Archive for Misc.
Have a hostile foreign government you would like to write to this week? How lucky you are! You have frenemies in the U.S. Senate.
Even as civil rights groups gather at the bridge, a Change.org petition started by Student Unite has gathered 150,000 signatures from people who want the name Edmund Pettus removed from the Edmund Pettus Bridge, now a national landmark and part of the Selma To Montgomery National Historic Trail. It dawned on somebody that the name of a Civil War general and Alabama U.S. senator/Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon is “a symbol of oppression.” Really.
This is happening in Montgomery:
The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday passed a bill that would prevent clergy, officials and faith-based groups with religious objections to certain marriages from being forced to officiate them, or being sued over their refusal.
Although the legislation does not directly address the issue, same-sex marriage supporters said the bill would effectively give state officials and religiously affiliated organizations, such as hospitals, homeless shelters and food banks broad powers to deny services and benefits to same-sex couples.
This is also happening:
The ACLU of Alabama; the Southern Poverty Law Center; the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Americans United for Separation of Church and State asked U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade to add all Alabama couples seeking same-sex marriage licenses as plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit in Mobile County, and to add all of the state’s probate judges who may enforce orders barring or resist rulings allowing same-sex marriage as defendants.
The groups also want Granade to issue an injunction that the probate judges “refrain from enforcing all Alabama laws and orders that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying or that deny recognition of the marriages of same-sex couples.”
On Tuesday, the Alabama Supreme Court ordered probate judges to stop issuing the licenses, saying its powers to interpret the U.S. Constitution were equal to Granade’s. The seven-justice majority said that the bans did not violate the 14th Amendment, arguing that the laws did not target gay and lesbian couples and that the state had a legitimate interest in promoting traditional marriage.
It’s always something.
(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)
The Bloody Sunday march was 50 years ago tomorrow. Anything memorable happen this week?
From our Peach State neighbors:
On Monday, Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, had sat through an hour-long education committee meeting, followed by a 90-minute hearing on his no-knock-warrant bill. Assisted by a few bottles of water.
So after he quickly checked in with chairman Josh McKoon at his Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, Fort made a dash for the bathroom. By the time he got back, S.B. 129, the stalled religious liberty bill authored by McKoon, had been pulled off the table and voted through by his committee. Which at the time, consisted only of Republicans.
I hear they are so very genteel in Georgia.
What else rocked your world this week?
At Crooks and Liars, Heather writes:
I was wondering when Jon Stewart was finally going to get around to responding to Megyn Kelly’s comments following the news that he was going to be leaving The Daily Show that he “hasn’t been a force for good” and that “in his later years he got a little nasty,” and Rich Lowry whining that Stewart was mean to those poor picked on, downtrodden conservatives.
And Fox News, media organ for the right? Well, one could say about Fox News,
As the names of the main Communist newspaper and the main Soviet newspaper, Pravda and Izvestia, meant “the truth” and “the news” respectively, a popular Russian saying was “v Pravde net izvestiy, v Izvestiyakh net pravdy” (In the Truth there is no news, and in [Fox News] there is no truth).
Perhaps Stewart’s critiques sound false to them because they’ve lost the ability to hear themselves. So says Politifact:
Fox News promotes the most false information among TV news outlets, according to a fact-checking watchdog – and the problem is only getting worse.
Politifact regularly examines claims made on air by pundits, hosts, or paid contributors and rates those statements by accuracy.
The latest scorecard showed more than 60 percent of the claims made on Fox News were mostly false or worse – and half of all claims were either demonstrably false or outright lies.
The result of a “chronically angry war for ideological purity,” as Stewart said.
The reason business interests want to undermine public education, I argue, is to get their hands on the largest portion of the annual budget in all 50 states. At Salon this morning, Thom Hartmann argues that conservatives hate public education because “it’s hard to sell the Conservative brand” to people who know their own history:
So now, thanks to the war on education that began with Ronald Raegan, we have come to that remote period in time Jefferson was concerned about. Our leaders, ignorant of or ignoring the history of this nation’s founding, make a parody of liberty and flaunt their challenges even to those rights explicitly defined in the Constitution. And, perhaps worse, they allow monopolistic corporations to do the same.
Our best defense against today’s pervasive ignorance about American history and human rights is education, a task that Jefferson undertook in starting the University of Virginia to provide a comprehensive and free public education to all capable students. A well-informed populace will always preserve liberty better than a powerful government, a philosophy which led the University of California and others to once offer free education to their states’ citizens.