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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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SCOTUS Axes Virginia's Bid to Revive Anti-Sodomy Law

– Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's attempt to revive his state's ban on oral and anal sex has been shot down by the Supreme Court, Raw Story reports. The court—which banned anti-sodomy laws in its 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision—refused to hear an appeal of a lower court decision that declared Virginia's law unconstitutional. Cuccinelli had argued that the 2003 decision did not apply when minors were involved.

"This case was never about sexual orientation or private acts between consenting adults," a Cuccinelli spokesman tells the AP. Virginia's law "only applied to offenses committed against minors, against non-consenting or incapacitated adults, or in public," he says. An ACLU spokeswoman, however, says that while it is obvious that "sexual acts with children are not constitutionally protected and should be punished," Virginia should "not rely on an out-of-date, overly broad, unconstitutional law to prosecute those very serious crimes." Cuccinelli, who is the Republican nominee for Virginia governor, has also spoken against ObamaCare's contraception mandate.


4 boys found in filthy home spoke in grunts, were malnourished and not toilet trained

DENVER - Four children found living in a Denver home full of flies and cat feces were severely malnourished and could only communicate with each other in grunts, according to an arrest affidavit released Monday.

The boys' parents, Wayne Sperling, 66, and Lorinda Bailey, 35, are charged with multiple counts of child abuse.

The investigation began when Bailey took her 2-year-old son to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital to be treated for a cut on his forehead on Sept. 29.

The child was non-verbal, unwashed, and smelled like cigarette smoke, according to the emergency room doctor.


Family Of Man Who Set Himself On Fire Says Act Wasn't Political

October 08, 2013 9:50 AM

Officials have identified the man who died after setting fire to himself on the National Mall Friday as John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, N.J. After Constantino poured gasoline on his body and ignited it while sitting on the mall Friday afternoon, passersby used their clothing to try to put out the flames. He was eventually airlifted to a hospital, where he died late Friday.

Constantino "had burns so severe that authorities needed to use DNA and dental records to identify him," the AP reports. "District of Columbia police spokesman Paul Metcalf in an emailed statement confirmed his identity."

No messages or signs stating a reason for the shocking act were visible on the mall, according to authorities and witnesses. And in a statement released last night, Constantino's family says that a clear motive may never emerge.

In a statement released through an attorney, the family said of Constantino, "his death was not a political act or statement, but the result of a long battle with mental illness." That's according to The Washington Post. The AP received the same statement, which id not specify what that illness might be; in it, his family called Constantino a "loving father and husband."



Arizona to have two-track voting system

By Mary Jo Pitzl
The Republic | azcentral.com
Mon Oct 7, 2013 10:10 PM
Arizona elections officials are preparing to use a dual-track voting system in next year’s elections that would require the use of two different ballots, depending on how a voter was registered.

Under the system, voters who registered with federal registration forms would be allowed to vote only in federal elections, while those who used state forms and showed proof of citizenship would be allowed to vote in federal, state and local contests.

The move is expected to affect 900 people and cost an extra $250,000 in Maricopa County alone.

The shift, triggered by an opinion Monday from state Attorney General Tom Horne, was immediately labeled as a restriction on voting rights.



Krugman Blog- The Midterms: Sam Wang Weighs In

My Princeton colleague Sam Wang, one of the best poll aggregators out there — and one of the people who, if you were reading him, made you smarter than any of Romney’s advisors — takes on the PPP poll of selected Congressional districts. His conclusion:

If the election were held today, Democrats would pick up around 30 seats, giving them control of the chamber. I do not expect this to happen. Many things will happen in the coming 12 months, and the current crisis might be a distant memory. But at this point I do expect Democrats to pick up seats next year, an exception to the midterm rule.
Wang does this with “swingometrics.” We know that Republicans have a structural advantage in the House: Partly through gerrymandering, partly through sheer accident, Democratic voters (especially African-Americans) are heavily concentrated in a relatively small number of districts, so that even when Democrats win more votes overall — as they did last year — a GOP majority is likely. Wang estimates that a swing toward Democrats of 6 percent would be needed for them to retake the House. It don’t mean a thing if they don’t get that swing (sorry, had to put that in.)

So he views the PPP poll in that light — and finds that it does indeed suggest a swing big enough to do the job:

As he says, November 2014 is a long way away. But it’s at least possible that the Republican brand will get worse, not better, over the course of the year, in which case an upset will indeed be in the cards.

Exclusive Gyms For Members Of Congress Deemed ‘Essential,’ Remain Open During Shutdown

Head Start programs have been shuttered, small businesses can’t get loans and hundreds of thousands of federal government employees are furloughed. But the exclusive gyms available only to members of Congress have remained open throughout the shutdown.

A House aide confirmed to ThinkProgress that the House member’s gym is open. The House gym features a swimming pool, basketball courts, paddleball courts, a sauna, a steam room and flat screen TVs. While towel service is unavailable, taxpayers remain on the hook for cleaning and maintenance, which has been performed daily throughout the shutdown. There are also costs associated with the power required to heat the pools and keep the lights on.

According to the aide, the decision to keep the gym open — even while other critical government services were shelved — came directly from Speaker Boehner’s office. Meanwhile, the staff gym available to Congressional staff has been closed.

It appears that the members gym in the Senate remains open on similar terms. Yesterday, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) complained to a reporter from the Omaha World-Herald that the members gym was getting “rank.”



Carters pitch in on Habitat project in Oakland

At the site of a dozen under-construction Habitat for Humanity townhouses in Oakland, scores of volunteer workers busily toted boards, hammered and sawed on Monday.

One couple assiduously operated a table saw, working with the fluidity of a longtime partnership. The couple, former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter, spent almost three hours framing windows in one of the solar-panel-topped homes.

For 30 years, the Carters have devoted an annual week to hands-on work with Habitat around the globe. This was their first time doing so in the Bay Area.

"It's kind of a vacation for us," said Jimmy Carter, who just turned 89. "It's adventurous, unpredictable and challenging, but always gratifying."


Amazing couple. Inspiring!

Tuesday Toon Roundup 2- The Rest









Tuesday Toon Roundup 1- The True Believers

Non Sequitur Toon: The First "World's Policeman"

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