“With the recent Supreme Court arguments and accompanying public discussion of same-sex marriage, I have been thinking about my past positions and votes. In doing so, I have concluded that the right thing to do is to support marriage equality for all”
“[Judy Woodcock, a Bush administration FDA Commissioner] stated that we could not anticipate, or prevent extreme promiscuous behaviors such as the medication taking on an ‘urban legend’ status that would lead adolescents to form sex-based cults centered around the use of Plan B.”
Frankly, North Carolina is DONE with its southern neighbor getting credit for being the kookiest Carolina.
No, NC doesn’t have a former governor who “hiked the Appalachian Trail” all the way to Argentina. It doesn’t have a lieutenant governor with a penchant for dressing up like a slave-owning plantation owner. But if 11 Republican legislators get their way North Carolina may have something South Carolina doesn’t: its own state religion.
(Judaism: most likely not North Carolina’s official state religion to-be)
Two Republicans, with the support of nine other cosponsors, have filed a bill that would allow North Carolina to declare an official religion and nullify any federal court ruling that might remind North Carolina about the pesky First Amendment.
Willard Mitt Romney offered some thoughts on his grandchildren’s names while speaking with Dennis Miller. It’s worth unpacking this gem:
“A few months ago we had twins come in (1), and you can’t believe what they’re named: Winston and Eleanor (2). [Laughs.] (3) I mean, it’s going back to the glorious days of the thirties and forties (4), I guess. But these are just darling little infants, and to have such big names on them is really something, although they call them Ellie and Win … When I heard Winston and Eleanor, I thought, It sounds like two English bulldogs (5), but they’re adorable children.”
1. Like from a catalog? Were they having a two-for-one special?
2. Say it with me: “Willard. Mitt. Romney.” You don’t get to poke fun at anyone else’s name, Willard, Father of Tagg.
3. “An old-timey name. Ha ha ha, marvelous!”
4. Some terms you might have used to describe two decades of war and depression besides “glorious”: traumatic, agonizing, brutal.
5. Okay, this is true and adorable. You win this round, Willard.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Today the libertarian Mercatus Center released its annual “Freedom in the 50 States” list, a ranking of liberty in America as measured by Ron Swanson-ish ideals of personal and economic freedom.
According to the Center, the least free states in America are New York (population 19.5 million), California (pop. 38 million) and New Jersey (population 8.9 million).
The most free states are allegedly North Dakota (pop. 700 thousand), South Dakota (pop. 833 thousand) and Tennessee (6.4 million).
Conclusion: Americans must really, really hate freedom.
This annual Mercatus “Don’t Ask Us How a Libertarian Think-tank Ended Up at a Public University” Center study is by far my favorite annual ranking of states. Mainly because I’m convinced the entire exercise is a false-flag operation to discredit libertarian conceptions of freedom.
There are many good reasons why one might move from San Francisco, CA to Murfreesboro, Tennessee but “because of freedom!” is not one of those reasons.
The libertarian response may be “well, we measure freedom based on tax rates and the level of business regulation,” in which case Murfreesboro does look better than the Bay Area, but all this proves is that tax rates and regulations are a dumb way of capturing what we mean by the idea of being free.
It’s also true that New York and California could be even more free if they relaxed some economic regulations. The world would be a better place if zoning laws were less restrictive, if people didn’t have to spend thousands of dollars trying to get licenses to cut hair or practice interior design and if drug laws were liberalized. Things can always be better.
But that things could be improved doesn’t mean that CA and NY are less free than ND/TN now.
Same-sex marriage or civil unions are legal in all the top “least free” states and banned in 4 of the 5 “most free states.” In Oklahoma, a second offense for possession of any amount of marijuana is a felony that carries a 2-10 year prison term. Sale and distribution of any amount carries a sentence of two years to LIFE. In “least free” New York, small-dose possession and distribution result in misdemeanor charges.
And obviously, New York gets a whole lot freedom-ier when you consider positive freedom in addition to the absence of government policies that could send you to prison FOR LIFE for minor drug crimes.
There are just a hell of a lot more opportunities for self-expression and self-actualization in NY/CA (thanks in large part to all those giant corporations who choose to do business in the “least free” parts of the country”) than there are in ND/SD/TN/NH/OK. Even more so if you’re poor and your ability to fully live life is highly dependent on access to government-sponsored health/social-services.
Basically, as an accurate ranking of the most and least free places in America, the Mercatus study gets an F. As a quick and dirty explainer of why libertarianism appeals to so few people, A+.
“In 2011 District Attorney Charles Hynes established a special unit within his office to evaluate claims of innocence from people his office had prosecuted. This unit was also tasked with implementing reforms to prevent such mistakes going forward. Hynes’s is the newest of about a half-dozen of these “conviction integrity units,” the largest and most established of which are in Dallas, Manhattan, and Santa Clara, California.”
Insta-chatter following oral arguments suggests the Justices may rule that the petitioners in Hollingsworth v. Perry don’t have standing to appeal. That would leave a district court decision invalidating Prop 8 in place. So far, so good.
(Who knows if the instant commentary means anything. Most people thought health care reform was dead after SCOTUS arguments. /end throat clearing)
In this case, California would have had standing to appeal the decision but declined to defend Prop 8 (because California’s statewide elected official right consider Prop 8 unconstitutional).
My question: doesn’t this mean that any time a state government doesn’t like a law that’s been created through the ballot process, they can refuse to defend the measure AND no one else will be allowed to appeal any averse rulings?
That sounds terrible!
I’m not saying California should be asked to defend Prop 8 anymore than the Obama administration should be made to defend DOMA, but SOMEONE should have standing here. Am I missing something?
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyagers of the Starship Enterprise Y. Its never-ending mission is to seek out new tax forms. To explore strange new regulations. To boldly go where no government employee has gone before.
The IRS spent $60,000 to create this Stark Trek spoof for its employees.
It is even worse than the time some creepy dude sent you a video of himself speaking Klingon. It is still better than Star Trek: Voyager.
“May those arguing on behalf of same-sex “marriage” present their arguments in an inept, confusing and unconvincing way. May they fail to gain traction in the minds of the Justices. May the right of Californians to amend their state constitution to protect marriage be confirmed by the Court, and may the Defense of Marriage Act be ruled constitutional (Lev 20:all; 1 Sam 2:8-10; 2 Chr 14:11; 20:12-27; Pr 22:28; 24:21; Is 8:18-20; Dan 7:25-27; 2 Cor 2:5)”
Via Comedy Central’s Indecision, that’s the text of a prayer offered by the Family Research Council, which wants anti-gay marriage activists to pray that God turn David Boies and Ted Olson into idiots.
I think the footnotes are my favorite part. No, they are definitely my favorite part. They’re trying to explain to God what God supposedly believes. Godsplaining is the new mansplaining.