Archive for moment of happy

Upbeat economic news round-up. Yes, upbeat. #BlameObama


Moment of Happy, upbeat

Every morning I hold my Los Angeles Times newspaper (key word: paper) in my hands and read it cover to cover. By the time I'm done, I usually need a Valium, a six-pack of wine, and some Pepto Bismol. But today's Business section actually cheered me up! I only ended up requiring an IV of wine due to the horrific front page headlines about Israel and the Malaysia crash. It wasn't too hard to resist the Pepe Le Pew-like enticement of Le Valium, and I loaned the Pepto to the neighbor down the street with the very teenagey teen. Why? Because the economic news was actually upbeat.

You read that right.


Don't believe me? I don't blame you. Usually economic news makes us want to haul out our old GW Bush dartboards and start throwing.

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But here's proof:

  • Stocks buoyed by strong earnings (no link to that either, but that title with the accompanying article is in my paper, honest)

Yes, things could be better. But seeing all the positive headlines was encouraging.

Of course, this is clearly some commie fascist Marxist socialist plot by President Obama, who we all know controls every news organization except Fox, which doesn't report news at all. So you'll have to read the reports and draw your own conclusions. But IMHO, this can serve as today's Moment of Happy.

I retort, you deride.


Poll-itics: Dear conservatives, you lost... again. Support for marriage equality hits new high.


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The Washington post has a new Washington Post-ABC News poll up. They include a few graphs, including the one above, and the good news is that 58% of respondents think gay couples should be able to marry legally:

Public support for gay marriage has hit a new high as Americans increasingly see homosexuality not as a choice but as a way some people are [...]

The poll shows that 58 percent of Americans now believe it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married; 36 percent say it should be illegal. Public attitudes toward gay marriage are a mirror image of what they were a decade ago: in 2003, 37 percent favored gay nuptials, and 55 percent opposed them.

That first sentence is remarkable. Read it again.

Hillary Clinton has announced her support for marriage equality. The "reinvented" Republican party's John Boehner didn't. In fact:

The Growth and Opportunity Project report also states that when voters who recently left the Republican Party were asked to describe the party, they used phrases like, “scary,” “out of touch,” “narrow-minded” and full of “stuffy old men.” 

But will the Supreme Court feel the same as most Americans? Or will voters add five of them to the out of touch, narrow-minded, stuffy list?

Today Think Progress sent out this email:

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether same-sex couples should get the same federal protections and rights that straight couples enjoy. The moment could mark an important tipping point in the history of the LGBT community.

Here’s a little background on the case:

In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) codified discrimination into law by defining the federal government’s definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

What does that mean? It means that immigration laws can senselessly break up families; that military spouses can’t get financial assistance to buy a home if their partner is the same gender; and that the wife of a woman killed in combat, or stricken down by cancer, won’t get survivors’ benefits.

Luckily, President Obama’s administration decided to stop enforcing DOMA, and, when the case was accepted by the Supreme Court, his administration filed a brief urging them to overturn it. But House Republicans who support the law have allocated $3 million to continue defending it -- money that, surely, would be better used elsewhere.

Still, it’s not all bad news when it comes to DOMA. Major players in the political debate have come to their senses and denounced discrimination. A prominent Republican Senator just flipped his stance on marriage equality, saying that he wanted his son to have the same rights as his other children; twenty-one senators who voted for DOMA changed their minds and now oppose it; nearly 300 companies and municipalities filed briefs urging the Supreme Court to strike down the law; and sociologists and major medical organizations have told the justices that they need to put an end to the discrimination.

Even former President Bill Clinton -- the man who signed DOMA into law in the first place -- wrote in a recent op-ed, “I have come to believe that DOMA is contrary to those principles and, in fact, incompatible with our Constitution.”

We, the people, know what’s right. We overwhelmingly support marriage equality, because we know that it’s what our Constitution provides us: Equal protection under the law.

Now it’s time to see whether the Supreme Court thinks so, too.


"It is not the pro-gay rights position that has been reduced to absurdity, it is Scalia himself."


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Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "The 'animus' of Justice Scalia," Editorial, Dec. 13

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's argument is, as you say, "abstract and not terribly helpful," but it is anything but logical.

Scalia commits the fallacy of false analogy. In the case of murder, it is not mere disapproval that grounds the law; murder directly harms other individuals and society, so the state must use its power to protect its citizens. Homosexuality and same-sex marriage are private, self-regarding behaviors that do not harm others in any material way. Hence, anti-gay laws rest on mere disapproval (animus), which cannot be a legitimate reason for intruding on individual liberty.

The irony of Scalia browbeating that law student for not appreciating his "logic" is almost too much to bear. It is not the pro-gay rights position that has been reduced to absurdity, it is Scalia himself.

James S. Stramel

Los Angeles


Scalia would make being "morally reprehensible" sufficient justification for deciding whether a law violates the Constitution. Strange, but I cannot find that phrase anywhere in the document itself. Perhaps Scalia can find it in the minds of those who wrote the Constitution, which he claims to be able to read.

The important judicial question in this case is whether being morally reprehensible is also sufficient justification for removing a Supreme Court justice.

Angus Andrews

Westlake Village


What marriage equality looks like: "You know, we woke up and we realized, we don’t have to rush."


Via the L.A. Times:

Vicky Dalton, the Spokane County auditor who headed the statewide marriage licensing effort, said the turnout Thursday for same-sex marriage licenses in Spokane County was lighter than she expected.

So she asked a question to a newly reassured, very heartened gay man: Why didn't you rush to get a marriage license now that you have the legal green light?

Best Answer Ever:

"They said, ‘I thought you guys would have been one of the first,'" she recalled, "and he said, 'You know, we woke up and we realized, we don’t have to rush. We don’t have to worry. This is not going away. We can get a marriage license wherever we want now.'

"There’s no rush, nobody has to get down here immediately," Dalton repeated to herself. "That was probably one of the most powerful moments of the day for me."

Or to put it another way, progress.