Monday, July 28, 2014

Last Call For Another Brick In The Bigotry Wall Falling

Today a three-judge panel on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional in a 2-1 ruling.

"We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable," the majority said. "However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws." 
The circuit court has jurisdiction over Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The panel's decision can be appealed to the full court or to the Supreme Court. 
Like the first appeals court panel to rule on the issue this year in Utah and Oklahoma, the three-judge panel was deeply divided, but the swing judge -- in this case Henry Floyd, who was named to the bench by George W. Bush and elevated to the circuit court by President Obama in 2011 -- came down on the side of same-sex marriage. 
Judge Roger Gregory, originally appointed by Bill Clinton in 2000, joined Floyd in the majority. Presiding Judge Paul Niemeyer, a George H.W. Bush nominee, dissented. 
"I do strongly disagree with the assertion that same-sex marriage is subject to the same constitutional protections as the traditional right to marry," Neimeyer said. "I would reverse the district court's judgment and defer to Virginia's political choice in defining marriage as only between one man and one woman." 
The Virginia case, which involves two couples seeking to marry in the state and two couples seeking to have their marriages from other states recognized, now gives the Supreme Court a choice. It can hear the Utah or Oklahoma cases from the 10th Circuit, wait for Virginia's to be appealed, or wait even longer for other gay marriage cases scheduled for appellate hearings in August, September and beyond. 
One way or another, legal experts agree the high court likely will accept a case for its 2014 term beginning in October or the 2015 term that follows. Niemeyer joked about that during oral arguments in May, calling his courtroom a "way-station" en route to Washington.

Which means technically, unless a stay is issued, same-sex marriage is now legal in Virginia, West Virginia, North and South Carolina (already legal in Maryland as of Jan 1.)  Things just got real interesting, as that's the second Circuit Court to toss same-sex marriage, and the first in the South.

Again, all indications are this is headed for the Supreme Court.  The only question is whether it will be 5-4 in favor of same-sex marriage or against it.

Bibi's Just Out Of Damns To Give

Our good, good, good friends in Israel have apparently decided to deviate from the script on ground invasions, which usually goes like this:

1) Hamas gets caught doing something involving rockets or tunnels.
2) This becomes an excuse for craptons of Israeli airstrikes and lots of casualties.
3) Hamas says "Bring it, bro!" on social media.
4) Israel invades Gaza with tanks and brings it, bro, with even more craptons of casualties.
5) US steps in and says "Okay, break it up, here's some shiny new toys to use next time."
6) Israelis high-five each other, declare victory and have a beer.
7) Gaza remains a bombed out, hopeless open-air prison of a hellhole, inevitably leading back to step 1.

The problem this time around is with Step 5 there, the part where the US steps in and gives Israel something shiny like Iron Dome or new bunker busters or new jets or something in exchange for Israel not rearranging the rubble in Gaza (and the people living there) into new and exciting patterns.  Apparently, Israel doesn't want to put up with this part of the chain anymore and wants to prolong Step 4 (the Bringing It, Bro step) for the foreseeable future.

In fact, they are so gung-ho about the whole Bringing It, Bro process that they're basically telling the United States to go intercourse themselves vigorously.

In a briefing late Sunday, a senior American official told Israeli journalists that the document conveyed by Kerry to the Israeli leadership on Friday was not a ceasefire proposal but rather “a draft… that emerged from discussions between a number of parties.” The official, who asked not be named, added that the document “was provided for comment and input, not for rejection or acceptance,” that it was “fully consistent with the Egyptian proposal,” and that it did not aim to satisfy Hamas demands. The official also castigated parts of the Israeli media for misreporting Kerry’s work, mischaracterizing his strategy and motivations, and launching gratuitous attacks on him, including accusations of betrayal. 
Sources thoroughly familiar with what went on at Friday’s security cabinet meeting told The Times of Israel on Monday, however, that the document conveyed by Kerry was presented to the ministers as a ceasefire proposal, and that they were asked to vote on whether to accept or reject it. The vote was by a formal show of hands, and the result was a unanimous rejection of the proposal
Furthermore, the sources said, it was clear to the ministers that the document undermined the Egyptian ceasefire proposal that Israel had previously accepted and Hamas had rejected, and that it reflected the input of Turkey and Qatar to the clear benefit of Hamas. The wording marked an upgrading of Hamas’s standing, to an entity on an equivalent level with Israel, the sources said. And it provided specific gains for Hamas while including only amorphous language regarding Israel’s security needs, they said. 
It was rejected wall to wall, the sources said, eight to zero.

It's not helping that basically 5 out of 6 Jewish Israelis are backing Operation Bringing It Bro, either.  Bibi and friends have clearly decided that they can keep up this whole urban renewal process for as long as they want to.  It's also pretty clear that they believe President Obama isn't going to be able to pick a fight with Bibi this time around, because of midterm elections.  They're betting heavily that the GOP will retake the Senate, and that they can wait Obama out, with talk of the GOP suing him and throwing around impeachment.

So, yeah.  Republicans at this point are figuring backing Israel is more important than backing an American president, which tells you everything you need to know.

The Manifesto Of Moose-olini

To recap, a failed vice-presidential candidate and former governor who quit her position to become a national reality TV punchline has declared herself the final arbiter of who has credibility and DEMANDS!!!11!! that the Washington Post impeach President Obama or else.

Or else what?  Nobody seems to be real sure.

The list of Obama abuses and impeachable offenses is long. I challenge you to lift a finger and help protect democracy, allow justice for all, and ensure domestic tranquility by doing your job reporting current corrupt events fairly. If not, you prove yourselves incompetent and in bed with Obama, not caring one iota about media integrity.

Those running the Washington Post’s show now, compared to those during the Nixon era, are too afraid of being uninvited to the permanent political class’ cocktail parties and petty gossip fests, making you all a bunch of wusses. I challenge you to get to work.

The words "I challenge you to get to work" coming from a woman who quit her job as Governor of Alaska are so absurd that it shatters the border into absolute farce.  If the Washington Post doesn't call for President Obama's impeachment, they are "wusses"?  This is how American democracy is supposed to work, egged on by schoolyard taunts?

Go back to your latest scheme to fleece people of their hard earned cash, Sarah Palin.  The adults are busy trying to run the country, and in no way shape or form have you ever shown that you deserve to be a part of that particular conversation.

Meanwhile, this happened.

Plenty more at that hashtag.


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