Around the block with Frank: February 11th 2015 Edition

Frank's cornerKansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) “rescinded an executive order that had been in place since 2007 giving state employees protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity — a move described as outrageous and deplorable by civil rights activists,” the Lawrence Journal-World reports.

It’s apparent to this writer that there are some in the media that believe the creation of rights for different classes or categories or groups of individuals is not only politically correct but mandatory in todays political world. I call it protected classes, some will call it civil rights. But in reality, only God rules a man’s heart and only Satan directs his actions.

Another reason to not live in California

California Democrats Tuesday unveiled a suite of bills aimed at fulfilling Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) goals in renewable energy, gasoline use and divesting the state’s pension fund of fossil fuels, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

The House will vote Wednesday on the Senate’s bill to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The House previously passed the bill last month, but the Senate amended it, adding provisions that acknowledge climate change, encourage energy efficiency in buildings and other actions. It is likely to pass, but President Obama has promised to veto it.

“Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show,” Entertainment Weekly reports.

“Ending months of speculation about his future with the Comedy Central series, Stewart informed his studio audience during Tuesday night’s taping that he is stepping down as host of the show after 16 years.”

Politico: “Stewart, who became the host of ‘The Daily Show’ in 1999, has had an immeasurable influence on American politics and satire.”

Departing NPR ombudsman claims U.S. free speech guarantees wouldn’t protect Charlie Hebdo, many on Twitter would like to set him straight on that [E. Schumacher-Matos]

Janet McCabe, head of air and radiation for the Environmental Protection Agency, will testify before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the administration’s carbon pollution rules for new and existing power plants.

National Journal: “What began as an inquiry into Rep. Aaron Schock’s (R-IL) opulent scarlet-painted office has quickly spun into a weeklong media probe of the congressman’s lavish travel accommodations and real-estate dealings. Now, the looming question is: How serious are the allegations against Schock and what could they mean for the man who had been a rising star for the Republican Party?”

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will testify before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee about the Energy Department’s budget request for fiscal year 2016.

Ninth Circuit urged to revisit whether First Amendment protects right to refer to real-world players in fantasy sports [Volokh]

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) “declared at a press conference Jan. 30 that he and fiancée Cylvia Hayes would fully cooperate with a review of corruption allegations by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission,” the Oregonian reports.

“He didn’t mention that, behind the scenes, their attorneys had been fighting for weeks to spare Hayes from any ethics inquiry.”

The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) will wrap up its Energy Innovation Summit. Wednesday’s events will feature Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and various private-sector representatives.

“Brian Williams, the embattled NBC news anchor whose credibility plummeted after he acknowledged exaggerating his role in a helicopter episode in Iraq, has been suspended for six months without pay,” the New York Times reports.

“The suspension culminated a rapid and startling fall for Mr. Williams.”

Dylan Byers: “There are two scenarios in which Williams returns: One, he pulls off a stunning apology tour and wins back the favors of the nation. Two, ‘Nightly’ tanks so bad under its new host(s) that NBC is forced to bring Williams back in a last-ditch effort. I wouldn’t place my money on a Williams’ return, but you can never underestimate the power of the redemption narrative, especially in this country.”

Multi-party parliamentary panel in Britain proposes banning persons who “spread racial hatred” from Twitter, Facebook, other social media [BBC] Visiting newsagents: “Police from several UK forces seek details of Charlie Hebdo readers” [The Guardian]

Ecuador regime continues counterattack against social media critics at home and abroad [Adam Steinbaugh (Twitter suspends account “for posting DMCA notice”), The Guardian, earlier] Cartoonist “Bonil” put on trial [Freedom House]

Burt Neuborne, Robert Corn-Revere debate Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar case: “Should elected judges be allowed to ask for donations?” [National Constitution Center podcast with Jeffrey Rosen via Ronald Collins, Concurring Opinions]

Second Circuit confirms: law allowing expungement of arrest records doesn’t require media to go back and delete related news stories [AP, Volokh]

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Rakofsky suit against legal bloggers and other defendants (more than 80 in all) sputters toward apparent conclusion [Turkewitz, more (need for stronger protections against speech-chilling suits under New York law)]

 

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