How would you like to be the lawyer tasked with defending traditional marriage in the federal courts these days? If you have been to any of the hearings, watched them make the arguments, listened to the live streams and read the media accounts, you know it’s a thankless un-winnable embarrassing mission. You don’t want to be Austin Nimocks, senior counsel for the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom. “Since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last June, in United States v. Windsor, 14 courts have considered challenges to same-sex-marriage bans and related laws—and all 14 have ruled in favor of marriage equality.” Nimocks’s argues it’s all about the kids. It’s an argument unlikely to end in victory. Jeffrey Toobin at the New Yorker on the wild legal ride.
House Republicans finally make a move on immigration. They voted for an amendment offered by hardline Iowa Republican Steve King to provide $5 million to the justice department to investigate the release of criminals from detention. Via HuffPo. It’s not an immigrant-friendly move, especially given that calls to do something, anything, to effect comprehensive reform are boiling over. Colorado Republican House members in tight election races this year, Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman, both voted for the amendment.
It’s the gun laws. Every other country in the world has the internet and tasteless movies and angry frustrated young men. John Cassidy at the New Yorker on growing up in Britain: “The louts weren’t armed, and neither was anybody else. Thanks to Britain’s highly restrictive laws, the only firearms I ever saw were the occasional .22 pistol or air rifle, which some loners and “bad lads” used to shoot at squirrels and lampposts. Consequently, a culture of casual violence remained just that: casual… In 2011, there were 58 homicides involving firearms. In the United States, there were 8,775.”
GOP retreating from all-out attack on Obamacare. The Washington Post: “The moves come as senior House Republicans have decided to postpone a floor vote on their own health-reform proposal — making it less likely that a GOP alternative will be on offer before the November elections, according to lawmakers familiar with the deliberations.”
Ecowatch: First quarter 2014: Power generated from the sun accounted for 74 percent of all new energy capacity, according to a quarterly report produced by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research. That figure outpaced all other forms of energy by at least 54 percent. Natural gas created 4 percent.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders: We have a war problem not a VA problem: “I would hope that as a country we fully understand the cost of war. And let me tell you, I think many people do not. We’re not just talking about the thousands of people who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. We’re talking about 200,000 men and women who came home with PTSD and TBI. We’re talking about people who came home without legs, without arms, without hearing, and without eyesight, and if this country stands for anything, what we have got to say is that we are going to provide adequate funding to make sure that every person who is entitled to those healthcare services gets the best healthcare they can and they get it in a timely manner.” Senate Republicans blocked a vote on a bill that would have funded several new VA hospitals and clinics back in February… Via Crooks and Liars
Follow Colorado Republican candidate for governor Mike Kopp as he bikes across some of the most beautiful areas of the state in the last weeks before the party primary election. Lots of stunning vistas. Few voters.