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Bechdel Memoir May Cost S.C. College State Funding

Cast of the ‘Fun Home’ musical will perform amid controversy.

Author Alison Bechdel and the cast of the musical based on her memoir “Fun Home” will be in South Carolina next week to perform the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play at College of Charleston. State legislators have recently been threatening the public university with budget cuts after students were encouraged—not required—to read Bechdel’s memoir, which is, among other things, about the author’s experience coming out as a lesbian and her relationship with her closeted gay father. State Rep. Garry Smith proposed cutting $52,000 from the school’s budget, which would pretty much amount to the cost of the College Reads! program that recommended the book. 

Read it at The New York Times


Fox News Host: Who Needs Labor Laws?

America should treat its workforce more like China's.

On Fox News’ The Five this week, host Eric Bolling and his co-hosts agreed that U.S. labor laws should be more like China’s: nonexistent. “Some of the economies that are starting to kick our butt, those people work hard,” said Bolling. “There aren’t labor laws, there aren’t minimum wages, they’re working harder than we are.” Co-host Bob Beckel agreed, suggesting, “That’s what we should have—no labor law and no minimum wage. They work for a dollar a week.” Bolling clarified that in the U.S. we would “Certainly hold them to a maximum of hours per week, for sure,” not acknowledging that such a limit would, in fact, be a labor law.

Read it at Raw Story


Female GOPer: Ladies Love the Wage Gap

Because it helps them find husbands.

Republican activist Phyllis Schlafly penned an op-ed in the Christian Post Tuesday to set the record straight about the alleged “wage gap” debate. According to Schlafly, women not only deserve to be paid less than men because they, as a gender, work less, but also women want to be paid less because it makes it easier for them to find a husband. “Will women prefer to HAVE higher-earning partner, men generally prefer to BE the higher-earning partner in a relationship,” Schlafly writes. “This simple but profound difference between the sexes has powerful consequences for the so-called pay gap.” She continued by providing this dystopian hypothetical scenario: “Suppose the pay gap between men and women were magically eliminated. If that happened, simple arithmetic suggests that half of women would be unable to find what they regard as a suitable mate.”

Read it at Christian Post


Huckabee: U.S. Is Less Free than North Korea

Mostly because airport security is the worst.

Mike Huckabee thinks living in North Korea might be more liberating than the United States. At the conservative New Hampshire Freedom Summit this weekend, the former Arkansas governor and Fox News contributor said, “Freedom of speech in this country, that for which the men grabbed their muskets off the mantel, did never mean that we’re to have fewer voices, but more voices. My gosh, I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States.” The main issue Huckabee named as evidence for the lack of freedoms we have in the U.S. is the pain of going through airport security. As Think Progress pointed out, “checking into flights would be the least of Huckabee’s concerns if he were actually a citizen of North Korea. Among the issues the former governor would face would be boarding a p lane leaving the country in the first place.” 

Read it at Think Progress


MS Tea Partier Mocked Minorities on Radio Show

Refuses to pay for reparations, compares Vanilla Ice to minstrel show.

The Wall Street Journal received a pretty damning clip from Senate hopeful Chris McDaniel’s talk-radio hosting days. In the clip, which dates back to late 2006 or early 2007, the Mississippi Republican is heard refusing to pay taxes if it means part of that money will go to slavery reparations, lamenting whiny minorities for complaining about racism, and wondering when is the right time to call a woman “mamacita.” McDaniel also compared Vanilla Ice’s career to a minstrel show without the blackface. McDaniel, who is now a state senator, is the Tea Party favorite to seek incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran’s seat in Congress.

Read it at The Wall Street Journal


Mo. Rep: An Abortion Is a Big Choice, Like Buying a Car or Carpeting

That’s why women should be forced to have ultrasounds first.

Missouri State Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger wants to require women to undergo an ultrasound and wait three days before getting an abortion because choosing whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is a huge decision. Gatschenberger—who is sponsoring a bill that mandates such a requirement—has bought cars before, so he knows what it’s like to make a major life choice. “I have to look at it, get information about it, maybe drive it, you know, a lot of different things. Check prices,” the Republican lawmaker was filmed saying while advocating for his bill at the Missouri House’s Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities Committee this week. "There’s a lot of things that I do, putting into a decision. Whether that’s a car, whether that’s a house, whether that’s any major decision that I put in my life. Even carpeting.” When another Democratic Rep. Stacey Newman called out the car comparison as “extremely offensive to every single woman sitting in here, whether they’re pregnant or whether they’re not,” Gatschenberger apologized but later reiterated, “I’m just saying this is a life-ending decision. You should think about it.”

Read it at Mother Jones


House Candidate Running So His Daughter Won’t Have to Learn Evolution

It's one of his main campaign issues.

Aaron Miller is running to represent Minnesota in Congress to make a difference in someone’s life. One life, in particular, actually. The Iraq War vet explained at a district convention this weekend—as he has on several occasions since he started his campaign—that he his running for office to keep his daughter from learning about evolution at her public school. The Mankato Free Press reported that Miller “repeated his story about his daughter returning home from school in tears because evolution was being taught in her class,” an anecdote that he apparently manages to fit into most of his stump speeches.

Read it at Mankato Free Press


Steve King: Deport DREAMers Who Want to Join the Military

'We have a bus for you to Tijuana.'

Rep. Steve King has never been one to hide his feelings about the DREAM Act and young, undocumented immigrants in general. In an interview with Breitbart News, the Iowa Republican suggested that the U.S. should deport DREAMers who want to enlist in the military. “As soon as they raise their hand and say, ‘I’m unlawfully present in the United States,’ we’re not going to take your oath into the military, but we’re going to take your deposition and we have a bus for you to Tijuana,” King said.

Read it at Breitbart

Fringe Factor

Marriage Is for Breeders

Peter Dazeley/Getty

Gay rights advocates are so intolerant, the head of an NY gun organization wants no part of a pro-gun rally, and the Boy Scouts have kicked out a scout leader for making an issue of his gayness.

VA Clerks: Marriage Is for Couples Who Can Accidentally Get Pregnant
The two Virginia officials appealing a federal judge’s February ruling striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban are really pulling out all the stops to prove that Virginia is only for straight lovers. In their opening briefs, Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George E. Schaefer, III and Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michele B. McQuigg both argued that one of the reasons for marriage is to encourage couples to get hitched in the event of an unwanted pregnancy—a problem same-sex couples are spared the pleasure of experiencing.


Gohmert: Gay Rights Intolerant

He’s back, and praising Mississippi’s pro-discrimination law.

It’s been a while since we paid attention to the ridiculousness that is Louie Gohmert. And though the Gohmert drought has probably been good for everyone, the Texas Rep. has made some cringeworthy comments that we just can’t ignore. Gohmert praised Mississippi’s enactment of a “right-to-discriminate” law as “a wonderful example of real freedom.” He also slammed gay rights advocates as intolerant. “You’ve seen it first hand, there is nobody more tolerant in this country than those who that are screaming for tolerance,” he told Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on his Washington Watch radio show, Thursday. “Christians are not tolerant but whoa, goodness these people that have their leftist agenda that are so intolerant so thanks for having the courage to stand up.”

Read it at Right Wing Watch


VA Clerks: Marriage Is for Couples Who Can Accidentally Get Pregnant

Gay marriage opponents are grasping at straws.

The two Virginia officials appealing a federal judge’s February ruling striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban are really pulling out all the stops to prove that Virginia is only for straight lovers. In their opening briefs, Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George E. Schaefer, III and Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michele B. McQuigg both argued that one of the reasons for marriage is to encourage couples to get hitched in the event of an unwanted pregnancy—a problem same-sex couples are spared the pleasure of experiencing. “Only opposite-sex couples have the ability to have an unintentional pregnancy, and the legislative body could legitimately want to steer that potential into a marital relationship,” Schaefer wrote. He also noted, somewhat dramatically, that “Without procreation, we would eventually disappear as a species.”

Read it at Think Progress


Openly Gay Scout Leader Booted From Boy Scouts

Win McNamee/Getty

For making "an issue" of his sexuality.

Former Scoutmaster Geoff McGrath found out this week that the Boy Scouts of America is totally serious about its ban on openly gay scout leaders. The BSA discovered that McGrath was being profiled by NBC News about the fact that he is an openly gay scout leader—and almost immediately sent him a letter notifying him that he is “no longer eligible for to be a registered leader.” The letter explains that “the BMA does not permit open or avowed homosexuals to serve as volunteer leaders. The BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of its volunteer leaders, and the BSA respects everyone’s right to privacy. The BSA also respects everyone’s right to hold a different point of view. But if a volunteer makes an issue out of his or her sexual orientation—especially to the youth we serve—then that volunteer is no longer eligible to be a registered leader.”

Read it at National Journal


NY Gun Org. Head Wants No Part of Anti-Gun Control Rally

Fears the rhetoric has become too "contentious and threatening."

National Rifle Association board member and president of the New York Rifle & Pistol Association Thomas King decided to skip a planned protest of state gun-control laws in Albany on Tuesday, because he is uncomfortable with the increasingly “contentious and threatening” tone of such gatherings. King, who leads one of the largest firearms organizations in the state, doesn’t think inflammatory rhetoric does anything to help the gun cause. “Let all these other groups go out and do what they want to do, because they don’t want to listen anyway,” he told the New York Daily News. “I just don’t want to be a party to anything that may happen.”

Read it at The New York Daily News

Fringe Factor

Convicted Killer Runs for CA Gov.

Stephen Lam/Reuters

A registered sex offender and convicted killer is running for governor of California. An Alaska state Senator wants to give away pregnancy tests, but not birth control, in bars. And the knife rights movement is decriminalizing switchblades one state at a time.

Registered Sex Offender, Convicted Killer Running for California Governor California gubernatorial candidate Glenn Champ may not have a lot of experience in politics, but he believes his extensive criminal history makes him more than equipped to deal with politicians. Champ is a registered sex offender who spent more than 10 years in state prison, convicted of assault with intent to commit rape and voluntary manslaughter. Among the other crimes on his lengthy rap sheet are carrying a concealed firearm and loitering to solicit a prostitute.


The Knife Rights Movement: Repealing Switchblade Bans One State at a Time

Next stop: Tennessee.

The Tennessee General Assembly’s decision this week to repeal the state’s ban on switchblades revealed the existence of the budding knife-rights movement. Thanks in large part to Knife Rights, an eight-year-old, little-known knife advocacy group modeled after the National Rifle Association, a bill that eliminates limits on knife length and overrules any town or city knife regulations, is now on its way to Tennessee governor Bill Haslam’s desk. “We are really rewriting knife law in America,” Knife Rights chairman Doug Ritter said. Switchblades, or so-called “automatic” knives were banned by federal law in 1958 and became subsequently regulated by many state laws. Knife Rights is working to change that. “Counting Tennessee, we’ve passed 13 bills in 11 states in four years,” Ritter said.

Read it at National Journal