Archive for the ‘relationships’ Category

February 14th

February 14, 2017

February 14th
It’s Valentine’s Day. Love & Happiness, y’all.

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A dating site for conspiracy nuts. Or is it?

May 12, 2016

A dating site for conspiracy nuts. Or is it?

Looking for that “special someone” who shares your belief about alien abductions, Obama’s birthplace, or grassy knolls? There’s a new dating site for you: Awake Dating. And it’s not controlled by the Illuminati, like those other dating sites!

“There is a dense air of suspicion and contempt around Awake Dating. The nature of the site almost requires it: At the core of these people’s identity is skepticism, not to mention the belief that the awakened understand things the majority population does not. And those feelings are double-downed the more the general public dismisses what they believe to be ‘crazy talk.’ It’s not hard to see how that can make it difficult not just to date, but to connect to anyone at all.”

— “Awake Dating is the hot new website for conspiracy theorists,” Jaya Saxena, The Daily Dot

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Alabama Supreme Court Secedes From Union Over Same-Sex Marriage

March 5, 2015

Alabama Supreme Court Secedes From Union Over Same-Sex Marriage

On Tuesday the Alabama Supreme Court ordered the state’s probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples, adding yet another wrinkle to a messy situation. The story so far:

On January 23rd Federal District Judge Callie Granade struck down two Alabama state laws banning same-sex marriage.

On February 8th Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered state probate judges to ignore the Federal court ruling.

On February 9th the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stay the District Court’s decision, and on February 12th Judge Granade ordered the Mobile County Probate Judge to issue licenses to same-sex couples, and he and most Alabama judges complied.

On March 3rd, on a 7-1 ruling, with Chief Justice Roy Moore recusing himself, the Alabama Supreme Court issued a 138-page order for probate judges to cease granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

So why are Alabama judges standing in the courthouse door to prevent same-sex marriage, in defiance of a Federal court order? Is it … Jesus? Is it the Klan? Is this an echo of Alabama’s 33-year refusal to allow interracial marriage or some kind of nostalgia for the Confederacy?

Maybe. Mostly, it’s just politics. Alabama Supreme Court Judges are elected partisans, and their election depends on symbolic appeals to the state’s Republican Party base.

 More:

“Alabama Supreme Court Throws Tantrum, Defies Federal Judge, Halts Gay Marriages,” Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

Related:

“I Was Alabama’s Top Judge. I’m Ashamed by What I Had to Do to Get There.” Sue Bell Cobb, Politico Magazine

“John Oliver digs into the ‘horrifying spectacle’ of judicial elections,” Sarah Gray, Salon

UPDATE: 

“Alabama GOP proposes bill to let judges opt out of marrying gay couples — and Jews and Muslims too!” Jenny Kutner, Salon

“Ala. Bill Would Let Judges Opt Out Of Performing Gay Marriages,” Caitlin MacNeal, TPM Livewire

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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South Dakota Marriage Equality

January 14, 2015

South Dakota Marriage Equality

U.S. District Court Judge Karen Schreier has ruled than South Dakota’s ban on same-sex marriage is in violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. “Plaintiffs have a fundamental right to marry,” wrote Judge Schreier.  “South Dakota law deprives them of that right solely because they are same-sex couples and without sufficient justification.” The judge stayed her ruling pending appeals, which SD Attorney General Marty Jackley has promised. The attorney for the successful plaintiffs intends to appeal the stay.

More:

“Judge strikes down South Dakota gay marriage ban,” Reid Wilson, Washington Post

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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Marriage Equality in Virginia. And 10 Other States.

October 7, 2014

Marriage Equality in Virginia. And 10 Other States.

The Supreme Court declined to reconsider federal appeals court rulings overturning bans on gay marriage in five states. Same-sex marriage is now legal in Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin. Six other states — Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming — bound by the same appellate rulings had stayed same-sex marriage pending the Supreme Court’s review, and should get with the program shortly. That means marriage equality is the law in 30 states and the District of Columbia.

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McDonnell Trial Soap Opera Continues

August 28, 2014

McDonnell Trial Soap Opera Continues

“The more that he describes his wife as crazy, then it begs the question of well, if your wife was crazy, why didn’t you stop her?” — Andrew Cowan, former federal prosecutor.

“But the fact is, is the juror thinking this guy is a cad, or been-there-done-that, ‘I have a wife just like that, I come home and this is all I hear?'” —  Attorney Barbara Van Gelder.

Quoted in:

“McDonnell’s ‘Crazy Wife’ Defense Is Totally Unprecedented,” Catherine Thompson , Talking Points Memo

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Bob McDonnell: Cad or Rotter?

August 25, 2014

Bob McDonnell: Cad or Rotter?

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell testified on his own behalf last week in his corruption and bribery trial. The devoted husband and father of five of the 2009 gubernatorial campaign explained that all the unfortunate events in question could be blamed on his screaming lunatic harridan of a wife, Maureen McDonnell.

There’s no real political downside for Mr. McDonnell, who already lost any chance of getting women’s votes when he backed a vaginal probe clause in a proposed Virginia bill. On the other hand, what Real American Guy wouldn’t want to drive a Ferrari and own a Rolex and doesn’t blame stuff on his wife?

Right before the trial, Mr. McDonnell moved out of the house he shared with his wife of 38 years. He’s been living with his priest at the rectory of St. Patrick’s Church in Richmond. He’s probably thinking that, if the couple are convicted, he can claim sanctuary and Maureen can plead insanity.

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McDonnell Trial: All In The Family

August 11, 2014

McDonnell Trial: All In The Family

Before he was Virginia’s Governor or Attorney General, Robert Francis McDonnell wrote a Masters Thesis at CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) University, now called Regent University. The thesis: “The Republican Party’s Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade” (1989). It’s in the Regent U Library, but the Washington Post posted it online during the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial campaign.

On page 65 of the thesis (page 71 of the PDF) Mr. McConnell lists the “real enemies of the traditional family” as “materialism, irresponsibility, feminism, lust, and ultimately selfishness….” Well, the McDonnell corruption trial hasn’t involved feminism so far, anyway. On the other hand, the author of that thesis did acknowledge that his wife Maureen provided “expert clerical support” for the 94-page document ….

More:

“Focus on the Family,” Daliah Lithwick, Slate

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Virginia Snake Oil: Love Potion?

August 7, 2014

Virginia Snake Oil: Love Potion Number 9?

In the soap opera that is the public corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his former NFL Cheerleader wife Maureen, the defense claims the couple’s relationship was bad, so the Gov didn’t know the Mrs. had a crush on “diet supplement” peddler Jonnie Williams and tried to trade government favors in return for his high-priced gifts. Today, however, the focus shifted to the patent nostrum sold by said Mr. Williams, a snake oil named Anatabloc.

The active ingredient in Anatabloc is Anatabine, an alkaloid derived from tobacco. Star Scientific, Mr. William’s company at the time, sold discount cigarettes and smokeless tobacco through a subsidiary, but sales weren’t too good, so … right. Anatabloc was said to “reduce inflammation and support a healthy metabolism” but was marketed as a “dietary supplement” to avoid those pesky clinical trials required of drugs. That didn’t keep the firm from claiming that the crap could mitigate Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, thyroiditis and traumatic brain injuries. You know, like a drug. Finally, the FDA caught them at it and issued a stern letter. Heavens to Betsy.

So that’s what Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell was shilling in the Executive Mansion in 2011 on behalf of love interest Jonnie Williams.  Mr. Williams claims he viewed the gifts of luxury items and loans of his vacation resort home and Ferrari sports car to the Governor and his wife as part of a business relationship, but Mrs. McDonnell’s lawyer claims she was smitten with Mr. Williams.

Wait a minute. Is romantic attraction a result of taking Anatabloc? That’s worth billions.

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McDonnell Trial: The Soap Opera Defense

August 1, 2014

McDonnell Trial: The Soap Opera Defense

The former NFL cheerleader had feelings for the shady millionaire snake-oil salesman, who gave her gifts, favors, and cash in order to influence her husband, the state’s Governor. That’s the Exculpatory Soap Opera Theory introduced by the defense in the corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, and they’re sticking to it.

Political tragedy? Please. More like campy, middle-age melodrama.

More:

“Ex-First Couple’s Defense in Virginia: The State of Their Union,” Trip Gabriel, New York Times

“McDonnells pin acquittal hopes on bad marriage in Virginia trial,” Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times

“Testimony seems to back up ‘bimbo defense’ in McDonnell corruption trial,” Mark Holmberg, WTVR-TV News

“Trial of Virginia Ex-Governor and His Wife Is an Amazing Soap Opera,” Erin Gloria Ryan, Jezebel

“Star witness in Bob McDonnell corruption trial refutes ‘crush’ defense,” David Sherfinski, Washington Times

Related:

“10 gifts U.S. wants ex-Va. governor, wife to forfeit,” USA Today

“Virginia’s First Lady-elect Maureen McDonnell was a Former Redskins Cheerleader,” UltimateCheerleaders.com

“Of Course! Disgraced Gov. McDonnell Is Now Teaching At Liberty U,” karoli, Crooks & Liars

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Image (Midday Melancholy, after Constance Charpentier) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.