Day: November 1, 2013

“It’s time to have the talk”



Hagel Denounces States Denying Same-Sex Military Benefits


Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel had stern words Thursday for states defying Pentagon policy by refusing to issue ID cards to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities.

“This is wrong,” he told a gathering at the Anti-Defamation League centennial dinner in New York.

Nine states are currently running afoul of Pentagon policy by refusing to issue same-sex spouse IDs at National Guard posts: Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia, the Associated Press reports. The policy forces couples to travel to federal facilities to obtain the IDs, which are needed to get the benefits to which military couples, including same-sex couples, are now entitled to under law. The Department of Defense lifted its ban on gays serving openly in the military in September 2011, and the Supreme Court struck down part of a federal law denying federal benefits to same-sex couples last year.

“Not only…

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Everything You Need to Know About Thanksgivukkah


Gather your gourds and yarmulkes—it’s time to celebrate Thanksgivukkah.

In a rare alignment of calendars, the first day of Hanukkah will fall on the same day as Thanksgiving this year: Nov. 28. Here’s everything you need to know about the power holiday, the best excuse for overeating since sliced potatoes.

It won’t happen again for 70,000 years.  

As you might have heard, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of each November. Americans keep track of that date using the Gregorian calendar. Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish holiday, is governed by the Hebrew calendar, which can have between 353 and 385 days per year. So the start date of the Festival of Lights varies in relation to other holidays, typically falling in December. The first day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving haven’t coincided like this since 1888 and won’t coincide again until the year 79811, according to an analysis done by…

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“A War On The Poor”: This Is Now The Central And Defining Issue Of American Politics

John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, has done some surprising things lately. First, he did an end run around his state’s Legislature — controlled by his own party — to proceed with the federally funded expansion of Medicaid that is an important piece of Obamacare. Then, defending his action, he let loose on his political allies, declaring, “I’m concerned about the fact there seems to be a war on the poor. That, if you’re poor, somehow you’re shiftless and lazy.”

Obviously Mr. Kasich isn’t the first to make this observation. But the fact that it’s coming from a Republican in good standing (although maybe not anymore), indeed someone who used to be known as a conservative firebrand, is telling. Republican hostility toward the poor and unfortunate has now reached such a fever pitch that the party doesn’t really stand for anything else — and only willfully blind observers…

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City Where Trayvon Martin Was Killed Bans Guns From Neighborhood Watch


The Florida city where neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin has issued new rules, banning volunteers on patrol from carrying guns and forbidding them from pursuing suspects.

The new rules, instituted by the Police Department of Sanford, Fla., will require background checks on all volunteers and institute a new chain of command in an effort to impose order and accountability on a program Police Chief Cecil Smith called dysfunctional, disorganized and disjointed, News 13 reported Wednesday.

“We’ve seen this happen already, where an individual was declaring that under the auspice of neighborhood watch, he was performing a duty that he wasn’t,” Smith said.

Smith suspended the Neighborhood Watch program after he took office in April to find that little had changed in the year since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed. Zimmerman was acquitted of manslaughter and murder earlier this year, in a high-profile case that sparked debate…

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Toronto Mayor’s Lawyer Says Video Doesn’t Show Him Smoking Crack


The lawyer for embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said Friday that a video in police possession doesn’t show the mayor smoking crack cocaine as has been alleged, but rather marijuana or tobacco, and that the video should be released.

Dennis Morris told CBC News said Ford is “innocent of any allegations made about his smoking crack cocaine” and that neither city police, nor the Toronto Star reporters who claimed they viewed the footage, could confirm that the substance in the glass pipe was actually crack cocaine. Morris’ pushback comes one day after an Ontario judge released hundreds of documents that show police had been following Ford for months as part of an investigation into his friend and accused drug dealer, Alexander “Sandro” Lisi.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said Thursday that police had recovered a file deleted from a computer that was in line with “those images which were previously reported…

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Ohio Man Pops the Question with Pumpkins

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