for Oetken. [So did N.C.’s Republican senator, Richard Burr. Our Democrat, Kay Hagan, for some reason did not vote. — Lex.] When the lopsided vote tally of 80-13 was read out, there was no cheer or reaction of any kind. Senators continued their conversations as if nothing unusual had happened.
A part of me is tempted to grump a bit about how it might have been nice to nominate someone other than one more corporate lawyer to the federal bench, but I am going to squelch that part and say instead, “You see, kids? It gets better.”
Friday, March 5, 2010 11:24 pm
Virginia’s new attorney general tells the state’s public colleges to give that sleeping dog a good, swift kick:
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II has asked the state’s public colleges and universities to rescind policies that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, arguing in a letter sent to each school Thursday that their boards of visitors have no legal authority to adopt such statements.
I didn’t follow the Va. elections, but folks who did tell me it was pretty clear that Gov. McDonnell and Cuccinelli were social conservatives mouthing moderate pabulum to get elected, and it would appear they were correct.
UPDATE: Here’s a surprise: Cuccinelli doesn’t know the law quite as well as he thinks he does.
Monday, January 4, 2010 6:03 am
Methinks the ladies doth protest too much: No one could have predicted, say U.S. anti-gay activists Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge and Don Schmierer, that our gay-bashing in Uganda could have led to (literal) Ugandan gay-bashing.
Brit Hume: As bad at counseling as he is at journalism.
Just say no to a special commission on the deficit. Because the last thing we need is another way for Congress to avoid responsibility and accountability.
Lessons from California: “What happens when one of the two major parties does not see a political upside in solving problems and has the power to keep those problems from being solved?” We’re going to find out.
Forget everything I’ve said about the Panthers’ likely off-season personnel moves: That’s because I forgot that 1) there’ll be no salary cap in 2010; and 2) there’ll probably be a lockout in 2011. More to come in a separate post.
Not that guy: For the record, I am not the Lex Alexander mentioned in this article. He and I have never met. But we both grew up in Charlotte (when I was a kid I used to get his overdue notices from the public library) and, because I’ve spent a lot of time in the Triangle and have lots of family and friends there, we know some of the same people.
I like our dog well enough, but I wouldn’t clone him for even 0.01% of the price.
Pete Peterson and the deficit scolds government destroyers are seeking people to appear in their documentary propaganda.
Shorter Matt Taibbi: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were bad, it is true, but there is still plenty of blame to go around and those who argue otherwise are trying to make off with your money. (Or: to paraphrase “The Incredibles,” if everyone is guilty, then no one is guilty.)
Afghanistan: Where the American economy goes to die?
Monopoly by any other name: Cable TV industry’s “TV Everywhere” is just one more bad idea from an industry with a long line of bad ideas and a long history of resisting good ones. In a country with a functioning Federal Trade Commission, it also would be ruled collusion on its face.
Saturday, December 26, 2009 9:34 pm
Wheat from chaff, signal from noise, pick your phrase: Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., catches a lot of grief over a lot of subjects. Some of it, but only some, is undeserved. Zero Hedge offers a more-or-less complete, more-or-less accurate summary of the rest.
Welcome to today’s edition of Simple Answers to Simple Questions: Today, Salon’s David Sirota asks, “Are we making the same mistakes with the banks that we did leading up to war in Iraq?” Answer: Yes. This has been another edition of Simple Answers to Simple Questions.
Interesting take on democracy: Sarah Palin schedules a book-signing at a public arena in her hometown — and has security bar some past critics from entering, just like Bush 43 used to do at campaign events. Even McCain didn’t, to my recollection, do anything that stupid. Although, to Caribou Barbie, that would be a bug, not a feature.
When the SEC won’t do its job, you want a New York City DA who will kick ass and take names. The retiring Robert Morgenthau has done that admirably for 35 years. Unless the SEC tomorrow is affilicted by sudden attacks of initiative, ethics, competence and honor, his successor is going to have to do even better.
The tsunami of ’04: Digby recalls: “This was one of the most hideous catastrophes of a decade of hideous catastrophes. But the consensus is that they’ve managed to come back fairly smartly. I recall watching the footage on the days after Christmas back in 2004 and then seeing the global response and feeling that the post-9/11 paranoia might be starting to lift a little bit. Global cooperation was in, at least for a little while. US soldiers were deployed to help, not make war. It was horrible and life affirming at the same time. Nine months later came Katrina.”
Obama supports gay rights, except when he opposes them. The Obama administration’s Office of Personnel Managment is withholding benefits to dependents of gay federal employees in a part of the country, the 9th Circuit, more sensitive to gay rights than any other in the country. So far, two members of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals — one a liberal Carter appointee, one a very conservative Reagan appointee — have called the administration out at the administrative level. If this turns into litigation, it seems almost inevitable that Obama, who once pledged to be a “fierce advocate” of gay rights, will lose and gays will win. For a lot of folks, including, on this issue, me, that would be sweeping a double-header.
Want to reduce the deficit? Hey, so do I. Here’s one way: Stop using private contractors.
Home, sweet home, even 80 years on: When people were losing their homes almost 80 years ago, the government didn’t throw a bunch of money at rich bankers. It actually made places for people to live, and it did it so well that whole communities that sprang from this project remain viable today. Traces of others remain, including one here in N.C., that offer insights perhaps useful even today.
ACORN caught red-handed doing … uh, well, nothing, actually. Nobody tell Andrew Breitbart, though; he’s having fun and it IS a holiday, after all.
Dogs, fleas: The 2010 Conservative Political Action Committee convention will be co-sponsored by the John Birch Society, which is not horribly unlike letting the Klan co-sponsor the Republican National Convention. Why do conservatives hate America?
Killing health-care reform: Jason Linkins argues that there is, in fact, a rational liberal case for doing so. See what you think.
Saturday, November 28, 2009 1:48 pm
There’s really no other way to describe this: The formerly secret Christianist nationalist group called the Family now has members in other countries who are doing real damage:
GROSS: Let’s talk about The Family’s connection to Uganda, where there’s a, really a draconian anti-gay bill that has been introduced into parliament. Uganda already punishes the practice of homosexuality with life in prison. What would the new legislation do?
Mr. SHARLET: Well, the new legislation adds to this something called aggravated homosexuality. And this can include, for instance, if a gay man has sex with another man who is disabled, that’s aggravated homosexuality, and that man can be – I suppose both, actually, could be put to death for this. The use of any drugs or any intoxicants in seeking gay sex – in other words, you go to a bar and you buy a guy a drink, you’re subject to the death penalty if you go home and sleep together after that. What it also does is it extends this outward, so that if you know a gay person and you don’t report it, that could mean – you don’t report your son or daughter, you can go to prison.
And it goes further, to say that any kind of promotion of these ideas of homosexuality, including by foreigners, can result in prison terms. Talking about same sex-marriage positively can lead you to imprisonment for life. And it’s really kind of a perfect case study in the export of a lot of American, largely evangelical ideas about homosexuality exported to Uganda, which then takes them to their logical end.
GROSS: This legislation has just been proposed. It hasn’t been signed into law. So it’s not in effect yet and it might never be in effect. But it’s on the table. It’s before parliament. So is there a direct connection between The Family and this proposed anti-homosexual legislation in Uganda?
Mr. SHARLET: Well, the legislator that introduced the bill, a guy named David Bahati, is a member of The Family. He appears to be a core member of The Family. He works, he organizes their Ugandan National Prayer Breakfast and oversees a African sort of student leadership program designed to create future leaders for Africa, into which The Family has poured millions of dollars working through a very convoluted chain of linkages passing the money over to Uganda.
GROSS: So you’re reporting the story for the first time today, and you found this story – this direct connection between The Family and the proposed legislation by following the money?
Mr. SHARLET: Yes, it’s – I always say that The Family is secretive, but not secret. You can go and look at 990s, tax forms and follow the money through these organizations that The Family describe as invisible. But you go and you look. You follow that money. You look at their archives. You do interviews where you can. It’s not so invisible anymore. So that’s how working with some research colleagues we discovered that David Bahati, the man behind this legislation, is really deeply, deeply involved in The Family’s work in Uganda, that the ethics minister of Uganda, Museveni’s kind of right-hand man, a guy named Nsaba Buturo, is also helping to organize The Family’s National Prayer Breakfast. And here’s a guy who has been the main force for this Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda’s executive office and has been very vocal about what he’s doing, in a rather extreme and hateful way. But these guys are not so much under the influence of The Family. They are, in Uganda, The Family.
Our tax code is subsidizing religiously driven state-sanctioned murder in other countries. There’s no pretty face you can put on this, and there’s no way, in hell or on Earth, you can sell this to any thinking person as Christianity.
Commenter YellowJournalism at Balloon Juice asks, “For his birthday, can we get Jesus some new followers?”