Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Supremes Did Us Good!

I'll be the first to admit that I was totally skeptical when it came to the Supreme Court. The recent decisions that they have made have really been atrocious and I remember when it was announced that DOMA and PROP 8 were going to be decided by the Supreme Court this summer.  Jesus Christ was I wrong! Yesterday was one of the most historical days that I've ever been alive to witness. From the Washington Post:




At Supreme Court, victories for gay marriage

By Published: June 26

The Supreme Court’s first rulings on same-sex marriage produced historic gains for gay rights Wednesday: full federal recognition of legally married gay couples and an opening for such unions to resume in the nation’s most-populous state.
The divided court stopped short of a more sweeping ruling that the fundamental right to marry must be extended to gay couples no matter where they live.
But in striking down a key part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the court declared that gay couples married in states where it is legal must receive the same federal health, tax, Social Security and other benefits that heterosexual couples receive.
In turning away a case involving California’s prohibition of same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8, the justices left in place a lower court’s decision that the ban is unconstitutional. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said he would order same-sex marriages to resume as quickly as possible.
The ruling means that same-sex marriage is now sanctioned in 13 states and the District of Columbia — a list representing more than a third of the population of the United States.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joined the court’s four liberals in declaring unconstitutional DOMA’s prohibition on federal recognition of legally married couples — enacted when such unions were only theoretical.
“DOMA writes inequality into the entire United States Code,” wrote Kennedy, who was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Withholding federal recognition of same-sex married couples places them “in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage,” Kennedy wrote. “The differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects . . . and whose relationship the State has sought to dignify.”
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented.
The decisions on the final day of the term set off a loud celebration in front of the court’s marble plaza and elsewhere in the country.
Edith Windsor, a New Yorker who brought the suit against DOMA after she had to pay an estate tax following the death of her wife, Thea Spyer, said she burst into tears upon hearing the court’s decision.
“If I had to survive Thea, what a glorious way to do it, and she would be so pleased,” Windsor said at a news conference.
President Obama, whose administration said it would not defend Section 3 of DOMA, because it believed the provision was unconstitutional, called Windsor and the challengers of Prop. 8 to congratulate them.
In a statement written on Air Force One en route to Africa, Obama said,“This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents’ marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better.”
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said the House Republican leadership defended DOMA “because the constitutionality of a law should be judged by the court, not by the president unilaterally.”
He said he was “obviously disappointed” by the decision, adding, “It is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman.”
Kennedy, who will turn 77 this summer, has authored the court’s foremost defenses of gay rights. Exactly 10 years ago Wednesday, he announced the court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down sodomy laws that targeted homosexuals.
His decision Wednesday striking down a central part of DOMA cited the principles of state autonomy, equal protection and liberty.
“The state’s power in defining the marital relation is of central relevance in this case,” not just because of federalism, Kennedy said, but because giving homosexuals the right to marry “conferred upon them a dignity and status of immense import.”
He said the history of the act showed that it was written to convey moral disapproval of homosexuality and “a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the states.”
In the end, Kennedy said, “DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment.”
Kennedy wrote that the opinion was applicable only in those states where same-sex marriage is legal.
In a withering dissent, Scalia said it took “real cheek” for the majority opinion to suggest such a limitation — because the rest of the ruling, he said, laid out a road map for how to challenge state bans on gay marriage.
“What has preceded that assurance is a lecture on how superior the majority’s moral judgment in favor of same-sex marriage is to the Congress’s hateful moral judgment against it,” Scalia wrote. “I promise you this: The only thing that will ‘confine’ the court’s holding is its sense of what it can get away with.”
He said that decisions about same-sex marriage should be decided in the political arena but that the majority took that away “to buy its stolen moment in the spotlight.”
Scalia also said the court’s ruling will raise practical problems: “Imagine a pair of women who marry in Albany and then move to Alabama, which does not ‘recognize as valid any marriage of parties of the same sex.’ . . . When the couple files their next federal tax return, may it be a joint one?”
Such a case does cause a problem for the Obama administration, which is now grappling with difficult questions about how to deliver federal benefits for same-sex couples living in states that do not have legal gay marriage.
Gay activists are pressuring Obama to use his executive authority to ensure that the full range of benefits, such as the right to file federal income taxes jointly or be exempt from the marriage estate tax, be granted to married same-sex couples no matter where they live.
DOMA was passed with bipartisan majorities of Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton — who put out a statement Thursday praising its demise.
Roberts wrote separately to say the majority had no evidence that Congress’s motivation was to “codify malice. . . . I would not tar the political branches with the brush of bigotry.”
Roberts also wanted to emphasize that neither of the court’s opinions Wednesday addressed the question of whether there is a broader right to marriage.
“We may in the future have to resolve challenges to state marriage definitions affecting same-sex couples,” Roberts wrote. “That issue, however, is not before us.”
In the Proposition 8 case, the court ruled 5 to 4 that those who appealed a decision throwing out California’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage did not have legal standing to proceed. Thus, the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the case.
Only California officials may challenge a federal judge’s decision that Prop. 8 was unconstitutional, Roberts wrote for the majority, and they decided against it. The challenge at the Supreme Court was brought by those who favored Prop. 8, an initiative approved by the state’s voters.
“We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to,” Roberts wrote. “We decline to do so here.”
The four dissenters — Kennedy, Thomas, Alito and Sotomayor — were justices who would probably disagree on the merits of the case but thought the court should hear them.
They said the ballot initiative process is worthless if state officials can simply refuse to enforce what the people have voted for.
Prop. 8 was passed by California voters in 2008 after the state’s top court ruled 5 to 4 that such unions must be allowed. About 18,000 couples were married after the decision and before Prop. 8 was approved, and those marriages remain valid.
U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled broadly in 2010 that the initiative was unconstitutional. A decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit was more narrow, also overturning Prop. 8 but in a way that limited the impact to California.
The U.S. Supreme Court threw out that 9th Circuit decision, saying the appeal was not properly before it, and allowed Walker’s ruling to stand.
On Wednesday, it was almost difficult to remember how controversial it was when Theodore Olson and David Boies, adversaries at the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore, teamed up to challenge the California constitutional amendment.
Even staunch supporters of same-sex marriage thought that bringing a lawsuit to the Supreme Court that argued for a constitutional right to marriage for gays would risk a setback that could take years to overcome.
But Jeff Zarrillo, who was part of one of the two gay couples named as plaintiffs in the case, said the legal challenge “changed the conversation. It altered the game. It created a groundswell of momentum and passion that brought us here to the Supreme Court today.”
The cases decided Wednesday were U.S. v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry.

© The Washington Post Company

Monday, June 24, 2013

War on Women Passes A Major Hurdle

From congress.org

Recent House Votes
Abortion Ban – Passage - Vote Passed (228-196, 10 Not Voting)

The House detoured briefly from debating the farm bill to pass a measure that forbids abortions performed at 20 weeks after fertilization or later. The bill makes an exception for cases where the woman’s life is in danger or where rape or incest has been reported to authorities. Under the measure, physicians who violate the ban would face a maximum five-year prison sentence, fines or both. Six Republicans voted against the legislation, while six Democrats voted in favor. The justification for the 20-week limit was the belief that an unborn fetus can feel pain by 20 weeks of pregnancy. Although the medical veracity of this theory is debated, a handful of states have passed laws with the same benchmark. The White House issued a veto threat on the bill, and Democrats who control the Senate are expected to ignore the measure.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II voted NO

Alan Chambers Shameful Apology

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Where the Hell Is Our Community?

Where the Hell Is Our Community?

The president and CEO of AIDS United takes LGBT leadership to task for not prioritizing HIV/AIDS.

I've been reading And the Band Played On, and for some reason, it feels more like a commentary on today's news than a historical account of the discovery of AIDS. As I read about the emerging infections on both coasts, along with Kaposi's sarcoma and pneumonia leading to gay-related immune deficiency (GRID) -- eventually named acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) -- the pages reveal a disturbing struggle to get anyone to care about it, even the gay community, which was being hit so horribly hard.

Chapter 13, April 2, 1982: "[O]f the 300 cases in United States, 242 were gay or bisexual men, 30 were heterosexual men, 10 were heterosexual women, and 18 were men of unknown sexual orientation." Today, 31 years later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 1.1 million people are living with HIV and AIDS in the United States, and the vast majority are still gay men.

This month I was invited to participate in a meeting of more than a dozen federal legislators and a dozen leaders from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. The meeting was to talk about the LGBTQ community's political priorities.

I discovered that I was fully out of sync with my fellow national LGBTQ leaders. The conversation went something like this: Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), DOMA, DOMA, ENDA, immigration, DOMA, ENDA. Had I not been there, I truly believe that HIV would have never been mentioned at all.

Don't get me wrong: I believe that gay marriage, employment nondiscrimination and reforming immigration laws as they pertain to same-sex couples are worthy battles and should be priorities. But I'm heartbroken that HIV/AIDS has fallen off the gay radar. In fact, it hasn't mrely fallen off; it's been politely removed! It feels like it has been set aside because it requires conversations about more difficult topics, like sex, drugs and poverty, unlike the less-complicated message of love that is the cornerstone of the marriage talking points. We've de-sexed "gay" to win political wars about marriage and, as a result, abandoned confronting a sexually transmitted infection that is devastating our community.

In 2011, with an estimated 49,273 new HIV infections in the U.S., some 31,890 were among men who have sex with men, according to the CDC. In some major cities, CDC-funded research estimates that as many as 20 percent of all men who have sex with men are now HIV-positive. And if you break that down to race, I've heard it said that the chances of a young black man who has sex with men becoming HIV-positive before he is 50 is close to 1 in 2. Gay men are the only community that continues to see an increase in new infections.

Where the hell is our community?

Chapter 15, 1982: "[Marcus] Conant ... had the knowhow and resources to conquer this disease ... We could win the fight, but nobody is willing to make the effort or even acknowledge there is a battle out there to be won." To be sure, years later, the battle became clear, and resources were mobilized. As infections spread to the more "valued" among us, like hemophiliacs, "innocent" children and heterosexuals, America took note. By 1990 the Ryan White Act was passed, and systems of care began to grow. But it wasn't until the last three years that the statement "we can win the fight" became true, at least in my opinion. Today, thanks to research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), we know that early treatment can reduce sexual transmission by 96 percent. We know that if we truly scaled up testing, told every member of our community, "You need to know your status, and you need to be part of the solution," and helped those who are infected get into care, we could probably half the infections in no time.

But instead, our community has decided that we can live with this, I think. We can all take pills when it gets bad and manage as we need. Folks are living longer, treatments work, and, yes, I can still do my job, have sex and be loved. But let us not forget that the lifetime treatment cost is estimated to be over $350,000 per infection. Every day we are diverting billions from our own community to take care of that virus that we dare not stop. Let us not forget that 15,000 folks still die every year after living with an HIV-positive diagnosis. Each year 9,000 men who have sex with men who previously lived with HIV are now dead. We're losing more gay and bisexual men with HIV each year across the U.S than the average gay pride festival often dreams of pulling in.

Our community has decided to live with this, not talk about it, but live with it. Heads held high as we fight for gay marriage, employment nondiscrimination and so much more, but please, just please don't talk about sex, let alone AIDS! The thing is that we don't have to live with HIV. I mean some of us do -- I do -- but as a community, we can end this. We can all know our HIV status tomorrow, we can get into treatment, and we can be the ones who write the last chapter of this epidemic, the ones who finally stop the band from playing on and on.

Of course we gay people deserve the same rights like marriage and employment nondiscrimination! Heck, I want that. But let's not kid ourselves: Some in our community will pick that monogamous relationship, but others will not. And the vast majority will not go "straight" to marriage, do not pass dating, but instead will become part of that growing pool of young gay men in major cities, that pool in which one in five is now infected. We can live with this, but we don't have to. We can change it when our community as a whole says, "Not knowing your status is unacceptable," and, "Getting linked to care is as important as flying the rainbow flag."

We can end this epidemic, but until our community talks about it, makes it a priority, says, "HIV is at the top of our agenda," I fear we will only see more generations of young gay men becoming infected. I fear that the band will indeed be playing on and on and on.

Where the hell is our community?

Michael Kaplan is president and CEO of AIDS United. This article originally was published on The Huffington Post.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Letter from the President -- Regarding the War Powers Resolution


The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
June 14, 2013

Letter from the President -- Regarding the War Powers Resolution

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

I am providing this supplemental consolidated report, prepared by my Administration and consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), as part of my efforts to keep the Congress informed about deployments of U.S. Armed Forces equipped for combat.

MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SUPPORT OF U.S. COUNTERTERRORISM OBJECTIVES

In furtherance of U.S. counterterrorism efforts, the United States continues to work with partners around the globe, with a particular focus on the U.S. Central Command's and U.S. Africa Command's areas of responsibility. In this context, the United States has deployed U.S. combat-equipped forces to enhance the counterterrorism capabilities and support the counterterrorism operations of our friends and allies, including special operations and other forces for sensitive operations in various locations around the world. Specific information about counterterrorism deployments to select countries is provided below, and a classified annex to this report provides further information.

Military Operations Against al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, and Associated Forces and in Support of Related U.S. Counterterrorism Objectives

Since October 7, 2001, the United States has conducted combat operations in Afghanistan against al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, and associated forces. In support of these and other overseas operations, the United States has deployed combat-equipped forces to a number of locations in the U.S. Central, Pacific, European, Southern, and Africa Command areas of operation. Previously, such operations and deployments have been reported, consistent with Public Law 107-40 and the War Powers Resolution, and operations and deployments remain ongoing. These operations, which the United States has carried out with the assistance of numerous international partners, have been successful in seriously degrading al-Qa'ida's capabilities and brought an end to the Taliban's leadership of Afghanistan. The United States is committed to thwarting the efforts of al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, and associated forces to carry out future acts of international terrorism, and we have continued to work with our counterterrorism partners to disrupt and degrade the capabilities of al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, and associated forces. As necessary, in response to this terrorist threat, I will direct additional measures to protect U.S. citizens and interests. It is not possible to know at this time the precise scope or the duration of the deployments of U.S. Armed Forces necessary to counter this terrorist threat to the United States.

Afghanistan. United States Armed Forces continue to pursue and engage remaining al-Qa'ida and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan while transitioning to an Afghan security lead. The Afghanistan Force Management Level is approximately 62,000 U.S. forces. Approximately 49,000 of these forces are assigned to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Further Presidentially directed force reductions will continue to the 34,000 level by February 12, 2014.

The U.N. Security Council most recently reaffirmed its authorization of ISAF for a 12-month period until October 13, 2013, in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2069 (October 9, 2012). The mission of ISAF, under NATO command and in partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for international terrorists. Fifty nations, including the United States and all 28 NATO members, contribute forces to ISAF. These forces broke Taliban momentum and trained additional Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). The ANSF are now increasingly assuming responsibility for security on the timeline committed to at the 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon, and renewed at the Summit in Chicago, by the United States, our NATO allies, ISAF partners, and the Government of Afghanistan. The nations contributing to ISAF will continue to support Afghanistan on its path towards self-reliance in security, improved governance, and economic and social development. This path will prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a safe haven for terrorists that threaten Afghanistan, the region, and the world.

On March 25, 2013, the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Afghan government under which the United States transferred all Afghan nationals detained by U.S. forces in Afghanistan to the custody and control of the Afghan government. Pursuant to the MOU, any new Afghan detainees are to be transferred to Afghan custody and control within 96 hours after capture. United States forces in Afghanistan continue to detain approximately 66 third-country nationals under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40), as informed by the law of war.

Somalia. In Somalia, the U.S. military has worked to counter the terrorist threat posed by al-Qa'ida and associated elements of al-Shabaab. As detailed in my report of January 13, 2013, and at my direction, on January 11, 2013, U.S. combat aircraft briefly entered Somali airspace and U.S. forces provided limited technical support to French forces conducting an operation in Somalia in which they attempted to rescue a French citizen being held hostage by al-Shabaab.

Yemen. The U.S. military has also been working closely with the Yemeni government to dismantle operationally and ultimately eliminate the terrorist threat posed by al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the most active and dangerous affiliate of al-Qa'ida today. Our joint efforts have resulted in direct action against a limited number of AQAP operatives and senior leaders in Yemen who posed a terrorist threat to the United States and our interests.

Cuba. Combat-equipped forces, deployed since January 2002 to the Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, continue to conduct humane and secure detention operations for the approximately 166 detainees at Guantanamo Bay under the authority provided by the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) as informed by the law of war.

Military Operations in Niger in Support of U.S. Counterterrorism Objectives

As detailed in my report of February 22, 2013, and at my direction, on February 20, 2013, the last elements of a deployment of 40 additional U.S. military personnel entered Niger with the consent of the Government of Niger. This deployment provides support for intelligence collection and facilitates intelligence sharing with French forces conducting operations in Mali, and with other partners in the region. The total number of U.S. military personnel deployed to Niger is approximately 180.

MILITARY OPERATIONS IN CENTRAL AFRICA

In October and November 2011, U.S. military personnel with appropriate combat equipment deployed to Uganda to serve as advisors to regional forces that are working to apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and other senior Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leaders from the battlefield, and to protect local populations. The total number of U.S. military personnel deployed for this mission, including those providing logistical and support functions, is approximately 100. United States forces are working with select partner nation forces to enhance cooperation, information-sharing and synchronization, operational planning, and overall effectiveness. Elements of these U.S. forces have deployed to forward locations in the LRA-affected areas of the Republic of South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic to enhance regional efforts against the LRA. These forces will not engage LRA forces except in self-defense. It is in the U.S. national security interest to help our regional partners in Africa to develop their capability to address threats to regional peace and security, including the threat posed by the LRA. The United States is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to help the governments and people of this region in their efforts to end the threat posed by the LRA and to address the impact of the LRA's atrocities.

MARITIME INTERCEPTION OPERATIONS

As noted in previous reports, the United States remains prepared to conduct maritime interception operations on the high seas in the areas of responsibility of each of the geographic combatant commands. These maritime operations are aimed at stopping the movement, arming, and financing of certain international terrorist groups, and also include operations aimed at stopping proliferation by sea of weapons of mass destruction and related materials. As detailed in my report of January 28, 2013, and at my direction, on January 23, 2013, a U.S. Navy warship with Yemeni Coast Guard personnel aboard entered Yemeni territorial waters, at the invitation of the Government of Yemen, to assist the Government of Yemen in intercepting and inspecting a vessel suspected of smuggling contraband into Yemen. Upon boarding and searching the vessel, a combined U.S. and Yemeni team discovered various conventional weapons and explosives, apparently of Iranian origin, concealed within the vessel. The vessel was escorted to Aden and turned over to the Yemeni Coast Guard on January 30, 2013.

MILITARY OPERATIONS IN EGYPT

Approximately 690 military personnel are assigned to the U.S. contingent of the Multinational Force and Observers, which have been present in Egypt since 1981.

U.S./NATO OPERATIONS IN KOSOVO

The U.N. Security Council authorized Member States to establish a NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) in Resolution 1244 on June 10, 1999. The original mission of KFOR was to monitor, verify, and, when necessary, enforce compliance with the Military Technical Agreement between NATO and the then-Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Serbia), while maintaining a safe and secure environment. Today, KFOR deters renewed hostilities in cooperation with local authorities, bilateral partners, and international institutions. The principal military tasks of KFOR forces are to help maintain a safe and secure environment and to ensure freedom of movement throughout Kosovo.

Currently, 23 NATO Allies contribute to KFOR. Seven non-NATO countries also participate. The United States contribution to KFOR is approximately 750 U.S. military personnel out of the total strength of approximately 5,165 personnel.

REGIONAL SECURITY OPERATIONS

As detailed in my report of December 14, 2012, the security forces that deployed to Libya on September 12, 2012, and the security forces deployed to Yemen on September 13, 2012, to support the security of U.S. personnel remain in place and will remain until the security situation no longer requires them. On May 17, 2013, approximately 30 additional U.S. forces deployed to Libya to further support the security of U.S. personnel in Libya.

As detailed in my report of December 29, 2012, due to the deteriorating security situation in the Central African Republic and the potential threat to U.S. citizens, U.S. embassy personnel and several private U.S. citizens were evacuated on December 27, 2012, from Bangui, Central African Republic. On December 27, 2012, a standby response and evacuation force of approximately 50 U.S. military personnel from U.S. Africa Command deployed to Chad to support the evacuation of U.S. embassy personnel and U.S. citizens from the Central African Republic. The last of those forces departed Chad on December 29, 2012. Additional information about regional security operations is provided in the classified annex.

I have directed the participation of U.S. Armed Forces in all of these operations pursuant to my constitutional and statutory authority as Commander in Chief (including the authority to carry out Public Law 107-40 and other statutes) and as Chief Executive, as well as my constitutional and statutory authority to conduct the foreign relations of the United States. Officials of my Administration and I communicate regularly with the leadership and other Members of Congress with regard to these deployments, and we will continue to do so.

Sincerely,

BARACK OBAMA

I Am Trayvon Martin

Zimmerman:

We’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy. It’s Retreat View Circle. The best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle.

This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about. [00:25]

911 dispatcher:
OK, is he White, Black, or Hispanic?

Zimmerman:
He looks black.

911 dispatcher:
Did you see what he was wearing?

Zimmerman:
Yeah, a dark hoodie like a gray hoodie. He wore jeans or sweat pants and white tennis shoes. He’s here now … he’s just staring. [00:42]

911 dispatcher:
He’s just walking around the area, the houses? OK.

Zimmerman:
Now he’s staring at me. [00:48]

911 dispatcher:

OK, you said that’s 1111 Retreat View or 111?

Zimmerman:

That’s the clubhouse.

911 dispatcher:

He’s near the clubhouse now?

Zimmerman:

Yeah, now he’s coming toward me. He’s got his hands in his waist band.

And he’s a black male.[1:03]

911 dispatcher:

How old would you say he is?

Zimmerman:

He’s got something on his shirt. About like his late teens.

911 dispatcher:

Late teens?

Zimmerman:

Uh, huh.

Something’s wrong with him. Yep, he’s coming to check me out.

He’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is. [01:20]

911 dispatcher:

Let me know if he does anything, OK?

Zimmerman:

OK.

911 dispatcher:

We’ve got him on the wire. Just let me know if this guy does anything else.

Zimmerman:

OK.

These assholes. They always get away.

When you come to the clubhouse, you come straight in and you go left. Actually, you would go past the clubhouse. [1:39]

911 dispatcher:

OK, so it’s on the left hand side of the clubhouse?

Zimmerman:

Yeah. You go in straight through the entrance and then you would go left. You go straight in, don’t turn and make a left.

He’s running. [2:08]

911 dispatcher:

He’s running? Which way is he running?

Zimmerman:

Down toward the other entrance of the neighborhood. [2:14]

911 dispatcher:

OK, which entrance is that he’s headed towards?

Zimmerman:

The back entrance.

[It sounds like Zimmerman says under his breath, ‘F-ing coons’ at 2:22]

NOTE:

[Listen here at 1:17 for CNN's edited frame]
[Read CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin's explanation of why the use of a racial slur is critical in this case.]
911 dispatcher:

Are you following him? [2:24]

Zimmerman:

Yeah. [2:25]

911 dispatcher:

OK.

We don’t need you to do that. [2:26]

Zimmerman:

OK. [2:28]

911 dispatcher:

Alright, sir, what is your name? [2:34]

Zimmerman:

George. He ran.

911 dispatcher:

Alright, George, what’s your last name?

Zimmerman:

Zimmerman.

911 dispatcher:

What’s the phone number you’re calling from?

Zimmerman:

407-435-2400

911 dispatcher:

Alright, George, we do have them on the way. Do you want to meet with the officer when they get out there?

Zimmerman:

Yeah.

911 dispatcher:

Alright, where are you going to meet with them at?

Zimmerman:

Um, if they come in through the gate, tell them to go straight past the clubhouse and, uh, straight past the clubhouse and make a left and then go past the mailboxes you’ll see my truck. [3:10]

911 dispatcher:

Alright, what address are you parked in front of? [3:21]

Zimmerman:

Um, I don’t know. It’s a cut-through so I don’t know the address. [3:25]

911 dispatcher:

OK, do you live in the area?

Zimmerman:

Yeah, yeah, I live here.

911 dispatcher:

OK, what’s your apartment number?

Zimmerman:

It’s a home. It’s 1950 – oh, crap, I don’t want to give it out – I don’t know where this kid is [inaudible] [3:40]

911 dispatcher:

OK, do you just want to meet with them at the mailboxes then? [3:42]

Zimmerman:

Yeah, that’s fine. [3:43]

911 dispatcher:

Alright, George, I’ll let them know you’ll meet them at …

Zimmerman:

Could you have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at? [3:49]

911 dispatcher:

OK, that’s no problem.

Zimmerman:

My number … you’ve got it?

911 dispatcher:

Yeah, I’ve got it. 435-2400?

Zimmerman:

Yeah, you got it.

911 dispatcher:

OK, no problem. I’ll let them know to call you when they’re in the area. [4:02]

Zimmerman:

Thanks.

911 dispatcher:

You’re welcome.

Call ends 4:07

Friday, June 7, 2013

The best pic

It was difficult tonight because it was still light out but I could still see it.

In about a half an hour the iss will fly over kansas city

OhTheBill (@ohthebill) tweeted at 2:15 PM on Fri, Jun 07, 2013: It seems more clear for tonight: Time: Fri Jun 07 9:16 PM, Visible: 6 min, Max Height: 62 degrees, Appears: WSW, Disappears: NE @NASA (https://twitter.com/ohthebill/status/343083690391392259) Get the official Twitter app at https://twitter.com/download

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Young People View GOP As Rigid, Racist Dinosaurs


I so love crooks and liars. They speak the truth. Here an article from today about how the younger generations despise the gop.

June 03, 2013 05:00 PM

Young People View GOP As Rigid, Racist Dinosaurs
By karoli

Republicans have a bigger problem than whether to go after the president for Benghazi or the IRS. In a report commissioned by the College Republicans, young people are overwhelmingly negative about the GOP, calling them "racist, rigid and old-fashioned."

Here are some interesting quotes from the report, which you can download here.

Who will try harder?

For those respondents who said they approved fo the job Obama had been doing as president, the number one word they used? "Trying." He was trying. Young voters were disappointed in Obama's performance but gave him credit for attempting to improve the situation. In our focus groups, many respondents strongly defended President Obama even while acknowledging the mediocrity of the last four years. And when it came to "trying," they doubted Republicans would do any better; that same survey showed only one in four young people thought Mitt Romney would put into place policies that would make it easier for young people to get jobs.
Health Care

In the August XG survey, young voters handed Democrats a heavy advantage on the issue, preferring their handling of health care to Republicans' by a 63-37 margin...repealing Obamacare had the second lowest number of young people saying they thought it would make them better off (37 percent)...

Many of of the young people in our focus groups noted that they thought everyone in America should have access to health coverage.

Student Loan Debt

Student loans are seen as a weight around the necks of young voters, an obstacle that prevents them from achieving their goals.
Abortion

Unfortunately for the GOP, the Republican Party has been painted -- both by Democrats and by unhelpful voices in our own ranks -- as holding the most extreme anti-abortion position (that it should be prohibited in all cases). Furthermore, the issue of protecting life has been conflated with issues around the definition of rape, funding for Planned Parenthood, and even contraception.

Same-sex Marriage

Yet it was unmistakable in the focus groups that gay marriage was a reason many of these young voters disliked the GOP. As one young man in our Columbus focus group put it, "In this last election, everyone said that the biggest issue was the economy. I think to a lot of people that definitely was the case, but that comes to things we talked about earlier, where you can agree with so much of their things, but if there is just that one thing -- a lot of those social issues that you can't get behind -- and see, everything is in two buckets, and if one of those things in those buckets is something you just can't agree with then [it doesn't] matter what else is there, economic or otherwise.
General perception of the GOP

Asked which words least described the GOP, respondents gravitated toward "open-minded" (35%), "tolerant" (25%), "caring" (22%), and "cooperative" (21%).
Immigration and Demographics

The issue of the Republican Party's challenges with the youth vote and the part's challenges with non-white voters are inseparable.

I don't see these things changing any time soon. Marco Rubio is already stepping away from his bold posture on immigration while the House of Representatives repeals Obamacare yet again. This isn't a branding problem; it's a leadership and funding problem. As long as old-fashioned rigid bigots hold the pursestrings, that party isn't going to change in a way that would attract young voters now or in the near future.