Last week, incoming Senator Kyrsten Sinema [D-AZ] was sworn in by Mike Pence, in his aspect as President of the Senate, choosing to take her oath on a book containing both the Constitutions of the United States of America and Arizona, a tome repeating the framers' prohibition on the US government's establishment a state religion or discrimination on the basis of faith or lack thereof.
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As Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence was significantly to the right of the mainstream, even for his own party -- so it's no surprise that in the days after his resignation (to become vice president of the USA), his successor and state Republican lawmakers: pardoned an innocent man who'd been locked up for 20 years (whom Mike Pence refused to help); allowed a town to declare a state of emergency; greenlit a needle-exchange; and overrode his vetoes, which would have allowed university cops to keep their records secret and which prevented strict environmental rules. Read the rest
Indiana is one of many GOP-led states that assume that the poor performance of schools in poor neighborhoods is the fault of bad teaching -- and not, say, systemic poverty, the absence of funds raised by rich parents, hunger, mass incarceration -- and so teachers are offered bonuses for "improving" their students' outcomes, which generally means their standardized test scores (since presumptively bad teachers can't be trusted to evaluate their students' qualitative improvements). Read the rest
VP-elect Mike Pence's political career has consisted of a series of attacks on the rights of LGBTQ people and women, and his new neighbors in the navy blue precincts of DC know it, and they want him to know that his medieval views are considered aberrant by good people, so they've festooned their homes with rainbow flags that he'll have to pass during the transition -- until he gets to move into the new VP's residence in the basement of Trump Tower. Read the rest
Vice President-elect Mike Pence went to see Hamilton last night; he was booed on the way to his seat, but afterward, the cast acknowledged him with a brief set of remarks written by the show's creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda: "We, sir — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf all of us." Read the rest