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Posts under ‘National news’

Not many states are honoring that “give us your voter data” request

Glad to hear it. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have refused to provide certain types of voter information to the Trump administration’s election integrity commission, according to a CNN inquiry to all 50 states. State leaders and voting boards across the country have responded to the letter with varying degrees of cooperation — […]

Texas will turn over some voter info to Trump vote “fraud” commission

I have three things to say about this: Texas will hand over personal information of the state’s more than 15 million voters to President Donald Trump’s commission that is looking into voter fraud. Secretary of State Rolando Pablos said his office will share any publicly available information with Trump’s commission as requested, including the names, […]

Doctors against bathroom bills

Good. [Last] week, the American Medical Association (AMA), the country’s largest medical organization, took several actions to solidify their defense of transgender people. This included a resolution opposing any policy or legislation — like “bathroom bills” put forth in North Carolina and Texas — that prohibits transgender people from living according to their gender identity throughout society. During its […]

Maybe we should be a little more concerned about election security?

Just a thought. Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported. In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. […]

Mayors (still) against climate change

Someone’s gotta do it. On Thursday, President Donald Trump officially announced that the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, citing the deal’s failure “to serve American interests.” Hours later, governors, mayors, and environmental groups all had a different message: We’ll take it from here. “Donald Trump has absolutely chosen the wrong […]

Rep. Al Green calls for impeachment

He will have company. Amid multiple Trump-related scandals rocking the Capitol, U.S. Rep. Al Green, D-Houston, called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump from the House chamber on Wednesday morning. “I rise today, Mr. Speaker, to call for the impeachment of the president of the United States of America for obstruction of justice,” he […]

Cornyn’s colleagues cool to him as FBI Director

Boy, with friends like these… There is a growing obstacle standing in the way of Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, becoming the next director of the FBI — his own Republican colleagues. Led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, a chorus of GOP senators has signaled that they would prefer President Trump to nominate somebody other […]

Cornyn on shortlist to replace Comey

Interesting. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is on the short list to succeed James Comey as FBI director, according to a White House official. Cornyn is one of about 11 contenders for the post, according to Fox News. He has strong relationships with members of his conference and would likely sail through confirmation. Prior to his […]

NCAA rewards North Carolina for its weaksauce HB2 repeal

So this happened. Discrimination won the championship this year. The NCAA announced Tuesday morning that it completely fell for the bait-and-switch concocted by Republican leadership in North Carolina’s legislature and Gov. Roy Cooper (D). Last week, they passed a compromise bill that repealed HB2, the state’s infamous anti-LGBT law, and replaced it with HB142, which […]

Tough times for Presidential heads

This makes me sad. As polarized politics continue to rage in the Beltway, rural Virginia still has a place where Democrats, Republicans — and some Whigs — stand shoulder to shoulder. The busts of the first 43 U.S. presidents, each standing at least 15 feet tall and weighing nearly 10 tons, are huddled on the […]

Deportation nation

Appalling. The Trump administration on Tuesday moved one step closer to implementing the president’s plans to aggressively rid the country of undocumented immigrants and expand local police-based enforcement of border security operations. In a fact sheet outlining the efforts, the Department of Homeland Security said that though their top priority is finding and removing undocumented […]

The burden that keeps on depriving

North Carolina’s bathroom law, y’all. The North Carolina Sports Association, which represents 27 counties across North Carolina that recruit and promote major sporting events, sent a letter to the state’s House of Representatives and General Assembly on Monday urging an immediate repeal of the controversial House Bill 2. The law, known as the bathroom bill, […]

Look for the helpers

They’re at the airports now. Luis Ruiz, an immigration attorney with his own practice, set up shop early Sunday at Bush Intercontinental Airport. He’d seen news of attorneys around the country flocking to airports to help people detained under the terms of the executive order President Donald Trump issued Friday, and he figured duty called. […]

Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi

This is who the now-injuncted executive order suspending refugee resettlement and immigration visas from certain countries was supposed to “protect” us from. The lawyers said that one of the Iraqis detained at Kennedy Airport, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, had worked on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq for 10 years. The other, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq […]

California is the new Texas

Or will be, as far as litigating against the federal government goes. Gov. Jerry Brown has tabbed Rep. Xavier Becerra to serve as California’s interim attorney general, selecting the Los Angeles Democrat to fill a vacancy opened by the imminent departure of outgoing Attorney General Kamala Harris to the U.S. Senate. Assuming he wins confirmation […]

From the “Don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” department

People are signing up for health insurance plans while they still can. For years the backers of the Affordable Care Act have fretted over how best to stimulate insurance enrollment on the exchanges so the law could work as designed. They might have finally found a way from the unlikeliest of sources: the election of […]

What do our elected officials think about the plan to kill off Medicare?

Hey, remember when this was a major campaign issue? With all the other things we’ve discussed so far today, I wanted to return to one critical one. It’s not about mights or maybes or fears of what’s to come. It’s about what’s coming just after President-Elect Trump’s inauguration. Paul Ryan has been pushing to phase […]

SCOTUS blocks order on transgender bathroom access for students

For now. The Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily blocked a court order that had allowed a transgender boy to use the boys’ bathroom in a Virginia high school. The vote was 5 to 3, with Justice Stephen G. Breyer joining the court’s more conservative members “as a courtesy.” He said that this would preserve the […]

Friday was a very good day for voting rights

In North Carolina: The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s opinion in North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP v. McCrory is nothing short of a beat down. The court does not simply tear apart major provisions of the law, it catches state lawmakers at the center of a conspiracy to disenfranchise […]

New methane rules finalized

Gentlemen, start your lawyers. The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday issued its final rule for methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. The rule limits methane emissions from new oil and gas infrastructure and requires operators to submit to semi-annual or quarterly monitoring, depending on the type of operation. In addition, the agency took […]

Harriet Tubman will be on the new $20 bill

Good. The U.S. Treasury has decided to keep Alexander Hamilton on the front of the new $10 bill, after encountering fierce opposition to its plans to replace the founding father with a woman, Treasury officials said Tuesday. The Treasury will feature the portrait of African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, which now features […]

More troubles for the Planned Parenthood video fraudsters

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Investigators with the California Department of Justice on Tuesday raided the home of David Daleiden, the anti-abortion activist behind a series of undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood, the activist said. Authorities seized a laptop and multiple hard drives from his Orange County apartment, Daleiden said in an email. The […]

FDA makes medical abortion safer

Good news, at least until the Legislature reconvenes. Texas women will be able to obtain medical abortions later into their pregnancies under newly approved changes by the federal Food and Drug Administration. The FDA on Wednesday announced revised rules for drug-induced abortions — a method used early in a pregnancy — that will increase the […]

Lawsuit filed against North Carolina anti-equality law

That was fast. It took only one day for North Carolina’s legislature to pass the country’s most sweeping anti-LGBT bill (HB2), and only four days after that for Lambda Legal and the ACLU of North Carolina to file a lawsuit challenging it. The suit takes direct aim at the law’s ban on transgender people using […]

North Carolina takes a big step backwards on equality

Shameful. Wednesday was a whirlwind day in North Carolina’s government. The legislature convened a special session, a complicated multi-part bill was introduced, it passed through the House and Senate — both Republican controlled — and Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed it into law. Just like that, North Carolina became the state with the most hostile […]

New EPA rules for methane coming

You know what will follow. Building on already pending rules to cut methane leaks from both new oil and gas wells and those on federal lands, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now plans to bring to the oil sector the tough emissions standards it previously applied to automobiles and power plants. The change would bring […]

SCOTUS also blocks Louisiana anti-abortion law for now

Forgot to note this over the weekend. The Supreme Court handed down a brief order Friday allowing four Louisiana abortion clinics to reopen after they were closed due to a recent decision by a conservative federal appeals court. Last week, an especially conservative panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit […]

Why are some people more likely to smoke than others?

From the CDC: American adults who are uninsured or on Medicaid smoke at rates more than double those for adults with private health insurance or Medicare, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey […]

SCOTUS to hear HB2 oral arguments

It’s the big one. Before Wendy Davis took to the floor of the Texas Senate for an 11-hour filibuster that ultimately failed to stop sweeping new restrictions on abortion, there was Casey. Shorthand for Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court case reaffirmed a woman’s right to an abortion but gave states more […]

The Scalia effect on current cases

The Trib highlights a few cases pending before the Supreme Court that could be affected by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Texas abortion law On March 2, the court will hear oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which challenges Texas’ 2013 abortion law. Beyond deciding the constitutionality of a law that could […]

RIP, Antonin Scalia

Wow. Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said. Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa. According to a report, Scalia arrived at the ranch on Friday and […]

SCOTUS puts Clean Power Plan on hold

And in doubt. In a major setback for President Obama’s climate change agenda, the Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily blocked the administration’s effort to combat global warming by regulating emissions from coal-fired power plants. The brief order was not the last word on the case, which is most likely to return to the Supreme Court […]

Medicaid expansion: Still a good idea

I know, right? Fewer low-income residents of Kentucky and Arkansas, two poor states that expanded Medicaid in 2014, reported problems paying medical bills after the coverage expansions, especially compared with residents of Texas, which has rejected the health law. And hospitals in Medicaid expansion states saw a marked decline in the share of patients without insurance, […]

Texas in line to get more Congressional seats

From Daily Kos: [Last] week, the U.S. Census Bureau released new annual population estimates for the year between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015, and there are plenty of notable details. But the most important takeaway is the implications for the next round of congressional reapportionment that will follow the 2020 census. And using […]