Alabama's first openly gay state legislator fired back on Facebook over the weekend, including a threat to expose the affairs of state officials, to comments made by Republican Party officials in the wake of a federal judge declaring the state ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
State Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, said she was elated and in "shock" when the judge issued the order overturning Alabama's same-sex marriage ban.
But after seeing comments by Republican officials, particularly from Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, and seeing Attorney General Luther Strange's efforts to get a stay of the judge's orders, Todd fired off an emotional Facebook post making a threat to expose politicians' dalliances.
Democrats are giving Senate Republicans a taste of their own medicine.
The new minority is pulling out all the stops to stymie Sen. Mitch McConnell's first bill as majority leader — legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which faces a veto threat from President Barack Obama.
And in a possible sign of trouble to come for the Kentucky Republican, Democrats are having some success — even though plenty of their own members support the pipeline. A vote to end debate on the legislation failed on Monday afternoon, 53-39, falling short of the 60 votes required to defeat a filibuster.
In an extraordinary act of trolling, Democrats seized on McConnell's promise of an open amendment process to clog up the legislation with more than 150 amendments, and then complained that McConnell tried to "shut down debate" by attempting to move to a final vote on Monday.
We can't stop a senator from being in the pocket of Big Tobacco or Big Labor, beholden to a Koch or a Soros. But we could see it—instantly. The fierce urgency of accountability. Chuck Todd, host of NBC's Meet the Press, read the first version of this column and suggested an amendment to the deposit-and-disclose concept to encourage big donors to self-limit their spending.
If history is a guide, nothing like this will happen until there is a major scandal like Watergate or a major embarrassment, like what happened to Theodore Roosevelt in 1904.
does the math on a measles vaccine that's 97% effective:
Why Did Vaccinated People Get Measles at Disneyland? Blame the Unvaccinated
So how does that explain what happened in Disneyland? If you have a group of 1,000 people concentrated in a small space—like oh, say, hypothetically, an amusement park—about 90 percent of them will be vaccinated (hopefully). One person, maybe someone who contracted measles on a recent trip to the Philippines, moves around, spreading the virus. Measles is crazy contagious, so of the 100 people who aren’t vaccinated, about 90 will get infected. Then, of the 900 people who are vaccinated, 3 percent—27 people—get infected because they don’t have full immunity.
Now the Disneyland numbers—six vaccinated infections out of the 34 cases with known records—start to make more sense. (And considering the 16 million or so visitors the park gets every year, we might reasonably expect that number to go up.) Once vaccination levels dip below 90 or 95 percent, there aren’t enough protected people to keep the disease in check—the herd immunity that epidemiologists like to talk about so much. In the US, we’ve been doing pretty well keeping those numbers up. “But there are some fluctuations,” says Cristina Cassetti, program officer at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “and if vaccination levels dip down a little, you get a situation like Disneyland.”
nails the anti-vax self-indulgence better than anyone:
I Don’t Vaccinate My Child Because It’s My Right To Decide What Eliminated Diseases Come Roaring Back
As a mother, I put my parenting decisions above all else. Nobody knows my son better than me, and the choices I make about how to care for him are no one’s business but my own. So, when other people tell me how they think I should be raising my child, I simply can’t tolerate it. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, I fully stand behind my choices as a mom, including my choice not to vaccinate my son, because it is my fundamental right as a parent to decide which eradicated diseases come roaring back.
Think they're exaggerating? Think again
. Read the two links and tell me which one is satire. And see also Why We Didn’t Vaccinate Our Child
for a chuckle.
Melinda Gates has the perfect response to the anti-vaccine movement
"We take vaccines so for granted in the United States," Gates told the Huffington Post in a prerecorded interview published on Thursday. "Women in the developing world know the power of [vaccines]. They will walk 10 kilometers in the heat with their child and line up to get a vaccine, because they have seen death. [Americans have] forgotten what measles deaths look like."
She added, "I'd say to the people of the United States: we're incredibly lucky to have that technology and we ought to take full advantage of it."
Roads and trains were shut down across the New York area Monday night and into Tuesday, and for what? It snowed in New York, but only 9.8 inches fell in Central Park after predictions of a foot and a half or more. What went wrong? Forecasters, including yours truly, decided to go all-in on one weather model: the European model (or Euro).
The Netanyahu Disaster
The Israeli prime minister has two main tasks, and he's failing at both.
Why doesn’t Netanyahu understand that alienating Democrats is not in the best interest of his country? From what I can tell, he doubts that Democrats are—or will be shortly—a natural constituency for Israel, and he clearly believes that Obama is a genuine adversary. As I reported last year, in an article that got more attention for a poultry-related epithet an administration official directed at Netanyahu than anything else, Netanyahu has told people he has “written off” Obama.
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