Thursday, March 12, 2015

Last Call For The Right To Hate

Alabama Republicans are fighting the federal courts striking down the state's same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional with as much additional unconstitutional garbage as they can.  This time around it's a "religious exemption" bill in the state House.

HB 56, sponsored by Republican Rep. Jim Hill, would amend state law so that anyone performing marriages in Alabama is "not required to solemnize a marriage for any person or persons.” The bill would also prevent "any civil claim or cause of action, or any criminal prosecution, based on a refusal to solemnize or recognize any marriage.” During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on HB 56, Rep. Hill said the legislation is meant to prevent clergy and probate judges from being "coerced into conducting marriage ceremonies."

Opponents of the bill argued that the language of the legislation is so broad it would allow judges to refuse to marry couples if they object to the couple’s religious beliefs and it would allow religiously affiliated hospitals to refuse visitation rights to same-sex couples. A number of amendments were offered to try to limit the number of people who would be covered by the exemption, but they were successfully beaten back by Rep. Hill and the Republicans.

The issue here is what "solemnize" means.  It could be interpreted to mean as critics say that anyone with an objection to any marriage based on religious beliefs wouldn't have to recognize it as legal. The language of the bill itself:

“A religious organization shall be immune from any civil claim or cause of action, or any criminal prosecution, based on a refusal to solemnize or recognize any marriage under this section or any other provision of Alabama law.” 
“No religious organization is required to provide accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods related to the recognition, solemnization, or celebration of a marriage.”

What constitutes a "religious organization" here?  The bill seems to enshrine the right to refuse to recognize a marriage because of religious beliefs.  That's a terribly messy situation, and I absolutely see this bill being challenged in court.

After Hobby Lobby though, I'm not sure if the Supreme Court won't turn around and say the First Amendment guarantees the right to discriminate.

The reality is that Alabama Republicans are homophobic, gay-hating bigots that want to pass a law making it legal for the state to continue to be homophobic gay-hating bigots.  Period.  This is not about religious freedom.  It is about homophobic bigotry.  End of argument.

Rubin Sandwich And Whine

Chris Hayes is something of an earnest Boy Scout type and if anything he's unerringly polite to his guests, no matter how ridiculous they are and no matter how rude and obnoxious they may be towards him as a member of the "liberal MSNBC lamestream media".  But not even Hayes can get through 5 minutes with Jennifer Rubin without bursting into incredulous laughter at the prospect that President Obama should be negotiating the most favorable deal possible with Iranian leaders that Rubin simultaneously wants deposed through "regime change".

"What you do is present them with the same choice they had in 2003," Rubin says as she winds up towards her big plan. "Why did the mullahs stop enriching in 2003? Because they were scared to death they were going to lose the regime. We had just taken out Saddam Hussein. That is the only time they shut down their program. They only way we get them to peacefully give up their weapons if if they have a choice between regime survival and nuclear war."

Hayes at this point looks like he's suddenly discovered a flying giant marmot that knows Proust. "You're saying that the Iraq War brought the Iranians to the table?"

"It's FACT! I mean you can talk to you know, people in the region, you can talk to the Iranians, I don't think it's a fact in dispute. That's why they gave it up."

OK. Sure. Right.

"Should the US have a policy of regime change towards the Iranian regime?" he asks.

"Eventually, yes. Eventually, we should want evil regimes to listen to their people, to have free and fair elections, we should have supported the Green Revolution, again that was Hillary Clinton's part..."

Chris Hayes by now has had enough.  "How can you possibly have a policy of regime change and simultaneously negotiate with the regime the you officially want to change?"

"Well that's a little bit of a contradiction, but you know you should ask Hillary Clinton(?)..."

Hayes is using both hands by now.  "That's the whole contradiction!"

"...why she gave the Green Revolution short shrift, we really should have supported them."

"I am glad, I am genuinely glad you admitted that we should have a regime change policy towards Iranian regime..." he laughs, unable to continue the conversation with this nutcase seriously any longer.

"Yes, absolutely!" she chimes in.

"...because there's so much disingenuous nonsense being spouted."

Thank you, Chris.

Minor Fascist Tendencies

Dear Tea Party screaming type people who use the word "fascist" to describe everyone who does not share your viewpoint:  actual fascism looks like Sen. Lindsey Graham.

During his remarks before the Concord City Republican Committee last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham(R-SC) suggested that robust military spending is absolutely necessary to defeat ISIS forces abroad, and that, as president, he would use the military itself to force Congress to reverse budgetary cuts to defense and intel. 
In brief audio obtained by, Sen. Graham purportedly suggests he would use the military to restrict the movement of Congress until they complied: 
[A]nd here is the first thing I would do if I were President of the United States: I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We’re not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts.

Using the President's capacity as Commander-in-Chief to order the military to force Congress to vote the way the President wants to is once again actual, literal fascism, guys.  If President Obama ever made a remark like this in public, articles of impeachment would be on his doorstep within 24 hours.

But apparently it's perfectly okay to say this if you're a Republican candidate for President, right?

What a dangerous idiot this man truly is.  Bur I'm sure we'll all laugh this off as a joke, correct?


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