California Prop 8 to Be Challenged

Same-sex marriage proponents are gearing up for a what is anticipated to be a very publicized federal trial about the validity of Proposition 8 of California’s constitution. Prop 8 limits the licensing of marriage to man and woman, one of dozens of similar state constitutional amendments in the U.S.. The amendment was a voter initiative in response to the legalization of same-sex marriage by San Franciscan mayor Gary Newsome in 2004. Supporters of the same-sex marriage movement will have an uphill battle ahead of them, due to the fact that there are existing federal laws that support anti-gay marriage legislation. The Defense of Marriage Act denies recognition of same-sex relationships with respect to benefits and tax procedures. It also reinforces state laws prohibiting gay marriage and exempting states from recognizing gay marriages licensed in other states.

The trial is going to be recorded and published on YouTube.com, and media coverage should be comprehensive, as this is one of the underlying “moral values” issues confronting the nation. It is anticipated that the trial is going to be turned into an ideological fiasco, that may highly influence the application of Constitutional law. Interest groups are also preparing to take matters into their own hands with large monetary resources and legal support.

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Congress Votes to Raise Debt Limit

Tue., Dec. 22, 2009

Congressional Democrats passed a bill to raise the national debt cap on Tuesday and sent it to the President’s desk. The measure calls for a $290 billion increase on the limit for the federal government to borrow to $12.1 trillion. The bill was largely partisan, with minimal support from Republicans. It is expected that the President will  promptly sign the bill into law. Responding to harsh critisism from Republicans on grounds of fiscal irresponsibility, the Democrats maintained that the progression of debt was inherited from the previous administration.

So how does more spending alleviate our standing that has degenerated to a form of a fiscal slave to our creditors, whom include competitors like China? While it is true that the incompetent Nero-like administration of George W Bush has left the government in a very challenging position, the Democrats are not entitled to their own spending frenzy on the taxpayer’s tab. Very rarely does one hear a Democrat discuss the risks of owing so much money, and offer strategies to remedy that debt. Instead, Obama and Co. have decided to put into place an expensive and complicated health care bill that will bury us deeper into the pit.

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Alabama Democrat Switches to GOP

Tue., Dec. 22, 2009

The Democrats have suffered a loss in their ranks on Tuesday. Representative Parker Griffith of Northern Alabama has announced that he will join the Republican Party. The Congressman has cited conflicts with his ideological beliefs and the direction of the Democratic Party. Griffith has voted against most of Pres. Obama’s top agendas, including the bailout and the recently passed health care bill. Griffith hails from a heavily conservative district in Alabama, and has run on a mostly conservative platform. However, it is expected that his seat is going to be hotly contested in 2010, due to his support for some Democratic sponsored legislation, such as the TARP. The move has reduced the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives to 258 of 435. However, Griffith’s switch does not significantly affect the ability of the Democrats to push legislation through the House. 

Griffith’s announcement is a reflection of considerable concern among moderate and conservative Democrats of declining support for the party among moderates and conservatives. Conservatives, in particular, are expected to be fired up to vote in 2010, many of whom did not do so in 2008, due to wide discontent with former Pres. Bush. It is clear that Griffith was feeling the heat from flagrant opposition to the liberal health care bill recently passed. It would not be surprising if a several conservative Democrats join Griffith in the future. In fact, for some Dems from conservative districts it may be necessary to get reelected in 2010. 

My advice to the residents of Griffith’s district, is to extend their considerations to other candidates that do not shift their allegiance based on potential of  personal risk rather than a genuine interest for the welfare of their constituents and the people of the United States. It is clear that the 2010 election is the catalyst for Griffith’s switch, and not the deteriorating condition of our nation’s fiscal standing and the shift toward a more socialized government. Legislators are so convinced by their perception of the American people as naive and gullible, that they switch parties when facing a possible election loss, withstanding their record on prior issues. I am afraid that sometimes their presumptions may be valid.

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New Army Directive on Pregnancy

Tue., Dec. 22, 2009

Soldiers under in Iraq received a new order intended to prevent pregnancies from occurring while on deployment. The commander, General Anthony Cucolo, who is in charge of about 22,000 soldiers stationed in northern Iraq, described the policy as an insurance measure to prevent losses in ranks and maintain operational capacity. The order prohibits the impregnation of a soldier or becoming pregnant, which ultimately “results in the redeployment of the soldier.” Violation of the directive would normally be grounds for a court-martial, but the commander stated that such a drastic response would not be pursued. 

The move has attracted quite a bit of attention, with many people expressing resentment towards it. Critics maintain that the rule infringes on soldier’s rights to engage in private relations, and is rather unnecessary. Some have even charged that Gen. Cucolo is merely attempting to attract attention from higher ranks to advance his career. 

To effectively assess the General’s order, one must analyze it from a war-fighting perspective, which what this really is. Cucolo is correct in trying to maintain the strength of his unit in a critical period of the Iraq War. This order does just that. When a soldier becomes pregnant in a combat environment it places a great burden on the soldier, her partner, and the unit. It is obvious how the pregnancy affects the female, who would be sent to the States, but it also affects the father. The father now has to deal with the responsibilities of a pregnancy in addition to the burden of deployment. Surely, the situation would adversely affect the performance of the soldier. The performance of the unit and its ability to satisfactorily complete the mission might also be reduced. A loss incurred by the redeployment of the female, especially one that holds a highly specialized position, is undebatable. 

The General has taken a proper step towards protecting his unit, and their ability to participate in a important phase of the War in Iraq, which includes a withdrawal. Northern Iraq is not the place to become pregnant, and have a child. I think the order is consistent with a legitimate interest of the armed forces, and protects the troops there rather than burdening them.

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