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Ear to the Ground

Scalia’s Anti-Gay Marriage Rant, Nate Silver on Hillary’s 2016 Prospects, and More

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Posted on Dec 11, 2012

His Word Is Law: Justice Antonin Scalia, who helps get to decide the future of same-sex marriage when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the issue in the spring, is defending his comparison of homosexuality to murder. During an appearance at Princeton University on Monday, Scalia was asked why he equates laws barring sodomy with laws banning murder. “It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the ‘reduction to the absurd,’ ” Scalia said. “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?” He later clarified that he was attempting to draw a parallel between the bans on murder and gay marriage. (Read more)

Everyone Hates Mitch: A new Public Policy Polling survey in Kentucky shows that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has an approval rating of just 37 percent, making him the most unpopular senator in the country. Even so, the poll shows he still leads his possible Democratic challengers—including actress Ashley Judd—when he’s up for re-election again in 2014. (Read more)

Running Strong: Election predictor extraordinaire Nate Silver thinks that Hillary Clinton will be a formidable opponent if she runs for president in 2016. However, Silver argues that what makes her such a strong contender is not her favorability ratings, which are currently very high. “Elections in which no incumbent is running are usually fairly close. And in an era of intense partisanship, there is a relatively low ceiling (and perhaps also a relatively high floor) on the favorability ratings that any politician can have in the most active stages of a presidential campaign,” he writes. “Perhaps Mrs. Clinton’s most impressive attribute is her ability to withstand criticism—and often emerge the stronger from it. If she runs for president again, she will surely receive plenty of it.” (Read more)

Koch Break: A semiannual meeting between the billionaire Koch brothers and their conservative donors has been postponed, the National Review Online reports. The gathering, which was to be held next month, has been rescheduled to April. Charles Koch sent an email to his inner circle explaining that he wanted more time to reflect on the election results. (Read more)

Highest Office: Count Jimmy Carter among those who support marijuana legalization in the U.S. The former president said he was “OK” with it during a panel discussion that aired Tuesday on CNN. “I don’t think it’s going to happen in Georgia yet, but I think we can watch and see what happens in the state of Washington, for instance around Seattle, and let the American government and let the American people see does it cause a serious problem or not,” Carter said. (Read more)

Video of the Day: On “The Colbert Report” on Monday night, Stephen Colbert responded to the results of a poll in South Carolina that show voters there want the Comedy Central late night host to replace the outgoing Jim DeMint as the state’s next senator. “Now my network contract prohibits me from taking on another full-time job, so the Senate would be perfect,” he joked.

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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