In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

News from the Conservative Legislation Lab: In Indiana, our garbage governor, Republican Mike Pence, and his merry band of miscreants known as the state legislature's Republican Caucus, have been fighting a truly mind-boggling and profoundly anti-democratic battle to remove fairly elected Democratic state school superintendent Glenda Ritz from her position, because they don't agree with her radical choice to center the priorities and needs of educators and students by opposing school vouchers and more accountability testing. They are now moving toward passing a bill that will actually remove her from office. It is one of the most alarming things I have ever seen. And, if it works, be ready for these aggressive, anti-democratic tactics to come to your state.

[CN: War on agency] David Grimes and Carole Joffe on the same old playbook being used in new attacks on second-trimester abortions: "This 'partial-birth abortion' ban was a public-relations success for the anti-abortion movement. Now, that same playbook is being used again in Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota in a new campaign to outlaw yet another second-trimester abortion method, 'dilation and evacuation' (D and E). Once again, the medical term for this procedure has been replaced by a garish one, 'dismemberment abortion,' and once again, abortion opponents are hoping that dwelling on the details of this procedure will lead lawmakers to ban it."

[CN: Racism] This is very important: "Two articles published in New England Journal of Medicine this month implore medical professionals to do their part to further racial justice in America. The first focuses on raising awareness about the implicit biases embedded in the health care system that end up deepening racial disparities. The second urges health care workers to get more involved on the front lines of fighting for black lives. ...[Research] suggests many physicians have an unconscious preference for white patients, which may lead them to spend less time with their African-American patients. This type of implicit bias could have a direct influence on the quality of health care services. A 2002 report from the Institute of Medicine found that black Americans received less effective care than their white counterparts for nearly every disease studied. On top of that, if black Americans don't feel welcome in the medical system, they're more likely to delay treatment—something that could contribute to the fact that African-Americans are dying from diseases at higher rates than other racial groups."

[CN: Carcerality; human rights abuses] Nearly 3,000 prisoners are being transferred from the Willacy County Correctional Center in Texas after the inmates of the facility—which is a "Criminal Alien Requirement" facility operated by Utah-based Management & Training Corp. and consists of "several large tents surrounded by barbed wire fencing"—took control of the facility and started fires in protest of the conditions there, which include lack of proper medical care and "overflowing toilets and sewage that seeps into living areas." Fucking hell.

The ACLU has filed suit against Skagit Regional Health in Washington, seeking "to ensure that the state's public hospitals comply with a state law that guarantees equal access to maternity and abortion care." GOOD.

Newly appointed Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter supports ending the military's ban on transgender servicemembers. GOOD.

Something about Bill O'Reilly being a liar? Sounds about right.

[CN: Misogyny] STFU, Dan Aykroyd: "There's three drafts of the old concept that exists. And we're going to be able to salvage some of it and use it. Yeah, we're gonna be able to use it some day. Let's get this one made and that will reinvigorate the franchise and then we'll go on to maybe doing a more conventional third sequel." That's him talking about how he hopes the all-female Ghostbusters reboot is nice and all, but mostly he just hopes women will do the work of laying the groundwork for a "more conventional sequel." You know, meaning with men. But, hey, don't call Aykroyd a misogynist: "I've got three daughters, so I'm all for female empowerment." Give that man a cookie.

And last but certainly not least: This is an amazing and moving story about a dog named Toefu who was rescued from a terrible hoarder situation, and who went on to become a helper dog for other dogs rescued from similar circumstances. Bring the tissues!

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