Sunday, July 8, 2012

Headlines - Sunday July 8

House Majority Leader John Boehner, the highest-ranking Republican elected official:
But at a June 30 fundraiser in Wheeling, W.Va., Speaker John Boehner offered a surprisingly frank assessment of the dynamic that surprised some in the audience.

Aside from Romney's "friends, relatives and fellow Mormons," Boehner said, most people will be motivated to vote for him in opposition to Obama.

The Ohio Republican made the remarks when an unidentified woman asked during a question-and-answer session: "Can you make me love Mitt Romney?"

"No," Boehner said. "Listen, we're just politicians. I wasn't elected to play God. The American people probably aren't going to fall in love with Mitt Romney."

I'd say "with friends like that, who needs enemies?", but it's clear Boehner has no interest in being Romney's friend. He's likely horrified at the idea, just like you are.

It's a good thing Romney doesn't drink beer, because no one would want to drink one with him.


Theocrats sure can be dumb sometimes:

In Louisiana, Republican Governor Bobby Jindal pushed for a voucher program that would allow state funds to be used to pay for religious schools. It's unconstitutional, it's a way to use taxpayer money to fund someone's faith, and it was a bad idea to begin with.

But it passed.

Now, one of the state legislators, Rep. Valarie Hodges (R-Watson), just made a shocking discovery, though: Christianity isn't the only religion!

Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-Watson, says she had no idea that Gov. Bobby Jindal's overhaul of the state's educational system might mean taxpayer support of Muslim schools.

"I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America's Founding Fathers' religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools," the District 64 Representative said Monday.

"Unfortunately it will not be limited to the Founders' religion," Hodges said. "We need to insure that it does not open the door to fund radical Islam schools. There are a thousand Muslim schools that have sprung up recently. I do not support using public funds for teaching Islam anywhere here in Louisiana."


A revealing quote from Judge Posner, a conservative on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals:

I think these right-wingers who are blasting [Justice John] Roberts are making a very serious mistake. Because if you put [yourself] in [Roberts'] position ... what's he supposed to think? That he finds his allies to be a bunch of crackpots? Does that help the conservative movement? I mean, what would you do if you were Roberts? All the sudden you find out that the people you thought were your friends have turned against you, they despise you, they mistreat you, they leak to the press. What do you do? Do you become more conservative? Or do you say, 'What am I doing with this crowd of lunatics?' Right? Maybe you have to re-examine your position. I mean, I've become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy.

I don't know that Judge Posner really means that he has become less conservative, or if he means that compared to how the conservative movement has redefined itself, he no longer fits the mold. I suspect the latter, but the point remains the same.


A major victory out of California, as high-speed rail survived a contentious vote in the State Senate by passing with no votes to spare:

It is unclear when construction on the largest infrastructure project in the country can begin; the state still needs a series of regulatory approvals to start the first 130 miles of track in the Central Valley. The plan also faces lawsuits by agriculture interests and potential opposition by major freight railroads.

But proponents rejoiced at Friday's narrow 21-16 vote, which allocates roughly $8 billion for the first segment of track and related transportation projects. Barring insurmountable obstacles, Californians eventually will be able to ride a bullet train — traveling as fast as 220 mph — between Los Angeles and San Francisco rather than fly or drive on aging highways.

"The Legislature took bold action today that gets Californians back to work and puts California out in front once again," Brown said in a statement. The governor has been promoting the project since taking office in 2011 and is expected to sign the funding bill.

This is a very big deal for the future of California, and major props to Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg for holding enough of the Democratic Caucus together to get it done.


Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is asking the Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that allows state employees to place their same-sex partners on their health insurance. Chris Geidner reports.

She's such a nice lady.


Today Rep. Barney Frank made history when he became the first openly gay sitting member of Congress to marry.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick officiated the ceremony and added some levity by saying Frank, 72, and Ready, 42, had vowed to love each other through Democratic and Republican administrations alike, and even through appearances on Fox News, according to Al Green, a Democratic congressman from Texas. "Barney was beaming," said Green, who attended the ceremony. He added that Frank, a champion of gay rights and the sweeping reform of Wall Street, shed a tear during the ceremony. After exchanging their vows, Frank and Ready embraced each other, Green said. "It was no different than any other wedding I've attended when you have two people who are in love with each other," Green said.

Frank will retire at the end of this, his sixteenth term in office. The wedding was attended by top Democrats, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


According to NOAA 40,000 heat records have been broken so far in 2012.

Not coincidentally, the Republicans tried to defund NOAA's satellite program which tracks climate change early last year.


Research Report: How Secular Humanists (and Everyone Else) Subsidize Religion in the United States



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