Daily archives: January 27th, 2010

Justice Samuel Alito Says ‘Not True’ During State Of The Union When Prez Calls Out SCOTUS

Watch Justice Samuel Alito’s lips. He’s sitting on the far left (no pun intended) behind Cheif Justice John Roberts. Justice Alito says, "Not true," when President Obama shares his reservations about the latest Supreme Court ruling regarding corporate spending in elections.

Watch the video closely.

Obama Declares ‘I Don’t Quit’ in First State of the Union Address

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Declaring “I don’t quit,”‘ an embattled President Barack Obama vowed in his first State of the Union address Wednesday night to make job growth his topmost priority and urged a divided Congress to boost the still-ailing economy with fresh stimulus spending. Defiant despite stinging setbacks, he said he would not abandon ambitious plans for longer-term fixes to health care, energy, education and more.

“Change has not come fast enough,” Obama said before a politician-packed House chamber and a TV audience of millions. “As hard as it may be, as uncomfortable and contentious as the debates may be, it’s time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth.”

Obama looked to change the conversation from how his presidency is stalling — over the messy health care debate, a limping economy and the missteps that led to Christmas Day’s barely averted terrorist disaster — to how he is seizing the reins.

A chief demand was for lawmakers to press forward with his prized health care overhaul, which is in severe danger in Congress, and to resist the temptation to substitute a smaller-bore solution for the far-reaching changes he wants.

“Do not walk away from reform,” he implored. “Not now. Not when we are so close.”

Republicans applauded the president when he entered the chamber, and even craned their necks and welcomed Michelle Obama when she took her seat. But the warm feelings of bipartisanship disappeared early.

I don’t know how “embattled” President Obama is right now. Every president is “embattled.” I found the tone of the SOTU remarkable. But Congress needs to remember how to be a parliament, and they’re not there yet. Republicans say, “NO!” Democrats let the tail wag the dog and give up the fight. The intelligence factor in Congress is rather low right now, I fear, on both sides of the aisle. Republicans are too dumb to realize that there is more to life than cheap politics, and Democrats are too dumb to know how to make Congress work.

Too bad.

I’m glad this president does not “give up.” We still have work to do.

Christopher Hayes: Health Care Moving in the Right Direction

From Chris Hayes at The Nation:

For the first time since the Massachusetts debacle, I’m cautiously optimistic about the fate of health care reform. Here’s why: In the wake of Scott Brown’s election, what was most dispiriting was the total leadership vacuum and chaotic, every-man-for-himself atmosphere among congressional Democrats. There didn’t seem to be any hard consensus on what to do next. Some said: break it up into smaller pieces, radically pare down the bill, go back and find Republican support (ha!) or let the thing die. Every one of these options would actually spell the death of health care reform, and one of the most stunning legislative failures in recent memory. To even consider such a move seemed insane, and yet those of us paid to observe Congress have spent the last two weeks watching, with mouth agape, as congressional Democrats slowly raised a loaded gun to their collective mouths and volubly considered pulling the trigger.

But sanity has, tentatively, provisionally prevailed. After spending much of yesterday talking to folks on capitol hill, it’s clear there is increasingly consensus on a path forward: As I explained last night on Rachel Maddow, it involves a few steps, but is relatively straightforward. The House has to come up with a list of changes to the Senate bill that will get them to 218 votes (and will also pass muster with the procedural constraints of “reconciliation”. For more on that you can listen to last week’s episode of The Breakdown.) They then send those changes to the Senate leadership, which can pass them through reconciliation, a process that requires a simple majority. Once that process has moved forward or (better!) is completed, the House can then pass in quick succession the Senate bill, and the amended fix.

To be honest, I want to read this in depth later on.  Just placing a link to Hayes’ post here so I can come back to it later on.

But this is good news.

Original Anti-Gay Cartoon in Notre Dame’s Observer Was Equally Horrible

Notre Dame gay fine by me t-shirt

Both versions of the strip considered by editors, including the original rejected submission (second from the top). Beneath the strips is a gmail chat between one of the comic creators and an Observer staffer.

I was patient, I believe, with the flap over the anti-gay comic strip Mobile Party that ran in Notre Dame’s Observer earlier this month. I was patient and more forgiving until I saw the original comic considered by editors at the Observer. In the original, the punch line was uglier, if that’s at all possible.

From IrishCentral:

The cartoon depicts a conversation between two figures that reads:

“What’s the easiest way to turn a fruit into a vegetable?"

“No idea.”

“A baseball bat.”

Earlier, the cartoonist, who has not yet been named, posted the original version of the cartoon on his blog. In this version, it shows the punch line as “AIDS” instead of “a baseball bat.” The paper, he claimed, preferred “not to make light of fatal diseases.”

The original chat between the Observer and creators of the comic strip is above. According to The Observer, the primary authors of the strip are Notre Dame seniors Colin Hofman, Jay Wade and Lauren Rosemeyer.

What were these young adults thinking? How could they have possibly thought that either of those jokes were acceptable?

From College Media Matters:

Among the criticisms emanating from faculty and students at Notre Dame and its sister school St. Mary’s, here is part of a statement from student representatives of St. Mary’s Straight and Gay Alliance (Notre Dame does not officially recognize a GSA-related group on its campus): “You may not like it but Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s is a home to lesbian, gay and bisexual students. Your call as both a Christian and as a human being is to respect them. Making light of the very real threat of homophobic motivated hate crimes is a poor excuse for humor and a despicable action. I completely support and defend a person’s freedom of belief, expression and speech. However, when expressing that belief takes the form of language which encourages violence against a group of people, you have crossed a professional and ethical line.”

Similarly, in a piece touching on the comic’s status as a symbol of a larger discriminatory and ignorant mindset at the school, a Notre Dame sociology professor writes, “This [the comic controversy] is no isolated incident on our campus. . . . Getting a cheap laugh at the expense of the abused, bashed, disabled and even murdered not only belittles these horrific experiences but encourages more violence.”

The administration at the University of Notre Dame must step up and do more. The administration must finally sponsor a gay-straight alliance. That takes courage in the face of the United States Catholic bishops who are so incredibly out of touch, and the Vatican, which exists in a parallel universe.

What would Jesus do? I know that’s a simple question.

The answer is simple too.

The University of Notre Dame must finally and completely embrace its gay and lesbian students, faculty and staff.

Notre Dame Students Rally Support for GLBT Community

Notre Dame gay fine by me t-shirt

From  Irena Zajickova at the Observer at Notre Dame:

Student, faculty and other members of the Notre Dame community will participate in events this week to demonstrate their desire for the administration to add sexual orientation to the University’s non-discrimination clause.

The events kicked off yesterday when students wore “Gay? Fine By Me” T-shirts to show their support for Notre Dame’s Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender (GLBT) community. Senior Patrick Bears, a member of the Core Council for Gay and Lesbian Students, said that in light of a controversial comic published in the Jan. 13 edition of The Observer, there has never been a more important time for students to show support for the GLBT community.

“Generally we try to coincide T-shirt day with StaND Against Hate week or National Coming Out Day, but given the controversy surrounding the comic we thought it would be better to do a weeklong initiative promoting these issues,” Bears said.

More students and alumni than ever expressed interest in obtaining T-shirts to wear, he said.

Former Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate said he wanted to get involved with the initiative to help show Notre Dame’s GLBT community that he and others on campus support their decisions.

“I wanted to participate in the project because just like everyone else, [the GLBT community] are people and have rights,” Tate said. “The Notre Dame community is a family and family members support one another to make the family stronger.”

Three cheers for old Notre Dame! These kids make you proud to wear the blue and gold.

The administration must take the lead and permit a gay-straight alliance group to meet on campus, fully sponsored by the University.  That is unquestionably the moral, ethical, and ultimately the Christian thing to do.

More here.