What a weird week.
• Old news by now, but it’s big news: President Obama becomes the first sitting president in U.S. history to openly support marriage equality.
Not to be outdone, Rep. Steny Hoyer says, “me too!”
• Say it ain’t so, Joe! The U.S. Dept. of Justice has sued Maricopa Co. sheriff Joe Arpaio for racial profiling and systematic abuse of Latinos and immigrants.
• Germany’s Deutsche Bank has admitted wrongdoing in a mortgage fraud case and will pay a settlement of over $200 million. Bank officials admitted they lied to U.S. government officials over high-risk mortgages in order to obtain FHA insurance. The mortgages utlimately defaulted, costing Uncle Sam $386 million.
• Gas prices continue to plummet, and are down nearly 20 cents since April. I’m sure all the right wingers at Fox News who blamed President Obama for their increase will be crediting him for the price drop, right? Right?! Aw, who am I kidding.
• For the first time, an advisory committee has recommended that the FDA approve an HIV prevention drug.
• The Southern Baptist Convention’s mouthpiece Richard Land has issued a lengthy apology to President Obama and African American leaders over his insensitive comments related to the Trayvon Martin case. He accused Democrats and black leaders of exploiting the Martin case, called black leaders “race hustlers,” and said George Zimmerman had been unfairly treated by the media. It later turned out that many of his comments had been plagiarized. So he apologized for that, too.
• Bipartisanship! The House voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank through 2014. I honestly have no fucking clue what the Export-Import Bank is or does, beyond what this article says. But if the Club For Growth is against it and both Democrats and Republicans were able to come together over it, that’s good enough for me.
• The U.S. power sector met the greenhouse gas emissions target it had set for 2020 in January of this year. It didn’t keep it, but still … baby steps.
• An Australian homeowner spotted an extremely rare tiger quoll pooping on his back deck. The Tiger Quoll is Australia’s largest remaining carnivorous marsupial, but one has not been seen in the wild in over 10 years.
• A hero pit bull saved its owner from an oncoming train, sacrificed its leg in the process, but survived. The money quote:
Lanteigne says the misconception is that pit bulls are ferocious, because the only thing fierce about Lilly is her devotion.
• Archeologists excavating Mayan ruins in Guatemala have found the oldest known Mayan calendar in the “studio for the royal scribes”, where calendar priests and scribes worked on their astrological calculations. Bonus: they found nothing that portends the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012.
• Three former Iowa Supreme Court Justices who voted to legalize same-sex marriage and subsequently were voted out of office have received the 2012 John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage award.
• London-based drinks company Diageo, parent company to such brands as Guinness, Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, and Moët & Chandon, has announced it will no longer fund the right-wing Heartland Institute. Diageo was offended by a Heartland-sponsored billboard campaign equating climate change realists with terrorists like Osama bin Laden and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.
• Finally, tomorrow is my five-year blogiversary. I started this blog in May 2007 after blogging at the now-defunct Music Row Democrats. I thought it would just be a place to vent or post the occasional “can you believe this crap” link but it has become so much more.
My corner of the internet is still fairly obscure but I never thought I’d have a group of regular readers who actually care what I think about something. That’s quite an honor and privilege. I’m grateful to each and every one of you.
Reading some of those early posts is a bit depressing, also a tad amusing. For example, here are proud grandparents Lynn and Dick Cheney with their new grandbaby; the lesbian mommies were conveniently unavailable for the photo ops. But yeah, that’s some “leadership” on gay issues for ya, right Log Cabin Republicans?
Or, what about the time Ann Coulter got her FBI Special Agent ex-boyfriend to help her dodge third degree felony voter fraud charges? This was the pre-James O’Keefe era. If only he’d had a cell phone camera to capture it all. Oh wait, IOKIYAR.
Anyway, I could spend hours digging through the memory hole. I won’t bore you with that. But I did want to say thank you for reading.
[UPDATE]: I want to thank everyone for the kind words in comments. I really wasn’t trolling for complements when I mentioned the blogiversary but boy they sure are nice!
Good News, Tennessee Edition:
• Cookeville, TN hosted its first-ever gay pride event last weekend. The event drew more than 300 people and no protestors, thanks to an unexpected ally: the pastor of a local church:
The father of one of the event’s attendees was a pastor within that organization, Cravens explained. When the topic of Pride came up during one of the group’s regular meetings and met some very negative opposition from one member, the pastor stood up and defended Upper Cumberland Pride.
“Within that organization, a very conservative, religious organization, we had an ally,” Cravens said, “who stood up and said, ‘If you want to know about Pride, ask me because that’s my family.’”
Reading that quote just made me tear up, it really did.
• Tennessee’s film production incentive fund got an extra $2 million thanks to changes in a state law governing incentive programs.
Have a great weekend!