Friday, August 24, 2012

Last Call

The Prop 8 all-star lawyer team of David Boies and Ted Olsen are trying to turn a long punt to the Supremes into a field goal for same-sex marriage in California, rather than going for a touchdown.

The case challenging the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8 is "an attractive vehicle" for determining "whether the States may discriminate against gay men and lesbians in the provision of marriage licenses" — but the Supreme Court should pass on the case, lawyers challenging the law say, and let stand an appeals court ruling that strikes down the 2008 amendment on narrow grounds.
If the Supreme Court takes the advice of Ted Olson, David Boies and the other lawyers representing the plaintiffs in Perry v. Brown, then Proposition 8 would remain unconstitutional, as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held, and same-sex couples in California would regain the right to marry that they had been able to exercise briefly in 2008.

The proponents of the law asked the Supreme Court on July 31 to take the case and uphold the voter-initiated constitutional amendment that had the effect of reversing a California Supreme Court decision that allowed same-sex couples in the state to begin marrying under state law.
In the filing before the Supreme Court, Olson, who was President George W. Bush's top Supreme Court lawyer in the Department of Justice, is the counsel of record for the plaintiffs — meaning it is he who would be likely to make the case to the justices in oral argument should the court accept the case.

He and Boies, Al Gore's lawyer in the 2000 election recount litigation who opposed Olson at the Supreme Court, argue today that the lower court decision striking down Proposition 8 properly applied a 1996 Supreme Court case, Romer v. Evans, calling the Ninth Circuit's opinion a "straightforward application of settled Supreme Court precedent."

Now this is interesting.  What Boies and Olson are saying is that the Prop 8 ruling should be passed up for the much more germane to the entire country cases before SCOTUS of the multiple appeals courts striking down DOMA, but in the meantime, let California have gay marriage back.  Be a pal.

It's actually clever, and it's something I agree with.  It also makes an inordinate amount of sense.  It's the DOMA cases that will decide the fate of same-sex marriage in the country, and I'm betting that decision could come as early as next year.

But that also means that the Supremes could cause all kinds of chaos too.

We'll see.

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

Still ten weeks and change to go, and Mittens plays the birther asshole card.

The Obama campaign swiftly and harshly condemned a joke made by Mitt Romney about the president’s birth certificate on the campaign trail in Michigan Friday, saying Romney made the “decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement.”

“I love being home, in this place where Ann and I were raised, where but the both of us were born,” Romney said after introducing his wife, fellow Michigan native Ann Romney. “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place where we were born and raised.”


Full Birther indeed.  And still ten weeks to go.  The ni-CLANG moment is almost here folks, I can feel it.

If You Walk Down The Middle Of The Road...

...eventually you get run over.  That is the reality of our political system:  it no longer rewards compromise, cooperation, or comity.  It rewards fighting for your base.

David Brooks bemoans this of Paul Ryan:

Ryan’s fantasy happens to be the No. 1 political fantasy in America today, which has inebriated both parties. It is the fantasy that the other party will not exist. It is the fantasy that you are about to win a 1932-style victory that will render your opponents powerless. 

Every single speech in this election campaign is based on this fantasy. There hasn’t been a speech this year that grapples with the real world — that we live in a highly polarized, evenly divided nation and the next president is going to have to try to pass laws in that context. 

It’s obvious why candidates talk about the glorious programs they’ll create if elected. It fires up crowds and defines values. But we shouldn’t forget that it’s almost entirely make-believe. 

In the real world, there are almost never ultimate victories, and it is almost never the case (even if you control the White House and Congress) that you get to do what you want. 

While Andrew Sullivan bemoans this of Barack Obama.

The paradigm can still be shifted. Obama can say he didn't embrace the original commission because the necessary majority in the Congressional committee couldn't be rustled up. He can openly and rightly blame Ryan for torpedoing the sanest, most practical debt reduction we have on the table. He can tell his own party that they have to tackle entitlement spending and using the Mediscare tactic is not worthy of the constructive change Obama promised four years ago. He can even say he regretted not going out on a limb - but he thought a grand bargain could be reached through negotiation instead. GOP fanaticism stopped it.

The reason - incredibly - that Obama has not done this is a dislike of the big defense cuts and queasiness over muddying the Medicare issue against Romney. This shouldn't matter. What matters is that Obama should declare his first priority on being re-elected would be a grand bargain on the lines of Bowles-Simpson. Force Romney to say no. Isolate him on his tax extremism and defense spending boom. Show you're more serious on entitlement reform than Ryan's ideological fantasies - because you're backing the most credible, practical option available. Re-capture that sliver of the middle that wants to know what Obama wants to do in his second term. 

Both men argue their candidate can win by embracing the horrible Simpson-Bowles plan that would put the burden of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security squarely on the shoulders of the poorest Americans through sharply regressive taxes and draconian social program cuts.  Ryan won't raise taxes, he'd rather cut them on the rich.  The middle-class would lose.  Obama won't make those cuts, but he'll raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.  The wealthy would lose.

But Simpson-Bowles is "everybody loses, enjoy your austerity instead".  The real losers would in fact be the poorest Americans, socked with gas and VAT taxes on food and clothing so they "pay their share" while the middle class would get that, plus losing all the tax deductions they're used to.  The net result would be the wealthy would indeed get that tax cut and come out ahead, although not as much as they would under Ryan.  But the rest of the country would get reamed.

Funny how that's the only way out for our Village Centrists.

A Swing And A Miss: T-Mobile Style

So close.  So very, very close.

After moving last year to an unlimited data plan that throttled speed after 2 gigabytes of usage, T-Mobile on Wednesday introduced a new, true unlimited data plan.
The Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan will become available on Sept. 5, and it will range in price, depending on what type of existing plan it is added to.
“We’re big believers in customer-driven innovation, and our Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan is the answer to customers who are frustrated by the cost, complexity and congested networks of our competitors,” said a statement from T-Mobile vice president of marketing Kevin McLaughlin.
One of the new T-Mobile plan's flaws, though, is that it cannot be used for tethering -- that is, connecting multiple devices to the Internet.
Sprint is the only competitor to offer truly unlimited data, and they cost considerably more.  The iPhone is less of a competitive edge as it used to be, particularly when T-Mobile scores better phones like they have been.  Android is pulling away as the most versatile and common OS, so it isn't a deal breaker.

However, tethering is a bigger deal for many consumers.

I depend on tethering to keep me moving while I travel.  I write everywhere, and am usually on location when covering events.  Tethering lets me blog posts, pictures and Facebook with more control and better results than my phone can produce.  I'm not alone.  People who have depended on this service will hold dearly to those grandfathered plans and refuse to make any account changes for fear it will rob us of what we need most... portable Internet.

Still, it will be nice to have unlimited Pandora and video capability when the time comes.  I just hope they thought this through, because a lot of people are going to be really annoyed with this new announcement.

A Big Harry Problem

Well, some think it's a problem.  I don't so much.

TMZ reports Prince Harry had a naked pool party.  Then people get all judgmental and start saying he's a role model, how dare he, blah blah blah.

Guys... he's a prince.  He's rich, young and powerful.  The world will love him because of Di, and he's grown up under some serious pressure.  His every rebellious act was blasted to the world.  The dude got his freak on in a Vegas pool.  Whatever.  Why be a prince if you can't cut loose once in a while?  Nobody was hurt, and a good time was had by all.

Harry is a dedicated soldier.  He lost his mother at a young age and his father is a colorless turd on the lawn of the palace.  The woman who broke his mother's heart lives under that roof now, and every time a snarky word is spoken, the entire world weighs in like they have any clue what that's like.

Have fun, kid.  Shake your groove thang like nobody's watching.  Then fly home and take care of business.

It's A Beautiful Mormon, I Think I'll Go Outside And Lie

Mitt Romney has apparently decided that releasing his tax returns is against his religion, so everyone asking him to do so is a Mormon-hating bigot.

Mitt Romney has said he won't release more than two years of tax returns because "you can never satisfy the opposition research team of the Obama organization." 

But in a forthcoming interview with Parade magazine, Romney revealed a new reason why he's hesitant to release more returns: He does not want to make public his donations to the LDS Church

It took him long enough to come up with the reason, but now he can simply accuse anyone asking him about his tax returns that they are hostile to religious freedoms, and hate the Mormon faith.

Here's what Romney told Parade, according to The Salt-Lake Tribune:

"Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given. This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church."

The question now is "will the Village go along with this", knowing now that Mitt Romney is lying to them straight up, covering something much larger up, and openly telling them they can't ask questions of him without prior approval?

We'll see.

For The Future Files

The Blaze touting a University of Colorado election prediction model proclaiming a Romney landslide, 32 states and 320 electoral votes.

Michael Berry and Ken Bickers of the University of Colorado System Predict Romney to Win 320 Electoral Votes in November

It's "been right since 1980" and stuff.  Only as Nate Silver reminds us,

Also, it's false advertising to claim CU model has predicted the last 8 elections right. It's a new model. Hasn't predicted anything yet.

Oops.  Into the future stupidity files you go, prediction!


Related Posts with Thumbnails