In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today!

Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent disclosed that she is queer this week after a judge ruled Kentucky's ban on recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. "For months, I have been contemplating how I would write this post, how I would position it, when would be the right time to post it. Should I make it funny? Should I make it mysterious? Should I make it serious? Should I pick a special date to do it? Should I build some kind of anticipation around it? Hmmm...ain't nobody got time for that. I have written and re-written and deleted and restarted this post more times than I care to share, and after all of that I have finally realized: 'There ain't nothin' to it, but to do it.' So, here we go folks... I am queer." Congratulations, Djuan!

President Obama's proposed budget will include a proposal for "expanding a longstanding tax break to better benefit workers who are childless, which the White House estimates will help 13.5 million additional Americans who hold jobs yet remain poor. The current tax break favors low-wage workers with children. Mr. Obama would offset the costs, $60 billion over 10 years, by ending two tax breaks for some wealthy taxpayers."

[Content Note: Racism; class warfare] What's a new gilded age without debtors' prisons? "Private companies involved in debt collection are enlisting the power and prestige of courts and prosecutors to coerce people into making civil debt payments that they cannot afford or are not obligated to make. ...The last decade's racial discrimination in subprime lending—discrimination that the ACLU is challenging in Adkins v. Morgan Stanley—only worsened the [racial wealth gap] by deliberately targeting minorities for loans that exposed them to higher rates of foreclosure and accompanying loss in wealth. It is no surprise, then, that preliminary data suggests that communities of color may be more vulnerable than others to aggressive and abusive debt collection practices."

[CN: Racism; environmental damage] The Environmental Justice Health Alliance says that Republican environmental policies promote "environmental racism." Yes, yes they do. Good for the EJHA for calling that shit out.

Facebook may be acquiring "Titan Aerospace, makers of near-orbital, solar-powered drones which can fly for five years without needing to land," in order to use the high-flying drones as "atmospheric satellites" to deliver internet access to parts of the world which lack it. All right then!

Jason Collins will reportedly get a second 10-day contract with the Nets. Two 10-day contracts is the maximum allowed by the league; if the Nets want to keep him beyond that, they'll have to sign him for the rest of the season.

[CN: Racism] Chelsea Handler, whose appeal I have literally never understood even a little bit, was hired by HuffPo to live-tweet the Oscars, and did her usual shtick. By which I mean rank racism.

[CN: Peril from housefire] I will never, ever, get tired of stories of rescued pets who save people's lives: "Allysia Birmbaum was in the shower when her neighbor's house caught on fire. ...Zooey [a dog who Birmbaum rescued six years ago] has always been afraid of the shower, but when a fire quickly spread to their home Zooey faced her fear to save Birmbaum's life. 'She was barking at this wall, shifting from foot to and foot, and I didn't know what she was trying to tell me.' ...Birmbaum quickly grabbed Zooey and headed for safety. The two got out just in time, the ceiling in the bathroom ended up collapsing in the fire. 'She saved my life,' said Birmbaum. 'She's the best dog ever!'" ♥

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