w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
-- Brad Friedman
As horrible as things seem right now --- with sociopathic loons on one side of the aisle, cowardly failures on the other, a mainstream corporate media completely out of touch with virtually everything that matters, an economy in which everyone but the rich are gasping for air --- there is one very bright spot on which we can all take great comfort.
It rarely happens immediately, and almost never without a far-too-long struggle, but rights for we, the people, almost always eventually win in this nation --- usually against all odds, avarice, greed and ignorance --- but our Constitution is brilliant enough that rights eventually win out.
If you have any doubt, look no further than the latest news (video posted below) heralding the last dying gasps of institutionalized homophobia in our laws and in our military.
The good news is: the haters have lost. The question which played such an enormous --- if entirely trumped up --- role in our Presidential elections just 6 years ago has been all but finally settled.
Well before the end of this decade (and likely far sooner than that, perhaps even before the end of Obama's first term in office), marriage equality for gays and lesbians will be recognized in every state in the union, and homosexuals will be as welcome in our nation's military as African-Americans.
It's over. The good guys have won. In these quiet victories of rights over wrongs, we can all take some quiet comfort, even in these maddening, ugly days...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
In her Sept. 9 decision [PDF] in Log Cabin Republicans vs. United States, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips, a 1995 Clinton appointee, determined that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (D.A.D.T) is unconstitutional as it violates First Amendment rights even within the more restrictive confines of military speech.
The court rejected the government's argument that Log Cabin Republicans lacked standing to initiate the action, noting that at least one member of the group, John Nicholson, was discharged from the armed forces because of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” It expressly found that D.A.D.T "does not significantly further the government’s interest in military readiness or unit cohesion," and directed plaintiff's counsel to prepare a "Proposed Judgment, including a Permanent Injunction" by no later than Sept. 16.
Whether the Eric Holder Justice Department will appeal, despite President Obama's pledge to seek a repeal of D.A.D.T., is an open question...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
Apparently Whitman now feels that campaigning exclusively by way of paid-for propaganda (political ads) will not be enough to evade scrutiny of her economic "plan" to "rescue" California's economy (a rehash of Bush tax cuts for wealthy people and business, the elimination of climate change regulations and imposition of further draconian spending cuts to a state government already operating on life support --- a plan which a group of economists, including Stanford University's Kenneth Arrow, a Nobel laureate, have derided as policies which would "deepen California's budget crisis and are likely to reduce employment and economic growth").
Whitman has now pandered to what she may mistakenly believe was a majority of Californians who voted against marriage equality in passing Proposition 8...
Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
Proponents of equality for all will have to wait a bit longer --- again --- before seeing marriage equality return to the Golden State.
A three judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal has issued an order [PDF] granting a motion to stay the Aug. 4, 2010 decision by a U.S. District Judge which had found California's ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling would have allowed marriage equality to resume as of Wednesday, but that is now on hold pending appeal by proponents of the constitutional amendment put into law by Proposition 8 in November of 2008.
The 9th Circuit panel, on its own motion, expedited both briefing and a hearing on the appeal, which will be scheduled for the week of December 6. The stay essentially means that California officials could not sanction new same-sex marriages until either a decision is rendered on the appeal or the panel lifts the stay.
Addendum In my haste to report on this breaking story, I neglected to include the following statement from the 9th Circuit decision...
The conservative victories in favor of the Constitution and equal rights for all continue, as the Reagan/Bush I-appointed U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker has just ruled that same-sex marriages in California may resume once again as of 5pm PDT, August 18th.
Opponents of equality have until then to appeal the decision at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Walker's ruling today follows his recent ruling which found that the state's Prop 8 constitutional amendment banning such marriages is in violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection and due process clauses.
Seriously, what part of "conservative values" and the "U.S. Constitution" do Fox "News" "conservatives" not get?
As we've been pointing out for years, and as we re-iterated yet again on Wednesday when CA's Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage was found to be unconstitutional by a Reagan/Bush I-appointed federal judge, the ruling was "Great news for real conservatives who believe in the U.S. Constitution and its guarantee of equal protection under the law!"
Poor Fox "News" viewers, however, have been so obscenely and opportunistically disinformed for so many years about what "conservatism" actually means (basically, they've been told by the Fox/GOP opportunists that Republicanism is the same thing as conservatism, when it's usually anything but, and foolish folks on the non-Right have continued that fiction by describing them as "conservatives"), that they've had a next-to-impossible time wrapping their grotesquely disinformed brains around what last Wednesday's extremely conservative ruling actually means.
The scam that has been played on wingnuts --- inaccurately and opportunistically conflating Republicanism with Conservatism --- has rarely been more clear than it was on Fox News Sunday today, when anchor Chris Wallace's "conservative" disinformation train ran smack-dab into the brick wall of conservative facts and reality offered by Theodore Olson, George W. Bush's former Solicitor General (he of the infamous Bush v. Gore), who happens to be the plaintiff's victorious lead attorney in the Prop 8 case.
So, we'll ask again: What part of "conservative values" and the "U.S. Constitution" do Fox "News" "conservatives" not get? As we've got many such disinformed phony "conservatives" trolling us here at The BRAD BLOG, we'll look eagerly forward, as always, to their amusing, self-defeating, non-conservative, anti-Constitutional comments in reply to this video [courtesy of RAW STORY]...
Great news for real conservatives who believe in the U.S. Constitution and its guarantee of equal protection under the law!
A U.S. District Court Judge, first nominated by Ronald Reagan and then appointed under George H.W. Bush, has struck down CA's Prop 8 which added an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage equality. The state's majority Republican-appointed Supreme Court had previously found no basis for banning same-sex marriage in the CA constitution. That finding was, in effect, overturned at the ballot box in November 2008 by Prop 8 which ended same-sex marriage in the state and left thousands of marriages in limbo until today's finding.
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples.
That's what history sounds like. Of course, before the ruling was released, lawyers for the opposing side filed a motion to stay his ruling pending an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
TPMMuckraker's Rachel Slajda reports that "Supporters of Prop 8 (that is, opponents of gay marriage) have already promised to file an appeal," and she now offers more quotes from Judge Vaughn Walker's landmark decision.
And just a reminder to those of you foes of equality and the Constitution: Remember, where same-sex marriage is found to be legal and Constitutional, it will still be voluntary. You will not be forced to marry someone of the same sex. Just in case that's been unclear up until now.
UPDATE: CNN reports that, in a separate ruling [PDF], Walker grants a stay to his finding, pending appeal by the opponents of equality. If appealed, as is almost certain, the case will go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then likely to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Marcy Wheeler of emptywheel tweets a very interesting point, worth remembering, in relation to the likely inevitable hearing before the U.S. Supremes...
Guest Blogged by Frank Schaeffer
It is my great honor to be part of a Tuesday, Feb 2 press conference to announce the formation of The American Prayer Hour. (Press released posted below.) Why am I doing this? Because the secretive group "The Family" and/or "C-Street" organizations of the far loony Right is the sponsor of the current annual Prayer Breakfast.
"The Family" are closely associated with the American and Ugandan evangelical "Christians" who have been trying to impose the death penalty on gay men and women.
This is my chance as a straight, fifty-seven year old practicing Christian, father of three and grandfather of three to step up and show my solidarity with my gay brothers and sisters. It's also a chance to try and begin to restore the reputation of Christianity that has for far too long been violated by the Religious Right.
And since in years past (in the 1970s and 80s) my family and I played such a leading role in the formation of the Religious Right this is the least I can do to try and correct the horrible hate and polarization we (my late father Francis Schaeffer and I) personally helped set in motion...
In the November 2008 election, the tabulation of votes for California's Proposition 8 --- the controversial ballot measure which resulted in the repeal of marriage equality by, for the first time, amending the state's constitution to deny the rights of Californians --- was "probably corrupted".
That's the finding of a newly released study issued by a coalition of election integrity organizations, as based on their analysis of an Election Verification Exit Poll conducted in Los Angeles on the day of the 2008 general election. "An investigation is warranted," the study concludes, into the evidence which suggests a likelihood that either "fraud or gross errors" occurred in the tabulation of that specific ballot measure.
The poll was conducted on Election Day by Election Defense Alliance, Protect California Ballots, and ElectionIntegrity.org and was designed and researched with the help of at least one well known exit pollster, Ken Warren of St. Louis University's The Warren Poll, for the express purpose of measuring the accuracy of the reported vote count. It functioned beautifully in general, by confirming the results of most of the issues and races on the ballot. On Proposition 4, for example, which concerned a similar hot-button issue --- parental notification for abortion --- polling results and official election results matched within 2%, well within the expected margin of error.
However, for Proposition 8 only, the official results varied from the Election Verification Exit Poll by an average of 7.75% in the 19 precincts polled. In some cases, the discrepancy was as high as 17.7%. That is, of course, far outside of the margin of expected error and certainly worthy of further investigation by officials.
The creators of the poll, along with the analysts of the results and the authors of the study, seem to have gone out of their way to preempt the usual reasons for questioning and/or dismissing the methodology and findings of such polls. For example, as noted in the group's press release [emphasis added]...
This just in. More Republican traditional family values...
Police told the Associated Press that Farren attacked his wife at their New Canaan home Wednesday night, two days after she served him with divorce papers.
Remember, we must protect traditional marriage at all costs! Even for attempted Republican murderers and the recently twice-divorced Karl Rove, to whom we must give credit for at least having had the decency of not trying to murder either of his former wives (that we know of).
Furthermore, we hope they don't try to disbar Farren over this policy difference between him and his wife. Politicizing his belief that she should no longer be alive would just be wrong, set a very bad precedent for future administration attorneys, and put our nation at even greater danger from terrorism.
In case you missed this bit of shame and unsurprising-by-now hypocrisy buried in between the holiday news holes...
[Hat-tip longtime BRAD BLOG toon sherpa Pokey Anderson.]
Guest blogged by Frank Schaeffer
Woe to you American Christians! You say I'm the "son of God" and yet you bully the defenseless in my name.
Do you understand the parable of the Good Samaritan?
Let me refresh your memory...
Guest Blogged by Frank Schaeffer
I grew up in a fundamentalist missionary family that in the 1970s and 80s morphed into my father's activity as one of the founders of the Religious Right. We would hobnob with Republican leaders from Ronald Reagan to Gerald Ford and the Bush family, Jack Kemp and many others. One day it dawned on me that the far right of the Republican Party --- in other words its base --- actually hates America.
The Religious Right reveled in rising crime statistics, "family breakdown" statistics, failing public schools and so forth. As I explain in my book Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism), if crime started going down, or public school test results started going up --- without the country "turning back to Jesus" --- then that would prove that somehow "we" were wrong.
We wanted our country to fail because it had "turned away" from what we believed to be true.
Combined with the fact that we began to lose parts of the culture war, when it came to other Americans beginning to recognize gay rights, expanding women's rights, abortion rights and such, the Religious Right and the Republican Party infected gun-toting America with a chip on its shoulder about a mile wide. This led to the myth that "they" (fill in the blank, gays, Jews, blacks, liberals --- whatever) are "taking away our country from 'us'"...
How queer. With 75,000 protesters --- about the same number that turned out for the "gigantic" Teabagger rally on 9/12 in D.C. --- turning out last Sunday in D.C. to rally for equal protection under the law for all Americans (yes, even gay ones), Fox "News," and all the others, seem to have forgotten to send out anybody to cover it.
No outrage from you teabaggers about that? Glenn Beck? Really? Nothing? Hmm. Video courtesy of RAW STORY...
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