If you live in California and are a Republican, attend church at least once a week, hold socially conservative views, and are 65-years-old or older, you most likely voted "Yes" on Proposition 8 to repeal marriage equality for your gay and lesbian neighbors. In addition, you are most likely male and probably even know someone, or are related to someone, who is gay or lesbian—but you still supported Prop 8.
"I am a black South African, and if I were to change the names, a description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank could describe events in South Africa."
~Archbishop Desmond Tutu
... what did Mahatma Gandhi actually think of the idea of Israel, and of the fate of the Jews of his time?
As it turns out, M.K. Gandhi engaged in sustained conversation with Jewish intellectuals of his day—many of whom were dismayed by the great man's insistence, for example, that Jews in Germany should have willingly "offered themselves to the butcher's knife."
Posing as a Bidder, Utah Student Disrupts Government Auction of 150,000 Acres of Wilderness for Oil & Gas Drilling --
... While many environmental groups launched campaigns to oppose the sale of the land, one student in Salt Lake City attempted to block the sale by disrupting the auction itself. Twenty-seven-year-old Tim DeChristopher posed as a potential bidder and bid hundreds of thousands of dollars on parcels of the land, driving up prices and winning some 22,000 acres for himself, without any intention of paying for them.
The inescapable and ubiquitous Christmas songs, specials, etc -- and how us Jews helped create and embed them, have fought against them, and how some deal with it now -- fa-who dor-ay, fa-who dor-ay, ...
The white Christmases that Irving Berlin dreamed of weren't the earliest ones he used to know. ... watching his neighbors burn his family's house to the ground in a good old-fashioned, Jew-hating pogrom.
So it's no surprise that when Berlin got around to writing his great Christmas song in 1941, nearly half a century after his family had fled the shtetl of Mohilev for New York's Lower East Side, it was flatly devoid of Christian imagery. It is, for all that, a religious song. ...
U.S. officials expressed concern in private talks that some parts of the declaration might be problematic in committing the federal government on matters that fall under state jurisdiction. In numerous states, landlords and private employers are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation; on the federal level, gays are not allowed to serve openly in the military. ...
Quite a list here of who he's meeting with and learning from, and those supposedly "sensible Republicans" are far outnumbered by the usual warmongering criminal ones -- but all is not lost: he's actually read 2 whole books by non-warmongers! (but not spoken to them or met with them or asked them for advice)
... Besides reaching out to Mr. Scowcroft, Mr. Obama has also called former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, a Reagan administration official who is known in some foreign policy circles as the father of the Bush doctrine because of his advocacy of preventive war. It is unclear what the two men talked about.
... Mr. Donovan was considered a national innovator in capitalizing on the strong real estate market to find financing for low-cost housing. He held to a middle ground between free-market forces who opposed government controls and liberal groups that believed only government and nonprofit groups could be counted on to provide housing for the working class.
2025: the end of US dominance --
the National Intelligence Council global trends review is out, and contrary to 2004's rosy view of 2020-- still dominated by US and with oil to burn--the new forecast sees things very differently. (pdf link to full report at bottom article) Read more about In the Year 2025...
"... start dissecting exactly what this supposed Democratic consensus document is all about. First, is it really the consensus plan—the plan that consultants have focus group-tested and carefully crafted to avoid ruffling special-interest feathers and to soothe the middle class, assuring that it can keep the insurance it has now if it wants? ... Spend two hours reading it, he says, and “you’ll see there is no consensus.” ... Sift through it, and you’ll also find a lot of on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand language that really doesn’t offer much of a road map. ..." Baucus' HealthReform2009 here Read more about What’s really inside Baucus' health-care white paper?
Violet at Reclusive Leftist starts
"pulling together some of our thoughts about the new feminism we’re building, what I think of as the Fourth Wave." Very interesting list -- and great comments/discussion.
This comment especially struck me: "Women need, desperately, cultural permission to be selfish, to put ourselves first without apology and without trying to spin it as good for other, more important people, too. Because even though I do believe feminism is good for the whole Human community, it really wouldn’t matter if it weren’t. Women have a right to demand what’s good for us." Read more about The New Feminism (pt. 1)
"Of the baker’s dozen that the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reported being under investigation in its 2008 annual report, “Most Corrupt Members of Congress,” nine appear headed for re-election. ... Of the four others in the baker’s dozen, three resigned. And just one lost." Read more about Congressmen Under Investigation? 11; Number Victorious Tuesday? 9
Meet the new Ari/Scottie. A little history on Obama's new press sec'y--his role in destroying Dean while working for Kerry, reviving the "lincoln bedroom" against Clinton, and other totally Rovian and "old politics" methods. So far, we have Gibbs and Emanuel and Axelrod -- 3 old-school, old-politics, attack dogs. Who's next? Read more about Gibbs: "habit of borrowing vile right-wing attack lines"
the first openly-gay person to be elected to Congress--ever (Baldwin and Frank came out while already in office). The article takes stock all around the country.
“Jared Polis is the first openly gay man to be elected to Congress as a non-incumbent, and he joins Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank as the three out members,” said Denis Dison, a Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund spokesperson."
“a bittersweet election for gay people.” Read more about a roundup of some LGBT victories--including Jared Polis--
Not so much so far--in Florida, at least.
"... younger voters have shifted heavily toward the Democratic Party during the past four years.
But as yet -- in either Central Florida or the state as a whole -- a surge of younger voters hasn't materialized.
Though a bit more than 10 percent of all voters are younger than 25, fewer than 6 percent of early voters fit that category. Similarly, voters 25 to 34 years old are 14.4 percent of the electorate -- but just 9.5 percent of those who voted early. ..." -- Orlando Sentinal analyses the early voting figures in all of Florida -- Battle for Florida: Blacks turn out in droves, but few young people have voted Read more about those young voters who are all energized?