Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Baltimore Burning Over Death of Freddie Gray

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Here we go again. On April 19, 2015, a group of policemen in Baltimore, Maryland, took custody of a man named Freddie Gray and after he was injured during the scuffle, they dragged him to an ambulance where later he died a mysterious death. Somehow he was killed inside an ambulance, completely severing his spinal cord. You cannot make up a horror story worse than the plight of African Americans in the hands of white cops these days.

From The Atlantic: The Mysterious Death of Freddie Gray
According to the city, an officer made eye contact with Gray, and he took off running, so they pursued him. Though he'd had scrapes with the law before, there's no indication he was wanted at the time. And though he was found with a switchblade, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, “We know that having a knife is not necessarily a crime.”

The police say Gray didn't resist arrest and that officers didn't use force, which seems to be mostly corroborated by video shot by bystanders. Gray seems to shout in pain, and his leg seems injured as officers drag him to a police van. (Someone off camera shouts, "His leg broke and y'all dragging him like that!") Gray also had asthma and requested his inhaler, but didn't get it. Yet it's not the leg or the asthma that killed him. Instead, it was a grave injury to his spinal cord. Gray's family said he was treated for three fractured vertebrae and a crushed voice box, the sorts of injuries that doctors say are usually caused by serious car accidents. The van made at least two stops before reaching the police station, but there's no footage to say what happened during the journey or at those stops.

It's a baffling conundrum. "None of the officers describe any use of force," Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said. "None of the officers describe using any force against Mr. Gray." And yet somehow Gray was fatally hurt while in police custody.

Baffling conundrum, indeed.

So what has happened since Gray's death? Protest marches have sometimes turned into riots, with looting and fires, and the Governor called in the National Guard. Hashtag Baltimore is turning into another Ferguson, Missouri. Or maybe EVERYWHERE is Ferguson these days, and the country has got to get this under control! The good news is that recently sworn-in Attorney General Loretta Lynch has already sent a team to Baltimore to investigate the circumstances. Which is fine, but at some point there has to be justice for black Americans who are scared for their lives and for their children.

Monday, April 20, 2015

"Oops, I'm Sorry" - The Tale of Wannabe Cop Bob Bates

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In a shocking video from Tulsa, Oklahome you can see Bob Bates, a 73-year-old reserve cop, shoot a black suspect named Eric Harris, who had already been tackled to the ground by another cop. Then Bob says "Oops, I'm sorry, I thought it was my taser."

New excuse - His taser made him do it. Even though the taser was inside his vest and the gun was on his hip. Oops.

Again, Harris was on the ground and nearly subdued. Other cops were standing around him, so there was no need for Bates to shoot, and indeed, dangerous to do so because he might have hit another cop!But good old boy Bob Bates just had to do something, so he shot Eric Harris.

Then as the dying man lay on the ground saying "I can't breathe," you see another cop press his full body weight onto Harris's head while snarling "F--- Your Breath," possibly referring back to the death of Eric Garner in New York City, the man who was tackled to the ground and grabbed around the neck while begging for air.

Seems like cops have had enough of this "freedom of breath" nonsense. The only thing you can do is just kill people. Totally understandable. After all the jails are too crowded, right? Killing suspects for petty crimes clears more space for the real bad guys - the killers, etc. You know, just like Bob Bates.

Bob Bates didn't even have the proper training records, according to Tulsa World
In a statement that the 73-year-old reserve deputy gave the sheriff's office following the fatal shooting of Eric Harris during an undercover operation on April 2, Bates noted he had taken "active shooter training" from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Lisa Allen, chief media relations office for the sheriff's office there, said they had no record of Bates attending their training.
. . . "We don't allow out-of-state people to take the class," she said. "I'm only surmising, and I can't confirm this because this would not have been our class, but our active shooter instructor did travel to Dallas once to teach a class.
. . . Supervisors at the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office were ordered to falsify a reserve deputy’s training records, giving him credit for field training he never took and firearms certifications he should not have received, sources told the Tulsa World.
At least three of reserve deputy Robert Bates’ supervisors were transferred after refusing to sign off on his state-required training, multiple sources speaking on condition of anonymity told the World.

Even beyond the nonexistent certification is the fact that Bob Bates had supplied the Tulsa police department with gifts of money and equipment. So did he bribe his way onto the force?

KRMG in Tulsa published a list of donations from Bob Bates, ending with this important piece of information:
Bates also served as Chairman for the re-election campaign of Sheriff Stanley Glanz in 2012, and contributed money to the campaign.

From the Today interview with Matt Lauer via Crooks and Liars:

“First and foremost, let me apologize to the family of Eric Harris,” Tulsa reserve deputy Robert Bates said of the 44-year-old black man he fatally wounded. “This is the second-worst thing that’s ever happened to me or the first that ever happened to me in my life. I had cancer a number of years ago. I didn’t think I was going to get there… I’d rate this as number one on my list of things in my life that I regret.”

Asked by Matt Lauer how he could make the fundamental mistake of grabbing his gun instead of the taser, Bates replied, “This has happened a number of times around the country. I have read about it in the past. I thought to myself after reading several cases, I don’t understand how this can happen.”

He added: “You must believe me, it can happen to anyone.”

The remorseful deputy, who was surrounded by his family and lawyer, told Lauer that “I have no desire to ever take anyone’s life,” and recalled the state of shock he was in the moment he realized he had shot Harris.

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"This is my taser, this is my gun. This one's for killing and this one's . . . oh look, a black guy!"
~ Arfer on Crooks and Liars

An old geezer with no training playing cop, what could go wrong?
~ lardheppus on Crooks and Liars

As ever... conservatives love to TALK about responsibility... but when it comes to TAKING responsibility... we have folks like this guy. "I pulled my gun instead of my taser, but that's okay, because it's happened before to others, and I killed a guy but I right away said I was sorry, so I am NOT GUILTY!"
~ Willem on Mediaite

Literally unbelievable. "The second-worst thing that's ever happened to me." And "it can happen to anyone."
Well excuse me, Deputy Dawg, but I believe this is the first-worst thing that ever happened to Eric Harris, and the second worst is that you're still drawing breath.
"Remorseful" my foot. Bates is mildly inconvenienced because of all the attention he's getting because of his little oopsie and he wouldn't mind if you all just went on with your business and left him alone.
This guy needs a room with no view next to Alex Hernandez, and should be let out on the same day.
~ expatpatiot on Mediaite

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hallelujah ~ Tennessee Tries (And Fails) To Make the Bible the State Book

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At least once a year, someone in the Tennessee Legislature writes a bill to make the Holy Bible (King James Version Only) the State Book, and they will literally swear on a Bible that this is Constitutional because they are protecting their own religious freedom.

I mean, why not? It's not like Tennessee has anything else on the agenda, like passing Medicaid for the poor, or solving school funding problems. Oh, wait ...

There are people in the TN Legislature who have apparently never read the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Amendment I states unequivocally:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

From Nashville Public Radio
. . . the state's attorney general, Herbert Slatery, released an opinion Tuesday that stated the proposal violates both the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Tennessee Constitution. In fact, Slatery said, the state prohibition on government involvement in religion is actually stronger than at the federal level, barring not only the establishment of a church, but also preference for any "mode of worship."
Several lawmakers warned of legal challenges if the proposal passes.

But support for the proposal has come from across the political aisle. The most passionate on Tuesday was a Democrat, Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis. He said Christians have become "too accommodating" toward people of other faiths, and the bill represents a chance for them to stick up for their beliefs.
"Won't you stand for something? Stand for something, and stop falling for everything."
DeBerry's speech drew a standing ovation. But even some religiously conservative lawmakers are opposing the proposal.

Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) says it demeans the Bible and goes against the principles laid out by the nation and state's founders.
"They knew better than to enter in the personal relationship with God with the portion of the laws that govern us."

Tennessee has another sacred book anyway - the Tennessee Blue Book, which is handed out to visitors to the Capitol and school children across the state. It lists the current members of State Government, but also fun stuff like pictures of the state flag, the state flower (iris), the state wildflower (passiong flower), the state animal (salamander), and the state bird (mockingbird). Luckily for our state, even some Republicans think it is silly or even disrespectful to list the Holy Bible alongside the state salamander.

We could just make the Tennessee Blue Book the State Book.

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My own feeling is that the Bible wasn't written in Tennessee, so why should it be the state book? Obviously our red-state Legislature isn't going to choose Al Gore's book on global warming, but how about the famous All the President's Men by Robert Penn Warren? Nope - too cerebral for Tennessee, where most wouldn't know the author's name. But there's the blockbuster Roots by Alex Haley - everyone's heard of Roots, right? Never mind - that's a black experience book, and any bill that puts forth a black writer is going to be tabled anyway. The beloved Christie by Catherine Marshall might work because it's so religious, but then, the author was Presbyterian and not Evengelical enough. How 'bout something by Cormac McCarthy, James Agee, or Wilma Dykeman? Oh wait - some of those books have ideas that might not jive with the Holy Word of God. Cormac McCarthy has some bad words and sex, and Wilma Dykeman wrote an early book about family planning - can't have that. And James Agee went to Hollywood and wrote "The African Queen" - no Africans, please - they might be related to that Kenyan in the White House. Don't remind us.

Anyway, Governor Haslam was probably going to veto the Bible Bill anyway, but luckily for him the state Senate killed it yesterday. A blessing for everyone. Amen. At least until next year when they bring it up again, because they always do.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hillary Runs - Rightwing Nuts Call Her Hitler

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Hillary Clinton has finally tossed her hat into the ring for 2016. Some on the left wish there was more of a "field" to choose from, while other Dems heaved a sigh of relief. But the far-right is losing it, screaming BENGHAZI!!! again, and telling Hillary she is too old, plus a Feminist! And Hitler! And her Logo sucks!

She's just too old. And Female!

Hillary = Hitler

Her Logo is Evil = Conspiracy!

#WhyImNotVotingForHillary = #Benghazi

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The #NRA Comes to Nashville

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The gun-loving horde called the National Rifle Association descended on Nashville, Tennessee, this week. Ironically, loaded guns were not allowed within the venue - can you say hypocrites? They could have gone to Texas or some state where everyone could open carry everywhere, but they are concerned for their own safety. Thus, the NRA Convention was held in a "Gun Free Zone" which they say they are against.

It's probably a good thing - these gun nuts always end up shooting themselves in the foot, and they know it.

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My state of Tennessee has a love-hate relationship with guns. Clearly they are part of our heritage, from Davy Crockett to Sergeant York. But now that the true crazies have taken over the Tennessee Legislature, and hunting has become more popular than Bible-thumping, the NRA has more political pull than the Southern Baptist Convention.

However, not everyone is thrilled with the NRA - like me, for instance! I don't own any guns, and never will. And my father was a veteran who won badges for marksmanship, but amazingly he came home from WWII and never saw a need to shoot anybody. My Tennessee ancestors probably shot squirrels to make gravy, but that was for survival. I think they liked ham and fried chicken better...

But anyway, let's talk about our Governor, Bill Haslam, who is more of a bird-watcher than a hunter. While it's true that he just signed an ill-thought-out bill allowing "Guns in Parking Lots" (because people have guns in their cars anyway - so just give up on that), he sometimes ignores politics and vetoes crazy bills sent to him by the TN Legislature.

The latest is a "Guns in Parks" bill that was pushed through just in time for the NRA goons to arrive in town. The bill would also allow guns within the public buildings of the state capital. That's getting too close to home for Haslam, and he probably has too many enemies in the Tea Party to feel comfortable if they are packing heat - there could be one of those "accidental shootings" that responsible gun owners cause. And I truly believe he knows that parks are supposed to be peaceful places for families and not gun-fights between rednecks. We are a tourist state, and Nashville is a tourist city, end of story.

I'm thrilled that the NRA doesn't like Bill Haslam, and I think he will listen to cooler heads and veto the "Guns in Parks" bill.

But the convention gave many of the GOP 2016 hopefuls a forum, sort of a mini-GOP convention, where they were assured of a warm welcome. Yes, unlike the real world. The only two not invited were Rand Paul and Chris Christie.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Special Candidate Rand Paul Is Special

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Rand Paul just keeps on having problems. Maybe it's because he arrogantly believes that even though he is a public figure who says outrageous things then flip-flops, no one should call him out. He's a very delicate flower and a special snowflake, and journalists need to handle him with care. And forget everything he ever said.

You can read some of his snafus in my previous post about Day One, when he lectured Savannah Guthrie on how to be a journalist (he's an opthamologist/politician) and then got on the abortion train and made a fool of himself.

Previous Related Post:
Rand Paul Runs For President - Crashes While Mansplaining

Rachel Maddow did a great piece on Rand's dysfunctional first week as a candidate, and had a few words to say about Mr. Special.

"Steve Schmidt who ran the McCain/Palin campaign in 2008 once famously said on this show that a presidential campaign is a "full-body scan" for everybody who runs at a high level. David Axelrod who ran Obama's campaign described it almost the same way ... "an MRI for the soul." Once you are officially running for President in this country you may like the political press in this country or you may hate the political press in this country, but if you are a candidate in this country at a high level because people take you seriously, you will receive so much scrutiny from the people who are running against you and by the press that is covering you all, that every single thing that is to be known about you, will become known."
~ Rachel Maddow

My favorite thing so far is that he is throwing cease and desist orders at campaign ads that don't paint him in a happy light. Yeah, good luck with that. Hasn't he ever run for office before? This is just kooky, and again he seems to think he should be treated differently from all the other candidates.

From Buzzfeed
The letter is an objection to a million-dollar ad buy by a group called the Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America, led by Republican operative Rick Reed. The ad, which launched in early primary states on the day of Paul’s presidential campaign announcement, accuses Paul of supporting President Obama’s policies on Iran and of opposing new sanctions.
“The Advertisement attempts to deceive voters regarding Senator Rand Paul’s position on U.S.-Iran relations through at least three false statements,” writes Paul campaign general counsel Matthew T. Sanderson in the letter dated April 7, which was obtained by BuzzFeed News on Thursday.

Here's the ad:

So Rand is trying to stop an ad from a Republican group that portrays him as cozy on Iran with the President. Considering there are about ten other GOP candidates who want to see him crash and burn, we can expect to see many more of these ads. Sorry, but that goes with the territory.

Rand also let it be known that he is royally ticked that the NRA didn't invite him to their giant convention in Nashville this week, since all the other guys are there having a good time touching each other's guns, and stuff.

From Bloomberg
"The interesting thing is that there's probably no greater advocate for the Second Amendment in Congress than myself," Paul said today. "To not be invited, probably, will serve more to cast aspersions on their group than it would on me. Because my record's pretty clear. It probably looks a little bit petty for them not to invite a major candidate because I raised money for other Second Amendment groups."

He told Sean Hannity on Fox to pay no attention to his campaign snafus. He has an etch-a-sketch just like Mitt Romney, and he's not afraid to use it. Anything he said in the past can just be wiped away.

Rand Paul and Hannity, via Daily Kos
It's not fair, Paul testily claims, to ask him about stuff that he said before he decided to be a presidential candidate. Because that was before, or "a long time ago." ...
. . . Sean Hannity, not surprisingly, let him get away with it. On the previous Paul statement that the idea of Iran being a threat to the United States is "ridiculous":
"You know, things do change over time," Paul said. "I also wasn't campaigning for myself, I was campaigning to help my father at the time."
Hannity let that slide. He allowed Paul to frame his opposition to new sanctions that would scuttle the Iran negotiations as his way of telling Obama he'd "have to bring a deal back to" Congress.

Here's a litany of Rand's problems for the first THREE Days of his campaign.

He broke the copyright of a song he wanted to use in his rollout, and YouTube blocked him

From Mother Jones:
he gave a speech and the crowd ate it up and they cheered his name and then he finished and they clapped and cheered and the campaign uploaded the video of the speech to YouTube so that the world could clap and cheer and...YouTube bots automatically pulled the video for unlicensed use of copyrighted material.
Womp womp.
Warner Music Group, the official owner of John Rich's "Shutting Detroit Down," a song about how much it sucks that rich corporations own things, has now shut Rand down.
Both Billboard and The Washington Post have reached out to get to the bottom of this and neither Warner or YouTube have commented on the situation.
The campaign's video has now been deleted from YouTube (C-PSAN's remains)

He suddenly became "Dr. Rand Paul" on Twitter, because he is a self-proclaimed opthamologist. And I guess that gives him political cred with . . . somebody???

His website misspelled "Education." Derp.

A website map urging people to endorse Rand Paul was made with stock photos taken by a German photographer, probably in Germany. Those faces are not Americans! The photos, who were models, were removed pretty fast.

Rand was in South Carolina today but said nothing about the shooting of Walter Scott by a police officer which has been the top story on all news channels all week. Nothing. What kind of Presidential candidate says "nothing" about it?
But the day before on CNN - he was pro-Police.
Rand has inherited his father Ron's Bodyguard, but also a Bribery Scandal!

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Murder of Walter Scott in Charleston SC

Walter Scott was murdered by police officer Michael Slager in Charleston, South Carolina. Like so many sad killings we've had this year, this is another white cop shooting a black man.

And he might have gotten away with it "Scott Free" if not for one brave soul, a young man named Feidin Santana, originally from the Dominican Republic, who stood filming with his camera while the policeman first tazed Scott on the ground, then shot him multiple times in the back as he fled.

In an interview Santana said he had considered deleting the video, fearful for his own life, then he decided to take it to the police. But when he got there and the police told him to wait while he went to get more officers, he got nervous and left to find a lawyer. After that, the video was released to the family and the media.

There are gruesome details gleaned from the video - the original police report said that CPR was given to Scott after the shooting, but the video showed none given by Slager or the assisting officer who arrives moments later. The taser was moved by Slager from where it was originally used and then thrown down beside the body, probably to justify the shooting. And the worst - Slager put handcuffs on Scott as he lay on the ground, probably after he died. Why do cops do that? I call that abuse of a dead body!

(Note: Cops in St. Louis also put cuffs on the dead body of Kajieme Powell.)

The only good thing out of this is that local Charleston officials immediately arrested Slager, then fired him. His own lawyer quit in the middle of the day. Good and good. Then tonight, the website GoFundMe shut down Slager's defense fund. Good for them too!

From the New York Times
The shooting unfolded after Officer Slager stopped the driver of a Mercedes-Benz with a broken taillight, according to police reports. Mr. Scott ran away, and Officer Slager chased him into a grassy lot that abuts a muffler shop. He fired his Taser, an electronic stun gun, but it did not stop Mr. Scott, according to police reports.

Moments after the struggle, Officer Slager reported on his radio: “Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser,” according to police reports.

But the video, which was taken by a bystander and provided to The New York Times by the Scott family’s lawyer, presents a different account. The video begins in the vacant lot, apparently moments after Officer Slager fired his Taser. Wires, which carry the electrical current from the stun gun, appear to be extending from Mr. Scott’s body as the two men tussle and Mr. Scott turns to run.

Something — it is not clear whether it is the stun gun — is either tossed or knocked to the ground behind the two men, and Officer Slager draws his gun, the video shows. When the officer fires, Mr. Scott appears to be 15 to 20 feet away and fleeing. He falls after the last of eight shots.

The officer then runs back toward where the initial scuffle occurred and picks something up off the ground. Moments later, he drops an object near Mr. Scott’s body, the video shows.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Rand Paul Runs for President ~ Crashes while Mansplaining ~ Updated

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pic source: @UniteBlue

Previous Related Posts:
Rand Paul Confused About Plagiarism
Rand Paul's Gattaca Moment
Rand Paul Stars in Night of the Talking Filibuster
Hillary Kicks Butt on Benghazi
Rand Paul Whitesplains at Howard University


Volatile politicians like Rand Paul are the reason I often wait a day before writing a blog post. Things can change really fast in just 24 hours!

On Tuesday, April 7, 2015, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), son of the ever-campaigning Libertarian Ron Paul, announced that he is now "officially" running for President. Rand is famous for the #StandWithRand hashtag used during his 12-hour filibuster in the Senate, but on the day he vowed to win the Presidency the trending hashtag was #CantStandRand, and I imagine even some GOP members such as his colleague Ted Cruz are using it. ;)

By Wednesday, he wash crashing and burning. In the morning, he got all bossy and told off journalist Savannah Guthrie on the Today Show.

From Washington Examiner
(Savannah Guthrie of NBC) "You once said Iran was not a threat, now you say it is. You once proposed ending foreign aid to Israel, now you support it, at least for the time being, and you once offered to drastically cut…defense spending and now you want to increase it 16 percent," she started.
This did not sit well with Paul, who accused her eventually of "editorializing."

"Before we go. Before we go. Before we go through — Before we go through a litany of — Before we go through a litany of," Paul said over crosstalk from the Peacock Network Washington reporter. "Why don't you let me explain instead of talking over me, OK?"
Guthrie fell silent.
"Before we go through a litany of things you say I changed on, why don't you ask me a question: Have I changed my opinion? That would be sort of a better way to approach an interview," he said.

The NBC News reporter attempted to reword her original questions, but Paul was still unimpressed.

"No, no. You've editorialized. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no," he said. "Listen, you've editorialized. Let me answer a question. You ask a question, and you say, 'Have your views changed?' instead of editorializing and saying my views have changed."


Later on Wednesday, Rand Paul decided to answer questions about abortion, getting "testy" with an AP reporter, then tossing the question to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Florida), implying that Democrats approve of baby-killing. Good, Rand - change the subject!

From Bloomberg
. . . Associated Press reporter Philip Elliott prodded Paul on abortion, and whether a candidate who once sponsored a personhood amendment would allow some exemptions.
"The thing is about abortion—and about a lot of things—is that I think people get tied up in all these details of, sort of, you're this or this or that, or you're hard and fast (on) one thing or the other," Paul told Elliott. "I've supported both bills with and without (exceptions), you know. In general, I am pro-life. So I will support legislation that advances and shows that life is special and deserves protection."
. . . "Why don’t we ask the DNC: Is it okay to kill a seven-pound baby in the uterus? You go back and you ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she's OK with killing a seven-pound baby that is not born yet. Ask her when life begins, and you ask Debbie when it's okay to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, get back to me."

UPDATE: Debbie Wasserman Schultz replied via CNN:

After just one day! We should have known right away that things were going to fall apart as soon as he said "I Want My Country Back," using the Palinesque mantra of Tea Party nutcakes everywhere.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Hoosier Sorry Now? Indiana GOP Forced to "Fix" #RFRA Law

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Previous Related Posts:
Indiana Pizza Bigots Go Viral
Hoosier Hospitality Vs. Homophobia
Indiana Doesn't Want You - Backlash to RFRA Bill
Indiana Gov. Pence Signs Law Permitting Gay Discrimination


Governor Mike Pence and his GOP cronies have been forced to "fix" the language in the RFRA "Religious Freedom" Law to state that it is not to be used for discrimination against gays. It was all a big "misunderstanding" by citizens and the media - a "misperception" and "misrepresentation." Gosh darn it all - we just didn't understand! They never meant to discriminate against the gays!

No, not really - they knew exactly what they were doing, but thought it wouldn't have consequences for anyone except the gays. Then all the big businesses and sports teams and entertainers decided to call them out for it, and suddenly Gov. Pence and the rest are pro-Gay.

From CNN
Republican legislative leaders unveiled their series of changes Thursday morning to the law that triggered intense backlash from businesses, sports associations, pro-LGBT groups and even fiscally-focused conservatives when Pence signed it last week.
The GOP-dominated House and Senate approved a legislative fix, which was added into an unrelated bill, on Thursday, sending it to Pence's desk almost immediately.
Despite last-minute lobbying from conservative groups like Indiana Right to Life to get Pence to veto the fix, the governor signed it Thursday evening.
. . . Eric Miller, the head of Advance America and a powerful lobbyist who stood behind Pence at last week's private bill signing ceremony, said on his website: "Among the things that will happen, Christian bakers, florists and photographers would now be forced by the government to participate in a homosexual wedding or else they would be punished by the government! That's not right!"

The GOP leaders in the Indiana Legislature want this to be over with forever, but no one will forget the way the country pushed back on this draconian law. Things have fundamentally changed in good old 'Merica. No longer can one of these anti-gay laws be passed without scrutiny. Arkansas backed down and changed their law. Montana decided not to bring their own RFRA law to a vote. This week has been epic in terms of the advancement of gay rights, or at least for letting the bigots in the GOP know how the rest of the country view their antics. And above all, if these red states want to be competitive for the sweet moolah, they cannot count on big business backing their agenda of hate. And that is good news for all of us, gay or straight!

From Jeremy Hooper on Good As You:
They cannot continue to pretend America is on their side. Backlash and pushback like the epic scenes we have witnessed this week do not happen easily or without genuine heart attached. When you have mega brands, mega celebrities, mega politicians, and millions upon millions of Americans rising up in a way that puts a previously wonky topic like RFRA on the front page of every newspaper, on the cover of Time magazine, all over social media, and into water cooler conversation across our states, the changing tide is simply undeniable. In some ways, it's even more of a sign than the consensus support for marriage equality.
. . . They won't be able to keep touting these scenarios of bakers and florists who wish to deny same-sex couples without having white-hot scrutiny on their backs. Let me be clear: they'll keep touting them because they really seem to believe that discriminating in this fashion is something different simply because they say it is. However, the American consciousness has been raised. The idea of discriminating in public accommodation is now a conversation that everyday people are having. And now, when they try to push these situations are going to be reminded of this week's ugliness, reminded of how all involved promised that anti-LGBT discrimination was not going to happened, and reminded of how attempts to slip such discrimination into the American values system manages to unite brands like Walmart, Apple, Google, and the NCAA in fierce opposition.