In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

Major (and terrible) news for the shredded vestiges of the US democracy: The Supreme Court has "struck down restrictions on the grand total that any person can contribute to all federal candidates for office. Today's decision left intact the cap of $2,600 per election that a contributor to give to any single candidate for federal office, but it invalidated the separate limit on how much can be contributed to all federal candidates put together—$48,600. ...Supporters of what's known as the aggregate contribution limit said its purpose was to help prevent corruption. Without it, warned Fred Wertheimer, a longtime proponent of federal regulation of contributions, 'you will establish a system of legalized bribery like we used to have before the Watergate scandals.'" Which is to say nothing of the fact that it further erodes the equalizing effect that universal suffrage is meant to achieve.

[Content Note: Disaster; death] There was an 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northern Chile last night, which triggered a tsunami that pounded the shore with seven-foot waves. Six people were killed. Damage to infrastructure and property was limited. "President Michelle Bachelet, declared parts of Chile's north a disaster zone, promising troops and police reinforcements to maintain order while damage was repaired after landslides blocked roads."

In news that surprises no one: "US intelligence chiefs have confirmed that the National Security Agency has used a 'back door' in surveillance law to perform warrantless searches on Americans' communications." This country. Seriously.

[CN: Homophobia] Not learning the lesson that this shit will not pass Constitutional muster anywhere, Mississippi "has passed legislation that would allow people to use their religion to justify discrimination." For people who claim to love small government and hate waste, Republicans sure do love wasting taxpayer dollars defending indefensible bullshit in court.

[CN: Airline disaster] Authorities have cleared all passengers of foul play in the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and finally admit that we may not ever know what happened. No shit. I don't mean to sound flippant, but I'm just angry that outcome was not stressed as a possibility from the start, which I feel would have been much more sensitive to the families and friends who have been desperately waiting for answers they keep being promised will come. That was a promise there was never any certainty could be kept.

Yikes: "The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta apologized Monday for building a $2.2 million mansion for himself" with a massive donation. Archbishop Wilton Gregory says of the nearly 6,400-square-foot mansion: "I am disappointed that, while my advisors [sic] and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically, and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God of north and central Georgia." Ha ha whoops!

In other Catholic Church news: "Vatican super-charges social media for saintings: The Vatican is turning to social media to reach out to the millions of pilgrims expected to attend the canonisation of John Paul II, the Polish pope who attained rock star status by the time he died in 2005. Rome police expect up to five million people at the mass officially making saints of John Paul II, who was pope from 1978-2005, as well as John XXIII (1958-63)—in the first double papal sainting ceremony in the church's history. Besides the official website, the Vatican has set up several Facebook pages using the "2popesaints" theme, as well as accounts on Twitter (@2popesaints), YouTube (2popesaints) and Instagram (#2popesaints)." Those 2popesaints are 2legit2quit. True fact.

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