links for 2009-09-24

  • Here is a story from the Washington Post and Pro Publica that reports the facts faithfully but does not, I believe, come to the correct conclusion. The essence of the article is that Greg Craig, the White House counsel, is taking the blame for the Guantanamo closing and the messiness that resulted from it, and that the administration took away Gitmo from his portfolio, and that Craig may be, ah, promoted out of the White House to a job on the federal bench or become an ambassador.
  • Democratic political committees have seen a decline in their fundraising fortunes this year, a result of complacency among their rank-and-file donors and a de facto boycott by many of their wealthiest givers, who have been put off by the party's harsh anti-business rhetoric.

    The trend is a marked reversal from recent history, in which Democrats have erased the GOP's long-standing fundraising advantage. In the first six months of 2009, Democratic campaign committees' receipts have dropped in comparison to the same period two years earlier.

    (tags: democrats)
  • What Americans need right now are jobs. Instead, Washington is killing them.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s stimulus package was supposed to hold unemployment below 8 percent. Instead, since President Obama signed the bill in February, unemployment has skyrocketed nationally from 7.9 percent to 9.7 percent.

    In California, unemployment hit 11.9 percent in July, a 63 percent increase over July 2008.

    Granted, California’s Legislature deserves much blame for California’s economic straits, too, but consider that Alabama’s unemployment rate doubled over last year, West Virginia is 114 percent higher, Wyoming 97 percent higher, Wisconsin 96 percent higher––the list goes on.

    In the month of August, there were 14.92 million unemployed individuals looking for work, the highest number in history.

  • The National Endowment for the Arts said Thursday that its communications director, Yosi Sergant, has resigned.

    "This afternoon Yosi Sergant submitted his resignation from the National Endowment for the Arts. His resignation has been accepted and is effective immediately," said a spokeswoman, Sally Gifford, in a statement.

    Sergant, who helped make artist Shepard Fairey's "Hope" image ubiquitous as an organizer of Obama campaign support from artists, had seemed to mix the NEA's work — essentially non-partisan politics — with the administration's legislative agenda on a conference call reported on by Andrew Breitbart's new conservative site, Big Government.

  • (tags: barack_obama)
  • So it turns out the Californians may very well be voting on whether to overturn same-sex-marriage-banning Proposition 8 in November 2010.

    We just got off the phone with John Henning, executive director of LA-based Love, Honor, Cherish. The several hundred-member organization that was formed in 2008 to fight Prop 8 — is spearheading the effort of 40 other groups to get marriage on the ballot again in 2010. It filed ballot language with the state in advance of Friday's suggested deadline to get the process going to be on the November 2010 ballot.

    A key element in the language: The provision that religious bodies would NOT be penalized for refusing to perform a same sex marriage. That hung up a lot of religious types in the Prop 8 fight.

    (tags: gaymarriage)
  • A coalition of groups supporting same-sex marriage submitted ballot measure language for a proposed initiative to repeal Proposition 8 to the Attorney General's office today.

    The move marks the first official step toward asking California voters to repeal the law prohibiting same-sex marriage, which was approved with 52 percent of the vote during the 2008 election. If the proposed initiative is approved for circulation by the Secretary of State's office, proponents will have to collect nearly 700,000 valid signatures by April 2010 to qualify the measure for the ballot.

    "We need to get our rights back. It's really just that simple," said John Henning, executive director of Love Honor Cherish, which is leading the effort. "People can't get married right now. Kids are growing up being told they cant get married. That's just wrong and we need to change that as soon as possible."

  • Breitbart proved this week that his site can make news without having anybody play dress-up when he posted the full transcript and audio of an August National Endowment for the Arts conference call. In it, NEA honchos urge artists to push President Obama's political agenda. That's news by anybody's measure, including the New York Times'. Give the man two cheers. If he keeps up the good work, toss him a third.
  • The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner runs an apology for their headline on a photo about Sarah Palin's speech in Hong Kong: "A broad in Asia."

    Writes the newspaper's editor: "We made a terrible mistake."
    You think?

    (tags: sarah_palin)