You can change their minds. You can win them over.

A Maryland Republican has done the unthinkable. He has gone from supporting those odious marriage-as-one-man-one-woman acts to opposing them practically overnight. Why? He met some gay couples, and learned they’re human beings.

In an effort to get the bill to the House floor, a special joint committee was formed and legislators were left scrambling for seats. Kach, who had previously backed attempts to define marriage as between one man and one woman, found a space right next to the witness table.

“I saw with so many of the gay couples, they were so devoted to another. I saw so much love,” he said. “When this hearing was over, I was a changed person in regard to this issue. I felt that I understood what same sex couples were looking for.”

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America’s 2012 election: vote for Canada

Meet the Canada Party. They offer an alternative to the ridiculous offerings the Republican Party has on display, and the “guy who gave a drunk Congress the keys to the country”.

Seriously, it’s the best choice for all of us, even if our present Prime Minister is a Muppet version of George W. Bush. I mean, just look at your other options.

Do extreme weather events make you more liberal?

I will happily admit, the next several posts over the next several days constitute me trying to play some amount of catch-up with my ever-burgeoning Firefox tabs and RSS feeds. I’m trying to post a bunch of days ahead of time, too, so I might be reporting on some older stuff. But I’ll try to keep it fresh and relevant with my opinionation. Apologies if we’re covering ground you’ve already covered, you savvy and avid reader you.

Via Peter Sinclair’s excellent Climate Denial Crock of the Week, this story from USA Today explores the ramifications of a study about how people react to global warming policy when having been exposed to examples of the kind of extreme weather event that climate realists have been warning of for decades.
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New Hampshire Republican voters sick of climate denialism too

I have this irrational penchant for assuming we humans will, eventually, let our better angels of empathy and rationality win out in the long run. This plays to that aspect of my psychology.

Of course, there are so many other reasons not to vote for Republicans that you don’t need to point out the fact that it’s been completely and thoroughly awash in scientific denialism for decades and fix that alone to get me to consider them rational actors on the political stage. You’d also have to untie them from religious zelaotry and magical thinking about economic factors and war hawkishness… et cetera, et cetera.

Concerned Women for America: “Let raped military women pay for their own abortions!”

Have you ever noticed that American political action committees for ridiculous anti-woman and anti-gay causes espoused by the right wing almost always include Family or Concerned or Parents, and pretty much have to contain the word America, and somehow the fact that they’re FOR America — as opposed to those people who are against what they stand for, who must de facto also be against America? “What, you don’t like Concerned Kitten Exploders For America? Why do you hate America!?”

The hypocrisy of the chosen title has never before been so blatantly obvious as it is here, though. These women are so terribly, terribly upset that Senator Shaheen has proposed an amendment to the defense budget bill that proposes paying for medically indicated treatments that a woman in the service might have to obtain after being raped. Services like aborting the rapist’s fetus. Services that they presently have to pay for themselves. So they wrote a letter to every senator, demanding they fight against this amendment because paying for those services are like offering women abortions “as a cure-all”. As though going after the perpetrators is somehow undermined by having compassion on the victim and not forcing her to cough up money to terminate her unwanted pregnancy.
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America’s Softest-on-Rape Sheriff

Joe Arpaio, self-styled as “America’s Toughest Sheriff”, who runs his jail like a concentration camp (and even uses the words himself!), who mistreats inmates grotesquely in torturous living conditions and abuses his power like a twisted and self-righteous god, is under fire for failing to investigate alleged sex crimes.

The Associated Press reported that between 2005 and 2007, Arpaio’s office not only failed to adequately investigate sex crimes, but in some cases never opened investigations at all — even when the suspects were known to police.

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Cain captured by Pokéball, endorses Mewtoo

Herman Cain quoted from a source he identified as “the Pokemon movie” in a speech suspending his presidential campaign Saturday.

“I believe these words came from the Pokemon movie,” Cain said. “Life can be a challenge. Life can seem impossible. It’s never easy when there’s so much on the line. But you and I can make a difference. There’s a mission just for you and me.”
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He continued: “Just look inside and you will find just what you can do.”

In previous speeches, Cain has attributed the quotation to “a poet.”

You cannot make this shit up.

Between that and his SimCity-ripoff tax plan, I might have voted for him even in spite of the facts that a) I’m Canadian, and b) he would pretty much have destroyed your country’s economy. Video game references rule.

Maddow: The Cain allegations expose systemic dismissing of sexual harassment

Rachel Maddow summarizes the case against Herman Cain in his having settled with two women for sexual harassment. Talking Points Memo put up a list of things that don’t affect the allegations that have been thrown chaff-like into the discourse to throw off the media. The summary contains choice responses from the right-wing, trying to smokescreen the allegations.
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I used to watch that petulant man-child

I have a dirty little secret to tell. When I was pretty young — 12 or so, I’d say — I’d wake up really early, at ~6:30am, and watch Rush Limbaugh before getting ready for school. With the volume very low, so I wouldn’t disturb my parents or sister, of course. This was at about the same time that I’d intentionally go to bed early as well, at about 9pm, so I could get up and watch the original Star Trek at 1am. My parents were particularly disturbed by these habits when they discovered them, but moreso by my watching Rush Limbaugh. They were appalled that I would watch such a nasty, cynical, invective-spewing bloviator.
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Pastors want more say, from pulpit, in 2012 election

From CNN’s Belief Blog:

Garlow’s sermon was part of a wider effort by the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal organization that since 2008 has hosted Pulpit Freedom Sunday, a day when they encourage and promise to protect pastors who willfully violate the Johnson Amendment and endorse from the pulpit.
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The movement is growing. While it started with 33 churches in 2008, 539 churches participated in 2011.

“We basically see Pulpit Freedom Sunday as a means of protecting a pastor’s right to speak freely from the pulpit without fearing government censorship in any way,” said Erik Stanley, ADF’s senior legal counsel and organizer of Pulpit Freedom Sunday.

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