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Brussels a Riot With Spy vs Spy

Wednesday, May 27, 2009



By El Periódico de Catalunya
Presseurop


Europe’s political and administrative capital is also a hotbed of international espionage where secret services vie for economic, technological, geopolitical and military supremacy.

Brussels is a nest of spies. In the aftermath of the Cold War, foreign secret services did not downsize activities in the Belgian capital: on the contrary, they redoubled their efforts and the range of their objectives. Brussels-based espionage is now so widespread that the European Commission recently circulated an internal memo to its directors to take precautions against recurrent attempts to “obtain confidential and sensitive documents” concerning Commission activity.

The memo said “some countries, lobbyists, journalists and private organisations are trying to obtain classified information”, adding that “people linked to secret services” are operating undercover as “interns, journalists, EU countries’ attachés to the European Commission and computer technicians”.

“Along with Washington DC and Geneva, Brussels is one of the three key cities for secret services the world over,” explains Kristof Clerix, author of the book Vrij spel. Buitenlandse geheine diensten in België (“Foreign Secret Services in Belgium: Beyond the Law?”) “The methods remain the same as during the Cold War: to gain people’s trust and then exploit it. What has changed is the use of new technologies and the ever-increasing importance of economic issues,” notes Clerix, a staffer for the Belgian journal of international politics MO.

“In political and military terms, Brussels is now even more interesting for spies than it was during the Cold War,” Clerix points out, especially since Brussels-based NATO no longer confines itself to allied defence, but has launched military operations in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan and extended its influence into the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. The EU, moreover, now has foreign and defence policymaking powers, and is even developing large-scale military and political operations (in Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, the Congo, Somalia)....(Click for remainder.)

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A Redneck View of Obama's Presidency

"It don't matter who gets to warm his butt in the White House chair. The top dogs eat high on the hog and the little dogs eat the tails and ears."

By Joe Bageant
JoeBageant.com


When it comes to expressing plain truths, few are as gifted as American rednecks. During recent travels in the Appalachian communities of West Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky I've collected scores of their comments on our national condition and especially President Barack Obama.

In America, all successful politicians are first and foremost successfully marketed brands. In fact, the Obama campaign was named Advertising Age's 2008 marketer of the year. George W. Bush's brand may have "collapsed," as they say on Madison Avenue, but things don't change much. Rednecks instinctively know this:

 "It don't matter who gets to warm his butt in the White House chair," says a West Virginia trucker. "The top dogs eat high on the hog and the little dogs eat the tails and ears. That's what them bailouts is all about, and that's the way it is no matter who's president. So you might as well vote for the guy who looks like the most fun because you gonna be watching his ass on television for the next eight years."
Yup. Rednecks do have a way of getting right down to the bone of the matter. For example, the news shows us Obama in an auto plant. We see Obama talking to the troops in Iraq. Obama ladling out grubs in a soup kitchen. That's the stuff of urban liberal wet dreams. But a fellow over in the mountains of Mineral County West Virginia, a guy named Pinch who sells fence posts, poles and firewood out of his back yard, puts it like this:
"Nothing against Obama, mind you, but the last time I looked, the car plants was dead meat. Obama has never even come close to serving in the military, except for serving up that batch of hash in Baghdad. And there he was with his wife in a soup kitchen for god sake! Things has got so bad that we've got soup kitchens all over this country now. So, two millionaires in their armored limo drop by a soup kitchen, and this is supposed to make me feel good about my country?"
To be sure, the Obama brand is a feel good brand. Like those Hallmark talking digital greeting cards we geezers send one another that say "You're still sexy baby!" Or "How's it hanging stud?" we know of course, the only things hanging are our beer bellies and the fat on our upper arms. But it makes us feel good anyway. For about ten seconds....(Click for remainder.)

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Screw the Homos

By Mr. Fish
LA Weekly



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Husbanned

By Mr. Fish
LA Weekly



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Goon Show

Behold the brain-power.
By Attaturk
firedoglake


I'm getting rather ambivalent about having celebrities get waterboarded, even when it changes their opinion like Erich "Mancow" Mueller. It's torture, now he knows it. But the more it is done the more it becomes a parlor trick in too many eyes. It's torture, it's a crime not a game of Cranium.

And you still have a result like this from moral degenerates:
Mancow also revealed that his friend Sean Hannity "called me and said 'it's still not torture.'"
So more evidence that Sean Hannity is an a-hole. That's already been proven. I'll let Charles P. Pierce sum up the Id of Hannity and his ilk (oh, I love that word):
We moved into an era in which the reflexive instincts of the Gut were celebrated at the expense of reasoned, informed opinion. To this day, we have a political party—the Republicans—who, because it embraced a “movement of Conservatism” that celebrated anti-intellectualism is now incapable of conducting itself in any other way. That has profound political and cultural consequences, and the truly foul part about it was that so many people engaged in it knowing full well they were peddling poison.
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Hispanics Back Gay Marriage at Same Rates as Whites

By Nate Silver
FiveThirtyEight


There is a somewhat persistent conservative myth that Hispanic voters are vehemently opposed to gay marriage. Although a majority of Hispanics are probably are opposed to gay marriage -- as most (though no longer all) surveys suggest are a majority of Americans in general -- Hispanics appear to be no more opposed to gay marriage than are whites.

The following table contains data on all 2009 surveys I could find that break out support for gay marriage among Hispanic respondents. This includes one national survey, one California survey, and three New York Surveys. In addition, I include two prominent surveys from 2008: the exit poll from California's November 4 vote on Proposition 8, and the General Social Survey, which was conducted throughout last year. Next to each survey, I indicate the number of Hispanics in the sample (estimated values are marked with an asterisk) and the attendant margin of error; I then average the results from all eight polls, weighed based on their number of Hispanics in the sample.



(Click for remainder.)

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Ted Olson, Better Knows as the Devil, is Now Better than Our President on Gay Marriage

By John Aravosis
AMERICAblog


Now I've seen everything.

Ted Olson. Also known as George Bush's Solicitor General. Also known as the guy who represented George Bush at the Supreme Court in the Bush v. Gore case. Also known as Mr. Burns. The man is pure evil. And he's now representing a gay couple in a legal challenge in federal court to overturn Prop 8.

Just called Joe. We're both speechless.

It's difficult to explain in words how much each of us loathes Ted Olson. Of course, not any more. But you get the picture. It doesn't get any more conservative and nasty than Ted Olson. And now he's supporting gay marriage. And not just supporting it, but putting his legal muscle behind it.

First off, thank you Mr. Olsen. Seriously. And to our readers, this just goes to show you that even I can be fooled into thinking that some people are too far gone. As I've written on this blog many a time: Don't write people off, and don't mock people who reach out to the enemy. You'd be surprised what sometimes happens when you treat even bad guys with a modicum of decency.

Secondly, Ted Freaking Olson is now better on gay marriage than our president - than most of our party. Well, to be fair, let me be precise - Ted Olsen is now better on gay marriage than our president claims publicly to be.

At what point will President Obama realize that the year is 2009 and not 1993? America has become accustomed, inured, and possibly even bored with all the gay rights victories of the past five years. They just don't care any more. And I mean that in a good way. Gay marriage is bursting across the land and the American people have shrugged. They just don't care. So why does our president? Why do he and his advisers seem to be treating gay people and their issues as, at best, an embarrassing inconvenience?...(Click for remainder.)

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A Setback for Equality

By The New York Times

The California Supreme Court got it terribly wrong Tuesday. It upheld Proposition 8, a state constitutional change on last fall’s ballot intended to prohibit marriage by couples of the same sex. In addition to denying basic fairness to gay people, the court’s 6-to-1 ruling sets an unfortunate legal precedent that could allow the existing rights of any targeted minority to be diminished using the Election Day initiative process.

 The court, at least, declined to make Proposition 8 retroactive. The ruling preserves the 18,000 same-sex marriages performed between the court’s decision a year ago upholding same-sex marriage as a matter of equal protection and the passage of Proposition 8 in November. But that bow to decency does not excuse the larger affront to gay men and lesbians and to fundamental values enshrined in the state Constitution.

The case turned on a reading of California’s rules for changing its Constitution. Essentially, the majority decided that Proposition 8 is an ordinary constitutional amendment, requiring approval only by a bare majority of voters, rather than a more far-reaching “revision.”

Revisions require a more deliberative two-step process: either a constitutional convention or a two-thirds vote of the State Legislature followed by a referendum.

To justify the ruling, the majority decision, written by Chief Justice Ronald George, sought to portray the abridgement of equal protection as “narrow and limited,” noting that same-sex couples still have the right to domestic partnerships resembling marriage. That is disconcerting reasoning, especially coming from the same justice who wrote last year’s momentous ruling acknowledging the profound “inequality problem” posed by denying the freedom to marry....(Click for remainder.)

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Homophobes in Maine Claim Gay Marriage Will Cause Straight People to Commit Adultery

By John Aravosis
AMERICAblog


It's bizarre. But it does show how twisted - and sexually screwed up - the religious right is. Who knew that so many religious right leaders were just aching to cheat on their spouses.
How does your neighbor’s same-sex marriage undermine your marriage?

Traditional societies depend on shared morals. Unfortunately, in modern times, democracies have traded absolute truths and collective morality for personal freedom.

Legal recognition for openly non-monogamous gay unions would effectively destroy the taboo on adultery. The result is a continual downfall of families and society.

Stanley Kurtz, a research fellow at Stanford University explains: “What we need to understand — but do not — is that gay marriage will undermine the structure of taboos that continue to protect heterosexual marriage — and will do so far more profoundly than either the elimination of sodomy laws, or the general sexual loosening of the past thirty years. Above all, marriage is protected by the ethos of monogamy — and by the associated taboo against adultery. The real danger of gay marriage is that it will undermine the taboo on adultery, thereby destroying the final bastion protecting marriage: the ethos of monogamy.”

Note how the bigots assume that gay marriages are per se non-monogamous, and that straight marriage are. It's the same argument the religious right's racist forefathers used to try to ban inter-racial marriages and support slavery, among other things (i.e., black men are lustful animals, they're not like you and me)....(Click for remainder.)

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In the Long Run, We May Have Just Scored a Victory in California

By John Aravosis
AMERICAblog


Today the California Supreme Court upheld Prop 8, a ballot initiative that made it illegal to marry gay couples. But the court did something else. They let stand the marriages of 18,000 gay couples who tied the knot before Prop 8 became law. I believe that those marriages may, in the long run, make gay marriage inevitable in California.

Sexual orientation already enjoys equal status with gender and race in California discrimination law, and, as the LA Times notes, today's court decision doesn't change that:

Even with the court upholding Proposition 8, a key portion of the court's May 15, 2008, decision remains intact. Sexual orientation will continue to receive the strongest constitutional protection possible when California courts consider cases of alleged discrimination. The California Supreme Court is the only state high court in the nation to have elevated sexual orientation to the status of race and gender in weighing discrimination claims.
The fact that 18,000 gay marriages will remain on the books means that, eventually, another case will go to the California Supreme Court, questioning the constitutionality of laws banning gay marriage, and the court will have to consider why those 18,000 marriages have not destroyed traditional marriage as we know it. In other words, the ongoing existence of these marriages, with no demonstrable harm being caused by their existence, will call into question, if not outright destroy, the bigots' argument for why the state has an interest in banning gays from getting married. In more colloquial terms, no harm no foul....(Click for remainder.)

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Nuke Text Only the Beginning for N. Korea, U.S. Spooks Say

By Noah Shachtman
Danger Room @ Wired.com


As if test-blasting a nuke wasn’t provocative enough. North Korea may be getting ready for even more destabilizing measures, U.S. intelligence analysts believe.

A close reading of the North Korean government’s recent pronouncements suggests to the Director of National Intelligence’s Open Source Center that Kim Jong-Il “regime is poised to take additional escalatory steps in the near future, despite any additional international isolation that might result.”

In an analysis provided to the Federation of American Scientists, unnamed Korea-watchers at the Open Source Center say that Pyongyang is “fram[ing] the test as part of an ongoing drive to strengthen its nuclear deterrent and not as a one-time event meant to press for diplomatic exchange, as has sometimes been the case for past escalatory measures.  The move builds on the North’s authoritative announcement last month of its decision to carry out a nuclear test, which included pledges to conduct ICBM tests and openly pursue a uranium enrichment capability.”

Pyongyang’s official announcement of the test was similar to the communique it issued after its 2006 attempt to detonate a nuke.But there were important differences. The test was billed as just “one part” of an ongoing process to “further increasing the power of [North Korea's] nuclear weapons.” And it was linked to a “150-day” economic production drive that many believe is meant to highlight the credentials of Kim Jong-Il’s third son and possible successor....(Click for remainder.)

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Maddow 1, Limbaugh the Hutt 0

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What a Surprise: The Right-Wing Talking Points on Sotomayor are Misleading Lies

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars





The Republican National Committee screwed up and let slip their talking points on their inevitable opposition to the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. The Briefing Room has them. As you can see, it's pretty tepid stuff.

Most of them were in use on Fox today. But it's clear that most of the right-wing talkers are staking their opposition on a couple of video snippets -- both of which are incomplete and taken out of context.

At least, that was the upshot of the early round of brickbats thrown Sotomayor's way on Fox this morning by the likes of Karl Rove, Brian Kilmeade, and Megan Kelly. But it's been more than just Fox. As Media Matters notes, the distortions immediately made their way into mainstream cable news.

The most notorious one involves a snippet of a Sotomayor quote in which she seemed to say that Latina women make better judges than white men. But as Media Matters reports, that's a grotesque mischaracterization:
Contrary to Kelly and Greenburg's claims, Sotomayor did not say or suggest that Latina or Latino judges are "better" than white male judges, but was instead talking specifically about "race and sex discrimination cases." From Sotomayor's speech delivered at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and published in 2002 in the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal.
[More on Sotomayor's full quote below.]

The other talking point that seems to have Orrin Hatch's knickers in a bunch involves a remark she made about "setting policy" at the district-judgeship level. Brian Kilmeade set that one up -- even though it had already been knocked down by Napolitano himself, who understood exactly what she was talking about. Moreover, Kilmeade (and Hatch) dishonestly but conveniently ignore the fact that Sotomayor within a few sentences of having made that remark made clear she was expressing a prevailing view -- one to which she did not subscribe herself.

Again, Media Matters has the goods:




(Click for remainder.)

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Prop 8 Ruling a Blow to All Minorities

By Joel P. Engardio
On Faith @ The Washington Post


Religious supporters of Proposition 8, the voter initiative that banned same-sex marriages in California, might feel good now that the state's Supreme Court has ruled that the measure can stand. But will those religious groups that are celebrating Prop 8 today regret it later when they consider the precedent that's been set?

Prop 8 has made it a lot easier in California for a simple majority of voters to strip away the rights of an unpopular minority. What happens when it's your time to be the unpopular minority?

History is unkind and too often repeats itself. Members of the Mormon Church, who were major supporters of Prop 8, have ancestors who experienced some of the worst religious discrimination ever faced in the United States. In the mid-19th Century they were driven by mobs from Illinois to Missouri and across the Wild West to Utah. It was wrong then to persecute Mormons for what they believed, just as it would be wrong now to try to force Mormons to accept members or marriages in their church they deem unworthy. There is freedom of religion in America for good reason. But that and other freedoms have been watered down in California thanks to Prop 8. The court now has less power to fulfill the purpose for which it was created: keep the tyranny of the majority from trampling the rights of the minority. Anyone can be a minority if enough people don't like the way you live, worship or think.

My mother is one of Jehovah's Witnesses, an unpopular religion that was persecuted in the U.S. and abroad. They faced mob violence in 40 states when refusing to salute the flag during World War II. In Germany, they were put in the concentration camps for refusing to give the Nazi salute. Like Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses vehemently oppose same-sex marriage on moral and Biblical grounds. Gays are not allowed to be Witnesses unless they live celibate and single lives. Members who insist on being in a same-sex relationship are shunned by the congregation. But none of the million Jehovah's Witnesses in the U.S. supported Prop 8 because the religion mandates staying out of politics and culture wars....(Click for remainder.)

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Limbaugh the Hutt Gives His "Opinion" of Sonia Sotomayor

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars





We've been trying to figure out why, whenever Rush Limbaugh speaks these days from the comforts of his studio, all we ever see is placeholder cards or really bad webcam video. We also noticed, in his last couple of live public appearances, he was looking a bit, ah, portly, and naturally we wondered if there might be a health issue.

So we sent one of our C&L special investigators to get actual live footage from inside Rush's studio to find out what was up. This is what he sent us from this morning's remarks on Sonia Sotomayor.

Well, the truth, as they say, is Out There. Let's just say that Rush is now the living embodiment of the transformational power of right-wing politics....(Click for remainder.)

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Canadians Respond to Bogus and Misleading Health Care Ads

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Ass Monkey #1, Tom Tancredo, Calls Sonia Sotomayor a Racist



By John Amato
Crooks and Liars


The attacks on Sonia Sotomayor are coming in like a tidal wave by the extreme right, but former Rep. Tom Tancredo, one of the harshest critics of the Latino community ever to run for president, actually called her a racist. This is the man who boycotted the Univision debate and then attacked their entire audience.

On The Ed Show today, Mike Allen of The Politico was pretty on point saying that she's not anyone that the right could attack and wouldn't investigate her supposed racism, but Tancredo uses the already debunked and discredited talking point about Latino lady judges being smarter than the Tancredo- looking judges of the world.

(rough transcript)
Tancredo: Unfortunately for her and fortunately for us there are plenty of things that we've even talked about her already. I'm telling you, she appears to be a racist. She said things that are racist in any other context...
---
Tancredo:
You can still be a racist and have all those things in your background. You can be a racist and have all that stuff in your background.

Ed: How aggressive do you want the Republicans to be on the judiciary committee?

Tancredo: I think there's plenty of stuff that they can use and should. They should do to her what the Democrats did to Bork.

Ed: Like what?

Tancredo: I would continually bring up this quote of hers, I'd like her to explain that. It is incredible to me. There is no one else I can think of who could possibly have said the kind of things she said, If they are reported accurately about the benefits of being a
brown women as opposed to a white man and interpreting the law and nobody can look at that and say that was not a racist, sexist statement that would disqualify anybody else...She is a Hispanic woman and we can't say anything like this.
(Click for remainder.)

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Graphic: A History of Gay Marriage

By Thomas Porostocky
Good Magazine



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Sen. Bennet: Sotomayor Nod 'Historic,' a 'Tremendous Choice' for High Court

By Ernest Luning
The Colorado Independent

One of the two Coloradans who will actually have a vote whether Judge Sonia Sotomayor sits on the Supreme Court applauded the nomination Tuesday. U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, heaped praise on Sotomayor in a statement, calling her pick “historic” because she could be the first Hispanic on the court.
“Sonia Sotomayor is a tremendous choice for the U.S. Supreme Court. She is a thoughtful and balanced judge with a keen intellect and a broad academic and legal background. Her skill and fair-mindedness on the federal bench has won the praise and support of Republicans and Democrats alike.

“Judge Sotomayor’s nomination is historic. If confirmed, she will be only the third woman and the first Hispanic to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. She brings with her a compelling life story and personal experience that will add to the Court’s diversity and its shared understanding of how its decisions affect the daily lives of hardworking Americans.

“Today, President Obama has showed us how he can bring this country together. By selecting Judge Sotomayor, he has chosen a nominee who has previously been nominated for judicial appointments by President George H.W. Bush and by President Bill Clinton. Judge Sotomayor has been confirmed twice before by the full Senate and her nomination to the Supreme Court should be considered swiftly.”

Bennet reminds that Sotomayor won bipartisan support when she was confirmed to the 2nd Circuit as a federal judge in 1998. The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent makes the same point in a post noting seven sitting GOP senators backed Sotomayor, which could portend a rift in the party if Republican hard-liners oppose her nomination to the Supreme Court....(Click for remainder.)

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President Obama Condems Suu Kyi 'Show Trial'

By Al Jazeera English

Barack Obama has urged Myanmar's military rulers to "immediately and unconditionally" release Aung San Suu Kyi, describing a court case against the opposition leader as a "show trial".

"Aung San Suu Kyi's continued detention, isolation, and show trial based on spurious charges cast serious doubt on the Burmese regime's willingness to be a responsible member of the international community," Obama said in a statement on Tuesday.

The US president's comments come as Aung San Suu Kyi took the stand for the first time on Tuesday, and denied violating her detention order - a charge she faces for allowing an uninvited American man to stay at her home.

The government brought the charges after John Yettaw, a US army veteran, swam across a lake to reach her house on May 4 and spent two days there.

Yettaw is also standing trial, along with two female aides who live with Aung San Suu Kyi.

The opposition leader said she first knew of the visit by Yettaw when her assistant woke her up around dawn to tell her that a man had arrived at the house.

Yettaw said he swam across a lake to the house to warn her of a vision he had that she would be assassinated....(Click for remainder.)

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CA Supreme Court Ruling on Prop 8 Allows for Justice Down the Road

By Chad Rubel
Buzz
Flash

The decision was expected to go the way it did. Legal issues of constitutionality were at stake, whether or not a constitutional revision was at stake, and whether or not marriage was an inalienable right. The human factor was taken out of the equation -- the ruling didn't take into account the extensive rally in San Francisco this morning, gathering to await the decision. The interest in this particular ruling was enough to make it difficult to reach the official Web site that displayed the verdict.

The California Supreme Court in a 6-1 decision upheld Proposition 8 in a much-anticipated decision this morning. The court ruled that the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who got married before the measure went into effect remain married.

Those who felt that Proposition 8 was the right thing to do will find plenty to celebrate in California today. The ruling said that stripping rights away from citizens could be done by a majority vote at the polls. But this group lost out on its key provision -- the sentence that Proposition 8 introduced into the California state constitution -- "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Oh, the sentence is in the state constitution, and the court kept it in there with this decision. But there are 18,000 couples in the state who get to keep that sentence from ever being completely valid.

And what those people may find out is that those same rights can be placed back into law by a simple majority vote at the polls, which would sharply add on to the 18,000 couples left standing.

Equality California is already vowing to restore marriage via the Ballot Box in 2010.

Those who were against Proposition 8 were understandably angry and sad at today's court ruling. They strongly disagree with the court's findings that as Justice Ronald M. George, writing for the majority, put it that Proposition 8 did "not entirely repeal or abrogate" same-sex couples' right to privacy and due process or the "constitutional right of same-sex couples to 'choose one's life partner and enter with that person into a committed, officially recognized, and protected family relationship.'...(Click for remainder.)

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Child Testicle Crushers United Against Sotomayor

By BarbinMD
Daily Kos


Okay, it's just one advocate for crushing the testicles of a child, but it's certainly a big name in the world of torture-enablers; former Justice Department official, John Yoo.

Some deep thoughts from Yoo (via the official Republican talking points):
President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor shows that empathy has won out over excellence in the White House.

The White House chose a judge distinguished from the other members of that list only by her race.

Republican senators will have to conduct thorough questioning in the confirmation hearings to make sure that she will not be a results-oriented voter, voting her emotions and politics rather than the law.
Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Yoo also says:
Sotomayor’s record on the bench, at first glance, appears undistinguished.
Of course Yoo did set the bar pretty high when he helped write distinguished opinions like this:
Physical pain amounting to torture must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.
(Click for original.)

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RedState.com Doesn't Hear Too Good

By Eric Boehlert
Media Matters


Or maybe RedState's Erick Erickson just doesn't want to hear certain things. But does he have to advertise that fact with a comically inaccurate blog post? Apparently, yes he does.

Erickson was taking a whack at Pennsylvania Republican Tom Ridge who over the weekend committed a RedState mortal sin by tweaking Rush Limbaugh. Ridge had the audacity to suggest Limbaugh turn down the temperature on some of his hate speech rhetoric.

Erickson did not approve and dubbed Ridge a liar:
Tom Ridge, on CNN, said this of Rush Limbaugh:
“Rush articulates his point of view in ways that offend very many… let’s be less shrill… let’s not attack other individuals. Let’s attack their ideas.”

Since when has Rush attacked individuals? I listen to the show regularly. He certainly pokes fun at some of them, but he highlights absurdities of character, etc. in pointing out the fallacies of positions on the left.

For example — the President of the United States wants us all to stop breathing to save the environment, but his administration sends Air Force One on a joy ride to take pictures.

Is that an attack on Obama? No. It is pointing out the inconsistencies in Barack Obama’s policies.

According to RedState, Ridge had it all wrong. Limbaugh doesn't attack individuals, he merely questions policies. Rush is practically a policy wonk. Like when Rush recently claimed Obama supporters have "anti-American" feelings and don't like the U.S.A. Oh wait, that was an attack on tens of millions of individuals....(Click for remainder.)

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The Lying Sack of Dog Mess Cites Hitler Example to State That "Empathy Leads to Very Bad Decisions"

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ACLU Responds to Prop. 8 Loss

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The Last Words of Harvey Milk...

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Prop. 8 Challenge Filed in Federal Court

By Andrew Harmon
Advocate.com


In a bold move that takes a new approach to achieving marriage equality, two attorneys who argued opposing sides of the 2000 Bush v. Gore lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court have filed a challenge to Proposition 8 in federal court, The Advocate has learned.

Theodore B. Olson, the U.S. solicitor general from 2001 to 2004 under President George W. Bush, and David Boies, a high-profile trial lawyer who argued on behalf of former vice president Al Gore, filed the suit May 22 in U.S. district court on behalf of two California gay couples.

The attorneys argue that relegating same-sex couples to domestic partnerships instead of granting them full marriage rights is a violation of the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Olson said he was contacted several months ago by representatives of an association called the American Foundation for Equal Rights about his willingness to represent the two couples named in the suit.

“For a long time I’ve personally felt that we are doing a grave injustice for people throughout this country by denying equality to gay and lesbian individuals,” Olson said in an interview with The Advocate. “The individuals that we represent and will be representing in this case feel they’re being denied their rights. And they’re entitled to have a court vindicate those rights.”

When pressed about his service with the Bush administration, which in 2004 endorsed an amendment to the U.S. constitution that would prohibit same-sex marriage, Olson said he was personally against the amendment at the time, though he made no public statements on the matter.

As for the timing of the suit, Olson said that recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court “make it clear that individuals are entitled to be treated equally under the Constitution. I’m reasonably confident that this is the right time for these [injustices] to be vindicated.”...(Click for remainder.)

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Psycho Talk: Karl Rove — Who Supported Harriet Freaking Miers — Questions Sotomayor’s Smarts?!?

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Activists Saddened by Gay Marriage Ban, but Determined to Keep Fighting

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