If you have a few minutes, read this Talking Points Memo piece describing Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) going well out of his way to meet repeatedly with a pair of "sovereign citizens" back in 2013 (i.e., folks who do not recognize the federal government's authority over them). "Sovereign citizens" aren't just folks who misunderstand that your government belongs to you in the first place, nor are they just folks who dabble in 9.11-was-an-inside-job paranoia -- some, like Timothy McVeigh's co-conspirator in Oklahoma City back in 1995, commit acts of domestic terrorism. And Mr. LePage talked of hanging Democratic legislative leaders for treason in their presence at least once. I sure do hope that, in this year's election, he doesn't get anywhere near the 38 percent he got four years ago.
Kentucky becomes the latest state to find their gay-marriage ban struck down by a federal judge, with this judge issuing an opinion almost as withering as Judge Jones's opinion striking down the Dover School Board's "intelligent design" curriculum in 2005. To wit, from Justice John Heyburn: "Even assuming the state has a legitimate interest in promoting procreation, the Court fails to see, and Defendant never explains, how the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage has any effect whatsoever on procreation among heterosexual spouses. Excluding same-sex couples from marriage does not change the number of heterosexual couples who choose to get married, the number who choose to have children, or the number of children they have." Of course, most right-wingers, confronted with this information, will merely change the subject.
Susan Crawford reports that the FCC has made the right noises about municipal wireless, saying that states shouldn't pass laws preventing cities from building out their own wireless networks. Of course the FCC can do nothing about the laws states pass, but dig the tantrum from AT&T's CEO (he couldn't even farm this whinefest out to one of his lobbyists?) that AT&T "shouldn't be required to compete with government taxpayer money," though muni wireless networks typically sell bonds rather than use tax money. But these are the people who go on about the importance of competition, right? The same people who tell us government never does anything right? Then why are they afraid?
Paul Krugman notes the abject failure of the state of Kansas to jump-start its economy and reminds us that "tax cuts don’t have magical powers." He also instructs us that Arthur Laffer has been wrong about a great many things and that Mr. Clinton's 1993 tax hike on the rich preceded many years of economic expansion, though he fails to note (out of fatigue, perhaps) that Tha Bush Mobb's tax cuts didn't exactly work magic, either. I guess the LEAVE CORPORASHUNZ ALOONE!!!!! crowd will read all of that and shrug, forget it, it's Paul Krugman, without bothering to contest any of his findings.
Ho hum, yet another metastudy (of 67 scientific studies) finds no link between vaccines and autism. I wonder how many more of these there'll have to be before people stop asking do you think vaccines cause autism? as their very first question about autism. Zinger: a CHOP pediatrician, noting that nearly 40,000 children get hurt in car accidents every year, says "(t)he most dangerous aspect of giving your child vaccines is driving to the office to get them." The most dangerous aspect of not giving your child vaccines? Diseases like measles and whooping cough that used to be under control start killing children again.
Finally, a Blackwater manager actually threatened to kill a State Department official reviewing his employer's work back in 2007, adding that "no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq." What a sense of entitlement -- though, given the American Embassy's subsequent removal of said State Department official for being "disruptive" of poor, poor Blackwater's efforts, you can see why that Blackwater thug had that sense of entitlement. Ergo, yet another argument against trying to win an occupation with fewer soldiers than you really need, as well as yet another argument against privatization of our government's functions.