Friday, February 17, 2012

Last Call

As expected, New Jersey's GOP Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed the state's same-sex marriage law.

In returning the bill to the Legislature, Christie reaffirmed his view that voters should decide whether to change the definition of marriage in New Jersey. His veto also proposed creating an ombudsman to oversee compliance with the state's civil union law, which same-sex couples have said is flawed.

"I am adhering to what I've said since this bill was first introduced -- an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide," Christie said in a statement. "I continue to encourage the Legislature to trust the people of New Jersey and seek their input by allowing our citizens to vote on a question that represents a profoundly significant societal change. This is the only path to amend our State Constitution and the best way to resolve the issue of same-sex marriage in our state."

Meanwhile, Maryland's State Assembly has passed a same-sex marriage bill, and that heads for the Maryland Senate, where's it's expected to pass and be signed into law by Dem Gov. Martin O'Malley...because he basically pushed the bill through.

The Civil Marriage Protection Act passed the House with support from a Prince George's County lawmaker who helped kill the bill last year by walking out of a voting session.

The House passage puts Maryland on the verge of being the eighth state to allow gay nuptials. The legislation still must be taken up in the Senate, which last year passed a similar bill and is expected do so again. The chamber will likely debate it next week.

One of these two men has a political future.  The other will be remembered as one of the last holdouts in an ugly era of bigotry.

Where Are The Republican Women On This?

I'm asking out of genuine curiosity the about the opinions when it comes to Republican women and the birth control brouhaha.  Short of The Distinguished Ladies From Maine wanting to see "final details" of President Obama's rule changes to provide contraception coverage through insurance companies, I've heard basically nothing from prominent conservative women this week on the GOP's trip back in time.  It's mind-blowingly obvious as to what I think about the sheer horror of it all, but I'm seriously trying to figure out if it's deafening silence that implies support (or silent rage), if it's none of my damned business, or if I'm just completely missing something.

And as Charles Pierce notes, at least one GOP woman candidate is running on the whole thing being nothing more than a First Amendment issue, like the campaign of Sarah Steelman in Missouri.

People living in these states are going to hear, over and over again, on free and paid media, through an entire primary season, that the real issue here is religious liberty and Obamacare. (What Republican candidate is going to come out and argue that it's an issue of women's health care? Anyone? Bueller?) This will continue into the general election cycle. By then, this ludicrous position will be set in concrete as a legitimate part of the electoral dialogue. I'm not optimistic at all that enough people will see through it.

Pierce has a point.  I fully expect Republican women to start coming out and saying that this idiotic position really has nothing to do with birth control, or women's control over their bodies, or institutionalized misogyny on a scale involving tens of millions, but whether or not President Obama is being mean to old white men in frocks.  That's what I expect to happen, but I want to know what the actual response is.

It's not like Republicans haven't had recent success running on "tyranny of the majority" over the last ten years, either.  Consider the number of states who gladly had mob rule contests to remove rights from LGBT friends and neighbors under the guise of "protecting the religious freedoms of marriage."  The whole thing seems aimed not at swing voters, but conservative women themselves.  They're the ones most likely to defect to the Dems at the polls, and this entire bizarre anachronistic antagonism seems designed to shame them into standing by their men.

How well it will work, only time will tell.  So I'm asking you guys what you're heard and seen from Republican women in your area.  Basically, I've heard plenty of comments from women on the left and the middle ranging from disbelief to outrage to semi-amazed glee that Republicans could be this dense, but what I've not heard is from women on the right, and especially elected Republican women.  I'm honestly interested in their opinions on this, because frankly I want to know if there really is all but silence, or if I'm just completely missing their responses in the noise.  I can't understand how anyone could remain silent throughout this, and that's my opinion, but I want to hear others.  Republican Roy Blunt made this about all Americans and all employers having the "right" to deny coverage based on moral objections for any procedure.

So yes, I want to know.

Bye, Pat!

And Pat Buchanan has officially been given his walking papers from MSNBC.

Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan, who's been suspended from MSNBC for the past four months, won't be coming back.

The network said Thursday that it had decided to part ways with the former GOP presidential candidate after 10 years.

He hasn't been on the network since the October publication of his book "Suicide of a Superpower." MSNBC President Phil Griffin says he didn't think the book should be part of the national dialogue.

Buchanan, in a column posted Thursday night, called the decision "an undeniable victory for the blacklisters."

You could count the tears I've shed over this on no hands.  Of course, Patty Boy will land on his feet at FOX News almost immediately, I would think.  He's too much of a prize for them to pass up in an election year with a black President, for sure.

The long, racist, awful knives will be out any day now.  The economy is improving.  The GOP is floundering.  They will go for broke with the this garbage.  Time to buckle up.

Eating Stupidity

So, those who don't know me well may not know this, but I don't share chocolate.  Nope, not a bit.  So I was horrified when I read that Mars is getting rid of the king-sized candy bar.  Then I relaxed when I learned they are just sizing the portions so the large candy bars can be shared (yeah, right) or easily broken into smaller pieces to eat later.  At least the latter might happen in my world.

Portion control is a major problem, so it makes sense that this would be a good idea.  However, the comments online have ranged from amused to terrified (as though Mars was going to cease production altogether).  It's not that big of a deal, and might actually lead to us getting more mileage for the same calories.

Speaking of that, there is a new rash of discussion about an eating trend called mindful eating.  It is exactly what you would expect, taking small bites, not talking or multitasking, and relishing the food.  Not only does the eater usually find themselves satisfied more by eating less, but the unplugging effect can give us some much-needed relaxation as well as truly enjoying what we eat.  It prompts us to wonder why we are eating, which isn't just meal control but a way of talking to our body.  The New York Times describes it in greater detail, and includes a list of the points to consider while chewing.

The Four Mindful Points: Check in with each dimension of mindfulness. When you eat, ask yourself these questions:
  • a. Mind: Am I tasting each bite or am I zoned out when I eat? (You can download the awareness checklisthere.)

  • Body: How does my body feel before and after I eat? Low energy? Stomach rumbling? Full? Empty?

  • c. Feeling: What do I feel about this food? Guilty? Pleasure? Joy? Disappointment? Regret?

  • d. Thoughts: What thoughts does this food bring to mind? Memories? Beliefs? Myths? Fears?

  • Food for thought, anyway.  C'mon, you knew I had to say it.

    Wow, Indeed

    Stephen Fry gave a one-word compliment to a video, and it has since become a sensation. I usually find these somewhere between "ew" and "meh" but this time I was blown away as well. This guy works his guitar like nobody I've ever seen. He tunes it while playing, and uses every square inch of the instrument. The article tells a little bit of his history, but please folks... play this for a minute or two and see him for yourself.

    Chart Of The Day

    Tea Party Republicans are changing the rules again and demand now that the only economic statistic that matters is labor force as percentage of population.

    Their message might possibly be more effective if it wasn't being drowned out by the rest of the party being misogynist troglodytes from the 19th century.

    The Long, Stupid Defeat Of Willard Romney

    At this point Mittens is just plain giving up.

    A Republican debate that was set to be held on March, five days before Super Tuesday, now appears to be on ice — with Newt Gingrich the only candidate confirmed for it, and the others either turning it down or not accepting.

    The debate is (or was) set to be held in Atlanta, and was set to be hosted by CNN and the state Republican parties of both Georgia and Ohio. Recent polls have shown favorite son Newt Gingrich with a big lead in Georgia, and Rick Santorum pulling ahead comfortably in Ohio.

    But the dominoes really started falling Thursday, after Mitt Romney opted to not accept the invitation.

    And now the Georgia debate has been canceled.  To recap, the front runner is now pulling out of debates because he can't out-argue Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul.

    I submit that Mitt Romney is now running the worst campaign in American presidential history.  And unless something dramatic happens, Mitt will *be* history...and the nominee will be Santorum.

    That can't happen.  It would prove God exists, and that She's trolling the Republicans.


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