From truly awful to slightly encouraging

This round-up will start with the worst news and work toward the good stuff, because I don’t want anyone slitting their wrists on account of me.

  • In the Truly Awful department, the Supreme Court struck down the use of RICO laws to prevent agressive protesting at abortion clinics. In the 90’s I volunteered with NARAL and escorted patients at a clinic in Durham. It was the first time, but not the last, I had encountered this kind of thing in person. Now that I have visited Planned Parenthood clinics around the country, I can tell you the protests were fairly typical. They consisted of huge (10 times bigger than life) posters of bloody fetuses, men and women standing along the driveway of the clinic with “abortion = murder” and similar signs, and yelling at patients in a not-always-Christian fashion.

    I’m just so sad and disgusted to hear this news, and it’s only the begining of more and more rights that will be going away for the next few deacdes.

  • Hillary Clinton speculates as to why she gets so much attention from Karl Rove and the right wing:

    Karl Rove is a brilliant strategist. So, if I were thinking about this, I’d say, why are they spending so much time talking about me? What they’re hoping is that all of their missteps, which are now numbering in the hundreds, are going to somehow be overlooked because people, instead of focusing on the ’06 election, will jump ahead and think about the next one.

    She’s got a point there…

  • Senior U.S. Sentor Robert Byrd now regrets his vote for the Patriot Act.

    The original Patriot Act is a case study in the perils of speed, herd instinct and lack of vigilance when it comes to legislating in times of crisis. The Congress was stampeded, and the values of freedom, justice and equality received a trampling in the headlong rush.

    I have to agree, but why did it take him 5 years to figure this out?

  • Hip hop music is now officially mainstream. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

    On Tuesday, owners of [hip hop relics] — including pioneering hip-hop artists such as Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Fab 5 Freddy — will blow that dust off and carry them to a Manhattan hotel to turn them over to National Museum of American History officials.

    The museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., is announcing its plans to embark on a collecting initiative, “Hip-Hop Won’t Stop: the Beat, the Rhymes, the Life.”

  • Amd finally in the slightly encouraging department, the president’s approval rating has dropped below his post-Katrina low.

    Bush’s overall job approval fell eight points from 42 percent last month. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they disapproved of Bush’s performance on the job, the poll found… Ratings for Bush’s handling of Iraq fell to a new low of 30 percent, down from 37 percent in January, the poll found… The poll found that 46 percent hold a negative view of Cheney and 18 percent hold a favorable view, down from a 23 percent favorable rating in January.

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