Weekend Coffee: March 27

Weekend Coffee: March 27 March 27, 2016

Coffee

• With all the stealth and haste of a coup d’etat, North Carolina’s Republican government rushes through a vicious and willfully mean-spirited pro-discrimination bill. Transgender people are targeted the worst, but the bill also nullifies all local ordinances that protect LGBT people, blocks private individuals from suing over racial or sexual discrimination, and prohibits municipalities from raising the minimum wage.

• But North Carolina is getting a run for its money from Indiana, which just passed an (almost certainly unconstitutional) bill that makes it illegal for a woman to get an abortion because of fetal disability.

• Amazing if true: a bombshell claim that Ted Cruz, ultra-conservative uber-Christian presidential candidate, has had multiple extramarital affairs. Skepticism is in order, considering the story comes from the National Enquirer, not the most reputable of sources – but they did break the story of John Edwards’ affair…

The GOP’s affinity for Ayn Rand won’t go away. Ironically, Ted Cruz is another fan of the atheist Rand.

• SMBC on the problem with the “criterion of embarrassment” in biblical studies.

• The gene-editing technology called CRISPR/Cas9 has enormous potential. Now scientists say they’ve used it to delete HIV infection from white blood cells in vitro – opening up the possibility of a true cure, rather than a lifetime of suppression by antiviral drugs.

• “60 percent of Republican primary voters said the campaign had made them feel mostly embarrassed about their party.

• In 2012, I wrote about Manasseh Jordan Ministries, a Christian phone-spam organization preying on the gullible. They’re still around, and the Daily Beast has more about their ludicrous promises to heal the sick, foretell the future, and raise the dead (for low, low prices).

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