This is pocket change for billionaires. They have so much they can afford to spend such vast sums without even feeling it: And 2016 is going to break all records.
With few exceptions (such as Sheldon Adelson who is spending much of his fortune on politics for the purpose of influencing Israeli politics) most of these wealthy people are doing this simply make sure they are able to keep every last dirty dime they ever touch. They want it all, including yours.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2014—Michigan anti-abortion group stoops to attacking candidate's daughters:
“As the father of two daughters, I struggle with how to tell them that the state we love and where our family has been for generations is now unfairly discriminating against them and makes health care less affordable,” Peters said in a statement last week.
Right to Life of Michigan—the right-wing group that was instrumental in getting the new law approved last winter—has seized on that sentiment. In a new website highlighting Peters’ abortion policy positions, the group cites Peters’ recent comments to assert that the pro-choice lawmaker “wants to make sure abortion is accessible and cheap for his daughters.”Did you catch that none-too-subtle slut-shaming of Peters' teenage daughters? And did it make you want to vomit? This is a staggeringly vicious and stupid attack. Vicious because, again, teenage daughters. Stupid because, really, immediate family members of United States congressmen are not the people harmed by making abortion more expensive and harder to obtain. Tweet of the Day
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, we get the backstory on one of the NCAA's craziest team mascots, the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs, from contributor Arliss Bunny. Next, Armando points to the latest on eGhazi from Politico, which suggests that the State Dept. was hoping to cut back on records retention. That led to an extended discussion of the issue's many complexities, and an ever-present tension in all transparency decision-making. The white supremacist Mesa, Arizona, shooter has nothing to do with white supremacy, somehow. An interesting follow-up to how scam PACs swindle small donors: ProPublica looks into how they swindle large ones.
High Impact Posts • Top Comments The Evening Blues
If you're looking for a quick summary, PRRI hits a few of the big findings. America has ceased to be a majority-Protestant nation, and in 19 states, white Christians (of all denominations together) have ceased to be a majority. Even as Christians become a smaller segment of the country, at the same time, Christians are becoming less white as well (especially among Catholics, who are increasingly Latino, but even among evangelical Protestants as well; there has been strong recent growth among Latino evangelical churches, for instance).
Also worth noting is the rise of the "unaffiliated," people with no religious membership at all. They now comprise 22 percent of the population, and that's poised to grow significantly: young people (34 percent) are three times as likely to be unaffiliated as senior citizens (11 percent). Other non-Christian affiliations are poised to grow as well (based on the age of members): Hindus and Muslims have an average age of 36. Compare that with white evangelicals, who have an average age of 54.
The deluge of PRRI data prompted a variety of interesting new maps and charts from other sources over the last few days, as well; a good starting point may be the collection of maps that the Washington Post put together, parsing out which states have a Catholic plurality, which have an evangelical plurality, and which have an unaffiliated plurality. It also contains dozens more maps looking at each particular religion, and what percentage of people in each state are adherents.
If you want to see all that information condensed to one map, though, community member Dreaminonempty put together a composite map (the one featured at the top of this post) that looks at whether states have a Catholic, Protestant (all Protestant, not just evangelicals), or Mormon plurality, and how dominant that plurality (or majority) is.
There's more over the fold.
Under House Bill 479, drafted by State Rep. Albert Olszewski, abortion doctors would be required to administer anesthesia to fetuses past the 20th week of pregnancy. The measure states that “substantial scientific evidence recognizes that an unborn child is capable of experiencing physical pain and suffering by not later than 20 weeks after fertilization” and the state has a “compelling interest” in preventing that.
Rep. Olszewski’s bill would not technically ban abortion procedures altogether after 20 weeks of pregnancy. But, by requiring doctors to follow a medically unnecessary protocol for administering anesthesia, it could impose significant barriers to later abortions. The providers in the state still aren’t sure exactly what the legislation would mean for their day-to-day work.Similar to bills that require abortion clinics to meet certain building regulations that have nothing to do with patient safety, these new bills could amount to more bureaucratic red tape that either prevents or stifles abortions after 20 weeks—which are often the most critical to guarding the health of a mother.
Dr. Joey Banks, a doctor who provides abortion services at a clinic in Missoula, echoed those sentiments. “For elective procedures in this state, if this were law, it would probably mean abortion providers could not continue to provide after 20 weeks at least for a while while they determined costs, safety, and provider availability,” Banks told ThinkProgress via email. Just another approach in a long line of (often successful) attempts to chip away at access to abortion at the expense of the ability of women and their doctors to make medically sound decisions.
From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…
[Poink!] The First Late Night Snark of Spring Sprouts!
I'm told this is popular in Wisconsin. No
wonder Walker wants to kill education. "Florida's governor wants to ban the phrase 'climate change.' Sorry, Republicans, but just like the phrase 'black president,' you can't just wish it away."
"Eighteen states have passed or proposed 'religious freedom' laws to protect the real victims of discrimination: Christian florists, who gladly do business with all manner of divorced, non-mother-and-father-honoring, covetous, name-of-the-Lord-in-vain-taking adulterers, but whose damnation conveniently hinges only on the gay-marriage boutonnière business."
"This new Congress is just getting started, which is why I want to acknowledge the leader of the House Republicans---as soon as I figure out who that is."
---President Obama at the Gridiron Dinner
"Yesterday was not only daylight saving time, but also International Women's Day. What better way to address the issue of inequality for women than giving them a day that's missing an hour."
John Oliver: The [DOJ's Ferguson] report didn’t just show evidence of disproportionate targeting and violence against African-Americans. It also showed this:
MSNBC reporter: Investigators say that they found emails from court officials and police officers that were racial jokes that referenced President Obama…
CNN reporter: Another message in June 2011 compared dogs to African Americans, suggesting the animals needed "welfare" because they are "mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can't speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are."
John Oliver: It is moments like this that make me glad I'm on HBO, where you can hear me say this: Fuck those fucking assholes!!! C'mon downstairs---there's daffodils and we hooked up the Twinkie cream filling fountain. Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Well, I think the Voting Rights Act was a seminal victory for our country and a great healing moment. But there are some who want to continue to drive divisions and create phony narratives. Right. All those phony narratives about Voter ID laws being passed mostly by Republican lawmakers in more than 30 states:
As of February 2015, 31 states enforced voter identification requirements. A total of 16 states required voters to present photo identification while 15 accepted other forms of identification. But forget about all that—this is just a brilliant marketing ploy by the Obama administration, says Cornyn.
I think Eric Holder and this administration have trumped up and created an issue where there really isn’t one. For example, the attorney general sued my state for requiring a voter ID, saying somehow that suppressed minority votes, when you can get one for free. And the Supreme Court has passed, in an opinion by John Paul Stevens, who is not exactly a conservative, that this is a reasonable way of protecting the integrity of the ballot and it doesn’t unduly burden the ability of minority voters to cast a ballot. [Editor's note: Justice Stevens has said his judgment was specific to the case and “should not be taken as authority that voter ID laws are always OK.”].
So a lot of this is, I think, theatrics, to try to create division where there isn’t [any].
That's unfortunate, says Cornyn, who goes on to blame the nation's racial divisions on Obama and his team.
So should Congress fix the Voting Rights Act?