Washington State Will Pass Gay Marriage, 7th State To Pass Civil Rights Measure

This is the future.

Washington lawmakers announced Monday that they have the necessary votes to pass a measure legalizing gay marriage, making it the seventh state to do so.

Democratic state Senator Mary Margaret Haugen announced Monday that she will support the measure, becoming the 25th vote needed to pass the bill out of the Senate. The House already has enough support, and Washington state Governor Chris Gregoire has endorsed the plan.

Then there is this quote that I find very uplifting.

“I have very strong Christian beliefs, and personally I have always said when I accepted the Lord, I became more tolerant of others,” Democratic Sen. Margaret Haugen said in a statement posted on her website. “I stopped judging people and try to live by the Golden Rule. This is part of my decision. I do not believe it is my role to judge others, regardless of my personal beliefs.”

Teabaggers Want To Remove Slavery From School Texbooks

Teabaggers want to censor textbooks.

I have loved reading history since childhood, so I am not sure if I should snicker at this or chalk it up to another mission for the lowest common-denominator crowd.

Multiple Tea Party members, including lead spokesman Hal Rounds, say they want the state legislature to force teachers to teach history in the way they see it. In other words, they want to re-write history to exclude the fact that the Founding Fathers owned slaves, because according to The Memphis Commercial Appeal, the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.”

The group wants to change textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.” It’s a fancy way of saying let’s take the role of minorities out of our American history textbooks so our past leaders will look good.

The Tea Party wants to whitewash American history as if the Founding Fathers were perfect in everything they ever did, which simply isn’t true. The Founding Fathers were great men but they had flaws. They owned slaves, they allowed slavery to be legal and yes, they did that despite hypocritically writing that all men are created equal. They also took part in the removal of Native Americans from their homelands, an action that resulted in the deaths of thousands. This information is well documented and acknowledged by professional historians and should not be censored. Students have the right to learn the entire truth about our history and not just the parts that conservatives want them to learn. Hiding knowledge is tantamount to lying and that’s what the Tea Party wants our teachers to do.

Richard Nixon’s Advice About Liberal-Conservative Divide

What might President Richard Nixon have to say to today’s political combatants in the GOP nominating process?

In 1959, Vice-President Nixon, speaking to members of California’s Commonwealth Club, was asked if he’d like to see the parties undergo an ideological realignment—the sort that has since taken place—and he replied, “I think it would be a great tragedy . . . if we had our two major political parties divide on what we would call a conservative-liberal line.” He continued, “I think one of the attributes of our political system has been that we have avoided generally violent swings in Administrations from one extreme to the other. And the reason we have avoided that is that in both parties there has been room for a broad spectrum of opinion.” Therefore, “when your Administrations come to power, they will represent the whole people rather than just one segment of the people.” Ten months before the general election, the increasingly angry, suspicious, and divided party of Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and Perry seems ever more immersed in its current orthodoxies. None of the candidates, though, seem the least bit interested in even addressing how they, or their party, might actually govern the “whole people” of a fractious nation.

Thoughts About Politics From Bob Schieffer That All Should Read

On Sunday Bob Schieffer’s closing remark was tone perfect given the political climate across the land. I had meant to post his words yesterday and then time got away from me. But the content of what Schieffer offered the nation is such that it needs to be heard by all. Not only in Washington, but also from Maine to California.

Finally today, I love to vote, but I never tell anyone who I vote for, not even my wife. Nor do I advocate for or against anyone so don’t take this as support or opposition to any of the candidates. But when I saw a voter quoted the other day as saying one of the candidates was just too moderate, I had to wonder. How can anyone be too moderate? Is moderate like compromise a new dirty word? With all these labels being flung around, I went to the dictionary for a campaign year review. Well, it turns out moderate is defined as avoiding extremes, calm, temperate. Can anything or anyone be too much of that? And I hope liberals who derisively brand others conservative and conservatives who are proud to be called just that will not be surprised to know that one definition of conservative is one marked by moderation. And those who derisively brand their political enemies liberal may be unaware that dictionary defines liberal as generous and open-minded. I offer this information as a public service. If we’re going to call people names it does help to know what we’re calling them. And by the way, I also looked up the term Christian. The dictionary says it has to do with Jesus and links it to no particular political party. I thought I was right about that.

Impressive Northern Lights Expected For Wisconsin And Other Northern States

From Spaceweather.

Big sunspot 1402 erupted on Jan. 23rd, producing a strong M9-class solar flare and a fast-moving coronal mass ejection (CME). Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say the CME should reach Earth on Jan. 24th at 14:18 UT (+/- 7 hr) and Mars a little more than a day later. Strong geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud reaches Earth. Our magnetic field is still reverberating from a CME impact on Jan. 22nd, so another blow could spark impressive auroras at high latitudes. Sky watchers in northern Europe, Canada, Alaska, and northern-tier US states such as the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin should be alert for Northern Lights.

Opinionated Paragraph In Wisconsin Recall Story From Associated Press

UPDATED

One paragraph leaped off the page this morning in the Wisconsin State Journal as lacking objectivity.  The story also ran in a number of other papers around the state. 

There is no way that the reporter could have read the line twice and not noticed, nor is there anyway an editor could have not been struck by the paragraph.

The article for the most part written by Todd Richmond for the Associated Press is well done, and makes solid points about the recall election of some state senators, and the inability for any legislative changes taking place with a switch of power until 2013.

But then comes this paragraph.

Come November, the GOP would have a chance to take back the majority. If that happens, they’d slide back into control when the new session starts next year with no damage done.

“No damage done.”

What type of phrase is that by a reporter who is supposed to be objective when covering the matters under the statehouse dome?

Am I to assume that Richmond feels Democrats who would push back on the Walker agenda in the legislature would create “damage”?   Do the editors at the Associated Press concur with the reporter’s paragraph?  

This all could be a case of very careless writing, and sloppy editing.  I can accept that.  But for a major news operation to allow this to happen over such a contentious issue they are covering does wake up morning readers.