House Republicans petition Supreme Court to review Defense of Marriage Act

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-06-2012-05-2008

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gay marriage

It looks like the still-steaming House Republicans are already thinking of ways for the Supreme Court to redeem themselves in the eyes of movement conservatism. What better way than to get into another high-profile spat between themselves and the administration?

The Republican-led House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group today mailed its petition to the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to review the May 31 ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that the federal definition of marriage contained in the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

The First Circuit arguments against the act can be found here. John Boehner and the other House Republicans have been persistent in their attempts to help steer this through the courts, presumably because they’re focused on all the jobs to be created in passing prejudicial laws against gay people. Because they’re focused on jobs, right?


Obama lauds coordinated response to Colorado fires

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-06-2012-05-2008

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President Barack Obama talks with firefighters as he tours the Mountain Shadow neighborhood devastated by a wildfire, Friday, June 29, 2012, in, Colorado Springs, Colo. After declaring a "major disaster" in the state early Friday and promising federal aid, President Obama got a firsthand view of the wildfires and their toll on residential communities. More than 30,000 people have been evacuated in what is now the most destructive wildfire in state history. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Barack Obama praised the coordinated response to Colorado's wildfires and said trying times bring Americans together.

Adelson to give Kochs another $10 million to defeat Obama and Democrats

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-06-2012-05-2008

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CEO and Chairman of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson speaks during a news conference at the Marina Bay Sands convention centre in Singapore June 23, 2010.

Sheldon Adelson is exercising his ‘freedom of speech’ in unprecedented fashion (Vivek Prakash/Reuters)

Savor the freedom of speech:

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is giving $10 million to the 2012 election efforts of the Koch brothers, a Republican Party insider in Nevada confirms.

This brings Adelson’s total 2012 spending to a mind-numbing $46.5 million: $16.5 million went to Newt Gingrich’s Super PAC (some of that was donated by his wife), $10 million is going to Mitt Romney’s Super PAC, $10 million is going to Karl Rove’s Crossroads group, and now another $10 million is going to the Koch Brothers.

But while spending nearly $50 million might seem like a lot, Adelson isn’t done trying to buy the election for Mitt Romney and the Republicans: He’s said the amount he expects to spend is “limitless” and could easily exceed $100 million. As absurd as that figure sounds, Adelson isn’t bluffing: He’s one of the 15 richest people in the world and could easily spend $1 billion if he wanted to. And the only people that happier about that news than Mitt Romney are the media consultants who will take their 15 percent commission on the ads his millions buy.


President Obama, the Colorado wildfires and ‘what makes us Americans’

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-06-2012-05-2008

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President Obama—against the backdrop of the devastating wildfires in Colorado—uses his weekly address to thank the firefighters and to remind all of us “what makes us Americans.”

… in addition to saying thank you to these firefighters, is to let them know that all of America has their back. One of the things that happens, whether it’s a fire here in Colorado, or a tornado in Alabama or Missouri, or a flood or a hurricane in Florida, one of the things that happens here in America is when we see our fellow citizens in trouble and having difficulty, we come together as one American family, as one community. And you see that spirit and you see that strength here in Colorado Springs, where people are working together, promising each other to rebuild. We’ve got to make sure that we are there with them every step of the way, even after this fire is put out.

And he asks all Americans to keep the people of Colorado in their thoughts.

So, America, I hope you guys remember the folks during these times of need. I know this is a little bit unusual — we don’t usually do weekly addresses like this, but I thought it was a good opportunity for us to actually focus attention on a problem that’s going on here in Colorado Springs. We never know when it might be our community that’s threatened, and it’s important that we’re there for them.

(Complete transcript below the fold)


This week in science: All these worlds are yours except Winguttia, attempt no landing there

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-06-2012-05-2008

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Among many other appealing qualities, Mars is 100 percent wingnut-free, and it won’t go easy on those who prefer fantasy over reality. But landing on Mars is damn tricky. The video above gives an idea of just how tricky. A lot can go wrong:

Scientists on Earth have a hard enough time predicting Earth weather, and it’s all the more difficult to predict weather on a planet millions of miles away. Mars is notorious for long, cold winters and dust storms that can blanket the entire planet. While the mission is scheduled to land during a good weather period, anything can happen.

Come August, I’ll be right here, live blogging the Rube Goldberg Mars reentry and landing technique.

  • If this new technique for analysing the exotic atmospheres of planets light-years away pans out, it could be huge for science. It could even yield benefits in our search for life in the cosmos.
  • We all know dinosaurs are way cool. New evidence suggests they were also hot.
  • I don’t know what all they might do or not do, but I want a pair of Google Glasses anyway!
  • And last but certainly not least, Aron-Ra’s wife does battle with a silly presuppositonalist, and PZ joins in on the ass kicking:

    Presuppositionalism is basically a false equivalency. They argue that there is merely a difference in the foundation of the creationist and scientific views: the creationist builds on their presupposition that the Bible is true, while the scientist builds on the presupposition that the Bible is false and that atheism is true.

     


AP source: Adelson giving $10 million to aid GOP

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 29-06-2012-05-2008

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FILE - In this April 12, 2012 file photo, Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson speaks at a news conference for the Sands Cotai Central in Macau. Allegations have surfaced in a Nevada court that billionaire Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson personally approved allowing prostitution and knew about other improper activity at his company's casinos in the Chinese enclave of Macau. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson is making another huge campaign contribution aimed at electing Republicans and voting President Barack Obama out of office.

House votes to cite AG Eric Holder for contempt

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 29-06-2012-05-2008

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House Republicans voted Thursday to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress in a vote stemming from an investigation into alleged gun-running by the government.

Congress passes student loans, highway jobs bill

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 29-06-2012-05-2008

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Congress emphatically approved legislation Friday preserving jobs on transportation projects from coast to coast and avoiding interest rate increases on new loans to millions of college students, giving lawmakers campaign-season bragging rights on what may be their biggest economic achievement before the November elections.

Lawmakers press DOE to speed LNG export review

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 29-06-2012-05-2008

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers representing states rich in shale gas called for the Obama administration to expedite approval of liquefied natural gas exports on Friday, mounting the first real push in support of gas exports on Capitol Hill. A bipartisan coalition of 21 lawmakers in the House of Representatives said the Obama administration needs to move forward with its review of companies looking to export LNG. “We urge you to bring a renewed sense of urgency to the approval process,” the group said in a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu. …

Quebec government lends C$58 million to asbestos mine

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 29-06-2012-05-2008

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(Reuters) – The Canadian province of Quebec said on Friday it will lend investors C$58 million ($56.89 million) to extend the life of one of Canada’s last remaining asbestos mines, boosting production in an industry that has drawn heavy criticism. The cash infusion will allow the investor group, led by Quebec company Balcorp Ltd, to reopen the Jeffrey mine in the town of Asbestos in Quebec’s Eastern Townships and complete a long-planned expansion. The expansion could extend the mine’s life by more than 20 years, the Quebec government said in a statement. …