Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8, which defines marriage as being between couples of the opposite sex. Today they’re hearing them on the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman at the federal level. Like Roe v. Wade, the high court’s decision on these cases is likely to fuel the culture war for a generation or two, at least. Unlike with Roe, the Court seems to understand that it’s been handed an issue of enormous consequence.
According to an annual report for 2012 just released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), DHS processed a total of 205,895 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests during the year. The report, presented by Acting Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer Jonathan R. Cantor, shows that DHS reduced the backlog of such requests by 30 percent during the year. However, a deeper look at the numbers reveals that the agency only fully granted just over 10 percent of FOIA requests that were processed.
In his second inaugural address, President Obama made every effort to tie his political philosophy to the ideals and principles of the American Founding, even as he made clear how little he understands those ideals and principles. The gist of Obama’s speech was that only government can grant freedom. Or as he put it, “[W]e have always understood…that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”
Next week the United Nations' International Telecommunications Union will meet in Dubai to figure out how to control the Internet. Representatives from 193 nations will attend the nearly two week long meeting, according to news reports.
It was inevitable that after the massacre in a Colorado movie theater, the matter of gun control would come up and that the president would weigh in on the subject. And, according to this report by Michael A. Memoli in the Los Angeles Times, he has:
It was perhaps inevitable that our Fourth of July celebrations last week might have seemed anti-climactic after the four-day festivities a month ago accompanying the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Fireworks, however spectacular, cannot compare with the thousand-boat flotilla on the Thames cheered on by masses of river-side spectators (shivering and soaking in torrential rain) or the horse-drawn carriage procession (again, the streets lined with people) from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace, the Queen regally bedecked and costumed.
Speaker of the House John Boehner's Fourth of July tribute to the Declaration of Independence:
“If you’re like me, when you enter the Capitol Rotunda, your eyes are drawn to Trumbull’s depiction of the Declaration of Independence. And why not? It’s humbling to stop and think about how it all began.
On the day that the Supreme Court released its Obamacare ruling, my daughter and I had the opportunity to visit the Reagan Ranch. Located in the mountains in the Central Coast region of California, the ranch is where President Reagan spent nearly one out of every eight days of his presidency. As you might imagine, it’s a wonderful place.
A German court has ruled that male circumcision is a crime. "Who cuts boys for religious reasons is liable to prosecution for assault," a report in the German-language Financial Times Deutschland reads, via Google translate.