And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:
No Problem Pledging?
The California Pledge of Allegiance case gets more curious and more curious. It now turns out that the man who filed the suit may not have had any legitimate reason for doing so. His daughter had no problem with her school's practice of reciting the pledge, but there's more. The girl's mother has issued her first comments since the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared the pledge unconstitutional. Sandra Banning says, “I was concerned that the American public would be led to believe that my daughter is an atheist or that she has been harmed by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, including the words, 'one nation under God.' In our home we are practicing Christians and are active in our church." Furthermore, Banning never married to Michael Newdow, the third grader's father — who insisted his daughter had been injured by having to listen to others recite the pledge.
A Super-Sized Lawsuit
An overweight family was booted off a Southwest Airlines flight this week after refusing to purchase extra seats as part of the airlines new "people of size" policy. Now, the people of size are thinking about filing a discrimination suit. Airline officials told siblings Marty McLaughlin and Andrea Kysar of the rule as the two headed from New Mexico to Indiana for their mother's funeral. The two allege the airline waived the rule on the trip because they were flying with Kysar's average-sized husband and her 75-pound daughter. They say the airline reversed course before the return flight, telling each that they would have to purchase two seats apiece because of their girth. The two decided instead to take a 1,200-mile bus trip back to New Mexico. Southwest Airlines since has refunded the cost of the entire family's flight.
City Back on Track?
National Urban League officials say they believe Cincinnati reformed its ways sufficiently in the last year to make the Queen City eligible for hosting the league's national convention there. The civil rights group will gather in Cincinnati next year, angering supporters of an economic boycott organized after a white police office shot and killed a black man who turned out to be unarmed. The shooting triggered three days of rioting, but Mayor Charlie Luken said the Urban League's decision was a sign that the city has turned, "A very important corner."