Puerto Rico

For years, the American press has anticipated a gay athlete in a major sport. This month, he fought in Florida.

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“We support the right of the United States citizens of Puerto Rico to be admitted to the Union as a fully sovereign state if they freely so determine. We recognize that Congress has the final authority to define the constitutionally valid options for Puerto Ricoto to achieve a permanent non-territorial status with government by consent and full enfranchisement. As long as Puerto Rico is not a State, however, the will of its people regarding their political status should be ascertained by means of a general right of referendum or specific referenda sponsored by the U.S.

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The Republican primary has now reached that dread phase where we are required to feign interest in Mitt Romney's victory in Puerto Rico -- amongst voters who will not vote this November unless they catch a plane to Orlando -- and to wonder whether Rick Santorum can repeat his Missouri victory in the delegate-awarding reenactment of that state's nominating contest.

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[Guest post by Molly Redden] For Rick Santorum, there’s one benefit of being the underdog: Mitt Romney’s flip-flops and establishment ties are so numerous and distracting that his own contradictions and Washington connections often go unremarked upon. These contradictions are on full display in Puerto Rico, which has 23 delegates to offer and is the site of the GOP’s next primary on Sunday.

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Does the Constitution Follow the Flag?: The Evolution of Territoriality in American Law By Kal Raustiala (Oxford University Press, 328 pp., $29.95) In 1898, American and Spanish officials signed the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Spanish-American War. Spain ceded Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and other colonial possessions to the United States. The Spanish-American War had been fought in the name of Cuban freedom, and sentiment in the United States favored Cuban independence.

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Over the past year or so the nebulous movement known as the Tea Party has co-opted many of the symbols of the founding fathers to fight against (among other things) taxation without representation. However, on Tax Day it is important to remember the one group of present-day citizens who know what “taxation without representation” really means: residents of the District of Columbia. A refresher: Washington, D.C.

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In the theology of the Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), God has a pretty long shit list. Read the colorful placards at the group’s daily demonstrations and you get the idea: “God Hates Fags,” “God Hates Fag Enablers,” “God Hates Obama,” “God Hates America,” “God Hates The World,” “God Hates YOU.” Led since its 1955 inception by Fred Phelps, who turns 80 tomorrow, the church is populated primarily by his progeny.

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  In the theology of the Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), God has a pretty long shit list. Read the colorful placards at the group’s daily demonstrations and you get the idea: “God Hates Fags,” “God Hates Fag Enablers,” “God Hates Obama,” “God Hates America,” “God Hates The World,” “God Hates YOU.” Led since its 1955 inception by Fred Phelps, who turns 80 tomorrow, the church is populated primarily by his progeny.

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Sotto Voce

A tip from an informant led Detective Amando Rodriguez and Sergeant Diane Contreras to the stash house--actually a New York City apartment--which they had good reason to think contained a substantial haul of drugs. The suspicion was confirmed when they busted a man leaving the building with a kilo of cocaine in a black bag. The officers entered the building to stake out the apartment. That's when the carryout delivery woman arrived with an order for the stash house. Worried that she might inadvertently draw attention to their presence, the cops made a hasty decision to enlist her help.

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Michael Sean Winters, who knows an awful lot about Puerto Rican politics (and blogs here), has chimed in with some pre-primary analysis. Hillary Clinton is headed back to Puerto Rico this weekend after a new poll shows her leading Barack Obama 51% to 38% in the June 1* primary. If those numbers hold, they would represent a great storyline for Obama, who has consistently lost Latinos by margins of more than two-to-one to Clinton.

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