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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Minnesota House passes stadium deal; Senate up next

The Vikings welfare train is rolling.
The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to spend $477 million —$50 million more than they had planned — to get a new stadium under a deal that was given final House approval around 3:30 Thursday morning.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Senate approves Vikings stadium with a raft of changes, differences

The corporate welfare bill now goes to a House-Senate conference committee to resolve differences.

President Obama affirms his support for same-sex "marriage"

Dog bites man. From ABC:
President Obama today announced that he now supports same-sex marriage, reversing his longstanding opposition amid growing pressure from the Democratic base and even his own vice president.

In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, the president described his thought process as an “evolution” that led him to this place, based on conversations with his own staff members, openly gay and lesbian service members, and conversations with his wife and own daughters.

...

The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own. But he said he’s confident that more Americans will grow comfortable with gays and lesbians getting married, citing his own daughters’ comfort with the concept.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Voter anger sweeps Europe

From the Wall Street Journal:
French voters elected Socialist Party candidate Fran├žois Hollande as president Sunday, choosing a national leader who has pledged to shift the burden of economic hardship onto the rich and to resolve the protracted euro sovereign-debt crisis by softening the current prescription of austerity.

With his victory over conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the second and final round of voting, Mr. Hollande—France's first Socialist president in 17 years—won a mandate to challenge German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has imposed spending cuts as the main remedy to repair the public finances of heavily indebted European countries.

Mr. Hollande's first steps will have big implications. Both recession and unemployment are spreading across the 17-country monetary union, fueling doubts among voters, politicians and economists about the wisdom of slashing public spending in a downturn, which Ms. Merkel and others say is necessary to restore confidence in euro-zone public finances.

The growing malaise was also reflected Sunday in Greece, where voters delivered a stinging rejection of the two incumbent parties, with many people casting ballots for smaller, far-left and far-right parties.

In Germany, Ms. Merkel's coalition of Christian Democrats and pro-business Free Democrats suffered defeat in a closely watched state election in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein Sunday, suggesting Ms. Merkel's options for ruling beyond 2013 are narrowing.

...

Mr. Hollande—the first Socialist president since Fran├žois Mitterrand, who served from 1981 to 1995—has promised to continue efforts by Mr. Sarkozy to reduce the government's budget deficit. But Mr. Hollande has said he would ask wealthy households to contribute more.

"We will bring back Europe on a track for jobs, growth and the future," Mr. Hollande said in a victory speech from the town of Tulle in central France where he was mayor. "We're no longer doomed to austerity."
Well, no longer doomed to planned austerity, perhaps.

House approves stadium bill

The spirit of corporate welfare is alive and well. Previous claims of austerity were exaggerated.

The House bill does increase the Vikings' share of the project from previous plans from $427M to $532M, lowering the state's share to $293M, a change the team does not support, although it is unclear that it would torpedo the new stadium. The City of Minneapolis would kick in $150M.

From the StarTribune:
The Minnesota Vikings won a decisive and long-awaited political victory late Monday when the House passed a public subsidy package for a new stadium, sending the project marching toward final passage at the State Capitol. ...

The final vote came after a day of high drama and a weekend of intense lobbying by Gov. Mark Dayton and the team, and produced a relatively easy 73-to-58 approval in the House. ...

The stadium project now goes before the Senate, possibly on Tuesday, and could be ready for Dayton to sign into law by the end of the week.
(HHT: BMTN)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Oklahoma supreme court rules personhood effort "is clearly unconstitutional"

From The Blaze/AP:
The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday halted an effort to grant “personhood” rights to human embryos, saying the measure is "void on its face."

The state’s highest court ruled unanimously that a proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that would define a fertilized human egg as a person violates a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving a Pennsylvania case and “is clearly unconstitutional.” Supporters of the personhood amendment are trying to gather enough signatures to put it before Oklahoma voters on the November ballot.

The ruling is the latest setback for abortion opponents who have been pursuing personhood measures in several states. In December, a judge in Nevada ruled that a personhood initiative petition was vague and could not be circulated for signatures to qualify for the 2012 ballot. Similar personhood proposals were defeated last year in Mississippi and Colorado.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Occupy movement returns

In the Twin Cities, it seems nothing happened (at least as of 5 PM). Meanwhile in New York, the Occupy movement kicked off its “spring awakening” in Bryant Park with a scaled down version of last fall's Occupy Wall Street, including "free food, a skills exchange, and plenty of noise and soap-box style rhetoric."

From the Christian Science Monitor:

In New York, Protest organizers said that the goal of the day, aside from much of the anticorporate rhetoric, was to show that it was back after a relatively dormant winter.


“We want to displace the narrative that this is a fad and disappearing,” says Mark Bray, a spokesman for the Occupy movement. “We want to show that we are building a long-term social movement.”

Update:

Oh, I guess OccupyMN was out and about yesterday.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pepsi stops using aborted fetal cell lines to test flavors

This is welcome news. (Given recent corporate policy turnarounds, I hate to add cynically, "If it holds.") From LifeNews.com:
After months of pro-life protests and opposition, PepsiCo has indicated it will no longer contract with biotech firm Senomyx Inc., which uses cells from a baby killed in an abortion to conduct flavor testing.

The second largest beverage company in the world contracted with the firm in a $30 million deal in August 2010. ...

PepsiCo’s VP of Global Public Policy, Paul Boykas stated that Senomyx will not use HEK cells or any other tissues or cell lines derived from human embryos or fetuses for research performed on behalf of PepsiCo.

“We took the matter very seriously,” stated Mr. Boykas. “We have an official Statement on Responsible Research and we intend to live by that policy.”

That policy precludes any research by PepsiCo — or third parties they fund — from using human tissue or cell lines derived from embryos or babies who are victimized by abortions.

Microsoft ponies up $300 million investment in Nook spinoff

From Gizmodo:
In what some may consider an odd move, Microsoft has just announced that it's investing $300 million into a "strategic partnership" with Barnes & Noble to develop the future of e-reading. ...

There is, however, method to Microsoft's move. First off, the deal includes some patents, which could account for the price. What's more convincing, however, is the fact that the cash injection will see a Windows 8 Nook application become available.

Students walk out after anti-bullying speaker Dan Savage calls Bible ‘bulls–t’

From The Other McCain:
Two weeks ago, the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association sponsored a national conference for high school journalists in Seattle. They invited San Francisco-based sex-advice columnist Dan Savage as a speaker. Savage reportedly began his speech by announcing to the teenagers, “I hope you’re all using birth control,” and made lascivious comments about his “husband.”

More than 100 students reportedly walked out of the event after Savage, who founded the “It Gets Better” project — widely praised as part of the “anti-bullying” movement — used obscene language in attacking religious beliefs against homosexuality.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nearly 100 Notre Dame faculty call for bishop’s resignation from board

95 members of Notre Dame's faculty effectively have invoked, in all but name, a common (and debatably misapplied) corollary to Godwin's law in response to critical comments made by Peoria's Bishop Daniel Jenky regarding President Obama’s radical, pro-abortion, and extreme secularist agenda. From Catholic World News:

After referring to Otto von Bismarck’s Kulturkampf and the persecution of the Church in France in the early twentieth century, Bishop Jenky had said that “Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care. In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama--with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda--now seems intent on following a similar path.”

“Jenky’s comments demonstrate ignorance of history, insensitivity to victims of genocide and absence of judgment,” the faculty said in a letter to the university’s president and the chairman of the university’s board of trustees.

“We accept that Jenky’s comments are protected by the First Amendment, but we find it profoundly offensive that a member of our beloved University’s highest authority, the Board of Fellows, should compare the president’s actions with those whose genocidal policies murdered tens of millions of people, including the specific targeting of Catholics, Jews and other minorities for their faith.”

“We request that you issue a statement on behalf of the University that will definitively distance Notre Dame from Jenky’s incendiary statement,” they added. “Further, we feel that it would be in the best interest of Notre Dame if Jenky resigned from the University’s Board of Fellows if he is unwilling to renounce loudly and publicly this destructive analogy.”

Bishop Jenky, a Holy Cross priest, has deep ties to the university: he is an alumnus, the former director of campus ministry, and the former religious superior of the Holy Cross Priests and Brothers at Notre Dame.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

LEGOs for girls has feminist group in a twist

(image retrieved from: FoxNews.com)
From FoxNews.com:
The new “LEGO Friends” rolled out in December featuring LadyFigs, curvier takeoffs on the traditional boxy LEGO men. Construction sets include a hot tub, a splash pool, a beauty parlor, an outdoor bakery and a “cool convertible," as well as an inventor's workshop.

But the SPARK Movement objects to the "LadyFigs," the female version of the little figures who man the spaceships, trucks and forts children create. "Ladyfigs" are somewhat anatomically correct, which hypersexualizes girls, according to the group.

Representatives from SPARK met with several LEGO executives on April 20th to discuss their concerns.



Komen affiliates resume funding Planned Parenthood abortion biz

From LifeNews.com:
Komen for the Cure has officially buckled to pressure from Planned Parenthood and 17 affiliates of the national breast cancer charity will provide grants for the abortion business this calendar year.

Komen had long been a subject of national controversy in which pro-life advocates initially boycotted Komen and then celebrated earlier this year as it appeared the breast cancer charity had made the decision to revoke funding for the abortion business.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

US bishops appeal ruling on constitutionality of federal anti-trafficking grants

From Catholic World News:
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced that it will appeal a federal judge’s ruling declaring that grants made to the USCCB to assist human-trafficking victims are unconstitutional because the grants represent a government endorsement of Catholicism.

Catholic parishes refuse to support effort to protect marriage in Washington State

Several Catholic parishes in Seattle, including the seat of the archdiocese, St. James Cathedral, are refusing to participate in an effort to gather signatures to create a referendum aimed at overturning a bill signed into law earlier this year that legalized homosexual "marriage" in Washington State.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hacked? Limbaugh’s wild story on getting freaky iPhone message about Obama and ‘minions’

From The Blaze:

Twins to face tough decision if Liriano continues to struggle

Baseball's CBA makes it harder for teams to try to retool by collecting draft picks to cover for the departure of free agents. Which means the Twins' Francisco Liriano, owner of a no-hitter and a one-time phenom, could find himself on the clearance rack if he doesn't turn it around over the next few starts.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

‘I may give up writing and work as a butler’: Interview with John Derbyshire

From Gawker:
After publishing an article advising his children to avoid black people, writer John Derbyshire lost his column at The National Review and weathered a firestorm of outrage this past weekend. Nonetheless, after undergoing his regularly scheduled chemotherapy treatment for Chronic Lymphomatic Leukemia, an unperturbed Derbyshire agreed to a Q&A. His only request: That his answers be published exactly as he wrote them.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Santorum out

Multiple sources within the campaign have confirmed that Rick Santorum will withdraw from the race for the Republican nomination for president. A formal announcement is expected later this afternoon.

Update:

Message to supporters from Rick Santorum's campaign:
Thank you. For your support, for your encouragement, and for your prayers for our family, especially Bella. You may have heard that we were able to bring her home from the hospital last night.

She has pneumonia, but like her Dad, she's a fighter. It's in the blood.

Today I announced that I am suspending my campaign for the President of the United States. This has been one of the hardest decisions Karen and I have ever had to face together. And it has been hard in large measure because of you. I know that my candidacy has offered you a way to fight for your convictions, and I do not want to let you down.

Since I first ran for Congress in a Democrat-majority district in Pittsburgh, I have fought for struggling families. I have fought for the unborn. I have fought for those losing hope in the American Dream.

And during this Presidential race we have fought hard. Together. You have been with me every step of the way. Every volunteer, donor, friend and family has given sacrificially of their time and their treasure. We are humbled and thankful.

We literally started this campaign in our kitchen with family and a few friends. The way that you make decisions. We believe America is the land of opportunity, and decided to do what we can to protect the hope that our forefathers sacrificed to give us a future for our children. A future of freedom secured through our sacrifices today.

Over 160,000 of you contributed to the campaign. Like you have for your children, we have sacrificed almost everything we have to ensure that this hope and dream is not lost with another four years under Barack Obama. Our average donation has been only $73.10. Few races in history have so many people give so modestly to preserve liberty.

We have been outspent in most states 5-1 or even 10-1. And we still won, or we've come incredibly close. Iowa and the three-state sweep. An over 20-point win in Louisiana. Only a few votes short of victory in Michigan and Ohio. We have made history. There has been no other Presidential comeback race like ours.

Our good friends in Texas have been working non-stop to make sure that they have a say in the choice of our nominee, but without the state changing its delegate allocation to winner-take-all, I do not see a path forward that does not risk our shared objective of defeating Barack Obama in November. I want to thank them for their valiant efforts.

I am planning to do everything in my power to bring a change about in the White House. But our campaign has debt, and I cannot be free to focus on helping defeat him with this burden. I am asking you to consider one more contribution of $25, $50 or even $73.10.

From the start of this race I have offered a unique voice in the debate. One that the party and the country needs to hear. I have been your voice. I have been positive. I have been willing to stand for issues that some believe are controversial and would prefer to sweep under the rug.

We have carried the torch. High. Together we have fought for the principles that this country was founded on; that made this country great. Without fighting for them, this country cannot continue to be great.

And we have fought fair. I am proud of the race we have run. We talked issues. We avoided character attacks. We have run almost entirely positive ads.

I want to continue to be your voice. Please CLICK HERE to contribute $25, $50 or even $73.10. We have had miraculous days of almost $1 million from supporters like you that allowed us to be competitive and win key states. We need you to step up again.

When I ran for the Senate in 1994 and defeated a sitting incumbent Senator, I asked the people of Pennsylvania to Join the Fight. They did.

I know you will. God bless you, and please keep us in your prayers. And know that we keep you in ours.

Working hard for America,

Rick Santorum

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Arson charges filed against Grand Chute man, 50, for explosion at Planned Parenthood

From WTAQ:
Police say they have arrested and charged a suspect in Sunday’s improvised explosion at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Grand Chute. Nobody was injured and damage done was minimal when the homemade bomb went off in an exam room. The suspect, 50-year-old Francis G. Grady from Grand Chute is being was being held on a probation warrant after getting into an accident in Kaukauna shortly after leaving the scene.

Update:

The Green Bay Press Gazette has more.