I gotta tell ya, folks, I’m astonished at the blowback over the Indiana decision. Of course it can’t last, and it’s probably out of proportion to the offense; as many have pointed out, what about all the other states that have versions of this law? Why do they get a pass? I can’t tell you why, but I do know that sometimes the stars just align, and sometimes you’re standing where their light is most concentrated.
You know, like a laser.
On the other hand, this couldn’t happen to a nicer and more deserving bunch of folks. It is enormously satisfying to see this legislature, where seldom is heard a discouraging word, writhing and blinking like moles dragged into the sunshine. Here’s David Long, the state Senate leader, and Brian Bosma, the speaker of the House, looking very uncomfortable, answering questions like, “Isn’t it legal to put up a ‘No Gays Allowed’ sign now?” Why yes, yes it is. (Note: You could do this in Michigan, too.) The governor looks more miserable and angry with every new interview and press conference. Keep in mind, this guy was a talk-radio host; if nothing else, he should feel comfortable in front of a microphone. The fact he isn’t should tell you something.
Here’s Matt Yglesias on Mike Pence, c. 2008. Just for the hell of it.
So I was thinking about our trip this weekend, and how nice it was. The train was definitely the way to go — no parking hassles, no driving hassles, time to catch up on some reading. It’s five hours from Windsor to Union Station, and this being Canada? Everything runs on time to the minute. (I kind of fell out with train travel on my Amtrak adventures in Indiana. The trains were slow and my god, were they late. When you are planning a weekend in Chicago, and you roll up to Waterloo to catch your train, and it’s hours late, only you don’t know that yet, because the station is just a three-sided lean-to with no connection to any sort of master control. No train? Just wait.)
What did we do when we were there? What we always do on city visits — walked around interesting neighborhoods, ate when we were hungry, shopped a little. (The exchange rate is very favorable now, which means that $65 cocktail hour was really a $52 cocktail hour.) Went to a good restaurant called Beast and a less-good one called Lisa Marie. Everything is small plates now, tapas-y stuff that you taste and eat and pass around. All things considered, it’s a better way of doing things than the meat/2-veg model.
We did have the best pho EVAR. Love pho.
Meanwhile, while we were in Canada, Kate was in California, enjoying a mini-spring break with a friend and with her nervous mother’s permission. They went to some two-day music festival in Santa Ana, staying one night with a family in Santa Monica, former Grosse Pointers who moved out there a few years ago. She came home referencing the strange SoCal slang she heard: “When something’s funny, they say, ‘Dude, that’s humor.'” It’s funnier when you hear it out loud.
But now we’re all home, and Wendy is very happy. The dog sitter spoiled her rotten, but now the pack is reunited, and it feels so good.
Just one bit of bloggage today, an NYT piece on the HIV outbreak in Indiana that got the gov to loosen his ideology in favor of human life. Very big of him.
I can recommend “Going Clear,” too, although it doesn’t restore your faith in humanity.
Time for bed. Lap swimming in the ayem.
Sherri said on March 31, 2015 at 1:22 am
There does seem to be a difference between the Indiana RFRA and the other states with RFRAs: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/what-makes-indianas-religious-freedom-law-different/388997/
The blowback may die down, but not completely, I don’t think. I think it is highly likely that the NCAA will move the women’s Final Four out of Indianapolis next year, for example, because they would face a boycott otherwise. It’s not even clear the dominant team in women’s college basketball, UConn, would be able to attend a Final Four in Indiana; the governor of Connecticut has banned state-funded travel to Indiana.
davidkirk said on March 31, 2015 at 3:20 am
I extracted and posted your “writhing and blinking like moles dragged into the sunshine” sentence to my facebook page. I thought it was hilarious. Got a good visual, too. Gave you credit of course.
Dexter said on March 31, 2015 at 4:43 am
Way back in 1987 the Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays had a heated rivalry going, and the games were played with more intensity than other games. When the Tigers traveled to Toronto, the fan base packed VIA trains and made the trip. The Detroit dailies sometimes ran pieces on the partying going on on the train; nothing was reported about crazy behavior, just drunken fun. That rivalry was ended by the league when MLB put the teams in separate divisions and they rarely play each other now. That season ended on a Sunday with Frank Tanana of the Tigers pitching a victory over the Jays. That was quite a season. I was driving a 1977 Dodge sedan that year and made many trips to old Tiger Stadium to see the Tigers.
adrianne said on March 31, 2015 at 7:33 am
Cross-country train service in the U.S. is generally hideous, with one huge exception: The Northeast Corridor. I’ve been tapped to do some research in D.C. for my legal outfit, and there’s no question that I’m taking the train there and back. Not the cool but pricey Acela service – although that’s leaps above air service between NYC and DC – but regular old Amtrak. The only downside to the adventure is having to negotiate the hideous Penn Station, which has all the charm of an underground bunker. Other than that, I’m looking forward to the trip.
Lex said on March 31, 2015 at 7:35 am
Sherri beat me to it. (Yay, Sherri!) There IS a difference, and it is a difference that almost certainly will not withstand a court challenge, Hobby Lobby notwithstanding.
Meanwhile, here in NC, we’ve got HB 348, which is basically the same thing, wending its way through the Lege. I’m sure it’ll pass, and if it becomes law, we can expect — and will deserve — the same treatment Indiana is getting. Our feckless Republican governor, Pat McCrory, says he thinks it’s a solution in search of a problem, which — and this is important to note in Pat’s case — is not exactly the same thing as vowing to veto the damned thing. Pat’s up for re-election next year, he’ll have a strong opponent in Democratic attorney general Roy Cooper, he’s looking at the wackaloons in the Lege to whom he has fixed his wagon, and I think he knows he’s a dead man walking.
Meanwhile, that same Lege has filed legislation to change the elections of ALL school boards in the state from nonpartisan to partisan. They’re going to keep screwing the pooch until they’re stopped or the threads are stripped.
basset said on March 31, 2015 at 7:51 am
Thing is, though, Lex, we would probably all be surprised at how many of our fellow Amurkins think that is entirely appropriate behavior. Us vs. them, shut up you idiot if you disagree with me, and if them lib’ruls and community organizers don’t like it they can move. I see a lot of it around here.
alex said on March 31, 2015 at 8:19 am
I’m sure the Indiana legislature was caught off guard because in the very recent past it had no compunction whatsoever about being blatantly in-your-face anti-gay in order to mollify the mullahs of Evangelical Christendom and keep right-wing voters turning out at the polls like the tomato throwers in front of Little Rock high school in 1957. Sure, some big employers like Eli Lilly and Cummins Engine warned of consequences like what we’re seeing and they were dismissed entirely. So now, strangely enough, the legislature does the same thing as usual but tries to be cagey and disingenuous about it and the whole world is watching.
As for Mike Pence being a phony per the Matt Yglesias story, that’s what my dad has been calling him for years. Dad worked in the financial sector and hasn’t been impressed one iota with the governor’s libertarian panaceas for everything. The charter school racket is one political kickback scheme that deserves to be blown out of the water even more than this latest effort to exploit bigotry.
Jeff Borden said on March 31, 2015 at 8:30 am
I think the overreach by Mike Pence and his goons already has had a positive effect. Georgia and North Carolina were toddling toward a very similar law, but watching the threat of tens, if not hundreds, of millions in dollars marching away from Indiana seems to have chilled those efforts. Suddenly, the creepy governor of N.C. is declaring the RFRA would solve a non-existent problem. Business leaders in Atlanta are shitting their drawers and howling for the law to be killed lest their corporate paradise take a hit.
Perhaps someday we’ll thank Pence and the Cro-Magnons of Indiana for offering up this flashpoint. It is shaping up to be a real tipping point for LBGT rights.
beb said on March 31, 2015 at 8:47 am
I also wanted to mention the Atlantic article yesterday but couldn’t find the link.
As for why Indiana and why now, I think it’s because of the tidal wave support for same-sex marriage. As a whole the nation has decided that same-sex marriage will not destroy the country. The only people opposed to gays are the deadender religious conservatives. As for the governor and the legislature being so uncomfortable (unable) to defend this law that’s because they’ve never had to defend all their right-wing bullsh*t before. Their actions are indefensible and they know it.
I see where Dragon*con is threatening to pull out of Georgia if their Legislature goes through with a religious freedom act. That’s a big convention on the order of Comic-Con.
Jeff Borden said on March 31, 2015 at 8:56 am
I’ve read some commentary that many conservative Republican state leaders are racing to get these restrictive bills passed because it is assumed the Supreme Court will uphold the gay marriage issue.
Meanwhile, look at the phalanx of GOPers running for president and their reactions. Even Jeb Bush has said he would support the Indiana law. This party is just so far behind the times it staggers the imagination. It would be laughable if real people weren’t being hurt by the trogs.
Bitter Scribe said on March 31, 2015 at 9:24 am
Pence was a talk-radio host? Let me guess…it was the kind of show where Uncle Grump called in to crab about his tax dollars going to “those people.”
Danny said on March 31, 2015 at 9:41 am
Basset, at one of the local Starbucks, a fella brings Goliath, the Great Dane on the weekends and they sit outside by the entrance. No one can resist letting him. Even my wife and I who are deathly allergic to animal dander.
Basset said on March 31, 2015 at 9:45 am
Briar the lab/golden/poodle cross wears a little service dog vest with a “don’t pet me, I’m working” patch, he would quite happily sit in front of Starbucks and get the attention though.
Judybusy said on March 31, 2015 at 10:14 am
Here’s a little humor for the Indiana situation. BTW, I tend to see it as Jeff Borden does. I hope we have that positive outcome.
Deborah said on March 31, 2015 at 10:34 am
I had never listened to conservative talk radio before a couple of days ago and was that experience ever laughable and maddening at the same time. I follow an urban planner on Twitter, Jeff Speck. Recently he gave a lecture in Des Moines on Walkable Cities, and this rightwing talk radio host devoted two hours to knocking it. Jeff had a link to it and I was curious. I could barely get through half of it. The worst part was that the host kept claiming he was neutral on the subject, that he just wanted to know what the callers thought, but of course he was obviously biased and was egging on the crazies to get more riled up. Remind me never to be curious about conservative talk radio again.
alex said on March 31, 2015 at 11:15 am
So Pence is going to try dissembling yet again:
Lotsa luck with that.
Interesting how the new mantra of the far right is “tolerance is a two-way street.” It sure as hell wasn’t a two-way street when they were having their way.
alex said on March 31, 2015 at 11:15 am
He’s supposedly on live right now. Can’t watch ‘cuz at work.
James said on March 31, 2015 at 11:34 am
Love Pho as well.
The only thing I don’t like about it? Pronouncing the name properly. Fuh! Fuh! FUCKIT!
I’m just gonna pronounce it “foe.”
alex said on March 31, 2015 at 11:42 am
The Thais have a dish called Phuket noodles. I love pronouncing that one!
Julie Robinson said on March 31, 2015 at 11:50 am
We had pho for the first time while visiting Seattle, and I was as naive as they come about it, asking the waiter how to pronounce the word. He had a heavy accent, but I’m sure the incredulous look on my face wasn’t the first he’d seen. Our niece set me straight, but if only she had told us the name, instead of just saying she had a favorite restaurant to take us to!
I hope and pray this is the tipping point for conservative rule in Indiana. For starters, Pence is shilling to repeal the common construction wage, using campaign funds to pay for the commercials. I don’t see that going anywhere now. He’s wasted that money. *chortles*
Kirk said on March 31, 2015 at 12:25 pm
Just heard the latest from Gov. Pence on the radio. He’s falling back on the old reliable: “Blame the press.”
Deborah said on March 31, 2015 at 12:28 pm
There’s a place in Santa Fe called Pho King. Seriously.
Deborah said on March 31, 2015 at 12:33 pm
Sorry, I misremembered. Little Bird reminded me that it’s called Pho Kim. Same difference.
alex said on March 31, 2015 at 12:51 pm
nancy said on March 31, 2015 at 1:10 pm
If he’s blaming the press, it doesn’t include my alma mater. On Saturday, the editor in chief’s column consisted of two paragraphs of introduction and a cut-and-paste of the governor’s signing statement. Today, the page’s editor recycled the old Bill-Clinton-signed-and-Barack-Obama-voted-in-favor canard.
Way to keep it fresh, guys!
(Lest you think I’m kidding, I added links. The first one is just galling. If Kerry really can’t get it up to write a column anymore, he should just quit. I mean, he never says anything interesting about anything. The paper is like a horse with a bad limp; time to shoot it.)
Jolene said on March 31, 2015 at 1:17 pm
Speaking of pronouncing things, imagine that you were this guy.
By the way, the show on cancer that I mentioned yesterday is turning out to be very good. I’m something of a medical research/medical history geek, so that aspect is very interesting. Also interesting to see how cancer has been treated societally and politically over time. Also, a faster pace than the usual Ken Burns fare. First session is being rebroadcast this afternoon, with more to come tonight and tomorrow.
Sherri said on March 31, 2015 at 1:34 pm
As I said yesterday, the best way to “fix” the law they passed would be for Pence & co to pass an anti-discrimination law that explicitly includes LGBT. Somehow I don’t think that’s what they have in mind, but we’ll see. I don’t think the pressure will relent with lesser fixes.
Sue said on March 31, 2015 at 1:43 pm
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has this to say about Indiana’s law:
“Other states are considering Indiana-style discrimination justified on religious grounds. Arkansas appears close to enacting a similar law. Wisconsin would be wrong to follow.
Our state should be more welcoming to people whose race, sexuality or religion differs from the majority. That is good for business, and, far more important, it is the just thing to do.”
In case it’s not obvious, he’s trolling Governor Walker, who’s going to dance around this like nobody’s business.
Dexter said on March 31, 2015 at 2:07 pm
When I was in Vietnam we were on a transport jeep, taking an ambulatory patient on the main road to Cam Ranh Hospital. On the way back the three of us, the driver, the “assistant driver” (which just means the shotgun seat rider) and me (providing security with an M-16 and a box of ammo) stopped at a tin-roofed shack roadside, which had faded local language signage and was run by a small family apparently, to sample the menu. Someone had translated a menu to English for the occasional American passers-by, and I ordered “Chinese Soup”. It was the most savory meal I had in-country, by far and away…so much so I remember it fondly 44 years later.
So many years later I visited my brother in Chicago and we had dinner in Uptown (Little Vietnam). I ordered spring rolls and pho, never really having pho before. I instantly recognized it as what was called Chinese soup all those years before. nance is right, pho is mesmerizing. My friend David journeyed to Vietnam about ten years ago to take a bride. Now they frequently visit Chicago and especially the Fort Wayne Vietnamese joints, but I think David told me one had closed recently…was it “Little Saigon” , perhaps on Calhoun?
alex said on March 31, 2015 at 2:17 pm
Dex, the one that closed was Qui’s on Dupont.
brian stouder said on March 31, 2015 at 2:22 pm
Dex, I think it’s still there – but I’ll keep an eye out and tell you.
There’s lots of Burmese stuff over there, now
LAMary said on March 31, 2015 at 2:29 pm
Great Danes are usually very gentle, thank goodness. Mine went to the vet yesterday and was labeled “cute” by the staff. He’s a little dim but he’s sweet.
Danny said on March 31, 2015 at 2:35 pm
By the numbers: America’s favorite vehicles by state.
Judybusy said on March 31, 2015 at 2:45 pm
My favorite vehicle is my bicycle, but I don’t see that on the map!
Danny said on March 31, 2015 at 3:08 pm
That’s probably because in most states, bicycles are in great danger of get run over by Billy-Jo Gun-Rack driving his old F-150 with the Yosemite Sam mudflaps.
Deborah said on March 31, 2015 at 4:03 pm
Speaking of cars, I’ve been looking at them a lot lately, not because we are looking for a new one. The playground my husband and I are designing is about cars, small towns and nature. It’s a long story but I may have a link for you next week. We’re having a rendering made for the donor of the playground (my husband’s uncle) and it may be in the small town newspaper. My husband’s uncle’s dad (my husband’s grandfather) opened a car dealership in 1915 in the little town where they grew up. The dealership was then run by my husband’s father and a different uncle and now it’s run by my husband’s cousin. The playground is being donated to honor the grandparents. I’ve been designing some playground equipment that we are calling imagination cars, there will be 8 of them and they are iconic car shapes that range from a Model-T type truck to a Tesla shape (sorta). There’s a 30s roadster, a 40s sedan, a 60s convertible, a 70s sports car (Corvette-ish) etc. It has been really fun to work on. They are being fabricated at a metal fabrication place in St. Louis.
I love the design world because I learn so much about stuff while I’m at it. I was an expert about Bourbon for awhile when I was working on a bourbon museum. I’ve forgotten a lot by now but I still love bourbon.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 31, 2015 at 4:05 pm
Shameless self-promotion, although I don’t make a dime from the podcast or . . . well, from any of the archaeology or history of archaeology I’ve done, but I do spend some time doing site tours for which I occasionally get paid.
Anyhow, one of the three main research areas I get to play in here in Ohio is what this podcast is about. If you’re intrigued by archaeology, Civil War era (and pre-War) history, and the development of scientific archaeology & anthropology, you may find this of interest. We had fun doing it, and yes, Brad and I need to finish our book on the subject. Did I mention I don’t make any money at this?
brian stouder said on March 31, 2015 at 4:22 pm
He’s a little dim but he’s sweet.
On a good day, Pam would say that of me…
alex said on March 31, 2015 at 5:17 pm
Looks like fun, MM Jeff. Will have to make some time for that.
I just looked at Time Magazine’s namby-pamby online coverage of the Pence debacle and you’d almost think their so-called journalists were as surprised at this backlash as the Indiana GOP and for the same feigned reasons. Not sure whether it’s shallowness or cravenness that drives that pathetic rag.
crinoidgirl said on March 31, 2015 at 5:19 pm
All right, can anyone from Chicago explain this?
Sue said on March 31, 2015 at 5:23 pm
Crinoidgirl, haven’t you ever seen Blues Brothers? No biggie.
Dexter said on March 31, 2015 at 6:14 pm
Oh God Danny, I dream about a new aluiminum Ford F150 with Yosemite Sam mudflaps. The only two characters that top Yosemite Sam are Foghorn Leghorn and Mighty Mouse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LCsiWL6gn0
David C. said on March 31, 2015 at 6:16 pm
Once the Supremos OK marriage equality, which everyone seems quite confident they will, won’t that end any effect the Indiana law would have on gay marriages? Marital status is already a protected status, so discriminate away and see you in court. That Bill Clinton signed a RFRA is completely beside the point. That bill was in reaction to the SC ruling that Native American’s couldn’t ritually use peyote. It was an expansion of rights not a license to discriminate.
alex said on March 31, 2015 at 6:27 pm
So under the federal RFRA, is Elizabeth Warren allowed to ‘shroom?
Sherri said on March 31, 2015 at 6:29 pm
The podcast has been downloaded into my podcast app waiting for my next podcast listening session, Jeff(tmmmo). I’m looking forward to it!
Sue said on March 31, 2015 at 6:40 pm
David C, I understood that the rush to pass these particular laws was in expected response to the Supreme Court OKing marriage equality. They can refuse to serve gays, period, because these laws are designed to work in states that provide no legal protections for gays and others deemed unworthy of protection. That’s why it’s not such an issue with states that have religious freedom laws but also laws protecting the LGBT community.
You have to have a right-to-discriminate law and no protections for LGBTs for this to work as planned. And the plan is to have a backup if the Supremes rule in favor of marriage equality.
Danny said on March 31, 2015 at 6:57 pm
You know the nice thing about laser mice? A little masking tape placed just so makes a great April Fool’s joke.
beb said on March 31, 2015 at 7:38 pm
Worst person in the world:
Suzanne said on March 31, 2015 at 8:04 pm
Wow, beb, that guy sounds as clueless as Pence, and he’s pretty darn clueless. I never thought I look at the Daniels years in Indiana as the good old days! Daniels was at least pragmatic. Pence, I’m more & more convinced, is a less-than-gifted ideologue who knows very little of the real world. Just follow your conscience & God will bless that which is why this huge backlash has him thoroughly flummoxed. Reality has smacked him upside the head.
Sherri said on March 31, 2015 at 8:30 pm
The UConn men’s basketball coaches will not be traveling to Indianapolis for the men’s Final Four this weekend, per the Governor’s travel ban. Note that the Final Four is not just a set of games; the coaches association also meets over that weekend, which means that the Final Four represents the equivalent of a professional conference for coaches.
USC athletic director Pat Haden has also announced that he will not attend the meetings of the College Football Playoff committee this week in Indianapolis because of the new law. Haden is “the proud father of a gay son.”
Sherri said on March 31, 2015 at 8:46 pm
Something I did not know:
Angie’s List, one of the first companies to respond to the new law in Indiana by announcing that they would halt their $40 million expansion project, is based in Indianapolis. Their CEO is Bill Oesterle, who is a conservative Republican who has donated $150K to Mike Pence.
Deborah said on March 31, 2015 at 8:53 pm
Dense Pence, what a dumb ass. I’m so proud of the many corporations that jumped on him and the stupid (and mean) law. Good for them. I’m going to have to rethink my usual knee-jerk conclusions that American corporations are always on the wrong side.
Jeff tmmo, I’m going to carve out some time to listen to your podcast. And Jolene, I really want to try and watch that Ken Burns series on cancer.
Still wondering how Peter is doing. Did he check in and I missed it?
Crinoidgirl, I’ve walked on that bridge bike path many times and I have no clue how a car could get there.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 31, 2015 at 9:34 pm
So, just to square the circle — the guy Henry Gibson portrays in “The Blues Brothers” movie, referenced earlier on this thread as an explanation to crinoidgirl for how that car in Chicago got where it is? His real-life analogue, Frank Collin the Neo-Nazi now Frank Joseph the semi-Wiccan occasional Mormon apologist — “I am not making this up” ™ — is now a major proponent of both the validity of the Newark Holy Stones and of fringe archaeology (like Burrows Cave and “the Heartland Model of Book of Mormon origins”), after his stint in jail for child molestation.
You. Can’t. Make. This. Stuff. Up.
Joe K said on March 31, 2015 at 9:45 pm
NY, Gov bans Goverment paid travel along with many other states to Indiana. Ok fair enough gets some attention and makes a good point to try and get this screwed up bill fixed however he then announces he is going to Cuba, where gay marriage is illegal.
Why is this not a problem?
susan said on March 31, 2015 at 10:20 pm
Joe @54 – Because Indiana is supposedly in the United States of America.
alex said on March 31, 2015 at 10:21 pm
Well, Joe, everything’s illegal in Cuba. Call the president a commie infidel and you’ll do 20 years of hard time. Here in the Land of the Free? You’ll get a couple hundred Facebook likes followed by a dozen replies with vulgarity to boot!
brian stouder said on March 31, 2015 at 11:23 pm
and not for nothing, but Arkansas – which is (or was?) right on the verge of doing the same thing Indiana just did, just got the unequivocal ‘word’ from their #1 employer (WalMart) about this stupid RFRA thing:
Two things interest me. First, you can see the concerted, buzzing efforts of the rightwing hives…the same damned legislative initiatives rippling across the red states, and sailing to easy passage (at least up ’til people actually read these laws)
And second – that our rightwing friends forgot their own rules, and got out ahead (not to mention afoul) of their corporate overlords, which spells instant doom for them.
How could Pence be this stupid? Or – was this meant as a thumb-in-the-eye to his oligarchic ‘friends’?
If I could have told him – beforehand – that Eli Lilly wouldn’t like this, how could he not have already known? Hopefully, this all highlights a critical split in the rightwing juggernaut, and an opportunity for Clinton-style Democrats…although one wonders how far a populist like Elizabeth Warren can get, when one needs corporate favor in order to prevail
Deborah said on March 31, 2015 at 11:51 pm
Holy stones and ice vests. Hhmm.
Sherri said on April 1, 2015 at 12:06 am
In the old “be careful what you ask for” category, eastern Washington (i.e. not the blue part) Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers asked for stories on her Facebook page about how awful Obamacare has been. She didn’t quite get what she was looking for…