libertyWashington, D.C. – In what was considered worse than a filibuster, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, whose Tea Party-identified members earlier maneuvered to convene a special  last- minute session last night that lasted till 12:01 a.m., passed sweeping legislation that critics say is tantamount to “defacing the statue of Liberty and all that it stands for.”

The hastily-convened session was the House Republicans’ response to last week’s bi-partisan passage of Senate Bill 744 on Comprehensive Immigration Reform that establishes a path to citizenship for this country’s estimated 11 Million undocumented immigrants while taking steps to secure the U.S. border.

“The Senate Bill is DOA (dead on arrival) at the House of Representatives,” Speaker John Boehner said after the Senate passed the bill 68 to 32.

The House bill contained an order for the National Park Service to replace the historic plaque beneath the 127 year-old statue of Liberty on Ellis Island.  The plaque, as millions of visitors to the iconic monument are very familiar with, contains a poem written by poet Emma Lazarus. The opening of the poem, “The New Colossus,” refers to the Collosus of Rhodes, an ancient statue of a Greek titan. But Lazarus then refers to the statue which “shall” stand as a “mighty woman with a torch” and the “Mother of Exiles.” Emma_Lazarus_plaque

Later in the sonnet are the lines which eventually became iconic:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The legislative order gives the National Park Service 7 business days from the passing of the House Bill to replace the plaque with new lines, as follows:

“Give me your doctors, your nurses, your artists, Your scientists, your computer geeks,
Send these,  who have the money to invest, Those with Ph.D.’s and Masters degrees, the best and brightest of your European shores,                                                                                                        

I lift my lamp beside the golden door, but only for those I mention above!”

An amendment to the “new poem,” and later adopted as part of the approved bill, was authored by Minnesota’s Michelle Bachmann.  The addition reads:

“Let it be known that I have no tolerance for sexual deviants nor any interest in reuniting families, especially if they come from the continents of color.”

Asked at a press briefing following the bill’s passage why the legislators didn’t bother to amend the first part of Lazarus’ poem, Bachmann said, “there was an overwhelming agreement that the first part of the original poem, accurately represents Congress’ ancient thinking, so we let it stand.”

As to the question on how the bill will help secure the U.S. borders, Bachmann said that there is a provision in the bill that seeks to build fish pens around Ellis Island and the rest of the New York harbor.


imageManila – It was just a matter of time before the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines poked its ugly head into the growing popularity of “My Husband’s Lover,” a new TV series that tackles the bold theme of homosexuality.

GMA 7 quickly moved to cling to the ratings momentum created by the cancelled series by replacing it with a new show which reportedly has the full blessing of the Catholic Bishops.  The new show is titled, “My Father’s Lover.”

SOWHATSNEWS  reports from the Philippine capital. Read FULL STORY.


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flagDistrict of Columbia – In a decision considered the most controversial in its entire history, the Supreme Court of the United States today struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in its entirety, handing the LGBTQQI community its greatest victory since Stonewall.

The Supremes voted 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the deciding vote. Justices who favored striking down DOMA aside from Roberts were Thomas, Scalia, Alito and Breyer. In the majority decision, penned by Roberts, the high court said of DOMA, “What was Congress thinking? There was no compelling reason to defend marriage. No one was attacking marriage. The LGBTQQI community was, as a matter of fact, all for it. The community members simply wanted to be included.”

Supreme Ginsburg
Supreme Ginsburg

In a dissenting opinion, penned by Ginsburg, the minority said, “This is a day of infamy. It marks the end of what is left of the liberal agenda. What’s next for us as justices? It will be a boring rest of the term for us.” Outside the court chambers, Ginsburg was quoted as saying, “It’s time for me to retire.”

On the other landmark case, Prop 8, the justices were unanimous in declaring that those who brought the case before the court had “no standing.” In an unprecedented move, the court sent back the Prop 8 case to California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom. The court said that since Newsom started this whole thing on gay marriage in California when he authorized to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples in 2004, he should just make an executive decision to strike down Prop 8.

The decision comes just a few days before the biggest Pride celebration in the country. The San Francisco Pride Committee quickly convened a board meeting during which it decided to cancel Sunday’s Pride Parade and Festival. “We no longer see the need to stage a separate Pride celebration,” the committee said. “We are now equal with everyone else.”

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