Martin O’Malley gets the Twitter-verse swooning during debate

On a side note: I think this is the first time I’ve ever categorized the same entry as both “Eye Candy” and “Politics”.

Twitter sounded off on the sex appeal of presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley during last night’s Democratic debate.

Source: DILFy Martin O’Malley Makes Twitter Wet During First Democratic Debate

NASA Chief to Congress: ‘Don’t Make Us Hitch Rides With Russia’ 

My favorite quote from the article:

“Space travel is complex, but this choice is simple: Do we invest in ourselves — in our businesses, our ingenuity, our people — or do we choose instead to send our tax-dollars to Russia?”

Source: NASA Chief to Congress: ‘Don’t Make Us Hitch Rides With Russia’ – NBC News

Twitter sues US Government to allow full disclosure

Twitter announced they were suing the US Government to allow them more freedom in reporting on the various surveillance requests they receive.

It’s our belief that we are entitled under the First Amendment to respond to our users’ concerns and to the statements of U.S. government officials by providing information about the scope of U.S. government surveillance – including what types of legal process have not been received. We should be free to do this in a meaningful way, rather than in broad, inexact ranges.

via Taking the fight for #transparency to court | Twitter Blogs.

Supreme Court: “Not Yet” in stepping-in on same-sex marriage question.

So the Supreme Court has decided not to take up the current challenges to rulings that overturned same-sex marriage bands.

Good news:

The court’s action Monday effectively makes same-sex marriage legal in 30 states, plus the District of Columbia.

We’re over half-way there.  The bad news is, we still haven’t had this settled nation-wide.  There are still other cases working their way through the system that could still pop up in the Supreme Court.   I am personally wondering if the Court is trying to punt as long as they can to either have it eventually determined nation-wide by the various lower courts, or are waiting for “just the right one”.

via Supreme Court Declines to Intervene in Gay Marriage Cases – NBC News.com.

Sequestration’s Biggest Victim: The Public Defender System

The public defender system hasn’t just been stripped bare by sequestration, its bones have been chiseled away as well. There has been a 9 percent reduction in the roughly $1 billion budget for federal public defenders offices, while federal defenders in more than 20 states are planning to close offices. Careers have been ended and cases have been delayed. All of it has occurred in the name of deficit reduction — and yet, for all the belt-tightening being demanded of the nations public defenders, money is not actually being saved.

via Sequestrations Biggest Victim: The Public Defender System.

Who said anything about “no guns”?

In the light of the most recent horrible incidents, of which Sandy Hook is the current focus, momentum has been increasing in regards to more gun legislation, especially in regards to more background checks.

This has some groups calling foul as it (further) restricts our Second Amendment rights. Let’s review that wording:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

(via http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html ).

What people keep drawing attention to is the second half of that sentence. It’s the first half that we also need to look at: A well regulated Militia. Various SCOTUS rulings have worked to define what that means. Key thing here is that it’s not open-ended and needs some regulation.

I think we would most agree that we shouldn’t let people that need not possess a gun be blocked from doing so. The question is how. Unless gun sellers are also psychics, there has to be some way of having some level of vetting to make sure that it’s not super easy for guns to fall into the hands of those that shouldn’t have them.

That’s where background checks come into play. There’s got to be some way of having some front-line way that we can at least make it harder for those who shouldn’t be getting them.

I would find it hard to beleive that someone is touting this as anywhere close to fool-proof, especially if the Spring 2013 proposed legislation doesn’t include person-to-person. However, this would at least cover more scenarios. Just like if someone really wanted a prescription medicine that didn’t have a prescription could still get it if they really tried: The prescription check adds a layer of protection.

But the question is then how much of an undue burden this puts on a buyer having to go through that background check. As a recent video has shown, this may not take more than a few minutes: faster than it would take to get a prescription filled.

So, what I’m really scratching my head over is why is the NRA and others up in arms about this? No one is saying “no guns”. Just no guns for those that shouldn’t get them. I wouldn’t even call this a “slippery slope” (I’m so tired of that phrase) as it took decades to get to even this point. It’s anything but a slope, it’s been an uphill climb the whole way.