FROM Karen Ocamb
Obama's Second Inaugural: From DC to Southern California Today, President Obama made his second inaugural address to the nation. In his address, he linked Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall… respectively landmarks for women's rights, civil right and the rights of gays and lesbians. Environmentalists and other Obama supporters have been critical of what they perceive as the President's failure to address what they think is the most important issue facing the planet Earth. Today, he addressed the threat of climate change. How did it all sound in Southern California, the nation's most diverse region, often said to embody America's future? What was the impact of inaugural poet Richard Blanco and the benediction given by Rev. Luis Leon.
A Rumble in West Hollywood Since it was incorporated 27 years ago, West Hollywood has been known worldwide as a "gay destination." Some 37% of its residents are gay or lesbian. Now its reputation for enlightened self-government is under challenge. In next month’s city council election, veteran incumbents are accused of selling out to developers. Would term limits make for a healthier democracy? Or does their institutional memory make them more valuable than ever?
Ninth Circuit Delays Gay Marriage until December Same-sex marriage in California has been put on hold once again, this time by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. District judge Vaughn Walker, the one who found California’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional , ordered marriages to begin day after tomorrow. Today the Ninth Circuit, without explanation, said arguments about a possible appeal will begin the week of December 6. Karen Ocamb, editor of Frontiers in LA, blogs at LGBT POV .
Same-Sex Marriage in California? Not Yet Federal judge Vaughn Walker gave gay and lesbian couples what they wanted today, but then snatched it back for the next six days. Last week, he declared that Proposition 8's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional , but delayed the effect of his ruling until today. Couples lined up at some courthouses in hopes his decision would go their way, and it did, but the judge created still more uncertainty.
Same-Sex Marriage in California Same-sex marriage is legal in California, at least until November, when voters are likely to get the chance to overturn last week's ruling by the state supreme court. The Massachusetts Supreme Court was first, back in 2003, the only other state that's legalized same-sex marriage . But the ruling in California went further, saying that discrimination against homosexuals is the same as racial discrimination. Many gays and lesbians are celebrating the opinion by Chief Justice Ron George, a former prosecutor appointed by a Republican Governor. Does the decision nullify "the will of the people," since a statewide same-sex marriage ban passed overwhelmingly eight years ago? Can the people nullify the court that nullified them? What's the likely impact on other states and the presidential campaign?
The free-flowing leaks in the Trump White House President Obama tried to clamp down on leakers, but the Trump Administration is besieged almost as never before. Are the "anonymous sources" partisans or worried professionals? Are they endangering the republic or performing a public service?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.
Russian probe gets jolt from Yates and Clapper Senate hearing Intelligence officials have long since concluded that Russia interfered in last year's US election. After yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, what more do we know about the threat to future elections and how it's being handled by the Trump Administration?