Happy Tuesday, everybody.

This just in: the U.S. Senate still sucks.

1. That moment you know you’re going to Hell when you die. Many Senate Republicans already experienced this epiphany when they endorsed Donald for president, of course. And some in particular are so bigoted and hateful that they seem to have sold their souls for a spot in the “whites-only” section of eternal damnation, if all they need to do in return is keep defending that endorsement, for whatever fleeting earthly reward it may bring.

But if any of them glimpsed a future of torment for the very first time Monday as they repeatedly hit the “nay” button, they deserve no pity. They sold their souls to something even worse than Donald or Satan: the gun lobby.

From the New York Times:

The Senate on Monday failed to advance four separate measures aimed at curbing gun sales, the latest display of congressional inaction after a mass shooting.

Eight days after a gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State killed 49 people in an Orlando, Fla., nightclub, the Senate deadlocked, largely along party lines, on amendments to block people on the federal terrorism watch list from buying guns and to close loopholes in background check laws. Families of gun violence victims looked on from the Senate chamber as the votes were held.

Further action on gun safety measures or mental health provisions seemed unlikely before the fall election, given the rush to finish a series of spending bills and the relatively limited time that Congress will be in session before November.

Let’s just hope that The Devil has the wicked sense of humor to post a sign like this at Hell’s door:

2. An appeals court will take up North Carolina voting rules today:

From The Washington Post:

A federal appeals court on Tuesday will consider whether North Carolina’s election law discriminates against minorities in a case that could affect voting in the state in the November presidential election.

Civil rights groups and the Obama administration are challenging the law, saying it eliminated measures that made voting easier for poor residents — and that were used at high levels by African Americans.

Opponents object to the end of same-day voter registration, the rollback of a week of early voting and the prohibition on out-of-precinct voting. The groups also want the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit to review the requirement that voters produce a government-issued identification card before casting ballots.

North Carolina is one of 17 states that will have more restrictive voting laws in place for this presidential election than for the prior one. Laws in several states, including Texas, Wisconsin and Virginia, are also being challenged in court.

The Post notes that “a lower court in April upheld North Carolina’s election law, rejecting the argument that large numbers of minority voters would be disenfranchised,” to the delight of Governor Pat McCrory.

But now:

The Richmond-based 4th Circuit, which covers North Carolina, fast-tracked the case in a signal of its significance to the coming election.

And as we all know, the 4th Circuit
ain’t fond of discrimination. Fingers crossed.

3. A North Carolina fire department decides not to raffle off AR-15s and such. Good thinking there, folks.

From Fox 8:

The Southport Fire Department has removed the Palmetto AR-15 and two other firearms from a raffle meant to raise money for the Firefighter’s Freedom Competition.

Cash prizes have replaced firearms in the raffle. The department is holding the event ahead of the annual Firefighter’s Freedom Competition on July 2.

Here’s some advice, Southport FD: Sexy calendars. People love sexy firefighter calendars.

4. Okay, but … Tim Kaine? A little bland there, Hillary. Before we all get worked up and start second guessing a veep choice that hasn’t been made yet, it may be helpful to recall that candidate Barack Obama once considered .. (gag…it’s hard to even say it now…) Evan Bayh for his running mate. But, it’s that time again in the election cycle for such speculation, so let’s see what the Chicago Tribune has learned:

Those on the shortlist include Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a favorite of progressives who has emerged as a blistering critic of presumptive Republican nomineeDonald Trump; Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a well-liked lawmaker from an important general election battleground state; and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro of Texas, a rising star in the Democratic Party.

Aside from Kaine (zzzzzz… oh, sorry), there are no surprises on that list. The real fun yesterday was reading stories like this one in Politico, regarding Wall Street’s reaction to a Warren pick:

Big Wall Street donors have a message for Hillary Clinton: Keep Elizabeth Warren off the ticket or risk losing millions of dollars in contributions.

In a dozen interviews, major Democratic donors in the financial services industry said they saw little chance that Clinton would pick the liberal firebrand as her vice presidential nominee. These donors despise Warren’s attacks on the financial industry. But they also think her selection would be damaging to the economy. And they warned that if Clinton surprises them and taps Warren, big donations from the industry could vanish.

Come toward the light, Hillary.

The Tribune breaks down the benefits of choosing either Julian Castro or Tim Kaine as a running mate:

Castro, a telegenic 41-year-old Texan, would bring youthful enthusiasm to Clinton’s campaign and would be the first Hispanic on a major party ticket.


Kaine, a former Virginia governor who previously headed the Democratic National Committee, is well-liked within the party and is more moderate than Warren. While he may not excite liberals, he’s seen as a running mate who could appeal to independents and swing voters in his home state and elsewhere.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…. huh? What? Damn it! Coffee! We need coffee in here!