It’s martyr time, Kim Davis!

Today the US Supreme Court turned down the request of Rowan County clerk Kim Davis for a stay of US District judge David Bunning’s ruling that she has to issue marriage licenses to all qualified couples, including same-sex ones, pending a hearing on the merits of her case by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. That court had already turned down her request for a stay on the grounds that her appeal was unlikely to be successful.
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Mount McKinley is now officially Denali

You may recall my post of a couple of months ago about how members of the Ohio congressional delegation were using legal maneuvers to prevent Alaska’s Mount McKinley being changed to Denali, its original Athabascan name, simply because president McKinley was from Ohio and even though he had never been to Alaska or had anything to do with the mountain.
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Kim Davis has committed a boo-boo

The saga of Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County in Kentucky, who has been fighting for Jesus by denying marriage licenses to all couples ever since the US Supreme Court ruled in June that bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, has got weirder. (Her appeal for a stay of the district judge’s order to issue licenses is now before the Supreme Court.) It turns out that in February, she had issued a marriage license to a couple consisting of a transgender man and a woman.
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Are these psychics practicing their skills on parole boards?

Michael Wilson has a fascinating article in which he examines the transcripts of psychics testifying before the parole boards where they come clean and admit that they are running scams. What was interesting in the article is that it seems like there is no shortage of people willing to give them huge sums of money. He cites the case of Celia Mitchell.
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Ted Cruz’s Sunday sermon

There is a provision in the tax code, inserted into the law without debate in 1954 by then senator Lyndon Johnson, that requires nonprofit institutions, if they want to preserve their tax-exempt status, to not engage in political campaigns or try to influence legislation. (I went into this in some detail back in 2012.) Some churches have chafed under this restriction and beginning in 2008 decided to challenge it and for the past few years they have engaged in what they call Pulpit Freedom Sunday, usually timed a month before the November elections, giving explicitly political sermons, telling people how to vote, and even following it up by sending tapes of their sermons to the IRS, daring them to revoke their tax-exempt status. So far, the IRS has declined to do so.
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The new language of racism and bigotry

As candidates strive to make headlines and gain attention, the Republican assault on undocumented immigrants is reaching ever-new lows with Chris Christie suggesting that if elected he would get the head of the package delivery service FedEx to figure out how to track the movements of all immigrants, both undocumented and documented, all the time, spurring mockery as to whether people would be barcoded and scanned as they went from place to place.
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