Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Vermont Scores!

In Vermont, both houses of the legislature voted for marriage equality, and the Republican governor vetoed the bill. Today the legislature voted to override the veto. This is the first state that has adopted same-sex marriage legislatively, rather than as a result of lawsuits.
NEW YORK, April 7 -- Vermont on Tuesday became the fourth state to recognize gay marriage, and the D.C. Council voted to recognize same-sex unions performed in other states. The two actions give same-sex marriage proponents new momentum, following a similar victory last week in Iowa's Supreme Court.

"I think we're going to look back at this week as a moment when our entire country turned a corner," said Jennifer C. Pizer, the national marriage project director for the advocacy group Lambda Legal. "Each time there's an important step forward, it makes it easier for others to follow."

The issue is also advancing in New Hampshire, where it has passed the state House and is awaiting action by the Senate, as well as in Maine and New Jersey, which are debating same-sex marriage legislation. Vermont Legislature Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

Let the nuts scream and yell, it doesn't matter, the train has left the station. "You guys don't understand. You've already lost."

One more thing. An important line from this Washington Post story:
Vermont has no mechanism for a citizen referendum to override the law.


Anonymous Robert said...

Yay for Vermont!

April 07, 2009 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

And closer to home, D.C. Council Votes to Recognize Other States' Gay Marriages

The D.C. Council voted today to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, on the same day that Vermont became the fourth state to legalize same-sex unions.

Domestic partnerships are already legal in the nation's capital. But today's vote, billed as an important milestone in gay rights, explicitly recognizes relocated gay married couples as married.

The initial vote was 12-0. The unanimous vote sets the stage for future debate on legalizing same-sex marriage in the District and a clash with Congress, which approves the city's laws under Home Rule. The council is expected to take a final vote on the legislation next month.

Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who is gay, called the amendment a matter of "basic fairness."

The city's laws on same-sex unions have been murky, he explained. Couples ask, he said, "Is my marriage valid in D.C.? For years now, it has not been clear."

"It's high time we send a clear, unequivocal message to those persons of the same sex and married in another jurisdiction that their marriage is valid in D.C.," said Graham, who added, "I hope this city recognizes this is a human rights struggle."

Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), who is also gay, predicted it was only a matter of time before the council also takes up a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the District. "It's no secret that I have been working on legislation that would take us further," he said. "This is the march toward human rights and equality. This is not the march toward special rights. This is the equality march and that march is coming here." ...

Yay for freedom and equality!

April 07, 2009 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay for nutcases!

April 07, 2009 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

Looks like the bigots are having a bad day!! Equality wins!

April 07, 2009 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

America's having a bad day, Derrick.

We recently elected an individual destined to be the worst President of all time:

"Obama was supposed to be the antidote to the poison of partisanship.

During the presidential campaign, chief strategist David Axelrod told Brownstein, "If there's an enhanced Democratic majority, I think that he's going . . . to urge a special sense of responsibility to try and forge coalitions around these answers, not because we won't be able to force our will in many cases, but because, ultimately, effective governance requires it in the long term."

That makes last week's votes on the budget resolutions a landmark of ineffective governance.

Not a single Republican in the House or Senate supported the bill, largely because the Democratic majority forced its will.

Republicans were flattened, not consulted.

Democratic leaders talk of enacting controversial elements of the budget through the "reconciliation" process -- which would require 51 Senate votes, not the normal 60, for passage.

Only in Washington would the word "reconciliation" refer to a form of partisan warfare.

Without Republican input or influence, the budget is a tax-and-spend caricature.

Obama has complained of inheriting a $1.3 trillion debt.

According to economist Michael Boskin, Obama's proposals would add $6.5 trillion in debt over the next decade -- about $163,000 for every American taxpaying family.

I am not generally a deficit hawk.

A government can run a responsible deficit in a growing economy -- and may have to run one to counteract an economic downturn.

But Obama's proposed level of debt is irresponsible.

It makes broad tax increases nearly inevitable.

It expands our dependence on China, America's loan officer.

And it creates pressure for the government to purchase or monetize debt, leading to inflation.

No Republican, even of the moderate variety, could accept a budget that spends America into unsustainable debt by completely avoiding the setting of realistic priorities.

And none in Congress did.

There is an argument in favor of political polarization.

Franklin Roosevelt and Reagan, in their time, were polarizing presidents precisely because they were ambitious presidents.

They believed that some national goals were worth the sacrifice of amity.

A decisive leader is sometimes a divisive leader.

But Obama's polarizing approach challenges and changes the core of his political identity.

His moderate manner and message appealed to a country weary of division and ambition -- a nation now asked to endure another round of both.

But Obama's domestic agenda is also resoundingly typical -- as though he were some conventionally liberal backbench senator suddenly thrust into immense influence.

Which, of course, he is.

It would have been relatively easy for President Obama to divide the Republican coalition, peeling off less-partisan Republicans with genuine outreach.

Many Republicans were prepared to accept short-term deficits to stimulate the economy in exchange for long-term fiscal responsibility.

Obama could have focused more narrowly on resolving the financial crisis -- the key to all economic recovery -- and delayed his ambitions on other issues to a more realistic time.

In the process, he might have gotten some Republicans to share his political risks instead of nursing grievances on the sidelines.

Polarization in American politics has its own disturbing momentum, aided by some strident Republican voices.

But that does not require a president to make it worse.

And it is a sad, unnecessary shame that Barack Obama, the candidate of unity, has so quickly become another source of division"

April 08, 2009 6:36 AM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Anon exclaimed:

"Yay for nutcases!"

Glad to see you're in such a good mood Anon! Join in the festivities!

Have a nice pink fruity drink on me!



April 08, 2009 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where should I send the bill?

April 08, 2009 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Golly barryo, thanks for the unattributed piece by Michael Gerson, George Dumbya Bush's chief speechwriter from 2001-2006. I guess he doesn't realize how many times his old boss relied on reconciliation votes to get his agenda passed. But you barryo, you know better. How many times do I have to remind you of the fact that the GOP used reconciliation votes during much of the Bush/Cheney reign of error over the objections of Democrats?

Reconciliation votes 104th - 109th Congress.

104th Congress:
President pro tempore: Strom Thurmond
Speaker of the House: Newt Gingrich

105th Congress:
President pro tempore: Strom Thurmond
Speaker of the House: Newt Gingrich

106th Congress:
esident pro tempore: Strom Thurmond
Speaker of the House: Dennis Hastert

107th Congress:
President pro tempore: Robert Byrd
Strom Thurmond[2]
Speaker of the House: Dennis Hastert

108th Congress:
President pro tempore: Ted Stevens
Speaker of the House: Dennis Hastert

109th Congress:
President pro tempore: Ted Stevens (R)
Speaker of the House: Dennis Hastert (R)

Get used to being in the minority in Congress, the GOP will be there for years to come. And since you seem to be on the talking points email list, please send back a note to GOP HQ and let them know that talking about the use of reconciliation votes only reminds voters of the GOP's repeated use of them and why we voted for Obama to change the way this country works. As long as the GOP continues it's lonely march in lockstep as the party of NO, the change Americans demand will come with or without their votes.

April 08, 2009 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Gerson correctly pointed out that Republicans used reconciliation votes.

As with so many things, from national security measures to deficits, Obama does the same thing and ups the ante even after hypocritically campaigning against these things.

Of those things, as Gerson points out, the worst is the enormous deficts. Obama's projected red ink makes Bush look timid. The effects will be widespread and horrific.

Years to come?

Don't make me laugh!

April 08, 2009 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

I think Gerson correctly pointed out that Republicans used reconciliation votes.

So now we have proof your *thoughts* have no basis in reality! Gerson did not once mention the GOP's use of "reconciliation" in the text you posted or even in the intro of his commentary you so carefully omitted. By his measure, Bush was also a divider, not a uniter since as he pointed out, this [polarization] is the extension of a long-term trend. Decades ago, a majority of Democrats approved of Richard Nixon's job performance early in his first term. A majority of Republicans did the same for Jimmy Carter. But that has not been true for any president since.

Ron Brownstein, the author of "The Second Civil War," cites a variety of structural reasons for intensified division. There has been a "sorting-out" of the political parties, making each more ideologically uniform. Long, nasty presidential campaigns stoke our differences. Media outlets have become more partisan. Ideological interest groups have proliferated. Congressional leaders have changed the rules, making it easier to impose party discipline.

You must have imagined that Gerson told the whole truth about the GOP's use of "reconciliation" votes to pass their agenda instead only telling part of the truth like he actually did. Nobody's buying the Party of No's spin anymore. But you're a good little lemming following him around the drain. Glub glub glub.

April 08, 2009 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crazy old Aunt Bea emerges from the bat cave to divert attention from Obama's partisanship.

It's no good, looney-bird, to keep spinning around in your straight jacket and screaming "he did it too!".

Barry O is President now. He has responsibility for his own actions and he has acted in contradiction to his rhetoric in the campaign.

He owes Bush an apology for the charge of partisanship.

Here's another one he owes:

"President Obama surprised the world yesterday with an unannounced visit to Baghdad, where he met Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and praised the courage and perseverance of America's troops.

But the most pleasant surprise has been Mr. Obama's near-about face on Iraq since becoming President.

Speaking to GIs in one of Saddam Hussein's old palaces, Mr. Obama ticked off America's accomplishments in Iraq: "From getting rid of Saddam, to reducing violence, to stabilizing the country, to facilitating elections -- you have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country. That is an extraordinary achievement."

The President also stressed the importance of a responsible troop withdrawal, calling the next 18 months a "critical period" for the country.

He's right.

A recent spate of car bombings in Baghdad may not represent a trend -- overall levels of violence remain at post-invasion lows -- but they are a reminder that Iraq will continue to need a stabilizing American presence.

That's why Mr. Obama is right to keep troop levels high through December's parliamentary elections, and to maintain as many as 50,000 trainers and counterterrorism troops in Iraq through 2011.

No less important is that he is willing to spend political capital by showing Presidential-level commitment to ensuring Iraq's success.

This is all the more crucial at this moment of transition, and it also will help him demonstrate to Americans what can be achieved by the surge -- er, "tactical demographic enhancement" -- he's currently ordered for Afghanistan.

Prior to his Iraq visit, the President was asked by a Turkish student whether his Iraq policies were fairly close in substance to George W. Bush's.

"Well, just because I was opposed at the outset, it doesn't mean that I don't have now responsibilities to make sure we do things in a responsible fashion," Mr. Obama replied.

We'll mark that down as a "yes.""

April 08, 2009 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

ROFL barryo. It's the Grand Obstructionist Party now.

Here's a little memory refresher from January 27, 2009:

...Pence, Boehner and other Republicans warmly praised the president's effort to elicit their views and to work with them in addressing the economic meltdown.

Boehner, who was among a bipartisan, bicameral group of leaders who met with Obama Jan. 23 at the White House to discuss the stimulus, said members had urged the president to accept more of their tax-cut ideas, arguing that section of the package is not large enough. Republicans also objected to the size and details of the proposed spending in the measure.

Flexible on Details While Obama didn't promise major changes to the package, GOP members said he showed flexibility on some issues.

"The president did say he has some concerns over the spending proposals he sees in this bill," Boehner said.

Participants said Obama took about 10 questions. Peter J. Roskam, R-Ill., had one of the more charged exchanges with Obama, after complaining that House Democratic leaders had shut out GOP amendments and seemed to be taking a much less compromising approach than the negotiated bipartisan approach suggested by Obama.

"He said he would be open to hear about tax breaks for small business. I might get back to him," Roskam said.

Obama asked Republicans to speak up if they thought the provisions of the stimulus would not work. Todd Akin of Missouri responded by saying he doubted that the spending in the package would have a timely effect. "I told him my concern was two-fold. The first thing was the assumption that a whole lot of spending was necessary. The second one was that the tax cuts he's talking about are not tax cuts that are immediately helpful," Akin said. Akin said Obama replied that they had a different economic point of view.

Participants said Obama strongly defended refundable tax breaks aimed at low-income families that are in the stimulus measure.

Several participants, including Scott Garrett of New Jersey, reported that Obama said he would be open to a corporate tax rate cut if it was coupled with the elimination of tax loopholes. "It's the beginning of a dialog," Garrett said. "I was pleased to hear he would consider a corporate rate cut."

Garrett said Obama's comment came up in a question and answer session after he made brief remarks. "It's impressive; he's only been in office for a week, and he's already meeting with Republicans. He looks you in the eye when he talks to you," said Donald Manzullo of Illinois...

The very same day:

House Republican Leader John Boehner and House Republican Whip Eric Cantor urged members to vote no on the House Democrats' stimulus bill Wednesday, unless there are some changes.

One Republican aide said, “Boehner thinks the only way we're going to get a better bill out of the Senate is by showing as much solidarity as possible in opposition to this.”

Another aide said Rep. Cantor told his fellow Republicans that based on the information in the House bill there is “no reason to vote for it, he’s voting against it, and we’ll be whipping against it.

Rep. Cantor “made the case we want 100 percent against," the aide also said.

This aide added there were loud cheers in the room when the message was delivered, and said at this point you could probably count on your fingers the number of House Republicans who will vote for the bill tomorrow...

How soon the "just say no" GOP elephants forget!

April 08, 2009 6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barry O has a plan that will destroy our children's future.

Republicans opposed it.

When we're all paying confiscatory tax rates and China has foreclosed on all major American assets and inflation is in the upper double digits....

history will remember.

April 08, 2009 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

IMHO the administration that did too little too late and allowed so much wealth to be lost as various bubbles burst and the stock markets tumbled, will be well recorded in the history books. And the party that continues to insist more of the same failed gimmicks like tax cuts for the rich and deregulation of industry will somehow magically bring about a different outcome and at the same time insists voting "NO" on every proposed cure for this quaqmire Bush/Cheney left us all in, will also be well recorded in the history books. Have you read any history of the Great Depression? Apparently the GOP leadership has not as they are making all the same mistakes, again. I wonder if these missteps will result in another 24 years of the GOP languishing in the minority on Capitol Hill like it did back then.

Thanks for sharing your apocalyptic vision of the future, barryo. Now we can all see that you stand with "I hope Obama fails" Rush Limbaugh and "We surround them with the 9/12 project" Glenn Beck.

BTW on that 9/12 project, don't #5 (If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.) and #9 (The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.) contradict each other? Or shouldn't #5 at least say which laws can't be broken since #9 says I do not answer to them with "them" meaning the government, which includes federal and state legislatures and the laws they make?

But back to the issue at hand. The new Newsweek poll on religion in America reports some results that might help explain the growing trend in approval for marriage equality. When asked about their attitudes on social issues, survey respondents revealed a continued shift toward liberalism. One quarter of those surveyed say school boards should be able to fire homosexual teachers, down from 51 percent in a 1987 poll. Half as many people fear and/or hate gay teachers as did just 22 years ago. This result clearly demonstrates that fear and hatred of gays -- like that demonstrated by the anons who post comments here and was fomented by the CRC's keynote speaker, Don Dwyer back in 2005 -- is waning.

Freedom and equality are long overdue for our LGBT brothers and sisters and I am extremely pleased that more Americans come to that realization every day.

April 09, 2009 9:35 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Yes Aunt Bea, it does give one hope for the future, doesn't it.

April 09, 2009 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, we're in for a classic economics comedy routine by crazy old Aunt Bea:

"Have you read any history of the Great Depression? Apparently the GOP leadership has not as they are making all the same mistakes, again."

(I'll just play along here.)


What mistakes are they making, Bea?

(get ready, guys; this is gonna be good)

April 09, 2009 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Do your own research comparing the GOP's moves during the 1930s and now and let us know what you learn.

You could start with Wikipedia:

Hoover attacked Roosevelt as a dangerous radical who would only make the Depression worse by raising taxes and increasing the federal debt to pay for expensive welfare and social-relief programs...

...1932 was a realigning election. Roosevelt and the Democratic ticket won a sweeping victory over Hoover and the Republicans, extending their control over the U.S. House and gaining control of the U.S. Senate...

Sounds familiar, huh? And note:

...Hoover's 17.76% margin of loss is the largest-ever margin of defeat for an incumbent President to date. He lost 42 of 48 states.[4]

Good thing Bush/Cheney were term-limited. Personally I think a Bush/Cheney vs. Obama/Biden would have come out even worse.

April 10, 2009 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why should I do research when you're the one making ridiculous assertions?

"Hoover attacked Roosevelt as a dangerous radical who would only make the Depression worse by raising taxes and increasing the federal debt to pay for expensive welfare and social-relief programs..."

I hate to break the news to you, Bea, but years after Roosevelt was elected, the depression was still going strong.

Unemployment was 23% in 1932. Six years later, it was 19%.

Thanks, Franklin.

Truth is, the Keynesian economics advocated by Obama were long ago discredited. Even the Europeans have been trying to tell Obama this. They are socialist but not for reasons of stimulating economic growth and, having tried that, they know from experience that things are more complicated.

Attacking those who produce wealth leads to a society with no wealth.

April 10, 2009 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Let's see, if unemployment dropped from 23% to 19% over those 6 years, which included the Dust Bowl years of 1930-1936 and the recession of 1937, then Hoover's prediction that "Roosevelt [w]as a dangerous radical who would only make the Depression worse" was wrong.

Did you intentionally skip over the 1936 unemployment rate (before the recession of 1937) of 16.9% for partisan reasons?? And I see you failed to note that the unemployment rate when Hoover took office in 1928 was 4.2% and rose to 23% during the four years of his term, thanks to his programs that included the (all volunteerism) National Credit Corporation, Mexican Repatriation, Smoot-Hawley Tariff. And you failed to note that unemployment was 4.7% by 1942 and 1.2% in 1944, during Roosevelt's final term.

Hoover's term as president was soooo successful we coined a new American term in his name, Hooverville.

Attacking those who produce wealth leads to a society with no wealth.

Returning the top wage earners to the tax rates they paid during the prosperous presidential term of Bill Clinton is not "attacking those who produce wealth."

April 10, 2009 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Why should I do research

So you can learn ascertain the difference between fact and Limbaugh/Beck teabag spin.

Here are some facts research about the Depression might have disclosed to you. Hoover, who was the head of the GOP from 1928-1932, was so popular several words were coined using his name:

Hoover blanket = old newspaper used as blanketing

Hoover flag = an empty pocket turned inside out

Hoover leather = cardboard used to line a shoe with the sole worn through

Hoover wagon = an automobile with horses tied to it because the owner could not afford gasoline

Why? Probably because when Hoover was President, unemployment from rose from 4.2% to 23.6%

Compare those numbers with those from FDR's term as President from 1932-1944, when unemployment fell from 23.6% to 1.2%

Thank you, Franklin, for getting us out of the mess that was left for us all by your predecessor.

April 11, 2009 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

things didn't turn around until the economy was turned upside-down with gearing up for the war effort

maybe if China were to attack Pearl Harbor, we could motivate everyone into a massive effort but I think it would be better to apply sound economic theory to the problem

As FDR showed us, Keynesian economics doesn't work

April 11, 2009 9:58 AM  
Anonymous what? said...

"Thank you, Franklin, for getting us out of the mess that was left for us all by your predecessor."

Are you saying we should repeal the 22nd amendment and give Sir B.O. sixteen years to get us into a world war?

April 11, 2009 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

things didn't turn around until the economy was turned upside-down with gearing up for the war effort

You obviously need to do more research on The Great Depression.

"Thank you, Franklin, for getting us out of the mess that was left for us all by your predecessor."

Are you saying we should repeal the 22nd amendment and give Sir B.O. sixteen years to get us into a world war?

No, I'm not. I didn't say anything at all about Obama or repealing Constitutional Amendments. You did. But thanks for demonstrating how anonymous internet commenters will change any subject in an attempt to denigrate the object of their hate.

April 12, 2009 11:48 AM  

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