REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT SENATORS AGREE ON GAMBLING: In the shadow of the fiscal cliff, Senate Majority Leader Democrat Harry Reid and Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl are cooperating to introduce a law to expand online gambling and create an Office of Online Poker Oversight.
Most states oppose law because, though not on moral or ethical grounds; they don’t want to lose their own revenue stream. Republican Kyl contends the law will outlaw some forms of gambling, but one report suggests he’s having a tough time convincing conservatives to get on board.
I wonder if Vegas oddsmakers have assigned a betting line on whether this bill has any chance of becoming law?
JUDGE ROY MOORE’S ASTONISHING POLITICAL COMEBACK: I recently learned that Roy Moore was re-elected chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama last month, 10 years after being expelled from that office after refusing to remove a 5,200-pound granite monument of the Ten Commandments he’d illegally placed in the lobby of the Alabama State Judicial Building.
Moore had since failed in two efforts to be elected governor of Alabama, but won reelection to the court with 52 percent of the statewide vote. It will be interesting to see how Moore conducts the courtroom this time around. He was certainly a lightning rod back in the day and is probably already giving some people heartburn.
ISLAM AND THE NOVEMBER ELECTION: The Arab American News website notes (Nov. 9, 2012) that candidates running for the U.S. Congress who espoused extreme views on Islam were defeated in the recent national election. This includes incumbent Allen West of Florida, who called Islam a totalitarian theocratic ideology; Adam Hasner of Florida, who supported anti-Islamic events, and Reps. Chip Cravaack in Minnesota and Joe Walsh in Illinois.
In addition, a challenger in an Illinois congressional election who had called for deporting all Muslims failed to win.
SUPREME COURT TO RULE ON GAY MARRIAGE: The Supreme Court has agreed to rule on two separate court cases that could go a long way to determining whether or not gay marriage can become the law of the land.
One of the cases involves two married women who were together 40 years and married in New York. When one of the partners died, the widow was assessed a $363,000 tax bill she wouldn’t have received had she married a man.
Somewhat more than 50 percent of Americans now approve of the right of gay people to marry, but who disagree on religious grounds and their reading of the Bible will remain unswayed no matter which way the court rules.
I WISH I’D SAID THAT: “I’d like to hear attack ads on things worth attacking. If there was an attack ad on malaria, I’d get that, because 3,000 people die every day — mostly kids — of malaria.” (U2 singer Bono, referring at Georgetown University to the abundance of political attack ads.)
Contact the Rev. Creede Hinshaw at Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church in Savannah at firstname.lastname@example.org.