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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Stories to Watch: 1/14/14

The W. Virginia chemical spill and resulting water crisis are really a very big deal, but getting short shrift from the media. The problem: Chris Christie'a Bridgegate (which still sounds like a mall to me; "We've got it all at Bridgegate Mall"). Apparently, the media -- despite having a 24 hour news cycle -- can only cover one "big story" at a time. So everyone involved in 4-methylcyclohexane-methanol-gate gets a pass, because Christie might possibly maybe run for President one day perhaps.

Had to deal with snow, so this one might be short. As always, hover your cursor over the links to preview the headlines as tooltips.

A judge strikes down Oklahoma's constitutional ban on same sex marriage, citing the equal protection clause of the constitution. This gives states like my own Wisconsin, which foolishly banned marriage equality at the state constitutional level, some good reason to hope. For those tempted to shriek, "STATES' RIGHTS! STATES' RIGHTS!" at the top of your lungs, allow me to introduce you to the supremacy clause in the Constitution, which makes federal law, US treaties, and the Constitution the supreme law of the land. In other words, when state law and federal law bump heads, federal law takes precedence -- just as the founders intended.

Republicans have all but killed the extension of unemployment benefits. This is one of those times I wish I believed in God, so I could believe in Hell. Of course, there's still the electoral Hell, where we can still hope to see Republicans burn. As one unemployed worker put it, "I’m registered as a Republican, but if they continue to [block unemployment aid] I’m probably changing to Democrat." Welcome aboard. The best Democratic recruiting tool is probably Republicans.

Remember that psycho who shot and killed a guy for texting in a Florida movie theater? He's citing that state's stand-your-ground law. See, the texter threw popcorn at him, so of course he assumed he was about to die unless he killed him first. Once again, some asshole picks a fight with someone, finds out he vastly overestimated his competence as a brawler, uses his gun to even the odds, and declares himself a Second Amendment Hero for doing what in any sane state would be a clear case of murder.

Finally (see? I told it it would be short), the right wing media's BENGHAZI!!! hoax collapses -- again. I've lost track of how many times this wingnut bedtime story has fallen apart.

[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]

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