Turns out the purported Mayan elf photo shared by AMLO over the weekend is more than two years older than he claimed. But that doesn't answer the most important question: does it show an elf or something else? - Corey
THE BIG NEWS
More of This: Nebraska Democrat Filibusters for Trans Rights
Here's an important, powerful story that got a little bit lost in the shuffle this week, which is why I'm highlighting it for you this morning. It comes via NBC News, and the story is already quite succinct, so I'm just going to quote it:
A Nebraska Democrat has vowed to filibuster every bill her state Senate colleagues introduce if they support a measure that would restrict certain transition-related health care for minors.
State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh began to filibuster — or talking for as long as possible to stop legislation from passing — during a Senate meeting on Thursday night.
"If this Legislature collectively decides that legislating hate against children is our priority, then I am going to make it painful, painful for everyone," Cavanaugh said during the meeting... "If you want to inflict pain upon our children, I am going to inflict pain upon this body, and I have nothing but time, and I am going to use all of it."
Cavanaugh hopes to block a bill that would bar minors from receiving gender-affirming health care, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery. The measure, introduced by state Sen. Kathleen Kauth, a Republican, would also prohibit any institution or provider of such care to minors from receiving state funding.
"I will burn the session to the ground over this bill," Cavanaugh said Thursday.
More power to her. This is what we ought to expect of our elected representatives when it comes to defending basic human rights.
In related news, the Washington Post profiles Missouri Rabbi Daniel Bogard, who is fighting bigoted anti-trans legislation in his state because he wants his 9-year-old son, who was assigned the female gender at birth, to continue to receive gender-affirming care.
"Our state is at war with our family," Bogard said. "It's not an exaggeration that we are up at night talking about when and how far we might have to flee."
Finally, Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee has still refused to confirm that he dressed in drag in high school, as shown in a 1977 yearbook photo, days after pledging to sign a bill banning public drag performances in the state. Republicans in at least a dozen other states have introduced similar bills this year. Each of those states needs a Democrat like Machaela Cavanaugh who's willing to "burn the session to the ground" to stop the wannabe theocrats (a group that apparently includes New York City Mayor-Cop Eric Adams, who spoke out against the separation of church and state yesterday). Lives are at stake.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Conservative SCOTUS Seems Set to Kill Student Loan Relief
Reporters covering the Supreme Court called the conservative majority "sharply critical" and "deeply skeptical" of arguments supporting the Biden administration's partial student debt relief plan in a hearing yesterday. "Half a trillion dollars is being diverted to one group of favored persons over others," Justice Neil Gorsuch moaned. "In the wake of Congress not authorizing the action, the executive nonetheless doing a massive new program," Justice Brett Kavanaugh complained. "We are talking about half a trillion dollars and 43 million Americans," Chief Justice John Roberts cried, even comparing Biden's modest plan to the French Revolution. They really went out of their way to make Biden sound cool, huh? Anyway, this clearly doesn't bode well for debt relief this year.
Matt Schlapp Is Running CPAC Into the Ground
The Washington Post interviewed dozens of current and former employees and board members of the Conservative Political Action Conference and found that recent sexual misconduct allegations against its $600,000-a-year chairman, Matt Schlapp, only scratched the surface of the problems there under his reign. More than half of CPAC's staff has left since 2021. "The culture was toxic," former CPAC communication director Regina Bratton explains. Go figure! Another "frequent point of contention was Schlapp's growing reliance on an intern's boyfriend who had little work experience to work on social media and communications"; the young man had "misrepresented himself as a wealthy heir," as one does. The annual CPAC event kicks off today in Washington, D.C.; "ticket sales are lagging from past years, prompting price cuts, giveaways and a special rate offered to congressional staff." For what it's worth, the Post also corroborated the sexual misconduct allegation against Schlapp with call logs, texts and videos.
- Biden Nominates Julie Su for Secretary of Labor Su, a deputy to outgoing Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, "was central to negotiations between labor and freight rail companies late last year." via the Associated Press.
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Voted Out in First Round Cop-endorsed Paul Vallas and teachers' union fave Brandon Johnson advance to the runoff. via the AP.
- Nigerian Opposition Parties Call for Election Do-Over Opposition Labour and Peoples Democratic Parties call the results of Monday's election a "sham" after early returns showed a sizable lead by the ruling All Progressives Congress. via the New York Times and the Guardian.
- Warrantless Wiretapping Law Up for Renewal The Biden administration is defending a surveillance program from the George W. Bush era against opposition from Trumpist Republicans as well as left-leaning civil libertarians. via the Washington Post.
- House Democrats Fear GOP Reps. Are Packing Heat Fourteen Democrats signed a letter calling for the enforcement of rules banning members of Congress from carrying guns inside the Capitol; members and their entourages are currently exempt from security screening. via NBC News.
That's how much Texas Gov. Greg Abbott cost his state with a 2021 law that banned municipalities from doing business with banks that adopted "environmental, sustainable and governance" policies that restrict their funding for fossil fuel and firearms companies. Conservative groups including the American Legislative Exchange Council have been pushing similar bills to penalize "woke" banking in states across the country, the Washington Post reports.
ON THE SHOW TODAY
3/1: Sam and Emma host Meron Rapoport, editor of Local Call, to discuss his recent reporting on the conflict in Israel and Palestine for +972 Magazine. Then, they're joined by ProPublica reporters J. David McSwane & Ryan Gabrielson to discuss their recent piece "A Christian Health Nonprofit Saddled Thousands with Debt as It Built a Family Empire Including a Pot Farm, a Bank and an Airline."
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
As a former New Mexican I support this hex.
Because the Nazis were all about diversity, you see.
"These actions by Rupert Murdoch seem illegal. At the very least, it would appear to be a campaign contribution of significant value, well over federal campaign limits."
-- California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu, speaking of this week's disclosure in court documents that the Fox News owner assisted Donald Trump with "debate strategy" and supplied his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with "confidential information" about then-presidential candidate Joe Biden's advertising campaign with the network.
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