| Everyone is talking about the fact that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. There was one other award given out on the same day, and with all the excitement, you might have missed it. The Family Values Porn Fan of the Year 2009 award went to Newt Gingrich. You can read all about it here.
In other Obama-related news, the President has endorsed Bill Thompson. We've mentioned him before, but he might be under your radar. There is, however, a 99.9% chance (and that might be low) you know the name of his competitor: Mike Bloomberg. It is a difficult position for President Obama. Thompson is a Democrat: Obama is the head of the Democratic Party. Thompson is a black man running to be mayor of the largest city in America, which happens to be located in New York State, whose Governor is a black man and who Obama has asked to withdraw from his re-election rate. Couple this with the fact that Obama and Bloomberg see eye to eye on many things, they're friendly, and there is a very high probability that Mayor Mike will hold on to his seat.
Moving on: not that you'll be surprised, but the IIE is still homophobic, in addition to being racist, misogynistic, and basically against everything else rational, sane, decent people support. The House this week passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. this will expand the 1969 Hate Crimes Act to include crimes motivated by gender, sexual orientation, gender identification and disability. The right tried to kill the bill, saying it would lead to Nazism, necrophilia, pedophilia and beastiality
This is a good time to remind you that the March for Equality in Washington, DC is tomorrow. The Times points out that there is some difference of opinion on whether a national program, or state by state action is the better path. President obama will be speaking tonight at a Human Rights Campaign fund-raiser.
Finally, California is in even worse shape than people thought. Turns out they're already a billion short. This comes back to the validity of the economic models that people use. States work on the accrual basis, this California "booked" income based on the taxes that people owed. Well, that works well for economists and accountants. Not so much when you have to write actual checks on the money. And the money isn't coming. Fewer jobs, lower wages, homes reassessed downward, foreclosures, and decreases in business income, spending and flat out population are causing problems. Once again, the model is wrong.