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Member since: Mon Aug 20, 2012, 08:26 PM
Number of posts: 2,615

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April DeBoer And Jayne Rowse, Michigan Lesbian Couple, Battle State's Marriage And Adoption Laws

Source: AP/Huffington Post

A Detroit area-based lesbian couple currently battling Michigan's ban on adoption by unmarried couples will go one step further by entering the local fight for same-sex marriage.

As The Detroit News is reporting, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse -- who earlier this year filed a civil rights lawsuit to change their state's law barring same-sex couples from adopting -- announced plans to amend their complaint during a Sept. 7 news conference. They are now challenging Gov. Richard Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Oakland County Clerk Bill Bullard Jr. to declare Michigan's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, in addition to asking for the right to adopt as a same-sex couple, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The couple told local reporters that the sole motivation was their three children.

"Lots of things could happen if we don't protect their rights," DeBoer is quoted by the News as saying. "For Jayne and I, this fight is and always will be about the rights and protections of our children. It has never been about our rights."

video from today's news conference:


Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/07/april-deboer-jayne-rowse-michigan-gay-marriage-adoption-_n_1865784.html

Obama campaign mobilizing thousands of lawyers to combat voter ID laws, voting restrictions

Source: Cronkite News Service

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- President Barack Obama's reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee are coordinating and deploying thousands of lawyers to help voters deal with an array of recent voting law changes, according to national and state campaign officials.

Democrats and voting rights group say laws enacted across the country, from voter ID requirements to restrictions on third-party registration groups to shortened early-voting windows, are enacted largely by Republican legislatures and governors in a systematic effort to disenfranchise likely Democratic voters. Republicans across the country have said the changes are about preventing election fraud.

"The entire Republican program built around this anti-fraud theme had many component parts," said Robert Bauer, the lead lawyer for both the Democratic National Convention and Organizing for America, Obama's reelection campaign. "All of them organized around a central objective of disenfranchisement."

Bauer made the comments Thursday during a Voting Rights Institute meeting at the Democratic National Convention. The Voting Rights Institute, created by the DNC after the 2000 election, also held a voter-suppression panel that blasted voting law changes in Florida, Ohio and other states.

Bauer said the changes to the laws could make local election officials, many of whom he said were trying to do the right thing, make mistakes that disenfranchise voters.

"Votes lost," Bauer said. "Votes cast not counted. Voters turned away at the polls."

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/2012/09/07/20120907BC-CNS-DNC-Voting-Rights.html#ixzz25oxzuOqK

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/2012/09/07/20120907BC-CNS-DNC-Voting-Rights.html

Meet Rep. Steve King, Romney’s New ‘Partner’ In Congress (hint: he's not a big fan of puppies)

from Think Progress:


Meet Rep. Steve King, Romney’s New ‘Partner’ In Congress

By Zack Beauchamp on Sep 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Today, Mitt Romney enthusiastically endorsed Rep. Steve King (R-IA), saying “he needs to be your Congressman again. I want him as my partner in Washington!” If Romney were elected, then, he’d be partnering on legislation with one of the most radical members of Congress:

1. King is the leading defender of dog-fighting and animal torture in the United States. King recently suggested “there was something wrong” with the priorities of people who wanted to criminalize dogfighting while boxing was legal. When challenged on that assertion, King went on a bizarre diatribe about how the kidnapping, rape, and forced abortion of an underage girl wouldn’t be illegal under current law. King’s prodogfighting statements are consistent with a long legislative record of defending the inhumane practice as well as his recent sponsorship of legislation that would enable the torture of animals on farms while critically weakening food safety standards.

2. King compares immigrants to dogs, proposes keeping them out with electrified fence. Describing immigrants as birddogs, King said that we should only take “frisker” people, “not the one that’s over there sleeping on the corner.” This makes his remedy for illegal immigration, an electric fence, unsurprising, which he justified by saying “we do this with livestock all the time.” He also thinks that multicultural groups are about self-pity and that immigrants who “love taxes” aren’t real Americans.

3. King believes states can ban birth control and that contraception may destroy America. King, who adheres to a revisionist interpretation of the 10th Amendment, disagrees with well-established Supreme Court precedent guaranteeing a woman’s right to control her own body. This may be because King thinks that access to birth control may “let our birth rate get down below replacement rate we’re a dying civilization. Hypocritically, King has proposed that it is unconstitutional for states to ban foie gras. King, like Todd Akin, has “never heard of” a rape-induced pregnancy.

4. King tends birther. King personally searched for and discovered Obama’ birth announcement in Hawaii newspapers, he remains unconvinced that Obama was born inside the United States, positing the notion that “they might’ve announced that by telegram from Kenya.”

5. King sympathized with a terrorist and secessionism. After being informed of an attempted right-wing suicide attack on an IRS building, King expressed empathy with the terrorist’s motives, saying “It’s sad the incident in Texas happened, but by the same token, it’s an agency that is unnecessary and when the day comes when that is over and we abolish the IRS, it’s going to be a happy day for America.” Further, after the passage of the health care law, King intimated that parts of the country may need to secede from the Union, claiming that “we wouldn’t have to do that” if his audience could beat “the other side” to a pulp and chase them down.

photoshop opportunity?

photoshop opportunity? 2008 photo of Ryan enjoying MCcain... or possibly the other way around?

(sorry, when I saw this, I couldn't help myself)

Canada cuts ties with Iran, closes embassy, orders Iranian diplomats home

Source: Canadian Press

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has severed Canadian ties with Iran over its sponsorship of terrorism and amid fears about the safety of diplomats in the country.

Baird says the Canadian embassy in Tehran will close immediately and Iranian diplomats in Canada have been given five days to leave.

The skeleton staff that was operating Canada's Tehran mission has already fled the country.

Baird says he's worried about the safety of diplomats in Tehran following recent attacks on the British embassy there.

"The Iranian regime has shown blatant disregard for the Vienna Convention and its guarantee of protection for diplomatic personnel," he said.

"Under the circumstances, Canada can no longer maintain a diplomatic presence in Iran. Our diplomats serve Canada as civilians and their safety is our No. 1 priority."

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Canada+closes+embassy+Iran/7206256/story.html

Even Fox News Is Fed Up With Romney Failing To Provide Details Of His Tax Plan

Source: Think Progress

The Romney campaign has so far refused to clarify which tax deductions and loopholes it would eliminate in order to make its huge proposed tax cut for the rich revenue neutral. Despite repeated requests, the campaign and candidate have refused to budge, content to say that the tax plan “can’t be scored” due to its lack of detail.

And even Fox News has apparently had it with the campaign’s consistent dodging of this question, as Fox’s Gregg Jarrett repeatedly asked Romney policy director Lanhee Chen about it during an interview on Friday:


JARRETT: But why won’t he explain how and which ones and by how much?

CHEN: Well, you know, a number of different bipartisan commissions over the years have told us exactly how we get there. The key is presidential leadership and that’s something that’s been lacking. That’s something that Governor Mitt Romney is going to provide in the White House.

JARRETT: But Mr. Chen, forgive me, you’re just not answering my question. So let me put it again: which loopholes and deductions and credits and exemptions the President’s going to get rid of would affect all Americans. Before they cast their ballot, don’t they deserve to know which ones are going, which ones are not, and by how much?

CHEN: Look Greg, Governor Romney’s been very clear that first of all we’re going to look to curb deductions for high-income taxpayers. And secondly, a lot of different deductions and exemptions are out there, we’ve got a lot of different ways to get there.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/09/07/812951/fox-news-romney-plan/

Transgender delegation makes DNC ‘especially historic’ (plus 70% increase overall LGBT delegates!)

from the article:

Charlotte N.C. – The 2012 Democratic Convention proved to be reflective of the country’s “melting pot” moniker in multiple ways. The number of LGBT delegates is historical and record-breaking: 486 in total from every state in the country and a dramatic upswing from the 288 on board for the DNC in ’08.

“When you consider what it has been like in the past, it’s amazing,” said Barbara Casbar Siperstein, the first transgender member of the Democratic National Committee and a super delegate from New Jersey who participated in selecting of Charlotte as the site for the DNC. “This year is the first time there have been so many delegates from the trans community, so it makes us an especially historic moment for us.”

In total, there are 13 openly trans delegates. Several took time from their busy schedules to speak directly with qnotes. Here’s a look at who they are and some of their thoughts on President Obama, Charlotte, their role in the convention and their hopes for the future

link: http://goqnotes.com/17474/transgender-delegation-makes-dnc-especially-historic/

Rights advocates cheer ruling against U.S. government Guantanamo abuses, secrets

Source: examinar

A federal judge on Thursday upheld rights of detainees by blocking the U.S. government from restricting lawyers’ access to them and information about their cases at the nation's military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ruling that proposed measures would violate detainees’ right to challenge their confinement in the courts.

Rights advocates cheer ruling against U.S. government

“The government has never accepted the right of the detainees to effective legal representation,” said David Remes, who represents 17 of the prisoners, including two who challenged the new restrictions.

“Instead of picking fights over the detainees’ access to counsel, the government should focus on what really matters — sending home the detainees it does not intend to prosecute.”

In a 32-page opinion ( http://www.lawfareblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Counsel-Access-Decision-Amended1.pdf ) , Chief U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth wrote that new Defense Department procedures would strip away a key provision of the detainees’ legal protections.

Read more: http://www.examiner.com/article/rights-advocates-cheer-ruling-against-u-s-government-guantanamo-abuses-secrets

Eastwood Says He Balked at Sharing Speech With Romney Campaign

Source: New York Times

Clint Eastwood said the idea for the most controversial convention speech in a generation came to him the green room, just after he greeted Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, the country’s most influential Roman Catholic bishop.

“There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down,” Mr. Eastwood said. “When I saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea. I’ll just put the stool out there, and I’ll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn’t keep all of the promises he made to everybody.”


Mr. Eastwood said that the Romney campaign had asked for details about what he would say, but that he balked at the notion of divulging too much or rehearsing his speech.

“They vet most of the people, but I told them, ‘You can’t do that with me, because I don’t know what I’m going to say,’” Mr. Eastwood told The Pine Cone.

Read more: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/eastwood-says-he-balked-at-sharing-speech-with-romney-campaign/

Quote from Kerry Tonight: "Ask Osama Bin Laden if he's better off now than he was four years ago!"

some text from Kerry's Speech tonight:

Kerry plans to defend Obama's record on Israel, Iran, Russia, and arms control, and he will push back against the Romney campaign's refrain that Obama doesn't believe in "American exceptionalism."

"Our opponents like to talk about ‘American Exceptionalism.' But all they do is talk. They forget that we are exceptional not because we say we are, but because we do exceptional things," Kerry will say. "The only thing exceptional about today's Republicans is that -- almost without exception -- they oppose everything that has made America exceptional in the first place."

Kerry will point out that Romney criticized the idea of going into Pakistan to pursue Osama bin Laden but Obama gave the order that led to bin Laden's death.

"Ask Osama Bin Laden if he's better off now than he was four years ago!" Kerry will say.

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