Sunday, September 27, 2015

All Over and Not Crying ~ John Boehner Resigns

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Previous Related Posts:
Boehner Re-Elected House Speaker 2015
GOP Seeks New Oompa-Loompa to Replace Boehner

The day after the Pope visited Congress, John Boehner turned in his resignation as Speaker of the House. And he suddenly looked like a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders, striding in to his press conference singing "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah."

What happens now? The far-right conservative jackals such as Ted Cruz are thrilled because they have called Boehner a "traitor" and "RINO" for making deals with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. But let's see if the monstrous Tea Party can do any better without Boehner to kick around anymore. Probably not.

From CNN:

Boehner had wanted to end his run last year, but was concerned about destabilizing the House Republican caucus. He was ready to announce his resignation on his birthday this November. But Friday, one day after the emotional, historic visit by Pope Francis to Capitol Hill, Boehner found his moment.
"I decided today is the day I'm going to do this, simple as that," Boehner said at a Capitol Hill press conference, saying his decision came after a night of sleep and prayers.
. . . The timing may have been right for Boehner -- but it stunned the House GOP Conference Friday morning, which had been meeting to discuss a way forward on funding legislation. Boehner made the announcement -- and choked up. Others did too.
"A lot of grown men and women were crying, especially those who know him the most," said Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-New York.

From New York Times
Of course Boehner couldn’t last: He’s an adult. And as Donald Trump’s perverse currency and a Republican nominating contest that’s often indistinguishable from a temper tantrum demonstrate, the qualities of maturity, steadiness and prudence aren’t in especially big favor right now with an animated, engaged and frighteningly influential segment of the Republican electorate.
. . . “He’s somebody who understands that in government — in governance — you don’t get 100 percent of what you want,” President Obama said on Friday at the White House, reflecting on the fresh news that Boehner was leaving. “But you have to work with people who you disagree with, sometimes strongly, in order to do the people’s business.” Obama and Boehner were hardly a study in “Kumbaya” cooperation, but Obama seemed to sense that the song sung by whoever follows Boehner will be sourer and more strident.
Brace for it.

From The Hill
A fired-up House Ethics Committee Chairman Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), speaking not long after Boehner dropped the bombshell at a Friday conference meeting that he’ll leave Congress at the end of next month, ripped into hard-line conservatives.
He accused them of opposing Boehner at every turn, and noted they have “never had a horse of their own.”
“Any jackass can kick down a barn door. It takes a carpenter to hang one. We need a few more carpenters around here. Everybody knows it,” Dent said off the House floor.
Leadership allies are frustrated by what they see as a repeated exercise in futility.
They argue that the lawmakers who repeatedly tangled with Boehner aren’t team players, and they said a new leadership team shouldn’t cater to them.


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Friday, September 18, 2015

Irving Texas Arrests Muslim Kid Too Smart for Irving Texas

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14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed has a bright future as a scientist of tomorrow. But until yesterday his high school in Irving, Texas, merely thought of him as "That Muslim Kid" or "Who?"

Now they won't ever forget his name. And they'll never live down what they did to him.

See, this smart kid made a clock and took it to school. Some hysterical and stupid teacher thought it was a BOMB. However, no bomb squad was ever called, and the school wasn't evacuated. But the principal and police still interrogated this boy without his parents beside him for two hours. Over a clock that wasn't a bomb.

By the middle of the day, the obviously frightened child in a NASA t-shirt was handcuffed, arrested, and taken to jail. For being smart. And Muslim. And unfortunately for Irving, Texas, what they did there infuriated most of the known world as the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed trended for 24 hours. Now he has been invited to the White House, NASA, MIT, Harvard, Twitter, Facebook - you name it! Ahmed's story has a totally happy ending. Irving, Texas, not so much.

From the New York Times
HOUSTON — Ahmed Mohamed’s homemade alarm clock got him suspended from his suburban Dallas high school and detained and handcuffed by police officers on Monday after school officials accused him of making a fake bomb. By Wednesday, it had brought him an invitation to the White House, support from Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg, and a moment of head-spinning attention as questions arose whether he had been targeted because of his name and his religion.
. . . The thing in question was the product of Ahmed’s love of invention. He made the clock out of a metal briefcase-style box, a digital display, wires and a circuit board. It was bigger and bulkier than a typical bedside clock, with cords, screws and electrical components.

He said he took it to school on Monday to show an engineering teacher, who said it was nice but then told him he should not show the invention to other teachers. Later, Ahmed’s clock beeped during an English class, and after he revealed the device to the teacher, school officials notified the police, and Ahmed was interrogated by officers.
“She thought it was a threat to her,” Ahmed told reporters Wednesday. “So it was really sad that she took a wrong impression of it.”

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Kim Davis Comes Back - But For How Long?

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Previous Related Posts:
Kim Davis Released From Jail Into Christian Hullabaloo
 While Conservatives Howl, Gay Marriage Happens in Kentucky
Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Held for Contempt of Court

Kim Davis went back to work on Monday, but was still adamant that she expects the State of Kentucky and the rest of the United States to make an "accommodation" so she doesn't have to do her job handing out marriage licenses to those nasty gay people she also says she loves as a Christian (but whom she wants to punish). Having deputy clerks do her job for her got her out of jail, but Kim isn't finished, not by a country mile.

Let's face it, this woman is a drama queen: married four times, dresses like Granny Clampett on national TV, going into ecstasy standing beside Mike Huckabee to the cheers of the crowd. She still thinks she is in control of the situation, even after jail time.

But she may be overplaying her crazy in tampering with the state of Kentucky marriage license form, changing the way it is signed. Her signature doesn't appear, and her Deputy is merely listed as "notary public," which is insulting if not an illegal demotion - I would sue her just for that. The ACLU has taken notice:

From Buzzfeed
Upon returning to work Monday, Davis said the licenses issued by her deputy clerks would not have her name, title, or authorization on them. “Instead the licenses will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal order,” she said.
Davis also said she had “great doubts” about the validity of the licenses issued under these conditions.

“I’m fine with it. I have my marriage license. I believe it is valid,” Shannon Wampler-Collins, told BuzzFeed News after getting her marriage license on Monday.
The license says it is “issued … pursuant to federal court order.”

In addition, while Deputy Clerk Brian Mason’s name is on the license, the form identifies him as a “notary public” instead of a deputy clerk.

Those two most recent changes — naming a court order instead of Davis’s name and calling a deputy clerk a notary public — went further than changes that had been made to licenses issued while Davis was in jail, leading the ACLU, which has represented plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Davis, to suggest that the modified licenses may be invalid.
James Esseks, director of the group’s LGBT project, said in a statement Monday night he has “concerns about the validity of the marriage licenses issued today given the further alteration of the forms.” The group said it reviewing it’s options, but, when asked by BuzzFeed News, ACLU staff did not elaborate on its concerns with the legality of forms or explain what actions it could take.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

GOP Fails to Stop Obama's Iran Deal

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Let's enjoy all the tears of impotent rage over "Lame Duck" Obama's huge world victory in getting the Iran Deal to move forward with help from the Dems, who blocked last minute maneuvers, and in spite of the Religious Nuts, Bibi Netanyahu, and Prophets of Doom like Glenn Beck. Call a Waaaahmbulance!

From USAToday
Senators voted 58-42 to bring to the floor a resolution disapproving the deal. That was two votes short of the 60 votes Republican leaders needed to advance the bill.

The Democrats' action spares Obama from having to veto any legislation and leaves the Iran agreement intact, though Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he may bring the bill back for another vote next week.

Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., predicted that the outcome would not change if McConnell tries again.

"You can call (a vote) ten more times and you’ll get the same result," Durbin said.

Under legislation passed by Congress in May, the deal will take effect unless both the House and Senate vote for a resolution of disapproval by Sept. 17.

President Obama said he was heartened by the vote.

"The Senate took an historic step forward and voted to enable the United States to work with our international partners to enable the implementation of the comprehensive, long-term deal that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," Obama said in a statement. "This vote is a victory for diplomacy, for American national security, and for the safety and security of the world."

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Kim Davis Released from Jail into Christian Hullabaloo

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Previous Related Posts:
While Conservatives Howl, Gay Marriage Happens in Kentucky
Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Held for Contempt of Court
Love Wins: Gay Marriage Upheld by Supreme Court
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Today Kim Davis, Court Clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, was released from jail. The original gay and straight plaintiffs who complained about her to the court said they had received their marriage licenses from the deputy clerks in her office last week, so Judge Dunning allowed her to walk free. Her extremely conservative fans immediately saw this as a great victory, and made a public spectacle of themselves, led by a couple of grifters GOP presidential hopefuls were on scene to help her celebrate her release - Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz - both hoping to gain political capitol by associating with such a religious icon to the far right.

But not so fast. Kim Davis never promised she wouldn't interfere with gay marriage anymore. If she goes back to her cushy $80,000 per year job and starts preaching to gay citizens or forbidding her deputies from handing out licenses, she may be right back in the lock-up.

Orange is the new Wiggity-Whack.

From CNN
The Kentucky clerk, who was held in contempt of court for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, urged her supporters not to give in.

"Thank you all so much. I love you all so very much," she said. "I just want to give God the glory. His people have rallied, and you are a strong people. We serve a living God who knows exactly where each and every one of us is at. Just keep on pressing. Don't let down, because he is here. He's worthy."

. . . U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered that Davis be released from jail -- five days after he sent her there -- saying he was satisfied that her deputies fulfilled their obligations to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples in her absence.
But Bunning's new order says Davis cannot interfere with her deputies issuing marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.
That means Davis could find herself behind bars again if she does anything to prevent the marriages from taking place, CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin said.
"If Ms. Davis stops them from issuing licenses, then we are right back where we started," Toobin said. "And Judge Bunning has made it quite clear, he will lock her back up."

From the New York Times:
. . . Of the two presidential contenders who attended the rally, it was Mr. Huckabee, making his second White House run, who grabbed the political spotlight. Before Ms. Davis appeared, Mr. Huckabee and Mr. Staver took the stage to tell the crowd, in unison, “Kim Davis is free.”
When Mr. Cruz, who met with Ms. Davis, exited the Carter County Detention Center, a throng of journalists beckoned him toward their microphones, but an aide to Mr. Huckabee blocked the path of the senator, who appeared incredulous.
. . . Many demonstrators, few of them expecting that Ms. Davis would be released, brought lawn chairs. On one side, there were signs with Bible verses and one comparing the Supreme Court to the Islamic State, while a man with a megaphone urged people to repent. On the other, people waved signs saying “God Loves!!!! Period!”
Linda Clark, 40, an opponent of same-sex marriage from Olive Hill, Ky., said, “We’re happy for God to raise an army for what the majority of people want.”

Even Fox News couldn't take this stuff.
Shepard Smith went on an epic rant against the haters:

Shepard Smith of Fox News: “Well, they've set this up as a religious play again. This is the same crowd that says 'We don't want Sharia Law - don't let them come in here and start telling us what to do. Keep their religion out of our lives and out of our government.' Well, here we go again.
When this started, this lawyer said he needed an accommodation for a woman who wanted one. She said she didn’t want her name on a license for gay people.... Now they’ve come up with one,they’ve let her out of jail… said 'you don't have to have to name on there, just put the name of the county on there, all this is done. But it’s not what they want. This is what they want, what you’re hearing now and this what they’re going to get: get a stirred up argument and a couple of days in the news cycle, and they’re going to be able to make these claims. And the truth is, when you get right down to the fundamentals of this, the Supreme Court of the United States saysyou can't have things being OK for one group of people, but not OK for another group of people. This is not unprecedented. They did it when they said black and white people couldn’t marry. And they said, 'Oh wait, I guess you can.' Now they've said straight people and gay people. all y'all can get married.If you want to get married, go right at it. The government's not going to get in the way of you anymore than they got in the way of straight people back in the day.
But, haters are going to hate. We thought what this woman wanted was an accommodation, which they’ve granted her, something that worked for everybody. But it’s not what they want.”

Friday, September 4, 2015

While Conservatives Howl, Gay Marriage Happens in Kentucky

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Previous Related Posts:
Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Held for Contempt of Court
Love Wins: Gay Marriage Upheld by Supreme Court
Republicans React to Gay Marriage Ruling

Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis went to jail yesterday for refusing to hand out marriage licenses to gay couples, but today was a new day in Rowan County. The deputy clerks stepped up and did their jobs, leaving religious conservatives with nothing to do but howl.

From NPR via WFPL:
...Yates and Smith walked up to Deputy Clerk Brian Mason.
Mason was all business. He checked their licenses, asked them if they were related, took their $35 and, in about five minutes, handed them an envelope and said, "Congratulations."
Yates and Smith had become the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license from Rowan County.
They exited to chants of "Love has won. Love has won."
"I don't want her in jail," Yates said of Davis. "No one wanted her in jail. We just wanted the licenses given out. This isn't a blessing. It's an official license."

Clerk Kim Davis's attorney, Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver, immediately announced that any new licenses are invalid. Of course, he is wrong, since Judge Dunning ordered her under deputies to get back to work or face contempt charges themselves.

“They are not being issued under the authority of Rowan County and they’re not worth the paper that they’re written on,” said Mat Staver, chair of Liberty Counsel, the non-profit law firm that is representing Davis.
Sam Marcosson, a law professor for the University of Louisville, said the marriage licenses are valid because Davis had no authority to stop issuing them in the first place.
“Since she’s acting contrary to her legal duties and without authority any actions she would take to block the marriage licenses would be invalid,” he said.

Oh, the bitching and moaning of the religious right - starting with Davis's attorney, who blew up at Chris Hayes for asking hard questions when all he really wanted to do is bash gay marriage:

Hayes: Mr. Staver, how is the fundraising going?

Staver: Why don't you ask the ACLU?

Hayes: They're not standing in front of me but I'd be happy to. I think they're doing quite well.

Staver: But you never asked that question of the ACLU. Why don't you ask that of the ACLU? Why don't you ask the people who represented O.J. Simpson, where they were getting their money?

Hayes: Mr. Staver --

Staver: It's absolutely irrelevant to the issue-- the issue is--

Hayes: Mr. Staver -- The issue is there's a woman in prison--

Staver: --accommodate her religious conscience and religious freedom. You may not want to address that, but--

Hayes: Mr. Staver, there are allies of yours - they think you're taking Kim Davis for a ride and basically raising money off her plight. So I'm just asking you the question. How are you doing on fundraising this week?

Staver: Anyone who asks that question does not know Kim Davis. Kim Davis has a strong conviction and conscience--

Hayes: OK

Staver: --She contacted us for representation. We are representing her. I can tell you we are putting a whole lot more money into the cost and expenses than we would ever get from this case. This was never about fundraising. It's conscience. If you can't get that simple idea that we've got freedom of religion and conscience rights. And the question is not whether she's sincere, not whether there's a collusion, but is there a reasonable way to accommodate her--

Hayes: No, no, the question is--

Staver: The answer is, yes there is.

Hayes: No, the question is, with all due respect, the question is - is there a limiting condition? You failed to give me one. Mr. Staver, thank you very much.

Staver: No, the question is--

Hayes: And very good luck--

Staver: whether they can--

Hayes: Thank you for joining us.

National Review:

LOL - Kim Davis's husband calls the judge a "butt."

Mike Huckabee:

Rand Paul:

Todd Starnes of Fox News:

Matt Barber of The Blaze:

Erick Erickson of Red State/FoxNews:

Ben Shapiro of Breitbart (needs translation)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Held in Contempt of Court

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Previous Related Posts:
Love Wins: Gay Marriage Upheld by Supreme Court
Republicans React to Gay Marriage Ruling

County Clerk Kim Davis of Rowan County, Kentucky, has been pitching a fit about the Supreme Court gay marriage act now for months. As a result, many couples, both gay and straight, who wanted to get married in the county where they live and pay taxes have been unable to get a license. As details have emerged about her own private life, she has been exposed as a royal hypocrite:

Davis cannot be fired because she is an elected official, and can only be removed by legislative impeachment. Unfortunately the Kentucky Legislature is out of session until January and Democratic Governor Steve Beshear has decided not to waste taxpayer money on a special session, since the Legislature has to change many laws to be in compliance with the SCOTUS ruling:

From Kentucky Courier-Journal:
"The General Assembly will convene in just four months and can make any statutory changes it deems necessary at that time. I see no need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money calling a special session of the General Assembly when 117 and 120 county clerks are doing their jobs."

Several straight and gay couples who had been turned away by Ms. Davis sued to put pressure on her to comply. The attorneys of Davis, paid goons from the so-called conservative "Liberty Counsel," appealed to the Supreme Court to save her, but were turned down flat. Why? Because their arguments have no standing under the law, so they write about Ms. Davis's feelings and opinions as if they matter more than any other citizen in Rowan County or the state of Kentucky. Basically, they are just using Davis to rabble rouse the far-right evangelicals who give money to groups like . . . Liberty Counsel. It's a money-makin' deal. God told them to do it, I guess. Oh, and they really, really hate "The Gay."

At that point a Federal Judge ordered Ms. Davis and her staff into court in Ashland, KY, and it all hit the fan today. There was chaos outside the Federal Courthouse, lots of shouting and sign-waving from both sides:

Judge Dunning decided not to seek monetary fines from Davis because he knew that religious groups would just continue paying them. Instead, after asking if she would comply and she refused, he ordered her into "indefinite" custody of Federal Marshalls. Outside the courthouse, those in favor of equality cheered.

Later in the day, five deputy clerks told the judge they would be willing to give licenses to gay couples, except for one - Davis's son - who for some reason was not charged with contempt of court (I would have charged him!). Davis was asked back into court, but she refused and merely sent her attorney to tell the judge she would not comply and if released she would "interfere" with marriage licenses. So Judge Dunning proceeded with contempt charges. Later she was booked and a mug shot taken. Her attorneys are trying something to get her out, but I doubt if it will work.

She wanted to be a martyr, so she's a martyr. She's also probably lost a plum $80,000/year job that is rare as hen's teeth in Rowan County, Kentucky. And she's caused everyone who works there distress and legal fees, for which they will not thank her. The religious right will scream and wail "Christian Persecution" (Huckabee and Cruz, for instance). The Legislature may try to save her, but hey - she can always work for Hobby Lobby or Chick-Fil-A, right?