Midday open thread

Newt Bus

Bad neighborhood for traditional marriage warriors. (Twitter/@ImChrisHughes)
  • Newt Gingrich’s bus broke down behind enemy lines in California’s gayborhood of West Hollywood, on Friday. Secret Service was on high-alert for glitterbomb attacks as locals reveled in schadenfreude. There were no reports of assault by party favor.
  • A payroll tax compromise may result in the auctioning off of public airways for as much as $ 25 billion. Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY) tells us this will finally deliver on the 9/11 commission’s recommendation to improve communications networks for first responders. Progress also moves forward on improving the Zadroga Act to cover cancer.
  • Like Pete Hoekstra, The Daily Show’s senior black correspondent Larry Wilmore is not happy about Asians taking black people’s jobs.
  • Color of Change is demanding accountability from Harris Publication’s XXL magazine’s website for “publishing a video of an adult rapper talking an imagined audience of boys through an aggressive encounter with an underage girl.” And Faithful America delivers 20,000 signatures calling on MSNBC to bench Christian bigot Tony Perkins.
  • John Glenn

    John Glenn, 1962 (NASA/Wikicommons)
  • Fifty years ago on Monday, Astronaut John Glenn took three trips around the Earth, in a tiny capsule. Celebrate and reflect with John Noble Wilford.
  • A Flying Wallenda will tightrope walk over Niagara Falls this summer.
  • As marriage equality is on a big roll in Washington, Maryland, New Jersey and the Ninth Circuit, please always keep in mind that marriage is sacred (NSFW).
  • UCLA researchers identify the point in development where where stem cells “turn right,” not left. It is seen as a breakthrough in engineering brand new tissues and organs usable for transplants. Related, Mitt Romney divests himself of his organ-harvesting holdings.
  • Tim Egan, New York Times:

    “There is no other way to put this without resorting to demographic bluntness: the small fraction of Americans who are trying to pick the Republican nominee are old, white, uniformly Christian and unrepresentative of the nation at large.”

  • New York City squabbles whether Churches should be allowed to hold services in public schools. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg says no. New York City council woman and progressive grassroots rock star, Letitia James says yes. Discuss.
  • Super-Christian™ Rick Santorum is the least charitable presidential candidate, this is empirically true, CNN has the data:

    From 2007 to 2009, Santorum’s rate of charitable giving fluctuated between 2.03% and 2.67% of his earnings.
    In 2010, the rate dropped to 1.76% of his $ 923,411 in income. That same year, President Obama gave 14.2% of his income to charity, while Mitt Romney donated 13.8% and Newt Gingrich gave 2.6%.

  • Also drawing attention, Santorum’s enthusiastic support for the war on pornography.
  • The Center for Disease Control reports we are winning the war on the flu.
  • Rolling Stone reports the Department of Justice is doubling down on war on pot.
  • Meanwhile, Department of Justice does deliver a mitzvah in declining to defend DOMA and two military statutes that stand between servicemembers and benefits for their same-sex spouses. This is particularly significant as it knee-caps “military deference” arguments that might be used in support of DOMA. Speaker Boehner will doubtlessly pick up the cause of denying active duty soldiers and veterans equal treatment.
  • Apple Computer supplier Foxconn raises wages for workers after a torrent of bad press. Fair Labor Association says there are still “tons of issues” that need addressing. Apple has opened their doors to ABC’s Nightline, in a report that will air Tuesday.
  • Caterpillar Inc. strikes a deal to open a manufacturing plant in “right to work” state, Georgia. The Athens-area plant is expected to bring 1,400 jobs, paying “between $ 12 and $ 18.50 an hour, plus medical and dental benefits and a retirement-savings plan.”
  • Hooray for Hollywood! Obama administration brokers deal to open the huge Chinese market for more US-produced films.
  • Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen quoted in the UK Gaurdian:

    “I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American dream… What was done to our country was wrong and unpatriotic and un-American and nobody has been held to account… There is a real patriotism underneath the best of my music but it is a critical, questioning and often angry patriotism.”

  • Clarence Page recommends people look at the US’s education statistics before foolishly waving around their “We’re #1!” foam finger.

Daily Kos

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