counter statistics

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Minnesota DOMA Should Be Challenged and Thrown Out in Court

From Pam's House Blend comments:

A Missouri DOMA was struck down for the same reason, though another one replaced it (and, IMHO, the current Minnesota DOMA is vulnerable to a similar challenge; it was inserted into a mammoth bill that does not really appear to have anything to do with marriage.)

I wasn't following the legislature that closely when DOMA passed. If DOMA was attached to non-related legislation, that would be the way to get it overturned in court.

Norm Coleman on the Federal Marriage Amendment


Coleman says today’s vote fails to prevent activist judges from continuing to redefine marriage

June 7th, 2006 - Washington, D.C. - Senator Norm Coleman today expressed his disappointment that the Marriage Protection Amendment was prevented from being debated on the Senate floor. Coleman strongly believes that the institution of marriage is intended to be between one man and one woman, and in turn, cast his vote in favor of moving the bill forward in the legislative process to ensure the institution of marriage is protected from activist judges who seek a redefinition. The measure failed by a vote of 49 to 48.

“Today we had the opportunity to protect states from activist judges who take it upon themselves to legislate from the bench, and unfortunately the process was not allowed to move forward,” said Coleman. “This amendment would have put this issue back in the hands of the voters of each state.”

The Marriage Protection Amendment resolution would state that marriage shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman, and would clarify that courts cannot require states to define marriage otherwise.


Mitch Berg on Norm Coleman's "Unconventional Marriage":

It’s been an open secret forever in Saint Paul and Minnesota politics; Norm and his wife have a rather unconventional marriage. Schultz is being disingenuous if he claims this is some big revelation (or, equally likely, the dim little bulb inside his thick little head hasn’t quite quite figured it out yet, and his prime directive, “blow hard first, ask questions later”, is in control).


Some liberal bloggers say Laurie Coleman's presence in a campaign ad was faked. They say she used what's called a "green screen", and wasn't even in the same room as her husband. A green screen can be used to superimpose backgrounds to make it appear that a person is somewhere he or she is not.

Bloggers say the Coleman campaign was making the Colemans' relationship appear to be something it isn't. The Coleman campaign moved quickly to prove the bloggers wrong.

The campaign allowed outtakes of the commercial to be released. The outtakes clearly show Laurie Coleman was there for the filming. But in cyberspace the debate rages on.

"By putting Laurie Coleman in this ad, the Coleman campaign has invited scrutiny on an issue they thought was long forgotten," said Professor Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey Institute.

Laurie Coleman is an actress, model and entrepreneur whose career has led to her spend time out of state.

"It is not OK in our book to attack the senator's wife," said Erin Rath of the Coleman campaign.

Campaign staffers are indignant over any suggestion that Laurie Coleman is anything but a devoted wife and mother who juggles career, husband and two grown kids.

"Norm and Laurie Coleman have been married for 27 years. They have lived in the same house on the same street in St. Paul for 20 years," said Rath.

However, Jacobs said the ad is a gift for the struggling Franken campaign.

"They have now launched an ad that's taken the attention away from Al Franken and put it right on Senator Coleman," said Jacobs.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Math Teaching Wars

Interesting post on Scienceblogs.

I've been getting peppered with requests to comment on a recent argument that's been going on about math education, particularly with respect to multiplication. We've got a fairly prominent guy named Keith Devlin ranting that "multiplication is not repeated addition". I've been getting mail from both sides of this - from people who basically say "This guy's an idiot - of course it's repeated addition", and from people who say "Look how stupid these people are that they don't understand that multiplication isn't repeated addition".

In general, I'm mostly inclined to agree with him, with some major caveats. But since he sidesteps the real fundamental issue here, I'm rather annoyed with him.

You see, the argument isn't really about multiplication, but about math education. The argument isn't really about whether multiplication is repeated addition - it's about whether or not we should teach kids to understand multiplication as repeated addition. And that's a tricky question, because the answer is both yes and no.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Suggested Theme Song for McCain's Campaign

What do others think?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How Long

Did it take the Peter to find this?

Al Franken and Ashwin Madia Target Gay Contributors

Several weeks ago, Al Franken had an ad on Pam's House Blend that had a simple message: "Give Money". Franken gave no reason for people to give money. I found the ad very tacky.

Ashwin Madia is using a much smarter approach to targetting gays for contributions. He published an article on a well read gay blog with a national following about how he successfully defended a gay service man who was discharged under DADT on the eve of hearings about DADT. He cross posted the article on MN Campaign Report. Joe Bodell commented that Madia was being courageous by publishing this article. When polling shows that significant majorities in all segments of the population except for the Leviticus crowd support repealing this policy, it is NOT courageous to take a public stand against it. It's smart politics.

That doesn't take away the fact that Madia makes a strong case for his history of accomplishment in this area. I would predict that his opponent Erik Paulsen, would support the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

The difference between Franken's and Madia's approach is that Franken begs for money without giving a reason to contribute, while Madia gives his audience a reason to contribute.

National Review's Deroy Murdoch: Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Make Sense

National Review:

Today’s hearing of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel will consider what to do about this policy. Here is a simple idea.

“Don’t Ask” should yield to equality: Sexual orientation should be irrelevant while inappropriate sexual conduct — gay, straight, or otherwise — should be punished. Our enemies are Islamofascists who murder Americans, not gay patriots who unravel terrorist plots and introduce jihadists to Allah.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a Clinton-era relic. It belongs in the Museum of the 1990s, wedged between the Nirvana CDs and shares of WorldCom stock.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Oh My!

More pearl clutching.

SLDN Press Release: DADT Hearings

Service Members Defense League:

Press Releases
Adam Ebbin
Director of Communications
(202) 621-5416
(202) 797-1635

July 16, 2008
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Hearing to be Held
Washington, DC - On July 23 the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the impact of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law banning service by openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service members. The hearing will be the first since Congress enacted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” fifteen years ago.

“This hearing begins a conversation about the national security impact of losing qualified, capable service members,” said Aubrey Sarvis, Executive Director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) “We commend Congresswoman Susan Davis, Chair of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, for her leadership in reviewing this obsolete law.”

Scheduled to testify against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are U.S. Army Major General Vance Coleman (Ret.), U.S. Navy Captain Joan E. Darrah (Ret.), and former Marine Staff Sgt. Eric F. Alva.

General Coleman, who served as a Division Commander, sits on the SLDN Military Advisory Council. His decorations include the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Captain Darrah’s assignments included serving as Deputy Director of the Human Resources Directorate at the Office of Naval Intelligence. A graduate of the Naval War College, she also belongs to the SLDN Military Advisory Council.

Sergeant Alva was the first American wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served in the Marine Corps for 13 years.

Since its implementation in 1993, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has resulted in the dismissal of more than 12,500 men and women from the armed forces. Nearly 800 of those dismissed under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” had skills deemed 'mission-critical' by the Department of Defense. More than 300 of those discharged were language specialists, including 58 Arabic linguists. The cost to U.S. taxpayers for maintaining the ban is estimated at more than $363 million.

“’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ hurts military readiness and unit cohesion by discharging some of our best and brightest military personnel,” added Sarvis. “With America’s armed forces stretched thin, we urgently need a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and the passage of H.R. 1246, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which permits lesbian, gay and bisexual open service without discrimination.”

The hearing is scheduled to be held on July 23 at 2 PM in Room 2118 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

I'd like to see the Senate hold hearings also. Amy Klobuchar is not willing to sign on to legislation to repeal the ban on gays serving in the military. Why did she get endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign and Stonewall DFL?

Elwyn Tinklenberg has committed to co-sponsoring legislation to repeal DADT should he get elected to the house.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows a sizable majority supports allowing gays to serve openly.

Seventy-five percent of Americans in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll said gay people who are open about their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, up from 62 percent in early 2001 and 44 percent in 1993.

Majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents alike now believe it is acceptable for openly gay people to serve in the U.S. armed forces. Shortly after he took office in 1993, Clinton faced strong resistance to his campaign pledge to lift the military's ban on allowing gay people to enlist. At that time, 67 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of conservatives opposed the idea. A majority of independents, 56 percent, and 45 percent of Democrats also opposed changing the policy.

Today, Americans have become more supportive of allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the armed forces. Support from Republicans has doubled over the past 15 years, from 32 to 64 percent. More than eight in 10 Democrats and more than three-quarters of independents now support the idea, as did nearly two-thirds of self-described conservatives.

I encourage Lloydletta readers to call and write your representatives. Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum and Jim Oberstar are co-sponsoring the bill to repeal DADT. Several years ago, when I questioned John Kline about the topic, he said he thought gays should not be able to serve in the military at all (even if closeted). I asked him how he would enforce such a policy, and he didn't have an answer to that.

I also encourage people to write Senator Coleman and Klobuchar asking them to co-sponsor a measure like this in the Senate. This should be a no-brainer.

Monday, July 21, 2008

James Dobson Now Changing His Mind on John McCain

But where else is he going to go? Pam Spauling has the story.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Field Poll Says Majority of California Residents Oppose Constitutional Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage

San Diego Tribune:

SACRAMENTO – Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in California, is opposed by 51 percent of likely voters with 42 percent in favor, according to a new Field Poll.

AdvertisementThose results put the proposed ban in a politically perilous position in the Nov. 4 election, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the nonpartisan Field Poll.
“Starting out behind is usually an ominous sign for a proposition,” DiCamillo said. “Over 90 percent of propositions that start out behind get taken down.”

Typically, ballot measures start out ahead, but become less popular as the opposition campaign begins raising questions and creating doubt, he said.

Proposition 8
Limit on Marriage Constitutional Amendment “provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”


51% | 42%

Source: Field Poll

Proposition 8 has attracted nationwide interest, with some analysts estimating that it will generate more than $30 million in total campaign spending.

The poll is the first to question voters using the measure's exact language. But the results are similar to a Field Poll on the same topic in May, shortly after the California Supreme Court overturned laws that prohibited same-sex marriage.

That poll found that for the first time, a slim majority of California voters supported same-sex marriages being legal, 51 percent to 42 percent.

The new poll found a predictable partisan division: Republicans support the constitutional ban 68 percent to 27 percent while Democrats oppose it 63 percent to 30 percent. Nonpartisan and minor-party members are even more strongly against it, 66 percent to 27 percent.

DiCamillo said he was not surprised that unaffiliated voters opposed Proposition 8 more than Democrats because those voters tend to be younger than Democrats or Republicans.

This and other polls generally have found that support for same-sex marriage tends to be stronger among younger voters. “I think they are more open and tolerant on these issues,” DiCamillo said.

However, the recent poll found the opposition to the ban strongest among voters between 50 and 64 years old, with 57 percent opposed and 38 percent in support.