Friday, May 16, 2008

Other Items

Congressional Democrats began to put into practice their philosophy of asking the wealthy to shoulder more of the cost of government programs on Thursday as the House approved an expansive new veterans education benefit that would be paid for by a tax on affluent Americans.
Some Republicans joined Democrats in approving the aid, for veterans who enlisted after the Sept. 11 attacks, with a cost estimated at $52 billion over 10 years.
A vote to provide an additional $163 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan went down in a surprise defeat, at least temporarily, because of objections from members of both parties.
In pushing the tax plan, Democrats are banking on the idea that most Americans will have no quarrel with requiring those on the highest economic rung to pay for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan to receive the equivalent of a free four-year college education at a public university.
The proposal is the most striking example so far of a Democratic refrain being heard increasingly in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail: Americans with significant financial resources need to contribute more to efforts to help those less prosperous.

The above is from Carl Hulse and the New York Times' meltdown for officialdom entitled "House Approves Tax on Rich to Aid G.I.'s" and, note, the 'poor' folks the paper's defending make a minimum of $500,000 a year individually or one million a year as a couple. The paper finds it "striking." Which is why that's the narrative the paper goes with. There were any number of ways to present the story. You could, for example, note the participants (on both sides of the aisle) who prevented the supplemental. You could talk about what did pass. The Times screams and cries for its intended readership. By contrast, Halimah Abdullah's "Money for Fort Benning hospital in Iraq supplemental bill" (McClatchy Newspapers) offers:

Tucked into the hotly debated Iraq war emergency spending bill is roughly $1 billion for four of the nation's aging military health facilities -- places that some Democratic House leaders have said do not meet current standards for medical care and need immediate attention in order to prevent the types of problems that faced Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.
Fort Benning, Ga., Camp LeJune, N.C., Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and Fort Riley, Kan. -- bases in states with members on the powerful House Appropriations Committee -- will receive a boost in funding if the domestic spending portion of the Iraq war supplemental is adopted. Martin Army Community Hospital at Fort Benning is slated to receive $350 million to rebuild.
The money would provide long awaited relief for places like Fort Benning as the Columbus area braces for the addition thousands of additional personnel because of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decisions and the return from Iraq of Benning's 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team.

There were many things 'the paper of record' could have covered. But they don't do it that way, do they?

Brandon's already guessed the answer to the quiz in today's gina & krista round-robin. We'll discuss it more tomorrow morning; however, let's note what 'those types' won't (despite claiming to be 'independent' media) because it's never suited their political party. (Which, no, isn't the Democratic Party.) So, if they have to cover it, they'll farm it out to writers you've never heard of. From Howard Mintz and Denis C. Theriault's "California Supreme Court: State constitution gives gays the right to marry" (San Jose Mercury News):

For four years, the gay rights movement has clung to the hope that the California Supreme Court would reverse its flagging political and legal fortunes across the country and legalize same-sex marriage.
By one vote, the strategy worked. And gay couples across California can get up this morning and plan their own June weddings for the first time in state history. California then joins Massachusetts as the only states where gay couples can marry.
In a ruling that is certain to inflame the social, political and moral debate over gay marriage, a divided state Supreme Court dominated by Republican appointees on Thursday struck down California laws that restrict marriage to heterosexual couples. The 4-3 ruling, written by Chief Justice Ronald George, found that it is unconstitutional to deprive gays and lesbians of the equal right to walk down the aisle with a government-issued marriage license in hand.

A monumental moment and one that will continued to be ignored by a number in Panhandle Media. They expose themselves, no one else has to. But sticking with Real Media, from Greg Moran's "Court overturns ban on same-sex marriage" (San Diego Union-Tribune):

The state Supreme Court decision striking down California laws banning same-sex marriage was an epic legal victory for gay and lesbian civil rights advocates that capped a four-year legal battle.
But that triumph might be short-lived, as opponents attacked the ruling immediately after it was released yesterday morning and readied for a potential November vote on a constitutional amendment that could make the court's historic decision moot.
In a 4-3 ruling, the state's highest court said two state laws, one of which was approved by voters, are unconstitutional discrimination because they limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.

On the news, the New York Times offers three pieces and none is worthy of highlighting. The worst offender is Adam Nagourney who gets to do "NEWS ANALYSIS" which really means: "Stand back America, Ad Nags is about to lie again!" He is the co-creator of the myth of 'values' voters in the 2004 election and he misread (intentionally) polling data to create that nonsense. Around the same time, for those who have forgotten, he was announcing Slimey Simon Rosenberg's coronation of the DNC chair repeatedly. That never happened, of course, but that's the sort of 'reporting' Nagourney provides. His nonsense today is entitled "Marriage Ruling Vaults Issue Back to Stage In Presidential Bids" and, if you pay attention, you'll be able to tell who's bandwagon he's on (he's always on the most centrist in any contest, so naturally, that's Barack Obama). John McCain and Hillary Clinton (or, for that matter, Ralph Nader) aren't quoted. Barack's campaign gets the quote in the lengthy, lie-riddled 'analysis.' He opens with a lie:

Gay marriage is an issue on which the three major presidential candidates -- John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton -- are pretty much in agreement. All oppose it, while saying at the same time that same-sex couples should generally be entitled to the legal protections afforded married couples. All think the decision should be left to the states.


The only 'mixed' debate (various issues) that addressed same-sex marriage aired on CNN. It took place at The Citadel with no objections. Certainly not from James E. Clyburn who thinks his association with the insitutition is a source of pride. Most would assume an institution created to enforce slavery (The Citadel was created to prevent "runaway slaves"). It was appalling that the Democrats got away with holding a debate at an institution created to enforce and continue slavery. But that didn't get called out, now did it? But in that debate, the issue of same-sex marriage was raised. And, no Adam Nagourney, Barack did not say it should be left up to the states. If he had, Ava and I wouldn't have had to point out how insane Barack sounded in that debate (John Edwards came off only slightly better):

Loving v. Virginia was a breakthrough, a legal landmark, for the United States. In a debate, Barack Obama was asked, "Senator Obama, the laws banning interracial marriage in the United States were ruled unconstitutional in 1967. What is the difference between a ban on interracial marriage and a ban on gay marriage?" Obama mouthed a lot of nonsense about 'equality' and then went on to state it's a decision for different denominations to make. There should have been a gasp heard round the country.

Barack is a lawyer, a trained legal mind. Though we find it difficult to believe he's never studied Loving v. Virginia (as difficult to believe as Clarence Thomas Senate testimony that he'd never thought about Roe v. Wade), we'll allow that maybe it fell into some gap in his education. But as a trained legal mind, he does grasp court billing. "v. Virginia" means versus state. Not versus a denomination.

In that historic case, the Supreme Court of the United States found the laws of the state of Virginia to be unconstitutional and illegal. That finding meant that all states could no longer refuse to issue marriage certificates to couples of different races. Obama's weak-ass response should have been considered weak ass. (John Edwards also embarrassed himself in that debate noting he was against "gay marriage" and "I do not" support it leading us to shout back at the screen, "Gee, John, we weren't aware you were being inundated with proposals!") But it was also dishonest. A law student, forget the former president of the Harvard Law Review, grasps that Loving v. Virginia was not about whether "denominations" could make a decision, it was about what the government could do. To provide perspective, imagine the issue was illegal search and seizure on the part of the government (forbidden by the Constitution) and Obama had responded, "I think it's up to denominations." The government was discriminating and the Supreme Court stood up for the rights of all. A trained legal mind should grasp that. If Obama didn't, he's either not much of a student or he's a really bad liar.

Obama denies a lot. For instance, that debate, YouTube/CNN, took place at South Carolina's Citadel and we wonder how many are aware that the institution's history, it's very creation, resulted from the desire to enforce slavery? In a society really concerned with racism, Democrats holding a 'debate' there would have been called out in real time (and we did call it out in real time). But the media creation of Bambi doesn't exist to explore race let alone the racial tensions in so much of today's United States.

Adam Nagourney 'invents' the public record. USA Today transcript of the debate is here, and as Ava and I noted, Barack states very clearly that same-sex marriage is up to churches -- not states:

Now, with respect to marriage, it's my belief that it's up to the individual denominations to make a decision as to whether they want to recognize marriage or not. But in terms of, you know, the rights of people to transfer property, to have hospital visitation, all those critical civil rights that are conferred by our government, those should be equal.

This is Kenneth Romero's "Excitement for Hillary is Brewing Here in Puerto Rico!" (

As many Boricuas enjoyed their cafe con leche while doing last-minute Mother's Day shopping at Paseo De Diego, in the heart of San Juan, I was overwhelmed listening to people who over and over again shouted out "Hillary, esa es mi candidata".

A group of volunteers took to the busy streets of Rio Piedras, handing out bumper stickers, yard signs and, most importantly, one-on-one information on Hillary's comprehensive agenda for the jurisdiction with the largest Hispanic population under the American flag--- over 4 million.

With a voter turn-out of more than 80%, we here are very vocal about politics and, during our visit, people were certainly eager to shake hands with us and express their whole-hearted support for her candidacy. They know that Hillary is a champion for Boricuas but, most importantly, she is the one, true voice for all Latinos in the United States.

On Sunday, June 1st, all eyes will be on Puerto Rico as we celebrate the democratic primary and Hillary's victory here in the Island.

El 1ero de junio, ¡sal a votar por Hillary!


Kat, Trina, Elaine, Ava and I will be there this weekend but the regular weekend entries at this site will still go up in their regular irregular time.

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