US Women’s National Soccer Team Wins World Cup Over Netherlands 2-0

The US Women’s National Soccer team has won the World Cup beating the Netherlands 2-0.

From CNN:

Competing in its first World Cup final, few gave the Dutch hope. The reigning European champion it may be, but it had not yet come up against the best team in the world, the dominant force of its generation.

The Netherlands held on for over an hour but two goals within eight minutes sealed the underdog’s fate. In a tournament where she has transcended her sport, Megan Rapinoe coolly drilled home a penalty before a Rose Lavelle thunderbolt made sure of a second successive title for the US.

This win makes for back-to-back titles and the fourth championship in total for the US women’s team.

South Carolina Removes Confederate Flag To Chants Of “USA! USA! USA!”

This morning the country watched as South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State House.

It was thrilling to hear chants of “USA! USA! USA” as the flag – long a symbol that divided not only South Carolina, but the entire country – was lowered and marched off the capitol grounds.

I loved that once the flag was removed it was handed to an African-American. Delicious.

Forward.

Fifty-Nine Months Of Positive Job Growth In US

Jobs report is out today for January 2015:

• 267,000 private sector jobs added to the economy, marking 59 straight months of positive job growth in the US

• With the January numbers, 11.8 million jobs have been added to our economy

• The unemployment rate inched up from 5.6 to 5.7% as more people re-entered the job arena.

• The US economy has seen 200,000+ jobs added each of the past 12 months – a scenario not seen since 1994-95

• Average hourly wages rose to  $24.75

• Economists see nothing on the horizon which would precipitate a slow-down in hiring

(source)

Census Bureau: 320 Million People Living In The USA

According to Reuters, the population of the United States (as of January 1, 2014) is over 320 million people. That shows an increase of almost 1% from the year before.

The Census Bureau predicts for 2015:

• One birth every eight seconds
• One death every twelve seconds
• Immigration will add one person every 33 seconds

The Census Bureau also predicts that the population for the entire planet on New Year’s Day will be approximately 7.21 billion. That accounting would reflect about 4.3 births a second, and 1.8 deaths per second.

Remind me again why the anti-gay haters are worried that same-sex marriage will undermine pro-creation?

President Obama Announces Ambitious Climate Change Goals In Agreement With China

Photo: Greg Baker

From the AP:

The United States and China unveiled ambitious targets Wednesday to reduce greenhouse gases, aiming to inject fresh momentum into the global fight against climate change ahead of a make-or-break treaty to be finalized next year.

President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. would move much faster in cutting pollution, with a goal to reduce by 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025, compared with 2005 levels. Earlier in his presidency, Obama set a goal to cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose country’s emissions are still growing as it builds new coal plants, didn’t commit to cut emissions by a specific amount. Rather, he set a target for China’s emission to peak by 2030, or earlier if possible. He also pledged to increase the share of energy that China will derive from sources other than fossil fuels.

The unexpected breakthrough by the world’s two largest polluters reflected both nations’ desire to display a united front on climate change, blunting arguments from developing countries that have balked at demands that they get serious about cutting emissions. Yet it was unclear how feasible it would be for either country to meet their goals, and Obama’s pledge was sure to confront tough opposition from ascendant Republicans in Congress.

“This is, in my view, the most important bilateral climate announcement ever,” said David Sandalow, formerly a top environmental official at the White House and the Energy Department. “It sends the signal the two largest emitters in the world are working together to address this problem.”

The state of marriage equality in the US by population

Currently, 19 states and Washington D.C. currently allow same-sex marriage licenses, which means 43.6% of Americans live in a state with marriage equality.

9 states have had their bans overruled, but a judge issued a stay while the decision is contested.  Those states represent 21.5% of the US population.

22 states have a same-sex marriage ban currently being contested in court. Those states represent 34.9% of the nation.  There are no states whose same-sex marriage ban is going unchallenged.

Those who married since Wednesday’s ruling striking down the state’s gay marriage ban are in limbo.

(via Chicago Sun-Times)

New, updated map of marriage equality in the USA

The Washington Post has published an interactive map that shows the current state of marriage equality in the US.

Note the lone North Dakota as the only state with neither same-sex marriage or a challenge to the state’s ban.  That should change soon as Joshua Newville, the lawyer who filed the challenge in South Dakota, has stated a ND suit will be forthcoming in the near future.

Since 1996, when both Gallup and Pew polls reported those who approved of marriage equality was a mere 27%, support has grown to solid majority support at 55% at Gallup and 54% in Pew polls.