The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Digest for February 17th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for February 17th from 10:19 to 10:24:

  • Michael Sam Didn’t Get Here on His Own – Before Michael Sam was known to the world as an openly gay football player — before the sports pundits debated his upcoming NFL draft stock, before his future teammates and opponents publicly fretted over their locker room showers, before he became a hero of the nation's top gay rights organizations — there was the dinner party in Los Angeles.
  • How One Brown Student Shut Down The NRA – One morning last month, Rhode Islanders woke up to the news that the National Rifle Association had been charged with the second-largest campaign finance ethics violation in state history. In a settlement reached by the Rhode Island Board of Elections, the NRA admitted that it improperly funneled money from its national Political Action Committee (or "PAC") to the Rhode Island-specific PAC, illegal under state law. The PAC was fined a historic $63,000.

    What the stories didn’t reveal? That the NRA’s wrongdoing, the record fine, and the shuttering of the NRA’s Rhode Island PAC was the result of the initial hunch of one person: Brown University student Sam Bell.

  • Dear GOP: Top 5 Biblical Marriage Moments far worse than Gay Marriage – Ancient scripture can be a source of higher values and spiritual strength, but any time you in a literal-minded way impose specific legal behavior because of it, you’re committing anachronism. Since this is the case, fundamentalists are always highly selective, trying to impose parts of the scripture on us but conveniently ignoring the parts even they can’t stomach as modern persons.
  • No Pill’s Gonna Cure GOP ill – So far, Republicans have failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But 21 GOP-controlled states rejected the Act’s provision extending Medicaid to additional low-income people. They’ve refused to expand Medicaid coverage, even though this will cost their states tens of billions in federal aid and will cost untold numbers of their citizens their lives.
  • “Taking food out of people’s mouths”: How Norquist-style austerity slams HIV patients – When austerity proponents like Grover Norquist push for more and more cuts, there are real-world effects on some of our nation's most vulnerable populations. Following recent sequester cuts, 85 percent of AIDS organizations saw their budgets reduced even as 79 percent saw their clients increase, according to a fall survey from the AIDS Institute. Last month, Congress increased Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funding to $70 million above sequestration levels — still $24 million below the Fiscal Year 2013 rate.
  • CNN Falsely Claims Stand Your Ground Played No Role In Trial For Jordan Davis’ Killer – The news network ignores the frequent comparisons to George Zimmerman's killing of Trayvon Martin.
  • Guns and the Thug Life – This case is, of course about race, which we'll get to in a moment. But it's also about—to use a word that crops up repeatedly in Michael Dunn's written comments—a culture. It's a culture where manhood must continually be proven, where every disagreement is a test of strength, and where in the end, your fellow human beings are only waiting to kill you, so you'd better draw first.

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