Friday Morning Reads

marriage equalityGood Morning!!

I’ve been getting a real kick out of watching Washington state’s big legislative changes.  First, marriage equality has come to the most NE of the lower 50 states.  It’s been a pleasure to see the happy faces of long time couples who finally have some public recognition of their love and commitment.  Governor Chris Gregoire signed the bill into law and the licenses are flowing!

Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington state, which now joins several other states that allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.

Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the election on Wednesday afternoon, as they were joined by couples who plan to wed and community activists who worked on the campaign supporting gay marriage. The law doesn’t take effect until Thursday, when gay and lesbian couples can start picking up their wedding certificates and licenses at county auditors’ offices. King County, the state’s largest and home to Seattle, and Thurston County, home to the state capital of Olympia, will open the earliest, at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, to start issuing marriage licenses.

In Seattle, Kelly Middleton and her partner Amanda Dollente got in line to wait for their license at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

“We knew it was going to happen, but it’s still surreal,” said Dollente, 29.

By 10 p.m., dozens of people had joined the queue and the mood was festive.

Volunteers distributed roses and a group of men and women serenaded the waiting line to the tune of “Going to the Chapel.”

Asked whether the middle-of-the-night marriage license roll-out was necessary, King County Executive Dow Constantine said, “People who have been waiting all these years to have their rights recognized should not have to wait one minute longer.”

Because the state has a three-day waiting period, the earliest that weddings can take place is Sunday. Same-sex couples who previously were married in another state that allows gay marriage, like Massachusetts, will not have to get remarried in Washington state. Their marriages will be valid here as soon as the law takes effect.

“This is a very important and historic day in the great state of Washington,” Gregoire said before signing the measure that officially certified the election results. “For many years now we’ve said one more step, one more step. And this is our last step for marriage equality in the state of Washington.”

gay couple WA

Washington state demonstrates that sheer diversity and joy that represents the GLBT community in the US.

Photojournalist Meryl Schenker took this picture very early this morning in Washington state, in the first hours when same-sex couples could get marriage licenses. Meryl writes:

One month after Washington State voters approved the state’s marriage equality law in Ref. 74, same-sex couples get marriage licenses for the first time on December 6th, 2012. At around 1:30am, Larry Duncan, 56, left, and Randy Shepherd, 48, from North Bend, Wash. got their marriage license. The two plan to wed on December 9th, the first day it is possible for them to wed in a church in Washington State. They have been together for 11 years. Originally from Dallas, Texas, they moved here 7 years ago because it’s more gay friendly. Randy is a computer programer and Larry is a retired psychology nurse. 

New Years Eve Pot Parties are popping up as Washington’s referendum that decriminalized marijuana takes effect.

The crowds of happy people lighting joints under Seattle’s Space Needle early Thursday morning with nary a police officer in sight bespoke the new reality: Marijuana is legal under Washington state law.

Hundreds gathered at Seattle Center for a New Year’s Eve-style countdown to 12 a.m., when the legalization measure passed by voters last month took effect. When the clock struck, they cheered and sparked up in unison.

A few dozen people gathered on a sidewalk outside the north Seattle headquarters of the annual Hempfest celebration and did the same, offering joints to reporters and blowing smoke into television news cameras.

“I feel like a kid in a candy store!” shouted Hempfest volunteer Darby Hageman. “It’s all becoming real now!”

Washington and Colorado became the first states to vote to decriminalize and regulate the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana by adults over 21. Both measures call for setting up state licensing schemes for pot growers, processors and retail stores. Colorado’s law is set to take effect by Jan. 5.

Well, here I sit in the wonderful city of New Orleans trapped by the likes of Crazy Bobby Jindal who wants the christian creation myth taught as science, has now created a situation where there will be only one bed for gun shot victims at LSU med center, and is in the process of ruining everything that was functional about our public schools, our higher education system, and our health care delivery system.  It’s hard not want to sell the kathouse and head out.

Exactly, what is it that jerks like Jindal have swallowed to make them so wedded to insane, dated, and completely untrue magical thinking.  Why does the press continue to expand the dialogue to include the expressions of folks that just plain lie and spread hate?  It’s gone way beyond a difference of opinion to a war on sane, rational thought.  For your consideration, NYT hack Ross Douthat whose views on women are worthy of a Salem Witch Trial.  I’ve some what avoided discussing his column but it just won’t die a good and necessary death.  Evidently, Douthat believes that women that don’t stay home and spit those babies out of the vag are decadent.   How do idiots like this get space in any major newspaper?   Here’s a response to the hooplah he created with his Sunday Column.

Likewise for readers who regard any talk about the moral weight of reproductive choices as a subtle attempt to reimpose the patriarchy: Can it really be that having achieved so much independence and autonomy and professional success, today’s Western women have no moral interest in seeing that as many women are born into the possibility of similar opportunities tomorrow? Is the feminist revolution such a fragile thing that it requires outright population decline to fulfill its goals, and is female advancement really incompatible with the goal of a modestly above-replacement birthrate? Indeed, isn’t it just possible that a modern culture that celebrated the moral component of childrearing more fully would end up serving certain feminist ends, rather than undermining them — by making public policy more friendly to work-life balance, by putting more cultural pressure on men to be involved fathers rather than slackers and deadbeat dads, and so on?

Okay, enough rhetorical questions. It’s the nature of social conservatives to be cranky about contemporary trends, often to a fault. But it’s also the nature of decadent societies to deny that the category of “decadence” exists. And what Yglesias calls nuttiness still looks like moral common sense to me — a view of intergenerational obligation that human flourishing depends on, and whose disappearance threatens to sacrifice essential goods and relationships on the altar of more transient forms of satisfaction.

So, my next question is why is this all women’s fault?   Also, who the hell thinks American’s lower birthrate is a problem anyway?  Here’s the original piece if you can stand to read the ignorance.   It’s true we don’t value children in our society but to talk about tripping women into having more of them when we don’t nurture and protect the children we have today is just insanity.

We have to celebrate the fact that Jim Demint is chasing more money in the private sector and hooking up with the faux research compiled these days bye the Heritage Foundation.  At least the foundation and Demint are being honest about the fact that it’s all about spreading the lies that benefit their donor class.  Is he really looking for a new pulpit or just a bigger pay check?  Can the Heritage Foundation even fake being a ‘think tank’ any more since Demint’s ability to contribute anything other than dogma and political cronies is questionable.

His imminent departure to head a well-financed organization with significant heft in conservative circles will allow him to oppose even more loudly a big budget deal that includes higher tax revenues sought by President Obama. Mr. DeMint has been a loud Republican critic of a deal proffered by House Speaker John A. Boehner to address the impending fiscal crisis by generating at least $800 billion in new tax revenue.

“I’m leaving the Senate now, but I’m not leaving the fight,” Mr. DeMint said in a statement. “I’ve decided to join the Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas.”

In a parting shot — or perhaps warning flare — Mr. DeMint on Thursday suggested to Rush Limbaugh that Mr. Boehner might need to watch his back. When asked if Mr. Boehner was forcing him out, Mr. DeMint replied, “It might work a little bit the other way, Rush.”

The job switch should have substantial financial benefits for Mr. DeMint, whose 2010 net worth, $65,000, was among the lowest in the Senate. Edwin J. Feulner, the current head of the foundation, in 2010 earned $1,098,612 in total compensation.

A hero to many Republicans for his campaign fund-raising abilities, Mr. DeMint frustrated Senate colleagues by eagerly backing Republican candidates like Sharron Angle of Nevada, Ken Buck of Colorado and Christine O’Donnell of Delaware in 2010, and Richard Mourdock of Indiana and Todd Akin of Missouri this year, contenders who proved too conservative to be elected statewide. Those losses set back Mr. DeMint’s effort to bring the fiery conservatism of the House to the Senate, though he did have a hand in electing Senators Mike Lee of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, who takes office next month.

“The truth is that Jim DeMint’s philosophy on everything from Medicare to women’s reproductive rights, as embodied by his handpicked candidates for Congress, has been rejected by voters,” said Senator Patty Murray of Washington, who headed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee this year. Privately, so as not to inflame him, several Republicans also said Mr. DeMint’s departure would produce few tears among them.

Here’s a story that will let you know just how twisted the US justice system can be.  This is from The Guardian because–you know–the US media can’t possibly question our infallibility or exceptionalism.  Once again, the Louisiana justice system failed its duties.  Fortunately, DNA testing has freed him.  Thibodeauz was joined by others freed by the Innocence Project. He’s the young white man in the white T shirt in the picture below.

Every morning Damon Thibodeaux wakes up in his temporary digs in Minneapolis and wonders when his newfound freedom is going to come crashing down. “You think you’re going to wake up and find it was just a dream,” he says.

When he stepped out of Angola jail in Louisiana several guards were at the gate to wish him well, addressing him for the first time in 16 years as “Mr Thibodeaux”. “No offence,” he said, “but I hope I never see you again.”

He walked out as the 300th prisoner in the US to be freed as a result of DNA testing and one of 18 exonerated from death row. With the help of science he has been proved innocent of a crime for which the state of Louisiana spent 15 years trying to kill him.

For those years Thibodeaux was in a cell 1.8 metres by 3 metres for 23 hours a day. His only luxury was a morning coffee, made using a handkerchief as a filter with coffee bought from the prison shop; his only consolation was reading reading the Bible; his only exercise pacing up and down for an hour a day in a the “exercise yard”– a metal cage slightly larger than his cell.

Like most death rows in the United States, the prisoners in Angola are treated as living dead things: they are going to be executed so why bother rehabilitating Damon Thibodeauxthem? He watched as two of his fellow inmates were taken away to the death chamber, trying unsuccessfully not to dwell on his own impending execution. “It was like, one day they may be coming for you. At any time, a judge can sign an order and they can come and take you and kill you.”

At the lowest point, he says he felt such hopelessness that he considered dropping all his appeals and giving up. He would become a “volunteer” – one of those prisoners who are assumed positively to want to die but so often simply lack the will to live. He read the Bible some more, shared his fears with other prisoners through the bars and found a new resolution. “I came to terms with the fact that I was going to die for something I didn’t do. Truthfully, we’re all going to die anyway; it made it a lot easier.”

With little hope, he pressed on with his appeals and, almost imperceptibly at first, fortune’s wheel began to turn. A lawyer assigned to his post-conviction appeal became concerned by his case, and she in turn enlisted the help of the Innocence Project in New York, a national group devoted to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing.

Also drawn into the fray were a pair of Minneapolis-based lawyers from the commercial firm Fredrikson & Byron. In his day job Steven Kaplan works on mergers and acquisitions, not rape and murder, but he threw himself at the Thibodeaux case pro bono.

As soon as Kaplan began reading the legal papers relating to Thibodeaux’s death sentence, he was astonished. He had never worked on a capital case before and, like most people unversed in the finer details of the death penalty in America, had assumed that the judicial process must have adhered to the very highest legal standards. After all, a man’s life was at stake.

“When I read the transcript of the trial for the first time, I thought to myself that the high school mock trial team that I coached of 15- to 17-year-olds would have run rings around the lawyers in that courtroom,” said Kaplan. “We put more energy into a $50,000 contract dispute than went into the defence at the Damon Thibodeaux trial.”

The sequence of events that put Thibodeaux on to death row began on 19 July 1996. He was 22 and worked as a deckhand on Mississippi river barges.

Two weeks earlier he had moved back to New Orleans, where his mother and sister lived, to help out with his sister’s wedding. He started hanging out with the Champagne family, distant relatives, who had a flat in a neighbouring suburb.

He spent 19 July at the Champagne home with the father, CJ, mother, Dawn, and 14-year-old daughter, Crystal. At about 5pm Crystal asked Thibodeaux to go with her to the local Winn-Dixie supermarket but he was busy mending CJ’s watch. She left the house on her own at 5.15pm.

When she was not back more than an hour later her mother became alarmed and they began a search, Thibodeaux joining the effort. They called the police and searched through the night and through the following day.

It was not until after 6pm on 20 July that Thibodeaux went back to his mother’s house and lay down to rest. He was just falling asleep when police arrived and asked him to come with them.

That was at 7.32pm. At 7.40pm Crystal’s body was found on the banks of the Mississippi, about five miles from the Champagnes’ home. The news was transmitted to the detectives quizzing Thibodeaux and instantly a routine missing-person interview became a homicide interrogation.

So, I’ve really overrun my usual self-imposed limit today of shares but some of these stories really frosted my cupcakes.   I really worry about our country.  Today’s reads showed that there are places where things are hopeful and places where things just aren’t right.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

40 Comments on “Friday Morning Reads”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Jim Demint has proposed that public servants living together without benefit of marriage and homosexuals should be banned from holding jobs. He is also against allowing gays to adopt children. This is what he is bringing to the “think tank”.

    Unfortunately, though some of his Tea Party candidates went down in defeat, others did manage to break through the bonds of sanity and sit in congress today, introducing laws that would have been popular in the year 1300.

    “Ignorance is bliss” with this crowd as they weave their religious bigotry throughout the dialogue and insist that “creationism” become a staple in the school curriculum. How one compares the fantasy of a “7 day creation” against scientific discoveries that the world is billions of years old is mind boggling.

    All that was necessary for Jim to depart the Senate was to “show him the money” and he was off to the races. If his future endeavors is to promote more simpletons like himself to public office than the hope is that his policies are laughed at out loud for once instead of being “debated” as substantive.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I think DeMint understands that there’s no future for him in the U.S. Senate. His 2010 mid-term brain child called the TeanutParty has fizzled faster than a sparkler. The 2012 election began the referendum against his latest batch of TP hopefuls along with ridding us of some of the 2010 TP’ers. The guy is 61 and has relegated himself to the role of perpetual bitcher and christo-ordained protector of extreme rightwing religious zeal-nuttery. The only place left for him to feel relevant is Heritage which itself has become irrelevant to most Americans. He’s washed up so he might as well take a job that allows him to legally take as much of the crazy rightwing special interest money as possible. I hope the door hits him in the ass on the way out. 🙂

      • RalphB says:

        Wingnut welfare is the last, and sometimes first, bastion of these folk in the “don’t think tanks”. There are an amazing number of professional wingnuts and have been for years. It’s how they catapult the propaganda.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Today is Pearl Harbor Day, but apparently only the old folks remember it anymore. I just read in The Hill that Congress has stopped honoring this day that “will live in infamy.”


Last year, Congress stopped remembering Pearl Harbor. For nearly 50 years, the U.S. Congress had honored the survivors and fallen of Imperial Japan’s deadly attack through a resolution either asking the President to issue a proclamation designating December 7 as Pearl Harbor Day or issuing their own recognition of when the United States was pushed into World War II. This ended in 2011. America’s Greatest Generation was pushed aside to make a petty swipe at the White House about a surplus bust of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

    A House rules change in 2011 did away with commemorative resolutions. As a staffer from the House Speaker John Boehner’s office told me, a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day resolution would be “frivolous.” The House Republican leadership of the 112th Congress had adopted new rules barring consideration of any measure that “expresses appreciation, commends, congratulates, celebrates, recognizes the accomplishments of, or celebrates the anniversary of, an entity, event, group, individual, institution, team or government program; or acknowledges or recognizes a period of time for such purposes” (Rule #28).


Speaker Boehner did not completely ignore December 1941 last year, however. That month served as the occasion to taunt the White House over a bust of Winston Churchill. He and many Republicans were upset that the President had returned this loaned presentation of Britain’s wartime prime minister to the British Embassy


  3. ANonOMouse says:

    Dak….Love the photo of the old lesbian couple. I am so happy that their 30+ year commitment to each other has been legally recognized. I know a couple who’ve been together since they were 17yr old seniors in high school, they’re now 81 and still going strong, waiting for the day they can be married.

    • NW Luna says:

      That’s MY county councilmember Jim McDermott (used to be my State Representative) smiling behind the lovely couple in the top photo! And County Executive Dow Constantine is from my neighborhood of Seattle, too. He’s the guy who volunteered to be there from 12:01 am on during the extra open hours to sign the licenses.

      And lots more pics of happy couples, some with their kids, in this photo series:

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Luna…..Thank you so much for those pics. I can’t even begin to tell you how much it means to this old woman to see those couples, old, young and every age in between celebrating their right to marry.I shed more than a few tears of joy. 🙂

  4. RalphB says:

    Thanks so much for the great stories about gay marriage and pot legalization. The open minds and hearts really make me want to sell out and hit the road as well.

  5. RalphB says:

    WAPO: Could the ‘platinum coin option’ solve the U.S. debt crisis?

    I kind of like it except for the humongous hissy fits thrown by the right. It’s not even stupid.

  6. RalphB says:

    Dak, you should love this post by Steven D at booman’s.

    How to destroy the world’s economy

    The answer: game the system so that wages remain low. This creates short term profits for corporations, since their expenses decline, but in the end without people to spend money on your products and services, i.e., without any demand for your “goods” pretty soon you end up with a depression.

    • RalphB says:

      Demand drives the economy and job creation, as Billionaire Nick Hanauer (see link citing his speech at a TED conference in March of this year) recognized. In the short term, cutting jobs and wages creates profits, but only because a company’s costs are reduced, not because such cost cutting increases revenues.

      Yet, what we are seeing worldwide, are policies demanding “austerity,” which is short for imposing the burden of the “Great Recession” on the backs of the middles class and the poor, rather than the Big Banks that were bailed out, or the wealthy corporations, such as Walmart and Apple – to name but two of the more well known companies – who have practiced outsourcing jobs and lowering wages in order to increase their profits. Take a gander at the European Union to see how well policies that require “austerity” have worked out.
      Something to ponder as we consider the divergent proposals of the Republicans (i.e., no tax cuts on the rich, and dramatic cuts to the social safety net) and the Democrats (in short, tax increases on the wealthy and little to no cuts to Social Security, Medicare and health care reform). We’ve seen the devastating effect of the Bush tax cuts over the last 12 years to our economy and our national debt. They are the single largest factor in the increase to our national debt. The end result of the so-called fiscal cliff crisis will determine whether we continue policies that threaten our economy and create more misery for most Americans, or put this nation back on the path to ending income inequality and creating the jobs and increasing wages that will fuel a more sustainable economy.

      The obvious truth seems to be more obvious now.

    • NW Luna says:

      Always amazed that they never think through to the end results … majority of customers no longer can afford to buy products.

  7. Allie says:

    The pictures and stories of the gay couples in Washington made me all blubbery – they look so happy.

    Here’s some amazing Kodachrome video of VJ Day in Honolulu, August of 1945:

    Hope that link works – it’s color home video, 67 years ago…

  8. RalphB says:

    Krugman is shrill again 🙂

    Simpson-Bowles Explained

    Alex Pareene gets it:

    Not many people know this but “The Simpson-Bowles Plan” is magic. It is whatever you want it to be. It will fix the deficit and grow the economy and it does it without raising taxes on anyone, unless you want to raise taxes on some people, and then it does that. It cuts all government spending but in a way that doesn’t hurt Medicare or The Troops. If you stand in front of a mirror and say “Simpson-Bowles” three times David Gergen and Gloria Borger appear out of nowhere and praise your wisdom and seriousness. “The Simpson-Bowles Plan” gives you Your Country Back and makes it the ’90s again, or the ’50s, or whatever past decade you wish it was, when things were better.

    Pareene has especially in mind, I think, David Gergen’s declaration that Obama went too far by demanding $1.6 trillion in revenue, that he should have stayed with Simpson-Bowles — which calls for $2.2 trillion in revenue.

    • dakinikat says:

      Blindly lip synching “Simpson Bowles” in the beltway gets you super creds. I have no idea why we listen to the cretins that sit on TV and talk about things of which they know nothing. Thank goodness a few economists are given print space.

    • dakinikat says:

      Have you read this? Krugman tells it like it is here.

      There has been a lot of talk since the presidential election about the possible emergence of a new faction within the Republican Party, or at least among the conservative intelligentsia. These new Republicans, we’re told, are willing to be more open-minded on cultural issues, more understanding of immigrants, and more skeptical that trickle-down economics is enough; they’ll favor direct measures to help working families.

      So what should we call these new Republicans? I have a suggestion: why not call them “Democrats”?

      There are three things you need to understand here.

      First, on economic issues the modern Democratic Party is what we would once have considered “centrist,” or even center-right. President Obama’s Heritage Foundation-inspired health care plan is to the right of Richard Nixon’s proposal in 1974. Nobody with political influence is suggesting a return to pre-Reagan tax rates on the wealthy. Fantasies about Mr. Obama as a socialist, redistributionist hater of capitalism bear no more resemblance to reality than fantasies about his birthplace or religion.

      Second, today’s Republican Party is an alliance between the plutocrats and the preachers, plus some opportunists along for the ride — full stop. The whole party is about low taxes at the top (and low benefits for the rest), plus conservative social values and putting religion in the schools; it has no other reason for being. Someday there may emerge another party with the same name standing for a quite different agenda; after all, the Republicans were once defined by opposition to slavery, and the Democrats by rural voters (hence the donkey). But that will take a long time, and it won’t really be the same party.

      Finally, it’s true that there are some Republican intellectuals and pundits who seem to be truly open-minded about both economic and social issues. But I worded that carefully: they “seem to be” open-minded; indeed, they’re professional seemers. When it matters, they can always be counted on — after making a big show of stroking their chins and agonizing — to follow the party line and reject anything that doesn’t go along with the preacher-plutocrat agenda. If they don’t deliver when it counts, they are excommunicated (see Frum, David).

      Anyone who imagines that there is any real soul-searching going on is deluding himself or herself.

      • dakinikat says:

        @BruceBartlett: The Economist ranks US 16th best place to be be born; those above are all socialist hellholes with confiscatory taxes.

        Warren Buffett, probably the world’s most successful investor, has said that anything good that happened to him could be traced back to the fact that he was born in the right country, the United States, at the right time (1930). A quarter of a century ago, when The World in 1988 light-heartedly ranked 50 countries according to where would be the best place to be born in 1988, America indeed came top. But which country will be the best for a baby born in 2013?

      • RalphB says:

        A-fuckin-men to both Krugman and the Economist!!!!! If we don’t change, we’ll just keep falling further down.

      • dakinikat says:

        The Nation ‏@thenation

        How to save the Democratic party—a forum w/ @BenJealous @JimHightower @keithellison @AmybDean @Galadriel391 & others:

      • RalphB says:

        The lottery of life was quite interesting. Australia at #2 is a very good bet. I lived in Oz for a few years and found it wonderful. If I had known what I was returning to, I would have never come home!

  9. Beata says:

    Hey, we might want to consider Washington state as well as Vermont for our Sky Dancers’ commune! Sounds nice. I don’t mind rain or snow.

    • Beata says:

      Where was the other place we were considering? Was it an area in Greece? I’ve forgotten now.

    • NW Luna says:

      Hey, SkyDancers!

      It’s not a Grecian island, but …. I will shortly take title to a bit over a hundred acres of land in the foothills of western Washington state. I’ve thought of mentioning this before, but Beata gave me a good segue.

      It’s my late parents’ property, which they preserved as sustainable forest land with a few residential acres around their house. It’s off the electrical grid — we had a generator for rare occasions we absolutely needed electricity. Wood stove, gas stove, furnace & water heater. Unfortunately my parents were so sure that their kids would want to keep the land undeveloped they didn’t bother to put their wish into writing. My sister and her husband/master are fundy wingnuts who believe in “Do Unto Ourselves,” and wanted to sell the land for development for the most $$$$. To make a long, long unpleasant legal-negotiation story short, I gave up a fair amount in order to get the land. The “dirt” as one lawyer called it.

      Yes, it rains a lot for several months here. Not torrentially, but softly. Mild temps — rarely will snow last more than a few days at a time. There’s a small year-round creek with rainbow trout that may get up to a giant 7-8 inches. A few cleared acres with lovely rich soil aka dirt 😉 Rarely can we get tomatoes to ripen before September. Raspberries & blueberries thrive. Salad greens get huge. Corn and melons — nah, not hot enough. We used to have goats — lots of scruptious brush — and chickens.

      It’s about 90 minutes drive from Seattle where I work, so really too far away for me to live on right now. I think I need a reliable caretaker …. or two or three … to live there. Must have strong liberal and environmental beliefs.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Nurse who answered prank phone call by DJ’s impersonating the Queen has committed suicide. She mistakenly put through the call to Kate’s hospital room.