Clearly Newt Gingrich has been preparing and rehearsing endlessly for this question,
?You adamantly oppose gay rights? but you?ve also been married three times and admitted to having an affair with your current wife while you were still married to your second. As a successful politician who?s considering running for president, who would set the bar for moral conduct and be the voice of the American people, how do you reconcile this hypocritical interpretation of the religious values that you so vigorously defend??
This question was asked, eloquently and with "due respect," by a college student, Isabel Friedman, who is President of the College Democrats at The University of Pennsylvania.
I assume she framed the question carefully so as not to give Newt ammunition against her. For instance, she did not bring up that this extramarital affair with now-wife Callista Gingrich lasted over six years, and overlapped with the time he was pushing for the impeachment of Bill Clinton with a lot of pro-family values talk. She did not bring up a host of other skeletons in the Gingrich closet, or the fact that he resigned his office as House Speaker on ethics grounds. No one in the mainstream media EVER brings THAT up.
Newt's answer, nevertheless, is extremely rehearsed.
?I?ve had a life which, on occasion, has had problems. I believe in a forgiving God, and the American people will have to decide whether that?s their primary concern. If the primary concern of the American people is my past, my candidacy would be irrelevant, if the primary concern of the American people is the future . . . that?s a debate I?ll be happy to have.?
On the other hand, "The American People" can't decide about the personal life of a candidate if David Gregory continues to have Newt on his show and never brings it up. And really, we're all to the point with Gingrich (and his blatant and not occasional hypocrisy about sex) that his permanent seat on Meet the Gregory (h/t Daily Show) says more about David Gregory than it does about Newt Gingrich, the end.
It is time for people in politics to realize that super majority requirements don't promote compromise or moderation, they mainly just produce gridlock that prevents any action from taking place, therefore protecting the status quo.[...]
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John Boehner hasn't done squat for creating jobs, but now is criticizing the President for finally acknowledging that DOMA is unconstitutional -- arguing that the President should be focusing on jobs.
And what is it that Boehner-land is saying?
While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the President will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation.
Boehner's argument just doesn't make any sense at all. If anything, the decision to not defend DOMA will free up resources for things like job creation because the administration won't be wasting its time defending an unconstitutional law.
And it's an especially dumb argument given the fact that the House has spent most of their first two months doing everything but focus on job creation, wasting their time on things like trying to ban abortion and funding for contraception (albeit with a loophole for horses).
But to be fair here, Boehner does have a sliver of a reasonable point: President Obama had better be sure to focus on jobs, because House Republicans sure as hell aren't going to do it themselves.
?the (George W. Bush) administration?s tax policies fostered the weakest jobs and income growth in more than six decades, and ignored alarming labor market trends in minority communities. This record of anemic job creation was accompanied by sluggish business investment and weak gross domestic product growth that characterized the period after the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 went into effect.2Am I going to tell you that Mrs. Doomsy and I have made financial choices that were 100 percent practical and sound at every moment? No, I?m not going to lie. But saving is difficult at best with anemic job growth, and shrinking income due to out-of-control health care costs and wages held down primarily due to the threat of offshoring.
Overall monthly job growth was the worst of any cycle since at least February 1945, and household income growth was negative for the first cycle since tracking began in 1967. Women reversed employment gains of previous cycles. And for African Americans, the worst job growth on record was matched by an unprecedented increase in poverty.
We have already heard about JPMorgan's travails with Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. A recent report identified JPMorgan as complicit in the Madoff scheme, and potentially liable in a civil lawsuit. According to emails and documents, JPMorgan apparently[...]
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The big question following the Obama administration's announcement that it would not argue in support of the Defense of Marriage Act is whether Congress (or individual members of the House or Senate) would step in to defend the law themselves.
Lee Swislow, executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, thinks a member of Congress will get involved somehow.
"We expect there will be a defense coming from Congress," Swislow told TPM in a phone interview.
What's not entirely clear is just how that process will play out. While there have been a number of instances where the Justice Department has declined to defend a law, there's little, if any, precedent for exactly how the process would play out. Members of Congress -- including Lamar Smith -- have filed amicus briefs in the past, but there don't appear to be any modern examples of members of Congress actually defending a law in court.
"We don't totally understand -- it's a process which isn't used very often," Swislow said. "We do know that a defense can come from either or both chambers -- that's pretty much the limit of my knowledge."
She isn't alone. Obama administration officials also weren't sure of how exactly things would play out if any member of Congress -- or a chamber itself -- decided to defend DOMA in DOJ's absence.
Attorney General Eric Holder's letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said that Justice Department attorneys "will also notify the courts of our interest in providing Congress a full and fair opportunity to participate in the litigation in those cases," but didn't lay out a clear process for how that would unfold. The letter said DOJ "will remain parties to the case and continue to represent the interests of the United States throughout the litigation."
Former Bush-era Justice Department official Hans von Spakovsky wrote on the Heritage Foundation's blog that members of Congress "consistent with the law of standing, should seek to intervene in the case or file amicus briefs to assure that DOMA gets the vigorous defense that should be afforded to all federal statutes for which reasonable legal arguments may be offered - and which the President is refusing to provide."
Spakovsky said the court "should give special consideration to such intervening or amicus briefs as statements of the federal government in support of a statute, given the complete failure of the President to carry out his constitutional duty to 'take care that the laws be faithfully executed.'"
The Alliance Defense Fund, which asked a federal court for permission for Rep. Smith to serve as an intervenor-defendant in the DOMA cases in the past, issued a statement Wednesday that said it "will not waver in its ongoing defense of marriage nationwide."
"Either the House of Representatives or the Senate have the legal authority to intervene in pending lawsuits to defend the federal DOMA statute," Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks said in a statement.
GLAD's Swislow said that part of the reason their case was filed in the Second Circuit because there wasn't a binding precedent there.
"We were very interested in filing a case in which it was 'clean' in terms of any statements about the level of scrutiny [for allegations of discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans], so that was definitely part of our strategy," Swislow said.
Still, Swislow said they were "surprised" to get the letter.
"We have been arguing for years that we think discrimination based on sexual orientation should be subject to heightened scrutiny, and we're certainly happy that the Justice Department agreed with that position," Swislow said.
A little less than two weeks after a U.S. District Judge sentenced Michael Scanlon to 20 months in federal prison and 300 hours of community service, the former lobbyist filed an appeal. Scanlon was a major player in the wide-ranging Jack Abramoff scandal, which defrauded several Native American tribes of tens of millions of dollars.
A federal judge had ordered that Michael Scanlon should serve his 20-month sentence in the lowest security prison facility at the Bureau of Prisons facility in Pensacola, Florida.
He was also barred from from traveling to his luxury estate in St. Barts.
Scanlon continues to dispute whether he must pony up more than $20 million in compensation to several Indian tribes, as well as Abramoff's former lobbying firm Greenberg Traurig.
Our reporter on the scene files his report from Gov. Walker's just concluded press conference. It had a ... well, rather loud conclusion. [...]
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Gov. Barbour appointed Leslie King, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, to the seat vacated by Justice James Graves' ascent to the 5th Circuit bench. That leaves a hole on the Court of Appeals, and of course gives Barbour another appointment. There has been rampant speculation since Graves was nominated for the 5th Circuit, and one of the scenarios included Barbour moving King up to the Supreme Court, then moving a sitting circuit or chancery judge to the Court of Appeals, and finally, appointing someone to the vacant chancery or circuit seat.
Hinds County Chancery Court Judge Denise Owens and Jackson lawyer La'Verne Edney are two names that have been floated as being on Barbour's radar, although Barbour's Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee will make the recommendation. That Committee is headed by Jackson lawyer Ed Brunini. Should be interesting to see this play out.
How long did it take for him to realize that this was offensive and completely wrong? Even now he can't bring himself to say anything bad about the KKK leader who massacred African-American Union troops during the Civil War. Why did this take so long?
Mississippi GOP Gov. Haley Barbour on Monday issued his strongest language yet on a state license plate honoring a Ku Klux Klan leader, telling the Associated Press he would not sign the proposal if it reached his desk.
"I said accurately this is not going to happen," the Republican said in an interview. "The bureaucracy denied it, the legislature won't pass it and if the legislature passes it, it won't become law because I won't sign it."