Here’s a fun little postscript: Remember that little “Go ahead and discriminate” bill that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a couple weeks back? Turns out that before she signed against it, her office was helping to put it together. It was probably pretty good exercise, playing on both sides of the fence like that.
Capitol Media Services reports that in January, aides in Brewer’s office asked for a number of changes in SB 1062, the “religious liberty” bill as it was being drafted by the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP):
CAP President Cathi Herrod said her organization made every change sought by the administration to her proposal to expand the existing state Religious Freedom Restoration Act. She said that includes deleting phrases that concerned the governor’s staff and adding provisions designed to narrow who could legally deny services to someone based on a claim of religious freedom.
Yet even after all that help, Brewer turned around and vetoed the bill, which either makes Brewer actually smarter and saner than we thought her, or a complete RINO. But we repeat ourselves. READ MORE »
We were so very glad that CPAC was over, but we forgot that there would be post-CPAC pieces until everything turns into a SXSW thinkpiece, which doesn’t happen until about 3:30 am tomorrow. Sorry. The very worst of the post-CPAC thinkings, though, has already been barfed up onto the internet and you will not at all be surprised to learn that it is from the Daily Caller’s Patrick Howley. Howley has hurled himself against the brick wall that is his own deep unfunniness and the brick wall wins every goddamn time. This is no exception, as he’s shown up with a Buzzfeed-type listicle about all the types of dudes that will hit on your girlfriend at CPAC.
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Frontline reports from the Culture Wars: Our Oscar winners are full of leftist propaganda! Best Picture 12 Years a Slave is historically inaccurate, only depicting unhappy slaves with cruel masters, and ignoring the many “contented” slaves. And even this year’s Best Animated Feature, Disney’s Frozen, should be avoided since it encourages children to become gay. We just love it when rightwing thought leaders go to the movies.
Dear Kansas: just last week your Supreme Court did a good thing and told your terrible legislature that they needed to actually spend some coin on poor schoolchildren because of how it was unconstitutional not to, but your legislators responded by explaining that they probably weren’t going to do that, because freedom. Your legislators are also the sadistic weirdos who want to make it super way easy for a teacher to spank a student. Now it appears that you STILL can’t control your legislators in regards to schools, because they’ve come up with a dumb idea to prosecute teachers for handing out materials parents don’t like.
The Kansas Senate may consider a bill that would make it easier to prosecute teachers, librarians or school principals for exposing students to offensive materials.
Senate Bill 401, approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, was drafted in response to a January incident at a Shawnee Mission middle school in which a poster used in sex education classes was put on a classroom door.
Supporters of the legislation say a clause in the current law protects materials that are part of “an approved course or program of instruction.” They say that lets schools ignore community standards for what might be considered “harmful to minors.”
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Epic bible-banger Titanic crossover thrill ride Noah hasn’t come out yet, but it’s already had a hard road. First the Christians grumbled about how they hadn’t seen it but knew it would get two thumbs down from Jesus. Now here come some Islamists to top that and issue a fatwa against the movie.
The fatwa – a ruling or injunction under the laws of Islam – was made by the influential Al-Azhar institution in Egypt’s capital Cairo, a centre of Sunni Islam thought which was founded in around AD970 and includes a university and a mosque.
‘Al-Azhar… renews its objection to any act depicting the messengers and prophets of God and the companions of the Prophet (Mohammad), peace be upon him,’ it announced in a statement.
The fatwa added that the depictions ‘provoke the feelings of believers… and are forbidden in Islam and a clear violation of Islamic law’.
Do not provoke the feelings of believers! Do not taunt believers! Believers who are pregnant or over the age of 75 may be especially susceptible to side effects of Noah.
If it’s a day that ends in “y,” (and it is, we checked the Google), then it’s a safe bet that someone somewhere is trying to shove their limited-government legislation right up your vagina to protect you from yourself. For “life” and “freedom” and “babies” and “safety” and “stuff.” This is not news; in fact, this is the opposite of news, since it happens 25 hours a day, 53 weeks a year. But here’s a neat new twist: This time that someone somewhere is a Democrat.
[Louisiana] Democratic State Rep. Katrina Jackson’s bill, in addition to keeping a state database of people who have had medication abortions, would require physicians who perform the procedure to obtain hospital admitting privileges. Jackson has also proposed amending the statutory definition of the first trimester from “six to fourteen weeks” to “up to fourteen weeks.”
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If there’s anything SNL does brilliantly, it’s movie parodies. And political sketches! And political movie sketches with a tough-guy monologue you remember from the trailer because you didn’t even have to see the movie, but here is Liam Neeson delivering another version of it anyway, and not even looking very embarrassed about the whole thing! That there is professionalism. If this doesn’t scare Vladimir Putin into withdrawing troops from Crimea, maybe SNL can threaten to keep making this sketch over and over and beaming it into Russia.
Are you a grown-ass person that still likes to play with toys and pretend you are someone else? We really wish we could stop you from doing that. But since we can’t, why not consider fighting for freedom of the press or something like that, but in a really self-aggrandizing way by pretending you are Julian Assange and/or Edward Snowden?
An Oregon firm introduced an action figure of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. ThatsMyFace.com, whose catalog also includes Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, said that the 12-inch Snowden figure comes dressed in a blue shirt, casual trousers and black high-top shoes, but wardrobe options include a gray-striped business suit, Indiana Jones outfit and a combat uniform. It sells for $99.
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Once upon a time, Republicans looooooooved the Tea Party. No, it’s true. The Tea Party was this great “independent” uprising of really Republican Republicans who were SO mad that they’d been Taxed Enough Already (translation: super pissed there was a black guy squatting in the White House), and Republicans would ride the wave of tinfoil-hatted fury all the way to their “permanent Republican majority.” (Spoiler: That didn’t happen.)
But then Republicans discovered what the rest of us already knew: Those guys are fucking crazy! And not just because of their silly costumes and their incoherent misspelled signs and the founder of the House’s Tea Party Caucus, Michele Bachmann (R-Batshittesylvania), demanding that real Mericans “make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers” to stop Obamamcare. (Spoiler: That didn’t happen either.) The teabaggers who were elected basically took the House hostage, demanding that Speaker John Boehner crash the economy and blow up the gobmint to, um, make a principled point about, um, things. (Spoiler: That didn’t … oh well, you get the idea.)
So now establishment Republicans have to fight to take their party back from the party fighting to take their country back, and it is all kinds of messy. And also hilarious! Seriously, we are running out of popcorn watching this intraparty epic battle over just what kind of crazy is and is not acceptable according to the party of Ronald Jesus Lincoln.
But Sen. Mitch McConnell — who is currently in the midst of a cagematch-to-the-death primary battle against LinkedIn liar Matt Bevin, who believes opposing domestic violence is unconstitutional — has a plan. He will KILL THEM ALL.
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CPAC offers conservative organizations a three-day window in which to reach the most receptive possible audience. How to make an impression when there are so many competing messages? Be armed with compelling information and persuasive arguments? Sure, that might work! Just to be safe, many also came with boxes full of premium conservative tchotchkes. READ MORE »
In a result that no one could possibly have predicted, it appears that with three weeks left during the open-enrollment period, Obamacare has already resulted in a reduction in the percentage of Americans who lack health insurance.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, released Monday, found that 15.9 percent of U.S. adults are uninsured thus far in 2014, down from 17.1 percent for the last three months — or calendar quarter — of 2013.
That translates roughly to 3 million to 4 million people getting coverage.
Gallup said the share of Americans who lack coverage is on track to drop to the lowest quarterly level it measured since 2008, before Obama took office.
We’re pretty sure that this is a terrible thing somehow, and it’s just a matter of time before the usual crowd explains why. Maybe the death panels are killing these people off! READ MORE »
Back in January, economics blogger Ezra Klein ditched WaPo because they’ wouldn’t give him $10 million to make his own website, so he took his toys and left. Then, he somehow had enough money to hire literally everybody for his new venture. Now it’s here, and it is excitement personified. Ladies and gentlemen, Vox, starring Ezra Klein.
Oh hello here is some stock footage of news! Not actual news, but The News, like pictures of the CNN ticker thingy. And here is Ezra Klein explaining…so…SLOWLY…nope…EVEN SLOWER… how most of news is like vegetables. Wait what?
George Will sucks. He has managed to garble together some wordthings in the Washington Post about Lois Lerner and the IRS scandal, and eleventy million percent of them are full of suckitude. It is like a universal ball of suck shat out a person-sized suck-turd and named it George Will, and now we are stuck with his godawful word salad of putridness.
Apparently masquerading as a mouthpiece for Congressional Assclown Extraordinaire Darrell Issa, George Will wrote:
[Lois Lerner] knows what her IRS unit did and how it intersects with the law, and for a second time she has exercised her constitutional right to remain silent rather than risk self-incrimination. The public has a right to make reasonable inferences from her behavior.
This is exactly what Jesus H. Washington Jefferson Lincoln had in mind when He drafted the amendments. Clearly, in America, the public has the right… nay, the Constitutional obligation to presume guilt before weighing any actual evidence. Guilty until proven innocent in the “press,” right? READ MORE »
Poor George Zimmerman is a victim once more, this time of a callous public that failed to turn out at a gun show to meet him and get his autograph. Don’t people understand that if George Zimmerman isn’t constantly applauded for his brave ground-standing, the spark of freedom will be extinguished and he might have to get a job? READ MORE »
CPAC Straw Poll winner Rand Paul proved his serious leadership mojo Sunday, telling Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that if he were president, he knows exactly what he’d do in response to Russia’s invasion of Crimea:
“I would do something differently from the president,” Paul said. “I would immediately get every obstacle out of the way for our export of oil and gas, and I would begin drilling in every possible conceivable place within our territories in order to have production we can supply Europe with if it’s interrupted from Ukraine.”
Apparently no one told Mr. Paul that drilling oil and gas wells is a wee bit more complex than turning on a tap — we are not geological engineers, but we are fairly certain that it takes a little while, like at least longer than getting your car’s heater to really warm you up on a cold day, we bet. READ MORE »