Republicans experience cognitive...

Friday May 22nd, 2015 01:32:00 PM Steve Benen
Republicans who received coverage through the ACA like the coverage they received, but still reflexively oppose the law that gave them the coverage they like.

Poll: Officers indicted in Gray case

Friday May 22nd, 2015 01:29:00 PM
Do you agree with the Baltimore grand jury's decision to indict all six officers in the death of Freddie Gray?

Should TLC drop '19 Kids and Counting'?

Friday May 22nd, 2015 01:16:46 PM msnbc staff
Josh Duggar has apologized after allegations of child molestation had been revealed

Should TLC drop '19 Kids and Counting'?

Friday May 22nd, 2015 01:14:14 PM
Josh Duggar has apologized after allegations of child molestation had been revealed

Suspect in DC slaying in custody

Friday May 22nd, 2015 01:00:04 PM
NBC's Peter Alexander and NBC Washington's Shomari Stone report on the arrest of Daron Wint, the suspect charged with first degree murder in the quadruple slaying in Washington, DC.

LIVE: Southern Republican Leadership...

Friday May 22nd, 2015 12:57:21 PM
Several GOP leaders and presidential candidates gather for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City. Today’s speakers include Gov. Chris Christie, former Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Ted Cruz.

In the wake of scandal, Christie sees...

Friday May 22nd, 2015 12:47:08 PM Steve Benen
The New Jersey Republican wants news organizations to apologize to him for his own bridge scandal. That's bonkers.

Modern men go off the grid in 'The Island'

Friday May 22nd, 2015 12:44:15 PM
Bear Grylls, host of 'The Island' reality show, joins Morning Joe to discuss what happens when modern men are stripped of modern convenience and must live on a deserted island.

Why Hillary feels the need to reintroduce...

Friday May 22nd, 2015 12:31:18 PM
"Why does Hillary Clinton...feel a need to constantly reintroduce herself to the American people?," Ana Marie Cox asks in her latest piece. Cox joins Morning Joe to discuss.

Crews race to contain Calif. oil spill

Friday May 22nd, 2015 12:29:15 PM
NBC News' Hallie Jackson reports on the extent of the oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California.


Mad Max’s Scarily Accurate Take On Climate Change

Friday May 22nd, 2015 01:43:56 PM
In a speech delivered to the Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday, President Obama displayed a dramatic shift in rhetoric on an issue he has defined as one of the biggest of our era: climate change. Recognizing that many Americans remain skeptical of the environmental impacts of global warming, he instead argued for action on the grounds of national security. In a report accompanying the speech, the White House said climate change was an “accelerant of instability around the world,” largely due to water and food shortages that could escalate tensions in already-destabilized areas. Pundits are framing Obama’s speech as an effort to accomplish something of value on the issue in his remaining two years in office and, perhaps, force the 2016 presidential candidates to reckon with the issue more seriously.If he is successful, he will owe a little something to the movies. Currently in theaters, Mad Max: Fury Road echoes precisely the same themes that form the basis of Obama’s new initiative. It’s not the first Hollywood film to contain climate change themes (The Day After Tomorrow, The Lorax, Interstellar), but it might be the most effective. The dystopian Western tells a gripping, pulse-pounding story, but it also gets much right about the global issues surrounding climate change that most films have neither the ambition nor the insight to match.It is no surprise that such a film comes from writer-director George Miller, who has long been an environmental activist (his Oscar-winning animated sequel Happy Feet Two also contained a climate change agenda). In Fury Road, he has created a film that envisions a near-future world ravaged by drought and extreme weather events. From the beginning of production, Miller instructed his crew to imagine that “all the worst-case scenarios you read in the news have come to pass.” This ethos is not just a matter of the set design or cinematography; the entire story—even the franchise itself—is built on it.Miller’s iconic hero Max Rockatansky was created more than three decades ago. Things were bad in Max’s world back then, but they have only gotten worse. The original Mad Max was set after an unnamed energy crisis had spurred a near-total breakdown of civilization, with special police officers like Max hanging around trying to maintain justice. In those films, the most precious commodity—the one worth fighting over—was oil, and, for Miller, it was an artistic choice that clearly reflected the real-life energy crises of the 1970s, when a perceived shortage of petroleum led to a drastic increase in gasoline prices and laid bare America’s tenuous relationship with powers in the Middle East.In Fury Road, the situation has devolved considerably. The world—or at least the corner of it that we see in the film—seems to be run by one man, a cult leader named Immortan Joe, who maintains power by controlling the new most precious commodity: water. He extracts it from the bowels of the earth in huge quantities, but only doles it out to his followers sporadically, keeping them desperate, submissive, and entirely dependent on him for their survival. It’s an exaggerated depiction of tyranny, but the idea is not far from the truth. Miller’s focus on water—as opposed to oil—accurately reflects how environmental issues have developed since the first Mad Max.Experts agree that if the onslaught of climate change continues unabated, water will be a highly-prized commodity. “The twenty-first-century projections make the [previous] mega-droughts seem like quaint walks through the garden of Eden,” says Jason Smerdon, a Columbia University climate scientist.Still, we don’t have to project into the future to see the impact of climate change on our water supply. “[I]t doesn't really require much exposition for the audience to buy a degraded world, because we already see evidence of it happening all around us,” Miller said. He’s right, and evidence can be seen all around the globe. Obama noted in his speech Wednesday that “severe drought helped to create the instability in Nigeria that was exploited by the terrorist group Boko Haram.” Meanwhile, California is in the midst of a four-year mega-drought that has led the state to try out rationing policies, and officials in Sao Paolo, Brazil are scrambling to come up with a solution to the city’s water crisis that may leave the city absolutely dry in just a few months. As policy experts work to come up with a solution, city officials are bracing for riots due to unrest. Conflict between states is also a distinct possibility, as many national security experts have predicted an era of “water wars.”Does this mean we are headed towards the brutal, apocalyptic scenario depicted in Fury Road, in which the person who holds the water holds the power? Well, maybe. In addition to its well-researched take on climate change, Fury Road’s specific take on violence is also rooted in real-life geopolitical dynamics. Climate change merely sets the stage for the film’s action-packed scenario, but Miller’s true stroke of genius is connecting extreme weather to perhaps the next most significant global threat: religious fundamentalism.Consider the character of Immortan Joe. He is a cult leader who in many ways seems to be a stand-in for Obama bin Laden, or any other leader of radical Islam. He has several wives—their escape ignites the film’s plot—as well as a cadre of young boys he has brainwashed into believing his myths. These boy soldiers dedicate their lives to him, having swallowed the lie that if they die defending him they will receive an eternity in paradise. They call this paradise “Valhalla,” a reference to the mythical land inhabited by Vikings who died in combat, but in our current geo-political context Miller it is hard not to associate this with Al Qaeda and global jihadism.By building a post-apocalyptic world using contemporary symbols of both climate change and religious fundamentalism, Miller is creating a correlative link between the two for the viewer, but is there evidence to back up his assertion? There may be no demonstrative link between climate change and mega-droughts that will lead to a spike in terrorism, but conventional wisdom indicates that desperate global conditions create a fertile ground for all forms of fundamentalism. For example, consider the popularity of jihadist schools, as depicted in the terrific new documentary Among the Believers, which premiered last month at the Tribeca Film Festival. The filmmakers received unprecedented access to a jihadist school in Pakistan, at which children are indoctrinated into radical Islam as soon as they learn to read. Viewers would naturally question why any parent would send their child to such a school, but the film has an answer: For many impoverished Muslims, it is the only school available to them. With virtually no education system in place, terrorism fills the void left by a lack of economic development.This concept is demonstrated with scary accuracy in Fury Road. Immortan Joe keeps the adults in line by rationing water, but he hordes the children to be his soldiers. He steals them as babies from their families, indoctrinates them, and feeds them myths about the paradise that awaits them if they die fighting his war, but the desperate global conditions brought on by climate change is what gives him his power. In this way, the film displays a nuanced understanding of the root causes of global catastrophe that most of our political leaders have yet to learn. To his credit, Obama is trying to lead the way. With the success of Fury Road among such a wide swath of the American public, I’m sure he hopes the message trickles down.Noah Gittell is a film critic and essayist whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, Washington City Paper, Esquire, LA Review of Books, and others.

History, It's a Thing

Friday May 22nd, 2015 12:37:22 PM
ICYMI: Rand Paul Takes Left Turn on the Road to Bulls**tville on Clinton and Mass Incarceration

Fox Reporter Calls Young Women Journalists 'F**king Morons' (VIDEO)

Friday May 22nd, 2015 11:41:15 AM
Leading a panel of what the host described as "bitter boomers" on Thursday on Fox Business Channel, reporter Charlie Gasparino called a trio of young female journalists "fucking morons" for defending their generation from his view that millennials are entitled and lazy. Earlier, host Neil Cavuto assembled a panel of young journalists, all of whom were female, who dismissed Gasparino as an old crank and defended their generation as hardworking and capable.Cavuto showed the footage to Gasparino backstage in the Fox offices and videotaped his reaction."These kids are such fucking morons," Gasparino said to laughter in the green room. "They're stupider than we thought!"Back in the studio, the rest of the segment was dedicated to letting Gasparino, several other older men, and one woman pile on millennials as parasitic and clueless brats.Watch the clip:h/t Mediaite

Biker Gangs, Tamir Rice, And The Rise Of White Fragility

Friday May 22nd, 2015 12:26:47 PM
Recently released records show that Cleveland Police charged 12-year-old Tamir Rice with inducing panic and being an “aggravated menace.” He was shot and killed by an officer in less than two seconds while sitting in the park with a toy gun. This development is juxtaposed with the news that a violent biker gang in Waco, Texas shot up a restaurant parking lot and killed nine people. Police arrested 170 armed gang members. Apparently they weren’t an aggravated menace worthy of immediate death. Tamir Rice was an African American, while the biker gangs were not. This scenario has repeated itself too many times to be coincidence. An 8-year-old child shot and killed by officers while she slept, a 17-year-old killed in the by police in his own home, a 22-year-old immediately shot and killed in a Wal-Mart, and many more cases of unarmed African Americans immediately getting shot down and labeled as a menace. While on the other side of reality, the Aurora shooter, Timothy McVeigh, and many other armed mass killer are arrested without a scratch on them.The most dangerous uprising that's threatening America's stability isn't black protests in places like Ferguson or Baltimore. It's taking place among an aging white majority that is losing its bearing on reality and destroying the gears of government, media and public welfare. At its center is an inexplicable, illogical and dangerous fear that some sociologists are now defining as white fragility.I have witnessed this strange phenomenon intensifying over the last several years, but I first became aware of it immediately after the election of Barack Obama.On the Wednesday after the 2008 election, I drove from Cleveland to Columbus to catch an afternoon flight back to New York City. Out of curiosity I scanned the AM dials until I found a few conservative political talk shows. The sustained and palpable panic was amusing at first, then outrageously funny, before settling into deeply disconcerting. Despite the fact that virtually every poll had shown Obama as the predicted winner for weeks, the election results felt like a political Pearl Harbor for some.Conservative callers were predicting the end of democracy, how 2008 might be the last election ever held in America, how the economy was going to be destroyed. In some exchanges the radio host egged on the callers’ conspiracies, while other times he warned listeners to be afraid: Taxes were going to skyrocket for the average working family, gas prices would climb. Rush Limbaugh encouraged everyone to start referring to the economic blight rendered by President George W. Bush’s administration as ‘the Obama economy.” And so they did. He proposed that all the issues in Iraq and Afghanistan were now Obama’s fault. And so they are. He predicted the end of American dream. And so they have worked to see the fulfillment of their prophecy.These callers were borderline hysterical. Even though I couldn’t see what they looked like, I could make a safe guess as to the age and race of the average listener. As I sat in my rental car listening to the unfolding audio riot of an aging generation, it felt like I was at an unveiling of some absurdly humorous and horrific performance art piece. I was watching the polite mask fall away from a hateful, illogical and destructive mindset that has thrived for hundreds of years and is still going strong today: white fragility.White fragility is a termed coined by Robin DiAngelo, an associate professor of education at Westville State University in Massachusetts. In her 2011 academic pedagogical analysis titled “White Fragility,” DiAngelo goes into a detailed explanation of how white people in North America live in insulated social and media spaces that protect them from any race-based stress. This privileged fragility leaves them unable to tolerate any schism or challenge to a universally accepted belief system. Any shift away from that (like a biracial African-American president) triggers a deep and sustaining panic. Racial segregation, disproportionate representation in the media, and many other factors serve as the columns that support white fragility. Professor DiAngelo said she came up with the term when she was a diversity trainer for the state of Washington.“The participants were mostly white, working [in] offices that were 98 percent white, living lives of never having to see people of color, and they were incredibly hostile and mean when discussing anything about race,” said DiAngelo, who’s white. “Some guys would pound their fists on the table in fury at being in a room where this discussion was taking place, many sulked silently.”DiAngelo began reframing the conversation in a more constructive way in order to get participants to see how power structures of racial supremacy work in their lives. The misunderstanding was caused by misidentification of what white privilege and power means. Privilege doesn’t mean automatic wealth and health. What “white privilege” means is that society is rooting for one particular segment of the population to succeed over all others, and has installed a disproportionately high amount of institutional and psychological helpers every step of the way.Author and public speaker Tim Wise said he has encountered similar confusion.“Part of white fragility is to assume that when we talk about racism, we are calling someone out as being individually a racist,” he said. “So if you say we're going to talk about racism, white people think you're going to call them a name. But for most people of color it's a system. And we're talking about dealing with a structure so the real problem is the system.”When separate groups of people are using the same word with different implied meanings then problems will persist. When it comes to racism and increased segregation, both Wise and DiAngelo noted that there seems to be this rigid unwillingness to address any inequality, because it would upset the very people who are both benefiting from the injustice and refusing to acknowledge its existence.The fear is that if someone seeks to define and fix racism, many white people feel like they’re being directly attacked. So instead of waiting for the attack, white fragility promotes protection by putting punitive restrictions on “the others.”The Obama era has been an interesting petri dish of white fragility. On the heels of a moderate economic recovery, we’ve seen sweeping new state laws aimed at social issues: voting rights restrictions, defunding of Planned Parenthood, anti-gay legislation, Stand Your Ground bills, and restrictive union laws to weaken their bargaining power. These laws have resulted in a rollback of rights for minorities, women, the LGBT movement, and the working class.The marketing angle used for many of these legislations is that the white, straight, Christian status quo is threatened. New voter restrictions have been enacted in over 20 states to address fraud issues that did not and do not exist. But the restrictive laws will hurt minority communities. Stand Your Ground was an NRA boilerplate bill aimed encouraging a shoot-first cowboy mentality of murdering another person simply on the appearance of a threat. Anti-gay marriage amendments are passed to “protect traditional marriage.” The goal of defunding Planned Parenthood is to “protect life.”The strangest thing about white fragility politics is that the detrimental policy results are spread out across race and class. Yet, the political results for the conservative movement priming the pump of white fragility and rage is election victories. And why should they change when they can get large sections of an aging white population to consistently vote for policies proven to statistically hurt their economic chances, personal health, their children’s education, and their very safety?What do you say to a state like Indiana that rolls back Planned Parenthood for political points based in white fragility and then watches as HIV infection rates explode in the community? What can be said of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and the legislators who knowingly bankrupt the state’s treasury to promote an economic philosophy of tax cuts to the wealthy that result in fewer services, broken infrastructure, suffering in schools, and—in the long run—more deaths? These are not rational decisions. These are fear-based politics that create avoidable disasters in which all suffer. This new wave of segregation fear is surging across the country. In response to the continued white fragility panic of 2008, conservative political movements are set to capitalize on the cycles of manufactured hysteria.“We are watching the repeal of the 20th century,” Wise said.Despite these social rollbacks, economic doomsday predictions under an Obama administration has turned into a fairly strong recovery. The stock market is soaring, unemployment rates are falling, and gas prices are down. The United States stands as one of the few countries to have not only recovered from the Great Recession, but to be somewhat thriving. It would seem like now would be the perfect moment to push the issue of white privilege and fragility forward. After the Ferguson movement and videotapes of countless unarmed black men and women being murdered by police, it seems like this nation might be headed toward some moment of truth: the start of a movement toward greater justice for all. “I get emails saying ‘you’re a disgusting human being’ and people are just upset,” Di Angelo said. “They’re upset that they have been challenged and they can’t really handle it.”When I asked Wise and DiAngelo to give me something hopeful for the future, they both gave me a bleak picture. When I suggested that more facts and evidence could sway people, they disagreed.“People who are deeply committed to a world view don’t change their opinions when confronted with new facts,” Wise said. “Oddly enough, new facts cause them to dig in more deeply.”Aurin Squire is a freelance journalist who lives in New York City. In addition to being a playwriting fellow at The Juilliard School, he has writing commissions and residencies at the Dramatists Guild of America, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and National Black Theatre.

America’s Most Boring Congressman Isn't Rep. Steve Cohen

Thursday May 21st, 2015 09:17:41 PM
To say that Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) has had an interesting week would be an understatement. That’s because for the Democrat from Tennessee, most of his time in Congress has been “interesting.”His latest brush with the ridiculous came during a House Judiciary hearing on Tuesday when he asked a conservative sheriff and Fox favorite whether he agreed that marijuana was not in fact the "scourge of the black community." Cohen, visibly taken aback by the sheriff’s disagreement, called him out for not giving the “obvious answer.”That’s just the latest. Below are some of his greatest hits and gaffes since becoming a member of Congress in 2007. ‘3/5 As Much’ Love For America In February, Cohen criticized former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) who said he didn’t think President Obama “loves America.” Cohen, who represents a majority-black district, jabbed Giuliani in a tweet that referenced slavery.“Rudy Giuliani questioned how much, or even if, President Obama loves America.Maybe he thinks he loves it 3/5 as much as Giuliani & his pals,” the tweet read.White House Should Be Protected By A ‘Moat’ During a House Judiciary Committee hearing in November 2014, Cohen suggested the White House adopt a tried and true (read: ancient) approach to security after the Secret Service came under scrutiny.“Would a — moat, water six feet around, be kind of attractive and effective,” Cohen said. Although he’d made the proposal hesitantly, it was well received by the acting director of the Secret Service, Joseph Clancy, who said, “Sir, it may be.”Two NFL Players Sexually Assault ‘Their Wives’ In February 2014, Cohen was asked in an interview with TMZ to comment on the allegations of sexual assault that were made being against a Tennessee Titans player, Sammie Hill.Cohen said he didn’t keep up with football but was a fan of the Manning brothers, Eli and Peyton, who both play in the NFL. He then added: “Eli and Peyton don't do sexual assaults against people other than their wives.”A spokesperson was later forced to clarify that Cohen didn’t mean to say the Mannings sexually assaulted their wives.Valentine's Wish For A 'Beautiful Girl' Cohen made news in February 2013 when he deleted tweets he’d sent to a mysterious 24-year-old blonde woman during the State of the Union address.Cohen tweeted “pleased u r watching .ilu" and "nice to know you were watchin SOTU(state of the union).Happy Valentines beautiful girl. ilu." ("ilu" is short for "I love you" or "I like you.”). The tweets aroused suspicion about the woman, Victoria Brink, who had tweeted Cohen: “just saw you on tv!”The unmarried Cohen eventually explained that the woman was not a paramour but was actually — his daughter.Cohen said he had googled her mother and found out she had a child who, based on the dates, was his daughter. Cohen spent time with her and took her on a tour of the White House and Capitol.Cohen Learns More About The 'Beautiful Girl' Cohen soon received even more shocking news than having a grown daughter — namely, that he didn't.In July 2013, after performing a DNA test, Cohen found out Brink was, in fact, not his daughter.Cohen released a statement that he was “stunned and dismayed” that the test had “disproved what Victoria and I believed about our relationship.” Cohen also said he still loved Brink and hoped to remain in her life.GOPers Lie Like ‘Joseph Goebbels’ Cohen said, in January 2011, that the lies being spread by Republicans about health care were similar to the lies spread by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.Cohen refused to back down from his comments and said, “I mean what I said, that lies are wrong.” Cohen also added that if you “repeat a lie over and over again it doesn’t make it the truth and that’s what Goebbels did.” He defended his comments by saying he didn’t think the Republicans were actually Nazis but they were propagating lies which is “uncivil” and “wrong.”

GOP Guvs With '16 Ambitions Hamstrung By Budget Crises Of Own Making

Friday May 22nd, 2015 11:44:25 AM
All four of the GOP governors with 2016 ambitions are facing budget shortfalls back home that their critics would argue are disasters of their own doing. It puts them in a politically difficult position: consider taxes increases that put their fiscal conservative credentials on the line, or move forward with ugly cuts that risk high-profile showdowns with their legislative counterparts.Complicating matters, three of the four -- Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Ohio's John Kasich -- have signed the anti-tax pledge heralded by conservative activist Grover Norquist, while New Jersey’s Chris Christie has verbally promised to not raise taxes. That limits their options to address revenues that have fallen short of expectations.“Post-Tea Party there are new requirements for being a successful candidate if you’re a Republican,” Norquist told TPM. “And that includes reining spending more than some are willing to do.” Norquist's pledge stipulates that politician will not raise income taxes, and that if they reduce tax deductions elsewhere, those tax deductions must be offset but other tax cuts.The timing is bad for the governors' political prospects. The state budget season runs into late June and early July, just as the presidential primary season is heating up. Meanwhile, statehouses that were more willing to cooperate with tax cuts and budget slashing in the past are less willing to give in this time around, as their fiscal situations become more dire. “Going forward, all of the low hanging fruit is gone,” said Vladimir Kogan, a professor of political science at the Ohio State University. “The trade-offs are a little more painful and that’s why you are seeing some of the political pushback now."Norquist said the fight is worth it.“If you're more tax cutting, and more spending restraint than other people, it would get in the way of passing [a budget] five years ago,” he said. “But now the conversation, the debate, the public discussion is only helpful”But success on a national stage breeds discontent at home:“It opens you up to the criticisms,” said Robert Hogan, a professor of political science at Louisiana State University. “Who’s running this state? Grover Norquist or Bobby Jindal?”BOBBY JINDAL Jindal may have earned conservative accolades and a solid “B” grade in the libertarian Cato Institute's annual report. But his agenda of cutting taxes six times -- one of which was the largest income tax cut in state history -- has culminated in a $1.6 billion budget shortfall (which Jindal blames on declines in oil revenues). Jindal’s solution is to cut up to some $600 million from higher education -- or 82 percent of state funding, according to school officials -- in addition to proposed cuts to state healthcare programs, rather than consider a tax increase to close the gap. Jindal's efforts are drawing pushback even from members of his own party -- including U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) who called Jindal’s fiscal policy “broken” -- and lawmakers in the statehouse are pushing budget legislation that would increase taxes on cigarettes while scaling back other tax breaks, despite Jindal’s objections to any tax hikes that would amount to new net revenue. “He is unwilling to go along with any sort of proposal that would be viewed as a tax increase,” LSU's Hogan said. “That is the sticking point here. How are you going to raise revenue if you are not going to raise taxes and can you cut any more spending in a budget that has been, in the last 5 or 6 years, cut every year?”SCOTT WALKER Walker has become a conservative mascot for his willingness to take on unions. But like Jindal’s economic strategy, Walker’s $541 million in tax cuts last year had not produced the economic growth Republicans in the state had hoped would have offset that loss in revenue. His state now faces a projected $2 billion budget gap, to which Walker has responded with his most austere budget yet. His proposal would cut $300 million from higher education, and also includes slashes to social services and K-12 education. It also includes some tax increases, often in the form of “fees.” Yet Walker’s budget also maintains big industry tax breaks and $220 million in debt coverage for a Milwaukee Bucks basketball arena. According to University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor Barry Burden, Walker is focusing his cuts on places that appeal to small government advocates, such as deep cuts to public broadcasting and the entirety of the state park budget, but won’t do much to balance ledgers.“A lot of this is symbolic rather than a sincere policy interest to make the state a better place,” Burden said. “This is an appeal to conservatives who are active in the nomination process.”Democrats are fighting the budget-slashing tooth and nail, and even Republicans are scaling back some of Walker’s proposed cuts.Given the bumpy road ahead, it’s not surprising Walker has said he will wait until after the budget is signed to announce a potential presidential run.CHRIS CHRISTIE Chris Christie’s calling card is that he has been able to pursue a tough, no-tax-hike economic agenda while working with a Democratic legislature in a blue state. However, Christie’s plunging popularity -- in part due to scandals like Bridgegate -- has changed the dynamics of his relationship with the statehouse, where the Senate president is thought to be eyeing the governorship. Now Democrats appear ready to make some demands in this year’s budget.“As he faces a significant budget shortfall, there is the possibility that the Democrats will essentially go to war with the Christie administration and shut down state government,” said Brigid Harrison, political science professor at Montclair State University. Democratic state lawmakers were willing to shut down the government in 2006 over a budget showdown with Jon Corzine, a governor from their own party.Christie’s main problem is the state’s pension fund, where his $1.57 billion in cuts have been struck down by a Superior Court judge. To make up for the shortfall, Democrats want to raise taxes on high-income earners, while Christie continues to vow no new taxes. “If you’re Chris Christie and you’re fighting the Democrats over their desire to spend more money and raise taxes, that only helps you as a national candidate,” Norquist said.But if a compromise can't be reached, it could also be another nail in the coffin of Christie’s diminished presidential dreams.“This gives both conservatives and moderate opponents in the GOP primary field enormous fodder -- if he can’t handle New Jersey’s economy how can he handle the country's economy?” Harrison said.JOHN KASICHUnlike his Republican rivals, Kasich is catching flack from the right for his approach to the state budget. The Cato Institute gave him a "D" on its most recent report, as they say he took the wrong approach, despite his cuts to income taxes, as spending also increased. His latest proposal would make up for expected shortfalls due to previous income tax breaks by raising sales taxes, and taxes on cigarettes and fracking.“The legislature doesn't think it’s a good idea to do the tax increase, nor do I. I don’t know why he wants to do that,” Norquist said, though since Kasich's proposal is overall revenue neutral, Norqiust said it does not break the pledge.Republicans in the statehouse have rejected the cigarette and fracking tax, and even the local Chamber of Commerce groups are pushing back on Kasich's attempt to shift the burden from income taxes to sale taxes.“The idea income taxes are evil and consumption taxes are good is almost a religion among a lot of these conservative activists," OSU's Kogan said. “The governor is running for president and as part of that he is pursuing very, very orthodox conservative policies that will appeal to conservative activists.”State lawmakers so far are bucking this approach. The House has nixed the governor’s sales tax increases and other proposed tax hikes, while passing a budget that shrinks top income tax rates and increases education spending. The state Senate, however, has signaled it plans to take the budget in yet another direction.

Duggar Family Spawn/Family Research Council Top Lobbyist Resigns over Molestation Charges

Friday May 22nd, 2015 04:51:59 AM
Josh Duggar, the eldest child of the 19 kid Duggar family, has resigned his post as executive director of FRC Action, the political and lobbying arm of the far-right Family Research Council, over multiple alleged molestation incidents which took place when he was a teenager. The Duggars, in the unlikely case you're not familiar with them, are the subjects of a long running reality TV show, 19 Kids and Counting, chronicling their lives as an evangelical family raising 19 biological children from more or less nonstop child-bearing by matriarch Michelle Duggar. The family has also served as semi-official mascots of the pro-life and anti-gay rights movements in the United States. The FRC is classed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Josh Duggar is an outspoken advocate of discrimination against gays and lesbians. He has also, ironically, repeatedly attacked members of the LGBT community as threats to the well-being of young children. This evening the FRC posted the following statement on its website ... "Today Josh Duggar made the decision to resign his position as a result of previously unknown information becoming public concerning events that occurred during his teenage years."Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work. We believe this is the best decision for Josh and his family at this time. We will be praying for everyone involved," concluded Perkins.Both Josh Duggar, the now-resigned executive director of FRC Action, and his parents and even his wife have now released statements admitting to the truth of the allegations. What's not entirely clear though is just what happened. No charges were ever brought against Josh Duggar. And father Jim Bob apparently would not allow his son to be interviewed by police when they finally opened an investigation three years after the incidents occurred.The Duggar Family is known for forbidding any intimate physical contact at all prior to marriage. Josh Duggar was 14 and 15 when the incidents occurred and involved fondling 5 underage girls (possibly including one or more of his sisters). But there is no detail about the ages of the girls in question. And reports are somewhat vague about exactly what Duggar admitted to. Most of the incident appear to have involved Duggar fondling the girls' genitals while they slept, but sometimes also while they were awake. Police clearly believed that an investigation was warranted. But given the family's extreme aversion to any intimate contact of any type prior to marriage, the uncertainty of the ages of the girls involved and the lack of more detail about consent or coercion, I think it makes sense to at least consider the possibility that the incidents in question may have been more innocent or more complicated than these published reports suggest. To be clear, this is not meant to diminish in any way that gravity of what appears to have happened. It is simply to suggest that there are enough wildcards in play that we should be even more than usual open to the possibility that we may not have an accurate picture of what happened.That said, local police clearly thought a formal investigation was warranted. Jim Bob and Michelle DuggarDuggar at the time was a minor. But where the story takes a more complicated and perhaps sinister turn is the behavior of his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle. The Duggars apparently told the elders of their church about the incidents in question but not local police authorities. Later they claimed that they had sent Josh to a Christian counseling program to cure him of whatever was driving his abusive behavior. But under police questioning, Michele Duggar admitted that it wasn't a counseling program at all but rather "a guy they know in Little Rock that is remodeling a building." The interviewing detective asked if the remodeling guy was a "mentor" and Duggar said "kind of."What?When Josh returned from his time with the mentor in Little Rock, father Jim Bob along with a group of church elders took Josh to talk to Arkansas State Trooper, Jim Hutchens, a personal friend of Jim Bob's. Hutchens took no official action and apparently made no report of the incident but rather had a "stern talk" with Josh. Alas, former state trooper Hutchens is now serving hard time on child pornography charges. He was originally sent to prison two years after the stern talk, released and then convicted again in 2010. He is currently serving a 56 year term. So he may not have been the best person to have Josh talk to. Joseph T. Hutchens, Arkansas Department of Corrections Josh Duggar released the following statement to People magazine ... "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life."Another statement was released by Duggar's parents ... "Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives," Jim Bob, 49, and Michelle, 48, said in a joint statement. "When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before."Their statement continues, "Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God's kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us – even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey – the good times and the difficult times – cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything."

More on Nebraska and the Death Penalty

Friday May 22nd, 2015 02:00:46 AM
Another TPM Reader follows up on the backstory about the state's decision to abolish the death penalty. Our correspondent from yesterday noted this as part of the story. But TPM Reader LF (anonymized initials) follows up here with more on the role of the drugs state use but are having an increasingly difficult time obtaining to end condemned prisoners lives ...I don't think you can understand the Nebraska situation without also noting the absolute mess that is lethal injection, both as a general matter and in Nebraska specifically. You guys have run stories before about how lethal injection results have been grisly lately. A lot of that stems from evolving lethal injection protocols, which have had to change (basically for the first time since the late 1970s/early 1980s) to account for a growing number of drug shortages. Some companies have stopped producing the traditional lethal injection drugs because they are very old, not profitable, and, injections, which are notoriously difficult to make consistently with good manufacturing standards. Others simply refuse to do business with state departments of correction. There has been a ton of good, progressive work here by groups like Reprieve and the Berkeley Death Penalty Clinic. Another part of the story is the injunction that was upheld by the D.C. Circuit in 2013, in Cook v. FDA, which blocked the states from accessing a grey market for unapproved foreign knock offs. In late 2010, several states were importing their lethal injection drugs from a “pharmacy” doing business out of the back of a driving school in West London and FDA knowingly allowed this to occur even though 21 USC 381(a)(3) says that's illegal. Suffice it to say that even conservative DC judges were not amused.Which brings me to Nebraska. When the district court entered its injunction, it directed FDA to try to claw back the illegal drugs from those states that had been importing unlawfully. Nebraska told FDA to pound sand, mostly because Nebraska hadn't been purchasing from the driving school, but rather from a fellow named Chris Harris. A bit of that story is here. Harris initially sold Nebraska drugs produced by a Swiss company that he obtained under false pretenses. In 2012, the company then tried to “recall” the drug, and tried to get the Nebraska Supreme Court involved, but they and the local capital defense bar got nowhere. See here and here. But, that supply eventually expired, leaving the state without the necessary drugs.Last week, Nebraska went back to the Harris well—he’s no longer selling the Swiss product, but rather drugs sourced from a "distributor" in India. See here. You can see that the Gov. has become personally vested in this issue as part of his campaign to keep the death penalty.

Chris Christie Wows Roast Crowd With Expletive-Filled Media Rant (AUDIO)

Friday May 22nd, 2015 01:26:09 PM
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) gave a speech on Wednesday full of vulgarities directed at reporters over the George Washington Bridge scandal, New Jersey's finances, and his travel history. "We don't give a s--- about this or any of you," Christie told a crowd of 350 people at the Hamilton banquet hall on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg Politics. The event was an annual event in New Jersey which features a roast of the sitting New Jersey governor. Elected officials, journalists, and lobbyists attend the event. The New Jersey governor said one journalist should "open your eyes" and "clean the s--- out of your ears.""This is a guy who says he doesn't know what I'm doing every day," Christie said of another journalist according to the Bloomberg report. "Then just get the f--- away from me if you don't know what I'm doing." Bloomberg obtained audio of Christie's remarks. Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts said that Christie's comments were just jokes and made under the premise that they would not be published.An analysis of the New Jersey governor by New Jersey Watchdog found that Christie spent roughly $300,000 on food and alcohol over his five years as governor. In 2010 and 2011, the analysis found, Christie spent $82,594 on the Delaware North Sportservice, which handles concessions at MetLife Stadiums, which is where the New York Giants and Jets play.At the beginning of May, former top allies of Christie were charged for their alleged roles in the "BridgeGate" scandal.Listen to the audio of Christie's roast speech below:

Okla. GOP Under Fire For Having Domestic Violence Convict As Top Staffer

Thursday May 21st, 2015 09:08:34 PM
As potential 2016 presidential contenders gathered Thursday in Oklahoma City for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, the state's Republican Party was coming under fire for employing a staffer convicted of domestic violence. Randy Brogdon, who was elected to the state GOP chairmanship in April, demoted his pick for executive director last week after Republican Party members and legislators expressed concern about the appointee's history of domestic violence, according to The Oklahoman newspaper.Thomas Clint "T.C." Ryan, 31, pleaded guilty in 2012 to domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor and interference with an emergency telephone call, according to the newspaper. News reports about the state party infighting haven't divulged further details of the assault. Court documents available online don't shed light on the particulars, either.The backlash against the state party comes as Republican presidential candidate and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is expected to headline a Friday night fundraiser for the Oklahoma GOP. Cruz's campaign didn't respond to a request for comment from Buzzfeed's McKay Coppins.Last week, Oklahoma's three Republican female state senators -- A.J. Griffin, Kim David and Stephanie Bice -- issued a statement calling for Ryan's resignation and for the party to take a firm stance against domestic violence."While we certainly believe in redemption and reconciliation, we also believe there are consequences to actions,” Bice said in the statement, as quoted by The Oklahoman. “For the good of the party we believe Ryan should resign permanently.”But so far, Ryan has refused to step down from the organization and Brogdon has defended him against calls to force him out.Brogdon suggested those demanding Ryan's resignation were "bigoted" Friday at a Tulsa County Republican Club luncheon. The comment came in response to a question about how the state GOP would explain Ryan's presence to national Republicans at the conference, according to video of the event.“For humor – when we, at this national Southern Republican Leadership Conference, have an opportunity to meet these prominent Republican leaders –should we explain T.C.'s appearance as channeling Duck Dynasty or ZZ Top?” the attendee asked."Only if you want to be bigoted," Brogdon responded."This guy is a tremendous individual that's been dragged through the mud by Republicans and I resent it," the chairman continued. "Drag me through the mud, not T.C. He doesn't deserve this. He's paid his debt to society. Let's move on."Some lawmakers still aren't buying Brogdon's full-throated defense of Ryan."It is totally unacceptable for someone with that recent criminal background of that nature to be employed in any capacity by the Oklahoma Republican Party," state Sen. David Holt (R) told the Associated Press on Wednesday. "I have zero tolerance for domestic violence, and I believe that my political party should feel the same way."Brogdon previously told The Oklahoman that neither he nor Ryan pull a salary from the state party.Image: Thomas Clint Ryan's 2012 mugshot via the Associated Press.

Jeb Signs on with GOP Math

Thursday May 21st, 2015 08:34:55 PM
Jeb says he's on board with the special Republican math Congressional Republicans want to use to score federal budget bills.

Jeb Bush 'All In' With House GOP's Special Budget Math (VIDEO)

Thursday May 21st, 2015 08:22:03 PM
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) voiced support for House Republicans' move to switch to a type of budget scoring that assumes tax cuts create economic growth and counterbalance lost revenue. Speaking in New Hampshire on Thursday, Bush was asked about House Republicans' move to adopt the "dynamic scoring" method for scoring budgets. Although critics argue that this approach to scoring is essentially "fairy dust" and "cooks the books" on budget scoring, many Republicans and even a few conservative Democrats have pushed for using the controversial method.In December of last year, House Republicans opted to not reappoint Doug Elmendorf as the head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, essentially paving the way to adopt dynamic scoring. At the beginning of 2016, House GOPers passed a rule requiring all budgets to use dynamic scoring in budget estimates. Bush first said he was "all in" for eliminating the "bean counters" who use the traditional "static scoring" method. "The House has done this and I think it's the right thing," Bush said in New Hampshire on Thursday. He went on to praise House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), who, in Sept 2014, actually floated the idea that the CBO adopt dynamic scoring. "One of the guys I most respect in Washington D.C. is Paul Ryan. He's thoughtful, he's optimistic, he believes that if you create the right conditions all of us interacting amongst ourselves will create far more benefits for far more people," Bush said.Watch the video of Bush, via opposition research outfit American Bridge, below:

Buckle Up, The Clown Car is Ready to Whisk You Away

Thursday May 21st, 2015 08:31:22 PM
TPM Reader EA prepares to be swept away on the anti-Clinton clown car ... You mentioned recently that we are headed down the Clinton rabbit hole, where everything is a scandal, no one has an ounce of decency or honesty, and we can soon expect to witness Hillary in her true demonic form, with bloody fangs and a glint of world domination fever in her eyes. My initial reaction was to assume we had at least until mid/late summer before things got quite so terrible. Well. I stand corrected. If supermarket lane tabloids are a useful way to gauge the insanity quotient in the US, then we are all doomed - and the next 18 months are going to be even worse than I had imagined. Especially living in the constantly-chattering Tampa Bay Area, with its saturated, far-ranging media market. Oy vey.Anyway - I present to you...early signs we're headed down the rabbit hole, again and again.

Fascinating Study

Thursday May 21st, 2015 07:52:42 PM
Researchers found, in a pretty granular and detailed study, that elected officials, at least at the state level, consistently assume that their constituents are significantly more conservative than they actually are and by big margins.

Aren't We All?

Thursday May 21st, 2015 07:43:14 PM
Tucker Carlson tells Alex Jones, Rand Paul's favorite black helicopter conspiracy theorist that he's sick of Obama's "Nazi stuff."

Tucker Carlson Decries Obama Admin's 'Nazi Stuff' On Alex Jones Show (VIDEO)

Thursday May 21st, 2015 07:15:14 PM
Fox News contributor and Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson appeared Tuesday on the syndicated radio show of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and accused the Obama administration of engaging in "Nazi stuff." Carlson called into the show by phone and discussed what he described as the administration's "ethnic politics." On the video webcast version of the show, Jones showed a giant graphic of Obama dressed as Hitler, complete with a mustache, and flanked by the words "DICTATOR" and "SCUM" in bold letters as Carlson spoke. Obama shown as Hitler during show. Image via InfoWarsThe moment came after Jones asked Carlson what he thought of Obama's approach to racial issues in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, which Jones said was bringing the country close to civil war."The problem with the administration's position — which is, 'yeah, you know, violence is bad but I kind of see their point' — it is in effect making excuses for and therefore encouraging that kind of behavior," Carlson said. "It's scary.""They categorize people by race in a way that, you know, you can't even imagine — 30 years ago you would have said, 'Wait a second, that's like Nazi stuff,'" Carlson said of the Obama administration and its "ethnic politics."Jones agreed, before going on to complain of other ways "the establishment" is dividing people, such as the institutional misandry found in the new film "Mad Max: Fury Road."Later on, Jones asked Carlson for his take on the "Jade Helm 15" military exercises in Texas, which InfoWars had covered as a conspiratorial "psy ops" project that would clear the way for martial law in parts of the United States like Texas.Carlson didn't directly answer Jones on the supposed "Texas takeover," but he did identify with Jones against the mainstream media."Look, you know as well as I, there's nobody in the press who is culturally on the same page as you are, or I am, for that matter," Carlson said."Nobody owns a gun. Nobody goes to church. Nobody's pro-life. You're just looking at a solid wall of culture that's different," he added.Jones seemed to agree, at one point noting that even Carlson's own network Fox had referred to Jones as "a kook."Carlson did not return TPM's request for comment on Thursday.Watch the clip. Carlson's "Nazi" comment comes at the 4:20 mark:

Sarah Davis Becomes First Texas GOP Lawmaker To Support Gay Marriage

Thursday May 21st, 2015 06:05:44 PM
State Rep. Sarah Davis is making history in the Lone Star State by becoming the first Republican lawmaker to publicly support same-sex marriage.Davis refused to sign an anti-gay letter issued by her Republican colleagues last week, and made comments in an interview with the Texas Observer that amounted to an endorsement of the right of same-sex couples to marry. “I just don’t agree with the sentiment of the letter,” Davis told the Observer in an interview published Thursday. “I don’t feel the need to pass legislation or vote for legislation that prohibits two adults who love each other to be able to be joined in a civil union or marriage. It does not affect my marriage.”According to the Observer, that makes Davis a first in Texas history. Davis represents a district in an affluent area of Houston. Same-sex marriage is not currently legal in Texas. Ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could result in the invalidation of Texas' gay marriage ban, state lawmakers have attempted to pass legislation that could undermine such a ruling.Davis has expressed support for civil unions in the past, and already has the endorsement of the LGBT rights groups Log Cabin Republicans and Equality Texas.“I haven’t had an opportunity to vote, but I’ve spoken about the issue,” Davis told the Observer. “In situations where I’ve been asked, I’ve always stated my position, so I don’t think this is new ground that I’ve just staked out.”

Got a Question About LGBT rights? Get It Answered Here

Thursday May 21st, 2015 05:59:19 PM
International LGBT rights expert Jessica Stern will be answering questions (sub req) from Prime members in The Hive at 2 PM Eastern.

A Whole Lotta Nothing

Thursday May 21st, 2015 05:37:02 PM
Is it more or less craven if your high-profile anti-gay pandering has little to no practical effect legally?Just asking for a Republican governor from Louisiana.

Troll Buys Twitter Ads To Tell Transgender People To Kill Themselves

Thursday May 21st, 2015 05:53:11 PM
A Twitter troll bought ads on the social network to spread a message to transgender people this week that they should kill themselves, the Guardian reported on Wednesday. The user posted graphic images and offensive comments while pretending to be Caitlin Roper, an Australian activist and feminist campaigner, according to the Guardian. The troll used the fake account to promote a tweet that said trans people should kill themselves.“Trannies, getting surgery won’t change your gender,” the tweet read. “It will only turn you into a deformed freak. End your miserable existence. Kill yourself.”Outraged users tweeted about the hateful message and questioned why it was being promoted in their accounts.Why the fuck is this disgusting shit being promoted into my timeline? What the hell is going on? pic.twitter.com/ZJ4TUwI70z— Caspar Salmon (@CasparSalmon) May 20, 2015(TW: transphobia) Hey, @twitter, what the HELL is that promoted tweet? How on earth did that just appear on my TL? pic.twitter.com/vrPqlF24iy— Marie Le Conte (@youngvulgarian) May 20, 2015Roper responded to the backlash and trolling by tweeting a message saying the troll account had been suspended. Hi friends, someone has created a Twitter account impersonating me and tweeting hateful comments. Account suspended, thanks for your help x— Caitlin Roper (@caitlin_roper) May 20, 2015Wired magazine reported that Twitter charged $25 for the advertisement.


‘Prosperity Gospel’ Pastor Is Asking His Church To Buy Him A $65 Million Jet

Thursday May 21st, 2015 08:49:33 PM Jack Jenkins

As Jesus once said, “Blessed are rich pastors, for they deserve a private jet.” Wait, no he didn’t. The post ‘Prosperity Gospel’ Pastor Is Asking His Church To Buy Him A $65 Million Jet appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Megabanks Fined $2 Billion For Criminal Activity, Will Be Able To Continue Business As Usual

Thursday May 21st, 2015 04:03:59 PM Alan Pyke

Even billions of dollars in fines and a wave of felony confessions won't hurt these five giant banks. The same government that imposed those penalties is making sure of it. The post Megabanks Fined $2 Billion For Criminal Activity, Will Be Able To Continue Business As Usual appeared first on ThinkProgress.

H&M’s Employee Benefits Look Pretty Different From Most Retail Stores

Thursday May 21st, 2015 03:13:40 PM Bryce Covert

Full-time H&M employees get $12 an hour on average and three weeks of paid vacation. The post H&M’s Employee Benefits Look Pretty Different From Most Retail Stores appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Arizona Will Boot Thousands From Welfare To Address $1 Billion Budget Hole

Wednesday May 20th, 2015 07:51:02 PM Bryce Covert

More than 1,600 families, including 2,700 children, will lose their benefits. The post Arizona Will Boot Thousands From Welfare To Address $1 Billion Budget Hole appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Texas’ Less Than ‘Gold Star’ Pre-K Proposal Is Still Much Better Than Many States

Wednesday May 20th, 2015 07:04:54 PM Casey Quinlan

Texas' enhancements to their pre-K program may be far from perfect but they are a step forward for a program that has lost funding in recent years. The post Texas’ Less Than ‘Gold Star’ Pre-K Proposal Is Still Much Better Than Many States appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Amazon Hires First Woman As Top Company Executive

Wednesday May 20th, 2015 03:34:33 PM Lauren C. Williams

Renz's hiring makes her the first female executive to directly report to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The post Amazon Hires First Woman As Top Company Executive appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Yale Gives Former President $8 Million Retirement Gift

Wednesday May 20th, 2015 02:57:31 PM Casey Quinlan

Yale University's former president, Richard C. Levin, received a handsome retirement benefit after leaving the university. The post Yale Gives Former President $8 Million Retirement Gift appeared first on ThinkProgress.

This Is The Largest City To Adopt A $15 Minimum Wage

Wednesday May 20th, 2015 01:36:53 PM Bryce Covert

Los Angeles voted to move forward with a wage hike to $15 an hour by 2020. The post This Is The Largest City To Adopt A $15 Minimum Wage appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Bernie Sanders’ Ambitious Plan To Eliminate College Tuition

Wednesday May 20th, 2015 12:00:54 PM Alice Ollstein

Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wants to see a “revolution” in higher education funding. The post Bernie Sanders’ Ambitious Plan To Eliminate College Tuition appeared first on ThinkProgress.

What Wall Street Advisers Have To Say About Ethics In Their Industry

Tuesday May 19th, 2015 08:04:20 PM Alan Pyke

Many of the people best positioned to get rich by breaking the law say they have to cheat to succeed and that the regulators who hunt them are overmatched. The post What Wall Street Advisers Have To Say About Ethics In Their Industry appeared first on ThinkProgress.

These Companies Are Paying Women Less Than Men, According To Lawsuit

Tuesday May 19th, 2015 06:52:08 PM Bryce Covert

Female accounting clerks allegedly made $4 less an hour for the same work. The post These Companies Are Paying Women Less Than Men, According To Lawsuit appeared first on ThinkProgress.

What Americans Know About The Gap Between The Rich And The Poor

Tuesday May 19th, 2015 04:33:09 PM Igor Volsky

Do you know how much of the total gains since the recession went to the top 1% of Americans? The post What Americans Know About The Gap Between The Rich And The Poor appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Ferocious Fight Over Harvard Admissions

Monday May 18th, 2015 02:26:28 PM Casey Quinlan

Many Asian American advocacy groups are not supporting a discrimination complaint against Harvard University because they see it as a way to attack affirmative action policies. The post The Ferocious Fight Over Harvard Admissions appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Government Finds $60 Billion Company Responsible For Deaths Of Four Workers, Fines It $99,000

Monday May 18th, 2015 12:21:13 PM Bryce Covert

DuPont, which has $63.6 billion in revenue, was fined $99,000 for the four deaths and the safety violations that caused them. The post Government Finds $60 Billion Company Responsible For Deaths Of Four Workers, Fines It $99,000 appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Officials Pledge Charges After Factory Fire Kills 72 Workers In The Philippines

Friday May 15th, 2015 05:23:51 PM Alan Pyke

Factory owners reportedly failed to drill workers on what to do in case of fire, while paying them illegally low wages and withholding other required compensation. The post Officials Pledge Charges After Factory Fire Kills 72 Workers In The Philippines appeared first on ThinkProgress.

With New Policy, Reddit Will Take On Harassment And Personal Attacks

Friday May 15th, 2015 05:20:44 PM Lauren C. Williams

"In the past 10 years, we’ve seen how these policies have fostered cool and amazing conversations on reddit...We’ve [also] seen many conversations devolve into attacks against individuals," Reddit CEO Ellen Pao said. The post With New Policy, Reddit Will Take On Harassment And Personal Attacks appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Nail Salon Workers Sue Employer Over Allegedly Paying $60 For 10-Hour Days

Friday May 15th, 2015 01:46:54 PM Bryce Covert

Employees of a chain of nail salons in New York City say they were made to work 10-hour shifts without breaks and for little pay. The post Nail Salon Workers Sue Employer Over Allegedly Paying $60 For 10-Hour Days appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Congress Questions Bureau of Indian Education On Crumbling Schools

Thursday May 14th, 2015 08:20:10 PM Casey Quinlan

Congress questioned Obama administration officials and the director of the Bureau of Indian Education this week on the condition of BIE-operated schools. The post Congress Questions Bureau of Indian Education On Crumbling Schools appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Navy Wants To Double Its Paid Maternity Leave To Attract More Women

Thursday May 14th, 2015 08:16:10 PM Bryce Covert

It's also enhancing the affordable child care that it offers for parents who are enlisted in the Navy. The post The Navy Wants To Double Its Paid Maternity Leave To Attract More Women appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Grocery Store That Competes With Walmart Prices And Is Beloved By Employees

Thursday May 14th, 2015 02:49:28 PM Bryce Covert

Wegmans is beloved by many, including employees who make above average pay and get benefits like health insurance, a 401(k), and paid time off. The post The Grocery Store That Competes With Walmart Prices And Is Beloved By Employees appeared first on ThinkProgress.


How Privacy Advocates Could Get The Best Of The NSA (For Now)

Friday May 22nd, 2015 12:00:55 PM Lauren C. Williams

"It’s really fascinating because Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was gambling that he could ram a re-authorization through at the last minute, and he lost." The post How Privacy Advocates Could Get The Best Of The NSA (For Now) appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Grand Jury Indicts All Six Baltimore Cops In Death Of Freddie Gray

Thursday May 21st, 2015 09:46:12 PM Nicole Flatow

The decision by a grand jury to indict all six cops is the latest remarkable outcome in the Baltimore case, distinguishing it from other prominent cases of police brutality. The post Grand Jury Indicts All Six Baltimore Cops In Death Of Freddie Gray appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Everything You Need To Know About The Republican Party’s Health Plan, In One Picture

Thursday May 21st, 2015 09:22:48 PM Ian Millhiser

King v. Burwell, in other words, threatens the individual health insurance markets in about three dozen states. The Senate Republican's proposed response to King, however, is to blow up the individual health insurance market in all 50 states. The post Everything You Need To Know About The Republican Party’s Health Plan, In One Picture appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Senate Committee Passes Bill Allowing Doctors To Recommend Medical Marijuana To Veterans

Thursday May 21st, 2015 08:57:09 PM Carimah Townes

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been prevented from recommending marijuana for years. The post Senate Committee Passes Bill Allowing Doctors To Recommend Medical Marijuana To Veterans appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Anti-Gay Groups Gear Up To Fight A 30-Year-Old Supreme Court Victory Over Racism

Thursday May 21st, 2015 07:56:09 PM Ian Millhiser

This time, the forces of religious discontent are not mustering in support of racism, they're mustering in favor of anti-gay discrimination. The post Anti-Gay Groups Gear Up To Fight A 30-Year-Old Supreme Court Victory Over Racism appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Study: Guest-Workers Paid As Poorly As Undocumented Immigrants

Thursday May 21st, 2015 07:41:57 PM Esther Yu-Hsi Lee

According to the report, guest-workers earn about 11 percent less than green-card holders. The post Study: Guest-Workers Paid As Poorly As Undocumented Immigrants appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Kansas Voter Suppression Architect Prepares To Use Criminal Prosecution In His Intimidation Efforts

Thursday May 21st, 2015 06:07:21 PM Kira Lerner

The legislation would give Secretary of State Kris Kobach even more power to make voting a political issue. The post Kansas Voter Suppression Architect Prepares To Use Criminal Prosecution In His Intimidation Efforts appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Jail Doesn’t Cost What You Think It Does

Thursday May 21st, 2015 04:42:15 PM Carimah Townes

The DOJ's estimates are way off. The post Jail Doesn’t Cost What You Think It Does appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Price Of Nice Hair

Thursday May 21st, 2015 12:00:47 PM Esther Yu-Hsi Lee

"The thing that was very striking is that I’ve been a natural hair stylist for ten years," a hair stylist said. "I haven’t done major relaxer treatments in ten years, and I do deal with some coloring, but the effects last for years.” The post The Price Of Nice Hair appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Federal Court: Notre Dame Can’t Cut Off Birth Control For Its Students

Wednesday May 20th, 2015 04:46:05 PM Ian Millhiser

Notre Dame is quite literally seeking to impose its religious beliefs on other parties who do not share them. The post Federal Court: Notre Dame Can’t Cut Off Birth Control For Its Students appeared first on ThinkProgress.

BREAKING: Nebraska Legislature Votes To Repeal The Death Penalty

Wednesday May 20th, 2015 04:29:20 PM Ian Millhiser

As the Nebraska legislature is unicameral, the bill will now go directly to the state's Republican Governor Pete Ricketts. The post BREAKING: Nebraska Legislature Votes To Repeal The Death Penalty appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Texas Senator Blamed Violence In Baltimore On ‘Absent Fathers,’ Has Nothing To Say About Waco Massacre

Wednesday May 20th, 2015 12:00:15 PM Carimah Townes

The sound of silence. The post Texas Senator Blamed Violence In Baltimore On ‘Absent Fathers,’ Has Nothing To Say About Waco Massacre appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The NRA Rides To The Rescue Of Men Who Beat Up Their Dates In Louisiana

Tuesday May 19th, 2015 03:05:01 PM Ian Millhiser

If a man in New Orleans drives over to his girlfriend's home and beats her senseless, the National Rifle Association has his back. The post The NRA Rides To The Rescue Of Men Who Beat Up Their Dates In Louisiana appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Federal Government Will No Longer Give Local Police Certain Military-Grade Equipment

Monday May 18th, 2015 07:49:26 PM Carimah Townes

Which weapons will be prohibited? The post Federal Government Will No Longer Give Local Police Certain Military-Grade Equipment appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Study Says Government Attempts To Stop Piracy Sites Don’t Work

Monday May 18th, 2015 04:55:46 PM Lauren C. Williams

Overall, "The shutdown...has not had a positive effect." The post Study Says Government Attempts To Stop Piracy Sites Don’t Work appeared first on ThinkProgress.

This Photo Is Raising Questions About How Police Are Treating White Bikers After A Mass Murder

Monday May 18th, 2015 02:00:48 AM Judd Legum

What would this scene look like in Baltimore? The post This Photo Is Raising Questions About How Police Are Treating White Bikers After A Mass Murder appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Jurors In The Boston Bombing Case Had To Agree To Consider The Death Penalty Before Being Selected

Saturday May 16th, 2015 05:10:23 PM Erica Hellerstein

According to a recent poll conducted during the trial, more than 60 percent of Boston voters said they support life in prison without the possibility of parole for Tsarnaev, while just 27 percent said that he should be put to death. The post Jurors In The Boston Bombing Case Had To Agree To Consider The Death Penalty Before Being Selected appeared first on ThinkProgress.

How The First Church Of Cannabis Plans To Test Indiana’s New Religious Freedom Law

Friday May 15th, 2015 07:36:47 PM Jack Jenkins

“We need a modern religion for a modern day.” The post How The First Church Of Cannabis Plans To Test Indiana’s New Religious Freedom Law appeared first on ThinkProgress.

This Man Is An Army Veteran And A Father. He Could Be Deported To Peru.

Friday May 15th, 2015 06:24:10 PM Esther Yu-Hsi Lee

Army veteran Jorge Salcedo's daughter now "sits by the window, waiting for her dad, asking if daddy will come home." The post This Man Is An Army Veteran And A Father. He Could Be Deported To Peru. appeared first on ThinkProgress.

New Hampshire Supreme Court Rules Voter Registration Poll Tax Is Unconstitutional

Friday May 15th, 2015 04:38:00 PM Kira Lerner

The voter registration form is likely to confuse voters and prevent them from registering, the court found. The post New Hampshire Supreme Court Rules Voter Registration Poll Tax Is Unconstitutional appeared first on ThinkProgress.



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