Pennsylvania’s Politics of Virtue: Senate Shoots Down Pigeon Shoots
Oct18

Pennsylvania’s Politics of Virtue: Senate Shoots Down Pigeon Shoots

by Walter Brasch The Pennsylvania Senate, possibly for the first time in its history, stood up against the NRA leadership and extreme gun-rights groups, and voted to ban pigeon shoots. The senators correctly called the ban a matter not of gun rights but of eliminating animal cruelty. The International Olympic Committee in 1900 banned pigeon shoots because of their cruelty and never again listed it as a sport. Most hunters and the...

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(Updates) Federal Judge Blocks Texas Voter ID Law
Oct14

(Updates) Federal Judge Blocks Texas Voter ID Law

Update II: And here we go again in the courts-one-upmanship saga. The Austin American-Statesman reports: A federal appeals court on Tuesday reinstated Texas’ tough voter ID law for the November election, which the U.S. Justice Department had condemned as the state’s latest means of suppressing minority voter turnout. . The ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocks last week’s...

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The New Poll Tax
Oct14

The New Poll Tax

For politicians, democracy entails getting a leg up on your opponents if you possibly can by changing the rules of the game and lying about it if necessary. If what is done is unfair or what is said is untruthful, so what? Winning is everything and every dirty trick that can be used, should be used. This includes doing whatever is possible to keep various population groups, blacks and other minority voters from exercising their...

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(Updates) In Surprise Move, Supreme Court Clears Way for Gay Marriage in 5 States – Alaska Next?
Oct12

(Updates) In Surprise Move, Supreme Court Clears Way for Gay Marriage in 5 States – Alaska Next?

Update III: And the beat goes on: Alaska Dispatch News has just reported that a federal judge ruled today “Alaska’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, paving the way for gay couples to begin marrying in the state for the first time.” The ruling comes less than a week after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to overturn similar marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada. Same-sex marriage advocates said the 9th Circuit ruling...

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Republican Tactics Of Fear And Voter Suppression
Oct11

Republican Tactics Of Fear And Voter Suppression

Republicans, lacking a real agenda or any solutions to problems, are basing their campaign this year on a combination of fear and voter suppression. They are even trying to politicize Ebola with threats that it will cross our borders (along with people of other colors) and even mutate to become airborne to attack us. (Does their belief that Ebola will change into an airborne infection suggest a new found belief in evolution for some?)...

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Courts Nix Wisconsin and Texas Voter ID laws
Oct10

Courts Nix Wisconsin and Texas Voter ID laws

Every now and then — even in the current, lamentable Supreme Court — decency and common sense raise their hands and speak. This time a decision on voting laws from the Court sidelines three of our most shameful justices. The Supreme Court on Thursday evening stopped officials in Wisconsin from requiring voters there to provide photo identification before casting their ballots in the coming election. Three of the court’s...

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White House Dismisses Report On Involvement In Secret Service Prostitute Scandal
Oct09

White House Dismisses Report On Involvement In Secret Service Prostitute Scandal

The White House has dismissed a Washington Post report claiming that it knew details of a scandal involving Secret Service members and a prostitute in Colombia in 2012. White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said that allegations of the scandal were reported, investigated and dismissed two years ago. In April 2012, members of President Barack Obama’s...

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The Apolitical Supreme Court Is Dead (Guest Voice)
Oct09

The Apolitical Supreme Court Is Dead (Guest Voice)

Guest Voice Post by Kurt Eichenwald I may have been America’s last holdout, but I’m finally ready to accept what everyone else seems to have acknowledged long ago: The concept of an apolitical judiciary—carefully interpreting laws, the Constitution and precedent with little thought of policy preferences—is dead. What we have instead are unelected super-legislators clothed in black robes who do handsprings to… Opinion: The Apolitical...

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In Not Hearing Case, Supreme Court Puts United States On A Path Towards Marriage Equality
Oct07

In Not Hearing Case, Supreme Court Puts United States On A Path Towards Marriage Equality

By deciding to allow appeals court rulings in five states stand, the Supreme Court has essentially put the United States on a path to make this legal in most, if not all, of the United States. While same-sex marriage only directly affects a small percentage of the country, it has become a litmus test to distinguish left from right, and demonstrate the emptiness of Republican claims of supporting smaller government and more freedom....

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Cartoon: Gays Ruin Marriage
Oct07

Cartoon: Gays Ruin Marriage

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit...

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Privacy and Democracy
Oct07

Privacy and Democracy

Privacy is not a concern for citizens in totalitarian states where autocrats or the ruling group want to be all knowing. Those in power try to eliminate private thoughts or communications, their goal being to prevent their overthrow by the people or other groups in opposition. Invasion of citizens’ privacy by government surveillance and various high tech corporations in democratic nations has only become a matter of general interest...

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Surrender to the inevitable
Oct07

Surrender to the inevitable

WASHINGTON — By deciding not to decide, the Supreme Court may have decided: If history is a guide, same-sex marriage will soon be the law of the land. The court’s refusal to take up cases brought by five states seeking to overturn appellate court rulings in favor of gay marriage — Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin — was a surprise. It does not mean that Chief Justice John Roberts and the...

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Nothing ‘tacit’ about this victory
Oct06

Nothing ‘tacit’ about this victory

United States Supreme Court building, Public Domain This is a good Omen for the First Monday in October: Supreme Court Hands Gay Marriage a Tacit Victory Adam Liptak / New York Times WASHINGTON — In a move that may signal the inevitability of a nationwide right to same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court on Monday let stand appeals court rulings allowing such unions in five states.  —  The development, a major surprise … And this outcome:...

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Cartoon: Gay Marriage
Oct06

Cartoon: Gay Marriage

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit...

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Obama’s ‘Failed Experiment’ Proves Only America Can Maintain Order (Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany)
Oct05

Obama’s ‘Failed Experiment’ Proves Only America Can Maintain Order (Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany)

How should the world react to America’s return to the role as world’s top cop? For Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung, columnist Nicolas Richter writes that misgivings over NSA mass surveillance and past military adventures notwithstanding, the world is breathing a sigh of relief to see the United States return to the role of maintaining a ‘basic level’ of global order, particularly with a multilateralist in...

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Two-thirds of Texas abortion clinics close in face of court ruling
Oct03

Two-thirds of Texas abortion clinics close in face of court ruling

Nearly two-thirds of abortion clinics in Texas are being forced to immediately close – the result of a federal appeals court ruling that reinforced a state law that allows the government to require the facilities to abide by the same strict standards as hospitals. The hospital-like requirement came via House Bill 2, but was struck down… graphic via...

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Another Activist Conservative Judge Attempts To Destroy Obamacare
Oct01

Another Activist Conservative Judge Attempts To Destroy Obamacare

A federal judge in Oklahoma, appointed by George W. Bush, has repeated the same ridiculous argument given by previous activist conservative judges to attempt to stop Obamacare. The claim is that the Affordable Care Act only provides for subsidies for policies purchased on state-run exchanges and not the federal exchange. This is based upon taking one portion of the law, which is poorly written and might suggest this, while ignoring...

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Cartoons: Secret Service
Oct01

Cartoons: Secret Service

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit...

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UN rapporteur on Gaza destruction
Sep30

UN rapporteur on Gaza destruction

After a first visit to the region, a United Nations human rights rapporteur on Gaza has provided more fodder for Palestinian calls to place Israel before various forums for justice, including the International Criminal Court. “Voices from across the Occupied Palestinian Territory are calling in unison for three demands: the need for accountability, an end to the blockade, and an end to the occupation,” noted Makarim Wibisono, Special...

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Get the authorization
Sep30

Get the authorization

WASHINGTON — President Obama should call Congress back to Washington for a special session to vote on authorizing war against the Islamic State. If he does not, Congress should return on its own to conduct this vital debate. Do your jobs, everybody. As legal justification for the war, Obama relies on two measures, passed more than a decade ago, that authorized U.S. military action against al-Qaeda and the Iraqi regime of Saddam...

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