News Items: Astroturf, Gay Marriage, Health Care, Gov Furloughs Unconstitutional, AARP Health Care Revolt

Various articles and news sources about key issues affecting life in America.

New York Times

Op Ed: Keep Off the Astroturf. Defending Town Hall Protests As Authentic.
WITH the “public option” part of President Obama’s health care reform plan looking dead in the water, many of its supporters are taking issue with the legitimacy of its opposition. With voters split fairly evenly down the middle on health care reform, it seems presumptuous to label your side “real” and the other synthetic. Considering today’s 24-hour cable news babbling, down-and-dirty blog activism, and talk-radio rabble-rousing, it’s worth asking if the Astroturf epithet still has meaning.

Conservative Ted Olson As An Unexpected Ally On Road to Championing Same-Sex Marriage
Theodore B. Olson’s office is a testament to his iconic status in the conservative legal movement. A framed photograph of Ronald Reagan, the first of two Republican presidents Mr. Olson served, is warmly inscribed with “heartfelt thanks.” Fifty-five white quills commemorate each of his appearances before the Supreme Court, where he most famously argued the 2000 election case that put George W. Bush in the White House. He has won 44 of the 55 cases taken to the Supreme Court.

Washington Post

Health Care Debate’s Path Caught Obama by Surprise, Democratic Opposition to Public Option Not Expected
“President Obama’s advisers acknowledged Tuesday that they were unprepared for the intraparty rift that occurred over the fate of a proposed public health insurance program, a firestorm that has left the White House searching for a way to reclaim the initiative on the president’s top legislative priority.”

Government Furloughs Unconstitutional, U.S. Judge Rules; May Have to Repay Wages
“Several unions filed suit against the county last year, alleging that officials violated collective bargaining agreements by imposing the furloughs. In his opinion, Williams sided with the unions on one of three counts, finding that the county violated the contract clause of the U.S. Constitution, which bars states from passing laws “impairing the obligation of contracts.””


AARP loses members over health care stance
“The membership loss suggests dissatisfaction on the part of AARP members at a time when many senior citizens are concerned about proposed cuts to Medicare providers to help pay for making health care available for all. But spokesman Drew Nannis said it wasn’t unusual for the powerful, 40 million-strong senior citizens’ lobby to shed members in droves when it’s advocating on a controversial issue.”

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