Patt Morrison for May 22, 2009

The California Supreme Court will announce this Tuesday their decision on the constitutionality of the voter approved amendment banning same-sex marriage in the state. With Iowa, Maine and Vermont joining Connecticut and Massachusetts in legalizing gay marriages the case brought to the courts by plaintiffs that see the ruling as unconstitutional grows ever stronger. California voters have approved a ban on same-sex marriages twice in the last nine years but the decision of whether or not the amendment abridges the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, lies in the hands of the State's highest court. What can we expect?
It's not like the debate over torture and Guantanamo Bay is anything new - we've been having it for at least seven years. But the circumstances in Washington D.C. yesterday were surely unprecedented: a sitting president speaking broadly on his national security policy while a former vice president spoke just across town defending his administration's unpopular decisions. That was the setup for Obama vs. Cheney, and both Republicans and Democrats run big risks and potential rewards in pursuing the politics of torture. Should the GOP hitch its wagons to the unapologetic Cheney and should Democrats be wary of the "soft on terrorism" charge?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor the unemployment rate in California dropped from 11.2% to 11% between March and April. Despite the slight drop in unemployment California still lost 63,700 jobs in the month of April and the only job sector that seems to be growing is government. Does this plateau mark the end of the ever–rising unemployment numbers and indicate that the recession is losing speed? Or should we take the numbers with a grain of salt?

Comedy Congress

A miserable, sinking economy and rancorous debate in Washington D.C. over everything from torture to swine flu--just when politics is enough to make you cry, it's usually best to laugh instead. In its own unique way, Comedy Congress is always up to the challenge. Who says humor can't reign in an era of hope? The unintentional humor flowed throughout the first three months of the Obama Administration and we're here to cover it all: Nancy Pelosi did her best impersonation of a punching bag while Arlen Specter did his best impersonation of Benedict Arnold. Remember, the truth hurts far less when it's told by comedians.
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