Joe Biden on “Meet the Press” made it clear that he supports the right of LGBT people to marry, and that they should have the same rights as everyone else. A lot of hay is being made of this, tending to fall along the lines of ‘the White House is pissed’ – I don’t think that’s so – , ‘he misspoke’ – I’d definitely say he didn’t – to ‘puts pressure on Obama’ and ‘trial balloon’ – which may bear some truth.
I don’t tend to think it’s any of these things.
While Biden is famous (or infamous) for being plain spoken, I don’t see this as something that just slipped. I think we’re seeing a definite shift. And then there’s this: On Monday, May 14th, there’s a Ricky Martin hosted fundraiser for Barack Obama at New York’s Rubin Museum. Ricky Martin is of course openly gay and the event “is a joint production of Obama for America, the LGBT Leadership Council and the Futuro Fund”.
Long story short, I think we’re about to see Obama come out in support of gay marriage. I could of course be wrong, but it’s looking that way to me.
Good for him!
• Obama Camp: Romney Should Have Stood Up To ‘Treason’ Charge : The Obama campaign is highlighting an awkward moment from Mitt Romney’s Ohio town hall today in which he took a question from a woman who said the president should be “tried for treason,” without condemning the line. They also accused Ohio state auditor Dave Yost, who introduced Romney, of attacking the Obama family by accusing the president of “fly[ing] to New York just to have a date night with your spouse.” “Today we saw Mitt Romney’s version of leadership: standing by silently as his chief surrogate attacked the President’s family at the event and another supporter alleged that the President should be tried for treason,” Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement. “Time after time in this campaign, Mitt Romney has had the opportunity to show that he has the fortitude to stand up to hateful and over-the-line rhetoric and time after time, he has failed to do so. If this is the ‘leadership’ he has shown on the campaign trail, what can the American people expect of him as commander-in-chief?” [talkingpointsmemo/07 May 2012]
• Romney: ‘I’ll Take A Lot Of Credit’ For The Auto Industry’s Comeback… Since penning a 2008 op-ed calling for letting Detroit go bankrupt, Romney has desperately tried to spin the eventual auto rescue as his idea
• More North Carolina Republicans Go Birther: Certificate Is A ‘Poorly Reproduced Forgery’: Now, the Observer reports that Dr. John Whitley, one of Hudson’s opponents in tomorrow’s GOP primary, has also gone birther. He declared Obama’s birth certificate a “poorly reproduced forgery” after comparing it to the Hawaiian birth certificate of one of his campaign workers. “There is a tremendous amount of smoke here,” Whitley said. “In fact, it’s called a smoke screen.” [thinkprogress/Alex Seitz-Wald/07 May 2012]
• President Obama: Women Should ‘Control Their Own Health Choices’: In the kickoff of his 2012 campaign last weekend, President Obama attacked Republicans for starting a “political fight” over abortion and contraception. Speaking to a crowd in Columbus, Ohio, the President said, “We don’t need another political fight about ending a woman’s right to choose, or getting rid of Planned Parenthood — or taking away access to affordable birth control. I want women to control their own health choices, just like I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as your sons.” [thinkprogress/07 May 2012]
• PROPAGANDA ALERT?: Dead Babies’ Flesh Found Smuggled In Drug Capsules: SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has seized thousands of smuggled drug capsules filled with powdered flesh from dead babies, which some people believe can cure disease, officials said Monday. The capsules were made in northeastern China from babies whose bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder, the Korea Customs Service said. Customs officials refused to say where the dead babies came from or who made the capsules, citing possible diplomatic friction with Beijing. Chinese officials ordered an investigation into the production of drugs made from dead fetuses or newborns last year. [huffingtonpost/HYUNG-JIN KIM/07 May 2012]
• After War Room, Heading Ivy League Classroom: General McChrystal’s seminar on leadership is nearly as hard to get into as Yale itself: this past semester some 200 students applied for a coveted 20 spots. …Some faculty members at Yale remain opposed to a retired celebrity general who does not hold their union card, a Ph.D., teaching at a civilian university, and say they are uncomfortable with his history of driving the secret commando raids that killed so many people in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also point out that the wars of the last decade have been unpopular on campus. …Not that General McChrystal or Admirals Mullen and Olson are teaching military history. In General McChrystal’s recent seminar, open to both undergraduates and graduates, two hours was spent discussing how leadership was important to solving problems like apartheid. Like all his sessions, it was off the record — students are not supposed to talk about it outside class — because General McChrystal wanders into anecdotes about sensitive operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. [nytimes/ELISABETH BUMILLER/06 May 2012]
• Why America’s Rich People Are Better Than Everyone Else’s: A remarkable story appeared in Newsweek recently, a celebration by author Daniel Gross of America’s re-emergence as the strongest economy and best darn nation in the world. An underlying theme in the article, implicit in the grandiose descriptions of our post-recession growth, is that all American lives must be improving because of the magic of our “resilient and nimble private sector.” The Newsweek reader might have been reminded of the wisdom of Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd Blankfein: “Everybody should be, frankly, happy…the financial system led us into the crisis and it will lead us out.” It sure is nice to feel good about ourselves. But it’s more important to be thorough with the facts. Only a small percentage of Americans have benefited from the economic resurgence. The people with money are congratulating themselves while remaining disdainfully isolated from the real world all around them. [nationofchange/Paul Buchheit/07 May 2012]
• France, Greece Turn Out Austerity Leadership In Electoral Rout: Europe is at a crossroads now, and you can rest assured that the Powers That Be will be trying to influence the new leadership in whatever friendly way they can to change their minds about austerity – and in some not-so-friendly ways as well. The reality is, governments usually do what the IMF and the World Bank “persuade” them to do. The persuading has probably already begun [crooksandliars/Susie Madrak/07 May 2012]
• Imagine a world in which politicians dictate to doctors that they must lie to their patients. Actually you don’t have to. The Kansas House of representative passed this law today.
• AP: CIA Breaks Up Plot To Blow Up U.S.-Bound Airliner: The AP is reporting that the CIA has thwarted “an ambitious” plot in Yemen by al Qaeda to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner around the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death. The plot reportedly “involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009.” The AP says it “learned about the thwarted plot last week but agreed to White House and CIA requests not to publish it immediately because the sensitive intelligence operation was still under way.” [thinkprogress/Ben Armbruster/07 May 2012]