Trifle Pie: When GOP lawmakers in Idaho aren’t busy rejecting millions of dollars for childhood education for some really jacked-up reasons, they seem to enjoy spending their time crapping on public art.
… not literally (for now!).
- Republican Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger is using his position in the legislature to rail against public art projects he doesn’t like (which is a waste of time and taxpayer money but maybe he just needs to vent) and to attempt to strip localities of their control over installing public art in communities (lol “small government”).
- Rep. von Ehlinger derided public art installations as “frivolous” this week as he presented his bill that would impose specific, narrow requirements on communities trying to enhance lives and spaces by facilitating these installations.
- Von Ehlinger seems to think that the process through which a community selects and funds public art is inane and irresponsible, but lots of artists and community leaders showed up at a committee hearing on Wednesday to inform him that it’s anything but.
- The Republican took special aim at one public sculpture in Boise that he said looked like “a scene out of coastal Virginia,” which, well, he should be so lucky.
- His bill narrowly avoided death but is definitely on life support as Idaho’s legislative session enters its home stretch.
Mississippi Mud Pie: I spent a significant amount of ink last week on the current GOP war on transgender kids, because it’s A. important, B. super messed up, and C. a broad and ongoing campaign that’s probably not going anywhere for the foreseeable future.
Here are some updates:
- Mississippi Gov. Mike Tate gave his state the horrible distinction of being the first to fully enact a new law banning transgender athletes from women’s sports at state schools and universities by signing the measure on Thursday.
- As an erudite consumer of this missive, I surely don’t have to remind you that laws like this have absolutely nothing to do with women’s athletics and everything to do with shaming transgender kids and telling them that they don’t belong.
- The new law is slated to go into effect on July 1, but expected legal challenges could delay that.
- In Arkansas, two measures directly targeting transgender children are making swift progress through the GOP-controlled legislature.
- SB 354, which passed the state Senate this week, is essentially a copy of the new Mississippi law banning transgender athletes from playing any women’s sports—including club and intramural teams—at a state school.
- The House passed HB 1570 this week, which bans doctors from administering hormone therapy, performing transition surgery, or providing other gender-affirming care to transgender youth.
- This measure describes this care as “experimental” (IT’S NOT).
Texas Trash Pie: Conservatives in the Lone Star State are getting on the ARGLE BARGLE SOCIAL MEDIA CENSORSHIP bandwagon in a big way.
- Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott publicly came out in support of Senate Bill 12, which is aimed at fighting back against social media companies’ perceived bias against right-wing voices.
- GOP Sen. Bryan Hughes claims his bill would allow wronged Texans to restore their social media accounts if they’ve been “mistreated” by “a handful of billionaires in San Francisco that run these tech companies.”
- His proposal would prohibit Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media companies from blocking, banning, demonetizing, or otherwise “discriminating” against a user based on their viewpoint or their location within Texas.
- Abbott claims the measure “wires around” Section 230, the part of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that shields businesses from liability for content posted on their online platforms, but hasn’t so much explained how that would work.
- Similar measures have been introduced in “roughly two dozen states” and are advancing in the Oklahoma and Florida statehouses.
Bourbon Pecan Pie: The GOP-run Kentucky legislature did a sorta good thing!
… but then it turned right around and did a terrible thing.
After all, why would Republicans actually address the reasons for the protests when they can criminalize the people (mostly people of color) who protest instead?
Banana Cream Pie: Let’s be real, the hundreds of extreme voter suppression measures Republicans are pushing all across the country seems a bit … B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
But saying the quiet part … not just loud, but really super extremely explicitly, is extra wild.
- While discussing the GOP’s bill that would kill Arizona’s permanent early voting list (despite the fact that they may have requested to be sent a mail-in ballot in every election, if a voter skips four consecutive elections—including primaries, so that’s actually two elections for independents—they’ll be removed from the list), state Rep. John Kavanagh just, like … said it.
There’s a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats value as many people as possible voting, and they’re willing to risk fraud. Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don’t mind putting security measures in that won’t let everybody vote—but everybody shouldn’t be voting.
But wait, there’s more!
Not everybody wants to vote, and if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they’re totally uninformed on the issues. Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well.
- He means that votes cast for Democrats are of insufficient “quality.”
It’s no accident that Arizona and Georgia—both states that Biden won but are run by Republicans—are leading the way in the nationwide GOP assault on voting rights.