As I wrote previously,there were some bald-face lies in the Michigan attorney general's brief to the Supreme Court in the DeBoer v Snyder case. (This was the Michigan instance of the four marriage equality cases argued before the Supreme Court yesterday). Michigan's official, documented plea in the marriage case was filed by Republican state Attorney General Bill Shuette. Shuette is a long-term right-wing culture warrior; he opposition to same-sex marriage in Michigan is a big reason that these cases reached the Supreme Court in the first place.
But then things got dramatic. This attorney giving (anti-equality) oral arguments on behalf of the states parroted Schuette's lie. And Justice Breyer caught him doing it. And it was so bad that even Justice Scalia mocked it. And Justice Breyer promised to dig up the truth. Repeatedly.
Because of course he does.
Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette has been a hero of Michigan's right-wing culture warriors since taking office. Why is the Sixth Circuit marriage equality case coming before the US Supreme Court? First, because Schuette vigorously defended Michigan's same-sex marriage ban in federal trial court in the case of DeBoer v Snyder. Second, because Schuette appealed the federal court ruling to the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. This one elected official has been a major force against marriage equality; without his activism, it's entirely possible that marriage equality would be the law of the land today.
Schuette and his team oversaw the losing side at trial court in DeBoer v Snyder. This Michigan case is unique among recent marriage cases: it's the only one in which a full trial was held. Schuette's side were absolutely crushed at federal court. The trial judge determined that the State's arguments were legally wrong, factually inaccurate, misleading, dishonest, and implausible. Now as the appeal goes before SCOTUS, Schuette is one of several state officials who've filed briefs with the high court.
So has Michigan's AG learned his lesson and decided to stick with factual evidence and truthful citations? Of course not. Here is the First Great Lie in Michigan's official Brief for the Respondants in DeBoer v Synder (14-571)
One of Coca-Cola's ad agencies produced and ran this sweetly sentimental and overtly multilingual 6-second Super Bowl ad during yesterday's big game.
In reaction to this ad, a high school classmate of mine posted this on her Facebook wall:
that Commercial just TICKED me off! Don't sing AMERICA the beautiful in all sorts of languages...this is AMERICA..SPEAK ENGLISH!!!!
My off-the-cuff reply below the fold.
Here it is: the long-secret GAY AGENDA made public.
Maybe work out
Get kids to school
Help kids with homework
Below the fold: a progress report
I usually try to write here in my rational, well-reasoned voice. But today's short diary is written while I'm angry and irrational.
Is it negligent to build a school in the middle of tornado country that doesn't include any kind of tornado shelter? Moore, Oklahoma was already hit by significant tornadoes 4 times in the last 15 years, including the storm that holds the world record for the strongest wind ever observed by humans. At some point, don't we get the hint and find a few dollars in SOMEbody's budget to upgrade this school to 1930s' technology? Friggin' DOROTHY had a storm cellar...
Our priorities dictate our outcomes. The current Governor of Oklahoma wrote a preamble-style introduction to her current year's budget proposal. In it, she recognizes that her state's infrastructure is in poor condition: "Oklahoma’s highway transportation system [is] currently ranked as one of the worst in the nation." And the Governor recognizes that "Oklahoma’s poor health indicators continue to generate personal tragedy while dragging down the state’s economy".
But top billing still goes to tax cuts! Priority one is to make cuts to provide "immediate tax relief while setting the state on a course to completely eliminate the personal income tax".
The loss of life at the elementary school in Moore was a tragedy, but not an accident. It was a choice. And we as Americans make choices every day. Popular sovereignty is what first defined us as a country and what continues to define us as a people. Today, tax cuts and oil and gas production are priorities for the elected government of the state; climate change and safety infrastructure are not. It is their solemn right to make those choices. But let's please not look surprised when our choices have outcomes.
Below the fold, the full text of Governor Fallin's budget proposal introduction, pasted verbatim from http://www.ok.gov/...
October 11 is designated in the United States as National Coming Out Day. This day is set aside to encourage the silent among us to tell those around them that they can't object to "the gay" without acknowledging that real people in their own lives are LGBT. In recent decades, we've found that, as Harvey Milk said, personally knowing LGBT people helps "once and for all, break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions". So here's my short treatise - posted here to Daily Kos, on my Facebook page, and in an e-mail to my entire family - in honor of 2012's National Coming Out Day.
I'm a registered voter in the state of Michigan, but to my knowledge I've never signed up for any Republican mailing lists or phonebank qualifiers. After a flurry of robocalls hitting my house earlier in the week, the lines were mostly quiet until this morning, when the following Restore Our Future (Romney SuperPAC) robocall came in.
Full transcript below the fold.
Apart from my day job, I help my family run a small cafe in the small town where I grew up. I live in a city-sized college town about a half hour away, but I still drive back to my hometown a couple times a week to help out with the cafe. It's a lot for a 40-year-old single dad, but it's what I do.
As soon as my family bought the place, I put a small but visible LGBT Pride flag in the front window. My brother and I thought this might cause some friction with our very religious mother, but nobody said a word about it, and the flag stayed up. I bought extras in case some of our small towns ultra-conservatives decided to tear it down, but the spares stayed in my bag.
A few months later, I saw that the flag had been taken down. I found out secondhand that one of our customers - an old and fairly close family friend with a gay son my age - had asked my mother why we had a pride flag in our window. Mom stammered, pleaded ignorance, changed the subject, and quietly pulled the flag out of the window.
Below the fold is an e-mail I sent to our mom, my brother, our business partner, and the friend who asked. Names have been changed to obscure the guilty. How does the story end? I don't know; I just send the e-mail tonight. We'll see...
Hunter's excellent front-page diary rightly skewers Republican candidate Herman Cain's latest entry in the Clueless Economics Plan category. Hunter even posted an image of Cain's campaign stop poster. The poster shows the aging, decaying crumbling wreck of a building that is the old Michigan Central (railroad) Station in Detroit.
The MCS is an 18-story atrocity. Vacant since 1988, it is a prominent symbol of urban decay in a city that is chock full of such symbols. Its awful condition in a prime city location has been a major roadblock to growth in and near downtown for years. So it's the perfect backdrop to present Cain's "opportunity zone" plan, the Cain camp thought. If only minimum wage laws, zoning rules, payroll taxes, and building codes weren't in the way, places like this wouldn't have to crumble, right?
Wrong and very wrong. Not just because of the merits of Cain's plan, but because he fundamentally misunderstood what the MCS is.
This may sound like a trivial request when compared to some of the other serious issues on this site. But I am faced with a task for which I am largely unqualified. I need to find.... a book.
And not just any book. This book is to be a loving Christmas gift for a wonderful family member. Here's the catch: I'm atheistic, he is a devout Christian. Most all of his favorite books speak to questions of faith.
Can you, Christian Kossacks, recommend an excellent book or two?
So I'm a regular guy, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I'm sitting here in a hotel room outside Cincinnati getting ready for my first visit to the Creation Museum tomorrow morning.
Why am I going? Well, I'm not sure there is a short answer to that question. The obvious answer is that I'm a fan of PZ Myers ; he proposed an organized trip to the Creation "Museum", and I joined in. The Secular Student Alliance (SSA) from Ohio State University joined the effort and helped to organize the outing, and they were kind enough to arrange discounted tickets to the "museum". But that answer doesn't really do the topic justice.
As you know, the blogosphere is atwitter with criticism of the recently unveiled Republican "budget plan". One of my favorite writers (Dana Hunter at En Tequila Es Verdad) writes today:
Instead, they unveiled a "budget" with no numbers or even budget estimates, and spent most of the press conference criticizing the president.
I'm not sure whether you've read the "R" plan. they have published the whole thing online, using a URL that manages five instances of false advertising in just 63 characters:
I just want to say that I, for one, am sick. SICK, I tell you, about the false accusations being made about this fine Republican proposal. The nutty, left-wing bloggers have been repeating this patently false claim that this proposal gives no budget numbers in its 19 glossy pages. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Let me break down the real numbers.