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This and that

* You must surf over to Box Turtle Bulletin. Tomorrow the Maryland Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments on marriage equality (my post here). The Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals when the court prepared to consider the issue. BTB’s Jim Burroway examined just one section of that brief and he found its underpinnings are some of the usual junk science and fraudulent claims we’ve heard before. Read The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing. Jim:

What exactly are the legal obligations of a friend-of-the-court to present their arguments truthfully? And what weight, if any, to courts give to amicus briefs when deciding cases? And what does it say about their arguments when a “values” group throws away the values of truth to become a false witness?

* Great news in NC: Guilford County GOP head Marcus Kindley, the homobigot who equated being gay with pedophilia on his blog “The Chairman’s Corner,” lost his bid to lead the NC GOP. Republican leaders selected Linda Daves of Charlotte to be the state party chair yesterday. (Hat tip to Matt Hill Comer — see his post,  Guilford GOP Chair: Being gay ‘as natural as pedophilia’).

* The Phelps Hate Machine was barred from protesting on an Indian reservation (and is, as such, private land because it is a sovereign nation) where the funeral of National Guard Cpl. Nathan Goodiron, who was known Young Eagle, was killed Thanksgiving Day in Afghanistan.

* Reader Howard points to a blog entry on the government of Scotland’s refusal to give hate crime protection to the disabled or the LGBT community.

* Scout at First Draft writes about what could be the final nail in the coffin in the rebuilding of NOLA — St. Paul Travelers, Louisiana’s largest commercial insurance provider, is going to cancel all its commercial property policies in New Orleans, effectively killing the rebuilding of the city, since other insurance companies will do the same. Why? Because the state of the levee rebuilding by BushCo is a shambles, and the admin only promises Cat 3 protection when they are completed. Insurers, rightfully so, won’t take on the risk until levees are rebuilt to withstand Cat 4 or 5 hurricanes. More here and here. Read up on what’s been happening in the region by surfing over to Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch.

* Meanwhile, on Facing South, Sue Sturgis reports that up to a third of NOLA residents, according to a poll there, are planning to leave because of the poor quality of life there.

* Take a look at this silly forum Blender Val came across, which purports, as its mission, to provide “Remediation for Ex-Gays Neglected by Therapists.” It looks like only the “admin” is doing the posting there, and it’s got tired sections with “facts”, such as “Proof that Homosexuals Change” and “Gays Have Higher Rates of Mental Illnesses.”

* How about a “Secret Service approved toiletry line”  — 1600 for Men? It features antibacterial hand wash, glycerin soap, after-shave and more skin care items “embossed with the distinctive presidential seal: a vigilant eagle holding an olive branch and arrows in its talons and encircled by stars and the words “The President of the United States.” I was waiting for the toilet tissue line. (H/t Spot4Me)

* Rummy’s received a medal by the Union Club in Philadelphia for his war crimes participation, ostensibly for his perceived  dedication to the military (the club won’t disclose its reasons for bestowing the honor).

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding