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The Morning Grumpy – 2/8/2012

8 Feb

All the news and views fit to consume during your morning grumpy.

 

1. If you live under a rock, you might not have heard that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned California’s Proposition 8, which established a ban on marriage equality. Here’s a link to the full text of the decision and the money quote found in it:

“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples,” U.S. Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote. “The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort.”

The Mormon and Christian terrorists lose, the Fourteenth Amendment wins.

2. The good news keeps rolling in on the economy. Gallup demonstrates that Americans’ confidence in the economy rose for the fifth straight month, small-business owners are more optimistic about hiring now than at any time in the past four years – all on the heels of the best six-month job gain since August 2005.

3. It’s also pretty good news for corporate titans.

Thanks in part to federal tax breaks, corporations paid out just 12.1 percent of their 2011 profits in taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That’s well below the country’s top marginal corporate tax rate of 35 percent — and as The Wall Street Journal notes, it’s the lowest percentage corporations have paid since 1972. During the two previous decades, a period that included the economic prosperity of the 1990s and the housing boom of the George W. Bush administration, corporations were paying an average percentage almost twice as high.

Imagine what would happen if we didn’t have a god-damned socialist in the White House!

4. The last American taboo, atheism.

America is the well-known exception to the rule that the wealthier and better-educated a country is, the less religious its population. As a Pew Research Center report put it, when it comes to religiosity, “the US is closer to considerably less developed nations, such as India, Brazil and Lebanon than to other western nations.”

As leading American public atheist Sam Harris sums it up, being a member of the godless club is “basically the worst thing you can be in terms of having a political life, incurring the judgment of strangers”. A Gallup poll last year showed that, while 9 per cent of Americans would not vote for a Jewish presidential candidate, 22 per cent wouldn’t support a Mormon and 32 per cent would not vote for a gay or lesbian candidate, 49 per cent would refuse to back an atheist for president.

Would you vote for an atheist? If the answer is no, did you vote for horse porn enthusiast, philanderer, catholic, and misogynist Carl Paladino in the last NY Gubernatorial election? Why one and not the other?

5. In Michele Bachmann’s Congressional district, evangelicals have created an extremely anti-gay climate. After a rash of suicides, the kids are fighting back.

For years, the area has also bred a deep strain of religious conservatism. At churches like First Baptist Church of Anoka, parishioners believe that homosexuality is a form of mental illness caused by family dysfunction, childhood trauma and exposure to pornography – a perversion curable through intensive therapy. It’s a point of view shared by their congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has called homosexuality a form of “sexual dysfunction” that amounts to “personal enslavement.”

And she wanted to be my President.
 
6. If you missed last night’s episode of Frontline dealing with the Haditha “massacre” in Iraq, you need to watch it online. Revealing, fascinating, troubling and disturbing all in one.
 
“A U.S. Marine and 15 Iraqi civilians were killed yesterday from the blast of a roadside bomb in Haditha,” read a U.S. military press release in November 2005. Four months later, Time magazine would report that it was U.S. Marines — not a roadside bomb — who were responsible for the deaths of unarmed Iraqi civilians. Soon after, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) would claim the Marines killed the Iraqis “in cold blood,” igniting a media firestormwhich labeled Haditha a “massacre” and one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq war. But what really happened that day reveals a far more complex story that gets to the heart of the war troops are fighting.

 
A well-balanced approach to an incredibly controversial story.

Fact Of The Day: In 1946, the United States offered to buy Greenland from Denmark for $100,000,000, but Denmark refused.

Quote Of The Day: “We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Looney Tune Of The Day: “Sheep Ahoy” – Ralph Wolf and Sam The Sheepdog

Song Of The Day: “Five On The Five” – The Raconteurs (Warning: Turn Down Your Speakers)

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Email me links, tips, story ideas: chrissmithbuffalo[@]gmail.com