Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Last Call For Equality, Even In Kentucky

The string of federal judges who have declared the Supreme Court's ruling on DOMA to mean that states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states as legal grew by one yesterday...and that state was, of all places, right here in Kentucky.

In Wednesday’s ruling, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II was not asked to decide whether Kentucky itself must issue marriage licenses to gay couples. But he said “there is no doubt that Windsor and this court’s analysis suggest a possible result to that question.” 
Heyburn was asked by four same-sex couples — married in either Canada or U.S. states that allow such unions — to make Kentucky recognize their marriages. 
“It is clear that Kentucky’s laws treat gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them,” Heyburn wrote. 
Striking them down, he said, will “make real the promise of equal protection under the law. It will profoundly affect validly married same-sex couples’ experience of living in the commonwealth and elevate their marriage to an equal status in the eyes of state law.”

Since Judge Heyburn was appointed by Poppy Bush on the recommendation of a Senator at the time by the name of Mitch McConnell, Turtle Boy's primary opponent, Matt Bevin, is blaming him for this JUDICIAL OVERREACH WITH LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS.

“It is no surprise that Judge Heyburn was Mitch McConnell's general counsel, and McConnell recommended him for the federal bench. Kentucky deserves better,” Bevin said in a statement. 
The Madison Project, a conservative group backing Bevin also sent out a press release headlined, “A McConnell crony forces gay marriage on Kentucky.”

McConnell trashed the ruling too.

On Wednesday, McConnell said in a statement that the courts should not stepped in and the 2004 state constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage should stand. 
“I am a traditionalist and support that position, but regardless of one’s personal view on the issue, we should be able to agree that only the people of Kentucky, through the legislative process, should have the authority to change the law, not the courts,” McConnell said in a statement.

Alison Grimes's camp released a very...careful...statement.

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes issued an oblique statement appearing to support gay marriage but saying the courts shouldn’t have stepped in. 
“Alison has been married for seven years and has stated publicly that she wouldn’t want to deny other couples the opportunity to make that same commitment,” spokeswoman Charly Norton said in statement. “She’s also made clear that while the Supreme Court has ruled that state sovereignty applies, churches should not be forced to recognize anything inconsistent with their teachings,” 
When asked to clarify, Norton said, the statement “means that that’s where she personally stands, but that state sovereignty should be respected.”

Take that as you will.  It's Kentucky, folks.  Grimes can't exactly come out and say "Hooray for same-sex marriage!" even if she is a Democrat in this state.  Well, she could, but she won't.

Chattanooga Hardball

Next time you hear someone complain about how Obama "targets his political enemies" point them to this example of Republicans openly threatening to pass legislation to hurt those who don't agree with them politically by punishing hundreds of working Americans in Tennessee.

The crusade by anti-union forces in Tennessee, including the state’s governor and senior senator, is as much a fight with Volkswagen management as with the UAW. 
Not only are Republican legislators accusing Volkswagen of backing the UAW, some of their leaders on Monday threatened to withhold tax incentives for future expansion of the three-year-old assembly plant in Chattanooga if workers vote this week to join the UAW. 
About 1,500 workers will vote from Wednesday through Friday in an election that the National Labor Relations Board will conduct. 
The company plans to expand in Chattanooga or at a Mexican plant to produce a midsize SUV. Overall, Volkswagen intends to invest about $7 billion in North America over the next five years to achieve a goal of selling more than 1 million Volkswagen and Audi vehicles in the U.S. by 2018. 
“It has been widely reported that Volkswagen has promoted a campaign that has been unfair, unbalanced and, quite frankly, un-American in the traditions of American labor campaigns,” State Sen. Bo Watson, R-Chattanooga, said in a statement sent to the Free Press. “Should the workers choose to be represented by the United Auto Workers, then I believe additional incentives for expansion will have a very tough time passing the Tennessee Senate.”

This is an open, bald threat made by bullying Republicans.  They are apparently threatening to hurt Volkswagen to the point of making them take the 1500 Tennessee jobs and move them to Mexico rather than have them vote to be represented by the UAW as auto workers.

This is what Republicans do with power.  Just like Chris Christie, just like Scott Walker, just like this.  They punish those who they don't agree with every chance they get.  Because if they vote to be represented by a union, which is something Volkswagen is okay with, being a German company that has trade unions and recognizes their benefits, then the workers at the Chattanooga plant must be destroyed, their jobs destroyed, their livelihood destroyed.

They are the party of fear and hatred, period.  Republicans destroy.

Cruz-in' For A Bruisin'

That clean debt celing hike the House passed isn't signed into law yet, folks.  It still has to get past the Senate, and GOP Sen. Ted "Government Shutdown" Cruz of Texas says he'll filibuster and force Sen. Harry Reid and the Democrats to come up with 60 votes.

Cruz's move means lawmakers will need to rally 60 votes in the chamber to pass the bill, and Democrats only control 55 votes.
The announcement came the same day that House Republicans dropped a previous debt ceiling increase proposal and embraced a clean hike instead.

Oh, what's your big plan, Ted?

“Historically, the debt ceiling has proven the most effective leverage for reining in spending; 28 times, Congress has attached meaningful conditions to debt ceiling increases. We should do so again to address the real problem. I intend to object to any effort to raise the debt ceiling on a 50-vote threshold. I will insist instead on a 60-vote threshold, and if Republicans stand together we can demand meaningful spending restraint to help pull our Nation back from the fiscal and economic cliff.”

Sure, just like they stood together on the government shutdown.   Somehow I'm betting Harry Reid will get at least 5 Republicans, and this will pass.

Of course, if it doesn't, Ted Cruz and the GOP will get the blame.

A recent CNN/ORC International poll found that 54% of respondents would blame congressional Republicans for a failure to raise the debt ceiling, while 29% would blame Obama and 12% would blame both.

A majority would blame the GOP solely, and two-thirds would assign at least some blame to the Republicans.  Sure, Ted.  This seems like another winning strategy.  But please, take Obamacare off the front pages and replace them with shutdown talk.  The Dems will thank you for it. 


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