Video

Utah Will Not Recognize Same-Sex Marriages That Have Already Been Performed: Governor’s Office

This is wrong on so many levels, but legally it’s a tough call…

The Huffington Post

The office of Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) said same-sex couples who were married after the state’s ban on gay marriage was struck down, but before theSupreme Court halted gay marriages in the state, will not be recognized as legally married.

Herbert’s chief of staff Derek Miller emailed the following instructions to Cabinet Members on Tuesday:

Dear Cabinet,I’m sure you are all aware of the issuance of the stay regarding same-sex marriage in Utah from the United States Supreme Court yesterday. This stay effectively puts a hold on the decision of the district court, which found state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage in Utah to be unconstitutional.

After the district court decision was issued on Friday, December 20th, some same-sex couples availed themselves of the opportunity to marry and to the status granted by the state to married persons. This office sent an email to each of you soon after the district court decision, directing compliance.

With the district court injunction now stayed, the original laws governing marriage in Utah return to effect pending final resolution by the courts. It is important to understand that those laws include not only a prohibition of performing same-sex marriages but also recognizing same-sex marriages.

Based on counsel from the Attorney General’s Office regarding the Supreme Court decision, state recognition of same-sex marital status is ON HOLD until further notice. Please understand this position is not intended to comment on the legal status of those same-sex marriages – that is for the courts to decide. The intent of this communication is to direct state agency compliance with current laws that prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages.

Wherever individuals are in the process of availing themselves of state services related to same-sex marital status, that process is on hold and will stay exactly in that position until a final court decision is issued. For example, if a same-sex married couple previously changed their names on new drivers licenses, those licenses should not be revoked. If a same-sex couple seeks to change their names on drivers licenses now, the law does not allow the state agency to recognize the marriage therefore the new drivers licenses cannot be issued.

We appreciate your patience and diligence in this matter. We recognize that different state agencies have specific questions and circumstances that will need to be worked through. Please do so with the Assistant Attorney General assigned to your respective agency in coordination with the Governor’s General Counsel. We also recognize that these changes affect real people’s lives. Let us carefully and considerately ensure that we, and our employees throughout the state, continue to treat all people with respect and understanding as we assist them.

U..S. District Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban in a Dec. 20 ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court put a halt to same-sex marriages in the state weeks later, on Jan. 6.

John Roberts Refuses To Grant Obamacare Emergency Stay

Chief Justice John Roberts

The Huffington Post

The Supreme Court has refused a group of doctors’ request to block implementation of the nation’s new health care law.

Chief Justice John Roberts turned away without comment Monday an emergency stay request from the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, Inc. and the Alliance for Natural Health USA.

They asked the chief justice Friday to temporarily block the law, saying Congress had passed it incorrectly by starting it in the Senate instead of the House. Revenue-raising bills are supposed to originate in the lower chamber. They also wanted blocked doctor registration requirements they say will make it harder for independent non-Medicare physicians to treat Medicare-eligible patients.

Still pending is a decision on a temporary block on the law’s contraceptive coverage requirements, which was challenged by a group of nuns.

Shame On DC: Americans Speak Out Against Washington’s Inaction On Gun Control

The Gun Caucus

The Huffington Post

One year has passed since 20 children and six teachers were shot and killed in Newtown, Conn., and yet, Washington, D.C. has still failed to enact major legislation on gun control. Using #ShameOnDC, Americans throughout the country wrote in to HuffPost Live to express their frustration, advocate for change, and make their voices heard.

“I am a mother endowed with old-fashioned common sense and respect for the sanctity of human life. And I am here on behalf of my two children unafraid to say that the gun lobby emperor has no clothes.”
– Jennifer Mendelsohn, mother of two children

“I know longer think of gun violence as something that happens to somebody else. Those meaningless numbers are real people to me now.”
– Pam Simon, 2011 Tuscon shooting survivor

“It’s such a magical age… A six-year-old may want to be a veterinarian one day, a ninja the next, and a banker after that.”
– Kimberly Wilkins, mother of seven-year-old son

“The instant he drew his last breath was when I decided that too many [children] have died.”
– Mary Leigh Blek, lost son to gun shooting in 1994

“The service we ask of you is one that demands you imagine what isn’t yet, what appears to be beyond what you can accomplish and then make it happen.”
– Rabbi Aaron Alexander

“It’s a terrible thing to know that your government would rather cave to gun lobbyists and their money than to stand up for innocent children, students, employees, and citizens.”
– Ariana Henderson, student at Penn State University

Is Pope Francis Leaving Vatican At Night To Minister To Homeless?

Pope Francis

Never in my almost seven decades of life have I labeled a Pope “awesome”.   Now, with Pope Francis at the Vatican helm, I can finally say it.  This Pope is awesome.

How can one tell just how great Pope Francis really is?  Just look at all the right-wing talking points against the Pope…

The Huffington Post

A recent interview with Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the “Almoner of His Holiness,” raised speculation that the Pope joins him on his nightly trips into Rome to give alms to the poor, and it turns out that the rumors are probably true.

A knowledgable source in Rome told The Huffington Post that “Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women.”

Krajewski earlier said, “When I say to him ‘I’m going out into the city this evening’, there’s the constant risk that he will come with me,” and he merely smiled and ducked the question when reporters asked him point-blank whether the Pope accompanied him into the city.

He’s not the only Pope known for nocturnal wanderings. There are stories of Pope John XIII sneaking out to enjoy the beauty of Rome in the evenings, and reports tell of Pope Pius XII dressing as a Franciscan during WWII to help smuggle Rome’s Jewish population to safety. More recently, Pope Benedict XVI popped out unannounced to visit an art exhibit.

When Pope Francis was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, he was known to sneak out at night to break bread with the homeless, sitting with them on the street and eating with them to show that they were loved.

And we love him for doing it now.

Stephen Colbert Calls Out Don Lemon For Obama, Rob Ford Comparison (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post

Stephen Colbert poked fun at the various comparisons that pundits are making about the failure of the Obamacare rollout on Monday, specifically CNN Don Lemon’s recent argument that Rob Ford and Obama are in a similar boat.

The glitches in the president’s health care exchange system have been defined as the worst thing to happen to the country “since slavery,” and have been compared to numerous past disasters like Hurricane Katrina.

But Colbert’s favorite Obamacare comparison as of late was CNN anchor Don Lemon’s recent statement pinning President Obama and Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford side-by-side.

Lemon stated on CNN’s “NewsRoom” that “you won’t find two politicians who’ve had worse weeks…. President Obama saying ‘I’m Sorry’ over and over for his so-called signature achievement Obamacare, Rob Ford though admitting to crack– to be a crack smoker.”

To this, Colbert was completely perplexed, and called out what he believed was the absurdity in “comparing the first black president to the first blackout mayor.”

“Yeah, they’re both in trouble. Therefore it’s an entirely fair comparison,” he mocked. “The same way that since they’re both on video, it’s fair to compare Don Lemon’s reporting to this dog milking a goat.”

Watch the video for the full clip. 

Jon Stewart Blasts ’60 Minutes’ For ‘Sort Of Acknowledging’ Benghazi Story Was ‘Total Bullsh*t’

The Huffington Post

On Monday, Jon Stewart dove into the scandal rocking CBS News, and what he called the “meh culpa” offered by “60 Minutes” in response to learning the key figure in its Benghazi story was lying.

Stewart mock-sympathized with what a “pain in the ass” it is to have to ask “Is this true?” before going to broadcast, and then went off after rolling a clip of Lara Logan revealing that Dylan Davies had lied to CBS:

“What? If you can not trust an international mercenary existing in the netherworld ‘twixt assassin and bounty hunter, whose very livelihood is predicated on the flexible morality needed to survive in the chaos and lawlessness of failed nations, who can you trust?”

But CBS isn’t the only one having to deal with this mess; Jon Stewart’s favorite southern gentleman (and accent) Lindsey Graham has some tough questions to answer now, too.

 

Chris Christie Crashes Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Thank You Notes’

In the last few days since his re-election as Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has left observers little doubt that he is looking at a presidential bid in 2016…

The Huffington Post

For all the hubbub about the tastefulness of Chris Christie fat jokes, the newly-reelected governor of New Jersey proved he can take a joke on Friday by making a surprise appearance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” to send Fallon a note of his own.

Elizabeth Warren Slams Ken Cuccinelli, Other ‘Backward-Looking Ideologues’

VA Attorney General and Gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli – Attribution: None Specified

The Huffington Post

“…I’m Sick of Debating These Social Issues Like it’s 1913, Not 2013.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) slammed Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli in a campaign email Thursday, comparing the Republican to other “backward-looking ideologues.”

Warren said it’s “scary” that Cuccinelli could be governor if he wins the race against Democrat Terry McAuliffe in November. Warren cited Cuccinelli’s views on women’s rights, saying she’s “sick of debating these social issues like it’s 1913, not 2013.”

Cuccinelli has said he’s not going to touch the issue of contraception if elected governor, saying he doesn’t “support government playing a role in adults’ choices” on the issue.

Read Warren’s full email below:

I was in a state of disbelief when House Republicans said they would shut down the government unless there were changes to the law so that employers could deny women access to birth control.But then I heard about what Ken Cuccinelli had done in Virginia and realized this wasn’t a new playbook – and that maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised.

Cuccinelli, the right-wing Attorney General of Virginia, almost derailed Virginia’s budget in 2008 in an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. And he sponsored a bill that could have banned common forms of birth control. Even the pill.

Now here’s the scary thing: In just 12 days, Ken Cuccinelli could become governor of Virginia.

I don’t normally write to you about governor’s races, but I’m sick of debating these social issues like it’s 1913, not 2013.

And I’d rather write an email now – asking you to donate to Terry McAuliffe’s campaign for Governor to stop Ken Cuccinelli – than to have to send another email later about how to stop Ken Cuccinelli after he declares victory.

Over the past several years, the Republicans haven’t had control in Washington, but they’ve had more luck pushing their radical agenda in the states.

We’ve seen a slew of backward-looking ideologues – like Scott Walker in Wisconsin – chip away at our core values like collective bargaining and women’s rights.

The last thing we need is Ken Cuccinelli joining their ranks.

Terry McAuliffe’s election is just 12 days away. Stop Ken Cuccinelli and the anti-woman agenda by supporting Terry right now.

I can’t believe we are having conversations like this in 2013, but we are. So we need to fight back.

Jon Stewart Blasts Republican Governors Who Refuse To Expand Medicaid

The Huffington Post

Jon Stewart picked apart another piece of the messed-up healthcare puzzle on Thursday, calling out the Republican governors of 26 states who refused to expand Medicaid.

Stewart insisted that spite was the only possible excuse for the states’ not taking part in the expansion, which would cost them nothing for the first three years. Is this just another example of “that hit game show sweeping part of the nation, ‘What Do You Hate More: Poverty Or Obama?'”

Watch part one of the segment above and part two below.

Part 1

Part 2

Jon Stewart Goes Off On ‘Bipartisan Curious’ Republicans Who Won’t Come Out Against The Shutdown

The Huffington Post

As the government shutdown continues, we keep hearing about those moderate Republicans in the House who would vote for a clean continuing resolution, if only Speaker Boehner would allow a vote.

Jon Stewart wonders, however, if there are so many of them, why don’t they force the issue? Watch above as he and Al Madrigal discuss the “bipartisan curious” Republicans who care more about keeping their government paychecks than everyone else getting theirs.