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Further to my prior post, it continues to be remarkable to me how many gay-hating preachers turn out to be either gay themselves or something far worse than a scary gay:

A Georgia pastor and and conservative political activist was arrested Friday morning on charges of child molestation and aggravated child molestation. Ken Adkins, 56, of St. Simons Island turned himself into police at about 9 a.m… Adkins is currently in the Glynn County Jail. The investigation is ongoing. Adkins has one church with locations in Brunswick, Jacksonville and Atlanta, according to his website. Adkins recently came under fire when he tweeted “homosexuals got what they deserved” after the deadly mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub.

h/t Joe. My. God.

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Funny how the only stories of “voter [registration] fraud” you hear about involve Republicans:

Donald Trump’s new presidential campaign chief is registered to vote in a key swing state at an empty house where he does not live, in an apparent breach of election laws.

Stephen Bannon, the chief executive of Trump’s election campaign, has an active voter registration at the house in Miami-Dade County, Florida, which is vacant and due to be demolished to make way for a new development.

So maybe the fundamental Republican justification for voter ID laws is: “Well, we do it so much, so the other guys must be doing it too!!”

It puts me in mind of Hesse.

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.

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Can’t believe it’s been just over two months since the Brexit vote.

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Schadenfreudalicious

Ann Coulter’s new book is called “In Trump We Trust,” but the conservative pundit might already be regretting that title.

There’s nothing Trump can do that won’t be forgiven,” she wrote in her book. “Except change his immigration policies.”

Trump did just that on Wednesday night with a plan to offer legal status to undocumented immigrants, an announcement that came the very same night Coulter held her book launch party.

Incidentally, how fucked up is Ann Coulter that “amnesty” would be the only thing that Trump could do to piss her off.  Shitperson.

h/t NewsUsa

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So this happened:

In a major victory for teachers unions in California, the state Supreme Court has upheld teacher tenure laws. By a 4-3 vote, a divided court decided not to hear Vergara vs. California, a case challenging state tenure laws.

That case, brought on behalf of several public school students in Southern California, was backed by a nonprofit group calling itself Students Matter, founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch. The group opposed teacher tenure, arguing that it disproportionately harms poor and minority students.

The predictable end of a garbage opinion. Also predictable that the media couldn’t see fit to interrupt the Trump dumpster fire coverage for one minute to note it. Public education just doesn’t rate to them unless it’s connected to the “sexy” cause of Bloombergian education reform. I do get that “Teacher Tenure Struck Down” is a bigger story than “Teacher Tenure Upheld” because dog bites man, you know, but it does show just how odd the media’s coverage of legal issues is. We saw this too whenever some district court judge ruled against the Affordable Care Act with headlines the size of The Onion‘s parody of WWII. They don’t, however, provide such splashy headlines when a bill is voted out of a Congressional committee, because it’s obvious that doesn’t mean it’s going to become law. And yet, any wacky lower court ruling gets treated as though it’s established and done throughout the land. Certainly not the biggest issue when it comes to media criticism–not as big as, you know, the absolute rejection of empiricism when it comes to how it covers partisan politics–but definitely a valid one.

Also, this is sort of a blast from the past in a way. It wasn’t so long ago that “education reform” was taking over the Democratic Party. Now it already feels passe. Michelle Rhee is a marginal presence, Arne Duncan is history, Barack Obama is on his way out and many of the elected politicians who embraced it most enthusiastically are retired, voluntarily or not (George Miller, Pat Quinn), or severely damaged (Rahm Emmanuel, Andrew Cuomo). Which is not to say that the work of education reform is done, or that tenure is not a problematic concept. But that whole thing had too many conceptual problems: how are you going to turn public schools into engines of social mobility by eliminating one of the few real benefits that the teaching profession has? How are you going to draw smart, creative people into a profession that requires postgraduate education by paying them less than they could earn with the same amount of education and constricting their ability to teach via onerous testing regimens and, to some degree, Common Core? Is it even possible to use schools as an egalitarian substitute for redistribution, a replacement for more progressive taxation, a strong safety net and good jobs? (Chris Hayes effectively argues that it’s not in Twilight Of The Elites, one of our age’s seminal books, but you can see the appeal for wealthy people who would rather sign a check to Students First than pay more in taxes.) In the end, it didn’t amount to much more than bullying teachers, and post-Scott Walker that got old fast. Let’s hope that this decision means the page is turning on that era.

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David Wasserman, Republicans’ Voter Registration Gains Probably Aren’t Gains At All:

There’s no doubt Trump compelled hundreds of thousands of conservative voters to switch their registrations to Republican to vote for him in closed primaries, accelerating these voters’ exodus from formal Democratic affiliation. But do they constitute a surge of new November voters? Not so much. It’s likely that most of these party switchers were already voting Republican.

Take, for example, Dixie County, near Florida’s Panhandle, where President Obama won a measly 26 percent of the vote in 2012 and Trump took 63 percent of the GOP primary vote in March. Between November 2012 and March 2016,1 the Democratic share of registered voters in Dixie County fell from 60 percent to 52 percent, according to data from Florida’s Division of Elections office. The county’s voter rolls also fell 7 percent during that period. Trump didn’t spur new registrations, he simply accelerated Dixiecrat migration to the GOP.

In Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — the three most important supposed “ray of hope” states mentioned in the Politico piece — ancestral Democratic registration advantages are simply coming into alignment with the modern competitive realities of each state.

Then again, Trump is bringing new people into the process in a way. No, he’s not making large groups of politically apathetic people more engaged, as Barack Obama did in 2008. He’s moving engaged, fringe groups closer to power. And if history is any guide, once they get a whiff of it, they’re going to fight harder than ever to obtain it.

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I’m currently reading Broken Vows: Tony Blair, The Tragedy Of Power by Tom Bower. Verdict so far: there’s definitely a slant to it that gets annoying at times, but it compellingly argues that New Labour and Tony Blair himself were fatally compromised on a conceptual level, sales pitches in search of a product. The book links many of Blair’s failings to his lack of knowledge of history and governance, as well as to his disinterest in many areas of policy and in the details of policy implementation. He wasn’t a forceful leader in many respects and wasn’t much of a judge of ability. To my mind, he comes across as not particularly smart or sophisticated, bleating ever on about “modernizing” every aspect of Britain without realizing that the term has no inherent meaning and was merely an indirect way of calling the Tories old, and blaming civil servants for the conceptual muddle of his own thinking. It’s a highly readable book, though one that relies upon a fairly high level of knowledge of British governmental structures that goes over my head on occasion. It’s particularly good on getting into all that war business, though. I liked this part about Admiral Mike Boyce, the UK equivalent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs at the time of Iraq, with whom Blair had a very strained relationship. The level of insight here is astonishing:

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Love the punchline. Fourteen years later, it’s still good advice that nobody seems inclined to take. There’s also a great section in which Boyce yells at Blair for wanting to fight in Iraq after deploying the army to slaughter cows with “mad cow” disease and to deal with flooding. Blair liked using the army for domestic chores because they wouldn’t ask any questions, you see. Surely nobody could have predicted he’d become a lackey to autocrats around the world…

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