- Today's comic by Jen Sorensen is A well-funded militia:
- 119,000 U.S. solar workers outnumber nation's coal miners:
There are more solar energy workers in Texas than there are ranchers. In California, they outnumber actors, and nationwide, America has more solar workers than coal miners.
- Arizona representative who once voted for DOMA getting married to a man: Former Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe—who in 1996 voted for the Defense of Marriage Act and then, with the knowledge he would soon be outed by The Advocate for his hypocrisy, announced he is gay—will marry his long-time partner in May.
Kolbe's come a long way since voting for DOMA, as has public opinion (not to mention France and Delaware, each of which legalized marriage equality earlier today)... but his party hasn't. The vast majority of Republicans in Congress are still hateful and virulent homophones — or at least pretending to be — and oppose marriage equality and immigration equality.
- FBI backlash 'risks turning US into surveillance state':
As questions continued to be asked about what the FBI knew about his older brother Tamerlan, experts close to the intelligence establishment say there is widespread misunderstanding of what it would take to put all tip-offs about radical individuals under close surveillance.
Philip Mudd, a former FBI senior intelligence adviser, said there was a risk of a backlash turning the US into a "surveillance state".
- New bird flu strain called "one of the most lethal" of its kind. The strain has killed 22 in China:
The H7N9 flu has infected 108 people in China since it was first detected in March, according to the Geneva-based WHO.
Although it is not clear exactly how people are being infected, experts say they see no evidence so far of the most worrisome scenario — sustained transmission between people.
- Simon Malloy is excited to see how this new website has its finger on the pulse of what's new and exciting:
- Studies indicate that humans feel empathy for robots.
- On the latest #TWiBRadio, we discuss how Rand Paul lies, America is being problematic, and ice cream is delicious. And check out the discussion over at TWiB!, and help us welcome new contributors and staff writers from the Angry Black Lady Chronicles and Jack and Jill Politics.
- "It's been cordial"? That's what George W. Bush says of his post-presidential relationship with Dick Cheney, the guy who hand-picked himself to be vice president:
“You know it’s been cordial — but he lives in Washington and we live in Dallas,” Bush replied, sitting next to his wife, Laura. “One of the saddest things about departing Washington is that you miss your pals and a lot of people were there for all eight years and I became good friends with them, like Vice President Cheney.”
Bush, apparently feeling the need to say more, continued about the man widely seen as the most powerful vice president in American history: “You know, I just I don’t see him — much. And I don’t see many of the people I worked with much and it’s kind of sad. It’s great to be in Texas, however.”
- Rios Montt genocide trial in Guatemala still in limbo. Eighty-six-year-old Efrain Rios Montt has been on trial for his role as president of Guatemala in the early 1980s in ordering and carrying out the slaughter of large numbers of Maya-Ixil Indians.
On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court issued decisions on some, but not all, of the pending legal challenges which have left the Guatemalan genocide trial at a temporary standstill.
The Constitutional Court decisions only added to the suspense created last week when, on April 18, Judge Patricia Flores abruptly annulled the oral phase of the trial even though more than one hundred witnesses and experts had testified and a final verdict was believed imminent. In her order, Judge Flores instructed that the process revert back to its November 23, 2011 pre-trial status, before her earlier recusal from the case. The trial court immediately rejected this annulment order as illegal, and suspended the trial pending constitutional review, which the trial court — and the public — still await.
- Conservative group Photoshops a white-wash:
A conservative group connected to Colorado’s Secretary of State has been sending political mailers — including a picture of a darker-skinned woman whose face was digitally removed and replaced with a white woman’s face — in an attempt to oppose a landmark voting bill that may soon become law.The bill would establish election-day registration, mail ballots to every registered voter and set up a real-time database to detect and prevent fraud.
- On today's Kagro in the Morning show, we had to start off with the TX gun "instructor" who basically decided he could hold a gun class anyplace he didn't see anybody around. Then, into the weeds on budget procedure, as Republican bleating for a Senate budget is met by... filibustering the conference motion on that budget. More on Republican backlash against sequestration cuts that make them uncomfortable. An explainer of why Harry Reid often switches his votes "for strategic reason," but then nothing "strategic" ever seems to happen. Finally, a return to that crazy story line about the collapse of the global austerity movement.
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