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Archive for December 22nd, 2008

Caroline Kennedy Asks to be Time’s Person of the Year

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2008 5:40 am by HL

Caroline Kennedy Asks to be Time’s Person of the Year

Caroline Kennedy would like to be considered Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2009 and has let the magazine’s editor know of her interest in the honor, aides to Ms. Kennedy confirmed this week.

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Brown Moves to Nix Prop. 8

Brown

California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who’s considering running for another stint as the Golden State’s governor, has changed his position on Proposition 8 and has asked the state Supreme Court to nullify the gay marriage ban on grounds that it violates citizens’ inalienable rights as guaranteed by the California Constitution.

Not surprisingly, the Protect Marriage coalition, which supports Proposition 8, begs to differ and has enlisted prosecutor Kenneth Starr (remember him?) to argue its case before the state Supreme Court around March 2009.



Los Angeles Times:

The California Constitution protects certain rights as “inalienable,” Brown wrote. Those include a right to liberty and to privacy, which the courts have said includes a person’s right to marry.

The issue before the court “presents a conflict between the constitutional power of the voters to amend the Constitution, on the one hand, and the Constitution’s Declaration of Rights, on the other,” Brown wrote.

The issue “is whether rights secured under the state Constitution’s safeguard of liberty as an ‘inalienable’ right may intentionally be withdrawn from a class of persons by an initiative amendment.”

Voters are allowed to amend other parts of the Constitution by majority vote, but to use the ballot box to take away an “inalienable” right would establish a “tyranny of the majority,” which the Constitution was designed, in part, to prevent, he wrote.

In an interview, Brown said he had developed his theory after weeks of consultation with the top lawyers in his office. “This analysis was not evident on the morning after the election,” he said.

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Blagojevich Immortalized in Nude Painting

Blagojevich painting

The good news for embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in this report is that a Chicago artist is using the governor’s likeness as inspiration for his latest painting.

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Geoffrey Dunn: ‘Watermelon Roll’: More Racism from ‘Team Sarah’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2008 5:39 am by HL

Geoffrey Dunn: ‘Watermelon Roll’: More Racism from ‘Team Sarah’
There is something very ugly happening out there in the hinterlands these days–a brewing cauldron of racist anger being directed at President-elect Barack Obama as…

George Mitrovich: Caroline Kennedy in the Senate
In Caroline Kennedy there is the opportunity to rise above politics, because she is a person who transcends them; one of substance and achievement, grace and character.

David Quigg: Washington Times: Bush & Cheney Secretly Decent Human Beings
Monday’s Washington Times offers a little taste of the brain poison we’d be forced to choke down every day from every newspaper if the government…

Frank Naif: Blackwater’s Drag On US Efforts Abroad
Notorious security company Blackwater is back in the news, just in time to remind us (again) how over-reliance on contractors for sensitive security missions is hurting American effectiveness abroad.


Bush Stretches Executive Powers Again

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2008 5:38 am by HL

Bush Stretches Executive Powers Again
WASHINGTON — A new Capitol Visitor Center recently opened, just in time for the transformation of the Capitol building into a tomb for the antiquated idea that the legislative branch matters. The center is supposed to enhance the experience of visitors to Congress, although why there are visitors is a mystery. Congress’ marginalization was brutally underscored when, after Congress did not authorize $14 billion for General Motors and Chrysler, the executive branch said, in effect: Congress’ opinions are mildly interesting, so we will listen very nicely — then go out and do precisely what we want.

How to Walk Away from North Korea
The negotiations intended to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear arms have all but collapsed and the finger pointing to affix blame is under way. At the same time, the conventional wisdom says the issue has been passed to President-elect Barack Obama to resolve after he takes office on Jan. 20. Nowhere is it carved in stone, however, that he need do so. Walking away is a realistic option.


The Daily Muck

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2008 5:37 am by HL

The Daily Muck
In an interview with the Associated Press, the watchdog for the government’s $700 billion bailout program expressed frustration with the Bush administration’s delay in providing a plan for allocating bailout funds. Elizabeth Warren, the chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel,…

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Safavian Jury Reaches Verdict
The jury in the corruption trial of Abramoff crony David Safavian has reached a verdict. We’ll learn later today what it is, reports the Associated Press. Safavian, who served as the White House’s chief procurement officer, is on trial for…






How to Get on an Atheist’s Good Side

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2008 5:33 am by HL

How to Get on an Atheist’s Good Side
Here’s nine tips for believers who want to reach out. After all, atheists are a growing movement and may soon be a force to be reckoned with.

Who Wants to Kick a Millionaire?
A catastrophic loss of confidence is in the making, as corporate bosses continue to reap taxpayers’ billions.

The Homicides You Didn’t Hear About in Hurricane Katrina
Getting to the bottom of criminal and racist that acts were no secret in New Orleans — but which never became part of the official story.


The Top Dozen Insights of Conservatives, 2008

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2008 5:32 am by HL

The Top Dozen Insights of Conservatives, 2008
It was a brutal year for the conservative movement, which at long last came crashing down after dominating American politics for nearly 30 years. One small consolation for at least some leading thinkers on the right is that they began…

Obama Friend Takes Over Jewish Conference of Presidents
The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations is one of the most reactionary power centers in the American Jewish community. Nominally representative of all American Jews, it has been run for decades by its executive director Malcolm Hoenlein, a…


Trade Barriers Toughen With Global Slump

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 22nd, 2008 5:31 am by HL

Trade Barriers Toughen With Global Slump
Only a few weeks after world leaders vowed at a Washington summit to reject trade protectionism and adhere to free-market principles as they combat the global financial crisis, a host of nations are already breaking that promise.

Howard Dean, a Victim of His Own Success?
Former Vermont governor Howard Dean, the man regarded by many sharp political operatives as the progenitor of President-elect Barack Obama’s successful 2008 campaign, finds himself without an obvious next job as his tenure as head of the Democratic National Committee comes to an end.

Cheney, Biden Disagree on VP’s Power in Separate TV Interviews
Vice President Cheney and his successor, Joseph R. Biden Jr., exchanged insults yesterday in a pair of unusually critical television interviews, laying bare apparent animosity between the two as Cheney prepares to hand over power next month.

High-Status Criminals Face Greatest Public Wrath
Let’s say the FBI hears a senior elected official on a tapped telephone line demanding kickbacks in exchange for favors and shaking down donors for campaign contributions in exchange for plum contracts.

Secret Tapes Helped Build Graft Cases In Illinois
CHICAGO — The wide-ranging public corruption probe that led to the arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich got its first big break when a grandmother of six walked into a breakfast meeting with shakedown artists wearing an FBI wire.