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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 02:59 PM
Number of posts: 49,238

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Judge Gives Finger To Scalia, & Mocks the betoqued-for-pomp-circuses Cassandra of the SCOTUS

..........the ruling read very much like a basic civics lesson about the way that the Constitution’s protection of individual rights may sometimes override traditional moral and political preferences, and even trump the expressed wishes of a political majority.

In Kentucky on February 12, Judge John G. Heyburn of the US District Court Western District of Kentucky (appointed by Dubya Daddy Bush, for those who are keeping score) found (pdf) that the provisions of the Kentucky constitution and statute which which provided that the state could not, and need not, recognise same sex marriages solemnised outside Kentucky violated the Fourteenth Amendment, and were therefore invalid.

............Heyburn’s decision is similar in many ways to Shelby’s, not least because Heyburn gets a good’un or two in on Tony Scalia, the betoqued-for-pomp-and-circuses Cassandra of the Supreme Court.


On the next page, Heyburn cites Scalia’s comment in Lawrence that:

“‘preserving the traditional institution of marriage’ is just a kinder way of describing the State’s moral disapproval of same-sex couples.”

Stern says that, aside from giving Tony the finger, Heyburn’s decision is “fairly predictable” and “follows the emerging pattern of these kinds of rulings: He wavers on the scrutiny question, finds that the law was driven by anti-gay animus, and strikes it on Equal Protection grounds.”

In essence he says that the same sex marriage bans in the probably fail heightened scrutiny, and might perhaps be driven by animus against gay and lesbian people, but neither of those things actually matter. They don’t matter because the laws also fail the much less onerous test of rational scrutiny – that is, that they must be rationally related to a legitimate government purpose – by reason of, and here’s the tricky bit, not actually being rational or in any way related to a legitimate government purpose.


Hillary Clinton Advice For Young Women: ‘Grow Skin Like A Rhinoceros’

By MAGGIE HABERMAN | 2/13/14 4:30 PM EST

Hillary Clinton told a packed auditorium of New York University students Thursday that the most important tip she could offer women in public life was a lesson she took from one of her role models, Eleanor Roosevelt:

“Grow skin like a rhinoceros.”

It's a goddamn shame that in order to fend off attacks from crazed right-wingers, the women of America must lumber around like armor-plated beasts.

Is gentlemanly respect for the fairer sex a relic of the past for our wingnut friends?


Man who advocated for open carry Jailed, accused of making gun threats

man who advocated for open carry jailed, accused of making gun threats
Feb. 13, 2014

I was kicked out of Pick 'N Save for legally carrying a firearm

WAUSAU — A Schofield man who wrote a guest column for Daily Herald Media after he was asked to leave a grocery store for openly carrying a pistol in his holster could temporarily lose his concealed carry permit after an arrest on gun-related charges.

Dereck Simonsmeier, 24, is now in Marathon County Jail, one of four people arrested in the 600 block of Turner Street in Wausau after a man was threatened at gunpoint Wednesday. Simonsmeier is being held in the Marathon County Jail pending an initial appearance Friday in Marathon County Circuit Court.

Simonsmeier; Danny Price, 32; Shannon Wheeler, 25; and Amanda Zastrow, 26, were arrested at a Turner Street home after they were called to help with a dispute between roommates, said Capt. Greg Hagenbucher of the Wausau Police Department. The incident began when a woman living in the home asked a man, also living in the home, to leave, Hagenbucher said. When he refused, the woman called friends to help.

Police were called to the home at about 6:30 p.m., according to a Wausau police report. The men were arrested on preliminary charges of endangering safety and Zastrow was arrested on a preliminary charge of being a party to a crime.


Obama very politely told him he was full of shit, and O’Reilly, being a fuckhead, didn’t even notice

Rant of the Day award goes to Timothy Egan in the NYTimes, discussing “Bill O’Reilly’s Gift for the Ages”:

It’s been nearly two weeks now since Bill O’Reilly’s interview with President Obama on Super Bowl Sunday, and in the No Spin Zone of the host’s pretend world he’s still spinning the chat as the greatest conversation since Winston Churchill dined alone.

His sit-down with the president, he said, “is going to go down in journalistic history as what should be done.” And in case historians are late to the same conclusion, O’Reilly is auctioning off the notes of his questions — “they are obviously one of a kind,” he says.

Let us now praise the Bombastic One’s gift to posterity. His interview, his notes, all the ephemera should be preserved and studied. The sickness that infects news and politics, and its commensurate cynicism, can be directly traced to the creation of Fox News — “a political operation that employs journalists,” in the words of Gabriel Sherman, author of the new book on Roger Ailes, “The Loudest Voice in the Room.” There is no bigger media story in the last 50 years than the creation of a news network run by political hacks, says Sherman. I’m inclined to agree.

But just as important, civility itself took a dive with the rise of Fox, and has never recovered. The shouters, the boasters, the haters who show up at town hall meetings or pollute the Web with dark fantasies get their behavioral cues from Fox. O’Reilly is famous for telling guests to “shut up,” for cutting off people he disagrees with, for smugly praising his own performances and bringing on sycophants to do the same. By comparison, Ron Burgundy is a model of humility…

the rest:

If you want to be inspired to join a new French revolution, take a look at this:

Tom Perkins' big idea: The rich should get more votes
By Charles Riley @CRrileyCNN February 14, 2014: 8:22 AM ET

"The Tom Perkins system is: You don't get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes," Perkins said.

"But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How's that?"

The audience at the Commonwealth Club reacted with laughter. But Perkins offered no immediate indication that he was joking. Asked offstage if the proposal was serious, Perkins said: "I intended to be outrageous, and it was."

Perkins seemed to be aware that he was courting controversy, saying that his voting proposal would "make you more angry than my letter to the Wall Street Journal."


KRUGMAN: To suggest that workers can have equal dignity despite huge inequality in pay is just silly

It’s all very well to talk in the abstract about the dignity of work, but to suggest that workers can have equal dignity despite huge inequality in pay is just silly. In 2012, the top 40 hedge fund managers and traders were paid a combined $16.7 billion, equivalent to the wages of 400,000 ordinary workers. Given that kind of disparity, can anyone really believe in the equal dignity of work?


Think about it: Has anything done as much to enhance the dignity of American seniors, to rescue them from the penury and dependence that were once so common among the elderly, as Social Security and Medicare? Inside the Beltway, fiscal scolds have turned “entitlements” into a bad word, but it’s precisely the fact that Americans are entitled to collect Social Security and be covered by Medicare, no questions asked, that makes these programs so empowering and liberating.

Conversely, the drive by conservatives to dismantle much of the social safety net, to replace it with minimal programs and private charity, is, in effect, an effort to strip away the dignity of lower-income workers.

And it’s something else: an assault on their freedom.



"Whatever Team You Play For"


Russia Issues Terror Alert For ‘Moose And Squirrel’

Russia Issues Terror Alert For ‘Moose And Squirrel’
By Frederick Taub

SOCHI, RUSSIAN FEDERATION – Just hours before the opening ceremony for the Sochi Winter Olympics, Russia has put out an alert for two potential terror suspects, referred to by security officials as “moose” and “squirrel.”

An outpouring of fear swept the tiny coastal town on the Black Sea as details emerged of the possible terrorist attack by the unlikely combination of two Americans, identified as Mr. Bullwinkle J. Moose and Rocket J. Squirrel. The two suspects are reportedly from Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, which Russian officials believe may indicate a connection to Canadian separatists.

A friend of the two, historical expert nonpareille Mr. Peabody, said that any terrorist connection was preposterous and “indubitably unprovable.” An e-mail from Mr. Squirrel’s attorney merely said, “Hokey Smoke!”

“We thinking this is classic lone-wolf, err– lone-moose type suicide bomber, world’s greatest no-goodnik,” said Boris Badenov, a Russian expert on security and espionage who announced heightened security measures to catch the pair. He was joined by Colonel Natasha Fatale of the FSB.

“Security is going so well darling,” Ms. Fatale told reporters, before adding, “until we get word of confounded moose and squirrel!”

News of this development has only aggravated tensions ahead of the Games, as Russian security forces are already under intense scrutiny for failing to catch a pair of Chechen terrorists who planted a cartoonishly-large bomb with a long white wick at a train station in Volgograd. Local guards were allegedly lured away by a steaming bowl of borscht left at a strategic distance.

When asked how Russian intelligence would prevent any additional lapses in security, Mr. Badenov explained “Fearless Leader says any more screw-ups will result in comrade agents being liquidated!”

To help enhance security before the opening ceremony, Russia has reportedly also enlisted the aid of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Read more:

Crude Oil Impairs Cardiac Excitation-Contraction Coupling in Fish

Science 14 February 2014:
Vol. 343 no. 6172 pp. 772-776
DOI: 10.1126/science.1242747


Crude oil is known to disrupt cardiac function in fish embryos. Large oil spills, such as the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) disaster that occurred in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, could severely affect fish at impacted spawning sites. The physiological mechanisms underlying such potential cardiotoxic effects remain unclear. Here, we show that crude oil samples collected from the DWH spill prolonged the action potential of isolated cardiomyocytes from juvenile bluefin and yellowfin tunas, through the blocking of the delayed rectifier potassium current (IKr). Crude oil exposure also decreased calcium current (ICa) and calcium cycling, which disrupted excitation-contraction coupling in cardiomyocytes. Our findings demonstrate a cardiotoxic mechanism by which crude oil affects the regulation of cellular excitability, with implications for life-threatening arrhythmias in vertebrates.


does anyone know if Al Gore is STILL fat?

Uri Friedman passes alongs the above graphic from a report (pdf) on global warming and Sochi:

By mid-century, according to pessimistic projections, only 10 of these cities will be climatically suitable to host the Games. By the end of the century, the field will be winnowed down to just Albertville, Calgary, Cortina d’Ampezzo, St. Moritz, Salt Lake City, and Sapporo.

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