links for 2010-08-16

  • A federal appeals court put same-sex weddings in California on hold indefinitely Monday while it considers the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban.

    The decision, issued by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, trumps a lower court judge's order that would have allowed county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Wednesday.
    Now, off to the appeal's process where SCOTUS will decide the issue.

    (tags: gay_marriage)
  • The majority leader of the Senate, Harry Reid, has weighed in on the Great Mosque Debate of 2010, becoming the highest-profile Democrat to call for the so-called Ground Zero Mosque to move to a new location at an unspecified distance away from ground zero. "The First Amendment protects freedom of religion," Reid's spokesman, Jim Manley, wrote in an e-mail today after Reid's Republican challenger, Sharron Angle, called on him to take a position. "Senator Reid respects that, but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else." Reid's office did not elaborate on why Reid feels this way, or on how large the mosque-free (or, Islamic-community-center-free) zone surrounding ground zero should be.
    And, the Left will have him for lunch….
  • On Twitter, CNN's Ed Henry posts a statement from Majority Leader Harry Reid's spokesman:

    "First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Sen Reid respects that but thinks .. mosque should be built someplace else"

    Reid's statement comes hours after his GOP opponent Sharron Angle issued a statement saying that she supports constitutional right to build the mosque, but putting it so close to Ground Zero is disrespectful:
    Guess Harry can read the polls.

  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, the come-from-behind GOP winner of the Iowa Caucuses in 2008, is the early choice of Hawkeye State Republicans again, a new poll shows.

    The survey was conducted for the website may be viewed as simply a matter of name recognition as much as it is a measure of true political support given the caucuses are eighteen months away and no Republican has yet to declare an intention to run for president.

    Sill, the survey shows Huckabee has retained a significant number of supporters in the Hawkeye State, leading the field with 22 percent of support. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the runner-up in 2008, is second with 18 percent.
    Way too early…

  • Democrats have a strong chance to lose the midterm elections without attempting to paint those who disagree with the president as bigots, or a full-throated defense of President Obama’s oh-so-measured and then remeasured and then adjusted and readjusted words. There’s no need for media commentators or Democrats to insist the majority of Americans are driven by hatred on this issue; they’re already doing so on Arizona’s immigration law, California’s gay-marriage law, the investigations of Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters, the desire to see voter intimidation in Philadelphia prosecuted, and opposition to most Obama policies.

    A national political fight conducted on the terms we have seen in the past few days — i.e., a knee-jerk denunciation of the majority of the American people as hateful and bigoted against Muslims — will lead to a chain reaction at home and abroad that will have one winner — the very extreme and violent jihadists we all can claim as our true enemy.

  • Mark Murray writes: Earlier this morning, we wrote that President Obama on Saturday appeared to walk back his Friday-night comments on that mosque near Ground Zero. "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there," he said. "I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding."

    Greg Sargent argues that Obama's remarks weren't a walk-back.
    Well, did Obama?

    (tags: barack_obama)
  • A conservative advocacy group Monday will kick off a huge ad campaign in 11 states and two dozen of the most competitive congressional races, slamming "wasteful federal spending."

    The $4.1-million ad buy from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation does not mention individual candidates in the November election. The script attacks Washington policies, describing the economic stimulus program as a failure and declaring that "wasteful spending must stop."
    The ads — part of a midterm election likely to be the most expensive on record — will run in 27 media markets through August. Democrats hold all but one of the 24 House seats in question, including 17 incumbents seeking reelection.

    The television buys are in Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. Several of those, including Ohio, Pennsylvania and Missouri, also have tight Senate races.
    Almost Labor Day and the media campaigns to begin

  • The Justice Department has informed former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) that the government has ended a six-year investigation of his ties to the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to DeLay's lead counsel in the matter, Richard Cullen, chairman of McGuireWoods.

    The investigation lasted through two presidents and four attorneys general. Its demise provides a stark footnote to the lobbying scandals that helped Democrats regain the House majority they held for 40 years and lost in the Republican revolution of 1994, which eventually made the pugnacious DeLay one of Washington’s top power brokers.
    What kind of comeback will Tom Delay make?

    (tags: tom_delay)

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