Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Guns] President Obama has written an op-ed for the New York Times on guns and gun violence: "Guns Are Our Shared Responsibility." It's pretty damn good. I especially like this bit: "All of us need to demand leaders brave enough to stand up to the gun lobby's lies." And I like it because he flatly calls them liars. Still: The only thing that's truly going to reduce gun violence is fewer guns and less access to them.
[CN: Guns] Relatedly: President Obama did a townhall with Anderson Cooper on the same subject, and he got fired up when Cooper asked him "if it's fair to use the word 'conspiracy' when discussing people who accuse Obama of wanting to take away guns." Yes, it is a conspiracy theory. Unfortunately.
Planned Parenthood has announced it will officially endorse Hillary Clinton this weekend, which "marks the first time in the organization's 100-year history that Planned Parenthood Action Fund has endorsed a candidate in a primary." Explained Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards: "Let's be clear—reproductive rights and health are on the ballot in 2016. We're proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. No other candidate in our nation's history has demonstrated such a strong commitment to women or such a clear record on behalf of women's health and rights. This is about so much more than Planned Parenthood. Health care for an entire generation is at stake."
[CN: Bullying] Donald Trump's villainy is breathtaking: "Republican front-runner Donald Trump directed security to kick out Bernie Sanders supporters from his Vermont rally and to confiscate their coats. 'Throw them out into the cold,' Trump ordered security, as protesters shouted 'Bernie! Bernie!' during his rally Thursday night in Burlington, Vt. 'Don't give them their coats,' Trump added. 'No coats! Confiscate their coats.' Trump said it was 'fun' to have the protesters attend his events and kick them out. 'It's about 10 degrees below zero outside... You can keep his coat; tell him we'll send it to him in a couple of weeks,' Trump told security." I loathe this guy.
[CN: War on agency] Well, fuck: "National anti-choice organizations are opening up a 'new front in Colorado,' according to a report released this week by NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado. The report, 'Against Our Will: How National Anti-Choice Groups are Targeting the Pro-Choice Majority in Colorado,' states that last year Republican lawmakers in Colorado introduced five bills and one resolution based on copycat legislation provided by Americans United for Life (AUL), a Washington, D.C. legislation mill focused on overturning Roe v. Wade and ending legal abortion access across the country. Legislation mills produce templates for laws that can be proposed in governments across the country. None of the AUL legislation passed in Colorado, but the report notes that of '118 state laws restricting abortion from 2011 to 2014, nearly one-third were based on legislation from the AUL or with assistance from AUL staff or supporters.'"
[CN: Ciscentrism. NB: Not only women menstruate.] This is terrific: "Two California lawmakers have put forward a bill that would remove state sales tax from tampons and other feminine hygiene products. 'Menstrual hygiene is not a choice,' said Ling Ling Chang, one of the assembly members behind the effort. Chang and her colleague Cristina Garcia are arguing that tampons, sanitary pads, and other methods of handling a woman's monthly cycle are medical necessities rather than simply hygiene products." Damn right they are.
LOL LOVE: "Paul Feig Trolled Star Wars While Revealing Info About New Ghostbusters Toys."
RIP Pat Harrington Jr., whom most of us might best know as Schneider from One Day at a Time.
[CN: Moving gifs at link] Don't even bother trying to prank a raccoon. Because pranks are the worst, and raccoons are smart wee devils.
And finally! Animals sniffing flowers. Awwwwwwwwwww.