Elites on both coasts are bravely boycotting Indiana, a state they were totally planning to visit next month. A new center honoring Ted Kennedy’s legacy features a life-sized replica of the Senate Chamber, though its "Filibuster Simulator" is leading to long lines. And a British politician declared himself "A man of the world" after being caught looking for porn on Twitter. A man of the world, yes, but a true leader would've kept off Twitter and in an incognito window. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, March 30th, 2015:
HOOSIER LEAST-FAVORITE STATE? AP: "Indiana's Republican legislative leaders said Monday they're working on adding language to a new state law to make it clear that it doesn't allow discrimination against gays and lesbians, while Democrats countered that a full repeal is the only way to stem the widespread criticism. The measure prohibits state laws that 'substantially burden' a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of 'person' includes religious institutions, businesses and associations. Businesses and organizations across the country have canceled future travel to Indiana, tabled expansion plans or criticized the legislation. Opponents have taken to social media with the hashtag #boycottindiana...The furor over the Indiana law stems in part from the fact that the state's civil rights laws don't ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. [Republican state house leaders] did not appear eager to add that language into the measure, noting that it is a big policy decision and that only four weeks remain in this year's legislative session." [AP]
CONNECTICUT WILL NO LONGER VISIT INDIANA - Jen Bendery: "Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D) will sign an executive order on Monday barring state-funded travel to Indiana because of the state's new law that could allow businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers for religious reasons…. Malloy's move would make Connecticut the first state to boycott Indiana over its Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which Gov. Mike Pence (R) quietly signed into law last week…. A Pence spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Two cities, San Francisco and Seattle, have imposed similar bans in response to the law." [HuffPost]
INDIANA GOP SURPRISED DISCRIMINATION BILL UPSETS PEOPLE - From the same people who brought you "But 'colored only' water fountains cut down on lines!" comes their eagerly-awaited follow-up, "But religious freedom is the bestest!" Amanda Terkel: "Indiana's Republican leaders said they were shocked, confused and completely caught off-guard by the backlash to their new 'religious freedom' law, telling reporters Monday that they had not expected criticism calling the measure anti-gay. 'I don't think anyone anticipated that the characterization of the bill would be, this denies to services to a specific class to Hoosiers. It does just the opposite. It includes all Hoosiers in the religious freedom standard. And it's a misperception that it denies services,' said Indiana state House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) during a Monday morning press conference with Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R). Long acknowledged that the GOP-controlled legislature did not work with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups on crafting the language of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act because the lawmakers didn't think the bill would affect that community." [HuffPost]
Watch and be amazed by Mike Pence's inability to answer George Stephanopoulos' straightforward question about the law.
When life gives you lemons, core out the lemons and use them as bongs: "Indiana's new 'religious freedom' law has been widely criticized and condemned by many, but an innovative marijuana activist in the state is using the bill's legal protections as a means to set up a new religious sect -- the First Church of Cannabis, where members would aim to use marijuana freely as a sacrament in a state where the substance remains banned." [HuffPost]
HuffPost Haircuts: Usha Sahay, Igor Bobic, Sam Stein.
OOPS - Paul Farrell: "The personal details of world leaders at the last G20 summit were accidentally disclosed by the Australian immigration department, which did not consider it necessary to inform those world leaders of the privacy breach. The Guardian can reveal an employee of the agency inadvertently sent the passport numbers, visa details and other personal identifiers of all world leaders attending the summit to the organisers of the Asian Cup football tournament." [The Guardian]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Chico Harlan has a story that might help people understand the weakness of the labor market right now: "Shanna Tippen was another hourly worker at the bottom of the nation’s economy, looking forward to a 25 cent bump in the Arkansas minimum wage that would make it easier for her to buy diapers for her grandson. When I wrote about her in the Post last month, she said the minimum wage hike would bring her a bit of financial relief, but it wouldn’t lift her above the poverty line. She called me the other day to say she didn’t get to enjoy the 25-cent hike for long. After the story came out, she says she was fired from her job for talking to the Post." [Wash Post]
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JEB BUSH ENJOYS THE FINER THINGS - Chris Frates: "There were plenty of red flags surrounding the company Jeb Bush was planning to join: lawsuits, bad headlines, even previously convicted drug dealers in top positions. But somehow Bush seemed to miss them all in 2007 as he prepared to join InnoVida as a $15,000-a month-consultant -- a position that would lead to board membership and stock options. Just months out of the Florida governor's mansion, the consulting gig with InnoVida would help Bush replenish his bank account after eight years in public service." [CNN]
MURRAY BACKS SCHUMER - Smash cut to January 2017 and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer introducing SB 1, the "Let's Build 6,500 Bridges In The Greater Spokane Area" Act. Roll Call: "Having won the backing of the entire leadership team, New York’s Charles E. Schumer might become the next Senate Democratic leader by acclamation. Conference Secretary Patty Murray, D-Wash., has joined in endorsing Schumer for the top job when Nevada Democrat Harry Reid retires at the beginning of 2017, according to a Murray aide. 'Senator Murray spoke to Senator Schumer several times over the past few days and told him that she planned to support him for leader next Congress and looks forward to continuing to be his partner in Senate Democratic leadership,' the aide told CQ Roll Call. Murray has long had a large portfolio within the Democratic caucus, and she’s likely to only expand on those responsibilities in the next Congress. The news from Murray, which shouldn’t come as a terrible surprise, comes after Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., predicted the caucus would unite behind Schumer." [Roll Call]
This week's winner of HuffPost's Trail to the Chief: Speaking fees.
DENOUEMENT AT CATO INSTITUTE - Dave Weigel: "John Allison, the former BB&T banker who took over Cato in a much-watched power struggle between donors and scholars, will retire, the think tank said Monday; Peter Goettler, a former managing director at Barclays Capital, will replace him... [Cato founders] David and Charles Koch had taken a hands-off approach to Cato in the decade previous. When William Niskanen, one of four shareholders, passed away, the Kochs surprised libertarians by suing for his shares to be handed back to the board. Ed Crane, who'd run Cato since the beginning, blew up at the news...The unexpected media furor only ended after a deal that ended the contentious shareholder system, calmed the waters, and installed the affable Allison. It didn't end the outflow of libertarian scholars at Cato, as some left to found an eponymous Niskanen center, others for existing think tanks. But it brought Cato to normalcy during a couple of political years when the Kochs got more involved than ever before in electoral politics. Goettler, who doesn't have a long paper trail, just joined the Cato board six months ago; he has been on the board of the Atlas Network, a less politically riven think tank that promotes libertarian movements around the world." [Bloomberg]
NEW TED KENNEDY CENTER IS MONUMENT TO
TED KENNEDY *APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE* - We eagerly await the 50-foot recreation of Dave Obey's beard under construction at the Obey Center. Carl Hulse: "More than $18 million of the $38 million in public funds for the center was funneled through the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, a powerful panel once run by other Senate powerhouses who have died in recent years: Senators Daniel K. Inouye, Democrat of Hawaii, and Ted Stevens, Republican of Alaska. Their contributions to the center are set to be remembered at the dedication: Their widows will be seated at desks in the centerpiece of the institute, a strikingly realistic replica of the Senate chamber." [NYT]
REPUBLICANS MORE CONCERNED ABOUT OBAMA THAN PUTIN - In their defence, the president has been operating a number of different information campaigns in this country. Politico: "Republicans are more concerned about the imminent threat posed to the United States by President Barack Obama than by Russia’s Vladimir Putin or Syria’s Bashar Assad, according to a new poll from Reuters/Ipsos. Thirty-four percent of Republicans see the president as an imminent threat, compared to only 25 percent for Putin and 23 percent for Assad. A roughly equal number of Republicans said Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei was an imminent threat equal to Obama. Fear of the Democratic Party broadly also outranked fear of Putin and Assad, with 27 percent of Republicans saying they believe the Democrats pose an 'imminent threat' to the country.The poll found that only 12 percent of Democrats saw Republican House Speaker John Boehner as an imminent threat -- less than Putin or Assad, but more than Cuban President Raúl Castro and Chinese President Xi Jinping." [Politico]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here are dogs with toys.
BRITAIN HAS ITS ANTHONY WEINER - Independent: "Labour MP Simon Danczuk has said he watches porn, claiming he is 'a man of the world' and that it was 'part of life'. The 48-year-old politician, who recently ‘favourited’ a hardcore 18+ porn site on his official Twitter, said although he did not use porn regularly, politicians should not be 'sanctimonious” about 'that sort of thing.' Danczuk told a Manchester radio news station that the account had been tagged by mistake after he plugged his phone into an unverified charger. He told the station 'unbeknown to be, I had favorited a tweet which related to this porn site image.' He went on to explain that while he did not watch porn regularly, 'I am a man of the world and it is part of life, many people do.' The MP, who currently seeking re-election in Rochdale, added that politicians should not be castigated for telling the public they watch porn." [Independent]
- A cheese-based 3D printer.
- Bunk predictions from the mid-20th Century about how humans would eat converted garbage.
- Dancer uses holograph to stunning effect.
@lachland: A casual college acquaintance is now an adversarial flack who won't return my calls. Facebook call-out?
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