New office decoration.
Yes, I do have the best girlfriend ever. No, not the pretend one in the poster, the real one who put the poster under the tree this year.
Sen. Jon Kyl said he doesn't "feel totally safe'' with Janet Napolitano at the helm of the Department of Homeland Security, given that agency's handling of the attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner.Kyl said it was bad enough that the Nigerian got on the plane in the first place given what should have been warning signals. But in response to a question about whether he feels secure with Napolitano heading Homeland Security, he said that is only part of the problem.
Yes, the guy was dragging more red flags than the entire Pamplona running of the bulls and The Last Samurai combined and still managed to buy a ticket in Africa and get on a plane in Amsterdam. But. Unless Janet Napolitano was personally standing at the jetway door in Lagos saying come in! you fool! and waving Captain Underpants onto the plane without a passport, I'm not sure she's the one who needs to be slapped around here. Except, of course, for saying the parts of the system not involving self-immolation and alert Dutchmen worked.
Frankly, her words may have been more of an inadvertent slip than the up-is-down doublespeak/dumbassery we took them for at first. TSA security is... not thought out perhaps as well as it could be, shall we say, something I've thought ever since Richard Reid failed to ignite his Chuck Taylors and condemned the traveling public to taking off their shoes at security at the rest of forever. I said then that if I ran an al Qaeda cell I wouldn't bother trying to actually kill people, but would simply send a string of flunkies onto planes to pull off increasingly absurd failed attacks involving increasingly intimate levels of undergarments, just to see how far TSA would go with their reactionary rather than preventative rules. OMG a shoe bomber! Everybody take off your shoes! Jesus, a bra bomber! Sorry, ladies, but that's going to have to go into the bin. Holy shit, a hair bomber! Please hop into the barber chair right here at the shoe dropoff, okay?
And then aQ went and spoiled it by ramping up immediately to their underwear bomber, and the best TSA could bring themselves to do is no blankets and no laptops and no paperbacks and no wanking through your pants in the last hour of flight. Because the very first thing that went through everyone's mind when this news broke was underwear bomber = everybody flies naked now and TSA can't make that particular the-jokes-just-write-themselves joke come true. So they slap together more patchwork rules that essentially say okay, don't try THAT particular tactic again, which does pretty much zero to prevent the next new thing aQ will think up to make air travel even more annoying and possibly deadly, and I'm left with the distinct impression that the ultimate fallback system TSA is really counting on is passengers noticing something off and saying oh FUCK no and jumping the next guy who tries to blow up a plane.
Bruce Schneier, whose job is to think about this stuff, thinks the same thing.
"Security theater" refers to security measures that make people feel more secure without doing anything to actually improve their security.
Security is both a feeling and a reality. The propensity for security theater comes from the interplay between the public and its leaders.
When people are scared, they need something done that will make them feel safe, even if it doesn't truly make them safer. Politicians naturally want to do something in response to crisis, even if that something doesn't make any sense.
Happy traveling, America! And hey, keep your hands where I can see them.
Wow. When did Hulk Hogan get a second job as a mouthbreathing evangelist? And where is his spandex? I was originally going to slice this up and deal with the little bits piece by piece, but it's taking longer to scrape my jaw off the floor than I thought it would. Just watch the whole thing, maybe three times, and explain to me if I'm wrong in concluding that these witnessing chowderheads have finally conclusively demonstrated that they have abandoned any pretense of rational thought. Who is the Logic: Ur Doin It Rong poster boy here? Jim DeMint (R-Leviticus)?
If we have the government making decisions about the most personal and private part of our lives, it is so naive to think that that coverage is not gonna include a number of things that cause people of faith a lot of heartburn, whether it's funding abortions... whether it's funding medical marijuana...
Or Sam Brownback (R-James Dobson's Pocket)?
The Democrat [sic] leadership wants to fund abortion in this bill. And it's real tragic, because abortion's not healthcare!
Nice effort there by Brownback, but then DeMint brings it home with the simplest and only summation you really need.
We cannot fall for this idea that we need to keep our faith in the closet and let the country go its own secular way.
Congratulations, Jimmy D, for that spectacular bit of fail. Pardon me for not sticking around to join the jesusjesusjesus mumblers around you, but I need to get shopping for a bigger hat if y'all are calling down so much wrath from heaven.
In a Christian Post article about an upcoming biography of Saddleback megachurch Pastor Rick Warren, we learn that Warren freely admits that when he married his wife, he didn't love her, was not attracted to her, and had "no feelings" for her at all. But he married her anyway because the marriage had been arranged. By God.
Good for you, Rick! Congratulations on your loveless arranged marriage! Fucking hell.
I don't see yesterday's escalation announcement as a new iteration of the Bush Doctrine so much as a response to the original Afghanistan situation continuing, albeit in a different venue; instead of blowing the whistle to stop the game and issue the Taliban a well-deserved red card, some cosmic referee has shouted play on as the action has spilled across the border into Pakistan. Except in this case the Taliban have grabbed the ball and taken it up into the stands and both teams are lobbing flares and batteries at each other, and we're somehow simultaneously opponent and referee, and the metaphor falls apart before our eyes. Much like the NATO coalition.
Anyway. Bad shit in Pakistan by the CIA and
Blackwater Xe, drones and abduction teams and all, but even that doesn't make it a pre-emptive war by Team Obama. It's simply a new vector in an existing war, just as it's a new vector for Pakistan's ISI and a new vector for India's intelligence service, and for the warlords depending on support from one side or the other, a giant triangulated chess match that devolves into Red Rover more often than not. The Taliban are operating with impunity from Quetta, just as they operated from Kandahar before we got there. Same shit, different day, slightly different setting, same problem.
Amazingly, this has diminished my ardor for Dr. Maddow exactly not at all. Shocker!
This year's Thanksgiving pie was cobbled (ha!) together from a filling recipe found in my maternal grandmother's 1953 Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, a pastry recipe from my paternal grandmother's mother, which Grandma taught me to make 20 years ago, and my tweaks of honeycrisp apples and the addition of apple cider in place of the water in the pastry.
Oh, and the pastry leaves on top were Martha Stewart's idea.
The pie made the trip up to the Land of Old Republican People with me and the boy, and while I have been grumbling about this business of (1) having to go to Mesa for Thanksgiving (2) with elderly relatives whose politics and religious fervor do not exactly mesh smoothly with my own (3) without my girlfriend, ultimately it was pretty okay. This may well be the last Thanksgiving my grandparents (90 and 87) see, and I am glad I was with them. My family is flung all across the country, and we have the same stupid shit going on that every family does from time to time, but I'm glad I have them. And pie. I hope your day brought things to be thankful for as well.
We have received our renewal offer from Cigna and it is extremely ugly. They are proposing a rate increase of 35%.
Boy, I sure hope the Blue Dogs manage to keep the public option out of the Senate healthcare bill, since the competition-free "market" has done such a dandy job of keeping our insurance plan affordable.
Really, I don't blame my brother. Why not just mindlessly click on "forward" when it would take an entire thirty seconds online and possibly THREE clicks to ascertain that the words accompanying the picture are, shall we say, flat-out wrong? The photo is actually from the Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington, and was snapped not during the anthem, but immediately after Obama walked onto the dais during "Hail to the Chief." Later, when the national anthem was played, Obama indeed placed his hand over his heart, as other photos show.
Simple enough, no? I replied to his e-mail with this information, including links to Snopes.com AND a corroborating piece on Free Republic (shudder), as a public service to the peeps on his list who think Snopes is a liberal conspiracy, as well as links to both the C-SPAN video of the ceremony and a cellphone video posted on YouTube. And this is the reponse I got from one of my brother's buddies:
Just a point of military and civilian ceremonial courtesy; when Hail to the Chief is played military officers do not generally salute forward, they face the direction of advance of the Commander and Chief, and upon facial recognition or 12 paces render a hand salute. ADM Mullen and the Lieutenant Colonel pictured are both facing forward. Also as a point of civilian courtesy the gentlemen to the Presidents left would not have his hand over his heart facing away from the President, he would not have his hand over his heart at all. If he did (which is fine but not proper) he would still turn to face the President as he advances. When Hail to the Chief is played the President continues to move past all other U.S. officials (civilian and military) at least two paces. This signifies that he is the highest ranking U.S. official in attendance, he would not have halted his advance behind the official party and crossed his hands. While I dispute you rendition of the facts I do not contend the President was in anyway being disrespectful, just that the facts do not fit the picture. Even if the cermony was altered and all parties remained facing forward, the President would have continued forward past his subordinates.
Protocol is huge, at least to the military so I highly doubt the scenario you laid out is accurate. Having served in a protocol position in the military and dealt with these types of events I feel qualified to dispute your findings.
I find this response fascinating for its "protocol mandates x; therefore y is impossible" mindset. Despite the "Hail to the Chief" explanation, hell, despite the video showing--complete with sound!--Obama walking onto the stage as HttC plays and the officers salute and the civilian clamps his hand over his heart, and despite the fact the the position of the table and chairs as shown in the photo leaves no space for Obama to have continued to a spot two paces in front of his subordinates (he is standing even with them against the table, not behind them as the e-mailer alleges), the former protocol officer highly doubts the scenario and feels qualified to dispute it. Protocol is huge in the military and mandates one specific procedure for the president to walk onto a stage, so therefore that is the only way he could have walked onto the stage, and I can tell you exactly how the photo would have looked if they'd taken a photo, which they couldn't have since the photo you showed me does not match what I know the photo should look like. I am aware that the speed limit on this road is 65, officer, so it is simply impossible that I was traveling at 85, and I am qualified to dispute your findings.
So of course I wrote him back with specific links to video, telling him that regardless of protocol, the evidence shows that something slightly different happened. His response?
I would guess the report is wrong but I can confirm thru a friend who commands one of the honor guard companies at Arlington. Not to be arrogant but [your brother] will tell you I am rarely wrong.
In other words, who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes? I would dearly love to be so goddamn sure that everything I think--or, I suppose, everything I have been compelled to think by my institutions--is the only possible reality. Curse this career devoted to science for compelling me to draw conclusions from evidence even when they contradict expectations!
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) pledged on Tuesday morning to defeat healthcare reform legislation if his abortion amendment is taken out, saying 10 to 20 anti-abortion-rights Democrats would vote against a bill with weaker language.
"They’re not going to take it out," Stupak said on "Fox and Friends," referring to Senate Democrats. "If they do, healthcare will not move forward."
On the off chance you haven't been keeping up with your congressional baseball card collection, Stupak is the C Street tenant the US Conference of Catholic Bishops settled on to be the conduit through which the even-tangential-federal-abortion-funding-ban amendment they wrote would splurt all over the House health bill. So after all our progressive blogwringing about the Mormons and the evangelicals trying to worm their respective theologies into civil law, the Catholics dispensed with the subterfuge and just flat-out did it.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops defended its involvement in the health-care debate, saying Monday that church leaders have a duty to the nation and God to raise moral concerns on any issue, including abortion rights and coverage for the poor.
[Francis Cardinal] George [Asshat-Chicago] made the remarks at the start of the conference's fall meeting in a wide-ranging speech that re-asserted the bishops' role not only as guardians of the faith, but also as moral guides outside the church.
Really, Frank? Really? The bishops' role is to be moral guides for all of America, including non-Catholic America and, apparently, Congress? Jesus, did these guys help negotiate Charlie Weis' contract extension too? The hubris levels are certainly compatible.
This came up before, I think, in some presidential race or another, involving some Irish guy. Can Bart Stupak even recognize himself as belonging to the same institution--the Congress--this other Catholic did and comport himself in the same way?
I support the United States Constitution. I am concerned as a public official with the maintenance of that Constitution. I take the same oath of office as the President of the United States takes and have taken it for 14 years in the Senate and the House, and four years before that in the service. The Constitution provides very happily under Article 1 of the First Amendment, a provision for the separation of church and state, and I consider that to be the most admirable organization of society that we could possibly devise.
And I would feel that any group existing outside the United States, whether it is the Vatican or anyone else, respects our basic conviction that church and state must be separate and that my obligation is to the Constitution and to uphold my duty.
I also suggest that there is another part of the Constitution also relevant which is Article 6, which says there shall be no religious test for office. That protects all of us.
10 of the 19 Democrats who signed the initial Stupak letter to Pelosi voted against health reform even after their demands on abortion were met.
Hold your breath and swear you'll keep holding it 'til you turn blue if mommy makes you wash the dishes, unless you get a piece of cake first, and then take the proffered slice of cake, exhale, eat the slice, inhale, grab the rest of the cake, and sprint out the door, leaving the dishes to continue moldering in the sink. And then try it again the next night when you're asked to clean your room, with the same results, while mommy stands there and wonders why nothing ever gets done around here and she's running to the store for more goddamn Duncan Hines every night after work.
As the Democratic Women’s Caucus took to the microphone on the House floor to offer their arguments for how the bill would benefit women, House Republicans — led by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) — repeatedly talked over, screamed, and shouted objections. “I object, I object, I object, I object, I object,” Price interjected as Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) tried to hold the floor.
From Crooks and Liars, Dr. Nancy Snyderman (on MSNBC) fumes for all of us:
You know what I find so infuriating about this? I mean, absolutely infuriating? And this isn't about being pro-choice or pro-abortion or any of the hot button lingo. We know women pay more for insurance than men. We know women are restricted in the states. And now it's basically, if you're a 50 year old woman and you're in a monogamous relationship you suddenly find yourself pregnant, you better know that have an abortion rider in order to access health care that you thought you had? It is one more pressure on women.
From Jezebel, Latoya Peterson provides a very source-rich rundown and commentary.
So, let's recap:
1. No public option
2. We have an exchange that assumes a relative definition of "affordable"
3. Somehow, they managed to work this so that even women who were paying for their own care got conned out of abortion coverage
4. Undocumented workers can't access this plan, even without subsidies, though they - like other human beings - get sick and need treatment like everyone else.
Ladies and gentlemen, we got hosed.
Jezebel again, this time Anna North, relaying a WTF letter to Nancy Pelosi from pro-choice Democrats:
As Members of Congress we believe that women should have access to a full range of reproductive health care. Health care reform must not be misused as an opportunity to restrict women's access to reproductive health services.
The Stupak-Pitts amendment to H.R. 3962, The Affordable Healthcare for America Act, represents an unprecedented and unacceptable restriction on women's ability to access the full range of reproductive health services to which they are lawfully entitled. We will not vote for a conference report that contains language that restricts women's right to choose any further than current law.
Talk to me, Rachel.
More from Latoya Peterson:
I still hate that "sneaking in funding for abortions" line: It's like the lawmakers heard the cries for affordable premiums and comprehensive coverage, and thought Yeah, but what about all those unscrupulous whores scheming to use their health care coverage to through abortion parties and make fetus-necklaces? WTF? Doesn't the Hyde Amendment go far enough?
And, finally, for the grand finale, who do we really have to thank for this clusterfuck (which is now solely for purposes of procreation, hahahaha you sluts)? Why, the Catholic Church, still inexplicably tax-exempt despite bending the third prong of the Lemon test fork so far backwards as to almost stab itself in its legislation-pushing wrist.
As rumors spread that Republicans might vote “present” in order to scuttle the entire bill, even Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called Republican leader John Boehner to make sure the GOP didn’t play any games with the Stupak amendment, sources said.[...]
The drama had built for months, pitting a group of Democrats against the Catholic Church. Priests and bishops were calling members to lobby for stricter language to limit abortion coverage, members and aides said last week.[...]
[Rep. Brad] Ellsworth [D-IN], in consultation with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was trying to amend legislation passed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee to make sure insurance companies that receive federal funds under the programs created by the bill don’t use any of that money to pay for abortions.
By Thursday, Ellsworth, who was working closely with Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) realized the church wouldn’t accept anything less than a version of Hyde, so he and his staff started working on a version the bishops could accept, aides said.
Swell. First the Church throws loads of cash it could have spent on crumbling and closing parishes in Maine at, instead, ensuring committed gay couples can't marry, and now it swings its giant stick to make sure that all women who can't afford insurance on their own adhere to the Church's teachings on abortion, whether they're Catholic or not. Republican men in the House of Representatives shout down women. Teabaggers rejoice.
Good job, y'all. You've managed to push your odious legislation that's aimed at the mythical subset of unmarried women who use abortion as birth control, or as a backup mood-lifter when the nail salon is booked, through the first step of becoming law for us all. I don't know what happens next, as trying to make predictions in this arena has only led to me pulling my few remaining brown hairs out.
The amendment, written by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., would bar the new government insurance plan from covering abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother is in danger. The Democrats' original legislation would have allowed the government plan to cover abortions.
The amendment also would prohibit people who receive new federal health subsidies from buying insurance plans that include abortion coverage.
When the Stupak amendment first surfaced, some people had hoped that it was simply a bit of belt-and-suspenders redundancy intended to curtail any attempts to circumvent the execrable 1976 Hyde Amendment, which prevents funds allocated via the annual HHS appropriations from being used to pay for abortions. But that last bit, the part about no one being able to buy coverage that includes abortion from the to-be-established government exchange if they're using federal subsidies to acquire said coverage, takes it a step further.
Who were these 64 attempting to appease with this maneuver? Republicans in their districts who won't be voting for them anyway? Some subset of women who are both cash-poor and so conflicted by the potential for having to make a reproductive decision that they'll be relieved to have that bit of agency stripped from their lives?
Thanks to the grandstanding of the Democrats who joined every goddamn Republican in the House except, Arizona's own John Shaddegg (who voted 'present' in a tiny grandstanding protest of his own), the women who can least afford unwanted pregnancies are hit the hardest; if you get a federal subsidy and want abortion coverage, you'll need to buy a separate, abortion-only, policy with your own money. The availability and cost of those policies has not been addressed yet. Additionally, people who don't qualify for subsidies but wish to buy through the exchange fully on their own dime likely will see their options curtailed, as
Abortion-rights supporters say private insurers will not likely offer policies with abortion coverage in the exchange because many potential buyers will be getting federal subsidies.Around 21 million people are expected to get coverage through the exchange by 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Amazingly, the Jehovah's Witnesses have not pressured any legislators to introduce amendments forbidding taxpayer-subsidized blood transfusions, nor have Orthodox Jews demanded that federal funds stop subsidizing neonatal care for uncircumsized male infants. Hello, House Democrats: abortion--even when rape, incest, and imminent maternal death are not conditioning factors--is. legal. in. America. End of story. Take away women's choices and you will, in some circumstances, inevitably create desperation that will result in horrible outcomes for existing women and their existing families.Was your rep one of the 64? It's worth a look.
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|The 11/3 Project|
An Act to Remove Protections Based on Sexual Orientation from the Maine Human Rights Act, Eliminate Funding of Civil Rights Teams in Public Schools, Prohibit Adoptions by Unmarried Couples, Add a Definition of Marriage, and Declare Civil Unions Unlawful
70 Sewall Street
Augusta, ME 04330
To be sure, it was filed in May of 2008, so it's not exactly new news. And it was filed by Mike Heath, of the Maine Christian Civic League, so it's not exactly a surprise. But it's a pertinent reminder that no matter how they swear up and down that it's only about the super secret special word marriage, it's never just about marriage. It's about taking every opportunity to strip away hard-won protections and basic affirmations of our humanity, to legitimize those who would shove us back into the closet and possibly leave a few lumps on our heads, or worse, in the process.
No marriage for you! And no adopted children for you. And no protection from bullying in school for you. How else will you learn your place in society? Because, really, that place also involves no job or housing protections, and if you try to simulate marriage by spending thousands of dollars on lawyers and notarized documents and wills and powers of attorney the way we always tell you to do, well, that's going to be against the law too. We probably can't throw you in jail, but maybe we can fine you.
Did we say it was only about marriage? Yes? Did you not understand at the time that all this other stuff was implicit in that? No? Well, you do now.
Sky Blue seems bent on making [Carli] Lloyd their showcase player for next season, giving her the 10-shirt off Yael Averbuch’s back and her own supporter group, named Lloyd’s Loonies in an apparent homage to LA’s Marta’s Maniacs.
Lloyd? Really? After last season's disappearing act in Chicago? When they already have HAO and Tash Kai in their lineup? Hope the supporters' group is armed with coffee, or at least blankies for the inevitable stultified-into-somnolence status they're likely to be enjoying (?) next season. I could be wrong.
At issue is how far healthcare legislation should go to prevent insurance companies from offering abortion services to the millions of women who could get taxpayer subsidies to help them pay premiums.
Are abortion services legal in this country? Yes? They are? Then STFU. End of story.
In the health-care debate, Democrats and their allies have gone after insurance companies as rapacious profiteers making "immoral" and "obscene" returns while "the bodies pile up."Ledgers tell a different reality. Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a percentage point or two. That's anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones.
Aren't the multiple scare quotes a nice "touch?" Because the Democrats are just being hysterical about the eeeeeeeevil insurance companies. Why, health insurance companies posted an average profit margin of only 2.2 percent last year! Which is only good for 35th place on the Fortune 500 list of top industries! So why are Democrats whining about how much money Cigna rakes in when its credit rating is tanking, and health insurance in general is outperformed by Tupperware and Coors?
After mulling the question for perhaps two seconds--hey, the bright and shiny objects in my office distracted me for a while there--I came up with two reasons for not shedding tears over my insurer profiting less than Clorox. Number one, I don't really need Clorox on a regular basis, much less Tupperware and Christ on an ignored hop-plant, Coors. My bleaching and food storage and beer needs are met, wonder of wonders, by the company whose product is on sale this week, and if things are tight it's not much of a problem to do without for a while, or improvise something on my own, or borrow from a friend.
My healthcare needs, on the other hand, can't exactly be put off, and, as the past 27 goddamn days have illustrated in a big way, can't be shopped around--Boltgirl is not made of money--or nicked from my neighbor's pantry. Don't get me wrong; I'm very grateful that I have insurance and that it only sets me back about twenty bucks out of every paycheck, plus about $150 out of pocket for the flu-related doctor visits and prescriptions. But if my plan sucked? Good luck finding a similar level of coverage in an individual plan for the same costs. I wouldn't be able to; that's what pooled risk is all about.
Speaking of being made of money, number two looks something like this.Company and CEO's 2008 Total Compensation:
Another list that breaks the numbers down into base salary, stock options, and cash bonuses is available here. So from the perspective of obscene piles of cash being thrown at executives who may or may not have "earned" it, depending on your definition of "earn," the health insurance industry isn't necessarily much more or less revolting than, say, any investment bank still in business.
But a lot of people--Democrats and their allies included--see the compensation as "obscene" when cash bonuses representing five, seven, ten times a million-dollar base salary are funded by annual rate increases on the order of 20 percent. This isn't a cable TV or high-speed internet level of luxury item we're talking about here. It's the ability to go to the doctor when you're sick, or, better yet, before you're sick, for preventative care. It's the ability to, oh, say, not die from a preventable condition or treatable-when-caught-early disease. It's an industry that we're beholden to with little choice in provider (well, those of us not, as mentioned before, made of money), so when those providers rake in the cash, yeah, "rapacious profiteer" isn't a bad term at all.
Thanks for reminding us that it's all about the bottom line, AP.
MERCED, Calif. — Nobody can say why the Virgin of Guadalupe would appear on a hunk of rock formed millions of years before the birth of Jesus.
But David Nunez says the image is unmistakable — a bluish-black stain on the football-sized rock outlines what looks like the Holy Mother.
Friends have called it a miracle.
Really? Nobody can say? It seems like somebody could say, though, and it turns out a couple of people actually can, so thank Mary-in-a-rock the reporter decided to ask them. One is a priest, and the other is a geologist. What does the priest think?"People see what they want to see," said [the Rev. Harvey] Fonseca, who hasn't examined the rock.
Well then. Scientist?
[Rob] Rogers, the geologist, said he couldn't see the image in the e-mailed photos of the rock. "I must lack imagination," he said.
And science lives to fight another day.
Personally, I think it looks like a giant Cretaceous almond. You know, the kind of big ol' nut T. rex was given those pointy teeth to crack open before Eve ate the apple and brought planet-wide veganism to a crashing halt. Can't you see the long gougy toothmarks? Does that make it a slightly cooler miracle? I think so.
"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told The Associated Press on Thursday. "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."
See? He has piles of black friends! He even lets them use his bathroom! How can you call him racist?
Bardwell clarified that conversations with both black and white people, and his own observations, have led him to conclude that mixed-race children aren't accepted by either blacks or whites. And that their parents don't stay married for long. The only thing lacking in his argument is the citation of the passages from Leviticus forbidding interracial marriage; otherwise, it's a spot-on simulation of arguments we've heard from other people--including, sadly, county clerks and other people whose job descriptions include "issue marriage licenses to qualified couples"--who rail against gay folk seeking marriage equality.
Hey, I have gay friends. I just don't want them to be allowed to get married because gays screw everything that moves so they'd probably just get divorced anyway and oh dear god people will make fun of their kids.
Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay, the most recent couple to be denied by Bardwell, plan to file a discrimination suit. I suspect the repercussions will be very, very interesting should the court find that perceptions about a certain class of people's ability to form lasting pair-bonds, and predictions about society's treatment of any children they might raise, have no bearing on those people's rights to enter into a marriage contract. I only wish Bardwell had tossed in a religious objection as well, but we can't have everything.