Hope y’all had a good week. Looks like we’re getting spring temperatures next week: 70 degrees is on its way! Can’t wait.
• The Arkansas state House voted to approve the expansion of Medicaid.
• A Federal appeals court judge has ruled that BP must abide by the terms of the $9.2 billion settlement agreement it made with victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Predictably, the oil corporation was trying to weasel out of the deal once the cameras stopped rolling.
• The first mass-produced hydrogen powered car is here.
• California’s Kings Canyon Unified School District will become one of the nation’s first to transport kids to school in an all-electric school bus.
• Calling Arizona’s gay discrimination law a “game changer,” Arizona State Senator Steve Gallardo, a Democrat, announced he is gay. He is also running for Congress. So c’mon, Arizona: you get to send a gay, Latino Democrat to Washington? That’s like the liberal jackpot!
• Kentucky’s Attorney General Jack Conway announced he won’t defend the state’s anti-gay law, saying he would be “defending discrimination.” He said:
“I thought long and hard. I thought about the arc of history,” he said. “I thought about the fact that at one time in this country we discriminated against women. At one time we discriminated against African-Americans and people of color. At one time we discriminated against those with disabilities. This is the last minority group in this country that a significant portion of our population thinks it’s OK to still discriminate against in any way. And I didn’t think that was right.”
• Twenty Republicans signed a friend of the court brief supporting same-sex marriage in Oklahoma and Utah, including former Senators Alan Simpson of Wyoming and Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, and former RNC chair Kenneth Mehlman.
• Big damn hero alert: a Texas man risked his life to save an injured dog on the freeway.
• Related: a Detroit, Michigan-based U.S. Coast Guard cutter traveled four miles out into icy Lake St. Clair to rescued a stranded dog.
• Our new
commie hippie Pope Francis announced he’s opening the gardens of his summer house outside Rome to the public.
• The EPA announced new sulfur emission limits which will prevent 2,000 respiratory deaths per year.
• Raising the minimum wage would save taxpayers billions on food stamps, says CAP.
• Two powerful rich guys in Los Angeles back effort to raise city’s minimum wage to $15/hour.
• Kroger and Safeway tell Friends of the Earth they will no longer sell GMO salmon.
• Apple CEO Tim Cook told right-wing shareholder The National Center For Public Policy Research to go fuck themselves after they tried to pressure Apple into dumping their green initiatives. Or as Cook put it:
We do a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive. We want to leave the world better than we found it.
• After pressure from Moms Demand Action, Facebook and Instagram announced a policy change regarding the sale of firearms on the social networking sites.
• Here’s something you don’t see too often: someone in a position of authority willingly giving away their power. Saying the power was too great and the potential for abuse too serious, Utah’s Attorney General gave away some of his office’s subpoena power.
• I love this story about “Menstrual Man” Arunachalam Muruganathan, who is bringing affordable hygiene and economic empowerment to India’s rural women. You don’t have to be a woman to be a feminist.
• Crazy Texas Republican Congresscritter/Friend of Nuge (I realize I’m being redundant here) Steve Stockman lost his primary bid to unseat Senator John Cornyn and will be leaving the U.S. House of Representatives. Awww.
Good News, Tennessee Edition
• Nashville-based healthcare executive/entrepreneur Michael Burcham tells the Tennessee legislature it’s hurting business by focusing on issues that …
[…] sure makes it seem like we are trying to create a society that’s more bigoted and closed and we don’t want anybody here. It’s not good for business.
It’s a good read. And hey, it’s not like Tennessee Republicans will listen to me. Maybe they’ll listen to a Big Business Man. (BTW, Tennessee made The Daily Show again last night and in case you missed it, check out “Third World Healthcare: Knoxville, Tennessee.”
• A six-member panel of the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conducthas censured the former magistrate in the baby Messiah naming case.
• Free two-year college tuition moves forward in the state legislature. Let me add, I’m dying to know why Tennessee Republicans think this is a great idea coming from Gov. Haslam, but killed it when a nearly identical proposal came from Democratic Governor Bredesen. Also, I have a sneaking suspicion this is a big sop to those for-profit diploma mills, because Gov. Haslam has a huge jones for everything and anything that’s “privatized.” Still …
And for this week’s cool video, this totally cracked me up. Funnier with the sound off, I think. Have a great weekend!