A poll conducted by the University of Washington Center for Survey Research in October found that 55 percent of voters in Washington ?would support a state gay marriage law if it?s approved by the Legislature.” Since Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) announced her support for marriage equality and promised to introduce legislation extending marriage rights to gays and lesbians, the organization is releasing additional details from the survey, which show even greater support for marriage.
The poll found that “a substantial percentage of people who prefer ?domestic partnership? say they would vote yes to keep same sex marriage if passed by the legislature. Even some who do not personally support marriage say they would be okay with the state legislature passing same sex marriage.” What’s more, “54 percent of self-described Independents and 57 percent of self-described moderates” would back a marriage equality law if it appeared as a referendum. Forty-six percent of self-identified conservatives also said that gay and lesbian relationships deserve some form of government recognition:
Supporter of marriage equality admit they are a few votes short in the Senate, but remain confident they will pass the measure in this legislative session. If they do, Washington will become the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and a group of Democratic lawmakers took to an empty House floor today to demonstrate that they were willing to work while Republicans lawmakers are at home. ?Where are the Republicans?? demanded Assistant to the Minority Leader James Clyburn (R-SC). Joining Pelosi and Clyburn were five other House Democrats who are assigned to the payroll-tax extension conference committee.
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), representing House Republicans, quickly banged his gavel over the Democrats’ voices, and instructed the clerk to stop taking notes of the proceedings. Moments later, the microphones were silenced and C-SPAN’s video feed was cut. (The House leadership controls the cameras and has previously cut video of Democrats on the floor.) Watch it:
The theatrical stunt also serves to underscore Provident Obama’s claim this week that Congress is effectively in recess, thus allowing him to make recess appointments, even though the Senate has been holding 30-second long pro-forma sessions.
On Sean Hannity’s Fox News show last night, two conservative panelists said President Obama would start a war with Iran in a strictly politically-motivated act in order to wag-the-dog and garner support for his 2012 re-election bid. The accusations came from Fox News contributor Angela McGlowan and former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-NY).
“I say he starts a war with Iran before the election which will make it very hard for the Republican to win,” Donald Trump predicted (again) on Hannity’s radio show yesterday morning. “I think it’s going to happen.” On Fox News Channel, Hannity put the question to his guests:
HANNITY: Do you believe he would do that?
MCGLOWAN: This man would do anything. He’s Machiavellian. He would do anything to win re-election.
HANNITY: Do you agree with that, Senator?
D’AMATO: Absolutely. [...] I said I wouldn’t put it past him. He is a total political animal.
D’AMATO: And he would use that if he thought it would make a difference to get him elected.
HANNITY: …If you were right and Trump were right and Angela were right it would be the single biggest abuse of power in American history that I can think of.
Watch the video:
Earlier in the day on his radio show, Hannity, who dedicated an entire episode in March to a hawkish documentary, was less ambiguous about the need to attack Iran, without discussing political motives. “The answer is not to be reactive but to be proactive, which means you respond earlier,” he said. In other words, he spoke approvingly of the same action he said a few hours later would be “the single biggest abuse of power in American history.”
Gov. Chris Gregoire (D-WA) spoke out about her recent support for marriage equality this morning on MSNBC, reiterating that while the state “doesn’t have to tell any religion who they marry, but at the same time the state cannot be in the business of discriminating.” She described her evolution towards supporting same-sex marriage as “a journey for me” and “a journey for my state,” adding, “I feel better about this now than I have in seven years.” Gregoire will introduce a bill extending marriage to gays and lesbians next week and hopes to pass the measure in this legislative session. Watch it:
A doctor in New Hampshire challenged Newt Gingrich for claiming that the Affordable Care Act included “death panels,” despite his past support for advance directives. Gingrich responded that the government should not ration care to seniors before agreeing with the actual text of the provision. Calling the idea of reimbursing doctors who spend time discussing end-of-life treatments with seniors “terrific,” Gingrich said, “I’m willing to support that and to say that that’s something that should be supported by Medicare if it’s done in a totally decentralized say with no bureaucracy from Washington defining the terms.” Watch the exchange:
The Obama administration is expected to announce a change today to immigration rules to reduce the amount of time undocumented spouses and children spend separated from their families. Currently, undocumented immigrants have to leave the country before they can ask the government to waive a three- to 10-year ban on legally coming back to the U.S., leading to lengthy separations for families.
The Associated Press reports that, under the new rule, children and spouses of citizens can ask the government to decide on a waiver request before they return to their home countries to apply for a visa. The government would still require undocumented immigrants to leave the country to finish the visa process to come back to the U.S., but “[t]his would streamline the process (and) reduce the time of separation between family members,” a senior administration official told the AP.
Immigrants without criminal records who have only violated immigration laws can receive a waiver if there is proof that their absence would cause “extreme hardship” for their citizen spouse or parent. But it could take up to three months to hear back about a waiver request, and if their waivers are denied, then undocumented immigrants who had left the country to apply for the waiver could be indefinitely stranded away from their families. The New York Times reports that this change could give families peace of mind before an undocumented immigrant leaves the U.S.:
Having the waiver in hand will allow them to depart knowing that they will almost certainly be able to return, officials said. The agency [Citizenship and Immigration Services] is also seeking to sharply streamline the process to cut down the wait times for visas to a few weeks at most. [...]
White House officials are resigned to the fact that there will most likely be no progress before the November elections on immigration legislation that President Obama supports that would give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants. They have been looking for ways to help immigrant communities without going through the partisan dissension in Congress.
?This will open up a huge door to bring a large number of people into the light,? said Charles Kuck, an immigration lawyer in Atlanta who is a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. ?There are hundreds of thousands of people who came to the United States illegally who are married to U.S. citizens who have not taken advantage of the waiver that is currently available. This changes their lives.?
President Obama has called for an overhaul of the immigration system, but with little progress in Congress on the issue, he has made greater use of executive power to make changes on immigration. In August, the administration announced a plan to conduct case-by-case reviews of roughly 300,000 active deportation cases to ensure that it was focusing its resources on high-priority cases.
But congressional Republicans still complain about Obama’s “backdoor amnesty” for undocumented immigrants even as the changes attempt to help families caught in the immigration system.
In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression?everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way?everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want?which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants?everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear?which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor?anywhere in the world. That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.
Kansas House Speaker Mike O?Neal (R) is scrambling to save face after forwarding an email to fellow lawmakers that called Michelle Obama ?Mrs. YoMama? and compared her to the Grinch.
O?Neal had initially tried to defend his actions, but relented yesterday and apologized to the First Lady
Adding to an ongoing list of controversial statements, American Family Association President Bryan Fischer is now claiming that HIV is not the cause of AIDS or the AIDS epidemic.
Fischer made the comments Wednesday on his syndicated radio show, Focal Point, during an interview with Peter H. Duesberg, a discredited scientist who also claims that the disease manifestation known as AIDS is not caused by HIV. The apparent cause, according to Fischer and Duesberg ? who authored the AIDS denialist manifesto ?Inventing the AIDS Virus? ? is too much homosexual sex and recreational drug use.
It is my expectation that all the priests and deacons in this Archdiocese will support this venture and cooperate with us in the important efforts that lie ahead. The gravity of this struggle, and the radical consequences of inaction propels me to place a solemn charge upon you all ? on your ordination day, you made a promise to promote and defend all that the Church teaches. I call upon that promise in this effort to defend marriage. There ought not be open dissension on this issue. If any have personal reservations, I do not wish that they be shared publicly. If anyone believes in conscience that he cannot cooperate, I want him to contact me directly and I will plan to respond personally.
The Obama administration on Friday broadened the definition of the crime of rape to include more forms of sexual assaults such as rape of men and oral or anal sex, the first major revision to the definition in more than 80 years.
The new definition will include any gender of the victim and attacker and also assaults in which a victim cannot give consent because the individual has been incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, is under the age of consent, or is mentally or physically incapable of consent, the Justice Department said.
When a powerful blizzard ripped through North Dakota last winter, hundreds of drivers were stranded as white-out conditions shuttered interstates spanning the state. Snow whipped up by wind marred the lines between pavement and grassy drop-offs, leaving some scared motorists unsure what to do.
Two local software developers figured they could help.
Winter Survival Kit was born. The free program, available for iPhones and Android smartphones, is both a primer to help motorists prepare for winter driving and a beacon when things go badly.
It can pinpoint a motorist's location, call 911, notify friends and family, and monitor how long the gas will hold out. The app also gives potentially life-saving alerts when users tap a big red button on its simple home screen that reads, "I'm Stranded!" Among the advice: stay with your vehicle and keep the tailpipe clear of snow, since a backup can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Listen to Diane Gee with special co-host Eric Knight live on WWL Radio Friday, January 6th at 6pm ET! Listen live by clicking the link icon below:Tonight, Eric Knight - British citizen and regular of the Links for the Wildy Left facebook page affiliated[...]
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The first migrating humpback whales of the winter have been spotted off Virginia Beach:
The Virginia Aquarium is reporting whale sightings off the coast of Virginia Beach. The aquarium's winter wildlife boat season started December 27th and the first whale watchers were treated to a number of sightings in the first week.Keep in mind this is the area people like Gov. Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli think should be open to oil drilling. More on the whales from About.com:
New Year?s Eve morning, two humpback whales and a seal were spotted hanging out near Rudee Inlet. Thursday the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team confirmed that there are four humpback whales near the Cape Henry Lighthouse.
Each winter, from late December until mid-March, majestic humpback whales follow a migration route, originating from the Bay of Fundy, which brings these magnificent oceanic mammals to the coastal waters near the shores of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Known for their complex and lengthy whale songs, graceful athleticism, unusual bubblenet feeding techniques and immense size, humpback whales are among the most fascinating and thrilling whales to observe.Watching whales & dolphins is a truly unique experience in the world of wildlife. Usually spotting birds & animals involves slowly & quietly creeping up on a creature that would bolt if it spotted you. But approach them carefully & safely, and they'll swim right up to the boat and look back at you - whales & dolphins are just as interested to see us as we are to see them.
The Internet censorship bills, SOPA and PIPA, bouncing around Congress don't really work unless you apply them globally. If other countries do not vigorously protect their entertainment and high-tech industry's copyrights in the same way as the United[...]
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