More and more abortion bans passing in GOP-controlled states.
Floods and deadly severe weather across the country.
The end of Game of Thrones.
But I guess we have the consolation of being this close to a long weekend … ?
Hey, it’s something, at least.
But before we GTFO of work or town or whatever, here’s an update on the other garbage happening around the nation.
GTFO of the Speakership: Two weeks ago, I wrote in this space about a bizarre and troubling saga coming out of the TennesseeHouse speaker’s office.
It all started when information came to light indicating that Republican Speaker Glen Casada’s office may havetried to frame a black activist for violating a no-contact order with the express purpose of getting him thrown in jail.
Justin Jones is a Vanderbilt divinity student who’s been pushing Tennessee GOP leadership for years on issues related to voting rights, as well as the removal of Confederate Gen. and KKK “grand wizard” Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust from the statehouse.
Former GOP House Speaker Beth Harwell routinely met with Jones and his fellow activists to hear their concerns.
No such meetings have happened under Casada’s leadership.
In late February, Jones was arrested after someone threw a cup into the speaker’s own personal elevator.
Jones was released on bond on the condition he have no contact with Casada.
He’s obeyed the order and hasn’t set foot in the capitol for the past few months.
But Casada’s then-chief of staff, Cade Cothren, seemed to really want to take away Jones’ freedom.
Why else would he have shared a copy of an email with the DA purporting to show that Jones sent this email to Cothren and copied Casada after he’d been released on bond, thus violating the no-contact order?
The thing is, Jones has a copy of his original email, and that email shows that it was sentbeforethis arrest or the subsequent no-contact order.
Confronted with evidence of the doctored date on the email shared with the DA’s office, the speaker’s office claimed there was a lag in terms of when the email was delivered versus when it was sent due to “a security issue.”
Thankfully, the DA has stopped trying to throw Jones in jail over this.
Was this apparent malfeasance enough to take down a powerful speaker and his chief of staff?
But enter one “former acquaintance,” an unidentified person with whom Cothren and Casada had been exchanging text messages for years.
He (the nature of some of these messages makes it clear we’re talking about a dude here, so I’m gonna run with that pronoun) decided to share texts from Cothren with a Tennessee TV station, WTVF—texts that demonstrated Cothren’s outright racist sentiments, signaling that he’s totally the type of a-hole who’d lie to get a black man thrown in jail.
Cothren first tried to claim the texts had been fabricated.
Alabama: Outright ban, signed into law, no exceptions for rape or incest.
Georgia: So-called “heartbeat” ban, which is just an outright ban with a stupid fucking bow on it to discourage people from calling it an outright ban.
The notion of a “fetal heartbeat” is itself a total (and deliberate) misnomer: At six weeks, when this law would apply—before many women even know they’re pregnant—a fetus doesn’t have anything resembling a heart but rather only a “a 4 mm thickening next to a yolk sac,” and the “beat” is only electrical activity.