Patterico's Pontifications


Another Federal Judge Strikes Down a Ban on Gay Marriage

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:54 pm

This time in Kentucky, and the judge is snotty about it:

These arguments are not those of serious people. Though it seems almost unnecessary to explain, here are the reasons why. Even assuming the state has a legitimate interest in promoting procreation, the Court fails to see, and Defendant never explains, how the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage has any effect whatsoever on procreation among heterosexual spouses. Excluding same-sex couples from marriage does not change the number of heterosexual couples who choose to get married, the number who choose to have children, or the number of children they have…

The state’s attempts to connect the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage to its interest in economic stability and in “ensuring humanity’s continued existence” are at best illogical and even bewildering.

As I have said many times, I believe gay people should be allowed to get married. But I also disagree with resolving the issue through the courts — and I don’t believe in being snide or dismissive about the views of people who disagree with me. Here’s one federal judge who is perfectly happy with being snide and dismissive.

Add it to the pile.

Once again, we are relying on judges instead of relying on society changing its views — something that is happening anyway. I wish judges would get out of the way and let society handle its own issues.

The Power Of The Protesters – For Now

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:09 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This afternoon, three buses filled with approximately 140 illegal detainees from Central America were turned back due to several hundred protesters blocking the road in the city of Murrieta.

Waving Americans flags and protest signs, the crowd refused to give way when the buses arrived with some 140 detainees from Texas, which has seen a flood of Central American immigrants cross the border in recent weeks without legal permission.

A small number of Murrieta police officers stood between the protesters and the buses but could not keep the crowd from blocking the buses’ path.

The face-off came one day after Mayor Alan Long urged residents to protest the federal government’s decision to move the recent immigrants who arrived in the country illegally — and have overwhelmed Texas border facilities — to the Border Patrol station in his city.

“Murrieta expects our government to enforce our laws, including the deportation of illegal immigrants caught crossing our borders, not disperse them into our local communities,” Long said Monday at a news conference. The city had defeated two previous attempts to send migrants to the facility, he said.

A local Los Angeles radio station is reporting that callers followed the three buses on the freeway heading south from Murrieta, presumably back to San Diego.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released an update on the situation this afternoon:

“Once DHS personnel in Murrieta finish processing the migrants, those who are being released will be transported by LA [Enforcement and Removal Operations] to a ‘transition center’ in Riverside County that is being set up by a faith-based organization,” ICE Spokeswoman Virginia Kice said in an email.

According to Kice, ICE will not be immediately releasing the name of that organization, nor the specific city, where the people will be taken for the transition center.

“At the transition center, the organization’s volunteers will assist migrants with obtaining commercial transportation to their final destinations and help them contact family members and relatives,” she said, adding that the cost of those transfers will not be paid for by the government, but rather by the migrants or the faith-based organization and consular representatives.

Kice said that “in most instances,” the final destinations of the migrants will be outside Southern California. In the meantime, though, the unnamed group helping them out will also get them set up with food, clothing and any other essentials.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Monday the migrants are mostly “adults with children” and were among tens of thousands of citizens of Central American countries who have poured into the United States via Texas this year.

Also, Democrats are once again likening President Obama to Jesus with the power to heal illegal immigrants. From Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D):

If [Republicans] want to come back and discuss [reform], fine,” said the Chicago Democrat. “But in the interim period, I believe the president of the United States has already in statute, in the law, the ability to heal and put in a safe harbor millions of undocumented immigrants while the Congress of the United States finally decides it’s going to take action.”



UPDATE: I just heard Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone (Murrieta is a city within Riverside County) interviewed on the radio. He stated that due to the number of diseases that could possibly be spread as the detainees arrived in Murrieta, he offered to provide county mobile medical buses to be parked at the border station and medical personnel assess the detainees as they arrived. He was told no by ICE. They informed him that they could not allow mobile medical units to park on federal property. They also informed him that a request to FEMA for medical vans would be made. Supervisor Stone is very concerned, along with citizens of the city and elsewhere, about the spread of diseases and the potential for outbreaks, or worse.

Today in Failed Criticism from the Left

Filed under: Abortion,Court Decisions,General — JVW @ 10:56 am

[guest post by JVW]

How many of you have seen this recent image bouncing around the Internet? It was apparently created by the deep thinkers at NARAL Pro-Choice America and has been promoted by the DailyKos and Huffington Post among others.


The idea, naturally, is to call attention to the idea that Christian groups who object to covering contraception and/or abortifacients are somehow being hypocritical if they have no objection to also covering Viagra or other erectile dysfunction treatment medication.

I’m going to pull back the curtain here and divulge a hitherto super-secret and never disclosed principle of Catholic theology [did the sarcasm come through enough there?] which explains why covering Viagra is acceptable whereas covering birth control pills is not, and I think this principle is also adopted by other religious groups who follow the same standard:

Viagra is used to facilitate a process which can lead to conception.

Birth control pills are used to prevent conception.

It really is as basic as that, but somehow this simple concept is way beyond the comprehension of the gender politics warriors whose voices dominate public discourse in these matters.


The VA: Two Years Too Late

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:20 am

[guest post by Dana]

Last week, retiring Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a detailed 119-page report about the systemic problems at the VA. In summation:

“Over the past decade, more than 1,000 veterans may have died as a result of VA malfeasance, and the VA has paid out nearly $1 billion to veterans and their families for its medical malpractice.”

Because of unfathomable greed and corruption by government workers who chose to falsify records in order to earn greater performance bonuses for themselves, American veterans died.

The fallout from the VA scandal continues as we hear of more tragic stories due to malfeasance within the agency.

One of those who died while waiting for the VA to schedule an appointment was Doug Chase, a Vietnam veteran. Horribly, three years ago it was discovered that he had a brain tumor. Last month his wife finally received a letter from the VA to schedule an appointment to see Doug – except that he died in 2012.

The Veterans Affairs Department is apologizing to a Massachusetts woman for offering an appointment to her husband almost two years after he died. …

In 2012, she tried to move his medical care to the VA hospital in Bedford. They waited four months and never heard anything. He died in August 2012.

Suzanne Chase says two weeks ago she got a letter addressed to her husband, saying he could call to make an appointment.

She says the VA had to know her husband was dead because she applied for funeral benefits and was denied.

The department said in a statement: “We regret any distress our actions caused to the veteran’s widow and family.”

With that, yesterday the president tapped former Procter and Gamble CEO *Robert McDonald to take over the troubled agency.

What especially makes Bob the right choice to lead the VA right now is his three decades of experience building and managing one of the world’s most recognizable companies,” Obama said at VA headquarters. “In short, he’s about delivering better results.”

Hopefully, the president’s confidence in McDonald has a higher rate of return than with his predecessor.

*The Washington Post makes a point to inform readers:

McDonald, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, was not likely chosen because of any past support for the president. He donated to Republican Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign to unseat Obama and has funded numerous other Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner.


More Oddities from the Cochran/McDaniel Election

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:33 am

Yesterday I told you that I would relate more stories of oddities from the Mississippi election, told to me directly by Mississippi voters.

Over the weekend, I spoke to Julie Patrick, the chairperson of the Republican party in Marshall County, Mississippi, who told me about some odd events at the polls during the primary runoff last week. She is the one who gave Charles C. Johnson the professional-looking flyer from Mississippi Conservatives. The person who gave it to her made a beeline for Patrick as she approached the polls, well within 150 feet of the polling station, and said: “I don’t think I’m supposed to be doing this” as she gave Patrick the flyer. After that, she engaged in very aggressive behavior, stopping cars as they were turning into the polling place, and poking her head in to talk to people.

At Warsaw precinct, Patrick said there were two pro-Cochran campaigners actually inside the building where the polling was taking place. She said they were “not 15 feet away” from where the voting was occurring, “just where people were going in to vote.” She said it looked “as if they were part of the process.”

Patrick described an odd incident witnessed by her mother, in which a bailiff at the Warsaw polling place was handing out red pieces of paper to voters that Patrick’s mother said looked like “vouchers” of some kind. She said that the bailiff told a voter: “you have to use separate carts.” Patrick and her mother did not know what any of this meant for sure.

Several people, upon being told by poll workers that this was a Republican primary, simply left. They thought they had come for a Democrat primary.

Also, on June 25, Charles C. Johnson put out an image of a letter that had been sent out to teachers across the state. I spoke to one of the people who received this letter this past weekend, and that person forwarded me the email. The person asked me to leave names out of it. The email states:

Over $800-million in federal K-12 funding could be at stake.

So alarmed was Mississippi Board of Education chairman Dr. Wayne Gann, that he issued a public letter expressing his dismay over one candidate’s position on education funding. Click here to read Dr. Gann’s letter.

According to the Mississippi Legislative Budget Office, Mississippi received approximately $800-million in federal funds for public education in the most recent school year – almost 25% of the K-12 budget. That’s the equivalent of about 16,000 Mississippi teachers’ salaries and benefits. If those dollars were to be eliminated, the effect on local schools would be devastating.

Because Mississippi receives $3 back in federal funding for every $1 we pay in taxes, Mississippians would have to pay three times as much in taxes as we do now to make up at the state and local level what our schools receive now in federal education dollars.

Click here to see how much your district received in federal funding in the 2012-13 school year, the most recent year for which per-district spending is available.

Public education supporters cannot afford to be naive about the effect that federal elections have on our schools. Those whom we elect to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are responsible for shaping and voting on the budgets that determine the federal funds that flow to each state, including the vital federal dollars that help fund our children’s schools. Your vote matters. Here is important information on the upcoming elections:

Primary Runoff Election, June 24, 2014:

* Anyone who voted in the Republican primary and those who did not vote at all on June 3 can vote in the runoff on June 24
* Those who voted in the Democratic primary on June 3 may not vote in the Senate Republican Primary runoff election on June 24
* If you will be out of town or otherwise unable to vote on June 24, you may cast an absentee ballot by 12:00 noon on Saturday, June 21
* Click here for more about casting absentee ballots, voter registration, and other primary election information

General Election, November 4, 2014:

* Every registered voter can vote in the election on November 4, 2014
* Mississippians are allowed to vote a split ticket in the General Election (a voter may cast votes for Republicans and Democrats on the same ballot)
* Click here for additional dates and information associated with the

November General Election

Please remember to vote on June 24, and remind your friends and family to do likewise. Our children are counting on us!

You might be interested also in recent news on charter schools in Mississippi. Click here for the latest updates.

I have removed the links from the email, which redirect the user to a site that handles software for email marketing.

My source did not know about the legality of using government email for this kind of electioneering, but I agree with her that it seems suspect — and the appeal, like all pro-Cochran appeals, is based on bringing home federal cash to the state. This is not a Republican message — which is probably why McDaniel was the choice of Republican voters in Mississippi.

I don’t know what’s happening with the post-election drama. Charles has a report at his new site that makes very serious allegations. I can’t vouch for any of that, but I am interested to see what (if anything) comes of it.

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