Evan Wolfson points out in this Huff Post piece that the anti-gay-marriage crowd is now not just targeting gays, they're trying to undermine all civil rights laws affecting blacks, Latinos, and every other person covered by civil rights law in this country.
[B]eware: the NOM campaign is bait-and-switch. The real agenda here is not just resistance to marriage rights, it's undermining the broader civil rights laws that ensure that we can all participate equally in society, even if other people don't like us. Though they wrap it in marriage, the opposition is actually about gay - and they are attacking the idea that civil rights laws should protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation at all.Evan's larger point is that the anti-gay groups are challenging the entire underpinning of civil rights law. If we permit far-right bigots to be exempt from civil rights laws that they find morally, or "religiously," offensive, then that carves an exemption for any extremist religious group, and worse, any member of that group working in the private sector, and even the public sector, to discriminate against anyone he or she wants.
Joining the ranks of media conservatives who have warned their audiences that President Obama or congressional Democrats intend to take away their guns, The Washington Times stated in an April 13 editorial, "Now that Democrats are in control of the legislative and executive branches of government, even the will of the people won't keep them from going after the guns of law-abiding Americans." Noting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, "We don't want to take their guns away. We want[...]
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The US has a Plan B. If it's not possible to paper over the vast multi-trillion dollar looting that took place during the changing of the guard (Bush to Obama), then the US will be ready with an iron fist for its own people. Battle hardened troops are in place in the US being trained to "deal" with disgruntled Americans - in a "non-lethal" way of course. Plan B
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“An Early Military Victory for Obama:” when theysaw this headline in the morning paper, the inmatesin the Rightwing Nuthouse had to be issued an extraration of Thorazine.
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The rescue of Capt. Phillips is exhibit A for why Special Forces, Army Rangers, and Navy Seals are critically important to any national security strategy going forward. It became apparent after President Obama twice authorized the use of force[...]
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From the White House Press Office:
WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES NEW DETAILS AND TALENT LINEUP FOR EASTER EGG ROLL
Over 30,000 people from 45 states to attend this year’s celebration
The White House announced that over 30,000 people from 45 states and the District of Columbia will attend this year’s Easter Egg Roll. This year’s theme ‘Let’s go play,’ encourages America’s youth to lead healthy and active lives.
The White House has taken a series of steps to make this year’s event more open and accessible, including the following:
- For the first time, tickets were distributed online, allowing families from across the country to attend this annual tradition. This year, the White House is proud to welcome families from Hawaii, Alaska, California and 42 other states as well as the District of Columbia.
- Many of the activities at this year’s event will be webcast live on the White House website. These activities include the performances on the music stage, celebrity chefs in the Kid’s Kitchen and the readings at the Storytime Stage. A full schedule of webcast events will be updated on www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll. This is the first time the activities at the White House Easter Egg Roll have been broadcast online.
- This year’s souvenir Easter egg is the ‘greenest’ egg in history. The 2009 souvenir egg is made in the United States from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified hardwood. FSC certification means that the wood comes from environmentally and socially sustainably managed forests. More information about the egg and packaging was released earlier this week. The egg can be found at www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll.
In keeping with the theme of healthy and active living, all of the activities at this year’s event will teach children about the fun ways to exercise your body and your mind. The activities this year include:
The White House also announced the talent line-up for the 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll. Fergie, Ziggy Marley, Jessica Jarrell, SteveSongs and Imagination Movers will entertain on the music stage.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, James Cromwell, Josh Duhamel, Julie Foudy, Devon McTavish, Renee Brown, Ben Olsen, Dawn Staley, Derrick Dockery and Shaun Suisham will read on the Storytime Stage.
Marissa Coleman, Nikki Blue, Etan Thomas, Brianna Scurry, Abby Wambach and Swin Cash will help lead the games on the Sports Courts.
And Chef Art Smith, Chef Spike Mendelsohn, Chef José Andrés and the White House chefs will prepare healthy eating demonstrations in the Kid’s Kitchen.
The DC Youth Orchestra, Greenbelt SITY Stars and other local student groups will also perform.
The 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll will be held on Monday, April 13th from 8AM to 5PM on the South Lawn of the White House.
1) The White House Easter Egg Roll began in 1878 when President Hayes invited local children to roll eggs on the South Lawn.
2) First Lady Dolly Madison first began the tradition of Easter egg rolling in Washington, when local children joined her for an egg roll at the Capitol in 1814.
3) In the ensuing years the children made quite a mess and in 1876, Congress passed the Turf Protection Law, banning the use of the Capitol lawn as a playground.
4) In 1877, bad weather kept everyone indoors and there was no need to enforce the law, but in 1878 children stood outside the gates of the White House until President Hayes invited them onto the grounds to continue the egg roll tradition.
5) The White House Easter Egg Roll has taken place every year since 1878, but during the beginning of World I, World War II, and the Truman Administration’s renovation of the White House, the event was held on the National Mall instead of the South Lawn.
6) 1927 was a landmark year in Easter egg roll history. That year, the White House hosted a young Nancy Reagan, who would go on to host eight of her own Easter egg rolls as First Lady from 1981-1988.
7) An online system was established to allow people from across the US the opportunity to attend.
8) This year, guests will attend from 45 states and the District of Columbia. This will be the most geographically diverse Easter Egg Roll in history. Interestingly, when the roll began in 1878, there were only 38 states in the entire US.
9) Although numbers of guests vary from year to year, usually 20,000 attendees or less have participated in the Easter Egg Rolls. This year, The White House plans to welcome over 30,000 guests.
10) 4,000 tickets were distributed to students of DC, MD and VA public schools.
11) 2,500 tickets were distributed to military families.
12) Tickets became available in waves this year, to allow shift workers an opportunity to get tickets.
13) Tickets were available during normal public library hours in all four continental US time zones.
14) In order to facilitate more people than ever before attending this year, there will be five shifts of 6,000 people. Each group will have two hours to spend on the South Lawn.
15) Over 30,000 wooden eggs have been made this year. 13,000 hard boiled and dyed Easter eggs are available for the official Easter egg roll this year. Every child age 10 & under who attends the White House Easter Egg Roll will receive a souvenir egg.
16) This year’s souvenir egg is the greenest egg in history. The 2009 souvenir egg is made in the United States from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified hardwood. FSC certification means that the wood comes from environmentally and socially sustainable managed forests.
The packaging for this year’s egg:
17) Is recyclable and compostable (when collected and processed in a municipal or commercial composting system)
18) Uses 31% less paperboard than the 2008 designs
19) Eliminates the need for the paper shred/filler
20) Features an egg-shaped dye cut instead of a cellophane window
21) Uses renewable, vegetable oil-based inks
22) The majority of this year’s activities are new, and each activity is centered around the theme ‘let’s go play,’ and the idea of encouraging healthy and active living. Each of the activities is designed to be easy to do at home and of little or no cost. Some of the new activities this year include:
23) Hop to it! A dance, yoga and jump rope center with instructors.
24) Kids Kitchen, featuring special healthy eating demonstrations by Chef Art Smith, Chef Spike Mendelsohn, Chef José Andrés and the White House chefs.
25) Sport Courts on the South Lawn, including basketball and soccer with WNBA, NBA and MLS stars. Local student sports stars from School Without Walls, Woodrow Wilson High School & H.D. Woodson High School will help teach children how to pass, dribble, shoot and score.
26) Some of the classic activities include: The Easter egg roll and Easter egg hunt – the tradition that started it all and the Storytime Stage – A good story read by your favorite celebrities.
27) All of the books that will be read on the Storytime Stage were checked out from DC public libraries. And they will all be returned on time!
28) The DC Youth Orchestra will perform, along with Greenbelt SITY Stars, part of an effort to include more local students in this event.
29) The First Lady is the official host of the White House Easter Egg Roll.
30) Although many celebrities and costumed characters will attend the event, it cannot officially be called a ‘White House Easter Egg Roll’, until the Opening Ceremony is underway and the Easter Egg Bunny appears.Hidden Easter Egg Fact
The Program cover art and official poster was created by Jasper Carr, second grade student at Two Rivers Public Charter School. Nineteen students from Two Rivers submitted artwork for the 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll. Mrs. Obama selected Jasper’s composition to represent this year’s event.
Two Rivers is a parent-founded charter school located in Capitol Hill North. It serves a diverse group of 367 students in elementary and middle school. The curriculum is rigorous, standards-based, and provides opportunities for students to excel in all areas. An integrated arts program and a content-based Spanish program augment the school’s demanding academic program.
All 19 artwork submissions are available for viewing on the South Lawn.
OK, enough. We finally reached our breaking point with Glenn Beck on Friday night.
Crooks and Liars has always been a watchdog site -- we watch the liars and thieves and crazies who come on your TV sets and we run the clips so you don't have to watch their shows. We always strive to find the wingnuttiest, most hypocritical, most mendacious and outright asinine examples we can find every day -- and nearly always they come from our friends on the right.
But Beck has recently become a special case. Every day for the last couple of months, when we've surveyed the wreckage of that day's right-wing video, Beck's have been the craziest, wingnuttiest shows out there. If he is where the American Right is heading, he bears watching.
But at some point the circuits just overload.
Friday night's show, which was all about extending Beck's previously stated belief that Obama is marching us into fascism, and helping plump Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism thesis, was that point.
Since I'm a student of the subject of fascism, I've written a lengthy response at my blog. But I'm not going to burden C&L readers with it.
We're not going to drop covering Beck altogether. We'll continue to report it whenever he makes a dangerous pronunciamento, of course, because our reasons for monitoring him in the first place have never gone away: His rhetoric is laden with particularly dangerous extremism, and he has the potential to wreak great damage. Indeed, that reason for keeping watch on him couldn't be more acute. And so simply reporting the dangerous stuff will keep him on our front pages enough.
But I dunno about the rest of you, but I've had my fill of the Daily Krazee from Planet Wingnuttia, particularly the silly stuff like the weeping and the ongoing affair with that great right-wing mind, the Spawn of Lucianne. Beck's "912 Project" looks likely to devolve into a cult we can just call Jonahnism. It's been fun, but it's simply right-wing dumbassery for its own sake.
We get it, Glenn. Hopefully everyone else will, eventually, too.
Steve Stycos, member of the Cranston School Committee, provided the following email update on events and issues in our city:
UPDATE FROM STEVE STYCOS
SCHOOL AND LIBRARY BUDGET HEARINGS
Budget hearings for the Cranston schools and the libraries will be held Tuesday April 21 at 7 PM at Cranston East Auditorium (schools) and Thursday April 23 at 7 PM in City Council Chambers (libraries). Public speaking will be allowed.
Budgets set priorities and education and libraries have rated low on the city?s list in recent years. Please let the city council know your priorities. Although Mayor Alan Fung is proposing major cuts in services, he is also proposing a large 6 percent tax increase. In past years, the City Council has tried to reduce proposed tax increases. Not raising taxes, due to cuts in state aid, would be disastrous.
The budget is on the city?s Web site. Spending for libraries and schools will increase a modest 11 percent since 2004. During the same period, spending for police will increase 21 percent and fire spending will jump 30 percent. In an example of fiscal irresponsibility during the two year Napolitano term, city interest and debt and interest payments jumped 56 percent or $1.7 million. It?s fun to spend money (like putting plastic grass on the football field) and then leave other people to pay the bill.
Another example of bad financial management is seen in the $18 million dollars that is budgeted for the unfunded police and fire pensions. If mayors and city councils before Mayor Stephen Laffey had adequately raised taxes to fund the pensions, today the city would have millions of dollars to finance programs and avoid tax increases.
Without adequate funding and major concessions from the teachers union, I expect the school committee will be forced to cut the EPIC program, the elementary music program, elementary guidance couselors, some high school sports, perhaps have some elementary principals cover more than one school and a lot more.
In response to the proposed budget, the library trustees have already closed all branches on Wednesdays and Thursdays, closed the central library on Sundays and stopped purchasing books and CDs.
Some steps I would like to see the mayor and council explore to produce funds for the education and libraries are: 1) a student parking fee at both high schools, 2) a reduction in the $1.2 million street lighting budget, 3) more effort to divert trash to recycling, 4) an energy conservation program like the school program which has saved more than a million dollars in less than two years, and, 5) A reduction in the municipal court salaries which have increased 68 percent in 6 years.
EARTH DAY CLEAN UP
Friends of the Pawtuxet will hold an Earth Day Clean Up Saturday April 18 at 9 AM. We will meet at the DEM Supply Depot, across the river from Shaw?s, 230 Warwick Avenue, Cranston. We will be picking up litter, planting some small trees and doing other trail work. Bring gloves and shovels. We also need yard waste bags. Kids welcome. Stay as long as you like.
Tuesday April 14 we will have a mailing party to prepare the Friends of the Pawtuxet/Farmers Market newsletter. We need help. We will meet at 6PM at the home of Sam and Penelope Hough, 25 Berwick Lane, off Broad Street in Edgewood. Feel free to come late, or leave early.
Most people say they plan to use this year's tax refund to pay bills, deciding in this sour economy to be more frugal with their annual windfall. Fifty-four percent of those receiving refunds said they intend to pay off credit card, utility, housing and other bills, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released Monday. That compares with 35 percent who said the same thing a year ago.
This is, ironically, bad for the economy in the short run, as it will lead to lower aggregate demand.
Monday; holiday's over. Time for the pundits to get back to work!
Paul Krugman: On tea parties and crazy Republicans:
Today’s G.O.P. is, after all, very much a minority party. It retains some limited ability to obstruct the Democrats, but has no ability to make or even significantly shape policy.
Beyond that, Republicans have become embarrassing to watch. And it doesn’t feel right to make fun of crazy people. Better, perhaps, to focus on the real policy debates, which are all among Democrats.
Of course, Republicans have been crazy for some time. It's just that now people seem to be noticing. For example:
If you're wondering where to come down on the [Secy.] Gates [Pentagon budget] plan, here's a simple guide: John McCain, the most thoughtful, reform-minded legislator on military issues, "strongly supports" it. Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe—who has compared the EPA to the Gestapo, Carol Browner to Tokyo Rose and environmentalists to the Third Reich—warns that it will lead to the "disarming of America." You choose.
So, the NY Times and Newsweek says that the GOP is a bunch of nutters. But they and responsible and sober blogs like the Daily Kos try not to exaggerate. We just list examples like Glenn Beck.
Roger Cohen: Speaking of crazy Republicans:
Instead of building on Iran’s Afghan help in 2001, exploring an Iranian "grand bargain" offer in 2003, or backing 2005 European mediation that hinged on the U.S. agreeing to sale of a French nuclear power reactor, "We got Darth Vader and company saying Iran was in the axis of evil and we have to change this regime."
Press TV: Maybe when conservatives call everything socialism, it's seen as a feature and not a bug.
Socialism becoming popular among Americans
Nate Silver: Well, maybe not.
I'd caution against reading too much into the Rasmussen Reports poll today that shows surprisingly tepid support for capitalism. In case you haven't seen the topline findings, just 53% of the poll's respondents said that capitalism was the superior economic system, versus 20% for socialism and 27% undecided. The reason for caution is simply because this particular question doesn't get polled very often, and so there is little basis for comparison.
Someone needs to poll socialized medicine, socialized roads, socialized post offices, socialized public schools...
Fred C. Iklé: Arm the crews. Kill the pirates. Buncha cowards, the lot of them. Arrr!
Having recognized the power of YouTube during the presidential campaign, when the BarackObamadotcom account uploaded more than 1,800 videos to the site, Obama now maintains an entire staff devoted to new media. Making your own videos pays off. Where a YouTube search for "George Bush" turns up mostly parody, TV news clips and gotchas ("George Bush idiot," "George Bush shoe attack"), a comparable search for "Barack Obama" is stacked with videos approved and uploaded by the campaign or the administration. Users of YouTube may not recognize this.
Clinton's efforts to land a small contingent of troops in Haiti were rebuffed, for the world to see, by a few hundred gun-toting Haitians. As the USS Harlan County retreated, so did the president's reputation.
For President Obama, last week's confrontation with Somali pirates posed similar political risks to a young commander in chief who had yet to prove himself to his generals or his public.
But the result -- a dramatic and successful rescue operation by U.S. Special Operations forces -- left Obama with an early victory that could help build confidence in his ability to direct military actions abroad.
"Mission accomplished" is one of the most difficult things to say when your organization depends on working toward a cause, but Love Makes a Family did it. And other gay groups may soon need to follow suit. If the gay community truly wants to achieve equality, it will have to overcome a victim mindset that is slowly becoming obsolete.
WSJ: Speaking of obsolete, here's the Journal's bio review of former editor Barney Kilgore:
"Kilgore's first critical finding," Mr. Tofel wrote, was "that readers seek insight into tomorrow even more than an account of yesterday." This "may only now be getting through to many editors and publishers." Indeed, at a time when print readership is declining, The Economist, with its weekly focus on interpretation, is gaining circulation. The Journal continues to focus on what readers need, growing the number of individuals paying for the newspaper and the Web site.