Recommended Reading: The Nevada blogs have some posts well worth the click and read time — See Nevada Progressive’s “Freedom,” on the efforts to get rid of the Nevada gay marriage ban. Meanwhile in Virginia, a federal judge has overturned their ban saying, “Wright Allen showed no hesitation in overturning the state constitutional amendment, saying none of the reasons proponents offer for denying same-sex marriages make legitimate governmental interests.” [WaPo] Just a helpful reminder: The U.S. Senate confirmed Wright Allen’s nomination to the bench on a 96-0 vote in 2011. [rc 069]
** Don’t miss the Sebelius piece on the Pathology We Just Keep Enabling, or how we must learn to live with our reality challenged neighbors like Sharron Angle. However bemusing the antics of Mrs. Angle, her message advocating the suppression of voting rights is serious, and other advocates have adopted or are considering the adoption of strategies to suppress the turn out of voters. Cincinnati, OH has found a way to make voting as inconvenient as possible. [HuffPo] The Tea Party controlled North Carolina legislature has enacted some of the most repressive voting laws in the country, and people are beginning to act. [TruthOut] Republicans in Florida want to block the use of the UF Student Union as a polling place [BayNews9] and Manatee County, FL eliminated polling stations in minority heavy areas of its jurisdiction. [TP] The commissioner made this alarming statement about voting rights: “I wouldn’t have any problem making it harder. I would want them to vote as badly as I want to vote. I want the people of the state of Florida to want to vote as bad as that person in Africa who’s willing to walk 200 miles…This should not be easy.” Reminder, we use the voting process to determine the will of the people, not the fortitude of the individuals in the lines.
** When your party has to send out a memo saying your endorsement process doesn’t cancel out your primary, there are some serious organization issues in play. See Ralston Reports on the latest in the continuing soap opera which is the Nevada Republican Party.
** The Reno Gazette Journal has spoken to its motives in wanting access to Public Employee’s Retirement System data, but the intentions of a certain newspaper in the southland aren’t quite so clear. Take note of this post from February 2nd on Nevada Public Employee Focus. There is now, and has been, a coordinated attack on defined benefit retirement systems. Opponents first publicize the “trouble” the pension systems have, or their alleged lack of solvency. The second tactic is to issue derogatory statements about the “luxury” of public employee retirement benefits, hoping to split public employees and private sector employees politically. What we ought to be doing is fighting for defined benefit pension plans in the private sector, not disestablishing them in the public sector.
** I wouldn’t have believed this, but it’s documented: “South Carolina policy requiring a fee and permit to feed homeless begins.” [ATTP] There’s more information here:
“The most recent report, Out of Sight – Out of Mind?, which surveyed advocates and service providers in 50 of the largest U.S. cities, found that 86 percent of the cities surveyed had laws that prohibited or restricted begging, while 73 percent prohibited or restricted sleeping and/or camping. Over one-third of the cities surveyed have initiated crackdowns on homeless people, according to the survey respondents, and almost half of the cities have engaged in police “sweeps” in the past two years.”
A crack down policy might literally sweep the homeless off the streets, but this is simply mean spirited if not done in conjunction with efforts to find housing or shelter for those who need it.