There are so many things wrong with that statement I don’t even know where to begin.
(CNS News) — Judge Robert J. Shelby, whom President Barack Obama appointed to the U.S. District Court in Utah last year, issued an opinion on Friday declaring that a right to same-sex marriage is “deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition.”
Shelby was confirmed to the federal bench by a voice vote of the Senate on Sept. 21, 2012. There was no debate over his nomination, and no senator objected to his confirmation.
He has now issued an opinion that could fundamentally alter American law and culture.
“The State’s second argument is that the Plaintiffs are really seeking a new right, not access to an existing right,” Shelby wrote in an opinion issued on the afternoon of the Friday before Christmas.
“To establish a new fundamental right, the court must determine that the right is ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ and ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,’ such that ‘neither liberty nor justice would exist if [it] were sacrificed,” he said.
The suspension of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson by the A&E Network after making controversial remarks in GQ magazine regarding homosexuality has been called a business decision. But now Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller is making a business decision of his own.
Miller announced on his personal Facebook page Friday night that A&E would no longer be welcomed to film or produce any of its programs or series with the help of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office or its facilities. “A&E has suspended Phil Robertson for talking about his conservative Christian beliefs,” Miller wrote.” None of us are without sin and I am not judging anyone. I am sure A&E made what they believe is a good business decision. Many people who disagree with A&E might choose to remain silent and there was a time when I might have done the same, but no longer. In my mind the punishment is unreasonable.
“I know it will not matter to A&E, but it will make me feel better. A&E has produced more than a half dozen programs with the assistance of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. They will not do any more with my assistance while I am sheriff. It is time for someone other than Hollywood and the news media to stand up for what is right!”
President Barack Obama, who is departing Friday for a vacation in Hawaii that will reportedly last until Jan. 5, took more annual vacation days on average in his first term than the average private-sector worker gets after 20 years on the job.
Obama took an average of 21.5 vacations days per year in his first four years as president. By comparison, private-industry workers in the United States who have at least 20 years on the job get an average of 19 days of paid vacation per year.
BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA (AP) – A group of Muslims on Friday protested against Christmas and New Year celebrations in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province.
About 70 protesters took part in the protest at the governor’s office and at a hotel in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.
The protest came days after an influential Islamic clerics’ organization, the Ulema Consultative Assembly, issued an edict prohibiting Muslims in the city from offering Christmas wishes or celebrating on New Year’s Eve. The protesters called on authorities to ban the celebrations, claiming they are prohibited by Islam.
The edict, known as a fatwa, and the protesters did not oppose celebrations by non-Muslims in the city, which has four Christian churches, three Buddhist temples and a Hindu temple.
Aceh, at the northern tip of Sumatra, is the only province in predominantly Muslim Indonesia that is allowed to implement a version of Islamic Shariah law.
The only cure for this toxic Republican House is to win the 17 seats we need for a Democratic majority. There are just too many of our fellow Americans who can’t afford another two years of Tea Party rule — of shutdown threats, of attacks on women’s health and voting rights, of an utter lack of governing.
But I need you with me in this fight.
Your grassroots power is what will help me push back against the onslaught of false attacks we are facing from the Republicans and their outside groups. As we head into the election year, we know the Republican vitriol (and cash) coming at House Democrats will undoubtedly spike.
If you can contribute — even if it’s just $3 — I’d be grateful for your support before our year-end fundraising deadline:
Move over, Vito “Gropez” — yet another Albany politician has been accused of outlandish sexual harassment by young female staffers.
Married-with-children Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, 62, tormented three workers with lewd antics such as sending a video of himself supposedly receiving oral sex, suggesting they shack up with him in hotels and talking about a tattoo on his penis, new court documents charge.
“I got a boner when I walked into the office today when I saw you,” the seven-year assemblyman allegedly drooled to his then-director of communications, Annalise C. Freling, 28, last year at a governor’s event, according to court papers filed Thursday.
“You’re so hot, you know what I want to do with you,” he allegedly said.
Valerie Jarrett says she has “very specific responsibilities” in the Obama White House and focuses on them, rather than on an all-encompassing portfolio.
“I’m not the shadow chief of staff,” she said, responding to the use of the term by POLITICO’s Ben White at a Morning Money breakfast. She mentioned her roles in outreach to women and girls, and to the business community and local government officials.
Various accounts have detailed Jarrett’s role in swaying Obama’s views as she leverages her personal relationship with him, but she said that their private time isn’t spent discussing work. “We do compartmentalize,” she said.
Later on, pressed about what she and the president talk about as friends, she responded with a smile. “Just stuff,” she said, “just stuff.”
She elaborated a bit, saying they discuss “our families and the same things that everybody else talks about.”
Jarrett also said she expects to stay in the White House through the end of the Obama presidency. “I have the best job that I have ever had and will ever have,” she said. “I serve at the pleasure of the president … I’ll be there as long as he’ll have me.”
Cracker Barrel has become the first sponsor to cut bait with “Duck Dynasty” … but not entirely.
The Southern-themed food chain reacted to Phil Robertson’s anti-gay comments by removing “selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests” from their stores and restaurants.
We called a bunch of Cracker Barrel stores, and the managers told us the products that were removed were the ones that had Phil’s face plastered on the packaging. Almost to a person, the managers added, “We still offer a wide variety of Duck Commander products,” and then we heard a click.
In the fallout over Wednesday’s suspension of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson by A&E for anti-gay and racist remarks, GLAAD is experiencing record levels of backlash.
“In the five-and-a-half years I’ve worked at GLAAD, I’ve never received so many violently angry phone calls and social media posts attacking GLAAD for us speaking out against these comments,” the media watchdog organization’s vice president of communications Rich Ferraro told TheWrap.
He said those reactions range from those who simply believe as Robertson believes to those who feel that GLAAD and A&E’s actions limit the reality star’s free speech.
“I don’t think this is about the first amendment,” Ferraro said. “I feel it’s more about the America we live in today. That is one where Americans, gay and straight, are able to speak out when people in the public eye make anti-gay and racist remarks.”
Shin Dong-Hyuk is the only person born in a North Korean political prison camp to escape to the West. His memoir, Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West, ostensibly reads as the story of liberation from oppression. It’s really a book about food. The starving Shin tells of dining on barbequed rat, tree bark, and the undigested corn kernels in cow mess. For Shin, freedom is a hamburger.
So hearing that Dennis Rodman, a man he had never heard of until his trip to Shin’s native land in February, enjoyed fine food and fine wine with the leader of his country naturally made the former political prisoner cringe.
Shin wrote a powerful public letter to Rodman, posted at the Washington Post. It reads in part:
Mr. Rodman, I cannot presume to tell you to cancel your trip to North Korea. It is your right as an American to travel wherever you wish and to say whatever you want. It is your right to drink fancy wines and enjoy yourself in luxurious parties, as you reportedly did in your previous trips to Pyongyang. But as you have a fun time with the dictator, please try to think about what he and his family have done and continue to do. Just last week, Kim Jong Un ordered the execution of his uncle. Recent satellite pictures show that some of the North’s labor camps, including Camp 14, may be expanding. The U.N. World Food Programme says four out of five North Koreans are hungry. Severe malnutrition has stunted and cognitively impaired hundreds of thousands of children. Young North Korean women fleeing the country in search of food are often sold into human-trafficking rings in China and beyond. I am writing to you, Mr. Rodman, because, more than anything else, I want Kim Jong Un to hear the cries of his people.
Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson and his family believe they have been ‘hung out to dry’ by TV network A&E after he was suspended for homophobic comments made in a magazine interview, MailOnline can reveal.
Sources within the close-knit Louisiana clan say they are convinced A&E are manipulating the controversial situation to bring them – and particularly Robertson – back into line after Television executives grew tired of the family pushing their deeply-held, Christian beliefs.
They also think the network could have done something to stop the controversial GQ article being made public, because an A&E representative was present during the interview with patriarch, Roberston, 67.
An Islamist judge in Syria who appears at trials wearing an explosives belt and issues death sentences in hearings lasting a few minutes is running one of seven secret prisons where the rights of local people are “ruthlessly flouted,” according to Amnesty International.
The unnamed judge, a member of the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant or ISIL, also participates in daily interrogations at the Sadd al-Ba’ath dam prison in al-Raqqa province — except on Fridays and Saturdays when he visits his family in the village of Karama, said Cilina Nasser, researcher and author of a report released by London-based Amnesty today and entitled “Rule of Fear.”
“He’d visit a detention facility every single day and would interrogate, that means flogging even of children, to obtain confessions and as a punishment,” Nasser said by phone. “Trials usually take up to three minutes, maximum.”
ISIL is one of several Islamist factions that have made inroads in northern Syria, controlling territory formerly run by the Western-backed Free Syrian Army. Arrests, detentions, floggings and summary executions are carried out by the group, often in a network of prisons, as part of what Amnesty termed its “cruel, capricious and arbitrary rule.”
Robert Chao Romero, an ethnic studies professor at UCLA who also runs a Christian youth ministry in Los Angeles, argues students are often taught Christianity and social justice causes such as immigration reform and affirmative action stand opposed.
But the way Romero sees it, Jesus would support immigration reform, affirmative action – even the Affordable Care Act – and it’s part of a message he gives to college students to teach them about “Jesus’ heart for justice,” he tells The College Fix.
Romero recently published a free ebook, “Jesus For Revolutionaries,” which spells out in detail why he believes Jesus would support all three measures.
When it comes to Obamacare, Romero said he – and Jesus – support it because “50,000 of my neighbors in the United States die each year for lack of meaningful healthcare.”
“To love them as myself requires that I support structural change to our nation’s health care system,” he explains. “The Affordable Care Act is far from perfect, but it is a strong step away from the status quo and towards loving our neighbors as ourselves.”
OAKLAND, CALIF. – A judge on Friday ordered a California hospital to keep a girl declared brain dead on life support following what was supposed to be a routine tonsillectomy.
The ruling by Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo came as both sides in the case agreed to get together and chose a neurologist to further examine 13-year-old Jahi McMath and determine her condition. The judge scheduled a hearing Monday to appoint a physician.
The girl’s family sought the court order to keep Jahi on a ventilator while another opinion is sought. They left the courtroom without commenting.
The Department of Homeland Security is transporting illegal immigrant children smuggled into the United States to their illegal immigrant parents living in the United States “every day,” according to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.
In an interview with The Daily Caller Thursday, the president of the union representing more than 7,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and staff, Chris Crane elaborated on a recent court order out of South Texas.
In the Dec. 13 court order, a federal judge chastised the Department of Homeland Security for transporting illegal immigrant children smuggled to the U.S. and detained at the border to their illegal immigrant parents living in the country — noting that the court had had four such cases in “as many weeks.”
“The DHS policy is a dangerous course of action,” U.S. District Court Judge Andrew S. Hanen wrote.
LONDON (AP) — A prominent London university has apologized for asking two students to cover up T-shirts depicting Prophet Mohammad and Jesus Christ.
The representatives of the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society student union were wearing the shirts at a London School of Economics (LSE) fair in October when they were told that displaying an image of Islam’s prophet could constitute religious harassment and were asked to cover them up.
Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of Prophet Mohammad.
Chris Moos and Abhishek Phadnis filed formal complaints.
LSE said Friday it has apologized to the students and acknowledged that, “with hindsight,” wearing the shirts did not constitute harassment or violate the law or university policies.
The school said it takes free speech “very seriously” and will learn from the incident.
CNN’s Jon Karl asks Obama about his biggest mistake.
Here’s what Obama said: “There’s no doubt that when it came to the health-care rollout, even though I was meeting every other week or every three weeks with folks … the fact is it didn’t happen in the first month, the first six weeks, in a way that was at all acceptable.”
Obama added: “I’m in charge, and we screwed it up.”
SALT LAKE CITY – A federal judge struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban Friday in a decision that brings an increasing nationwide shift toward allowing gay marriage to a conservative state where the Mormon church has long been against it.
U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby issued a 53-page ruling saying Utah’s law passed by voters in 2004 violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment.
Shelby said the state failed to show that allowing same-sex marriages would affect opposite-sex marriages in any way.
“In the absence of such evidence, the State’s unsupported fears and speculations are insufficient to justify the State’s refusal to dignify the family relationships of its gay and lesbian citizens,” Shelby wrote.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Thursday said the Democratic Party should push a populist message ahead of the 2014 election, calling the next election an opportunity to win back seats in the House.
“Populism works. It works. If it’s your message, and what you believe in, and it’s your policy. It’s what Americans believe in,” Trumka told POLITICO’s Mike Allen during the Playbook Breakfast event at the Newseum.
Trumka told an audience of about 100 people that, as a result of the growing income inequality in the country, he sees a trend toward populism in the United States reflected in the Occupy movement, the election of Elizabeth Warren and even in the nomination of Pope Francis as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.”
“There’s a growing trend toward populism in this country. But the policies haven’t caught up with what Americans believe,” Trumka said.