Nevada Blueprint

NV-Blueprint002

— by Senator Aaron D Ford, Senate Democratic Leader and
     Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Assembly Democratic Leader

As Nevada Democrats, we share a core belief: Every Nevadan deserves a fair shot at
the American Dream. That starts with a quality education, and it includes access to  good jobs that can support a family, a safe community in which to live, and a secure retirement.  Achieving the dream is not a guarantee – it requires personal accountability and hard work – but it also should not be impossible.

Nevadans have a natural instinct for hard work and ingenuity. In the 2015 Legislative Session, Democrats’ focus is on creating opportunities that lay the necessary foundation for Nevadans to improve their personal economic security.

We must ensure that those who work hard and play by the rules are rewarded for it – whether that means having access to affordable higher education, or the ability to buy a home, raise a family, and retire with peace of mind. We must also ensure that the middle-class families who suffered most during the Great Recession will not be punished again as we transition into a 21st-Century Nevada.

Democrats are at the table ready to work and look forward to honest conversations, fair hearings, and debates on our ideas to address the needs of all Nevadans. If we come together now to put middle-class families first, then our future is undeniably bright.  To that end, we offer our Nevada Blueprint – an agenda outlining our principles and legislative goals that will help every Nevadan reach their own American Dream – from childhood to retirement. We hope you’ll join us in working to achieve these goals on behalf of all Nevadans.

Read or download the full document from Scribd:

HHS announces important Medicare information for people in same-sex marriages

Dept. of Health & Human Services

04/03/2014

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is now able to process requests for Medicare Part A and Part B Special Enrollment Periods, and reductions in Part B and premium Part A late enrollment penalties for certain eligible people in same-sex marriages. This is another step HHS is taking in response to the June 26, 2013 Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Windsor, which held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Because of this ruling, Medicare is no longer prevented by DOMA from recognizing same-sex marriages for determining entitlement to, or eligibility, for Medicare.

Read more about today’s announcement here …

Ted Nugent Falls off His Rocker

The Republican nominee in the Texas gubernatorial race should know better than to embrace someone spouting racist and sexist views.

— by 

Jim Hightower

Ted Nugent, the old rocker from the Seventies, is now just plain old. And off his rocker.

A political novelty act for the far right and a front man for the National Rifle Association, Nugent regularly spews venomous, vulgar, race-laced, abusive hate speech about liberals, Democrats, gun laws, and creeping communism.

In January, for example, he tongue-lashed President Barack Obama. Nugent called our commander in chief a “communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel.”

ted nugent backs governor candidate abbott

Naturally, Greg Abbott — the Republican candidate for governor of Texas — promptly invited this scurrilous lout to come for a visit.

Abbott is currently the state attorney general. As a dyed-in-the-wool tea party extremist, he apparently thought it would juice up his far-out GOP flock to have the rabidly nutty Nugent come campaign with him.

Ted came. He embraced the gubernatorial wannabe as his “blood brother.” But the brotherhood gambit backfired.

Even Republican leaders wondered aloud why Abbott would, as one put it, “keep company with a noted misogynist and bigot.” In addition to Nugent’s disgusting “subhuman mongrel” slur, the old rocker has also admitted to being “addicted” to underage girls. But if that’s not out there enough, it’s well known to Vietnam Veterans across this country that Mr. Nugent managed to dodge the draft by physically and publicly crapping in his pants.

The issue, however, isn’t Nugent’s sordid character, but Abbott’s.

Hugging an infamous predator and hate-monger for political gain is both morally repugnant and politically stupid. Yet, Abbott continues to cling to Nugent’s embrace, tersely (and cluelessly) saying: “It’s time to move beyond this.”

A campaign aide even tried to paint Nugent’s endorsement as a positive: “We appreciate the support of everyone who supports protecting our constitution.”

Everyone, including sexual predators and overt racists? How about mass murderers?

Shouldn’t a candidate for governor — even in Texas — draw a sharper moral line?


OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown. OtherWords.org.  Photo Credit (Ted Nugent):  chascar/Flickr

The 9th Circuit Did NOT Invent Equal Protection

— by Rich Dunn, NVRDC 2nd Vice Chairperson

“After the voters of Nevada passed a law designating that marriage be defined as a union between a man and a woman, Nevada’s Democrat (sic) attorney general has co-opted with the ultra-liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and decided that ‘we can’t win after the Ninth Circuit changed the rules’ (by deciding in another case that any law that deals with homosexual people requires heightened scrutiny with regard to possible discrimination).”
-Teri A. Cotham of Gardnerville in a letter published in the Feb. 18th Nevada Appeal

Teri doesn’t seem to have heard about United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court case which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, thereby granting federal benefits to same sex couples who are married under state law. That’s the case upon which the Utah and Virginia same-sex marriage bans have been ruled unconstitutional, and upon which Nevada’s same-sex marriage ban will no doubt be overturned, regardless of whether the State of Nevada chooses to defend it. And it’s worth noting that the Windsor case came from the Southern District of New York in the 2nd Circuit, not the 9th Circuit.

Teri also doesn’t appear to understand what role the 9th Circuit played in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case she appears to be citing. That was a 50-page ruling by Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that Prop 8, the anti-gay marriage initiative on the 2008 ballot, was unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment.

The 9th Circuit issued a stay to give Prop 8 proponents an opportunity to appeal, then passed that appeal on to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear it, ruling that proponents of initiatives such as Prop 8 don’t have standing to defend the resulting law. On that basis, the court directed the 9th Circuit to lift its stay and vacate its concurrence, allowing Judge Walker’s ruling to stand. And that is how Prop 8 was overturned.

Lastly, Teri seems unaware that the concept of subjecting certain kinds of legal challenges to “heightened scrutiny” is based on the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. When a law has the potential to infringe upon a civil right, the government is called upon to defend it. If it’s found to be too broad in scope, fails to accomplish its stated purpose, or unreasonably infringes upon constitutionally protected rights, it will be struck down in any circuit, not just the 9th Circuit.

Just Like Me? NOT! Amodei Is Deaf, Dumb and Can’t Read!

DiscriminationSome time ago, I wrote to Rep. Mark Amodei regarding DOMA and various bills proposed by GOP members of Congress seeking to  restrict the marriage franchise.  I specifically stated that I believe that marriage is a contract of law and as such it should be available to all human beings, be they male + male, female + female or male+female couples.  I conveyed in that letter that I consider marriage a civil right.  I also told him in my letter that if he was of the belief that marriage should NOT be available to ALL couples, but instead allowed only between ONE man and ONE woman, then he should find the intestinal fortitude to introduce a bill into Congress to remove all discriminatory marriage-related tax incentives and benefits from our US Tax Code.  It is inappropriate for Congress to impose discriminatory tax codes on certain members of our society.  I also stated that if it’s only to be between ONE man and ONE woman, then they should outlaw divorce and not allow widows or widowers to marry as they’d already used up their “ONE.”

A number of bills have been proposed.  HJRes51 proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to enshrine discrimination of against an entire class of U.S. Citizens:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein),

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This joint resolution may be cited as the `Marriage Protection Amendment’.

SEC. 2. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

The following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:

`Article–

`Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.’.

Yet another bill, HR2834, proposed which marriages would be eligible for benefits:

Declares that, in determining the meaning of any Act of Congress: (1) “marriage” includes a marriage, domestic partnership, civil union, or any other similar legal union between two individuals that is recognized by a state, the District of Columbia, a territory or possession of the United States, or a federally recognized Indian tribe; and (2) “spouse” refers to either member of such a legal union. (Currently, “marriage” is defined only as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, while “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife.)

Under the definitions outlined in HR2834, my late husband and I would not have been considered husband and wife, as we were not married in a “State,” the District of Columbia,  a U.S. Territory, or on Tribal grounds.  We were married in the Bahamas. That was another point I raised in my letter to Rep. Amodei.

Well, I finally got my response from Rep. Amodei’s office.  Clearly, he, and the member of his staff (sp) who drafted the response below, are incapable of comprehending that someone in his district would be “FOR” the principle of marriage equality and thought I must have erred in my assertion that marriage should NOT be restricted to just ONE man and ONE woman.  Here’s the copy of his letter (the only modification to this letter is the removal of my address from the letter before posting it here):

Amodei-DOMA