Patterico's Pontifications


Utah: Same Sex Marriage On Hold…For Now

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:21 pm

[guest post by Dana]

As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court order released today, Utah officials – at least for now – are not compelled to officially recognize nearly 1,300 same-sex marriages performed earlier this year.

From SCOTUS blog:

In a two-sentence order, without noted dissent, the Justices put on hold a federal judge’s ruling in May requiring the state to validate those marriages.

This marked the second time the Justices have stepped in to put on hold a federal court ruling in favor of same-sex marriages in Utah. The delay ordered Friday will be in effect until the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the state’s claim that those marriages did not have full legal status when performed. The state’s lawyers have called them “interim marriages.”

While a minor victory for opponents of SSM, proponents believe they will ultimately be victorious:

“We are deeply disappointed by the decision to grant a stay pending appeal, but despite this setback, we are confident that when the appellate process is completed we will prevail and these lawfully married same-sex couples will once again be given the same legal protections as ever (sic) other legally married Utah couple,” said Joshua Block, a staff attorney with the ACLU, which is representing couples who sued the state for immediate recognition of their marriages.


Caught Between A Brown Lawn And A Hard Place

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:32 am

[guest post by Dana]

Along with facing a massive crisis on its southern border, California is also in the throes of the what is being called the worst short-term (one- to three- years) drought on record.

As such, California’s State Water Resources Control Board decided to impose a maximum $500-a-day fine on residents for wasting water. The new rules begin August 1. The following can be subject to fines:

• Direct application of water to wash sidewalks and driveways.

• Landscape irrigation that causes runoff to streets and gutters.

• Washing a motor vehicle using a hose without a shut-off nozzle.

• Using drinkable water in a decorative fountain unless it recirculates the water.

Earlier this year, Governor Brown called for a voluntary 20% reduction in state water usage. Unfortunately, the goal was not met.

And to show just how severe it is, these are released estimates of record costs caused by this drought:

$2.2 billion in total statewide costs,

Loss of 17,100 farm jobs,

More groundwater pumping to make up for a 6.6 million acre-foot reduction in river water supplies,

Removal of at least 5 percent of irrigated farmland from production in Central and Southern California, including the Central Coast.


Now, let me introduce you to Glendora, CA couple Laura Whitney-Korte and her husband Michael who are caught between a brown lawn or face fines if they don’t ‘green’ their grass within 60 days.

Like many Californians, Whitney-Korte and her husband have taken measures to save water, everyday things like only watering the lawn two times a week, turning off the shower while soaping up and turning off the faucet while brushing teeth. But the lawn, the brown lawn, that’s the problem. The city of Glendora is not happy about it, so they contacted Whitney-Korte and her husband:

[W]hat has she received for her water-saving efforts? A threatening letter from the city of Glendora’s code enforcement team saying that her brown lawn could be a “potential public nuisance problem” that may cost her $100-$500 in fines and possible criminal action.

“Despite the water conservation efforts, we wish to remind you that limited watering is still required to keep landscaping looking healthy and green,” read the letter, which said maintaining this appearance is part of keeping Glendora beautiful and keeping up city’s “Pride of the Foothills” image.

The letter, with the city seal and the police department seal, contained three pictures: a dead lawn with a red line through it, a weedy lawn also crossed out and a lush, green lawn with a sprinkler running in the daytime, apparently the positive example.

Thus they find themselves caught in a ridiculous position. On one hand, the state wants to see a 20% water reduction in homes and gives power to cities to fine water-wasters, yet at the same time a city threatens fines if a lawn, now brown due to water-saving measures, isn’t greened up.

Ironically, the couple received the letter the same day that the State Water Resources Control Board gave local agencies the power to hand out $500 fines for over watering lawns. And even more ironically, it will take the couple watering their brown lawn every day in order to green it up within the 60 day limit!

The City Manager denies the couple was cited but rather called it a friendly letter prompted by a neighbor’s complaint.

At this point in time, the couple say they plan to kill the remaining grass at the roots and re-seed with a heartier, more drought resistant grass.

On a side note, if the couple lived in Santa Cruz, CA and were fined for wasting water, rather than being fined for water conservation, they could attend the Santa Cruz Water School, in lieu of paying the fine.


Blogger Must Come Up With Non-Halbig Post Yet Again

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:51 am

It’s apparently official: the decision nuking subsidies for policies on federal exchanges is not coming out today.

We’re stuck with feckless presidents who can barely be bothered to notice when Russian-supported terrorists deliberately shoot down an airliner with 23 Americans on board. In other words, the usual.

Let’s see . . . Hillary’s reaction to 298 deaths: it’s Europe’s problem . . . boring. Obama to speak live at 11:30 Eastern . . . boring. DoJ heard IRS emails missing on the news . . . why should they be different than Obama . . . boring. Ted Cruz joining Glenn Beck at the border . . . shrug.

My only reaction to all of this is that there should be a long German word to describe a feeling of overwhelming rage combined with a sort of boredom that comes from realizing that the rage-inducing events are so commonplace as to be barely worthy of note.

Honestly, the most interesting thing I see in the news is Paul Krugman’s piece crowing over the fact that there is (he says) no inflation resulting from billions upon billions of QE. I just think we should bookmark it today because we’ll be darkly chuckling about it at some point in the not too distant future. That’s the best I can do. Y’all are welcome to comment on any of the topics above.

Should I just go ahead and post my “Halbig: Obama Loses” post now? It’s ready to go. Just waiting for actual events to catch up.

UPDATE: OK, here’s a good one from Byron York: most asylum claims are approved even before they get to court.

Democrats who oppose changing the law to allow quicker removals of families and unaccompanied young people illegally crossing the southwestern border into the U.S. often argue that those entering the country illegally are entitled to a “day in court.”

The illegal immigrants “should be given their days in court,” said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday. “The kids should have their day in court,” said Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro before a White House meeting this week. Young people should be given “a meaningful day in court to protect their rights under our laws,” added Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez.

Now, new numbers released by the House Judiciary Committee show the “vast majority” of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum are granted it before even appearing before a judge. “Information from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that shows 65 percent of unaccompanied alien minors’ asylum applications have been immediately approved by asylum officers in Fiscal Year 2014,” says a Judiciary Committee statement. “And this is just the first bite of the apple. Many more cases can be approved later. Where an asylum officer does not approve the application, it is then referred to an immigration judge where the applicant can try again. If that fails, they can continue to appeal their case.”

The tens of thousands of kids streaming in to the country know what to say. They have been told. They aren’t going anywhere.

UPDATE x2: This is odd as well: Obama administration says territories not subject to ObamaCare. I don’t follow their logic, as the law actually provides that territories are treated the same as states. Still, this seems worth noting. Time to move to the Virgin Islands?

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