Good news: the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals halted the execution of Scott Panetti (scheduled to take place yesterday), until it can consider "late-arriving and complex legal questions at issue in this matter." The 5th Circuit may ultimately allow Texas to carry out the sentence, against a man who tried to call Jesus Christ, John F. Kennedy, and the Pope as witnesses in his murder trial, but every reprieve is a victory for justice and civilization.
Despite Gov. Scott Walker's public pronouncements that he has no interest in turning Wisconsin into a "right-to-work" state, some of his allies have announced plans to do just that. And then Scott Walker can say it was the people who wanted it! But citing declining union membership in public sector unions since Act 10 would be rather like citing declining automobile travel on highways after installing steel spikes on every exit ramp. And if Mary Burke had pledged to veto any budget that didn't repeal Act 10, she'd probably be Governor right now.
Judd Legum at Think Progress reminds us that Missouri could still prosecute Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown if "the court having criminal jurisdiction" over the case can find a lawyer willing to prosecute it. Let me guess how the right wing would react to such a development: ZOMG ACTIVIZT JUDGEZ!!!!! (Mr. Legum refers to Missouri state law; I have no idea if New York state has a similar law, now that a grand jury has declined to prosecute Eric Garner's strangler, which decision is, if anything, even more befuddling.)
Matt Wood at FreePress explains why net neutrality won't result in new fees for everyone. One simple answer would be, "well, because we've had net neutrality all these years, and where are these billyuns and billyuns of dollars in fees?" Another simple answer would be, "net neutrality opponents only come up with this kind of ooga-booga now, when they've had eight years?" But Mr. Wood negotiates the actual legal issues patiently and thoroughly.
I shouldn't be spending any time debunking utter rubbish like this, but no, the average "welfare family" does not get $61,000 in annual welfare benefits. How did David Barton come up with this number? Among other things, he counts Medicaid and CHIP spending as if it's actual income going to actual people, and he counts spending on folks above the poverty line as spending on folks below the poverty line. As the Center for Budget Priorities put it, "(p)roviding a frail senior with nursing home care does not mean that the typical low-income family with children is receiving huge amounts of benefits that give it a high standard of living."
Finally, those blessed individuals at Fox and Friends think it would be "great" if you had to pass a civics test before you can vote, apparently blissfully unaware that, well, that was a feature of Jim Crow laws. And I bet their ideal test would require you to say that when Moses handed the Constitution down from Mt. Sinai, he said that it doesn't authorize the government to help anyone, but does demand that government give massive handouts to corporations. A lot of alleged small government types seem to want to give governments new powers to keep people from voting. I wonder why that is.