Alan Simpson: Marriage amendment a conservative power grab

Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, the honorary chair of the Republican Unity Coalition, writes in today’s New York Times against the proposed constitutional amendment attacking gay marriage. He argues that the real purpose of the proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as being “a union between a man and a woman” has nothing to do with strengthening families but would tear them apart, and that it represents a power grab on the part of conservatives for the federal government. Which is ironic, as Simpson points out, because conservatives usually argue violently when the federal government tries to “usurp” “issues better left to the states, like abortion or gun control.” It’s a brilliantly written argument that rings all the conservative chords and points them solely against those who argue that destroying the lives of gays somehow “preserves families.”

Doing iPodectomies

After reading my tale of iPod woe, MacArtisan sent in a link (via TrackBack) about opening up the iPod. Unfortunately, it’s about opening second generation iPods, but a little Googling found me this illustrated guide to opening the iPod case on a battery replacement manufacturer’s site, which looks more directly applicable to my first generation model.

I think before I undertake any surgery, or especially soldering, I might stop by Bellevue Square first. You never know…

Common sense 2: Time-out for the FCC

I’m a little late on posting this one, but I had to link to another judicial victory for common sense over conservative ideology: Court blocks US media rules. On Wednesday—a day before new rules that would allow a single company to own TV stations that reach 45% of the national market and to own radio, TV, and newspaper outlets in the same city would have gone into effect—a federal court blocked the rules pending a full judicial review, citing irretrievable harm to the petitioner, the Prometheus Radio Project.

One question that might be asked of FCC commissioner Powell: what was the damned hurry in the first place? These rules, the most sweeping revision of media ownership laws in recent memory, were pushed through with no public debate and, until folks like MoveOn squawked, no congressional inquiry. I’ve said it before: thank God for the common sense of the court, who both noted the possibility that there would be someone harmed and that the big media giants could certainly wait while the review was conducted.

I hadn’t heard of the Prometheus Radio Project before, but reading their stay motion—which notes that the Congress is moving to overturn the FCC ruling, that the FCC acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner by failing to analyze fully the impact of their actions, that their limited analysis is contradictory, that they didn’t include the public, in fact everything but that they quartered large bodies of troops among us—I like them a lot.

Thanks to MediaMouse for the links.