Monday, June 2, 2014

YOUR DAILY WEEKLY READER: science silence, gun nuts, Bondi's blonding

Posted on Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 10:37 AM


CLAIMING IGNORANCE IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN LEARNING SCIENCE: Some leading conservatives have a new talking point on climate science: They’re not qualified to talk about it. House Speaker John Boehner became the latest top Republican to try that tack Thursday, seeking to deflect an issue that has given Democrats an opening to brand the GOP as “anti-science.” “Listen, I’m not qualified to debate the science over climate change,” Boehner told reporters when asked about the science behind climate change. “But I am astute to understand that every proposal that has come out of this administration to deal with climate change involves hurting our economy and killing American jobs.” Similarly, Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott has offered the response “I am not a scientist” on multiple occasions when the topic has come up lately. Even the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, who have put big money into fighting President Barack Obama’s energy and climate policies, disclaimed any pretense at scientific know-how when wealthy climate activist Tom Steyer challenged them to a debate on climate change. ‘We are not experts on climate change,” Koch spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia said in an email to The Wichita Eagle this month. She added, “The debate should take place among the scientific community, examining all points of view and void of politics, personal attacks and partisan agendas.’” (via Politico)




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WITH GUNS: “The last couple of months have been rough for proponents of open-carry gun laws. No fewer than seven restaurant chains have taken a stand against firearms being brought to their businesses, after activists in Texas conducted provocative demonstrations in which they toted semi-automatic rifles into various eateries. Texas law allows rifles (though not handguns) to be carried on display in public, but some patrons and employees were unnerved and angered by the demonstrations, and a national group advocating for reforms, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, pressured the companies using social media campaigns. After Mother Jones published videos of the gun activists in action, Sonic and Chili's Grill & Bar became the latest to officially reject guns on their premises. There has also been a particularly dark side to the story of the gun activists: As I first reported in mid May, members of Open Carry Texas and their allies have used vicious tactics against people who disagree with them, including bullying and degrading women. Just last week they harassed a Marine veteran, pursuing him through the streets of Fort Worth on Memorial Day. Evidently the National Rifle Association has come to realize that none of this is good for business. In an extraordinary move on Friday, the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action—the organization's powerful lobbying arm in Washington—issued a lengthy statement seeking to distinguish between "responsible behavior" and "legal mandates." It told the Texas gun activists in no uncertain terms to stand down. ‘As gun owners, whether or not our decisions are dictated by the law, we are still accountable for them,’ the statement began. ‘If we exercise poor judgment, our decisions will have consequences

such as turning an undecided voter into an antigun voter because of causing that person fear or offense.’ The NRA praised the ‘robust gun culture’ of Texas—which recently has loosened laws as aggressively as any state—but then laid into those Texans ‘who have crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness.’” (via Mother Jones)


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, PAM BONDI IS A TERRIBLE HUMAN BEING JUST LIKE YOU EXPECTED: “The attorney general of Florida says in court documents that recognizing same sex marriages performed in other states would disrupt existing marriage laws and "impose significant public harm." Eight gay couples and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state in federal court in March. The lawsuit argues Florida is discriminating against the couples by not recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal. Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican who was named in the lawsuit along with fellow GOP Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials, earlier this month filed a lengthy response that asks a federal judge to throw out the lawsuit for several reasons, saying a federal court shouldn't rule on a state's marriage laws. Bondi's office also argues that the state has a legitimate interest in defining marriage as between a man and woman. Florida first banned same-sex marriages nearly two decades ago and voters reinforced that ban when they passed a constitutional amendment in 2008. "Florida's marriage laws, then, have a close, direct, and rational relationship to society's legitimate interest in increasing the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by the mothers and fathers who produced them in stable and enduring family units," Bondi's office said in court documents.” (via Miami Herald)


THIS WEEKEND’S PORTION OF YOUR CHILDHOOD DYING: Ann B. Davis, the comic actress best known as the wistful, wisecracking live-in maid on the long-running ABC sitcom “The Brady Bunch,” died on Sunday at a hospital in San Antonio. She was 88. She had slipped into a coma after falling in the bathtub and hitting her head on Saturday, her agent, Robert Malcolm, said. She used a walker and had been in excellent health, he said. She had been living in San Antonio with Bill C. Frey, a retired Episcopal bishop, and his wife.  From 1969 to 1974, Ms. Davis played the eternally good-natured, reliably self-deprecating Alice Nelson, who kept house for and dispensed cornball advice to a wholesome blended California family of eight on one of the perkiest prime-time series of its era. Alice was, however, simply the best known of a series of plain-Jane characters Ms. Davis played, women who yearned for but never really expected to find romance. “I’ve been digging Sam so long, by the time he proposes I’ll be six feet under,” Alice once said of her unending crush on the Bradys’ butcher. (via New York Times) 

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