Freedom to marry returns to California

First marriage SF
Kris Perry and Sandy Stier married by AG Kamala Harris

Same-sex marriages were set to resume in California on Friday, after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a surprise order lifting an injunction preventing the unions.

The order came in response to an opinion released Wednesday by the U.S. Supreme Court that effectively killed a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages in the state.

Within moments of the ruling, couples, officials and activists began to converge on San Francisco City Hall, where unions were due to resume immediately.

On my way to S.F. City Hall,” tweeted the state’s attorney general, Kamala Harris. “Let the wedding bells ring!”

Harris arrived with her arm around a key lawyer in the case, as the couple at the heart of a case challenging the state’s ban waited eagerly for their marriage license to be issued…

The 9th Circuit had been expected to wait 25 days before lifting the injunction so the Supreme Court would have time to release a formal order. But the judges decided to act instead on Friday, a move that would allow the marriages to begin in advance of Gay Pride weekend.

“The stay in the above matter is dissolved effective immediately,” the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said in its ruling.

Lotta happy people in California, tonight. I imagine a few gay couples from here in Santa Fe may be on their way to San Francisco for the weekend.

Especially since our state’s attorney general is a 2nd or 3rd generation political hack who wouldn’t make waves if he jumped into the bathtub. He wants to be governor so bad he can taste it. And he has the courage and leadership qualities of a blue-tailed skink.

Dimwit Republicans in Congress who think they are tobacco farmers in 1782 trying to hide profits from the slave trade

A group of Republicans are cooking up legislation that could give President Barack Obama an unintentional assist with disagreeable unemployment numbers — by eliminating the key economic statistic altogether.

The bill, introduced…by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), would bar the U.S. Census Bureau from conducting nearly all surveys except for a decennial population count. Such a step that would end the government’s ability to provide reliable estimates of the employment rate. Indeed, the government would not be able to produce any of the major economic indices that move markets every month, said multiple statistics experts, who were aghast at the proposal.

“They simply wouldn’t exist. We won’t have an unemployment rate,” said Ken Prewitt, the former director of the U.S. Census who is now a professor of public affairs at Columbia University.

“I don’t know how the market reacts if there is suddenly no unemployment rate at the start of the month,” Prewitt said. “How does the market react if we don’t have a GDP?…”

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“My son is not a traitor” — Lonnie Snowden

The father of Edward Snowden acknowledged Friday that his son broke U.S. law, but maintained that he is not a traitor for releasing classified information about the government’s previously secret surveillance programs.

“At this point I don’t feel that he’s committed treason. He has in fact broken U.S. law, in a sense that he has released classified information,” Lonnie Snowden told NBC’s Michael Isikoff in an exclusive interview that aired on TODAY. “And if folks want to classify him as a traitor, in fact he has betrayed his government. But I don’t believe that he’s betrayed the people of the United States. “

Snowden said he has told Attorney General Eric Holder through his lawyer that his son will probably return home if the Justice Department promises not to detain him before a trial nor subject him to a gag order. He also wants his son to choose where a trial would take place…

Snowden has reportedly been getting help in his escape plan from WikiLeaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, has been sheltered in Ecuador’s London embassy for the past year.

Lonnie Snowden has not spoken to his son since April, but he fears that Edward may be manipulated by WikiLeaks handlers and would like to get in touch with him.

“I don’t want to put him in peril, but I am concerned about those who surround him,” Lonnie Snowden said. “I think WikiLeaks, if you’ve looked at past history, you know, their focus isn’t necessarily the Constitution of the United States. It’s simply to release as much information as possible.”

There are distinct differences between WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden. The WikiLeaks ethic is an end to secret files and letting transparency enable full discussion of any topic. Snowden made it clear in his earliest interviews with Glenn Greenwald he distinguished between legitimate confidential files and information that was classified just to keep Americans from knowing what their government was doing.

Regardless, his return would be a courageous move in the face of nutball rightwingers within and without our government.

Cadet attending Federal Law Enforcement Training Center? You probably should leave your meth stash home

FLETCStudent-275x286

A student at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia was arrested on a drug charge by agents of the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported.

Tyler Wilson, 29, of Love Lock, Nev., was reportedly observed by another student to be in possession of methamphetamine, according to a news release.

An investigation determined that Wilson had 3.2 grams of meth, which he allegedly admitted he had brought with him from Nevada, the release said.

Back in the day, when I worked in the engineering department of a teaching hospital, I was astonished when a young electrician told me he was quitting to join the local police force. Good jobs with decent pay were hard to find at the time.

When I questioned his decision, he told me that he could always do electrical jobs on the side for cash – meanwhile he could score all the drugs he would ever want for free. So, I’m not exactly surprised at this case.