News and Opinion Based on Facts

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An open letter to the people who hate Obama more than they love America

Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 01:57 PM PST

An open letter to the people who hate Obama more than they love America

    I meet you all the time. You hate Obama. You hate gay people. You hate black people, immigrants, Muslims, labor unions, women who want the right to make choices concerning their bodies, you hate em all. You hate being called racist. You hate being called a bigot. Maybe if you talked about creating jobs more than you talk about why you hate gay people we wouldn't call you bigots. Maybe if you talked about black people without automatically assuming they are on food stamps while demanding their birth certificates we wouldn't call you racist. You hate socialism and social justice. You hate regulations and taxes and spending and the Government. You hate.
Image Hosting by      You like war. You like torture. You like Jesus. I don't know how in the hell any of that is compatible, but no one ever accused you haters of being over-committed to ideological consistency. You like people who look like you or at least hate most of the things that you hate. You hate everything else.
Now, I know you profess to love our country and the founding fathers (unless you are reminded that they believed in the separation of church and state), but I need to remind you that America is NOT what Fox News says it is. America is a melting pot, it always has been. We are a multi-cultural amalgamation of all kinds of people, and yet you still demonize everyone who is not a rich, white, heterosexual christian male or his submissive and obedient wife.
You hate liberals, moderates, hell, anyone who disagrees with Conservative dogma as espoused by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. You hate em.
Well, here are the facts, Jack. If you hate the Government then you are unqualified to manage it. If you hate gay people more than you love America than you should take your own advice and get the hell out. There are several countries that are openly hostile to gay people, but they are full of brown people and you don't like them much either from what I understand. It looks like you are screwed, but that's not what I am here to tell you.
More rant below the fold . . .
Now that you have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at President Obama and it still hasn't worked you are panicking. Obama's approval ratings are still near 50% despite your best efforts to undermine the economy and America's recovery at every step you can. You tried to hold the American economy hostage to force America into default on its' debts, debts that YOU rang up under Bush, so you could blame it on Obama and it failed. You've used the filibuster more than any other Congress ever, going so far as to vote against providing health care access to 9/11 first responders. You remember 9/11, don't you, it's that thing you used to lie us into a war in Iraq, and then when Obama killed Bin Laden and ended the war in Iraq you told people that he hates America and wants the troops to fail. You monsters. You hate Obama with a passion, despite the fact that he is a tax cutting, deficit reducing war President who undermines civil rights and delivers corporate friendly watered down reforms that benefit special interests just like a Republican. You call him a Kenyan. You call him a socialist. You dance with your hatred singing it proudly in the rain like it was a 1950's musical.
Frankly, you disgust me. Your hatred nauseates me. Your bigotry offends me. Your racism revolts me.
Dear haters, I am openly questioning your patriotism.
I think you hate gays, Obama, black people, poor people, all of us, women, atheists and agnostics, Latinos, Muslims, Liberals, all of us, I think you hate every one who isn't exactly like you, and I think you hate us more than you love your country.
I think you hate gay soldiers more than you want America to win its wars.
I don't even think you want America to win wars, you just want America to have wars, never ending wars and the war profiteering it generates. You love that kind of spending, you love spending on faith based initiatives and abstinence based sex education (George Carlin would have loved that one), you love spending on subsidies for profitable oil corporations, you spend like drunken sailors when you are in the White House, but if it is a Democrat then suddenly you cheer when America doesn't get the Olympics because it might make the black President look bad. But oooh you love your country, you say, and you want it back. Well listen here skippy, it isn't your country, you don't own it, it is our country, and America is NOT the religiously extremist Foxbots who hate science, elitist professors and having a vibrant and meaningful sex life with someone we love if Rick Santorum doesn't approve of it. Rick Santorum isn't running for America's fucking high school dance chaperone, he should probably just shut the hell up about sex, but he can't because he has nothing else to run on.
Republicans can NOT win on the issues. They've got NOTHING. All they have is a divide and conquer class war that pits ignorant racist and bigoted people against the rest of us in a meaningless battle of wedge issues and the already proven to fail George W. Bush agenda again of tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, privatization and war profiteering and nothing else, so all they can do is blame black people, gays the government, anybody and everyone else for their own failings. The party of personal responsibility, my ass.
But they love multi-national corporations, just ask a gay hating and racist religious extremist if they think Corporations are people and they will gladly agree, but if you ask them if gay people are people they aren't so sure.
Dear haters, you are the cruel, heartless misinformed assholes who would sell America out to Haliburton in a heartbeat, you would rather pay ZERO taxes than you would see a newly born baby get access to quality health care, you cheer when we discuss denying health care to young people with preventable diseases, and you boo when we discuss the First Ladies plan to cut back on childhood obesity. You are a cross to carry and a flag to wrap yourself in away from being the people who Sinclair Lewis warned us about, but I guarantee that if Fox News told you to dress that way you would, because you are the same blind, ignorant and closed minded dunces who drove this country into a civil war years ago because you are bound to the notion that some men are more equal than others. In short, the reason I proudly wear my union army hat is because of seditious sell outs like you who constantly fuck over working class Americans so a foreign entrepreneur like Rupert Murdoch can get a bigger tax break. If corporations are people, they are neither American patriots nor capable of love. Just like you.
So stop wearing your hate with pride. Stop celebrating your anti-science, anti-math ignorance. Stop using code words to mask your bigotry like "family values", especially when you hate my family and when you stand on the same stage as a guy who has had three marriages or if you share a seat in the Senate with a guy who cheated on his wife with hookers while wearing diapers. You should be ashamed. I know that you are just doing this to motivate your misinformed hate cult base because if they actually knew that your ideas will make them poorer than they are now, they would never vote for you. You are doing your best to impoverish your countrymen so rich people can get bigger tax breaks and you can keep on delivering corporate welfare to the special interests who have bribed you, and I am disgusted by the way you gleefully parade your hatred with aplomb. I don't think you do love America. At least, not as much as you hate everyone in America who isn't exactly like you.
You should think about that, and maybe get some help.
And for the record, I do not hate you. I am embarrassed by you and nauseated by your cruel and thoughtless behavior and your all consuming greed, but I do not hate you. I forgive you and I hope you can change someday, but I don't hate you. You have enough hate in you for the rest of us as it is.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Former Car Thief Darrell Issa

Former Car Thief Darrell Issa Refuses

to let woman speak at hearing Issa hearing

Because Republican Rep. Darrell Issa's hearing "Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?" is a very serious matter that is all about religious freedom and not at all about birth control, no siree, it can only feature the testimony of very serious religious persons whose freedom is important. And when Darrell Issa's running the hearing, only men who agree with Darrell Issa deserve a platform to speak about their freedoms.
As Kaili Joy Gray wrote yesterday, "Issa won't be hearing from any of the nearly two dozen religious groups who have no problem with the Obama administration's new health care policy to require insurance coverage of birth control." That list of the uninvited includes "representatives from the Catholic Health Association, which is run by a woman and actually runs the Catholic hospitals, nor Catholic Charities, both of which said Friday they supported the president’s plan."
Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the Oversight Committee, asked to invite a witness, but, as Cummings recounts:
When my staff inquired about requesting minority witnesses for this hearing, we were informed that you would allow only one. Based on your decision, we requested as our minority witness a third-year Georgetown University Law Center student named Sandra Fluke. I believed it was critical to have at least one woman at the witness table who could discuss the repercussions that denying coverage for contraceptives has on women across this country.
In response, your staff relayed that you had decided as follows:
“As the hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception but instead about the Administration’s actions as they relate to freedom of religion and conscience, he believes that Ms. Fluke is not an appropriate witness.” [...]
Instead of inviting Ms. Fluke to testify, your staff informed us that you planned to invite a different witness who was no longer available after being informed of your decision to limit the minority to a single witness. Compounding this insult, this afternoon you added two more witnesses of your own, in violation of Committee rules requiring three days notice for witnesses called by the majority.
Fluke had been chosen to talk "about a classmate who lost an ovary because of a syndrome that causes ovarian cysts. Georgetown, which is affiliated by the Catholic Church, does not insure birth control, which is also used to treat the syndrome." But that's unrelated to the topic of the hearing, at which women don't count because it's not about birth control, it's about the religious freedom to deny birth control coverage, and that's different. Religious organizations that support the administration's position don't count because ... well, they don't.
8:41 AM PT: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) walked out of the hearing in protest, and Holmes Norton "told reporters in the hallway outside the hearing that she marched out because it was being conducted like an 'autocratic regime.'"

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Story To Live By

A Story To Live By

By Ann Wells, Los Angeles Times
My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister's bureau and lifted out a tissue - wrapped package. "This," he said, "is not a slip. This is lingerie." He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip. It was exquisite; silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached. "Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least 8 or 9 years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion."
He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment. Then he slammed the drawer shut, turned to me and said, "Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."
I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. I thought about them on the plane returning to California from the Midwestern town where my sister's family lives. I thought about all the things that she hadn't seen or heard or done. I thought about the things that she had done without realizing that they were special.
I'm still thinking about his words, and they've changed my life. I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting on the deck and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings.
Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experience to savor, not endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them. I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event, such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market if I like it. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries without wincing.
I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties; clerks in hardware stores and tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my party-going friends. "Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.
I'm not sure what my sister would've done had she known that she wouldn't be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted. I think she would have called family members and a few close friends. She might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think she would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, her favorite food. I'm guessing - I'll never know.
It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew that my hours were limited. Angry because I put off seeing good friends whom I was going to get in touch with - someday. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write - one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband often enough how much I truly love them.
I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

For Whitney Houston, happiness was just out of reach

For Whitney Houston, happiness was just out of reach


whitney.JPGBarbra Streisand tweeted it best early Sunday morning: "She had everything, beauty, a magnificent voice. How sad her gifts could not bring her the same happiness they brought us."
Streisand's succinct eulogy for singer Whitney Houston -- who was found dead Saturday afternoon in her suite at a Beverly Hills, Calif., hotel -- rings true to the bell curve that was Houston's career.
Happiness is something not easy to ascribe to Houston. That's certainly easy to say about her personal life; younger people likely are aware of her as a tabloid train wreck far more than as a record-breaking, wildly popular diva. The majority of her headlines in the last decade have been non-musical: drug abuse and a marijuana bust, erratic behavior and that last-minute cancelation at the Oscars, her roller-coaster marriage and all its dirty laundry literally aired on the reality TV show "Being Bobby Brown."
But even when she was at the top of her game -- and the charts, and the world -- Houston never seemed completely happy.
Her biggest hits (chosen by her, not written by her) were not cheery songs. "Saving All My Love for You" details a hopeless longing for a married man. Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" -- that's not sung to a loved one newly acquired, as a promise, it's delivered over the shoulder after leaving the object of desire. Likewise, "Didn't We Almost Have It All" is pure melancholy reverie. "How Will I Know" wonders about love but doesn't possess it, as does the musically upbeat "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)," in which Houston sings, "Sooner or later the fever ends / and I wind up feeling down."
In the hands of a skilled interpreter like Houston, though, those songs soared. As one of the first black artists to enjoy worldwide success in Michael Jackson's wake, Houston's early career was unparalleled. Her self-titled debut in 1985 sold 13 million copies. Around her second album, 1987's "Whitney," she broke records by logging seven consecutive singles at No. 1. Later, her version of "I Will Always Love You" was, at the time, the biggest-selling single in pop history. Talk about great interpretation -- even her Super Bowl performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" became a Top 20 single.
Think about it: The operatic word "diva" wasn't in widespread use (or at least branded by VH1's annual "Divas" concert) to describe pop singers until Houston's ascendance.

But despite all that happiness she brought to others via her transcendent performances, the fever ended sooner than expected. Always a singles artist more than a crafter of albums, Houston backed off in the '90s and mostly released songs via soundtracks to the movies she starred in. Her personal troubles began overtaking her professional accomplishments. By the 21st century, she was divorced, in rehab, spinning consistent fodder for late-night comics ("Crack is wack!" "Hell to the no!") and, even worse, starting to realize that her hard living had damaged the very instrument that earned her the nickname The Voice.
"I Look to You," her 2009 album and first since a disappointing set seven years earlier, was positioned commercially as a comeback. Her name was back in a few headlines, but not always in a happy way. The songs were strong, but her singing was not. I remember watching her hyped appearance that fall on "Good Morning America," a heart-breaking performance in which her once powerful voice cracked and struggled within a much narrower range. She spent as much time apologizing as singing. Imagine how she must have felt.
Ahead of Sunday's Grammys -- at which Chicago's Jennifer Hudson is now scheduled to sing a brief tribute to the late six-time Grammy winner -- Houston seemed poised for another comeback attempt. She'd increased her public appearances (her last was Thursday night at a pre-Grammy party, where she sang an impromptu "Yes, Jesus Loves Me" alongside singer Kelly Price) and had just finished work on a new film, a remake of "Sparkle," due in theaters Aug. 10.
Whatever happiness she couldn't find for herself, she at least provided for others. (I will not deny having sung "Saving All My Love for You" at the top of my sad lil' lungs, fortunately in the car with the windows up on lonely roads. As a teen, I once played it over the phone to someone who then finally agreed to go out with me.)
Fortunately, in music, that can keep going long after she's gone.

Conservatism Thrives on Low Intelligence and Poor Information

Conservatism Thrives on Low Intelligence and Poor Information

There is plenty of research showing that low general intelligence in childhood predicts greater prejudice towards people of different ethnicity or sexuality in adulthood.
 Self-deprecating, too liberal for their own good, today's progressives stand back and watch, hands over their mouths, as the social vivisectionists of the right slice up a living society to see if its component parts can survive in isolation. Tied up in knots of reticence and self-doubt, they will not shout stop. Doing so requires an act of interruption, of presumption, for which they no longer possess a vocabulary.
Perhaps it is in the same spirit of liberal constipation that, with the exception of Charlie Brooker, we have been too polite to mention the Canadian study published last month in the journal Psychological Science, which revealed that people with conservative beliefs are likely to be of low intelligence. Paradoxically it was the Daily Mail that brought it to the attention of British readers last week. It feels crude, illiberal to point out that the other side is, on average, more stupid than our own. But this, the study suggests, is not unfounded generalisation but empirical fact.
It is by no means the first such paper. There is plenty of research showing that low general intelligence in childhood predicts greater prejudice towards people of different ethnicity or sexuality in adulthood. Open-mindedness, flexibility, trust in other people: all these require certain cognitive abilities. Understanding and accepting others – particularly "different" others – requires an enhanced capacity for abstract thinking.
But, drawing on a sample size of several thousand, correcting for both education and socioeconomic status, the new study looks embarrassingly robust. Importantly, it shows that prejudice tends not to arise directly from low intelligence but from the conservative ideologies to which people of low intelligence are drawn. Conservative ideology is the "critical pathway" from low intelligence to racism. Those with low cognitive abilities are attracted to "rightwing ideologies that promote coherence and order" and "emphasise the maintenance of the status quo". Even for someone not yet renowned for liberal reticence, this feels hard to write.
This is not to suggest that all conservatives are stupid. There are some very clever people in government, advising politicians, running thinktanks and writing for newspapers, who have acquired power and influence by promoting rightwing ideologies.
But what we now see among their parties – however intelligent their guiding spirits may be – is the abandonment of any pretence of high-minded conservatism. On both sides of the Atlantic, conservative strategists have discovered that there is no pool so shallow that several million people won't drown in it. Whether they are promoting the idea that Barack Obama was not born in the US, that man-made climate change is an eco-fascist-communist-anarchist conspiracy, or that the deficit results from the greed of the poor, they now appeal to the basest, stupidest impulses, and find that it does them no harm in the polls.
Don't take my word for it. Listen to what two former Republican ideologues, David Frum and Mike Lofgren, have been saying. Frum warns that "conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics". The result is a "shift to ever more extreme, ever more fantasy-based ideology" which has "ominous real-world consequences for American society".
Lofgren complains that "the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital centre today". The Republican party, with its "prevailing anti-intellectualism and hostility to science" is appealing to what he calls the "low-information voter", or the "misinformation voter". While most office holders probably don't believe the "reactionary and paranoid claptrap" they peddle, "they cynically feed the worst instincts of their fearful and angry low-information political base".
The madness hasn't gone as far in the UK, but the effects of the Conservative appeal to stupidity are making themselves felt. This week the Guardian reported that recipients of disability benefits, scapegoated by the government as scroungers, blamed for the deficit, now find themselves subject to a new level of hostility and threats from other people.
These are the perfect conditions for a billionaires' feeding frenzy. Any party elected by misinformed, suggestible voters becomes a vehicle for undisclosed interests. A tax break for the 1% is dressed up as freedom for the 99%. The regulation that prevents big banks and corporations exploiting us becomes an assault on the working man and woman. Those of us who discuss man-made climate change are cast as elitists by people who happily embrace the claims of Lord MoncktonLord Lawson or thinktanks funded by ExxonMobil or the Koch brothers: now the authentic voices of the working class.
But when I survey this wreckage I wonder who the real idiots are. Confronted with mass discontent, the once-progressive major parties, as Thomas Frank laments in his latest book Pity the Billionaire, triangulate and accommodate, hesitate and prevaricate, muzzled by what he calls "terminal niceness". They fail to produce a coherent analysis of what has gone wrong and why, or to make an uncluttered case for social justice, redistribution and regulation. The conceptual stupidities of conservatism are matched by the strategic stupidities of liberalism.
Yes, conservatism thrives on low intelligence and poor information. But the liberals in politics on both sides of the Atlantic continue to back off, yielding to the supremacy of the stupid. It's turkeys all the way down.
George Monbiot is the author Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning. Read more of his writings at

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Good News: Court Rules Gay Marriage-Denying Proposition 8 (Proposition "H8") Unconstitutional

Great news out of California. An appeals court has ruled that Proposition 8, the California voter-approved measure that banned same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional. Shy of four years ago, the fact that California had voted in favor of this odious measure was the cloud that marred the excitement of President Obama's victory.
This isn't the end of the legal battle, but it's an exciting and just ruling.

A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage, clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage as early as next year.
The 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that limited marriage to one man and one woman, violated the U.S. Constitution. The architects of Prop. 8 have vowed to appeal.
The ruling was narrow and likely to be limited to California.
“Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California,” the court said.

Activists are rejoicing that this ruling upheld the previous decision by Judge Vaughn R. Walker, now-retired U.S. District Judge, and the statements are rolling in:
The 9th Circuit did what it must: it ruled that Judge Walker is competent, not somehow diminished for being gay and it ruled that the Constitution of the United States indeed provides equal protection and due process to all Americans, not just some Americans," said Rick Jacobs, chair and founder of the Courage Campaign, a progressive, grassroots online organization with more than 750,000 members around the country. "Having live-blogged every piece of this trial, especially in Judge Walker's courtroom two years ago, it became patently clear that the fringe opponents of equality would never prevail. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the dynamic duo of attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies and their colleagues at the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) who took to heart that real people are hurt by Prop 8 and its evil cousins across the nation. The time for waiting has ended."
By Sarah Seltzer | Sourced from AlterNet

Miley Cyrus Speaks Up For Marriage Equality

A while back, Miley Cyrus got a tattoo meant to show her support for marriage equality, a gesture that brought her plenty of criticism and even hateful comments from her fans. In an essay for Glamour magazine, she explains the decision to speak up for equality. Miley has never made a secret of having plenty of gay friends who, she hopes, will be one day able to get married legally all across the country. Neither has she made a secret of her religious upbringing and her faith in God. The two don't automatically exclude each other, she says now. Upset that many people reached out to her only to have her know that Christianity says gay love is a sin, Miley is finally speaking up: gay love is still love, so it can't possibly be a sin. “I believe every American should be allowed the same rights and civil liberties. Without legalized same-gender marriage, most of the time you cannot share the same health benefits, you are not considered next of kin and you are not granted the same securities as a heterosexual couple,” she reasons. “How is this different than having someone sit in the back of the bus because of their skin color?” Miley asks. She goes on to plead for more tolerance and understanding, saying that even people with deeply rooted conservative beliefs are known to show both. “We all should be tolerant of one another and embrace our differences. My dad [country singer Billy Ray Cyrus], who is a real man’s man, lives on the farm and is as Southern and straight as they come. He loves my gay friends and even supports same-sex marriage. If my father can do it, anyone can,” the former Disney star says. “This is America, the nation of dreams. We’re so proud of that. And yet certain people are excluded. It’s just not right,” Miley adds. The tattoo that started this debate is the equal sign on Miley's ring finger.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Talks Constitution, Women And Liberty On Egyptian TV

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo's website noted in a Feb. 2 release that Ginsburg concluded her trip to Egypt "following four days of discussions and programs in both Cairo and Alexandria with judges and legal experts as well as law faculty and students." She had intended to "'listen and learn' with her Egyptian counterparts as they begin Egypt's constitutional transition to democracy," according to the embassy.
Yet while Ginsburg's interview, posted on YouTube on Wednesday, lauded the Founding Fathers' "grand general ideas that become more effective over the course of ... more than two sometimes-turbulent centuries," she also said she "would not look to the United States Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012," given its original exclusion of women, slaves and Native Americans.
Since World War II several other models have emerged that offer more specific and contemporary guarantees of rights and liberties, she said, pointing to South Africa's constitution, which she called a "really great piece of work" for its embrace of basic human rights and guarantee of an independent judiciary. She also noted Canada's charter of rights and freedoms and the European Convention of Human Rights.
"Why not take advantage of what there is elsewhere in the world? I'm a very strong believer in listening and learning from others," she said.
Among those currently sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court no other justice has publicly advised another country on the creation of a constitution. In 1960, eight years before he became a justice, Thurgood Marshall traveled to Kenya to draft its bill of rights, which he modeled after the European Convention on Human Rights. Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the Kenyan document guarantees rights to education, health, welfare and a right to work.
Nevertheless, Ginsburg spent most of the 18-minute interview spelling out all the ways the Egyptians could take inspiration from the United States' Constitution, from the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech and a free press to the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause that she, as a lawyer in the 1970s, convinced the court to expand to protect women's rights.
"We were just tremendously fortunate in the United States that the men who met in Philadelphia were very wise," Ginsburg said. "Now it is true that they were lacking one thing," she continued with a chuckle. "And that is that there were no women as part of the Constitutional Convention."
"It's a very inspiring time -- that you have overthrown a dictator and that you are striving to achieve a genuine democracy," Ginsburg told Al Hayat TV. "I think people in the United States are hoping that this transition will work and that it will genuinely be a government of, by and for the people."
Jan. 25 marked the one-year anniversary since the start of the Tahrir Square protests that toppled President Hosni Mubarak's nearly three-decade regime.
When asked by her interviewer how best to draft a constitution and protect it from contemporary political pressures (perhaps alluding to Islamic parties' dominance in the new parliament's lower house), Justice Ginsburg answered, "A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom."
"If the people don’t care, then the best constitution in the world won’t make any difference," she said.
"The spirit of liberty," she continued, "has to be in the population."

This Story Appeared Earlier on The Huffington Post

Monday, February 6, 2012

Susan Powell Husband Josh Powell Murders Kids Commits Suicide During Supervised Visitation

Josh Powell, husband of missing and presumed deceased Utah woman Susan Powell,  deliberately set off an explosion Sunday afternoon killing himself and the couples two young sons Charles and Braden Powell.
Apparently, according to sources familiar with the case, the children were beginning to vocalize what happened to their mother, saying, according to some reports, "Mommy was in the trunk."

A case worker arrived with the children for the court ordered supervised visitation was blocked entry by Powell, and shortly thereafter the home exploded.
Powell's father is awaiting trial for various sex charges including child porn and voyuerism, and Josh was just denied custody of the children in favor Susan’s parents, The Cox’s.

The Blackburn Report wishes to extend our sincerest condolences to The Cox family and members of the Powell Family .
Sadly, it seemed, from the beginning of the case that Josh murdered his wife, and got away with it.
But they say, "The Postman allways rings twice."

It is just so tragic that the children were murdered when Powell felt the "jig was up".

Bill Maher: "Atheism Is a Religion Like Abstinence Is a Sex Position"

Bill Maher: "Atheism Is a Religion Like Abstinence Is a Sex Position"

During last night's New Rules segment, Bill Maher noted that "Until someone claims to see Christopher Hitchens' face in a tree stump, idiots must stop claiming that atheism is a religion." He goes on:

Not only is atheism not a religion, it's not even my hobby. And that's the great thing about being an atheist -- it requires so little of your time....
There is a growing trend in this country that needs to be called out, and that is to label any evidence-based belief a "religion." Many conservatives now say that a belief in man-made climate change is a "religion," and Darwinism is a "religion," and of course atheism -- the total lack of religion -- is somehow a "religion" too, according to the always reliable Encyclopedia Moronica.

To believers he says, "You don't get to put your unreason up on the same shelf as my reason." Then he un-baptizes Mitt Romney's dead father-in-law, because hey -- if religious people get to do wacky things like that, why not atheist Bill Maher?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Romney: "I'm Not Concerned With the Very Poor" (While Fellow .001%ers Pony Up for His Super PAC)

Oh, dear. Robot Romney's wires have malfunctioned again, jut when he should have been soaking up his win in Florida last night.
Check out this unfortunate soundbite from a CNN interview this morning, in which the .006%er said he wasn't concerned about the very poor:

“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney told CNN. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”
Host Soledad O’Brien pointed out that the very poor are probably struggling too.
“The challenge right now — we will hear from the Democrat party the plight of the poor,” Romney responded, after repeating that he would fix any holes in the safety net. “And there’s no question it’s not good being poor and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor . . . My focus is on middle income Americans ... we have a very ample safety net and we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it. but we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor.”

As one of the richest Americans with a now-revealed low tax rate and numerous offshore accounts, Romney can't come off this callous about the safety net--particularly when so many Americans are one misfortune away from joining that group.
He's just setting himself up for a giant swat-down in the general election here--particularly given today's FEC filings and what they reveal about his donors. From the New York Times:

The filings to the Federal Election Commission, the first detailed look at a crucial source of support for Mr. Romney, showed his ability to win substantial backing from a small number of his party’s most influential and wealthy patrons, each contributing to the super PAC far more than the $2,500 check each could legally write to his campaign.
Millions of dollars came from financial industry executives, including Mr. Romney’s former colleagues at Bain Capital, who contributed a total of $750,000; senior executives at Goldman Sachs, who contributed $385,000; and some of the most prominent and politically active Republicans in the hedge fund world, three of whom gave $1 million each: Robert Mercer of Renaissance Technologies; Paul Singer of Elliott Management, and Julian Robertson of Tiger Management.

By Sarah Seltzer | Sourced from AlterNet