Hoosier Hospitality

March 30, 2015

Hoosier Hospitality

Indiana Governor  Mike Pence, a formerly prominent Republican, is flabbergasted by the uproar about Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act. After all, it has the same name as a Federal law and laws in 19 other states.

There are three main differences:

1.  Indiana’s law explicitly allows for-profit businesses to assert a right to “the free exercise of religion.”

2. Indiana’s law allows businesses to assert such rights as a defense against lawsuits by private individuals, not just against actions brought by government.

“So, let’s review the evidence: … there’s ‘nothing significant’ about this law that differs from the federal one, and other state ones—except that it has been carefully written to make clear that 1) businesses can use it against 2) civil-rights suits brought by individuals.”

– “What Makes Indiana’s Religious-Freedom Law Different?” Garrett Epps, The Atlantic

3. Timing. Public opinion in America has swung in favor of same-sex marriage, and Indiana Republicans are out of step with their “freedom to discriminate” legislation.

More:

“Indiana’s Mike Pence is starting to look like Lester Maddox — without the spine,” Joan Walsh, Salon

Legal types can see a letter by 30 law school professors here.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Spring Break: Vacations for Villains

March 30, 2015

It’s Spring Break in America. While college kids head to the beaches of Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Cancún, career criminals are off to Arizona, Alaska, Wyoming, Louisiana and Montana. The college kids will come home with a tan, a tee shirt and a hangover. The bad guys will come home with guns — they plan their trips on CrimAdvisor.com.

More:

“The ‘friendliest’ state for criminals to buy guns?” Tim Devaney, The Hill

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Indiana Welcomes … Some of You!

March 28, 2015

Indiana Welcomes ... Some of You!

The Indiana legislature passed a law, and Republican Governor Mike Pence is so proud of it that he boldly signed it when no one was looking. The so-called ‘Religious Freedom Restoraction Act‘ grants individuals and businesses the right to discriminate against people unlike them and claim their religion mandates their bigotry.

Wholesome, honest-to-goodness Hoosier intolerance. Who could be against that?

Everyone. The ACLU. The Disciples of Christ. The NCAA. The Indianapolis Chamber of CommerceUSA Track & Field. Corporations like YelpSalesforce, Ennis Communications, Cummins, Angie’s List, Twitter, Subaru, and Indianapolis-based pharma giant Eli Lilly & Company. The mayors of Indianapolis, South Bend, Evansville, Seattle and San Francisco.  Annual conventions like the AFSCME Conference and the $50 million Gen Con. Tim Cook. Audra McDonaldMiley Cyrus. Larry KingCharles Barkley. WilcoAshton Kutcher. And many more.

There’s a petition, a boycott movement, and this:

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Honest Abe Schock Says Farewell

March 27, 2015

Honest Abe Schock Says Farewell

Disgraced Congressman Aaron Schock (R, IL-18), who resigned to forestall an Office of Congressional Ethics investigation, compared himself to Abraham Lincoln in a farewell speech on the House floor on Thursday:

“Abraham Lincoln held this seat in Congress for one term. But few faced as many defeats in his personal business and public life as he did. His continual perseverance in the face of these trials, never giving up, is something all of us Americans should be inspired by, especially when going through a valley in life.”

Of course President Lincoln didn’t have the FBI and a grand jury investigating his possible misuse of campaign funds and taxpayer dollars.

Congressman Schock’s resignation is effective March 31st. He will be returning to his humble log cabin somewhere in the wilds of Illinois. Near a golf course, perhaps.

Related:

“Aaron Schock leaving Congress with $3.3M in campaign funds,” Chicago Tribune

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-l74

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

Library of Congress Names Righteous Tracks

March 26, 2015

Library of Congress Names Righteous Tracks
The Library of Congress has just added another 25 sound recordings “recognized for their cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society” to the National Recording Registry. Among them is the 1964 45-RPM single “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” by The Righteous Brothers, the ‘blue-eyed soul” duo of Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley. 

In 1964 producer Phil Spector asked the songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil for material for the vocal duo he’d just signed to his Phillies Records label. Mann wrote a melody with the feel of a recent Four Tops hit, “Baby I Need Your Loving,” and his wife Cynthia Weil penned lyrics about attempting to rekindle lost love. It was arranged by a young Gene Page, and the lush charts launched his remarkable career.

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The Pope Gets a Neapolitan Pizza

March 24, 2015

The Pope Gets a Neapolitan Pizza

A  few days back, Pope Francis told an interviewer that he misses being able to go out for a pizza. When His Holiness visited Naples, known for its pizza, Enzo Cacialle of Pizzeria Don Ernesto handcrafted a special Papal pie, jumped a street barricade, and handed the pizza to Pope Francis in the Popemobile:

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Ted Cruz Declares Holy War

March 23, 2015

Ted Cruz Declares Holy War

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) declared his presidential candidacy Monday at Liberty University, invoking the Deity (who seems to have endorsed him), Jesus Christ, Rafael Cruz (his own preacher daddy), GOP saint Ronald Reagan and, oddly, Thomas Jefferson (who re-wrote the Bible, omitting the miracles of Jesus) and ultimate Big Government champ FDR.

Excerpts from Monday’s address by Mr. Cruz (links added):

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Ted Cruz: The Cruzade Begins

March 22, 2015

Ted Cruz: The Cruzade Begins

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will announce that he is a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination today. The venue? Liberty University (“Training Champions for Christ since 1971“), founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell, not known for religious tolerance or compassion. Mr. Cruz should feel right at home. His Dad, Rafael Cruz, is a Texas evangelical pastor who makes Jerry Falwell look like Mister Rogers.

There should be a substantial crowd for the senator’s appearance at the Vines Center, since the event is a Liberty University Convocation. All LU students who live on campus are required to attend these convocations, which occur three times a week.

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The First Spacewalk was 50 Years Ago

March 22, 2015

The Firsrt Spacewalk was 50 Years Ago

On March 18, 1965, Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov stepped outside the USSR’s  Voskhod-2 space capsule and floated in space for 12 minutes and 9 seconds, It was the first spacewalk.

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God, Guns, Grits and Snake Oil

March 22, 2015

God, Guns, Grits and Snake Oil

Now that Mike Huckabee has left Fox News, he’s financing his presidential campaign in an unconventional way.  He sent out an email pitch for a dubious diabetes cure based on ingredients found in cinnamon buns.

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