Anti-Americanism on Parade: ‘Who’s going to shoot President Obama?’

By |February 25th, 2011|

The account of the incident makes it clear that the question could have been condemned on the spot and should have been condemned. Any person with any moral character at all would have done so. The people in the room who stood by laughing, laughing, are as guilty as the congressman who let it pass. [...]

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Progressive Notes: Tea Nuttery, Democrats and Social Security Cuts

By |February 25th, 2011|

Texan4Hillary offers his perspective as a movement progressive activist. The cold-hearted austerity Tea Party freshmen in Congress have grand ideas on Social Security. The latest fool to come forward with his views will be a top target for the Dems and he should be in 2012 for this doozy. The guy is Rep. Huzeinga. His [...]

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If Only Candidate Obama Would Show Up

By |February 25th, 2011|

The groups, including, Democracy for America, USAction, the Service Employees International Union and People for the American Way, plan to hold "Save the American Dream" rallies in 50 state capitals on Saturday. "Instead of creating jobs, Republicans are giving tax breaks to corporations and the very rich and then cutting funding for education, police, [...]

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Wisconsin Crank Call Rocks Union Story

By |February 24th, 2011|

Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, said he expects three Republican senators to come forward in the next day or two to end the stalemate and request that the budget repair bill be withdrawn, though he wouldn't name the trio. "They may be ready to step forward," Larson said. "That's the way we can see this ending [...]

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Afghanistan for Dummies

By |February 24th, 2011|

From Rolling Stone's Michael Hastings: Under duress, Holmes and his team provided Caldwell with background assessments on the visiting senators, and helped prep the general for his high-profile encounters. But according to members of his unit, Holmes did his best to resist the orders. Holmes believed that using his team to target American civilians violated [...]

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Media Static Meets Obama as Potential Hostage Negotiator

By |February 24th, 2011|

Officials analyzing Moammar Gadhafi's rambling speech are concerned that the Libyan strongman is so untethered to reality he may "burn down the house with him," as one put it, putting the Lybyan people -- and hundreds of Americans -- at risk, and prompting President Obama to carefully calibrate his words. In his first public remarks [...]

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Walker’s Choice

By |February 23rd, 2011|

**UPDATED - BUMPED** I've been out of the office this morning, but when my BBerry started going off I laughed so hard I almost dropped it. This is just too priceless. From Mother Jones, with more at Huffington Post: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's office confirms that the recording of a call between the governor and [...]

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Obama DOJ: DOMA Unconstitutional; To Stop Fighting It In Court

By |February 23rd, 2011|

Via Pam's Houseblend: "Wed Feb 23, 2011 at 12:13:51 PM EST Jonathan Capehart at the WaPo: A well-placed and trusted source tells me that, any minute now, Attorney General Eric Holder will issue a statement announcing that it will no longer defend so-called Defense of Marriage Act lawsuits in court. The source believes DOJ had come to the conclusion that heightened scrutiny would apply, and that these cases cannot be defended in court. A 530d letter has been sent to Congress informing it that, if it wants to defend the statute, it is free to do so. A case is pending now that has a filing deadline of March 11." Joe Sudbay at AmericaBlog says: "This is welcome news from the Obama administration. Finally, some fierce advocacy. The President thinks Section 3 of DOMA, which DOJ has been defending, is unconstitutional. ... The key point is that the U.S. government will continue to defend DOMA, but thinks that cases involving sexual orientation deserve stricter scrutiny, not just the rational basis test." ( ) Official DOJ statement: Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, February 23, 2011 Statement of the Attorney General on Litigation Involving the Defense of Marriage Act WASHINGTON - The Attorney General made the following statement today about the Department's course of action in two lawsuits, Pedersen v. OPM and Windsor v. United States, challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and a woman: In the two years since this Administration took office, the Department of Justice has defended Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act on several occasions in federal court. Each of those cases evaluating Section 3 was considered in jurisdictions in which binding circuit court precedents hold that laws singling out people based on sexual orientation, as DOMA does, are constitutional if there is a rational basis for their enactment. While the President opposes DOMA and believes it should be repealed, the Department has defended it in court because we were able to advance reasonable arguments under that rational basis standard. Section 3 of DOMA has now been challenged in the Second Circuit, however, which has no established or binding standard for how laws concerning sexual orientation should be treated. In these cases, the Administration faces for the first time the question of whether laws regarding sexual orientation are subject to the more permissive standard of review or whether a more rigorous standard, under which laws targeting minority groups with a history of discrimination are viewed with suspicion by the courts, should apply. After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President's determination. Consequently, the Department will not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA as applied to same-sex married couples in the two cases filed in the Second Circuit. We will, however, remain parties to the cases and continue to represent the interests of the United States throughout the litigation. I have informed Members of Congress of this decision, so Members who wish to defend the statute may pursue that option. The Department will also work closely with the courts to ensure that Congress has a full and fair opportunity to participate in pending litigation. Furthermore, pursuant to the President ' s instructions, and upon further notification to Congress, I will instruct Department attorneys to advise courts in other pending DOMA litigation of the President's and my conclusions that a heightened standard should apply, that Section 3 is unconstitutional under that standard and that the Department will cease defense of Section 3. The Department has a longstanding practice of defending the constitutionality of duly-enacted statutes if reasonable arguments can be made in their defense. At the same time, the Department in the past has declined to defend statutes despite the availability of professionally responsible arguments, in part because - as here - the Department does not consider every such argument to be a "reasonable" one. Moreover, the Department has declined to defend a statute in cases, like this one, where the President has concluded that the statute is unconstitutional. Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed DOMA. The Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional. Congress has repealed the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Several lower courts have ruled DOMA itself to be unconstitutional. Section 3 of DOMA will continue to remain in effect unless Congress repeals it or there is a final judicial finding that strikes it down, and the President has informed me that the Executive Branch will continue to enforce the law. But while both the wisdom and the legality of Section 3 of DOMA will continue to be the subject of both extensive litigation and public debate, this Administration will no longer assert its constitutionality in court

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Basic Fairness, and Qualifying Truth

By |February 22nd, 2011|

The poll found that 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to one being considered in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law. - USA Today You sit down across from your boss to negotiate a raise or change in your benefits. It's basic fairness. But tonight in Gov. Walker's [...]

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Gov. Walker Won’t Ask More Of Wealthy, Just Unions

By |February 22nd, 2011|

**UPDATED** Where charm is concerned Gov. Walker needs a transfusion. Compared to jolly Richard Trumka, who also once again stated the concessions Wisconsin state unions already made, Walker looked unyielding and elitist. But considering he was put in power by wealthy interests it's expected. But they won't have to pay their fair share, so they [...]

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