California joins Montana and New York in creating state Net Neutrality rules

The FCC's order killing Net Neutrality in December 2016 also includes a prohibition on states making their own telcoms rules that restore it (this is a mixed bag -- if states' rights don't permit them to overrule the FCC, then a future FCC that reinstates a Net Neutrality order could stop states whose governments are captured by telcoms lobbyists from subverting it), and states have fought back though a loophole: the governors of Montana and New York have issued executive orders banning non-Neutral ISPs from doing business with the government; but in California, the State Senate just went further. Read the rest

New York joins Montana in Net Neutrality, bans non-Neutral ISPs from supplying government agencies

Days after Montana Democratic Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order banning ISPs that violate Net Neutrality from supplying state government agencies, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (also a Democrat) has followed suit, with an even stricter executive order. Read the rest

Governor of Montana signs executive order banning state from doing business with non-neutral ISPs

Governor Steve Bullock [D-MT] has signed an executive order banning state agencies from procuring internet service from ISPs that violate net neutrality principles like throttling, blocking and paid prioritization. Read the rest

Vermont will be the 9th state to legalize marijuana

Vermont is the ninth state to legalize marijuana, and the first state to do so through a legislative act rather than a ballot initiative. Vermont's Republican governor Phil Scott said he'll sign the bill into law. Read the rest

A preview of the lawsuits that will be filed to save Net Neutrality after the FCC voted to kill it today

Today, the FCC ignored tens of millions of Americans' views, as well as comments from the world's leading internet scientists and the inventors of the internet, and give a huge regulatory gift to the telcoms sector it is supposed to be regulating, rolling back Net Neutrality and allowing those companies to extort blackmail money from the web publishers you try to access through their lines. Read the rest

White House plans to crack down on legal recreational pot

Today in a press conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the Department of Justice will "take action" against states that have legalized recreational marijuana. Those states are Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska, Nevada, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C. That's 63 million Americans (one in five) who live states where adults can legally use marijuana for fun.

Meanwhile, a "Quinnipiac poll released earlier today found 71% of U.S. voters — including majorities of Republicans, Democrats, independents, and all age groups — are opposed to the government enforcing federal prohibition laws in states where marijuana is legal for medical or adult use," reports the Marijuana Policy Project.

When Trump was campaigning for president, he said he would not interfere with the way that states dealt with the legality of pot. But then he appointed marijuana foe Jeff Sessions as attorney general. (When Sessions was a U.S. Attorney in Alabama, he said he thought the Ku Klux Klan "were OK until I found out they smoked pot.” Sessions also said last year that “good people don't smoke marijuana.”) It looks likes Sessions is calling the shots now.

Ironically, in the same press conference, Spicer told reporters “We are a states’ rights party." But he was talking about the trashing of federal guidance on transgender students' right to pee, not letting states decide what to do about pot prohibition.

From Time:

Spicer repeatedly linked the use of marijuana to the nationwide opioid abuse epidemic, suggesting without offering proof that marijuana is a gateway drug to more serious substances.

Read the rest

America: where hundreds of thousand of underage girls are married off by their parents

The nonprofit Unchained At Last analyzed US marriage license data from 2000 to 2010 and learned that 167,000 children (almost all girls, some as young as 12) in 38 states were married off to older men: 31% of the girls were married to men who were 21 or older. Extrapolating from their data-set, Unchained at Last estimates the true total of child-marriage 2000-2010 as 248,000. Read the rest

TSA threatens to stop accepting driver's licenses from nine states as of Jan 10

When Congress passed the 2005 Real ID act -- mandating easy sharing (and intrinsic insecurity) -- of driver's license data, they insisted compliance by states with the rules would be voluntary. Read the rest

Texans brace for Jade Helm 15, massive federal military exercise

About half of Texans are concerned about Jade Helm 15, this week's federal military exercise across the American southwest. Many conspiracy theories advanced by right-wing groups have driven these concerns. Read the rest