We haven't heard much from the Secessionist after his humiliating crash and burn in the Republican presidential primary, but I had to laugh when I saw this at The Corner.
?Texas changed, because it became a very economically strong state ?. as people become more affluent, I will suggest to you, they make decisions about their political positions based on their economics and as a state becomes more affluent, as it becomes wealthier as jobs are created that in turn creates the wealth and people sit back and they go, well wait a minute. Why are they taking that much of my money away from me? ?. And I believe that those individuals may be thinking about becoming Republican.?
Let's leave aside the fact that the Secessionist is basically branding the GOP is the party of selfish rich people -- his history is all wrong.
1. Since 1972, Texas has only voted Democratic in a presidential election once (1976). So what happened in the '60s? Did Texas Democrats enact a bunch of high taxes? Did Texans suddenly become less conservative? Of course not. What happened was the Civil Rights Acts and the Great Society. And just like every other state in the Old Confederacy, Texas flipped and joined the party of Lincoln in revolt. It's true that it took another 20 years for that shift to be complete throughout state, city and local politics, but that was the reason.
2. The last Democratic governor in Texas, Ann Richards, wasn't defeated in 1994 because Texans were annoyed she was "taking that much money away" from them. She was defeated, according to Karl Rove, because of guns and girl scouts.
Karl Rove, the Bush campaign strategist, listed three specific reasons that may have contributed to Richards's defeat: (1) her opposition to the concealed weapon bill authored by State Representative Suzanna Hupp, which was adopted and signed by Governor Bush in 1995; (2) her attempt and then her reversal on a proposal to place five Texas waterways under federal instead of state control, a move that could have halted development in Central Texas, and (3) her remarks at a Girl Scouts conference in Austin in which she warned the young women to beware of "Prince Charming on a motorcycle with a beer gut and a wandering eye."
To that list, I would add Rove's nasty lesbian whisper campaign against her.
3. Texas hasn't gotten any less poor since Republicans took over the state. The poverty level is slightly higher than it was in 1980, and in fact, the state got much poorer under Perry.
Republicans like the Secessionist can run away from the Southern Strategy all they want, but they can't hide.
At the time, GOP's Pavlovian response to the Supreme Court's Affordable Care Act ruling was so predictable, it almost seemed worth ignoring.But that was Thursday -- political eons ago. In hindsight it seems like it was a pretty big error. Actually, it[...]
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GOP Governor (MI-R) vetoes series of vote suppresion/vote ID laws. "Voting rights are precious and we need to work especially hard to make it possible for people to vote."[...]
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No amnesty for Mermaids.This is the same citizenry that thinks health care reform should be repealed, but overwhelmingly supports most of the legislation's individual provisions.Apparently, the Discovery Channel did a show on Mermaid that concluded that the evidence for their existence is "wildly conclusive."Well, that got people writing to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric...
Here's today's show in convenient podcast form:
As part of a summer series on career development directed at his female constituents, Golden is hosting a taxpayer-funded event called ?Posture, Deportment and the Feminine Presence? on July 24. Golden promises to teach Bay Ridge women ?the art of feminine presence,? which includes tips on how to ?sit, stand and walk like a model? and ?walk up and down a stair elegantly?
An analysis of charitable donations by Chick-Fil-A shows the fast-food chain gave nearly $2 million to antigay groups in 2010.
A previous investigation showed the company donating the same amount to antigay causes in 2009, despite constant statements from spokespeople denying that Chick-Fil-A supports an antigay agenda.
Americans Still Agree With Declaration of Independence
It’s nice to see geek deities like Wil Wheaton stand up for Whedonverse actress and web series creator Felicia Day after video game blogger Ryan Perez attacked her as a “glorified booth babe,” and use the clout he has to declare sexism an affront to geek values rather than an inherent part of them. Jezebel explains:
Perez’ tweets could’ve gone unnoticed a few months ago; if the U.S. had a dollar for every bitter, ignorant dude online, we wouldn’t be in a recession. But there’s been so much rampant misogyny in the gaming industry lately that people are justifiably on edge when it comes to sexism, and Perez woke up on Sunday morning to an onslaught of Twitter followers (he had around 50 when he first tweeted at Day, now he has almost 2,500) thanks to shoutouts from people like Cosplay burlesque performer Veronica Belmont and Wil Wheaton, who each have way more than a million fans following them on Twitter. “I have fucking had it with idiot asshole men being shitbags to @feliciaday because they’re threatened by her creativity and success,” Wheaton tweeted. “I’m sick of idiot men giving *any* woman grief in gamer and geek culture. Enough already, we’re better than that.”
Wheaton criticized Destructoid for employing an “ignorant misogynist,” and soon, the website cut ties with Perez. “Destructoid has ended its relationship with Ryan Perez, effective immediately. We again apologize to @feliciaday and all others concerned,” the website’s editors tweeted.
Both this incident and a recent, terrific video by Jay Smooth on situations when it makes sense to violate the internet maxim not to feed the trolls and to push back against them, are clarifying:
As Jay explains here, it’s one thing to take actions that solely give trolls the negative attention that they want. It’s another to resist engaging with them even when they’re gumming up the works of the internet and making it difficult for people to go about their daily lives. When people yell in comments sections, unless their language is threatening, it’s usually enough to ban them. One fun feature of Facebook commenting is that moderators can ban people without those people knowing they’ve been banned: they can write what they want, but none of the rest of us have to see them. These types of trolls can holler fruitlessly into the void and never know why they’re not getting a response. But if trolls are trying to prevent people from doing their actual work, whether they’re trying to get a Kickstarter shut down, harassing peaceful participants in comments sections, expecting that they’ll be able to use a position of power for trolling, or launching a denial of service attack, then it makes sense to push back against them and push back publicly. I don’t really expect to be able to reach into the darkest corners of the internet and reform people, or anything. But I do think that we can deny certain kinds of trolls footholds they can use to disrupt the operations of legitimate spaces online. Weeds may have the right to grow, but not to invade and take over walled gardens. And there isn’t a certain amount of social capital the voices and views of trolls are entitled to.
Last week, a federal judge permanently blocked Florida from enforcing a law that banned doctors from discussing gun ownership with their patients. The law, the Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act, signed last year by Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL), prohibited “inquiries regarding firearm ownership or possession…by licensed health care practitioners” and “discrimination…based solely on upon a patient’s firearm ownership or possession.”
Because the law’s exceptions, which allow inquiries about guns if a doctor believes in “good faith” that it is relevant to a patient’s care or safety, fail to provide standards for physicians to follow, the law violates the First Amendment rights of doctors:
In her ruling, Cooke clearly sided with the physicians, saying evidence showed that physicians began “self-censoring” because of the “chilling” effect of the legislation.
“What is curious about this law ? and what makes it different from so many other laws involving practitioners’ speech ? is that it aims to restrict a practitioner’s ability to provide truthful, non-misleading information to a patient, whether relevant or not at the time of the consult with the patient,” Cooke wrote, citing the benefit of such “preventive medicine.” [...]
Cooke, the judge, said the legislation was based on anecdotal information and unfounded conjecture. Her decision was praised by the groups of plaintiffs, which included the Florida Pediatric Society and Florida Academy of Family Physicians.
Not only did the NRA-backed Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act violate doctors’ First Amendment rights, it interfered with routine, meaningful discussion between a doctor and a patient. Questions concerning safety and the home environment are a key part of preventative medicine, and the American Academy of Pediatrics believes that guns constitute a public health issue and that doctors have a duty to ask about ownership.
Out of the 65 children shot in the U.S. every day, eight are killed. And of the one-third of homes with children that have firearms in them, 40 percent store them unlocked. Guns unquestionably affect the health of American children, just as “the presence of open containers of bleach, swimming pools, balloons, and toilet locks” do.
Eighth grader Julia Bluhm was tired of hearing her friends in ballet class complain about being fat, and knew that they were basing their self-conscious opinions on altered magazine images of themselves. So she started a petition asking Seventeen magazine to stop photoshopping the women in their pages. Julia asked for one unaltered image of a “regular girl” in every issue.
“For the sake of all the struggling girls all over America, who read Seventeen and think these fake images are what they should be, I?m stepping up,” Julia wrote. “I know how hurtful these photoshopped images can be. I?m a teenage girl, and I don?t like what I see. None of us do.”
Today, with the petition at more than 81,000 signatures, Seventeen responded — and went even further than what Julia had requested. The magazine committed to Julia and organizers at SPARK a Movement to represent a range of women of all shapes and sizes in its magazine — every month, every model — without any photoshopping of their bodies (they will still be using photoshop to take wrinkles out of clothes and hide flyaway hairs):
Win! After over 84,000 people signed Julia’s petition and she and her fellow SPARK Summit activists hand-delivered the petitions to the executive editor of Seventeen, the magazine has made a commitment to not alter the body size or face shape of the girls and models in the magazine and to feature a diverse range of beauty in its pages.
Julia’s message to all her supporters: “Seventeen listened! They’re saying they won’t use photoshop to digitally alter their models! This is a huge victory, and I’m so unbelievably happy. Another petition is being started by SPARK activists Emma and Carina, targeting Teen Vogue and I will sign it. If we can be heard by one magazine, we can do it with another. We are sparking a change!”
As Julia notes, the fight isn’t over. While Seventeen has agreed, other teen magazines have not. Change.org has a petition up asking Teen Vogue to follow suit.
House Republicans have already set the date for another symbolic vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, despite bipartisan support for some provisions of the law. Despite Republicans’ promises to eliminate Obamacare, the children of several congressional Republicans join the 6.6 million young adults up to age 26 covered through their parents’ health care.
According to the Huffington Post, these Republicans include Sen. Bob Corker (TN), Rep. Joe Walsh (IL), and Sen. Scott Brown (MA). This has not stopped Republicans from calling for a full repeal, without proposing a viable alternative:
“He [My 24-year-old son] is on his health plan right now — on his mother’s plan — but again, that wouldn?t weigh in on where I stand on the issue,” said Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) last week, before the Supreme Court handed down its ruling. “Again, I just think the whole thing needs to be scrapped. And I don?t even want to think about certain provisions yet.”
But Walsh and his GOP colleagues are soon going to have to start thinking about which provisions they want to keep if they are going to try to repeal Obamacare. Republicans are almost completely unified in wanting to get rid of the health care law, but they are significantly more divided on what a plan would look like going forward — and whether they should keep some of the law’s most popular provisions.
On Sunday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Republicans would not require parents’ health insurance plans to extend eligibility to adult children if Obamacare is repealed.
Walsh demurred when asked if he supported maintaining the provision.
?No, I don?t know that I do. I don?t know that I do,” he said. “I don’t know where I am on that, and that’s a lousy thing to say. My oldest is 24. That doesn?t matter to me, though, irregardless of that.”
Other lawmakers, including Reps. Mark Amodei (R-NV) and Pete Sessions (R-TX) assume the Republican alternative would include the provision. “Oh, sure. … It would be [incorporated] in any Republican proposal,” Sessions said. Rep. Allen West (R-FL) defended key provisions, including insurance for young adults, as well.
So far, it is unclear what Republican alternative would be. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said they would revert to the GOP’s 2009 plan, an option that would leave 52 million Americans uninsured.
Despite the fact that about 2 million children are being raised by LGBT parents in the United States, those children don’t always have legal relationships to the parental figures who care for them. State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) is seeking to partially address the issue of parental rights by amending California’s current two-parents-per-child law to allow judges to recognize multiple parents in the cases where it would best serve the children.
Ed Howard, the senior counsel for the Children?s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law, told the Associated Press that SB 1476 is ultimately designed with the best interest of today’s children in mind:
HOWARD: It?s not us who have changed the nature of families; families have done it on their own. It is cruel to prevent judges from ruling a way that protects kids in favor of an abstraction of what a family used to look like.
Leno believes that his bill ?brings California into the 21st century” by recognizing that — thanks to adoption, surrogacy, and remarriages — modern families now take on many different forms in addition to the traditional two-parent household. For example, under the proposed bill, a lesbian couple who conceived a child with the help of a sperm donor could list the child’s biological father as a legal parent if he remained an active presence in the child’s life.
SB 1476, which has already passed the state senate and is now making its way through the Assembly Appropriations Committee, was inspired by a 2011 court case in which the state took custody of a young girl after her two mothers were unable to care for her. The appellate court ruled that the girl?s biological father did not count as a third legal guardian under California’s existing law.
Despite conservative criticism that the bill would dole out parental status at random, Leno maintains that all parents would have to meet the state’s existing standards for legal parenthood under his bill.