When Judges Are Elected

Why not have our Federal judges always running for re-election? If the far right has it’s way, it would like to change the Constitution to permit retention votes for ALL judges, including those who sit on SCOTUS. From Right Wing Watch:

In day two of James Dobson’s discussion with Richard Land on the state of America today that I mentioned earlier, Land let loose on the dangers of health care reform, guaranteeing that it’ll fill the lives of everyone with pain and misery:

Land: I’m absolutely confident in saying this: ninety-nine percent of the people who are hearing me right now over the radio, if Obamacare is not rescinded, you will live a shorter life and it’ll be more filled with pain and suffering before you die because they’re not going to give you hip transplants, they’re not going to give you knee transplants, and they’re not going to give you other treatments as you go into old age.

Eventually, the topic turned to the vote in Iowa which removed three state Supreme Court justices, prompting Land to announce his desire to see constitutional amendment passed that would institute this process nationwide:

Land: In Iowa they have what seems to me to be a very sensible law and I’m ready to start a discussion that we ought to have it at the federal level.

I’m ready to put an amendment to the Constitution that says that every six years, on a rotating basis, we’ll have three Supreme Court justices and they will be on the ballot nationwide, and you get to vote – I want to keep Justice Scalia or I don’t want to keep Justice Scalia.

And the same thing with federal district court judges – in the district where they serve, you get to vote whether you’re going to keep them or not.

Dobson: Well, to do that you’d have to have a constitutional amendment …

Land: Yes sir , I’m ready to start …

Dobson: I’ll go with you …

Land: Judges aren’t all that popular.

This wouldn’t effect the fairness of their judgments, now, would it?

Holiday Gift? 57 Years of Playboy Cover to Cover

From Engadget:

Well, you can finally throw out that trunk in your grandfather’s garage. Hugh Heffner’s legacy has taken a cue from National Geographic — in an arguably non-horrifying way — and partnered with publisher Bondi Digital to release a (presumably Seagate-branded) 250GB external hard drive packed with every issue of Playboy released since 1953. Its $300 asking price is roughly four times what you’d pay for a fresh G-rated 250GB drive today, but compared to a 57-year subscription, the digital vault is certainly a bargain. In contrast to their trail blazin’ efforts with the iBod though, thanks to the prominent placement of the brand’s iconic bow tie-wearing bunny and name, there’s no chance of using this device for practical tasks such as backing up TPS reports at the office. Like the decision to phase out DVDs in favor of VOD however, the move does prove the magazine isn’t afraid of staying abreast of today’s content consumption trends. Next stop, Nook Color?

Now, you can pack this hard drive of nudity with the tumorized testicles I wrote about earlier.

Right Wingnuts Calling on Prop 8 Judge To Disqualify Himself

From Ed Whalen at National Review Online:

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the arch-activist selected to be one of the three members of the Ninth Circuit panel hearing the appeal in the Prop 8 case, is obligated to disqualify himself from participation in the case.

Why?

One predicate fact, insufficient in itself, is that Reinhardt is the husband of Ramona Ripston, the longtime executive director of the ACLU of Southern California. I need not and do not argue here that the corporate affiliation between the ACLU of Southern California and the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, which has filed an amicus brief on appeal, requires Reinhardt’s disqualification. [Update: But see this follow-up post, which discusses the role of the ACLU of Southern California in the district-court proceedings in this very case.] Nor do I argue that Ripston’s financial contribution to the No on 8 campaign (which may or may not have come out of joint funds) compels Reinhardt’s disqualification.

Even though it may well provide a sufficient basis on its own, I also do not rely on the fact that Ripston publicly celebrated Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling against Prop 8, the very ruling on appeal in this case:

“This decision affirms that in America, we don’t treat people differently because of their sexual orientation,” said Ramona Ripston, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, in a statement. “We rejoice at today’s decision but there’s a long road ahead toward establishing true marriage equality for same-sex couples.”

Rather, I rely on the fact, reported months ago in this California Lawyer article, that Ripston consulted with the plaintiffs’ lawyers about the decision to bring this very case:

Earlier that month [May 2009], [Theodore] Boutrous [of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher], [Chad] Griffin [board president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group sponsoring the lawsuit], and [AFER board member Bruce] Cohen had opened confidential discussions with [Lambda Legal’s Jennifer] Pizer and Jon Davidson, Lambda’s legal director; Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California; and Mark Rosenbaum, its legal director.

Pizer would confirm only that the talks took place, though in a later interview she said it was clear that Gibson Dunn’s lawyers were thinking seriously about filing a federal case. Rosenbaum also declined to reveal the content of the confidential discussions. After Boutrous listened to their views, he says, he “spent hours and hours doing my own analysis, because we take those things very seriously.” In the end, Boutrous says, he felt even more strongly that filing was the right thing to do.

The Code of Conduct for United States Judges requires that a judge “disqualify himself … in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” How is it possible that Reinhardt’s impartiality in this case couldn’t reasonably be questioned when his wife took part in confidential discussions with plaintiffs’ lawyers over whether they should pursue the case? And, no, it’s no answer to say that Reinhardt is already so biased in favor of plaintiffs that his wife’s role couldn’t make a difference.

In fairness to Reinhardt, he may not yet be aware of Ripston’s consulting role. But once he becomes aware, how can he not disqualify himself? And isn’t Boutrous, as an officer of the court, obligated to disclose his consultation with Ripston and to move for Reinhardt’s disqualification?

Addendum: It may well be that Ripston and her legal director, Mark Rosenbaum, tried to persuade plaintiffs’ counsel not to file the challenge to Prop 8. But the substance of Ripston’s advice is immaterial to the disqualification question. What matters is that she played a consulting role to plaintiffs’ counsel in this very case.

Does the right actually have a case here? Leave it to the lawyers. I hope that everything about the upcoming hearings by the 9th District Court are as fair as possible to avoid the expected “activist judge” backlash that has followed every other pro-gay ruling.

President Obama Releases Statement on DADT Study

As many of you now, the Pentagon released findings from it’s recent “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” study which interviewed members of the military and their families. Jeremy has a copy of the full report on Good As You. The Defense Department’s website also covers the report’s release. In response, President Obama released the following statement today on the survey results:

As Commander in Chief, I have pledged to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law because it weakens our national security, diminishes our military readiness, and violates fundamental American principles of fairness and equality by preventing patriotic Americans who are gay from serving openly in our armed forces.  At the same time, as Commander in Chief, I am committed to ensuring that we understand the implications of this transition, and maintain good order and discipline within our military ranks. That is why I directed the Department of Defense earlier this year to begin preparing for a transition to a new policy.

Today’s report confirms that a strong majority of our military men and women and their families—more than two thirds—are prepared to serve alongside Americans who are openly gay and lesbian.  This report also confirms that, by every measure—from unit cohesion to recruitment and retention to family readiness—we can transition to a new policy in a responsible manner that ensures our military strength and national security. And for the first time since this law was enacted 17 years ago today, both the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have publicly endorsed ending this policy.

With our nation at war and so many Americans serving on the front lines, our troops and their families deserve the certainty that can only come when an act of Congress ends this discriminatory policy once and for all.  The House of Representatives has already passed the necessary legislation.  Today I call on the Senate to act as soon as possible so I can sign this repeal into law this year and ensure that Americans who are willing to risk their lives for their country are treated fairly and equally.  Our troops represent the virtues of selfless sacrifice and love of country that have enabled our freedoms. I am absolutely confident that they will adapt to this change and remain the best led, best trained, best equipped fighting force the world has ever known.

The Senate has no reason to stall any longer, which means that Sen. McCain has to come up with new criticisms very soon. I am beginning to wonder if he was molested sexually while a P.O.W.?

Via White House.gov Blog Feed

Paranoid Virginia Official Claims TSA Patdowns are Gay & Horny

Eugene Delguadio, an elected official who serves on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, is also President of Public Advocate of the United States, a conservative group, whose mission states:

Since its founding in 1981, Public Advocate has grown into a dedicated group of young conservatives in Washington, D.C., with a network of volunteers and supporters nationwide. Our continuous growth over the years is due to the fact that we have never wavered from our firm conviction that political decisions should begin and end with the best interests of American families and communities in mind. In recent years, our efforts have focused on supporting:

  • A federal marriage amendment to the Constitution and an end to lawful same sex marriage;
  • School prayer and the freedom of religious expression in public places;
  • Faith-based and community initiatives;
  • Pro-life legislation;
  • The promotion of the Boy Scouts, organized sports and other activities that reinforce morality, accountability and leadership in our youth.

Now, Delguadio is claiming that TSA airport pat-downs are another bullet point in the homosexual agenda. He recently sent emails to supporters rallying them around what he beliefs is the #1 agenda item for the lame-duck Congress is to defeat gay rights.

A widely distributed e-mail written by Delgaudio for the Public Advocate about TSA, claims the pat downs are part of a “Homosexual Agenda.” And he criticizes TSA’s non-discrimination hiring policy.

“It’s the federal employee’s version of the Gay Bill of Special Rights… That means the next TSA official that gives you an ‘enhanced pat down’ could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission,” Delgaudio wrote.

Pam’s House Blend ran the full text of both emails sent by Delgaudio:

Dear Pro-family American,

After such an inspiring victory on Election Day, I want to keep the celebration going as much as you do.

But a very real threat looms.

You see, none of the newly-elected congressmen and senators will take office until next year.

That means that until January the same anti-family, pro-homosexual Congress will be at the beck and call of Barack Obama, the most pro-homosexual president in American history.

And they are coming back in early November for a “Lame Duck” session to pass as much garbage as possible before the newly-elected congressmen and senators are sworn in…

Even worse, with Election Night behind them, the fence-sitters you and I have kept in line for so long know that they won’t have to face us again for 2, 4, and some even 6 years.

Because of that, they are now bolder than ever … while you and I are at our weakest having given our all last month.

And of course the Homosexual Lobby, ever eager to pounce upon our weakness, is preparing a massive onslaught devised to ram through every aspect of their radical agenda, from…

*** The Gay Bill of Special Rights will force schools and churches to hire and prevent them from firing open homosexuals.  Men dressed as women will have the “right” to share bathrooms with young girls and those who disagree will face lawsuits, even prosecution; to,

*** The repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act will eliminate the legal protection we’ve established for those states that reject Homosexual “marriages” by codifying traditional marriage into law; to,

*** The Homosexual Classrooms Act will create pro-homosexual indoctrination classes designed to eradicate traditional values in the next generation of American students; to,

*** The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell forcing      our soldiers to share foxholes, bunks and even showers with open homosexuals.  The U.S. military, once representative of the best in America will degrade into a social experiment of homosexual activism; to,

*** The Homosexual Adoption Bill will force private religious adoption agencies to allow homosexual “couples” to adopt young boys and girls into their homosexual “family.”

The Homosexual Lobby knows that it is harder to repeal a bill than to keep it from passing.

So even though they’re facing losses in the new Congress, the Radical Homosexuals know if they can ram through the Homosexual Agenda now, they will have won.

I have to be honest with you, my friend.

Every gain we made on Election Night will mean nothing if they succeed in this “Lame Duck” scheme.

You see, they only have to win once.

You and I, on the other hand, must keep defeating their radical schemes over and over again.

The fact is, this so-called “Lame Duck” session of Congress could be the biggest disaster the family has seen in years.

And I’m afraid to admit it but… if you and I are unable to defeat the Homosexual Lobby’s schemes in the next 4-5 weeks, the fight for the family will be set back decades.

And that is why the celebration must end.

You and I cannot be lured into a false sense of security.

We must be ready for this fight.

I’ve prepared a petition for you to sign but in addition I hope you will send a generous contribution of $20, $50, $75, $100 or more.  Thanks so much!

Harry Reid’s own spokesman even let it slip that the Homosexual Lobby has plans to bring Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell back up for a vote in the “Lame Duck” Congress.

Can you imagine everything else the pro-homosexual politicians have up their sleeve?

They think you and I have already declared “Mission Accomplished” and that we aren’t prepared.

They think they will roll right over us.

And as much as my faith tells me not to worry, I’m afraid they might be right.

The Homosexual Lobby has hatched scheme after scheme in their endless attempt to ram through their agenda.

It’s taken every last bit of Public Advocate’s resources to fend off their advances.

That’s why I was so thankful for the last minute support I received last month right before the election.

Without that help, Public Advocate would have been helpless in the run up to that historic election.

But I have to confess.  I got so carried away exposing pro-homosexual politicians and defending advocates for the family that I spent more than I should have.

And the coming “Lame Duck” session of Congress may very well be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

But we do have one advantage on our side.

Pro-family Americans held the Homosexual Lobby’s allies in Congress accountable on election night.  They’d be lying to you if they said they didn’t take notice.

You and I need to make it clear that November 2nd, 2010 will happen again and again until they stand up for the Family.

That’s why I need your help again.

I’ve prepared a petition for you to sign stating your opposition to the Homosexual Agenda and letting your congressman and senators know we’re still watching.

But in addition to your signed petition, I’m really hoping you will be able to send as generous a contribution as you can.

In fact I’m counting on it.

Fighting the Homosexual Lobby is not cheap.

And with their aggressive attacks and dirty tactics it can become downright expensive.

So along with your signed petition will you send a generous contribution of $20, $50, $75, $100 or more?

You and I must show those in Congress we mean business.

We need to show them even though they won’t face the voters for 2, 4, or even 6 years, we’re still watching and we will remember.

So please, submit your petition and send your most generous contribution right away.

Thanks in advance for continuing the fight.
Sincerely,

Eugene Delgaudio
President
Public Advocate of the U.S.

P.S. The time for celebration has ended — a very real threat still looms overhead.  You see, none of the newly-elected congressmen and senators will take office until January.

Until then, the same anti-family, pro-homosexual Congress will be at the beck and call of Barack Obama, the most pro-homosexual president in American history.

You and I need to make it clear that November 2nd, 2010 will happen again and again until they stand up for the Family.

Check out the following report from local News 9. Delguardio refused to be interviewed for the segment. It is also uncanny that most of the anti-gays tend to be graying white men. Hmmmm.

Jared Leto’s Mini Movie Banned from Networks As Too Dirty

A new film by 30 Seconds to Mars, Jared Leto’s band, is considered too racy for network television. From Aceshowbiz:

Due to the explicit content, TV networks refused to air the mini movie directed by Bartholomew Cubbins (Jared) unless it’s edited. “We always knew there would be some images that would have a tough time getting through,” Jared told Entertainment Weekly. “But we didn’t expect this kind of pushback that we’re getting now.”

Leto directed the film to support the band’s new single, “Hurricane.” Leto is hoping that with network pushback, the film might be able to gain fans by going viral on the Internet. He seems that he has no interest in editing the film to meet TV standards. But, he promises “creative solutions” to enable as many viewers as possible to see the film. With this quote, you know why I love Jared Leto:

Despite creating controversy, Jared insisted he did not intend to make any. “I’m not interested in provocation for provocation’s sake,” he stated. “I just think it’s interesting that when you turn on the news or whatever else catches your interest, how much violence and negativity is available out there. As soon as it comes time for sexuality, it’s a big shock that people are sexual beings. It’s an interesting double standard to me.”

Not to disappoint Jared, I hereby contribute to the video’s going viral. Enjoy – lots of good sexual imagery!

Andy Roddick Dislikes Flashing Lights

Our shirtless tennis hero Andy Roddick lost to Tomas Berdych at the ATP World Tour Finals this past weekend  – which left him with an 0–2 record at the tournament. Apparently, Roddick was pissed off by flashing lights that he found distracting during his losing match. Well, Andy, as long as you can look like you do shirtless, you’re okay in my book.

Read more here.