David Boies on His Case Against Prop 8

David Boies, the prominent Democratic attorney who is working with his former adversary Ted Olson to argue for gay marriage, sees the case as consistent with his work as a lifelong liberal, and with Olson's as a conservative.

Gay Marriage on Trial: 'Today Could Be the Start of Something Historic'

Perry v. Schwarzenegger kicked off today, with early-morning candlelight vigils outside the courtroom and, inside, a line of civilians hoping to view history in the making. With broadcast footage of the trial currently blocked by the Supreme Court, the four young lawyers who were first in line at 6:30 in the morning were lucky to make it in. All four just passed the bar. "I'm here also for personal reasons," said Eric Lunsford. "I'm gay, and this is a big deal—I want to get married someday....

Gay Marriage on Trial: Dissecting 'Moral Disapproval'

NEWSWEEK correspondent Eve Conant is blogging this week from inside the California Supreme Court as it hears arguments on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Theodore Olson, in his opening statement is arguing that the Supreme Court has described marriage as a basic civil right, one associated with the right to liberty and intimate choice. "In short, in the words of the highest court in the land, marriage is the most important relationship in life." Judge Vaughn Walker is pressing...

This Week in Conservative Media: Connecting the Dots, Terror and Obama Not Firing Anyone

The twitter Tweet Tracker collection on the National Review's The Corner blog is rife with commentary on U.S. security failures. "Mutullab could get on a plane but joan rivers couldn't," tweets the Review's Kathryn Lopez.  But the tweeting doesn't seem to be resulting in any of the changes conservative commentators have been calling for all day, which is for top officials to get sacked over security lapses leading to the thwarted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Airlines...

This Week in Conservative Media: 'From Allahu Akbar to Crayola Akbar'

HotAir.com's Allahpundit comes up with this Crayola Akbar line in a post exploring how two of the four leaders allegedly behind the plot to blow up Northwest Flight 253 last week had been released by U.S. authorities from in late 2007. "This reads like a plot of one of the those over-the-top David Zucker attack ads against the left─except it wasn't the left that presided over this one," writes Allahpundit. The detainees ended up in Saudi Arabia where Allahpundit dscusses how they...

This Week in Conservative Media: Hoping Health Care Won't Pass

"Obamacare" is dominating the otherwise sluggish headlines this week. The National Review's editor Rich Lowry and Robert Costa, the William F. Buckey Jr. Fellow at the National Review Institute lead the site with a hopeful salvo for conservatives: "Five Reasons It Might Not Pass."Their No. 1 reason? "Public Revulsion." The latest NBC/Wall St. Journal poll putting the plan's support at a measly 32 percent with, for the first time, Americans saying they'd rather stick with the status quo than go...

How I Learned to Sled Without a Sled

I was one of those people totally unprepared for the massive snowstorm currently hitting D.C. that's headed up north. This fact leads me to why I am writing this—fear not New Yorkers and other Northern-folk, there are lots of ways to have fun in the snow when everything is sold out.Last night when my friend Colleen mentioned renting cross-country skis I thought, brilliant! we are so ahead of the game! Urban skiing! She had called me while I was walking to get potatoes for our dinner with...

This Week in Conservative Media: Obama Sits on the Afghan Fence

"That was such a strange speech," writes Victor Davis Hanson for the National Review's The Corner. Like many other conservative writers he's perplexed that Obama would offer more troops and a timeline for departure in basically the same breath. He's not alone—many are wondering about what are certainly mixed messages, not just in conservative media. "I am happy that for another 18 months, Obama will fight the Taliban," writes Hanson. "But I think that, in times of war, when troops are headed...

This Week in Conservative Media: 'ClimateGate' and a Media Cover-Up

Hundreds of private e-mail messages and documents by climate-change researchers were stolen from a server at a British university and circulated among global-warming skeptics last week, fanning the flames of the debate over global warming just ahead of negotiations in Copenhagen to hammer out an international climate accord. The scandal over the e-mails, some of which appear to show scientists trying to manipulate data to strengthen the case for man-made global warming and cover up data of...

Census Worker Hanging Ruled a Suicide

Kentucky police say that census worker Bill Sparkman, whose body was discovered naked and hanging from a tree in a rural cemetery Sept. 12 with the word "Fed" scrawled across his chest, committed suicide. The discovery of his body prompted a national discussion on controversies surrounding the census and whether anti-government rage had reached a high-enough point in the rural area to result in the murder of the part-time government employee. Authorities said Sparkman, 51, who had been...

Religious Leaders Warn of Civil Disobedience

They are calling it the Manhattan Declaration, a 4,700-word manifesto reaching into scripture and signed by 148 Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical leaders. It was released this afternoon at a press conference in Washington, D.C., and is designed to draw a line in the sand across three issues they argue are non-negotiable despite the law: the sanctity of human life, the institution of marriage as being between a man and woman, and religious freedom. Signers of the Declaration pledge to...

This Week in Conservative Media: Health Rationing and Mammograms

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on Monday said women in their 40s should stop routinely having yearly mammograms, and older women should have them only every other year, recommendations that have divided the medical community ("It's crazy—unethical, really," Harvard radiologist Daniel B. Kopans told The Washington Post), left a whole lot of women confused, and riled conservative commentators, as well as just about everyone else.  What happened? As Hot Air's Ed Morrissey...

A Closer Look at Fort Hood Shooter's Gun

At least one gun used by Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood was an FN Herstal 5.7 semiautomatic—which also happens to be a weapon of choice for Mexican cartels who battle the military and police. It is a favorite weapon among straw purchasers in the United States, who buy guns that are then smuggled south of the border, fueling the violence there. There is a common saying among law enforcement in Arizona: the people and drugs go north, the guns go south. Earlier this year, Special Agent in Charge...

This Week In Conservative Media: When it Comes to Fort Hood, Why Ask Why?

"I could not believe I was hearing that question all weekend: why did he do it? Why did a Muslim, in touch with Al Qaeda, open fire on U.S. military personnel?" asks Rush Limbaugh. "I tell you something, folks, political correctness and a lot of other things are gonna lead to our downfall." Limbaugh also discusses how the House Judiciary Committee just voted to strip the Patriot Act of a provision allowing the government to spy on people who are not linked to known terrorist groups, i.e. "lone...

"This Is a Betrayal": A Chaplain Discusses the Long Recovery From Fort Hood and the Lasting Legacy of PTSD

An ordained Baptist chaplain and army captain, Roger Benimoff spent two tours of duty in Iraq and months between deployments counseling soldiers in the U.S. During his career, he provided spiritual guidance to American soldiers through crises of faith, bereavement, and trauma until he himself broke down. While training and working as a chaplain at Walter Reed during the height of its crisis, Benimoff was diagnosed with chronic PTSD and spent months of treatment at some of the facilities where...

Maine Looked Like Promising Ground for Gay Rights

Maine should have been an example of strength in numbers for gay-marriage proponents but instead turned into heartache. If you don't count the District of Columbia, according to Gary Gates of the Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA's school of law devoted to gay-rights policies, Maine "has the highest number of same-sex couples per 1,000 households (so the highest per capita) of any state." So what happened? With gains on the national front, such as gay marriages being officially counted...

This Week in Conservative Media: Is NY-23 Outcome a Sign of Victory for Conservatives?

Last week Glenn Beck prophesied that Sarah Palin was on a potential roll with her upcoming book tour, one that might carry her into 2012—as a real rogue. Beck told Bill O'Reilly that her resignation as governor was a smart move, and that "she's also positioning herself for a third party. By the time this election runs around for the president, I'm sorry, but unless the Republicans and the Democrats wake up, a third party will win," he said. Given the Republican victories—and losses in...

This Week in Conservative Media: Afghanistan and Health Care 'In Big Trouble'

The question of Afghanistan and what to do with it is looming large this week in the conservative blogosphere. Early yesterday, Hot Air blogger Ed Morrissey called out New York Sen. Chuck Schumer for endorsing an "unusual strategy in Afghanistan—the very 'air raiding villages and bombing civilians' that Barack Obama derided as a candidate." Morrissey, also known as "Captain Ed" to his readers, says Democrats have argued since 2006 to shift the focus away from Iraq and toward...

This Week in Conservative Media: Apparently, Mao Is Not Dead

At least he's not if you're a conservative pundit tracking the Obama administration. It's been almost a week since Glenn Beck ran a segment featuring White House Communications Director Anita Dunn counting Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa among two of her favorite political philosophers, and the "mainstream media," according to Bill O'Reilly, are still refusing to deal with it.O'Reilly, mystified, asked Brit Hume: "Look, what if you said, well, look, Hitler came out of nowhere after the Weimar...

The Kindest Cut

One day, when Sila Folow was an 8-year-old girl living in Mali, four elderly women held her down on the dirt floor of an outhouse and, in keeping with local tradition, used a sharp blade to cut out her clitoris and most of her labia. Her grandmother and other villagers held a celebration. Sila, bleeding and in terrible pain, could not walk for weeks. Like millions of other African girls who are forced to undergo female genital mutilation—a ritual many women say is intended to ensure that they...

The 16th Minute: Andrew Speaker

Then: While in Rome for his honeymoon in May 2007, Andrew Speaker learns he has an extreme form of drug-resistant tuberculosis. He flies to Montreal, crosses the border, gets quarantined by the U.S. government and sparks a TB scare. A month later, it's revealed his diagnosis was incorrect. owNow: Speaker and his wife have separated. On April 28, he filed suit against the CDC, arguing that it "knowingly and misleadingly released false information" about his medical history. He still occasionally...

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