Greg Sargent has the details.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) said today that if conservatives want to be reelected, “they should turn their focus away from the Iraq war.” Frist told the Concord Monitor, “The challenge is to get Americans to focus on pocketbook issues, and not on the Iraq and terror issue.”
Rush Limbaugh is sticking to his claim that Michael J. Fox is exaggerating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease — by “acting” or “not taking his medications” — in an advertisement promoting stem cell research.
The media falsely reported that he “apologized” to Fox. On his radio show today, Limbaugh said he regrets nothing. Watch it:
I stand by what I said. I take back none of what I said. I wouldn’t rephrase it any differently. It is what I believe; it is what I think. It is what I have found to be true.
from the Council on Foreign Relations gives the Bush administration grades you wouldn’t “want to bring home to your mother,” ABC News reports. Overall, the administration’s efforts receive two B’s, four C’s, two D’s and one D-/F.
Some may tire of Spack‘s determination to blog each and every DOD death notice from Iraq, but yours truly reads everything and notices that today’s batch includes Seaman Charles O. Sare of Hemet, California, age 23. That’s right, Seaman Charles O. Sare, meaning he’s in the Navy, specifically the Naval Ambulatory Care Center in Port Hueneme. He managed, however, to get killed by “enemy action while conducting combat operations in the Al Anbar Province, Iraq.”
Anbar, we’ll note, is rather far from the ocean. What’s happening here is that as part of the ongoing efforts to cope with Iraq-related manpower problems while denying that such problems exist, you’re seeing more-or-more efforts to find Navy personnel who can be dispatched into the basically non-Navy context of the Iraq War. That’s probably the smart play insofar as one wants to continue this war (which one really shouldn’t want), but it’s yet another reminder of the damage persisting in this futile policy is doing.
We’re going to have more, apparently, or at least new federal regulations making it easier to have more. I was trying to think up an opinion on this subject, but so far no real luck beyond my vague sense that dudes I knew who attended Collegiate seemed kind of messed up. I infer from this post at Eduwonk that the “liberal caricature” thing to do would be opposed. I find that a little surprising, since, say, Wellesley more or less is a liberal caricature all on its own. Conor Clarke says the empirical evidence is murky.
Just in time for a big pre-election brou-ha-ha the New Jersey Supreme Court hands down a ruling:
The State Supreme Court in New Jersey said today that under equal protection guarantees of the state constitution, same-sex couples “must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes.”
But it said that whether that status is called marriage or something else “is a matter left to the democratic process.”
That seems like a reasonable conclusion to me. At any rate, when this went down in Massachusetts it sparked both a lot of concern that the ruling would be bad for the Democrats’ electoral fortunes, but also a lot of much stronger claims about litigation being somehow a bad path for the gay rights movement. The latter conclusion certainly would be convenient for Democratic Party political operatives, but I see very little evidence for it and the fact that we’re seeing further expansions of gay rights seems to indicate that the obvious answer is the correct one — social movements like to use the courts to advance their agenda because it’s a method that works. The political process, fundamentally, doesn’t like to address novel sorts of disputes because it unsettles established patterns and makes trouble for everyone — it takes a lawsuit or two to set things in motion.
The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that “same-sex couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals in New Jersey, but that lawmakers must determine whether the state will honor gay marriage or some other form of civil union,” the AP reports.
From the ruling:
HELD: Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose. The Court holds that under the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed same-sex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes.
UPDATE: AmericaBlog highlights President Bush’s comments from 2004:
I don’t think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that’s what a state chooses to do so. … I strongly believe that marriage ought to be defined as between a union between a man and a woman. Now, having said that, states ought to be able to have the right to pass laws that enable people to be able to have rights like others.
On Monday, Rush Limbaugh accused actor Michael J. Fox of “exaggerating the effects” of Parkinson’s disease in advertisements supporting stem cell research. “He’s moving all around and shaking and it’s purely an act,” Limbaugh said.
This morning, Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade continued the attack, implying that Michael J. Fox may have been acting because he “looked great” on “Boston Legal” — the ABC show in which Fox guest-starred. “I mean,” Kilmeade added, “I know they cut it different and edit it different, but he looked fantastic.” Watch it:
Transcript: Read more
Over the objections of the Pentagon’s Criminal Investigation Task Force, Donald Rumsfeld approved abusive interrogations of alleged 9/11 accomplice Mohammed al-Qahtani. Now, military prosecutors have told the Task Force “not to worry about making a criminal case against al-Qahtani…because what had been done to him would prevent him from ever being put on trial.”