+ Paul Ryan is still many people’s favorite for House Speaker, and has decided to push ahead with his bid for the position. He’s made clear that one of his conditions for potentially taking the role is still spending time with his family, an attitude which many are noting for its irony, given that Paul Ryan and the rest of his party have consistently opposed family leave legislation for people who are not Paul Ryan. He is considered likely to be successful in his speaker bid.
+ Speaking of running for things, on Wednesday Joe Biden announced that he will not run for US President in 2016, explaining that he does not have time to plan and execute a presidential campaign given the months his family has devoted to mourning the death of his son, Beau, of cancer. Pundits have speculated that if he had run, Biden would have been drawing Democratic nomination votes primarily from HIllary Clinton.
+ Texas has cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that its “investigation” into CMP’s sting videos has not yet concluded. Planned Parenthood has 30 days to challenge the decision in court, which they likely will.
+ Ohio has voted to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving state Medicaid money.
Stephanie Kight, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, said the measure would leave thousands of women and men in Ohio without critical preventive services. Senator Edna Brown, a Democrat, said the cuts would fall hardest on the state’s poor residents. “There is no one, no one but Planned Parenthood in poor and African-American communities,” Brown said.
+ Ads for Thinx, the brand of underwear that allows menstruating people to forgo pads and tampons, can’t advertise on NYC subways because it uses the word “period” in its ads for its products meant to deal with periods.
+ Martese Johnson, who was assaulted and injured by multiple agents of Virginia’s state Alcohol and Beverage control because he was suspected of using a fake ID (the ID was not, in fact, fake) is now filing a $3 million lawsuit against the state agency, alleging that three officers used excessive force and unlawfully detained him. According to the Guardian, the impetus for Johnson filing the lawsuit was the revelation that none of the officers involved in his unwarranted arrest would be suspended or punished.
+ Students at Mississippi’s Ole Miss have voted to remove Mississippi’s state flag from campus because the flag design contains the Confederate flag.
+ Through the Freedom of Information Act, 400+ of Kim Davis’s emails have been released publicly. They show that while the majority of clerks in the office wanted to award marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the majority also wanted to use different forms for same-sex than different-sex couples, resistant to the idea of giving up the titles “bride” and “groom.”
+ Jae Irizarry, a trans girl, has been elected homecoming queen of her high school. Now the local paper is running a story questioning the validity of the vote that got her the role, although the validity of its sources, which includes a “source at [the school] who asked to remain anonymous” and a parent unaffiliated with the school, is unclear. The paper also published that attempts to reach Irizarry and her family for quotes were unsuccessful, but Irizarry says that they never even tried to contact her.
+ Jim Webb is dropping out of the Democratic race, but might run as an Independent. The best part of this story is the embedded tweets from the non-politician Jim Webb on Twitter, who seems to have risen to the occasion of having people confuse him for the candidate delightfully.
+ Ahmed Mohamed and President Obama have finally met — at the White House’s Astronomy Night, somewhat appropriately.
+ Brittney Cooper at Salon on why we fail Black women when we talk about gun violence without mentioning them.
Black Americans make up 14 percent of the population, and yet, of those 1,600 murders, 453 — or 28 percent — were black women. Of those 453 murders, 416 were intra-racial. Thus: Once every 19 hours a Black woman is killed by a man. Once every 21 hours a Black woman is killed by a Black man. 92 percent of the time she knows her murderer. 56 percent of the time, she is wife, ex-wife or girlfriend of her killer. The study does not account for ex-partners or ex-girlfriends, a fact which would surely make that percentage skew higher. In these incidents, the most common weapon used was a gun.
+ The Indian Health Service (IHS) has created a new policy vowing that one-step emergency contraception will be available to Native American women in IHS facilities.
+ A new campaign spotlights the fact that while domestic violence/intimate partner violence affects an alarming number of American women across the board, it disproportionately affects women living with HIV.