Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Defense of Marriage Act

Weekend Links

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* Next time you teach, open a window: Elevated carbon dioxide may impair reasoning.

* Solitary Confinement, State by State.

* DOMA ruled unconstitutional, again.

* Gavin Mueller reviews the Onion’s bizarre (but intriguing) reality-TV parody Sex House.

* Douglas Wolk reviews Building Stories.

* On Althusser’s mug shot.

* Scenes from the future: Boy kicked out of school because he has gene for cystic fibrosis.

* And another: After committing a crime with a printed weapon, a person could simply melt down the plastic and reprint it as something as mundane as a statue of Buddha. And guns made of plastic might not be spotted by metal detectors in airports, courthouses or other government facilities.

* And another: Researcher claims feasibility of writing lethal wireless pacemaker viruses.

* The CIA is urging the White House to approve a significant expansion of the agency’s fleet of armed drones, a move that would extend the spy service’s decade-long transformation into a paramilitary force, U.S. officials said. What could possibly go wrong?

* #ObscureSexyHalloweenCostumes.

* We have allowed ourselves to become mired in the habits of oligarchy, as though no other politics are possible, even in a putatively self-governing republic, and resignation is one of the most obvious of those habits. We acclimate ourselves to the habit of having our politics acted upon us, rather than insisting that they are ours to command. TV stars tell us that political stars are going to cut their Grand Bargain and that “we” will then applaud them for making the “tough choices” on our behalf. That is how you inculcate the habits of oligarchy in a political commonwealth. First, you disabuse people of the notion that government is the ultimate expression of that commonwealth, and then you eliminate or emasculate any centers of power that might exist independent of your smothering influence — like, say, organized labor — and then you make it quite clear who’s in charge. I’m the boss. Get used to it.

* Baldwin holds slight lead in Wisconsin. Obama up in Iowa, Wisconsin. Obama’s Lead Falls To 3 In Colorado. Ohio Remains Obama’s Firewall. Why the Gallup poll showing Romney +7 is almost certainly wrong: 1, 2, 3. Why I’d have you vote for Obama just one time more.

Monday!

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* I may have done this one before, but what the hell: the RAW rejection letter.

* RIP, Sally Ride. And here’s the politicized postscript.

* The NCAA drops the hammer on Penn State.

* Justice Department Investigates Pennsylvania Voter ID Law.

* The New Yorker profiles the Boss.

The tune, thick with horns and vocal harmonies, elides into “My City of Ruins,” one of the elegiac, gospel-tinged songs on the 9/11 album, “The Rising.” The voices sing “Rise up! Rise up!” and there comes a string of horn solos: trombone, trumpet, sax. Then back to the voices. Springsteen quickly introduces the E Street horns and the singing collective. Then he says, “Roll call!” And, with the music rising bit by churchly bit, he introduces the core of the band: “Professor Roy Bittan is in the house. . . . Charlie Giordano is in the house. . . .”

When he finishes the roll call, there is a long ellipsis. The band keeps vamping.

“Are we missing anybody?”

Two spotlights are now trained on the organ, where Federici once sat, and at the mike where Clemons once stood.

“Are we missing anybody?”

Then again: “Are we missing anybody? . . . That’s right. That’s right. We’re missing some. But the only thing I can guarantee tonight is that if you’re here and we’re here, then they’re here!” He repeats this over and over, the volume of the piano and the bass rising, the drums hastening, the voices rising, until finally the song overwhelms him, and, if Springsteen has calculated correctly, there will not be an unmoved soul in the house.

* Six facts about guns, violence, and gun control.

* Dibs on the novelization: Zhang and Li write that the the Milky Way will be torn apart 32.9 million years before the big rip. The Earth will be ripped away from the Sun two months before the end, and we’ll lose our moon with five days left. The Sun itself will be destroyed 28 minutes before the end of time, and the Earth will explode a mere 12 minutes later.

* The headline reads, “Neurosurgeons banned from human research for giving infectious bacteria to brain tumor patients.”

* Radiolab says the Greeks didn’t know about blue.

John Scalzi, self-made man.

* Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld go get coffee.

* And Fred Willard is keeping his head up.

Now That Elites Have Changed Their Minds the Constitution Says the Opposite of What It Used to Say

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 31, 2012 at 10:55 am

Here Comes Justice

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 25, 2012 at 9:30 am

Arc of History Watch

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Here, too, this Court finds that Congress cannot, like an ostrich, merely bury its head in the sand and wait for danger to pass, especially at the risk of permitting continued constitutional injury upon legally married couples. The fact that the issue is socially divisive does nothing to relieve the judiciary of its obligation to examine the constitutionality of the discriminating classifications in the law.

A Bush appointee has found DOMA unconstitutional. Your move, Justice Kennedy…

Thursday Evening

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* Aaron Bady has an interesting, informative, and important post on his experiences at the Occupy Oakland general strike yesterday.

* 100,000 at the strike?

* Seven weeks of Occupy, at In Focus.

* Imagine what it’s like to be a normal student nowadays. You did well—even very well—in high school. But you arrive at university with little experience in research and writing and little sense of what your classes have to do with your life plans. You start your first year deep in debt, with more in prospect. You work at Target or a fast-food outlet to pay for your living expenses. You live in a vast, shabby dorm or a huge, flimsy off-campus apartment complex, where your single with bath provides both privacy and isolation. And you see professors from a great distance, in space as well as culture: from the back of a vast dark auditorium, full of your peers checking Facebook on their laptops.

It’s no wonder, in these circumstances, that many students never really internalize the new demands and standards of university work. Instead they drift from course to course, looking for entertainment and easy grades. Nor is it surprising that many aren’t ready when trouble comes. Students drink too much alcohol, smoke too much marijuana, play too many computer games, wreck cars, become pregnant, get overwhelmed trying to help anorexic roommates, and too often lose the modest but vital support previously provided by a parent who has been laid off. Older students—and these days most are older than traditional university age—often have to work full-time and care for children or parents, or both. Those likeliest to encounter these problems are also the ones who haven’t been schooled since birth to find the thread that can lead them through the labyrinths of the bureaucracy. They aren’t confident that they will see an invitingly open door, where a friendly adviser or professor is eager to help them, and they don’t have parents hovering, eager to find that helper for them.

* How could a late entrant still shake up the Republican field? Nate Silver reports. You already know my thoughts on this.

* One-half of Floridians believe the GOP is intentionally sabotaging the economy. Gee, you think? On the one hand, I’m surprised the number is so high; on the other, I’m amazed there’s anyone who can’t see this…

* Mars 500 wraps up this week. io9 says it doesn’t prove anything.

* Corporations against DOMA.

*  A Utah man who claimed to be an illegal immigrant from Mexico to avoid going to prison is now wanted by police after he returned to the United States and acknowledged his true identity to a judge.

* If episodes of fission at Fukushima were confirmed, Mr. Koide said, “our entire understanding of nuclear safety would be turned on its head.”

* This week we celebrate 100 years of dropping bombs on people from planes.

* Two great tastes (okay, one): The Muppets on WWE Raw.

* Will John Edwards walk?

* And the headline reads, “Cash-strapped Chicago mulls easing marijuana law.” Do the right thing for the wrong reasons if you have to, just do it…

‘A Blatant Attempt to Grant Amnesty to Potentially Millions of Illegal Aliens in This Country’ (And God Bless It)

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It looks like Obama has given up hope on any sort of grand compromise on immigration; he’s ending deportations for people who pose no threat to public safety, at least on a prioritized, case-by-case basis. Deserved praise from Adam Serwer and Steve Benen.

Again–given that the Defense of Marriage Act is still in force, the decision to treat LGBT families as families for the purposes of this policy is incredibly significant. This decision is precisely the kind of ballsy move that liberals are constantly demanding that the administration make. For once–and let’s not pretend the Latino vote in 2012 isn’t a part of the political calculus here–they’re actually doing it.

I imagine the terrible optics of this story had something to do with the decision too.

Maybe he’s finally learning.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 20, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Saturday Links!

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* Krugman: “This is actually a fairly familiar thing from my years as a pundit: the surest way to get branded as not Serious is to figure things out too soon.” Of course this morning he couldn’t resist the opportunity to remind us all he was right about Obama, too.

* Ezra Klein and Steve Benen capture well just how infuriatingly irrational the Republicans are being. Of course, it was obvious from the start that this is what they were planning, so Obama really has no one to blame but himself.

* Good Obama news now: The Department of Justice has filed a brief arguing that DOMA is unconstitutional.

* The Nation reports (shock of shocks) John Lennon was not a closet Republican when he died.

* And io9 has a piece on Robert Kirkman’s next comic project, which focuses on time-travel. These desperate bids for my attention have to stop…

DOMA DOA

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It’s always seemed completely obvious to me that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, but now the courts are starting to catch on.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 13, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Politics Friday!

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* Secession watch: now Tucson wants to secede from Arizona.

* American politics increasingly resembles a kind of total war in which each party mobilizes every conceivable asset at its disposal against the other. Most governors were once conscientious objectors in that struggle. No more. Ezra’s post rightly points to the courts as well:

The individual mandate has now been upheld by three district judges appointed by Democrats and overturned by two district judges appointed by Republicans. It’s a perfect partisan record — which is not what most legal scholars and analysts predicted. Dahlia Lithwick went back to the initial coverage of the GOP’s lawsuits. “It was an article of faith among court watchers that President Obama’s health care reform plan would be upheld at the Supreme Court by a margin of 7-2 or 8-1,” she concluded. Lee Epstein, a law professor at Northwestern University, told me the same thing. “Even my very, very conservative colleagues last year said that if the Court follows existing precedent, this is a no-brainer.”

* When a congressman at a town hall is asked “Who’s going to shoot Obama?”, of course the most appropriate reply is “I know there’s a lot of frustration with this president.”

* What could possibly go wrong? Newt says Republicans should impeach the president over DOMA, then immediately gets cold feet.

This is what it’s like to spend nearly thirty years in prison for something you didn’t do. (via)

* And which Americans have passports, state by state.

Good Day Wednesday

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* Good news: The Obama administration has decided it will no longer defend Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in court. This from Barney Frank suggests that Democrats may have stumbled, through no fault of their own, onto a key truth: “People who will be angry at the President over this won’t vote for him anyway.”

* More good news: Scott Walker gets awesomely prank-called. More here.

* Maybe Jon Stewart should rethink this moronic camel gag. It’s good that the protests in Wisconsin haven’t turned violent, but it’s not as if there isn’t a history of anti-union violence in the U.S. Remember that this all began with Walker promising to bring in the National Guard—and a deputy attorney general from Indiana was fired just today for advocating the use of live ammunition against the protestors.

* The decline of the strike:

* This is weak even by Fox standards.

* Nate Silver pregames 2012, state by state.

* Bernie Sanders is my copilot:

What we have to understand is this is not just Wisconsin. This is part of the concerted attack on the middle class and working families of this country by the very wealthiest people in America, the Koch brothers and many others. And you’re also right in suggesting that if you look at the end game, what are you talking about?

You’re talking about the end of Social Security, privatization of Social Security, massive cuts and privatization of Medicare, major cuts in Medicaid. You’re talking about over a period of time, the end of unemployment compensation, the end of the minimum wage or lowering the minimum wage.

What these guys want is to return us to the 1920’s when working people had virtually no rights to organize or to earn a decent living. Bottom line today is the top 1% earn more income than the bottom 50%. The top 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 90%. That gap between the very rich and everybody else is growing wider.

And what the wealthiest people in the country are doing are using their resources to make the attack against the middle class even stronger. They want the destruction of the middle class and almost all wealth in this country to go to the people on top.

* And to top it all off: creationists suffer defeat in Oklahoma. It’s like I can’t lose today.

Thursday Night Linkdump

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* I hope someday my admirers are moved to unearth my terrible college fiction: Wes Anderson’s “The Ballad of Reading Milton” (1989).

* The true size of Africa. Also has the true side of Australia and the USA as a bonus.

* Liberal blogs are trotting out cell phone effect again. Looks like it’s time to call November for the GOP.

* “In these challenging economic times, it’s good to know you can get some financial protection for unexpected illness and injury to your pets,” the e-mail reads before listing the many benefits. Federal Employees Can Purchase Health Insurance For Their Pets, But Not Their Same-Sex Partners.

* Running it up the flagpole: Wheel of Fortune‘s Pat Sajak argues at National Review Online that public employees shouldn’t be allowed to vote in at last some state and local state elections.

* And in twenty years, we’ll need another Earth to sustain us. Time to get building.

Full Faith and Credit

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Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that all 31 states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in the capital, though its decision does not force those states to begin marrying gay couples in their territory.

But I Haven’t Left Yet

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* Lebron has hurt everyone, but especially the weak heart of my beloved Cleveland. Nate Silver tries to put a number on the damage he’s done to his reputation playing Hamlet.

* A federal judge has unexpectedly struck down the parts of the Defense of Marriage Act that define marriage as being between a man and a woman. There’s more at MeFi, including a link to a post from Jack Balkin that suggests this could actually be a kind of right-wing Trojan Horse designed to undermine the juridical basis for New Deal government.

* Worst lemon-to-lemonade analogy ever.

* Science proves I was right all along when I said my high school started too early in the morning.

* Žižek blogs about BP. You know what’s coming.

The lesson is simply that, while market mechanisms may work up to a certain level to contain ecological damage, serious large-scale ecological catastrophies are simply out of their reach – any pseudo-scientific statistic talk about “sustainable risks” is ridiculous here. More than two decades ago, a paparazzo caught Senator Ted Kennedy (well known for his opposition to the off-shore drilling in search of oil) in the midst of the sexual act on a lone boat off Louisiana shore; during a Senate debate a couple of days later, a Republican Senator dryly remarked: “It seems that Senator Kennedy now changed his position on off-shore drilling…” So maybe, we should return to Senator Kennedy’s position: the only acceptable off-shore drilling is the one he was engaged in.

More Žižek here.

* Of all sad words of mouth or pen, The saddest are these: “It might have been”: 55% Of Likely Voters Think Obama’s A Socialist.