Show Notes for Friday, August 30, 2013

Fugelsang2• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang joins us from the New York Bureau at 10am ET / 7am PT for Fridays With Fugelsang

• The Obama administration’s plans to strike at Syria lost its most important foreign ally last night when the British government said it would not take part in any military action against Syria for its suspected use of chemical weapons.

The administration will release today a declassified version of its intelligence report on last week’s purported Syria chemical weapons attack. It will also go public with its legal justification for taking military action against the Syrian regime if and when President Obama orders a strike.

All legally wed gay couples, no matter which state they live in, are entitled to the same U.S. federal tax benefits as married heterosexual couples, the Obama administration said on Thursday.

The National Football League agreed yesterday to pay $765 million to retired football players who sued the league over head injuries that they blamed on their time playing pro football.

Valerie Harper’s doctor says the actress’ brain cancer is getting close to remission. The 74-year-old former sitcom star had announced in March that she had an incurable form of cancer and was given as little as three months to live.

Show Notes for Thursday, August 29, 2013

• Political Strategist Karl Frisch calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about the Far Right’s problems with yesterday’s March on Washington

Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the Far Right’s fervor to impeach President Obama

CescaBob Cesca of The Daily Banter calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about the new enemies of racial equality

• U.S. intelligence officials say intel linking Syrian President Bashar Assad to an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed at least 100 people is no “slam dunk,” with questions remaining about who controls some of Syria’s chemical weapons and doubts about whether Assad himself ordered the strike.

President Obama has not yet decided on U.S. action in Syria, where he says his administration has “concluded” President Bashar al Assad used chemical weapons in an attack against civilians last week near Damascus.

• For many among the tens of thousands of Americans who thronged to D.C. to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, President Obama’s challenge to seize the cause of racial equality from the “glorious patriots” of the 1960s struck a deep generational chord.

Former Army Maj. Nidal Hasan was sentenced to death Wednesday for killing 13 people in a 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas – and the families of several victims said justice had been served for a “coward.”

Show Notes for Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rep. Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the exploding situation in Syria

SparksGuitar• Sexy Liberal Hal Sparks calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT for a telephone edition of Humpdays With Hal

• President Obama and his European and Middle East allies have blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for last week’s killing of hundreds of civilians. But the U.N. experts, who were first allowed to cross the front line by Assad’s forces on Monday, are still engaged in gathering evidence.

• Tens of thousands of people are expected to converge on the National Mall in D.C. today to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his historic “I Have a Dream” speech to 250,000 supporters.

• Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, two Arizona Republican senators who helped craft the Senate immigration reform bill, said Tuesday that they are still hopeful that the GOP-led House will ultimately approve a measure that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Wal-Mart says it now will extend its health care benefits to its U.S. workers’ domestic partners, including those of the same sex. The Bentonville, Ark.-based discounter has 1.3 million full-time and part-time U.S. workers.

Show Notes for Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the Snowden Effect

DupuyTina Dupuy of The Contributor joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about the exploding situation in Syria

The diplomatic push ahead of a possible U.S.-led military strike on Syria intensified this morning as the White House prepared to release intelligence evidence alleging the use of chemical weapons by Bashar Assad’s military.

• Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday said there was “undeniable” evidence that Syria’s government had used chemical weapons to kill its own people, adding that “there must be accountability” for what he termed a “moral obscenity.”

• A California wildfire that has scorched an area roughly the size of Chicago near Yosemite National Park was 20 percent contained Monday night, officials said — a jump from 7 percent the previous night.

• A district manager for the City of San Diego has filed a new sexual harassment claim alleging former mayor Bob Filner held her in a choke hold and pressed his elbow into her breast.

George Zimmerman will ask the state of Florida to reimburse him for as much as $300,000 in expenses he racked up successfully defending himself in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Show Notes for Monday, August 26, 2013

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about the message of the NSA Scandal rather than the messenger

SchechnerJacki Schechner calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT for another edition of Jacki’s Health Care Corner

A U.N. team that is expected to investigate an alleged chemical attack near the Syrian capital Damascus that reportedly killed hundreds last week left their hotel Monday morning. Activists say between 322 and 1,300 people were killed in the alleged chemical attack on Wednesday.

A northern California wildfire at Yosemite National Park grew to historic proportions early Monday, becoming the 14th largest in state history. It has scorched an area about the size of the city of Chicago while more than 3,400 firefighters try to rein it in.

The “dream” of racial equality described by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago at the March on Washington has not yet been fulfilled, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), the last living speaker from the original march, said Sunday.

Sen. Ted Cruz admitted on Sunday he doesn’t have the votes yet to pass a budget resolution to defund Obamacare, adding it will take “a grass-roots tsunami” to back his plan to pass a budget continuing resolution in September that strips all funding for President Obama’s health care law.

Show Notes for Friday, August 23, 2013

Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the latest in the Greenwald / NSA case

Overton• Comedian Rick Overton joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to tell us about his new podcast, “Overview”

Bob Filner, the embattled mayor of San Diego, is expected to step down today, after weeks of growing calls for his resignation and a torrent of sexual harassment claims. His resignation is dependent on the City Council accepting a proposed mediation agreement.

President Obama yesterday kicked off a two-day bus tour of lower-profile cities emphasizing college affordability heading into his showdown with Congress this fall over fiscal matters and the national debt.

Justice Department officials say they’ll launch a few legal fight to block the Texas voter ID law. The government will claim that the voter ID law violates a different section of the Voting Rights Act that was left intact by the Supreme Court’s decision.

• U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked the Syrian government on Thursday to allow U.N. inspectors to investigate “without delay” the latest alleged chemical attack in the country’s civil war and grant them access to the site near Damascus.

• Political Strategist Karl Frisch calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about Chris Christie’s social policy dance

Black• Comedian Lewis Black calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about his new PPV special, “Lewis Black: Old Yeller Live At The Borgata”

• Embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner on Wednesday reached a tentative deal involving a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him — but details were not made public, including whether settlement hinged on the former congressman resigning.

The Obama administration acknowledged that it was ordered to stop scooping up thousands of Internet messages from Americans with no connection to terrorism — a practice it says happend when it gathered bundles of Internet traffic connected to terror suspects.

• The troubled young man who allegedly walked into a Georgia elementary school with a high-powered rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammo told a staffer that he didn’t care about dying and should have just gone to a mental hospital, 911 tapes revealed Wednesday.

• Syrian President Assad’s forces pressed on with a military offensive in eastern Damascus on Thursday, bombing rebel-held suburbs where the opposition said a chemical weapons attack the day before killed between 100 and 1,300 people.

Show Notes for Wednesday, August 21, 2013

MoulitsasMarkos Moulitsas, founder of DailyKos, calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the NRA’s blame in escalating gun violence in America

John Fugelsang joins us from the New York Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for a Wednesday edition of Fridays With Fugelsang

• Christopher Lane, an Australian baseball player out for a jog in an Oklahoma neighborhood, was shot and killed by three “bored” teenagers who decided to kill someone for fun, police said. Two of the teens were charged with 1st Degree Murder, while a third was charged with being an accessory after the fact.

• Just a week into the new school year, a man with an assault rifle and other weapons exchanged gunfire with officers Tuesday at an Atlanta-area elementary school before surrendering, a police chief said. No one was injured.

• Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday refused to say whether he believes he is eligible to run for president of the United States even though he was born in Canada.

• Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier convicted of the biggest breach of classified data in the nation’s history, will be told on today how much of his life will be spent in a military prison. He could face up to 90 years in prison.

Show Notes for Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pierce2Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about some of the strange moves Chris Christie has been making

Bob Cesca, Managing Editor of TheDailyBanter.com, calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about finding balance in the NSA spying situation

• The “Supreme Guide” of the Muslim Brotherhood, the political group aligned with deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, was arrested early Tuesday, according to state television.

San Diego City Hall opened as usual Monday but Mayor Bob Filner was nowhere to be found, still out of public view as he tries to survive a recall effort prompted by sexual harassment allegations that led many to call for him to resign.

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden is undergoing medical testing in Texas after being hospitalized last week when he felt weak and disoriented, his office said Monday night.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) renounced any claim to Canadian citizenship late Monday amid questions about his birthplace and whether he is constitutionally eligible to be president of the U.S.

Show Notes for Monday, August 19, 2013

• Comedian Dean Obeidallah calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about the phenomenon of oversharing on social media

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about upcoming GOP struggles in 2016

DupuyTina Dupuy, Editor of TheContributor.com, calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about the GOP’s real achievements in Congress

Islamic militants today ambushed two mini-buses carrying off-duty policemen in Egypt, killing 25 of them execution-style in a brazen daylight attack that deepens the turmoil roiling the country and underscores the volatility of the strategic region.

San Diego mayor Bob Filner is expected to appear at City Hall today, when he has said he will return to work after undergoing an intensive two-week therapy program for sexual harassment. A recall campaign started its petition drive a day before his return.

The partner of Glenn Greenwald was detained for nearly nine hours Sunday under anti-terror legislation at Heathrow Airport, triggering claims that authorities are trying to interfere with reporting on the issue of leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Oscar Pistorius was indicted today on charges of murder and illegal possession of ammunition for the shooting death of the double-amputee Olympian’s girlfriend on Valentine’s Day

Show Notes for Friday, August 16, 2013

Fugelsang2• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang joins us from the New York Bureau at 10am ET / 7am PT for Fridays With Fugelsang

• As the death toll from the rising tide of violence in Egypt surpassed 500 on Thursday, President Obama delivered a plea for restraint, urging the interim government to respect the rights of protesters and urging the protesters to demonstrate peacefully.

• Peggy Shannon, a 67-year-old great-grandmother, claims San Diego Mayor Bob Filner kissed her on her lips, repeatedly asked her out and called her “his girl” while she worked at City Hall.

The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

• Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced in a memo on Thursday a series of new actions the Pentagon plans to take to combat sexual assault in the military. At a briefing, a Pentagon press secretary called the problem “a stain on the honor of our men and women who serve our country.”

WWE superstar wrestler Darren Young publicly came out as gay during an unplanned interview with the news entertainment website TMZ late Wednesday. He is the first openly gay wrestler in the organization.

Show Notes for Thursday, August 15, 2013

• Political Strategist Karl Frisch calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about the growing calls for a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Russia

SparksGuitar• Sexy Liberal Hal Sparks joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 8am ET / 8am PT for a Thursday edition of Humpdays With Hal

• The Egyptian Health Ministry said Thursday that the death toll from clashes between police and supporters of the country’s ousted president had risen to 525.

• Investigators seeking the cause of Wednesday’s crash of a UPS cargo plane in a field near the Birmingham airport Wednesday were waiting to retrieve the cockpit-voice and flight-data recorders because the tail of the aircraft was still smoldering.

• Private Bradley Manning, convicted of handing state secrets to WikiLeaks, on Wednesday told the sentencing part of his court martial that he was sorry for his actions and for hurting the United States.

• The California Supreme Court unanimously rejected an attempt Wednesday to revive Proposition 8, ending the pending legal challenges over the 2008 ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage.

• Former Illinois lawmaker Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced Wednesday to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to spending $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.

Show Notes for Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Carlos Alazraqui joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 9am ET / 6am PT for all three hours of Coffee With Carlos

Fitzgerald• Actor-vist Melissa Fitzgerald (“The West Wing”) joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about the news of the day

• Former congressman Anthony Weiner fell to fourth among Democratic candidates in New York City’s latest mayoral race poll on Tuesday but was the center of attention in a heated debate last night.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker won the Democratic primary yesterday for the special election to fill New Jersey’s U.S. Senate seat that is open due to Frank Lautenberg’s death in June. He will face off in October against GOP businessman Steve Lonegan who beat physician Alieta Eck.

• Hillary Clinton offered some of her sharpest political rhetoric since stepping down as secretary of state when she roundly criticized stricter voter ID laws and a recent Supreme Court decision striking down a central component of the Voting Rights Act.

Egyptian security forces stormed two massive makeshift camps filled with ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s supporters, bulldozing tents and escorting away hundreds of protesters. Within three hours of the raid, forces had cleared the smaller of the two camps.

Show Notes for Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about President Obama’s fights with the GOP in the House

Pierce2• Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about Eric Holder’s plan to abolish minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders

• With the U.S. facing massive overcrowding in its prisons, Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for major changes in the nation’s criminal justice system that would scale back the use of harsh sentences for certain drug-related crimes.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed Monday that his cops will go where the crime is, not follow a census chart — lashing out at a federal judge’s ruling that a controversial NYPD tactic known as “stop and frisk” amounts to racial profiling.

Whitey Bulger was convicted Monday of racketeering and conspiracy by a Boston jury that found he was involved in 11 murders and a raft of other crimes during his long reign as a blood thirsty crime boss in bed with rogue FBI agents.

Kidnapped California teen Hannah Anderson was unaware that her mother and 8-year-old brother had been killed and was held under “extreme duress,” until she was rescued by FBI agents, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said yesterday.

Show Notes for Monday, August 12, 2013

rudepundit2The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about racism, Bill O’Reilly, and Ann Coulter

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the Far Right media’s comical assessment of Obama’s 2nd Term

• President Obama on Friday announced a series of steps to make NSA programs more transparent, explaining not only how the programs operate but also releasing the Justice Department’s legal rationale for the programs.

• With the U.S. facing massive overcrowding in its prisons, Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for major changes in the nation’s criminal justice system that would scale back the use of harsh sentences for certain drug-related crimes.

• The grandmother of kidnapped San Diego teenager Hannah Anderson has said it was “fitting” that the family friend who officials believe abducted her was killed by law enforcement officers in the Idaho wilderness during the successful rescue operation.

Israel approved building nearly 1,200 more settlement homes Sunday and prepared the release of more than two dozen long-held Palestinian prisoners — highlighting an apparent settlements-for-prisoners trade-off that got both sides back to peace talks after a five-year freeze.

Show Notes for Friday, August 9, 2013

wallisRev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about his Los Angeles Times Op-Ed on Immigration

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang joins us from the NYC Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Fridays With Fugelsang

• The U.S. government ordered the evacuation of non-essential staff from its consulate in the northeastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Friday due to the threat of attack, with the State Department also warning U.S. citizens not to travel to Pakistan.

• Amid lingering questions about the United States’ relationship with Russia and the closure of Middle East embassies prompted by a terror threat earlier this month, President Barack Obama will hold a news conference today at the White House.

• House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa demanded Wednesday that the Federal Election Commission turn over records of more than five years of communications with the I.R.S. — a move that significantly expands the ongoing probe of alleged federal targeting of conservative groups.

• Firefighters say the wildfire burning in the rugged San Jacinto mountain range in Southern California, some 90 miles east of Los Angeles, is one of the fastest moving they’ve seen in 50 years.

Show Notes for Thursday, August 8, 2013

• Political Strategist Karl Frisch calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about how the Obama Administration is dealing with Russia

Gold• Comedian Judy Gold joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about her one woman show, The Judy Show

After nearly 12 years, the war in Afghanistan is winding down, President Obama told troops at Camp Pendleton, Calif. on Wednesday, but he added, “The end of the war in Afghanistan doesn’t mean the end of threats to our nation.”

President Obama said that he was “disappointed” that Russia granted temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, defying Obama administration demands that the former government contractor be sent back to the U.S. to face espionage charges.

Two female military veterans — and victims of military sexual assault — have alleged that San Diego Mayor Bob Filner sexually harassed them. The women say the former chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee used his significant power and credentials to access military sexual assault survivors, who they say are less likely to complain.

• Lottery officials announced that three winning tickets were sold for Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot of $448 million, the fourth largest lotto jackpot ever — two in New Jersey and one in Minnesota.

Show Notes for Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Obeidallah• Comedian Dean Obeidallah calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about the GOP’s latest attempts to bully the media

• Sexy Liberal Hal Sparks joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 10am ET / 7am PT for an hour of Humpdays With Hal

• President Obama wrapped up his Western swing with an appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show.” In a wide-ranging interview with the late night talk show host, Obama discussed recent terrorist threats, Hillary Clinton, and the NSA controversy.

• President Obama in Phoenix on Tuesday said it is time to wind down pseudo-government institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so that the economy never goes through a never housing bubble.

• The house where three women were held captive and raped over a decade by Ariel Castro faces complete demolition this morning in Cleveland.

• Army Pfc. Bradley Manning’s possible sentence for disclosing classified information through WikiLeaks was trimmed from 136 years to 90 years Tuesday by a military judge who said some of his offenses were closely related.

• Mitt Romney jumped into the debate over the GOP’s future Tuesday night, warning congressional Republicans against forcing a government shutdown in their quest to stop President Obama’s signature health care law.

Show Notes for Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk RNC Chairman Reince Priebus butching it up

alazraqui• Comedian Carlos Alazraqui joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about his role in the new Pixar movie “Planes”

• The State Department on Tuesday ordered non-essential personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen to leave the country following the threat by al-Qaida that has triggered temporary shutdowns of 19 American diplomatic posts across the Middle East and Africa.

• Alex Rodriguez faced reporters Monday, thanking Major League Baseball for the opportunity to continue playing as he fights against doping charges. Rodriguez’s suspension, effective August 8, covers 211 games, but he will be allowed to continue playing as he appeals the decision.

• Today, President Obama will deliver a speech in Phoenix to, as White House spokesman Jay Carney put it Monday, “lay out proposals for continuing to help responsible homeowners and those Americans who seek to own their homes.”

A gunman blasted shots through the wall of a municipal building during a meeting in Pennsylvania last night and then barged into the room and continued firing, killing three people, before he was tackled by a local official and shot with his own gun, a witness said.

Show Notes for Monday, August 5, 2013

Madigan• Comedian Kathleen Madigan joins us in studio at 9am ET / 6am PT for all three hours today

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about the NSA and what it means for the Embassy closures this weekend

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the media’s role in the GOP’s desired government shutdown

Rep. Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about this weekend’s major terror threat

The United States extended embassy closures by a week in the Middle East and Africa as a precaution on Sunday after an al Qaeda threat that U.S. lawmakers said was the most serious in years.

• Capping a legislative work period more noted for what it failed to pass than for what it completed, the House voted for the 40th time on Friday to repeal ObamaCare before heading home for a five week recess. The legislation faces virtually no chance of advancing in the Senate.

A driver was held on suspicion of murder after a car plowed through Los Angeles’ popular Venice Beach boardwalk, killing a young Italian woman in the U.S. for her honeymoon and injuring 11 other people, authorities said Sunday.

Show Notes for Friday, August 2, 2013

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang joins us from the NYC Bureau at 9am ET / 6am PT for an hour of Fridays With Fugelsang

DupuyTina Dupuy, Editor in Chief of TheContributor.com, calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the GOP’s new practice of “poor shaming”

Kidnapper Ariel Castro shocked a Cleveland court yesterday by saying he is “not a monster,” “lived a normal life” and that the sex he had with the three women he held captive for more than a decade was “consensual.” Castro’s statement came after one of his victims, Michelle Knight, confronted him for the “hell” she endured in his house for 11 years.

The White House says it is “evaluating the utility” of an anticipated meeting between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G-20 meeting in Moscow in September after Russia granted temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s office canceled a scheduled new employee and management sex harassment training session in the first months in office, according to a published report.

U.S. embassies in a slew of Muslim countries will close on Sunday in response to “a specific threat against a U.S. embassy or consulate,” according to a senior U.S. official, who called it a “concerted effort” to target an embassy or consulate in a Muslim country.

Show Notes for Thursday, August 1, 2013

Frisch 2013• Political strategist Karl Frisch calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about the boycott of Russian vodka to protest LGBT policies in that country

• President Obama promised congressional Dems behind closed doors Wednesday that he will fight to help retake the House of Representatives in 2014 and urged them to close ranks with the White House to defend Obamacare, congressional aides said.

The House approved a measure Wednesday to link interest rates on student loans to financial markets, sending the compromise legislation to the president’s desk after a lengthy back-and-forth between Congress and the White House.

A lawyer for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner criticized the city for not providing sexual harassment training to the mayor, saying its failure to do so violated the law. “If there is any liability at all, the city will almost certainly be liable for ‘failing to prevent harassment,’ ” Filner’s attorney wrote in a letter dated Monday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard evidence yesterday from intelligence officials about the NSA’s domestic snooping activities revealed by leaker Edward J. Snowden — and critics pounced.

Dozens of gay couples began tying the knot early this morning at Minneapolis City Hall as Minnesota became the latest state to legalize same-sex marriage.