For the past week, the White House has dealt with investigations into the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, IRS targeting of tax-exempt conservative groups, and controversy over the Justice Department seizing AP records. The trio of scandals seem to have had little effect on the public’s feelings about President Barack Obama in new polling.
That’s because Benghazi is a fake controversy (or more like one blown way out of proportion), the IRS is a fake controversy, and the American people don’t care about their civil liberties getting stomped on, whether it’s done by a Democratic administration or a Republican one.
Truncated transcript from today’s SCOTUS argument
For those of you who don’t want to read the transcript of the oral argument in Hollingsworth v. Perry, which is all of 82 pages long, or whose heads exploded when you tried to read it, I’ve written a helpful summary. It’s available below the jump.
This summary is still fairly long, but it’s shorter and I’ve worked to make things as accessible as possible to those without legal training.
As a result, there are some places where I might have oversimplified the legal argument. My summarizing might be partially colored by my personal viewpoints, but this is basically what happened, plus or minus the aliens eating children.
Stop what you are doing and read this. Right now.
“SOTOMAYOR: Aside from marriage, do you think the government can discriminate against gays and lesbians?
COOPER: No, that would be wrong.
SOTOMAYOR: Then what the actual fuck are you doing standing up here?”
Oh, how I wish this were the actual transcript.
I don’t want to be thick-witted here. I understand that on some level a democracy generally elects human leaders who will not abuse the spirit of the law. I think Barack Obama is such a leader. That is for the historians to determine. But practically, much of our foreign policy now depends on the hope of benevolent dictators and philosopher kings. The law can’t help. The law is what the kings say it is.
NY Times: House of Commons brings legal same-sex marriage one step closer to reality in England and Wales. More Info:
The House of Commons voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to approve a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Britain, indicating that the bill is assured of passage as it moves through further legislative stages.
But in a major setback for Prime Minister David Cameron, who championed the bill, it appeared that more than half of the lawmakers in his Conservative Party voted against the measure or abstained.
The bill is now headed to the House of Lords, where it can be slowed by the filibuster and other such delaying tactics, but is widely expected to pass in the end thanks to overwhelming public support for the measure. Prime Minister Cameron has said he hopes to have the law in full effect by this summer.
This is what modern conservatism should look like. Equality should not be a political position, it should be understood as something that applies to everyone.
Wonderful step in the right direction, I hope the House of Lords doesn’t screw this up.
Really trying to lock down 2016, by hitting hourly workers where it hurts the most.
Right. When people think he’s a moderate and a great guy — there’s this.
Yuck. $7.25 an hour in New Jersey is barely livable without help.
In an interview with The New Republic, President Barack Obama took a nice big broadside at Fox News. More:
Well, look, I’ve always believed that there are a bunch of Republicans of goodwill who would rather get something done than suffer through the sort of nasty atmosphere that prevails in Washington right now. It’s not a fun time to be a member of Congress.
And I think if you talk privately to Democrats and Republicans, particularly those who have been around for a while, they long for the days when they could socialize and introduce bipartisan legislation and feel productive. So I don’t think the issue is whether or not there are people of goodwill in either party that want to get something done. I think what we really have to do is change some of the incentive structures so that people feel liberated to pursue some common ground.
One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.
I think John Boehner genuinely wanted to get a deal done, but it was hard to do in part because his caucus is more conservative probably than most Republican leaders are, and partly because he is vulnerable to attack for compromising Republican principles and working with Obama.
The same dynamic happens on the Democratic side. I think the difference is just that the more left-leaning media outlets recognize that compromise is not a dirty word. And I think at least leaders like myself—and I include Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in this—are willing to buck the more absolutist-wing elements in our party to try to get stuff done.
This oughta drive some major talking-head debate over the next week or so. (BTW, it’s worth noting that the interview with Obama corresponds with a bold new redesign of The New Republic. The magazine is owned by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who helped interview the president, and it shows.)
No one anticipated it, but President Barack Obama used the occasion of his second Inaugural Address to give what was perhaps the most important gay-rights speech in American history…
Not only was this a call to end discrimination, but an unambiguous argument for the recognition of same-sex marriage across the country.
For more: http://nyr.kr/VMrdnU
For those reading at home.
Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.
Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.
I was in the audience for this. Was some crazy stuff, and it was very disappointing to see him removed from the stage. (To be clear, it wasn’t at Obama’s inauguration, but at a party related to the inauguration.) — Ernie @ SFB
Well, it was their own fault for not realizing what kind of artist he was. Kudos to him for speaking his mind, though apparently his rant was a little rambly. You can support the Democratic party and the president all you want, but if you’re a liberal who’s completely ok with our current foreign policy, I don’t think you’re paying enough attention.
State from the organizers who pulled him off can be found here.
Inauguration Fact: The inaugural ball tradition began with the first inauguration, held in New York.
It was unofficial, and President Washington attended alone—his wife had not yet arrived in New York.
Dolley Madison planned the first official ball, held for her husband President James Madison in Long’s Hotel in Washington, DC. Guests paid four dollars to attend.
During Woodrow Wilson’s Presidency, the inaugural balls were canceled to preserve the solemnity of the day. Franklin D. Roosevelt brought back the tradition with an official inauguration ball in 1933, but the war would make the following balls more subdued. In 1949, President Truman began the tradition of multiple balls so that more people could participate and see the President and First Lady.
Image: President William Jefferson Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton Dancing at the Tennessee Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC, 01/20/1997, ARC 5950246, Clinton Presidential Library.