In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

Here we go again to almost certainly another disappointing outcome: "The Justice Department is preparing a fresh round of attacks on the world's biggest banks, again questioning Wall Street's role in a broad array of financial markets. With evidence mounting that a number of foreign and American banks colluded to alter the price of foreign currencies, the largest and least regulated financial market, prosecutors are aiming to file charges against at least one bank by the end of the year." Why do I expect a disappointing outcome? "The charges will most likely focus on traders and their bosses rather than chief executives." So, not meaningful accountability, but a few patsies sacrificed for the appearance of "doing something." Terrific.

[Content Note: War on agency] The Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Texas abortion providers in an appeal to the Supreme Court regarding Texas' omnibus abortion bill, has requested Justice Antonin Scalia "put an appeals court decision on hold while their case makes its way through the judicial system. ...The majority of Texas' 20 or so remaining legal abortion providers were forced to shutter or stop offering abortion care this weekend following a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that overturned an earlier federal district court injunction against the law, allowing the state to begin fully enforcing HB 2, which anti-choice Texas legislators passed last summer despite weeks of public protest at the capitol building in Austin." Says CRR's president and CEO Nancy Northup: "We look now to the U.S. Supreme Court to immediately reinstate the injunction, allow the clinics to reopen, and put an end to the irreparable and unjustifiable harm to Texas women that is happening right now."

[CN: Homophobia] Here is a map of what legal same-sex marriage looks like in the US after yesterday's Supreme Court decision. A majority of the US population now lives in states where same-sex marriage is legal. But, as Zack notes at the link: "What's perhaps most important to note is that most of the eleven states affected by the Supreme Court's actions [yesterday] do not have state-wide nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation. In fact, only Colorado and Wisconsin do. This means that even though same-sex couples will soon be able to legally marry in those nine other states, they can also be legally fired, denied housing, or refused service simply for doing so." That needs to change, and quickly.

[CN: Misogyny; racism; antisemitism] Vice-President Joe Biden is a gaffe machine, and his latest is a real doozy. I would argue, however, that his latest gaffe doesn't matter more so much as it matters differently. It matters a whole lot when the vice-president others marginalized populations, too.

[CN: Classism] Republican Indiana Governor Mike Pence continues to try to peddle his stupid, HSA-based "alternative approach to expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act" and continues to fail to convince the Obama administration that it's a good idea. Possibly because it is not a good idea.

[CN: Racism] A bunch of white Cardinals fans engaged in rank racism right in the faces of a small group of mostly or entirely black protesters, who were agitating for the arrest of Officer Darren Wilson. All of it is fucking horrible, but seeing a bunch of white people chant "USA! USA! USA!" at a group of black protesters feels somehow extra terrible. It just so perfectly underlines that there are lots of white people who insistently believe this country exclusively belongs to them.

[CN: Sexual assault] Actress Jennifer Lawrence, who was a victim of the hacking in which private photos of celebrities were stolen and published online, including nude photos, calls the incident exactly what it really is: A sex crime. "It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It's disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. ...Anybody who looked at those pictures, you're perpetuating a sexual offense. You should cower with shame."

And finally! When Cleo the Cat's guardian, Nancy Cowan, had to move into a elder care home, Cleo decided she didn't want to live without Nancy, so she tracked her down at the home and now is allowed to live there with her. Amazing. ♥

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