The weather forecast metaphor for this week's news is perfect. I live in the Pacific Northwest where even in June the weather is marked by more rain than sun. I suppose if I lived in, say, Colorado, "Sun breaks" might become "periods of sunshine, through intermittent clouds, followed by rain." Perspective is everything!
On Tuesday (6/12) voters in North Dakota defeated Measure 3 - an amendment to the state's constitution that would have greatly expanded the ability of individuals and institutions to do just about anything they wanted in the name of religious freedom - minus the pesky interference of church-state separation.
"The language of Measure 3 stated that a person has the right to act or to refuse to act in a manner due to a deeply-held religious belief. It would then be up to the government to prove that it has a compelling government interest in infringing on one’s right to act or not act. The measure’s proponents said that it was needed in order to strengthen people’s religious liberty."
On learning that the measure had failed (by a 64.5 percent to 35.4 percent margin), Christopher Dodson with the North Dakota Catholic Conference, said this: "We will not rest until religious freedom in North Dakota is protected in the law as a fundamental human right."
To which I repeat my rejoinder that maybe he should move to a more Taliban-friendly climate...
More Sun break:
Ah, how refreshing.
Still More Sun break:
Barber's win is a big boost for Democrats, who are nursing a major loss to Scott Walker and the GOP in last week's Wisconsin recall election.
The win is also a good omen for November: Barber will be running in a new and vastly changed district that reduces the current 26,000 GOP voter advantage to a razor thin 2,000.
Maybe between now and Election Day, Barber's GOP opponent, Jesse Kelly, will rethink at least one of his campaign tactics and ditch ads that show him toting around automatic weapons.
An omnibus antiabortion bill, rushed through committee hearings to a floor vote in Michigan's GOP-led House, passed on Wednesday (6/13), 70-39. All Republicans and six DINOs voted in favor of the measure.
It isn't an understatement to call this bill the harshest in the nation: it increases insurance and regulations on abortion clinics, regulates the disposal of fetal remains, prohibits telemedicine for medication abortion, makes it a crime to coerce a woman into having an abortion, and proposes making abortions after 20-weeks illegal for any but a very narrow "health of the mother" exception. This latter provision is temporarily on-hold until supporters check its constitutional viability.
"Lawmakers want to make sure the proposed ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy — which doesn't include an exception for rape, incest or fetal anomaly — is constitutional..."
Wouldn't want to trample all over Roe v. Wade constitutional rights, for goodness sake!
NOTE TO RURAL WOMEN: The Michigan State GOP doesn't like you - really!
"Under the omnibus bill, doctors would have to be physically present to perform a medical abortion, thus preventing a doctor from administering abortion-inducing medication by consulting via telephone or internet. This would especially hurt rural women, who may have to travel hours to meet in-person with a specialist."
"'Even taking emotion out of the equation, this package (of bills) is good policy,' said Rep. Bruce Rendon, R-Lake City, the sponsor of omnibus legislation, House Bill 5711."
"Defenders say it will stop women from being potentially exploited by doctors and provide a tighter set of rules for the controversial procedure. ..."
From Catholic fairy tales and other feel good stories:
"'I am a strong believer in life and I believe the baby’s rights should be protected and I really want these bills to go through because I think they are also helping women. They are protecting them at the same time as the baby, too...'”