An Alabama Republican has an inventive new plan to shut down one of the state’s few remaining abortion clinics: Treat the building like a registered sex offender.
Rep. Ed Henry filed a bill on Tuesday that would allow the Alabama Department of Public Health to deny health center licenses to abortion clinics that are located within 2,000 feet of a public school, a move that specifically targets the reproductive health center in Huntsville, Ala. Representatives from the antiabortion group that crafted the legislation admit that it is based on the rules that apply to convicted sex offenders. According to al.com, the bill was crafted in response to a lawsuit that attempted — and failed — to shut down the Alabama Women’s Center last year.
James Henderson, the former leader of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, said his anti-abortion group drafted the legislation that Henry introduced with the purpose of shutting down the Huntsville clinic.
“What prompted the action is the abortion clinic in downtown Huntsville that was forced to close and then relocated across from a public school,” he said.
Minnie the Moocher
But as Google’s actual announcement makes clear, saving money isn’t really the point of Project Fi. The service’s true goal is to change the way we think about wireless data service. The subtext of Project Fi is that traditional wireless carriers aren’t as important as they think.
There are a couple ways Google enforces this notion. First is through the actual connectivity, which is a patchwork of T-Mobile, Sprint, and Wi-Fi networks. Between the two carriers, Project Fi simply picks the fastest one, which is something no other wireless service can do.
But in many cases, users won’t need the carrier networks at all, because Project Fi can route calls and text messages over Wi-Fi. This routing not only includes home Wi-Fi networks, but public hotspots that Google deems fast and reliable. Project Fi forms an automatic, encrypted connection that doesn’t count against the user’s data plan. Whether it’s Wi-Fi or mobile broadband, Google is essentially saying that the best connection should win.
For nearly two years, ever since her brother Tyrone West died after a struggle with the police, a 35-year-old preschool teacher named Tawanda Jones has been in the streets here on Wednesday nights, protesting. Her message: “We need killer cops in cellblocks.”
Though the officers involved in Mr. West’s July 2013 death have been cleared of wrongdoing, his case and other police-involved killings here are woven into Baltimore’s psyche, part of what Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake calls the “broken relationship” between residents of this majority black city and a police department with a history of aggressive, sometimes brutal behavior.
That history helps explain the long-simmering anger that boiled over this week with the death on Sunday of Freddie Gray, 25, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury in police custody. Despite efforts by city officials to improve relations — Mayor Rawlings-Blake, alarmed by wrongful-death lawsuits, last year asked for a Justice Department review — thousands have staged protests that are expected to continue through the weekend.
A powerful earthquake struck Nepal Saturday, killing at least 71 people as the violently shaking earth collapsed houses, leveled centuries-old temples and triggered avalanches in the Himalayas. It was the worst temblor to hit the poor South Asian nation in over 80 years.
At least 30 people died in neighboring countries where the quake was felt including 20 in India.
The quake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.8 struck before noon and was most severely felt in the capital as well as the densely populated Kathmandu Valley. A magnitude-6.6 aftershock hit about an hour later, and smaller aftershocks continued to ripple through the region for hours.
Dozens of people with injuries were being brought to the main hospital in central Kathmandu.
The red carpet will roll out on Friday, April 24 at Valley Cinema in Wasilla when the Mat-Su showhouse hosts the world premiere of a new movie.
It’s a thriller with a supernatural monster, seven mauled bodies and at least one crashed car. Maybe two. It’s a comedy full of nutty characters doing nutty things with, uh, puppets. It has a plucky hero, a pretty coroner’s assistant, a mountain pirate, a tiny town full of loopy hicks and a thing from the dead with horns (OK, antlers) that stalks its prey on two legs.
It’s also a total, 100 percent, born-and-made-in-Alaska flick that didn’t use a cent in state film subsidies.
“We were too small potatoes for the subsidy. It would have been a headache, so we just did it ourselves,” said co-writer Chad Carpenter.
Interesting attack angle from the ACLU, but everyone’s right to safety trumps a handful of children’s rights to public education. Also the state could create and provide an online homeschool curricula and testing for the unvaccinated if push comes to shove.
The bill they came to defeat would end “personal belief exemptions” and require almost all California children attending public or private school to be immunized. Children with legitimate medical reasons, such as compromised immune systems due to chemotherapy, are excused. So are home-schooled children.
After the bill was amended to include multiple-family home schools and public school independent study programs in the definition of home-schooling, it passed easily out of committee.
The moms, who were wary of me but willing to make their case, will be back at the Capitol next week when the law is taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
This time, they will have an unexpected ally: the ACLU.
Alaska Dispatch News
April 24, 2015
At Houston High, the traditional fundraising bake sale has gone ballistic.
On Saturday and Sunday at the Big Lake Lions Club, the school’s activities department will host the third annual Houston Gun and Outdoors Show, an event that has grown into a high-caliber fundraiser for sports and extracurricular activities at the Mat-Su valley high school.
The event started three years ago as a way to take some pressure off Houston’s small business community. The Houston-Big Lake-Willow area is a sprawling, decentralized community strung out for miles alongside the Parks Highway. There are a limited number of businesses, and Porter said every one of them was continually being hit up for donations to pay for everything from new uniforms to game officials.
“We were trying to come up with something unique to take the pressure off the businesses,” Porter said.
They looked down the road to nearby Wasilla High and noted that school has been hosting an on-campus gun and outdoors show as a hockey fundraiser for more than two decades. Because the area has a lot of outdoors enthusiasts, the idea of following in Wasilla’s footsteps seemed on target.
“The whole community has been very supportive,” he said.
The first year of the show attracted about 2,500 people and raised about $20,000. Last year’s attendance was nearly 4,000 and raised close to $25,000.
“It’s become a neat and special event,” Porter said.
While the show might not raise many eyebrows in Alaska, similar gun-related school fundraisers haven’t been as well received in the Lower 48. In 2014, a high school marching band in Louisiana was barred from holding a fundraising gun raffle by school district officials who had received multiple complaints.
Porter said he’s heard nothing of the sort. Alaskans are different, he argued, in that many own firearms and don’t have negative feelings about them. He might just have a point. Google the words “high school gun show” and the Houston and Wasilla shows appear to be the only school-related gun shows that turn up.
Some have argued Democrats need to repeat the Clinton formula of proposing more “moderate” policies, running to the “center,” and downplaying and toning down the appeal to the Rising American Electorate and the new majority of blacks, Hispanics and new immigrants, millennials, unmarried women, and seculars. They also mean toning down the progressive agenda those voters are demanding.
Those who advocate such “centrism” could not be more wrong. The key to both winning today’s white working-class voters and building overwhelming majorities with the Rising American Electorate is a robust agenda of progressive reform and government activism.
The old formula, to be honest, has been made irrelevant by the seismic economic and cultural shifts that are transforming American politics. On the one hand, Republicans have successfully nationalized every presidential and off-year election because they are waging an ever-more-intense and polarized counter-revolution against the country’s national trends. On the other, Democrats are the beneficiaries of these inexorable trends, but Democrats have not addressed the profound wage stagnation and the special-interest corruption of government that leave the middle class out in the cold. That leaves Democrats’ potential majority without a reason to stay consistently engaged—and leaves Democrats short on white working-class votes as well. The key for the Democrats now is a bold reform agenda relevant for these new times.
The more Republican strategies succeed in animating and motivating their voters to win off-year elections, the more they alienate their party from America’s burgeoning new electorate. Democrats enter 2016 as the favorites to win the popular vote and perhaps an Electoral College landslide.
However, Republicans can also slow the progressive project nationally, with the full electoral advantages that come from having a rural base and a constitutional system that favors ruralism over urban density, as well as a conservative Supreme Court that blunts both popular liberal initiatives and the expanding new electorate. The GOP holds on by fighting ferociously to block government spending for the poor, to stop uncontrolled immigration, to prohibit abortion, and to defend traditional marriage.
The success of these tactics has serious consequences for Democrats and a progressive agenda. It enables the Republicans to pursue a full-throated conservative agenda in the 20 states of the “conservative heartland” and to block major portions of any Democratic president’s agenda in Congress. But those successes come with a huge price tag. They raise the odds that Democrats will win the presidency, executive branch, and eventually even the judiciary.
A large majority of the country embraces a bold reform narrative that demands leaders confront the special interests’ hold on government and puts the problems of the middle class center-stage. People get excited by leaders who understand their lives. The new American majority is hungry for leaders who know how hard it is for people to piece together multiple jobs to make ends meet—and so is calling for drastic improvements in wages and employment rights. Voters want leaders who appreciate the horrific cost of college and will make college more affordable, and they want leaders who understand how bewildering and difficult it is to balance work and have a family and will therefore offer adequate social supports.
They are ready to see deep investments to rebuild American infrastructure and modernize the country—if it is serious in scale, long-term, and independent of a Congress dominated by special interests and self-seeking politicians. And they understand that this is one way that government can produce good-paying jobs.
And the American people are ready to tax the richest and disrupt that group’s special deal with government. They bring to this period a special disdain for overpaid CEOs and the crony capitalism that makes government work for big business and special interests. The rich paying their fair share is nearly a first principle in economic reform and getting to a good society.
They are ready for government to help—if the stables can be cleaned. The government today is bought and sold to the biggest donors, and it wastes hundreds of billions of dollars at the behest of special-interest lobbyists. They are excited when leaders begin with reforms that restore democracy and get government to work for the middle class again.
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