The Indianapolis Star published a front page editorial on Tuesday morning criticizing the state’s new religious freedom law and urging state lawmakers to change the legislation to ensure that it does not permit discrimination against gays and lesbians. “We are at a critical moment in Indiana’s history,” the editorial begins.
Amanda Marcotte on the right's hijacking of "religious liberty."
If Gov Pence wants to clear everything up and opposes discrimination against gays, presumably he's going to push an LGBT anti-discrimination law? Right?
I wanted to tell you that next month we'll be launching our annual TPM Prime sign up drive. Prime, in case you don't know, is our membership program, everything you like about TPM, just more of it. I'll be telling you all about it and encouraging you to sign up. Currently we're running our longform series on the rapid growth of renewable energy sources for Prime members only. With a Prime membership you see dramatically fewer ads and a faster site. And of course you help TPM remain vital and growing. I will be telling you more about next month, the current offerings and the new ones we're rolling out this spring. So sign up and join us.
As Harry Reid prepares for retirement, here's a part of his legacy that will be transformative for the country long after his time in the Senate is over.
Here is a good summary of some things to look at as we move toward what appears to be the endgame of the Iranian nuclear negotiations. One thing Jeff Goldberg points out is that any near, or frankly even long-term, threat of an Iranian nuclear attack is at best a secondary issue. The immediate and real issue is how regional actors see the agreement - particularly Saudi Arabia and perhaps Egypt. Do they believe that the agreement walls off the Iranians' ability to become a nuclear power enough to refrain from starting a drive for their own nuclear weapons? That is a critical test of any agreement.
There's another aspect to this drama that is important to understand in order to put everyone's reactions into a proper context. You've heard a lot about not only the Israelis', but also the Saudis' and other Arab states', fears about this deal. This isn't just fluff kicked up by domestic warmongers and partisans. The key is why are they so upset.
Slice contributor Samhita Mukhopadhyay will join The Slice's editor Nona Willis Aronowitz Thursday at 1 p.m in The Hive (sub req) to chat about the intersection of race, gender, and politics. Mukhopadhyay is a writer and former executive editor of Feministing.com. She's the author of Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life and contributed this piece on Mindy Kaling and race to The Slice. She is passionate about race, gender politics, technology and the media.
Geriatric rage lord John Sununu says President Obama is "inciting" birthers by visiting Kenya this summer.
I wanted to flag this article on the coalition negotiations in Israel which I think captures a key reality of the moment. It's very important. Netanyahu's party won a resounding victory on March 17th. But the outcome (a narrow right wing coalition) is far less appealing for him than the one he faced when he assembled in 2009 and 2013. In both earlier cases he was able to get buy in from center or center-left parties. That gave him a fig leaf on the international stage - continued settlement activity but with the appearance of on-going two state negotiations which he nonetheless made sure would not g anywhere. This allowed him to pursue what was basically a right wing agenda while also keeping the demands of the US and Europe at bay. It also gave him room for maneuver within his coalition to pivot a bit right or left as conditions warranted.
Did the State of Indiana have any idea what it was getting itself into? Reading the history of this particular law, the relatively quiet progress of the legislation, followed by the avalanche of criticism and boycotts, the answer seems almost certainly to be no. There's now even a backdraft of commentary that the criticism and boycotts are somehow hypocritical since 19 other states and the federal government have similar laws. And the state's hapless Gov. Mike Pence is claiming that Barack Obama voted for a similar law when he was in the Illinois state legislature. Indeed, Pence now says he will push for a new law to "clarify" the law that's gotten his state in all this trouble.
Ole Miss student brought up on federal civil rights charges for hanging a noose and the Stars and Bars around the neck of the school's James Meredith statue.
Alabama cop fired after body slamming a visiting Indian grandfather is also rung up on federal civil right charges.
Apple's Tim Cook laments Indiana's new anti-gay bill and urges Arkansas not to do the same thing.
Yelp says it won't expand in states with anti-gay laws.
San Francisco mayor bans city-funded travel to Indiana.
Years from now, whoever we decide was right or wrong in the context of US politics and foreign policy, I imagine we will see the current history of the Middle East as a story unfolding from the 9/11 attacks to the US invasion of Iraq to the Arab Spring and then moving on to the current many-headed conflagration in Syria, Iraq, Libya and now Yemen.
Of course, history didn't begin in 2001. The 9/11 attacks were umbilically connected to the Gulf War and the Afghan insurgency. And we can go back before that to the creation of the modern Arab state system, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and more. But history has decisive turning points when contingent events shove building trends in dramatic directions. And I have little doubt that the disputed election of George W. Bush in December 2000, the cataclysmic 9/11 attacks a year later and the invasion of Iraq eighteen months after that, were just such a contingent and conjoined group of events.
But there's one element of the story which many see as a negative but which I think is actually a positive development.
We're hosting a Live Chat with Natan Sachs in The Hive (sub req). Sachs is a fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center for Middle East Policy and he'll be discussing the recent Israeli elections, US-Israel relations and future of the two state solution. I'll be there. Get your questions in now.
Rand Paul does a big U-turn and proposes an increase in Pentagon spending.