Daily Archives: November 3, 2009

Louisiana Justice of the Peace Quits After Interracial Wedding Incident

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E. Keith Bardwell

AP/Melinda Deslatte—A Louisiana justice of the peace who refused to marry a couple because the bride was white and groom was black resigned Tuesday.

Keith Bardwell, who is white, quit the post with a one-sentence statement to Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne and no explanation of his decision: “I do hereby resign the office of Justice of the Peace for the Eighth Ward of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, effective November 3, 2009.”

Bardwell refused to perform the ceremony for Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay because they are of different races.

When questioned about his refusal, Bardwell acknowledged he routinely recuses himself from marrying interracial couples because he believes such marriages cause harm to the couples’ children. In interviews, he said he refers such couples to other justices of the peace, who then perform the ceremony, which happened in this case.

mckaycouplenterracial

Newlyweds Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay

Humphrey has said she and McKay received their marriage license from the parish clerk of court, where they also received a list of people qualified to perform the ceremony. When she called Bardwell’s office to ask about the ceremony on Oct. 6, Humphrey said Bardwell’s wife told her that the justice wouldn’t sign their marriage license because they were a “mixed couple.”

Humphrey and McKay have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Bardwell.

More @ Associated Press

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Some Unanswered Questions on the Justice of the Peace Who Refuses to Wed Interracial Couples Story

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A world of change in 287 days

It’s been a year since a healthy majority of American voters elected Barack Obama to change the world. Which is precisely what he’s doing.

posted by betsmeier

By Eugene Robinson

Like many people who desperately want to see the country take a more progressive course, I quibble and quarrel with some of President Obama’s actions. I wish he’d been tougher on Wall Street, quicker to close Guantanamo, more willing to investigate Bush-era excesses, bolder in seeking truly universal health care. I wish he could summon more of the rhetorical magic that spoke so compellingly to the better angels of our nature.

But he’s a president, not a Hollywood action hero. Most of my frustration is really with the process of getting anything done in Washington, which is not something Obama can unilaterally change, nimbly circumvent or blithely ignore. One thing the new administration clearly did not anticipate was that Republicans in Congress would be so consistently and unanimously obstructionist — or that Democrats would have to be introduced to the alien concept of party discipline. It took the White House too long to realize that bipartisanship is a tango and that there’s no point in dancing alone.
Step back for a moment, though, and look at Obama’s record.

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Filed under 2010 Elections, Bailout, Change, Democrats, Economy, Editorial, Jobs, Uncategorized

Berkshire Buying Burlington Northern Railroad

posted by GeoT

“An Investemnt in the Future of America”

Geo T Note: This is a play on railroads becoming the “green” mode of commercial transport, supplanting trucking. The near future will see new track laid and faster more efficient shipping methods developed…

Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) — Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to buy railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. in the company’s biggest takeover under Warren Buffett.

Warren Buffett

Buffett’s firm will buy the 77.4 percent of the railroad it doesn’t already own for $100 a share in cash and stock, valuing the transaction at about $44 billion, including $10 billion in outstanding debt, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire said in a statement today distributed by Business Wire. That compares with the railroad’s closing price yesterday of $76.07.

“It’s an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States,” Buffett said in the statement.

Berkshire has been building a stake in the Fort Worth, Texas-based railroad for more than two years as Buffett looked for what he called an “elephant”-sized acquisition in which he could deploy his company’s cash hoard, valued at more than $24 billion as of the end of June. Trains stand to become more competitive against trucks with fuel prices high, he has said.

“As oil prices go up, higher diesel fuel raises costs for rails, but it raises costs for its competitors, truckers, roughly by a factor of four,” Buffett told shareholders in 2007 at his company’s annual meeting. “There could be a lot more business there than there was in the past.”

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Maine Question 1: We’re Working too Hard to Lose …

posted by GeoT

by Paul Hogarth‚ Nov. 02‚ 2009 SOUTH PORTLAND – I’m writing this on Monday, November 2nd at 2:00 a.m., and will get up early so I will be brief. This weekend has been intense, as myself and Jay Jonah Cash have placed “No on 1” campaign volunteers from New Hampshire, New York, Boston, Vermont and 20 Yale students in a South Portland hotel for our Drive for Equality program. It’s inspiring to see the passion as we sense this election’s national implications for marriage equality. And we’re still on the phones and sending out e-mails, asking folks to make spur-of-the-moment plans to drive up to Maine. Sign up at our website, and we’ll stuff as many committed volunteers into hotel rooms as we can.

We have a better ground game than our opposition, but it will be close. Literally before going to my bedroom for the night, a new poll came out with us down by 4 points. “We expect there to be almost twice as many voters over 65 as young voters,” said the pollsters, “but if that gap narrows so would the vote on Question 1. With a race as close as this, it all comes down to which side can get its people out to the polls. It could go either way depending on who actually shows up to vote.” We’re working too hard to lose this …

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Uncivil War: Conservatives to challenge a dozen GOP candidates

posted by GeoT

In The Conservative Cross-hairs:

"NOT CONSERVATIVE ENOUGH"

In what could be a nightmare scenario for Republican Party officials, conservative activists are gearing up to challenge leading GOP candidates in more than a dozen key House and Senate races in 2010.

Conservatives and tea party activists had already set their sights on some of the GOP’s top Senate recruits — a list that includes Gov. Charlie Crist in Florida, former Rep. Rob Simmons in Connecticut and Rep. Mark Kirk in Illinois, among others.

Scozzafava, Hoffman

But their success in Tuesday’s upstate New York special election, where grass-roots efforts pushed GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava to drop out of the race and helped Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman surge into the lead on the eve of Election Day, has generated more money and enthusiasm than organizers ever imagined.

Activists predict a wave that could roll from California to Kentucky to New Hampshire and that could leave even some GOP incumbents — Utah Sen. Bob Bennett is one — facing unexpectedly fierce challenges from their right flank.

“I would say it’s the tip of the spear,” said Dick Armey, the former GOP House majority leader who now serves as chairman of FreedomWorks, an organization that has been closely aligned with the tea party movement. “We are the biggest source of energy in American politics today.”

“What you’re going to see,” said Armey, “is moderates and conservatives across the country in primaries.”

These high-stakes primaries, pitting the activist wing of the party against the

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GOP -v- GOP

establishment wing, stand to have a profound impact on the 2010 election landscape since they will create significant problems for moderate candidates recruited by the national party precisely because they appear well-suited to win in places that are not easily — or even plausibly — won by conservative candidates.

The tensions between the two visions threaten to limit the party’s gains in an election year that is shaping up in its favor.

Party strategists worry that well-funded, well-organized challenges from the right could force Republicans to exhaust precious resources on messy primary fights — or force moderate candidates to adopt more strident positions early on that could haunt them during the final months of the campaign.

“For me, what this says is, we need to take a deep breath and decide whether [moderates and conservatives] work together or not,” said Tom Davis, the former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “And if we don’t, it can get very, very ugly.”

Continues @: politicologosmall

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NJ, VA, NY elections cast as referendum on Obama

Posted by GeoT
Democrats bracing for the unhappy possibility they could go down to defeat, Obama specter looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans seeking a comeback from recent losses may pick up the governor’s seats in Virginia and New Jersey on Tuesday in campaigns that tested the limits of President Barack Obama’s influence.

Democrats were bracing for the unhappy possibility they could go down to defeat not just in those two states but in a congressional district in upstate New York where a conservative candidate was leading.

The election outcome could give some clues as to the national mood a year after Obama was elected president and a year before 2010 congressional elections that will represent the first clear referendum on Obama’s time in office.

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Sarah Palin: Rogue Republican or Democratic Operative?

blogpost by: JUST A GIRL FROM HOMER


“Why do you still talk about Sarah Palin? Maybe if you shut up she’d go away.”

Wrong.

Sarah Palin isn’t going anywhere. Look at her political history. When Sarah ran for mayor of Wasilla, she had to destroy her Republican opponent, John Stein.

The Robo-caller from Wasilla

Once elected, she boasted she was “the first Christian mayor”. Mr. Stein replied, “Really?”

Palin and Wasilla Republican and Alaska Senate President, Lyda Green, often clashed over politics in Green’s district. On a local shock jock talk show, Palin giggled after the host called Lyda Green “a cancer”. Green had just recovered from cancer. Plunk, there went the district.

When Palin filed to run for governor against first term incumbent Frank Murkowski, people took notice. Frank wasn’t loved. His first act as governor was to nepotistically appoint his daughter to fill his vacated US Senate seat. Within the Alaska GOP, a war ensued, including fisticuffs at the Republican Party picnic between rabid Palin supporters and the GOP faithful. Oh, lookie, there went the state…copy

Many people regard Sarah Palin as a punch line. That’s too easy. In fact, she’s more of a threat. If the Republican Party had half a mind, they would look at Palin’s history of party divisiveness, polarization and destruction and take heed. In fact, they’d be smart to take her at her word. She’s a self-proclaimed rogue.

Read More: JUST A GIRL FROM HOMER

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