by Benjamin J. Kirby
The Pinellas County Commission has already come to its collective sense and voted to return flouride to the county water supply. Coming up next will be a most interesting vote on a domestic partner registry.
Like the domestic partnership registries in the cities of Gulfport, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, the county law would grant unmarried couples, gay or straight, certain rights that currently are afforded only through marriage.
It would allow unmarried couples to visit each other in hospital emergency rooms, make healthcare decisions for each other in crises, and be notified in emergencies, just as a family member would be.
This is one of those things that just makes sense in this day and age. Duncan and I are married, but I would hope that if we weren't, we would be able to determine things like hospital visitation rules.
I'm glad Gulfport -- where we live -- lead the way on this, along with our neighboring city, St. Petersburg. And I'm glad Pinellas will help to lead the way in Florida.
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Senator Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, is resigning to go lead the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank.
DeMint is one of the hard-right neo-conservatives who have helped make the Senate a pretty much unwatchable kind of place. But from my view, his departure is a kind of victory:
“I think the problem is, as conservatives, we have not taken enough control of our message and our ideas and communicated them directly to the American people,” he told Limbaugh. “That’s what we want to do at Heritage.”
First elected in 2004 and easily reelected in 2010, DeMint has led the conservative charge in the upper chamber, a role he has embraced and one which has often put him at odds with Republican leadership.
This kind of talk ought to be read as the best possible news for Democrats, progressives and even liberals. Because DeMint is apparently telling Limbaugh (ugh) this without a hint of irony. Conservatives "have not taken enough control of [the] message"? Really?
What about the conservative president (and his neo-conservative Vice President) who oversaw eight full years of rightward shift in this country, championing exorbitant tax cuts for wealthy and two wars? That ended only four years ago. What about the tea-party-lead "revolution" from just two years ago that helped Republicans sweep to power in Congress?
I love that the Republicans are now going to try and re-brand themselves as the long-suffering, aggrieved underdogs of politics. This is, of course, nonsense.
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How do you filibuster your own bill?
Didn't I just say the Senate is broken?
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Not politics, but this is incredibly depressing....
...and totally catchy.
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It's almost Friday.