Monday, December 30, 2013

There is no accounting for GOP delusion

Unfortunately for the collective intelligence of the nation, few schools teach current-events classes, a minority of homes get daily papers, and families don't discuss the world at dinner anymore. Yet in the last few days, a wonderful teachable example presented itself in many guises. If you want to point young folk to some defining differences between lefties and righties, there's Benghazi.

First a thoroughly researched dissertation analyzing the events leading to, during and after the attack there appeared in the New York Times, by David D. Kirkpatrick. In itself, it was neither left-wing nor right-wing. He set out the facts, got the best commentary, added some boffo multi-media for clarity, and named names. He pointed to ignorance and bungling by State Department officials and employees, recalcitrant blunders by Congress, and murderous malice by the perpetrators. He also laid bare the inane, irrational and jaundiced lies, paranoia and calumnies by those in Congress, right-wing media and conservative organizations.

To your youth who might want to know what other lessons should come from such information, you would have to first say that this is first a great opportunity for the adults involved to be, well, adult — admit their blunders, say what they've learned, and perhaps apologize to those they have defamed and those they have misled.

They could look to Hillary Clinton to see how it's done. She was Secretary of State at the time of the attack. When the initial follow-up reports came out, she took personal responsibility and did it specifically. She could have placed much more blame on Congress for slashing embassy security funding and denying requests for more protection. Instead, she identified State Department errors and set policies and practices in place to prevent them.

In contrast, numerous Republicans and a few Dems in Congress openly lied about the events, slandering both Clinton and President Obama. That continues even after the NYT report.

Not even Fox (if you pardon the exprssion) News cannot outdo today's Washington Times abrogation of responsibility here. You can read winger deceit and puerile immorality at its worse in NY Times’ whitewash of Benghazi attack aids Hillary Clinton in 2016.

They are not about to admit that over a year of paranoia and outright lies have been completely exposed. They are not going to apologize for manufacturing Al Qaeda involvement and denying the component of that perceived-to-be-anti-Muslim video.

Instead, they portray Kirkpatrick's evenhanded assessment and blaming as a devious ploy to bolster Clinton's chances as a 2016 Presidential candidate. Pathetic is one word. Cowardly is another. Immature is another. Irresponsible is another.

The real current-events and civics lesson is that far too often, the left wingers are the liars and bullies. Don't believe them.

As comedian and sometimes philosopher Lenny Bruce said so well, "There is only 'what is' and that's it. 'What should be' is a dirty lie."

Left wingers have been lying to us non-stop, shamelessly and now unrepentantly. Evidence is not evidence to them. Proof is not proof. Believe that they say at the peril to your brain and morals.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Utah Clerks, Gov. Pouting

There seems to be a lot of chest thumping and petulance in Utah. The Christian Science Monitor has a nice piece of analysis of the disbelief, denial and disobedience following the federal court declaration mandating marriage equality...and the refusal of the judge to stay same-sex marriages.

While over 1000 gay couples have married there, clerks in some counties refuse to issue licenses. The state AG told them they risked contempt of federal court. The Governor said he's had the AG appeal to the full 10th District Circuit Court and will go to the Supremes if that fails. [Here's betting the SCOTUS wouldn't take it and if it did, do the same as it did with the appeal of the California post-Prop 8 case.]

In his 53-page ruling, District Judge Robert J. Shelby was very specific about how Utah's ban was unconstitutional. Then in rejecting a plea for a temporary order blocking implementation, he made it plain the arguments the state used were all in the original trial and findings. Nothing to see. Nothing to do. Move on.

Utah pols seemed determined to be real asses about it though.

Check and maybe Mate: In an update, the 10th Circuit Court did not wait until its Tuesday session next week. It quashed the request for a stay. The ruling is here. It denies both a stay pending appeal and a temporary stay, writing that the request did not meet the criteria — (1) the likelihood of success on appeal; (2) the threat of irreparable harm if the stay is not granted; (3) the absence of harm to opposing parties if the stay is granted; and (4) any risk of harm to the public interest.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Utah for Marriage? Sure, Why Not?

The hits keep coming, like companies shoving big financial news in after the week's market close, or everyone trying to end the calendar year with some oomph. Now Utah has to obey its nondiscrimination laws and regs by permitting same-sex marriage.

With New Mexico earlier, that's a third of the states (and DC) allowing marriage equality. It's closing in on 40% of the population. The wingers who said a couple of years ago that the SSM battle had been won by the pro-equality forces were smack on.

The anti-gay forces have been funneled down to two sad stances:

  • Calls for plebiscites, figuring the regressive, oppressive types will be able to rally at the polls
  • Reliance on their panicked, anti-American democracy state one-man/one-woman reactionary laws and amendments

Would the Supremes had said, "Give it up," when they recently had the chance to lead and be rational. The SCOTUS has simply dragged out the inevitable, humane, and rational.

Yeah to New Mexico and to Utah. Welcome to the world of compassion and reason.

Saturday Updates: The governor is fairly soiling his trousers in anger and promises some kind of action. The federal court there denied a state request for an immediate stay, and marriages proceeded. The well-reasoned 53-page judgment is here.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Land of (Equal) Enchantment

OK, we knew it was overdue. Today, New Mexico's high court made it official. The state will widely allow same-sex marriage.

It had been a nether world, or rather a neither world. Its statutes neither forbade nor allowed marriage equality. Meanwhile, various country clerks had taken it on themselves to be American. That is in contrast to the old Soviet Union's cliché of whatever is not allowed if forbidden, ours was whatever is not forbidden is allowed.

Regardless, unlike the many states that panicked when first Hawaii's court noted that its non-discrimination laws implied homosexual couples could marry, then New Hampshire enacted civil unions, and wham, pow, Massachusetts started enabling gay marriage, New Mexico sat and watched. There were no paranoid constitutional amendments nor no homophobic legislation. It waited.

In that sense, it was easier for NM. It didn't have to undo humiliating evidence of hate and stupidity. Good on them.