Friday, April 15, 2016


The Constitutional Court in Colombia has approved same-sex marriage! A nice map of the current state of things is here.

The latest development in the GOP refusing to consider Obama's nominee for the Supremes, in two parts. (1) If the GOP prevails in November they want to get rid of the Senate filibuster to prevent the Dems from rejecting one of their nominees. (2) If the GOP doesn't prevail in November they want to hold an indefinite filibuster and leave a vacant seat (perhaps more than one) on the high court. Some have even suggested that they, not the president, should choose the nominee. Contradiction? Double standard? I don't understand.

A commenter reminds us the Constitution says the president appoints judges to the Supreme Court with the advice and consent of the Senate. If the Senate refuses to give that advice and consent the prez. can still appoint.

About a year ago Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal asked the state legislature for a religious freedom (license to discriminate) law. Legislators refused. So Jindal turned it into an executive order. The new governor, John Bel Edwards, has rescinded Jindal's order. It provides protections for LGBT employees in companies doing business with the state.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the state's draconian religious freedom law. The Washington Blade, a gay newspaper, reports that it is an "open secret" the governor's son, Patrick Bryant, is gay and had been a target of an anti-gay attack. With the dad's encouragement the son moved to Austin, Texas to avoid a political embarrassment. Such family values.

In the face of fierce corporate opposition the religious freedom law in Missouri has stalled. Alas, it isn't dead yet.

Soraya Chemaly:
One day last year, I was thinking about the erasure of aging women in our culture and searched for the term 'venerable women.' I was curious about what images of wise and respected women the world produces. Google's seemingly baffled autocorrect responded, tellingly: 'Do you mean venerable men or vulnerable women?'

During the War on Drugs and the get tough on crime campaigns America built lots of prisons. It was also during this time that many prisons were privatized. That was a big way to make money – for the prison corporations, the communities that welcomed the prisons for the jobs produced (and taxes collected), and the state gov'ts too.

But sentencing and drug policy reforms are being taken up by many states and by Congress. This idea even has support among the GOP (that smaller gov't thing). That means there will likely be fewer people being incarcerated.

And that has local and state officials in at least Mississippi beginning to talk about how harmful it will be to lock up fewer people. Harmful to certain wallets too.

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