2010 California Marriage Protection Act

http://rescuemarriage.org/

Check out John Marcotte's cool idea.

In 2009, California passed the "California Protection of Marriage Amendment," or "Prop 8." Proposition 8 bravely protected the institution of traditional marriage by making sure that gay people could not participate in it.

I loved Proposition 8, but felt it did not go far enough. So fresh from the office of our legal counsel, I present the 2010 California Protection of Marriage Act.

SECTION 1.  Title.  This act shall be known as the "2010 California Marriage Protection Act."

SECTION 2.  Section 7.6 is added to Article I of the California Constitution, to read:

No party to any marriage shall be restored to the state of an unmarried person during the lifetime of the other party unless the marriage is void or voidable, as set forth in Part 2 of Division 6 of the Family Code.

We will be filing the papers to get it on the ballot within the week.

10 Lessons for Tea Baggers from C&L

from Crooks and Liars

10 Lessons for Tea Baggers
By Jon Perr Tuesday Sep 15, 2009 8:00am

Here, then, are 10 Lessons for Tea Baggers:

  1. President Obama Cut Your Taxes
   2. The Stimulus is Working
   3. First Ronald Reagan Tripled the National Debt...
   4. ...Then George W. Bush Doubled It Again
   5. Republican States Have the Worst Health Care
   6. Medicare is a Government Program
   7. Barack Obama is Not a Muslim
   8. Barack Obama was Born in the United States
   9. 70,000 Does Not Equal 2,000,000
  10. The Economy Almost Always Does Better Under Democrats

1. President Obama Cut Your Taxes

As in April, the Tea Baggers continued to display their fundamental misunderstanding of U.S. history and the American Revolution. Apparently, the right-wing zealots are outraged by no taxation with representation.

As promised, Barack Obama in the stimulus package delivered on his pledge of tax relief for 95% of American households. Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) didn't only jump start gross domestic product and refill empty state coffers in the second quarter of 2009. As Nate Silver thoroughly documented, "Obama has cut taxes for 98.6% of working households."

Nevertheless, raging Tea Baggers spouting Republican Tax Day lies took to the streets not to thank the President, but to blame him for the tax cuts they received.

A very good summary that we should all commit to memory.

http://crooksandliars.com/jon-perr/10-le ssons-for-tea-baggers

There's more...

Dear Mr. President

May 12, 2009

Dear Mr. President,

I wanted to write a few final words to you to express my gratitude for your repeated personal kindnesses to me - and one last time, to salute your leadership in giving our country back its future and its truth.

On a personal level, you and Michelle reached out to Vicki, to our family and me in so many different ways. You helped to make these difficult months a happy time in my life.

You also made it a time of hope for me and for our country.

When I thought of all the years, all the battles, and all the memories of my long public life, I felt confident in these closing days that while I will not be there when it happens, you will be the President who at long last signs into law the health care reform that is the great unfinished business of our society. For me, this cause stretched across decades; it has been disappointed, but never finally defeated. It was the cause of my life. And in the past year, the prospect of victory sustained me-and the work of achieving it summoned my energy and determination.

There will be struggles - there always have been - and they are already underway again. But as we moved forward in these months, I learned that you will not yield to calls to retreat - that you will stay with the cause until it is won. I saw your conviction that the time is now and witnessed your unwavering commitment and understanding that health care is a decisive issue for our future prosperity. But you have also reminded all of us that it concerns more than material things; that what we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.

And so because of your vision and resolve, I came to believe that soon, very soon, affordable health coverage will be available to all, in an America where the state of a family's health will never again depend on the amount of a family's wealth. And while I will not see the victory, I was able to look forward and know that we will - yes, we will - fulfill the promise of health care in America as a right and not a privilege.

In closing, let me say again how proud I was to be part of your campaign- and proud as well to play a part in the early months of a new era of high purpose and achievement. I entered public life with a young President who inspired a generation and the world. It gives me great hope that as I leave, another young President inspires another generation and once more on America's behalf inspires the entire world.

So, I wrote this to thank you one last time as a friend- and to stand with you one last time for change and the America we can become.

At the Denver Convention where you were nominated, I said the dream lives on.

And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

With deep respect and abiding affection,
[Ted]

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No Ramming Health Care Through

I've been doing a bit of reading focusing on the viability of following the sage advice of our resident experts - you know them, they're the ones who constantly preach that Democrats in the Senate need to shove the Public Option, even "Single Payer" right up the arses of Blue Dogs and officially Republican Republicans using the magical tool called "Reconciliation".

As it turns out, Reconciliation is not as magical as all that, for a number of reasons. Just ask the heirs and heiresses who will be paying much more in inheritance taxes if Granny doesn't go off to her heavenly reward during the very narrow window of time the Bush Tax Cuts (passed under reconciliation) zero out the "Death Tax". You see, Bills passed under reconciliation are subject to a thing called the Byrd Rule. Read about it here:
http://www.rules.house.gov/Archives/byrd _rule.htm

The upshot is this: Using Reconciliation, in order to waive the rule and avoid Sunset down the road, requires 60 votes.

Here's the text:

Effect of points of order - The effect of raising a point of order under the Byrd rule is to strike the offending extraneous provision. If a point of order against a conference report is sustained, the Senate may consider subsequent motions to dispose of that portion of the conference report not subject to the point of order.

Waivers - The Byrd rule is not self-enforcing. A point of order must be raised at the appropriate time to enforce it. The Byrd rule can only be waived by a 3/5 (60) majority vote of the Senate.

There's more after the fold....

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Ironic divorce

Protector of traditional marriage Doug Manchester leaving wife of 43 years

By Eric Wolff San Diego City Beat
http://www.sdcitybeat.com/cms/story/deta il/ironic_divorce/8366/

In July 2008, hotelier and developer Doug Manchester donated $125,000 to help gather signatures for a proposition that would ban same-sex marriage in California. The early money was crucial to getting the initiative--which ultimately passed--on the ballot. At the time, he told The New York Times that he made the donation because of "my Catholic faith and longtime affiliation with the Catholic Church," which preferred that marriage remain between a man and a woman. Indeed, the Catholic Church has vehemently opposed gay marriage. Then again, it's also not too keen on divorce.

another cut and paste diary, yes. But I only serve up the best stuff.

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Folsom Embodies California's Prison Blues

Every once in a while, NPR (a pale shadow of its former self) hits one out of the park.

California's prison system costs $10 billion a year. Its crumbling, overcrowded facilities are home to the highest recidivism rate in the country. And the state that was once was the national model in corrections has become the model every state is now trying to avoid.
Laura Sullivan's report (listen and/or read) is too perfect to slice and dice, and too perfectly poignant not to share.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story .php?storyId=111843426

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Health Reform Enthusiasm Gap

We won the 2008 Elections in part because we had an overwhelming advantage over the opposition in our level of enthusiasm. We risk losing the opportunity for ANY reform of the Health Care System because of our lack of enthusiasm, or so argues Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic:

As a fan of single-payer health insurance--a scheme that would, if properly designed, cover everybody with relatively small exposure to out-of-pocket costs--I certainly understand the ambivalence.

That sounds familiar!
It's tempting to think of what might have been, if only the bill writers had raised their ambitions and pushed a more pristine, more far-reaching measure.

No shortage of downer diaries about the Democrats failure in that respect! So many dreams of utopia dashed... very depressing indeed.
But there's a reason they didn't:(billwriters pushing for perfection, that is)

To be fair, we have discussed the reasons why some of the (barf alert!) compromises (yech) might have crept into the Bill. Those were certainly enthusiasm busters, though.

But this certainly sounds compelling to me:

Health care reform is politically difficult, particularly given the setup of American government. (The U.S. Senate, with its overrepresentation of small states and use of the filibuster, make it hard to pass anything.) It's easy to forget, but the reform scheme Bill Clinton tried to pass in 1994 would have come pretty close to achieving most of the goals reformers now seek: It would have given generous insurance to just about everybody, by radically reorganizing the way medical care is doled out. That ambition was also a major factor in its demise.

What's worthy of our enthusiasm in the Bills moving through Congress, now?

Jonathan Cohn offers this:

Maybe that means those of us on the left should dwell a bit more on what reform still would achieve--even if it's not everything we hoped. The bills that passed the House committees might not mean every single American would have insurance. But they would mean that every single American could get insurance if he or she wanted it. Insurance companies couldn't deny coverage to somebody because of pre-existing medical conditions--nor could they cancel a policy retroactively, after a large claim, as insurers have been known to do. In fact, that change--an end to the practice of "rescission"--would happen right away.

The insurance people get under reform would be relatively good insurance, too: The House bills, for example, would limit out-of-pocket expenses to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for a family. That's still more than people in other countries pay, yes, but it's a far less than what many Americans end up paying today once they get a chronic or catastrophic illness. And keep in mind the exposure would be a lot less for lower-income people.

There's more. You can read it here:
http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?i d=5cb3998e-3ee2-494a-ac7d-763a37a6643c

We have a role in this. We can show a little enthusiasm. Those disruptive morans at the town hall meetings show theirs.

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Obama Sings Happy Birthday To Helen Thomas

(AP) WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is celebrating his own birthday by leading the White House press corps in singing Happy Birthday to veteran reporter Helen Thomas.

Thomas and Obama share a birthday on Tuesday, with the president turning 48 and the reporter turning 89.

Obama carried cupcakes into the room where reporters were gathered to quiz his chief spokesman, Robert Gibbs, at the daily briefing.

For those who missed it, here's a link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/04 /obama-sings-happy-birthda_0_n_251088.ht ml

Complete with pictures and a video, this small moment encapsulates how much the world has changed since the George Bush disaster.

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Barack "Yoga Berra" Obama

[It was] Yogi Berra who said, 'Forecasting is very difficult, especially when it involves the future.'"

I love good writing,and I think I found an example in Paul Farrell's column. Here's the piece I like the most (because it strikes me as accurate, perhaps):

What would a Barack "Yoga Berra" Obama say today about playing a bruising game against a baseball team made up of scorched-earth GOP critics and Dems pocketing big bucks from all kinds of special-interest lobbies hell-bent on defeating every one of Obama's big plans?

His enemies smell blood, think Obama's tired, already fading. Yes, they are writing his obituary. They're convinced it's the bottom of the ninth and they got him. Worse, they think they're way ahead, even though they can't see the scoreboard, let alone next Friday's score or 2012's.

You have to feel some compassion here: After 27 years in power, the hitters on the opposing GOP team lost not just a big game, but tickets to the "skyboxes." So they're hurting, still haven't adjusted to life as the losing team, without all the perks.

Now they're in the bleachers. They hate it. Left with little to do other than act like angry teenagers, they endlessly plot self-destructive revenge plays. Like all politicians they're myopic, conveniently forgetting the 27 painfully-long years it took them to get us into this mess, while refusing to take any responsibility, as they do everything possible to trick the new team into screwing things up so they can return to the skyboxes and go back to screwing things up their way.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/barack- yogi-berra-obama-at-the-bat?pagenumber=1

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Obama Is A Fox, Not a Hedgehog

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/200907 24.html

John Dean writes a scholarly analysis, based on Philip Tetlock's book Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?

Philip E. Tetlock (now a professor at the School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley) interviewed and re-interviewed 284 men and women with advanced degrees and professional training in law, political science, economics, business, journalism, public policy, and international relations to judge their skill in predicting future political events. Over two decades, he asked and tested responses to basic questions such as: Who will win the presidential election and by how much? Will the GDP increase, decrease, or stay the same? Will defense spending rise, fall, or stay the same? Which nations will likely develop weapons of mass destruction? Where will we go to war? Is the dot.com growth on NASDAQ a bubble and if so, when will it pop? What nations will ratify the Kyoto Protocol to regulate carbon emissions?

Dean explains how why he classifies recent Presidents.

....This bit is happy news for all of us:

Tetlock reported his findings in Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? As one of his peers, Paul Sniderman, pointed out in reviewing his friend's book, its sober findings might obscure its importance because Tetlock found that "[c]himps do nearly as well as experts in forecasting the future; and experts do no better in their area of expertise than dilettantes."
..... more

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/200907 24.html

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Diaries

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