Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Proposition 8

‘Proposition 8 Served No Purpose, and Had No Effect, Other Than to Lessen the Status and Human Dignity of Gays and Lesbians in California’

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Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Appeal

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a stay against the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell injunction after an earlier judge refused to do so. This is a case where the Obama administration’s betrayal of its base seems simply brazen: according to Clinton administration Solicitor General Walter Dellinger, backed up by Newsweek, the White House is in fact under no obligation to defend Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell if it doesn’t want to. Indeed, the Clinton administration refused to appeal a similar court decision that invalidated a law requiring the military to discharge HIV+ service members, and it was only just last month that a court ruled that California was not required to appeal the decision overturning Prop 8. Why then are they bothering with appeals at all, much less aggressively seeking to reinstate a policy they claim not to like? Obama’s rhetoric on this point is completely at odds with his administration’s actions, and unlike other issues there is no one on whom he can deflect the blame.

UPDATE: Ted Olson: ‘It Would Be Appropriate’ For Administration Not To Appeal DADT Injunction.

“It happens every once in awhile at the federal level when the solicitor general, on behalf of the U.S., will confess error or decline to defend a law,” said former George W. Bush administration solicitor general Ted Olson, who is leading the legal challenge of California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state attorney general have both declined to defend the law in court.

“I don’t know what is going through the [Obama] administration’s thought process on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’” Olson said. “It would be appropriate for them to say ‘the law has been deemed unconstitutional, we are not going to seek further review of that.’

Friday Night in London Links

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* The gods heard we were coming: Runaway Subway Blows Through Six Tube Stations with No Driver.

* If you get all your legal analysis from my friend @drbluman, you already know that the Right might be better off not even contesting the recent Prop 8 decision restoring marriage equality in California.

* Hack your brain: Researchers from New Mexico State University’s College of Business used a strip of duct tape to make a line through the middle of shopping carts in a Las Cruces, N.M., grocery store. They also posted a sign on each cart that recommended that fruits and vegetables be placed on one side of the line. Shoppers who had one of the special carts bought 102 percent more fruits and veggies than those who had regular carts. Despite the change in shopping habits, the special carts didn’t change the amount of overall money the shoppers were spending.

* Louie Gohmert’s “terror babies!” freakout on CNN is hilarious until killjoy Steve Benen reminds you that he’ll probably get a leadership position after Republicans take back the House next year.

* Great post from Matt Yglesias exposing the lunacy of trying to budget 70 years in advance:

Turn your time machine seventy years back in time and consider the fate of a member of congress in 1940 trying to eliminate the national debt by 2010.

He’d have a hard time taking account of America’ entrance in World War II, the end of the war, the start of the Cold War, the “small” Korean and Vietnam wars, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the decision to maintain a global military presence, 9/11, Iraq, etc. And that’s to say nothing of the creation of Medicare, the substantial expansion of Social Security, the creation of Medicaid, the inflation of the 1970, the Great Recession of 2007-2010, etc., etc., etc. Long story short, he’d be flying blind. In 1940, out of 35 million private homes over 10 million lacked running water. In 2010, 60 percent of households have broadband internet.

* And the BBC, reporting from the mid-1980s, discovers that college professors are using popular culture artifacts like comic books in the classroom.

The Constitution Says What Anthony Kennedy Says It Says

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If you want justice in America, first you have to convince this 74-year-old man. It’s what the Founders intended. UPDATE: More on this subject via Steve Benen.

Wednesday Morning Papers Didn’t Come

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* And now they’ve taken away the Big Bang, too.

* The Internets have gone crazy with the happy news that Prop 8 has been overturned. Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gays and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.

* The president would have you believe that today is his birthday. Don’t be fooled! Wake up, sheeple!

* Arrested Development movie “half-done.” I half-believe it!

* Wyclef Jean to run for president of Haiti.

* A Very Harold and Kumar Inception.

* And Edge of the American West has your tragic political dare of the day:

Modern Republicans can’t possibly oppose both the Dred Scott decision and the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, which reverses it.

[quiet weeping]

Wednesday Wednesday

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* In case you missed it, I have pieces in Reviews in Cultural Theory and American Literature online now.

* Mission accomplished: Obama has lost everyone. Well, almost everyone.

* “Something of a waterloo for publishing”: Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Sage Publications are suing four librarians at Georgia State University for making portions of electronic copies of articles available to students when the text is places on reserve in the library, which is likely protected under fair use.

* Closing arguments in California today in the determining the constitutionality of Proposition 8.

* Celebrating Bloomsday all over: 1, 2. Thanks Tim!

* How to keep someone forever: create a sick system. Via MeFi.

* The 2010s will bring you edgy Fraggles.

* A secret history of beloved Northern New Jersey field trip site the Cloisters.

* And Flickr has hidden posters of the long-sealed-off Notting Hill Gate Tube station.

Sunday Afternoon

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* New York Times: At UNC, every night is ladies’ night. Via BloggEd, who adds: At my college, the U. of Delaware, the numbers are almost identical: 58 percent female for years, and 60 percent in the largest college, Arts and Sciences. It’s that way most everywhere, other than super-elite colleges and ones that emphasize engineering and the like. Some time back, I posted on how the gender imbalance may play out in admissions offices: affirmative action for boys—the suspicion of which has led to an ongoing investigation of 19 schools by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

* The New York Review of Books has a brief history of Facebook.

* The Onion‘s A.V. Club has a feature on Bill Murray and philosophy.

* The San Francisco Gate reports the “open secret” that the judge in the highly contentious Prop 8 trial is gay, though the response from the right demonstrates that this was actually a somewhat guarded secret.

* And, via @socratic, the Raw Story has today’s first paragraph FAIL:

New Orleans has elected its first white mayor in 32 years, ushering in hopes of a new era in a city still trying to rebuild five years after Hurricane Katrina.

Perhaps you should consider rephrasing that…

A Little Later Tuesday Afternoon

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* Books and magazines are apparently no longer allowed on flights to and from Canada. Because, you know, freedom.

* If you consider a stash of obscene videos scarier than a stash of firearms then this is the country for you. In America you have a constitutional right to own a gun, and you may traffic in firearms with legal impunity; but you risk being imprisoned for buying and selling arguably obscene pornography. And don’t even think about child porn (I mean that literally): possessing obscene cartoon images of imaginary children is a federal offense; so is communicating your sexual fantasies about children to other adults… Freedom! Via Srinivas.

* Great moments in bad science reporting: This weird article takes an interesting physiological result—that “men’s subjective ratings of arousal were in agreement with their body’s level of sexual arousal about 66 percent of the time, while women’s were in line only about 26 percent of the time”—and packages it inside a completely bizarre, misogynist frame: that women “may not know” when they are aroused. What?

* There’s currently an activist fight over whether or not to allow cameras into the upcoming Proposition 8 trial in California next week. I’m much more interested in the ruling than in my ability to see it happen, sincerely hoping it turns out that Prop 8 was never legal in the first place.

* h+ interviews Ray Kurzweil.

* And behold, Pocahontar. Via Boing Boing.


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Late-night roundup.

* Senate Republicans won’t fight Sotomayor.

* Gay-rights activists are balking at taking Prop 8 to federal court; they think they’ll lose at the Supremes given the courts’ current composition.

* 15 Sexist Vintage Ads. So glad sexism is behind us.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 28, 2009 at 3:58 am

O’Reilly v. Hertzberg

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O’Reilly v. Hertzberg. An intriguing behind-the-scenes look either at a just crusade for fair treatment of Newt Gingrich or else at what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a Bill O’Reilly smearjob, depending on whether or not you know the meaning of the word “fascism.” (Thanks, td!)

Proposition 8: The Musical

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Proposition 8: The Musical.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Written by gerrycanavan

December 3, 2008 at 6:44 pm

Prop 8 Update

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The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to consider complaints by opponents of Proposition 8 that it improperly revised the constitution to ban gay marriage. The court declined to stay its enforcement in the meantime.

Court spokeswoman Lynn Holton said the court asked the parties involved to write briefs arguing three issues:

(1) Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution?

(2) Does Proposition 8 violate the separation-of-powers doctrine under the California Constitution?

(3) If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?

Holton said the court established an expedited briefing schedule. She said oral argument could be held as early as March 2009. (via MyDD)

Written by gerrycanavan

November 20, 2008 at 12:10 am

California, Still Leading the Way on Some Things

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California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday signed an executive order that would speed up renewable energy development and require 33 percent of utilities’ electrical power to come from renewable sources by 2030.

California, still leading the way on some things.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 18, 2008 at 10:20 pm

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Understanding the Legal Challenge to Prop 8

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The legal challenge to Proposition 8 rests on the distinction between a “revision” and an “amendment.”

“In passing Prop 8, the people of California basically put an asterisk next to the equal protection clause in the constitution,” said William Araiza, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Now, he said, “it fundamentally comes down to whether the court considers this a major change or not a major change.”

Specifically, opponents of Proposition 8 argue that this kind of change is a “revision,” not an “amendment.” The distinction is important, legal experts say, because revisions require two-thirds approval in the legislature and then a popular vote. Amendments can be approved by popular vote only.

If, as opponents say, the court finds that Proposition 8 qualifies as a revision, then the proposition would be found unconstitutional because its proponents would have, in effect, skipped the required legislative step. If the court strikes down the initiative on these grounds, it is not certain the lawmakers would take up the issue again.

If the court sides with Proposition 8 proponents and allows the amendment, the recourse for gay rights activists would be to put the matter to voters again through their own initiative or take the matter to federal court — something most activists are not ready to do, given the current composition of the Supreme Court.

Forty state legislators have signed a friend-of-the-court brief in favor of this argument that the proposition be voided. Via MyDD.

Meanwhile, slight credit where it is slightly due: the Governator speaks out against Prop 8 only one week too late.

“It’s unfortunate, obviously, but it’s not the end,” Schwarzenegger said in an interview on CNN this morning. “I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area.”…

Today, Schwarzenegger urged backers of gay marriage to follow the lesson he learned as a bodybuilder trying to lift weights that were too heavy for him at first. “I learned that you should never ever give up…. They should never give up. They should be on it and on it until they get it done.”

And in fairness to Michele’s earlier call of “bullshit” it must be admitted that I don’t think Obama’s said anything about Prop 8 at all.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 11, 2008 at 4:34 am

Tonight’s Special Comment

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Olbermann’s special comment on Prop 8. KO’s characteristic melodrama aside, I have to agree with him: it boggles my mind that this is an argument we are having as a nation, that there is anyone, anywhere, who could actually oppose marriage equality. I can’t begin to understand it. I suppose I’m impatient—GLBT issues have made tremendous progress even since the 1990s, and in a few years this will all be (almost) over—but this is really a struggle I just wish we could skip to the end of.

At one point I was hopeful that Prop 8 would be the first big victory for our side. I’m still upset it wasn’t. Keith is, in the end, right: this vote is horrible.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 11, 2008 at 3:09 am