Mississippi Religious Liberty Bill HB1523 To Become Law

Mississippi HB1523

Despite at two lawsuits filed to stop it, Mississippi HB 1523 (also known as the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act”) may become law thanks to a federal appeals court ruling this week. The bill enables legal discrimination against same-sex couples, transgender men and women, and any unmarried couple who engages in sexual relations outside the boundaries of marriage. […]

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Why Democrats Lose: It’s All About Turnout

voter id, voter suppression and voting in the elections

Many Americans are convinced that gerrymandering–while admittedly a bipartisan offense–  has operated since 2011 to given Republicans power vastly disproportionate to their vote margins. (If you don’t believe that, read Ratf***ked). I for one am thrilled that the Supreme Court will take up the issue during its coming term, and I’m cautiously optimistic that the new statistical and analytical tools […]

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Trump: Making The AIDS Epidemic Great Again

HIV / AIDS

Throughout his short time in office, Donald Trump has done everything in his power to harm efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. These concerns began the during the inauguration when the digital transition not only removed all existing non-partisan information on AIDS awareness from the White House website, but also failed to keep the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) page active. […]

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Truth Or Power: The Sinking Republican Party Ship

GOP Crazy Train - the Republican Party is broken conservative

One of the very few (inadvertently) positive outcomes of Trump’s election has been an eruption of public soul-searching by thoughtful Republicans. Pundits like David Brooks, Jennifer Rubin, David Frum and Michael Gerson have cut through the dissembling and hypocrisy of Congressional Republicans, and haven’t hesitated to point out the consequences of electing a spectacularly naked “emperor.” A recent column by […]

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Hate, not Economic Despair: Trump’s Rural American Victory

Muslim xenophobia

As I noted yesterday, sociologists and historians tell us that economic insecurity and inequality provide fertile soil for racial and cultural resentments. Economic stresses don’t create those resentments, however. Like everything else, economic conditions are experienced through a cultural lens–that is, how we interpret economic circumstances and react to them depends upon the value structures and worldviews of the people doing the interpreting. When […]

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GA GOP Candidate Karen Handel Attacks LGBTQ Adoption Rights

Karen Handel

On the day before the special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, the Republican party’s efforts to elect Karen Handel are taking on new life from using Obama’s voice out of context to attack Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff to using the shooting in Arlington to demonize all Democrats as violent and dangerous. Adding to that hyperbolic campaigning is a fundamental policy […]

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Google Trends & Hate Data: Not a Pretty Picture

hate crimes in Donald Trump MAGA America

Vox recently reported on a research project that led to publication of a book titled “Everyone Lies.” If you are one of those people who suspects that humanity is filled with people who are anything but noble, it’s apparently the book for you. Stephens-Davidowitz was working on a PhD in economics at Harvard when he became obsessed with Google Trends, a […]

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Choose Your Battles: Wisdom from RuPaul

Time Magazine recently published an interview with RuPaul, the celebrated drag star, and one exchange in that interview struck me as particularly perceptive and politically relevant. The interviewer had noted that millennials “take a harder line on issues of identity” and are “a bit more affronted by the sort of wordplay and free-associative identity play central to drag.” RuPaul’s response wasn’t […]

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About That Echo Chamber: Combatting Bots, Propaganda & Fake News

One of the thorniest problems bedeviling our unraveling democracy is the distortion of reality–intentional and unintentional– provided via the Internet. That distortion is immensely aided by our tendency to live in echo chambers populated by friends who think like we do. Most of us trust links from friends – a vulnerability exploited by phishing sites and other forms of online […]

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