Daily Archives: March 8, 2010

House Democrats May Ban Earmarks

In a possible strategic move to regain the “ethical high ground,” House Democratic leaders are floating the idea of a party-wide ban on earmarks for the remainder of the year. The idea was mentioned by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but would most likely face resistance from those who use earmarks as a way to send placating pork back home in a tough year for incumbents. But scrapping them now might be a strategic coup, as gridlock in the Senate means House spending bills could get tied up there, and their earmarks could get cut anyway. The decision to proceed with this strategy would have to come soon as earmark requests are due to the Appropriations panel by March 19. Nearly 9,500 earmarks worth $15.9 billion have already been secured by both parties in this fiscal year alone.

Read it at Roll Call.

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Filed under Democratic Party, Economics, Elections, Playing Politics

Are Anti-Gay Funeral Protests Constitutional?

A Maryland father laid his soldier son to rest in 2006 surrounded by protesters from Westboro Baptist church in Topeka, Kansas, who believe soldiers die in combat as punishment for the U.S.’s permissive attitude toward homosexuality. They carried signs that said, “Thank God for dead soldiers.” The Supreme Court is now reviewing whether protesting the funerals of soldiers is protected by the First Amendment. A Baltimore jury awarded the soldier’s father $10 million in damages, but the case was later thrown out by the U.S. Court of Appeals. The judges said the signs were not referring directly to the father and his son. Snyder v. Phelps will be argued next October.

Read more here.

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Filed under hate groups, U. S. Supreme Court

International Women’s Day

The world marks International Women’s Day today, an annual celebration that highlights the economic, political and social achievements of women.

“International Women’s Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men,” the United Nations says.

The day was marked for the first time in the early 1900s. More than one million women and men attended rallies in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland in 1911.  They demanded the right to vote and hold public office, and for an end to job discrimination.

‘It is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women’s rights,” the United Nations says.

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Filed under Woman Power, World Politics

Monday, 3/8/10, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square